Image credit @cmbringle

I woke up on the 1st January inspired to experience more generosity in my life. I already consider myself to be a generous person by nature. The generosity that I am referring to is something deeper - a calling not just to share more authentically with others, but to give more of myself to myself.

I have a beautiful baby girl who just turned 8-months old. She is a treasure to me. We waited and worked through many hard years to have our daughter. She really is our miracle baby. Now that I am finally coming out on the other side of our “fertility journey” I am realising just how much I neglected myself - my true, authentic self - for all those years.

When I was in the trenches of unexplained infertility; and believe me, it felt like war sometimes, I was looking after myself for one purpose - to become a mother. I wasn't, however, taking very good care of my whole self; the me that is defined by so much more than fertile/infertile. I resented my body and my mind’s role in the experience of infertility. I took my supplements and ate REALLY well. I got plenty of rest and meditated to ease the monkey mind, but I was anything but generous with myself.

Through all those years I never truly gave myself the thing I most needed - my own acceptance, my own compassion and caring. There were very few kind words muttered to myself, “you are an amazing woman, no matter the outcome of all of this. You are strong and resilient. Your dedication to this dream of yours is inspiring.”

No, my inner dialogue, no matter how much I tried to shift it in the moment, was much more negative and depended completely on a successful outcome. Now that I am fully aware of this and know how vitally important it is to be generous, kind and loving to myself, especially now as a new mother with all my foibles and imperfections, my practice this year is to turn inward every day and pour some of that delicious unconditional love on myself.

To me this comes through in kind words/thoughts, self-care, quality time with my girl, being brave enough to ask for what I need, including time to recharge with mindful movement (yoga + pilates), enjoying a (hot) cup of coffee in the morning, napping when my girl naps - gosh my cup already feels so much fuller.

What quality defines the year you are creating in 2020?

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

In today’s modern society, Yoga is a form of practice you can squeeze into a busy schedule. A practice to (hopefully) bring you some sort of peace of mind, at least while you are on the mat. Unfortunately, the portrayal of yoga on social media has bastardised the true essence of this ancient way of life. You need not be 20-something, size zero and über flexible to walk the true yogic path. Promise.

To understand the essence of Yoga, we must look to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Patangali was a sage (mid 2nd century BCE) who went about compiling all the various teachings of Yoga that were present at that time. Within this text, Patanjali describes the eight limbs of Yoga. These eight teachings act as guidelines on how to live a life of meaning and purpose. You can think of the eight limbs as a system, that if followed, will direct one towards greater health and wellbeing through the uncovering of our spiritual nature. *

Here’s a brief description of the eight limbs:

Yama - the practice of restraint as it relates to ethical standards in society. For example, non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, etc.

Niyama - the practice of observation, particularly of our attitudes toward ourselves. For example, cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline, etc.

Asana - the comfort in being through the movements of postures. Aiming at the dual qualities of alertness and relaxation.

Pranayama - the conscious, deliberate regulation of the exhalation, inhalation, and the suspension of the breath, replacing unconscious patterns of breathing.

Pratyahara - withdrawing our senses from the external world and focusing the mind inward.

Dharana - concentrating the mind on one place, object or idea. The gathering and focusing of consciousness inward, leading to meditation.

Dhyana - continuous inward flow of consciousness on one point. Meditative absorption leading to complete stillness of the mind.

Samadhi - connection to the Divine; pure consciousness. When reached, it is a state of ecstasy and Absolute Peace. *

In the Western world, our Yoga practice tends to focus on Asana, Pranayama and Dharana. However, you may notice that Yama and Niyama are aspects that you naturally integrate as well.

Whether your path involves a full yogic lifestyle or the desire to just drop inward for an hour at a time on your mat, the most important component is that you find yourself on a path that brings you joy. Be the creator of a practice that is empowering to you. Move your body, connect with your breath, turn inward and shine outward.

At The Body Garage we offer different types of Yoga so that you can find an approach that suits you:

Hatha Yoga - Wednesdays at 9.15am, Saturdays at 7.30am. These classes offer an invigorating practice giving your body all it needs to feel energised. Exploring balance within each sequence to strengthen and activate through the mind and body. Winding down to finish with meditation and rest.

Vinyasa Flow + Restore - Tuesdays at 6.45am. Vinyasa is a style of Yoga in which each posture is connected through the breath, bringing consciousness into every transition. Even in stillness attention on the breath and the beating of your heart is still counted as your flow. These classes are created to build body awareness, strength, stability, flexibility - mind and body - and become effortless effort.

Yin Yang Fusion - Tuesdays at 6.45pm. Blending two approaches of yoga into one practice. The slow paced, long holds, deep fascia releasing postures with the free flowing body warming stronger postures. Creating peace and harmony within. Balancing the energies of the feminine and masculine.

Yin Yoga Restore - Sundays 6.30pm (as of Sunday 27th October). Holding postures in a mindful way allows the body to completely surrender to the present moment. Connect with the flow of breath, observe the body, become aware of sensations, emotions or feelings that may arise during the practice to gain a deeper understanding of the subtle energies and tensions we hold physically, mentally and emotionally in our everyday life.

Head to to book a mat.

All we ask is that you are open to letting go and turning inward.

Namaste - I bow to the divine in you.

*Huge thanks to Yandara for inspiring the description of the Yoga Sutras and Eight Limbs*

Perhaps you think of your weekly Pilates or Yoga class as a way to escape the daily grind or to give yourself a little bit of you time. You’d be right. That hour or so a week you spend on the mat is exactly that. However, it could also be so much more.

Did you know that everything you practice on the mat can be taken out into this dynamic, beautiful world that is your life?

In class you may explore how the breath can carry you through a movement or bring you into deeper stillness. A certain asana may require the steady focus of balancing on one leg. A movement sequence may highlight the subtleties of gently engaging the pelvic floor or placing all of your attention on a specific muscle group. We’ve all experienced how some days it all comes together easier than others.

What if, rather than just applying these learnings in class on your mat, you expanded this attention off of your mat? Most of our daily routines require some level of balance, strength and coordination. With each step we take, we are momentarily balancing on one foot. Our core is being called upon every time we get out of bed in the morning. With every movement, large or small, there is a perfectly coordinated dance between each of our muscle groups. We do the daily stuff without a thought. Now imagine if we brought some of the awareness we experience on the mat to those everyday movements and activities.

Next time you are waiting in line at the post shop, take a moment to check in with your body. Take a couple of deep breaths and notice your feet on the ground. Shift your feet so they are parallel and hip width apart. Explore sending your weight evenly down through your feet as you float your head toward the ceiling. On an inhale feel your ribcage expand through the front, sides and back as your lungs slowly fill with air, encouraging your spine to lengthen. When you exhale, allow your body to soften and draw your attention to your pelvic floor, feeling it lift upward and inward as your belly button draws gently towards your spine. Feeling into this grounded sense of support you’ve just created for yourself. Well done!

All of our classes at The Body Garage encourage you to slow down and connect to your body. See our full schedule here. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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