I almost always say to my clients that to begin healing you need to reduce the stress in your life. Take some time to relax and do yoga. I find this very important.
Taking your time to relax can sometimes be difficult if you don´t have so much time.
So I have made a relaxation for you, that you can do everywhere! On the bus, train, subway, in the sofa, in nature...
Try to get in some relaxation regularly in your life. It will make a huge difference!
PS. You can download this relaxation as a MP3 when you fill in your emailaddress below the video! DS.
Want to be able to listen to a Mp3 and relax everywhere!? Write your email address below and the MP3 will be sent to you
The first thing I recommend to my clients and yoga student, when they come to me with their health issues, is to take care of their stress. That´s where you have to start. Your body needs stillness and relaxation to repair and heal. Your hormones also need a stress free enviroment to be in balance. Your digestion needs it to digest the food in an optimal way, so you get the nutrition you need. I have written another blog post about stress, how it affects your body. You can read about it here.
So if you are on a healing journey, you need to relax. To slow down and let your body relax and come to peace and stillness.
In this video you´ll learn three yoga poses you can do to lower your stress. They are also very good to ease anxiety and great to do before going to bed if you have problems falling asleep.
Let me know how they work for you in the comments below!
In this video you´ll learn my three favorit yoga poses to ease menstrual cramps and endometriosis pain.
Let me know how these poses work for you in the comments below!
So many women (and men of course) have problems with the lower back. And especially problem with the sciatic nerve. That can give you intense pain that radiates down into the leg. I have sciatic pain as well. It comes and goes. But what does help me is yoga! Of course. So here are my three favorite yoga poses to ease the sciatica pain!
You can download the pdf here.
Modified Pigeon or Thread the Needle as it also is called is a very good yoga pose to open up your hips. It´s also good if you have sciatica pain.
Lie on your back and cross your right leg over your left leg. Pull your right knee toward your chest, thread your left arm through the triangle between your legs and clasp your hands around the back of your right leg. Make sure you flex your left foot by pulling your toes back. Pull your left knee to your chest as much as you can. It should not hurt. Stop where you need to stop. Breathe long and deeply for 1-3 minutes. Release the thigh and repeat on the other side. Long deep breathing 1-3 min
Cobra pose is a good pose for the spine. Many times your back pain can be a result of a lumbar disc herniation directly pressing on the sciatic nerve. I find it a very important yoga pose if you have any kind of back pain. I recommend that you start with the modified cobra first if you have back pain.
Modified cobra pose:
Lie on your belly.
Come onto your forearms, with your elbows directly under your shoulders and parallel to each other.
Stretch your legs straight back, about hip-width apart.
Spread your toes wide and press the tops of your feet into your mat.
Firm your legs, and roll your inner thighs up, your outer thighs down. Press your tailbone toward your feet, lengthening your lower back.
Press down into your forearms to lift your chest up. Long deep breaths.
If you want to go further you can do the full cobra. Lie on your belly. Place your palms on the floor just behind your shoulders. Firm and lengthen your legs and tailbone back..Gently lift your navel and begin to pull your hands against the mat. Lift your chest forward and up, straightening your arms as much as you can without straining your back. Your pelvis remaining on the floor. Tighten the buttocks. Breathe long and deeply Inhale and exhale.
Seated Spinal twist is a great yoga pose for sciatica pain.
Sit with your legs outstretched in front of you. Lift your right knee and place your right foot on the outside of your left leg, knee height. If the next step is difficult and the sit bones are not both on the floor keep the legs this way.
Bend your left leg and place the left foot on the outside of your right hip.
Place your right arm behind you, bend and hook your elbow behind the knee as you twist to the right, lower arm hold on to the left knee. Slightly pull the knee to your chest. Breathe long and deeply for 1- 3 minutes. On an outbreath you come out of the twist, move back and extend your legs in front of you. Repeat on the other side.
Do you have sciatica pain? Or do you have other back pain? Please let me know in the comments below.
On thing we women have problems with is our hormones. In the yogic tradition we call the hormones "the guardians of the soul". Sounds kind of beautiful, right? They affect us so much. Our physical health, our emotional health our well being. It can be quite confusing with hormones. The endocrine system is rather complex and the hormones also affect each other. So I asked my friend Robyn at Hormone Diva to sort things out when it comes to hormones. Check out her website and her products. She is selling tea for cramps and hot flashes. You can take a quiz on her website to have an idea what hormone imbalance you have. Enjoy the post!
The amount of women with hormonal imbalances continues to rise at pretty staggering rates. So many women are plagued with infertility, bothersome periods and wicked menopause that it’s practically epidemic. The truth here is that even though the numbers may show experiencing these things is ‘normal’, in reality it’s far from it.
My periods were always irregular- right from being a 12 year old girl getting her period for the first time to very recently. When I was younger I didn’t know that was wrong. I also didn’t realize that the depression, weight gain and extreme fatigue I felt wasn’t normal. Eventually I found out I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and finally had a reason for my problems. That reason is hormonal imbalance!
To help you decide whether what you are feeling is normal or not, the major signs of hormonal imbalance are listed below. While this list is by no means exhaustive (there are over 150 symptoms for PMS alone!!) they are the major ones most women I come across are experiencing.
Irregular, Painful or Absent Periods
Menstrual periods, on average, should come every between every 21 to 35 days. Most women average around 28 days. If your cycles are not within this range, it is very likely you have a hormonal imbalance. There is a delicate balance between what the brain signals and how our body creates hormones. When this is disrupted, you may experience irregular or absent periods. The most common cause of this is too much estrogen and too little progesterone. The same goes if your periods are very painful. Menstrual cramps shouldn’t keep you chained to the bed for days or using up that bottle of Midol.
Anxiety, Irritability and Depression
Life has its ups and downs. We all experience moments of feeling sad, dejected or downright pissed off. This is a normal and wonderfully frustrating part of life. If you feel particularly depressed or anxious much of the time (or before your period) than it’s possible you have a hormonal imbalance. The cause of these symptoms ranges from the standard excess estrogen to low progesterone to nutrient deficiency and poor digestion. If you feel the emotional symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, and are truly suffering or feeling out of control, consult a doctor or therapist.
Belly Fat and/or Persistent Weight Gain
Ahhh. . .the dreaded belly fat!! We are a very image-driven society, and you may be feeling the pressure of the media, family, friends or general ideals of what beauty is. Skinny with a taut tummy isn’t the norm and you should love yourself no matter what. That being said, excessive belly fat (like the kind pouring over your waistband) is dangerous to your health. The belly fat is usually a result of imbalanced hormones- namely insulin and cortisol. Controlling blood sugar and stress response respectively, an imbalance in one will cause an imbalance in the other. Excessive estrogen or low thyroid function could also be a cause of this.
Fatigue or Low Stamina
If you are feeling sluggish, fatigued or exhausted- your hormones could be imbalanced. Remember that stress-managing hormone cortisol? It is manufactured in your adrenal glands, glands that sit atop your kidneys. If you are chronically stressed your adrenals become too tired to manage your stress hormones, and sex hormones take a hit. This is extremely common for women with horrible PMS or menopause symptoms. All the energy you want is there for the taking, and once hormones are in balance, you will be able to roll with the punches and live your days high on life.
Trouble falling asleep. Trouble staying asleep. Tossing and turning. Waking feeling unrested. These are the most common sleep disturbances you might experience. If you are headed in the direction of menopause or just have vicious PMS and having sleep problems- it could be your hormones. As we age, our ability to produce melatonin (the sleepy hormone) decreases. Combine that with lowered estrogen and calming progesterone, sleep can be hard to come by. If sleep disturbance plagues you it could mean hormonal imbalance.
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Probably the most common menopausal symptom I see it hot flashes. You may feel all of a sudden very hot, your face may be flushed and you could also feel anxious during a hot flash. These episodes can be extremely disruptive to your life. Night sweats are essentially hot flashes that happen at night, and may wake you from sleep. As if sleep wasn’t already hard to come by! Hot flashes can occur because too much estrogen compared to too little progesterone. Thyroid, adrenal, digestive and other imbalances can cause hot flashes.
Acne or Skin Problems
As a woman with PCOS, I’m all too familiar with the plague that is adult acne. In the case of PCOS, the acne is most often due to excess estrogen and testosterone, creating very oily skin prone to deep, cystic breakouts. If you acne predominates your chin and jawline, it’s likely that hormonal imbalance is the cause. If you skin is dry, thinning or itchy, menopause (including low estrogen) and underachieve thyroid could be to blame.
From young to old, many women experience bouts of low sex drive. You may even notice that your libido is higher during certain times in your cycle. Often low libido is caused by low estrogen, in the case of fertile and menopausal women. Stressed out adrenal and thyroid glands can cause hormonal imbalances leading to low libido as well.
You may be feeling overwhelmed with trying to figure out what is going on with your body. There are so many answers and even more possibilities. Putting all of your symptoms together to complete your body puzzle is the first step to making positive change. This quiz will do just that, and help you with your next steps.
By: Robyn Srigley
Robyn Srigley is The Hormone Diva, a women’s holistic health coach. Robyn’s own journey with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) jumpstarted her passion for helping women replace their anxieties with joy to open possibility in their lives and break free of hormonal imbalance. Robyn is the health writer for her local BUZZ Magazine, is a regular contributor to Be Prepared Period.com and is featured on MindBodyGreen. You can find out more about her work at www.thehormonediva.com
I have a passionate relationship. It makes me to connect with my inner self. I feel like I become vibrant & full of light and love. I´m talking about mantras. Mantras are included in Kundalini yoga and MediYoga tradition (the yoga form I teach). You chant it mentally as it helps keeping focus and you chant it loudly in meditations and sometimes in the yoga poses. Actually it was the mantras that made me fall in love with yoga in the beginning. Here´s my story & why mantras is good for you.
I had practiced yoga for about one year. I felt that this was something that truly got a hold on me deeply I couldn´t explain. In the summer I went to a yoga festival in a beautiful place on an island in Sweden. It was in the beginning of June and I had just finished my first yoga therapy 40 days challenge. (Actually that was the same program as the yoga program Empower & Balance) It had sure been a challenge doing yoga every day, but those 40 days with yoga as a therapy made big changes in me. Being a total nervous wreck and close to a breakdown before the therapy I had transformed into an amazing balanced person in harmony. Steady as a rock. It was in this state I found out about the yoga festival and me and some friends went there.
The place was beautiful with long beaches. I couldn´t believe it, it was like being abroad on an island in the Mediterranean somewhere. There were a lot of activities during the days. It started at 4 am and ended late in the evening. It was yoga classes outdoors and different kinds of workshops. I was of course very curious about the yoga that started at 4 am in the morning at the beach. And I was determined that I would participate at least once in the early morning. I decided to sleep on the beach the night before. That was a bad idea, it was freezing cold as it can be in early June in Sweden by the ocean. Anyway, the yoga started at 4 am. We woke up to some beautiful raga music. (Indian music) And the yoga started directly afte that. 1 ½ hour of yoga and after that 1 hour with mantra songs. I had of course been singing mantras before but these mantras were a little bit different, more difficult to remember and to sing. Fortunately there were handouts to follow the mantras.
Next to me a man was sitting, and he had probably sung this one hour Aquarian Sadhana a thousands of times. It was beautiful. It was like the mantras flew straight into my heart. It was love at first "sight", or should I say "singing".
We were sitting there for one hour singing on this beautiful beach and I felt that I was home. I belonged there together with those mantras. I don´t know about you but I believe in reincarnation and what I felt there at that moment, was that I must have done this before somehow in another lifetime. What these mantras did to me felt like coming to heaven.
Why is it good to sing mantras?
That singing makes you feel good, may not come as a surprise. There is something in the vibrations that reaches deep inside of you and in the yogic tradition it is also said that the tongue touches points in the mouth that has an acupressure effect. It affects the brain. What I feel and what my students also say about singing mantras is that it makes you feel good.
1. It increases your intelligence
Yes you heard right! It has been shown in studies that music can increase you IQ. In a study in US the IQ numbers were increased from 110 to 119. The music they used in that study was Mozart, (so I don´t know what affect other kind of music could have).
2. It can have a huge impact on your brain
Alzheimers Research & Prevention Foundation has been making studies on one particular Mantra meditation: Kirtan Kriya. In their studies they found out that Kirtan Kriya for just 12 minutes a day can improve cognition and activate parts of the brain that are central to memory. By the way, this is the meditation in Empower & Balance. It´s a very powerful and transformational meditation everyone should do in their yoga practice at one point in their lives.
3. Mantras help you to control your mind
Mantras can be a tool to help you to control your mind. Focusing on a mantra mentally or singing it, helps you not to be in your chattering thoughts. Focusing on mantra makes it more difficult for your thoughts to wonder around.
4. It has healing effect
From a yogic perspective mantra is about healing and open up your flow of energy in your chakras. The Indian yogis carefully and in detail have investigated the mantra vibratory effects for many centuries, and with its help linked up into a higher state of consciousness in harmony with the universe. One mantra that I love, is included in the yoga program Connect and Heal. it has a very lovingly healing effect.
5. It is a kind of affirmation
When you repeat a mantra, either in your meditation or in your yoga practice, the mantra in itself has a meaning. For example: One mantra we use in my yoga form is Sat Nam. It means I am true or Truth is my name. Repeating this mantra over and over again has some effect on you. For me personally the meaning of the mantra is not so important. I rarely remember the meanings. I just have trust that the mantra will do its good work anyway.
Why use mantras and not words you use in your own language?
It has been shown in a study in Sweden mantras have a better effect than, let´s say, just ordinary words like chair or table. It affects other parts of the brain. For me singing in an ancient language makes me feel more in harmony. Sometimes it can even be an advantage not to know the meaning of the mantra. But sometimes we actually sing in English in my yoga classes, but it´s very rare. What I hear a lot from my students is that they really love mantras. It makes them feel good.
Now I know that whenever I feel a little bit out of balance I can get some help coming back in harmony again singing some mantras. It is actually one of my best medicines to come back in balance again.
Do you use mantras? What kind of mantras?
If you are curious about singing mantras I can recommend two of my recently released yoga programs. Both of them have mantras included in the meditation.
In May I wrote some blog posts about depression. I wrote about Five ways to beat the blues. You can read about it here.
In another blog post I showed a breathing exercise to boost your energy and lower your depression. This breathing exercise I use sometimes when I feel I need some energy and want to pick myself up pretty quickly.
In this video I want to challenge you a little bit more.
A couple of years ago when I went to a yoga course about depression I did a pretty challenging meditation for some weeks. At the time I was working on my anxiety. I felt kind of stuck in what I was doing. Not so depressed maybe, but low and a bit sad. So I decided to try out this meditation that is for depression and to recharge. It is a meditation that can be quite challenging, but also give you fresh energy and a new start. I loved it! It really changed me.
Why do we do challenging yoga poses or meditations? Well for a start as any other yoga pose, they balance your chakras, body and mind of course. But there is this feeling when you manage to do something that challenges you. The feeling of being strong, both physically and mentally. A feeling that you can conquer anything. It doesn´t necessarily have to be a difficult pose though. It can be that you actually could do your yoga in the morning even though you had a bad day. It can be that you did your morning yoga every day for 40 days in a row. It can be that you managed to do this meditation for 11 minutes. Maybe not the first day, but building up your strength and patience over time. We need to step into challenging things sometimes. We all have challenges in life that we need to meet and not to run away from. Yoga helps us with that. To step out of our comfort zone for a while. Not always. Sometimes we need to not step away from challenges also. It all depends where you are in life. I must admit I´m not the kind of yogi standing on my head. I do another kind of yoga form that has challenges in other ways. But I do have them and often I challenge myself in my yoga practice, like in this meditation. Try it out!
This is how you do it:
Sit with your spine straight.
Straighten out your arms in front of you. Your arms are straight.
Make a fist with the right hand.
Wrap your left hand around the right hand.
Keep the thumbs straight up.
At the top of the thumbs you notice that the space between the thumbs looks like a "V".
Keep your focus with the eyes open in this V-shaped space all the time.
Inhale for 5 seconds
Exhale for 5 seconds
Hold the breath out for 15 seconds
If you find it difficult to hold the breath out for 15 seconds you can start slow with 5 seconds and over time increase the time you are holding the breath out.
Start doing this meditation for 1 or 3 minutes and increase over time up to 11 minutes.
Exhale and relax.
A yogic tip:
If you find it hard for your shoulders to do this meditation: keep focus on your navel point, that is your power center, instead of focusing how hard it is for you shoulders. That will give you strength to continue this meditation.
Did you like this meditation? Please share below!
In my last blog post I wrote about why loving yourself is so important for healing. You can read about it here. I find that some days you need to give yourself more love than others. Over the years I have my strategies or tool box to give myself some love. I want to share them with you here. Maybe you have your own tools? I´d love to hear what they are!
Of course there are many yogic techniques you can use. In the yogic tradition love is in the heart, the heart center. And as we always work with the chakra system in yoga there are great yoga poses and meditations you can do for your heart.
Here you´ll find a mini yoga set for the heart.
This meditation is very good for self love. Check out the video here.
One yoga pose that really opens up in your heart center is Camel pose. It opens up the whole front of your body, is great for your back and especially opens up your chest and heart center. If you find this pose difficult you can start with the modified version and over time do the full pose.
This is how you do it.
Sit on your heels in Rock pose. With your spine straight. Kneel upright, reach back with one hand and grasp the heel on that side. Repeat on the other side.
Press the hips and thighs forward. The chest is lifted up and the head is tipped back but not dropped fully. Breathe deeply for 1-3 minutes in this pose.
Instead of grasping your heels with your hands you can support your hands on the lower back instead. Kneel upright and place your hands on the lower back at the waist level. Press your hips & thighs forward, lift your chest up and tip your head back. Breathe long and deeply for 1-3 minutes.
As I wrote in the blog post last time, you need to observe your inner dialogue. How you talk to yourself. Giving yourself a hard time and beating yourself up doesn´t help. Words are energy and they affect you from inside out. One way of breaking this negative self talk is to say affirmations. One way is to do mirror work, as Louise Hay teaches. Stand in front of a mirror and say: I love you, I really, really love you. It may feel awkward the first time, but after a while it gets easier.
You can read more about affirmations here.
Give yourself some self care
Taking care of yourself and nourish your body and soul is truly self love. To touch your body being gentle with yourself. To ask yourself: What do I need right now?
For me this can be to go for walks, taking a nice Epsom salt bath, massage myself with oils and just to take care of myself. Of course my daily yoga routine is a big part of my self care.
What do you do for yourself?
Do things that uplifts you and make you happy
What makes you happy? No limits! Write down 10 things that makes you happy. Do more of this. This is my list:
What do you do to give yourself some self love? Would love to hear from you! Please comment below!
I woke up this morning feeling pretty sad. Too many things are happening in life right now. A family member being ill, family being sad, being one week before my period (hormones) and got a big black bruise in my face from an acupuncture needle (feeling pretty ugly). It can be that I did a very powerful yoga set yesterday and a cleansing effect after that. Who knows?
But what I felt lying in my bed was: what do I need today to feel better. To feel that love I need today. Not to get stuck in an inner conversation of judgment, critics and feeling sorry for myself.
What came to my mind is how important it is to love yourself. Actually just thinking in this direction is a sign of self love. This would not have happened to me, let´s say 15 years ago. It has been a constant working process to love myself for the one I am.
It has as a matter of fact been very important in my healing process. Why?
I make decisions that are for my very best (and for others too)
And with that I mean I say no when I need to say no. I say yes when I need that. I look for answers that are best for my health and nourish my body and soul. I try to follow that and not think about other people´s opinions. It´s not always easy as I have chosen a path with a different life than other people around me. With diet, yoga, meditation and my job as a yoga teacher. It has been so important for me to follow my own strategy. To follow my heart. I notice when I don´t follow it, then things don´t work for me.
I treat myself with respect and love. Setting boundaries. (Still working on boundaries)
Love also a beautiful energy. You can really feel its power. It is an energy that affects us deeply within and has healing power, I think.ss
I have stopped with that inner conversation that puts me down. I never say to myself, my goodness I´m so stupid! You would not say mean things to your best friend when she/he is low and needs support, right? You would not hurt your child with negative comments if the child is sad and feels bad, right? I believe that your inner conversations are so important. They should be supporting and positive. So when your inner criticism starts, pretend that you are that child or best friend. Be supportive.
When I make mistakes I try to learn from them and not to give myself a hard time. To love yourself with all the flaws you have, that is self love. Even though you have pain, a bad day, have gained weight, made mistakes etc.
Of course sometimes I fall off the wagon like everybody else. And getting back on it again after a day of surrendering to my emotions.
I listen to my heart and ask what it needs to feel excitement and joy. What gives me sparkles in life? This I will share with you in my next blog post! Some things you can do for self love (and heal your heart).
Remember: Love yourself for the unique person you are! You are beautiful inside out.
In my last blog post I wrote what you can do if you feel low. 5 ways to beat the blues. In this post I shared 5 things you can do if you feel low or depressed. So if you haven´t read it yet, head over and read that.
There are also many yogic techniques you can use to lift your spirit or energy.
One simple but powerful technique is Bellows Breath. It is pretty short and you can do it whenever you feel you have a stagnation in your body, are tired or feel low.
This is how you do it:
Sit comfortable with your spine straight.
Bend your elbows with your arms up so your hands are on the side to your shoulders with the palms facing forward.
Inhale through the nostrils as you lift your arms up and spread your fingers.
Exhale as you come down again to the starting position.
Repeat 20 times totally.
Rest for 30 seconds.
And repeat 20 more.
Let me know how this exercise is working for you, in the comments below.
Popular blog posts
A Breathing Meditation that helps to re-energize, detox & beat the heat
A quick health tip for your back and shoulders
A Yoga pose for sensitive people
How to get less affected by people
A Breathing exercise for anxiety & depression
Are you struggling with anxiety?
Five ways to get rid of your headcahe
One minute meditation
Yoga to start your day
Do you want to
LOWER YOUR STRESS, get more relaxed in your hips & pelvis and MORE BALANCED & EMPOWERED?
Get your ⤵
Helen Kåselöv is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist and the founder of Healing from within with yoga & food (former Yoga for Endometriosis & Pelvic pain). Helen has a history of severe endometriosis and is today helping women with endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids and other pelvic pain online, with yoga, nutrition and other lifestyle changes. Using yoga both as a tool in different kinds of healing programs, pain management, yoga has become the foundation in her work. “Yoga can help you in so many ways: Physically, mentally, spiritually and as a personal development tool.”