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Running With Tears In My Eyes

Letting go

Running With Tears In My Eyes

Today was not about kilometres, it was about how long will it take to shake off those heavy feelings.

Amanda Mandry, AKA The Simple Mindful Runner

I run without listening to music. Running for me is mindfulness in motion. I like to tune in to my mind, my breathing and my body like doing a deep scan without music to distract me. I observe my physiology. Are there any aches, tensions, discomfort, heaviness in my body? I shake out the tension. I imagine a healing liquid refreshing and smoothing out aches in my joints. Are there any recurring thoughts? Yes. And recurring images and sounds. Lots. And beliefs? Yes, which aren’t very productive.

I observe that I am clearly altered and I have tears in my eyes. They want to fall but they can’t. They just stay there. I put names to my feelings. There’s sadness, there’s anger, there’s frustration.

I’m the sort of person that needs to move my body to think more clearly. I’m not at my best sat at a desk working on a computer. I guess this is partly why running has become part of my life, and cold showers, and active meditation. I need to jiggle my brain and vigorously move my body into firing it up, to get the right chemicals flowing. Then I can put the world and myself to rights and get on with the rest of the day. Sitting for long amounts of time doesn’t work for me so well.

Back to the non-falling tears.

I have a fear of hairdressers. I have a fear of someone taking a pair of scissors and wreaking havoc on my hair. I have only felt satisfied and comfortable with two hairdressers and curiously they were both male, and gay. I haven’t been to a hairdressers in a long time as a result. I finally decided it was time to give my hair some TLC and a much needed cut and chance one of the local hairdressers in the village I am now living in.

I explained to the young female hairdresser I have had long hair for many years and I prefer it that way. I stressed I wanted my hair no shorter than my shoulders. She said people “my age” should have shorter hair as it makes them look younger, then SNIP went the scissors! She striked straight across a large length of hair and then said “I’ve taken all this off” whilst holding it in her hand! I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know how to react in this moment. I said I don’t want it short. She snipped away and started thinning out my wavy hair. It was the kind of end result I had feared.

Two days later…

Today I run. I run with the sadness of having lost my long wavy hair. I reframe that thought of loss with summer’s coming and it will grow back fast and healthy. I can also jazz it up with some colourful scarfs and accesories in the meantime. But there’s still a heavy feeling. The feeling of frustration of not having asserted myself clearly to the hairdresser and say exactly how I felt about my haircut. The anger of such disrespect and disregard towards my own personal wishes, taking authority over my hair and saying how people “my age” should have their hair! Snipping it off unsensitively with one sheer strike without asking how much to cut. Every person is a world, with their own personal preferences. Seeking advice from a professional is good, but to take over and make someone look like how they think they ought to look in their world is SO WRONG!

I grew up feeling like an oddball, the black sheep, and it’s only been in my later years that I have learnt that to be my authentic quirky self is a virtue and not a curse, regardless of how “different” I may seem in other people’s eyes. Now I’ve been moulded into a certain look by the hairdresser that’s certainly not my look. I’m not happy…

A flashback on my run came to me. When I was a teacher in a private school I had a student who was regarded by other members of staff as a low-ability child, a struggler, with very little concentration and hyperactive. He did struggle, especially with reading. Normally the children came to my desk and sat and read to me. I decided one day to try something different with this particular student. I told him he could read standing beside my desk and wiggle his body at the same time. He started jiggling and wiggling and it turned into a funny kind of dance. And guess what happened? His reading flowed, he was absorbed and concentrated. It was incredible…until the headmistress passed my window, stormed in, bellowed at me and the student for allowing such ridiculous behaviour and that it must never happen again , despite me trying to explain my motive for his wiggling whilst reading.

In her world, it wasn’t the type of behaviour that a student should display in class, and certainly not whilst reading. What he did was harmless. He was doing so well with the reading. Unfortunately, fixed ideas are part of many other people’s worlds too. However, I understand how important it is not to try and fit everyone into the same box, and allow for individual expression if it doesn’t harm themself or others, rather than imposing authority. I wonder if he felt disregarded and disrespected for not being allowed to express and be himself?

14km later. The tears have gone. I struggle to have a good cathartic cry these days anyway. I think about my crisis as a mini trivial one in comparison to what other people may be suffering. I’ve moved my body and my mind has cleared a lot garbage and it feels better, but not quite 100%. I probably started off my run on a scale of 8 out of 10 in terms of feeling low and finished the run bringing it down to a 3 which is more than half. The cold shower to finish brought that down to a 2 and writing this a 1! Sometimes getting your thoughts out there on paper or on a computer screen is therapeutic!

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An Early Spring? Una Primavera Temprana?

An Early Spring? Una Primavera Temprana? 🇬🇧Almond trees in bud and abundant with flowers radiating a soft fragrance. What does spring mean to you? Rebirth, new beginnings, a glow of colour to contrast against the grey bareness of nature in winter? After a cold winter, nature’s resilience and determination to bloom yet again reminds me to continually hold hope and to bring gratitude. It’s a wonderful thing to do, to reconnect with nature. How about taking some pics of signs of spring and sharing? I’d love to see them. 🇪🇸Almendros en flor que irradian una suave fragancia. ¿Qué significa para tí la primavera? ¿Renacimiento, nuevos comienzos, un brillo de color para contrastar con la desnudez gris de la naturaleza en invierno? Después de un invierno frío, la resistencia de la naturaleza y su determinación de volver a florecer me recuerdan que hay que mantener continuamente la esperanza y la gratitud. Es algo maravilloso, reconectar con la naturaleza. ¿Qué tal si tomas algunas fotos de signos de la primavera y las compartes si quieres? Me encantaria verlas.

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Being in the Nowhere

Breathwork and Cold Showers to Start the Day

I am always exploring and testing methods that have profound results in changing the physiology of the body and the mindset from feelings of sluggishness, apathy, heaviness, fogginess, and other states which one might relate to as depressive or ‘down’ states.

I’d like to share with you what for me (so this is purely anecdotal and not based on evidence) has been a major gamechanger. The Wim Hof Method. I seemed to see Wim’s face appear quite often on my Facebook feed, probably to do with the algorithms that show I am interested in breathwork and meditation? So I finally decided to explore.

Wim’s story is a very sad but fascinating one, where he tried many techniques to overcome his grief and depression only to find that extreme cold immersion was what worked for him. Scientists became fascinated by his feats that earned him the title of “The Ice Man”.

I decided by testing out his free mobile App and was amazed by the effects of his breathing technique.

Early morning routine outside my log cabin home.

As a meditator and a practitioner of self-hypnosis, I really enjoyed the effect of the retention of breath. It was pure connection with the body in the present, in the nowhere, where time stops, where the mind stops, and observing the physiological changes occurring in the body.

I was surprised that I could retain my breath with this technique longer than I have ever done in my life. After the third round of the breathing technique I was able to retain my breath for over 3 minutes. When I completed the breathing techniques I began to reflect that I felt a feeling of complete peace, a quiet mind, combined with a surge of blissfulness (that was the dopamine rushing through the body), and complete absorption in the process. Curiously during the retention I had a moment where I thought if I died here and now then I would die contented! My head felt like it had a spring-clean and was fresh and ready to start the day. My body felt good. A complete change from the first paragraph.

I have invested into the programme and now carry out the stretching exercises using Wim’s breathing techniques…

His methods incorporate a range of yoga stretches
Not the most elegant of headstands but it’s been years since I was able to do them!

This lends itself so well with my running and practicing self-hypnosis.

There is also a 4 minute meditation which is just such a wonderful way to experience a powerful and quick meditation technique.

Of course the three pillars to Wim’s Method are Breathing, Commitment and Cold Therapy.

I started the cold showers when I was living in Lanzarote and it was summer. “Cold” therefore is quite a relative term according to the place you live and the time of year. So for me, it was relatively easy to do. The cold shower triggers off the fight-flight response, or the stress response when facing adverse situations. After a number of cold showers the stress response lessens and helps develop resiliency and endurance.

(Hats off to my friend, Sarah Eriksson who is getting up at really early in Sweden and immersing herself in a lake!)

Now I’m living in the foothills of the mountains where the climate is quite different and I’m really getting to experience what a cold shower really is like! At first it was like enduring something painful, the body tenses up, and at first I hated it. Then surprisingly after about a week I began to welcome it, finding that after 20 seconds my body adjusted to the cold and the tension went. The stress response was lowered and I am able to endure longer cold showers (but still have to give a lake a go!). After the shower the body feels like it is ready to take on the world, and that’s a great way to start the day! 🙂

Not only are we talking about extreme physiological changes, a quiter mind and more focus, but the cold shower seems to have the effect of strengthening the immune system. In fact it’s here that there is scientific evidence to back it up. My body feels strong, I support colder temperatures better (and I’m one of those thin-blooded people!), I’ve not had a cold since I’ve started the techniques.

As I’m really enthused by Wim’s techniques, my interest leads me to wanting to explore it in greater depth so no doubt I’m going to sign up for a ‘Wim Hof Experience‘ and experience it with a trained person, and get into that ice bath!

If you are looking for a technique that’s not time consuming to help with depression, anxiety, rumination, chronic pain, enhanced immunity function, then The Wim Hof Method has my recommendation.

Alive & Kicking!

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Trust During A Pandemic

Covid-19 has changed our lives in so many ways. It’s changed how, where, and if we work. It’s created economic concerns, made us fear for our safety and the safety of our loved ones, and brought up feelings of anxiety in even the most level-headed of people. Paranoia and mistrust is on the increase.

For some people a lack of trust in the data regarding the seriousness of the pandemic itself or whether it is even real can be based on a government’s management, what’s shared in the media, the behaviour of others in the outside world, which only confirms their bias, e.g. “I see people hitting the beaches, restaurants, crowding together and not wearing masks so it is not serious. In fact the pandemic is probably false.” Then a conspiracy theory may manifest to install a feeling of certainty in what is uncertain (our future) and invisible (the virus). It is a mechanism to help cope with uncertainty by justifying those negative feelings of mistrust, of having a lack of control, of feeling helpless, by coming up with a theory, despite not having clear evidence to back it up. But our brain is designed to believe in stories that satisfy our emotional needs regardless of whether they are true or not, so there lies the problem…

This is not painting a great picture at all for anyone living in the entrapments of mistrust and an era of misinformation. So how can a therapy such as hypnotherapy help? Hypnotherapy works as a powerful adjunct alongside various psychotherapies such as CBT, counselling, humanistic and analytical therapy. As a hypnotherapist I focus on what outome you are looking for, as opposed to feeding and embedding the issue more. The inner dialogue running around our head dictates how we live our life. So a “I don’t trust anything or anyone anymore” is a very fixed, generalised and agonising mindset which can lead to feelings of anxiety and isolation, while a “Things are a bit weird for everyone to adjust to at the moment. Lots of us are struggling in some way or another” is a wider and more objective perspective.

There’s a saying and it goes like this:

It’s not just an event like this pandemic which triggers feelings of mistrust, but it’s also a combination of our own personal beliefs towards it which influence our mental health and well-being.

What can we do for someone who is suffering? First of all, remind that person we will get through this together and it wil be talked about for decades. You will be part of history. No pandemic goes on forever and fortunately today we have more scientists to work quickly at finding a vaccine. If it weren’t for putting our trust in science we could still be in risk of dying from smallpox today. Secondly, trying times gives us an opportunity to focus on building habits to improve our relationships and resiliency. And one of these habits is building trust. Think about the survivors of environmental disasters and other traumatic experiences (such as 9/11). These experiences can bring people closer together and can build trust and deepen relationships. Sometimes out of the hellish of situations a sense of communal support, bound by a shared experience can go a long way. Afterall, we need supportive relationships in order to survive. So two elements are fundamental to overcome this pandemic – one is a vaccine, and the other is trust, especially on a more global level as we are all effected the world over in some way or another.

What are some habits that we can work on building to help us in this particular moment?

  1. Mindful hypnotherapy exercises can be used to practice being in the moment and prevent negative rumination. The only experience we are certain of is the present moment. The past has gone and our brain has an ability to distort information that has already happened. And the future is yet to happen so we can only speculate about things that are less certain.
  2. Finding gratitude and joy in the now is a wonderful habit, spending a few moments saying to yourself, or say out loud, or even journalling daily to rewire the brain from its tendency towards negative bias. “Today I am grateful for…” or “…..makes me happy/….brings me joy.”
  3. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy combined with hypnotherapy (CBH) may be used, for example, to look at the fact that business leaders cannot control the pandemic, nor can they control other external forces beyond their sphere of influence. Therefore, leaders must focus on the areas they can control—such as product and service quality, treating their employees well and protecting them, commitment to behaving ethically and transparently—and infuse their actions in those areas with purpose and integrity. We as individuals cannot control the pandemic either, but we can learn techniques such as self-hypnosis to manage stress, isolation, fear, anxiety to empower us and gain back control, resilience and balance in our mental health and well-being. The more self-hypnosis is practiced, the more powerful it becomes.
  4. Seek out practical information from trusted sources for basic problem-solving. You can get good quality information online and from credible sources, though I recommend you stick with 1, 2 or 3 major sources to avoid being overwhelmed with too much information, and not believe in everything shared on your Facebook feed.
  5. Apart from hypnotherapy for managing stress and anxiety, learning self-hypnosis to enhance your immune functioning has plenty of evidence to back it up. Here’s a couple of published articles below:

Gruzelier, J., Champion, A., Fox, P., Rollin, M., McCormack, S., Catalan, P., . . . Henderson, D. (2002). Individual differences in personality, immunology and mood in patients undergoing self-hypnosis training for the successful treatment of a chronic viral illness, HSV-2. Contemporary Hypnosis, 19(4). doi: 10.1002/ch.253

Ruzyla-Smith, P., Barabasz, A., Barabasz, M., & Warner, D. (1995). Effects of hypnosis on the immune response: B-cells, T-cells, helper and suppressor cells. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 38(2), 71-79.

If you’d like to learn how to use Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis for Managing During a Pandemic and schedule a call just click the button below.

La Primavera Para Despertar La Creatividad

El elemento Madera, camino de la creatividad


La primavera está asociada al elemento madera en la medicina china. La madera nos recuerda que la naturaleza es abundante en energía y nueva vida. La primavera es un buen momento para ser creativo, para usar la imaginación de forma nueva e innovadora, para empezar un nuevo proyecto, para pensar de forma diferente y para cultivar tu expresión única de energía.

Tú, como la naturaleza, has nacido para crear. La creatividad nos ilumina. No es sólo para los artistas, músicos y poetas.

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

Si el flujo estuviera montando la ola, la creatividad es tu danza única en su superficie. Entra en el flujo, siente que la vida fluye a través de ti, y luego, dale tu propia y única expresión.

La naturaleza es infinitamente creativa. Sólo tienes que fijarte en la variedad de flores y plantas, animales y pájaros, y peces y criaturas marinas. Observa el color de la puesta de sol, sorpréndete con un arco iris en el cielo, mira al cielo nocturno despejado y fíjate en los miles de millones de estrellas. Si prestas atención, reconocerás la ilimitada creatividad que te rodea.

Photo by Mohan Reddy Atalu on Pexels.com



Hemos nacido con el poder de la creatividad. La creatividad conduce a una vida feliz y plena. La creatividad es una expresión de tu singularidad. Es una expresión del propósito de tu vida y de por qué estás aquí.

Al igual que la naturaleza, las personas también son creativas. Pasea por un museo y serás testigo del poder creativo de la imaginación humana.

Photo by Una Laurencic on Pexels.com

La creatividad dobla la realidad y le da una nueva forma. Esta nueva forma comienza en la mente y manifiesta una nueva realidad. La creatividad reconoce que este mundo es fluido. No es estático. Es un estado constante de cambio. Tú das forma a ese proceso de cambio a medida que fluye a través de ti con imaginación e intención.

La creatividad puede dar forma a la vida que quieres llevar. La creatividad nos ayuda a liberarnos de nuestros condicionamientos del pasado, de nuestras creencias limitantes y del estrés de la vida. ¿Cuál es la obra maestra de tu vida?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

La primavera es la época del crecimiento y la expansión. La naturaleza florece, los árboles estiran sus ramas hacia el cielo, las flores se abren para recibir la luz y los pájaros cantan con el júbilo del nuevo calor.

En esta época del año, la gente empieza a salir más al exterior y a conectar con la naturaleza. La primavera nos invita a sentir nuestra propia naturaleza interior y cómo estamos verdaderamente conectados con el mundo que nos rodea.
La primavera nos recuerda que debemos mover nuestro cuerpo, estirarnos, liberar la energía rancia y estancada y conectar con la abundancia del poder que tenemos en nuestro interior.

Durante esta estación, se invita a tomar el sol, a respirar los árboles, a caminar descalzados por la tierra y a contemplar las estrellas.

CAMINAR DESCALZADO

Es una manera de practicar el estar conectado a la tierra, el estar arraigado al suelo. En cualquier momento, sea en la playa, encima hierba, en la tierra, cuitéense los zapatos y siente el suelo debajo de los pies. Científicamente ha sido comprobado que recibes iones negativos en el cuerpo que transforma el estrés en vitalidad. Este es un aspecto de Qi Gong, algo que sigo practicado desde el ultimo año.

En nuestra vida moderna solo tarda 30 segundos de caminar descalzado para recarga la mente y el cuerpo. Y combinando unas respiraciones profundas sientes que drena la energía negativa fuera de su cuerpo.

ESPIRALES EN LA NATARULEZA

Las espirales existen en todas partes en la naturaleza. Observa la forma en que crecen las ramas y las raíces de los árboles, la presencia de una ola en el océano y la forma en que se forman las conchas marinas. Todo, desde tu ADN hasta los planetas en órbita, se mueve en espiral. El Qi Gong, al ser una práctica que refleja los movimientos de la naturaleza, utiliza movimientos en espiral para abrir el flujo natural de energía en el cuerpo.

Nada en la naturaleza es demasiado lineal o recto. Un río desciende en espiral por la cima de una montaña hasta llegar al océano.

Así que cuando hacemos el Qi Gong, la espiral es el movimiento más natural. Tiene Yin y Yang. El Yin es un círculo y el Yang es una línea recta. Cuando combinas un círculo con una línea obtienes una espiral. Y la espiral es el movimiento del Chi. En la práctica del Qi Gong hay muchos movimientos en los que hacemos una espiral con el cuerpo.

La técnica de sostener una taza de té en el Qi Gong

Photo by Mareefe on Pexels.com
  1. Ponte de pie con las piernas bastante separadas y las rodillas sólo ligeramente dobladas.
  2. Llevas una palma de la mano a la altura del hombro, palma arriba, y es como si tuvieras una taza de té en la mano. Es un ejercicio divertido y abre todas las articulaciones de tu cuerpo.
  3. Lleva las caderas hacia atrás y los dedos se acercan a ti y luego se alejan de ti. Luego empuja las caderas hacia delante y lleva la mano por encima de la cabeza. Hacer espirales con el cuerpo ayuda a abrir el flujo de energía y éste específicamente abre la energía a través de las articulaciones. Y simplemente respira de forma normal y natural. No sientas que tienes que hacer este movimiento exactamente bien, simplemente mover tu cuerpo ayuda a que la energía circule. Respira profundamente, y luego relajarse.
  4. Cambia por la otra mano y repite varias veces.

Fíjate si cuando estás en la naturaleza te das cuenta de la espiral de las cosas. Las olas en el océano, incluso el movimiento del Sol y los planetas en espiral, o en patrones cíclicos.

Cold Therapy / Cold Showers

Cryotherapy or cold therapy . its benefits, precautions and how to start a cold shower routine

Based on scientific evidence.

Do you bathe or shower in cold water? Have you noticed the benefits if you do?

Here’s 5 benefits, and yes, there are more.

Remember to start progressively and build up the time spent in or under cold water little by little. Try not to make your body small and stand tall as the cold water contacts your body. Soon you’ll discover it gets easier, your mind is more set to the initial shock experience.

Being able to live with some stress and regulate it is an important life skill. Afterall, if we had no stress how would you respond in a situation that demanded action in order to survive? We don’t have saber-toothed tigers prowling around to keep us on alert mode but life today does present some situations where a healthy level of stress response and alertness is necessary.

La GRATITUD/EL AGRADECIMIENTO

La gratitud puede ser una de las herramientas más olvidadas a las que todos tenemos acceso cada día. Cultivar la gratitud no cuesta dinero y ciertamente no lleva mucho tiempo, pero los beneficios son enormes. Las investigaciones revelan que la gratitud puede tener estos beneficios:

Hoy estoy agradecida por las verduras y plantas que tengo en mi casa. Una gran cantidad ha sido regalado por mis vecinos y los demás un regalo dado por la tierra. 🙏 Todas ecológicas y saludables. Gracias. 🌱

¿Por qué comparto esta reflexión?

🌈La gratitud puede ser una de las herramientas más olvidadas a las que tenemos acceso cada día. Cultivar la gratitud no cuesta dinero ni en tiempo, pero los beneficios son enormes.

Todo los beneficios que comparto están basadas en la investigación científica:

🙏🏼 No solo decir “gracias” constituye una buena educación pero según un estudio en 2014 mostrar agradecimiento puede ayudarte a ganar nuevos amigos. Reconocer las contribuciones de otras personas puede conducir a nuevas oportunidades.

😊La gratitud mejora la salud psicológica reduciendo una multitud de emociones tóxicas, desde la envidia y el resentimiento hasta la frustración y el arrepentimiento. Uno de los principales investigadores de la gratitud, el Doctor Robert Emmons, ha realizado múltiples estudios sobre la relación entre la gratitud y bienestar. Su investigación confirma que la gratitud aumenta efectivamente la felicidad y reduce la depresión.

😴Las personas agradecidas duermen mejor. La práctica de escribir en un diario de gratitud antes de acostarse mejora el sueño según un estudio de 2011 publicado en “Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being”.

🏃‍♀️La gratitud mejora la autoestima. Un estudio de 2014 publicado en el ” Journal Of Applied Sport Psychology” descubrió que la gratitud aumentaba la autoestima de los deportistas, que es un componente esencial para un rendimiento óptimo.

💪🏻La gratitud aumenta la fuerza mental. No sólo reduce el estrés pero en un estudio de 2003 publicado en el “Journal Of Personality and Social Psychology” descubrió que la gratitud contribuía de forma importante a la resiliencia trás los ataques terroristas del 11 de septiembre. Reconocer todo lo que tienes que agradecer, incluso en los peores momentos de tu vida, fomenta la resiliencia.

Desarrollar una “actitud de gratitud” es una de las formas más sencillas de mejorar tu satisfacción con la vida.



Do You Breathe Efficiently?

The beneficial properties of the breath and how to breathe properly whilst running.

We often underestimate the power of the breath. Breath is a gift which can reap great rewards if you are breathing correctly. It can lower anxiety, enhance your immune system, improve focus, reduce asthma attacks, and improve the quality of any physical activity, such as running.

First of all, I suggest you carry out this simple test to find out if you are breathing properly. If you are fortunate enough to have a pulse oximeter to measure the oxygen saturation in the blood, attach it your finger and breathe as you normally do. An oxygen saturation reading of between 95% and 99% is good.

According to Patrick McKeown, author of ‘The Oxygen Advantage’ he suggests, “An oxygen saturation of 100% would suggest that the bond between red blood cells and oxygen molecules is too strong, reducing the blood cells’ ability to deliver oxygen to muscles, organs, and tissues. We need the blood to release oxygen, not hold on to it…Increasing oxygen saturation to 100% has no added benefits.”

The other simple method which anyone can do is by keeping track of your Body Oxygen Level Test score (BOLT). This will let you know if your natural breathing is efficient or not and the method is described by Patrick McKeown. It’s best to do this first thing in the morning rather than at night to reflect your natural breathing pattern.

To do this:

  1. Take a normal breath in through your nose.
  2. Let it out through your nose.
  3. Hold your nostrils with your fingers and stop breathing.
  4. Time the number of seconds until you feel the first clear desire to breathe. (You may feel the need to swallow or your abdomen or throat might lightly contract. When you feel something like this stop the timer).

BOLT is NOT checking how long you can hold your breath but how quickly your body reacts to a lack of air.

A score of 20 seconds is average. A score of 40 is particularly good. If your score is under 20 then that’s a sign of a poor breathing rhythm and maybe over-breathing through the mouth during the day or while you sleep.

Breathing through the mouth could lead to exhaling too much carbon dioxide and your tissues receive less oxygen as a result, so nose breathing is preferable.

Breathing methods such as The Wim Hof breathing method or pranayama breathing often used in yoga are examples of breathing techniques which have gained popularity. If you are following any breathing tehnique, keeping track of your BOLT scores overt the days you are using a particular technique is a good way to understand if the breathing technique is affecting your normal breathing rhythm.

How to Breathe While Running For Beginner Runners

There are a few signs to look out for that may show you are not using your diaphragm efficiently, besides just gasping for air whilst running. These can be things like tightness or pain in your neck, or shoulders that raise and lower, an asymmetrical rotation in your torso, an arched back or flared ribs, and paradoxical breathing, when your stomach rises as you exhale and sinks when you inhale.

Bringing awareness to your breathing builds more efficiency, a steadier pace, and a calmer mind, even during high-​pressure races. Inhaling through your nose, expanding your stomach, and out through your mouth, allowing your stomach to sink is ideal for the best gas exchange at an easy pace. Give your body time to adapt, then it’s time to take focused breathing on the move with rhythmic patterns. starting by inhaling for two counts, then exhaling for two, a pattern called 2:2 breathing. This will help pace yourself better, the steadier you’re breathing, the less likely you are to go out too hard—and ensure a steady flow of oxygen to your muscles.

If you are new to this, practise it walking first, then on easy runs focus for a minute or two and gradually increasing your focus. As you grow more comfortable with focused breathing, you can use it for faster runs, such as intervals.

Many new runners breathe from their chest instead of their diaphragm, further limiting their oxygen intake. Combat this with belly breathing. For five minutes in the morning or before you run, lie down and place your hand on your stomach. Take slow, deep breaths that lift your hand as you inhale and sink it as you exhale. (I’ve been practicing the Wim Hof Method in a seated meditation position every morning. In through the nose and out through the mouth). Once you’re comfortable on the ground, try taking belly breaths when walking, then running.

So keep thinking to yourself: breathing from my belly, not shrugging my shoulders or straining my neck.

Good luck and breathe efficiently. I am NOT an expert on breathwork but I certainly like to seek out advice and reliable sources.

I’d love to hear if this has been of benefit or if you have any suggestions.

Alive & Kicking.

GOODBYE, NEOWISE

C/F3 2020 NEOWISE will not make an appearance for another 6800 years.

Whilst the planet is living in a state of change, and much uncertainty day by day, one thing that is certain is when looking up at the vastness of space, it reminds us that we are really no more than a minute blue blip in the ocean of space and time.

Marcus Aurelius’ stoic meditations “The View From Above” is one way of looking at our problems from a dissociated and broader perspective, almost trivialising issues as being less significant than first perceived. Aurelius happened to live through a pandemic that lasted for some 12 years! Fortunately for us today we have scientists, specialists and easier ways of collecting data to contain the spread and duration of COVID-19. People are working tiredlessly against the clock to understand and fight this invisible and miniscule virus. And all the while Comet Neowise continues on its path, an epic journey of 6800 years before it shall grace our skies again. Think about that, it will be in the year close to 9000 when it will make another appearance over Earth. Who knows how the Earth and those inhabiting it will be in the future? With time being ever so changing we cannot make judgements based on how things are today. Who would have envisioned the Earth as it is in 21st century whilst living in the Stone Age? Therefore, now is a time to grace our minds in HOPE. Hope that there is more equality, more collaboration, more respect, more thriving natural beauty…hope that Neowise will be met with awe and a deeper connection in the future, time and time again. That is until the Earth will finally be consummed by our swelling Sun when it is in its last phases of life. It’s time to embrace the idea of impermanence. Control what you can control and accept what you can’t.

And how about this for mind-bending awesomeness? Do you know which is the farthest thing you can see with your naked eye? It’s the Andromeda galaxy, a collection of a trillion stars lying 2.5million light years distant. Now that’s a blooming long way to be able to see an object through our eyes without the use of any instruments! Also known as M31, it is the nearest large galaxy to the Milky Way. When we look at the galaxy we are actually seeing how it looked 2.5million years ago as it takes 2.5million years for its light to reach our eyes! Who knows how the galaxy actually is at this current moment in time or whether it exists in the spiral form that we know it as? And if we were miraculously able to go to the Andromeda Galaxy (just use your wonderful imagination here) and had the most powerful telescope ever to look back at the Earth, we would be seeing the Earth 2.5million years ago looking at Homo habilis, the”handy man” of the Early Stone Age running around and hoping not to be caught by some saber-toothed tiger!

As Comet Neowise carries on its course so do I and my family. We saw it last night (we run Astronomy tours) with a reduced group of mask-wearing people and it was like saying farewell to a dear friend as it is quite unlikely that we will see it again due to the change in weather conditions and the Moon washing out the sky. A closed chapter combined with nostalgic sadness.

I confess to worrying a lot lately, not so much about myself and my husband working with tourists and the possible risk of contracting the virus, but about the care of our young children should we both fall ill. I worry about our finances and the fact that it looks like a second wave is going to hit Spain soon. Just the prospect of another quarantine and not being able to earn enough money to pay the bills to have a roof over our head and food on the table from living on an island heavily dependent on tourism makes us reflect on our future. What we gain living here on the island of Lanzarote is more security healthwise (as it’s easier to isolate the virus on a small island) but we also run a risk of suffering economically if tourism is stopped as a consequence. It’s a double-edged sword. So now it’s time to look for a better balance for our health and finances. A growth mindset is in action and future orientating. Plus going out for a good run to keep the mind more balanced really helps.

We are going to take a leap of faith filled with hope to keep us going in these times of uncertainty. SO if you are still reading this to the end be prepared for some news coming very soon…it excites me and it scares the crap out of me at the same time.