Happiness

We have come to the  the halfway point to 2022, yogis. Truly unbelievable. We’ve been reflecting each week with the yogi gang (“ohhh today is the second week of February can you believe it? mmmmm hello, it’s the last Friday of April, wooooow last weekend of May” etc etc)  The year is flying!!!!

And as time passes, I’m also getting closer to the border of 50, which scaressssssssss me so much!!!

But what I wanted to capture here is this elusive state. The whispers and talk of:

Happiness.

Does it exist?

Are we experiencing enough of it?

When were you the happiest?

Are you happy this moment?

What can make us feel happy?

Happy is a smile, a laughter out of the blue. Happiness is shenanigans in my classes. Happiness is a state of joy and sense of lightness.

Happy is my current state.

I am not immune to stress, despite the fact that I have a massive advantage that I teach and make a living from yoga. I cherish my work and way of life beyond words. Overall I’m a happy person, and I believe my overall constitution does come down to happiness. I’m happy.

According to Mumma Regina, I was a happy baby, a child that never cried. I just smiled a lot. I still do.

I’m happy. Happy with myself and how I conduct my life in this world, in my community, my relationships, my home, my work.

Happy to have met a wonderful man – we’re coming up to 15 months of crazy happiness, love, support and understanding. I have only experienced this now in my late 40s, for which I am so grateful and ……happy.

When I observe my classes, I feel happiness.

Yogis who may have never met, will smile, express themselves and reflect in a class.

The sense of community and to be understood, makes us happy.

We all have experienced more stress and uncertainty in the last two years – more than we can have ever imagined. There has been immense sadness and loss.Changes that have been abrupt, and in some ways, changes that we are all still adjusting to.

I still talk and meet people that have just started coming back to yoga group classes after nearly two years.

Although it is lovely to reflect on our  past (maybe our happy days at school, or the fun times of our youth etc), I’m a huge fan lately of staying present and enjoying this moment.

To be present and full of joy about today!!!

Make a list of what you can add to your life, and give out, to bring happiness in your heart.

If a list is overwhelming, start small. What can make you happy today?

On Monday, it was as simple as going to Honey and Walnut Patisserie (it’s in Dulwich Hill) and having a coffee and reading a few pages of my book. That was happiness for me.

I told you – small things can lift our mood and makes us happy.

Commit to your own happiness and joy of life that is so precious and you will radiate.

xx

Eleni

Eleni’s Yoga and Movement Studio, now also at Activ Therapy Clemton Park

Eleni’s Yoga and Movement Studio, now also at Activ Therapy Clemton Park, situated in Clemton Park Village.

Introducing my new Winter Yoga and Movement Health Series: 22nd June to 11th August at Activ Therapy Clemton Park @activtherapyclemtonpark.

Eleni will be conducting two weekly classes:

  • Yoga Core class – 10am Wednesdays
  • Gentle Yoga Flow class – 9:30am Thursdays

These classes will create overall body strength, awareness and suppleness, while making you feel relaxed, calm and grounded – positive benefits for both your body and your mind.

Cost per class is $25.

Special offer: pre-pay and book four classes with Eleni at @ Activ Therapy for $100 and get a 5th class free! That’s just $20 per class. Note, free class applies only to the Activ Therapy timetable. This offer can be shared with a friend/family member.

Bookings are essential. Please contact Eleni on 0412 772 397 or eleni_yoga@yahoo.com.au

Find out more at: https://www.activtherapy.com.au/clemton-park-yoga.html

Creating new patterns

We have had waves of uncertainty so far into the year 2022, carrying over from  the end of 2021. COVID infections surged  and all of us crossing fingers and toes that we did not get sick and test positive so we could head to our planned summer holidays – including me travelling to Queensland with my man for the Christmas / New Year period.
 
By the end of January we were all resettling, and I was welcoming new students to the studio.
By February I had past students coming back to classes who had not attended since the start of this global COVID journey. What will the rest of March and April bring? They are the months for creating new patterns. So hopefully they bring the prospects of getting excited and happy in attending yoga classes regularly, meeting up with friends, resuming our fitness regime, and enjoying the outdoors (it all has to dry up soon!!!!)
 
How do we establish new patterns that may have been interrupted or broken by the pandemic, flooding and torrential rain and of course other life occurrences that can throw a spanner in the works (financial difficulties, school, work, relationships.)
My advice is to JUST KEEP GOING. Big breaks can make it harder to place your wellbeing journey as a priority. You lose the momentum and it eventually becomes harder and harder. A distant memory. The body forgets, the mind gets overwhelmed and tells you it’s too late to go back to what you love doing. Self-sabotage and negativity set in.
The last lockdown was the hardest ever. I felt at times so frustrated that I cannot even express it. What pulled me through? My Yoga passion and work. I lowered the cost of my personal yoga training to half price for the hour, and booked yogis outdoors. Yes, we had the weather to be mindful of (thankfully the majority of winter was cool but sunny, just perfect) and I will never forget that as the restrictions kept shifting, sometimes we had to wear a mask for the practise!!!!!!! Ughhhhhhhh, but we did it. Not one of those clients regrets going ahead with their yoga journey. Walking to and from the park  for me daily was amazing. We remained healthy and positive.
So what happens as you are reading this and thinking ‘Wow, it has been 15 months since I have attended a group yoga class. What can I do? Is it too late to start?’
 
It’s never too late. Start slow steady and be consistent. Do not compare yourself to what you could do pre-break and what your usual attendance was like.e.g two double classes every week.  At the start, your journey may look like one class per week. Perfect!!!!!! For many years I have seen so many students make the most amazing gains through just attending one class per week. (Please note they are also keeping mobile and fit with other activities and home practise as well.) Never underestimate consistency, it does not always mean the more the better. 
 
In each of my classes there is an amazing, welcoming energy. We all hold each other up. Attend class when your mood is low, when you are stressed and feeling flat. You will walk out feeling 1000 times better. I guarantee a giggle, a smile or laughter.
 
Look after your body, your mind your soul. That’s what yoga does. It looks after you. It brings you back to base. Grounding you and uplifting you. Yes there will be a few grunts from your teacher when we collectively mention the need to select  yoga postures to release our tight hips (you will definitely hear me say TIGHT!!!!TIGHT!!!! TIGHT!!!!!!!).
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you feel you want to touch base with me before re-commencing your yoga journey and discuss your concerns.
 
New Yogis: I will also be adding more beginner yoga classes to the timetable so stay tuned.
 
Hugs and happiness, 
Eleni
Xxxxx

My top 5 ways to navigate the end of 2021

I have felt that everyone really just wants this month to end. Wait – more like this year to end! It’s like a feeling of let’s wrap it up, see ya 2021 and let’s try again for 2022.

Of course, rushing for the finale does mean we miss how precious each day is. We have many days left in 2021 to enjoy and just be. To accomplish, to keep succeeding, and to enjoy this precious life that we have. So let’s not hurry, let’s keep our sanity, and have fun!

I’ve thought about 5 ways you can see off 2021 with love, laughter and positivity.

1. Get into nature

Nature is healing and is fundamental to a calm headspace and relaxed, natural living. The Japanese coined the term Forest Bathing in the ’80s. They put research and programs in place for its population who were in critical need of relaxation and improve the immunity and psyche of the people. The Cure? Spending time in nature, in the forest and among trees. During the Round 2 Covid Lockdown this year I was at Cooks River twice a day walking or running. Believe it or not, I was still able to discover new pathways, and loops from the streets and areas of Cooks River that I had not visited before. It brought a smile to my face. So, how can you start your journey to get into nature? Start by visiting a beach, parkland or valley that you have wanted to visit but have always been too busy to go. Take a picnic, your favourite book or just yourself and enjoy being in nature. We have reached the end of a year that has had so many restrictions in how we conduct our lives, you owe this to yourself. If you need more motivation, there are walks that are organised by many groups. One of our yogis leads great nature day walks every few weeks to raise money for various animal shelters. Walking for a cause is another great initiative that is good for your total health spectrum. My next adventure is to visit Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay! Maybe I’ll see you there?

2. Eliminate unwanted clutter

This is a huge topic and has been a favourite of mine for a while. Let’s start with getting rid of clothing that do not fit you! Please let me elaborate on this. I don’t mean just size because it’s so much more than that. Does your clothing emotionally lift you up and does it match your current lifestyle and needs? Do you feel confident in it? Comfortable in it? Is your wardrobe full of clothing because you have loaded up from online shopping rampages that you probably don’t actually want or need but haven’t had the time to return? Some great steps to tackle this are: Question what you buy, who are you supporting with your purchase? Do you love it? Need it? Can you afford it? Is it Australian made? Ethical? Sustainable? Did the person who sweated making your clothing get paid a living wage with proper work safe conditions? Look at Oxfam and their campaign: She makes my clothes. This is why I am so passionate about my own clothing line being made here in Sydney by two amazing women, Chrysoula and Fotini. I want to give people quality and beautiful clothing that will last. I want it to be affordable and made with love, yes love, years of expertise and the human touch. But most of all I know there is fair pay and women supporting women in business!

3. Breathe and slow down

In my Homeopathic practice, I meet various clients who reach out for holistic health support for themselves and their families. A repeated concern for many is the lingering anxiety, stress, tension and discontent post Covid lockdown. From their consultation, I prescribe a remedy for their presenting symptoms that fits their personal unique story. That’s what I love about homoeopathy, it is such an individualised method. I’ll also prescribe some breathing techniques.
Conscious breathing slows down the fast brain thoughts. When the mind races it is unrelenting with thinking, planning and worrying. Our attention withers. Slowing down at certain parts throughout the day does not make you unproductive or lazy. It’s the opposite! You have vitality and attention to the tasks in need but don’t feel so distracted, overwhelmed and exhausted that you fall in a heap. How can you apply conscious breathing? Lie down, close your eyes and place your palms on your abdomen. Feel it rise and fall for two minutes. It will become soft and move like a small wave. Observe. For the next 4-5 minutes count your inhalation breath from 1-4 Pause. Then let the breath escape from counts 1-8. Pause. Repeat. Slow, rhythmic and steady. This is for all ages and again, no Yoga experience is needed. Do this once a day and work it up to twice. And of course, a reminder of no phones!

4. Yoga

Well, how could I not mention yoga???!!!! It has been so lovely to reconnect with all the students post lockdowns well as getting to meet new Yogis – wooohooo! Everyone’s texts, emails and messages on social. To receive everyone’s texts, emails and messages on social media was wonderful and so supportive to be checking in with each other. Teaching private sessions at the park during lockdown weeks was a saviour for me. The ritual of walking to the reserve and meeting each yogi as well as observing and waiting to see Mr Fluffy the Kookaburra. Yoga is a science. It’s a ritual of movement that requires all other stimuli to stop, and for you to be with your body, your breath on your mat. Totally present. Small group classes bring the wonderful energy of a community. Every yogi comes to feel better. We share our experiences but also work in unison by balancing, moving, stretching and at the end of the class relaxing. What if you are not ready to come to a class yet? Don’t place pressure on yourself. Search for online content on youtube and just start. Or, be old school (like me!) and borrow Yoga books from your library or buy from your local bookshop. Be mindful that without the guidance and expertise of a teacher not to attempt yoga postures that are beyond your current level of fitness and experience. You do not want to get injured. Work with what feels comfortable and when you are ready, jump into some classes for added support and variety.

5. Make plans that excite you

Planning for the future seems a bit hard to contemplate after the last 2 years. But, we cannot dismiss the feeling of what it’s like to look forward to something super wonderful. A few years ago I attended a Yoga Festival on the South Coast. It had an amazing array of speakers and presenters. There was a woman presenting a seminar that I had chosen to sit in as I waited for my chosen seminar to start. My yogi crew, you are aware of my inability at times to remember names but I’ll never forget the presentation. She used charts of our brain waves to amazingly describe what our mind does and how our immunity is boosted with the knowledge that we have an upcoming holiday or getaway to look forward to. Literally planning for a holiday boosts our immunity and uplifts our productivity! I’m waiting for the refund of my 2020 airline ticket to Greece. It has been 8 months since I cancelled and I’m still waiting for my so-called refund. I regret applying for one because I feel I will definitely be purchasing another airline ticket to the Motherland. I decided that even planning for my next Summer in Greece in 2022 would make me happy and it does! The planning of a road trip with my man makes me smile like crazy. Hosting a Summer Yoga retreat at Callala Beach at the end of January makes me jump with excitement. Attending a yoga course for my continued Professional Development in February at Byron Bay beams me up with happiness. We cannot deny it – small travel plans and getaways bring us hope and happiness.

If you have made it this far, thank you for reading!
Let me ask you…
What are you looking forward to in 2022?
What are you leaving behind this year?
Drop me a line.

Xoxoxo

Private yoga lessons post lockdown

Thank you to all the yogis who took up the COVID lockdown special offer of one to one lessons with me for $50 per session in the park. Ohhh yeahhhh and with masks (which we do not need for outdoors anymore, wooohooo)

Teaching one to one outdoors during this winter and Spring was amazing – it was a healing experience for myself and each yogi. Walking to the park, teaching, and walking back was part of my daily routine that kept me sane. Thank you to Julia, Leanne, Louise, Angela, Jo, Nancy, Maggie, Alex, Craig, Anna, Mary, Penny, Kristen and Caroline. Bees, flowers, bindis, birds, and my pee spot will never be forgotten. Special mention to Fluffy the Kookaburra.

Private sessions will continue with the added advantage of being able to use the studio. Prices will return to $90 for an hour from 11th October.

As a special offer for current yogi clients only, home visits can be arranged for 2-3 people at a cost of $140 per session.

Google reviews

Yogis, I have started to look at my business in a different light and I have had some amazing support and mentoring by someone very special. Google reviews is one of those steps I had to take to build my business. It made me realize that this is a great and important addition in ensuring that what I do and what you like about me – my yoga teachings, homeopathic work and my clothing range – gets a voice that stretches out to the community, city and beyond.

Thank you to all the yogis who have taken the time to give me a Google review, thank you, thank you.

I would really love you, yogi, to please use the link below and give me a review xxxx

Leave a Google Review for Eleni

Celebrating our Sweet 16

August is an empowering month with the strength of Leos.

A month of harsh realities. A month of inner strength. A month of constant change. A month of frustration. A month of tears.

But I don’t wish today’s blog to go down the road of Coronavirus – we talk about it 24 hours a day all over the world. Vaccinations, close contact, isolation, lockdown, closures, tighter restrictions, closures, testing, penalties.

Instead I just want to share what for me, is a joyous time (although I do feel slightly weird writing the word “joy”!!!)

Our Yoga Studio will, on the 22nd of August, celebrate….Sweet 16!!!!

Yes – 16 years old.

So that’s why I feel I need to spread some magic dust, (no balloons, they are terrible for the environment) fairy floss and hundreds and thousands to celebrate.

It feels like a loooong time since anyone has had a party.

I remember the studio’s 10th birthday party at the Clemton Park Bowling club which was so amazing. The turnout of all yogis and their families was wonderful and better than I could have imagined. We celebrated with smaller parties at the Bexley North studio but then, since 2020: nothing!!!

I have wanted to celebrate our new Clemton Park Headquarters but keeping up with all the Covid restrictions kind of stopped me.

On the other hand how do we plan? I feel let’s all go with the flow, which even I will admit is sometimes hard to implement.

But hey – back to 16 years as a full time yoga teacher, Australian Registered Homeopath health and lifestyle consultant, business owner and for the last two years the designer and creator of my Yoga- active- lifestyle clothing range. All of the clothing is made in Sydney with samples, patterns, sewing, and pressing made by two wonderful women, mother and daughter team Chrysoula and Fotini. Even the materials are sourced in Australia, supporting our markets.

I cannot tell you how frustrated I get knowing that most activewear has not been manufactured in Australia. I get sent all the samples of tights, crop tops, bras and then big  brands buy them, just stick their label on top and charge you 1000% mark up. Crazy!!!! Thank you to everyone for your amazing support of my new venture. So many of you out there have purchased my clothing way before it was online. My deepest most wonderful thank you.

Thank you also to everyone who has attended my yoga classes. Every single student. Students who came once, a few weeks, months, years, on and off. I feel as though I have met everyone’s families and wherever I go it seems I bump into a student.

Thank you to all the wonderful support of yogis who have attended my yoga retreats, here and in Tonga and of course Greece. Again so glad our retreat at Callala Beach in May was able to happen. I still vote it as the best retreat ever – but definitely more to come.

16 years is a long time but I also feel it just flew. My strength as a business owner and creator is to never give up and to always bring passion to my work. My job is beyond a job, yoga is a way of life. I have been blessed to have changed my business after last year’s lockdown. Big commercial rents and overheads are gone. So I have been able to breathe and not stress but my heart is broken with how many businesses are suffering. Downsizing has saved me this time around.

From the start of this lockdown, I reduced my private teaching fee from $80/90 to $50 an hour. It has been a wonderful experience teaching yogis outdoors and of course keeping up with all the new changes I have been able to work with. Mask on and also currently we have local border restrictions and the 5km rule so from today a lot of yogis will be restricted.

Of course nothing is forever. We will get through this. As lockdowns continue at some point there will be some easing. Most likely we will transition to 10 or less in a group with classes held outdoors. I love teaching outdoors and so many of you have been converted to enjoying yoga in Mother Nature. When we resume outdoor classes I will post on social media and keep you updated with newsletter release.

Planning ahead is not something that can be done at the moment- which is a lesson to be in the present. What we can do today is to be kind, thoughtful and as caring as you can be to yourself and others.

From the bottom of my heart thank you to everyone for all the support and courage and strength you have given me to thrive and work with this small business the last 16 years.

Thank you also  to Veronica Robertson from Commotion Marketing for everything you have done for me. Your unwavering support and love. You have held my hand for so many steps of getting my business more technologically updated and so much more.

xxx

Eleni

Another lockdown – but outdoor classes will continue

Early last Wednesday morning, I had a fabulous run at Bondi. I was super excited because I made it to Wylies Baths at Coogee. What was different about this morning, though, was the number of cars lining up for COVID-19 testing. All of Bondi Road was bumper to bumper. I attended my Pole class afterwards at Bondi and there was talk of new measures for Sydney.

That afternoon, I started teaching with a mask on, as did the yogis who were participating. It was the most surreal experience!! On Thursday one of our yogis, Maggie, texted me to confirm if class was still on and that we wearing masks. I said “yes” and she replied: “See you then ? I know people say you can’t breathe with a mask on but I figure surgeons use them so that’s good enough for me.” Amazing.

Then news of the Eastern Suburbs lockdown was then of course swiftly followed by news of the Greater Sydney lockdown for two weeks. Unfortunately, this means there will be no group classes at our awesome little studio for a while – at least until we get the all clear from the State Government.

However – outdoor Yoga classes are a big YES!! I cannot give you a fixed timetable because it’s so weather dependent, so please keep a close eye on my social media where I’ll be posting about classes that are available each day. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact me. Bookings will be essential to ensure we do not exceed maximum numbers.

With positivity and a calm mind, we will get through this. Big love and hearty laughs to everyone experiencing lockdown.

_____

Until lockdown began, I had seen more yogis attending classes this season than in summer or past winters. Classes were booking out well in advance. I’m a wuss in winter. I have been moaning about it and spending a lot of time dreaming my past Greek summer escapes. How can you not? While rugging up in a few layers for outdoor classes will be the norm for a little while, we will get back into the studio eventually – and we have a new heater waiting for us on our return wooohoooo!

Also when restrictions ease, we will have a few new classes to add to the timetable. I will let you know when this will come into effect.

Is 2021 flying by (or is it just me?)

Well, we’re nearly saying goodbye to April and May is just about here (or maybe by the time you read this it will be May already!)

We are all reflecting lately on how fast is each week going by. Is 2021 flying?? I’m still having trouble remembering that the year is not 2020 (case in point, when I was making my April Spotify playlist, I typed 2020 instead of 2021. Oooops. Not sure if I have changed it yet.)

What I’m loving more than ever in 2021 is teaching yoga. You are all amazing!!! Your progress has been so uplifting and SUPER (must read that with a Greek accent ?) I have to make things harder for you all!!!

Please note that some of the private groups have changed to open classes. For example, bookings for the Wednesday night 7:30pm class are now open for anyone who wants to attend in that time slot.

There will also be one or two classes shifting this season so please check my timetable for any changes.
And I will be adding some pop up classes including meditation and slow flow yoga, as well as abs, butt and thighs. These will be advertised on Facebook and Instagram – another reason why you should like and follow haha.

I’m really grateful to everyone who has been willing and able to shift, compromise and change their schedules and still make it work. You have all been wonderful in your bookings and cancellations. Thank you so much for such smooth sailing.

Hello, also, to all the new students who may still be in shock of the amount of talking I do in class. Which leads me to this: how well do you know your Yoga teacher? Just for fun, answer this mini quiz below??
Send your answers by email, text or photo and be in the running to receive a FREE yoga class to the value of $24.

xx Eleni

Q1:  Are my stories true or false?
Q2: List 6 items that you will find at the entrance to the studio space.
Q3: My favourite food group or type of food is….
Q4: How many years have I operated Eleni’s Yoga and Movement Studio?
Q5: What used to be one of my jobs (pre-yoga times)?
Q6: The modality that I practice in the area of health is….
Q7: Do I have a TGA?
Q8: What’s one of my latest passions?
Q9: Have I ever attended a Silent Meditation Retreat?
Q10: How many studio spaces has Eleni’s studio been in?
Q11: List five of my favourite music artists
Q12: Have you ever seen me without lipstick? What colour do I wear?
Q13: I swear in class! True or false?
Q14: What is my favorite line?
A – And that was the warm up
B – I’m excited !!!
C – Grateful every day
D – How good is yoga?
E – All of the above
Q15: What do you like about yoga at Eleni’s studio?

Small businesses = BIG hearts <3

One day, I decided to buy perfume. So damn random because I never buy commercial perfume, and I have never bought a perfume with a celebrity’s name or from a couture house (but damn I love J.Lo haha). I just use natural, handmade essential oil mixes or natural perfumes and body sprays.
I entered this perfumery with mum who was looking at some jewellery in the cabinet for my niece and I realised I had never noticed how beautiful this store was.
I loved the glass, the colours and the designs of all the bottles. It’s a stunning Art Gallery of colour and perfume.
I remembered I had once smelled an amazing perfume that was of pure rose essence at a duty free store at an airport. I could never find it back in Australia and then I just really forgot about it. Of course, I asked the Sales Assistant owner of the store and you would not believe it – she had it in stock!!!
She had no tester (maybe because she kept small ranges of everything, I’m not sure.) But guess what? I bought it without hesitation. It was so damn expensive but this yogi is all about living in the moment and looking at signs and right then I thought: I have to have it. Just no hesitation. It’s here, it’s meant to be.
Smells are so distinctive, they transport you back in time. The smell of my late teacher’s yoga studio; the food my grandmother made in Greece in high rotation. I can still smell the taste of her homemade tomato sauce for the pasta. With this perfume, I always remembered how magnificent it was.
Of course, I opened the bottle and it smelled nothing like that. I was devastated!!! Yes the expectations were high and as I’m typing this I cannot express how ordinary and flowery it smelled. Just yuck!!!!
What would you do?
I called the store and explained to her how I felt, and that this perfume smelled of everything but roses. In reality, it was not her issue. It was my choice so suck it up yogi Eleni ? She asked me to come by the next day.
To cut a long story short, she kept 30% of the purchase price and with the balance, I was able to choose something else. She was so lovely and I was so happy with the outcome. She explained to me about the PH of the skin and how it changes every 10 years. Perfume that once we loved may not be the same years down the track. It’s also possible that there was a change of formula and that the original perfume was no longer in production.
She did not make me feel like an idiot, she cared for me as as an individual. She did not have to do that at all.
My reaction: I was like, well damn! I’m coming back again to buy perfume from here again! (which I will test on my skin haha)
As a small business owner heading into 16 years, I have experienced so much support and kindness that I would not know were to start. Don’t get me wrong, I have had  clients who have tested me out!!! But they come to less then 10 people. That’s not bad is it?
As a small business, we rely on and thrive in our communities as well as on a larger scale with online shopping. I have experienced that with my clothing range. The financial exchange and commitment enhances small business owners’ ability to thrive and stay in business which we in turn spend back in our community. Choice these days is massive but that also comes with its own responsibilities. For example, do I purchase my vitamins and soaps from an independent health good store or from Chemist Warehouse?
To purchase Australian-made is even a bigger love affair and commitment that I have. Hopefully you yogis will start that love affair as well (although  I’m sure you have already :))
Having said that there are a couple of products I could not compromise e.g Greek Fetta from Greece and olive oil. #woglife
xxx Eleni