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!

Start Here: Self-Compassion

The answer to everything could be SELF-COMPASSION … the results would be proof.

How Did Hitler Rise To Power

“Hitler took advantage of the people’s anger by offering them a convenient scapegoat and a promise to restore Germany’s greatness”

 

sound familiar?

(also amazing graphics!)

Self-care isn’t apathy …

Self-care isn’t apathy … I’m sharing this article by Mary Elizabeth Williams, because it touches on more than one topic worth talking or thinking about …

You can read the full article at source  HERE

Self-care isn’t apathy: You don’t have to watch the whole Trump horror show

Let’s pace ourselves, America — overdosing on insanity is killing our spirit

Self-care isn't apathy: You don't have to watch the whole Trump horror show
(Credit: CSA-Printstock via iStock)

Nope. I didn’t see it. Not live, as it unfolded, not Friday morning, as the spin kept rolling in. I have my limits, and my limit is voluntarily watching Donald Trump officially accept the Republican nomination for president of the United States. And over the next few months, I promise to not watch a whole lot more.

It’s not that the alarming spectacle that played out this week in Cleveland can be ignored. It’s not that we all don’t have a profound personal stake in the utterly terrifying agenda of Trump ticket. It’s this — you can’t immerse yourself in round-the-clock crazy and not go a little mad yourself. You can’t, as someone wisely said on Twitter recently, “constantly stare at a device that beams nightmares” into your eyes and not wind up “anxious.” And if you, this often bizarre and heartbreaking summer, sometimes decide to choose Pokémon Go over Make America Great Again, I totally get it.

Granted, I have the privilege/curse of working in the media, which means that I get heaping eyefuls of current events in my workday. By the time many of my friends come home in the evening, eager to catch up on the news, I am slumped at my desk and trying to pick my jaw up off the floor. There’s no part of kicking back and taking in even more upsetting words and images at that point that sounds even remotely mentally healthy.

But even if your 9–5 involves piping roses onto wedding cakes, can I still offer a little friendly advice? Pace yourself here. Remember that self-care is not apathy, and that sensory overload isn’t social justice. It’s estimated Americans consume roughly ten hours of media a day. And 33 percent percent of Americans — a full third — say that they follow the news all throughout the day. That is an overwhelming amount of information to take in — especially when a fair amount of that information involves a paranoid yelling person. Last fall, I attended an all-day event for journalists sponsored by the Dart Center, an organization for journalists who cover traumatic events. One phrase one of the event leaders mentioned has stuck in my mind ever since — “We spend our days consuming human distress.” And that is simply not a normal, natural, healthy, or — and this is important — sustainable — state of being. So on Tuesday evening, I was at “Ghostbusters.” The world didn’t need me to watch the trainwreck.

On Friday morning, my Facebook feed was neatly divided between friends who’d watched the Trump show and had a lot to say about it, and those who admitted they couldn’t bear to watch it. One person expressed that she couldn’t, but she was grateful to those who did, to bear witness. As for me, I oscillate between understanding the need to remain vigilant and also feeling pretty played when Trump ridiculously boasts that “Good news is Melania’s speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!” It often feels like a losing proposition to consider how much the very worst people in the world truly feed off our attention — even when that attention is pure disgust. I remind myself that we do not have a moral responsibility to participate in all of it and we certainly don’t have one to passively look at it. I remember that someone once reminded me, “You don’t need to go to every argument you’re invited to.” You don’t need to go to every political disaster either.

The conservative monsters have now created an unwinnable game for the rest of us. We ignore them at our peril, we watch them at the risk to our emotional well-being. All I can do is try to keep my own scales in balance. That means: going outside in the world and not looking at my phone. Talking to other normal, functioning human beings. Cooking. Listening to music. Hugging my kids. Because those things are not distractions from reality; they’re reality, too. If all I see is madness, all I lose is hope, and hope is the thing I need most right now. And I’m not going to make it to November if all the voices in my head are the enemy’s.

 

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of “A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles.”

 

4 minutes of a break 🙂