Over the past few weeks I’ve really noticed when I haven’t exercised as much as my body needs too. Just like stale air in our home can build up if we don’t open the windows & make the place feel yucky energy in our bodies can get stale if we don’t clear it out. I’ve been feeling sluggish & heavy within my body, not a good sign. We need to be flushing out our systems & moving the energy through to prevent a build up which then can manifest into physical symptoms. Exercise is perfect for that.
We are constantly evolving and what worked for me a year ago may not be having the same effect today. This is very true for how much exercise I need. I’ve pulled back on my yoga practice to a ‘maintenance’ level as far as my physical body is concerned. I’m not practicing half as many classes a week as I used too.
Another shift for me is that exercise is no longer about keeping the kilos off. This has been my biggest “ah ha” moment of late. In the past I’d slog it out at the gym, group fitness classes & at yoga with the aim of loosing or maintaining my weight. Epic fail. My weight was constantly yo-yoing. Once my focus shifted within & I ‘gave up’ focusing purely on weight loss magic things happened.
All the work I have done spiritually has made me realize how essential it is to work all four of my bodies in unison – physical, emotional, mental & spiritual in order to be balanced. When I was just focused on the physical body and disregarded the other three of course I wasn’t going to get anywhere. Inside had to change first in order to manifest on the outside. Once I realized this & listened to what my Soul was telling me literally my physical body took on the shape it was meant to be with a lot less effort and complicatedness. Soul is simple.
Sorting out my emotional baggage, getting on my spiritual path & focusing on doing what I love has been the best diet & weight loss program ever. I no longer need a layer of padding around my solar plexus to hide behind. The self-doubt has gone & so have the kilos. It was that straight forward for me*.
For the past year easing off the hard-core exercise has been good for me. It’s been about maintenance, relaxing, nourishing and taking it easy. It’s time to ramp it up again. As I mentioned above physical exercise goes far deeper into the invisible plane. I’ve started to notice the more healing & teaching work I under take the more exercise I need to be doing.
Why? I need to clear my system of any stale energy or emotions that might attach to me from my work. No matter how much protection or spiritual hygiene one does before or after a session a physical release is also needed. Exercising is part of my spiritual hygiene now. Energy, especially emotional energy, can get stored and stuck in every cell of our body. A physical flush out helps release this.
The Bikram Yoga I practice & teach is an amazing release for me. I can literally feel the blockages being sweated out my pores & left on my mat. Yoga of any kind is beneficial. Yoga asana work deep into the body to a cellular level. It’s not muscles and joints that get worked out, the respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic & endocrine systems get a good going over. The constant compression and extension of every part of our body inside & out helps flush fresh high speed oxygenated blood through it. Within this blood the stale energy is released & pushed through as well.
For example different energies get stored in different parts of our bodies. Self-doubt is stored in the stomach and fear in our kidneys. During a deep backward bend by compressing into our kidneys that fear is released. Ever get a bit scared when backward bending? It’s totally normal as its all that fear being released.
It’s important to keep our physical body strong & healthy in order to bring in more light. Light (love) raises vibration & assists greatly in the connection with Soul. Recently I’ve started getting headaches & feeling really lethargic. Signs I have not been releasing as much energy as I need to be. This has kept me away from the yoga room. When what I needed was to get in there! My vibration was lowering, as I wasn’t keeping on top of my practice.
Further assurance came when I took a well over due yoga class. I’ve missed yoga. I need it more than ever now to keep clean & clear. Lying in the pool of sweat, with the lights dimmed after class I was so at peace. Opening my eyes who knows how long later I was alone, content & lighter in more ways than one.
I’m sure my body and Soul will tell me when it’s time for a change again. Something new in the exercise field or just dial it down again. Till then the hot room is calling me home.
Love Seren xx
*Disclaimer – this is my own personal journey/experience. I’m not endorsing what I do is a magic way to loose weight & be healthy. Please seek professional advice before taking on a new diet or exercise program.
The phrase “see you at the barre” may well get most people chiming ‘oh okay then mines a pint.’ Alas no pints at this barre unless you count the pints of sweat you will be expelling. I am talking about ballet barres. Over in the States barre classes are the latest new trend sweeping the fitness sector. A franchise called Xtend Barre reached Australian shores last year. At the time I was looking for some anonymity away from the yoga world & something new to try out my muscles on. My inner ballerina who never got chance to shine was screaming to be let out. Xtend Barre was the perfect solution.
Being the hot new thing in town getting into a class was a tad challenging. Classes are available at three locations in my city and all offered online booking. That meant they pretty much sold out & you were wait listed. Classes have strict numbers as there is only so many bodies you can fit on the barres & equipment to go round. This varies from studio to studio. If you went as a walk in chances are you wouldn’t get in. Desperate to give it a go I managed to get into a Saturday morning class. I loved it & it just what I was looking for. There was even a studio nearer to where I live which was great. With my crazy schedule I only manage a couple of classes a month but it’s worth it for a blast of something different.
The class is open to anyone, no dance or ballet experience necessary. I for one am the ‘un-co’ queen of the century so don’t worry it usually takes me a few rep’s to get my arms and legs moving in unison. The concept is simple Xtend is a 55 minute ballet inspired class using the French ballet terms & positions. Think plies, tendu, turn-out & releve. Don’t worry if are not familiar with this lingo just follow the instructors lead. A warm up sequences of plies, stretches and leg lifts leads into an upper body-work out with light hand weights. Then its time to hit the barre. More plies, squats, releves and pulsing till your legs are shaking like jelly. You have the option of lower impact variation if it all gets too much. Subtle cues like ‘light finger touch on the barre’ helps remind me I’m not a monkey clinging on for dear life!
It is a solid work out though if you put in the effort. Even in winter I am sweating my socks off. You will be rewarded with toned, lean, sculptured muscles, a firm core & improved cardiovascular function. All the instructors are accredited pilates teachers and some I have taken class with are physio’s. They know their alignment & those eagle eyes will put you back in the safe, correct position if you are unsure. You are in safe hands, especially when you hit the floor for the ab exercises at the end.
You don’t need any special equipment for barre, just a pair of socks. I have invested in the branded Xtend socks that are just like any pilates socks with the grippy, sticky ball things on the soles. Normal light exercise clothing is recommended as I said above you will sweat. The choreography incorporates hand weights, resistance balls, straps and the new Xtend Stick. These are all provided by the studios as are the mats for the floor work. Water and a small sweat towel are also useful to take.
If you looking for a fun & challenging work out with upbeat music & a killer ab track give Xtend Barre a try. The new Xtend Stick classes are launched this week in Perth so watch this space how I get on with that one.
See you at the barre!
Love Seren xx
Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/XtendBarre
Who likes to travel? Me! That’s who. I love it I thrive from mixing with different people, cultures and seeing things ‘outside of my box.’ My over seas travel journey started late. I didn’t leave my home country of England till I was nineteen. At twenty-four I took off on a one year around the world adventure. Most of my friends had already done ‘gap years’ between high school and university so to do gap year at twenty-four could be seen as late.
Travel sabbaticals later in life are very popular now especially if you have long service leave to cash in. I like having the financial stability behind me now to not have to be super budget when I’m on the road. Yes I’ve done the hostel thing and eaten cold beans out the can for dinner so I’m not 100% posh packer. I like variety so it’s great for me to go 5 star one trip then pull back to budget the next depending on where I’m going.
My favourite part of travel is the change space I receive. If you’ve read my posts about ‘Energy Cleansing’ and ‘Clean Your Space’ you’ll understand how the atmosphere around us can affect us energetically. It’s the space we are surrounded by, the invisible energy it contains that feeds us. This energy inspires us, gives us ideas, allows’ us to grow. If we stay in one place for too long doing the same thing every day, just like water in a pond, we go stagnant. How often have you said ‘I really need to get out of town for a while?’ because you are ready for a change of space.
Just like people vibrate on different energy frequencies, places do too. Have you noticed how different you feel when you’re in a new place or country? You can instantly relax & feel happy. That is why we feel so good on our holiday’s the new energy space of a different place revives us. You are breathing in new nutrients from the new space around you. When you come home you’re not only chilled out but you’re charged up with new ideas and inspiration. I know I am.
I travel to draw from this pool of new space so I can come back with fresh new ideas for my life and work. I took a big trip around South East Asia over the Christmas break. I visited Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Each country offered a new culture, new people, new tastes, smells, sights, sounds & that exciting new invisible space. I had a few ideas rolling before I left but it wasn’t until I’d had my change of atmosphere that they truly flourished. Here we are right now with the project inspired from this trip. This blog!
I had huge waves of inspiration for writing and painting in the temples of Angkor Wat. The colours and sounds of the Vietnamese markets set my mind racing with new thoughts. Eating Khmer curry out of a hallow coconut made me want to ditch my plates. All these fresh new experiences was just what I needed when I was so ready to ‘get out of town.’
When you return from a trip you are filled up with the new energy that you bring back too your home. You can fill your space with it breathe it into your usual atmosphere from within you. Bringing back souvenirs or artwork, hanging frames of your trip photographs all pull the new energy into your space & keep it there. You don’t need to travel overseas either. A trip within your own state can offer the same space change. Just like I did in the post ‘Travelling Alone in Fun!’ Go somewhere different, a part of town you seldom visit or try a new restaurant in a suburb you’ve never been too. Anything outside in nature is always a winner too. Trees and water instantly breathe new life into me. It’s all different space and it can revive you if you’re feeling that pull for a change.
Next time you’re feeling flat and looking for some inspiration or a need to get out of town go find yourself a change of space.
Love Seren xx
Wow what a great start to April is all I can say. These past two weeks have been great. March was draining I was very physically and mentally tired. All I wanted to do was sleep but my dreams were super busy with lots of astral travel. Meaning I would wake up feeling like I’d done a days work because I had. The planets were busy too as we rode the Mercury Retrograde with a powerful full moon.
March was however a fantastic time for me. My constant whacked state was due to my physical body catching up with the changes of my spiritual body. I’d started a new course of study with my mentor and I was (& still am) reading some old spiritual texts. It was amazing how quick things changed for me and how simple the lessons were to grasp. Whilst my inner self was adjusting to the new information, making leaps & bounds in all the right directions my poor physical body couldn’t keep up. It was literally being left behind. The division of my two parts was extremely evident with the tiredness, sleepless nights & cravings for sugar. (Which I haven’t had in a long time)
Everything I’ve learned over the past six weeks has really settled in now & has been absorbed. I can start living this new truth, integrating my two parts back to balance. I feel so alive again and so very grateful for everything I have right now. I feel cocooned in a pink bubble of happiness. It’s just lovely when these moments of integration happen. When I’m off kilter I look back to these times as a reference point to remember what to do get this feeling back.
I’m seeing random acts of kindness everywhere. Strangers interacting with each other doing the most gracious and caring things. A lady dropped her jacket yesterday in front of me. I thought ‘oh her jacket’ and rushed forward to pick it up to be beaten to it by another kind stranger. Another lady had a tear in her work trousers I noticed from a far. It was a tricky call to make, she obviously didn’t realize as it was in quite a sensitive spot, basically her ass was hanging out! Whilst I thought how shall I approach this, another lady further in front jumped in and subtly mentioned the rip. I sent my gratitude to these wonderful people & hope they are re given too ten fold for their actions. I’m sure they will be.
Another shift that has been occurring for the whole of this year has been with physical exercise. I’ve really struggled with my own personal Bikram practice. I’ve been too drained to get in the room as regularly as I used too. When I’m shifting like this I don’t deal very well in big energy situations, I tend to hibernate. Staying away from the room was my way of dealing. I had a huge mental struggle going on which was fine as my two halves were not as together as usual.
A massive part of my lessons this past two weeks has been to see everyone ‘as one.’ We are all from the same source we see each other in everyone as we are each other. One light with many projections. Does that make sense? It’s hard to explain. With this fresh in my head I was so fired up for some yoga. My body needed to move. The perfect situation to be in a room full of mirrors reflecting back the negative image of the positive soul projections, all-working together and moving together as one. One light, shining. I had a beautiful practice this morning once I’d grasped this concept. No need to feel drowned & bogged down by all the different energy in the room as there is no different energy, just one, all radiating from the same point. I could not have felt more balanced & in unity. After all yoga means unity, now I get this even more deeply.
Have a wonderful day everyone. Do something exceptional today. All the tools you need are inside you already just ask to be shown and use them.
Welcome to the first in the series of Fitness Focus posts. Being active in your life is so important in maintaining a healthful balance. Personally I just cannot hack gym workouts. They bore me and I hate waiting around for machines. I prefer more ‘fun’ types of exercise, that doesn’t feel like you’re ‘in training.’
Today I am introducing you to Pole Dancing or Pole Fitness. It is so much fun and an awesome all body workout. I know the term Pole Dancing conjures up visuals of sleazy men’s clubs, sticky floors, naked dancers and dollar bills. Participating in Pole dancing for fitness you get to keep your clothes on. Until you voluntarily strip down after a few sessions when you’re very sweaty after the warm up and figure out the smaller the shorts = all the better to grip with.
I’m so excited to share this interview with you staring my own ‘pole-spiration’ and friend Helgi. After seeing these amazing photos pop up on Facebook I was super inspired to give Pole a go and booked into a six-week beginner course. Enjoy!
How did you discover Pole Dancing & what inspired you too give it a try?
– I had a few friends who were doing it, and they couldn’t stop raving about how much fun they were having while getting a great workout.
Tell us about your first class? Was it love at first spin or a battle to go back?
– I was hooked instantly! As soon as I saw some of the more advanced girls practice, I couldn’t wait to learn those tricks and dance like them.
How long have you been dancing for now & how often do you practice?
– About a year now. Our studio closed down in December, so I haven’t been practicing as often as I used to. Ideally I try to practice several times a week on the pole, and have 1 or 2 good stretch sessions as well.
What is your favourite move & how long did it take you to master it?
– Probably my Gemini to Scorpio leg switches. It only took a few sessions to get it down, but now the challenge is doing it with the pole in spinning mode!
What is your most challenging move?
– Right now either my Aisha/ Candlestick ( it takes a lot of shoulder strength!) Or my Jade splits- Still working on flexibility!
How does pole dancing make you feel, what makes you keep coming back for more?
– Pole dancing makes me feel strong, powerful, graceful, sexy, inspired, sometimes frustrated, but always wanting to learn more, get better and master that next move.
Have you noticed a difference to you health, body shape, mental wellbeing since making Pole Dancing a regular part of your fitness routine?
Absolutely! Pole dancing is so much fun, you don’t realize how much of a workout you are getting at the time, but I have noticed a huge difference in my upper body, leg and core strength, overall body shape and flexibility. It is also a great stress reliever, which I’m sure is true for any type of dance, but you can really put all your emotions into it, it’s very cathartic.
Do you do any other sports or activities? Has your performance been improved since you started pole dancing?
I have been horseback riding since I was 8 or 9 years old, and I had previously considered myself to be a pretty fit person, but Pole has made me stronger and fitter than I ever thought possible. The flexibility needed has also really helped improve my riding, as horseback riders can tend to get pretty stuck, especially through their hips and back.
What are your future plans for pole dancing?
Keep learning and improving, taking online lessons with my coach, Kristy, who lives in LA. Continue trying to get together with friends for regular Pole Jams, and keep trying to get those damn splits!
What advice would you give to a pole newbie interested in taking a class/beginners course?
- Check out a few places before you decide where to enroll. There are lots of different teaching styles out there, and you should feel comfortable with the teacher, and the studio. Ask about what moves you will be learning and if the teacher is certified through a pole organization. Pole can be dangerous if the teacher does not take the time to give you good solid basics before moving on to harder moves. If they are expecting you to invert ( go upside down) in the first few classes, you could hurt yourself. On the flip side, if you are only learning one or 2 moves per class, you might find yourself getting bored. Find a studio/ teacher that seems right for you.
- Expect to feel a little silly the first time you try. Once you get comfortable that awkwardness will go away and you will be feeling strong and sexy in no time!
- Be prepared for bruises. The pole is metal. You are not. Expect some pain and bruising to happen as you learn new moves. You will learn to wear you bruises with pride, as they are evidence you mastered that new trick.
- You may get hooked. Many start out thinking pole will be a once- per –week addition to their fitness routine. Next thing they know, they have a pole in their living room, and have given up their day job to open a studio. Once you realise how amazing pole makes you feel, it must become a very important part of you life, I know it did for me.
Thank you for sharing Helgi! Who wants to get their spin on now? Hot pants optional.
Anyone in Perth, WA looking to give Pole a whirl I completed the six weeks beginners course at the She Moves studio in Joondalup (3 studios in total across the city). A very professional set up, safety cues & injury check up’s at the start of each class, great instructors and as Helgi mentions there are no inversions until the Intermediate course. This can only be taken after the Beginners. On completion of the course you qualify to join in the weekly casual ‘Smoulder and Spin’ class that incorporates most of the beginner spins in a one-hour, pre choreographed class. Be prepared for bruising and feeling totally silly to start out, with moves like ‘stripper push ups’ & ‘the sexy frog’ you can’t but laugh (& twirl) you’re way to fitness.
Love & light,