11. May 2020 · Comments Off on What’s Your Intention? · Categories: Yoga wisdom · Tags: ,

What’s Your Intention?

We always set an intention at the beginning of our class as it gives our practice meaning and purpose, almost like setting scaffolding around it. You’ll also sometimes hear it called a sankalpa. Sankalpa is a Buddhist term meaning a short phrase or sentence, clearly and concisely expressed, using the same wording each time, to bring about a positive change in your life.

Your intention or sankalpa can be whatever you want it to be. It can be the same each time you step onto your mat, or different. It’s up to you. All you need to do is focus your mind, connect to your most heartfelt desire and channel your energy within.

Ask yourself, what do I want? How do I want to feel? Create your sankalpa as a statement of fact. Remember to KISS – Keep It Short and Simple, use only positive words and present tense.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. I am present 
  2. I am strong 
  3. I am grounded
  4. I am calm
  5. I am financially free
  6. I choose peace
  7. I am loving and loved
  8. I am compassion
  9. I choose ease and flow
  10. I find joy in life 
  11. I communicate with clarity
  12. I am content
  13. I have enough
  14. I listen to my body
  15. I find new potential everyday
  16. I believe in myself
  17. I am clear about my priorities
  18. I appreciate my body for all it does
  19. I treat myself with love and compassion
  20. I respect myself
  21. I have teachers to guide me
  22. I love my life
  23. I am creating change
  24. I listen before acting
  25. I am confident
  26. I have what I need
  27. I let go
  28. I am open to receive
  29. I believe in myself
  30. I have power
  31. I am motivated
  32. I listen to my inner wisdom
  33. I focus on my breathing
  34. I am patient
  35. I live according to my values
  36. I am free to change my life
  37. I am here to learn
  38. I rest when I need to
  39. I am capable of meeting my own needs
  40. I set and maintain healthy boundaries

What’s your intention today?

27. April 2020 · Comments Off on What Nourishes You? How To Get Clarity · Categories: Yoga wisdom · Tags: , ,

What Nourishes You? Get Clarity!

This is a simple journalling exercise to help you get clarity on what nourishes you. The things that feed your body, mind, heart and spirit from the inside out.

You’ll need your journal, a pen and a quiet place where you can sit completely uninterrupted for 15-20 minutes – if need be, get in your car!

Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Tune in with how you’re feeling. Notice and welcome every emotion. Allow yourself to feel it all.

Set a timer for 5 minutes and write about anything and everything you’re feeling (fears, dreams, hopes, aspirations). NO censorship. Full disclosure. All of it. Stop only when the timer goes off.

Take a moment. Then close your eyes and take three more deep breaths. Focus on your exhalation. Soften your body. Bring your hand to your heart and soften more. Tune in and ask – what can I do this week to help me feel inspired, peaceful, connected. What brings me into my body? What nourishes me from the inside out? Write down everything that comes into your awareness. Stop only when you’ve completely exhausted your list.

Take another moment. Last time, close your eyes and take three even deeper breaths. Pause and feel the inspiration, peace and nourishment in your body. Amplify it. Visualise it. Sense it. Feel it in every cell of your body. Ask yourself – how can I make time for these things in my day? Take your journal and write whatever comes to you and how you’ll integrate your new choices into your day.

Make a list and keep it where you can see it. For accountability you can share your choices with your isolators, with me in the comments below, or with the Tribe in the FB Group.

20. April 2020 · Comments Off on My Top Ten Spiritual Reads · Categories: Yoga wisdom · Tags: ,

My Top Ten Spiritual Reads

Gosh this was a tough one – let’s hope I never get asked to go on Desert Island Discs! I’ve been reading spiritual books for around 25 years now and so there are many amazing ones I’ve read that didn’t make the final cut here. 

I know that some people resist ‘self help’ books like the plague, but I’m honestly such a huge fan of them. Why would you not want to do your utmost to live your best life? We only get one shot at it, so it might as well be as good as you can get. 

So here, in no particular order, is my current top ten – the ones that never fail to uplift, inspire and encourage me to live my life like I mean it!

1. The Untethered Soul, Michael A Singer – this book had a profound effect on me. It’ll transform your relationship with yourself and with those around you. 

2. The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle – the classic guide to living in the present moment.

3. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Ruben – I love Gretchen! She’s entertaining, thought provoking and very readable. Her first book combines ancient wisdom, current scientific research and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Better Than Before, about breaking and making habits is also a great read.

4. Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra – I think I’ve read pretty much everything by Deepak and this is an oldie but a goodie. Chopra teaches that ‘today is the youth of our old age’ and offers practical steps to control the way we age and maximise your body’s miraculous capability to renew itself minute by minute. 

5. The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse, Debbie Ford – I love a personal development course! This programme is designed to clear out the negative thoughts and feelings patterns that accumulate and adversely affect our behaviour and decisions. 

6. Self Knowledge, The School of Life – anything by The School of Life is worth reading in my book. This slim little tome is an essay on how to understand our characters properly so we can make better decisions and figure out what our priorities and potential might be. 

7. The Power of Less, Leo Babauta – pre-dating Marie Kondo, this little handbook of simplicity shows us how to live better with less and understand that, while we can’t have everything we want, we can obtain anything we need. 

8. Loving What Is, Byron Katie – OK so you need to first get past the fact that her name is back to front. And then you need to read with an open mind. When you get to the bit called The Work, you need to actually do it. Then you’ll see what I’m talking about. 

9. Living Beautifully: With Uncertainty and Change, Pema Chodron – this book coiled not be more relevant to the times we’re living in right now. Learn how to live happily, even in confusing and uncertain situations.  

10. Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems – or in fact any book of hers. Her poems are sustaining, natural, beautiful and help us to see the wonder in the world. We could all do with a bit more Mary.

I’m always open to any recommendations! What are your personal faves?

09. April 2020 · Comments Off on Get Some Headspace · Categories: Yoga wisdom · Tags:

Get Some Headspace

I’m writing this 16 days into our first Covid-19 lockdown. It’s true to say that we’re living in extraordinary times of much flux and uncertainty.

The day to day reality is that we’re all dealing with the same situation, but with widely differing challenges. Some of us have way to much to do, others are dealing with extreme boredom. Some are alone with too much personal space, others are feeling like they have none. We feel grateful because we have homes, food, people who love us and communities that support us. But we also feel angry, depressed, sad or cheated – and then feel guilty for feeling these emotions from our lucky position.

We are ALL experiencing moments (days or weeks) of feeling unsettled, ungrounded and all at sea. Our lives have been turned inside out and upside down by something unexpected and outside of our control. We are united in our anxiety.

Finding a sense of calm and peace feels harder than ever. But, simultaneously, it’s never been more important. We must give ourselves the time and space to soothe and nourish ourselves – so that we can, in turn, soothe and nourish those we love.

My go to practices

When I’m feeling antsy, out of control or unstable, meditation is my solace. Whether I sit for 5 minutes or 25, it resets my mood and helps me get perspective.

I’ve been meditating for over 20 years so I’m in the habit of simply sitting and watching my thoughts come and go, but in recent weeks this has been harder than usual to manage. When I need something more to focus on, I use a brilliant free app called Insight Timer. It has 40,000 guided meditations covering a wide range of options from anxiety to forgiveness, from sleep to healing. Many nights, when I’ve been lying awake in that 2-4am ‘worry window’, I’ve reached for my headphones and listened to a sleep meditation. It helps drown out the circling thoughts and almost always sends me off to sleep.

We all need a little bit of calm and a lot more headspace right now. Little and often is better than a large occasional chunk. Even five minutes a day is enough to make a difference.

I bookmark my favourite meditations so I don’t have to search (especially helpful at 3am!) and I’ve done some great online courses too. I now know the teachers that resonate with me and I follow them. It really is an amazing resource and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

For the record some of my personal faves include David Gandelman (down to earth and practical), Sarah Blondin (lyrical and poetic), Kenneth Soares (I LOVE his sleep meditations with affirmations – all that positivity seeping in while I snooze), Davidji (mindful yogi), Mark Guay (living life on purpose)….

Why not download Insight Timer now and give it a try?

26. February 2017 · Comments Off on Ten Ways To Get Your Mojo Back · Categories: Yoga wisdom

Ten Ways To Get Your Mojo Back

Mojo gone missing? Lost your va-va voom? I’m a naturally upbeat person but I get blindsided by an attack of the blahs every now and again and I know how hard it is to find the motivation to get back on track.

So here’s my go-to mojo lifting list.

Move!

Mojo is energy and sometimes energy gets stuck. Any kind of movement is good – even better if it’s outside and you can bank some vitamin D at the same time. Being in nature always lifts me and gets me out of my head into a better space.

Do Yoga

Obviously you’d expect me to say this but it’s true! Just get on your mat, you always feel better for a bit of yoga. Backbends are brilliant for lifting the energy and inversions are excellent for shifting perspective. Yoga Journal is a good online resource for quick and easy classes like this 30 minute standing and back bending sequence.

Just Dance

I love to dance and when my mojo is flatlining I completely forget about the uplifting power that a great dance track has. Make a playlist of your favourite get outta my way where’s the dance floor tracks and get your groove going! You can check out my Kitchen Disco playlist here. More »

01. April 2016 · Comments Off on Life is Short – Celebrate Now · Categories: Yoga wisdom

Life is Short – Celebrate Now!

Cluster of colorful Fourth of July fireworks

Happy endings are overrated…

I think that happy endings are overrated. What about the happy now? A couple of events late last year woke me up to the fact that the future isn’t guaranteed. Life is meant to be lived now, not in some faraway future.

So forget retiring and finally getting to enjoy your life. Forget winning the lottery. Forget about about how amazing life will be when you finally get that big promotion/bonus/set up your own business.

This is it. There is no past, no future. Only now. THIS moment is special. But for some reason we often wait for some special occasion or reason to celebrate….

The champagne story

When I was a teenager, my father was given a magnum of Perrier Jouet in a beautiful hand painted bottle. Never one for delayed gratification I wanted him to open it straightway but I was told we had to wait for a special occasion. More »

12. October 2014 · Comments Off on Why do yoga? · Categories: Yoga wisdom

Why do yoga?

Beach2

You’ll shine!

Yoga creates an amazing energy that gives you glowing skin, a positive presence, makes your confidence soar and is all round good for creating a kick ass life. You’ll strengthen and tone your muscles, balance your hormones and boost your immune system.

Unleash your inner super power

Ok so you won’t be able to leap tall buildings but you will get stronger and more flexible. Your posture will improve – you’ll walk taller and carry yourself differently. You’ll be more confident, less stressed.

Sleeeep tight!

Yoga is fantastic for tackling insomnia. One of the first benefits my students report is that they fall asleep more easily, sleep better and wake rested – ready to take on the new day.

It’s a natural high

Need a buzz without the caffeine? Do yoga regularly and notice the natural high and energy lift you create. More »