Saturday, 24 September 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 





This week on 40plusandalliswell


In this week's Meatless Monday we are using the dwarf french beans and tomatoes that we harvested last week to make a spicy vegetable and bean stew-perfect now the nights are drawing in and autumn is almost on us.
Recipe on my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/meatless-monday-spicy-vegetable-and.html
Enjoy!

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. However, HIIT is not usually recommended for the over 40s, especially where you have any medical condition or are not used to exercising.

The exercises on my 'sister' blog are my take on a HIIT session, modified for the over 40s. Even so, it is vital that you talk to a qualified medical practitioner before starting this, or any other, exercise programme. 
Read more on my 'sister' blog-
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/home-hiit-modified-for-over-40s.html

Cumin- the common cold zapping spice.
Read more on my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/cumin-common-cold-zapping-spice.html

Friday, 23 September 2016

Why do yoga teachers say 'You are your best teacher'?


Your yoga teacher is there to guide you.  Your teacher can demonstrate the asanas, show you modifications to make the asanas accessible to all and in public classes do hands on adjustments BUT your yoga teacher cannot be in your body, feeling  the effect of the pose on your physical body, your breath, or even your emotions.  

Only you have the wisdom inside of you to know that a particular asana is giving you a stretch or a strain and if it is causing you strain, your inner wisdom if you listen to it, will prompt you to ease off a little, take a modified version of the asana or come out of the asana altogether.  In yoga we speak of 'finding your edge' - that point where you feel a stretch but not a strain but only you can feel that point.  This is why it is so important to listen to your body. Your breath is a good indicator of whether you are straining into a pose.

Your yoga teacher can also guide you on yoga philosophy but only you have the wisdom to take those teachings off the mat and apply them to your daily life.  For instance the yamas and niyamas offer guidance for living  - non-harming, truthful, taking only what you need etc  The yoga sutras of Patanjali offer further guidance for example yoga sutra 1.12 translates as 'in order to achieve the state of yoga one must develop both practice and detachment.' In other words we should do our best in all things but not be focused on the results or outcome.  

Namaste,



Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Breathe to boost immunity


It's that time of year again when colds and flu viruses will start to creep up on us so we need to be ready.  As well as your asana practice, pranayama (breathing techniques) can do much to stop these invaders causing havoc in your body. Pranayama increases oxygen delivery to every cell in your body including the immune cells keeping them 'happy' and ready to attack invading viruses.

Some breathing techniques are stress relieving - these include Alternate Nostril Breathing - please see 'Oh no it's Monday! Breathing technique for calming'- 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dY-NtZkAtQ and Ujjayi breathing.  How does this prevent colds and flu? Nothing brings your immune system down like stress.  This is because all the endocrine glands are connected so if your adrenals are out of balance because they are pumping out stress hormones this is going to affect the thymus gland which plays a part in the manufacture of immune cells.  Ujjayi breathing involves making a sound in the throat which is why it is sometimes called Ocean breathing and this is also calming for the mind.  Similarly Humming Bee Breath makes a calming sound.

Kapalabhati breathing is a very cleansing breath, helping your body expel toxins which can negatively affect the immune system. Please see 'Thank goodness it's Friday - breathing practice to energise for the weekend'-  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD8V7W4_Y_o Similarly Lion Breath expels stale air from the base of the lungs allowing fresh, clean air in. Please see 'Yoga myths and legends - Lion pose-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/yoga-myths-and-legends-lion-pose.html

Ujjayi Breathing is also very warming for the respiratory passages - it is when the respiratory passages get cold that viruses have a better chance of taking hold.  

To practice Ujjayi breathing first try breathing out through your mouth with a 'ha'.  Notice how this causes a tightening in your throat.  Then try tightening the throat in this way as you breathe out through your nose.  Now try to create that tightening as you breathe in as well as when you breathe out.  You should notice the breath makes a sound- some people say it is like a baby snoring, others say it is like the ocean.  

To practice Humming Bee breathe, breathe in through your nostrils and as you breathe out make a 'hmmmm' sound like a bee.  

Stay well this autumn

Namaste,



Monday, 19 September 2016

All levels peak pose practice - Warrior 3

Please click on the video below to watch, 'All levels peak pose practice - Warrior 3' on my YouTube Channel.



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


Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you are enjoying my videos.

Warrior 3 is a great pose to help increase focus and concentration, it strengthens the legs, strengthens and tones the core and stretches the hamstrings.  
In our warm up we focus on balance, shoulders, core strength, leg strength and hamstrings before practicing several variations which I hope will make the pose accessible for all (hurray for props!!!)

Practicing modified versions of the pose gives you a chance to tweak the alignment - ideally the hips should be level and the standing leg straight although if you have a tendency to hyperextend the knee of your standing leg, you might be better microbending that knee. When practicing the arms forward variation press your weight back over your heels.  

I hope you enjoy your practice. 

I will be having a short inspiration break from the blogs starting at the end of this week for two weeks but I will be back with a new series of videos to help anxiety.  In the meantime I have two more posts for you this week and many posts on the blog for you to enjoy.

Peace and blessings



Sunday, 18 September 2016

This week on 40plusandalliswell


Today's Meatless Monday recipe is for 'Chickpea, and lentil dhal'. This tasty dish is packed with vegetable protein from the lentils and chickpeas. 
Hope you enjoy!
Recipe on my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/meatless-monday-chickpea-and-lentil-dhal.html

In the 40plusandalliswell organic fruit and veg garden we are still harvesting - dwarf french beans and tomatoes this week. It's also time to plant your onion sets for spring. 
Please see my 'sister' blog - http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/organic-fruit-and-veg-garden-update.html

''Fennel seeds - the stomach soother spice''. Read more on my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/meatless-monday-chickpea-and-lentil-dhal.html

Why do yoga teachers say, 'Don't forget to breathe'?


When you are focused on the alignment of a challenging pose it is a natural reaction to hold your breath. This can trigger the 'fight or flight' stress response in the body which can make the pose more difficult.  The cue 'don't forget to breathe' reminds you to bring your attention back to the breath which will then start to lengthen and deepen. This causes your body and mind to relax and that challenging pose does not seem so challenging anymore.  

Try it as you practice Warrior 2 stand in the middle of your mat with your hands on your hips and take your feet as wide as is comfortable.  Turn your right leg to the right and the toes of the left foot in 45 degrees, lining up the heel of the front foot with the instep of the back foot (men) or heel with heel (women). Inhale, stretch your arms out at shoulder height, lift your chest, exhale bend your right knee, turn to look down the fingers of your right hand.  Hold for 10 breaths - with each breath out engage your pelvic floor and draw your navel back to your spine. To come out of the pose, inhale straighten the right knee, exhale hands to heart, turn your feet to face forward.  Repeat second side.

Once you learn to breathe in challenges on the mat, you will start to notice that you are able to breathe into challenges off the mat - focusing on the breath allows you to slip into a peaceful place inside of you.

Will someone please remind me to breathe as we practice our peak pose practice - Warrior 3 next week please!!!!!!

Namaste,

You may also like:-

Why do yogis say, 'You are as young as your spine is flexible'-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/why-do-yogis-say-you-are-as-young-as.html