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Hawkley Cottage, Highclere Street
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Yoga, Nutrition & Meditation.

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Welcome to Amber's wellbeing blog. Unearthing new health and beauty finds, discussing yoga and mindfulness, great healthy recipes and much more!

Filtering by Category: yoga

My Inspiration

Amber Macintosh

Is you.  Every one of you that brings your courage, determination and campassion to the mat inspires me! When life gets difficult making time for yourself can be hard. The assumption of many going to relaxing treatments or private yoga sessions is that they are indulging themselves in 'me time'.  Often it is just that, a chance to step out of routine, with it's everyday stresses, and pause, refreshed when they return.  For others it may be a very different story, a private one.  Loss, pain, grief, anxiety and even despair are brought to the yoga mat and the treatment table. There will be not be a quick fix but there is the same moment, a pause, time to breathe space into life's impossible situations. For these people their moment gives just enough determination to keep up the fight, the courage to continue and the compassion to carry another.  You are truely inspirational! x

Chill Out!

Amber Macintosh

Are you monitoring stress in your life? I have noticed that people compete over stress levels and if you are super busy and don't moan about it people think you are a multitasking superstar. It's very important to put things into perspective and if you are under a lot of pressure, be that kids driving you crazy or heavy negotiations in the boardroom, take stock, and think about meditating, yes meditating!  

I have practised yoga for over 10 years and during that time have tried them all - Iyengar (the bendy one), Hatha (the classic one), Sivananda (the culty one), Power (the celeb one), Bikram (the hot one!) and Kundalini (the meditative one). The last remains my favourite because it focuses on the importance of the breath and involves a lot of meditation. Learning to use your breath to it's full potential is incredibly powerful and healing, it can work miracles on even the most stressed out people.  In the past I have tended to bore friends about it and they usually say they would not have the patience to sit down and 'relax'.

I used to laugh this off but have come to the realisation that it is important for everyone to at least experience the sense of true inner calm that can be achieved after meditating. Far from relaxing meditation takes all the powers of concentration to accomplish correctly. It improves mental concentration, sharpens awareness and gives a greater sense of self.  You can find Kundalini yoga teachers near to you through Kundalini Yoga and teachers of all other yoga disciplines from the British Wheel of Yoga. If you are one of those couples that argues about whether a day looking after the kids is more stressful than a day in the city you might indulge yourself in a one on one couples meditation?!

Me Time

Amber Macintosh

Are you getting enough me time? or are you laughing at the very idea. Over the weekend many of the newspapers were reporting about the new wave of alternative health therapies, yoga retreats and detox diet clinics, popping up all over the world. I was reading these articles whilst sipping my camomile tea, myself on a spa break with my husband.

Finding 'me time' seems to have become a talking point in every circle I meet, whether it's investment bankers taking up Tai Chi or super mums heading for pilates, we all need our little something, a stress buster, to help us wind down and find a zone in which we can relax. In our frantic time-pressured lives we are bombarded by information and even in gyms the endless feed of outside news, screens playing Bloomberg and news captured from around the world only serve to increase this frustration.

As the media report on the rise of anxiety sufferers, cited as the new depression, it is the holistic lifestyles that are taking centre stage. Age old rituals that require a better understanding between mind, body and spirit are increasingly interesting to those that may previously not have thought twice about the benefits. I appreciate that yoga and the martial arts are far from being new but the sea change is the types of people that are accepting these practices. In terms of yoga we are seeing a return to the true and ancient forms of this technology, no longer do people run off to the latest yogalates class in search of the body seen on their favourite actress. A yoga class which teaches in equal measure the importance of postures, breathing and meditation is now favoured before the body punishing modern adaptations. Ten years ago my yoga practice was tolerated with indifference but now people openly ask what is involved and how they might benefit. Where I once skipped off to classes but kept yoga very seperate from the rest of my life, my practice is now very much a part of our family lifestyle. I have many yoga sets that the children enjoy doing with me and my husband benefits from my meditation as the music lulls him into a relaxing Sunday afternoon snooze.

We are all living in a time of information overload and while we benefit from the webs ability to bring us up to the minute news, we are thankfully understanding that we need to step away so that we can catch up with ourselves. I am alarmed by the number of mothers I meet who are on their knees getting their kids to and from activities, but not using even an hour in the week for themselves. I believe it is estimated that a mother with three children gets approximately 26 minutes of free time a day, I seriously doubt this! But if this is the case don't waste it folding more washing! Almost all mothers I ask in this situation would say that it is impossible for them to do nothing with 26 minutes. It should not be laughed off; it concerns me that the ability to tell the body, and more importantly the mind, to be still is lost. I would also suggest that the importance of finding an hour a week to do something for yourself, whatever that may be, is just as, if not more important, than taking Jake to Rugby club.  Being able to do this does not mean you are doing less for your family but that you are taking control of your life!