Stop waiting and make it happen

Do you ever find yourself feeling so overwhelmed by the enormity of a task that you don’t know where to start? In fact you don’t start because it just feels impossible?

Well I’ll admit it… this has been happening to me more and more lately. Since I left my office job, I’ve become a serial procrastinator! There always seems to be time for one cuddle with my cat or FaceTime chat with a friend, but less time for those big goals I’ve set for myself. I’ve been putting off a lot of the important stuff and just plodding along. Well as of today, all that is changing!

I stopped waiting and have decided to make it happen. Here’s how…

I’ve broken my great big plan down into baby steps… into manageable, bite-sized tasks that feel realistic. I’ve mapped out exactly what I need to it,  identifying what is a priority… and just as importantly, what isn’t.

I’ve set some deadlines which I intend to keep. And I’ve set myself up to succeed with a clear desk and a clean slate. I could continue beating myself up about all the time I’ve wasted, or I just let it go and crack on with it. And that’s what I’m going to do!

I love this quote: ” If you really want something, you will find a way. If you don’t you will find an excuse.” I do think it comes down to how much you really want something. How much of a priority something is for you.

For me, I know how essential my yoga and meditation practice is to me, so it’s a non-negotiable in my life. Even if it’s just a few minutes, I will find a way of squeezing in yoga and meditation everyday. Now, I’m going to apply that to this great big goal of mine.

Now I would love to hear from you – do you have any tips to stop procrastinating and make things happen? Let me know in the comment section below!

 

The super moon’s super powers

Today’s s full moon is actually a ‘super moon’. Just like super heros, the super moon has its own special powers. Its energies can help bring to light and then wash away all our ‘stuff’ – all those negative charges, stuck emotions and fears. That’s why this is the perfect time for clearing and for growth.

What is a super moon?

It’s a super moon when two things happen at the same time: 1) there is a full moon and 2) it’s closer to the earth than usual due to its orbit.

On a physical level, this means the moon will look bigger and brighter. But, it’s on an energetic level, that its super powers can really be felt.

What are the super moon’s super powers?

During every full moon, all our emotions are amplified and exaggerated – the positive and the negative. So if you’re feeling good, you will feel really good. The flip side to that is that is feeling a bit off, you will feel really off!

This is multiplied during a super moon, so it’s even more important to pay attention to what you’re feeling and thinking.

If you allow them to, suppressed feelings will start to surface. All those stuck emotions (the ones you try to push back and deny) will become very apparent. It’s a bit like shining the light on your ‘shadow side.’ But rather than pushing those feelings back down, the full moon gives you the opportunity to acknowledge them, process them and let them go once and for all.

Yoga + full moon = magic

Yoga helps this process even more. It’s on the mat that all those repetitive patterns and limiting beliefs are revealed to us.

Pay attention to your thoughts during your practice – are you judging yourself for not being flexible enough, strong enough, or ‘good’ enough? Do you give up before you trying because you’re afraid of failing? Are you constantly comparing yourself to the person in front of you? Pay attention to your inner dialogue.

But also pay attention to your body – where do you feel tight? Where do you need to create more space? Ask your body what is stuck in that place. A lot of emotions get stuck in the hips, the heart space and the lower back. Seek out those places and try to feel what is there and why it’s there.

This is your ‘stuff’.

Clearing Meditation

The full moon emits pure energy (and super moon gives you an extra dose of that). Soak it in as much as you can.

This is a meditation I often do on the night of a full moon…

Sit in stillness directly under the moon light – outside is ideal, but if it’s not possible, sit in front of an open window. Allow your body and your mind to settle. Focus on your breathing.

Once your mind is quiet start to connect to the moon’s energy. Feel it all around you. Feel it’s soothing, calming energy on your skin. Don’t rush. Now allow that energy to penetrate your skin. Invite it it. Drink it in.

Visualise this bright, pure energy flowing through every cell in every part of your body. Really feel it shining brightly into all those dark corners of your body. Pay extra attention to any parts where you know you have some stuck emotions.

Drink it in until you are completely full of this brilliant white light.

Now visualise this pure energy start to radiate outwards – to the front, to the back, above you, beneath you, to the right and to the left. Sit now in this big bubble of pure lunar energy.

Stay here as long as you feel like it and recharge from the inside out. When you’re ready slowing bring your awareness back to your body and open your eyes.

And that is how I tap into and use the super moon’s super powers.

I often do this after a few rounds of my own variation of moon salutations. Check out the video for a beginner’s moon flow. Give it a go and let me know how you get on!

Three ways to reset a bad day

Sometimes you wake up feeling ah-mazing – you spring out of bed with a sense of excitement. Your favourite song pops up on the radio, your partner wakes you up with a latte and your hair just looks fab. Life feels good!

Others days… not so much. You feel tired and heavy getting out of bed, there is no hot water and you burn your toast. Your hair won’t cooperate, you feel grumpy and wish you could crawl back under the duvet and stay there forever.

It’s so easy to let this rocky start snowball and take over the rest of your day. You could let your bad mood gather momentum and taint every experience that day. You could walk around with a dark cloud over your head and proclaim it to be ‘one of those days’. OR, you could try something else. You could decide to stop your bad mood in its tracks.

How, you may ask? Well, here are my top three (tried and tested) ways to feel better, lighter and happier in minutes…

1.TAKE A POWER NAP

Yep, naps are brilliant! Not only do they give you a boost of energy, but they also allow you swipe the slate clean. Set your alarm for up to 20 minutes, get comfortable and let everything go. Create some space between you and what happened before, between you and your kids, bosses, partners, everything.

When the alarm goes off, take a few moments to set your intention for the rest of your day. Forget about what happened before – this is your chance to start afresh.

2.  JUMP IN THE SHOWER

As you stand under the shower, visualise the water washing away any old, tired or negative energy. Imagine all that old energy being drained away (it might help to visualise it as the colour grey). If you can bear it, make the water colder for the last few moments – you’ll feel even more energised and refreshed afterwards.

3. MEDITATE

Just a couple of minutes of meditation can completely change the course of your day. It helps you clear your mind, be more focused and more present. Try this 2-minute guided meditation to help you release stress and feel more relaxed.

Now hopefully the dark cloud has cleared and you’re on course for a great day ahead!

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Yoga Smokes!

Today is a really significant day for me. Twelve years today I smoked my last cigarette ever. That might not seem significant to some, but I was no ordinary smoker. I was a ‘wake-up and reach for my pack of cigarettes’ type of smoker.

I looovvvved smoking. I loved the buzz it gave me. I loved how it kept me thin, really thin. And I loved the social aspect of hanging out with the ‘cool kids’ (at least that’s what we thought we were!).

Giving up was hands down the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. I cried for months because it felt like I had lost my best friend. My friend that accompanied me through all the highs and lows of life. I had to give up coffee and red wine too because the cravings they brought on for a cigarette were too strong.

To top it off I lived with a smoker at the time who was furious that I was giving up so he would blow smoke in my face as my mouth was literally watering and tears were streaming down my face. Yep, not a very good look!!!

But I was determined. And once I want something, there’s no stopping me. I wanted to quit because I couldn’t bear the thought of what I was doing to my skin and to my body.

So I soldiered on – not day by day, but hour by hour. I just tried to make it through one whole hour. At the top of every (waking!) hour I would do a few rounds of deep inhales and celebrate the victory. I’m serious – that is how addicted I was!! And every Friday marked one week so I would treat myself to a massage, a meal out or maybe a few hours curled up with my favourite magazine. Something to mark that day.

But I didn’t go cold turkey… I had two powerful weapons…  One was yoga nidra. And the other was visualisation. I seriously couldn’t have done it without these two practices. They helped me to see myself living smoke-free, feel what that was like and know that it was a real possibility.

We can do extraordinary things with the power of our thoughts – and I would love to show you how. Watch this space… I have some exciting news coming up soon!

If you’re a smoker and are ready to go smoke free, I totally understand how hard it is. I’ve shared my top tips in this article I wrote a while back for the Elephant Journal. Stay strong, the rewards are so worth it!

 

How to Become a Successful Quitter.

 

 

 

 

VIDEO: Top 3 yoga poses to open up tight shoulders

Do suffer from tight shoulders at the end of a long day? If you do, you’re not alone! It’s one of the most common complaints I hear from my students. This is especially the case if you spend your day hunched over a computer.

But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered… Here are my top three favourite poses to help you loosen up those knots in your shoulders.

 

6-weeks to headstands

This Friday, 9th September is the start of a new 6-week term at Ayush Wellness Spa. We’ll still be flowing through a vinyasa yoga sequence in the first half of the class, followed a yoga nidra session. It’s the perfect way to unwind from the week and ease into the weekend.

But this term comes with a little (upside down) twist… Week by week, we’ll build the core strength, confidence and skills needed to start to safely practice headstands. Known as the king of all yoga poses, headstands are amazing.

They reverse the effects of gravity, bringing a whole host of benefits, including boosting circulation, honing your sense of focus and improving your digestion. And if that wasn’t enough, the flush of fresh oxygen gives you a beautiful, rosy glow (and who doesn’t want that!)?

And even if you’re not quite ready to try out headstands, you’ll still gain all the benefits of strengthening your core and then completely relaxing in a yoga nidra session.

When: Fridays

Dates: September 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th & October 7th and 14th

Time: 18:15 – 19:45

Where: Ayush Spa (Hotel de France)

Cost: £60 for 6 week term

To book your spot, please contact me. I will send payment details upon confirming there is space in the class. You can also drop-in at £12 per class, however as space is strictly limited, priority is given to students who have signed up for the term.