Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September is yoga month-short practice to detox


September National Yoga Month was first introduced on the USA but is now becoming a global event. The aim of the national event was to encourage people to take up yoga to improve their health and wellbeing. 

In celebration of this, I am posting four short yoga practices for people who have not much time. Each practice is a complete practice, only short.  This week's yoga practice on my YouTube channel is a 20 minute practice to detox-'September is yoga month-20 minute detox'- https://youtu.be/CrD7jOwDIA0

Why detox? Every day we take in toxins, through the air we breathe, the food we eat and even through our normal metabolism.  If these are allowed to accumulate in your body they will affect your immune system and eventually lead to degenerative disease.

Twists are a wonderful way to help the body detox and so several are included in the practice. When you move into a twist, stale blood is squeezed out of the abdominal organs and when you release the twist, the abdominal organs are supplied with fresh blood. This is B.K.S Iyengar's 'squeeze and soak' theory.  

We also work with the downward flow of energy with a standing Apanasana. This helps with elimination which also helps the body detox.  

The breath practice is Kapalabhati breathing which is a cleansing breath, not only for your body but for your mind. The forced exalation rids the body of stale air which accumulates in the lower lungs when we do not breathe as deeply as we might. Practicing this breathing technique allows fresh oxygenated air to replace the stale air exhaled which has a cleansing effect on the body and when the body becomes pure, the mind becomes clear.

The other yoga videos in this series are:-

'September is yoga month- Short practice to relax and unwind'  http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/september-is-yoga-month-short-practice.html

'September is yoga month- Short practice to energize' 

'September is yoga month-Short practice for stress relief' http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/september-is-yoga-month-short-practice_24.html


I also have a wellness blog - '40plusandalliswell'- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/ if you would like to take a look. 

Namaste,
Janet x

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Mindfulness-Sankalpa

You may be familiar with setting an intention, a sankalpa at the beginning of your yoga practice.  This is a word or a phrase which expresses what you want to invite into your life through your you practice. Examples might be 'I am strong', 'I am confident', 'I have abundance', 'I am calm'. 



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

In the yoga video today I want to go a little deeper open up to a sankalpa we can take off the mat.  To this end, I would like to use the asana practice to receive our truth and open our hearts in order to gain greater clarity as to what we need to have as our sankalpa. This does not mean that our sankalpa will remain the same but will evolve over time with our changing needs.

We  practice heart openers to open our hearts to the wisdom of our greater good and work on the throat chakra in order to be receptive to our truth. We also practice Peaceful Warrior pose because to be able to live our sankalpa we need to have willpower, determination, and strength, that is, all the qualities of a warrior. We also need to surrender to the will of our higher wisdom for the good of ourselves and others. 

An inversion is included in order to bring clarity to heart and mind.

The breathing practice is Humming Bee breath which stimulates the third eye, the centre of intuition which will help us formulate a sankalpa.  

We finish with a Yoga Nidra in which we relax the body in order to be receptive to our sankalpa. The sankalpa is 'planted' in our subconscious at the beginning of the yoga nidra and at the end of the yoga nidra we repeat the sankalpa in order that the sankalpa might take root and grow.



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

Namaste,
Janet x

Sunday, 27 September 2015

This week on 40plusandalliswell

Autumn arrives this week and salads are beginning to pale. We are drawn to warm, comforting foods such as soups and stews. You may like to try my 'Rustic butter bean and vegetable soup' on my 'sister' blog. 


If you suffer from headaches, you might want to read about how crystals can help. Please see the blog post below which is on my 'sister' blog.


Make the most of the season's bounty! Plums are delicious as they are but you might want to try these recipes on my 'sister' blog using plums. Enjoy!

Yoga legends - Lord of the Fishes

Once upon a time, the Hindu deity, Shiva was sitting on the shore of an island with his consort, Parvati. He was telling her all the secrets of yoga. There was a great deal to tell and after a while Parvati became sleepy. Slightly put out he asked her if she was listening to him and was surprised when a fish, who had been in the water near to the shore replied that indeed he was listening. When Shiva realised that the fish had learned all about yoga, he blessed the fish and named him Matsyendra, Lord of the Fishes. At once the fish took on a divine form and came onto the shore, assuming the seated position we know as Lord of the Fishes Pose. Matsyendra went on to found the system of yoga known as Hatha yoga between the 7th and 10th centuries.


Please note- the twist is contraindicated in pregnancy or if you have back injury.

To practice Lord of the Fishes Pose, sit with the legs outstretched on a block or a blanket. Bend the right knee and draw the leg close into the chest. Take the right foot to the outside of the left thigh. If you can keep the right sit bone and right foot grounded bring the left foot to the right hip, otherwise keep the left leg extended. Take your right hand to the mat behind your right hip or to the block on which you are seated. Breathe in and lengthen your spine. Breathe out and bending  your left elbow, take your left arm to the outside of your right, palm facing forward (in the traffic stopping position). Alternatively, for beginners, hug your right leg into your body with the left hand.  

Lord of the Fishes Pose variation

Work with the breath to deepen the twist. Inhale, lengthen through the crown of your head, exhale start to twist from the abdomen, then the ribcage, then the shoulders. Take care not to strain your neck.  Beginners would be better to keep the chin over the breastbone. As you hold the twist, work with your breath. With each inhale lengthen, with each exhale, you may have room to twist a little more. Come out of the pose in the same way as you went into it. Inhale lengthen, exhale release the neck, the shoulder, the ribcage and finally the abdomen. 

Lord of the Fishes Pose variation

Repeat second side.

Lord of the Fishes is a great pose for increasing circulation to the spine, thereby nourishing the spine. It also refreshes the abdominal organs. When you move into the twist, you squeeze the stale blood from the abdominal organs and when you release the twist, the abdominal organs receive a fresh supply of blood. This is Iyengar's 'squeeze and soak' theory. Added to that the pose stretches the hips and shoulders.  

Namaste,
Janet x

Thursday, 24 September 2015

September is yoga month-short practice for stress relief



September is yoga month-20 minute stress relief

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


September National Yoga Month was first introduced on the USA but is now becoming a global event.The aim of the national event was to encourage people to take up yoga to improve their health and wellbeing. 

In celebration of this, I am posting four short yoga practices for people who have not much time. Each practice is a complete practice, only short. This week's yoga practice is a 20 minute practice for stress relief.

The focus of the video is opening the chest to encourage deeper breathing which in turn relieves stress.  You know this instinctively.  You must have said or someone must have said to you 'take a deep breath' when things are getting too much.

We start with Egyptian salutation which is calming, meditative and get has all the benefits of Sun Salutations (a real blessing when I broke my wrist last year and could not do regular Sun Salutations!). It calms the nervous system, stimulates digestion and respiration, and balances the endocrine system. It includes stretches, twists, and side bends which open the chest.  Back bends, and Triangle Pose also open the chest. 

Two balances are included, Half Moon Balance and Seat of Isis Balance. Balances force you to be in the present moment because unless you are focused, you will fall out of the balance. While you are focused on the present moment, you cannot be fretting over the past, or anxious about the future.

We end the video with Alternate Nostril Breathing which is very calming and balances right and left hemispheres of the brain.  

I hope this practice is useful to you 

Namaste 
Janet x 

The other yoga videos in this series are:-

'September is yoga month- Short practice to relax and unwind'  http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/september-is-yoga-month-short-practice.html

'September is yoga month- Short practice to energize' 
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/september-is-yoga-month-short-practice_17.html



I also have a wellness blog - '40plusandalliswell'-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/ if you would like to take a look. 



Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Mindfulness - slow down



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


For the purposes of this series, the definition of mindfulness I will be working with is 'awareness of the present moment'. I thought a good way to start would be to practice slowing down. Our practice of slowing down is very timely because this week we move into autumnn in the northern hemisphere. Autumn is a time when nature starts to slow down and draw in, and if we are in tune with nature so should we.  Our ancestors who worked the land would begin to work less once the harvest was in and as the nights draw in, they would also sleep more. In terms of Ayurveda (please see 'Ayurveda and autumn' - http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/ayurveda-and-autumn.html), autumn is the season when vata dosha is dominant. A vata imbalance can lead to anxiety, constipation, dry skin etc. Our practice of slowing down is perfect to ground us and correct any vata imbalance. 

When we slow down in our yoga practice we can tune into the breath,and the sensations associated with the breathing practices.We can also experience the asanas more fully. We become mindful of the adjustments needed to suit our own needs, for in yoga there is not 'one size fits all'. We notice the progress we are making in poses - maybe we can go a little deeper in a back bend without strain. As we slow down our movements and our breathing, the windows of our minds become clearer and we can release any thoughts and emotions that are no longer serving us.   

Our slow practice on the mat is an antidote to the fast paced world we live in today. We push ourselves to do more resulting in premature aging, tightness in the body, adrenal fatigue and disrupted hormones. We eat while watching television or checking emails and as a result have a tendency to overeat because we are no longer tuned into our bodies telling us we have eaten enough. 
Add to this the stress of competing in this fast paced world and the result is obesity, the modern disease. 

Rest and relaxation are seen as indulgent and we seldom give ourselves permission to do nothing. Ironically, by slowing down we can gain better focus and concentration, become stronger mentally and emotionally and so become more efficient at our tasks.We also become less stressed and less panicked. When stressful situations arise,we can chose to react in a calmer, more considered way. 

I hope you enjoy your practice of slowing down in the following video which also is a grounding practice to balance vata.

Happy autumn days
Namaste 
Janet x 


I also have a wellness blog - '40plusandalliswell'-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/ if you would like to take a look. 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

This week on 40plusandalliswell

These meat-free burgers are a healthy alternative to regular burgers. Lentils are packed with protein and fibre and the walnuts in the burger buns are a healthy source of omega 3's.
Recipe on my 'sister' blog. Please see the link below. Enjoy! 

Are you suffering from dry and brittle hair after summer? Why not try this coconut oil hair mask on my 'sister' blog?

Oh dear! It was all going so well with the cabbage growing UNTIL...Read this post on my 'sister' blog to learn from my mistakes. 
Also includes a recipe for 'Stuffed cabbage leaves'.

Ayurveda and autumn



Autumn is a time for letting go, just as the trees let go of their leaves. It is also a time to rest and reflect.  

Autumn is the season when vata is the dominant dosha, a season of cool, drying winds. It is important to bring vata dosha into balance for otherwise you may experience insomnia, anxiety, constipation, bloating or dry skin.  

In terms of your yoga practice incorporate grounding poses to connect with the earth, slow movements and hip openers which encourage letting go of negativity. The seat of vata is the colon so twists help. Poses which stretch and stimulate the colon such as shoulder bridge or poses such as apanasana which encourage the downward flow of energy are also good to practice at this time of year. Twists also 'light' the internal 'fire', agni which helps digestion.

For your diet, sweet, sour or salty tastes should dominate and bitter, pungent and astringent tastes should be reduced. It is time to replace summer salads, raw vegetables and ices with more warming foods such as soups and casseroles. Warming spices are good to include such as ginger. Squash, pumpkins, beetroot and sweet potatoes are in season and good to include along with onions, and garlic. If you are not vegan or vegetarian, chicken, lean meat, fish or eggs may be included. Vegetarians may eat eggs and vegans should include tofu or beans. 

Oily foods help heat the body from within so include coconut oil, olive oil or rapeseed, nuts and seeds. 

Cold cereals should be replaced with hearty, warming grains for breakfast. Quinoa, amaranth or oat porridges are excellent choices. Top with cooked apple slices. 

Baked apples with dried fruits or figs with yogurt are a good choice for dessert or how about a brown rice pudding made with almond milk if you are vegan, organic milk if not. Sweeten with honey if you are not vegan, stevia if you are vegan.

You may also enjoy these three autumn yoga videos on my YouTube Channel- 
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS4Wjf00I4uxhL1-ZXtuyK6EgDxFdSh5U

Happy autumn days
Janet x

Thursday, 17 September 2015

September is yoga month - short practice to energize

September National Yoga Month was first introduced on the USA but is now becoming a global event. The aim of the national event was to encourage people to take up yoga to improve their health and wellbeing.

In celebration of this, I am posting four short yoga practices for people who have not time to do hour long practices. Each practice is a complete practice, only short.  This week's yoga practice is to energize.



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


The focus is on opening up the chest, bringing more oxygen into the body to relieve fatigue. We practice Breath of Joy, a breathing practice that energizes the whole body.  Back bends are good to energize and in this practice the peak pose is the most exhilarating back bend, Wild Thing (with modifications).

The practice would be suitable for a morning practice or to practice when you reach the mid-afternoon 'slump'.  It would not be suitable for an evening practice- it might keep you awake!
Last week's practice however would be suitable for an evening yoga practice. Please see-'September is Yoga Month- Short practice to relax and unwind'  http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/september-is-yoga-month-short-practice.html

Namaste

Janet x

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Yoga to help relieve pain: Pain caused by lifestyle-Text neck and shoulders



You can find the videos to help with back pain within the 'Yoga can help heal series' playlist on the following link-
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS4Wjf00I4uzH4yJja1uNUL48idl2NjH2

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

Smartphones are a feature of our 21st century living with over three quarters of adults here in the UK owning a smartphone. We also spend a great deal of time using our smartphones but this is bad news for your posture and can have health implications.  

Our heads are heavy. They weigh around 10-12lbs and that puts an enormous strain on the vertebrae of the neck (cervical vertebrae) leading to neck pain in the short term and over the longer term can lead to pain, or numbness in your shoulders, arms and hands, headaches including migraine, tinnitus or arthritis. Also there is a link between temporomandibular disorders and cervical spine problems. If that is not bad enough, our posture when using smartphones can lead to tightening of the chest muscles, which means our lungs cannot fully expand and we may feel fatigued or stressed. At the same time the upper back muscles, between the shoulder blades (the rhomboids and trapezius) become overstretched, painful and inflamed. 

The simple solution is to lift your phone up to eye level but if damage has already been done this video should help. The video focuses on putting the neck through its full range of motion as well as releasing the chest, upper back and shoulder muscles.

This video ends the series 'Yoga to help relieve pain'. If you are wondering why this series does not cover lower back pain specifically (we did a video for piriformis 'Yoga to help relieve pain: Piriformis syndrome'-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfVPL_eHDoI and SI joint pain 'Yoga to help relieve pain: Avoiding SI Joint issues'- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWDlkyX1ehY).  The reason for this is that there are several videos on back pain in the 'Yoga can help heal series'.  Please see https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS4Wjf00I4uzH4yJja1uNUL48idl2NjH2

Namaste,
Janet 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

This week on 40plusandalliswell

This vegan variation of Kedgeree uses tofu which is made from soybeans and rice and so is more like the original Indian rice and beans variation.
Recipe on my 'sister' blog.
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/meatless-monday-kedgeree.html


Growing organic tomatoes from seed has been an emotional roller coaster but we think that we now have the knowledge to make an even better attempt at growing tomatoes next year. 
In this blog post on my 'sister' blog I share with you our experience of tomato growing and show you how to make a homemade tomato relish to have with burgers.
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/organic-gardening-update-harvesting.html

Warrior 3 is a great pose for strengthening your legs and core, and building focus and concentration. But if your ankles or knees are not strong or if your hamstrings or quads are tight or your balance not good, you may need a little help. Please read this blog post.
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/warrior-3-for-wobbly.html


Warrior 3 for the wobbly

Warrior 3 is a great pose for strengthening your legs and core, and building focus and concentration. But if your ankles or knees are not strong or if your hamstrings or quads are tight or your balance not good, you may need a little help.  

A good way to start is with a chair. Stand a little way from the chair, with the seat of the chair facing you. Take a step forward with your right foot and place your hands on the chair. Your gaze should be down at the chair seat so that the back of the neck is long. Take a breath in and lift your left leg, flexing the left foot. Work towards straightening your standing leg and leveling your hips. Repeat second side.



Now you can try Warrior 3 at the wall. Start with your fingertips on the wall at navel height. Breathe out and walk your feet back, bringing your head between your hands, and straightening your arms. Level your hips, breathe in and raise your right leg as far as your hamstrings will allow. To come out, breathe out, lower the right leg, breathe in, walk the feet back to the wall and come up. As a counter pose, interlace your fingers behind your back, inhale an lift your chest and arms. Repeat second side. 


Another way of using the wall is to stand your leg length away from the wall. Bring your hands to two blocks or books, inhale and lift your right foot to the wall. If you feel balanced then raise your arms. To come out, lower your hands to the blocks, bend your front knee slightly, then lower your back leg bringing your feet together. Repeat second side.



Eventually, you may want to try Warrior 3 away from the wall, using the blocks as above. 
Finally try the full pose. Find a drishti, a gaze point down on the floor to help you balance. As your hamstrings release more you will eventually reach a T position. My hamstrings are tight from power walking so this a pose I need to work on!



Here are some tips to avoid falling out of the pose.

  • Do not bring your torso too far forward. Move into the pose slowly and with awareness to become aware of your centre of gravity.
  • Make the standing leg strong by lifting the knee cap and engaging the quadricep muscle.
  • Try the variation with the arms back initially or arms out to the sides which will keep your weight more centred.
  • Engage your core.


Namaste
Janet x 


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

September is yoga month-Short practice to relax and unwind

September National Yoga Month was first introduced on the USA but is now becoming a global event. The aim of the national event was to encourage people to take up yoga to improve their health and wellbeing. 

In celebration of this, I am posting four short yoga practices for people who have not much time. Each practice is a complete practice, only short. This week we will do a 15 minute relax and unwind which would be suitable for an after work if you have had a tough day to remove the tensions of the day in mind and body. It would also be suitable for an evening practice to prepare for sleep.



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

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

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Yoga to help relieve pain: Pain caused by lifestyle-running



Other videos you might be interested in:-

'Yoga to complement summer activities-Running-Part 1' https://youtu.be/skrrcE0H904
'Yoga to complement summer activities-Running-Part 2' https://youtu.be/QflwQ4bH0UM

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.

Copyright © 2015


Yoga is a great complement to running or power walking. Runners and power walkers can have tight hips, quadricep muscles, hamstrings and IT band which runs from the outside of the hip to the thigh. It is important to stretch these muscles in order to prevent this. As with gardening, you should warm up before running and do some stretches after running.  
Today's practice would be suitable for both, or if time is limited, the supta padagusthasana sequence is good for stretching the hamstrings, the inner thighs and the IT band before a run. Add a lunge or Pigeon pose to stretch the quadriceps.  

After a run a twist is good to stretch the shoulders, open the chest and to release the neck.  When we run or power walk we tend to have the head and shoulders forward creating poor alignment in the neck and tightening the chest muscles. A twist will also help rid your body of any toxins in your body that are the result of running such as lactic acid. Also make sure you drink plenty after a run and build up your running pace and distance slowly. A seated forward bend will help stretch out your hamstrings after a run and calm your body and mind. This is necessary because running can release adrenalin which makes your body ready for action by increasing your heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure so that the muscles are supplied with oxygenated blood. This also means that adrenalin levels are lower at times when you are not running so you feel less stressed. 

Feet need to be flexible for running.  Arches can become weakened and drop. Try lifting your middle three toes in Mountain Pose. Please also see 'Foot yoga'  
http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/foot-yoga.html

Ankles too, need to be strong and flexible for running so I have included a simple but effective exercise called Challenging Pose to strengthen the muscles and Screaming Toe Pose stretch the foot muscles. 

Knees are susceptible to the pounding of running so that it is important to keep the knee joint flexible and to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint.  Please see 'Yoga to help with knee pain' http://flexiladies.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/yoga-to-help-with-knee-pain.html

Namaste,
Janet x

Sunday, 6 September 2015

This week on 40plusandalliswell

Anyone for pizza?
A calzone is an Italian folded pizza. This one is made with a filling of homemade pesto, tomatinos and red pepper but you could use any vegetables you like.
Please see the link below for the recipe on my 'sister' blog. 
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/meatless-monday-calzone-pizza-with.html

Do you pick up on other peoples' stress or irritation? Are there rooms in your house that need to be cleared of negative energy or need an energy boost? This blog post on my 'sister' blog shows you how crystals can help.
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/using-crystals-in-your-home-and.html

BBC News reported 'Diabetes cases soar by 60% in past decade'. 

This blog post on my 'sister' blog looks at how you can prevent diabetes and still enjoy your food.
http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/in-news-diabetes-cases-soar-by-60-in_6.html

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Crow for the fearful!

Crow pose, (Bakasana) is a great core strengthener as well as arm and wrist strengthener. It improves digestion, stretches the back and improves concentration.  Even so, it is a pose many of us avoid, mainly because we don't want to fall on our faces (not surprisingly!). Be kind to yourself and realise that it is going to take practice and patience to do the pose. Prepare for Crow pose with arm and core strengtheners such as Balancing Cat, Plank pose or Side Plank.

Before you even attempt to do the pose as an arm balance get a feel of the pose on your back. Stretch your arms up, fingers spread and open. Bring your knee up and squeeze your knees into your upper arms, core engaged. Have your feet together, toes pointed.


When you first try the pose as an arm balance, a block (or thick book) would be helpful. Stand on a block supporting yourself with your hands, fingers spread and open. Come into a squat position on your toes and squeeze your knee into your upper arms. Keep the back of your neck long, your gaze forward. Engage your core. Maybe you will find you can lift one foot, then the other. 


Eventually maybe you can lift both. I find that some cushions placed at the front of the mat are reassuring. 
Once you are able to do the pose using a block or book, you can then try to do the pose in the same way but without a prop.  



Be patient, stay safe
Janet x 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Yoga for children - how yoga can help with back to school blues

There is much more pressure on children today. School holidays, with a much more relaxed routine may have been a welcome relief. Now the school holidays are coming to an end and while some children will be ready to go back for others it may be more stressful. This stress may show up as your child becoming clingy, having nightmares, tummy aches or headaches.

Yoga can help children cope with back to school fears. Yoga helps boost your child's confidence and self-esteem as well as helping to improve focus and concentration. Other benefits of yoga for children are that it improves their strength and flexibility, and helps them connect with the natural world.

If your child is anxious about going back to school or even starting school, practicing these confidence boosting poses may help.

Lion breath - sit back on your heels. Breathe in and as you breathe out come forward, roll your eyes upwards, stick your tongue out and roar like a lion.  You can even make 'lion claws' with your hands if you want to.  



Mountain- stand with your big toes touching, heels separated.  Lengthen your spine and open your chest.  Feel strong like a mountain.



Warrior 1 - stand towards the back of your mat, feet hip distance. Turn your left toes out and step forward with your right foot.  Level your hips.  Breathe in raise your arms, breathe out bend your right knee.  Face your fears head on with all the strength of a warrior. When you are ready to come out of the pose, breathe out lower your hands to your hips, breathe in step the feet together. Repeat on the other side.  



Warrior 2 - stand in the middle of the mat then step your feet wide. Turn your right foot to the right and your left toes in.  Breathe in and stretch your arms out to shoulder height, breathe out bend your front knee and look down the fingers of your right hand. Visualise yourself going back to school with a determination to do well at your lessons and make friends easily.  When you are ready to come out of the pose, breathe in, straighten your right knee, breathe out, turn to face forward, bring your hands to your hips then do the other side.



Warrior 3 - from standing take your arms overhead and raise your right leg, bringing your body into a T shape. When you are ready to come out of the pose breathe in, lower your right leg, breathe out, lower your arms. Don't forget the other side.




Help your children relax then with this guided rainbow visualisation.

Have your child lie down with their favourite soft toy if he/she wants to. Get him/her to settle by asking him/her to watch his/her breath then read the following visualisation out or make your own up.




Imagine you are in a garden. There are some steps leading down to a lawn. Walk down the step. With each step you take, you feel more and more relaxed. You reach the bottom of the steps and see a pond with a water feature in the shape of a dolphin. Water shoots out of the dolphin's mouth and falls back into the pond. All at once you feel tired and lie back on the grass, watching the cascade of water split the light from the sun into its colours. You start to feel yourself becoming lighter then floating upwards towards a rainbow. 

As you continue to float upwards you become bathed in red light. Feel the red light making you strong. The red light is replaced by orange which releases your creativity. The orange light fades now and you become bathed in yellow light. Feel energized by the yellow light. Still you float upwards and the yellow light fades. You become surrounded by green light which will help you make friends Now you are bathed in blue light. The blue light will help you talk about any worries, and help you ask questions at school. The blue light fades and you are bathed in indigo light which gives you wisdom. Finally you are bathed in violet light which makes you feel kind towards all living things. 

Gently now you start to float down back to the garden. Thank the rainbow for all the gifts you have been given. Become aware of your surroundings now, the floor beneath you, the room you are in and take some deep breaths. Open your eyes and have a stretch, wriggle your fingers and toes or whatever feels right to you before turning onto your right side. Spend a few moments there then come back to seated.


Happy school days
Janet x 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Yoga to help relieve pain - Pain caused by lifestyle- gardening

Gardening is a wonderful way to connect to the earth.  If you grow your own fruit and vegetables, it gives you an appreciation of how much effort it takes to grow food.  If you do not grow your own but would like to, there are lots of blog posts on my 'sister' blog. Please see 'Organic gardening-The winter vegetable garden' for links to my other gardening blog posts http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/organic-gardening-winter-vegetable.html 
Added to that, gardening is a way of getting fresh air, natural daylight 

Last week when I was out in the garden planting some winter vegetables, I got such a stiff, achy back (I never get backache!!!) that I knew what this week's video was going to be on. Where I went wrong was not warming up for my gardening session so in the video, I show you how to warm up your spine, and stretch your hamstrings and lower back ready for all that planting, mowing, digging and weeding.  

If you are out in the garden for any length of time, you need to take a stretch break. You may be feeling stiff in your lower back and shoulders. In the video I show you a few stretches that will help.

After your gardening session, you may be feeling achy between your shoulder blades, in your legs (all that squatting- must buy a 'kneeler'!) and in your lower back so take a little time to unwind.



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

Meditation-Chakra balancing meditation-https://youtu.be/JdNWybYEySo

Other videos you might be interested in:-
'Spring yoga practice 5- Yoga for gardeners' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgOdTmyNsRU
Yoga to compliment summer activities:Gardening-Part 1'-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgOdTmyNsRU
'Yoga to compliment summer activities:Gardening-Part 2'-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11UkC3rRoXE

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.

Namaste,
Janet x