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Too often we get caught up in the rat race. Busy work timelines, personal lives, school sports, errands etc and we don’t prioritise ourselves and the things we need to nurture ourselves.

Be Silent…Be Still…Listen

As a yoga and meditation teacher I sit in silence a lot. I observe. I watch. I read – both books and people. I’ve learnt a considerable amount from stepping back, sitting, reflecting and pondering in silence. Taking those precious moments out of my day to just be present, allowing what will be to be. But it wasn’t always this way. In my corporate jobs I was juggling back to back meetings, two mobile phones and countless deadlines – I was constantly on the go. But then I discovered yoga and meditation and my world changed…

My journey has been bolstered by delving deeply into immersive weekends of self reflection, surrounded by inspiring people, healthy food learning yoga, breathing and meditation. In recent years I’ve gifted myself several opportunities to attend retreats from different teachers and each time I’ve emerged feeling amazing and making considerable life changes. It’s the opportunities to try something different and break from routine and rethink my thinking, priorities and reactions that has been life changing; introducing new ideas and patterns into my everyday world.

Treat yourself to a retreat

It’s this felt and lived experience that has lead me to host my own meditation and yoga retreats. And this September I’m hosting a very special retreat tailored to those seeking to learn more about the quieter aspects of yoga and meditation to help support their busy lives and bring some quiet and stillness into their worlds.

If you’ve never meditated or practiced yoga before, you’ll be in great company. My style of teaching is suitable for all levels – there are no crazy shapes resembling pretzels or splits as it’s about you and the practices you and your body and mind need. Similarly, if you’ve practiced yoga and meditation but want to learn more at the subtler level and different styles of quieter practices, this will be a reflective few days to gift yourself.

So if you’re looking for an opportunity to step back, learn more about you – your mind, your body, your reactive state, my Spring Meditation & Yoga Retreat could be the perfect start for you. Over our time together on this weekend retreat you’ll experience:

  • 4 mindful Yin Yoga classes
  • 2 Meditation & breathing classes
  • Friday night Yoga Nidra (sleep based meditation)
  • Saturday night Sound Healing and Yoga Nidra
  • 2 nights’ accommodation 
  • Nutritious organic plant based meals
  • Personal time to enjoy natural surrounds
  • Optional massage

Don’t just take my word for it, previous retreat attendee Mandy commented: “I feel so rejuvenated and recharged after our weekend together. I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to make sure everything is perfect and that everyone feels welcomed”

Treat yourself and come alone or grab a friend, colleague or partner and invite yourself to explore your inner world and learn more about meditation and yoga.

Details:

  • Friday 13 September 3pm – Sunday 15 September 2pm
  • Trentham, Victoria
  • Limited spaces available

Please email me mayyoga@outlook.com for more information and to book

It’s a new day. A new month. A new year. Hello 2019!

For many of us it’s the time of year when we set our goals for the year ahead…start a fitness regime, take up yoga, go on a diet, learn to meditate…the list goes on.

But here’s a not so surprising statistic: only 8% of people who set a New Year’s resolution successfully achieve them. It’s not always easy to make changes in our lives, but an effective way of doing this is through setting an intention and integrating it with a regular practice of the mindful Yoga Nidra meditation (sleep based meditation).

What is an intention?

An intention helps us become the best version of ourselves by withdrawing our attention from where we don’t want to go to a place we do want it to go.

How is a goal different to an intention?

A goal has a specific endpoint in mind, whereas an intention is the direction we are seeking to take. An intention is more realistic and adaptable, especially if we consciously or subconsciously take another route along the way. If we consider a goal, this would be considered a failure and we’re likely to abandon that goal as we beat ourselves up about the speed bump we are likely to encounter.

Qualities of an intention

Intentions have several characteristics that differentiate them from goals:

  • define in the present tense
  • timeless
  • direction not a destination
  • no attachment to the outcome
  • concise and powerful
  • no predictable end results

Why should you set an intention?

You can set an intention at anytime…not just at the new year. Intentions are widely recognised for giving us purpose and connecting us to a higher power with ourselves in a direction we’re seeking to journey. They are also set in the present tense so they help us to always be present and set a guiding principle within our psyche.

How to set an intention

  1. Find a place within your house or out in nature (the bush, the beach, the forest) where you can sit, be still and contemplate
  2. Sit in a comfortable seated position and connect with your breath to help you become present
    • cultivate slow and steady inhalations and exhalations through your nose
    • once you are feeling present and connected, observe where you’re tense in your body and take a deep belly breath in and mindfully exhale out through your mouth. Repeat this a couple of times if you have a lot of tension to release – let your body be your guide
  3. Contemplate the following questions:
    • What brings you the greatest joy in your life?
    • What fuels your fire?
    • What gives you a deep sense of purpose?
  4. Listen to your inner voice and ask yourself what are your motivations and aspirations for 2019?
    • Observe the responses that arise – sitting with each one and allowing them to wash over you
    • Be clear about what you invite into your life
  5. Create a short mantra (statement) that captures your intention and start to incorporate it in your daily yoga, meditation or mindfulness practice.

Some intention examples:

  • I allow myself to …
  • I am…
  • I am here because…
  • I am a … presence

Integrating your intention into a Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra allows you to let go and be free and can have a profound impact on your body and mind. An ancient 6000 year old Indian practice, Yoga Nidra is sleep based meditation that allows you to deeply relax and be at one with yourself…and to be still whilst still aware and alert. It is a meditation practice accessible to everyone; shifting you from the yang of thinking and doing (masculine) to the feeling and doing yin (feminine) which can help lead your body to restoration and the release of excess tension in your body and mind.

As a mindful and deeply relaxing and contemplative silent practice, Yoga Nidra can help direct your mind to fulfil the seed of an intention you set for yourself.

Want to delve deeper and learn more?

Join me on Saturday 2 February 3-5:30pm at Westside Yoga School in Seddon for my New Year, New You Healing Immersion and delve deep within to release long held emotions and past experiences, anxiety and stress.

In this 2.5 hour immersion I’ll be integration a combination of into the practices body psychology and yoga therapy techniques, sound healing and yoga nidra meditation. You’ll journey deep within the body-mind complex to discover how to release long held tensions, attachments and constrictions, which can manifest as anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD and stress.

To find out more about intention setting, please email me at hello@mayyoga.com.au. If you would like to attend my workshop, please register via the Westside Yoga website. Spots are limited, bookings are essential.


Bye bye 2018, hello 2019

December 31, 2018

Happy New Mindful Year

For many of us 2018 has been a very LONG one…but at the same time has flown by.

When I look back and reflect on the year, a lot has changed for me in so many ways – I know I’ll look back on 2018 as a year of transformation and awakening. I dodged a bullet in the relationship stakes (phew!); developed new fitness interests; ventured to the USA to study more yoga, yoga therapy and meditation focused on healing those with yoga for anxiety, depression, insomnia and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder); studied reiki to connect more with my own energy and deepen my personal meditation practice; became a corporate escapee and went from being a part-time yoga teacher to a dedicated full time yoga, meditation and mindfulness teacher and advocate. But most importantly, crossed paths with old friends and made new friends from all over the world and shared many laughs, tears and memories and for this I am truly grateful.

So when you reflect on 2018, what are three things you’re truly grateful?

Mine are:
1. Loving network of beautiful souls: my parents, extended family, cat Muffin and network of friends all over the world
2. Transitioning to a life of purpose teaching and sharing my love of yoga, meditation and mindfulness
3. To be alive and enjoy Mother Nature, especially the ocean – where I can be free and enjoy meditation in motion on my standup paddle board

In 2018, I cultivated the daily practice of gratitude thanks to my dear friend Helen. Everyday, I will exchange the 3 things/people/experiences I’m truly grateful for…and I plan to continue this in 2019.

So what are you truly grateful for?

If you live in Melbourne, I’m teaching a special public class at Westside Yoga in Seddon (cost of normal class or included in membership) on New Years Day at 6:30pm. We’ll be kick starting 2019 with a mindful yoga and meditation practice and setting an intention for the year ahead. Stay around after class and mingle with your fellow yogis as I’ll also be serving some delicious fruit and homemade bliss balls

See you on the mat yogis! Would love to hear the 3 things you’re grateful for! Comment below!

Happy New Year!






You’re not alone

December 25, 2018

Festive season mindfulness

The silly season is officially here – the month of December is typically a time of celebration but for many of us it can be a very challenging time. Despite all the Christmas gifts and parties with abundant food and drinks, it can be a difficult time financially, emotionally and mentally for a lot of us. It’s also the end of the year and for many, 2018 has been a long one so if you’re feeling this way you’re not alone.

For many of us, this time of year is a time of reflection and gathering – about those who have left us, the year that was and where we aspired to be in our personal, professional and financial lives. People around the world experience anxiety, depression, loneliness and missing loved ones who have passed on.

The practice of using yoga shapes to feel into your body (asana), connecting and vitalising your body through breath (pranayama) and meditation are three limbs of yoga that can help you centre and feel at one again during this time and can really help with anxiety and depression. Whether you’ve practiced yoga for years or are looking for a practice to help your physical, emotional or mental health, it can have amazing effects irrespective of your level of experience or years of practice. So if you have a regular practice, get onto your mat either at home or a studio and connect your mind, body and soul. If you’re yet to commence your yoga journey, search for a closely yoga studio on google and give it a go (most studios have 2 week or 1 month intro passes for less than $50…or start your home practice of meditation today. To start with, perhaps try sitting in a comfortable position for 5 minutes and focus on slow steady breaths and see what does or doesn’t come up for you.

Please know that you’re not alone – many people feel the same. There are lots of support groups who can help if you need someone to talk to and can help support you, including:
Lifeline: https://www.lifeline.org.au and 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au and 1300 22 4636

Anxiety stats and yoga

October 16, 2018

Anxiety can effect everyone, at any age and at any time. Here’s some key stats from Beyond Blue as they launch a new campaign supporting anxiety awareness across Australia:

– Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia

– Over 85% of people in Australia believe anxiety is not a sign of person weakness, is not something you can just ‘snap out of’, and is a real medical condition

– Everyone feels anxious at times, but when symptoms are intense, persistent, and interfere with life, it becomes an anxiety condition. The good news – there is hope and treatments that work

The Beyond Blue website is packed with resources to learn more about anxiety, complete the Anxiety Checklist, and discover how to get support today for yourself or someone you know

Yoga can help!

Yoga is a beautiful and amazing way to help calm the mind and body, supporting the nervous system. Yoga helps to connect with your body and to bring awareness to your breath, mind and body.

The practice of body psychology or yoga therapy supported with yogic sleep (Yoga Nidra meditation) are a powerful combination to manage the symptoms of mental health including anxiety, depression, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and insomnia (lack of sleep).

So if you experience any of these and want to experience and learn more about how you could live a life free of these, I’m hosting a 2.5 hour immersion at Westside Yoga next Saturday 27 August. Limited spaces available with only a few spots left so register today! For any questions, please feel free to email me to find out more!

Heal Your Body

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