A Holistic Cure For Insomnia

Night Night, sleep tightIn recent weeks  a few people who come to yoga classes have mentioned they have insomnia.   I sincerly empathise with anyone who is suffering from this imbalance.  I know it too well as I used to myslef and found it extremely depleating.  The furstration that one had to face night after night of no sleep can be more toxic than the lack of sleep itself.   At the time I was in a state of overwhelm, anxiety and I wasn’t eating the right foods at that time.

Do not fret.  There is a healthy way to overcome insomnia, be.  I know because I overcame insomnia when i addressed it with a healthy attitude.   I had even had a slight dependency on sleeping tablets for a while, which did nothing to heal the cause of not slpeeing.

Nowadays I can sleep for ten hours no problem and thoroughly enjoy going to bed very early at least one night a week to fit in a ten hours sleep.   So, if I can overcome insomnia, anyone can.

Here are some tips that worked for me and are still working.  These tips go together, hand in hand.  It’s a holistic approach that will cure insomnia.

1. Change your attitude to sleep.  Instead of going about the day being cranky and tired because you’re not sleeping properly convince yourself that you have lots of energy, feel good and are happy with the sleep the night before regardless of how long or short it was.   Changing how you think about not sleeping is really important as it settles the anxious feeling about the next nights sleep.  This worked for me, mainly because I felt better during the day and stopped worrying – bonus.

images-111 2.  Take up something that has a relaxing effect on the body and mind such as, guess what????  YOGA.  Forward bends in yoga are calming and relaxing so any kind of forward bend will prepare the body for sleep.  Also lying with your legs against a wall and gentle spinal twists will help to relax the body and mind.  You could also practice the calming yogic breathing that we do in class, at intervals throughout the day; Inhale up the spine for 8 counts – hold at 3rd eye for 4 counts – exhale to base of spine for 8 count

3. Meditate.  Old news at this stage. Good for everything.  Calming the mind while balancing hormones.

4. Decrease stimulants.  Give up caffeine and sugar for a while and all processed foods.    Also consider giving up alcohol if you drink at night as it is a stimulant and will add to the problem.   Even though a glass of wine can help you to drop off to sleep, if you are suffering from insomnia you are more than likely going to wake up again an hour or so later.  So leave the wine aside for now or reduce to one night a week.

5. Start a relaxing night time ritual.   Listen to relaxing music, light candles, take a bath, read a good story.  Of course it’s o.k to watch a little t.v.  however do it consciously.  Turn the t.v. off a good while before going to bed.   Be careful of your choice of pre-sleep programs as some can stimulate the mind and release hormones that can knock the body out of balance again.  Such as programmes that stimulate tension, anxiety and fear.  These types of t.v drama’s will release adrenaline and/or cortisol into the system which can keep the mind alert and awake.  Some t.v programs can cause more stress & negative thinking than you may be aware of, so please be mindful of what you are watching or listening to.  Most definitely do not watch the news late at night.  In fact the less news you watch or listen to the better for your entire being.

6.  Vitamin B Deficiency.   The B complex vitamins play a role in sleep patterns and mood.  This is especially important thing for vegetarians to watch out for, mostly B 12. Taking a good B Complex supplement could change your sleep patterns forever!   You could also consider taking a melatonin supplement.  Melatonin is a sleep related hormone.

7. Vitamin D deficiency:  New studies on the benefits of Vitamin D seem to be coming out all of the time. While its role in bone health is old news, newer studies have been showing that it can improve muscle strength and even prevent some forms of neurologic disease and cancer. True to vitamin D’s newly discovered role, studies are beginning to reveal that the widespread problem of sleep disorders in the northern hemisphere may be linked to the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency.  Therefore  Look into vitamin D deficiency and please take a good supplement.  Best form is to spray under the tongue.

8. Valarian Hops.  This is a wonderful natural sleep remedy.   It is very powerful, works well and non-addictive.  You can purchase in health food store.

9.  Five drops of lavender on your pillow will have a calming effect.  You could also use 15 drops in a bath.  It has a very soothing effect.Lavender.

10.  Treat yourself to some relaxing time such as a massage, acupuncture, reflexology, cranial sacral massage etc.

11.  Just chill.  Everything is o.k. You are perfect as you are. There is no tomorrow, no yesterday.  There is only now.

12. Be patient with this process.  It may take while though it will be most worthwhile.  The effects are long lasting.

May you soon enjoy a 10 hour sleep 🙂

Peace,  Love, Happiness.

Sinead.

 

 

Winter Mellow Moments

Winter Yoga Mellow Moments.

Meditation Time
Meditation Time

To finish this yoga year I have planned a workshop on the 15th December, at South William Space, 10.30am – 1.00pm  This workshop will bring all aspects of what I have taught throughout 2012 into one juicy, flowing yoga mellow moment.  If you are a regular at my weekly classes you will notice that more often than not there is barely enough time to fit it all in.  This workshop is an opportunity to experience a fully rounded yoga practice, including meditation, pranayama, flowing postures and yoga nidra.  It will be so nicely paced and enjoyable that you will be present in each and every moment.

Looking forward to seeing you all for this perfect end of year yoga session.

Peace and love,

Sinead.

Why the Psoas Is The Fight Or Flight Muscle.

Psoas Muscle
Psoas Muscle

The psoas muscle was a main focus throughout my modern dance training.  It was one of those buzz muscles that teachers often mentioned in New York classes. Lengthen the psoas, release the psoas, strengthen the psoas, all to allow maximum flow and ease in movement.  We’d do exercises to understand the relationship between this crucial muscle and movement of the hips, legs, pelvis.  If you have a weak psoas muscle modern dance is most challenging. You need the muscle to be all of the above, strong, lengthened and most of all relaxed to move fluidly, freely and with utmost ease.

This is also the case for something as simple as walking.  Having a psoas muscle functioning at its absolute best not only benefits a dancer, it’s crucial for runners, cyclists, athletes of all kinds. Understanding the importance of this muscle and a few simple exercises could dramatically change the performance of ones chosen sport or even something as simple as walking.

What and where exactly is the psoas?

The psoas is a rope-like muscle located deep in the belly, which runs obliquely from spine to the femur. The psoas is joined at the hip by the iliacus which travels from hip to thigh. Together the psoas and iliacus make up the iliopsoas, the body’s most powerful hip flexor.

Lengthen the Psoas

Sitting for long periods of time shortens the psoas and unfortunately the muscle’s own intelligence remembers this state perpetually, until something is done about it.
A shortened psoas can cause severe problems such as lordosis (I know this one) knee pain (and I know this one), hip pain and tight quadriceps and can effect all the muscles surrounded by it, including the it-band which will cause further problems to the knee joint, hip and pelvis. It can also causes lordosis, the anterior pelvic tilt and hunching.  They are some of the physical problems which are really only the surface problem.

Why is the psoas known as the fight or flight muscle?.

Strengthen Psoas
Strengthen Psoas

This muscle has become known as the ‘fight or flight muscle’ because of how it is deeply effected by emotions sometimes causing very problematic outcomes.  When the body is under stress, anxiety or trauma the psoas muscle contracts.  It’s immediate reaction is to pull in, shorten, tighten, all because of the very primal and basic instinct to protect.  The more we look into body-mind connection the more understanding modern day medicine can see the relationship between storing emotional memories and physical pain.

While the ancient mystics,  Sages, Buddhists, Suffis and alternative medicine practitioners  have known this for thousands of years, we are only now beginning to understand that we store pain in our body.  The physical body in fact is a much more complex and intelligent computer to hold this information than the mind with so many layers of muscles, tissues, cells, each of these holding it’s own karmic imprint or pain DNA.

What’s more interesting is popular psychology has confirmed that re-living the past, re-talking it and expressing it through therapy is not always the most efficient, practical or appropriate way to deal with stored issues and negative emotions.   Today’s psychologists seem to be finally catching up with what Buddhists have been practicing for years.  When you have an uncomfortable thought, memory or moment in the present,  feel it in your body i.e feel  the area in your body that is mostly reacting to this thought, become aware of the sensation, allow that feeling to rise to the fullest and watch it slowly dissipate.   Become aware of the reaction to that in the entire body. Mostly there is a sense of relief, release and relaxation.  I am not suggesting that this method is suitable for everyone, it’s not.  Some people really benefit from the more clinical and traditional styles of psychotherapy. I am encouraging this as an alternative approach to releasing tensions, something to practice to observe and see what happens.

For example often when we are in trauma, the stomach will begin to contract at a rapid speed. The immediate reaction is to make it stop or react to it.  What if we fully feel that contraction and allow it to happen?  If it is pushed away that moves the emotional pain from the surface and deeper to the core where it may cause more harm such as turning into illness, anger or even depression.

To move as freely as dancer both in motion and metaphorical,  the psoas needs to function at its utmost best.   Keeping the psoas muscle strong, lengthened and soft is one way to begin to pay attention to it. The more body awareness we have the more in tune we can become of sensing reactions in our bodies.  If we really get that, really understand it and embody that practice, we have the opportunity to let go in each and every moment.

Om Shanti,

Sinead.

Contact Yoga Flow

Contact Yoga Flow

I really like this contact flowing sequence. Would love to do this or similar some time in class or a workshop. Let me know if it floats your boat. We can work together to make up a sequence to an entire song so we dance through the moves. Not before warming up with meditation, sun-salutations and some deep stretching. Hit the like button on Facebook or e-mail me if you’d like to do a contact flow workshop.

Namaste,

Sinead

Flowing from Parsvottanasana to Trikonansan to Ardh Chandrasna

Flowing from Parsvottanasana to Trikonansan to Ardh Chandrasna

Enjoy this really lovely sequence, one of my favourite’s. This is a part of a standing sequence which warms the body up in preparation for the deeper postures that are done sitting on the mat. However it is still important to warm the body up before you practice this sequence. Below are some links to useful warm up blogs.

Enjoy, come to class so I can give you some helpful tips to get to the place to fully enjoy this flowing sequence, finding and feeling freedom in your movement.

Om Shanti,
Sinead

Yoga Warm Up

Sun Salutation

Core Strength for Yoga and Other Activities

Core Strength for Yoga and Other Activities

 

Here are 3 exercises to strengthen your core centre.  When you do these exercises you must draw your navel back to your spine and lift your pelvic floor muscles.  In yoga this is Udhihana and Mula Bhanda, in Pilates it’s called The Connection to Centre.  These exercises will support any physical activity such as yoga, dance, football, swimming etc.

This sequence of movements will strengthen the deeper abdominal muscles which will support the spine and sacrum while enhancing your yoga practice.  A strong core is especially important for people who want to attempt challenging postures such as arm balances and inversions.

On an energetical level, it is of utmost importance to have a strong core centre.  Kundulini energy lies dormant at the base of the spine.  Strengthening deeper core muscles can be the first step towards releasing this spiritual energy.  These exercises, along with a disciplined yoga practice can deepen awareness of how emotions are held in the physical body. Then we can begin another journey, one that feels the body instead of reacting to the mind. There’s a whole other blog in that, I’ll write more soon.

Practice, enjoy and don’t forget to breathe.

Shanti, Shanti,

Sinead.

Surya Namasakar (Sun Salutation)

Surya Namasakar (Sun Salutation)

Surya Namasakar is one of the most important sections of the yoga class. The sequence of postures combines breath and movement while alternating between stretching the spine forwards and backwards. It warms up the body and sets the pace for a vinyasa yoga practice.

There are many interpretations of the Sun Salutation. This is a mix of a few I have learned down through the years. For the first round, the body flows continuously from pose to pose. In the following rounds hold Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) for 5 breaths while drawing the shins and lower arms towards each other (energetically), lengthening from the hips through the spine and limb and focus on deepening uddiyana and mula bandha (core centre muscles & energy locks). I normally do 3 fulls set of Surya Namasakar. The video clip is one complete set.

I also guide a more advanced version of Surya Namasakar, taught in Level 2 classes.

Practicing a few Sun Salutations alone at home, between getting to yoga classes,is enough to keep your body strong, flexible and energised.

Enjoy!

Peace, love, happiness 🙂
Sinead.

Post Yoga Mellow Moments

Post Yoga Mellow Moments


After I do a Vinyasa Yoga session I like to potter around my home listening to opera, classical and other types of beautiful music.  This music helps to hold on to that very lovely mellow feeling after a yoga practice.  Appreciation for these glorious sounds deepens, as your senses are fully open and heightened after flowing through yoga moves.  I have created a playlist, Post Yoga Mellow Moments, including some very special pieces.  You can download the playlist from itunes if you type Post Yoga Mellow Moments in the search on itunes store.

The playlist includes:
• Apres Un Reve
• Perfume: From the Story Perfume
• Meditation: From Thais
• Lascia Ch’io Pianga
• Claire De Lune
• Casta Diva: Norma Act 1
• Mahler Symphony No. 5
• Vide Cor Meum

Post Yoga Mellow Moments is an operatic and classical music playlist.  One of my favourites on the list is Meditation from the opera Thais.  Not only is it a beautiful piece of music the story is very familiar;  Athanaël, a Cenobite monk, confronts Thaïs, a beautiful and hedonistic courtesan and devotée of Venus and attempts to convince her to leave her life of luxury and pleasure and find salvation through God. It is during a time of reflection following the encounter that the Méditation is played by the orchestra.  Following the Méditation, Thaïs tells Athanaël that she will follow him to the desert.

This playlist is dedicated all Yogi’s out there who are torn between the temporary excitement experienced through worldly pleasures, and the everlasting inner peace, contentment and freedom that is found in the spiritual world.

Enjoy.  Be happy, be peaceful, Be Free.

Sinead.

Shanti Yoga Flow

Shanti Yoga Flow

Hello Yoga Friends,

This is a sequence I love doing to music, especially at this time of year. You can mix up the sequence and add your own music. Play around, have fun with it. Come to class, we’ll be doing more of this in the coming weeks.

You could copy and paste this sequence, then print and lay it beside your yoga mat so you know what’s coming next. Watch it a few times first so you have an idea of the transitions.

1. Ardha Mukha Savasana – Downward Dog
2. Plank Pose
3. Chataranga – Push up pose
4. Bhujangasana – Cobra
5. High Lunge Pose – Right Leg
6. Trikonasana – Triangle Pose
7. Dancing Warrior – A Warrrior ii Variation
8 Ardha Mukha Savasana – Downward Dob.
…..
Repeat Sequence Changing sides. i.e. Step left leg forward for high lunge.
……
Add Vashistasana both sides at the end.

Shanti, Shanti,

Enjoy!

Sinead.

Breath and Movement for Vinayasa (flowing) Yoga

Breath and Movement for Vinayasa (flowing) Yoga

When doing a flowing yoga sequence, called Vinyasa Yoga, it is important to combine breath and movement. The movement always follows the breath. I like to describe breath in a yoga practice as a dancers music. You wait for the very beginning of the breath, your movement happens a mili-second after, barely noticing the space between the initial breath and the following flow of the body.

Practice, enjoy, use it on the yoga mat 🙂

Peace,
Sinead.

Ujjayi Pranayama for Beginners

Ujjayi Pranayama for Beginners

This weeks video blog focuses on Ujjayi Pranayma (breathing) for beginners.

Ujjayi breath is used continuously throughout a flowing yoga practice. This breath enables the practitioner to maintain a steady inhalation and exhalation. Practicing this technique one takes in enough oxygen. The breath also helps to build energy to maintain a strong flowing practice, while clearing toxins out of the bodily system. This breath is especially important during transition into and out of asana (poses) as it helps practitioners to stay present, self-aware and grounded in the practice. This lends itself to a meditative quality.

It would really benefit beginners to practice this breathing technique between classes to get the most out of the asana(posture) practice.

Enjoy!

P.s the sound is a bit off in this video clip. I can’t figure out why. Sorry for inconvenience. It will be back to normal next week 🙂

Yoga Warm Up

Yoga Warm Up

Warming up the body is most important. In this video clip I guide you through one of the warm ups I use. You could do it before starting Sun Salutations or before you go into deeper yoga postures. If you are struggling to start a home yoga practice this warm up could help you along the way. Even repeating this sequence a few times every day for the next week would, on its own, be a great start.

I hope you enjoy it and find the mini video beneficial.

Om Shanti,

Sinead.

My Favourite Yoga Pose, Warrior II

Ollie hold Virabandrasana ii
Ollie in Virabhandrasana ii

Without doubt my favourite yoga pose is one of the Warrior, or Virabhadrasana, poses. These poses challenge the body’s strength and flexibility, and extend the body into striking geometric forms. I find warrior 2 particularly energizing. It demands stretch, strength and stability – legs and arms are extended yet a strong sense of grounding derives from the wide and sure stance. I guess I also can’t help but enjoy the feeling of majesty invoked by the warrior’s stance. Sinead often invites the class to hold the pose for long periods and to drop deeper at the hips, challenging us each time in the pose. I’m still working to achieve correct body alignment and especially more openness at the hips, in this and all the warrior poses.

By Ollie Kinnane.

(Ollie comes to class at Trinity College.  He recently jumped up to the more advanced class and is progressing extremely well.  Thanks for sharing your favourite  posture Ollie!)

Contemplate this Detox

Detox Diet

Hello Yogi’s,

As I am off to Zurich tomorrow on my final legs of Anusara training yoga blogs are on pause this week.  So instead I thought I would leave you with information on the next Detox with Me.  I just confirmed dates, September 23rd to 25th + 10 days of online support to complete a full detox.  Below is full information including timetable and benefits.

I have to say I am really looking forward to it.  I always feel fantastic after a detox and love to support others in completing this internal cleanse.    For people who have never tired a 10 day detox, don’t worry, myself and Catherine make it manageable with nice treats thrown in.   You’ll hardly notice you are on a detox at all.! I recommend signing up soon to secure a place as the workshop has become very popular.

Autumn Detox: September 23rd, 24th & 25th + 10 days of online support to complete a full 10 day detox

Or A simple 3 day Detox if you prefer!

Detox body, mind and soul to have a healthy body, clear mind, and calm soul

ALL 3 workshops and detox support ONLY €65

Friday 2rd September,  7- 9pm: Kick Start Your Detox, Yoga and Nutrition Talk

Saturday 24th September, 11.00 – 13.30pm:  Pranayama, Twists, Hips, Meditation

Sunday 25th September, 11.00 – 13:300pm: Pranayama, Backbends, Meditation

From the 23rd September to the 2nd of October  you will have access to online support with Sinead for each day of your 10-Day Detox.  The support includes yoga tips, nutrition tips and recipes to make it easier for you to stay connected anywhere, anytime and easily achieve the 10 day detox.

With a Follow-up workshop on Saturday 9th April.  This is not a compulsory part of the program (+ €20).

Benefits of this detox workshop

  • Eliminate/reduce toxins and pollutants in the body
  • Purify Blood
  • Promote healthy eating
  • Cleanse mucus congestion
  • Improve digestion
  • Promote weight loss.
  • Increased energy
  • Reform lifestyle addictions to sugar, caffeine alcohol
  • Increase Metabolism
  • Promotes clarity of mind and sharp focus
  • Improve Concentration
  • Improves skins complexion
  • Improves general sense well-being
  • Improves flexibility
  • Deepens yoga practice
  • Meditate with ease.

Workshop Summary

The aim of Yoga & Detox Workshops is to detox the body and clear the mind

Sinead O’Connor will lead a strong dynamic flowing practice with yoga postures that fast-forward the detoxifying process of the body. This physical practice will include some pranayama (breathing) techniques as well as asana (poses).  Both will help to calm the body and the mind in preparation for a mediation practice.

With an ITEC diploma in nutrition, Sinead will also offer nutritional advice on detoxing. She has joined forces with Catherine Brien Nutrition whom will open the workshop with a short talk on detoxing and tips on how to eat throughout the 10 days.  Recipes and shopping lists will be given to each individual to allow the detox to run smoothly and effortlessly for everyone who joins in

This special workshop will also provide students with post-workshop online support.  Sinead & Catherine will address individual questions by e-mail for the full duration of the 10-day detox following the workshop. Sinead will give guidance on how to let go and release all you do not need and how to walk towards a more fulfilled life.

Speaking about the workshop, Sinead says, “If we can release from our body & mind what no longer serves us it creates room to bring more positivity into our lives.”

My Favourite Yoga Posture, Sirsasana (Headstand)

My favourite Yoga Pose, Sirsasana
Angela in Sirsasana

This weeks favourite pose has been chosen by Angela Stevenson.  Sirsasana is known as the King of yoga postures.  when you read all the benefits below you will see why.!

Angela has only been attending my yoga classes for the past year.  I remember her being so nervous trying this posture, like most people when they attempt standing on their head for the first time.  With patience and determination she got over her fear.  As you can see she is now holding a very comfortable and confident Sirsasana (headstand) anywhere, any time it seams! 🙂   Here’s what she has to say about it.

“The Head Stand: Why do I like this pose so much? That’s a good question. Well, in all honesty when I first encountered this pose (last year in Sinead’s class) I disliked it. I was too afraid to try it without a mirror or barrier to stop me from falling and landing flat on my back. With time and the help of Sinead’s instruction and belief in me I built the confidence and core muscles to pull myself up into a head stand. Now, I really enjoy this inversion for the sole reason that it takes pressure off my limbs and allows fluids to drain out of my feet, which often feel heavy at the end of the day. So, whenever I get the chance to relax and strike a pose, I choose this one, the Head Stand.”

Namaste 🙂

Angela

Tips To get over  fear when attempting Sirsasana:

  • Focus on the breath. Also shift your awareness to creating muscular energy in this posture.  Very importantly that
  • Very important to hug shins towards each other.  Thigh bones draw back, tail bone forward…
  • Placing the awareness into your body will distract you from the fear in your head.
  • Before you know it, you’ll be balancing for a few moments. Then a few moments longer and in no time a few minutes!

Benefits of Sirsasana include:

  • Increases the Blood circulation
  • Improves memory
  • Strengthens nervous system.
  • Improves Digestion
  • Eliminates congestion in liver and spleen
  • Calming on the mind
  • Strengthens spine
  • Improves balance.

Please note!

People with high blood pressure or eye problems should not do this posture.  A yoga teacher can give you an alternative to this pose.

Make sure you learn this posture under the guidance of a yoga teacher.

Enjoy!

Sinead.

My Favourite Pose: Sabrina’s Danurasana (Bow Pose)

My Favourite Pose, chosen by Sabrina Burke.

Sabrina has been attending my yoga classes/workshops since 2007.  She is a committed Yogini (female yogi) with a beautiful practice.  I am grateful for her contribution to my blog and for her very graceful presence in my yoga classes – Thank you Sabrina!

Watch from Shalambasana to Danurasana on  You Tube.

Make sure you warm up before practicing this posture.

Sabrina Burke
Sabrina Burke

“I have a few favourite yoga poses and, admittedly, and few not so favourite! At the moment I really enjoy bow pose, both on the ground and standing. I think it’s because it’s the complete opposite of how my body is for most of the day – with a desk job I spend at least 9 hours a day sitting and, despite by best efforts slouching, in front of a computer. In bow pose, I love how it opens the back but, most of all, of how it open up the chest, across the collar bond and right into the heart. For tips, I find that really clinging on to legs and at the same time moving the legs back in the opposite direction helps you to move the chest higher off the ground.

Have fun trying it and don’t forget to breathe!”

Namaste!

Sabrina.

Katelyns Ardha Chandrasana

Katelyns Ardha Chandrasana

Katelyn’s Favourite Yoga Posture

Watch on you tube

This is the first pose that I ever felt a real sense of lightness in: like a paper airplane gliding on a breeze or that moment when you reach the highest point on the playground swings and you nearly forget that you are rooted to the earth at all. I also find it to be a continuous challenge because it requires me to be conscious in every single part of my body: lengthening out through my fingertips, reaching in different directions with both legs and floating my head back while never forgetting to be conscious of my center. There is
always that little bit of fear (fear? maybe a better word is awareness) that I am just a hair’s breadth away from falling flat on my back, or face, or going legs up in a way that would be really embarrassing if I weren’t surrounded by such understanding yoga friends, but somehow that fear can sometimes compel me to let go of  all the other concerns that are fighting for space in my head (thesis, boyfriend, don’t forget to pick up some milk on the way home, how can I recreate that outfit from Vogue magazine with the clothes in my closet) in a way that is magic and then I understand what Sinead is always saying about the true heart center. It is an physical and mental feeling that I try to keep in mind in postures that I have more trouble with (headstand) and also in my life outside of yoga!

I hope you get as much out of this wonderfully freeing pose as I do.

Om Shanti,

Katelyn.

Thanks Katelyn for being such a dedicated yogi.  It’s always a pleasure to have you in class.

Nautical Yoga; A Back Bend Sequence.

Nautical Yoga;  A Back Bend Sequence.

Recently I had the pleasure of being invited on a boating trip down the Shannon.  It was the glorious Easter Bank Holiday weekend.   We sailed from lake to lake,  anchored at sun traps protected from the wind, rested while enjoying our beautiful surroundings.  We drank wine, laughed a lot, met great people  and managed to get a fun yoga practice in.

Elena and I, whom bonded many a years ago because of our mutual love of yoga, dancing and speaking in Spanish, had a lot of craic getting a Nautical Yoga practice together for you. She modeled while I instructed and took photos. With the fun and joy we were feeling that day the most natural way for us to move was to lift upwards to back bends.  We have the glorious River Shannon and landscape in the background.  Green is certainly the word for our stunning country.  It’s so easy to forget how beautiful our Ireland really is.

I have to give a big Thank You to Elena who holds the perfect yoga pose and Bob and Paddy who were are company and sailors for weekend.

Enjoy the practice.

Om Shanti Yogi’s.

Sinead.

Mini Detox Practice – 20 mintues.!

Mini Detox Practice – 20 mintues.!

Here’s a great yoga practice to get you going in the morning.  Included are spinal twists and  headstands to fast forward the bodies natural detoxifying process.  Below the photos are some tips for the practice.  Enjoy it!

Warm Up before  you begin this sequence including sun salutations (3-5 rounds)

Make sure you do the same on both sides holding postures for equal amount of breaths. (Please note in photos I forgot bent leg triangle on second side – see how easy it is to happen)

If you are unable to do headstand you could do either a shoulder stand (supported with blankets) or lie with your legs up against the wall.

Remember to lie in corpse pose (oops, I forgot to take this photo!).  The optimum time is 10 minutes so your body can receive the benefits of the yoga practice, however any amount of time would be good.

Try to sit in meditation even for a few minutes.  Simply focus on the breath entering and leaving the body, following the inhalation from start to finish and same with exhalation noticing the pause between the breaths.

Get back to me with any questions or experience with this practice.

Enjoy!

Om Shanti.

Difficult day on detox!

hushyogaToday is hard for me.  I began the detox on Monday so it’s day 3.  I’m feeling groggy… all I want is a nice cup of coffee.  However i am being stronger than my craving and know that caffeine is  only a way to escape the cloudy feeling in my head.  This is all a part of the detox.  I tend to feel quite tired in the mornings for the first few days.  By day 4 it changes, I’ll be waking up fresh as a daisy with sprightly energy.  So for now, I will drink green tea and  sit in meditation for a while.  The craving will subside.

Being aware of escaping is one of the very positive benefits of detoxing.  We can introduce this awareness into our daily lives, not only when detoxing.  Are you having that glass of wine to escape a shitty situation at work? Or are you jumping to eat lots of chocolate because you argued with your boyfriend/girlfriend.?  For me it’s great to drink wine and eat chocolate however try to do it for the enjoyment of it in its fullest,  not as a tool to escape.  Remember we never really escape anything, we only cover up and push aside our problems with superficial coping mechanisms such as sugar, alcohol, coffee.  For me it comes down to awareness.  So if you are using these tools to escape as long as you are aware of that fact and fully present in it then you should fully enjoy it.  More than likely your relationship with these coping tools will change.  Instead of reaching for that bar of chocolate you might learn to sit with how you are feeling for a few moments, be fully present in that and allow it to subside.

How are you getting on?  How are you managing your cravings?  Do you feel good about the detox? Are your energy levels changing?

I hope you are managing well.  I’d love to know how you are getting on.

Om Shanti,

Sinead.

Detox With Me!

Detox With Me!

Yoga & Detox Workshop:   Friday 1st  April – Sunday 3rd April

+ 7 days of online support to complete a full 10 day detox

Detox body, mind and soul to have a healthy body, clear mind, and calm soul

Friday 1st April, 7:00 – 8:30 pm: Kick Start Your Detox, Yoga and Talk

Saturday 2ndApril, 11:00 – 13:30pm:  Pranayama, Twists, Hips, Meditation

Sunday 3rd April, 11:00 – 13:300pm: Pranayama, Backbends, Meditation

From 1st- 10th April  you will have access to online support from Sinead for each day of your 10-Day Detox.  This online support will make it easier for you to stay connected anywhere, anytime and easily achieve the 10 day detox.

ALL FOR ONLY €65

With a Follow-up workshop on Saturday 9th April.  This is not a compulsory part of the program (+ €20).

Benefits of this detox workshop

  • Eliminate/reduce toxins and pollutants in the body
  • Purify Blood
  • Promote healthy eating
  • Cleanse mucus congestion
  • Improve digestion
  • Promote weight loss.
  • Increased energy
  • Reform lifestyle addictions to sugar, caffeine alcohol
  • Increase Metabolism
  • Promotes clarity of mind and sharp focus
  • Improve Concentration
  • Improves skins complexion
  • Improves general sense well-being
  • Improves flexibility
  • Deepens yoga practice
  • Meditate with ease.

Workshop Summary

The aim of Yoga & Detox Workshops is to detox the body and clear the mind

Sinead O’Connor will lead a strong dynamic flowing practice with yoga postures that fast-forward the detoxifying process of the body. This physical practice will include some pranayama (breathing) techniques as well as asana (poses).  Both will help to calm the body and the mind in preparation for a mediation practice.

With an ITEC diploma in nutrition, Sinead will also offer nutritional advice on detoxing. She has joined forces with Catherine Brien Nutrition whom will open the workshop with a short talk on detoxing and tips on what and what not to eat along with how often to eat throughout the 10 days.  Recipes and shopping lists will be given to each individual to allow the detox to run smoothly and as easy as possible for everyone who joins in

This special workshop will also provide students with post-workshop online support.  Sinead & Catherine will address individual questions by e-mail for the full duration of the 10-day detox following the workshop. Sinead will give guidance on how to let go and release all you do not need and how to walk towards a more fulfilled life.

Speaking about the workshop, Sinead says, “If we can release from our body & mind what no longer serves us it creates room to bring more positivity into our lives.”

My Anusara Trial Part III, The Philosophy

My Anusara Trial Part III,  The Philosophy

Tantra philosophy is the premise of Anusara yoga.  There is no possible way I could do it, or any other philosophy, justice in one 700-word blog. The Anusara phrase, “Align with the divine,” could take up a ten-page blog alone.  So here I will share with you a short introduction of my understanding of this very positive and compassionate way of perceiving life and the world around you.

When I first started doing Anusara yoga, I was confused about the philosophical focus.  There were a lot of American teachers coming to Dublin to do workshops, and while I found the workshops uplifting and positive, I wasn’t grasping the philosophical alignment.

At first I thought that Anusara yoga teachers were telling us to be happy and positive, regardless of our circumstances and surroundings.  While it is well documented that positivity creates more positivity, and smiling makes you smile even more, to be happy and positive all the time did not seem realistic.

The more I struggled to understand the philosophical approach, the more agitated I became. I really admired the teachers, their uplifting effect, and their ability to permeate “Inner Body Bright” at any given moment, but did not always feel that I could relate to this in a genuine way. I became concerned, as I really wanted to pursue an Anusara teacher-training path, but I began to doubt if I could fit into this practice if I didn’t fully feel it within.  At one point, I pinned it to cultural differences: Americans can be much more positive than us sarcastic, dry-witted Europeans.

I remember having a conversation with close yoga friends, saying, “You know, I love Anusara but sometimes I feel Inner Body Blue and I don’t want to feel Inner Body Bright!” I shortly thereafter realised that I was not the only person who was confused by this.

It took me a while to realise that  “Inner Body Bright” is actually a term used to lengthen the torso, and not a term of emotional being!  Although, it should be noted that when one does lift and lengthen the torso, it automatically has a positive reaction on the mind.   Of course, Anusara’s philosophy is not suggesting one to feel happy in a moment of sadness, anger or pain.  Instead, what it teaches us is to feel every moment to its fullest, which aligns to my understanding of Buddhism and Pema Chadron’s teachings.

When we feel an emotion in its fullest, not only do we bring it to the surface, often  it dissipates more quickly than if suppressed.  So instead of suppressing challenging emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, jealousy, we are encouraged to feel it fully, in our body  and then find some degree of positivity to grow from the experience, instead of becoming stuck in negative reactions.

The focus behind the Tantra philosophy is intrinsic Goodness. It follows, therefore, that Anusara teachers encourage students to look for the good in all things. Out of something ‘Blue,’ they try to find a positive ‘Bright.’  In doing this, it may become less of a struggle to place trust in life and what falls in our path, and learn to go with the flow.  Indeed, the word Anusara means ‘With- Current or With- Flow.’

In an Anusara class you will often hear, “Align With The Divine.” This divinity is our intrinsic quality of goodness, the essence of all beings.  It is our supreme consciousness and the consciousness of the entire universe.  When we align with the divine we move closer to our true nature and find freedom in body, mind and soul, opening to a deeper flow of grace.

On the yoga mat ‘Opening to Grace’ is the first principle of alignment.  Every posture is an offering to unveil your true nature and your true being or to simply to be with your true nature and true being.  It’s a moment to remember your breath, to feel your core centre or your heart and move from within to express the freedom and beauty of the yoga posture on the outside.  Opening to Grace is a reminder as to why we come to the yoga mat to practice this ancient art.  Through continued practice of yoga we find union with our true nature and align with the divine.

In my next blog I want to explore in more detail the Tantra philosophy that dates back to the 8th Century.  This philosophy has changed my relationship with yoga and my outlook on life.  I feel Free.

To be continued…

Be Happy, Be Peaceful, Be Free.

Sinead.

My Anusara Trail, Part II…

The Physical Technique

I have had the privilege of practicing with some excellent Anusara teachers. Their knowledge of anatomy, their commitment to their own practice and their approach to explaining philosophy in a contemporary manner is admirable.  In my experience, there is a consistent, high-level of teaching across qualified Anusara teachers, and I think it is their grounding in the ‘Universal Principles of Alignment’ that helps to make this so.  When optimized, the Principles can be applied to every single pose, and can really make a difference. The teachers have a genuine warm and nurturing manner and are very down to earth.  From what I can see, it comes back to their practice, both on and off the yoga mat.

The process one goes through to become a certified Anusara teacher can take years.  It can’t be rushed, done over six months or even a year.  To achieve this honourable accreditation is a commitment to patience, learning through your own practice and training under the guidance of more senior teachers who have been teaching yoga for a long time.

I have tried almost every style of yoga and I can honestly say that I have not come across a similar system in terms of sophisticated alignment techniques, which yet in practice, can be straightforward to implement.   For anyone who is interested in how the body moves, this method work is really fascinating.   As nerdy as it sounds, it gets me excited; I have this “wow” feeling when I see the alignment techniques being used in a demonstration, or when I integrate them into my own practice when attempting postures that challenge me, or when teaching in my classes.

Since I’ve been using the Principles of Alignment in my yoga classes over the past few years, many of my students have been able to improve more quickly than ever before. While teaching a group of beginners in Open Minds last Wednesday, I was again reminded how well this technique works.  The entire class held impressive Warrior 2, Parsvakonasan, Trikonasas, Downward Dogs, plank, and cobra; this method of Alignment is really accessible for every level of yogi.

I can see the beginner’s body react to Anusara-based instructions well.  It’s thrilling to see people do (and feel!) so well after only one class.  I see great potential in all my yoga students and feel enthusiastic for them. I am more and more convinced in this system of alignment.  The possibility to progress is in everyone regardless of age, flexibility or strength.

Even coming from a dancer’s perspective, the Anusara physical technique works.  Especially in modern dance that is more about exploring how the body can move in safe, natural ways, and focuses on creating moving forms from that point.  I’ve been using the alignment techniques as much as I possibly can in dance and find my movement is stronger and more stable.  Not only that, I have little to no pain after a modern dance class anymore, when in the past, my lower back would ache with Sacrum Iliac issues that would extend from my back into my right leg.  I am eager to share this knowledge and look forward to holding workshops specifically for dancers.

I am so grateful to have come across this style of yoga and all the teachers I have met along the way.  I have learned so much, grown and improved as a teacher.   The best part is there is so much more to learn.   It keeps getting more interesting.  I often tell my yoga students that I consider myself a yoga baby – still on the learning curve and really only one step ahead of them.  They smile.

I’m also grateful to all who come to my yoga classes. Without you I’d have no one to pass this information on to.

There is more to come.  My next blog will be about Anusara’s tantric philosophy – Freedom!

…To Be Continued,

Om Shanti,

Sinead.

My Anusara Trail

www.hushyoga.comLast week I attended an Anusara immersion with Noah Maze.  He had travelled from L.A. to teach the first module of a three part, in-depth study of this heart-opening style of yoga.  After completing the 5-day practice, I am more energized and persuaded by Anusara yoga than ever before.

I first heard about Anusara yoga back in late 2006.  At that time I was not aware of its universal principles of alignment, its congruency with tantric philosophy, or its founder, John Friend.   However, even with so little understanding, I was drawn to its beautiful practice.

Parallel to this, I had started to feel my yoga practice and teaching had got a little flat.  While I don’t know exactly why, I think it was simply the yoga version of writer’s block.  I had lost my inspiration and was looking for something to reignite my love for yoga practice and passion for teaching.  A friend mentioned something about Anusara, and in particular, its characterization as a heart opening practice, and that was enough to spark my interest.

I went to NYC in the summer of 2007 to find my yoga buddies all raving about Anusara and telling me I’d love it.  So off I went to Kula Yoga with my pal Carolyn in August 2007 and there began my Anusara trail.

I was immediately engaged in the class.  The teacher gave a heart-warming introduction; the group chanted a beautiful invocation and the class started with an uplifting beat.    The teacher was giving directions in class that I didn’t understand, but I could see how the group responded to these instructions and I learned from watching fellow students.

When the instructor mentioned ‘kidney loop’ I saw everyone lengthen their lower back and draw into their core.   While I listened to many instructions throughout the class, I captured the concept of ‘kidney loop’ internally and this alone made my participation worthwhile. This is probably because, up and to that point, my teaching of that movement would have been, “lengthen your lower back, lengthen between the hip and the rib cage, pull your belly back to your spine, and draw your lower rib cage in.” Whew!  Yet, all she said was “more kidney loop” – amazing!

From that class, I gained the understanding that Anusara yoga has a clever method of language to explain alignment.  I wanted to learn more. That autumn I went to an intensive immersion in Berlin with Bridget Woods Kramer.

From a teaching point of view, the way John Friend has compiled the method of alignment alone is genius.   Each class is centred around the ‘Universal Principals of Alignment’ that not only include the alignment of the physical body, but also aligning to supreme consciousness: Opening To Grace, the first principle of alignment.

I am inspired by the physical system of Anusara.  The alignment techniques work so well that I am enthusiastic and feel uplifted in sharing this knowledge and experience with my students.

The physical alignment and the heart-opening interpretation was enough to draw me to Anusara.  I never expected to gain the amount I have from delving into this fully rounded system of yoga, and my learning curve is still on the up. It is not possible to do justice to this system of yoga in a short blog, so I will be back with more Anusara detail and love.

…To be continued

Om Shanti,

Sinead.

Yoga & Detox, January 7th, 8th & 9th

At Open Minds Yoga,  Lower Earne St. (Off Pearse St), Dublin 2

Post-Christmas Yoga & Detox Workshop

Detox body, mind and soul to open the doorway to manifest your heart’s desires in 2011…

Friday 7th January, 7:00 – 8:30 pm: Kick Start Your Detox, Yoga and Talk

Saturday 8th January, 11:00 – 1:00pm: Twists, Inversions, Meditation

Sunday 9th January, 11:00 – 1:00pm: Pranayama, Backbends, Meditation

From 8th – 17th January you will have access to online support from Sinead for each day of your 10-Day Detox.  This online support will make it easier for you to stay connected anywhere, anytime and easily achieve the 10 day detox.

ALL FOR ONLY €50

With a Follow-up workshop on Saturday 22nd January.  This is not a compulsory part of the program (+ €20).

Workshop Summary

The aim of the Post-Christmas Yoga & Detox Workshop is to detox the body and clear negativities from body and mind in preparation to set fulfilling intentions for 2011.

Sinead O’Connor will lead a strong dynamic yoga practice with yoga postures that fast-forward the detoxifying process of the body. This physical practice will include some pranayama techniques as well as asana.  Both will help to calm the body and the mind in preparation for a mediation practice.

With an ITEC diploma in nutrition, Sinead will also offer nutritional advice on Detoxing. She will share her tips for maintaining a healthy diet. Quite different from some radical approaches, Sinead is committed to sharing her dietary guidance for achieving balance, and believes a bit of chocolate and a glass of wine is good for the soul, although not when Detoxing.

This special workshop will also provide students with post-workshop online support.  Sinead will address individual questions by e-mail for the full duration of the 10-day detox following the workshop. Sinead will give guidance on how to let go and release all you do not need and how to walk towards a more fulfilled life.

Speaking about the workshop, Sinead says, “If we can release from our body & mind what no longer serves us it creates room to bring more positivity into our lives.”

My Breakfast Yoga: Warm Up Sequence

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote a blog.  Mainly because I have been updating my website with a New Look and haven’t been able to follow up on the blogs I had promised.  However Hush Yoga’s new look is nearly finished and the site is ready for me to post weekly yoga blogs.  I still have some work to do, like changing the menu photo – it’s a bit large, to say the least!!! So I am toying around with other ideas at the moment.  If you’d like to offer any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

So here’s the continuation to the warm up blog as posted below.hush yoga, Sinead in lunge pose

We’ve already sat for a few moments in meditation, focused on breath to centre body and mind and gone through postures such as Child’s pose, downward dog, baby cobra and cobra (as previous post).

Continuing along from the last posture, child’s pose I move back into downward facing dog holding for a 5-7 deep ujjiya breaths.

From downward dog, step your right foot forward to your hands to lunge pose.

In lunge pose stay on the finger tips, lifting chest up and forward while drawing the shoulder blades towards the spine.

The right knee should be directly over the ankle in correct alignment.

The back leg is straight with the thigh bone lifting up towards the ceiling which keeps the leg active and strong.

The left heal is stretching back while the right knee is moving forward, creating length and flexibility  in legs, while the feet are energetically moving towards each other to create strength and stability.  This also helps to align the hips. The right hip pulls back, left hip forward.

The left thigh is rotating inwards, slightly while tailbone moving forward and core muscles should be engaged.

Hold Lunge pose for about 5-7 breaths, step back to downward dog. Hold for 5-7 breaths.  Then step the left foot forward to lunge following the same instructions as above

Move back to downward dog and repeat the sequence in previous blog.

hush yoga, Sinead O'Connor YogaFrom Downward Dog,  step right foot forward to lunge, then left foot forward so you end up in a forward bend.  In the photo I have my legs straight but I often keep knees bent in the warm up sequence until I feel the hamstrings have warmed up.

Viola!  Including the postures in the post below it is a 10 minute warm up giving time to your body and mind to get into the yoga practice.

I’ll be back with more blogs next week.  Unless more website  problems.

Peace,

Sinead

My Breakfast Yoga

This weeks breakfast yoga is all about warming up the body before leading into a strong flowing Vinyasa style practice.

Last week I let you know the main postures I use to warm up the body.  I tend to mix it up from time to time. Here is the first warm up sequence to get you going on your yoga mat.

I always sit and focus on my breath for a minimum of 5 minutes. Often I focus more on the exhale and a sense of my body weight dropping towards the floor with the out breath. However always keeping the the spine straight, with shoulders directly over the hips and the chin parallel to the floor.  This meditation practice helps to ground the body and clear the mind.

Move from this short meditation into a childs pose. Hush Yoga, Sinead in Childs Pose

When in Childs pose begin Ujjaya breathing.  Also begin to connect to the core centre, applying Uddiyana Bhanda and Mulabhanda (drawing the navel gently back to the spine while using the pelvic floor muscles).

Stretch the arms, lifting the whole arm off the floor so only the hand is resting on the floor.  Draw the head of the arm bone back and hug the arms towards each other to create strength and stability.

Move forward onto hands and knees. Place hands directly under shoulders and shoulder distance apart, knees under hips, hip width apart.  Begin Cat, dropping the head and tail bone down to toward the floor while lifting the middle spine up towards the ceiling like a cat.   Reverse into cow stretch lifting the head and tail bone up towards the ceiling while dropping the middle spine.  Maintain a strong connection to the core centre, trying not to let go of the belly, especially in Cow stretch. (sorry no photos)

Move back into child’s pose for 2-3 breaths.

Hush Yoga, Adho Mukha SvanasanaMove into downward dog, keeping knees bent at first, with heals lifting high up off the floor.

Then stretch into the full pose.  You can bend one knee while stretching the opposite heal towards the floor.  This helps to warm up and loosen the calf muscle and hamstring, ( great after a night in high heal shoes ladies 😉 ).  Then make sure you hold a still downward dog for a while, focusing on breath and Bhandas (core centre)


Hush Yoga, Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana

Plank Pose, Hush Yoga From downward dog move into plank pose holding for a few breaths and then lower through chataranga to the floor.



Prepare for baby cobra pose.  Place hands Beside shoulders and lift chest off the floor, with out using in the hands to lift the chest up, so only the back is doing the work.

Hush Yoga, Baby Cobra

It is important to use your core muscles in cobra pose and also make sure the legs are strong by stretching the thigh bone back, spreading toes wide, turning thighs in slightly and moving tailbone forward without gripping the buttox.  Lower to body back to floor.Sinead, Hush Yoga

Move through baby cobra to full cobra however keep the elbows slightly bent, making sure the shoulder blades are moving in towards the spine and the shoulders are pulling down from the neck/ears at all times.

Move back to Childs pose for a few breaths.

Voila!  Ther’s  a simple yet very beneficial warm up.

Over the  next week I will break down the above postures in more detail.

Next weeks Breakfast Yoga will be a continuation from this warm up leading  through a flowing sequence towards sun salutations.

Enjoy your yoga practice.  Be kind to your body, take your time and warm up properly.

Peace,

Sinead.







Be Kind To Your Yoga Body, Warm Up!

Sinead, Hush YogaMost of my regular yoga students may well be familiar with the style of warm up I lead in a yoga class.  My own practice usually includes the same postures, and depending on the nature of the class, I have learned to vary how the warm up sequence can be delivered, with some new additions, and others only used on occasion. Sometimes I encourage students to move in ways that I learned from my dance experience, incorporating soft, gentle, easy positions I have taken from different styles of movement.

The main postures I use for my warm up are:

Childs Pose  (Balasana): stretching the spine and becoming in tune with breath;

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): stretching whole body backside; deepens bhanda awareness;

Plank Pose (Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana): strengthen legs, core centre and arms;

Baby Cobra Pose  & Cobra (Bhungasana): warms up spine, opens chest, strengthens core centre.

My warm up is the most important part of the practice for me.  It brings me in tune with my breath and body.  It’s like the appetizer before the entrée.  It’s the lead into the bigger – if not always necessarily better – serving. It’s the most precious time on my yoga mat, setting the mood lighting for what is to come.

I like to be kind to my hamstrings, my back and my breath, allowing them space to enjoy their starter before throwing them into dynamic shapes. All too often, one of my dislikes of going to other yoga classes is being thrown into Uttanasana (standing forward bend) as the first move, and shortly thereafter feeling like my hamstrings are about to rip in two.

I may get away with folding into this standing forward bend in the warmer, summer months; however, with the hint of winter and the cold weather now setting in, I would not even consider forcing my body into that pose at the start of my practice; at most, I’d fold down with knees bent, and keeping them that way for quite a while.

When I do get the opportunity to participate in other yoga classes and workshops, I arrive a few minutes earlier, giving myself enough time to warm up in the way that my body prefers, just in case the class begins in a way that is counterproductive.

Om Peace, peace, peace,

Sinead.

Open your hips, release your emotions.

Open your hips, release your emotions.

This morning the alarm went off at 7.30 with the intention that I would be sitting on my yoga mat with a cup of hot water and lemon getting ready for meditation/yoga practice.  I didn’t actually make it out of bed until 8.30 but that’s ok as today I have the time to start a little later. I went for a short run to kick start the practice.  It’s good to do this on mornings that you are feeling less motivated.  Sometimes I get up, get on the mat and it just doesn’t happen, which was the case today. Does that happen to you?  The quick run put me in the mood and reignited my spirit.

After a short run I always include lots of hip openers as running tends to stress out the gluteus, all hip and bum muscles, hamstrings & the lower back. Hip openers are the focus for most of this week in class as they are a great way to release any physical tension in these areas.  It is also an area that we hold a lot of emotional tension. Do you know that the gluteus is the densest muscle in the body?  Now can you imagine the years of all kinds of emotions we could be storing there such as sadness, stress, anger, pain.

When we work on the hips the breath naturally begins to deepen.  The exhale becomes much longer and softer.  Focusing on the exhale is a great way to focus letting go. Doesn’t it seem natural to you? The simple action of the breath leaving the body is getting rid of the breath we don’t need.  It’s so gentle and so warming to focus on letting go while you exhale.   You don’t have to name what you are letting go of simply have the sense of letting go as you exhale.   When we include hip openers with this technique we can really get deep into our core and shift some old stuff out of our body.

The meditation technique of letting go as we exhale is taken from one of my favourite books, The Wisdom Of No Escape, by Pema Chadron. It is a Buddhist technique.  I have simply incorporated this practice to enhance the benefit of the physical yoga practice.  I love this book and keep it beside my bed. Sometimes I pick it up and read whatever chapter opens up before I go to sleep.

What book do you keep by your bedside? And why?

Enjoy your Saturday.

Om peace, Om love, Om let go!

Sinead.