Sunday, 19 November 2017

Blog Update

(Photo Credit: Jane Beadnell Photography (http://janebeadnellphotography.co.uk/)



Over the years I've loved sharing my knowledge of wellness and yoga with you all. I've wanted to share as much as possible, so I have been posting six times a week over the two blogs. However, I'm planning some new and exciting projects to share with you, and to give me the time to work on these, I won't be posting quite as frequently. I'll still be here though, and I look forward to continuing on our wellness and yoga journeys together.

Thank you for your support- sending my love to you all.

Please see below for my latest post!



This week on 40plusandalliswell



This is a recipe everyone can enjoy and if you are feeding a crowd, increase the quantities - it makes a great sharing dish. 
Recipe on my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/meatless-monday-vegan-taco-pie.html

Fancy a change from pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving? This nice cream gives a nod to the classic whilst serving up something deliciously different.
Recipe on my 'sister' blog!- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/thanksgiving-vegan-peanut-butter.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


Back pain – an introduction


My dad had Parkinson’s disease and was always falling.  Early one morning my mum rang to say dad had fallen and couldn’t get up.  I went straight to their home to help.  Getting him upright was easy but when you have Parkinson’s disease the message to ‘put your feet down’ takes a while.  I felt my back ‘go’.  There followed six weeks of pain.  Thankfully that was the only time in my life that I have suffered back pain.  Most of us do at some point and for many back pain is chronic making it the leading cause of absence from work. 

There are many causes of back pain and this is why it is imperative that you see your medical practitioner to ascertain exactly what exercises are suitable for your particular back pain.  For instance if your back pain is caused by osteoporosis, twists may not be for you and if you have a herniated disc or sciatica forward bends should not be included in your practice as they can worsen the condition.  The back pain we will be focused on in this series will be back pain caused by strained ligaments and muscles although I will also include sciatica.

If you can’t wait to start try practicing the following two asanas to help with your posture.

Tadasana – you can practice this anytime you have to queue for a bus, queue in the supermarket etc and no one will know.  Stand with your big toes touching, outside edges of your feet parallel.  Lift through your kneecaps, inner thighs moving back, tail bone lengthening towards the floor, spine lengthened, shoulders rolled back and down, arms relaxed by your sides and your chin level with the floor, back of your neck long. 

Dandasana – practice a variation of this with your knees bent when you are sitting at your desk, in your car, etc.  Sit tall on a block with your legs outstretched, big toes pointing straight up.  Roll your shoulders back and down and press your fingertips into your block or floor.  Your chin should be level with the floor, the back of your neck long.



Join me next week when we'll be looking at how improving posture can help with back pain.

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, 16 November 2017

Autumn transformation - from resistance to going with the flow

Please click on the video below to watch, 'Autumn transformation-from resistance to going with the flow'-on my YouTube Channel.



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

This week’s theme ties in with last week’s when we were focused on moving from holding on to letting go.  Having let go of things in our lives that are not serving us. sometimes we fear going with the flow because change can be scary and it is better to stay with what we know but this can also mean we become ‘stuck’ unable to experience what the universe or inner knowing has planned for us.  

In our video this week my intention was to slow down with yoga flows and restorative poses in order to ‘listen’ to our inner knowing and bring acceptance to what our inner knowing is telling us.  The meditation is on a similar theme.

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 


Namaste





Sunday, 12 November 2017

This week on 40plusandalliswell


This is a real autumn comfort bowl which I have made using apples and leeks from the allotment. Don’t be put off by the ‘toffee apple’ - it just adds a hint of sweetness and a nice flavour.
Recipe on my 'sister' blog-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/meatless-monday-vegan-toffee-apple.html

If you suffer from PMS or are experiencing the menopause this herb may help. Please see my 'sister' blog-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/herbal-help-for-pms-and-menopause.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


Autumn yoga sequence– immune boost

At this time of year our immunity needs to be in tip top condition to fight off those annoying colds and more serious flu.  More than that however our immunity needs to be good to destroy cells when something goes wrong with cell division, a mistake that could potentially lead to cancer. 


Yoga can help boost immunity in several ways.  Please see 'How yoga helps boost immunity'.

The sequence below will help the body get rid of toxins that negatively affect immune cells by lighting the internal fire, agni using Sun Salutations and twists.  Chest openers help increase lung capacity relieving stress which negatively affects immunity.  Forward bends and inversions are also calming and increase circulation of blood and lymph which carry the immune cells to where they are needed and carry toxins produced when invading cells away for disposal by the body.  You will need a 2 blocks and a bolster or rolled up blanket.


Start in Tadasana, eyes closed or lowered and take a moment to bring your awareness to your physical body noticing any area you need to take care of as you practice.  Allow your breath to settle becoming slow and deep, settling into a smooth, natural rhythmical pattern.  Let go of any thoughts with each breath out.  When you are ready take a deep breath in through your nose, as you breathe out drop your chin to your chest, then on an inhale bring your chin back level with the mat, gently open your eyes. 



Please see 'Yoga Pose Gallery' for the Sun Salutations below. 
Sun Salutation A – 3-5 rounds
Sun Salutation B – 3 rounds


Rest in face down Savasana, your forehead on the back of your hands.


Cobra – tuck the toes of your right foot under and press the heel back.  Return the top of your foot to the mat. Repeat with the left foot. Bring your hands to armpit/chest, your forehead to the mat.  Inhale and as you exhale draw your navel back to your spine and lift using your back muscles.  Breathe out to lower. Repeat.  On your next repeat press lightly into your hands.


Extended Child Pose  - come towards the back of the mat, big toes touching, knees wide.  Place a bolster lengthways between your knees and rest over it with your right cheek on the bolster.  After a minute or two turn your left cheek to your bolster and rest another minute or two.  Inhale come up, place the bolster to one side.


Downward Facing Dog – come to all fours, breathe in and tuck your toes, breathe out and lift your hips into a Downward Facing Dog.  Hold for 5 breaths then inhale step your right foot forward, exhale step your left foot forward, inhale and slowly roll up to standing.


Intense Side Stretch – place your blocks at the top of your mat, one at each side. Stand towards the top of your mat and have your feet at hip distance. Your hands on your hips.  Step your left foot back and turn your toes out.  Bring your left hip forward to line up your hips with the front of your mat.  Squeeze your elbows together, inhale and lift your chest. Exhale come to flat back and bring your hands to your blocks (remember your block has 3 levels).  Stay here if you have high blood pressure, heart issues etc or inhale lengthen forward, exhale fold bringing the crown of your head down towards your knee.  Hold for a breath or two then inhale to flat back, exhale bring your hands to your hips, inhale come up slowly.  Exhale step your back foot forward and repeat second side.


Legs up the Wall - bring the short edge of the mat to the wall and sit with your right hip to the wall, your knees bent.  Swivel so that your legs are up the wall.  You can have your arms a little way from you’re your body, your arms overhead.  Stay here for several minutes then bend your knees, roll onto your right side and draw your knees up toward your chest.  Rest for a minute or two then slowly roll up.


Reclined Twist – lie with your knees bent, your arms a little way from your body, palms up.  Inhale, press into your feet to lift your hips then exhale lower your hips a little to the left.  Inhale and as you exhale lower your knees to the right.  Support your knees with one or two blocks if you need to.  If you have no problems with your neck, turn your head to the left.  Hold for a few breaths then when you are ready, inhale back to centre.  Repeat second side. 


Shoulder Bridge – lie on your mat with your knees bent.  Inhale lift your hips and support your hips with your hands, thumb side out.  Alternatively support your hips by placing a block lengthways under your tail bone and have your arms by your sides.  Do not turn your head while holding.  Hold for a few breaths then remove your hands or block and slowly dot your spine down.  Hug your knees in and rock from side then rest in Savasana.


Alternate Nostril Breathing – sit on a block in Easy Pose.  Let the back of your left hand rest on your thigh, first finger and thumb joined.  Fold the index and middle fingers of your right hand in towards your palm.  Hover your right thumb over your right nostril, your right ring finger over your left nostril.  Take a few breaths to centre then close your right nostril with your right thumb, breathe in through your left nostril.  Close your left nostril as you open the right and breathe out through the right nostril.  Breathe in again through the right nostril, close the right nostril as you open the left and breathe out through the left nostril.  Breathe in through your left nostril and continue for a few minutes.  To finish breathe out through the left nostril and sit to feel the effect of the breath practice. Please see my YouTube channel for the video instructions, 'Oh no it's Monday! Breathing technique for calming'.

You may also like:-

An autumn ayurveda recipe

On my YouTube Channel you will find the Playlists, 'Autumn yoga series' and 'Autumn transformation'.

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






Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Autumn transformation - from holding on to letting go

Please click on the video below to watch, 'Autumn transformation--from holding on to letting go'-on my YouTube Channel.



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


Autumn is a time for taking stock and letting go of the things in your life that are not serving you - relationships, habits etc.  This can be hard - it can often be easier to stick to ‘the devil you know’ than take steps to make changes.  This week’s asana practice and meditation can help you with the process.  We will practice hip openers because this is the area where we tend to ‘hold on’.  Our meditation is a visualisation about a tree letting go of its leaves in autumn.

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, 5 November 2017

This week on 40plusandalliswell


This is real comfort food - just right if you have been out ‘trick or treating’ or watching a firework display perhaps with the children or grand-children. It can be prepared ahead and popped in the oven for around twenty minutes when you get in. Alternatively, it's just nice to eat in your PJs cosied up by the fire. It has already become a favourite in our house!
Recipe on my 'sister' blog- http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/meatless-monday-vegan-sausage-bean-and.html

Tips to help ease #autumnallergies naturally.
Please see my 'sister' blog-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/autumn-allergies.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 sequence for autumn allergies

Consult your medical practitioner if you think you are suffering autumn allergies.  If you have a medical condition always consult your doctor before undertaking an exercise programme including a yoga practice.

At this time of year there are spores in the air from leaf litter and pollen from ragweed which in some people cause the symptoms of hayfever – runny nose, blocked sinuses, itchy eyes.  You might want to take a look at my post on 40plusandalliswell for dietary tips etc that might help 'Autumn allergies'.
Yoga will also help – it can improve drainage from blocked respiratory passages and sinuses, improve immunity and help improve lung capacity and elasticity for better breathing.  Try the following sequence – you will need two blocks.
Start lying down with your hands resting on your tummy, middle fingers touching at the navel. Allow your breath to settle. Without straining breathe into the area under your hands for several breaths.  After several breaths bring your hands to your ribcage with your middle fingers touching where the ribs separate.  Breathe into this area for several breaths.  After several breaths move your hands onto your collar bones so that your hands rest on your chest.  Breathe into your ribcage once more and as you relax and breathe more deeply you will feel the movement of your breath under your hands.  Now take one hand to your tummy, one hand to your ribcage.  Breathe in to your tummy, your ribcage and then your chest, breathe out from your tummy, then ribs then chest.  As you breath in feel your tummy rise, your ribs move up and out, your chest expand.  As you breath out feel your tummy release back to your spine, your ribs move in and down and your chest release. Continue for several breaths. Either roll up to seated or turn onto your right side and come to seated.
Easy Pose  - sit tall on a block with your legs crossed.  Inhale take your arms up, exhale release your arms out and down.



Take a lateral stretch to open up the sides of the body.  Bring your right hand down a little way from your right hip.  Plugging your left sit bone into the block, inhale take your left arm up, exhale lean to the right, opening up the left side of your chest.  Inhale come back to centre, exhale lower your left arm.  Repeat second side.  Repeat both sides.



Take a twist to further open the chest.  Change the cross of your legs then take your left hand to your right thigh, your right hand behind the right hip.  Inhale, lengthen through the spine, exhale twist to the right.  Hold for a few breaths then inhale lengthen, exhale come back to centre.  Repeat second side.  Come to all fours.


Cat/Cow- have your knees directly under your hips, hands directly under your shoulders, middle fingers pointing forward.  Inhale, lift your head and chest, tail bone lifts towards the ceiling, exhale tuck your chin, arch your back.  Repeat for several movements then come back to neutral spine.


Puppy Pose – from all fours, breathe out walk your hand forward and bring your forehead down to the mat or a block.  If this is not comfortable for your shoulders, try interlacing your fingers over your head.  Hold for a few breaths.  To come out of the pose, inhale and slowly walk your hands back to all fours. Take a Child’s Pose.


Downward Facing Dog – stretch your arms forward, inhale and come to all fours, tuck your toes.  Breathe out, lift your hips into Downward Facing Dog.  Take 5 breaths. 

Warrior 1 – from Downward Facing Dog, inhale bring your right foot forward, exhale drop your back heel, turn your toes out.  Inhale stretch your arms up, opening up the sides of your chest.  Hold for a few breaths then exhale lower your hands down, return to Downward Facing Dog.  Repeat second side, bring your hands down and step your back foot forward.


Side Angle to Half Moon Balance – place your block in the top right hand corner of your mat, come to the centre of your mat then take your feet wide.  Turn the whole of your right leg to the right and turn the toes of your left foot in 45 degrees.  Ladies should line up heel to heel, gentlemen front heel to back instep.  Bring your hands to your heart.  Inhale extend your arms at shoulder height, exhale bend your right knee.  Inhale bring your right elbow to your right thigh without placing too much weight on your thigh. Exhale circle your left arm down then up by your left ear.  Gaze is up at the left palm or straight ahead according to your neck.  To transition to Half Moon Balance inhale bring your arms to shoulder height as you come up.  Take your left hand to your left hip, and your right hand to your block (remember there are three levels) as you hop your left foot in.  Take your weight onto your right leg as you raise your left leg level with the mat and take your left arm up.  Gaze can be straight ahead or up at the hand.  Find a drishti, a gaze point to help you balance.  To come out of the pose bring your left hand to your left hip, lower your left foot, inhale and come up.  On your next breath in straighten tour front knee, breathe out turn your feet to face forward, bring your hands to your heart.

Supported Shoulder Stand or Legs on a chair- lie with your knees bent.  Inhale press into your feet to lift your hips and place two blocks under your hips.  Bring the top block half way towards you then lower your hips and lift your legs so that the toes are over the face.  The top block should tip and support your lower back.  Your arms can rest by your sides.  Stay for a few minutes then lower your feet to the mat, lift your hips and remove the blocks. Hug your knees in. Alternatively if Supported Shoulder Stand is not for you (if you have high blood pressure, cervical spine issues, heart issues, glaucoma or are menstruating etc) sit with your right hip next to a chair or your sofa  Swivel and bring you legs onto the chair or sofa seat.  Stay here for several minutes, then turn onto your right side and stay here for a minute before slowly coming up on an inhale.



Rest back in savasana.

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


Friday, 3 November 2017

Autumn transformation - from summer growth to autumn harvest

Please click on the video below to watch, 'Autumn transformation-from summer growth to autumn harvest'-on my YouTube Channel.



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

I always feel a little sad when the summer goes - the swallows leave, the flowers die back, the trees lose their leaves, and the days are shorter.  But after the growth of the summer, there is the abundance of the autumn and a time to slow down, receive and be grateful.  This is the intention behind our asana practice this week.  

Many of us struggle with wanting abundance as if by having abundance you will be taking from others.  In my meditation this week I have created a visualisation that I hope will illustrate that this is not the case.

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, 29 October 2017

This week on 40plusandalliswell


It’s pumpkin time - up on the allotment we have been harvesting pumpkin, the supermarkets are well stocked with them and you can even go and ‘pick your own’. Make the most of them - they won’t be here long. This recipe includes roasted pumpkin which also makes a great side dish.
Please see my 'sister' blog-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/meatless-monday-roasted-pumpkin-with.html

If your skin is feeling dry now that autumn is here, this facial exfoliator made with store-cupboard ingredients may help. Please see my 'sister' blog-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/autumn-beauty-homemade-facial-exfoliator.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

Posture correcting sequence for autumn


It’s autumn and with it come the storms.  Last week we had storm Ophelia and storm Brian.  I like to get out whatever the weather but like many of us, I tend to hunch my shoulders against the cold and wind.  This is not good for posture – it weakens the upper back muscle, rounds the spine and tightens the chest muscles, impeding breathing.  Fortunately yoga can help correct any posture imperfections.  Try the following sequence to open up the shoulders and chest and strengthen the upper back muscles. You will need a block and a belt.




Shoulder stretches with belt  - sit back on your heels and fold your belt in two.  Take hold of the belt, inhale take your arms up, exhale release your arms down.  Repeat twice more then unfold your belt and take your hands wider.  Inhale stretch your arms up, exhale lower behind your back.  Inhale back up, exhale lower to the start position.  Repeat twice more.  Keeping your arms wide, inhale stretch your arms up, exhale take your right hand down, left hand up.  Inhale back to centre, exhale lower to the start position.  Repeat taking your left hand down.  Repeat twice more then exhale lower your arms back to the start position.  Come to all fours.        


Cat,Cow – with your hands directly under your shoulders, your knees directly under your hips and your fingers spread and open, inhale lift your head and chest, exhale tuck your chin and arch through your back.  Continue working with your breath for several movements then come to lying on your tummy.


Locust variation – take your arms into cactus, elbows bent and level with your shoulders. Inhale and as you breathe out lift your head, chest and arms.  Lower on your next breath out.  Repeat four more times, holding the last repetition for two breaths.


Extended Child Pose – come toards the back of your mat, big toes touching, knees wide.  Keeping your bottom in contact with your heels (use a block between your bottom and heels if you need to), walk your hands forward and bring your forehead to the mat or another block.  Stretch from your hips to your armpits, armpits to fingertips.  When you are ready walk your hands back come back to all fours.

Dolphin – from all fours, move your hands a hand length forward then place your elbows where the heel of your hands was and interlace your fingers.  Breathe in and as you breathe out, lift your hips.  Hold for a breath or two then inhale drop your knee, take another Extended Child Pose.


Downward Facing Dog – when you are ready, inhale come back to all fours, tuck your toes, breathe out, lift your hips high for Downward Facing Dog.

Tadasana – stand with your big toes together, heels apart.  Lift your kneecaps, move your tailbone down and lengthen through the spine.  Roll your shoulders back and down, have your chin level with the floor, the crown of your head reaching for the ceiling.  If it feels right for you, gently close your eyes or alternatively lower your eyes.  See if you can find stillness in the pose, where your body is not moving from side to side or forward and back and your mind is calm. When you are ready to come out of the pose, take a deep breath in and as you breathe out drop your chin, breathe in bring your chin level with the floor and gently open your eyes.


Standing Cobra- from Tadasana separate your feet a little and take your hands behind your back with your fingers interlaced.  Breathe in, lift your chest and take your arms up and back.  Breathe out to lower.  Repeat twice more.


Cow Face Pose – come to seated on a block.  Take your right leg over your left and bring your right heel to your left hip.  Either stay here or bend your left knee and bring your left foot to your right hip.  If you know that you need a belt, take the belt over your right shoulder. Breathe in, take your right arm up, breathe out, lower your hand down your back.  Breathe in, stretch your left arm forward, breathe out externally rotate your left hand up your back to meet your right hand in a yogic grip or hold onto the belt.  Keep your head lifted.  Hold for a breath or two then release, stretch your legs forward and roll your shoulders back and down.  Repeat second side.  

Reclined twist – come to lying with your knees bent.  Breathe in, press into your feet to lift your hips.  Take your hips a little to the left and lower.  Take your arms out to shoulder height, breathe in and as you breathe out lower your knees to the right.  If you have no problems with the neck, turn to look over your left shoulder.  Hold  and enjoy the twist.  To release inhale bring your knees back to centre, realign your hips then repeat second side.  To finish hug your knees in and rock from side to side then rest back in savasana for 10-15 minutes.



You may also like my yoga video, 'Autumn transformation-from unsettled to content'
also my blog posts, 'Heating yoga sequence for autumn' and 'An autumn Ayurveda recipe'.

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,