In the colder weather and darkness coming earlier, it is a little more challenging to turn up to class. The season of winter is an an important time to keep up your yoga practice. Yoga is beneficial for stimulating the immune system and keeping the joints limbered and supple.
In this sequence adjust the timing to suit and look up unfamiliar poses in either 'Light on Yoga' B.K.S Iyengar or 'How to use Yoga' Mira Mehta
Immunity Booster Sequence from B.K.S. Iyengar
- Uttanasana (support head) 5min
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (support head) 5min
- Prasarita Padottanasana (support head if not on floor) 3min
- Sirsasana (Headstand) 5min
- Sirsasana cycle (see Light on Yoga plates #202-218 for full cylce) 5min
- Viparita Dandasana (support head) 5min
- Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)10min
- Halasana 5 min
- Sarvangasana Cycle 5min (see Light on Yoga plates #234-271 for full cylce)
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (supported) 5min
- Viparita Karani (at wall) 5min
- Savasana (w/ujjayi or viloma pranayama) 10min
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (supported) 10min
Savasana (w/ujjayi or viloma pranayama) 10min
Lack of sleep is something a lot of people suffer from and its becoming more prevalent. Some research states lack of sleep is an epidemic. It may manifest as insomnia or it could be quite unnoticed an leave you feeling unrested, a lack of energy and tired on waking.
What we need is good quality sleep. We need to make sure that when we are sleeping its a proper rest when we can relax the nervous system, and recoup from the days activities. Rubin Naiman author of The Sleep Secret says "we need to fall in love with sleep again". He says that Insomnia is a sign that we are excessively energised at night and we can't let go. We are overstimulated by technology and action in daily life, we are operating much more rapidly than 1-2 generations ago and we no longer really have any days of rest. Often its recreation that we equate with rest.
Being able to dream is important to be able to emotionally process the day, release and make sense of our relationship to our feelings and emotions. We need deep sleep to be able to dream. some research has shown that lack of dreaming leads to memory deficit i.e. alzheimer's. Naiman says Insomnia is a precursor to depression.
How do we improve our sleep and ensure adequate rest
- Avoid stimulants before bed i.e. alcohol (even though you might feel sleepy, alcohol will often cause waking in the night and not a restful sleep).
- Be aware of using caffeine to stimulate energy during the day. Over use of caffeine will make it hard to wind down at night.
- Decrease the use of screen time before bed or at least install the App that gets rid of the blue light. This light that is emitted by screens affects the production of the neurotransmitter melatonin.
- Watch what you eat, even keeping a diary so you can map how certain foods affect your sleeping patterns.
- Make sure your bedroom is amply darkened so melatonin can be produced.
- Give your self space and time to unwind at the end of the day, watching T.V is not sufficient. Read or at least have some time before sleep without screens. Social interaction and communicating has shown to help sleep. Maybe its the offloading and processing of the days information that is helpful.
- Yoga Nidra or Meditation before sleep is very helpful
For more information or to book a Lifestyle & Wellbeing consultation
Vegan Lentil Soup
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
- Juice of ½ to 1 medium lemon, to taste
- Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
- Add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
- Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
- Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot and add the chopped greens. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking.
- Remove the pot from heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).
Thanks to Cookie and Kate
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