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Feb 7th

Yoga for Breast Cancer

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stillness
Yoga is the practice of connecting to the innate preciousness, tenderness, beauty and stillness that we already are and resides within us all.

Yoga for breast cancer is about re learning as a woman how to connect to our inner beauty and to the stillness – to live a true life of joy and harmony.

As women, could it be that we have moved so far away from the essence of who we are, that we have forgotten how to tend and nurture ourselves – that we have forgotten who we really are?

Perhaps we have got caught up in the midst of life. We may have identified ourselves through the roles we play such as; the mother where the children come first no matter what, the friend who is always there to support others, the wife who cares for the family but not herself, the career woman who needs to prove to the world that she is as good as any man – just a few examples.

Could it be that we have forgotten that we are delicious, we are tender, we are beautiful?

Could the roles we play, stop us from feeling who we really are?

Stillness is an energetic quality that we can all connect with and that is inside of us all (both men and women), it resides in the inner-heart.

Stillness is an energetic quality where there is a deep sense of connection with self where there is no doing, just a sense of being – like there is no ‘need’ to do anything. Within this, lies a quietude – harmony within and contentment without any lack or need.  Once this energetic stillness is felt, it is a matter of taking this quality into all that is done (taking stillness into motion).

To re connect, requires us to work through the hurts that we hold onto by allowing ourselves to stop and feel what is really going on. These hurts, which we identify with, are what stop us from feeling the essence of who we truly are.

This cannot be done through the mind. It can only be done by making the choice to feel your body and develop a connection with your body moment to moment that is gentle, loving and tender.

When the mind and body are with each other in whatever activity you are doing, you are practising conscious presence.  For example, when you walk, you are with your body through feeling your body, when you sit at your computer and type, you still have an awareness of your body as your fingers tap at the keys. When conscious presence is developed and stillness is the energetic quality that we live from, this is yoga (union).

Conscious presence can be developed through making the choice to bring the qualities of gentleness and tenderness into all that you do.

If we took the time to stop and feel, we may notice that there could be anxiousness in the body or a quality of raciness that stems from living in a way where we are rushing around with too much to do, pleasing others, putting everyone else before ourselves. Perhaps we have been caught up in thinking that this is what makes a “good woman, a good mother, a good friend or wife”.

 What if as women, we put how we are moment to moment and the quality of energy that we live in as the most important thing? Would this not change how we live? Would this not allow us to make self loving choices that support us? And as we learn to truly support ourselves, would this then not allow us to naturally support others?

Could this quality of living be true yoga for breast cancer?

 Yoga for breast cancer is about re connecting back to who we really are. When this is developed and we live from this place of the inner-heart, we are then living in yoga.

 Donna Gianniotis offer Yoga, Meditation, Counselling and Esoteric Healing Cancer Support sessions to assist people through cancer at her Narrabeen and Balmain Clinics. For more information Contact Us. Other related articles My Unfolding to Understanding the Root Cause of Breast CancerMy Reflections – 5 years from Breast CancerTop 5 Tips to Support you through Chemotherapy

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Jan 25th

New Morning Yoga Class at Warriewood Friday 6 – 7am

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After a great turn out for the Summer Yoga Intensive, it seems that early morning yoga classes on the Northern Beaches are in demand. Donna will be starting a NEW 6am Yoga class on Fridays commencing 7th February for those early risers who would love to start their day with yoga.

Friday 6 – 7am (6 week course), commences 7th February. Cost $120. Bookings are essential.

These yoga classes are about deeply re-connecitng with one-self and work at building strength and flexibility in a way that nurtures and encourages gentleness in the body.This yoga class will offer you the opportunity to deepen the quality of your presence to then take into the day and weekend ahead of you.

You may like to consider doing a double class and follow the yoga with the Cardio, Strength & Flexibility class 7 – 8am.

For bookings contact Donna 0408 783187 or email donna@yogaandhealing.com.au.

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Nov 30th

Northern Beaches January 2014 Yoga Intensive

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Warriewood Beach

Taking Yoga into your Daily Life – Northern Beaches Yoga in January 2014 with Donna Gianniotis

Mon 13 – Fri 17th January 2014 at Yoga Essentia, Warriewood Surf Life Saving Club.

7 – 8am . Cost $90 (includes breakfast on Friday morning).

Yoga (union) is a state of connection that when practised moment to moment, becomes a way of living in and from your body that is deeply honouring of all of you.

Over these five mornings, you will learn how to re connect with your body in a way that is gentle, nurturing and strengthening. The morning yoga becomes a firm foundation from which you are able to practise taking this connection (yoga) into the rest of your day.  Practising daily over the five days, will give your body a ‘marker’ as to how to live from a different quality of energy that supports your entire being and the choices that you make.

The practices will include body connection, strength and flexibility, gentle breath, meditation, learning about the energetics of the body and how to live from a place of connection.

This intensive is open to all levels, from the complete beginner to the more experienced. A great way to start the year, to re imprint the quality of energy that you choose to live in to be one from connection, joy and harmony.

This event is now FULLY BOOKED. For info on future events and classes, phone Donna 0408 783187, or email donna@yogaandhealing.com.au.

Donna Gianniotis has been teaching yoga in Sydney for over a decade. Since her own personal journey through breast cancer nearly 6 years ago, she loves to share with people the importance of ‘living yoga in your daily life’ as a support for true health and well-being. Donna’s yoga teaching is influenced by her studies of the energetics of the body. She is also an Esoteric Healing Practitioner on the Northern Beaches and in Balmain. Visit www.yogaandhealing.com.au for more information.

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Nov 29th

Top 5 Tips for Supporting you through Chemotherapy

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Embarking on the road of chemotherapy treatment for cancer can be a difficult and trying time for anyone to endure. Having gone through chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer just over 5 years ago, here are some tips that I can offer to support you through treatment.

1) Rest and relax

Your body needs to recover. There is a lot going on in the body with all of the various drugs doing their things. The part you play in the treatment is just as important, so rest as much as you can. Don’t push yourself to do all of the things that you normally do.

If you have never nurtured yourself before, now is the time to start

You will be tired and your kidneys (which provide your energy supply) will need to have a break and recover. Ask family and friends for support during this time to assist you in what needs to be done day-to-day (refer to point 5).

2) Listen to what you body needs at any given time, moment to moment

This point follows on from the above one. Listen to what your body is telling you. Listen to it intently and honour your body in this delicate process. If it is telling you that you are tired, listen to it and rest. Listen to what it wants to eat, what it doesn’t want to eat. Notice what zaps your energy and do less of this.

“Everything is energy, therefore everything is because of energy” (Serge Benhayon). As your energy levels drop due to chemotherapy, learning how to conserve the energy that you have is paramount in your healing process. This can be developed through conscious awareness of being with yourself moment to moment through feeling your body and moving in a gentle way.  For example, when walking, feel your legs, your hips, as you pick up a glass, feel your hands on the glass. By putting your attention with you in what you are doing, it will help to develop conscious presence.

3) Introduce gentle exercise into your day  

If you have followed the above two points, you may end up spending quite a bit of time in bed or on the couch. It is also important that when you do feel well enough to, to bring some gentle exercise into your day. Some days it may be plenty to get up and walk from room to room, other days you may make it to the mail box, other days it may be several kilometres. Listen to your body and what you are capable of on any given day.

Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises are important to support you and your body through the treatment. Seek out a qualified practitioner to help develop a program to cater for where you are at.

4) Look after your organs

Chemotherapy not only affects the cancer cells but it also affects the good cells – which is why you can feel unwell through the treatment. Your kidneys and liver are two vital organs that have a lot of work to do whilst you are going through treatment. The kidneys are like your battery pack and your liver is what helps you to detox the chemicals.

You can assist your organs during chemotherapy by not drinking alcohol as any drop of alcohol will give the liver even more work to do,  whole nourishing food, not drinking caffeine and limiting your sugar intake.

5) Allow people to support you. You deserve it

Chemotherapy is a tough time – you don’t have to do it alone. If you have always gotten on and done things by yourself, now is the time to discontinue that pattern (and maybe feel into the beliefs and ideas behind it).  Ask family and friends for help, they will want to know how to assist you. Get in touch with what you are feeling and learn to express without holding back how they could be of useful assistance. If at times you don’t feel up for visitors, that’s OK too. Tell them that you prefer to have some time alone to rest but you would appreciate them dropping off a meal (which they could leave at the front door). Accept that others are there to help you if you let them – it is a win win situation. Learn to give as well as receive love.

Donna Gianniotis was diagnosed at the age of 33 with breast cancer in 2008 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Donna offers Cancer Support sessions with Yoga, Exercise, Meditation, Esoteric Healing, Yoga retreats and Counselling.  Sessions available at the Yoga & Healing Narrabeen and Balmain clinics. Contact Donna to book a session or for more information.

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Oct 17th

Yoga – is more than just exercise

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ManlyBeachLULU4Yoga is about us re-connecting. Commonly today, the first thing that is thought of when someone mentions yoga is the postures or exercises. However, yoga is more than this.  In essence, it is about how to be with our self in any given moment in a quality of energy that is true in connection.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to ‘be with ourselves’. This may be because when we start to re-connect, we can experience feelings that we may not want to feel, such as anger, anxiousness, hardness, raciness, frustration or an array of feelings.

So what do we do when we feel these strong feelings in our bodies and it doesn’t feel pleasant?

What I have found is that if I allow myself to ‘just be’ with these feelings, then are then able to pass through my body. I feel the feeling for what it is, without going into the story behind the feeling. Keep feeling it as a sensation and if I’m able to just stay with that sensation, it can change.

Sometimes I find that the feeling can be just too intense and I’m unable to stay with it for any period of time. My mind might be busy and the story behind the feeling is too much. That is OK as well, as I know that it will come up again and perhaps next time I am more ready to connect and allow myself to feel what there is to be felt.

However, if I am able to connect with the feeling, locate and feel it in a certain area of my body, stay with it, sometimes it magically shifts.  I feel the energy build and then it is like ‘poof’  – it disappears. There is a shift in my body and I’m left feeling clear and light, sometimes joyful.

I have found the more I allow myself to feel what is going on in my body and as it shifts, I am then able to feel the loveliness of me.  As that which was covering up the loveliness shifts, I am left with feeling a deeper connection to me. This is yoga.

Donna Gianniotis teaches private yoga/yoga therapy and group yoga classes and offers Esoteric Healing sessions in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Sydney city and Inner-west.  Contact donna@yogaandhealing.com.au

 

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Jul 10th

Taking yoga into your daily life

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In my classes, I often mention the importance of yoga not just being a practise that is on the mat and suggest ways as to how can we take the practice into our everyday life.  After all, that is what yoga is –  the quality of presence that we bring to all we do, say and think. It is not just about the postures or putting our bodies into strange shapes.

For me, the practise is first of all about my connection. I spend the first 7 – 10 minutes of every class guiding people to re-connect with their bodies via feeling different body parts and also through gentle breathing to assist them to come back to the essence of who they are.

It’s then about taking this connection into movement with the qualities of being steady, comfortable, gentle and at ease. What I also find  is important here is honesty. How does my body feel in each movement, how is my breath? Am I truly able to still stay connected to the essence of me (which I connected with at the beginning of the class whilst lying still) in movement? If I am really honest, this is quite difficult. But if I’m unable to hold this quality of movement, am I practising yoga or am I just exercising the body? Something to ponder….

So if yoga is about our livingness in everyday life – how do I then take yoga off the mat? Could we consider some simple tools such as – how do I walk? Am I stomping in anger, or rushing ahead with my mind to get somewhere? Or can I be present with my body as I take each step gently? Can I feel my hips as I move? How are my shoulder? My fingertips?

How am I as I stand up and sit down from my chair? Can I feel my legs? Can I sit down on the lounge with a tenderness of being with all of me?

These are just a couple of suggestions. Now just imagine  - you can apply this to everything you do and start to build the quality of how you are in each moment. And how would this feel? It starts to feel lovely in your body as you develop a new sense of how to be with yourself. It’s beautiful, it’s tender – it’s yoga.

Donna Gianniotis teaches Yoga and is an Esoteric Healing Practitioner. She teaches group, corporate and private classes and has a clinic in Narrabeen on the Northern Beaches and in Balmain. Contact Donna at donna@yogaandhealing.com.au.

 

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Jul 4th

New courses commence next week

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the view

We have our new 6 week term commencing next week. 

Monday 8th July Foundations in Yoga 7.15 – 8.30pm with Jane Kagan

Tuesday 9th July  Gentle Yoga 10 – 11.15am with Donna Gianniotis

Thursday 11th July Gentle Yoga 6 – 7.15pm with Donna Gianniotis

We have limited number of spaces and bookings are required.

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Jun 30th

Yoga and Healing – how ‘healing’ brings us to ‘yoga’

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I have been pondering of late about what I do for a living (Yoga teaching and Esoteric Healing) and feel grateful to do what I love. If I break this down, effectively what I work with on a day-to-day level is Yoga and Healing. So what is Yoga and Healing and why are they important and how can they work together?

The word ‘Yoga” means union (our connection) and is about how we live moment–to-moment to bring a quality of presence that is harmonious to our self and then to others. It’s about the choices we make and the energy we choose to live from that brings about a living state where we start to experience who we really are  - the’ real me’.

From my experience, the ‘real me’ is one where I am free from conforming to other idea’s and belief systems. Free  from having to be a certain way to fit in, to experience a sense of connection with my body in all that I do, where I am able to express what I am feeling from my body. Where I can start to experience a state of joy and even wonder. Not that I can hold this all of the time, but day-by-day as I choose to be the ‘real me’ this continues to grow and deepen. Perhaps one day, I will experience yoga in all that I do… this is my goal in life anyway.

“Healing” is about bringing honesty to how we have been living and then making different choices to support ourselves. When we start to shine a light on those things that keep us from being the ‘real me’, we can start to heal them. For example, if I notice that I consistently feel upset when a friend acts in a certain way – could it be that I need to look a bit deeper and look at why I am reacting the way I am? Rather than always look to the other person as it is their fault, what if I took self-responsibility and look at how I react? Could there possibly then be room for healing?

I have experienced that the more that I am able to work on those things in my life that need healing, the more I am able to start to live “Yoga”. This is why I love what I do – Yoga and Healing, they go hand-in-hand.

Donna Gianniotis teaches Yoga and assist people in their healing via the modality of Esoteric Healing. She teaches and has a clinic in Narrabeen on the Northern Beaches and in Balmain. Contact Donna at donna@yogaandhealing.com.au.

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Jun 30th

Special offer on July Blue Mountain retreat with Jane Kagan – $259

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Jane Kagan is one of our lovely Yoga Essentia teachers. Jane brings her wisdom, grace and many years of experience to her teaching.

Jane regularly offers retreats in Sydney, Blue Mountains and Bali. Today she is offering a very special deal of $259 ($100 discount) on the last spot available for her Blue Mountains retreat 12 – 14th July 2013. This promises to be a wonderful nourishing weekend away. Not to be missed! Be quick though, as at this price, this retreat spot is sure to be snapped up!

For more details, see Jane’e flyer at

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Jun 20th

The how to guide on Samskaras – thought patterns that no longer serve me!

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Patanjali

In yoga there is a term that is referred to in Pantjali’s Yoga Sutras (the ancient teachings of yoga that date back to over 2,000 years old) called samskaras – which are the habitual patterns of our mind that make up our conditioning.

What I have been reflecting on within myself as lately, is just how many of these there are and how can I go about in my day-to-day life to help shift some of these.

I guess first of all, why would I want to change certain patterns of my mind? To put it simply, because it causes me suffering! And I have decided that this is a good enough reason.

So how do I go about this? Well, first of all I need to be diligent enough to start to notice what type of thought pattern is causing me not to feel so great. Perhaps it causes some disturbance that leaves me worrying, or thinking in a way that is not so pleasant.

The next step is to be honest about it.  To “fess up” about it… not to deny that those thought patterns are there, but to own it. With the honesty can then come change.

Once I start to notice the thought pattern, I have a choice. I could keep the “story” that is playing out in my mind going, or, I could choose to recognise that this is a “story” that is not serving me and not feed it. This doesn’t mean I just ignore it. It means I recognise it for what it is,  but I choose not give it more power by delving into it.

What I also find very useful at that point, is to bring it back to my body. To connect and feel my body. What is going on for my body at the time? Is there somewhere in my body where I feel tension? And if there is (which there usually is), I let myself sit with what I feel, without judgement and just feel it. And, sometimes it shifts and sometimes it doesn’t. Not being attached to an outcome but to just be with it. And then the next time the same pattern comes up, I try it again.

I have found the more I can work with this process, the more I have been able to look at my samskaras and they start to slowly shift. I have become quicker at picking them up and it has become like a game. I can now look at them with a sense of playfullness, knowing that they aren’t really me, that they are just something that I have chosen to hang on to for a while. Perhaps it’s time now to let it go.

Donna Gianniotis is a Sydney based Yoga Teacher and Esoteric Healing practitioner. She teaches private, group & corporate classes. She offers Esoteric Healing sessions in Sydney’s Northern Beaches and Balmain.

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