Acorns and Autumn

So we are in March, the first month of Autumn here in Melbourne. Although mother nature doesn’t always check the calendar so we are experiencing some lingering warm Summer days. Despite this the signs are afoot that Autumn is on its way. One of the first signs I have noticed is the acorns have begun falling form the oak trees in the park. Most people don’t notice this type of thing so much but we have two pet bunnies who absolutely love to nibble on acorns so I am always checking in on when they’re available.

Spring and Autumn are transitional seasons, times for changing, adjusting, adapting in preparation for the more extreme Summer and Winter weather. They offer us the opportunity to take stock, check in with where we are, what we are happy with, what we would like to change.  So I’ve decided to share a Autumn meditation on todays post, hope you enjoy it.

Autumn Meditation by Belinda Blackburn

Take some time to get comfortable, sitting with whatever support you need, spine elongated, shoulders relaxed and breath flowing freely. Bring your awareness to your breath and notice how it relates to this time of year, Autumn is a time for storing energy in preparation for Winter when there is less to be found. Many animals gather food stores at this time, we are working with that same method by taking in our breath and feeling the energy flowing in with it being stored away. Stored in the hands, the feet, the arms, the legs. Feel your torso filling with prana, the energy flowing with and beyond your breath, let it rise all the way up through your neck to you face and head, Now your whole body is full of energy, imagine absorbing that energy, storing it away in every cell. So that when a time comes that you need it you can find it here, waiting for you.

As well as storing energy at this time mother nature lets go of excess demands for that energy. Knowing that there will be less available in the shorter, colder, days of winter many trees release their leaves which require a lot of maintenance and can drain them of their energy reserves. In the same way our exhalation gives us the opportunity to reflect on how we are spending our energy, where it is going and whether there are some activities or commitments which are draining our resources. Become aware of what you could let go of, release – perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently. Think of that release with each exhalation, letting go of expectations and honouring where you are right now in your life and where your energy is best directed to.

Each breath helping us to take in and store energy and let go of the need to waste that energy, each breath helping us to become more efficient, more discerning about where our energy goes. Energy in the forms of physical activities, emotions and thoughts.

After some time allow yourself to gently withdraw from the practice and go into the rest of your day energised and more aware of where that energy is going.

To celebrate and explore these and other aspects of Autumn through yoga, breathwork and light discussion I am running an Autumn Workshop at Harvest Yoga on the 9th of April. We will take a leisurely three hours to practice yoga, meditation, discussion and relaxation as well as sharing a home made morning tea.

Investment only $60, $50 concession, spaces are limited, for bookings contact rick@harvestyoga.com.au

Enjoy the Autumn colours,

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

 

Bring on Spring…

I love springtime, I know everything needs to be balanced and that all of the other seasons have their benefits but this is my favorite time of year. Hands down.

More daylight, flowers blooming and blossoming, birds singing and building nests, the warmth gradually sneaking back into the days (though here in Melbourne that’s always a two steps forward, one step back process!) and just the general energy of awakening after winter – its like coming out of a long relaxation.

Daffodil with lavender in background.

Spring is a time of new beginnings, new life , new opportunities, new and positive changes. To celebrate these qualities of the season I am offering two springtime promotions for my Thursday night Braybrook classes.

  1. For my existing students – bring a friend for free, absolutely free, no obligation. If they sign up for a term you get a 10% discount on your own next term payment.
  2. For new students two casual classes for the price of one – just $18 for two yoga classes.

These offers only apply to my Braybrook Classes, 6:30-8pm, Thursday evenings, Community Hall, Braybrook Community Hub, 107-136 Churchill Ave, Braybrook and are available for the next 8 weeks so you have plenty of time to spread the word and invite a few friends along (limit of 1 per class). Classes are suitable for beginners and those with yoga experience.

If you would love to get back to nature and really delve into the springtime yoga energy there are still a few places left on my next retreat 9th-11th October in the lovely King Parrot Valley just an hour and a half out of Melbourne. More details can be found at www.clearviewretreat.org.au.

Happy blooming,

Belinda

xxx

 

 

Blooming forth

Spring has now truly arrived in Melbourne, we are being blessed with longer and warmer days, more sunshine, flowers and blossoms, bees and butterflies, birds singing and that wonderful feeling that spring brings.

People seem happier, lighter, more carefree as the springtime energy takes over. While winter gave us time to hibernate and withdraw spring invites us to become more active, more energised and, like the bees, more busy. To catch up on jobs that need doing, to spring clean, to bloom and blossom just as the flowers and trees do.

In your yoga practice spring is a great time to try something new, to explore a different practice or just a new way of doing something familiar and comfortable. It is also a lovely time to meditate on the changes happening both within and beyond yourself. Take some time to get out into nature, a park or your backyard or wherever else you have the opportunity. Close your eyes and think of breathing in the energy of spring, the new beginnings, the stirrings of new life, new opportunities, warmth and sunshine and rain, everything that is needed for things to grow and thrive. If there is anything within your life which you would like to blossom and bloom then take that energy into that space, it might be an idea, a project, something work related or a relationship, anything important to you and your personal journey. Bring the spring energy to whatever it is and feel it absorbing the springtime energy of growth, bursting forth, expanding and when the time is right, blooming in all of its glory.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

The Bright Side

Last week I was devastated to come home from teaching and discover that a huge tree had been removed from my neighbours yard. I loved that tree because from our yard it blocked the view of their house and created a very private, enclosed space. It was huge and its branches spread as wide as they reached high. I don’t know what type of tree it was, only that it was evergreen and big and beautiful. It dropped litter on our shed but we forgave it over and over again because of the space that it filled, the view that it gave and the birds that it protected whose songs we have enjoyed in the almost twenty years we have lived here.

So you can appreciate my feeling to find it gone. Completely gone. A big empty space where it used to be and a view of a house roof where there used to be deep green leaves an spreading branches. It was their tree and I completely understand the reasons they had it removed. It filled their whole yard and made growing anything else almost impossible as it shaded everything deeply. It also dropped a lot of litter, leaves and seeds spread thickly beneath its branches.

When I saw that it was gone my initial feeling was deep sadness, such a beautiful tree which had sheltered so many creatures was gone, the big gap where it used to be seemed huge.

It has been a week now and I have slowly become used to the wide open sky where there used to be leaves and branches. Over the time that has passed I have noticed the brightness in my kitchen now that the tree is not blocking as much of the skyscape. We can see the sun rising while we eat breakfast which we’ve never been able to before as the tree was to the east of our house. We can also see more of the night sky, stars, moon, clouds.

So my devastated feelings are slowly being replaced with acceptance that the tree is gone and pleasure at the new things that have been revealed in its absence.

Looking on the bright side can be taken very literally here, I never noticed just how dark and shady that part of our yard was due to the huge tree. Now we have a bright side, sunshine and moonlight free to stream in. So I am grateful for all of the years we enjoyed the tree, sad that it has gone and happy that now we are enjoying a brighter yard and house. What a complicated range of emotions…

Love and light (and Happy Easter),

Belinda

xxx

A Merry and Restful Break for us all…

As things begin to wind up and other things become busier and busier I am giving myself a little break from my weekly/fortnightly blog posts over the next few weeks. That doesn’t mean you won’t hear from me at all, more that my posts will be less regular, a little surprise in your inbox when they arrive randomly!

We all need to rest and restore and with the busyness of the festive season upon us and the lull and quiet break that follows we receive a perfect opportunity to do just that. Some of my favorite holiday activities are below:

1. Just hanging out at home all day with my family – baking, playing board games, gardening, creating things. Catching up on all the stuff we like to do but find hard to fit in during school terms. My kids call these days pajama days as you don’t even have to get dressed if you don’t want to.

2. Spontaneous outings, to the zoo or a bushwalk or the city or the museum, wherever takes our fancy. The freedom to just wake up in the morning and go because there is nothing else on that day.

3. Trying something new, be it a craft project, new recipe, new activity, visiting a new place.

Maybe there is something there you enjoy, or maybe you have your own ways of chilling at holiday time. Even if you have to work all through the festive season I hope you find some time to look after yourself and do what you love the most.

I’m going to need a good rest as the New Year is looking busy at Yoga to Grow, some of what is happening below and as details are confirmed on other classes and events they will be posted on the relevant pages. Of course if you have any questions you can contact me via email belinda@yogatogrow.com.au or phone 0414 702 854.

 

Kids Yoga School Holiday Workshops

Wednesdays 14th & 21st January 3-5pm

In these two hour classes we will explore a range of fun yoga practices including asana, breathwork, meditation, relaxation, free movement and group work.

Suitable for ages 5-10 years.

CASUAL $28 casual / 2nd child (sibling discount) $20. Both classes $50 / 2nd child (sibling discount) $40.
Harvest Yoga, 76 McCracken St Kensington
For further information please see my Retreats and Workshops page or Harvest Yoga
Kids Yoga classes will commence in term 1, details will be confirmed soon and will be on my Yoga Classes page as soon as they are locked in.
Prenatal Yoga Classes
I am so pleased to be teaching prenatal classes once more, they will commence for 2015 on Wednesday 14th January, 5:45pm.
More info can be found on my Yoga Classes page or Harvest Yoga
Monday Night Beginners Courses
These will also run at Harvest Yoga in 2015, dates soon to be confirmed, details will be placed on my Yoga Classes page as soon as they are locked in.
Thursday Night Yoga in Braybrook
These classes will commence as soon as our new venue is ready, every time I pass it looks a little bit better, more complete so it shouldn’t be too far away.
Celebrating Womens Wisdom Yoga Retreat

20th-22nd February

I am very much looking forward to returning to Clearview Retreat to share this new retreat theme with a small group of wonderful women!

Further details on my Retreats and Workshops page or at Clearview Retreat.

 

Wow, there’s so much coming up that I’m almost exhausted before I begin 2015! It is looking to be a great year and I look forwards to sharing everything that it brings here at Yoga Tinted Glasses.

A restful and love filled break to all of my readers.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Autumn energy

Autumn is officially upon us with its cooler weather, shorter days and falling leaves.

My favorites seasons are Autumn and Spring, I’d find it very difficult to choose which I like best. The energy they have is very opposite but both provide important transitions in the cycle of the year.

Autumn leaves

Autumn asks us to slow down, take stock, conserve energy and let go of anything we no longer need. It is a great opportunity in these first weeks of Autumn to begin to tune in to where we are, where we are headed, what we are carrying with us and what we no longer need.

The falling leaves of Autumn with all of their beautiful colours and patterns are both fun to crunch through and inspiring to reflect on. As trees prepare for the colder months they let go of their leaves which require a lot of energy to maintain but cannot provide the energy back to the tree when the sun doesn’t shine as much over Winter. I like to follow their example by thinking about what in my life is taking up a lot of energy, where there is an imbalance in what I’m putting in to what I’m getting back. Sometimes I find that I just need to hang in there and keep going while other times I might decide that it is time to let go of whatever it is.

There was a time when I wasn’t aware of how much I was affected by the changes in seasons but over the years it has become clearer and clearer to me just how much influence they have on me, my moods, my energy levels and my state of mind. I have reveled in going with the energy of the seasons, following their lead rather than just keeping on and struggling against them.

Take some time this week to reflect on how Autumn makes you feel, what thoughts keep arising and how your body reacts to the seasonal changes.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Autumn

We are well into Autumn here in Melbourne now. Leaves are turning pretty colours, days are getting shorter and for many of us energy levels are dropping. My son recently read me an interesting fact from one of his books – the leaves of dead trees don’t fall, the shedding is a conscious act by the tree to ensure it’s ongoing survival, not a sign of it’s life ending but an ensuring of its survival through the cold winter months.

At this time of great changes and upheaval in my own life I found this inspiring. At times we all need to recognise the need to let go, to stop clinging to what we have in order to grow, to move on in our lives, to evolve.

At my classes in the past week there has been much talk about the sadness of SunYoga closing, the community that has been established over five years of classes is going through its own time of transformation and letting go. It seems fitting that this happens in Autumn when the energy is ripe for releasing. SunYoga closing is not an ending, just a necesary transformation allowing Claire and myself to continue our teaching in more viable spaces.

I wonder if the tree mourns for each leaf that it drops or whether they know that this is how they make space for next years leaves and fruit? All part of the cycle of living.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Peace and quiet

I have been sitting at my computer for half an hour or so. It is the school holidays and I tend to fall behind some of my work and I am taking the opportunity to catch up while there is a quiet moment.

Mitchell has gone to a tennis tournament with his dad and Kelsea is having a lie in, something she loves to do during the school holidays. It occurred to me that Rhys, my eight year old, was very quiet. My readers with children will know that sometimes quiet can mean trouble – kids can get up to all sorts of things when left unsupervised for a very short period of time. Sometimes the chatter and noise can be reassuring because it lets you know where they are and what they are up to.

So I walked through the house but couldn’t see him anywhere, out into the yard and there he was on the trampoline. Not jumping, not even bouncing but curled up in childs pose.

“Are you okay Rhys?”

“Yes, I’m enjoying the peace and quiet”, and a little sideways grin peeked out at me from his curled up little ball then disappeared once more.

A reminder from my youngest child that when we have the chance we should embrace it, stop and do what comes naturally to tune into the peace and quiet.

A reminder that it’s not just me who can get over stimulated from the busyness, constant noise, outings and activities of the school holidays.

So a short post today as I allow myself to take this lesson from Rhys. I’m off to enjoy the peace and quiet. While it lasts!

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Easter

Easter has come and gone, in our culture this usually means lots of chocolate.

If you think about rabbits and eggs however their original relation to Easter is to do with fertility and renewal so this is a great time to bring about changes in your live and make new beginnings. We are also in the midst of Autumn here in Melbourne which is a time of letting go. Combining these two energies this week I am reflecting on what I need to release and what I would like to bring about in my life.

You can do the same with a simple exercise where you write two lists, one of what you’d like to increase and another of what you’d like to release. Once you put everything in writing you can prioritise them and begin to work out how to go about bringing these changes into your life.

Enjoy some chocolate as well!

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Here comes the rain again…

What a wet and stormy night we have just had. I woke at 1am to the rolling thunder, closely followed by a downpour which has barely subsided since. I love storms and rain, I feel the electricity in the air, it heightens my awareness of everything around me.

Living under a tarp as we currently are due to renovations makes it a little less enjoyable however. We arose to find a few leaky spots and had to mop up a few places and put buckets in them to catch the still constant rain that dripped through. We also had to do the trip to school in between the heavier downpours, rushing when the rain subsided a little to get there with the kids dry and warm instead of wet and cold.

All part of the journey however, on the weekend I attended a workshop with the wonderful Paul Wooden on Befriending the Unknown where we talked about how we never really know what is coming next. This is a good example of that, last night when I went to bed I didn’t have any idea whay would be happening when I woke up. The challenge is to go with it instead of against it – the rain has just stopped and there is a quiet stillness following the storms, the garden has had a thorough watering, the streets are washed clean and despite the minor dramas we are all safe and dry. I don’t know if the storms are over for the day or just taking a break but will endeavour to go with whatever happens.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

 

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