Hannah Barrett is a London-based yoga teacher who hosts the 10-day “It Starts Home” yoga challenge on Wanderlust TV. The goal of this challenge is to develop inner freedom, strength and peace by tapping into your personal sanctuary – the home within you. Take part in the challenge free of charge until January 31st or find out about previous courses Wanderlust TV with our 14-day free trial.
To inspire you to explore your inner home, Hannah has her personal journey to discovering your inner home and tips on how to reconnect with yourself and find a safe, rooted space that you can take with you wherever you go Journey takes you there.
Are you physically and mentally connected to your core? Are you connecting with the force from within to move with intent and stability? What are your core values and do you feel connected to them? A foundation of our practice is a strong core. It’s important as we use our core in pretty much any yoga posture! When our core is strong, we move around our mats with strength and stability. Connection to the Manipura chakra and when this chakra is in balance we get off the mat and feel safe, confident and strong. The power is in you, care for it, love it, care for it and it will grow and you will feel inner peace like never before.
“Balance in the body is the basis for balance in life” – BKS Iyengar
Balance is our natural state, it’s not something we want to achieve or find, but something we want to return to. The path to balance requires listening. Because it’s not always about “doing” – sometimes it’s about undoing. Can you look at what you are doing and see where you might be doing too much or too little?
In the life of a pandemic, many of us have moved to work from home. This can be difficult as the lines become blurred. We can either never switch off from work, or we can be constantly distracted from domestic life instead of working. Can you identify distractions that can be eliminated, and can you set firm boundaries to get away from work at any given time? Try this for a few weeks and see the impact it has on your mental health and happiness.
Can you also strive for balance in your body? In yoga we talk about this concept, Shitra Sukha, an effort between effort and ease can be found. This means a balance of poses that naturally promote Sukha or Sthira – some to build strength and stability, others to create ease. By bringing this concept into each pose, we experience a delicate seesaw between just enough exertion, but not so much that it creates the wrong tension in the body. It is also possible to apply the same principle to our joints, which need a balance between strength (sthira) and flexibility (sukha) for optimal mobility.
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. ” – – the nhat hanh.
When the world is moving too fast and we lose ourselves in chaos, taking your time, slowing down, breathing, and finding stillness can seem counterintuitive. I promise you it is not
When my daughter was born, she was born very early and sick. So sick, in fact, that the first week of her life was touch and go. During this time I really learned how powerful the breath is. It was my anchor. The breath and our body are always present here and now. My thoughts would shoot back at the dire circumstances of her birth and shoot down to the “what if” that, frankly, were too scary to understand.
I used a number of techniques to ground myself in the present moment and reduce the extreme anxiety I was feeling. These techniques help activate our parasympathetic nervous system, our resting and digestive systems, remind our bodies that we are safe, and turn off our combat or flight systems.
Try to close your eyes for a moment and breathe deeply through your nose. Feel your stomach rise, your chest expand, feel the breath up to your collarbones. Then exhale through your nose, gently releasing your breath completely, feeling the body loosen and let go. Repeat this process five times, paying attention to how you feel using your breath as a tool.
Yoga is so much more than posture – it is a way to change the way we think, communicate, and act by turning our attention inward. The yoga poses prepare you for the rest of the practice and help you understand the concepts of yoga more easily.
Stepping on a yoga mat is an amazing way to immerse your toe in the world of yoga to strengthen the body and focus the mind. What I have found in my years of teaching is that it is often asana that draws people into the practice. We start with the body and then we begin to access all of the other magic that yoga offers.
If you’ve never practiced before, don’t let that stop you. Find a beginner class and start small. Try for ten minutes every other day. Over time, it gets easier and you will be amazed at the feeling of calm that the mat brings. The peace of mind, body and breath to connect and have some time to take care of yourself and take care of yourself.
“Challenges are gifts that force us to look for a new focus. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand “- Oprah Winfrey
For change to take place there has to be a challenge. If you are looking for transformation, you cannot continue with your existing behavior and expect things to be different. You have to put in the work. Life is tough and brings us struggles. But let’s face it, if it were easy it would be boring. We need challenges in order to grow, just as we fail to succeed.
The beauty lies in the journey. When you step on the mat you will find love for the moments when you jiggle and beauty in the moments when you lose your balance. Even look for beauty in the moments when you drop your knees in Chaturanga.
Know that life is a journey and that the essence is not just at the beginning and the end. Sometimes the fights can feel impossible and it’s important to acknowledge that you are not alone. In time, the obstacles you face will make you stronger and you will overcome them and come out on the other side.
Hannah Barrett is a London-based yoga teacher who employs students around the world to feel safe and find strength on the mat. With 400 hours of Yoga Alliance training and a specialization in anatomy, she also has a 42-hour training as a pregnancy teacher and a 75-hour postnatal training. Teaching women before and after childbirth is a specialty of Hannah, but she also enjoys teaching all students to find their fire and strength from within. Her style is dynamic, playful, anatomy-based and challenging, but always approachable, with the intent of empowering you to create strength, resilience and connection, to feel grounded while having fun.
She is known for power-based creative workflows with fun and unexpected transitions and modifications to make the workflows accessible to all.