Category Archives: Lifestyle

Yoga home practice – 5 tips for beginners

Yoga home practice tips for beginnersI believe that there are plenty of amazing yoga classes and inspirational yoga teachers around the globe who will guide you through your yoga journey and will teach you all you need to know…Unfortunately you might not have an opportunity to meet such teacher or attend such class for various reasons (welcome to my life!). If you are still very keen on practising yoga even in this case than home practice might be a perfect solution for you. It might be tricky to start yoga home practice and stick to it, but it’s so worth it if you do. I am not anywhere near a yoga expert, I am a novice myself and I have been practising only for around two years. But there are so many small things I’ve learnt that really improved my practice. In this post I will share the most basic ones to actually get you on the mat in the first place and help to stay there. These are more on how to set up the practice rather than motivate. I truly believe that there are no tips for finding motivation as it can only come from the inside of each person. So here we go with the actual tips!

1. Do your homework first. Yoga is not a science, but it’s a practice that needs to be studied and understood. I don’t want to overcomplicate things in this post as I am still learning myself. Anyway, there are plenty of yoga magazines or yoga web sites that give you some basic information. Google will help you with this. You would really need to read about yoga styles like ashtanga, viynasa, bikram etc; sun salutations (if you go for ashtanga), asanas suitable for beginners and correct alignment for each asana. Also, when learning about new asanas it is important to pay attention whether they would not escalate any existing health concerns. For example, tree pose is one of the most basic asanas suitable for beginners, yet if you have ever injured your knee, it might worsen your injury. You need to remember that yoga does have healing properties but it can also hurt you. So if you have some serious health concerns it’s better to find yoga class dedicated to healing.

2. Find a good spot. It could be in your house, in the garden or even in the park where there is enough space so that you don’t bump into things when getting into asanas. If you just start yoga practice, it’s better be a quite place as well to help you focus. It could be a good idea to tidy up the place before hand, lit some candles and play soft music in order to create a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere!

3. Get a non-slippery mat and comfortable clothing. It could be a yoga mat, rug or even a towel…as long as your hands and feet do not slide, it will work. Clothing should be very comfortable too to allow free movement. A cotton top and loose trousers or shorts should do it as long as they are not too baggy. I actually have lots of yoga photos on Instagram account wearing tight capris or leggins, but I usually practise wearing sweatpants!

4. Always warm up before practice.  This is if you go for a really physical kind of yoga like ashtanga. You are supposed to do sun salutations as a warm up in this case, but I find that it’s not enough and do rotating movements for all joints starting from the neck and finishing with ankles.

5.Don’t forget to breath. This is such an obvious point, but it’s just too easy not to pay attention to it. It’s a key to have a steady deep breathing during yoga practice. You need to move and align your body with the help of breath. At first you need to really focus on, but then you will find it comes very naturally and that the correct breathing makes it much easier to hold any asana!

The bonus tip: don’t ever feel discouraged if you cannot manage even basic yoga poses. It’s not some sort of competition and it’s ok if your asana does not look perfect. It’s how you feel inside that matters, all the rest will come with time!

Ok, I think that’s it from me for now. I do plan to write a bit more about my yoga journey as I learn new things every day. Please do share if you plan to start practising yoga. If you already practise, do you visit yoga classes or prefer to practise at home?

New Year Resolutions – Yes or No?

new year resolutions

When I started my blog, I’d never thought that I would go into any kind of philosophic topics. As at the end of the day it would be just another opinionated post and we all have different opinions so why bother. But this time inspired by all the craziness that usually surrounds Christmas and New Year celebrations, I’ve started thinking about my New Year resolutions and here comes my first kind of philosophic post.

I’ve always had a whole list of things that  I wanted to change or start doing in the new year. At the end of the day I didn’t do most of them and then felt guilty about it. But at the end of the 2014, I’ve realised that I’m actually pretty happy with the way things are at the moment. 2014 was one of the toughest years for me but at the same time it was one of the most rewarding and productive years as well. I’ve changed my lifestyle dramatically, finally figured out what professional path I want to take and got a sense of stability that I didn’t feel for a long time. That’s why just before New Year’s eve I thought why do I want to change anything about myself – I don’t want to do that! I am happy the way I am and I am happy the way I am moving  forward. And I will just carry on and do what I am doing as I can see that it works for me. I will see how I feel in the future and will act accordingly.

So I’ve started thinking do our New Year resolutions actually symbolise a move forward or a sign of despair? Is it positive or negative thing? And you know when I compare my previous years when I had a long list of resolutions and this year when I have none, I tend to think that it’s more of a negative thing. When I wanted to change things so badly or start something new I wasn’t happy with myself. And now I believe that being unhappy about yourself is one of the scariest and most devastating feelings. When I look back how silly I was to think that as it’s another year so I need to do this and that and convince myself that my life would get better. Of course you need to have plans and dreams but based on what you have now and working on what you’ve already achieved. And if I want to do something why wait till next year and if I don’t want to do something why plan it for the next year then? I think I’ve really learnt in 2014 how to be in the present moment and to look in the future from the present perspective, through real, existing now and happy me. Now this concept of “new year – new you” does not make any sense to me! The same applies to starting new life from next Monday. I hope it makes sense…

I am sure there are lots of people who finds New Year’s resolutions very helpful, but I think I am not one of them. So no New Year resolutions for me in 2015 – just going to carry on with my life. And if I ever feel like having New Year’s resolution it would be just to be happy with myself and appreciate everything what I’ve got…

Happy 2015 my dear readers!

Lavender sachets – little DIY project

DIY hand made lavender sachets

It’s not a secret that lavender sachets are a great little addition to your draws with clothing and wardrobe. apparently they help to prevent moth inside there and adds the nice aroma too.  I generally enjoy crafts and different DIY projects and last week I finally found some time to make my own DIY Lavender sachets. We have plenty of lavender at the front of our house that you need to cut from time to time. Last autumn my mum did some major tidying up of our lavender bushes so we ended up with the huge piles of lavender flowers. As I love lavender sachets so much and regularly put them in my draws and wardrobe, I decided to make my own this time. It could not be more simple, all you need to do is to let lavender stems to dry for a week on a flat surface and then remove flowers from the stems.

making lavender sachetsThen you just put the flowers in a container and use them when you are ready to make sachets. Just a quick note don’t forget about them as I did and left it for almost 6 months! But to be honest the flowers started to smell even stronger than they did when they were fresh…maybe it was even wise decision after all.

When making a sachet you have two options: 1) to buy already made little bags and 2) to make your own bags. I chose the second option only as I came across cute little cotton bags for herbs in my local homeware shop. The pack of 4 costs £3.25 and I bought two. I think it is a good little investment as they are washable and I am planning to use them for the next few years.

how to make lavender sachetsYou can also make your own and the sky is your limit. Just as a suggestion, you can get a piece of neutrally coloured thin cotton, cut it into 5-inch squares, place 1 tbsp of lavender in the middle, put all the ends together and just tie it with a bit of rope.

Once you have your lavender sachets ready, place them wherever you like and just shake the flowers inside occasionally as they will release more scent this way. Next year I am also planning to take on making my lavender oil in addition to sachets.

Quick note: to make very aromatic lavender sachets, it is best to cut lavender in august (this is for UK). I am sure people living in the UK will not have any problems finding lavender as there is so much of it available, but please don’t try to steall some from your neighbours during night-time – just ask them kindly…If you live somewhere else and lavender is not native to your area, use any other available aromatic herbs or plants, I am sure they will work just as well!