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Things we find and things we share

Step into Spring

02/03/2020

Spring has sprung! The Winter season is coming to an end (finally!) and the season of blooming, blossoming and growth is upon us. Daffodils start to sprout, blossom starts to bloom and the days start to draw out with lighter mornings and later evenings. Our bodies work in tune with the seasons whether we realise it or not, so as we shed the hibernation season we can begin to feel more energised, rejuivinated and ready for action!

Clear space, Clear mind

‘The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we dont.’

We have all heard of Spring Cleaning before, so why is this something we do at this time of year? During Winter its natural for us to be indoors more, the heatings on, windows are left closed and we try to cultivate that comfy, homely environment to hibernate in. Come Spring we should take time to declutter things that no longer serve us. Clear space, make room, throw open the windows and let some fresh air in. Living amongst chaos can create feelings of stress and disorganisation, so keep your space minimal and tidy to promote peace and tranquility. Throw out/recycle/donate anything that you no longer use, that doesnt serve a purpose or that doesnt bring joy or add value to your life. You can apply this process to your wardrobe, kitchen cupboards, kids toys, general belongings and your MINDSET.

Spring cleaning doesnt just mean your home. Use this time to clear out negative thinking, self doubt and anything that is holding you back. How can you change your thoughts? Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations! Do something to challenge yourself and take yourself beyond the limits of what you think you can do. Physically doing something challenging boosts your confidence into believing you can achieve more than you thought you could.

Challenge yourself with something new!

Check in with your goals

‘Goal – The object of a persons ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.’

Its common to lose motivation over winter and lose sight of your goals. What better time than now to recheck in with yourself and your values and get back on track with what you want to achieve. The days are slowly starting to draw out bringing more daylight and dare we say more sunshine. Which means our energy levels can start to rise. Use this to motivate yourself to get up that little bit earlier or to make use of your time after work. Take some time to think about your goals and how you can break them down into smaller actionable steps. Are your goals still realistic? Achievable? Something that you want? Check in with yourself and get clear on what you want! Start by asking yourself these questions everyday or whenever you feel yourself losing focus.

– Does what im doing/how im spending my time make me feel good?
– Is this action taking me closer towards my goal?
– Am I living in alignment with my values and what I think is important?
– Can I change my current situation to bring more joy/success/money/family time/rest/free time/less stress?
– Am I acting out of fear or love?

Keeping a clear image in mind of how you want to spend your time and whats important to you will help to stop you from burning out, doing things you dont enjoy and acting out of intention instead of stressed action.

Our Goals Tree in The Studio, its not too late to add yours!

Are you feeling ready and raring to go this Spring? Let us know!

Its crazy that in this life, only one thing is guaranteed.  That nothing can stay the same.  Everything natural is created to grow, evolve and to move.  Yet change can still be one of the most overwhelming things we as humans can go through, even though its a part of us.  As soon as we enter the world change is the first thing we experience, the move from inside to the outside world.  As we grow up we see change in our environment, change in seasons, change in our skills, interests, personality, change in the people that surround us.  We are taught that we change our clothes for each occasion, change our hairstyle, change our minds .  As we are growing into ourselves we live for change, always looking for new ways we can reinvent ourselves and what else we can discover through changing our daily routines.  We crave the excitement and new experiences.

Yet when we get older, its like it gets harder to leave your comfort zone and change becomes more of a hindrance than an excitement.  The longer you are in a routine for, the harder it is to get out of.  Our brain has learnt that change is inevitable and that it must constantly learn to adjust and carry on, but yet we still mourn for the life we could of had.  When a situation doesn’t go our way, how we wanted it to all turn out, part of us still resists.  We dig our heels in to the ground, begging for life to pause for a moment so we can bury our heads in the memories of what we just lost.  The moments that we cant get back, and the people that were only meant to pass through our story for a brief period of time. The scariest thing is never knowing whether you have already experienced the best of something that you can never get back. Our fears will try to tell us that without what we have lost, we are less than what we were. Even when we know that it is all connected as part of a bigger picture, when you cant see the end result its hard to appreciate all the trials, heartbreaks, false hopes and things that didn’t work out as part of your journey.

“Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as being stuck somewhere you don’t belong.”

If only it was easy to recognise that we have created new space to move forward, without clinging on to what we have to move past.  Everyday we are presented with more choices, opportunities and feelings.  Our brain decides which it wants to take, and most of the time our heart is left to suffer.  We flow through each part of life recognising that every different level requires us to level up ourselves, we’ve seen it so many times, we’ve felt the hurt, and we’ve celebrated making it out the other side, only for the process to start all over again.

So why is change still so hard for us to grasp as inevitable. Why can we accept it and acknowledge it, but when we experience it every fibre in our body tells us to stop, while only a tiny part of us tells us to go?  Why is it so hard to tell if we are running away from something or running towards something? Imagine it to be so simple as to just flow freely through life with open arms, letting go of the past with ease and welcoming the future with an open heart.  As easy as inhaling and exhaling.  We are more connected with the past than we are with our hope for the future.  We are obsessed with being in control, like the way we try to take control of the planet when really the planet is in control of us.  To relinquish our control we feel is to relinquish our power.  We hold on to anything that brought us comfort as so if we never feel it again, we can always remember the moments where we felt content, before our lives were upturned once more.

Staying motivated and productive is so much harder throughout the winter months right?  Especially when you live in a place that doesn’t see much sun, its cold and its raining 90% of the time.  I think a lot of people put unnecessary pressure on themselves because they think they need to keep up the same level of activity month in month out, and its easy to have guilty thoughts when you’re not ‘doing’, especially in winter as your energy is low, motivation disappears and the want to just snuggle up in pyjamas and a blanket overcomes the need for everything else. 

Most people will say you should be striving and pushing yourself all year round as that is how success is created. If that works for you then great, really. All this doing and achieving and careers and buying is all created by us, but just being on this earth and existing is what we were first put here to do.  We should try to focus on the way our bodies and minds peak and slow at certain times of the year and work with how we are feeling, rather than against it. Finding the balance between flowing with life and our moods and keeping on track towards goals even if we are only making small steps.  Finding things we can do to stay productive towards achieving our goals while also not being too hard on ourselves.

“Nothing in nature blooms all year.”

When your a bit stuck and lacking purpose –  Sit down and get clear on your goals and intentions!

This is important so you can prioritise what needs doing and what doesn’t, and where your energy should be going.  What do you actually want.  How do you want to spend your time? What kind of life do you want to live? Its better to have it written down as you can physically see it and remind yourself when you come off track.  Its easy to get overwhelmed looking at too much at once, but look at the daily steps you can make to stay on track, no matter how big or small.  If your goal is to learn a new skill, how can you get into it, is there a class you can take once a week? Is there time for you to practice?  Is there a website you can learn more about it? Or maybe its to travel to a new place, are you working enough to save money to go? Have you made a list of the things you want to see, places you want to go? Or a goal to eat healthier, build good habits, move out, start a business.  Whatever the main goal is, keep it in mind and think of the things you actually WANT in your life and allocating the time to fit them in.

Check out our studio weekly planners now available at The Studio, perfect for setting your daily goals and prioritising whats most important!

When you know you need/should be doing something but motivation is low  – Compromise!

This is a common one we struggle with, who wants to go the gym when its cold and raining outside when we can just not go and stay in our pyjamas instead?  Some days we wake up and can be bursting with motivation to go workout and that’s great.  Other days not so much, so how can we still stay true to our goals and intentions without making ourselves unhappy.  There is no point going to do something if you’re not going to enjoy it, will waste time complaining about it and only do a half ass job.  So the key here is COMPROMISE.  Think how can we still make this day productive if we cant make it out.  So for an example, missing the gym, but maybe creating a home workout instead.  How can you still make some kind of productive step forward today?

When you want to pursue a new skill/hobby/activity but you have no one to do it with – Do it yourself!

So everyone’s back at work, and used there holidays, most people have similar work schedules, maybe a 9-5 job on the day to day with weekends off.  But if your days and weeks are scattered with days off and different hours, changing shifts, and alternate part time jobs, then its easy to feel like you may as well be working, because all of your friends are. And a bit trapped into feeling like you cant do anything or go anywhere because there’s no one to do it with. When was the last time you tried something new?  And even better when was the last time you experienced something new by yourself?  Its a whole different ball game.  And I think its so important to have hobbies,  as nice as it is to sit and watch tv or read, how about learning a hobby that is a skill?  Something useful that can help you grow as a person, an extra/skill or talent to add on to your CV,  something that will benefit your health and wellbeing.  Meet new people and learn new things.  Its good to find something you enjoy that motivates you to improve at and is useful to have, working on it through the winter months can give you a boost through till summer.  Its good to spend time with yourself.

When you want to eat the nice, healthy food but cant afford to keep eating out – Learn to make it yourself!

Moneys still a bit low after spending big over the holiday season, and then January sales, and then someone had a birthday, and valentines.  So a good way to save money is taking the foods you love to spend money on eating out, and learning to make them for yourself!  Breakfast is the best meal of the day to eat out for, pancakes, waffles, fruit bowls and coffee, what is not to love? One of my favourite things to use is Pinterest  for recipes, so find something new and easy, and prioritise the time to make it.

When you really just don’t have the energy to face life today – Rest and Rejuvenate

You’ve tried, but today is just a bad day.  Work sucked/your depression has kicked in again/a negative event has happened/you have no money/the weathers abysmal on your day off.  Whatever it is sometimes its just time to take a step back and disconnect from anything other than being at peace with yourself and in the moment.  I think its so important to really let yourself have that down time.  Cuddling up in a blanket, running a hot bath, treating yourself to something nice, sitting and reading a book with a coffee, or meeting with friends and going out.  This time of year is draining, and the lack of sunlight contributes to a lot of people just feeling pretty grim.  Colds and flu thrive and its easy to feel under the weather because we are literally trapped under the weather.  So try and prioritise making those little moments happen for yourself where you can just let out a sigh of relief and sign out from the day even if its only for a couple of moments.

It’s pretty self explanatory. Show yourself some love.


So, if it’s so simple why does it often get pushed to the back burner of our minds?

Maybe because it’s not important, maybe we’re too busy, maybe everybody or everything else comes first, etc, etc. But it doesn’t take much to show ourselves a little love each day. Even the tiniest steps can make the biggest differences. We just need to be aware.


Give it a go with these simple self love steps we’ve put together!

STEP 1

  • Recognise that you are an individual in this world. No two people are the same. Each of us are unique in our own beautiful way and that’s what makes us, us!  So be proud of that!
Top Tip:- Take a moment to digest that each and every day!
If you practice yoga, you could build a self love mantra into Shavasana.

Check out 10 Powerful Self Loving Mantras, use these or create your own based on what’s important to you!

https://www.gaia.com/article/10-powerful-self-loving-mantras

STEP 2

  • We can only ever do our best, and if we truthfully put 100% effort into everything we do, we can’t possibly give anything more or anything less. We do exactly what we are capable of doing in that given moment. So, getting annoyed  because you hit a wall, or didn’t quite overcome an obstacle in the way you’d have liked is pretty useless. Instead of beating yourself up about it, embrace it. Embrace the journey you are on and any mistake you make and know that you are learning at each and every moment given to you.
Top Tip:- Try changing your perspective on obstacles. Instead of being an obstacle, maybe they’re a stepping stone to get you to where you want to be.

STEP 3

  • Everyone has a different view on what’s important in life and focuses all their energy into those things. There’s certainly a few things we often experience through our lifetime and it may be the fact there’s so much to do, so many people to care for, and many things we need to take into consideration within our busy lives. More often than not, we forget to stop and realise our own significance in the universe. In the midst of caring for everybody else, we forget to care for ourselves! Self-care is important so don’t put it off, or wait until you can fit it into your schedule.
Top Tip:- instead apply it each and every day. For each day – write down something in the form of self care that you’ll do for you! To make sure you take care of you!

STEP 4

  • Remember, everybody has their imperfections and nobody is perfect. There are strengths and areas to grow in all of us, so don’t sell yourself short and try not to make comparisons because by doing so this can make us feel low about our worth.
Top Tip:- Start celebrating your strengths and begin to see your ‘weaknesses’  as opportunities to grow!

STEP 5

  • Sometimes, the person that gives us the hardest time is in fact ourselves. We’re hard on ourselves, and we get away with it too! So it becomes a constant cycle of negativity.  We’ve all heard the term ‘treat people the way you wish to be treated’ So put this into practice and treat yourself how you’d expect others to treat you. Sometimes the things we say to ourselves are the most awful, demeaning things anyone could ever say. Instead of drilling into yourself how rubbish you are, reframe—and use language that builds you up and creates those positive feelings!  
Top Tip:- Practice being kind to yourself like you would to others, and talk to yourself in a loving way

STEP 6

If you’d like a little more guidence then you’re in luck, because we’ve got an afternoon dedicated to self love at The Studio! Indulge yourself in an afternoon of all things you. Take the time to appreciate and indulge your mind body and soul with a feel good few hours just for you! Leave The Studio feeling empowered, rejuvenated and LOVED!

Top Tip:- Click the link below to reserve your self love spot!

https://thestudio.gymmasteronline.com/portal/account/bookclass/39

PEACE & (SELF) LOVE

X

EVERYONE MEET ASH!

20/11/2019

Ash is one of our founding members at The Studio
GO ASH!

FUN FACT

Played for Manchester City Football Club as Goal Keeper!

Talking about goals…

Ash has been with us from the very beginning keeping up his commitment to yoga! He’s pushing himself to reach the goal of completing 100 classes by the end of the year!

GOOD LUCK & KEEP GOING!

BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT 2019

He came to The Studio for peace of mind, hoping yoga would help direct negative thoughts in the opposite direction, and to add a sense of calm to an already hectic lifestyle and busy mind.

Ash is feeling focused, positive, and has gained a CAN DO mindset throughout his time at the Studio!

Did you catch Ash in his running shorts sneaking off for a cheeky run after class this year? That’s because running a Half Marathon was on his to do list…

AND HE SMASHED IT!

…As well as improving his flexibilty in his shoulders and hamstrings to help him along the way – you can thank the yoga for that, Ash.

GET SET TO SWEAT!

30/10/2019

Christmas, dare we say it is fast approaching!

It’s that time of year where the majority of us tend to over indulge! Let’s face it, the temptation lies within eating plenty, drinking plenty, and we’re less tempted by the thought of exercise.

BUT…

What if we could offer you something to overindulge in without the all the guilt? Well, we can!

TEMPTED?

If you’re up for the challenge then join us at The Studio throughout the whole of November to take on the Ten Class Challenge! The classes you choose are entirely your choice! If you manage to hit ten, then you’ll bag yourself a Studio T-Shirt normally worth £30!

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…

Use November to kickstart your December! Then you won’t feel so guilty about those extra few mince pies!

GET READY, GET SET, SWEAT!

Pranayama

25/10/2019

Breathing is important, of course it is. In other words, it’s what keeps us alive. But how often do we take time out to focus on our breathing? Probably not a lot unless you have been instructed to do so by your yoga teacher! We are all great at breathing none the less, and how clever of our bodies to take care of this without us even thinking about it. Pranayama is our life force, our breath. One of the eight limbs of Yoga, it is an important part of practice we can bipass thinking about as we focus on nailing the different asanas.

But, there are plenty of techniques you will be interested in adding into your practice;

Breathing Techniques

  • Breath Retention
  • Channel Cleaning Breath
  • Ujjayi
  • Conqueror Breath
  • Dear Seal
  • Lion Pose
  • Root Bond
  • Single Nostril Breath
  • Skull Shining Breath
  • Sama Vritti Pranayama

Our very own Jane says:- Bhastrik Pranayama is her favourite breathing technique to use in her classes and describes it as the ‘sniffing dog’. Bhastrika is a small short breaths performed fast. A common position to do this in is a forward facing plank.

You may of come across some of these techniques in your classes already and wondered what the benefits are. If the breath is quick and shallow, this can trigger a panic response within the body as it thinks its under stress or in danger. For example, the body can switch into fight or flight mode, and bring forward feelings of stress and anxiety, even if we aren’t actually in a dangerous situation. However, focusing on slowing the breath, taking longer and slower inhales and exhales, actually calms the nervous system, creates awareness and focus on the present moment, and is a form of meditation. Mindful breathing is the simplest way to lower stress levels, and it can be done anytime, anywhere.

The most common breathing techniques you probably come across in class are;

Sama Vritti Pranayama (Equal Part Breath)

Becoming aware of the breath we start to increase the length of each inhale and exhale to a count of 4 (this number can increase throughout practice). We inhale for four, pause for four, and slowly exhale for 4. Keeping all parts of the breath even.

Ujjayi (Ocean Breath)

Known for its soft soothing oceanic sound, breathing through the nose creating a ‘HAA’ on the exhale. The sound of Ujjayi is created by gently constricting the opening of the throat to create some resistance to the passage of air. It is an energising and relaxing breath to help guide you through your practice.

So what movements benefit what breath?

When we are forward folding or twisting, this is on the exhale as as the lungs empty, it creates more space. The muscles also relax more on the exhale, sinking down. Therefore you can stretch, reach or twist slightly further.

When we are lifting or opening in a posture, this is when we should inhale. Inhalation is energising the body as its taking the oxygen inwards. As the lungs expand the heart can project forward more.

Breathing techniques can be practiced anywhere, on the go, in class or at home. Anytime you feel yourself getting overwhelmed or stressed, turn your attention inwards and focus on the breath.

https://www.thestudiocheshire.com/

 

Just Breathe

09/10/2019

Every week, 1 in 6 adults will experience a common mental health problem: whether that be anxiety or depression, we can’t ignore it. Yoga has been proven to help with mental health and especially improve sleep patterns; disrupted sleep is one of the biggest side effects of mental health along with mood changes, feeling depressed and a lack of ability to concentrate. There are many ways we can help each other and boost moral to improve our community’s mental health.

Here, at The Studio, we have created some Sanity Stickers.

The idea is to remind yourself to look after YOU. Use them with a positive outlook and share with those around you to increase self-esteem, inspire each other, and boost confidence.

Everyone should take the time in a day for themselves to pause, take a few deep breaths and remember how good you truly are.

Come on into The Studio and pick up your Sanity Sticker.

Now the question is, where will you put yours?

Keep smiling, keep growing and share the positivity!