5 Immune Boosting Tips

This time of year can be especially difficult to keep the bugs at bay. It’s been so cold and wet recently I’ve felt my immune and lymphatic system has been pushed to it’s limits.

If you’ve been feeling the strain then here are 5 handy immune boosting tips that I use to help restore some balance and encourage my immunity to thrive.

1. Sleep ….ah the elusive sleep. I’ve had my fair share of sleep deprivation which has made me realise just how important this is. That and reading Why we Sleep by Matthew Walker (highly recommended). Amongst other things our body heals and repairs when we sleep. If you’re finding it difficult to get your full 8 hours then try yoga nidra (awakened sleep) this will help you rest and recharge even if you practice for 20 mins. Visit my free mediations for a guided yoga nidra practice.

2. Warm foot baths. My latest obsession to give my lymphatic system a boost. I was recently made aware of the benefits of these foot baths and now do them when either working on my laptop…yes my feet are submerged right now or when watching the tv. Our lymphatic system is mainly stimulated when we move which isn’t great for sedentary workers. However soaking your feet in warm water (I like to add lavender and epsom salts also) helps to boost our lymphatic flow, remember this system is part of your immune system helping to fight infection.

3. Exercise. Whether it’s yoga, boot camps or walking that you prefer. Make sure you get some exercise. This is so beneficial to our immunity. When we exercise we also secrete happy hormones these help to counteract our stress hormones which break down our immunity. Exercising also stimulates our respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

4. Fresh Air. It’s free and usually fresh…. depending on where you live of course! Getting outdoors definitely lifts my mood even if it’s just a brisk walk to the school gates. Being outside and also around nature can help to put problems into perspective and give us a deeper understanding of ourselves. Whether it’s the beach or a woodland find some time to get outdoors.

5. Vitamins and Probiotics. Yes I’m a fan of supplements, gut health is so important for our immunity. Its not always easy getting the right balance through our diets so I believe supplements are necessary. If your not sure contact your local nutritionist for more help and advice.

Yoga Day Retreat

Tranquillite Retreats – Yoga Day Retreat

A day of Vinyasa Flow, Yin, Restorative Yoga & Yoga Nidra

  • 10am-12pm Vinyasa Flow Yoga – open to all levels
  • 12pm-130pm: Lunch includes nutrition and healthy lifestyle talk
  • 130pm-3:30pm: Yin, restorative yoga for deep rest (includes yoga nidra)

Also includes Lunch, Tea & Healthy Snack

Date – Sunday 15th March 2020

Time – 10am to 330pm

Cost – £45 – includes lunch

or Book AM or PM Sessions £20 (lunch not included)

Location –  InHale Yoga Studio, Cecil Road, Hale Cheshire WA15 9NZ

For more info contact  info@tranquilliteretreats.co.uk or book online

Book a Retreat

Cheshire Yoga Babies


Cheshire Yoga Babies 

Explore, play & relax – enjoy the benefits of Yoga for you and your baby. * Babies from 6 weeks to 12 months

Class Times & Locations

Tuesdays 1130am – 1230pm

InHale Yoga Studio, 1st Floor Progress House, Cecil Road, Hale WA15 9NZ

Thursdays 10am – 11am

Lymm Heritage Centre, 1 Legh St Lymm WA13 0DA

Fridays 1130am – 1230pm

Narali Yoga, 61 Stamford New Rd, Altrincham WA14 1DP

Current Term Times

Tuesday InHale Yoga 1130am

25th Feb, 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st March (last class)

Thursday Lymm Heritage 10am

27th Feb, 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th March then 2nd April (last class)

Friday Narali Yoga  1130am

28th Feb, 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th March then 3rd April (last class)

Next Term Times

Tuesday InHale Yoga 1130am

14th, 21st April 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th May (last class) *NO CLASS 28th April

Thursday Lymm Heritage 10am

16th, 23rd April 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th May (last class) *NO CLASS 30th April

Friday Narali Yoga Altrincham 1130am

17th, 24th April 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th May (last class) *NO CLASS 1st May

Cost for either 6 week term £45  (terms & conditions below

To book your place visit the  Class Timetable or contact info@mariayoga.co.uk

The Benefits of Mother & Baby YogaMother & baby Flyer SM-02

For Baby:

Helps settle baby, improving your baby’s sleeping patterns

Interactive and physical activity helps to strengthen & aid your baby’s development

Stimulates the baby’s bodily systems, including digestive and nervous systems

Aids digestion, which can help to ease constipation, wind and colic

Bonding – enhances the relationship between you & your baby

New challenges helping your baby to cope with new situations

Helps strengthen your baby’s body including their spine

Promotes muscle strength and joint flexibility

Introduces techniques to help your baby relax and become a natural self-soother.

For Mum:

Improves your posture, strength and flexibility which will help with lifting and carrying your growing baby

Post-natal exercises to tone the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor

Release physical and mental tension with Yoga stretches and breathing

Relaxation techniques to help you to cope with the stresses of new parenthood

Bonding – spend special time with you and your baby exploring new challenges and having fun

Get to know other mums, dads or carers and share experiences.

Testimonials

This class has been my favourite, I’ve loved it all and feel I have genuinely improved my pelvic floor. I’m now more aware of doing my exercises etc. So just wanted to say a massive thank you! You’re great! – G.C.

 

 

 

So Hum Mantra

Enjoy this free recording of the Mantra So Hum. This mantra can be used during your meditation or yoga practice as a way of quietening the mind. So Hum translates to I am that – I am that ultimate reality or ever pervading presence that exist within us all.

Begin by chanting a few rounds out loud then go into silent chants mirroring the breath to each sound. e.g So – on the inhale and Hum – on the exhale

Take as many rounds as you like, then sit for a while at the end of your practice to soak all the sensations from this mantra in.

Meditation to Calm the Mind

Enjoy this Buddhist inspired meditation using the mantra Om Ah Hum for inner peace and calm.

The mantra is chanted silently with each sound representing a different part of the breath. The sound Om is chanted in the inhale and held at the heart centre to cleanse our physical body. Ah is then for the speech and chanted between the inhale and exhale the awareness of this sound is held at the throat for clarity in our speech, and finally the Hum sound is for the mind inspiring a sense of peace and chanted silently on the exhale.

Listen below for further guidance and this blissful mantra that purifies our body, speech and mind

Mantra Meditation for Grounding

The Ganesh Mantra one of my favourite mantras and one I use for when I personally feel unsteady and in need of grounding.

Ganesh is the god of beginnings and the remover of obstacles. We turn to Ganesh when we feel we need guidance on our path.  Perhaps there’s a lot of change occurring in your life or you’re going through some kind of transition, making you feel unstable and in need of grounding. If this is the case then this mantra is perfect for grounding us back down to earth.  With the head of an elephant on the body of a teenage boy, Ganesh represents, strength, courage, willpower and wisdom as he uses his trunk to clear the way of obstacles from his path. You too can embody the qualities of this deity to find your own inner power.

During this meditation we’ll recite the mantra Om Glaum Gam Ganapataye Swaha 9 times however you can do this for the full 108.

Enjoy listening

Maria

Summer Solstice Guided Meditation

Free Guided Summer Solstice Meditation

Summer Solstice on the 21st June is the longest day of the year marking the beginning of Summer and the mid point of our seasons, this is an ideal time for contemplation and reflection.

This is definitely one of my favourite times of the year, and a piviotal moment to really notice what I’ve learnt and achieved over the last 6 months. We all want to grow and flourish but sometimes its worth sitting and listening to our inner voice, especially when we’re not being influenced by external forces.

During this guided meditation we focus on Samana Vayu and Manipura Chakra as these both reside at our core and the centre of our being. A place where we balance our mind and emotions of everything we have taken in, from the food we eat to the information that we listen to, basically all we imbibe. Here we have the power of discernment, and by keeping a sense of harmony within we can use it to guide us on our path. Now is the time to really listen to ourselves understanding what we have learnt over the last 6 months. What is it that we need to cast aside? What do we want to carry forward that will help us continue to grow?

All you’ll need for this meditation is a comfortable place to sit and perhaps a journal and pen to write down any reminders for the months ahead.

Happy Summer Solstice Maria x

3 Simple Steps to a Calmer Life

3 Simple steps to a calmer life  Santa Monica Cape Verde

By Maria Kelly on 2nd May 2016

 

Step 1. Take a deep breath….

 

Breathing – it’s simple enough, we do it all the time and without much thought. This automatic breathing will get you through the day sure enough, however deep conscious breathing will lead you to a place of inner calm helping to deal with stress and the effects this has on our wellness.

 

The quality of our breath is a great indicator into our physical state of wellbeing. Shallow breathing is when our diaphragm doesn’t move fully and this shortening of breath is quite common when we are stressed. We end up breathing into our chest and shoulders creating tension in these areas and limiting the amount of oxygen that we get.

 

The deep breathing performed during yoga asanas (postures) helps the body to function more efficiently, relieves tension and has a calming effect on the body and mind as a whole.

 

Diaphragm (Yogic) Breathing.

 

Begin by either sitting or lying in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and bring your awareness on to your breathing. Place one hand onto your chest and the other onto your tummy. Take a deep breath into the tummy noticing how this rises on the inhale and then how this falls on the exhale. Pause for a moment between each breath noticing the stillness in this space. Continue this, deepening the inhales and exhales by counting to 3, then pausing for 1. Do this for 5 minutes or longer if you have time.

 

Step 2. Learn to love the mundane…..

 

Ok, so not many of us enjoy doing house hold chores but we realise it is one of many necessary evils. So instead of viewing them as chores, why not try to find a way to enjoy them. Taking enjoyment in the little things can have a very large impact on our general outlook. Think about it, if we spend our day rushing from job to job only focusing on getting them done, then it’s no wonder we’re worn out by the end of the day and in need of that reward…..cue chocolate bar and glass of vino!

So next time it’s your turn to do the washing up try to enjoy the process and actually be in the moment. Take pride in seeing your plates clean, perhaps they were a gift from someone you care about. Notice your breathing and posture whilst you’re doing this – it is here that you create that tension rushing to get the job done! And remind yourself of this Buddhist saying……. “If the simple things in life don’t put a smile on your face then you will never truly be happy”.

 

Step 3. Get you Yoga on……

 

We have been designed to move and yet we have created a sedentary lifestyle, albeit with the good intention to make our life easier. However instead this has made our bodies inflexible and our minds overworked. Once you understand the importance of movement and how great this makes the body and min feel you begin to understand why it’s such a good idea to get up off that ass..ana!

By practicing Yoga you’re bringing not only movement but also the deep breathing and mental focus into your lives. By being present in each of the postures you’re able to focus and enjoy the process of learning to let go. Understanding where you hold the physical tension also shines a light on your mental outlook (remember the rushing from task to task). The deep breathing enables you to relax and release this built up muscular tightness. During this process we mentally become more in tune with ourselves, connecting once again to our true nature and bringing about a sense of joy and freedom in this journey that life most certainly is.

Maria Kelly

Sunflower Dancer

Maria is a Yoga Instructor based in Cheshire specialising in Vinyasa Flow, Pregnancy, Post-natal and Baby Yoga (www.mariayoga.co.uk) . Along with her husband she also owns Tranquillite Retreats (www.tranquilliteretreats.co.uk), a yoga retreat set on the edge of the Dordogne in south west France. It is their mission to show that keeping life simple can lead to a happier more tranquil you.

 

 

Yogic Resolution….

Yogic Resolution…why it’s better than your average New Years resolution. meditation

I’ve never really been a big fan of the old new years resolutions. I always think these are slightly unrealistic and a bit harsh especially when set at the beginning of one of the longest, coldest and often penniless months!

So when I discovered the Yogic resolution or Sankalpa I was rather pleased as this for me is a much more gentle and positive approach to becoming a better person, rather than putting pressure or punishing oneself with a New Years Resolution e.g. I’m never eating chocolate or drinking again!!

Setting your sankalpa is easy you just need to take time to look at the root causes of what you’d like to change. I suggest keeping a diary writing down what you’d like to change and perhaps taking time to meditate on this. Rather than punish yourself from spending a whole month abstaining from alcohol have a look at why you drink and why you feel the need to do this. If say this is related to making you feel happy than ask yourself How can I seek out happiness without alcohol? Your Sankalpa therefore could be ‘May I find happiness and relaxation without the need for stimulants’. Remember to keep your Sankalpa positive and in a present tense. Make this part of your daily routine either repeating this to yourself in the morning or before you go to sleep at night, keep reminders of this either on your phone or by placing post it notes around the house, and most importantly don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t see results straight away, change won’t happen overnight habits take time to break. But consider this power of positive thinking can have many life changing benefits…you’re on the right path to aligning with your true self. Happy New Year!

Yoga breathing to calm the mind

Yoga Breathing to calm the mind pranayama-yoga-breathing-techniques

Are you breathing properly? This may seem like a strange question to ask but it appears most of us are not. Of course you know how to breathe you’ve been doing it all your life. Breathing occurs to us naturally, even when we are not aware of it. So it seems odd to think that you might not be breathing properly.
However if you suffer from any of the following it might be because you are not breathing correctly and getting enough oxygen.

Nervousness,
anxiety,
sluggishness,
irritability,
lack of energy,
fatigue,
depression.

Poor breathing can happen over time as we pick up unhealthy habits without being aware of it. For example if you sit at a desk all day long and assume a slouched positions this can effect lung capacities and will result in you taking shortened breaths.

So how can Yoga breathing help?

Ujjayi breathing can assist as this is a diaphragmic breathing technique (pranayama) meaning that you breath deeply into the belly increasing lung capacity, improving oxygen levels to the blood which helps to eliminate toxins and allow internal organs to operate more efficiently. Typically Ujjayi breathing is performed during Yoga asanas however this calming and balancing breath can be used whenever you feel this is needed. I usually practice this for a few minutes in the morning to restore my nervous system and to set me up for my day ahead.

How to perform Ujjayi breath.

1. Begin sitting in a comfortable seated position preferably cross legged or on a bolster making sure you’re sat up tall, lengthening the spine.

2. Inhale and exhale deeply through the mouth making a ‘ha’ sound as you breath out.

3.On the exhales, begin to slightly constrict the passage of air at the back of the throat – imagine that you are fogging up a mirror.

4. Once you are comfortable with the exhale, begin to apply the same constricting of the throat to the inhales. Ujjayi breathing is an audible breath and you should notice it. The sound is reminiscent of the ocean (or a similar sound to Darth Vadar!)

5. When you are able to control the throat on both the inhale and the exhale, close the mouth and begin breathing only through the nose. Close the eyes and sit for a moment listening to the oceanic sounds of your Ujjayi breath.

deep-breathing