A close encounter

My weekend retreat at Clearview Retreat went wonderfully. A lovely group of students who shared in silence, discussion, yoga, walks, delicious vegetarian food and each others company. Together we explored our chakras and our beautiful surroundings.

A highlight for me was a close encounter with a wombat at 6am on Sunday morning while I was on a solitary walk. There is something very special about seeing a wild animal in their natural surroundings, I always feel very blessed when this happens. This particular wombat was heading off to bed and if I had happened to be passing 30 seconds later I would have been oblivious to his or her presence. As it was, I was walking slowly listening to the beautiful dawn chorus when I heard another noise and looked down to see two curious eyes looking up at me warily from a broad face. We regarded each other for a few minutes, me breathless with pleasure and trying to appear as unthreatening as possible and the wombat taking this time to decide that I meant no harm. After a while he or she moved towards me and disappeared into a burrow beneath a nearby tree.

As well as the wombat I was lucky enough to see some of the resident kangaroos and a variety of beautiful birds not to mention the trees, ferns and forests.

Clearview Kangaroo

Getting back to nature and seeing her wonders up close is a lovely way to spend the weekend. If you would like to visit Clearview Retreat I will be teaching another retreat there from the 21sr-23rd of February 2014. Details and booking details on the Clearview website.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

 

Getting away from it all

As I prepare to head off to Clearview Retreat on Friday to teach my weekend yoga retreat there I am putting the final touches on my planning and beginning to think about packing. Even though it is a working weekend for me I am looking forward to the change in routine, to meeting new students, to getting back to nature and to a change of scene.

There is definitely something to be gained by taking a break from the everyday – particularly during times of busyness or stress. A yoga retreat is a wonderful way to do so if you have the opportunity, immersing yourself in personal growth, nurturing and time to focus on yourself.

In between retreats  or for those times you just can’t get away even a mini break can work wonders for your energy levels, peace of mind, health and sense of wellbeing. A weekly yoga class is one way to do this – making it a top priority rather than something you manage if you can. Taking a walk on your lunch break can be very beneficial and the change of scene resets your stress levels which might remain high if you stay in your working environment during your break.

Other ways to get away from it all are to mix up your routine, have something different for breakfast or take the long way home. Each day presents us with endless opportunities to make changes and try new things. A friend of mine used to chose one meal a week that she’d never made before to keep the family’s menu fresh.

Whatever works for you, try something to give yourself the time and space to check in this week.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

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What’s Going On?

I have loved exploring the Yamas and Niyamas over the past ten weeks through my blog. If you have enjoyed these posts watch this space as I will be running a retreat titled Digging Deeper – Introducing Yogic Philosophy in February 2014 at Clearview Retreat.

One of my students recently commented on how no one knows what else has been happening while Yoga Tinted Glasses has been exploring the Yamas and Niyamas so here is a quick update.

Our renovations are in full swing and have reached the scary stage where there is no roof above our heads. There is, however, after much hard work, a floor for our second storey and some walls in place, some walls built but not yet in place and a few walls yet to be built. We have had some wet and rainy days which have been a challenge but we are managing and looking forward to being weatherproof in the next month or two. I know this sounds like a long time but when you consider that we have had tarps over our house in one place or another since February 2012 only one or two more months sounds fabulous!

In other news I am excited to be almost 100% confirmed that our Braybrook Classes will be moving to a new venue very soon. As the new venue is being fitted out I can’t give an exact time yet but it will definitely be by next year, perhaps earlier.

Daylight savings has arrived and we are loving the longer days and some warmer weather after a long and cold winter. This also means that our Thursday Yoga classes are beginning when the light and warmth of the day are still around which is lovely.

That’s pretty much it for now, enjoy the longer days and warmer weather and I hope to see you in class soon.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

 

Ishvara Pranidhana

The final niyama is Ishvara Pranidhana, surrender to the divine, this observance allows us to find peace and be at rest with whatever is happening in our lives. To accept the challenges and things we can’t change, to go in the direction we find ourselves headed even if it is not where we set out to be.

I often feel that the universe is talking to me – too many times the same message will come up in my life from different sources for it to be coincidence. So I say “Okay, I’m listening” and try to work out what the message is. Sometimes it means challenging myself or going to some less than pleasant places but usually in the end I can look back and it all makes sense.

I use the term “the divine” here for listening to these universal messages because I am not religious but I am very aware that there is something bigger than me out there. If you are religious you can replace this term with God or whatever suits you. If you do not believe in any higher forces you are welcome to simply practice surrender. To surrender is not to give in, it is more to go with rather than against the flow. To trust that your path is taking you where you need to go and that you have everything you need to travel that path.

A nice meditation on Ishvara Pranidhana is to simply become aware or what you are fighting in your life right now. Spend some time reflecting on whatever it is that comes up. Perhaps it is an illness or injury or a friend or family member or a situation you are not comfortable in. Once you have an idea of what you are fighting notice what effects that fighting is having on your body, mind and heart. It takes a lot of energy to fight and it is a draining process which affects your whole being. Now imagine simply surrendering, if this is challenging make it a temporary surrender – just 5 minutes or so, allow yourself to let your guard down, release any physical tension or emotional aches or mental barriers created by the fight. Embrace Ishvara Pranidhana with your body, mind and heart and free yourself from the effects of that particular battle.

When you feel ready bring yourself back into the space you are in and notice how you feel about that particular situation, it may not have been completely resolved but at the very least you have had a break from it and at best a solution may appear to you.

Yours in surrender.

Love and light,

Belinda.

xxx

Svadhyaya, self study

You are already practicing svadhyaya right now by reading this post. This niyama involves not only studying yourself but also the world around you, expanding your horizons by reading, thinking, learning and – for me the word that sums up svadhyaya best – evolving. Think back ten years or even one year and reflect on how your attitudes, opinions, knowledge and feelings have changes over that time. This is the process of evolution, as we learn more about ourselves and the world around us we change and grow and adapt to our new, updated and informed, knowledge and experiences.

Svadhyaya is more than just learning as you go along however, it is actively seeking experiences, information and practices  such as yoga and meditation which help you to move towards clearer self knowledge and deeper understanding of the world around you. Reading books, going to workshops, contemplating and reflecting on what you learn ,exploring different teachers and modalities to find which best suit your path. All of these and many more are aspects of svadhyaya.

Happy studying,

Belinda

xxx