Yoga for 2018

I love new beginnings. Of course they can happen at any time but the dawn of a new year feels sweet, every time. Maybe also because here in the Northern hemisphere that is when we all need a boost. Parties have been partied, and winter is now really kicking in. Luckily we have the chance to focus on new goals. Focus is what keeps us going. I’ve seen that so many times in my job as an English as a second language teacher. Clients that have a clear goal, and who regularly re-evaluate it, reach the best results, and also stay the longest.

My goals for 2018 are divided into three categories: work, sports and internal growth. This January is a landmark for me as for the first time in my career, I am going full time entrepreneur. My English teaching business Susa English has been growing steadily since I launched it in 2012. I’ve developed my own method. I have a 10-level study program. My clients learn in environments that suit them the best – be it the classroom but also the cafe, park, taking a walk or visiting the nearby stores. We learn hands-on and everyday vocabulary. My future goals for Susa English are to find a couple more clients and also some more translaing jobs. I greatly enjoy translating (from French to English), or revising (English) text. That gives me a sweet change from teaching.

My second goal is around sports and body image. I’ve had my share of weight shifts within my 43 years. I’ve been too high as well as too low. It’s been a process to find the real, good-for-me weight after all that. I feel that I’m there now. I’ve maintained my current weight without too much effort for a long period. I have energy to do all that I want. I still feel slim and light.

My sports goals are: enjoying the Canadian winter by cross-country skiing and skating. Both of these can be done within a 5-10 minute walk from my place. I have also planned snowshoeing with a friend. I want to continue using my stepper. It’s a great back up when the temperature drops too low outside. Sometimes I get up and head straight to the stepper to get my workout in before breakfast. I plan to continue with my zumba and yoga teaching. I lead a Quebec City fitness community online and the class is connected to that.

I keep enjoying my regalar yoga lessons with Boho Beautiful. I just adore her style. I will also get something new and exciting this year – a ballet barre and a mirror. I can’t wait to reignite the ballerina spark in me. Pointe shoes here I come! I danced ballet from the age of nine thru 22. I got a ballet teacher’s training. It has always remained my love.

My third goal is finding growth and peace within. I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic attacks recently. I’m not enchanted to tell you about them here, yet I’ve never believed in hiding things. Mental challenges aren’t people’s choice, nor do they mean that someone is weird or antisocial. I’m a very bubbly, life-loving person when you meet me. I have a big heart and I feel life strongly. I care. I really want to listen to others. I want to be that one person who brings you a ray of sunshine when you most need it. I’m in the process of learning to deal with anxiety when it takes over me. I need to gather positive evidence on the moments when I acted calmly and enjoyed life without fear. I’m rebuilding my internal me. I’m using two books to accompany me on this journey. I plan to share them later with you.

What about your goals? I’d love to hear from you. Or any other subjects that you’d enjoy reading?

Self Care

I’ve had to deal with some health issues recently. That has woken me up to the importance of self care. The key is in finding out what works specifically for you. What is the right balance of work and play at this particular point in your life? What once was good may very well have changed. You have to keep tuned into your inner voice. The more you learn to listen to it, the clearer it gets.

My self care essentials are walks out in parks and the city streets. At this time of the year the darkness makes every bit of light decorations shine magically. Just looking at them transports me away from everyday work seriousness. My essentials also include a liquid pleasure called coffee. I feel uplifted as I make my way to my trusted coffee shop and chat with my baristas. Buying nearly one coffee a day sure adds up in the end. But self care is an investment.

My third self care element is yoga, Pilates and ballet. I have a mat on which I play in my activity room. I observe my current state and then engage in an activity that meets my need the best. Sometimes calming yoga, other times boosting and physically challenging training. Next to the yoga mat, I have a stair climber. Whisking away on it at the end of a busy work day often feels good. Going out for runs is another tempting possibility. My energy level ultimately makes the decision.

I encourage you to stay connected with your inner self. Ask yourself what it is that you need today to feel the best. Make a list if that helps in keeping track and not forgetting when you need gentle self care the most.

Ballet and Yoga

It has been a while since I blogged. I felt a pull to other things. Nevertheless, this blog is a sweet place of mine so here I am, back and ready to let you in on novelties in my life. I’ll be back regularly now. I know. I feel it. The winter always does that to me. I crave for blogging creativity more than in the summer.

I trained ballet from the age of nine up to 22. It was my life. I wanted to be a ballerina. That was the strongest dream I’ve ever had. Since then nothing has lived up to that degree of intensity. In hindsight it was awesome to spend my youth in such a focused way. Recently I felt a draw back to ballet. I took action. I pulled out my old ballet shoes. I found ballet class music on Spotify. I’ve been training. It’s been awesome. My body remembers so many things. It’s incredible.

Yoga has also taken a bigger place in my life than before. I take a class almost daily. It happens here at home on my purple yoga mat. I’ve fallen in love with Boho Beautiful. She teaches yoga and Pilates on YouTube. Her videos inspire me. Her kind but firm guidance pleases me enough to want to include her in my intimate space. Her style brings you ballet like, long lean muscles.

With ballet and yoga on my side, plus cardio workout from running and stepper, I’m living my life to its fullest. November feels good. Surprisingly, it’s one of my favorite months in its rough beauty. When I’m happy in November, I feel like nothing can get me down. Nothing can tear you down or cut your groove if you can make it when your environment doesn’t help you. So to me November means power – strong, lean ballerina yogi power.

Beach Yoga

I had flirted with yoga before but it is only this summer that I’ve really delved into it. I took yoga lessons back in Paris which left me dubitative. I craved sports and didn’t find it in that particular practice. But now either I or something else has changed, and I really see the interest in yoga. I still feel that it is a lot like my twenty years of ballet – a discipline based on strengthening and lengthening the muscle all within the same practice – and what is more precious than that.

I enjoy yoga outdoors and with music. I also like the mental side of it. Sometimes the instructor will encourage you to set a certain goal to our practice like finding peace or energy, or even an answer to a question. I like the emphasis on being thankful and also radiating the love you have sparked when finishing your session.

I recently discovered a beautiful girl – inside and out – who teaches yoga lessons online. Here’s a link to Boho Beautiful if you also would like to try working out at home with her. She will take you to do yoga on the beaches of Asia. You find differently focused lessons: core, shoulders, morning wake up, digestion and so on. I say let’s go find peace and power…

Urb’ Chic Yoga

Finding my center in the urban buzz.

Contrasting the seemingly black and white has always been my thing.

The boat on the right homes a spa – urban meditation at its yu-OM-miest?

Ballet keeps accompanying me in my quest for serenity.

Life has been quite good lately. But then, a blue moment sticks in. Again.

If only I could be totally free from lurking sadness.

Montreal stirred me. A combination of London clothes’ cockiness, NY eateries and cafe vibes, topped off with some Parisian bygone flair.

My little company is getting more and more on its feet. Tangible tiny steps.

This is life. Lately.

Camaieu top, La Halle pants, Old Navy belts, Gap ballet flats, H&M earrings

 

‘Tis Is the Total

My Xmas chic… sweetheart sushi dinner and kisses in abundance!

Are you contented with your year gone by? I am. It has been a period of profound changes. Early 2011, I traveled to Finland. Practiced being free around food again with cream and jam filled brioche.

My journeys choo-chooed along as I hopped on the Eurostar and whisked to London. Staying at my cousin and lovely Kate’s was an absolute treat. Hubs back home in Paris. This chick free to indulge in art and Camden vintage shopping. Yoga in the park.

Plus these chic bloggers … Sherin and Susie, in the atmosphere of the Tate Modern looking over us! Later, Stardust coffee with the vogue-cultivated Sabine. Fash’ friends forever.

Equally, I met Rita in Paris – my Aussie La Clinica organic cosmetics Business Bee and a role model – for some pink cake and beauty talk – inside out, you know me by now.

Then this fairy was off to her maman-in-law’s on the French Riviera. Some inter-generational bonding around a glass of champagne. Nicely counterbalances the sniffy saddy times that I skilfully whip myself into alike.

Meet Marie-Claire the chic sweet belle-maman of mine. I love her dearly, and have learned so much from her about Simone de Beauvoir and French bra burnings. The wedding band I proudly carry is inherited from Marie-Claire. To me it symbolizes a Frenchwoman accepting me into the circle of real life. A la française. What an absolute honneur!

Summer went enjoying Paris, knowing that soon our home would be elsewhere. Had brunches with my gals –  the crème de la strawberry crème of my Paris decade – Leesa, Sarah, Sarah and Aurelia. My sweethearts. Forever silver-tattooed on my soul.

Waved au revoirs to Paris… “am I really leaving the city now?” would ask myself for days. Stopped over in the Alps, then waited for visas on the Riviera.

Chic-hopped to Italy for some Bacardi and turquoise dress shopping.

And now… Canada! Entered the new wide open on December 1. Such a clean, clear start.

I sense a feather blown onto fresh fields. My inner world settling down. Me being able to take things with increased serenity. I have battled cramps and chest sentiments – crisping, hurting, bone aching, fist-striking sensations in the diaphragm for two and a half years now. Presently, I feel that those feelings have lessened, and I am able to better distinguish real physical sensations from somatic, panic-fed sores.

Life is swinging back into me. It never left but got teeny-tiny with me eating less and less. Controlling out of fear of being fat – meaning failure. But flesh around us is continuity. Soft curves symbolize gentleness.

My challenge for the new year: to let my imperfections come out as well. So that I no longer have to beat myself up on them so intensely. Beauty is in real, honest life. Speaking in true terms. If I open up, I believe that I can inspire others to do the same. W e can be wondrous and humanly blemished at the same time, non?