Adho Mukha Svanasana – otherwise known as Downward Facing Dog.
As a summer lover – (regardless of my painful experience getting bitten by a blue bottle this weekend while swimming. This blue bottle had such power, it made my arm burn and double in pain for 24 hours. I loved the ambulance staff that attended to me. So helpful and reassuring. Deep gratitude) – I feel that yoga and meditation should be taught and practiced outdoors as often as possible, not just on random weekends, retreats or holidays.
I love yoga due to the freedom of movement and the beautiful relationship that it has with mother Earth. When I teach, I try to describe the postures from the fundamentals of nature’s creations: Earth, Sky, Sun, Moon, Animals and Plants.
That’s why I love standing postures so much. I stand and watch from above. I stand and feel as one. I breathe with deep consciousness of the Life Force to soothe, restore, calm and relax me. Breathing and meditation is most effective outdoors, especially by the beach (my ultimate passion) or amongst trees and plants.
It’s our human calling to practice yoga and meditation outdoors, to feel the prana, to step on the earth without shoes, to sit and move without the limits of walls. Yoga and movement outdoors has the ability to filter away our overexposure to chemicals, environmental pollution, internal stress and resentment, over reliance on technology, fatigue and our daily imbalances.
Yoga allows us to improve our sense of self and inner connection which expands to our community and the world.
I started teaching “Yoga at the Beach” nine years ago and I always feel such power watching the water move and the constant evolving change. It has such a magnet-like feeling.
It taught me not too be too hard on myself if my plans did not succeed, especially as a teacher. I can’t count the amount of classes that have been interrupted, changed or cancelled by rain, thunder, strong winds, mosquitoes, ants. We need to flow, like the tides that rise and fall.
My proposal is for more sessions outdoors. My yoga fitness classes have been conducted all throughout Bardwell Park, Marrickville and all its reserves. I would love to get more of us out and about.
Before joining one of my outdoor classes, please checklist the following:
- For walking / running / bushwalking activities, wear reliable, comfortable and appropriate shoes.
- If you’re feeling sick or weak don’t attempt a two-hour session in the great outdoors!!!!
- Bring sunscreen, water, snacks and sometimes a change of clothes.
- Bring an extra bag (biodegradable if possible) to dispose of rubbish as well as cleaning up rubbish when we can. We are using Mother Earth, so we need to give back. A fair exchange I think.
Share an outdoor yoga class with someone you care, love and celebrate.
Thank you and Happy Summer everyone.
Book now for this special session on 31st January!
Join an amazing introductory yoga workshop taught by Kasha Azad for:
- An introduction to fundamental Persian Yoga and Circular Strength Training principles
- An introduction to the use of Meel (Clubs) and Shena (Push-up board)
- A guided group training session
- The option to buy equipment on the day and save on shipping and handling costs ($50 value!)
Introductory Workshop Program – 90 minutes
- Introduction to Persian Yoga & Circular Strength Training
The secret conditioning system of Iranian wrestlers and the physical arts of ancient Persian warriors! A time tested, battle-field proven, integrated approach to multi-skill and multi-planar movement and circular strength training. Developed millenia ago as a complete, yet simple, physical arts conditioning system to forge warriors out of ordinary people.
- Fundamentals of Meel
Meel, the grandfather of the Clubbell and Indian Clubs! The Original and Authentic Persian Meel, made from one piece of timber for exceptional balance, symmetry and swing performance. Used for millenia by ancient warriors and modern martial artists to develop great strength, endurance, mobility, stability and synchronicity of the shoulders.
- Fundamentals of Shena
The essential, and most ancient, calisthenics tool! The Shena is time tested to deliver results like no other similar device. Used by Persian warriors and modern day Olympic gold medal wrestlers. Enables a wider variety of push-ups, improves ROM, strength, flexibility of shoulders and hips for safer push-ups.
The session will be held outdoors, commencing at 8am. Please pre-book and pay by 29th January 2016.
After having been around the block with health, fitness and yoga in a full-time or part-time capacity since the age of 19, I have learned and experienced some beautiful “a-ha” moments and breakthroughs that I have blended into my current lifestyle. As well as some things that left me “ughhhhh” in a disarray.
So I’ve decided to share some of these – because if you know me, you know I share about myself a lot!!
- If any class involving movement does not make you feel good and throughout the session you are thinking “when will it end?” – then it’s not for you.
Don’t waste your time and money. Try something else.
- Don’t be afraid of meditation, you can experience a beautiful peaceful state that focuses on your spirit and mental welfare.
We all need it from the youngest child to the elderly. Don’t feel “ohhhh, I cant meditate”. Yes you can. If you are breathing, you can meditate.
Attend one of my meditation classes or Breathing and Mindfulness Sunday sessions, read a book about exploring meditation, listen to a guided relaxation CD, download a meditation sequence. Just don’t wait!!! Sit with your kids, an elderly parent, a friend, with your dog, cat, baby, plants or on your own. Daily stress and anxiety can build up daily and we need to let it go.
- On the theme of Don’t Wait:
Don’t wait to lose weight to start yoga
Don’t wait to get more flexible
Don’t wait for your friend to come with you
Don’t wait for more $$$ – if there’s ever an issue of finances which may restrict your ability to pay for classes, talk to your teacher so a system can be arranged and you don’t have to miss out on something you love.
- Sport Bras are a must for young girls and women who do high impact exercise. It does not matter about your breast size or if you have had a breast enlargement or reduction. Strap them and care for them well – gravity sucks, sagging sucks, end of story.
- If you have battled with eating disorders or are currently in the realm of one, ask for help. Support is magic. Don’t give up and do not be afraid to ask for help. For me, acknowledgement that I couldn’t continue in that daily living hell (once I passed the denial stage that ohhh yes there is something wrong here) my mums help, yoga and homeopathy were my trifecta.
- Organic , natural food will never go out of fashion and creates the foundation of your daily health and optimum function. And I will tie that in with body therapies. I have loved, persevered with, tried out, discovered or ditched some of the following (some of you could guess which is which): wheatgrass juice, green smoothies, biodynamic, macrobiotic, high protein, no fruit, no fats, no nuts , no oils, auyervedic diet, sprouting, raw, no food (no kidding), gluten free, no additives and numbers, no food sources with plastic packaging (that’s why I have given up on Chlorophyll, used to be in glass has converted to plastic as well as some brands of vinegar have gone plastic, booooo!!!!), vegan, vegetarian, salt therapy rooms, acupuncture, shiatsu, herbs, iridology, colonics, shirodhara, counselling, auyevedic , chinese massage, cupping, infrared therapy, pranayama, crystal meditation, massage, physiotherapy, chiropractic, weight training, yoga, homeopathy, outdoor running, bushwalking, trapeze, silks, pole dancing, pole gymnastics, swimming, SUP, persian yoga, acro yoga, meditation, walking, adult beginner ballet classes, jazz, funk and hip hop, pilates reformer machines, burlesque.
With all health regimes its about enhancing your health, and existing medical and health conditions. With promises of a permanent cure and extreme fat loss or extreme changes to the way you look? All I can say is watch out for fake promises.
My daily need? A bucket full of self-belief and trust, and living without fear.
What is your daily need and support? What have you tried, ditched or keep coming back for more? Drop me a line. I would love to read.
On Sunday 27th of September I united past, present and future students for the 10 year anniversary celebration of Eleni’s Yoga and Movement Studio.
I’m always surprised, regardless of the volume of students I teach and communicate with daily, at the following statements:
- I forgot to eat
- I might not have enough energy for yoga tonight I have not had lunch / a snack / enough food
- I have not had breakfast
- Eleni, I ate too much, I’m feeling: nauseous / uncomfortable / please don’t make me do plank
- Eleni I tried / had too much spirulina / chia seeds / new protein powder in a smoothie and my bowels are too happy
Personally it has taken me a lot of trial and error in regards to what and how much too eat before I teach a yoga class, but this also applies to all forms of movement, running, swimming, dancing etc.
The fundamental rule is one that I practise and is what I was taught by my previous teachers: don’t eat at least two hours prior to a yoga class. The same goes for meditation and pranayama.
Why?? Because you are folding your body, twisting and inverting, even in down dog. The body’s digestive capabilities are hindered. So you are then most likely to feel very uncomfortable in the abdominal area, build up gas and may feel nauseous or even experience cramping.
It takes mindfulness in preparing and eating food, as well as timing.Listening to your body will help with over indulgence or under eating.
Our mind can sabotage us. So stop, take a few deep breaths and feel.
Place your hand on your abdomen.
What do you need?
Support your health journey.
If trying new foods, add the minimum of quantity suggested. For example, if you’re adding spirulina powder for a Green smoothie, if the recipe says a teaspoon, opt for half of that quantity and see how you feel! (especially for yogis with IBS).
If you’re going to change your foundations of eating (for example, become a vegetarian, vegan, raw food advocate), talk to people, or research associations such as Vegan Australia. They have a range of scheduled activities that will teach you what you need.
Ease yourself into it, and observe how your body responds. Do it with care and give your body time to adjust. Be kind with change and enjoy the transition.
And keep in mind that extreme eating plans are dangerous and can lead to eating disorders.
A variety of foods is a strong foundation for vitality and health. If you do not eat enough you have no energy. Food does not need to be complicated. It’s a blessing, so stop fighting with it!
And remember, what works for one yogi may not be suitable for you.
This will be the first of many blogs about food from me.
- To lose weight before you start yoga
- To have more time.
- For kids to go to school. Or get older …..