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.
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
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
Is there something getting in the way of your dream to become a yoga professional - find out with 8 questions
HOW YOGA THERAPY CHANGED ME
When you know someone who loves yoga, then the festive season is a great time to treat them to something they will love and use.
Following a successful show in 2016, Yoga United decided to come back with something new and exciting for the Om Yoga Show 2017 in London, so we had three spaces instead of one – for our Yoga Products, Yoga Holidays and Yoga Education. We are still buzzing with energy from the wonderful success of the inspiring atmosphere that people created at this stunning venue. We felt extremely privileged to be part of such an event.
With the promise of temperatures launching us into summer this week, combine some relaxing sun-bathing or simply lying in the garden and feeling the sun on your body...with a little relaxation practice.
Do you have a tendency to skim-read, skim-engage and skim-experience the world because you're busy? Do you crave more down-time and connection but end up feeling down or lost when you're at a 'loose end'?
I am speaking from experience...Friday night for example, I found myself at a loose end - a quiet evening in front of the TV sounded perfect. The news did nothing but initiate the downward spiral of my mood and I switched it off, picked up a book, skim-read a few pages until I realised I hadn't taken in a word, went to the kitchen and grazed on some sugary snacks and felt even worse, and in attempt to get away from the kitchen, found my way back to my computer - ahh work - now I'm comfortable, focused and switched on!
Observing this in myself and acknowledging it has helped me to try something else this week, and instead of going to the computer to work, I found a way to go to my mat - not to work out, but to move, shake off my mood, and then switch off and nourish my body and mind with some well-earned rest.
As a yoga teacher and therapist, I have learnt skills for this. As a human being, I can recall times when I did this too...all I need to do is remind myself what to do - and you can too! In the yoga classes, courses, therapy and retreats, I teach physical and mindful skills to feel well, to nourish the goodness inside, to acknowledge the not so good stuff, patterns and habits that I know so well, and find peace of mind...so we have time to switch on again from a place of clarity and motivation. Hope to see you on the mat!
Check your diary - Judy's calendar