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Category: Health + Wellness


10 Steps to Eat Better at Work

10 Steps to Eat Better at Work

Posted June 24, 2014

Hands up if you have made crappy choices for lunch (and even breakfast) with the poor excuse of ‘I was at work’. ‘I was on the road’. ‘I was too busy’.   Yeah, I said it. They are poor excuses. But I get it, nonetheless. I know what it’s like – life seems hectic and overwhelming as it is without having to worry or think about what you are going to eat.   We all know that at work you need to be on you’re a-game, right? I know I do at least. Many of us work with clients, seeing people all day, liaising with customers, managing team. We need to be switched on, energetic, focused.   Not to mention that your health SHOULD NOT suffer because you work full time.   Never fear, I have a little trick for you. And before becoming a home-based entrepreneur this is exactly what I would do weekly. Yep, I am sharing with you a tried and tested way to eat better at work.   10 Steps to Eat Better at Work 1)    Identify a time during the week where you can get into the kitchen for 2-3 hours. Perhaps a Sunday afternoon? That was my favourite time. 2)    Brainstorm a list of recipes. Food you love, food that you want to (and can) make, eat and enjoy. Recipes that are flavoursome, healthy and easy to store (freezer or fridge). Come up with 3-4 ideas max. (Don’t overwhelm yourself) 3)    Book out the selected time with your family/flat-mate. Let them know what they are doing and get their support. There is nothing worse than cooking up a storm in the kitchen whilst your kids are climbing over your legs or your husband is coming in asking for a snack. 4)    Of course, shop. Seriously – get the groceries sorted in advance and if you are super pressed for time shop online babe! Get an organic veggie box delivered or order from your favourite super market and get it delivered. 5)    Make your cooking space sacred. Light a candle, play your favourite music, make the space clean and tidy. Get a new apron. Ritual is important, especially when you are cooking and getting creative in the kitchen 6)    Start cooking! Cook up a storm. Multi-task where you can. Go for BIG batches and work in an organized manner. Keep a pot of tea on the go to keep your alert and refreshed. 7)    Clear space in your freezer/fridge. Start portioning off your meals in lovely containers (if you like buy a new set that you dig so you feel spesh with your food) 8)    Label your stuff. Maybe you made extra for your kids, for dinners, for your partner etc. 9)    Take out your meal from the freezer the night before or the morning of. 10) Do this weekly. You’ll never have to eat that white bread sandwich drenched in mayo again. You’ll have enviable lunches that make you feel amazing AND you’ll save a lot of time and frustration figuring out what and where to eat (especially if your work requires you to be on the road all the time!)   BONUS TIP: You can do the same for breakfast! Making egg muffins, pre-made bircher, or packing a little lunch bag with your favourite healthy bread +avocado to take to work. Getting healthy is about getting organized. Take out the confusion and room for error.   Be consistent and be willing to do what you need to do. Eating well is only difficult when you make the choice to NOT eat well.     Your turn: Do you have any tips for getting organized that you can share? Love + light, Claire xx Read more

Travel essentials + the things I’m loving

Travel essentials + the things I’m loving

Posted June 06, 2014

I’m packing my bags today. I’m off to Thailand for three weeks tomorrow with my husband for our belated honeymoon. I can almost feel the deep relaxation in my body already. I cannot wait! But of course, before we get there we’ve got the day of travel. I don’t really mind travel as long as I’m prepared. I’ve just whipped up a quick VLOG to share with you my travel essentials for the trip. I have a heap of other travel essentials for the trip but that would take another 10 minutes to explain. So today I’m just sharing what I’m taking on the plane. And because I like to multi-task I’m also sharing with you some of the things I’m LOVING at the moment! CLICK PLAY TO WATCH THE VIDEO: In my travel kit: Earplugs Eyemask Headphones Journal iPad Essentials Oils: Lavender + ‘Ezi-Breathe’ (Blend of peppermint, tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus) Water bottle Here are the brands and products that I mentioned: The Seventh Duchess Slim Bliss H2Coco Kosmea Eat Fit Food ++ And I’m off! Stay tuned on the blog – there will be a few really useful posts going live and I might just do some beach-side blogging. (No promises!) Love + light, Claire xx P.s Don’t forget –  you still have around 10 days to sign-up for the FREE 21 Day Meditation Project. Click HERE to get involved. Read more

How to overcome sadness + a powerful practice to support you

How to overcome sadness + a powerful practice to support you

Posted June 05, 2014

How to overcome sadness… This is a question I get asked at least once a week, maybe more. And I have an answer for you that you might not necessarily like, at first, but it’s a way forward that I truly believe in (and a ‘way’ that I harness for myself). “What you resist persists” Have you heard that phrase before? When it comes to sadness – or any other ‘negative’ emotion you might be experiencing – the truth is if you resist it, it will persist. Incessantly. The emotions that you so desperately want to be free of will find a way to become overwhelming in their presence in your heart, mind and body. You’ll almost be able to taste the metallic, heaviness of sadness in your mouth. Ironically, I’ve used the word ‘overcome’ in this blog title, but the mere fact that many of us want to overcome the sadness we are feeling, (or even anger, frustration, disappointment) is a clear indication that we might be coming at this the wrong way. To overcome something means to prevail over it. To defeat and beat it. To overpower it. The energy of force and control leads the way. It is that ‘attack and conquer’ approach – the attitude of winning. But let’s think of it this way. You are a multi-dimensional being. Made up of energy, body, soul, thought and every colourful emotion in between. All light and dark lives within you. Which means if we have the capability to experience and feel joy and happiness, we also have the capability to experience fear and sadness. Of and from ourselves. The emotions you feel (including your ego) are not some acquired disease you picked up along the way – not something you were dumped with, despite our protests. The feelings of sadness are from you, for you, of you. They are there for a reason. The reason for your sadness Your sadness, your anger, every emotion can be seen as your biggest teachers – if you are willing to open your mind and heart to the lessons within in. I don’t know about you, but the biggest moments of growth I’ve every experienced are when I’m in deep in it – weighed down by the grayness of the emotions I don’t want to feel. In the past, sadness was a close ‘frenemy’. It would often show up unannounced, but when it would it’d feel familiar, normal. Like an old friend. Yet just as quickly as I felt that, I would go into resistance – battling and holding fort against the attack and onslaught of these emotions. I would armour up for the fight by pretending I wasn’t feeling sad (ignoring the emotion) or over-dramatising what I was feeling (putting my attention on the external) or compensating by filling myself up with toxins or distracting myself to suppress the emotions (food, drugs, alcohol, excessive shopping and spending). At first I was never willing to learn from it. I didn’t see any other way. I couldn’t see that each heavier emotion was a teacher, cloaked in darkness and all I had to do was shine a spotlight on that darkness. Shine a spotlight on your sadness Sadness and every other emotion doesn’t need to be conquered and defeated. They simply need to be lit up. These emotions needs to be experienced. Felt. Honoured. Have you ever tried to BE with your sadness? Go to the centre of your sadness and you will find the truth of what and why you are feeling. You will see the way forward; you will gain clarity and awareness. Go to the centre – this is how you overcome your sadness. You’ll be surprised to discover the dissipation and dissolution of that sadness happens without you ‘doing’ or fighting anything. But moreso than moving through or clearing that sadness, the real beauty is in the evolution and growth you experience, not despite or in spite of that sadness, but BECAUSE of that sadness. Some of my greatest moments have brought to my knees. Literally. Sobbing; crumpled on the floor. Sadness and despair coursing through my blood. These moments are the times I have felt most alive – the touch of these feelings has hand-delivered to me solid nuggets of truth that I’m not sure I would’ve ever gained if it weren’t for the sadness. ++ How to overcome your sadness with a simple practice The practice of sitting with, acknowledging and connecting to the feeling of your sadness will offer up far greater shifts and potent realisations than resistance, control and attack. When it comes to ‘feeling’ many of us struggle with this. We are so in our head – so identified with our thinking space – that feeling feels foreign. So instead I invite you to connect with your body. Your body never lies. Your body is constantly feeling – sensing energy, responding to touch, pain, pleasure. Your body is your instrument for sensory, physical feelings. ++ Here’s a simple practice I learned many years ago from Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now that teaches you to feel your emotions and be with them by feeling and being with your body. Take a few moments of stillness and quiet. Allow yourself to tune into your breath – notice the rhythmic tidal wave of your breath. Bring your attention to different areas of body, one by one. Your head, neck, shoulders and back. Your hands, arms, chest and rib cage. Your belly, hips and buttocks. Your thighs, knees and shins. Your calves, ankles and feet. Spent a few moments bringing your full attention to each area. Sense the energy of that area before moving on. Flow from the top of your head down to your feet and then back again to your head. You don’t need to ‘focus’ on your sadness or any other emotion whilst doing this. As you bringing your full attention – shining a spotlight onto your body – your emotions will show up […] Read more

Daily meditation: Your personal silent retreat

Daily meditation: Your personal silent retreat

Posted May 27, 2014

Have you ever been on a silent retreat? Have you spent time in the gentle embrace of stillness and quietude? There is nothing quite like the ‘hush’ that settles in your heart, your mind, your whole being when you take yourself out of your normal life and retreat into silence. Truth be told, it can be very confronting at first, but it doesn’t take long before your presence within the silence starts to feel like a homecoming. It becomes so natural; tuning into your inner voice is free of the usual static (monkey mind, ego-chatter, negative self-talk), which usually suffocates the truth that is trying to pour forth. Clarity and connection with yourself, hearing your soul-speak and flowing through life feels effortless. You are forgiven, at this point, for thinking this post today is about attending a silent retreat. And honestly, I’m ok with that being your take-away today, (if you’ve yet to attend one, you should!) but I’m actually talking about a silent retreat of a different kind – the kind that doesn’t cost anything. The kind that is available to you, ready to welcome you, at any time or day. The kind that involves only three things: You, a chair and 10 minutes. Meditation: your daily, silent retreat. When we retreat from the external world, and we are willing to enter a state of silence (a calm mind, a quiet heart) we are ultimately entering our inner world – we are moving inwards and entering our soul’s space. We are communing with our highest self where all the truth, love, joy, insight and wisdom we crave resides. The message in a nutshell: ‘Silence is Golden’ And coming up, very soon, I’m inviting you to join for the 3 weeks of meditation. 3 weeks of your own personal silent retreat. (More info below!) When I think about meditation there are always three words (amongst many) that stand out and shine. These three words truly, to me, encapsulate the reasons why I and so many others are devoted to meditation. Stillness…Clarity…Connection (also the name of my new Meditation Album!) Each of these words embodies the peace and surrender that meditation – your silent retreat – is, and so much more: Stillness: by pressing pause, quieting the mind and body, serenity, peace. Feeling soft in the silence. Letting the sounds and distractions of the world fall away. Clarity: flashes of insight, a direct line to your intuition, inner wisdom speaking out, brightening the truth, Light-bulb moments. Understanding, gratitude, forgiveness, compassion. Connection: in mind, body and soul, heart-to-heart, love over fear, cultivating a relationship with spirit, leading with soul, feeling instead of thinking. Being instead of doing. ++ Each day, whether I feel exhausted, on edge, overwhelmed, stressed, over-joyed, exhilarated, calm, content, ecstatic (insert any/all feelings here!) meditation is my daily, devoted silent retreat from the world – it is a return back to me. It never fails to give me what I need in that moment. It might not bring me a state of serenity, but this daily retreat might just offer me up a gentle slap or a lesson learned. All nudge me along the path of evolution. If you haven’t yet committed to your own daily, silent retreat – if meditation is still on your to-do list – then I have something just for you. The 21 Day Meditation Project: 3 weeks of guided meditation is opening again, for free, on June 2nd. Everyday you’ll receive a 10-15 minute guided meditation from myself or from one of the 10 experts who have shared their beautiful, inspiring and love-soaked meditations. We all want you to experience the power and joy from a daily retreat into silence. This is for you – whether you joined us in March for the first round, meditation regularly already or believe meditation is just not possible for you. I want this for you. In fact the flood of feedback and sharing from the first round blew my mind – hearing about people meditating together in hospital, or groups of teenage girls in high school and even retired women meditating for the first time warms my heart from the inside out. If you are ready to retreat into yourself, if you are ready for Stillness, Clarity and Connection then babe, you are ready to meditate. If you are in here’s what I’d love for you to do. Jump on my mailing list now. (Sign up details to join the 21 Day Meditation Project will be sent out to this list) Pencil it in your diary – June 2nd, 2014. Share this with your friends – perhaps consider creating a team of meditators to keep you on track and to share your journey (your silent retreat) with. Create a sacred space at home – a special chair by the window, a cushion in the corner of your living space, an altar and candles in your favourite spot. Set the intention and commitment to your daily silent retreat. ++ I want to hear from you, now: Did you join the last round of the 21 Day Meditation Project? Share your experience and feedback below! If you’ve yet to experience meditation share with me your thoughts – are you keen, nervous, excited, disbelieving? Love + light, Claire x Read more

Attention all the busy people: busy isn’t best!

Attention all the busy people: busy isn’t best!

Posted May 20, 2014

It’s time to stop glorifying busy. Yep, I’m talking to all the busy people, out there. And if you are reading this then I’m going to bet you’re a full time member of ‘the busy people club’. Full disclosure; I’m right in there with you. Oh yeah babe. Me and busy, we go waaaay back. Although I’m still in the club, these days I’m hanging out on the periphery. One foot in ‘busy’ the other is dipping its big toe into the pool of nothingness. And I’m getting so much better at planting both feet in the delicious space of a slower pace. Most of April this year I spent doing a whole lot of nothing (does staring at the ceiling, or at my feet, as I lay on the floor count?) But, mostly, I love me some busy. I savour prolificacy; I desire a fertile life; rich and multi-layered. I get drunk on productivity. I get off on systems that organize and make life easier. Ticking things off a list makes me buzz. I feel high when I’m engaged with everything that makes my heart sing. And in contrast, when I’ve felt the opposite it can often bring me down. It’s as if the shine of life is just a little duller. So I’m not here finger pointing and judging your ‘busy-ness’. Many of you, like me, enjoy a full life. But I want to look under the cover of ‘busy’ and expose the truth that is often lurking within the shadows and in the corners of every experience, situation, conversation, task, appointment, project and ‘thing-to-do’. This is not just about being busy at work or as a parent; this is about the epidemic of a busy life. What’s being busy really about? We live in a culture that glorifies busy because we’ve been led to believe that the more we do equates to feeling more whole, satisfied and worthy. It is a signal to the world that we matter, that our place (our role, job etc) is needed and that we are needed. That we are important and valuable. It’s as if busy-ness gives significance to our lives – that getting a lot of shit done indicates achievement and accomplishment – two attitudes within the arsenal of your Ego (and which drive you to look for satisfaction and sense of worthiness in your external world!) I know I’m not the only one that thinks this sounds ridiculous, right? Read that paragraph again – many of us get our sense of value, importance and worthiness from doing too much. Hmmm… aren’t we already valuable, important and worthy whether we ‘do’ something or not? Just the other day I was talking to a girlfriend who frequently often pulls off Superwoman stunts – opening studios in multiple states at the same time, being a wife and mother and doing so much more. When I commented on her incredible feats of creation she said “I’m not superwoman, I’m super-dumb!” Of course I don’t agree with her, (and still don’t) she’s doing what she does very well. But I can see what she meant… busy isn’t always best, busy isn’t always smart! Why? Well look at it this way – the busier we are the less time we have to be present, to connect with our true selves and to live aligned with our core desired feelings. Does she always feel the way she wants to feel, no. Do I? No. And usually, it’s because we fill our plates. Yes, busy gets stuff done, busy is needed at certain times, but often we stubbornly stay in ‘the busy people club’ even when its clear that it’s time to cancel our membership. Busy is depleting. Sapping. Soul exhausting. Have you ever noticed when you’ve just completed a big project or ticked something major off your ‘life-list’ and one of the very first questions you get asked is: “What’s next?”… Instead of celebrating the pause between a busy time, and post-creation, we are encouraged to hunt for the next hit like a crack addict. Why your soul doesn’t always dig busy! Following your purpose is the meaning to your life – when we are living from and aligned with our soul that ecstatically momentous and damn satisfying. But here’s the difference – your soul purpose probably doesn’t have anything to do with juggling a never-ending to-do list, 5 different (self-inflicted) roles and a bitter collection of obligations to feel purposeful. Maybe your soul feels satisfied simply when you (the human you) lives and leads from soul. What’s that look like? Connecting to your truth, listening to your heart, being present with your inner and higher self, navigating through life from intuition instead of intellect. Sometimes that means you aren’t working on something 6 months ahead. Or that you aren’t planning for anything. Or that your week’s schedule is bare and you have ‘no commitments’. Maybe, even, you are just living spontaneously, intuitively and one day at time. Sometimes when we connect with our soul we hear: Ease up. Slow down. Do less. Be here. Feel more. Listen in. Switch off Busy isn’t best: stop glorifying busy! If you are ready to live within a different energy – if you want to hold space for your soul to shine – then perhaps it’s time to dial back on the role that ‘busy’ plays in your life. Here are a few questions for you to reflect on: 1) Look at your life objectively; How much time do you carve for ‘nothing’ > being alone, living an unplanned life, clearing your diary? 2) Do you wear ‘busy’ as a badge of honour > do you feel satisfied and ‘worthy’ when you get a lot of stuff done or when your diary is full? 3) Do you use ‘busy-ness’ as a shield > from yourself/your soul or from connecting on a real level with others 4) Do you think busy is the only way? > Could you approach life […] Read more

Winter wellness: 7 ways to love winter more

Winter wellness: 7 ways to love winter more

Posted May 15, 2014

As I write this, for the first time this year, I can feel the chilly breath of winter – sneaking its way in to my home, life, body. It’s technically still Autumn,  but it’s a-coming! Loving winter is not something that comes easily to me. In fact, it’s taken me years to appreciate the winter season. It’s not a tough ask to fall in love with Spring, Summer and Autumn – these seasons deliver up an an easy hit of love. But poor old winter barely gets a tenth of that love. It’s harder work to savor winter … and surprisingly also well worth it. I’ve found a few ways over the last few years to really embrace the beauty of and love winter more. Winter wellness is not only about eating well and staying motivated, but it’s about squeezing the life out of winter – really tapping into what winter is good for and how to work with it, not against it. 7 Ways to love winter more 1. Devour more books Over the summer (and even into Autumn) I find it so much harder to read books. And by read I mean devour. I love to read, alot. I’m happiest when I get through at least 2 books a week. Winter is a time for that. So I stock pile in advance. I love curling up on the end of my bed in a patch of winter sunshine and getting lost in the written word 2. Study more. With the online world a hub of ecourses, ebooks, audiobooks – there is so much to dive into. Whether you need to refine your business skills, take a wellness program, do some self-enquiry, an art course, a personal transformation course – do something you’ve always intended on doing over winter 3. Get cooking. With all the extra time out of the cold and spent indoors I love to take the time to experiment and find new recipes to add to my repetoire. Sunday afternoon baking (and eating) brings a smile on my face – even just writing those words. 4. Move your body in a different way. If you are normally an outdoor runner, walker or anything else really but you struggle to get up and out in the cold, use winter as a change to mix things up. Join a yoga studio and go to classes. Sign-up to an online yoga/pilates website and take classes from your own home. Join a new gym. Go to weekly rock-climbing or trapeze classes. Use winter as a chance to change things up for your body, and your mind. 5. Permission to sleep-in Ok, when I say sleep-in I still mean rise with the sun, but allow that natural urge to hibernate get some air time. If you normally rise between 5 and 5:30am (like I do, then push it back a little on the days you need to, and rise with war, sun. Maybe on the weekends sleep in till 7. It’s our bodies natural desire to rest and hibernate in winter (although there is a fine line between resting and slacking off completely) 6. Pack your bags and travel Break up the cold with a little weekend away to somewhere warmer. Get some Vitamin D, reboot and you’ll sail through to spring. Start a meditation practice. With all that time spent in doors why not get a meditation practice going. You can learn from a teacher or better still get a collection of guided meditations to listen to you. You can check out my digital meditation album here. *NEWSFLASH: The hugely popular 21 Day Meditation Project is kicking off again in June. Jump on my mailing list below to be informed as soon as it opens again!* And…Just because I love you, here are four bonus winter wellness tips. Look after your skin. Switch your skincare regime to a more hydrating product. Exfoliate regularly. Hot water, cold air, heaters… they dehydrate the body. Eat more soups, stews and warmly spiced foods. Be kind to your digestive system and give it lots of warming, nourishing foods. Winter is the Vata and Kapha season – and these energy types need good old fashioned winter food. Get outside into the winter sunshine. Vitamin D deficiency is an issue, especially over winter. So sit outside, in the midday sun during winter without sun protection (yes, shock horror) for 20 minutes and soak up those rays of goodness. Luxuriate in long soaks in the bath tub. Candles. Bubbles. A good book. Not so easy in the stinking humidity of summer… perfect for the cool nights of winter. Your turn: Do you have any winter wellness tips of your own? Care to share? I’d love to hear from you – comment below! love + light, Claire x Read more

Finding your soul purpose: Interview with Belinda Davidson

Finding your soul purpose: Interview with Belinda Davidson

Posted May 08, 2014

Right now I’m in such a delicious space… I’m learning more about myself on an energetic level and I’m peeling off layers of ego and unnecessary emotional junk. Not to mention the deep healing that is taking place through the work I’m doing with my chakras. And all of this work is leading me into a deeper, more profound unraveling of the self. I am more willing and ready, than I have ever been, to connect to my purpose on a soul level. I want to live, aligned with and from my soul. The incredible Belinda Davidson, who is one of my (soul) mentors, is the incredible woman supporting and guiding me (and many others) through this journey. Her words of wisdom, her insight (as a genuine psychic, she can really ‘see’) and her straight-talking energy ensures that everything she teaches get right down to the core of you. Your soul. And when it comes to the soul, to finding your purpose and living authentically from that truth, Belinda’s perspective and methods  – strengthening your chakras, practicing mindfulness, unraveling the ego and healing with white light – not only make sense but they work in the most direct manner. Which is why I’m so thrilled to share this incredible interview I did with Belinda on finding your soul purpose and living an authentic life. I resonate so strongly with her insights and knowledge and I know that her perspective will really open your heart and mind. Understanding the journey to your soul purpose through the lens of ego, mindfulness, authenticity and the chakra system is so refreshing, life-changing and comforting. We don’t have to struggle, fight and push our way through life and to find and live from joy. Yes, we must do the hard work and sometimes it’s dirty, but it’s not a futile mission. It will bear fruit. ::::::: CLICK BELOW TO PLAY https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/79968734/Belinda%20Jean%20Davidson%20on%202014-04-25%20at%2012.31.mp3 RIGHT CLICK HERE DOWNLOAD + SAVE In this interview we discuss: Our built-in soul purpose How our purpose is part of what we are meant to do. The ego + how it attaches to the idea of purpose Getting caught up in the desire for a BIG + extraordinary purpose How the chakras, our energy anatomy, plays a vital role in finding our soul purpose Authenticity is living from your soul purpose What being inauthentic is about How our ‘needs‘ can be inauthentic Growing and learning from the ego Doing the hard work is actually joyful! The key to finding your purpose Why meditation is something you have to do! ::::::: Your turn: comment below What is one key take away you received from this interview with Belinda? How do you feel about Soul Purpose + Authenticity? Send Belinda some love! UPDATE: Good news for you. Belinda is running her SoMM Level 1 course again on September 29th. Head over here to check out her FREE Audio Masterclass. love + light, Claire xx P.s connect with Belinda here: | website | facebook | twitter | Instagram Read more

Free online yoga class: 40 minute rejuvenating vinyasa flow

Free online yoga class: 40 minute rejuvenating vinyasa flow

Posted April 29, 2014

A rejuvenating Vinyasa practice for your shoulders, hips and hammies. It’s been a while since I’ve filmed a free online yoga class for you all. So I’m thrilled to bring you this 40 minute flow. We work deeply into the areas that typically get tight and feel stuck but all with a softer approach. There is less of a ‘power yoga’ approach here and more of a deliberate, mindful focus. Conscious breathing. Continuous, flowing movement, but without intensity and rigidity. A few things to know about this class: It’s gentle yet deep. Soft yet strong. This is an approachable practice. You don’t need to be advanced but all levels will get something out of this. This class is designed to juice you up. Iron out your body after rising in the morning or rejuvenate your mind after a busy day. This practice is designed to make you feel good in your body, clear your mind and centre you. So here it is! Light a candle. Play some music if you like. Roll out your mat and hit play! p.s don’t forget to share below in the comments – did you enjoy this practice? love + light, Claire x *Filmed at Yoga Village, Potts Point, Sydney. Read more

Interview Series: Living Yoga off the mat with Tara Bliss

Interview Series: Living Yoga off the mat with Tara Bliss

Posted April 22, 2014

This is a new blog series that I am so excited to kick-off today. It is a reflection of how incredible women and yogis are taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga off the mat and into their world. ++ One of my favourite phrases (and if you’ve been to a yoga class of mine you’ve probably heard me say this) is this – “Without the breath in yoga, you are simply making shapes”. And today, I live by that more than I ever have. Yoga was the catalyst for my journey of self-discovery, inquiry and transformation. First on a physical level – healing and nourishing my body. Next on an emotional and mental level – reframing my perspective, shifting my mindset and bringing my being into balance. And finally, now, on an energetic level – working with the energetic body/ chakra system and cultivating a more feeling-based existence as I get to know my soul (and lead with it) more and more.  And yet, all are still happening simultaneously and daily. The vehicle for me, to dive into all of this, is the breath. The presence of the breath and its movement through every layer from the physical, right through to the emotional and energetic demonstrates how it’s a powerful facilitator of healing, transformation, insight and connection. And the breath, to me, is a daily reminder that I am both spirit and human. As I sit in reflection and gratitude for this incredible, life changing practice that is yoga, I can’t even fathom how many lessons I’ve taken off my yoga mat and into my world. Compassion, Contentment, Non-judgment, Presence, Non-violence, Discipline, Devotion. Within the 8 limbs of Yoga, Asana (poses) is actually the third limb. In the West, the lessons that we gain on that mat are actually taught first. We have entered this journey of transformation and evolution via the body – and that works for us today in this modern world. Traditionally, however the asana (poses) came only after the moral and ethical codes (Yamas and Niyamas) were explored. The lessons of Ahimsa (non-violence) Asteya (non-stealing), Satya (truthfulness) and Santosha (contentment), Svadhyaya (self-study) and Isvara Pranidhana (surrender to god) all feature in the first two limbs of the 8-fold path – The Yamas and Niyamas (check back in here soon, I’ll be breaking these down in detail on the blog). These are potent lessons that can carry you through life. Hand-holding, guiding and helping you navigate through sticky, troublesome moments. This blog post series, which will feature wisdom-filled women who are also yogis, is designed to show how a deep transformation can come about through the devotional practice of yoga. These women will be sharing how yoga and its lessons have changed their life, off the mat – not simply from the asana but also the mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic learnings that unfold, almost without focused effort. That’s the beauty of yoga! I am beyond thrilled to share these women and yoga with you. Whether you are a yogi or not these lessons are here for you to absorb, ponder and apply into your being and your way of being in this world! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: To kick-off off this new series today we have Tara Bliss, from Such Different Skies – someone I truly adore and feel eternally grateful to now call a friend! I believe the universe has blessed me with a like-minded kindred soul every time Tara and I text, email or chat. I’m in awe of this 27 year bundle of wisdom, swagger and love. Like me, she is passionate about living a life aligned with soul. And as a Yogi you are going to promptly devour her insights both on and off the mat! I’m so excited for you to learn how Tara has taken the powerful practice of Yoga into her being. ++ Hello Tara! Please finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… my medicine, my maintenance, my playground, my excuse to explore myself. To me, yoga means.… dancing between two worlds: the form and the ethereal; the masculine and the feminine; the softness and the rigidity; the ease and the effort. Yoga is the force that dissolves those lines of separation. My experience off/on the mat has… transformed my entire understanding of the world and how I operate in it. On my mat, I realise that any resistance, frustration or friction that arises within me doesn’t bubble up to the surface due to outside circumstances. When I’m on the mat, I can’t blame the traffic, or the weather, or my husband for misunderstanding me – there are no excuses. I have to take responsibility for the gunk that reveals itself, and most importantly, I have to decide to become an empowered enough woman to rise above and transcend the ego. This is the most humbling, profound and extraordinary journey I could ever hope for, and I’m often reduced to me tears that I was fortunate to find my way here. The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was… to follow on from the last question, it’s been HUGE for me to understand viscerally – in my body – the concept of energy flowing where your awareness is going. The simple redirection of focus from my fatiguing muscles to the prickle of air that enters and leaves my nostrils is so powerful, so anchoring. We always have a choice in life on what we want to place our attention upon, and yoga is no exception. Quick-Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? I endeavour to: :: Investigate struggle and discomfort with a light, curious mind. :: Become a more self-referenced woman with each day, which means continually cutting the chord of comparison. :: Celebrate, deepen and honour my breath. Why are these important to you? I’m a kinder, more present, more engaged person when I (literally) practice what I preach. As a coach and mentor, I have been in […] Read more


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