Monday, December 28, 2009

i forgot it was monday

so relaxed i am.
after a few days of rain over christmas...
hence plenty of nana naps and long stints reading new books
i have lost count of the days.
and i'm about to lose count all over again because
we're off on a little holiday.
a few lazy days at the ashram
where we'll eat delicious vegetarian meals
and chant in the new year accompanied by a couple of hundred yogis.
i'll be back in a few days,
in a new year,
with photos and stories.
Until then,
may you smile and warmly welcome 2010.
so much to look forward to x

Monday, December 21, 2009

an early christmas present

Daniel shot this footage in autumn.
He was waiting for the perfect soundtrack.
He's my true love and I am deep deeply in love with HIM!
Home - it's who you're with, not where you are.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

monday summer pics

Trying to get a 'good' family Christmas photo.
But did you know that toddlers wriggle? Alot.
Then the batteries died.
And so this is the best outtake.
Which is the only appropriate 'take'.
Joyous Christmas to you xxx

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the boy

since the haircut i can see a little boy. no more baby. and i have a much better idea of what he will look like when he gets older. aren't little boys just the most adorable little things. Someone asked him what he wanted for Christmas the other day and without hesitation he said: 'truck'. Of course, why would he want anything else? But we have so many trucks and i love them all but it's time for something a little different. So I bought this (his grandparent's helped) and am enjoying collecting the accompaniments - chef's apron, food, etc.

Apparently all that matters at the moment is blue wellies and a ukulele. Because, why wouldn't you want to wear gumboots in 35degree weather? I have stopped questioning and am just excepting it as the fashion of choice for the two-year-old that melts my heart.

Christmas is all about the magic - magic for the children. And us mamas and dadas are the angels that make it happen. This reminder changed it all for me.

What are you doing to make it magical?

Monday, December 14, 2009

fliss-inspired tree

So I've ditched the bah-humbug attitude and found myself a tree. I read fliss' blog last night (how cute is her little art?!), looked out the window, spotted a lovely, rather dead branch and encouraged Daniel to go cut us a tree.

Daniel and I have both commented on the lack of Christmas spirit around here lately. Perhaps it's the heat, perhaps it's the stories that speak of snow and eggnog and warm winter fires. I think it is challenging for us to really muster that Christmas magic in Australia. But, I'm determined to do so and I can't tell you how special it was to watch Ché place all the decorations on the branches. There was a certain branch, right at his level, that accumulated about 15 stars. When he wasn't looking I spread them around a little bit - because even my Christmas tree needs a little balance.

I'm so happy with my economically and environmentally-friendly tree...and the decorations don't get lost amongst all the pine. Perfect!

I suppose it's been quite a sentimental day. We took Ché to get his first haircut. I love his long curls but he was starting to look a bit shaggy and although I like dreads I don't think they look that great on a two-year-old. Daniel and I both knew it was going to be slightly challenging to get him to sit there so we told him that we would buy him an ice-cream afterward. And so, I had to sit in the chair while the hairdresser quickly chopped. And I watched Daniel try to catch every curl that dropped to the ground. He collected them in a little calico bag and no doubt we will keep those golden curls forever. Only problem is, after all the cutting was done the hairdresser tripped Ché over and he landed on his face, splitting his lip. Who leaves the hairdresser bleeding? We do...I so hope we haven't scarred him for life.

We're counting down till holidays....Christmas celebrations at playgroup, celebratory dinners with family and special night-time stories - just the 3 of us. There's sweet spiced nuts to prepare, ribbon and paper to wrap and a reminder of the number one rule in Ayurveda - never over eat!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

monday summer pics

crinkled summer dresses and a grey day outside.
perhaps a little how i feel.
trying not to get overwhelmed by the Christmas frenzy.
trying to stay grounded and calm and be grateful for what we already have
and who we have
the fresh Christmas trees sold out on the weekend.
so we don't have a tree.
wish i could have been a little more prepared for advent.
there's still time to bake and wrap and hug.
and that sounds good to me.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

soul work

The past four days have been so immensely nourishing that I feel, in a way, renewed. It was strange to pack my bag and leave my boys but I did so knowing that it was good for me and good for them. I expected to learn but I never expected to be so inspired.

Did you know that when women come together, oxytocin, the love hormone, is released? The energy in the room was incredibly high. 30 women, 8 of whom were pregnant, one carrying twins. 39 souls.

We came together to learn about prenatal yoga for conscious birthing. But it was a healing space as well, as safe space where we could talk about pregnancy and birth knowing that whatever was said was sacred. There were 10 midwives in the room so for me, it was the ultimate learning experience from an anatomical/physiological point-of-view.

I came away having such a deep understanding of pregnancy and birth and I believe, with all of my knowing, that this is my path and I'll continue to follow it.

The language of birth is so powerful, as I've said before. And so many of the women I met believe that words are the greatest intervention a woman has to face when she's laboring. If she hears negative words, she loses her confidence and loses her awareness. Which is why it is essential that a birthing woman has a partner or birth support person who knows how to connect with her physically, emotionally and verbally. When a birth support person has the skills to support a woman during labour and birth the need for medical intervention drops by 80%. That is a statistic too significant to ignore.

I'm excited to come to a point in my career where I feel confident to lead couples workshops. Couples workshops for birth preparation from a yogic point-of-view. More about that later.

Self-revelations are always nice too. Did you know that the cervical spine (the top of your spine, the neck) is directly related to the cervix? During the first 20 or so hours of my labour I practiced a form of breathing called ujiya, where you gently constrict the middle of the throat, directly in front of the cervical spine. So, throughout that time I was actually contracting my cervix, hence why I took so long to dilate. No ujiya breathing for pregnant women!

Babies, in the womb, as so receptive to sound and vibration. They can hear the words their mother speaks, as well as the people that speak to her. They are oceanic beings who do take about 4 years to adjust to being on the earth once born. Hence why it so important that a mother connects with her baby in the womb, realises that she is indeed working with her baby during birth and that the cord is only cut once it has stopped pulsating - it is therefore, a much more gradual transition for the baby because he/she is still receiving blood, breath and prana (energy) from the cord.

Our little ones are, in fact, still living in that beautiful pure world where they were created. Their imaginary friends are very real, they still breathe that deep, whole body breath, they are still developing into their bodies. Hence why it is so important to just let them be, let them play. Janice shared one story about a little girl who was with her father. He was a musician and when his wife was pregnant he would always play a particular song to his little girl. He played it, that day, when his girl was about four and she turned to him and said: "Daddy, I remember when I was in Mummy's belly and you would call me on the telephone and play me that song." Our little ones remember that oceanic world.

If you live in Vancouver I would so highly recommend Janice's classes - she is an absolute inspiration, a guru! She travels Canada, The US, Japan and Australia doing teacher training workshops. Even if you aren't interested in teaching yoga, it is such a wonderfully fulfilling few days - if you're passionate about pregnancy and birth, do this workshop!

Prenatal yoga is yoga for the next generation.

Monday, November 30, 2009

leaving on a toot toot

Tomorrow I depart on a little study in Sydney for four days with internationally renowned yogini Janice Clarfield. Janice will be teaching the art of celebrating pregnancy and preparing for birth from a yogic perspective. "Prenatal Teacher Training for Conscious Birthing" as she says. Ironically, it will be the first time that I've left Ché since he was born. We have never spent a night apart. When I leave tomorrow morning on the toot toot (he understands that part of the story) I'll be giving Daniel and Ché the opportunity to have their own special time together, to create a special language that is only theirs. I'm full of gratitude for the opportunity to deepen my knowledge, to spend some time in the city and to know that my little one will be so very fine with his Dada. I've packed the essentials - photos, scarves, earrings and my yoga mat.

I'm off to OM and learn and create. Be back soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

summer pics

After days of sticky heat I'm relishing the grey and the wet - the beautiful fresh smell of rain is breezing through the window. A different kind of wet on the weekend though - Ché jumped right in, clothes 'n all. Summer hot hot heat is here.

Joining me in this once-a-week summer photo post is:

Post a photo that says 'summer'...every monday till the beginning of March. Can't wait to see the collection

Saturday, November 28, 2009

macro in the garden

summer photo posts start tomorrow. join if you like. i'll list the participants in my next post. happy clicking.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

melting (& photographing it)

I've just perused a few Australian blogs and realised that most of you have posted about our Spring heatwave. I didn't cope yesterday. Not at all. I felt like I was melting. My feet were on fire. I kept asking Daniel when the southerly change was coming. I expected him to know. I wanted a time, so I could count down the hours. I'm precious I know, but in 41degree heat I'm allowed to be. My solution? Lay still, place a cold face washer over your chest, have the fan spinning, crunch ice, think about how nice it will be when the breeze arrives at the window.

Hello, beautiful breeze. 2am this morning. You can stay as long as you like.

Surprisingly I managed to take a few photos yesterday. I look at them now and feel hot. The vegies continue to come from Grandad's and my (gorgeous little cherry toms) garden and we know that regardless of how hot it gets, there's always ice-blocks in the bath, or the clam (yes, we succumbed to the Aussie backyard icon).

I think we all have an inkling that there may be a few more heatwaves headed our way.

So please tell me, how do you stay cool?

And, if you're interested I'm starting a once-a-week photo post. Take a photograph that so wonderfully depicts summer to you. We're in it so we might as well celebrate it. I'll start a list on my blog. Photos need to be posted on Monday afternoon. Think of the collection you'll have by the end of February.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This week has been full. Brimming with thoughts, ideas, possibilities. Planning and decision-making for our little family. We want to change pace a little next year. Daniel wants to return to university and I want to complete my teacher training and to do so we need to find that trust in the universe - that it will all work out and it will all be ok.

It's really important to me that Daniel and I are nourished as individuals so that we can be the best we can be for each other. Because we were individuals before we became a couple. And we were a couple before we became a family.

I want to know that we can let go a little, of the norm, and really embrace the possibility of change.

In saying that, we can't change the nature of our beings. Daniel is a virgo, a perfectionist and deep down knows he is the hunter/gatherer. I am the dreamer, the believer, the girl who needs that dress. Ha! Slowly, though, as we really settle into a family rhythm we are beginning to realise that it's not that hard to grow our own vegies, an ocean swim can give you that wonderful sense of elation, we already have everything we need.

I know that yoga has become my life because I'm practicing the intuitive art of letting go. Surrendering to the beauty of possibility and seeing where it takes us.

Making beautiful space in our lives so we can be open to change. Knowing that the ounce of fear within me is completely normal. Learning to trust.

Monday, November 16, 2009

yoga aid

Yesterday I joined 5000 yogis worldwide and practiced 108 glorious sun salutations to raise money for charity. Accompanied by a room full of passionate friends, we dipped, swayed and moved to the beautiful sounds of the djembe, harmonium, gong (thanks che che) and the chanting of 'om'. It was truly the most wonderful experience. To unite through yoga is a blessing. We practiced 12 rounds of nine, starting and ending with the traditional Satyananda style. Rounds 2-11 we practiced Surya Namaskara A and by the end, we were moving so very quickly, the drumming was fast, our energy was high and I know I smiled throughout each and every salute. I led a couple of rounds and standing in front of so many yogis and yoginis only affirmed for me that yes, this is what i love doing, and this is what I'll continue to do.

Our studio is going green! Soy-based painted walls (in the colour lotus, of course), bamboo mats, organic fabric-covered eye bags and bolsters, a herb garden, beautiful succulents, a no-plastic-water-bottle policy and the encouragement of body, breath, mind and environmental awareness.
We will be registering as a 'green' business very soon ad we are so excited.

I'll be spending quite a few weeks at the ashram next year to officially complete my teacher training and while that will make me busy (and poor) I know it is just the beginning of a career, and lifestyle, that will support, nurture and nourish my family.

If you are willing to make a donation for my 108 efforts yesterday, you can donate here. Thank you.

OM shanti, shanti, shanti. Hari om!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

in a name

How long did it take you to name your child? It took Daniel and I seven days to give Ché his name. We expected a dark little child and I birthed a blonde, blue-eyed, elfin little creature. You can read more about it here.

But sometimes, Daniel still questions whether we got it right. He's a virgo, and a perfectionist, and he considers meanings and namesakes very important matters. When I was pregnant we discussed the concept of 'growth' and 'possibility' in a name. From a little thing, a big thing grows. Seeds, trees, life. All those things. I remember mentioning to Daniel that it's not as if our child is going to introduce himself and then mention a 'sub-heading' that we gave him on his birth certificate. Names don't work like that.

But we agreed that we wanted a name that sounded beautiful, that felt right, that had a meaning that resonated with us. We wanted our child to have a name that we were proud of.

We still talked about tree names and acorns, oaks and seeds but, as you know, we chose Ché. Ché Ché as so many people call him.

On Saturday afternoon while our little one was sleeping, Daniel and I were lying on the bed reading. I was flicking through The Possibility of Everything. The writer, Hope Eldeman, takes her family on holiday to the Central American country of Belize. She talks a lot about the Mayan Indians of that area - mostly their spirituality that still resonates throughout the land. She discusses the plant life of the area, and the Mayan names for each species.

And then she writes Yex che ... the first tree.

In the ancient language of the Mayan Indians, Che means tree.

After two years, such wonderful validation. We gave him that most beautiful 'tree' name.

I still can't believe it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

it's not summer just yet

but yesterday was hideously hot. Our day included:
3 ocean swims
6 cold showers
2 baths
icy-cold drinks (too many to count)
3 frozen poppers
spaghetti for dinner - alfresco.
Ché liked the ocean swims but I think the top of his list would have to be the frozen poppers.
They kept him entertained and hydrated for a good long while.
I was so very thankful for those frozen juices
because it was too hot to move.
I'm a little scared about our approaching summer.
The bark is literally dropping off the gums in big long strips.
A tell-tale sign of a fiery season.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


it was so long ago that i held each ball of yarn in my hands, knowing that one day it would be finished. And it is, just in time for our spring-almost-summer. So my timing wasn't ideal but it was one of those projects that i longed to get back to almost every day. And as claerwen said recently, the beauty of knitting is that feeling you get when you cast-off that very last stitch. It's complete. And can't be undone. I think as Mumas we spend so much of our time doing little jobs that in a matter of hours need doing again. So it is nourishing me to look at ché's blanket and be reminded of the hours of knitting through winter...and the knowing that it will be wrapped round him for years to come...knowing it's complete. Handmade. Mama-made.

And now I'm left wondering...what shall I make next?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

first swim of the season

I knew when Daniel walked in from work yesterday afternoon that the time of year had come. Where we spend late afternoons and early evenings building sandcastles and bathing in the ocean. Around 4.46pm we immersed ourselves in the sea - it was exilirating, refreshing and the perfect ceremonious occassion to welcome the Summer season. It was good to wash away winter layers and dive under the water for a few moments, listening only to the gentle push and pull of the tide. It was so good to feel that rhythm, a lulling sensation.

Silence, for just a few moments, means so much to me now that I'm a Muma. I need a bit of it, in every day. I'm a better Muma beause of those few moments of quiet. Even if I have to block my ears, close my eyes and hum with my exhalation (it's a practice called bhramari - humming bee breath....known to soothe the nervous system and move your awareness inwards). Bhramari is the most popular breathing technique used by my prenatal students in labour...because their awareness moves to the vibration in their body instead of the contraction. I hope they remember in their every day to take a few breaths, to move inwards and to remember that when they are challenged, they know how to breathe.

I hope they remember how revitalising a swim in the ocean can be.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

mumas with bellies...then babes

Last week I had six prenatal students well past their due dates. one class. It was a beautiful class. Their awareness was so inward, they were so soft and relaxed....biding time till the imminent births of their babies. The other students in the class took great care to watch these mumas because regardless of how pregnant they were, they knew their time would come. Where they moved cautiously, the deep weight of a babe cocooned inside them. Waiting. Waiting.

Throughout this week I received six messages, all describing wonderful, unique and natural birth experiences. I told my students on Saturday that teaching prenatal yoga is one of the most natural things I have ever done. That I feel so blessed to share such a beautiful journey with these encourage them to embrace their pregnancy and help them prepare for a joyous birth. It feels like I've done it all before. I think about my students between classes, especially if their nearing the end of their pregnancy. Then they have their babies and I welcome another bunch of women to class...and so it goes.

So blessed I am to share yoga and positive birth stories with these blessed I am to be able to combine my passions into a project that I am oh so excited about.

There, I've put it out there. I have to do it now. I won't tell you just yet, but I'd appreciate a reminder in a few months time if it's not mentioned again.

I held the most precious little five-month-old baby boy yesterday. Koru, you are beautiful.

And a huge blessing and congratulations to fliss, claerwen and leigh who are all enjoying their brand new and very precious baby boys.

If you like babies and eco-friendly baby products...check out this giveaway

Thursday, October 15, 2009

i need your help

On November 15 I will be joining the Australian yoga community to practice 108 sun salutations as part of the Yoga Aid Challenge. Yoga Aid is a worldwide event - bringing together the energy of thousands of yogis and yoginis so we can spread a little love and raise money for charity.

This year, yogaways will be joined by a group of drummers as we flow through our two hour intense sequence to the rhythm of Japanese and Indonesian drums.

My chosen foundation is the Nelune Foundation ..
.The NELUNE Foundation aims to provide psychological and practical support, assistance and care for public hospital and underprivileged cancer patients in the community – 'Helping Patients Fight Cancer With Dignity'.

Cancer affects one in three please, support me as I flow through a challenging practice and donate to this worthy cause.

To donate please visit and click the 'donate now' button.

Om shanti, shanti, shanti

Friday, October 9, 2009

in the earth

The past week has been wet and cold and i'm liking it. It was too unusually warm for Spring so a quick return to late winter has been welcomed. In keeping with my deep-seeded desire to shop with more intention and less spontaneity, and hence eat the same way, I decided to finally start a little vegie patch. Small to begin with - there are only three of us. My Dad had grown vegies for as long as I can remember (I used to collect beans in my skirt) and so he helped us establish a little patch and Ché took to planting...pegs. With all the care and concentration he could muster he pushed coloured pegs into the earth and stood back, proud at his work. Perhaps they will never know.

It was good to get down and dig into the earth, a good practice, quite therapeutic. I love using herbs in my cooking (and is there anything better than a jug of ice-cold jug of mint-infused water in Summer?) so I planted lemongrass, coriander, thyme, sweet basil, rosemary and mint. Beans, baby spinach and kale made it into the mix too. I'm wishing, hoping, dreaming for a spring garden like Hugh's - one day.

It's become so clear to me over the past few weeks that the food I eat really affects my moods and energy. Since weaning Ché my appetite for meat has decreased and I'm starting to eat light, raw food instead. A salad of home-grown leaves dressed with seeds, nuts and balsamic...a daily indulgence. I'm back into my full yoga practice too - flowing through a dynamic hatha and ashtanga practice reminds me of the number one rule in Ayurveda - never over eat. Eat slowly, and with awareness. Daniel and I, since we have been together, have always promised ourselves that regardless of how much money we have we will always eat good food. Food grown with love and awareness - cooked and eaten the same way.

I truly believe that breastmilk was the greatest start to Ché's love of food. He eats almost everything. The other night I watched him devour a bowl of tofu. And then he asked for more. I was, still am, so happy.