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Do you have the courage...to be your true Self?

17-10-2018


Most of us, if we were to be asked that question, would immediately say “yes, of course!”

But do you really?

Despite my many years of Yoga and meditation, and thus the greater sense of connection that I have towards my authentic Self, I have been surprised to find that owning an old VW Campervan has helped me to realise, more than ever before, the conditioning I am subjected to daily and my subsequent inner reactions towards that conditioning. 

I use my campervan, ‘Baloo’ every day, to run here and there, delivering regular daily yoga classes, in and around Northampton.

This lends me to be out on the roads, at all times of the day and night, and to be driving on both quiet country roads and the main A45 route around the town.

Despite his age, ‘Baloo’ does not dither, he can comfortably sit at 70 on the carriageways and he feels responsive and safe to drive. 

He does however, ask for a little tenderness when changing gears so I am aware that he needs to be driven with slow consideration and with a more mindful approach. Reaction times are reduced as he is not as responsive as a modern car or van.

Please be calm!

This has meant that I have come to experience more than my fair share of impatient drivers on the roads of Northampton. As I see a driver screeching past my ears or cutting in front of me as I exit a roundabout, I have had to, on many occasions, hold my breath and hope for the best.

This can as you may imagine lead to a little anxiety and concern each time I experience it. 

Roundabouts are the worst, where people panic and try desperately to get past me, thinking they will be stuck for ages. Little do they know that we keep up nicely with all speed limits, with no problems at all!

When I first started driving ‘Baloo’, I would feel pressured to move along with the rest of society as some drivers weave in and out and push up behind me, with aggression and intimidation. 

Please show compassion!

I would feel their presence, their intention and their aggression weighing on me and fear would rise. 

Just because 'Baloo' is a little slower to move away from junctions and is generally driven in a considered and mindful way, I regularly feel as if I am being forced off the road, (quite literally in some instances!) as if society can no longer accommodate the differences around us. We all have to be rushing and tearing about, head ahead of the moment and heart in our throats!

Over time, my resilience has built and the sense of joy I have when driving ‘Baloo’; remembering the many years that I wanted to have him, all dressed with my logo and my hippie flowers, have persuaded me that I need to stand firm and rise above the agitation of others. Their wants and needs are different from mine and I am well within my rights, to be who and how I wish to be.

I remind myself that I do not hold up traffic. I am aware that reaction times are lessened so I drive with even more awareness of everything around me than I used to before and I feel that owning ‘Baloo’ has made me a far better driver. I have always loved driving and have been a good driver but he has enriched this experience for me.

Feels like home!

I sit back in his fur covered seats, with his large steering wheel and the large window in front of me, listening to the smooth hum of his engine and the feeling of space around me, and I have found my space.

This world has become so fast, so high tech, so impersonal and is intent on moving towards ‘achievement’ rather than allowing a sense of ’being’. 
‘Baloo’ has the power, more instantly than anything I have experienced, to bring me back to the present moment, to rise above my in-ate feelings and reactions and to ground myself in the here, and the now. 

He literally is a driving meditation, where I am fully aware, fully present, and fully relaxed as I drive.

Everyone has the right to find their special place and to express who they are! If you feel that a deep desire of yours does not fit in with the norm; as long as you are being kind to yourself and others, there is no reason on Earth why you shouldn’t enjoy every second. It is the most beautiful feeling.

Remember to wave!

The next time you see Baloo, please offer him some space, take a moment to connect to the moment. Who knows what you will find there!

With lots of love, Carrie-Anne. xx


Brand New Daytime Weekly Yoga Class - Fridays

04-10-2018

Hello Yogis.

I am excited to announce I will shortly be running a new weekly yoga class on Friday Mornings at Wootton Community Centre.

Details are listed below. 

Commencing on Friday 2nd November 2018.

11.30am-12.30pm
Wootton Community Centre
Curtlee Hill
Wootton
Northampton
NN4 6ED

£8 drop in or £28 for 4 weeks. (Please do contact me for 4 week booking option)

Booking is essential so I can ensure numbers.

I can be contacted on 07984191016 or via my online booking form.

With warmest wishes. Carrie-Anne xx

WORKSHOP - Combating Insomnia

23-08-2018

Insomnia is such a common problem. Most of us will go through spells of it at some time or another. 

For some people it is a chronic state that seems to have taken control of their life and in some cases, has ruined their day to day happiness.

In this workshop, I will explore with you some of the common causes of insomnia.

Many daily stressors contribute to the inability to let go of the day and to rest properly.

I will share with you simple ways you can begin to prevent falling into the insomnia cycle. You will learn restful tools, allowing you to manage a night when you find that you just can't sleep. 

A technique known as Yoga Nidra is a deep relaxation technique that will carry you through even the most difficult night. 

One hour of Yoga Nidra deep relaxation is the equivalent of 4 hours sleep; in terms of rest for the body and mind!

Yoga Nidra encourages the body to sleep and allows the mind to rest within a state of gentle awareness. I will lead you through a short Yoga

Nidra session during the workshop to help you to let go of the physical and mental tension that may be keeping you awake each night. You can then practice this technique at home.

This workshop will introduce you to some gentle yoga poses; known to relax the body and mind, so you can get back into bed and fall sleep.


You cannot force yourself to fall asleep, you have to allow yourself to fall asleep! - This workshop will help you to do just that!

Tea and biscuits will be served during the morning.

You will need to bring with you the following items:

2 pillows, 2 LARGE Towels and 2 Blankets, and a Yoga Mat. Should you need me to lend you a mat, please let me know and I will ensure I have one for you. -These items will be used as props, you won't be getting wet! 

I anticipate this workshop will fill up quickly so do let me know if you wish to book your place.

Venue: 

Hardingstone Village Hall

Hardingstone.

Northampton.

NN4 6DA

Time: 10.30am - 1.30pm - Please arrive promptly for a relaxed start.

Saturday 8th September 2018

The cost of the workshop is £40.

I was recently interviewed by BBC Radio Northampton

23-08-2018

Hello Yogis.

I received a phone call last Monday from BBC Radio Northampton, to enquire whether I would be happy to discuss some of the benefits of yoga and to open up a little to what the practice of yoga actually means.

Going out live on air is quite nerve wracking, especially when all you know is you are going to be in a 3 way conversation about how yoga can benefit those who are unable to or would prefer not to go out and about to exercise, or those who find physical activity unpleasant or painful.

I am pleased to share with you this short interview.

It prompted me to ask you the question, what has your yoga practice brought to you?

I find Yoga fills my life with purpose, strength, health, vitality and it gives me the opportunity to choose my actions, and intentions day to day, minute by minute. 

Please do get in touch if you wish to share your story, you can comment on the blog below.

If you would like to listen to the interview, it is about 1.23 minutes into the show, from this link!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06g38qk

With love, Carrie-Anne. xx

Benefits of Tadasana - Mountain Pose!

18-07-2018

Benefits of Mountain Pose - Tadasana - Allow time to stand still!


You don't have to be able to do put your foot behind your head to gain the mental and physical benefits of Yoga.

There is one pose that most of us do during the day anyway, that when practiced with attention and with an awareness of the breath, can bring so many benefits and can give the feeling of slowing down time

Stand with your feet about an inch apart and make contact with the floor. With your toes pointed forward distribute your weight evenly across the soles of your feet. You should be able to lift your toes off the floor. This shows you are distributing your weight correctly and not gripping the floor with your toes. Spread your toes and push down into the floor evenly with both feet to ground yourself. Extend upwards through your spine to the crown of your head, roll your shoulder blades down your back to open through the chest, pull your stomach in and tuck the tailbone under by engaging your thighs towards each other gently. Allow your knee caps to lift but do not lock your knees. Check your chin is parallel to the floor by dipping it slightly and drawing the back of the head slightly backwards. With each breath, extend upwards through the crown of your head and lengthen downwards into your feet simultaneously. Rest your hands down by your side, with fingers touching gently alongside each other, and extending down the outside of your thighs. Feel the centre of the pose from feet to crown.

Stay connected to your breath as it flows up and down the length of the posture. Feeling a connection to your feet as you breath in and a connection to the crown as you breath out. Be aware of the outer parts of your body on the in breath and your core stability on each out breath.

Variations


You can practice this pose in a relaxed way, where you just feel the stillness of being in the moment and do not actively energise the pose.

You can stand with your big toes touching, heels of the feet a whisper apart. 

Bringing your hands to your heart in prayer Mudra, connecting mentally through the palms as the wrists drop to elbow level, brings further balance between the left and right sides of the body.

Sitting on a chair and feeling your back against the back of the chair, while your feet rest firmly on the floor or supported on a block.

Mental Benefits.


This pose promotes stillness in both the mind and the body, you learn to just ‘be’. It is a very upright pose that brings a feeling of strength and confidence. it is also very opening, which frees you from fear. It is a very grounding posture because of the connection to the earth through the soles of the feet. It also connects you to the sky because you are extending upward and standing as tall as you can be. Balance is also an important factor in this posture. As you practice it you are balancing your energy from left to right, from front to back, from earth to sky and the mind and body become united. Through the awareness of all of these things you are freed from fear and your consciousness is raised. You also feel uplifted. This pose teaches awareness of the breath, of the body and of the mind. A mountain is a symbol of strength, stillness and presence. You benefit from all these things when practicing this posture.

Chakras


Tadasana balances the crown, 3rd eye, the heart and the navel chakras. The root chakra is also balanced as a connection to the Earth and the present moment is established. You will get the mental and physical benefits of working these chakras.


Contra-indications.


As with any balance, if you are suffering from any disorder that can affect your balance, it is wise to practice the asana near a wall, chair or table for support. Pregnant women and menstruating women should stand with their feet hip distance apart. People with low blood pressure should be careful when standing still for extended periods of time. 


Enjoy!


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