Why I think Yin Yoga is becoming so popular

I came to yoga from an exercise perspective, I had previously done it in the London gym I used to attend regularly on a Saturday morning for a good stretch and to relax after a busy week. I didn’t stick at it and carried on with my gym workouts and then fell into long distance running. After a few years of running everything was stiffening up, my knees, back and shoulders were all tight and painful.  It was around the time Bikram was becoming popular and I was drawn to it for the challenge, the weight loss, and the stretching.

I suspect this is how many people come to try out a yoga class, especially a dynamic style of yoga. I believe Ashtanga became more well-known after Madonna and Gerry Haliwell’s transformed bodies, I remember people taking to it to try and shape their bodies like theirs. The challenge of a class in 40 degree heat appealed to body conscious too and more men felt it was ok to give yoga ago. It wasn’t just a light fluffy yoga class, this was yoga for the driven, the strong, for the yang in us.

Through the recession life became more challenging. Many lost their jobs. Many either started their own businesses or were on a tightwire not knowing whether they’d keep their jobs or find new ones. Life stepped up a gear and became more stressful. The rise in the use of technology and smart phones only added our stress levels. Bosses started handing out smart phones so staff could be on hand 24/7.

If you weren’t, if you didn’t show to be available, there was a risk of job loss. The strong and ambitious survived. I believe this all lead to many of us becoming way more yang (goal orientated and driven) than yin (soft and allowing).

I was one of those that started my own business, by the time I started at Bikram I had trained to be an image consultant and a life coach. My business was in helping people accept themselves and make positive changes in their lives. I was goal orientated myself, I wanted to find enough clients to be able to do my business full time. I was working in my old job part time and doing everything I could to make my business work in the spare hours I had. I was still partying, training for half marathons and generally burning the candle at both ends. I would say my mindset was striving, there was no stillness and certainly no presence. Life was all about getting somewhere, achieving goals, being happy one day. I was in a cycle of consuming anything to keep my energy high.

With my journey through personal development thought this didn’t start to sit well. I felt in authentic. How could I help people make positive changes in their lives when I was being so unhealthy?

This was London life to me and all my friends. I didn’t know any different. Surprisingly hot yoga helped to draw me into the moment as if my mind was anywhere else I would feel faint and sick. The peace I felt at the end of class lead me to slow down, I made a choice to only do things that made me happy. I cut out all the “should dos”. As time went on my my unhealthy lifestyle faded away as I favoured taking care of my body and mind; I stopped drinking to excess, I became vegetarian and learnt how to naturally manage my energy levels.

It wasn’t until I discovered Yin though that I really learnt to slow down. I learned that being a Pitta type in Ayurveda, which is fiery and full energy, I would naturally be drawn to the more high energy pursuits like power yoga. What I really need however is to balance my energy, to allow myself to slow down and soften, to release attachments to goals and allow myself to just be.

After completing a 10 day vipassana course I realised that Yin was my way of practicing that meditation. Either mindfully watching sensations whilst in the poses or as a way to prepare me to sit for meditation afterwards.

Yin helps me to soften my bodies tightness that builds up when I get busy.

“I am so busy” seems a common claim that I hear from most people I know.  I catch myself getting caught up in the “busy-ness trap” too easily.  I know it becomes a trap as when you state “I am so busy” it becomes your reality. Life can feel so busy with work, children, socialising, exercising, family time and everything else. When people come to a Yin class it allows them to just stop. To create some space, to breathe, and to release layers of tension that have been building up. Even when it becomes intense holding the pose, the practise of just being with sensation serves to be able to stay at ease in the other stressful times of life.

The rise in smart phones and the expectation of each other being “online” all the time has added to our busy-ness and stress.

Over the years our obsession with technology, being on line constantly, has become an addiction. With access being so immediate it's easy to feel pressure to respond to messages immediately and a fear of missing out can be created if social media is not constantly checked.

Phones beep and people expect an instant response. An email isn’t answered with in a few hours and people wonder what is going on. People feel the need to be checking their phones when with friends or out on a date. How often do you just stand in a queue or sit on your own at a table and just be with it, breathe and just take in what is around? The instant reaction is to reach for a phone. This all increases stress levels and can make it hard to focus on one thing at a time, reducing productivity.

Problems in relationships can also occur when the person you are with is left feeling like they don't have your full attention. There’s a whole new problem emerging of people cheating on line and thinking it doesn’t count. Ultimately being on line takes you away from being fully present with yourself and who you are within that moment.

Allowing yourself a break from it all and switching off will help you: Sleep better, to be able to focus your attention on the person/people you are with, enjoy the moment, relax, have space to think clearly and in perspective and creativity started to rise. All these are benefits from a regular Yin practice too and I think people come to Yin to find out what it’s all about and start to experience this.

I researched the effects of digital addiction a few years ago when I was asked to take a group of journalists to the Caribbean on a digital detox. It was a press trip to promote St Vincent and The Grenadines, these islands had little or no phone signal so it was a way to market them.

It was fascinating to observe the reactions of journalists who are so used to being switched on 24/7 for their work have to detach themselves from the laptops and phones, to just be in the moment. They really fought against it to begin with (I caught one on the first day sneaking online by the pool, only to jump in the air when I caught her!) but by the of it they all reports that it was so lovely to have a break and just be present with who they were with and where they were. We all really connected because we were each other’s company, there was nothing else to do but be with each other.

Interestingly after all saying how lovely it was to have a break when we gave them the option of having their phones back in Barbados or to wait until Gatwick they all wanted to get online immediately. The temptation was too strong of checking messages straight away.

As Sarah Powers says (in her book Insight Yoga), “Yin is an opportunity to dive inside and stay for a while”. It’s a chance to switch off from the external world and soften. The mindfulness of it gives people who find meditation a challenge an opportunity to soften into the moment without having to sit up straight for 20 minutes. It creates space in people’s bodies, minds, and hearts.

As with everything balance is needed. I went so yin at one stage I became lazy with not much motivation at all. I still practice Flow yoga, my body still needs some dynamism but I approach it now with presence, no rush, no striving, and inner power.

To conclude I think Yin is becoming more and more popular because so many people got into ashtanga and other forms of power yoga as an extension of their busy striving overloaded minds. To get fit. To have a challenge. To be strong. Then they’ve got an injury, they’ve got ill, stressed with life or they just happen across a Yin class and realise that you can still get a strong practice but in a slow mindful kind of way. There is power in slowing down, in listening, in allowing. Building inner strength of being with what is in the moment has an impact in the rest of life, discovering in the everyday stresses of life you can practice equanimity is a valuable tool. A girl in my class the other day told someone new to class “by the end of it you look 10 years younger!”, an effect of softening after a stressful day.

Life has got so fast paced, Yin teaches us to slow down. To be with what is. To be in the moment. It releases layers of deep tension that has built up from a usually yang lifestyle.  No wonder it’s becoming so popular.

How to Make the Most of Spring's Energy

As we emerge from Winters darkness and hibernation new ideas and plans start to rise. The lighter days encourage our own energy levels, and now is a perfect time to be putting plans in place and be taking steps towards your dreams.

It can be easy with all these new ideas and Spring energy to become a little scattered if we are not careful and not able to focus. In Chinese Meridian Theory Spring is related to Wood and I love the metaphor of a tree with deep roots growing up to the sky and branching out with all it's leaves and blossom. 

We need our roots, our presence, our connection to our higher self before we start taking actions, spreading our branches and bearing our fruits. Otherwise our goals might be connected with things we feel we "should" be doing, which might be coming from a place of comparison to others, family/ friends values rather than our own and not feeling enough. Or we might just feel overwhelmed and not know where to begin.

If you relate to this and are feeling a bit all over the place with everything and where to begin. Here are a few pointer to get going....

1) Start with the breath. Taking sometime and breath equally in for 6 and out for 6 and been scientifically proven to strengthen our parasympathetic nervous system and reset our whole system. I highly recommend buying a book called The Healing Power of the Breath, by Dr Richard Brown,  as part of this book you will get a CD that guides you through a 20 minute breathing practice. This done daily will bring you back to your True Self, that part of you that is always peaceful, loving, kind and present.

2) Once you have connected with your higher Self in this state start to write what is most important to you right now, what are your dreams. Write it all out with as much detail as possible and include how you will feel once you have created it.

3) Make a vision board

4) Create a plan....brainstorm all you believe right now that you'll need to do to make this happen (bearing in mind you won't know everything yet) and then break down your vision in to monthly chunks. Be realistic with time frames, commitments,  and don't over load yourself. 

5) From this plan you will be able to break it down even further into weekly steps you will need to take and pop these in your diary so they are scheduled in and prioritise them.

6) Notice distractions, what takes you away from making these steps......as much as we want to make changes sometimes there is a part of us that wants to keep us were we are. We self sabotage by going out drinking instead or watching TV or getting lost for hours in social media. Making changes does require discipline but thankfully they more we focus and get the wheels in motion the more it starts to flow. In Yoga there is a self practice called Tapas, which means when we stick to something that is good for us even when we don't feel like it we burn away the inner fire of doubt or fear that can make us feel like something it's possible. It strengthens our will power and shows us we can do anything when we put our minds to it.

7).......and of course make sure to have fun, breaks and get out in nature. Life is all about balance and we get our energy from what lifts us and from Nature. We can get our most inspired ideas when we are in Nature. Make sure amongst all your effort you also have time to get outdoors and to do things you find fun. 

In Chinese Meridian Theory the Liver meridian line is linked to Spring and it's said to house our purpose in life. A healthy Liver line is linked with being able to move forward in life,  follow your life's purpose, to organise and plan. When we're living our purpose our emotions are lifted and we know we are on the right path. The Liver energy loves to move, to walk, to stretch, to twist, to do things that involve coordination, to be creative and of course to balance all of this action with good quality rest and relaxation.

If you feel like you still can't see the wood from the trees and would like some help with any changes you'd like to make please do get in touch. I have been a life coach for 10 years and love to help people move forward with what ever serves them. ([email protected])

Namaste

Louise xx

 

Taking Care of Yourself this Winter

I hope you are all having a good start to the year. As often this time of year, it seems like there is a lot of illness around so I just wanted to write to share my tips to stay healthy right now.

I have acutually recorded a video of this which you can find below, but if you prefer to read here is my  story here. Towards the end of last year I started to feel really low energy, overwhelmed with all I have to get done and my digestion was messed up. I kept bloating with everything I was eating. So, as I have been learning more and more about Chinese Meridian Theory through my Yin yoga practice I thought I would give acupuncture a go to deepen my own understanding of it. 

I have been visiting a low cost clinic at About Balance studio with Dragon Acupuncture. This makes it affordable so I can go every week. The benefits I have found from going are

  • I feel present
  • I feel grounded
  • My digestion is calming
  • My natural energy is returning
  • I am sleeping well

Last week I actually felt like I had finally come down with the flu that everyone around me has had. So in my weekly acupuncture session he did a couple of extra needles to help the virus release, by the next day I started to feel better and it completely cleared the day after!!!

So I can't recommend Acupuncture enough! If you don't like needles another alternative is Acupressure, which is putting pressure on the meridian lines instead. You can do this via self massage on meridian points or in a Yin practice, by holding poses for a few minutes we stimulate our energetic pathways (meridians) through the body to bring our selves back to balance. It's such a healing practice.

If you are interested in finding out how to do this for yourself at home I recommend Sarah Powers Insight Yoga Book. 

I am running a 3 hour Yin workshop based around the Stomach and Spleen meridian line on 3rd March, 2-5pm at Revitalise if you'd like to join that. It could be for you if you have been feeling:

  • Over worked
  • Worry
  • Over promising and not getting everything done
  • Over whelmed
  • Low self image or jealousy of others
  • Sugar cravings
  • Fatigue

The stomach and spleen line is crucial for our immune system and our digestion, it helps us to feel grounded and at home in ourselves. 

If you'd prefer a 1-1 with me please let me know. 

A couple of other natural things I recommend to help you stay healthy this winter are:

And of course rest! Ideally going to bed around 10pm and getting up around 6/7am. Winter is the time to slow down and sleep more so we are ready for all the new energy to rise in Spring!

Stay healthy

Namaste xxx

 

Acknowledging the Dark & Welcoming the Light

Winter Solstice, Christmas & New Year, this season is a potent time to reflect, say no to what is no longer serving us and yes to the light. It's a time to celebrate and acknowledge the light, and know that it will all be ok.

As we all know this time of year can be a mixed bag of emotions. Darkness, naturally feeling less energy as a result, awareness of who is no longer with us and where we are at in our lives. Within  the darkness though there is light, there will always be things that we can be grateful for, that make us smile. Those little moments that lift us even when we feel in despair.

I truly believe we are born here with a purpose and all that we go through is all part of this. Even when we resist it on some level it is serving us for our higher good. We might not realise it at the time but further down the line we see. 

Beautiful lotus flowers grow out of mud. Butterflies emerge out of cocoons. And there is no doubt if you are feeling stuck and low, you will get through this. Lessons will be learned and what ever this is will lead you closer to being the person you are really destined to be.

Your true Self.

Your true Self is already at peace, you are made of Love and just by being yourself you have so much to give. Just be being you your purpose here will be fulfilled. 

Perhaps 2018 will be the year to;

  • stop comparing yourself to others
  • to stop putting your life on hold for what ever reason you have decided on that day
  • to be a little more present every day
  • to be a little kinder every day
  • to have a bit more fun every day
  • to allow yourself to feel every feeling that arises and know it is ok
  • to only do things that light you up
  • to cut out the things that drain your energy
  • to create a bit more space and know there is always enough time for the things you really want to do
  • to fully know and embrace that you are enough
  • to break a habit that doesn't serve you
  • to create a new one that does
  • to be completely honest with yourself and people around you
  • to live from your heart rather than your head
  • to embrace fear and go for what you really want anyway

This week is a perfect time to take some time to reflect on what has been draining you this year and what has really filled you up, really lit your fire. Within that simple exercise an intention for the new year ahead may emerge.....

To let go of what no longer serves (darkness).....

To create more of what gives you energy (light)........

Solstice is a wonderful time just as we move through the darkest day and celebrate the light returning to mark this with a little ceremony. Perhaps writing down what you are releasing from this year and burning it. Then making a note of your new intentions moving forward, sharing them with someone close and celebrating.

Knowing that God/ Love/ Universal energy (what ever you believe)  is supporting you through all of this, it has your back, you can lean into it knowing you are being held by Love.

Sometimes we can be the light for others when they are low too, to remind them of the love that is in the world and we don't have to be alone. If you know of anyone at this time that is really struggling, remember to reach out to them. It can be easy in this busy time to forget but loneliness is a killer, a simple message, call or visit to remind someone they are loved will be so welcomed.

Have a wonderful Solstice/ Christmas time and I look forward to journeying through 2018 with you.

Namaste

Louise xxx

 

How to Deal with Feeling Not Good Enough

Over my 10 years as a life coach I have come to realise that most peoples core belief, the one that triggers them, is not feeling good enough.

Think about it for a moment, if every one is feeling not good enough and comparing themselves to each other - how crazy is this? 

I heard a lovely message the other day in a meditation with Bernie Clarke "How boring would it be if all flowers looked the same?". Imagine if there was only one type of fruit? One flavour tea? One type of music? One style of art? 

We need diversity. It is what makes life rich. It inspires our creativity. How boring would it be if everything, and everyone were the same.

But still human beings have a tendency to doubt themselves, to not feel enough. I relate to this well as it has been my core belief too, it is what drew me to personal development 12 years ago in hope to strengthen my self confidence.  How did I deal with this?

First of awareness that this belief was the thing that made me feel upset when things didn't go my way or that stopped me in going for what I want. Awareness of this was key. Then I could do something about it. I could choose to say something more powerful to myself instead.

I was doing a course with Landmark Education at the time and I decided who I really wanted to be in the world. I chose Love & Courage. This is what inspired me the most.

From then on any time that I would feel not enough I would say to myself "I am Love and Courage!" I would ask myself "if I am Love & Courage how would I be being in this situation?" and act from there instead of not being enough. It took me out of my comfort zone and slowly start to change me from the inside out. 

This is not to say I don't still get flickers of not enough, but I acknowledge the thought now and just move on from it. In actual fact it's almost helpful to notice it as a guiding signal to go for it anyway, I know when I step out of my comfort zone I grow. It's also helped me to know I won't always get what I want in life but that doesn't mean anything, the things that are for me will flow to me. If something doesn't work out it just doesn't work out, it doesn't mean I am any less a person. We don't always get what we want but we get what we need.

If you would like help shifting this belief please do get in touch, this is how my life coaching can help. I love helping people get past this and not let it rule their life any more.

Namaste

Louise x

The Power of the Heart

Life holds no guarantees. No certainty that what we expect to happen will be met.

Yet how often to we place expectations on situations or others, then feel disappointed and let down when they don't go our way.

What we often can not see is the greater plan, the bigger picture for our lives. Often these twists and turns that we resist are actually teachers or opportunities for us choose love over fear. It's all part of a Divine tapestry, we are on this earth for a reason, and the journey is just as it is meant to be for each of us individually.

How do we do this though? When we are in it, stuck, afraid, frustrated....

We sit, we breathe slowly, we observe what is going on within. With in our bodies, our minds our feelings.

We ask......where have I felt like this before?

What is this triggering within me?

Under all of this what is really going on?

Is there anything to learn, change, forgive, share with someone?

Hand on heart, connecting with your love, your essence, higher Love. Asking your self....

What does my soul want me to know today?

How could I treat myself with love today?

How could be loving towards someone else today?

Noticing the shift. From the busy mind to the loving spacious heart.

Living from the heart isn't weak. The power of the heart is vulnerable, it's brave and there need be no fear because it's pure. It's who you really are, and that is all we need to be.

Namaste

xxx

 

 

How Wishing Others Happiness Helps to Heal Yourself

I learnt something really interesting this morning, whilst doing the Happiness Course with Robert Holden, the mind doesn't process pronouns. So if you're having a day when you're feeling a bit envious/ competitive of someone else and say to your self "they shouldn't have it this easy" "why should they get all the luck", "I wish they weren't so happy"....your mind and nervous system will interpret it as "I wish I wasn't so happy", "I shouldn't have it so easy", "why should I get all the luck."

We all know by now the power of the mind and the law of attraction, that the thoughts we think create our reality.

Whilst it's not something we like to admit too it can happen sometimes that competition or jealously creeps in when someone else is getting what you want. The lesson is that we are all one, the mind only sees it like this, when we feel negatively towards another this impacts them and us.

Happiness is equally available for us all and when we can be happy for others (even if we feel a bit resentful) this helps to heal our hurtful feelings and open our heart to the world. 

An easy way to practice this is through Buddhist Loving Kindness Meditation. First of all being kind to yourself...

May I be happy today
May I be free from suffering
May I dwell in peace today
May I be well today

Then extend this prayer to:
Someone you love
Someone you know but not very well
Someone you find challenging
The whole world

Robert shared a wonderful thought, isn't it amazing to think that there are people all over the world praying for you right now in monasteries, temples, yoga classes, churches, and just on their own. 

I wish you happiness and peace.

Namaste

xxx

Sometimes you just need to say "F**k It!"

Sometimes it's healthy to let go of the to do lists and do what you really feel like doing instead.

Sometimes it's ok to not care about what other people think and do what you really want to do.

Sometimes it's ok not to have it all together but to scream and shout and cry and have a good old winge.

Sometimes it's ok not to do your yoga that day.

Sometimes it's ok to want a break from your kids/ partner.

Sometimes it's ok to eat that whole bar of chocolate.

Sometimes it's ok to not fight back but to just forgive and move on.

Sometimes it's ok not to be right.

Sometimes it's ok to have a wobbly belly and love yourself anyway.

Sometimes it's ok to just buy the things you really want, even though you don't need them and don't have the money right now.

Sometimes it's ok to tell someone how you really feel.

Sometimes it's ok to stay in bed for the whole day.

Sometimes it's ok to ask for what you really need.

Sometimes it's ok to say no.

Sometimes it's ok to stay out all night and still be dancing when the sun is coming up.

Sometimes it's ok to go for what you really want in your life even though it's scary and people around you disagree with your choice.

Sometimes it's ok to not have a goal but just allow yourself to just enjoy what you have right now.

Sometimes you just need to say "F**k It!" and just do what is best for you right now in this moment........

How about this sometime be now. and then now. and then now. and then now. 

Live your life fully, moment by moment from your heart, listen to what you need and the rest will follow.

Have a lovely Easter Weekend!

Namaste

xxx

 

I Can See Clearly Now!

For ages now I have been struggling with sending texts, I was blaming Apple for making the letters on the iphone screen too small. Also recently I have been noticing how I have to pull something away to be able to read it, so off I trotted to the opticians.

I now have a shiny new pair of reading glasses, and it's amazing - everything looks so clear!

Often we don't question what we are seeing, whether it's through our eyes or how we are interpreting life. We see life through a filter, like tinted sun glasses, of all our past experiences, our beliefs, our hopes and our fears. We make judgements on how we think things should go according to our way of seeing the world, our filter.

Then sometimes something happens to change this, to shift us, and we see everything in a new light. It's like taking off the tinted sunglasses, when you're used to everything looking a bit orange and thinking that's normal.

I have experienced these shifts a few times over the past 10 years. The first experience was when I did my first personal development course, Landmark Education. It completely shifted the way I saw life the the world, the next week after the course felt a bit surreal, like I was walking on clouds. I felt so present, so in touch with my heart, so in my power and so clear. It was like I'd taken those tinted glasses off.

Over time that has become my reality and has shifted again a few times through yoga,  developing a faith in God and getting married. (and of course now I have my new glasses :-))

So what I am trying to get to here is that, how you think, your experience of the world does not have to be this way if it's not serving you. You can question your beliefs. You don't have to believe the repetitive story going around your head that scares you or holds you back. There are new ways of looking at things. 

Maybe this is the year for you to take some steps for positive change.......Go on a course that catches your eye. Contact me for life coaching. Get an inspirational book (I can recommend lots). Question what you are saying to yourself, "why is it rubbish?". Don't put up with anger, jealousy, greed, hatred, playing small, being scared, any form of lack or any other feeling that isn't from your heart. You can shift things around and see the world it a new light.

Happy New Year! 

Giving Myself Permission To Rest

I ran my last workshop of the year yesterday, and loved every minute of it. I just love sharing what I have learnt and what I benefit from with others. The day ended with a gong bath, an opportunity to lie down ad let the healing vibrations of the gongs wash through us.

This year I have ran 10 workshops, 6 retreats, moved in with my, now, husband, got married, been to Bali on honeymoon,  and taught all my usual classes and 1-1s. It's been a busy year! And now it's time to slow down, in tune with natures rhythm. As the days are getting shorter and I'm naturally drawing towards slowing down I am going to listen to it.

December is going to be a month of no blog posts, way less social media, and no retreats or workshops to plan. I'm dropping my ambitious side, to be still. I know from slowing down and doing something other than my usual routine my best inspiration arises.

It's so easy when you work for yourself to be switched on to your business all the time. At least that is my experience. I am lucky because yoga really is how I live my life so I am always living it but there's still the drive to be thinking about what to create next, what to post next and so on.

So this is me signing out for a few weeks. I'm still running my usual classes (and 1-1s) until 18th Dec then I take a 3 week break altogether. I've got an extra special one at the moment on a Thursday night - candlelit yoga for a peaceful mind (7.30-8.30pm Revitalise Hove) for the next 3 weeks on the run up to Christmas.

My next workshop is to honour the start of the year on 7th Jan at Unity Studio (Lewes Road) 2-6pm and the next Adventure Yogi retreat is in Norfolk 3-5th Feb.

Enjoy the festive season, love, grace and blessings.

Louise xx

Diwali - Celebrating Light

This week is a wonderful opportunity to release what is no longer serving you, the darkness, and welcome in the light. It's the Hindu traditional celebrations of Diwali which ties up with the New Moon on Sunday.

A great time to be saying "No More!!" and then celebrating your loving choice to free yourself of what ever it is. Maybe a habit, a person, a situation, a job, or a belief that holds you back.

There's something so powerful about doing a little ceremony to mark what you are letting go of. It doesn't need to be fancy, you don't need anything special. Just a candle and some quiet time.

Before you light the candle take some time to bring to mind what you are releasing. You might like to write down what you have learned from it so you take something positive and avoid repeating the same pattern again some how.

Get into a state of gratitude for what you have learned,  for those who have helped, for your inner resources and so on. This is all part of bringing in the light, the goodness, the hope and wisdom.

Say a prayer to the God of your understanding, offer it up, ask for support, and love, what ever feels best for you.

Then light your candle, to acknowledge bringing in the light. Shining love into this situation.

In Hindu traditions they have a big celebration at the end of the week, when the new moon is, so Sunday this week. They light candles, they clear out their clutter, they decorate their homes, put on their best outfits, give gifts and have big parties full of lights and fireworks to celebrate!

How wonderful! Maybe you could bring a bit of that in your celebration to on Sunday!

The new moon is always a great time to mark new beginnings and Diwali adds ceremony, celebration and light to it.

The word Namaste is particularly poignant around this time. It means the light within me, acknowledges the light with in you. It's such a beautiful expression of our oneness.

I am off to run the Happiness Retreat with Adventure Yogi this weekend, and we'll be celebrating Diwali there.

Happy Diwali!

Namaste x

What Will Nourish Me Inside Out?

When you feel tired or stressed or lacking inspiration, what do you do?

Is it really nourishing, does it have a long lasting effect? Or is it a quick fix?

In fact sometimes what we think we need isn't actually the most nourishing thing at all.

I know I can have a tendency to reach for some kind of reality/ dating show on TV when I am feeling depleted, like I just want to switch off and get lost in something. However afterwards I never feel very rested, I often watch with half interest, the other part of my mind thinking about all the things I should be doing.

However when I do what will really be nourishing for me, like a yoga practice, yoga nidra, a salt bath, a walk by the sea, a cup of tea with a friend.....I feel rested and refreshed.

What is food for our soul, what is healing, is doing things that connect us to our true nature, to peace and to love.

Sometimes it can take a bit of discipline not to reach for those old ways of release. Turning to food, cigarettes, drink, drugs and other not so supportive ways to find release become habits over time, patterns that we go to with out thinking.

This is where mindfulness comes us, paying close attention to the moment. Observing what is going on and then asking potent questions like...

What will nourish me from the inside out?

What will connect me to peace?

Making a healthy choice, noticing how the mind resists sometimes but doing it anyway, then savoring the sweetness of doing what is really good for your soul.

Take care

Louise x

 

An inspiring writing from the prelude to "The Dance"

From the prelude to “The Dance”
 

What if there is no need to change

No need to try and transform yourself

Into someone who is more compassionate, more present, more loving, or wise?

How would this affect all the places in your life where you are endlessly trying to be better?

 

What if the task is simply to unfold?

To become who you already are in your essential nature:

Gentle, compassionate, and capable of living fully and passionately present?

 

What if the question is not

“Why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be?”

But “Why do I so frequently want to be the person I really am?”

How would this change what you think you really have to learn?

 

What if becoming who and what we truly are happens not through striving and trying

But by recognising and receiving the people and places and practices

That are for us the warmth of encouragement we need to unfold?

How would this shape the choices you make about how to spend today?

 

What if you knew that the impulse to move in a way that creates beauty in the world

Will arise from deep within

And guide you in every time you simply pay attention

And wait.

 

How would this shape your stillness, your movement,

Your willingness to follow this impulse

To just let go

And dance?

 

From the Prelude to “The Dance”.2001

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Harper Colllins. ISBN:0007112998

Dealing With Change

One thing we can all be certain of is that life never stays the same. Just like the seasons our lives ebb and flow, new people, situations, things, appear and go.

Change is inevitable yet can cause us much disturbance when we resist the change.

Or sometimes we embrace the change yet still it effects us in some way.

For example in the past 7 months I have moved in with my partner, got married and now have 2 step children coming to stay every other weekend. It's all amazing and I still can't quite believe it's all happened so quickly.

However, there was a point recently when I just needed a couple of days down time on my own. I'd gone from living on my own with all the time and space I needed to suddenly a very full life! Once I had some space to reflect I noticed that my inner child was reacting to everything getting so busy, although it was what I wholeheartedly wanted it was just a bit of a shock to the system! My body started to give me signs I needed to rest with tiredness and injury.

We don't always choose a change in lifestyle though; relationships break up, jobs are lost, babies appear unexpectedly, people die, we're forced to move and so on.

Unexpected change can send us into a state of fear, anxiety, depression and if not dealt with early on, illness.

So how to deal with change, whether we like it or not. I suggest connecting to the one thing that doesn't change. Your centre.

Your centre is a place you can trust. It's that peaceful place with in you, with that sense of just being. It's away from the busy chattering mind, it's deep within your belly. It's your feeling, intuitive centre that is able to listen to the voice of your heart. It's where your sense of balance comes from.

How to connect with this place?

Place your hands on your belly, draw your attention deep within and breath slowly into this area, until you experience the feeling of peace washing over you. I suggest doing this for at least 10 minutes at a time.

Another way to connect is through the earth, feel your feet on the ground, stand tall and breathe deeply. Relax the mid line of your body from forehead, chest, to stomach.

Find quiet places in nature away from everything, let yourself relax and let nature restore your peace.

Taking just a few minutes in the midst of what seems like chaos to connect and restore your natural state of peace will help you to think clearly and to answer truthfully questions like:

What can I do to nurture myself during this time of change?

What can I do to make a difference in this situation?

What do I need?

If nothing ever changed and we never got out of out comfort zone we would never learn or grow. Change keeps us moving forward, evolving. Sometimes we can't see it when we are in the midst of upset around it but then look back later as say "ah I see what that had to happen now".

If there are changes you want to make in your life but are scared, again connecting to this peaceful place with in you will also connect you to your inner strength, to your natural power of being able to take steps forward even when a bit scared, knowing that what ever happens you will be ok. Knowing that you deserve to live a full life, full of love and of your choosing. You don't have to put up with second best.

If I can help any further please do let me know.

Namaste

Louise x

Connecting With Myself

Dropping in

Deep within

Connecting with my sweet self

Feeling that peaceful place

Where nothing else matters

Just love

Just kindness

Innate bliss

Pure consciousness

Whilst the world continues to whirl on by

I can simply close my eyes and remember

Who I truly am

No separation

Just oneness with love

With God

With every living being

All I am and all that is

Right now in this sweet moment of connection

Sat Nam.