Back in Bali;

Bali has well and truly stolen a large piece of my heart this month. The original plan was to fly in for four days for a wedding but when I decided I was going to quit my job before the trip, I extended my holiday to seven days.

When I previously visited Bali in June this year, I stopped by Canggu to see a friend and discovered Desa Seni, A Village Resort. I was instantly drawn to the yoga classes and all the wellness treatments on offer.

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The Ultimate Zen Hen’s Getaway;

When the message was sent out that Anna’s bridesmaids were planning a secret hen’s getaway south of Perth, I was all in. The bride to be had no idea where we were going & who was going to be there. As I went down early, I had to keep my locations and check in’s turned off and for a massive instagram addict, THAT was extremely difficult!

When I was shown the house we were going to be staying in prior to the road trip, I was in disbelief. That house is in Western Australia? And that view is real? I was dying to be down there to see for myself. And it sure did not disappoint!

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Yin Yoga;

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Last weekend, I attended a 3 hour Yin Yoga workshop, put on by Yoga Grooves. I didn’t even know what Yin Yoga was until earlier this year when I went to a free Lululemon yoga class at one of their stores but it’s now a class I regularly attend & always on the look out for more places that run it (not many do!)

Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with poses (asanas) that are held for longer periods of time, anywhere from three to five minutes or longer.  Yin Yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues – the tendons, fascia and the ligaments with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility.

In the workshop, run by Fiona from Yoga Grooves, I learnt all about qi and how Yin Yoga is designed to improve the flow of it through the meridian pathways in the body. It is known that improved qi flow helps with organ health, immunity and emotional well-being.

I am dying to get back to Yoga Barn in Bali because they offer Yin Yoga Healing classes, which focus on different organs and it was by far, one of the best classes I’ve attended.

I’m gathering a list of Yin Yoga classes all around the world so if you know of any, send them my way!

 

Monthly Round Up: July;

Looking back over July, it’s made me realise how much can be done in a month & just how much can change. So hopefully I can keep up these monthly reviews for the rest of the year & look back on 2014 in a few short months. It’s been an incredible year so far!

Last month was full of so much good food. Pictured below, I checked out Stimulatte, Solomon’s Cafe, Darlings Supper Club, Jamie’s Italian, Karibu Cafe & The Grovsnor Hotel. Not pictured: The Windsor Hotel, Madhatters on Milston, The Royal, Little Creatures, Halo Espresso, Heavenly Plate, Raw Kitchen, The Brisbane & The Chocolate Lounge.

When I wasn’t eating with local friends, I was dining with interstate friends. I had my best friend fly over from Queensland mid month for our annual July catch up. In 2011, I flew to Auckland; in 2012 we met in Melbourne; in 2013 I flew over to Queensland & this year S came to Perth for the 5th time in 7 years (she isn’t the best friend for no reason!)

The weather was beautiful the whole time she was here so there were lots of walks involved plus as much good food we could fit into four days.

The annual Isagenix University was also on in July & it was awesome to have some of my girls come along & learn more about Isagenix from the corporate team & see why it’s the greatest company to be involved with. I went to the Sydney Uni back in April this year but got so much more out of this the second time round. There were different speakers, new content & new product releases. Plus the super exciting reveal of an Isagenix distribution centre in Perth which is a perfect example of how much product is consumed in Western Australia (and hardly any of the state has heard of it yet!)

One of the photos taken of me in July made me realise just how long my hair had gotten so two days later, I was booked in for my bi-annual bob. Gosh, I have missed having short hair!

Weather was beautiful in July so a girlfriend & I decided to go hiking in the hills. When we woke up one morning & read the forecast said 95% of rain, we didn’t think anything of it (mistake #1). We got so excited when we saw the start of the Bibbulmun Track so we took that track. 90 mins in, we decided we better head back but realised we had gone off course (mistake #2) and then it started raining. Off track and totally wet, we continued along the path we thought we took before only to realise an hour later, we were walking in the totally opposite direction. We eventually got back to the car & decided that wasn’t our greatest idea. Note to self: buy a waterproof raincoat!

Other than bush walking & coastal walks, July was full of sauna visits, 90 yin yoga sessions & lots of time spent with weights. Summer is close to 12 weeks away & although I try to maintain a healthy body all year round, I do have a number of weddings coming up this summer where I want to look 11/10.

I also managed to squeeze in an Ayurvedic workshop into July which was awesome. After reading about Ayurvedic principles, I got a Ayurvedic massage in Bali in June which caused my friend J to look into Ayurvedia in Perth which led her to this workshop (organised by  Lakshmi Ayuvedia Wellness Centre which is the very place I first read about the principles!)

We went over daily routines & how we can eat better for our types (find out your dosha here) as well as two yoga sessions & a hearty vegetarian lunch with yummy homemade chai tea.

So this winter has been quite the workshop season. In June I went to the LuluLemon retreat, in July I went to a Ayurvedic workshop & in August, I’m heading along to a Yin Yoga workshop by Yoga Grooves.

The world is full of cool stuff! The trick is to find it 🙂

Lululemon reTREAT;

Yesterday, I had the absolute pleasure of going along to a free Lululemon yoga day, called ‘reTREAT’, filled with lots of stretching & yummy treats.

Image via Rhyanna VL Yoga

We had four hours of yoga & pilates (broken up into two blocks) with local Lululemon ambassadors/instructors  & then an hour of Yoga Nidra to finish the day. We had two breaks where the lovely Green Smoothie Co & Nood peeps provided chia seed puddings, green smoothies, fruit skewers, fresh yoghurt and a bunch of other goodness.

Image via Green Smoothie Co

Session 1 was Yoga with Phoebe from Yogaworx; Session 2 was with Hayley from Beyond Being Power; after lunch we had Session 3 which was pilates with Sophie from Aspire; and Session 4 was with Rhyanna from Rhyanna VL Yoga.

And of course, Yoga Nidra at the end was incredible. Taken from this website, Yoga Nidra is one of the deepest of all meditations, leading awareness through many levels of mental process to a state of supreme stillness and insight. Yoga Nidra means yogic sleep. It is a state of conscious deep sleep.

In meditation, you remain in the waking state of consciousness, and gently focus the mind, while allowing though patterns, emotions, sensations and images to arise and go on. However, in Yoga Nidra, you leave the waking state, go past the dreaming state, and go to deep sleep, yet remain awake.

To stay that Yoga Nidra was the perfect blissful end to the weekend would be an understatement!

Image via Rhyanna VL Yoga

As we were finishing up for the day, I got such a massive flood of gratitude wash over me. For the Cottesloe Lululemon team for organising the event, the lovely yogi’s that gave up their Sunday to do an hour of yoga/pilates for free, Ath & Todd at Green Smoothie Co & Nikki at Nood for all the yummy treats. These people did it for the perth community. No other reason! Blessed doesn’t even come close to describing it.

For other Lululemon retreats, see this page. And for store specific stuff (like free yoga in store), search here.

 

 

Bali: relaxation;

Yoga barn (image via Kelly)

When I was booking Bali, I knew I needed to end the trip in Ubud. Situated approximately one hour north of the airport, Ubud is known as the culture centre. As soon as we arrived, I knew I was where I was supposed to be.

Yoga Studio at Yoga Barn (via Emma)

If you love yoga & raw food, I would highly recommend staying more than two days. The yoga schedule at Yoga Barn is extensive. Just see below for the June schedule:

I did a 6pm yin yoga class just as the sun was setting. We were situated on the first floor in the open field, overlooking all the rice fields near by & just the setting along was incredible. As it was still quite warm at this time, my muscles were able stretch a lot further & I felt I got so much out of that class.

Pampering wise, the ONLY day spa I will ever go to again would be Kush, located at Yoga Barn.

Taken from the website:

“KUSH treatments focus on balance and rejuvenation. Each healing ceremony draws from ancient Vedic and Tantric practices. Our dedication to authenticity of technique, purity of product and devotion to optimum health and wellbeing have resulted in the development of a healing environment like no other in Bali.

All of KUSH’s therapists have a deep seated knowledge in Indonesian bodywork and have undergone many months of dedicated training with Yoga and Ayurveda specialist Uma Inder to learn the principles of Ayurveda and Yoga”

You can see the full treatment list here.

I got the ‘Balancing Ayuryoga Massage’ which is Kush’s strongest massage combined with assisted yogic stretches & Marma pressure point therapy with medicinal oils. It was by far the best massage I’ve EVER received & it was the perfect way to end my holiday & time in Ubud.

If I had my time again, I would spend a week (or a few) just at Yoga Barn & Kush. There is also accommodation on site plus numerous hotels & resorts nearby. I stayed at Alaya Resort next door which I would highly recommend, even if it’s just for one night.

Now, back to planning the next trip back 🙂

Monthly Round Up: May;

May was one of those months where it looked okay on paper but in reality, was a lot more chaotic than I would of liked! If there was one way to describe May? Total mix bag!

I checked out a new pilates studio, Lifestyle Boom; went to the sauna four times in one week & as many times as possible after that; fell in love with gym classes once again; did free yoga at the Lululemon store every Saturday morning and enjoyed lots of coastal + park walks with friends.

I did a one day makeup course with my friend K where we learnt that the trick is in the tools! I’ve been using the same makeup for YEARS (creature of habit) and although it does the trick, it looked SO much better with some better makeup tools & certain techniques. Plus, trying a new chemical free primer for oily skin was a total godsend!

Horrorshow, Seth Sentry and Bliss N Eso (my three favourite hip hop artists) came to town & they played an outdoor show. It felt good to put on some jeans, boots & a hoodie and enjoy some of my favourite music in the outdoors (especially because I got to experience it with my big sis which made it even better).

For the month of May, I’ve been off the white stuff (processed sugar) but more on that in another blog post! (recipe for the raw prune balls can be found here).

May also marked a massive change in my life. I attended a 5 day course called ‘Train the Trainer’ with David T.S Wood (pictured above) and 300 others. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone where I got up on stage and trained the room as best I could (it was SO much fun!!), played like a little kid, laughed like I’ve never laughed before and met so many incredibly genuine people, it still warms my heart two weeks later. So many previous friendships are THAT much closer now and all the new friends I made in those 5 days, feel like friends I’ve known a lifetime.

Dancing at 1pm on a Thursday, the usual!

Some pictures of me up the front with David. I had to go up after we watched a video about Nick Vujicic (no arms, no feet, no worries) and that was the hard part. I was sitting there, balling my eyes out & then the next minute my name got called out & I was walking to the front to present. If you haven’t heard of Nick, definitely check out his story on his website, it’s incredible.

David is the impeccable human behind ‘The Kickass Life‘ podcasts which I highly recommend downloading! Now that I’m doing so much driving everyday, I listen to hours of the podcasts and have learnt so much in the last two weeks.

And here’s a small fraction of the awesome people I got to train with from all parts of the globe.

The Monday after Train the Trainer, my beautiful friend Courtney shared her 5 month progress photos with me & they were nothing short of amazing. I’ve watched this girl change before my eyes & seeing the positive changes in her life this year has been a super proud moment for me. So I figured I would take my own progress photos & I was a little shocked to see the difference! The photo on the first was taken in May 2012 and when I saw it, I said to myself, enough is enough. I was eating poorly, my stomach was always bloated and I did not feel good at 21. Fast forward two years, a wheat free diet, nutritional cleansing & better overall health, I feel a million times better. You can read my 12 month nutritional cleansing story over here.

And if I thought life couldn’t get any better, the day after Train the Trainer, my best friend of 17 years, S, called me & asked me to be her bridesmaid in her upcoming Gold Coast wedding. I’ve never been a bridesmaid before but I couldn’t think of a more perfect first time than standing up there with my best friend and her little sister, Bec, who also happens to be my little sister (naturally).

And of course, no month is complete without some epic food dates with loved ones. Photos pictured from Harvest Espresso, Wild Fig, homemade pulled pork, Roasting Warehouse and The Raw Kitchen (and that’s raw black forrest cheesecake pictured – sugar free!)

Amongst all the things that made May amazing (and chaotic and crazy), I sat my interview with the Australian Property Institute and was accepted to be a Property Valuer (kinda a big deal but whatever).  So the last two weeks have been fun; going to lots of awesome houses & apartments and meeting a ton of owners, builders, selling agents and tenants.

Will June be any less crazy than May? I highly doubt it!