Feeling good… in mind and body…

Well I don’t know if it is the euphoria brought on by the recent Super Moon or my yoga class but this week everything feels great!  Having always been a high impact, full exertion or nothing at all type of exercise goer, I am finding Hatha yoga surprisingly enjoyable.   For a long time now I have been meaning to give it more of a chance than the odd session here and there.  This year it was on my new years resolution list, again!

Perhaps it’s my age creeping up too but if I plan on living as long as I want to, the joints need some reprieve from boxing and running.  So I have finally succeeded in taking yoga up.  I started in January in Melbourne and have now found a wonderful place to continue my practise overlooking the ocean in Camps Bay!  (Yes, I do feel rather lucky!).

There are many descriptions but to summarise from wikipedia – “Hatha yoga represents opposing energies: hot and cold (fire and water, following similar concept as yin-yang), male and female, positive and negative. Hatha yoga attempts to balance mind and body via physical postures or “asanas”, purification practices, controlled breathing, and the calming of the mind through relaxation and meditation. Asanas teach poise, balance and strength and are practiced to improve the body’s physical health and clear the mind in preparation for meditation”.

I am finding it is especially helpful during this time of transition, when although on the outside I may seem confidently settled in to my new environment, I am still having troublesome dreams and feel a little anxious at times about the future.  It’s human nature, but the best strategy is to keep putting life into perspective, to make the most of every day and focus on the positive.

In other ways I am almost anxious because life suddenly seems too good to be true or is that just how it should feel in the sanctuary of marriage!  Well, not only was it the super moon this weekend but it was also the two-year anniversary from the happy day (22/06/11) when my dearest asked for my hand in marriage!  Now I am not saying it is always complete harmony, it is indeed a path with many ups and downs, but we are still making each other smile most of all.

Anyway, back to the point!  I find taking the time out to even do just fifteen minutes of yoga and quite simply breathing, first thing in the morning, can really start the day up in the most positive way.  The trick is getting up on time to make sure you can squeeze this in to your usual routine.  The benefits far out way the extra fifteen minutes in bed.  I will be honest, sometimes I can take some convincing to persuade myself (especially now when it is dark and cold!), but the more you do it the easier it becomes.  Go on, give it a go!  Oh yes, and most importantly, a smile for the first person who enters your world that day and I bet you will get one back.

Namaste’   – “I honor the place within you where the entire Universe resides; I honor the place within you of love, of light, of truth, of peace; I honor the place within you, where, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”   Mahatma Gandhi.

Blue sky.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes.

This photo is from a very memorable time in my life when I had the privilege of meeting this special little boy and teaching him at his school in Itzapa, Guatemala.  Through my eyes I am met by his smiling cheeky expression which touched my world so much.  For even though his circumstances were very under-privileged and tough, his courage and spirit were incredibly humbling and inspiring.  I am glad I made the time to experience his world through my eyes and was able to help him in the small way I could.  The world through his eyes at that moment was my beaming face and camera pointing at him.

Little boy looking up.

Spreading a little magic with the weekly photo challenge.

Palm trees make me smile!

Coming from Yorkshire I still get very excited when I see a palm tree as you certainly won’t find many, if any, there!   To me they depict tropical holidays and far away places!  “Where the wild things are!”  (One of my favourite childhood books).

I just came from Beach Street in Melbourne where the road was lined with palms and once again I find them right outside my front door here in Cape Town!  Isn’t life just one big tropical holiday all of a sudden!   Well not quite but I am trying to keep my chin up whilst going through the (to be expected) anxiety brought on from moving to a new country.  If you go back to some of my posts earlier in the year you will discover my excitement, trepidation and words of wisdom on how to settle in to a foreign land.  Well I am trying to eat my own words right now!

I guess one needs to remember to take each day as it comes, there will be good days and bad days.  Don’t be too hard on oneself when you have a day of disillusionment and nothing seems to be going your way, leaving you feeling isolated and disheartened.  There is always the prospect of a brand new day tomorrow and the attitude as to how to tackle it is entirely in one’s own mind.

So today on my early morning walk to get the blood flowing, grab a coffee and find the local yoga studio (exercise always helps), I took hope and positivity from the beautiful winters day (rather similar to a pleasant English Summer’s day, so no complaints here!) and the strong tall palm trees which made me smile with holiday joy!

Palm trees.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”.     Christopher Robin to Pooh – A.A.Milne

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves.

Whilst walking at the weekend discovering a little more of my new home I was in constant admiration of the stunning scenery and couldn’t help noticing the natural curves of the spectacular coastline here in South Africa.  I really am very lucky to be spending some time in this incredible part of the World.

I don’t know why exactly but I do like the feeling of being down at the bottom of a continent!   It was the same sensation when I used to travel to the tip of Cornwall in the UK as a child and also living at the bottom of Australia in Melbourne.   Now here I am near the tip of Africa!

The natural landscape lends itself to curves every where you look from the formation of the land itself, to the mountains and rocks, to the curves of the rolling waves on the beaches curved coast line, to the ever-changing curves in the clouds and the shape of the fiery sun.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Spreading a little magic with this weeks photo challenge.