Some Book Suggestions…

As it’s coming up to Christmas I thought I’d give you some recommendations for a little present for your Christmas list or for you to give to a friend. Reading about yoga is a great way to supplement your own practice – it’s another way to learn, just looking at the poses helps you to understand the shape the body is supposed to be in!! And you don’t even have to get up off the sofa! And giving the gift of yoga to someone else is the best gift you can give…

slim calm sexy

SLIM CAM SEXY YOGA – Tara Styles

This a great guide to yoga postures – geared towards the younger, (more bendy!), however the photographs, words and sequences are well put together (even though some are a little ambitious).

Tara Styles helps you to discover your own home practice… in just 15 minutes a day yoga can help you…

sculpt your body
control diet-busting cravings
banish stress
get smooth glowing skin
sleep better
improve mood and energy

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YOGA FOR LONG LIFE – Stella Weller

By contrast, his book offers gentle, effective exercise for the mature person. It’s more of a practical workbook offering strengthening and stretching yoga exercises for anyone wishing to preserve the quality of their mobility and life.

With lots of drawn illustrations, this book offers chapters on breathing exercises, mental exercises, eating for longevity and help for common disorders such as arthritis, eye problems and osteoporosis.

Shining Skull Breath (Kapalbhati)

Kapalbhati Pranyama

In our yoga classes this term we have begun to work with Kapalbhati Pranayama. This is a practice which is cleansing and energising – the forceful exhalation clears out the nasal passageways and the pulling force of the abdomen stimulates and strengthens the abdominal muscles and organs. When you have got the hang of this practice it literally takes 5 minutes and you feel strong and ready for anything!  It will make sits up a thing of the past.

The way this makes you feel so good is because the blood is enriched with more oxygen than your usual breathing which is very good for your circulation, renewing body tissue and helping your nerves and metabolism. There really is no other practice in any sport or exercise like it – which can make it difficult to understand and get into.

The following guide is meant as a supplement to our class work. It’s always best to learn from an experience teacher and exercise caution – building up the tummy muscles gradually and the bodies’ capacity to deal with the changes. If you feel dizzy at any time you should stop and sit still until you feel better. People suffering from high blood pressure, eye problems, hernia or recovering from any abdominal injury or operation should not do this practice. IF IT HURTS OR MAKES YOU DIZZY THEN STOP

The body should be prepared over some weeks before even having a go.  A gentle way to do this is to lay on your back in the semi supine position and work with leg raises and apanasana (knees to chest) to bring your awareness to your abdominal muscles and strengthen them. In class we worked with a routine called Mooncat (which I have given as half term homework). This sequence of postures includes the cat and cow, half moon pose and plank – all of which work the abdominal muscles.

Further preparation is required to understand abdominal breathing and our breathing process in general. Visualise air travelling into the body thought the nose and down into the abdomen allowing the abdomen to swell and then visualise the air travelling back out up through the body and out through the nose squeezing the abdominal muscles increasingly tighter with each round. You can begin practising in the semi supine position and then move onto a sitting posture. For more information about abdominal breathing read this post.

To practice Kapalbhati – (it is very important to have taken the steps to prepare, this lays the foundation for your success)

Sit in a comfortable seated posture (one that you can hold and feels as if your back is upright and if someone came along and gave you a shove you wouldn’t fall over)

The back must be upright and the crown of the head up towards the ceiling

The hands resting on the knees, shoulders and elbows relaxed – use your favourite mudra

Close the eyes and relax the whole body – especially the abdominal area

Inhale a deep abdominal breath and then pull the abdominal muscles back to force and exhale back out through the nostrils

The next inhale happens passively as you relax the abdomen then pull the abdominals back again to force the exhale out through the nose.

Continue pumping the air out like this for 10 – 20 rounds or less if your tummy feels tired.

Relax and then take a deep slow inhale, pause gently then exhale smoothly and slowly.

This concludes 1 round, begin again and practice up to 3 rounds.
Always practice with awareness – keep your mind on what you are doing. Stop at once if you feel faint or dizzy.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

Carrots are very good for you. The contain beta carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body and this is most excellent for your eyes and for your immunity. So lets get crunching..

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 pound carrots, coarsely grated (about 4 cups)
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
    • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, mashed or minced
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
    • Pinch of salt
    • About 1/2 teaspoon harissa (Northwest African chili paste), 1 tablespoon minced green chilies, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days to allow the flavors to meld and permeate the carrots. Served chilled or at room temperature. Easy peasy.

LOTS OF MONEY RAISED AT OUR YOGA PARTY : )

A HUGE BIG SMILEY THANK YOU to everyone who cooked, donated, photographed and joined in the ‘community’ yoga for our Yoga Party. We raised a whopping £492 for the Leicester based charity Hope Against Cancer.

For those that couldn’t attend, here’s a flavour of the evening…

Firstly, we did about an hour of yoga – mostly with chairs and then worked with a standing balance ‘Vrksasana’ (tree pose) both individually and as a group…

While we waited for the food to heat up Prof. Raghu Raghavan (Trustee of Hope Against Cancer) told us about the work of the charity – how it helps buy equipment, sponsors the work of PhD students and collaborates with other charities to do larger projects.

Then we ate a lovely feast of lasagne and salad (there was a choice of 4 different types and all were delicious)…

Afterwards we had a selection of homemade/grown desserts (of course I had to try them all)…

Finally we all kept our fingers crossed as the raffle was drawn… prizes included a photo shoot and print by Daniel McClean, vouchers for Cook, lots of wine, chocolates and candles. Everyone went home with a treat!

We all had such a good time that plans are already in motion to have another Yoga-Social in September…  a picnic at Rutland water. Keep an eye out in the newsletter for further information.

 

KEEP IN TOUCH OVER THE SUMMER…

Whether you are at home or travelling over the summer KEEP IN TOUCH…   Send me a picture taken of yourself in your favourite yoga posture, add a witty title and enter it in our competition – you could win yourself a bag full of yoga goodies…

Please send your entries to me via email – deb@do-yoga.co.uk.  Get snapping and good luck xxx

The competition will be judged by a panel on September 1st 2018 and the winner notified in the first week of the autumn term.

(Small Print… By entering your photo you are agreeing for it to be published on the do-yoga website and other printed do-yoga materials.)

 

 

MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS – A MORNING WORKSHOP

Saturday 26th May 10 – 1 Ryhall Village Hall

Many people get frustrated with meditation or simply have no idea where to start. Meditation is meant to be enjoyable, relaxing and a powerful tool for our health. I have put together a morning of movement and stillness, noise and silence, laughter and peace so that I can pass on this hugely rewarding practice. No previous experience of yoga is necessary – just a mat and blanket.

So what exactly is meditation? Emptying your mind like emptying your kitchen bin??? Well it can have that effect – but in a more gentle manner – we are trying to sooth the mind and reduce the ‘background’ noise. Meditation gives our mind something to focus on, so it has an anchor to hold onto. Anchors may include saying a mantra, looking at an object, watching the breath or simple movements. An anchor also helps us be fully present and live in the moment – trying to stop thoughts of the past and future.

Holding onto these anchors helps quiet our minds and then we can get a glimpse of how the mind is working.  We can then get to see our worries, our obsessions and the busyness of the mind just like clouds floating in the sky. Potentially, we can choose to let these things go as we put some perspective onto the thoughts and see them as just that – thoughts.  In a sense we develop our own method of managing our thoughts. Instead of our thoughts controlling us we get some control over them!

Some people see meditation like sitting at the shore of the ocean of your mind and just watching the waves come and go. We’re not pushing our thoughts away, or judging them but simply watching these thoughts as we’d watch the waves while sitting on the beach. And whilst on the beach watching each wave there’s also a sense of connection to something bigger, something that helps you put some perspective onto the thoughts.

But what if I can’t sit still? Or simply don’t have 5 minutes a day to practice? Don’t worry, meditation is not supposed to be something that is added to your to-do list. Fidgetty people are actually the ones who can benefit the most from meditation, as it helps you to r-e-l-a-x. You can meditate walking or gently moving the body in different ways as well as the traditional statue-like state. That said, being still in the body does help to be still in the mind, but this will come with practice and patience.  There are many well respected studies that show how beneficial meditation is for stress reduction, productivity improvement and easing insomnia. You can read more about this here

On this MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS workshop you will take a light hearted tour around the important aspects of meditation and explore several different methods. It is experiential (you will do things) as well as being a little theoretical, giving you some background information which will hopefully inspire and fire you up to make time for meditation in your life.

Please book your place in class or email me via the Contact Us page.

Lets Explore… SEATED TWISTS

Twists are great ways to reduce tension in the back muscles and they also help to undo knots in our minds as well… (It’s the yoga magic!) Additional benefits include a wringing action in the soft tissues which squeeze out fluids and then upon release of the twist refill with fresh juices – FEELS GOOD!

Here in pictorial format, I thought I would show you the development of the seated twist from basic to advanced. YOU know where you are on this scale – look out for the key alignment of the spine in all these postures and then work on it yourself. I know I don’t have to tell you – but it is best to feel accomplished in the first posture before attempting the next stage.

If you are able to sit cross legged, this is the best start for a twist. Use your blocks to get comfortable in Sukasana (cross legged) and then place the hand on the opposite knee, breathe in and as you exhale twist the shoulders around and place the finger tips on the floor behind you. Stay for 3 – 5 breaths and then untwist on the inhale. Work both sides. Keep the spine aligned throughout. Cross the legs in the opposite direction now and repeat.

If cross legged is not comfortable then begin in Dandasana with the legs outstretched. (This is also stage 2 if you did work in the cross legged pose.) Cross one leg over the other and hug the knee into the torso with the opposite arm; breathe in, and as you exhale twist the shoulders around and place the fingers on the floor behind you. NB Keep the spine aligned CROWN OVER TAIL BONE it is so easy to lean back but this doesn’t help the twist. Also, if you find this causes lower back discomfort, you can sit on one block.

Keep working on stage 2 until the shoulders comfortably twist into alignment with the outstretched leg. There are a number of different variations with different arms. This is where most people spend time working ( 3-5 breaths for each side is enough in each practice). Gently encourage your spine to twist as you exhale. Keep the spine aligned throughout.

As the twist movement comes with ease, you can begin to bend the outstretched leg. Do the previous version first and then try the new leg position in a 2nd round. Take your time with these advancements – don’t force anything. Breathe and relax the body will stretch over time – and by time I mean months and years.

In the final stage (Ardha Matseyendrasana), the shoulders twist easily around enabling the arms to ‘bind’ underneath the upright knee. The example here shows the spine beautifully aligned and the head twisted around (not as relaxed as the rest of the posture seems though). It is the ease of the legs and arms which your are seeking – this yogi feels relaxed in the posture. A feeling of being in the posture rather than pushing to achieve it – which is what you want to aim for in your practice.

No matter what stage you are at – this is the right stage for you now. Don’t force anything. If you are unsure about what you’re doing – pay attention next time you are in class! Get in early and sit at the front, I regularly demonstrate postures at the beginning of when we practice and then get up and move around the room. If it suits you better, come along for a 1-2-1 in my yoga room, great gains can be made with a few moments spent in preparatory movements to open up a particularly tight area of your body – this can’t always happen in a class environment.

Happy Twisting – and remember spine upright and practice safely x

 

Make an ongoing commitment to your own health and wellbeing

Looking after your health is an ongoing process and we must always be increasing our commitment to it as we get older and become susceptible to more problems. Most of us take good health totally for granted – something we are given and don’t have to take care of. But as you are probably thinking, that’s a ridiculous notion. By turning a blind eye to our niggling back pain or continuous tension headaches we have more time for the ‘important’ things in our lives. But what good will all the money in the word do you when you develop a heart disease? And how will you look after your family then?

 

Are you actively involved in maintaining your own health? Come on, be honest, do you prioritise YOU? Sounds so obvious doesn’t it? But if you were to spend one week in my shoes – or reading my email – you would see just how many people put soooo much before their own health.

 

It is a convenient belief of many today that we can simply hand over our health to doctors, nurses, pills and potions and say “fix this please, it’s hurting me”. This is a further acknowledgement that we don’t want to be responsible for our own health and perpetuates the myth that illness and disease are something that happen to you – that they are somehow separate. However no disease happens by accident. Accidents happen by accident. Getting a heart disease is not an accident.

 

We are all actually in a state of wellness or un-wellness. It really is a case of shades of grey rather than a black and white situation. Illness and disease are not something ‘out there’ separate from you – something that you have no control over. Your body is a magnificent, self healing organism. Your immune system is very powerful and the self regenerating capacity of your body is simply fantastic.

 

Illness is only the last stage of a problem. Before anyone becomes ill, there are early warning signs that things are not quite right. These might include feeling tired more than usual, feeling lifeless, irritability, mental confusion, headaches or general aches and pains. All these should say to you “I need to rest more often and listen to my body more, to see what is at the bottom of this”. If these signs are ignored the body will not cope and ends up waving a red flag and saying ‘I’ve had enough and am going to break down’. The run down state is the cause of the problem (causing a weakened immunity system) and the disease that follows is the effect.

 

If you have the awareness to identify the problem before it gets out of hand and provide the body with the right conditions for it to get on with its own defense and healing, you will have saved yourself much suffering – and this is the goal of yoga.

 

After all modern medicine helps the body to heal – the doctors, nurses and drugs do not actually heal the body for us. It is our cells which have to regenerate and mend the affected part. Take a broken leg for example. Once the bone is set back in the correct place, it is the body that does the job of mending. With rest, good food and a calm mental attitude this will take less time. It is more difficult to imagine how the body ‘rebuilds’ itself with other illness such as pneumonia or high blood pressure – but it does.

 

Convinced? Take a long look in the mirror, look at your eyes, skin tone, tongue. Do you look good? Feel alive? A healthy lifestyle with fresh food and daily yoga goes a very long way to improve your health and wellbeing. All it takes is for you to commit.

Inspirational Poetry for Meditation over the Sunny Summer months…

Why not steal five or ten minutes over the summer to simply sit and read a poem?

You could even read it on a visit to a beautiful place – some local suggestions – Rutland Water, Launde Abbey or Burghley Park…

You fill my soul with sunshine 

You fill my soul with sunshine
my heart with tender care.
You fill my world with happiness
knowing that you are always there

Every waking hour
is filled with your love
that I feel I’ve been blessed
with an angel from above

There are no words enough
to express the way I feel
knowing that this heart
will never feel no ill.

This old world may go on,
being crazier every day.
However, I have the inner warmth of knowing
you fill my soul with sunshine each and every day.

David Harris

A Gleam Of Sunshine – Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This is the place. Stand still, my steed,
Let me review the scene,
And summon from the shadowy Past
The forms that once have been.

The Past and Present here unite
Beneath Time’s flowing tide,
Like footprints hidden by a brook,
But seen on either side.

Here runs the highway to the town;
There the green lane descends,
Through which I walked to church with thee,
O gentlest of my friends!

The shadow of the linden-trees
Lay moving on the grass;
Between them and the moving boughs,
A shadow, thou didst pass.

Thy dress was like the lilies,
And thy heart as pure as they:
One of God’s holy messengers
Did walk with me that day.

I saw the branches of the trees
Bend down thy touch to meet,
The clover-blossoms in the grass
Rise up to kiss thy feet,

“Sleep, sleep to-day, tormenting cares,
Of earth and folly born!”
Solemnly sang the village choir
On that sweet Sabbath morn.

Through the closed blinds the golden sun
Poured in a dusty beam,
Like the celestial ladder seen
By Jacob in his dream.

And ever and anon, the wind,
Sweet-scented with the hay,
Turned o’er the hymn-book’s fluttering leaves
That on the window lay.

Long was the good man’s sermon,
Yet it seemed not so to me;
For he spake of Ruth the beautiful,
And still I thought of thee.

Long was the prayer he uttered,
Yet it seemed not so to me;
For in my heart I prayed with him,
And still I thought of thee.

But now, alas! the place seems changed;
Thou art no longer here:
Part of the sunshine of the scene
With thee did disappear.

Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart,
Like pine-trees dark and high,
Subdue the light of noon, and breathe
A low and ceaseless sigh;

This memory brightens o’er the past,
As when the sun, concealed
Behind some cloud that near us hangs
Shines on a distant field.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

I Will Be Your Sun

 

You carry a whole world with you.
A planet rests upon your shoulders.
You may not see it, but I do.

There is a Universe Within that you carry wherever you go.
Ecosystems of passion and romance. Warring nations of worry and fear.
A billion living ideas, stories and experiences that make up a whole history named You.

Wherever you go, I promise to be your sun.

It’s not that your life revolves around me.
Think of it like this:
Whenever you come to me,

I will do my best to be quiet and still
and shine nothing but kindness and light upon you.

 

Dave Ursillo

Carol goes for The Big Sleep Out

carol-jules-lee-ready-for-the-big-sleepout

LOCAL SOLICITOR SLEEPING ROUGH TO SUPPORT and HIGHLIGHT HOMELESS CHARITY

On the night of December 2nd my husband, Jules, and I together with one of our sons, will be sleeping in a cardboard box, outside, whatever the cold winter weather. No, we won’t have become homeless ourselves by that date (fortunately) but we will be joining with hundreds of others for the 2016 Big Sleepout, organised by Trinity Homeless Projects. Trinity provides day services, housing, coaching, training, work placements and support to move-on. This year they will house 275 people, all with no government funding.

Whenever we visit any city or town, we are always astounded and saddened by how many (mostly young ) people are sleeping on the streets.  The facts that we are fortunate enough to have never experienced the horrors of this and  we make our living largely from the housing market, made us wish to do something to help highlight awareness of this problem and to help raise funds towards the wonderful and practical work carried out by Trinity Homeless Projects. Sleeping outside in the freezing cold in a cardboard box isn’t likely to be a pleasant experience but we know that we shall be experiencing only a fraction of what so many people in our country experience every night. We shall be safe and shall know  that we have hundreds of people around us. Most of all, we know that we shall be  there out of choice. I can’t even begin to imagine how it must feel being vulnerable, painfully alone, and with no other option. I don’t think any of us could truly imagine it, unless we actually experienced it for real. That is why we are  so passionate about combating homelessness and supporting the  work of  Trinity.

If you are able to support us in these efforts, our Just Giving web-link page and the link to details of the event are below. A  massive thank you in advance and thank you to all those who have already contributed and supported us. Every contribution, every penny, helps and will be put to good practical use.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.



https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/LeeWhitmore

http://www.wearetrinity.org.uk/the-big-sleepout/


With kind regards,

Carol Lee
Senior Consultant Solicitor and Notary Public
Member of the Law Society Property Section

Setfords Solicitors
clee@setfords.co.uk
Direct line: 01572 453101

Izzie Miccolis (Secretary to Carol Lee): 01572 490270

Sarah Pembleton (Residential Conveyancing Manager for Carol Lee):  01664 491412

Fax: 01483 300487

Meeting rooms at Uppingham and Oakham

Setfords Solicitors