The Future of Yoga

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Cat Yoga, Goat Yoga, Nude Yoga, Beer Yoga. The list is endless. It seems that as yoga evolves it only appears to be moving further from the 'truth' of what it really is.

Or is it?

If we look through a different lens could it be that chicken yoga is all part of the evolutionary process of yoga?

If we shift the focus away from yoga for a second and consider the evolution of food. To keep it simple let's focus on the last 100 years, our Mum's Mum's generation. Think homemade everything. Preserving, pickling, home grown veggies, local grocers and local farms. Then came the big boom of convenience stores, ready meals, huge supermarkets and mass farming. Thankfully we are back en-route to the old days where we are committed to shopping locally, supporting local farmers, growing our own and of course, fermentation. Would it be fair to say that without the expansion and growth of the industry we wouldn't be on our way back to 'support local'?

We are humans. It's in our make-up to want to go bigger and further. We have an innate desire to push the boundaries of where we think we can go. If we didn't, we would be extinct. 

It feels Yoga has kind of done the same. From the original context of yoga : 'spiritual development practices to train the body and mind to self observe and become aware of their own nature' to hanging out in a room, naked stretching with a herd of goats it seems we have completely disconnected from the source.

But have we?

Just like the big supermarket food analogy, like every part of the evolutionary process we have to expand out to contract back. We bring back with us the lessons we learnt by expanding and implement them to improve and refine what we already know. This is how we grow, change and evolve. 

I really believe the future of yoga will see a return to the more traditional styles, methods and practices (and hell yeah if it does). But hopefully we will return to tradition with the knowledge and understanding that to make these practices accessible to everyone we need to bridge a gap. Think traditional with a modern day application. Or at the very least learning how to adapt the more traditional practices into our busy, Western lifestyles.

Right and wrong yoga is not a thing. And just like we don't tell people what to eat nor should we really be telling people what to practice. We educate on the benefits and leave it to the student to choose.

Yoga is like food, there are more nourishing and life giving choices you can make but amongst the seriousness of it all, goat yoga has it's place, just like pizza. It's fun. Good to do once or twice but probably not something you would choose to do daily.

The style of yoga you practice or teach does not define who you are. What is worth some consideration is the intent with which you are doing it.

 

 

Yin Yoga for Spring

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We made it! We survived the hibernation of Winter. Don't get us wrong, we love retreating and reflecting inward during the cooler months but we are always excited to welcome the newness of Spring!

If we look at the 5 Element theory Spring is partnered with the Wood element. Spring is the beginning of the season cycle, a time of birth and new beginnings. This is the energy that brings forth new growth, that pushes the new grass through the snow, the new branches out from old wood and produces new leaves on the trees. It does this so nature can take in the nourishment it needs to flourish.

Wood energy is about moving forward, it's a direct and assertive energy that makes no apologies in pushing things out of it's way! Exactly what we need after the stagnation of the cold winter months.

As in nature the Wood energy is part of the energy of our body - the acupuncture meridians of the Liver and Gall Bladder. Given that each meridian has a job in the body's kingdom, the Gall Bladder meridian is "The Upright Official who Excels in Judgment" and the Liver is "The Official in Charge of Planning".

These Wood meridians give us the energy to have new ideas, to move forward, to have plans,to change who we are, to be assertive, to make decisions,to have vision and to have hope for our future. 

Exciting times ahead! We've included a FREE guide to a Spring Yin Yoga practice below. To receive your 4 Pose Spring sequence simply enter your details below and click on the link xx Enjoy!

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The Importance of Morning Rituals

The Importance of Morning Rituals

Morning rituals are something I am constantly working on refining and re-evaluating as my lifestyle continues to change, grow and evolve. What I’ve realized is they can quickly become over-complicated and long-winded and as a consequence massive overwhelm sets in. For me this causes inertia and instead of starting my day with clarity I find myself lounging in bed, snoozing x 3 and scrolling through social media. Not a great way to start the day.

But morning rituals don’t need to be hard, long or complicated.

Here’s how :

1.     Set your intention

Morning routines bring a sense of purpose, peace and ritual into your day, they also give you a solid foundation for whatever the day throws at you. The good news ? We all wake up with a blank slate which gives us the perfect opportunity to reset (irrespective of what occurred the day before) to ensure a productive day ahead.

This is where setting your daily intent is paramount.

As you wake dedicate the first few minutes to connecting with how you would like to go about your day. What is one thing you would like to do better today? Eg Slow down, be kind to yourself, be less reactive and so on.  Once you are clear on your intent the rest of your day flows on from here.

To get clear on your intent here are some tips :

1.     Journal

2.     Meditate

3.     Do it in the shower (all great ideas happen in the shower plus it’s something you are doing anyway so no extra time is needed!)

 

2.     Consistency

We are creatures of habit (whether we like it or not). The more consistently we do something the more likely that is to form a positive habit in our lives. Very often we feel we need to make big changes when actually it’s the little things we do (the 1%ers) on a daily basis that have the biggest impact. Sure we’d all love to do 8 hours of yoga followed by long meditation and a leisurely stroll along the beach before work but really, who honestly has the time to do this on a daily baisis? Be honest and realistic with what you can do each morning and commit to this on a daily basis.

 

Suggestions

1.     Learn to multitask. E.g set your intention whilst showering, give yourself a belly massage whilst brushing your teeth and so on. These are all things you do anyway so adding in extra value is a great way to start your day without using up any extra time

2.     Before you pump yourself with a gallon of your favourite cold drip commit to drinking a litre of lemon water, basically lemons (organic) in water (not tap!!) This has numerous benefits including digestive aid, boosts your immune and improves your skin plus you can do this whilst you are going about your morning so again, no extra time required

3.     Hold off on the email and social networks. Set a curfew at night and commit to a time your break that curfew the next day. E.g No social media after 7pm until 12pm the next day. This one is a hard one at first, but it’s worth it. Think of the clarity of mind you’ll gain and how that will positively impact your day. 

4.     Develop a mindfulness based practice. Firstly, get rid of the old notion that this needs to be hours of yoga, meditation or whatever else! That’s not true. The length of time you do these practices for is irrelevant compared to the quality of attention you give them. E.g if you do 1 yoga pose first thing in the morning but give that pose your full undivided attention then that is so much more beneficial than a 75 min class where you spend the whole time stressing about getting to work on time. Ci?

My routine

·         Meditate (5 mins)

·         Do 5 mins of abdominal breathing (5 mins)

·         Drink 1 litre of lemon water (on the go)

·         Do 1 yoga pose (usually an inversion - 5 mins)

·         Shower and set intention for my day (on the go)

 

This routine works for me because no matter where I am, what time I have to get up or how I’m feeling they are easy, achievable and realistic tasks and they have a huge impact on the quality of my day and how I show up for myself and others.

Give it a go! Create your own mini daily ritual practice and notice the difference straight away.

Lys x x

Yoga for Your Toes (and Feet)

A quick flow for your yogi toes and feet.

FLOW FOR YOUR FEET.
I sprained my ankle a few months back and have been doing this little flow regularly as rehab. It's an awesome way to stimulate the flow of qi to the feet, to build strength and flexibility in the feet and ankles and to develop your grace and ease as you move - your feet contain proprioceptors that help you navigate through space and host the constant dialogue between our bodies to the earth. Give them some love. Get barefoot, grab a ball (tennis ball for those new to this, golf ball if you're a sadist) and give this a try.

  1. massage the plantar fascia with your ball. Spend some time here, use your body weight for more pressure and if you find tender spots, stay. Pay particular attention to the heel attachment and the bubbling spring point, in the middle ofthe foot.
  2. toe squat. Build up to five minutes here. Lean forward for less intensity, and separate the feet. Feet together and weight fully back is most intense.
  3. practice isolating your toe movements. Lift one toe at a time, then place them all back down one by one. Lift all the toes of one foot, then the other, then place them back down one by one. You get the idea, see if you can move your toes like your move your fingers.
  4. ankle squats - stand on tip toes, keep feet and knees parallel, squat til butt touches heels then rise again. Stay on your tip toes the whole time! Slowly. Do 8-15.
  5. top of ankle stretch. Sit on tops of feet, most people will prefer knees wide, and lean back slowly to rest on hands, then elbows. Maybe all the way down. Don't do this on hardwood without padding unless you're a master!! 😳 Ow! Stay up to five mins.

Done. Namaste! 🙏🏼

Winter Green Juice Boost

...for the old immune system.

This is beyond delicious. If you're not sold on green juices (grassy! Tastes like lawn clippings!), this might convert you. The secret ingredient is lemonade fruit, which I appreciate isn't to be found at Woolies or Coles, but hey, that's just a great reason to check out the Farmer's Market! :) Lemon will suffice, if you can't procure a lemonade fruit, but start with a quarter of the lemon and see how it tastes. If your lemonade/lemon is organic, juice the peel, heaps of yummy vitamins and minerals in there. If not organic, please peel before juicing. Wash your veggies well if you're using conventional produce, k?

Recipe
1 pear
1 knob ginger
1 knob turmeric (start with a small knob, it can taste weird if you're not used to it) (optional)
Couple handfuls celery stalks and leaves
Couple handfuls of kale
1 whole lemonade fruit (or 1/4 or 1/2 lemon)
1 cucumber

Bung in your favourite juicer. Stir. Drink slowly. Mmm.

Makes about 400 mls

Health Benefits
Lemonade/Lemon: full of citric acid, which preserves Vit C activity and relieves congestion. High sulphur content dissolves mucous of respiratory system, cleanses body or toxins and has antiseptic and cleansing effect for the digestive system. Provides alkaline balance to body.
Ginger: relieves inflammation due to compounds gingerols (they reduce the production of nitric acid that causes free radical damage). Boosts immune system, relaxes digestion, provides antioxidant power and is warming to the body.
Pear: source of copper, potassium, iron, silicon and folate. And let's face it, they make all that green stuff taste better. ;)
Kale: high in cleansing minerals sulphur and chlorine, help expel waste matter from body. High in chlorophyll, Vit U. Alkalising.
Cucumber: great for the skin, hair and bones - high in silicon, sulphur and chlorine. Source of Vit E. Alkalising, diuretic, reduces excess uric acid in the blood.
Celery: long history of therapeutic benefits - great for the liver! Contains phthalides which help decrease nervous stress. Great source of Vit A. High in organic sodium, keeps calcium soluble in the bloodstream so great for osteoarthritis. Anti-inflammatory, diuretic, stimulates the pancreas. Source of alkalising chlorophyll.
Turmeric: anti-inflammatory powerhouse, source of curcumin. High in manganese, iron and copper.

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