Inspiration for a serene and happy life

3 ways to sleep well every night

Do you sleep well or not ? What can you do if you don’t sleep particularly well? The reason I’m talking about this is because so many of my clients after a class comment on how well they’re going to sleep that particular night. Which implies that other nights, the sleep isn’t quite as restful…

How are you sleeping?

I remember a time in my life when I didn’t use to sleep very well at all. I was particularly stressed and getting to sleep at night was a nightmare. I got to the point where I was fearing night time because I just knew I wouldn’t sleep. Obviously, that didn’t help! I ended up…

How can I watch the news without getting stressed?

I want to talk to you about the news and the impact of the news on your wellbeing and your happiness level. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with that, because how many people feel upbeat and happy after watching the news? Not many I should think. Actually quite the opposite. I know…

How to lift yourself out of continuous low-level anxiety?

I remember when I was 18. I went to the GP for recurring headaches. After listening to me explaining the headaches, he asked me how I was feeling apart from the headaches. And out of nowhere, I started crying. A whole lot of things came out, from worries about what I was going to do…

You deserve to be number 1

As I was growing up in Belgium, I got into the habit of starting a lot of my sentences with “Moi, je….”, which literally translates to “Me, I…”.  My mother used to pick up on it pretty much every time and reminded me that I shouldn’t be starting my sentences with Me and I one…

5 things you can do to sleep like a baby

After only sleeping 4 hours last night, I woke up this morning feeling grotty, stiff and tense. I usually sleep like a baby the second my head touches the pillow. Yesterday was exactly like that, until one of my daughters woke me up after having a nightmare. And it took a good deal of soothing…

How can I reduce my stress levels?

Being a yoga teacher, some of my friends can assume that I am always calm, relaxed and immune to the effects of stress. Not quite.  The advantage that yoga gives me is that I have built a buffer zone so that I don’t get stressed as easily as I used to, and when I do…

Autumn, Love it or Hate it?

I used to hate autumn… With a passion! It meant the end of summer, the stress of back to school (that’s the thing when you are from a family of teachers, even if you are not one of them, September always has that stressful quality to it!), and the beginning of noticeably shorter days.   For…

Act like a 4-year-old

A couple of weeks ago, I took part in a 1-day yoga training around the theme of creativity.  Creativity is essential to our mental wellbeing as being involved in something creative focuses the mind and can have the same relaxing effects on the body/mind than a meditation.  Creativity also has a positive effect on anxiety,…

The importance of being kind to yourself

In every single one of my yoga classes, I will say multiple times “listen to your body”, “make sure you are comfortable”, “don’t go further than what feels right”, and other sentences to that effect. The key message can be summed up as “Be kind to yourself.”  After all, one of the first principles of…

I thought I had lost my bank card…

A couple of weeks ago, I thought I had lost my bank card. For a while now, I had got into the habit of carrying my bank card into one of the slots of my phone case. And recently, the card had started to slip out of the case and I had several times found…

The Crocodile – or the art of letting go

When I started yoga, I was probably the only person in the class who didn’t look forward to the relaxation. As far as I was concerned, I came to my yoga classes to get toned and stretched… and to relax as well, but somehow I didn’t see the point of the relaxation. It was a…

5 things happy people do in the morning

Are you responsible for your own happiness? Or does it depend on how things go around you? One of the hardest lessons I learned, when I started delving deeper into general psychology and yoga psychology, is that we are responsible for how we feel. Not our partner. Or our children. Or the traffic lights that…

5 benefits of a regular yoga practice

I started having a regular yoga practice when I was a stay-at-home mum with our daughters and the income from my husband’s job was under threat. He had been told that his contract was not going to be renewed and he had to find something else fast. I couldn’t contribute financially, and my stress levels…

How yoga can affect your mental health

Our mental health has been under serious pressure recently. The general situation with Covid has been very anxiety-provoking, and of course, many of us have been impacted directly by the pandemic with job losses, reduction in income and either catching Covid or having close ones getting ill.  No wonder that the medias keep reporting now…

5 yoga myths that might be standing in your way

I started yoga when I was 30. I had just become a mum and was suffering from severe anxiety.  I looked for a yoga class on the advice of my GP and, I was so desperate for my anxiety to get better that I overlooked all the reservations I had in my mind at the…

5 yoga techniques to help you release stress

Stress…  We are all familiar with it, but did you know that not all stress is bad. Stress enables our body to react fast and efficiently to challenging situations. As something stresses us, our body moves into fight-flight-freeze mode and enables us deal swiftly with whatever is in front of us. Think of a near-miss as…

It just has to be right!

Does this sound familiar? You have planned something, done it as well as you could, asked for feedback, changed a few things to make it just right, got some new feedback (this time all positive), made it that little bit better… and yet, you still find yourself wondering if it is good enough. Does that…

4 breathing techniques to help you worry less

When it comes to stopping the worry cycle, breathing is one of the best tools ever. First of all, you’re always breathing, so you can easily use it to your advantage.  You just need to know how – and to think about it! A little note on that one. Try and practice the breathing techniques…

When was the last time you sat down and did nothing?

I just can’t relax… So many of my clients say that to me. And I can relate! I never used to be able to just switch off and relax.  When I first started going to yoga, I considered the relaxation a complete waste of time!  I know, right! Crazy! When I look back, I can…

4 yoga poses to worry less and feel confident

How would you feel if you could change your state of mind at will? If you could go from being worried to feeling confident and positive about things? It feels like a dream come true doesn’t it! But it isn’t just a dream. Yoga is powerful enough to shift your state of mind so that…

5 yoga poses to sleep better

Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t always easy when you have a tendency to have a busy, and sometimes worried, mind. Not only does it make it harder to fall asleep, it also makes it harder to stay asleep. Sleeping properly is an important aspect of our physical and mental wellbeing and not sleeping well…

5 ways that meditation help you worry less

It took me a while on my yoga journey before I started doing meditation – and now I can’t go for a day without it.  I absolutely love meditating. And if, you have a tendency to be a bit of a worrier, I can definitely recommend meditation. It helps calm your thoughts when you are nervous.…

The secret to fighting stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Is feeling stressed and overwhelmed almost “normal” for you? Are you fed up with your anxiety influencing the decisions that you make? Would you like to feel calmer and more relaxed? I can hear you say yes from here! And if I were to tell you that confidence is the key to managing your anxiety…

Yoga as a tool to build your self-confidence

How many times have you wanted to do something but then you freeze? And you start doubting yourself. Or you keep trying to control everything so that you seem to have everything just as it should be all the time. I used to do both.  The avoiding, the procrastinating and the “I’m fine, really” no…

You are Enough. Yes, you are!

“I’m not good at this.” “I could never do that.” “Wow, better put some serious make up on before going out!” How many times a week, or a day, do you tell yourself something like that? And how does that make you feel? I know it used to make me feel rubbish. And not surprising…

5 hobbies to release stress

England is in the middle of its second lockdown. The weather isn’t particularly inviting – and you have more time on your hands. Working from home can be much more comfortable and easier than going to the office. But it has its downsides: it can feel more isolating; it can create stress when you wait…

5 ways to train your mind to be more positive

I’ve been having a bit of a rough time these past few days.  November for me is rarely a happy month. It starts with All Saints’ Day and memories of loved ones who are not with me anymore. And with every passing day, it gets a little bit darker. The joy of it all! 😉 I…

Can yoga be your first step on your self-care journey?

Do you find yourself feeling guilty when you put your feet up for a bit? I know I used to! Self-care wasn’t part of my vocabulary.  I guess it all depends on how life is portrayed to you when you grow up and what you can see the adults around you doing. I grow up…

My daughter epitomises a good, healthy sense of self-esteem

Doing the tree pose in the town centre, just because she felt like it. If she wants to do something, she doesn’t care what other people might think. She just goes ahead and does it! I wasn’t like that at her age!  It took me years to learn that being me was good enough, that…

4 tips to manage anxiety with yoga

Racing heart rate, sweaty palms, shallow breaths, muscles that are so tense they feel like violin strings… All of these are physical symptoms of anxiety and worry. Add to this restlessness, an inability to concentrate and even to fall asleep, and you can see how anxiety and worry can really affect your life! Now, being…

How does yoga affect your mental wellbeing?

Several of my clients have commented that if they miss a session of their regular yoga practice, their mood can dip and they don’t feel as good or as positive as usual.  The reports of yoga’s effects on mental health are well documented. Still, they sometimes are underplayed in a yoga class. I have several…

Ease upper back tension with these easy yoga moves

Tight shoulders, stiff neck, sometimes a bit of a tension headache… Does that sound familiar to you? These used to be almost daily occurrences for me when I used to work in an office. With hours spent working on a computer, driving to and from work and the occasional stress caused by daily life, my…

Ease lower back pain with 4 easy poses

Most of us will experience at some point or other what is called non-specific back pain. This type of back pain isn’t related to any specific issue with the spine. There is no direct physical cause that can explain the pain and discomfort. Instead, this type of back pain – very often found in the…

How to get a good night’s sleep?

Have you ever laid in bed and stared at the ceiling, unable to fall asleep? Or you may have gone to sleep easily enough, but you find yourself waking up the next day, not feeling rested at all! Sleep is so important to our health and wellbeing. We have all experienced how we feel when…

Is getting out of lockdown scaring you?

Lockdown has been easing at a fast past since the beginning of July and I have found myself noticing that getting back out there can actually be a scary prospect for some of us. So, what can you do to make this transition easier for you: Be kind to yourself We have all been through…

Need to manage your stress level? 4 ways yoga can help.

Being stressed used to be part of my life pretty much 7/7. With work, family commitments and a background of negative news on the TV and radio, I felt stressed and anxious – sometimes not even knowing why exactly I felt that way. The stress was just there, at the back of my head, like…

The power of your breath

Most of us don’t notice that we breathe. It is something that we do – thankfully – automatically. And yet, in taking it for granted we are missing on an amazingly powerful tool to enhance our wellbeing. The ancient yogic texts tell us that life isn’t defined by the number of years a person lives…

How can you keep calm when the world around you isn’t?

I don’t know about you, but there are days when I could do with a break. Days when I have lots to do for work, the house is – yet again – a mess and the kids are not exactly helpful. Or any combination of the above. Sometimes, you’re having a good day but then…

Do you want more energy?

Over the past couple of weeks, we have looked at what gives us energy and what takes it away from us. Now, it is time to look at what we can do to keep our energy level balanced or even increase it if we feel a bit low. The food we eat, the way we…

Energy thieves

Last week, we looked at what gives us energy, from food to correct breathing and the right kind of exercise. But have you ever wondered why some days you feel more energetic than others? What takes our energy away from us? The first thing that comes to mind is work and/or study. Obviously, after a…

Can I start yoga at any age?

I am regularly asked that specific question and the answer is – quite simply – yes you can! Yoga is amazing for your body and mind, no matter your age or how long ago you have started. Beginner or experienced, young or less young, everybody can benefit from a yoga class. The key is to…

What gives us energy?

You probably often hear people say around you – or you might be saying yourself – that today they have lots of energy (or not) but where do we get our energy from? And why is it that for no particular reason our energy levels can change dramatically. As I write this at 11.30 on…

What is Dru Yoga?

Dru Yoga isn’t the best known of yoga styles, even though it is slowly increasing in name and popularity. The first time I went to a Dru Yoga class, I fell in love with the combination of flowing sequences,  breath and visualisation. By using these three elements, a Dru Yoga class takes you away from…

Why would you teach yoga to children?

It can seem counterintuitive to do yoga with children. An adult yoga class requires a certain amount of focus and awareness of the body and the mind, as well as an ability to be still. Not always qualities that you would link to children! And yet, even though a children’s yoga class is very different…

Have you ever stopped and looked at the roses?

“People where you live, the little prince said, grow five thousand roses in one garden… Yet they don’t find what they’re looking for… And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose.” As I was trying to decide what to write for this blog, this quote from the The Little Prince…

And now it is time for your relaxation…

These few words are always greeted with smiles and sighs of contentment in my yoga classes. It is your time to get comfortable on your mat and to relax, but have you ever wondered why this relaxation period feels so good? When we lie down on our mats, our body finally gets to properly relax.…

How do we meditate

Last week, we looked at what meditation is and what are the amazing benefits we can all get from it once we start meditating The question now is: how do we meditate? Meditation is an amazingly wide area and there are many different techniques and approaches to meditation. In this article, I am intending to…

Why do we meditate?

Meditation conjures up images of people sitting with their legs crossed on a yoga mat. It is often equated to emptying the mind of all thoughts. But what is meditation really? And why do we meditate? First of all, let’s look at what meditation isn’t: Meditation isn’t about reaching a blank mind.Meditation is about letting…

Express yourself

Sometimes, live throws stuff at you that you really don’t feel ready to handle. It can be a change in work circumstances, health or something more personal and we fall to pieces. When something drastic happens, most of us go in fight or flight mode and start reacting by trying to find solutions, trying to…

Keep on moving

Today is my last blog about finding inspiration and keeping it going. Personally, it is always the second part that causes me the biggest trouble. After a little while of abiding by the principles of following small achievable goals to reach my larger ones, there always comes a time when, either live gets in the…

Inspiration – how to keep it going

Today, I will look at how to keep the inspiration alive and how to best keep going towards your goal. When finding inspiration happens very much spontaneously, keeping it alive and striving towards your goal takes some dedication. For me, organisation is key. Everybody is different but I find that if something is on a…

Go and get inspired

As I wrote last week, inspiration can be found all around us. You can come back fully energised and inspired from a holiday or you can find the same kind of inspiration from watching Youtube videos from your living room. Inspiration is a very personal thing and most of us will come upon it by…

Namaste

Hands into prayer position in front of the heart, gently bowing the head down and saying “Namaste”. A common picture in yoga classes and I finish some of my classes with this greeting but what does it mean? Namaste is a sankrit word. It can be split into namah, which means “salutation” and te, which…

The Power of the Mind

After some minor surgery on Monday, I am now unable to do any yoga for the rest of the week. Needless to say, that this felt like a serious blow and my first thoughts were for the students I would let down this week by cancelling my classes. The second blow was yesterday evening, when…

Perseverance

“We can never truly fail as there are no errors in the system”, Mansukh Patel. A few weeks ago I started a new routine, trying to find some extra time to practise breathing exercises every day. Since my mornings are already pretty full, I decided to do these exercises in the evening. I stuck at…

Grounding

At the beginning of each yoga class, I invite my students to stand in Tadasana, the mountain pose. As they stand still, I bring their attention to their feet, to the contact with the mat. I take it further and ask them to imagine that they are on the bare earth, breathing in the energy…

The Crocodile – or the art of letting go.

Letting go doesn’t come naturally to me. When I started yoga, I was probably the only person in the class who didn’t look forward to the relaxation. As far as I was concerned, I came to my yoga classes to get toned and stretched… and to relax as well, but somehow I didn’t see the…

Waking up mindfully

I started an experiment last Monday. After years of waking up to reach for the alarm and get up in a slight daze to start my yoga routine, which would then wake me up fully and get my day started right, I have decided to experiment with waking up mindfully. Waking up mindfully means waking…

Doing the Unexpected

This morning, I went for an unplanned walk. After dropping my daughters at school, I didn’t go straight back home to switch on my computer and get on with my daily activities, I decided to go for a little walk. The weather was mild and the walk thoroughly enjoyable. I walked slowly, looking at the…

Creating a vision board

Yesterday I created a vision board for the first time. Sure, I had heard about vision boards before and been intrigued by them but I had never given it a go.  A vision board is rather simple. Starting with a blank piece of paper or card, you stick, draw or write anything that you want…

More than flexibility

This afternoon there was a power cut while I was at work. Whereas I was happy sitting and enjoying doing nothing, most of my colleagues were looking for things to do, tidying up their desks, walking restlessly around the office… As I was sitting, revelling in the peace and quiet, I realised that the joy…

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