The life-changing magic of doing nothing

I really hope this wee note finds you and your family relaxed and rested having enjoyed some quality time together over Christmas – however that looks in your house!

As we turn our attention to 2019 and the year ahead.  I invite you to throw away your lists of new year resolutions and simply do nothing!  Yes, nothing!

Instead of being on a mission to re-vamp your exercise regime, nutrition, style choices, career path, family status etc., what if I told you that the biggest positive change can come from doing absolutely nothing, letting go and letting life in all its glory (good and bad) lead the way?daniil-kuzelev-492953-unsplash

Let’s think about this…why do you need to ‘do’ anything at all, when you’re amazing as you are and with all of the love and wisdom that you need for today and the year ahead within you?

It stands to reason that you’re probably going to feel better, and your friends and family are going to enjoy being around you, if you simply continue to be your wonderful self instead of exerting unnecessary pressure on yourself to be better, do more, achieve this or look like that.

But if I could just get in shape, cook an array of interesting, yet healthy meals from around the world that suit the whole family every week, get that promotion, earn a bit more money then I’d be happy, oh and while I’m here why doesn’t my living room look like the front cover of ‘House Beautiful’ when it only takes 10 easy steps?! dane-deaner-272375-unsplash

Why wouldn’t you want these things?  You deserve and are entitled to be happy after all!  These days we’re bombarded with advice and images from the media portraying effortless ‘perfection’.  The ‘peer pressure-cooker’ is permanently set on high, with social media feeds leading us to believe that if life isn’t all ‘cupcakes and rainbows’, then something is far wrong.

It’s near impossible to turn a blind eye – I’ll admit to being completely guilty of getting caught up in all of it and wanting many of those things myself.  But why do we do let it happen when it’s so obvious?  Because like you, I’m human, and as human beings our instinct is survival.  While survival looks very different to the old ‘hunter-gatherer’ persona these days, whether we like it or not we’re hard-wired to up our game, and if we don’t then we often feel we’ve failed in some way or that we could do better.

It’s no easy task bringing up a family, paying the bills and navigating life as it changes the goal posts at every turn.  Excuse the generalisation here, but I doubt you have a private chef, stylist or personal assistant to help you manufacture the seemingly effortless perfection we all appear to be working so hard to achieve.

kelly-sikkema-411622-unsplashWith this in mind, I invite you to join me in doing ‘nothing’ (or if you really want to ‘do’ something, then make it a reflection or even a celebration of all of your positive achievements from the year and don’t forget to show yourself some kindness and compassion for being human and surviving another year – well deserved.)

‘Are you sure there isn’t a catch?’ I hear you say.  Well, let me share with you what I mean by doing ‘nothing’…

Making time for a little bit of ‘nothing’ or spending time in stillness every day is where the ‘magic’ lies and where the greatest and most positive shifts in our lives come from.

Being still every day enables us to tune into our innate and ever-present quality of being, which is ultimately kind, loving, forgiving and wise.  In stillness, we grow familiar with the essence of who we are and what we’re here to do – which is to live in harmony with nature, and to live a life of purpose for the greater good of ourselves, our families and our communities.

When we spend time doing nothing, in real stillness (not just lying on the sofa mindlessly watching box sets and eating chocolate – that is actually ‘doing’ something and there is a time for that), our imperfections and vulnerabilities make themselves known. These are what our minds are usually crying out for us to fix or ignore (with an exercise regime, a promotion, a designer living room etc.) but when we let those little golden nuggets reveal themselves to us, they show us who we really are and what we really need.

javardh-680975-unsplashWhen we begin to see those awkward parts of ourselves as ‘helpful’ or positive, we begin to love and accept all aspects of ourselves.  Then somehow, as if by magic, the things that we really need to take action on become obvious and the things that don’t simply fall away.

So, this year my resolution is to do more ‘nothing’ and to be open to all that that brings, and I really hope you will join me in this today and in the years ahead.

With love for a peaceful and healthy 2019!  Xxx

Keeping mum – how Prana Mama Yoga can take care of you…

Through Prana Mama Yoga, my mission is to inspire you to experience the knowledge and wisdom of yoga so that you can live a life of purpose, good health and happiness, whichever stage of life you’re living.

Whether you’re a mum-to-be, a new mum or someone of any age who wants to improve your physical and mental well-being through the practice of yoga, I am passionate about helping you to achieve that.

One of my clients, Kathryn McIntosh, has been with me for a while now on the Prana Mama journey.  We got to know each other through her business – @retreataberdeenshire – and a shared common passion for helping people feel better.

She initially came along to a number of my yoga workshops, and when she fell pregnant earlier this year, she also decided to take part in my pregnancy yoga classes.

Kathryn, whose business offers massage, reflexology and aromatherapy, enjoyed my style of pregnancy yoga so much, that she and her husband embarked on my HypnoBirthing course.

I caught up with Kathryn recently, just before she had her baby, to have a chat about her experiences of yoga practice with me.

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How have my Pregnancy Yoga classes helped you to cope with pregnancy?

I found the classes to be a massive support mentally and emotionally, particularly in the early stages of my pregnancy.  As an older mum, I was in a state of disbelief about my pregnancy initially, and frightened to get too excited in case something went wrong. Your class really helped me to get into that headspace that you’re pregnant and this is what’s happening.  I also found it helped me to build a support network – spending time with other mums-to-be over the weeks progressively allayed my fears and strengthened my confidence.

The classes offer a holistic approach and consider the mind, body and emotions – rather than just coming from a medical perspective of scans, urine samples and blood tests!

Physically, in the later weeks the pregnancy yoga aided comfort, and helped me stay in tune with my ever-changing body.  While I wanted to carry on exercising, the classes encouraged me to be gentle with my body, listening to it, rather than forcing it to do other things that perhaps I would have done.

Would you recommend my pregnancy yoga classes to anyone else? If so, why?

I would indeed, as the classes are beneficial regardless of whether you’ve practised yoga before or not. You have an intuitive sense of what everyone requires, and have the knack of making classes gentle enough for everyone, but also stronger yoga practitioners like myself can take a lot from them, such as calming the mind, and surrendering to what my body was telling me it needed.

You have also participated in my HypnoBirthing programme…

Yes, there’s so much to it, and you can pick out the bits that work for you.  I’ve found the information to be really beneficial.  . With a deeper understanding you can make more informed choices, which then eliminates a lot of the fear associated with having a baby.

Relaxation, visualisation, meditation – I was used to these practices, but HypnoBirthing offers these on a whole other level.

The programme also helped my husband John get involved with the pregnancy and bond with the baby.

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Can you describe a typical HypnoBirthing session?

We really enjoyed having the sessions privately in our own home.   It enabled myself and John to relax into the programme more readily.  A typical session is a good balance between information, tailored to us as a couple and lots of lovely relaxation.  Birth videos weren’t my thing, but I love them now!  They have helped my husband become more aware of how natural birthing plays out rather than what’s portrayed on the TV and in the movies.

We had five sessions of around 2.5 hours each, which we spaced across six weeks or so.  The downtime between the sessions gave us chance to process the information, practise what we were learning, ask relevant questions and address the pregnancy as it moved along.  You did a good job of getting to know us and tailoring the course to suit us individually.

What have you taken from the programme? How do you foresee it having a positive effect on your experience of your baby’s birth?

I feel educated, more instinctual with my body, calmer about pregnancy and birth and in general.  I find my head’s more able to let go of worrisome thoughts.  I feel prepared, and having explored the various options, I can trust in how my baby’s birth will unfold.

While a natural birth is our goal, I’m also prepared and equipped for my birth to unfold in any direction, as I have learned lots of techniques I can draw on. I feel the education side of the programme has enabled me to make informed choices that’ll help me and the baby when the time comes.

I can trust the doctors and nurses because I have the information.  It’s about bringing nature and medicine together in a really respectful way.  Our midwives have been impressed with the preparation we’ve done.

Is there anything else you feel will help you as you embark on this new, exciting chapter in your life?

Yes, the relaxation and managing anxiety are tools for life, and I can take these forward.  I now get so much more out of any type of relaxation and meditation practice.  It’s also trickled into the work that I do, and our life as a family – we feel ready and empowered to start the next chapter in our own way. 

Now John and I feel better able and more empowered to do what we feel is right.  Having a baby is an individual experience, and HypnoBirthing embraces the unique circumstances of each family.

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I feel confident and am excited for the birth!

I am so grateful for all the support and practical help I’ve gained from you Lis. I genuinely feel I could get in touch at any time!  Your genuine passion for helping women to live their best life infuses every aspect of your interaction with us.  Prana Mama Yoga is all about the sisterhood!

I am delighted to report that, since our chat, Kathryn and John welcomed baby daughter Flora into the world!  My first HypnoBirthing baby was born on Wed 17th Oct at 3.30am, weighing 6lbs 8oz.

If you would like to know any more about how I can help you experience life to the full, please get in touch with me at:

Click here to find a full list of upcoming blocks of classes which include Pregnancy Yoga, Postnatal with Baby Yoga and Yoga for You.

The next block of HypnoBirthing starts in January ’19.  Click here for more details.

Yoga as part of sports training? Just run with it!

Are you training for a marathon? Gearing up for a cycling sportive? No doubt you’ll be racking up the miles and counting the calories as part of a rigorous training schedule to prepare you for an epic feat of athletic endurance.

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I’m guessing that yoga sessions probably don’t feature within this schedule. After all, how could such a slow and gentle pursuit possibly help you to run faster, cycle further or get stronger? Well, in a whole multitude of ways actually! Yoga and sport are not mutually exclusive, any more than your mind and your body are. More and more sportspeople are realising that yoga can enhance not just their sporting performance, but also their overall quality of life.

sunriseKeen to delve deeper into this fascinating subject, I recently had a chat with Ewan Hewertson, director of Inverurie-based Tribalcore, which specialises in group training, personal training and online coaching. Ewan combines sports and military science to create bespoke training programmes, with a strong focus on the importance of balance, co-ordination, flexibility and core-strength, not to mention a calm, stress-free state of mind. So, it’s no surprise that he is passionate about the value of incorporating yoga into training plans. I wanted to find out more about how yoga has helped both him and his clients.

What is your career background?

I served with the Royal Marine Commandos 11 years during which time I was challenged mentally and physically, in all manner of situations and environments. After leaving in 2002, I went on to study personal training and sports therapy. Since then I have been fortunate enough to work with a whole range of clients, from a 13-year old boy who was recovering from a stroke, to a Formula 3 racing car driver. I also returned to the Marines for a time, where one of my roles involved training new recruits and maintaining fitness for the trained ranks.

Tell us a bit about the role you play with sportspeople and their training plans?

Whether my clients are keen sportspeople or not, I use the three pillars of mind, nutrition and body to evaluate and improve their current situation. Looking at the mind first I focus on motivation, reducing stress and improving quality of sleep. I also give advice on nutrition, because after all, ‘We are what we eat!’ With the body I start out by improving posture, mitigating any injuries and finally working on improving performance to help them achieve their goals. I also strive to make clients understand why they want to achieve those goals, as this is vital for long-term success.

I’ve heard recently that sports trainers are encouraging people to take up yoga as part of their training for the likes of a marathon. What are your thoughts on that?

Absolutely! It is essential for everyone participating in sport to have good balance and co-ordination, and to ensure that core areas such as the joints, mid-section and upper body are strong and have a wide range of motion.


What benefits does yoga provide when training for an endurance or competitive event?

The benefits are endless! Yoga improves flexibility and the condition of the muscles, enhances balance and proprioception and increases endurance in the muscles and respiratory system. It also prevents injury and aids quicker recovery by improving the blood flow. Mentally it can reduce stress and enable you to gain clarity and focus in your chosen activity. All of this leads to better performance and more power in sport and in life.

Is this a new thing in the wider sporting arena?

I wouldn’t say so. I believe that most good coaches and trainers have long been encouraging their clients to take up yoga to complement their own training plan. Where I have seen a change is in the focus of the yoga: previously we would focus more on moving through a range of movements, but I now think that when we hold a position for longer it requires a deeper level of control, focus and strength, which can only be of benefit.

Can you give me an example of how yoga has helped one of your clients?

One of my clients was a racing car driver in Formula 3 and Le Mans. He was a tall guy, but spent hours in a tiny cockpit, which forced him to contort his body for long periods of time while driving.

This resulted in significant bruising in his spine, which was having a detrimental impact on his driving, and on his life.  I focused our training efforts on stretching and lengthening his muscles to realign his posture.  It was a game-changer, and significantly improved not only his performance, but also the quality of his life. After some time, he gained two inches in height and the spinal bruising disappeared.


So how can yoga help you to unlock your full potential?

Yoga helps you to better understand your body. A problem that many sportspeople encounter is that the strength they have worked so hard to achieve can lead to areas of extreme tightness, restricting their range of movement and increasing their risk of injury.

Through yoga you can begin to understand where you’re strong or weak, tight or flexible, which allows you to begin correcting those problems. By focusing on areas that are tight, the practice of yoga can improve mobility and flexibility, and restore some balance to the body.

In addition to all of these benefits, yoga can also improve recovery, increase longevity in your chosen sport, and make it possible to hold certain positions for longer and with better stability.

Downtime and recovery are vital elements of any training schedule. With yoga we are making time to relax and clearing our minds of stress and negativity. In turn, when we feel calm and in control, we can focus more clearly on our goals, over-ride fearful and doubtful thoughts and achieve more than we ever thought possible.

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Find your edge – Yoga for Sport

If you would like to experience first-hand how yoga can help you find your sporting edge, join myself and Karen Rennie of MiYoga, at our session on yoga for sport on Saturday 22nd September at Kinellar Community Hall, Blackburn, from 9.30 – 12pm.

The session will include dynamic poses to warm up your muscles and loosen your joints, passive holds to relax and stretch tight muscles, and resting poses along with breathing and meditation to encourage mental relaxation, and to strengthen your resolve in achieving your goal.  Light, healthy refreshments will be available during a short break.

Beginners to yoga are most welcome.  Just come along with an open mind, do your best and find what feels good for you.

For further information place, please get in touch.  To book your place, please click here.

We look forward to seeing you there.





How to make fear your friend

Heard the phrase – ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’?   The same goes for ‘fear’.  When we allow fear to take control we become over-whelmed, fatigued, sad, find it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks and behave in ways we’d prefer not to.  In six steps I’m going to show you how to befriend your fear, see it for what it is and use it as an opportunity to raise your energy levels, let your true self shine and, experience life to the full.

Fear blocks our potential


While fear is a good thing – primal, instinctual and there to keep us safe from harm if we remain unaware of how fear is dominating our day-to-day lives, it can do more harm than good by stopping us experiencing the truth of who we are and the endless possibilities available to us as a result.

Get to know your fear

Have you noticed the number of fearful thoughts that run through your mind on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour and minute-to minute basis?  From insignificant thoughts, like a fear of ‘putty’ (which features quite heavily in my household at the moment with two primary age children obsessed with squwidg-ing it all around the house), to fears of being rejected or singled-out and then bigger fears which feature you or a family member being involved in an accident or developing a life-threatening illness.  How many fear-based thoughts are actually doing you any good?

ana-tavares-598934-unsplashFor example, by the time I was around five months pregnant with my first child I had developed an immense fear of giving birth and equally so of doctors and hospitals.  I spent hours fretting over how I was going to deliver my baby and the many scary and disastrous outcomes that could be.  I had diligently tuned into fear by focusing on my preconceived ideas, birthing stories from other mums and episodes of ‘One Born Every Minute’.  I felt confused, ashamed for thinking badly of a situation that so many aren’t as fortunate to be in, emotionally exhausted and completely out of control.

Ask for help and do something (anything no matter how big or small)

Intuitively, I turned inward and asked myself – ‘If there’s anything within my power, that I can do to turn this situation around, what is it?’

Almost as soon as I’d admitted my fear, I had a willingness to change the situation.  I made a request for help and felt the huge weight of responsibility lift.  The simple act of doing something, anything, helped me see the situation differently and with a more positive perspective.


mark-adriane-259950-unsplashMy research involved tuning out of negativity and into positivity.  I began to research positive childbirth stories which required little or no medical intervention and talked to my midwife, my Pregnancy Yoga class mates, friends and family about how I was feeling.

As a result, I came across a system called ‘Hypnobirthing’ which included tools such as movement, breathing techniques, relaxation methods, visualisations and affirmations.  This made perfect sense to me, given my background in Yoga.  I also chose to visit a couple of hospitals where I could give birth which reassured me.  To my relief these facilities weren’t as scary and sterile as I’d pictured in my mind.  They were quite the opposite – warm, welcoming and very supportive.

Change is challenging – be kind

Changing perspective, opening ourselves up and moving forwards fearlessly isn’t always easy.  Many of our fear-based beliefs are there for a reason and have kept us safe (or in a comfortable place) for a long time.  When we move forward and do so with a new perspective we begin to shine a light on our vulnerabilities and insecurities.  This can feel very uncomfortable because sometimes we don’t like what we find and emotions can begin to surface.


Whenever I felt uncomfortable during the process I would do something nourishing for myself such as moving through a gentle Yoga routine, taking a bath, watching a film, eating a healthy nutritious meal or enjoying a walk by the beach.  A good option is also to write your thoughts and feelings in a journal – particularly if you find it hard to vocalise all that you’re holding inside.  Click here to view our previous blog ‘What’s not to love?’ on the topic of self-love useful for cultivating love for yourself.

I also armed myself with positive affirmations (positive statements that describe a positive outcome in the present tense) so that whenever I felt fearful thoughts creep back in I would have something positive to feed my mind with.  For example, “My mind is strong, my body is strong, my baby is strong.”

Visualise success but let go of the outcome

marcos-moraes-67911-unsplashWhile I was working towards my goal of giving birth naturally, with as little medical intervention as possible, I also knew that nature was at work and as we all know, nature is unpredictable and holds a power, support and wisdom of its own.

While I did all that I could to achieve a natural birth, I also let go of the outcome.  Aware that my baby’s birth wasn’t completely up to me and that medical intervention was a possibility, I did my best to make friends with all outcomes.  “I am open to whatever direction my baby’s birth takes.”

It’s your experience – own it, embrace it, get into it

 When the time came for my baby’s arrival I saw my situation as an opportunity to face my fear of doctors and hospitals and of giving birth.


I felt empowered, applied what I had learned, visualised success, focused wholeheartedly on doing my best, let go of the outcome and that day the stars aligned.  I delivered my daughter, gently and safely in water, within five hours and with no pain relief.  It was a magical experience and I loved every minute.  I recognised that the experience wasn’t happening to me, but that I was the experience and I was in full control.

Fear is an opportunity to learn and grow

ashley-rich-87733-unsplashHad I allowed fear to run the show I wouldn’t have learned how strong I am.  I wouldn’t have experienced the sheer joy, bliss and wonderment I felt when I delivered my baby.  I also developed an upmost respect for the medical profession and now see doctors and hospitals as a place to go for support rather than seeing them as a threat.  This is a far cry from the fear-based scenario I had planned out only a few months previously and I’m forever grateful for that.

Face your fear and do it anyway

taylor-ann-wright-417893-unsplashWhile I have used my experience of childbirth as an example here it’s possible to apply these steps to facing any fear.  Whether it be a fear of cotton wool, a fear of driving in the dark, a fear of flying, a fear of wearing a bikini on the beach, a fear of your children not eating broccoli – use your fear as an opportunity to get to know yourself by shining a light on your vulnerabilities, while opening you up to your own inner strength, which is far greater than you could ever imagine.

  1. Get to know your fear
  2. Ask for help and do something
  3. Be kind to yourself
  4. Visualise success and surrender the outcome
  5. Own your experience
  6. Fear is an opportunity

What holds you back from moving forwards in a positive direction?  Post a comment below if you’re happy to share your fears.  Possibly a great step in confronting your own fears.

If you’re experiencing fear of any sort Yoga can be a great support.  Prana Mama Yoga’s classes are suitable for all levels of ability and, as well as providing a great way to improve fitness, strength and flexibility, classes are there for you to make time for yourself to nourish your body as well as your soul.

If any part of Pregnancy or being a new mum is worrying you, Prana Mama Yoga can offer you support and information to help you achieve the most in your journey into motherhood.

Click the following links for class schedules and information on the types of Yoga we offer.

Pregnancy YogaPostnatal Yoga / Mum & Baby YogaAshtanga Yoga / Weekly schedule


What’s not to love?

For many people the run up to Valentine’s Day can be somewhat nerve racking, as most of us try to predict how our ‘love-o-meter’ is going to fair on the day.  Is my partner going to send me flowers or chocolates?  Am I going to receive a card?  Does anybody care?  Sound familiar?  Fear no more.  I’m going to give you some steps to help you cultivate love for yourself and recognise the deep, powerful source of love that lies within.



The ancient Yogi’s realised that searching outside of ourselves for love is human nature and very normal (phew!), having accrued thousands of years of turning inward through meditation and spiritual study.

They discovered that the only way to find lasting happiness, joy, good health, abundance and a zest for life is to love yourself first.  Loving yourself awakens you to a more peaceful, loving state and from that place you’re able to offer the same to others.  Whereas, relying on external circumstances to buoy-up your ‘love-o-meter’ status really only ever leads to heart-ache.



Before we get started, I’d like to get one thing straight:  The type of ‘loving yourself’ I’m talking about here isn’t about generating an air of superiority over others.  Truly and honestly loving yourself means letting go of self-judgement, self-criticism and sadness so that you can open up to who you really are – great, worthy and an epitome of love.  Tuning into this frequency of love puts you in a position to heal, transform and do good with your life.  Isn’t that what we’re here for?

When I look around the Mum and Baby Yoga class that I teach every week, I see mums and their babies loving one-another without question.   Babies are delighted to be in their bodies, as they explore every movement with great wonder, love every aspect of their mother and express their feelings (positive and negative) openly, unreservedly as and when they feel like it.  They are love personified.

So what happened?  When did loving and approving of ourselves wholeheartedly change and why do we find it so challenging to love ourselves when we are the same person as we were, when we were a baby?  When you consider all that you’ve been through in life to bring you to this moment surely you would love yourself even more?

You’re going to have to forgive yourself here for being human.  Over the years we gather impressions, perceptions, ideas and opinions which have been imposed on us to keep us safe.  However, the majority of them have been negative, derived from a source of fear and/or the feeling that something is missing.

These impressions have gradually built up to create a safe, protective shell around us.  While it’s cosy, comfortable and familiar within, the shell is also distorting the truth of who you really are.


If we don’t see or get to know our ‘shell’ we carry out our lives within its context, be it helpful or not, without even realising that we’re doing it.

Starting the process of ‘loving yourself’ puts cracks in our ‘shell’ and with practice, overtime it is possible to break down the barriers which prevent us from understanding who we really are, what makes us tick, what makes us feel peaceful and able live a life of fulfilment and joy.

Here are a few simple steps to help you love yourself more…


Practice Yoga or take up a Yoga class

While Yoga is a great physical practice it also has a very positive effect on the mind too.  It helps you to let go of stress, shine a light on who you are, how you think and behave and ultimately open you up to your purpose in life.  The philosophy of the practice also has a lot to offer in helping you accept life’s challenges and move through with a bit more ease.  It’s certainly not all about touching your toes.  Anyone can practice Yoga and if you can breathe you can do Yoga.

 Become aware of your thoughts

Become aware of your thoughts as if you’re watching them from a far.  Meditation is a great tool for putting some space between you and your thoughts.  It takes practice but can be very simple – click here to check out my last blog to learn more about the benefits of meditation and some easy ways to get started.

Be willing to see differently and choose a more loving perspective

Be willing to let go of thoughts of self-criticism and judgement.  We always have a choice.  Choose to replace negative thoughts with a more loving perspective.  Affirmations can be extremely effective.  For example, if a negative thought towards yourself comes to mind say to yourself…

  • I love and approve of myself
  • I love myself just the way I am
  • All that I seek is already within me

Practice gratitude

Be grateful – be grateful for being you, for another day, for the sky, the grass, the trees, for your family, for anything you can think of.  Being grateful helps us see and enjoy what’s already around us and within us.  It generates good feelings.  Write a list of things you’re grateful for and refer to it often.

Let it go

Practicing forgiveness helps us to let go of old patterns of thoughts and behaviours that aren’t serving us and allows us to be present in the moment.  Forgiveness helps us release resentments that we may have held onto for years.



Cultivating love for yourself is a topic very close to my heart.  It can be challenging and it’s not always easy, but it’s incredible how a very subtle and simple shift in thoughts/perception towards yourself can make a huge and positive difference to your life.  I hope you enjoy this blog and get something from it – if only to realise that loving yourself is actually a ‘thing’.  It was a revelation to me 🙂

The healing benefits of Yoga are for everyone to enjoy and benefit from.  If you’re interested in joining a Yoga class then Prana Mama Yoga’s classes take place in Daviot and Kintore (Aberdeenshire) and suitable for all levels of ability and experience. Click here to view our weekly schedule.  Prana Mama Yoga is teaming up with Rona Yoga  to host an evening of Yoga, ‘Yoga…and so to bed’ geared to induce a better night’s sleep at the Daviot Village Hall on Friday 23rd February 2018 from 7pm.   Click here for further details and a booking link.

With love to you as you love yourself more, Lis x


Keep your cool this Yule with an easy mindful meditation

The festive period can invoke huge swings in thoughts and feelings – such as ‘excitement’ and ‘joy’ at the prospect of seeing friends and family as well as ‘fear’ of not getting everything done in time and perhaps even ‘sadness’ at the thought of absent loved ones.  If we don’t get these thoughts and feelings in perspective, they can leave us feeling stressed, overwhelmed and drained.

I’m going to share with you two simple meditations that will help you hit the ‘pause button’ for a few moments to find that place of calm and the awareness within yourself to enjoy those precious moments to the full.  A regular practice over the festive season will help you to feel refreshed and restored for 2018.

You may be sceptical having heard the word ‘meditation’ but bear with me…I’m NOT going to ask you to sit cross-legged under a ‘Bodhi’ tree and empty your mind for hours at a time.  However, I am going to ask you to continue with your day-to-day activities, eat chocolate and you can even keep your eyes open if you want to.

‘Mindfulness’ is a type of meditation that takes you away from the chatter in your mind and straight into the present moment, which cultivates a sense of calm and awareness.  Once the exercise is finished you are in a better place – clear about where you’re going next and what you’re going to do, so that when you get there you can give it your undivided attention and experience the moment.  What’s a greater gift than giving yourself or a loved one your presence?

Here’s how to do it…choose a regular day-to-day activity such as hanging out the washing, giving your child a hug or even wrapping a gift.  While you’re carrying out the activity ask yourself five questions…

  1. What am I doing now?  (Acknowledge the physical sensations that you can feel)
  2. What is my emotional state now? (Am I feeling calm or overwhelmed?)
  3. What is my mental state now?  (Am I thinking about what I’m doing or am I thinking about something that happened earlier in the day or something that’s going to happen later?)
  4. What can I hear now? (Notice sounds close by and those further away)
  5. What is the quality of my breathing now? (Is it fast and up at the top of my lungs or is it full and slow and is my belly moving as I breathe?)

If your attention wanders, then simply and gently invite your attention back to the exercise (this is very normal and being aware of your attention wandering is where the magic lies).

I love to practise this mindful meditation when I’m hanging out the washing.  I breathe in the fresh air, feel the temperature on my face and hear the trees moving in the wind.  I notice my feet on the ground and the texture of the clothes in my hands as I hang them out.  I tune into how I’m feeling and where my mind is.

This exercise is soooo simple and allows me to push the ‘pause button’, take a breather and be in a better place to choose my next activity.  For example, if I have good energy I will begin another household chore.  If I’m tired I will take note and think about when in the day there might be an opportunity for me to relax or perhaps even get to bed earlier.

This practice can also help improve memory.  By focusing on what you’re doing it’s possible to eliminate annoying habits like losing keys.

Another technique which is great for this time of year is the ‘Chocolate meditation’ and here’s how to do it…

 The Chocolate meditation

Choose a piece of chocolate – a variety that you don’t usually eat or haven’t tried before (shouldn’t be too difficult at this time of year).  Good quality flavoursome chocolate will work really well.  If you’re not a fan of chocolate – try another confectionary.  Preferably one that takes a little while to dissolve.

  1. Take the wrapper off and feel the chocolate with your fingers – notice the temperature and the texture.
  2. Smell the chocolate or sweetie and allow its scent to sweep over you.
  3. Notice the sound as you break off a piece.
  4. Look a the confectionary and allow your eyes to consume every detail.
  5. Put piece in your mouth.  See if you can hold it on your tongue without moving or chewing it.  Chocolate has over 300 hundred flavours.  What do you notice?
  6. If your attention wanders (which is very normal) and you notice, simply acknowledge the thought or feeling and gently invite your attention back to the chocolate (the present moment).

If you’d like to have a go at some more meditation then Prana Mama Yoga is running a “Festive Meditation for Beginners” class to raise funds for Kayleigh’s Wee Stars on Wednesday 20th December ’17 at the Kintore Public Hall from 7.30-8.30pm.  For more information or to book a place go to our events page

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you.  Because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.  Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”. Roald Dahl

Yoga is for everyone…

Welcome to Prana Mama Yoga where our mission (Dharma) is to help you feel healthier, happier and more peaceful in everyday life, through the practice of yoga postures, meditation, breathing exercises and some practical philosophy too.

At any stage of life the practice and philosophy of Yoga offers us a way to find balance between our body, mind, emotions and even our spiritual side.  When these parts of ‘being’ work in harmony the mind becomes clear, we feel a sense of peace and we feel fit and energetic.  As a result life is richer and more enjoyable.  We make better choices and find ourselves in a better place to support our families and take part in the wider community.

Prana Mama Yoga offers pregnancy and postnatal yoga, Ashtanga yoga and meditation classes and workshops in Aberdeenshire.

“May you be filled with loving kindness, may you be well, may you be peaceful and at ease, may you be happy…” A Tibetan Buddhist Blessing