Soul Care Yoga Retreat

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

Inviting you along to experience how we do community, yoga and living beyond ourselves.

It has been such a blessing for me to be able to find capacity to co-ordinate and co-host this event with my soul sisters. This is a prime example of the power of our sovereign God. His provision is far greater than what you can see with your naked eye. Faith and trust in Him is all He asks and yet we find it so difficult time and time again, but yet so easy to be on bent knees seeking for His help when we need. 

So much I’ve learnt through the process of pulling this retreat together in such a short amount of time. Will you come and join us and experience for yourself, first hand, the grace of our Father in your life?

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

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Keeping Warm with Chair Yoga | Wesley Mission

“If I’m still going to yoga classes at 81 years of age, know that it was you Heroes who inspired me.”

Our most dedicated students are not those who can do the headstands and splits. In fact, they’re the ones who show up with a smile every week, even if their arthritis is flaring up, even if it means catching the bus in in 5degrees cold and nursing a frozen shoulder, a bunked knee, a toe injury, a sore back… you name it, we’ve heard it from this community of elderly. 

Teaching yoga and bringing the Gospel to this community of seniors is not about how “good” you can be. It’s learning about grace and courage. To others and to yourself.

To us, this is the richest reward. This warms our heart, mind, soul and body.

Oh how much we love you brave souls and learn from you. 

And of course, thank you always, Wesley Mission for providing us this safe space to serve, to share our stories and to grow. 
Serving in His name ✝️

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Juice Detox Clears Vision. But really? 

BACKGROUND

If you follow me on social media, you will know about my debilitating migraine condition.  In the past 3-4 months, they have worsened and I’ve now been put on preventative medication by my neurologist. 

I have now been on the medication for a month. Have things drastically improved? No. On saying that, I haven’t given it a long enough time to give it a fair assessment. The caveat is that the success rate is 65% and that I had to give it 3 months. So I remain hopeful.

Meanwhile, I have really taken a step back to examin my current lifestyle and what has changed in the past 3-4 months. 

Apart from the demands of every day mummy/wifey duties and my growing ministry to manage, I cannot isolate any changes in life that could have worsened the migraine condition. Either that, or it could be the summation of small things such as dining out more and dropping my gym workouts and just that extra bit of stress with life. 

I wondered if going back to some clean eating may decrease the frequency of the migraine attacks. 

Without much of a clue on where to start, I decided to experiment with the cliché – the 3-day Juice Detox. 

What I had hoped for was some weight loss and to minimise the belly bloating. I was also hoping to see some improvement in migraine frequency and relief from migraine symptoms. 

In the end, I took it on for 4 days. Yes, 4 days without solids.
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IN SUMMARY, HERE ARE THE ‘Why’s

  1. My BODY felt like the detox, not my mind. 
  2. I wanted to try something different to see if my migraines would get relief.
  3. My belly had been so bloated and I’d put on a couple of kilos from poor eating and sleeping habits in the past few months. I needed something to kick me out of those patterns. 
  4. I needed to replenish and nourish my body. How can I pour an empty glass? My body is the temple which houses the Holy Spirit. I want this to be a healthy temple (not just from the outside)!


AND THE RESULTS?

  1. Not much of any weight loss – 0.5kg of water weight, to be precise
  2. Belly bloating was relieved (only after 3 days though. The first day, I was even more bloated than before but it’s normal)
  3. Nope, did not lose fat. (Who am I kidding? But then again, that wasn’t really the point of the exercise.)
  4. Second day was the hardest. “Halfway is always hard.” Think marathon, workout, entrepreneurship.. But I used it as a time for prayer when my mind became weak.
  5. Skin is clear and supple.
  6. Slept well.
  7. Woke up refreshed.
  8. Concentration improved.
  9. A little fatigued during the afternoons but that’s just expected off as I’m consuming less calories than the body is used to.
  10. Sharper vision. Now this one is a surprise. No wonder the Chinese use this as a measure of health in Traditional Chinese Medicine (detox results in clearer vision).
  11. Last but not least, perhaps I knew I was going to be lethargic and I didn’t schedule much these 4 days, but it could also be the impact of feeling nourishment. My nerves are calm and I have had a very calm 4 days (contrary to what I had imagined.. “Hangry”…) 

Overall, it was a good experience. It wasn’t that hard to get through. I actually quite enjoyed it. I feel better and rejuvenated. 

A thought on saying this, the day after it ended, I got a medium-level migraine attack. So, I don’t think this juice detox did much for my migraines. 

WHAT WOULD I DO DIFFERENTLY?

(Assuming I would do it again..)

The only thing I might do differently next time is buy it from the likes of Urban Remedy. It’s hard work making them all yourself and by the time you buy all the ingredients, it works out to be around the same cost. 

WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?

Hmmmm… Tricky one. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the results of the detox. Perhaps when my vision gets a little blurred (which it can, from my migraines), I may consider a 2-day one. I’m actually a strong believer of balance and moderation in life. So I’m not sure that depriving my body of solids for 3-4 days is healthy, per se. 

In the right time and for the right reasons, I might consider doing it again. 

But the short answer is, no – probably not again unless God calls for it. Maybe something for Lent?

Throw Away Your Health Goals, please!

Have you ever:
1. said to someone, “I’m on a diet”?
2. typed this into Google “how to lose weight in 5 days..”

Google Search -Lose Weight

3. have you looked at Before and After photos and thought, “yeah, I want to try that workout.”?
4. have you wished you enjoyed working out or was more athletic like that girl back in high school?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of them, then we have something in common and in this post I want to share with you something that changed my life.  I talk about it a lot in themes of my blog but probably not enough.

It’s literally throwing away setting ‘health goals’. It’s veering away from ‘I can do it’ with willpower.  It’s replacing this model of being a ‘goal-kicking achiever’ to being ‘willing’.  And then? No, ‘and then..’.   Yup, that’s it.  Just being ‘willing’.

This was how I started my talk at a recent workshop – Vision Casting & Life Strategies run by Fideliz Cruz.

I vividly recall the look in the audiences faces as I introduced this new concept of not having to ‘rely on your own willpower’  (not ALONE anyways) and replacing this concept with ‘faith’ and ‘willingness’.  There were confused faces, skeptical faces and raised eyebrows.  Until I showed them this….and then people were interested in what changed my life.

WillingnessOverWillpower

The left was when I was pregnant (I tried to find photos of post-pregnancy but I couldn’t find any. Surprise! And frankly it doesn’t make a difference because I looked practically the same) and the right was when my first born was 1 years old.

I was filled with willpower to lose my 25 kilos.  And I did it.  You see, I eat willpower for breakfast.  In fact, it’s my biggest enemy.  Because of this false sense of security, aka willpower, I have suffered from bulimia, anorexia, depression, anxiety and ended up in hospital many times in my life.  But at least twice for suicidal attempts.

My experience has told me that ‘willpower’ and kicking ‘health goals’ doesn’t sit quite right.  I’m sure some can relate, and others are like, “I kinda prefer to have your willpower.” And perhaps you sit on the other end of the spectrum, where you dream of your goals and never seem to be able to achieve them.

This is where I fault the system.  Relying on willpower sucks.

Willingness, on the other hand, is powerful.  It’s not judgemental.  It’s kinder.  It fits well for those who kick goals and those who don’t do so well with goals.  Either ways, we’re trying.  You can’t fail if you’re still trying, right?

Now, of course the questions is then, willingness to ‘what?’   I can’t answer that question for you but it must be something that is greater than your own being.  It must be sustainable.   Mothers can relate to this easily.  You are willing to sacrifice your needs for your children.

For me, it’s surrendering my willpower to control, to change things, to do things in My plan, My time,  My will ….to God.  You saw it coming, didn’t you?

Yup, here I am preaching again.  And get this.  I do it not because there is any specific gain.  It’s not a goal I’m kicking.   I preach because my life has changed since I’ve really picked up the cross and followed Jesus.  And I passionately feel it to share with you.

I’ve realised that He loves me in whatever shape, size or form I am.  He loves me no matter how many goals I kick or not.  There is no scoreboard.  In fact, because He loves me so much, it doesn’t matter if I put on a kilo or two every now and then.  He teaches me about balance and learning to love my body so that I am WILLING to treat my body with love and care.  Bring on a juice detox and do it with joy! Bring on a degustation and eat it with joy!  If you turn your eyes on Him, you’ll KNOW how important it is to stay healthy.

With this new lifestyle, I’m so thankful that my Vision is clear and my Lifestyle Strategy is rooted in a good place.  Everything I do, I turn my eyes to God and really trust in His health plan for me.  Not my own.

Today, if you’re wondering whether you could explore something different for your health goals, take time to ponder this verse from the Bible:

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,”  ~ Romans 17:14

Further to this, a genuine feeling of emptiness can sometimes be real and needs attention, too. Read more here.

 

Small Changes, Big Effects | Being Grateful on a New Level

2015-09-29-1443535575-2767534-photo1430165558479de3cf8cf1478One of my Holy Yoga sisters shared this article on our Facebook group.  The author, Julie Cantrell, is one of the best-selling authors for the NY Times and also Holy Yogi!

On most days, I feel like the author of this article before she made the shift in perspective.  How liberating is it that just a small change in perspective brings so much joy and gratitude.  All this undeserving, unmerited grace I am given by our Father above and yet all these complaints about life.  Disgraceful…. But I’m not going to beat myself up because I know it’s all about the learning and the journey.

I am just thankful that I GET to have this new perspective… Thank you, Lord, for everything you let me GET to do.

The best 3 minute read  this year – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-cantrell/this-threeletter-word-wil_b_8123488.html

So, I made a change.

I replaced one four-letter word with a three-letter word, and everything came back to good. That’s all it took. The shift of one teensy-weensy little word. And voila! My once shriveling soul was smiling again. And still is.

Now, instead of saying, I HAVE to do x, y, z… I say I GET to do x, y, z.

Halfway there. So close yet so far away | Holy Yoga Journey

 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you. (Romans 1:11, ESV)

I’m more than halfway through immersion and this week, I’m flying out to Minnesota to finish off my training at retreat. 

This training is everything and more that I had wished for.  As my husband would say, “Many can only dream about such experience and discerned calling from God. What a huge blessing.” Indeed. 

I had wanted to post a lot more regularly about my progress but, as our teacher had warned, this program is full on! Since immersing myself into the training, daily priorities had to shift.  I’ve had days where the dirty dishes had to wait ( yes, very difficult to do but remembering “eyes on Jesus” being the focus of the immersion made it easier ). Let alone keeping up blog posts!

In the past 6 weeks, every weekday morning has been religiously dedicated to bible study and holy yoga practise.  I’ve made a conscious effort to use pen and paper for my journalling instead of reaching for their digital counterparts, such as Evernote. I’ve resorted to the digital bible already, so I think using or and paper for journalling is a happy compromise. Low and behold, it definitely helps with calming the mind and structuring thoughts. Perhaps I should use pen and paper more often.

I found my daily journalling to be very grounding. I was talking to a friend about it the other day and here’s how I described it, 

“You know what I’ve realised? It’s really hard to be a bad person when you have to read the bible every morning and immerse yourself in His Word.  You can be angry overnight, woke up on the wrong side of bed even. But when you quieten down and meditate on the Word in the morning, all of yesterday’s anger/sorrow is disolved and you start your day renewed, filled with energy and love.” 

It’s amazing how God touches you. You only need to try a little and He does most of the work for you. He is so faithful.

Combining my scripture journalling with the holy yoga practise is just powerful. You’ve just poured yourself with the living water mentally, then you move on to a physical devotion and meditation to worship Jesus on the mat. What better way to start each day!

My connection with God has been strengthened far more than I could ever imagine since starting my Holy Yoga journey.  I once thought that I was one of those ‘logical people’ who would be able to digest the Scriptures in a pragmatic, matter-of-fact way, allowing me to live out the deeds through the knowledge. No, God has proven me wrong. The Scriptures are very personal, as it is and should be. It is a personal revelation and experience that once you have experienced, you will feel.  Not just ‘know‘. You will FEEL

Some days I sit back and wonder how I could have done what I have done in the past 6 weeks – managing 2 kids, running the household and having all the energy to dedicate to the Holy Yoga training.  I tell you, none could be done without God’s grace. And everything can be achieved in His glory. 

Thank you, Father. Thank you, Jesus for calling me into this path. 

It has been wonderful.

Now that I am nearing the end of the course, I have mixed emotions of excitement and anxious on what the next steps will look like.  It feels like the end is near yet it is only the beginning. Lord, I need not fear because I know that You called me into this. I just need to trust. 

Next week I’m off to the U.S., transitting through LA to Minnesota. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has planned for us at retreat. I can only imagine all good things!

P.S. I’ve registered for the Therapy Program! Very exciting news and yes, another year of study ahead of me. I’ll save story this for another post. 

Love, Josephine xx

How I Minimised Hair Loss | The Honest Co. & Recommended Organic Brands

Honestly, no…. Honestly.

During my pregnancy, I got given Jessica Alba’s The Honest Life book as my birthday gift. I remember wanting to immediately throw out all the processed foods out of my fridge. I didn’t, of course, because that would be just a wasteful life and nothing ‘honest’ about that. But having learnt about all the chemicals that exist in processed foods and many cleaning agents, I slowly started to make my own cleaning products with natural ingredients. And have since completely weaned myself into organic skincare.

I’m not a complete organic freak, admittedly. I still use bleach for whitening bathroom tiles and that white shirt that I love. Bleach King is what its name stands for. KING of the household, indeed.

Perhaps not to the extent of obsession. I mean, it’s not like we aren’t exposed to chemicals in one way or another. But it is consciously minimising the exposure to love our bodies, the temples that God has so graciously blessed us with.

So, the review in hands is Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. Bathing range. (A good friend of mine got this as a souvenir from Hawaii). It was a gift set that consisted of:

  1. Shampoo/Body Wash
  2. Face/Body Lotion
  3. Conditioner
  4. Body Oil
  5. Bubble bath gel 

Verdict?  AWESOME! 

Since using the shampoo, I have seen a significant reduction of hair shedding. 

The body oil I actually use on my face at night, as a moisturiser. It’s isn’t as rich and I would probably stick with Organic Rosehip on the face in the long term, but this oil is definitely great for the body. 

So there goes a quick review for those looking for another brand of good, natural products. 

Other brands I also like:

  1. Juniper Australia – I love this brand for their handcreams and Skin Firming Serum, which I use as a makeup primer and I get this from the local vitamins store, Mr Vitamins. 
  2. Springfields – I love their Jojoba and Rosehip oils. 
  3. Trilogy – I stumbled across their Replenishing Night Cream when it was on sale and have loved it, especially for drier months.
  4. Rosehip by essano – I literally bulk buy their foaming facial cleansers when they go on sale. I find it is strong enough to remove makeup, even my mascara, but doesn’t leave my face dry. I still recommend using jojoba or rosehip oil on a cotton pad to remove waterproof makeup first before facial cleansing. 
  5. This cheap but super effective cucumber eye gel literally feels like putting on cooled cucumber slices over my eyes, except it’s a squirt from a bottle. It’s only $19.99 AUD but does a better job in de-puffing tired eyes than La Mer, I think! Say Yes to cucumber. Yup, that’s the name of the product!

Hope you enjoyed it!