Wellbeing workshops on pain, stress and anxiety

Yoga mats laid out in circle in room

I'm delighted to be offering two wellbeing workshops this autumn in Dumfries. Following positive feedback from the workshop on understanding chronic (persistent) pain, I'm going to be delivering this workshop again, but it'll be slightly longer at 3 hours to allow more time for the practical things. In addition, I'm going to be delivering a … Continue reading Wellbeing workshops on pain, stress and anxiety

Long term or chronic stress and the relaxation response

Cat asleep in a small bed

Stress is something we all casually mention in conversations, about work, home or general life situations, but what does stress in the body actually do to us? This depends on whether we're talking about a short-lived single stressful incident (road rage, an interview etc), or ongoing stress for days, weeks or months. Recently in the … Continue reading Long term or chronic stress and the relaxation response

Understanding persistent pain

Teddy bears leaning against a tree

I recently participated in two workshops for therapists about understanding pain, particularly long-term (chronic) pain, and how to help people with such pain to improve their situation. The sessions were very intense with a huge amount of information and were led by a local therapist, Hedd Piper, who, although is a chiropractor by training, is … Continue reading Understanding persistent pain

Free relaxation tracks, including in Welsh

yoga i bawb logo

If you're looking for free, good quality relaxation tracks to use at home, in English or Welsh, why not try these three tracks from Yoga i Bawb (trans: Yoga for All) a west Wales yoga group. The three available are: * Progressive relaxation - relaxing each part of the body in turn * Yoga Nidra … Continue reading Free relaxation tracks, including in Welsh

Yoga to help you sleep

Cat in a Father Christmas hat

Several people have said to me that the only night they get a good night's sleep is when they've been to my yoga class. This includes someone who came to my 15 minute lunchtime de-stress sessions, not even a full-length class! So what is it about yoga which can help improve your sleep patterns? A … Continue reading Yoga to help you sleep

Mindfulness in mental health awareness week

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK (11-17th May) and for 2015 the theme was 'mindfulness'. People familiar with meditation and yoga may already know about mindfulness, especially as there has been quite a surge in interest in mindfulness in the media, in politics, in business etc in the last few years, … Continue reading Mindfulness in mental health awareness week

Victory and surrender in one breath

Stream in a forest

Recently I've been really enjoying a combined pranayama (breathing practice) which uses both a strengthening breath and a softening breath. I discovered this in Uma Dinsmore-Tuli's book Yoni Shakti which I have just finished (and will write a review of soon), and have used it several times in my own practice and also taught it … Continue reading Victory and surrender in one breath

Yoga things that help if you’ve been travelling

I recently had three days of travelling and being in conferences and meetings for my other work. As well as missing my regular exercise programme, the prolonged sitting combined with carrying my (relatively light) luggage meant that stiffness and strains were liable to appear. To avoid suffering I made sure that I did some basic … Continue reading Yoga things that help if you’ve been travelling

Mindfulness for Health – a book review and reflections

The notion that mindfulness and meditation can help someone deal with pain and physical ill-health might, at first, sound unlikely. How can sitting thinking about something (or not thinking about things) reduce your pain? In 'Mindfulness for Health: relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing', the two authors (Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman), both of … Continue reading Mindfulness for Health – a book review and reflections