The benefits of yoga are huge, not only do they improve your physical strength, but increase concentration and memory and actually teach you how to relax. I teach yoga to children, and the reason I started to do this was because I saw what benefits it had to myself and thought why should children not receive these benefits also.
I am going through a difficult stage in my life. I am doing my best to balance everything that is going on….working, looking after three children, studying for a psychology degree, helping my son get back to full fitness after his serious rta, juggling finances and feel like I am loosing the battle. On top of all this I am now having to go to Court on Thursday because my ex husband displays poor judgment and has put our children at risk. As they say….it never rains it pours.
I had so much on, something had to give. I am now signed off work with anxiety. I did nt realise I was suffering from anxiety until my doctor diagnosed me.
At the moment I am taking the time to chill out and to engage in as many enjoyable activities as possible. As I love yoga I began to search for a retreat. Since I watched Eat, Pray, Love I have become rather obsessed with Bali, and just out if interest did a search for retreats there. I have fallen in love with Bali Goddess Retreats. They offer yoga retreats, fabulous food, amazing accompdation and the option to take part in other activities such as visiting elephant sanctuary, surfing, cycling as well many other options (12 on offer to be exact) Additionally lots of pampering treatments are available.
The retreat appears to have the balance right here, they state they offer healthy food but they are nt obsessive or restrictive. They realise life is about striking that balance and sometimes being able to indulge! To find out the cost you need to contact the retreat directly. I am pretty sure it is out of my price range but nonetheless I wanted to write about it as it is a place one day that I want to visit. I also love the idea of solo travelling and believe this could be an ideal spot. I will get to you one day Bali
I teach yoga to children and when people find out sometimes it is met with a comment such as “really….can kids do yoga?!” my response…..”of course they can, anyone can!”
Yoga has great health benefits, increasing flexibility, improving concentration and in my classes encouraging creativity….as we use story to capture the children’s imagination whilst incorporating yoga poses. The children also really enjoy relaxation time, with our lavender pillows and soothing music. In this day and age it can be difficult for children to find time for that much needed break.
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I read an article this morning and as anxiety is something I do suffer from, especially when the going gets tough, I decided to share with you some symptoms which will help you to identify if you are stressed, and hopefully you can then take steps to chill the hell out 😉
- General fatigue
- Dry mouth
- Nervous coughing
- Sudden tears for no reason
- Unable to control crying outbursts
- Over reaction
- Binge drinking
- Talking too much
- Chain smoking
- Fiddling with your hair
- Pulling out your hair
- Sudden sweating
- Upset stomach
- Sudden anger with little or no reason
- Sudden heart pounding or palpitations
- Muscle aches
- Constant feeling that this is no enough time
- Tic/twitching eyebrows or mouth
- Difficulty breathing
- Nervous coughing
- Drumming your fingers
- Tapping your foot
- Clenched jaw
- Turning red faced
- Feeling of expecting bad news or something bad is going to happen
- Sudden inability to express yourself
- Nail biting
- Constant picking fingernails or face
- Trying to do two or three things at once
It is advisable to keep a stress diary, record your feelings on a daily basis. This is a good way to track your feeling and emotions and remember exactly how you felt. If you are anything like me, it is likely you will feel different on almost a daily basis. If you can recognize you are stressed this is the first step in being able to control it.
If you are stressed or suffering from anxiety, there are many ways in which you can have treatment, and not just with medication. I am personally a fan of complementary medicine such as:
- Aromatherapy, applying oils directly to skin or in oil burners (a great supportive treatment)
- Exercise, instant mood lifter. The hardest part can be getting yourself to do the exercise. Whether you choose to go to the gym or out for a big hike, play football, cycle or golf, as you finish the exercise you feel immediately better about yourself. Keep trying until you find something you enjoy.
Personally, I have found one of the best ways to help with stress is practicing yoga. Many people believe yoga is a type of religion, but this is not true. You practice controlled movement and stresses with breathing which I have found to be very effective.
Do not forget, if you are feeling stressed or anxious, to visit your doctor, who will be able to offer you advice and point you in the right direction for help. It may be that there has been some life event that has initiated the symptoms and counselling may be helpful.
I really try to remember that we are only here once, we need to live our lives as much as we can. I find it helpful to keep a gratitude diary, so that I remind myself to be thankful for the small things in life. This keeps things in perspective for me and stops me from slipping into depression. What coping mechanisms do you use? We would love to hear them
Why do I always feel like I am at a crossroads? Why is my life constantly like a rollercoaster? All I want is an ‘easy’ life, a life where things can be constant and permanent just for a little while. Just long enough for me to feel comfortable. As soon as I start to feel like things are getting better something else goes wrong. Is everyone else’s life like this or is it just mine?
I am not just feeling sorry for myself, I am not talking about minor things such as missing the bus or forgetting to put the bin out so I felt in a terrible mood for the rest of the day. I mean, real terrible things happen. I am beginning to think I am jinxed.
In the last two years here is a list of what has happened (though please be advised it is not limited to said list, as I also have the usual things like having to stop at every set of traffic lights, getting stuck behind a tractor when I am already late for work, forgetting my packed lunch in the fridge, noticing I am low on petrol and then realising I have also forgotten my purse at work etc so bear this in mind) Anyhow…….list…here we go:
- Not one but two of my aunt’s are seriously ill. One collapsed with a serious throat action and is now permanently brain damaged, though has some independence at least. My other aunt had a serious fall and is lucky to be alive, but has had numerous brain surgery and it is feared she will never have independence again. This second accident happened on my birthday. Happy birthday me!!! (They will now never be the same) This year I found my birthday extremely emotional, as I spent the morning at the cemetery talking to my grandma, and the rest of it thinking, it has been one year since my auntie’s accident and she is no better)
- I have had two car accidents, both not my fault. Luckily no one was hurt, apart from my car. It is the sheer inconvenience of it all….
- My son was run over, and as a result broke both femurs, he is lucky to be alive, I am lucky he is still alive. Quite possibly the most stressful thing which has happened in my life (and his). This meant three months of intensive care getting him back on his feet. He is on his way to recovery, albeit it has been a slow road.
- My grandma died. She was a very special person in my life. I could go visit her, sit there all day and speak to her about anything. I did not realise it at the time, but she was actually one of my favourite people. She never annoyed me or upset me. She was a great help with my children, she looked after me as a child, she was a constant permanent fixture, pretty much the only one, and now she has gone.
- Related to above in incident of my grandma’s passing. Quite possibly the second most upsetting day of my life (aside from my son being run over) was having to attend my grandma’s funeral. In saying ‘having to attend’ I do not mean this as though I was forced, I would not have missed it for the world. However it was extremely difficult saying good bye to someone I hoped would be there forever. Love you grandma x
- My children’s father appears to have taken up a sudden interest in pedophiles, decides to post things about this subject on facebook and as a result put me in a situation where I have had to stop contact for the time being, until I am sure my children are safe, and in me doing so has made me feel like an absolute mega bitch. Then there is the added stress of having to deal with this family, who seem to be incapable of understanding why I am upset at his failure to safeguard my children.
- My finances have seriously taken a turn for the worst. I have done nothing differently, but with the increase of cost of living and decrease in help for working single parents it has all taken its toll and there is not much further I can go.
- My health is suffering. I am suffering from stress headaches, severe hayfever and now having to have treatment in the lady department to stop some naughty cells turning even naughtier.
- And to top it off, I am still very, very single. Sigh……..
But as luck would have it, good things have happened in the last two years also, so at least rather than you getting a picture of just one steep drop on a very large roller coaster, you can now imagine a big dipper 😉
So yes it is very true, these last two years have been pretty trying, and would have been for any person. But I am still smiling. In the last year I have met some brilliant people, I have carved out a great social circle, I have gotten back in touch with some family members, I have reignited my love for art and creativity, I have rediscovered my freedom, my love for nature and walks in the woods, and my love for travel. I have discovered how lucky I am to have such great friends and family and a roof over my head, not to take things for granted and to be thankful for what I have.
“Amongst the dark clouds are always small rays of bright sunshine”i
I long to travel. I have 11 years to save. I will be 45. My youngest child will be 16, and if they wish they can travel with me. I will be going whether i travel alone, with my children, a partner or friend. This is something I have to do. I am drawn to India as I feel I need to travel there to connect to my deeper spiritual self. I want to go there to experience the culture, food, sights, attend temples and a yoga retreat.
One of the places I must visit is Taj Mahal, for the sheer beauty of the building. It is a must see once in my life time.
On my travels I plan on spending some time in an Ashram. This is something I must do. I am not certain as to how long I will stay. I wish to go and stay for as long as I feel necessary. There are many Ashrams to choose from but as I was truly inspired by Eat Pray love I plan on visiting the on
“The ashram Gilbert visited, therefore, is Gurudev Siddha Peeth where Muktananda is buried”.
“Gurudev Siddha Peeth, the first Siddha Yoga ashram, is a “shakti peeth”, a center of spiritual energy. It is situated in the historic and sacred Tansa Valley, in Maharashtra, India. The ashram is imbued with the spiritual power of the Siddha Yoga Gurus and the countless hours of sadhana and spiritual practice that Siddha Yogis have performed there.” http://www.siddhayoga.org.in/Gurudev_Siddha_Peeth.html
I am not sure if this will be possible as I have began to look into how you are able to attend the Ashrams and there is an application process you must go through. I feel a Yoga Ashram is best for me, given my commitment to yoga practice. I also believe it is through yoga that I myself is developing spiritually.
I also plan to visit some destinations in India which are described as the most spiritual in the country. since this trip for me is about developing my own spirituality it seems fitting that I visit these if possible.
Bodhgaya is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage place in the world. Located in the state of Bihar, it’s here that Lord Buddha became enlightened during intense meditation under a Bodhi tree. The exact spot is now marked by the sprawling Mahabodhi Temple complex. The town is also home to dozens of Buddhist monasteries. Those who are interested will find plenty of meditation and Buddhism courses and retreats on offer. This is a place which will definately be on my list. I cannot visit India without missing out this place.
The Ancient Haridwar (the “Gateway to God”) it is one of the seven holiest places in India, and one of the oldest living cities. Located at the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, it’s particularly popular with Hindu pilgrims who come to take a dip in the holy waters of the fast flowing Ganges River and wash away their sins. Unlike Varanasi, the water is clean and fresh in Haridwar. The evening ceremony Ganga Aarti, a daily ritual once the sun goes down, looks fabulous.
Another definate must see for me due to my ties with yoga is Rishikesh- the birthplace of yoga, is a popular place to come and meditate, do yoga, and learn about other aspects of Hinduism. It’s situated on the banks of the Ganges River, surrounded by hills on three sides, not far from Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Rishikesh lures those seeking knowledge and peace with its numerous ashrams and yoga institutes. It’s particularly popular with spiritual seeking foreigners, while Haridwar holds more significance for Hindu pilgrims.
Amritsar was founded in 1577 by Guru Ram Das, the fourth guru of Sikhs. It’s the spiritual capital of the Sikhs and gained its name, meaning “Holy Pool of Nectar”, from the body of water around the Golden Temple. The exquisite Golden Temple attracts pilgrims from all over the world. It looks particularly arresting at night when it’s beautifully lit up, with its imposing pure gold dome illuminated.
I have this ‘knowing’ that in order for me to grow as a person I need to travel to expand my mind. It is something which is built inside of me. I know that I will travel at some point, and when the time is right the opportunities will present themselves. Until then I use the time to plan where I will go, and can only dream of my up and coming adventures.