What will your word be for 2019?

What will your word be for 2019?

There is no denying the power of words. If you’ve ever read a story that moved you, a quote that lifted your heart, or flinched at harsh words thrown at you, then you know that the old adage is disproven - sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will leave a mark inside forever.

Words can be wielded like weapons or tools - creating something, or tearing things apart. The yogic concept of ahimsa - non-violence - applies as much to the way we speak to and about ourselves and others, as well as how we act physically. The tone of voice, the language we use - it is as important when directed inwards as outwards. Really internalizing that realisation was perhaps the greatest turning point for me in coming out of an eating disorder, and talking to myself with far more love and kindness. I stopped picking apart my body in the mirror, or questioning why I wasn't a different kind of person. I decided to talk more kindly to myself, and it created a huge shift. The mantra “I am enough” has become my anchor - and I talked about this in an interview on mindful parenting on the Here for You for Them website.

Mantras or affirmations are hugely effective and impactful, but I want to talk about something different. What about the power of a single word?

When do we ever have enough?

When do we ever have enough?

Not enough time to eat healthily and drink enough water (I have frequently been guilty of this)

Not enough time to have quality time with friends and family

Not enough time to take time out for self care

So where, I wonder, does all this time go? Where do the 24 hours each and every day disappear into? What black hole is swallowing up the time that we so need in order to live whole, complete, balanced, happy and healthy lives?

The daily grind is often the first answer that pops up - although, as well as providing lucre to live by, hopefully our work also to some degree challenges and fulfils parts of us. If we are left feeling nothing but drained, perhaps we need to look elsewhere. Any relationship needs to give back, and I’ve said repeatedly in my yoga classes that if a yoga pose, job or relationship continuously causes sharp pain, we need to either modify it, breathe into it, or GET OUT or if the former two don’t alleviate that pain.

There are times that looking after ourselves can feel though like one more thing to add to the never-ending things to do list. However, if we don’t,

Contraction & Expansion

Contraction & Expansion

Before you look away, this isn’t a post about babies or specifically about childbirth. Contractions get a bad rep. We view them as painful, something to be dreaded, and if you’ve ever been in labour, seen someone in labour, or frankly even thought about the process of getting a baby out of your body, you probably cringe at the word “contractions”.

One of my teachers, the wonderful Naomi Absalom, talked to a mentorship group I was part of earlier this year about contraction before expansion, especially in the context of sometimes there being a shedding, a losing before we gain….

"Yoga is not just asana" - neither is this blog

"Yoga is not just asana" - neither is this blog

If you’re reading this then you may already know what I’m talking about.

I think.

If you’re reading this you may already know that asana for a start is the Sanskrit term for the physical postures that we tend to look at and call yoga.

If you’ve come to this page, you may already know that yoga is a lot more than just the physical postures. You may perhaps know that in addition to physical poses, practicing meditation, breath control (pranayama), moral codes of behaviour to yourself and to others, and reaching the ultimate aim of stilling the mental chatter is the aim of YOGA…. so hence “yoga is not just asana”.

Why am I stating things that you may already know, especially if you are visiting a yoga website?

Well, because this blog is not just about asana either,

Your Yoga Power Pose

 

Yoga is without a doubt a powerful practice.  It has always intrigued me that in yoga there are poses that are named for warriors.   Dynamic yoga practices like Ashtanga, Rocket, even Vinyasa (or combination styles simply named Power yoga or Dynamic yoga) flourish within a practice that is about finding peace and focus.

The more you practice or teach, the more we are aware that the strength, flexibility and balance that are the physical focus in yoga poses are qualities to take off the yoga mat into daily life.

Being physically strong and flexible makes us look and feel powerful, confident, as well as ensuring that we build strong immune systems, and create a body that is healthy and moves with ease and grace