I have found over the years that many relationship issues sprout from a lack of understanding of our masculine and feminine natures. Whilst everyone is different, and all men and women have varying levels of masculinity and femininity, there are certain physiological and chemical differences that ensure that we do generally act and react in ways that can confuse and confound the opposite sex.

Two chemicals in particular that are intrinsic to how we behave in our relationships are testosterone and oxytocin. Though women also have testosterone, it is predominately a male hormone with men generally having between ten to thirty times more than women. Testosterone, amongst other things, is responsible for aggression, risk taking and sexual appetite.

free hugsOxytocin, on the other hand, is often referred to as the ‘cuddle hormone’. Though it is considered that men and women have similar amounts of oxytocins, women have far greater access to it as it is released with the assistance of oestrogen, which is predominately a female hormone. Oxytocin is known as a bonding chemical, and is very important in bonding mother and child as well as assisting in childbirth and the production of breast milk. It has also been shown to increase trust and generosity, as well as improving social skills.

‘At this point partners often incorrectly question their relationship, falsely believing that the reduction in intensity is a warning signal that something is wrong’.

When men and women first fall in love, both of these hormones are released in significant quantities. As a result, in the early stages of courtship couples tend to be all over each other, with men being more affectionate due to their increased oxytocins, and women being more sexually responsive due to their increased testosterone. However, after between six to twelve months, these hormones return to their normal levels, and couples naturally fall back into a less physically intense bond. At this point partners often incorrectly question their relationship, falsely believing that the reduction in intensity is a warning signal that something is wrong.

Oxytocin is important in maintaining a long term relationship due to its bonding nature, and also its ability to suppress testosterone. Studies have shown that greater testosterone is directly correlated with reduced empathy, and therefore an increase of oxytocins will enable couples to work through issues with greater understanding and respect. Oxytocin is also released in large quantities during sex, however immediately after climax the oxytocins diminish rapidly in men, whilst they remain relatively constant in women. This is why men often just want to roll over and be separate after sex, rather than cuddle and talk.

So how do you increase oxytocins? Easy; simply thinking fondly of your partner will automatically release oxytocins, as will just a single loving touch. So if you are finding your relationship is increasingly distant, try remembering the good things about your partner, then tell him or her what you like about them whilst giving them a gentle, sensual touch. It may just be the first step to rediscovering your passion for each other!

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.

Yoga’s multi-dimensional approach can be a powerful tool for healing trauma and there is growing scientific research to support this. Yoga helps us to reconnect with our body, which is an essential part of the healing process for anybody healing from trauma. It also builds capacity to nurture self-compassion- fundamental for trauma survivors who experience chronic feelings of shame and worthlessness.

The word trauma comes from the Greek word for wound and is a very frightening or distressing event that can be life threatening or be perceived as life threatening to physical or psychological wellbeing. Experiences of trauma can include childhood abuse and neglect, sexual assault and rape, intimate partner violence, experiences of war and torture, chronic homelessness, chronic physical illnesses, natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, car and fire accidents and can be experienced as a single or re-occurring event. Trauma experiences that have not been processed, or integrated into our physical, psychological and emotional landscape can have an intrusive impact on daily life. Some of the impacts of trauma include: difficulty sleeping, feeling agitated, anxious or depressed, difficulty concentrating and being around large groups of people, self-hate and worthlessness, feeling emotionally and physically numb, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, self-harm and a misuse of substances such as alcohol and drugs and prescription medications.

The Autonomic Nervous System and the Brain
To understand how yoga can assist in trauma recovery we need to understand how trauma- particularly how complex trauma affects the body. The best place to start is to understand the autonomic nervous system.

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) consists of two branches – the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). The SNS is responsible for triggering the flight or flight response when the body senses and perceives danger. The SNS moves blood to the muscles for quick action, partly triggered by the adrenal glands to release adrenaline, which increases the heart rate and increase blood pressure in response to danger.

The part of the brain that is responsible for alerting us to what is dangerous or what is safe is the amygdalla.

Internationally acclaimed trauma expert, psychiatrist and author Bessel van der Kolk in his book, “The body keeps the score” likens the amygdalla to a smoke detector. “The central function of the amygdalla, which I call the brain’s smoke detector, is to identify whether incoming input is relevant for our survival….if the amygdalla senses a threat…it sends an instant message down the hypothalamus and brain stem, recruiting the stress hormone system and the ANS to orchestrate a whole body response” (pg 60). The amygdalla’s danger signal releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline preparing the body to either run or fight back. When it recognises that the danger is over the body returns to normal. This is the job of the PNS. The PNS releases acetylcholine that calms arousal by relaxing muscles, slowing down the heart rate and returning breathing back to a normal rhythm. The PNS is essential for self-preservation, digestion, rest and wound healing.

In complex trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder the body and its physiology get stuck and the ANS becomes imbalanced. The amygdalla becomes hyperactive and starts reacting like it’s in constant danger. In response to this the body continues to secrete stress hormones, which leave a person in a hyper-aroused state. When the body thinks it’s in constant danger the risk of misinterpreting whether a situation is dangerous or safe becomes blurred.

One way to calm down the amygdalla is to strengthen the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. Van der Kolk refers to the pre-frontal cortex as the “watchtower”. The pre-frontal cortex enables people to observe what is going on and then predict and make conscious choices about what it observes. In trauma this system breaks down and becomes imbalanced making it challenging to control emotions and impulses. This is the part of the brain that is most affected by trauma.

Screen Shot 2016-10-02 at 10.56.12 amYoga
So what is yoga’s role in all of this?

On the most basic level, yoga gives people an opportunity to release tension in muscles that are chronically tight from the body’s constant feeling of danger- always alert to every sound in the room, every movement in the room.

With practice yoga helps us to reclaim a connection to our body, which increases opportunities to experience ourselves viscerally. To be able to feel muscles contract or extend or to feel our feet on the ground is an extremely important part of the healing process for those people who have become numb to feeling or for those who experience dissociation in an attempt to survive.

Yoga postures provide opportunities to explore mindfulness as postures help us remain connected to the present by focussing the mind’s attention completely in the body. Yoga postures cultivate an ability to observe sensations in the body and to become familiar with those sensations that evoke discomfort. By holding a posture we learn that discomfort can be tolerated and momentary and does come to an end. This is a powerful experience for those trapped in the memory of trauma. Mindfulness puts us in touch with our moment –to- moment ever-changing nature of our feelings and emotions. Van der Kolk notes that, “When we pay focussed attention to our body sensations we can recognise our emotions and with that increase our control over them.”

One of the core practices of yoga is breath awareness. Paying particular attention to the breath helps us experience the immediacy of the present moment. Mindful breathing techniques regulate breathing, activate the parasympathetic nervous system and calm the mind. Breathing techniques can be a powerful self-soothing tool for regulating heightened emotional states. Van der Kolk also notes that a growing body of research is showing that activities like yoga, meditation and mindfulness allows you to deeply access the “watchtower”. Research is showing that as little as one hour of yoga once a week over a period of eight weeks has shown thickening of the pre-frontal cortex. For more information about cutting edge research into the effects of meditation and yoga on brain activity and changes in brain structure check out Dr Sarah Lazar.

Be with selfYoga and self-compassion
When people experience trauma, the physiological response in the body triggers terrifying sensations that get stored in the body.

The body becomes the enemy because of the sense of helplessness, lack of control and self-blame felt during the time of the trauma. As the body’s physiology begins to be restored we come to slowly befriend the body. Reclaiming a loving connection to the body is central to the healing process and has a profound effect on our physical and emotional wellbeing. Developing self-compassion is the key to reconnecting to our body in a loving way.

Yoga is the ultimate practice for cultivating self-compassion because its teachings reveal that our innate inner essence is unconditional love and acceptance. Yoga calls this the True Self. Some western talking therapies like Internal Family Systems Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy often draw on a concept of a Self that is separate to our feelings and experiences. The True Self in yoga is both transcendent and immanent and is unaffected by our life story- it sits beyond our feelings, emotions and experiences and yet it contains them all! The True Self feels and holds and embraces the good, the bad and the ugly with total unconditional acceptance and love. Yoga teaches us that it is only when we move towards difficult sensations, emotions, feelings and memories with total openness and compassion that they begin to loose the power they hold over us.

If we can find our way to the True Self through practice and time we slowly unveil a deeper layer within our being that stands stronger than our life experiences and the emotional currents of our mind.

Yoga affirms that we are much bigger than the events that have taken place in our life. When we allow the armour of our heart that has ensured our survival up until now, to gradually crack open, a whole new desire to care and deeply know ourselves unfolds.

A practice for activating the parasympathetic nervous system

  • Sit on a chair or on the floor in a comfortable upright position. Feel your feet connected to the floor. Feel the chair beneath you. If you are sitting on the floor prop yourself up onto a folded blanket. Feel how the buttocks rests on the blanket
  • The choice is yours to close your eyes or keep them open
  • Soften the shoulders, facial muscles, jaw, temples and eyes. Keep your inner gaze soft.
  • Quite your mind and repeat the following intention silently to yourself three times:

I return to the innate wisdom of my body to heal itself. I remain in restful awareness

  • Gradually bring your breath into your awareness. Continue to breathe normally for 10 breaths
  • Notice what happens when you focus your attention on your breath. How does it feel?
  • Aim to keep the breath steady and rhythmic. Notice what the quality of your breath is like without comment or judgement. Just notice. Notice if comments or judgements do arise. If they do, allow them to float away
  • Allow your awareness to ride the ebb and flow of your breath
  • Slowly you will begin to add a count to both your inhalation and exhalation
  • Inhale and count to 2, exhale and count to 2. Continue for 10 breaths. If 10 feels too long, start with 5 or any number that feels achievable for you
  • Keep the breath steady, even, and smooth.
  • Remain soft through the face and throat
  • If you are able to, slowly increase the count to 3 on both the inhalation and exhalation. Continue for another 10 breaths
  • Slowly you will begin to lengthen just the exhalation.
  • Continue your breathing in this way:
  • 1,2, 3 I breathe in
  • 1,2,3,4 I breathe out
  • Again notice what happens when you let the exhalation be longer than the inhalation. And when you notice that, then what happens?
  • Continue for another 10 breaths
  • Gradually allow the breath to return to its own natural rhythm.
  • Bring the above intention into your awareness again and repeat three times.
  • When you feel ready slowly let your awareness come back to the feeling of the body either sitting on the chair or the blanket. Notice 2 or 3 sounds in the space around you.
  • Gently you can allow the eyes to open.
  • Notice how you feel.

You may choose to record this brief practice so that you can immerse yourself into it more easily.

www.yogahari.com.au(2)Eleni Kidis is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and certified Amrit Method Yoga Nidra teacher. She is also a social worker/counsellor and provides private yoga sessions for trauma survivors. She is the founder of Yogahari Healing Art and will be running a 5 – week Restoring Balance Course for trauma recovery and mental wellbeing. Restoring Balance begins Saturday 5th November 2016.

For bookings please visit: yogahari.com.au or 0403 774 410 

 

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!

sleeping-baby

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:

  • Get to sleep before 11pm (Baby steps, ok? My aim was 10pm, but I’m on my way)
  • Stop working at night. That means no laptop for me after dark unless for (very) short tasks.
  • Wear blue blocker glasses after sunset to stop the damage to my system from artificial blue light that is particularly NOT natural after the sun has gone down. Even though my husband STILL laughs at me each and every time he sees me wearing them. STILL.
  • Open the blinds around 7am each morning, or at first light. Even though this is not enough to drag my sorry bum out of bed, it’s a start.
  • Get my eyeballs out into the sunshine (if possible) as soon as I get out of bed for as close to 10 minutes as I can. You must understand I’m a last-minute kind of girl, so I only sometimes allow myself enough time to do this.
  • Sit outside and work as much as possible during the day.

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 phillipa@simplykinesiology.com.au

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.

Miranda Cathryn Massage Therapy
P: 0403566048
E: mirandacathrynmassage@gmail.com
W: www.mirandacathrynmassage.com

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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’.

art-clutter

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.

book-clutter-2

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 phillipa@simplykinesiology.com.au

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.

For monthly updates on Prana House yoga, wellness, events and courses sign up to our mailing list. Also, follow us on Instagram @prana_house for other fun things!

“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.

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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. 

The changing of seasons is not just about weather, and soup versus salads… it is about changing perspectives, and nurturing (or hibernating) certain aspects of our lives.

meditate

Spring is about embarking on new adventures; look around you in the springtime and see all the baby animals being born and the new adventures about to take place. In summer, we embrace the sunshine and live life to the fullest – we’re outdoors more often and are usually busy packing our social schedules to make the most out of the season. Autumn sees most of us tending to enjoy the fruits of our family and friends by nurturing these relationships before we go inwards during winter.

Winter is our quiet time. The time for resting and replenishing our internal resources, for reflecting on where we are and what we have done. All of this in preparation for the next new project we will embark on during the spring time. And the cycle continues.

So we are in winter now and your body is naturally programmed to want to sleep a little more, eat a little less and conserve a little more energy. So what can you do outside the kitchen to keep you and your family well this winter?

Meditation
You are no doubt aware of at least some of the benefits of meditation. But did you realise that meditation during winter brings with it a natural tendency for self-reflection and going within? By beginning or continuing your meditation in winter, you are better able to slow down, relieve some stress and reflect on how you want to live in this crazy, busy world. Meditation can aid rest and relaxation and can help keep anxiety and depression at bay. Sounds good, right?

But often we are too busy to meditate. And with these winter days being shorter and the gravitational pull of a warm blanket in front of the TV difficult to resist, it can be challenging to actually put it into practice. But there are ways to implement meditation in as little as 3 minutes every day by incorporating mindfulness into your routine.

Grounding
A little known element to wellbeing is grounding. And not the ‘visualisation’ type of grounding, but the physical ‘earthing’ kind. Quite simply, humans are meant to be in contact with the earth. Grounding (simply being in contact with the ground) has an enormous positive impact on your wellbeing as evident in an extensive body of research. Benefits include:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved immune response
  • Better sleep
  • Faster healing
  • Improved digestion
  • Reduction of stress and anxiety
  • Reduced pain
  • And many, many more.

Just like consuming antioxidants in your fresh produce, negative electrons from the earth negate the effect of free radicals – positive electrons arising from electromagnetic waves such as wi-fi, microwaves, mobile phones and the like. The earth is a constant supply of these wonderful negative electron.

Our modern lifestyle does not make it easy to ground ourselves each day over winter. During summer, it is easier to incidentally ground yourself by sitting on the grass in a park, walking barefoot to your letterbox, swimming at the beach or river or just sitting out in the sun with bare feet. But in wintertime, we need to be more proactive with our exposure to the earth. The advantage is that grounding is more effective with wet surfaces, so grounding outside on wet grass, sand or dirt doesn’t need to take quite as long in winter.

So there you have it! My two, very easy, (completely free) tips for remaining well this winter that don’t involve your kitchen at all. Take advantage of the season that is all about going within, and connect with yourself and the earth daily to reap the rewards as we head toward springtime.

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 phillipa@simplykinesiology.com.au

As the weather becomes colder our nutritional requirements, energy and mood may naturally change with the season. If you dread the winter months, the following tips may help you adapt and embrace the opportunities.

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1. Eat Seasonally
As the weather changes, just like our ancestors did, we alter change the way we eat. This not only reflects our bodies nutrient and energy requirements, but seasonal eating is also better for the environment as we can eat local produce. At this time of year this means consuming warming, grounding foods that fill us up and prevent cravings. Rather than going for refined carbs such as bread for comfort, swap light cold foods for grounding warm options such as roast root vegetables and warming herbs and spices. Don’t want to give up your daily green juices? Warm up your fresh summer drinks with ginger- this is an excellent winter remedy that improves circulation and can assist digestion.

2. Boost your mood
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression associated with winter. While this can be a serious issue for some, it is not uncommon to feel a little blue when the days are grey. This can impact not only our mood, but our energy, social lives and nutritional choices.

Luckily there are many natural remedies available that help address low mood in winter. You should always seek professional help if you have clinical depression, however if your mood and energy simply need a boost you have a lot of options.

There are many herbals that can be professionally prescribed and it is always a great choice to include a good quality B-multi. This can address mood, improve digestion and support your liver.

3. Keep Moving
If your exercise levels seem to drop off a bit in winter and you feel sluggish and uninspired, you are not alone. But cold weather is no excuse! It just means it’s time to change your routine around. If you enjoy outdoor exercise this may be little more challenging, but it can be helpful to try new options, and listen to what your body needs. This may be more gentle exercise and less intense cardio. In case you’re concerned, studies have shown regular, gentle exercise such as yoga, walking and pilates have benefits for weight loss or control, and for cardiovascular health, not to mention the amazing effect on mood and stress levels!

You may also try exercising at a different time, in accordance with your energy levels and the shorter days. See if you can find a friend to make you accountable despite the weather (and have an undercover/ indoor backup). My dog never minds if it is cold or rainy, so that leaves no excuse- rug up, grab or borrow a furry friend, and get out there and forget about the cold!

4. Keep hydrated and improve your circulation
In the cooler months it is natural not to feel as thirsty, but it is still essential to keep hydrated. If cold water isn’t appealing, now is the perfect time to introduce herbal teas, which can not only taste delicious but also provide medicinal benefits. Be sure to use the loose leaves not just teabags, unless you are just aiming for flavour. Herbal teas need to be strong to have a therapeutic action. You can boost circulation to cold hands with rosemary, which has a pleasant side effect of improving cognition, or circulation to your digestive system with ginger, which combines well with lemon as a gentle morning detox or immune support.

5. Boost your immunity!
There are a number of natural supplements you can use to treat colds and flu, but just like any aspect of health- prevention is always better than cure. In the winter months ensure you are eating protein with every meal as this plays a role in immunity. If you don’t get much sunlight, ask your doctor about vitamin D testing, as supplementation may be required to boost immunity.

If you do feel a fever coming on, be aware that this is your body’s natural way of fighting pathogens. So instead of suppressing this, you might like to support your fever with the old naturopathic favourite, YEP tea. This herbal blend of yarrow, elder and peppermint, plus rest and home-made soup is a great path to recovery.

Written by Erika Wiseman. Erika is an experienced Naturopath who has recently joined the wellness team at Prana House. Erika can assist you with your winter health requirements and can be contacted at: erika.elixirtherapeutics@gmail.com. Her consulting hours have just changed to Monday mornings and Wednesday evenings.

Julie Gargano is the original founding director of Prana House, creator of Pranaa Yoga, pioneer of Amrit Yoga & Amrit Method Yoga Nidra in Australia (USA), director & principle teacher trainer of Prana House Yoga Teacher Training, Level 3 Senior Yoga Teacher (Yoga Australia), visionary, artist and transformation facilitator with over 20 years of experience in the yoga & wellness industry.

Julie has an extensive background in body, mind & spirit which include professional ballet dancer, violinist, spiritual healer, yoga & meditation teacher. Julie has trained in Australia and the USA in variety of disciplines including Iyengar Yoga, Amrit Yoga, Amrit Method Yoga Nidra, Pranic Healing, Arhatic Yoga & Access Consciousness.

With such a wealth of knowledge and experience behind her, Julie has a flawless understanding of what it means to practice yoga and where that practice can take you.

In the featured video, Julie explains where to begin if you’re new to yoga and are curious about the many different styles and where they can take you. We often hear friends say that they are hesitant to try yoga, especially when Instagram seems to be saturated with people standing on their heads and doing all kinds of strange movements! At Prana House, we offer students a safe and supportive environment to learn and ask questions as they begin to explore the many realms of yoga that we offer. From beginner courses to casual classes, Prana House goes those extra lengths to nurture our students and guide them every step of the way.

Click the Play button below to hear more, and visit our website to inquire.

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