Category Archives: Yoga

Got the winter lurgy? Listen to what you really need

 

I was planning to have a really relaxing Christmas time, a well deserved break after an amazingly busy year. Unsurprisingly it didn’t turn out that way, not really thinking I’d¬†put¬†so much in the diary to catch up with different friends and family, I didn’t actually have any time to stop. Despite feeling tired I kept going.

So I got ill. My body took control and forced me to stop.

Not without a fight. I still dragged myself out of bed to go up to London for New Years, determined not to miss my friends birthday. I was still planning to go on a retreat over the weekend too until I listened to what my body was pleading me to do. To just stop.

The moment I decided to stay at home and rest my body I felt a bit lifted. It was like my body was going ahhhh finally, some rest. Like that feeling when you call into work sick and suddenly feel a bit better! A sure sign I was doing what I really needed.

I was so disappointed to be missing the retreat I’d been so looking forward to, some yoga time just for me. Plus it had cost quite a lot of money.

I prioritised my health first though rather than money.

This was definitely a practice of acceptance, just being with how I was and letting all expectations go. Every time I thought about what I was missing out on or the money I had lost I felt wound up, frustrated, disappointed. Then I felt that gratitude from my body for resting.

So I decided to do my own little retreat at home. I turned off my phone, had a long bath, did a slow gentle yin practice, 2 lots of yoga nidra and read some inspiriing books.

It was just what I needed and now I am on the mend.

Even though I didn’t make the retreat in London I still had me time, I still connected with myself, I did what felt nourishing, I had space to think and just be. That’s all I needed. I feel inspired from this.

I am sharing this because it’s the time of year when lots of us get ill. I know how frustrating it is but it can be turned into something beautiful when you just listen to what you need. When you take care of yourself and don’t try to push on through.

I believe there is a lesson in everything, if you can find it, learn from it¬†and be with it, then there’s your practice, there’s your yoga. It doesn’t always have to be on a mat.

Namaste & happy new year!

Louise xx

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Yoga When You Are Busy

 

Isn’t it funny how often the things that help and support us the most go out of the window when we most need them?

Yoga, meditation, prayer, journaling, affirmations…..are all amazing tools to help us navigate our way through life but often when a busy or stressful time hits they can easily be the things to be “too busy” for.

This is the time when they are most helpful!

I have just had a crazy busy month, aside from all my yoga classes I’ve taught on a retreat, I’ve run two¬† 3 day corporate training courses up North, I’ve run a workshop and I’ve been up in Manchester sorting a lovely lady out with her winter wardrobe (I’m also a personal stylist!). It’s been a month of focus, time management and energy management! Amazingly I feel connected to my own yoga practice more than ever.

I’ve taken my yoga mat to hotels and practiced before work and¬†I’ve gone to classes in the

Yoga in my hotel room!

Yoga in my hotel room!

evening (a treat as a yoga teacher who teaches most nights!). As well as the physical practice helping to keep me clear headed, calm and body relaxed, what has also helped is to remember all I have learnt through yoga through out the day whilst I am busy :

To stop and breathe deeply

To notice when my body is tensing and consciously relax it

To stretch and move about through out the day, even if just for a couple of minutes

To trust in myself, even when I feel a bit out of my comfort zone to know I am enough

To be myself, the moment I feel like I have to be something I am not, to put on an act, my body tenses and I don’t feel as confident

To listen to what I need, to rest when I can, to practice yoga to help me feel in my body and grounded

To be kind to myself and everyone I meet

To be aware of what I am putting in my body, eating nutritious food that will give me energy and keep me healthy

To set an intention of what I want to focus on that day; being relaxed/ being brave/ being playful/ being creative Рwhat ever will help me most that day

Hopefully this will serve you on the run up to Christmas, a special time that can sometime leave us pulled in different directions!

If you’d like some help creating a self practice I am running a workshop on this in January, 9th, 2-5pm. Bookings through me!

Namaste, and Happy Christmas!

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Yoga for Autumn

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Just as nature is changing all around us so are we. Our energy shifts through out the year which leads to natural shifts in our yoga practice. Sometimes we favour something powerful, dynamic, or maybe something new, or something quiet, peaceful and slow.

After the busy months of the summer we begin to draw within. There can be a feeling of change in the air, I personally relate it to that back to school feeling.

Work can become busy again after the summer months but perhaps our energy levels are a little lower.

Autumn is the time when we start to draw inwards in preparation for Winter. The Indian medicine system of Ayurveda relates Autumn to the Vata dosha, which is the elements of ether (space) and air. Qualities associated with this are lightness, dry, brittle, movement, change. Think of the leaves on the tree changing colour, drying out, falling lightly to the floor, crunching under your feet.

When our Vata energy is out of balance we can feel scattered, up in our heads, skin can be dry, stiff in the joints and we can experience excess wind or bloating.

Autumn is also linked to the lungs which emotionally is related to feelings of grief and loss. Just like nature is letting go we may also experience this. If you are feeling like this allow it to come up, feel it and let it go once you are ready. Practicing loving kindness to yourself the whole way through. Do what ever you feel you need to do, trust your inner wisdom.

I just taught at an Adventure Yogi Autumn Ayurvedic retreat and shared yoga there that helps to nourish us this season. Here are a few things you might like to consider for your practice this season:

  • Slowing down. Still practicing sun salutation but in a slow steady way.
  • Utilise the deep yogic breathing to energise the lungs and to nourish you deeply.
  • Vata energy collects around the lower tummy and hips so forward bends (like paschimotanansa and butterfly)¬†and hip poses (like Pigeon/sleeping swan) are good to do.
  • Help ground your energy by practicing standing poses like the Warriors and really¬†focus on ¬†your connection to the earth.
  • Sitting in Sukasana (easy sitting pose)¬†imagine inhaling the earths energy up through your sitting bones to your heart centre and then exhaling letting go of anything you don’t need down into the ground.
  • Balance your body and mind by practicing balances, even better go outside and do a tree pose under a tree!
  • Cutting down (or out) raw fruit. Instead of morning raw juices switch to something warm (porridge/ stewed fruit)¬†and nourishing. Drink warming herbal teas through out the day, personally I love the Yogi Tea range.

Honour the seasons in nature and in you, we are all part of the same. It’s perfectly natural to be feeling a little tired, to feel like you want to stay in a bit more, to want to slow down. Listen to your body, trust what you need and do that. It’s when we push on regardless that our bodies start to react to force us to stop……it’s not a coincidence so many people get ill around Christmas time!

Enjoy this beautiful change in season.

Namaste

Louise x