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General

Love This Life Festival Kzn

on Wednesday, 12 November 2014. Posted in General

Feedback from our recent festival
4.5/5 rating (2 votes)

Love This Life Festival Kzn

Namaste, Hari Om and IKosi Nathi. As I sigh into my couch and settle down with my laptop to write this article I feel huge gratitude for my never ending high energy levels ! Putting this event together really did take its toll and I opened the festival with a short meditation for peace on saturday with dark marks under my eyes and not nearly as much mental clarity as I am used to. The day proceeded to unfold in an orderly and well attended fashion, despite my fears and sense of responsibility to one and all. I take out of this a very good lesson as I move forward on my yogic journey. Have faith ! Have a plan, work hard to achieve it, and then have the faith to allow things to unfold without attachment to the outcome. I guess its a good example of the word "equanimity" that I first heard while on the hardest 10 day Vipassana retreat of my life to date ! Equanimity, is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind. While it sounds wonderful, in reality its not so easy.I think we need to bring this word into the upcoming festive season in order to try and maintain our inner balance throughout. Despite our well meant decisions to take this year easy and NOT fall into the trap of silly season madness, it is difficult maintaining our equalibrium when the pressures of celebrating being happy and jovial surround us. Maybe the key to keeping this equanimity throughout is to keep it simple. Why not go back to basics and remember that its the gift of life we are celebrating here, so  avoid celebrating this by causing pain and suffering in the lives of others (animals included). To help the environment as well as avoid unnecessary over spending, I will be gifting tokens of my energy to friends and family. Time and energy are the most precious gifts of all, so this is what I will be offering. My "specialities" to my loved ones and in doing so I remove the angst and fever pitched shopping from weeks to come ! I do hope you are all able to find your own equanimity in the midst of it all. Deep gratitude for this ever challenging life of ours, take it out the studio and into your lives. Ahimsa

Cheryl

The Yamas

on Wednesday, 23 July 2014. Posted in General

Aparigraha-non possesiveness
5.0/5 rating (2 votes)

The Yamas

Hari Om, Namaste and a warm welcome to this blog page. The home page is currently undergoing an upgrade due to the organic evolution of our safaris and retreats. I do apologise if the pages are not all up at the moment and hope to have things back on track by the end of the month.

This month of July has been full of focus, intent and sharing for us here. Drawing on all the information that has come our way over the years, embracing it and passing it forward to the future teachers of Yoga. Even though this is my passion, it does not come without its challenges. Time is always the main factor, second only to the enthusiasm of the students themselves. We have, and still are enjoying the last few days together here in a rather chilly cape Town. Yesterday we took some time to meditate on the slopes of Table Mountain, sending out energies of peace and love to all the citizens of this vibrant city. We then took a mindful meditational walk around Kirstenbosch gardens enjoying the glory of the mountain, fragrant air and energising trees ! We definitely came back recharged and ready for more information. Wishing all my students the best for their upcoming theory and practical exams fri and sat this week !

The end of July brings closure to the Teachers Training Course as well as a bon voyage to my beloved daughter. Mandy packing her home and moving across to Australia for a few years, which brings me to the subject of Aparigraha. Non - possesiveness. Once again I am being asked to "walk my talk" and have her move forward with love, joy and excitement rather than resentment and negativity. Allowing her to be the free spirit she truly is, guilt free to spread those wings and soar above the clouds where the sun always shines. I have had to dig deep. Summons enthusiasm in the depths of despair. Call upon the Yogic philosophy and embrace equanimity. It didn't come overnight but it did come. By freeing my child I have indeed set myself free ! Thank you to the powers that be for yet another valuable lesson in my life's journey.

Ahimsa

Cheryl

Unblock, unleash and energise !

on Monday, 05 May 2014. Posted in General

Create your energy
4.8/5 rating (4 votes)

Unblock, unleash and energise !

Greetings, as you all know in the yogic tradition  we greet one another with our hands together in theprayer position at our hearts and say   “ Namaste”. I recently  learned the Zulu greeting “ Kosi Nathi” which means the same thing. Both of these greetings are acknowledging the “spirit” or “godliness” in the other person. It is a very polite and heartfelt  gesture to greet in this way, especially if the intention is real and said with love. Then the gesture goes beyond being merely an action and the words become an energetically charged greeting, which has a far greater effect. As we all know, I’m sure, we are a mass of vibrating energy.  We are continuously vibrating at different frequencies throughout the day and our lives. We are completely  unaware  of this until we find ourselves feeling very tired, lethargic and eventually manifesting some form of a disease. Then we are fully aware of the lack of energy we have. If we were more finely tuned into our daily energies, we would pick up on the tell-tale signs and warnings our body gives us well in advance of actually becoming sick.  This way we would be able to take the necessary steps to prevent a full blown illness. In it’s supreme intelligence, the body does not want to be out of homeostasis (balance) so it  spends all day long working to stabilise and maintain equilibrium. This effort uses a tremendous amount of energy on an hourly basis. What throws us out of equilibrium ? Stress in the form of noise, traffic congestion, hard to digest foods such as take outs and over indulgence of animal products, alcohol and even too much physical labour, to name just a few. I am sure you get the idea from these. The more the stressors, the greater the dis-harmony, the harder the body has to work to keep its homeostasis. The less the stressors, the better the harmony and the more energetic the body !  It is absolutely vital to maintain a steady and rhythmic movement of this energy around the body. Sedentary lifestyles lead to more disease than any other factors. We have to “move” the vital energy around the body in order to stay energised, flexible and strong in the muscles,  joints and all the connective tissues. By keeping the spine lubricated, flexible and strong we maximise the connection between the nervous system (the brain ) and the central nervous system (the spine) that feeds  the nerves, the organs, the limbs and every other part of the body.  It’s when we become stagnant with our range of movements that we start to lose what we are not using. This is the first step in the wrong direction, from here it is a downward spiral into further  deterioration of health and well being.

So in closing, may I suggest that you consider today as the first day of the rest of your life, invest in your health and get up and back on track ! It doesn’t matter if you go walking the boardwalk, climb stairs, swim in the tidal pools, join a gym, take up nia, or enjoy daily yoga ! We have so many options . Just do it now, something more than you did yesterday.

Ahimsa

Cheryl Lancellas

Sthira and Sukkah

on Tuesday, 03 December 2013. Posted in General

Steady and comfortable
4.6/5 rating (5 votes)

Sthira and Sukkah

Namaste, steady and comfortable, two simple words that say so very much and are often spoken of in the yoga class. Looking back on my life I see this is exactly what I have always searched for. Something and someone reliable, steadfast, true and a good fit ! If only life was so simple ! I see now that actually life itself is anything but steady and comfortable. Change is inevitable, hardships are to be expected and people will let you down time and time again. That is if you set yourself up for disappointment. As I have journeyed forward on this Yogic route, I have tried to stay more in the moment, (accept what is, actually there is really no other choice ), roll with the punches, find the lesson in each trial and tribulation and most of all, make my own happiness. This way there can be no bitter disappointments, resentments and anti-climaxes. It's all part of the amazing journey we so casually agree is life !!! So if we are approaching "life" and our choices as boldly as we should, should we then not approach our yoga practice with the same tenacity ? I truly believe we should ! Maybe not every single session, or for the entire time on the mat, but I do feel that we need to dig deep and take ourselves out of the comfort zone every now and again. This is where we experience the growth spurts, where we find those "aha" moments of dropping into a posture deeper than before and feeling the sheer joy of letting go of a past memory that's been the cause of a restriction in a certain way. The limitless abundance of experiences to be had demonstrates to me that we do indeed need to sometimes push that little bit harder in order to move forward into a deeper and quieter place. As with everything in life, it's about the balance. We need to enjoy moments of steady and comfortable interspersed with times of effort and intelligent discomfort. This is the way forward to uncovering more of the incredible potential we all have deep inside ourselves.

I am writing this article as i sit with my teachers training students, soon to be Yoga teachers, as they take their theory examination. This is not a comfortable experience for any of us and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them all on their decision to embark on this course regardless of the outcome or results achieved academically. Each one of them have worked hard, grown and absorbed so much more than just my annoying voice as i have guided them through the last few months ! I have huge respect and admiration for you all. May you all stay on track, take time to notice who you are but never forget who you were ! Teach wisely and with compassion, lots of love and Ahimsa

Cheryl

Walk gently with Grace and Ease !

on Thursday, 24 October 2013. Posted in General

Flow gracefully move easily
4.8/5 rating (5 votes)

Walk gently with Grace and Ease !

Well here we are again just weeks away from winding down for the year 2013 ! The last 2 months of the year seem to be more pressurised than any others .  There’s  end of year exams,  end of year  targets to be met, end of year  functions to be arranged and of course, the decisions to be made about where and with whom  Christmas will be shared. I would like to take this opportunity to wish my students on the teacher Training course as well as ALL students everywhere, all of the very best in their studies and preparations for finals.

If you have started with short sittings of meditation practice you will most definitely see how you manage the year end pressures with gentle ease and grace. Take just 10-15 minutes a day to enhance your life, it’s that easy ! If you would like to find more information of both yoga classes and meditation techniques e mail me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will help wherever I can. It’s never too late to make small changes that have long lasting benefits.

We are leaving for the last yoga/dolphin therapy trip  for 2013 on 24th to 30th November and still have 2 beds left. This is R5900 pp sharing and is inclusive of transport to and from King Shaka airport, dinner, bed and breakfast, x 2 daily yoga asanas, pranayamas and meditations plus  x 2 trips on dolphin boat. It is a wonderful adventure offering a combination of relaxation with dolphin encounters as well as taking your Yoga a little deeper. We stay right on the beach so are able to enjoy sun salutations with nothing between us and the sun we are celebrating except of  course, the Indian ocean !  I look forward to hearing from anyone interested in joining us for this excursion.

In closing I would like to add some food for thought :

The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own  life is the source from which  self-respect springs. “  Joan Didion

Meditation

on Wednesday, 09 October 2013. Posted in General

How to achieve pure joy
4.4/5 rating (7 votes)

Meditation

“May we bring our full hearted attention to ourselves and each other, that the world around us may flourish in tender care ! “

Greetings to all you wonderful readers, I hope this finds you in great spirits and pure joy ! Staying in the vein of our previous article that our thoughts make what we are, what we manifest and how we experience our lives, the above quote is the thought for this week. If we bring our full awareness to ourselves, then and only then will we realise how we feel when someone is nasty or negative towards us. By placing this focus on how we ourselves respond to this, we will become aware of the power this negativity has upon our own energy. It is only when we learn to let go of the negativity, not rise to it or attach to it, that we are able to live our lives in a more calm and balanced way. Once we achieve this, it is then that we are able to be more mindful of our own actions towards each other.  When we start to treat our friends, family and fellow creatures on this great earth with love and compassion, we can start to truly LIVE and walk our talk.

It may sound difficult to be non-attached, but just like everything else, it requires training. The best way to do this is to start meditating. I have sometimes found that the very word “meditation” conjures images of eastern religions, idol worship and other such disturbing ideas. This is in fact not true. To meditate actually means the art of focusing 100% of your attention to one area. The benefits on health alone is a reason to start this practice. If you take a few minutes each day, sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor, or even on a chair, keep the spine erect, relax the neck and shoulders, lightly close the eyes and gently bring attention to your breath, you have started the process.  Become fully aware of the breath going in the nostrils and the slightly warmer air going out the nostrils. This is indeed a difficult thing as the mind jumps around from this to that and to the next thing. Try to keep bringing the attention back to the breath, you might need to do this a hundred times during the 3-5 minutes of sitting, but with practice you will be able to hold attention on the breath for longer each time.  Just as the physical body needs to practice being still, so will the mind learn what you want from it. Over a few weeks you can build this sitting up to about 15-20 minutes. The health benefits alone are worth making this time for practice. Try it, be sure to let me know of any improvements in health, stress levels, concentration and emotions.

With much love, joy and ahimsa

Cheryl

Perseverance

on Monday, 02 September 2013. Posted in General

Patience
4.4/5 rating (8 votes)

Perseverance

Well I have had to display many of the qualities I find most difficult of late. Firstly I was busy with my affiliation documents with Yoga Alliance and for some reason their e mail address and mine, would just not communicate. Everything bounced back from both sides ! Very strange indeed. Secondly we tried working via dropbox and with me being on a safari, signal was fluctuating and so that proved to be useless as well. I then had to have the patience to wait until I returned then we set up via skype, this proved satisfactory. After much debate and re sending of necessary documents, all was approved and so the perseverance was well worth the inconvenience. By bringing my yogic breath into play, as well as the mental discipline received from my yoga class, I was able to manage my frustrations and stress levels remained low and not ALL consuming. We have gotten so used to instant gratification that it was out of the ordinary to come upon these type of communication hiccups. It just goes to show that we do need to be eternally grateful for the good old land line. What I experienced over the past 3 weeks reminded me of our need as teachers, to emphasise the art of patience ! It is all bound into the Yama of Ahimsa.(one of the branches of the yogic philosophy)  If we are fully aware of avoidance of harm,  even to ourselves, we will not rush our progress along the physical posture path. Thereby avoiding injury and potentially slowing down the advance of progress. Sthira and Sukah ! Steady and COMFORTABLE ! That is the key. We should not take postures to 100 % of effort, drop down to around 80-85% and in doing so keep  sight of the benefits of being intelligent and gentle with ourselves ! Yoga is a journey for life, don't rush through it, enjoy it and let it happen as it wants to unfold, as and when it sees fit to do so for you as an individual.

Well done to my Teachers Training students in Ballito, 2 big workshops (16 hrs) under our mats and so we embrace the upcoming adventures into the study of the self.

A very big thank you to Guy Bower for lending us his spine ! (ha ha I called him Guy all weekend) it was most helpful.

Have a wonderful week everyone and enjoy skipping lightly into Spring !

Ahimsa

Cheryl

Star of David

on Wednesday, 07 August 2013. Posted in General

6 Planets line up uniquely
4.6/5 rating (8 votes)

Star of David

It seems that everywhere I turn I see more information about the planets and their alignment in the Star of David. While I am definitely a novice when it comes to Astrology, I cannot deny my intuitive emotional responses to this particular event. The symbols of  the heart Chakra are  the 2 triangles pointing one upward and one downward, reflecting the connection of the base chakras with the higher intuitive chakras. With the extra alignment of the planets , reflecting the same inner connections, one can feel the pull at the very depths of your soul. Yearning for the higher wisdom and knowledge, the innate sense of “knowing” we have all experienced maybe many times albeit it briefly. This Star of David appeared on 29th July and is referred to as the Grand Sextile. It is formed by 6 planets lining up at 60 degree angles to each other around the Earth forming a giant 6 pointed Star ! Saturn, Neptune and Jupiter make up one of the triangles and Pluto, Venus and the Moon make up the other. This formation is only in place very briefly due to the transition of the moon. The line up of these planets is described as a “tool for the evolution of humankind”. This event has been referred to as the “tree of life” or the “flower of life”, the “twin flames’ or the” Chariot of the Gods” to name only a few. So let’s open our hearts to the unity of the global consciousness and collectively take the next step in the evolution of the human race, towards a peaceful energy. This is a time of great  Personal  Transformation , meditate on the heart centre, be aware and embrace the changes.  Exciting times indeed.

Ahimsa

Om Navah Shivaya

on Wednesday, 31 July 2013. Posted in General

Wherever you go , there you are !
4.6/5 rating (9 votes)

Om Navah Shivaya

By appreciating each moment for exactly what it is, we will shun all the negative thought we could possibly have had about that moment. The lack of negativity will naturally spill over into good health of body and mind !Taking the time on your mat, working on the mental, as well as the physical , energy and spiritual bodies, we will "piece" the puzzle of life together. We find ourselves more able to tap into our innate wisdom, strength and intuition, purely by being more aware. It's always there, we just need to listen for it. This is how Yoga has a way of "spilling over" from the mat into your daily life and one of the main reasons I am so fond of it ! If i miss my practice for 2 days in a row, my diet becomes a little less discilplined, my posture starts to deteriorate and my mind becomes scattered. Thats just in 2 days. In my days of running a fitness centre, we informed our clients that your muscles and fitness levels atrophy at 10% per week away from your training ! Thats a heck of a lot of atrophying to catch up again when you make a come back ! Is it worth the break ? Yoga is so easy to take with you wherever you go, no matter how small a space is available, you will be able to create some form of practice. All you need is you, your mat and the desire ! The benefits are well worth the 15 minutes or so of your time.

So keeping this in mind, keep the faith and practice on !

Ahimsa

Cheryl

Cleaning our spiritual house

on Monday, 15 July 2013. Posted in General

Spiritual cleansing
4.5/5 rating (10 votes)

Cleaning our spiritual house

Namaste, as we have discussed recently, times they are a changing ! The last few weeks have been most trying, hard work and emotionally charged. It would seem that there is a higher purpose for all this turbulence. Without change, we would not reach our highest goals. In line with my " you have to go in to get out " program, there comes a time , once inside,that we need to stop and have a little chat, take the time to FEEL what is happening on a cellular level. It's not enough to just take a peek and run on back out. We need to become aware of what needs to be transformed in order to more freely move forward into our future. Then we need the courage to make the necessary changes. Mostly I think we need to let go of old wounds, put them behind us, make closure and heal our physical bodies in order to effect the other bodies. In other words, let go of the victim playing. By holding onto these negative energies we are depleting ourselves of our own vital Prana and empowering someone else with it !!!Working through all the past emotional baggage is like walking the labyrinth, just when you think you have got to the very essence of the problem, you are directed outward again. The labyrinth is designed to keep you in the present and to take you closer to the REAL issue with some respite then to move away from it and process it. Over and over again, until finally you are in the very heart centre, where you are now ready to let go of the issue and walk boldly back into your future (with a few more winding tricky sections for the last preparations of the soul)  With our regular Yoga practice we are strengthening the physical body, working on the control of the emotional body, awakening and nourishing the spiritual body and trying to tame the mental body. It is then just logical that healing and shifts in consciousness take place, regularly ! Once we can heal ourselves, to be the very best that we can be, we will start to see the changes in the environment. We need to create the "100 monkeys" effect and this way we might just be able to turn ourselves and Mother Earth around. Ahimsa to the very core of our Planet ! What a Blessing to see us all unite and REALLY finally understand that we are what we think !

Take care with yourselves and the Mother

Ahimsa.

Cheryl Lancellas / Fully-qualified Yoga Teacher
Contact: (+27)(0) 32 586 1219   ~   (+27)(0) 84 090 2083
http://www.sayogasafaris.com   ~   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.