Posts in Mindfulness
Dr Emma Tiffin talks mindfulness, healthy eating, and more!

Mindfulness As you might have read recently in the Cambridge News (read article here), Camyoga are teaming up with Woodlands Surgery on Bateman Street to offer Mindfulness sessions to the general public. After GPs at the surgery tried Mindfulness with Camyoga they simply had to get behind these sessions and offer their support. The first session, an Introduction to Mindfulness workshop, costs just £20 and is open to everyone. Click here to find out more and to book your place.

This week we met up with Dr Emma Tiffin, of Woodlands Surgery, to ask her a few questions about her experiences of mindfulness. Here's what she had to say!

1. Hi Emma! How long have you worked for NHS?
23 years.
2. What is the surgery's main aim and what makes it so special compared to other surgeries?
To promote the health and wellbeing of all our patients and our local community. We have a beautiful, spacious new building which enables us to host an extended range of health and wellbeing service.
3. Why offer Mindfulness in surgery?
We believe that the mental health of our patients is as important as their physical health and that both influence each other. We see the effects of the pressure of modern life and value therapeutic strategies based on relaxation and dealing with stress.
4. How do you keep fit?
Yoga, gardening, using stairs instead of the lift at work, smiling and maintaining a positive attitude!
5. What's the biggest challenge of surgery?
Increased workload, more demands on the health service, shrinking financial NHS pot
6. What do you think is the biggest misconception general public have about GP's?
During the working day (averages 11 hours probably for most of us) and between clinics, GPs are relaxing, playing golf!
Actually we are catching up on administration (hospital letters, blood test results, home visits, phoning patients to answer queries etc) and having to run a business (GPs are independent contractors, ie. mini businesses that have to be financially viable.
7. Based on your experience, what are the 2 main potential benefits of doing Mindfulness?
Managing personal stress during the working day better. This facilitates better team working and a positive attitude with others.
8. If you didn't work for NHS where would your dream job be?
The NHS is my dream job, I live, breathe, sleep medicine. However I am also enjoying my regular radio slot on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and being a PR girl!
9. Tell us in 1 sentence 2 simple things the general public can do to help them maintain good health.
Think positive, eat a balanced diet.
Click here to find out more about Camyoga's Introduction to Mindfulness Workshop at Woodlands.

What is Mindfulness?

What Is Mindfulness?

mindfulnessDo you keep hearing the word 'mindfulness' and wonder what the heck everyone's on about? It'd be hard to ignore all of the press attention that mindfulness is getting right now, with recent articles in The Guardian, Huffington Post and The Times. You've no doubt heard about initiatives promoting mindfulness in schools, mindfulness in the workplace, mindful eating... even mindfulness for pets (no kidding)!

So what is all the fuss about? What actually is mindfulness, and why should you be doing it? Here is our simple guide to get you started.

1. Yes, mindfulness is meditation! Mindfulness is a secular (non-religious) form of meditation which can be used by everyone. But don't worry, you don't have to sit on the floor cross-legged if you don't want to - mindfulness practice can happen anytime, anywhere.

2. How does mindfulness work? Most of us don’t realise that our daily lives are dominated by distraction and mind chatter. And that distraction and mind chatter winds up being the force that drives us much of the day in terms of what we do, what we react to, and how we feel. Mindfulness teaches us simple practices to move beyond this, bringing calmness, focus, clarity and inspiration.

3. What do mindfulness practices involve? A typical exercise might involve mindfully eating a square of chocolate or a single raisin. Other exercises involve focussing fully on your breath as it enters and leaves your body, observing thoughts as they arise and practising letting them come and go with ease, without engaging with them.

4. Will mindfulness stop my life from being so stressful? Mindfulness won't get rid of life's stresses and pressures. It will, however, radically alter the way you handle them! It helps us to recognise and move away from our habitual reactions, enabling us to respond to events with calmness and ease.

5. Where's the proof that it works? Mindfulness has been subject to over 600 scientific studies, such has been the academic community's interest in figuring it out. Due to its track record it is now widely used in the NHS as an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. Click here to find out more about the science of mindfulness.

6. Ok, I'm convinced. How can I get started? If you'd like to dip your toe into mindfulness our 4 week Mindfulness ABC course is a great place to start. Or if you want to really get stuck into this practice we're running the acclaimed 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course later this month. We also work with companies looking to incorporate mindfulness into their wellbeing programmes. Email to find out more about mindfulness can benefit your organisation.

Top 5 Habits of Healthy, Happy Mums

Top 5 Habits of Healthy, Happy Mums

mymHow often are you left feeling frazzled as a mother? Torn between  your kids, your job, your partner and a hectic social life? Sometimes it just feels like there aren't nearly enough hours in the day, let alone the possibility of a little "me time" - what a luxury that would be, right? Well, we have some great news for you! There is time. It's simply a case of taking time to make a little time. Discover a way of being in the world that is a little less stressful, a little more luxurious, and you'll soon find that by being good to yourself, you're much more able to fulfil all of your duties and obligations to others, with ease and a genuine smile! Here's how:

1. Practice mindfulness.

Most of us don’t realise that our daily lives are dominated by distraction and mind chatter. And that distraction and mind chatter winds up being the force that drives us much of the day in terms of what we do, what we react to, and how we feel. Mindfulness teaches us simple practices to move beyond this, bringing calmness, focus, clarity and inspiration. Find out more about Mindfulness here.

2. Ask for help when you need it.

Sometimes we worry that by asking for help we're sending out signals that we can't cope, or that we're not fully independent. Healthy, happy mums are confident in just how nonsensical a notion this is! Developing a healthy interdependence with those around you can be challenging as when we ask for something, we put ourselves in a position of vulnerability. According to Brene Brown our ability to be vulnerable requires courage and forms the basis for our connection with others, a connection that is critical if we are to inspire others and live healthy, happy lives.

3. Practice acceptance.

Stop being at war with yourself. If heavy traffic is making you late, think how much more stressful the situation is because you are angry about the fact that heavy traffic is making you late. Accept that which you cannot change. By doing so, you are accepting reality.

4. Remember to breathe.

The next time you find pulling your hair out stop, step back from the situation and take 3 deep breaths. It's amazing how we have our own "reset" buttons right at our fingertips yet rarely do we fully utilise the power of the breath to change the way we think and feel. Learn more here

5. "Me time" is not a luxury!

Healthy, happy mums recognise that "me time" is not a luxury but an absolute essential. By taking time out to recharge your batteries you're not only helping yourself but everyone around you too. We're all a lot more fun to be around and more productive, after a little pampering. It needn't break the bank either. Why not take a bath, head to yoga class, try something you've never done before or simply put your feet up with a good book? You absolutely deserve it, remember that.

Women's healthMother's Day is just around the corner...

Bring your mum (or mum-in-law) along to Camyoga for free from Mon 24 March to Sun 30 March. Call us on 0223 847930 to book her in! "Health is the greatest gift", said the Buddha. So forget the flowers and chocolates this year and give your deserving Mum the enduring gift of yoga. We've a wide selection of Gift Cards available to suit all budgets. How about a month's pass to get her started? Learn more... 
Julian Huppert MP Tries Mindfulness at Camyoga!

Julian Huppert MP Gets Mindful at Camyoga

The beauty of a mindfulness practice is that it simply just works. Increasing clinical evidence for its efficacy and the wider availability of mindfulness courses (such as this one) mean that mindfulness is no longer the preserve of progressive NHS services, Google execs and those working in the wellbeing industry. If greater proof were needed that mindfulness has finally gone mainstream, then it has certainly arrived in the revelation that even our MPs are practising it , with over 50 of them signed up to sessions provided in Westminster.

With this in mind, our very own Julian Huppert MP was keen to join us at Camyoga for a session! Here's what he had to say: “It was great to have a chance to pause and focus on what’s happening now rather than all the business there normally is to deal with. I’m constantly having to look at email and Twitter so it will be good to do some mindfulness practice I do that.”

But you don't need to be involved with running the country to benefit from mindfulness practices. Click here to find out about our Mindfulness ABC course, starting on 7th February and get ready to live a more stress free life!

Facing Fear by Rosalind Southward

Facing Fear

47d598c1b92bacc54a6ffb7b0e76f1c3“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” - Japanese Proverb

It was a while ago that I promised to write about fear for the Camyoga blog, at which point I was hit with a case of writer’s block; yoga has helped me face my fears in so many ways I struggled to know where to begin. 459 steps later, at the top of the Campanile tower in Florence I found my inspiration. As I came out of the door at the top of the tower a wash of vertigo swept over me; all of sudden I felt dizzy, heart pounding and my first instinct was to run right back through the door I’d just exited. As I stood there frozen, the words of my teacher Ana Forrest popped into my head; “Rosalind, breathe”. I realized I was indeed holding my breath, that I was totally stuck in my head with the stories of my fear weaving a vicious web around me. As I deepened my breathing and connected with my feet and hands I was able to plug myself back into my body and the reality of the present moment. My heartbeat slowed down and I was able to actually allow myself to enjoy the amazing view I had gone up there to enjoy. I even managed to get upside down for day 161 of my 365-day handstand challenge – my highest handstand yet!

Deep breathing and active hands and feet are two of the fundamental aspects of Forrest Yoga; you’re taught them from the very start and use them in every single class. These are also two of the vital tools which help us to overcome fear both on and off the yoga mat. The next time you feel fearful check-in: are you holding your breath? Can you feel your feet and hands? Deepen your breath (and yes, full on ujayi is acceptable if it’s what you need!) and take a moment to feel the energy it brings to you. Spread your fingers and hand bones open, spread your toes and pull up on your foot arches. Notice that you can feel your feet/legs supporting you, and the energy moving from your lungs and heart through your arms to the tips of your fingers. Now you are connected back into your body, ask yourself which part of this can I do? How can I work with this fear rather than be beaten by it?

Use your time on your yoga mat as a mini laboratory; a safe place where you can experiment with facing smaller scale fears- whether it be going upside down, trying a new pose or even just doing something in a non-habitual way. Then make a warrior’s choice to transfer what you learn off your mat and into the rest of your life. And before you know it, the fierce lion facing you will have become a purring kitten! Rosalind Southward


Rosalind160x160Rosalind Southward teaches Yoga Flow at Camyoga. Rosalind teaches Forrest, Vinyasa, Hot, Yin Yoga and is also a CranioSacral therapist. She has taught yoga in Malaysia, Scotland and is now based in Peterborough. To view her classes at Camyoga click here