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Later, 2010’s

I’ve just finished teaching two classes (with a broken – or fractured – toe. I’m not sure yet) and I’m having a shower and washing away 2019.

Scrubbing, exfoliating, pumice-stoning, deep-rinsing the year away, and applying 2020’s moisturiser ALL over my body. Night cream, night serum, eye cream, (Oh, I am so 32!), putting on fluffy socks (over my bandaged toe 🙁 ) and making a cheese board.

It’s not that 2019 has been a bad year, but for some reason it feels really good to clean it away. Start 2020 fresh.

And with those big, round, even, very-much-satisfying-my-OCD numbers, comes the realisation that we’re entering a new decade.

I have been alive for three and a bit so far, and it’s not beyond me that this new decade will see me into my forties :-O

New Years is an interesting time. We’re staying in this year because New Year’s in Berlin is like a war zone (don’t believe me? Google that shit) and my baby Baloo is very scared. Felix is chilling and getting leftover cheese.

Some people find celebrating a New Year very overrated, and some don’t.

I think you like NYE if you have plans, and then you pretend that it doesn’t matter when you’re at home watching Netflix and washing your hair and eating cheese, and… wait.

This year, the beginning of 2020 is exciting to me. I am genuinely looking forward to all the amazing and maybe not so amazing things this next decade has in store. I have a LOT of things I want to achieve and I’m becoming more aware of the importance of doing them NOW.

One of my favourite Chinese Proverbs, is;

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

And Oh God am I feeling that!

I made a list of all the things I achieved over the past decade. Imma share them with you now. They started off in order and then very quickly went out of order and all over the place.

They are both good and bad things. Just the things that happened that I remembered. In absolutely no order and completely unedited…

– Finished Colour Cosmetica
– Went to Cambodia
– Bought a house
– Got Felix
– Made new friends with Ryan and Nat
– Got Married/Got Engaged
– Went to America
– Went to Disneyland and Disney World
– Took up yoga for real
– VM (Visual Merchandiser) at Forever New and Cotton On
– Loads of gigs
– Got Baloo
– Sarah had Lij
– Stopped talking to Dad
– Saw loads of friends get married
– Got my tattoo sleeve
– Entered Miss Ink
– Made redundant as VM
– Worked at St Peter’s and loved it
– Became a yoga teacher
– Moved to Berlin
– Worked full time as a yoga teacher
– Had another nephew, Henny
– Travelled lots and lots
– Turned 30
– Did a headstand
– Met my yoga hero, Jess Rose
– Spain, Cruise (New Caledonia), Luxembourg
– Germany, Prague, Italy, Portugal
– Croatia, Slovenia
– Met my other yoga idol, Adriene Mischler
– Started my own Youtube channel
– Belgium, Amsterdam
– Saw snow
– Game of Thrones
– Bali, France
– Met new people, made new friends
– Stronger, better relationship with Alex
– Mended relationship with Dad
– Found out Dad is very sick
– Pop died
– Nanna died
– Saw Ricky Gervais
– Did the splits
– Rock climbed
– Rode a bike everywhere
– Most orgasms

There are lots more things, both good, bad and somewhere indifferently in between, but my hand was hurting and ending on an orgasm seemed appropriate.

There are so many things I wish I had started 10 years ago, instead, I’m going to start them now.

Happy New Year.
Happy New Decade.

Bikram Yoga is Not Hot

The other day I participated in my first Bikram yoga class.

 

I’ve never liked Bikram as a concept, but it did sort of put yoga on the map, at least that was my experience in Australia.

 

So, what is Bikram and how is it different? It’s a series of postures, they are the same 26 every class, that you do in 40-degree heat, sweat your ass off, feel like you might pass out, and then leave thinking you’ve had a really great workout.

 

Instinctively, I knew it was bad. But now I know it’s bad.

 

I was nervous about doing this class, but as the only 10am time slot in my suburban area, I thought; ‘maybe it’s time.’

 

On entry, the teacher is nice, the drop-in price is too high, and it’s not scary yet.

 

Then I enter the room.

 

Whoosh! The heat hits you like a sauna. But unlike a sauna, I’m not planning on sitting around with my eyes closed and grabbing a cocktail afterwards. I have to move in this heat!

 

The room is massive and looks more like a gym than a yoga shala. There’s a mirrored wall, which I really hate in yoga studios anyway, but in Bikram, they use the mirror a lot. The teacher has a stage and a microphone, and the room has a decent number of students for a 10am weekday class.

 

We start with a pranayama technique requiring the head and neck to go “back, back, back!” and already it starts to hurt. I remind myself that I know what I’m doing and what my body is capable of, and not to push it.

 

We continue through the series of Bikram postures. The teacher doesn’t move with the class, she doesn’t really have to, but she also offers no adjustments and certainly no alternative options for poses.

 

Even when that pose is a standing forward fold, where she has asked us to grab our heels and “lock out the knees, lock out the knees, lock out the knees!”

 

Huh?!

 

‘Round your spine, push your knees back, keep your eyes open.’

 

All the cues you would never hear in a yoga class. Not a safe one.

 

Not a class where someone who doesn’t have a lot of practice time under their belt, and therefore not so flexible or strong, could find the right option for them.

 

Plus the heat. Oh my goodness, it’s stifling.

 

One girl has left, I don’t blame her. Sure, it can get hot in India and Bali and all these other places we do yoga, but with no fresh air, there’s no relief.

 

The series of postures continue, each being completed twice, because that’s a thing too. When we finally make it to the floor, each break between poses requires you to get into savasana, head facing the opposite way, have a break, and then roll up “fast” into a forward fold, turn around, and do it again. Mostly this was just boring and frustrating.

 

The series finishes with Kapalabhati breathing, or breath of fire, because, you know, we aren’t hot enough. And then the strangest savasana ever.

 

We lie on the floor, the teacher says thanks and have a good day, and then exits stage left, leaving us there for as long as we want. Some get up immediately after, some take a little more time, but even this felt really odd, and not like we had completed the class collectively. One of the reasons I like going to group classes is to absorb the energy of the class, share the space and the practice together, but this was not like that. No savasana-yoga-bliss-bubble.

 

I get up and head straight for the shower. I am so completely drenched in sweat and mostly feel gross.

 

I guess I can see how students think they’ve had an amazing work out, but this isn’t sweat that you’ve built up from movement. Doing these moves in another class of normal temperature probably would’ve made me warm, but not sweaty. This sweat is just water, not workout sweat. I make sure I drink plenty of fluids for the rest of the day.

 

Even with the awareness I brought to that class, knowing what my body was capable of in normal temperatures, and trying not to fold myself up like a book even though I definitely could, my muscles being so warm, I was still sore the next day. My hamstrings! Damn that ego in forward folds!

 

Maybe by now some of you have also seen the Netflix documentary about Bikram, and who he was. A sleazy, guru-wannabe who would yell abuse at his students and they would soak it up. A sexual deviant. This blog isn’t about that, although I do recommend watching the documentary if you’re interested.

 

This blog is about my experience of Bikram yoga. After watching the doco, I’m annoyed that I gave money to the franchise that he benefits from. But I am glad to have experienced the class and am now able to form my own opinion of what it entails.

 

Like I said earlier, I didn’t agree with Bikram yoga as a concept, and now I can disagree with it as a practitioner.

 

It’s not for me.

 

And if you disagree with misogyny and sexual abuse, maybe it’s not for you either.

The Yoga of Learning a Language

As someone who comes from a predominantly English-speaking country, I suppose I’m lucky. I can basically travel anywhere in the world and someone there understands my language.

 

I remember being embarrassed as a child when I would go shopping with my grandmother, (or Baka, as we call her) who doesn’t speak much English. She was born in Croatia and immigrated to Australia sometime in her 30’s.

 

The age I am now.

 

I would get frustrated and sheepish when I saw other people treating her differently because she didn’t speak the language. Treating her like she was stupid.

 

I would sometimes agree with them.

 

Because I didn’t realise how hard it was. She had, by the time I was in the picture at least, been living in Australia for over 20 years. Come on, Baka!

 

But now I totally get it.

 

Learning a new language with absolutely no background in having to learn a language is hard.

 

So hard.

 

I feel stupid almost every day.

 

Taking lessons, and I do, drains every ounce of energy out of me. I can feel myself getting cranky and stubborn, and my face starts to squish up like I’ve smelt something bad, and I go home and sink into a deep, low place. It literally makes me feel depressed.

 

Yoga has always helped me cope with depression in the past, and it has absolutely been necessary for me to maintain a steady practice during my lessons, adding even more time in meditation. These tools I’ve given myself have helped me move from feeling dumb, to still feeling dumb, but knowing that it can only get better from here.

 

What my practice has taught me, is that if I stop, that’s as far as I’m going to get.

 

Whereas if I keep going, and keep messing up, and getting so many things wrong, but having some guidance on how to correct them, eventually, I’ll make some progress.

 

And maybe it won’t be epic strides of sentence-long progression, maybe I’ll just learn three new words a day, but they will be three words that I didn’t know yesterday.

 

If I give up, those are the only three words I’ll ever know.

 

There was once a time when standing on my head was completely never going to happen. Ever. I kept practicing. And then it did happen.

 

Not giving up meant I found progress and I hit my goal.

 

Doing the work, every day, even just for a bit, just three words. I have to put in the work and the rest will come.

 

Yeah, it’ll be hard. It’s going to suck and I’m going to keep feeling stupid.

 

But then one day maybe I’ll put a sentence together. It won’t be perfect but they will basically know what I mean. Progress. Headstand.

 

Just have to put in the work.

 

Practice, and all is coming.

 

Holding Space

Yoga can be a spiritual practice, for others, an exercise routine, and for some, just time away from their regular life events, where they can focus purely on themselves.

 

For each student, the teacher must hold the space. Creating an environment free from the distractions of the mind, where the concepts of yoga, as interpreted by the instructor, can be delivered in a non-judgemental, loving environment.

 

This is easy enough when all your students arrive in a great mood, ready to absorb whatever you have to offer.

 

But this isn’t always the case.

 

Students are humans, with human emotions, and there are many reasons why someone can show up to your class and shift the vibe. Bad day, bad mood, bad traffic.

 

I recently taught a class where the tense energy hit me immediately.

 

I teach yoga in English, in a country where English is not the native language. This, for the most part, has rarely been an issue. I’ve always admired how Europeans can switch between two, (or more) languages, like it ain’t no thang.

 

On this occasion though, I was subbing for a German-speaking teacher. This wasn’t regarded by the studio as such a big deal, since everyone else there teaches in English, and students are aware of this fact. I had one regular show up, she was fun and full of (way too much) energy for 7am. And then a couple arrives. I say hello and introduce myself, and that I’m subbing today. This is their first time at the studio. They ask the other student if this class is in German and she says, usually yes, but the regular teacher is away. Cue tension.

 

I don’t blame them. They’ve shown up to a yoga class in their country, one would expect it to be taught in their language. It was incredible how palpable the energy shift was.

 

Then from my end, these guys brought their own mats, so my initial thoughts are; they’re advanced yogis. The guy has a ponytail resembling David Life of Jivamukti yoga, and I’m immediately scared that not only have they got a teacher who speaks only English, but they are also in a class that isn’t advanced enough for their ponytail-wielding practice. Cue panic.

 

We roll out the mats and I say hi and welcome everyone (all three, it is 7am), and explain how this class works. It’s a ‘different’ kind of studio, so things don’t run quite like a normal yoga class. I’m nervous about their reaction to this too. I jump out of the class to close the gate, (something we do while the students have a chat and get to know each other’s practice), and I use this moment to collect my thoughts.

 

I feel nervous. I’m subbing for another teacher who’s style I don’t know. The regular has told me she usually goes to Thursday morning classes, which are harder, advanced classes, taught by one of the most incredible teachers. Plus, I’ve got these two newbies who speak little English and I’m convinced are advanced yogis (because of the ponytail).

 

I breathe.

 

I decide I’m going to teach the class I had planned. A grounding, balanced practice, perfect to start the day. I’m going to teach the way I do it. With playfulness, humour, and lots of alignment cues. Which maybe no one will understand. I walk back into the class.

 

The ponytail guy says it’s like a yoga and English class in one. I’m not sure if he’s happy or annoyed about this. I begin.

 

I start with simple pranayama to come into the space, and also because it’s 7am. (And also because I kinda needed it). I notice eyes open every time I give the next instruction, which I totally expected since words alone wouldn’t quite be enough this time.

And then we start to move, start to flow.

 

Ponytail isn’t advanced at all. Neither is the regular. I got it all wrong!

 

I slip my first joke in. Couple of laughs. Ok. *Nodding head in happily surprised way.

 

The vibe begins to change. The students smile as I ask them to come into a tricky balance, they take deep breaths when I cue them. I’m also enjoying this.

 

We come to the end where we sit in gratitude for our practice, and after Namasté, they sit peacefully, absorbing the effects of what preceded.

 

I apologised at the end, in German, for only speaking English, and they brushed it off like it wasn’t even an issue. Huh? This is a change.

 

After pouring some tea, the woman tells me that she really enjoyed the class and asks me when is my usual time? She even takes one of my business cards. Ponytail gives me the double thumbs up, and they both ask for a hug on the way out. I was beaming!

 

At the beginning of the class, I wasn’t feeling good about teaching to this group. I had made a judgement (which turned out to be wrong), and based on that judgement, I was scared.

 

The reason, I believe, that the energy of the class was completely different in the end, was because I acknowledged that I felt that way. I knew I didn’t feel comfortable, so I had to figure out a way that I would be able to hold the space for students that maybe entered their practice in a not-so-great state of mind either.

 

I taught the way I always do. Authentically me.

 

I didn’t try to change who I was and how I instructed to try to appeal to what I thought was the attitude of the group, but instead, I taught a yoga class. I did what I know how to do. I didn’t let the mood of my students (or myself) affect how I taught that day.

 

Through breath, and movement, and laughter, we shifted nervous energy into a warm, genuine connection. And it is only through controlling our own thoughts and taking ownership of our feelings, that we’re able to move that energy into something different. Like hugs.

Losing Weight

Today I did something that past-me never would have done…

 

I uploaded a video to YouTube, where my belly makes quite the appearance.

 

I don’t ever put much thought into my outfits, and I just bought these new, comfy, amazing pants that I wanted to wear, which I paired with one of my favourite crops.

 

This meant a bit of skin was on display. And then once I started moving around, a lot more skin.

 

This is something today-me did do… She didn’t care.

 

I’ve been thinking lately about my body. It’s had a rough ride. Haven’t they all? But the strange this is, I’m definitely the heaviest I’ve ever been (although I don’t get on the scales, I can just tell) yet I’m also the most comfortable I’ve ever been in my skin.

 

I love that meme, where it says; I wish I was as fat as the first time I thought I was fat. Ha! How I wasted my skinny days wanting to be thinner!

 

If I could swallow a magic pill and transform into Elle Macpherson circa 1999 (jeez, circa now probably!) I would. But no magic pill exists and instead I have the body I’m in.

 

A body that likes wine and chocolate and must have a biscuit with every cup of tea.

 

Maybe some folks back home will look at this video and say; “Hmm, Hanna’s put on a bit of weight.” Maybe I have.

 

But what about the weight that I’ve lost?

 

The weight of trying to be a certain size. To look a certain way.

 

The weight of worrying about how other people see me. Of what they think. I’ve lost this weight.

 

I’ve completely lost the weight of caring if my stomach is sticking out. Because that same stomach is strong. Underneath those rolls is a core that lets me stand on my head and hold plank for a really long time (if I wanted to). I work on my core so I have a strong back, and good posture, not because I care if my skin offends you.

 

Those hips that have a bit of extra meat on them are super flexible, and the shoulders that have thickened out are helping me practice handstands.

 

The butt is perkier. All those warrior poses have paid off.

 

Sometimes I wish my rolls wouldn’t go over my yoga pants, but to be honest, I don’t really care.

 

One day I’ll tell you about the version of me that never would’ve said this stuff, and never would have put that video on YouTube. That’s a hell of a story and imperative to why I came to yoga in the first place, but for now, the celebration.

 

Of not giving a fuck that I don’t have a 15-year-old body. I don’t want one! This body is strong, and flexible, and likes chocolate and wine a little too much. But it’s mine, and I love it for all the things it CAN do.

 

How much weight could you lose?

 

 

 

 

Begin.

I vividly remember being a beginner.

 

My first ever yoga class was at a local gymnasium, in a tiny, corporate-carpeted room, with an instructor called Graham. He was great. Such a good teacher for beginners.

 

Graham focussed a lot on the breath, and the more I teach students of all levels, the more value I give to this important cue. Really, the only cue that spans all levels of yogi. Inhale. Exhale.

 

I remember when he said to stretch out my arms for a reclined twist, and then to take a deep breath in, and stretch them out even more on the exhale. It’s amazing what subtle movements we’re able to do when we focus solely on the power of the breath. I had discovered something.

 

I don’t remember too much about how good (or bad) I was, I mostly just remember how I would feel during and after class. It’s funny how you can embrace the fact that you’re a total newbie, and you kind of accept that you’re not going to nail these poses, and that’s totally ok. It takes the pressure off.

 

I remember being excited about sharing what I had learnt with my cousin who had been doing yoga for a while longer than me.

 

Recently, I’ve started teaching my mom yoga. She’s a total beginner. Like I was. Like we all were, once.

 

Being at the beginning is such an incredible place to be. For anything. Everything is new, some things are difficult, sometimes you surprise yourself, and always, you learn.

 

In a famous quotation from Zen Buddhism, “In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

 

It’s scary to be a beginner. But it’s also so exciting. And without sounding too cheesy, it’s a gift.

 

There are things you’re going to respond to straight away, and there are things that are going to take a little more time.

 

Sharing what I’ve learnt with my mum has been a challenge for myself. I am beginning again. I’d never taught a class specifically for beginners, and I’ve certainly never done that on camera. (Mum lives on the opposite side of the world to me).

 

One of the things I love about yoga is that I’m still learning. So much. There are times I still feel like a total beginner, and now I relish that feeling. The place of newness, and exploration, of childlike curiosity about what’s happening. What comes next.

 

Yoga can be intimidating if you’re new. The spacious, shiny studios. The ballerina instructors with perfect skin and those damn yoga pants. I get it. It’s new, and new can be scary. Know that you’re not alone in those feelings. But also, (I love a good cliché), you’ll never know unless you try. Right?

 

And if you’re not quite ready to get into a studio, you can share my mom’s practice, in the living room, in your pyjamas, if you like. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsXOiV3I3uhsp2hiLvIheTw

 

Enjoy. Don’t judge yourself. Inhale. Exhale. Oh, the possibilities!

YouTube Yogi

So I did it!

 

I released my first yoga video to YouTube.

 

Some of you have seen it already, some of you may have even done the practice. Thank you. And thank you an extra bit if you subscribed. You’re a legend.

 

I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this. Truly excited. Not even scared. (A little bit scared).

 

If you know me, you know I love and adore Yoga with Adriene. I have practiced with Adriene more than any other yogi in the world. I also love to take online classes with the incredible Jess Rose.

 

I just love doing yoga online.

 

Early in my yogi days I would get into a studio once a week. And by studio, I mean RSL hall across from a primary school.

 

Yoga for me never felt pretentious. I’ve been lucky.

 

I know there are a lot of people out there who want to try yoga but are scared that they don’t ‘look’ like a yogi. They aren’t flexible enough. Whatever it is.

 

These fears come up when we are among other people. We feel judged. We look around the room to check if we’re doing it right, we see someone face-planting their leg and think we need to as well. Not true. But, I get it. I used to do it too.

 

But then I found the wonders of the Internet and discovered an at-home yoga practice.

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve practiced in my pyjamas. Or in a dress, because I couldn’t be bothered squeezing into my yoga pants.

 

Bra off – tits hanging about in downward-facing dog. Ah! The at-home yoga experience.

 

Plus, there’s no need to dedicate an hour or more out of a busy day to gain the benefits of yoga. Twenty minutes, generally, is my ideal yoga time.

 

I’ve gained so much from practicing at home.

 

I don’t compare myself to anyone in the class. And I don’t compare myself to the teacher either, because a good yoga instructor doesn’t make you feel like you need to push your body into doing something it’s just not ready to do.

 

I spend more time focussing on my breath, and less time worrying about the lady behind me staring at the back fat poking out of my sports bra.

 

I have developed my practice in leaps and bounds. Being able to practice for just a small amount of time, means I have more time to fit it in. Which, in turn, means I practice more often.

 

Plus, I save money.

 

I still love to get into the studio, and doing both in conjunction has been the best.

 

I hate to think I’m copying anyone, and it’s tricky with yoga, because there are only so many poses and so many ways to string them together. There is no copyright on yoga, although I believe Mr Bikram tried. And failed.

 

So, it’s not about copying my mentors. It’s about bringing more of this unpretentious version of yoga into the world.

 

It’s about getting butts on the mat. Because for anyone who’s tried it, you know! You know how good yoga is for your body and mind. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes.

 

I take inspiration from the Adriene’s and Jess’ who’ve come before me, as they took inspiration from their teachers.

 

And I do this to bring yoga into your living room. Bra-free and pants optional. You must be able to breathe, but no other prerequisites required.

 

I bring you these videos with love and a great desire to spread real yoga. And not ‘Real Yoga’ as a brand (although a nice thought), but real yoga. A connection to yourself, and through that, a connection with others and all that exists.

 

Too much?

 

Don’t even worry about it! Just move your arms and legs a bit and the rest will come.

 

I hope you enjoy the channel and the videos to come.

 

With love.

Check out the channel here.

 

 

 

 

Yoga on the Road

Part of being a yogi is keeping up with a regular practice. I’ve always kinda sucked at this, so I recently updated my routine.

 

It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and especially now that I don’t have a regular go-to-work-in-the-morning job, it became something I needed to do.

 

So, for the last month, I have woken up, NOT grabbed for my phone, poured myself a giant glass of water with a slice of lemon, I’ve done a bit of yoga, ranging from 10 minutes to one hour, and I finish the morning routine with five minutes of meditation and a quick journal entry of something I’m grateful for. Little bit cheesy, but it can’t hurt.

 

I love this new routine. And it has been really easy to adapt to. I’ve felt good about sticking to something, and the ‘not being on the phone’ part, means that the minute I’m awake, I’m up and out of bed, rather than scrolling mindlessly through social media and getting stuck in a Graham Norton YouTube spiral.

 

Travelling tends to mess with routine.

 

When I knew I was going on a two-week long trip, I also knew I wanted to keep up my morning ritual. Mostly because I know how easily I can fall into old traps.

 

For the first few days, I did it! But now, a whole week in, I may have started to fall.

 

Small hotel rooms, and days packed with kilometres upon kilometres of walking, and seeing and eating, has meant that I’ve slacked off.

 

But in the truest form of denial, here’s how I’ve been managing the ‘routine.’

 

Wake up, don’t look at phone:

This is easy. There is literally no time in the morning to scroll mindlessly. If I’ve been on my phone at all, it’s to take photos, and upload them in one foul swoop at the end of a destination. That way, I’m not being distracted daily with lots of notifications (which I do love to get, I mean, they’re travel photos, everyone loves a bit of that!), but my beloved Graham Norton has been placed on hold.

 

Drink water with lemon:

This I actually have done every day except for the last two mornings when we’ve been staying with family. I bought some lemons at the farmer’s market on our first day and they have seen me through this whole trip. Whilst staying with family though, we’ve been woken with fresh coffee, fruits, breads and conversation. The lemon water won’t mind.

 

Do yoga:

Again, I’ve been pretty good. *Squints eyes and grits teeth.

 

The length of time I’ve been able to practice has been a lot shorter, but even to move my body for ten minutes feels good. When I travel, I usually like to find a local studio to take a class, but since we’re really all over the place, it’s not happened this trip. Plus, my mama’s come all the way from Australia to travel with me, and I want to spend as much time with her as possible.

 

The mat has made its way out a few times, and in some cases, it’s been in front of the most beautiful locations. Yoga on the rocks of Hvar island overlooking the Adriatic? Thank you very much!

 

For those of you who find it a bit tricky to squeeze some mat time in on vacation, here are some tips:

  • Wake up earlier than you want to, and if you don’t want to, don’t worry about it!
  • Hallways work a treat as a space. As do beaches, balconies, and whatever amazing locations you visit when you’re away.
  • Didn’t pack a mat? You can use a towel.
  • Yoga doesn’t always have to be on the floor. Do some seated yoga while you’re in transit on those trains, planes and automobiles.
  • Yoga poses for photo-opportunities count.
  • Bed yoga counts. Always.

 

Five-minute meditation and gratitude journal:

Maybe I’ve not set aside an exact time to do this, and certainly the journal hasn’t moved from my backpack, but actually, meditation and gratitude has been a part of this trip.

 

Every time I’ve been at an incredible location, I take some photos, the occasional yoga pose and Alex hating (but graciously being) an Insta-boyfie, and whatever else I need to do… and then I just take it in.

 

The incredible beauty of mountains, and coast lines, and architecture. The delicious taste of local food and wine. The brilliance of cultures past and present. Take a moment. Take a breath. Meditate on the surroundings and be grateful that you’ve found your way to these astonishing places.

 

The routine will be there again when I’m home, but while I’m away, it’s less important to feel like a dedicated yogi and more important to just feel.

 

Lazy is not a Dirty Word

I’ve been ‘working’ from home for a little while now. What have I achieved? Maybe not as much as I would’ve liked.

 

I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel riddled with anxiety with the thought that I should be doing more, earning more, hustling more. But sometimes, I just can’t get motivated.

 

And not every day. Some days are great. I’ve done a really good yoga session, the dogs have had a huge walk, I’ve achieved all my chores, written a blog, my class made me some coin. Some days are brilliant.

 

Other days, I don’t leave bed until midday, and from bed, make my way to the couch, and bust out three seasons of Transparent.

 

These days make me feel bad.

 

And why, you ask, don’t I just get up off my ass and do the things I do on the ‘good’ days? Well, I can’t quite answer that question. I know I should be doing yoga, and grocery shopping, and all the other things on my list. But all I want to do is be still.

 

I know I’m not alone in these grey days. And not alone in the feelings of guilt and judgement that comes with them. I mean, there’s always something we could be doing, right?

Maybe not.

 

Our brains and bodies need rest. Being busy has become standard. We love telling people how busy we are, what the rest of our day/week/month consists of. Lazy is a dirty word. But maybe we need to give ourselves the time to be inactive. To rest. And to not feel bad about resting. Not to make it worse by telling ourselves we’re lazy and unmotivated and should be doing more. We need to acknowledge what our bodies are telling us they need. What our minds need.

 

I watched the movie, ‘Christopher Robin’ the other day, and Winnie the Pooh so wisely stated, that; “Doing nothing often leads to the best kind of something.” And I do tend to agree with him.

 

It is through my ‘nothing’ days that I’ve reassessed what I need to feel fulfilled in my day. The things that get me going and will prevent those grey thoughts from coming up. Whether it’s working at my local café, taking the dogs out for a bit, preparing dinner. Whatever it is. Sometimes it’s in the days of nothing that I find the clarity to come up with new ideas. My brain isn’t filled with ‘busy’ and I can really collect my thoughts and prioritise the rest of my week.

 

Not every day looks the same. When I’m having a motivated-mood day, I try to get as much done as I can. When I’m having a slumpy day, I let that be the case. I find that when I’m tired and bored, my work is tired and bored. I’m actually better off being lazy, watching a series or reading a book. Making copious amounts of tea, and somewhere in all that, finding the energy to make some food. When I’m feeling good, I notice it and appreciate it even more. I’m more aware of my body and mind, and can really feel that I feel better. I get things done, and often, the good days make up for the other ones.

 

Regardless of the mood, I try to do at least one activity every day that is the same. Whether it’s grabbing a coffee at my local, a 20 minute yoga practice, or walking the dogs. It’s in the repetition of habits that we leave space for our minds to get creative. We’re not overthinking, and we’re not overdoing, we’re just being, and when our brains are at ease we can usually come up with some pretty awesome ideas. Or even just remember to call your mum.

 

Being busy might make us feel productive, but doing nothing often leads to the best kind of something.