Everything in retrograde

It’s been a turbulent first half of 2018, astrologically speaking, with big shifts and unexpected changes aplenty. Until end of August there will be up to SIX planets in retrograde, so the Universe is giving us a lot of food for thought.

So what does it mean when a planet is in retrograde? Basically it’s when a planet appears to be spinning backwards. All planets orbit the Sun at different speeds- the ones farthest away will take longer to transit, so from time to time Earth will “overtake” a slower planet as they orbit around the Sun, giving the illusion of the other planet going backwards. 

From an astrological point of view, it is a time to chill the f**k out and reflect. It’s a time for some real talk and to drop some truth bombs- on ourselves. Depending on the planet which is in retrograde, we may even feel the need to rebel and lash out. So no major life decision making, ok? Ok.

Which planets will be in retrograde? At its peak, we will experience Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Mars, Neptune, Uranus, and Mercury in retrograde from now until end of August. Hooo boy.

What does this mean? No need to pull out the tin foil hats. We can use this heavy retrograde period to our advantage. It’s the perfect time to check yourself before you wreck yourself. Have a look at all the plates you have spinning right now. Pay attention to them. What’s necessary? What can you let go of? In some cases, are you making things harder than they need to be? And in others, are you neglecting what needs to be tended to? Review. Regroup. Reprioritise. 

Due to the number of planets in retrograde, it can be a confusing time. If you can’t make head or tail of a situation, I would recommend mediating or being out in nature. Tarot/oracle readings can be particularly helpful during these periods, as the cards will often illuminate things that your conscious mind isn’t equipped to see. If you feel a bit frazzled and discombobulated, hit me up for a reading for some clarity and insight.

If you’re keen to learn more about the energy of retrogrades, here is a great article by the Astro Twins http://astrostyle.com/learn-astrology/retrogrades/ 

Happy retrograde-a-thon, peeps! 


Yoga for Managing Stress and Preventing Chronic Illness

Yoga for Managing Stress and Preventing Chronic Illness

According to a study conducted by Medibank, Australians are feeling more stressed than ever. In 2007-2008, 3.7 million Australians stated their health was being impacted by stress; and in less than 10 years, this number spiked to 4.9 million in 2016-2017. This is a staggering figure, particularly when you consider the impact of stress leading to chronic illness.

Out of “Fight or Flight”

Most of us are aware of the body’s “fight or flight” response. It’s a state in which our body’s nervous system reacts to stress or danger, and is also known as the “sympathetic nervous system”. Our prehistoric ancestors’ “fight or flight” responses would have kicked in quite often, when running away from lions, tigers and bears, as the body needed to make physiological changes so as to prepare their bodies for action.

Your body’s stress responses include:

  • Heart rate increases
  • Body is flooded with adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormone)
  • Pupils dilate
  • Muscles tense up
  • Energy is redistributed to essential functions like the legs for running

Into “Rest & Digest”

So when our bodies are in “rest and digest” Continue reading “Yoga for Managing Stress and Preventing Chronic Illness”

Restorative Yoga Child's Pose Variation

Benefits of Yin and Restorative Yoga

Benefits of Yin & Restorative Yoga

There are countless studies, articles and opinion pieces declaring that yoga is good for you. It combines movement with breath, helps us connect with ourselves and gives us some philosophical food for thought, both on and off the mat. But with so many different types of yoga out there to choose from, what makes Yin and Restorative so special?

Yin and restorative yoga both offer similar benefits:

  • Deeply relaxes the body
  • Stills the mind
  • Recalibrates the nervous system
  • Promotes the body’s capacity to heal and boosts immunity
  • Balances out emotions
  • Develops ability for self-inquiry
  • Cultivates a sense of self-love and self-compassion

Differences between Yin & Restorative Yoga

Many people use the terms Yin and Restorative yoga interchangeably, possibly due to the fact that they are both passive forms of yoga, but their philosophies are somewhat different.

Yin yoga is a challenging concept to describe in a short paragraph, as it more of a philosophy than a style of yoga; but essentially it follows a Taoist tradition, incorporating Traditional Chinese Medicine meridian theory to the asanas (physical poses). In Yin yoga we play with the concept of an “edge”  which has a powerful impact on opening us up to self-inquiry, a concept that is an integral part of the Yin & Juice yoga philosophy.

The asanas are floor based and held for 3-5 minutes to get the most therapeutic benefit for stretching the connective tissue around joints and the deep layers of fascia. The use of asanas combined with awareness of our breath, helps to promote and regulate the flow of Qi (pronounced chi) through specific energy meridians. The concept of Qi is very much intertwined with the yogic concept of prana, or life force.

Restorative yoga is a passive style of yoga which promotes active relaxation. More importantly it teaches us how to surrender and let go. We use lots of props such as bolsters, blankets and eye pillows to completely support the body during the floor based poses. It’s basically burrito yoga. These asanas are held for a minimum of 5 minutes (in some cases for 10-15 minutes to get our bodies into the optimum state for conscious relaxation). Continue reading “Benefits of Yin and Restorative Yoga”

Sisters unite

The Great Love that is Sisterhood

The Great Love that is Sisterhood

On a day when we may feel swamped with Valentine’s Day and how it makes a commodity of romantic love, I am shifting my focus- to consider one of the great loves of our lives: SISTERHOOD.

I was a bit of a tomboy growing up. I wanted to show the boys that I was just as tough as them, which resulted in many skateboard accidents and violent showdowns on the handball court, brandishing Ripper Skippers to protect my dominion. I never felt very comfortable being a girly girl and gravitated towards being one of the boys. Whilst this gave me a unique sense of belonging and camaraderie, it also meant that I never got to flex my sisterhood muscles until much later in life.

Often, we push things away and convince ourselves that we didn’t need them anyway. But that knee-jerk reaction is borne from fear. A fear of rejection. A fear of not being good enough. A fear of being found out as an imposter. As we confront these uncomfortable sensations, we start to unravel what lies beneath.

Embracing our Yin nature

The Chinese have the concept of Yin and Yang. I, like many of us, was more drawn to my Yang side- its quality is outward-facing, active, masculine, impulsive, loud and focused on achievement. It’s in the doing that we have been conditioned to think we should be measured against. I was more confused by my Yin side, so I immediately rejected it. Those qualities being inward-facing, passive, feminine, nurturing, measured, quiet and focused on feeling, left me wondering WTF. And the thing was I, like many of us, wasn’t encouraged to explore this side; to see the richness and meaning of embracing our feminine qualities.

This is one of the reasons I teach Yin and Restorative yoga. I want to guide people towards connecting with their Yin side. To nurture their inner goddess, through a passive yoga practice and self-care rituals. Yoga is so much more than the poses on a mat (more on that in another post). The way we interact with the world around us is how we bring yoga into our daily lives.

We will all have our own interpretation of the term sisterhood (some including Travelling Pants, though at my age, it’s probably more accurate to say Travelling Spanx). I think there are four characteristics of authentic sisterhood which are universal.

1. Your sisters lift you up.

Too often we hear of women judging the sh!t out of other women. What is up with that?! Don’t you think using our collective girl power to slay the patriarchy is enough, already? I’m not expecting for all of us to just rise up, hold hands and start singing kumbaya by the fire but we all have hopes, fears, doubts and dreams. Your sisters want to see you soar.  We are stronger together, amiriiite?!

2. Your sisters inspire you.

We should want to learn from each other and to see that we all have gifts to share with our sisters. A sister kicking goals in her career deserves a high-five. A sister who stands up for her convictions is to be celebrated. A sister fighting mental illness is a warrior. A sister becoming a mother is awe inspiring. Mother nature herself is incredible. Being able to fold a fitted sheet is lit AF.


3. Your sisters reciprocate.

Everything is cyclic (time, seasons, hormones, fashion). It is all about balance. Sisterhood isn’t a one-way street. You should be there for your sisters, as much as they are there for you. But if you find there is a sisterhood dynamic which leaves you feeling drained and unappreciated, then it is time to re-evaluate. If it is all about them and never about you, have the courage to walk away. That type of behaviour has no place in true sisterhood. Not all sisterhoods are meant to last forever but they ALL teach us something. Ask yourself if you are truly showing up for your sisters in every way possible.

4. Your sisters are present.

Modern life has made us multi-taskers with a desire for instant gratification. Even if we aren’t on our phones when we are at a sisterhood gathering, we are in our heads thinking of the next thing on our to-do list. Stop. Breathe. Repeat. 70% of our communication is non-verbal. Be fully present when you are engaging in quality sisterhood time. Use all your senses to take in the experience. Train your sixth sense to read into what she isn’t saying. We are all terrible at asking for help. Create a safe space for your sister so she can.

So, take the time to make today GALentine’s Day (thanks to our ultimate sister, Leslie Knope for the inspiration) and let your sisters know you love them and have their back. Maybe share this post to let them know they embody what it means to be a TRUE sister.

Fist bump to all my gorgeous sisters (spanx or no spanx).

Mireille x

PS- leave a comment below about your experiences with authentic (or not so authentic) sisterhood!