Category Archives: yoga benefits

My yoga feature in Happiful magazine (published June 2017)

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I still have quite the backlog re features I’m meaning to upload to my blog… Here’s one from a few weeks ago (available online this week).

You can click HERE to read it.

If you were to do just one yoga pose each day (not forever but for now), what would it be?

What benefits does it offer you?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

 

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My 5pp healthy heart feature for My Weekly’s Special (published 23/2/17)

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Thanks again to Drs Toni Hazell and Sanjay Gupta and Kathie Bishop, David Stead and Julia Buckley for their advice.

You can click here to read it – MWspecialCirculatorySystem23217

How do you feel about your circulatory system?

How might you take extra good care of it?

What helps you feel like it’s in good shape?

Feel free to share below.

love,

Eve

 

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

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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 (and others’) tips on using yoga to boost mood in Surrey Occasions (published October 2016)

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Click here to read it

Thanks Karen Glaser for including my tips on using yoga for anxiety and depression.

What helps you feel better naturally (this is NOT about not taking prescribed medication or getting medical help and advice from your GP – complementary not alternative)?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

 

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Yoga and mindfulness classes in Witham, Essex

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Apart from private classes and yoga and mindfulness in organisations, which can be arranged at a mutually convenient time, I have some availability for my Wednesday classes at Feel Better Every Day (on the high street).

You can book with me directly.

All my classes include mindfulness of the breath and other pranayama practices, asana (poses), some psychoeducation about how poses impact our bodies and minds (especially mental and emotional health) and yoga nidra and/or other relaxation and meditative tools.

These are from 12.30-1.30pm. My current regulars enjoy this very gentle class with a full 30 minutes for yoga nidra at the end.

I also teach at Benton Hall on Thursdays (12.30-1.45pm). The yoga nidras for these classes are around 20 minutes.

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They (along with others I cover there) are bookable via Benton Hall’s reception.

If you’d like to join me but can’t make these classes or private ones, what time of day/week would be best for you? 

Feel free to comment below or get in touch.

love,

Eve x

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Some benefits of Shoulder Stand

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Shoulder Stand can be deceptively relaxing. If it feels good to ease into it today, start from Legs Up Against the Wall and after you’ve warmed up the spine with that gentle inhale up, exhale down massage, as you’re up, draw the elbows towards the midline and bring the hands to the lower back to support you as you aim the soles of the feet towards the ceiling.

Notice the breath, aiming to continue with that longer exhalation and full abdominal breath or your Ujjayi. If it’s comfortable to hold for five complete breaths, do so and then, come out either by taking Plough pose or by bringing your legs back up against the wall.

While it should be avoided if you have any neck or shoulder issues (and if you’re going into it, ensure your head and neck stay still), it can also be quite beneficial if done carefully.

The other day, I hurt my left shoulder (made quite the change from my usual right) by lifting Wheelberforce (my bike) awkwardly. While honouring what it seemed to be telling me, doing my best to pay attention to my edge in terms of mobilising it without making anything worse, I did a yoga class then swam but didn’t do the full hour.

When I got home, it hurt a lot and I wanted to lie with the top left of the shoulder on the ground to benefit from some of the earth’s healing benefits. Not wanting to look too odd, I decided to do some spinal rocks in the garden and this really helped. I went up into Shoulder Stand and then into Plough and am sure that this helped it heal faster than previous shoulder injuries.

Having said that, attempting any cartwheels or handstands would have been completely wrong for it. And previous shoulder and neck injuries would have made Shoulder Stand a Very Bad Idea at those times.

Other precautions include high blood pressure, hypertension, glaucoma and pregnancy.

You know your body best but talk to a yoga therapist, physiotherapist or even GP to ensure you never take unnecessary risks or do more damage. Yoga is all about becoming friendlier with our own bodies.

What do you think of Shoulder Stand?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve x

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Opening our hearts when things feel bleak

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It’s so easy to shut down when we feel scared.

But by opening our hearts and trying to understand where others are coming from, we can hopefully heal and move forward together.

One of my favourite asanas for uncertain days is Restorative Fish. Click here for more details.

Because so much of the body is supported by the ground and bolster, we can open our hearts more than might normally feel comfortable.

As always, we need to pay attention to what’s right for ourselves and our bodies.

The supported backbend can also help lift our mood.

And Restorative Fish can also offer a lovely base for a Metta meditation (including the UK, Europe, the whole world etc).

What helps you open your heart even when you feel scared?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

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Plough pose benefits

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Plough can help digestion, alleviate stress, headaches and backaches.

From Shoulder Stand, simply bring the toes to the floor behind you, pausing for a few complete breaths, noticing how this feels.

From lying on the mat, bring the arms alongside the body, bend the knees and gently lift the legs so the soles of the feet are facing the ceiling. Grounding through the arms, allow the knees to come towards you so the buttocks and hips lift.

As you roll more onto the shoulders, move the hands to the lower back. Straightening the legs as they come towards the back of the head, place the hands back down to the ground, bringing the toes as close to the floor as feels good. Keep the hips lifted by grounding through the arms.

If the toes don’t reach the ground, you can continue supporting the back with the hands. Notice the breath and, if comfortable to do so, aim to hold for five complete breaths. Also notice if you’re holding any tension in the tongue or throat and release that.

Avoid if pregnant or you have any neck issues or untreated high blood pressure.

Do you like Plough pose?

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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Camel pose benefits

Camel

From a high kneeling position, tuck the toes under (unless you want a deeper back bend) and take the hands to the lower back / sacrum. Gently open the heart centre as you tilt the chin and head and lean backwards.

This may be enough of a backbend for you or, if you want to go further, take the hands to rest on the ankles, keeping balanced, and reach the head towards the feet as you continue to open the heart centre upwards.

Notice what’s happening with the breath and, as well as aiming to continue with your longer exhalation and lower abdominal breath, Camel can be great for training the breath to the back of the lungs encouraging full thoracic breathing.

If it feels good, stay for five complete breaths.

Camel can help bring us new perspectives as well as offering the mood boosting benefits of backbends.

What do you like most about Camel?

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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Bridge

Bridge

Harvard neurophysiologist and yoga researcher Sat Bir Singh Khalsa recommends Bridge (done early in the day) for insomnia.

Lying on your back with head, neck and spine aligned, have arms alongside the body, palms down. Drawing the feet towards the torso with bent knees over the ankles, gently inhale rising up and exhale back down.

After a few breaths like this, you may want to hold the pose, lifting the hips towards the heavens, opening the heart centre and noticing the breath. Don’t have the feet so close to the torso that the hips jut forward.

Keep the inner thighs active (maybe using a block) and when you’ve had a few (maybe 5 if that feels good) complete breaths, gently come back down to the ground and stretch in whatever way feels best for you.

It’s a balancing pose, both grounding and energising. The heart is open and it helps build power and lung capacity as well as relieving lower back tension.

Holding it for a short time (or simply inhaling lifting up and exhaling down) can be helpful for high blood pressure.

It also helps us ponder gaps (between where we were and where we want to be) we’ve already bridged in our lives, encouraging us to do the same with current obstacles.

Do you like Bridge?

What has it helped you with?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve

butterflysiglogo

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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