The Wim Hof Method

I have often mentioned the Wim Hof Method in our classes. Wim Hof (a man) is also known as the ‘Iceman’ due to his belief that cold is something that we can draw energy from and should feel rather than shy away from. Exposure to the cold (suggested in his book as being introduced gently after your normal shower) is actually proven to improve health by fortifying our immune system.

There are 2 other concepts that Wim uses – that of deep breathing (rather like our 3 part breath) and control of our minds via a commitment to do the cold showers and deep breathing. I like it!

As part of his campaign to spread the Wim Hof Method he has produced a TV series on the BBC with celebrities’ trying it out – you can watch it on the link below and see what you think.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0bwtsp9

Yoga For Relaxation – A New Online Class on Monday Evenings

Fancy a chill out? Monday evenings at your place is the place to be… just put your joggers on and a snuggly jumper and click onto Zoom…

My new Yoga for Relaxation class will be online as it doesn’t need much space – just somewhere quiet and warm with good internet, and it means that you don’t have to get into your car to drive home.

This class will be held on the Zoom platform – Mondays 6.30 – 7.30. You can join on a weekly basis simply book in by email and I will send you 2 links the day before: 1 for the Zoom meeting and 1 for the payment link (£6).

What will the class consist of?

This is a 1 hour class which will begin with gentle movements (about half an hour) then move on to breathing exercises (10 minutes) and finally a deep relaxation called Yoga Nidra (20 – 25 minutes).

Yoga Nidra is a systematic way to relax the body, mind and emotions. It has been scientifically proven to help relieve physical and mental tensions. You may be surprised at the benefit to a physical problem by regular Yoga Nirdra practice and so too you may benefit from better concentration and sleep. The rewards really are worth the input of time because you simply have to lie still and remain awake – there is no more to it than that!

The following is an extract from the book Yoga Nidra – Swami Satyanandana Saraswati (2012 edition)

Chapter on Counteracting Stress

The stress response

States of anxiety, depression, frustration and anger are accompanied by a variety of physical responses including palpitations, excessive sweating, diarrhea, indigestion, headache and weakness. These responses are the outcome of the complex process by which the physiological systems of the body adapt to stress. This process has been termed ‘the stress response’ by pioneering researchers such as Dr Hans Selye of Canada, and includes states of accelerated heart rate and increases in blood pressure, skeletal muscle tension and cortisone and noradrenalin levels in the blood. As stressful conditions persist, the body’s resistance is sapped away.  Imbalances in the autonomic nervous system, endocrine glands, and in the chemical and hormonal composition of the blood become permanent, with increasingly disturbed functioning of all the organs and systems of the body.

As the equilibrium of the body, even at rest, becomes increasingly disturbed, a variety of nervous symptoms usually manifest, including insomnia, anxiety and irritability, often leading to neurosis.  As the imbalance is further aggravated, physical changes in sensitive or weakened organs result. In this way, major psychosomatic diseases such as asthma, peptic ulceration and hypertension evolve out of poorly managed psychological tensions which are relayed into the physiological systems of the body.

The work of Dr K N Udupa of Banaras Hindu University (India) suggests that stress-related disorders evolve gradually through four recognisable stages. Initially, psychological changes such as anxiety, irritability and insomnia arise due to over stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. In the second stage, distinct physical symptoms such as high blood pressure, elevated heart rate or increased intestinal motility appear. In the third stage, a more profound physical and/or biochemical imbalance sets in, and evidence of malfunctioning organs manifests clinically. Finally, detectable and often irreversible lesions appear often with severe symptoms requiring surgical or long-term pharmacological management.”

The book is very interesting and is accessible to students –  you can get a copy online at most book sites.

Go Local

support your local village hall + save petrol

Why not support your local village hall? You never know, besides saving petrol you may make some new friends. Either way you will be keeping our village halls open as a useful and convenient venue to enrich the lives of old and young in your area.

In South Luffenham there are coffee mornings “Fika Saturdays” each month on Saturday mornings 10.30 – 12.30 (see dates in the poster above).

In Exton there is ‘T for Tuesdays’ on the 2nd Tuesday each month – why not do a walk and then end up at the village hall?

In Stamford the ‘Bunker’ (entrance in the passage to the right hand side of the Methodist church, Barn Hill) is open from 1 – 3 on Wednesdays and offers food that would be thrown away by super markets and farms. Just give a donation and take away a bag full of food – this saves food waste and provides funds for the church.

DAFFODIL RELAXATION

Yoga Teacher Deb King guides a relaxation based on the daffodil

Just in case you missed the relaxation a couple of weeks ago, (I know that some students tend to drift off…) here it is again for you. It’s great to really embrace spring with all the hope and positive signs in nature all around us. Breathe it in, and focus your mind with this guided meditation to uplift and enliven the spirits.

Health Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep

There’s absolutely no doubt that we feel tip top when we’ve had a good night’s sleep. It energises our body and puts us in a good mood. A bad night’s sleep can happen for many different reasons – the birth of a new baby, stress and anxiety or as a form of torture! Well I guess the third doesn’t happen to that many of us, but it does demonstrate how effective sleep deprivation is in causing us discomfort in most areas of our lives. Ever had that ‘can’t decide what to wear’ feeling? Or ‘Ooh that chocolate cake is just what I need to pep up my energy?’ Or ‘Why did I snap at that shop assistant? They were just doing their job.’ Many of life’s ‘incidental’ niggles like these can be put down to a lack of sleep.  Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of sleep and see why getting enough sleep is so important.

1. Improves your concentration

When the body and mind are tired there’s much more chance that your mind will wander and become distracted. This is especially important if you are driving or operating machinery where a moment’s laps in concentration can cause an accident. By getting plenty of sleep you are helping your mind and body to stay focused and sharp the next day.

2. Learn and make memories

Not only does sleep allow your body the time it needs to rest, repair and rebuild, but it does the same for your mind too. As you sleep, your brain begins to organise and process all the information you’ve taken on during the day. It converts your short-term memories into long-term memories. This helps you to learn and means that when you wake up, you can often see things more clearly. So don’t be fooled into thinking that when you’re asleep your brain has shut off too. Your brain is actually quite busy while you sleep, sorting and storing information from the day.

3. Helps you maintain a healthy weight

If you’re not sleeping properly, your body will need more energy because it’s awake for longer. Also, you’re more likely to overeat and choose foods that are high in calories later in the day as you feel your energy slump in the afternoon or evening.

4. Keep your heart healthy

As we sleep, the heart rate and blood pressure naturally drop, to allow your heart time to rest and recover. Research has shown that if you’re not sleeping properly, your sympathetic nervous system remains stimulated at night. This is the system of your body responsible for the ‘fight-or-flight’ response – how your body reacts when it senses danger. This means your heart rate and blood pressure don’t go down at night if you’re awake, and your body releases stress hormones that keep you alert. And if your blood pressure remains up at night, you’re more likely to have high blood pressure during the day.

5. Keep your immune system strong

The immune system defends your body from invading bugs. Sleep gives your immune system the time it needs to rest, repair and stay strong. If you do get ill, it’s essential to give yourself time to rest and sleep so that you can build up your body and immune system. While you’re sleeping, your immune system releases a type of small proteins called cytokines. If you’re sick or injured, these cytokines help your body fight inflammation, infection and trauma. Without enough sleep, your immune system might not be able to function at its best.

6. Looks after your emotional and mental wellbeing

Not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of developing poor mental health. For example, if you’ve got a lot on your mind, are feeling upset, anxious or worried – you might find you lie awake at night going over things in your head. But then not being able to sleep only adds to your list of worries the following day. You might begin to see a change in your mood and find you’re feeling low. The good news is that improving your sleep can improve your mental health and wellbeing.

7. Reduce your stress levels

There are lots of things that can cause us to feel stressed, and how you personally deal with stress be different from someone else. But feeling stressed, for example from work, relationships, financial or health concerns, is often a key factor if you’re struggling to sleep at night. When you’re feeling stressed, your body releases ‘stress hormones’, for example cortisol, which can keep you awake. On the other hand, a good night’s sleep can have an ‘anti-stress’ effect and relax the systems in your body that are responsible for this stress response.

8. Maintain good relationships

The amount of sleep you get can affect your language, reasoning and communication skills – all key factors when building relationships with others. A bad night’s sleep can make it more difficult to control your emotions and communicate with others, and can sometime lead to conflict. Getting enough sleep helps us to regulate your emotions, interact well with others and maintain good interpersonal relationships.

“Yoga for a good night’s sleep” – is a 6 week course to work through at home, in your own time and develop lots of techniques to help you sleep. CLICK HERE to find out more and enroll on this course today.

Celebrating 10 Years of Teaching Yoga!

When I first started teaching in 2012

It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since I began teaching yoga. I’ve been reflecting on my different classes and students over the years by reading through some of my testimonials – it’s literally brought a tear to my eye!

I’ve selected one message from each year for this post.

To all of my lovely students over the years – wherever you are and what ever you’re doing – I send my gratitude and love. You cannot be a good teacher without good students.

Thank you for turning up and supporting me xxx

Hi Debs,

I meant to say to you that I think that the gradual way that you have built up the classes has been fantastic.  Over the years, I’ve done quite a few yoga classes and sometimes they just race ahead too much and you can end up feeling stiff for days.  Your tuition has been really clear and precise and that’s so important.  You’re doing a great job!

Yours, Margaret, 18.10.12

2012

Hi Debbie,

I can’t tell you how happy I am to have joined your yoga classes.  I have thoroughly enjoyed them and look forward to it every week.  I am reading books recommended by you and they have really opened my eyes to many things.  It has made me look at life differently and encouraged me to seek more knowledge of yoga.

Thank you again, Marianne, 15/1/13

2013

Hi Debs, just wanted to thank you for all the work & wisdom over the last six week’s in the class, it was good and went very fast.

Just to let you know the relaxation work in the last session seemed very much to help the healing of that muscle tear from the Great Eastern (which is still healing) and that’s the positive thing. John, 16/10/14

2014

Taking up yoga, having suffered greatly from stress in my mid fifties was a big step. However I have thoroughly enjoyed gently easing my body back into fitness and a new feeling of wholeness through my breathing and movement.Debbie very carefully takes students through asanas (movements) and if someone is new to yoga she explains how the body is working through diagrams and explanation. The meditation is wonderful and encourages relaxation, clarity of mind and peaceful sleeping patterns.The classes are friendly and everyone is helped as an individual.  I would just like to thank Debbie and everyone I have worked alongside with for an inspiring start to yoga. I just wouldn’t want to be without  my yoga practice now.

Yoga  can be  life changing .Thankyou. Hazel. 04/09/2015

Deb King Meditation at Normanton
2015

Hi Deb,

Just a note to say – I love your class! I had the best night’s sleep in ages after last weeks! Thank you so much.

Caroline, September 2016

2016

Hi Deb,

I just wanted to say a big thank you for your help and teaching over the last year or two. I suffer quite badly at times with depression, and despite originally being a bit skeptical about how yoga could help, it has made a huge different to my mental health and I am so very grateful for your help with that. Best wishes, DS, Dec 2017

2017

I would like to take this opportunity to say how much I enjoy your classes.  Your experience and passion for practicing and teaching yoga shines through; and the serene location of Preston Village Hall is perfect. I am relatively new to Rutland and joining your yoga class has helped me feel at home.

Thanks Deb (from Shazza) July 2018

2018

Hi Deb,

Thank you for being such an amazing instructor, I very much appreciate the practice you teach & your lovely way & style of teaching. CB, April 2019

2019

“Loads of yoga on YouTube of course but it lacks the personal touch and, for the most part, aimed at high performers, leaving folk like me feeling quite inadequate. Keep up the good work. You’re most appreciated.” Tony, July 2020

2020

Dear Deb,

Thank you so much for your help over the past few years – I’ve just been measured and have regained 1” in height! I’m so thrilled I had to write and let you know…This is entirely down to exercise, mostly yoga with the stretching it involves.

Even though I have only done class sessions, the improvement has built up slowly over 2 years, which shows the value of keeping at it. Yoga has also helped me to maintain good posture and to improve my balance.

Yoga is fantastic! Sue, December 2021

2021

Yoga Pamper Day – Delight Your Senses

A retreat gives you a moment of calm

Yoga Retreat – 29th January 2022

Exton Village Hall 10.30 – 3.30

Yoga Pamper Day Celebrating the Senses”

Greet 2022 with open arms and delight in your own senses!

Enjoy a fun day where we will indulge our senses with practices to celebrate and bring happiness. Wonderful challenges with and without our eyes, aromatherapy for our nose, a singing bowl for our ears, self-massage for touch and of chocolate cake for our taste!

£39 per person to include refreshments, lunch and cake.

Please contact me to book your place x

Yoga in 2022

Our focus this term will be on the Fire element. After re-capping the Earth and Water elements we’ll move on to learn about Fire and its effect upon us. The Sun is the central feature of this element and we’ll continue to work with the Sun Salutes. Transformation is the key – how things burn and become something else… This relates to our digestive system – sometimes referred to as Agni ‘the digestive fire’ . We’ll be stretching and strengthening the abdominal area with back bending and abdominal breathing.

When our digestive fires burn well our food is transformed into energy – making us feel alive and ready for anything. Our posture is vital – standing tall and moving about gently enables the stomach and intestines to work properly. When these activities are in balance there’s no need for diet restrictions or any sense of deprivation. It’s a very positive approach to all-round well being.

Here’s a short video to demonstrate one of the basic back bending postures we’ll do in class. If you can practice this at home a little, it will help to strengthen your back muscles and stretch your abdominal area too. This will, in turn, get the digestive fire burning brightly making you feel full of energy!

Yoga – Anti-Rheumatic Sequence

Here’s a short, standing practice to loosen up the joints in your arms and legs. By moving all the joints in sequence you systematically ‘oil’ all of the joints in turn. Try it everyday for a couple of weeks and I’m sure you’ll notice a difference, especially if you suffer with arthritis or rheumatism. If you experience any pain or are having a flair-up in the joint (it feels sore, is red or swollen) then don’t do these exercises for that joint. REST it for now and then when it feels easier do the movements. You can do the actions/movements on all the other joints though and this will help to increase circulation around the whole body which, in turn, will help the painful joint to heal.

Autumn Leaves Relaxation Audio

Use the falling leaves of Autumn as a metaphor for letting go of old habits

This is a lovely, gentle relaxation that helps us to accept change and develop a positive attitude to letting things go. These may be possessions, relationships or behavioral patterns – anything really that makes us unhappy or stressed. Sometimes if we stop ‘holding’ onto things so much they actually respond and change to develop into something more positive.

Always ensure you are safe and comfortable when you practice relaxation exercises.