yoga

Yoga can help alleviate physical aches and calm mental/emotional stress, both of which help us get a good night’s sleep. This simple yoga sequence is appropriate for just about everyone. It's designed to increase flexibility in the lower body while supporting the low back in a supine position (lying down).

These poses can relieve aches and pains associated with a tight low back, lengthening the inner and outer hip muscles while stretching the hamstrings, calves, and thighs. They can also help to release stress, trauma, and unexpressed emotions that are stored in our cellular bodies. I invite you to do this sequence right before bedtime. You’ll need a yoga strap, towel, or belt. Remember, each day your body will feel different, so listen to your body and do only what feels comfortable.


 

"The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek not to find out who you are, seek to determine Who You Want to Be" ~ Neale Donald Walsch

 

A massive heart-felt "Thank You" to those that have supported me and my family the past eight months as I travelled back and forth to Los Angeles to be by my father's side. Thank you for all your love and prayers. As some may know, last month my father left his body and we had a beautiful tribute as we continue to find peace and inspiration in his life and legacy.  I feel grateful and blessed to have journeyed together with William Keeler as my father.

Through this difficult time I continually turned to my yoga practice, and with tears on and off my mat I was able to expand my awareness and compassion, while becoming more present and accepting that although difficult situations will arise and we cannot always change the situation around us, we can change our reaction and behaviour. We absolutely have control over ourselves.

Through loving kindness and mindfulness we have the ability to connect and heal, to open our hearts and souls to a greater way of living. Yoga allows us (allowed me) to move closer to responding and living in a more conscious way that helps to find inner peace in any situation.

Looking back on my father's life I saw a beautiful transformation in every role he lived until the day he passed. He strongly reconfirmed my belief that every day, every moment we have the power within to create ourselves anew. Every effort we make on our life's journey is transformational and exponential in its effects. Each time you consciously choose and remember the beauty of your inner self, you shift your perspective thus your behaviour and the outcome of your life.  


Spring is a time of renewal, welcoming the opportunity to begin again. By bringing new energy into the light we can let go and detox ourselves from all that no longer serves us. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each season corresponds to different organs and their meridians — the subtle energy channels through which qi (aka Chi) flows. The liver and gall bladder are connected to the season of spring.

Our liver is the main organ for detoxification, while our gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver, aiding the digestive process. The main job of the liver meridian is to keep the energy in the entire body regulated.

When out of balance, we may physically experience fatigue, migraines, tight hips and low back pain. Emotionally, we may experience erratic emotions such as anger and frustration. When in balance, relief can come in the form of self-compassion, balanced emotions, flexibility to change, and letting go of frustrations. The liver has a huge impact on the overall health of your body, but also on the mind and emotional state.

This Yin Yoga sequence helps to restore the healthy flow of qi through the liver and gall bladder meridians, to support the body’s metabolism and its natural ability to eliminate unwanted toxins and waste products.


Lately, I have been hearing all about the stress and anxiety of parents getting their kids into the ‘right school,’ passing the 7+ or the 11+. Normally calm and relaxed parents have become screaming messes and super-powered CEO mums and Magazine Editor mums have been put on anti-depressants, diazepam and other anxiolytics due to the stress of their children’s exams.

Isn’t it time for us to realise that this is really not the way to go? Shouldn’t we be kinder to ourselves? Here, I have interviewed Leslie Saglio, a local Yoga teacher who has started teaching at the brand new, beautiful West London Buddhist Centre on how to become more zen. She is also a Wellness Coach, a Reiki practitioner and a mother of 2 living in Notting Hill. She helped launch Serene Social in the UK last year, is a contributor to the US site MindBodyGreen and is a Brand Ambassador for the eco-friendly lifestyle apparel company Wellicious, based in Notting Hill.


Instead of beginning the first day of the new year with an excitement for new beginnings, I had lost my sense of hope. My husband and children were flying across the pond back to London but I stayed behind in Los Angeles to be with my father who was in intensive care. He was awaiting surgery for a debilitating condition.

But between the time I spent at the hospital I turned to my Yin yoga practice. As always, it became the lifeline that re-connected me with the power and strength to deal with the challenges I faced.

Here are three powerful ways that Yin yoga can be your lifeline during times of great need:


Yin yoga is a deliciously deep, meditative and reflective practice in which floor-based postures are held for an extended period of time.

Unlike a dynamic yang practice that works the muscles through repetition, Yin works the deeper layers of the body such as the fascia, connective tissues, joints and bones. Yin is a deeply healing and nourishing practice with profound physical, emotional and energetic effects. During challenging times in our lives, our emotions can deplete our bodies of energy. The nourishing practice of Yin yoga helps to restore that energy for overall wellbeing.

Yin yoga continues to give me the strength and courage necessary to honor all the roles and responsibilities I have on my life's journey. I invite you to try a Yin yoga class, and to keep an open mind and heart. Through a Yin practice, we allow ourselves the space and time to touch base with who we truly are, beneath the stories we've created about ourselves — beneath the tragedy. It is here where we can begin to live with more grace, strength and courage.

Here five reasons why a Yin yoga practice will transform your life: