Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Yoga for computer neck and shoulders

Please note-if you are suffering from headaches please see your doctor.

Many of us spend a great deal of our day with our arms forward.  Whether we are working at a computer, driving a car, working on a checkout etc and this can lead to tension in the shoulders and neck.  This tension can lead to tension headaches.  

The aim of this all-levels video is to release that tension with some counter  moves to the postures that set up tension in our neck and shoulders. 



Yoga for computer neck and shoulders-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

Below is some further dietary and lifestyle advice if you suffer from headaches:-

• Migraine headaches are often associated with food.  You may need to keep a food diary but common culprits include chocolate, oranges, cheese, red wine (or its derivatives such as balsamic vinegar), nitrates (in ham, corned beef etc)
• For migraines you may need to avoid going too long without food
• For migraines you may need to avoid strobe lighting
• Tension headaches may arise from tension in the neck and shoulders (see video)
• Avoid ‘lie ins’at weekend but make sure you are getting enough sleep as headaches can be brought on by being overtired
• If you work at a computer take an ‘eye break’at least every hour to avoid eye stain which can result in headaches.  Have regular eye tests to avoid headaches due to your prescription changing.


It may also be beneficial to practice the following videos:-

Yoga Video for headaches-Part 1-https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=JZVIrK5vVsM
Yoga Video for headaches-Part 2-https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=lVCd_yAhW9s
'Yoga Boosts Health-Posture 1' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXRUobGTnM0
'Posture, upper body-Part 1 Anti-aging series' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvVItbljczE&index=7&list=PLS4Wjf00I4uxeiPf30ZCHTJic4NeYByES
'Posture, upper body-Part 2 Anti-aging series' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1kGJ-BGMUg&index=8&list=PLS4Wjf00I4uxeiPf30ZCHTJic4NeYByES

The following article may also be helpful-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/in-news-inactivity-kills-more-than.html

Be happy, be healthy

Namaste 
Janet x

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Ayurveda and spring


For an introduction to ayurveda see http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/ayurveda-and-yoga-introduction.html

We are just coming out of the winter months when the kapha dosha is dominant. If we do not clear kapha after the winter, we can go into spring feeling fatigued or even depressed. We can also be congested or even develop spring allergies.  

We can clear kapha through our yoga practice.  See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2shqRV7bMNw and through our diet. If we eat heavy, oily, salty, sour or sweet foods, kapha will increase.  Foods to avoid therefore include sugar in all forms (including honey), white bread, white flour and white pasta, fried foods, pickled foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, foods, salty foods (including soy sauce) and some grains.  If you are not vegan or vegetarian moderate your intake of dairy, fish, chicken and meat. Overeating and lack of exercise can also increase kapha. 

The spring diet should be based on foods that are pungent, astringent and bitter.  Pungent foods are spicy and include cumin, coriander, ginger, mustard and cinnamon as well as chillies and the garlic/onion family.  Astringent foods include pomegranate fruit or juice, grapes, green apples, peas and beans.  Bitter foods include green leafy vegetables such as kale or brussel sprouts as well as broccoli, and squash.  Some foods that we think of as 'sweet' such as sweet potatoes could be included too as could such grains as quinoa, or barley.  These help remove toxins (ama) from the body because they are high in fibre.   A little mineral salt such as pink salt could also be included.

Have a very healthy spring 

Namaste 
Janet x

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Beginners' Yoga - Energize

In this week's beginner's yoga, the intention of the practice is to energize.  Sun Salutations are traditionally practiced in the mornings to energize and honour the dawning light and in the video, I introduce a beginner's variation of the Sun Salutation. Sun Salutations energize all the body's systems - the circulatory system, the digestive system, the nervous system, the endocrine system, and the respiratory system.
In the rest of the video we focus on opening up the chest area with lateral stretches, backbends and twists.  This encourages deeper breathing, which brings more oxygen into your body which in turn helps energize.



Beginners' Yoga-Energizing-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

Saturday, 21 March 2015

It's Spring !!!

After the dark days of winter, spring is here at last.  Everything is bursting into life, the daffodils have opened, there are lambs in the fields, the birds are pairing up (I've even seen some with beaks full of nesting material) and there is even some warmth in the sun.  I love spring!

Below are some spring yoga practices to prepare your body and mind for spring, plus one for you if you are thinking of getting out in the garden.  Also if you are thinking of doing some organic fruit and veg gardening I will be posting about my second year attempt at growing on 40plusandalliswell soon so please have a look at that.

My Spring yoga practice YouTube playlist. (8 videos in total)




Please read my blog disclaimer 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. 
Namaste, Janet 


Namaste, Janet 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Beginning yoga



Beginners' Yoga-Stretch and release-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


The purpose of yoga is not to be able to contort your body into pretzel shapes but to go on a journey to learn more about yourself and create a union between your mind, body and spirit.

Yoga has many benefits for health and many people come to yoga because of health issues. In today's society, where stress is rife, many people also turn to yoga for stress relief.

Before you embark on this journey however, you need to talk to your doctor about taking up yoga.  There may be some poses that may not be right for you.  For instance if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, osteoporosis or migraine standing forward bends where the head is below the level of the heart may not be right for you.  Deep twists may also not be right for you if you have osteoporosis.  If you have any kind of neck injury, high blood pressure, glaucoma, or if you are menstruating, inversions should be avoided.  Straight leg seated forward bends should be avoided if you have sciatica. Knee issues also need some poses to be modified and poses such as Lotus pose should be avoided. If you are pregnant, you should practice prenatal sequences as many yoga poses may not be suitable especially in the first trimester or as your pregnancy progresses. As well as talking to your doctor, make your yoga teacher aware of any health issues.

Try to leave two hours after eating before you practice yoga, or practice in the morning before you eat breakfast.  Drink water before your practice and afterwards but not during your practice as the posture work lights the 'internal fire', that is the digestive fire and drinking will impede this.

Yoga is never competitive but you should always listen to your body, working to that place where you feel a stretch but not a strain.  In yoga this is called your 'edge'.  A good indicator that you may be straining into a pose is your breath.  If you start to hold your breath, you may need to release a little or come out of the pose altogether.  You will often hear yoga teachers reminding you, 'Don't forget to breathe.'  If a pose does not feel right for you, take a Child's Pose, which is a nurturing pose.

Once you start your practice try to do some yoga each day: a little each day is better than a longer session once a week. Don't be tempted to skip the final relaxation. This is the most important part of the practice where you receive the benefits of your practice.

Above all, enjoy your practice.

Namaste

Janet x

Here is a link to my YouTube Beginners' Yoga series Playlist - there are nine videos in total that I recorded previously.



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

Monday, 16 March 2015

My article called 'Happy Mother's Day to all mums and mums to be!!' was featured in the 'YOGA VITALITY MAGAZINE' on 14th March 2015. The article has links to my YouTube pre-natal yoga videos. Please see the link http://paper.li/Yoga_Vitality/1336524135?edition_id=8dc76c40-caac-11e4-8807-0cc47a0d1605
Thank you 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Happy Mother's Day to all mums and mums to be!!

Mother's Day is a chance to show your mum how grateful you are to have her and how much you care. Why not make your mum a healthy cake like the 'Lemon drizzle cake' on my 'sister' blog which is sugar free, gluten free, dairy free and egg free but delicious? http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/lemon-drizzle-cake-sugar-free-gluten.html

My own mother passed away a year ago and there has not been a day when I have not thought about her and missed her. Next week, I will have the chance to dedicate a bench to her.  They day centre she went to each week, have had a new garden built for the people who attend to enjoy and 'mum's' bench will be part of it.  As part of the dedication, the day centre 'choir' are going to sing one of her favourite songs 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'.



If you are about to become a mother yourself, then prenatal yoga is a brilliant way to prepare. (Always check with your health advisor before practicing yoga). It is not a good idea to practice in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy especially if you have not practiced before. After that yoga can nurture you and your growing baby.  You should work with a teacher however as prenatal yoga requires some modifications in order for it to be safe for your baby.  For instance you should not practice breathing techniques where the breath is held or Kapalabhati breathing.  Poses where you lie on your tummy should be avoided and after 16-18 weeks you should also avoid lying on your back as this restricts blood flow to the baby.  Pregnancy is not the time to be doing core work, and twists should be open, from the ribcage up.  Inversions should also be avoided.



Poses that open the hips are especially recommended to prepare for the birth in particular Pigeon pose, Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s Pose) and squats.  Do not practice squats after 36 weeks as these can induce labour after this time.  In the third trimester standing poses can be practiced using the support of a chair under the hips.  Cat/Cow is good to practice in both second and third trimester as it helps position baby correctly that is head down, facing the mother’s spine.  In this trimester the hormone relaxin allows for stretching of muscles and ligaments so be careful not to overstretch. During the second and third trimesters you can easily overbalance due to the changing centre of gravity so practice balancing poses (near a wall) to help improve balance.  

Very important during pregnancy and in fact through life are pelvic floor exercises.  The stronger your pelvic floor the fewer contractions you should need to give birth to your baby. During the birth the pelvic floor is stressed so it is also important to practice pelvic floor exercises post pregnancy also.  

Posture can suffer during pregnancy so practice Mountain pose and seated staff to keep posture good. 

Focusing on the breath is a form of meditation which can help release endorphins from the brain stem.  These are natural pain killers and so the technique might be useful in labour!!

Here are some of the benefits of yoga during pregnancy

  •  Aids relaxation
  •  Enhances a healthy sleep pattern
  •  Improves circulation
  •  Increases flexibility
  •  Strengthens and lengthens the muscles that are needed for the birth
  •  Establishes a connection between mother and baby
  •  Relieves fluid retention
  •  Reduces nausea
  •  Helps control mood swings
  •  Relieves tension round the cervix and birth canal
  •  Helps open the pelvis to ease labour
  •  Provides techniques to relieve pain
  •  Balances and calms the mind
  •  Reduces stress




Yoga for Women-Pregnancy-Second Trimester -http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/
Please read my blog disclaimer before following these videos http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/disclaimer.html
Namaste, Janet 
Copyright © 2013 Flexiladiesyoga


Yoga for Women-Pregnancy-Third Trimester -http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/
Please read my blog disclaimer before following these videos http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/disclaimer.html
Namaste, Janet 
Copyright © 2013 Flexiladiesyoga


Yoga for Women-Pregnancy-Labour -http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/
Please read my blog disclaimer 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. 
Namaste, Janet 

Copyright © 2013 Flexiladiesyoga



Happy Mother's Day to all mums and mums to be 

Janet x

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Yoga for transformation




New beginnings-Yoga for transformation-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk 

PLEASE NOTE-If you have asthma, glaucoma or high blood pressure you may want to miss out the Kapalabhati breathing in this video.
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

Transformation is usually thought of as a change for the better.  Its meaning in yoga goes a little deeper than this.  It may be thought of as opening up to link to the divine, the connectedness of all beings, or even an expanded sense of who you are.  The divine resides in all of us, but sometimes the 'lens' of our mind is so cloudy we do not see it.

Our yogic journey takes us through the koshas, the five layers or sheaths of our being.  The outer layer is the annamya kosha, our physical body.  When we practice our asanas we are focusing on removing any physical blocks to knowing our true self, or spark of divinity.  
The next layer, moving inwards is pranamaya kosha, the breath or life force layer. It also includes the flow of energy through the nadis, the energy channels. We remove blockages from this layer with our asana practice and breathing practices.  
Moving deeper in, is manomaya kosha, the mental layer.  This is the source of 'monkey mind', our minds flitting from thought to thought just like a monkey jumping from tree to tree.  It is also where we have emotional blocks. To quieten our minds, we need to be focused in our asana practice, being present to any sensations, our breathing and any thoughts that pop into our heads as we hold.  Focusing on the breath in our breathing practices also helps calm our mind as does meditation.
The forth layer is the vjanamaya kosha, the wisdom sheath.  This we gain through the observance of the yamas and niyamas and following Patanjali's eight fold path (more on this to come).  
Finally we reach, anandamaya kosha or bliss where we connect with the divine and realise our true self which is kind, loving, and compassionate. 

In this week's video (see above), I focus on tapas, one of the niyamas.  Tapas translates as passion, a burning enthusiasm to achieve union with the divine.  It involves being disciplined enough to practice on a regular basis and igniting the internal fire 'agni' in order to 'burn off' any blockages be they physical, mental, emotional or energetic that prevent us reaching the goal of union with the divine.  

For more on the koshas, see my yoga kosha series YouTube (the link is below and contains five videos).



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 


Thursday, 5 March 2015

New Beginnings - Finding your dharma/life purpose



New beginnings-Life purpose-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk
Please read the disclaimer on the blog before following these videos http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/disclaimer.html
Article to accompany this video-
Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you are enjoying my videos.
Thank you 
Copyright © 2015 Flexiladiesyoga

Dharma translates as right action. Your dharma is your life purpose.  It gives meaning to your existance, answering the question 'why am I here?'  This does not mean that you have the same dharma throughout your life and at any point in your life you may have multiple dharmas.  On the wellness blog I have been talking about a very specific life purpose, that of being a carer http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/finding-your-life-purpose-carer.html

The Bhagavad Gita has a great deal of advice about dharma.  Krishna advises the warrior, Arjuna, who is reluctant to fight, that 'It is better to do your own dharma poorly than someone else's well'.  Arjuna realises then that his spiritual master requires him to fight and surrenders to his will accepting that to fight is the 'right action' in this instance.
People who do not find their dharma may suffer from anxiety or depression.  They tend not to look after themselves well by having a good diet and exercising.  They might even develop habits that are detrimental to their health such as smoking or drinking alcohol.
So how can yoga help us find our dharma?  Yoga helps us look into our hearts to get to know what our dharma is.  Try practicing heart opening backbends to help with this process.  

Cultivating intuition can help us find our dharma.  Here the focus is on the third eye. 

Knowing your truth is another consideration for your dharma which can be cultivated through balancing the throat chakra.  Try Lion Breath,  Shoulder Bridge, Plough Pose, Shoulder Stand and Fish Pose.

As we progress with our yoga practice we learn 'pratayahara' which means turning inwards and by doing so come to know ourselves better.  Poses that help us find stillness such as supported seated forward bends help with this as does meditation and breathing techniqes such as Humming Bee Breath.  

It is not enough to simply know our dharma however.  Living our dharma is not always easy as Arjuna found out: it often takes courage, willpower and determination.  Here again yoga can help.  Try poses that focus on the naval chakra such as Boat Pose or confidence building poses such as the Warrior poses or Fierce Pose.  

Finding your dharma gives meaning to your existance.  I hope you find yours.

Janet x

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

National Sleep Awareness Week (2nd-8th March)


A good night’s sleep is so important to our wellbeing and yet so many of us either do not get enough sleep or the sleep we do get is poor quality so that we feel unrefreshed and not ready to face the day. If you have sleep problems please try the following videos on my YouTube channel:-

'Yoga for a good night’s sleep Part 1'

'Yoga for a good night’s sleep Part 2'

'How yoga boosts health – Better sleep'

Deep relaxation also helps prepare you for sleep.  Please try my 'Yoga-relaxation-Yoga Nidra'

On the wellness blog, you might also want to read http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/love-your-sleep.html


Sleep well,



Janet x

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

What's happening on 40plusandalliswell

New vegans can sometimes gain weight. Learn how to control your weight by reducing carbs and making sure you include enough protein and fibre in your diet:-
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-vegan-diet-and-weight-gain.html
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-vegan-diet-and-weight-gain-part-2.html
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/the-vegan-diet-and-weight-gain-part-3.html

Creative visualisation is a way of inviting your heart's desire into your life. Learn how by following the link below.
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/creative-visualisation.html

Please see the following 'Meatless Mondays' for vegan recipe ideas:-
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/meatless-mondaylow-carb-vegan-lasagne.html
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/meatless-mondaymushroom-ravioli-with.html
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/meatless-monday-mushroom-risotto.html

While winter is still with us, why not try this winter skin care face mask?
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/winter-skin-care-face-mask.html

The following articles talk about how love, forgiveness and improving self-esteem can boost your wellbeing.
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/share-love-its-good-for-you.html
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/forgive-for-longer-life.html
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/new-beginnings-improving-self-esteem.html

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Facial yoga


Face creams are great for reducing fine lines in the skin but to really get a youthful look you need to exercise the underlying muscles.  Exercising the facial muscles boosts circulation to the skin, reduces tension in the facial muscles, tones the muscles preventing sagging and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.  Here are a few exercises to start you off:-

  • Neck toner - lift your chin towards the ceiling and bring the bottom lip over the top (take care if you have neck problems)

  • Forehead smoother - start with your fingertips fanned out over your eyebrows.  Sweep your fingers over your forehead in a quarter circle towards your hairline.  

  • Cheek and mouth muscle firmer - blow air into your cheeks.  Press the air into your right cheek, then your left.  Next press the air above your top lip, then under your bottom lip. Purse your lips and blow out the air.  

  • Jaw and neck toner - with your lips firmly closed smile as widely as you can then let go.

  • Jowl reducer - starting at your chin 'pinch' along your jaw line towards the ears.


  • Forehead tension reliever - place your forefingers along the length of your eyebrows and press down as you try to raise your eyebrows.

  • Eye tension remover  - if eyes are tense we may screw up our eyes leading to 'crow's feet'.   Rub your hands vigorously together then cup your eyes.  Feel a warmth soothing the tension.

Have fun!
Janet x