With hectic schedules and long to do, taking a moment out of our busy day to find more calm is vital for our health and well-being. And one of the ways to do this, and my personal favourite, is through meditation.
Meditation is really just a fancy word for taking some time to turn off distractions, focus on your breath and tune in to yourself. Meditation is said to have many benefits like feeling more relaxed in general, sleeping better, feeling less stressed and anxious, more focused at work, feeling more balanced within themselves, more connected to their body, feeling more grounded and at peace, and having more energy! All pretty good reasons for making it a daily habit..
Personally I find that when I start my morning with a little meditation, it helps me keep a calm, clear and focused mind. It also grounds me and helps me to connect with how I'm feeling, so throughout the day I find I'm much happier, more relaxed and present (which benefits everyone around me and everything I do). There are many different types of meditation, but it really is very simple.
So here are 5 tips and steps to making meditation a daily habit:
1. First, please do not let this become another item that you need to check off on your to do list. Instead try to look at it as a moment of serenity you're giving yourself in the morning or amidst a busy day. Some people love it, some don’t. Keep in mind that anytime we are trying something new, it can feel different and perhaps even uncomfortable, so give it a few tries to see how it makes you feel before deciding to continue or not.
2. Whenever we are trying to incorporate a new habit in to our day, it can help to do it at the same time every day and even in the same physical space. This makes it easier to remember, creates a familiarity around it and our mind begins to automatically relax as we get ready to meditate. Pick a time and space that works for you.
Personally I love to meditate in the morning after my son and husband leave for work, as I feel it helps my mind stay calm and focused. But if your mornings feel chaotic and your juggling a million things, try taking a few minutes after parking the car before you step in to work, or after a shower in the evening before bed. Choose anywhere or any time that works for you.
3. Make yourself comfortable. If you're on your yoga mat, pop a pillow under your bum. It can also help to sit on a chair with your feet touching the floor, hip width apart. Try not to worry about your surroundings - you or it doesn’t need to look instagram ready to feel good. Sounds can be distracting at first so try to find a space where you won’t be disturbed.
Sit with a straight but relaxed back and tuck your chin in a little so that you have a straight spine. Have your eyes open with a soft gaze or closed, which is often easier to focus your attention inward. Let your hands rest on your thighs, knees or in your lap. Try to relax.
4. As you sit comfortably and prepare to find sweet serenity, you can bet that those annoying thoughts, worries and items on your to do list are going to pop up. It's natural. But the more you try to fight these thoughts from coming, the stronger and more invasive they may seem. So instead accept that thoughts will come and when they do, simply acknowledge that they are there, then let them go as you exhale. The aim of meditation is not to have no thoughts, but rather to allow time for your mind chatter to vent out and for your thoughts and feelings to surface and release, so that you can go about your day with a more calm and focused mind.
5. Often we think the aim is to meditate for the longest amount of time, but this isn’t the case so start with short intervals such as 3-10min and work your way in to longer sessions. You can choose to sit in silence and simply focus on your breathing. Or often it can be great to use a guided meditation (like this one) if you're just starting out, as it gives you something to focus on and guides you step by step.
I hope you find these tips helpful and give it a try - notice how you feel after and throughout the day.
Take a moment our of your busy day to tune in to yourself and breathe, with this gentle 10min yoga flow. My beautiful friend and yoga teacher Ingrid Selmer shows us 3 simple yoga poses to help us relax and unwind.
So whenever you're ready, roll out your yoga mat and click play.
This was so much fun to create and I hope you find them helpful! Click the links above to check them out. Happy relaxing
With a full day of work ahead of me on this grey, cold and rainy day, I'm daydreaming of being back at the beach- toes in the warm sand and feeling the sun kiss my skin.
We all need 5 minutes to tune in, connect and re-charge sometimes, and by closing our eyes and taking a few breaths, we can be anywhere... I made this 5 minute guided beach meditation to help you do just this.
Find a comfortable position and click play above.
I hope you enjoy it, sending you so much love.
P.S. want more guided meditations? Check out these 8 YinMama Guided Meditations
I really believe that meditation is one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves and for those we love. People who meditate reported through anun-official survey that they do it because;
feel more relaxed
it clears and calms their mind
helps them focus better at work
feel more balanced within themselves and more connected to their body
feel more grounded and at peace
have less stress and anxiety
and that it boosts their energy levels!
All wonderful reasons to make it a daily habit...
If you're new to Meditation, it's really just a fancy word for taking some time to turn off distractions, connecting with our breath and turning our attention inwards. So today I want to share 5 ways to make meditation easy and a part of our daily routine.
1. Don't call it meditation - instead think of it just as a moment you're taking to tune in and connect with yourself. A moment to breathe and give back to yourself.
2. Sit comfortably. If you're sitting on a chair - have your feet flat on the floor. Or if you're on your yoga mat, sit on a pillow and cross your legs in front of you, letting your hands rest in your lap. Try to have a straight but relaxed back, and close your eyes helps to focus our attention inwards.
3. Whenever we are trying to incorporate a new habit in to our day, it can help to do it at the same time every day and even in the same physical space. This makes it easier to remember, creates a familiarity around it and our mind begins to automatically relax as we get ready to meditate. So pick a time and space that works for you...
Personally I love to meditate in the morning just after my son and husband has left, before I start work. I have created a little space in the living room where I keep my YinMama Wool Yoga Mat and Meditation Pillow, that feels inviting and really comfortable. Creating this space makes me really want to take this moment every day for myself and it helps me feel more relaxed and focused throughout the day.
If your mornings feel chaotic, try taking a few minutes after parking the car before you step in to work, or after a shower in the evening before bed. Choose anywhere or any time that works for you.
4. You'll probably find that when you sit down to take this moment, your mind is flooded with thoughts! That's normal. The aim of meditation isn't to stop our thoughts, but rather to allow time for your mind chatter to vent out and for your thoughts and feelings to surface and release, so that you can go about your day with a more calm and focused mind...
So when the thoughts pop up - don't try to push them away. Simply allow them to come up, and on the next exhale just let them pass... not paying too much attention to them. Kind of like clouds in the air, they're just there - floating past. When you find yourself thinking about something, just bring your attention back to your breath.
5. Make it short. 2-5 minutes to begin with is great, then build from there. And in the beginning, it can be easiest to use a guided meditation - listening to someone walk you through it. I have created 8 guided meditations for you that is perfect any time you want to connect inward, breathe and feel more relaxed... Click here to check them out!
I hope you find these tips helpful and give it a try - notice how you feel after and throughout the day.
In this 20 minute video I guide you through 5 gentle yin and restorative yoga poses, perfect for relaxation in the evening.
Please keep in mind that this is only meant as a guide - Yoga should never feel painful, and only do what feels natural and ok for you.
This video contains advertisement for the YinMama Wool Yoga mat, palo santo and essential oil roller;)
Find a quiet space, roll out your yoga mat and click play on the video above. I also recommend listening to this song on Spotify when we start the firs yoga pose.
So happy to be sharing this guided meditation with you. Perfect for relaxation and sleep.
I hope you enjoy it, love,
This week I want to share a very simple yoga pose called Sat Kriya that is said to help strengthen your mind and whole body. It can help to connect and strengthen your pelvic floor, core muscles and spine, help with anxiety and fear, aid digestion, cleanse and balance your bodies energy, stimulates creativity and can help build your self-esteem... Em yes please to all of the above! Here is a step by step guide to Sat Kriya:
1. sit on your heels, straight but relaxed back.
If it feels uncomfortable, put a pillow between your bum and legs or sit on a chair with your feet together).
2. fold your hands in front of you so that your left thumb is on top of your right thumb (opposite for men). stretch out your forefingers.
3. Inhale and stretch your arms out in front of you and above your head, trying to keep them straight by locking your elbows. Exhale and relax your shoulders.
4. Do a powerful Root Lock - basically a Kegel exercise. Imagine trying to stop peeing and clenching your bum at the same time, while also pulling in your navel. this is a Root Lock. Hold if for a few seconds and then release gently... Let your breath control itself.
5. Repeat the Root Lock for 3 minutes while thinking or saying the mantra SAT NAM. SAT as you do the Root Lock and NAM as you gently release.
This Mantra comes from Kundalini Yoga and means "True Identity" or aligning with your truth. It helps you focus and stay present while doing this yoga pose.
If you're pregnant or menstruating, simply sit with your hands resting in your lap (not above your head) and either avoid it completely or do a very soft Root Lock while saying the mantra SAT NAM.
6. Its important to Always Relax for a few minutes after doing Sat Kriya to help your body recover
If I had to choose just one yoga pose to do everyday, this is the pose I would choose!
Have a great day, Love
This week I want to share a very simple breathing exercise called Nadi Shodana or Alternated Breathing. Check out the video above!
Lots of love
3 SIMPLE YOGA POSES FOR RELAXATION & SLEEP
There are so many different types of yoga practices. Personally I have always loved the gentler types like yin- and restorative yoga because it helps me balance out my busy everyday life by tuning in to myself and finding my inner calm.
Today I want to share with you 3 super simple yoga poses that are great to in the evening before bed or whenever you need to de-stress. Yoga should never be painful so don't do anything that doesn't feel right to you. Remember to breathe, be present and kind to yourself when practicing it.
This is really two poses combined and they blend perfectly together.
Start this pose by standing on all fours with your knees directly under your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders (called the neutral table top position). Engage your core stomach muscles and as you inhale, go into CAT pose by slowly tucking your tailbone and belly in, and gently arching your back. Your neck follows naturally so you look in towards your stomach. Imagine the movement starting at your tailbone, travelling naturally up the spine and ending at the top of your head.
As you exhale, we go into COW pose. Gently tilt your pelvis, push your heart forward and up, lifting your gaze to look straight ahead. Push your shoulders away from your ears. Take your time and engage your whole body. Repeat 3-5 times.
I love this pose because it can help stretch and strengthen your back, massage your internal organs and reduce stress.
Walk your hands a little in front of you and widen the distance between your knees. On the next exhale, push back with your hands and send your sitting bones back to kiss your heals. Let your chest melt down and rest your forehead on your mat, relaxing your arms. You can put a pillow between your legs here if you feel any discomfort. Take a few deep breaths in child's pose.
Child's pose is a gentle resting pose that stretches the hips, thighs and legs while calming the mind and relieving stress and tension.
I like to end with a short meditation.
My husband took these photos at the beach last summer. When I'm surrounded by toys in the living room I like to close my eyes and imagine I'm right back there. Yoga doesn't need to be about fancy headstands or practiced in a luxurious resort to feel good! Sometimes its just about taking a few minutes to tune in to yourself and find your calm.
Wishing you a relaxing evening and great night sleep tonight.