Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The power of positive thinking

Are you a positive person? Is the glass half full or half empty?

We are organic beings, heavily influenced by external references. We can start the day feeling strong and capable letter / one phone call / one unpleasant interaction with someone can change it all! It doesn’t take much to knock us down. And you know what? That is normal. That is human. It is the getting back up that is important.

We all need something to hold on to, something to inspire us, to motivate us. It is these things that help us get back up again, stand tall and feel good.
The tricky bit is finding something (or things) that inspire us, motivate us and that we can hold on to – something we can trust in, that is unwavering.

Recently I was completely blindsided. It is terrifying, devastating and lonely when your ‘rock’ is gone. So I scrabbled around for a while, trying to find my footing, holding on to what I could whilst the storm abated. I was shocked by how flimsy life could feel - in just one day.

Change is certain. Nothing ever stays the same - that can be a huge comfort at times. And so, now the rain has eased, the sky cleared and the sun began to peak from behind the clouds I can reflect on what I have to inspire me, motivate me and for me to hold on to.

How to remain positive

1. Be thankful 

And before you dismiss this as happy-clappy-claptrap please read on! At the end of a yoga class, a yoga teacher once asked us to focus on what we have to be grateful for. So, I sat still, eyes closed and really considered the things I am grateful for – first to mind was the health and well-being of my children.

In this crazy, volatile, world we live in - where media forces our eyes open to atrocities across the globe, it’s not hard to be thankful for small mercies. I have water, shelter, food, I am safe from violence, I love and am loved.

I still practise this mindful gratitude every day, and often ask my yoga students to do the same.

2. Check yourself 

Every now and again, throughout your day, consider your thoughts…Are you thinking negatively? Focus on what you have achieved and done well. Think rationally and put a positive spin on things.

3. Hang out with positive people 

Negativity is contagious, but so is positivity!

4. Be kind to yourself 

Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else. With practise, you can become less self-critical and more accepting of yourself.

Health benefits associated with positive thinking include:
·         Ability to cope better with stress
·         Lower rates of anxiety and depression
·         Greater resistance to the common cold
·         Better psychological and physical well-being
·         Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
·         Increased life span

As yet, science cannot tell us why positive thinkers enjoy these health benefits. We know that a positive outlook reduces the harmful effects of stress on your body, and we know how detrimental stress can be on both a psychological and physical level. It's also thought that positive thinkers tend to live healthier lifestyles. Could it be that when you are kind to yourself in thought, you become kind to yourself in deed?

Breaking bad habits
If you often find yourself thinking negatively, then you are already on the road to thinking positively! In being aware of your negativity you can begin to make a change.
Firstly, don't be too hard on yourself. Consider in which area of your life you are most negative (work, relationship, children, family) and then decide whether you need to make a change in that area. If not, then try to become more self-aware and check your thinking throughout the day.
Don’t expect to change your thinking pattern overnight. Over time, with practice, you will become more accepting of yourself and less critical of others too!

'When you wake up every day you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose be an optimist. It's all a matter of perspective.' (Harvey MacKay)

Monday, 23 November 2015

Iyengar Yoga Workshop Sunday 6th December

this Sunday 6th December 


at Great Dunmow Primary School, CM6 1DN

The entrance is on Stortford Road (green, electric gates will be open). Drive through the gates and park in the car park on the right, then walk up to the school building. The side door will be open (map)

£20 if paid before 1st December or £25 on the day.

Your first 3 hour workshop can feel daunting. Rest assured that you will not be going at it 'hammer and tongs' for all that time! The extended time gives you an opportunity to ask
questions, explore poses on a deeper level and remain in some poses for longer - resulting in a deep, long-lasting sense of well-being, calm and contentment.

This workshop is only available to students with some yoga experience. If you are at all unsure please give me a ring so we can chat about it.

I know some of you will be unable to make the 6th so I will be teaching another workshop on the 13th Dec (with a different thread/theme, for those die-hard students who'd like to attend both workshops!).

I can't wait! I LOVE teaching workshops!!! 

Your body will blossom, your stress dissolve, your mind will be still and quiet, whilst your heart remains open. Absolute bliss!

Spread the word, share the love ;-)

Friday, 20 November 2015

No yoga class Monday 23-11-15 in Standon

Sorry guys, but there's no yoga class this coming Monday morning (23rd November) as Standon Village hall is being used for a play.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Yoga v's Gadget to aid better posture

Is it just me or has the world gone mad?

You can now buy a gadget to alert you when you are slouching. An added bonus is that it will tell you how many times you stand up during the day (Daily Mail, 14-11-15).


Talk about unnecessary expenditure!

If someone came up with a gadget that did the following, how much would you spend on it...?

1. Increases suppleness, strength and stamina

2. Improves posture, self-confidence and concentration

3. Quietens the mind to promote well-being

4. Relaxes and energises the body and mind 

5. Helps you overcome and prevent many stresses, strains, aches and pains

No gadget required. 

Do yoga. 

Move your body. 

Free your mind and improve your health and well-being.

Ooooo, and as a by-the-by, if you haven't already seen 'The truth about exercise' (Horizon - BBC2), I highly recommend it.