Life Without Coffee

I’m exhausted. I have “newborn baby” levels of tiredness. Broken sleep, early starts and late nights are to blame. Every now and again my beautiful little daughter throws in a week of terrible sleep to keep me on my toes. This has been one of those weeks. It’s a good job she’s cute!

Today I have already had two coffees and at 1pm I feel like I could collapse into a heap. An afternoon slump made worse by the post caffeine crash

So after a bit of time on my yoga mat for some pranayama (breathing exercises) relaxation and meditation, my mind is less fuzzy and I am reminded of my healthy habits quest for this winter.

This week, I thought I would try to tackle my fatigue without the aid of caffeine. It’s like a mini detox, without the starvation!  Over the next few days I will focus on the following:

  • More sleep!!
  • Yoga, meditation and relaxation
  • Exercising outside
  • Avoiding caffeine
  • Drinking herbal teas, juices and lots of water
  • Eating lots of fresh fruit and veg.

Obvious stuff I suppose. But unless I really focus and plan, during the day I end up running around frantically and then grabbing what’s quick and available because I’m really hungry. Then by the evening I have to really push myself to cook a decent freshly prepared meal.

I don’t think that I am alone in this, and I don’t think it’s just parents who feel like this by the end of the day. I am almost certain that this would apply to those of you who are working right now too, and wondering what you will have for dinner tonight and whether you will have the energy to prepare it after forcing yourself to go to the gym…..

It is so important that we look after ourselves properly. The food we eat, what we drink, our levels of stress and the amount of rest we get, all have a massive impact on how we feel physically and emotionally. A balanced life with time and space to exercise, eat well and rest properly is vital for us and for our children, so this week I am going to break the fatigue-caffeine-slump cycle and will surely be full of energy by the time I write my next post.

Why don’t you join me in my healthy habits, and please add your own ideas so that we can all feel great this winter

Om shanti

Lynne x

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Can yoga encourage us to live more healthily?

So it already feels like mid winter. The Great British Bake Off final has been and gone (yay John!!) and the cold weather is already making me bake lots and eat lots. And then I feel too full to practise yoga. And then I don’t sleep as well. And then I feel even hungrier the next day. And so the no-win cycle continues. Maybe I should just watch endless episodes of Homeland which is way too stressful to eat through. Or maybe I should turn off the telly and roll out my yoga mat?!?!?!

Every year I observe my changing eating patterns and every year around this time I end up craving sugary treats.

So this morning I decided to take control. I started my day with fresh juice and cereal. Then after teaching yoga to my wonderful new mummies and their gorgeous babies, I prepared a homemade sweet potato and lentil soup. After a couple of hours of work at the computer, I then rolled out my mat and practised some asanas (yoga postures), meditation and relaxation. Sickening and irritating I know, but true nonetheless.

Unsurprisingly after my practise, I felt incredibly calm and focused and I no longer had to battle with the desire to eat the chocolate in my fridge. I was also able to concentrate on what I was trying to achieve in my day without from my 2 year old. Rather than waste time due to a lack of focus, I completed most of my planned tasks for the day. Less trips to the kitchen alone helped with time management!

Since yoga has become such a massive part of my life, after only 2 or 3 days without it I really notice the effects. My energy levels drop and my concentration is patchy. When I compare this with times of regular practise combined with a nourishing diet, I feel so much more balanced physically and emotionally. Of course the two go hand in hand. Yoga is a lifestyle, not just a physical practise. The benefits that I gain from yoga encourage me to live more healthily in all areas of my life.

I realise that for various reasons; children, not working from home, a job which allows you only 30 seconds to choose, get back to your desk and eat your lunch; that this way of eating and living is not always possible. And I also remember that busy offices can provide a constant stream of cake and/or reasons to go to the pub. It is always somebody’s birthday in an office.

However, we can all make the odd change. The great thing about these small changes is that they add up and become a big change. So the next time you get the opportunity, observe your breathing. If it is shallow, then try to breathe more deeply into the belly. If you hold your breath in times of stress, or otherwise, try to breathe more fully and with awareness. If you are able to do this in a quiet environment for a minute or five or whatever you can spare in a day, then you will increasingly feel calmer and fresher. This tiny change will gradually bring you peace and clarity and might even be the beginning of something much bigger and healthier.

I will be adding regular new healthy habits to my life from now on. If you would like to join in, please post your healthy habit so that we can all feel great over the winter

If you would like to read more about my yoga, please go to http://www.lynnejarrettyoga.co.uk

Om shanti xx

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Whatever Makes You Happy – A blog about a blog

Yesterday I was reading a blog about how and when we are able to come back to our yoga practise after having children. There was a mixed response. One of the comments was that they found it tricky to fit it in since having a child. Some were more compassionate about this than others. Some were really quite smug and judgemental, saying that they didn’t understand how and why people were complaining about how to fit it in to their newly busy lives as a mum.

I realise that there are mothers out there who seem to find it all very easy and smooth running, but what about those of us who don’t? Where is the compassion and support for those of us who are exhausted and shocked by the sheer enormity of becoming a parent?

I see my yoga practise as necessary to my life as food and water is. There is never an occasion when my practise doesn’t offer me something positive. But it is not always a dynamic, sweat inducing practise. Some days (more now than ever!) my practise is an opportunity simply to be still. Something a lot of us as adults, with or without children rarely experience.

This isn’t just a blog about some hippy who chants oms in her back garden whilst her baby is asleep upstairs (well it is partly…..). This applies to whatever it is that keeps you calm and healthy in the midst of our busy lives as grown ups.

Everyone is different and has different needs. Luckily yoga is as adaptable and changeable as we need it to be. Always.

If you feel like life is too busy to fit in your version of relaxation/exercise – whatever this means to you – then don’t feel guilty if you miss a day. Just enjoy it when you can.

Om Shanti xx

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Springtime Magic

Springtime Magic.

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Springtime Magic

Springtime magic

 

Wouldn’t it be lovely to press the reset button; to go back to when we were first born with an open and instinctive mind. Watching my daughter is such a learning experience, as she has nothing else to guide her but her basic needs. She cries when these are not met – hungry, thirsty, cold or scared and she wails until it is resolved. Then back to her “baby business” of learning and playing. It has made me think a lot about how we as adults respond to our basic needs. Watching yet another TV programme about people battling with their weight last night made me wonder how we ended up in this unhealthy state. Every year after Christmas, I feel sluggish and overweight as a result of overindulgence. And every New Year I tell myself that I won’t do it again next year. Hmm. So what would happen if I was in this state permanently? Would I remain unaware and totally out of touch with myself or would I get to the point where I had to do something about it?

 

My daughter’s eating style fascinates me. I can never predict how much she is going to eat, as she eats as much as she needs, and stops when she’s had enough. I believe that her eating habits are possibly the healthiest I have come across. Her breakfast rivals mine for portion sizes. She is completely focused until she is full. She won’t eat a single mouthful more. Twisting and turning in her seat to get away from the spoon if I try to get her to finish the last bit. She refuses to eat too quickly, taking her time over every mouthful and studying it carefully before it goes in her mouth.

 

How wonderful to be so in tune with your body. With yoga as such a strong presence in my life, I feel that I am mostly connected to my natural rhythm, but this can very quickly shift if I am taken out of my everyday routine.

 

I have definitely not been as religious about my yoga practise over the last few weeks which is common for me when I feel cold, tired and in need of sunshine. It is too easy to find an excuse not to practise yoga in the colder months, and even easier now I am a busy mum. This can have such an effect on me as a whole, instilling chaos into my eating habits and creating anxiety due to a grab and run eating style. Quick fix food is what I turn to at times like this. Maybe it is the desire for routine that knocks us so easily out of balance?

 

So today the sun is shining and spring is on its way, helping me to move towards a more healthy lifestyle; a regular yoga practise and a nutritious diet. I am sure that I am not the only one who says this to herself every week, but I can honestly say just setting the intention and writing it down here makes me feel calmer. I’ll keep you posted…..

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Mummy Knows Best

I have the loveliest few days ahead of me. A four day yoga course, staying up in London with one of my best mates, getting three full nights sleep, closely followed by a spa day with another couple of my best mates. Amazing. So why do I feel so stressed?

I am guessing it’s because it’s not as simple as it used to be. I can no longer pick up an overnight bag and skip to the station via the coffee shop, running onto the platform with seconds to spare. Life isn’t like that anymore. I need to plan and organise well in advance or it can all come tumbling down around my ears. You see babies are unpredictable. Getting dressed and having breakfast with my daughter on a good day takes and hour, and on a bad day can take two. So I can’t rely on things taking a certain amount of time anymore. Everything needs to be ready.

So not only am I organising myself, I am also organising my family. Although I am the one who is going to be away, I am still the one who has been organising childcare, washing, tidying, and preparing for my absence. But is it really necessary? I sometimes wonder what would happen if I did none of the above. Probably nothing. Hubby and baby would be absolutely fine and calm and would have a lovely time. So why do we as women feel the need to get so involved and give ourselves unnecessary work to do?

Since we had our daughter fifteen months ago, I have tried my very hardest (not always successfully) not to judge the way my husband does things and definitely not to assume that my way is the best way (even though it is). I don’t need to worry about a thing. My husband and daughter will have an amazing time together. They’ll play, read books, chase each other around the house, and eat nothing but cheesy omelettes.

So I am going to let go of the responsibility for a few days. I am going to concentrate on me. It feels so selfish now to do that, but I think I deserve it.

Now the only thing I have to worry about is how much I will miss them both over the weekend!!

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January Blues?

I love Christmas and all the food and festivities, but as soon as January is here, I start to get that warm “new beginnings” feeling. For me it’s a bit like buying stationery for a new school year (or maybe that was just me). From a very young age I have wished that I could be a bit more organised and in some ways I think that my new stationery was a symbol of that hope. Now I run my own business (it’s success is definitely not as a result of my tidy business skills!!) I do the same. It’s new diary time again and guess what – I haven’t bought it yet. And the funny thing is I have only just realised this as I write this “New Year” blog……on the 12th January!! A perfect example. So as usual I will have a scrappy bit of paper kicking around in my handbag for weeks until I get around to buying a new diary.

So why does everybody talk about the January blues? I know we are all skint and bloated after Christmas, but maybe instead of seeing it as a depressing boring month, we could think about the positives. Less money equals less chocolate and therefore less belly. Surely that’s why it happens this way?

Of course I always have a few new year’s resolutions. They used to be ridiculous and unreasonable. Designed perfectly to be abandoned by 2nd January – “no chocolate until February” etc. Now they are much more realistic. For example this year, I intend to be more sensible about how much I can fit into a day. Gone are the days when I try for the first time ever to make a lemon meringue pie, whilst taking care of two babies and a four year old, then rushing home to finish the doorstop that I am making which actually cost more in materials (and stress) than it would have done to buy one down the road in that goregous shop I love to browse in. Not satisfied with this level of activity, after preparing, eating and clearing up dinner, I then pull out my knitting (which is also a much more expensive – and sometimes frustrating – way of obtaining a new scarf) so that I don’t waste a single minute in a day.

So my 2012 new year’s resolution is to be happy, relaxed and to do things that I enjoy with the people that I love. For me, a daily yoga practise will help me relax and allow myself to have a few moments of nothing every day. So whatever makes you feel calm and healthy, then why not make that your new years resolution too. If you are happy and healthy, the rest will follow……..

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