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Category: Yoga + Spirituality


The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 2

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 2

Posted June 01, 2015

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 2 If you missed out on Part 1 of this story please CLICK here to catch-up. ++ So, we left off at the point where my waters had broken yet labour had still not kicked in. My induction date was set and there was no going back. At this point I was accepting of the situation. It felt weird to ‘know’ the due date of my baby – the lack of randomness felt odd and overly planned to me, but nevertheless I was ready and this was happening and I’d finally let go of the fears I didn’t even know I had! On the morning of March 5th my husband and I pottered around the house, packed the car and had a beautiful breakfast together. Once at the hospital we set about making our room more comfortable. I put on a playlist I had created, started burning some ‘surrender’ oil and hung up the prayer flags my ladies had made me at my blessing way ceremony. We closed off the curtains to all the unnecessary medical equipment and dimmed the lights. Immediately the room felt calmer with a focused energy holding the space. Myself, Chris, my midwife and my doula spent time chatting and warming up to each other…warming up to the journey ahead. There was laughter and lightness – exactly what I had hoped for. At 11:30 I was administered the syntocinin – synthetic oxytocin to jump start the surges and get labour going. I was warned it can sometimes take a while to kick in with new mums… but not this mama! In less than two hours I was feeling my first ‘real’ surges, although I was still able to crack jokes in between. Within an hour I was plunged into the surreal ‘here and there’ space that comes with the intensity of full-blown labour. Naked. Swaying. Body rolling. I stood beneath the shower, feeling the hot water ease the aches and tingles that radiated from head to toe with each contraction. My body and my baby bearing down, earthbound, to open and release. There was no time for airs and graces. This was not the time for self consciousness or insecurity. There I was, out in the open. All woman. Moaning and rocking and breathing through it all, one moment and a time. Each surge, each contraction felt like a tidal wave rolling through my body… building in intensity and taking me with it. I found myself vocalising the intensity and loudly moaning and ‘omming’ through each wave. I had always imagined I would be very quiet and inward, but in the end I was very vocal – my inner warrior loudly took over. Now, I don’t want to use the word pain here — after all pain is dependant on how you perceive it – but there were moments when the sensations were so overwhelming, I felt overtaken by them. I found myself quietly repeating ‘it’s not pain, only a new sensation’ in order to stay present and ride the peak of the surge… and as I descended towards the end of each surge, my breathing would slow down, my attention would move deeper inward and my body and mind would move into stillness. I would stay here for what felt like mere moments, but in actual fact were minutes, between each surge. And then, once again, the wave would rebuild. My Doula, Lauren Falconer, and my husband were integral in supporting me through each surge… massaging me, hydrating me, wiping my face with a cold cloth, whispering supportive words… I felt held and completely able to surrender to the intensity knowing I had the most loving team backing me. It also allowed me to do what I feel every woman needs to do – let go of the outside world, of dealing with questions and concerns from the hospital or even worrying about time… I was able to let the beast of birth consume me and take me into it’s deep dark belly. If I clicked into my analytical, left brain I would start to question my abilty, my resolve or even the possibility that I could cope with this experience. But truthfully, when I stepped away from that headspace and stayed connected to my heart, my feeling space, my own inner wisdom, I knew I could do it. The most astounding thing that I can now see in retrospect is a birthing mother’s ability to be clear about what she wants and needs with diamond clarity – there was no confusion about what I required nor any fussing about in asking for me. Water. Massage. Be quiet. Hold my hand. I found myself almost barking orders to my team – something more powerful had taken over ensuring that we (my body, my baby and I) had exactly what we needed to move through each stage. I was also hyper vigilant… if anything happened that I felt unsure about or that sent shivers of insecurity through my body, I was onto it. At one point I saw Chris leave the room and I couldn’t settle until he had returned. I heard myself say on repeat “Where is Chris. Is he coming back?” I later learned that my beautiful mother, who was restlessly waiting for news at home, decided to show up at the delivery suite. Chris had been called out to see her! Probably not the best time to come, eh mum! ++ Ok…So there I was, deep in established labour and I intuitively had this feeling that my body was opening quickly. I asked my midwife when she was planning on checking my cervix for dilation – I had previously indicated that I wanted minimal interference including cervical checks. At this point it was 4pm and my midwife indicated she wasn’t going to check me until 7pm. Upon hearing that I almost fell apart. I now realise I was overcome with fear for a moment. Labour had become so intense I was starting to question my […] Read more

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 1

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 1

Posted May 25, 2015

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 1 Bringing Soleil into the world… It’s been 11 weeks since Soleil was born, to the day (as I write this), and it’s taken me this long to write and share with you our birth story. It’s partly taken me this long to process the birth and also to simply find the time to write this epic story. I want to share this story simply because I truly believe child birth (however it happens, including caesarean) is a miraculous, powerful experience… and within that experience holds the opportunity for deep transformation and growth. It tests you – even just thinking about it – to your limits. It is the birthing of my child, earth angel that she is, and then e birthing of me as a mother. We (baby and me) are both equally important in this birthing process… working together. I remember saying to my husband, two weeks before giving birth and just after experiencing quite an intense practice contraction, that I could see that labour was going to require ALL of me. What did I mean by ALL of me? My body – and all its strength My mind – and its ability to focus My heart – staying open and trusting My soul – remaining fearless and connected to purpose And, well, it did. I had to throw ALL of me into the birth, not to mention the days and weeks following… Soleil’s birthing truly brought me to my knees (literally!) and cracked me open (oh yeah, literally too!). So, let me start with a little background insight first on my child birth… The question I asked myself frequently in the early days of pregnancy was, ‘What kind of birth did I want?’ And I use the word ‘want’ loosely because there is no way to plan something so out of our control. What I hoped for, what I intended and what I preferred to happen was this: A natural, drug-free birth. A birth without unnecessary intervention A chance to bond with my baby post-birth for as long as possible A loving experience – surrounded by supportive people who understand me A birth that happened spontaneously A safe, healthy, quick experience A divine, empowering experience A birth peppered with humour and love. Add to that smaller desires, such as not managing the third stage of labour (cutting and clamping the umbilical cord too soon) or speeding up the release of the placenta. Well, the universe gave me some of what I wanted but threw in a few curve balls for good measure. Yes, they tested me, yes, they threw me off course, but they also provided the chance to completely surrender, to drop my agendas and expectations and to leave my ego at the door. One such test was being two weeks overdue. I was due on the 19th of February but bub arrived two weeks late on the 5th of March. I was (mostly) enjoying my pregnancy – as much as is possible when you are 17kgs heavier, filled with fluid, waddling and sleeping poorly. Despite that, I didn’t feel rushed to ‘get to the end’. It was a glorious summer of daily swims, outdoor yoga and lots of quality time with my husband. I meditated two or three times a day, my journal was my confidant and I ate delicious home cooked meals. I’m so glad I savoured that time because life with a baby definitely doesn’t allow for such indulgence (for now!). During those two weeks over due, my body and mind did a few somersaults, twists and turns. Everyday my body showed signs it was preparing for childbirth – I’ll spare you the graphic details but suffice to say it was ‘on’ – but it was turning on slowly. My little Soleil seemed reluctant to complete her journey to this earthly plane. She knew it was time, I did too, but there was some resistance from both of us. I knew she was coming but I could feel she wanted to come on her terms. In the near future I’ll share about Soleil’s first ‘cranio sacral’ therapy session where we discovered she felt the need to be ‘reborn’ and make peace with how she was birthed. ++ The conversation on ‘induction’ began with my midwives at exactly 40 weeks. That’s what happens when you hit your due date, not to mention when you are nearing 42 weeks gestation! I wouldn’t say I felt pressured, but when you are part of the modern hospital system you are often burdened with scary statistics and fear tactics. It’s hard to hold your ground… I wanted to go past 42 weeks but I faced a big fight to make that happen, which I didn’t have in me. I’m going to be completely honest here and say I had such resistance to being induced. I ‘knew’ too much about what can happen with an induction – often it leads to an epidural because the contractions are too intense (apparently much stronger that a spontaneous birth) and often that then leads to a caesarean because labour can dramatically slow down with pain relief. To add to that, at 27 I was my sister’s birth partner. She was induced and it was a horribly quick, intense, dramatic and very messy experience. So, I had a (huge) stigma attached to induction to say the least. The more the ‘induction’ word was thrown around, the more my resistance and internal fears boiled up. I spent hours daily journalling, meditating and reflecting on these feelings. 
Why did it matter so much to me? What was I really afraid of – the induction itself or the fact that it wasn’t a ‘spontaneous’ birth? How could I drop this story and embrace a new one? Is it possible for this to be beautiful? Is it possible for me to drop all judgment and therefore all anxiety? I also spent a lot of time conversing with bubby, mostly inviting her into […] Read more

Golden Nuggets from Gabrielle Bernstein

Golden Nuggets from Gabrielle Bernstein

Posted January 12, 2015

I’m only now coming out of my little #sundaysurrender hibernation. After a powerful day at Gabrielle Bernstein’s Sydney event (thank you Earth Events!), I spent Sunday, gratefully in a cocoon with my husband… *Meditation. Kundalini Yoga. Journalling. Movies. Chai. Cuddles. Walks in the rain* I had to be in that space… the weather called it for me, but I was also still processing, absorbing and doing some personal shifting after the incredible one-day workshop with Gabby B. A day shared with hundreds of like-minded women and men talking all things spirit and soul. Gabby guided us through powerful meditations, peeled off layers of ego and cracked us open. Truly, after one particular meditation I think almost everyone was wiping mascara filled tears off their face. There is an absolute treasure trove of golden nuggets I wish I could share with you… but I think it would take you a whole week to read that post. Instead I’m going to share with you FOUR things that jumped out at me. These might not be my only hero take-aways, but they are the ones coming through right now… so I’m going to trust that it’s these nuggets you are meant to read. 1) Coming back, over and over and over. This is a message I have been living by and sharing with my own clients. So it felt so good to hear Gabby reaffirm this and share it. It’s not about being ‘spiritual’ or ‘conscious’ all the time… we all get caught up in scrawling, mindlessly through instagram, or judging yourself and others, or reacting with anger instead of pausing and processing. BUT it’s about how quickly, and with awareness you return back to your centre, your presence. To your truth. To what you KNOW. To who you really are (and want to be). I often say that over time, the gap between being aware, conscious and living in presence with the more ego-driven, unconscious states becomes smaller and smaller. And how is this done…? As we continue to chip away with our spiritual practices and higher states of thinking, feeling and being, we close that gap. We keep coming back, as Gabby puts it. 2) Be reverent. Do the work. Devote. How do you become more conscious? How do you feel more instead of think more? How do you change your world from the inside out? How do you live, breathe and be from love, instead of fear? How do you tap into your own inner wisdom and guidance? This is how… MEDITATE! Create sacred space. PRAY. Be reverent with your time and create daily rituals. DEVOTE. Tap into commitment. There is no quick fix. Firstly, there is nothing to fix. This is about tuning in to who you already are and what you already have. Secondly, nothing great happens easily and over night. You want to live consciously, from your heart, with love and be guided daily? Then do the work. Don’t be apathetic about it. Make it sacred. 3) Your power is so much bigger than you realise. This message came to me – well it felt like I downloaded it – during one of the meditations on Saturday. Gabby had been drilling the truth home; that our power is in our presence and as we meditated my own inner wisdom whispered to me that my personal power is SO much bigger than I could ever realise or measure. It came to remind me to stop playing, thinking, being, doing SMALL. Whether I’m a mother or a blogger or a sister or a wife or a coach… BIGNESS is who I am. It wasn’t long before I realised that message was for everyone in that room and beyond. As questions were asked and personal stories were shared, I found that almost everyone in that room needed to hear that message too. So today I pass it on to you. It wasn’t just meant for me, it is OUR COLLECTIVE TRUTH. YOUR power is so much bigger than you realise! What does that really mean? It means YOUR HIGHER SELF is infinite, HUGE, immeasurable, expansive…. and that the small you – your little ego based, limited self can never fully know this. So stop trying to KNOW it from your logical, left-brain. Your ego-mind doesn’t have the tools to KNOW this power. But the BIG YOU, the REAL YOU can feel it. Because it is IT! So feel into your power baby, go there… it’s an endless source of love, wisdom, knowledge, abundance, joy and divinity. 4) When things get good, work harder. This hit me over the head, quite comically. It was a light-hearted moment of realisation for me. Things are SO good right now. I feel physically amazing, mentally clear, emotionally balanced and energetically open. I don’t have anything major I’m processing – spiritually I’ve been ‘working’ on myself for years and today I am awash with a sense of lightness, freedom, balance and contentment. And you know what, I’ve been happy to be in that space  – surrendered to it. Being pregnant has called for alot of surrender into the HERE AND NOW because I know that many challenges, awakenings and shifts are still to come as motherhood is just around the corner. However, when Gabby said ‘when things get good, work harder’… I actually laughed out loud. I laughed in unity with her message, I laughed in understanding and acceptance… There is NO perfection. There is never a time when our work is ‘done’. And truthfully, this is what I love the MOST. The journey of self-exploration is my own personal drug of choice. Addicted to the work. So here I am, recommitting again to working harder on myself. To look at my own shadows with love, respect and gratitude and to do what I need to do to be the fullest version of my truest self and the best guide to this soul baby! ++ I hope these four little nuggets have come to you […] Read more

Start a yoga practice at home

Start a yoga practice at home

Posted November 25, 2014

Yoga is my religion. Whenever I hit the mat it’s a ritual, a time to pray and a time to fully express myself in mind, body and soul. Whatever I’m feeling and experiencing in my daily life, yoga allows me to embody that. To own it. To  breathe into it. Lean into it. So it’s no surprise to me that my yoga practice has evolved and changed as I have done the same over the last 7 years. Some yogis are very dedicated to and maintain a powerful bond with one particular style of yoga. I love them for that commitment and that unbreakable union. For me though, yoga is about flexibility, and not just of the stretchy kind. I have to be flexible and experimental with yoga, because it keeps my mind much the same. It allows my soul to expand a little more and helps me to stay ‘unattached’. Over the last few years I’ve really honed my self-practice. Learning how to carve out the time and space in my home to unroll my mat and ‘pray’ is something I directly thank the practice of Ashtanga Yoga for. Practicing Mysore Yoga for 2+ years gave me so much to be grateful for – mainly the ability to move and breathe, creatively and autonomously. What has been the most beautiful aspect of my self-practice is learning how to mould the practice in direct response to my feelings, emotions and life circumstances. For example; When I need a really strong dynamic practice I get the chance to experiment, push my own boundaries, play and dive right in. When I to hold myself delicately – perhaps my heart is feeling fragile – I am able to create a practice that flows, intuitively and wraps me up in it’s nourishing embrace. And now, being pregnant, I’m not only learning to respect new limitations of my body but I’m even more embodied. I now move in a way that feels respectful of the physical, emotional, mental and energetic transformation I’m going through, but that also honours the life I am nurturing and growing. Start a yoga practice at home and you’ll learn how to guide yourself on AND off your yoga mat. Not just in how you move your body, but tuned in to your mind and soul.. It’s about integrating your mind, body and soul as you learn to reference every layer of your being – respecting and responding to what is needed. Self-practice cultivates self-healing. It’s almost as if you were in your own personal counseling session. The yoga mat is the therapist’s lounge. And instead of words there is the breath. Instead of advice there is the movement. Instead of venting there is the quiet meditative stillness of savasana (final relaxation). To supplement my self-practice I frequently attend classes, visit my favourite teachers, use online resources like YogaGlo and attend workshops and teacher training courses. It reboots and reinspires me. And then, once again I take that fresh knowledge back to my mat and my space. The other HUGE reason why I highly recommend you start a yoga practice at home is the simple fact that you can take yoga anywhere. Practice in your living room. Stretch it out by the beach at sunrise. Get bendy in a park under your favourite tree. Iron yourself out at the airport between long flights. Wherever you land and travel too yoga can be there with you – the ritual of it. The inward focus of it. The solitude. The peace. The opening…. It is so deeply supportive to take yoga with you. To truly ‘yoke’ yoga into your life to me feels like a lifeline. An umbilical cord back to myself and my centre, no matter where I am. ++ With all that being said, I want to help you, if you are ready to start a yoga practice at home Here are a few tips that you might find useful. First off, if you don’t already have one buy yourself a yoga mat. I love Manduka yoga mats. But my all-time favourite is the Lululemon ‘Le Mat’. Sturdy, good grip. Great on carpet and even outdoors. Suit yourself up in a yoga get-up that makes you eager to practice and get a gorgeous candle you might like to light whilst practicing (when at home). And finally, get a playlist going. Sometimes I like to practice in silence. Otherwise I like to move to music – it might be a floaty, ethereal and softly-softly vibe, otherwise it’s punchy, raw and banging! If you are already practicing yoga quite a bit, and attending many classes I invite you to begin by dedicating yourself to one or two 20 minute sessions at home. Don’t feel stressed about what to do. Don’t fuss about planning a sequence and don’t over commit. Just carve out (book it into your diary!) the time and roll your mat out. Do a few cat + cow stretches, hang out in child’s pose. Get down with your dog. Chuck in a few sun salutations and standing poses. It doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’, just do something. If you are completely new to yoga I would first advise you to visit a local studio and do a beginner’s courses. Whilst you are doing that try to practice a few of the poses you’ve been doing in class at home. At the end of an amazing class once I was back in my car I take a moment to note down in my phone the poses/sections of sequences that I loved! I’d then try to resurrect them another day when I was back at home and on my mat. Another suggestion – visit my YouTube channel and check out some of my instructional videos and classes. Sign-up to YogaGlo or GaiaM TV. These are great online resources for those of you that still feel you need guidance but want to practice at home. Finally, be committed, be dedicated. You need focus when […] Read more

Living Yoga Off the Mat with Angel Singmin

Living Yoga Off the Mat with Angel Singmin

Posted November 14, 2014

This blog series is a reflection of how incredible yogis are living yoga off the mat – taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga into their world. Every time I have the pleasure of catching up with Angel I always feel a little more blessed. Yes, she does embody her namesake – she is a magical, fairy-like and open hearted being. But she’s also insanely bright, creative and inspiring. Just check out her bio below. This lady marries yoga, movement, dance, play, business prowess and more – all wrapped up in love and passion! Angel is the co-creator of the Future Sound of Yoga – a concept pioneered in 2010 with Matt Singmin, fusing together their mutual passion for yoga, dance and music. Angel has toured extensively around Australia, performing at both music festivals (Peats Ridge Festival, Playground Weekender, Splendour in the Grass, Subsonic) and the major yoga festivals (Wanderlust, Byron Spirit, Bodhi, the Phoenix Weekend, Bondi Yoga Festival, Sydney Spirit Festival). On the international stage, she was featured at the Bali Spirit Festival, the Hawaii Spirit Festival and the Hong Kong Asia Yoga Conference, as well as Londons popular Life Centre Studio. Angel’s passion for the art of movement began as a child and teenager studying ballet. And today, as well as regular Future Sound of Yoga events, Angel also teaches yoga across Sydney to people from all walks of life through Dandelion Yoga – the corporate yoga business that she founded in 2007. She also teaches at BodyMindLife Bondi Beach. I’m so excited to introduce her to you today and I know you’ll love a sneak peak into how she lives yoga on and off the mat! Finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… It happens both on and off the mat – There is the physical flowing practice which I love, which I see as a moving meditation, linking the asana and the breath together. Then there is practicing mindfulness off the mat too… To me, yoga means… finding a deeper connection to all that is.. to yourself, to your surroundings and with the people around you. My experience off the mat has… been interesting. The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was….. gradual – experiencing a moment by moment shift.. and understanding that yoga is a lifelong practice.. over time.. things change.. and that is the learning.. nothing ever stays the same. What you see on your mat is a reflection of life.. each time you step on the mat, its a different practice – it feels different, things get easier, then there are new challenges.. and this was the learning. To not become attached to the goal of a practice, instead to try and accept what is, as it unfolds.. The biggest memory was in the early days of my practice in 2001, when I was studying Iyengar – I walked in to my first class and found it all so alien. e.g. Holding downward dog for what felt like an eternity, being introduced to pranayama, using props to stretch muscles.. At the time, I couldn’t comprehend it but now I will always be grateful for that class as it shed so much light on what was possible – an invitation to allow you to open your mind to what’s possible. Quick Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? The importance of slowing down.. Its something I talk about when I teach – making time for yourself, whether its a walk in nature, a short meditation or having a cup of tea and reading a good book.. its important to nurture yourself and to re-ignite your spirit. Also making decisions that honour my truth, and being comfortable with that. Why are these important to you? I believe these things help me feel more grounded and centred. Creating a sense of balance is crucial to your mental and physical health and wellbeing What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why? I would choose Ahimsa which is one of the yamas, or the 8 limbs of yoga. Ahimsa is the practice of non-violence, which includes physical, mental, and emotional violence towards others and the self. This applies to all beings including animals – I’ve always been a huge animal lover and a strong believer of animal rights, signing petitions to help save animals who are at danger. I eat a plant based diet and have been a vegetarian for over 20 years. I also opt for animal cruelty free products and try to be conscious about any purchases that I make. What does ‘Living Your Yoga’ mean to you? Being open, aware and remaining authentic. Connect with Angel | Website | Instagram Read more

Want to GLOW from within? Reveal Your Inner Radiance (mini) meditations is here!

Want to GLOW from within? Reveal Your Inner Radiance (mini) meditations is here!

Posted November 06, 2014

Cultivating stillness and inner peace can seem like a monumental challenge. Life is crazy, right? How on earth can you muster up the time or energy to delve within and find your Zen? But what if I told you that all you needed was one week? And that in that tiny slice of your life – just 7 days – you could kick-start some seriously soulful change? Imagine a week, where… You felt really (freaking) good. You experienced stillness in mind and body. You were grounded and centred. You experienced deep relaxation, inner peace and connection. Your inner radiance began to reveal itself… And then, most importantly of all, imagine that this simple 7-day journey could kick-start an entire inner revolution – where you could learn to live in this relaxed and radiant way more (or even all) of the time?! It’s truly possible. When you’re using a powerful tool, one week is all it takes to plant the seed of change. And meditation is the most potent tool I know… Welcome to… A daily meditation practice can help you to feel the way you want to feel. To live the way you deserve to live. To experience joy from the inside out. In fact, there’s really no other personal development tool out there that is as transformational and life-changing as meditation. Yet people still struggle to embrace it and embed it into their daily lives… I get it. I understand the resistance, I truly do – creating a new habit can seem time-consuming. Overwhelming. Even scary. That’s why I created this series of (mini) guided meditations. To chunk things down. To make it easy and empowering. To take the size (and scariness) out of this age-old practice. These (mini) meditation series led by me, Claire Obeid, have been designed to bring meditation to you, in the simplest way possible. Professionally mixed and recorded, there are tracks to suit every mood and every schedule. And they range in length from 10 – 20 minutes – making them an achievable goal on even the busiest day. Which means all you have to do is pick the one that resonates most, pop on your headphones, press play… and feel yourself unfurl. With seven guided tracks in every series (and three different themed series to choose from) you’ll be well on your way to a deeply rewarding daily ritual in no time – one that will make you over from the inside out. Stillness in mind. Vitality and health in body. And a deep connection with your soul.That’s what these meditations can do for you. The Reveal Your Inner Radiance (mini) meditation series is available in three 7-day packages. Each mini-meditation series comes complete with a daily guided meditation, downloadable journaling guide + soulful commentary to support you on your journey to radiance. Just one track a day will help you cultivate the mental stillness you crave, create space for healing + open up the sacred bond with your highest self. What’s included in each package: Welcome audio + instructions when you first sign up. Daily email including live streaming of each meditation track. An introduction with each meditation, to set the scene and guide your journey. Daily journaling prompts during your 7-day program, so that you can deepen the discovery and tune in to your truth. Bonus: All the meditation tracks – which are professionally mixed and recorded – are yours to download, keep, and listen to whenever (and wherever) you like. Downloadable + printable PDF journaling workbook – also yours to keep! Each 7-Day Meditation Series hones in on a different theme, designed to support your makeover in mind-body-soul and unearth your inner glow! 7 Days to Radiate: deeply relax + let go Designed for those eager to untangle from the mental clutter that stands in the way of glowing and flowing through life. Let’s make space for bliss. 1. Breath Awareness 2. Be free from control 3. Vibrant Health 4. Detox the Mind Meditation 5. Healing Energy 6. Yoga Nidra 7. Divinity Mantra Meditation 7 Days to Radiate: make peace + heal Designed for those who feel called to cleanse, release + let go of anything that no longer serves. It’s time to get grounded in your mind-body-soul and come back to your peaceful centre. 1. Blissed Out 2. Chakra Cleanse 3. Connect to Light + Love 4. Forgiveness 5. I am Truth Mantra Meditation 6. Healing the heart 7. Peace and Tranquillity 7 Days to Radiate: feel joy + inspiration Designed for those ready to remember and reconnect with their true self. Feel inspired, tap into your desires and open your heart. Experience freedom and joy. 1. Abundance Meditation 2. Be limitless 3. Give Thanks 4. Radiant Being 5. Learning to trust 6. Ecstasy Mantra Meditation 7. Clarity + connection Pick and choose from the 7-Day Meditation Series or purchase all three to experience a powerful 21-day makeover from the inside out. (After all, it takes 3 weeks to solidify a positive habit!) It’s your choice. Let your intuition guide you – What would most nourish you? What’s tugging at your spirit? What does your mind-body-soul crave? How it works… Upon signing up, you’ll receive your welcome email + instructions to activate the 7 or 21 days of (mini) meditations. Each day you’ll receive your guided meditation – including commentary + journaling exercise instructions – delivered direct into your inbox. At any stage you can access your bonuses (the full meditation album download + PDF journaling workbook) so you can dive deeper at your own pace. Next steps… Choose your preferred meditation series, or select the bundle for all three. Click the ‘buy now’ button. You’ll receive a welcome email containing a link to the resources site, which includes your private access code. Follow the link and plug in the private access code. Then start your journey by listening to the welcome audio and instructions. Download and save your bonuses – the album and PDF journaling guide. When you […] Read more

Living Yoga Off The Mat with Shona Vertue

Living Yoga Off The Mat with Shona Vertue

Posted October 28, 2014

This blog series is a reflection of how incredible yogis are living yoga off the mat – taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga into their world. Having 10 years of practical Yoga experience and a dedicated background in Elite Gymnastics and Dance under her belt, Shona is known for her attention to detail and passionate enthusiasm towards health and fitness. Extensive training in Strength and Conditioning, Chinese Massage and an ongoing BOS in Nutrition have gifted Shona with an eclectic and holistic approach to health and fitness, which is clearly evident in her classes and training sessions. With over seven years industry experience teaching Yoga in several independent studios in Sydney, Australia, and co-facilitating health retreats around the world in places as diverse as Thailand, Taiwan and Samoa, Shona successfully and simultaneously managed her own Personal Training business where she instilled a strong foundation of knowledge and experience in her clients. She sees her mission in life to broadcast the message, as widely as possible, that the key to happiness comes from enjoyment and commitment. She ascribes to the words of American author and businessman, Herman Cain, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you’ll be successful” This is a lifestyle philosophy that she enthusiastically practices and preaches. Finish this sentence: My yoga practice is… 24 hours a day 7 days a week – it tests me, challenges me, uplifts me in every moment of my waking life. My asana practice is a chance for my soul to dance, for my mind to clear and my body to regenerate, lengthen and strengthen. To me, yoga means… coming home, wherever I am in the world. My experience off the mat has… been way more challenging than any asana could ever be on the mat! But just as it is rewarding when you finally get your feet off in crow, or float your way into a stable handstand – connecting with yoga off the mat and finding peace in the storm of life, is one of the most rewarding aspects of a yoga practice. 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) Ah! So many! I think I have a shift or awakening in just about every Jivamukti Class I take! But I’ll go with the first one my intuition brought to me – I used to practice in Sydney with Kelli Angela Prieur (one of my favourite yogis) – she would always talk about surrender (and funnily enough had it tattooed on her arm), at the time I was obsessed with asana and wished she would just hurry up with starting the vinyasa already so I could get ‘my yoga on’. Her stories on surrendering and it’s relevance to life never failed to speak to me, however, it wasn’t until some 7 years later, sitting on a towel because I couldn’t afford a yoga mat, in a cold and dirty flat in London, feeling alone and sorry for myself that her lessons on ‘surrendering’ would hit me hard. Suddenly I realised that I was swimming upstream, I was focusing on all the negative around me, I was impatient and fearful of the unknown, I didn’t trust myself so how could I trust the universe, but it was then that I saw Kelli’s beautiful face and a wonderful reminder to surrender, and trust. I have absolutely never ever looked back – now surrendering is one of my favourite practices – it is now no longer a challenge and it makes life so much easier – when things aren’t going right, there is a reason – surrender and allow what is supposed to unfold, unfold – it has allowed for the most magical life in London. Quick Fire Questions What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? Non-judgement towards myself and others – this is a hard one when we’re all so addicted to facebook and instagram, comparing our lives, trying to out-happy one another. Everyone at their core however, is just another being trying to release suffering and experience joy just like you and me. Why are these important to you? It makes life so much easier. Easy like Sunday morning. What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why? Satya is powerful and has always been a struggle for me. I’ve spent a great deal of my life trying to gain the acceptance of others – my parents at first, then my peers, then boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, you name it. I would often lose my identity or truth in order to appeal to what I believe they needed. I searched for acceptance and love from others because deeply, I didn’t feel as though I deserved it, I couldn’t love myself, so I would have to be what others ‘wanted’ in order to be loved. This got me into a lot of sticky situations, I’ve hurt myself and others because of it. Honour the truth of who you are because it IS truly beautiful. Really it is. You are beautiful. What does ‘Living Your Yoga’ mean to you? All of the above? 🙂 I think this changes as the lessons change – for me right now, and I’m going on my intuition here, it means: Falling in love with myself – when I love myself, I take care of my body, my mind, and I am more capable of taking care of others. Connect with Shona | Website | Instagram Read more

My personal revelations of Divine Love

My personal revelations of Divine Love

Posted October 14, 2014

Let me tell you a little story. My personal revelations of Divine Love Everything you want and ever need you already have and are. Ever since I first heard those words – I can’t remember where, maybe an article, a movie or some spiritual memoir I was reading at the time – I’ve made a conscious effort to live and breathe from this truth. And that truth is that I don’t need to look outside of myself for all that my heart truly desires. And what is it that my heart truly desires? It’s taken me a long time to uncover this desire, to come to know it with clarity. At first I thought it was to feel good in my body. Then I thought it was for peace and quiet in my mind. Finally I believed this desire to be a longing for a passionate, purposeful life and career soon followed. Each and every one of these ‘desires’ were necessary for my own spiritual development and growth… I braved the often-unmapped landscape into my body, my mind and my passions.  I peeled off layer after layer until I ‘had’ what I desired. A strong, healthy body, a quieter mind and peaceful attitude and a passion-filled life and career. What I didn’t realise was this. These desires were a stepping to stone towards what my heart truly wanted. Each and every one was necessary in order to lead me to the core of all desires. The big kahuna of my desires – the one thing I truly want and need… I desire to experience, feel and live from DIVINE LOVE. I’ve experienced love on so many levels… the unconditional, almost martyr like love from my mother. The self-sacrificing, toil-through-pain devotional love from my father. Intoxicating love with a lover. Protective love from my siblings. Love shared between two friends – soul-sisters. Love, companionship and loyalty with my husband. And now the love I have for the soul that chose me and is now growing within me. Each and every experience feels just as it should – soothing, satisfying, needed. Like a warm embrace. A net of safety. A moment of bliss.  But it is only a small slice – a too-small portion to taste – of DIVINE, INFINITE LOVE. And it is this Divine Love that I truly ache for. Yearn for. Believe in. Strive to taste and touch and experience. Don’t let me fool you, I am to this very moment, still opening my arms and my eyes to this divine love. To say I live from and with divine love everyday is something I’ve yet to embody. I’m still on the hunt – a surrendered, accepting search for love. There are two key moments recently that have sign-posted me towards where this Divine Love is that I seek. Two revelations I want to share with you. The first is from a conversation with my Mother. A woman of such faith and a source of wisdom and love who recently highlighted that where I have placed my attention was a little misguided. My mother’s unrelenting devotion to her saints, prophets and religious figures is a love born from her heart. And it is in the deep well of her heart that she still connects to their love. My mother doesn’t see Jesus, Mary or her God as something outside of her. Well she does, in a way. But first they are within her and then they are without. They are with her, in her heart, they live there, eternally and internally. They also reside in the universe above, below and all around her. They are the universe. But in order to connect with them and their love she looks within. It is her innate understanding that the representations of love that she connects with are accessible from within that changed everything for me. When she calls on the Virgin Mary she does so knowing that Mary is within her – her love and light shine from within as opposed to an omnipresent, ethereal and inaccessible mystical being. Following this golden nugget of wisdom delivered to me from my beautiful mother, I had a personal encounter with the Divine that only served to reaffirm this epiphany. I was at a retreat focused on exploring Oneness. Being one with the universe, with each other and with the all-powerful infinite, higher source. One morning, during an hour-long meditation, I found myself as if in a bubble… but the bubble was within me. I felt protected yet at the same time fully able to think, feel, experience – if I wanted too. I felt safe, caressed, nurtured. Yet fully present in my body and fully away of the world and life I was in. Each breath that entered my body felt embodied… I felt as if I was the breath – the pranic life force and I, as the breath, was choosing to enter and leave the body, moment by moment. The breath felt to me more ‘me’ than my body did in that moment. Yet simultaneously, I was grounded in my body and in full realisation that what I was feeling wasn’t possible without my body. My hands felt glued to my lap yet light and floaty. My palms, although they were facing up and lightly stacked above each other, actually felt splayed and opened on each knee. As I sat there, being ‘inhaled’ by the breath of life, I felt quite strongly that my hands were being held – hand to hand – by a pair of invisible hands. My own hands were being held by my soul’s hands. I was held. I was reassured. I knew I was not alone. Eventually the guide’s voice slowly cut through the lightness of my meditation. As I was slowly ushered back to reconnect into the confines of my body and into the space we were in a quiet sob escaped from deep within. It moved up from my belly, into my heart and […] Read more

A beautiful pregnancy

A beautiful pregnancy

Posted October 07, 2014

A beautiful pregnancy. I didn’t think I’d ever write those words… After the 7 weeks of utter crap I felt during the first trimester, I wasn’t sure the words ‘beautiful pregnancy’ would be thought, let alone said. Once the fog of the first trimester cleared and the insane journey of transformation slowed down from full hustle to a nice cruising speed I started to tune in to the beauty of the experience unfolding with me. The realisation that I am not only growing, building and soon-will-be birthing a baby, but that I am also birthing a mother really hit home for me. How could this unreal, powerful, life-changing journey not be beautiful? Even with all the challenges that come with it, there is nothing more profound and stunning than the creation of life. So today I wanted to share with you what I consider to be the beauty of my pregnancy for a few reasons. Firstly, there are so many physical and emotional changes that unfold during pregnancy, many of which are not pleasant or fun (respect to EVERY woman who has ever carried a child). The amount of sacrifice that unfolds is insane – and I’m saying this at only 20 weeks! It’s because of this that I am choosing to make a conscious effort, daily, to see the beauty, the light, the gorgeousness of pregnancy – my god, there is so much to revel in and enjoy. But sometimes, on the off days, shitty stuff gets in the way. The second reason I am sharing my beautiful pregnancy with you (through my eyes, obviously) is because I want to inspire those woman out there, like me, who might be overwhelmed by the thought of pregnancy yet feel that deep mother-earth pull to have a child, to see pregnancy through a different lens. One lined with silver (and gold!) And finally, I hope that this post inspires you to take whatever it is that is challenging you right now and dissect it, put it back together and hopeful reform it into something beautiful. Pleasing. Exciting. Joyful. In the rough is a diamond. Always. A beautiful pregnancy 1) Spontaneous moments of emotion. Erupting from within and pouring forth through tears, a choked voice. I feel overwhelmed with a deep sense of purpose, love and connection at random moments through my day. Sometimes a song will trigger it. Or reading a story of childbirth. Even a kind word from a friend. I am FEELING a lot more than ever before. Thinking – my normal way of being – isn’t coming so easily anymore. 2) Neurotic and irrational (mini) hormonal outbursts. There is something WILD and FREE about feeling angry, or pissed off, or like you just want to stomp your feet and chuck a tantrum. These are very, very, rare for me – now and even before pregnancy – but I love them when they show up. They make me feel real. Human. Delicate. Vulnerable. And I always get something out of them. A release. A learning. 3) The miraculous and magical human body. Think about it. Building a child is hard work! We are talking spine, nervous system, brain, bones, and everything in between right down to eyelashes and fingerprints. I feel very clever. I’ve always admired and respected the human body. But us women, holy smokes, we are special. We create life. That simple fact makes me gush with gratitude and awe. 4) My beautiful body.  Yes my thighs are getting bigger. So are my boobs and my belly. But I’ve never felt more sexy and beautiful. Cliché? Perhaps… but it’s a cliché for a reason. I feel ‘bountiful’… tribal. My husband thinks so too. 5) Surrender + self-love. I think I’m getting this more and more. I’ve always had the ability to push past my boundaries. But, over the last few years surrender and self-love have slowly revealed themselves to me like a curtain drawing back. I’ve had many experiences of both and they are now part of my daily life. I make time for self-love and I consciously surrender. But now, oh wow… this baby demands a softness and an inner strength that has nothing to do with brute force or control.  6) The Collective Baby-love.  I am astounded, daily, but the expressions of joy and gratitude that I receive from complete strangers. There is this innate understanding that ripples through humanity which speaks of the powerful respect for life that we all have. Even if we don’t express it in those words. We are ALL for life. And babies represent that. They also represent a soulful connection to the divine. They are miraculous and yet a normal occurrence. It’s like our own personal god-like encounter that happens over and over. It is actually so humbling to see how people react and to realise that this is not ‘my baby’ but another special gift from the universe to human-kind. 7) The spiritual super-highway  I feel like I’m fast-tracking my spiritual education. I’ve been on my own journey of self-exploration and spiritual seeking for years now, but in the last 20 weeks I can sense a deeper knowing, or shall I say living from TRUST and LOVE. There’s no time to muck around. I’m birthing a life and a mother, it’s truly time to step up to the plate and get super cosy with my soul and to live from it daily. And my soul is telling me to trust. And with that so much irrelevant crap is falling away. I am actually struggling to notice anything ‘wrong’ in my life. Anything I once fretted over is totally irrelevant. 8) Glossy hair. Great skin. Strong nails. On a more superficial front…I know a lot of this will do a complete about face post-birth (I hear of hair loss, ageing skin and brittle nails) but right now I’m digging this and will be grateful for it for however long it lasts. 9) My little babe… Last but not least, the little […] Read more


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