FEBRUARY BLOG – GOAL SETTING
I’m really not one for setting goals.
I get my arse out the door every morning to exercise because I know I will feel fitter for it.
I meal prep so I’ve always got good healthy food to-go because I know it will help balance my hormones and give me energy.
I keep up my yoga and mindful practices because I believe our mental health is of the upmost importance. This mental strength will help with the exercise and healthy eating mentioned earlier!
After injuring my ankle last September I wanted a goal to help me get back to running. The truth is I’ve always hated running. Hated it with a fucking passion. So why in the heck would I set a running related goal? To prove to myself that I was mentally strong enough to do it.
This time my approach to running was different. I told myself that it didn’t matter how far I ran – Simply that I got out the door and started walking to warm up, then doing some form of walk / run for 30 mins. I only had to commit to running 2 x per week minimum. I told myself that I could slow down and walk if my ankle was hurting. I knew these conditions were very achievable.
When it came to the ‘big race day’ I was feeling good, I knew I had put in the miles in training, and that I could still slow down and walk / run if I needed to. Giving myself the permission to walk (if absolutely required) helped to dissolve any nerves (let’s be honest – I don’t get nervous – because I don’t give enough fucks about the outcome!).
So I ran the whole 5K and I felt amazing. And even better – I have learnt to enjoy running. Also, the next week I ran over 6K. Who the fuck am I?
So maybe I have seen some benefit in goal setting.. But you won’t see me prattle on about #goals anytime soon. But if there is something you have wanted to do for years – Don’t waste time, DO IT NOW.
See you on the mat Thugs.
JANUARY BLOG – F*CK WEIGHT LOSS
Why are we so obsessed about losing weight? I often hear “I just want to lose a few kilo’s”. I will admit I have said this myself many times.
I have a confession I want to yell from the rooftop – I finally do not give a single f*ck about losing weight and neither should you.
Let’s be real for a moment. You may have wanted to lose that 5 kilos for the last 5 years and it hasn’t happened. But for those 5 years you have been tortured by the idea of losing that 5 kilos. You will be happier if you lose 5 kilos. All of your life problems will disappear if you lose that 5 kilos. Yeah right…
Free yourself of the mind f*ck of losing weight. Just give up. Really.
Instead focus on your health. Do you have abundant energy? Is your skin clear? Are you free from disease? These are the type of health concerns we should focus on. Yes – weight can be a health indicator according to our government. However there are other health indicators you can focus on that are much better for your mental health!
The primal lifestyle has helped me achieve better health. Eating meat and vegetables. Moving my body every day. Following a relaxed and fun lifestyle. This has helped me balance my hormones and blood sugar – leaving me with much more energy.
If your new years resolution is simply to lose weight maybe you can add to that.
Reduce medications? Feel more energized? Get out of bed easily with no aches?
How can you achieve this? The answer is simple but by no means easy – By following a primal lifestyle.
Please join me in my fight against obsessive weight loss and obsessive dieting.
Give zero f*cks about weight loss. Instead give many f*cks about your health.
See you on the mat Thugs.
DECEMBER BLOG – HOW DOES A THUG SURVIVE THE SILLY SEASON?
How does a Thug survive the silly season? Here are some simple tips.
1. Christmas is one day. Calm down. Don’t binge for 31 days then wonder why you put on weight every December. Hot tip – eat healthy when hungover. You will feel better much quicker!
2. Keep some form of exercise routine. Walk for 10 minutes (will also help clear your head!) Do some body weight exercises – push ups, sit ups, squats. Do 5 rounds of yoga sun salutations.
3. Wake up and take 10 deep belly breaths before you get out of bed. Maybe do a few minutes of meditation. Do the same before you go to sleep to help settle your nervous system for a restful sleep.
4. Overwhelmed with all the pre-christmas catch ups? Schedule that shit for January!
5. Relax FFS! It’s the silly season. Enjoy the pavlova, booze and ham. Then make sure you get back on board the very next morning.
See you on the mat Thugs.
NOVEMBER BLOG – AUSTRALIAN DIETARY GUIDELINES
As part of my health coaching program I decided to have a good ol’ read through the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
It really solidified my belief that conventional ‘wisdom’ regarding our diet is a big load of BS.
For a women such as myself the guidelines recommend the following daily consumption;
5 serves vegetable
2 serves fruit
6 serves grains
2.5 serves proteins
2.5 serves dairy
2 serves unsaturated oils and spreads
I decided to input these serves into an app that calculates macros and calories etc.
I used food brands that appear in *insert large chain* supermarket.
The totals equated to about 2100 calories for a day and a whopping 14 teaspoons of sugar! Now I’m not concerned about that calorie number but it’s very ‘one size fits all’.
What shit me the most about the guidelines is the specific recommendations for foods I would deem crap. Low nutrient high sugar poop.
We have all heard it before – JUST EAT REAL FOODS. But I can’t help but feel like the system is against us peeps just trying to live their best and healthiest lives!
Here are some wonderful primal food swaps for the conventional poop recommended by our government.
See you on the mat thugs,
OCTOBER BLOG – IS SELF CARE BS?
#selfcare has become a social media movement.
Every man and his dog wants to post about their #selfcare routines.
Stressful week at work?
Ate take away 4 times?
Zero exercise due to stress of work?
Don’t worry! You can #selfcare that shit away!
Sorry, not really.
Yes, self care can include indulging in a very expensive dinner, eating a whole tub of ice cream (please don’t) or booking an extravagant holiday (like that chicky babe you saw on insty). However the best self care rituals are the ones that you can do for free at home on the daily!
Here are some of my weekly self care go-to’s –
Wake up, swing legs out of bed and take 10 deep belly breaths.
Hot bath with epsom salts and a glass of red (current go-to is Sangiovese thank you very much).
Self facial / massage with essential oils.
Lie in sun and cuddle a dog (vitamin D!).
Move your body daily – A simple walk around the block will do wonders.
Don’t wallow in pity, take control, take action and ceate some self care rituals of your own.
I would love to hear your self care rituals!
Anyway, back to my red wine…
See you on the mat thugs,
SEPTEMBER BLOG – PRIMAL
I’ve gone back to school! I’m studying to be a primal health coach.
What in the heck is a primal health coach? Well a health coach is somebody who provides guidance towards living a sustainably healthier life. A primal health coach does this will an ancestral flavour. Basically we work within nature. We eat natural, alive foods, we work with your circadian rhythm, we incorporate movement into daily life, and best of all we do all this with fun in mind. I finally have an excuse to act like a child – nobody can tell me to ‘grow up’ anymore!! Ha!
Here are the 10 laws of the primal blueprint.
Eat lots of plants and animals.
Avoid poisonous things.
Move frequently at a comfortable pace.
Sprint once in a while.
Get adequate sleep.
Play ( this is my favourite).
Lift heavy things.
Get adequate sunlight.
Avoid stupid mistakes.
Use your brain.
How good does that sound?? No starving yourself, No taking medications, No boring BS!
Maybe next time I will share how I came to follow this program.. but for now see you on the mat thugs.
AUGUST BLOG – HAMSTRINGS
My regulars know that I have pulled both my hamstrings. Nothing major.. but still took a lonnnggg time to heal. Years in fact. I still work on keeping them strong and supple.
I believe that modern yoga classes are dominated by forward folds. I spent years just ‘hanging’ into my hamstrings with no focus on strength. This left my hamstrings elongated but weak. The surrounding muscles were also weak (ie glutes, or as I prefer to call them – arse). Here are my general tips for keeping safer hamstrings.
In forward folds – when trying to touch your toes – rather than bending your spine – bend your knees.
Give less fucks about touching your toes – keep a straight spine and straight legs.
Do not look around the room and then judge how shit your fold is – The flexibility will come with time. Comparison is not good for you.
Work on strength – at yoga and outside of yoga – I love lifting weights.
See you on the mat thugs.
JULY BLOG – I AM
This month we will be learning about the affirmation I AM.
We will discover how using an affirmation can help steer your mindset in a chosen direction. We affirm I AM _______ as though it is already truth. For example one of my personal affirmations is I AM STRONG. I want to develop strength but I must deliver this message to the universe as though it is already truth. This is all about the power of positive thoughts leading to positive action.
If you still think this stuff is ‘woo woo’ and you want some science, I highly recomend you read this article by Ben Greenfield. It’s a long read but is worth it if you are interested in the power of our minds.
See you on the mat Thugs.
JUNE BLOG – YOGI DIET
What does a yogi’s diet look like?
Well, if you are a Thug yogi your diet looks like whatever the fuck you want!
Ayurveda (sister science of yoga) talks of consuming food that has ‘prana’ (energy).
Food with energy is food that is alive. Food that grows. Food that moves. Food that goes rotten after a couple of weeks. The ideology is that humans are made of energy and should therefore be fueling ourselves with more energy.
This energetic food will provide nourishment for this vessel we call our body. It will provide the fuel you need to power though your yoga practice and power through life.
Ever eaten a pizza or a burger before exercise? Then you know what I’m talking about.. those deep twists don’t feel so good with a bunch of processed junk sitting in your stomach.
Yoga has a way of showing us how our bodies feel. We learn to decipher the signals it sends.
I learnt this doing 6am ashtanga yoga.. a big dirty dinner does not pair well with ashtanga yoga’s deep forward folds and twists.
I’m not going to tell you what to eat. I’m simply asking that you listen to your body’s cue’s. Maybe it will let you know. Maybe you could try listening.
Remember, take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.
See you on the mat Thugs.
MAY BLOG – #REALYOGI
When I first started yoga I always felt a little left out, like I did not fit in.
I couldn’t get my feet behind my head. I didn’t feel comfortable chanting in class. I didn’t understand the Sanskrit language.
That was many moons ago, but some things have not changed.
Some days I would rather eat a burger than kale salad. I would rather wear track pants than $140 yoga leggings. I would rather drink beer than kombucha. I would rather use cuss words than Sanskrit.
Oh, and I still cannot get my feet behind my head. But I don’t give a fuck!
If you think this makes me a #badyogi that’s okay. I would rather be a #realyogi. A gal trying her best to become a better person every day. Now days I am dedicated to being myself and let that journey of self growth occur naturally. Maybe
one day I will enjoy being a vegan or doing yoga for 3 hours every day.
But for now, It’s okay to just be me.
APRIL BLOG – COMMUNITY
This month we will discuss yoga community in class.
MARCH BLOG – STRESS
In the west we talk of body and mind. In yoga we talk of mind body because we believe that the two live in unity and one cannot be affected without the other following suit. Many of us look after our physical body but neglect our mind and live with long term stress. My research tells me that stress can lead to the following health conditions – heart disease, diabetes, depression, hormonal concerns and insomnia just to name a few and it can also exacerbate existing health conditions.
So why do we put up with long term stress? Now I’m not talking serious stress – like a terminally ill child – I’ll leave that to the experts. I’m talking about the day to day stress that we all like to complain about. ‘My boss is such an arsehole – I’m so stressed at work’ or ‘My uni assignment is due next week – I’m so stressed’.
I use these examples because they have been my own story. I have truly found that a regular yoga and meditation practice has helped me live a less stressed life. Maybe you’re not into yoga.. that’s okay. What is your ‘thing’ – the thing that relaxes you? Find out and do it regularly. Don’t underestimate the physical damage that can be done as a result of your stress.
See you on the mat Thugs.
P.s. For those who love the nitty gritty like me – here is some further reading as to why yoga helps facilitate stress management.
The SNS, in conjunction with such stress hormones as adrenaline and cortisol, initiate a series of changes in the body, including raising blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. These changes help a person deal with a crisis situation. They mean more energy and more blood and oxygen flowing to the large muscles of the trunk, arms, and legs, allowing the person to run from danger or do battle (the so-called “fight-or-flight” response). The PNS, in contrast, tends to slow the heart and lower the blood pressure, allowing recovery after a stressful event. Blood flow that was diverted away from the intestines and reproductive organs, whose function isn’t essential in an emergency, returns. In contrast to fight or flight, these more restorative functions can be thought of as “rest and digest.” They are also sometimes dubbed the relaxation response. Manyyoga practices, including quiet asana, slow breathing, meditation, and guided imagery, increase activation of the PNS and lead to mental relaxation. Yoga techniques are more than just relaxation, however. Practices like vigorous sun salutations, kaphalabhati breathing, and breath retentions actually activate the SNS. One of yoga’s secrets, documented in research from the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation near Bangalore, is that more active practices followed by relaxing ones lead to deeper relaxation than relaxing practices alone.
Pranayamic breathing, defined as a manipulation of breath movement, has been shown to contribute to a physiologic response characterized by the presence of decreased oxygen consumption, decreased heart rate, and decreased blood pressure, as well as increased theta wave amplitude in EEG recordings, increased parasympathetic activity accompanied by the experience of alertness and reinvigoration. The mechanism of how pranayamic breathing interacts with the nervous system affecting metabolism and autonomic functions remains to be clearly understood. It is our hypothesis that voluntary slow deep breathing functionally resets the autonomic nervous system through stretch-induced inhibitory signals and hyperpolarization currents propagated through both neural and non-neural tissue which synchronizes neural elements in the heart, lungs, limbic system and cortex. During inspiration, stretching of lung tissue produces inhibitory signals by action of slowly adapting stretch receptors (SARs) and hyperpolarization current by action of fibroblasts. Both inhibitory impulses and hyperpolarization current are known to synchronize neural elements leading to the modulation of the nervous system and decreased metabolic activity indicative of the parasympathetic state. In this paper we propose pranayama’s physiologic mechanism through a cellular and systems level perspective, involving both neural and non-neural elements. This theoretical description describes a common physiological mechanism underlying pranayama and elucidate the role of the respiratory and cardiovascular system on modulating the autonomic nervous system. Along with facilitating the design of clinical breathing techniques for the treatment of autonomic nervous system and other disorders, this model will also validate pranayama as a topic requiring more research.
FEBRUARY BLOG – ELIGHTENMENT
They say the goal of yoga is enlightenment.
Enlightenment definition – The action of being enlightening or the state of being enlightened.
Synonyms: understanding, insight, education, learning, knowledge, awareness, information, erudition, wisdom, instruction, teaching.
What is it we are seeking to understand?
I believe we are seeking to understand ourselves. If we can understand ourselves we can better understand others.
When our schedules are so busy how can we find time for this self reflection?
We must make time. Every single day.
A daily practice that forces you to slow down and reflect (even briefly).
This can be yoga and meditation – Your sliver of solitude for the day.
See you on the mat Thugs.
JANUARY BLOG – NEW YEAR
1st January 2018.
New Year, New Me.
Blah, Blah, Blah.
The new year often brings big promises for the following 12 months.
This is my year, I am going to lose that 20 kilos.
This is my year, I am going to meditate for an hour every single day.
This is my year, I am going to climb Mount Everest.
Have you set yourself new year’s resolutions?
It’s wonderful to set goals but have you sat down to think about the intention behind your goal? Why have you set this goal? How will this improve your life? How are you going to achieve this goal? Have you set this same goal for yourself in the past? How will this time be different?
Ask yourself the hard questions so you can refine your list to realistic goals.
Not a resolution setter? Nope, me either.
However, I do like the mood of reflection that the 1st of January brings.
I have been brainstorming how I can continue to improve myself in 2018. I will take daily actions in the following pillars to propel me towards my most happy, healthy life.
Fuel – Eat good food.
Move – Incorporate strength, cardiovascular and mobility.
Spirituality – Yoga, Meditate and practice kindness. Don’t be an arsehole Emma.
Love – Build relationships and community with like-minded people.
Sleep – The most important pillar!
Career – Spread the word on yoga and meditation in my community.
Make yourself a tea and sit down to brainstorm your own intentions. Maybe meditate on it!
This month in class we will be taking time to reinforce those intentions. Repetition is your friend. Remind yourself why you started. Remind yourself how good you will feel when you achieve those goals.