Tag Archives: dopamine

Don’t have the energy to relax properly? Order your free yoga nidra mp3


Have you ever been so tired that you haven’t had the energy to do something that will truly relax your body and mind (like sleeping, meditating or doing something creative?)

Vegging in front of the TV can be great but it’s not relaxing in terms of helping your system enter that state which allows healing, regeneration and true rest.

Lots of relaxation techniques can feel a bit arduous if we wait until we’re overtired before deciding to take extra special care of ourselves.

Yoga nidra, on the other hand, is easy to do. And you just need to lie down or sit down comfortably.

We benefit most when able to gently relax into the instructions, staying aware and keeping still but we’re human and yoga is all about learning to be kinder to ourselves, supporting ourselves by making tweaks on the yoga mat which then helps us spot potential tweaks to make our day to day lives more beneficial for us. Just as sometimes, we’re able to do a strong physical practice and other days we need to take it easier, sometimes, it’s easy to follow the instructions and be still. Other times, our concentration feels shot or we may fall asleep.

This is perfectly fine. It’s relaxation, not endurance. If you fall asleep, your body is telling you you need sleep! Another day, you may feel better able to stay aware throughout. Be kind to yourself.

Similarly, sometimes, you may notice physical sensations and let them go. Other times, you may need to move or itch or whatever. Relaxation not endurance – do what’s right for YOU.

Benefits include boosting dopamine by up to 70% (so not only does it feel good but it helps us with motivation), changing brain waves so that an hour’s yoga nidra is equal to 4 hour’s sleep (although taking good care of yourself means doing all you can to ensure you get adequate regular sleep, too), boosting immune function, decreasing inflammation and reducing pain.

It also helps – alongside medical care – with symptoms for migraines, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and asthma.

I’ve created a free MP3 for you, partially inspired by Shaura Hall at YogaLove.co.uk.

While some are long (experiment with those too – there are plenty on YouTube and similar), this is under 14 minutes so is very easy to fit into your day. For those times when you haven’t the energy (or schedule won’t allow) class attendance, you can simply hit Play and benefit in the comfort of your own home.

To access it, click here and follow the instructions.



Eve x




Mind wandering when you want to be working? New column for Natural Health (August 2013)


Click above for practical tips on concentrating better, becoming more productive and getting to the root of any distractions…

Metta xx

What helps you get back on track when your mind wanders at work?


Get and stay motivated by boosting your dopamine levels – Minded Yoga therapy classes in Witham

A facebook friend recently asked me about increasing dopamine levels to help with motivation. I’m now taking bookings for my Motivation themed Minded Yoga therapy class in Witham, Essex – Saturday, 25th May (12.30-2pm) and Tuesday, 28th May (7-8.30pm).

As there are a maximum of three spaces (plus me) per class, you’ll get lots of individual attention as you not only enjoy a yoga class but learn some mind-body practices during the class (which you can build on at home between classes). This can help you naturally and enjoyably boost dopamine levels and make motivating yourself much easier.

In the meantime, you can increase levels by doing lots of things that bring you pleasure (from favourite yoga asanas to painting/singing/dancing etc – whatever works for you). Dopamine is associated with the anticipation of reward so knowing you have things to look forward to will likely boost dopamine levels.

Surprising yourself (even something like listening to music on shuffle and thinking, ‘Yay! I love that song!’ may increase levels) can be fun but it’s more surprising if maybe you and friends take turns surprising each other (friendly surprises not mean pranks) as that can be less predictable.

Essentially, do as much of what feels good as possible. Also, build up anticipation by really savouring treats.

So if you’re local to Witham, enjoy yoga and would look forward to joining me for a Motivation themed (or any other) Minded Yoga therapy class, click here to find out more and get in touch today to book your place.

Metta xx


Make anticipation work for you

I’ve been looking forward to next week for over a year. Back then, as well as working, I was coming to the end of my Post Graduate Diploma in Psychosynthesis Counselling training (which I’d started in 2008) and had recently embarked on my Yoga Therapy for Mental Health training. There was an overlap and I didn’t think I’d be able to manage.

Looking back, I’m not sure how I did. It’s meant working almost every evening and weekend for years but it’s nearly over. Although I have been working since 9am and have several hours’ ahead of me and I’ll be working all of this weekend, I’ll then be handing in my final essay and (assuming I pass…), I’ll no longer be a student. I’ll still work some evenings and weekends but not in the flat out way things have had to be.

Much as I’ve been loving all I’ve been learning, I’m really relieved (as is my bank account). And, of the friends I’ve stayed in touch with, one has had me sign a piece of paper promising no more training for at least a year. While I’ve been coaching and writing loads around work / life balance, I’ve not had much of my own.

The end of these studies also coincides with Graduation and my birthday so I’m looking forward to lots of celebrations. And, with all I’ve learned, I know that the anticipation of each will make the week even better as feel good neurotransmitter dopamine floods my system. I visualised myself:

* in that cap and gown when the counselling training felt too hard

* working with yoga therapy clients when revising the neuroscience and physiology components felt too much for my brain

* spending time with friends having FUN and not stressing about loads of deadlines on top of work deadlines

What Happy Thoughts keep you going when the week’s a struggle? Whether you’ve been looking forward to this weekend or something else, let yourself enjoy every minute of anticipation. Let it motivate and inspire you to keep going. Whatever you’re working towards, know that it’s worth your continued efforts.

And enjoy the results!

Find out more about improving your wellbeing at the weekends, at work and in all areas of your life at http://www.wellbeing-at-work.co.uk/id1.html


Create some light at the end of your stress tunnel (and put as much support in place to help you get there)

I usually end my working day by looking ahead to the next day in my desk diary. When things are very busy, I use a different colour pen to number each item in order of priority. And when things are exceedingly busy, I estimate how much time each task will take, too.

Last night, after working several long days and nights and weekends, my conservative estimate showed today’s tasks as taking 15 hours (sob – another long working day. Luckily, I love my work but still, I know the importance of balance).

Normally, I’d do my best to postpone things but I know that this current spate of extreme busyness will come to an end (or at least calm down a little) after October 14th. I can manage it.

And in the meantime, I need to be extra vigilant about putting supports in place. For me, these include:

  • Getting enough sleep no matter what – sleep is when our whole systems repair and recharge. It’s why we look older and worn when tired and why it’s considered as dangerous to drive sleepy as to drive drunk
  • Making time for at least two swims a week (plus the 4 mile round trip cycle to the pool) – a wonderful way to burn off stress hormones
  • Daily yoga and meditation (not just a course requirement but sanity saving, too)
  • Eating well (last week’s food poisoning memories will ensure I stick to this one for the rest of my life, I think)
  • Enough time at least chatting with loved ones by phone to hang in there until I can put more balance into my life
  • Getting outside daily (even if it’s just a 10 minute walk to the river (that’s the River Brain, Witham, pictured at the top of my blog :)) and back) – and hopefully, there’ll be enough sunshine to boost mood and bone boosting vitamin d levels naturally

These are my basics. Think about yours and feel free to borrow or adapt what I’ve suggested.

It’s especially easy to feel that things are out of your control when your stresses are caused by external factors but research has found that taking even a little control over your working environment reduces the ill effects.

Remember, whenever you’re going through a stressful period, that there are things, no matter how little, to support you.

You can also boost your dopamine levels (a feel good neurotransmitter which is associated with feeling good and rewards) by giving yourself lots of small rewards throughout your stressful period and anticipating the much bigger reward (and following through) on completion.

Find out more at http://www.wellbeing-at-work.co.uk/id17.html