3 Delicious Practices to Explore.
There’s no getting away from it. We are STILL in lockdown in the UK. We’ve had months of living differently, staying indoors, social distancing, washing hands, taking Essential Journeys only. Almost a year of this Pandemic - and likely many more months of accepting the changes to both work and home life. This Winter Season has felt a little challenging at times. The dark shorter days contribute to a sense of hibernation - but we may now also look forwards to Spring with a lighter heart.
The impact of coronavirus, has for some, been devastating. For others, it’s been less negative because you’ve had time to reflect and re-evaluate your lifestyle; you may have found more meaningful connections to your spouse, children and/or best friends or even rekindled relationships and formed some new ones. You are even practising MORE OFTEN through my Zoom Daily Classes! The internet has provided opportunities to reach out and not be governed by geographical borders. I've enjoyed sharing with international yoga professionals and teachers in Facebook Groups, Forums and online trainings.
So while I write, my intention is not to ignore the suffering (because Life itself is a series of ups and downs) but simply to remind you of the benefits of attending to your own INTERNAL landscape while appreciating the external circumstances within which you find yourself. Every BODY IS different and You Are Unique. Your present situation AND your past merge together as you meet yourSELF on the mat.
So how do you find equanimity in your day to day life? Can YOU change or improve your Mood and Mindset? There’s no need to create an Inner fake news narrative or escape to a fantasy world. Yoga is about The Route to The Self and for that journey to take place, Practice is KEY.
Begin here and now with Presence and Mindfulness. Cultivate Self-Awareness.
1. BODY SCAN. Standing Sitting or Lying down. Connect to your body. What do you notice? Feel and sense yourself here. Take a few moments to arrive. Scan from your feet up. Any parts feeling tense? Any discomfort? Breathe in and out with focus and feel your legs, knees, hips, pelvis. How does it feel to sit ; stand ; or lay down today. And your back - What do you observe in your back today and are you able to sense your natural spinal curves. How are your shoulderblades? Are you aware of movement in your torso as you breathe? The Imbalances and Misalignments that occur in most of us are more noticeable when you pay attention to your body. Improving your ability to feel, sense and relate to your breath cycles from the inside-out is the benefit of the body scan. As you settle your body, your breathing begins to find an even rhythm, your mind becomes even too. Allow 10 to 15minutes here.
2. BREATH AND MOTION IN MOVING MARJARIASANA = CAT-COW POSE
Classically in AllFours (but can be enjoyed in a seated position) rest weight evenly through well-aligned arms with elbow-pits facing in toward each other, lightly engage your centre and stack knees below hips. Be Aware of Stability and Steadiness in your Neutral Spine. As you begin to Breathe IN, send energy forwards from the heart-centre allowing your tailbone to tilt upwards towards the sky and feel your belly expand towards the earth. (Cow Tilt) and with a soft gaze to nosetip perhaps involve also the extension of your neck, opening your throat area. PAUSE, then feel the Breathe OUT guide you to Round inwards to the Navel Centre, scooping your abdominals, tucking tailbone, as chin nods to chest and you feel the flexing of your Upper Back and Elongation in your Lumbar. (Cat Tilt). EXPLORE whether or not your Pelvis or Head is leading the undulations. Begin to imagine and sense a seamless energy flowing through you and a wavelike motion throughout. Let the repeated breath-body-flow help you find freedom in your spine, shoulders and hips and observe a shift in energy from sluggish to spacious in a matter of minutes. REST in Child’s pose. Or Sit in stillness to acknowledge the effects.
3. WALKING MEDITATION (per Jon Kabat-Zinn's guidance) “Sometimes its virtually impossible to stay seated and mindful with levels of agitation or pain or anger but you can walk with it and in Walking Meditation you attend to the walking itself.”
Centre yourself in this present moment and appreciate your surroundings. In a Walking Meditation, you are not really walking to get any place or Do A Chore – Inviter YOU to BE fully engaged With This very Step or This Single Breath Cycle or This feeling of whole body movement.How are you walking today? Can you walk alongside your mood? How do your Feet Meet the Earth? You can focus on your footfall as a whole, or isolated parts of the motion such as lifting and placing of the feet. Are you feeling graceful? Dignified? Is your body tense and how about your shoulders and arms? Do you tend to walk very Fast? What happens if you slow down a little? Maybe Amble or Stroll? Try not to be concerned with the time, rather than with the connection of yourself to your walking. This could even be a 10minute mindfulness walk around your garden. Remember to keep good posture while encouraging an awareness of walking with breathing and please Do NOT look down at your feet –eyes gaze softly to the horizon - enjoy the view!
With the reality of this global pandemic invading almost every part of our lives daily and with so many of us remaining indoors, we have had to cast aside our normal routines and find different ways of living. And even though lockdown begins to ease we may experience some underlying worries, concerns and fears. We still don’t really know how long this will go on and we wake up every day to the unknown.
During this time of uncertainty it’s so important to continue to find time for healthy enjoyable movement as you take proper care of your own health and well-being. I am delighted that so many of you are connecting to me and the online community and Making Your HOME your Personal Practice Place.
Yoga especially gives us powerful tools for managing everyday anxieties, a time to truly connect to Body, Mind, Mood and Emotions. If you are a little more anxious than usual you are not alone. A lack of control over your environment is unsettling and confusing. But you can control how you engage with this temporary new reality.
You can dwell on ifs, should and maybes and get into a real head-spin with the news . . .
OR choose Positive Personal Practice.
With regular home practice you CAN shift from uneasy to stable and from high stress to rest and digest states. In fact this is the perfect time to develop a long-term Home Practice.
Please find your Free Guided Audio Breath Practice here and settle down to your mat for the de-stressing effects of yoga conscious belly breathing.
Because you too, can find COMFORT, CONNECTION AND COMMUNITY ALL IN YOUR OWN HOME
During this Extraordinary time I wanted to update you on the current ways that I can Help you FeelGood and support your Wellbeing while at HOME during Covid19. I want to keep you Focused, Fit and Motivated.
On my almost 15y teaching journey I have been so blessed to share movement knowledge with such truly wonderful people and You are a Very Important Member of this Community. I know your body. I know what you have learned & you have inspired ME. I know your current situation and those Big Life Moments. Despite being stuck indoors, it's my desire to continue to Nurture your Practice and Care About YOU and your WELLBEING. By embracing all that Yoga offers, you can learn to regulate the emotional waves and there are glimpses of mindful calm quietude among the uncertainty. The Pilates Method has such effective muscle toning exercises & Somatic Movement teaches you how to pause, slowdown, deeply listen inwards and Let Go.
SO please download the Free ZOOM APP and please join me Mondays to Thursdays with Daily LIVE sessions of up to 45mins in duration. I miss you IN Person, but in the absence of that I am so delighted to be able to connect with you in the virtual world of online teaching.
The Nation has received an almighty Shock to Its System. Despite us having prior knowledge of CoronaVirus from China, perhaps we all did not quite imagine how it would FEEL to live day to day with such drastic changes to our lifestyles... many are self-isolating, others in confinement. Some of you are Home Schooling your children. Pubs Restaurants and Bars Closed. Leisure Centres too. We may have deep concerns over the Economic Impacts which we fear will be wide and far-reaching.
For these reasons, STRESS LEVELS MAY BE ON THE RISE. So please Give Yourself some quality TIME for Kindness, Self-Care and Compassion. In just 15minutes Feel A deep sense of Relief. Either enjoy my PDF here for Constructive Rest Pose and/or download my FREE GUIDED YOGA NIDRA AUDIO.
My work as YogaRos was affected as far back as Friday 14th March when the Lloyd Park Nursery Centre in Walthamstow informed me of the closure of Evening Sessions due to the Virus. Weekly Monday Evenings Yoga (running for 10years+) would be cancelled for an indefinite period. With speedy Videography Advice & SetUp from Ray at SimplyCreate and urgent equipment delivery, I was able to LIVE Stream my first ONLINE TEST Class to the Gorgeous E17ers. By Wednesday 16th March the Limes Centre closed and then David Lloyd Chigwell. I was officially Out of Work...
Today, Tuesday 31st March and after Internet Issues, Technical Hitches plus a necessary Move into my Living Room, YOGAROS ONLINE LIVE CLASSES are up and running with reliable connectivity. Feedback has been truly heartwarming and inspirational (see some commments below). Your Support (and patience) has been Outstanding.
So, come and join my remarkable community of likeminded individuals, keeping fit and well, during the Covid19 outbreak. BOOK YOUR ONLINE CLASS HERE
So doing online classes has been really fantastic. I've found it very tough recently and your class yesterday about 'determination' was very helpful. Today I have a renewed sense of purpose and am trying to remain optimistic. Catherine
I’m actually extremely grateful to you for doing these daily Pilates Classes . I’ve been promising myself for years to do classes more regularly than once a week so you have answered my prayers. Izzy.
Just to say thanks for the class last night, I really enjoyed it - It’s so good to do the yoga but also to stay in touch with you and feel some connection and positivity in these terrible times! Gemma
Do you have a shifty shoulder?
A horrible hip?
A niggling knee issue?
Is your Back Bothering you Again?
...and are your joints jerky and juddery?
Feel like you're living in a Tight Body Bundle that is in deep need of Unravelling?
Or are you Soaking up Stress with Aching Anxiety levels.
Then I can help YOU learn how to feel better in body-mind-breath.
Through a moment of mindful sitting at the close of a recent yoga class, breathing with focused awareness on inner quietude, I had a fresh realisation.
It was this – I realised that I have been "Living in the Here and Now" for a very long time.
As a teen, with summer holidays approaching, after my 'O'Levels, my Dad was offered a job in Scotland, and so at 16yrs, our move from Kent, required me to become a student at the Aberdeen College of Commerce.
I had no choice, but to get on with my new environment, meet new friends and immerse myself in studying until I found a social life!
So, I guess you already know that I care about YOU - your health - your wellbeing - your development on the mat and the stories behind your practice.
This is, for me, the heartfelt aspect of my teaching.
It's an honour for me, to know WHY you keep returning to my classes.
To know WHAT really benefits you personally.
To CONNECT my deep passion and love for yoga, pilates and movement, to yourSelf through sharing as much knowledge and experience I have to date, and continuing to do so.
It's why my logo has a tiny little green heart inside the 'Ros' to represent my love of this profession, my emotional heart-centre and the importance of Anahata, the energetic heart chakra.
Listen to your Body.
You will hear that in class, over and over said by me, and all of your tutors.
But how can we listen to our bodies, if we are finding it hard to listen to our inner voice, our gut instinct, our pain signals and even our friends and families?
Sometimes I truly regret What I've said, How I've said it, and even When I've said it.
This is often a post-class mindset. 'Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda' SO, the reason behind writing this blog is I have Time to THINK before I SPEAK.
I know I'm opinionated.
Passionate about things I really love (health innovations, pain research, current affairs) yet equally fired up about any number of 'Dislikes', I really do wear my heart on my sleeve.