New Year, New Routine – 5 simple steps for a healthier, happier year.

Your 5 Simple Steps for a Healthier, Happier Year

Many people think Yoga is just about the poses that you see on Instagram. But there are many ethical, mental, and physical practices in this ancient philosophy, that can help us be less anxious and stressed.

January is often a difficult month due to the come down of the Christmas holiday, having to anticipate what work and life is going to be like, and the cold, grey weather tends to reflect in our mood.

When you’re suffering from anxiety or stress, the moment you wake up can be one of the hardest in your day. It is at that point when you often start to think of everything you have to deal with, or don’t have full control over. Thoughts of the worst case scenario and being overwhelmed tend to crop up, so it is important that you start your day with positivity, strength and calm.

1. New year, new morning routine

Many minor injuries, occur from the sudden movements of switching off the alarm or jumping straight out of bed. While still lying down, take 1 minute to breathe deeply and check in with your body. Oxygen is the most important fuel your body needs to function properly and helps regulate the release of stress hormones and relaxes muscle tension. Our brains, which use about 20% of our oxygen intake, not only controls what’s going on in the body, but also our emotions and thoughts. Taking 5 or 6 long deep breaths takes about 1 minute and also gives you the time to recognise where you may be feeling stiff or tense. Breathing deeply allows the body and the mind to relax, helping you put any anxious thoughts into perspective. Try not to start thinking about the rest of your day, and just spend 1 minute bringing your focus back to your inhales and exhales, and the sensations in your body.

Breathe in and out through the nose and as you inhale feel your belly and chest expand like a balloon. Hold the breath for a second and then exhale drawing your belly towards your spine to expel all the stale air from the lungs. Make your breaths as slow and deep as possible.

2. Listen to your body

Having noticed where you’re feeling particularly stiff first thing in the morning in bed, then take 1 – 3 minutes to stretch when you stand up. Take it very gently, stretching in all the range of directions that joint, or part of the body, is able to move in. Start with moving the neck and shoulders, followed by the back, hips and knees. Spend a bit more time on the parts of the body that feel like they need more of a stretch.

3. Be kind to yourself

Spend a bit of time each day doing something nice for yourself, and make sure you schedule it in. Do something that brings you happiness, positivity or comfort. Whether it be taking a long bath, reading on the sofa, going for a walk, or perhaps indulging in your favourite TV show. In times of grey weather or mood, it’s important to do, and think about, positive and comforting things. Planning this activity for before you go to bed can help you fall asleep easier. Your mind and your body need to be relaxed and calm in order to get the rest needed, so that they are at optimal function the following day.

You can also have a list in your mind or written down, of positive aspects of your life, and anything you have to look forward to in the months to come. January is a good time to schedule a fun or relaxing weekend with your best friend, and to focus on all the positive things this year may bring.

4. Karma Yoga

As well as being kind to yourself, every day you should make an effort to be kind to others. It has been shown that doing something nice for someone else has a positive effect on our mood and feelings of self-worth. Karma Yoga is about selfless acts. It reminds us that we are not alone in the world, and that many have much worse problems than us. Whether it’s helping someone in some way, paying for another person’s coffee, or simply not getting angry with someone when you usually would, make an effort to do at least one kind thing for someone else each day.

5. Be mindful during the day

It’s not enough to only take some time for yourself first thing in the morning or last thing at night. It’s important to keep taking care of yourself mentally and physically during the day. In times of stress, anxiety or whenever you remember, take 3 long, deep mindful breaths. You’d be surprised how often our breath turns short and shallow during our daily activities, so take the time to replenish the oxygen needed and to check in with your body. Every now and again, stretch out stiffness where you feel it pop up. Better still if you can, go for a walk or do some exercise to help lift your mood and keep you healthy.

why 108 is important

A Comprehensive Guide To Why The Number 108 Is So Important

In the rich tapestry of Indian culture, there are many reasons why the number 108 holds profound and mystical meanings. So why is the number 108 so important?  From ancient traditions to modern spiritual practices, this number is woven into the fabric of various rituals, philosophies, and symbolic representations, in other cultures as well.

Read More »
yoga for kids training

Meditation and Yoga for Kids with Anxiety

For the last 15 years I have been teaching meditation and yoga for kids (specializing in Autism, ADHD and Anxiety), and have seen the positive effects it can have. Through working with children of 4-16 years old and their parents, using different yoga, breathing, meditation and mindfulness techniques, we have been able to reduce their medication, ease their anxiety, and increase their quality of life.  The increase in stimulation, technology, and social media, in modern life, play a big role in these issues. 

Read More »
Picture of Charlie Stewart-Brown

Charlie Stewart-Brown

Charlie began practicing yoga over 27 years ago as a recommendation for her severe anxiety, and has been teaching for over 15 years to people of all ages and abilities. With over 1300 hrs of training and 22,500 hrs of teaching, she is also the lead trainer on the Indiv Yoga 200 hrs YTT & RCYT Kids Yoga Teacher Training Courses, having certified over 400 students worldwide.  She is the voice of the ‘Yoga and Mindfulness Program’ on British Airways long-haul flights, has spoken at many seminars and corporate workshops, and runs exclusive yoga and meditation retreats during the year.

Originally from London and having worked in New York and Lisbon after her Psychology degree, she has since settled  in Switzerland with her husband, and dedicated her life to expanding her knowledge of the science of yoga, mindful meditation and better physical and mental health.

Over the years Charlie has trained with some of the most renowned yoga teachers around the world (David Swenson, Shiva Rea, Anne-Marie Newland, Leslie Kaminoff, Sadie Nardini, Sonia Sumar etc) certifying in Hatha, Sivanada, Ashtanga, Childrens and Family Yoga, Yoga for the Special Child, & Inner Engineering with Sadhguru. She has become highly respected for her successful work in yoga therapy, especially for Autism, ADHD and other behavioural and developmental syndromes. She has also talked at some of the biggest corporations in Switzerland and the annual SGIS (Swiss Group of International Schools) Conference on implementing Mindfulness in the work place and the education system.

Charlie holds the highest yoga qualifications as an ERYT500 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher), RCYT (Registered Children´s Yoga Teacher), RPYT (Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher) and YCEP (Yoga Continued Education Provider) with the Yoga Alliance, and has developed Indiv Yoga™ to bring a more physiological, therapeutic and individual approach to yoga. Indiv Yoga™ Switzerland is a RYS (registered yoga school) and RCYS (registered children’s yoga school) providing Yoga Alliance teacher training certifications of the highest professional standards.

The focus of Indiv Yoga™ is to provide the benefits of yoga to every type of individual, using its teachings to achieve physical and mental balance, and diminish the anxieties of modern life for adults and children.

Read her online testimonials and qualifications for a feel of her knowledgeable and friendly professionalism.

charlie meditating by lake

FREE Video Training

The Business of Teaching Yoga for Certified Teachers 

Are You Ready To Broaden Your Services To Increase Your Income As A Yoga Teacher?

[FREE] Guide:
Why Certify As A Kids Yoga Teacher