How to take your Yoga off your mat

November 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

The lessons we learn on our yoga mats are far more than a routine set of physical postures and breathing techniques. These lessons teach us: about ourselves, how to treat ourselves, how to respond in new ways to that which confronts us, and how to be more present. In effect, these lessons teach us how to live our lives. All that we learn on the mat in yoga class can be infiltrated into every corner of our lives, thereby opening ourselves up to increased health and happiness on a day-to-day basis.

Here are a few ways to live your yoga off your mat:

  • Embrace self-acceptance
  • Just be – observe the beauty in all things
  • Stop struggling and practice acceptance – accept each moment as it is
  • Keep moving through it and remember it will pass
  • Wherever you go offer the gift of a smile, compliment, or encouraging word
  • Accept everything you receive with gratitude
  • Where possible be of service to others…
  • …but not at a disservice to yourself
  • Express your unique talents and share them with others
  • Practice responsible decision making, contemplating (and owning) the consequences of your choices
  • Eat consciously
  • Enjoy every moment that life has to offer (and let go of the outcome)
  • Let go of the need to control – become content with uncertainty, be open to possibilities, and cultivate curiosity
  • Be realistic about the time you have available and rather do less with more zest
  • Know that you’re allowed to say “no” – look after yourself first
  • Practice patience with yourself and others
  • Practice love and kindness to yourself and others
  • Say it with love
  • If you need it, ask for help
  • When you’re struggling to balance, put one foot down
  • Practice courage
  • Remember to breathe
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Family

November 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

Many years I have lived with family spread out across our global village. As anyone in that same position knows, while technology allows us to connect at the click of a button, it does not quell the need to see their face, to see them in the flesh, or to feel them as you give them a hug. Ironically, this can be the case whether our loved ones live in the next street or the next hemisphere.

Now, finding myself on the wiser side of thirty, I have started to become acutely aware of how fleeting our time is, and how vital it is that we make the most of whatever we have. I can see more and more clearly how nothing is more important – not work, not deadlines, not housework, not a single thing – than taking the opportunity to spend time with loved ones.

I am off to spend a week with some of my family, and am incredibly excited about getting to “hang out” with my incredibly able eighty-year-old grandmother, absorbing her wisdom and giving her the respect and affection she deserves.

All families have “stuff”; all families have baggage. I believe this baggage is of the variety that should purposefully be lost at the airport. As we head into the season where we are likely to see more of our families (born into and chosen), I implore you to let bygones be bygones and instead of getting caught up in old wounds and being right, choose rather to delight in these wonderful people surrounding you. Be fully engaged with your tribe and savour each moment – they are, after all, all precious.Remember that family are the people we love unconditionally and, in turn, who do the same for us. What, possibly, could be worth celebrating more than that?

Now go and hug somebody you love!Image

Take the Time

October 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

As those of us in the Southern hemisphere creep closer towards summer and the days get longer, take the time to:

Stop and smell the spring blossoms • Watch birds wooing each other • Have a picnic • Curiously observe interesting creatures • Lie in the sun with a book • Spot cloud pictures • Get your hands dirty • Dance to your favourite music • Plant and edible garden • Try something new – you might even enjoy it • Savour every bite • Put a spring in your step • Be someone’s angel • Take in the new life all around you • Treat yourself and don’t justify it – you are reason enough • Drink more water • Give hugs • Phone someone you love • Send an email to stay in touch • Go for a walk – better yet, take company • Breathe deeply and mindfully • Listen to your gut and follow your heart • Put yourself first • Sing at the top of your lungs • Lick the bowl • Volunteer for a cause you believe in • Accept invitations • Send a “Thank you” note • Admire your body – it does a lot for you • Fill your tank • Soak • Take the scenic route • Support locals • Bake goodies from scratch • Ask people how they are – and really want to know • Say “I love you” • Show your love • Dream – make them big • Do the things on your bucket list – don’t have one, make one • Hang out with children and the elderly – they’ve much wisdom and wonderful stories • Give people your undivided attention • Clean out the clutter • Celebrate you • Have a good cry • Be ridiculous • Enjoy the little things in life • Fall in love – with people, things, pursuits, everything 

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Ode to Spring

August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Oh, the joys of Spring! The rain retires, the sun streams down and melts the frost, daffodils start springing up, and lambs roam abundant. Ok, to be fair, it is not quite Spring in this part of the world, and in fact today is the first clear-blue-sky sunny day we have had in ages, but while there is a chill in the air I can clearly begin to see Spring dawning. (I also choose to ignore the pessimistic response that says “there will be another few cold snaps yet.”)

What is true is that the bulbs have started blooming and, driving along my beautiful country road, rain or shine, I am currently delighted by the samples of new life in every paddock. I have to be very cautious not to let my eyes wander for in every direction there are very little lambs. Many days I pity them, wanting to wrap their fragile fighting tiny bodies up in cotton wool to protect them from the cold and wet – let’s face it, mommy lambs are not exactly what you’d call maternal.

But for one, my favourite – white mother always accompanied by not one, but two small black lambs. Each time I see them, the little sooty babies are up their patient woolly mother’s metaphorical trouser leg, and the sweetness of them engulfs me. While I have seen black sheep (and have a strong affinity to them) this is my first ever black lamb sighting. To make the set-up that much more enjoyable, there is no black ram to be seen for many, many paddocks around. One has to wonder over the scandal and gossip that must be circulating within those fences!

So, this, my warm-up to Spring, finds me filled with immense joy as I round each bend, enjoying every glimmer of warmth and light and fresh beginnings, feeling energised to turn over my own new leaf and refresh my own life. I am enthused by the tidings of the impending spring air and relaxing summer months.

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