Thursday, 26 June 2014

Yoga stickmen!



I love these. They are variations of my keyring communication cards and are created in partnership with Kay from yoga2calm. True, there are probably thousands of people who do yoga out there who will think "why do you need laminated cards with these on? I just remember what to do!" But for those of us who can't "just remember" (brain fog, cognitive issues, learning difficulties etc.) it simply isn't that easy. And if you struggle with reading, you need an image which reminds you what to do.

Kay came up with the idea having taught yoga and mindfulness to adults and children with special needs for many years - wanting to provide a simple, durable, easily transportable and easily understood way of reminding people of the exercises. 

They are laminated cards, 110mm x 80mm with a hole for a keyring in one corner, and this initial set of 7 cards (1 breathing/relaxation and 6 yoga poses), with the image for instant reminder of what to do on the front, and a simple explanation on the back, is available for £14 from www.yoga2calm.co.uk 

I love them because they make me smile about physio :D As someone with HMS/EDS I have to be very careful not to overstretch, and to focus on control and not flexibility, but the positions on these cards are well within my range of movement - and are actually harder for me than some of the more advanced ones because they make me have to control my muscles rather than just flop into extreme bendiness. The triangle, tree and tiger are all exercises I've been given by physios -and these cards are so much more fun than anything the physios have given me to use as a reminder! If you aren't familiar with how to do them correctly I'd advise getting a lesson or 2 so that you know you are doing them correctly. (Kay is seriously clued up on HMS/EDS which is probably why these work for me!)

My personal favourite is the breathing one. I have found myself using this exercise to help me sleep and when my POTS kicks off an adrenaline rush. I don't have an expanding ball but even just holding my hands as if there were on an expanding ball or imagining the ball as I breathe seems really effective for me - with the image of the happy, serene little stickman in my head. And it can be done anywhere and in any situation. I can't help wondering whether this card might help people with anxiety by being such a positive and visual reminder of something which can be done to help calm down.

I'm really hoping that these are a success because then we will expand the range, and although the breathing and relaxation exercises are definitely more difficult to depict in stickman, those are the ones I am looking forward to most.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

My Awesome was on strike.

During a particularly rough patch in May (which was EDS awareness month) a friend (Carla Spear) made a comment about it being OK to hide away and return to being awesome when I can.

I loved that concept. That our individual awesomeness can go missing and that's OK and a normal part of life. Well, it is certainly part of my life!

So this happened:
Awesome on strike T-shirt. (c) Hannah Ensor
[image of a stickman in bed with the covers over his head. Text reads: "My awesome is on strike. So I'm searching for it under my duvet."]
There is a significant drawback to creating images that resonate with me personally. Especially when people say "I want that on a T-shirt". Because...well, my awesome was on strike, so doing proper work wasn't going to happen, but playing with colours and stuff on a picture was the perfect pass time.....

And suddenly I NEEEEEEEED the T-shirt. 

Awesome on strike T-shirt. (c) Hannah Ensor
[image of a stickman in bed with the covers over his head. Text reads: "My awesome is on strike. The duvet is overseeing essential negotiations."]

My business plan doesn't involve T-shirts for a few years, but due to my NEEDING this T-shirt I have made an exception to the rule.

So from now until the 1st July 2014 I am accepting advance orders of this limited edition in a range of sizes and colours here, then I will do a single print run of the T-shirts ordered, and then send them out at the end of July. (I don't plan to keep them in stock, so if you want one you need to place an advance order.)

So by the end of July I'll have one. The perfect T-shirt for raising a smile on a bad day. And so will all the other people who order one before July!

.....well, that is the plan. Only..... I might end up deciding I can't wait that long and getting myself a printed sample T-shirt early....I know, I know, is it really worth £40 for a single T-shirt?....well, no...but this T-shirt is special! So maybe......