Defining, Designing and Directing

As we move into a new year in just a few days It’s important to take time to take stock of how far we have come and reflect on the things that are inspiring us for the future.

I have been working towards leaving behind the things that no longer serve me and stepping into the New Year with new energy and enthusiasm!

Here are the 3 D’s to follow to get you set up to do the same!

Define– What are your goals? what are your dreams? Where do you want to be by the end of 2018? Where do you want to be in 5 years?
Take some time to sit down and really think about your bright plans for the future. Switch off distractions, maybe take some time in nature to reconnect with silence and stillness.

This process may take some time and to be honest it can be difficult, you probably won’t define it all. And that’s fine, it should be a work in progress because as you move forward your goals should and will shift and evolve.

Design– So now that you have figured out what your goals are you can start to think about the practical stuff, the small but vital steps you can start taking today to make those goals a reality.
You should aim to have a weekly check in with yourself when you sit down and have a think about what you are doing and more importantly what you are not doing and when and how you will make time for these things.

You can get really organised about this and design a calendar grab your highlighter pens and go wild. Or if you are a bit more easy-going like me you can start a journal. I ask myself 5 simple questions at least twice a week and I write it all down so I can assess my present situation and devise my future intentions.

Direct- So this is where the magic happens! You need to make sure that your energy is directed at your goals. This may sound obvious but it is crazy how certain mental limitations can stop us from moving forward. You probably don’t even realise you are doing it. We might say one thing but our actions describe something else. You need to get the alignment correct.
You need to make your goals a priority. Instead of excuses dedicate that brain power to thinking about the things that you love.

In yoga we learn that energy flows where attention goes. This is such an obvious concept but in a world where our attention is constantly being diverted it can be difficult to put into practice. Take time to switch those distractions off and reconnect with your own greatest teacher-yourself.

And lastly begin to believe that you already have everything that you are working towards.

Because you already do!

Feel at ease

Ana Maria

Check out my IG and FB for daily yoga,massage and wellness inspiration @awaytolivewellfullsizeoutput_631

 

30 minute restorative practice

Step away from the busy activity of daily life and go inward.
Restorative yoga is a practice which allows us to slow down and find stillness in each supported posture. This stillness and support allows the body to switch into the parasympathetic nervous system ease the sympathetic nervous system and so encourage a deep sense of wellbeing and calm.

The following are just some of the benefits of the practice.

*helps provide physical and mental balance
*prevents stress and anxiety
*helps to prepare the body for a deeper more restful sleep
*Allows the body to release tension and strain
*Refreshes the mind and the body

How to:                                                                                                                                           Practice each of these postures for up to 5 minutes each.

What you will need:                                                                                                                          You will need a bolster, 2 pillows and a blanket.If you do not have a bolster you can use a thick rolled up blanket.

Enjoy!

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Slow down,feel at ease.

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Breathe calmly and steadily.

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Move slowly and kindly.

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Feel at ease.

Ana Maria

Choosing the best yoga mat for you and the planet.

I spent a number of years using a standard mat run of the mill mat,partly because I was living in a country where the choices were limited and partly because I had never experienced the comfort of practicing on a better quality mat.

Since then I have tested a few mats with some of my main criteria being firstly that it has been sustainably produced and that it will not add to the growing waste problem when it comes time to retire it, secondly comfort and grippy’ness and of coarse value for money is a factor.

In my opinion there are a few items that are truly worth the investment good shoes, a good jacket, a good mattress and a good mat.

If you are still having trouble deciding check out this review site https://www.reviews.com/best-yoga-mat/

My favourite the Manduka pro lite gets a mention.

Have a wonderful practice!

Check out my class schedule to join me for some enlivening yoga vibes in London

@awaytolivewell

5 Tips to help you choose the right massage therapist for you.

Have you ever gone for a massage and left feeling a little bit less than satisfied?

Before you book in for your next treatment have a read through a couple of these tips which I hope will help you in making the right decision for you.

Reviews and recommendations are a great place to start but what’s right for me may not be right for you, so a little pre-massage investigation will be definitely worth your time.

  • A good place to start is to check that the therapist you have chosen has been formally trained and certified by a reputable school or training body. These trainings can take from 2 to 3 years and ensure that your therapist has a good base of knowledge with regards to the anatomy and physiology of the body. A good therapist will also participate in regular continual professional development to further hone their skills and knowledge in order to give their clients the best treatment possible.
  • Be clear in your own mind about what exactly it is you are looking for from your treatment. There are numerous styles and modalities and each have their own specific applications and benefits.                                                                                        For example if you are hoping for a relaxing treatment a Swedish massage or aromatherapy massage might be most suited as these focus on soothing strokes which calm and ease the nervous system. If you are looking for a massage to aid in recovery from training or deep-seated tension a deep tissue massage or sports massage might be more suitable. Be sure to vocalise your thoughts and expectations with your therapist, they can also offer you suggestions on the best treatment for you when they know what you are looking for.
  • Find out your therapists massage and healing philosophy. Maybe the therapist you are looking at has a website where they speak about their treatments and about their philosophy, this can give you a good idea as to whether this therapists ethos resonates with you. If they don’t have any information online maybe they would be happy to speak with you before booking so that you can get a sense of them before your treatment.
  • How does the therapist engage with you? Do you feel welcomed from the first minute you meet? Are you being asked about injuries, allergies and any existing conditions? Is there a dialogue? You should feel comfortable enough to let your therapist know if the pressure is too much or too little…                                                 You should be looking for someone who has your needs in mind, someone who wants to provide the type of treatment that you feel is right for you.
  • At the end of the day you are never going to know for sure until you have tried it. Maybe book in for a 30 minute taster session to try it out.

Even if you have found a therapist with tones of experience and training it doesn’t mean that they will automatically be the right therapist for you. So do some homework on it before booking a session to ensure for the best experience.

I wish you well.

Feel at ease

Ana Maria

For enquiries contact awaytolivewell@gmail.com

Follow me on instagram or facebook @awaytolivewell

 

How to accentuate the benefits of Yoga,massage and nutrition!

Answer: Create synergy!

In this post I would like to share with you just a few of the therapeutic benefits of yoga and massage and how certain foods can increase your in take of certain foods to boost these benefits for an all round improvement in health and wellbeing.

I came to massage after discovering that similar benefits to those achieved through practicing  yoga could be attained and shared on a more individualised healing level through body work therapy i.e. massage.                                                                                      And therefore I found a way to share these benefits more broadly with people who don’t have a practice but could benefit from the effects.
I grew up on an island on the West coast of Ireland, experiencing organic home grown vegetables and fresh caught fish as the norm, I was raised with an appreciation for the amazing nutritional quality and exceptional flavours of natural unprocessed foods, which I now value more than ever. I also grew up seeing and helping my mum share her cooking skills and inventive healthy and wholesome meals with the customers in her restaurant on the island. It  has always inspired me to  create my own recipe’s and to want to share the gift of nutritious food with others as well.

Flexibility
Massage and yoga both work in a way which encourages the steady development of flexibility in the body. Through yoga the muscles are encouraged to gently lengthen in each asana. And during a massage the therapist works the muscles warming and lengthening connective tissue to improve flexibility.
Increased range of motion and greater flexibility in the joints and muscles helps to promote better posture and can help towards improving breathing.
Sesame seeds are considered highly beneficial for muscle and bones they are naturally high in calcium and easily digestible.

* Foods which may decrease flexibility-alcohol, and food that is processed or refined.

 

Circulation
A good massage and a good yoga practice can increase the movement of oxygen and nutrient rich blood through the systems.
The increased free flowing movement of blood throughout the body has been shown to beneficially lower blood pressure which an overall positive effect.
Some foods to consider if you are trying to improve circulation ; Ginger-this warming root is energy building it has a stimulating effect on the blood circulation and it has an added anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic effect.
Oranges and other citrus fruits that contain high vitamin C are natural blood thinners and are said to strengthen capillary walls.

Stress less
Too much stress has been proven to have a detrimental effect on all systems of the body. We can’t remove stress completely from our lives in fact some amount of stress is necessary however we do need to find ways to manage our stress levels and to turn stress responses off when we don’t need them, yoga and massage and a healthy diet can be key elements in contributing to stress regulation. A regular yoga practice and regular massage can have the kind of effects that help to improve sleep, increase your ability to relax quickly and efficiently and improve physical and mental performance therefore helping you to cope more easily with potentially stressful situations.
A food which is highly regarded for it’s beneficial effects on improving

Depression has been linked to low levels of folic acid, vegetable that boost levels of this mood-enhancing nutrient include dark leafy green vegetable, Brussels sprouts asparagus, dried beans, peas and nuts.
Like you need an excuse to include more avocado in your life-they contain B vitamins which are essential for healthy nerves and brain cells, they also reduce tiredness and fatigue due to their important role in cell metabolism. No wonder it makes me so happy to eat them!

I hope you have found this helpful.

Please feel free to send me any questions or comments!

Feel at ease

Ana Maria Conneely

@awaytolivewell

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5 week ‘Back to Balance’ programme

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Most of my clients and students live very full lives. They work a lot. They have family and social time. They exercise and they probably squeeze a few extra work or extracurricular activities into each week, which in theory is all wonderful but it leaves them feeling stressed at times, tired, experiencing tight, tense muscles (often more than they give themselves time to think about) and generally feeling worn out and therefore not able to entirely enjoy their lives to the full.
So I put together a programme to help to bring you back to balance in a truly holistic way.
I provide deep tissue massage, a firm pressured slow treatment to ease and relieve the tension that has been building up in the muscles over a long time. In my experience these treatments are most effective when received on a weekly basis for a length of time. This programme includes 5 weekly massage sessions.
To accentuate the benefits of the deep tissue massage treatment, I provide a personalised, restorative sequence of yoga postures. This will help you to commit to a habit of creating a  ‘you time’ ritual, time and space for you to restore and recharge!
In addition, I assess your diet and help you make adjustments to optimise your nutrient intake, and give you menu suggestions and recipes to adopt an all round lifestyle transformation.
What is included in the programme?
5 deep tissue massage treatments to ease and release tense, strained and over-worked muscles (1/week)
Personalised yoga stretch and restore programme to use daily
Nutritional advice and meal planning for the duration of the programme
‘Keep me on track’ weekly email feedback and guidance to make sure you fulfill your goals.
Feel at ease .
Ana Maria Conneely
contact
riaconneely@gmail.com
Facebook @awaytolivewell