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Becky Pell
@rocknroll_yogi Yoga, applied to real life. Touring sound engineer, yoga therapist, writer. Sweaty Betty ambassador, rock chick, Yorkshire lass on Sunshine Coast. http://rocknrollyogi.com/whats-on/

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@rocknroll_yogi
Sound UP! A peaceful one minute meditation for you. Namaste. πŸ™
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@rocknroll_yogi
Why are you here? I don't mean in the small sense - it's always lovely to see you and I like what you've done with your hair - but what's your greater purpose? I love this quote by Picasso - this idea that we all have our own unique offering for the world, and that we are here to add to life's rich tapestry by sharing it. Your gift is found at the intersection of what you're good at and what you truly enjoy, and then down a little... because it lies a bit deeper than that. What are you REALLY doing, when you're doing what you love? To use my own example, my work is both as a monitor engineer (which means I control the sound for musicians on stage) and a yoga therapist/teacher. Two very different skill sets, but with a common underlying thread. In both situations what I'm REALLY doing is helping people to find comfort and ease in their environments, whether that's on stage, or within their own bodies, minds and spirits. That is my purpose for my time on this planet - my dharma. So this weekend, I invite you to take a little time to stare into space, go for a solitary walk, or do some stream-of-consciousness writing, to ponder what your gifts are.... and discover the essence of why you're here.
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@rocknroll_yogi
Delicious twisted Down Dog! From normal Dog, bring your feet a few inches closer to your hands, then reach back with one hand and take hold of whatever part of the outside of your opposite leg you can access - the lower down you go, the deeper the twist. Slowly look under the grounded arm to take the twist all the way up to the neck. Use the resistance of hand on leg to slightly increase the twist on each exhale, but try to keep the hips from swinging over to the side of the leg you're grabbing! If you need more, walk your feet a bit further away and take hold of the outside of your heel. Stay for 5-10 breaths and return to Down Dog before switching sides, then drop to your knees and take Child's pose to give your wrists a break.
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@rocknroll_yogi
Balance. This week we've looked at the qualities known as rajas - passion, vigour, activity; and tamas - inertia, heaviness, dullness. These are two of the three qualities that make up the universe known collectively as the gunas, and the third one is called sattva. Sattva describes the qualities of serenity, luminosity, harmony, peace and light. All of life is an interplay of these three gunas, with different ones taking precedence at different times. Although existing in a sattvic state is desirable, it's not a question of transcending the states of rajas and tamas; without tamas we would have no Earth to live on; without rajas there would be no sun to make our planet habitable. The quality of sattva exists in harmony with the other gunas, and between the three of them we find all the qualities for balance, like a stable three-legged stool.
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@rocknroll_yogi
Throwback to happy times studying yoga in Bali 😍🌴
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@rocknroll_yogi
Yesterday we talked about the value of waiting before reacting from a place of strong emotion. The force behind those strong emotions, passion and vigour is called 'rajas' in yoga. Today let's look at the opposite force - inertia, known as 'tamas'. It's a feeling of dullness, heaviness and apathy - a sense of darkness. Tamas is frequently the force at play behind depression, where there's a sense of hopelessness and inability to shift out of it. But as Einstein's law of inertia states, nothing happens until something moves, so the first steps to shifting out of that state are baby ones. Tiny acts of self-care - brushing your teeth or taking a shower, or simply becoming aware of your breathing and how that brings energy into your body. Those tiny acts bring some momentum, and are the starting point to move back into a state of balance - which is what life is all about.
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@rocknroll_yogi
Beyond stoked to be heading back to this paradise island of Koh Phangan in a few weeks, for a few days R&R with my love, before teaching our 'Find Your Balance' yoga retreat on Samui with my wonderful friend and teacher Sarah Vaughan. 😍🌴This variation on Mermaid pose is a real favourite of mine, getting deep into external hip rotators and hip flexors as well as pec minor and major in the chest... delicious!
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@rocknroll_yogi
The more urgently you want to react, the better it is is to wait! Being a whole human means embracing our messier emotions like anger, jealousy, fear, shame, disgust and so on. It's no use shoving them down and wearing a false outfit of 'love and light' - your shadow side is part of you and it's impossible to live an authentic inner life without bringing those difficult feelings in from the cold. However, whilst they teach us a lot and contain a huge amount of power, those feelings are not a wise place to react from. There's a reason 'count to ten' is a cliche - it's smart advice, although I'd suggest giving it a good bit longer! So if you feel yourself about to blow and possibly do or say something you'll regret, give yourself some space. Say 'now's not the time' or 'I'll be back' or whatever you need to say to excuse yourself and let the other party know you're not just slamming out in a huff, and physically remove yourself from the situation. Feel your feelings, let them flow through you and discharge their energy. Type the angry email response if it helps you, but first remove the send address so the 'to' box is blank, then close your computer and don't enter an address and hit send until you've calmed down and re-read it. (This is both satisfying and saves your own arse.) You might find that whilst the essence of what you want to say stays the same, there is a more skilful way to say it which will actually achieve the outcome you want, with a response of clarity and wisdom rather than the heat of emotional reaction!
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@rocknroll_yogi
Ohhhh how I love this pose. It's a variation of Gomukhasana or Cow Face pose (I'm not making this name up I promise!) and it gets deeeep into the hips. The knees are stacked one on top of the other, and the further away you take your feet from your bum, the more intense it gets. BUT, this is a potentially dangerous one for knees - we need to make sure all of the rotation comes from the hip joints (which are a ball and socket and meant to rotate) and not the knees (which are a hinge and definitely aren't!) A good way to begin is the keep the bottom leg extended out straight in front of you, and cross the other leg over, knees on top of each other, keeping the top knee as fully bent as possible to protect it, by having the heel close to your bum. That alone can be pretty strong, so if that's enough you can stay there and breathe, or if you want to go a little deeper you can slowly hinge forward from the hips. I recommend holding hip openers for at least 10 breaths when you meet your comfortable 'edge' - the muscles of the hips are very strong and need a little time before they start to release.
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@rocknroll_yogi
Yep. Me too. . Seeing a shocking amount of this in my feed but it's so important that we shine a light on this. . Every lewd catcall. Every sleazy comment. Every time she's been looked at like a piece of meat. Every uninvited touch. Every grope. Every implied or explicit threat. Every time a man heard no and decided he'd heard yes. Every assault. Every molestation. Every rape. . If everyone who has been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.
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@rocknroll_yogi
Next Monday I'll be teaching part two of my self-care workshop for @sweatybetty . Five weeks ago in part one, I invited our yogis to set an intention of a small act of self-care which they would continue through the interim, and see how they felt. It's a fun and interesting experiment, and self-care is something we can commit to every single day. Choosing something good that you'll do for yourself every day not only helps you to feel supported by the most important person in your life (you!), it also gives you something to look forward to every day. It's a celebration of you when times are easy, and a light in the darkness when times are tough. Choose something that you'll enjoy and that will genuinely help you - this is not about sweet treats or spending money! Maybe a chapter of a good book, a bath, listening to an album that uplifts you, giving yourself a foot massage, making a hot drink and just staring into space for ten minutes, finding some green space to walk in at lunchtime... the list is endless! For me it's going to be lying down in my tourbus bunk to read a chapter of old favourite Eat Pray Love before the show tonight. How about you? How will you be kind to yourself today?
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@rocknroll_yogi
How do you imagine standing like this for a minute or two makes you feel? A bit achey in the front leg, yes, but how else? Weak, fragile, unsupported? Or like an empowered badass who's GOT this and takes no crap? Bingo! The mind-body connection is a big part of yoga, and certain postures cultivate strong feelings. This adaptation of a warrior pose is something I first discovered in an Embodied Yoga Principles workshop, and it's POWERFUL. Finding healthy sources of support such as this, and freeing ourselves from unhealthy crutches is the subject of my inspiration letter this month - if that sounds like something you could use then drop me a message with your email address and I'll send it over, or you can sign up via the link in my bio. πŸ™
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@rocknroll_yogi
Lyrics overheard from our support act @mattgreshammusic last night.... love this πŸ™
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@rocknroll_yogi
Finding my way home with Compass pose. I love this posture - whilst it needs a lot of preparation, it gets right into all the bits that get tight in my body (hips, hammies, quadratus lumborum and lats) when I'm on my feet all day.... AND it's a twist, AND a balance, AND an opportunity to sit down πŸ˜†
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@rocknroll_yogi
Take a little time each day to just be still. No distractions, simply be. It's easy to fall into the victim / blame trap of saying 'but I don't have time', isn't it? But you do. 50% of life is made up of things outside of your control. 50% is up to you. How you choose to spend your time is your decision. Sure, reclaiming your time might mean saying 'no' to people; it might mean establishing clearer boundaries or making changes. But it's YOUR time, and YOU call the shots. Don't let your life be controlled by others. Don't give away your most valuable commodity to undeserving causes. You deserve the time to see your own reflection in the stillness.
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@rocknroll_yogi
Today's practice was in an underground corridor leading to the orchestra pit - the only bit of space and solitude I could find! But I threw on some yoga tunes and got into some hip releases and LOVED it. I have pretty open hips, but I also carry tension there in my gluteus medius and TFL, especially when I'm mixing bands which basically involves never sitting down. So deep hip work like this twisted standing pigeon pose feels so good it almost makes me go cross eyed! ☺️ This is what I love about my asana practice and knowledge of yoga therapy - I have the tools to keep my body, mind and spirit feeling like a really good place to be.
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@rocknroll_yogi
This week we've looked at the five sources of suffering common to every human, known in yoga as the kleshas. The final klesha is abhinivesa, or fear of death. This fear, the yogic texts say, arises from the first klesha of avidya - ignorance of who we really are. If we truly understood that we are like droplets of water in ocean spray, momentarily distinct from the countless other droplets until we re-merge with the ocean, we would have nothing to fear. Our bodies are changing and aging from the moment of conception - that's the nature of life. But we are no more a collection of limbs and blood and bone than we are our possessions or our jobs. Our bodies are just our human-suits where we live for our turn on Earth. The purpose of sustained yoga and meditation practices is to connect with that inner stillness, that tiny candle in the darkness which is our true nature; which doesn't wither and age and die but simply returns to the whole just as our bodies return to the Earth. (I like to think of it as cosmic recycling.) Like all of the kleshas, working to disentangle ourselves from this identity-crisis based fear doesn't mean throwing caution to the wind and becoming reckless, negligent or nihilistic. Fear of death may be groundless, but we still have a responsibility to care for our bodies and brains whilst we have them, as our vehicles for doing what we can to help and support others and learn from our experiences. Working to release ourselves from this cause of suffering is the work of a lifetime and may never be completed. But as the Bhagavad Gita tells us: 'no effort on this path is ever wasted, no gain is ever reversed, and even the smallest effort will protect you against the greatest fear.' And on a lighter note, to paraphrase Mark Twain: I was dead for billions of years before I was alive, and it didn't inconvenience me in the slightest!
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@rocknroll_yogi
Squatting is something most westerners don't do enough (if any) of. It's great for the health and mobility of your feet, ankles and hips, it improves your balance (you might not think that's important now, but let's talk when you're 80!), and it's great for your elimination. Yep, popping a squat for a few minutes day gives a whole new lease of life to your pooing regime! The act of squatting works with the downward, outward movements of the body's systems and energy, known in yoga as apana, which also helps us to feel grounded and secure. There are several ways to squat - feet together or apart, balanced on tiptoes or feet flat, lifting up out of the squat as I'm doing in the picture to strengthen the core or snuggling down into it to release the lower back. They're all good, so I suggest playing around with it to see what feels best for your body - if your knees aren't happy about going all out the way down, try supporting your bum on a low stool or some blocks, and always listen to your body. πŸ™
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@rocknroll_yogi
We've been talking about the five universal causes of suffering, known in yoga as the kleshas. The fourth klesha is dvesha, or aversion. Like its opposite, attachment, this is not about simple likes and dislikes, or things which are obviously helpful and things which are not - in fact yoga philosophy encourages us to develop 'viveka' or wise discernment. Avoiding dvesha is not about rolling over and letting things which are clearly unhelpful take over. Aversion becomes a problem when it starts to consume our thinking and colour our view of the world around us. When we view outside objects and circumstances as the source of our unhappiness, we fall into unhelpful patterns of blaming everyone and everything around us, and lose sight of our responsibility for our own wellbeing. Labels of 'good' and 'bad' are bound to lead to dissatisfaction and suffering when we discover that actually, we have to deal with things we don't like whether we like it or not! Consciously making choices which are helpful to us and the world around us is intelligent; allowing our dislikes to become distorted and getting into a state of internal bitching when things aren't just how we'd like them is where we get tangled up. Dvesha creates fear of encountering unfavourable circumstances, which leads to further suffering - when in truth, we're capable of dealing with whatever arises WHEN it arises. We can change it if it's clearly unhelpful, or if it can't be changed, we learn to move beyond our personal preferences to accept the things in life we cannot change, without becoming caught up in the internal monologue that torments our peace.
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@rocknroll_yogi
Defy limitations. Defy expectations. Heck, defy gravity! Loving my new 'Zero Gravity' leggings by Sweaty Betty in this gorgeous print. Super comfy, lightweight and bum-sculpting - what more could you want from your practice gear?!
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