Complementary Therapy, Fitness, health, Health & Wellness

The colours of Kundalini Yoga

My Tuesday morning was no ordinary Tuesday. It consisted of red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue. Oh, and gold! It was a rainbow kind of Tuesday and very beautiful it was too.

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I’ve been promising myself for ages that I would go and check out Kundalini Yoga, so I jumped out of bed, squeezed into my sweaty betty leggings, downed a pint of water and darted out the door. Note to self “I must slow down”! I’ve heard little snippets about Kundalini Yoga and how it’s extremely uplifting, both spiritually and physically and thought, hey why not! I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to myself that I’m becoming more and more spiritual, so I certainly had to try this as part of my holistic journey. If you’ve read any of my other blogs, I’m sure it’s pretty apparent that I’m obsessed with yoga, so Kundalini Yoga sounded like music to my ears.

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Well, an experience it certainly was! It’s not your typical Yoga. I should probably mention that if you are one of those people that giggles at everything, it might not be your bag. There’s lots of chanting and a little singing, as well as poses I was unfamiliar with. So, what I’m saying is, you have to be openminded. I think I say this in every blog I write now!

I love the fact that you’re told to close your eyes throughout the practice, to ensure it’s an internal journey. The aim of Kundalini Yoga is to look within. You’re also told to focus on your third eye whilst remembering to keep your eyes closed and breathe at the same time. For a first timer that’s a lot to take in right!?  Anyway, whilst trying to remember those three things and remain relaxed at the same time (shoulders down), I soon got into the swing of things. The feeling of energy surging through my body was surreal and the vibrant colours I could see throughout the class (eyes closed) were simply breathtaking.

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The practice consisted of breathing techniques totally new to me, meditation, the chanting of mantras, such as Sat Nam, meaning “truth is my identity” and poses I was unaware of such as the Frog Pose. To give you an idea the Frog Pose is a vigorous pose and it was surprising how energised I felt after it. Visually it looks quite simple but once you start the movement it was much harder than it looks! I like to call myself fit but this was something else………

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The frog activates the first, second, and third chakras and moves the energy up to the higher centres. To give you an idea, you can either practice this now or visualize.  Stand up and place your heels together with your toes turned out. Then squat down, raising the heels (keeping them together), aligning the knees over the toes, and placing your fingertips on the floor in front of you. Like a frog! Inhale, raising your hips and straightening your legs. Exhale and return to the squatting position. Continue 26 times. Yes, that’s right, 26 times! That was the hard bit. I was goosed and struggled to hit 26 at a speedy pace, but got there either way. I’m sure I looked ridiculous but the fact that everyone has their eyes closed, it really doesn’t matter, and if I’m honest I’m glad as it kind of takes the pressure off a newbie.

Once we had worked through the different poses we finished the practice with meditation, I was left feeling completely zen and smilingeyes closed.

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The power of Kundalini yoga comes from the kundalini, which is also known as Sanskrit (coiled serpent). It is said that there is a huge amount of untapped potential within us, located around the sacrum at the base of our spine. By practising Kundalini yoga, you slowly awaken this gentle serpent and safely open its amazing powers to work up the 7 chakras. In a nutshell, Kundalini Yoga clears blocks in your energy field by using mantras, sound, energy healing, exercises and meditations. It releases any trauma from the energetic body (which surrounds the physical body), the aura and it’s the aura that holds wounds. When our wounds are healed, our radiance can occur and this frequency is what draws in beauty, love, and light. Attracting abundance starts in our energetic body, not our minds.

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People who practice Kundalini Yoga see a huge transformation in their day to day lives, they feel more at peace, are much happier and feel much healthier. So, if you want to feel more aware and responsive to your surroundings, Kundalini Yoga is definitely worth a try. I mean who doesn’t want to improve their health and well-being whilst jumping up and down like a frog eyes closed! On a serious note after just one class, I felt extremely relaxed and more at ease with myself than I have in a long time and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little sore. I am sure I used muscles I didn’t even know existed. Imagine how you’d feel attending one class a week!

If you haven’t tried Kundalini Yoga and you like other styles of yoga, I’d definitely give it ago. My experience was unbelievable, I was literally blown away. My most luxurious relaxing holistic package, the “Mind Body Soul” is the essence of Kundalini yoga, in the sense that I felt physically, emotionally and spiritually uplifted, which is how my clients describe my signature package. Sat Nam!

 

 

 

 

Complementary Therapy, Health & Wellness

Let’s cleanse those chakras!

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Why? Because you deserve to feel light and happy!

Did you know that Chakras are the energetic centres in our body and within our auras? They are essential for the flow of life force energy within us.

For anyone new to all this like I was, in simple terms, life force is the energy that exists in all living things. It keeps us alive! Many of us lose sight or never really know what our “life force” is. We get so busy, it’s like we’re living our lives merely trying to survive or focusing on what we think we should be doing rather than what we want to do! This my love, is not living!

How can we succeed if we don’t know who we are? I think we all get to a point at sometime in our lives where we want to understand ourselves in much more depth and   it’s worth asking some simple questions.

What makes you different, you are different, we’re all unique right?

What do you love and enjoy?

What are you biggest achievements in life?

Learning how to balance your chakras can have a huge impact on your physical, emotional and spiritual health, which may help you understand exactly “who you are” and will hopefully give you more clarity on those thought-provoking questions above. When our energetic centres are blocked, the flow of energy through the meridians of our body are disturbed, this can lead to all sorts of issues such as depression, fatigue, poor health, and let’s face it, no one likes to feel any of those things.

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Today I am going to talk you through a 7-chakra mediation exercise. My aim is to help you to unblock your chakras leaving you with beautiful bright colours of the rainbow. It worked for me and at the same time completely changed my views on life. I’ve always said that to feel good you must go deep and look within. Some of you may be thinking, why on earth did she feel the need to cleanse her chakras and most importantly how did she even know about that? It’s funny really, all I can say is that my holistic journey brought me to this point, it could be fate/destiny who knows.

Anyway, back to the point of this blog. I was randomly given a book, which had been passed onto a girl at college. The book was focussed around crystals and meditation. Hello and thank you, two of my favourite things! Bare in mind this was my first ever experience of meditation and the results for me were undeniable life changing. Pre-warning, if there’s something in your life right now that isn’t quite right, be prepared, you may want to make major life changes. Hello major life overhaul! Oh and just giving you the heads up, this is a fairly lengthy blog, so if I lose you, I get it! My attention span was never my strongest point at school and still isn’t to this day.

I’ve mentioned before in my Yoga blogs that the 7 chakras each have an individual colour which reflects the colours of the rainbow. To feel light, it’s important that we manifest the energies of all seven rays by opening, clearing and energizing the 7 physical chakras.

For some reason, I like to meditate lying down with my back on the floor and my arms relaxed by sides palms facing up. One, it’s really comfortable and two, it helps me to relax straight away. That said, everyone is different and you may find alternative ways you prefer to meditate. For this exercise, you may want to sit with your back well supported in an upright position. Place your hands on your knees holding your knees in your hands in a relaxed manner or you can turn your hands over, resting on your knees palms facing up.

When you are in a comfortable position, take several deep breaths moving you into a meditative state and once you feel relaxed imagine you are a seed, to grow you must send roots deep into the earth, sense the roots beginning to sprout at your tailbone. Before I continue, it’s worth pointing out that for this meditation exercise to work, you have to be fairly imaginative, otherwise you may find this exercise ridiculous. Just wanted to let you know so you can decide if this exercise is for you. If it is, promise it will be worth it, stick with me.

With each breath, imagine them beginning to grow down into the earth, branching and multiplying as they sink into the dark warm soil. Feel the routes going further and further down, until you can imagine that your roots have reached the centre of the earth.

When your routes have grown down into the planet, sense them beginning to draw energy back up through the root system and into your physical body.

Mentally give thanks to the Great Mother Earth for the energy you are receiving from her. When the energy has risen into your tailbone, sense the energy taking the form of the colour red, and feel it filling your pelvis and legs with warmth and energy. Notice any sensations you may have, especially emotions or ideas that may be released as you breathe the colour red into your pelvis. When you feel as though you have filled that area with the colour vibration red, sense it beginning to radiate out from your pelvis, filling your energetic field with its vibration.

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Now breathe deeply as you draw the energy from your roots up into your navel area. As the energy moves up from your pelvis it changes colour from red to orange. Breathe the energy into your abdominal area until you feel as though you have saturated that area fully with the colour orange. Allow the energy to radiate outward each time you exhale, filling your energy field with the vibration of orange. Again, be aware of any information that you may receive resonating with this vibration.

Now draw the energy upwards into your solar plexus area. As the energy moves into your ribcage, it changes to a brilliant yellow vibration. Breathe the colour into your solar plexus area, about two inches above your navel. Allow the vibration of the colour yellow to fill every cell in your solar plexus.

Sense yourself as the seed drinking in this nourishing vibration. Allow the energy to radiate out of your solar plexus area to fill your energy field. Notice the feeling that this colour vibration creates in you. When you have fully experienced this vibration, draw the energy from your root into your heart area.

As the energy moves into your heart and chest area, it’s colour changes to a vibrant green ray. Breathe the colour vibration into your chest, and sense it filling your arms and hands, radiating from your palms as loving, healing energy. Allow any resistance to be released, along with any emotions or other experiences that may have been held there. Radiate the colour out from your heart to fill your energy field, until its glowing with the vibration of the colour green.

Now draw the energy upward again, sensing it changing from green to beautiful turquoise or sky blue colour. Sense your throat and neck becoming filled with this vibration of blue, as you draw in more energy with each breath. Allow the vibration to fill your vocal cords releasing any blocked energy. As your throat and neck fill with the vibration of light blue, be aware of any sounds or experiences stored there that might be signalling for a release. When you have fully experienced this vibration, radiate its energy to outward to fill your aura.

Breath in deeply, drawing more energy up from your roots and into your head, filling it with a beautiful indigo vibration, sense a point between, and just above your eyebrows. Sense the energy filling the centre of your head and radiating outward, sending indigo vibrations throughout your energy field. Allow yourself to experience any images or information that may come to you as you breathe the energy through this area.

When you feel as though your energy is resonating with the indigo vibration, draw the energy upward once again until it fills the very top of your head – your crown chakra. Sense the energy becoming a brilliant vibrant colour, creating a sphere of violet flame just above the top of your head. The violet vibration fills your head bringing your consciousness upwards. Allow yourself to recognise any information, emotions, or experiences that may be released by this colour vibration.

When you feel as though you have been saturated with this violet vibration, bring your attention to the very top of your head. Just above your crown there is a tiny sprout of light beginning to emerge. Sense the energy being drawn up through your roots, and through each of your chakras. Sense the energy rising up to feed this root of light that is emerging from the top of your head. Sense it growing larger, and stronger, reaching up towards the brilliant light of the Sun. As it reaches upward, nourished by the energy that is flowing through your body, it begins to draw in the light of the sun, sending this powerful energy down through your energetic systems.

As the light from the sun enters a chakra, it radiates outwards to fill your aura with brilliant light. Draw the light into each chakra, and down into the root system you have created. Now send the light energy back into the Earth with your blessings and thanks.

You are a seed which has sprouted, the roots feeding the plant, and the plant in turn feeding the roots. This double helix energy flows through the body, balancing and energising the chakras, which you have just consciously opened. When you are ready, you may open your eyes and return to the room.

When you were sensing the colour vibrations, were there any particular colours that were difficult for you to sense and experience? This can indicate a chakra which may be blocked. If it is difficult for you to sense a colour, you may want to have something nearby that is the colour you’re struggling with. During the meditation, you can gaze at this object. Or if there’s a chakra colour you struggle to see on your first attempt, you can have the object ready for your next meditation, so you can work towards unblocking any colours that you struggled to see.

I hope you experience as much peace and serenity as I did from this chakra cleansing meditation and most importantly I hope you are lucky enough to experience the 7 colours of the rainbow. Utterly beautiful!

Fitness, health, Health & Wellness, Life Goals, Motivation

Shut Out The Noise

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Calder Abbey, Cumbria

Always find time to explore. Fresh air and greenery work wonders for the soul. When you look at this picture what do you see, how does it make you feel?

There are so many benefits of being surrounded by nature, it’s essential your psychological health and wellbeing.

If you’re ever near a forest go for a walk or a run. It’s amazing how being surrounded by trees affects your mood. When I visit the Lake District I love running in the forest near my brothers. Not only do I love the exercise, I love the smell of the trees, the beauty surrounding me and not to mention the views when I reach the top, something we’re too busy to notice sometimes! In fact, add to your to-do list “go and find a forest”. (But do try and avoid the rain – it’s tricky in Cumbria)! If you don’t fancy running just walk, it’s just as good. Walking helps you live a healthier life and helps keep off those extra few pounds, particularly if you like Cartmel’s Sticky Toffee pudding like me.

A dog is the perfect outdoor buddy, you get to explore and make the most of the silence. My dog, a crazy cocker spaniel called Pika (short for Pikachu named by my nephew Joe) drags me outside come rain, wind or snow. I don’t have a choice, and at times, as much as I’m not feeling it, I’m always glad she did, there’s a method in her madness! I feel great and so energised afterwards. Not to mention how I feel when I see those huge brown eyes smiling at me with gratitude when we arrive home. She darts through the door and slumps in her bed until she’s ready to go again (standard 15 minutes for a spaniel)! If you don’t have a dog but like the idea of one, check out “Borrow my Doggy”. You get the best of everything without the day to day responsibilities. You know, like try before you buy or the niece and nephew scenario (you can hand them back).

If you’re struggling to think of the last time you stopped, cleared your mind and surrounded yourself in nature, maybe it’s about time you did. It’s so calming and peaceful and most importantly, it’s a great way to escape the everyday hustle and bustle. It’s a moment to STOP, BREATHE & THINK. Most of my biggest life decisions have been made outdoors surrounded by nature, it helps me find clarity. It’s basically a time away from everything to think and reflect and a time we’re at our most creative, so expect those light bulb moments.

If you can, try and picture yourself in a forest, the sun is beaming through the trees and the only noise breaking the silence is the birds. How does that make you feel? MAGIC!

Complementary Therapy, Fitness, Goals, health, Health & Wellness, Life Goals, Motivation, Stress & Anxiety

Why Choose Yoga?

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I love Sunday mornings when you step outside, the birds are singing and there’s not a soul in sight. It’s such a tranquil feeling.

On route to the gym I plug in earphones and listen to meditation music, it’s so calming at the start of the day. I’m loving “Music for Mindfulness” classical album. Track 19 The Earth Prelude takes me into a whole different headspace.

It makes me smile when I realize that I’ve ditched Saturday nights out for early Sunday morning Yoga Flow sessions. I think it’s safe to say, I’m finally growing up! The class has a real sense of calm which I’ve come to realize is my preferred choice of yoga.

I thought I’d start with a definition of Yoga, so thank you Google for always being there:

yoga

ˈjəʊɡə/

noun

  1. a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation.

“yoga classes”

I wrote a short blog on Yoga a few months ago but decided it warrants more attention. There are so many reasons you should check out a local class, but before you do, it’s worth knowing that there are so many different types of Yoga and it may take a while to figure out which you prefer. There’s Astanga, Bikram, Hot Yoga, Restorative to name but a few. I think it’s important to read up on the different styles of Yoga and their benefits before throwing yourself into the deep end like I did. I started with Astanga, a fast-paced class that was way too challenging for me as a beginner.

Yoga Flow is at the top of my list, it has a number of benefits to the physical body but also helps to calm the mind and ease stress. It’s all about finding a connection between the body and the mind to help bring more balance into your life. It’s unreal how you feel after a class, I feel so light and my mind is clear.

Since practising Yoga, I have undergone such a transformation with my strength, flexibility and body shape. I’ve always been lucky enough to have a flat stomach but after attending regular yoga classes for just over a year, I have much more muscle definition, particularly in my stomach area. I’m also embarrassed to say that I was never able to touch my toes, so as you can imagine, when this day finally came, it was a huge milestone for me. I remember the frustration in my heptathlon days, I’d look around at my teammates stretching and touching their toes with ease, I couldn’t even get close.

That said, one thing I will say about Yoga is that it’s important to know that everyone has their own pace and limits and nobody gives a hoot whether you can touch your toes or not. A difficult concept for me to grasp at first, given my competitive nature.

So, what I’d say about Yoga is that it’s not a competition, everyone’s journey is different, which is why the experience is so unique. You have your own individual goals which could be anything from getting through a whole class without moving into a child pose or something as simple as taking an hour out off your day to switch off from daily pressures. Another thing I’d like to point out is that Yoga is suitable for everyone. It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are, whether you’re male or female, it’s just a bunch of people in the same room committed to achieving a common goal of improving their health and wellbeing. And also, to any guys reading this blog, the classes I go to are full of men, I’d say it’s a 50/50, male and female. I’m not sure where the myth came from, that it’s all women.

So, I thought I’d finish off with some of the benefits of Yoga’s in a bid to try and persuade you to give it a go (and please don’t forget to do your research on the different styles of Yoga). It’s a long list so here goes! It’s great for building muscle strength, improving flexibility and posture. It increases your blood flow, ups your heart rate, improves balance, makes you happy and improves your sleeping pattern. It also eases pain, releases tension and boosts your immune system. Not to mention the improved muscle definition I mentioned earlier, we all like a bit of toning right? So I think that’s enough for now, otherwise, we’ll be here all day, the list of benefits is extensive.

I hope you can see that there as so many reasons you should try Yoga at least once. Okay, maybe a few times to get you in the zone or should I say zen. I guess that depends what style of yoga you are looking for!?

Thanks for reading, I hope this blog leads you to downward-facing dog:).