Thursday, 1 December 2016

Welcome!


Welcome to the new look Flexiladiesyoga blog!

Thank you for visiting this blog and congratulations on taking steps towards a regular yoga practice.

Yoga has helped me overcome my health problems and I hope that you will come to know some of the great benefits of yoga. Whatever your reasons for wanting to take up a yoga practice-health concerns, the need for relaxation in your life to relieve stress, the need to stretch and get more flexible to compliment sporting activities, I hope you will find what you need here. If you would like to know more about why I came to yoga there is an 'About Me' section on this blog.

Thank you 

Janet x 





Yoga for tired legs

Aching legs have several causes such as poor circulation, high blood pressure or high levels of cholesterol so if you suffer from aching legs regularly please see your doctor.  If however your legs are tired from prolonged standing (Christmas shopping??), the following yoga sequence may help.

Start lying back and take a few centering breaths.

Double Arm Leg Raise - bend your knees and have your arms by your sides. Breathe out and draw your knees over your chest.  Breathe in and raise your feet towards the ceiling, feet flexed, arc your arms overhead.  Breathe out bring your arms back down by your sides, your knees over your chest and continue for several movements.  



Windshield wiper - with your knees bent, take your feet to the sides of the mat.  Breathe in and as you breathe out take your right knee towards your left ankle.  Breathe in bring your right knee back to centre, repeat with the left knee and continue for several moves.  Come to all fours.



Leg stretch in all fours - from all fours stretch your right leg back and with your toes tucked under press away through your heel.  Repeat with the left leg. 



Downward Facing Dog + walking the dog - from all fours, breathe out and lift your hips into Downward Facing Dog.  Alternately bend your knees deeply several times.


Lunge  - from Downward Facing Dog, look forward, breathe in and bring your right foot between your hands.  Press through your left heel.  Return to Downward Facing Dog and repeat bringing the left foot forward. Return to Downward Facing Dog, breathe in drop your knees, breathe out and take a Child's Pose.



Standing Apanasana - stand with your feet a little apart and find a gaze point, a drishti. Breathe out and draw your right knee in towards your chest, holding onto your shin.  If you have knee issues hold on behind your thigh.  Hold for a few breaths then release your leg and repeat second side.  



Baddha Konasana - sit on a block, bring the soles of your feet together close into your body and hold onto your ankles or if this causes your back to round hold onto your shins. Butterfly your knees- bring your knees in towards your body and back down several times.



Legs up the Wall - sit by a wall with your knees bent and your right hip up against the wall. Swivel your hips so that your legs come up the wall.  Shuffle your bottom as close as you can to the wall and position your arms where is comfortable for you, either a little way from your body or overhead. Close your eyes if you wish and spend 10-15 minutes in the pose if you can to give your legs a delicious rest from gravity.  To come out of the pose roll onto your right side and spend a minute there with your knees drawn up to your chest before coming up.



You may also like 'Foot yoga'- http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/foot-yoga.html and 'A short daily yoga practice (Monday) Focus feet and legs'- 
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/a-short-daily-yoga-practice-monday.html


Namaste,

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Yoga for anxiety - truth, insight and wisdom

Please click on the video below to watch, 'Yoga for anxiety - truth, insight and wisdom'-on my YouTube Channel.



Please read the disclaimer on the blog before following these videos -http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/disclaimer.html

Please note-Please consult your doctor if you are having severe panic attacks or chronic anxiety - there is much a doctor can offer you that would complement your yoga practice such as Cognitive behaviour therapy or counselling which you could do alongside yoga. 

Please be aware that these yoga practices may take you to an emotional edge that can be very painful if you suffer from severe anxiety. Just as with a physical edge, you should back off if the emotions get too intense.  I would strongly advise you to check with your medical practitioner before undertaking these yoga practices.

The intention behind this week's video is to know the truth of our fears and anxieties.  If we can recognise that some of our fears and anxieties are unfounded - they are just our ego's attempts to keep us safe - we can then let them go. Of course, to know and challenge the truth of fear and anxiety we need to have insight and wisdom. For this reason, this week, we are working with the upper chakras - the throat chakra for truth, the third eye chakra for insight and the crown chakra for wisdom.

We start the video by chanting 'om' to awaken the crown chakra.  We then work with the spinal energy series to bring energy up to the upper chakras before practicing poses specific to the upper chakras.

We include Eagle pose, symbol of power, intuition and wisdom.

We end the video with a 'walk through the chakras' to realise the wisdom that we already have.


Namaste,


Sunday, 27 November 2016

This week on 40plusandalliswell


Today's Meatless Monday is a Thanksgiving special. This nut roast makes a change from the usual nut roast as it is encased in filo pastry.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Recipe on my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/meatless-monday-sweet-potato-and-nut.html

Here's my Pumpkin pie smoothie recipe, a creamy, smooth, guilt-free treat or Thanksgiving breakfast with all the flavours of Pumpkin pie.
Happy Thanksgiving! 
Please see my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/pumpkin-pie-smoothie.html

In the 40plusandalliswell garden and allotment we have been planning next year's growing. Why not take a look at what we are going to do next year-it might give you some inspiration! 
Happy planning! :) 
Please see my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/planning-next-years-organic-gardening.html

Yoga with a chair

Yoga with a chair is great if you have limited mobility.  Remember yogis say 'if you can breathe, you can do yoga'.  Try the following yoga videos on my YouTube Channel- 

Chair yoga - severe arthritis/elderly.  Part 1-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNOvbkqtSXE

Chair yoga - severe arthritis/elderly.  Part 2-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQbZDm4FlLc

In this blog post however, we are using the chair as a prop to help with balance, to bring the ground nearer than a block would and to help you relax.  

Try using a chair in the following yoga poses (Safety note - please make sure that your chair will not slip).

Downward Facing Dog using a chair (using a chair is a half way stage between having your hands on the mat and having your hands on a wall (see last week's 'Yoga with a Wall'
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/yoga-with-wall.html)

Stand  with the chair seat facing you, your feet at hip distance and place your hands on the chair seat.  Breathe out walk your feet back and bring your head between your arms.   To come out of the pose, breathe in and walk your feet forward to come up. As a counter pose, interlace your fingers behind your back, breathe in and lift your arms up and back as you lift your chest.



Revolved Triangle (a chair brings the floor nearer than a mat in this challenging pose) - stand a little way from the chair (chair seat facing you) with your feet at hip distance.  Step your right foot forward so that it is under the chair and turn your back toes out.  Level up your hips by taking the right hip point back.  Place your left hand on the chair seat and your right hand on your right hip.  Breathe in and start to twist to the right, abdomen first then ribcage then shoulders.  If you have a good twist, take your right arm up and if you have no neck issues, look up at the right hand.  Breathe in, take your right hand to your right hip and come back to centre.  Place your right hand on the chair, breathe in and come up, step your feet together.  
Repeat second side.



Tree (a chair can help you with balance) -from standing facing the back of the chair,  take your weight into your left leg. Bring your fingertips to the back of the chair. Find a drishti, a gaze point then bring the sole of the right foot to cup the left ankle, to the left shin or reach down and bring the right foot to the left thigh (never place the right foot on the knee).  Press the right foot into the left leg and press back into the right foot with the left leg. Keep the tail bone lengthening down towards the mat. If you feel stable take one arm up and if possible both arms up, knowing you can return your fingertips to the chair if you start to feel unsteady. Hold for several breaths then release on a breath out.  



Plough - Please note this pose is contraindicated if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, have neck issues or are menstruating (a chair is helpful if you have tight hamstrings)- lie in front of the chair with a folded blanket under your shoulders so that your neck and head are on the mat, not on the blanket.  This creates space for your neck.  Breathe in and as you breathe out, engage your core and take your legs up and over so that your feet come to the chair.  For extra comfort you may place a cushion on the chair.  Ideally, support your lower back with your hands.



Restorative Seated Forward Bend - sit with the chair seat facing you and your legs under the chair.  Place a cushion on the chair and bring your right cheek to the cushion and rest your arms on the chair seat.  Stay here for a few minutes then turn your head so that your left cheek is on the cushion.



You might also like the following videos on my YouTube Channel:-

Yoga to help relieve pain - Chair yoga 1 - power sequence to fight pain
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/yoga-to-help-relieve-pain-chair-yoga-1.html
Yoga to help relieve pain - Chair yoga 2 - release tension, release pain
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/yoga-to-help-relieve-pain-chair-yoga-2.html
Yoga to help relieve pain - Chair yoga 3 - releasing endorphins, nature's pain killers
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/yoga-to-help-relieve-pain-chair-yoga-3.html


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

An Ayurveda Thanksgiving



Thanksgiving is celebrated in the autumn which in Ayurveda is the time when vata dosha is dominant.  Please see Ayurveda and Autumn-
https://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/ayurveda-and-autumn.html

In order to balance the cold, moving, drying qualities of autumn, we shoud be eating heavy, moist and warming foods.  Seek out seasonal ingredients too which not only taste better but are richer in nutrients.  The following Thanksgiving menu is ideal in that it includes all six tastes - sweet (pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes), sour (cranberries), salt (tofu turkey), pungent (ginger and cinnamon - which are also warming), bitter (Brussel sprouts), and astringent which makes for a more satisfying meal.


Thanksgiving menu


Tofu turkey

Tofu turkey recipe- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/meatless-monday-turkey-style-tofu-with.html) with sprouts, sweet potatoes and cranberry and apple chutney



Apple, Cranberry and Orange Chutney- no added sugar

'Apple, Cranberry and Orange Chutney- no added sugar' recipe-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/apple-cranberry-and-orange-chutney-no.html



Thanksgiving dessert-Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving dessert-Pumpkin Pie-recipe- 

https://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/vegan-thanksgiving-dessert-pumpkin-pie.html 



'Cheesecake' pumpkin pie

or 'Cheesecake' pumpkin pie-recipe- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/pumpkin-cheesecake-pie.html

Happy Thanksgiving!



Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Yoga for anxiety - detachment from fear

Please click on the video below to watch, 'Yoga for anxiety - detachment from fear' on my YouTube Channel.



Please read the disclaimer on the blog before following these videos -http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/disclaimer.html

Please note-Please consult your doctor if you are having severe panic attacks or chronic anxiety - there is much a doctor can offer you that would complement your yoga practice such as Cognitive behaviour therapy or counselling which you could do alongside yoga. 


Please be aware that these yoga practices may take you to an emotional edge that can be very painful if you suffer from severe anxiety. Just as with a physical edge, you should back off if the emotions get too intense.  I would strongly advise you to check with your medical practitioner before undertaking these yoga practices.

Last week our intention was to cultivate the strength to be with our anxieties and fears.  This week we are cultivating detachment from our fears.  This means taking a 'step back' so that we do not get wrapped up in our anxieties.   If we can do this we can look at those anxieties as an observer and this will enable us to discern which of those anxieties are justified in that they keep you safe - 'if I step out into the road without looking, I will have an accident' and anxieties which are your ego going into overdrive - 'my daughter hasn't rung - there must be something wrong', 'I can't go to the party, everyone will look at the spot on my chin and think I am ugly', 'I must not touch door handles outside the house or I will get sick'.  You get the idea. 

We end the video with a loving kindness meditation as a way of wishing yourself well and wishing others well.

Next week we will practice being present to the truth to be able to challenge such thoughts.