In this TEDx-talk yoga teacher, philosopher and writer Max Strom reminds us that 'there is no software to become self aware' and that 'our time and life span are the same.' I totally agree.
He says, we should rather 'upload from the inside our internal technology and live a life of meaning instead of existence. We shall upload love. Upload kindness. Upload happiness and not just rely on external circumstances.' I absolutely love that.
Yoga or any kind of body-mind practice will give you access to your internal apps. Choose one. Yoga, Pilates, Qi Gong, Surfing etc..Choose what suits you best.
Now take a moment. How can you upload your happiness today?
"The mind and the body are so intimately connected that ultimately we cannot tell the difference between them. Ultimately, indeed, they tell the same stories about us. But the body is the more visible aspect of the being and so may speak for itself. When we align the body we also align the mind. The body is the hologram of the being, as Alexander Lowen has said. 'The body does not lie.'" ~ Alcmaeon
I sometimes wonder who came up with the idea that body, mind and spirit are separate units? And now we are struggling bringing it all back together. Assume that there is no difference between the body, the mind, your spirit. Ever thought of that? This is what Buddha taught, what the yoga philosophy is based on and of course the core of my teachings.
We are already complete. Union. We are one. We are the stars, the earth, the oceans, the sky. We are perfect. You are perfect. Right now, it's all you.
Just assume you are convinced that there is no separation between body, mind and spirit?
A good example is your body posture. A person with a round upper back or her shoulders pulled up to the ears are noticeable stressed, under pressure or show low confidence.
The reality you create for yourself through thinking influences your posture, which means you can influence your thinking with your habitual posture too.
Your body is your mind, your mind is your body and you think, speak, act in accordance. Through yoga we learn that what needs to be healed will be healed. What needs attention and alignment will get attention and adjustment. This is why it's important to take the time to practice asana, meditation, breathing or any other a physical and mental practice on a regular (ideally daily) basis.
The conditioning of your myofascia / the muscles and the opening of our energy gateways (the nadis) created trough a conscious practice will support the efficient and natural communication between all building blocks of your body-mind-heart complex.
Try this now:
Exhale deeply a few times. Stand or sit upright, move the shoulder blades down your back and towards your heart. Lift gently your sternum and notice how your spine lifts out of the pelvis while you are grounding down with your feet/or sit bones. Be aware of your core, your foundation of all movement and thinking. Let the energy of your core radiate out into all body parts, creating space and freedom.
How do you feel? Has your posture changed? How did your mental activities change?
Yes I know, I just returned from 2.5 months on the road. Offline, on the mat, on the surf board and to finish off, teaching at the Evolve Yoga Festival in Byron Bay, which was invigorating enough. And now it looks like the festival season has just begun...
As most of you know: I love being in nature. I love yoga. I love meditation. I love creating and being a part of a community that contributes to the world's good vibes and what happens? Hit by the law of attraction:
The Wanderlust Festival is coming down-under and I feel honoured to be a Wayfarer for Wanderlust Australia! More yoga, more community, more fun!
So let's start here: What is the Wanderlust Festival?
Co-founder Jeff Krasno describes the day like this:
"Our event is shaped like an upside-down triangle. You wake up and there are a million choices. Our ticketing/scheduling process looks like a Chinese menu.
You can take a led hike, a yoga class, go to a lecture, to a farmers market, go meditate, listen to a band. Not one single person at Wanderlust has the same schedule.
It's like a “choose your own adventure” book.
As the day moves on at Wanderlust, we slowly shed the options and communalize the experience. Until at night, everyone is united at one venue getting down and enjoying the music. So, it's both very individualistic and collective."
You will usually see my right eyebrow raise when it comes to any kind of healing gadgets.
It takes me a little while to let them in. As a yogi, I always aim to experience in order to believe. A new approach to Warrior I? I am in. A different view on downward facing dog? I try it out. Crystals, mmh, what can a shiny piece of rock really do to me?
Is it just a modern wellness tool or the cheaper version of a girls best friend?
Wait a moment! It is me who usually touches stones and rock walls on my walks, and I remember that I found myself once after getting out of the surf, lying face down on this huge black platform for half an hour, simply feeling at home. (I think I even had a nap...)
For some unexplainable reason I do have an affinity to stones.
So I asked my lovely friend, the healthy muse Summah from 'A Natural Connection' to introduce me and you to this topic. Most importantly Summah explains how we can enhance our yoga practice with crystals and how to clean them (...and what happened? Here I am, writing wearing my new chakra crystal necklace that I just bought in Cornwall. Who would have thought?):
Guest post by Summah O'Donnell:
Feel that you don't have to move, but allow yourself to be moved.
You don't have to breathe, but let yourself be breathed.
You don't have to do anything. Simply listen and flow.
Flow with the organic impulses and waves that nature has induced.
Just yesterday my hubby Will and I landed back in beautiful Australia. We had an exciting, surf rich yet restful honeymoon and spent plenty of time with our families in Europe.
One of my favourite moments?
When our mothers met for the first time and introduced each other in the foreing language (Will's mum in German "Hallo, mein name ist Judith. Wie geht's?" and my mum in English ("Hi, I am Angelika. It is very nice to meet you.). Will and I stood between them, opposite from each other. Stopped breathing but were smiling like honey cake horses. It was a very, very touching moment.
So now to my update: Yes, its happening the weekend!
I will be teaching the 'Organic Vinyasa' class at the Evolve Festival!
The class will be an organic vinyasa practise based on the marriage between alignment, intuitive movement and moments of stillness. The flowing sequences integrate basic postures, Kundalini Yoga exercises and seated meditation breaks, allowing the yogini and yogi to delve deeper into the evolutionary nature of herself and her own yoga practise.
The Vipassana Meditation Community farewelled a great spiritual leader.
Satya Naranyan Goenka, who taught the world Vipassana, a meditation techqnique that goes back to the Buddha and has been passed down by an unbroken chain of teachers to Goenka to the present day, took his last breath on the 29th of September 2013.
See things how they really are
Vipassana means 'to see things as they really are' and is one of the most ancient techniques of meditation.
I myself have concluded three Vipassana meditation retreats, where I had the opportunity to quieten and to go deep, which always lead me to generous revelations followed by fundamental changes in my life. Changes to the better.
During a 10-day retreat the meditation technique will be taught in the traditional way and (to my first surprise) with an initiation. It is passed on by your teacher who leads you in and through the practice.
Vipassana focuses on the deep interconnection between your mind and body. You will be silent, undistracted from books, electronically devices or your own writing, because this is what it's all about.
I always suggest everyone I know to do it at least once in her life: It's only 10 days! Just you, your breath and your being-humaness.Understandably, there is a lot of hesitation going to the unknown for 10 days.
In case you don't know if a 10-day retreat is something for you, here are 3 tips how you can easily get into it:
There is nothing to do than to be yourself. Undistracted and mindful.
- Almost every town and city has places that offer meditation courses or evenings. Have a look in the newspaper, google it or ask your yoga teacher.
- Begin with a half day or one day yoga and/or meditation retreat and you will see, it won't kill you to get into a simple, calm and healthy rhythm.
- Continue with a weekend retreat. This will help you to get a feel of how it is to dedicate a few days only to yourself. To relax and stay, rather than run away.
Vipassana is like a holiday from life. Which could sound a tad negative to you, yet, even though you have a beautiful life, sometimes it is good to step back, breathe and look from a birds eye perspective, undisturbed and peaceful.
Goenka and other teachers, for example Goenka's own teacher Sayagyi U Ba Khin
, made these meditation retreats accessible to everyone and the wonderful thing: they are all completely donation-based. What you pay is a donation to maintain the retreats for all future students. Isn't it wonderful? A kind of sustainable meditation practice, helping you to contribute for the future a peacful mind.
There are two things in my life that guide me through and through and that give me direction for everything I decide to do . Surfing and Yoga. Both (for me at least) are interchangeable synonyms for doing something in my life that Tim Winton artfully describes as this:
'Watching a little girl or a middle aged women smiling like a maniac as they come cruising by one-foot of mush. Or a pod of dolphins doing jumps off an empty pointbreak. Or surfing with a couple of whales spouting and tails-slapping just behind the break. All this is good for the soul. To me it's not a sport. ... To me, surfing has always been soul business.
It's the pointless things that give your life meaning. Friendship, compassion, art, love. All of them are pointless. But they're what keeps life from being meaningless. Catching a wave and turning and dancing and looping in towards the beach is one of the nicest forms of pointlessness I can think of.'
If you have found 'your pointless thing', yoga, surfing, fishing, singing, painting or cooking, the doing that makes you feel full and free ~ good on you. If you haven't - please head out, explore the open and find it!
with all my love,
Hola Yogics, I am super happy to tell you that I am the new ambassador for Mukha!
I have been looking for natural mats for a while now. There are a few companies that offer high quality eco mats and other yoga toys. Nevertheless most of them are from the United States and as I call Australia my new home since 2007, I preferably support a local company.
When we visited Lisa from Mukha during our stop in Perth, we learned about her intention and the story behind the products which you can also find on the Mukha website
And as angels do love to help, Lisa has generously donated a yoga mat and a block for the Living Ocean Yoga fundraiser class that I will teach tomorrow afternoon in Exmouth.
If you have any questions about the Mukha products, don't hesitate to contact me. If you decide to order a mat, tell Lisa, that I love her and that I sent you ;).
Which much love from Kalbarri,
PS: I will bring a few mats to the Evolve Yoga Festival in Byron Bay in October if you like to give it a try before you buy! ;)
My husband Will and I have been on our honeymoon for almost a week now and it has been mind blowingly amazing so far. We came across much love, friendship, generosity and unexpected adventures.
After we left Byron Bay we flew to Perth where we picked up our camper van and drove straight down to the stunning Margaret River region. Here we gathered together various surfboards, which were lent, purchased and given to us by old and new friends, who wholeheartedly sponsor our surf trip up to North West Coast.
Talking about receiving support and contribution: Contributing to my communities gives me A LOT.
This is why I will - together with local yoga teacher Kylie offer a Living Ocean Yoga class dedicated to the whales, fundraising money for Sea Shepherd this upcoming Sunday.
As a surfer and 'wanna be' mermaid it is my natural drift to channel my yoga love towards the ocean and its wondrous inhabitants.
The action of the yoga community and ocean conservation collaborating in support of our oceans is a unique opportunity to actively make a difference.
On Sunday the 28th of July, across Australia, in various studios, lounge rooms or beaches, we will salute the earth and sea with our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits.
Selfless service or seva is a traditional yogic concept. The word seva is sanskrit and comes from the root siv, or sev (meaning to serve or to honor).
The understanding of seva these days is that it is a serving for the good of the broader community.
Contribution is one of our basic human needs. When we contribute we feel complete. It is natural to give without asking for anything in return. It is a simple yet profound energy exchange that leaves us happy and grounded.
This for example is why I - as a world wandering surfer - made sure I was sharing my energy in some other ways than just searching for waves. I taught children in Honduras. I was a tutor in an orphanage in Puerto Escondido / Mexico, I helped fisherman building a boat in Sumbawa / Indonesia, ... wherever I took my surfboard, I brought my hearts intention to give, which helped to make my travels feel more complete.
The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.
~ Ethel Percy Andrus
For the Ocean & the whales, with