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3 steps to ensure you’re looking after YOU in 2013 and beyond!

3 steps to ensure you're looking after YOU in 2013 and beyond!

Happy New Year everyone!!! :)

Another year has passed and the excitement of a new year ahead is now here – how time flies!
I’m sure your resolutions have been made, and yet many of us have zoomed straight back into work-mode, probably living life at a million miles an hour, and the Christmas break we’ve just enjoyed becomes a distant memory. If this is ringing true, then I would suggest you have a mini self-check and see if you can put some key actions in place to ensure you are looking after YOU in 2013. Follow these 3 steps to give yourself some much needed TLC:


1. Take some time every day for yourself
(2minutes or 2hrs – your choice) and in this time either practice your Ujjayi breath (See steps below) or simply take some time to plan some you-time moments such as reading a book, taking a walk, or practice some yoga :)

2. Put some regular you-time activities into your busy schedule. Again the regularity is down to you and your lifestyle – it could be a monthly night where you settle in and watch a favourite film with good friend, you could have a weekly candle lit bath with your favourite music playing, you could come to a yoga class and work on your body, mind and breath awareness… find time for you and spend it in way which may you feel happy.

3. De-clutter. Just as we all feel good when we declutter post Christmas by getting the house lovely and clean again, putting away presents and getting order restored – we also feel good when we de-clutter our lives. This could mean decluttering your mind… sitting in the present moment working on breath awareness can be wonderful for creating space and calm in the mind. It could also mean saying “No” to things which you’re doing because you feel you ought to – instead try putting yourself first and doing what makes you happy. Readdress your to-do list, can some things drop off to allow you more time and space to focus on YOU?

To help with this wonderful self indulgence I’ve detailed below the basics steps for achieving Ujjayi breath – this is a wonderful way to have some me-time and can be used if you have 2mins or 20mins, daily, weekly or monthly – you choose :)

Breath awareness – The Ujjayi breathing technique 

  1. Sit comfortably. Ideally with a tall spine, open and wide shoulders, chest lifted and legs relaxed.  Let your eyes close and relax, forehead, brow-line and jaw-line relaxed and soft. Lips gentle.
  2. Breathe in and out through the nose as you start to become aware of your breath pattern – where does your breath begin and end, are there any blockages, is the breath smooth? This may feel odd at first as you may have never paid any attention to your breath, but take this time to sit with the breath and listen to it.
  3. Empty your lungs completely with a slow exhale, then relax your belly for the next inhale (tummy should go a little concave when you fully empty)
  4. With your next inhale through the nostrils, imagine the breath coming in through the base of the throat. It’s a deeper more cleansing breath – it’s Ujjayi breath. With this deep inhale comes a noise which is similar to the waves coming into a beach – do not be afraid to have noise with this breath, if your breath is silent you are not achieving Ujjayi breath. The exhale of Ujjayi breath is exactly the same as the inhale, visualise the waves ebbing away into the ocean.
  5. You awareness is following the breath. As you inhale follow the breath from the base of your spine, to the crown of your head. As you exhale follow the breath from the crown of your head to the base of your spine. Repeat this with each inhale and exhale.
  6. Try to develop a longer, smoother breath – it can help to count with the breath. Starting with inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, then as you get more comfortable with the technique, increase towards inhale for 8seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.
  7. Never let go of Ujjayi – the force and noise you’re creating through the base of the throat. Use your Ocean visualisation to help build a flow and create a calm environment in your mind.
  8. Length of practice varies. Regular daily practice for 30mins is ideal, however if you can only fit in a 2minute time-out then you will still reap some reward so use this technique as and when you can.

    Namaste, Adele xxx

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  • Yoga is a practical system in disciplining and correcting the errors in the body and mind. When these errors are corrected, then yoga becomes a way to understand oneself Swami Satyananda Saraswati