Just for you

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Let’s think about doing things just for you.

In the same way you would take time to restore your muscles, it’s important to take time to restore your emotions.

Hard core self love.

I take a lot of time to listen to my body and my mind, because I really think that’s where all the answers come from.

I suppose it’s a meditation in a way; the key is awareness.

Knowing what your body actually needs to feel good, the same for your mind, helps you to take responsibility for your own happiness.

Do more things for you.

Things that make you feel good.

Dance on your own. Twerk it all out if you feel like it.

Laugh at yourself.

Be conscious of your personal development.

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Of course it’s easier said than done, it’s hard to find the time, but I think you can always make time.

I love taking the time to reevaluate where I’m at. What I want going forward. Making sure I know what actually makes me feel good. Be candid and honest with yourself. Being honest with yourself is damn hard, but trust me, it’s worth it.

I feel like every time I do this something changes. I feel more focussed. More bad ass. 

All the feel good vibes.

Connect to yourself fully.

And trust yourself.

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I know a few people who seem to find it difficult to spent time on their own. Give it a try. I take a lot of time to do things that truly serve me – maybe even too much – and they usually involve being alone.

But I’ve found that the more love you can give to yourself, the more love you can give to others. It grows exponentially.

There’s a huge difference between being alone and being lonely.

Love yourself.

And treat YO’SELF.

Know that there will always be aspects of fear in your life, you are only human. I’m my own worst critic too – take a step back and trust.

Life can get a bit much sometimes, we can get caught up in the daily grind. Always having so much to do, what’s the next task, the next move. It sounds cheesy AF but slow it all down, be a bit more in the moment. Take it all in.

I do a lot of yoga (quite often in my underwear … why the fuck not) and I take a lot of baths. I spend a lot of time with my animals, go for walks, take in my surroundings. I dance. I laugh a lot with my friends. I listen to music far too loud. That’s what makes me feel good. When I write, I go into total hermit mode, and sometimes that’s just what I need.

Be aware of yourself,

but be light and go with ease.

What do you do, just for you?

 

Namaste,

Amy xx

The #YogaRevolution



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When I started to write this post, I decided to read over my post on last years ‘yoga camp‘. Dayuum has a lot changed in my life. I still feel so much gratitude for how yoga camp reminded me how to love myself.

But this is a different year.

A different January.

The same me, a different outlook.

A Yoga Revolution.

31 days of Yoga.  January 2017.

January is a hard month for most, but Adriene Mishler’s month long yoga programme is what it’s all about for me. This woman inspires me to no end.

My yoga practice has come a long way in the last few years. I guess my focus now is on building strength and exploring more difficult and challenging poses. But always practising and working on the simpler ones.

Yoga revolution is a 31 day free yoga programme on Yoga with Adriene’s youtube channel.  A daily email to set the tone. A calendar to see what you’ve accomplished and get excited for the next practice. A journey into yourself.

To start a revolution. To practice being present and love and trust in yourself. To allow time for yourself.

 

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The run times for this years programme are shorter than those of last years, averaging at 30 mins per day, which I think was a clever move and a bit more do-able for most. But a shorter practice does not mean less of an experience.

The quality and thought put into the programme inspired me greatly. Each day was perfect for the timeline of the programme, maintaining a balance and understanding of what your body might need, in comparison to the previous practice or what was yet to come.

A workout. But mindful and gentle at the same time.

Prana bods as Adriene puts it. I will be using this term time and time again and I’m sure the YogaRevolution community will be too. Energy flow baby.

I learned how to practice lightness in every movement, an awareness of every limb and how it feels and moves. It changed my daily life, my posture, my unconscious yogic movements throughout the day. I adjusted my car seat so my lower back felt supported. I sat up straight at my desk. I did a quick forward fold and mountain pose during my bathroom breaks in work (don’t tell anyone it might seem weird).

The daily practise has worked its way into my unconscious and connected my body to my mind more than ever before. I move with intent.

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Although last year’s program was very emotional for me as I had so many personal issues with insecurity and self-love that I had to work through, I didn’t feel that emotional during yoga revolution. Until Day 31.

Just as the video started playing, I cried.

Tears of happiness. Gratitude. Pride. I smile-cried.

I sat and looked at my calendar as I ticked off the final day. Placed on the wall above last year’s calendar for yoga camp. I read the mantra’s I completed last year. I cried again. There is no better feeling than appreciating yourself and reflecting on how far you have come.

This truly was a journey, a magnificent one. So thank you Adriene. Namaste you lovely lady.

I intend to practice daily following yoga revolution. I’m gon’ make my own calendar, to stay focussed. It has been a revolution for me. Feel empowered – Laugh – Build strength – Smile – Start your own inner revolution here with Adriene Mishler -> Yoga Revolution

Namaste. Honor the prana bod.

“Present and awake.

Love yourself.

Love your neighbour.

Move from a place of connect.

Present and awake.

May all beings be free and happy.” – Adriene Mishler.

 

Amy xx

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2017

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I know I’m late.

But how late is too late?

2017. Wait… 2016.

Let’s talk about 2016.

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2016 was  one of the hardest and best years of my life thus far. Let’s start from the beginning.

January was filled with #yogacamp by the wonderful Adriene Mishler – see my post about it here. I learned self-love, confidence, trusting in myself. It changed me.

February I started to step out of my comfort zone. I went on dates. I kept up the fitness – LWRHIITIN4. My body changed dramatically.

I bought my first car and got insured. I started to drive and tasted that freedom for the first time.

I became closer to female friends, lost some, gained some. I felt I only truly started to understand the beauty of women and all that we are.

I agreed to do my first photo-shoot for a hair salon. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I took the leap, I couldn’t believe I did it. I let the hairstylist do what she wanted to my hair. I felt such empowerment and freedom from this experience (I wasn’t thrilled with the new look … but hey that was part of the process!)

I saw Beyoncé in June. Formation World Tour. BEYONCÉ. What?! B.E.Y.O.N.C.É. That night legit changed my life. So much happiness, so much strength. So. Much. Love.

I passed my driving test first time.

I spent the sunny Irish summer (max. 3 weeks… maybe…) lying in my back garden, mostly naked, listening to music and reading books. All day everyday for those 3 weeks. I enjoyed this time with myself so much and will never forget it.

I got a job. I got the job. I got a job that I always wanted. I cried with happiness, I welcomed the challenge. I still love it.

I stayed vegan all this year. I don’t think I will ever go back. It gives me such gratitude and respect for all living things.

I overcame so many mental issues. So many downfalls, tears, difficulty… within myself. I worked through it. I had the strength and drive to want better for myself. I can’t say I solved everything ….there is always work to be done (Do you ever really ‘get there’?). But I achieved so much and have come so far. I am not even close to the person I was this time last year. I learned to love myself. I learned to give love.

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2017.

This year tho.

This gon’ be my year tho.

Let’s just list out some things/thoughts for 2017, cause that’s what people do, right?

I want to explore my creativity, fully, now that I have recognised how much joy it gives me. And to explore that through many different outlets. Write more on the blog, pull back on the perfectionism … you’re just writing about you and the things that you love.

I want to continuously remind myself to take responsibility for my own happiness.

I want to continue to practise yoga, daily, because I know how good it makes me feel.

I want to get fitter and push the boundaries of that, but with ease and awareness.

I want to continue to challenge myself in my work, and push myself to learn and succeed.

I want to love more. I know that I have the capacity and it is in my nature, but past hurt has made me wary, less giving. I want to let go of that fear, and I want to give love to the people in my life that matter so much to me. *Don’t cry*

I want to laugh more and stop being so god damn serious (if you read my blog you will totally get this!)

I want to travel more and see more of the world, and through this learn more about myself.

Finally, something I’ve really been working on and getting somewhere with, is to apologise less. Stop apologising. You are who you are. You know who you are. You love who you are.

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A lot of negative things happened in 2016. A lot of sad things, scary things. Things I never imagined would happen, and things I am not going to comment on or discuss here. All I will say is, keep your focus on love. Love will conquer, and there is always love to be found if you look hard enough.

Happy New Year.

Feel free to comment… to discuss things you’ve overcome in 2016, goals you have for the new year, or just to have a chat, please do so down below… or tweet me @amylauren_b

Thank you so much to everyone who has read my blog over the past year, it means a lot more to me than you might think! I wish you all the best for the year ahead.

So. Much. Love.

Namaste,

Amy xx

P.s.   First full moon of 2017 last night. I’m relishing in it, and viewing it as the ‘real’ New Year. Celebrate. Be present. Enjoy!

How Yoga Camp with ‘Yoga With Adriene’ Changed Me

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Towards the end of last year I went through a huge change, a break-up, something I discussed in my ‘A Bit More Personal..’ post (have a read if you want to get up to date with me!).  I was struggling with self-love, and Christmas was particularly difficult for me.  New Years was even worse.  I so desperately wanted things to change.  I wanted to go into 2016 with a positive outlook, and most importantly, start doing things for myself for once.  So when I heard ‘Yoga with Adriene’s’ Adriene Mishler was starting a 30 day Yogacamp for the month of January, completely free, with a video uploaded every single day, I was sold.  I signed up, and got my first email which included the YogaCamp Calendar.  I printed it out and marvelled at all the beautiful mantras I was yet to experience.  The whole idea seemed too good to be true, and I feel the universe was helping me by bringing it to my attention.  It was exactly what I needed, and was aimed to tackle my largest problem at the time, self-love.

On January 1st, it all started.  The first video was an introduction, and then Jan 2nd the first yoga practise of the month was uploaded.  I rolled out my matt, tied my hair up, and took some deep breaths.  I cannot explain to you how, even after the first day of yogacamp, I felt a weight lifted.  I felt I was moving in the right direction.  AND GUUURL WAS I RIGHT!

Adriene is from Texas so each upload was at 6am her time, which was 12pm for me in Ireland.  I made a habit of waking up, cleaning, tending to the animals, eating breakfast, and doing a few odd jobs before the video came in.  I felt for the first time in months I was excited to get out of bed, and would become so elated knowing that 12pm was coming soon.  It truly revived a part of me that had been lost for many years, the drive…the excitement…the gratitude..the accomplishment…the self-love.  It got to a point where I was laughing at myself thinking ‘oh my friends want to go out this weekend, buuuuut what about my yogacamp?!’.  That’s another thing that was so important after the breakup, to keep friends close, and to get out the house and enjoy myself.  I couldn’t believe I wanted to stay home alone, not to eat ice cream and feel sorry for myself…but just so I could make sure I got my yogacamp fix!

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I got so used to doing it everyday, and concentrating on each day’s mantra, that I felt I was subconsciously letting myself feel everything I was trying to avoid months before.  That sounds bad, but beforehand I was constantly trying to force myself to be happy and confident, which after I while I realised was the thing holding me back and that was stopping me from moving forward.  Focussing on positive mantras, and only that, until the next day rolled around, kept things small, easier to handle, and approachable.  It wasn’t scary anymore.

On top of all that, I felt part of a community that was separate from the people I know in my life, who didn’t have opinions on what I was going through.  I found that so refreshing, part of a family that had no judgement.  Reading other people’s experiences of the very same videos I was watching, was grounding in itself.

The gratitude I feel for this woman is immense.  She came out of the blue and helped me with deep personal issues I’ve had for years.  And she gave it all out for free.  You can just tell the amount of effort that went into the mantras, the thoughtful poses for each day, the awareness of different levels people may be at, the delicacy with which she handled the intense and overwhelming idea of ‘making self-love cool again’.. all the while making you laugh with her hilarious jokes.  I’ve been doing yoga for years and have never felt so affected by a practise in my life.

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When it all came to an end there is a sadness attached, however I decided to restart it all over again.  I was hopeful that the change in self-love could only double after doing it all again for the next month.  I was right.  I feel the happiest and most at peace I’ve ever felt, I feel strong, beautiful, and capable of tackling anything that comes my way in the future.  Some of those things I never thought I’d say.  It is always a constant journey, but respect it and be patient.  So after all that, I want to say, Thank you Adriene Mishler.  You’ll probably never read this, but I’m sending love and light to you!  I am aware I’m a bit late to post this, a few months after… but I feel it was important to express this and better late than never.

If you are struggling with self-love, or are curious about sticking to yoga practise for 30 days, I cannot recommend this enough.  If that’s not your cup of tea, she has a vast amount of other videos on her channel which I’ll link below.  HAPPY YOGA-ING AND REMEMBER TO LOVE YOURSELF!

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Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this,

Namaste,

Amy xx

Review : Zenzation Athletics Premium Yoga Mat

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I’ve had this mat for over a year now so I’ve had a serious amount of time to test it out! Received from my lovely boyfriend as a birthday present, at the time I was desperately in need of one… The carpet just wasn’t doing the trick for my daily practice anymore!

First things first, I am in love with the colour. It’s warm, inviting and uplifting. This is important to me because it brings my eye straight to the mat in my room, making me think of yoga, and thus making me practice more! The rounded edges means it stays flat during practice, something that I love, it can be so annoying when something like that disturbs your flow.

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It has an anti-slip/sticky sort-of surface so it doesn’t move around a lot, which can be so annoying when in poses such as downward facing dog or warrior pose. It’s 6.5mm thick, which is incredibly comfortable. I have found that, while using someone else’s mat or using one provided at a class, they are usually quite thin. Sometimes when I put pressure on my knees in a particular pose I can have some discomfort and pain, and this mat helps so much with that.

One added bonus is that it’s made out of easy-to-clean material, if I’m outside and some mud gets on it, a quick wipe does the trick. I don’t find that anything gets stuck in between the threads of the mat.

I would recommend this mat to any yogi! It’s so comfortable, clean, and looks eye-catching…adding some extra joy into my everyday practice 🙂

Love and light always,

Namaste,

Amy xx

Link to buy this mat!

Welcome to Turkey : How getting away can clear your mind!

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So I have arrived in Turkey! After the stress of finishing college and doing exams, going on a holiday has never come at such a perfect time. De-stressing and evaulating the frame of mind I am in are my main goals for this trip. Lying in the sun, swimming, and continuing my yoga practice along with the odd meditation session are the activities I plan to incorporate into most of my days here. The second I stepped off that plane and landed on turkish soil I felt a weight lifted. For me, nothing clears my head more than experiencing a different environment from that which I’ve been living in, for what seems like forever. It forces you to take a step back and view how your life has been going recently and thus, have a critical view of your state of happiness. I have been here for 3 days now and not much has happened, which I consider a good thing seeing how we all feel like life has to be constantly busy in order to achieve and progress. I’ve been lying in the sun getting a tan and swimming, without venturing outside the hotel for too long. I did a short and sweet yoga class this morning and it was so beautiful in the morning sun, something I feel I’ll be doing every day! Being content in doing nothing has been a hard thing for me to accept after being so busy for the last 4 years of college. Living in the now, taking in every present moment has been and is still a large lesson for me to learn. Right now I am drinking a cold beer and listening to the mosque calls to prayer, thoroughly enjoying the different experiences and reflecting on my life so far. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of this country, it’s people and the relaxed way of life, reminiscing back to a time when I first visited about 10 years ago when I was too young to understand the history and to appreciate it’s unique culture.

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Using this time to post as much as possible was a big goal of mine before I left Ireland, however looking back now I crave the relaxation associated with no deadlines and pressures. Saying that, this blog is just a breath of fresh air for me because the pressure I have is only there because I decide it is. We can all strive to be better, but we also have to be patient.

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On another note, I’ve been reading a fantastic book that I’d like to share with everyone! It’s called ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff….and it’s all small stuff’ by Richard Carlson and for someone who suffers every single day with anxiety, it’s benefitted me more than I could have imagined. Everyone can learn something from this so I’d advise you pick up a copy 😉 Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this post.

Love and light always,

Namaste,

Amy xx