August 3, 20163 Comments

The importance of breathing – #WellbeingWednesdays

Just-Breathe-image download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breathing. We all do it, we all think we do it well but do we really? The amount of forms of exercise and fitness that focus on your breathing can teach you how badly you are breathing.

One little breath can be manipulated to have such a dramatic difference. Those who practice yoga know what a lion’s breath can do, a huge sigh that releases tension and lets you clear out stale air that’s been stored in your lungs for longer than needed.

Then of course there is the fire breath, shallow, fast paced breaths that build up your body’s temperature and can be a workout in their own right!!

Then for those of you who swim, there’s the very shallow and slow breaths. You literally have a tiny handful of seconds to take a breath but that breath only needs to last the next handful of strokes until you’re back up again. It’s slow to keep your body calm and relaxed and very shallow so you don't keep yourself too buoyant.

So why don’t you take some time right now and focus on your breathing. Try not to change it or influence it. Just close your eyes, try and block out all the sound around you. Just turn your gaze inwards, assess your breathing. Is it shallow? Is it deep? Is it fast? Is it slow? Now start playing with it. Make it deeper, longer and slower. What effect does it have on your body? How about if you speed it up and keep them deep? And make it shallow?

Playing with breath, learning the effect it has on your own body is a huge step towards being more self-aware. Then when you’re mood is needing a bit of a switch up, use your breath.

At work and feeling quite lethargic and sleepy? Speed your breathing up, make it shallower, start heating your body up and you might see a big difference in your energy levels.

Agitated, stressed or just generally fidgety? Slow your breathing down, make them longer, deeper and try and fill every part of your lungs. What difference does it make? Do you feel more relaxed?

Have fun with your breath. Play with it, see what difference it can make!

Have fun, ciao for now x

July 3, 2016No Comments

Liiiiiiiiiizard – #StretchSundays

Lizard pose - Utthan Pristhasana

Lizard - knee down Lizard - knee raised

Another pose that I absolutely love. The feeling on your hips and inner thigh is just profoundly satisfying.

Be careful with posture here, a lot of people sacrifice proper alignment by trying to get their forearms down to the floor. I have been guilty of that myself and have had to teach myself about how not to be as competitive when it comes to my yoga. Focusing on you, your posture, your breathing and trying to look inwards while still keeping your eyes open is not something that comes naturally to a lot of us but that is one of the things to try and work towards when doing yoga.

Our eyes are sensory objects and we are used to taking in that information and assessing. If you can, practicing yoga with your eyes closed is an amazing experience but there’s no denying the benefits it can give you with your alignment and your practice.

The best way to start this pose is with both hands flat on the floor and both arms slightly inside your forward leg using your elbow to pop your knee out and get a bigger stretch on your hips. If you can you can then work forward to bending the arms slightly and once your flexibility gets better, actually working down to be positioned on your forearms with your gaze forward.

Then if you really want you can lift your back leg but only if your posture won't be compromised. I'm still working on mine but I love the feeling on my hips and thighs!

Ciao for now x

  
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