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My honeymoon reading list

My honeymoon reading list

Posted July 16, 2014

If you are anything like me you might spend a considerable chunk of your free time devouring books. Especially those of the spiritual, self-enquiry, yogic, personal development and mind-body-soul variety. Growing up I used to read around three books a week. Yep, three. Maybe that’s not so many to you, but now with the way life is I see that as such a lovely luxury. I used to pour myself into the written word and get lost in the stories. I truly believe that reading feeds our soul – it blows our imagination wide open and expands our mental, emotional and even physical realm. Possibilities unfold, new ideas, different belief systems, or even simply the beauty of experiencing emotions of every colour. I feel like reading has made me a more worldly, compassionate and educated woman. But recently, I found reading had become a little heavy. My ability to soak up a book and its potent knowledge was losing steam. The reason? Well, it had become clear that I was no longer reading for the joy of it, but reading to study.  My personal studies – in Wellness, Spirituality and Personal Development – over the years has directed me to many incredible non-fiction books. And I’m so grateful for every lesson and teacher I’ve had the pleasure of learning from in each of those books. I know I’ll also return to these books and more over and over again. But you know what, just a couple of months back my mind wanted a break from learning. It yearned for that ‘get lost in a good book’ feeling that I hadn’t experienced in so long. Which is why on our honeymoon in June I made a conscious choice to read as many fiction books as I could. And god it was good. Not each book I read was earth-shattering or mind-blowing but I wasn’t looking for that. I simply wanted to get lost in a story. Like you do when you watch a movie. So today let me share with you the books I read on that three week holiday. Maybe there is something here that might satisfy your craving for ‘story-time’. 1) Six Years – Harlan Coben This was actually my husband’s book that I read when I’d run out of things to read! It was insanely easy to read, I think I finished it in 12 hours. But it was an interesting enough story with some drama and intrigue. 2) Awaken you inner wisdom – Sister Jayanti Ok, so not really ‘fiction’ but I had packed it by accident and it was super thin. It’s a simply written book with some powerful tips on wisdom, intuition and meditation. 3) The Art of Hearing Heartbeats – Jan-Phillip Sendker By far my favourite read. This was such a beautiful story of love. It was moving and inspiring. Spun together with words of wisdom, I would highly recommend this one. 4) The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern Well, this was such a colourful, painterly story. Captivating and down-right magical. A circus like no other. Intriguing is an understatement. 5) The Signature of All Things – Elizabeth Gilbert Having only read Elizabeth’s Eat Pray Love + Committed I was keen to read something else to see how she does on the fiction front. I also had the pleasure of hearing Elizabeth Gilbert speak at an event in Sydney where she talked about this book. It is a mammoth book. Very detailed – she is so thorough in her descriptions and details. And despite this story being centered around one woman, her life and botany I still found it lovely to get into this story. ++ Now, if you would be so kind. Help a sister out? Jump into the comments below and share with me your favourite reads at the moment. Fiction, non-fiction, whatever! I’d like some new words to dive into. I can’t wait to read your suggestions. Love + light, Claire x Read more

Interview Series: Living Yoga off the mat with Kosta Miachin

Interview Series: Living Yoga off the mat with Kosta Miachin

Posted July 11, 2014

This blog series is a reflection of how incredible yogis are taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga off the mat and into their world. Today we have Konstantin ‘Kosta’ Miachin, of Vikasa Yoga. I was lucky enough to stay at the Vikasa Yoga Retreat and met Kosta, The founder of Vikasa Yoga. Kosta’s passion for yoga blossomed in 2004 when he set out on his own journey of self-discovery. This journey has taken him to the far reaches of the world, from remote Himalayan ashrams, to his initiation by a master monk in a sacred Sak-Yant ceremony in the North East of Thailand. Kosta is a certified yoga instructor with four different schools: Yoga 23 (Ukraine), Sivananda (India), Ashtanga Vinyasa (Thailand) and Andiappan Yoga (Hong Kong) and maintains close ties to many other yoga schools around the world. ++ Finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… ongoing, and ever evolving. Seems like the more I know, the more horizons open up that were hidden before. To me, yoga means…. evolution, creativity, understanding and wisdom, all leading to enlightenment through practice. The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was…when I experienced the energy of kundalini awakening, and realizing that that is only the beginning of spiritual practice. Many realizations happened at once when this happened. Many mysteries and doubts dissolved, and a lot of things became very clear… I can say that was a spiritual awakening… It changed my understanding of practice greatly. Quick Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? They are countless… a really big one is not taking things personally… people act the way they act because they are who they are, they do things because they want to do them, not because they are trying to affect you in a certain way (most of the times). Therefore, a big lesson is to learn to accept the reality the way it is, and stay neutral and conscious all the time. Neither me, nor anyone else is the center of the universe, it does not revolve around any of us – realizing that makes life much easier. Why are these important to you? If I don’t follow this simple wisdom I will simply burn out during the teacher trainings. On average we have 35 people, who are all going through heavy emotional cleansing, and of course I am at the center of it all. Therefore if I start taking it personally, a burnout is guaranteed. Every teacher training I learn a lot from this, and this is also a very good practice for me and for keeping the ego under control. It helps me evolve in so many ways. What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why? I’d have to say I can summarize all the Yamas (yogic principles) in one sentence – treat others the way you want to be treated yourself… And treat yourself the same way first. Do what’s good for you instead of judging yourself. (that would summarize Niyamas) Those are so simple to think about, but sometimes hard to follow What does ‘Living Your Yoga’ mean to you? Actually, one of my favorite sayings is: You cannot do yoga, yoga is your natural state… what you can do is yoga exercises, which will reveal to you where you are resisting that state. Therefore, living my life means living my yoga to me… Realizing that you are already one… Once you realize, that realization is not going anywhere, it stays permanently, and then you are living your yoga… BIO: Konstantin ‘Kosta’ Miachin and his pioneering brand of yoga called Vikasa, represent the ‘evolution of yoga’. His vision is one of raising human consciousness and making the world a better place by spreading the message of love and peace. This mighty task is being accomplished at Vikasa yoga retreat by focusing on the study of yoga with an emphasis on holistic health, organic food and an inspiring environment that is conducive to personal transformation. The vision for Vikasa yoga was born on Koh Samui with Kosta’s realization that the deeper dimension of yoga is a spiritual journey and a conscious evolution of the individual. Seeing this as the ultimate human endeavour, he committed his life to supporting others on this path. Connect with Costa / Facebook / Website Featured Image by Kevin Wrenn Photography ++ I love that I was able to share Kosta with you and his beautiful way of living yoga. I love his perspective and I especially love this comment that we should treat others the way we want to be treated. SPOT ON. I dig that he’s a guy and highlights that yoga is NOT just for women. It’s for every soul out there whether they are black, white, male, female, gay, straight etc… It’s unifying. Ok my gorgeous readers, your turn. Let’s give Kosta some love in the comments below! Love + light, Claire x Read more

Interview Series: Living Yoga off the Mat with Rowena Jayne

Interview Series: Living Yoga off the Mat with Rowena Jayne

Posted July 01, 2014

This blog series is a reflection of how incredible yogis are taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga off the mat and into their world. Rowena Jayne is a leading international Yoga Instructor, Advanced Raw Food Chef and Wellness Presenter. She is a qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist and has studied Ayurvedic Medicine, Remedial Massage, Raw food Nutrition, Usui reiki and various other modalities. Anyone who has crossed paths with Rowena can’t help but be infected by her bubbly personality and her great passion for health and wellness. Rowena continues to be inspired by the amazing potential we individually have. It is her personal mission to uplift YOU and make an outstanding contribution to the enhancement and transformation to YOUR LIFE through yoga, real food and healthy living. Finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… The best part of my day! It is the best time to really go deep and connect to myself, listen to my body and soul and what it is trying to tell me. The yoga asanas are a direct reflection of US.. the postures mirror our current state of mind and physical health. Yoga is a diagnostic tool , then the postures are the therapy. So yoga practice is my daily dose of medicine and self love! To me, yoga means…. Union of EVERYTHING.. when we do yoga, we become yoga. We begin to create a synergy with our mind, body, heart, soul. We create a better relationship with ourselves.. That relationship spreads and we begin to create better relationships with everthing and everybody. We see the connection we all have to each other, to nature. we begin to live more in harmony. Yoga is the tool to reach self awareness, self realisation. Our true human potential often lays dormant. When we create unity, harmony and oneness – we begin to see this potential. We begin to change our outer world, to meet our new inner world. To me yoga is life.. it exists everywhere, not just in asana. My experience of the mat has… changed my life forever. It has taught me I am a human being worthy of joy, love, health and the best quality of life possible.. It has taught me that all I have to do is turn up. Show up, trust the process and the rest will take place in divine timing. The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was….. (tell me what it was, what you learnt, how it changed you). There are so many, numerous revelations, numerous realisations and epiphanies of truth of my being. One huge shift was one of reactiveness. Learning not to be reactive. To stop and breathe.. How interrelated the breath is to our emotions. When we are angry, our breathing changes, when we are fearful it changes, when we are calm it changes.. so if the body and mind are connected.. then if we alter our breath and consciously breathe, then we can begin to shift the thought patterns and emotions that follow. Yoga improves and develops the five qualities of the mind. Faith is one such quality. When we breathe instead of react… we are indeed expressing the quality of faith.. when we have faith in ourselves. We can remain calm, things don’t have to steal our peace. We can be ok no matter what is taking place in our lives and move through it! Quick Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? So many lessons. Its an evolution, so like the ebb and flow of the universe, the tides, the moon rising and then the sun setting, then rising, the change of the seasons.. we are the microcosm of the macrocosm.. so the lessons I find relate to what is poignant to my current situation. If I have to pin it down. I carry the lesson that my body is a temple. If I treat it as one, I enjoy living in it! When I do yoga, I clean my temple, I sweep it will love, purify the negative thoughts, toxins etc then throughout the rest of my day I feel a joy at the home in which my soul has chosen to live for this lifetime. I want to respect it. I want to nurture it more and more. I want to be Grateful for it is the embodiment of me and of the intelligence of our creator.  I carry the lesson also that many people are unhappy. That everything is a ripple effect. When I do yoga, I feel GREAT.. I feel alive, happy, excited. I carry the lesson that others, who are suffering (where I used to be!) can be led and inspired by me. I have the potential to help them. When others are upset, angry, fearful and attack you, I am able to remember that they are just unhappy and I can stoop to a level of reactiveness and retaliation and defensiveness, or DO YOGA.. and embody yoga and do my best to bring a little bit of joy into their lives. Why are these important to you? Because if we don’t take care of ourselves, we literally CANNOT live our truest highest potential. When we feel horrible, we project that unhappiness and treat others in this manner. We don’t feel confident, we lack self realisation, we allow the mind to become destructive. The ego to rule. On the flip side, when we carry these lessons the yoga teaches us. we turn our lives around. As we do, others witness this and want to know the secret, want to follow. We create a better world for us all to live in. We witness miracles and the BEST side of human beings! We feel inspired, motivated and so grateful to be alive. We grow, we live.. we truly live! What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why? I guess the integration of all the principles really I have translated. There is no segregation. Like an onion, we peel away […] Read more

Claire Obeid

Hello there, I’m Claire

What am I about? Oh-so-much. A soul-centered and heart-driven life. Inside-out wellness. Shadow work (from the darkness comes the light!) Truth-seeking. Leaning into the joy of life.

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