Sunday, 30 August 2015

Make your Pigeon Pose perfect for your body

Pigeon is a great pose for opening your chest and hips and for stretching your hip flexors. Just as with Triangle Pose which we talked about last week however, you may want to tweak it to suit your body- http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/tailor-your-triangle-pose.html

You can come into Pigeon Pose from all fours or from Downward Facing Dog. Bring your right knee to your right wrist and lower your hips, sliding your left leg back. Take your right foot towards the left side of the mat. If you are super flexible, you may be able to bring your shin parallel to the short edge of the mat but do not strain. Keep your shoulders over your hips and centred so you do not lean to one side and square your hips to the short edge of the mat. Tucking the toes of your back foot and pressing into your toes can help square the hips. This is also helpful if you have a tendency to get cramp in the back foot. 



For Reclined Pigeon fold over the front leg. 



Not comfortable? Try placing a cushion or a yoga block under your left thigh and another under your right buttock.



For a more advanced variation you need flexibility in the psoas and shoulders.  You also need to be able to maintain the position of your hips with the support of only one hand. Bend your left knee and turn your left foot out. Take hold of the outside of your left foot with your left hand or if you cannot reach, you could make a loop in your yoga strap and hold the strap. 





Whichever variation you choose, do not forget to repeat on the other side.

If you have low back issues you may prefer to do the reclined version of Pigeon which is Keyhole Stretch. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Bring your right foot onto your left thigh and flex your right foot to protect your knee. The closer your right foot is to your left knee, the less intense this will feel, the nearer your groin the more intense which may not be for you if you have knee issues.  This may be your pose or to go further post your right hand through the gap made by you right leg and join hands with the left hand behind your left thigh (better if you have knee issues) or in front of your left shin.





If you cannot reach use a yoga strap or dressing gown tie. Do not strain your neck. You could use a cushion or a block to support your head.



There is also a variation of this in Legs up the Wall. Bring your right foot onto your left thigh and bend your left knee to bring your left foot to the wall. Repeat second side.

If you have limited mobility, there is a variation of Pigeon Pose that you can do in a chair. Sit in a chair and bring your right foot onto your left thigh, flexing your right foot to protect your knee. You can do a 'reclined' version on the chair by folding over the front leg. Repeat second side. 



If you are pregnant, Pigeon Pose is a great way to open your hips in preparation for the birth but you need to make 'baby space' especially as the pregnancy progresses. From all fours bring your right knee to your right wrist and do not take your right foot to the left but shuffle your right leg to the right. Hold for a few breaths then repeat second side.



Tight hips? Bending the back knee may help.




Hope this helps
Happy yoga days 
Janet x

This week on 40plusandalliswell

Moussaka is a classic Greek dish. Hope you enjoy the vegan version I have made!
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/meatless-monday-vegan-moussaka.html

If you thought the organic vegetable gardening year was coming to a close this blog post may make you think again.
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/organic-gardening-winter-vegetable.html

An idea for a bank holiday treat- a vegan blackberry fool. Please see the blog link below for the recipe.
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/blackberry-fool-bank-holiday-treat.html

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Chanting for beginners

Chanting-connect with the universal energy


Even if you do not at present practice chanting as part of your yoga practice, you must still be aware of 'om' which is used as a chant. 'Om', is pronounced 'A(aah)-U(ooh)- M (mmmm)'. Say the A and U with the mouth open and let your mouth close for the M, extending the sound so that you feel your lips vibrate. Om is thought to be the sound of the universe.  

But why chant? Chanting at the beginning of a practice can create a more meditative state of mind so that you can continue with the asanas and breath work more mindfully. Here are some more of the benefits of chanting:-

  • Chanting sets up healing vibrations. These vibrations help us to align with the universal energy and so help us connect with the divine.  
  • Chanting stimulates the third eye which enhances intuition
  • Chanting focuses the mind so that negative thoughts and emotions such as anxiety and fear, can be released which helps reduce stress and relieve fatigue.  This can help prevent cardiovascular illness and relieve headaches
  • Chanting prolongs the exhale helping the lungs to release stale air which can be replaced by fresh, oxygenated air. This also helps relieve stress.
  • Chanting can cause endorphins to be released from the brain stem.  Endorphins are nature's pain killers.
  • Chanting clears the energy channels (nadis of which there are 72,000) so that prana can flow freely which enhances wellbeing.

You can practice chanting seated in a cross-legged position or on a chair. Make sure your spine is straight so that the energies can flow freely.  
'Om' (aum) is a good one to start with. 
So hum can be chanted in a similar way (soooo hummm). It means 'I am that' and refers to us all having the divine within us, that is the individual self is one with the universal self.

I also like the ones below which may be spoken or if you prefer sing them!
Lokah samastah sukino bhavanto meaning 'may all beings everywhere be happy and free'.
Om namo guru dev namo is a kundalini chant meaning 'I bow to the subtle, divine wisdom'

Happy chanting 
Namaste
Janet x

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Yoga to help relieve pain - Avoiding SI joint issues

If you have a SI (sacroiliac) joint injury, the pain is usually felt on one side of your lower back. Please get a proper diagnosis from a medical practitioner and do not practice yoga while you are still experiencing pain from your injury. Once you can practice yoga again, you may need to go carefully in some poses.  For more advice please see: http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/protect-your-si-joint.html

In today's video, I will show you some poses to help support the SI joint so that it is less likely to be injured. I will also show you how you can protect your SI joint in some of the poses that could potentially exacerbate SI joint problems.  We also practice Kapalbhati breathing which strengthens the lower abdominal muscles and help stabilise the SI Joint.



A yoga and wellness blogger and also an official blogger-Meatless Monday.  I'd love to hear from you! See how to connect with me on the links below!  The notes on this video are also below. Please read them before watching the video. Thank you

Note-This video is not intended for you if you are experiencing SI Joint pain. It is to show how to strengthen the muscles and ligaments supporting the SI Joint and to modify yoga poses that may cause SI Joint issues if you have already experienced problems in that area. Please see your doctor before resuming yoga once you are pain free.

Article to accompany this series-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/introduction-to-series-yoga-to-help.html

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 

Flexiladiesyoga by Janet Barnes 
Filming and technical support-Hannah Barnes 

Copyright © 2015


My blog post, 'Yoga to help relieve pain- Avoid SI joint issues' was included in 'Yoga Vitality Magazine' http://paper.li/Yoga_Vitality/1336524135?edition_id=e466d530-4b8b-11e5-ab63-0cc47a0d1605

Sunday, 23 August 2015

This week on 40plusandalliswell

Here's a different way to enjoy dhal in this week's Meatless Monday recipe- 'Sweet potato and dhal bake'. Please see my 'sister' blog. 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/meatless-monday-sweet-potato-and-dhal.html

In this blog post on my 'sister' blog I show you how to clear negative energy from your body and aura using a crystal. 
Clearing your energy should be part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth, because a build up of negative energy can lead to health problems.
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/using-crystals-to-clear-negative.html

Read about the health benefits of spirulina in this blog post on my 'sister' blog.
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/superfood-spirulina.html

Tailor your Triangle Pose

I love Triangle pose. It really feels like a good stretch for your legs and side body, encourages deeper breathing and relieves stress.  

The instructions for Triangle are usually:-

With your hands on your hips, step your feet  a leg length apart, outside edges of your feet parallel to the short edges of the mat.  Turn the whole of the right leg to the right so that the knee and foot point the same way and turn the toes of the back foot in 45 degrees. The heel of your front foot should line up with the instep of your back foot. Inhale raise your arms to shoulder height, lift your chest.  Breathe out, hinge from the hips and bring your right hand to your right leg, left arm up towards the ceiling. Gaze can be straight ahead or up at the left thumb, depending on your neck. Do not overreach in order to bring the lower arm further down your leg as this will affect the integrity of the pose, causing the top shoulder to come forward, and the chest to collapse. To release windmill the arms back to shoulder height as you come up, turn your feet to face forward, release your hands to your hips. 
Repeat 2nd side.

This is fine but there is not a 'one size fits all' in yoga and you may have to modify these instructions for your own body. For instance women tend to have wider hips so a better instruction for women might be align the right heel with the left heel.

If you are prone to SI joint problems (been there, and know how painful this can be!!) or tight hips, you may want to have the back foot even further forward of the front foot. I suggest that you come into Triangle in this case in a different way. Start facing the short edge of your mat about half way along the mat. Have your feet hip distance (find your hip points and trace an imaginary line down to place your feet in the right position) and take a good step forward with your right foot. Bring your right hand down to your leg, left arm up taking your left hip back only as far as feels comfortable. When I first started yoga, the advice used to be 'imagine you are between two panes of glass'-maybe not if you have tight hips!



If you have a tendency to hyperextend your knees, you should make sure you are not placing weight on the lower hand and it would be best to microbend your front knee. One way to ensure you are not placing weight on the front leg is to use a block placed behind the front leg (remember your block has three heights). Have your lower hand directly under your shoulder.


Namaste,
Janet x

Friday, 21 August 2015

Yoga for jet lag

In the last of the series on travel, I am looking at some breathing techniques and asanas that can help you deal with jet lag.  

What is jet lag? 

Your body has its own 24 hour cycle (circadian rhythm) which is controlled by melatonin which is secreted by the pineal gland. When we travel across time zones, our bodies can take a while to adjust which can lead to disturbed sleep, fatigue, digestive problems and concentration issues.  

How can yoga help?

Yoga can help your body cope with the stress of the change in routines by calming the nervous system. It gets rid of any tension in the muscles caused by sitting for long periods. Yoga breathing techniques helps re-oxygenate the blood. This is important because while you are in the plane, the air pressure is lowered and this can lead to a significant lowering of blood oxygen levels. Lowered oxygen levels add to the stress on your body, which in turn can make you feel stressed in your mind. Lowered oxygen levels also make you feel tired.

Try this sequence to help you adjust after a flight.  The sequence will stretch out your muscles, increase the oxygen levels in your blood, improve digestion and calm your mind.

Lion Breath (helps get rid of any stale air in the lungs which can then be replaced by fresh, oxygenated air). Please see http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/lion-breath-3-minute-facial-toner.html

Cat/Cow (ease your back, shoulders and neck) – come onto all 4s. Inhale lift your head and chest, exhale arch your back.


Pigeon Pose – from all 4s bring the right knee forward towards your wrist and slide your left leg back.  Press into your hands and lift your chest.  To modify place blocks under your right buttock and left thigh.  Come back to all 4s and repeat on the other side.  Take a Child Pose.


Cobra (open up your chest, re-oxygenate your blood) – come to lying on your tummy bring your hands to your armpit/chest level with your elbows tucked into your sides. Breathe in and lift, opening your chest. Breathe out to return to your start position. Repeat twice more then take a Child Pose.


Downward Facing Dog (stretch out your back and hamstrings and calm your mind) – from Child Pose stretch your arms forward so that your hands are shoulder width. Breathe in come to all 4s, tuck your toes, breathe out lift your hips.  Hold for 5 breaths if that feels right for you then walk your feet forward and slowly come to standing.


Tree pose (connect with the present moment and improve concentration) – stand with your feet hip distance apart and take your weight into your left foot.  Find a drishti (gaze point) and taking your weight into your left foot either cup your left ankle with your right foot, take your right foot to your left shin or take your right foot to your left thigh (not against your left knee). Breathe in and raise your arms. Hold for several breaths (if you fall out, try again) and release then repeat on the second side.


Triangle Pose (opens your chest and hips, stimulates digestion)– step your feet a leg length apart.  Turn your right foot to the right, and the toes of your left foot in 45 degrees. Breathe in stretch your arms out to shoulder height, breathe out fold over your right leg bringing your right hand to your right leg, left arm up to the ceiling.  Gaze is straight ahead or up at the left thumb. To come out of the pose, circle the arms back up to shoulder height, turn to face forward. Repeat second side.


Reclined twist (opens up your chest, relieves lower back tension and helps digestion and detoxification).  Lie on the floor with the knees bent and arms out to shoulder height. Breathe in and as you breathe out let your knees fall to the right.  If you have no neck problems, turn your head to the left.  Hold for several breaths then inhale, bring your knees back to centre. Repeat second side. Hug your knees in.


Legs up the wall (restorative, calming for the mind)– sit by the wall with your knees bent and swivel so that your legs come up the wall.  Your arms may be by your sides or overhead, wherever is comfortable for you.  Stay in the pose for 5. 10 or 15 minutes.  To come out of the pose turn onto your right side, stay there for a moment then come up to seated.  



Dirga (3 part breath – encourages deep breathing, connects with present moment, calms the mind)– sit or lie with your hands on your tummy, middle fingers touching at the navel.  Breathe into the area under your hands without forcing the breath and maybe you notice the middle fingers parting as you breathe in, the middle fingers coming together as you breathe out. Continue for several breaths, 
Next move your hands to your ribcage so that the middle fingers touch where the ribs separate.  Breathe into the area under your hands and notice that as you breathe in your ribs move up and out, as you breathe out your ribs move down and in. Continue for several breaths.  
Now move your hands to your chest so that your fingers rest on your collar bones.  Breathe into your ribcage as before and notice any movement under your hands as you start to breathe more deeply.  You may notice that as you breathe in your chest expands, as you breathe out your chest releases. Continue for several breaths.
Finally place one hand on your tummy, one hand on your ribcage. Breathe in and notice your abdomen rise, your ribs move up and out, your chest expand.  Breathe out and notice your abdomen move back toward your spine, your ribs move in and down, your chest release. Continue for several breaths.

What else can help?

Spend some time outdoors.  This will help your body adjust by resetting your circadian rhythm

Eat and sleep to fit in with your new time zone

Other blog posts in this series
'Yoga for your hotel room' http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/yoga-for-your-hotel-room.html
'Yoga on a plane/coach' http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/yoga-on-planecoach.html

Happy travelling!

Namaste 
Janet x








This week I feature in 'Upcoming #Yoga Events' @Yogamonics' 
http://paper.li/Yoganomics/1294074640?edition_id=87a1add0-46d0-11e5-8438-0cc47a0d1605 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Yoga to help relieve pain - Fibromyalgia- Part 4 - Building strength and confidence

In this week's video start by warming up with Egyptian Salutation. This has all the benefits of the more vigorous Sun Salutations but it is much more gentle. It includes squats, lateral stretches, twists, etc which work on the joints, the muscles, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the endocrine system, and the nervous system. The repetitive movement is meditative especially if practiced with some calming music.

We will practice the Warrior poses which help give the strength, determination and courage to help cope with fibromyalgia and go some way to relieving the condition. I know it is hard when you are experiencing pain and fatigue to muster up the positive qualities needed but the Warrior poses will help you find your 'fighting' spirit. You may wonder why a peaceful discipline like yoga includes warrior poses at all. I like to think of the warriors as helping in the fight against 'ignorance' of true self: poses that help us overcome negative thoughts and emotions that are getting in the way of us living in a harmonious way. If you read the introduction to this series, you will remember that stress and anxiety open the 'gate' to pain. Please see
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/introduction-to-series-yoga-to-help.html



I would suggest that you follow this video by practicing the meditation on the following link-Meditation-Strength to overcome difficulties-https://youtu.be/HdnPEeX1_3I

Please also see-
Yoga to help relieve pain: Fibromyalgia-Part 1-https://youtu.be/6UHWrErQpzk
Yoga to help relieve pain: Fibromyalgia-Part 2 Neck, shoulders and upper back-https://youtu.be/jIkM4o-w5TI
Yoga to help relieve pain: Fibromyalgia-Part 3-Using props-https://youtu.be/-3kIXjCV7E8

Article to accompany this series-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/introduction-to-series-yoga-to-help.html

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 

Flexiladiesyoga by Janet Barnes 
Filming and technical support-Hannah Barnes 

Copyright © 2015

This is the last video for fibromyalgia but below are some other videos you may find will help with your condition.

Chronic Fatigue Part 1 - Yoga to help heal series
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFzyt514boo
Chronic Fatigue Part 2 - Yoga to help heal series
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzIaA_Gl5Tw
Chronic Fatigue, Restorative Yoga - Yoga can help heal series
This is especially good for those days for when you feel you are 'walking through treacle'.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZmtggJ-RME
Fibromyalgia Part 1 - Yoga can help heal series
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cALW6mJMm-Y
Fibromyalgia Part 2 - Yoga can help heal series
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuHgmB5PCN8

Namaste,
Janet x

Sunday, 16 August 2015

This week on 40plusandalliswell

This week's Meatless Monday recipe on my 'sister' blog has all the goodness of quinoa and has several variations so that you can make it your own recipe.
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/meatless-monday-quinoa-and-bean-patties.html

The potatoes we grew are ready to harvest! I have used them to make baked potatoes with a crunchy Thai inspired coleslaw. Recipe on my 'sister' blog.
It is still not too late to grow a crop for harvesting later in the year. Please read the tips on my 'sister' blog for growing potatoes.
Hope you enjoy!
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/organic-gardening-update-harvesting.html

If you are wondering whether to take HRT or soya isoflavones for menopausal symptoms, this blog post on my 'sister' blog may help you decide. 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/the-m-word-part-5-should-i-take-soya.html


Taking your yoga off the mat - aparigraha

Aparigraha translates as 'non-greed', 'non-covetousness', 'non-attachment'. In yoga practice this means not competing with the person on the next mat or being attached to a particular outcome for your efforts. Our yoga practice is a journey to a deeper understanding of ourselves and eventual connection to the divine. It is not about twisting our bodies into pretzel shapes. This does not mean that we should not put effort into our practice but we should mindfully choose how we practice to gain inner peace. Remember however far into a pose you can go or however short a time you can meditate is perfect. You will not gain inner peace by straining into poses or forcing yourself to meditate for 20 minutes come what may.

Off the mat we are encouraged to be greedy with supermarkets offering us 'buy one get one free' leading to food wastage. Meanwhile, food banks are struggling, especially now school holidays are here and children are not on subsidised school lunches. It is all about taking only what you need.  

We also are led by the media to believe that unless we have this gadget etc etc that our lives will not be complete!  But these things do not bring lasting happiness. It is sobering when you are moving house. You spend the days or weeks before packing up 'non-essentials' and you come to realise how little you do need and how much time and energy do we devote to these things we do not need. So aparigraha can also mean letting go. Think how liberating it would be to get rid of some of those 'non-essentials' to charity where they can be of some benefit.

The Earth's resources are now severely limited but there are ways you can help by taking only what you need.  Please see http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/earth-day-2015-wednesday-22nd-april.html

When we feel gratitude for what we have, we are less likely to take more than we need because we recognise that we already have abundance in our lives and do not need to grasp for more. You may want to try the meditation in the following blog post on asteya http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/taking-your-yoga-off-mat-asteya.html

You could also try the following meditation to realise your blessings.  



Meditation-You are blessed-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/
The photo used in the meditation is for illustration purposes only-not an accurate representation.
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


Friday, 14 August 2015

Yoga on a plane/coach

Traveling on longer plane journeys or coach travel can be tiring and sitting all that time can create tension in your body as well as increasing the risk of DVT. Doing a few stretches can help, as long as you are considerate to other passengers. Stretching relieves any stiffness especially in your lower back, increases circulation and eases the anxiety of flying. 

A breathing practice will help calm your mind. Try ratio breathing to focus your mind and eliminate any anxious thoughts. Breathe in to a count of 4, pause for a count of 2, breathe out for a count of 4, pause for 2 and continue. If you are not comfortable with the pause just notice the point at which the inhale turns to the exhale,the exhale to the inhale. You may find it useful to visualise a rectangle. Breathe in, mentally move along the top of the rectangle, pause for a count of 2 as you mentally move down the right side of the rectangle, breathe out as you mentally move along the bottom of the rectangle, pause as you mentally complete the rectangle.  If the 4:2 count is too easy, try 6:3. 

Neck releases - breathe in, breathe out drop your chin to your chest, lengthening the back of your neck. 



Breathe in, lift your chin to the ceiling, breathe out bring your chin back level to the floor.  



For the next movement breathe in, breathe out drop your chin to your chest. 

On your next breath out circle your chin to your right shoulder, breathe in centre, breathe out circle your chin to your left shoulder and continue. After a few repetitions and if it feels comfortable for you, circle your head all the way round, one way, then the other.  



Seated stretches - interlace your fingers and stretch your arms forward.  Inhale stretch your arms up, exhale lean to your right.  Inhale centre, exhale lean to the left, inhale centre. 
Exhale, twist to the right, inhale centre, exhale twist to the left.  Inhale centre, exhale lower your arms.  Repeat the sequence.








Shoulder Rolls - circle your shoulders up by your ears then back and down.

Seated Cat/Cow - place your hands on your knees. Inhale lift your head and chest, exhale tuck your chin and round your back.  Continue working with your breath.




Seated back stretch - sit with a straight spine. Interlace your fingers and hold your right leg, just below your knee cap or if you have knee issues hold the back of your right thigh. Exhale and draw your right leg tight in towards your chest.



Seated Forward Bend - Sit with a straight spine and place your hands on your knees. Breathe out, engage your core and slide your hands down your legs. Release the back of your neck. Hold for a couple of breaths then breathe in and slowly come up sliding your hands back up your legs.



Seated hip opener- place your right foot on your left thigh and flex your right foot. Place your left hand on your right ankle, right hand on your right knee and gently ease (not force) your right knee down and up several times. Release and repeat with the left leg.



Toe flex, foot flexes and ankle circles, heel and toe raises - hold your right leg behind your thigh. Spread and open your toes, then clench your toes towards the sole of your foot several times. For the foot flexes, point and flex your foot several times then circle your ankles in both directions several times. The next movement will work the muscles of your calf. Place your feet on the floor and lift your toes, place your toes back down then lift your heels and continue for several movements.  











Tired eyes? - try palming. Rub your hands vigorously together and place your cupped hands over your eyes for a minute.  Repeat twice more.





Happy traveling!

Namaste,

Janet x

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Yoga to help relieve pain - Fibromyalgia - Part 3

In this week's video we use a chair and a rolled up blanket as props. This is a much better way to encourage your body to open than straining into a posture. Eventually you may no longer need them but for now it is better to use props and have good alignment than to strain and lose all the benefits of a pose.

The practice can also help ease pain by encouraging the flow of prana in both the upper and the lower body. The chest is opened with lateral stretches, twists, and a supported backbend. 

Good posture is also encouraged which helps open the chest. Chest opening can help relieve depression and anxiety associated with the condition. This is because chest opening encourages deeper breathing and this purifies the body. When the body becomes pure, the mind becomes calm. 

Last week the focus was on the neck, upper back and shoulders where 10 of the 18 tender points used to diagnose fibromyalgia are located.  This week the hips, buttocks and knees, where the other tender points are located, are also included by practicing standing poses.

We end the video by practicing Alternate Nostril Breathing. This breathing technique balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain, calms the mind, improves your sleep (so good to practice in the evening), helps relieve fatigue and helps prepare you for meditation. You may also wish to practice two variations of this technique. If you close the left nostril and breathe in and out through the right nostril, the technique is energizing. 
If you close the right nostril and breathe in and out through the left nostril, the technique is calming.

You may end your practice here or you may wish to continue to the meditation that accompanies this video https://youtu.be/TAP86PYQl94




Although your symptoms may never disappear completely yoga and diet can bring considerable ease to the condition.
Please consult your doctor before practicing yoga.

Please also see-
Yoga to help relieve pain: Fibromyalgia-Part 1-https://youtu.be/6UHWrErQpzk
Yoga to help relieve pain: Fibromyalgia-Part 2 Neck, shoulders and upper back-https://youtu.be/jIkM4o-w5TI

Article to accompany this series-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/introduction-to-series-yoga-to-help.html

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



Hope this helps

Namaste 
Janet x 







Sunday, 9 August 2015

This week on 40plusandalliswell

If you hate to waste food, you will love this delicious way to use up leftover roasted vegetables. This week's Meatless Monday recipe on my 'sister' blog is for a 'Bean Salad with Roasted Vegetables'. 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/meatless-monday-bean-salad-with-roasted.html

If you are thinking of using crystals for healing or energy clearing you may find this blog post on my 'sister' blog useful. 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/thinking-of-trying-crystals-start-here.html

It is important to keep your pelvic floor strong especially during and after the menopause. 
Try this exercise daily to strengthen your pelvic floor. Please see my 'sister' blog by following the link below. 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/the-m-word-part4-pelvic-floor.html

Taking your yoga off the mat - Brahmacharya

Brahmacharya translates as celibacy. It was believed that by being celibate the yogi could direct their energies towards the ultimate goal of yoga, samedhi. In a broader sense it thought of as using the life force to best effect. In yoga practice this means cultivating awareness of all aspects of your practice, for example is your alignment correct, your breathing not strained, your bandas engaged where appropriate etc. 

Off the mat, it could mean not directing our energy to things that do not serve us in particular to stress. Stress is detrimental to our physical and mental wellbeing impeding the flow of the life force. We also need to let go of emotions that are not contributing to our wellbeing such as fear, jealousy, greed, guilt etc. 

Why not try this meditation to help you let go of anything that is not serving you in your life?



Meditation-Letting go of negative emotions-http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/
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Thank you 


Copyright © 2015 Flexiladiesyoga

Namaste,
Janet x

Friday, 7 August 2015

Yoga for your hotel room

While you are away on holiday, you may not want to practice your yoga as much as you do at home but I find that making time for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening can help you relax into your holiday, sleep better and avoid those back aches that come from walking or even lounging on your sun lounger which creates tight hamstrings. You may also find you have tight neck and shoulders from carrying bags, rucksacks etc. 
Space may be an issue but usually you can find a mat sized space somewhere in your room. When my daughter was away at university and I stayed with her for the weekend, I still managed to do some yoga in her tiny bedsit with a bit of adjustment. 

Travel yoga mats are available. I don't usually bother but if you are going somewhere with a hard or slippy floor you may want to consider taking one.


Below are my suggestions but practice whatever you feel your body needs.


10 minute morning yoga practice to energize


Start in savasana and take 5 deep breaths, breathing into the belly, ribcage and upper chest and out from the belly, ribcage and upper chest (you don't even need to get out of bed yet!).

Roll your head slowly from side to side.

Core wake up - bend your knees and place your hands on your thighs.  Breathe out, engage your core and slide your hands up your legs. Repeat twice more,




Apanasana - straighten your legs then draw your right knee in holding just below your knee or the back of your thigh if you have knee issues. Hold for a few breaths then repeat with the left leg.




Cat/Cow - come onto all 4s.  Inhale lift your chest and tailbone, exhale tuck your chin and arch your back.  Continue working with your breath for several breaths the stretch out in Swan.










Lion Breath - sit back on your heels or with your legs stretched out and take a few Lion Breaths.  These get rid of stale air in your lungs that may have accumulated overnight and replace it with fresh air.  Breathe in and as you breathe out roar 'aah' as you stick out your tongue and look up at your third eye (between eyebrows).  Repeat.  Now if you have not already, you need to get out of bed.




Downward Facing Dog to standing - come back to all 4s. Breathe out and lift your hips high. 'Walk your dog' by alternately bending your knees to release your hamstrings then walk your feet towards your hands.  Breathe in and slowly roll up to standing.

Use the remainder of your practice to energize for the day ahead with Sun Salutations. For step by step instructions see the 'Yoga Pose Gallery' http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/p/yoga-pose-gallery.html. To finish stand in Mountain pose to allow your breath and heart rate to return to normal.


Evening yoga practice to wind down



Start in a comfortable seated position and close your eyes.  Bring your attention to your breath and allow your breath to settle. Continue to watch your breath for a few minutes letting go of your thoughts then gently open your eyes. Spend a few minutes massaging your feet to release any tension. Please read more about yoga for your feet on this link. There is also an accompanying video http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/foot-yoga.html


Rolling Cat - come to all 4s.  Inhale and as you exhale arch your back, and take your bottom back to your heels. Inhale bend your elbows out to the sides and come forward back to all 4s. Continue with a rolling motion







Pigeon - from all 4s bring your right knee to your right wrist and your right foot towards the left.  Slide your left leg back then lift your chest.  Hold for a few breaths then fold over your front knee. Hold for several breaths. Make your way back to all 4s then repeat second side.  





Tree Pose - make your way to standing.  Take your weight into your left foot then finding a drishti gaze point bring your right foot to your left ankle, shin or thigh. Breathe in and raise your arms. Hold for several breaths then release. Repeat second side.



Reclined twist - come to lying down with your knees bent.  Take your arms a little way from your body (if you have not the space to stretch your arms out at shoulder height), palms up. Breathe in and as you breathe out drop your knees to the right, just as far as feels comfortable. Breathe in centre, and repeat to to the left. If it feels comfortable for your neck, turn your head in the opposite direction to your knees.





Legs up the Wall (or Savasana if you have neck issues, heart problems, high blood pressure or are menstruating) - sit with your knees bent, your right hip to the wall the swivel so that your legs are up the wall.  Close your eyes and watch your breath. To come out, open your eyes and roll onto your right side for a minute before coming up.  






Happy holidays

Namaste 
Janet x