When life gets in the way

Is it just me?  This year has been a toughie! My life has chugged on, mostly on target, for years. This year I suddenly lost my beloved Dad.  Yes, he was 90, but he deteriorated over about 3 weeks and was suddenly gone.

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Now, as I write this blog, there have been at least six people within my family, work and social circle, who have passed away this year. In addition, people I know have been diagnosed with ‘dread’ diseases. These unpleasant experiences have triggered an inward view of my own life. It’s vital that we live life to the fullest, making the best out of each and every moment.  I want to be in the best possible condition to be able to make the most of this precious life that I’ve been given.

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  Here are 6 of my top prerequisites for squeezing every drop out of every possible moment: 

1.    Mindfully sourcing, preparing and consuming natural whole and life-force producing foods as fuel for my body.

2.    Drinking the purest (possible) water.

3.    Exercising to keep my body in the best condition.  Remember if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

4.    Getting ample, good quality sleep each night. (for me that is seven to eight hours)

5.    Interacting with family and friends on a regular basis.

6.    Connecting with Nature; thereby calming my mind to best cope with all the stresses and strains that life throws at us.

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I’ve gone through a process of taking my foot off the pedal to mindfully manage this year’s curved balls. I now look forward to the season of love as we prepare for Christmas and the end of year holidays. Sometimes we need to go back to the basics.  Re-assess, Re-focus, Re-build to ultimately REVIVE BALANCE and SUSTAIN ourselves in peak condition! 

Managing Life’s Curveballs

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Life gets in the way of our plans and we have many curved balls thrown at us, turning our world upside down.

Horrendous storms, loss of family members and loved ones, chronic illness as well as trying to spread ourselves thinly – often sacrificing our own health and well-being in the process.  Its vitally important to re-boot ourselves: ideally with a break or at least a change of scenery.

Is your emotional tank running on empty?

Are you getting sufficient sleep?

Are you getting sufficient sunlight?

Are you getting sufficient exercise?

Are you deeply nourishing your body and brain?

If your answer is no to one or more of these questions, then you need to begin to make some fundamental changes.

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A car can’t run on empty and neither can our bodies.

Our bodies will ‘make a plan’ to keep our body running with whatever fuel you give it – no matter how poor this fuel may be. However, after some time, the body will cease to function! Come and seek life-changing assistance.  We will help you to revive yourself and work to create a healthy balance of body, mind and spirit. Then sustain your new-found quality of life to live and enjoy your family and friends to the fullest.

We’re off to the Central Kalahari for 10 days to revive our bodies and brains; rebalance ourselves by being immersed in nature which in turn will sustain us for the period when we return to our regular urban life.  So in November look out for our photos and feedback on our soul-nurturing experience.

 

Spring and Continuation of Studying

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There are signs of spring in the Harmonie garden.  You’ve got to love it:  seasonal change, spring in your step, new buds and growth, some recent spring rains.

Get out in the garden, start exercising and breathing in the spring air.

Are you still in study mode?  Here are some simple exercises to do while seated to relieve neck and shoulder strain from prolonged studying.

  1. Sit straight up.  Breathing in, allow your head to extend slowly backwards – stretching your throat area.  Exhale.  Now round your back and drop your chin towards your chest. Pause.

  2. Inhale with your chin to your chest. Breath normally. Feel the stretch in the back of your neck. Inhale, open your mouth and allow your head to move back. Do this slowly.

  3. Move your head slowly to the right. Pause. Then move the head slowly to the left. Pause.

  4. Shoulder shrugs rotating backwards three times and then forwards three times.

  5. Place your left hand around the back of your neck on the right side.  Slowly massage down  the neck, shoulder and arm to your hand.  Massage the thumb first and then each finger.  Allow your hands to relax on the thighs and feel the difference. Now repeat on the opposite side.

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Remember to get 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure every day without lenses in front of the eyes.

Move your body to ensure good lymph drainage.  Walk, jog, stretch, yoga, sport – whatever rocks your boat.

Choose to mindfully, deeply nourish your brain to cope with prolonged studying.

Yoga for Kids: Turning on the light

Last week Cami Barausse, owner of Yogi Bears based in Kloof, KZN, explained how Yoga unites and disciplines the mind, body and breath. Today she is unpacking just some of the benefits of yoga for children:

Yoga and Body:

Constantly bombarded with societal pressures of inadequacy, yoga teaches kids to love themselves. Learning this from a young age equips children with the life skills and tools for the coming teenage years when self doubt may begin to creep in.

·      Develops core strength, flexibility and body awareness

·      Builds co-ordination and balance

·      Relieves stress which promotes better sleep

·      Tones internal organs

·      Enhances performance of other extra mural activities

Yoga and Mind:

Through the asana (postures) children learn more about their bodies and what they are capable of. They learn more about their minds and how they can affect and change not only their own attitude to life, but also the attitudes of the people around them. They learn that they are capable of this through their own thoughts and how they choose to react to any given situation.

·      Builds self esteem and confidence

·      Nurtures mental balance and awareness

·      Inspires imagination, creativity and empathy

·      Improves concentration and self discipline

Yoga and Breath:

Combining the body, mind and breath helps children develop into more wholesome, confident, kind and responsible adults. Yoga teaches children to be present, and to concentrate and focus on their breathing in an ever demanding world. They learn how simple breathing techniques can help them throughout the day, in any situation. Typically children deal with frustration by crying and throwing tantrums. When they learn proper, healthy breathing techniques and tools to focus and quieten the mind, they begin to apply these tools in their everyday lives and to react appropriately to any situation.

·      Improves lung capacity and detoxification through increased exchange of carbon dioxide and        oxygen

·      Reduces anxiety

·      Calms the mind, creating physical and mental balance

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Yoga and Emotional/Spiritual:

By connecting the Mind, Body and Breath children are able to discover themselves and love themselves, to see the good in themselves and n others. Through this journey of self discovery they learn to focus and calm their minds as well as become aware of their instinctive capabilities. Aiding children in this way allows them to develop skills to cope with the journey of life, making them stronger and more capable of dealing with the stresses of life. Children are often pushed and encouraged to be super productive, leaping from one activity to the next all day long until they crash at bedtime. Yoga teaches children that it does not always have to be this way. It teaches children how to relax and be still. This process of “stillness” will teach them to handle the demands of today’s world in a much more wholesome and proactive way, thus allowing them the downtime needed to understand what is going on inside them and around them.

·      Promotes compassion and self-awareness

·      Enhances the connection to oneself and nature

·      Teaches respect for ourselves, others and all living creatures

Thank you for reading our blogs, if you would like to learn more about this incredible life-skill and allow your little one the opportunity to become a Yogi Bear too, then email Cami on yogibearsza@gmail.com

With love

-Liesel