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Showing posts with label yoga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yoga. Show all posts

Thursday, 11 October 2018

It never rains, it pours

In my head I’ve written this blog a thousand times. Each one has been slightly different, but they've all had the same gist. The same topic. The same everything, just phrased or sorted differently.

Each one was about how “it never rains, it pours”, and how, (somehow; I can’t think about it right now for some reason) it relates to yoga, and letting go of the excess, and how the two intertwine so magnificently.

But then, in my head, I started making this blog post so much bigger, and bolder, and more detailed than it needed to be, that I started to loathe the idea of having to write this post... I always had an excuse, or an alternative time to do it, or any reason to avoid writing it.

Yes, I was away on holiday at that time, too, and that could easily be a legitimate reason to postpone thinking about ‘work’ stuff. But still, my head continued birthing ridiculous comments. This time about how I was being so lazy, procrastinating again and falling back into bad habits, being so selfish and self-absorbed, a disgrace to humanity.

Luckily I managed, somewhat, to capture this train of thought at that point. I took a deep breath. I realised that it was self-sabotaging. I realised that it was a toxic thought path. A dead end. And it was only a week later, while lying in bed trying (admittedly, not very hard) to fall asleep, that I realised that I had just lived out the message of my blog post. The excess noise that our thoughts make needs to be let go of. It doesn't always have to be pouring.

But even if it IS pouring, and it isn't just your head making little mole hills into huge-ass mountains, we still can calm the mind down. We can still make it less pour-y and more rain-y, in our heads. And by doing so, perhaps alter our perception of where we're at. Similarly, in yoga, we need to let go of where we were yesterday, or where we want to be, and we need to stop putting ourselves down for not being somewhere further, or somewhere else. We do have the power to calm the storm in ourselves.



Sometimes I feel that my cat always thinks that it's pouring. Like, if she has only two bowls of food available to her around the house, rather than three, her world might end. But it is all about perspective, Elsie, it's all about perspective.
blog meditation mindfulness stillness yoga

Monday, 1 October 2018

Knowing when to let go

I refrained from putting a question mark at the end of the title, in the hopes that I may become more confident in doing what the title suggests. As it turns out, I may be one of the worst candidates for "letting go". Or, more accurately, knowing when to do so. The how is a different, but equally important question, and journey. But, baby steps.

So, I'm going to go on the assumption that everyone has had to let go of something somewhere in their lives. Whether it's a grudge, a relationship, a promotion, a holiday, or an emotion, I assume that everyone has gotten to a stage where they realise that holding on is only making matters worse. Or where you realise that holding on is the root cause of a vast majority of your current misery. One aspect of this assumption also stems from the hope that, if you've experienced that sort of misery, that you have also experienced its opposite - a free, unbounded joy and mirth that makes you feel light and peaceful and completely content. Besides, we cannot see the light if there was no dark to distinguish it from, and vice versa.

So, if letting go can lead to such lightness, then why do we hold on in the first place? Is it fear? Of the unknown? Or of making the wrong decision? Or fear of losing what we have come to know so well, despite the misery? Can the grass really be greener on the other side of this clinging to what we know, to what we're comfortable with? Is it doubt?

Personally, I think that one knows when it's time to let go when you've been so preoccupied with something that you feel the urge to write a nonsensical blog about it. When you start to struggle to see anything else, despite knowing that there is so much more to life, that there are still so many roses to smell, or when you forget not to take it all for granted (Or, like me, forget to add the "not" into that phrase).

This all suggests that there is a place and time (or a reason) for holding on, and I can agree with that. As long as the learning and the growing and the appreciating is still happening, or still noticed, then hold on. Learn from it. Explore the misery. But don't go to a point where you struggle to see the light, the good.

Of course, the how can be done through yoga :) Whenever you realise that you (or your ego) have latched onto getting into a certain pose, despite your body, or your heart, or your mind screaming for you to stop, stop. Meditate, if that works for you. Or just listen. Be still, tune in, and listen to yourself. If you stop trying so hard now, it doesn't mean that you will lose all hope of getting into the pose some other time, but it isn't now. In fact, pushing for it at the wrong time is usually more likely to prevent you from ever reaching it.

Just saying.

K, so, I'm gonna go do some yoga now and try to let go a bit. And in letting go of balancing in a handstand, I will attempt to translate the lesson into other matters of my life. Wish me luck!

Sometimes you gotta just let loose a bit. Do
yoga in the snow. Lift a leg in downward dog.
Go crazy.
Thanks to Daven for the photo :)

blog mindfulness new beginnings yoga

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Intensive 200hr Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga Alliance approved 200-hour accredited course September to November 2018 in Johannesburg

Location:

MoveMe Mind Body, DOUGLASDALE, Johannesburg. Click here to find us.

Duration:

PART TIME 200 hour September to November 2018. Click here if you're looking for a less intensive course (3 months).

Schedule:

The course is run at times that are convenient to the majority of people enquiring for the course. Sessions are 3 hours long, running two to three times per week, in the mornings (approx. 9-12) or afternoons (approx. 1-4pm). Please include your preferred times when enquiring about the course.

We work from an intimate small studio and only accept a small group of students believing that this enables a higher standard of Yoga Teacher Training and individual attention to each student. A maximum of five students are accepted on any one course.

Criteria for acceptance:

We do not expect you to be an advanced yogi, nor super fit or flexible. We expect that you have a yoga practice, a love for yoga and a commitment to the course and to your practice.

Certification:

200 HR VINYASA YOGA TEACHER TRAINING APPROVED BY THE YOGA ALLIANCE. Upon completion of the course you will be able to register as a yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance (US).

Cost:

  1. STUDENTS/UNEMPLOYED (South African only): R11 000(deposit of R5 000 and R6 000 before certificate is granted)
  2. OTHER: R16,000 (deposit of R5 000 & R11 000 before certification is granted)

Want to know more about teacher training?

Click here to find out more about the course we offer, incluing a rough course outline.


Contact Celeste to discuss your course


O845OO1877




private special offer studio teacher training teaching yoga

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Planting seeds

So, I love gardening. I'm actually currently in the middle of packing up my current home to move to a place with an actual garden (an actual garden as opposed to the garden of pot plants that I have foresting on my balconies).

And I recently planted a bunch of bulbs in little pots, along with lots of help from my dad who had the idea to sell little plants that are, in one way or another, related to yoga - combining two of my passions!

So, with all this green stuff happening around me (that's not to mention the new promo from Checkers where you get a little plant kit for every R150 that you spend there), I was tickled by the analogy coming up in one of the teacher training courses. A student referred to one of her favourite teachers 'planting seeds' in terms of where an easier yoga pose may be leading to. And I have fallen in love with said analogy (thank you, Sean, whose classes I am yet to go try out). The idea that your yoga practice is a young sapling, and little bud, or a very fresh new flower, or even just the sprouting roots of a newly planted clove of garlic! It has so much potential, as long as it is cared for, nurtured, and nourished. The plant doesn't rush ahead of itself to become a tree, or a gorgeous blooming flower. It takes its time. It feeds off of the nutrients around it. It struggles when it doesn't get enough light, or soil, or water. But it also thrives again when it does receive what it needs. But it takes time. Like any good and long-lasting yoga practice. It takes time, and care, and attention.
My cabbage seedlings from Checkers!! No idea
where I'm going to plant them when they get bigger....
A plant from my gran's garden that's FINALLY
started growing it's own little leaves!!


Lots of little seedlings making their way into
the big world!
Awwww, little heart-shaped leaves budding
from little bulbs under the soil :)
alignment blog mindfulness outdoor special offer teacher training teaching yoga

Thursday, 8 February 2018

A new year, a new... me?

A very happy (and very much belated) new year to everyone! =)

In the build up to the start of the new year, I spent a lot of time reflecting back on the events of 2017. It was a pretty spectacular year. Spectacularly awful, as well as spectacularly awe-full. But through all the ups and downs, I do feel like a very, very different person starting 2018, compared to when I unsuspectingly, and happily entered into 2017.

But I've sort of found, perhaps, maybe, that the less prepared you feel for a lesson, the greater that lesson is? Or the more you grow during it? Or just the more completely it catches you off guard and knocks you down. But the only really bad thing about being knocked down is if you don't get back up again, isn't it?

So, like, in that sense it's very similar to standing balances in yoga (or arm balances, too, I guess; but let's stick with the slightly simpler analogy for now...). If you're frowning with intense concentration, I bet you you'd be more likely to not be able to keep a balance like Vrksasana. At the very least, you probably wouldn't be able to keep your balance for as long as if you were smiling merrily and allowing your body's natural balance mechanisms to do their thing *. I always encourage taking balances lightly, and taking oneself less seriously in balance poses. Yes, you need to engage muscles and focus, have proper drishti and so on. But more importantly, I think, is laughing at yourself when you fall over. And then getting back up and trying it again. After all, yoga is about the journey, not the destination.

So, without further rambling... go make 2018 the year for you. Your growth. Your discovery. Your love. Fall down, learn lessons, hard lessons, easy lessons. But get back up again. And keep smiling.

What the heck is going on with my shoulder??! And my hands are skew.
But either way, this is Vrksasana in a pretty tunnel


* No, I'm not saying that balance is all about your body taking over and you can just be blissfully unaware. You need to have your standing leg engaged. Engaging abdominals can help in some situations, too. I'm speaking more of the over concentration that takes over and makes your body rigid. 


There's much more to balance
Source

Also, check out this link for more on the muscles that are used in Vrksasana



anatomy blog classes mindfulness new beginnings teaching yoga

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The bright side of pain

Sigh. The past two weeks have been horrid. Or, at least, the pain has been horrid. Which kind of makes the day horrid. Which makes a week horrid. I'm sure you get the picture.

I am, once again, on the verge of being diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylosis (Ooh! I found out: spondylosis refers to the disease state, while spondylitis refers to the inflammatory flare, or specifically to the inflammation of the joints). My most recent scan shows severe inflammation in my lumbar spine, and, to a lesser degree, in my cervical spine, hips, SI joints, and knees. On top of that, I've been in a wrist brace to immobilise my wrist, so that it hopefully heals from an injury that I sustained two months ago, whilst ice skating. Or, more accurately, whilst falling, while ice skating :-p



On meeting a new client, I explained to her about my injuries (I had the brace on and she asked), and I also explained to her that, while several of my injuries are yoga related, I feel that that has contributed to making me a better teacher. My non-yoga related injuries have done the same in the sense that I know very well what to look out for, how to modify, and when to back down. I realised, while explaining this to my client, that being a chronic pain sufferer myself, puts me in a unique position to relate to people in similar situations. I know from experience that no amount of explaining or empathy can fully reveal what someone in chronic pain is experiencing, so it's super useful to have an instructor who already knows first-hand what you're likely experiencing.

While my pain and awareness of injuries may make me a little hyper cautious, I have overcome so much in the process of dealing with my own pain that I have grown my determination and confidence in my ability to help others with the same problems. Coupled with my thorough understanding of anatomy, I help people get into those show-off-y yoga poses too. Because I'm a pretty awesome yoga instructor, for people on a broad spectrum of levels and abilities.

And that is my bright side of pain!

Laughter is the best medicine. As is movement.



anatomy blog mindfulness pain posture private rehabilitation yoga

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Teaching and fear

Last week I was teaching a class, and there were only two students. So I asked them if there was anything in particular that they wanted to do. The one requested shoulder stand (Salamba sarvangasana), and the other wanted to deepen her backbends... not the best combination of poses to sequence for 😁 We decided to focus on the shoulder stand for that session.

...I was scared! For me, personally, Salamba sarvangasana is a horrid pose. I think it's because of my prominent C7 vertebra, but I get dizzy and see stars and feel nauseated very quickly in that pose. Similarly, but to a lesser extent in Halasana. Anyway. Besides not enjoying shoulder stand in my own personal practice, I also learned on my teacher training course that several prominent teachers and higher-ups had decided that teaching it unpropped, should not be done. Which makes perfect anatomical sense.

The cervical vertebrae are way smaller than your lumbar vertebrae, which are made to bear weight. Now you want to put close to your full body weight on your comparatively tiny cervical vertebrae, at a severe angle... with poor little C7 getting smooshed into the floor... So I was happy to not teach Salamba sarvangasana. Because I didn't like it, and because the propping takes a long time. More on that at a later stage.

Comparison between the three different types of vertebrae, showing the size of cervical vs. lumbar vertebrae.

BUT. I had asked the students what they wanted to do, and teaching Salamba sarvangasana became unavoidable. Which was fantastic for my growth as a yoga instructor. Because I forced myself to step way out of my comfort zone to sequence that class into a safe, properly activated and executed shoulder stand. Yes, I gave very many warnings about not feeling any pressure on the neck and properly engaging the shoulders, abdominals, back, and legs. Even more cautions than I would normally give 😁

And it worked!! I faced my fear, and I got both my students into beautiful, and completely safe propped Salamba sarvangasanas! I was admittedly relieved by the end of that session, but I felt like I had accomplished something. Like I'd gotten over a long-standing fear of mine. And you know what, I actually feel less scared now of including it in my own practice. Which I think is a fantastic thing. Of course, I would never do it unpropped, but I'm much less nervous about doing and teaching that pose now. And it feels good.
alignment anatomy blog classes teaching yoga

Friday, 3 November 2017

Christmas voucher offer

Get 50% OFF when you sign up for one or two yoga sessions per week for the month of December!

massage private special offer vouchers yoga

Friday, 27 October 2017

The funny of Bhujapidasana

This is one of my favourite poses to teach. For no reason other than it's hilarious to try to get into it. Or, more hilarious to watch students try (and succeed) getting into it. I'm pretty sure that I get this semi-fiendish delight from my own yoga teacher. See, the way that I was taught to get into Bhujapidasana is by doing a funny walk backwards and forwards on your mat, whilst in a forward fold, your arms wrapped through your legs, and your hands holding onto the inside edges of your heels. Supposedly, this helps you to get your shoulders further behind your knees. Which helps to make the pose accessible/ way easier. It's also the same set up used to get into Tittibhasana; especially the version where your legs are pointing straight up to the sky =) (Yogis come up with some crazy stuff.)

 Some obvious limitations for this pose: hip flexibility, hamstring length (to some extent), arm length (hahahahaha t-Rex arms), and, very importantly, wrist flexibility. Also fear.

 The wrist flexibility is a big thing, actually. If you look at the angle of the wrists in this pose (and in many arm balances), the wrists are massively extended (even hyperextended). Students often complain of sore wrists when doing yoga, and especially when a class is focusing on arm balances. It's extremely important that we look after our wrists, and, in the same breath, look after your shoulders, too! I have some lovely (read: torturous) exercises to build 'wrist'strength, as well as some funky stretches to do. I'll probably share those in an upcoming post. Or you can just come to one of my classes ;)

blog teaching yoga

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Spring

It's been a ridiculous journey over the past few months to get to this point. Like a winter hibernation filled with procrastination, and planning, preparing, practicing, and playing. And now it's spring. And with it comes the blossoming and blooming of all the winter's efforts. Hopefully.

Yoga has this phenomenal ability to bring to light what's needed in your life. I've been struggling with standing balances in my practice lately, and lo and behold, when I did some introspection I found my focusses to be wholey unbalanced! So, with srping comes the end to my procrastination and planning, and a shift to doing. Putting into action all that has been cumulating over the past few months.

Enter The DAVINCI. This coming Saturday marks the start of an amazing adventure and partnership. Every time I have a meeting related to this venture I get silly-crazy excited about the prospects! A beautiful setting where I get to work with lots of people to bring yoga to their lives! And such an amazing team of people that I get to work with to make this all become a reality!

Then, starting on Monday, the opening of a collaborated studio in Northriding. I'll be working alongside my colleague and friend, as well as a fully fledged dance school to make yoga more accesible to parents of children attending dance classes (or anyone else in the vicinity who wants to join!), and hopefully, maybe, possibly, getting some of the dancer kiddies involved in yoga, too! How awesome?!

And then there's the launch of my spectacular new website!! =) Cannot contain the excitement!! Let spring BEGIN!!

blog new beginnings spring yoga yoga studio

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Yoga and breakfast at the DAVINCI

outdoor special offer yoga yoga studio

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Tittibhasana on Hout Bay beach




This is a pose that requires several things: long hamstrings, strong-ish arms and shoulders, flexibility in the hips, and strong-ish hip flexors. In the photo, my bum should be a bit higher; bum and legs should be horizontal. And my left arm can be a tad straighter (although I then risk hyperextending that elbow...)

But just look at that gorgeous sunset!! =)
outdoor yoga

About Celeste


My approach to yoga is one of playfulness and lightness, and of letting go of any seriousness, strain, or competitiveness that hinders the development and evolution of your yoga practise. The balance, peace, and harmony that comes with a regular yoga practise has been invaluable in my own life, and I wish to pass that on to all of those whom I have the pleasure of teaching. I enjoy combining elements of various yoga styles, but emphasise correct placement and posture in each asana, specifically to prevent injury, but also to help each yogi to achieve poses to the very best of their abilities. My interest in alignment emphasis stems from my own injuries, which have, retrospectively, been my greatest teachers.

My yoga journey started in 2010 when I moved to Cape Town. My true passion is incorporating mindfulness into movement and lifestyle. While completing my Masters degree in Dietetics, I also completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training with Catherine Wilkinson in Hout Bay in 2014, and qualified as an advanced registered yoga teacher in 2017 when I completed my 500-hour teacher training course. The strong focus on anatomy and alignment from both of these courses blends perfectly with my Pilates teacher training qualification, which I use to help clients with rehabilitation from injuries, as well as building up appropriate strength to avoid injury in more advanced yoga asana.

If you'd like to hear more of my ramblings about my life with yoga, check out some of my recent blog posts!
alignment blog massage mindfulness pilates posture rehabilitation stabilise body weight teaching yoga

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Travelling to you

Sometimes it's just plain impossible to get to a studio to do a class or a private session. Sometimes you're just not into that kind of thing. But there's a way that you can still gain the benefits of yoga, Pilates, or even a massage! We come to you, along with props, and massage tables, and STUFF! As long as you have the space and the time, we'll make a plan.

We are based in Fourways. The travel service is provided at R50 added to the total session price. An extra charge may be added if more than 10km travelling is required.

The below map is an indication of the area we cover, but exact amount will be discussed on a per client/session/package basis. Please don't hesitate to contact us to discuss what you need.


Location



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