Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year!



Happy New Year! All the very best! 😀

You might want to check out my 'New Year, New You' yoga series on my YouTube Channel-

Also, there's a post and yoga video on the blog, 'Yoga to rebalance-Love your liver' which you may like to view. Your liver has been working hard for you over the festive season, so give it a little TLC-there's also a blog on my 'sister' blog 'Pamper your liver'.

Have a wonderful 2018! 
Love, Janet x

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Happy Christmas!


Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a healthy, peaceful New Year! Hoping you will join me in 2018 for more yoga videos and blog posts.


This week on 40plusandalliswell


For today’s Meatless Monday I’ve gathered together some of my vegan Christmas recipes for you. You will find the vegan recipes in the photo plus lots more ideas for vegan festive fare on my 'sister' blog by following the link below- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/meatless-monday-vegan-christmas-recipe.html

If you still need a last minute gift, these vegan choc orange biscotti will delight or why not make some for yourself. They are gluten free and have no added sugar too! 
Recipe on my 'sister' blog-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/vegan-edible-christmas-gift-to-make.html

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

Thank you

Friday, 22 December 2017

Holiday fun with the kids


Our guest blogger, Becky, has two ebooks on Amazon, Animal Disco, and Animal Beards. Animal Disco 'gets kids dancing along with some really wild movers and shakers- and busting their own moves too!' It's a great gift for children aged 3-8 years, and will certainly help excited kids shimmy and shake off any holiday boredom (you might even want to join in too)!

Animal Beards is a quirky children's book that will fire their imaginations and make them laugh.  Another great gift for children aged 3-8 years.

So if you are entertaining grandchildren over the holidays or traveling with children these ebooks would be a great way to have fun together !

Animal Disco is available to purchase now for instant download at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Animal-Disco-Becky-Barnes-ebook/dp/B07217B21G/

Like Animal Disco, Animal Beards is available for instant download- please see https://www.amazon.co.uk/Picture-Encourages-Imagination-Interest-Animals-ebook/dp/B06Y33P81T/

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Yoga for self-care - connecting with your inner guidance

Please click on the video below to watch, 'Yoga for self-care - connecting with your inner guidance'-on my YouTube Channel.



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


We all have inner wisdom - you might call it your sixth sense, gut instinct or inner voice.  This inner wisdom comes from your subconscious mind which is the part of your mind concerned with awareness.  Unfortunately the subconscious mind is often ‘drowned out’ by the conscious, thinking mind especially at this time of year when there is so much to do. 

I have included this as part of the self-care series of videos because your inner wisdom will help you be your authentic self and not what others expect of you.  It will help you make those tough decisions.  In other words getting in touch with your inner wisdom will help increase your mental and spiritual well being.

In order to get in touch with our inner wisdom in our video this week we will quieten the ‘monkey mind’ and stimulate our third eye which connects to our inner wisdom. Our meditation is one in which we meet our inner guide.


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


Thank you



Namaste






Sunday, 17 December 2017

This week on 40plusandalliswell


If you are wondering what to make for a vegan main course this holiday season you may be inspired by this quick and easy to make ''Vegan Tofu 'Turkey' with 'Sausage' Stuffing''. Please see my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/meatless-monday-vegan-tofu-turkey-with.html

This week Becky has another Christmas game for you! This elf jar is a brilliant way to keep little ones (and not so little ones!) entertained between courses at Christmas dinner. 
Please see my 'sister' blog-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/christmas-craft-elf-activity-jar_17.html

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

Thank you

Yoga for back pain – sciatica




Pain in the lower back, in the buttocks and down the back of the leg is symptomatic of sciatica.  You may also experience weakness, tingling or numbness.


Sciatica may be caused in two different ways.  It may be caused by a bulging or herniated disc in the lower back.  This pinches the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body, which runs from the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine), through the buttocks and down the back of the thigh.  However it may also be caused by piriformis syndrome, that is tightness in the piriformis muscle.  This muscle runs from the side of the sacrum to the top of the thigh bone and when it is tight it can compress the sciatic nerve.


It is absolutely imperative that you seek advice from a medical practitioner before attempting a yoga practice and remember SOME YOGA POSES CAN MAKE SCIATICA WORSE – more about that in a minute. Establish with your medical practitioner what exercises will improve the condition for you and you may want to work one to one with a yoga teacher initially if you have a herniated disc.  Also do not practice yoga if you are currently in pain from a herniated disc. 


The following sequence will help release tightness from the piriformis and lengthen the spine.  You will need a belt, a bolster or rolled up blanket, a chair or a wall and two blocks. Read the instructions fully because there are some recommendations for sciatica caused by herniated disc. If you feel any pinching or pain come out of the pose immediately. 


Begin in savasana with your legs over a bolster or rolled up blanket or for a herniated disc you may want to place your lower legs on the seat of a chair.  Gently close your eyes, relax your body and allow a few minutes for your breath to settle. 



Supta padagusthasana – lie with your knees bent  and keep your knees bent if you currently have back issues.  Bend your right knee in towards your chest and  place a belt around the ball of the right foot.  Straighten the back of your right leg, bringing your knees back level.  Keep your left  knee bent, at least initially if you have herniated disc otherwise you may straighten your left leg, pressing away through your heel. Relax your shoulders. With each exhale you may find you can draw your leg closer in until you feel a stretch but not a strain.  Hold for a few breaths then breathe out, bend your right knee, and bring your right foot to the mat.  Notice how the right side is feeling then repeat second side.  Come to all fours.





Cat /Cow - inhale, lift your head and chest, exhale tuck your chin, arch through your back.  Continue for several movements.



Locust variation – rest your forehead on the back of your hands.  Tuck your right toes under and press your right heel back to make space in your lower back.  Place the top of your foot back on the mat.  Repeat second side.  Press your right foot back, inhale and lift.  Hold for a couple of breaths then breathe out to release.  Repeat second side.  If you do not have a herniated disc, you may want to try another variation of the pose.  Bring your arms by your sides, inhale and lift your head, chest and legs.  Keep the back of your neck long.  Exhale to lower.




Extended Child Pose – come towards the back of your mat, big toes touching, knees wide.  Walk your hands forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the mat or your block.  Press your tail bone back and stretch from your hips to your armpits, your armpits down to your fingertips. 


Reclined Pigeon – come to all fours, bring your right knee to your right wrist and inch your right foot to the left.  Lengthen your left leg back.  Place a block under your right thigh if you need to fill in a gap. Bring your lower arms down on the mat and rest your forehead on the back of your hands.  Hold for a few breaths.  To come out of the pose inhale press into straight arms and come back to all fours.  Repeat second side then repeat extended Child’s pose.


Up Salute – make your way to standing, inhale and stretch your arms up, lifting out of your hips.  Exhale to lower.  Repeat second side.  



Back stretch with wall/chair – place your hands on the baxk of a chair after ensuring that the chair will not slip.  Walk your feet back until your back is level with the floor, your head between your arms.  Have your feet at hip distance, outside edges of your feet parallel with the outside edges of the mat.  Microbend your knees.  To come out of the pose, breathe in, walk your feet forward and come up.  As a counter pose, interlace your fingers behind your back, inhale lift your chest as you lift your arms up and back.  Come to seated on a block with your legs outstretched.



Side Angle Pose - come to the middle of your mat and take your feet wide.  Turn your right foot to the right and turn your left toes in.  Ladies line up heel to heel, men front heel to back instep.  Inhale stretch your arms out to shoulder height, exhale bend the right knee.  Inhale, take your right elbow to your right thigh, or take your right hand down to a block. Exhale, circle your left arm down then up by your left ear.  To come out of the pose, inhale, bring your arms back to shoulder height, straighten your front leg, exhale, turn your feet to face forward and bring your hands to your heart. Repeat second side.



Seated/Standing twist – draw your right heel towards your right buttock.  Wrap your left arm around your right leg and place your right fingertips behind your right hip or on your block.  Inhale lift through the crown of your head, exhale ease into a twist to the right.  Hold for a few breaths then breathe in to release the pose.  Repeat second side. If you have  sciatica caused by herniated disc,  place a chair next to a wall with the seat facing you and have your right hip nearest the wall.  Place your right foot on the chair and your hands on the wall.  Lengthen your tail bone down and ease into a twist to the right on an out breath.  Inhale back to centre, release your right foot to the mat then repeat second side.







Supported Shoulder Bridge- lie with your knees bent, your arms by your sides, palms facing down.  Breathe in, lift your hips as you press your knees forward.  Place the long side of your block under your tailbone or place two blocks, flat side down on top of one another under your hips. Do not turn your head as you hold the pose for a few breaths then breathe in lift your hips, remove your block (s) and breathe out to lower your hips,  Hug your knees in and rock from side to side. 


Finish by resting in savasana with your legs over a bolster or on a chair.


As I said, some poses are not suitable to practice if you have sciatica.  These poses include straight leg forward bends especially seated forward bends.  

You may also like the video, 'Yoga to help relieve pain: Piriformis syndrome' on my YouTube Channel. 

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

Thank you




Namaste




Thursday, 14 December 2017

Yoga for self-care – pre-holiday detox

Please click on the video below to watch, 'Yoga for self care-pre-holiday-detox'-on my YouTube Channel.


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

You may think a pre-holiday detox is a strange idea.  After all don’t we usually detox after Christmas?  But wait a minute – getting your digestive system in tip top condition before the feasting begins will help your digestive system cope.  With that intention in mind we will be ‘igniting’ the digestive ‘fire’ with sun salutations.  This not only makes the digestive system more efficient but also helps ‘burn off’ toxins from the body.  The liver is the main organ of detoxification so we will be practicing twisting poses to refresh the liver as well as the other organs of digestion.  Poses that work with the downward flow of energy, apana will also help the body eliminate toxins. 


We finish with a simple meditation watching the breath.  Taking time out of our busy schedules to simply be still and clear our minds of thoughts is like a detox for the mind.  It helps restore peace and clarity to the mind.  


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


Thank you


Namaste

Sunday, 10 December 2017

This week on 40plusandalliswell



It’s December - time to do some holiday meal planning. This week’s meatless Monday is a warming soup and festive bread which would make a great starter or will help thaw you out after traipsing around the shops searching for Christmas presents. 
Recipe on my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/meatless-monday-squash-and-ginger-soup.html

Today on the blog Becky shows us how to make this cute fairy activity jar! Ideal for keeping little ones (and not so little ones!) entertained between courses at Christmas dinner. 
Please see my 'sister' blog-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/christmas-craft-fairy-activity-jar.html

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

Thank you

Yoga for back pain – preventing muscle spasm


One of the causes of back pain is muscle spasm.  This can be caused by lifting amongst other things. 

Yoga can help by boosting circulation to the spine and surrounding muscles and nerves.  Try the following sequence.  If you need to lift heavy objects bend your knees. 

If you have back issues check with your medical practitioner before practicing this sequence or any other, as to what exercises will be right for your particular problem. As always listen to your body and if the breath becomes strained release the pose. 

You will need a block and two cushions.

Start in Child’s Pose and allow yourself to arrive at your practice.  Breathe into your back body allowing your breath to sooth any tension in the back of your body.  Alternatively lie on your back, hug your knees in and breathe into your back body.  When your breath has relaxed into a smooth, natural, rhythmical pattern, breathe in and come to all fours.


Cat/Cow – have your hands directly under your shoulders, fingers spread and open and your knees directly under your hips. Inhale lift your head and chest, exhale tuck your chin, arch through your back and continue working with your breath for several movements. Come to lying on your tummy.

Crocodile – rest your forehead on the back of your hands.  Tuck your right toes under and press your right heel back to make space in your lower back.  Place the top of your foot back on the mat and repeat with the lift foot.  Lift your head and chest and cup your chin in your hands. Choose to have a distance between your elbows that feels good for you – the closer your elbows are together, the more you will feel the pose in the lower back, the further apart, the more you will feel the pose in your upper back.  This pose releases a lot of healing energies so close your eyes and stay in the pose a few minutes if that feels right for you. To come out of the pose take your elbows wide, rest your forehead on your hands and gently rock your hips from side to side. 



Sphinx – bring your forehead to the mat and stretch your arms forward.  Inhale slide your elbows back to under your shoulders.  Lift through your chest and relax your shoulders away from your ears.  Hold for a few breaths then take your elbows out to the sides and rest with your forehead on your hands.  Rock your hips from side to side.  Press back into an Extended Child's Pose.


Extended Child’s Pose – come to the back of the mat, big toes touching, knees wide.  Walk your hands forward bringing your forehead to the mat or to a block.  Press your tailbone back and stretch from your hips to your armpits, your armpits down to your fingertips.  Hold for a few breaths then come back to all fours. 


Downward Facing Dog with twist – from all fours, breathe in and tuck your toes, breathe out and lift your hips high.  Take your right hand to your right ankle or shin and twist to the left.  Hold for a breath then come back to centre on an inhale.  Repeat second side.  Walk your feet forward and when your shoulders come over your hands, inhale and roll up to standing.

Six natural movements of the spine

Movements 1 and 2, forward and back– stand in the middle of your mat with your fingertips on your shoulders.  Inhale lift your chin and chest, take your elbows out and back, exhale bring your elbows together in front of your body, round your back and release the crown of your head down.  Repeat three more times. 


Movements 3 and 4 – twist to right and left.  Keep your hands on your shoulders.  Inhale, twist to the left, exhale twist to the right and continue for several movements ending by twisting to the right.

Movements 5 and 6 (Lateral stretch to the right and left) - make fists with your hands and slide your left hand up to your arm pit as you lean to the right on an out breath. Inhale back to centre and repeat to the other side. Continue for several movements.


Seated Twist – sit on a block if your need support or on the mat with your legs outstretched and bend your right knee.  Wrap your left arm around your right knee, inhale lift through the crown of your head, exhale twist to the right, abdomen first, then ribcage then shoulders and finally turn to look over your right shoulder.  Hold and breathe – with each inhale lengthen through the crown of your head, with each exhale draw your navel back to the spine.  To come out of the pose, inhale lengthen through the crown of your head, exhale release your head, shoulders, ribcage then abdomen.


Baddha konasana – sit on a block with your legs outstretched.  Draw your feet close in and let your knees fall out to the sides, bringing the soles of your feet together.  Support your thighs with two cushions to protect your SI joint.  Hold onto your feet or your ankles if this causes your back to round.  Inhale lengthen through the crown of your head, exhale take your elbows into your knee creases and hinge forward.  Release the crown of your head down.  Hold for 5 breaths, inhale lift your head and taking your hands to your outer thighs, bring your knees together.

Rest back in savasana for 10-15 minutes to complete your practice. If it feels more comfortable for your back, place a bolster under your knees.

You may also like :-

Back pain-an introduction
Back pain- Posture 1 - Hip flexors and hamstrings 
Yoga for back pain- Posture 2- A strong core

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

Thank you


Namaste


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Yoga for self care - restful sleep

Please click on the video below to watch,'Yoga for self care-restful sleep'-on my YouTube Channel.



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


Restful sleep is so important to your well being. Sleep allows your brain to do its 'housekeeping' free from the distractions of sensory perception etc.  It is during sleep that memories are 'stored' and learning consolidated.  Growth hormone is released and in adults this maintains muscle mass and bone tissue.  When sleep is inadequate, more stress hormone, cortisol is released and this can break down collagen resulting in wrinkles.  No wonder they call it 'beauty sleep'!!

Of course, stress hormones do more than give you a few wrinkles.  Stress is associated with many diseases such as cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, gasto-intestinal problems such as IBS, insulin resistance and even osteoporosis since it accelerates bone breakdown.  Lack of sleep also enhances the inflammatory response which may explain the link to some types of arthritis.

Did you know that lack of sleep can also make you put on weight?  This is all because of the balance between two proteins that regulate appetite.  Ghrelin stimulates hunger while leptin gives rise to feeling of satiety.  Lack of sleep elevates ghrelin and suppresses leptin leading to cravings especially for fats and carbohydrates.

In this week’s yoga video therefore the intention is to ensure restful sleep.  The sequence reduces tension in your body and settles your mind ready for sleep.  We end with alternate nostril breathing to further calm the mind and prepare you for sleep

Sweet dreams


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

Thank you

Namaste




Sunday, 3 December 2017

This week on 40plusandalliswell


This week's Meatless Monday is a meal that can be made quickly using leftover veggies. Tasty and satisfying.
Recipe on my 'sister' blog-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/meatless-monday-vegan-sweet-potato-and.html

Delight your friends with these homemade, vegan, coconut macaroons!
Recipe on my 'sister' blog-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/edible-vegan-christmas-
gift-to-make.html

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

Thank you

Yoga for back pain - Posture 2 - A strong core


Strong core muscles help keep the spine aligned, making it less likely you will strain or injure your back.  The core muscles are all the muscles of the lower torso from the pelvic floor to the diaphragm and include the glutes, abdominal muscles and obliques. The sequence below will help strengthen these muscles, helping prevent back issues. If you have back issues check with your medical practitioner before practicing this sequence or any other, as to what exercises will be right for your particular problem. As always listen to your body and if the breath becomes strained release the pose. You may need a block.

Start in Savasana, close your eyes and take a few minutes to notice how you are feeling today and let your breath settle. When you are ready, open your eyes and take a stretch. 

Gentle core warm up- lie with your knees bent and place your hands on your thighs.  Breathe in and as you breathe out, take your navel back to your spine and slide your hands towards your knees, lifting your head and chest off the floor.  Breathe in and lower.  Repeat several times.  



Leg raises - Lie with your legs outstretched, feet flexed.  Inhale take your legs up so that the soles of your feet are parallel to the ceiling.  To modify practice one leg at once.  Breathe in and as you breathe out, engage your core and lower your legs or leg a third of the way.  Breathe in and as you breathe out, engage your core and lower two thirds of the way. Breathe in and as you breathe out lower your leg or legs to the ground,  Repeat or repeat with the other leg. Come to all fours.



Cat/Cow to Balancing Cat - breathe in lift your head and chest, breathe out, tuck your chin, arch through your back.  Repeat several times.  Come back to all fours.  Inhale bring your right knee towards your chest, exhale engage your abdominals by taking your navel back to your spine and take your right leg back, foot flexed.  Inhale and stretch your left arm forward.  Hold for 5 breaths if you can then breathe out to lower your hand back to the mat, bring your right knee into your chest then back to the mat.  Repeat second side.  



Extended Child’s pose - come towards the back of the mat, big toes touching, knees wide. Walk your hands forward and rest your forehead on the mat or a block.  Stay here a minute or so, stretching your tailbone back and stretching forward from your hips to your armpits, your armpits right down to your fingertips.  When you are ready come to lying on your belly.  



Sphinx to Sphinx Plank - come to lying on your tummy, your arms stretched forward.  Breathe in and slide your hands back so that your elbows come under your shoulders.  Lift through your chest.  Breathe in and as you breathe out draw your navel back to your spine, tuck your toes under and lift up keeping your body in a straight line.  Hold for 5 breaths then lower and take a Child’s Pose.



Child’s Pose - sit back on your heels, take your forehead to the mat and sweep your hands back to your heels.  Alternatively you can rest your head on stacked fists or you can lie on your back and hug your knees in towards your chest.



Downward Facing Dog to Side Plank - come back to all fours.  Inhale tuck your toes, exhale lift your hips into Downward Facing Dog.  From here take your feet back a few inches, then on your next breath out, engage your core and come forward into Plank pose.  Roll onto the little toe side of your right foot, the big toe side of your left foot and raise your left arm.  For a greater challenge stack your left foot on top of your right.  To modify bend your left knee and bring your left foot to the mat in front of you. Hold for 3 breaths then breathe in to come back to Plank, repeat second side. Drop your knees and take another Child’s pose. When you are ready make your way to standing.



Side Angle Pose variation - stand in the middle of your mat, hands on your hips and take your feet wide.  Turn the whole of your right leg to the right and turn the toes of your left foot in.  Ladies should line up heel to heel, men front heel to back instep.  Bring your hands to your heart.  Inhale stretch your arms out at shoulder height, exhale bend your right knee.  Inhale bring your right elbow to your right thigh, exhale circle your left arm down and up by your left ear.  To work your core stretch your right arm forward.  Hold for up to 5 breaths. To come out of the pose, bring your arms back to shoulder height as you breathe in, breathe out, straighten the front knee and turn your feet to face forward.  Bring your hands to your heart.  Repeat second side.  



Reverse Table Top/Plank - come to seated facing the short edge of the mat.  Take your hands behind your back with your fingers pointing back towards your hips.  Inhale, press into your hands and rolling the soles of your feet towards the mat, lift your hips.  Gaze down your body or only if you are absolutely sure of your neck, you may drop your head back.  Breathe out bring your chin to your chest, lower your hips, bend your knees and softly fold over your knees.  To modify sit with your knees bent and take your hands behind your back, fingers pointing back towards your hips.  Inhale press into your hands and feet, lift your hips.  Look down your body, or if you are absolutely sure of your neck, you may drop your head back.  Breathe out, take your chin to your chest, lower your hips and softly fold over your knees.



Savasana - lie back in Savasana and direct the breath into your belly allowing to breath to soften and release any tension. Rrst here for 5-10 minutes if you can.  



You may also like :-
Back pain-an introduction
Back pain- Posture 1 - Hip flexors and hamstrings 

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

Thank you

Namaste