Viewing entries tagged with 'meditation'

A Leap Of Faith

7 October
2014

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Taking A Leap Of Faith

Isn't this world a funny old place sometimes?

There is something I have been finding a challenge in my working life that has been at play for some time, maybe even a few years. Today the penny dropped!

I've been on a fun rollercoaster ride of ignoring it completely, recognizing it, acknowledging its playing up, and then ignoring it again.. and so on, you get the gist. The truth is I didn't feel ready to listen. The signs were all there, the universe was giving me all the clues, but I persisted in what I thought was right. I followed my same patterns, even though I knew they didn't work many times over. But that's what we do in life isn't it? We are creatures of habit, and we like to follow the crowd (at least I know I do) until maybe finally we realize it is no longer serving us. I believed that in order to get to a certain place I had to take the same path as everyone else, the truth is, I am no one else, I am me! 

So today I have decided to take my leap of faith! To continue on my journey into this world and career my way. I hear my Dad's favourite song 'My Way' by Frank Sinatra singing in my ears and I have butterflies in my tummy, the kind I only get when I know I'm about to make a big decision, to follow my own signs and listen to my own calling.

Dear universe I finally get the hint.. and this time I will try my best to listen up. The thing holding me back is fear, of course, it always is isn't it? But I will try to be brave, to not look left or right and keep my gaze straight ahead, into that distance that right now looks beautiful and bright!

Wish me luck.. and please stick around for the journey (I've got the feeling it will be an interesting one)

With love,

A slightly terrified but feeling brave Tash x  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Grounded Traveler

24 September
2014

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I've been traveling a lot recently, as many of you know, and it has been brilliant! Truly I can't complain and I am grateful every day as it is something I have always wanted to be part of my life and my work, and feel so blessed that it is all now manifesting. However, the truth of it is that it can be a little ungrounding at times. Not only are you not at home and sleeping in your own bed, but living out of a suitcase, a lack of structure and the actual traveling itself can leave me (and maybe you too) feeling a bit 'off'. There always seems to be something unnatural about flying through the air in a plane at ridiculous speeds, to then step off in a new climate, new environment, new time zone.. wow no wonder our bodies and minds get a little confused! 

So from my many years of moving around I have come up with a few little steps that helps me along the way, and may help you too.. 

Tips For The Grounded Traveler  


  • Stay Hydrated - It's tempting to reach for the coffee and sugar, but flying is already extremely dehydrating so I ALWAYS board a plane with at least one big bottles of water (and if I can't find a big one at the airport I buy 2/3 small ones) I know it can be heavy to carry but you will feel a million times better when you land! Oh and go for an aisle seat, with the extra fluid you may need a few extra pit stops to the toilet!
  • Move - Make sure you move around when flying, it really is so important. I recommend getting up for walks and standing at the back of the plane to have a good stretch. At your seat you can move your ankles in circles to help blood flow, and as much as we don't like to be a wriggler and annoy the passengers next to us, a few little adjustments now and then will help circulation and posture. 
  • Travel Mat - The best investment you can make is a travel mat, it folds into your suitcase so it super easy to travel with and it's light. I have the Manduka One, but most mat brands offer them now. And then once you have one.. use it! The first thing you should do when you get to your hotel room and unpack, is get on your mat, even if it's just for a few minutes to stretch out and shake off the plane journey.  You can buy one at www.yogamatters.com/manduka-eko-superlite-travel-mat
  • Grounding poses -If you're feeling spacey, jet lagged or have that 'plane feeling' then get on your travel mat and do some grounding poses. Asana such as standing poses (Warrior II, Trikonasa) and some seated poses & hip openers (Wide Legged Seated Forward Fold, Pigeon Pose and Supine Twists) will help ground you, leaving you feeling more centered and connected to your new environment. 
  • Sleep with natural light - Let the natural light wake you up to help your body clock adjust. As wonderful as it is to have black out blinds in hotel rooms, it won't help that jet lag at all. So open those blinds and let the suns shine in, it's easy and very effective.
  • Get Outside - When I arrive somewhere new, the first thing I like to do in the morning is go for a run. It gets me out into the fresh air, I can check out the area I'm in, find the local cafes etc and gather by bearings, and the grounding running motion helps me ground into my day. If running isn't your thing then go for a nice brisk walk and take in your new temporary home. 

 

     

    Happy Travels!

    Tash xx  

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What's going on..

4 February
2014

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Are you ready London Yogis? It's time to get moving, stretching, running & relaxing... there is just SO MUCH GOING ON! What are you waiting for?? 

This year I decided to ramp up my fitness. As much as I love my daily yoga practice I realise that there was an element of being in my 'comfort zone' inside of that - it is time to shake things up a little and get a sweat on! So as part of the new mixed up fitness & health regime, I'm enjoying my yoga as well as: hot yoga, running, RealRyder (spinning), Pilates and personal training sessions.

Don't get me wrong... I am always a yogi at heart, through and through, and I'll never feel quite as natural lifting those weights or spinning on a bike, however it feels amazing to be challenging my mind and body in different ways. I'm amazed at the results of combining different fitness styles and methods, using my body in a variety of ways. Not only do I already feel stronger in general, but it's also having a really positive effect on my yoga practice too - with a stronger core, my arm balances are finally feeling a little lighter - result! My cardio has definitely been ramped up too, allowing me to move from a more heartfelt space on my mat. The most shocking of all is my improved flexibility, which is the one thing I wasn't expecting from my other workouts, however it seems that alongside my regular yoga, my body can recover quickly and the flexibility can actually be enhanced! 

Now as many of you know I'm always the most physically driven yogi, however my energy and clarity is definitely also getting a work out at the same time. The dedication it takes to go for a run in the cold, or push through another set of burpees, is very empowering, and knowing I've been able to do it feels incredibly rewarding at the end - and then it's off to my yoga mat to get that relaxing balance. 

Check out the best new ways to sweat... 

With this new inspiration I've been spending a lot of time looking into various ways to sweat, challenge myself and work out. So in case you've missed out on these hot new trends.. here are a few of the hottest! 

I've already tried many of these and will be spending the next few weeks trying and testing them out.. and of course filling you in along the way.. I CAN'T WAIT!

.. and of course let me know if you'd like to join me :-)

 

 

  • RealRyder @ Lomax -  Indoor cycling that takes spinning to a whole new level. These bikes steer, lean and feel like an actual bike making this a full body workout! For an extra challenge make sure you ask your instructor for the weighted vest.. and then get ready to pedal!
  • Barrecore - An intelligent, integrated workout combining interval training, and stretching of all the major muscle groups. I haven't made it there yet but will be heading there in the next few weeks.. want to join me? I'm excited! 
  • Barry's Bootcamp - From what I hear it's intense, amazing and addictive - Heading there next week! Come back to see how I get on. 
  • Pilates - I've been enjoying Pilates for a few years now and LOVE it! It works beautiful alongside yoga and also offers a great connection to the body, offering toning and lengthening to the whole body. Great for helping posture and back problems as it focuses on strengthening the core. I personally love the reformer, however there are some great teachers out there who mix things up a little. I'm currently trying out a few and will let you know where to find the top notch Pilates in London. 
  • Run Run Run! - It's free, it gets you outside in the (if you're lucky) sunshine, it's social if you find a run buddy and once you get the hang of it, it feels GREAT! I love running as its an easy one to fit in depending on how long you have, you don't have to go anywhere, just pop out the door and go! My only recommendation is to get a good set of trainers, make sure you have a good running form and pick some lovely locations to help boost the nature factor. Check out run routes near you here
It's gonna be a fun few weeks.. I can't wait!
Tash x 

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Tuning in to the Body

9 December
2013

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Dear lovely Yogis,

I've recently had the pleasure of wirintg a gurst bog for Dig Mondays and thought it would be nice to also share it with you. So here it is.. I hope you enjoy!

The word yoga is often translated as ‘union’, however another translation of the Sanskrit word is ‘yoke’.

The practice of yoga is seen as a yoking, maybe a yoking of mind and body, breath and movement, body and soul? I prefer the term yoke as there’s something less smooth about this transition, and more solid once it’s fused. A union is often an easy connection, like 2 perfect puzzle pieces, but when yoking there is a bit of effort made in order to bring the 2 elements together, and for me this is a much more accurate description.

When I started yoga there was nothing simple and easy about moving with the breath, or allowing my mind body to work as one. It’s alarming really…we would assume it’s natural for this to be how we function, but sadly, I found in both myself and as a yoga teacher, that many of us are disconnected from ourselves, our bodies, our emotions, even our hearts.

When we live in this state of disconnect then it’s easy to just go on without ever questioning what we’re doing, why are we doing it, how we feel about it or how it may be affecting us?

Through the practice of yoga I became much more in tune with my body. This tuning in – it wasn’t always easy! At times it was uncomfortable, frustrating and even reduced me to tears on my mat. Why? Not because I couldn’t perfect my downward facing dog, but because it was making me alive and awake in my body, and un-tapping my ‘stuff’ that I had potentially become numb to or plain ignored.

The beauty of it, is that once you are aware of this connection, once you really feel, then you can’t ignore it anymore!

The intuition of the mind and the body is an incredible thing. We are amazing creatures that can sense so much, but often we choose to not listen. Once we start to hear it, then amazing things can happen. We become aware of our true potential, we have a deeper understanding of who we are, what we stand for, and what we want to share with the world, and then the binds are untied and the wings start to grow – we can fly!

As a vinyasa yogi and teacher, my yoga is always flowing, and for me this perfectly mirrors life. Life should flow naturally, without the jarring and friction. Of course challenges will fall in our path, that is how we learn and grow, and often it is our approach to these challenges that in tern affect everything else, but ultimately if something is working out as it should then it feels natural and easy. When everything begins to work in this perfect flow, you know it is meant to be, it is yoking perfectly! 

I practice this on my mat every day, so that when I leave my mat and venture into the world I can approach everything with this clarity and intuition. The more I practice the more obvious it is when something isn’t flowing right, and that’s my cue that it’s not meant to be. So I get back on my mat, I listen deeply, and the more I listen, the louder the answers become. The more I practice and find that connection to all the elements that make up ME, the more I know how to take my next step – then everything falls into place, everything becomes yoked!

Namaste,
Natasha x 

 


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Meditate the City Way - Part 2

21 March
2013

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Dear Yogis, 

The sun is shining and the weather is sweet.. so make the most of it an get outside!!

We spend so much time in the city indoors and so why not spend time with nature again. I find nature to be the most fitting environment in which to meditate, think, and relax. I know personally I am most at one with myself when I'm in a place of true natural wonder. We are often so cut off form our natural habitat in a web of technology and modern luxuries that we sometimes forget that our beings need this connection in order to feel grounded, calm and nurtured. 

Our bodies need the sun to survive, it needs fresh air and the earth under our feet. I invite you to take your yoga practice and meditation outside.. anywhere at all. It may be to a local park, maybe  river or sea, depending on where you live. If you usually play music during your yoga practice or meditation, then try to resist and let the natural orchestra of life be your soundtrack. Begin to notice the sounds, smells, feelings all around you and let them be your guide. 

If a yoga practice or meditation isn't possible, then perhaps it is making the choice of taking the bus home instead of the tube so you can feel the sun on your face and watch the parks go by. Take your lunch outdoors and sit on a local bench or make the choice to walk a few stops on your way home, maybe stopping for a moment when you find a spot that looks pretty and peaceful to reflect.

Keep your eyes open for this meditation and let them absorb all the colours of nature, all the vibrant colours and textured around you. Let your attention take in all the sounds and the air on your skin. Start to become aware of the natural pulsation of life -the grass, the tress, the waves of the ocean, the insects, birds, animals -all moving to a rhythm that we are also alighned to but tend to switch off from. As you do this notice how you too are within this pulsation- your breath alone is working in beautiful unison with all of these things. The breath moving just like the waves of the ocean. 

With each inhalation think of taking in all of the beauty you see, the fresh air and sea breeze, or the smell of grass, taking it all into your body to create vibrance and colour within. With each exhalation let go of any stagnant energy that is no longer serving you - LET IT ALL GO! Think of each exhalation as a cleansing of your lungs and body, detoxing from the urban air and replacing it with fresh light air into the lungs and rejuvination your body and mind, refreshing your soul. 


Enjoy the beatiful gift of the outdoors :-)

Namaste, 

Tash xx 

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Let the music play on...

21 March
2013

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Lovely Yogis, 

As a yogi and musician, with equal passion and experience in both areas, I can't help but get such a buzz from music in my yoga practice and have decided to share with you a few thoughts on this topic as well as a few of my favourite tracks for playlists. 

I understand that there are two mindsets in terms of playing music during a yoga pratice. On one hand, the music can help pace the class, get into peoples heart strings and offer an extra element for transformation. On the other hand, some people argue that this takes away form the yoga practice itself and may act as a distraction? I find myself a bit biased here.. fusing music and yoga for me is the ultimate bliss.. I just cant help but put on a track that inspires me and finding my body flowing in a new way on the mat.

I have however found many benefits form a silent practice. At times turning off all noise and allowing yourself time in silence is important. It is also an interesting exercise to let your body flow to it's own natural rhythm.. finding the pace that feels natural to that spirit in that moment rather than moving to the beat of the music, which may not be fitting with your true rhythm at that time. 

Personally, I enjoy a lovely mix of th two, choosing music or no music depending on my mood and honoring what would be ost benefitial for my practice in that moment. Sometimes a silent practice can be very medatitve and soothing, however I can't help but enjoy turning up my favourite tracks and rocking on my mat! 

I have recently had many people ask me about my playlists and comment on how much they enjoyed it during their practice... thank you so much for all your comments.. and for those of you who have asked.. I have decided to post a few snippets of playlists to get you going, and hopefully inspire you the next time you get on your mat. 

So here is the first one.. Enjoy!

Mini Playlist For..

Shakin' Up Shakti 

Goodnight and Go - Imogen Heap

Sunday Shining - Finley Quaye

Porcelain - Moby

Shiva - MC Yogi

Save Me - Gotye

Free Fallin' (Live) - John Mayer

Skinny Love - Birdy

 

With love, light and music.. Namaste

Tash xx 

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Meditate the City Way - Part 1

12 March
2013

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Dear Yogis, 

Recently people have been asking me how I got into yoga and if I meditate.. the truth is I started meditating long before I started practcing yoga. I was naturally drawn to it from a very young age and would practcie meditation whenever I had the opportunity, often sitting quietly in my room or in the garden and finding my own ways to meditate. The more I practiced the more I fell in love and felt lost without this regular time to sit, reflect and swicth off.

I am a firm believer that you can't 'teach' someone to meditate, you can merely offer guidance and then it is up to the indicidual to practice and find their own way. It is a presonal practice and in my opinion there isn't necessarily one exercise or way to go about it that will suit everyone, it is improtant to find what works for YOU!

With this practice being very close to my heart I would love to offer a few tips and snippets, through a series online, that I find helps me along the way, this being the first one :-) I believe that anyone and everyone can benefit form these practices, you don't have to sit for hours on end or be a super yogi to enjoy it. I hope to offer you small chunks and accessible tools that you can use in your daily life so that you can intergrate these practices into YOUR life easily and successfully.

As I said.. these are only a few of the things that help me practice meditation, so please try it out and play around with it to see what works and what perhaps isn't as effective for you. 

Below is a very basic starting point, aimed mainly at those who struggle to sit quietly, swicth off and start a meditation or maybe like the idea of it but have never tried or don't know where to start...

 

  1. Find a time of the day that feels appropriate to sit quietly - usually first thing in the morning or just before bed works well. 
  2. Switch OFF! Turn everything off, phone on silent, tv off, anything that might ring, beep, buzz tonotify you that you have something to do.. it can all wait :-) 
  3. Find a comforatble seat. This doesn't have to be corssed legger in the 'meditation' pose, it can be sitting on a chair, against a wall or even laying down, as long as you are comfortable. 
  4. If you struggle to sit in silence then playing soft instrumental music can help. Sometimes sitting in complete silnece and not doing anything when we aren't used to it can atually feel a little uncomforatble, so i highly reccomend investing in some relaxing classical music (Ludovicio Einaudi is a personal favourite) 
  5. Sit comfortaby either with your eyes closed or soft on a spot on the floor on front of you. If you would rather not close the eyes, let your gaze be soft and eye lids heavy.
  6. Relax the whole body, if this is difficult then tense each part of the bodt at a time and on an exhalation let it go and completely relax
  7. Relax your face and jaw, notice your expression and can you let it soften?
  8. Become aware of your breath - notice the movement of breath flowing in and out of the body
  9. Without trying to change or force anything, simply observe the breath and become aware of the subtle movements of the body, the belly and chest moving as your breathe. 
  10. Allow all your attention and focus be on your breath 
  11. As it settles start to think about lenghtening your inhlataions and exhalations, each round becoming a little fuller and slower. 
  12. Stay with this steady breath, letting the mind settle on the rhythmn of the breath for as long as possible
Spend as long as you can with these first few simple steps, practcing it as often as possible and each time maybe sitting with it for a little longer. This will offer time for you to get more used to sitting quitely and even just a few moments of this exercice will start to calm the nervous system, settle the mind and offer clarity and a fresh perspective to your day. 
This can of course be done anywhere, anytime, so if you find this useful then please do introduce it into your day, at work, ont he tube, whereevr possible, just a few moments like this can make all the difference :-)
I hope you enjoy these first few steps. The next phase will be posted in a few weeks to allow time for you to work on this part first :-)
Please let me know if you have any questions.. I am so happy to hear your voices and help you find that calmness you are looking for, so get in touch! 
With much love, 
Tash x 

 

 

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