Rest = July + August 2019 / Bi-monthly focus

Our bi-monthly focus for July and August is Rest.

In the fast moving world we live in today we all too often find ourselves putting far too much emphasis on constant ‘doing’

We get caught up in the push to go, go, go and do, do, do and can find ourselves stressed out, anxious, exhausted and so depleted that we are incapable of being the best we can be.

It is easy to forget the importance of rest and of taking time to recharge in the busy ebb and flow of life, but it is so vital that we do.

Rest enables us to come back to our life duties and relationships in a more engaged, enhanced and joyful way.

But resting doesn’t just have to mean ‘doing nothing.’ So what do I mean when I say rest?

I think it’s important to note that rest can take on many different forms.

Finding rest is about finding some stillness or silence in your life - and practicing rest is one of the most basic and fundamental needs of human beings.

It’s about allowing yourself the time and space to get off the tread mill of life, to unplug, to breathe, to tune in to your internal world of emotions, feelings, thoughts as well as your physical sensations and sensitivities.

Yoga is this inward journey of Self-Enquiry - and yoga along with meditation, breathe work, mindfulness and silence are some of my favourite forms of rest and ways to recharge.

But rest can also be discovered in many other forms such as journalling, painting, taking mindful walks, massage and even daydreaming.

Sometimes we find a gentle form rest calling us, at other times a more active rest and recovery feels right.

It is important to find what works best for you, for your lifestyle, for your body, for your mind and for your soul in any given moment of your life.

So, over the coming months and going forward I encourage us all to remind each other to “Take Rest, Take Rest, Take Rest”

I look forward to sharing space, having fun and taking time to enjoy restful, sunny summer vibes together!

With Love & Blessings

Rest = July + August 2019 / Bi-monthly focus

Our bi-monthly focus for July and August is Rest.

In the fast moving world we live in today we all too often find ourselves putting far too much emphasis on constant ‘doing’

We get caught up in the push to go, go, go and do, do, do and can find ourselves stressed out, anxious, exhausted and so depleted that we are incapable of being the best we can be.

It is easy to forget the importance of rest and of taking time to recharge in the busy ebb and flow of life, but it is so vital that we do.

Rest enables us to come back to our life duties and relationships in a more engaged, enhanced and joyful way.

But resting doesn’t just have to mean ‘doing nothing.’ So what do I mean when I say rest?

I think it’s important to note that rest can take on many different forms.

Finding rest is about finding some stillness or silence in your life - and practicing rest is one of the most basic and fundamental needs of human beings.

It’s about allowing yourself the time and space to get off the tread mill of life, to unplug, to breathe, to tune in to your internal world of emotions, feelings, thoughts as well as your physical sensations and sensitivities.

Yoga is this inward journey of Self-Enquiry - and yoga along with meditation, breathe work, mindfulness and silence are some of my favourite forms of rest and ways to recharge.

But rest can also be discovered in many other forms such as journalling, painting, taking mindful walks, massage and even daydreaming.

Sometimes we find a gentle form rest calling us, at other times a more active rest and recovery feels right.

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It is important to find what works best for you, for your lifestyle, for your body, for your mind and for your soul in any given moment of your life.

So, over the coming month and going forward I encourage us all to remind each other to “Take Rest, Take Rest, Take Rest”

I look forward to sharing space, having fun and taking time to enjoy restful, sunny summer vibes together!

With Love & Blessings

Change! = May + June 2019 / Bi-monthly focus

The bi-monthly focus for May and June is Change.

With Spring in the air and Summer around the corner, it seems like everything is turning a new leaf this time of year.

Even with the cooler weather we are having here in Ireland at the moment – May and June still feel like months of change!

And it certainly is a good time of year to embrace change, to try new things, dust off the old routines, reignite and shake things up a little.

Change and growth ultimately starts from within – and through our practices we can learn to navigate the ever-changing ebb and flow of life with more ease and joy.

When we practice yoga and meditation (as well as other mindful techniques) we connect to a deeper inner awareness and invite internal enquiry.  

We cultivate sensitivity, honesty, openness, focus and generosity.

And we become more resilient enabling us to allow, to accept and to embrace change.

Tantric yoga describes change as the ever-changing nature of Shakti, or the deep-rooted, dynamic power and divine energy at the heart of life.

Shakti continually manifests things into being, fuels them for a while and then dissolves them.

Every cell, every moment, is part of this continuous flow of creation, sustenance, and dissolution.

Buddhists refer to change as Anitya or impermanence and tell us that change is inevitable, continuous, and unavoidable.

So in other words, Everything changes!

But we all know this already through our own experiences of life – and we also know that change is not always easy!

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We feel change externally in our environment as the flow of seasons, as cycles in nature and in diversity of cultures. 

We feel change internally within ourselves, in physical and mental states as we experiences the ups and downs of life and flow through thoughts, emotions, sensations and the many movements in our mind.

Connecting, acknowledging and recognising the divine nature of the process of change and impermanence can bring ease and enable us to greet change with more acceptance, honour and surrender.

More so, we empower ourselves to partner and to co-create with change as we continue on our journey – and hopefully we find ourselves feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and feeling positive toward CHANGE in our lives!

I look forward to sharing space, having fun and embracing change together!

With Love & Blessings

PS: Don’t forget you can join me on 17 May for and evening workshop! FRIDAY FEEL GOOD: Full Moon practice and feel good flow - 7:30pm to 9:30pm - @YogaDublin Ranelagh, Dublin 6

Sending Gratitude & Blessings

Happy Christmas & Happy Season of Giving!

Hope you are enjoying time to relax, refresh, rejuvenate, be merry and have fun!

Sending Gratitude & Appreciation to you beautiful Souls!

Thank you for sharing your time and energy.

Thank you for your wisdom.

Thank you for the chats, requests and the questions.

Thank you for your commitment.

Thank you for your smiles, laughter and hugs.

Thank you for being a never ending source of inspiration.

Thank you for the privilege and the trust that you have given by allowing me to teach, to guide and to share.

Thank you for the gift of your presence.

Thank you for being a part of my life journey.

You are magic!

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THE GIFT OF GIVING = Nov + Dec 2018 / Focus of the Month

Our bi-monthly focus for November + December is the Gift and Spirit of Giving.

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As always, I encourage this to inspire and fuel our yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices, to come into our classes, workshops and sessions, and I will certainly keep this focus in mind over the coming months for my own personal practices and life.

Happy November, Happy December – the last two months of 2018 are upon us!

As the end of the year and the holiday season approaches we can often feel the pressure mounting - Christmas (here in Dublin) seems to come earlier and earlier each year! 

Each of us has our own traditions and unique ways of celebrating or marking this time of year (whether practicing a specific religion or not).

Often this means time spent gathering with friends and family. This social time can be full of fun, love and laughter – but it can also be stressful, have us feeling on edge and exhausted.

It may mean spending time on your own over the holiday season (and many people do). This solo time can be peaceful, contemplative, and nurturing - but can be also be lonely, have us feeling down and agitated.

I personally have done the holidays many ways (and for me the holidays means celebrating Christmas and New Years’). I have shared this time with loved ones and I have also spent it on my own due to various life circumstances, as well as by my own choice, travel or deciding to go on retreat. 

The one thing this season has in common for us all, no matter how it’s spent,  is it presents us with both blessings and challenges! 

 

It’s easy to get lost in the fun, frenzy and  feelings and to forget the insights that this time of year and the season of giving can offer to us.

 

It is important to remind ourselves that in giving (to others, as well as to ourselves!) there is a beautiful gift… Giving evokes a spirit of Gratitude.

We naturally express gratitude and thanks when receiving, but there is gratitude in the giving too!

  • Gratitude for having that person to in our life to give to.

  • Gratitude when giving to ourself, being thankful for the ability to nurture and care for ourself.

This Gratitude is the Gift of Giving!

 

An article published by The Greater Good Science Centre at UC Berkley notes the following:

In a 2006 study, Jorge Moll and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health found that when people give, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect.

Other research has found that gratitude is integral to happiness, health, and social bonds. And I would add that gratitude is also integral to connection to ourselves.

Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, co-directors of the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness, found that teaching college students to “count their blessings” and cultivate gratitude caused them to exercise more, be more optimistic, and feel better about their lives overall. 

A study led by Nathaniel Lambert at Florida State University found that expressing gratitude to a close friend or romantic partner strengthens our sense of connection to that person. 

I would propose that it would also come to reason that expressing self-gratitude also strengthens our sense of connection to ourselves.

Barbara Fredrickson, a pioneering happiness researcher, suggests that cultivating gratitude in everyday life is one of the keys to increasing personal happiness. “When you express your gratitude in words or actions, you not only boost your own positivity but [other people’s] as well,” she writes in her book Positivity. “And in the process you reinforce their kindness and strengthen your bond to one another.”

So, it seems that science agrees with what ancient wisdom has said for millennia, The Gift of Giving is Gratitude!

 

We can look to Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras on how to bring this spirit and gift into our practice and ultimately into our life. 

On the yoga mat in our posture practice and in our meditation and mindful practices we can look to one of the five Niyamas (internal observances) of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, called Santosha.

Santosha is considered an essential and fundamental foundation of yogic practice. 

Often translated as ‘contentment’- Santosha can also be translated, perhaps in a deeper and more useful way, to mean ‘Equanimity.’ 

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Equanimity is a state of psychological mind/soul stability and composure which is balanced and undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, discomfort, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind/soul.

In essence, from a yogic perspective, Equanimity is the ability to be with what is.

We can practice Santosha (equanimity) in Yoga posture practice by letting go of the desire to attain the perfect looking pose, by working within our current ability and feeling and accepting the experience of the pose as it is without wanting to force or to change it.  

We can apply Santosha  (equanimity) in our Mediation and Mindful practices by noticing our thoughts, feelings, emotions in a given moment, by observing without judging, without criticising or analysis and by acknowledging and accepting whatever arises.

Through cultivating Santosha (equanimity) in our practices we become present in our life to what is actually happening, we become aware of what experience is being given and of what we are giving.

This allows us to take space for the beautiful Gift of Giving and for Gratitude. 

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Wishing you Joy, Fun & Laughter and many moments of Gratitude.

And I look forward to sharing space and cultivating Santosha together over the coming months.

With Love & Blessings