Renewal and reflection

In the days after Christmas has come and gone and I am in that space between Christmas and the new year. Where everything slows down after the big Christmas rush and I get confused on what day and time it is. This is the time where I give myself permission to slow down, to review and reflect on my commitments, the year that has been and what the future holds. Do you do this too?

I sure I am not the only one who starts to question life, the future, my goals, what I am passionate about, how I want the new year to look and feel. I have personally found it brings up many different emotions (doubt, guilt, hope, joy, wonder, awe and the list goes on). I also find myself looking out and sometimes without me having control of it. I let self-judgment and self- criticism come up. I start to compare myself to others and judge myself. My ego has a field day!

Have you ever felt or experienced any of these things? How do you cope? What do you do to overcome these feelings and emotions?

2017 saw renewed connection with family and embracing what is most important to me. There was a big surrender and release of things that were not serving me and my family.

Some of you will know that my eldest daughter, Isabelle started Kindergarten (unexpectedly) in mid-2017 which meant lots of big life changes for my family.

Once she started and we got into the new routine of school (early mornings, lunch box prep, breakfast, school run etc you know #mumlife #dadlife) I knew there was a big shift coming. I could feel it. I wasn’t sure how it was going to unfold but intuitively I could feel it brewing.

A few weeks into our new “school life” I knew the change had come when my daughter said, “Mummy I never get to see you anymore”. I felt her words deep inside and my heart broke listening to her speak her truth.

In that moment I knew I needed to make some more big changes. Being a yoga teacher that was out 4-6 nights a week teaching classes no longer served me or my family. I needed to be home with them. I needed to be there to pick up my daughter from school. To help support her when she was tired and emotional after such a big day. I needed to be there at dinner time and be there to bath her, read her a story, tuck her into bed. The truth was I just needed to be there. Even if it wasn’t always easy. Even if there were emotional outburst that were challenging to manage. It was very clear to me. I just needed to be a mum and be there for my little girl. I could no longer justify being out at night teaching yoga and helping to support others when my family needed me at home. Honestly, I felt like a hypocrite; I was out “teaching” mindfulness and I wasn’t being mindful at home with my own family.

I decided it was time to close the doors of my beloved yoga studio to be a mum for my girls. Although it was a hard and very emotional decision it felt so right (and still does) and I felt so clear.

I still have people contact me and come up to me in my local town asking about my yoga classes and I just politely reply by saying I am no longer teaching public yoga classes right now as it wasn’t working for my family. I sometimes get strange looks and people not understanding why I would do something like that but then I have also had many people thank me for giving them the permission they needed to make similar changes for their family.

As it always happens when one door closes another opens…

As I worked through surrendering and letting go of my studio I felt there was something else coming in. And it was! I started a doTERRA essential oils business. I will talk more about this in future posts (or you can read about it here) but it has been a decision that I am super grateful for. I am working with a wonderful group of women (and a couple of men) who are so supportive and passionate. I get to be there when my family needs me and enjoy the benefits of mother natures amazing oily gifts every day.

Aside from these massive shifts here are some other things I have experienced, achieved and learnt from in 2017.

Personally

I completed a 12-month spiritual mentor program with my beautiful teacher of over 10 years Lynette. You can learn more about that here.

I devoured the Soulpreneurs online course and attended the Soulpreneurs Winter Retreat in Byron Bay for some much-needed soul sister time with one of my besties, Kim. During this retreat I met some other wonderful women and personally connected with my beautiful friend and mentor Yvette Luciano whom I am now lucky enough to be working with 1-on-1 with our collaborative doTerra Business.

I started dancing again and for the first time in over 7 years and I performed on stage! This caused me so much anxiety (which I will do a separate post on “Facing fears + coping with Anxiety” soon) but at the same time I loved being able to enjoy expressing myself through dance again… There’s nothing like it!

I kept one of my health goals that I made for 2017 and had monthly (sometimes fortnightly) chiropractic adjustments to keep my body aligned and healthy.

I devoured many, many podcasts to help keep me educated, inspired and I absorbed as much information I could.

 Yoga

Happy Little Yogis – wow!

What a massive year for Happy Little Yogis. I am still calculating exactly how many kids I have personally taught this year, but I know it is 500+ which makes me so proud!

I also recently facilitated and taught my first Happy Little Yogis – Kids yoga teacher training for school teachers, yoga teachers and parents which was very well received and had some awesome feedback written about it.

I filmed my first online yoga program, Breathe Dream Create Love – Home Yoga Practice.

I successfully facilitated two (sold out!) Holistic Health & Yoga Retreats in Kangaroo Valley with my love, Gavin and a good friend of ours, Amanda Christensen.

Coaching

I have run lots of successful school workshops for tween and teen girls.

Plus coached a few selected women 1-on-1. (Doors are now open for my 1-on-1 women’s coaching program if you would like to know more please click here.

Reflecting on the year that has and been and Setting intentions for the year ahead.

Everything you have read so far is taken from my annual reflection and intention setting ritual, you may like to try this for yourself, so I have outlined the process below along with my intentions for 2018. You are welcome to use my process, but all feel free to adapt it and do what calls to you.

My reflection ritual

My ritual is pretty simple; over the past couple of nights, once my girls are in bed, I will get a notepad or journal and just start reflecting and brain dump everything I can think of from the year that I feel is worth taking note on (this was the first part of today’s post). Side note – I’ve run out of journal space, so I literally just bought a simple, daggy $2 notepad and got started. So, don’t let “I don’t have the perfect journal” be an excuse not to do this.

First, I give thanks.

“Dear Universe, God, Angels, Guides, Ancestors and Fairies, (or whatever feels right and resonates with you)

Thank you for a beautiful 2017. I have really enjoyed my year of growth and lessons. I have enjoyed learning, observing and feeling more about myself. Thank you for the lessons. Thank you for the support. Thank you for your guidance. Thank you for your love. “

Next, I begin writing a gratitude list and it kind of all flows from there. I list everything I have achieved and how it made me feel. It’s nothing overly pretty or fancy but I just simply give myself space to reflect and honour. Trying not to get caught up in any disappointments or regrets. Seeing things more as an experience to grow.

And I don’t beat myself up if I haven’t achieved something I wanted to. I simply honour it wasn’t the perfect time.

After taking time to honour the year that has been I move on to setting my intentions for the year ahead.

2017 taught me that I want to focus on breathing, feeling and waiting for signs from the universe as to what is right for me and my family; rather than racing out and achieving things with a fear of missing out. I am letting go and surrendering, allowing my plans for the year ahead to be loose and adaptable.

This year has been a little different to previous years. Where I would normally create big mammoth goals and to-do lists; I have just simply written a list on how I want to “feel” in 2018 and jotted down a few potential goals without attachment to the outcome.

In 2018 I want to feel:

Full
Alive
Awake
Joyful
Mindful
Observant
At Peace
Graceful
At ease
Loved
Grateful
Present
Abundant
Glamorous
Beautiful
Free
Relaxed
Calm
Grounded
Financially free
Safe
Protected
Organised
Tidy
Clean
Healthy
Pain free
Healed
Feminine
Like a Goddess!

I am also really working on simplifying my life.

Mantras

Here are some mantras my teacher and mentor Lynette and I developed for me to work with for the year ahead…

“I am not going to rush and make any decisions. I am going to wait for the signs and the feelings.”

“I need to see how this can work for me and my family”

“I am enough”

“I have the answers within me”

“I am guided”

“I am connected”

“I am graceful”

“I am Feminine”

My relaxed intentions for 2018

Professionally

My professional goals for 2018 will be focused around Happy Little Yogis and my doTerra essential oils business. But I am open to what is right for me and my family.

Personally

Move my body – my body and mind are craving it!

I intend to exercise & walk in nature more. Since closing my yoga studio, I have really felt I have pulled back from yoga (adult yoga) and movement in general and it’s something I feel I need to bring back in. (more on this in a future blog post).

Cleanse and heal my gut.

I needed antibiotics 6 weeks ago as I was really unwell with bronchitis. Every time I have been on antibiotics my body reacts i.e. my eczema flairs up, I experience inflammation in my joints, plus I feel my gut needs to go through a cleanse and to heal. I will need to laser focus in on this in the year ahead.

Be more present and have more quality time with my family.

Have better boundaries

Rest and sleep more.

Be organised and have more structure in family life.

Continue to read more books, listen to Podcasts and watch documentaries.

I want to always be learning and absorbing as much information as I can.

Those of you who have read my posts in previous years (you can read last years post here) will know that this list is a much more relaxed feeling centred list of intentions than I have done in the past. But it feels lighter, open to so much possibility and right for me and my family at this time.

How can we connect in 2018?

doTerra

In 2018 I will be devoting extra time to essential oils education and coaching so if you love essential oils and/or want to know how you can use them to support you and your family physically, spiritually and emotionally then please get in touch or head here to read more about joining me in doTerra. I used essential oils daily to support myself and my family throughout the past 12 months. The oils I used most in 2017 were Frankincense, Easy Air, OnGuard and Lavender. In the coming year I will share more on how I use my oils each day and how you can use them for extra support in your life. My friend Shunanda has created an aromatic anchoring oil blend for 2018 (please see below) that totally inspired me to create my own (please find mine below also).

Shunanda’s 2018 Aromatic Anchoring Oil Blend
Rose – Love
Spikenard – Gratitude
Melissa – Joy
Sandalwood – Presence
Wild orange – Abundance

Aimee’s 2018 Aromatic Anchoring Oil Blend

Frankincense – Truth
Ylang Ylang – Inner Child
Wild orange – Abundance
Balance – Grounding

Plus I am also obsessed with my new Rose Oil – Divine Love

Workshops

More workshops will be announced throughout the year so please join my mailing list to be the first to hear about them.

Back to School Workshop for Tween & Teen Girls (Late Jan 2018 at Organic Feast, East Maitland)

AcroYoga Workshop with Gavin (late Jan 2018 at YogaBodyWorks)

Happy Little Yogis – Kids Yoga Teacher Training for school teachers, yoga teachers and parents (Late Feb 2018 at YogaBodyWorks)

Work directly with me

I have a limited amount of 1:1 coaching for women doors are  now open for 2018. Please click here to learn more about the program.

That’s a wrap for 2017. Bring on an amazing and abundant 2018 for us all.

Thanks for reading beautiful.

Love Aimee xoxo

P.S. What has been a key takeaway from 2017 for you? What are your intentions for the year ahead?

Head on over to Facebook and share them with me.

 

 

“Winter is Coming”: Boosting Your Immunity, Naturally

Winter is Coming (please read this in a Game of Thrones voice! Haha!) That’s right friends, cold and flu season is bearing down on us and for some families, this means coughs, colds and snotty noses! With these tips, here’s to breezing through the winter months without so much as a sniffle!

  1. Find yourself a good Naturopath and/or Health Food Store to get assistance in finding the perfect supplements and support for your body. Personally, my Naturopath has recommended that I take a high quality probiotic; Vitamins C & D and a specific immune boosting liquid herbal mixture. Now, each of us is completely different to the next, so it’s important to ensure you receive information based on your specific needs from a trusted practitioner.
  1. Having a regular Chiropractic adjustment is so important for my continued health and well-being. Currently, I’m attending fortnightly and it’s made a huge amount of difference to my overall health. Chiropractic adjustments have a range of benefits including reduced stress, increase of white blood cells (key to fighting off infection & disease); improvement to overall immune system function and communication.
  1. Rest, rest and rest! Winter is traditionally a slower time in our lives and generally involves a lot more time being spent in the home. Don’t be afraid to embrace this slower pace; go inward, rest, meditate, read your favourite books; enjoy a movie with the family.
  1. Our eating habits also change in the cooler months but staying hydrated with at least 2 litres of filtered water each day will help flush out any nasty toxins or funky bugs that are lurking about. It can be harder to keep up the water intake though when it’s cooler, so I try and add in some herbal teas including fresh ginger and lemon. I also love a good chai or chamomile!
  1. Crack out the Slow Cooker! Winter is the perfect time to embrace soups, stews and curries and also means we’re keeping up the balanced diet with the inclusion of lots of nice, hearty veg! Steer clear of foods like dairy, sugars and refined foods as they create mucous.
  1. Treat your temple! That’s right my friends, make sure you keep loving and nurturing your body. I continue my self-love by maintaining my dry body brushing, tongue scrapping and apply my essential oils topically (as well as using them in my diffuser throughout the house). Haven’t heard of tongue scrapping? Stay tuned, we’ll have something up for you soon.
  1. Get your Yogi on my friend! Yoga has some great immune boosting postures and practices to help keep you feeling healthy and keep the coughs and snotty noses away here are some of my personal favourites:
  • Alternate Nostril Breaths – helps to balance the right and left side of the brain; boosts immunity and clears the sinuses.
  • Child’s Pose – helps relieve bronchial congestion and opens and aligns the body through the chest and back.
  • Cobra – opens up the chest; stimulates the immune system and thymus gland and helps to prevent pneumonia.
  • Legs up the Wall – another immune booster but also helps us to calm the body and re-set your nervous system.

Hopefully some of the above tips will help keep you and your family well over this Winter season. Let me know what works for you in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you.

Love, Aimee x

Fear and Ego…

Aimee Angelique Fear and Ego Blog Post

Fear and Ego… (My Thoughts and Musings).

Are you letting Fear hold you back?
Is your ego running the show?

I have been thinking and journaling quite a bit about fear and the ego lately. It’s something that I have allowed to control my life for many years.. If I break my life up into chunks I can certainly see a pattern and where I have allowed my ego to run the show…

Something in recent years I have been wanting to create but have continued to allow fear to scare me is I have wanted to  film yoga videos. I have kept having the desire to create and bring to life this project but have continued to let my ego hold me back..

  • Fear of what others might think (other yoga teachers in particular).
  • Fear of what I will think of myself.
  • Fear that it won’t be good enough.
  • Fear that I will do it wrong.
  • Fear that I will do a bad job.
  • Fear of judgment and criticism.

My ego has been totally running the show… she has been holding me back and deliberately trying to keep me “small”..  Last week I completely stepped outside my comfort zone and started to film this new project that has been calling me for some time now..  Ever since I started teaching yoga I have had my students asking me for yoga videos so they can also practice yoga at home… I kept making excuses like “I wasn’t a good enough teacher to film videos” I have also been so fearful putting myself out the for others to judge and criticise me as a teacher, a student, as a person and as a woman…

This voice inside kept saying “you need to loose weight first so you can look like a really fit and toned yoga teacher like all the other yoga teachers on Instagram… You need to wait for your skin to clear up so you look flawless.. You need to wait till you’ve done more teacher training… You need to wait till you find the perfect person to work with”… and the list goes on and on and on…

I want to share this with you because I want you to try and give you an understanding of the “ego”… she is very tricky and she tries to hold you back… and even after doing continuous work on myself for over 12 years (yoga, energy healing, holistic health etc etc) my ego still shows up constantly!

**Spoiler alert** You will always have an ego..those nasty voices in your head… and your ego will always be there to test you! (Unless you are completely “enlightened” which I can assure you I am not there yet! It’s all part of the journey my beautiful friend…) It’s just about learning how to stop buying into her nasty stories and words… it’s about leaning to turn down the volume on her… I use things like positive affirmations and mantras to combat her nasty words… I have learnt how to not buy into the stories and come back to love… and believe me it takes work… and I am not perfect… I need to practice self love and self care daily so I don’t allow my ego to take over and run the show…

In the lead up to filming the videos… things didn’t go according to plan and my ego kept trying to test me and make me fall back into the fearful trap and cancel the day of filming/the whole creative project… I wasn’t feeling great about myself.. I was feeling tried, exhausted and a little overweight… my home yoga practice has been terrible… I sprained my shoulder a couple of weeks ago (and still healing)… I ran out of my make up and the new make up I ordered didn’t arrive in time… I couldn’t find new pants/an new outfit that I wanted to wear that made me feel amazing… my skin broke out (probably because of stress & hormones)… I was feeling bloated… it was raining on the day and my extremely curly hair went frizzy (girls with curls will understand!) and the triggers and fearful thoughts kept coming and coming…  All of these things may sound like “first world problems” and they are but these are the kind of triggers your ego will use to try an get you to live from fear and hold you back… so we need to use our self love and self care tools to try and combat her nasty ways…

Fear and Ego try desperately to keep us in our comfort zone but when we make the decision to bravely step outside our comfort zone this is where the real magic happens… we are more open to learn about ourself, we welcome new experiences and doors start to open.

I would love to now invite you to do a little exercise… I’d love you to start to think, ponder and journal about what fearful thoughts you are currently having and what are you allowing the ego to hold you back from?

Here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • What is your fear/ego holding you back from?
  • Starting a new job/career?
  • A new partner? (Starting or ending a relationship).
  • Healing yourself?
  • Your health?
  • Self love/self acceptance?

Please remember everyone is different and we all have different triggers but let me tell you beautiful woman it is so powerful to know your personal triggers so you can then find and create ways (and tools) to break pattens or bring awareness to when the patterns are playing out and to then take control and no longer feel trapped by your fear and ego…

As always thank you for being here and sharing this journey with me. It is an honour to share these thoughts with you…

Much love Aimee X

P.S Here is a little sneak peek at my new video series coming soon! “The Breathe Dream Create Love: Home Yoga Practice.”

My Past, present & future.

Aimee Angelique Dollface My Past, present & future

As you’d already know by now, I loooove me some Social Media. I’m on all the channels – Facebook. Insta. Snapchat. And would you believe, yep, Youtube. I even have my own channel!

Now once upon a time, in a far away life, I was a self-started Pop Princess. That’s right ladies and gents, I was singing and dancing and partying up a storm in good old Sydney town. Back in ‘those days’, I was doing fashion photoshoots and promotional work. I was working in crazy clubs in the city. And believe it or not, I also recorded my own music video (seriously!) – it was very sexy. It was very risqué. It was very much filmed in my apartments carspace! In my former life, I’ve created my own Dance Festival and Cabaret shows. I’ve ran my own Event Management Company (or at least that’s what we called it on my Resume). So as you can imagine, all these things are a far cry from the person and life I’m living today.

The inspiration for this blog post came about because I’ve had a few students and acquaintances mention they’re going to ‘google me’ when anything about my past life emerges. And it’s a poignant reminder for me that nothing on the internet is gone forever.

So, lets delve in to the ME you haven’t met.

I grew up as a ‘Defence Kid’ being shipped around the countryside until we finally settled in Medowie when I was 8 years of age (I was even born in Malaysia!). I attended a local Primary School here in Medowie and then went on to attend a Performing Arts High School before finally leaving at the end of year 10, 16 years of age with a bunch of hopes and dreams (and at least 6 suitcases full of baggage relating to self-esteem, body image, self-loathing, depression and anxiety).

At the tender age of 17 and feeling so ready to take on the world, with my parent’s support (but complete and utter fears of letting their little girl go), I moved to Sydney. The BIG SMOKE. I was on a fast track to becoming the next BIG THING! Pop Star! Actress! DJ! IT Girl! I was working extremely hard to make these dreams happen; creating shows and recording my music, working ridiculous hours and ridiculous jobs to support myself and my dreams; I was buying up big. I had the bags, shoes, designer clothes, fancy apartment. The problem was, these ridiculous hours and ridiculous jobs were completely feeding my insecurities. My 6 suitcases full of baggage was growing by the day.  This time I added in stress at trying to maintain my busy lifestyle and threw in some lack of sleep, struggling to keep up with my 5 (!!) jobs.

It got to the point where I knew my lifestyle wasn’t sustainable. I was on a fast track alright, but it wasn’t to fame and stardom; I was coming 100 miles an hour for exhaustion, depression and anxiety. Doctors were suggesting medication with promises of taking away all my problems but I knew intuitively this wasn’t for me. My art and creativity is found in my energy. If my energy was taken, who was I?

I watched friends and colleagues self-medicate their own issues with drugs and alcohol. Thankfully, this was never my thing; I’ve never tried drugs & alcohol dulled my fun. So I became addicted to ‘stuff’. Having a bad day? Surely that designer handbag will make me feel better. Feeling like the world is against you? Buy a new pair of expensive shoes, you’ll feel a million dollars. Feeling fat and ugly? Head off to the exclusive hair salon and spend hundreds of dollars trying to find your self-esteem somewhere in a hair colour. Now, I’m a trained make-up artist. So for me, I didn’t leave the house unless I had a full face. I’m talking the whole works. The kind of makeup you might have had done last time you were your friends bridesmaid – that was me. Every day. Every single day. I didn’t dare leave the sanctity of my home without my ‘face’.

To help me along in my path to stardom, I’d acquired so many ‘friends’! Oh the friends I had! The problem was, these people weren’t my friends. They used me. They took advantage of me both financially and emotionally. I would receive 30 calls a day from my ‘friends’ all in crisis and feeding the drama that had become my world.

On and on it went until I was no longer the girl my family remembered; I was no longer the girl with big dreams but was simply running around in a world of chaos, drama, messiness and emotional upheaval, all created by me and the people I had accumulated around me.

This cycle went on for years and years. Thankfully, little bits of me were changing and seeking new direction.

My first turning point was an anxiety attack that landed me in the back of an ambulance on my way to hospital, requiring sedation. This anxiety attack changed my life. My life and lifestyle had to change. I didn’t want to be this person anymore.

From here, two incredible things happened. At 19, I was introduced to an amazing woman and healer, Lynette from The Soul Factory whom I have done lots of work on my mind, body, energy and spirit. This woman helped heal all that was broken and helped me change my world.

The second incredible thing was a friend taking me to my first yoga class. This friend knew what I needed in that moment. I remember walking in to my first yoga class and absorbing the fresh smell of the room; the low lighting; the healing and calming sound of the Om. I was hooked. This was something that was going to change my life. And it did. It really did.

 In 2011, my amazing partner Gavin came in to my life. Our relationship blossomed from work colleagues, to friends, to lovers & partners. Gav was my first ‘boyfriend’ and together, we have been on such an amazing journey. Gav too was caught up in a very ‘Sydney’ lifestyle and together, we have undertaken so much spiritual healing and growing as individuals and as a couple.

The birth of our beautiful first daughter in 2012 shifted my axis. I saw things differently. I wanted to be different and I wanted different things from my world; from my friends; from my life. So, with my beautiful baby girl on the hip (literally, because our 1 bedroom apartment was too small to put her down anywhere!), I commenced my yoga teacher training. I didn’t know where it would take me, but I hoped it was the start of something big.

Life continued on; little changes being made here and there, all while learning on the go as a first time Mother and the changes that brings to our relationship with our partner, friends and families.

By the end of 2013, I was blessed to be pregnant again. We were so excited to be welcoming another little person to our family. But with our excitement, there was a sense of overwhelm. We were drowning. Financially. Emotionally. Physically overwhelmed by our things. We were renting an apartment that was a bit bigger than my own apartment, so with our rent and mortgage payment, we had to find $700.00 per week. And after that, we found money for food. Bills. We were struggling and quickly going in to the red.

We felt caged in. With our second baby on the way, we had to do something. So, we sold off all our financed assets. We packed up our apartment, our dog, our cat, our baby and my pregnant belly and we came ‘home’. Home to a house that means my baby girls could play with the dog in their own backyard, not a park. A home that meant family dinners with Mum and Dad and not with ‘friends’ who fell by the wayside once the drama cycle stopped; A home that meant opportunities that were real and achievable and not chasing dreams that were never to be. We created a business – Medowie Yoga – which has taken all my training and hopes to new heights and I’ve found my spark again. This time though, I no longer take joy in ‘stuff’. Now I find joy in watching my students grow and change, I find joy in helping a woman find her feet again and setting out her goals; I find joy in connecting with women and families who are genuine and kind and don’t want anything from me other than my time and friendship. I found joy. I found me.

Healing myself and finding yoga changed my world. It helped me walk away from a toxic lifestyle; toxic people. I met and connected with my amazing partner. Together, we are now walking the path of parenthood (another huge life changer – that one deserves it’s own blog post!)

I’ve lived such a full life and am truly grateful for all that I have experienced; I now have strength where before I had weakness; I have self-love where before I had self-loathing. I’m still finding my feet in all things – I’m by no means ‘perfect’ or living the new perfect ‘holisitic’ lifestyle but I am proud of myself for where I am now. For coming ‘home’ to my family and creating a life for my girls and my partner that I can be proud of. At the time of selling of our things, it felt like we had failed. We had lost our way. Little did we know, the universe was bringing us to our biggest blessings, changing our path for the better.

And the best bit? This is just the beginning!

Thank you so much for being here. I am so grateful and honoured I get to share my journey with you here…

Love Aimee x

Here is a little sneaky peek at some of my ‘past life’ photo shoots:

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Reflections on 2016 & Intentions for 2017

Aimee AngeliqueHappy 2017 Yogis! Now, I know it’s officially the 2nd of February today, but for me, I feel like its not until my girls are back in to their normal routine with Pre-School and all our extra-curricular activities that my year has really ‘begun’. Everything after Christmas until our routine kicks back in just feels like an extension of the summer break! Is anyone else the same?

So, with the little (and big!) people back to our normal routines, it feels like the right time to take a minute to reflect on all that was 2016 and all that I am manifesting for 2017.

2016 has been a profound year for me on both a professional and personal level. I leave 2016 behind with some important lessons that saw me remember to:
  •  Surrender and trust & let go of control
  • Not believe everything I see/read on social media
  • To stand in my truth
  • That not everyone will like me and that’s ok
  • That I don’t need to be “everything” to everyone and don’t need to  be ‘perfect’
  • That I need more time in nature and less social media time
  • Seek out friendships and relationships that avoid drama and gossip
With the lessons, there also comes joy. Moments and memories that I am completely grateful for:
  • My family for their unconditional love & the lessons my girls continue to teach me
  • Reconnecting with some very special people in my life
  • Having a job that I love and not being forced to go and work for someone else, doing something that doesn’t light me up!
  • Winning the Violet Gray trip to QLD and going on that little  adventure that was a moment, just for me!
  •  Celebrating my 30th birthday in the way that felt perfect for me (and again, sorry Mum for saying no to the big birthday bash I know you wanted for me!)
  • Celebrating my 6 year anniversary with my man friend and still feeling love and being loved
Professionally, I feel proud and a sense of personal achievement when I reflect on all that I accomplished in 2016:

So, what lies ahead for 2017? I am making some big changes in my world, both personally and professionally. Today, I wanted to share with you my hopes and dreams for the year ahead. I’m putting these intentions in to the universe and seeing what comes back for me. I also love to look back over my manifestations at the years end and see what I was able to achieve; what is still to come and reflect on things that might not longer be important to me going forward.

My 2017 Goals and intentions:

Relationship:

  • Continue to deepen my connection and relationship with Gavin
  • Be more present with my girls and have lots of fun adventures together
  • Spend more quality time with my Mum & Dad and Grandparents
  • Connect with more likeminded women

Health and Wellness Goals:

  • Get into nature more
  • More yoga & meditation for me and add in weekly pilates classes
  • Start dancing again
  • More self-care and self love routines
  • Work with an awesome local naturopath on healing my gut
  • Undergo a Juice cleanse
  • Regular kinesiology sessions
  • See my chiropractor for an adjustment monthly

Travel & Adventure:

  • Attend a Wellness Retreat in Byron Bay
  • Conduct my own Wellness Retreat in Kangaroo Valley (details coming soon!)
  • Take more personal holidays with my family
  • Weekend away with Gavin

Attend Live Personal Development Events:

  • Danielle LaPorte in Sydney
  • Eckhart Tolle in Sydney
  • Tony Robbins in Sydney

Personal Goals:

  • Buy a block of land and build our dream home
  • Deepen my connection and trust with the Universe
  • Travel, holiday and adventure more
  • Spend more time in nature
  • Read at least 1 physical book and listen to 1 audiobook per month
  • Listen to more podcasts and absorb as much knowledge and information I can

Professional:

  • Create and release weekly blog posts for my tribe
  • Create and release (successfully) x2 online courses
  • Host and run x2 yoga and lifestyle retreats
  • Continue to run and host awesome events (i.e Women’s Circles, Mother-Daughter Events, Teen girls events, Happy Little Yogis Live shows)
  • Work on my speaking, filming and writing

So my beautiful tribe – what is it that you’re thankful from 2016? What changes, goals, dreams and aspirations are you manifesting for 2017? This is something that we covered in my recent  Intention Setting Workshop and I’m so proud of my beautiful ladies that came along and kicked off 2017 with a bang! BUT I’d love to hear from you below – putting your intentions and lessons out to universe by writing them down is so cleansing, healing and a powerful reminder of where it is you want to head in your life.

Are you struggling to connect with yourself and where you’re heading? Maybe 1:1 coaching might be for you. I am so excited to share I have just opened up 6 new coaching spots if you feel called to seek guidance on working through your roadblocks and creating a path to the truer you come and read about my coaching packages HERE.

Thanks for reading beautiful and I look forward to connecting with you again in 2017.

Much love Aimee x

 

 

 

 

 

Shine From Within Youth Mentor Training

Shine From Within Youth Mentor Aimee Angelique

Do you dream of creating a space for girls where they can:

Be open and honest with no judgement,

Develop important life skills 

& Completely embrace the person they truly are within?

Do you want to:

Empower them,

Help them feel like they are enough,

& Share what you’ve learned with them?

Then maybe this is for you….. 

Back in 2016 completed the amazing Shine from Within Youth Mentor training which has been created by the beautiful Amanda Rootsey. It has taught me so much and I’m so thrilled to share the details with you all!

As a Mum, Business Woman & Health and Lifestyle Coach, I’m always looking to learn new skills; listening to my intuition to follow the things that speak to me. The Shine from Within Youth Mentor training program did just that; it reached out to me at the perfect time and in the perfect way.

Like most Mums, I’m time poor and to commit my time and financial resources to something, it has to be amazing, epic, worth my time! This program is absolutely perfect because it is delivered in six modules with a new module being released each fortnight. I was so thrilled with the content, which included videos, PDF downloads, audio recordings (which I listen to in the car in between Yoga classes), group coaching calls as well as specialist interviews with guest teachers and experts, all of whom are personally selected by Amanda from Shine from Within! Topics were totally engaging and taught me skills on how to engage with young people; Duty of Care obligations; marketing and business topics; curriculum development and so much more. A link to Shine from Within website providing all course details can be found HERE.

Following my completion of the Shine from Within Youth Mentor training program, I’ve felt called to really concentrate my energies in working with young women and children; to create programs and spaces for families to come together; to nurture and foster personal relationships, explore in a safe space the changes happening to young women in mind, body and soul; teach young girls personal development skills, all the while creating a warm and encouraging environment. This course has given me the additional tools I needed to leap forward with my new teachings including the Namaste Beautiful: Mother & Daughter Evenings, Namaste Beautiful: Yoga for Teen Girlsmore Health and Wellness Workshops (more info coming soon!) and my Happy Little Yogis E-Book (being released soon!).

Are your interested in studying with Shine from Within yourself?

I am so proud and honoured to be asked to be an affiliate for this great program. I only ever endorse programs I have personally completed and loved. And I love, love, LOVED this program; it has and will continue to open doors for myself and my business. This program has also equipped me with skills that I know will be so beneficial as my beautiful girls continue to grow and their relationships and self-identity develop and change. If you feel called to undertake the Shine from Within program, please register by following the link HERE. Course applications close on Tuesday, October 31st 2017 so don’t walk, run! The first program SOLD OUT within 3 days so please jump in ASAP if you want to join. 

If you have any questions about the program please feel free to contact me via email at aimee@aimeeangelique.com

Much love Aimee X

Shine From Within Aimee Angelique  

Educate Yourself and Make the choice!

Educate Yourself and Make the choice! Aimee Angelique

Photo credit:  Renee Bell Photography 

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.  ~ Nelson Mandela

Namaste Beautiful,

We’re all natural beauties, each and every one of us. To maintain & enrich that inner glow, I’ve compiled a list of some tips and tricks for a more natural skincare routine.

Our skin regenerates every 28 days and it’s important to continue a new routine for at least this time to ensure you are giving your products a true chance to work their ‘magic’.

Now this ‘magic’ within our skincare products ranges from the good, the bad and the ugly. 80% of skincare products are effectively absorbed by our skin; the dangerous part about this is that a lot of our products are full of harmful toxins and chemicals that shouldn’t be anywhere near our skin.

MAKE THE CHOICE!

Choose sustainable palm oil:
Palm oil is a commonly used ingredient in most households; margarines, biscuits, cereals, instant noodles, candles, lipsticks, ice-creams, chocolates….the list goes on. It is estimated that over half of packaged products in modern supermarkets have palm oil in them and the use of palm oil is increasing as other nations become more affluent and accepting of westernised products.

To obtain the palm oil, widespread deforestation is taking place worldwide and has pushed many species such as elephants, rhinos, tigers and orang-utans to the point of extinction.

It’s important to choose products that indicate they use and support sustainable palm oil.

Choose certified organic:
Look for labels that state ‘certified organic’. (Please see photo below for example). Organic products have become very ‘on trend’ these days and unless the product states it is certified, you really can’t be sure what it is you’re buying. Don’t be ripped off and read your labels and shop at stores you trust are selling you quality organic products.

organic certifications

Choose Cruelty Free:
In 2004, Australia was responsible for nearly 6.5 million animals being used for research and testing. Dogs, Rabbits, Mice and other animals were all exposed to toxic tests including lengthy exposure to chemicals and substances to see how much they could sustain before it killed them; other tests caused ulcers, severe burns, long-lasting pain and swelling.

Make your choice count – with your wallet. Do some research and make the swap to companies and products who support cruelty free. The internet is a great source of knowledge and information and www.choosecrueltyfree.org.au is a great place to start.

READ THE LABEL – INGREDIENTS TO AVOID!

Sulphates:
Sulphates are added to our commonly used products such as shampoos, toothpastes, make-up, handwash products and a range of other well-known household items. Most commonly, they can be identified in products that ‘foam’ up and assist in mixing water and oil based products to stop them separating.

Sulphates are known to cause irritation to the skin, hair and eyes and also internal organs. Links have also been found to cancers and other serious health complications.

What to look out for on the label:
Referred to as SLS (Sulphate); SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate); ALS (Ammonium Laurel Sulfate); TEA Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfate.

Parabens:
Parabens are a form of preservative commonly found in medicine, food and beauty products. Parabens are found to be endocrine disruptors, mimicking estrogen in the body and linked to tumour growth in cancer patients.

What to look out for on the label:
Anything with the word Paraben in it; including Methylparabens, Propulara-bens; Ethylparabens and Butylparabens.

Products derived from animals:
The worst of the worst. Includes hooves, boiled skin, bones, tendons and even crushed up beatles! The reasons for avoiding these are obvious – it’s disgusting, inhumane and something no one needs near their skin and organs.

What to look out for on the label:
Carmine, cochineal, carminic acid, casein, ca- seinate, sodium caseinate, cholesterol, collagen, elastin, gelatin (including vegetable-dervied), keratin, lanolin, lanolin acids, wool fat, wool wax, placenta, placenta polypeptides protein, stearic acid, urea, carbamid.

Petroleum based products:
Petroleum jelly, liquid paraffin and mineral oils are derived from your petrol tank! Yep, that’s right beauties, these products are made from the same thing that keeps your family’s car on the move! These products sit on top of the skin like a film and stop skin from breathing and blocks the skins natural barrier.

Artificial Fragrances:
An absolute chemical cocktail of nasties! Artificial fragrances can have up to 4000 ingredients in them; most of those ingredients are chemical based. If your favourite products contain fragrances, its time to make a change, particularly if numerous of your fave products all have fragrances, that’s a bunch of unnecessary chemicals being absorbed by your skin.

Polyethylene Glycol:
Used as both a solvent or emulsifier, Polyethylene Glycol contains many heavy metals including nickel, lead, cobalt, iron, arsenic and cadmium. These metals are linked with numerous health problems and should be avoided.

Hopefully this post has helped provide some more information for you to make informed choices when it comes to you and your families skincare, household & beauty products. I’d love to hear your thoughts & what products you’ve swapped out!

Big love, Aimee  x

My ‘perfect’ morning routine

My 'Perfect' Morning RoutineNamaste Beautiful!

So, you might have noticed the word perfect is in quotation marks. Why? Because I’m most certainly not perfect. And lets be honest here, not every morning goes perfectly. In fact, some days it all goes upside down, pear shaped and is the very definition of ‘cray cray’! The reality is, I’m a Mum to two beautiful little souls that sometimes wake up on the wrong side of the cot and from the minute their tiny feet hit the floor, #mumlife has well and truly started. I’m also a partner to an amazing man who works hard for us, meaning I’m often single-handedly wrangling the babes in the morning, all whilst trying to find my yogi centre!

At the end of the day, all of us are finding our way and are perfectly imperfect. That said, a solid morning routine helps focus your day; assists in creating good, healthy habits and sets you up to be more productive, happier & more grounded. The best advice I have is to find the non-negotiables; the things you HAVE to do to be able to get through the day. Other things on your list can be a little more fluid – on a good day, they’re part of your ‘perfect’ morning routine. But if time and life doesn’t permit, let them go and try to find the time somewhere else in the day. If you don’t get back to those fluid items, that’s ok – that’s why they’re fluid!

So, grab your pen and paper. Gather your thoughts and think about your ‘perfect’ morning routine. Jot them down and consciously make an effort over the next week to achieve as many as you can, each morning. See how you feel at the end of the week. What works? What doesn’t? From there, find the non-negotiables, identify the fluid items & do your best. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not getting the ‘perfect’ routine nailed each day. Check back in with me next week – I’d love to hear from you on how things went. Pop your comments below or connect on Facebook, I’d love to chat!

Now, on a good day, here’s what my perfect routine looks like:

  1. Connect & Breathe: As soon as I wake, I try to connect in with the Universe. I will say a little prayer and set an intention for the day and have some conscious deep breaths. If this doesn’t happen due to #mumlife 😉 I will try and do it in the shower.
  1. Dry Body Brush: Before popping in the shower, if time permits, I like to indulge in some Dry Body Brushing. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re in for a treat. Body brushing has some amazing benefits including opening up pores and releasing toxins; softens fat deposits below the skin including mucus and cellulite and helps discharge these up to the skins surface; relieves stress through the meditative action of body brushing the skin in a rhythmic motion; promotes circulation; activates the lymphatic system when taking the time to body brush the underarms and groin areas; helps foster and nurture your loving relationship with your self and your body in practicing this act of self-love; helps release muscle tension and energises the system in the morning, relaxes at night.
  1. Tongue scrap: Now this one often gets a raised eyebrow or two; Tongue scrapping. Yep it’s a thing. But before you think I’ve officially entered in to some weird dental practices, you should know that tongue scrapping helps remove bacteria which causes bad breath; it also removes the toxic mucus on your tongue which can block your taste buds! That’s right, food will taste better! It also helps boost your immunity by removing toxins; is good oral hygiene practice and helps improve digestive health. I’ll soon be following up on this ancient practice with a more in-depth look at Tongue Scrapping and what you need to get started.
  1. Shower: Taking a shower isn’t a huge deal, right? Taking a shower without interruptions is! #mumlife 😉 I tend to do a lot of thinking and soul searching in the shower so find this is a great time to reconnect with myself, my goals & intentions. I also may say a little prayer and practice my deep breaths if I didn’t get a chance when I first woke up. Once a week, time permitting, I also indulge in a beautiful body scrub. Physically, this body scrub invigorates my body by ridding it of dry skin but emotionally, it is a chance for me to re-connect with my body and appreciate all its beauty and imperfections.
  1. Skincare: After my shower, my skin is beautifully clean, light and damp. Itake this time to focus on my face by cleansing and toning with an essential oil spritz. I then apply an organic and natural moisturiser to clean and nourish my skin. Wherever possible, I really seek out organic and cruelty free products for my skin; our skin is our largest organ so its extremely important to be mindful of what it is we are applying to our skin and what is being ingested to our blood stream and internal organs through our skin. Shortly I will share another post with my recommended skin care products!
  1. Aromatically dress myself: I charge my body both emotionally and energetically with an “aromatic dressing” – this is a whole body self-massage using carefully selected essential oils, mixed in with coconut oil. Many essential oils are safe to be applied to the skin. To start, I intuitively choose between 1 to 3 oils and dilute with fractionated coconut oil. The recommend dilution ratios for adults are generally 5 drops of essential oils to 10ml of carrier oil. For example, try 2 drops of Frankincense, 2 drops of Ylang Ylang and 1 drop of lavender. So good!!!
  1. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar: To warm up and give the ‘insides’ a nice clean start to the day, I drink 250ml of warm filtered water with a spoonful of organic Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s a strong, unusual taste but something you very quickly get used to. Apple Cider Vinegar has many benefits – a quick google search will tell you ACV (as the cool kids call it) is one handy bottle to have stashed in the pantry.
  1. Take my Superfood Supplements: No matter how clean or healthy your diet, it’s my personal belief your body can always benefit from additional supplements. Modern life and diet takes it toll on our bods and even though I try to be mindful of the food I eat, I’m human and I have my little weaknesses. To help fend off any nasties and make up for anything I might be missing in my diet, I take my Superfood Supplements each morning.
  1. Breakfast: Breakfast is a biggie! For me, this is most definitely one of my non-negotiables. If I don’t get a decent breakfast by a decent time, my family is facing one #hangry Mumma. In the warmer months, I’ll generally start my day with a superfood smoothie (check back soon for some great Superfood Smoothie recipes). In the winter months, I’ll keep it pretty simple with some sourdough toast with fresh avocado and Himalayan salt sprinkled on top. A quick chai tea with breakfast means I’m having a good day.
  1. Yoga and meditation: If time, energy and children permit, I also try to add some yoga and meditation to my morning routine. Honestly though, squeezing this in is very challenging and a constant reminder to myself that each day is a matter of juggling my priorities! If I can though, I like to add in a quick meditation in the backyard by grounding my bare feet in to the earth and sitting down and quietly connecting with my breath and the earth.

If I manage to get all 10 of these things done, I seriously feel like a million dollars. I feel like supermum / superwoman / superyogi. It’s a rare thing to get all 10 done, but again, its all about being fluid, going with the flow & sticking with the non-negotiables, with anything else a nice big bonus in my day.

With the warmer days approaching, its my personal goal to bring back either a walk or jog back into my morning practice. What’s your personal goal? Let me know below!

Big love my beautiful tribe, Aimee X

My 5 Favourite Yoga Twists to Detox the Body

 With Spring breaking through the Winter dreariness, so many of my Yoga students have told me they are raring to get back in to a more regular and structured routine. My best advice to all my students is that your practice doesn’t stop at class. Continuing your practice at home is so important to maintaining and sustaining your health and well-being.

 So, with that said, here are my 5 favourite yoga twists that help to detoxify the body (and you can check out my previous posts here on how and why detoxifying is so important for you!). These poses can easily be done at home and if you feel you need any advice or assistance on these poses and the sequence in which they are practiced, please don’t hesitate to grab Gav or myself at the next class, we’d love to help you!   IMG_6395

~ Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Seated Spinal Twist)

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. You may like to support your bottom with a booster or a folded blanket.
  • Bend your knees and place both your feet on the floor.
  • Slide your left foot under your right leg, to the outside of your right hip.
  • Lay the outside of the left leg on the floor. Step the right foot over the left leg and stand it on the floor outside your left hip. Your right knee will point directly up to the sky.
  • Exhale and slowly and gently twist toward the inside of the right thigh. Take your right hand and press it against the floor. This should be just behind the right side of your bottom. Then set your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh near the knee. Pull your front torso and inner right thigh together so they are nice and snug.
  • Actively and consciously, press your inner right foot in to the floor, release the right groin, and lengthen the front torso. Lean the upper torso back slightly, against the shoulder blades, and continue to lengthen your tailbone in to the floor.
  • In this pose, you have two options. You can turn your head to either the left OR the right. You should continue twisting your torso by turning to the right, or you might even like to counter the twist by turning your torso to the left and looking over your left shoulder, at your right foot.
  • Each time you inhale, lift a little more through the sternum. You may like to push your fingers against the floor to help. With every exhalation, twist a little further and deeper.

 ** Notes: Breathe through your poses! You should start slowly, but aim to hold the pose for between 30 seconds to 1 minute; release from the pose by exhaling. Return to the start position and repeat on the opposite side. IMG_6394

~ Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog) with revolved twist

  • Commence this pose on your hands and knees, taking care to align your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Ensure that the fold of your wrists is running parallel with the top edge of your yoga mat. Also take care that you are pointing your middle fingers directly to the top edge of your mat.
  • Stretch out your elbows, taking care to release and relax your upper back.
  • Press and distribute your weight firmly through your palms and knuckles, spreading your fingers nice and wide. Take care to ensure that you have an even distribution of your weight across both hands.
  • Now, exhale your breath as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor, in one nice fluid movement.
  • Reach your pelvis up toward the sky and then draw your sit bones toward the wall behind you.
  • Gently begin to straighten your legs, but focus on not ‘locking’ your knees.
  • Bring your body into the shape of an “A” (for Aimee! Ha!)
  • Conjure images of your hips and thighs being pulled backwards from the top of your thighs. Now remember that A! We don’t need to walk the hands and feet closer together, we want to keep that nice A shape and see the extension through your whole body. This my yogi friends is Downward-Facing Dog.
  • Inhaling, lift your left hand and reach it beneath your torso and around to your right thigh. Allow your torso and waist to twist open to the right. This move has two variations:
    • Advanced: Work toward placing your left hand on the ground to the outside of your right foot.
    • Beginner: Rest your hand on the outside of your right leg’s shin or upper thigh.
  • Turn your head to look underneath your right arm. Keep your gaze soft.
    • Advanced move: If you have no neck pain, gaze up at the sky.
  • Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths.
  • To release from the pose, inhale your breath as you un-twist and return your left hand to the mat.
  • Come back into Downward-Facing Dog.
  • Repeat the pose on the other side for the same amount of time, before finally returning to Downward-Facing Dog again. 

IMG_6393

~ Revolved Lunge Pose

  • Start in Lunge Pose with your right leg facing forward. Now, bring your palms together and place at your heart center. With your left knee lifted, push your left heel back and reach the crown of your head forwards to lengthen your side body and your spine.
  • Take a nice deep breath and as you begin to exhale, twist towards your right leg. Keeping your palms together, place your left tricep on your right thigh, attempting to get the torso as close to your leg as possible (but remembering to practice within your limits!)
  • To engage your arms, push your palms together and try to twist in deeper, sending your chest in the direction of the sky and shifting your gaze upwards and over your right shoulder.
  • Now, there are choices:
    • Stay here; OR
    • Extend your left fingertips down to the ground on the outside of your right leg, and reach your right fingertips up to the sky.
    • Stay here for up to 60 seconds.
  • To exit, unwind from the pose, placing your hands down on the mat. Step back to Downward Facing Dog Pose.
  • Repeat with the left leg forwards. 

IMG_6390

~ Revolved Chair Pose

  • Commence in Mountain Pose. Stand with your feet together, with your big toes touching. Beginners may like to stand with their feet a hip-distance apart.
  • Inhale and raise your arms above your head, at a 90 degree angle to the floor.
  • As you bend your knees, exhale and bring your thighs as parallel to the floor as you are able. Your knees will project out slightly over your feet and your torso will form a right angle over your thighs. We know this as Chair Pose.
  • Now, lowering your arms and bring your palms together at your heart centre.
  • Slowly exhaling, twist your torso to the right. Bring your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh.
  • Carefully shift your left hip back slightly, squaring off your hips. Bring your knees in to alignment.
  • Press your upper left arm against your thigh, bringing your right shoulder blade into your back to turn your chest to the right.
    • For a more advanced move, extend both of your arms, reaching your right fingertips to the ceiling and your left fingertips to the mat. You can also place your left hand on a block for assistance.
  • Turn your gaze to the ceiling. If you have your arms extended outwards, you may wish to focus your gaze at your top thumb.
  • Bring your hips down even lower. Lengthen your spine even further on your inhalations and twist even deeper on your exhalations. Stack your top shoulder above your bottom shoulder. Draw your thumbs to your heart, and your heart toward your thumbs.
  • Focus on ensuring you have balanced your weight in your heels, keeping your feet pressing firmly together.
  • Hold the pose for up to 60 seconds. Inhale as you return to your center, reaching both arms overhead in Chair Pose.
  • Straighten your legs, lifting through your arms. Exhale to release back to Mountain Pose.
  • Repeat on the other side.

IMG_6396

~ Revolved Abdomen Pose

  • To commence this pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. You can rest your head on a pillow or blanket.
  • Bring your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around them.
  • Extend your arms out along the floor at shoulder-height with your palms facing down. Straighten your legs, reaching your heels up toward the ceiling. Align your heels directly over your hips. Keep your knees soft and slightly bent.
  • Draw your low back down, so it is flat on the floor. On an exhalation, lower your legs to the right, twisting your spine and allowing your left hip to lift all the way off the floor. Allow the force of gravity to drop your legs all the way down. Allow your right foot to rest on the floor.
  • Stack the outer edge of your left ankle on top of your right.
  • Work toward bringing your torso and legs into a 90-degree angle, or slightly less. If your legs are angled up toward your right shoulder, you can clasp your left foot’s toes with your right hand’s fingers.
  • Turn your head to the left, bringing your gaze toward your left hand’s fingertips. Keep your shoulder blades pressing down toward the floor and making a conscious effort to keep those shoulders away from your ears.
  • Hold the pose for 10-25 breaths. On an inhalation, slowly come back to your center. Raise your feet straight up to the ceiling. Bend your knees and hug them to your chest.
  • On an exhalation, reach your heels up to the ceiling again.
  • Repeat the above on the opposite side.
  • When you’re finished with the pose, hug your knees to your chest for a few breaths, slowly exhaling and bringing your knees to your chest. Slowly exhale your breath as you extend your legs flat along the floor.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Propping Yourself Up

Stretch Now

(Photo via Stretch Now Website)

Namaste Yogis,

How’s your time on the mat been treating you so far in 2016?
It can be a little tricky to get your practice back into full form after the holiday period, but here we are in February (already!) and it’s about time to start nourishing our inner yogi again – on the regular!

This week, I wanted to share my ideas with you about the amazing benefits of using yoga props during your mat time.

I have to admit that I never explored the use of yoga props until I had my first daughter, Isabelle. My body had changed so much throughout pregnancy and early motherhood that I was virtually ‘forced’ to start using them.

Talk about humbling, but also incredibly expansive!

It’s only now that I can see that before I was first pregnant, I brought a lot of ego into my yoga practice: ‘I don’t need props, I can do everything perfectly myself… And if I can’t I’ll push towards it!’

Having a dance background, I really believed that I should PUSH myself towards perfect alignment – using props would be cheating.

Once I shifted some major gears – having Isabelle and undertaking my yoga teacher training, I was finally able to embrace the true value of yoga props. They are, in fact, vital for experiencing the true benefits of many, many yoga postures, especially for those with injuries and poor flexibility.

These days, I LOVE props! So, here’s the rundown on the standard yoga props, how you can use them and why they’re so important:

Yoga Mats:

Not really a prop, but more an essential!
The key here is quality – yes, there really is a BIG difference between a department store ‘exercise mat’ and a quality, specialty yoga mat!

The most important aspect of difference is the materials used. Mass produced mats (ie. the really cheap ones) tend to be made from, or at least coated in, toxic plastic materials! Do you really want to be breathing that stuff in while you’re practicing?

The other elements I’ve really noticed is thickness and grip – the cheapies tend to have you sliding around on the floor and are either too thick to gain grounding, or too thin to feel solid!

Quality mats, on the other hand, are non-toxic and grip beautifully to both the floor and your hands and feet! They also last WAY longer and are a wonderful investment for your long-term practice.

Bolsters:

Especially wonderful for the more restorative yoga poses, bolsters provide deep support for some serious wind-down and body-opening.
They are incredible for gently opening the upper back, chest, ribs and belly in some key postures and just let you ‘flop’ in where your otherwise compromised flexibility might hamper you.

Ultimately, bolsters deeply support you in your practice. These days, I’m never without one! And FYI once you have tried Savasana with a bolster under your knees you won’t be able to turn back. They are addictive! 😉

IMG_3324

Blocks:

Some really daunting yoga poses can be made far more easily accessible with yoga blocks, especially for newbies to the mat. Do you have trouble reaching the floor in forward bends or triangle poses, for example? Blocks are your friend!

Blocks can also be great for advancing your practice! Between your knees in a backbends or shoulder stand, for example, can really intensify your experience and create some fantastic new levels of alignment!

Straps:

Support, safety, extension… Wow, I love yoga straps!

They’re a dream for yogis with tight hamstrings and shoulders in so many poses, allowing you to ultimately extend your reach and get into great alignment despite any injury or stiffness.

Eye pillows:

There’s no Savasana like a Savasana with a fantastic eye pillow!

My favourites are nice and heavy, providing sweet sensory darkness and the lovely feel of slight, supportive pressure over the eyes during relaxation.

If they’re scented with Lavender or the like, even better!

Blankets:

Yoga blankets are great for rolling up to sit comfortably on or to support you in poses where you don’t quite need a bolster but still crave some nurturing.

They are also heaven to swathe yourself in during Savasana or many restorative/yin poses, especially during the colder months. Quality yoga blankets are woolen and weighty, and feel like a great big cuddle during your tenderest asana moments!

So, you’ve probably guessed by now… I LOVE yoga props!

So tell me yogis how do you feel about propping yourself up during your practice? Have any props made a real difference for you? What are your favourite yoga props? Let’s start sharing in the comments!

With love until next time,
Aimee XXX

P.S For any of my students are interested in ordering either a high quality yoga mat or any yoga props to support your practice either at home or in class please email me as I am just about to place a bulk order which you maybe able to receive a discount and save on postage. Please email me ASAP at aimee@aimeeangelique.com and let me know what you would like to order.