be kind to yourself

Be kind to yourself


By being kind to yourself you are in turn kind to others. 
Take some time out of day for yourself. What makes you happy?
You may find that helping someone else, being a listening ear, going out your way for someone else may make you happy. 
A little bit of kindness goes a long way. 


The Full Yoga Breath


Full Yoga Breath relieves stress, refreshes the mind and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, encouraging a calmer, more balanced state of wellbeing. It revitalises the entire body with prana (energy/essential life force). In particular it benefits the vital organs, which can easily become stagnant, constricted, or fraught with emotional and physical tension when we experience stress.
The Practise
The breath begins with a deep and fluid inhalation that fills the three sections of the torso independently, but continuously.
The three areas of breath are made up of:
  • Abdominal or Diaphragmatic Breathing.
  • Chest Breathing.
  • Collar Breathing.
Figure 1
Figure 3Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 22.56.42When you are ready, inhale slowly and with purpose, drawing your breath deep into the lower abdomen, starting from the pelvic floor and slowly allowing the breath to fill upward (toward the navel) and outward (away from the spine). Initially, focus on only filling the lower abdomen, figure 1.                                                    
Once the lower abdomen has filled completely, continue the inhalation by filling the mid-torso into the chest. Continue to draw the breath upwards, from the navel to the ribs, allowing the breath to gently expand the diaphragm, the ribs, and the mid-back as the breath continues to rise, figure 2
Once the chest feels full, complete the inhalation by drawing the breath into the upper chest – allowing prana to rise up into the heart, the sternum, and finally into the shoulders and the base of the neck, feeling the collarbones lift slightly. This completes the inhalation.
To exhale, first release the breath from the upper chest as the heart, lungs, sternum and shoulders all relax – dropping down and drawing in, towards the spine, figure 3.
Figure 4Then expel the breath from the chest, feeling the ribs contract and the navel draw in, closer to the spine.
Lastly, release the breath from the lower abdomen, feeling the belly contract and draw inward towards the spine, figure 4.

This completes the Full Yoga Breath.
Complete the cycle 15 to 20 times, then return to normal breathing.
Once you become comfortable with the practise you can integrate this style throughout your day-to-day activities.


Learning is part of the process


Meditation every day will help the mind to change its signals and processes. 
When we think negatively, our brain creates signals cementing those thoughts in our brain, which are likely to repeat over and over again when we’re confronted by the situation that made us think negatively in the first place. 
Meditation helps the mind to stop focusing on the thoughts and in turn focus on the body and the breath. 
Try to meditate for 10 mins a day, focusing on counting the breaths, and see the difference in  yourself and your approach to life.



It’s the journey that counts


It’s almost every day that I have to remind myself of this. I see the outcome and I’m not there yet and it frustrates me. 
I’m injured with a hamstring injury and I can’t do my practise to allow it to heal. This frustrates me. 
At teacher training last weekend I watched instead of joining in with practise. I learned a huge amount just watching. When I practise I listen to the teacher and try to get my body into the positions and feel the postures. When I watched, I saw how other people do the same. I learned then how I could modify and help them to get into the postures better. 
I had a huge amount of love for my fellow teacher trainers in the room that day. As I watched them move their bodies and breathe through the postures, I saw them all trying to improve themselves, to understand themselves better. 
This feeling overwhelmed and helped me to realise that it’s not about the fact that I’m not doing the practise myself. My journey just now is to learn about my body in a new way and appreciate what other people do with their own bodies. 
By understanding this it has helped me focus, lose the frustration and gain love. 
It’s about loving the process and being able to celebrate the outcome, no matter what it may be. 


Winter – The Water Element


Winter is a time of stillness and contemplation, a time to confront our fears and regain our courage, to withdraw and replenish our energy and vitality. It’s a time to teach us how to flow with the tide of life and not to struggle against it.
Winter Quote
Water is linked to body fluid. It bathes the brain, cleanses the mind and enhances memory.
The kidneys and the bladder regulate water in the body. 
 Priorities for Winter:

  • Time for hibernation.
  • Start your winter in a relaxed state of mind.
  • Keep warm and wrap up.
  • Slow down and conserve your energy.
  • Take responsibility for how you feel.
  • Be careful and take care of yourself.
  • Learn to dissociate from scary situations.
  • Give others and yourself reassurance.
Daily Habits to try:
  • Meditate and rest more.
  • Start the day with a 5 minute meditation.
  • Tell your loved ones you value and appreciate them.
  • Don’t leave things to the last minute.
  • Monitor you liquid intake. Reduce cold, icy drinks.
  • Generate friction to stimulate blood flow. Use essential oils after a shower or bath.
  • Go to bed before 10pm.
  • Wear appropriate clothing to keep your body warm.
  • Avoid exposure to extreme cold.

winter Foods
Foods and Nutrition:
In Winter the body needs hearty food in order to keep itself warm. Eat properly in winter; simmering soups, kidney and aduki beans, roasted root vegetables and warm drinks such as green, ginger or Jasmine Tea. Beetroot and sea vegetables are good for cleansing the blood and supporting the kidneys.
Exercises that generate warmth and energy are extremely beneficial, e.g. certain Pilates, Qigong and Yoga exercises. Proper breathing also supports the kidneys, both in cleansing the blood and massaging them by movement of the abdomen and diaphragm. 
 Things to Avoid:
  • Work, including sitting at a computer all night.
  • Aggressive activities.
  • Too much sex.
  • Not enough sleep.
  • Procrastination.
  • Stimulants, including stress levels and adrenaline, which drains the kidneys.
  • Becoming over tired.
  • Becoming obsessive about secrecy.
Kidneys and bladder


Accept yourself


We are all guilty at looking in the mirror and not liking what we see. 
We all are often so hard on ourselves. 
“I’m not spending enough to time with my family.”
“I work too much.”
“I shouldn’t have had that cookie today.”
“I’m not doing what I want with my life.”
The list is endless with the constant criticism we give ourselves. 
And what we forget – it is us that tell ourselves these things. We have the control to change what we think and say to ourselves.  
Focus on the things that you do and you do well. Like your yoga practise. The healthy meal you’ve made yourself or for your family.  The selfless act of helping a stranger. The sun shining in your face. 
Be grateful and thankful every day. 
When you are grateful for yourself and your life you accept yourself for you who are – a beautiful person both inside and out. 


Always respect who you are


Tonight was a night to be with family. A time for fun and laughter, reminiscing about times and enjoying new ones.
Somehow, weirdly,  it always relates back to weight.
My Uncle and Aunt were visiting from abroad, a perfect opportunity for both sides of my parents family to congregate. It’s always fun. We laugh, joke and talk about past times together.
Not long after I arrive, after I’ve made my way around the room, giving hugs and kisses to them all, I settle down next to my Gran. We start talking and she starts to tell a story how she and my Aunt couldn’t figure out the difference between me and my sister. I’ve lost weight over the last year, my Gran needs to assure me that my hips are smaller than my sisters.
I speak to my other Aunt, she tells me I’m looking great and I’m keeping the weight off and that’s all that matters and she’s happy for me, as she asks how I’m doing.
Later, I’m sitting on the floor playing cards with my sister and my niece. My dad comes over and whispers in my ear that, ‘I’ve to pull down the back of my top’. I don’t understand as a little bit of my back is showing as I’ve leant forward under my 3 layers of tops. ‘It’s a builders bum showing’ my dad says, I reply, “its a bit of my back, no bum at all, just a little bit of my back”
I am always desperate to spend time with my family, but after I do, I have mixed emotions about the experience.
I am incredible grateful that I have a loving family that cares for me and I can spend time with them. However, I also feel negative about the ways they talk to me about my body.
I understand that is their way of saying that they care, however it takes me time to understand that.
I have completed a Nutritional Therapist course this year, and I am currently completing a 200hr Yoga Teacher Training course.
I feel that I am giving myself the tools to not only feel better about myself and take care of myself, but also to help others.
My Yoga journey has helped my understand the massive influence my family comments, no matter how much love they come from, it’s the context that I take them in, that make me feel so bad about myself. In the past, this would have consumed me with hurt and anger.
I’m glad that I’ve learned from this experience and I know I will learn from the next.
Love yourself.

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