Health, yoga and fitness advice and my self-exploring and enquiring: Part #1

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.


Celebrating 10 years of yoga at Eleni’s

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.

Having a party was not only to celebrate me – although one of my favourite lines is “it’s all about me” 🙂 – it was to celebrate US!!!!
Yogis – our community, our health, our happiness, our friendships, our love of yoga, our serenity.
The party was a great success and truly a beautiful day. (I was so scared that it would rain, but the clouds glided by and some of the sun’s rays were able to shine through).
I’m totally overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness, assistance and generosity.
I thank you all and most importantly, my Mum, who has the strength of a lion and has given me buckets of courage, confidence and courage. Courage to get my dream become a reality. Advice to never doubt myself.
Gina assisted with all the important elements of a party and her food was so, so delicious. She is a vegetarian, mediterranean cooking machine!!!
The party was a blast and seeing everyone’s interaction  has made me conclude that we all strive to become more accepting and loving.
Yoga teaches us that constantly.
Happy glorious 10 years. Thank you to all who made it happen. I’m truly blessed.
Namaste xx

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Food: before yoga, after yoga and in daily life

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.



It started with Madonna

Yoga was not an initial love experience for myself. I don’t believe I was too great at it. I tried so hard and I’m sure I pulled a few muscles along the way!
It eventually became my Saturday morning ritual for a solid two year frame at Yoga Synergy. I was 25 years old.
Who influenced me??? (This is prior to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram)
She was a fit creature that I identified with. At that period of my life I was teaching a gazillion aerobic and step classes as well as running corporate classes at State Parliament on Macquarie Street.
To me, Madonna was talent, beauty, assertiveness, and her image was always shifting. You could never be bored. She was a Yoga Goddess of Flexibility. She looked so serene in so many exquisite postures. An exotic creation.
Once I jumped off the Madonna starting block, I increased my practise, finding yoga nurtured my soul in a whirlwind of major life transitions and challenges: getting divorced, selling my home, moving house, and losing a business that I had established with Mum over 14 years (long story, the airport authorities wanted the space and 14 days notice was given). My anorexia started creeping back and so did my exercise obsessiveness.
Yoga was there.
I became passionate about the practise as well as the philosophy. It spoke to me. It changed my life. It steered me to starting an apprentiship with my late dear teacher Acharya Upendra Roy, and I continued my Yoga Teacher training with him. I have met such amazing teachers along the way, it’s a total discovery of adventure.
Hopefully if you are reading this, you are giving yourself a high five for scheduling your next yoga session. Or to start, or to reengage with your yoga ritual if you have had a brief hiatus.
The best advice i can give you is don’t wait. Don’t wait for the following to happen:
  1. To lose weight before you start yoga
  2. To have more time.
  3. For kids to go to school. Or get older …..
Yoga is for everyone. Now.
You do not need to be fit to do yoga
You do not need to be an ex-athlete or personal trainer
You do not have to be rich.
You do not have to be beautiful.
You do not need expensive workout gear and accessories.
You could be of any ethnic background or religion.
I may be the teacher for you or I may not.
Searching, practising, experience with an open heart, honesty and passion.
See you on your mat somewhere, sometime.