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7 Day Sadhana Challenge

You know how to look after your physical health…
but what about your mental and spiritual health?

Adding meditation to your life has many benefits, such as:

  • Stress reduction
  • Reduce anxiety naturally
  • Improve overall sense of wellbeing
  • Increase mental clarity
  • Bring peacefulness to the heart and mind
  • Reduce reactiveness and increase responsiveness
  • Develop mind awareness
  • Increase happiness
  • Increase creativity
  • Reduce and/or heal depression
  • Increase insights
  • Uncover your true self

A daily Sadhana (dedicated practice) is the perfect way to make meditation a part of your day so you can enjoy all these benefits, whilst providing a means to discovering your highest truth.

In this simple, straight-forward practice I will teach you how to add the practice of meditation to your life in a way that is maintainable for life, and not to mention enjoyable.
I’ve broken it down into 3 stages.
So if you only have 10mins available, just do the first stage.
If you have 20mins available, you can do stage 1 and 2.
And if you have 30mins – do the whole practice.

The challenge includes:

  • Your simple step by step meditation program
  • An audio file explaining what to do and how to do it
  • A bonus Ayurvedic Psychology cheat sheet to help you understand how your mind operates and how you can adjust your lifestyle to make your mind your best friend (not your worst enemy!)

This is the number 1 self care practice that all my clients and students are raving about!
Try it for yourself and experience the benefits!

Sign up here now – starts next week!! Share it with a friend and take the challenge together!

See you in the challenge!

 

GOLD COAST HALF MARATHON: What Running Has Taught Me

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Running 21km might seem crazy to some people.
But for 10 thousand people yesterday, it seemed like a great idea.

As most of you know, my health journey started with mental illness, and physical illness followed soon after. I was on medication, and doctors told me NOT to do any excessive exercise. I was advised a gentle walk, no longer than 30min; and the gym twice a week. Anything more than that was ‘excessive’.

I knew that advice wasn’t right for me. But I did what I was told until I was released from hospital 30 days later.

Under the guidance of my psychiatrist, I weaned off my medication as I took up meditation and yoga, healthy eating, and exercise. Slowly I came back to life, but still struggled with excess energy, which would often manifest as anxiety, nervousness and insomnia.

I did moderate exercise… but it didn’t feel like it was enough. So I started running. I ran my first 5km and nearly died! Haha But I came home that night and felt calm and slept well.

Eventually I built up to running 10km a few times a week and noticed my energy levels were starting to balance out. From there, I made space in my life for running, as it was so therapeutic for me.

I continued to encounter hurdles in my life, and continued using balanced, healthy living as my foundation for being able to cope with the high levels of stress. And over the last few years, running became an outlet for stress relief and a source of ‘quiet time’.

As well as the physical benefits of enhanced fitness and mental clarity, these are some of the things that running has taught me:

  1. You Have To Set Your Own Pace

You can try and keep up with someone else’s pace… but it will catch up with you eventually. You’ll start feeling the pinch cardio-vascularly, you’ll feel the burn in your legs; and at some point, you’ll have to admit that you can’t fake being fitter than you are. … In life, it ‘s easy to observe where someone else is at, and think to ourselves, “I should be able to do that”. And we get lost along the way, caught up in a type of frustration and self-sabotage when we can’t keep up with the Jones’s.

We are at where we’re at based on karma, destiny, the effort we’ve put in, our unique circumstances, etc. Going at our own pace in life is important for us to grow in an authentic, sustainable manner.

  1. You Are Capable Of More Than You Think

How far can you run? If you really apply yourself I mean. If you train, get fitter and stronger; if you stop telling yourself you can’t; if you drop allllll the excuses. How far could you run then? Further than you can right now, that’s for sure.

Same thing applies to life in general.

How much could you grow, accomplish, do, see, give …. If you stopped telling yourself that you can’t or don’t have time; if you dropped all your excuses, and you just tried. And then tried again and again, despite being a total noob in the beginning; despite the number of failures; despite how much harder it is than you thought it was going to be.

What would be possible then?

  1. Growth Comes From Taking Action

I never thought I’d be able to run 21km. Signing up for my first half marathon made me so nervous. Even going to the event – actually physically being there, in the sea of thousands of elite runners, while little ole’ me not sure about anything, wearing the wrong kind of shoes, and more worried I’d get in the way than actually worrying about how I’d get through it – showing up that day was a massive emotional fear that I had to face up to.
When my first half marathon was over a few years ago, I hated the running part, but I loved the mental growth part! Haha I loved that I did it. I was scared, but I did it.
Next year it got a little easier.
And the next year, I loved it. I showed up totally pumped. Stepped over that start line 100% up for it.
I could have sat around wondering what it would be like to do a half marathon… but I don’t think I would have grown from thinking about it. The growth came with the journey itself. The things that happened along the way, the fears that I faced, and putting myself out there even though I didn’t feel ready.

That’s how my business started. I didn’t feel ready. I didn’t know anything about business… but I knew that if I made the decision, and committed to it, I would figure out the puzzle piece by piece as I went.

Life is relatively the same – we learn a lot when we take action on something that’s outside of our comfort zone.

Running may not be your thing, and half marathons totally may not be your thing!! (haha they’re certainly not for everyone), but I know that all of you have exciting challenges that are whispering from your heart and are calling to be pursued. They don’t have to be gigantic, monumental activities… perhaps a small undertaking that you know you’ve been shying away from – taking up dancing again, going to sewing classes, starting a blog, running for council, taking up a 12 week challenge or entering and obstacle event… whatever it is, don’t shy away from the opportunity to act on something that will help you to grow and break out of that cosy comfort zone of yours!

Well wishes,

sami

Yoga Brain

Yoga Brain

Imagine for a second you’re walking along a yellow brick road with your dog Toto, bewildered and naive, and all of a sudden a scarecrow starts giving you directions. Except, he gets mixed up, arm over arm pointing in opposite directions because he “hadn’t got a brain.”

Before I started practicing yoga, I was Dorothy, figuratively. I was lost and confused and I didn’t know which part of myself to listen to– which life direction would make me the happiest. I was mixed up, continuing the mental chats over and over again until I realized I hadn’t a clue about life direction, path or emotional stability.

If I only had a yoga brain.

Is what future me says today, and what I’ll say forever more.

During my life struggle in my 20s, it was difficult for me to be decisive, present, content, happy or calm. It seemed that everyday I was overanalyzing my life plan, thinking far into the future, comparing myself to others, depressed and anxious.

And then came yoga.

Just as it did for a group of 17 random adults in a study conducted by researcher Chris Streeter, yoga improved my mood and decreased anxiety.

We all have a brain chemical called GABA: gamma-amino butyric acid, “which is associated with improved moods and decreased anxiety,” says Streeter. And when the yoga group practiced for four weeks compared to a group that walked over that same period, yoga proved to be the better mood booster.

Exercise is paramount, but yoga, yoga is paramount for emotional stability, improved moods and what this study proves to show: calmness and contentment.

More research has shown that yoga enlarges certain parts of your brain. And very important parts at that.

Yoga increased the size of the areas of your noggin that: contain the mental map of your body, are involved in directing attention, decrease stress (the hippocampus), are the keys to our concept of self, and the visual cortex.

Helping Us Become Self Aware

A big part of why yoga has all of these benefits, is because of the breathing involved in the practice. The connection of mind and body.

When we’re stressed our bodies instinctively tense our muscles, we start to breathe rapidly, our minds become anxious, stress hormones elevate and our heart beats faster.

And during the asanas, the sometimes very difficult holds, bind poses and repetitive sun salutations, this can happen. Our bodies are thrust into stress response

But our controlled, slow breathing has incredible effects.

We slow our heart rates, push negative, stressful thoughts out of our brains and out of stress response and stay relaxed through these difficulties.

We are Retraining Our Brain Habits

In fact there are several poses that aid in diminishing stress and train our brain to react to tension through stretching, breathing and consciousness.

But yogi brain doesn’t just stop at reduced stress– we still haven’t touched on improved memory, concentration, motor speed, information processing, emotion regulation (really feeling in general) or pain tolerance!

Studies show that yoga and meditation stimulate “your brain’s ability to recreate itself,” says B. Grace Bullock, PhD.

Your brain is able to grow and change throughout our entire lives, but the only way we can make this happen is by constantly challenging it!

And yoga, for example, creates new connections between brain cells (synaptogenesis), allowing your brain to rewire itself and change. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to develop new connections and occurs a lot when we’re younger, learning new skills and encountering new challenges.

But by doing new hobbies or activities, practicing the art of yoga and repeating the practice, you can keep your brain healthy. Yoga and meditation emphasize awareness and attentiveness, and are constantly stimulating our brains to remain calm, take on new challenges and to be self aware. Reinforce your connections, strengthen your hardwiring and keep practicing!

But before I go, I’ll leave you with this.

Ongoing yoga practice can result in increased insula gray matter, meaning, the part of the brain that feels gets bigger.

So not only does this mean that we are more tolerant to pain when this happens, studies show, but this area of the brain is responsible for emotions like: love, gratitude, self-confidence, empathy, trust and truthfulness, to name a few.

If some of these are areas you struggle in– I know for me it was loving deeply, appreciating what I have and being honest with myself, perhaps a weekly yoga practice will aid your brain just as it did mine.

Don’t be a scarecrow. Rid your brain of hay. And take up a practice that replaces that hay with innumerable benefits to your new brain!

Talk soon! (:

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Is Self Care Important?

I feel like I harp on about self-care a lot. But I know for a fact, people still don’t realise just how important it is.

Here’s a good analogy to help you understand.

Take your car.
Run it on the wrong kind of fuel for a week. How well does it run?
Don’t change the oil for a couple of years. What happens to the engine?
Don’t ever clean the windows. What’s your vision like?
Run the battery completely flat and have to jumpstart it every week. See how that goes.
How would your car be running if you treated it like this for a few years?

…Your body is your vehicle.
Except you use it 100% of the time; unlike your car, which you use for a small percentage of the day, some days.

Why do you experience the urgency in looking after your car, but you run your body into the ground?

self care is important

 

5 Daily Self Care Practices :

  1. Mantra Meditation: to rest the mind, soothe the soul and give us a break from everyday life.
  2. Abhyanga (self massage): rhythmic, repetitive strokes, with gently warmed oil, to calm the nervous system and nourish the tissues of the body.
  3. Nature: find time to connect with Mother Nature and enjoy harmonising with the natural rhythms of energy
  4. Solitude time: remove yourself from your everyday environment to take time out from your everyday influences.
  5. Yoga-asanas: slow down and check in with your body; sharpen your awareness and flood your body with fresh oxygen.

Is it selfish to look after your car?

Of course not.

Something I’ve never understood, is why women feel selfish in looking after themselves. Is it selfish to invest time in doing the things that give us more energy; preserve our God given bodies; and keep our bodies happy, healthy and harmonious?

If you run your car into the ground, I guarentee, you will be spending a LOT more time thinking about it, fixing it, pouring resources and time into it. If you keep your car running well, get it serviced regularly, put the right fuel in it- it practically keeps running effortlessly, allowing you and your family to carry on with your life, go on amazing adventures, and get where you need to be day in day out.

YOUR BODY IS THE SAME.
Spend a little time looking after it each day to save yourself being FORCED to spend EXTRA time, energy and resources on it in the long run.

So which car do you think will go further and be more pleasant to drive?
And how are you treating your vehicle? Are you looking after yourself properly?

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Need help implementing your Self Care practices? Transform Your Life with the ultimate self care guide!

 

5 Poses a Day #2

5 poses: Completely doable. No fuss. Loads of benefits.

Yoga asanas are the perfect way to workout.

They work our body on all movement planes, they increase strength whilst promoting flexibility; they are weight bearing without jarring the joints; and depending on the style of your practice, they can be a great cardio workout too.

They have a calming effect on the mind whilst  simultaneously stimulating yet balancing the nervous system.

They assist with lymphatic drainage.

They bring fresh blood to the skin, giving you a healthy ‘glow’.

Asanas give us an opportunity to slow down, and take time out.

But there is reason why they are superior to your standard exercise regime.

Asanas, in conjunction with full yoga breathing, clear the nadis (energy channels) and allow for the free flow of energy up the central energetic channel- the sushumna. The sushumna is the flow centre for the sattvic (mode of goodness) energy within our body. This helps to bring us into a state that is more conducive to meditation and the yoga lifestyle on a whole. Asanas influence the mind by lightening and brightening our thoughts, and gently bringing about mental clarity. Which is why they are considered a superior way to work out!

Sometimes when I feel the pressure of ‘shoulding’ all over my asana practice (ie. I should be doing some asanas; I should have done my poses this morning, etc), I physically stop and remind myself that asanas are not something to should all over myself about.

They are there to help me; a tool I can implement to assist me in living a more sattvic life.

The truth is, you can live without asanas and still meditate and live a completely peaceful, yogic life…

But I’ve NEVER regretted class.
I’ve never regretted a handstand, backbend, spinal twist.
I’ve only ever come out of my practice- no how big or small- feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and grateful for the time to slow down and tune in with my body and mind.

Here is another #5posesaday sequence to help you pause and reflect, and soak up some of the wonderful benefits that yoga asanas have to offer. If you need assistance with the poses, please email me to request a complementary Yoga & Meditation Guide.

5 asanas a day

Remember: Change starts with us.
If you want to live a world that is more peaceful; cultivate peace within yourself.
If you want to live a world where people are being more compassionate; be compassionate yourself.
Don’t expect from other’s what you’re not willing to cultivate/promote within yourself.
Together we can make a difference. But we need to start with our selves.

And don’t forget, if you want support and accountability, we are all here to help you in our private, women’s only FB group. I hope to connect with you there!

Well wishes,

samantha signature

Transform Your Life

 

5 Yoga Poses a Day

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I actually can’t quite believe that my first blog post is ACTUALLY happening. Managing a household & family, 4 small children, homeschooling, and looking after myself, I’m baffled that I manage to find time to run a business! As they say, where there is a will, there is a way.

I have been on quite the journey over the past 10 years. Recovering from mental illness and healing from Poly Cycstic Ovarian Syndrome was and has been an ongoing commitment. Recovering my health and vitality took healing on all levels- mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. So within my blog, you can expect to see info on all the elements of healing that have played a role in my successful recovery. From Ayurveda, to fitness, yoga & meditation, nutrition, as well as mindset and coaching. All these things continue to play a huge positive role in my life, and I have seen the lives of many of my clients change dramatically, just by slowly implementing this essentially ‘holistic’ way of life.

One of the best things that EVER happened to me, and continues to happen, is falling in love with Yoga. And by that I mean Yoga in it’s most complete sense- the lifestyle, the asana’s, the love and compassion, Ayurveda, kirtan, meditation, relationships, and ultimately, our relationship with the Supreme… Yoga is everything we need to live an AMAZING life of HAPPINESS and FULFILLMENT.

To celebrate love; and to celebrate yoga, every Monday I’ll be posting a yoga-asana sequence based on a simple and achievable 5 poses a day program. The main focus of the program is to integrate yoga-asana’s into our lives in a way that does not add pressure, nor feel like a ‘should’. 5 poses, to be held for a minimum of 5 breaths each, can take anywhere from 5-30 mins, based on how you’re feeling on the day, and how much time you have available.

5 poses breaks down the need for a spare 60-90mins to be able to practice.

5 poses allows us to open, soften and stretch regularly without taking away from our day.

5 poses gives us TIME and SPACE internally and externally.

Here is Day One of the program (right click and save to download it for easy reference; or Pin it). You can practice the same sequence over and over throughout the week- moving deeper into each pose, spending more time discovering different elements of the pose. Or you can make up your own sequences. If you’d like a copy of my free Yoga and Meditation guide, please email me at admin@samanthadoyle.com and I’ll send you a copy. It has some great sequences and a full break down of over 50 yoga poses to help get your started in your practice.

5 poses per day

I hope you enjoy practicing the sequence and I look forward to catching up with you about it in our women’s only support group!

And remember to NEVER under estimate your impact on the world.
You are making an impact already. The magnitude and effect of that impact is based on your level of effort and awareness of what’s possible.
So how are you impacting other’s and your environment? (Food for thought 😉 )

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Transform Your Life