Helena Hatha Yoga
Fall in love with looking after YOURSELF!
Finding Self Acceptance Through Yoga
Wednesday 27th Febuary
In our western culture full of “fitspiration” and “yoga porn” that more often incites envy rather than inspiration, sometimes it can feel difficult to practice self-love. With surveys estimating that 90% of women want to change something about their physical appearance, and just 2% of women who consider themselves beautiful, we can live in a culture that doesn’t foster high self-esteem.
What many of us don’t know is that self-confidence has nothing to do with physical attractiveness. Rather, building self-confidence is often a matter of practice – like any skill! Accepting yourself, avoiding labels, and avoiding comparisons are all great ways to build your self-esteem. With a good Yoga teacher you will learn to accept, love and listen to your self and your body, it a subtle process that happens over the weeks and months your practise. One day you wake up and you feel better about yourself. Through the conbination of pranyama, asanas and mediation we return to our true selves. At our very core of our being we are pure love, there, there is no judgment, we find surrender, acceptance, willingness and peace. Once we have tasted the bliss and joy of inner connection, we want to experience it over and over again, so we keep coming back to the mat. We begin to catch oursleves when we have judgmental thoughts and start replacing them with more affirming, kind and surportive ones. Yoga helps us peal away the layers of self doubt. Many of us find we have stored tention, taruma, fear and pain in our bodies and through our practice we find a path to healing. As we open more space in our forms we let go of the stored tention. With our improved posture we stand taller and people perceive us differently, we rediate more confidents . Energy in our chakras flow more easily and we are able to release more that does not serve us. Our thoughts and our physical energy begins to move in a new way and ever so subtly we just know we feel better, stronger and calmer able to deal with life more effectively.
Carling Harps - Yoga Teacher
“Instagram can be full of inspiration. And it can also be full of shame. And guilt. And I AM not-good-enough!..and if-onlys and I’ll-nevers. We’re all a part of this big social media washing machine full of half cool shit and half just shit shit. Tumbling and swirling around and all up in your face, and sometimes it gets hard to tell what’s what. Life is too short to wish you had someone else’s. Your body is too full of miracles to stifle it with doubt.
Check yo’ self before you wreck yourself.”
Kerri Verna - Yoga Teacher
“No matter what – you are worth it! You matter! Every child was placed on earth with intention. Never believe the lie that you are not good enough or unworthy. Just put in the work to achieve your dreams and you will. Turn over everything and surrender … Control can be the enemy of our soul. Allow yourself to be guided, allow yourself to be loved, and just let go.”
Patrick Beach - Yoga Teacher
“The more you practice, the more yoga becomes about strength of mind, having the strength to stay focused, not tie yourself to the expectation of what you did yesterday, or what your goal is for tomorrow. Yoga is all about the true connection to the self, sometimes strength comes up because that is what is needed, but other times compassion or patience is needed. I truly believe a consistent yoga practice will strengthen the elements of the self that are needed to navigate the paths that we walk.”
MacKenzie Miller - Yoga Teacher
“Practice love and compassion. When people say kind and loving words to you, promise not to deflect them. You are magical and deserve to be celebrated."
“I never felt pretty, let alone beautiful when I was a little girl. I felt like the odd one out, the ugly duckling. People told me I was too short, my legs too big, my face was too flat to be attractive. When I started practicing yoga I began seeing beauty all around me. The trees, the flowers, the sunsets all seemed to glow with a divine light. Then I started seeing beauty beyond physical form, expressed in compassion, kindness, forgiveness and love. Finally one day I looked in the mirror and saw beauty within myself, physically yes, but more like I saw the light in my heart shining in all its splendor and I recognized the beauty and purity of my inner and truest self.
…See the beauty and grace in the world around you. Recognize it and appreciate it. Then see the beauty within yourself. Find at least one physical or inner quality that shines with inner light. …Far beyond a perfect physique the beauty of the yogi is in the wisdom of the heart, burning with courage and compassion, living a life of inner peace. There is a place of true beauty within each of us, a place of timeless, transcendent grace. It is through the practice of yoga that you discover the true beauty of your spirit and get the courage to let your true self shine freely, boldly and powerfully in the world. Go out today and shine bright.”
Daniel Smith - Yoga Teacher
“ Yoga its about making shapes, finding flow, and accepting the fact that you may make mistakes during the process. It’s about commitment, dedication, and vulnerability. "
“Balance comes from a state of mind and a reflection of life. It’s important to be balanced in your personal life to find balance in your practice. I often notice if my personal life is out of whack then my practice suffers. Or if something really bad has happened in my life, I rely that much more on my practice and practice that much harder to help overcome my personal problems. The two are inseparable for me. The better my life, the better my practice, the better my balance.
To find balance and improve your yoga practice, meditate, breathe, show love to your family and friends, be kind to strangers, enjoy the gifts you were given and be ok with the gifts you weren’t. Know that your practice changes everyday, try for the best possible but love yourself that much more if you come up short.”
I hope you found these quotes inspirational and useful in your own yoga practice and personal journey. The moral of the story? Love more, judge less, accept always, and be extra kind to yourself!!
February 14, 2018
We welcome the first few indications that Spring is coming, rejoicing in the days getting brighter and a little longer, the signs of growth and rebirth after the depth and introspection we experienced in Winter. The bulbs planted last autumn are beginning to break through the frozen earth, and signs of renewal and hope start to stir within us; the seeds of change that we planted within ourselves now push through with the new sesnse of energy upliftedment and inspiration. This sense of renewal gives us desire to birth new projects, take time to detox our bodies, make time to exercise more. We come out of our mild hibernation and feel like expanding outwards.
Conecting to the sesons helps me remember that there is a natural order and flow to life. Like our inhaling and exhaling, the seasons reminds us that life exists in growth and contractions, we ebb and flows. When we become a little more conscious of our own being we can achieve greater harmony with our own inner selves thus feeling our own seasons as something to imbrace and celebrate.
One of the most beautiful transitions is from Winter to Spring a time of new beginings . Take a moment to feel how you are moving through this time for yourself. What ideas did you have over the Winter that you now feel you can put into action? Have you got more energy? What do you feel inspired about? Do you feel like fasting or detoxing? What is it that you want to create or bring forth this year? I find that taking the time to get clear about what you want and why you want it, is a powerful way to get inspired. You might take time to make a vission board, it does not have to be a work of art just some words about what you want and why you want it and how it will make you feel.
An ongoing series of informational entries
Savasana might look like a nap at the end of your yoga practice. But it’s actually a fully conscious pose aimed at being awake, yet completely relaxed. In Savasana—also known as corpse pose— you lie down on your back and relax your body and mind so you may fully assimilate the benefits of your asana practice.
During this pose, you close your eyes, breathe naturally, and practice eliminating tension from the body. Ideally, this posture lasts for 10 to 20 minutes. However, even a few minutes of Savasana is said to have powerful benefits.
The Benefits of Savasana
Savasana helps relieve mild depression, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, and insomnia, according to Yoga Journal. Savasana can calm the nervous system and promote equanimity in your entire body. Fatigued muscles get to relax, tense shoulders and jaws soften, and the eyes quiet down to reflect a quieter state of mind.
Common Challenges of Savasana
This simple-sounding pose is more difficult than you might realize. The body can cause distractions that make it a challenge. Your body might feel cold, itchy, or unsettled.
Even if your body is amenable to the rest, your mind can get in the way. Some common thoughts that pop up during Savasana:
How much longer will we be here?
Did that guy just snore? That’s embarrassing.
I hope I didn’t just snore.
What am I making for dinner when I get home?
Did I remember to pay the meter?
It’s normal for the mind to try to resist this deep relaxation. Savasana is the ultimate act of conscious surrender. It takes practice and patience to surrender easily.
With the world moving so quickly, cultivating the art of Savasana is more valuable than ever. Our society tends to place greater value on speed and productivity; learning how to do nothing is a skill that can help you become more productive when you need to be.
Savasana helps us learn how to completely surrender, stop fighting the clock, and make space for peace and harmony to fill the soul. Savasana is like turning off your computer when it’s acting up. Once you reboot it, the computer often has greater functionality.
Then, just notice. Some days will be easier than others, and that’s part of the practice. See if you can be still, at ease, and simply trust that the breath will carry you to the next moment. Watch for those peaceful moments of quiet between the thoughts. Over time, they’ll get longer, and you’ll find more inner quiet.
At the end of Savasana give say a few affermations in your head, your unconscious mind is very surgesatable when we are relaxed and comfortable.
I am in control of my breath, mind and my body.
My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.
I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.
I acknowledge my own self-worth; my confidence is soaring.
I am at peace with all that has happened, is happening, and will happen.
March 1 2018
We live in an over stimulated world, where 30% - 40% of people have trouble sleeping as they cant switch off at the end of the day.
We are constantly bombarded by with ideas, images, technology, as well as social, financial, and cultural pressure, which leads our attention in countless different directions at a time. As if this external “noise” isn’t enough, the internal, mental “noise” of strategising, planning, excessive thinking, judgement, and worry take our attention so far away from what is happening in the present moment that we feel lost, un-centered, and in a state of disharmony.
It is important we take time out of the daily grind: to remove ourselves from the noise and really be quiet. Mouna is the pratice of silence take a mini Mouna moment. On a surface level, it means to simply not to talk, and on deeper levels it means making the space internally and externally to be still and quiet. Tuning out of the “noise” and being PRESENT It means to know ourselves intimately, one breath at a time, to calm our over stimulated nervouse system.