I Used To Be A Yoga Purist …

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I used to be a yoga purist, but….I had a long break from yoga due to illness.  Well, about 5 years.  I had such severe anaemia & chronic fatigue that at one time I could barely do Savasana (Corpse pose)!  Then, with the aid of Ayurveda, and then, eventually, convential medicine it has to be said; I got better and I was able to come back to yoga again full flow.

Whoa!

Before my break, I was most definately a yoga purist and a staunch advocate of the fact that yoga was so accessible – you could do it anywhere.  You didn’t need any equipment really – just a mat.  And even if you didn’t have a mat, you could practice on your floor.  I also purposefully wouldn’t  use props for the same reason– but then I have pretty long arms and am fairly flexible – but if I couldn’t reach something, I would prefer to use my clothes as ‘props’ (not for everyone, I know) – but that’s just me.  My yoga purism stated that yoga should be kept simple with minimum equipment. 

And, ahem, I used to find music slightly off-putting.

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Not now!

After my break away from the yoga scene; and my practice, I came back.  Slowly at first.  And I very quickly realized that times had moved on.  And I felt differently about the music.  I started to enjoy the way the music helped with the flow.  And I loved the way that even after a class, I might find myself humming to one of the tracks.  And I loved that the music stayed with me after my practice – like an extra dimension to the practice.

I’ve also always loved and enjoyed music and now it was the time to put yoga and music together.  I have to say, that personally, I can practice to anything, but I quickly learned that this way is not for everyone.   I don’t like to anchor anyone to a particular time or place as that would defeat the purpose.  I want the class to remain in the moment and to stay present to their practice.  The music is not there to put anyone off – it’s to help with the flow!   I tend to look out for music without words (as much as possible); although it doesn’t always work out that way.

Now:

There are still some yoga purist out there, but I am no longer one of them.  In my classes, I play all kinds of music including jazz, dance, dub, classical!  It’s often more modern stuff – but I love to mix it up with with chants and chimes etc., I also theme the music to what’s going on – the seasons, the moon cycle or an energy I may want to bring in for the class for example, some weeks might be a tribal theme.  Other weeks a funky flow theme.

Wanna try one of my classes?  Click Here for more information!

How do you feel about music in yoga classes?  Let me know in the comments below:

Date & Cashew Nut Balls

Bliss balls

My first Bliss Balls!  Woo Hoo – and they were so easy to make!  See below for the receipe for how to make these lovely Date & Cashew Nut Bliss Balls!

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Date & Cashew Bliss Balls
Serves 9
My First Bliss Balls! Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy & Gluten Free
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Dried Dates
  2. 1 Cup Cashews
  3. 2 TBS raw cacao powder
  4. 1 TBS desiccated coconut (plus extra for rolling)
  5. 1-2 TBS Coconut Oil
  6. (option to add 1 TSP honey)
Instructions
  1. Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with boiling water for 2-3 minutes to soften then drain off water.
  2. Put the cashews in a food process or mini chopper and pulse until they are blitzed into tiny bits
  3. Add the dates, cacao powder and coconut and blitz to form a paste
  4. Add the melted coconut oil slowly while continuing to pulse the mixture; until it forms a sticky dough
  5. Roll the dough into small balls and roll them in the coconut to coat the outside - TIP - place the ball in one palm and then roll with the finger close together to get the balls to be as round as possible. Then place on a tray.
  6. Freeze for 30 minutes
  7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge
Rosemarie St. Louis http://intuitivegroundedcoaching.com/

How to Stay Centered During the Holiday Season

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Whatever your beliefs, Christmas is a time of year that’s usually pretty crazy and stressful.  It’s a time when families get together and old resentments and arguments can flare up.

You might find that your dreading the whole season – let alone ‘the big day’!  It’s therefore good to have some supportive measures to help you stay centered during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

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Here are my fave tips for staying centred

 

Don’t bottle Stuff Up

When angry feelings comes up, it is better to let it out and deal with it.  It only hurts you in the end if you continually bottle stuff up.  Speak out about how you are feeling if it is hurting you.  Choose your moment (not necessary Christmas day!).  Think about what you want to say and practice it if necessary.  Then speak in a calm manner about how you feel.  If you are speaking from your heart you can’t go wrong.  

Remember:  If you need to create boundaries for your own sanity; then it’s perfectly ok to do so. 

 

Yoga

Practicing yoga gets you out of your mind and into your body.  Right now, my practice is a fairly strong Vinyasa practice.  I feel like the heat of the practice burns away everything that is no longer needed and serving me.  I find that the more I can let go on a physical level, the more I can adapt this into my emotional life.  However, at times I might want a simple grounding practice. Whatever your practice; moving your body, is supportive and enables you to focus on being present and in the moment.  

 

 Peace Breath

Practice this as much as you can throughout the day.  It has the ability to calm the mind.  Inhale your breath for 4 counts; Hold for 4 counts.  Breath out for 4 counts and hold for 4 counts before repeating the process.  The ratio therefore is 4:4:4:4.  You can amend this ratio to suit your own breath.  

 

Mantra

 Om Mani Padme Hum “within everybody a lotus blossoms”  My teacher advises me to practice this mantra with the peace breath.  It centers the mind.  For when you are not meditating, I found this useful rendition on-line incredibly uplifting to play in the background whilst working.

 

Smudging

Light a white sage smudge stick and clear negative energies.  You might find that you need to do this more frequently  during this season.

 

P.S.  Don’t forget to choose to do something from your heart-list.  In this way, you get to stay calm, centered and grounded throughout the holiday period and hopefully you get to ‘just do you’.

 

Let me know in the comments your tips and techniques for staying centered.

 

 

/R

 

Image Credit : Unsplash

Ayuveda, Cycles + Goal Planning for the New Year

 

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 Image Credit: Unsplash

I’ve just spent the most amazing 5 days enjoying Yoga and Ayuveda!  We worked a lot around cycles.  Cycles of the day, week, month year; and of course the cycle and phases of the Moon and the women’s cycle. 

According to Ayurveda, if we consciously attune ourselves to these cycles in our daily lives we can be more in our feminine power; our natural ability to heal, nurture, nourish and intuit.   

Ayuveda is all about bringing our doshas (biological energies found throughout the body and mind) into balance where possible.  The 3 main doshas are Kapha (Earth & Water); Pitta (Fire & Water) and Vata (Air & Space).  We are all born with a more dominant dosha and the doshas are effected by what we eat, think, feel and also the cycles of the year.

Was it synchronicity that the course ended on  the eve of a full moon?  I doubt it!  

Each day, our practice was based on the seasons of the year.  However, our last practice was a gorgeous 2 hour Moon (Chandra) Vinyassa practice.  Lunar practices are often, cooling and nourishing – however, my teacher works with fire (Pitta) in everything she does – so it was always going to be a strong Vinyassa class but we ended with a sumptuous 20 minute Savasana!  (Yum!)

This brings me to goal writing.  It now makes perfect sense that you should align your goals with the phases of the moon.  This means that between now (after the last full moon of the year)  and the winter solstice on 21 December is the optimum time to release 2014 and prepare your goals for 2015 (as opposed to January 1st).  Because the light is decreasing each day culminating in the shortest day of the year at Winter Solstice. You get to let go and release during this time so that you don’t bring 2014 in with the New Year. 

 

Guidelines for Writing Your Goals for the New Year

Have you started working on your goals for next year yet?.. I feel that working with the natural cycles of the planet will be big theme for me this year.  How about you?  See below for a really great way to prepare your goals for 2015 that I learned on the course:

  1. Treat yourself to a lovely new journal (oh what a shame you get to go stationery shopping)!
  2. Next start writing a list of what you are grateful and thankful for in 2014 – tip – make the list long – keep going even when you think your done!
  3. Next write your goals for 2015 – tip – make the list in present tense!  i.e. ‘I am living the most amazing life’

Have you started to plan your goals for 2015?  Any gorgeous, juicy ideas and goals lined up?  I would love to hear from you!  Share with me in the comments!

P.S.  Want to know what your primary and secondary Dosha is?  Best to see a qualified Ayuvedic practitioner.  However,  I’ve found an amazing tool on-line for you to do a Dosha Self -Test 

P.P.S  If you do take the test, don’t forget to share with me what your Dosha is and how accurate you found the test.  

 

/R 

 

Yoga Poses for Grounding – KISS – Keep It Simple Series #5

   

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Grounding Yoga Poses:  Here is not only a KISS – Keep It Simple Series post on Grounding Yoga Poses : I thought I would put together a little sequence for you.

 

If you are in any doubt about your health, please discuss with your doctor or alternative health practitioner before practicing yoga.

 

I have put these yoga postures (asanas) together in a fairly straightforward sequence;   Make sure that you go through the instructions via the links provided to check you have the correct alignment.  Also check out the contra-indications.  

Take the practice at a slow and gentle pace.  Be present throughout the practice.  Presence is key to grounding.

Keep your awareness on your breath.

It’s good to have an intention for your practice.  In this class, gift yourself the intention for being grounded and achieving groundedness throughout the practice and afterwards.

 

When not grounded – the soul or spirit is somewhere else.

 

Being grounded is all about our foundation.  What do you stand on?  How solid do you feel?  How comfortable?  To be grounded is such an important part of strengthening and being kind to yourself and brings about nourishment to your first chakra.  Hence why I have put together this sequence as a gentle and nurturing sequence.

There are many more grounding yoga postures that could be added to this sequence – for now though lets just keep it simple!  

Contact me directly, if you would like to experience a longer, more thorough practice and we can work together 1:1.

 

The whole practice takes approximately 20 minutes.

 

  1. First of all, sit in easy cross-leg pose and connect to your breath:  Start to steady your breathing. Breathe in and out through your nose.   Take 3 or 4 breaths.   Then start to make your inhalation and exhalation the same length.  Take 10 deep inhalations and exhalations like this.    You can also start to connect to your Ujjayi breath if you are used to doing this. Take 4-5 Ujjayi breaths here.

  2. Next move onto your hands and knees.  Have your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.  Prepare for Marjaryasana or Cat/cow pose. Repeat this simple vinyassa (movement connected to breath) 10 times; synchronizing your breath with your movement.  When you are at the end of the movement you come to the end of the exhalation and when you are at the beginning of the movement, you are at the very start of the inhalation.

  3. Then come to stillness in table top position; from this place,  walk your legs back one at a time until you are in plank pose, take 3-5 breaths there. Then walk your hands back towards your feet; come to Uttansana (standing forward bend); This asana helps soothe the mind (from the monkey mind it so often is) so it’s therefore great for de-stressing! Take 5 breaths here.

  4. From here, come to standing.  Roll up slowly, vertebra by vertebra with your head coming up last.  Stand tall in mountain pose with your feet rooted into the ground.  Spread your toes.  Breathe.  Take 10 deep breaths here.

  5. Now move into Utkatassana (Chair pose).  Chair pose can be tricky to get right.  But incredibly grounding.  Be sure to check out these instructions.  Take 5 breaths, relax then repeat x2; so that you do the pose 3 times in total.

  6. Tree pose (Vrkrasana) would follow nicely here.  Tree develops your balance as well as poise and concentration.  Here is a useful article that not only shows you how to do tree pose, plus contra-indications etc., but also provides demonstrations for beginners and shows you how to practice against a wall if you are concerned about your balance.  Take 5-10 breaths each side.  Remember that your foot should be either above or below the knee joint but not on the knee joint itself.

  7. Next, come to Virabadrhasana II – (Fierce Warrior). This asana, (Warrior II) opens the  hips and builds strength.  Take 5 breaths to the right side and then turn your feet in the opposite direction (left side) and repeat; repeat both sides x2.

  8. Follow Warrior II with:  Side angle pose or extended Side Angle pose:  Uttitah Parsvakonasana .  Turn your feet in the opposite direction (to the right).  Take 5 breaths each side – and repeat twice both sides.

  9. Now come back to the floor.  Lie on your back and prepare for supine Baddha Konasana.  Place your feet in Baddha Konasana (soles of the feet touching each other, knees bent, hips open to the sides.   See the pose instructions here.  Place your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your belly.  Take a couple of deep breaths here.  Take a moment.  Feel the ground beneath you.  Realize you have all the support you need from the Earth. Tune into your heart and maybe take a moment to ask your heart how it feels.  Tune into how your physical body feels in this moment. You can lay here for 5-10 breaths.

  10. Then bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are upright.  Take an inhalation and exhalation.

  11. Next, prepare for Setu Bhandasana. This asana (Bridge) lifts the spirit with the heart, stabilizes the core and grounds the feet.  Can be a relaxing pose but can also be used to fire yourself up. Ensure knees are hip width apart and pointing directly ahead.  Take 5 breaths once up in the full position. Repeat x3.

  12. Next come to sitting and prepare to fold forward into seated forward bend. I have always found Patchimotanasana incredibly grounding.

  13. Next prepare for happy baby.  Ananda Balasana.  This pose always makes people smile!  Take 5 breaths here.

  14. Lie on your back and hug your knees to your chest and rock from side to side gently.

  15. Finally, from happy baby, lengthen your right leg, followed by your left and allow your legs to lie along the floor, 2-3 feet apart.  Place your arms, palms face up at a 45 degree angle away from your body and prepare for relaxation.  Savasana (Corpse pose).  Relax totally, giving way to the floor.  Nothing to think about.

  16. After relaxation, you might like to sit and meditate in easy cross leg pose.

 

Below is a playlist I put together to go along with this ‘Yoga Poses for Grounding’ Sequence……because I love ya!  Enjoy!

 

 

 

This is the 5th of a 5-part ‘Keep It Simple Series’;  Where I write about topics that uplift, inspire and support you in your ‘inner-game ‘.  Always keeping it simple.  Check out the other posts in the series:  

 

KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE SERIES – A MESSAGE

KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE SERIES #1 – Self-Nurture – Quick & Simple Tips Whilst Dealing with Stress

KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE SERIES #2 – Grounding & How to Get Grounded Quick

KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE SERIES #3 – Practicing Presence

KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE SERIES #4 – What’s Great About Gratitude?

 

 

 

Image courtessy of Claudia Borgatti

 

 

I’m Feeling A Shift Right Now – Are You?

WELCOME TO  

I’m feeling a shift.  Something in my life is shifting right now.

And it’s really beautiful.  It feels light and airy.  I feel butterflies in my stomach.  Almost like a being in love feeling.  I am love.  YOU are love too!    

 

I feel inspired.  There’s a gorgeous feeling of lightness, anticipation and tingling but I also feel solid and grounded at the same time.  I just feel so supported by the Universe – and the truth is, we all are.   I feel like I’ve dropped into myself.  I sometimes feel like this when I have had a healing treatment or something but I haven’t had a treatment.    

 

There’s also a feeling of ‘knowingness’ and ‘at oneness’ with other people and the Universe.   I feel safe like nothing can harm me.  I feel really happy with a feeling like everything I want is already coming to me.  It feels like there is a mini transformation going on!

 

I know this feeling.  This is the feeling I get when I’m in ‘Flow’.  This is how ‘Flow’ feels to me.  

 

The interesting thing is,  I’m going through a really challenging time – and I would usually be really stressed out, but instead – I just feel really ok and happy and content – weird!

 

It’s good to check in and notice what is going on inside your body.  How do you feel right now?  Whether it’s a so called good feeling or bad or heavy or light.   Notice it for yourself and really feel into what is going on.

 

You don’t necessary need to know why you are feeling the way you do.  Instead, just sit with what comes up for you.  

 

I don’t know why I’ve been feeling this gorgeous light feeling.  It could be something to do with the non-judgement practice Ive been following (which I will write about at another time).  I just know that a shift is taking place.  And I’m riding the waves.  And enjoying this moment.    

 

This is where having a presence practice helps.  Because then you start to notice how you are feeling at any time.  And I’ve written a blog post about Practicing Presence.  It’s the 3rd part of the KISS – Keep It Simple Series.

 

How about you?  Do you check in on how your feeling?  Even if you’re really stressed out.  Can you can take a moment?  Take a deep breath through your nose and out through your mouth and make the sound “ahh”. Can you feel relief in that moment?  Even if it is just for a moment?  

 

Then in that moment :  Ask your body how it feels right now.  Trust the first answers that pop into your head.      

 

How does ‘Flow’ feel to you?  Is your heart calling out for a relaunch of your life?  Are you wanting to step up and make changes?  Leave me a comment below to let me know how ‘Flow’ feels to you or if you are also feeling a shift right now.

  

Or, if you feel like it, contact me for a complimentary chat to find out more about my  1:1 From Funk to Flow Coaching Programme  and how this can support you in finding your own Flow.

 

/R

Heart-List

 Copy of HEY, I'M DANNY!

 

Create a list of at least 20 things that you love to do.  I got this idea from Sonia Choquette in her book “Your Hearts Desire”.  Write the list in your journal.  Or put the list up on your wall in your bedroom, or on the inside of a kitchen cupboard.

 

Once you have the list start doing things on your list.  When we do things that we love; we feel in the flow.  We feel happy and joyful.  This raises our vibration.  With a raised vibration we attract more abundance, prosperity and just general good stuff to ourselves.

 

On my list is baking, gardening, reading self-development/spiritual books.  Practicing yoga, having a nice relaxing bath.  What do you love to do?

 

If I feel down – I go do something that’s on my list.  Try to do things on your heart list as often as possible.  Every day try to squeeze something in to get you to that place.  That sweet spot.

 

This is all about raising your vibe, because you feel happier, calmer and more loving which in turn brings you to a higher frequency on the energy plane.  When you are vibrating at a higher frequency you become more empowered with a better ability to speak from your authentic self and attract what you want.

 

What about you?  What things do you like to do that you could put on your heart-list?   Let me know in the comments below:

P.S.  Wanna know more?   Sign up for the Manifesting Abundance Inside Out E-Course In this course, we take this work MUCH deeper.

 

Why I Freakin’ Love Coaching!

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Want to know why I freakin’ love coaching? Or more about coaching in general?  Perhaps you would like to know more about me,  intuition,  or more about what happens in a coaching session?  

I was delighted to be featured in Fiona Doubleday’s beautiful on-line space “One Soul, Many Hearts.”  Where many of these aspects are discussed.

Fiona is a beautiful soul who also runs a blog called Scottish Island Mum, she is a journalist and home educator.

What is Life Coaching?

I feel like I’m a bridge between where you are now and where you want to be.  A coach is different from a counsellor or mentor in that she doesn’t dwell on the past so much or tell you what to do.  It’s more about where you are, where you want to go and working together on how to get there.

 You can read the rest of the interview here.

 

Gluten-free Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

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This choc cake is really easy to make – and I defy anyone not to love it – gluten-free or not !  It’s by Nigella Lawson who apparently created it when she had someone coming to supper who couldn’t eat wheat.  It uses ground almonds instead of flour. 

Gluten-free Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Serves 8
This really is the best gluten-free choc cake - and so easy to make.
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Ingredients
  1. 150ml/5fl oz regular olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  2. 50g/2oz cocoa powder, sifted
  3. 125ml/4fl oz boiling water
  4. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 150g/ 5 1/2 oz ground almonds (or 125g/4.5 oz plain flour if you are not using gluten free)
  6. 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  7. pinch salt
  8. 200g/7oz caster sugar
  9. 3 free-range eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF. Grease a 22 or 23 cm/ 9inch springform tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.
  3. In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.
  4. Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment (or other bowl and whisk arrangement of your choice) and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.
  5. Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground almond (or flour) mixture.
  6. Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.
  7. Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin. Leave to cool completely or eat while still warm with some ice cream, as a pudding.
Notes
  1. Sprinkle icing sugar on top to decorate. I also added raspberries to the centre of my cake. Yum!
  2. Tried this recipe? Let me know how you got on in the comments.
Rosemarie St. Louis http://intuitivegroundedcoaching.com/

Gardening

I get the same feeling with gardening as I do as when I am baking.

It’s just lovely and silent and peaceful and I can get carried away out there.  I find that I just completely relax and my breathing slows down whilst I am out in nature.  First of all, I can’t talk to myself because I am outside (can’t risk my neighbours wondering who the hell I am talking to! (oops I’ve just let out a little secret there ..I  talk to myself he he!).  So I am able to quiet the mind.  A form of moving meditation if you like.

I suppose I’m an outside person at heart but the good thing about the garden is you don’t have to go too far from home – great if you are a bit of an introverted person or home person like me.

Being outdoors, feeding and watering the plants, caring for them, moving them to larger pots, snipping them; watching then grow and develop.  Beautiful buds appearing seemingly out of nowhere.  Flowers blossoming and surprising you with their breath-taking beauty.

 

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Thinking about the qualities of the plants, which ones prefer sun, which shade etc.  It’s just therapeutic for me.  Like a moving meditation.  And it’s grounding feeling the earth between your fingers.

Then, in the summer months, come the butterflies, fluttering and dancing over the flowers, as well as the bees and wasps buzzing around.  The mini-beasts are actually the reason my husband and son don’t go in the garden much – oh well more wonderful peace time for me!

How about you – what moving meditation rituals work for you?