slow, mindful yoga & small group classes in St Kilda, Balaclava, Elwood, bayside

Yoga Me Well Blog Archive

Autumn’s Big Ask

red autumn leaves

Last week in class we enjoyed a heart based practice to prepare ourselves for the energies of autumn.

It’s time to come to ground after the fullsome, heady expression of summer. The leaves are falling to Earth, to dry, curl, morph into organic mass and return to elemental form.

Autumn prepares us for the deep introspection of Winter, should we choose to go there. It gives us time to ask the question “What must I release?” as the trees surrender their shelter and the southern hemisphere begins its retreat from exuberance into golden hued afternoons.

So, we worked with breath and movement to open the heart space in practice, the heart being the esoteric place of deepest knowing in order that it might reveal the blueprint. It knows what we need to surrender to move more fully into our whole selves. Should you choose to believe in such things, you might find irrefutable guidance there. And a committed yoga practice will tempt you to believe. It helps to explain the equilibrium and expansiveness, the exquisite peace we sometimes experience in savasana (relaxation) post practice.

We stayed in our postures to build the autumnal strength and stability we need to receive Winter’s revelations. “What safe pattern, place, person, perspective, Belief, must I release to live from my most powerful Self?” It’s wise to prepare for a heart-to-heart. It takes courage to hear and act on those answers. Self-sabotage being the safer route.

Even if we don’t ask the question, its roots crawl beneath our skin, weaving and tangling in discomfort until it finds a way to break through, all gnarly and ready to trip us up as we walk on and stumble, righting ourselves self-consciously,  pretending not to notice.

Liv Mitchell

Liv Mitchell is a hatha yoga teacher, relaxation instructor and freelance writer/editor who specialises in holistic wellbeing.

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Mindfulness Course – CBD

MINDFULNESS, WHAT IS IT? bonsai tree on rock in lake
Mindfulness has become such buzzword in recent years.

It’s actually an ancient practice that has its roots in the Samkhya eastern philosophy some 3000 years ago (which has its roots in the Vedas, or teachings handed down by a Divine power). Yogic philosophy formed from the Samkhya teachings before Buddhism existed, so in truth, ‘mindfulness’ was originally presented as a yogic view of the world.

However as both yoga and Buddhism draw from the Samkhya roots, their teachings are often similar, although their conceptual languages differ.

People generally regard yoga as a physical practice, but yogic practice has many elements (ethical living principles, sound, visualisation, breath, concentration practices, philosophy/psychology …) and all of it is offered as a path to quieten the mind.

Modern science has conducted wonderful research to explain why the mindfulness practices work in a physical way. And more and more credence is being given to the mind/body connection as a powerful healing one.

Ultimately though, the benefit of mindfulness comes from the experience, not mere knowledge. While the practices are easy to learn, they do require discipline  and consistent application to create meaningful change. Still…

All beginnings, all intentions and steps toward a more aware life, are mighty useful ones 🙂

The next 6-week Mindfulness & Relaxation course begins Wed 17 February. 

Liv Mitchell

Liv Mitchell is a hatha yoga teacher, relaxation instructor and freelance writer/editor who specialises in holistic wellbeing.

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Mindfulness Course (Bayside)

FREEDOM BEGINS HERE 

horse - woman on horse

 

 

 

The To-Do List. Mortgage. Work. Bills. Dependants. Scheduling catch-ups and obligations. What a merry-go-round.

 

It used to be such a giddy, happy ride when I was 5. When did the horses gleefully suspended on poles start straining at the bit with wide wild eyes? horse - merrygoround

 

For me, the realisation that the ride had gone horribly wrong dawned in my 30s. I spent my 20s pretending nothing was wrong, partying hard, working harder. Living on the edge kept my nerves sizzling. I pretended those alternating feelings of emotional elevation, excitement, dread, tremulous fear and lethargy were living life to the full!

 

But my nervous system and biochemistry eventually gave out, thank goodness. And as I succumbed to chronic, stress-related ill health, I walked slowly toward self-knowledge. What a humble, enlivening and deeply satisfying experience it continues to be.

 

The practices of `Mindfulness’ come from the Yogic and Buddhist disciplines, which share the same philosophical and conceptual roots.

 

Yogic life has offered me the opportunity to know myself and my response to life intimately. I see how I crave and avoid things in equal measure and the suffering that causes. It has taught me to slow down, stand back, reflect and feel ok in the free fall of uncertainty. And, ironically, to speed up recklessly, only later to forgive myself and cradle my weary ego gently from a place of loving within that is more whole than any I have ever experienced.

I feel less need to strive. There is exquisite freedom in the presence that mindfulness brings. Sometimes it seems too easy, rich and wildly simple to be enough.

But it is.

 

The next 6-week Mindfulness & Relaxation course begins Wed 17 February.

Liv Mitchell

Liv Mitchell is a hatha yoga teacher, relaxation instructor and freelance writer/editor who specialises in holistic wellbeing.

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