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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Your Yoga

It is your practice, wherever you might be, in class, at home, with friends, following a video etc.

You are your own greatest teacher. Listen to that and honour it.

Practice for the joy and love of the practice.

 

Rise and spinal stretch

Even when it feels like there is no time-you could probably set aside 2 minutes for some nourishing spinal stretching.

*Handy tip-leave your mat  layed out beside your bed so that you can step right into your 2 minute morning practice.

childs-pose

Balasana-(childs pose) Sit the hips back to the heels, feel the spine lenghthen from tail bone all the way to the neck. Releasing between the shoulder blades.

arched-back

Marjaiasana (cat pose)-Press the pelvis towards your armpits, engaging the core and lengthening the back of the body.

arched-back-2

Bitilasana (cow pose)– Allow the belly to relax towards the ground allowing for a nice even curve in the spine not just squashing your spine at its most flexible point.

down-dog

Adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog)-Round your outer shoulders towards the ground, hips go high, sitting bones press towards the heels, gaze towards your belly button, and breath into your belly, stay firm but calm.

plank

Kumbhakasana (Plank pose)-keep  the top of your pelvic bones moving forward and your heels reaching back, pressing upwards between the shoulder blades-alternatively come onto hands and knees flat back kneeling position.

Repeat these simple postures 2 to 3 times before breakfast.

Have a beauitiful day!

Clean up your practice!-All natural mat cleaner

Okay, yes there are a lot of natural mat cleaners on the market and yes it’s very convenient to just purchase one item instead of several, however in the long run it works out cheaper  and is more sustainable to make your own.
You can also create your own signature scent by combining your favourite essential oils not to mention that undeniable sense of pride you will get from making it yourself, you can even design your own label if you are so inclined.

You will need;

A dark glass bottle (blue or amber) this is necessary for maintaining the essential properties of your precious essential oils.
Apple cider vinegar- this stuff is absolutely magic
Distilled water
A selection of essential oils.
I recommend as a must have ingredient either tea tree for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and antiviral properties or lavender for its anifungal, antiseptic properties or lemon for its detoxifying, antiseptic properties.

I recommend not mixing more than three essential oils for your recipe. I mostly use only two. Check out this page for some excellent tips on blending http://www.growingupherbal.com/blending-essential-oils-for-beginners/

Method

1 1/2 cups water or enough to fill (I use a 500ml bottle, but whatever you have handy is fine)
5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar more if you wish, less if you prefer.
5 drops of tea tree
3 drops of lavendar

Mix all your ingredients into your spray bottle, simple as.

Here are some suggestions of blends that I have tried that I believe go really well together.

Lemon (detoxifying and antiseptic) and Lemon grass (antimicrobial, antipyretic, antiseptic, astringent, bactericidal, antifungal) This combination is uplifting, refreshing and soothing at the same time.

Tea tree (powerful antiseptic) breath deep when your mat smells this fresh and
peppermint (antiseptic and decongestant)

Lavendar (antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial)and Ylang Ylang (antiseptic, sedative substance) For a relaxing blend, I like to use this in the evenings when I have finished my evening practice and getting ready to wind down for the night.

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Please note: I have my beloved manduka eko yoga mat and prior to this I used less well known more economical brand name mats. This mat spray has served me well on all of these mats however you should check out the mat care guides for each specific brand as each is made differently. Jade mats for example recommend not using any oils for the cleaning of their mats.

6 reasons to treat yourself to a wellness retreat on Inis Maan

  
# Escape your daily routine. Inis Maan is far from the hustle and bustle of modern life, feel instantly transported to a simpler time with the gentle sound of birds chirping, green fields, charming stone walls and nearby rolling waves.

  

# Eat cuisine prepared by Vilma our famous chef who takes pride in her food and makes clever use of local ingredients.

 

# Restore allow us to treat and pamper you with goodness. Beautiful en-suite rooms.

Restorative yoga with exceptional yoga teachers, who are dedicated to the study of yoga and take care and joy in their work adapting classes to suit each individual needs and levels.

Treat yourself to a holistic massage, reflexology, aromatherapy massage or sports massage by our resident holistic ITEC, AIT certified therapist who holds a diploma in Diet and nutrition, the treatment are focusedon wellness in relation to the different body systems and specialised for the individual.

# Grow or develop your yoga practice, wether you are new to yoga or a yogaholic Inis Maan retreat will be a great place to build strength and flexibility and immerse yourself in a practice unique to you.

# Unwind, Inis Maan is the perfect place to feel as though you can completely unplug, the vast open skies and sense of stillness induces a sense of peace which is incomparable.

 

# Meet new friends and like minded people our group meals and guided walks to places of natural beauty and historical sites allow you share in new and enjoyable experiences with new friends.
  

Yoga Inis Meáin

rocks

Lisa Berry and her husband John will be revisiting Inis Meáin and leading the yoga practices over the ´Nourish´ weekend. I asked Lisa a few questions in relation to yoga, her practice and her teaching.

What  does yoga mean to you?

Yoga is not just something I do it is a big part of who I am.  Yoga provides me with tools for my personal and communal growth. Every class that I teach, I learn something more about myself, my students and about yoga itself. My students are by biggest teachers.

How did you get interested in yoga?

After several years of an off and on practice I became totally committed to my yoga practice, it was a means of coping with a stressful job and dealing with grief that was steadily engulfing me after my mother’s unexpected passing.  The more I became immersed in my practice, not only did my physical body become stronger and more flexible but it was the noticeable changes in my mental and emotional wellbeing that really effected the very core of my daily life.

The kind of yoga you teach/love?

It was Ashtanga that had the biggest impact on me when I committed to my personal practice and it’s something I return to often but its Vinyasa flow that drives my practice and my teachings.  I love the freedom that Vinyasa provides, allowing each teacher to develop their own sequences and creative transitions, in turn providing greater scope for all ages and abilities. Physiotherapy alignment principals as taught by Laragh & Dave Cunningham at The Yoga Shala, Galway are my basis for teaching students how to safely and intelligently create strength and grace in their physical practice and enable greater clarity, concentration and focus in their minds.

How you feel about Inis Meain?

The moment you set foot on Inis Meain, time literally changes pace.  You have no choice but to succumb to the rhythm of the island. I was there as part of a group of walkers, we stayed just one night but felt like we had been on a retreat for a week! The silence and the beauty of the place just transports you to a different time and provides you with the space to breathe, think and be with nature. I cannot say enough about the delicious, home grown and organic produce that we treated to, it was food for the soul…

Join a beautiful practice with Lisa on May 29th– 31st and July 17th– 19th check out the web page for further details http://www.inismeainbb.com/activities/weekend-retreats-yoga-food-massage/

lisa