Yoga United BlogRSS Feed
Join us this weekend at the Om Yoga Show in London this weekend Friday 19th -Sunday 21st October 2018
1-9 Feb 2019 'Make Room for Me' retreat with yoga teacher and therapist Judy Hirsh Sampath.
- Create time to become quiet and clear
- Make space to step away from your everyday life
- Take a look at life from a different perspective
- Invite all your cells to participate in this experience
- Be carefree and juice up with joy!
Take this opportunity to RE-cover from a hectic life, RE-connect with your inner wisdom & RE-collect valuable resources for daily life back home.
Here we go again - preparing to turn inwards and away from life outdoors. You may have been lying in the grass, gazing up at the sky, spreading out your arms and legs to keep cool. Now, we turn gradually towards the opposite - to keep ourselves warm, we close the doors, keep the windows closed and we start to cuddle up, curl inward, turn to tending to our own homes, our own bodies. Its a great time to notice how movement can generate energy, and where the flow of energy circulates and where it gets stuck and cold. To get the energy flowing throughout the whole of our body, we can start the day with some movement on or off your yoga mat. 15 minutes is enough to un-block some tense spots and the use of yoga props can help us even more. A yoga belt or strap can contain our bones and joints to avoid over-reaching! Blocks can keep legs moving symmetrically, and a block between the hands can do the same for the arms as insight can arise when the arms are moving at the same time.
You certainly don't need to be super-fit, or at all fit for that matter, to get moving in the morning and the effects of unblocking the body can mirror the effect in the mind to create clarity, flow of ideas, more productivity. The heart is beating, the lungs are working, the blood is circulating, and the miracle of the body is getting on with its constant effortless balancing of the systems.
Here's a short morning practice you can do starting from your bed:
1. Use a yoga block between your hands to stretch back over your head as if you're yawning your whole body awake
2. Come to sit on the edge of your bed and rotate your shoulders forwards and back a few times - simple, slow, repetitive movement to wake up the brain gradually and gently
3. Time to stand up - feel your verticality and raise your arms to reach into the sky, Once again take a few yawns, sighs, and go to a window to look out.
4. Place your hands over your heart and feel your aliveness. Move in any way that feels good - you can put on some music to shift your mood to 'fully awake' mode
6. Come to stillness, Notice your breathing and start to take some smooth even long breaths, If you want you can use your arms to express your breathing direction.
7. Don't forget to come back to normal breathing in between the long ones to make sure you're not creating more tension
8. Imagine you are waking up every cell of your body and let them know that you are thankful for the miracle that is your body
9. Consider what you are going to do today - set an intention for your day and call out a few words name what it is you desire for yourself
At this point, you could do a short practice on your mat moving the spine in all directions, sit on a zafu, or folded blanket to meditate for 15 minutes, or lie down over a bolster to open your heart.
Have a great day and check back in at the end of the day with the same words and see what insights come up!
You can find Yoga Props in yogaunited.com.
Emotional pain can be too hard to digest, to process, to understand and the mind has the job of removing them avoiding them, supressing them with busy-ness, chatter, distraction. The body can offer physical pain and dis-ease to work with the mind to suppress the emotions which are too difficult to deal with, with parts of ourselves we perceive as unlovable, and distract us with something easier to comprehend like illness. The receptors which regenerate cells get blocked and hold onto the unprocessed emotions.
The good news is we can find skills, methods and support to go THROUGH our stuff, to see it, acknowledge it, befriend it so it loses its power, and approach it gradually with the greatest of care, grace, love and respect to unblock the pathways for healing at cellular level so we can become regenerated, fresh, clear and joyful beings.
Here's how I've been feeling lately!
Emotional - MOI! Yes, all the time, up and down, round and round, love and hate, fear and foe – the last few years of menopause and grief has literally changed my body, my mind, my outlook and my spirit.
It’s been this turbulant chewing and churning: my nervous system is shot and all the gifts in my yoga toolbox of relaxation techniques don’t work, my immune system is like a new personality in my life with physical manifestations showing up that make me feel old and ailing, weird and out of control, my heart is aching with loss and the empty pockets gaping longingly around me, and my shoulders and calfs keep cramping up to remind me that difficult emotions can show up without warning so be on guard all the time! In all this emotional mess, I have bursts of ‘normality’, sprigs of hope and offers of healing, reminders that everything is OK, that I can function in a way that still feels like me, I can make sense and learn and teach…I can receive with an open heart and mind, and even have fun!
I am working on naming this barrage of new sensations, raw emotions, being aware of how and when emotion bubbles up and my relationship to depression, embarrassment, shame, process, honour, witness and healing – oh the work in progress of tapas, swadyaya and iswarapranidhana – self study, self observation, surrender to what cannot be changed, the pissing on the fire of tapas, the fire hardly visible in the embers, catching the tricks of the mind, and welcoming the referred pain of the body; and observation of the ‘field’ in which everything arises – I am reminded of the not so effortful tapas required to keep practicing this one. Useful work and real lessons for a yoga teacher, yoga therapist and trainer of others. And important for my own sanity, clarity, wisdom and growth – what a gift! She tried out how that sounded, that all of this is a gift. She chewed it over and it felt like chewing gum just losing its cherry flavour but definitely there in the after-taste. But don't chew too long in the loss!
One of my favourite dog-eared scribbled on, post it note tongued books is ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckart Tolle, and I am keeping it close to me right now.
As I re-read a quote “One of the main tasks of the mind is to fight or remove emotional “pain”, which is one of the reasons for its incessant activity. Glimpses of love and joy or brief moments of deep peace are possible whenever a gap occurs in the stream of thought”…let’s pause to find a gap right now!
And another – “Basically, all emotions are modifications of one primordial, undifferentiated emotion that has its origin in the loss of awareness of who you are beyond name and form”.
As I pause for reflection, I take a deep breath in and feel life fully, I sigh out a pouring of relief that all this change is part of life and we are all suffering in our own ways, in our own churning molten centres of our worlds.
Sisters and brothers, may you learn from your suffering, may you be free of fear, may you find peace in the deep sea that lies beneath the thrashing of the waves.
Hope to connect with you soon - and find out how our trainings can support you and others HERE
Do you sometimes have so much to do you don't know where to start, get easily distracted or forget the important thing - everything seems urgent and it messes with your head?
This picture literally captures the reflection of love on our yoga mats - sending compassion, kindness, and understanding through the ether and around the globe, to every living thing in the world, and the gods above.
Having been in the yoga community for the last 20 years, it always fills my heart with joy to see the yoga community growing all over the world, and how yoga and yoga therapy are being recognised as health-giving and preserving practices, meditation as mediCation.
Coming together to practice creates a strong connection - it feels to me like electric power surge of love and peace, throbbing in a collective intention throughout the world. A joy to take part, teach and connect with friends, brothers and sisters in yoga.
In celebration this year, I am hosting two FREE events:
Starts 25 June: 'Mindful Mondays', a before work early morning practice to gear up for your week. Its a drop in class x 4 weeks starting Monday at 7.20-8.10am in Muswell Hill at The soothing Laboratory Spa & Health Club - there's plenty of parking and you do not have to be a member to join us. Its a free class with a suggested donation of £10. All proceeds will go to the Heart Failure nursing team at Barnet General Hospital who cared for my beautiful mum in her last years. Check for details HERE
Friday 29 June: Free taster Evening - hosted in collaboration with Barefoot Body Training, come along to a free 2 hour evening of yoga, mindfulness, embodied anatomy and yoga nidra. All welcome. In exchange for a free evening, we will take a little time to tell you about our new training courses and retreats coming up in London and India! Check for details HERE
Hope to see you soon,
Call me to talk more and work with me 07956 375 607
A Sensitive and Intuitive Approach to Healing whether it's an ailing spirit or a bad back!
“I am not a doctor nor do I have a physical therapy license. I treat the delusion of not knowing your Self and how to find your way past pain and suffering. I guide you, not treat you” Mukunda Stiles, Yoga Therapist
Next time you’re on your yoga mat, tune into noticing mode, in a mindful way and let your inner child come out to play. Treat your yoga mat like your playground
I am a yoga teacher and a yoga therapist - I confess that I have been carried down the river of social media and I’m addicted. I pretend I need to do social media because my marketing team told me I should! I have set myself a challenge to switch off all social media after 8pm but I often find excuses to take my phone into the bedroom and have a peak if I’ve posted something to see if anyone likes me or even loves me! Social media can be replace relationships with real people, affects mood and self-esteem.
When you experience the immeasurable power and magic of yoga, how it has become an ally in getting you through difficulties life throws at you
You have first hand experience of the miracle of the body to repair and heal itself
You have deep gratitude for having yoga in your life,
it’s natural to want to share it with others
Is there something getting in the way?