The power of pranayama

For various reasons, including this hot summer weather, my physical yoga (asana) practice has taken a back seat over the last few weeks and months. I’ve taken the opportunity to spend some more time working with my breath, revisiting familiar pranayama practices and exploring new ones. It’s been a wonderful reminder of the power of breathing for shifting energy, changing thought patterns, and finding balance and calm. Continue reading

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Eight ideas for a spring detox

I’ve never been a fan of prescriptive diets, but now that we’ve turned the corner into spring, my body is starting to crave fresh raw foods and tasty salads, so I’ve decided to go on a spring detox of sorts. I’m listening to my body to inform my eating choices, cutting out caffeine and alcohol, and throwing in a few cleansing rituals into my routine.

One of the Niyamas in yoga philosophy is ‘Sauca’, or purity/cleanliness. And spring feels like a natural time to bring in these practices. I invite you to listen in to what your body is telling you this season. And here are a few ideas for things to try.

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How to strengthen the vagus nerve for wellbeing and resilience

How to strenthen the vagus nerve for wellbeing and resilience | Peach YogaA few weeks ago I introduced you to the vagus nerve, that fascinating wandering nerve responsible for our calming ‘rest and digest’ and ‘tend and befriend’ responses as well as being a communication channel between body and mind. Read on to find out about the signs of a weak or strong vagus nerve and how make this nerve as healthy as possible to keep us happy and resilient in the face of life’s stresses. Continue reading

What is the vagus nerve?

And what’s it got to do with yoga?

Yoga makes us feel good. And scientific32547112046_855b29c6d5_z research is just beginning to discover why. Over the next few posts I’ll introduce you to the vagus nerve, which is a key player in balancing the calming and activating sides of our nervous system. Read on to find out how this single nerve can help us with health, emotional wellbeing, happiness, memory, digestion, and social relationships. It’s fascinating, even if you’re not a science geek like me! Continue reading

2016: Adventure is a state of mind

31753905326_c8466e794f_oLast year, I chose a theme for my year instead of making New Years resolutions. Those specific resolutions we all make so often fall by the wayside over the first few weeks of the year because other things become more important, or because those resolutions don’t inspire us, or because they are about giving something up and feel like a chore. I loved the way a theme gave me a vision for the year while allowing the space to respond to events as they unfolded. So this year I did it again. Continue reading

Less is more: Slowing down for stress relief

Peach YogaYoga has become a pretty aerobic activity in some classes these days. And I know these vigorous flow classes are awesome for some people. But they have never been my thing.

For over a decade, yoga has been my number one way to deal with stress, and my experience of what works influences my teaching. So I teach a strong but slow Hatha yoga practice, with plenty of mindfulness, and lots of attention to micro-movements and alignment.

Here are a few reasons why I love to slow my yoga practice down and why less can be more, especially when it comes to managing stress. Continue reading

Three ways to find balance in your life

photo-30-10-2016-20-35-59I’ve been thinking a lot about balance lately, perhaps because I’m in the process of figuring out how to balance yoga teaching with my other work, personal yoga practice, and life in general.

But I’m not the only one – everywhere we look there is advice about how to find work-life balance, or what constitutes a balanced diet or a balanced approach to managing money and so on. So what does balance actually mean? Continue reading

Stress: It’s not all in your mind

photo-30-10-2016-20-45-31It’s National Stress Awareness Day on the first Wednesday in November. Now, I know we’re all very much aware of stress – we all experience it, to the extent that it’s almost considered normal. This makes people reluctant to speak up if they are struggling with stress. But there is less awareness about the wider impacts of stress, and what we can do to support ourselves and others to deal with stress in healthy ways. So here are my key pointers for how to spot stress and what to do about it. Continue reading

Mother-daughter bonding with yoga

2016-09-22-21-59-46My mum and I are 30 years apart in age. Over the years we have both developed a love of yoga, so when we reached the milestone ages of 60 and 30 we decided to celebrate by spending a weekend together at a yoga retreat. We had a wonderful time and this quickly became an annual event. It’s now 4 years later and we have just returned from a blissful week-long yoga holiday on the Greek island of Paros with inspiring teacher Oona Giesen. Continue reading