30 Day Challenge: Home Retreat 

Self-Love, care and nurturing is the most important love, we all know this. Sometimes we need to intensely focus through retreat from the everyday. Sometimes a day, a weekend, at other times a longer respite is needed. 

After observing an energy drop and a tendency for inflammation/illness in my system and a growing need to express artistically I decided to devise a home retreat for myself, and to take an extended period off. This has been difficult to do, my clients still want massages and yoga, I’ve just met an awesome new man, socialising, activist commitments etc all need to go on hold, especially during the first week.

For the month of July classes will pause and I am creating a space for myself to explore my creativity, clean-out and go deep into my personal yoga practice. 

Week One: reset, I will use yoga practices to revive my life force.

Week two: perspective, reassessing my focus in life and how I will be my empowered, unique self.

Week three: simplify, create, playful approaches to everyday activities.

Week four: integrate ideas into daily life and share knowledge with others.

Paint

Walk

Massages

Play records

Love

Half-fasting 

Journal

Asana

Meditate

Laugh

Garden

Skinny dip

Organise 

Bike

I’m looking forward to this time to nurture my art and envision a different format for offering yoga practices to my local community and online. 

In the meantime, keep your inner-flame burning, your heart and toes warm, try simmering grated ginger and sliced lemon together and add some honey for soothining sweetness. 

 I will see you the last week in July. ❤️ Liz 

Amazing Endorsement …. Thanks Mel

Melanie is a regular massage enthusiast, in the past 12months she had committed to a monthly massage.

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She is a super-busy, driven and intelligent woman who runs a business for people who help people, “Downsize Me” Heres what she had to say in her latest newsletter:

 “bet you’ve heard this one before – “I was going so well, and then I just fell off the wagon.” In fact, you’ve probably even said it.

 

That’s because the sad reality is, we are creatures of habit, and habits can be hard to stick to. 

Even a health and wellness coach can have trouble making healthy habits stick!

 

And while I’m pretty good most of the time, around 80% of the time, I definitely struggle to be consistent with a few habits, even though they are meaningful and beneficial for me.

 

But there’s one habit I’ve managed to stick to, and I want to share my secret weapon with you.

But first….

 

The Excuses Queen

I love a good massage and know logically why they’re SO good for me…but I always found excuses not to have regular massages.

 

  • I can’t afford it.
  • It’s too hard to go back to work afterwards.
  • It takes too much time out of my day.
  • I have to shower all the oil off when I get home.

 

You can see that, like most of us, I have barriers, competing priorities. 

This means I tend to defer ‘me-time’ during the week – and as a result, can end up frazzled.

 

Then something changed. 

Enter, Liz Thomas.

 

An Afternoon With Lovely Liz – The Relaxation Queen

Apart from being an artist and yoga teacher, Liz Thomas does great massage – a fully clothed style of massage called Thai Yoga massage (with a few other styles thrown in). 

The massage involves Liz moving me around during the session for stretch and mobility, plus working on different areas more intensely.

Liz’s massage ticks the normal massage boxes, but a bunch more.

 

  • The kinks get worked out of my neck, shoulder and back. 
  • No oil!
  • It’s easier for me to go back to work.
  • I feel like I am part of the solution, not just ‘getting treated’.
  • She works in a beautiful location.
  • I can be silent if I wish, otherwise we have great banter.
  • As a regular client, I get a discount. So I book in my next session when I’m there, to ensure my consistency.

 

Now, I am going every month and loving it.

 

You’ll notice that the Excuses Queen put money first.  

But when I become the Relaxation Queen, money is the last of my concerns. 

 

What created that shift??

 

The Surprisingly Simple Secret Weapon

 

I was talking to Liz the other day with in my most recent massage. We had a good banter about life, her paintings, yoga, philosophy, wellbeing and habits….and then what makes people come for yoga and massage, or not. 

 

And then I realised my secret to greater consistency in habits. 

 

It’s the relationship I have with the person.

 

It’s not just that I am accountable to Liz. I also like Liz a lot – I find her interesting, and it feels like we have a great connection. 

And there’s more.

And as we talked, I started saying to Liz that the session is about more than just massage for me. 

It’s downtime. 

Clarity time. 

Banter. 

Philosophy. 

Movement. 

Physical relief. 

Realisations. 

Inspiration. 

The feeling of achieving something each time, and walking away with an AHA moment. 

 

Massage with Liz is so much more than I imagined, and more than I’d gotten with any other massage.

 

The incredible value Liz offers far outweighs the cost….and it’s a powerful magnet to keep me coming back. 

 

There’s the added bonus of scheduling the next one in advance, at the time. Great for a structured girl like me.

 

What’s really interesting is that now I’m thinking about going to Liz’s yoga class. 

It’s something I know would be great…and maybe, just maybe, what Liz has to offer can help the Excuses Queen get past the BS and into consistency.”

Heres Melanies website if your interested in her work too : http://www.downsizeme.net.au/

 

Thankyou Mel, Namaste x

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Equinox: a time to balance

The 23rd Sept is equal day and night hours, it is the equinox. A time to reflect on how we can bring balance to our lives.

Our yoga class gives us the opportunity to observe with total attention. This is something to aim for in all of life’s activities, however, in our yoga practice we can train for such concentration. You may have heard it referred to as ‘Mindfulness’, a concept from Buddism, embraced by western psychology, and gone totally mainstream.

At the Equinox you may become aware that you are more energetic or aware of the need to stop and smell the new blooms. A strong sense of what is needed for this balance maybe available if you listen.

Instead of making a judgement when observing your body or mind-heart or life force,  trying to discover why or how any imbalance has occurred, make a resolution to simply take action.

If possible try this yoga posture now. Eg Tadasana, Mountain pose: Stand with your feet under your hips, lift the toes and spread them, place them down. Bring your attention to the big toe ball, the little toe ball and the heel, the sides, inside and outside of the feet. Observe the other muscles that may support the function of the feet. Resolve to stand evenly on your feet and sway back, forward, side to side and activate muscles that ensure you feel the three arches of the feet.

Eg2 If your mind is distracted gently focus on the architecture of your body and your proprioception, where your body is in space. Your spinal alignment. Where your centre is. Weight evenly diatributed. Follow your breath, relax and use your dristi, your gentle gaze, to focus on the task at hand.


LISTEN BELOW FOR THIS GUIDED BREATHING AND VISUALISATION FOR BALANCE

Analoma Viloma

Balance Meditation

Bring attention to the spaces around you and release from the sensual experiences.

Three deep sighs and release attention from the breath and move to the body.

Alternate attention at each side of the body (from the extremities inward guided relaxation).

Rest at the heart centre, just observe the energy at the centre of the chest.

Release attention from the body and move to the place of thought, imagination &memory.

Come to present moment awareness.

Imagine you are perfectly still , balanced and serene floating in lake with a sand bottom, the sky reflecting a turquoise hue, …………… enveloped in the colour, light, buoyant and refreshed.

Allow your focus to move to any imbalance you have observed in your body, mind-heart or energy.

If and when you make such and observation, do not chase thoughts of explanation, although euphonies and realisations may spontaneously occur. Just observe without criticism, without judgement, perhaps being a little light-hearted about “Oh look how I do that?” being curious, “That’s interesting how I respond that way”.

From here you may like to enquire into how to allow balance to arise in your body, mind-heart, energy. “how can I take action to redress the imbalance??”

Once again do not chase an answer. It may come now, it may come later when you awareness returns to the place of asymmetry or imbalance in everyday life.

Trust that you have all the tools to know what action to take within you.

Just resolve now to take action when it is clear what action will be helpful.

Release and traces of this observation and enquiry into serene blue of that lake that surrounds you.

Rest now in silence.