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The Benefits of a Pair of Yoga Toe Socks

yoga toes socks

Besides the obvious – THEY KEEP YOUR FEET WARM – yoga toe socks are very good for your feet. More specifically the ones with the awkward little individual toes and the sticky bumps on the bottom. This type of sock gives each toes their space and helps to correct all of those years of crushing the little toes into tight shoes and high heels.

It takes a while to put them on. And I know, they feel a bit uncomfortable at first. However, doing yoga in toe socks can help to alleviate a variety of foot problems –

  • bunions
  • joint pain
  • foot cramps
  • athletes foot
  • tired feet after long walks or shopping in the sales

For obvious reasons we need to have a good grip on the sole of the yoga sock – to stop us from slipping on our yoga mats! However, there’s an added bonus to using the socks in yoga postures because the toes are forced to spread out and this gives us more surface area to balance on.

So have a thought…TOE SOCKS… great idea and not just for yoga.

A wide variety of toe socks can be found on the Yogamatters website.

Or you can buy Toe Socks from me in class – they are £5 a pair and come in a range of colours. Have a look at my shop window here to see the socks and other items I can get for my students…

Gratitude

Gratitude – some say is the perfect antidote to feeling overwhelmed and stressed. I think being grateful is uplifting and healthy and for that reason I highly recommend it to you.

As a practice, gratitude can ease stress, boost happiness and even potentially improve health. In our sessions this term we have been giving thanks for the Earth. We’ve included our own little corner – Rutland – and all the 4 directions.

Deb King Meditation at Normanton
Normanton, Rutland Water, What a Wonderful Place!

I invite you to bring gratitude into your yoga practice with these quotes. It can be a beautiful way to begin or end your time on your mat:

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” ~ Charles Dickens

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

“Forget yesterday–it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow–you haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift–today.” Steve Maraboli

“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?” ~ G.K. Chesterton

If you would like to see more quotes on gratitude you can find some here.

Another site with lovely poetry is Mindful Living.

Enjoy!

Janu Sirsasana – learn the benefits

JanuSirsasana

Last term we worked on grounding postures including ones which had lots of earth contact and ones that worked especially in the pelvis area. Hopefully this work gave an experience of feeling supported, having strong ground beneath us and good foundations on which to build both stable postures and a stable life. In the last couple of weeks we worked with Janu Sirsasana, a complex forward bend. Read on to learn the benefits of this posture.

Janu Sirsasana (JAH-new shear-SHAHS-anna), may look simple, but it combines elements of a forward fold, twist, and side body stretch. The Sanskrit name translates to ‘Head-to-knee pose’ and it stretches the hamstrings, back, and groin while offering the benefits of a twist, such as massaging and stimulating internal organs. Because it is soothing to the central nervous system, Janu Sirsasana is also a great way to relieve stress in the body and mind.

Due to the intensity of this stretch it’s not advised to practice it on it’s own at home – you do really need to build up to the opening of the hips and lengthening of the back and back of the legs. Also, for this pose especially, it’s good to take your time to prepare with the various modifications we have talked about in class. It’s always best to practice safely – if you fancy some home practice over the half term try the Cat Sequence that was handed out in week 4.

You can also work with the cat and cow postures as detailed in a previous post here

Simple Crochet Slipper Pattern

crochet slippers (2)

These slippers are just the job for yoga now that winter is on it’s way.

Size – make them a little smaller than the length of your feet as they stretch

Materials – Approx 160m arran style wool, small amount of eyelash or other oddment wool for the edging, 5mm hook

Instructions

Beginning – Toe – ch 4, join with sl st to form ring

Round 1 – ch 3, 7 dc in ring, join (8)

Round 2 – ch 3, dc in same st, 2 dc in each st, join (16)

Round 3 – ch 3, dc in same st, (dc in next 3 st, 2 dc in next st) around (20)

Round 4 – ch 3, dc in ea st around (20)

Round 5, 6, 7 repeat R4

Round 8 – ch 3, dc in next 19 st, leave last 6 st unworked, turn (14)

Round 9 onwards – ch 3, dc in each st, turn

Continue to work until the length comes down to your heal when stretched.

Fasten off, leave a long tail for sewing the back seam. Fold heal area in half and sew together. Sew in the toe loose end. Turn slipper right side out.

Edging – Working across end of rows, join with sc at heel, sc in end of each dc row, 2 sc in each of the corners at the front. Join with ss at end of first round. Repeat for a 2nd round.

Contrast edging. Join yarn at heel, continue to work as per edging, depending on thickness of your contrast yarn (2 sc may look better if it is a thinner wool or you could do hdc) see what it looks like. I did 2 rows of sc edging using the eyelash wool. Fasten off and thread in ends.

Foundation Stones

This term we have been reflecting in class ‘what is underneath us’. Learning to accept ourselves for who we are and forgive and love all our little foibles goes a long way to enable our enjoyment of life and to see the good in all those around us too. This poem is a lovely bringing together of these ideas.

Foundations Stones

Here is my past–
what I’ve been proud of,
and what I’ve pushed away.
Today I see how each piece
was needed, not a single
step wasted on the way.

Like a stone wall,
every rock resting
on what came before-
no stone can be
suspended in mid-air.

Foundation laid by every
act and omission,
each decision, even
those the mind would
label “big mistake”.

These things I thought
were sins, these are as
necessary as successes,
each one resting on the
surface of the last, stone
upon stone, the fit
particular, complete,
the rough, uneven
face of these rocks
makes surprising,
satisfying patterns
in the sunlight.

pg. 26, Go In and In: Poems from the Heart of Yoga

Warrior Works Wonders for Anti Ageing!

Warrior on the beach

Yoga keeps the mind and body young, 22 clinical trials show

(Reposting of Article Published Tuesday 4 June 2019 in Medical News Today)
A review analysing the results of 22 randomized clinical trials has found that yoga practice can improve many aspects of physical and mental health among older adults.

Yoga can be an effective option for older adults who want to maintain good physical and mental health.
Yoga refers to a series of mind-body practices that originate in Hindu tradition.
However, they are growing in popularity across the world as an alternative well-being practice.
Statistic show that in 2015 in the United States alone, as many as 36.7 million people practised yoga, and by 2020, estimates suggest that this number will have increased to over 55 million people.
People who practice yoga often share anecdotes regarding its beneficial effect on their mental and physical health. Intrigued by such reports, some scientists set out to verify whether the benefits are real.
Indeed, some studies have found that different yoga practices are able to improve a person’s general sense of well-being, as well as various aspects of their physical health.
For example, a series of studies from 2017 suggested that people who joined a yoga program experienced lower levels of anxiety and depression.
A study from 2016 found that practising yoga correlated with a lower risk of cognitive impairment in older adults, and research from earlier this year concluded that 8 weeks of intense yoga practice reduced the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Now, investigators at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom have conducted a review, analysing the findings of 22 randomized and cluster-randomized clinical trials that assessed the benefits of yoga practice for healthy older adults.
The trials considered the effects of varied yoga programs — with program durations between 1 and 7 months and individual session durations between 30 and 90 minutes — on both mental and physical well-being.
‘Yoga has great potential’ to improve health
In the review, which features as an open access article in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, the researchers conducted statistical analysis to assess the combined findings of the 22 trials. They compared the benefits associated with yoga with those of other light physical activities, such as walking and chair aerobics.
The team found that among people with a mean age of 60 years or over, practising yoga — compared with not engaging in physical activity — helped improve their physical balance, flexibility of movement, and limb strength. It also reduced depression, improved sleep quality, and boosted their vitality.
Also, the researchers noticed that older adults who practised yoga perceived their own physical and mental health to be satisfactory.

When compared with other light physical activities, such as walking, yoga seemed to more effectively improve older adults’ lower body strength, enhance their lower body flexibility, and reduce their symptoms of depression.
“A large proportion of older adults are inactive and do not meet the balance and muscle strengthening recommendations set by government and international health organizations,” notes Divya Sivaramakrishnan, the review’s lead author.
However, yoga can be an easy, adaptable, and attractive form of physical activity, and since the evidence suggesting that it can be beneficial for health is building up, joining a yoga program could be a good option for older adults looking to stay in shape — both physically and mentally.
“Based on this study, we can conclude that yoga has great potential to improve important physical and psychological outcomes in older adults. Yoga is a gentle activity that can be modified to suit those with age-related conditions and diseases.”

Published Tuesday 4 June 2019 Medical News Today
By Maria Cohut, Ph.D.
Fact checked by Jasmin Collier
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325374.php

Planet Earth Installation

Earth

Over the summer I took a trip to Peterborough Cathedral (well actually 2 because the first time we got the date wrong!) to see an installation of a model of the Earth, “Gaia”. It was a fantastic sight especially as the light faded. The 7 meter diameter model gently rotated and was a view of the Earth from space using detailed imagery provided by NASA.

I know we have all seen this stuff on the TV, but to be in the presence of our planet looking up at it and down on it was an incredible experience. Just to see how much water we have on the Earth’s surface was a surprise to me and how tiny the UK actually is.

The model is awe inspiring – it was wonderful to spend time sitting quietly and reflecting on the natural wonders of our world. It made me feel very humble.

Earth quote

 

My Moonlight Walk

moonlight walk 2

On Saturday 14th September 2019 I joined in the 2nd Moonlight Walk of 10 k around Stamford. This was in aid of St Barnabas Hospice in Lincoln. St Barnabas is a very worthwhile charity giving care to people with life limiting or terminal conditions. Besides their palliative care they give vital support to families and those suffering from dementia.

I walked in remembrance of my Dad who died shortly after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour a couple of years ago. He lived in France where they have no such hospice availability and my Mum looked after him at home. It was extremely traumatic. I now value the support that the hospice charities give so much. Should the need arise any support you can get at such a dreadful time is worth it’s weight in gold. If you feel able to donate even just £1, please follow the link to my JustGiving page.

http://www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/Deborah-King22

Did you know…?

cucs

Just how good cucumbers are for you?

I didn’t realise that they are so beneficial to us being high in vitamins C and K and also containing magnesium, potassium and manganese. These contribute to making our bones and heart healthy and to metabolise our food.

Well I always thought they were pretty much all water – in fact they are 96% water – which is still great for us – helping to hydrate us control our weight and regulate our elimination systems.

But besides all this they contain antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins, which prevent the accumulation of harmful stuff like free radicals which are responsible for things like cancer ad various chronic diseases.

To get the most from eating cucumbers leave the skin on and eat the seeds in the middle.

I’ve grown a bumper crop this year – so we have been merrily tucking in. V healthy indeed. I found this funny rap to remind me of all the possible uses of the humble cucumber…