Monday, July 28, 2014

YOGA MONDAY'S - KUNDALINI YOGA EXPERIENCE



In the last couple of weeks I have really enjoyed getting into a consistent routine with exercise and gyming  The only downfall is that currently, a lot of my college classes conflict with the yoga timetable at gym. I am still getting to some classes, but not as many as I would like to. Last week Sunday my friend and I tried out the Kundalini Yoga class at Claremont Virgin Active. It is a 90 minute evening class and pretty packed! 

To be totally honest, we actually thought we were heading into a Hatha class. Only once the teacher introduced herself did we click! This was my first Kundalini class and I had always assumed (never assume) it was slightly more "airy fairy", compared to other yoga.

What is Kundalini Yoga - in short
Kundalini yoga is different to any other yoga I have tried. Just to give you a brief introduction, it is made up of meditation, mantras, physical exercise and breathing techniques. It engages all your untapped energy (prana) at the base of your spine and awakens each of the seven chakras. This type of yoga is very emotionally engaging and really awakens your senses. It is for everyone, a universal practice that is nondenominational. Kept secret and then taught by Yogi Bhajan who introduced to the west in the 1960's.

My personal experience
At the start of the class I was not prepared in anyway and having not researched this type of yoga I didn't know what to expect. The yoga teacher was really lovely and welcoming. She guided those of us who were new and explained everything with ease and grace. At first I struggled to follow her instruction and let go of my sense of control. I soon realised that most of the people in the class were regulars and this was a class really based on deeper experience not just the physical benefits of doing yoga and I let go.

You do not have to chant and you do not have to sing. Everything is guided and it is most certainly not airy fairy. The room is not heated but I worked up a serious sweat! I did find myself being more aware of self and a bit stiff the next day! It is different to my usual classes, it is something I will try again and I do recommend it. The class allowed me to not take myself so seriously and break down some boundaries. I also had a wonderful cry at the end of the class. As ridiculous as that may sound, I was feeling a little 'emotionally blocked' and by the end of the class I felt like I was in a safe environment where I could actually let go completely and it made me feel a lot better.

This type of yoga is not for everyone but I do suggest some research should be done before you go to a class because it can be a bit overwhelming and tricky to negate at first but if your open to trying something new then this is a winner!

If you have tried Kundalini Yoga I would love to hear your thoughts :)

A LIST OF THOUGHTS AND GRATITUDES

I have written and rewritten this post so many times and every time it doesn't actually reflect what I truly feel and what I am really trying to say. So here goes giving it another shot. This year has been a lot about self discovery and my blog has taken a more personal tone. I am learning more about myself and my surroundings everyday and working hard to push myself and break boundaries. It is my final four months of varsity and I am taking in as much as I can and learning as many lessons as I can so I can really grow and flourish. 


This post is based on personal experience and experience, stories and concerns that my friends and others in my life have shared with me.

Don't let people bully you. Stand up for yourself. Find a voice that is not harmful but one that holds truth and honesty. Be strong and stand tall, even if you have to do it alone. Be strong and speak up, even if you have to turn to someone else for help.

People with the smallest amount of power can abuse it. Learn from this, don't become like this. 

Respect is most definitely earned.

Buy books, lots and lots of books.

Buy something on the winter sale that you know you will wear to death.

Get up and move, get out, go run, skip, hit the gym, hit the park, hit the mountain and feel the air on your skin, take huge gulps of air into your lungs and feel alive. Get rid of the aches and pains.

Don't complain constantly. Think of your warm cosy bed, that wonderful hot shower you had, the comfy pi's you sleep in, that delicious breakfast you ate, the comfortable dry clothes you are wearing, your car, your place of work or study. How fortunate you are.

Stand up for your beliefs and don't step down to please others. Be true to yourself and be tactful, not tactless. 

Be yourself, not a copy of another person. Not wishing or wanting to be someone else, just be who you are - its a wonderful feeling to just be you!

Don't spend your life justifying or explaining yourself.. what for?

Have faith in your abilities, set goals, have dreams, have a light at the end of the tunnel.

Be grateful for the family and friends who consistently make an effort in your life and who are always there for you.

Make time for the people who deserve it.

Don't waste time on people who leave you feeling negative, upset or offend you in some way. It's a waste and that time could be used constructively else where.

Have a solid cry. One that washes away all your hurt and grief or pain.

Make plans and stick to them.

Reinvent your wardrobe, revive your old jewellery. 

Do something nice and expect nothing back in return.

Understand not everyone will think, feel and live the way you do. Accept it and move on. We are all different. Don't try and change others or yourself for others, look deeper.

Believe that this too shall pass.

Keep a gratitude journal.

Make a vision board.

Buy a plant and nurture it.

Work hard, play hard, live hard, love hard.

Think before you speak.

Get off the defence.  Write down all your hopes and dreams and remind yourself everyday that this is your life and its here for YOU to live. Stretch your mind, your body and your soul.
Do it for you.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

LETTING IT GO

Last few days of varsity holiday and coming to an end and this past week I have really been making an effort to work on myself as a person and also find some calm in my heart and in my mind.  I went back to yoga and it felt incredible to go and stretch out my body. Since moving I have struggled to find a class I really like and one that works with my timetable, so I am hoping my new timetable permits some leeway for these particular classes. If not, I will have to roll out my mat at home and make my own calmness. While I love gym and exercising, I do adore yoga, it stretches you in every possible way that helps to awaking you and push you a little bit further and to breath a little bit deeper.

The last few varsity holidays I didn't get to really have a holiday, so I have really enjoyed this one. I did a massive cupboard clean out and sorted throughout all my draws, clothes, make up and magazines. We really don't need a lot in this life, and we don't need to hold onto every material item. I am a hugely sentimental person and I like to keep everything that has a memory attached to it, but this time I thought of a lot of people who have nothing and could benefit from the things that I no longer use or have been sitting in my cupboards for years and simply gathered dusk from move to move. The whole process was weirdly very therapeutic! My neighbour had his door open and was playing Enya (the entire album) which made for a rather calming environment  instead of my usual frantic clean up mode. I was pretty ruthless and pretty honest and pretty stoked to have finished it off and dropped it at Nazareth House knowing that it will be washed, folded and specially hung in the charity shop or given to patients that could benefit from the things I donated. It really is a wonderful place and I have found two fantastic jerseys in the charity shop so pop in sometime if you live in Cape Town, (they do have one in JHB).

I went for a wonderful walk on Camps Bay beach with my friend Kristi the other day. It was so needed. She is like a soul sister to me and someone I can always relate to. The sun was out the air was cold and the scenery was just  beautiful. We walked the length of the beach and then sat soaking up some good old vitamin D on the rocks at Glenn beach. Really need to get out more and not just get too stuck in my routine, hello Cape Town is just too beautiful.



I started a gratitude journal which is making a huge difference in my life. No matter what kind of day I have had I make the effort to sit down before I go to sleep and write about my day and the things I have to be grateful for. If something bad happens in the day it simply cannot over shadow all the good in my life. Sure I have moments, honest moments and I write about them to, its good to get them out and on paper, but its nice to also affirm the good that I have in my life and appreciate it even more.

I am learning to be more mindful of myself, my body, my time, my friendships, relationships and my beliefs and ethics. I am working on my patience, my calmness and my focus. I am pouring energy into the right places and trying to not let silly things derail me or get me down. 



I love this quote because it is so true. Often we cling to negative or bad situations, discussions, remarks, moment and memories which in actual fact do not deserve that much time, energy or space in our minds. Yesterday I had a really unfortunate incident which got me really worked up and super upset, straight away I thought what bad luck do I have. Wrong, its not about luck, good or bad, its life, and instead of letting it ruin my day, week and weekend I decided (after a few pep talks from boyf and friends) that it is not worth getting into a panic about. I will deal with it and sort it out. At the end of the day I was not harmed in any way and nor was my life or anyone else. The situation is repairable and will be costly but non the less it has come and gone. I can't hold onto it and let it over take my entire thought process. Simply not worth it. That goes for a lot of things in life. You have to not let it consume you. There is good in so many things and a moment of gratitude makes it all the more worth it

FASHION INSPIRATION - THE JERSEY

I am obsessed with jerseys, especially granny like jerseys or sweaters and this editorial from the July issue of Glamour France is living proof of how cool jerseys can look! Love this editoral.