Tuesday, 20 June 2017

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 





Qualities cultivated by yoga - self-awareness

Please click on the video below to watch, 'Qualities cultivated by yoga - self-awareness'-on my YouTube Channel.



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

Yoga increases self-awareness on several levels.  Firstly it increases your awareness of your body in space (proprioception).  Proprioception is an awareness that arises through feedback from sensory receptors in muscles and skin.  Together with the visual system and vestibular system, proprioception helps us balance. This however is not the focus of our video this week.  In the video the intention is to quieten the mental chatter that clouds the 'windows' of our minds so that as the 'windows' clear, we are able to look inside of ourselves and see our true selves which are loving, kind, compassionate and forgiving.  The meditation is one in which we simply watch our breath, observing our thoughts and allowing them to drift away like clouds passing by without becoming involved in their stories.

If you are enjoying my videos and blog posts please would you consider a small donation? Please note however this is not a condition of enjoying my blogs.


To make a donation please see-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/support-this-blog_44.html

Namaste,


Sunday, 18 June 2017

This week on 40plusandalliswell


Salads need not be boring as this Asian inspired quinoa salad shows. Healthy, quick to prepare and delicious, it would make a good packed lunch.
Recipe on my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/meatless-monday-asian-quinoa-salad.html

This Sunday is Father's Day. Many commercial aftershaves contain harmful chemicals so why not make this essential oil aftershave for your dad?
Please see my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/fathers-day-gift-to-make-aftershave.html

This year we have a bumper crop of strawberries and I do love strawberries! 
On my 'sister' blog there are tips on growing organic strawberries and eating them! 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/organic-garden-update-harvesting.html

If you are enjoying my blog posts please would you consider a small donation? Please note however this is not a condition of enjoying my blogs.
Please see-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html

Building a home practice - yoga warm ups, so worth it

Yoga warm ups gently stretch the muscles and lubricate the joints in preparation for the more challenging poses at the 'core' of the practice.  More than this however, yoga warm ups bring us into the moment, allowing us to leave behind our busy day and be present.  The following sequence is a warm up for deeper back bends.  

Start in savasana, gently close your eyes and take a moment to check out your physical body and allow your breath to settle.  When you are ready gently open your eyes and take a.... 

Full body stretch - take a breath in, raise the arms overhead and press through both heels, moving the prana (life force) around your body then when you are ready to breathe out soften your legs and bring your arms back down by your sides.  Repeat twice more.



Gentle twist (starting to mobilise the spine in all directions)- bend your knees, bringing your heels towards your hips and take your arms out to 45 degrees.  Breathe in and as you breathe out let your knees fall to the right, just as far as they want to go.  Breathe in and centre, breathe out repeat to the left.  After a few repetitions add a warm up for your neck by turning your head in the opposite direction to the knees.  



Pelvic tilts (warms up the spine) - bend your knees and rest your hands on your hip points. Breathe in and curl your pubic bone towards you, flattening your back into the mat, breathe out roll your pubic bone down towards the mat creating a space under your back.  



Pelvic Tilts with Shoulder Bridge (adding a gentle back bend and warming up the shoulders) -  breathe in and curl your pubic bone towards you, flattening your back into the mat, breathe out roll your pubic bone down towards the mat creating a space under your back.   Breathe in lift your hips, take your arms overhead, breathe out lower your hips, bring your arms back over and repeat the sequence three more times.  



Warm up for core (core muscles support the lower back in back bends) - with your knees bent, place your hands at the top of your thigh, breathe out and curl up, tucking your chin and sliding your hands towards your knees. Breathe in to lower back down.  Repeat twice more.  Come to all fours.  



Cat/Cow - with your hands under your shoulders, knees under hips, breathe in lift your head and chest, breathe out tuck your chin and arch your back.  Continue working with your breath for several repetitions.



Lunge variation (stretch the front of your hips and warm up the shoulders) - come back to all fours and bring your right foot to the inside of your right hand, hinge forward (pad the back knee if you need to by folding your mat or placing a cushion under it). Breathe in come up, breathe out, interlace your fingers behind your back, breathe in lift your chest, take your arms up and back. Breathe out to return to start position.  



Extended Child Pose - come to the back of your mat, big toe touching, knees wide. Walk your hands forward and bring your head to the mat, a block or a cushion. Press your tail bone back and stretch forward to lengthen your spine before back bend.  Stay here for a few breaths.  



Now you are ready to begin your back bends.

If you are enjoying my videos and blog posts please would you consider a small donation? Please note however this is not a condition of enjoying my blogs.

To make a donation please see-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/support-this-blog_44.html

Namaste,







Friday, 16 June 2017

Why salute the sun?






We have mentioned before that 'hatha' means sun/moon.  The sun represents the warm, active masculine energy and the moon the cool, intuitive feminine energy.  Hatha yoga seeks to bring about a balance between the two energies which whether you are male or female, you have.  

The Hindus have revered the sun for thousands of years and it's not surprising.  All life is dependent on the sun. Plants use water, which they take in through their roots and carbon-dioxide from the air and using the sun's energy convert these to food in a process called photosynthesis.  Even if you are not vegan, you eat animals that in turn eat plants so ultimately all life depends on the sun.  It is no wonder then that this source of life was revered by the ancients.  Ancient yogis also believed that we are a microcosm of the universe so that for instance your blood might represent rivers etc.  There is some science to back the idea of the body being a microcosm of the universe - we are made up of the same fundamental particles as the universe.  Ancient yogis believed that the outer sun is reflected in us at the heart.  

Surya namaskar, sun salutations, may have originated 2500 years ago to greet the dawn although this is a subject of debate. 'Surya' means sun and 'namaskar' comes from 'namas' meaning to bow down to or adore.  Sun salutations as we know them certainly may be a more modern invention.

Sun salutations have many benefits. They are good to use as a warm up because they stretch all the muscles and lubricate the joints.  They boost circulation and open up the chest to expand the lungs.  This allows more oxygen to enter the body and be delivered to the muscles and brain (when we move into forward fold or downward facing dog) and so sun salutations are energizing. 

Boosting circulation also has benefits for the skin and hair as more nutrients are delivered to them. Forward folds and back bends are calming for the nervous system (they activate the 'rest and digest' part of the nervous system, that is the parasympathetic nervous system) reducing stress which is of benefit to the immune system and the endocrine system. 

Stretching and compressing the abdomen stimulates digestion.  The dynamic nature of sun salutations also 'lights' the digestive fire, agni and helps maintain heart health (after all the heart is a muscle). Sun salutations may also aid weight loss.   

Interestingly there are 12 names for the sun in Indian astrology and there are twelve positions in the basic sun salutations.  For step by step sun salutations A and B please see 'Yoga Pose Gallery'.

Next week we will look at yoga's connection to the moon.

If you are enjoying my videos and blog posts please would you consider a small donation? Please note however this is not a condition of enjoying my blogs.
To make a donation please see-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/support-this-blog_44.html

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Qualities cultivated by yoga - loving kindness

Please click on the video below to watch, 'Qualities cultivated by yoga - loving kindness'-on my YouTube Channel.


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

In Buddhism loving kindness is one of the four Brahmaviharas or 'divine abodes' along with compassion, joy and equanimity which we will cultivate in another video. Loving kindness requires an open heart and is not always easy. If however, we recognise that each of us has the divine light within us, it becomes easier to extend loving kindness to even people who are not kind to us.  When someone is less than kind to you there is probably an underlying fear, worry, or anxiety that you are unaware of. Thinking in these terms, your heart softens towards that person.  

Every day provides us with opportunities to perform small acts of loving kindness to family, friends and strangers. These do not only benefit the recipient but you will find that they increase your own happiness also.  

Our yoga practice is one of heart openers including Puppy pose which is often called 'melting heart' pose - allowing our hearts to melt is often what we need to do to in order to cultivate loving kindness.  

If you would like to practice metta, loving kindness meditation on my You Tube Channel the link is 'Loving Kindness Meditation'.  On the video above however is a meditation on loving kindness based on my own experience.  

If you are enjoying my videos and blog posts please would you consider a small donation? Please see-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/support-this-blog_44.html

Namaste,




Sunday, 11 June 2017

This week on 40plusandalliswell


In our little village near York it feels like summer has temporarily left us - it's pouring down and cool. Not to worry, this comforting mushroom and white bean stew will cheer any wet weather day!
Recipe on my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/meatless-monday-mushroom-and-white-bean.html

Organic garden update - building bean frames and harvesting the winter onions. 
See my 'sister' blog for instructions for building a bean frame of your own! 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/organic-garden-update-building-bean.html

On my 'sister' blog we look at some natural help for osteoarthritis- diet, exercise and supplements- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/natural-help-for-osteoarthritis.html

If you are enjoying my blog posts please would you consider a small donation? Please see- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html