Entries by Marise Jose

Honoring The Body’s Messages – 3 Hour Yoga Workshop

What a beautiful frosty morning it was today. The paddocks were a blanket of white and the temperature was below 0. The sun was shining and the morning was welcomed by the keen yogis booked for the morning 3 hour workshop on honoring the body’s messages through asana. Both the morning and afternoon group were blessed with the most glorious winter sun streaming into the studio and later in the day a deep afternoon stillness was noticed by all.

The 3 hours was divided into a 90 minute yoga session, morning tea and a 60 min practice. Initially yogis noticed the stiffness in their bodies after a long break from yoga but we engaged in a full spectrum yoga class that included postures designed to clear headaches, neck pain, tight shoulders, hips and hamstrings, upper, middle and lower back pain, and a few other ailments. 90 minutes is a wonderful amount of time to really deepen into each posture and feel the messages the body is giving as the practice is maintained. There were some realizations around how much a consistent yoga practice actually gifts the body and the mind. People were re-energized to commit to a more devoted practice over the winter months.

Throughout the practice yogis were encouraged to notice when the mind became distracted and enticed into thinking about the past or the future and to redirect the mind towards the present moment and watch the unfolding of the body’s messages. A devoted mind can stay with what is unfolding in the present moment with ease and it does not run away from discomfort or become attached to a posture that feels incredible. The space was an opportunity to witness what actually happens within the mind as the asana is practiced. Some yogis start to receive wisdom around how to improve their daily routines so the body does not become so stiff.

The short break was an opportunity to be in the sun, connect and to sip a nourishing hot drink. There is such gratitude in the yogis to be in a space that has limited wifi, nature all around and the support of EMR reducing technology so that yoga can be practiced in as clean a space as possible.

The last hour of the workshop specifically looks at postures that assist a person to release emotions from the body. Second Chakra is the seat of emotions and like thoughts they are designed to flow in and out of the body without taking them too personally or seriously. A healthy second chakra receives the messages of the emotions, integrates the teachings and then releases the charge in a positive and harmless way. We looked at postures for irritability, anger, fear, lack of focus, apathy, procrastination, anxiety and the blues, obsessiveness, impatience and depletion. In the afternoon group we spent 10 minutes laughing so hard our bellies hurt and this in itself was a beautiful release of a positive joyousness that affected all in the room.

Thank you to all participants, the day was very successful with 2 very different groups and a whole lot of yoga fun. If you wish to experience this workshop soon let me know as it is a prerequisite for Sunday 9th where we deepen into postures for the Spirit. How do we reclaim the spirit from unhelpful belief systems? Dates are as follows:
1. Repeat of today: Honoring the Body’s messages: Saturday 8th August
2. Yoga for the Spirit: 9th August & 16th August
3. Yoga for the Spirit Part 2: 20 September.

At this Stage Yoga for the Spirit 9th August is fully booked and the 16th August has 2 mats left. Please register interest ASAP so I can create another day if required. Space is limited to 6 mats.

Hope to see you all again very soon, much love and light to you all
Namaste
Marise

Winter Wellness Retreat Day – 7 July 19

A unique day for participants who booked in to learn more about how to assist the body as it navigates the natural releases of wintertime. The season is one that asks nature and all connected to it to release all that is old so it can ready itself for the arrival of spring and the […]

Yoga By The Lake: April 2019

Chair yoga can sometimes be viewed as a modality for the elderly or the debilitated and although it is extremely beneficial for people in this category the style of yoga is abundantly fruitful for anyone who practices it. The April yoga day started with sitting on specifically designed yoga chairs and engaging in pranayama which […]

The Healing Art of Qi Gong

Qi Gong Weekend Immersion What happens when you book in to a Qi Gong weekend? Well this weekend the group participated in learning the Level One Self – Healing Technique. This is a movement meditation that has links to Tai Chi and immense therapeutic benefits. It is one of the most highly documented techniques as […]

Wellness & Beauty

The link between promoting Holistic Health practices
and creating Beauty is a strong one.

We live in an era where the
information explosion has created an environment where people have access to
the latest developments in politics, health, education and beauty. If a person
looks it’s not hard to find the latest developments in health and beauty but it
appears that the latest developments will only be a passing phase unless they
are in alignment with the current global trend towards a holistic and
integrated approach. People world – wide are being exposed to companies that produce
goods with integrity and support a sustainable planet. As this trend grows it
places considerable pressure on companies that continue to extract the consumer
dollar at the expense of dwindling natural resources. Health and Beauty is at
the forefront of this growing trend because it has the potential to address and
make an impact on three fundamental principles of health and beauty: (1) The
beauty and health of our physical bodies (2) the vibrant health and beauty of
our planet but most importantly (3) the beauty and wellness of people’s inner
state; emotional, mental and spiritual. To address health and beauty from all
these perspectives means to have a healthy integrity, which informs the types
of products and companies to support. Companies like Xinfu International and
growing modalities like Qi Gong, Reiki and Mindfulness all promote a lifestyle
that supports integrity and true beauty. As the Health and Beauty Industries
mature in their approaches so will people’s understanding that attitudes and
products that make a person feel beautiful and connected on the inside will
also be good for the planet and be in alignment with inner health and
wellbeing. This is true beauty.

HISTORICAL CONTEXTUALISATION:

The stereotype that Beauty
was to be found and enhanced in the realm of femininity as a way to attract a
partner is still a lingering idea. Traditionally women were seen as possessions
that had to look attractive or come with a substantial dowry in order to secure
a husband. Much effort was placed on looking beautiful in order to be
financially or socially secure. Men held economic power and so women were in a
vulnerable position, in competition with each other to secure the man who would
provide for their economic needs. It wasn’t that long ago that, women could not
open a bank account on their own and their personal identity was absorbed into
their husband’s name. Ibsen’s play A DOLL’S HOUSE is famous for exposing this.
It is important to understand this because the Beauty Industry is fashioned
according to the MAIN CULTURAL ideas of the time and at this time it was used
primarily by women because they were seen as possessions to make a man look
good! Beauty was simply a means to an end and it is not surprising that many
women fell victim to dangerous and unsustainable products that simply used them
and their vulnerable situation. Toxic substances used on the skin to make women
appear whiter, younger, browner or wrinkle free flooded the market because the
beauty industry could get away with it. It is not such a recent idea either as
in the 16th century Queen Elizabeth set the trend of making white
skin and red hair very popular so women in that time began to use a white
powder that contained white lead, which we now know to be poisonous. Of course,
this approach and consciousness level is very prominent in our society today
but things are changing at a growing pace.

Naomi Wolf in her famous book
THE BEAUTY MYTH published in 1990, exposed the Beauty Industry’s devious
promotion of women as commodities to be used. This period in our history was
the beginning of the end of the Industry’s total manipulation of women as the
weaker sex to be used and abused in order to make big bucks.  Wolf’s uncompromising effort to expose the
lie in THE BEAUTY MYTH also led to books such as FIRE WITH FIRE and
MISCONCEPTIONS which began to teach women and girls about their second – class
status in society and how the Beauty Industry was at the forefront of
maintaining the lie. A type of awakening occurred where women no longer gave
their power away to those who promoted the idea that Beauty comes from the
outside and guess what we have just the product for you! Instead Wolf opened
the door to the idea that Beauty is a state of inner being and connecting with
this brought an explosion of a more holistic approach to health and beauty that
continues to grow. Although some companies, the media and advertising agencies
still have a long way to go in ridding themselves of blatant money making
schemes at the expense of vulnerable men and women in search of their beauty,
at least we have made major progress in other ways. Beauty is now not about
women finding a husband but an inner process for both women and men that is
complimented by external products or practices to support this inner process.

THE PHYSICAL BODY

The Beauty Industry has left
childhood and is well on its way towards adulthood in its understanding that
beauty first and foremost springs from the integration of physical, emotional
and mental wellness. Inner beauty must address all three aspects and each one
must be looked at in some detail. A flurry of raw food cookbooks has hit the
market over the last 8 years as we begin to understand that we are what we eat
and food is the basis or foundation of inner and outer beauty. Authors such as
David Wolfe, Ani Phyo and Mimi Kirk are all well respected and highly educated
experts in their fields and living models of how raw food creates super health
and inner and outer beauty. Pictures of all three are testimony to what they
preach as all look glowing with vitality and energy. Mimi Kirk won, not too
long ago, sexiest 50 year old at age 70! Food
Matters
websites and the well known films based on the Food Matters
experts are leading the education front that supports organic produce, locally
grown produce and alive food that is jam packed with nutrients that support the
body at a cellular level. These current experts owe much to pioneers like Dr.
N.W. Walker who in the 1970’s, when such knowledge was rare, documented the
link between organic and enzymes. He promoted juices and raw salads as a way
towards eliminating major illnesses. His work on the nerves of the colon and
how they affect every part of the anatomy was groundbreaking and he promoted
the regular practice of cleaning the bowels through colonics. This is
documented in his book Colon Health.

David Wolff in his book The Sunfood Diet Success System
also has a chapter on Detoxification and how vital it is to understand that the
food one eats has a two fold role: one being nutrition for the cells to create
energy and the other being providing fiber that comes from raw living plants in
order to clean out the colon so nutrients can be absorbed. The roughage is like
a broom cleaning out old debris that clogs up the intestines that are the
organs of absorption. Current young and cool authors like Ani Phyo make doing
the right thing by your body and the planet look exciting, delicious and easy.
Her book Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen is
hip, has a chapter called: “ Drinks for Radiance” and appeals to the very
informed and savvy younger generation. Of course there are still issues in
Australia relating to young people’s use of drugs and alcohol but a quick
search on youtube also shows that the current graduates of naturopathy and
nutrition are setting up blogs that connect youngsters to a more sustainable way
of being that promotes physical health and a natural radiance. Just look up Meg
& Veg and see what this young, cool 20 something is doing to promote inner
beauty. The choice is there. Although some of these first wave authors and
approaches seem very extreme for some they paved the way for the dialogue to
begin and inspired a whole new wave of interest. The research continues with
people like Professor Felice Jacka, a local Geelong academic who continues to
research the link between gut health and common ailments like depression and
fatigue.

With this comes the growing
understanding of the essential nature of WATER. It is predicted by the UN that
water will become what OIL was in the 1980’s. The health and beauty of our
planet rests on the sustainability of our water – ways and how we use water to
grow crops and fuel industry. What can we do about this at a local level? Well,
plenty! Consideration about how water is used, from where it is sourced, using
filters that are bought from companies that give back to the community like
ZAZEN are subtle but to focus on them has huge ramifications. Knowledge about
how water is processed and consumed seems a few steps away from a discussion on
beauty but upon closer inspection the two are inextricably linked.

THE EMOTIONAL & MENTAL BODY

Linked to this is the
promotion of emotional and mental wellbeing. If a person begins to look after
themselves on a physical level it is a small and natural jump to also balancing
the emotions and thought processes. Modalities such as Reiki, Qi Gong, Yoga and
Mindfulness all encourage disciplining the mind and understanding the role of
the emotions so as not to be a slave to either of them.  Being master of one’s emotions and thoughts
is a critical step in creating health and inner beauty so it is no wonder that Health
Retreats often include access to massage, Reiki treatments, yoga classes and
Meditation sessions, beginner QI Gong and walks through nature. The West has
benefitted greatly from the Eastern traditions’ focus on creating inner balance
and union through disciplines such as Yoga and Qi Gong. Let us look at each in
turn.

YOGA

Yoga
can be seen as simply a physical practice but it is over 5000 years old and
began as a spiritual practice to attain enlightenment or full consciousness. It
was recognized by the Buddha that true inner beauty and happiness comes from a
state of inner being. This is an idea espoused by many today as it has grown as
a result of the spread of Yoga as a practice. Yogananda in his famous book An Autobiography of a Yogi
documents his dedication to bringing Yoga to America in the 1930’s. America has
not been the same since. “’Yoga creates a sense of union in body, mind, and spirit. It
brings us balance.”  So, on a physical level yoga stretches
the muscles, it’s good for the organs, the muscular system and the heart and
provides extended flexibility, supports the digestive system and the
circulatory system.  It calms the mind
reduces stress and anxiety. (Stiles, T Slim Calm Sexy Yoga 2010). However, this is only half of the picture as it only
addresses the physical elements. Emotionally and on a thought level yoga works
on accessing spiritual forgiveness and the value of gentleness and other high
states of consciousness. The Yamas and Niyamas and the Eight – Fold Path lead a
person towards inner wholeness. Both Buddhist and Hindu traditions
espouse the benefits of Yoga and most major religions of the world align on a
spiritual level with the truth that higher levels of consciousness is the
doorway towards an enlightened or fully integrated way of being.

REKI & Qi GONG

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese
meditative discipline that helps to nourish, master and transform one of the
most powerful tools accessed by being human: the mind. A series of techniques
are practiced daily and the repetitive nature of the practice is its power. The
essence of each technique, whether it be to cleanse, to open, to absorb, to
remain alert or to focus, is integrated at a level that has the ability to
supersede all the programs that a person has absorbed and to replace the
programs with an alertness or witnessing quality that surrenders to each given
moment and connects with the highest potential for action in that moment. A
person then acts from the present rather than the programs inherited in the
past. In other words, a person has
the ability to respond to a situation rather than react from karmic
inheritance or learned behavioral patterns.

Reiki is a Japanese healing
art that taps into universal life energy and with intent offers this space to
clients as a means to regain the homeostasis that brings wholeness and hence
healing. Like Qi Gong,  Reiki asks the
practitioner to be aware of the physical, emotional and mental bodies and their
relationship to each other within him-self, and to use this awareness with
clients as they explore the disconnectedness being experienced. By creating the
symbols that are associated with each of the bodies, whether it be the
emotional, mental or physical body, the practitioner is bringing to mind the
energy of each symbol which has a direct impact on the client. It assists to
direct the client out of old ways of perceiving and to see an imbalance with
new eyes or awareness. The client is asked to use the intuitive mind to access
knowledge the linear mind cannot access and as the client accesses these realms
the practitioner holds a loving space that can hear what is being said by the
client, decide which levels of consciousness are speaking and direct the client
to the part of the body that holds the memories or stale energy. Reiki can be
used as a way to open a client to the healing power of loving touch and to
begin the process of connecting the parts of the body that are not
communicating. If psyche and soma are not communicating then the body is out of
balance! Once such connections are made the body has an incredible way of
bringing itself back into balance if it is the right time to do so. Both
systems access the soul space that is required to bring about lasting change
but Qi Gong goes a step further in providing the practitioner a system by which
the mind can be molded and changed in very specific ways through intense
repetition. It accesses the realm of WILL in ways that may not be such a focus
for the art of Reiki. Such deep ways of penetrating the old belief systems that
destroy balance and inner beauty are becoming part of the required Beauty
treatments at Beauty and Health Retreats and Day Spas.

CONCLUSION

The power of a Health
Industry that is in alignment with the current trends towards supporting the planet
we live on is that everyone at some stage will need someone who works in the industry;
for a massage, Reiki treatment, an operation or Psychotherapy. This means that
change towards a more sustainable lifestyle can literally be in the hands of health
practitioners who understand the power they have to educate clients and support
companies and products that believe in creating a Beauty that is not superficial
but deeply lasting and incredibly rich. There is a solid awareness that health
and beauty, comes from physical fitness, emotional stability, mental clarity
and a desire to share this wonderful planet we all live on.

Marise Jose (15/7/18)







Yoga by the Lake: January 2019

A YOGA DAY & BUILDING COMMUNITY. On the weekend I facilitated a Yoga Wellness Day that took participants through an active 90 minute practice in the morning, a walking meditation around a lake before lunch and a more relaxed 90 minute Yin practice after lunch, to aid digestion. Thirteen people booked in to deepen their […]