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Archive for November, 2009

For all those keen yogis and yoginis who love yoga just as much as me, you will also love Acro Yoga. Its soooooooooooooo much fun flying in the air, crashing down every now and again. I’m here in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand and have met a cool little yoga community that hang out in the park every Sunday to play Acro Yoga turning themselves upside down and inside out all afternoon. My arms and hips are a little sore but my spirit is still flying 😮 Who will fly with me when I get home to the Gold Coast?

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When was the last time you exaggerated the truth, or a little white lie to save face? It may be even the smallest most harmless thing you said to a friend, college, partner or family member. I am currently reading an amazing book by Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden a Tibetan Buddhist monk called Essence of the Path to Enlightenment. I bought this book when I went to His Holiness the Dalai Lamas teachings in Melbourne, Australia.

The concept is simple; there are just ten non-virtuous actions to create positive karma. The reality is far from simple if we are truly honest with ourselves. I have set my 1st New Years resolution for 2010 to speak only the truth at every opportunity. I invite you to also pick one of the non-virtuous actions to practice even just for a single day.

  1. Abandoning killing any living being
  2. Abandoning stealing
  3. Abandoning sexual misconduct
  4. Abandoning lying
  5. Abandoning divisive speech
  6. Abandoning harsh speech
  7. Abandoning idle gossip
  8. Abandoning covetousness
  9. Abandoning malice
  10. Abandoning wrong views

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I will be honest I love fashion. I love fabric, colours, texture, design, contrasts. I come from a family of artists and have grown up with a keen eye for these aesthetic qualities in not only clothes but also, furniture, architecture, landscape, hair design, graphics and even typography thanks to my sister.

Anna Wintor has been the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine for over 40 years and arguably, the catalyst of the entire $300 billion fashion industry. This is a woman I was interested to learn more about; what makes her tick, her philosophies, motives and inspiration in life. However I found myself not really warming to her as a person. I respect her clear black and white decision-making process however it is longtime creative director Grace Coddington who clearly is the heart and soul of the magazine. She shows so much more passion for her craft and life in general, a down-to-earth hard-working woman that I believe really is the star of the documentary. She and Wintour started at Vogue on the same day in 1988, and have worked side by side ever since.

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The body is made up of an amazing electrical grid known as the nervous system which responds to both external and internal stimuli. These responses are either somatic which controls the skeletal muscles (when we move our hand when its hot) or automatic which controls the smooth and visceral muscles (such as the liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines).

This automatic response is further broken down into the sympathetic system which is catabolic meaning it tears down the body and the parasympathetic system which is anabolic meaning it is concerned with nourishing, healing and regeneration of the body.

The sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are antagonistic. Either one or the other is activated all of the time. The sympathetic system, however, always takes precedence, because it is concerned with one’s survival. Energy is used to prepare for defence, rather than for nourishment or for elimination of wastes. An excellent analogy is to imagine placing all the nation’s resources in its military defense. While helpful in an emergency, if continued too long, the nation becomes much poorer for lack of productive commercial activity.

Moving yourself into a healthy parasympathetic nervous system, which is activated by, rest, meditation, yoga and happy thoughts, is essential for balanced living and for all healing. Staying in this state as much as possible, helps heal all health conditions, both physical and emotional.

So remember let it go and let it flow….

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Vomiting Vegan

I have been vegan now for 8 years living on fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains and rice and have still found myself suffering food poisoning!

Admittedly both were in third world countries which certainly doesn’t make it any better. Just last night and I found myself throwing up in a small Thailand guest house 😮 Not fun at all! I hate being sick when you are alone in a foreign country.The first time was 3 years ago when I was in India doing a Astanga Yoga Teacher Training course and I got rice poisoning from eating vegetable Biryani. I threw up for 24 hours and I have since taken a wide berth on rice. 

However it was through this experience in India that my Yoga practice changed significantly as I could no longer strain and push myself in my practice. I had to go extra slowly in fear of either being sick or having a horrible experience in the yoga shala. My practice and flexibility totally opened up as I relaxed and just breathed! My teachers had told me this forever and at that point thats all I could do! Wow what a concept ha ha ha. Ever since my practice has become lighter and softer, no longer striving or pushing and naturally blossoming.

Breathe Bend Blossom

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As you maybe able to tell I love movies and documentaries with inspiring women and here is another favorite of mine about Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein who are, maybe, the most important makeup moxies who ever lived.

In a time when makeup was worn mostly by prostitutes and performers, these two women transformed the way women wear makeup and think about ourselves. Even more importantly, these women blew gender roles out of the water to rock the business world. Their colourful marketing, branding and product concepts where innovative and inspiring.

This documentary set in the 1930s showcases their lives, rivalry and how they conducted business including regular yoga and Pilates practices in their day spas. They created a holistic approach to beauty and a new way to live for western women.

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This is not a movie about fashion, this is the story of an amazingly strong determined woman who believed in herself! I loved this movie and have been inspired forever….. Coco is now one of my mentors in life.

Set in the 1890s she single handedly changed the way people dressed and more important how women felt about themselves. As a daringly free-spirited French woman who had nothing to lose as she was an orphan who followed her passion and her heart to become a house hold name. Coco had a strong character and was determined to be an independent woman, she is a role model for all young business women of today.

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. Coco Chanel

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