The health benefits of the Lotus pose

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

When it comes to yoga poses, the Lotus pose looks quite simple. Appearances however, can be deceptive, as ‘padmasana’ (the Lotus pose) is not as simple as it looks!

How to get into the Lotus pose

Before you attempt the Lotus pose, if you have any ankle or knee injuries or problems, check with a doctor and only attempt it with an experienced teacher.

  • Start by sitting on a mat with both legs in front of you, spine straight.
  • Bend your right knee and place right foot on left thigh, with your heel close to your abdomen (ensure the sole of your foot is pointed upwards).
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Place your relaxed, open hands on your knees (palms facing upwards).
  • Ensure you keep your head straight and your spine erect.
  • Ensure you alternate which leg is on top, every time you do this pose.
  • Watch your breathing – gentle long breaths in and out.

If you struggle to complete the full Lotus pose, you can place just one leg on the other thigh, again alternating every time you do the pose, until you are able to complete the whole pose.

The importance of the Lotus plant

Hindu texts describe the Lotus plant as being able to heal all, as well as awakening the dormant ‘kundalini’ energy at the base of your spine. In Buddhism, the Lotus plant is not only one of the most easily recognised motifs, it’s also seen as a really sacred aquatic plant.

Look at every Buddhist deity and they’re either sat on a Lotus plant or holding one – even Buddha himself is seen with each foot on a Lotus plant. The importance of both the Padmasana position and the Lotus plant in both Buddhist and Hindu life is seen more easily, once you break down the meaning of ‘padmasana’; it comprises of the Sanskrit words ‘padma’ (lotus) and ‘sana’ (meaning seat or throne).

The benefits it has on your physical body

The Lotus pose helps you improve your overall posture, as it helps strengthen your back. It works the lower body particularly well, stretching your ankles, knees and ligaments, whilst also maintaining flexibility in both your back and your knees. It also ensures your spine is stretched and straight, indirectly helping prevent a myriad of problems, including stomach and intestinal discomfort, constipation, lower back and lower joint aches and pains.

Your hips also benefit from the Lotus pose, as it opens up your hips – enabling the ligaments and muscles to be stretched. This also has the added advantage of making painful periods less painful and sciatica

The Lotus pose and pregnancy go together quite well to, with the Lotus pose ensuring both pregnancy and childbirth are less painful and stressful on your hip joints.

The benefits it has on your wellbeing and health

But it isn’t just your physical body that benefits from the Lotus position – your inner health and wellbeing are improved too. Consistently using the Lotus pose will increase your attention span and general awareness, whilst calming the monkey chatter in your brain.

Stretching and moving your muscles and ligaments will also naturally restore your energy levels safely – unlike the ‘false’ energy you get from fast food and chocolate – making it a perfect pose for not just strength, but also meditation, relaxation and stress relief.


If you are a beginner to yoga and can't quite get into the Lotus pose yet, why not check out my Yoga for Beginners DVD?

Image courtesy of sepy/Dollar Photo Club


What the musical ‘South Pacific’ can teach us about happiness

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 08 September 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

It’s hard to imagine that a movie about World War II and racial prejudice can teach us anything about happiness. However both the 1949 Broadway musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, and the subsequent 1958 film, can teach us A LOT about it – and it boils down to one simple, quick song, sung by a character called ‘Bloody Mary’.

Happy Talk

The song I’m referring to is only about 1½ minutes long – but it’s the wording that has the real gold:

“Happy talk, keep talkin' happy talk,
Talk about things you'd like to do.
You got to have a dream,
If you don't have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?”

(Happy Talk, lyrics from South Pacific sound track)

The importance of having a desire and wish

It reminds us of the key elements around having a dream or wish. It’s not enough to just have that desire, you need to talk about it and focus on it too. Having a desire is important to all of us – it gives us something to aim for. The song illustrates in simplistic terms, that we cannot change what we have, unless we have something different to aim for. It shows us that our personal happiness is in our own hands.

Our self talk

And this brings us onto the main part of making that desire a reality – the self talk. You have to keep talking about what you want in positive terms. You have to talk happiness, in order to be happy. It isn’t about what you have on the outside – it’s about what you have and feel on the inside that counts.

How we talk about our desires makes a difference. If we believe we CAN have what we want, we’ll be more likely to GET what we want. But it’s also about using positive wording around that desire too. Be happy and good to yourself and you’ll attract more happiness and goodness in to your life.

Implementation is important too

However being positive and talking positive ISN’T enough on its own. Why? Because you need to ACT on it too. Talking and thinking positive thoughts and using positive wording will NOT work on its own.  In order for any desire to become reality – whether you want a physical goal or to achieve a feeling of general happiness – you HAVE to act on those desires.

If you practice the art of talking happy, use positive language daily, believe in your desires AND act on them, you WILL achieve your goals. You’ll achieve happiness in your life NOW. More importantly, it will also change how you view the world – and this, in turn will make it go full circle – as it will also change your lives and your subsequent actions.

Image courtesy of photostock/

Learning to be grateful for life

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 25 August 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

Being grateful for all we have is something we all know we SHOULD do, but often forget, simply because we’re so busy living. We often are SO busy living our lives, we actually forget that being grateful can bring us even more to be grateful for! So when was the last time you were grateful for your life?

Gratitude can open you up to a wealth of abundance

Anyone who understands the Law of Attraction will know, being grateful will open you up to a wealth of abundance. Frequently though, we think of abundance as financial – but being grateful opens you up to a whole wealth of spiritual and physiological abundance. Learning to be grateful for your life ensures you stay in the present moment and become really AWARE of what is in your life – both good and bad – and this helps you steer your life in the direction you want it to go in.

Gratitude can help you keep perspective and improve mood – turning your negative into positive feelings and emotions. This, in turn raises your vibrations and takes them to a higher frequency – allowing your heart to open and more compassion and love to enter your life.

How you see yourself will change

Being more aware of your gratitude for life will also improve your overall thought process. It enables you to break free from negativity and toxicity, shifting your thinking in an altogether much healthier direction.

The story you are telling yourself will change. You can shift it from constantly complaining and focusing on the negative, to being one of joy, happiness and positivity – it enables you to change your life story and appreciate the life you have, and can, live.

Getting started with a gratitude journal

Taking time every day to acknowledge what you are grateful for is an important self-love activity. Buy yourself a really pretty notebook – one that appeals to you and one you WANT to write in. Now take a couple of minutes every day to write ten things you are grateful for.

You may struggle with this activity to start with, as you try to find things to be grateful for, but stick with it! If you’re really struggling start with the real basics – the air, your breath, your heartbeat, the nice weather – and, as you become more present and aware, you’ll notice more and more to be positive about.

A perfect time to do this activity is at bedtime, as it raises your mood before you go to sleep and it also helps you get up in the morning in a better state too!

So ensure you spend time daily, appreciating what you have AND the life you live – and reap the rewards of being grateful for both.

Image courtesy of petarpaunchev/Dollar Photo Club

What colour is happy?

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 01 September 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

Different cultures and circumstances will dictate what a colour means to us. This form of non-verbal communication is known the world over. We all know that colours DO affect us – regardless of whether we believe in the psychology behind them or not – but the feelings we have around a certain colour can change, depending on our own energy and thought patterns at the time.

That is why we use both specific colours and generalised terminology to help vocalise how we feel, i.e. ‘black (or grey) mood’, ‘white lie’, ‘tickled pink’, ‘out of the blue’, ‘get the green light’ and ‘yellow-bellied’.

How colour can affect our mood

We often subconsciously link a colour back to how we perceive that colour in nature. For example, blue and green are often seen as relaxing (think the sky, water, trees and grass), so it therefore makes us feel relaxed and calm. We store hundreds of references to each colour and, when we see this colour, we immediately associate the dominant referenced feeling to our mood.

It therefore goes without saying, we can build on these internal references and enhance our feelings through our choice of colour. Surround yourself with red and, depending on your association with it, you could feel brave, powerful, passionate and daring or alternatively, panicked, in danger, scared and unsettled.

What colours are associated with positive thoughts?

When it comes to feeling generally positive, you’ll want to sway more towards the warmer colours – such as red through yellow and orange. These colours tend to be seen as warm, energising and happy:

  • Yellow can be seen as cheerful, fresh, warm, energising and optimistic.
  • Red can be energy, strength, excitement, passion
  • Orange can be seen as healthy, attractive, wealthy, youthful and happiness.

How we can expand on that colour and happiness connection

So if you want to feel happy, surround yourself with colours that imply happiness to you. Look to decorate your office and living areas with positive, happy, warm and energising colours and wear colours that reflect the same.

Another great way to expand on your happiness connection is to visualise yourself surrounded by a bright light of your chosen happy colour. Silver, white, purple and yellow are often seen as positive, spiritual and regal colours – leaving you feeling energised, special and positive – making them great visualisation colours.

However, when it comes to decorating your bedroom, look to go for the more calming and soothing colours, such as greens, pale yellows and blues – to ensure you get a good night’s sleep!

Oh, and what colour is happy? If you agree with the colour experts out there, it’s orange! If you don't agree join the conversation on facebook, and if you want help discovering what your happy is my 4 week course The Joy Journey is a great place to start, or my Finding Your Joy Formula 1:1 coaching is the fast track focussed way.


Image courtesy of seaskylab/

Improve your health, wellbeing and happiness now

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 18 August 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

Health, wellbeing and happiness – the top three things on everyone’s wish list. Whether it’s through our careers, our leisure activities or our family and friends, we all go in search of these three things on a daily basis. We watch what we eat, make sure we exercise and look for pleasure in the activities we participate in… but are we so busy looking externally, we miss how important the inner work is?

External work is only part of the solution

When it comes to improving our health, wellbeing and happiness, the external steps we take DO go a long way to help. They ensure your body is in better shape and more able to support the physical actions you want to take – whether that’s doing more exercise or a bit of rest and relaxation.

However most people stop, once they’ve completed those external actions – meaning they’re missing out on completing the overall solution!

You need to take a look under the hood too

You see, you could have all of the external elements sorted but, if your internal filters aren’t matching the outside, you’ll struggle. You may find you’re completing the actions you feel SHOULD make your health, wellbeing and happiness improve, but find they’re not improving at all.

Dealing with your mindset and emotions are just as, if not MORE, important than chasing external solutions.

Your mindset

Let me give you an example of how important mindset is. You can do all the exercise you like – but if you’re telling yourself you’re ill, weak or pathetic – you’re certainly not going to acknowledge how well you’re feeling and may even end up sabotaging your own successes.

As the Law of Attraction states; what you focus on, expands and you get more of it. Your focus will be firmly where your mind is – so make sure that it’s on those things that DO make you feel healthy, well and generally happy!

Your emotions

This goes hand-in-hand with your mindset. You want to get your mindset so focused on what you want, you FEEL it at a core level, deep inside you. For example, you could say to yourself that you’re happy, and even act as if you’re happy on the outside, but if you’re not feeling it – you’ll not BE happy.

Do the necessary work

In order to experience wellbeing, health and happiness, you need to put in BOTH the internal and external work. Look to:

  • Visualise what being well, healthy and happy LOOKS like to you – at every opportunity.
  • Experience the emotions connected with wellbeing, health and happiness. For example, how does it FEEL to be calm, to eat healthy foods and to smile? Expand that feeling around your body.
  • Take the positive ACTIONS needed to experience more of those feelings. This could be as simple as drinking decaffeinated tea or going for a daily walk etc. – then do more of them!
  • Deal with any negative THOUGHTS you have that crop up around these areas and nurture the positive ones.
  • Let negative EMOTIONS go. Acknowledge (without judgement) that they’re there, name them for what they are – but then work to let them go from your body and mind – as they’re not serving you.

What’s been your biggest takeaway from today’s blog post? Do you struggle with your mindset and emotions, or maybe action is your stumbling block? What can you do this week to make a change for the better?  How about joining the next round of The Joy Journey?

Images courtesy of Ambro & Stuart Miles/