There’s so many people out there struggling with their sleep each and every night. And I’m not talking about parents of babies, toddlers or young children (though no doubt they would love a full night of sleep, but their situation is relatively temporary). I’m talking about people who either find it difficult to get to sleep, find it difficult to stay asleep or generally wake up without feeling refreshed – how sleep is meant to make you feel.
Last year, I was involved in a study with seven of my colleagues titled “An investigation into the efficacy of Professional Kinesiology Practice in improving the quality and quantity of sleep”. The study consisted of 67 people, 60 of whom completed 6-day sleep diaries before and after 3 kinesiology sessions that were specifically aimed at improving their sleep. The results were a 16% increase in the number of hours sleep each night, a 19% improvement on the self-rated quality of sleep and a 39% reduction in the number of times woken on average. These results came after just 3 to 3.5 hours of kinesiology with each person. Imagine what another few hours could achieve!
Personally, I’ve only had one instance of having sleep difficulties and that was when I went through topical steroid withdrawal a few years back. It was horrible to not be able to sleep and then trying to function at work, that was just hard work. So I can absolutely empathise with those who struggle with sleep. That aside my only problem with sleep was that my hours were all wonky. Going to bed at 2am and (when possible) getting up at 10am or later would be my ultimate day! Only I have a child and sleeping until 10am is just not possible, so I just wasn’t allowing myself enough sleep.
Recently I’ve been doing a great deal of research on circadian rhythms – otherwise known as your body clock – and their impact on healing. And for the last few months, I have been making a huge effort to reset some of my bad habits. You see, I’m a night owl – through and through. I love to sit up and work in the wee hours of the morning, the time that I have just to myself, feeling like the whole world is asleep except me (and the rest of the world on the other side of the globe of course). Oh the things I would get done! I would read, explore, research and be entertained. I would usually be freezing cold, but that’s what my trusty little heater would be good for.
But now I have changed. And the catalyst for my change was my child’s swimming teacher. She gets up at 5am… every day. Probably a habit she formed as a youngster who was in the pool at the crack of dawn. Then each night, she’s in bed by 9pm. And that was all fine and well for her, but when she discovered that I was often awake around 2am, she said the words that any health practitioner dreads, “Oh my goodness, but that is so unhealthy!”. She was right, of course, which is why the discomfort it caused me was so… unsettling.
So I’ve now made a very conscious effort to:
By taking these steps, I’m resetting my circadian rhythm to be more like humans were meant to be! And my skin is improving as a result. Evolution takes so much longer than a few generations (seriously, a lot LOT longer) and to think that my habits were good for me was just… wrong. So as I’m trying this out on myself for healing purposes, I am also advising some of my sleep-lacking clients to do the same and the results have been very positive. Perhaps I should be setting up another study on sleep? Interested??
Written by Phillipa Huynh. Phillipa is a kinesiologist working at Prana House who teaches you how to make your life ‘fit’ again. Previously working for 12 years in the corporate world, Phillipa knows all too well how stress can affect you and works with you to give you the tools to face life’s challenges head on and bring about a sense of balance. Phillipa also loves teaching you how to integrate meditation into your day seamlessly. You can contact Phillipa by emailing email@example.com
Finding constant tension in your body? It’s all in the Fascia!
What is Fascia and how do we release it?
Do you find yourself sitting at your desk with a stiff neck, or feeling unusually tight after a good dose of exercise from the day before? Myofascial release can help ease these tensions within your body.
Myofascial Release (MFR) is a specialised manual therapy used for the effective treatment and rehabilitation of muscular and fascial tension and restrictions. ‘Myo’ means muscle and ‘fascia’ means band. In other words, fascia is a spiderweb-like covering that surrounds muscle, organs, tendons and bones throughout the body. It has the ability to contract and relax, and plays a major role in the stability and mobility of joints. Through physical and emotional trauma, and things like poor posture and repetitive movements, the fascia can get ‘stuck’ around the muscles and joints causing dysfunction with the bodies natural movements.
So, what is it? MFR is a series of skin rolling, gliding and stretching techniques used on the muscles to help dislodge these adhesion’s, improving the bodies movement. It suits a wide range of issues, from recovering from an injury, bad posture from work (or play!) or if your finding certain movements aren’t performing at their best. I myself have increased my range of motion and improved my posture in my neck and shoulders with MFR, through regular treatments and by doing self-myofascial release exercises. Using a foam roller is a self-myofascial release technique you can do at home in-between treatments for a broader effect, however having regular massage treatments every 3-4 weeks, this technique can target your more problem areas.
It is one of my favourite techniques to use during a massage treatment due to its ability to be used with a broad range of issues, so come experience the benefits for yourself at Miranda Cathryn Massage Therapy.
Written by Miranda Wong. Miranda is a Remedial Massage Therapist who is now treating at Prana House. She provides holistic massage treatments, treating the mind and body, mixing remedial with relaxation techniques to get the best results. Reflexology treatments are also available to help relieve tension within the body through the pressure points on the feet. She is a member of the Australian Association of Massage Therapists (AAMT) and registered with most private health insurers for remedial massage rebates.
Recently I read about some research that found “fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones”. And I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. That’s a pretty horrible response, right? But I laughed because so many people don’t believe that emotions have such a huge impact on your life. I understand that most of you reading this have well and truly grasped this concept, perhaps even many, many years ago. But so many of us have been laughed at for believing such mind-over-matter ‘voodoo’.
Yet it is those of us who have taken the art of caring for our minds as well as our bodies who are thriving. We may still be perfecting our individual artwork, but we are aware that this journey is ongoing. We are aware that when we are having a tough time working through the confused mess, the irrational irritability, the frustration from left field and the whirlwind of emotions, we are wise enough to ask for help. Help to get us back on our path to our own self-discovery again.
So what sets us apart? I believe it is our ability to identify when our mind has become toxic. Not completely toxic, just the junk that has snuck into your Saturday night that has started to invade Sunday morning as well. When you are thinking clearly, allowing your mind to expand, not having judgement based on past patterning or issues you have an amazing ability to grow as a person. You also have a clearer understanding as to why eating foods YOUR body needs and exercising how YOU benefit is fundamental to the healthy triangle of mind, body, spirit.
We can’t always be on top of our game of course and not every area of our mind can become toxic. But occasionally we need to reflect and check in to ensure we are being true to our very best selves. Internal dialogue such as self doubt, self criticism can lead to anxiety, overwhelm and frustration quickly, the same way that physical toxic build-up can occur – usually starting small and then becoming significant enough to affect our lives each day.
So how can you conquer the toxins in your mind? Here are a few tips I give my clients:
Catch yourself. Identifying when you actually doubt or criticise yourself is a good first step in making change. You might be surprised at how often you are having negative thoughts about yourself or your actions.
Question yourself. Is what you are thinking about actually true? Or is it the result of a deep fear you have? Is it a long held belief system at play? Question every facet of the thought you are having and nut out if it really is justified. More often than not, you can replace the thought with a better thought that shifts the energy significantly.
Forgive yourself. Don’t take this one lightly. When someone on my table is given permission to forgive himself or herself, it generally leads to an outpouring of emotion. You are human. And humans are allowed to make mistakes. YOU are allowed to make mistakes. Stop being so hard on yourself. Right here, right now.
These 3 steps can really start to transform the way you think and eliminate those nasty toxins from your life. You just have to practice them enough until it becomes natural to you. So what are you waiting for?
Written by Phillipa Huynh. Phillipa is a kinesiologist working at Prana House who teaches you how to make your life ‘fit’ again. Previously working for 12 years in the corporate world, Phillipa knows all too well how stress can affect you and works with you to give you the tools to face life’s challenges head on and bring about a sense of balance. Phillipa has teamed up with Prana House Naturopath, Erika Wiseman, to bring you the program: “Detox or Not Tox” during September 2016. You can contact Phillipa by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Amrit Yoga Teacher Training begins September 26th, and we wanted to share with you why we think it’s so special (to say the least!)
What is Amrit Yoga? To put it simply, Amrit Yoga is Meditation in Motion; a practice where you are guided through a dynamic asana sequence and mindful meditation simultaneously. It is a practice which offers the perfect platform for deep transformation.
Each class begins by exploring yogic philosophy uncovering areas of unconscious patterns, followed by the experience of uniting as a purposeful group in meditation in motion. The deeper & subtler inner dimensions of yoga are revealed as shifts in consciousness & healing are experienced. Witness consciousness is used as a primary tool to experience the rich tapestry of sensations in your body which progressively guide you deeper to states of absorbing inner stillness. Here, the entrapments of mind lose their power and the space of Being arises as a pure potential. This sublime prana (energy) based practice is grounded by dynamic postures, breath work & consciousness, merging form & formless to create something special, beautiful and unique for each individual.
Julie Gargano is the the Founding Director of Prana House and also a Pioneer of Amrit Yoga in Australia. She has been fortunate to be trained directly by Yogi Amrit Desai and she masterfully embodies the depth & energetic qualities of this lineage’s fine teachings. Julie’s classes offer the practitioner an opportunity to consider more than just the physical world and physical practice, but rather a deeper world and truer understanding of what exists in and around us all. Fortunately, Julie shares her knowledge and love for this sublime practice through not only courses and classes, but also in Teacher Trainings; so that we can continue sharing the wisdom and love that comes from the roots and lineage of Amrit Yoga.
Amrit Yoga explores the subtler, deeper and transformative dimensions of yoga which are not commonly practiced today. What we call yoga has become popular but what is yoga is not popular. To truly be experiencing yoga is to enter integrated states of your being through both movement and stillness. To become integrated as we perform postures, is a process of removing the modifications of mind through reaction, comments, judgements and pre-programmed conditioning and to step into the ‘yoga zone’. It takes a conscious entry into the non doing, non mental parts of your being where both movement and stillness occur simultaneously.
Amrit Yoga carefully & systematically takes you from thinking & doing to feeling and being, where you are no longer performing yoga postures like a gymnast, but rather you have entered an integrated state where your postures, in combination with witness consciousness, merge into a state of unified Presence. Amrit Yoga combines Hatha & Raja Yoga together where you move from the ‘posture of ego’ to the ‘posture of consciousness’. It is a rich and sustaining approach to yoga where it will serve every level of your being far beyond the yoga mat, assisting you in living consciously.
Built on authentic yoga teachings, the Amrit Method has enormous relevancy for today’s world. This unique approach to yoga transforms philosophy into a living reality that will take you to the direct experience of integration. It can empower you as never before, enabling you to manage your thoughts and emotions, and initiating deep and lasting transformation that will forever change your understanding of your Self and your relationships with others. The trainings offer you the opportunity to learn masterful techniques while you gain the knowledge and confidence to share these teachings with others.
Whether you are already a practitioner of hatha yoga or are just beginning your yoga journey, the Amrit Method of Yoga offers a dimension of yoga training you won’t find anywhere else. Because it is easily accessible and adaptable to different levels of strength and ability, it is ideal for spiritual seekers, health and therapy professionals, and teachers of any style of hatha yoga and meditation.
Amrit Yoga embodies grace & bliss, strength & fluidity, form & formless and is innovative in serving the deeper meaning of yoga and the deeper qualities of you.
Click the Play button below to hear more about Amrit Yoga from Kamini Desai. You can also visit the Amrit Yoga Teacher Training page on our website for more information or click here to download the full prospectus.
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“Don’t tell me what to do!”
Every single one of us would have uttered this sentence, or a variant of it, at least once, but more likely many times as a child. We make a decision to assert our independence at an early age, and that desire to be the master of our own domain follows us into adulthood. For some it is a mantra that practically rules their lives, and for others it is a more subtle determination, but we all hold onto it to some extent.
Be totally honest. How often have you not done something that your partner asked you to do simply out of stubbornness rather than having a genuine reason not to do it? How often could you say ‘yes!’ and do something straight away, but rather you put it off and then conveniently forget about it? And ask yourself truthfully, is it because you really didn’t want to do it, or is it because you silently resented being asked or told to do it? The truth is that often we make excuses for not doing something, but unconsciously what we are really doing is asserting our independence in the relationship and letting our partner know that we are not going to be pushed around like we were as a child.
We are all products of our childhood, usually much more than we realise. We have a myriad of unconscious programs running in the background that determine how we act and how we relate to our partner in our adult relationships. Nobody wants to be treated as a doormat and be walked all over, yet the reluctance to say ‘yes’ can often lead to a stalemate where each partner places their stake in the ground and keeps hammering that stake in until there’s no taking it back out again. It’s at this point that many relationships will run aground, and disillusionment and resentment sets in.
‘We are all products of our childhood, usually much more than we realise’
If, however, you say ‘yes’ (with a smile) as your standard response, then you can say no when you have a genuine reason not to do something. It’s not about being submissive, rather it’s about respecting the needs of your partner, and putting the health of your relationship ahead of your own agendas. And more often than not your partner will naturally reciprocate. When you say ‘yes’ to life’s requests you become more productive, more attractive, and intimacy will become more natural and fulfilling.
When you make the choice to say yes, you are being truly independent. It has nothing to do with your partner, but everything to do with how you approach your own life. You are taking control because you are consciously choosing to make your relationship your priority, and as a result you create a better life for both yourself and your partner.
So how about you begin right now? Become aware of when you say no because of a childhood program that you still have running today, and replace it with a yes because you know it is a building block towards the relationship that you really want and deserve.
Matt Glover is a qualified Master Life Coach, Master NLP Practitioner, and Master Ericksonian Hypnotherapist.He is the founder of Happy and Healthy Relationships, and also runs a divorce support meet-up group to provide a forum for people trying to deal with the devastation of a broken relationship. He has a very gentle, easy going manner, and is passionate about helping people to live a wholehearted and abundant life. You can contact Matt via email or ph: 0416 211 424.