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!

Mini Yoga Learnings | WIP

WIP – Work-In-Progress

Working on improvement but that's what life is, right? A work in progress.

Earlier this week, I had the most relaxing and positive start. God spoke Hebrews 12 over me and at that point, I thought I knew what He meant. Then a series of events turned the emotional needle the opposite direction. Now I ponder over Hebrews 12 and have a more profound perspective. Just when you think you know… What can I say? Life is a constant WIP. Yoga is a great reminder of that.

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” ~ Hebrews‬ ‭12:7‬ ‭NIV

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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Yoga for Menopause | Yoga Therapy

Every week, I teach a seniors class and have a class full of mostly women well into or past their menopausal years.  Whilst there are still years away for me, it’s an extremely interesting and topical subject for me as a yoga therapist surrounded by senior women students and interacting daily with my mother who is currently experiencing symptoms.  I hope this is somewhat insightful to you, whether it’s you or a family member going through the unpleasant symptoms of menopause.

SPECIFIC ISSUE

Menopause
 menopause-depression-stress
Up to 70% of women experience menopausal symptoms during menopause which can last up to 10 years; although there are outliers which may extend beyond this duration.  Menopause can start as early as 40 years but most commonly experience in mid 40’s or 50’s – with the most commonly sighted average being 51 years.
Menopause occurs because of the sharp decrease of estradiol and progesterone production by the ovaries.   The rapid decrease in circulating estradiol levels at menopause impacts many tissues, from brain to skin.  Whether directly related to the lowered levels of oestrogen or not (contradicting research results), many women claim to experience hot flushes and other common symptoms such as:
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches, dizziness
  • Lower sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin, itchy skin
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex
  • Mild loss of bladder control, frequent urinary urgency, incontinence
  • Disturbed sleeping, night sweats
  • Psychological symptoms e.g. depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate, mood swings, loss of self-esteem
THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
In one study, yoga cut hot flashes by 31% and other research has found that regular yoga practise improved libido, mood   and craving control. [1]
Many menopausal women agree that heat, anxiety, stress and fatigue often bring on or intensify hot flushes.  Gentle yoga poses and practising mindfulness meditation can help sedate the sympathetic nervous system, in turn, allowing the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) to take over.  The PNS slows the heart rate and brings the body’s systems back into balance.
Gentle inversion poses can sometimes help with insomnia to alleviate anxiety.  When done with restorative poses, the body can feel at rest.
Heart/Chest opening poses, such as Bridge pose or Supported Reclined Bound Angle, can help with lifting the spirit and opening up the emotional blockages such as depression and mood swings, with the overall effect of rejuvenation and fighting off fatigue.
Root lock (Mula Bandha) helps regain the control of the urinary urgency and frequencies.  Even just the bringing awareness to muscle groups and help manage the symptoms.
The breath work and meditation, particularly in Holy Yoga’s biblical intentions, will help with concentration and centering the mind’s focus,  lifting the ‘fogginess’ often experienced in hormonal fluctuations.

Biblical meditations on what The Word has to say about dealing with each of the menopausal symptoms is the most powerful tools in managing menopause.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  1. If professional medical practitioner has advised against yoga.
  2. If there are any sharp pains while doing yoga poses, stop immediately.  Consult your yoga therapist to ensure the poses have been carried out correctly and if the sharp pain persists every time you get into a pose, stop and seek medical practitioner’s advice.
  3. If suffering from degenerative bone dysfunctions, such as osteoporosis and/or osteoarthritis, or spinal dysfunctions, such as kyphosis or lordosis, ensure there is physician’s clearance before doing yoga.  Pay kind attention to reclining poses and let yoga instructor know of  any known pains.
  4. If there are any blood pressure issues, take care in getting into poses wear the head is positioned below the heart vertically, e.g. forward fold and downward dog
15-30 MINUTE FLOW
1. Easy seated (10 sets of breaths relaxed, 3 sets of breath in Mula Bandha)
2. Mountain
3. Forward fold
4. Mountain with cactus arms -> Mini back bend
5. Childs Pose
6. Downward Facing Dog
7. Bridge
8. Plow/Shoulder stand/Legs up the wall
9. Happy Baby
10. Spinal Twist

11. Supported Reclined Bound Angle Pose

SOURCES & RESEARCH

  1. http://www.prevention.com/fitness/yoga/10-yoga-poses-to-relieve-menopause-symptoms
  2. http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/the-graceful-change/
  3. http://www.replens.com/FAB-Blog/Fighting-Vaginal-Dryness/23/Menopause-FAQs-When-It-Start-How-Long-Does-It-Last.aspx
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menopause#Signs_and_symptoms
  5. http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/articles/qa-what-happens-to-my-hormones-during-menopause.htm
  6. http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/treatments.htm
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/yoga-for-menopause-7-pose_n_2991865.html
  8. http://www.fitnessnetwork.com.au/resources-library/yoga-and-menopause

*Disclaimer:
These suggestions offered in the Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine yoga classes or therapy programs on www.lovejosephine.com are not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional. The suggestions and educational resource offered by Grace x Strength With LoveJosephine on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment. Neither the therapy programs nor yoga classes are designed nor recommended to replace medical treatment.

The resources offered here are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient.

Love Someone You Find Hardest to Love

It’s always easier to love those whom we find loveable. But Jesus teaches us (or dare I say “challenges” us) to not just love those whom you find loveable.

We’ve all heard it. Love thy neighbour as you love yourself. Even when it’s hard.
Challenge yourself and see how your heart, mind and soul grows!

20160307_LoveSomeoneWhenItsHard

Isn’t it so easy to love that cute baby who’s cooing and giggling?  But it’s not so easy to love him/her the same way when he/she’s screaming in the middle of the night for ‘who-knows-why’ when you’re already sleep deprived.   Parents out there, give me a ‘yes’?!

And this, was a gentle example.  Need I go in deeper?

You are built with love, to love, for love and in love.  So, it becomes a perpetuating cycle if you hold back on loving someone even if they are hard to love.  In fact, the most liberating thing is to love, even when it’s hardest.

LOVE and FORGIVENESS go hand in hand.  You were created to be able to do both.  Now go ahead and do it.  Make it today.

Is God Doing Anything For You?

  We started this challenge with opening our hearts- through poses and meditation. To prepare our hearts for the Advent season, we wanted to first examine our hearts and see where we need His light to shine as we head into this time of preparing for the coming of our King.

As we near the end of the challenge, we bow in surrender to the great work He is faithful to complete in us.

The @naptimediaries advent devotional says, “God has already done it all, we simply have to engage in the freedom that has already been established for us.” What amazing freedom that is!! We don’t have to DO it. He only asks that we engage in what He is doing, surrender to the new life He is creating in us. “So friend, what is it in your life that God is doing? Take a minute to yourself and ask God what He is doing in your heart in this Advent season. What does He want to free you from? 

It is not in our doing, it’s simply engaging in God. The God who brings joy, peace and hope to every situation that He is apart of.” ❤

How Would You Describe Jesus

  Yesterday was day 12 of the #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent Holy Yoga devotional. I didn’t have time to do it yesterday and wanted to honour the time for this devotional. So I did it today on day 13. It’s “drawing meditation” combined with Lectio Divina. 

Note: not sure what “adimarable” is in the picture but totally an example of where I’m learning to embrace “imperfection” where it is not required. 😜

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

To me, these words describe our King. Jesus. And it’s timely as we approach #advent… To think of all of the qualities that Jesus is and has. We often talk about trying to be more ‘Christ-like’. When I start dwelling on these adjectives, it was just like, “wow”. Just… wow… 

Would or can I use ALL those words to describe myself? Probably not yet… Probably never… Thankful I have my Saviour to look up to.

P.S. I also learnt about the meaning of the Advent Wreath so that’s what I was attempting to draw.. 😂

2 Minutes of Silent Meditation

IMG_1774Today is Day 4 of the #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent Holy Yoga devotional.

As we hide ourselves in Jesus, connecting with Him and letting Him speak His truth of who He is and who we are in Him, pondering these things in our hearts… Sometimes we need to carve out time to just let it all sink in.  So today we are taking an intentional silent meditation.

When we pray, we bring our praise and petition before God. But in meditation, we sit in silence and allow God to do the speaking. We simply listen and let His truth seep deep into our soul. 🙏

This season can be so over-full, things to do and places to be. But we can never do and be everything. So I encourage you to begin your 2minute silence with Jesus by asking Him what you may be holding too tightly to and what you may need to let go of. Then allow Him to whisper His love & mercy into your soul, breathe new life into you, and reveal what you may need to release. And then just sit and revel in His sweet presence.

Today I heard the Lord speak to me.  It’s not always what I want to hear and that’s how I know it’s True and He’s here; to give it to me RAW. Here I capture the key points:

  1. Patience (with Holy Yoga direction specifically)
  2. Obedience (with my ministry work)
  3. Continue on with rest – not so sure about discerning this one.  Could this mean spending more time with Him and extending my ‘Social Sabbatical’?  For now, I’ll run with that.

 

Pondering 

  Today is Day 3 of #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent  Holy Yoga devotional.

“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 🙏🏻

Reposting @thaliasoulcare ‘s words because it rings so true. 

Pondering definition: to reflect and hold close the truths that are most dear.  

To let the reality of God’s love and mercy and rest sink deep into our souls. This is so hard to do amidst the rush and chatter of life. Pondering is done in quiet. In stillness.

May you find some quiet, still moments to ponder His love for you today. ❤️💕🙏🏻

Make Holy Yoga your first yoga experience! | Holy Yoga Class

Never done yoga before and afraid to go to a class? Holy Yoga is a great place to start!Jo’s holding a class in the Sydney North Shore on Sunday 30th August (4.30-5.30pm) for ALL LEVELS/BEGINNERS. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t flexible or aren’t ‘good’. YOU are GOOD enough. Come and have fun! PM us to confirm your spot 🙂

“He treated us as equals, and so made us equals.” Ephesians 2:18 (MSG)