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5 Minutes with TLMC Expert Kathy Arbuckle - Body Poetry Nature Yoga Teacher

  • Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice – in what order would you place each of these in terms of what yoga can offer you?

While yoga has profound physical and mental benefits, for me, it is ultimately a spiritual practise. ‘Yoga’ stems from the word ‘yoke’ – meaning union. As a nature yoga teacher, the intention of my sessions it to hold space for people unify with their life force – to reconnect with nature and in doing so, remember their true natures.

In attuning to our interconnection with nature – the sky flowing through the body as our breath, feeling our feet on the earth, the sun on our skin – we can remember that we are intrinsically unified with a living breathing ecosystem of pure life.

Integral to this remembering is shifting from ‘thinking and doing’ to ‘feeling and being’ in the body – fully inhabiting the moment through mindful movement unified with the breath. Dropping into that place beyond thought – fully present.

These are the essential keys to returning home to our hearts – to presence, to Self. And the more comfortable we can become residing in this space – where we can observe the monkey mind, rather than being driven by it – the steadier and more centred we feel.

  • For someone with a busy day, week, life what would you recommend is the best way to incorporate yoga into their life?

While a regular yoga practise keeps you grounded in a more easeful way of being, the value of its lessons come into play off the mat. I find weaving moments of connection and remembering into your day to be key to cultivating greater ease. By appreciating the beauty of nature wherever you are, you can enrich your experience. Rather than getting stressed out while stuck in traffic, why not use it as an opportunity to attune to the sky flowing through you as your breath?

Feeling the sun on your skin as you wait for the bus and admiring the leaves dancing in the breeze and the flowers on your way makes for a more joyful experience of day-to-day life. It’s simply a matter of focus and where you direct your thought energy. By simply noticing the beauty that enfolds us we can soften into the moments in between. This allows us to arrive at the next task with greater calm and focus.

  • How has yoga impacted your life ?

Utterly transformational.

I remember attending a yoga session years ago when I was in a period of chronic work stress and burn out and feeling very irritated at how calm and slow the yoga teacher was. I just wanted her to get on with it! My nervous system was in overdrive by default and I’d simply forgotten how to relax. I was so wrapped up in my head and uncomfortable with coming into stillness. My idea of relaxation was diving into a bottle of wine on a Friday night and collapsing into a drunken slumber. I was so detached from my heart and would avoid feeling the emptiness by filling my life up with busyness. As they say, I’d become a human doing, rather than a human being.

Yoga has been a lifeline for me, it empowered me through a period of dark depression by restoring my connection to mySelf. Through my yoga practise I cultivated steadiness and strength which brought greater ease and joy. Yoga gave me the tools and a vehicle to embody a truer and more soulful way of being. To meet the emptiness with curiosity rather than being engulfed by it. Nature and yoga always bring me home and I’m so honoured to facilitate this for others. Feel very fortunate to have found my heart’s work.

  • Do you have a favourite sound track / playlist or ambient music to play while you are practicing ?

There’s nothing like wave song or bird song for an organic background track for a yoga practise. For an indoor practise, the shakuhachi flute, choral and classical music are my go-to to drop into an experience of beauty.

  • Can you give us some suggestions for a lunch break yoga session ie poses that can easily be done in the office or home office and what these poses offer ?

Head and shoulder rolls

Start by noticing your posture – how are your shoulders? Are they rounding forward? We do this when our energy is low or threatened, or our heart chakra is closed to protect ourselves.

Roll the shoulders up down and back to open across the chest and breathe into the heart. Lift up through the crown like a puppet on string to lengthen the spine – freeing up the energetic highway of the body.

Next introduce some shoulder rolls up down and back, breathing into the heart and then reverse the direction, breathing into the back of the heart.

For the head rolls, with the exhale let the forehead drop forward with gravity, bringing your chin to your chest. Then slowly bring your ear to your shoulder and continue with the rotation for a few rounds, then repeat in the other direction.

Garudasana arms

Spread the wings out wide, breathe into the heart then cross the arms at the elbows. Bend at the elbows and wrap the hands, reaching your fingers to the sky. Lift the elbows to align with the shoulders. Soften the face and breathe into the back body, helping the shoulders to soften and release. Repeat on the other side.

Kathy offers nature yoga sessions, retreats, private soul sessions and private soulfood parties in Sydney.


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