Here are some pics of the wonderful day I've planned for you.
The Happy Healthy Lesbian Mini Retreat is only a little over a week away. Massage, DIY herbal teas, yoga, fun conversation, organic lunch and great company. Reserve your seat here
Here are some pics of the wonderful day I've planned for you.
This video is not only making me feel super happy this morning, it is also reminding me how cool all of those women are who are rolling out their yoga mats at home every morning. A home practice--whether it's yoga or meditation or dog walking or journaling--is such an important part of keeping ourselves well. Enjoy this fun video reminder!
PS - If you'd like some extra support to get your own nourishing home practice in place, join me on July 27 for a one-day intensive in gorgeous Woodend. Great food, company and conversation and loads of accessible, fun tools, tips and techniques.More info here.
You know that time with a new lover—after a little of the frenetic, hyper-crazy lust has dissipated—that you take time together to have sex slowly and luxuriously? It’s the time when you can explore each other more fully, and delight in the new found privacy you’re sharing.
You’re feeling infatuated. Each new curve is exciting. The texture of skin. The dip of the lower back. The fine down at the back of the neck. This new body that you are experiencing is perfect.
Imagine being awash with this sort of infatuation for your own body.
What would it feel like to see, feel, touch and find nothing but perfection in your own physical body?
In Yoga philosophy we recognise that there is nothing but perfection. That all of us are already perfect, just as we are. Shiny, lustrous diamonds, each and every one of us. Sure, sometimes things get in the way and we forget this. The Yoga expression for this is that the diamond can get dusty.
This dust can be social conditioning, a lack of self-confidence, comparison of ourselves to others, perhaps a negative experience with someone when we’ve been vulnerable in our past. No doubt you can generate your own list here.
This month I encourage you to take brave step towards clearing the dust from the diamond and recognising your own perfection, specifically in your physical body.
Yes, this is a tough homework assignment. After all, who really feels great about themselves all the time, right? Especially naked. (And if you do, more power to you, my friend!) Fortunately, I’ve got a few ideas to get you started.
First, let’s imagine for a moment what it would be like to experience your own body as perfection. Not goddess perfection, but perfection in the sense that you love it exactly as it is. That you value and nurture its capabilities, its strengths, its inherent beauty. And that you also support and honor its limitations.
When you look in the mirror you feel confident. You admire your shape and size. And you experience gratitude for all the wonderful things your body can do for you.
Wouldn’t this be great?
To get started, try exploring your own physical body as you would a new lover’s. Close your eyes and touch your finger tips to all the parts of your face. Caress your neck, shoulders, upper back. Notice the slope and strength in the muscles of your arms and legs. Run your hands softly and gently over your belly, hips, thighs.
Imagine you’ve never known this territory before. Explore your body with the interest you’d have for a new lover.
If this feels like too much of a first step, turn the exercise into a self-massage. Take a warm shower then soften some coconut oil, add your favorite essential oil and use the exploration I’ve described above as a skin conditioner and light, loving massage
Try this every day for a month and notice the changes you feel towards yourself.
Delight in the wonder of your own body. Feel the infatuation for yourself that you can find for another. Let your perfect diamond shine.
This week I really want to share with you some of my insights into friendship and how it can shift and alter as we begin to make happy healthy lifestyle decisions.
Before we get into this juicy conversation, a quick love note to those of you in Melbourne. I’ve just opened up a special ‘bring a friend’ registration offer for the Happy Healthy Lesbian Mini Retreat on the 27th of this month.
How friendships can shift and change as we make happier, healthier choices.
Making changes to benefit our wellbeing and state of mind is a very cool thing Sometimes it’s simple and instant. Sometimes it’s protracted and profound.
When I went through my ‘pain period’ in 2008, it forced me to radically change. How I spent my time, how I loved myself, what I ate, how I made a living. Honestly, so many things changed for me during that time.
And it changed my friendships.
For the most part, it impacted my friendships in deep and wonderful ways. My dearest friends rallied behind me, supported and loved me through change. And I made new friends along the way, people who were resonating with my new-found (or rediscovered) energy and passion for my life.
When we change and grow, we ask the people in our lives to accept the new ‘us’. Most of the people we hold close are excited to support us, to join our healthy happy cheer squad.
There may also be people in your life who choose to not support you.
As you make healthier, happier choices for yourself, you may be mirroring things for some of your friends that they find uncomfortable. They see you changing for the better and realise that they aren’t. And that can be an uncomfy feeling.
Perhaps they feel envy at your positive change, because they desire those changes for themselves.
Perhaps they are comparing themselves to you, and not liking what they see in themselves. (I call this ‘compare and despair’.)
Ultimately, there could be a gazillion reasons why friends respond to your changes in ways that may feel dispiriting.
Don’t feel disheartened, though, sweetheart. You’re doing great.
Here’s an interesting fact: you are most like the five people in your life you surround yourself with most often.
Let’s pause here for a moment and workshop.
Which five people in your life do you spend the most time with?
Jot them down.
Now think about this:
· How healthy are they?
· What do they eat?
· How do they care for and love themselves?
· How do they treat other people?
· How much time do they set aside to nourish their relationships (with themselves and their love ones)?
· How much do they earn?
Are you seeing any similarities between the people on your list? What about between those on your list and you?
As you make better lifestyle choices for yourself it will become obvious to you if there are people in your life—maybe even some of those people on your list—that no longer support you or align with the directions you’ve chosen to take.
This is normal and OK and only short-term-scary.
Disconnecting (or distancing) from closer friendships can be (dare I say ‘should’ be??) done compassionately and with sensitivity. I know you’re flush with those qualities!
And it can be a slow shift. It doesn’t have to be a by-text-breakup!!
As you create space in your social circles, you will create opportunity to invite in new, or strengthen existing, connections that do align with your values and choices.
These friendships can be the extra tool in your kit as you continue to grow and develop. Who wouldn’t want more people on their happier healthier choices cheer squad? I would!
Consider these journaling questions:
Who in your life now do you admire? What qualities do they demonstrate that you feel drawn to and why?
Are there friendships or connections that are feeling the itchiness of transition? Which compassionate and sensitive steps could you take to create more space in these relationships?
Create a list of three to five people you would love to recruit into your ‘I’m making positive changes’ cheer squad. What steps could you take to strengthen these connections?
For most folks, Yoga is something that you go to once or twice a week to feel relaxed, more bendy, or because your partner tells you to (!). But, as a certified Yoga geek, I’m here to tell you that there is so much more to Yoga.
In fact, Yoga poses can be used as techniques to help us muddle through all sorts of situations. For example, the three poses I’ve described below can be used to really love up your relationship.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
Use this pose BEFORE heading out on a date: it’ll make your eyes really shine (and get your lower back warmed up in case you need it later…)!
Lie on your back, with the soles of your feet on the floor and your ankles directly under your knees. Place your arms by your sides. Inhale, and lift your pelvis up off the floor, so that you rest your body weight on your feet, shoulder blades and head. Exhale and lower your pelvis back to the floor. Repeat at least five times, moving slowly.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Use this pose if you feel you’re about to lose your temper: it’ll calm you down, bring perspective and prevent a fight!
Sit on your heels with the tops of your feet flat on the floor, spread your knees wide and keep your big toes touching. Bow forward and bring your forehead to the floor. Keep your backside heavily resting on your heels. Let your belly rest between your thighs. Take your arms out in front, palms and forearms on the floor. Breathe here for two minutes.
Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose)
Use this pose for the ultimate quick self-care fix: it’ll relieve stress and anxiety, insomnia, headache and menstrual cramps, making you a better partner all round!
Sit sideways against a wall, with your right hip pressed right up to the surface of the wall. Swing your body around to the right so that your legs are leaning up against the wall, your back, head and arms are resting on the floor and your sitting bones (backside) are pressed gently against the wall. If the backs of your legs are tight, bend your knees a little. Rest here for five to ten minutes.
You know this: modern life is busy. Our diaries fill up, our schedules get hectic.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in getting things done, caring for others, going to work, and being, well, plain old busy that we can lose sight of the big picture.
Think about this for a second… If someone asked you what your big dream is, what your life purpose is, and what you're doing right now to make it happen, what would you say?
If you're feeling stumped, don't worry. I've got you covered! Join me for a fun and insightful speaker series all about living a life on purpose. All free and all right to your inbox!
You'll love meeting these women and hearing about their incredible lives.
We'll also be covering:
If this is sounding like the support you're seeking, go ahead and register for the Live Your Life on Purpose Queer Women Speaker Series right here: http://eepurl.com/QYbpH
As our community grows, I'm really keen to know what it is YOU want from the Happy Healthy Lesbian.
I've created a super shot survey and I'd love a small amount of your time to hear your wisdom.
Your thoughts, ideas and comments really will make a big difference in the future of this blossoming community.
Here is the link to the survey. It has six questions, and I reckon it will take you about three minutes.
Now, don't get me wrong! I know that three minutes is a valuable amount of time (try a three minute headstand or a three minute foot rub if you don't believe me!)
So to say a big 'thank you' for sharing your wisdom with me, I'd love to give you a special gift.
And the best part is: there are three to choose from!
I am so grateful you can take a moment for this.
I've got some really special news for you today. If you're excited about joining me in beautiful Ubud for my Queer Women's Yoga and Wellness Retreat...
You can see yourself sharing this amazing experience with someone close to you...
I’m thrilled to share this special, time-limited offer:
Say 'yes' to your place on the Happy Healthy Lesbian retreat before midnight, Wednesday 12 March and your friend, partner or wife can register for 50%.
Click here to learn more and reserve your places on this special week in divine Bali.
If you’re not sure about travelling alone...
If you’d love to reinvest in your relationship by spending retreat time with your partner...
If you and your bestie have always talked about ‘going away’ but haven’t managed to make it happen...
Take your seats together in my Queer Women’s Yoga and Wellness retreat here.
If you desire:
Take advantage of this special offer of sharing Bali with someone special to you (as well as sharing a great discount!).
This offer is only available until midnight, Wednesday March 12. So reserve your place here.
We have everything ready to welcome you (and your special someone!).
Take your place here.
PS - As always, I’m open to answer any questions you may have about this week of personal growth and investment. Please reply to this email and we can arrange a time to chat.
PPS - Here is what some other women have said about working with me:
‘I was so inspired after my private session with Amy. I've always thought I needed to go to yoga classes weekly but Amy designed me a personalised sequence of poses suited to my body type and time of day that I wish to practice. I now have my own sequence that I can do anywhere, anytime and it feels like me!’
'After one week of yoga in lovely surrounding, amongst a bunch of wonderful women, learning new funky yoga moves, my inner child is saluting the world. Thanks for the adventure Amy!'
'I would most definitely recommend this retreat to my friends as it is transformative and a great time and space out from the ups and downs of everyday life. Being away somewhere quite and peaceful is restful for the soul. It’s a great opportunity to take stock, learn new things and re-energise. Thank you so much!'
'I had a fantastic time at Amy's Queer Women's Mini Retreat in Castlemaine! Spending time with other queer women was awesome. I will definitely be coming again!'
Today I"m speaking with queer women's yoga instructor, Ally. As you can imagine, we have loads in common, given we're both totally lit up by offering the ancient wisdom of Yoga to queer women.
Enjoy meeting Ally, as she imparts some wisdom of her own!
Amy: So, Ally, tell us a little about yourself.
Ally: I’m the founder of Rainbow Yoga, a LGBT women's social yoga group located in Melbourne.
Amy: When did you and yoga hook up?
Ally: I fell in love with yoga about 10 years ago and we have been as one ever since.
In 2013 I completed my Advanced Diploma in Yoga Teaching which was initially done for my own passion of yoga but not long into studies I started planning out my Rainbow Yoga vision.
I also work as a web developer and although I get great satisfaction when I help out a client nothing feels better than a yoga session after sitting at the desk all day!
Amy: What is it about Yoga that lights you up?
Ally: I love yoga because it is so much more than just working different parts of the anatomy. Yoga is a "Science of Life" and the physical exercises are just one part of the many ancient teachings available to help me understand my mind, my body and a way to live a more balanced lifestyle.
My life without yoga would be like driving my car without a steering wheel!!
Amy: Tell us more about Rainbow Yoga.
Ally: Rainbow Yoga is about offering our wonderful community, a friendly and uplifting environment in which women can connect, share and support each other as we walk our yogic paths.
The classes themselves are a variety of Yoga Asanas, core strength exercises and relaxation. Sometimes I also include breathing techniques, meditation and chanting. I also would like to organize some well-being workshops charity and social events in the future.
Amy: Professionally speaking, what is your number one tip for being a happy, healthy lesbian?
Ally: Try this waking meditation out for as long as possible and as often as you need to. Repeat these phrases to yourself as you walk.
‘Let go of judgments, notions and beliefs about everything. Allow yourself to have no opinion or knowledge about anything and eat, drink and see as if you are tasting life for the first time.’
Amy: And what about personally speaking?
Ally: Yoga and meditation for sure!
Amy: Do you have a happy healthy lesbian role model?
Ally: I can't really name one individual role model here because there are many individuals and groups currently campaigning or volunteering their time for equality, human rights, peace and animal rights. To all these beautiful karma yogis and yoginis, you are my role models! There are just too many to list.
Rainbow Yoga is based in inner Melbourne, Australia. If you're in Melbourne why not drop in for a class?
Visit www.rainbowyoga.org for venue information and to register. Limited spaces are available.
with you, and I’m feeling that delicious blend of excitement and nervousness that tells me we’re on the edge of something wonderful.
I'm feeling nervous because offering retreats especially for queer women is one of my most favorite things to do. I’ve held retreats for lesbians and queer women for years now, from rural towns in Australia to lesbian-run retreat centers in Thailand. (There are some pics from those retreats in this post.) Now I’m heading to Bali and I’d love you to join me.
Registrations for the Happy Healthy Lesbian Yoga and Wellness Retreat in Bali this April are now open.
If learning new things and meeting new people, while being fully supported, lifts your heart…
And if sharing space with other women who really understand where you’re coming from…
… take your seat with us here.