How to reduce stress and anxiety

We all have stresses and strains no matter who we are, what we do and how often we ‘OM’ or not!

I am delighted to be co-hosting a second Stress Management Workshop with Aimee, Aly and Sian on 27 November 2016. This time we will be focusing on the importance of diet/nutrition and improving your well-being with exercise, rest, relaxation and how to get a better night’s sleep. Details below:

Stress Management Workshop – 27 November 2016 2pm-5pm

Following the success of our Stress Management Workshop on 25 September 2016, Massage Therapy Rooms by Aimee and Renewed You Yoga warmly invite you to attend our second Workshop on Sunday 27 November 2016 from 2pm-5pm.

Tickets are £25.

During this relaxing and informative afternoon event, you will be guided through a selection of holistic therapy taster sessions including restorative yoga, massage therapy, reflexology and mindfulness practices. Join us in an interactive seminar discussing how to reduce and manage stress through four key areas – exercise, diet/nutrition, sleep and relaxation. There will be three short talks on nutrition, yoga and Ayurveda, and organic nutritional remedies, followed by a round table discussion on sleep and rest, ending with a guided group meditation. You’ll also receive well-being tips with tea and tasty nutritional treats.

Stress affects us all – whatever age we are, whatever our occupation, male or female, and whether we already suffer from physical or mental health conditions. Stress manifests itself in all sorts of ways – you may suffer from headaches, sore eyes, high blood pressure, weight gain, tiredness, sleeping problems and insomnia, depression, tight and sore muscles, or many other physical and emotional symptoms.

We look forward to offering you another chance to relax with us for the afternoon and provide you with new and alternative ideas to help heal and soothe your body and mind to reduce and perhaps even eliminate some of the symptoms of stress and anxiety.


Workshop Itinerary

1:45 Registration at the Argyle Tennis Club

2:00 Welcome and Introductions

2:15-3:00 Taster session of either: (1) Restorative Yoga (2) Indian Head Massage (3) Reflexology
(4) Mindfulness Practice

3.00-3:30 Interactive talks (served with tea and treats) on (i) nutrition, (ii) Ayurveda, and (iii) organic nutritional remedies and their role in helping to alleviate symptoms of stress

3:30-4:15 Taster session of either: (1) Restorative Yoga (2) Indian Head Massage (3) Reflexology
(4) Mindfulness Practice

4:15-4:30 Break

4:30-4:45 Q&A with our Holistic Therapists – including practical tips to improve sleep and rest.

4:45-5:00 Guided group meditation

5:00 Close


Tickets and how to book


Spaces for this event are limited to 20 people. Each ticket is £25 payable in full in advance.
Please contact Liz at LGYogaSouthport@gmail.com or on 07734180488 to book your place.

Your ticket entitles you to one 45 minute Restorative Yoga session with Liz and either one of the following:

A) 15 minute Taster Indian Head Massage with Aimee; or
B) 15 minute Taster Reflexology session with Aly; or
C) 20 minute Mindfulness session (in small groups) with Sian.

Please provide us with your order of preference of ‘A- Massage’, ‘B-Reflexology’ and ‘C-Mindfulness’ when booking your place with us. Preferences cannot be guaranteed and will depend on availability when paying your deposit as these sessions will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

Where are we?


We will be hosting this Stress Management Workshop at the Argyle Tennis Club, Argyle Road, Southport, PR9 9LH (Parking is available on site).

Working together, Aimée Leighton (Massage Therapy Rooms, by Aimée), and Liz Goulder (Renewed You Yoga), alongside Sian Parry (Mindfulness with Sian, Mindful, Kindful Living) and Aly Linaker (Holistic Therapist) look forward to meeting you and sharing tips, advice and practical techniques on how to improve your health and wellbeing.

Reviews from our Stress Management Workshop on 25 September 2016


“Thank you ladies for a gorgeous, relaxing afternoon of holistic therapies and delicious sweet treats. I learned a lot and feel positive having new strategies and treatments I can try”.

“An insightful and well paced workshop offering wonderful tips and techniques to help quiet a busy mind and enjoy life’s joys a bit more instead of focussing on the stresses.”

“An extremely enjoyable, useful and informative afternoon.”

“Highly recommend, very welcoming, everyone involved has been understanding and very compassionate. Restorative Yoga with Liz has made me feel very relaxed and stress free.”

“A really informative as well as informal relaxed environment to taste and try out different therapies. Lovely atmosphere created with candles, music, healthy drinks and snacks.”

“An amazing afternoon focusing on ‘me’. Thank you. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop ”

“Highly recommend; all involved extremely kind and compassionate. Recommend the Indian Head Massage and Restorative Yoga for stress management. I felt very relaxed. Meditation and mindfulness practice was an excellent closing point.”

“This was my first workshop but hopefully one of many. In this hurried world it gave me time to meditate on life, yourself and so full of harmony”.

“Great event! Enjoyed the yoga session – very calming and enjoyed gaining more insight into mindfulness. Thank you all”.

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Trick or treat?

Halloween is a time for eating too many chocolates, bobbing for apples, for fancy dress and for the odd adolescent to egg houses. Well, it was in my day. Halloween has gone LARGE since I last fully engaged with it. In Southport there has been a week long parade, festive lights turned orange, social media is full of photos of impressively carved pumpkins (a lot of people I know can weald a knife…scary in itself!) and my neighbours have housed a creepy skull and scythe outside their front door. At last glance, a severed hand had also been posted through the letter box by another cheeky neighbour I believe. All to amuse the kids…Big and small. I know friends of mine who are already planning how to hide themselves in their homes ahead of the onslaught of trick and treaters on Monday evening.  And that this year is not the year for clown masks because things have become a bit more sinister…

Now I am all in favour of any festivity which breaks up the over-amplified 3 month build up to Christmas that is forced upon us by the shops and TV adverts. And I am also a lass to jump at the chance to don fancy dress but lightness and frivolity aside Halloween is an opportunity for us to remember those that we have lost and to say farewell to the ghosts that continue to haunt us.

Many of us are haunted, not by ghosts or ghouls hidden under white sheets but by the loss of loves and opportunities, and haunted by our mistakes, failures, fears, doubts and anxieties. Haunted by the comparisons of other people, of other people’s lives, and of other people’s Facebook newsfeeds. This weekend I am, in fact, being re-visited by a ghost of the past. A kind and friendly ghost offering to share a bottle of red wine but a blast from the past nonetheless. From a time when I was depleted and lost where I actually felt a little like a zombie just moving through life aimlessly but without the gurning and eating of people. Sometimes we are revisited by ghosts for a reason. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to take stock and see how far we have grown without them or it could be a chance for them to re-enter our lives again. I have yet to see what this ghost is here for – trick or treat?

We all can get caught up in the past and remain trapped by the ghosts of past emotions, lost hopes, and daydreams of what could have been. To listen to a song and be taken back to an old boyfriend (Celine Dion, at aged 14), to eat a meal and remember a moment from childhood (Nana’s shepherds pie), or to revisit a special place you once shared with someone. To gaze at old photos – the snapshot of smiles and shared moments – moments that faded some time ago but that we can still hold dear. Sometimes we choose to revisit painful memories – the break up fight or the argument with the old boss or the old friend – remembering the harsh words and the anger. Holding on to the principle of being wronged – finding another way of holding on to the past, to those people and becoming stuck in the gap between the past and the reality of the present moment.

There’s no harm in reminiscing and looking back and it’s easy to seek comfort in happier times when the day- to-day is challenging us. Looking back to learn our lessons can help to guide us forward but holding on tight to happy memories and old hopes prevents us from opening up and moving on. This time last year I was in India – free as a bird with another month of adventures as yet unknown. People I know are back there now in the safety of the ashram, with the support of kind souls and secluded from real life. And I can look back and easily wish I was there again, re-living those moments.  It would be an escape – a temporary happiness. But I have moved on and instead, I wish to embrace the changes I have made and to continue to move forward. And to do so, I need to let go of the people and places of my past. Letting go is hard. It requires an active choice to be made each time your mind or heart wanders back to the past for the comfort of those attachments – positive or negative. But to truly move forward, to grow, we have to accept that we need to change and cannot stay as we are, and cannot stay in the past. So this Hallows Eve I will thank the ghosts of my past for their time, love, lessons and laughter and look forward. And know that I am guided onwards by the strength of my soul.

Happy Halloween.

Meditation classes in Southport

As you may be aware, since September I have been running 45 minute guided group sessions focussing solely on meditation. My aim each month is to offer you different tips and techniques to try in our session and for you to then try at home in order to help reduce the stress and strains of daily life!

So far we have sampled a walking meditation, visualisations on the chakras and a simple but relaxing body scan using the breath (this one in particular can help you get off to sleep). Meditation is simple to learn and it’s accessible for all regardless of your age, body type, gender and whether you have tried yoga or meditation before.

Many people are intimidated by meditation, or believe they are unable to do it. But the key to learning meditation is just becoming aware of your mind, of its patterns and noticing when you’ve run away into daydreaming, worry, or distraction.

For me, meditation helped me find a little peace and calm during a very turbulent time when I was suffering with anxiety and health problems due to stress. Connecting with meditation then started to change my yoga practice into something more fulfilling and lead to me finding Akhanda Yoga. Meditation will begin to bring changes to your energy levels and your wellbeing with regular practice.

If you would like to join us, then the next class is on Monday 7 November at 19:30 at Massage Therapy Rooms by Aimee, 272 Liverpool Road, Birkdale.

 Pre-booking of your place for £4.50 is required as spaces will be limited.
Contact me to book and send payment via PayPal to LGYogaSouthport@gmail.com
 
Look forward to seeing you there for another meditation session!
 
Liz x

In the fullness of time and in the fullness of the moon

Depending on what you follow on your Facebook Newsfeed you may be aware that last night was a Supermoon – meaning that it was closest to the Earth and supercharged with its power of reflection, intuition and illumination. In Hatha Yoga (Ha means sun, Tha means moon) we seek to balance the lunar and solar energies within us and despite my reluctance to go down the hippy route and begin howling with the moon, it does appear that certain changes in my life have been happening at this auspicious time. But it could just be mere coincidence or I am actually part werewolf…

This time last week I was sat in shock and sadness at my decision to walk away from someone special to me. Broken hearted and snotting at regular intervals I sobbed at the unfairness of the situation, the frustration, the loss of hope and the loss of that person’s company (including the dad jokes I had come to smile at. Just).  The pain was intense. My chest hurt. My head hurt and I felt completely at a loss. I felt deep horror that break ups just don’t get any easier even though this isn’t my first ride on this sh1t show called romance… Doubting my self, my reasons for getting involved and my reasons for getting un-involved, reliving the trauma and the drama by telling friends and family the sad truth that it was over, and receiving their support, cups of tea, wine, cake, cookies, cuddles and immense kindness which only made me cry more.

But that foggy feeling has already begun to lessen as I focus more on me. Taking time to do my yoga practice slowly, to rest, to eat hobnobs, to walk along the beach, to let the emotions come and pour out of me, to feel it and then to let it go. To keep letting it go. I also began to try to stop the torturous dialogue of thoughts: ‘how is he’, ‘does he miss me’, ‘will he text me’ and started to re-focus my energies on how best to support me and consider what I have learned from the experience and what I am grateful for.

It struck me that I do not feel like a ‘victim’ this time, that I don’t feel that had I done more, been better, I would have been enough and our relationship would have worked. My past break ups have almost always crushed my self-esteem and left me feeling exhausted and too old and tired to dust myself off and try again. I had lost the love of love, of taking risks and of being bold. But that has changed and I have changed more than I had first realised. Because I know I am enough now. I know that I am strong and that this sadly had to end so something new can come. That I needed a mirror to show me how much more I love life than I used to, how much I want excitement, love and happiness and that I will no longer settle for grey. Don’t mistake me, the healing process is ongoing and the red wine consumption has gone up in the last week but I have a confidence in me that everything is going to be ok, and that I want to get up, get out there and keep moving forwards.

This supermoon is an opportunity for us all to refocus our intentions and to connect more deeply to our inner guidance and pursue things, people, opportunities (and biscuits) which make your heart sing. It’s a time to seriously look at what you are attached to, who you are attached to and consider if it’s really what you need. To consider if you are staying put, holding back or making reckless choices due to fear, worry or self-doubt.

I gazed at the moon from my living room window last night. Only for a little bit before I put the West Wing back on (yes, I am 10 years out of date)! I took in its glory and its symbolism and I smiled to myself at how the old ‘me’ would have considered this all to be completely crackers. But I’m less hard on myself now, I am more relaxed and I feel more connected to myself.  In researching this supermoon (no, I don’t just make this stuff up) I stumbled across this beautiful quote from Rumi: “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray”. Not only has this supermoon helped me to re-group and re-focus my efforts and energy, it has also given me my class plan for this week!

I’m off to howl.

What I know of love…

Well, it has been quite a couple of weeks for me my dear Readers. It’s ironic that whilst I’ve been teaching others about the change of season, the onset of Autumn, the season to let go, clear out and slow down I have had to do this in both my personal and professional life. And whilst I know I should be all ‘yoga’ about things I am presently at the stage where I feel like the Universe can ‘do one’. But I shall take this opportunity to reflect back and I shall blog for it has been some time since I overshared 😉

One of my main struggles in life has been building and maintaining a successful loving relationship with a Partner. I have fallen for false promises and grand adventures. I have also mistaken loyalty for love and let my stubbornness keep me in a relationship that was really nothing more than friends. And then not even that. And I have carried the expectation of a great romance with me throughout the years (I blame Patrick Swayze and those hips). Love is one of the scariest things to feel, to show and to accept – often accompanied for many of us with the fear that if you let yourself love, show your true self to another person then they may reject you. It’s complete and total vulnerability and most of us are too stressed, hyped up, braced in defence or overstimulated to truly relax into it.

Looking back at my relationships I have realised that I fall in love with relative ease… I think it’s because I easily see the good in people and when they show me their goodness I am ready to believe in it, accept it and value them for it. I’ve also seen Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman way too many times… However, I have also used love to feel sad and scared – of losing that love and of losing my sense of self.

As a Singleton for many years, I couldn’t fail to notice that we are bombarded with advertisements focusing on finding that ‘Perfect Match’ or our ‘other half’. We are sold love like we are sold other commodities. And part of me does believe that falling for someone is rather similar to the sensations you feel when you buy a new pair of shoes (shoes or handbags – they never make you feel fat). That initial high – they’re a perfect fit!. But then you wear them and they pinch your toes or some oaf stands on your feet and scuffs them up… Don’t get me wrong I love the love part – the heart bursting feeling, the daydreaming, the floating on air feeling, the cuddles and the giggles, the insider jokes, the kisses and all the good stuff…  But with that sometimes also comes fear of getting attached. That sick feeling that it might end, not work out, and the panic during a fight that it’ll be over. Or that unsettled feeling when you are alone and would rather be with them – when the usual routine of a box set and a cuddle with the dog no longer cuts it in quite the same way (sorry Buster!).

During my yoga teacher training in India last year I began to realise the importance of my self-worth and it was the practice of Bhakti Yoga (one of the four traditional paths of yoga) which led me to making some real discoveries. Bhakti Yoga is a devotional practice – it’s the yoga of love. Nope – not tantric sex, ask Sting about that! Bhakti Yoga is about learning and cultivating unconditional love from within you and for you. It is about connecting to the life energy within each of us (which we acknowledge with Namaste or Om). It can also be more religiously focused than that like praying to a particular God but it is also found within a simple gesture of giving thanks for something within you or around you. Even just giving thanks for that cup of tea and a KitKat perhaps.

Bhakti Yoga teaches us that real love is about embracing the simple beauty of loving someone without needing them to love you back – “In real love you want the other person’s good. In romantic love, you want the other person.” (Thank you Anodea Judith for the beautiful quote). It’s about filling yourself with so much love and self-worth that you give love freely to others and without expectation. You do not need that Partner to make you happy, to fill a wound or a hole in your life because you are already doing it for yourself. This is not to say we should not also enjoy the human experience of falling in love, of romantic love, as we have the right to experience pleasure, be loved and share love. But it’s about cultivating an intention – finding out why you love and what love means to you.

A successful relationship takes time, effort, honesty and investment and I’m talking about your relationship with your Self first. I truly believe that you can only be in a healthy relationship with others if you are healthy and happy in yourself first. Quite often, when we fall in love with someone we see it as a commitment, an investment to work, grow and live together and if we decide to marry we seal that declaration with vows before our friends and family to love each other ‘till death do us part’. I love a good wedding, I love sobbing at a good wedding and I do dream of that White Dress but I have come to the conclusion that a love between you and a Partner can never offer you that level of commitment. No one knows what challenges life will bring in the next 5 minutes, never mind the next 5 years or the rest of your life. Sometimes you have to let people go. Till death us do part is actually only a commitment you can truly make to yourself – to commit to working on yourself, to healing yourself and to loving yourself unconditionally – even your worst bits (your cellulite, your moobs or your quick temper).

 My most recent lesson in love has ended with letting it go. I wrote many months ago that I realised it was braver for me to step over my insecurities and my fears and to take a leap of faith, to open my heart up to love again. But sadly, sometimes, it is braver to decide to walk away. To truly consider your own worth first and foremost and know that there can be lonelier places within a relationship than actually being on your own.

Love and loving relationships with anyone and everyone in your life all begin with you and how you treat yourself – so I encourage you to be kind, be fun, be silly and be free with your heart. For me, I am eating hobnobs without judgement and taking stock of the decisions I have made. I am learning to just let it be whilst I learn how to let go. It is time for me to appreciate that by beginning to learn to love myself I can now see when I have compromised myself too much for someone else. I know that whatever happens I will still love, be loved and feel love in my heart. But it takes an open heart, with no fear, and letting go to truly love someone and that is also how you learn to truly love yourself. And that for me is love – real love. That’s what I need to continue to focus on.

 

 

 

Next Birthing Workshop – 12 November 2016

Empowered Bumps Hypnobirthing‘ and ‘Renewed You Yoga’ are teaming up to bring you a relaxing, intimate and informative birthing workshop for mums to be.

This 2.5 hour workshop will leave you feeling relaxed and confident about your pregnancy and provide you with tools and techniques to relieve pain and empower you for childbirth.

At 11AM, this workshop will open with a one hour pregnancy yoga session with Liz (Renewed You Yoga) to help you explore and connect with your breath, mind and body.

Light refreshments and sweet treats will follow before Jenie provides you with an hour’s introductory session on Hypnobirthing. This session will help you understand how your body works and how to work as nature intended to birth your baby into a relaxed atmosphere.

We will then end this workshop with a short Q&A session so you have the opportunity to ask Liz and Jenie any questions you may have about pregnancy and childbirth.

This workshop will be limited to 12 mums to be ensuring you enjoy an intimate and relaxing session with us on Saturday 12 November 2016 11:30AM-14:00PM.

 

Benefits of Pregnancy Yoga

Pregnancy Yoga offers mums to be many benefits including:

  • Uninterrupted relaxation time to connect with your own body and baby;
  • A tailored and safe yoga environment enabling you to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility;
  • Developing your connection with your breath helping to calm the mind during pregnancy and labour;
  • Developing a greater awareness of your body’s limits creating balance and trust in your own body and helping to reduce your fears and anxieties;
  • Strengthening your mind and building your will power and confidence;
  • Providing you with tools to help with insomnia and sleeping problems;
  • Balancing hormones;
  • An opportunity to explore birthing positions and breathing practices for labour;
  • Mindfulness within yoga can also help to reduce postnatal depression.Benefits of Hypnobirthing

Hypnobirthing has been shown to reduce labour times and the need for pain relief. It gives you the tools to enable you to have a calm, relaxed and empowered birth. Hypnobirthing releases fear and gives you confidence in your ability to birth your baby. You will gain understanding about how your body works, the hormones involved and learn valuable relaxation and breathing techniques to aid you through pregnancy and labour.
Tickets and how to book

Spaces for this event are limited to 12 mums to be. Each ticket is £25 payable in full in advance via PayPal to LGYogaSouthport@gmail.com (please contact Liz if you require an alternative method of payment).

Where are we?

We will be hosting this event at Southport Yoga Centre, Unit 6 Shakespeare Centre, Shakespeare Street, Southport, PR8 5AB behind Momma’s House (just follow signs for Abase computers). Parking is available on site.

Working together, Liz Goulder (Renewed You Yoga) and Jenie Butler (Empowered Bumps Hypnobirthing) look forward to meeting you and sharing tips, advice and practical techniques on how to connect with your body and mind, find ways to relax during pregnancy and feel empowered for childbirth.