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YOGA WITH CLAIRE: BREAKING DOWN THE FLOW

YOGA WITH CLAIRE: BREAKING DOWN THE FLOW

Posted June 13, 2013

Welcome to a new Yoga With Claire segment. A few weeks ago I guided you through two of the most popular Vinyasa Sequences: Surya Namaskar A + B (aka Sun Salutations). Catch-up HERE if you missed these sequences. Now, when I teach these in both beginners AND general classes I often break down the postures within this flow sequence as it is practiced over and over and over – and that’s just in one class. You might practice a more flowy style of yoga and therefore you’ll find this repeated at a quicker pace. Other more static styles will still include vinyasa but it’ll be slower and focused. Either way, it’s important to learn how to do this vinyasa properly – for your safety and to build up strength and flexibility correctly. My biggest pet hate is watching students crunch and throw themselves through the practice – I am stickler for alignment! The poses covered in this video: Adho Mukka Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) High plank Chaturanga Dandasana (staff pose/low push-up) Bhujangasana (cobra) Urdhva Mukka Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog) Variations of the above Now, before I go on I do have to say that it’s important to be honest about where you are at with yoga. If you are still a beginner be careful to not push too far and stay with the variations I provide. Without further adieu let’s get going. This sequence will definitely generate some lovely heat within the body and make you feel alive! Click PLAY to watch. Don’t forget, once you’ve gone through the sequence let me know your feedback – did you enjoy, did you learn something new? Which asana (pose) did you find the most challenging? Namaste, Cx Read more

GET ORGANISED…FIND MORE TIME + STICK TO YOUR INTENTIONS

GET ORGANISED…FIND MORE TIME + STICK TO YOUR INTENTIONS

Posted June 10, 2013

From structure comes spontaneity. Organization creates time. Routine and intentions go hand in hand. First, let me ask you a few questions: Do you always feel as if there is never any time in your week to do the things you say you’ll do? Are you always trying to squeeze in last minute plans and then feel that you had to BUMP something else to make it happen? Do you regularly SKIP the things (exercise/yoga/meditation)  that you know you want and need for a healthier lifestyle? Do you constantly feel that you are out of balance and don’t have any real direction? If you answered at least ONE of those with a resounding YES then this where structure, routine and organization can help you. Here in Australia many of you would be enjoying the June long weekend. How good is it – 4 days to switch off. What might be a great idea is to spend a little time getting organised for the week ahead. I promise you, it’ll make you feel more focused and calm. When we have a routine we can achieve the things we want to, stick to our intentions AND from there, that organisation allows us to see the space we have within our day and week. That space is important to ensure we are ready to respond to spontaneous situations and experiences. In the video below I talk through the EASIEST and most SIMPLE tool I know to experiencing more balance in your life, doing the things you intend to do and inviting more time and space into your week. Yep, and it all comes down to getting organised! CLICK PLAY TO WATCH So what did you think? Are you loosely moving through your week wondering WHY you don’t stick to that PT session or WHY you always feel frazzled and never have time for a social life, to read that book that’s collecting dust, to work on a personal project or to simply just tidy your home? If it’s not scheduled it’s not real! Amen to that. Marie Forleo drilled this message in during my recent RHH bSschool studies and I love it! It’s something I have always lived by. If it’s not in my diary or planner, it’s not real – therefore, it’s not going to happen! When I first started practicing yoga and I wanted to upgrade from 1 to 4 classes per week getting organised and scheduling it in was the only way it was going to happen. This may seem too easy to work, but I can’t tell you how many of my beautiful, amazing clients that have achieved so many of their goals purely by getting organised. No-brainer! What do you have to lose? Share below: How do YOU structure and organise your life? How do you create balance through routine? Or are you struggling to find some stability and balance? I can’t wait to hear from you. love + light, Cx Read more

3 STEPS TO REFRAM YOUR PERSPECTIVE FOR THE POSITIVE

3 STEPS TO REFRAM YOUR PERSPECTIVE FOR THE POSITIVE

Posted June 04, 2013

Like you, I too have thoughts that don’t serve me in any positive way. Alot of these thoughts are usually centered around the things I am NOT doing. We have a default setting – mentally and emotionally – that immediately reverts to reacting and responding to what we have not done, didn’t do well enough, could be doing more of. Do you get my drift? Let me give you a few examples. I should exercise more I must eat differently I have to save more $$ I need to see my friends more I must be more attentive to my children I should work harder I have to do better, look better, act better! I should have a better job What this all boils down to is what you think you SHOULD do. Recently I read about the idea of ‘should’ in Nick Ortner’s book, The Tapping Solution. The word SHOULD  is a thought so engrained in our staple vocabulary that we don’t even realise it’s actually heavy with self-deprecating, put-down, negative emotions. Reading his words I felt thrilled to see, in print, a theory I work with on a daily basis for both myself and my clients. We feel guilt, shame and regret around most of the emotions that relate to what we THINK we SHOULD be doing/saying/acting/being. My nieces and nephews learnt from a very young age how to identify ‘put-down’ words. Often we’d be playing and in the spirit of silliness I would say something like “Oh, I can’t do that. I wish I could, but I can’t. It was always such a confronting experience to hear my 3 year old niece say “Auntie Claire, those are put down words, don’t say that to yourself”. But we do it. All the time. We always put ourselves down, wrap ourselves cosily in put-down words and getting up close and personal with the idea we are not enough or we don’t do enough. It’s overwhelming. It’s stress-inducing and It’s limiting. Here’s an idea on how to reframe that perspective.You have the power. You have the choice. Step 1: Look to those feelings that you have and truly identify what you care about and what matters – where did those thoughts/feelings come from? As an example – you might think, wow I SHOULD exercise more. If that is because you KNOW you need more exercise or it has been a personal goal then roll with that. I’m not dissing motivation, whatever form! However, if you sit with that, the feelings that came up within you and realise that what actually came up was a feeling of insecurity – comparing yourself, putting yourself down, getting caught up in what you aren’t instead of what you are – then perhaps this isn’t a true heart’s desire, or something of great importance. What I mean is this – yes, exercise is important but it (and everything else) has to come about because you feel to do it. Not because someone else’s lifestyle has left you feeling disappointed with yourself and therefore not good enough. The problem is we tend to go down the ‘should’ path mentally, inviting all these negative feelings and energy in and yet we still don’t respond by actually DOING what we are SHOULDING about. Get me? Therefore your energy shouldn’t be going into creating stress around something you aren’t going to do, or don’t truly desire. But, here’s the rub – maybe what came up help you to realise that actually you DO want to do more of that stuff. Well, here’s when we have to reframe in order to turn that should into a do… Step 2: For the things that you do really desire reframe your mind set into positive, affirmative language. I CHOOSE to exercise more. I CHOOSE to eat differently. I CHOOSE to be more attentive. You switch your perspective from putting yourself down and judging what you don’t do into allowing yourself to OWN what you want. It’s in your hands. You empower yourself through those words. Now, for the items that you don’t feel you need to change (maybe as you explored your feelings you realised that you are CONTENT with what you do already and that’s perfect, as it is) In those moments when you catch yourself thinking a ‘SHOULD’ thought take a moment and reframe it: E.g… I exercise enough I eat well I am attentive I am enough Then look at how those statements FEEL for you. Where do they sit, physically, in your body. Do you believe them? The funny thing about our own ’emotions’ is that they are often masked by our ego. So even when we’ve convinced ourselves that we are happier with our live how it is, sometimes when you try and bring them to life you realise you don’t actually really believe the. So if you don’t believe them go deeper and ask WHY? Why don’t you believe them? What comes up for you – memory/past negative experiences/comparing yourself? Step 3: Tap on it! If the ‘should’ that you are working on is so engrained and you find that as you do deeper it’s so difficult to find your truth on the subject (what do you really want, believe and FEEL?) then click on the below to learn EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and tap your way through the block until you clear it. CLICK PLAY TO WATCH. You could start with an opening statement (this will make sense when you watch the video) like this: ‘Even though I’m so hard on myself and I think I should do X… I deeply and completely accept myself Even though I want to do X but I never do… I deeply and completely accept myself Even though I’m so caught up in what other people do…I deeply and completely accept myself” Remember this. Choosing is EMPOWERING. You own your feelings. They are created from a conscious place. A place of deep wisdom and truth. It’s this knowing coupled […] Read more

YOGA WITH CLAIRE: 5 RESTORATIVE POSES FOR THOSE TIRED DAYS

YOGA WITH CLAIRE: 5 RESTORATIVE POSES FOR THOSE TIRED DAYS

Posted May 28, 2013

Some days I’m just bone tired. We all get those days! And it’s ‘those’ days when I know that a dynamic yoga practice, as much as I would love it, is not what I need. What I have always loved about Yoga is how it can profoundly, directly and positively affect your health. All you need to do is manipulate the practice to get what you need. Today’s sequence is a mini restoration. It is so simple and soothing. All you need is a mat, a bolster/cushion and a wall. It’s for those days when you feel depleted and exhausted, down-right flat. I’ve kept the video short + sweet, but once you know what to do please hold/extend the poses for as long as possible.  The longer you do the more energetically + physically restorative. This is so sweet. Enjoy! Recap of postures: Cat/Cow: 1 minute round Forward hero pose: hold for 3 -5 minutes Child’s pose: hold for 3 -5 minutes Supported downward facing dog: hold for 3 -5 minutes Supported standing forward bend: hold for 3 -5 minutes Legs up the wall: : hold for 5 minutes Supported twists: 30 second round Namaste, Claire x Read more

SWEET POTATO + CACAO PALEO SLICE

SWEET POTATO + CACAO PALEO SLICE

Posted May 27, 2013

Some call this a brownie, others call it a cake. Call it what you will, it’s just damn delicious! I’ve mentioned before how much I love sweet potatoes. So comforting and delicious, not to mention naturally sweet. If you are in the process of quitting sugar,t eventually, root veggies like the sweet potato will be oh-so-sweet to you. AND, the best bit, you can make pretty awesome things with the humble sweetest of potatoes. I was on the hunt for a little snack. Something I could have with a cup of tea at 3:30pm on those days I really need a pick-me-up. I’m not a huge snacker because I work from home and can enjoy three decent meals, but every now and then I love a little something spesh. I’ll bet if you are a 9-5er, a mum, a uni student (anyone!) that this little Paleo Slice will be exactly what you need to curb cravings, get an extra hit of protein and feel nicely satiate. It’s sugar-free It’s protein packed It’s vegetarian (vegans use chia seeds instead of eggs!) It’s gluten-free Ohhh yes. Does that make you as happy as it makes me?! What you’ll need: 3 eggs 1/4 cup melted coconut oil – cold pressed EV 1 tbls of rice malt syrup or raw honey if you don’t have it. 1 scoop of chocolate Sunwarrior protein power (vanilla and natural work fine too) 3 tbs coconut flour 1 tsp gluten free baking powder 1 large sweet potato 3 tbls raw cacao powder Lashing of cinnamon What to do. Peel and dice the sweet potato, toss in coconut oil Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft. Meanwhile mix all the above DRY ingredients together and all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. When the sweet potato is ready, blend or mash up. Add to the wet ingredients, then mix the dry ingredients in. Make sure it’s mixed really well. Spread into a low cake tin/baking tray (using baking paper so it doesn’t stick). Bake at 180 for 30 minutes. Optional topping: Melt cacao, butter and rice malt syrup for a chocolatey topping. Try my Healthy Nutella mix . OR mix cacao, rice malt syrup and yoghurt. Add onto the brownie once it’s cooled and then refrigerate. Enjoy as a snack with a peppermint tea, a breakfast option or even a dessert! Eat and enjoy. Claire x Read more

A MODERN GUIDE TO AYURVEDA

A MODERN GUIDE TO AYURVEDA

Posted May 23, 2013

I am totally a multi-passionate person. There are so many things that excite me and get me all lit up. For those of you that have been following this blog for a while (thank you!) you would’ve heard about Ayurveda and how much I dig it. However, there are a HEAP of new friends following The Wellness Project (totally humbled) and I’d like to introduce Ayurveda to you. Ayurveda, is Life Science or Life Knowledge. It’s very much about working harmoniously with the seasons, mother nature, your own personal nature and the elements. To help us navigate through Ayurveda, I’m stupidly excited to introduce to you the amazing Monica Bloom – an expert in Ayurveda to help explain this amazing system of health and healing. Monica is an Ayurvedic Practitioner (she also calls herself an Ayurvedic Promoter) who hails from San Francisco in California. I’ve been following Monica’s amazing website, HeyMonicaB for a very, very long time and I’ve learnt SO much from her. She is also INCREDIBLY generous with her knowledge and resources (you’ll see what I mean in a minute). So, instead of me sharing the limited knowledge of Ayurveda I’ve asked for Monica’s help. She is open, passionate, clearly knowledgeable, but the best bit – she takes this complex topic and makes it SO EASY to understand… enjoy! Ayurveda according to Monica B … What IS Ayurveda? In a nutshell, Ayurveda is living according to who you are as an individual! No two of people are exactly alike and that is the foundation of Ayurveda. You see, we each have an innate balance of the five great elements; space, air, fire, water, earth – that’s all that exists in the great Universe, all the way down to our tiniest cells! While everyone has all of the elements, we have them in different combinations, making each one of us unique. Ayurveda seeks to find out what this combination is, and through diet, lifestyle, therapies (massage, cleanses, aromatherapy), and herbal remedies it helps us maintain that balance throughout life. According to Ayurveda, maintaining our individual, natural balance is optimum health. Now, over time the balance can change due to wrong diet, wrong thinking, emotional or physical traumas, stress and a slew of other things that can happen during our lifetime. I mean, life happens! Using Ayurveda can help correct and shed those problems, allowing us to move closer to our true selves, our innate natural combination. How is Ayurveda relevant in our day-to-day lives? Ayurveda IS our every day lives! It is food, sleep, exercise, thoughts, relationships, skincare, digestion, home remedies, pooping, laughing, loving, praying. Pause and take a deep, slow breath through the nose, let your lower belly fill with air. Now exhale through the nose letting the lower belly sink toward the spine. That is prana (life breath), that is life, that is Ayurveda. Simple as a breath…and there you go, Ayurveda Share with us your belief in Ayurveda – any success stories? I don’t BELIEVE Ayurveda, I KNOW it. I rely on it. I require it. It’s in the pulse of everything I do and everything I teach the people around me. Success stories…so many!! One success story I can think of is a gal who had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for 12 years. She’d been to several western doctors and specialists and taken countless medications. After a short dive into her daily habits, she told me she was having fake sugars in her coffee. I told her to stop that…and within 1 week her IBS was gone. [Having come out the otherside of IBS using Ayurveda I can attest to this – Claire] The reason? Fake sugars are not natural and our bodies are! If we give our bodies stuff that isn’t from nature, it doesn’t know what to do with it and our bodies (and/or minds!) go a little wackadoo to try and get rid of the stuff. So simple and it changed her life. Ayurveda is astonishingly simple and so logical. It’s almost as if it’s too logical…could the secret to life really be this easy? You betcha, baby!! What is the BEST bit about Ayurveda? It honors our authenticity as individuals! It see me, it sees you. Also, it is cheap, logical, and extremely effective in a short amount of time. The only downside is that not everyone on the planet knows about it…yet. But, that’s my job Ok, so for someone TOTALLY new to Ayurveda how do they explore it further? Ah, the most important thing first is to get a sense of who you are. You can take my dosha test here: http://heymonicab.com/dosha-test/ Take the test according to who you are naturally, not necessarily who you are today. Remember, we can change over time so finding your natural balance is necessary so that you can make changes and get back to that. I also wrote a post specifically addressing this question because so many people don’t know where to start. Monica, we are in Autumn write now in Australia. What are some top tips for staying in balance during the season? That means that it’s vata season! You should read my vata seasonal bloom, which is a little booklet with goodie diet, exercise and lifestyle management tips for autumn! [This is AMAZING! – Claire] Ayurveda is quite complex, so do we have to take on the WHOLE system or can we cherry-pick from it? Honestly taking on a WHOLE method would be overwhelming. I always recommend choosing 2-3 things to work on for a month, do them well and then add more. For example, I might tell a client to change their breakfast, go to bed earlier (by 10pm) and do 5-10 minutes of pranayama a day. Practice this for a month and when these become habits, we can add 2-3 more things. This sets people up for success because they can actually incorporate them! Ayurveda is totally doable. So, rather than cherry-pick, I see it more as building blocks. Choose […] Read more

YOGA WITH CLAIRE – LEARN THE SUN SALUTATIONS

YOGA WITH CLAIRE – LEARN THE SUN SALUTATIONS

Posted May 21, 2013

Good morning gorgeous! How did you move your body today?? As you might have seen, last week I shared my passion – Yoga – with you. In a VLOG last week I spoke about how my journey into health and wellness, physically AND professionally, is wholly attributed to yoga. You can catch-up HERE. I also asked YOU if you were ready to experience yoga. Thrilled so many of you email to say you were keen. Woo! I’m so thrilled to sink my teeth into the foundation of my wellness and share it with you. Teaching yoga brings me so much joy and I know you are going to get SO much out of this. So here I am, ready to share and teach you my passion. I’ll be creating and posting Yoga sequences for you to practice at home. To kick-off I’m starting with a very well-known Vinyasa sequence called Sun Salutation. There are two traditional sequences – A + B. Check out this video first where I explain the Sun Salutes to you. NOW… let’s get into it. I’ve split up the two sequences so you can do them separately Traditionally, these are practiced in the morning to salute and serenade a new day. We practice 5 rounds of A and then 5 rounds of B. But you can do whatever feels right for you. You might start with 2 x A and 1 x B and build up from there. Now watch this video on Sun Salutation A and then give it a shot. You can stick with Sun Salutation A, or if you feel you want to go further then add in Sun Salutation B. How did you go with these two salutes? Remember, MODIFY and make adjustments based on you and your body. It doesn’t have to look perfect, it just has to FEEL safe within your body. Stay tuned – soon I have a great mini-sequence for those ‘tired-days’ . I’m also covering how to do Downward Facing Dog, plank and other foundational poses properly. We’ll also learn how to breath correctly in yoga. There will be SO much. I’d love to hear your experience with these Sun Salutations. Let me know if the comments below – did you enjoy these sequences? Namaste! Cx Read more

DO YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH PASSION + PURPOSE?

DO YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH PASSION + PURPOSE?

Posted May 14, 2013

How passionate are you? Now, I’m not talking the Ricky Martin style ‘passion’… although that is very infectious. I’m thinking more about HOW you live your life. Check out today’s VLOG where I talk about PASSION and I ask YOU to look, objectively at passion and purpose in your life. This VLOG came about very, very quickly after I had three different coaching sessions in one day where passion and purpose came up! I just had to switch the camera on and free-style my way around this topic. CLICK PLAY TO WATCH Ok, so to elaborate further, pull out a pen and answer these questions: WHAT are you passionate about and how does that filter through your world? Where do you source passion from? How do you navigate your life through and from passion? What would being passionate mean to you? What came up for you? A few years back I was perpetually ENVIOUS of other people I met that OOZED passion.You know the type, right? They smile for no reason at all, they just seem happy and content. Their life os filled with purpose because they are driven by something they are passionate about. It wasn’t that they necessarily DID or HAD something special, it was just that they’d tapped into their true essence and consciously lived each day from there. Sharing it, without even trying, to those around them. I wanted that. I wanted to feel shiny from the inside out. I wanted to radiate love and happiness because I truly felt it. It took me a while to find it. And the irony of it all was that what it looked like (yoga and health coaching) was just the dress that my true essence chose to wear. It was the GARB or the presentation of the real, true me. Deep inside there was this intuitive, spiritual little being that was just BUSTING to share, connect, feel, experience, grow, explore, move, breathe… I came full circle to the person I had always been, but had ignored. The reason I wanted to flag passion with you is because it’s not necessarily about how to turn your passion into a career (I believe that happens naturally!) but about moving deeper into wellness, into YOU, into your true essence from your passion. That desire; the beauty that is passion – it feeds our ‘humanness’ and incites more motivation, drive and clarity around creating and growing and building a more amazing life. If you can feed passion into everything you do, from the mundane to the amazing you’ll find you live and breath with purpose. Speaking of passions one of my true, from-the-heart passions is yoga. It’s not so much that YOGA itself was my calling, but it’s the connection to my breath, to the beauty of using my body and feeling proud of it and to the healing powers that it holds that incites passion within me. I can’t pay homage to where I am today (career and relationship wise) without truly thanking yoga. The exciting news? I’m now ready to offer more of my passion to you! As always, many of my major decisions on this blog I run by you. In the VLOG above I ask for you help in deciding whether to start including some yoga videos on my blog. After you watch the video please share your own insights and thoughts by popping your answers below in the comments. I can’t wait to read your comments. As always, love and light to you! Cx Read more

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