Happy Gut = Happy You

Gut Health Yoga Southampton

by Charlotte Troester

 

Gut health isn’t the sexiest of subjects, but it’s one I’ve been exploring recently since my experience with nutrition has changed.

 

A book on the subject that I recommend is ‘The Clever Guts Diet’ by Dr. Michael Mosley. Here is what I have found out about Gut Health

Our intestines has a brain.

It contains over 100 million neurons, as many as you would find in the brain of a cat!

Wonder why you have ‘a gut instinct’?

It comes from this second brain which orchestrates digestion and moderates gut pain

One to two kilos of live creatures (microbes) live in our gut.

They make up what is known as our microbiome. We have over 50 trillion microbes in our gut, at least 1000 different species – a richer diversity of life than you’d find in a rainforest!

Here’s the part that I find most interesting when it comes to our microbiome and what these microbes do:

  • They help regulate our body weight.
  • They decide how much energy your body needs to extract from the food you eat.
  • They control hunger signals.
  • They help decide which foods you crave.
  • They determine how much your blood sugar spikes in response to a meal.
  • They teach and regulate our entire immune system.
  • Over the last half-century there has been a massive rise in allergic diseases (e.g. asthma, eczema) caused by an overactive immune system.
  • We have also seen an increase in autoimmune diseases (e.g. inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes), primarily caused by an immune system out of control.
  • Changing the mix of bacteria in your gut can reduce the impact of these diseases.
  • They create hormones and chemicals which affect your mood.
  • The microbiome does this by taking the bits of food our body can’t digest and converting them into hormones and chemicals.
  • This has implications on our mood, appetite and general health.
  • Changing your biome may reduce anxiety and lessen depression.
  • 80-95% of serotonin is created in our gut (depending on which source you are looking at). Serotonin is often called the ‘happiness hormone’.

You can see why I have become fascinated by the subject. The idea of healing the gut and therefore healing the body and mind has captivated me.

The reason for my interest in this subject began in January 2016 when I completed a 30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond programme with Arbonne. I found myself losing bloating and excess weight, gaining more energy, clearer skin and better sleep but these were all results I was expecting. What surprised me was the incredible feeling of happiness that took over and for me this was the best result I could ask for (especially during a long, dark January!).

I am certainly no expert on the subject of gut health. I only speak from my personal experience which has then encouraged me to do my own research. The relation between gut health and happiness is fascinating and one I highly encourage you to explore.


 

 


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Happiness is…

Yoga  Southampton Happinessby Charlotte Troester

 

My name is Charlotte and I am on a happiness journey! My mission is to live my best life possible and to help and inspire others to do the same.

There have been three pivotal turning points in my life so far. One was in 2010 when I took a year out with my partner to travel the world. We had saved enough not to have to work and visited 11 different countries in that year. Every morning we woke up and could decide what to do with the day, where to go, what to explore. Every day I woke up filled with excitement and every day I went to bed feeling inspired, having learnt something new, made a new connection and feeling happy.

The second was in 2013, when I found yoga. Yoga has introduced me to a whole new journey, one where I am learning to live in the moment, follow my passion, believe in myself and to have the courage to live the life I wish to lead. What started as a way to physically exercise myself has become so much more.

In 2015 yoga led me to assess my life and ask me what really made me happy. The answer was helping others and freedom and so I allowed myself to be open to opportunity. Shortly after this, I started my Arbonne business alongside my business development management job and a whole new journey began, one of personal development, continuous growth, new friendships and discovering a deepening passion for health and wellness.

In January 2017 I was made redundant from my job but as I already had my business in place, this became my full time passion. My business has given me the freedom and flexibility to delve deeper into self-care and what makes us happy as humans. I continue on this journey, helping as many people as I can in finding their true health and happiness and living their best life.

For each one of us happiness means something different. Happiness for me is starting my day off with purpose and positivity and I am so happy to share my routine with you. Here’s what works for me…

Wake up one hour earlier than I need to.

This is a shocker for some – I know it was for me when I first started! Now that I work from home for myself, I have flexibility, so I choose to get up at 6.30am as I like to start my work between 8am and 9am. However, when I was working in a job for someone else, I got up at 5.30am.

Why do I get up an hour earlier? So that I can start my day off right, and here’s what I do…

Silence

I start my day in silence. Meditation allows you to start the day in control and focused. It’s surprising how much it clears your mind and how many ideas and inspiration will come to you after giving your mind this space.

Affirmations

Positive words to yourself – they have been scientifically proven to rewire your brain. What you think about, you bring about. By telling yourself positive things in the morning, this raises the level of feel-good hormones and you will approach the day on a whole new energy level.

Visualisation

Be bold – picture your wildest dreams coming true! Or simply picture your day going as you would like it to. Visualising what you want to achieve is one of the most powerful things you can do to help you to actually make it happen.

Exercise

I find this is the perfect time to do some yoga, even if it’s just five or ten minutes. Time spent first thing to stretch and breathe makes the world of difference to me, especially if I am going to be working at my desk that day. You might want to do this, or a few star-jumps or maybe bounce around the room to your favourite song!

Reading

Feeding your mind first thing with something inspiring and positive, or learning something new, will make you feel energised and alert. Reading is one of my favourite things to do, so how wonderful to wake up to this!

Journaling

Write your worries, joys, fears, struggles, successes and set your intentions for the day – get it all down on paper and out of your head. I end my journaling with gratitude – 3 things that I am grateful for in that moment, whether that be my partner or the cup of herbal tea in front of me. Big or small, feeling grateful is one of the happiest states to be in.

Eat Healthy

There is an undeniable link between the food we eat and our happiness (more on this in a future blog…). Hormones and chemicals are created during the digestion process and what these are/how many of them there are depend on what it is we have eaten. I start my morning with a protein shake made of protein, healthy fats (nut butter/avocado/coconut oil, etc.), fibre, vegetables (kale/spinach/celery/beetroot, etc.) and berries.

Your morning routine doesn’t have to take as much time as I spend on mine. You could even do a six minute version! I recommend reading ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod if you’re looking for further inspiration and please do contact me if you want further recommendations on books or resources for any of the above. I would love to help!

 


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Yoga for Lefties: Are Lefties Left Out In Yoga?

Yoga for leftiesAre you are left handed? What’s your experience of attending yoga classes as a leftie and why does everything yoga seem to favour the right? Let’s explore yoga for lefties.

“Roll over to your right hand side” the Yoga Teacher instructs at the end of Savasana.

“Place your right hand on top of your left in Dyana Mudra” this is a hand position used in meditation that can feel quite odd if you’re left handed and it is clearly instructed that you can’t just swap it to feel more comfortable.

95% of the time all of the sequences seem to start with the right side, step your right leg forward into Warrior II.

Then it gets super complicated when you add in some of the Pranayama (breathing exercises) such as Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breathing) which have complicated hand positions.

So why is this? And how can you adapt your yoga practice to feel more natural as leftie? There are some good reasons why yoga practices emphasises the right, then there is myth, legend & laziness.

~ LUNAR/SOLAR: The left side represents the lunar / moon energy which is soothing and calming and the right side represents the solar / sun energy which is energising and activating. If you want to honour this in your yoga practice, begin your stimulating morning yoga practice with your right side and in a tranquil evening practice start with the left side. This is one of the reasons given for rolling to the right side after Savasana, to awaken the energy after the deep relaxation.

~ FEMININE / MASCULINE: The left side represents the feminine energy. It is the subtle, intuitive, feeling side and should be cared for, and not overused to prevent it from losing this subtly. The right side represents the masculine energy and is used more for function, action and everyday transactions.

~ HEMISPHERES OF THE BRAIN: Many of the Pranayama exercises (breathing exercises) have an effect on balancing the hemispheres of the brain. Surya Bhedana (solar breath), you inhale through the right nostril and exhale through the left using your right hand to block and release the nostrils. If, as a left hander, you just swapped this you’d have a very different experience and would actually being doing the sleeping, calming breath. You could swap your hands over and use your left hand to block off the nostrils but you’d then need to swap over all of the instructions as well. If you have a clear understanding of these pranayama practices you can do this but for a complete beginner it would be confusing.

~ A RIGHT HANDED WORLD: Being a leftie is a minority group, 90% of the world of right handed, so it’s highly likely that your yoga teacher is right handed and just hasn’t considered what your experience is like. So tell your teacher that your left handed and that’s is more comfortable for you to modify certain things. After all yoga is about connecting with and honouring your body, working with it not against it.


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Sunday 27th September 2015 – Super Moon, Blood Moon, Lunar Eclipse

Nature is so damn clever. After the Equinox on Wednesday reminding us of the importance of balance and in particular the balance of opposite such as light and dark, day and night, nature goes ahead a does it again tonight, showing us both the brightest and darkness full moon in the same night! This hasn’t happened since 1982.

It’s looking like we’ll have clear skies tonight so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we will be able to see both tonight’s Super Moon and The Blood Moon during the Lunar Eclipse.

During a Super Moon the moon is closest to the earth and appears significantly bigger and much brighter. We should be able to see this for much of tonight. Then around 12am tonight the partial eclipse will start, when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon. It will be a total eclipse between 1am – 2.30am. During this time, the Moon may appear Blood Red as the light from the sun bends around Earth.

If you feel like celebrating with some yoga, try my online Lunar Flow Class to Balance and Calm Body and Mind (also perfect Sunday Yoga!). You’ll find it in my Online Yoga Studio (http://www.lauragreenyoga.co.uk/studio?id=browse)

 


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September What’s On – Yoga Classes, Beginners Yoga Workshop, Autumn Equinox Workshop, Retreat

September Whats On: Yoga Classes, Yoga Retreats, Yoga WorkshopsWell it’s official now, Welcome to Autumn. September has a feeling of renewed focus to it which I love. It’s usually the 2nd busiest month at class, after January, as we settle back into our routines. It also marks the beginning of the last 3rd of the year, making it the perfect opportunity to sit back and reflect on what hopes and dreams you would like to manifest this year and then use the ‘back to school’ feeling to make some progress.

 

I’m off to Italy, 10th-19th of September, to host the True Taste of Tuscany Yoga Retreat. All classes will be running as usual whilst I’m away with Kate, Linda, Helen, Candice, Emma and Martin covering. Please make an effort to attend classes whilst I’m away as it is a great opportunity to learn new and different things and reinvigorate your practice with a different teacher. I still have a couple of spaces available for Tuscany so if you fancy and last minute spontaneous trip – let’s make it happen!

 

Yoga Classes resume at Taunton’s College this Thursday 3rd Sept (17:45 & 19:00) and at Chilworth Village Hall on Tuesday 8th Sept (11:30). Check out the class timetable.

 

I’m looking to release dates shortly for 2016’s Day Retreats, Weekend Retreats and Retreats Abroad and have been working really hard to plan and organise totally unique and inspiring experiences for you – I can’t wait to share them with you.

September What’s On


Beginners Yoga Workshop

Sat 26th Sept | 14:00 – 15:30 | Taunton’s College, Southampton

A comprehensive 1.5 hour yoga workshop to teach beginners all the essential and fundamental aspects of yoga to kick start (or restart) a journey into the wonderful practice of yoga. We’ll cover the key groups of yoga poses which strength and stretch the body; learn slowly and in detail the yoga Sun Salutations and practice yoga breathing techniques for relaxation as well as stamina. You’ll leave this class feeling clear, confident and ready to join a drop in yoga class. This workshop is for total beginners, it will be slow, thorough, relaxed and informal. A great introduction into an amazing practice. Workshop fee 12. To book please email me.

 

Relax & Renew Restorative Yoga Workshop

Fri 25th Sept | 18:00 – 19:15 | Taunton’s College, Southampton

This candle lit restorative yoga class is the perfect way to wind down at the end of the week. In restorative yoga the body is fully supported by a variety of different props so that there is no active engagement of the muscles, instead they get to gently stretch, relax and open into the comfort of the props. Restorative yoga promotes deep rest and relaxation; it is the ideal way to recharge your batteries and is a real treat. Workshop fee 12. To book please email me.

 

Autumn Equinox Yoga Workshop

Sat 26th Sept | 10:00 – 12:00 | Taunton’s College, Southampton

This special 2 hour practice is inspired by the Autumn Equinox. Drawing on the focus and determination of autumn we flow through empowering standing postures looking out how we can step into our strength through slow, deliberate and structured movement. Inspired by this time of balance, during the equinox we have equal hours of day and night, we look at how we find and maintain our own balance both on and off the mat by juggling opposites. The Autumn Equinox is also a time for letting go, just as the trees shed their leaves so we look at what is no longer serving us and what we need to let go of to enable new doors open, and new directions and possibilities to be revealed. Workshop fee 20. To book please email me.

 

True Taste of Tuscany – 7 Night Yoga Retreat

12th – 19th September

A true taste of Tuscany and Italian hospitality awaits on this 7 night Yoga Retreat – all inclusive (except flights). Staying in a secluded sanctuary hidden amongst the Olive Groves we will indulge in two yoga classes daily, savour the delicious classical Italian Cuisine, sample the local wines with a wine tasting experience, and day trip into Siena for the food markets, shops and culture. This will be an amazing adventure. Yoga, wine, great food, stunning location – what more could we ask for? Full details here.

See you on the Mat!


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The Only Constant is Change – Lessons from Yoga

It’s feeling Autumnal – Yes? And yet again, I feel resistant to this change. I want to cling on to the long, warm, summer days yet I know this is not possible – I can’t fight the changing seasons for as with most things the actuality is outside of my control, all I can change is my reaction to it. This is what we call ‘attachment’ in yoga, where we hold on tightly to the things we love and to the familiar which in turn stifles our potential. Instead, we try to practise ‘non-attachment’ by embracing change. When we resist change and try to make something permanent we in turn create frustration and sadness because permanence is impossible. Nothing is fixed – reality is always changing – so we might as well get good at Crossing The River of Change. In the words of Dr. Joe Dispenza:
“Crossing the river of change requires that you leave the same familiar predictable self: connected to the same thoughts, same choices, same behaviours, and same feelings, and step into a void of the unknown. Entering this river is stepping toward a new unpredictable, unfamiliar self. The unknown is the only place where you can create: you cannot create anything new from the known.”
This is why I love to travel so much; to visit places unknown to me and be inspired to get creative with my life. To marvel at life’s different colours, tones, rhythms and embrace both the light and the shadows as I do my best to step off the predictable path as many times as possible. Step of the path with me and cross the river of change whilst eking out some extra days of Summer at my True Taste of Tuscany Yoga Retreat 12th-19th September. It is not too late to be spontaneous and take a vacation from the familiar predictable self. Be inspired by the stunning Tuscan countryside, immerse yourself in yoga and meditation, food andVinoTherapy!

Sorry What? Did you know that VinoTherapy is actually a word? I love it – almost as much as I love a large class of fine Italian Red Wine (Brunello di Montalcino is my favourite). Just 4 weeks till I fly to Italy for this retreat which definitely includes Vinotherapy, along with PastaTherapy, YogaTherapy and LazeAroundByThePoolinTheSunTherapy! I still have a couple of spaces available and I would just love to take you with me. I’m not 100% sure if I’ll repeat this retreat next yet as I’m trying to organise a Yoga & Safari Retreat so if you’re thinking about it for next year – don’t wait come now.

See you on the mat. Lx


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Once In A Blue Moon – Yoga & The Full Moon – Laura Green Yoga

Laura Green Yoga - Natarajasana Dancer's Pose
Laura Green Yoga – Natarajasana Dancer’s Pose

When someone says ‘Once in a Blue Moon’ you know what they mean: rare, unusual, seldom, infrequently. This year it means ‘the end of July’. As on Friday 31st July there is a Blue Moon. A Blue Moon is when there are 2 Full Moons in one month. Let this rare occurrence inspire you. What dreams, hopes, desires would you love to actually manifest in your life? Things that maybe you’ve putting off because they only happen ‘once in a blue moon’? People love to tell us the myriad of reasons why our dreams won’t come true, why we should stay on the straight and narrow and tow the party line – this comes from fear and insecurity. Don’t let your wings be clipped – you only have one life so why not live it? In the words of Marianna Williamson:

 

‘Your playing small does not serve the world
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.’

 

However crazy this sounds to you and however sceptical you feel, will you do me a favour on Friday?

 

After it’s dark go outside and look up to the Full Moon (even if it’s cloudy!) and share a little secret with the moon. Tell it what dream your heart desires, what you would like to manifest in the next lunar cycle, what first steps you want to take to make things happen for you. If you dare maybe even ask the moon for help – crazy I know but just try it this once for me and see what happens when you harness the power of the Full Moon. If you feel like celebrating with some yoga, try my online Lunar Flow Class which you’ll find in my Online Yoga Studio.


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Yoga & Self Care – Asking For Help

When was the last time you asked for help or support?

Through yoga, I have learnt to be strong, independent and capable: my personal Mantra is ‘I’ve Got This’ and this mantra has taken me places I could have never even dreamt of! But last week, I needed to stop, to ask for help and for support. I had to stand up and say ‘I haven’t got this’ – and yes I found that hard to do!
I needed a week to clear some space and halt the overwhelm. Like so many of you I thrive on busyness and my own yoga practise is what keeps me balanced; but after a really busy 7 months I was feeling overwhelmed. A week at home, with lots of yoga, meditation, good food and sleep gave me the self care I needed plus the time to clear much of the To Do list.
I’m so thankful to the wonderful Southampton yoga teachers who stepped in at the last minute to help and support by covering the yoga classes in Southampton, thank you to Linda, Emma, Helen, Kate & Candice.
Laura Green - Yoga Teacher Southampton in Astravakasana - 8 Limb Pose
Laura Green – Yoga Teacher Southampton in Astravakasana – 8 Limb Pose

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Wedding Photos

Wedding Photos – Just got them from the photographer I promised to share them, so here you go . . . Brought it all back looking at the photos – such a fun day with wonderful family and friends. LX

Laura Green Yoga - Wedding Photos
Laura Green Yoga - Wedding Photos

 


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