If the USA has Kris Carr and Australia Jessica Ainscough, Polly Noble is definitely the European health & healing bright shining ambassador who shares an incredibly strong message with us. Because of her authentic, hearth centred and down to earth way of telling her own story, Polly is loved across the oceans and enlightens the people all around the world. 
Polly's passion about health and the desire to serve the community shines through all her work. I am super honoured to let you meet the loving Maltipoo mama, who likes how it feels to dance and be silly, loud, honest, blunt, and upfront. Who would not love this mix? 

You are a health & raw food coach, successful wellness entrepreneur and teacher. You are the founder of pollynoble.com and “The noble kitchen” plus you co-(created) two ebooks, have written a paperbook and 4 ebooks. What is your vision & mission?

Quite simply, I want to give people the tools to upgrade their health and happiness so they can live a life they love. The mission statement I have pinned on my bathroom wall reads, “my mission; to inspire others to live a healthier and happier life and to do everything in their power to achieve this in every moment.”

What turned you into a green juice / raw food junkie? Where there any habits you found hard to give up?

My cancer diagnosis at 24 was the catalyst that turned me onto juicing and the idea that they body can heal itself. At first, I just added to my diet rather than take a lot of it away and gradually my desire for ‘naughty things’ faded and even to this day my sweet tooth is a lot more under control than it used to be pre diagnosis.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting his or her journey to a healthier/cleaner lifestyle?

ADD in. Start by adding a juice or smoothie. Or just commit to have one meal as raw, alkaline and as clean as possible. You will notice that the cleaner and greener you eat, the more often you will crave it and the less you will desire the ‘naughty’ foods.

What snacks and meals do you prepare when you are super busy?

Now is a super busy time for me as I’m working on my next book while also juggling a few other projects so juices, smoothies, fruit, nuts and seeds are my go to staples but I try to make sure i take a good half hour to hour for lunch to ensure I get a break from my laptop.

What is your sneaky treat?

It’s not really sneaky or a treat because it’s healthy but I love creamy chia pudding as its really comforting and makes me feel like I’m being naughty!

Do you practice yoga? How does your yoga practice look like? 
How do you live yoga on the mat and off the mat?

I love Jivamukti yoga because of its yogic philosophical nature and the connection of yoga and veganism. Off the mat, I try to be as accepting and loving of myself and others that being on the mat allows me to be and feel.

Which traditions / teachers / books are influencing your yoga practice the most?

At the moment, I am drawn to Kathryn Budig and Tara Stiles. For some reason I haven’t felt drawn to read about yoga but thinking about it, it is something I would like to do at some point.

What advice would you give a new yogi in regards of practicing yoga?

Go with whatever class or teacher that you feel pulled towards. Don’t try to compete with everyone else and rest when you need to.

The ‘Yogic’ intention is to Practice & Evolve. What does that mean for you?

For me, this means that the more time you put into your yoga practice, the more benefits you reap in all areas of your life as you progress. Yoga just allows you to become more of you.

How do you live a wholehearted life?

By following my heart and intuition, saying no to the things I don't want to do and walking my talk. In this life I feel it’s important for everyone to love themselves and make themselves happy by following their heart and this in turn leads to living a wholehearted life.

Which projects are you currently working on and what are your plans for the future?

I’m currently writing my second book which I am very excited about. I have just opened a juice bar with my friend called The Core and launched my food brand The Noble Kitchen so I’ll be focusing on branching out into other franchises. Next year I will be concentrating more on retreats, talks and workshops as I love meeting my followers and hearing what they have to say.

                                                                  A VINYASA WITH POLLY

I want to live in a world where … animals don’t get killed for their meat or for animal testing and there were stricter rules with regards to the sugar, oils and preservatives that are used in many foods that are the majority of the worlds primary food source.

My favorite
·      green juice/ smoothie is…


  • 1 lemon
  • 3 leaves dinosaur kale
  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1inch ginger
  • 1 apple

·      yoga posture is… Savasana ;o) and triangle

My least favorite

·      vegetable is… aubergine
·      yoga posture are… standing asanas

Post yoga / exercise snacks I love…smoothies, celery with almond butter and raisins, kale chips

My three personal health tips are… hydrate, add in the goodness,juice!

Three things I would take to a remote island… my laptop(!), juicer & pillow

The ‘place to be’ for me is… by the ocean

Two non-negotiable lifestyle choices of mine are…
doing what I want with the day according to what my heart tells me and juicing.

When I take a day ‘off’ I … see friends, read, catch up on my favourite tv shows, meditate.

A favorite quote that truly inspires me…
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?" Marianne Williamson

I am currently reading… Hot, Healthy Happy by my friend Dr Christy Fergusson.

Changer(s) and shifter(s) who inspire(s) my work the most…
(I go through stages) but the main gamechangers for me have been and are Kris Carr, Gabby Bernstein, Bethenny Frankel & Marie Forleo.

Connect with Polly:

Websites:  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PollysPath

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pollynoble

Healthtalks

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pollynoble/

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/pollynoble



                                                   Polly's Creamy Chia Pudding Recipe: 

Combine the chia and milk in a bowl, stir ensuring all chia seeds are submerged. Leave for 10minutes. Return to the bowl and stir again. Add the blueberries and gojis and enjoy.
 
 
If you ever find yourself in Pacific Palms on the Mid North Coast of NSW/Australia, be sure to make your way to a class with Sarah Downs. Sarah is a well known and much loved yoga teacher in the region, providing carefully designed yoga practices for beginners to advanced students in her cosy and well equipped home studio. 

As a mother of two gorgeous young children, Sarah 'lives' her yoga on all levels. In this interview she shares great advice to beginning yogis, a delicious vegan recipe a la Kris Carr and how 'reversing  the order'  has revolutionised her practice.

Sarah, please describe yourself in a few sentences:


I have been practicing yoga for 17 years and teaching for 13 years.  My main influences and inpirations are Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Yoga Synergy (Sydney), which has somehow fused into a creative vinyasa flow, that I practice and teach.  Whilst my yoga is my passion, at the forefront of my life is now my young family and it has been a complete diploma in itself to learn how to combine the two.  My practice has moulded around two young children in a rather interesting way over the last 6 years.

What is your vision & mission?

I don’t have a formal vision or mission, but I do like to consider my practice as non-negotiable, just as brushing teeth is for most people.  I also try to approach life in a genuine and generous way by honouring my life as it is and staying connected to all that is around me.  When all else fails, I fall back on compassion.  I tend to be guided by intuition and what feels right at the time, which is probably why a clear vision or mission is not easy to be clear about.

What brought you to the practice of yoga and how does yoga help you on your path to wellbeing?

In 1994, I was travelling in India and found myself in Rishkesh (at the head of The Ganges, where The Beatles used to retreat to) just after a coup.  There were very few foreigners there and it was a little scary, so a fellow traveller and I found refuge in an ashram that was completely empty except for us.  We attended morning and afternoon sessions with our very own private swami who was mad about the Bhagavad Gita.  I only got a very general gist of it as his accent was very thick and seemed to be devoid of consonants so it was like trying to understand someone under water.  Nevertheless I used to enjoy long walks with him in the afternoon – his enthusiasm and love of life was infectious. 

After that, it still took me another couple of years to get to a yoga class, which was probably at the first Bikram’s Yoga in Australia (Manly) in 1996.  I dedicated myself to 3 months daily practice and then moved onto Ashtanga Yoga.

How does your yoga practise look like? How do you live yoga on the mat and off the mat?

After doing Sarah Powers’ Yin/Yang Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation Intensive in January this year, I have changed the order of my practice.  I start with a short Yin pose such as sitting cross-legged and bending forward, then I move onto a seated meditation.  Following that I do pranayama and then begin my asana practice which involves flowing standing poses, floor poses, inversions and Savasana.

Reversing the order of my practice in this way has been revolutionary for me as it prioritises meditation and pranayama over asana practice.  As a mum, I am sometimes interrupted and if I have done my asana practice and haven’t had time to seal it with relaxation, meditation and pranayama, I can feel fractured and off-centre.  If I get interrupted after meditation and pranayama and before asana, I feel fine. 

The yoga teachers I have admired the most all promote meditation, or the teachings that arise as a result of being still, as the most important aspect of any practice.

As far as living yoga off the mat, I try to stay connected.  I try to catch my critical voice and remind myself of compassion.  I don’t believe you ever get “THERE”, which is a very precious concept as it keeps us learning and journeying.  I volunteer as much time as I can manage to reach out to people (mainly children) who probably would not experience yoga if it wasn’t for my classes.  I try to acknowledge everything that crosses my path as a teacher or a gift and learn from it.  I try to see things as they are and not how I want them to be.  I say “I try ... “ as I don’t always succeed!

Which tradition / teacher / book  are influencing your practice the most?

The greatest influences of the last couple of months for me are Sarah Powers and Yin Yoga as well as Jack Kornfield and his Jewel of Liberation CD Set. 

Sarah Powers draws on Yoga, Daoism and Buddhism and highlight the importance of Yin Yoga (being) in our very Yang (doing) world.  This idea is highlighted by the west’s obsession with the physical practice of yoga (asana) when there are seven other just as precious limbs of yoga that we tend to ignore as they can’t be seen as clearly through our Yang eyes.

Jack Kornfield is a Buddhist teacher and a Psychologist.  He translates the ancient and almost inaccessible Buddhist texts for westerners in a captivating way.  It is not unusual for me to laugh and cry over the course of one of Jack’s CD’s (several times).

I try to incorporate monthly themes into my practice and teaching and usually cover a physical aspect such as “The shoulder”, a philosophical aspect such as Maitri (unconditional kindness towards oneself) and possibly a non-physical practice such as setting a positive intention (Sankalpa).

You have been teaching for 13 years. You taught in studios in London, Sydney and… now you are teaching classes in a little private studio in a beautiful house in Pacific Palms on the East Cost of New South Wales.
How do you experience the difference between teaching in a small community compared to teaching classes in city studios?

Teaching in London is different to teaching in Pacific Palms, but there are also similarities.  Sometimes I would teach at London gyms and there would be a huge range of abilities (and injuries) and I would have to have a range of poses with different variations and degrees of difficulty up my sleeve.  But that can also happen in a class of 3!  I think the biggest change to my practice is space.  I remember going to a fabulous class in London where the teacher said in a very quiet and vulnerable moment “There is enough space for you.” Tears started to roll down my face as, in London, you are jammed into tube trains and there is so much going on all the time and very little opportunity to feel the massive space of the universe.  I am Australian after all!

I feel that since moving here, my heart space has grown.  If I walk on the beach in Sydney and start connecting with people either by looking at them or saying hello, they think I’m strange.  Likewise when I first moved here, it did not feel natural to acknowledge every single person that I passed on the beach.  However now it feels natural and it is also a very heartening experience to run into people I know every time I go to the shop or to kindy or school.  So it’s like my heart has got bigger by living in this community and would have to shrink (in a strange kind of way) to move back to Sydney as it’s just not possible to acknowledge every single person you pass by. 

This highlights the difference of teaching in London and here in the Palms.  There is always a community aspect to my class which everyone participates in.  Whenever new people join the area and come along, they always make connections in the classroom that extend beyond it.  And so do I .. lucky me, huh!

What advice would you give a new yogi in regards of practicing yoga?


My advice does me out of job!  It is better to practice for 5 minutes a day than come to a weekly class.  Although if you can manage both, then all the better.  Once a year, I focus my monthly theme on the 5 or 10 minute practice to empower every student to practice yoga alone.  Everyone has got 5 minutes and even such a small amount of time can make a huge difference to your day and life.  The secret is that it rarely stays at 5 minutes – once you can get around the voice that talks you out of your practice, the practice takes over.  I started my practice by rolling out my mat every day and lying on my back and hugging my knees to my chest!  That was all I “had” to do, but it didn’t stay that way for long.

On a practical level, you are the only one in your skin and if something doesn’t feel right, you should back off, regardless of how inexperienced you are or how experienced your teacher is.  Also being able to turn off your critical voice in a yoga class/practice is a real asset, so try to use that precious time to cultivate kindness towards yourself and others.  We are not born with criticism; it is something we learn .. so using the practice to unlearn it is highly recommended.

Other than that, I would say that once you start practicing, the magic happens.  I know that may sound a little kooky, but if you’re very quiet and attentive, you’ll notice it.  It may not show itself in the way you expected, it may be subtle (or even very loud), but if you’re not looking out for it, you’ll miss it.

The ‘Yogic’ intention is to Practice & Evolve. What does that mean for you?

Practice: Practice is EVERYTHING.  You can have knowledge, but without experience, it is nothing.  Practice is where the murky, grimey, unsightly part of us gets to shine .. Believe me, it’s better out than in!  Not only that, but practice is what makes an average day a lot more meaningful.  It doesn’t ensure that everything is rosy, but that when things aren’t, you’ve got the choice of how you want to deal with them, rather than reverting to reactive mode.

Evolve: The beauty of life is that there’s always more to learn.  I was brought up as a Catholic and I found myself at a Catholic funeral a few months ago.  I was aware of some slight aversion at having to sit through a mass, but recognised it as part of my past and tried to enter with an open mind.  Ironically, the priest turned out to be an amazing teacher .. in his pristine white and gold garments, he raised his right hand and pointed skyward and in his Polish accent, he said “Many people get caught up with religion and worship the finger, and forget that the finger is pointing to the mystery.”  No words can describe the mystery although many compassionate souls try to lead us there.  We can only experience it for ourselves, beyond words, beyond doctrine .. or just beyond.  At least, that is my understanding .. and the thirst to understand more is what I think it is to EVOLVE.

What does a life in equilibrium means to you?

I don’t know .. I’ll tell you when I find it! 

As a working mother of young children, I struggle with this enormously.  Towards the end of my pregnancy with my first child, I went to do a practice and got so engrossed that when the phone rang and I looked up, I realised it had turned dark and 3 ½ hours had passed.  That is no longer possible and I have to pull myself back from the temptation to continually battle with time.  After I had my first baby, my practice fitted neatly into her early morning sleep, then as she started to wake for longer, I squeezed it in later, then it disappeared and reappeared as a 45 minute nightly meditation whilst breast-feeding.   When my second child came along, things changed again.  

My practice has moved all around the clock and I guess that is the most I can expect from equilibrium.  I have become a master at squeezing it into places that I might not have expected to .. on the beach while my children play on the rocks, while the children watch Play School or this morning while they made birthday cards for their cousin (with me practicing on the mat just a metre away).  Sometimes it is easier to fit in while we share the same space .. and it is strangely satisfying to have these two little souls chatting away and negotiating with pencils as I do.

My mum has just come to stay and we were talking about a severely disabled paraolympian we knew this morning.  He said, “I don’t think about what I can’t do, I think about what I can do.”  I think this captures the essence of equilibrium .. it is not about trying to impose perfection on your life, but making the most of what has been gifted to you each day.

How do you live a wholehearted life?

I have a lot of people in my life that I love.  I try to respect my body and this precious human life.  I try to invest in my community with my day-to-day interactions and my work.  I try to remain conscious of what I am grateful for.  I spend some time each day interacting with “The Mystery” (a spiritual practice).

Which projects are you currently working on and what are your plans for the future?

I have had to rein myself in as a mother of two small children as there are so many things I’d like to do yoga-wise.  I have a few workshops up my sleeve that I would like to teach to allow my students to go deeper.  I really enjoy collaborating and building community with other yoga teachers and loved the opportunity to teach with Alexa at the Pacific Palms Red Tent Event in March. 

I don’t think I am alone when I say that it’s very hard to consider the future when I am immersed in being a mother to two young children.  I am keen to keep teaching from home, although it is a small studio, and I would rather put on more classes than move to a larger space.  At this stage, teaching around 5 classes a week is workable, but I may increase that as time permits.  I am a bit rubbish at marketing – I’ve had street signs sitting in my garage for quite some time, so I would like to get on top of that side of things. 

There’s a knowing deep within me that yoga is my purpose and teaching is an important part of any advanced practice.  It is one thing to know something and another to articulate it.  I try to live by the premise that you should never hold onto knowledge, but share it.  As long as I am open to new possibilites (even if it is not what I expected), somehow I feel I will be quided.  As you can probably tell, I am a Business Coach’s worst nightmare!

A VINYASA WITH Sarah:

My favourite yoga posture is… Janu Sirsasana (it’s like coming home)

My least favourite yoga posture is…Kukkutasana (but I don’t think I can do it anymore, anyway!)

Post yoga snacks I love
…Chai with honey or a fruit/vege juice.

My three personal health tips are…Lemon juice in water first thing in the morning, being connected to both your inner and outer worlds and a diet heavy on green.

Three things I would take to a remote island…my family, music and a knife to open coconuts.

The ‘place to be’ for me is…wherever I find myself (despite how uncomfortable that may be sometimes).

Two non-negotiable lifestyle choices of mine are…Meditation and a meat-free diet.

When I take a day ‘off’ I…..go to the beach to walk and swim.

A favourite quote that truly inspires me
                  
         "Everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be." - Marcus Aurelius


I am currently reading…”The Four Desires” by Rod Stryer, “Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting” by Jon Kabat-Zinn and “The Wise Heart” by Jack Kornfield.  I usually read a few books at once, however sometimes, as with “The Four Desires”, I will dip in and out of a book.  It never ceases to amaze me how I will find just the right passage for that moment.

My favourite books are… “Awareness” by Anthony de Mello, “Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha” by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, “The Heart of Yoga” by TKV Desikachar, to name a few ... Don’t get me started on fiction!

Please share with us one of your favourite recipes:

Cashew Cream Cheese (From Kris Carr’s “Crazy Sexy Kitchen”)

*The idea of vegan can be offputting for a lot of people, but can easily be incorporated into any diet.  This can be used just as you’d use cream cheese or hummous, such as on wraps or as a dip.

Ingredients:

2 CUPS RAW CASHEWS, SOAKED FOR A FEW HOURS OR OVERNIGHT IN WATER TO SOFTEN

½ CUP WATER

2 TBSPNS LEMON JUICE

1 TBSPN NUTRITIONAL YEAST (Available from Health Food Stores)

1 TBSPN ONION POWDER

1 ½ TBSNS FINELY DICED CHIVES

¼ CUP FINELY MINCED PARSLEY

1 ½ TBSPNS FINELY MINCED SHALLOTS OR RED ONION

½ TSPN SEA SALT

FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE

Method:
  • Drain the soaked cashews and blend with water and lemon juice in high-speed blender until smooth.
  • Pause often to scrape sides of blender and fold ingredients in to ensure a creamy texture.
  • Transfer mixture to a bowl and add nutritional yeast, onion powder, chives, parsley, shallots, salt and pepper, mixing thoroughly.

Get in touch with Sarah: 

BLUEYS YOGA - CREATIVE VINYASA FLOW    
  • * Balance * Clarity * Grace *   
  • CLASS TIMES: Thursday 9.30am / Friday 6.30am / Saturday 9am 
  • Classes are held in a friendly home studio in Charlotte Bay, just 600m from The Lakes Way on Coomba Rd.  
  • Sarah Downs teaches Creative Vinyasa Flow classes combining Dynamic sequences to strengthen and cleanse with Restorative poses to develop grace and quieten the mind. 
  • With 13 years' teaching experience and her expertise as a remedial massage therapist, she is able to tailor classes to suit all levels and accommodate special needs and injuries.  
  • Contact: phone: 0411 22 44 71, email:  blueysyoga@gmail.com or visit http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/connect/blueysyoga/service/19339

Sarah also teaches at various kindergartens in Pacific Palms and will soon begin teaching yoga to school children in the Active After-School Care program.
 
 
I won't say too much in this introduction and simply invite you to meet Susana, Yoga Teacher, Life/Biz Coach, founder of 'Selfish for 27 days' and co-creator of 'A Night of Stillness.' (Please don't forget to breathe!) 

Please describe yourself in a few sentences: 

A woman. A mama. A partner. An entrepreneur. A daughter. A sister. A friend. A coach. A teacher. A student. A writer. A creator. An explorer. An innovator. A risk-taker. A seeker. A catalyst. An instigator. An advocate. A truth teller. An opportunist. An activist. A spirit. A soul.  I am all of these things and so much more.

What is your vision & mission?

To love deeper and bigger...and help others do the same.  And, I’m all for making love the bottom line. 


What brought you to the practice of yoga and how does yoga help you on your path to wellbeing?

I was physically, emotionally, mentally and energetically burnt out.  My adrenals were exhausted.  Cortisol was at an all time high.  I had a mild case of hyperthyroidism.  Even though I was incredibly fit and strong, my body was struggling.  Plus, my emotional well-being was also crippling.  I was living in a world of angst, confusion and denial. 

This lead me to Vipassana, a 10 day silent retreat meditation.  100 hours of meditation later, life changed in a heartbeat.  I resigned from my career as a Group Fitness Teacher/Gym Manager, ended my 5 year marriage, moved back in with my parents and unexpectedly fell in love with a woman awakening a part of sexuality I never knew existed (all within the same month).  It was this feeling of ‘coming back home to myself’.

Six months later, I signed up for Yoga Teacher training.  I was curious.  Even though I had never stepped foot in a yoga studio or even tried a yoga class something said “go do a yoga teaching training course”.  And so I did.  It was a moment of total trust.  And it was worth it.

Right now, yoga plays a significant part in reconnecting me back with my body and the wisdom that it holds.  It helps me relax and be more receptive and open, which I believe are 3 very powerful qualities when it comes to amplifying your wellbeing.

How does your yoga practise look like?

It’s fluid.  There is no set routine or regime.  I have not set times or set activities.  Instead, I’ve made a fierce, yet loving, commitment to never ever again abandon myself to the degree that I am not fully present in my life.  My yoga is about returning back to my center, returning back to my true nature. 

Sometimes this happens on the yoga mat, sometimes this happens on my meditation cushion, sometimes it happens on the dance floor...in the bedroom...brushing my teeth...at the checkout counter...sending an email...writing an article.  My practice is about presence, so it’s happening from moment to moment. 

This is my yoga.

Which tradition / teacher / book influence your practice the most?

My yoga practice is a real eclectic mix of influences.  Teachers include Seane Corn, Elena Brower, Tammy Pascoe, Meghan Currie, Tara Stiles, Belinda Davidson, Roxanne Howe-Murphy, Diana Redmond, Goenka, my family, my children and my partner.  Books include The Wisdom of the Enneagram, Deep Living, The Wheels of Life and anything by Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra.

You are the creator of 27daysofselfish.com where you encourage women to ‘shamelessly’ take their health and happiness first! What brought you to design this program what is your message to the people participating?

Ever since experiencing a severe burnout and breakdown back in 2010 (which I wrote about earlier in how I discovered yoga), I promised myself I would always listen to the wisdom of my body and follow the whispers of my heart. 

Any time I have denied or ignored one or both of these things for a little too long I have:

  1. gotten sick…and remembered how useless I am to everyone and everything when I’m not at my healthiest, or
  2. ended up way “over there” which is nowhere near my truth…and remembered how useless I am to everyone and everything when I’m not in alignment with my own integrity.

These two big lessons have taught me that being Selfish and filling up my own cup first isn’t something to feel guilty or shameful about.  Instead, it’s essential.  And that’s because when you are selfish enough to do whatever it takes to align yourself with your healthiest and happiest Self, you have more energy to give to the people you love and more enthusiasm to keep bringing your strengths and unique gifts to the world.

This is what I want every woman to know.  This is why I created Selfish for 27 days. 

For every woman who thinks she needs to “do it all on her own” or feels she has to “be something she’s not” or is sacrificing her desires because of her “responsibilities/commitments”, this program is for her.

Together with Tara Bliss You are the  co-creator of Night of Stillness. Tell us more about that.

A Night of Stillness was an idea that came to me late 2012 and instantly I knew Tara Bliss was the perfect person to team up - our styles are so different, yet so complimentary. 

The timing was also perfect. We were both at a period in our lives where we were craving more stillness and more in person connection with other women.  And we both knew that there were many other women out there feeling the same.

The night is a mixture of meditation, journaling and guided conversations strictly for women.  It’s an opportunity for them to intentionally connect with their true nature and be in the presence of other amazing women who are also on this path of profound healing and transformation.  It’s a very sacred, supportive and powerful night.  And every woman should be there!

What tips would you give a new yogi about doing practice?

It’s not all about the yoga poses- that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  You’ve got to be willing to make yoga your own.  Learn from those who have been where you’ve been.  But then you’ve got to be willing to find your own way. 

What does a life in balance mean to you?

Being deeply grounded AND deliriously high.  Staying connected to your own center.

The ‘Yogic’ intention is to Practice & Evolve. What does that mean for you?

Practice: application. action. integration. movement. doing. implementing.  This is where thinking about it or talking about it becomes ‘doing it’.

Evolve: learning. expansion. progress. growth. facing forward. choice. consciousness. LOVE. Evolution is about awareness and conscious choices towards LOVE.

How do you live a wholehearted life?

Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.  And follow your heart, follow your heart, follow your heart.

Which projects are you currently working on and what are your plans for the future?

I’m currently working on bringing Selfish to life with Retreats and Immersions.  My work is very experiential AND I love facilitating experiences for people AND bringing people together.  So expanding into the realm of live events is a real focus for me this year.

VINYASA WITH SUSANA:

My favourite yoga posture is…pigeon pose or wild thing. 

My least favourite yoga posture is…double pigeon is a real challenging pose for me.

My favourite yoga style …Vinyasa.  There is something magic about synchronizing movement and breath.

My favourite blog…when it comes to wellness I love my girl Jessica Ainscough’s blog The Wellness Warrior.

Post yoga snacks I love…young coconuts.  So so so refreshing.

My three favourite health tips are…

1) be selfish enough to take care of how you feel.

2) be selfish enough to take responsibility for your reality and aligning yourself with your happiest and healthiest self.

3) be selfish enough to take action to fulfill your dreams and desires.

Three things I would take to a remote island…my family, my music, my journals.

The ‘place to be’ for me is…in the moment.

Two non-negotiable lifestyle choices of mine are…telling the truth and following my heart.

When I take a day ‘off’ I…..spend lots of time with my family.

A favourite quote that truly inspires me…breathe and all is revealed, love and all is healed ~ Seane Corn.

I am currently reading…Deep Living by Roxanne Howard Murphy (it’s part of my Enneagram Deep Coaching Certification)

My favourite books are…A New Earth, Truth Heals, The Desire Map, The Wisdom of the Enneagram, The Big Leap,

If you have, please share with us one of your favourite recipes: I’m currently lovin’ brocolini drizzled with sesame oil, tamari, honey and garlic and ginger.

Bio - website - facebook details: 


Susana Frioni is a certified Enneagram Life/Biz Coach & Yoga Teacher helping women follow the urge to be real in life, love and work through her online programs, live events and retreats, private coaching and weekly yoga classes based in Brisbane.  Head over to SusanaFrioni.com  for your somewhat weekly dose of wisdom, power and love. And be sure to check out her program Selfish for 27 days: where women shamelessly put their health and happiness first. Enrolments close 3rd May 2013.


www.susanafrioni.com

www.facebook.com/susanafrioni

 
 
I am exited to present the following interview about yoga, wellness, nutrition & love with Holistic Health and Life Coach Melissa Ambrosini.  

Melissa is a bright shining miracle worker who transforms the lives of women from all walks of life. Her blog has been awarded with the 'Top 100 Women Empowerment Blogs 2012' award from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating and is the place to go to fuel up on wisdom and inspiration about holistic wellness, nutrition and living boldly & fully. 

Melissa can increasingly be seen in the media where she leaves the refreshing breeze of healing wisdom and love, helping us to make the shift to live a life full of vitality, radiance and joy. 

Melissa describes herself as a truth seeker, super passionate green juice junkie, dreamer, believer, health nut, and organic lifestyle liver. She is on a 'heartstring mission to empower and inspire people to take back control of their lives and live effortlessly from their hearts.' 

Do I have to say more? Sit back and relax, listen and learn from this fountain of inspiration...  
"I am committed to helping people break down the barriers, and karate chop their limiting beliefs. I am inspired to teach people how to live their biggest, most radiant, sparkly life possible."  

What brought you to the practice of yoga? How has yoga helped you on your path to wellness? 
Over three years ago, when I was battling depression and an eating disorder, I remember taking my first yoga classes. I instantly fell in love with yoga. I remember craving that space and time on my mat. I was a very dedicated yogi, practicing every morning. At the time, I lived literally next door to a yoga studio. I was there every morning at 6 a.m. I loved it so much I applied to study yoga teacher training. But, I fell in love with holistic nutrition, also, and decided to study that instead. 

Yoga has changed my life! It was the first time I stopped and looked inward. It has helped me so much on my healing journey and it still does. 

How does your yoga practice look like these days? 
Today, my yoga practice looks very different from when I first started. I practice twice a week but that’s always changing. I listen to my body and feel what it wants to do. 

Do you meditate? What does meditation mean to you? Do you have a favourite meditation practice? 
Do I EVER. Hell yeah, sista! Meditation is like my ‘coffee’ hit. I meditate morning and night for twenty minutes. I learned to meditate from a good friend, Tom Cronin. Check out his stuff here, he is a brilliant meditation teacher. 

Which style / teacher / book influences your practice the most? 
When I first started I did hatha and vinyasa. I still do these now plus also yin yoga which I love. 

If you would want to describe the practice of yoga to someone who could benefit from it greatly, but who is still hesitant to make the first step onto the mat. What would you say? 
Leap and the net will appear. Step outside your comfort zone and try it. It will transform your life and your relationship with yourself. It is deeply healing and restorative. 

What does a healthy life in balance mean to you?
To me, a healthy life in balance means not being too hard on myself. We all have great intentions. But, when we fall off the bike, picking ourselves up and getting straight back on is important. I tell my clients: Forgive yourself for over eating, drinking, sleeping in, not finishing everything on your To Do List. Forgive yourself for everything because forgiveness is the key to freedom. 

The ‘yogic’s’ intention is to practice, to evolve, and to give. What does that mean for you? 
Practice: 
Everyday and in every moment we can be practicing – practicing yoga, meditation, and love. It’s important to practice these things daily. That is where the magic occurs: in the repetition each day.  

Evolve:
We must continue to evolve, to always be working on ourselves and growing. 

Give:
At the end of the day, I always ask myself: Did I give enough today to myself, my clients, readers, friends, my partner and my family? This is a great way to check in with yourself.

You are a life and health coach and you offer a wealth of information on your website. Which other projects are you currently working on and what are your plans for the future? 
I am currently also working on Healthtalks TV which I LOVE. We have just finished a book which is coming out soon. 

Personally, I am releasing a few books and e-Books next year, an e-Course, online courses, and workshops. So, stay tuned. You can sign up to my newsletter so you never miss a beat. 


                                                                A VINYASA WITH MEL...


My favourite yoga posture is: downward dog. I Iove this pose. I could hang out here all day.

My least favourite yoga posture is: any back bends. (I don’t like ‘em!)

Post yoga snacks I adore: coconut water and a raw bliss ball. 

My three favourite health tips are:

1. Drink loads of clean filtered water. 

2. Laugh (a lot!)

3. Eat whole, organic, fresh foods.

Three things I would take to a remote island:

1. Coconut oil, 

2. Spirit Junkie, 

3. A pillow. 

I am currently reading: Danielle LaPorte’s Firestarter Sessions.

The ‘place to be’ for me is: In my heart <3 

Two non-negotiable lifestyle choices are:

1. I don’t drink alcohol.

2. I eat only organic, grass-fed, and grass-finished, animal products. 

When I take a day ‘off’, I lie on the beach with a good book. 

A favourite quote that truly inspires me is by Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

Changer(s) and shifter(s) who inspire(s) my work the most:

Jamie Gonzalez 

Gabrielle Berstein 

Marie Forleo 

Connect with Melissa:

Website 
http://pathtowellness.com.au

Facebook 
http://www.facebook.com/MelissaAmbrosiniThePathToWellness

Twitter
https://twitter.com/Mel_Ambrosini 

Healthtalks
http://www.youtube.com/HealthTalksTV

Pinterest
http://pinterest.com/mel_ambrosini/

Instagram 
@melissa_ambrosini 
 
 
Whistling and singing I am delighted to present to you the first of the Yogic Luminary Interview Series with yoga  teacher and writer Eve Grzybowski. 

Before we met in person, Eve taught me some invaluable lessons via the multimedia version of her book the "Art of Adjustment', which I bought just after I started teaching yoga. I remember jogging down the beach listening to her finely depicted, encouraging explanations about the ethical principles and techniques of yoga adjustments. 

I slapped my hands against my cheeks when I realized that Eve's 'YOGA SHED' (that I dreamed to visit at least once in my life) was only 1.5 hours drive from my new home on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. I am keen yoga shedder ever since and try to make my way up to Mitchells Island as often as possible. 


What I love about her work is that no matter how big the class, Eve gives her full attention to each and every student. She encourages you to move through the matrix of motion and stillness with the meticulous focus of a conservator. As her student you will be so much in love with your piece of work that you may forget time and space entirely, leaving the mat with the invigorating residue of insight, pride and joy.  

In this interview Eve shares interesting insights about her personal yoga and meditation practice, beginners tips, an anxiety pacifying yoga sequence and her view on stressing less and living wholeheartedly. 

Enjoy... 
 
1. How do you befriend your body?

Before befriending one’s body, I think “getting acquainting” with it is the order of the day. Saying, “g’day”, “how’re ya goin’”, “what do you need in this moment”? This approach can relate to lots of activities: eating, drinking, recreating, doing asanas, socializing, working, and making love. Once I hear what my body is saying to me, I’m ready to befriend it by meeting its immediate needs. I try to tune in as much as I can remember (with mixed success!).

2. Describe your yoga practice - remembering that yoga is union, and not just asana. How do you live yoga on the mat, and off the mat? How many classes do you teach, how often do you practice, how do you take yoga off the mat?

This is such a good question. I’m always interested in what yogis do in the way of yoga practice. It’s certainly an evolutionary journey, being on the yoga path! What I did in 1971 hardly resembles what I did in my studio this morning.

My yoga practice goes for about 1.5 hours, soon after I wake up. I do a variety of asanas, making sure to include inversions – headstand, shoulder stand, halasana, setu bandhasana, and viparita karani. In my ideal practice, I do pranayama at the end, after relaxation, and then I sit for a few minutes.

My aim in practising is to cultivate equilibrium in my mind and body and take this into all my relationships. “Yoga off the mat” for me is where I put into practice the Yama and Niyama. My biggest challenge is learning to be non-reactive in all my thoughts, words and deeds. Marriage is a great arena for me to practice Ahimsa. My husband is always one of my best teachers.

3. Is meditation part of your practice? If so, in what way?

I don’t practice meditation on a cushion. My version of meditation is paying careful attention. I do this in my yoga practice, in doing my work as well as possible, in brushing my teeth, and in communicating and listening.

4. What tips would you give a brand new yogi about doing practice?

a. Roll out your mat.

b. Sit on it.

c. Do that at approximately the same time every day, to the best of your ability.

d. Do what you can, even if it’s only a little.

e. If you can’t figure out where to start, quiet your mind and let the poses you come back to you.

f. Use yoga books and DVD’s, YogaAnywhere practice cards to inspire you.

g. Most of all, remember you don’t have to do it well at the beginning. You just start. 

5. Favourite things?

Books: 
Ooh! There are just too many to choose one! Donald Moyer’s, Awakening the Inner Body is right up there. Donald writes clearly and in depth about how to make the physical practice of yoga deeper and more satisfying. Besides, having met him, he’s just a humble, lovely person.

I should say, too, that the first yoga book I wrote, Teach Yourself Yoga, still holds up well after 15 years as a beginner’s all-round text.

Blog:
I enjoy a site called myfiveminute yoga.com. It offers friendly advice for growing a yoga practice.

Studio: 
There’s a great centre, Darwin Yoga Space, which I like for its beautiful decor and fine teaching of the principle teacher and director, Carol Baillangeron. The climate is great, too, especially when we southerners are feeling the bite of winter. The premises are purpose-built carved out of a large warehouse space, with luminous tongue-and-groove hard wood floor, lemony walls, and a tropical garden outlook.

Style of yoga:
Call me old-fashioned… I’m not much of a “flow” girl and not too good at hot’n’sweaty. I like my props. I like to take time getting into a pose, settling, and then coming out at just the right time. In fact, I like long timings in poses. I keep coming back to the rigour of Iyengar-style because it moves me from my vata dosha jumpiness to interiority and stillness.

Pose: 
Oh, I’ll have to name at least five: Adho mukha svanasana, Sirsasana, Sarvangasana, Urdhva Dhanurasana, Viparita Karani.

Sequence – Here’s one that works well to pacify anxiety. It’s from our YogaAnywhere Tool Kit.

·      Tadasana

·      Uttanasana

·      Adho Mukha Svanasana

·      Pincha Mayurasana

·      Adho Mukha Vrskasana

·      Paschimottanasana, head supported

·      Dwipada Viparita Dandasana on a chair

·      Sirsasana

·      Sarvangasana, supported on chair

·      Halasana, supported on chair

·      Setu Bandha Sarvangasana over bolster & blanket

·      Viparita Karani, supported on bolster(s)

·      Viloma 1 Pranayama

6. How can people bring yoga into their everyday?

When you have been touched, inspired and moved by yoga, it is bound to overflow into your everyday life. You make healthier choices relating to diet, exercise, relationships with others, how you work and how much, how you recreate. Then, you reach a point where the energy you generate from your yoga practice is available not just for your own healing, but can be directed out towards humanity and the planet.

7. What is one thing that today you are grateful for?

All of my life!


8. How do you slow down and smell the roses?

I plant gardens! Digging helps to ground me.

I moved from the city to the country three years ago and, to be honest, I’ve noticed my life has gradually become busier over this time period. No one is immune to stress, even self-proclaimed retirees! Creating balance is a life-long challenge, just like coming back to being in the moment and watching each breath complete itself.


9. Any ideas on stressing less & enjoying more?

Live in Nature’s lap, breathe fresh air, buy fresh food and cook with joy, make friends and family a priority, feed yourself on inspiration, love unreservedly and receive love unabashedly.

We all know yoga teachers as a whole tend to burn out a lot. We know that activists tend to burn out. How can we funnel this passion and energy into the world but also keep our fires and tapas burning brightly?

This last year I gave a workshop on this very topic at the Yoga Australia conference. It’s a sad truth but human beings don’t often know their limits until they go over them. However, with yoga as a tool, we might just get the pendulum to not swing as wide, and, perhaps with grace, we  can even learn to make it balance on a five-cent piece J

10. How do YOU live a wholehearted life?

I keep creative juices flowing in whatever way makes my spirit soar: singing, dancing, drawing, making things with my hands, writing, reading, gardening, socializing with old friends, and meeting new friends. I love playing games like charades, bridge, and scrabble. This year I went up to Bellingen for a week and learned printmaking. Here’s my first attempt at making a pebble mosaic for our garden path.

 
...and any last comments/thoughts?

Thanks so much for the opportunity. I live for sharing yoga!


Eve is well known in the yoga world. Her yoga experience spans nearly 40 years. She founded two schools, Sydney Yoga Centre and Simply Yoga. Author of Teach Yourself Yoga and The Art of Adjustmentshe also writes for yoga magazines and journals. Eve has been a yoga teacher trainer since 1990 and sees training individuals to teach as the best way to promote yoga in the world. In 2012, to her surprise, she co-founded a new business YogaAnywhere for helping yogis do personal yoga practice: www.yogaanywhere.net

Eve writes about yoga and the country life at: eveyoga.com
 
 
Kicking off in January 2013  you will find here insightful  interviews with yoga teachers and practitioners, health addicts and educators who will share their personal secrets to a healthful, nourishing and balanced life.