Sattva Seeker

This weekend I had the privilege of being in the presence of Swami Govindananda. Swamiji is one of those teachers that you know lives his truth, simply by being in his presence you feel more calm, clear and settled. To be honest I always feel a little nervous when I’m with teachers like Swamiji, as though they can look right through you with their x-ray super powers and see straight into the deepest, darkest corners of your psyche.

Swamiji asked us to consider the three gunas (qualities of being), sattva, rajas, and tamas. Sattva’s colour is white full of clarity and purity. Rajas is fiery red, driving desire and unsettledness. Tamas is black, stagnant, slow and unmoving. We are always a combination of all three gunas, but ultimately we are striving to settle in sattva. Maybe today you feel anxious, fidgety, nothing’s working out. Your percentage of rajas is going to be higher. We all have those time when tamas dominates our being, where we just can’t seem to get going, we feel heavy and lethargic. And when we come to sattva we feel clear, steady, open-hearted and expansive.

Find out more about the three gunas here: http://www.yogajournal.com/wisdom/1629

Swamiji also asked us to contemplate the flow of thoughts through our minds. When your clothing catches fire, you don’t say to the person beside you ‘Gee, I’m feeling a bit like I’m burning here, I wonder how I should manage this?’. No, you put that fire out straight away. Yet when our mind catches fire with anger or resentment we sit with it, let it burn, light other people on fire too and wonder why we feel injured. So here’s my burning question (geddit?). How do you put your mental fires out? What douses the flame of negativity in your mind? Consider this. Imagine each time you think a hurtful thought, you take a safety pin and stick it deep into your arm. Sounds crazy, right? Well that’s essentially what we do to our spirit when we follow the stories in our minds. So stop pricking yourself! Catch those moments of anger, jealousy and self doubt and fill your mind and heart with gratitude, affirmations and love.

Find out more about Swamiji here: http://ji-living.com/

Swami Govindananda

Swami Govindananda

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The Yoga of Tax

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I’m sure it’s not as bad as it looks………….

Today’s mission: Complete Your Tax Return. Thrilling stuff eh? I’m going to be totally honest here, I avoid doing my tax like the plague. And I REALLY don’t know why. It’s not hard, I have my MYOB all set up, all I have to do is find the receipts and type a few details in, and voila! The tax is done. But I will come up with any excuse to avoid it (blogging, anyone?).

And this might be surprising to you, considering my vocation, but I do this with my yoga practice sometimes too. I’m too tired, it’s boring (well, sometimes it is!), my knee hurts, it’s too far to go to class. I can create so many stories around why my butt should be on the couch and not on the mat. And then when I finally kick that butt off the couch and get on my mat, or pull my finger out and DO my tax, I feel so much better. My body feels more free, my mind is more clear, my inbox is empty, my finances are ordered, though sometimes I have to face the fact that the bank balance isn’t as healthy as I would like, or that advanced pose I’m working on might actually be a little harder today than it was yesterday.

When I was training to teach postnatal yoga I learnt about a very valuable style of practice: snack yoga. When you have a little baby, chances are you’re not going to get 1 hour to do your practice every day. So you break it up into snacks, 5 mins here, 5 minutes there, doing what you can when you can. I’m going to start doing snack tax, receipts inputted every day, invoices straight into MYOB when they’re emailed. This is my resolve, and you are all going to hold me to it, right?

Today my yoga practice IS my tax. I’m putting on some mantra music (oh yeah, sing it Krishna Das!), and paying each receipt the same attention I would pay my asana practice. Sure there’ll be times I want to give up, go have a coffee and say, ‘tomorrow I’ll finish’, but today is the day.

Here’s your homework. What are you putting off until tomorrow? Can you break that task up into snacks, or do you need to turn off your phone for just one day and get it done. Meditate on how amazing you will feel when it’s finished. I promise it will be so much easier than you think, just keep going til you get there.

A x

Possibilities

So I’m still pinching myself that I was invited to lululemon athletica’s Ambassador Summit in Broome, WA. What an amazing event, 3 days of self-development including goal setting, building your brand, creating declarations and so much more.

We were told very little about what to expect before we left, we all figured there’d be yoga at the least, but other than that the possibilities were endless! Having worked for lululemon in the past I was somewhat aware that we’d be working on creating a vision for our future and setting goals that bring us closer to that vision. I had no idea just how profound the experience would be.

The biggest shift I had was during a visualisation with Rob Martell. We were asked to imagine our lives 10 years from now. Where would I live? How many children would I have? What will I have for breakfast? Who are my friends? It was during this exercise that I realized my work played a very small role in the image I was picturing, and what matters most to me is creating a beautiful home to share with my family.

The thing is, until now I’ve been so committed to my path as a yoga teacher that I was only entertaining the future that has me owning my own studio, running teacher trainings and traveling for workshops and so on. And I’ve been almost militant with my husband, if it doesn’t fit that picture, we’re not doing it. The problem with this attitude is that it rules out ALL the other possibilities, including any of my husband’s visions that take him closer to his best self.

So here’s my commitment. I am going to embrace all the magical experiences life has to offer me, and my family. Maybe I’ll have a career, maybe I won’t. Maybe we’ll travel overseas, maybe we won’t. I can’t control the future, or change the past. The only place I have power is in the present. I can make choices that take me closer to the life I want to lead, but who knows if that is where I will want to be in 10 years? This has always been my problem with goal setting, what if I change my mind? But now I realise all I’m doing is setting one set of possibilities in motion, and if at any point I decide that path isn’t for me, I simply change direction. I don’t fail if I decide a goal isn’t the right one for me, it’s just not right.

So the first step on my current path is to write down my vision, and I’m going to keep a copy on my iPhone (the love of my life, but that’s a whole other story), so I can read it any time I’m uncertain.

Find out more about goal setting here: Create YOUR vision.

No more excuses!

Introducing……me! I am a 29 year old yoga teacher from Brisbane, Australia. I was so incredibly fortunate to be invited to lululemon athletica’s ambassador summit in Broome this past week, and was lucky enough to be surrounded by some of Australia’s best and brightest yoga teachers, Crossfit trainers (read: torturers), Pilates instructors, Australian champion rock climbers (oh yes you are Sam!) and probably so many more I am forgetting.

One of the most inspiring talks I attended was by Kate Kendall and Angeline Dawson, two gorgeous social media junkies who reinspired my desire to blog. So here I am. Doing it. All the excuses under the sun why I should be doing something else, but unable to stop myself!

This blog won’t be overly pretty or wordy at first, but I am totally committed to being consistent in my posts, though right now I have absolutely no idea what they will be about or even what form they will take.

The very first thing I want to share with you is a quote by Marianne Williamson from her book “A Return to Love”. This quote has been read to me before, but this week was the first time I HEARD it. And what I now know to be true is that you DO inspire those around you by holding your joy, shining your light, and being the leader, you can bring the world from darkness into light.

Peace out. x

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson