Drishti: Find your Balance

Drishti: Find your Balance

 Drishti: Find your Balance in Life

by Nadia Moon

 

Find Your Drishti and Balance in Life

The Sankrit word for Yoga is translated in English as “union”. Yoga is indeed the practice that unites body, mind, spirit and beyond. Beyond duality there is yoga, union.

If I look back at my personal yoga journey, I have to confess that the reason why I started practicing yoga in the first place was mainly to keep my body fit.

I was not interested in spirituality and very sceptical about the whole idea of it. I was very much body-only focused – probably also reflecting the society I was living in. I had no awareness of how powerfully this practice would have transformed my entire life very soon.

However my body knew it. The body is very wise and it knew that it was just the beginning, so I kept going.

As I increased balance, strength and flexibility on the mat (through yoga asanas and pranayama) I started to notice those changes off the mat as well, in all aspects of my life.

After 5 years of yoga practice (including meditation) I quit my toxic corporate job, I quit an unhealthy relationship I was stuck in for over 10 years and I started a journey of listening to my soul and following my higher purpose in life.

Yoga has certainly been the tool I needed to break through my conditionings and find balance.

Now I can share with you the beauty of yoga in all its universal benefits.

Everything we learn and master on the mat influences the way we show up off the mat in our everyday life.

Let’s look at one of the qualities we often seek for in our lives: balance, and how the yoga practice can help us achieve it more deeply.

 

Drishti

The balance in a yoga asana (a body posture) can be reached by finding our drishti.

Drishti is a sanskrit word for “point of focus”.

We can’t balance in an asana by focusing on the whole wall in front of us. We need to chose a precise point on that wall, stick with it with full awareness and commitment and let go of the rest. That point on the wall is our drishti.

Once you find your drishti, the invitation is to commit to it and to let the breath be deep and smooth.

And every time you fall, honour that.  Honour the commitment you have to get back up again, and again.

Let’s remember that it’s not about how many times we fall, but rather how many times we are willing to rise up once again. Enjoying the process is the real goal.

Likewise in life, to be balanced, we need to develop the ability to chose to focus only on the things that are beneficial to us and let go of that don’t serve us.

Following our dreams, our true desires, our soul purpose in life – that’s our Drishti. It requires determination and practice; it demands to believe fully in our dreams and to drop the resistance or attachment towards what doesn’t serve our purpose. We are capable of the impossible if we only believe in it.

Yoga gives us the tools to find that drishti, that balance on and off the mat.

 

Practice: Balance your Breath

Beside yoga asanas (body posture) we can practice the principle of balancing with the breath as well.

Set aside 5 – 10 mins now, or longer if you can, to practice this gentle breathing meditation and increase your awareness on balancing:

Find a conformable sitting position or lay down in savasana.

Take few moments to tune in into what balance means to you.

What is the quality of balance you wish to bring in your everyday life?

Breath in your intention with full awareness. Stay here for few moments as you plant the seed of your intention. Water it with your breath.

Then let go of your intention for now, drop any story in your head and shift your mind from whatever is drifted to, to watch the rise and fall of your natural breath. Without changing it, just bring awareness to it for few minutes.

As you inhale you receive energy, as you exhale you give energy. Pay attention to whether your inhale is longer then your exhale or vice versa. Notice if that is also true in your everyday life. Is it probably time for you to receive more? Or to give more?

Then start to bring balance to your breathing. Feeling that the inhale and the exhale become equal length. Counting the breath may help. Breathing in for 5… breathing out for 5… noticing the gap in between each breath. That tiny little pose at the bottom of your inhale and the tiny little pose at the bottom of your exhale.

Continue for few minutes and then release.

What have you noticed?

 

I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to share and comment,

Enjoy the process!!!

With Love, Nadia

 

Nadia will be sharing her passion for Yoga on our upcoming Yoga RetreatsThailand @ Pure Flow Yoga, in April 2019.  Learn more about here or on her website @ www.NadiaMoon.com

Yoga & Sacred Activism: 3 Ways to face the Darkness and stay Light

Yoga & Sacred Activism: 3 Ways to face the Darkness and stay Light

Yoga & Sacred Activism:

3 ways to Look into the Darkness and Stay Light

The world these days is like a dirty house. It’s been sullied with injustice, cruelty, selfishness, and greed. But just like a dirty house, it has every capability of being righted. We, as its inhabitants, have the choice of sitting in its filth, or being the ones to help clean it.

There are three ways to address the darkness in the world around us.

  • One, we can pretend we don’t see it so that it doesn’t bring us down.
  • Two, we can let it break our hearts and lock us into a state of depressed inaction
  • Three, we can be honest about its existence and understand it as a place asking for attention, action, and change.

 

 The Path of Service

Stepping up to the wrongs of this world is not an easy task for anyone, but it is the task worth doing. Atira Tan, founder of Art to Healing (www.arttohealing.org) and Yoga for Freedom (www.yogaforfreedom.org.au), first heard her call to action in Cambodia in 2004.

After witnessing the on-goings of a child sex slavery ring in the street below her hotel room, she was faced with a choice. She could look away, board the plane to her next vacation destination, and move on with her life. Or she could stay, step into the discomfort of a painful situation, and try to help these 9-10 year-old girls being sold by their family so they could survive.

Atira stayed. She spent the next four years living in Cambodia and working for a non-profit to prevent and heal the trauma of child sex slavery. She took the time to speak with these girls, girls who had experienced an unimaginable devastation of spirit from the trauma they’d undergone, and she chose to believe that there was still life within their deadened eyes that could, and needed to be, revitalised.

Today, Atira continues to follow her path of service and seeks to encourage others to do the same. In 2005, she founded Art to Healing, a non-profit that incorporates art therapy and yoga to help both women and men affected by sex slavery to foster a healthier relationship with themselves and their bodies. Furthermore, she launched Yoga for Freedom yoking the yoga community with social change, a world-wide fundraising event that taps into the billion-dollar yoga industry to raise money for women and children who have experienced child sex slavery in Asia.

 

Yoga & Sacred Activism

“Yoga is such a powerful tool for source energy,” Atira explains. “It helps me to connect with what’s true, to move beyond the notion that we are separate from each other. We can take time to tap into our practice and fill up and open up to be a vessel of love and light and that affects our actions and what we do in the world.”

 

Atira Tan uses yoga in her own life to keep her firmly on the path of service and sacred activism.  So, exactly how can we use yoga as a tool for social activism?

 

1. Don’t take time to worship, make your life worship.

 Yoga does not end in the studio. Yoga is a practice of union that is cultivated just as much on your mat as in the waiting line at the DMV. Be present in each moment. Dedicate your life to something more, whatever more is, and remember that it flows through you in everything you do, in every breath you take.

When we attach ourselves to something bigger than us, our actions become more in line with what we are incited to do, rather than what we think we should do.

 

2. Let go of your egoic notions of success, and surrender to the infinite

We are incredibly attached to our egos and outcomes; it’s a part of our culture to want to be successful.  The work is the only thing that matters and it is the only thing that exists. Activist burn-out does not come from the work itself; it comes from expectations.

The truth is that none of us know the outcome of anything. Let go, surrender. Act for the sake of action, act because you feel incited to do it. Let life take care of the rest. It’s going to do that whether you have a prediction or not.

 

3. Dedicate your life to being in Service

Dedicating one’s life to service is the quickest practice to kick us out of our egos. When we attach to something more and when we act for something more, we become something more.

When you dedicate your life to service, you must find something you feel purposeful about. You may care about the environment, but if that work doesn’t light you up, let it go. Find something that gives you meaning, that makes you feel alive when you connect to it. “When I work with women and children,” Atira says. “I know from the inside that I’m meant to be doing this work and I couldn’t be doing anything else. There’s an energy that is bigger than my mind. That is what sustains us in this work of activism.”

Sacred activism is not a “rescue” mission and it cannot be done through the mind. As activists, we cannot approach the work as the “rescuers” who have come to save the “victims.” This is not sustainable, and it is not true. Sacred activism is about coming together as one and learning from each other as human beings. It’s about discovering what we all have to offer one another.

The “call” to service is not always a pleasant one. It can be uncomfortable and frightening, even daunting. Our egos fear what will happen if we fail, or how we too may become hurt if we get involved. Yet, we all have the power to overcome our ego and attach ourselves to our life’s purpose.

After witnessing the horrors of the earthquake in Nepal, Atira Tan received an idea for a new endeavor during her meditation. It was an immense project to take on, and despite misgivings at the onset, she decided to set the idea into action.

Three years ago, Atira Tan held the first Yoga for Freedom movement in Australia, previously named International Yogathon for World Peace, alongside Off the Mat, into the World Australia and NZ. Her vision was to create a global yoga and social change movement that tapped into the 27 billion-dollar yoga industry and filtered that profit to the birthplace of yoga, a place that rarely saw the financial gains of the philosophy it shared with the world. The event invited yoga teachers to teach a Yogathon in 3 cities that donated its proceeds to the earthquake recovery effects through Art to Healing. The event was incredibly successful and raised over $16,000 in one day.

Now, Yoga for Freedom is a week long international yoga movement, will be held annually across 4 continents between 40 yoga ambassadors. All proceeds will go towards providing food, shelter, and safe accommodations to women and girls in need, as well as education and therapeutic programs to heal the trauma they’ve endured.

“The intention is to come back to the heart and dedicate our thoughts and practice in meditation back to the world,” Atira explains. “It’s to turn the focus from Instagram and Facebook and getting in perfect in shape – yoga is meant to be something that uplifts us all, that uplifts the planet. It’s a practice that can shine light within ourselves in the darkest place of shadow and we have to help others find it too. We have to use this practice to shine light on the darkest corners of humanity.”

To get involved with Art to Healing, visit arttohealing.org. To become involved with Yoga for Freedom, please visit www.yogaforfreedom.org.au

6 Ways to Nourish your Immune System this Winter

6 Ways to Nourish your Immune System this Winter

6 Ways to Nourish your Immune System

this Winter

by Ellanah Fawcett

For those in the Northern Hemisphere the phase of winter within our yearly cycle is beginning to settle in. With it comes the gift of our annual time to really go inside, reflect on the cycle that has been, bring light and love to our deep inner world and generally get really yummy and cosy.

 

Sometimes though we can forget that behind the clouds and blankets of cold there is a burning, radiant sun still shining its light into our world; the days can feel heavy and dark, our heart energy turns inwards as we tense and hold our bodies against the cold and our immune system can begin to struggle if we are not cultivating our inner fire and working with the internal sun of our heart.

 

So here are 6 ways you can tend to your heart fire and nourish your immune system to feel radiant, balanced and filled with vitality this Winter time:

 

1. Chant Mantra

 

 

Mantra is one of the most beautifully, powerful ways to balance our entire body-mind-being. It works so viscerally within our physical body all the way to the subtlest expressions of our self.

 

When we chant mantra we are inviting our mind to align with the essence of the heart. As this re-alignment and reprogramming gently occurs the immune system gets a huge boost. Our thoughts begin to take on a much more peaceful and loving energy transforming our whole entire energy field, which leaves not much space for any winter lurgy to live and thrive within us.

As little as 15 minutes of chanting a day can have profound effects on your whole being, those around you and the energy of your home; give it a try!

 

A beautiful mantra to explore this wintertime is the Gayatri…chanting to the Goddess of the Sun and the ancient wisdom of the Vedas.

 

You can find many recordings online to listen to the pronunciation, a beautiful recording is by Deva Premal & Miten (you can find on Spotify or YouTube).

 

Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvaha

Tat Savitur Varenyam

Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi

Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

 

Really see if you can savour each syllable and invite the essence of peace to be experienced through the mantra, embodying the essence of the mantra; this will permeate your entire being, helping to transform your thoughts, emotions and physical being.

 

There might even be mantra chanting circles or Kirtan in your local area, have an explore online and see what is near to you so that you can share and connect with others.

 

2. Embodiment Practices

 

Dancing fun

Dancing fun

 

Movement fans the flames of our inner fire. When our outer weather is cold we can balance this by keeping our body-home warm. We can’t control our outer environment but we can create the most nourishing inner environment.

 

When we are embodied within our self the immune system naturally functions at a higher level. Our awareness expands throughout our body and this awareness is essentially warmth and love; thus creating the conditions for more peace and joy to flourish.

 

Find a movement practise that brings joy to your heart and warmth to your body, whether it is Yoga Asana, dance, shaking, running, jumping, climbing…if you like to move alone, find a space where you can let your whole self be free or if you like to move with others find a class or group or start one yourself.

 

Activate the heart, feel it beating as you move, beating warmth and life into every corner of your being.

 

3. Metta Meditation

 

 

 

Anahata, our heart chakra, is directly linked to our Thymus Gland where T-Blood cells are produced that are an integral part of our immune system. When Anahata is in balance our Thymus is able to work efficiently, creating a healthy immune system for us.

 

Metta Meditation is one of the most powerful ways to activate and balance our heart chakra; opening the doors to the compassion that is innate within all our hearts and inviting our love to flow to the world around us, our loved ones, those we are struggling with and to ourselves.

 

You can find a Metta Meditation on our Pure Flow Podcast and plenty on YouTube and Insight Timer.

 

4. Ayurvedic Golden Milk

 

 

In Ayurveda winter time is associated with Vata Dosha (cold and dry), which means to balance this we need to invite warmth into our system. Ayurvedic Golden Milk is a beautiful way of doing this, working with the immune superfood Turmeric.

 

Turmeric is a magic herb that has been proven to be highly anti-inflammatory for the body, supports healthy liver function, boosts immune system, reduces the risk of cancer, balances hormones, manages arthritis pain and many many other beautiful gifts.

 

To make this warm, Ojas boosting, turmeric-based drink is lovely and simple:

  • Bring one cup of organic cow, almond or coconut milk to a gentle boil.
  • Add a teaspoon of fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder, a small amount of ginger, a pinch of black pepper and a teaspoon of coconut oil.
  • Gently stir or whisk
  • Pour into a cup adding honey to sweeten
  • You can also get creative and add other winter warming herbs to this mix such as cinnamon, clove or nutmeg

 

 

5. Creative Free Flow (Journalling, Drawing, Crafting…)

 

 

The natural essence of energy is to flow. When energy becomes stuck or stagnant (held by a thought form or by not allowing our emotions and bodies to flow and move) it creates the conditions for ‘dis-ease’ to manifest in our physical reality. We can keep the mind and emotional body flowing through some form of creative outlet.

 

Each morning put a timer on for 5-10 minutes and invite your pen to flow across the pages of your notebook without stopping and without censoring. This may express in the form of words or drawings or paintings.

 

If you are someone who resonates with sound, then for this time you can explore and allow sound to flow; be curious with how sounds feel in your body, where they come from and which sounds different parts of the body want to express on any given day. Find your outlet and invite in a sense of flow and grace.

 

6. Making space for rest and relaxation

 

Our bodies need down time in order to regenerate; this means making sure we are getting an adequate amount of sleep and enough time spent just simply being.

 

Some favourite ways of gifting these precious spaces of silence and healing are: Yoga Nidra, Meditation, time spent simply being in nature and restorative or yin yoga. These deep states of silence refill our cup so abundantly and invite us home to the peace we seek that’s always available inside.

 

Create a technology curfew each evening so that you can disconnect to reconnect and set aside an amount of time each day that feels manageable to really gift yourself space to simply be.

 

When we nourish our heart and really awaken a deeper sense of self-love our body and surroundings naturally come into alignment and vitality. Let us know what your Heart nourishing winter practises are, we love to hear and share!

 

An adventure loving soul, Ellanah is forever exploring new ways of connecting to our true self and the magic of everyday life. Her sunshine infused classes explore the flowing dance between breath and movement; cultivating greater space, peace, and presence in both body and mind. A nature loving Reiki Master with an eclectic background in performing arts and Anthropology, and a love for all things dance; Ellanah draws from a creative mix of inspiration, always exploring how we can come deeper into awareness and move deeper from love. She is an avid believer that each individual’s yoga mat is an inspiring microcosm for life itself, encouraging us to flow with freedom and compassion both on the mat and out in the world.

Check out Ellanah Yoga on Facebook 

Ellanah Fawcett

Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master, "Life is a Gift, Let it Flow" - Yogi Bhajan

Want to share your story? We LOVE hearing from past students.

 If you’d like to share comments, feedback, or if you’d like to submit your own post for us to share, let us know  by contacting us!

My Top 5 Favourite Yoga Poses & Why!

My Top 5 Favourite Yoga Poses & Why!

My top 5 Favourite Yoga Poses

For Anytime & Anywhere

On your mat, get set, flow….

Developing a home practice can feel intimidating at times.  Often we have blurts flowing through the mind – I don’t have time, Where do I start? What comes next?…

A home practice can be as simple as sitting in your mat for 5 minutes and stretching, breathing and witnessing.  Ultimately our practice of Yoga is designed to guide us inside, to listen to our inner wisdom and to the body, to be able to feel what feels stuck, tight or tense, and thus what we could benefit the most from next.

Today, I invite you to try these 5 simple yet awesome poses and their variations with me.  Feel free to do these poses anywhere and anytime you have a few moments to open your bodymind!

Give yourself 10-15 minutes, put on some nice music, roll out your mat, light a candle and some incense,  lay out your altar, or even just a flower/something beautiful to feast your eyes upon, and spend 5 or 6 full breath cycles in each pose, and see how you feel after. Make sure you have some props around; a cushion or block to support you to completely relax into these shapes so you can go deep.

With the right support, these simple and accessible poses are available to all levels and bodies, .

 

1) Supta badokonasana – Reclined bound angle pose

This is one of my favourite poses to start and end of class with, and anytime I find myself in the horizontal.  This is a beautiful hip opener,  groin softener,  heart and chest opener  Energetically,  we are cultivating an energy of letting go, allowing, receiving, and surrendering  I like to practice this pose with a cushion or block underneath the back of my heart, and maybe even some blocks to support underneath my knees.

Hang out in this pose for a few minutes. Feel the support of the earth below you as it holds you, receives and transforms that which you are releasing, that which no longer serves you,  with each exhale.  Feel how nourishing it is to surrender to the knowing that you are supported.

2) Kapotasana – Pigeon Pose

Another beautiful grounding, and supported pose – PIgeon pose, and all it’s variations. is my favourite go-to Hip-Opener  I practice this pose every day.  Many of us hold a lot of tension in the hips – The hips represent our ability to move forward in the world with grace and ease.  In this pose, enjoy the yummy external rotation of the hips, stretch to the hip flexors,  release of tension in the hips and increasing range of motion in the legs.  Hips are also famously known in Yoga to be the place where we store stuck energy. It said that the cellular memory connected to grief and sadness holds in the hips. Go to your edge,  breathe there,  and enjoy the softening, opening,  surrendering and relaxing. 

This first pic shows the “sleeping swan”, forward fold variation of pigeon, and the second pic shows a more engaged heart opening “king pigeon” variation”.

 

 

 

 

3) Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing dog.

The classic resting pose. As Yoga teachers often remind students,   this can be a resting pose if you have the right alignment of attitude and body: Find the alignment of your hands – spread wide, shoulder distance apart, the alignment of the feet hip distance apart.  Let your knees have a soft bend as you lengthen the tailbone, bringing belly to spine, rolling the shoulders away from your ears.  Let there be an even weight between hands and feet and explore the openings possible as you breathe into the body and tune into where the body is tight.

Play around with the concept of dynamic stillness – allowing each inhale to create more length in the spine and space in the body, and each exhale deepening and expanding.  Play around with 3-legged dog, lifting one leg at a time and opening the hip into scorpian tail.

 

Variation – 3-Legged Dog

Variation – Scorpian or Fire-hydrant Pose

 

4) Wild Thing

 

Backbends are heart openers and energising poses.  Many Yogis would agree that this is one of their favourite poses.  It’s so fun, beautiful, strong, fierce, and open.  It’s just so energising and satisfying to stretch that whole front line of the body, the front of the thigh,  the side body and the throat.When I practice this pose I feel vibrant and alive. If ‘m fully warmed up and open in the spine, I’ll play with bringing this pose into a full wheel.

 

 

Hope you enjoy your practice today!

Please comment below: What’s your favourite pose?

 

 

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Love & Inspirations

Developing a Successful Home Practice

Developing a Successful Home Practice

Developing a Successful Home Practice

Strategy for Successful Home Practice

Creating the conditions for your Rhythm & Routine

One of the most beautiful and liberating aspects of yoga is that you don’t need any fancy equipment or a designated building or field to practice. Yoga is available to you where ever you are at – as long as you are willing to approach it, and have a strategy..

In Yoga, we stretch and open our physical body, to promote a more easeful and comfortable flow of energy within the body so that we can sit for a long time – essentially we are creating the conditions in which meditation can occur.  Similarly, to set ourselves up for a successful daily practice, we need to create the conditions in which your Rhythm & Routine can occur.

The willingness and desire to create a habit of Practice is not enough to sustain us on the path in and of itself.  As we’ve all experienced by now on Day 4, motivation is transient – its comes and goes, ebbs and flows. Everything from our sleep last night to the conversation we just had can effect our motivation.

We need a strategy!  We need to create the conditions in which practice can occur.

Developing a home yoga practice and committing to it is a profound tool for deepening into your own personal relationship with yoga. Here are some tools that have helped me in my home practice of Yoga:

1) Create a foundation for your practice: Start with a set sequence.

 

It can be powerful to repeat the same poses every day, Practicing the same poses every day helps you keep consistent with your practice. This repetition offers you a clear vantage point from which to watch yourself grow and change.

Click below to access a dynamic & energising flow sequence. 

Let us know what you think in the comments at the bottom of the page.

 

2) Commit to a specific time of day & a minimum amount of practice time. 

 

For some of us, first thing in the morning works best, for others its when you have a bit of time in the afternoon or before bed.  Experiment with yourself, find a time that works best for you and stick to it.  The more consistent you are, the more the habit of practice will be able to stick.

For me, I wake up every morning excited about coffee.  So my first sip of coffee is my trigger for my first sit on the mat.  I do my journaling, my coffee drinking, then I begin to open my body and meditate.  What an you use as your practice trigger?

Choose a minimum amount of time that you are prepared to commit practicing for.  Even if it’s just 5 , 10 or 15 minutes, make yourself a promise that you will do your time. That’s your practice – just that – everything else is bonus time! Start small (baby steps!); this way you can stick with your commitment and feel positive about your practice rather than guilty if you don’t have a lot of time/energy that day.

This is why we have our “big” and our “small” practice: Ultimately, it’ more important to establish a steady, grounded and stable routine of practices that we can sustain over long terms adding in bits and pieces as we journey through life. 

3) Clear Space / Clear Mind: Sanctify your practice:

 

Our outer space reflects our inner space: Creating the conditions in which practice can occur is absolutely key.

Today we invite you to spend some time cleaning your bedroom or house. Start with making the bed,  clearing off any surfaces that collecting scattered papers, cleaning out the nooks and crannies. Then noticed how you feel. 

Creating a space in which you feel good and free to practice is key to a successful home practice. You want to create an intentional space, and I would even recommend creating a small altar of what it is that you want to focus right now. It can be simple. A candle and incense maybe a picture of someone who inspires you, maybe a crystal or something you found in nature that inspires you. Let it be uniquely and personally meaningful.

Create an altar. As you clean and look around your room look for objects or flowers, and arrange them in a beautiful place in your space of practice. You’re welcome to keep adding to the altar as you find things in nature or are gifted things from loved ones.Tadah! Now as you come to your mat each day, you can infuse your altar with your intuition and intention.

Alters our ancient tools of transformation, and act as a focus point for ritual, reflection and contemplation and a serve as reminder of your intentions, wishes, prayers and gratitudes for that which is the highest good within you.

4) Amazing Resources are all around. Use them!

 

There is so much inspiration all around – from yoga classes and community centers, to podcasts, online videos, yoga books, movies, documentaries and more.  You can take online classes, read blog, visit Yoga website.

 

I love being a student and often will go to classes for a little tune-up.  

 

Working with a great teacher can be a total game changer. Find someone whose style you resonate with and start to going to some of their classes.  This will help bring attention to areas of your practice that need assistance, and it will also provide you with new inspiration and motivation for your daily home practice.

 

Tip: Some of the online resources I like to use when I am travelling are YogaGlo / See Hear Be Now / Yogadownload.com – all of which offer free trial memberships and classes with great, experienced teachers.

 

 

With Infinite Love & Endless Gratitude

XOXO

Francie

RYT-badge-yoga alliance

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Contemplation Questions for Clarity, Self-Love & Self-Study

Contemplation Questions for Clarity, Self-Love & Self-Study

Contemplations & Journal Question

for Self-Study, Clarity & Self-love

Questions for Clarity,  INsight & Self-Love

Everyday’s a school day! Everything that arises can be seen as a lesson to be learned if you are willing to see it that way.  This is the attitude of the curious seeker, a Yogi. 

 

Ready for some homework? 

 

I invite you to join me in some self-study, to spend some time with these questions over the next few days,  or lifetimes, journaling or simply contemplating, and see how they can help you on your journey to emotional mastery, self-love, peace and clarity.

 

  • What is happening right now?
  • Can I be with it?
  • If I can’t be with it, can I be okay with that for now?

 

  • What would life look like if it were easy?

 

  • When faced with a decision – is it Love or is it Fear choosing?
  • What would a person who loves themselves do?

 

  • What wants to be birthed through me?
  • How am I avoiding it?
  • How am I keeping myself small?

 

  • Who am I?
  • What do I love?
  • Knowing I will die, how should I live?
  • What is my greatest mission?
  • What are my gifts to humanity?

 

  • What do I need to do right now to really walk the talk?
  • How can I open my mind?  my heart? What am I resisting?

 

Blessings on your journey.

XOXO

Francie

RYT-badge-yoga alliance

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The Art of Meditation

The Art of Meditation

The Art of Meditation

by Kristen Powell

“Deep Centering” was made with sound waves from a guided meditation. I love how the sound waves show the periods of stillness and silence during a meditation. The colours deepening as the mind settles in.

To hear and practice our Morning Meditation, you can visit Pure Flow Yoga on Soundcloud 

Calgarian artist Kristen Powell is known for her vibrant mixed media pieces that incorporate digital media and striking handmade elements. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia. She works as a high school art teacher and creates art on weekends.  For Kristen, music and sound are often connected to important moments and memories. She uses these moments as inspiration to create abstract paintings that include sound waves and symbolic colours. Her pieces resonate with viewers because of our shared experience with music and sound. Kristen aims to make emotional experiences tangible and relatable. She enjoys experimenting with new mediums and seeking to create images that resonate with others.  Resonance is the ability to evoke or suggest images, memories and emotions. Kristen connects to frequencies in life to gather inspiration. She is inspired by music and sound, emotional experiences, the senses, the beauty of nature, her spirituality, vibrant colours, and new materials. Kristen’s preferred medium at the moment is alcohol ink.

Visit Kristin’s website Resonance Art to learn more and view her epic art.

Kristen Powell

Artist, Resonance Art Studio

Want to share your story? We LOVE hearing from past students.

 If you’d like to share comments, feedback, or if you’d like to submit your own post for us to share, let us know  by contacting us!

6 Ways to Integrate Post-Retreat Bliss into your Everyday life

6 Ways to Integrate Post-Retreat Bliss into your Everyday life

6 Ways to Integrate Retreat Bliss into your Everyday Life: 

Post-Retreat tools for bringing more Magic, Peace, Love and Presence into your life.

 

“Forget your perfect offerings. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”. – Leonard Cohen

 

You’ve just spent the last week sipping luscious coconuts and swimming in the palm fringed crystal blue waters of paradise. You’ve just done more Yoga asana and meditation in a week that in the past month combined. Your body feels more open and free than you can ever remember and your mind feels oh so clear. You feel inspired. Your life has been transformed and you feel that you are evolving.

And then you remember:

After each expansion, comes a contraction.

After each inhale, comes the exhale.

What goes up must come down.

This is the nature of all things – to be in a state of flux and change.

The retreat is over now and those pesky thoughts come back in…”I’ll never be able to do this on my own!!!! Or “Oh NO! How am I going to keep this up?! Its so easy to be practicing and peaceful when I’m here but what happens when I go home?’. They want to know, “How can I keep this feeling alive? How can I stay in the practice of LOVE and gratitude and openness to new ideas?”

The reality as most of us live it, is that we have busy lives, full of ever-evolving, super important, pay attention in this very moment, distractions. The habits, routines and stresses of daily life begin to seep back in, and much quicker than we would have hoped.

Life happens very quickly and suddenly our time fades into a golden memory. That wide open hearts and spirit you may have felt at certain points on our retreats seems to have been just a peak moment, a fleeting memory.

Life is a relentless fury of waves that will keep coming. All we can really do is manage how we surf the waves.

Here are some Tips and Suggestions to help your integrate the Bliss into your everyday life and carry it forward to help navigate this lifelong journey.

1. Love What Is.

I have spent a lot of time this life, trying to better than I am, trying to heal myself, to perfect, purify and fix myself in order to somehow feel that I am good enough, smart enough, disciplined enough, successful enough, worthy enough, fill-in-the-blank enough. It’s exhausting.   Just for a moment contemplate the possibility that you are enough as you are in this moment, that you are perfect with all of your imperfections, that. How does that feel? Come back to this practice again and again. Be mindful. Love what is.

 

 2. Practice for 10,000 Hours.

Malcolm Gladwell in his best-selling book Outliers, offers us the theory of the 10,000 hours towards mastery of anything. If we want tomaster the guitar – 10,000 hours. If we want to master hula hooping – same thing. If we want to master mindfulness, peace, presence, joy, being in our center…10,000 hours. So basically, every time we practice meditation, asana, or spend time in sangha we are shoring up those 10,000 hours. Each little bit counts. Knowing this, we can let go of any judgment we have towards ourselves with regards to where we are in relation to where we “should” be and simple celebrate every time you do! Instead of focusing on how you didn’t show up to the mat today, celebrates every time you do, even if it’s for 5 minutes.

3. Remember the 3 Jewels of Buddhism: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

Buddha – nature – Our Essence

 

Buddhism offers us a framework for integrating bliss, by reminding us that

each one of us has the potential to wake up from the dream of separation, from the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, from the fears that limit us. We each have the potential to be free from sufferings in this moment, here and now, even though it can be hard and situations around may present us with challenges. Mother Thesesa, Hitler…..everyone can wake up. And it’s not a simple meritocracy. Just because you do well in the world, does not mean you will wake up. Being in full alignment, though, words and actions is ideal for setting up all the conditions in which waking up occurs., but so much more is involve – primarily, Yoga reminds us to close our eyes. Look inside. Everyday. For as long as you can. And this will help connect you to your Buddha-nature.

Dharma – The Path

Yoga Retreats, intensives, workshops and trainings are amazing because they give us the opportunity to really engage and go deep with the timeless tools offered by the 2000 year old + tradition of Yoga. We can get new insight and re-discover aspects of ourselves that we may have lost a little a long the way. Yoga offers us the 8 limbs to freedom – the Ashtanga Yoga system , which includes the yamas and niyamas, asana, prananyam, pratyahara, dhyana, dharana and Samadhi. We can model our lifestyles on these, we can read dharma books or books by contemporary teachers like Eckahrt Tolle, Wayne Dyer, the Dalai Lama…. We can spend time with living Masters and teachers . You will find a lot of repetition on this path. Repetition is said to be the mother of all teachers. Even after a decade of devoted yoga practice, I am still amazed how the simple reminder from a yoga teacher to breathe in any given moment, can take me so deep. So the moral of the story here is practice. Sadhana. The practice is there for you always to take you home – and it will never judge you ever for not coming back sooner.

Sangha – Stay connected with this amazing Community of truth-seekers

Often after an unforgettable retreat like this, you make connections and feel your belongingness to community. We realize that people of all ages and backgrounds are coming to these retreats all wanting more happiness, more freedom and joy. The first noble truth of Buddhism – all being suffer. We are united in our suffering and we are united in out desire to be happy and free. So at the end of the day, actually we are all the same.

It never ceases to AMAZE me, how at that at the end of each retreat week, people from all around the world, of all ages and backgrounds, have connected so deeply and formed such powerful bonds and friendships.   And nowadays, it’s so easy to stay connected with the people you meet along the path who inspire you to be in your highest self.

 4. “Be the change you want to see”. – Gandhi

You have the wisdom and you are invited to use it whenever you so chose. You know how to live your life in more balance. You know the discipline your require from outside to get you on track. And you also know that it requires discipline and showing up. Showing up = success in life.

And you may start to feel a certain niggling dissonance anytime you do something that is outside of that wisdom of your higher self.

It can take time to truly integrate the wisdom and inspiration we have into action, but as Pattabhi Jois, the founder of Ashtanga Yoga reminds us

“Practice and all is coming”. – Pattabhi Jois

 

5. Practice Gratitude

 

More gratitude = More happiness

Gratitude is said to be the most powerful prayer of all. Gratitude is also the #1 pre-cursor to santosha – contentment.

And let’s face it: You rock!

The decisions and choices you have made up until this point in your life have landed you on a Yoga retreat in paradise. So lets take a moment to celebrate your amazingness. We all get here though all kinds of unique trials and tribulations, challenges and breakthroughs. But you got here. And you have a week or two or 3 to really dive deep into your being, to explore your consciousness and open your body. Again, Amazing. You can even do it again if you want. What a life!

6. Dream Big & Plan your next trip.

 

Part of the great joy of coming on a trip like this is the anticipation. Having goals and setting intentions are really profound ways of manifesting what you want. Mike Dooley – the creator of “The universe” offers a metaphor that has been sticking with me through time. Life works like GPS system and there are two keys things we need to do to manifest our dreams. The first is to put in the destination address of where we want to go, this is our big dream or intention. The second is to put the car in drive, and begin taking actions and steps in the direction of what we want. . We can then let go of all micro managing, the worrying about the “how” and all the other details!

Let the universe work its magic in navigating you in perfection towards your dreams. And hopefully, that means coming back to visit us again!

So take a moment now to dream up your next trip, or the next way you will nurture your spirit, and reconnect with your self and nature, even if its just a day trip or a weekend – anything can help keep you focused on maintain your practice!

 

In Conclusion

Yoga Retreats are amazing eye-opening transformational experiences. It’s a common experience for people’s lives to shift into more alignment after this experience. But it takes courage and willingness to step out of the habits, the comfort zones, continuously, in every moment. Be patient. It takes more than a week to truly achieve Yoga – the state of union – of experiencing no-separation.   It may even take 10,000 + hours. Every step a long the way counts and will bringer you into more lightness of being.

So remember – You have the capacity within you to AWAKEN NOW, you know the tools and you know the path – they are there for you in every moment, and you are supported by people just like you, all around you, and around the world, in yoga retreats, in your office, in your local yoga studio, or meditation center or meet-up – Find them.

P.S. We’d LOVE to hear from you. Comments? Thoughts? Ideas? Send us a message.

Ready to feel more clear, more freedom, more joy?

Francie is a passionate and free-spirited Yogi, hula hooper, musician and lover of all things Magic. She is the inspired founder of Pure Flow Yoga in Koh Phangan, Thailand where she spends half of the year offerings daily Yoga classes, workshops and ongoing transformational Yoga Retreats in Paradise. She is also the founder of Hoop Love Tribe, an international co-creative collective of flow artists offering weekly community by-donation hoop jams for Spark! Circus, as well as the bi-annual “Hoopapalooza Flow Fest”, a 3-day beachside Hula Hoop and flow arts immersion experience.  To follow Francie’s personal calendar, to receive her playlists, blog posts and music, like her Facebook page: Francie Fishman :Yoga Hoop Music Love

Francie

Founder of Pure Flow Yoga

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Love at first Yoga

Love at first Yoga

Love at First Yoga

“I do” – Love at First Yoga – My Journey

 

Becoming a student of Yoga

Once upon a time, I was backpacking in India and decided to try a 10 day silent meditation retreat at Tushita in the Himalayas.

I thought that such a feat would be nearly impossible for such an incessantly talkative, extroverted, enthusiastic person such as myself.

It was surprising to me how easy it was to melt into the Simple Life.

I knew immediately how important this experience would be for my life.

It was challenging at times, don’t get me wrong, but I was in deep gratitude everyday for having discovered this practice of Being in my early 20’s.

On this retreat, they offered Yoga practice everyday.  

From the first downward dog I ever took, I knew:  This was it.  FULL YES.

I fell head over heals in love with Yoga.  Everything about it. The movements, the breath, the philosophy, the community of truth-seekers.

Truly, madly, deeply in LOVE.

As soon as I started loving and practicing Yoga, I felt openings and awakenings in my body and almost instantly the mind benefits started to creep in.

With more space, flexibility and awareness of my body, I learned to heal 16 years of chronic pain in my IT band – in my outer knee and thigh.

I also began to feel a lifetime full of indecision and the dances with depression begin to loosen their grip.

Resilience continues to grow strong all the time.

 

Poly-Yogamous

The next move on my travels was Thailand, where I met Lily of the Blooming Lotus.  Again, instant Love.  We kept in touch and I always knew that I wanted to learn more from this incredible embodied and wise Yogi.

Over the next many years I became a true Yogaphile: I really gave time to and tried Anusara Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini, Satsang, Yin, Restorative, Bikram, Hot Yoga, Ashtanga, Mysore practice, Iyengar. 

You name it, I tried it. Mostly…

Travelling for Yoga, taking as many classes and workshops I could, reading all the books.

I studied thousands of hours with countless teachers, masters, took endless trainings and workshops…

We know that life isn’t always easy.   Buddha’s first noble truth state that “all beings suffer”.  Its part of the package of being gifted this embodied life.

Yoga always helped make things better.

Yoga started to make my life easier and more enjoyable. 

It started to help me become more resilient and to help me overcome the bouts of depression that have been a signature part of my life throughout my child and adulthood.

 

Becoming a Yoga Teacher

After living for some time in Bali, teaching Pre-Kindergarten at the Green School (I’m actually a qualified and certified Primary school teacher!), 

I decided it was finally time to take my Yoga to the next – level with a Teacher Training course.  Of course Lily was top of my list of who I wanted to study with, even though I had only met her for a few days 6 years before.

The teacher training blew my mind and my teachers invited me to assist and work with them.  

Shortly thereafter, I moved to Thailand and started running classes, then retreats at the Blooming Lotus.

Dream come true.

For me, despite the statistics that share that there are anywhere from 2450-650,000 Registered Yoga Teachers in the US alone, I’ve always know that if its my dharma, or sacred purpose to teach, the universe will guide me.

I guess I’ve become a little woo-woo like that.  But it’s proven true.

A few years later, my teachers decided that it was time to move to Bali and open a beautiful new centre and world there.  We parted paths.

 

Becoming a Yogi-Preneur

This transition invited me to step up in to a new role – as a Yogipreneur – a Yogi + Entrepreneur, to take over the space in Thailand and create my own flavour of offerings.  

Another dream come true!

This has been a really challenging part of the journey. 

The beginning of our paths with Yoga is often a lot of Love + Light.  Which is great.

Eventually though, we need to sustain the practice, sustain the learnings, integrate the lessons…

So, it’s been 3 years now of running a business, and I’d say its been mostly rewarding.

I’ve learned sooooo much.  I’ve made countless friends, connecting with incredible people from all over the globe, I’ve help ed to positivly impact the lives of thousands of people. I’ve been able to live in paradise and practice Yoga and meditation in peace.

Running a business is no piece of cake. Its been very demanding and at times, I even forget that I’m a Yogi first. 

I’m doing my best, and definitely feel like I’m earning the equivalent of a Masters degree in Spirituality and Business.

Mostly though, having a business demands that I step out of my comfort zone and learn things that are not in my so-called “Zone of genius”.

For this I am grateful…and challenged.

 

What’s next for me?

No matter what happens in terms of my career or trajectory as a human being….Yoga and Meditation are next for me. 

If life has taught me anything, it’s that everything changes.

So I don’t know that I’ll be teaching Yoga in this way for the rest of my life, and I don’t know if it’ll be here in this paradise.

Yoga teaches me to be present, to be grateful and  love what is, and to accept change with grace.

Again, not always easy. 

Yoga is a practice.  It’s not something you do, then tick off the list.  

I think of showers in the same way.  Great! I had a shower today – that doesn’t mean I won’t need one again tomorrow or in a couple days right?!

Yoga is something you show up to in every moment, day after day after day.

Teaching Yoga does not mean that I have mastered it.  It simply means that I am dedicated to being a student of life, dedicated to facing my shadows, to learning, to growing and to evolving

Yoga is my forever teacher,  in the good times and the bad.

Yoga always helps to remind me of who I really am, beyond the stories and emotions.  It helps guide my way home.

I feel beyond blessed and grateful to dedicate my life to practicing and sharing Yoga, opening my heart, discovering deeper dimensions.  

And I vow to continue to evolve and grow, and become a more balanced and diverse person,  teacher and entrepreneur along the way, so long as that is what feels like the highest good for all, 

 

Til death or beyond…do us part Yoga.

Thank you for all that you give me.

 

In a nutshell, Why Yoga?

Hatha Yoga combines movement, conscious breathing, and mindful awareness and presence to offer physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual practices that connect us to the deepest aspects of our selves and our true nature.

The Benefits of yoga are boundless and include alignment, balance, strength, flexibility and connection to nature, community and our highest selves. 

Yoga helps me so much to navigate the reality of what presents in each moment. Its help me to know what the “highest alignment” is in each given situation, and it helps me to the see a true reflection of the roots of my suffering more clearly.  It improves each present moment most especially when I am in a really dedicated space of active practicing.

Life is still life. Up, downs, waves, emotions, times where I feel alone, time where I feel not enough. But every time an emotional fluctuation arises, it lasts less long and I can see the progress and resilience, I can feel it…

Yoga is the one thing I can absolutely commit to for the rest of my life. And I love nothing more than sharing this passion for the Practice, for being a student of life ever-after, and for living the ever – evolving dream of sharing this love with you all!

Yoga literally means “union” or “to yoke” our everyday selves with our highest most divine selves. Yoga is a powerful tool that teaches us how to live a life of balance, peace, harmony, strength and flexibility on all levels. The practice of yoga helps us become stronger, more open, free, happy, flexible and balanced, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Through yoga, we open ourselves to the infinite possibilities of life, allowing us to connect more deeply with ourselves, nature and community.

A Discipline Practice

A Disciplined Practice of yoga has the transformational benefits of deepening our connection to the body, mind and spirit, supporting us in living and loving long, vibrant, happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

 

Yoga teaches us the art of letting go, letting grow, letting flow.

 

We move our bodies to move energy and restlessness to ultimately still the mind and enter the bliss of meditation, wherein our individual consciousness can merge with the ultimate or spiritual oneness consciousness, leading to our remembrance that we are not separate from that which appears to be outside of our own minds.

In practicing yoga, we become humbled and cultivate our trust in the body of wisdom that is sacred and vast and greater than our individual selves.

The Shift

We are invited through our practice to look at the reflections life shows us in the form of experiences, the people we come across, emotions that enter.

We practice the art of receiving, giving, continually striving for an open heart especially when it wants to close.

We come to believe seemingly impossible to be possible and begin embracing feelings of gratitude for the perfection of it all either way

From wherever we are at,  breaking through our somewhat uncomfortable comfort zones of who we think we are, the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves that we believe – “I’m not good at yoga”, “I’m too stiff/ old/ etc.. allows us to have the biggest heart, mind and body openings and shifts in our attitudes, mindsets, behaviours and thoughts.

Becoming more consciously aware, more mindful, in the choices we make everyday, from diet and lifestyle to the company we keep, so that we are living in full truth, love and integrity, is another great ripple effect of the practice.

Yoga helps inspire a deeper connection with mother nature and her cycles.  Perfectly orchestrated symphonies of synchronicities and coincidences being to more readily flow and stream through life.

And most importantly,  at the end of the day, Yoga is simply a practice.

So all you really gotta do is show up.

Be present.

Allow.

Let go

Breathe

and

Be.

Do you love Yoga as much as we do?  Let us know in the comments section! 🙂

 

Enjoy this short practice that explores a simple standing sequence to build strength in alignment, flow with the breath and movement and openness in the hips and heart.

Francie is an experienced life-transformation expert from the Yoga perspective, having curated and led more than 150 + retreats, workshops and programs with over 500+ students from all walks of life from all over the world.  She is a passionate and free-spirited Yogi, hula hooper, musician, social entrepreneur and world-traveller dedicated to uplifting, inspiring and empowering people to live embodied and awakened lives.

She is the inspired founder of the award-winning Pure Flow Yoga, True:Nature Experience and Hoop Love Tribe.  Francie is currently living her dream between Thailand, Bali and the rest of the world, sharing intimate, magical and life-changing experiences, including her signature Retreats in Paradise, as well as festivals and community gatherings.

Receive her weekly Love & Inspirations when you Sign up for the Love letter- music, playlists, blog posts and more.T o follow Francie’s personal calendar, to r like her Facebook page: Francie Fishman :Yoga Hoop Music Love

Francie

Founder , Pure Flow Yoga

Read this BEFORE your Yoga Retreat: 10 Powerful Insights

Read this BEFORE your Yoga Retreat: 10 Powerful Insights

 

Top 10 Powerful Insights

to help you get the most out of your Yoga Retreat

Top 10 Pure Flow Yoga Retreat Insights:

A Yoga Retreat is a great opportunity to unplug, unwind and focus on the true you, as you take a break from your day-to-day responsibilities and regular routines of life.  A retreat is unlike a holiday in that it requires discipline and showing up, finding the balance between practice and pause.  It’s an opportunity for you to deepen your connections and understandings of Yoga and yourself, in an exotic, gorgeous and exciting paradise while meeting great new people from all over the world.  You may love it so much that you keep coming back every year.

 

1 – Yoga is the gift that keeps on Giving:  You may come home Transformed

 

Warning: Going on retreat may cause serious side-effects including and not limited to feeling more:

Aligned, transformed, Refreshed, Invigorated, Relaxed, Calm, Soft, Kind, Warm, Bright, Spacious, Light, Slowed down, Connected to yourself, Creative, Embodied, Focused, Clear minded, Strength to overcome new challenges, Resilience, and heightened sense of flexibility, both in the body and in the mind.

 

2 – Expect the Unexpected and Remember… 

 

What matters in life, is not necessarily what happens, so much as what happens next.  In other words, what matters is how You respond or react. 

 

Let’s begin with one of my favourite Rumi poems:

This being human is a guesthouse. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice. Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes. Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

– Rumi

The Yin / Yang of Koh Phangan:  The magic of our location on the crystal-quartz island of Koh Phangan is that it is remote, stunning, high vibrational and so it attracts yogis, meditators, fasters, artists, travellers from around the world and party animals too!  Koh Phangan as you may know, is home to the monthly Full Moon Party.  Generally, we are not so affected by these parties, but there are loud weekly music dance parties and all vices in our bays as well.  Generally there are all-night parties Friday and Saturday. It is a unique situation in that you can wake up at sunrise, do your practice and then go dance all day, or you can stay up all night.

Keep this in mind.  Notice what arises within you.  There may be judgment, aversion, frustration, celebration, fascination; apathy…Again, everything that presents is just an invitation to know ourselves more.

 

Everything in your life is there as a vehicle

for Your transformation. Use it!” – Ram Dass

 

3 –  Sankalpa – What is your Intention?

 

We can think of the Universe as a very sophisticated GPS system.  Our jobs are to input our final destination address and then put our cars, ourselves, into gear, letting the Universe navigate us and take care of the details of how we are going to get to where we want to go.

Reflect on why you have chosen to come on a retreat at this moment in your life:

Take some moments to meditation or write about what has inspired you to join us here in Paradise on a retreat.  Why you are coming and what do you hope will be the outcome of your experience?  What are you hoping to feel during or after the retreat? 

 

4 – Come with a Beginners Mind and Readiness to Play:

 

Some of us are New to Yogaand some of us have been teaching for 20 years.  Remember that the process of yoga is infinite, boundless, and vast beyond our wildest imaginations.

Not knowing is the gateway to knowing.

When we come with our minds already full there is no space for the new, no space for transformation and expansion.  So the invitation here is to be child-like:

Receptive, open and playful. 

Science proves that we learn and heal best through play.   We ourselves are amazing laboratories for experimentation and self-discovery.  So let’s play!   

Beginners Mind – According to Zen Buddhism, when our rice bowl is full, so to speak, there is no room for more. Thus in order to stay open and keep learning, we must continually empty our bowls. Throughout your time here, we invite you to meet each moment with a child-like sense of awe and wonder, in a spirit of openness, curiosity and playfulness as we explore and discover our personal patterns and edges.

 

5 – Be Curious!

 

Life is an endlessly fascinating play with relentless waves of ups and downs, lefts and rights, and all arounds. 

You may be coming with expectations of how things should be, or perhaps you have just had a blissful peaceful experience in mind. 

The reality is, things happen.  Always. They don’t always go according to plan. 

Maybe the boat driver is trying to rip you off, or you get sick when you arrive, maybe you meet the person who will change your life forever, or maybe not, maybe this whole non-hot water shower non- flushing toilet thing is really out of your comfort zone, maybe you don’t sleep as well as you wanted one night because you’re getting bit by one mosquito too many. 

The point is, no one knows exactly what is going to happen next, EVER.  In accepting whatever is happening in this moment as perfect, we can use whatever is happening as a teaching to help us evolve.  Challenge, resistance, everything is conspiring for our betterment.

how-to-expand-my-comfort-zone

 

6 –  Do your Best: Be Willing to Learn & to Show up

 

Transformation is a reflection of our willingness to connect, to let go, to aspire to realise oneself.

In other words, you get out what you put in. Use this as an opportunity to go deeply into self-reflection so that you can empower yourself to recognise and begin shifting patterns that no longer serve and integrating ones that do.

Alot of success is simply about showing up. 

There are going to be times when you’d rather be laying on the beach than being present in class.  Normal.  We encourage you to use this resistance as your teacher and to continue to show up for yourself and do the work. 

Committing to the journey and doing your best will really support you in fulfilling your intention.

 

7 –  85% of our Students are Solo Travellers.

You are not alone!  There is community here! 

We are all coming to these retreats to find more balance, to love ourselves more and to awaken.   In this we really find common threads to connect and support each other. 

Each group dynamic is so unique, some groups fall totally in love with one another, and other times there is frustration and annoyance, or feelings of being triggered.  Always though, each participant leaves the group feeling expanded and connected and more self-aware. 

We don’t always get to choose the lessons we learn, but wow!,  if we can stay open to those lessons, and reflect on why this person or that challenge may be in our presence now, it can allow for amazing shifts. Imagine the freedom and expansiveness of considering the possibility that everyone and everything that presenting in your reality right now is somehow a reflection of something with you.

 

8 – Trust the Process & Take NOTHING personally:

 

The image most people have in their minds of a retreat in paradise is often peaceful and blissful, and ultimately this is the destination!  But, the journey can be also be bumpy at times.  Immersions offer a safe space to look at our murkier bits, to give our shadow sides space and time to emerge and release.  Sometimes we can feel social and other times we can feel to be in a quieter space. 

Remember this can be a really sensitive time for you and the others. We can never really know where another being is coming from. Remember to take nothing personally.   Whatever is going on with someone else, is not about you!   Respect where you’re at and where others are at and take nothing personally. 

 

9 – Nurture yourself & Allow yourself time to Simply BE

What happens off the mat is as important as what happens on the mat.

 

What we are learning in our journey of Yoga is what our bodies and minds need to balance.  So reflect on what you need to find more balance in your body, in your heart, in your mind, and in your spirit and take advantage of this time to honour, listen and nurture yourself.  Get massages, take naps, spend time alone, be barefoot and most importantly

Allow yourself time to SIMPLY BE.  

We are doing a lot:  Moving our bodies, filling our minds, breaking through comfort zones, meditating and looking within….

We also have some free time.   The tendency we often time have as humans, is to fill these empty spaces with: distractions, habits, addictions, and BUSYNESS.   

Watch your actions, your words, and your behaviours and do your best to align these with your highest intentions.

 

10 – Practice Gratitude Everyday

 

“When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to You”. – Lao-Tzu

Gratitude – thankfulness, appreciation for the simple pleasures, for your life’s blessings, for all that you receive – is said to the most powerful of prayers and the highest vibration we can emit to help us manifest a life of happiness and alignment. 

At the end of each yoga class we will take a few moments to feel gratitude.

When we start this practice, we may feel challenged or inauthentic, finding it easier at times to grumble and groan rather than think of what we are grateful for.  The hardest part is just beginning. 

So let’s start now.  

Today, I am grateful for…

Perhaps you can feel grateful for the people in your life, the feet that support you, your morning coffee ritual.  Anything.  What most people I know begin to find, is that this practice has a magnetic momentum.  As soon as you start, more and more things will come to mind that you can feel grateful for, even and especially the shadowy bits that have challenged you a long the way.  

This is such a powerful tool for shifting you mood, your moment, and ultimately you life! 

Please feel welcome to begin creating a list of all the people and things, big and small, for which you are grateful and be sure to thank yourself for being here

and from me… thank you so much for being here now and for all that you are and continue to be!

Namaste

Francie is an experienced life-transformation expert from the Yoga perspective, having curated and led more than 150 + retreats, workshops and programs with over 500+ students from all walks of life.  She is a passionate and free-spirited Yogi, hula hooper, musician and traveller, dedicated to uplifting, inspiring and empowering people live embodied and awakened lives. Francie holds A BA in Psychology & Philosophy from McGill University, and a Post-Grad. Dip in Education.  She is the inspired founder of award-winning Pure Flow Yoga in Koh Phangan, Thailand where she spends half of the year offerings daily Yoga classes, workshops and ongoing transformational Yoga Retreats in Paradise. She is also the founder of True:Nature Experience and Hoop Love Tribe.  To follow Francie’s personal calendar, to receive her playlists, blog posts and music, like her Facebook page: Francie Fishman :Yoga Hoop Music Love

Francie

Pure Flow Yoga Founder