Ahimsa

As many of you know there is more to yoga than just a physical practice. That's not to say you can't participate in only the physical practice, however the internal work that we can practice while on the mat can be transformative off the mat, helping to encourage feelings of peace, confidence and happiness.

April's focus in the studio is Ahimsa. 

'A' translates as 'without'
'Himsa' translates as 'to harm'
This is often translated as non-harming, or non-violence and is the first of the yogic principles.

Ahiimsa

Ahimsa could appear like one of the easiest yamas if looking at the big picture as we don't go around hitting or killing the people around us, but what if you start taking the idea of ahimsa to the smaller things we do everyday. What if we look at ahimsa through the lens of how we treat ourselves and others both in thoughts and in actions.

Over the next 4 weeks in the studio we'll be exploring the practice of ahimsa alongside our physical practice. We'll explore ahimsa in thoughts and actions, and seek to practice ahimsa through balance and courage.

Mantra: Overcoming Doubt

This week’s mantra helps us to overcome self doubt. Self doubt is often rooted in fear: fear of what others might think, fear of failure, even fear of success.

Mantra Doubt

To overcome this doubt we must learn to trust in ourselves. To help with this, our mantra this week both in the studio meditations and off our mats is ‘I am confident because I trust in myself’

Repeat it often (even when you don’t feel it!). Don’t let self doubt stand in the way of you being you, of you following your dreams, or stop you from putting your ideas out into the world!

Journal: Overcoming Doubt

This week's journal questions are exploring self-doubt - grab your journal or your computer and get ready to write.

As always these answers don't need to be shared with anyone. Don't censor or edit yourself, let the words flow and explore how you feel about the questions raised.

Doubt Journal

Recall a situation where you regularly doubt yourself.
How does it feel physically?
How does it make you feel emotionally/mentally?
What is the result of this self doubt? (both the time spent in self doubt and the way it effects the final result of what you intended to do).

Self doubt often stems from fear; What is it that you're afraid of when you're doubting yourself?
What can you do to reduce the amount of time spent doubting yourself?
Name something you will do each time doubt arises to combat the negative thoughts and move forwards with confidence.

Overcoming Doubt

DoubtIn one of our flow classes recently I guided the yogis into a challenging transition. This transition was not dangerous in any way and I knew everyone present well enough to know that each of them was physically capable of what I was teaching, and were aware of a simpler transition available if they didn't want to try it.

Each of them followed my cues and transitioned to the pose. I didn't pay attention to whether they 'did it perfectly', that wasn't the purpose of the transition - the important thing in that moment was that each of them tried something that was difficult. They gave it their best and went for it, despite knowing that it might not have the outcome they'd hope for. The best part of the practice was that all of the yogis were smiling and were so happy and proud that they'd tried it.

I wondered why, on that day, everyone had gone for this transition when usually there is hesitation and the option to take the simpler transition is taken by most. One of them mentioned afterwards that I had given them no indication that the difficult transition was coming. We hadn't stopped for a breath to prepare, and I hadn't given extra cues or words of encouragement.

They had no time to doubt themselves.

There was no time to tell themselves stories about it being too difficult for them. They had no time to ponder on how they were afraid to do it. They didn't talk themselves into believing it was something they couldn't do. They weren't worried about perfect results.

In the ancient scripts of yoga, there are 9 obstacles (kleshas) in life, both on and off the mat. One of those obstacles is samshaya or doubt.

Doubt makes us get in our own way. We tell ourselves stories that we're not good enough so often that we start to believe them. These limiting beliefs stop us from attempting tasks and challenges. We worry about the results not being perfect so end up not taking action at all.

We can never succeed when we doubt ourselves. When it comes to achieving our goals, imperfect action is better than procrastination and inaction.

This week in the studio we'll bring our awareness to doubt and practice overcoming it with new stories of self confidence and belief. What we practice on our yoga mat is certain to help us off the mat to reach our personal, health, and professional goals.

See you in the studio!

Gemstones for Focus

If you need to bring focus to your daily life it’s time to wear (or carry) tiger eye. We’re here to help make that possible with our energy collection of hand made jewelry. 

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Tiger eye is a powerful balancing stone, allowing the wearer to bring thoughts and emotions together in a way that can be understood.

A stone of stability and focus, it allows you to be to be logical rather than emotional, and helps you to accomplish goals and make positive changes in life.

Tiger eye is effective in soothing internal conflict associated with jealousy and pride. It allows the wearer to truly understand their abilities and talents by healing issues of self-criticism and feelings of unworthiness.

Tiger eye is beneficial for anyone who finds it difficult to remain optimistic as it encourages hope and confidence for the future. Meditating with tigers eye encourages a well-grounded and peaceful meditation.

This stone is available in our store as a knotted necklace, stackable single bracelet or 5-wrap mala bracelet as well as a leather wrap - so many styles to choose from!

This highly versatile stone is available in matte or gloss finish - message us for a custom design made especially for you. To purchase any of these designs go to the shop tab and explore! If an item is out of stock or not available in your size, please message me and I will be happy to make one for you.

Journal: Dristi

This week our practice on and off the mat is the exploration of drishti/gaze and focus. If you haven't already checked out our article about drishti below, take a few minutes to read it before considering the journal prompts for this week.

Journal drishti

 

Grab your journal or open a new word document on your computer, turn off distractions and set your timer for 15 minutes of writing. Don’t filter yourself or worry about doing this wrong or right; journaling is an opportunity to explore your thoughts about something and to dig deeper without judgment.

STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE:
Playing it safe is, well, safe but can stop us from growing to our full potential. What would you like to do that you're afraid to try?
Why are you afraid to try?
How will you feel in years to come if you never make any attempts to reach your goal or dream?
Name something you will do this week to step closer to that goal or dream.

CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE:
Feel free to do a forward fold or downward facing dog for a few long breaths and take in the world from a different point of view before coming back to your journal.
What limiting belief about yourself do you need to turn on its head?
Create a more positive statement can you replace this belief with and note it down.

Namasté
Shona

Affirmations for Focus

Drishti image

This week's affirmations are related to focus & drishti - pick one for the week and use it as a positive reminder any time you feel like you're getting off track.

I am calm and focused in all that I do.

I channel my focus into this present moment.

I know that energy flows where attention goes.

I forgive myself for past mistakes

I release the need to compare myself to others

7 Benefits Of Yoga Drishti दृष्टि On And Off The Mat

In a yoga practice the Sanskrit word 'drishti' refers to our gaze or focus and can also mean a vision, a point of view, intelligence and wisdom. Applying drishti in a the physical poses can make the difference between finding balance and wobbling or falling over but it's benefit reaches far beyond the mat. Whether you're new to yoga or have been practicing for years, learning to apply a steady drishti can benefit our lives both on and off the mat

Drishti

BALANCE: 

Drishti helps us to focus on a single, steady point during balancing postures that can help to balance us physically. If our gaze is wandering all over or settles on something that is moving, we will not achieve our goal. Off the mat, if we do not know what we're working towards in life, we lose sight of our goal, or if the goal keeps shifting we will not find stability or progress in the direction of our dreams.

STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE:

In challenging poses like half moon, a steady gaze to the earth can help us balance, though once we feel stable we are encouraged to challenge ourselves and shift the gaze to the top hand. If you're safe and stable with the downward focus point, you may feel uncomfortable shifting the gaze and be afraid of falling out of the pose. Practicing this uncomfortable shift helps us off the mat as it encourages us to challenge ourselves even if there's a chance we could fail. It encourages us to shift from our comfort zone to pursue something we're reaching for, even though it may feel uncomfortable and difficult.

CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE:

Often in life we get fixed in our ways and in our ideas of how things are. The yoga mat is a great place to shift our perspective by turning the world upside down in a forward fold or downward facing dog. Off the mat this encourages us to dare to look at things from a point of view.

DON'T LOOK BACK:

In a crow pose, if you look back at your feet it's likely that you'll land on your head with a bump. In this pose we learn how important keeping our gaze just in front of us is so that we can move forwards into it. Off the mat, if we focus only on the past and things that are behind us, we are unable to find lightness in the moment or move forwards in life.

STAY IN YOUR LANE:

Sometimes in a yoga class, whether you're new or familiar with the practice, there is temptation to glance at other yogis in the room and compare. This can start a mental whirlwind of either self-defeating or egotistical thoughts about your own abilities compared to others. This is an opportunity to practice staying in your lane. Yoga is not about being 'good at' or 'bad at' poses, and comparisons in yoga (and in life) do us and others a disservice. It's important that we keep focused and humble. Drishti in this instance encourages us to ditch the comparisons and focus on ourselves and our own path.

FIND CONTENTMENT:

When we feel bored our gaze and our focus can wander. In yoga this can happen when a class is slower than you had wanted, or the study for the day is on a pose that you've become complacent in. This is an opportunity to use the steady drishti and focus on the moment to find contentment or joy in the little things in life. This helps off the mat to maintain focus whatever the task, as the big achievements in life happen through the (sometimes slightly boring) work done consistently every day.

BE PRESENT:

Our thoughts like to wander, as does our gaze. Use drishti on the mat to practice to still the gaze and be present in the moment, resisting and retraining the wandering mind. Off the mat, allow this practice to help you connect more deeply with the people you interact with daily, focusing on them and the moment rather than running an unassociated internal dialogue.

Gemstones For The Space In-Between

fossil coral mala

This week we continue to focus on taking time for the pauses in life, on the practice of resisting distractions and being present with our thoughts and feelings, and in the moment.

If this is something you feel you'd like to practice more in the weeks and months ahead, fossil coral is the gemstone to wear!

Fossil coral is a grounding and calming stone believed to increase intuition, imagination, visualization, and concentration.
It is especially useful in decision making as it provides clear insight, and clarity of thought. Fossil coral is linked to bravery, modesty and wisdom, and is used to attract success and encourage a positive outlook on life.

Fossil coral is helpful for promoting inner peace and contentment, quieting disruptive thoughts and emotions. This beautiful stone is said to assist in business endeavors, whilst keeping one grounded and motivated.

I love these gemstones, and my first mala was made from fossil coral. It's a gorgeous stone that ranges from light brown/sandy shades, to greys, and dark browns. It's created when ancient coral becomes buried and replaced with agate (not to be confused with precious/reef coral).

If you would like a single, double, triple or 108 bead bracelet, or a hand knotted necklace made of this gorgeous stone, comment below or message me for a free design consultation.

**The mala shown in this photo is currently available in our shop

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