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Category: Yoga + Spirituality


PRESS PAUSE & MEDITATE

PRESS PAUSE & MEDITATE

Posted July 01, 2011

My mother has always meditated. She would take her self off and lay down for an hour. Her form of meditation varied from guided visualisations or simple pray. Like everything else, It was around me – I absorbed the ‘concept’ of meditation theoretically but did I ever put it into practice? Of course not. It wasn’t until the meditation workshop in my yoga teacher training that my interest was piqued. The teacher was literally the loveliest, calmest most incredibly glowing woman I had met. My god, I wanted that… to be like that! I needed to know what meditation was all about. I remember asking the teacher if she could share some of her experiences. Quite surprisingly she said no, she couldn’t because they were deeply private. Her response shocked me, but mostly it just fuelled my desire to understand even more. I had read about Transcendental Meditation on a few blogs and had noted it in my (long) list of things to study. But 2011 had been my cut-off. I HAD to learn how to meditate and mantra meditation resonated with me. No backing out. My issue – traditional TM courses cost over $1000. Although I knew it’d be a life time investment I just couldn’t swallow that price. And once again, my beautiful friend Emma introduced me to Carolyne Gowen from Still Your mind My boyfriend bought me the course for my 29th Birthday (it’s a heap cheaper than TM!) Over four sessions I learnt the art of Primordial Sound Meditation and received my personal mantra. PSM is very similar to TM. Primordial Sound Meditation originates from the ancient wisdom of India. Primordial sounds are the basic, most essential and sacred sounds of nature. They are meaningless – you can’t translate them, but you wouldn’t want to. You don’t need to attach an impression to your mantra. It’s just the sound, the feeling and how it resonates with you. During the course I received my own ‘sound’, the matra based on the vibration of the universe at the time of my birth. When trying to understand Primordial Sounds I think about that feeling, not really the sound, but the energy in the room when a group of students chant OM after a yoga class. The first time I ever heard the chant OM was at Dharma Shala in Bondi. I was 21 and attending a yoga class. Totally unconnected to yoga at the time, it came as a surprise when tears literally sprang into my eyes as 30 yogis chanted with so much passion and intensity. It was like a wave rippled through my body. It felt amazing. So, perhaps you get the importance of primordial sound if you’ve ever been to a yoga class? But if not, that’s cool. No need to intellectualise it, because it just is what it is. When you meditate though, the feeling is much subtler than when chanting. It’s like a long, slow sigh… an exhale as everything settles, softens and the mind finds a little spot to sit down and stop amongst all the mayhem. But, I digress – back to the course! Once I had my mantra Carolyne then guided me in the gentle art of meditating with that mantra. It’s so simple that of course I found a way to complicate it. In the beginning I was ‘waiting’ for it be easier. Trying to make it ‘work’ better and just generally doing what I do – putting pressure on trying to achieve! After meeting with Carolyne a couple of months after the course to talk it through she said something that clicked, made sense. She told me to give myself permission. To allow myself to simply meditate and let go of what I think should happen. Now, I do just that. A little insight into meditation: Just sit. (Upright in a chair is best – feet flat to the floor) Listen to your breath. Then focus nothing on the mantra – repeat it gently. Let it roll around in your mind. Use it to anchor you back to stillness when a thought pattern drags your attention away. Sometimes it’s really difficult to quieten the mind, sometimes It might only happen for a moment. Other times you find ‘the gap’ – the space between your thoughts and it’s like the wind has stopped. For a moment it’s just peace and then you step back out again. Just tasting that moment is so delicious! It makes meditating each day a need, not just a want. And other times you learn something in meditation. I discovered that I had to study at Integrative Nutrition. The name of this blog also came to me when meditating, and sometimes strange memories from the past crop up. And each time I just try and come back to my mantra. Trusting what Carolyne says – if that thought, memory, idea is meant to be there it’ll be waiting for you when you finish. It’s been life changing. And not in that big BANG kind of way – slow, gradual but noticeable. It’s something I will never stop doing. Something I love – just like ocean swims, or showering, or water, or cooking, or being in love. It is part of my life now. I will post more about meditation another time. Breaking down the things that happen during meditation, what to expect, how I meditate and where. If your interest is piqued or maybe you’ve been thinking about meditating then perhaps see this post as a meaningful coincidence and look into it. If you are in Sydney I cannot recommend Carolyne enough. Signing off with an exhale. Pause.Listen.Live Cx Read more

BLOGGING & YOGA & ME…

BLOGGING & YOGA & ME…

Posted June 19, 2011

I’ve been thinking about ‘blogging’ for a while.  I deal with countless bloggers through my work as a PR Manager and have therefore always associated blogging with work. Despite that, something has been telling me that I need to do this. Or should I say someone (more than one someone!) has been telling me to do this. After a little push from my beautiful friend Emma, who has a special knack in simplifying the  things I over complicate in my mind, well here it is, or, here I am. Blogging. Ready to download the information that I so often share to my friends (mostly unsolicitied!) and create a space to explore the things I love. I welcome you.  If my world of yoga, wellness, nutrition, life and more gets your attention and you find my little journey interesting then please reach out to connect. So here it begins. With a little story about yoga – what else?! There’s no denying that I love yoga. I think about it obsessively, I attend five – six classes a week, practice outside when it’s sunny and inside my yoga room. I even chose a travel back-pack for South America that I could strap my mat to. My yoga crush isn’t uncommon these days; I’m not alone in this love affair. People everywhere are walking their downward dogs daily, trying to overcome the fear of standing on their head or relishing in the joys of savasana (aka lying flat in a sleep-like position). What is different is how I came to yoga in the first place. It wasn’t because of some divine calling or quest for spirituality nor was it a desire to wrap my legs around my head, although that would be a bonus. Yoga and I found each other through my work in PR. Almost three years ago during my interview with my current employment, I learnt that every Friday morning the team would trundle off together to an 8am Iyengar Yoga class, followed by a coffee. That was by the far the most awesome thing I’d heard from a potential employer. I wasn’t a yogi but I did like the idea of yoga and I loved, even more so, the thought of doing something a little different with colleagues. Sold! So, off I went where I was manipulated, adjusted and encouraged (read: forced) into postures my stiff body had never been!. Despite waking up every Saturday morning aching in all sorts of (wrong) places, I stuck to it. Soon, it became my religion. I noticed that my normally strung-out, easily stressed self had somehow chilled. I was coping better in those anxious moments at work; I was calmer towards my colleagues and was in a better mood, more often. Not to mention the fact that I was performing headstands and backbends – things that would have me floating in a bubble of energy and love – mostly directed to my colleagues. (Matt, I love you, have I ever told you that?) Eventually I decided to channel my love into a new challenge and as a result completed my teaching certificate in Hatha yoga. I think to myself, imagine if I hadn’t found this job? Where would I be, yoga-less, unhappy and unaware? I’m not saying that I am perennially walking around with a vacant smile saying, “I bring you peace, I bring you life”.I still have bad days, but I feel a little more stitched together, whole. Like I can sort through the crap and just get to the positive with much more ease. There it is. A little intro and a bit of insight into my love affair with yoga. I look forward to bringing you a little more Saha into your life, soon. Tell me, do you practice yoga? How did you come to yoga? How does it make you feel? Cx Read more


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