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Yoga Lifestyle

A Real Yoga Challenge; Empathy, Compassion & (Healthy) Detachment

I met *Bryce about 20 or so years ago when I was working on an assignment for my university course about alcoholism. Sitting across the table from him at the Salvation Army in Surry Hills, it was easy to recall that I had seen him before, getting on the train at Town Hall Station. He was hard to miss, covered as he was in tattoos, mostly unprofessional, including a huge one scrawled across his neck that spelt out a girls’ name; *Jenny. As intimidating as he appeared, he came across as warm, gentle, affable and vulnerable. He told me that “Jenny” was the name of his young daughter, who was now in care. Her mother was still living the life of an addict but he had opted, a few years ago, to completely change things. One day, he simply woke up and decided to give up alcohol, cigarettes and heroin.

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Yoga, Pilates or Body Balance; What’s the Difference?

Sometimes there are questions about the differences between things like yoga and Pilates. Even yogasana-inspired, gym-based Body Balance is often purported to be yoga. Really though, this is like comparing apples with oranges since the true meaning of yoga has little to do with exercise and actually comes back to levels of consciousness and maintaining a healthy mind. How we actively observe our thoughts and ego during the practice of asana, plus our lifestyle and attitude generally – this is yoga.

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I Went on a REAL Holiday – Without My Kids!

Oh, and without my partner.

And you know what? I can thoroughly recommend it.

My boys arn’t babies anymore. The older one will be off to high school next year and the youngest just had his seventh birthday. Five years ago we were lucky enough to spend a month in Europe. We planned this on the basis of a cousin getting married and it seemed like a great way to catch up with the whole extended enormous Big Fat Greek lot of them all at once (I’m not kidding about the Greek part either, although the ethnicity side of things has been diluted somewhat these days). Anyhoo, my partner had some frequent flyers that had to be used but this also meant that some of our flight options were limited. After much mulling and Googling, we decided we would fly in to Frankfurt (not as popular as London), head from Germany to Luxembourg, catch the train from Luxembourg to Paris, fly from there to Exeter (Devon) in order to spend a week in Cornwall and then drive from Cornwall to London for the wedding and the remainder of our trip.

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When Feeling Funky Has Nothing to do With James Brown…

Have you ever woken up in the morning and for no reason that you can fathom, felt a little funky and blah?

This happened to me a few weeks ago and although I can’t put my finger on anything tangible – because nothing actually changed or happened to me personally, “funkyness”, like inexplicable, physical pain, can sometimes seem to come out of nowhere. It’s almost like that one tiny, extra grain of rice that somehow tipped the scales.

The feeling hasn’t entirely gone away, although it has ebbed and flowed and I am starting to feel clearer. I have, on and off, felt tired in my head, flat, sometimes foggy, a little tearful, anxious and easily irritated. It’s not serious, but something is amiss.

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Call Me a Party (Pie) Pooper But the Kids are NOT Alright…

My teacher was accompanying his four-year old daughter to a party when the birthday cake came out, an array of bright green, blue and other intense rainbow colours. Alarmed, he whispered to his daughter quietly that he had some organic mango in his pocket but he didn’t have enough for all the other children. How would she like to come and sit under the tree with him quietly and share it with him while they were busy? She loved mango, so willingly obliged. When they walked back to the group five or ten minutes later, the cake was gone. Mission accomplished.

However, the mother of the child whose birthday it was took umbrage and reacted angrily. She told my teacher he was cruel because, “it was only a “treat”. Cleverly, my teacher responded by suggesting that in maybe 10 years time, when the kids were around 14 or 15, perhaps they would have another party where he might offer the same kids some illegal drugs. After all he said, I could argue the same thing and say ” but It doesn’t happen all the time, it’s just a treat!”.

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The Vital Energy of Master Yang!

On the weekend of 7/8 February, a medium-sized group of natural health seekers came together to find out what they could do to improve their health and happiness. They wanted to understand in simple terms how best to prevent the onset of annoying pain conditions, injuries and chronic illnesses from arising during the course of their lives.

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As Always, New Adventures Beckon – How Will You SPEND it in 2015?

Happy 2015 everyone and welcome to the next phase of life! The school holidays have gone very quickly – right now, there is only a week or so to go. Then it will be time to make time and begin the process of moving towards some of the goals many of us have put into place for this year. Personally, I am very excited to be able to share my completely overhauled website and logo with you. This beautifully designed and fresh looking site was put together by my friend and fellow yogini, Jennine Rouget of Peach Creative. Many of the gorgeous images were taken by Sophie-Elinor Brown, my partner, Nev Jones, Sally Dunwell (of Sally Dunwell Photography) with the not-quite-so-special probably snapped by Yours Truly!

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We Were Meant to Ferment!

Yoga and ayurveda are ancient holistic health sciences. Although we don’t know exactly how old, there is some evidence suggesting things go as far back as 5000 years. The reason it is all still relevant is because what these ancients appeared to know was amazing. Ayurveda and yogic science have always maintained that every illness was an issue that had the guts at its source. And finally, (yet) slowly it seems, some of those involved in modern medicine are getting it.

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What do Physical Postures (Asanas) Have to do With Daily Life or Yoga?

Yoga is far more than just physical postures, but, generally, when we attend a yoga class, that is what we expect to learn and participate in. Yoga philosophy classes, while esoterically interesting, will never appeal to the majority of people who, at least initially, come to class for a bit of a work out. But, while the yoga purists might tut tut and mutter under their breath that asanas are virtually irrelevant, I absolutely beg to differ. Here are some of the reasons why:

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What is TAPAS?

I love tapas – and not just the delicious mini-meals you share with friends and family as part of a traditional Spanish-type dining experience – but the tapas that relates to yoga.

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