Meditation

An Introduction to the Chakras

An Introduction to the Chakras

Do you feel as though the chakras are a bit of a mystery — or perhaps too ‘out there’ to be relevant to you? Don’t write them off just yet.

 

When you spend a little time getting to know what the chakras really are, they actually become an incredibly useful way of thinking about your energy and your body. Crucially, you discover how a deeper understanding of chakras can, in turn, help you deepen your yoga and meditation practice and enhance your wellbeing.

 

The chakras are seven energy centres located at different points through the body; they radiate, receive and direct energy through all of the nadis, or energy channels.

Rituals of Bali

Rituals of Bali

When I’m asked “Why Bali? Why do you love taking people there so much?” it’s hard to know where to start!

 

Bali is a beautiful and inspiring place. It’s not trying to be anything other than its authentic self, and it makes you want to be your authentic self too.

 

No one speaks in quiet whispers about their spiritual practices here. Spiritual life and personal growth are valued and respected. It is assumed that everyone is making efforts, every day, to live with dedication to a higher way of being.

 

Daily life is marked by rituals — some big, many small — which reconnect people with their deeper purpose in this world. Over and over again: connection, reconnection, connection. Spiritual life is not separate from work or education; family or friendships. Spirituality, prayer and meditation are a part of everything.

Let’s Talk About Balinese Food

Let’s Talk About Balinese Food

Over the last decade Bali has become known as one of the top destinations in the world for vegetarian and vegan food. People travel from around the globe to eat at its renowned restaurants and cafes, and to sip coconut water fresh from the tree.

 

When you come on a journey to this beautiful island with me you’ll be treated to the very best of Balinese cuisine — it’s seriously good!

 

Think of it this way…

Why Relaxation Makes You More Productive

Why Relaxation Makes You More Productive

Contrary to the idea that we should all be busy all the time and ‘getting things done’ at all hours of the day, entering into deep relaxation actually makes us more productive, focused and efficient.

On top of that, it reduces the chances of the body suffering from health issues that arise as a result of extended periods of stress. Yogis have known this for centuries; but now modern science is beginning to pay attention to the value of rest as well.

 

Next year’s retreat in Bali is focused on deep relaxation and restoring energy and joy. Each time I plan a retreat I look to new sources to weave together with the traditions of yoga and meditation; new inspiration to help you surrender yourself to the power of rest.

 

What Are the Scientists Saying?

Alleviate Anxiety with Humming Bee Breath

Alleviate Anxiety with Humming Bee Breath

Do you catch yourself humming absent-mindedly while you’re walking round a shop, or filling in paperwork? Studies show that the sounds in our environment have a direct impact on our stress levels — so it’s no surprise that lots of us make sounds to soothe our own stress, or aid our concentration.


Bhramari Pranayama is a breathing which does exactly that. It uses the creation of sound in the throat, combined with closing off the ears to external sounds, to calm the nervous system and settle the thoughts.


How Bhramari Could Help You

The steady, bee-like humming sound you create during bhramari pranayama has an instant soothing effect on the mind. It’s an ideal practice for you if you ever feel anxious or overwhelmed because its effects are so immediate.


You can use it to calm down at any time.


As well as this wonderful, speedy anxiety relief, the benefits of bhramari include:

3 Reasons to Practice Yoga and Meditation in Nepal

3 Reasons to Practice Yoga and Meditation in Nepal

As many of you know Nepal holds a special place in my heart, and for good reason.

It is stunningly beautiful, rich in spirituality and culture and the food is absolutely delicious!!

Oh, and did I mention that past participants have said it to be transformative, heart-opening and utterly fabulous?

For those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure of experiencing the spiritually rich culture of this beautiful country, read on for three reasons that make it an incredible place to deepen your practice of yoga and meditation.

An Overview Of Pranayama Practices

An Overview Of Pranayama Practices

Recently, I shared a brief introduction to Pranayama to give you a sense of what Pranayama is and what it does.

 

Today, this introduction continues: in this blog post you’ll find an overview of the pranayama techniques you might learn during my classes, courses and retreats.

 

Over the next weeks and months this post will become an index of pranayama practices, with each technique listed below linking to another blog post that goes into close detail about that practice.

 

So bookmark this page, and keep checking back to learn more and more!

The Profound Benefits Of Mantra Meditation

The Profound Benefits Of Mantra Meditation

In a study published by the BMC last year, researchers found that 3.6 million adults in the United States practise mantra meditation.

 

Each one of those 3.6 million people may have had a different reason for bringing mantra into their lives, but they are all undoubtedly experiencing benefits that they didn’t expect.

 

A mantra is a word, phrase, or sound that is repeated as a way to focus concentration and achieve a meditative state of mind.

 

Chanting mantras is a really wonderful way to start meditating if you’re new to such practices. It can be a kind of ‘gateway meditation’, as it removes the fear and frustration that comes with the idea of silencing the mind — which many people assume is the purpose of meditation.

Actually, very few people meditate with the intention of completely emptying the mind of thoughts. Instead, meditation allows us to hone our skills of awareness  so that we can

An Introduction to Pranayama and Natural Breath Awareness

An Introduction to Pranayama and Natural Breath Awareness

If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you may have heard the Sanskrit word pranayama — but what does it actually mean?

 

Prana means ‘life force’; the energy that courses through the body. Ayama means ‘to extend’. So pranayama is the practice of expanding and extending prana, energy.

 

In yoga, this is done by learning techniques to control and direct the breath, as breath is the vehicle that carries the prana. These techniques allow you to alter your physical and mental state of being by controlling your breath.

 

There are a number of different breathing exercises that are typically practiced within yoga. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring some of them in more detail — so come back soon for further pondering on pranayama!

 

WHAT DOES PRANAYAMA DO?
 

A growing body of scientific research highlights the benefits of pranayama practices; for example, this study by Bangalore University suggests that when practised correctly, breathing exercises can have a positive impact on mental and physical health.
 

Pranayama can:

•    Reduce emotional and physical tension

•    Help with stress and anxiety, and be a useful tool for managing... 

SWAN Meditation ~ Gaining Clarity

SWAN Meditation ~ Gaining Clarity

Do you feel a pull to deepen your understanding of yourself, and by extension, the way you interact with the world?

Perhaps you have a sense of disconnect; your internal world and your external life aren’t quite in harmony.


If so, SWAN meditation is a wonderful practice to work with.
 

If you came along to my New Year’s Yoga and Meditation Immersion at South Narrabeen Surf Club, you’ll already have a solid grounding in the SWAN technique, and I hope you’re starting to feel the benefits.
 

For those of you who weren’t there, I wanted to offer a brief introduction so that you might be inspired to try it, too.
 

SWAN is an acronym for Strengths; Weaknesses; Ambitions; and Needs.
 

SWAN meditation concentrates on these elements of the self, providing an opportunity to take a close look at what’s