Yoga Health Coaching

Honour Your Menstrual Cycle – an Ayurvedic Approach

When we connect with our menstrual cycle we enhance our overall health. Connecting to our cycle means understanding the different phases of our cycle and the different energy levels associated with each phase, (see image above). There are yoga asana and practices that can support women at each stage of the month.

“The fact that so many women in our society call menses ‘the curse’ is sufficient indication of how far away from a naturally healthy life we strayed when took women out of their menstrual huts and told them to work through the month no matter what.” – Dr Robert E Svoboda Ayurveda for Women: A guide to Vitality and Health

Menstrual Phase ~ Days 1-6

This is a time to take a couple of days per month to slow down. When we welcome this time to rest and reflective it often helps us gain insights into challenges we currently have going on in our lives. This phase is linked to the New Moon.

Follicular Phase ~ Days 7-13

At this time there is a steady rise of your hormones and your mood a time to begin new projects, organise and prioritise. This phase is linked to the Waxing Moon.

Ovulation ~ Days 14-21

This time of ovulation you maybe feeling happy and social, a great time to increase communication and collaberation. This phase is linked to the Full Moon.

Luteal Phase ~ Days 22-28

This is a time we may feel more sensitive and introspective. A good time to step up your self care and work on creative projects. This phase is linked to the Waning Moon.

Yoga poses for the menstrual phase ~ Days 1-6 (New Moon)

Ayurvedic Travel Tips

From the perspective of Ayurveda, travel increases the vata dosha. Vata is the air and ether elements in the body.  When there is too much Vata we feel ungrounded and sometimes a bit scattered. Excess Vata leads to dryness in the body. This is why a lot of people become constipated or bloated when they travel.

Stay Hydrated – sip warm water throughout the flight/drive to hydrate your body.
Liquorice tea is great to help soothe the stomach and ginger tea is great for nausea.
Triphala is an Ayurvedic herb recommended for preventing constipation. (Contraindications include pregnancy and if you are on blood thinning medication).
Use sesame oil in ear lobes and nostrils to prevent dryness.
Pack a soft scarf – use it to keep you warm, to cover your eyes and ears, to use as a pillow.
Essential oils are great for refreshing the mind and relaxing the body. Try peppermint, eucalyptus or citrus aromas.
Use an organic rose water to hydrate your skin on a flight.
Eat small portions and eat slowly.
When you arrive at your destination take off your shoes and pop your legs up the wall for 5-20 minutes to promote blood flow through the body.
Use alternative nostril breathing (Nadi Shodana pranayama) to help with sleeping and jet lag.

Revive + Thrive @ Dharma Shala Bondi Beach

I am super excited to announce I will be teaching my 6 week ‘Revive and Thrive’ course at Dharma Shala Bondi Yoga School ~ Starting Sunday October 27.

Future proof your health with this habit change course. We work on creating a daily routine customised to you. We make small incremental changes over 6 weeks that make a huge impact. The course is based on the principles of Ayurveda (the sister science to yoga) so it’s all about following your intuition and listening to the bodies natural intelligence. It’s about making life more enjoyable and contributing to your wellbeing at the same time.

~ Digestion
~ Sleep
~ Starting the Day Right
~ Breath Body Practice
~ Mindset and Meditation
~ Strategies for Self-Care

Please take a moment to watch my short video to find out more…(2:27 min video)

Kaizen approach to habit change
Kaizen is the Japanese philosophy and practice of continuous improvement. Instead of making big changes all at once, the kaizen approach focuses on small improvements over time for big results. We use this approach in our daily habits course Revive + Thrive, making small incremental changes to our daily routine, over time this gives great results.

What
Each module is a 1 hour group coaching session where we will cover the topic looking through the lens of Ayurveda, there is the opportunity to ask questions and troubleshoot the topic. Each week you will also receive an email with instructions and homework to help support you in the week’s lesson. We will finish each session with a deeply relaxing Yoga Nidra to integrate the knowledge.

When

Weekly for 6 weeks starting:

Sunday 27th October 2.30pm – 4:00pm

Sunday 3rd November 2.30pm – 4:00pm

Saturday 9th November 2.30pm – 4:00pm

Sunday 17th November 2.30pm – 4:00pm

Sunday 24th November 2.30pm – 4:00pm

Saturday 1st December […]

The Big Yawn – Seven tips for a great night sleep

How important is sleep? Well, if you consider that sleep deprivation is a form of torture then we should rate it pretty high.

The findings of the National Inquiry into Australia’s Sleep Health in Australia, conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport, were released this week.

Sleep Health Foundation Chair, Professor Dorothy Bruck commented “For the first time in the world a comprehensive government-level document has acknowledged that quality sleep is as important for health as a good diet and adequate exercise.  It also calls for sleep health to be recognised as a national priority”

What is a lack of sleep costing you?

4 out of 10 Australians are not getting enough sleep and scarily in 2016-17 inadequate sleep was estimated to contribute to 3017 deaths in Australia. (As revealed in a 2017 report conducted by Deloitte Access Economics on behalf of the Sleep Health Foundation)

Do you place the same importance of sleep as you do on diet and exercise?

If we think about diet and exercise these are usually things we are investing in, we buy good food we invest in gym membership or Yoga/Pilates classes. So how can we invest in our sleep?

I remember as a kid finding it hard to go to sleep and often lay awake for hours. We are not taught how to relax, so I’ve decided to share seven yogic tips that may help you prepare for a good nights sleep.

#1  – Make going to bed a ritual

This is my #1 tip make sleep sacred, make it something to look forward to something you enjoy

If you are over stimulated, make going to bed a ritual, dim the lights, light some candles, burn some essential oils, drink a […]

Attune to Autumn

Summer is waning. As the crisp drier days of autumn arrive, we may start to notice imbalances in our systems, this can be triggered by Autumn weather. Most common, is an imbalance in the respiratory system.

To understand this from an Ayurvedic perspective, we look at the elements. Vata is the Ayurvedic dosha made up of air and ether elements. The qualities of Vata are the same qualities as Autumn, cold, dry and light. Think about autumn leaves, light, dry and crackling. In ayurveda ‘like’ increases ‘like’ so if the environment is cooler, dry, windy and brisk, our mind and body will start to feel the same.

Fortunately Ayurveda provides plenty of tools to help us to attune to each season.

Following are some tips for autumn:

Diet

Add more warm nourishing meals to your diet, try some one pot meals.
Spice up your food with herbs that are warm, sweet and nutritive.
Autumn is a good time to use fennel, garlic, cumin, coriander, curry leaves and black pepper in cooking and home remedies.
It is a good time to swap raw desserts and food for warmer meals especially in the evening. See my Spicy Apples and Coconut Cream

Lifestyle

Exercise that generates heat helps to pacify vata (wind and ether elements).
Exercise that is grounding and fluid in nature are beneficial.
When you are busy and rushing vata is easily aggravated even more so when the weather is in transition. This may show up as feeling scattered, spacious or anxious. Routine is great to help counteract this.
Meditation, sleep and rest are all wonderful and helpful to calm the wind and ether elements in the body.
Another lovely practice at this time is a lovely self abhyanga (self […]

3 traits Future Leaders will learn from Yoga…

Great leaders have a high degree of self-awareness and emotional intelligence; they also have a growth mindset. The leaders of the future also need a strong nervous system. All these qualities can be cultivated through the study and practice of yoga.
Yoga Develops Self-Awareness
Yoga is not exercise it is psychology and yoga creates self-awareness.
Approximately 1700 years ago, Patanjali’s yoga Sutra states:
‘The purpose of yoga is to still the patterning of the mind. When the mind settles into stillness then the true self is revealed.’
Yoga teaches how to master our minds and tune into our bodies. We become aware of what’s going on in our minds and how that affects our body. We learn how to observe our thoughts. We use the breath to control our emotions and feelings. This kind of self-awareness helps us evaluate our strengths and opportunities for personal growth and transformation.
Yoga Develops Emotional Intelligence
Yoga teaches us to step away from judgment and connect with the wisdom of the heart. Yogic philosophy teaches that to show more compassion, understanding and forgiveness towards yourself will mean that you can offer the same to others.
Yoga teaches us to be more responsive to others, take for example the namaste at the end of class, which can be translated as ‘the highest in me bows to the highest in you. ‘ This helps us to relate to others and to be aware of how to put others at ease.
Yoga is a practice where we are working on attentiveness, becoming more open, fair and responsive, all qualities of high emotional intelligence.
Yoga Develops a Growth Mindset
Thousands of years ago, yoga taught that we can change our mindset. Today it’s called positive neuroplasticity.
Through asana, breathwork and meditation yoga can […]

Feel and Accept for Deep Relaxation

What is feeling?
In yoga we describe this as an inner awareness of our body.
As we turn our attention inwards we start to become aware of our breathing; we may sense our heart rate; we become aware of ‘gut feelings’; we may become aware of the temperature of our body.
When we start to draw our attention inwards to the interior space of our bodies we start to move towards relaxation. This is because we start to relax our senses and in yoga this is called Pratyahara.
Our senses are connected to our sympathetic nervous system our ‘fight, flight and freeze’ response. When our senses are alerted and our attention is outwardly focused, the sympathetic nervous system is switched on and the cortisol is pumping around our body, in this state we are ready for action, we are not relaxed or healing.
When we relax our senses and move our attention to feeling from the inside out we start to access our parasympathetic and enteric nervous systems. This is the place where true relaxation takes place. This is sometimes called the ‘rest and digest’ response.
What if we don’t like what we feel? Feeling can be hard or uncomfortable as there are may be things we don’t want to continue to feel. Feeling takes courage and an open heart. When feeling is hard or uncomfortable I would invite you to notice this, and try to accept what you have found. Allow whatever is there to be there fully. This creates space around the pain or uncomfortable feeling and helps it to resolve. The opposite of feeling is numbing, which is defined as ‘depriving one of feeling or responsiveness’. It’s very easy to ‘numb out’, we all do it. We […]

The Ayurvedic Clock

Do you have a favourite time of the day? When do you feel most vibrant and
alive?

In Ayurveda there is a clock for energy. There is an optimal time of day for
different activities.

When we look at the world through the lens of Ayurveda everything is made up of
the elements earth, water, fire, air and ether. ⁣

The 5 elements are condensed into 3 Doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha. ⁣

Vata = Ether + Air⁣
Pitta = Fire + Water⁣
Kapha = Earth + Water⁣
At different times of the day, these different elements are present which creates
certain energies. They are:

Vata – the subtle wind energy is active between 2-6am/pm
Kapha – nourishing water energy is active from 6-10am/pm
Pitta – transforming fire energy is active from 10-2am/pm

What does this mean?
When we match our activities to make the most of energies naturally present we
have a routine for feeling vibrant and alive. This is what it’s like to be in sync, to
go with the flow, to be in rhythm with Mother Nature. This is common sense,
which is not that common!

An example of an Ayurvedic daily routine would look like:

Day
6am/sunrise – 10am
This is when KAPHA energy is present, there is heaviness in the air, you may
notice dew on the grass, sluggishness if you stay in bed too late. The best
activities for this time are:
o     Wake up, hydrate, eliminate
o     Drink warm water and lemon
o     Move your body for at least 20min
o     Meditate

10am – 2pm
This is PITTA time, it’s when the sun is at it’s hottest, it’s also when our digestion
is the strongest.
o     Eat the largest meal of the day
o     This is a good time for strategy work

2pm – 6pm/sunset
This is VATA time, a time […]

What is Self-Care?

Do you practice Self Care?

The wellness savvy crew are familiar with the buzz around self-care. It’s often associated with being selfish or confused with self-maintenance such as having your hair cut or going to the dentist.

Self-care is the way we nourish ourselves on a deeper level. It’s the oxygen mask principle if we take care of ourselves first we are able to care for others.

If we are interested in being the best version of ourselves, in being of service, supporting others and being able to give back, self-care is non-negotiable.
Self Care for Busy People
‘Self-care for Busy People’ is a 6 week course, it starts March 3. This course is an opportunity to learn how to truly nourish yourself. Release anxiety, stress and overwhelm as we explore yogic habits to relax the nervous system. Strengthen your capacity to plug into the present moment with mindful yoga and meditation. An invitation to listen to your body….
Take charge of your health.
Learn how Self-Care can help you become physically strong, mentally clear, & emotionally stable.

This course is for you if:

You want to reduce fatigue and increase energy
You want to manage stress and anxiety with ease
You want to feel better in your body
You want to achieve an optimal body weight
You want to cultivate healthy, simple daily routines
You need to strengthen your digestion
You want to establish a regular exercise and meditation practice

Join my 6-week Self Care course and start living a more vibrant and inspired life.

The pillars of the course:

Daily routine and daily habits
Sleep
Movement and Breath
Meditation
Ayurvedic Self care
Managing Stress

What does this course include?

6 x mindful yoga sessions
6 x group coaching sessions
Live Coaching […]

3 minute breathing space

As it is mental health week, I was inspired to make this little video.

This is a 3 minute meditation helpful for stress and anxiety. The first minute you focus on your thoughts, the second minute focus on the breath and the third minute focus on the whole body. Inspired by the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction).

3 Minute Breathing Space

Sal Flynn my mentor taught me this technique and I have found it really helpful, especially when you have busy days and don’t have time for a long meditation.

I hope you enjoy it.

Justine

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