There are so many research studies emerging about the benefits of yoga and meditation for managing the symptoms of stress, trauma, depression and anxiety. It is with this in mind that I designed the six week course "Yoga for Mental Health". I have experienced (and continue to experience!), firsthand, the transformative nature of yoga and meditation, both in my own life and that of my clients.
The course begins with a one-on-one with me, Tabatha, where I get to know you and we explore an initial yoga and meditation practice specifically tailored for you. Then, over the ensuing six weeks, we experiment with a sequence of yoga forms and meditative practices. Each week builds on the week prior, so that at the end of the course you have a yoga sequence and the foundations of a meditative practice that you can take with you and build on.
The symptoms of stress, anxiety, trauma and depression are experienced on multiple layers of our being. It is not only our mind that is effected, we store these things in our body. Talk and drug therapy can go a long way to helping many people, but they may not help everyone or go far enough. Yoga can be a wonderful adjunct to therapy precisely because it helps us get into our bodies and it's sensations.
When someone is overwhelmed by stress or anxiety, there are a host of physical sensations that accompany the racing mind - shortness of breath, sweating, muscle tension and/or headaches. If one can enter those sensations, tenderly and thoughtfully, often just the act of attending to them makes them more bearable.
Trauma is also not just in our minds, but our physical body as well. People who have suffered traumatic events may have learned that the body is not a safe place and that physical sensations are too overwhelming. This can lead to hyper-arousal or a deadening of bodily awareness, a sensible adaption during the traumatic event, but not so adaptive in the long-term.
Depression can be experienced as a lack of feeling altogether, like the world just can't reach or touch you. Andrew Soloman describes that the "opposite of depression is not happiness, it is vitality." Yoga and meditation may assist in a return to vitality.
In this six week course we will explore ways to tenderly attend to our minds and bodies. We will work to re-establish a safe connection with ourselves, our senses and our physical sensations. We
If you are interested, please book in soon. There are only a couple of spaces remaining in the Wednesday night class.
Please note that I am not a Registered or Clinical Psychologist. I do know some very good ones though, and I am happy to provide referrals.
Our lives are so full. And there is so much to celebrate and delight in about that fact! But sometimes we need some time out, a chance to retreat from and reflect on our lives. That is why Mark Scott from MindFlowMethod, Catalina from Yoga with Cata and I are offering our next retreat at Ulurumaya in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. We have all experienced the transformative effects of retreat ourselves and we love the opportunity to share our passion with others!
Personally, I find time to retreat at least once a year, more often if I can swing it! As the mother of two small children, a wife, a teacher and coach, I give a lot of myself to those I love. But I cannot continue to give if I myself am depleted. So, in addition to my daily practices (walking, yoga and meditation), I carve our chunks of time to devote wholly and solely to myself. And when I come back from these breaks I am re-energised and excited about my life! I can appreciate my life more fully because I have time out.
When was the last time you took some time out? We would love to have you join us. To register, go to http://www.nourishedsoulnow.com/ulurumaya-retreat.html
Permission to Rest
In this wild and wonderful time that we are living, there is a great emphasis put on DOING. We often define ourselves by what we've accomplished. We fill our days with the multitude of things we need and/or want to achieve. Even our free time we over-schedule and fill up with DOING.
So, when we take time out, when we create space to rest and renew we are committing a radical act, swimming upstream against the current of our time. Take time to delight in just BEING can often bring up "judgy" inner voices that tell us we are lazy and self-indulgent.
But rest we must. And by taking time out from our the busy-ness of our lives we reap a number of physical and spiritual benefits. Physically we activate our parasympathetic nervous system (PSN) and so experience improved immunity, mental clarity, digestion and overall sense of well-being. We are also offered the opportunity to touch our inner wisdom and feel deeper integration.
Come give yourself the gift of BEING and savour the transformative power of rest on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:30pm at Living Yoga Sanga in Mullumbimby, NSW, Australia.
Last week I attended a four day Restorative Yoga Teacher Training. I came away from this training with a renewed reverence for the healing and transformative power of restorative yoga. With our body well-supported and comfortable, we can go deeply within ourselves to soothe our nervous system, boost our immunity and touch our inner essence. It is for this reason that I have decided to shift my focus and my weekly class in the direction of quiet, support and stillness.
Restorative Yoga is the perfect compliment to more active asana, but also holds real merit as a complete practice in and of itself. Come join me Wednesday nights from 6:00-7:30 to discover the benefits for your body, your spirit and your life.
This guided meditation is perfect for any time you are feeling stressed, frustrated or overwhelmed. I guide you to release and soften your body and your breath, leaving you feeling more relaxed and soothed. Please enjoy and let me know what you think!
This 15 minute guided meditation gives you permission to daydream, to explore your inner space and fulfill your desires in a safe place. I would love to know how you find this meditation. Please share your experiences!
I am so very excited about an upcoming event at Living Yoga Sanga! Our first Sound Meditation and Restorative Yoga was really well received. Afterwards everyone looked very blissed out and expressed how much they enjoyed the combination of healing sound and restorative yoga. It was so well received that we will regularly be putting this event on every third Saturday! Come join us to soothe your nervous system and relax deeply into your inner sanctuary.
I wish I had a luscious weekend retreat for every time I have heard the above quote (I'd be on holidays forever!), or some variation of it, such as: "I can't sit still", "My mind is too busy" or "I have too many thoughts to meditate".
Through popular media and many meditation teachings, we have received the message that meditation has a goal and that is a quieter mind. Apparently thoughts are undesirable and in meditation we should avoid, subvert or release them.
Who gave us these rules? And why do we abide by them when we head into our private inner space?
It breaks my heart when I hear people denying themselves the restful, healing, revitalising, and nourishing practice of meditation because of some idea that we have to be somebody or something other than ourselves when we meditate. There is no reason that we cannot think thoughts. Did you know that thoughts, along with emotions, memories, fantasies and feelings are all part of meditation?! And the skills of meditation do not mean denying, ignoring or shaming any parts of ourselves. The techniques of meditation for people who live and love in the world include welcoming and inviting all of our experiences - including our senses, sensations, emotions and instincts - to the internal party of meditation.
There are as many techniques for meditation as there are stars in the sky, and yet just a few have been popularised. When those few common techniques don't suit our particular lifestyle or individual constitution, many of us, sadly, give up on mediation. We blame ourselves rather than the technique (we are such good-natured souls) for our inability to meditate in that particular way.
The good news is, there are meditation doorways that will lead each and every one of us into the sanctuary of our inner space. The beauty of meditation, the astounding fact of the matter is, that in meditation, as in no other aspect of our lives, we can be completely and totally who we are. Sometimes we need a bit of coaching about how to be welcoming, loving and inviting to all that is us. But the rewards are far reaching and effects all aspects of our lives.