Week 42. The Wise One

My heart Chakra singing bowl.

 

Have you ever wished for a special person to guide you through life's ups and downs?

Someone wise, compassionate and loving.

Someone who listens quietly, is soft and warm.

An Ancient Teacher whose wisdom is forever expanding as your world grows and changes.

That is what Yoga is to me.

I am a Warrior, strong and determined.

I am a tree, standing tall, firm and solid.

I am the ocean, flowing with my breath.

I am free from stiffness and pain.

My yoga practice whispers to me, words of wisdom, words from books, words from teachers, words from friends.

Always inspiring, always loving, always learning.

As I practice, I feel guided, I listen and learn.

I know only positive thoughts come from my heart and inner voice.

Teach others, share your knowledge, follow the ancient teachings, change them for your modern world. 

A yoga class must have a heart. chakras, mudras, music, colour, essential oils, touch through self massage, singing bowls and more.

A yoga class is not an exercise class, a place to show your moves, no uniform here, wear lovely comfortable clothes.

We are all wise

We are all connected.

Step into the circle.

Online classes 

Week 43. Gado- Gado

 

After 29 years we returned to Bali in January for a holiday.

It was hectic and full of life. Ugly, dirty, clean and beautiful. Yin and Yang.

We don't normally have luxury holidays but we stayed somewhere really special in the Rainforest close to Ubud. Ubud was noisy, full of traffic and sadly for me had lost its heart to tourism of which I was one!

But only 5 minutes away we were in the most beautiful place. It was so lovely, to not have to think of what to cook, no house work or dishes. To wander up to the restaurant and choose and enjoy the most delicious meals, looking out over the mountains. To meditate, sit by the pool, to have no responsibilities, to slow down..........

One of my favourite meals while we were in Bali, Gado - Gado...delicious and easy.

When I returned I dragged out the tatty but loved, Moosewood Cookbook and this is mainly their recipe.

In a saucepan add a cup of chopped onions, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, a bay leaf and a teaspoon of grated ginger, fry in butter or virgin coconut oil till soft.

Then add 1 cup of organic peanut butter, a tablespoon of raw honey, a small chilli, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar and a dash of tamari.

Simmer for 20 minutes.

While it simmers.

Boil some organic rice 

Boil some eggs, fry some tofu, chop up or slice veggies such as carrots, celery and cucumber. Add home made sprouts or whatever you like.

All of the ingredients were in my garden or fridge, waiting for me to remember this once favourite meal.

I eat it and memories of my holiday come back to me.

I appreciate what I have and how lucky I am as I load the dishwasher.

 

Week 44. The World of Magic.

This is a meditation I wrote for my Rainbow Kids Yoga Teacher Training. 

Please share it with your family, friends and of course any children in your life.

You are a teacher too!

This is how it goes but you can change it if you like. I am not teaching children as I planned, I am slowing things down a bit, not so many commitments just flowing, writing and planning online classes and workshops. 

 

All you need do is find a comfortable laying down position and close your eyes.

In a moment you will hear the sound of a magic singing bowl (you can sing or use another musical instrument)

It will ring 3 times

When it is quiet place your hands on your tummy and count your breath.

Count silently with me slowly to 10

Now lay your hands down beside you and I will place a magic wand in your left hand.

*Gently touch each child's hand (maybe have a bit of glitter that you can sprinkle in their palm) 

Feel your wand, it is soft and warm and tingling in your hand. It is golden and silver and all the colours of the rainbow. At the top of your wand is a golden ball and from the golden ball sparkles of light are flowing all around you.

Red for strength.

Orange for happiness.

Yellow because your special.

Green is the love that is in your heart.

Blue is kindness.

The colours are creating magic.

Purple helps you choose a wish. Think about what your wish might be and trust that it will happen.

Now the light is violet, a beautiful sparkling light with silvers and golds. It is time to make your wish.

As the magic singing bowl rings imagine raising your wand above your head, see it swirl and swoop and repeat your wish silently to yourself.

The bowl will ring 3 times. Repeat your wish 3 times.

Now we are going to slowly come back to the real world.

I am going to count backwards from 10 to 1

Start to gently move your fingers and toes, you can stretch and yawn.

When you are ready turn onto your side and curl up.

There is magic in our real world too.

What about rainbows? Sun sets? A perfect Blue Sky?

Whenever the sky fills with special colours it is time to make wishes.

Slowly come up to sitting and place your left hand on your heart and your right on top of your left.

Feel your breath, feel your heart, enjoy making your wishes come true.

Giving is receiving. This meditation is for you the adult too, children can bring magic back into your life and remind you to live in the moment, to play and have fun. Make your own wishes.

Namaste

Week 45. Bee Breathing

A tiny sugarbag bee loves my geranium flowers

 

18th December 2019

A beautiful morning and I am in my garden checking in on my veggies. A very loud buzz and my heart jumps. The first Teddy Bear bee of the year. Big and fuzzy. They are solitary creatures.

A higher drone, a Blue Banded Bee. They've been back a while, they travel alone and zip around avoiding me.

I'm not a hundred percent sure but I think I saw a Carpenter Bee, large and metallic blue flying from the Trombolino Flower.

Tiny Stingless Bees pollinate my cucumber. I know where their hive is, my children showed me it in the bush.

Of course we have honey bees...they are feral just like me, they travel in groups and I love them too. They have adapted, made Australia home.

But somehow it is the unique and very special indigenous bees I love the best.

They evolved with this landscape

They speak of the Ancestors.

A Red Dragon Fly flicks past.

A Butcherbird sings.

They are our teachers. We need to listen.

There is a lovely breathing technique called Bee Breathing or Brahmari Pranayama that has many, many health benefits. Here are just a few, it is calming, it really does give you a buzz, it lowers blood pressure.

Hum gently to make a bee sound on the exhale. make it soft and as long as you can, experiment with the pitch or note, draw your belly in towards your spine as you buzz.. Practice for just a few minutes to begin with but build up to 15 minutes and then notice how amazing you feel.

Alternatively hum a song or sing your heart out!

Week 46. I am

Third Eye Chakra -Inner Wisdom Singing Bowl

For each short positive statement breathe in the feeling of the word and as you breathe out absorb it into every cell of your body.

If emotions well up, tears perhaps, allow them, shed them and let them go.

Add something special, a singing bowl for example and strike it before each whole breath but the meditation is powerful on it's own.

I am calm.

I am light.

I am strong.

I feel fresh.

I feel light.

I feel open.

I am warm.

I am gentle.

I am kind

I am passionate.

I am understanding.

I am determined.

I feel courage.

I flow through life.

I love myself.

I am compassionate.

I let things go.

I forgive myself.

I forgive others.

I have so much in life to be grateful for.

I am whole. 

Week 47. Summer Salad

 

When it's hot outside in summer, it makes perfect sense to eat more salads, to eat cool foods and even better, not to be standing in a hot kitchen, cooking a hot meal. Something quick and easy.

This is another new recipe. This is the first try, it looked lovely and I thought of Bird Song and took a picture. It was delicious and it took 10 minutes to prepare on a hot summers day.

It did have a slow start. I planned to make this salad for dinner. I had walnuts and eggs and some left over blue cheese in my fridge. I soaked my organic walnuts in the morning. Most nuts and seeds are traditionally soaked, it helps you absorb them and it removes enzyme inhibitors. You can now buy activated nuts which have been soaked and then they are dried. Soak your own, rinse them and eat them fresh so much better for you, they last a couple of days. This is the seed and you are sprouting them making available all the nutrients the tree needs to grow and they grow into big trees! Walnuts only need a short soak and rinse, I used about 1/2 cupful by the end of the day it was a cupful.

Why take chemical vitamin tablets when you can eat real food like nuts and sprouts?

Do you really believe they have the same health giving benefits as real food?

Walnuts are high in protein. They contain iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, phosphorous, copper, vitamin B6 and heart healthy fats. Love your butter, ghee, nuts and oils don't believe they make you put on weight, its marketing. Reduce sugar and unrefined carbohydrates.

Boil an egg for each person. Home grown or organic free range.

Toss together, lettuce, cucumber, finely sliced onion, an apple or pear perhaps.

I had a large cucumber in my garden which I was saving for a special occasion and this was it!

Lettuce runs to seed in summer in Australia so I have to buy it.

Blue Cheese, as much as you like.

An avocado. I have a tree. It had a little avocado growing last year, I was so excited and then the next time I looked it was gone. One day it will be full of avocados. I can wait.

Sprouts if you have them.

Cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to taste.

Make sure everyone gets there fair share of cheese and nuts. We had a bit of a dispute and my daughter who had won the blue cheese lottery kindly gave me a tiny bit of hers.

Place the egg on top and serve with some lovely sour dough bread and don't forget the butter.

Week 48

 

Finding your Guru - meditation.

Sit comfortably.

Place your hands palms together in front of your chest.

Lift your chest slightly, feel it rising gently through your thumbs as you breath in.

How do you feel? This is a mind mudra it connects you to your essence, the healer within.

This graceful hand position is also used in pray. It reduces stress and makes you feel balanced and whole. It connects you to your heart.

You must be your own Guru.

Look at your life experiences and learn from them. Follow your heart.

Meditations you have been practicing will be helping you to slow down your thoughts and connect to your feelings.

I remember during yoga teacher training I had to attend yoga classes in my area. In one class the teacher asked me who my Guru was and I said I didn't have one, but she was my chosen teacher for the day. I learnt from every teacher and I remembered parts of the class I enjoyed and would teach to others. 

In recent years abuse of power has caused ripples through yoga, through religion, through politics, through life. 

You can respect someone.

You can learn from someone.

You can love someone.

We are all human and we all make mistakes.

Don't give away your power, you know what is right.

Keep it for yourself, keep it close, keep it where it belongs.

Feel it in your chest.

The steady rise of your breath, the beat of your heart.

The feeling of what is right and what is wrong for you.

Say yes but most importantly say no.

                                                                                                                                                                                          

Week 49

 

Can I tell you a story? It is not a meditation but it involves a meditation teacher.

Be a good girl, that's me. Unless you choose to be a bad girl and I don't want to slip into that role. That's not where your heart leads you.

Anyway I'm not a girl any more wanting to be liked, trying to be nice. I am 55 years old and I need to tell you this story. Some of you I am sure will have much worse stories to tell. Tell them.

I had been practicing yoga and meditating at home for 10 years and my 50th birthday was coming up. My children were growing up and I wanted to do something special with my life, something that would help others. It was strong in me this wanting. Even though I imagined all these young, beautiful, flexible girls on the course. It didn't stop me training to be a yoga teacher.

I was really looking forward to listening and learning from the meditation and philosophy teacher.

But he was not what I expected, despite his orange robes.

He was not what I had hoped for.

He was another lesson.

He was someone I usually try my hardest to avoid.

Our sunrise meditation sitting on the beach at Byron, the sun 5 minutes from rising over the lighthouse and our 30 minutes were up.

"Can we stay and watch?" I asked.

"No, we haven't got time, but we have time to pick up take away cappuccino before heading back." He didn't say it was a special treat but it sounded like it. 

I have never before felt that something was coming, something challenging that I couldn't avoid. Every time I stepped outside the butcherbirds started singing. I felt they were supporting me but also warning me...does this sound strange to you? It felt strange to me.

I watched him with those lovely girls and I didn't like what I saw.

I fell asleep exhausted by the pool one afternoon and didn't hear the insistent ring of his bell. I was late for class, then I needed the loo, something was said when I was gone and two other girls got up and walked out to prove a point. 

Finally our last afternoon, our last assessment, yoga philosophy.

I arrived early, my mind was numb but I believed wholeheartedly in the moral codes of yoga, in fact they had made me even more sure that yoga was what I should be teaching. We sat in a circle, the stop watch was pressed, your turn first, me! Talk about truthfulness for 3 minutes. I could have told the truth about this circle, the stop watch, the attitude. I couldn't think of anything to say. Around the group everyone spoke, everyone passed and finally back to me. All I could say was it was important to tell the truth. I felt humiliated when he said I had failed. Did that mean I had failed the whole course? The worst thing that could have happened did. I started to cry.

The class then erupted. It wasn't right. I had given up my well paid job, I was a wonderful teacher, their support was amazing.

"Come and talk to me after lunch" He said. 

"No." 

"What do you want me to do, pass you?" He demanded.

"Yes." I said and everyone chorused yes.

I retreated to a quiet place in the garden and a yoga friend found me there and offered her support.

Why the meditation teacher walked passed this out of the way spot I don't know.

He began to talk about my failings, my silence.

He was shocked when I shouted. "How dare you! I am 50 years old, I am on a yoga teacher training and I still hear those sort of comments from a meditation teacher"

"Make sure you wear your sexy yoga gear, I am teaching tomorrow mornings class." It wasn't directed at me of course but he had said it to one of the girls in front of all of us in that circle. 

"It was a joke." he said. " I lost it and I shouted some more and I felt my power.

I didn't go to his class the next morning but I was in the leaving circle.

I should have spoken up.

He could have lost his job.

He should have lost his job.

He is still teaching meditation and philosophy.

Share you stories.

Speak up strong women.

Week 50. Are you ready for a meditation day?

Inspired by Ticht Naht Han

Once a week plan a meditation day.

It is better to have a day where you will be alone but if that is not possible don't let it stop you. 

When you wake up, repeat to yourself this is my special day of retreat and meditation.

Have a cuppa then practice yoga or meditation.

Then have a shower or bath and focus on cleaning and looking after your body, Cut your nails, wash your hair and moisturise with natural virgin oil such as coconut. Take your time & enjoy it.

Kitcheri is a wonderful food to eat all day if you want to look after your digestion. Eat fruit, drink water and herbal teas.

I have my usual food which is healthy apart from a coffee & homemade cake for morning tea. I focus on what I eat and enjoy them. 

After breakfast the real meditation starts....I clean!

Who would have thought that vacuuming, washing and thousands of other household jobs could be enjoyable, but it is.

I catch myself rushing. I stop, take a few breaths and focus on what I am doing.

I have essential oils burning and when a room is clean & tidy. I go out to the garden and pick some flowers for the room. Then I move on...or stop for morning tea.

After lunch I practice yoga nidra. Then it is time to relax outside in the garden or walk.

In the evening I read to learn, yoga books, gardening magazines, whatever interests you.

Then I practice restorative yoga & sleep like a baby..

The hardest part I have not yet mentioned. No technology, check your phone before dinner if you must. Have a break from it, it is needed.

 

 

Week 51

Sound meditation
 
Songs that inspire. 
Sit and listen.
Sing along
Dance
 
It's a new day by Nina Simone 1965
 
Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life for me yeah
It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me
Ouh
And I'm feeling good
Fish in the sea, you know how I feel
River running free, you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good
Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don't you know
Butterflies all havin' fun, you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done, that's what I mean
And this old world, is a new world
And a bold world for me
Stars when you shine, you know how I feel
Scent of the pine, you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Week 52

 

Meditation on Death

According to Dr. David Frawley in his book Ayurveda and The Mind this is one of the best meditations to practice and when I practice this meditation it makes me cry in a good way.

We can’t escape death but we try to, we try so hard, we keep the sick, the old, the dieing,  out of sight. We are not used to seeing death but we still feel it, we feel it more.

It is very healing to meditate upon death, it helps us  to see that a lot of our worries and concerns are such little things. It helps us to appreciate and be grateful  for our life.

Practice this meditation laying down.

Imagine that your body is dying. Place your focus in your heart.

Imagine you are nothing but a small flame burning steadily in this place we call love.

Let go of the connection with your body and your senses and feel and see this flame.

It is your spirit, your true self.

Offer all your thoughts and feelings into the flame.

Place your loved ones alive and dead  in the flame, animals as well as humans.

(I usually cry. What ever emotions come up, place them  in the flame of your heart)

See them disappear into the flame.

Bathe and purify in that pure light.

When you are ready, start to move your fingers and toes, come back to your beautiful body.

 

 

Value your life.

Live it well my friend.