Sunday, May 15, 2011

Interview With A Yogi :: Nadine Fawell

Nadine is a beautiful spirited yoga teacher & special friend who I met online. Yep - we've never actually met face to face, but I feel like I know this gal like an old friend. She's an inspiration - she has changed her life and dived into a new culture, new city, new friendships and is bright & shiny from the inside out.

Give yourself a moment to get your cup of tea, and them come settle in for a good read & some pearls of wisdom:

HOW DO YOU BEFRIEND YOUR BODY?    I exercise - lots of yoga, lots of brisk walking. If I don't, I become like an unwalked dog: tetchy and restless, tugging on my leash. Not a happy situation. Also I mostly eat wholesome, home-cooked food, with an insane amount of chocolate thrown in at PMS time. It's practically medicine!

Oh, and the last, probably most important thing: I hear and accept the compliments people give me. It's so strange: I spent most of my teens and twenties trying to hide my bum. Little did I realise it's actually my, er, biggest asset.

DESCRIBE YOUR YOGA PRACTICE – REMEMBERING THAT YOGA IS UNION, & NOT JUST ASANA. HOW DO YOU LIVE YR YOGA?   My asana practice is quite strong. I emphasise long holds of standing poses and core strength to balance out my excessive flexibility- to bring the sthiram into the sukham. Breath is paramount, of course, all my yoga exists to serve breath and bandha.

Off the mat, I've started to just enjoy life. This year, I've decided not to spend time with people who make me feel bad about myself, and not to feel guilty about it, because life is too short. So lots of rest, fun times with good people, intimate time with my man. 

Wholeness and healing are my words for 2011 and they need a bit of selfishness! I do much more good in the world feeling whole than I do feeling shattered.

I do stuff for charity and to help others out but that's just living, it can't be classed as yoga, I think. 

IS MEDITATION PART OF YOUR PRACTICE? IF SO, IN WHAT WAY?   In the quiet at the end of the physical practice, meditation seems to arise naturally. I often use a simple focus practice too, and I find that cooking and baking are meditative for me.

WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE A NEW YOGI?    It's a practice, not a performance. Don't worry if you think you aren't doing it properly. You are doing it, and that's more than enough.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SEQUENCE?  I just love this following sequence: hip opening, core strength, balance. It has everything!

ONE - start in down dog.

TWO - inhale to raise your left leg. Stay there a while.

THREE - exhale to bring your knee to the ground.
FOUR - inhale to open out & raise your right arm.
Stay here a while - be aware of stabilising with your bum and hamstrings,
and stay long through the sides of your waist.
FIVE - raise your left arm, bring your right arm overhead to touch palms
(if that's comfy, of course!)  Use your core strength to keep you here,
relax your neck!
SIX - left arm to the ground and exhale to lift your right leg.
Keep your right leg active & use your core so you have hardly any weight on the supporting arm.
Stay a while, then release back to down dog,
and do the other side.
HOW CAN PEOPLE BRING YOGA INTO THEIR EVERYDAY?  Do a simple focus practice at night in bed: it's enough to build a habit of mindfulness and calm. You could try mentally reciting 'receiving' as you breathe in, and 'releasing' as you breathe out.

And be more aware of how you breathe. That way, instead of stressing about the idiot who just cut you off, you can slow down your exhale...and release! 


HOW DO YOU SLOW DOWN AND SMELL THE ROSES?    I have a 'no work on weekends' rule which I rarely break. Instead, I sleep in, go on little adventures with my man, hang with my friends. Down time is massively underrated in this world of ours. Also, I spend way less time on the netherweb than I used to (ironic, I know!) and that really calms mind.  

ANY IDEAS ON STRESSING LESS AND ENJOYING MORE?  Rest more. Exercise more, because that works the stress hormones out of your body. Do stuff that you enjoy. We all know what we should do! Do it!

HOW DO YOU LIVE A WHOLEHEARTED LIFE?  I try to give my full attention to what I'm doing and the people I am with at the time. That way, I am always fully respecting and acknowledging the here-now.

***You can get in touch with Nadine at her site, and also at A Composed Life.

1 comment: said...

Right, so how on earth did I miss this? Bless me. Between May and now, apparently all is a blur!

SO cool, I can share it with my peeps now, like it's all shiny & new!

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