Green prana juice

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Ah the magical mystical green juice, one of my favourite morning beverages.  I seem to be forever on a quest to find a new favourite to enjoy and I think I’ve found it in the Prana juice.  The numerous health benefits of drinking a daily green juice have been sung from many a webpage – I was lucky enough to attend a yoga workshop with yoga master Dharma Mittra and he said “Drink green juice everyday because it gives you more power in meditation”.  Well if that’s what Dharma Mittra has to say on the subject, then sign me up!  I also love the fact that they make me feel light and energised and give my cells a quick injection of nutrients.  Here’s the Prana juice recipe, be sure to use organic fruit and veggies.  Wash the fruit and veggies well then juice them in a juicer.  I often lace mine with a teaspoon of wheat grass powder:

1 Granny Smith apple
3 stalks Celery
1 lemon peeled
2 cups kale
1 cup parse
2 inch piece ginger
For more yoga lifestyle and other private yoga lessons or one-to-one yoga in the Muswell Hill and surrounding areas please contact Claire at info@clairesmithyoga.com.
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World mental health day

Autumn well wishes to you all.  Tomorrow is World mental health day and the focus this year is on mental health in the workplace.  The latest statistics are really quite sobering:

“At least 1 in 4 of us will experience some kind of mental health problem each year, with anxiety and depression being the most common.”

“It is estimated that some 70 million working days are lost each year due to mental health illness, costing businesses around  £70-£100bn per annum.”
We can see from the figures that a large number of people suffer with a mental health issue each year, it’s fairly common and having worked with anxiety myself, I know firsthand how awful and difficult it can be to go about daily life, with the fear of having a panic attack lurking in your mind.  One of the things I’ve found helpful in dealing with anxiety is pranayama, or yoga breathing techniques.  This is because pranayama helps to light up the parasympathetic nervous system or the rest and digest response.  When your brain perceives something real or imagined to be a threat, adrenaline gets released by the adrenal glands stimulating the sypathetic nervous system response which means the message that your nerves are getting are to fight, flight or freeze, i.e anxious feelings, racing heart and lots of thoughts.  When we calm the nervous system we stem or reduce the flow of adrenaline, therefore stopping the sypathetic nervous system from lighting up which means anxiety reduces.   The nervous system is like a seasaw, when one end lights up, the other end goes down. To calm the nervous system I’ve found that the breath ratio of 1:2 is most helpful. The 1:2 breath ratio means that you count your breath as you inhale and you make your exhale twice the length.  If this feels too difficult in the beginning, particularly if you’re feeling very anxious or panicky, then start with 1:1 ratio, the inhale and exhale being the same length.  Are you sitting comfortably?  Here’s the technique:
Start to inhale through your nose for a count of 4 counts, at the end of the inhale pause for 1 count to equalize the breath, then exhale slowly through the nose for a count of 8.  At the end of the exhale pause for a count of 1 before continuing with the next breath cycle.  You can continue with the technique for a few minutes or until you feel that your anxiety spike has passed.  For best results I recommend practicing this technique daily.  If it’s too difficult to breathe in for 4 out for 8, change it to in for 3 and out for 6 or in for 2 and out for 4.  Make the breath count work for you so that it feels relaxing and inside of your comfort zone.  It shouldn’t feel like there’s any strain or force.
For this or any other private or one-to-one yoga lessons in Muswell Hill and the surrounding areas please contact Claire at info@clairesmithyoga.com
Statistics at the beginning of the article from Francessca Lopez – Associate Kingsley Napley.

Online Meditation course

I do love this time of year, as we enter the end of the winter season we feel the winds of change as the trees start to get their first buds and the evenings are lighter.  The full moon is also approaching so it’s a fertile time to take an action or a step towards what we are manifesting.  What’s an action or step that you could take to bring about greater health, harmony or well-being in your life?  Now is a very good time to take that step.

This winter season (after some much needed clearing and releasing), I’ve been meditating on the best way to share some of my most powerful offerings and I’m using the light of this full moon to help.  An online meditation course has been born and is now ready to spring forth, so if you like the idea of learning to meditate and having me teach you in the comfort of your own home, then please click on the button below for more details. Meditation has truly changed my life, and given me a sense of inner peace and security in an ever changing world.  It’s also helped me to see things from a more spherical perspective rather than the conditioned rectilinear pathway.  In my experience, once we leave the rectilinear behind, we enter naturally into more subtlety – our meandering movement is no longer movement in a forward direction, but movement towards the living, the spontaneous and the creative.  The many benefits of meditation are now starting to circulate, but if you need a quick recap, then here they are:

1 An increased sense of peace
2 Being happy for no apparent reason
3 An increased clarity of mind
4 An increased ability to concentrate
5 Increased will-power and stamina
6 Development of your own intuition
7 An inner questioning about your own nature
Not bad eh? The course has 8 wonderful meditations, 2 delicious relaxations and 3 movement sequences along with detailed instructions that you can listen to and watch from your phone, tablet, laptop or computer.  The course follows the incredibly effective format that I learnt from my dearest teachers at the Dru headquarters in Wales.  First, we move the body – then, we relax the body and we sit for meditation.  I have also filmed and recorded how to sit correctly – I really have started from the beginning.

It is my heart-felt wish that as many people as possible take up meditation, so my course is on sale for an incredible rate of £15 for a 30 day subscription so hurry, click here to buy it now and start experiencing the incredible life enhancing benefits of meditation for yourself!