Summer reading

B Baths
Summer reading takes me back to my youth on the beach – freedom, young love, new bikinis, fizzy drinks, embarrassing meet-ups! Whilst I love to dabble in a bit of writing, 2020 did not get my first novel drafted! However I did re-read several of my blogs and realised they are not too bad! So I’ve captured a few salient and poignant snippets that may be interesting, supportive, as well as perhaps entertaining. If you click on each of the headings below, you can read the full related blog.
Atomic Habits – 1% every day, every day.
The anticipation of an atomic habit certainly gets my juices flowing! Truly, by doing 1% everyday, will that really make a difference? In his book, Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, James Clear gives the analogy that small regular monetary investments compound over time. We all understand that! In the same way the net results from gradual behavioural change multiply as we repeat them. Making a choice that is 1% better seems insignificant in the moment but is the difference between who we are and who we could be. The brain is changed by our experiences. So, what we do out in the physical world, or psychologically inside ourselves, has a big impact on our lives. A Q to ponder on the beach! What was your 1% improvement during Covid? Is this something to continue into 2021?
Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube
As a lineage-based traditional yoga teacher I really had to bite my lip this year, when people told me of their online yoga practice with Adrienne. Perhaps I’m envious of her millions of followers and big income no doubt. Seriously ‘yoga’ is mostly not what you see on social media, is not about being female in a ‘bikini’ pose or a vegan fringe dweller. Whilst I understand that many people this year were seeking free ‘exercise’ online, this simply reinforced that yoga is an exercise class. Yes poses (asana) are a physical practice however their intent is to subtlety influence the systems of the body. Experiencing the integration of sensation, breath, mind, emotion and Spirit is the intent of practising asana. A Q to ponder on the beach! Is your practice or the class you attend a work-in or work-out? Is it time to consider a change in 2021?
Natural drugs!
Yes, each of us has a potent drug cabinet within our body that has no side effects! Your brain produces natural ‘chemicals’ that include endorphins (our own natural morphine), serotonin (known to enhance mood) and many more. These can be more effective and safer than pills. Your brain decides whether to open your drug cabinet. If you are worried, fatigued, stressed, concerned about any potential ‘dangers’, the brain protects you by creating pain and your drug cabinet closes. Given that in Australia 17% of people live with pain or chronic pain, this could be you? The good news is that you can learn to open your own 24-hour pharmacy!  Rather than taking a medical approach, the key to open your ‘pharmacy’ is a continual process of learning practices to calm the mind, manipulate your breath and stay present. A Q to ponder on the beach! What habitual stories do you feed your mind about your ‘pain’/suffering? Remember this is forcing your natural pharmacy to close.
Yoga Therapy – to get back onto your life raft Therapeutically, yoga is like a life raft. Yoga Therapy gets you back onto your life raft and integrated into yourself, before you drown! Gary Kraftsow, pioneer Yoga Therapist. We all need a robust life raft and one that does not leak! Especially beyond 2020 and into the ongoing global uncertainties of Covid. Yoga Therapy, in contrast to a group class, seeks to understand you as a person and identify what is effective in creating neural (brain) changes that support long-term well-being. For example, we may directly address mental steadiness and fluctuations in your mood, through regulation of breath and energy flow in different breathing techniques. This requires a step by step commitment over time, to ensure an integration into your lifestyle. A Q to ponder on the beach! Do you have persisting health issues that may benefit from an integrated practice? 
Authenticity in business – you do you!
Our gift to others in being authentic is often unexpected – gee did I learn that this year! An authentic business is the capacity to know the difference between superficial wealth and the gift of adding value to the lives of others and the world. Being able to offer the gift of your work of course needs to pay your bills, however the satisfaction may not be in the size of your bank balance. Courage, compassion, and connection, according to Brene Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection), are necessary for a meaningful life. This requires you to walk with your feet firmly on the earth, pay your way in life, meet your responsibilities and care for yourself and others. A Q to ponder on the beach! Are there small changes you can make to the way you ‘work’ in the world, to more fully reflect your true Self?

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Caroline Giles Experience yoga studio melbourne

I’m Caroline Giles, a Yoga Therapist and Yoga Teacher, and the owner of Experience Yoga. I’m inspired to teach you practices of yoga for health, well-being and wholeness. My students are the everyday person like you and me. They come to create strength, vitality, inner peace and courage in their life through the practices of yoga.

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