Yes you: the one who runs your own life and also seems to have to run everyone else's too. How do you chill out?
Here are some ideas from a self-confessed Very Organised Person.
Fiona is one of Australia’s leading specialists in Mindful Eating and the NonDiet Approach & supports eating in an individually tailored way that supports every person’s unique needs, in alignment with the HAES (Health At Every Size) (R) paradigm. I have a long working relationship with her business partner from Body Positive Australia, Sarah Harry, and to say I love what these ladies are about is an UNDERSTATEMENT.
But here's the weird thing: Fiona didn't know I'd been working with Sarah when she applied to this training! The world works in strange ways sometimes.
Did you see over on instagram that I tidied my yoga corner? And yes, I do sometimes wonder if I'm the only one with a spine, a skeleton, and Buddha sitting side by side.
Which summarises what I am craving when I go to yoga class: I want to feel embodied in movement but also learn something new. It might be a big ask. Maybe I'm fantasising about it more now than usual because I was in a car accident over the weekend.
Events like this do make you stop and think about life and your priorities.
In this next 'meet the graduate' interview, I talk to Dr. Sarah Jane Perri, chiropractor extraordinaire (I see her for treatments actually) and yoga teacher. Sarah undertook teacher training with us during her last year of chiropractic study which was truly impressive, as if a difficult degree at uni wasn't enough! Here she shares what she found tough but also what she found rewarding about our course.
Like I mentioned last week, it's SO GREAT when I run across people - like Lucy - who believe as I do that yoga is for everybody. It's also great when they can put their belief into practice by modifying the practice for people's needs. It's a skill that comes from knowing how human bodies work, I believe.
Have you experienced a number of teacher trainings? Have you thought about what you’d want in your first one? I'd love to know!
I know that back when I was doing my first teacher training, it was very evident to me how BAD THAT TRAINING WAS, EVEN while I was doing it.
I've never done well with the 'serene' image of yoga. Serene isn't something that comes naturally to me; I do yoga to become more like that. Naturally, I am in equal parts anxious and silly. The happier I am, the sillier I get.
Which is not a bad thing, in my (cough) humble opinion. In same opinion, I think the yoga world has a slight tendency to take itself too seriously.
It's not necessary.
In fact, I'd be suspicious of someone who claims to be spiritual, but lacks a sense of humour. If you've ever seen the Dalai Lama speak (and nobody's going to argue about his spiritual cred) you will know that he's got a great sense of humour.
If you find someone taking themselves too seriously - or trying to get you to - you may need to call on a mmYoga Superhero to save the day...
Superpowers: Sneakily getting you to work much harder than you expected by being cute and giggly. Helping people feel great again by means of Yoga. Dressing like a hipster & not being mocked for it.
Yoga is about finding balance, right? So if we're serious 50% of the time, the other 50% should be not so serious. I like to teach that way too. Anatomy and alignment cues, I'm dead serious. All the lame jokes and terrible metaphors I use, not so serious.
Superpowers: Reminding people how awesome they already are by means of Science. Helping people be more awesome by means of Yoga. Wearing knee socks and getting away with it.
Once, I farted while teaching a class. OMG! Embarrassing? I chose to laugh and say ‘well, sometimes that happens when we twist’, and just carry on with the class. From that moment on, I stopped trying to be such a serious yoga teacher. Yoga is a break from the hard grind of our daily lives; it's not about being rigid, or perfect or doing exactly the same thing as the person on the mat next to you. It’s about stepping out of what you think might be expected of you, and just doing what feels right for you right now (hopefully that won't usually be farting!)
Together they are: mm…Yoga Superheroes: the Retreat Crusaders.
You will have so much fun with them on our Bali Yoga Retreat in November - it's still early bird pricing till Aug 31, and there are still a few rooms left - hop to it!
PS We'd love if you post your #mmyogsuperheroes pics on instagram. Not just Karen and Suzy, but other team members and students - join us? You are a super-hero too!
Yoga retreats are simple holidays: you really don't need much in the way of clothing. Some yoga gear (the RIGHT type, I'll get to that in a moment), a swimsuit or two, and a couple of floaty dresses. Plus some sandals.
It's even easier for blokes: some shorts, some yoga gear, a t-shirt or two and maybe a collared shirt for night times.
I'm a light packer - I travel everywhere with carry-on sized luggage. And yet, the first time I went on retreat to Bali, I STILL managed to overpack. How, you ask?
Well, I thought I needed a bunch of stuff that I really didn't:
You know the worst of it? Because of the over-packing, I ended up with no space to stash any shopping. And Ubud is known for its shopping. What? Did I mention my shopping regret already? Oops...
Don't do like I did: be smart & take these suggestions from Yoga Journal:
Confession: we don't do 'detox' style yoga retreats. Mostly because we believe in enjoying one's holiday, and it's hard to do that when you are hungry.
So it will come as no real surprise to you that our yoga retreats are somewhat about the food. Ok, a lot about the food. Sunday mornings on retreat in Ubud are my favourite: black rice pudding for breakfast! Yes, dessert for breakfast!
What, I've earned it, I did yoga before-hand.
I've even found a way to recreate the yum at home in Melbourne. This wonderful gal has a recipe for the good stuff on her blog:
I've been to Bali - and Ubud in particular - three years in a row. It's no understatement to say I love it. And yes, perhaps (cough) I was slightly influenced to make that first trip by Elizabeth Gilbert's 2006 memoir, Eat Pray Love.
But it's not quite as the book (and indeed, the movie with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem) would have you believe. These five things, for example.
Or rather, it is not quiet. It's plenty serene, but the life of the island starts early - and noisily - with the roosters crowing in the dawn. And sometimes the dusk. And also every hour of the day. The roosters were a real shock the first time I went to Bali - they featured heavily in this article I wrote.
But it's easy to remember the place - Ubud especially - as being very quiet and still, because it's got such a laid-back vibe. I always come home from Bali super chilled out.
Let's be honest, ladies and gents. It's just not that likely you are going to meet your Javier Bardem. I mean, it MIGHT happen. And if it does, you better discuss with your partner how they want to handle that... but for now, let's just appreciate the amazingness that is the food of Ubud, shall we?
In the book, Liz Gilbert slips out of her lover's bed, still naked, to blissfully meditate first thing in the morning. Yes, you could do that too. Except: first you have to find the lover with the perfectly remote house (and possibly you have to dispatch of the roosters).
But who has time, with all the food that needs eating, the cocktails that need drinking, and the massages that need having? Not to mention the morning and evening yoga.
Given that she's just spent the best part of a year travelling, our heroine doesn't have much for formal wear, so she just wears her one black dress every night to go on dates with her hot latin lover.
She really didn't need to do that, because: shopping. Ubud is a mecca for fabulous quirky designer wear, usually ethically made. You just have to stroll down Monkey Forest Road one afternoon and you are likely to end up with three new pairs of yoga pants, some art, jewellery, and an amazing new frock. All for less than half what you'd pay in Australia.
In the book, GIlbert visits a healer who tells her she will be coming back. That turned out to be true - because she made it true, of course.
Like this Time article says:
Today, the ladies all are "very lucky." They will each live to be one hundred and ten. In fact, most days visitors to Ketut can expect the same reading, with minor variations, but few mind. Ketut Liyer is not just a healer famed among locals, but a leading character in American author Elizabeth Gilbert's 2006 memoir Eat, Pray, Love, and his bamboo mat is an almost necessary stop on Bali's increasingly popular spiritual tourist circuit.
Doesn't matter though. Ubud's people are among the friendliest I've ever encountered, and after just a few days, you will feel like family. Add that to the morning offerings to the gods, the daily yoga, and the warmth and ease of the place, and you are likely to find you didn't need a healer to be healed.
PS: Early bird pricing for our July retreat ends 31 May - book now!