Soulsong Yoga Therapy Berkshire

personal yoga practice, yoga studies, walking with my dogs, cycling and vegan ayurveda studies

Yoga Mountain – #Yoga #Meditation

I’m on this journey, up a yoga mountain, no idea what’s at the top and yet I don’t think about that, my journey is about the path that winds out in front of me. I’ve committed myself to the teachings of one man and his teacher’s teacher and renounced aspects (bad habits) of my life. Although I began some years ago, I recently felt a new beginning, a fresh start, the first step forward on the path up the yoga mountain, and a confirmation of what I already new, but wasn’t applying with dedication, and that was the awareness and quality of my breath … ‘breath is the heart of yoga’ …. Paul Harvey.

Whilst in sitting, I have at last managed to reduce my breath cycles to 3 breaths per minute, now I am working on transferring that over into the asana practice. This morning’s asana practice was the first time I felt the lungs open up that little bit more and my out breath not leaving the body with a sigh. I can feel and hear the ripples in my Ujjayi breath, the ability of Abhyasa (to remain in the practice) is in the forefront of my mind, more so now than ever. The practice from start to finish is clearer, lighter in fact and I had much more time to self adjust, confirming my being in each of the asanas and the mind not leaking, as I transition from one asana to the next. Don’t get me wrong my mind still wonders and weird and wonderful stuff pops up in my thoughts to try and distract me from my focus, but what is clear, is that I am now able to bring my focus back much quicker and for longer periods of time.

Time spent in meditation, all yoga is a path to meditation, sitting and being still after practice is fundamental. Meditation has changed my life, where I may not have been able to cope with a crisis in the past, meditation helped me through one of the scariest times of my life, breast cancer, it helped me through an emotional few weeks of motherhood and it kept me going and staying positive, when nursing and rehabbing a fractured fibula. I kept my breath, I kept my practice, I kept my focus to bring my practice into meditation.

I can now sit quietly and steady, trying to focus the mind on one thing for 25 minutes which is now beginning to feel a short duration, think next week I’ll increase that time to 28 minutes.

This new beginning, which I felt this week has ear marked that fresh start and it feels so right, that I am now ready to share more of it. I have been keeping a written journal of my practice and studies for the past 3+ years but I think now its time to use my blog a lot more.

Love peace & happiness

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Freddie’s #Vegan #Tomato #Soup

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My hubby Freddie isn’t vegan, but he has gone from eating meat with almost every meal, to eating meat only twice a week. He still uses cow’s milk in his tea, eats eggs at the weekend and on a rare occasion he’ll eat cheese that’s made from dairy. Most of the time he eats what ever I’m eating and he is a genuinely good kind man who wouldn’t hurt a soul. I think he’s done very well so far, he says that when he semi retires, he’ll go completely vegan and I believe him.

Anyway, he likes to cook and this is his tomato soup, it’s absolutely delicious!

All ingredients are organic and some may be fresh from the garden, depends on the time of year and what we have growing.

12 Tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1/2 pint of stock
1 mild chilli (or a small amount of ground chilli)
Gas Oven 5

Cut tomatoes in half, place on a roasting tray, brush a thin coat of olive oil over the tomatoes and place in the top of the oven.
Cut onions in to 4, peel garlic and place all onto a roasting tray, brush with a thin layer of olive oil and put into the bottom of the oven.
Leave all ingredients in oven for about 25 minutes, until roasted.
Put stock into a blender/food processor together with chillies, roasted onions and garlic and blend. Then all tomatoes and blend again. Then transfer the soup into a saucepan for reheating.

We like to dunk chips into the soup or add steamed/boiled potatoes keeping their skins on, cut and then add to the soup.

Love peace & happiness

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Benefits of a Home/Personal Practice – #Yoga #Reading #Berkshire

Building a relationship with Yoga.
Yoga is a relationship not an affair, slipping in a quickie at 6.30pm at your local health club.

Building good habits, getting rid of bad habits and building a discipline.
When we realise how to discipline ourselves, being able to say yes to what is good for us and no to what is bad for us, we feel an inner strength with an inner peace, and so our personal practice has passed over into our everyday life.

Self belief and confidence.
We are capable of great things and from a regular personal practice we taking control, we are giving ourselves to ourselves the greatest gift of all, SELF LOVE.

Having a deep understanding of Yoga.
To understand that asanas in a personal practice, is not the only path through yoga but a path to finding out about the others.

Creating a sacred place and time where you can find yourself again and again.
‘Me’ time!

Yoga truly begins with a personal practice.
The freedom and independence from the past affecting the present.

Find yourself going places you don’t go when in a group or a lesson.
In the quiet of a sacred place, one is experiencing their own self and not the practice of others.

Doesn’t need to be perfect, the pressure is off to compete with others.
We try hard not to compare ourselves with others but its easier said than done. In one’s home practice its personal, there is no one to compare with.

Freedom to choose.
We are fortunate to have the privilege of choice, choose wisely.

No rush.
One can take as long as they like with an asana, a vinyasa or the whole practice, or even how short the practice needs to be that day.

Me time and be able to sit and be still.
Enough said.

Love peace & happiness

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All This Talk Of Getting Old – #OldAge #SeniorCitizens #YoungatHeart #grateful #happy

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I’ve had to pop back n forth to the GP and the hospital this week, nothing serious, just putting caution to the wind. I have to take a drug called Tamoxifen, which hopefully prevents further breast cancer. As with all pharmaceuticals it has side effects, so this week was just making sure that those side effects remain a nuisance and not become a problem.

Medical waiting rooms are hot spots for people watching and this week, I seemed to take notice of our seniors more than I have ever done. I swear, I don’t think I’ve seen so many senior people in one time, as many times, as I have this week. I have no idea who these lovely people are, I have no idea what brings them to hospital or the GP surgery but one thing is clear, they look to be carrying the world on their shoulders and their bodies broken. Does life really have to end that way, is that what my hubby and I have to look forward to? I truly don’t believe it is, not now we have more choice than our seniors have had.

I have no problem with my body changing, my skin is losing its elasticity, my metabolism is slowing down and as for grey hair, I love that my grey hair has started to come through, I have jata locks and grey locks look amazing. As for death, since changing my lifestyle to that of a dedicated yogi, I’m not so concerned with death as much as I was, and the concern is getting less and less the deeper my practice becomes. What does concerns me though is my health, my independence, being able and being happy.

I appreciate, that the seniors I have watched this week, shuffling their heavy burdens from hand rail to hand rail, have lived a completely different way of life to us wiper snappers. Their existence was fighting and living through wars or being born post war and having to pick up the pieces. I respect that their priorities were of pure austerity and survival, working demanding jobs to make ends meet, they had no choice. I could see their past lives in their eyes and in their body language and to them I am humble and grateful.

I sat and watched these people and decided that their courage and convictions will not have been in vein. I already chose and am living a simple life, with no expectation of being financially fruitful and am living for what I need, not what I want. Not so long ago, I also made a decision to focus on looking after my body in preparation for old age and this week, I totally remembered that decision.

If growing old gracefully means that you have to succumb to what society deems as acceptable and in doing so, our minds and bodies cause us pain and unhappiness, then society can shove it.

This is a promise to myself:

As long as I don’t suffer from any conditions that are out of my control, that cause my being to be in capacitated; I vow to only put into my body what it nutritionally needs, I will continue to be physically active and I will continue to face my fears on a daily basis. I vow to dedicate the rest of my life to my yoga path, I vow to remain young at heart and grateful for everyday that I am still alive. I vow to enjoy life, to live it to the max for as long as I am alive, and vow that when my time comes to leave this body, I die without regrets.

Love peace & happiness

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#Cycling – Testing The #Motorist Etiquette

Cycling is my first choice of transport, I love cycling, cycling keeps me extremely fit, it’s cheap and stress free. I normally wear a helmet with a GoPro camera mounted on top and I wear a high visibility jacket with ‘POLITE NOTICE THINK BIKE’ printed on the back. I have had a lesson in advanced cycling, teaching me how to ride with traffic to keep me safe from ignorant motorists and I can tell you, that lesson was invaluable. I’m going to take part in another advance lesson soon to learn more about safe cycling in traffic.

Wearing the high visibility and GoPro camera, a motorist, from a distance, can mistake me for a police officer and in doing so, the motorists’ driving is with manners and is safe. They over take according to the high way code indicating out and then they indicate in.

The past week the weather has been lovely and I thought I would cycle about without the high visibility, helmet and GoPro, the rides were incredibly different! I didn’t cycle any different to how I was instructed in the advance cycle lesson, it was that so many motorists, found it impossible to give me the safe space when overtaking. I have had 3 motorists who used their car horns to bully me over to the left, so that they could overtake and I’ve had verbal abuse shouted at me telling me to get off the road and that I shouldn’t be on the road, because I don’t pay ‘road tax’.

Today I had to travel to the hospital, the road to the main entrance of the hospital is always very congested, so I didn’t need to test the motorists etiquette today so I wore my high visibility, helmet and GoPro mounted on top. Today, every motorist treated me with respect, they all remembered their high way code when it comes to a cyclist, no motorist put my life in danger today, and they all managed to find their patience, manners and safe driving awareness.

Cycling isn’t dangerous, motorists are dangerous.

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#nonprofit #yoga TuesdayPM South #Reading #Berkshire

Yoga Group Schedule.

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