Updated: Oct 4, 2021
As part of my journaling, I have been reflecting weekly as to the things I am grateful for. I include things from a full spectrum, from the deep connections I have within the different relationships, to the practical and even the mundane. Looking back over August, there are a few things this month, that although on the surface might seem insignificant, have really helped me feel well in a holistic sense as a busy yoga teacher who is juggling work and study, which I thought I would share here in case they might be useful.
I started seeing a Chiropractor as a response to crippling back pain around age 14. Having been down the traditional route, through the NHS and having been referred onto an Orthopaedic Surgeon, my Mum decided that there must be other avenues to explore before going down a surgical route. It was one of the best health decisions that was made for me.
Through using Xrays they had found misalignment of my hips and shoulders, and a curve and twist to my spine which was greatly improved through a series of regular treatments. At the same time it also helped to improve my knee pain, my ability to handle stress, and my skin, which had suffered from regular inflammatory problems.
To this day I still see my childhood Chiropractor, who like me relocated from Sussex to London, but now for maintenance. I cannot recommend enough the team at Chiro London if you are South West London based. Dr Luke Mulvihill, located at their Marylebone branch The Berkeley Clinic sees me monthly for fine tuning to proactively keep me well, but also more frequently if something does arise. Typically I notice that when I am stressed and busier it tends to show up in my physical alignment as everything is interconnected.
Specifically my new Burton Annex* rucksack, which I asked for my birthday in preparation of doing more in person classes this Autumn.
Pretty practical, but also it help support my physical alignment by keeping it well and balanced when traipsing across London. The wide straps are super supportive and don't dig in - perfect for when you're on the go for a full day. It also has ALL the pockets, fits 4 bricks, has a laptop compartment and straps at the bottom and back for 2 options to secure your yoga mat to it.
For any teacher that is using public transport to get to classes, particularly when needing to bring your mat as well, this may just be the perfect bag (and comes in a range of colours too)
I'd always been snooty about Audio books, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I somehow thought that gaining information through a physical book had more value than listening to it. Despite this unwarranted snobbery, I decided to give Audible a try. I have officially been converted.
As someone who enjoys listening to podcasts, and enjoys using the commute and walks to listen to entertainment, it has been the perfect solution to me 'not having time' to read for pleasure. I have to do a lot of study for my Yoga Therapy training, which whilst interesting takes up a significant chunk of time and often leaves me feeling like I have less energy towards reading for pleasure. Now I get to 'read' on my walks and train journeys.
This book by Sharon Begley* combines research on neuroplasticity with Buddhist thinking, and is a fascinating insight into how Mindfulness Meditation actually creates changes in the brain. For many years its been assumed that after a certain age the brain is fixed, and as we get older it starts to decline.
Sharon explores not only the relationship that the current Dalai Lama has to science, and how that has impacted research on the brain, but also specifically the mechanisms of neuroplasticity that shows the benefits of Mindfulness.
Whilst written in 2009 (so many more studies have been conducted on Mindfulness since) if you're interested in the journey of discovering that the brain is plastic and can its ability to change over time, then this is for you.
1 Litre Water Bottle
I've never needed much encouragement to drink water, I grew up pretty much exclusively on it as a child. When I am on the go, I often find myself running out of water quite quickly, and so I invested in this larger 1 Litre, Stainless Steel* number to keep me hydrated. It's big but not unnecessarily bulky, has a handy straw that doesn't make noises when using it, and has a wider neck for getting ice in for keeping drinks even more chilled. It might just be the perfect water bottle.
Rest and Relaxation
Whilst I've still had a decent amount on this month in preparation for a busier September, I have scheduled in more down time for me. As someone who has been guilty of assigning value to how busy and productive they are, it has been hard to make a conscious decision to carve out more time for myself. However, I am really noticing it in improved sleep, slower resting heart rate and improved energy. Particularly for those who are self employed, it can be difficult to not think about work on our off days, or do a quick admin task. I am working on defining clear boundaries about time that is work and not work, but as always its a work in progress!
*Please note there are other places to purchase other than Amazon. The links provided and marked with * are affiliate, and if you do choose to purchase via Amazon I will earn a small commission.