It doesn't take a lot to start a home yoga practice but it does take discipline. Just 5 minutes a day will make a big difference. Here I share some advice on ways to start yoga at home. Try it out for a week.Read More
I love this juncture in the year. As the leaves change colour and the fresh cooler air signalling Autumn breezes in, I find myself checking in with myself to take stock of where I'm at and where I am going.
Something that has been on my radar and in conversations I've been having is about confidence and self-esteem. It's a big topic and one I've been interested in for a while. From both a personal point of view but also from the wider community perspective.
In The Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali, the 2nd sutra (which most yogi's will know off by heart) is Yogas Citta Vritti Nirodhah meaning: The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga. Basically our entire world is created from our thoughts. Take Autumn, for example, for one person they may love this time of year and all it offers but to another they hate it as it signifies the end of summer. Some situation but the thoughts of each person create the delight or sadness.
Being critical of yourself is a thought pattern, we are quick to judge ourselves (and others) and can get caught in a trap of negative self talk belittling and holding us back. So, how do we change that? Well, meditation is a great place to start and a brilliant researcher called Kristin Neff has a series on her website that you can do alongside exercises to change the way you are with yourself.
I just did the self-compassion break which is super quick and easy (and in our time poor society, we all like quick things right?).
When was the last time you said to yourself "I have your back, I love you, I'm here for you?" Perhaps it's time to start?
With lots of love
The science of how meditation changes your brain, I don't know anyone that couldn't do with a practice. Have you got questions on meditation that you'd like answering? Shoot them to me and I'll try to help.
My top tip-just start with small increments and work up.
Heres a great TED talk which shows the science behind what meditation does to the brain. Meditation also halts ageing... Just saying
Meditation is the answer
In our busy world it's all too easy to get caught up in the drama, the stress, the busyness. People are looking for the answer to slow down but they don't have time. There is too much to do. If we run on this adrenaline for too long we get ill, fatigued and feel rubbish.
If you can take just 2-5 minutes a day to soothe yourself, you will find a way to start 'being' instead of 'doing'.
The most powerful thing I have found is meditation - it took me a while to make it a part of my daily practice because I found it so goddamn boring! Seriously, sitting still listening to my breath. Yawn, next. Anyway slowly but surely it's crept into my practice more and more. It's my glue, if I don't include it in my day I really miss it. I find it such a precious gift. One I'd love to pass onto you as well. At first, it may not return the amazing results I am going on about but believe me, stick with it. You'll reap the benefits in so many ways.
Meditation is simple.
Note that I said simple.
Not easy. The key to it is returning to it again and again. Every time you fall out of practice, return to it. Don't beat yourself up, just sit.
There are many many resources on the web. In fact, there's a great app called Headspace too. It's a good place to start if your'e a newbie. If you're keen on the science bit then go here. If you want to know all about the benefits (and I really recommend reading this one) then read this article on LifeHacker.
Meditation is a tonic to your nervous system, it's soothing for your mind, body and spirit and it's something we can all do.
When I practice it, I can feel myself softening physically. The thoughts can take longer to follow that calmer path... sometimes they don't slow down, sometimes they get louder. Know that its ok. It's quite natural. From my experience, meditation is not about stopping thoughts but the practice allows me to be the watcher, to distance myself from the thoughts. To allow the thoughts to happen and that they don't govern me. They are just thoughts.
Talking about the thoughts, they can get louder, busier, crazier. I see the mind like a little naughty child that's had to many sweets and completely wound up. My suggestion is to treat it with the same love and compassion you would a child. Allow your body to be the mother, gently calming first, allowing the nervous system to slow down and this in turn allows the mind to settle and calm.
When I get out of bed I literally feel pulled in all directions,usually my mind is focused on Lyra, then I have to plan when to walk the dog, lots work ideas running around my head and I'm usually pressured to wonder where I'll fit my work in. If I can take 10 mins to sit in mediation it changes the whole slant of my day. I'm more peaceful, put less pressure on myself and am more in the moment.
Give it a go and let me know how you get on. Go on, its only 2-5 mins a day....