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Let's be clear equanimity is not about fake positivity March 30, 2018 00:00

Equanimity of mind is yoga. Do everything centred in that equanimity and you will enjoy an undisturbed mind in success or failure. - Bhahavad Gita

 

I hope you are all enjoying our theme of EQUANIMITY this year. I have not only been sharing inspiration about it in class but also online via Facebook and Instagram

Now I am definitely not an expert but before we go any further into it I just want to be very clear -


EQUANIMITY IS NOT...
Equanimity is not about fake positivity
Equanimity is not about putting on a brave face
Equanimity is not about repressing our feelings
Equanimity is not about avoiding pain and suffering
Equanimity is not about putting on a mask of cosmetic cheer (thanks Megan Devine for that concept)
Equanimity is not about escape it’s about truth


EQUANIMITY IS...
Equanimity is about being really present to reality
Equanimity is about being ok with not being ok
Equanimity is about connecting with that place within that is always unwavering and calm 
Equanimity is about being content and at ease no matter what seemingly 'good' or 'bad' situations we find ourself in
Equanimity is about choosing to stay in a state of love rather than letting our cheeky mind take us to a place of fear



Equanimity is not about sugar coating the shit, it it’s about sitting in the shit with ease knowing full well it will pass soon.

So...

Take off the mask
Feel your feelings
Observe yourself without judgement
Release the tendency to dramatise
Make friends with fleeting discomfort
Embrace and encourage contentment
Stretch your comfort zone
Surrender to the unknown

And remember...

To see clearly we need to take off those rose coloured glasses.


2018 the year of finding peace within the chaos January 18, 2018 00:00

Ego says, ‘once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.’ Spirit says, ‘Find your peace and then everything will fall into place.’ - Marianne Williamson

 

Last year was filled with big events for me. It was the best and worst year of my life. I feel like my life has been turned upside down and inside out. To get through this bumpy ride I really needed to dig deep. The one word that inspired me and helped me get through was 'equanimity' - I am in love with this word and grateful for it's help.

I firmly believe we are only given challenges in life so we can learn, grow and expand - then share with others so they don't need to suffer. So naturally our theme in class (and online) for the year is...



EQUANIMITY =

Calmness and composure especially in a difficult situation.

Having an even mind/ soul in a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience or exposure to emotions, pain or other phenomena that may cause others to loose the balance of their mind.

The virtue and value of equanimity is extolled and advocated by a number of major religions and ancient philosophies.

'She accepted both the good and the bad with equanimity'

'She was able to confront the daily crises with equanimity'

synonyms: composure, calmness, level headedness, cool headedness, presence of mind, serenity, unflappability

antonyms: anxiety



(I especially like how equanimity is referenced as the opposite to anxiety)

To practise equanimity we need to connect with the unwavering stillness that is always within us. To practise equanimity we need to let go of control and trust in the universe. To practise equanimity we need to stop fighting reality. To practise equanimity we need self awareness and emotional intelligence. To practise equanimity we need to let go of overthinking and remember we will always be ok. To practise equanimity we need to stop worrying what anyone else thinks and stand for what we believe in. To practise equanimity we need to know that we are stronger than we can ever imagine. To practise equanimity we need to know we have all the inner resources we need. To practise equanimity we need to remember that heaven is within us not outside us. To practise equanimity we need to remember that we are all in this together.



Yoga off the mat October 17, 2017 00:00

what can you do to promote world peace - go home and love your family 
- Mother Theresa

 

 

I am absolutely loving my new life as a mum and getting to know Jasper. We have really found our flow as a family and are loving our time together. However...

I, like most first time mums miss having the freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want. (ha ha even in-between typing that sentence I had to go change a nappy!) 

I miss the simple things like being able to just quickly pop into the shops for something or eating dinner with two hands. I miss being creative and working (didn't expect that one!) I miss our little yoga community. And I really miss my long yoga and meditation sessions.

Because I don't have as much time for my yoga and meditation practise anymore I am focusing more on leading a yogic lifestyle. Because our yoga practise off the mat is just as important (if not more) than our practise on the mat.

Yoga is not only about moving your body and trendy leggings

Yoga is - Living in the moment free of tension
Yoga is - Conscious living
Yoga is - Noticing the beauty around you
Yoga is - Keeping your heart open
Yoga is - Following your instincts
Yoga is - Trusting in the universe
Yoga is - Choosing love over fear
Yoga is - Being the best version of yourself possible
And so much more...

Here are some tangible ways we can practise yoga off the mat -

PHYSICAL 
- Maintain good posture. This will make you feel more energised and confident. It is as simple as that.
- Every time you visit the toilet, do a quick forward bend while pulling your pants down.
- Every time you walk through a particular door, put both your hands on the door frame at shoulder height and lean forward to open your chest.

ENERGETIC 
- Every time you catch yourself breathing in a shallow way - stop and take 10 deep conscious breaths.
- Make sure the food you eat is giving you the life-force you need.
- Sing in the car, in the shower, while cooking... sing mantra, sing pop songs - it doesn't matter just enjoy yourself.

MENTAL 
- Repeat mantra or affirmations silently in your head anywhere anytime.
- Stick quotes or affirmations to your bathroom mirror - the beauty about this one is the rest of your family secretly benefit without knowing!
- Reading (I don't have time for this at the moment but it's an important one to add)

EMOTIONAL 
- Be emotionally aware - know how you feel.
- Remember that you are in charge of how you feel.
- Let go of frustrations as they come up.

SPIRITUAL  
- Walking meditation where you take in all the beauty around you and are present and conscious of every step and breath you take.
- Be generous. Give your time, presence, money, handmade gifts.
- Connect to nature, your community and to yourself.
- Keep your heart open.
- Practise gratitude.
- Cook with love. 
- Be gentle. Be kind. Be yourself.
- Celebrate life - whatever brings you joy brings you closer to your true self.

A yogic lifestyle doesn't have to be intense or hard work. These are just some of the things I have managed to joyfully incorporate into my busy life. Keep it simple and true to you.
__________


The cycle of life August 17, 2017 00:00

Don't try to understand  everything. Sometimes it is not meant to be understood - Just accepted.

Life has thrown me a lot to deal with lately. These last 4 months I have been chasing my tail in a whirlwind of intense life and death experiences. 

My sister and I cared for my Dad while he fiercely battled prostate cancer. I gave birth to our beautiful boy Jasper. My Dad died. My cat died. My sister gave birth to my sweet nephew. All this happened within 5 weeks.

So life has been brutal and blissful. All this has taught me that we can be happy and sad at the same time. 

It has taught me to surrender and to love hard.

I am sure it has taught me a lot of other things too which I will eventually share with you.

 

 

 

 

 

On the night of the 15th of June I casually went to hospital so they could administer the softening gel that would help with the induction I was scheduled to have in the morning. The gel put me into labour so I beat the full induction that I was dreading - yay!

My contractions started 1 minute apart so that big bag of things to entertain me and help me relax in labour I brought in never got opened.

I laboured on my own for 4 hours in my room as they didn't believe I was in labour (sometimes the gel can bring on some pains). They finally believed me when I couldn't walk. 3 hours later Jasper was here and finally all my dreams came true.

My partner Blair and my Doula Nicole helped me get through and made it such a wonderful experience for me. It was the best day of my life.

Dad got admitted into palliative care the same day Jasper was born. My sister drove my Dad in to meet us for a quick cuddle before taking him in. I will be forever grateful that they got to meet and have many cuddles in the short weeks they had together.

 

 

 

 

The challenges of the last few months have been made a lot easier to deal with thanks to a whole range of people including...
 

My awesome fairy godmother rockstar Doula Nicole who went over and above to help me pre birth, during birth, just after birth (when my brain went to mush) and postnatally too.

All the midwives at Mitcham Private who pulled strings to let my Dad visit even though it wasn't visiting hours, for looking after Jasper when I needed to rush out and do some emergency banking for Dad and for offering us the double room.

Heather Cock the amazing osteopath who has been treating Jasper.

Shane O'Dea Jasper's paediatrician who has been helping with his reflux.

To Em, Jen and Melissa for teaching classes for me - they are doing such a great job I don't even have to give it a second thought.

The team of oncologists, specialists, professors and and nurses at Peter Mac.


All the nurses at Epworth Freemasons that cared for Dad in the three weeks he was there.

All the doctors, nurses, reception staff  and pastoral care workers at Caritas Christi hospice. The emotional and spiritual support alongside the medical was just what we all needed. It takes a VERY special person to work in a place like this. They not only supported Dad but us as well - they always made sure my sister and I were comfortable. 

Anthony and Kristin Dad's lawyers for helping us get his affairs in order pre and post death.

Le pine funerals for looking after all the arrangements.

Kangaroo Ground cemetery for having the exact plot Dad wanted - next to a gum tree.

Our lady of the pines parish for helping with the funeral and for honouring Dad with a plaque as he was such a treasured community member.

Whitefriars college for honouring Dad in their newsletter and also honouring him with a plaque at the school (he was in the first class when the school opened)

All friends and family who offered support especially my Mum, my uncle Tony and dads friend John.

Also a massive thank you to my sister. My sister and I were Dad's next of kin so it was up to us to make all medical decisions, to get his affairs in order, to plan the funeral and now for the next tasks packing up his house and finalising his will. Together we got through and I am so very grateful we have each other. 



Some of you will remember my Dad from when he was well enough to attend our classes. He was the most kind, generous and gentle man. I will be forever grateful he was my Dad and will always miss him...

 

 


Simplicity is sophisticated June 21, 2017 00:00

Be as simple as you can be, you will be astonished to see how uncomplicated and happy your life can become. - Paramahansa Yogananda

 

As I prepare to start my new dream life as a mummy I am starting to really intensely crave simplicity.

My house has become more full of stuff. My mind has become crammed full of new information. My heart is swelling to hold more love. All this extra stuff has me craving simplicity. 

Keeping things simple helps to relieve anxiety in me. Too much clutter causes overwhelm in all of us - whether that be physical clutter, mental clutter or even emotional.

As we slowly transition into winter it is a natural inclination for all of us to purge and let go of what is unnecessary.

Please ask yourself - what is really important? Then let everything else drop away.



What can you do to simplify your life?



Some of the practical things I have been doing to simplify life are -

- I have been ruthlessly unsubscribing to marketing emails. This means I am not aware of all the latests trends, gadgets, must have items and am not tempted or swayed to buy unnecessary things.

- I have deleted all unnecessary files from my phone and computer (making room for baby photos!)

- I have been sticking to my non negotiable self care program. This is very important as if I do miss a day due to family emergency or something beyond my control I feel overwhelmed and grumpy.

- To conserve my energy - I say no to things I don't want to do.

-  I am decluttering unnecessary things from the house - doing many trips to the op shop.


I am sure there are endless other things we can all be doing to simplify our homes, bodies, minds and hearts.

Do what feels right for you and enjoy the lightness and freedom that follows. Love is what is left when you let go of everything you no longer need.


To simplify doesn't mean to dumb down your purpose in life. In fact it helps you get more clarity on what is genuinely important and adds potency. It gives you an authentic guide on what to focus on. 

'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.' - Leonardo da Vinci


The winter wind down June 14, 2017 00:00

Winter goes grey so you can see your own colours - Terri Guillemets

 

As we get swept up in the busy pace of modern life we sometimes forget we are part of nature. Reconnecting with nature helps to remind us of our connection to everything and everyone - which can be a great comfort and blessing. One way to connect to nature is to honour the seasons and cycles. 

In Winter, the natural world pauses.


Winter is the perfect time for us to also pause. To slow down, to rest deeply, to go inward, to take comfort, to cocoon, to strip back your activities to bare essentials and take time to reflect on what is truely important to you. 


Giving ourselves time to rest and replenish during winter supports us to move forward with grace and vitality. 



And I am definitely going to be taking this into practise over the term break! 



My lovely friend and acupuncturist Anna has written an article about what foods are great to eat in winter and why - you can read it here.





FYI Term 2 finishes this Saturday the 18th of June.

Bookings for Term 3 are now open. Scroll down for more information or click 
here to book in.

Term 3 starts on the 11th of July - I am looking forward to helping you to slow down, unwind, restore and find stillness within.

Our next BLISS OUT workshop will be on Sunday the 7th of August. Book now


 


Autumnal let go June 04, 2017 00:00

Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop - RUMI
This time of year as the trees are starting to shed their dead leaves - it's a good time for us to also shed what we no longer need. 

What have we accumulated that no longer serves us?
What excess baggage can we let go of?
What is weighting us down?
What are our dead leaves?


Our attachment to the past often holds us back. 

Letting go of the past creates space for wonderful new opportunities to find us. Letting go of the past creates lightness. Letting go of the past creates freedom.

Best way to let go of the past is to be aware of the present moment. No dwelling on what's gone or obsessing on what's coming just pure shimmering presence acknowledging the stillness and beauty of now.

 
//  BECAUSE NOW IS PRETTY AWESOME
 

Even when we have to do things we don't want to do. Even when we are in pain. Even when we are sad. Even when life is not going to plan. Being aware of the present moment can bring comfort. And that is awesome!

Miracles appear when we let go of the stuff weigh us down April 11, 2017 00:00

When life feels overwhelming, don't be fooled into thinking that more action is needed to create order & peace. Get quiet and go inside. You'll find everything you need right there. - Cheryl Richardson

 

Autumn is the perfect time to focus on letting go.

We are conditioned to believe that we need to add more into our life to feel better.

But the truth is to genuinely feel better we need to do the opposite.

Rather than adding more into your life - start subtracting.
 

LIFE IS A CONSTANT BALANCE


We need to be aware and conscious of what serves us and what doesn't and make changes accordingly. 

Constantly reinventing our life to suit our needs.

We need to shed the old to make way for the new.

It is amazing how much room we make for miracles to appear when we let go of the stuff that weighs us down!


Stop wearing your busy-ness as a badge of honour March 04, 2017 00:00

Hurry is the enemy of love - Steve Biddulph

 

When we hurry we create an unhealthy environment in our body.
When we hurry we are on autopilot.

When we hurry we are not present.
When we hurry we are not aware of the truth.
When we hurry we make mistakes.
When we hurry we miss out on life.
When we hurry we live in fear rather than in love.

We need to collectively stop the glorification of busy. 
Being busy doesn't mean your being more productive.
Being busy doesn't mean you are more important.
Being bust doesn't mean you have purpose.


Stop wearing your busy-ness as a badge of honour

We are all just as important as each other.
We all have a lot to do in our days.
We all feel the overwhelm of our to do lists.

We need to prioritise and stop thinking everything is so bloody important. Sure if someone is going to die if you don't get that one thing done PLEASE do whatever you can to get it done. Everything else can just wait.

We need to stop worrying about other peoples opinions.
We need to stop comparing ourselves to others.
We need to stop being so hard on ourselves.
We need to look after ourselves first.
We need to schedule less and go with the flow.
We need to listen to our own inner voice more.

We need to give ourselves what we need and crave. 


Life is sweeter when you go slow and really love life


Slow down settle soften January 30, 2017 00:00

Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax. - Bryant McGill

 

January is almost over already and I feel like life is going quick. It took us years and years of patience to fall pregnant and now here I am almost half way through my pregnancy already. Also recently I was shocked to receive an invite to my 20 year high school reunion! I feel like life can speed past us at a crazy pace.

For years I lived a fast paced life full of deadlines, working long hours, with long commutes and travel fueled by coffee and sweet biscuits through the day and wine at night. During this period of my life I was content and loved the fun fast pace but I wasn't balanced. I was completely out of tune with my body. I learnt the hard way that if you are out of balance and not mindful for too long you break. We are not invincible. Our bodies (and the universe) constantly give us subtle signs on what is good and bad for us. The problem is most of the time we are too busy to notice.

To care for ourselves better, we need to make a conscious effort to slow down and not just get swept away. To constantly check in with ourselves. To notice if we are feeling good, relaxed and happy and then make changes accordingly.

To awaken instead of staying asleep

Because life is more beautiful when we notice the little things. If we don't stop to smell the roses we miss out on enjoying life!

Our focus in class for term 1 will be on slowing down, settling and softening into ourself, to remember how good it feels to be alive and just be without trying to achieve anything because just being is enough.


I have been waiting so long to tell you... January 03, 2017 00:00

There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind - C.S Lewis

 

Oooohhhhhh I love the fresh feeling of a new year. I am excited about the endless possibilities and surprises 2017 will bring for us all. 2016 was a rollercoaster for many of us... I personally got thrown quite a few curve balls so I am feeling so very grateful for the fresh start. 

To let go of 2016 and welcome 2017. A good excerise is to write a list of all the things you were grateful for in 2016 and then write a list of all the things you intend being grateful for in 2017. 
 

2017 I love you already


What I know for sure is that 2017 will bring a lot of welcome changes to our household as after a 4 and half year battle with fertility I can finally say I am pregnant with our little miracle boy Jasper. 

Over the last 4 and a half years we have experienced a lot of blood, sweat and tears (needles, medication, bruises, procedures, doctors appointments, loss, empty bank accounts...)  

What helped us climb this mountain - a kick arse never give up attitude, determination, perseverance, patience, resilience, clarity, purpose, trust, surrender, gratitude, an open heart and mind... and a hell of a lot of love. 

It has not been easy but every step I have felt so very privileged to have options. I could not write this without thanking the amazing support team we had to help us get here -

Lynn Burmeister - if anyone can get you pregnant it's her - if you or anyone you know has fertility issues go straight to Lynn (I wish we did!)

Nurtured by nature - Nicole is my friend and naturopath and soon to be doula! 

Shen Ting Acupuncture - Anna is my friend and acupuncturist

Erika O'loughlin Kinesiology - my friend and kinesiologist and reiki practitioner

Moon tribe yoga - I did a nurturing term of fertility yoga with Tanya

Catching Rainbows - they provide relaxation recordings specifically suited to fertility issues.

It's amazing how much you learn when you don't get what you want. My mission now in life is to help others never give up on their dreams. Don't know how yet but it's a strong urge! Because nothing is impossible.

Infertility is more common than you realise - it’s just most people keep it a secret. I haven’t talked about it openly until now because it’s so emotionally taxing so it was best for me to keep it sacred. Now our struggle is over I am more than happy to share in the hope it helps others.


Deep breaths are like little love notes to your body November 16, 2016 00:00

Our breathing is a stable solid ground that we can take refuge in - Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Our breath is a wonderful thing.

Our breath keeps us alive.

Our breath fuels and nourishes our body.

Our breath helps to detox our body.

Our breath gently massages the depths of our body.

Thank goodness we all breathe automatically without having to remember to do it (that would be way too stressful!)

Deep conscious breathing however is when the real magic happens.

Deep breathing sends a direct message to our nervous system that it is safe to relax.

Focussing on our breath gets us out of our head and into our heart.

Focussing on our breath helps us to think less and feel more.

Placing our awareness on our breath will always make us feel more comfortable.

 

Deep breaths are like little

love notes to our body


The good news is we all have constant access to this kind of comfort.

Use your breath to help yourself (because no one else is coming to save you!)

If you catch your muscles tight and stressed - use your breath to help release tension from your body.

If you catch yourself in the overwhelm of your busy thoughts - use your breath to reboot your stress levels and calm your mind.

If you catch yourself in the overwhelm of strong emotions - use your breath to let go and find ease within your precious heart.

Conscious breathing will always bring you back to the present moment.

And it is within the present moment we find our bliss.


 

Breathe easy

Everything is figureoutable

Find comfort in this moment

You are ok

 


Let's not sugar coat the shit October 19, 2016 00:00

I pride myself on finding silver linings everywhere but...

Let's not sugar coat the shit.

I am all for positivity that is grounded and real.
Fake positivity is not an enlightened way to be.
It is like sticking your head in the sand.
Pretending everything is ok is not healthy.
Instead aim to look on the bright side.
Notice the blessings in every situation.
Without loosing your ability to clearly see the truth.
Be present to reality.
And remember everything is transient.
Relax and go with the flow.
After all everything is exactly as it should be...


Perfectly imperfect.

Bloom where you are planted September 13, 2016 00:00

Every flower must grow through dirt - Laurie Jean Sennott


I love the phrase 
bloom where you are planted 

Because life is not always easy. 

We don’t always get sunshine, rainbows and lollipops. 

We are not always where we want to be. 

But that is ok.

Everything is always imperfectly perfect. 

We are all exactly where we need to be. 

Let's make the most out of where we are now. 

Every seemingly negative situation has hidden treasures. 

Think outside the square to find treasure in each moment.

Blessings in disguise are abundant so keep your eyes peeled!




Bookings for Term 4 are now open. Those of you who paid for the whole of term 3 upfront I have saved you a spot and sent you an email on how to book. For everyone else scroll down for more information or click here to book in.

Term 4 starts on the 10th of October and runs for ten weeks. 

Our last two BLISS OUT yoga and relaxation workshops for the year will be on Sunday the 2nd of October and Sunday the 6th of November. Book you sweet self in


 


99% of the things you worry about don't happen July 06, 2016 00:00

Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a beautiful refusal to become anything less than infinite
 - 
Antoinette Foy

In term 3 we are going to further cultivate the habit of being present. 

When we are present we are centred, strong, unwavering and solid. 

When we are present our anxiety drops away from us. 

And most of our anxieties come from fear...

Fear of the future.
Fear of the past repeating itself. 
Fear of the unknown. 
Fear of failure. 
Fear of not getting what we want. 
Fear of our negative thoughts coming true. 

Our fear and anxiety cloud our judgements. 

But the truth is... our thoughts are not real and fear is a liar. 

This term we are going to further cultivate the habit of being present to calm our nerves. Because...

When we are present we let go of any thoughts/ projections into the future and this helps to relieve our anxieties. 

When we are present we activate the right side of our brain which helps for us to see life through softer eyes. 

When we are present we activate the parasympathetic branch of our nervous system and all our natural healing mechanisms kick in. 

When we are present we relax and see things clearer. 

Present moment awareness helps us to choose love over fear which makes life flow with more grace. 


Term 3 starts on Monday! We still have available spots in most of our classes but they are starting to book up so make sure you grab you spot 
here

Our next BLISS OUT workshop will be on Sunday the 7th of August. 
Book now


99% of the things you worry about don't happen July 06, 2016 00:00

Breathe deeply, until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs and every breath is a beautiful refusal to become anything less than infinite
 - 
Antoinette Foy

In term 3 we are going to further cultivate the habit of being present. 

When we are present we are centred, strong, unwavering and solid. 

When we are present our anxiety drops away from us. 

And most of our anxieties come from fear...

Fear of the future.
Fear of the past repeating itself. 
Fear of the unknown. 
Fear of failure. 
Fear of not getting what we want. 
Fear of our negative thoughts coming true. 

Our fear and anxiety cloud our judgements. 

But the truth is... our thoughts are not real and fear is a liar. 

This term we are going to further cultivate the habit of being present to calm our nerves. Because...

When we are present we let go of any thoughts/ projections into the future and this helps to relieve our anxieties. 

When we are present we activate the right side of our brain which helps for us to see life through softer eyes. 

When we are present we activate the parasympathetic branch of our nervous system and all our natural healing mechanisms kick in. 

When we are present we relax and see things clearer. 

Present moment awareness helps us to choose love over fear which makes life flow with more grace. 


Term 3 starts on Monday! We still have available spots in most of our classes but they are starting to book up so make sure you grab you spot 
here

Our next BLISS OUT workshop will be on Sunday the 7th of August. 
Book now


Issues in our tissues May 05, 2016 00:00

These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb Nejwa Zabian
We all have 'issues in our tissues' - we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, when someone annoys us we call them a pain in the neck, when we are nervous we get butterflies in our tummy, we get worry lines across our forehead, our jaw tenses when we are angry, we get stress headaches... Our inner world (mind and heart) is often manifested in our outer world (body).

If we can let go of these uncomfortable physical sensations via yoga and relaxation - our inner world tends to follow suit and our mind naturally becomes clearer and our thoughts more positive, our heart opens and becomes more grateful and our emotions stabilise. 
 
That is the beauty and potency of yoga
  
Life is a hell of a lot easier without having to carry around all that excess baggage. It is exhausting to carry and completely unnecessary. So tune in and acknowledge the discomfort or tiredness in your body then soften it, relax, open, expand, release and let it go. Imagine the freedom and space for opportunity this creates for you.

Why use eye pillows? April 06, 2016 10:44

WHY USE EYE PILLOWS?

Bo Forbes is a clinical psychologist, yoga teacher, integrative yoga therapist and someone I admire greatly. This is what she has to say about eye pillows...

Eye pillows have a reputation for being the new age version of snake oil: a little bit of flax, and a lot of money. Yet they may be one of our most powerful healing tools, especially when it comes to a balanced nervous system.

Light pressure on the eyeballs lowers heart rate, sometimes by quite a bit, by eliciting what’s called the oculocardiac reflex. It also stimulates the vagus nerve.

Your vagus nerve is one of twelve cranial nerves that originates in the brain, travels down the back of the neck and into the chest and heart and then moves down into the abdomen and digestive tract.

The vagus nerve has an extensive resume: It regulates heart rate and digestion and it’s the primary medium through which our belly brain regulates mood. It’s the main communicator to our rest-and-digest system, which helps us to relax more deeply. It also elicits our tend-and-befriend system, enabling us to reach out and connect with others. This is a critical factor in long-term stress resilience and research shows, in happiness.

One quick way to stimulate your vagus nerve is to use eye pillows, which place light pressure on the eyeballs.

When to use an eye pillow:

Put one over your eyes or on your forehead when you lay down to sleep. This will help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.

Use one at the end of your yoga practice during savasana for ultra relaxation.

Anytime you feel anxious, depressed or stressed and can use a quick pick-me-up or more grounding. 


Living in the moment with shimmering presence January 27, 2016 00:00

Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you can see can inspire you. - Grace Coddington
This year my intention is for us (me included) to continue to do this and to take it a bit further. I want us to generate the habit of living in the moment with shimmering presence, because...
 

the present moment is the only moment we are truly alive

the present moment offers us refuge from our chaos

the present moment offers us clarity

the present moment offers us time to connect to our true self

when we are present we feel more and think less

when we are present we let go of the past and trust in a great future

when we are present we realise just how good things really are

when we are present in each moment we flow through life with ease 

when we are present the best version of ourself is more available


If we generate the habit of being more aware our senses come alive, life is more fun and we become more conscious of the little miracles in each moment.

Read more about cultivating presence here.


We still currently have availability in most of our classes. Scroll down for more information or book in here.

I look forward to seeing you all on the mat xo Amy


Mala beads June 09, 2015 17:10

what are Mala beads?

Mala necklaces are so much more than a beautiful piece of jewellery.

They are a very personal tool for helping you practice mantra meditation. 

Mala beads are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, singing or mentally repeating a mantra. This practise is known as Japa. 

Mala means garland.

Mala beads traditionally have 108 beads, as the number 108 is considered sacred. 

The tassel helps to mark the beginning and end of your Mala. Sometimes Mala’s also have an extra bead. The extra bead is called the Guru bead, it also helps to mark the beginning and end of your Mala.

 

Why do we use Mala beads?

All spiritual paths talk about the importance of sacred vibration. Mantras help to anchor your mind by using soothing repetition. Mantras purify the consciousness by forming a bridge to the depth of our being, inner joy and bliss become more reachable through regular practice of mantra - yay!

Chanting transforms emotions by offering them to the divine. Your emotions can be expressed when chanting a mantra through your breath and voice. If your emotional state is unbalanced you may find your breath or voice or coordination uneven, as you continue through your practice you will notice balance being restored as your voice and breath find a more peaceful rhythm. In the quiet of this rhythm we align with the stillness of the universe as we become one within its rhythm. 

The more you practice the easier it is to settle into this blissful rhythm.

The intention/ vibration of your mantra is stored in your beads. The more you use them the more potent they become. Wear them as a constant reminder of the mantra/ intention you are working with.

 

How do we use Mala beads?

Mala beads are used so that you can focus on the intention or sound of the mantra rather than counting its repetitions. 

Traditionally, your index finger represents the ego (your greatest impediment to inner peace) so it is considered best avoided when using your Mala. 

  • Hold the first bead of your Mala* with your thumb, middle and ring fingers, point your index finger away. Gently hold the bead with love and recite your mantra. 
  • When you finish your mantra roll the bead with your thumb and move to the next bead, recite your mantra again.
  • Repeat till you are back at the tassel or Guru bead. 

Traditionally, loudly singing your mantra helps you clear your energy, whispering your mantra softly helps to balance your emotions and thinking your mantra helps clear your mind. 

It is believed mantras need to be repeated hundreds or even thousands of times for the seeker to imbibe the meaning of the mantra. 

* bead next to the tassel or Guru bead

 

 

© Amy Barber 2015


Women leading change conference May 27, 2015 00:00

As some of you are aware, I was lucky enough to attend 'Women Leading Change' on the weekend. It was a seamlessly produced event by The Wake Up Project (http://wakeupproject.com.au) .

So many inspiring women stood up to tell their story. Opening up and sharing their own specific vulnerabilities showed me such strength and wisdom - I am still buzzing from the intensity of the inspiration I have taken away with me. During the event I took lots of notes, I have pulled out all the gems to share with you...

Seane Corn said -

- The only thing getting in our way is ourself and our limited self esteem and limited beliefs.
- Do not let your own narrative block your true potential.
- God is within you and within everyone else.
- We are here to learn love.
- How else do you learn acceptance without injustice.
- To understand the light you need to understand the shadow.
- We are the ones who create the magic in our families.
- How dare I not be as intense as I can be. I owe it to the world. I owe it to my family.
- When I love me I can love you.
- Sit with discomfort - try not to escape it.
- Dear god, don't let me be an asshole (when we practise self care we allow ourselves to be the best version of ourself and the world needs less assholes so practise self care!)

Janine Shepherd said -

- Living through painful experiences helps you embrace acceptance and helps you to grow.
- Instead of playing the victim and asking 'why me?' ask yourself 'why not me?'. We are all the same I am not better or worse than the next person.
- When you let yourself feel all the strong emotions as opposed to trying to escape them. That is when you are at the most courageous.
- Say YES to the whole experience. Don't pick and choose what you accept - Say yes to it all.
- Life is not about having it all its about loving it all.

Tara Moss said -

- Create safe space and push it out into the world.
- We need to be open and strong so we can help everyone who needs us without burning out. Thats why self care is so important.
- You can not have the life of your dreams without self care.

Lucy Perry said -

- Courage comes easier when you are working for others.
- Imagine if kindness was a part of regular business practise.

Clare Bowditch said -

- When you were a child what did you want to be?
- People often say to me 'I wish I could sing' and I say 'Can you talk? If you can talk you can sing.'
- How do we sit in the uncomfortable now?

Tami Simon said -

- Being true to yourself is leadership. Our true identity means we break from convention.
- The universe is constantly giving us feedback.
- The spiritual journey is one of subtracting not adding. What can you drop? We get to become the world's biggest looser! (ha ha)
- Meditation is about shedding what is keeping us from tuning into the incredible aliveness that is available.
- There is no magical happiness pill. We can not escape sorrow and pain. To feel is to be real. Feeling love in all its ecstasy means we will also feel the opposite depths at times.
- Everything depends on how much you trust life. Trust that even the stuff that seems crap takes you somewhere you need to go. Trust in even the unwanted things.
- And…the most important thing to know on the spiritual journey is what is important to you and give yourself to that completely.

Please embrace being perfectly imperfect March 18, 2015 00:00

Kintsukuroi is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with gold, silver or platinum. Allowing the breakage and repair to become part of the rich history of the object as opposed to being something to disguise. The item becomes more valuable after being broken and repaired. Metaphorically and spiritually speaking, we can become quite beautiful after being broken.

Please embrace being perfectly imperfect

As someone who is creative I clearly see the true beauty and uniqueness in imperfection. It makes me sad to see people not fully embracing their broken bits, whether they be physical, emotional, mental... To me imperfection is real, it is genuine - that is nature and that is beautiful.

Learn to love your broken bits -

- they make you the person you are today
- they help you stand out from the crowd
- they remind you of  your inherent strength
- they give you depth and understanding
- they teach you lessons which makes you more wise
- they help you be more empathetic
- they make you more valuable
- they help your heart stretch and expand
so you have more of a capacity to feel joy

Don't let December suck the life out of you November 27, 2014 00:00

'I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival' Audre Lorde

Welcome beautiful yogi's

Put your hand up if you are susceptible to feeling burnt out this time of year
I think I can safely say that is all of us! We are at the end of the year, christmas is around the corner and our attention is being pushed and pulled in lots of different directions. Christmas is a wonderful time for sharing, helping and giving which is great fun. But we need to make sure we are giving from our overflow as opposed to giving giving giving until we are beyond empty.

For the next few weeks in class we are practising yoga to help prevent burn out and to help top you up with prana (energy/ life-force) so you can genuinely sparkle during the holiday season with lots of presence, love and joy.

Some other ways to prevent burn out -
* only say yes if you really mean it
* lots more self care than usual
* yoga and deep breathing
* relax in the bath and walks in nature
* healthy food, enough sleep and water...
* don't sweat the small stuff
* stop caring so much about what other people think
* enjoy yourself - have fun, be playful
* avoid anything that drains you as much as you can (shopping centres are the worse for sucking you dry!)

Some people feel selfish when they take time out but in fact not taking time for yourself is selfish. Don't be a martyr and suffer in silence. Keeping yourself healthy and relaxed keeps you available to help others.


Another way to care for yourself is to ask for help. Delegate tasks that do not essentially have to be done by you. One way I do this is by using Organic angels home delivery service and highly recommend it. I have have been using them for years so recently joined up with them as an affiliate which means if you buy anything via the link below I get a small credit off my weekly shop. It's a friendly way for them to get new business through word of mouth. I will be putting the link on our website also if you need it. Time is precious and so is your health!

My love affair with yoga September 17, 2014 00:00

This is the longest break I have had from teaching in a long time and I am really starting to miss you. The relationship between a yoga teacher and their students is special and just so you know I hold a special place in my heart for everyone I have ever taught.

At the end of October I will attend the last module of my Meditation teacher training. This marks the end of a 5 year journey of study and exploration with Dru Australia. This milestone has made me nostalgic….

In 1999 I was given a Jane Fonda yoga VHS and fell in love with yoga instantly. So deeply in love I applied to become a yoga teacher soon afterward. I wasn't accepted into the course as I was too young and they wanted me to have a real yoga teacher before embarking on my yoga teacher training. I did get a real yoga teacher and continued my love affair with yoga as I started my career as a costume maker.

After years and years the call to become a yoga teacher came back strongly. I dreamt of being a yoga teacher but didn't know how I was going to juggle working 50+ hours a week and teach yoga. The Dru yoga course was to commence on my 30th birthday and I took that as a pretty good sign to jump in anyway - I thought I could always just teach one class a week after work to keep the passion alive. Boy did the universe have other plans for me...

Working 50+ hours a week, travelling a lot while studying is not a sustainable lifestyle….seems obvious in hindsight. ha ha

The universe surprised me with pain…it was like years and years of overwork came crashing down on me and my body suffered big time!
To have killer work ethics = over working yourself into the grave!

If you don’t look after yourself and follow your heart you get sick or burnt out. I see it all the time with my yoga students. Because this happened to me I see it clearly in other people. And feel very passionately about helping others make changes before they get to breaking point like I did!

If you have recurring pain or sickness or unease have a look at your life.

What dreams have you been ignoring?
What do you really want?
What is stopping you?

Get started today a small step is progress.

The possibilities are endless and ANYTHING is possible.

My life has changed dramatically since my 30th birthday. The Dru yoga and meditation teacher trainings have taught me not only a lot about yoga and meditation but also a lot about myself - who I am, what I want and what is important. This is like liquid gold so very precious. In fact, for that reason a lot of people do the course for personal use as opposed to wanting to teach yoga.
I feel privileged to have had this experience. If you ever get the urge to study Dru yoga I will support you 100% - it is the best thing I have ever done.

In the meantime thank you so much for allowing me to share yoga with you so my love affair can stay alive!