Tag Archives: yoga therapy for mental health

Plus sized yoga video showing yoga is for every body*

A friend just shared this video with me.

PlusSizeYoga

You can click here to see it.

Great timing for me – I’ve just started blogging a different yoga pose / tool each week and felt exceedingly self-conscious asking a friend to take the pics and putting them out there.

I will continue to feel that way, in all likelihood, but had decided that I wanted to embody the ‘Yoga is a way of becoming friendlier with your own body and mind’ definition of Trauma Sensitive Yoga creator, Dave Emerson as much as possible.

While totally believing the words when I say them to students and clients, I was shocked at some of my own self-talk, triggered by these pictures. I love Instagram and all the contortionist yoga pics but, to often, it’s like looking at a picture of a seal or monkey** and recognising that my body just doesn’t work that way – we might as well be different species.

And yet, however deeply we move into any pose, we’re getting benefits. And, of course, my focus is on the mental and emotional health benefits.

So I got over myself (I’m strong, fit and healthy – incredibly lucky. I’m also lucky to enjoy donuts and yum yums. And Wotsits and…) and decided to go ahead with my plan to share as many benefits of the tools as possible. You can see some here.

But in a world where ‘plus size’ means models of size 12 and over (US size 8, that’s just one size bigger than the Wakefield twins’ ‘perfect size 6’ in Sweet Valley High), it’s natural to sometimes fall into old traps of self-loathing. Thanks to tools including yoga, I am glad that these are just occasional blips rather than the default setting of my childhood, teens and early 20s.

*If you’re not into yoga (I often find swimming more yogic than yoga, personally), dance, run, walk, find other ways that you enjoy moving in and enjoy being in your own skin. Just because every body IS a beach body or yoga body or whatever body doesn’t mean you have to go to the beach or do yoga or whatever if you don’t WANT to – YOU know yourself best. Do what feels best for YOUR body.

What kind of movement / exercise do you enjoy the most?

What would you like to experiment with but have been delaying because of self-consciousness?

What might you do to challenge yourself to take a step in that direction today?

Feel free to comment below.

Love,

Eve x

** I temporarily forgot I wasn’t a monkey when high hopes took me to an ariel hoop class last year – could barely lift a toothbrush for days but did get to hang upside down briefly

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Neuroplasticity and Attachment theory in action (aka Cat adopts Squirrel. And squirrel learns to purr!!!)

RockytheSquirrel

I’m mostly posting this because it’s so adorable but this story about the cat who adopted a baby squirrel also shows how adaptable we all are. Squirrels ‘don’t purr’ yet this squirrel (who now thinks he’s a kitten) has learned to do so.

Human babies are born with the capacity to understand, discern and make every sound from every language on the planet. By the time we’re a year old, we’ve lost that potential but are more adept at making the sounds required by our mother tongue.

While it’s easier for small children to acquire new languages, we can learn (and this learning creates changes in the brain – neuroplasticity) new languages and other skills well into old age.

Similarly, while our formative years are hugely important (the more ‘securely attached’ we are, the stronger the wiring in our brains and our ability to regulate emotion, deal with obstacles and so on), we can heal (through therapy and other means) well into old age.

Daniel Siegel, author of The Mindful Brain, was one of our guest lectures on the yoga therapy for mental health training. One of the things he talked about was his work with a man in his 90s who’d had attachment issues his whole life. By retraining his brain, he was able to change his entire way of relating to people.

When I swam this lunchtime, a toddler was with his grandmother and she was so attentive to his making little noises and seeing his reflection, delighting in the hairdryer and so on that they seemed in tune. Through her (and his mother and father), he is learning that he matters. He is learning that it’s safe to explore his boundaries (climbing, hiding, swimming and so on).

Although I thought he seemed like ‘securely attached’ personified, for those (more than half the population) who didn’t get the ideal start in life (parents’ stress and anxiety has an impact), we can all ‘reparent’ ourselves. By becoming conscious of what we missed and what might be holding us back, we can consciously give it to ourselves in the present day.

That’s not to say that it won’t bring up feelings of loss (‘It’s not fair! Why couldn’t my parents have done this?!’ and so on) but wouldn’t you rather (even if you’re already in your 90s) create a happier future for yourself now?

It’s worth the effort. Whether you’re thinking about learning to relate to people differently or learning a new kind of dance or language, I hope this baby squirrel (and caring cat) will inspire you to know that anything is possible.

Metta x

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

News and special offers re Yoga Therapy Classes in Witham, Essex

??????????????????????????????????????????????????

I have lots of exciting news re my yoga therapy classes and course in Witham, Essex – please share this post if you know anyone fairly local who might benefit.

NEW: Morning yoga classes – Wednesdays 10-11.30am

Having been asked about offering morning classes by a few people, I’ve decided to start next week! Click here for upcoming themes, available dates and more information. And you can book easily by getting in touch with me.

ONE SPACE LEFT for the Yoga Therapy for the Mind 8 Week Course for Stress, Anxiety and Depression

This is the first of its kind (a unique blend of yoga therapy, psychotherapy, neuroscience and mindfulness) to be run in Essex and I’m excited to have ordered manuals and cds etc for my first group starting on 24th October. Click here for more information. While there’s only one space left for the current venue (in Witham), if there’s enough interest within the coming week, I can hire a larger space and order more materials so please get in touch ASAP if you’re interested. And if you can’t do that time but are interested in the course, do let me know your preferred times/days of the week for when I’m scheduling future courses.

NEW: Yoga passes for themed Yoga Therapy classes in Witham

Passes can be used for 5 or 10 classes and you can save up to £30. They can be paid for via cheque, cash, credit card, PayPal or BACS transfer and are valid for up to a year from the date of purchase. Click here to find out more.

I look forward to hearing from you (email eve@feelbettereveryday.co.uk or phone 07584 354963 or 01376 510012) if you’d like to find out more / book your space.

Metta x

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net / Ponsuwan

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Integrating mindfulness into EVERYthing

LizHallMindfulCoachingBook

I always enjoy BACP Coaching and AICTP meetings – there’s something about integrating different models (coaching and counselling) that makes me (with all the hats I wear) Very Happy.

And tonight this went even further. I arrived early and a couple of friendly looking strangers asked if I was there for the mindfulness meeting. I said, no but that it sounded very interesting and asked more. Turned out that WAS the meeting I was there for. The lovely Liz Hall was talking about coming out of the meditation closet and her new book Mindful Coaching.

I’d had a sporadic mindfulness practice for over a decade. My psychosynthesis counselling training had incorporated some mindfulness elements and my yoga therapy for mental health training had mindfulness as a key component.

But it was only after hearing Jon Kabat Zinn (click here to read my blog) in March that it has really stuck as a daily practice.

Some days it’s 5 minutes, other days 20. Sometimes in between. On occasion, longer. Sometimes, the 5 minutes brings a sense of peace and wellbeing. Other times, even 20 minutes doesn’t give me that ‘hit’ of wellbeing but I have learned to be OK with that, too. Other times it’s in between.

I usually do more than my first thing in the morning practice by taking moments throughout the day to be more consciously present. But it still amazes me that my morning meditation has become even more essential to my wellbeing than brushing my teeth (don’t worry – I still do that too).

Mindfulness is a big part of my yoga therapy work and of my counselling (psychosynthesis is very holistic). But mindfulness (when not called something different like sensory acuity in NLP) as a key component of coaching?

Liz’s Mindfulness in Coaching survey (2012) showed the benefits of mindfulness going beyond self-awareness (70%) and stress reduction (59%). 61% of respondents said, ‘In being more reflective, our clients are better able to identify what they really want.’

Using mindful awareness (of our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and whatever is arising in a given moment) enriches everything. It was a gorgeous evening and I cannot wait to read Liz’s book.

Whether you’re a coach/therapist looking to integrate more mindfulness into your practice or you’re contemplating having coaching and like the sound of this approach, you may want to check Mindful Coaching out.

And if you’re interested in exploring mindfulness techniques to boost your emotional intelligence, encourage neuroplasticity, reduce stress, help you feel more present and focused no matter what’s going on in your life, work or relationships, let me know.

Metta x

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

I’ve become one of Anxiety UK’s approved therapists

AnxietyUK

Having had (a lot of) personal experience with anxiety when I was younger, it’s been one of my favourite areas of client work for a long time.

While a part of me wishes I’d had access to these tools and knowledge decades ago, I’m mostly glad to be able to share them now.

So, as well as continuing to work with clients struggling with anxiety in my private practice, I’m delighted to have become one of Anxiety UK’s approved therapists.

Psychosynthesis counselling offers a wonderful model for working with anxiety and my yoga therapy for mental health work has enhanced this holistic approach approach (using body, mind, feelings or even spirit, depending on what is most appropriate for you).

Ways of working with anxiety include talking about it to help you better understand the root causes and how you can change things. But as you probably already know, if it were as simple as just telling yourself to relax / calm down etc, you’d have already done it.

80% of the signals between body and brain go from our bodies to our brains so learning how to breathe and move differently will help you break that vicious cycle of anxiety.

I can help you understand the role of the autonomic nervous system and parts of the brain most affected so you can understand what’s happening physiologically (rather than feeling hijacked by an anxiety response that was very beneficial for humans hundreds of years ago but which can cause chaos in our modern world).

We can also work with your inner wisdom to help you learn from your most anxious moments, using them to your advantage and even (while it may seem laughable at the moment) identifying the gifts that your anxiety has brought you.

I know that I wouldn’t be living the life I love now had I not struggled with it myself (it forced me to make changes) and I’ve worked with countless people who’ve also used what seemed like a terrible negative as a catalyst for change.

Do get in touch if you’d like to learn practical strategies for managing anxiety and / or explore the root causes.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Metta xx

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Depression Awareness Week – how does depression impact you?

FreeDigitalPhotos.net / Mr Lightman
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net / Mr Lightman

Depression Awareness Week kicked off today but it’s still the kind of condition that people can feel quite vague about. Even if you know you’re prone to depressive episodes, when it engulfs you, it can take a while before you realise, ‘Ah, yes, this is the depression.’ While it can be debilitating, there’s much more to you than your depression. You can recover from this and find joy in life again.

The Feel Better Every Day Consultancy offers psychosynthesis counselling and Yoga Therapy for Mental Health. This unique blend of yoga, psychotherapy, neuroscience and mindfulness helps people struggling with depression, anxiety, stress and PTSD literally retrain their brains using the breath and body when they can’t simply think themselves better.

Please get in touch to find out more about potentially working together.

While it may feel impossible to imagine ever feeling good again, some people find that their depression helped them make changes in their lives which ultimately improved things.

It’s really important that you reach out and take advantage of the support that’s on offer from your GP, loved ones and others who want to help.

The NHS recommend seeking support from your GP (who can refer you to a local counsellor and/or prescribe medication) if you have lost interest in things you used to enjoy and feel sad and hopeless every day for more than two weeks for most of each day. You can find out more about symptoms here.

Whether you’re depressed yourself, are concerned about a loved one or want your employees or others in your organisation to enhance their wellbeing, I hope this week will give you more insight into the condition.

And if you have any questions for me, do let me know.

Metta xx

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail