Yoga Health Coaching

A Winter Guide

Yoga for Young Athletes

Yoga works on strength and flexibility and ease of movement this helps range of motion. Yoga also increases your body awareness so that you notice warning signs in the body and this can make you less susceptible to injury.

The sequence of poses shown below work to relive tightness and give a good stretch for young athletes.
Pigeon

 

Why it’s good

This is a great hip opener, the front leg is externally rotating and the back leg is stretching out the psoas muscle (deep seated core muscle). This pose will therefore increases hip mobility as it stretches inner and outer hip muscles.

How to do it

Start on all fours, slide your right knee forward to the back of your right wrist; at the same time angle your right shin under your torso and bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. Your left leg slides back as you straighten the knee.

Take a deep breath and as you exhale lay your torso down on the inner right thigh for a few breaths. You may stretch your arms forward.
Downward Dog

Why it’s good

Elongates the shoulders and stretches and strengthens hands, wrists, low back, hamstrings, calves, foot arches and achilles tendons

How to do it

Come onto all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Look at your hands and spread your fingers evenly with the palms pressed down into the floor.

Take a deep breath and as you exhale lift your knees away from the floor.
Warrior 2 

Why it’s good

This pose is all about being a ‘peaceful warrior’, it’s about bringing balance and getting centered. It is a strong pose designed to develop stamina and commitment. It opens your heart and lungs and is also a […]

3 Steps to Calm Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

If you are feeling anxious, know that you are not alone. Everybody will experience anxiety at sometime; it’s a normal human emotion. Saying that, the speed at which we are living and the speed our brains and nervous systems are accessing information has greatly increased. This means anxiety has become a bigger deal.

Looking through the lens of Ayurveda, anxiety is a Vata imbalance. This is an excess of the Ether and Air elements. This means that certain body types are more prone to becoming affected by anxiety and certain activities can increase anxiety.

How does yoga help

When we feel anxious the energy in the body rises upwards and we tend to shallow breath, we may experience dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations, insomnia and digestive issues. If you have extreme anxiety it may also lead to panic attacks. Slow hatha yoga where we focus on grounding is a great panacea for anxiety.

On a mental level anxious thoughts are future focused. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, breath work can help bring us back into the present moment.

3 steps to calm Anxiety

Step 1 – Awareness

Recognise that you are feeling anxious, acknowledge that anxiety is occurring, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Step 2 – Allow

Allow it to be there, to feel it. Try not to resist the anxiety but instead, notice where in the body you are feeling the effects of this emotion and notice the intensity. When we name anxiety for what it is, a temporary emotion that comes and goes, it takes away its power.

Step 2 – Action (Choose a way to respond)

Choose how to move forward, below are 5 ways you can do this through Yoga. Different approaches work for different people, choose what works […]

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

Welcome to this unique self-empowerment course where we focus on your personal energy and purpose.

We explore your unique body type and how this influences the way you show up in the world.

What type of daily routine suits you and how your daily routine will assist you to achieve your goals?

How your habits are influencing your mood and sense of wellbeing.

Through the self-care and self love components of the course we learn how to strengthen our intuition. You will learn more about what your intuition is telling you, learning to listen to the natural intelligence of the body.

You will learn how to honour yourself through self-care boundaries; we explore the benefits of self love with practices to assist you.

We look at how you are sleeping and practices to support your sleep.

How are you best using your energy potential? We explore circadian rhythms and how you can accept your natural rhythms by learning the best ways to nourish yourself.

We will cover a new module each week:

~ How to manage your digestion for increasing your energy
~ Support your sleep
~ Starting the Day Right
~ Create your Breath Body Practice
~ Mindset and Meditation to suit you
~ Strategies for Self-Care and Self Love

What
Each module is a 1.5 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 meditation to integrate the knowledge.

When

Weekly for 6 weeks starting: 16th October 2020

Where
Online via zoom

Join

Testimonials

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 […]