When life starts to become hectic, as it always will; sometimes we need to just stop!
Stop and find solitude.
Inhale new peaceful calm energy.
Exhale the drama, the negativity, the pressure, the tension.
Sometimes you just need to let go and escape.
After what can only be described as a hectic crazy year, I am doing exactly that, I am escaping for 2 short weeks to London.
I am running an event there to help others escape so if you live in London and you need a little break, then check out the events page of this site and let me help you escape through yoga and mediation to relax, to take some time out for you.
For those not in London, I hope you can find some time in your busy lives to find some inner peace, to find solitude and happiness.
You owe it to yourselves.
~ excerpt from a journal written last month on a 4 day yoga retreat~
I am currently into day 4 of a 4 day yoga retreat. I am currently into 2 or so hours of a 4 hour requested silence.
It is morning, it is cold in the shade, so I sit in silence with the sun warming my skin.
All around me are tired little yogi’s reflecting, struggling to be quiet, loving the silence; I don’t know.
All I know is how I feel, and how I feel is emotional.
What I can’t figure out is why.
Being alone is nothing new, being silent and alone with my thoughts is a frequent and welcomed practice for me.
Yet being amongst 50 other people moving about not saying a word is definitely something new for me.
These past 4 days have pushed me mentally, physically and emotionally – I can’t even say why, but I can say that I feel we all need to step outside of our comfort zones several times in life, in order to feel more, be more and achieve more.
We NEED to experience some storms before the calm, the storms help us to appreciate the calm times in life.
We need to push the outer limits of our learnt and habitual behaviors.
As one of my teachers said (and is a favorite quote of mine) ‘if we keep doing what we have always done, we will keep getting what we have always got’.
I believe that nothing great was ever achieved by sitting comfortably, and not stepping outside your comfort zone.
After every storm the dust settles, the rain clears and new life is felt. You can literally feel it in the air, that change,that freshness, that vitality.
Could we perhaps not say the same of ourselves; we go through hardships, the dust clears, the metaphorical storm clouds disappear and we survive and feel re-born, re-awakened.
We emerge stronger, more resilient.
If we are constantly surrounded by chatter, can we ever find our own words?
If we are constantly filling the silences with noise, will the noise in our heads continue to grow?
If we don’t embrace the storms, will we ever be able to appreciate the calm?
As I said, this was written in my journal over a month ago now, and without really knowing why, I opened my retreat journal this afternoon, and as I read over my words I am amazing at the timing.
Last week was a bit intense and emotional for me, and it would appear I was not alone.
Sometimes we really do receive and read things at the exact time we are meant to, and even though these words came from me, they have helped me by re-reading them today, and my heartfelt wish for anyone reading this who is also in the midst of a storm is to trust that this will pass, the calmness will re-appear and know that you will emerge stronger than ever before.
Today; in between getting up at 5am teaching two morning fitness classes, doing remedial work with a lady at a nursing home, learning choreography, doing my invoices, meditating for 20 minutes and mentally preparing for the next two classes of the evening, I caught my reflection in my blender and wondered who the frick am I ?
I mean seriously, look at this blender filled with green goodness, when did I turn from the KFC eating high school punk to the exercising, spiritual, kale drinking smoothie I have become?
Who is this fit, flexible girl I see staring back at me from the pictures, this same girl who used to hate the gym who now teaches at them promoting fitness on a regular basis.
This small framed girl who is suddenly (without warning it feels ) is covered on muscles.
This girl who is still me, who is still the same but is also completely different.
This girl who just went to Perth with her girlfriends and ate her body weight in cheese, bread, chocolate, coffee and wine~
~ and would do that every weekend if she could 🙂
This girl who teaches yoga to people to relax, then blurts out words excitedly, quickly in an anything but relaxed manner.
This girl who teaches body balance, then trips over nothing on the way out of class.
This pilates trainer who has a strong core but can not do a handstand.
This girl who lives life with reckless abandon who craves adventure yet yearns for serenity.
This girl who feels so young at heart, yet knows she is growing older.
Who am I ?
A walking contradiction, or simply a girl wanting to experience everything, to be everything, to feel everything.
To be the best person I can be inside and out.
To be who I am without even really knowing who I am myself!
So my advice to you all, should you find yourself staring at your reflection through a green mush of kale, don’t question, don’t stress, don’t judge – just be!
I hate to admit it but I used to be one of “those” people who left the class before meditation.
I left as my brain went into immediate meltdown mode the minute that word was uttered.
My fatigued body was pleading with me to take those 5-10 minutes to relax, my brain was yelling at it to shut up.
Meditation; who has the time for that? I could be doing cardio, or something useful at home!
The naive old me thought meditation was some hippy chanting thing.
I remember the first yoga class I did, where the instructor told me to clear my mind of everything –
Everything my brain shrieked, is she nuts?
My brain was a jumbled mess, is everyone clearing their minds except for me? What is wrong with me? Why can’t I clear my mind?
Fast forward to what feels like a million years later to the girl who types this and teaches meditation and relaxation at the end of a workout, to the girl who feels so sad when people leave before the end, the people who will miss out on everything I missed out on for so many years.
Meditation for many can be a confrontational process, being still with your own thoughts can be daunting.
I am mindful not to ask people to clear their minds of everything, rather I invite people just to lie calmly and relax, to breath deeply and calmly, to focus on something that makes them happy, and to give themselves permission to do just that.
Our society is racing, each year goes faster than the last.
Stopping, relaxing, meditating in which ever form you wish to do it, is one of the most important gifts you can give yourself.
If you are unsure where to start; start by identifying what makes you happy, then close your eyes for a moment and draw upon that image, emotion or event.
Take 5 minutes on your journey to or from work to close your eyes, listen to music or just listen to the sound of your breath.
Sit in a park, the beach a place that resonates with you, and just be content in the moment.
There is no right or wrong, find what works for you and then indulge in it every chance you get.
Five minutes a day and before long you will notice and feel the benefits.
In this busy month of December give yourself the best gift of all.
Today I was inspired in class by an 78 year old man joining the gym “before his body gave up” – his words not mine.
I inspired and helped a young overweight girl who gets bullied for her weight, by helping her set small and achievable goals.
I overheard an amazingly flexible yogi telling someone how great she thinks I am while all the while I watch her in my classes in complete awe and admiration as she inspires me to push myself further.
At the end of the class I went up to my 78year old smiling participant and congratulated him on doing so well, and thanked him for smiling throughout the entire class.
He thanked me for teaching him that the mind is more powerful than the body, and he now feels more determined than ever to keep practicing and moving.
What a truly amazing man!
Earlier in the week, my friend took on a new client; a 93 year old lady who wants to keep active!
She inspired my friend greatly and without even meeting her, she has already inspired me.
You are never too old to be an inspiration to others!
A breathing and meditation coach explained to me at the end of class that my explanations of the breath and meditation were beautiful and told me I had a gift.
Today I really believe that I do, I believe my gift was given to me the second I started following my heart, the minute I started doing what I love.
The moment I thought less about myself and more about others.
That gift keeps giving to me each and every time I help someone to achieve a little more, to find a little calmness, a little more happiness and self-empowerment.
True inspiration is found, when you realize that you are never too young or too old to learn from others, that you should always be the best person you can be as you never know who you are inspiring.