Saturday, 28 February 2015

A recent article I wrote for my blog, 'Flexiladies Yoga' called 'New Beginnings-Sankalpa (intention)' was featured yesterday on the 'Headlines' page on Yoga Vitality Magazine. The link to the page is below. Thank you
http://paper.li/Yoga_Vitality/1336524135

Friday, 27 February 2015

New Beginnings - Sankalpa (intention)

A sankalpa is the expression of what you want to invite into your life. An extension of this is creative visualisation which we look at on the wellness blog http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/creative-visualisation.html  It is not a prayer for someone else, but about yourself.  It is usually expressed in the present tense.  It is also a positive affirmation, and should never be negative.  Most of us want to be richer, slimmer, more toned, or fitter.  If this is the case with you, think about why you want these. Is it to feel more secure?  In this case your sankalpa might be 'I feel secure'.  Is it to feel more confident?  In this case your sankalpa might be 'I am confident'.  Is it to be healthier? In this case your sankalpa might be 'I am healthy'.  Other examples of sankalpas are 'I have peace', 'I am happy', 'I am strong', 'I am calm'.  A sankalpa is often said at the beginning of a class but in the video shown here my intention was to open our bodies and minds with our asana practice so that we might be better able to decide what we need to invite into our lives. After all, yoga is all about increasing our self-knowledge so that we eventually see our true self which is kind, loving and compassionate.  We end by doing a yoga nidra which allows our sankalpa to be sown as a 'seed' in our subconscious.  Your subconscious is very obedient and will try to fulfill such 'seeds' so that they manifest in your life.



New beginnings-Sankalpa/intention-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk
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.
Thank you 
Copyright © 2015 Flexiladiesyoga

Namaste

Janet x

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Lion Breath - the 3 minute facial toner


Lion Breath tones the platysma muscle in the neck.  It also relaxes the muscles in the face and boosts circulation to the face and neck which enhances the production of collagen and elastin.  At a deeper level Lion Breath reduces stress which leads to accelerated cellular aging, which could show as wrinkles.  The way this works is Lion Breath releases all the stale air from the lungs which is then repaced by oxygen rich air.  In this way the blood gets more oxygen and this is calming for the brain.  I love to do Lion Breath in the morning to re-energize.
To do Lion Breath either sit back on your heels or if you have knee issues sit in a chair.  Place your hands on your thighs and take a deep breath in.  As you breathe out, hinge forward, stick out your tongue, roll your eyes up and lift your hands to make 'claws'.  Repeat 2 or 3 more times.

For more facial yoga please see- 'Facial yoga' http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/facial-yoga.html

Article Copyright © 2015 Flexiladiesyoga

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

How yoga helps you let go of the past

Sometimes letting go of the past is hard, but negative emotions from the past such as shame, guilt, resentment, anger and grief can be really damaging to your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.  The only way to let go of the past, is to practice forgiveness which is central to many religions.  This means forgiving yourself as well as others.  Sometimes you just have to recognise that you are human and as such make mistakes and do things you regret. Practicing forgiveness through our asana practice means opening up our hearts to compassion for ourselves and others.  Poses that open up the heart chakra help with this process, as does meditation. If we do not forgive, the only person we harm is ourselves.  For more on forgiveness please see http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/forgive-for-longer-life.html

It is only through letting go of things in the past that no longer serve us we can reach the yogic goal of bliss. Yogis practice non-attachment.  As well as not being anxious about the future and the fruits of our actions, this means not dwelling on the past.

It may be helpful also to offer up things from the past that no longer serve you to God, the divine, or the universe depending on your beliefs.  A practical way to do this is to write everything down that you are holding onto from the past: those thoughts, feelings, emotions that are getting in the way of you living your dharma, your life purpose.  Once you have them all written down, put them through the shredder, and forget them.

I thought long and hard about this week’s video.  In the end, I chose a yin yoga practice.  Unlike yang yoga, the yoga we usually practice which stretches and strengthens the muscles, yin yoga works into the fascia, the ligaments, the tendons and connective tissue of the body.  This is achieved through longer holds.  Though many of the poses seem familiar, they have different names in yin yoga.  Yin yoga is not an easy option so as always take care not to strain and if any pose does not seem right for you, leave it out. 


New beginnings-Letting go of the past-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk
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.
Thank you 
Copyright © 2015 Flexiladiesyoga

I do hope that the practice is beneficial for you.  I would love to hear your comments.
 Namaste
 Janet x

Article Copyright © 2015 Flexiladiesyoga

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Valentine's Day

In the video below, we cultivate love for ourselves with an appreciation of what our bodies can do. 



Valentine's Day yoga special-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/
In this special video for Valentine's Day we will focus on appreciating ourselves so that we have a solid foundation from which we can reach out to others with love and compassion.  
Please read my blog disclaimer before following these videos http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/
Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you are enjoying my videos. Thank you. 
Thank you for your support. 
Namaste, Janet 


We are all too ready to criticise ourselves but through yoga we learn to be more compassionate to ourselves, and this in turn allows us to release negative behaviours that no longer serve us.  Once we see the divine in ourselves we then begin to see the divine in others and can reach out with love and compassion. 
Yoga heart openers can help.  The Sanskrit word for heart chakra is anahata which means 'unhurt'.  When we practice poses such as backbends (see Yoga Pose Gallery) to balance this chakra we can let go of guilt, resentment, anger and realise our true nature which is kind, loving and good.
Hip openers can help too, by releasing the negativity that stops us seeig the love and compassion in ourselves and others (see Yoga Pose Gallery).
Meditation is another way we can open up to love and compassion.  With regular practice we begin to tap into our subconscious allowing suppressed negative feelings to surface.  This can be a painful but it is part of the healing process.  Just observe, without judgement continuing to breathe steadily and release will come.

Love to all
Janet x

Friday, 13 February 2015

New beginnings-Abundance



New beginnings-Abundance-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk
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.
Thank you 
Copyright © 2015 Flexiladiesyoga

On the wellness blog, 40plusandalliswell, I have been looking at how abundant love can benefit your health http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/share-love-its-good-for-you.html

When abundance is mentioned, our thoughts may turn to abundance in terms of money. While we do need a certain amount of money, more than this does not lead to increased happiness.  

In terms of the yamas, to practice asteya, ‘non-hoarding’ we need to release any subconscious beliefs we hold that there is a lack of abundance and we need to take more than we need in order that our needs will continue to be met. When cultivating asteya in our asana practice we should practice each pose mindfully and to our best ability.  We should not be afraid we will become depleted in terms of energy.  Think of energy like putting money in the bank. The more you put in, the more it grows.

We can also cultivate abundance in our asana practice through backbends, side bends and twists.  These increase the flow of oxygen and prana into the body increasing energy levels and by relieving stress and anxiety opening us up to abundant joy. Pranayama techniques such as Kapalabhati, Breath of Joy and Lion Breath also have this effect.  

Backbends also open up the heart chakra which is associated with love, compassion and gratitude.  Opening up to gratitude allows for a feeling that we already do have a great deal of abundance in our lives.  The funny thing is, the more grateful we are for what we do have, the more abundance we attract into our lives in terms of joy, love, health, success and energy.  On the wellness blog, 40plusandalliswell, last week we talked about keeping a gratitude diary. Write down three things that you are grateful for each day 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/new-beginnings-improving-self-esteem.html

Yoga asana practice also creates space in the body.  When we open up the hips we release any negativity that gets in the way of our joy and gratitude.  Making space in the body also allows prana to flow through the 72,000 nadis (energy channels) unimpeded, refreshing, restoring and renewing your energy and your health.

Finally meditation helps create abundant health by releasing stress which is the root cause of many illnesses in our society today. When you are less stressed, you become more open and trust that the universe will provide.

Wising you abundant health, joy, love, energy and success.

Namaste
Janet x

Article Copyright © 2015 Flexiladiesyoga

Thursday, 5 February 2015

How yoga helps improve self-esteem and relationships

On the wellness blog, 40plusandalliswell we are looking at the effects low self-esteem on our health and some ways to help improve self-esteem.  You can read that article by following this link http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/new-beginnings-improving-self-esteem.html

Here we are looking at how yoga can help.  Low self-esteem can be caused by poor relationships but it is also hard to have a loving relationship if you believe you are not worthy of love.  



New beginnings-Improve self-esteem/better relationships-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk Flexiladiesyoga's YouTube videos that would be useful to practice alongside this video are as follows-'The peace within-Self esteem 1.Body appreciation'-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYHbtO4TAf8 and 'The peace within-Self esteem 2'-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_sxYBxzpP0
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.
Thank you 
Copyright © 2015 Flexiladiesyoga

  • Through yoga we learn to access that part of us which loves us unconditionally, then from that place we can then give out love to our family, our friends, and our communities.  If we do not love ourselves, we have nothing to give out to others. 
  • Through yoga we learn to appreciate our bodies, for what they can do and how they have supported us throughout our lives through joy and sorrow, love and loss, pleasure and pain.  Please see the links under the YouTube video above.
  • Through yoga we open up the heart chakra, releasing love and compassion, not only for others but for ourselves.  See my YouTube video Chakra Series- Heart Chakra-Part 1- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOxjUi8Xoxc and Chakra Series- Heart Chakra-Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xQc5TXIAoA
  • Through yoga and meditation we gain acceptance of ourselves, our strengths, our limitations, and our emotions.
  • Low self-esteem can be partly due to poor posture.  Opening up your chest and shoulders and standing tall will increase your confidence.  Try it! I have a Playlist on YouTube called Anti-Aging yoga series which has six videos on posture https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS4Wjf00I4uxeiPf30ZCHTJic4NeYByES
  • Through yoga breathing techniques especially, we realise our connection to all beings. When we see ourselves in others, we become less fearful and more confident.
  • Some strong standing poses ground you, increasing strength and confidence.  Try holding Warrior 2.
  • Low self-esteem can be a third chakra imbalance.  Core strengtheners and twists will help to correct this imbalance.

Believe in yourself
Namaste
Janet x

Article Copyright © 2015 Flexiladiesyoga

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

In the news ‘inactivity kills more than obesity’

In the news ‘inactivity kills more than obesity’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30812439

University of Cambridge researchers, in a study of more than 300, 000 people concluded that ‘inactivity kills more than obesity’.  I imagine that it is really difficult to separate the two factors, obesity and sedentary lifestyle out because the two are often linked.  However, it is true people of normal weight are more prone to health problems such as cardiovascular disease if they are inactive.  Government guidelines for adults are for 150 minutes (2 ½ hours per week) of moderate activity such as brisk walking or cycling.  You may have realised that I love walking and make it part of my daily routine not only for the exercise but for the natural daylight and fresh air (not to mention my passion for bird spotting!) but I realise that this may not be possible for everyone.  Maybe you could walk or cycle to work? Or if you need to catch a bus maybe you could get off one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way?  While at work you need to be having a couple of minutes ‘stretch break’ every hour if you work at a desk.  Could you stand to make those phone calls?  Did you know that for people who sit all day, the risk of heart disease is on a par with smoking? Standing not only burns more calories but it is better for your posture making you less likely to suffer with lower back problems and it tones your muscles.  Try the following stretches at work.  They will only take a couple of minutes and will give your energy and concentration a boost. 

Take a stretch to bring energising oxygen into your body.


Take a twist to ease any tension in your lower back

Slide your hands down your legs, bringing the oxygenated blood to your brain to enhance concentration. 

Circle your wrists, a great counter pose to working on a computer

Prevent aching necks with some neck releases. Drop your chin to your chest and circle from shoulder to shoulder. Bring your chin level with the floor, then stretch the sides of your neck as shown below.

Try seated key hole stretch as a counter pose to having your legs forward under the desk. Place your right ankle on your left thigh. Release and repeat on the other side.

Ease out tension between your shoulder blades with Eagle arms. Take your right arm under your left, bring your left palm to meet your right palm. To modify, just bring your arms forward, bend your elbows and squeeze your palms together.

Open up your shoulders and chest with Cow face arms, as a counter pose to arms forward at your computer. Take your right arm down your back and your left arm up to meet it in a yogic grip.

This is a great back stretch and opens up your hamstrings when all that sitting at your desk makes them tight.

Open up your chest and stretch out your thighs too with this modified Dancer pose.


Hope these help refresh you and enable you to work even better.

Namaste, 
Janet x

Article Copyright © 2015 Flexiladiesyoga

Sunday, 1 February 2015

What's happening on 40plusandalliswell

On the wellness blog, 40plusandalliswell if you like Moroccan food you might want to try this recipe for 'Moroccan meatless balls with lemon couscous' http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/meatless-mondaymoroccan-meatless-balls.html
In our 'New beginnings' series I have been looking at detoxing the mind. Please have a look at these lifestyle changes you can make to bring about clarity of mind
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/new-beginnings-detox-your-mind_16.html
In the BBC News recently it was reported that "Most cancer types 'just bad luck"'. Please see my comments http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/in-news-most-cancer-types-just-bad-luck.html
For a quick lunch you might want to try my recipe for 'Curried bean burgers with Oyster mushroom side'.  http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/meatless-mondaycurried-bean-burgers.html
This recipe was featured in 'Yoga Vitality Magazine on 19th January 2015 http://paper.li/Yoga_Vitality/1336524135?edition_id=fae999e0-a03d-11e4-9cb5-0cc47a0d1605
If 'winter blues' are getting to you, please have a look at my article about 'Blue Monday' supposedly the most depressing day of the year. The article a recipe for 'Banoffee' Loaf' http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/its-blue-monday-today-is-supposedly_19.html
At this time of year, it's good to give your liver a cleanse. Please see this article about the herb Milk Thistle http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/milk-thistle-liver-cleanse-and.html
Treat yourself to this delicious but healthy breakfast (or dessert) http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/sundae-best.html
Burns Night may be over but you may still want to try these 'Vegan 'Haggis' Patties' http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/burns-night-special-vegan-haggis-patties.html
These 'Vegan Stuffed Peppers' are a great lunch idea. Please see
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/meatless-mondayvegan-stuffed-peppers.html
As part of the 'New beginnings' series I have been looking at staying young by opening up to new possibilities. Please read the article http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/new-beginnings-stay-young-by-opening-up.html
Many of us in the northern hemisphere become a little short of vitamin D at this time of year. Please read this article on the 'sunshine vitamin' http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/bring-on-sun-vitamin-d-sunshine-vitamin.html