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“A person experiences life as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of Oneness.” 

 

ALBERT EINSTEIN

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I’m passionate about – yoga | human rights | sustainability | mindfulness | pre and post natal health | community | mountains | energy healing | recycling | reusing | creating | health | mindful birthing | learning | nature | chakras | cultural diversity | happiness …

Through this blog I am going to attempt to tie these things together, with Yoga as the central thread.

Letting Go

This article/talk started out as a Dharma talk created for the Karma Yoga Retreat, Laos. The theme we weave through that week long retreat is the concept of action without attachment... so letting go becomes central to this.    You can either watch the video...

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Every body is different – finding your edge in Yoga

My inspiration for this article came out of a conversation I had recently about competitive Yoga. While people around the world, including in India, enjoy Yoga as a competition I personally feel that much of what IS Yoga is lost when it becomes competitive.  ...

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My Top Ten Yoga & Meditation Books

While the teachings of yoga and meditation are most potently learnt through experience and practice, it is also important and useful to deepen your understanding through reading and study. In the Niyamas (the 2nd limb of the 8 limb yogic path of Patanjali) one of the...

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It’s OK to not be OK…

        It's OK to not be OK...   Sometimes it can feel like there is pressure to be happy all of the time. To hold in your sadness, or anxiety or frustration, as if showing it were a sign of weakness. This is actually unhealthy. I know this...

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Everything is Energy

Peeling back the layers Yoga offers us the most amazing set of tools and practices to uncover and investigate our inner world. The yogic model of our anatomy reveals that the body is made up of layers, like an onion, that become more and more subtle as we peel them...

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Why I learnt to meditate

People make meditation part of their lives for many different reasons. They are as varied as the different types of meditation styles available.  For many people meditation might be part of a spiritual practice such as prayer or contemplation. It might be an...

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Reflections on a retreat

When I was reflecting on my 2018 (using my most wonderful My Shining Year workbook) one of the standout experiences was creating and delivering the first Karma Yoga Retreat in Laos with my sister-in-law Tiak Saysana. Early on in 2018, in fact I think it was around New...

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How to create habits – 10 things I found out from the research

I’m not very good at sticking to new habits. In fact, despite knowing how important it is to floss (my teeth, not the new dance craze…), I only ever remember to do it when I either see my diligent husband doing it or see my dentist (who happens to also attend my yoga...

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Moving with the Seasons: Winter Reset

Over the past two years, living closer to nature in the beautiful High Country of Victoria, I have become more connected to the seasons. Spending more time outdoors and less time in air conditioned transport and offices leads to a better understanding of the cycles of...

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The Power of Cultivating Loving-Kindness

Loving Kindness, Metta or Maitri, meditation was one of the first Buddhist meditation practices I taught myself from a book about 20 years ago. I was immediately drawn to the practice as I was really interested in human rights and social justice issues and it seemed...

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Moving with the Seasons: Spring cleaning

We are seeing the last hurrah of winter up here in the mountains but officially spring has arrived and you can see evidence of it in the growing buds on the trees and the beautiful yellow daffodils and wattle at every turn.   Spring is a great time for detoxing...

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Embracing Yin

In Taoism (and Traditional Chinese Medicine) the concepts of Yin and Yang are a useful tool for describing the relative energies that are present in our lives, in the world and in our bodies. In this article I talk about balancing what seems to be an overly Yang world...

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Move with the Seasons – Autumn

I recently ran a workshop titled Yin Yang Seasonal Series: Autumn focussed on working with the seasonal energies through a balanced yoga practice. Living in the country, closer to nature in an area where the change of seasons is so evident I have found myself picking...

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Yoga for Busy Parents – 5 tips

Before I had children I definitely took my freedom for granted. If I had realised the demands that would soon be on my time I would have made it to every single yoga class being taught, every day (but then there weren't as many studios around then anyway). My yoga...

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5 ways to stay more grounded this festive season

This time of year can bring with it stress, excitement, family conflict, loneliness and many thoughts and emotions as we reflect on the year just passed and make plans for the year ahead. We spend much of our busy lives focussed on the upper parts of the body caught...

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The path of liberation

"It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness" - Ancient Chinese Proverb Yoga is most often defined as 'union' or 'integration'. Through the practice of yoga we integrate body, breath and mind and also come to understand the connection of everything...

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Following dreams

Connect to your inner truth I recently re-read the visioning exercise I wrote while completing my yoga teacher training. Through meditation and journalling we were aiming to become more in touch with our 'dharma' or inner truth. My long term goal was exactly this:...

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Turning the ego on its head

I found myself, after graduating as a newly qualified yoga teacher, unable to hold a headstand in the centre of the room. And… I beat myself up about it. Constantly! I didn’t feel like I could be an authentic yoga teacher without having this “king of asanas” posture in my bag. I had to work on accepting where I was and being content with that but I also needed to cultivate a sense of Tapas in my practice…

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Living the Niyamas: Saucha

Around 8 weeks ago I embarked on a “Back to Basics Cleanse” with Steph Lowe, The Natural Nutritionist. The cleanse involves cutting out alcohol, almost all caffeine (one green tea per day allowed), gluten, dairy and sugar, as well as chemicals found in body care and cleaning products. So what did it all involved and how do I feel post-cleanse?

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Starting a meditation practice

In May this year we decided to take part in Mindful in May after watching the movie ‘The Connection’. 10 minutes of meditation every day with the support of the daily Mindful in May emails, audio and video, plus social media posts seemed like a good place to kick start a more regular meditation practice.

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Equanimity

Being surrounded by the huge peaks of the Mont Blanc massif during the European winter I was reminded of the metaphor used to describe the concept equanimity.. The mountain is always balanced and imperturbable regardless of what nature throws its way and although the wind and snow may reshape it subtly it remains strong.

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The ultimate sankalpa

The word sankalpa in sanskrit can be translated as ‘resolve’, so is it the same idea as a new year’s resolution? Well… sort of. A deeper definition of sankalpa is a vow to follow your most heartfelt desires, to be connected to the highest truth and follow your dharma (your life’s purpose). With this in mind the sankalpa is very much a resolve to connect to our truth within.

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8 steps to post-partum natural healing

The time after giving birth is for rest, rejuvenation and recovery. In many cultures the extended family (or even the whole village) chip in to help by cooking meals, looking after children, assisting with housework and providing healing foods and other therapies. However, in reality there is often little rest after the first couple of weeks with new mums getting straight back into shopping, cooking and looking after other children. It’s important to set aside some time during the day to slow down and heal.

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Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation

I recently read that in France all women get pelvic floor and abdominal physical therapy sessions covered through the national health system whereas in Australia (and UK and US) the most you can expect is a leaflet from the hospital or maternal and child health centre telling you to do pelvic floor exercises or ‘kegels’ to prevent incontinence. So why are they important?

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The positive effect of mindfulness and yoga during birth

What all of the birthing books I read, while preparing for my second birth, seemed to have in common is a strong belief that women have the ability to birth babies with minimal intervention and with the right knowledge, techniques and practice the birth experience can be completely beautiful and empowering.

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My Birth Story

On 27 August 2014 at 11.15pm, Sebastian Joe Callander came into the world – expertly delivered by one of the infamous “Sandy Midwives” at Sandringham Hospital in Melbourne. Although I was expecting a shorter labour than with Nina I hadn’t quite expected it to be as quick or as smooth as it was. I definitely attribute much of that to a strong yoga practice throughout pregnancy (including relaxation, pranayama and mindfulness meditation – not just asana).

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