Category Archives: Ayurveda

Autumn’s Rhythms

Have you noticed how when the rhythm of the music shifts, you automatically begin to shift the way you dance so that you continue to feel ‘in time’ with the music. In the same way, the transition between seasons also requires a shift in rhythm.

As the weather begins to cool we are now well into Autumn, shifting from the upbeat, intensity of Summer to a gentler, lighter rhythm in preparation for the slower, heavier beat of Winter. As that first hint of coolness in the air is felt the effect of the long, hot summer may also begin to show itself in feelings of fatigue, dryer skin, hair loss and maybe some skin flare-ups. That’s why Autumn is also a good time for a gentle cleanse to remove the excess heat  and prepare the body for eating more to ward off the external cold of winter.

The Ayurveda approach to a cleanse can be as simple as eating more light, easy to digest food for a few days and drinking the following cleansing tea to stimulate the digestive fire and clear the gastrointestinal tract of toxins. Make it fresh each day and add a couple of tablespoons to hot water and drink as a tea throughout the day.

Our daily routines may also slip a bit in summer, it’s harder to get to bed early when the sun is still up and there are so many things to do that regularity and routine slip away. So it’s time to reconnect with some simple daily sadhanas (practices) to balance the light, dry, cold, mobile and empty qualities of Vata, the predominate energy during Autumn. This is best depicted by the leaves, as you watch them they dry out, lighten and catch a ride on the wind, it’s helpful to appreciate that the same energy is at play in our BodyMind. Unlike the trees we can balance this energy with some warming, moistening and grounding food and practices such as:

  • Eat more grounding, moistening, warming foods at regular times. This means more cooked food, stewed fruit instead of raw and roast veggies instead of salads. Maybe a bowl of yummy whole sprouted mung soup.
  • As the weather cools down begin to dress more warmly and avoid cold drafts.
  • Allow yourself plenty of rest—an afternoon Yoga Nidra is ideal.
  • Perform 10-15 minutes of alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodana) each day.
  • Minimise stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, TV/computer time), fasting, excess travel (particularly air travel), and loud noise.
  • A cup of warm spiced (pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger) milk before bed.
  • In particular, Autumn or Vata season is the time to look after our ears, gums and skin.
    • Massage one drop of warm Black Seed sesame oil in each ear.
    • Self-massage daily with warm oil in an upward circular motion for 20-30 minutes before bathing.
    • If you are feeling ungrounded, massage some warm oil on the crown of your head and soles of your feet – particularly before bed.
    • For gums hold a mouthful of warm black seed sesame oil or coconut oil – or blend of the 2 – in your mouth for 5-20 minutes then spit it out.

Cleansing Tea

  • 1 tspn each coriander, cumin & fennel seeds.
  • 3-4 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 small handful raisins
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cups water

Simmer until the liquid reduces to 1 cup and strain.  Drink throughout the day as a tea adding 2-3 tablespoons to a cup of hot water.

Enjoy dancing with Autumn.

2WiseWomen retreats and workshops offer the opportunity and space to rediscover your own authenticity and attain a more balanced state of mind and body. he space to pause, the tools and skills to reflect on how you want to be and live, and pathways to reconnect with your inner wisdom.  Upcoming retreats.

 

A Leap of Faith

You know those times when you think about doing something, and you don’t. Then it keeps popping up, until at what seems like the last moment you know you just have to do it. This is one of those times. It’s my personal universal reminder service and sometimes it just won’t be ignored!

I woke early this morning to a clear message to send out a reminder about our next 2WiseWomen retreat that starts in Bali in just one week…next Saturday…crazy right?

I have been getting constant reminders to send something out for the last couple of weeks. Each time the thought popped in I would talk myself out of it. It’s “too late”, “if someone is meant to come they will” or “I haven’t got time”…all the usual excuses my mind gives to ignore something I am meant to do.

Anyway, the image that came to mind this morning was someone making that last minute leap onto a train or boat they really need to catch, and they make it just as it begins to pull away. Given the universe’s insistence my assumption is that there is someone who is meant to be joining us who hasn’t leapt aboard yet, and it might be you!


This whole retreat has been about just that. It is going ahead at what can only be described as the universe’s insistence. We tried to cancel it and it wouldn’t be cancelled! So this is not about us, and we are, by the way, happy the universe over-road our plans. It has been a great lesson in just continuing to listen and trust…which is what I really want to share with you. 

So, now it’s your turn! Not just in relation to the retreat but anything in your life the universe is guiding you towards. It’s time to listen and make that leap of faith.

If it is about the retreat…some time-out to explore how to live more consciously, and experience the benefits of Yoga & Ayurveda as a way of life…the universe has been listening and held you a place. 

Exploring Conscious Living thru Yoga & Ayurveda
Narasoma Retreat Centre, Ubud Bali
28/4 – 5/5/2018

Go to our Retreats page for everything you need to know and how to register.

Coralie and I are flying out tomorrow (Monday) to get everything ready for you…plus have a few yummy massages. If the universe is whispering in your ear to come…or maybe it feels more like a push…then give us a call now on 0474 226 / 448 or 0400 494 266 or e-mail retreats@2wisewomen.com.au

We are even happy to still give you the Early Bird price. If you are meant to be there then we want to support you in that.

xxCoralie & Girishaa/Mary

Ashram life and what comes after…

It was suggested to me yesterday that an ashram is not a home…it is the place you prepare for the next part of your journey. I had just told her that I had decide it was time to leave Mangrove and the words made perfect sense. I have tried to think about the ashram as home but it never quite felt like that. It felt more like school, in that I was constantly learning on so many levels.

Someone asked me last night what I had learned and it’s been good to give that some thought.   Ashram life has been a great setting for seeing my own ‘stuff’, what yoga calls our samskaras, deep-seated beliefs and patterns of behaviour that are like imprints on the soul. Living and working 24/7 in close community with people with a deliberate intention to learn and grow spiritually reveals the good, the bad and the ugly in all of us…and that’s good because you do have to see it to be able to do something with it.

Ashram life is like a classroom that reveals these beliefs and behaviours clearly and provides the teachings and support to choose which ones I want to keep and which ones I don’t. That said, our beliefs and behaviours tend to be hard wired  and the rewiring process is not easy which is where ashram life comes in.  The structure, discipline and being thrown into situations that trigger your ‘stuff’, all help with the rewiring.

The triggers for me were things like being asked to teach a yoga class in 5 mins, when as a new teacher I would painstakingly prepare all my classes the night before. Or finding myself cooking a meal for 120 people on my 2nd cook shift having only ever cooked for 20 people before…and the list goes on and on and on. Over time I have learned that if I allow whatever is happening, before I know it I am  on the other side, usually still in one piece, going “wow, I did it!” Or if I stuffed up nobody really cared, it didn’t define me in their eyes.

So, standing now on the other side of the last 2 ½ years I can say that I have learned to worry less about ‘getting things right’, what others will think and whether I am ‘good enough’…all my little Achilles’ heels. I have a stronger sense of being good enough and if something doesn’t go perfectly the world as I know it probably won’t collapse in a heap.

So that’s a little glimpse of my take on ashram life and I am completely and totally grateful for the gift it has been.

Now what’s next?

Like most things in my life the decision to begin the next chapter is based on trust and faith. Although I am clear that it is time to move on, I am not quite sure what that looks like just yet. At one time I might have said I was trusting in the universe but a dear friend reminded me recently that I am the universe so I guess it’s an act of trust in myself.

So, maybe this is the gift of my ashram stay, the opportunity to dig deep to find myself and grow in trust and love to allow this unique expression of the universe called me.

One thing I do know is that Coralie and I are taking 2WiseWomen to Bali on the 28 April to once again share the deep wisdom and practical tools of Yoga and Ayurveda. Our intention for this 7 days & nights is to uplift, inspire and empower our beautiful participants to live more consciously.

In a way this brings me full circle. The programme and the beautiful setting of Narasoma retreat centre is our way of creating an ashram like experience for you. A space to pause, reflect and reconnect for the next stage of your life journey.

xxMary

How & why do you escape your life?

‘True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from’

This came up on my facebook feed recently and it grabbed me straight away, particularly the part about needing to escape. Two things came to mind. Firstly, the difference between having or doing something because it is enjoyable versus needing something to feel OK or better, i.e. to escape. The second, is the point at which doing something for enjoyment transitions into pain relief i.e. escaping.

A long time ago I used to use alcohol to escape but it didn’t start that way. Social events always included a few drinks, and getting a bit tipsy…or a lot…was just part of the fun. At some point though having a drink became something more than just about having fun. It was a gradual process. Working full-time with a family meant that life was very full and very busy. Having a drink or 2 after work became the norm, it helped me to switch off, wind down, let go. As the kids got older and my jobs gotbigger, my stress levels went up, so did my need to escape, and so did the number of drinks.

Having a drink started as something I enjoyed and at some point, on the journey it became something I needed. Another example might be the enjoyment of those first few cups of coffee to a point where you can’t face the day without one and if you do it’s with a blinding headache.

The first step in any Ayurvedic treatment is to identify and remove the cause. If we feel the need to escape, the question to ask is not, “what should I do or take to support this escape”…but “what in my life am I trying to escape from”. If I need something to feel ‘better’, what is it about me that feels ‘less than’ better? If I need something to ‘let go’, what am I holding onto? If I need something to ‘wind down’, what is causing me to feel wound up?

The message…by all means have a wine, a coffee or a piece of chocolate cake but notice if it shifts from being some you enjoy to something you ‘need’ to get through the day, the night or the week. That’s when it changes from being something you enjoy to pain relief.

Step 1 – Take the time to pause and reflect on whatever it is about the day and your reactions that create the need to escape.

Step 2 – Remove the cause and replace it with something that keeps you firmly grounded in a life you love to lead.

2WiseWomen retreats are intended to help you do just that.

The Science of Yoga & Ayurveda

Yoga and Ayurveda: Fantastic practices but are they really sciences?

The definition of science according to Sciencemadesimple is:

“…. a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena.

The term science also refers to the organized body of knowledge people have gained using that system.

Less formally, the word science often describes any systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from it.”

The systems of Yoga and Ayurveda arose from observations of the natural environment. These observations were tested and refined through repeated experimentation using case-studies and repeated over hundreds of years. Now that’s what I call a longitudinal design! These systems are truly holistic in that the individual is acknowledged as multidimensional having physical, mental, energetic and spiritual dimensions.

There’s nothing new about Yoga and Ayurveda. It’s straight-up, good old-fashioned (and I mean really old– fashioned) science, and to this day the experimentation and refinement continue. This is one of the reasons why your yoga teacher bangs on about awareness and to observe what’s going on for you. It’s plain old scientific inquiry – observe, test, refine, re-test.

The name 2wisewomen refers and pays homage to these sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda and the many practitioners/experimenters who have contributed to these vast bodies of knowledge. These sciences compliment and inform the other and together they give us models and tools for understanding the natural world, our place in it and how to flow in tune with nature’s rhythms. (Ayurveda actually translates as, ‘the science of life’.)

2wisewomen invites you to undertake your own experiment as both the experimenter and  subject. Immerse yourself in the controlled environment of Narasoma for one week and see what you observe. Use your findings to inform how you choose to live from here on.

You can expect from a 2wisewomen retreat exactly what Yoga and Ayurveda offers any sincere seeker – Knowledge and Empowerment.

Over to you.

http://www.2wisewomen.com.au/events/

 

Last days Bali Early Bird…ends 31 May

There was frost on the ground at Mangrove Yoga this morning…brrrrrrr. As I psych myself up for a 2nd winter in the mountains it’s just that little bit easier knowing that I’ll be thawing out at the beautiful Narasoma Retreat Centre in Ubud come September.

16-23 Sept 2017 (7days/nights)

The good news is that you could be too because there are still places available…but only 3...and we nearly forgot to remind you that the Early Bird finishes on the 31 May…only 6 days away.

Narasoma’s tranquil gardens

Instead of a specific theme this year we are bringing together those things that the women who have joined us over the last four years loved best and found life changing:

Sunrise yoga in our beautiful rooftop yoga shala

The experience of Yoga and Ayurveda as a way of life. A structured, supportive routine, daily yoga practices, amazingly delicious food, personal consultations and lots of conversation to provide you with a life changing experience as well as a wealth of knowledge, simple daily tools and a personalised Sadhana practice to take home.

You, your hormones and the moon. As a woman the key to your health are your hormones. You will go home with a deeper understanding of what stress does to your hormones and how to bring them back into balance; how to transition towards a symptom free cycle and view menopause as a cause for celebration rather than medical condition. You’ll get to play with massage oils and learn how to self-administer some home style treatments that will leave you floating on a cloud of bliss.

Living your Dharma – how to live your Truth. Your life well lived is unique and only you know what that looks like. The trouble is we rarely, if ever, stop and give ourselves the chance to explore what really matters to us. You’ll learn the art of dreaming and how to create a life not limited by circumstances. You’ll also look at your personal road blocks, the things that are getting in the way of this life, understand where they come from and then thankfully, how to let them go.

Over the years we have run each of these as separate retreats and discovered that to do each one justice we always end up including components of the other two. So, this time you will get the very best of each one – a perfect complement that we know will be a life changing experience. We say that with confidence because it is the feedback we receive after every retreat.

Now we would like you to have the same experience.

Only 3 places left!

Early bird finishes 31 May 2017

Book here

 

Living your Dharma…a journey to Self

Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything…
maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t you…
so you can be who you are meant to be.

When you are Living your Dharma there is a sense of authenticity and integrity in your life. This doesn’t mean that life is a bowl of rose petals, however the right things do seem to happen at the right time, and there is a sense of flow.

The focus of our next 2WiseWomen retreat at Mangrove Yoga is Living your Dharma and our intention is to create a space for you to:

  • check in with your life and see what feels authentic and what doesn’t.
  • connect with what feels meaningful and fulfilling, the things you would like to have more of in your life.
  • identify what’s stopping the flow or getting in the way of what you want.

I believe that most of the time you already know what is and isn’t right for you and I think that applies to most people, but that isn’t enough. When I was in practice clients would generally experience improvements in different aspects of their physical and emotional wellbeing with the recommended dietary and lifestyle changes. However, despite these usually significant improvements they often struggled to stay with the changes, even the simple ones. In time I came to see that their beliefs about themselves and life, and habitual patterns of behaviour based on these beliefs, were subtly sabotaging their efforts.

This where awareness comes in. During the retreat we will use practices that will help you understand why you do what you do, and feel how you feel. By consciously bringing these new understandings into your day to day decision making, you automatically begin to ‘create’ the life you want to live.

This concept of creating your life is an important one. Every choice and decision we make influences the direction our life takes. When decisions are made consciously, responding rather than reacting to life, then we are more likely to be on the right path. Life gradually begins to evolve from our sense of purpose and values, instead of being shaped by beliefs and patterns of behaviour that no longer serve us.

The word awareness mentioned earlier may have caused your eyes to glaze over. It is a much bandied around word these days and unfortunately, like anything we hear constantly, it has become a bit ho hum. The saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ comes to mind. Don’t be tricked by that though. A little committed, consistent and regular effort in developing awareness – paying attention and learning from that – has the capacity to change the way you think, how you manage your emotions and the choices you make – in short it has the capacity to change your life.

You may also be thinking that this is ground you have already covered…been there done that. Another thing not to be fooled by. This is deep work and it takes us to new levels every time we allow ourselves the opportunity do it. Exploring what gives our life meaning and what is getting in the way, is an ongoing, never ending journey. Each time we ask ourselves these questions our life becomes richer and deeper for the asking.

If the idea of Living your Dharma appeals, then join us at Mangrove Yoga for the weekend 3-5 April 2017. Mangrove Yoga offer a range of accommodation options however some only have limited availability so if you are thinking single rooms and ensuites book early.

Take care, Coralie & Mary

Awaken your feminine energy…learn how to safeguard & nourish it.

It’s time to discover your own inner power to heal…

After many years of juggling multiple roles as a woman: a daughter; sister; wife; mother; grandmother; employee; business owner; student…my greatest learning has been that caring for myself is the first and most important step towards caring for my loved ones. The 2 wise women, Yoga and Ayurveda, recognise our unique health needs as women and offer time tested knowledge and practices to support our transition thru the different rhythms of life:

  • a symptom free monthly cycle
  • natural contraception and fertility
  • nurturing mother’s to be and their new baby
  • a gentle menopause transition

In addition to the understandings gleaned from my own experiences, my studies with two very special women have guided my understanding and approach to women’s health. Together, they provide both an ancient and modern context for understanding women’s health and spirituality.

Maya Tiwari, affectionately known as Mother Maya, reveals the secrets of the ancient texts honouring the sacred feminine and our inner power (Shakti) to heal.

Dr Claudia Welch, melds eastern wisdom with western analysis to make sense of the relationship between stress and our hormones and practical approaches in today’s world to correct imbalances.

Maya-Profile-2012Mother Maya’s inspirational story begins in a traditional Indian family then detours to completing her schooling in New York. By her early twenties, contrary to her family’s expectations, she had become a recognised fashion designer. Her subsequent journey of recovery from a diagnosis of terminal ovarian cancer at the tender age of 23, led her down an alternative path of establishing the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda in North Carolina, the Mother Om Mission in India, and taking initiation in the Vedanta tradition as a Vedic Monk. The Wise Earth Ayurveda school’s mission is to educate women around the world in recognising their own inner power and creative energy to nourish, nurture and heal. How to:

  • Safeguard their personal freedom
  • Connect with their inner rhythms
  • Recognise their innate power to self-heal
  • How to nourish and nurture themselves

cwClaudia Welch is a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and an Ayurvedic practitioner who lectures and teaches internationally in both traditions. Through her studies of Eastern medicine, extensive research of Western medicine and an innate curiosity she has compiled and written a book titled “Balance your Hormones, Balance your Life”. Her unique combination of Western medical analysis and Eastern wisdom provides a clear and very practical framework for making sense of the complicated particulars of hormones and women’s health. Her foundation message is about how stress sabotages hormonal balance. In applying her own learnings, she shares how it took her six months to be able to do nothing without feeling guilty. In a western world where stress is the major causative factor in ill-health I want to give one to every woman I know!

Our Women’s Health & Spirituality retreat in August draws on the work of both these amazing women and we are looking forward to sharing their wisdom with you at our favourite place in Ubud, the beautiful Narasoma Retreat centre. The perfect backdrop for our time together, a sacred space in which to explore our sacred feminine. During our 8 days together the diverse programme will include:

For MC

  • Cultivating and experiencing the extraordinary healing power of deep rest,
  • Giving and receiving traditional practices that nourish and nurture our feminine energy on all levels – body, mind and spirit,
  • Exploring and understanding the rhythms of our life as women
  • Revealing the science of how stress affects our hormonal balance, how that affects our health, and what we can do to restore balance.
  • Re-connecting with our inner power to heal and create,
  • Preparing and sharing delicious food and so much more.

If this resonates with your sacred feminine then it’s time to book. The Early Bird finishes on the 30 June and there are only 4 places remaining.

What’s next… Leading up to the retreat we will be sharing some insights into Ayurveda’s approach to the different roles and rhythms of a woman’s life: menarche, fertility & contraception; pregnancy; postnatal care and menopause. Knowledge to awaken your interest in your own feminine energy and inspire you to both safeguard and nourish it…

Register to be notified when one of these new offerings are on the plate.

xxCoralie & Mary

This is what is happening but is it really what I want?

I really love it when one of our newsletters or posts prompts a person to drop us a line and share what’s been happening on their wellbeing and awareness journey. Today I received an e-mail from a woman who was part of last year’s Living Loving Life (LLL) course. She told me she had been thinking about coming to Bali but…

“…life has been busy this year so far and I’m sure that is what I asked for but (I am) waiting to see if that’s what I really want!!”

I love this. First, she understands that she is creating whatever is happening in her life and secondly, there is a level of awareness checking-in with whether what she is creating is what she really wants.

This women is a professional health worker and when she finished the LLL course, in the final sharing she told the group that for the first time in her life she felt like she had choices. She could see now that life wasn’t something that was just happening to her, that her choices were creating her life, and in making different choices she could begin to steer her life in a different direction.

This is no small thing, in fact it is a really, really big thing. This understanding and awareness is the cornerstone to creating a life we love to live, not just one we want to survive.

Often, it is the big, obvious things that come to mind when we think about changing our life, things like our work, where we live, or our relationships. I have learnt however that being unhappy with life has more to do with our beliefs and attitudes than about what we are doing, where we are living and who we are with. In fact, what we are doing and who we are with are usually a reflection of our beliefs and attitudes.

If there is a part of me that is constantly seeking approval to feel loved, and through experience I have learnt that approval comes from getting things done, being helpful, getting it right or looking good…then no amount of wanting to stop being so busy is going to work. There will always be a reason why I can’t stop…there will always be someone to help…something to finish…or to get right. Because without that, I won’t get the approval that I unconsciously need to feel OK about myself.

One of my favourite sayings is ‘if nothing changes, nothing changes’.

Sometimes, even after making drastic changes like leaving a relationship or a job, we can find ourselves right back in a similar situation again…and again…and again. Why does this keep happening? When we find ourselves in these déjà vu situations, what hasn’t changed is our understanding of who we are and what we really want. Our outer circumstances may look different but if nothing has changed internally then often the new partner or new boss will begin to resemble what we thought we had left behind…again.

With the help of Yoga and Ayurveda I have spent the last 15 years consciously unravelling the old stories of who I thought I should and could be, to find who I am and what is important to me. Simply put I have been developing my awareness. I love how the wisdom and simple daily practices of these two wise women have helped me grow on all levels, and in doing so have changed me and my life in ways I could never have even imagined.

Take home point: The journey begins and ends with awareness. Life isn’t a goal to be achieved or even a destination, it is a path. Having Yoga and Ayurveda on my side is like driving at night with the benefit of high beam, it helps me to see where I am going, know if I am on the right road and avoid the potholes.

The next 2WiseWomen retreat is in August 2016 in Ubud Bali. Yoga and Ayurveda’s take on Women’s Health & Spirituality.

Not just another yoga retreat in Bali…

How 2WiseWomen retreats are different from other retreats.

Take this simple test to see if a 2WiseWomen retreat is right for you.

  1. Am I ready to make positive changes in my life?
  2. Am I worth the investment?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both of these questions you might be interested in what we have to offer.

The program:

2WiseWomen offer intensive programs in yoga and ayurveda that allow you the time to fully immerse yourself in a yogic lifestyle. A yogic lifestyle when combined with simple ayurveda practices is a powerful formula for transformation.

The daily program starts at 6.00 am with a hatha yoga class. There are workshop sessions throughout the day that explore lifestyle and living well according to yogic and ayurvedic principles. There is space and time for reflection. You will have an individual sessions with highly trained yoga and ayurveda practitioners to develop a personal program you can carry forward into your everyday life. The daily program concludes at 8pm. Participants remain on-site for the whole 8 days.

The facilitators:

Your facilitators are highly skilled and trained in their respective areas of expertise. We aim to create an ashram-like environment to support the practices and to provide a space that fosters living in accordance with the rhythms of nature.

The Venue:

Narasoma retreat centre is purpose built and maintained by a practicing yogi and her staff. The subtleties of the space are profoundly healing and nurturing. This space is offered as a gift to, and in service of sincere yoga practitioners.

Outcomes:

  • You will go home with a do-able personal program of practices that you have tested yourself throughout the 8 days – practices that feel right for you.
  • You will have an experience that will set you on a course for positive change – possibly for the rest of your life
  • A working knowledge of the models that yoga and ayurveda use to live well.
  • Value for money

More information about the programme and venue and how to register are here