- Develop greater focus and concentration
- Tap into the power of “flow states”
- Practice responding wisely to stress
- Develop resilience by learning how to be with emotionally difficult or physically painful experiences
- Leverage personal strengths and stretching your personal edges without giving up or burning out
- Recognize & shift from critical to compassionate self talk
- Process and learn from inevitable mistakes and failures
Summertime in Australia can be a magnificent time – beach holidays, joyous barbeques, crimson sunsets late in the evenings; an all round wonderful time of year. But with the stress of Christmas, the tensions of seeing family and the general busyness we can forego our most important asset we have – our wellbeing.
We’ve gathered our inspirational teachers together and asked them to give us a peek into their summer lives and how they managed to stay healthy – both physically and mentally – during this time.
Here’s how our staff love to stay healthy physically over summer:
My home brewed kombucha is my personal life saver. Amy R
To keep healthy during this time of year, I love walking in the sunshine. Charlton
With the heat of the day it can be easier to stay indoors and get complacent about exercise. I like to walk early in the morning before the heat of the day, yoga (goes without saying) and paddle boarding. Being active releases endorphins the feel good hormones so you actually feel physically fitter and more energised. Staying hydrated is a big one over the summer. Nothing more refreshing than ice cold water with mint, cucumber and lemon which is a great antioxidant. Sue
Exercise early in the morning, make use of the warmer evenings for spending more time outside to relax, reconnect and to have fun. Eat lots of cooling foods such as watermelon, cucumber, mint, fennel, coriander, rose and aloe. Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink is also a great idea as it heats your blood and is rather dehydrating. Amy L
Here’s how our staff love to stay mentally healthy over summer:
Relax and breathe! Take time to slow down and enjoy not just every day, but each and every moment. Teresa
To keep my mind calm and stable during periods of stress and to balance out the highs and lows, I always turn to meditation. Charlton
Meditation, meditation and meditation! And it doesn’t necessarily have to be sitting. Meditation is simply single pointed focus so being mindful of each task can help keep that “monkey mind” at bay and as a result, reduce stress.
‘I won’t lie that a nice drop of red wine or a cool gin and tonic with a favorite magazine or good book gives me mental space.’ Sue
The main thing that I normally recommend is: do something small once each day.
This is a guideline that I live by for both my physical and mental wellbeing. We often get caught up in the idea of being active meaning that you have to do a workout for 90 minutes or meditation requiring us to sit perfectly still for half an hour.
While these are good too, time is precious and often fleeting – especially at this time of year. So we often need to practice the little things when we can. Wake up in the morning and doing a few rounds of Sun Salutes is just as valid as practicing a 75 minute class of hot yoga or going for a walk around the block will be enough to get some energy moving through your body.
If things seem to be getting too much (which they so often do), take just five minutes for yourself and do nothing but be still. You can sit in a chair, stand overlooking your backyard or just take the time to fully appreciate that morning cup of coffee, rather than drinking it as fast as you can and then rushing to get on with your day.
Sometimes we surprise ourselves and these few minutes encourage us to then do a little more and then… a little more again. Other times it’s enough and we can then move on, but those few moments will echo through the rest of our day. Simon
Yoga has been scientifically proven to be advantageous for your physical and mental health. We’re beginner friendly and very supportive. Try a class today.
is pranayama. It translates as prana = life force and ayama = extension or expansion.
Pranayama is the controlled breathing practices undertaken in yoga. Prana (life force/vital energy) is controlled, fuelled and enriched through the breath. These practices help activate and cultivate prana throughout the physical body and other pranamaya kosha.
There are four aspects of prana – inhalation, exhalation, inhalation retention and exhalation retention. According to the sutras, kumbhaka (retention) is the focus and the aspiration of controlling our breath. Continue reading
One of our beloved yogafusioners, Karina Natt, has been brave enough to share her experiences of becoming a student of hot yoga with us. Karina has been coming to the studio since 3 December 2013 and has never looked back!
I began with yogafusion during a personally and professionally emotional time and I was also suffering physically with a painful hip issue, so it was an interesting way to begin. Continue reading
Be honest – what’s the first thing you do when you leave the tranquility of your yoga class? If you said check your phone, you’re not alone. At one time, we’re all guilty of this bliss breaking habit.
If you think about what your smart phone symbolises, what it holds, what it can do, the reach it has then everytime you pick up your phone within seconds of leaving the mat, you’re telling yourself that it’s IMPERATIVE that you connect back into that world.
The hour or two that you are in a yoga class is a dedication to the self. It’s a time when you are saying ‘yes self, I am giving you my all right now – all my focus, attention and effort’. And then we leave class and abruptedly retract that dedication via our actions.
Consider the benefits of holding that peace and stillness achieved in class or practise if it were to extend into every area of your life and not just for those minutes you spend on the mat. Imagine the richness that would permeate your job, time with family and friends and even your relaxation time alone. How often has your “yoga buzz” been destroyed by checking your phone after class and realising there is an urgent email that will cause you more work when you hit the office first thing in the morning? Or that there are people complaining on Facebook?
It would be hypocritical and remiss of us to demand you never connect with your phone but we’d like to remind you of the value of using it mindfully and allowing yourself time to have breaks away from it.
There are lots of benefits of having a mobile device that can connect to all areas in your life that lives in your pocket and sometimes, we’d be lost without them but notice how liberated you feel without having a phone to check or demand your attention. What other things fill that space where your attention is more free and available?
Allow the benefits of the class to be with you in its fullness, in your life (off the mat) and into your next experience. After class your energy channels are open and you may be more present to feelings and sensations. A distraction of the phone will ruthlessly pull you away from this. Often the very reason we seek external sources of distraction is because deep down we don’t wish to deal with what is rising and this isn’t just when it comes to the distraction of our phones.
‘Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.’ Thich Nhat Hanh
Dealing with anything that may be rising within, during or after class requires mindfulness in itself. You can apply this mindfulness by recognising and acknowledging whatever is there for you. Welcome and observe it without judgement and allow it to pass, almost as if you were watching a movie.
‘Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t),’ James Baraz
Why not experiment with leaving your phone at home next time you attend class, then it gives you the space between the end of class and arriving home to settle and enjoy that peace and stillness that you have worked hard to achieve. Or even better make an agreement with yourself to not turn your phone on until thirty minutes after class. If thirty minutes is too daunting, why not start with five and build up from there?
And don’t forget to share with us how you find this experiment!
When our pain is held by mindfulness it loses some of its strength… mindfulness recognizes what is there, and concentration allows you to be deeply present with whatever it is. Concentration is the ground ofhappiness. Thich Nhat Hanh