Friday, July 04, 2008

Shiny Newsletter :: Winter 08

"No matter how far you have gone down a wrong road, turn back." Turkish proverb

NAMASTE… And welcome to the Shiny Yoga Winter newsletter. It’s good to be back : )

I listened to a fabulous podcast recently where the question was asked, how can you tell if you're progressing in your yoga practice? The answer - not by how long you can stand in headstand for, or how pretzel-like you can get, but rather, how you respond to difficult situations in your day to day life. When someone cuts you off whilst driving, do you beep and scream at them? When you are shopping and there are big crowds and long lines, do you feel angry and sharp? Or do you breathe it in and breathe it out and (try to) remain calm?

Yoga isn't just about Asana (the physical sequences and postures) - but it's about how we live off the mat as well. And even if you do scream profanities and get agitated at work or at the shops, you just need to start where you are. Right now.. start where you are.

Hmm... so how exactly do you start where you are? The answer is in Patanjali's 8 Limbs of Yoga, in particular the first 2 - the Yamas and Niyamas (Asana is another limb). These are all about the ethical guidelines for yogis to follow, and in relation to taking our yoga off the mat these limbs are great guiding resources for us, as they talk about non-stealing, non-harming, practicing contentment and truthfulness. You can discover more about the limbs here.

Food for the MIND... What am I reading at the moment? As many of you who come to my regular classes would know, I've been pretty sick with this winter flu recently. So I'm just itching to get stuck into Baron Baptiste's "40 Days to Personal Revolution" yoga practice. It's 40 days of yoga practice - not just asana, but meditation and svadyaya (self-study). This book is a step by step guide to undertaking the project, and I think will be very healing for me.

In this cold weather in particular, being ill can throw a spanner in your yoga practice (not to mention just getting out of the house in the rain!). So perhaps in winter it's a good time to really focus on undertaking the other limbs of yoga in conjunction with asana. I am out of a regular yoga practice due to the flu, but I'm stopping right now and turning back.... and would love for you to join me! (For inspiration go here, here & here!)

I have also been reading the gorgeous “Start Where You Are” by Pema Chodron, a western monk who is the most healing and nurturing person around. She has a number of books out - I can't recommend them enough!

Food for the SOUL... What am I listening to right now? Whether it's due to winter, or a cold, or plain old UN-motivation, listening to other yogis talk about their practice and what gets them going is such a good tool to kick some inspiration your way. That is why I have been adoring Yoga Peeps podcasts lately. Each month or so, the site interviews a yoga teacher from around the work and delves into some really interesting points. From personal practice, from their favourite books, to what they aim to do, the discussions are free to download (you can make a donation if you wish) and I promise, you'll be hooked.

You don't need an iPod to listen to these either - you can just download direct to your computer and burn to disc or play on your laptop. TIP - I love burning them to CD and playing them in my car, as it's almost impossible to get 'road rage' while listening to the joys of yoga! ;)

Food for the BODY... Food glorious food! In winter, you simply cannot beat fresh root
ginger, chopped up and popped in hot water. Let it steep for a while and then sip sip sip. I didn't start this lovely concoction until too late this winter but to ensure I don't get the flu again, I'm right onto it now! You can also add fresh squeezed lemon to the drink, which will help not only keep winter flus and colds away, but aid in digestion. If you can go for a cold drink, freshly squeezed carrot, orange, ginger and beetroot is unbeatable.

Get your yoga ON! I’ve had a bit of a juggle around with my timetable so please note new class schedule below. Can’t wait to see you on the mat!

Mondays – 6.30pm @ Park Street Fitness First 8.30pm @ Darlinghurst Fitness First
Wednesdays – 7am @ Park Street Fitness First 6.30pm @ Headquarters Gym, Elizabeth St 8.30pm @ Rockdale F First
Thursdays – 6.15am @ Lifestyle Fit, Erskineville

Till next time, take care!
stella xxx

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