#SavasanaSeptember

#SavasanaSeptember

Savasana for 20 minutes. Every day. For 1 month.

If I suggested that you put your lengthy to-do list to one side and lie down for twenty minutes right now, what would your response be?

This September marks 5 years since I embarked on my #365Savasana Project (which I wrote about at the time for OM Yoga Magazine)
when every day for 1 year I practised Savasana for 20 minutes – a slightly crazy idea which turned out to be transformative!

So this September I am going to be practising Savasana every day for 20 minutes. I’d love you to join me!

• Get comfortable using as many cushion and blankets as you need;
• Set a timer;
• Ideally cover your eyes with a soft scarf or eye pillow (as light can be an irritant);
• If your mind wanders (which is completely normal) guide your awareness to the steady rise and fall of your breath.
• Try not to judge how you are doing. Practise allowing yourself to Be.

(I think I can hear you shouting that you are too busy from here! But if you’re feeling frazzled or generally rushed off your feet it may be just what you need.)
Savasana (or Corpse Pose), lying down in a comfortable position (usually) on your back, is often described as the easiest pose to do but the most difficult to master. Lying still for twenty minutes a day may seem unimaginable. But you can start small with just a minute or two and work your way up.
A restorative Savsasna allows your body to properly rest – something we rarely experience in our day-to-day over-stimulated existence. More than a little nap, Savasana helps to shift the nervous system into the parasympathetic state (calming the ‘fight flight’ response and switching on the relaxation response)
Just some of the benefits of Savasana include:
• Promoting proper physical rest and regeneration by stimulating the ‘relaxation response’
• Improved sleep quality
• Calming a busy mind
• Lowering blood pressure

Over the course of September I’ll be sharing some tips and different Savasana variations on my Instagram account (@ucanyoga1). If you do choose to join me I would love to hear how you are finding the experience by using the #SavasanaSeptember hashtag.

Knitting for Stress Relief – Stress Awareness Month

Knitting for Stress Relief – Stress Awareness Month

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.

 

A Second Restorative Yoga for Depression Workshop

A Second Restorative Yoga for Depression Workshop

Restorative Yoga for Depression Workshop – Saturday 3rd February 2018 2.15-4.15pm at Embody Wellness

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 Hines is 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.

Getting to know Paula Hines from U Can Yoga – Yogamatters Interview

Getting to know Paula Hines from U Can Yoga – Yogamatters Interview

“Because yoga can help you feel so good, sometimes there is a tendency to present it all as positivity, love and light, heart-opening and unicorns. But in truth, it’s not all fluffy. When you practise yoga (not just asana) for a while, you find that it can make you more aware of the not so good too and teach you a lot about yourself (if you’re ready and willing to listen). So, I don’t expect myself or others to be perfect – after all, we are all in this together! It is all an on-going, life-long practice.”

I was recently interviewed by Yogamatters – just a few of the topics we touched on include:

  • the importance of self-care
  • why representation and visibility of diversity in yoga matters
  • how my own experience of stress and injury has influenced my yoga practice and teaching

And much more. You can read the interview in full over at the Yogamatters blog by clicking here.

Thanks so much to Yogamatters for the interview feature 🙏🏾  🙏🏾  🙏🏾

How happy are you in your skin?

How happy are you in your skin?

U Can Yoga in Psychologies Magazine

Healthy Happy Body - Psychologies Magazine

Healthy Happy Body – Psychologies Magazine


With it’s uplifting, informative and insightful content, Psychologies magazine is and has been one of my favourite publications for many years.

The Dossier theme of the current issue of Psychologies, ‘Healthy Happy Body’ is not only close to my heart, it also ties in with the U Can Yoga ethos. Yoga has played a huge part in helping me find peace with my own body image issues and to find a greater appreciation for the body that I have and all it can do. So, I am excited to be featured in the July issue of Psychologies sharing my story.

Thanks to make-up artist Sadaf Ahmad and photographer Jon Enoch for being so lovely and making the photoshoot so fun 😀

You can pick up the magazine in the shops now or download it via the new Psychologies app – find out more at www.psychologies.co.uk U Can Yoga in Psychologies Magazine