LEARNING HOW WE BREATHE6th August 2019
The ability to breathe is known as a normal function of the body. We don’t think about it, we don’t have to put any effort in, the body just takes in and expels air on its own. It’s not something we are taught as children, like tying our shoes laces. It just sort of happens. (And when you think about it, it’s an unappreciated miracle!)
However, what we are unaware of, is how we are breathing, especially in times or stress, panic, anger or upset.
Often we aren’t breathing at our lungs full capacity and this can have a huge impact on how the mind and body function.
Learning how we breathe; TRY THIS SIMPLE EXERCISE to learn how you are breathing:
-Begin laying down on the floor/ bed/ sofa and take a moment to notice where you feel your breath move in your body. You don’t need to do anything, just observe how your body receives and lets go of each breath. Notice where there is movement when you breathe. If possible, breathe in and out through the nose.
-To help you feel your breath, place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest. Notice the gentle movement beneath your hands for a few breaths. Keep observing.
-Then see if you can start to deepen the breath by taking a longer inhale and a longer exhale. Notice how this feels.
See if on your next exhale you can breathe right to the end of your breath, getting rid of the last drop of air in your lungs.
Then taking a longer in breath, filling your lungs with fresh air. (This should feel really good! If it doesnt, you might be over-straining yourself.)
-Continue this process of a long exhale and a long inhale for 4 more breaths. Then relax your hands down beside you, return to your natural breath and observe how you feel.
Do you notice any difference from before and after? Are you aware of where your breath moves in your body? Do you feel you breathe more into your belly or your chest?
Sometimes it’s as simple as learning how we are breathing in a situation and seeing if we can take a deeper longer breath.
Relax like a queen: How to have the BEST savasana6th August 2019
Savasana, known as the “corpse pose”, is practised as a relaxation at the end of a yoga class. For some this can be the hardest posture as it involves staying still, relaxing the areas we sometimes naturally hold on to and trying to slow down the mind.
At a symbolic level, savasana represents the death of our limited beliefs. The process of yoga is said to dissolve these limited beliefs and the suffering associated with them.
To making the process of relaxation a little easier here are my top tips for RELAXING LIKE A QUEEN 🙂
Support your body with props! Props can become your best friend if used correctly!
- If you find your chin is pointing high up to the ceiling and the back of your neck is compressed, try placing a folded blanket or a thin yoga block under the back of your head.
- Can’t keep your eyes closed? If you are in a class and a teacher offers you an eye pillow say yes! Eye pillows gentle soften tension around the whole eye area. A little bit of weight around the eyes stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system the “relaxation response” in the body.
- BACK PAIN? Keep the knees bent! Trying placing a rolled up blanket/towel/ pilow or bolster under your knees to help you relax but take some tension off of the back.
- PREGNANT? Try lying on your left side, knees bent with a folded blanket or pillow between your knees.
- MIND WANDERING? For me a good savasana has a little bit of guidance to help you relax, some teachers leave a complete silent space and for some this situation can be even harder to relax in. If that is the case, focus on your breath and add a count of 4 to your inhale and exhale. Each time your mind wanders off, take a deep breath and focus on your exhale relaxing each part of your body.
When used correctly props really can make yoga so much more enjoyable and ACCESSIBLE! Yoga is not about what shape you make, but how it feels for YOU in your OWN BODY!
- If you know you can safely use essential oils, choose some to help you relax like lavender or clary sage.
- If you are touch sensitive and respond positively from touch, ask a teacher for hands on adjusments to ease the body into the earth more. Try these tips and let me know if they make a difference to your relaxation time.
Yoga Chill Club8th July 2019
The all new, delicious YOGA CHILL CLUB has officially started!
Fed up of all the trendy bendy fast-paced yoga classes that happen around the city at the moment?
Don’t feel like a sweaty workout but more of a work-in?
Want to find a small group community based class where everyone is friendly and chatty and welcoming?
Want to find a session where you can connect with your own body and mind in a gentle way?
Want to find a class that includes gentle movement, breath-work, guided deep relaxation/meditation and offers a cuppa and a snack after and a place to sit for atleast 5 extra minutes?
LOOK NO FURTHER!! THE YOGA CHILL CLUB HAS YOUR BACK!
Limited to 11 spaces each week, join us as we journey in together.
Yoga Chill Club Tuesdays 7pm, pophub 41 Whitcomb St, London WC2H 7DT
Starting the day off right1st April 2019
How do you start your day?
How we spend the first moments when we rise can have a huge impact on the rest of our day!
In yoga and ayurveda it is advised to clean the mouth and tongue when waking before drinking any liquids. This is done using a metal tongue scrape to remove any build up that has occured over night. This helps to reduce “ama” which is the accumilation of toxins.
After you’ve scraped your tongue and given your mouth a rinse, it’s best to start with warm to hot fluids.
Starting the day with cooled hot water with a slice or squeeze of lemon is said to stimulate the “agni” which is your digestive fire! It basically starts to get the digestion in motion.
STRETCH AND SWAY:
Whilst the kettle or pan of water boils, take the opportunity to press your feet firmly into the ground reach your arms up in the air and have a big stretch. Relax the hands down by your sides and then sway and twist from side to side; waking up the spine gently.
Once the water is heated, pour over a slice of lemon.
Find a comfortable seat, inhale the scent and steam from your cup.
Take 30 seconds to take a couple more deep breaths and then pick ONE small thing you are grateful for.
Have a beautiful day!!
Tongue scraping- The yoga cleansing technique you’ve got to try!5th February 2019
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
In yoga and Ayurveda (sister science of yoga ~ Ayur (life) Veda (knowledge), there are cleansing techniques called shatkarmas (shat- six, karma- action).
One of these is tongue (jihva) scraping. It is advised to clean the mouth and tongue upon waking before drinking any liquids. .
This helps to clear toxins and bacteria accumulated overnight.
The simplest of the yoga and Ayurveda cleansing techniques and one I’ve been doing for many years.
To do this, start by rinsing your mouth with water, then holding the two ends, placing the bend of the tongue scraper towards the back of your tongue, gently press down scraping towards the tip of your tongue.
Do this a couple of times, rinsing the scraper in between.
I’d advise a metal tongue cleaner as they will last you forever! .
Make it a ritual, part of your morning routine, and you’ll feel the benefits! .
How do you start your day? Do you use a tongue cleaner? Would you like to include more yoga or Ayurvedic practises in your day? .
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Festive greetings25th December 2018
For any of you in the middle of a stressful and emotionally-draining holiday season, I hear you, it’s a tough one sometimes!
The JOY you felt as a kid is very different as an “adult” with responsibilities. It becomes about finding the right gifts, hours cooking in the kitchen and for some us family disagreements or the memories and grief of lost ones.
Acknowledge that you are not alone this time of year, (please do reach out if you need a chat or a virtual hug!!)
Take some “DOWNTIME”
Find time (even if its 30 seconds in the loo) to allow yourself to feel all the energy around you (good and bad) and EMBRACE it.
Those tiny things you do to help you have a great day; lighting a candle or incense and setting an intention, deep breathing practise, taking time to make your morning cup of tea, meditation or gentle movements of your body. Whatever you usually do, try to still incorporate these rituals during the festive season (it’s when you’ll need them most).
Continue with any practice you have no matter how big or small. Simply sitting and taking 3 deep breaths before you start roasting the potatoes will help keep you in check for the day.
Practise gratitude for the things that happen today, the tiny gifts you receive, being present with family or friends or your cat. The wonderful gift of having a FULL stomach! The ability to move, think, feel, breathe, touch, see, hear, taste etc.
RECHARGING EXERCISE: Keeping your inner light lit
Once the bellies are full, and the dishes washed and everyone is drifting off slowly on the sofa. Take the time to recharge yourself. Take a few breaths and sit up nice and tall. Imagine a warm glowing light at the centre of your heart. With each inhale the light spreads, gradually filling your entire body. Then imagine the light going beyond yourself and spreading to those you hold dear. Gently bring your attention back to yourself, in this room on this day. Take 3 deep breaths, gently open your eyes and smile.
Other tips and tricks for the busy festive season:
-Drink warm to hot fluids and sip throughout the day. (ginger keeps the digestive fire going and camomile soothes the mind and body.
-An eye pillow is one of the best investments you’ll ever make! (filled with flaxseed and sometimes lavender, the weight surrounds your eyes, temples and forehead like a gentle cuddle). If you don’t have one, a woolly thick sock does the trick!
-Three deep breaths can be done anytime and anywhere.
Wherever you are and however you do or don’t celebrate this festive season, I wish you all the peace and happiness you deserve.
Yoga mornings at the museum of brands11th December 2018
Join me for a unique yoga experience at the museum of brands in London. Surrounded by temporary exhibitions and iconic displays, I will lead an all levels practice. If you haven’t experienced my teaching before, my main form of teaching is Hatha yoga, focusing on correctly aligning the body to improve general posture, breathing and circulation.
The perfect way to start the new year!
Following the class, socialize in the museum café, relax in the exotic award-winning garden or visit the Time Tunnel, where you’ll find over 20,000 iconic items from the past 150 years exploring how brands shape our world.
Please bring along your own yoga mat and a blanket or shawl.
Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
Classes take place every Tuesday at 7:45am (from January 22nd). Tickets are released one month in advance.
If you would like any further information or I can be of any assistance, please do reach out to me.
Winter oat face cleanser6th December 2018
How are you nourishing yourself during the colder months? I truly believe that the secret to healthy glowing skin is not just what you put on it, but what you put inside your body, how you move and how you breathe. Along with a heathy balanced diet, plenty of hydration from water and fruit it is also important that we take a look at the ingredients we expose our skin to. During the winter, our skin needs an extra bit of care. Try this simple winter face routine for a little extra glow.
For this natural and gentle face cleanser, we are using ground oats/ oat flour.
Oats aren’t just great for porridge, they make a wonderful cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils.
Place a cup of oats in a blender and make into a powder (or buy oat flour if you wish).
Splash and soak your face with warm water to soften the skin.
In the palm of your hand add a spoon of the oat flour and mix with warm water to make a paste.
Gently press into your face and slowly massage in.
Rinse off with warm water and leave the face damp. (you can also spritz with some rose water here if you have that on hand)
With the tip of your fingers massage in some almond, sesame or olive oil. (apply on damp skin for better absorption).
Take 2 deep breaths, send yourself some love, have a great day!
The art of resting: how to recharge yourself12th September 2018
With life so externally focused on fast-paced survival do you really take the time to truly rest, nourish and recharge yourself?
Often our idea of “down time” is slouching on the sofa, scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and watching TV.
What if you took time to really rest and recharge yourself without external influences?
If we take the time to really nourish ourselves then we are in a better place to deal with what life chucks our way!
By using guided relaxation techniques and dedicated breath-work we directly stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (also known as “rest and digest”. Therefore decreasing our blood pressure and heart-rate and letting the digestive system do its job. All from laying on the floor in a yoga class!
What a simple concept!
Here are some of my recent workshop attendees @thelondonwellnessstudio taking the opportunity to really rest and restore their bodies and minds with some simple breath-work.