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A CASE OF THE BAD MOODS – A VIDEO BLOG QUESTION FOR YOU!

A CASE OF THE BAD MOODS – A VIDEO BLOG QUESTION FOR YOU!

Posted February 08, 2013

Let’s talk about bad moods. Aren’t they sneaky, shady little characters. And by characters I mean our alter-egos, because I certainly do not recognize nor do I like myself when a bad mood comes to visit. In an attempt to understand bad moods a little more I need your help. I’ve asked you a question via this week’s video blog… You might like to read this article I wrote, recently published on MindBodyGreen – it builds on the idea of ‘Leaving/Changing/Accepting’ which I mention in the video above. My hunch is that my question raised in the video – how do you tackle bad moods – is one that there are plenty of us out there that would love some tips, guidance, suggestions and encouragement. I am so eager to hear how YOU turn a bad mood around. Can we throw a bone out to help each other learn and grow? Please share in the comments below or via facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you! Hoping you are in! Saha to you, Claire x p.s If you want to see how I shook off my bad mood the other day have a little peak at my home yoga practice. It did the trick! Read more

ALWAYS MAKING EXCUSES? 5 THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTIONS TO BREAK THE HABIT!

ALWAYS MAKING EXCUSES? 5 THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTIONS TO BREAK THE HABIT!

Posted January 31, 2013

You can imagine that as a health coach and yoga teacher that I hear alot of excuses. I listen to many individuals are they find ways to navigate away from the truth. Let me tell you, they do it well. We all do. Me included. We are experts at avoiding what needs to be done. Imagine if we applied that much focus and skill to that which we need to get done. It’d all be much easier! We talk about wanting to get up early and go to yoga. We talk about wanting to quit sugar, eat less crap, drink less booze, be kinder to ourselves, practice more self love… and on it goes. But somehow we rationalise and analyse ourselves into a circle until we are back at the beginning with the wheels of change stuck, motionless. Let me just say, I get it. Truly I do. I’m human and I have the same thoughts and the same desires. I also have the same blocks, battles and lack of motivation. But let me just say this, at one point in time, my desire to change became stronger than my desire to avoid… or should I say my perceived need to stay where I was in mind, body and spirit no longer held up. Also, that desire to change was something that CAME to me… I was shown where I was headed for and my body found a way to yell out, loudly. It got my attention and I finally responded. We all come to that moment in our own time. But for many of us, we’ve had that moment and yet we still make excuses. Do I sound harsh? I’m not trying to be, I just know that most of the things we are all after – health, happiness, balance – are all so easily achievable. It’s not rocket science. It just takes dedication for transformation to come about. Patience, determination and the desire to live as the best version of yourself. So, I have a few questions for you and I’d like you to pull out a pen and paper and answer these as honestly as possible 1) What do you really want to change? 2) What’s stopping you – honestly? Are your excuses genuine? 3) What are you afraid of? 4) Do you believe in yourself? If not, why not? 5) What are three easy, simple things you could do to set this change in motion? How did you go? Did you discover something that you already know but weren’t willing to face up to? Ok, so let’s be straight up with each other. Who’s kidding who? It’s time to ditch the excuses, the story-lines that restrict you and it’s time to move FORWARD. 2013 is your year. Go and get it. What you want is already in you, just let your light shine and be the best you! You want it, right? Saha to you, Claire Read more

THE ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT REAL’ RAW CHOC MOUSSE

THE ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT REAL’ RAW CHOC MOUSSE

Posted December 24, 2012

Yep, the title of this post says it all. Raw, creamy, moorish, delicious, indulgent chocolate mousse that is so far from the real (naughty, sugar-laden, unhealthy) version they may as well be from different planets. It’s good. And not in that ‘if you frown and purse your lips it almost tastes good’ kind of way that some raw foods claim their fame. This is good enough to fool my partner, who is my measuring stick… If he loves it then I know you amazing foodies will swoon over it. You’d think I have a really insane sweet tooth but I mostly enjoy the experience of enjoying a treat that is so good for me. I feel like I have a little secret, I almost feel smug. So here it is. You want chocolate, you want mousse, you want delicious, mostly you want healthy? I bring you this: RAW CACAO & AVOCADO MOUSSE Ingredients: 1.5-2 Ripe Hass Avocaodos 3 heaped tbls of cacao 2-3 heaped tbls of coconut cream (take from the top of a can of coconut cream after its been in the fridge) 1 tbls vanilla powder/vanilla bean/pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon stevia or 1-2 tbls of raw honey Blend until you have a glossy, thick, firm mousse. Refrigerate immediately. When ready serve with fresh fruit, crushed nuts or enjoy on its own. This is such a lovely treat to enjoy for Christmas with a bowl of cherries to dip in with. Not to mention how super impressed your family and friends will be. I promise, with the right ratio of ingredients the avocado is undetectable. So play around with the balance if you need to but up the vanilla, cacao and coconut before the honey. The less sugar the better. Enjoy. Saha to you, CX Read more

CAN’T SLEEP? BLISS OUT WITH SHIRODHARA

CAN’T SLEEP? BLISS OUT WITH SHIRODHARA

Posted December 17, 2012

One morning during my time in Goa, India, I woke in a very groggy state. I had barely slept the night before, missed my yoga practice and felt like a train had run over me. I realised that my first week in India had been emotional, exciting, intense and life-changing. I could tell I needed a day of silence. Seeing and speaking to no-one was the only remedy. Eventually I came out of hibernation and went for a walk. I paused outside an Ayurvedic centre and realised that a treatment was in order. I knew instantly what to choose – Shirodhara. Shirodhara is a treatment in Ayurvedic therapy originally developed in South India, in Kerala. Shira means head and Dhara means flow. This treatment involves oil gently poured over the forehead and third eye space – the Ajna Chakra. Different oils are used for different requirements and can range from coconut, sesame, almond, coconut water, buttermilk, water or jojoba. Shirodhara is such a simple treatment that can been used to treat a variety of conditions such as: Allergy Memory loss Colds Sinusitis Insomnia Anxiety Stress Psoriasis of the scalp Shirodhara is a unique and profound Ayurvedic treatment that especially acts to heal and address the psychological and spiritual aspects of a person. The steady, rhythmic pouring of oil that induces a deeply relaxing and blissful state of consciousness called ‘Turiya’ ~ the state of awareness that is neither fully conscious nor deep sleep. While in this Turiya state, we are able to fully let go, perhaps witness ourselves from an objective perspective and get some clarity! The brow and third eye center are linked to the endocrine glands (pituitary, pineal & hypothalamus), which regulate all hormonal secretions. These hormonal secretions are responsible not only for the autonomic responses which control digestion, breath, elimination but are also responsible for our moods and emotional states. The Shirodhara method helps our nervous system move into the parasympathetic mode – a calmer more restorative state. If anyone has ever been to one of my yoga classes you may have heard me talk often about this or the importance of tapping into this state regularly for our well-being as it allows the during the innate intelligence of our body to flourish, encouraging true balance within body, mind and soul. During my own treatment I flickered between clear moments of consciousness – awake and awake – to hazy phases of deep relaxation where my focus was internal towards an unidentifiable peaceful space. Here in Sydney I know that the Ayurvedic Wellness Centre offers the Shirodhara treatment. The centre will literally take you straight to India with its authenticity. Not to mention the abundance of traditional Ayurvedic treatments on offer, including access to an Ayurvedic Doctor. As a gift to you the Ayurvedic Wellness Centre are offering you lovely readers a 10% discount. All you need to do is quote The Wellness Project when booking. I’m still in a very slow mode after just returning from India, but I can see around me the flurry of the end-of-year madness. Christmas is close, the new year is nigh… my recommendation? Press pause. Treat yourself – mind, body and soul – and feel nourished and whole.I highly recommend Shirodhara especially if insomnia, stress, depression and anxiety are plaguing you at the moment Saha to you, Claire Read more

AYURVEDIC CASTOR OIL BATH

AYURVEDIC CASTOR OIL BATH

Posted December 07, 2012

So here I am, in Goa, India in case you didn’t already know (ps. Follow me on instagram – claireowellness – for lots of pictures of my travels). It’s such an incredible experience to spend time with yogis from all over the globe. We sip chai, talk asana and pranayama, we swap practice notes and share tips for the best thali (south India style food) in town. We also share little yogic practices that contribute to our experience. You see, this is quite a unique opportunity. We get to do nothing but practice yoga. In our normal daily lives despite yoga being an important and fixed part of our ritual, it is usually followed by a busy schedule – work, social life, family, responsibilities… But here, the practice is everything. And we have time to indulge in any other yogic practice that we normally don’t have the luxury to enjoy. One such practice is the infamous Castor Oil Bath. A traditional Ayurvedic practice that has been on my ‘must-do’ list for years! Here in India I get the opportunity to enjoy it multiple times. First some background – what is a Castor Oil Bath? What is Castor Oil? (thanks Wiki!) Castor oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the castor bean (technically castor seed is not a member of the bean family). Castor oil is a colorless to very pale yellow liquid with mild or no odor. Ok, so let me run you through my recent experience with my first castor oil bath. It was a Friday evening and I had finished dinner with friends. As Saturday was a day of rest I decided that despite it being late already that I would try the Castor Oil Bath. I decided not to go crazy, being my first time and all – I’d heard and seen the very strong effects that can happen. Now, just to clarify you aren’t actually bathing in castor oil, but the name comes from the Indian style of washing – rubbing yourself down with soap and then pouring water over you to rinse down. I heated the oil before rubbing it on the crown of my head and then proceeded to rub it into the body, concentrating on areas of pain, the joints and large muscles. This took around 10mins. Then standing under the hot shower I continued to rub the oil deeper in before lathering up soap and shampoo to rinse off. I prepared for bed and settled in for what i hoped would be a super overnight and the next morning was when the real fun started. I felt a deep, lethargy come over me as I was lying in bed and then a sense of grogginess. Not in a bad way, but quite powerful. As I slept, throughout the night I would wake only for a moment and found it white difficult to shake that groggy state. By morning I literally felt stoned. I felt slow, peaceful, calm, quiet, sleepy. So I spent the morning doing nothing – sleeping, breathing, meditating… Or just sitting simply in silence. It is incredible. Not to mention the lower back pain I was feeling that totally vanished by morning! If you are keen to try it here is a great link with instructions and lots of detailed information: Pamper yourself: DIY castor oil bath I’m doing it again tonight and I can’t wait for that blissful, peaceful feeling. Saha to you, Claire Read more

MAKE THIS: COCO-NUTTY BROWNIE

MAKE THIS: COCO-NUTTY BROWNIE

Posted November 28, 2012

So, I was getting a little sick of bliss balls… but I wanted something for those sweet-tooth moments or a little something easy I could snack on for a little extra energy. I played around with the bliss ball recipe and a few others I saw online and the end results was this: A dense, super-chocolatey, coconut infused nut brownie. Delicious! No added sugar. Gluten, dairy + yeast free. Here’s what you’ll need: 1 tbls tahini 3 dates (pre-soaked to rehydrate) 2 tbls of the date juice (from soaking) 1 cup of mixed activated nuts 1/2 cup of coconut flakes 3 tbls cold-pressed organic coconut oil (melted) 3 heaped tbls of cacao Cinnamon to taste What to do: Blend the nuts, dates, date juice and oil first until a nice. One by one add in the cacao, then the coconut flakes (use only 1/4), tahini and cinnamon. You should have a thick consistency that can easily be formed into a firm shape. Add in anything else you want – get fancy if you like (I sometimes add in goji berries, maca or spirulina). Take the rest of the coconut flakes and whizz in the blender until really fine (you might need to clean the blender first) and then sprinkle onto baking paper lining a low tupperware container or dish. Press the mixture into the container/ dish lined and sprinkle on some more coconut flakes and cinnamon. Voila! Enjoy with coconut cream + berries as a dessert. Have as a breakfast on-to-go brownie or afternoon snack with some chai tea. YUM. Saha to you and enjoy! Cx Read more

MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT5 – REIKI

MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT5 – REIKI

Posted November 22, 2012

This is the final installment of this series, The Surrender Experiment. If you’ve missed the other posts you can find them all here: Part 1 Part 2 Part3 Part 4 I’ve blogged about Reiki some time ago, but my experience with it this time has been very different. Before I go any further, let me explain what it is and what the benefits are. The word, Reiki means universal life force – energy. It’s the life force that is within us and around us. You can rationalise your way around it – rejecting it because you can’t see it. But if you are open to it, you can certainly feel it. My Reiki teacher, Franziska Mayr is the best person to shed more light on Reiki, or Energy Healing. Can you explain what Reiki is? The origin of Reiki can be traced back to ancient Tibet, thousands of years ago. This technique was rediscovered in the late 1800?s – early 1900?s by Dr. Mikao Usui of Japan. The tradition of Reiki was an oral one, and was passed on by master to master and student to student by word of mouth. Reiki means ‘Universal Life Force’ and and promotes the body’s self-healing ability by removing energy blockages and raising the vibrational frequency in and around the body. It creates inner peace and heals physical, emotional, mental and spiritual imbalances. What do you recommend Reiki for? Reiki generates deep relaxation, releases stress and tension, eliminates built-up toxins, reduces blood pressure, strengthens the immune system and adjusts the energy flow of the endocrine system. It also increases energy levels, vitality and postpones the aging process. During times of emotional distress and sorrow Reiki offers great relief and assists in the grieving process. Reiki is very helpful in coping with anxiety, depression and the breaking of addictions. It improves self-esteem and aids better sleep. Reiki relieves pain, helps with acute (injuries) and chronic problems (asthma, eczema, headaches, etc.) and speeds up the recovery from surgery or long-term illness. As it tends to reduce side-effects, it helps in adjusting to medicine/treatment like Chemo-therapy and Radio-therapy. What are you, as a practitioner, trying to achieve for your clients? My goal is to help my clients lead fulfilling and inspired lives by tapping into their full potential. My aim is to support my clients through their transformation, facilitate healing and also guide them in opening their hearts and finding their life purpose. From a personal perspective, the best word to describe to you what Reiki feels like is pure, deep relaxation. My last two sessions of Reiki would literally put me into a sleep-like (but not asleep) state within 2-3 minutes of Franziska beginning the session. Almost instantly. And I would be so deeply relaxed that apparently I would snore (just a little!) I remember being vaguely aware of her presence moving about my body. I would sometimes feel a deep vibration within my body, or a heavy sensation where I would believe her hands were (often they weren’t!) or sometimes my body would violently twitch. In the earlier sessions Franziska remarked how difficult it was for her to locate my throat chakra – which was fascinating considering in my work (health coaching and teaching yoga) I would use my voice all the time and this was where I was feeling very vulnerable. Or there would be a very powerful throbbing sensation near my solar plexus region.As Franziska puts it “your solar plexus was pumping like a night club!” Eventually my body would start to send clear messages to Franziska when I had enough. She would tell me that I was incredibly sensitive and open to Reiki energy and when I was done my body/energy would start to close off. This meant she knew exactly when to stop – it would sometimes be an obvious signal such as fidgeting, or my feet would get very hot or uncontrollable sighing. In that moment I would be present of my surroundings, my thoughts would kick back in and I would feel restless. Once the session was over it’d take me a few minutes to come back into the space before I would feel chatty and energised. My experiment with Reiki did wonders. I found myself to be be lighter, I felt floaty! Free of heavy thoughts, in better health and in better spirits generally. I felt balanced. By the final session Franziska said that each chakra felt completely balanced and healthy. Reiki is something I will keep coming back to over and over. I don’t need it every week, but I find I need a group of sessions every few months – a little spiritual energy servicing! My journey in surrender was challenging but mostly AMAZING. In fact, I almost long for the time to do it all again. I do not wish away my injuries for one moment because I have learnt so much but also been forced to connect in with the various layers of myself – and focus my attention away from the body, the physical. Something we don’t do often, right? It’s nice to know there is more to me than my body and what it can or can’t do. If anyone is interested in trying Reiki, PLEASE see Franziska, she is AMAZING. (Not to mention her meditation classes at Yoga Village). You can find her through her facebook page Mind Over Matter. Shoot her a message. Read more

MY INDIAN JOURNEY

MY INDIAN JOURNEY

Posted November 20, 2012

It’s time. I have been called. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes there are things in your life that you’ve always wanted to do, but you don’t pursue them because you know as some point it’ll just happen, something will call you. Well, that has happened. As you read this I’m packing my rucksack for a trip to South India where I will be spending a month training and practising with two senior Ashtanga teachers. Excited. Nervous. Anxious. Thrilled. Numb. Calm I’m not quite sure what to expect, but at the same time I’m cool with that. I don’t want to have any preconceived ideas about what my experience will entail. For the first time in a long time I’m being a little ‘loose’ with my plans. Based in Goa I might decide to stay there and just enjoying soaking up the atmosphere, or the traveler in me might decide it’s time to explore. Time will tell. So, because of that looseness I’m not making any promises to this blog either. I’ve written a few posts that you’ll see go live whilst I am away. However I’m sure I’ll inspired to blog some of the insights and experiences I have. Despite the lack of promises do now that I am HUGELY grateful to each and every one of you that reads this blog and connects in some way. It’s why I do what I do. The connection. And that’s why I am going to India… to connect to something I am passionate about (yoga, meditation, spirituality, wellness, love) even more and to take the time out of a busy year to practice some self-love by letting go! Stay tuned, I’ll be posting ad-hoc and I’m sure there will be some interesting things to report back. Wishing you love + light and saha to you! Cx Read more

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