AISHA FLOW YOGA
"The world is healed one loving thought at a time"
When opening in May 2013 I decided that each month Aisha Flow Yoga with the help of participants would choose a charity to donate a minimum 50% of all proceeds to
(was 30% but this has been increased as of Jan 2014). Following is a list of the charities to date and the amounts given to each charity.
Tots2Teens is our major recipient for donations receiving $5000.
$2000 to various animal rescue organisations
$500 for the Special Children's Christmas Party
Tots2Teens is our major recipient for donations receiving a minimum $4000.
We have also donated $1000 for a sponsorship program to help underprivileged children play soccer
$2000 to various animal rescue organisations including Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter at Yackandandah and Free Spirits Wildlife Sanctuary at Glenrowan
$1000 for the Special Children's Christmas Party
$500 for Christmas presents to underprivileged children
Tots2Teens will be our major recipient this year for donations receiving $4000.
$1000 for a sponsorship program to help underprivileged children play soccer
$3000 to various animal rescue organisations including Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter
$1000 for the Special Children's Christmas Party
$500 for Christmas presents to underprivileged children
Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter - $500
Kmart Christmas Tree - $500
Restart Tots2Teens - $1000 Plus $500 worth of Christmas Presents
Restart Tots2Teens - $1000
Survivors of Suicide - $1000
Special Needs Christmas Part - $1000
Rotary for Belvoir Special School Needs Project - $1000
BRASS (Border Refugee Asylum Seekers Support) - $800
Foodshare - $1000
Blackdog Institute - $500
Soccer kits for Under-privileged children through United Soccer team - $1000
Love and Light - Elenor's Cancer Fight - $400
We donated to help raise funds for Elenor Tedenborg who was diagnosed with cancer at 36 weeks pregnant
Cookie's Jar -$500
Helping a Culcairn Family who lost both their parents over the last 2 years
Shanaluke Therapies for their "Touch of Kindness" Program- $700
A pay it forward program for oncology massages
Christmas presents for children from disadvantaged homes and women's sanitary items - all through Glenecho House Albury - $500
Darcy McGauran (YOUNG boy with Muscular Dystrophy) - $250
Special Needs Christmas Party - $700
Albury Cat Rescue for Lainy's Place in honour of Lainy McFarland - $750
Variety Children's Charity - $445
sponsoring Marissa Ellis for cutting all her hair off to raise money for this cause
Thurgoona Preschool to help establish a Talking Circle - $700
APRIL 2016 (50% proceeds)
Albury Wodonga FoodShare - $700
FEBRUARY 2016 (60% of proceeds)
Edgar's Mission (Farm sanctuary) - $750
DECEMBER 2015 (75% of proceeds)
Special Needs Christmas Party (Albury) - $1000
OCTOBER 2015 (80% of proceeds)
Let's Go Lil (local girl needing a modified vehicle) - $1000
SEPTEMBER 2015 (60% of proceeds)
Border Baby and Pregnancy Loss Support (Albury Wodonga) - $700
AUGUST 2015 (70% of proceeds)
St David's Emergency Food Relief - $800
JUNE 2015 (110% of takings)
Knitted Knockers - $800
Albury Wodonga Foodshare - $500
MAY 2015 (70% proceeds)
Staghorn Wildlife Rescue - $900
MARCH - APRIL 2015 (70% proceeds)
Kangaloola Wildlife Shelter - $1000
JANUARY - FEB 2015 (160% proceeds)
Thurgoona Public School - $1500 for the purchase of 2 ipads and a webcam to assist two disabled children
Faith, Hope and Dreams Inc - $715 (helping financially support families with autistic children)
DECEMBER 2014 (50% of proceeds)
River Community Church - River Food Share (Food Bank) - $800
October 2014 (50% of proceeds)
Caitlin Eve Hill Fund - $600
SEPTEMBER 2014 (50% of proceeds)
Angel Baby Nappies - $730
JULY / AUGUST 2014 (50% of proceeds)
ACSC - Emergency Relief (food parcels for the homeless) - $750
June / July 2014 (50% of proceeds)
Albury Wodonga Animal Rescue - $370
May 2014 (50% proceeds plus donations)
Angels for the Forgotten - $800
March / April 2014 (50% of proceeds)
Ryder Cheshire Victorian Homes Foundation- $500
January / February 2014 (50% of proceeds)
Beyond Blue - $640
Oxfam - $100
November / December 2013 (30% of proceeds)
Kmart Christmas tree - $340
October 2013 (30% of proceeds)
WIRES - Wildlife Information and Rescue Service - $240
September 2013 (30% of proceeds)
Betty's Place Women's Refuge - $230
July / August 2013 (30% of proceeds)
Sids for Kids - $350
June 2013 (30% of proceeds)
"Give me Five for Kids Appeal" - $175
May 2013 (80% of proceeds)
Mercy Hospital Albury - $150
Carevan Albury- $250
FEEL TO HEAL
“Don’t care, don’t get hurt” that was my motto in my teens and twenties. My dad left when I was 4 and up until this time I had been an extremely sick child due to a blood disorder which lead to my spleen and gall bladder being removed at 8 years of age – during my stay in hospital my stepfather was beating up my mum which I knew was not the first as I had seen him do this in front me of as I sat on the lounge room floor crying. My first ‘love’ in my teenage years went off with my best friend, I was hospitalized at 18 for partial (and very painful) kidney failure and just like anyone else I could go on but you get the picture. My answer to all the pain was to shut down and numb myself with food so I would not have to feel the pain so much and so begun a painful addiction to food and unwillingness to feel as deeply as I could – and therefore to also live as deeply as I could.
We live in a society that is great at numbing feelings – we do it every day by zoning out to the TV, with food, cigarettes, shopping, over exercising, work, facebook or whatever your vice is. How often do you really stop and get INTO the feeling instead of running from it. When you are craving something such as another piece of cake, a new dress or a specific activity do you stop and sit with the feeling – exploring the sensation, the vibration, the intensity, the temperature, the depth or do you just give into the craving. When you are running from something that you feel aversion to such as that heated discussion, that same old meal again, that annoying co-worker or whatever else it may be do you pause and really take notice of what you are feeling and then deal with the issue at hand in a calm manner or do you bury yourself in work, the gym, the food or whatever your vice is.
We have become so good at hiding and running for intimacy with ourselves – of truly knowing what makes us who we are. We have all experienced pain and most of us avoid it. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Pain is something that happens as we experience earthly life but suffering results when we are unwilling to be with the pain, to process it and to let it go – trust me I know this from experience. To heal from our hurts and to stop the suffering we must be willing to go INTO the feeling rather than run from it. We must be willing to pause, become aware of the sensations that arise, to be with it and then as we acknowledge the presence of this energy and truly be with it intensely we will also notice that then, and only then, can it be dissolved and released from the body. If emotions are not acknowledged and felt then it is like the child who keeps nagging you until it gets what it wants. That energy, that emotion will stay in your body and scream at you as an aching joint, sore back, tight hamstring, illness or more until one day you fall apart as your soul and body cry in pain.
Why wait until you fall apart? What if you made a commitment today to feel more? To slow down and become aware of sensations – do it now. What parts of your body are touching the chair as you read this and what parts of your body are not? Is the thing you sit on hard or soft? Is it cold or warm? What is the texture? Are you muscles feeling tight or relaxed? Do you feel tension anywhere or soreness – scan your body? Go deeper – how is the pit of your stomach feeling? Your head? Your hands? What are your fingertips touching? Go deeper – what is the state of your being? Are you content, frustrated, impatient, loving. We could go on but you get the picture. Stop and really feel what is going on in this moment starting with physical sensation. Practice doing this while it is easy as you sit here reading this and then begin to pause during the day and do the same. Maybe as you enter the phase of internal feelings you can compare them to the weather – clear like the blue sky, dampened like a showery day, bright like the rainbow, angry like a brewing storm. Be aware of the sensations and the feelings that arise in you as frequently as you can.
When you choose to shut down hurt / pain you choose to shut down a whole gammet of emotions as you cannot just partially close off. Shutting down emotions means shutting down on life so this term lets open back up to feeling and move along the path to healing.Let’s become Alive again!
(hover mouse over theme and click to access newsletter)
January 2018: Theme Feel to Heal
September 2017: Theme Body Love
January 2017: Theme Beginners Mind
November 2016: Theme Improving the Moment
August 2016: Theme Healing
June 2016: Theme Vulnerability
April / May 2016: Theme Teacher Within
March 2016: Theme Slowing Down
January / February 2016 : Theme Self Love
November- December 2015: Theme Loving Kindness
October 2015: Theme Flow
August 2015: Theme Devotion
July 2015 : Theme Spontaneity
June 2015: Theme Compassion
Your Yoga Practice ……. Yoga for Healing
Yoga (meaning to yoke) is a healing practice. Its very purpose is to remind you who you truly are - uniting not only body, mind and breath but also reminding you of the union between individual self and universal self (whatever you call that but to many this is God). We live in a world that bombards us with constant distractions through external stimuli so much so that it is difficult to find stillness in the body and particularly the mind and so we forget that we are in fact all one – it is in the stillness though that we begin to heal. It is in the stillness and silence that we must learn to sit with our discomfort – observe it, feel it and let it pass so as we can heal.
Hatha (physical yoga) aims to move energy around the body and prepare the body for meditation (stillness) so as we can once again remember our true blissful selves. The 8 limbs of yoga are all part of the healing process – the journey towards wholeness and joy.
1. Yamas (how we treat others) are a reminder to treat others well because we are all in fact one (non-violence, non-stealing, truthfulness, non-greed, sensual purity)
2. Niyamas (how we treat ourselves) are a reminder to treat ourselves with love (purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study / awareness and surrendering/ trusting life)
3. Asanas: the poses assist in cleaning out energetic channels, removing blockages in our body, purifying the body and creating strength, flexibility and relaxation so as the body can move easily and free of pain
4. Pranayama: the breath work we do assists in the cleansing of energetic channels and deepens the flow of prana (life force within our body)
5. Pratyahara: sense withdrawal means we learn to let go of the external stimuli and so bring awareness into our mind and body. To begin healing we must be willing to be aware of the pain we feel and sit with that pain.
6. Dharana: concentration begins when we are aware of the pain we feel and so can get to the root of the problem – the thoughts that created the pain.
7. Dhyana: prayer is said to be talking to God while meditation (dhyana) is said to be God talking to us and so it is in meditation that we beginning to realise that we are not an individual self but instead a part of a greater whole – just as your finger is part of a greater whole – your body.
8. Samadhi: bliss comes when we realise that we are in fact a beautiful being and that we are all one. Our pain comes from self-criticism and from separating ourselves. In this state where we lack self-love and in this separation we hurt ourselves and each other. On our journey to wholeness we walk away from the dark to a place of light. Here we know that we are enough and that we are in fact all one energy, manifesting in different bodies the same way that the ocean is in fact many drops of water.
Come to your mat each time with the intention to feel not achieve, to journey towards wholeness and to heal yourself. When you allow yourself to get into your body, to find flow AND stillness, when you can sit with discomfort and let it pass, when you can remember that you are born to be awesome and that the only thing which stands in your wayis yourself then your healing will begin. Turn up to your mat, practice your yoga and let the journey to wholeness, to bliss occur.
Are You Advancing in Your Yoga Practice?
Do you ever ask yourself if you are really advancing in your practice? You may question if you are stronger, more flexible, can you do harder poses. While you may answer yes to these in reality these are physical gains only and true yoga is all about connection – you can get stronger, leaner, or more flexible in the gym and a dancer or gymnast can probably master difficult poses but this does that make them a yogi or an advancing yogi? So how do you know you are advancing in your practice? Ask yourself these types of questions:
- Am I gaining a greater understanding of my body and tuning in to hear what it needs?
- Am I learning how to heal and nurture myself?
- Am I learning subtle ways to produce different results in my poses – tweaking, realigning, resting / active poses?
- Am I less rigid in my beliefs – opening up to new ways of thinking and being?
- Am I alive and awake in my practice (as opposed to wondering off) or maybe becoming more aware when I am wondering?
- Am I questioning not only others but also myself and so increasing self-awareness and self-study?
- Am I living more compassionately, more kindly and more gently?
- Am I able to keep my focus better?
- Am I more aware of my breath and the role it has in how I feel?
- Am I growing as a person connecting more deeply with myself and others?
Increased strength, flexibility and balance are the by-products of a pathway that leads us to become more fulfilled individuals and more enlightened human beings. Yoga teaches us through poses, breath work, meditation and philosophies that we are more than we think we are and that our wonderful physical bodies embrace an energy that is shared by us all. Mastering more difficult poses teaches you to master difficult situations, learning balance poses teaches you to focus on what is important, core strength teaches you to live from your true centre, warrior poses teach you to have strength and courage. Your practice on the mat is a metaphor for life. If you want to truly know if you are advancing ask yourself if you are utilising the lessons from your mat in your life and seeing results that benefit you and others. Are you becoming more compassionate, gentle, loving and joyous - are you connecting with greater love to yourself, others and the world at large – only then are you advancing in your yoga practice.