AMAZING! this is the feedback that was shared with me this week from a lady who has just started yoga for the first time. We sat and talked about 'life' for about ten minutes and how we never hold onto the stillness, we avoid it, make excuses for it, leave it at the bottom of the list, or don't even add to the list at all! Oh Noooooooo (putting head in hands here) our modern day living is pushing us into the wrong spaces where we can't breath or don't breath, we hold on, we panic, we expect, we surge, we judge.............. yet all we need to do is BREATH. STOP. 'Hit the pause button on life' is one of my favourite sayings. My simple question was 'How did you feel last week after class?' and what a great response: 'It's that feeling you get when you are on holiday, that ahhhhhh'. Often when we take a break away from the busy schedule and business of everyday hamster wheel life we start to feel much more relaxed, our worries are left at the airplane door or at the airport, or even at home. You allow yourself to stop, to become aware of your surroundings, real awareness of time and space kicks in as you settle into life feeling a sense of 'freedom' and ahhhh.
So the big question is how we can replicate this feeling whilst chasing our tails day in, day out? One woman in a recent mindfulness workshop said 'After sitting and breathing I feel like everything has slowed down, like I have more time'. She went on to explain that her mad hour in a morning was getting so stressful, leaving the house without breakfast or a drink, arriving at work with her head 'all over' and feeling generally out of control. She started to make time to be still, for a few minutes each day, just breathing and practicing being 'in the moment'. So many days down the line she started to notice how day by day things were getting easier, she felt more in control and calmer, eventhough she had the same amount of tasks to do in the same time. She eventually had time to sit and have a cuppa!! nobody came in and stopped the clock. It was her MINDSET. The practice of stillness creates more stillness in the mind. It makes room in a cramped up space. The brain fires up and re-wires itself (this is scientific- its been proven!).
Your life starts to be less frantic because YOU feel less cluttered, you can experience true stillness and this bleeds out into everyday life. This is why I always say doesn't begin and end on the mat, yoga hasn't finished when you leave, its magic continues because you've created space, your cells have been changed, your chemical make-up, you will subtly start to see and feel and notice the world around you differently. The fact is we have no control over our outside world, other people, situations but we do have control over our breath, our thoughts and our speech. The integration of stillness in our life can help us transform from stressed, anxious, troubled to happier, lighter and balanced if we just stop, pause and breath more effectively. Yoga is a great way to really bring yourself truly into the now and be in your own body and nowhere else, that one hour or so does its work for many more hours after, and over time life isn't so hectic and there can be more space and freedom, like being on a holiday and taking the time out. NOTICE FEEL BE.
Get in touch if you are inspired to start yoga, meditation or want to learn how to breath!
I love to hit the pause button, to sit and just be, but I know this is not possible or even given a thought by many of us. I love teaching children and have just returned from my new group 'Yogarama' with 9 bright and enthusiastic children. They are much better than us at paying attention - or rather being 100% involved in something that they easily lose track of time, space etc. However, when doing yoga relaxation with them this can be a huge task. Being still and quiet. Are some children afraid of being still? Maybe their lives are so full, so busy, moving dashing here and there- maybe that's all they need sometimes just quite, still and time to reflect a little; the space to do so - they all said at the end they felt 'happy' after a good 5 minute relaxation!
Also tonight we stood still opposite our friend with our eyes shut and we imagined a rainbow coming from our heart and spilling into our friends. We breathed smoothly and slowly and noticed how it felt. Every child surprisingly engaged with this. Afterwards we shared how we felt: 'happy' 'calm' 'colourful' 'thoughtful' 'kind' 'friendly' it was so beautiful to hear their feedback. Such a simple exercise yet so powerful. One boy called it the Rainbow Power exercise. We talked about how we could send the Rainbow out to people when they seem sad or unhappy and brighten them up. I wonder if we ask our children enough about their feelings, stop and give them the space to really share how they feel about themselves and life things may change for our children today?
I am just loving how yoga sessions can open up and give children a safe space to share and explore and experiment with ways of letting go of (their words tonight) 'being let down' 'angry' 'mad' 'sad' 'arrrrr!' The creativity of sharing exercises are powerful in helping each child see that they too experience similar feelings and worries, and its ok.
If you have a child that you think would benefit from some yoga get in touch for more information. Lets help our children live, dream and grow confident, happy and healthy in their minds and bodies.
I'm soooo excited to announce that I've been lucky to find a partner in (creative!) crime to join up skills with and trial a new class in Retford. I believe if you put something out there and its in alignment with you then the universe will provide it in one way or another. I was only thinking recently how I'd like to team up with someone of a similar passion. It was by facebook that I noticed the page Miniature Music Sing and got in touch with Vicky the founder of this bright new group in Retford. We had a very brief meeting and set the cogs turning! After alot of thought and feedback from facebook friends we decided on the name 'Yogarama Kids'.
The sessions incorporate Vicky's theatre, art, singing and music talent with my yoga stories & poses, relaxation's and quiet activities. Here is picture from the first taster and we look forward to trialing them during November, with a plan to bring into my home town Worksop next year!!
Classes run Tuesday's 4.30-5.30pm at The New Life Centre, Retford, Notts, DN22 6EA, ideal for ages 4 upwards and £4 per child. Both Vicky and myself are fully qualified and Insured with DBS checks in place. Please get in touch to book your children in.
The vision: CREATIVE, CONFIDENT, CALM KIDS
Please see my article below on my Kids Yoga section about the benefits of Yoga for Children in today's world
I seem to be seeing these three little words everywhere- you'll recognise them if you have children or know anything about the Disney Film 'Frozen'. So what am I going to talk about...... Well there is a 'deeper' meaning behind the film. In brief Elsa the main character has special magic powers: to freeze anything she touches- which at first is fun but she doesn't know her own depth with these powers. She is locked and hidden away from everyone for years, she eventually breaks free and creates her own Ice Caslte hoping that nobody can reach her. So she of course deep down is lonely, hurting, resenting, hating herself for what she has done to her loved ones and that she's had to separate herself from the life she once had - this creating her 'frozen heart'. The more she feels this way the stronger her powers become. The story goes on, her sister doesn't give up hope of finding her. To speed up to the final cut Elsa and her sister are eventually re-united after a battle or two. Her sister unfortunately is frozen during a fight and Elsa is so heartbroken she hugs her. As Elsa's re-connection in her heart of real love re-fires up this one act melts her sister and frees her of this power to destroy. A happy ending with an important message for us all, you can't live with a frozen heart to give love you have to feel love yourself'
Do you get those days where everything just feels so good, it all goes your way, no hiccups or stresses? Then in contrast there are days when you feel you're doomed. The cloud follows you around?
What can we do about this? There has to be the contrasts- a teacher once said to me you can't appreciate the greatness and light without the dark, but.... its how we deal with the 'dark' moments, thoughts, days etc.
FOCUS and PERSPECTIVE. Remember nothing is permanent in this life (especially us!!). The one thing we should all do is practice positive living consistently, not just when the dark days come.
Wake-up and spend just 30 seconds thinking about a few positives in your life. Feel Blessed. Take this feeling with you all day and rule out the dark things with it. We get stressed over things we can't control. Over people and how they are. Over the news. Insignificant things................
How much energy and upset is really really wholesome?