When I first started yoga (back in 1999!!) I had no idea of its power. I was completely clueless to the fact that it was going to 'change my life'. It certainly changed my hamstrings and hips- being a exercise addict it was a 'yin' to match up with my 'yang' lifestyle..... i.e.,... I never stopped- in body and in mind (thats the 'Yang' bit), and really my life (my poor burnt out body and monkey mind) totally lacked any stillness, safety or nurturing - the 'Yin' bit.
I felt inspired to write today, so here I am!!!
I've just returned from my morning yoga class with a group of lovely ladies. The class as always has a lovely flow, I really enjoy teaching in this space, it always feels like a safe haven.
'Safe Haven' - mmmmm, I'm sure we are all feeling the affects of the recent tragic events in the world. I have felt very sad and unsteady. I know I am not the only one. It is real, it feels very real in my heart and I felt that it was important to take this on board as a yoga teacher, a light worker (this seems to be the latest term I am seeing pop up!), an advocate of health and wellbeing. How can we remain stable and balanced amongst this storm of chaos and threat.....
We can. From the inside we can. Our heads can get hot around the subject, our hearts closed and tight or open and vulnerable- all of this contributes to us being off balance in what feels like a roller-coaster ride of emotions....... a world at war (on our doorstep).
Where is the peace?
Its time to re-connect to the place of safety and peace within ourselves, within the storm of life. Not escaping it, expending energy over it, but going inward and retreating to our own peace that is always there, it just gets buried beneath all the harsh feelings we experience as part of humans in todays world. There is strength, stillness and quite inside, we just have to learn to sit with it and be there, sink into it and allow our mind to be soothed there. The more that we can do this the more we can feel we can cope with everything that is happening around us. (everyday life and so on)
I was inspired by my dear friend and yoga teacher Dawn Taylor following last nights class that she themed around the heart, She said things like 'can we think, speak and act from the heart and not the head?' 'can we take the head out of it and go straight to the centre of compassion and love- at the heart?'. Well the practice did just that for me as the power of the class has resulted in me today feeling much more balanced and stable. This is the strength yoga brings.
Today I wanted the focus to be about the inside landscape and not the outer- for I am sure at the moment we are bruised by what is going on, and often it becomes there in our minds, and we forget to bring ourselves back to who we are, our family and friends and how we can be steady and stable for them, for ourselves, to be able to cope. We are sensitive. Its ok to be sensitive but we also have to remember to check-in with ourselves in times when we feel like the whirlwind of devastation is sucking us in and swirling us round...
My final words in class today were:
'Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu'
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
Please click here if you would like to read up more....
Thanks for reading and blessing of love and peace to you all. Julie xx
Please get in touch if you are interested in yoga/meditation or private mentoring with me, I run group classes, meditation evenings and retreat days as well as one to one for more specific outcomes.
I look forward to hearing from you.
With open arms she ignites her own inner fire
She propels forward into a world of mystery and judgement WITHOUT FEAR
Leaving behind the shell of the once-was
She believes 'today is a new day' its the day to shine this new light
Yesterday was the space for lessons and dreaming
Forward onto the earth her feet land softly and strong
She feels the warmth and glow, the security and safety that life gives her, with trust she bows down
Honoring the Universe thankyou, gratitude for every experience so far
For she has stepped out
Stepped out to truly live, the once was numbness of life has emerged into feeling
As her flame grows she opens up to the new world of the Divine
New beginnings and old lessons learned for the journey to continue
Bringing her to this place where she lives her truth
There lies the truth in her inner beauty and light
There is no judgement
She moves gracefully through life stoking her inner fire through her work
There are no rules
For this life has no boundaries for brilliance
it is built on a landscape of love
Love for all beings
In the buds of growth we emerge again and again
Lifting up, opening out and shining light onto those with vulnerability and thirst for the real magic of life
Their time is now
Flames that will grow and burn anger, regret, fear, loss, pain
To come into this place with this belief
'Today is a new day its the day to shine this new light
I almost feel like I have been in a fairy-tale dream. I haven't. Its all happened. Its all very REAL.
I have been bursting to share with you my most recent branch of work - or rather 'Role'
TAKE FIVE LEAD TRAINER FOR NOTTS - I had to put this in capitals as it feels this important to ME
So what actually am I buzzing on about. Well in October my path as a self employed yoga teacher (with a whole host of aspirations and intentions) crossed with an Angel, aka Helen Whitney. From that day we agreed that it was all supposed to be like this as I really wanted to get out there with my childrens work, and she needed a grounded and experienced teacher to be involved in delivering practices in schools and the community of WORKSOP. SOLD. ME.100% no need to go any further, I was IN!!!
Shortly after that I met with Mark Lilly who had flown all the way from the US to meet up with Helen, they had formed Each Amazing Breath - and they meant business. In the business of helping children and families better themselves. Building strength, resilience, growing and standing in your own power. WOW. I was hooked. I totally got it.
I could not WAIT to get started. I attended several meetings with various people over the months to discuss the hows and whens. I watched Mark in a gaze of amaze. I felt uplifted and full of energy just being around this super charged, kind, caring and knowledgeable dude. Its ok to call him a dude as he is so COOL in his way of addressing subjects such as trauma and poverty, loss, disadvantages and how his practices have saved and turned around thousands . The kids love him and he just has the lingo with us English folk (cracking lots of jokes around the theme of 'Tea').
My part came in as an extra, assisting Mark and Helen, listening, watching, being very present! Then I was ready and had my wings firmly in place to fly. I visited every class in Sparken Hill to share practices with all children. I then supported teachers and grew with the project as I stepped up to design, deliver and train year 5 and 6 pupils on the Ambassador Program. This has been one of the most AMAZING things I have done or seen in my LIFE. These children were teaching other classes, sharing practices and then starting to design their own practices. Alongside this local residents came together over 4 weeks at the Chaos to Calm project I designed. Huge things happened!! Lots of chatting, breathing, sharing, laughing.
My world was full of gratitude as I saw everything coming together thanks to the hard work of Helen, Mark, teachers and of course the children with their enthusiasm and smiles. They were feeling calmer, seeing the practices (the breath) as a tool for life, helping with struggles, arguments, problems - anything to bring them in the moment. Truly inspiring.
Today it was like the big finale. Or rather the birth of the success of the project as we saw for ourselves the collection of amazing positive impact, children teaching, sharing, the film, evaluations from the CSL program for parents, there was no room for questioning the effectiveness, sustainability or impact this will have on Worksop. It was a pleasure, a 'pinch yourself moment' as I had the opportunity to meet a lovely man, retired doctor and now the High Sheriff of Nottingham who was very impressed, we awarded certificates to the excited proud year 6 Ambassadors from Priory School.
So, dreams do come true. Intentions if believed do grow from their seed into a beautiful blossoming tree if they are watered daily with 'I CAN, I WILL'
Check out the website HERE
Its so 'busy' in the Yoga World right now.... things are hotting up, flexing and moving as we fast approach a milestone in the history and future of YOGA! (drum role.....).....'International Yoga Day' 2015!!..... the first ever, to sit amongst the other (less interesting and somewhat useless!) days to honour respect and celebrate. All around the world yoga schools and projects are coming together to share and celebrate their love for this transformational science of life.
Click HERE to see a beautiful mini film on Yoga
or HERE for more inspiration about Yoga
For 'Jules in Yoga' this week has been amazing - on the scale a ten out of ten. I've been touched deep in the heart, felt blessed and high on life to see for myself the positive impact yoga is having on people I teach. As part of a Home Office funded community project I am collaborating with Mark Lilly founder of Street Yoga USA to run a 'Chaos to Calm' course with 8 local people. After one session feedback is phenomenal.
'I've tried the practices and I do feel much calmer this week, my usual worry and anxiety isn't there'
'I fell asleep trying the body scan' 'I feel free!' 'I feel taller and I am walking straighter' faces were brighter, relaxed smiles appearing- these people realise that something as simple as breathing slowly, being in the now and just being with themselves in having a huge difference to how they feel and think - after one week.
This just re-affirms for me the power of this work, and the simplicity of it bringing such life changing results. Imagine how these people will be in 4 weeks time?!
So, thats one element of my work this week, plus I also decided to put my own 'spin' on this celebration by calling it 'Grow with Yoga' - my mini project was an opportunity to find out what it means to those that come to my classes - how they are growing with yoga. I have around 30 slips of paper with heartfelt comments and feedback about how yoga is helping them in their everyday life, having an impact on them.... as one great Yogi said yoga only begins on the mat....
Children have also astonished me this week, part of the Take 5 at School project gave me the opportunity to teach mini practices in a local junior school a few months ago, teachers then mirrored this work and I returned yesterday to share with a group of 10 pupils - we sat and breathed together, we did yoga, we jumped about, we chatted and discussed breathing and why they like doing this in school.
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G TIMES. 'Feeling calmer' 'helps if you need to take time out' 'It will help my stressed parents' 'I can teach it to my 3 year old sister' 'i feel so relaxed and light'
These kids are now going to become 'mini teachers' as I teach them further TOOLS so that they can confidently go into classes and deliver these short breathing practices. WOW. WOW.WOW. Its so natural to them which is what struck me the most..........
This is dreaming and manifesting at its best. This was exactly what I put on the tin for my new horizons with yoga and children. More to follow on this exciting work soon. For now I am swimming in a bubble of pure happiness from seeing the fruits of this work/my work unfold into my local community. This is how world peace starts.
Hi there lovely people......
2014 is history, 2015 is a mystery and here we are in the beginning of our new chapter in dark and cold January. So dare I ask.....who's a fan of January?? I used to really dread it, hate it, wish every day away. This was when I was stuck in a job and felt the grind of mundane working life. I knew life had more to offer me and I had more to offer life. I wasn't truly living my passion, aligning with my higher self. After many years this month now signals fresh excitement and boundless enthusiasm as another year arrives and I am full of ideas, rearing to set intentions, work on myself through dream boards and workbooks to start manifesting my truth more. If January doesn't do it for you and its just about getting through the month, finances are down, the twinkle of Christmas cheer is over, excitement of it all has melted and you are left facing reality and its bleak its sad that many many people feel this way in life.
It's the job, the relationship, other people, general, specific. Whatever it is have you ever thought that you have the power to change this??? Well of course you do because it all starts with your thoughts - your state of mind. The more you change how you see something, change your perception of it you have the winning ticket to more freedom and happiness.
Can you take the focus to what is good in your life and visit this every day, even add to it. What about a few 'wishes' I am going to be positive, I'm not going to complain, I'm going to come from the heart and have more love and less anger and frustration, I am a kind caring person who attracts like for like. It takes time, belief and trust that it works. Its a gamble but its free and just takes a few minutes of your heart and mind. Many great people use this philosophy- most successful business people, millionaires have switched to this way of thinking, ancient wisdom with a few new twists.
Once you re-write your thoughts you actually do re-wire the way your brain works (this has been scientifically proven!!)..The simple rule is to have faith and focus focus focus. Keep repeating over and over what you want, who YOU are going to be, you can be anything because each thought attracts a similar thought and it snowballs.
Take a few minutes to write down a few words about yourself, ask a few friends how they would describe you. If you don't like what they say then you know what words you will choose to focus your attention on. Give yourself a new label. You deserve it. Wear it, own it, show it off because this is how the law of attraction works. The more you put attention on something the more it will be mirrored. (**Note it works both ways too so avoid the negative self hate talk!!!**)
I've completed my two dream boards already using words and pictures from magazines to outline who I am, what I want, its may seem crazy but this is how you set out those intentions and goals, and as long as you stay true to them then watch things change and flow to you.
let me know your progress, or for further advice drop me a line.................
Good luck and have fun shaping your year ahead. Peace, Faith and Love J
I'm back!! Fighting strong after what has been an awfully long week. I wont go on about it as I know we are all fed-up of hearing 'sick stories' but having been so exhausted I had nothing else to do but think, reflect and evaluate, and its highlighted some important messages to myself that should be at the top of my to do list for the new year.
- Asking the question 'What lights you up the most? So what are you waiting for Jules??!! COME ON!! 2015 is anticipating your greatness!!!
- You have a blank script, you hold the pen and have a pot full of ink so go create........
- How much energy is wasted on the things you have no control over, the people that you know won't change? TOO MUCH!!! Repeat, repeat repeat "focus on your goals, your life, your story because after all this is the bit that matters to you and the bit you have most control over! " the less worrying and energy wasting over what you can't change the better.
- Re-visit the faithful journal and gratitude list, without it life gets sludge and you get stuck. Always a great way to connect with open awareness (as Deepak Chopra calls it) rather than constricted awareness which stalls all our creativity and growth in life, from being who we really want to be and feel at our highest being.
- Nothing is ever permanent including how c**p you feel so sit it out and dream ahead to the happier healthier you again!!
.............now all this wasn't simple by any means. I curled up and went a little numb to the world for a day or so. Maybe I needed this? who knows but I like what its brought up for me!! Now that's turning a negative into a pot of goodness
THANKS U xxxx
So what's your stuff for 2015????? Be inspired to charge into 2015 armed and ready with ideas, with passion and a desire to be the person you were here to be.
Till next time you beautiful souls..................... this is how I feel about the coming year....!! ..and so should you xxx
This year feels different. It feels weird. I'm not battling in the traffic in my 9 to 5 job like previous years of the build up to the big C. My eyes are well and truly open. I feel, I notice. I appreciate life SO much more than ever. I no longer live on 'auto pilot' just settling for 'this is the way it is'. How many people live like this? Its horrifying to think that we think its ok to be stressed most days, its ok to keep plodding on with stress, anxiety, pent up anger, with hate, with guilt, with regret, with dismay. Strong words but hey there are plenty of thousands of thousands of people that live this way.
I met a few lovely people yesterday a group and we talked about busy lifestyles. I was shocked to hear this 'I don't like to relax properly or completely because then I think too much about things I don't want to think about'. I went quite for a moment but internally I was thinking how sad. I want to help people get past this barrier!! The barrier being them......
I was approaching the discussion coming from my own experience of how different life can be once you address those voices, those thoughts, those things that are pushed down or hidden away. They will rear their ugly head some day, if they don't they manifest in your body, your behaviour, the way you are with yourself and those in your life- and in a detrimental way. This will eat you up and spit you out, or make you bitter and unhappy, unfulfilled and truly living, How can you ever feel free with all that weight on you.
We all carry stuff. We all have a back pack or unwanted c**p!
How can we allow ourselves, trust ourselves to go there without the upheaval in life??
Firstly we need to believe its safe to do so. We don't have to work it all out but by acknowledging it we will start to realise and admit how much it is stalling us in life. Just by slowing down, breathing well and being quite with ourselves we actually over time notice the small insignificant stuff goes away. Those little things that actually really aren't that important in the scheme of things. We call it sweating the small stuff. We ask for this quite space and nothing else.
The big stuff.........start a programme of support. Begin something that slowly allows you to be with yourself quietly. As you do more of this (5 mins a day!) it gets easier and you feel lighter and less under the chains of those busy thoughts. Yoga, EFT, (Emotional Freedom Technique) Meditation and breathing, starting a journal to write down how you feel and how you WANT to feel - SET AN INTENTION. Ask yourself what person you WANT TO BE NOW? Its possible to be that person (happier, calmer, free) - its all on you to do begin it. Don't park it until its too late - be proactive and go do something to begin your this new attitude towards the you that you are craving to be.
AMAZING! this is the feedback that was shared with me this week from a lady who has just started yoga for the first time. We sat and talked about 'life' for about ten minutes and how we never hold onto the stillness, we avoid it, make excuses for it, leave it at the bottom of the list, or don't even add to the list at all! Oh Noooooooo (putting head in hands here) our modern day living is pushing us into the wrong spaces where we can't breath or don't breath, we hold on, we panic, we expect, we surge, we judge.............. yet all we need to do is BREATH. STOP. 'Hit the pause button on life' is one of my favourite sayings. My simple question was 'How did you feel last week after class?' and what a great response: 'It's that feeling you get when you are on holiday, that ahhhhhh'. Often when we take a break away from the busy schedule and business of everyday hamster wheel life we start to feel much more relaxed, our worries are left at the airplane door or at the airport, or even at home. You allow yourself to stop, to become aware of your surroundings, real awareness of time and space kicks in as you settle into life feeling a sense of 'freedom' and ahhhh.
So the big question is how we can replicate this feeling whilst chasing our tails day in, day out? One woman in a recent mindfulness workshop said 'After sitting and breathing I feel like everything has slowed down, like I have more time'. She went on to explain that her mad hour in a morning was getting so stressful, leaving the house without breakfast or a drink, arriving at work with her head 'all over' and feeling generally out of control. She started to make time to be still, for a few minutes each day, just breathing and practicing being 'in the moment'. So many days down the line she started to notice how day by day things were getting easier, she felt more in control and calmer, eventhough she had the same amount of tasks to do in the same time. She eventually had time to sit and have a cuppa!! nobody came in and stopped the clock. It was her MINDSET. The practice of stillness creates more stillness in the mind. It makes room in a cramped up space. The brain fires up and re-wires itself (this is scientific- its been proven!).
Your life starts to be less frantic because YOU feel less cluttered, you can experience true stillness and this bleeds out into everyday life. This is why I always say doesn't begin and end on the mat, yoga hasn't finished when you leave, its magic continues because you've created space, your cells have been changed, your chemical make-up, you will subtly start to see and feel and notice the world around you differently. The fact is we have no control over our outside world, other people, situations but we do have control over our breath, our thoughts and our speech. The integration of stillness in our life can help us transform from stressed, anxious, troubled to happier, lighter and balanced if we just stop, pause and breath more effectively. Yoga is a great way to really bring yourself truly into the now and be in your own body and nowhere else, that one hour or so does its work for many more hours after, and over time life isn't so hectic and there can be more space and freedom, like being on a holiday and taking the time out. NOTICE FEEL BE.
Get in touch if you are inspired to start yoga, meditation or want to learn how to breath!
I love to hit the pause button, to sit and just be, but I know this is not possible or even given a thought by many of us. I love teaching children and have just returned from my new group 'Yogarama' with 9 bright and enthusiastic children. They are much better than us at paying attention - or rather being 100% involved in something that they easily lose track of time, space etc. However, when doing yoga relaxation with them this can be a huge task. Being still and quiet. Are some children afraid of being still? Maybe their lives are so full, so busy, moving dashing here and there- maybe that's all they need sometimes just quite, still and time to reflect a little; the space to do so - they all said at the end they felt 'happy' after a good 5 minute relaxation!
Also tonight we stood still opposite our friend with our eyes shut and we imagined a rainbow coming from our heart and spilling into our friends. We breathed smoothly and slowly and noticed how it felt. Every child surprisingly engaged with this. Afterwards we shared how we felt: 'happy' 'calm' 'colourful' 'thoughtful' 'kind' 'friendly' it was so beautiful to hear their feedback. Such a simple exercise yet so powerful. One boy called it the Rainbow Power exercise. We talked about how we could send the Rainbow out to people when they seem sad or unhappy and brighten them up. I wonder if we ask our children enough about their feelings, stop and give them the space to really share how they feel about themselves and life things may change for our children today?
I am just loving how yoga sessions can open up and give children a safe space to share and explore and experiment with ways of letting go of (their words tonight) 'being let down' 'angry' 'mad' 'sad' 'arrrrr!' The creativity of sharing exercises are powerful in helping each child see that they too experience similar feelings and worries, and its ok.
If you have a child that you think would benefit from some yoga get in touch for more information. Lets help our children live, dream and grow confident, happy and healthy in their minds and bodies.