Ananda - Bliss April 30 2015
Based on a reading of the Bhagavad Gita, Dvaita vedanta interprets ananda as happiness derived via good thoughts and good deeds that depend on the state and on the control of the mind. Through evenness of temper and mind, the state of supreme bliss is reached in all aspects of one’s life.
Bliss or your 'default setting' as I like to call it is the state in which you as an individual are in harmony, in balance. Think of a new born baby when all of its basic needs are met, they are pure joy, happy, content and 100% in the moment. As we get older we begin to attach 'self' or identity to things, objects and people, we start to 'look' to the future and remember the past and forget to just be. Returning back to ourselves, to our original being, to the core of who we are is often a difficult task. We forget that self care is at the centre of all of this. We sacrifice time, energy and happiness for the 'hope' of something better in the future. In reality all that we have is NOW - there is no 'future' and therefore if we can't be happy in the 'now' there is no happiness and there is no Bliss.
Yoga teaches us to be present, to live and breathe in the body in the moment. To appreciate and work with what we have. To cure disease and if it can't be cured then to endure it. Finding a regular practice or just a retreat from the world takes us one step closer to the deepest part of our nature - our Bliss.
Pure Bliss Yoga and Connect Body and Business Coaching are excited to invite you to join us on our Connect to Pure Bliss retreat.
Immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings of Gymea Eco Retreat and Spa. Positioned on 50 acres of secluded naturally undulating rainforest, with stunning views of Mt Warning - from the moment you arrive you will begin to relax and unwind from the pressures of modern day living.
Spend 3 days and 2 nights indulging in Yoga, Meditation and Creative discovery workshops all designed to help you to reconnect with your true Blissful nature. Heal on the deepest level with nourishing organic, locally sourced (where possible), Naturopathically designed vegetarian/vegan meals to help your digestive system reset and rest. Use your free time to book a luxurious Spa treatment, swim in the Mineral pool or find a quiet spot to sit and read that book you have always wanted to read.
Come and rediscover the parts of yourself that you have misplaced, find your inner Bliss and reconnect with your centre. Use our creative discovery to re-evaluate your path or to confirm your direction and leave feeling the way that you should. Leave the weekend feeling Blissful and connected to your life in a profound way.
Om Shanti.... Om Peace
Stepping into the Flow March 27 2015
Close your eyes and imagine that you are floating in an endless sea. In your minds eye see yourself fully supported, peaceful and calm - not matter how much you exhale and relax the warm water beneath you will not allow you to sink. Feel the gentle current guiding you and taking you... if you roll over and struggle against the current your body tires and you risk taking the water into your lungs, sinking, sinking. So see yourself allowing this endless sea to carry you to wherever and whatever it is that you and only you are destined to see and be.
This is the beginning of a meditation i frequently use in my classes. This image describes what it is like to step into the flow of life, to allow yourself to be guided, to stop fighting against the current and allow life to take it's course. This dosen't mean that you should give up your power and allow others or circumstance to take advantage of you. It doesn't mean that you don't still use your motivation and momentum to create your reality. What it means is that when you are in the flow, things are easy, things turn out in your favour and if they don't it doesn't matter to you because you feel balanced and like in the water completely supported. We are all destined to be happy, but for some of us 'we' are our own biggest obstacle. To step into the flow means to (as a dear friend of mine was recently told) 'step up on the stage', stop getting in your own way, stop allowing fear to dictate your decisions and know that you will eventually achieve the things you set out for if not better because you do not allow yourself to doubt! Stepping into the flow means to live a balanced life without regret, without fear of failure and with a quiet confidence knowing that joy, compassion and love are who you are and as long as you ride the waves they are who you will always be.
So try stepping outside your box today, dare to dream, look for the path of least resistance and allow life to flow through you!
Happy travels, Namaste,
Vision March 13 2015In today's world we have some to expect a certain amount of 'stuff' - Cars, houses, clothes, food, toys, T.V's, jewlery etc. We have come to expect that at some stage in our lives all of this will just happen for us. Spoilt for choice and living in a blessed country, there is also an expectation that we probably won't have to work that hard to achieve any of these things. This however, can't be further from the truth, only now at the tail end of what has been a very trying time in the world's economic history are we starting to grasp the concepts of savings, being frugal and planning for the future not just living in the now. If you want things in this life you do have to work towards them, create a vision and strive for the best that life has to offer you. But most importantly we all need to practice Sentosha - contentment. Being content with the here and now, knowing that each moment in your journey is just as important as the next. If we constantly strive for tommorrow and promise ourselves that we will be happy when... guess what tommorrow never comes and neither does the when.
So today, sit down and create a vision for yourself, create a board of pictures representing all of the things that you desire for yourself, a daily reminder. Put positive steps in motion that allow you to travel toward these things and be content with what you have for the moment.
Create a vision, share your vision and move towards that vision. Put some energy in motion and dream big!
Daily Loving March 06 2015
Every day we wake up and open our eyes, we get out of bed and begin a series of tasks, of moments that when combined fill our entire waking day until it's time again to rest our head on our pillow and close our eyes again.
How many of these tasks or moments do you approach with Joy and Love? How many do you approach with resentment and frustration? Would you say that you achieve negativity in even 50% of your day?? Have a think about it.
Most of us would be shocked to do a personal mood audit and see exactly where we are 'spending' our energy and how much of it is actually negative. Try this just for one day and see where it gets you. Take a pen and notepad with you throughout your day and every hour take 5 mins to reflect on how you have felt about the tasks that you have engaged in and whether you have felt good, bad or indifferent. At the end of the day add up each mood or emotion and see which column is the biggest.
Changing your attitude...
Now that you are aware or the emotions that dominate the majority of your day you can take action to rectify them! The first step is to reprogramme your attitude with grattitude! When you wake first thing in the morning and before you fall asleep at night make a list in your head or better yet in a diary of all of the things that you are gateful for! The easist and best one that i can think of first thing in the morning is "I am grateful that i woke up and am alive today!" . You may like to select a body part that you feel emotionally negative about and show gratitude towards that part of your body for example - " I am grateful that i even have a belly that provides a home for my stomach."
Now you can take this appraoch to everything that you do. You may for example be asked to do a task a work that you do not like and instead of filling that experience with negativity you can fill it with gratitude and eventually love.
"i am grateful that i have been given the opportunity to learn patience (whatever it is for you) and to be paid for my services whilst learning!"
Once we have learnt to view our experiences differently we can begin to fill our lives with more loving experiences. Perhaps you may decide to make your partner their favourite meal mid week and surprise them with lots of warm hugs and greetings when they enter the home. You may give everyone close to you a loving text message just to say 'I Love you'.
Try paying for a strangers coffee and see how wonderful it makes you feel!
Pretty soon you will begin to fill your heart and soul overjoyed with acts of love and anytime you begin to feel emotionally negative about a situation you will notice, stop yourself and look for ways to achieve more love!
And never forget - that you always get back what you put out there. If you are genuine in all of your actions and selfless in your days kindness is sure to come your way.
Vitality February 27 2015
Do you ever feel that you are missing something? Missing your Mojo? You zest and zing? Missing your VITALITY?
Recently it occured to me that after the birth of my daughter i was feeling fulfilled as a mother and joyful in my new experience but something was missing. I felt somehow a little empty. I realised that it was my vitality - MY time, me!
After re-initiating my Yoga practice it became clear to me that all i needed was some time to work on myself, for myself and with myself. Restoring and reviving my mind and body.
Yoga provides us with the space and time to breathe and just be to relax and let go. Through physical work we are able to still the busy mind and through stilling the mind we are able to rest and restore.
Yoga provides us with the abiltity to cleanse the internal organs and muscles as well as re-oxygenate the blood, helping to balance hormones and emotions as well as our attitude towards life as a whole.
Yoga can be a useful tool and dear friend in times of change and progress. It can provide stability in chaos and peace in turmoil.
Having a few months away from my physical Yogic practice taught me a valuable lesson indeed - unlike most other exercise Yoga is not a chore - it is joyful and i never want to be want to be without it in my life ever again.
For me Yoga is a gift and when my 'vitality' is missing again i know where to find it - on my Yoga mat!
Stopping to smell the Roses February 13 2015
I often wonder how we end up waking up one morning and not really recalling how or why we have ended up where we are - and i don't mean after a night out on the town.
I know that we are all busy and that we all have jobs, responsibilities, significant others and so on... but somehow some of us are enjoying the ride and the rest of us are just hanging on for dear life hoping that we don't lose our grip and end up under the wheels. And, it's funny, it's not until we end up under the wheels or losing one all together that we truely take a moment to exhale and re-evalute our entire be-ing.
Recently one such change has happened on a personal level and even though i thought that i was doing a great job at being present and taking it easy, apparently i wasn't and that just taking it easy isn't enough.
Stopping to smell the roses isn't just about the smell - it's about the experience and how it makes you feel, your appreciation and the quiet moment that allows new ideas and desires to bubble to the surface like the effervescence in a bottle of soft drink. It's about finding ways to make each and every day sacred and how to fill it with the things that make your heart sing. It's about finding moderation and balance and time for yourself despite all else. A very dear friend of mind once said 'the mother wolf feeds herself before she feeds her cubs', in other words you can not give and be all that you can for others if first you don't nourish yourself.
Taking the time to not only slow down but enjoy the moments of quiet is the key to harmony within all areas of your life, practicing Ahimsa or non-violence towards yourself and then transferring that to your family and friends.
In Yoga we talk about your Dharma or your duty of which there are three. The first duty you have is to yourself 'mother wolf', you must fill your vessel before any other can drink from it. Your second duty is to your family and your third is to your community - in that order you may give what you have but you must replenish the source.
So, these holidays..... your first Dharma - YOU! Make sure that you drink all of the goodness that life has to offer you, nourish your body and soul and begin 2011 with all that you need to spread love to those around you and the greater community. If everyone took this approach imagine how truely blessed this world would be. For those who are fulfilled are not angry or hateful or hurtful, they are kind and forgiving, compassionate and loving.
"Self care is never a selfish act. It is simply good sterwardship of the only gift i have. The gift i was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self, and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but also for the many others whose lives we touch."
- Parker Palmer
Wishing you a blossoming heart today and every day!
Happiness vs. Wealth February 06 2015 1 Comment
Is it a matter of happiness vs. wealth or can one have both? It seems to me that there are really three types of people in this world
- those that are in search of 'happiness'
- those that are in search of 'wealth'
- those that are seemingly unphased (indifferent?) by the notion of a 'search' for either and seem to be doing just fine
In the search for happiness those of us who are following this path obviously believe that the universe will provide for us and that if you are following your heart and your vision then finances will also follow - it seems like a win win to me.
Those that are searching for 'wealth' seem to be consumed by the idea that if only they could accumulate enough money (who knows how much enough actually is) then they will finally be happy. This in itself is plagued with problems - you become a 'tommorrow' person. I will be happy when i do this, i will be happy after i get this, i will be happy when i have x amount of these..... this list goes on and continues and before you know it you are breathing your last breath and you realise that you never got there (because the list kept growing) and you didn't enjoy the journey and you forgot to choose to be happy!
Then there are those that seem unphased becasue they either just accept that life is how it is and is unfolding as it should or they don't really care either way.
I know it seems a strange way to look at people but ultimately it is true - which group do you fall into? What do you want for yourself in life? Write down your top 10 things and see which you hold in the highest esteem. Just think about this - if you are genuinely happy then all of the worries and stresses in your life seem small and insignificant, you have better health and each day is a true joy - you are truely 'wealthy'! You have more riches in your life than you could ever buy. If you are blessed to be 'rich' too then you are able to enjoy your money and not be consumed by where you are going to get more from.
If you are 'rich' then it doesn't always equate to happiness and money can't make you happy - only you can. You may spend your whole life trying to make that million to find that you still aren't happy and you really needed to be looking inside yourself the whole time and developing your own riches. So next time you are thinking about what to do next what step to take in life - perhaps you should think to yourself... 'which direction is going to bring me the most joy and perhaps this is truely the 'best decision' you can make for yourself.
You are your greatest asset - tke the time to invest in yourself and see the returns enrich your life!
Starting at the beginning January 30 2015
As always every story has a beginning. Every journey starts somewhere and everyone starts someplace. This week i was reminded of my own beginnings, the first steps on my own Yoga journey and what it is like for those who have never tried Yoga before...
For some the thought of sitting in a class that tells you to tie yourself up in knots is absurd. For some the thought of 'not being able to do it' is terrifying. As much as you can be told what to expect, each class is different, each teacher is different and even teachers within the same style can be complete opposites. Yoga is such a personal journey it is important to find a teacher that resonates with you and a class that makes your heart sing, your soul soar and your body hum!
When first starting a Yoga class it is so important to remember that unless you are double jointed and can claim to be a gymnast or contortionist as a profession you are not going to be able to do everything 'right' the first time around. It is important to remember that Yoga is a journey and there is no actual destination, each asana presents it's own challenges and even after you have physically conquered it then there is still more to learn.
The hardest part of any Yoga journey is leaving your ego at the door. The ego causes us to push and strive to be better than the person next to us. It pushes us to feel 'wounded' when our body won't do what we want it to do. It is the only thing holding us back from actually practicing Yoga. The Union that is sought and achieved in Yoga is only achieved once the ego has been allowed to leave the room. The ego is what causes us to 'hurt' ourselves - to work beyond our limitations and to leave feeling frustrated and angry.
So, if you have never tried Yoga before or if you are feeling frustrated with your progression - let go, leave the ego behind, be grateful for what you have, are and will be and just enjoy your own journey. This is the whole point - as in Yoga as in life - enjoy your own journey.
True North Heading South? January 29 2015When your world is turned inside out and upside down – when all of your true North’s seem to be heading south, take a breath and stop trying to swim against the current. Yoga teaches us to let go of our expectations and limitations and just go with the flow of the breath.
Sitting on the precipice feeling like I am about to begin another chapter of this adventure, this passage is ringing true, very loud and clear at the moment. But it can be applied to absolutely every aspect of your life. Work, family, love, health – at some stage you just have to surrender, get off your soap box, soften your disposition and let the water take you wherever it may. Who knows it could be a tropical island paradise???? You may be missing out on it because you are too busy looking for the life raft instead of rolling over, floating on your back and enjoying the ride. We spend so much time focusing on the destination that we think we want to get to that we forget that there is a bigger picture, we miss the sign posts and ultimately end up somewhere we didn’t want to be, often back tracking to ‘heal’, re-telling that same old story, in order to ‘move on’. And when it’s all said and done all we have accomplished is to waste our energy and potentially implode the very situation or circumstance we were trying to control.
The way out of or around this?? Get centred, get grounded and stop sweating the small stuff. Step into the flow –if something seems too hard it usually is, and is usually not the right thing for you in that moment. I am not talking about giving up, letting go of your dreams or becoming a waste of space. I am talking about reassessing your options, being discerning and knowing that just because an opportunity is presented to you doesn’t mean you have to take it. Let your heart guide you.
Yoga gives us this heart centred approach, it allows us to stop long enough to hear the voice within -To allow the bubbles of desire to rise to the surface and find constructive ways of expending our precious energy and potential. In essence - to go with the flow of life. When you learn to trust and do this you will find a whole new world opened up to you. A world that is full of vibrancy, renewed energy and enthusiasm. So much more becomes available to you because you stop wasting your energy and time in areas that aren’t productive for you, you stop having conversations that are ‘out of politeness,’ the same conversations that have been leading you in circles for years. You find a new level of friendship with those that are truly positive in your life and those that are negative get left behind. You are able to find clarity where none was before and are able to let go where you couldn’t. Yoga helps us to get out of our heads and be truly present in the moment, something that is rare in this day when we are busy looking to ‘learn’ from the past in order to ‘plan’ for the future, all the while missing out on the ‘now’.
So next time you feel that your life is beginning to spiral –
return to the mat, instead of spending hours researching and worrying and fretting over an issue, find some peace instead. Allow the peace to wash over you and the answers to come when you find your centre. Sometimes we have already been given the answer, but we were so busy swimming against the raging current that we could not see or hear it.
As always in life – return to the mat.
Enjoy your journey……