Namaste yogis and yoginis
The next Mindful Yoga Day at Number 15 will be on Sunday 4th December 11 a.m. to 4p.m. in the beautiful setting of Number 15 in Hoylake where Hilary always provides us with a most delicious lunch and an ambient setting for our yoga and mindfulness practices.
This yoga day is a pre Christmas stress buster and guaranteed to leave you feeling chilled out and ready for the festive season with relaxing yoga therapy poses support with cushions, blankets and ambient lights.
Book early to avoid disappointment as places are now filling up – only 4 left!
Italian Job 3
I will be running another Italian yoga and cookery holiday next year at the end of Ocotober – details to follow so watch this space!”
Yoga classes –
Classes at Greasby Centre :
New from Tuesday 1st November 7p.m. – 8.15p.m.
All classes are £6
I also teach yoga at Total Fitness in Prenton – these classes are gym member only.
‘Tis the Season to deal with difficulty
As the so called Christmas Season is upon us with all the distractions, glitter, promises, stresses, shopping, cooking and general mayhem that ensues, it may be worth remembering the following:
“Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling.” Edna Ferber
And for many Christmas is a difficult time, for a variety of reasons, making the choice to stay in the moment much more challenging.
Dealing with difficulty is a challenge in that we are all pleasure seekers and run towards that which we consider joyful and run away from anything we consider difficult, painful, awkward or upsetting. How is it possible to manage strong emotions, to befriend the difficult so that we are better able to be with it while it lasts?
“Stuff happens” – how can we get the point of where can Respond rather that React?
In the October blog we looked at what happens to the body during periods of stress and the effects stress has on the body as a whole and the effects are not pleasant and can lead to long term illness and disability of being. When we are stressed or experiencing difficulties consider the following:
What happens in the body?
What happens in the mind?
What happens in your actions?
We get hijacked by the amygdalae and have no choice when the chemicals have been triggered but to go into the fight, flight or freeze response in the body which in the long term will cause damage to the organs of the body and the body itself.
How can we make choices when the primitive, reptilian part of our brain that doesn’t THINK starts to react? The chemicals set loose to make us react need to finish their course before we can return to a state of equilibrium so what possible ways are there to stop the “train crash” before it happens? Before we get hijacked by the amydalae and before the primitive part of our brain fires the chemicals in the first place?
Can we use mindfulness?
· Mindfulness means that we have to notice first of all where we are feeling the stress – where is the stress signature in the body being felt?
· What sensations are in the body and can we be with the sensations of discomfort without being drawn into them?
· If we can get that far can we then notice where are thoughts are and what they are doing again without getting drawn into the thought traffic – is it possible to just observe our thoughts like traffic on a busy road?
· Then finally, can we notice the breath?
· Where is the breath being felt most easily in that difficult moment?
· Is the breath fast or slow, shallow or deep?
· Can you feel the pause at the end of the in breath and the end of the out breath?
· Can you allow the connection to the breath to continue for several moments?
· Can we turn towards the difficult feelings, allow them to be there and BREATHE?
· In short can we BE rather that DO (try to fix the difficulty)?
· Can we learn to CHOOSE to RESPOND rather than auto-pilot REACT?
In the words of Rumi can we;
“Welcome and entertain them all even if they are a crowd of sorrows”
We can but practice using the tools of mindfulness to help us first of all to NOTICE that we have habitual patterns of thought and our habitual REACTIONS. The more we practise noticing our patterns the easier it becomes to change the patterns – after all
“Pain is only a thought! Just a thought and I can change a thought”
This was said to me many years ago and it has stayed in my thoughts since then – a thought is just a thought! And yes, thoughts can be changed and if we practice noticing them to begin with then we can release them of their power and change our thoughts!
So, let’s begin! Where are you feeling your body sensations in this moment? Where is your mind? Where is your breath?
If you have teens who need further information on Mindfulness please look at the following websites:
http://mindfulnesstoolkit.com/ - a website to help teens and adults in their mindfulness journey
All the above websites have many resources to help and support your mindfulness journey and in difficult times provide tools to manage thoughts and allow time to make the choice to respond rather than react!
Happy Mindful Awareness!