movement

In Need of Some Workout Motivation?

In Need of Some Workout Motivation?

Ever find yourself hunting for that desire to go and workout? Searching for a reason to get up early and go for a run? Longing for that kick that will get you into a gym routine? You and 100% of the population feel that way sometimes.  Here I’m going to talk to you about that shiny buzzword known as motivation – the electricity that gets us out of bed and on the pursuit of our goals. How do we get hold of it? How do we use it to our advantage and most importantly, how do we keep it if we find it?

It all starts with you. Your motivation process is going to be completely unique to you. That glorious motivation that you want lies within you already. To find it we need to observe and become aware of what we see and what we hear to reprogramme our thoughts, away from any negative ones, towards positive ones.

SO, LET’S GO LOOKING FOR IT.

New Year, Not A New You.

New Year, Not A New You.

New Year is a time for many to refresh, start over or begin something new. A chance for us to put into action and implement the many things that we want to do, see and achieve in our lives. It can also be an incredibly testing and tough time for many, as we transition out of holiday mode, Christmas and New year celebrations, the post festive splurge and often, lots of alcohol and sugary foods which can leave us feeling less than our best. Holiday celebrations and the start of a New Year can leave us feeling depleted, down and even questioning our life choices.

For some, it’s a winter in a literal sense, and for others, it’s merely a winter of mind.

It's All in the Mind...

Let's talk mindset for a moment.

It's taken me years to know what makes me healthy, both physically, mentally, emotionally balanced, not running around like a loon on loonie pills (I.e A LOT), allowing the right amounts of stress in my life, removing the wrong types of energy be it from people or environments and generally being able to feel content in my skin.

For most of us we are lucky enough to have a choice. We can learn about which foods are the best foods for us, to find exercise that we enjoy and to surround ourselves with our 'peeps' or tribe. 

For me, being active, having 'me' time, being in and around nature, with fluffy friends, traveling, not taking life too seriously and having fun, trying new things to keep me excited and inspired, being with positive, like-minded people who nurture a zest for life, the occasional gin & tonic, chocolate biscuit and time to just 'be' helps me to wake up each morning and say that today, right here and now I am in control and I love the way I am. 

Ah the old word 'balance' but what even does it mean? It's become so overused these days especially when it comes to wellbeing and fitness.

According to the Oxford Dictionary 'balance' is:



An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

A situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.



At no point in the definition does it say that you have to do 500 burpees a day, that abs are made in the kitchen or that counting every single piece of food is the only way to achieve hashtag balance. 

Just a reminder that your version of #balance is very different to anyone else's and that's exactly the way it should be.

You do you, as the saying goes. 

Would love to know how do you maintain your mindset and all the things that you do in order to make you feel like the best version of you. 

How Healthy is the Wellbeing & Fitness Industry?

Is it just me or has the entire wellbeing + fitness industry turned into one sexually objectifying shot after the other? And I'm not just talking women here. I'm all for progression shots but some of the ones doing the rounds are worse than the stuff you expect to see on a page 3 tabloid. 

I wish people were inspired by mind and spirit as much as they were by bodies and shapes. We should be teaching young men and women movement and exercise to build strong minds, learning to cope and navigate their internal landscapes - the by product of that will invariably be strong outer health anyway.

Our bodies constantly change as we go through life and when that happens if you've worked on a strong mind, along with those strong abs then you'll surround yourself with acceptance, self love and kindness instead of constant punishment, unachievable goals and negative self talk. 

Whenever I feel ungrounded or like I need to take a moment just to catch my breath, I always find taking myself outdoors, gently moving my body (keyword here 'gentle' - no goblet squats, deadlifts or HIIT today thank you) and allowing myself the time to absorb my surroundings always brings me back to the now and back to me...wherever I may find those feet.  Today was a day to be outdoors, to pause and reconnect. I have found that when we stop searching for home within others and other places or things it allows us to lift the foundations of home within ourselves and that there are no roots more special than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole. 

Doing exercise and being creative is interlinked. You could argue that doing exercise is a form of creativity. That feeling you get from moving your body and movement is the same feeling you get when you're exploring and nourishing your creative spirit. You might say you're not creative - I call BS! Everyone has it in them to be creative, to play, to explore, to dream. It's simply about allowing yourself the time and space in which to experience (and often make a lot of mess but hey that's part of the fun of it). When we feel connected to ourselves be it through movement or art it's hard to feel bad about ourselves. And that's what it's all about - moving more, playing more, creating more. Now who wants to throw eggs filled with paint with me?

 

 

The Art of Yoga : How to Win at Yoga

Feeling confused and utterly overwhelmed with all the yogie terms? Don't know your asanas to your pyjamas? Oh wait, was that pranayamas?

Worry not. We all have to start somewhere. Perhaps you may have been practising for a while but you never felt you could ask what each term meant and now it's loo late and well you don't want to look stupid now do you? Relax.

Grab a green juice or whatever floats your boat.

I've got this one covered.

Got your green juice ready?

Okay let's roll...

There are four parts that make up the complete system of yoga.

Raja

Bhaki

Karma

Jnana

 

It is elements of raja yoga - the yoga of the mind - that are mostly practised in the West.

Raja Yoga:

This yogic path is considered the easiest of the four to acheive. The only requirement for bhakti yoga is an open, loving heart. Because the theory behind the practise is so simple, the idea is that everyone can practise bhakti yoga.

In essence bhakti means devotion to the Lord but when I teach others and indeed my own practise, I believe it’s more important to focus on your own heart and self. We need only surrender our doubts, fears, worries and express genuine love and devotion to ourselves through our practise.

Karma Yoga:

Karma yoga is a path of purification. Purification of the heart and purification of the mind. Owing to avidya, the original spiritual ignorance, which suggests that we are all affected by egosim and selfishness.

Practising karma yoga is developing selflessness by performing actions without any expectations of any rewards or results of any kind. We can begin to explore this through our practise but also take this into everyday life. Most of us will never renounce our possessions in the pursuits of living in an ashram so for the most part we can make our karmic yoga about things such as household chores or helping a neighbour (you get this gist). All it takes is awareness. You’re probably already doing it now without even knowing. Well done you my friend!

Jnana Yoga:

The path of wisdom and knowledge. The jnani uses his will and power of discrimination to cut through the veil of ignorance and attain the truth. Essentially this is about self realisation.

 

Yoga Directory:

Asana: seat; yoga posture

Ashtanga: eight-limbed yogic path; for Ashtanga/Power yoga

Ayurveda: the ancient Indian science of health

Bandha: internal lock; used for controlling the energy within the body during yoga practise; the three bandhas taught in some lineages of hatha yoga are root lock, abdominal lock and throat lock

Chakra: energy centre; the basic system has seven chakras (root, sacrum, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown), each of which is associated with a colour, element, syllable, significance, etc

Dharma: truth, the teachings of the Buddha; the path of truth

Dosha: physical body type; there are three doshas in Ayurveda - pitta (fire), vata (wind) and kapha (earth)

Drishti: gazing point used during asana practise

Karuna: compassion

Kula: community

Mantra: a repeated sound, syllable, word or phrase; often used in chanting and meditation

Mudra: a hand gesture; the most common mudras are anjali mudra (pressing palms together at the heart) and gyana mudra (with the index finger and thumb touching).

Namaste: which means "I bow to you'; a word used at the beginning and/or end of class which is most commonly translated as "the light within me bows to the light within you"; which is a common greeting in India and neighbouring cultures; a salutation said with the hands in anjali mudra

Niyama: five living principles that (along with the yamas) make up the ethical and moral foundation of yoga; they include Sauca (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (burning enthusiasm), Svadhyaya (self-study) and Ishvarapranidhana (celebration of the spiritual)

Om: the original syllable; chanted "A-U-M' at the beginning and/or end of many yoga classes

Prana: life energy; chi; qi

Pranayama: breath control; breathing exercises

Samadhi: the state of complete self-actualization; enlightenment

Savasana: corpse pose; final relaxation; typically performed at the end of every hatha yoga class, no matter what style

Shakti: female energy

Shanti: peace (often chanted three times in a row)

Shiva: male energy; a Hindu deity

Surya Namaskar: Sun salutations: a system of yoga exercises performed in a flow or series

Sutras: classical texts; the most famous in yoga is, of course, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras

Tantra: the yoga of union (much more than just tantric sex that is popularised in the media)

Yama: five living principles that (along with the niyamas) make up the ethical and moral foundation of yoga; they include Satya (truth), Ahimsa (non violence), Asteya (not stealing), Bramacharya (self control and sexual responsibility) and Aparigraha (not grasping)

Yogi/Yogini: a male/female practitioner or yoga

Yoga Etiquette:

  • Don't take yourself too seriously, none of us are getting out alive!

  • Smile. Laugh. Dance if you like :)

  • Be in your mind and your body. Be present

  • Arriving on time is always appreciated

  • No mobiles please it interrupts the flow, there's time for selfies after

  • Listen to what your body is telling you

  • Try not to eat a mahoosive meal within 2-3 hours of your practise

  • Savasana (relaxation pose) is an important element to your practise, please don't skip it

  • Be a nice human!

  • Above all, ENJOY!