Restoration in 45 Minutes?!

Thursday nights at Pure-Li Yoga offer you the chance to enjoy an iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation practice.

Depending on what time of the year/term you are coming, this can mean anything from a simple guided meditation, introducing aspects of iRest, to an Autogenics meditation, to a simple Yoga Nidra to a full blown iRest Yoga Nidra!  So come along and try it out – whichever one we are doing, the intention, purpose and results are effectively very similar – quite simply you experience DEEP RELAXATION AND RESTORATION. 

And it doesn’t matter what part of the term you come in – there is nothing you need to do, other than commit to being as still and quiet as you can in the practice!  You don’t need to know how ‘do’ yoga, or know ‘how to meditate’.  This practice is for EVERYONE, from people with inflexibility, injuries or impediments, that might inhibit a regular yoga practice, to those who enjoy a very active lifestyle / yoga, from the young and impetuous to the older and wiser amongst us.  And it’s a lovely way to get to know each other in our lovely little community in Clunes,  and co-create a spirit of wellbeing together!

iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation has been the subject of many research studies, and has proven to improve disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and insomnia amongst others.  There are few of us nowadays who don’t experience some level of anxiety, whether its a troubled sleeping pattern or a propensity to over-worrying, or an A.D.D. of some kind.  Mental health is something we all need to be aware of and take good care of, and these practices I’m sharing with you, are ways of keeping such issues our ‘friends’, so that we can live a thriving life WITH them, as opposed to struggling to thrive because we are suffering FROM them.

This can be a practice of  TRUE SELF-CARE where were make time to compassionately witness and observe who we are, so that with practice, we start living a life that feels less constricting, and we walk out to meet life past our self-imposed unhelpful boundaries, and discover a freedom that can become our work in motion!  It’s an ongoing sort of affair, limitless if you like!

Real self-care is not about taking ourselves away from ourselves, or in someway trying to escape ourselves, our emotions, or the reality of our situations.  

True self-care is a practice, and varied practices, that take us a little more deeply inside ourselves, so that we can see the truth we need to see, in order to live our best lives.  Many of us, don’t want to face that, IT”S SCARY sometimes, but as the great teacher Pema Chödrön says, ‘nothing ever goes away, until it has taught us what we need to know’.   THAT’S why the same shit keeps reappearing over and over again in our lives!

So are we willing to endure the pain of being stuck in an unhelpful, and often damaging cycle, or take a chance and be open to the pain of growth?  We all have that choice.

If you are someone who finds yourself coming up against a similar situation, over and over again, or find yourself repeating yourself to deaf ears and getting nowhere but upset by it over and over again, or having the same argument with your partner over and over again, you might just decide to try this practice as a means to access something more profound within you, by offering it the space and time to be heard.  This is where the magic begins to happen.   And when I say that, I don’t mean the magic happens when I ring the bells at the end of practice, or once you hand over your $10!  It’s WORK, it’s a commitment to a process, not a short term goal, it’s either calling you or it’s not.  If you’re slightly curious, or there’s something peaking your interest, how many excuses are you going to let stand in your way of 45 minutes of – if nothing else – a nice time lying down doing nothing in a safe place?!!!  And maybe that’s ALL you need to come for, SOME TRUE PHYSIOLOGICAL REST!   Who is NOT going to benefit from that?  Seriously?  

Yeah!  All you have to do is show up, lie down, and see what happens!  In this practice, I guide you so that the mind has something to focus on, worry not – it is really helpful for busy minds.

All you need to bring, is a clean body (no perfumes please) and an open mind . . .  mats, props, blankets and a clean, toasty warm space are provided, so that you can settle down in comfort and ease, and allow yourself to truly rest, relax and try this style of meditation.

It’s still only $10 for this practice!

So come along and try it out before the special offer runs out!  You can purchase it online HERE, or bring it along on the night …  We will finish promptly by 5.45pm in time to grab a table at Clunes Pizza Night! 🙂

HOW TO BOOK YOUR PLACE:

If you’d like to try it, the only way to book is to please TEXT ME on 0405 132 432 to hold your spot, as places are limited.  Even if you pay online, please pop me a text as well, just to confirm, as the slow local internet sometimes means I might not get your email without a delay!  So text is best to avoid awkward disappointments!

Looking forward to meeting you, and creating a special space for you here at Pure-Li Yoga!

Kindness,

Li. xo

An Emotional Time Returning To Logic

For the day that’s in it … this is my soundtrack of choice for this situation … often, songs are mightier than words alone.

 

Well done Ireland.  #The8thIsRepealed

 

Only The Good Die Young

Are you expressing your true feelings?

Is your ‘ role’ more important than you?

Are you responsible for how other people feel?

Some questions raised by Dr Gabor.

For some time now, I’ve been floored and freed to a degree, by the fascinating Dr. Gabor Maté.  There’s something so comforting about the knowing . . . that strange feeling of resonance, when you hear scientific research and results, when you’re not that ‘sciencey’, and

it

just

makes

sense.

 

Resonating??!!  Then …

W A T C H   T H I S   V I D E O !

IT”S EXCITING!

And Dr. Maté has recently discovered the practice of yoga and apparently is reaping rewards!  Although some people perceive it as ‘new age’ or ‘airy fairy’, YOGA is in fact not new at all, actually it’s been around for thousands of years.  It is a practice, a way of living, or in other words – an art and a science, the wisdom coming from The Vedas (the ancient tomes where actually modern allopathic medicine established its’ very foundation, but now has many of the ‘good bits’ taken out!)

If you don’t know me, it is generally safe to assume, that when I talk about ‘yoga’, I am not talking about a series of postures or exercises, I am talking about living according to the many practices of yoga – a system, a practical philosophy which provides a framework for intelligent living.

I’m thinking that what resonates with me about what Dr. Maté shares, is familiar to me because it lines up with what I have learned to date in my studies in yoga.

 “The compulsive and automatic concern for the needs of others, while ignoring your own, is a major risk factor for chronic illness.”

GUILTY.  This is my tendency.

Yoga helps me.

Ahimsa, is the first tenet of the yoga philosophy, and is often translated as non-violence.  I have a personal dislike and a sort of impatience for this translation because where does your mind go when I say don’t think of elephants??!  Non-violence is not a very descriptive or encompassing translation, it’s seems limiting to me.  I find a more beautiful and fitting translation in the word COMPASSION.  Do No Harm is another way to understand it – hippocratic, non?!  Anyway, this tenet is supposed to be practised in tandem with all other yoga practices.  And it’s one we are constantly given the opportunity to work on!  My sense of it is simply, if we are not practising compassion we are not practising yoga.

So how can we care truly for others, or even have equal regard for all humans, if we do not have a practice of self-compassion?  Compassion is a practice that needs SELF-COMPASSION in order for it to be sustainable.

I’m not talking about this estimation of ‘self-care’ and ‘self love’ that’s hitting our social media screens, ‘trending right now’, and giving millennials a bad name!!!   It’s not as simplistic as treating yourself to a bath or a ‘mental health’ day off work, or even saying no to things to which we might automatically say yes.  Whilst all these things are indeed beneficial practices within a self-compassion practice, unless we are teaming them up with a self-reflective practice of some sort, and a higher goal or intention, they can run out of steam and lack substance.

“You can’t separate the mind from the body.  It’s unscientific”.

The benefits really come and are sustained, when we are looking deep inside ourselves and observing our reactions and responses, when we realise our needs and how they are or aren’t being met.  When we address our shadow side as well as our ‘light’ side.  That’s when the practice of compassion can get juicy!

Dr. Maté  worries about ‘nice people’! Love it!!

Being so good all the time, constantly caring for others’ needs over our own needs, worrying about upsetting the apple cart, are the reasons why only the good die young!!  We are wearing out our telomeres!!!

Michael Leunig Genius

“Are your behaviours and thought patterns creating your illness?”

Are you even aware of how you are thinking?  And of how your thoughts create and shape your reality.  Are you choosing to think thoughts, create beliefs, and make actions in the world, that support you, the greater good and each other?  That encompass goodness, abundance, connection with each other and compassion for all?  Or are you choosing thoughts, creating beliefs and making actions in the world that are ruled or rooted in fear and lack, that create a ‘them and us’ mindset, and are a result of our attachment to our preferences?  Do you observe your thoughts, words and deeds and have any higher intention or goal for your way of life?

This is an important part of a self compassion practice.  Time set aside for you, no sorry, not to get a mani pedi, but to get to know YOU.  Dr. Maté says “who gets sick and who doesn’t is not accidental”!!!  Are you aware of the patterns you are creating, repeating, passing on to your children, or your peers or those you influence?  How can you stop getting ill, if you aren’t even aware that how you are living is creating the illness.

It doesn’t show up for us all in the same way.

SURE – you eat too much bacon, you get fat.  But you might be doing everything ‘right’ and still be getting sick.  What he’s saying is you still haven’t listened, there’s something missing in the interpretation, the transmission isn’t yet complete.  There is more work for you to do! (f.y.i. theres always more work for us to do!)

Why Restorative Yoga Supports A Compassionate Mind

What I’m saying is, etching out time to enquire is a solid foundation for a true compassion practice.

First we set aside time away from what we get caught up in – aka LIFE!  We get our bodies very comfortable in a trusted and safe place, and allow it to be in a state where cellular healing and neural relaxation can take place – supported positions of physiological rest, that illicit the parasympathetic nervous system and allow the sympathetic nervous system to rest.  And we use this quiet time to observe the mind’s noise, we make space for emotions, thoughts, sensations to arise, in order to hear and acknowledge our needs, important as so often we suppress our own wants and needs because we prioritise others, or our roles in life, or we have somehow come to believe that we are undeserving of our own true needs!  And so we come away with a renewed physical body, and a renewed sense of self, and perhaps an intention to better support our needs, so that we can show up in the world and give our best, without giving ourselves.

One of my favourite songs comes to mind … have a listen to end this post on a loving note!

“You and I, we were captured
We took our souls and we flew away
We were right, we were giving
That’s how we kept what we gave away”

 

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iRest in Insight Timer

This app is BRILLIANT!  Highly recommend Insight Timer, I’ve been using it for years for meditation and more recently have enjoyed this fantastic offering as well as other meditations from one of my teachers, Dr. Richard Miller. that are on here, and . . .  ALL FREE! 

There are loads of different guided meditations, so it’s a great app for many reasons!

If you have sleep issues, try the iRest meditation for sleep … it really is pure GOLD!

 

Having trouble sleeping? If you’re finding it hard to fall asleep or maintain restful sleep during the night, check out…

Posted by iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation on Monday, April 9, 2018

 

Also, if you’re interested in iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation:

… know that I am offering a group iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation on Thursday evenings here at Pure-Li Yoga, from 5pm to 5-5.45pm . . . for the special offer price of just $10 til the end of term! 

Come practice together, in community with our community.

Text me on  0405 132 432  to book your spot as space is limited!

 

Laughter Therapy

Sometimes ya gotta stop, put everything on hold, and make time for some LAUGHING!

Easter Long Weekend

 

Practice on as usual!

 

Good Friday:  Gentle Hatha Yoga : 7-8.30am

Easter Saturday:  Restorative Yoga : 10 – 11.30am

Easter Monday:   Gentle Hatha Yoga : 7-8.30am

Easter Monday:  Restorative Yoga 1 : 5.15 – 6.45pm

 

Text me to book your spot!  0405 132 432

DON’T TELL ME YOU CAN’T DO YOGA!

Don’t tell me you can’t do yoga!

It’s amazing how many people say to me, “oh I tried yoga but I can’t do it”, or “I can’t even touch my toes”!

What are you talking about people?!!!! 

These same people go to the gym or have done at some point, they might swim, or have played tennis.  When they started these pursuits, was there nothing to learn at the beginning and nothing to practice in order for it to be interesting and for them to grow and improve?!

It tells me that there is some general misinformed idea of what yoga is … for a start, IT’S NOT A SPORT!  In fact the whole point is that it’s not competitive at all, but rather the beginnings of us learning to accept ourselves WHEREVER WE”RE AT!

That means, whether your 18 or 80, whether you’re flexible or stiff, whether you’re trim or obese, whether you’re sick or healthy … etc etc etc …  it’s the process of learning to be wherever we find ourselves, in each moment, and being present with that.  It is a practice that takes courage and curiosity.

And when we stop projecting all these results and requirements, and expecting this elusive list of outcomes from ourselves, we begin to observe more, learn about ourselves more, listen to our needs more, and learn how to respond rather than living in this constant state of reaction to the stimuli around us.

With Hatha Yoga, it just so happens to be in a way where we utilise our bodies …

not to be Olympic yogis, or Yoga Journal models, but to stay connected to ourselves and self-aware, by using the body as a tool to feel and sense.  You can then optionally add to that, the deeper meaningfulness to the practice of yoga, that by using our bodies in this way, we remind ourselves of the importance of our bodies, and how to care for and nourish our bodies so that we might live a life with less suffering, so our bodies support our life and lifestyle in a way that makes living life FUN, JOYFUL, or simply just ENJOYABLE!

Our yoga sequence at Pure-Li Yoga is designed to help you tie your shoe-laces, stand on one leg so you can safely put your undies on, reach that top shelf in the pantry, look over your shoulder for on-coming traffic in your car, strengthen your body to lessen the likelihood of you falling over, make sitting into and standing up from, deep low chairs easier, make rolling over and getting out of bed easier, and so on, and so on .., this is what I mean when I say our yoga supports our lifestyle.  What is the point of a pretzel posture if what we are actually doing is practising how to damage our joints as we get older, and do no work on making our bodies strong?!

Recently, a few people have asked me what is HATHA YOGA?!

HATHA YOGA can be understood as a physical yoga practice, or the yoga of effort.

As opposed to RESTORATIVE YOGA, where we are actually working to get used to doing nothing with our bodies, HATHA YOGA implies we are using effort to move towards asana (postures) that work to strengthen, condition and nourish the body – not just muscles, but all the body’s systems – organs, cells, tissues, blood flow and quality, and ultimately equanimity of mind.

At Pure-Li Yoga in the GENTLE HATHA PRACTICE,

we are moving gently and mindfully through a sequence of postures that each have variations, so YOU choose which version of the posture you do, depending on your body’s wishes on each day you practice.  ATHA!  START WHERE YOU”RE AT!

You don’t have to be experienced, and if you are, it helps if you are experienced enough to have a beginners mind!

Every time we practise, we are different.

Moment to moment we are changing.  Many things affect how we move, how we feel, how we think.  What has happened just before we show up to the yoga studio, or an event that occurred twenty years ago!  What we’ve eaten, with whom we’ve been interacting, what the weather is like …. all things affect how we are, and if yoga is about practising being truly present, we are listening to that and responding in a way that is going to nurture us best in each moment.

WHAT IS THE POINT OF OUR PRACTICE?

Ohhhh so many!!  One large point of our practice is equanimity of mind.  When we practise yoga asana (postures), we are working to strengthen the body by moving actively, in and out of each asana.  This requires us to also practise focusing, listening in, welcoming sensation and being present with it.  And whilst I do give plenty of instruction, I’m not interested in perfecting shapes . . . 

I’m interested in facilitating each student to be their own teacher

As your guide, I can show you the benefits of moving in a particular way, or working towards a certain asana, but mostly my hope is that you experience giving yourself permission – permission to explore within each asana, maybe even within each breath.

At Pure-Li Yoga, our yoga has less to do with performing pretzel poses, and more to do with preparing your body to support your lifestyle.  The yoga is not the postures . . . the yoga is the residue that’s left in your heartbodymind, after practising the postures!

So if you can’t touch your toes, bend your bloody knees!!

What we are doing, is strengthening the muscles around the joints, and moving the parts of our bodies that are stiff, encouraging blood flow to all the extremities, moving the spine to bring health, healing, and nourishment to the tissues.  We are practising putting the body into positions of degrees of duress, and learning how to be present with that so we can practice breathing through stressful situations.

We are learning to be firm but calm.

By moving actively into the postures – that means not sinking into flexibility or using external forces to get us there (e.g. gravity, momentum or other parts of our bodies forcing us into the poses) – we get super strong and self- aware, by going at a pace our individual bodies can handle.  We create length, strength and opening, and with regular practice, a sense of equanimity and ease, a sense of connection and coming home, a sense of peace.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EFFORT AND FORCING.

The first tenet of the philosophy of yoga is AHIMSA – DO NO HARM.  Cultivating AHIMSA or compassion towards ourselves and our practice, is integral to all YOGA practices.

Without the element of compassion it simply is not YOGA.

Can we make each asana a question, rather than a perfect shape to be ‘achieved’?

With this question percolating in our mind-body, it gives us space to find our version of each asana in each moment.  There is no one right way or wrong way.  There is no perfect asana for all.  There is only YOUR way, we are individuals with perhaps, a common goal, but there is no end to an asana!

Do we master an asana, or do we master ourselves in it?!

Even when we are as absolutely still as we can be, we are still moving, shimmering, evolving, pulsating …

We are constantly changing and different, within each asana we move into, there is a universe to explore and adventure into!  I am interested in going there!

 

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Botox

So I have known for some time of course, the benefits of a yoga-based lifestyle, and often it’s easy to forget that not everybody knows what I know or you know ….

And so when I found this research paper that talks about how telomerase activity and cellular ageing might be positively modified by a yoga-based lifestyle, I thought ‘this be a good share!’

 

Yoga For Anti-Ageing!

Maybe we need to spend less money on other interventions like face creams and procedures, and more time in yoga … Yay I’m up for that!!  I just wish I started practising yoga in earnest when I was a kid, it’s only in the last decade that I started to really understand the true journey and it’s benefits … and the noticeable cellular ageing appeared!!!!

Telomerase activity and cellular aging might be positively modified by a yoga-based lifestyle intervention.

Kumar SB, et al. J Altern Complement Med. 2015.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Recent studies showed that a brief yoga-based lifestyle intervention was efficacious in reducing levels of oxidative stress and cellular aging in obese men. The objective of this case report was to assess the efficacy of this intervention in reducing the levels of biochemical markers of cellular ageing, oxidative stress, and inflammation at baseline (day 0), at the end of active intervention (day 10), and follow-up at day 90.

DESIGN: Single case report from a prospective ongoing study with pre-post design assessing the level of various markers of cellular aging.

SETTING: Integral Health Clinic, an outpatient facility conducting meditation and yoga-based lifestyle intervention programs for management of chronic diseases.

PATIENT: A 31-year-old man with class I obesity (body-mass index, 29.5 kg/m(2)) who presented to the medicine outpatient department at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, with a history of fatigue, difficulty losing weight, and lack of motivation. He noted a marked decrease in his energy level, particularly in the afternoon.

INTERVENTION: A pretested intervention program included asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), stress management, group discussions, lectures, and individualized advice.

RESULTS: From baseline (day 0) to day 90, the activity of telomerase and levels of β-endorphins, plasma cortisol, and interleukin-6 increased, and a sustained reduction in oxidative stress markers, such as reactive oxygen species and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxy-guanosine levels.

CONCLUSIONS: Adopting yoga/meditation-based lifestyle modification causes reversal of markers of aging, mainly oxidative stress, telomerase activity, and oxidative DNA damage. This may not only delay aging and prolong a youthful healthy life but also delay or prevent onset of several lifestyle-related diseases, of which oxidative stress and inflammation are the chief cause. This report suggests this simple lifestyle intervention may be therapeutic for oxidative DNA damage and oxidative stress.

You can read it on it’s original journal page HERE.

The Guest House

The Guest House

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Rumi

I believe  …

…   we know the truth, goodness, wisdom, it is buried in us all.
We are here to remember.
I love this as a reminder.
You are never alone and you are always alone. You are something special and you are nothing special in the greater scheme of things!
You are pure love and goodness, and have a little or a lot of work to do, to strip back the conditioning …
Either way, that’s all we’re doing’ here , either layering on more sheaths, or working to peel them off
Don’t push away what comes up, it’s sent as a messenger, it’s here to remind you ….

Set aside some time in your day to devote to feeling …
Acknowledge, accept, soft belly, half smile, it’s ok, it’s ok, I love you, I love you ….

Coconut Milk Made Easy

Coconut Milk Made Easy

I’m a bit of a fan of the ol’ coconut!

Even though coconut milk or products are not part of my genetic history (as far as I know!), the food seems to like me, and me it.  There are many health benefits attributed to coconut as food.  Many people still associate it negatively with high fat or cholesterol … and I still get surprised at this … and while I don’t view it as a ‘dangerously’ fattening food, we each have to eat what we feel is right for our individual bodies, as there is no one good thing for everyone.

I am especially fond of drinking young coconuts, the price of which I notice has sky-rocketed recently. I remember them being $2 each when I shopped around, now they’re coming to $3.50 and upwards each … And then there’s the issue of the carbon footprint of importing them … an issue for another post.

Coconut contains high fibre, hydrating qualities, anti fungal and anti-bacterial qualities, and is considered a ‘good’ fat, with the ability to stabilise blood sugars and act as a digestive aid.  Just a few of the documented benefits.

Making coconut milk is simple.  But have you ever looked at some of the ingredients of desiccated coconut?!  Sometimes there are all kinds of weird things in there … I recently bought this brand of desiccated coconut at my local health grocer for $3!  A perfect pantry staple, this is a fab price and I thought it a good idea to buy a few.

If like me, you prefer to eat more plant-based foods,

making coconut milk as an alternative to store-bought cows milk is inexpensive and super versatile, with a good quality desiccated coconut like this in your pantry – try to get one that lists just ‘coconut’ or ‘organic coconut’ under the ingredients statement, with no additives, and you can make as little or as much milk as you need and when you need!  All you need is a high-speed blender, a nut milk bag or fine sieve, and some water!

If I have time, I like to soak it a little in the water to let some more flavour seep out, but you don’t have to – making it on the spot is the point, really.  Other alternatives include flavouring the milk – adding some vanilla; a little salt; a little maple syrup or sweetener of choice, maybe a squeeze of lemon juice …. I find with the concentration of flavour in the desiccation process that it is VERY coconutty and flavouring is not necessary, just optional.

Here’s how I make it:

1 cup of desiccated coconut

2 cups (filtered) water

Blend in a high speed blender

Pass through a nut milk bag or fine sieve

Store in the fridge for about 3-4 days or until it smells a little off!

Reserve the pulp!  I use mine by adding to smoothies, breakfast cereal, sprinkled on salad or added to veggie mash ups.  You can also dehydrate it and use it as gf flour if you like.

Simples!