Breakfast with Abis- Calm is a superpower
A yin yoga, breath-work, meditation and reiki teacher Abigail talks to us about why being calm is so important and how it has enriched her life. She also gives us tips on a better night sleep and how to achieve that blissful state of calmness…
Why is calm a superpower?
These days we constantly strive to be over productive to keep up with life’s challenges despite the strain on our mind and body. This makes for a very unbalanced lifestyle When we practice being calm we manage to connect to our body, relax our mind, and re- energise. Through my coaching practices I teach Yin Yoga, breath-work, meditation and reiki. Not only do we make space for self care during the practices, but we regenerate our overall wellbeing, physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically.
What inspired you to set up Abi’s Journal?
It’s a long story. You know how one says that it’s not the goal but the journey that matters? I built my work around my life and I evolve as life does, collecting inspirations and learning along the way.
I love to expand my boundaries and connect with like-minded people around the world. I was inspired to start the journal when I was living in Tokyo, which sometimes feels like living on another planet; exciting and yet isolating at the same time.
I felt there was a need for people to discover ‘calm’ by learning from passion driven people, stylish mindful brands, Yin Yoga or breath-work so I started the journal with the aim of delivering this insight to people.
There are many types of yoga and often it can be hard to choose which one is best for you- what is Yin Yoga?
That is true. It can be quite overwhelming. The best is to try out a few and see which one fits us best. It all depends what we are looking for.
Yin Yoga is a deep meditative form of yoga which is based the ancient Chinese Medicine beliefs of channeling your body’s Chi (energy).
Yin Yoga poses are typically held for a longer period of time, relaxing the muscles in order to activate our connective tissues, the fascia and reboot our energetic system. We relax and energize our body and mind simultaneously. It is a lovely practice for everyone with lots of health benefits, preventative to many discomforts.
4.What drew you to Yin Yoga and what are its benefits?
Honestly I started my Yin training as a stepping stone to my Vinyasa training and got totally blown away by all it’s benefits. Practicing Yin on a regular bases has many benefits including lowered anxiety, improved digestion, more balanced ph level, increased lung capacity, strengthened immune system, improved focus, and better sleep. Resulting in an overall improvement of our sense of wellbeing.
Having said that, Yin only works when the Yang is balanced. If you have a very slow life and you boost with energy, your practice should be Yang focused. Where as if you are very busy, on the go, stressed or anxious then Yin is good for you. This is why I combine Yin with breath work, meditation and use custom made scents to enhance the experience for my clients and balance out their needs.
5.You also include breath-work in your classes how does this help to deepen our sense of calmness and clarity?
I love to teach breath-work for the same reasons I love Yin Yoga. It is in the calm, in the stillness that we benefit. A bit like a bow and arrow, we have to pull back to boost forward, stronger, further. At first the hardest for my clients is to find comfort in stillness.
Breath-work can be very calming too, or it can be invigorating. There are many ways to teach and practice breath work. In the Yin sessions we tend to focus on breath awareness, activating our parasympathetic nervous system to increase the benefits of the Yin poses. It is a journey to self-discovery that allows us to practice mindfulness.
6.If you had a stressful busy day what would be the first thing you would do to unwind?
Grab a glass of wine! Haha actually it’s exactly the opposite. When we are in a state of stress, all we need is calm to come back to our selves, back to the best version of ourselves. Feeling anchored comes when finding calm. I would use my diffuser and make myself a grounding blend, practice some deep belly breathing to tap into the rest and digestive nervous system. The power of scent goes a long way, When we smell we literally feel and create memories.
If it was an extremely stressful day or something just really upset you I would suggest more powerful breaths like sighing really loudly using your arms to just let it out, before trying to calm yourself down. I really like ‘The Class’ by Tarryn Toomey for stress release also.
7.What are your 4 tips for a good night sleep?
1. Not a night without herbal tea. Blending herbs that grow on my balcony with some dried roses is the potion I prepare for my family at night.
2. I also love to do a foot massage when I know I don’t have to get out of bed anymore with some lovely scented balm. Maybe with frankincense, lavender or cedarwood.
3. And then I read.
4. I do sleep best when I feel happy with myself though. When the ‘monkey mind’ is calm. That’s why I practice praise right before I close my eyes. Just thinking of the events or accomplishments of the day even if they are little, relaxes my mind. No more pressure, no more expectations, life in the present moment.
Quick fire questions
- Late night or early riser? Early riser
- Cotton or silk? Cotton in Summer, silk in Winter.
- What’s your most treasured possession? My personal space.
- Guilty pleasure? Champagne
- Favourite book? The next one : )
- What podcast are you listening to? None. I get bored of the advertisements before each talk
- Lucky number? 7
- What quote inspires you? Calm is a superpower