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

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

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

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