Give a frock Friday

rochas_gemma ward ss 2005How divine is this Rochas frock from their 2005 runway show? I love this shade of green and the cut of the neckline too, so sweet on Aussie model Gemma Ward.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. We are off camping again next week, can’t wait to get away for a few days. We’re camping in a deer park, the girls are going to love it. I just hope the deer don’t try to sleep in the tent with us!

love & light xo

From the mat… Letting go

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Teaching yesterday was… interesting. When it was over, I felt excited but also relieved because something really bugged me. It never turns out in class the same as it does at home when I practice. At home I have the image of a room full of my fellow student-teachers in my mind. Sometimes I also have my dog, my kids, my husband or my best friend to teach to, but mostly it’s my imaginary class.  The first part of my teaching assignment was to teach the inversion Viparita Karani and on the whole it went well. I began strong and I felt more comfortable than on previous teaching assignments. Then about thirty seconds into teaching I got hit by a huge adrenalin rush. It completely took over my body leaving me feeling helpless and I might add, also slightly annoyed. There I am, up there doing my best to convey the essence of a confident and relaxed teacher when all of sudden – WHAM! I started to shake, my voice quivered and I lost track of my thoughts which caused me to forget elements to the sequence I was trying to teach. My mind went completely blank! Really? I’m doing YOGA and my body decides to send me through what can only be described as a freaking panic attack? I mean, WTF? So the second part of my teaching yesterday was to take the class through relaxation, also known as Savasana. Again I was overwhelmed with adrenalin at about the one minute mark but this time I was prepared for it. I  focused on my breath and while I was talking about relaxing and letting go to the class, I mentally told myself to do the same. By the time everyone was all tucked up in the little blankies and savasana-ing away, I was sitting on my mat at the front of the room feeling pretty good about how it all went. I won’t go into my mental battle with deciding on how long to let everyone relax for, but suffice to say, in the end, I was speaking straight from the heart, I felt like I had been teaching shavasana for years, not for the first time. I did have a little moment of feeling proud of myself.

The good news? I’m not the only one experiencing these episodes while teaching. I mean, there is a certain safety in numbers. It does ease me somewhat to know that. The thing that bugs me the most is that I am SO prepared for when I get up there to teach. I mean, more than prepared. So why does my body turn on me? The bottom line is that it’s all ego. It’s ego that causes us to panic, it’s ego that wants us to do well and it’s ego that picks apart the whole thing. Stupid, stupid ego!  As yoga teachers we are there to serve, that’s it. It’s not about hearing from our students how awesome our class was or even if we can get into insanely advanced poses. It’s about self-acceptance and letting go. Period.

love & light xo

Give a frock Friday

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Twirling in a sumptuous gold frock by Dolce & Gabbana by Dutch photographer Jan Welters for Elle France. Love, love this frock and this shot. Click here for a fascinating interview with Jan and his road to self-discovery and freedom on his search for inner peace through yoga.

I have a new teaching assignment for next week (why do I always draw the short straw?) which is to teach the class Viparita Karani and Shavasana. For me, this is definitely the sequence to end all sequences. If I can teach this, I know I can teach anything! I am preparing for it now, planning, writing and visualising. My kids and hubby are going to be so relaxed this week from all the practice they are going to be put through!

Have a wonderful weekend.

love & light xo

Source: Le Yoga Shop Paris Le Journal.

From the mat… just be yourself

yoga dive inOnly four months in and with eight still to go in yoga teacher training, already the transformation is showing on all of the students in my course. Training has been much harder on me than I expected. Much, much, much harder. The information I take in each week in class is huge, some weeks my brain is bursting with so much new information on anatomy, philosophy and sequences to learn for teaching that I feel like my head is going to explode. I wonder, how am I ever going to remember it all?  Then on top of that, there’s the transformation we are all experiencing as we go through training and the emotional roller coaster that that entails.  You see, there’s this path I desperately want to be on, and yet there seems to be so many obstacles to overcome along the way. On top of which, my body is changing, my brain is changing, my thoughts on life and my understanding of what it is to be a yogi is broadening, and oh, the vulnerability of teaching, did I mention that one? Far harder than anything I have done. It is a far greater responsibility to be a yoga teacher than I imagined.

rumiThe truth? It feels as if teacher training is dragging me over hot coals, and the incredible uncomfortableness of having to face my fears is taking me to a vulnerable place that I have spent my life avoiding. Although I want to run away from the responsibility and self-discipline of it all – and at times I do escape, I am also discovering the pure joy of turning up and meeting my fears head-on. In fact, I’m learning to accept and embrace them. The trick is, and it’s a pretty basic one, is to just to be yourself. At first I was trying to be just like my teachers. But how could I be? I was doomed to fail. Then I realised that all that was required was for me to be me. Of course this made me feel more vulnerable, and for a while I thought I was never going to be able to let go. I still don’t know how I’m going to get through. What I do know is that each time I step on to the mat to teach, I’m going to do my best to connect with the class and eventually, I’m told the nerves will dissipate, and the wisdom of my years on the mat will take over and my voice as a yoga teacher will shine through. That’s the plan anyway!

love & light xo

 

 

 

Give a frock Friday

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Carla Bruni in a gorgeous boho inspired Roberto Cavalli frock and Isabel Marant boots, photographed by Koray Birand for Net-A-Porter‘s The Edit magazine. Click here for more images from the shoot.

Blogging. Hmm. I have been at it consistently since 2008. Life has had many ups and downs but still I’ve managed to find the time to blog. Lately though, and my regular readers will know this, I have not been very active.  I have so many half-written posts at the moment, most of which are waiting for me to either finish writing, editing or I’m still hunting down the perfect image to go with. Please be patient with me. As I said last week, this Yoga Teacher Training is really kicking my butt, as is working my day-job and being a Mum and wife. I think that maybe I’m burning the candle at both ends? I don’t exactly need a holiday (although it would be nice), what I need is simply to focus on teaching, just for a while, otherwise I am seriously going to regret it and end up either failing or in hospital with exhaustion!

So, I hope you have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are!

love & light xo

Give a frock Friday

alai_christy_paolo roversiI think I’m going through a 90s phase. I love finding websites which have picture after picture of classic editorials that someone has lovingly scanned from magazines from the 90s, just like this one. Christy, the most talented and most beautiful, and the one with the most longevity out of all the Supermodels (don’t argue with me on this one, you won’t win) photographed by the great Italian Paolo Roversi, master of the long exposure, for Paris Vogue in 1992. Christy’s frock is by the Tunisian-born Parisian-based couturier and great interpreter of the female form, Azzedine Alaia. All of these elements make up what is the quintessential 90s fashion image for me. Don’t you just love it!?

Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are!

love & light xo

Give a frock Friday

Lupita

“When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from your dreams are valid.” Lupita Nyong’o will forever be remembered for these words from her acceptance speech after winning the Oscar for Actress in a Supporting Role earlier this week.

I saw this picture of Lupita in her Prada frock and I knew this was today’s Frock Friday. How could it not be, just look at her? She looks completely at ease, no hint of anticipation for the pomp and ceremony ahead of her. I read that Lupita chose this ice blue Prada frock because the blue reminds her of home in Kenya, “I wanted a sense of home with me,” she said on her way down the red carpet.

This Prada frock was definitely the stand out frock at the Oscars for me this year, I do think that the awards were toned down this year and by that I mean, there seemed to be less emphasis on what people were wearing than in previous years. There has been a fever pitch over the last few years built up by the over-importance placed on who’s wearing what. While most of us are far removed from Hollywood and the whole scene to know how much an impact the winning of an Oscar truly means, the impression given by the media is your frock is just as important, which is kind of silly, right? It is of course a perfect opportunity for publicity, you may be a nobody on the red carpet but, pick the right frock and you could end up being somebody.

Last week’s Frock Friday was a no-show because we went camping with the kids and it was just all too hard for me to factor blogging in with everything else! This Yoga teacher training is really kicking my butt and I’ve barely enough time for anything else at the moment. 

Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are!

love & light xo

Why do we return to the Mat?

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Have you ever wondered what draws people to yoga, what keeps them coming back to the mat?

Some of the truths about Yoga acknowledged by the Yogis in this documentary, and in no particular order are:

When you practice yoga for a long time, you’ll eventually become more involved in the spiritual aspects of yoga. It’s unavoidable. 

Yoga is not about finding flaws in ourselves, but to become more conscious of them. It teaches us to be accountable for our lives and allows us to be grateful for what we have. We need to embrace both the good and the bad.

“It forces you to deal with yourself.” Tiffany Cruikshank. She and the other interviewees consistently touch on the idea that yoga is meant to help you understand and accept yourself.

“Yoga has taught me that the key to enlightenment and happiness is embracing each moment as it arrives.” Kathryn Budig.

Whatever shape you’re in, how old you are, how young you are, etc. Yoga does not discriminate. Yoga teaches us to be comfortable in our own skin.

Many people like to give excuses to why they shouldn’t do yoga. These are the people who need it the most.

This documentary shows us how yogis like Kathryn budig, Tiffany Cruikshank and the brothers Chris and John Yax discovered  yoga and what keeps them returning to the mat. I really loved this, I got so much out of it. I hope you do too, and if it encourages you to try yoga for the very first time, even better!

Click here to watch the movie in full. It’s only 50 minutes, so it won’t take up too much time, and it is so worth it.

love & light xo

Monday Inspiration

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Lou Doillon in her trademark suspenders. Photo by Garance Dore.

As the cooler weather approaches, I am drawn to inspiration from the street style pictures from the recent fashion weeks in the northern hemisphere. One particular style note on my radar was the increase in women wearing suspenders. Suspenders have pretty much always been a wardrobe staple for men. They’ve stood the test of time because well, they hold up their suit pants! These days they are also an accessory, but for us women, rather than being a necessity because we have hips to hold up our pants, suspenders are a fashion accessory or even an affectation. I think I went through a stage of stealing my brother’s suspenders (which he probably stole from our Dad) because I remember wearing them with pants, jeans or shorts for a brief period of time in my teens. I liked them. They were fun to wear.

So my question is this. Suspenders: would you, have you or do you wear them?

Have a great week xo

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