Morning Meditation | 3-minute guided meditation

If you feel like you don’t have time to meditate in the morning, this guided morning meditation is just for you. It’s amazing how just 3 minutes can make a massive difference to your day. This morning meditation is designed to help infuse your day with more ease, joy and fun.

My day always runs better when I take the time in the morning to do this – I created it for myself, but love being able to share it with all of you.. I hope you find value in it too!

It’s on those crazy busy days that you probably need this even more. So carve out just three minutes, find a comfortable seat and hit play… you’ll thank yourself for it later!

What is Yoga Nidra?

What is Yoga Nidra? I’ve been teaching Yoga Nidra classes and workshops for a couple of years now and have noticed the same questions cropping up time and time again.

So today, I’m going to answer the five most common questions I get about this incredible practice. This is just a little snippet – watch the video for all the juicy details!

What is Yoga Nidra? 

Also known as yogic sleep, yoga nidra is one of the deepest forms of relaxation. It’s a combination of allowing your body to relax while you keep your mind awake. By doing this, you reach a profound state of relaxation – on all levels of your being.

I like to think of it as a kind of internal yoga. It’s practiced lying on your back in savasana with your eyes closed –  and the hardest part is actually staying awake! It enables you to let go of all ingrained tension and stress.

But relaxation is just the beginning –  yoga nidra can truly transform your life.

How can Yoga Nidra help you apart from relaxation? 

During the practice, you access your subconscious mind. Your conscious mind – that part of you that tells you you can or cannot do something – that gets out of the way. By doing this you’re accessing your inner world. It’s like opening a door to your inner world.

This is the optimal setting to work on manifestation and to release the old, limited you.

Try it now!

What happens on a physical level during a Yoga Nidra session?

Well your breathing slows down. Your heart rate slows down. And your brain waves slow down as well.

So your nervous system is just unwinding itself and you’re allowing your body to just release all that pent up tension and stress.

What are the proven benefits of Yoga Nidra?

There are so many! But these are the main five:

– Yoga Nidra is deeply restorative. One hour of practice is said to be the equivalent of four hours of sleep.

– It helps you switch off your mind – that is why it’s been successfully used to treat insomnia.

–  Studies show that it is very effective at increasing learning capacity and memory.

–  Yoga Nidra increases creativity – new insights and ideas just drop in after a session.

– But the most powerful benefit of Yoga Nidra is the way it alters your unconscious programming.

How is Yoga Nidra is how is it different from meditation?

For starters, during Yoga Nidra you’re lying down in savasana and you’re trying to reach a state in between being awake and being asleep.

Whereas in meditation, typically you practice sitting – and you want your spine to be as erect as possible and you want to remain completely awake and alert the whole time.

That’s the starting point. But the main difference is that in a Yoga Nidra session you go through distinct stages and your focus is constantly shifting. This is a very different from meditation where you generally focus on one thing, such as your breath or mantra.

Yoga Nidra is a transformational practice that truly changed my life – and I know it can do the same for you. 

I started practicing more than a decade ago in Thailand. At the time, I was very nervous speaking in front of other people. I wanted something to help me overcome this debilitating fear – my heart would pound so hard in my chest every time to I had to speak up. I couldn’t focus on anything other than what I was about to say and when I did speak, my voice came out feeble and shaky! It was really holding me back on a professional and personal level.

So I turned to yoga nidra and it truly transformed my life. I consistently used the sankalpa ‘I speak with confidence and clarity’ in my practice. My fear subsided and slowly but surely I felt comfortable and confident speaking up. So much so, that I went on to fulfil my dream of working as a television journalist.

But don’t take my word for it – try it for yourself!

Download your free yoga nidra track.

Yoga Nidra Workshop at SharedSpace

Yoga Nidra Workshop at SharedSpace

I’m so excited to team up with SharedSpace in Hong Kong to bring you a Yoga Nidra workshop on 29th July from 2pm-4.30pm. It’s such a beautiful space!

If you don’t yet know what yoga nidra is all about, now is the time to try it! This is such an incredible practice – it’s hitting a pause button on your life! It helps you feel completely relaxed, focused and clear – and so much more.

Also known as yogic sleep, yoga nidra is one of the deepest forms of meditation. It’s a combination of allowing your body to relax while you keep your mind awake. By doing this, you reach a profound state of relaxation.

It’s a kind of internal yoga, practiced lying on your back with your eyes closed. The hardest part is actually staying awake! Yoga nidra enables you to let go of all ingrained tension and stress. But relaxation is just the beginning – yoga nidra can truly transform your life.

Practicing yoga nidra gives you access to your subconscious mind. It’s like opening a door to your inner world. Things your have suppressed start to bubble up to the surface. By bringing up things you didn’t even know were affecting you, yoga nidra enables you to release old thought patterns and behaviours. Your mind is also extremely receptive in this state, which is why we also work on manifestation during yoga nidra.

During the workshop, we’ll explore how yoga nidra works and the many benefits it has to offer. We’ll then do a gentle flow for around 45 minutes, designed to relax the body and release any tension.

You’ll then come into your most comfortable position as I guide you through an hour long session that will leave you feeling totally blissed out.  There will be time for questions at the end, over a cup of tea and treats.

The workshop includes a free 30-minute track that you can use to continue your practice at home. The workshop costs HK $500.

Places are limited – drop me a message to save your spot!

Body Scan Meditation – Relax in minutes

Melt away stress and anxiety in a matter of minutes with this simple body scan meditation. This is a great way to unwind after a busy day. The guided meditation allows you to completely relax in a matter of minutes.

This is also a great practice to do if your busy mind prevents you from sleeping! It helps you get our of your mind and into your body. After a few minutes you should feel relaxed enough to drift off into sleep.

This kind of guided body scan meditation is recommended by well known meditation teachers such Deepak Chopra.

And if you have more time to spare, then delve into even deeper relaxation with a yoga nidra session.

Download a free yoga nidra track and try it for yourself.

Visualisation – your key to success

Professional athletes have long used visualisation to boost their performance. It’s one of the most powerful tools you can use to achieve anything you want, from speaking confidently in public to staying disciplined on a diet. And you don’t need to be a professional athlete to use it!

It’s so powerful because your brain cannot tell the difference between what you imagine and what you actually do. Research shows that thinking about an action — even while your body is at rest — fires the same neural pathways in your brain as you though you are actually doing it. How amazing is that?!

Visualisation can be the key to helping you be and do anything you want. So how do you do use it most effectively?

Here are a few top tips:

1) Make the images as specific and as detailed as you can. For instance, before giving a speech, visualise the room where you’ll be speaking. See yourself confidently walking up to the podium, looking out at the audience and speaking with a strong and clear voice. Imagine each part of your speech, the loud applause at the end and people giving you positive feedback afterwards.

2) When you visualise, put all of your senses into the picture. What can you hear, smell and touch? Immerse yourself fully into the picture so that it seems as though it is actually happening.

3) Allow yourself to feel the end result of having achieved your goal.  Ask yourself, “How do I feel when this happens?”  Most likely you’ll get a good feeling throughout your body. This is what you want to add to your visualisation.

4) Be the star, not the audience. Visualise from your own perspective, rather than watching events from the outside, as though you’re watching a film. In the speech scenario, look out at the audience and see them looking back at you.

5) Practise. Visualisation comes easier to some, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve if you find it difficult at first. Visualisation is a skill – everyone can learn it and the more you practise, the easier it will become.

A good way to start honing your visualisation skills at the beginning is to simply imagine an everyday object in your mind.

Take an apple for instance and then start to see all the details – the changes in colour, in shape, the smell, how firm it feels in your hand. Try to keep your focus for as long as you can. Then throughout the day, take a moment and bring that object back to mind. The more you do this, the sharper the image becomes and the easier it is to start visualising other things.

The power really is in your hands (and mind) to be and do anything you want. So what are you waiting for?

To help you along the way, I’ve recorded a visualisation meditation for you – apply the tips I’ve outlined during the meditation to start creating the life of your dreams!

Meditation Made Simple – 5 minute guided meditation

Most of us have heard about the benefits of meditation, but just the idea of sitting still and trying not to think of anything may seem daunting – and perhaps even a bit dull.

Well just for a moment, forget everything you think about meditation and ask yourself if you would like to feel more focused, calmer and have great mental clarity than you’ve ever had? Would you like brilliant insights and ideas to just pop into your head? Would you like to sleep better and not let stress affect you as much? These are just a few of the incredible benefits of meditation – a simple, yet powerful practice that is in fact far from dull.

There are many meditation techniques and practices, but a a good place to start is this guided meditation.

You can also simply to focus on the breath. Follow these simple steps and get ready to start to reap the rewards of a regular mediation practice.

– Find a quiet spot to sit, either cross-legged on a cushion or on a chair if your back needs extra support. It’s a great idea to have a designated spot for meditation.

– Set a timer for a specified time – I suggest you start with five minutes and slowly build your way up to 15 minutes. Having a set amount of time helps your mind to settle.

– Place your palms comfortably on your lap or on your knees and allow your eyes to blink closed.

– Take a moment to make sure your body is completely relaxed – your forehead, your jaw, your shoulders, releasing any tension you might be holding on to.\

– Just start to notice the breath moving in and out of the body – feel how your body rises on the inhale and falls on the exhale.

– Begin to notice the subtle pauses between the breaths – at the top of the inhale and at the bottom of the exhale. Try to sit in the stillness of those pauses.

– If a thought comes into your mind, just acknowledge it and allow it to drift out of your mind. It’s sometimes nice to think about ‘blowing’ the thought away on the exhale or to imagine your thoughts like clouds and see the thought drift away. Don’t get frustrated with yourself – this is a normal part of the process.

– Continue to focus on your breath and the gaps in between the breath until the timer goes off.

At the end, bring your hands together at your heart space, let the corners of your mouth curl up into a smile and open your eyes.

Well done you – you’re on your way to a calmer, more zen you.

Make the right decision every time

Have you ever been faced with a decision, and you just don’t know what to do? Do you keep playing the options over and over in your mind and still you don’t know what to do? I know that feeling all too well, so I developed a simple technique to make the right decision, EVERY time.
 
So maybe you feel torn and your heart is telling you to do one thing and your mind says another. What do you do in that situation? You get out of your head and into your body.
 
You see if you’re just in your head, you’re intellectualising and analyzing a situation. What you’re in effect doing is blocking the flow of your intuition, which is your internal guidance system. So the trick here is to tune into your body and let your body show you the way. Your body does not lie. It is giving you very clear messages of how you really feel about something and it’s hard to do that when you’re all in your head.

How do you do that? By taking three simple steps I share with you in this video.

I know this sounds very simple. And this is usually where we think, hey hang on, this is too simple. But actually we over complicate things. That’s why we got ourselves in this muddle in the first place. Things can be this simple.

Nice and easy. If you’re facing a big decision, take these three little steps… quiet your mind, notice what your body is telling you and trust those signals. Three simple little steps.
 
I’ve recorded a short and simple meditation that takes you through all these steps and you can download it right here.

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!