3 things I am not ashamed to admit about my mental health

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For decades I thought that having less-than-perfect mental health was somehow a sign I was an inadequate human- I was so wrong. But even with all that I know now, the stigma is so strong, I sit here with a lump in my throat as I attempt to share this rather vulnerable note with you.

As many of you know I am passionate about de-stigmatizing mental health, and I want to make it clear that we all have "mental health" and where we sit on that spectrum of mental health may shift day to day... depending on how well we slept, what we have eaten, how much activity we have done and the situations and people we find ourselves interacting with.

In an effort to keep smashing the stigma, today I am sharing...
 

 3 things I am not ashamed to admit about my mental health.

1. I experience low-level anxiety almost every week. There was a time when I experienced it daily, but with a consistent yoga practice, a high dose of magnesium and limiting my coffee intake, I keep it mostly under control. The early signs are - a racing mind, stressful thoughts, feelings of panic, rising tension in my body, tightness in chest, unable to breathe deeply (like my diaphragm gets stuck) and nausea.

2. I experience low-level depression almost every week. This one I am still trying to "figure out". I wake up in a really low mood about once a week at the moment. Sometimes it lasts just the morning, sometimes it lasts up to 2 days. I feel sad, low energy, like nothing I do matters and I just can't get happy. It seems random and for months I have been paying attention to see what may be causing it. I thought it was related to my very occasional alcohol consumption or my menstrual cycle, but it's not.

For now, I'm taking the low-level A&D as it comes. Wobbly mental health is not unfamiliar to me (I remember occasionally being depressed/anxious ever since I was a teen) and it peaked in early motherhood- what holy, soul-stretching mayhem that was! Now I can accept these strong, uncomfortable feeling as a visitors in my life, who stop by unannounced (a bit annoying, but acceptance is key) to teach me and build my inner resource. I do what I can with the tools I have- my yoga and mindfulness practices, so these unannounced visitors don't negatively impact my life too much. After all, I am still a fairly high functioning, powerhouse of a woman... always doing, creating, dreaming and striving to make a difference in the world.

3. Without my daily yoga, I KNOW things would be much worse! I often wonder where I would be without yoga, likely living an untenable, chaotic life. Being a practitioner of yoga doesn't automatically eliminate mental health challenges, but there is a significant body of evidence out there now to show exactly how it helps us to manage/cope with the symptoms, and ultimately feel calmer and happier. My life is proof yoga works and I see again and again the positive impact it has in the lives of my clients. I want to be honest with you about this stuff. I am far from perfect. I have hard, sad, stressful, gritty days like the rest of us.  I am a work in progress, just like you. And even when I am in the role of "teacher" I really feel that I am walking this path with you; beside you, not in front of you.

When I ran the Yoga for Mental Health workshop last month EVERYONE who came experienced anxiety. It is SO common because it's a side effect of the pace and intensity of modern life. And... it is one of the easiest mental health challenged to turn around.

Here are 5 things you can do right now, to help soothe feelings of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm.

1. Conscious breathing - counting breaths down from 10.
2. Finger tapping- tap thumb to each of the four fingers, one at a time, counting 1,2,3,4 or chanting Sa-Ta-Na-Ma
3. Extended Exhale Breath - inhale for 4 exhale for 8
4. Hang upside down in a standing forward fold and take 10 breaths exhaling with the sound "Maaaaa"
5. Lay down on the ground and put your legs up the wall. Put binaural beats or yoga nidra in your ears and chill.

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Yoga is booming and most people are aware that it has positive benefits for the mind as well as the body.

But, you'd be wrong to think that going to a general class once a week will radically transform your mental health.

Yoga works best when it is tailored to the individual and when it is practiced consistently, over a long time "little and often". This is especially true for yoga for mental health. I practice some kind of yoga every day, whether it's 10minutes of asana to start the day, palming over my eyes if I feel a headache coming one, practicing box breath when I am anxious, or doing an invigorating supported back bending practice to shift a low mood... it's all yoga and I can pick and chose what I need in the moment.

If you are interested in finding out more about how yoga can support your mental health, I would love to work with you to create your own personalised yoga practice.

We can meet in person or via Skype/Zoom. I will get to know your unique situation (but it's not therapy, so we won't be 'unpacking' the issues in the way you would with a counselor) and from there I will design a customized yoga practice for you that supports your mental health.
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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

"I always feel so much better after our sessions, I actually feel good. I pretty much float out of there" R.D, who while recovering from severe anxiety attended weekly private classes. She has now come off some of her stronger medications, is working towards being off them entirely and integrates yoga into her weekly routine.

"Katie, you are better than drugs" D.H. my private client of 3 years who has made incredible breakthroughs in the way she now manages her stress or "electricity" as she calls it.

"If felt really special, like I was giving myself a precious gift" K.F sharing about how it feels to bring her attention and awareness back to her body, such a profound act of self-care.

Your Investment:
$150 for 1 session
$300 for 3 sessions
50% off if you are a concession card holder.

I am offering a FREE 10 minute discovery call, for the first 5 people, who would like to find out how private yoga can help you manage your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Find more ease, joy and calm. Reduce overwhelm, stress and anxiety. Learn specific yoga techniques to suit your unique situation.

Click here to book one of the free calls

I look forward to helping you thrive!

With Love,
Kate
Yoga Teacher and Founder of Radical Self-Care Project
 

Feminine Power: Co-creation, sisterhood & community over competition

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The more I dive into my "entrepreneurial journey" the more I feel, I am being called to "reimagine" what business, partnerships and collaborations look like, because the mainstream patriarchal ways just don't work for me.

Working with Carli (who is co-facilitating the Awaken Feminine Power- Winter Solstice Immersion with me next month) we model for one another what we seek in life and business... radical generosity, transparency, deep listening, courage and the holding of a co-created space that enables us each to step into our greatness.

Carli and I connected in just now, to share, what feminine power really looks and feels like for us...

WHAT IS FEMININE POWER?

* Co-creation; Community over Competition; Sisterhood! 

* Celebrating our cyclical nature and knowing the power of both activity and... rest!

* Saying no when we mean no, and saying yes when we mean yes.

* Turning the feminine nurturing instinct inwards to self. Radical!

* Being our own best friend and creating an unshakeable bond with self.

* Using our voices, stepping into authentic confidence and visibility (even when self-doubt is present)

* Tapping into Intuition, getting quiet, listening to and trusting inner wisdom

* Using our bodied awareness, honing our senses and deeper layers of perception (wisdom, heart, instinct) not just our everyday awareness and intellect.

* Moving from unconscious to conscious awareness.

* Moving away from non-possibility to possibility.

* Aligning our actions and decision-making with an intentional life path.

* Creating a rich and fertile ground for positive changes in your life; surrounding ourselves with people and environments that lift us up.

* Awakening the potential we sense in ourselves, and we find this requires the support and community of sisterhood to mirror us back.

* Experiencing our own authentic presence; to be seen; to be known; to experience a profound sense of intimacy with self, community and nature.
We could go on!!!

What does feminine power mean to you?

Comment below to share (PS There's no right or wrong, it's just whatever feels like feminine power -- to you!)

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Awaken Feminine Power Winter Solstice Immersion 

22 - 24 June, 2018 in Blackheath NSW.

Join Carli and I for a transformational and deeply nourishing weekend, connecting with your feminine power, click here to find out more.

The Art of Getting Things Done

Hey Friends,

Today's v-log is a little random, but maybe less random than it seems.

Most of you know I am self-employed, I teach yoga alongside a host of other gigs, plus I have a young family. Staying organised is non-negotiable for me, given I have so much on my plate!

In February this year, my life changed. My eldest child started school, and what a huge adjustment it's been for the entire family! I had to get serious about my system for getting things done in order to stay on top of my new appointments (drop off and pick ups) and all the new duties required of me as a school mum on top of all my gigs and projects!

After basically imploding from the overwhelm, I emerged with this new super-clear, agile system for getting things done. I shared it with a few friends who thought it was awesome, and gave me very kind feedback. Then a lot of you wrote to me on instagram about it, asking to hear how it works. So here 'tis (apologies for the delay) I hope there are some gems and new ideas in there that spark your fancy on your quest to get more organised.

You'll dig this system if:

* You like structure and clarity, along with a bit of breathing room for when things go awry.

* You get that you need to use digital scheduling tools - to make and keep appointments, but you are also partial to good ol' pen and paper.

* Commercial planners and calendars tend to leave you feeling constricted.

* You want to see your appointments and your to-do list for the week all in one place.

* You get that managing time is really about managing your energy, and you want in on the secret sauce that will help you with this.

Enjoy~

Kate xx

PS. Do you know about my FREE Radical Self-Care Reset Booklet? Download it here.

Activate Your Human Potential for Joy & Compassion.

Activate Your Human Potential for Joy & Compassion.

How is that our 'human nature' sometimes manifests as harrowing violence, destruction and self-ishness, when it's also in our 'nature' to be deeply loving, joyful and compassionate, acting in the interest of our global community?

In my humble opinion I feel that striving to be our best selves dances a fine line between the ego-motivated fear of not being enough, and embracing our wholeness with a healthy dose of self-compassion to know we are enough, exactly as we are.

We are truly at our best when we live in love and connection, rather than fear and disconnection.

Read More

Satya: Truth will set you free.

Satya: Truth will set you free.

Satya, is the second of five yamas (restraints, also referred to as the yogic code of conduct) outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. It comes after Ahimsa (non-violence) and means “truthfulness”.

In a world where our major messaging channels, including politicians, media and advertisers often have a very lose commitment to truth-telling, we can often find ourselves struggling with our own relationship to truth, not to mention the confusion in trying to figure out what is true and real within our own hearts and lives.

Read More

Visioning (and Focussing) to Make Stuff Happen.

Visioning (and Focussing) to Make Stuff Happen.

"You don't need eyes to see; you need vision" Faithless

There is truly nothing in the world like visioning and creating. If you're a creative: writer, painter, filmmaker, musician... a maker of any sort, you know what I mean.

Since I was a child crafting handmade paper with dried flowers; to a dramatic arts-loving teen creating weird and wonderful characters for live performance; to a young adult making multi-artform outdoor theatre shows in Sydney, Germany and New York, to the creative yoga entrepreneur I am now... I fall in LOVE with the creative process again and again because... real life magic is embedded deep within it!

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Yoga: The Journey of the Self

Yoga: The Journey of the Self

This month's theme is "Svadhyaya" (self-study) the fourth niyama in the yoga sutras, and a practice which will help us to take our yoga beyond the mat and in to our lives.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra says: "Study thy self, discover the divine" II.44

Along with tapas (discipline, which we observed last month) and Ishvara pranidhana (devotion, which we will observe in December), svadhyaya (self-study) is part of the threefold practice of kriya yoga.

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5 Soulful Self-Care Practices for Busy Women

5 Soulful Self-Care Practices for Busy Women

When exhaustion depletion and stress become the norm… self-care, is radical. And I’m not talking about a prescription of bubble baths, manicures and netflix (as nice as these things are) No ma’am. With growing numbers of people experiencing what is being called TATT (Tired All the Time) and symptoms of chronic fatigue brought about by long-term stress and overworking. We need a new paradigm for the way we do LIFE.

It’s time to stop glorifying “busy”, take a deep breath and slow the F down.

Read More