january 2017

  • 5 ways to manage your stress in 2017

    Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

    by Margot Radicati di Brozolo

    The holidays are long gone and the days spent cosying up by the fire seem like a distant memory. Two weeks have passed and it may feel like you should be back in the swing of things - ready to take 2017 by the horns.

    However, you might feel like you're struggling to find motivation, and that the return to the grind is making life feel like Groundhog Day. You may also find yourself slipping back into negative thought patterns that you had temporarily managed to escape over the holidays.

    This isn't surprising! As if working life weren't enough to fire up stress, London life seems to exacerbate it. Long commutes in a packed tube, the feeling that you have no time for yourself and the impression that everyone is super successful can't be helping you to stay upbeat...

    In times like these, it's easy to forget that changing your mindset and beliefs can really help to make you feel much better. Remember, there must have been a reason why you chose to live in London at one point, and there must also have been a reason why you chose your job (if not - maybe time to look for a new job/city?).

    The first steps to improving mental wellbeing are to recognise your thought patterns and to learn to not engage with negative thoughts. This might sound abstract and difficult to implement, but the exercises below will really help. As with everything, you will need to repeat these exercises on a regular basis in order to train your mind - but even a little every day will make a huge difference. Making these exercises a habit also means that you are more likely to revert to them in times of crisis, rather than feeling lost and not knowing how to feel better.

    1. Understand how worrying works
    –  It often feels like worries come from the outside and that you have no control over them. However, the reality is that worries may be triggered by external events, but it is your internal dialogue that keeps them running.
    –  We often focus on the "what if" of different scenarios, which only creates more worries. Understanding that your mind is creating this "worry spiral" is key to putting things into perspective.

    2. Make a list of negative thoughts
    –  List each of your negative thoughts and consider whether you can do something about them. If the answer is yes, write down actions that you will take to address it. If the answer is no, let it go and agree to come back to it at a designated time-slot, and only for a limited amount of time
    –  Writing your thoughts on paper will not only help to let them go, but will also give you some perspective on them.

    3. Recognise thought distortions
    –  Just because you believe something, it doesn't mean it's true! When a negative thought comes up, ask yourself whether you are distorting it in any of the following ways:

    Black and white thinking (i.e. believing there is no in-between way of seeing things)
    Personalising (i.e. believing you are to blame for something)
    Filter thinking (i.e. only seeing the negative side of a story)
    Catastrophic thinking (i.e. assuming the worst possible outcome)

    Doing this will give you perspective and train your mind to re-frame your thinking.

    4. Do something you love
    –  Make sure that you are doing something other than commuting from home to work and back. Find an activity which fulfils you and stick to it. Whatever it is make sure you do it regularly.
    –  This really helps to channel your energy away from stressors and into something that makes you happy - you will see results immediately!

    5. Dig a little deeper
    –  Have you noticed that your negative thoughts come and go? You are more likely to have negative thoughts if you are not feeling good about yourself or are discouraged by something. This demonstrates that feeling negative about your body is something more connected to your emotional state than to reality.
    –  As yourself the question: How am I feeling? Do you feel like you're not good enough? Has someone made you feel inadequate? The moment you understand what the issue is, you can start doing something about it.

    Want more tips? Check them out here

    Margot is the founder of YourMind, a platform created with the belief that everyone should have tools and help to look after their mental wellbeing and become the best version of themselves. On YourMind, you can speak to high quality therapists via Skype at affordable rates, wherever you want. You can also find easy, friendly and effective tips for your mental well-being.    

  • teacher focus: Max Strom

    Thursday, January 12th, 2017

    Max Strom's is returning to triyoga London next week.. Here we catch up with the man himself and get his advice on using technology mindfully and taking a deep breath in the Capital.

    what does a day in the life of Max look like?

    I tend to have four different types of days. For my travel days, quite often I don't get to do a physical practice beyond breath-work and visualization on the airline or in the airport. If it is possible, I do some communication or writing in the airport.

    For my days at home, I have a more balanced life that includes my practice, writing, administration, and communications. And I try to get out in nature if weather permits. Nature is a very powerful elixir for me.

    On the days when I lead events, I take a little time for a practice in the morning before hand, and afterward I share a meal with my hosts. Also, I sometimes offer one-to-one sessions..

    My days in hotels are on the in-between days where I am not teaching but need to stay put in the region. This is where I can have a proper practice. These are also my main administration days. Skype meetings, phone calls, and when I get to write my new book and occasionally interact in an interview such as this one.

    what was the turning point that led you down the path of yoga and helping others?

    The turning point was when I started to practice hatha yoga because it helped me to feel better and sleep better. But what I didn't expect and was astonished to discover was that it changed how I responded to the world in general. It's hard to explain, but my decision process changed. My priorities shifted. Besides feeling better and my body and sleeping better, I started to feel happy for the first time in my life. In other words, I didn't need things to stimulate me to make me feel alive. I just started to really feel like most of the time. At some point my friends urged me to teach and I quickly discovered there was no greater experience in terms of social interaction, than sharing such important knowledge and practices that could affect them in the same way it affected me.

    if you weren't an Inner Axis teacher, what would you be?

    Besides being an Inner Axis teacher I am also currently an author and speaker. I would continue with both of those paths and I think I would add to it more time composing music, which is something I still love to do very much. I play several instruments moderately well but my main lover is composition of songs and instrumentals. I don't spend much time doing it as I'm gone from home so much that most of the year I have no instruments or recording equipment with me. I would do that more if I wasn't traveling as a teacher.

    what are your top 5 tips for using technology mindfully?

    1. Decide what technology serves you. What truly serves you? Does this technology save time for you or steal time from you?

    2. Use voice dictation software for text messages, emails, and writing in general. For most people, it is faster than typing, and you don't have to use your hands much so it frees up your body thereby avoiding repetitive stress injuries in the wrist arm and shoulder. Because you need to enunciate it also helps make you a better speaker.

    3. Don't communicate anything emotional via text if at all possible. For example, if you send an email and someone responds in what could be interpreted as anger or upset, go see them in person, or if not possible call them on the phone. Don't exchange upset emails as when someone is angry they will interpret your email 10 times more dramatic than you mean it. It's a waste of time and a terrible way to communicate.

    4. Turn everything off for your meals and for family time. We need to prioritise our communication. For example you don't let your kids come to your office when you're having an important meeting because it will distract everyone. Similarly, don't bring your meetings to your family. Your family is the most important group of people in your life, so treat them that way.

    5. And for something very practical, change the height of your mouse several times during the day. Don't leave the mouse on one surface at the same height from the floor or this will contribute to injuries to your arm and wrist. I have a mouse pad on my desk and then a smaller, lower table just for the mouse that is about 10 inches lower. This when forced to use the muscles in a different way.

    do you practice yoga in airport lounges when you travel?

    Generally no, as most airports still don't have a yoga lounge.

    what is your favourite thing about teaching in London?

    It's a fascinating international city and in my workshops there are people from all over the world. The English people, in general, I find to be very hard workers and do their best. They can also be very polite. In the education level of the students seems to be at a high level comparatively with other cities.

    like most cities, London's air is pretty polluted. What advice would you give to Londoner's so they can best practice conscious breathing in their city?

    Of course on particularly polluted days, I suggest not doing much breath work. But in general, I think that conscious breath work is so healing and so transformative that the return on investment is a big plus even if the air is not ideal.

    Join Max in camden...
    crisis is the axis for transformation:
    a weekend of workshops 
    20 – 22 January 2016

    book now

    Max is a teacher, speaker, author and teacher trainer, and is known for profoundly inspiring and impacting the lives of his students for nearly two decades. Many of you know him from his inspiring book, A Life Worth Breathing, which is now published in six languages, and his recent book, There is No APP for Happiness. Max was the original founder and director of Sacred Movement Centre for Yoga and Healing in Los Angeles, one of the most influential yoga centres in America and he has been leading teacher trainings since 1999. Max takes his message and method to 10 countries across the globe each year. His Inner Axis system includes a philosophy for real world living, self-enquiry, breath-work, yoga postures, and meditation. His teachings are a culmination of his life experience and decades of study and application. Among his recent speaking appearances were two TEDx events, and a keynote speech on ethics in business at a Fortune 500 Corporation. His articles and interviews have appeared in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Utne Reader, Whole Living, Happinez (NL), Yoga Aktuell (DE), and other printed, online media, and radio/television around the globe. You can see more of Max Strom's work on his DVDs, Learn to Breathe, to heal yourself and your relationships, and Max Strom Yoga - Strength, Grace, Healing. Max is recognised by Yoga Alliance at their Advanced Teacher Level (ERYT 500) www.maxstrom.com

  • the wolf's howl: the full moon in cancer

    Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

    by Kwali Kumara

    Image: Artwork by Pashet

    In the frosty month of January, it's not just our physical bodies feeling the cold. Our spirit can also be challenged by what can be an emotionally ruthless month.

    It is our tendency under a Capricorn sun to get serious and demanding about what we want to achieve in the following months. If we are not careful, this can put unnecessary pressure on ourselves at a time when the environment and climate are already pushing us to the limit.

    It's not a coincidence that the wolf is the Native American totem for this full moon in cancer, with its enduring nature and intuitive mystical connection to the lunar light. The wolf worships the moon as a supreme deity – it knows that the waters of life are under her command. It howls its serenade to the phases of the moon instinctively, understanding that they are integral to the growth of all living beings.

    All creatures of the earth are predominantly made of water. So whether animal, plant or human, we are all united as her lunar children and influenced by her gracious presence. It is interesting to note that the astrological symbol of this sign is a sea goat. We always think of Capricorn as being the very yang father of the zodiac, who climbs like a mountain goat on the complicated rocky road to the top. In actual fact, this goat is much more balanced in both yin and yang energies depicted with a mermaid-like-fin to symbolise it. This goat also has a deep connection to the intuitive emotional waters of Mother Gaia.

    We are reminded that both energies are needed to be in balance and that true enlightenment comes when these polarities are in harmony. This sign has the best of both worlds, able to be at the top of the mountain with its head in the heavens, whilst simultaneously grounded below into the wondrous waters of the Earth. 

    Join us this Friday as we first honour the strength and stamina of the upper body of the mer-goat with a powerful heart opening kundalini kriya, followed by dipping our fins into the underworld and turning inwards to nurture ourselves with meditations for self-love and compassion. The session will culminate in a luxurious triple gong bath to integrate the healing and seal the magic into every cell. 

    Join Kwali in camden...
    full moon in cancer kundalini + gong ceremony
    Friday 13th January, 7.45 – 9.45pm
    book now

    Kwali Kumara (aka Hari Bhajan Kaur) is a magnetic, uplifting and inspiring kundalini yoga and gong meditation teacher. Kwali is a fully certified Level 1 and 2 member of Kyta, and trained in 2006 with Karam Kriya under the guidance of her beloved mentors Shiv Charan Singh and Satya Kaur. Her nurturing nature blended with experience and dedication is dynamic and encouraging. Kwali's confidence, energy and enthusiasm for the teachings of Yogi Bhajan is infectious and motivating. With a passion for people and a commitment to serve, she creates a heartfelt high and vibrational sacred space for healing and transformation to occur.

  • how is Inner Axis wellbeing different?

    Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

    by Kirsten Orchard

    New to the Inner Axis system? Try it for yourself in Kirsten's upcoming workshop on the 14th January in Camden. Here, Kirsten explains why makes Inner Axis unique and different from other yoga styles.

    Inner Axis is yoga for people who don't do yoga, and for people who do. In fact, it is for everyone and anyone who struggles with stress in this fast moving modern world of the digital age.

    It offers the absolute essentials of breath, movement and higher intention for the bare necessities of happiness in life.

    Inner Axis cuts through the complexity and the diversity of yoga without dumbing it down. This is plain-talking-everyday-yoga and emotional healing for all of us.

    The Inner Axis system puts the breath at the core of the practice. It focuses on what we call ‘ocean breathing', which is deeply transformative and powerful as it releases repressed negative emotions from the body to make way for more space, grace, strength and ease in the practice and life. It calms the nervous system and directly addresses the modern epidemic of stress.

    Inner Axis encourages you to slow down, to tune in, to feel and to heal yourself in order to accelerate change in your life and in the world.

    The practice builds a connection to our ‘inner axis', our ‘midline', ‘centre line' and some people even call it the ‘divine line'. Whatever it is, it helps us reset. It grounds us and helps us be less reactive, more connected and able to open up the greatest opportunities of life, love, happiness and meaning – all while making us strong and flexible.

    This is yoga for life – everyday life – for everyday people to experience extraordinary transformation.

    Come and experience it first hand this Saturday at triyoga Camden with my introductory Inner Axis workshop (details below).

    Kirsten is an experienced yoga and personal transformation teacher. She has a multidisciplinary approach, which incorporates elements of yoga, martial arts, somatics, Feldenkrais, Gyrotonic and Garuda. She has been practicsng yoga for over 16 years and teaching full time for the last 8 years. She runs her own studio, Studio Orchard in Buckinghamshire, as well as annual retreats in Ibiza and special events in the UK. She teaches Inner Axis, triyoga hot and the Gyrotonic Method at triyoga in London.

    Join Kirsten in camden...
    the bare necessities of yoga + life: an inner axis workshop
    saturday 14th january, 10.00am – 12.30pm

    book now