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

Yoga Me Well Blog Archive

R U Woke?

“Are you woke?”

Because our teens need to know. Their future is at stake.

It’s a question doing the rounds of their vernacular, assures Mum-of-teens and counsellor Sarah. If you are thinking of doing, or are practising yoga, being “woke” is definitely on your agenda.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WOKE?

So what does it mean? Digital trends monitor BuzzFeed says to be “woke” is “to challenge problematic norms and injustices through complete awareness”.  But Sarah and I agree this welcome question carries deeper import.

To be woke is to raise your consciousness, to strive for my three favourite ‘S’s:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-responsibility
  • Self-mastery.

The time is now. Goodness knows, the world needs more light workers, that is, people committed to raising their consciousness as world service. 

WHY WE NEED TO BE WOKE NOW!

Astrologically, we are at the dawn of the “woke” Age, the Age of Aquarius, which began in 2011-ish (astrologers argue the dates but generally speaking, an Age spans 2000 years). The Aquarian Age is about developing the leader within, cultivating and employing our innate wisdom.

Yes! That is why there is yoga on every street corner. It’s why organised religions struggle to recruit, yet individual spirituality continues to grow. It’s why the internet came into being now, in order to support consensus and true democracy, giving voice to millions. Think of the social action campaigns such as Change.org and crowd funding.

Before Aquarius, the Age of Pisces (0 AD to 2011-ish) gave us strong leadership to get things done. It coincided with the birth of Jesus Christ and included other great leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Ghandi, as well as ignominious ones, Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin Dada, Pol Pot, Saddham Hussein. The Piscean Age created hierarchies of power. But as Aquarius began her approach, the great institutes and powerbases began to fall: the stock market, the housing market, corporations, banks, dictatorships, outdated approaches …

The world now asks us to connect and chart progress through our innate wisdom that is governed by love and benevolent will.

HOW TO WAKE UP?

The upshot? Get some yoga into you 😉 Make 2018 the year you start a home practice.

Liv Mitchell

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

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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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