SELF CARE TO SOOTHE YOUR SOUL

I (and the rest of the world) struggle with maintaining balance in my life – it is a constant see saw. However even just having awareness around this is a wise step in the right direction. Some people unfortunately aren’t even aware of their needs.

I am aiming to be more and more dedicated to my own self care routine – I figure I owe it to all the people around me to be the best version of myself possible. The more I care for myself the better I can care for all of you. I am passionate about my work often working long hours so I need to care for myself with just as much passion to keep the work life scales balanced!

For me ‘Self care’ is listening carefully to my mind, body and soul and giving myself what I need – nurturing and nourishing myself on a deep level.

I ignored the pain signals my body was giving me for years because they were not convenient (they didn’t fit into my life plan!) I learnt the hard way that this is a recipe for disaster. Which is why I am so passionate about making sure everyone around me doesn’t make the same mistake.

Our bodies never lie – if you tune in –  listen, feel and sense carefully what is going on. Your body can act like a radar for you – guiding you showing you what is the best way to look after yourself.

Here are a few tips to help nurture your own self care –

Please remember you are the best judge of what works for you.

Trust your instincts – what works for me may not work for you.

Motorbike riding would send my anxiety levels through the roof yet it gives my partner a sense of freedom and release – it is funnily enough his own personal form of self care!

Anything you can do to put yourself a little higher on your priorities list is self care.

Life flows better when you love and care for yourself deeply – you teach others how to treat you by how you treat yourself.

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PRACTICAL SELF CARE TIPS FOR THE TIME POOR

BODY

Listen to your body and nurture (mother) yourself with the same level of care you would a young child.

Simply eat well – this not only effects your physical health but your moods and energy levels. Make sure you are thriving not just surviving this lifetime.

Drink enough water – dehydration halts the energy flow in your body and we need our energy to be free flowing to feel good.

Get enough sleep – I am a huge advocate for a good nights sleep it makes a big difference for emotional balance. I recommend wearing Lavender and Chamomile essential oils for a better nights sleep.

Get your diaphragm moving, it helps to tell your nervous system you are safe and it can relax – Breathe deeply while in the car, while waiting for the kettle to boil….anywhere, anytime.

Don’t underestimate the true value of a ‘Nanna nap’ – simply lying down sends a ‘chill out’ message to your nervous system.

Doing nothing with the intention of caring for yourself fills you with energy – very counter intuitive but it is true!

Stretch while you watch tv or cook dinner.

Be aware of your posture – poor posture often means we are not breathing in enough oxygen to thrive. Better posture will give you more energy.

When you see practitioners (massage, acupuncture, beauty therapists, counsellors…) take your diary with you to make sure you schedule another appointment.

Set yourself triggers, for example – every time I brush my teeth I will pause and breathe deeply for 2 minutes.

Rather than rushing – wash your face with gentle love and care.

MIND/ EMOTIONS

Take your work outside and soak up the sun – sunshine lifts your mood.

Release strong emotions as they come up using a deep breath and big sigh out to let go.

Clear the clutter – get rid of anything (material/ emotional/ mental) that doesn’t serve you any more to create space for good stuff.

Develop routines – positive and uplifting for the morning and relaxing and unwinding for the evening.

Don’t over schedule your time – leave some room for wonderful surprises.

Focus on being grateful for what you have instead of consuming your days thinking about what you want.

Learn to say no and be at peace with disappointing people – trying to please everyone is exhausting and saying no to someone is like saying yes to yourself. Only say yes if you feel joyful about the situation.

Ask for help – give someone the gift of being able to help you, it will make them feel good.

SOUL

Sing or listen to inspiring books in the car.

Meditate.

Connect with nature – nature is the best medicine, it refuels you – place your bare feet on the grass look up at the sky and breathe. Crocodile pose practised outside on fresh grass is the perfect antidote to anything that ails you.

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photo-2Crocodile pose (Makarasana) – this is a master asana of Dru yoga as it is capable of bringing us into alignment on all levels. This posture helps energy to flow through your entire body in turn making you feel really good. Awareness of deep diaphragmatic breathing is enhanced in this posture as you notice your belly expand and massage into the ground as you inhale. Pregnant women should avoid lying on their front so are contraindicated.

To practise – lie on your front with your legs as far apart as is comfortable. Roll your heels into the midline of your body so your inner heels are on or close to the ground. Your forehead rests on your hands or you can hold your elbows and rest your forehead on your forearms. A pillow under your chest may make this more comfortable for you. Rest and relax your body onto the ground by staying focussed on your breath. Stay here for as long as is comfortable.

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Know what gives you joy and make room for it in your schedule – joy kills stress as it is our true nature – reconnect with your truth – what makes your heart sing? Do it and do it often as it makes you come alive.

Adopting a mix of these tips into your everyday will help you feel more energised, happy and peaceful. Yay!

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I love teaching yoga – I am living the life of my dreams.

I am very inspired to create classes, workshops and even retreats to help nurture and nourish you so that you too can live the life of your dreams.

I am inspired to thrive instead of just survive this lifetime and to help you to achieve this also.

Please let me know if I can help you further on your health and wellbeing journey.

Namaste and thank you for being you – you are such a gift to the world.

iby_logo_3Amy xo

amy@inspiredbyyoga.com.au

http://www.inspiredbyyoga.com.au

http://www.facebook.com/inspiredbyyoga

October = Hayfever, herbs and happy happy days

Hi beautiful yogi’s,

‘Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.’ Eleanor Brown

Springtime equals happy happy days for me so I am smiling.

But there is one thing I don’t LOVE about springtime and that is – hayfever! With this recent wild and windy weather it has stirred up a lot of cheeky pollen. If your head feels like it is going to explode, learn to relieve the pressure here.

I am so excited as I have just signed up for Leonie Dawson’s – Amazing life and biz academy and am loving every minute of it. I have wanted to do this for a while but assumed it would be too expensive but as you know assuming makes an ASS out of U and ME! Turns out it is affordable and just brilliant. I am learning about being a more vibrant, authentic version of myself. If you are interested too you can learn more here. I highly recommend it.

An infinite amount of things inspire me to inspire you so I have started a list to share with you.

‘Each positive thought, every vibrant attitude, all purposeful activities water the seeds for success along your path. You will encounter many seeds for success today. Pay attention to these and feed them appropriately. Then maintain their beautiful growth through conscious self-care.’ Rebecca Gordon

~ Super food of the month ~  BASIL The king of herbs, basil is also known as the ‘holy herb’ in many traditions around the world due to its incredible disease preventing and health promoting properties.

DELICIOUS HERB-Y FISH RECIPE

BLEND lots of fresh basil and parsley, some macadamia nuts, a sprinkle of multigrain bread crumbs and a little bit of your favourite oil or butter.

SPREAD this on top of your favourite piece of white fish.

BAKE for about 25 minutes  and serve with a crispy green salad.

YUM YUM

Namaste, Amy

Links to 300 of the most played songs in my yoga class!

(in no particular order)

100 RELAXING CHILL OUT SONGS

  1. Journey to your heart – Jolanda Jonker
  2. The space within Dru – Jolanda Jonker
  3. Gentle movement Dru – Jolanda Jonker
  4. To build a home – The Cinematic Orchestra
  5. First Retreat – Greg Carlin
  6. Like a circle – Greg Carlin
  7. Rapture – Greg Carlin
  8. Gayatri mantra – Deva Premal
  9. Om Namah Shivaya – Deva Premal
  10. Om Mani Padne Hum – Deva Premal
  11. Jai Radha Madhav – Deva Premal
  12. Whispering heart – Deva Premal
  13. Long time sun – Snatam Kaur
  14. Paramayasareh – Snatam Kaur
  15. Gobinda Gobinda Hari Hari – Snatam Kaur
  16. By grace – Snatam Kaur
  17. Water shows the hidden heart – Enya
  18. Carribean blue – Enya
  19. Boadicea – Enya
  20. Storms in Africa – Enya
  21. Meeresleuchten – Kamal
  22. Breathing space – Sacred Earth
  23. Jai Ma Kali – Sacred Earth
  24. Ancient mother – Sacred Earth
  25. Wink – Sacred Earth
  26. Cedar’s song – Sacred Earth
  27. Diamonds in the sun (yoga flow mix) – Girish
  28. Baby cuddles – Fridrik Karlsson
  29. Calming spa music – Fridrik Karlsson
  30. Sunrise – Bliss
  31. Om Shanti – Bliss
  32. Come into the light – Bliss
  33. A hundred thousand angels – Bliss
  34. Breathe – Bliss
  35. Embrace – Oliver Tank
  36. Up all night – Oliver Tank
  37. Yoga groove – soulfood
  38. Here we are – Spiral system
  39. Supreme illusion – Thievery corporation
  40. Intention – Earthrise sound system
  41. Embrace – Earthrise sound system
  42. Heartbeats – Niladri Kumar
  43. Whispering wind – Moby
  44. Hey Ma Durga – Donna De Lory
  45. Saltwater – Chicane
  46. Feel free – Pia
  47. You got soul – Hermitude
  48. The Drift – Hermitude
  49. Imaginary friends – Hermitude
  50. Moth journey – Hermitude
  51. Sa Ta Na Ma – Mirabai Ceiba
  52. Mad happy – Dum Dum Project
  53. Vayu relaxation
  54. Heartbeats – Jose Gonzalez
  55. Teardrop – Jose Gonzalez
  56. Slow moves – Jose Gonzalez
  57. Remain – Jose Gonzalez
  58. Lovestain – Jose Gonzalez
  59. Crosses – Jose Gonzalez
  60. All you deliver – Jose Gonzalez
  61. Stay in the shade – Jose Gonzalez
  62. Hints – Jose Gonzalez
  63. Save your day – Jose Gonzalez
  64. Broken arrows – Jose Gonzalez
  65. Wukun – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  66. Gopuru – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  67. Mala Rrakala – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  68. Bayini – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  69. Baru – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  70. Ya Yawirriny – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  71. DJilawurr – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  72. Warwu – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  73. DJotarra – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  74. Bakitju – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  75. DJomula – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  76. Wulminda – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  77. Banbirrngu – Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
  78. Bengali – Hayley Erin
  79. Forget me not – Hayley Erin
  80. The Ancient lake – Hayley Erin
  81. Red dawn – Hayley Erin
  82. Grace – Hayley Erin
  83. On a winter’s moon – Hayley Erin
  84. Between dreams – Hayley Erin
  85. Freedom – Hayley Erin
  86. Inner spectrum – Steve Halpern
  87. Awakening – Steve Halpern
  88. Pachelbel’s canon – Steve Halpern
  89. Dawn – Steve Halpern
  90. Chakra balancing – Steve Halpern
  91. Deep healing – Steve Halpern
  92. Comfort zone – Steve Halpern
  93. Harp and soul – Steve Halpern
  94. Moment’s pause – Steve Halpern
  95. Eastern pause – Steve Halpern
  96. Communion – Steve Halpern
  97. Legacy – Steve Halpern
  98. Eventide – Steve Halpern
  99. Still point – Steve Halpern 
  100. Mother divine – Kurt Van Sickle

100 UPLIFTING WARM UP SONGS

  1. Shooting stars – Bag Raiders
  2. Miracle – Matisyahu
  3. Sunshine – Matisyahu
  4. My heart is on fire – Asta
  5. Can’t get better than this – Parachute Youth
  6. Follow the sun – Xavier Rudd
  7. Video games – Lana Del Rey
  8. We are glowing – Holly Throsby
  9. Over the Rainbow – Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole
  10. Keep breathing – Ingrid Michaelson
  11. Gathu Mawula revisited – Gurrumul and Blue King Brown
  12. Light all my lights – Seeker Lover Keeper
  13. Even though I’m a woman – Seeker Lover Keeper
  14. Rest your head on my shoulder – Seeker Lover Keeper
  15. Opportunity – Pete Murray
  16. So beautiful – Pete Murray
  17. I feel better – Gotye
  18. Skinny love – Birdy
  19. I was young – Gossling
  20. Go don’t stop – Mat McHugh
  21. Love come save me – Mat McHugh
  22. All the rowboats – Regina Spektor
  23. Don’t leave me – Regina Spektor
  24. Samson – Regina Spektor
  25. Fall – Lanu
  26. Breathe me – Sia
  27. I feel it all – Feist
  28. 1234 – Feist
  29. Neopolitan dreams – Lisa Mitchell
  30. Never give up – Bliss N Eso
  31. Flame trees – Sarah Blasko
  32. The Drumming song – Florence and the machine
  33. You got the love – Florence and the machine
  34. Bella – Angus and Julia Stone
  35. Big jet plane –  Angus and Julia Stone
  36. Take you away –  Angus and Julia Stone
  37. Big jumps – Emiliana Torrini
  38. To be free – Emiliana Torrini
  39. Jungle drum – Emiliana Torrini
  40. Sunny road – Emiliana Torrini
  41. Harmony to my heartbeat – Sally Seltmann
  42. On the borderline – Sally Seltmann
  43. Dream about changing – Sally Seltmann
  44. Heart that’s pounding – Sally Seltmann
  45. Hide and Seek – Imogen Heap 
  46. Flutter – Bonobo
  47. Rise – Eddie Vedder
  48. Northern lights – Lux
  49. Secret fish – Lux
  50. 100 Billion stars – Lux
  51. Autumn flow – Lior
  52. Blessed – Lior
  53. La Femme D’argent – Air
  54. Ce Martin La – Air
  55. Bossa – Air
  56. Let go – Frou frou
  57. Sitting waiting wishing – Jack Johnson
  58. Better together – Jack Johnson
  59. Diamonds on the inside – Ben Harper
  60. Breathe – Telepopmusik
  61. Love, sunshine and happiness – Salmonella Dub
  62. Angel echoes – Four Tet
  63. Breath in now – George
  64. Spirit of the buddhas – Bahia Cordovez
  65. Summertime – Angelique Kidjo
  66. Sunrise – Norah Jones
  67. You could be happy – Snow Patrol
  68. Beauty in the world – Macy Gray
  69. Nothing real but love – Rebecca Ferguson
  70. Someone like you – Adele
  71. Everybody loves the sunshine – Roy Ayers
  72. I won’t let you go – James Morrison
  73. The Greatest – Cat Power
  74. You make me happy – Clare Bowditch
  75. Higher love – James Vincent McMorrow
  76. Flowmotion – Sven Van Hees
  77. Chihuly – Oka
  78. Music makes me happy – Oka
  79. Don’t fight the feeling – Oka
  80. Old skool – Oka
  81. Island time – Oka
  82. Time clock – Oka
  83. Don’t stop – Oka
  84. Vee Dub – Oka
  85. Ragamuffin – Oka
  86. Kap Kar – Oka
  87. Ganesha – WAH!
  88. Maha Deva – WAH!
  89. Hanuman – WAH!
  90. Girl in the video – WAH!
  91. Way you love me – WAH!
  92. Brazil – WAH!
  93. Sacred patterns – WAH!
  94. Maha deva Soulshine – WAH!
  95. Radhe bhaj Soulshine – WAH!
  96. Unconditional – WAH!
  97. Home – WAH!
  98. Heart sutra Soulshine – WAH!
  99. Jai ma love – WAH!
  100. Kali Ma – WAH!

100 POSITIVE KIDS YOGA SONGS

  1. Learning living and loving – Gotye
  2. Three little birds – Bob Marley
  3. Gangnam style – PSY – I know its annoying but if you want kids to move this works a treat!
  4. Good vibrations – The Beach boys – All songs from this album great for a beach theme
  5. Don’t worry be happy – Bobby McFarrin – Classic!
  6. Great DJ – Ting Tings – Very catchy tune
  7. Super Bass – Nicki Minaj – I must say I prefer this version
  8. Spirit in the sky – Norman Greenbaum
  9. Be yourself – Morcheeba
  10. I’m a believer – The Monkees
  11. I don’t feel like dancing – Scissor Sisters
  12. Hey ya – Outkast
  13. Dancing queen – Abba
  14. Hello – Cat Empire
  15. Jellylegs – Children Collide
  16. Clint Eastwood – Gorrilaz
  17. Joy to the world – Three dog night
  18. True to myself – Ziggy Marley
  19. Rainbow in the sky – Ziggy Marley
  20. Love today – Mika
  21. Gold on the ceiling – Black Keys
  22. Hey ho – The Lumineers
  23. Holding on – Flume
  24. Pumped up kicks – Foster the people
  25. Barbra Streisand – Duck sauce – good opportunity to pull out your daggy dance moves
  26. My step – Little Dragon
  27. Be OK – Ingrid Michaelson
  28. Diamonds are so shiny – Holly Throsby
  29. Always be young – Holly Throsby
  30. Boys like you – Gossling and 360
  31. Just got started – 360
  32. I feel it all – Feist
  33. 1234 – Feist
  34. Sealion – Feist
  35. Octopus’s garden – The Beatles
  36. Ob la di Ob la da – The Beatles
  37. I got a feeling – Black eyed peas
  38. 15 to 20 – The Phenomenal handclap band
  39. All I know – eagle and the worm – gets them moving and grooving
  40. Neopolitan dreams – Lisa Mitchell
  41. Oh Hark – Lisa Mitchell
  42. Bubbly – Colbie Calliat
  43. Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
  44. ABC – The Jackson 5
  45. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  46. Heal the world – Michael Jackson
  47. Black or white – Michael Jackson
  48. Empire state of mind – Alicia Keys
  49. I like giants – Kimya Dawson – Fantastic kids yoga music
  50. I’m yours – Jason Mraz
  51. Kalemba – Buraka Som Sistema
  52. Lovelight – Stereo Action Unlimited
  53. The beep beep song – Simone White
  54. Time to smile – Xavier Rudd
  55. Clap your hands – Sia
  56. Sunshine. lollipops and rainbows – Lesley Gore
  57. We are the champions – Queen
  58. Bohemian rhapsody – Queen
  59. Bicycle race – Queen
  60. Take me out – Franz Ferdinand
  61. Rolling in the deep – Adele
  62. True colours – Cindy Lauper
  63. Girls just wanna have fun – Cindy Lauper
  64. This little light of mine – Gospel dream
  65. The Lazy song – Bruno Mars
  66. Grenade – Bruno Mars
  67. Good riddance (time of your life) – Green day
  68. Tiny dancer – Elton John – Anything from this album is good
  69. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley – kids know this song because it was used in the Shrek movie
  70. Imagine – John Lennon
  71. Jai Ho – A R Rahman – you will need to pull out your best bollywood dance moves
  72. We’re going to be friends – Jack Johnson – Awesome album for kids yoga
  73. Bubble toes – Jack Johnson
  74. Life’s a happy song – Mickey Rooney – From the Muppet movie
  75. Smile – Uncle Kracker
  76. Grooving slowly – John Butler Trio
  77. Guru Ram Dass Lullaby – Snatam Kaur – Gentle, happy music for kids
  78. Feeling good today – Snatam Kaur
  79. The Sun shines on everyone – Snatam Kaur
  80. I am happy – Snatam Kaur
  81. The Giving song – MC yogi – The yogic rapper!
  82. Ganesh is fresh – MC yogi
  83. Bhakti boombox – MC yogi
  84. Be the change – MC yogi
  85. Krishna dub – MC yogi
  86. Elephant power – MC yogi
  87. Les Jours Tristes – Yann Tiersen – From the Amelie soundtrack, french-y and circus-y
  88. La Valse D’Amelie – Yann Tiersen
  89. La Noyee – Yann Tiersen
  90. L’Autre Valse D’Amelie – Yann Tiersen
  91. Gulity – Yann Tiersen
  92. A Quai – Yann Tiersen
  93. Le Moulin – Yann Tiersen
  94. Pas si simple – Yann Tiersen
  95. La dispute – Yann Tiersen
  96. Soir de fete – Yann Tiersen
  97. La Redecouverte – Yann Tiersen
  98. Le banquet – Yann Tiersen
  99. La masion – Yann Tiersen
  100. Les deux pianos – Yann Tiersen

As a kids yoga teacher you need to keep your energy levels high so I would recommend using music that keeps you pumped!

GOING WITH THE FLOW

dreamstime_xxl_2968639Here are some keys points to help you go with the flow and enjoy a life with grace an ease.

ACCEPTANCE – What you resist persists and what you accept flows.

It is hard work resisting what life is offering you, you end up feeling stuck, blocked and frustrated (no flow). Sometimes we get tunnel vision wanting something so bad that we resist what is really happening – not realising life is offering you an even better alternative! Acceptance allows us to soften, relax and keeps us open to the unlimited possibilities available.

‘To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease and lightness.’ Eckhart Tolle

When it is hard to accept something practising mindfulness by living in the moment can be helpful. Just take one moment at a time and be present with what is. Watch your breath, feel the sunshine warming your arm, listen to the birds singing, feel the softness of the soap in your hands, become more and more in awe of joy in the little details.

‘Laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.’ Unknown

LETTING GO – Letting go of anything that is not serving you for the greater good. What are you holding onto that is holding you back from being the best possible version of yourself?

Letting go of expectations means you will never be disappointed, quite the opposite actually!

Letting go of worries – worries quite often materialise in the body as tight shoulders. Are you carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Worrying does not change an outcome for the better. Law of attraction proves worrying may in fact create a more negative outcome! Release your worries and think positive – become more gentle with yourself just like you would be with your friends or family.

Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you’ll come to realize how unnecessary it was to drag those burdens along with you. You’ll see that no one other than you was responsible. The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival. Buddhist Teaching

Exercise – Hold a piece of paper in your hand. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale let go of the piece of paper. See how easy it is to let go!

After realising how easy it is to let go you might like to use this technique to let go of any weight you may have been carrying (unnecessarily) on your shoulders. Breathe into the tension/ unease/ negativity and breathe out let it all go.

It really is easy to let go – its only the cheeky habits of our mind that gets in our way!

Letting go creates space for wonderful things to flow to you.

‘We must learn to let go, to give up, to make room for the things we have hoped for and desired.’ Charles Fillmore

FLEXIBILITY – One thing I learnt in my kids yoga teacher training is to plan well then throw the plan out the window and I think this is a good philosophy for life.

Become more flexible and accepting to all the exciting twists and turns life gives you. It is great to know what you want but don’t be so rigid in your approach you miss other opportunities.

‘As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.’ Emmanuel Teney

EMBRACE CHANGE – change is the only thing you can be sure of. We are all evolving make sure you are in the flow.

Change is exciting, if nothing ever changed there’d be no butterflies!

Note: Noticing what you don’t want to change may help you see what you are holding onto too tightly!

IMG_6463TRUST – letting go of fear of the unknown and trusting in an abundant universe.

Sometimes we can only see the perfection in adversity in hindsight. It takes a lot of faith and courage to believe know that everything is perfect in every given moment.

Develop a strong belief in trusting everything happens for a positive reason. This not only helps us go with the flow of life but gives us confidence and grace.

‎’When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.’ Buddha

SURRENDER – Let go of your tight grip on the steering wheel of life. Surrender to what is in front of you. (We really are kidding ourself if we believe we have complete control anyway!)

I am hoping all of the tips above will help to loosen your grip on life.

‘The word “surrender” is often interpreted as giving up, as weakness, as admitting defeat. Although this is one way to use the word, we will use it in a different way. Surrendering means letting go of your resistance to the total openness of who you are. It means giving up the tension of the little vortex you believe yourself to be and realizing the deep power of the ocean you truly are. It means to open with no boundaries, emotional or physical, so you ease wide beyond any limiting sense of self you might have.’ David Deida

acceptance + letting go + flexibility + embrace change + trust + surrender  = freedom

Learning to go with the flow helps us live our life with grace and ease.

‘Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.’ Moshe Dayan

What we do with our body has a flow on effect to our mind. Keeping our body flexible, free of tension and relaxed by practising yoga also helps us to go with the flow of life.

iby_logo_3I teach a gentle flowing style of yoga, it has been designed to be enjoyed by all no matter what age, size or capability.

Check out my website for more details. www.inspiredbyyoga.com.au

Namaste, Amy:)

‘To choose happiness, to choose bliss, to enjoy life and ride it like a roller coaster. And it’s the divine, crazy journey that it is. And treating it like a game. That you’re always going to win. You can’t lose, there’s no wrong choice, there’s no mistake, it’s only growth and learning. And the more you grow, the more your spirit can enjoy the earthly plane. And that’s the fun of it.’ Jenny Sauer Klein

Chai spiced Quinoa porridge

Now that the weather has taken a nose dive I like to stay warm with this comforting Chai spiced porridge. It is easy and quick to make and very healthy considering its comfort factor!

All you need to do is cook the quinoa flakes in coconut milk, add vanilla paste, cinnamon, cardamon and ginger powder to taste.

Top with a selection of your favourite nuts, seeds and dried fruits and some honey or maple syrup.

Quinoa (Pronounced ‘Keen-wah’) would have to be one of my (many) favourite foods.

This highly nutritious gluten-free grain contains more protein than any other grain. Quinoa has a good balance of all 8 essential amino acids, is high in fibre and has a low-GI, beneficial for keeping blood sugar levels stable. Quinoa is one of the most nutrient rich grains around, being a good source of iron, needed to transport oxygen around the body, B vitamins for energy, calcium and magnesium for healthy nervous system function,and vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant.

YUM

Interview by Clancy Tucker

My uncle the writer interviewed me for his blog so I thought I would share it here too.

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY.

I love life – I am creative, enthusiastic, positive and happy. I love making people feel better and better everyday in everyway.

In order from present to past I have worked as a –

Yoga teacher

Yoga teacher’s aide

Sales assistant

Contact centre consultant

OSH childcare assistant

Soft sculptural fabricator (Walking with dinosaurs, How to train your dragon and R&D on King Kong)

Touring/ promo suit dresser (Australia, USA and Japan)

Administration assistant

Costume designer/ maker/ coordinator (Beyonce tour, Eurobeat, Commonwealth games, numerous circus shows, feature and short films, theatre …)

Sewing teachers aide

Pattern maker

Costume hire sales assistant

Retail team leader

Receptionist

Hairdresser assistant

Nanny

Babysitter

I have a thirst for knowledge and have studied –

Clothing production

Costume design

Small business management

Reiki

Kids yoga

Dru yoga

HypnoBirthing

Prenatal yoga

WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A YOGA TEACHER? WAS IT SOMETHING SPECIFIC?

I first tried yoga in 1999, after my first session I cried I felt amazing and I was hooked. I felt like I had come home and everything was right in my world.

After this I found I was falling in love with yoga more deeply each year, I had the urge to learn more and more until eventually getting to the point of craving training in more depth so I could share it with others.

I started my Dru yoga teacher training in 2009 and have not looked back it has been one of the best decisions of my life so far.

It not only gave me the skills to teach yoga professionally but personally helped me become more aware of myself and this magnificent world around me.

This love affair continues to deepen and I continue to want to study more and more.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?

I love sharing my passion for yoga and helping people find calm within themselves so that they can feel good and enjoy life more.

If my students get what I get out of yoga I am happy.

 WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A YOGA INSTRUCTOR?

Waking my students up from deep relaxation – Every class I teach ends in a 15 – 20 minute guided relaxation.

They always look so peaceful and the energy of the room is so blissed out I am often tempted to leave them all there for a good well deserved rest!

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WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE? BE SPECIFIC.

For 5 years before I became a yoga teacher I worked for a company that makes huge animatronic creatures for film and theatre. I worked as a soft sculptural fabricator which involved sewing, pattern making, sculpting. I worked long hours often with deadlines looming. Through this job I got to travel with the shows when they went on the road often participating in media events, auditions and promotional activities. I loved this job it was fun and very interesting.

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WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CHANGE DIRECTION?

A severe case of RSI sent me in search of a career sea change. Yoga not only gave me a new direction in life but it helped ease the pain and anxiety of my condition.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

I teach 6 weekly yoga classes

http://www.inspiredbyyoga.com.au/Site/Classes.html

I run school holiday kids yoga workshops, Sunday bliss yoga workshops and Acu yoga workshops

http://www.inspiredbyyoga.com.au/Site/Workshops.html

I write this blog  https://inspiredbyyogainspiredbylife.wordpress.com

I regularly post inspiring snippets on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/inspiredbyyoga

I design and maintain my own website www.inspiredbyyoga.com.au

I volunteer in my friends yoga class working as a yoga teacher’s aide helping to care for a lady with MS.

I am currently studying Dru Meditation teacher training,

I have a part time job working in a beautiful gift shop.

I make lavender eye pillows, candles and wheat bags to sell to students and at markets.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Everything and anything! The beauty about yoga is it opens your heart to inspiration everywhere.

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU READ?

This is a picture of my bedside table and all the books I would like to find the time to read.

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DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR US UNHEALTHY PEOPLE?

I have lots but there are no rules that suit everyone, find what works for you and make healthy living a joy not a chore.

Aim to thrive not merely just survive this existence.

Our body is designed to feel good.

Lots of small improvements make a difference.

Not only what you feed your belly is important – what feeds your soul?

Look at your health and wellbeing big picture for example –

Physical health – exercise, diet.

Find the exercise that is enjoyable and suits your body.

Find the diet that is delicious and suits your own needs – see a naturopath/ nutritionist for help.

Energetic health – what drains your energy? What boosts it up?

This awareness can help you learn to top yourself up after a draining event.

Emotional health – do you release strong emotions or hold on?

Holding onto strong emotions is bad for our health – find the activity that helps you release, it could be – writing or journaling, talking it out with a friend, yoga, walking, deep breaths, running, boxing, being in nature, meditation, having a good cry…

Social health – do you have a supportive network?

Feeling part of a community can help you feel useful and part of something bigger than you.

Mental health – could your thoughts be more positive?

This is a big one because we attract what we think. Daily affirmations can help.

Spiritual health – do you trust that the universe supports you?

Dreaming big, believing in yourself, planning well then giving up control and trusting everything works out for the best is healthy.

All these layers of your being are intertwined and are just as important. Enjoy exploring your own personal path to wellness.

DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED SCHEDULE EVERY DAY? WHAT IS IT?

I am a big fan of morning routines. If you have a positive morning ritual your day flows on from this.

My weekday routine is – I wake up drink warm water with lemon, do 15 minutes of yoga outside, I come inside light a candle and practise 15 minutes of breathing which is a nice lead into 20 minutes of meditation. I then take a few minutes to write down everything I am grateful for then jump in the shower ready to bounce into my day.

You don’t have to do as much as me – I am lucky enough to have the time to do this at the moment. It’s all about creating healthy positive habits that you can easily integrate into your life.

You might like to start by spending 5 minutes to set some really positive intentions for your day before getting out of bed.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN YOUR WORK?

Another beauty about yoga is it easily transforms, I love seeing this positive transformation in my students.

When students leave my class looking like the sun is shining out of their eyes and heart I know their yoga practise has settled deep within.

DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR?

I believe this is very important. I mentor kids, I have mentors and my mentors have mentors and their mentors have mentors…The wisdom being handed down is like gold.

WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?

Yes I quite often get lessons in my personal live which I then transfer into my yoga lessons. If I am to learn some wisdom through a challenging lesson I need to share this to help prevent others needing to learn the hard way…

OTHER THAN YOUR WORK, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?

I love a lot here is the shortlist –

My partner Blair, our dog Leroy, our cat Middi, my family, my friends, my students, my teachers, yoga, meditation, water, oxygen, sunshine, sleep, laughter, colour, nature, food, coconut water, the beach, animals, acupuncture, bowen therapy, epsom salt bath soak….

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DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.

I see perfection in everyday if I am going with the flow.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?

Please add more love and compassion to everything you do.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

I aim to continue to nurture, inspire and empower people to be the best version of themselves possible through yoga and meditation.

In the near future I am studying these short courses Reiki 2, Thai yoga massage, Health and Wellness coaching.

I follow my heart and have lots of ideas who knows where they might lead!

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE BOOKS?

Happy Yoga by Steve Ross

How yoga works by Geshe Michael Roach and Christine McNally

The tree of yoga by BKS Iyengar

Practical yoga psychology by Dr Rishi Vivekananda

Dru yoga – Stillness in motion – http://www.dru.com.au/yogashop/10-dru-yoga-book-stillness-in-motion-1873606257.html

You can view the original interview here – http://clancytucker.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/28-april-2013-amy-joy-barber-guest-yoga.html

Healthy living = bliss

At the moment I feel the healthiest and happiest I have ever felt due to a combination of a lot of little things creating a good balance.

I have reignited my love for yoga over the summer…and started a new love affair with green smoothies!

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I am making my health and wellbeing more and more of a priority going into 2013 and its been a rewarding experience.

I always thought to be healthy you had to make huge grand gestures like getting up at 5am for a run. I thought you had to own a fancy Vitamix blender and be super disciplined but…

I like to keep it real and do things that are a joy for me. Here is the mix of the small things I have been doing that keep my health and wellbeing in check.

Yoga – Let’s start with the most obvious one! Even if it is only ten minutes a day, I stretch in every opportunity I get including while cooking dinner, after brushing my teeth, while it is quiet at work.

I have a morning routine – I would like to think I am a free spirit just going with the flow but lately I have noticed I am more motivated and happy with structure especially in the morning. I set my day up in a real positive way and my day unfolds nicely from here.

Meditation – I meditate every weekday morning for 10 – 30 minutes.

Gratitude – Every weekday morning I write down what I am grateful for. This is such a wonderful habit to get into as it helps you appreciate the little things.

Green smoothies – I drink a green smoothie every morning which gives me so much energy and makes me feel amazing.

Vitamins – I take a good multivitamin, royal jelly and vitamin D. You may want to visit your doctor or naturopath to work out what mix of vitamins work for you.

I have quit my refined sugar addiction – my blood sugar levels are now stable which means I don’t eat as much because I am not craving. I also feel more balanced emotionally. I replaced sugar with herbal tea and chia pudding (see bottom of page for the recipe)

I only drink one coffee a week and only drink alcohol occasionally.

I drink 2+ litres of water a day.

I only eat junk food occasionally and when I do I enjoy it rather than feeling guilty!

I keep a food journal and swap it with friends.

If I am sore or tired I do a guided relaxation instead of my yoga practise.

Epsom salt bath – I aim to have one a week to soak up some magnesium, soothe my muscles, rest and relax.

Sleep – 8+ hours a night an obvious one but so important if possible.

Mindfulness – instead of having my mind full of stuff I try to be mindful and present in moments.

I use my breath as a tool to help me stay balanced  and present throughout the day.

I have ‘liked’ lots of positive facebook pages so when I read my newsfeed every morning I am blasted with inspiring wisdom.

I think positive and trust in the perfection of moments.

I am lucky to have inspiring friends who do not drain me. There is an equal balance of give and take in our relationships and we catch up weekly.

I enjoy cuddles with my pets regularly and walk our dog every couple of days.

I take up every opportunity to have a laugh.

I get creative – think art therapy, it doesn’t matter what you do or how it looks it just matters how good you feel while to are doing it.

I spend time outside in nature.

I listen to music that makes me feel good.

I get monthly bowen therapy treatments.

I get acupuncture fortnightly.

I treat myself to facials.

I don’t take life too seriously and I say no!

I see the importance of every one of these things and stay motivated by how good I feel. A lot of us don’t realise how good our body is designed to feel!

This works for me it may not work for you.

Maybe you could write a list of the mix of things you do to keep happy and healthy so that you can see the importance in your life.

I felt inspired to write and teach about this a couple of months ago when I was having a bit of a flat week, my energy was low and my anxiety levels were high. I realised I hadn’t been taking my vitamins and had let a few little things slip like eating sugar again and drinking wine. This hit home for me the importance of all the little things we do to stay happy and healthy.

 

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CHOCOLATE CHIA PUDDING

4 tablespoons of Chia seeds

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2 cups of coconut milk

2 heaped teaspoons of vanilla paste

2 tablespoons of honey

Mix together and let set in the fridge for a couple of hours.

The chia seeds expand and soak up all the flavour.

I eat mine with berries.

You could substitute any milk you prefer.

You could experiment with different flavours if you like.

Add orange peel for Jaffa flavour or fresh mint for choc mint…

This tastes like a healthy version of snack pack.

ENJOY:)

My work, life, balance struggle story…

Welcome to my blog. I have so many ideas where do I start? What am I going to write about first? I am passionate about health and wellbeing especially work life balance so I’ll begin with my own work life balance story or should I say work life struggle story! I am very passionate about making work life balance a priority. I believe work life balance is an elusive constant juggle. I personally learnt the hard way about its importance.

I have creative blood running through my veins it goes back a few generations so I naturally studied clothing production and costume design and started my career as a freelance costume maker. I love working with colour, texture and pattern making it makes me come alive. After a couple of years of struggling as a young freelance artist and working in costume hire shops I landed a dream job. Every freelancer dreams of the day they don’t have to look for work where they could do what they they love everyday and I found exactly that.

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Practising yoga with a creature I just finished sewing.

I started working for a company that makes huge animatronic creatures for arena shows, I got to make a living being creative. I was sewing, sculpting, pattern making, gluing, painting etc everyday and loved it. When the shows we created hit the road I got to travel helping out on the productions, auditions, promotions, press and media events…. I ended up travelling all over Australia, all over America and to Japan. Lucky me!

Unfortunately my dream job came with a downside which lead to a HUGE life lesson for me. We worked 9.5 hours a day 5 days a week and I had a 2+ hour commute. This was challenging but I was really happy to push myself because I was living the dream having fun, loving what I was doing for a living. It was what I thought, a small price to pay for happiness. It was actually a huge price to pay in hindsight! I worked my butt off for 5 years fuelled by adrenaline, coffee, biscuits and wine at the end of the day.

A yoga tree and a tree I made.

A yoga tree and a tree I made.

Due to the nature of the work I was doing I often had sore wrists, arms, shoulders, neck and I was becoming very good at ignoring my body and the pain because it was not convenient. I became more and more of a day dreamer living in my head as my body was not comfortable. On the plus side I was turning to my yoga practise for comfort.

After a few years of this I decided that I loved yoga so much I would train to be a teacher in my spare time (ha ha spare time!) I thought I could study then eventually teach after work or on the weekends. I happily started my Dru yoga teacher training.

You might have guessed I am a little bit of an overachiever pushing myself to the limits always testing my boundaries with what I can get done. 3 years ago I remember making a work life balance chart colouring time blocks for work, sleep, travel, housework, study and it showed me I had 5 hours free time a week. I was so proud of all that I could fit in but what I didn’t realise is, this is not healthy it is destructive and not at all sustainable.

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man…. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

So I continued working 45+ hour weeks, driving 10+ hours a week and studying. My yoga training helped to  create a deep sense of body awareness for me this in turn made me face the fact that my pain levels were getting worse and possibly something was wrong. This was very hard to swallow as I needed my hands to work at my dream job.

I had to get a CT scan, MRI, bone scan, nerve conductive tests… Turns out I have bulging discs in my neck pushing on the nerves that run down through my shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers. I tried medication, hydrotherapy, pilates, physical therapy, massage, dry needles, ultrasound, nerve sliders to help ease the pain. I saw different doctors, physio’s, osteo’s, hand therapists, occupational therapists, a bowen therapist, a cognitive behavioural therapist. Most told me its not a good idea to keep working with my hands. I was shattered and this knocked the wind out of me completely. Not only was I in a lot of pain I had lost my career. Dream job #1 over.

Looking back this was my wake up call or as I call it the universe kicking me up the bum! Fortunately the universe looks after us and even though it was not pleasant I am grateful I was stopped in my tracks. I was not at all living the life of balanced bliss that I get glimpses of today.

This situation came with layer upon layer of sometimes painful and raw lessons which I believe have made me the person I am happy to be today. I also believe these lessons have helped me become the yoga teacher I am today. I did learn a lot about the body and pain. I learnt a lot about work life balance and the importance of rest. I learnt to trust that the universe does support you in every moment. I learnt that even though things may seem crappy that everything happens for a reason and to see perfection in every moment. I learnt that the body never lies and to listen and act when my body is in need. I learnt more about the medical world. I learnt that nature and animals are soothing for the soul. I have learnt that happiness is not necessarily fun and exciting but true lasting happiness is a more calm, balanced sense of contentment. I learnt the importance of gratitude. I learnt to ask for help. I learnt to not suffer in silence. I learnt I don’t always have the answers but this is ok. I learnt to ignore the mess at home. And a lot more things which I can not recall in this moment.

My experience has fuelled my passion for the health and wellbeing of others. I want people to see the significance and make changes before the universe gives them a kick up the bum. I love yoga because it transforms negative to positive, sad to happy, tired to full of energy, pain to relaxation, it takes my head from the clouds to my feet planted on the ground. The benefits I have experienced from a yoga practise are profound and I feel honoured to share this ancient art with others. Dream job #2 is made a reality. Lucky me!

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Whenever I think of work life balance the old mars bar jingle plays in my head – ‘a mars a day helps you work rest and play!’ Well on a serious note I think we are good at the work part, our survival mechanism fuels this as we need to work to eat to stay alive. I think we are good at the play bit as our hearts want us to have fun. The rest part we often fit in if there is time left. We need to see this rest part as a discipline rather than a luxury.

I will not lie I still struggle with reining myself in constantly. There is so much I want to do and experience and I am constantly having to say no to myself. My pain levels start to flare up every time I push myself too hard this is frustrating for me but I am grateful to have this inner radar! I aim to keep it real, by living from the heart and offering the best I can.

After reading this you may like to ponder your own work, life, struggle/ balance and ask yourself what needs improvement.

If it is rest you need more of you may be interested in attending my next ‘Follow your bliss’ sunday workshop where we will spend 3 hours restoring and soothing our body, mind, heart and soul. This will include some gentle flow yoga, some restorative yoga, 2x 20 minute guided relaxations, a light snack and even yoga in the beautiful garden if the weather permits. Click here for more details

I can not write about this experience without thanking my friends and family who help and support me unconditionally especially my love Blair who takes up the slack when my pain flare ups prevented me from doing everyday stuff. xo

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit … and you’re keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for Balance in your life.

How?

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.

Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find time. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings!

Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.

Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. 

Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way…

Brian G. Dyson CEO Coca-Cola Enterprises