Join me for this upcoming seasonal workshop at Embody Wellness in Vauxhall.
In Chinese Medicine there are Five Elements that are central to nature’s cycles and are reflected in the cycles of our bodies. They are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth, and each element is connected to a specific season, organ system and emotion.
Metal is linked to Autumn and to the lungs and large intestine – and is all about transformation. Just as Autumn is a time when nature begins to draw its energy inwards to prepare for the colder, darker months ahead, precious metals can be found deep in the earth ready to be discovered and transformed without ever losing their true essence.
Part one of this workshop will be a lung and large intestine yin yoga practice, where physically the focus is on moving deeper into the connective tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons and fascia – the cling-film-like ‘tissue’ which holds our muscles together). Imbalanced lung and large intestine Qi (energy) can manifest as respiratory problems, sadness, fatigue, low immunity and colds. When lung Qi is balanced we feel present, optimistic and more able to face life’s ups and downs with acceptance and courage.
In this slow practice, we remain in each yin yoga pose for three to five minutes. We will then move into part two of the workshop – a blissful, extended yoga nidra to leave you feeling refreshed, restored and rebalanced.
This workshop is open to all levels, however it is not suitable for pregnant students.
You can book your place via the Embody Wellness website here or call Embody on 020 7099 0048.
Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month?
One of my favourite ways of to manage stress (besides yoga!) is knitting.
I’m a newish knitter, currently making this cowl (pictured) to practise knitting in the round on double-pointed needles. I find the process of knitting meditative and calming. Not only is it brilliant learning a new skill, it is very helpful for stress relief and my mental health. And I’m not alone. It has been shown in research over many years that knitting (and crochet) has physical and mental health benefits. Just last month there were calls to prescribe knitting on the NHS. Charity organisation Knit for Peace(www.knitforpeace.org.uk) carried out a widespread review on the health benefits of knitting after receiving testimonials from their 15,000 volunteers about how it had improved their lives.
Sounds like a perfect reason to get knitting!
(P.S. If you’re interested in finding out more about the work of Knit for Peace and supporting their work by donating knitted or crocheted items or cash you can find more information at their website.
In this short video filmed at Embody Wellness in Vauxhall I am showing you Saddle Pose.
On an energetic level this yin posture stimulates the Kidney and Urinary Bladder meridians – associated with the Winter season – and also the Spleen and Stomach lines. Here I’m using a bolster propped up on two blocks to provide extra support.
Aim to stay in your Saddle Pose for 1-3 minutes.
Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, speak to your doctor before practising yoga.
You can join me here at Embody Wellness every week for Sunday Flow & Release (yoga flow + yin yoga) and Friday Flow & Restore (yoga flow + restorative yoga + yoga nidra) 6-7.15pm
Not able to make it to a class? Find more of my yoga videos here.
After a number of requests I am repeating this workshop. If you missed it last time or think this may be of benefit to someone you know, here are the details. No previous yoga experience is necessary:
Depression can impact our entire being. What we think about, how we feel, how we behave, all altered as depression creates a state of dysregulation in the nervous system. On a physiological level, the whole body, including the respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular and hormonal systems are affected.
In this 2-hour workshop we will practise restorative yoga poses with an emphasis on helping to balance depression.
Although some forms of depression include feelings of anxiety or agitation, more often is the experience of symptoms such as fatigue and lethargy. Because depression can be exhausting, restorative practices have the capacity to play a potent role in cultivating emotional balance and wellness. The props suporting the body in restorative yoga poses allow both body and mind to feel safely held and grounded, and to feel properly rested.
It is not that one pose or workshop will ‘cure’ depression, but the practice can provide us with an active role in moving towards healing. In this workshop we will experience restorative poses that can be used together or separately, along with focussed breathing as part of your own toolkit when you need them. (I will share tips on recreating poses for yourself at home).
About the the teacher: An experienced Restorative Yoga teacher, Paula Hinesis an Advanced Relax Renew Trainer, having studied with Judith Hanson Lasater and has found Restorative Yoga to be an effective tool for addressing her own depression and anxiety.
Numbers are limited to a maximum of 8 people. You can book your place via the Embody Wellness website here or call Embody on 020 7099 0048.
December can be a crazy month for many of us so it can be even more important to find ways to press pause during your day. If you haven’t started a meditation practice but would like to (or if your practice has gone by the wayside and you’d like to re-start), then why not join me for Meditation Advent?
5 minutes (ideally) sitting, each day from 1st – 25th December
This can be done anywhere – at home, on public transport, waiting for the bus (I have busy Mum pals who will lock the bathroom door for 5 mins alone or have their children meditate with them, where possible!)
If you’re able to stick to a regular time each day then great (E.g. I like to sit up in bed upon waking so that it’s the first thing I do). If that’s not possible then take 5 minutes wherever you can.
Set a timer for 5 minutes (I like the bell on the Insight Timer app but you could just use the timer on your phone or any other that suits you.)
While you’re there simply focus on your inhale and exhale. When distractions and thoughts pop up – which they WILL – guide your awareness back to your breath.