Category Archives: Stress relief and relaxation

It’s nearly the weekend but learning to manage your energy and use stress to your advantage will have you enjoying every day much more

I know, I know, but, in case you’ve started your Christmas shopping…

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I can already hear the outrage. It’s only the start of November! And yet, some people LIKE to sort Christmas and other holiday shopping early. Some people (including me) are already REALLY looking forward to making 2018 the best yet.

If you’re interested, I’ve put together a few potential gift ideas – maybe treats for yourself, maybe a gift for a loved one.

My book, Sleep Yoga classes, 9 Week Chakra Coaching Programme and any integrative therapy session (ie, you can choose which you’d like to include – some coaching alongside yoga? Crystals? NLP? EFT? Meditation? Recently, I’ve been working with yoga and crystals at the same time – really interesting, powerful work) are a few potential gift ideas.

Click HERE for more information and ideas and get in touch if you have any questions.

I work with individuals and groups in Essex (Witham, Colchester and Frinton on Sea) and worldwide via Skype/Vsee and telephone.

I look forward to working with you (and your loved ones!) the rest of this year, in 2018 and beyond.

love,

Eve

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Billericay Library book signing on Saturday, 25th November

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Am really pleased to be doing a book signing in the town I did a lot of growing up in. If you’re local enough to Billericay, Essex and would like to join us, please come along.

And if you have any friends, relatives, colleagues etc there who might be interested, I’d really appreciate your letting them know about this.

Hope to see you there!

And you can find out more about this and other upcoming events HERE.

love,

Eve

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Feel Better Every Day on Sea – sessions now available in Frinton

Feel Better Every Day on Sea

My main client space remains Witham, with the Feel Better Every Day Consultancy on the high street but, in recent months, I’ve been offering a few sessions a week from Colchester (and am starting teaching a Sleep Yoga class there in January).

As of this week, am delighted to be offering a few sessions a week from Frinton on Sea on Essex’s Sunshine Coast. The Connaught Clinic is just a few moments from the seafront and a short walk from the station.

Connaught Clinic

 Find out more HERE and, of course, let me know if you have any questions or would like to book an initial session with me.

love,

Eve

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New Sleep Yoga class in Colchester – book now

Sleep Yoga

Really looking forward to starting a new class in January. There are only a few places so please book early if you’d like to join us.

Click HERE for more information and to book.

Are you happy with the sleep you’re getting? Learn side-effect free tools.

love,

Eve

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Meditating with the MagnifiCat

MeditatingwiththeMagnifiCat

Clients and students often ask me about creating and sustaining a meditative practice when their children are demanding their time, energy and attention.

I recommend making them a part of their practice (being fully present with whatever’s going on). Sometimes, I tell them about how I use Rainbow MagnifiCat’s interruptions during the day to enhance my mindfulness practice. As she looks expectantly for attention, I make my lap available for her, pausing work or whatever (unless I’m with a telephone or online client, obviously) and relax into the Rainbow Appreciation Time, hearing her purr, feeling her fur (and claws and weight) and generally feeling pleasantly present and grounded.

This morning, I realised that this is not (of course) the full story. Most days, I let her out while I do my morning meditation and a little yoga. My eyes frequently open and glance towards the door, checking in case she wants to come in.

This morning, with a lot of pent up energy from her snow avoiding time indoors yesterday, she didn’t want to go out while I meditated. I told her (and her angel) that I’d be meditating and focusing on my experience yet still noticed myself getting very distracted. Lots of opportunities this morning for noticing this (with as much self-compassion and curiosity as I could muster) and gently bringing my mind back to the meditation.

And Rainbow’s a cat. Babies and children (and puppies and goats etc) are far more demanding.

What can you do to make them part of your practice in a way that’s practical for them and you?

As with everything, some days, it’s much easier to be present than others. Many mornings, Rainbow’s so peaceful and quiet on the bed, I do my meditation next to her there before I even brush my teeth.

This morning, I could have easily locked Rainbow out of the room but I wanted to challenge myself to stay focused. (I can almost hear her howl, ‘Mwah hahahaha’ from the other room where she’s been peaceful and still since I finished and put my yoga mat away.)

Children and animals are wonderful at bringing us into the present moment.

This isn’t to say it’s always easy. Just as it’s often easier to be aware of our bodies and what they need when we feel strong, fit and healthy, it’s when we’re in pain that the biggest benefits of being present and really paying attention to what we need can pay off.

Do you include your children and/or animals in your meditative practices?

When is it easiest?

When is it most challenging?

What helps you most?

Feel free to share below.

love,

Eve

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Are you letting strangers tell you you *should* be feeling blue?

 BlueMonday
Apparently, Monday’s ‘blue Monday’. Maybe, if you’re already feeling blue, knowing you’re not alone helps? Perhaps you’re bewildered as you’re having a brilliant 2017?
Today, Monday and everyday, let yourself feel however you actually feel. Amazing or really low, it’ll pass.
If you’re feeling a bit fragile, be extra kind to yourself. This means different things for all of us – ask yourself what might help you most right now.
If you want to lift your mood, notice how you want to move. If you enjoy yoga, gentle backbends can help us feel happier. You might want to play with these: Click here for Restorative Fish,  here for Bow and here for Camel.
Ultimately, every day of the year (of your life) you know yourself best. Tune into what you need instead of being swayed by others’ perceptions – especially when they’re worse than how you might actually be feeling.
Do you buy into Blue Monday?
When do you notice low mood?
What helps YOU?
How might you do more of those things?
Feel free to post below.
love,
Eve
(PS – I’ve tried editing this several times but can’t correct the formatting)
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My work/life balance tips in for Huffington Post (published 5/9/16)

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Thanks Mary Common for including some of my work/balance tips in this piece and Veronica Amarelle for letting me know it’s out.

You can read the whole piece here.

How do you keep a good enough* work/life balance?

What signs let you know you need to prioritise one or the other for a while?

Feel free to share in the comments below.

love,

Eve

*perfection can feel like pressure as well as being impossible

 

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Bringing holiday highlights home

sea

Back from my first ‘proper’ holiday in years. Nine sea swims in eight days.

Glorious Greece.

And I’m happy to be home (as is Rainbow MagnifiCat, who had her own holiday staying with a loved one).

While walking into the sea each time barely pausing (as it wasn’t the Essex sunshine coast temperature I’ve become used to) was amazing, I know I’ll still love my more local swims.

The water being warm enough to swim properly (parallel to shore as don’t want to risk drowning) for an hour in the sea instead of my usual mixing things up with pool swims was something I don’t think I’ve experienced before.

Although in Kenya, the sea was so warm, was swimming at 6.30am each day but also pool swam. And my Goan sea swims, each time I’ve been, have been more being battered by the sea as very choppy each time I’ve been. Gorgeous sea but not swims as such.

Yes, I’m addicted to the sea. We did lots of other lovely things (and I got looooooaaaads done on my book draft in a really relaxed way) but it’s the sea swims I’ll be thinking of most.

I’ve also been inspired to start making fruit salads after the gorgeous Seagulls restaurant served such delicious ones.

Pausing in the supermarket to pick up fruits I’ve never glanced at before (and dividing it all into freezable portions so it stays a treat instead of feeling like pressure) was another way of bringing some holiday benefits home.

The abundance of the sea and of having access to fresh, good food and time to connect face to face and (although I found such sporadic wifi access not very relaxing) time to disconnect…

Am sure I’ll think of other things that became routine last week and which can be built into my daily life.

When you think of your own favourite (recent, long ago, imaginary) holidays, which elements have you integrated into your life at home?

What else might you try?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

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Standing Forward Fold

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This is one of my favourites but we’re all built differently. If you don’t find it relaxing (even as you feel a pretty intense stretch), be extra kind to yourself easing into it gently.

With the feet hip distance apart and facing forward, raise your arms over head, hinge at the hips and allow yourself to gently fold forwards to whatever degree feels good. Ensure you have at least a microbend in your knees and if it feels better to bend them more, honour that.

Whether your hands end up under your feet, on the floor, around your ankles, on your shins or higher up, trust that you’re getting the right stretch for your body in this moment.

Notice your breath and aim for 5 complete breaths (or even 3+ minutes for Relaxation Response benefits if this is comfortable enough). To come up, bend the knees a little more and roll up slowly and gently. Pausing in Chair can on the way up can help you avoid any lightheadedness.

What’s your favourite version of Forward Fold?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

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IF YOU’RE NEW TO YOGA AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THESE POSES, GO TO A YOGA THERAPIST OR INSTRUCTOR. IF YOU’RE NEW TO EXERCISE, CONSULT YOUR GP BEFOREHAND. ALWAYS HONOUR YOUR BODY’S OWN WISDOM

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Child pose benefits

Child

I once had a yoga student say, ‘Oh! I used to sleep like this when I was a kid!’ but for most of us, Child pose, while relaxing, is not the kind of pose we’d find ourselves in without being guided into it.

Still, relaxation is incredibly important and Child’s benefits go beyond offering a pose for students to relax into any time they want to break from what the class is doing.

Child is said to be especially good when menstruating. Mukunda Stiles, in Structural Yoga Therapy writes that it can help eliminate extra fluid and energy.

Apart from stress relief, benefits include stretching the spine, hips, thighs and ankles.

It should be avoided if you are pregnant, have diarrhoea or if a knee injury makes it uncomfortable.

Child can also encourage self-care. Even with a yoga instructor telling you to feel free to relax into Child anytime you choose, you’re still likely to pause as you watch what everyone else is doing.

Yet learning to choose what’s right for you in any given moment is liberating and empowering.

Notice the variations. Sometimes, the outstretched arms (pictured above) are what you feel like. Other times, you may want to rest with the hands as a pillow for your forehead (see below) or even wrapped around your torso, first resting on one temple and then gently turning so both sides of the neck feel balanced.

Child

If you want to play with Child pose, while it’s traditionally taught with the knees together, many adults simply aren’t shaped that way. So you may want to kneel with your knees wide apart and big toes together. This will allow you to relax more deeply into Child than attempting to keep the buttocks on the heels as your forehead reaches for the mat (of course, if your body does work that way and you find it relaxing, go for it!).

You can also use Child pose to consciously release any headaches and heart aches into the earth, knowing it can all be recycled for the benefit of the planet.

What’s your favourite Child pose variation?

What are your other favourite relaxing asanas?

Any top tips for Child you feel like sharing? Feel free to use the comments section.

love,

Eve

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IF YOU’RE NEW TO YOGA AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THESE POSES, GO TO A YOGA THERAPIST OR INSTRUCTOR. IF YOU’RE NEW TO EXERCISE, CONSULT YOUR GP BEFOREHAND. ALWAYS HONOUR YOUR BODY’S OWN WISDOM

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