Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Outreach Yoga Challenge - Day 9 Breath of Fire

‘Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realise there is nothing lacking the whole world belongs to you’ – Lao Tzu

It’s a lesson that I’m still learning, still travelling and trying to find out where I’m meant to be in this life, are you content?  For those that don’t know me, my end goal is to set up a holistic homestead retreat in the mountains, with views to the ocean, where people come and do yoga, eat good food from my organic garden, cook, play music, hike and be in nature, make art, read, write, share, sing, chill out in hammocks around a fire pit smoking sheshka bongs loving life watching the stars J I’d like some small livestock animals, maybe a small farm for people to come and trade on, come help me crop the veggies and stay for a week and practice yoga with me enjoying life. I want to cut off from the system living sustainably in my ecobuild ranch, living off the land and never shaving again! (well maybe for special occasions with Frenchmen) So this is what finally brought me to Vancouver after leaving my job in December 2009 and travelling the world exploring for the right location. My toes touched the waters in Greece, Italy, Barbados, New Zealand (a few times), Australia, USA, Canada, Hawaii, Fiji, Costa Rica and now back in Vancouver. I’ve been filling the tool box along the way meeting amazing people, taking a Yoga Teacher training course in Costa Rica, WOOFing in New Zealand, surfing in Tofino, eating in Italy, smashing plates in Greece, hiking in USA, and many more ‘edited’ adventures, I’m so grateful for the experience. ‘Never Stop Exploring’ – Edmund Hillary.
I’m now studying Holistic nutrition amongst other things here in Vancouver for the next year.  I volunteer Yoga Teaching as much as possible, sharing my passion for Yoga and also hope to be accepted by the Big Sisters to volunteer some time to a child in need of a positive influence in their life, oh and a whole lot of love too! You can be a Big Sister or Brother, its a fulfilling experience to give back in life, and its just a few hours a week, check out their website if this interests you for further details http://www.bigsisters.bc.ca/en/Home/default.aspx

It’s all about the location for the homestead, and there is so much natural beauty in this world its hard to decide. Beauty comes with destruction by man, looking more at Canada regions I was exposed to the massive issue happening in Alberta with the tar sands. http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/tarsands/ Capitalism ripping up nature at a massive expense to Mother Earth, the greed for oil continues.... New Zealand holds a big piece of my heart, and something tells me I’ll go back and explore further, the kiwis are fantastic people, and so ahead of the game when it comes going green and looking after our planet, yet it gets hit with so many natural disasters like quakes it’s ironic. The Pacific Ring of fire is a grid of quakes waiting to happen, unsure on investing my life living on the edge of the next one.  BUT the positives of living in ‘Gods country’ (not in the religious sense) far outways the negatives, with its breathtaking mountain ranges of Mount Cook, the coastal hiking at Abel Tasman, hippy communes in Golden Bay ‘Rainbow Belly’ and the warm love of the kiwis keep the place one of the gems of this world. Lets continue to try and look after our amazing planet J

Kundalini Yoga this morning to start my day of studying with some firey dance, love and cleansing breaths.  The music today was some amazing southern drawl deep deep south materials, with a hint of western and a whole lot of LOVEEEE. I kept looking around the class, and every single person was smiling their ass off. You can't beat that feeling!
A great cleansing breath used is called ‘breath of fire’ and it’s done in varied poses, some quite restricting after a zillion squats. Breath of fire breathing incorporates a rhythmic pumping action upwards in the abdominals to exhale, exhaling and inhaling through your nostrils quickly, slightly pushing the exhale making a sound like a panting dog! Begin by loosening your abdominals, and then fill your diaphragm with air. Then, push the air out of your belly upwards in a quick explosive exhale. The inhalation automatically follows, your belly snaps back in and out with each exhale. This strengthens the diaphragm, restores energy and cleanses the respiratory system and your zings your brain. Great exercise that can be done anywhere, and is useful to clear your head ready for a full day of study, a presentation, meeting the parents (although maybe don’t do this in front of them on your first visit). You may feel a bit funny as a panting dog, but Yoginis don’t judge remember, and laugh at yourself if that helps. It’s good to hear our breath, its your lifeline so listen to it, be aware of it, let out a big sigh, and smile J To practice this breath, start in easy pose, or full lotus (Padmasana). If you are attempting full lotus its great to do the hip openers on the previous blog beforehand, you could start with half lotus just placing one foot on the upper thigh in crossed legged position. Full lotus should be done with a straight neutral spine, you could even place a folded blanket beneath your hips to elevate your hips above your knees. Avoid straining the knees, if you experience any discomfort than practice half lotus (arha padmasana) and alternate the legs until your hips are flexible enough to practice the full lotus. Always alternate the legs to keep a balance in your body.

Thanks to Del and her husband Neil for donating some of their lovely furniture, and more recycled bits that needed a good home, and making a stranger to this city feel at home. Acts of kindness set off serotonin in the body, it’s a feel good chemical to be shared, and passed on. I aim to pass on this kindness, start the reciprocal vibe!

Look at the cute puuuuuupppppyyyyyy! PUPPY SNUFFLEEEEEEEE! My sister loves me to chew her ears like a puppy, and snuffle her neck, try it, see what happens. NOOOOO not on MY sister, use your own!

Woof woof woof pant pant pant, thanks for reading the challenge. If you’d like to make a donation great, if you’re skint that’s cool, maybe try and take some information you found interesting and apply it to your life and share with me by leaving a comment or joining up.

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