wherethesunisalwayshining

sprinkling positivity

How yoga can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.’

A great quote. Yet for beginners, this may seem a bit confusing and mind boggling..

How on earth are you supposed to find out more about yourself through practising some postures and breathing?

Ever been to a yoga class determined to quieten the mind and be in a peaceful space.. then find the person practising next to you has really loud distracting breathing? You can’t really ask them to stop breathing so you have the choice of being agitated and annoyed for the next hour or to change your perspective and just accept it and let it be.

Similarly in life.. we may expect things to go in a certain way but then outside circumstances change it, we either accept them and adjust or we end up suffering and hurting because we resist and let our emotions get the better of us.

Being on the mat allows us to be. A time to come to the present moment, bring awareness to ourselves, watch the mind and listen to the body.

Attempting to be present in the now is something we all manage to do for only a short period of time before we get distracted.. let alone a 90minute class! By watching how present or how easily distracted we are on the mat, we can then see that this may reflect how present we are in the rest of our lives, spending time with loved ones but thinking of work? Spending time in work but thinking about what to cook for dinner? If this is the case then you may be present physically but not as you, this is how you let life slip by because you’re never really there if you’re not really present.

Being on the mat brings this new found awareness into your life.

Watching the mind can prove interesting in yoga, especially when you come to postures that appear difficult. The mind might say ‘I can’t do that’ before even trying. How many times does this then also reflect in your normal life? The mind might be too busy concentrating on how much more flexible your neighbours are compared to you leaving you feeling inferior ; could this also be true that you then spend a lot of time comparing your life with other peoples?

One of my favourite reasons I enjoy practising yoga or meditating is so I can see where my mind is at. Everyone’s state of mind changes from moment to moment depending on what’s happening. I can wake some mornings and be fully present and peaceful, other times my mind will be thinking of past, future, day dreaming and distracted and that then tells me that I need to put some extra work into achieving peace for myself and doing less.

It let’s you come to know yourself in a new way, listening and allowing you to help yourself.

How much do you listen to your body? Do you find that you will attempt the full posture instead of a variation because everyone else is doing that, even though your hamstrings might be yelling for you to stop pushing yourself. Or do you find that you could push yourself further into a posture but you like to relax and play it comfortable? Again, these things can all reflect in how you go about your daily life.

So.. Let the yoga mat be your place of learning, enter with an open-mind and child like curiosity. There is no need to judge any of these things that you may discover about yourself. Observation is simply watching, don’t take it too seriously and put a judgement of it being bad or good. See it as a game and say ‘thank you for that lesson, I can now be aware if I do something similar in daily life.’

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are’

Namaste!

 

 

 

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Human beings or human doings?

Dear fellow human beings..

We all recognize that we are humans.. but can we say the same for being?

I think the correct term nowadays would be that we are humans doing. We have forgotten what it is to just BE.

This may be quite confusing so I’ll back up. We have evolved into a productive society, we are highly intelligent there is no doubt about that but it seems that we have forgotten the intelligence of BEing – that is to listen to our inner selves (intuition, gut feelings etc)

Why is this? Because we are so  busy DOING.

It’s like we are on a non-stop tredmill completely unaware because we think it’s normal. We live as slaves to times, schedules, meetings, routine.

I am saying this from experience – I know that when I’m in tredmill mode and I sit down, I get really agitated and can’t relax for more than 5 minutes, I have to get up to make a tea or read a book or DO something!

Our being is our true essence. If we don’t make time to connect and listen to ourselves and be with ourselves then we are usually very unaware of how we think, feel and act towards ourselves and others. If we are not listening to our inner being, we are neglecting ourselves.

It is so important and fundamental for all aspects of health to switch off from the crazy world we live in and connect to our inner being. How else can you connect with other beings?

Next time you decide to check in on facebook to just pass time. Next time you switch on the telly just to pass time. Why not check in with being? Passing time by is wasting your life away doing pointless things. Being with yourself allows you to begin a journey to your true self, to love, light, peace and truth. It allows you to find connection with yourself, others and the world with depth and meaning.

To go beyond the surface of yourself and tap into your inner being, is to discover your infinite depth as a human being. Instead of existing in a life of constant movement and only experiencing what’s on the surface.

Make time for yourself, lie under the stars, sit with your eyes closed in the sunshine with nowhere to go and no one to see, sit and watch yourself breathe.

Balance is the key to life. Balance your time between doing and Being.. see what difference it brings to you 🙂

 

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What you focus on grows

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A personal & honest experience of being under anorexias firm grip.

So this isn’t easy but I promised myself that I’d be open and honest in this blog as I believe that really is the key for us humans to connect and relate to each other, I think it’ll be good for me to share my experience of having an eating disorder.

The thing about eating disorders are they aren’t really about food at all. They’re a mental illness in the mind.

For me I used controlling my food as a way of feeling in control of my life, emotions and feelings. (Although I didn’t see that at the time, but that’s what they are. They’re a way of dealing with areas of your life you feel out of control with.)

In 2014 I decided I wanted to lose weight, I had been a student for two years and with lots of alcohol and fast food and little exercise, I hadn’t been looking after my body very well which resulted in lots of colds and lack of energy.

Like many people, I decided to take charge and looked into a healthier life style, cooking from scratch, adding exercise more often and cutting out most of the junk food and alcohol. I saw the benefits from losing weight, toning up and feeling much better within myself, I had more energy and felt less sluggish.

After a couple of months I was down to my goal weight and was happy with the way I looked and felt, I was pleased with what I had achieved and a voice in my head said, ‘why not lose a little bit more, just incase you go back to normal and put it back on again.’ I didn’t even stop to question why i was weighing myself 3 times a day.

So I carried on with my healthy eating habits and exercising, although by this point I didn’t realize that it wasn’t healthy at all. I was eating breakfast, lunch and dinner but they didn’t provide much for me nutritonally, I was burning more energy than I was eating. The rules I had set up from a couple of months ago where firmly embedded in my mind. People around me couldn’t understand how I was still losing weight as I was eating 3 meals a day.

The way the eating disorder started taking over my life was when I became overtaken by fear. I had an immense fear that all this weight I had lost would go straight back on and I’d be back to that unhealthy person who felt constantly ill. Every time I reached my new lower goal weight, the little voice in my head would say ‘no harm in losing more because you might put it all back on’. I never questioned my mind, I let it take control of me.

I couldn’t concentrate, my mind was split in two – There was me and there was this voice constantly battling. I was constantly thinking of food, I’d be planning what I’d cook for dinner days in advance, what new recipes I could cook, how many calories where in everything, researching restaurants menus when I had to eat out.

I didn’t go out socializing from fear of not being able to eat healthily or being able to prepare it as I stopped trusting people to cook for me, fearing they were trying to make me fat by secretly adding oil etc. As my life was so calculated and planned around food and the next meal, I was completely in control. Whenever somebody spontaniously asked me out for dinner, drinks or a takeaway my answer would be no. I couldn’t go to the cinema, to friends houses – the only place I felt comfortable was at home with my healthy food supplies and me cooking. I basically didn’t have a life anymore and I couldn’t even see it, it was a cycle that I was stuck in.

After losing 3 stone in such a small amount of time, people started commenting. They watched the old Sian they knew disappear in front of their eyes and could do nothing about it. At first I was defensive and angry that they would imply there was something wrong with me. After a couple of months I realized I wasn’t me anymore, I wasn’t connecting with people, my moods where irritable, I was missing out on so many family/friends gatherings and nights out.

People assume that people with anorexia are vain or attention seeking, the funny thing was I was deeply unhappy with myself, I hated the way I looked, I was determined to be thin but would cover my bones in baggy clothes, embarrassed. I couldn’t wear skimpy clothes because I was freezing all the time. I knew I wasn’t attractive and I didn’t like the thin body I was in but my mind wouldn’t let me eat out of the rigid rules I had created. That’s when I noticed I had a problem.

Becoming aware of my thoughts was the break through for me. I had all these rules and would have anxiety attacks if things wouldn’t go to plan or they changed. My mum cooked me a curry one night and I was hysterical because there was oil in it. My family where worried sick, I was a nightmare to live with as they didn’t know what to do with me to get me to eat properly. You may say, but couldn’t you just eat? Yes i ate but my mind had this belief that id put on weight from one bad meal. On days where I knew I was going out for food, I would restrict the day before – it was all planned.

Having an eating disorder made me realize it was the complete opposite from ‘just not eating’. If only it was that simple!

Eating disorders are very complicated mental health problems and they ruin people’s lives. I was lucky to have friends and family who supported me, stuck by me and helped me through it even when they didn’t understand what was going on.

After receiving therapy to deal with the real problems that led to my disorder I am now a healthy weight and although I will never be the same person as I was before, Im over the worst. My body still isn’t fully recovered yet as I dont have periods, I still get bloated from eating and I tend to have some rigid rules about what crockery shape or colours I like to use but that’s where I observe my mind and challenge it.

I’m sharing my experience with you all so you can see that mental health problems are not simple. Eating disorders are not choices, they are hell – a downward spiral that seems impossible to get out of. If you think you might have one, or think a friend or family member does, please talk to them.

2013 proved to be the toughest year of my life where I thought I’d never feel normal ever again.

thank god for my parents who did everything to help me, my best friends who stuck by me whilst I cried in restaurants and close family & friends who i exchanged experiences with for comfort.

Don’t judge people by their appearances because you dont know what they’re going through. Skinny, fat or normal weight – anyone can battle with disordered thoughts. We just need to have some more empathy and understanding.

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