Category Archives: Pranayama and Breathing Exercises

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Why You Resist Self-care and How to Get Past it

Woman with lower back pain resist self-care.

It was light out already, but I still felt heavy, and the effort to move brought a lump to my throat. I had woken up again at 4 am unable to sleep, and now I was paying for it. Actually, I was sleepless because of that extra cup of coffee. How do you kick the habit when you LOOOVE coffee? Do I resist self-care?

If you’re like me you’ve had problems starting and sticking with new habits that you know will improve your health, giving you more freedom to enjoy life. Your pain started with stress- either physical or mental and you ignored it. Instead of magically going away, it keeps creeping back, in fact, it gets worse, until you are in the place you are in today.

Self-care is not my priority- I ignored my stress too- that’s why I loved the euphoric buzz of a dark roast late in the afternoon. It gave me that burst of energy to finish my working day.

Here’s what happens when we ignore stress and pain- we drink that extra coffee and don’t sleep well- causing anxiety, depression, even a bad back – the list goes on because of the cause and effect of our actions. Probably, a doctor or therapist has examined you and given you exercises to do (or sleep hygeine practice!) Why do we fail to do them?

One of the problems I had, and I see in my students, is resistance. We want to make good habits, but the goal seems so momentous, and life constantly gets in the way- and in my case, coffee was readily available as a quick fix. We miss one trip to the gym, or blow the diet, drink that coffee at 3 PM and give up, saying it’s impossible.

The pain comes and goes, you know you should do something different but you don’t unless you are in pain (and then it’s even harder).

There’s lots of reasons, but all of them dial down to having the energy, time, or resources. You know that it’s important, your freedom and joy begins with your health, right? You know then that some belief or old pattern is keeping you stuck. Dial that down and it’s as simple as this: we have the weight of not believing in ourselves.

Thar’s why it’s also hard to stick to mental habits, like affirmations and positive thinking. Because we resist changing our thoughts too!
In my story, the pain was strong enough that I had to do something- and luckily, I had yoga. This is a whole-body approach.

Physically it strengthens the spine and keeps it mobile. It tones your ‘relaxation response-ability‘, which helps us relax in our downtime, and be active and alert when it’s time for doing. What I really needed was a time to sit still in the afternoon and rest. I had to shift the reward to something different.- a soothing tea did the trick.

Before my patterns and beliefs changed, yoga built a foundation of peace in my being to support me.

You know Self-care is wealth, and freedom!, and you know you got to the place you’re in now by putting off making a change. It will only get worse if you don’t take some action.

Our bodies, that are walking miracles of perfection in design, require maintenance and proper nutrition. Energy and time will be freed up for you to live the life fully when you are as healthy as you can be. You’ll not just be healthier, but now you have attention for the better things in life, to be more alert and available to Joy.

Yoga Practice is the best foundation of your health because it works on many levels. It gives me the emotional calm to make better choices late in the day when I’m tired. Plus the tools do something different and replace the old habit.

Here’s how you can get started on now.

Join Full Body Yoga Stretch– Online: only $125 for 6 classes- Plus you have access to our beginner library of instructional videos for one full year!

Frances Adamson is a certified Yoga Therapist, and an art and intuition coach in Durham Area Ontario.

Serving Oshawa, Whitby, Bowmanville, and Clarington.

20 Kingswood Drive, Courtice

Try These Yoga Poses For Flexibility

Frances doing Yoga Poses for Flexibility

Do you want to jump higher, run faster, and be able to move without pain? Firstly, Are active and exercising regularly? Then, the reason you may not be reaching your goals isn’t for lack of activity, but rather a lack of flexibility. You need yoga for flexibility.

Flexibility is one of the key elements of good physical health. Over time, your body may lose flexibility due to aging, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, or improper posture and movement habits.

Try these yoga poses for flexibility.

You can do yoga and get all the benefits of flexibility and strengthening. Don’t let preconceived notions about your ability to bend get in the way! These easy can be done in your office or home with what you have at hand- a chair, a desk, or just a few feet of space.

Yoga can have many benefits on function for people at all stages of life. It’s an important part of a workout for athletes or gym-goers and can also be beneficial for older adults with arthritis or joint pain.

Try these movements to feel warm and limber before jumping into your next workout.

Doing a regular routine of yoga poses is a highly effective way of easing tension in your muscles and building flexibility. The key is to start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you can hold a pose with the correct form.

Learn more about flexibility on Full Body Yoga Stretch program,

Frances Adamson is a certified Yoga Therapist, and an art and intuition coach in Durham Area Ontario.

Serving Oshawa, Whitby, Bowmanville, and Clarington.

20 Kingswood Drive, Courtice

How to Breathe Mindfully in Practicing Yoga

The most basic way in Practicing Yoga is simply to focus your attention on your breath, the inhale and exhale. You can do this while standing, but ideally, you’ll be sitting or even lying in a comfortable position.

Your eyes may be open or closed, but you may find it easier to maintain your focus if you close your eyes. It can help to set aside a designated time for this exercise.

I offered Yoga Therapy Services.

It includes tailored personalize easy lessons suitable for you if you are either a beginner in practicing yoga or just want to learn more about a more mindful way of breathing in your practice.

Follow along with me and my students as we work on a simple flow to warm up, downward dog, and an easy, safe backbend.

Click on the image below to view the class.

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Practicing Yoga is a great laboratory for becoming more mindful because it’s rife with conditions that are beyond your control.

On any given day the traffic noise might be uncomfortably loud, you may feel bored or restless, your neighbor’s sweat might drip on your mat, your hamstrings may feel tight. Armed with mindfulness techniques, you can reframe these conditions so that you get more out of your yoga class and feel less reactive about things that you usually find irritating and distracting.

Best,

Frances

Frances Adamson is a certified Yoga Therapist, and an art and intuition coach in Durham Area Ontario.

Serving Oshawa, Whitby, Bowmanville, and Clarington.

20 Kingswood Drive, Courtice

How Two Minutes A Day Changed My Life Forever

When I started doing Yoga, I only practiced for a few minutes a day. Now I regularly practice 30 minutes to an hour every day with ease.

Learn More at a Complimentary Class

One of the problems I have, and that I see in my students, is the difficulty of staying with a new habit. We want to make good habits, but we don’t know-how. Most of the time, the goal seems so momentous, we can’t even start. Even if we can get up the initial burst to start something new, we quickly fizzle out. We miss one class, forget to practice, and then just give up.

You might have back pain or a stiff neck for instance. Probably, a physiotherapist or chiropractor has examined you and given you exercises to do. Do you do them? Most people don’t. Why do we fail at this? The pain comes and goes perhaps, you know you should do these exercises regularly to strengthen your spine (or knee or shoulder, etc.) but you don’t unless you are in pain (and then it’s too late, again).

When I started researching habits to try to help my students practice at home (James Clear was the biggest help) I found out that it’s not your motivation or desire, we don’t need a will of steel: all you need to do is commit to doing one yoga sequence once a day for 2 minutes. Our ability to successfully does this is improved by:

• Commit to 2 minutes only
• Do it in the morning
• Link it to another habit like brushing your teeth
• Never miss two days in a row
• Have reminders, like a mat or cushion in your yoga spot

Looking back on my success in building a daily habit, all these things were in place. My teachers had all suggested at least one of them. I had sinus issues, depression, and a lack of clarity in my life, and step by step, with daily practice and the help of my teachers, I manage these problems successfully, and as a result, feel much happier and healthier.

You can too. Please contact me to book a free private consultation or group lesson to find out how yoga can help you to reduce or eliminate pain, both physical and emotional, and help you live your most joyous life!

Try A Free Class

Frances Adamson teaches yoga in Durham Region:
20 Kingswood Drive, Courtice
Phone: 289-928-7292
Contact Here

Winter Registration

We have a new registration system for your convenience. Now you can register, choose class options, and pay online. You can still contact me to register at (289) 928-7292 or e-mail me, but now you can choose your program-

Session A session is a weekly 1.5 hour class, running for 10-12 weeks (Choose from several time slots) Pay for the session in advance, make-up for missed classes at any drop-in or session, you can  schedule them in advance provided space is available.

Or Drop-In, choose from 5, 1 hour drop-in times. Class passes are available, and you have a full year to use them, and can do 1, 2 or 3 classes per week.

Frances Adamson teaches yoga in Durham Region:

279 Central Park Blvd. North

Phone: 289-928-7292

Contact Here

The Number 1 Way to practice Yoga more safely

P1110345Yoga asana is the first step in teaching ourselves to focus. We are asked to “listen to our body”, so we place our attention on the experience in our body of doing yoga. The effect of this is increased awareness, but also stillness of the mind as it focuses. Follow this with relaxation, guided meditation, or both, and there’s the foundation of self-observation, which helps us practice safely.

Pranayama, breath as a focus

But that is just the beginning, there is a whole system of practicing focus, both in asana and pranayama. It includes techniques for supporting, lengthening, and observing the breath, and this continues to take us to new levels of attention. Each layer of focus is protective, as we become ever more aware of subtle information.

We need to keep up this effort because it’s easy to do yoga from habit, repeating movements over and over without adequate attention. During the process of learning to tune in to our body, we can develop habits that are actually putting wear and tear on muscles, joints, our whole body. Sometimes this only manifests after years of practice, and it can be majorly disruptive or limiting to continuing yoga.

This is why turning the same amount of attention towards your breath as you have towards learning the physical poses and spiritual teachings are important- it keeps us intently observing ourselves. Pranayama, breath as a focus, is classic, but few yogis are taught the full range of techniques that help create the safest practicing environment.

Yoga, means the union between the mind, body, and spirit and we do that through Asana (poses) and Pranayama (Breathing patterns) to assist in refining our attention ever deeper as we advance in the knowledge of practicing yoga.

There are 4 steps:

Attention: what is the quality of your breath, how does it move through your body

Linking to movement: how does the breath’s rhythm support the body and vice-versa

Lengthening: monitor the breath and maintain an even length and rhythm, then lengthen

Patterns: There are 4 phases of breath- Inhale, pause, exhale, pause. Lengthen one or more phases of the breath to create symmetrical or unsymmetrical patterns.

Explore the levels of attention to the breath, not just for the fun of it, but to improve the connection between mind and body so you stay safe, and avoid injury in both the short and long term.

Join Joy Core Connection for Self-exploration Through the Breath: an introduction to advanced pranayama

Frances Adamson teaches yoga in Oshawa

279 Central Park Blvd. North

Phone: 289-928-7292

Contact Here

Yoga that Meets Your Needs

P1090017One of the best ways to learn yoga is one-on-one with your teacher. It is very cost-effective as well. In a private setting, you receive the full attention of your teacher, and the lesson is designed specifically for you. You learn at your own pace, and your needs want and abilities are taken into account. And when you take private classes at Joy Core Connection, you receive a practice plan to do at home, again, taking into account your needs, as well as the time of day you wish to practice, how much time you set aside for your practice and even the time of year.

You may have a particular goal in mind, fitness, relaxation, stress reduction. Or perhaps recovery from illness or injury. If you are an experienced yogi, you may wish to delve deeper into breathing techniques, philosophy, or chanting. Any and all of the above are possibilities, and you may have other reasons too. The goal is to teach you the tools most useful for you to progress and develop a personal practice.

At Joy Core Connection expect to tell me about yourself, your health, your work, your family, and the special concerns you have. As your yoga teacher, I am interested in all the things that come into play that bring you to me in search of health and happiness and the tools that will help you thrive and develop personally. What works for a mother of small children is likely different than what works for a single professional. Your practice will be unique, and you will receive assistance and guidance in learning it and testing it out to be sure it is just right for you. This practice will then be written out for you in stick figures and includes reminders and special instructions that you will review before practicing at home, leaving out the guesswork so easily practice on your own schedule.

The home practice is very important. Many people have the idea that to practice yoga you have to go to a studio 2 or 3 times a week and do a  class led by an instructor. Instead, you can learn to do yoga at home on your own, practicing several times a week or every day. It may be 5 minutes or an hour, but this time on your own is the essence of yoga. I can help you to learn poses that are most helpful for you at this point in your life and help you to improve and grow in your very own practice.

You have the option to do private lessons once or twice a month, ar attend group lessons and add a private in occasionally. This depends on what works best for you in your schedule, as well as what you prefer. For more information about me click here. To book a class or find out more, please call 289-928-7292, or e-mail me.

Frances Adamson teaches yoga in Oshawa- 279 Central Park Blvd. North

Phone: 289-928-7292

Contact Here

Steadiness and ease in your practice

P1090018My teacher gave me this as a mantra- sthirasukham asanam. It means steadiness and ease in your practice.

It was given to me for two reasons- One, I have a problem with my feet- plantar fasciitis. And, two, I have difficulty with my son. He’s 15. Enough said.

My feet are hypermobile, so they turn in, or pronate, which makes the arches fall. So the goal of my asana- physical practice- is to stabilize and strengthen my feet.

At the end of my practice, I chant- sthirasukham asanam– for myself, and for my son. Now, this is very helpful for me. It’s just repeating to myself so I remember- steady goes it, easy goes it, in my life, in my practice. Steady goes it, easy goes it, in my relationship with my son.

Because life throws stuff at you. My good step-mother always called them the 2 x 4’s of life. I picture the three stages doing a skit where they’re carrying boards on their shoulders narrowly missing each other, until wham, someone gets hit on the back of the head.

So yesterday, life reminded me of a board that pretty much thumps me every day, I just got used to it.

I come from a split family, and I threw my support behind my father and chose to be angry at my mom. After all, my dad was only around on Fridays and Sundays, and she did most of the parenting and was at hand. It wasn’t until I held my firstborn in my arms for the first time that I got it. I was not perfect, would never be, and all I could ever do was my best, and with all my heart I loved my son.

Well, is it karma? I and his father split, and I get the brunt of my son’s anger. So ya, I understand he needs to be angry at someone, I’m close at hand, I have to be the tough one, and his dad gets to be the good guy ’cause he only sees him on weekends.

Lately though, I started to admit, it’s hard, I love him to pieces, and he pushes all my buttons. It’s hard.

Then last night everything exploded. He’s actually been doing good lately. I got tough and laid down some rules, and he doesn’t get his phone, or else his x-box unless he follows those rules. He is, and his grades are good now.

But he knows how to push my buttons, and I exploded. I cut the cord to his x-box and he smashed a chair (yikes!).

I started journaling a month or so ago, and it helps. I see that although I understand his anger, it hurts me. So I’m angry. If I look at that, I can see the hurt underneath. But I regret nothing, none of my choices that led us to this path. He needs his father, he needs me, we worked it out as best we could. I feel hurt.

Then I did my yoga- sthirasukham asanam. steady goes it, easy goes it, in my practice, in my life. It was so soothing and comforting. It’s all ok, 2x 4’s hit, and yes, you can never take back the angry words. But it’s ok, it was a storm on the ocean, we’re both still alive, get back on course, steady, easy, easy as she goes.

Frances Adamson teaches yoga in Oshawa- 279 Central Park Blvd. N

Phone: 289-928-7292

Contact Here