It’s hard to stay motivated and keep going to the gym or practicing yoga when the evenings are dark and carbs are calling. Here are my top 5 tips for keeping healthy and happy moving into the Winter months.
This week, I started my classes with Kapalabhati breathing. It is also known as the Skull-shining breath and the breath of fire, due to it’s call on the abdomen muscles. Kapalabhati breathing is practiced by short sharp contractions of the abdomen which forces the breath out of the lungs, followed by an impassive inhale. It is an amazing detoxifying and energising pranayama (breathing exercise) to open or seal your practice.
At this time of year, we often find ourselves getting to the end of the week feeling absolutely shattered. After a long week, maybe working, maybe looking after the kids, maybe overloaded with life admin, all we want to do is relax in front of the telly. And yet, is this going to serve us? Are we going to peel ourselves off the sofa 2 hours later feeling better?
Yes, sometimes we fall. In life. At work. At home. Figuratively and literally.
Yoga has taught me that no matter what challenges you face, and whatever life throws at you, you have to pick yourself up again. In the immortal words of Aaliyah, dust yourself off and try again.
Yoga at your desk
Stretch hand out in front of you, gently extend wrist (fingers point to ceiling) and with other hand, pull back on all fingers of extended hand to stretch wrist. Then flex wrist (fingers pointing down) and once again gently pull back on fingers to stretch wrist in other direction.
Repeat other hand
Lowers blood pressure… increases flexibility… reduces stress…increases muscle strength…improves posture… calms the mind… decreases risk of injury…boosts immunity… cardio workout…
Yes, you guessed it. These, among many others, are some of the benefits of yoga.
So I am almost at the end of my six month journey to becoming an Anusara inspired yoga teacher. It has been truly one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and one I’d highly recommend to any yogi, whether you wish to teach or purely to deepen your knowledge.
“Wellbeing creation” not “wealth creation”
How can we actually achieve better wellbeing? Today a report was published following research on the ‘key to happiness’. The research, conducted by London School of Economics, identified mental health and relationships as the main drivers of happiness. The report identified that the government needs to play a part in young people’s wellbeing; highlighting the need for the state to champion “wellbeing creation” rather than “wealth creation”.
As we move through the seasons into Autumn it’s a good time to cleanse and then restore the body through yoga, eating habits and lifestyle choices. I want to share a few tips with you, and hopefully you will find them easily accessible and achievable.
To me, a healthy body is synonymous with a healthy mind. Some people find their happy place through running, some find it baking (Val in GBBO anyone?!) and over the years, I have found it in my yoga practice.
Yoga has been a good friend to me. Like many other young females, anxiety can sometimes get the better of me, and yoga is my method of grounding myself. It’s a personal practice, without competition, without pretence, it’s just you, your mat and your body. This is what I love about yoga, You are the master of your mind, You are focussing your energy solely on your pranayama (breath) and drishti (gaze). You are listening to your body and focussing the mind.