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Long Live to peshmarga

KurDish HaCk3rS WaS Here

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FUCK ISIS !

Yoga & Meditation Christmas Greetings

20131216_200619 (4)This is my little mate Paddy… looking calm, cool and collected as we have just finished our daily Meditation together. He is now 7 years old and he has been Meditating with me since he was 8 weeks old – when he arrived into my life exactly 7 years ago!

The practice of Yoga and Meditation has been very kind to me as I celebrated my 60th birthday a couple of weeks ago and feeling fit and fabulous. I am so grateful that I discovered and stayed on the path of a daily practice, and will do so for the rest of my life.

I often hear people saying “I have no discipline’. Well discipline is just a state of mind, nothing more.  Perhaps a new year’s resolution could be “I am disciplined”… most certainly that’s what I constantly say and think – so therefore I am !!! Healthy choices are the best habits to cultivate – and indeed they have to be cultivated.

Wishing you much joy and love this Christmas… and much discipline, healthy choices and contentment in 2014!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga for Everyone

Beagle Bay kidsThis happy photo was snapped at the end of a Yoga class which I conducted for these gorgeous indigenous children at the Beagle Bay Sacred Heart Mission School. As you will see from the photo, they had made me a very special card which I am holding. Beagle Bay is on the Kimberley coast, in Western Australia (between Broome and Cape Leveque). Located in the most northern tip of Western Australia, a most beautiful and rugged red coast line.

Together with my partner John, we drove there from the most southern eastern city of mainland Australia (Melbourne). The weather up there is so perfect – warm and dry during June/July, and we had five fabulous adventurous weeks travelling the outback totalling 11,000 kms of driving.

The Yoga class was organised by the very lovely and caring teacher Lorraine Magee, who along with her husband Phil attended classes at my studio a couple of years ago. They are both dedicated teachers and have taken up postings at this indigenous school for a few years.

We were very privileged to stay overnight with Lorraine and Phil, who were the most generous and hospitable hosts. It was indeed one of the highlights of our trip to spend a full 24 hours at an indigenous mission. Our stay was an both an education and a wonderful experience and we learnt much about the issues facing teachers and the mission itself.

IMG_2178 (1)Getting to the mission proved to be an exercise in keeping calm. We had really good maps, but the road was washed away from recent heavy rains and we could not find our way. Thinking we had allowed plenty of time, we were then running late. We called in for in for an escort and within minutes a 4 x wheel drive vehicle turned up. The kids were hanging out of the windows waving and laughing as we were guided into the mission. I even had to put my Yoga clothes on whilst John was driving… it was indeed a funny scene. Upon arrival the kids were so full of delight and affection – just lovely!

Lorraine had been using my YogaEasy and Yoga2Easy DVDs on a Friday afternoon in preparation for my visit. So the kids were all well practiced and knew many Yoga poses (asanas). Here they are doing Parsvakonasana with me up front, however their most favourite pose was Savasana (corpse pose – rest and regeneration)… and they loved chanting ‘om’.

 

Yoga and Meditation practice for Strength and Stability

Yes, the practice of Yoga and Meditation brings strength, stability and balance to your mind and body – and in turn is uplifting to your spirit. As your practice develops you will also become more aware of automatic habits that are no longer serving you, and you can change or just let go of these habits. As well, you will become more confident, which means less fearful about change (which is inevitable in everyone’s life).

It was once thought that the practice of Yoga made muscles longer alone, but it’s now been discovered that the poses make them wider, and the act of stretching actually feeds back information to your central nervous system. This in turn stimulates your muscles to become stronger around a point of weakness.

The practice of Yoga helps to improve your overall strength and posture whilst calming your mind and nervous system. Those who are regular practitioners of Yoga will firmly espouse this fact. It’s also why more and more people are discovering this fact for themselves as they embark on their Yoga journey. I constantly receive wonderful email messages from all around the globe from those who find that just practising to my DVDs (30 mins) a day is making such a difference to their lives.

Research is also showing the health benefits of Meditation practice. It’s now been discovered that a huge percentage of doctor visits are stress/anxiety related. The proven de-stressing power of Meditation practice may be the key for a lower incidence of illness. Also people who meditate report a greater level of happiness regardless of what’s going on in their lives. Other known benefits of Meditation include a decreased sensitivity to pain and improved emotional health. The practice of Meditation assists one to manage stress which brings forth increased productivity and resilience.

What more is there to say… Yoga and Meditation – yay!

Yoga, Meditation and Natural Bliss

Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana) Mallacoota beach with Paddy & Polly, March, 2013

Oh how lovely it was to get away from the noise and dust of the week long Formula ‘1’ Grand Prix car racing extravaganza – which is literally held in my back yard. Getting away from the busyness of city living (which I do love) and into the peace and quiet of the birds and trees in the most natural environment of Gypsy Point. Surrounded by the Croajingolong National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Kayaking and fishing on the remote Genoa River, with almost no one else around except the odd Kangaroo (wallaby) striding past on land. Then cooking and eating our catch each night… amazing!  Also a daily visit by a pre-historic looking Goanna (who we named Garry) was quite a treat indeed. He was serene, inquisitive and fearless – checking us out and then going to sleep clinging onto the trunk of a tree.

There was no TV or Internet or Mobile Phone access, which added just so much to the positive peaceful experience. Also no cafes, restaurants or shops – so Yoga and Meditation were firmly on the daily agenda, along with reading and afternoon siestas. We had a few excursions into the lovely fishing inlet/town of Mallacoota for provisions. Whilst there a visit to the beautiful beach for a walk with our pooches Paddy & Polly (where this photo was taken).

The wonderful benefits of being surrounded by nature, eating heathily, practising Yoga and Meditation, and getting lots of rest – true bliss!

 

Yoga and Meditation Inspiration

Vrksasana (Tree pose) with the Matterhorn in the background... whilst hiking in Switzerland, May, 2012

Vrksasana (Tree pose) with the Matterhorn in the background… whilst hiking in Switzerland, May, 2012

I am continually inspired by the many messages I receive from within Australia and many other countries around the world. These messages are from people who have taken the time to sit down and write to me. I have never met or even spoken to them, but they find much inspiration from practising Yoga and Meditation with my DVDs and CDs, and they want to tell me!

I am always so very deeply touched by these messages as they come from a very deep place within the person writing them. These messages often speak of years of depression, back pain, and low self esteem, or maybe a very low period in their lives. I have had many messages from those who have even shed multiple excessive kilos/pounds in body weight. Somehow they have all come across my publications, and their lives have positively changed… because they have taken on the discipline of actually practising Yoga and/or Meditation with my DVDs and/or CDs.

I very much recall when I voice-recorded my publications, as these words also came from a very deep place from within me. I have personally used these very words to heal myself on so many occasions over many years. Fortunately these healing words have been caught in time within these recordings. Hence they have also positively affected so many of those who use my publications.

Those who continue with the practice of Yoga and Meditation, may not realise how they can become an inspiration to others. This is certainly the case with my classes. Those who have been attending for so many years are very inclusive and encouraging to newcomers. Their kind and encouraging words have such a positive effect, which greatly assists them to continue with the their practice.

Be inspired by the practice of Yoga and Meditation and do share your inspiration with others, as you might just positively affect their lives too!

Namaste, Yolanda

Happy Yoga & Meditation New Year 2013

Gratitude

This new year do consider starting with ‘thoughts of Gratitude’. Studies have proved that focussing on gratitude will bring much joy to your life!

We live in a very materialist world and we can often get so caught up with always wanting more. I often remind myself of the saying ‘less is more’, and the older I become, the more this saying becomes more meaningful.

Also, at some stage during my day I like to take a moment to consider what I am truly grateful for. I am talking about the little things… roof over my head, shoes, food, heating, cooling etc. We only have to watch ‘world news’ to see how many have to get by with so little.

Bringing to mind thoughts of gratitude requires practice. So perhaps a new year resolution could be ‘I bring to mind thoughts of gratitude every day’ when I get out of bed. Also, as you close your eyes at night bring to mind all you are grateful about for the day that has just ended.

Another good habit to cultivate… bring to mind the word ‘gratitude’ when you start your daily Meditation or Yoga practice. Those who attend my Yoga classes will have become well aquainted with this habit, as we do it before every class.

Be grateful and enjoy!

Happy Yoga Christmas

Paddy & Polly Xmas

Paddy & Polly getting ready for Christmas!

Wow! I can’t believe that it’s only 6 weeks until our Christmas holiday season starts. It’s been another wonderful year of Yoga and Meditation practice and I am looking forward to spending the holidays down by the beach. Hoping to have lots of visitors come and enjoy the wonderful fresh air of Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsula (down under). Attending to our vegie garden and catching lots of fish with my partner John will also be part of our holiday therapy.

As usual I will be doing my regular practice of Yoga and Meditation, and going on walks with our darling pooches Paddy and Polly, who are just so funny and loving. John says he is most happy when I give him the same amount of love and attention I give to them!

This is an excerpt from the American Yoga Journal on Wisdom… animal companionship is a wonderful way to connect not only with a pet, but also to a deeper sense and understanding of the self. According to Susan Chernak McElroy, author of ‘Animals as Teachers and Healers’, when spending time with animals, “we feel how it is to be in the moment fully, to play with utter abandon, to bring our whole self to an encounter with another.” Animals can teach us how to be present, spontaneous and most importantly, how to give and receive unconditional love.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me messages over this past year (from all around the world) in appreciation of my Yoga and Meditation publications… with much gratitude from me!

Finally, do consider continuing with your Yoga and Meditation practice over the holidays so you can be ready for a great healthy start to the new year.

A Well Within

Special day of Healing 'Forgotten Children'

Special day of Healing ‘Forgotten Children’

This is a very special photo of yours truly with my sisters. We came together for a special day in Sydney to receive the Australian Government national ‘sorry’ for the ‘Forgotten Children’… children who spent much of their childhood in orphanges. We have all come such a long way since our many years of great struggle and horrific hardships during our young lives.

Much of my own healing has come from the (good habit) practice of Yoga and Meditation… hence the healing manner in how I teach my classes and the words I use on my DVDs and CDs.

Further, I have also continually embraced the habit of repeating ‘positive affirmations’. This is a habit I taught myself as a young child when life was almost too hard to bear. I would repeat positive statements to myself to help me feel better. They were mostly based on my day-dreaming about a better life, and they literally helped me to survive.

Over many years I have continued repeating various affirmations to myself (and writing them), and I have since recorded the best of the best of these affirmations on my CD ‘A Well Within’. Listening to them regularly is uplifting and a wonderful way to stay centred and balanced. Those who already have and listen to my CD often say it’s worth its weight in gold, as it lightens up their lives.

Also, you can write your own affirmations, as many people have done for eons. Just think of something you really want and write it down in a simple one line sentence. Make sure it’s clear and positive, and it needs to be written as though you already have it (even though you don’t have it… yet!). A couple of examples are… ‘I exercise for 30 mins a day’ or ‘I have reduced the serving size of my meals by 1/3’ or ‘I make sure to laugh for some reason every day’ etc.

Good luck and enjoy!

Strengthen your back

A backwards bend in beautiful Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy

There is something quite wonderful about bending backwards, especially the feeling of standing upright afterwards. In fact we don’t bend backwards quite enough in our daily lives, and as the years roll by we start to lose length in our spine. Just the simple act of bending backwards every day will do wonders to relieve back pain, strengthen your back and improve your posture.

As you can see from this photo, I found this lovely wall whilst on a recent holiday in Europe. It was perfect, being about hip height and totally stable. I could push away from it with my hands, bring my hips forward, lean back and hold for a few breaths (Yoga pose: upward facing dog… ‘Urdhva Muhka Svanasana’). Thereafter, with my hands still in place, slowly straighten up, take a few steps back, draw my hips and shoulders back away from the wall, draw in my belly and push away from the wall for another few breaths (Yoga pose: donward facing dog… ‘Adho Mukha Svanasana’). This will take somewhere between 4 – 10 minutes, depending on how long you want to hold the poses.

You can do this anywhere and anytime, and some of the best props are in your home. Try the kitchen bench, especially gripping the kitchen sink or the back of the couch as these are really good stable props. You could also use your desk at work, and you can leave your shoes on, just as long as they are not high-heels. Also there is no need to take your head back at all, so only do this if it feels ok for you. Remember to listen to your body, take care and just do your best… but no need to overdo.

Once you are upright again, jiggle around a little bit to loosen up. Those of you who use my home practice Yoga DVDs ‘YogaEasy’ and ‘Yoga2Easy’, you will have learnt ‘Dolla Dolla’ which is the perfect jiggle around. When you have finished, just notice how much better your posture is, and how you are feeling? You might like to ‘reply’ to my blog and let me know.

Wishing you good health & joy!

Namaste, Yolanda