Friday, 31 October 2014

What's happening on 40plusandalliswell

If you have left over pumpkin from the Halloween celebrations you may want to try out my 'Jack O Lantern' stew baked in a pumpkin which was posted for Meatless Monday this week (if your pumpkin has holes in for eyes/mouth/nose you could make it in a casserole dish using the scooped out flesh)
There is also a recipe for 'Cheesecake' Pumpkin Pie which is delicious served with banana ice cream
Continuing the 'Love your....' series there was an article 'Love your circulation'
Our superfood focus was surprising, it was chocolate and you will find a recipe for double chocolate buns for you to enjoy
If the short autumn days leave you fatigued, depressed and craving carbs, you could be suffering from SAD. See my article which has tips that may help

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Halloween Special-Kid's yoga

It's Halloween, have fun with the kids doing these 'monstrous' yoga poses.
Meet Gwendolyn the witch (Tree Pose)

Take your weight into your left leg and bring your right foot to your ankle, shin or thigh. Take your arms overhead in the shape of a witch's hat.  Don't forget to do both sides.
Here is Gwendolyn's cat, Abigail (Cat Pose)

Come onto all fours, breathe in and arch your back like a Halloween cat.

They are so excited, it's Halloween and they are off to the monster's party.  First though they are going to tuck into pumpkin stew (Child Pose)

Sit back on your heels and bring your head down to the mat and your hands to your heels or support your head on stacked fists.

Full of pumpkin stew, its time to fire up the broomstick (Warrior 3).

From standing take your arms overhead and raise your right leg, bringing your body into a T shape.  Don't forget the other side.
At the party they meet:-
Wally, the werewolf (downward facing dog)

From all fours, breathe out and lift your hips high.  Let out a howl!! Come to standing
Frankenstein (Awkward Pose)

From standing bring your arms forward, bend your knees and come onto tip toes. Come to seated on heels.

Gerald the ghoul (Lion Pose) 

Breathe in and as you breathe out, lean forward waving your arms, rolling your eyes and sticking your tongue out.  Make ghoulish noises!!! Come to seated on your bottom.

Vladimir, the vampire bat 

From seated bend your knees and take hold of your feet.  As you breathe in, take both feet up and out.

Muriel the mummy(Corpse pose)

Lie back on the mat and rest 

Have fun!
Janet x

How yoga helps sleep problems

We've all been there.  Two in the morning and not a wink of sleep.  Then panic sets in.  'I've only ....hours before I have to get up' or 'How will I cope with all I have to do tomorrow if I haven't had a good night's sleep?'. For most of us, this only happens occasionally but for some people it happens all too regularly.

How can yoga help?

  • Yoga relieves tension in the body.  You have probably heard me talk about the mind-body connection before and its true.  Release tension in your body and you will feel less stressed/anxious in your mind.  
  • The leading cause of sleep problems is stress, whether this takes the form of anxiety or depression.  Yoga can help relieve stress.  For instance inversions bring blood to the brain which has a calming effect and chest openers enrich that blood with oxygen which enhances this effect.  A word of caution.  Backbends are terrific chest openers but they are energizing which is great for a morning practice but not so good at bedtime.  Twists wring out any toxins which are causing stress to your body.  Restorative yoga makes a good bedtime practice and triggers the relaxation response.  I have a whole series of yoga videos on stress on my YouTube Channel Playlist, so if this is your problem, you might want to try them
  • Breathing techniques such as abdominal breathing, Humming Bee Breath, Alternate Nostril Breathing and Moon Breathing (see video) are great for bedtime as they calm the brain.  
  • Don't forget meditation.  This may be simply watching your breath.  If thoughts pop into your head, imagine them as waves on an ocean and watch them subside.  This clears your mind in preparation for sleep.  
  • When you get to bed try progressive relaxation.  Mentally go through each part of your body, starting at your feet, consciously relaxing each part.  Keep seeking out any tense area until you are completely relaxed and ASLEEP!

On 40plusandalliswell, there are more tips to help you with sleep problems.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

How Yoga Boosts Health-Better Sleep

How Yoga Boosts Health-Better Sleep-
Please read my blog disclaimer before following these videos
Articles that accompany this video will be published on 30/10/14. Thank you
Please note as of August 2014 I am no longer a donation based yoga teacher. Thank you
Copyright © 2014 Flexiladiesyoga

Saturday, 25 October 2014

How yoga can help boost circulation of blood and lymph

If blood circulation is less than optimal, the effects are felt as fatigue, pain, tingling and numbness in hands and feet, muscle cramps, swollen ankles, heavy legs etc.  If lymph circulation is less that optimal the effect is susceptibility to infections.  Also since the lymph removes toxins from the body, there may be a build up of toxins if lymphatic flow is poor. Here we will look at how yoga can help with circulation and on 40plusandalliswell we will look at how lifestyle can help improve circulation.    

•Yoga encourages deep breathing.  This involves the diaphragm (the sheet  of muscle under the lungs) moving in such a way as to massage the blood vessels in the abdomen,enhancing blood flow.  It also stimulates the spleen, the largest lymphatic organ in the body which contains a large number of infection fighting white cells.
•Yoga reduces stress which can affect blood flow because it causes us to hold tension in our bodies, which restricts blood flow.
•Sun salutations get the heart pumping and the blood flowing.  Sun salutations also include downward facing dog which is a half inversion and so encourages the flow of lymph by reversing gravity in the body.  Unlike blood circulation which relies on a ‘pump’, the heart, lymph moves by peristalsis (alternate contraction and relaxation) in the lymphatic vessels and movement of lymph is also helped by gravity.
•Standing poses such as the Warrior poses and the Fierce Pose that we did in the video, contract the leg muscles which in turn squeeze the blood vessels in the legs encouraging blood flow back to the heart.  
•Inversions such as the Supported Half Shoulder Stand in the video, encourage blood flow to heart and brain as well as flow of lymph.  Standing forward bends also have this effect.
•Stimulating the lymph nodes also encourages the flow of lymph and encourages the lymph nodes to produce more infection fighting immune cells.  In Humble Warrior we stimulated the lymph nodes in the chest and armpits.  In the Warriors and Pigeon Pose we stimulated the lymph nodes in the groin.  In Pigeon and Cat/Cow we stimulated the lymph nodes near the kidneys and in Supported Half Shoulder Stand we stimulated the lymph nodes near the thyroid gland.
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be peaceful and at ease

YouTube video link-'How yoga can help boost circulation of blood and lymph'

Thursday, 23 October 2014

How Yoga Boosts Health-Circulation of blood and lymph

How Yoga Boosts Health-Circulation of blood and lymph-
Please read my blog disclaimer before following these videos 
Please note as of August 2014 I am no longer a donation based yoga teacher. Thank you
Copyright © 2014 Flexiladiesyoga

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

What's happening on 40plusandalliswell?

On 40plusandalliswell we have recently added a recipe for home made baked beans and cornbread as part of the Meatless Monday series. You could follow this with blackberry and apple Eve's pudding Continuing the 'Love your...' series there is an article on 'Love your bones' The superfood in season is pumpkin. You will find a delicious pumpkin cake with coconut 'cream' topping recipe
Learn also how vegans get their Omega 3's.
I have also entered 40plusandalliswell in the National UK Blog Awards 2015!

Blog link-

Saturday, 18 October 2014

October is breast cancer awareness month

Breast cancer is every woman's worst fear but there are lifestyle changes you can make to minimise your risk. On the wellness blog there is an article  'Love your breasts' about this and how to examine your breasts so please read this and examine your breasts regularly. Here we will focus on how yoga can help you maintain healthy breasts.
The breasts themselves have no muscles, but by stretching the muscles that support the breasts you can enhance circulation to the breasts.  This means that the breasts are supplied with fresh blood and any toxins that build up are quickly removed.  Also the breast has anxillary lymph nodes to the sides, running up into the shoulders and armpit so by opening the chest and shoulders, you can encourage the flow of lymph.  This lymph helps to destroy bacteria and 'rogue' cells and carry them to the blood stream from where they are disposed of with other body waste.  Below are a few poses to help keep your breasts healthy.

Arm Clock - stand with your right hip a little way from the wall and your right arm up the wall, right palm to the wall in the 12o'clock position (the nearer you are to the wall, the more intense the pose). Take a breath in and as you breathe out move your arm to the one o'clock position.  Breathe in and as you breathe out move your arm to the two o'clock position.  Breathe in and as you breathe out move your arm to the 3 o'clock position.  Breathe in and as you breathe out move your arm back to the 2 o'clock position and continue until you are back to the start position.  Turn your left hip to the wall and repeat moving the arm to the 11 o'clock, 10 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions.  As a counterpose roll your shoulders back a few times.

Standing Chest Opener - stand with your feet at hip distance, your spine long.  Interlace your fingers behind your back.  On a breath in, lift your chest and your arms, keeping your arms straight.  Exhale to release.  As a counterpose bring your hands to your shins and let your head release towards the floor.

Cow Face Arms - sit back on your heels or in a cross-legged position.  Stretch your right arm up then bending your elbow, bring your right hand down your back your palms facing your back.  Stretch your left arm forward then, bending your left elbow, externally rotate your arm up your back bringing your hands together in a yogic grip (see photo).  If you cannot reach to join hands, try again with a belt placed over your right shoulder and hold onto the belt.  Move your fingers towards one another but do not pull on the belt. Hold for a few breaths keeping your chin level with the floor and your tail bone tucked under (there is a tendency to stick your bottom out in this pose!) Breathe out to release. Roll your shoulders back to release before repeating on the second side.

Bow Pose- lie on your tummy.  Bend both knee and reach round to hold the outside edges of your feet, or your ankles or your shins. If you cannot reach you could use a yoga belt or equivalent such as a dressing gown tie. Breathe in and press your feet into your hands so that your chest lifts up from the mat.  Breathe out to release. A modified variation would be to do one leg at once.  As a counterpose sit back on your heels, and bringing your head to the mat, hold your heels or support your head with stacked fists.

Reclined Twist - lie on the mat with your legs outstretched.  Stretch your arms out at shoulder height and bend your right leg.  Breathe in, Lift your hips and as you breathe out bring your hips down to the right.  Breathe in and as you breathe out bring your right knee down to the outside of your left thigh. Support your knee with a block or a cushion.  Hold for a few breaths pressing both shoulders down towards the mat.  Breathe in to bring your knee back to centre. Stretch out your right leg and press both heels away before repeating on the second side.  As a counterpose hug both knees in to your chest and rock side to side.

Please see also 'Love your breasts' on my 'sister' blog-

Janet x

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

How yoga can help with digestion

Note - See 'Yoga Pose Gallery' for poses.  See also video below 'How yoga boosts health- promotes good digestion'- This video is NOT for you if you have a peptic ulcer or hernia.

  • Yoga triggers the relaxation response and so is an anti-dote to stress.  Stress affects digestion in many ways for instance it may affect gastric secretions, it may affect circulation to the digestive organs and it may alter the gut flora in ways that are detrimental to health. It can also lead to conditions such as gastric reflux. Yoga forward bends and restorative yoga are especially good to practice for stress. Try seated forward bends, and wide leg standing forward bend. Practice these along with breathing techniques such as Alternative Nostril Breathing, meditation and relaxation techniques such as Yoga Nidra.  
  • Yoga encourages deep breathing which massages the abdominal organs.  
  • Yoga twists boost circulation to the abdominal organs as well as massaging the abdominal organs. According to Iyengar's 'squeeze and soak' theory when we move into a twist we 'wring out' the stale blood from our abdominal organs and when we release the twist fresh oxygenated blood 'soaks' our abdominal organs.  Try Half Lord of the Fishes, Revolved Triangle or a reclined twist.
  • Yoga backbends stretch the abdomen which massages the abdominal organs.  Backbends that are practiced lying on your tummy such as Cobra, Bow and Upward Facing Dog also apply pressure to the abdominal organs stimulating peristalsis which is the alternate contraction and relaxation that moves food and waste along the gastro-intestinal tract.  Because of this effect these poses help relieve constipation.  Backbends also relieve stress by opening the chest which increases oxgen in the blood and this in turn calms the brain.  
  • Yoga squats and Wind Relieving Pose (does what it says on the tin!!!) encourage the downward flow of energy which relieves constipation. Try Goddess Squat or Garland Pose.
  • Yoga inversions such as Shoulder Stand are beneficial to digestion because they maintain a healthy thyroid.  A healthy thyroid ensures stomach acid levels are at the right levels to digest protein. Inversions also relieve stress by bringing fresh blood to the brain which has a calming effect. 

Yogis believe that good digestion is the basis for good health in general. You should of course also follow a good diet.  Ideally your diet should be plant based, that is vegan but I know this is not for everyone.  If you are not vegan you still need plenty of fruits and vegetables along with wholegrains, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, eggs and fish.  Include oily fish and limit red meat, sugar and alcohol. Avoid processed foods altogether.
I hope these ideas for your yoga practice and diet will ensure your very good digestive health.
Janet x

Monday, 13 October 2014

How Yoga Boosts Health-Promotes good digestion

How Yoga Boosts Health-Promotes good digestion- This video is NOT for you if you have a peptic ulcer or hernia.
Please read my blog disclaimer before following these videos
Please note as of August 2014 I am no longer a donation based yoga teacher. Thank you
Copyright © 2014 Flexiladiesyoga

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

What's happening on 40plusandalliswell?

Recently added to the wellness blog is a delicious butter bean and mushroom pie
You could follow this with my pear and ginger cake which is sugar free and has healthy coconut oil as an ingredient as well as using some of the season's best produce.
Continuing the 'Love your'... this week we are looking at eye health so please check that out.

Monday, 6 October 2014

How Yoga Boosts Health-Bone strength

Please read my blog disclaimer before following these videos
Please note as of August 2014 I am no longer a donation based yoga teacher. Thank you

Bee update

As you know as a yogi, I believe in ahimsa, not only to others but to all natural life and to the planet. You may also know that I have been very concerned about bee populations.
In December 2013 the EU banned the use of pesticides thought to be affecting the bees for a trial period. I have recently received a newsletter from the British Beekeepers Association. I get these newsletters because I adopted part of a hive last Christmas. I am delighted to report that the bees have done really well in 2014. I know that the bees have had good weather conditions too, but I believe the effect is mainly down to the banning of pesticides that affect the bees. I hope therefore that this temporary ban becomes a permanent one. For more ways to help the bees you might want to visit

I was delighted that my update the bees has been featured on the front page of the Yoga Vitality Magazine. 
Please take a look!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Thank goodness it's Friday - breathing practice to energize for the weekend

Whew, made it to Friday and the weekend to look forward to.  But maybe you feel exhausted by the week's work.  Try this breathing practice to energize so you can get the most from your weekend.

Video link-

Wednesday, 1 October 2014