My Favorite Savasana Poem

You have to love a good savasana poem. This has been my favorites and if you’ve never read it before you’re in for a treat! It’s absolutely beautiful and there’s so much that you can take from it.

Happy reading

xx

The Invitation
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

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Yoga Teacher Training – week 1 Ahimsa – Nonviolence

If I were to ask you how often you behaved violently what would be your answer?

Violence is often associated with psychically hurting another person but what if I expanded the definition of violence to be behaving in a way that is not kind to others or yourself.

Once you start exploring the ways that you are unkind you can start to become aware of your own personal patterns you can begin to treat yourself and others with more kindness and compassion.

Here are some if the ways that we practice violence.

Negative self talk – How often are you your biggest critic? Do you beat yourself up about mistakes or tell yourself you’re not good enough in same way? Our inner monolog can really set the tone for how we experience our lives. Be careful with how you talk to yourself. Stop and ask yourself am I coming from a place of kindness?

Unkind words to others or about others – Do your words hurt others? Either directly (to their face) or indirectly (gossip) Always stop to consider what your intentions are before you speak. Your words should be kind and honest even when they are strong and direct.

Your relationship with food – Do you stop to consider how the food you put in your body is nourishing you? It’s violence towards yourself to continually over indulge or starve yourself. Love yourself enough to really care about what you eat.

Expecting too much from yourself – We like to set goals and challenges for ourselves which is great, it keeps us moving forward but when we only focus on the steps necessary to achieve the goal and stop being open and present to the journey we not only don’t get to experience the beauty of the journey but we may push beyond our tipping point. Pushing yourself without stopping to listen to your body is what causes sickness and injury. It’s our body’s way of forcing us to slow down.  Be mindful of the effect working too hard in the gym or the office has on your body.

Lack of balance  –  When you over commit yourself and don’t allow enough time to recharge you may burnout or become short with others.  Balance is going to be different for everyone and so you will need to tune in and ask yourself what do I need to create balance in my life…maybe it’s having healthy meals,  spending in nature, getting “me” time, getting enough sleep, finding time for meditation,  having social media free days, getting a massage, making time for exercise or even clearing out the clutter in your life it’s important to know what you need and make time for it.

We’re never going to be able to be completely nonviolent in all of our words and actions all of the time but we can be more conscious of our personal patterns and make small positive changes in our lives for the benefit of all.

Namaste
Xxxx

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My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the light, love, truth, beauty & peace within you, because it is also within me. In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.

Yoga Teacher Training Day 3

Day 3 and we’re in to our proper schedule
6.30am meditation
7am breakfast
7.50am theory
10.30am asana practice
1pm lunch
1.50pm theory
3pm study time
6.30pm dinner
7.30pm yoga documentary
8.30 well and truly ready for bed

Over the next 30 something days I’m sure there will be days that really push me to my limits but as they say that’s where your growth edges are.

I’d like to share some of the guidelines we’ve been given for our yoga practice because they translate so nicely into every day life

– Practice Daily – this doesn’t have to be yoga it can be anything but daily rituals are important to maintain.
– Honor where you are now, do not force things, be mindful of challenges.
– Learn to listen, to wait and to tune in.
– Don’t rush.
-Learn to perceive your intention and what is motivating you.
– Learn to see subtle agendas and games you play with yourself.
-Learn to control your approach,  intention and attitude.
– Value silent time. Practice being still
– Be attentive to the moment rather than a goal or idea of how it should be
-Discover where you tend to over work and where you tend to under work

May you take these little tips into your life to create a more beautiful experience of life

Namaste

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Yoga Teacher Training – Day 1&2

The first thing that struck me from the first person I met is the insane amount of kindness and friendliness that emanates from everyone here. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such universal positivity in the one place. It’s truly beautiful and leaves wondering why it’s not a reality at home. There’s something brilliant about strangers embracing you in huge hugs like you’re their long lost best friend.

I was nervous leaving melbourne not only was I thrown by forgetting my mat – who forgets their mat- but I had so many doubts about if I actually had what it takes to be the kind of yoga teacher I admire.

The second I got here all of that changed immediately.  I felt empowered by all the love I was instantly surrounded by and I knew I was in completely the right place for me.

I did 4 hrs of physical practice today and it was seriously though but amazing rewarding.

The journey is definitely going to be the most challenging thing I’ve done to date and I know I will be tested time and time again and there will probably be tears but I know this is going to be transformational and life is going to open up in the most beautiful ways from here on.

May you give unconditional kindness to all those you come across.

Love and blessings

Xxx

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Meditation – Mental Exercise

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Just like lifting weights makes your muscles stronger, practicing meditation grows your ability to cultivate peace in your mind.

How many times have you heard someone say, I’m feeling so unfit, I really need to do some exercise? Majority of people readily identify with the connection between good physical health and physical exercise.

Now how many times have you heard someone say, I’m feeling so emotionally unsettled, I really need to meditate … any takers? Not so common. People often seek specialist advice or look to medication to alleviate feelings of depression, anxiety and stress without stopping to think that maybe they can help themselves.

Why is this so? I think it stems back to the fact that we teach Physical Education (PE) in our schools but not Mental Education (ME). For a lot of people, they have heard of meditation but not experienced it. It’s a foreign concept for many but once you start (just like regular physical exercise), regular mental exercise will have you in your best mental state.

In a world that is becoming so over stimulated by technology, it is more important than ever to slow down and take some time to sit with yourself and just be.

There are so many benefits to meditation some of which include, but are not limited to increased immunity, boosted memory, emotional balance, reduction in stress, improvement in sleep, increased compassion, lowering of blood pressure and enhancement of the way you experience your life.

So how do you start? How do you easily get your regular dose of mental exercise? I recommend either starting with a guided meditation app so that you can slowly build up mastering your mind, or going to a guided mediation class.

If you’re looking for an app, here’s the top three apps that I’ve tired

Calm

This is probably my favourite app. You choose your preferred background image and sound, selecting from options such as a beach with the sound of rolling waves or a forest with the sound of rustling trees, and then you can choose to listen to their seven steps to clam, which is a great guide for beginners. You can also choose to do a guided body scan meditation or timed meditation. For those who are strapped for time, you can select bite sized meditations that last for two to five minutes, which are ideal if you just need a mid-afternoon tune in and if you feel as though you want to get more connected with yourself, there are 60 minute sessions available. The best part about this app is that it’s completely free

 

1 Giant Mind 

Completely free again, 1 Giant Mind teaches you to meditate in three different levels. Meditations can last anywhere from 10 to30 minutes depending on how much meditation goodness you feel like you need. Whenever you begin a meditation, you will be asked how you are feeling (both emotionally and your actual feelings towards meditation) and then after the meditation, you will be asked how you are feeling and given a space to comment on the meditation. This will form an online meditation journal, where you can track your progress.

 

Headspace 

Headspace is the creation of the amazing Andy Puddicombe (if you haven’t watched his TED talk on mindfulness, do yourself a favour).Not only do you get a good variety of content to listen to, but the app is filled with fun features including being able to follow friends and receiving awards for meditating for a certain number of days in a row. When you first download the app, you get 10 free 10 minute sessions, along with some animations that introduce you to the basics of meditation. Once you’ve completed your 10 sessions, you can subscribe for unlimited access to guided meditations and mindfulness talks. Subscriptions cost $12.95 per month with no lock in or $7.99 per month with a one year sign up. For every subscription paid, Headspace will donate a subscription to someone in need.

 

If you’re in Melbourne and would prefer to practice in a group setting, here are some places to consider:

Rise Yoga

Sunday 6.30pm

1/232 Bridge Rd Richmond, 3121

Nth Yoga

Sunday 6.30pm (yoga & meditation)

Nth Yoga 316 Napier Street Fitzroy, 3065

SomaChi Yoga

Tuesday 6pm & Wednesday 6pm

316 Toorak Road South Yarra, 3141

Simple Affair Yoga

Wednesday 7.30pm

224B Bay Street Port Melbourne, 3207
Summer Healing Yoga

Wednesday 7.30pm, Friday 5.30pm(restorative yoga & meditation) & Sunday 6.30pm

Unit 2, 20-22 Kingsway Glen Waverley, 3150

The Collective Yoga Studio

Thursday 7.15pm (yoga & meditation)

Suite 3, 4 Williams Rd Prahran, 3181

Moksha Yoga

Tuesday 7.30pm

437A Centre Road, Bentleigh, 3204

 

Like any form of exercise regular practice is the key to experiencing real benefits.

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Mindful May – Being the observer

It is often said that in order to be mindful, we must begin to observe our mind. Observing our minds can be quite a challenge as most of us are conditioned to our minds driving our behaviour and emotions. In the lead up to Mindful May, I had taken a slightly different approach and chosen to start observing of my behaviour.

The other morning as I was driving to my usual 6am yoga class, I began to search through my Mary Poppins style bag for my phone, after two minutes of searching madly with one hand while stopped at the traffic lights, I tried to recall if I actually grabbed my phone as I raced out the door. I had absolutely no memory of grabbing it, so in a fluster I drove back home and madly searched my room to no avail.

I went back to my car to have a decent look through my bag and guess what … my phone had been there the whole time. As I got back on track, I began to reflect on what had just transpired. I began to ask myself

how often do we miss things in life because we haven’t bothered to look properly?

how often do we double back in life looking for something that we already have?

how often do we have no recollection of what we’ve just done because we have gone onto autopilot?

I’m sure most of us have experienced these moments in life — you walk into a room and can’t remember what you’re doing there, you can’t find something that’s in front of your face or you go back to somewhere looking for something you don’t realise you already have. Quite often when we ask ourselves why this happens, the answer stems back to our mad monkey minds. Like a mad monkey jumping from tree to tree, our mind races between thoughts. So caught up in our heads that we are not actually present in anything we are doing.

Becoming aware of these moments in our lives and observing them without judgement can be very empowering. Recognising times where our behaviour is mindless can be a building block to being more focused in the future.

Use the awareness to set little goals for yourself. If you find that you are in auto pilot every morning – never really even knowing how you even got from home to work – set yourself a goal to be present in one small part of your morning routine, it might be eating your breakfast or brushing your teeth. Really focus on what you are doing and every time you notice your thoughts drift off bring them back to the activity.

This May, be curious like a child, observe the everyday and ask yourself questions and set little goals.

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Mindful May –Mindful Makeover

I’ve always loved a challenge, there’s something about asking myself to find my edge that I find addictive. This May I’m going to undertake a Mindful Makeover Challenge, not because I’m feeling scattered or am displeased with myself in anyway but just because I love discovering new things about myself.

Below are the key things I’ve chosen to focus on for my Mindful Makeover Challenge.

Daily Meditation

Meditation helps you to find calm in your mind. It is often said that the meditative mind observes thoughts, while the ordinary mind reacts to thoughts. To keep me on track and give me direction I’ve sign up for the Mindful in May daily meditation challenge.

Daily Yoga

Yoga helps you to be more present. It brings about self awareness and gets you out of your head and onto your mat. To keep me on track and give me direction I’ve sign up for the Kula 30 day Yoga and Mindfulness Challenge.

Remove clutter

Clutter in your life equals clutter in your head. A good clean out can be super therapeutic and satisfying. The tip with this one is to have a plan. I’ve set aside specific times to clean out my room (it’s a little more than a 1 day job) and to tidy up my desk at work.

Gratitude Calendar

Stopping to acknowledge what you are grateful for is not only important for your happiness but is also grounding. I have put a calendar next to my bed and each morning I am going to write one thing I am grateful for that day.

No more dining with technology

I’m often guilty of eating my breakfast in front of the television, eat my lunch at my computer or checking my phone a million times while out for dinner. Mindfully eating begins with eating slowly without distraction. For me this is going to be the hardest one to do. I’m going to rely on friends and family to keep me in check with this one.

 

The great thing about a challenge that requires you to do something daily is that it not only deepens your understanding of yourself and promotes personal growth but it has the potential to build new healthy habits that carry on well after the challenge is finished.eckhart

 

Mindful May

There is no doubt that technology has changed the world. Modern life is fast paced and we are more connected than ever before. Connected through email, text, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the list goes on. Connected and yet disconnected. Our attention is constantly being caught by notifications encouraging us to check into the virtual world and lose sight of the here and now. It is not uncommon to see a group of friends out for dinner all focused on their smart phones, none of them truly engaging with each other, none of them truly present. I am certainly guilty of this myself.

We’re so caught up in this complex world that we often do not recognise just how disengaged we are. This May, I am taking part in a one month guided mindfulness meditation challenge. Mediation allows us to pause and connect with our true self, to silence our mind and develop mindfulness.
Mindful in May is for both beginners and experienced meditators and is set up to be win-win for yourself and the global community.

In the developed world, a great deal of suffering comes from the mind. The amount of people affected by depression, anxiety and stress is growing daily. When I talk about those affected, I talk not only of the individuals at war with their own mind but also of the family and friends supporting these people day in and day out.

In the developing world, a great deal of suffering comes from contaminated water. For the developing world, contaminated water is still one of the leading causes of disease and death.

Mindful in May addresses both of these issues by providing an online space for people to clear their mind for 10 minutes a day, whilst helping to improve the lives of thousands of people living without access to safe drinking water. It is $25 to register and this will give you access to a one month meditation course. The funds raised during this campaign, will be donated to Charity Water, a not-for-profit organisation that builds clean water wells in developing countries.

I would absolutely love to see people give this challenge a go and join me in making a difference for yourself and the world.

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Visit my page to sponsor me or get involved yourself.

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