wherethesunisalwayshining

sprinkling positivity

Schedule in some ‘Me Time’

Scheduling in some ‘Me Time’ is vital for health and wellbeing, overall happiness and joy.

We seem to have jam-packed schedules these days in our busy society. Busy people, busy minds, busy busy busy.

You might always say you’d love to do something but never have enough time. Yup, I’ve been there and still find myself sometimes coming out with those words. The truth is, we have to MAKE time.

There is enough time, we just have to understand that we are responsible for how we use it. We have to take responsibility for ourselves, our life and how we spend it.

Scheduling in some time to spend alone, with no plans, is really important. It gives you this freedom and space to just be. You can actually tune-in with yourself and wonder what you feel like. Instead of going from one plan to the other, living a life of routine, it gives you a gap to just be.

Within this gap is where creativity and imagination arises. How often can we say we have the time to day dream, draw, paint, bake or read. Whatever our hobbies are!

We spend most of our lives working and then very little time expressing our passions, how does that lead us to a fulfilling life?

So I encourage you to carry on with your routine but schedule in some time to yourself with no plans of things to do.

There is much joy felt in actually pausing with nothing to do, nowhere to go and no one to see. A slot of freedom to actually honour yourself in that moment.

Whether it’s half an hour, an evening, a day off or a weekend retreat!

Step away from the smart phones, emails, communication and distractions!

I usually try dedicating half a day or a full one depending on how I feel, to myself. To just spend time alone with no plans set in stone. It gives me a sense of freedom to explore how I feel, to really tune-in and listen to myself and see what I feel like doing. Then honouring that. Sometimes I feel like walking, exploring, some times I feel like staying in and baking! It really differs but it’s so nice to not feel like ‘Oh I really don’t feel like doing that but I have to because I planned it’.

Today I began my morning off with really simple little things that brought feelings of great joy. I got up slowly with no rush, meditated for 15 minutes or so, paused as I was grabbing for my usual breakfast of muesli and thought.. hang on, I don’t feel like that today. I have time, and I feel like being creative.. the end product was banana oat pancakes galore!

The simplicity but the beauty in pausing and creating that time and space for yourself. A gap in the busy life and daily routine.. it really is an act of love and kindness, it is a space to honour yourself in the present moment and allow creativity, spontaneity and imagination to flow through.

So if you are like me and find there isn’t enough time for the day to pamper yourself, look after your mental or physical health, nourish yourself in any way that resonates with you. Schedule it in, without feeling guilty or judgemental. It is not selfish to have time doing nothing, this is just an illusion within our society, which is why we have so many people feeling drained, exhausted and sick. In fact you will discover that once you have dedicated the time and space for yourself, you will be much happier and joyful with others.

I always find whenever I’m reaching for that extra coffee, that’s the sign of my body telling me to slow down and make some ‘me time’. Our bodies are magnificent creations that give us signs of all that we need every moment, all we have to do is listen 🙂

With love

Sian

 

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How yoga can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.’

A great quote. Yet for beginners, this may seem a bit confusing and mind boggling..

How on earth are you supposed to find out more about yourself through practising some postures and breathing?

Ever been to a yoga class determined to quieten the mind and be in a peaceful space.. then find the person practising next to you has really loud distracting breathing? You can’t really ask them to stop breathing so you have the choice of being agitated and annoyed for the next hour or to change your perspective and just accept it and let it be.

Similarly in life.. we may expect things to go in a certain way but then outside circumstances change it, we either accept them and adjust or we end up suffering and hurting because we resist and let our emotions get the better of us.

Being on the mat allows us to be. A time to come to the present moment, bring awareness to ourselves, watch the mind and listen to the body.

Attempting to be present in the now is something we all manage to do for only a short period of time before we get distracted.. let alone a 90minute class! By watching how present or how easily distracted we are on the mat, we can then see that this may reflect how present we are in the rest of our lives, spending time with loved ones but thinking of work? Spending time in work but thinking about what to cook for dinner? If this is the case then you may be present physically but not as you, this is how you let life slip by because you’re never really there if you’re not really present.

Being on the mat brings this new found awareness into your life.

Watching the mind can prove interesting in yoga, especially when you come to postures that appear difficult. The mind might say ‘I can’t do that’ before even trying. How many times does this then also reflect in your normal life? The mind might be too busy concentrating on how much more flexible your neighbours are compared to you leaving you feeling inferior ; could this also be true that you then spend a lot of time comparing your life with other peoples?

One of my favourite reasons I enjoy practising yoga or meditating is so I can see where my mind is at. Everyone’s state of mind changes from moment to moment depending on what’s happening. I can wake some mornings and be fully present and peaceful, other times my mind will be thinking of past, future, day dreaming and distracted and that then tells me that I need to put some extra work into achieving peace for myself and doing less.

It let’s you come to know yourself in a new way, listening and allowing you to help yourself.

How much do you listen to your body? Do you find that you will attempt the full posture instead of a variation because everyone else is doing that, even though your hamstrings might be yelling for you to stop pushing yourself. Or do you find that you could push yourself further into a posture but you like to relax and play it comfortable? Again, these things can all reflect in how you go about your daily life.

So.. Let the yoga mat be your place of learning, enter with an open-mind and child like curiosity. There is no need to judge any of these things that you may discover about yourself. Observation is simply watching, don’t take it too seriously and put a judgement of it being bad or good. See it as a game and say ‘thank you for that lesson, I can now be aware if I do something similar in daily life.’

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are’

Namaste!

 

 

 

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The Many Benefits of Yoga

Why do I and many others try to  practise Yoga daily?

What is the purpose of it?

Yoga has many benefits in a variety of sectors; physical, mental, energetic & spiritual.

Physical Benefits – So practising yoga asanas (postures) with moving our physical bodies, helps stretch the muscles, create more flexibility and strength, improves blood circulation and is well known for easing back pain. Practising yoga daily therefore allows you to observe how you improve in different postures, push beyond previous limits and allow you to do things you never thought possible – giving a great self-esteem boost. It also allows you to practise acceptance for your body, we are all built differently and sometimes we physically cannot do something because our bones compress etc; that is ok. It also helps you keep a healthy and fit body to live a good life!

‘Look after your body or you won’t have anywhere to live’

Mental Benefits – Practising yoga can helps ease the mind as we use the tools of concentration. Focusing on being in the correct alignment/posture, focusing on a specific spot or concentrating on your breathing – these are all techniques to help still the mind as all the focus flows in one direction. This calm & stillness then allows you to think with clarity and make better choices in life. Also being aware of what you think about on the mat is a benefit – If you find yourself thinking about the past or future; realize you probably want to work on being in the present moment if you want a quieter mind. If you’re worrying about things you have to do; realize it’s better to get them out the way first! These are only examples, the yoga mat is a place of self-exploration and discovery.

‘Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are’

Energetic Benefits – This can be seen in various ways: please go by whatever resonates with you. Practising any physical activity creates a difference in our energetic system and usually a form of physical exercise as some people view yoga as; can produce happy hormones. We can also feel much more relaxed from slow breathing, slow movement..just in general slowing down from our regular day life! It can also go the opposite way (depending on your class) and you may leave feeling full of energy and life, rearing to go.

Another aspect of energetic benefits is the sublimation of energy within the Chakras. The Chakras are Energetic centres corresponding with specific glands, organs and facets of your being. There are 7 main  energy centres running from the bottom of the spine, along to the crown of the head. Usually we have imbalances or blockages from things we supress, general phenomenon’s in life and emotional blockages of  experiences that we have held on to. Imbalances in our chakras have a huge impact on our overall energetic system as energy cannot flow from one chakra to the other.. this can affect us through physical disease, behaviour, overall energy and health. Practising yoga postures often can help to balance these through the working on specific postures known to help grounding, opening the heart etc.

‘Energy flows where attention goes’

Spiritual Benefits – I put this last for a reason, because many of us begin yoga for a physical or mental benefit. We get told we’ll become flexy and strong, be able to do cool postures and it will make us calm and relaxed – Perfect activity or what?

I say this  from experience.. perhaps not for everyone, but yoga is so much more than that. If you decide to explore the traditional Indian philosophy behind it and practise what ancient yogis wrote down in texts, you will find a lot of wisdom. Yoga is traditionally seen as a spiritual practise (I had no idea until I got interested in researching), although I was never religious or had faith in anything in particular, my heart just found resonance in the yogic teachings. There is no right and wrong, there is only guidance. Practising things such as truthfulness, non-harming to yourself and others, self-discipline, contentment.. try it for a week and see the difference it makes. Living a life through guidance of enlightened sages that share their wisdom and knowledge to be free from the mind and its limitations. To control the mind instead of having it control us. It helped me realize that I am so much more than my physical body, that everyone is, to have kindness and compassion for myself and others. So practising yoga also gives you the opportunity to explore bringing spirituality into your life through following guidance of spiritual texts, following daily self enquiry to reconnect with your soul and your true self, beyond the mind.

These are brief examples on the benefits of yoga and I hope you will have a further insight to what yoga can bring to your life. Go to a class with an open mind, with curiosity and see what feels right for you 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Practise what you preach

So after posting about welcoming suffering or transformation and questioning its purpose last night.. Life gave me te opportunity to practise what I preach this morning! Always on que.

So recently I’ve been feeling off balance for a good few months, lacking energy, unmotivated for my practises of yoga and meditation etc. this morning it really hit me, I was frustrated because my mind wanted to do it but I couldn’t find the motivation. So I sat feeling frustrated thinking I wish I could go back to when I was rearing to go and really enjoyed practising. 

As I was writing this in my journal I caught myself.. This feeling of suffering and frustration was or a reason, to change something that’s no longer working. It’s true I have felt off balance and I now need to meet this suffering and act on it.

 Our bodies are incredible things, always informing us on what’s happening and once we realise it that’s when we have to meet it half way and act, change something. We might know this but physically find it difficult to take action straight away, and that’s ok. Be patient with yourself. 

I have felt this way for months and haven’t taken real action, always waiting for a right moment. But the right moment is only when we finally get so fed up of this feeling and do something. 

As for me, I am going to try to bring some self discipline back, a routine of practise without labelling it as feeling good or bad. I’m also going to eat pure foods that helps detoxify my body. Combined with stretches to energise my body. 

Take some time out to see what your soul is asking from you. Be kind and be patient with yourself most importantly! 

The sun is always shining 

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Are we bikini body ready? … WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

Are you bikini body ready?… WHO CARES. What does that even mean? I know what it’s supposed to mean, it’s the media pressurizing everyone to look a certain way, feeling guilty or insecure if they don’t conform once again to the expectations.

Everywhere in the world, during the run up to Summer especially, there is a ridiculous amount of pressure on people to look good. Are you bikini body ready is just the latest example.

I remember years ago before a holiday I would exercise more, eat less cake etc to try to achieve a ‘bikini body’.

And what for exactly? That was something I never questioned myself.

Are we any better for having less fat, more muscle, toned butts and no jiggly bits.. Nope.

Isn’t it all a part of what society expects from us? We do a bikini body challenge not to make ourselves feel better, most of the time it’s to look better for the people that will see us. We can’t be the fattest one in the group of friends.. yet that only leads to work of the ego. Feeling superior or inferior to another is only the ego talking.

Our ego works on form. Our soul is the space within. Everything in the world is form and space so why is it that we only concentrate on form? The physical body, our appearances. Why should we be bikini body ready, does it make us any better than those who don’t prepare for bikini weather, does it make us kinder, nicer?

The truth is our physical form is an important part of who we are, it identifies us and makes us unique, another reason why we shouldn’t conform to society’s expectations to all look the same.

Note I say the physical form is an important PART of who we are, that’s exactly it.. its only a part. We are so much more than just what we look like on the outside. When we can connect with the space that’s within us, then we can relate and understand who we truly are and what’s important to us.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t take care of ourselves and care about what we look like, but we should do it only for ourselves. We should look like exactly what we want to, that’s to say if you want a 6 pack then go make it happen, If however you feel like you don’t want to spend your time in the gym working for a 6 pack then accept that it’s not a priority for you and shouldn’t have to be.

I have met many people in bikinies over the last few months whilst travelling.. the ones with toned, fit bodies are no better or worse than the ones with a bit more fat. The fit ones are no worse people for spending time working out and being careful about what they eat if that is a personal choice of what they want to look like etc, and the curvier ones are no worse for not working out excessively to fit into a tinsy bikini.

The truth is we are born bikini ready. We have bodies, so lets slip them into bikinies whatever we look like. Lets be grateful to have working, functioning, healthy beautiful bodies. Let’s celebrate that we are all unique, we are all different and beautiful in each and every way. Let’s be proud that there is no other being on this earth like us, celebrating everything that we are, the good bits and the better bits (because really there are no bad bits, its all an illusion created by the media).

I would one day like to live in a world that concentrates more on the space within instead of just our physical form, over and over again. Why not preach for people to show gratitude, love and kindness instead?

LOVE YOURSELF FOR WHO YOU ARE 🙂

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