Support Isn’t Weak – it helps you have confidence in yourself

Support Isn’t Weak – it helps you have confidence in yourself

Reconnecting to your Community

How have you been poking your head out into the world? I’ve been a bit wary, stepping out a toe here and there before taking the plunge. Apparently I’ve always been this way, My father told me of a chat he had with my kindergarten teacher, who told him I would stand back, eying up the different apparatus in the playground to appraise it, and in good time – when I felt ready – I’d try out. Then in no time I’d be swinging from the monkey bars!

Over the weekend I saw my dear friend for the first time since December 2019. Isn’t it fabulous to slip back into your longstanding friendships without missing a beat! Back to our old tricks, we had a cracking lunch with excellent cocktails.

Today I’m heading to  a dear family friend on Long Island – who was like a second mother to me – and her two daughters, with whom I grew up. Lots of love and shared history and laughter there. We’ll be taking a road trip along the north fork with its rural feel and rhythm. They’ll be just a hint of nostalgia.

The importance of your Supportive Community

My sangha, my community, has always been important to me. I nurture mine and their care and support – and gentle calling out – is an important part of what gives me the strength to step up and come out of my comfort zone. There’s something about being accepted for who you are while at the same time encouraged to become an even better version of yourself that we all need to cultivate. So often we feel we have to be productive – and don’t take the time to nurture our connections.

Why I Consider Support one of the Most Important Things I Offer

One of the most important things I offer in my mentorship is my support. I was supported as a child and giving and receiving support is vital to the way I operate. Far from showing weakness,  I know how the right support can help you dare to take the difficult steps.

Growing up, I did gymnastics and having the coach’s hand gently touching and guiding my body as I tried something new made all the difference in giving me the confidence  to step forward and give it a go. Support comes in so many ways – and it makes all the difference. Without that supporting hand, it can seem a bridge too far to dare to do the difficult things – you’ll find you can stand up for your time or ask for a promotion – or even move with steadiness and and ease on your yoga mat.

When you’re supported, it uplifts you and gives you courage so you find you can do the difficult – the impossible – things as you work through being stuck and unmoored in midlife. This is deep work that can be exhilieratig and intimiidating at the same time. I will the be there, every step of the way giving you  a safe place to do this internal and external work. 

Support can make all the difference as you look at you’re midlife and really delve into the physical and mental shifts you need to thrive in this new landscape.

That’s why I offer this mentorship. Yoga inside and out is a fantastic way to break through the barriers and find your clarity and confidence find your midlife stride. It’s even better when you’ve someone you can rely on by your side, guiding you and cheering you on.

Check out the mentorship page and email me with any questions:
https://bit.ly/Midlifementorship

Get Your Saturday Night Fever Strut Back

Get Your Saturday Night Fever Strut Back

 

When I was in my mid forties, I said to myself – Antonia, you need to move more to keep your body ticking over and feeling confident in your body.

The things I first tried were very much in the wheelhouse of what we do in the US – strive, push yourself, excel – go past your edge.

Into my teens, I did competitive gymnastics – nothing too high falutin, but I got used to practicing, practicing, practicing until I nailed a routine – and then fell down and got back up on the balance beam. The beam was my best and favorite apparatus.

This was my experience, what I was used to in movement – so thirty years later I sought out a similar experience without giving it a thought. Isn’t that what we tend to do – go with what we know? Yet midlife is a new song in the musical of our lives and we can’t use the same tunes. I wasn’t in tune with the movement.

My body and I were no longer intuitively in sync. We didn’t have that easy, unthinking understanding. There we miscommunications – umbrage was taken. I got the feeling my body wanted to stalk off in disgust. I was not on good terms with my body, and I couldn’t get my head around it.

Then I found yoga, little knowing how it was going to change all aspects of my life.

As I held my first downward facing dog, as I lifted into a high crescent lunge, as I held these poses and connected to my breath – I felt a deep release, a sense of calm and an opening up of space with profound receptivity. I surrendered to the feeling.

This is the amazing part about yoga. Instead of pounding away, you gain the expansiveness of the slow hatha that I enjoy and teach. You hold poses for a while, enabling you to gain strength in your body. You move, yes – but it’s not fast and furious, it’s slower and intentional. You feel the power of your breath and feel at home in your body – perhaps for the first time.

Before you know it – this translates into your body feeling strong and you feeling confident in your body.
The two of you are speaking the same language and are working as a team. Your mind comes back into a feeling of balance and harmony because as you connect to your body, ​
​you begin to understand who you are, those conversations with your body start to give you the confidence to feel your truth.


The next thing you know, you’re striding down the street – holding yourself differently because you feel strong and in tune with your body. You start to like yourself. Perhaps you are even on the verge of a Saturday Night Fever strut.

You’ve got your midlife body mojo.

With yoga, your body doesn’t feel pounded into submission – if feels fueled with strength and confidence. This is the gateway to the full on effect yoga has on your life.

 

When was the last time you felt good about your body?

When was the last time you felt good about your body?

When was the last time you felt good about your body?

Become friends with your body.

We’re very negative about your bodies, aren’t we – always finding fault. We don’t like this and we don’t like that. We’re too something and not enough something else.

We say things to ourselves like, “just look at that nose.”

So often these are messages we hear from our parents or from society – right. You know this and you realize it’s happening but still you look in the mirror and frown at your body or – even deeper – don’t want to look at your body at all.

Can you relate?

Midlife brings another layer of gloomy perception, as we watch our body changing. It’s all too easy to get caught up in this loop and feel more dejected and droopy so that you’re increasingly at sea.

It truly doesn’t have to be this way – your body is changing but it hasn’t given up on you.

This happened to me. In my mid forties I looked myself in the eye and said – Antonia, you need to find an activity to keep your body humming. Long walks are wonderful for body and soul, but it’s time to take charge of your midlife body and keep it ticking. At that point – that’s what I thought ‘take charge’ of my body meant. I learnt that my thinking needed to change too.

I tried this, that and the other. It was those push, push push, feel the burn forms of exercise we do in the west.

It wasn’t til I tried yoga that I realized what hadn’t been doing it for me.

Why is pounding your body the ultimate? Why is feeling the burn always the best?

In the west we think that our mind should control our body and that our body is under the power of our mind.

I started to see how wrongheaded this was.

It’s even been happening in yoga – all those tie-yourself-in-knots poses!

That might be why you haven’t considered yoga as a way to start feeling good in your body. It looks far too crazy.

Let’s be clear – that’s not traditional yoga. Traditional yoga is made to help you become friends with your body. Connect with yourself

As I began to move on the mat, I felt a space begin to open up. The slow pace, the way I held the pose, the way I began to become one with the pose helped me receive.

I heard my body. I understood what it was telling me. I tuned into its messages and how they varied from day to day. I began to have conversations with my body ‘oh hello legs, back is telling you that I should bend my knees in Downward Facing Dog today’. ‘My goodness arms, you’re positively fizzing.”

My body and I began to have a positive relationship. We started to understand each other. My body blossomed – perhaps because it was heard and appreciated.

When was the last time you appreciated your body?

It’s not something we’re taught so it doesn’t cross our mind. Let’s change that.

Yoga opened me up to my body’s voice because we got to know each other and value each other.

I realized my body had things to contribute and shouldn’t be shut out of the conversation or ignored or told to pipe down.

My body began to lose the resentment it had from being ignored and became an active partner in my well being.

My body changed and my mind did too.

To adapt an idea from my teacher Guru Singh – yoga is the feng shui of the body. It gets your body properly aligned and the energy flowing the right way. It’s how you feel at home in your body.

Are you ready to feel at home in your body – and your mind?
Let’s chat!

An old printing press gave me a frisson of history – how does that relate to yoga?

Something you might not know about me is that I spent decades as a Historian. I researched, digging into the past, putting puzzle pieces together to create a picture of what happened way back then. Sometimes the pieces were murky and sometimes there were holes in the puzzle but I loved creating a coherent picture. I’ve always been interested in how to connect to the post and in what we receive from days gone by. I love actually being able to touch it and get that frisson of History.

Back in the mid-nineties I went with my father to his native Hungary. I’d been there with him a number of times prior but this was the first time I’d visited since the change. It was also our last trip there.  We stayed in a little flat in Buda and I enjoyed going to the Farmers Market to get wonderful fresh fruit and veg. It was spring and the weather was lovely so we spent a lot of time outside walking and enjoying the city, chatting about the Hungary of dad’s childhood and Hungary then. We spent long, languid evenings with family friends I hadn’t seen in ages enjoying a leisurely dinner.

Dad and I were also avid museum-goers and liked nothing more than an afternoon spent at a museum followed by a brisk walk to shake out the cobwebs and then a pastry or two with tea or coffee, the better to chew over our experience. The museum visit that gave me an incredible pulse of History, right from back in the day, left us with a lot to discuss.

There was a printing press visible as we entered the next exhibition room. I went over to have a look at it – lingering, fascinated. The older lady sitting in the room spoke to my father animatedly in Hungarian for quite a while. Somehow she sensed its importance to me.

‘She said’, my father told me, ‘that this is the actual printing press the famous Hungarian poet Sandor Petofi used to print up his call to action poem Nemzeti Dal which he then declaimed on the steps of the Hungarian National Museum, sparking the 1848 Hungarian Revolution.’

‘What’s more’, dad continued, ‘it’s still working and she says she’d help you print some copies.’

I could hardly compute and then couldn’t believe my luck – or was it simply luck.

I put my hand on this old, heavy, massive printing press and through its chill I felt a shot of electricity charge into my body, giving a connection to the people who gathered clandestinely, risking their freedom to bring about a better world. The ink squelched, the large gears turned smoothly – finally the paper peeled off. I held the poem in my hand, the words strong and black, formed in exactly the same way as those women and men had done nearly a century and a half before. 

I always feel the pulse of history through my veins. It’s part of what attracts me to yoga. I love learning about yoga not just through today but also researching what yoga was and how people practiced it back through the centuries, seeing it through a different lens. It gives a breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding and a way to gather yoga so it’s relevant to today that has infused my own practice and can enrich yours, giving a connection to yourself and your body so you can step forward into midlife with clarity and confidence and zest. 

Find a translation of Nemzeti Dal here
https://hungarytoday.hu/march-15th-sandor-petofis…/


Find a short digest for the 1848 revolutions that swept Europe here.
https://www.britannica.com/…/The-Revolutions-of-1848

Find a more in depth discussion here.
https://schoolhistory.co.uk/notes/the-revolutions-of-1848/

Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training: 40 Day Kriya

I’m on day 34 of my latest 40 Day Kriya. It’s a profound and challenging practice, not just physically – each day feels different and emotions well up and sometimes even roil.

This is the third 40 Day Kriya I’ve done – the difference is, it’s part of my Kundalini yoga teacher training. I am learning and distilling from these experiences to create a modern approach to ancient yoga that will help you find your midlife mojo.

When you do a 40 Day Kriya, you do the same yoga practice each day – to uplift your energy. Kundalini yoga is about raising energy, so if you miss a day you should start again from the beginning as the you’ve lost the momentum.

Kundalini yoga is also about challenging you in this safe environment so that you feel more confident and capable when facing real life challenges. That’s a bit like when you were a child and read a scary book.

All of these 40 Day Kriyas give me something different, deepen my relationship with myself and help me grow – become a better version of myself. That’s not always easy. It’s a bit of a crazy ride – my relationship with my Kriya has varied wildly each day as I’m doing it.

The first enabled me to move through a difficult and stressful situation with grace and the faith that it would all work out. This is huge, as I’m not always the calmest person. I wrote a couple of blog post about it that you can see here:
https://bit.ly/KriyaMindBodyConnection
https://bit.ly/fluidityblog

The second one was what introduced me to the ‘moving meditation’ part of Kundalini yoga – the slow, strong, straightforward, repetitive movements. I love how this helps me move into that pause so the quiet is beautifully tangible and I can tune into my own voice and hear myself clearly. It makes meditation accessible.

This third one is a bit of poser. It’s definitely a stretch and a challenge. It’s a bit like when you go on holiday with a friend for the first time only to find out that the two of you aren’t brilliantly matched for travel. Overall, it’s a fine experience, you enjoyed each other and enjoyed the experience, yet you’re better off traveling with someone else, whose rhythms more match your own. There’s a feeling of a need to accommodate not a natural flow. There’s a lack of ease in the relationship.

The 40 Day Kriya is very rewarding and ultimately gives me great strength and confidence. I think when this is finished, I’ll do a variety of kriya’s for my daily practice rather than go straight into another 40 Day Kriya.

It’s not all a hard slog and challenge – I’ve just been enjoying a Kriya that has a meditation for joy. The exuberance is effervescent.

Stay tuned for more thoughts and insights as I continue my Kundalini teacher training.

What are you loving and what is challenging you at the moment? Tell me about it.

Check out my moving meditations in the Units part of my group
https://bit.ly/midlifeuplifted

What my Mum Taught Me about Using My Privilege

What my Mum Taught Me
about White Privilege

 

When I was about ten, my mother gave me a lesson in using my privilege. I didn’t know it at the time, but what she modeled has framed how I live my life.

It was about 1977 and my father and I drove to Kennedy Airport to collect my mother. The breeze from the open car windows was more of a hot breath than a cooling fan. I didn’t mind – that was normal back then – I was just excited to see mum. She’d been in London visiting her parents. We often went together, but this time it was a solo trip.

When we all finally reunited, the talk flowed – fast and bright, like a flock of parrots. On the drive home, mum told stories about the flight. It was a different time in the world, yet the same.

Speaking up with your privilege 

As a green card holder, mum had to go through immigration. ‘I was next in the queue,’ she said, ‘when I heard an immigration official giving an Indian woman the third degree. There the poor woman was, exhausted, with tired and grumpy young children clinging to her and this officious official was giving her a hard time.’ Something had to be done.

‘Excuse me,’ said mum in her English accent. ‘Why are you being so rude to this woman? She’s just had a long flight. Do you really want this to be her first impression of the United States?’

‘Well,’ mum continued, her voice becoming more indignant as she got further into her story, ‘then he wanted to hustle me through so I’d stop Making a Scene. I said to him, “It’s not me you should helping like this – it’s that poor woman and her children who look at the end of their tether”.’

At that point, the official wound in his neck and finished processing the South Asian family.

Shaping your children

My parents always stood up and were counted. They couldn’t stand bullying or mistreatment. Their race and background put them in a position where they could speak up and make a difference – and they did.

I was exposed to this all my childhood. I didn’t even really see it as anything unusual – it was just the normal warp and weave of my life. When you had it in your power and you saw something wrong you called it out, you just did. Without realizing, these actions of my parents made me into someone who also stands up.

How are you shaping your children? How, as a society, are we shaping our children? There are many ways to change the world a little bit at a time and many ways for us to educate ourselves and act. One way to change the world is to be aware of the messages you are sending your kids.

Yoga teaches us that we are all connected and it encourages us to stop seeing someone as ‘other’ and start noting our similarities as well as appreciate our differences. It will not surprise you to hear that my mum was the type of the person who genuinely reached out to everyone. She would get the cabbie’s whole life story by the end of the ride. After all, she would say, we’re all in the same bloody human predicament.

Find certainty in yourself, even when there isn’t certainty in the world

 

If you’re coming out of lockdown feeling stressed figuring out a whole new way of engaging with the outside world, yoga can give you conviction as you step into the new normal.

Yoga to Step Into the New Normal – $97 for a $232 value
🌼 We’ll have a private session together to give you individualized yoga strategies and coaching to support you right now. You’ll be able to tap into your clarity and confidence in interacting with this new world – today and in the future.

🎁 Bonus – Access to the Yoga to Recalibrate in Uncertain times online course that will help you when the overwhelm hits giving you yoga techniques on and off the mat to regain your equilibrium. You can dip into it any time suitable to you. This course can be taken as separate modules, or you can complete the course in an hour.

Yoga Gives Us Clarity Over Who We Are in Our Midlife Chapter

Yoga Gives Us Clarity
Over Who We Are

 

As we enter midlife, it often feels like there’s endings without beginnings. It’s a time where there is so much change – change for the bad. Yet why are we buying into that! Midlife can and should be a wonderful time. Time to dig into this assumption.

Yoga helped me make this journey – it led me to see midlife as an exciting new chapter.  Yoga can help you too through giving you clarity over who you are.

Yoga Gets You Strutting

It’s time to make friends with your changing body – no good will come of being at odds with it.  Being negative about our body is ingrained in us from an early ago – it’s time to break that habit.

The beauty of yoga is that it it not only gets your body humming, it creates that mind body connection so you begin to hear your body an understand it more. Maybe it’s the poses themselves, maybe it’s the linking of breath and movement, maybe it’s because yoga reduces stress and grounds you – whatever the reason, the magic of yoga is that it gets you and your body having a conversation.

You’ll start to feel more connected to your body and more confident in your own body. In fact, you might start strutting like I did – I got a full on Saturday Night Fever thing going!

Then Yoga Gives Us Clarity Over Who We Are

You’ll start to notice that the chatter you hear is relentless and not even your own voice, in fact – it’s drowning you out. Who are these voices so full of these rules and shoulds that you follow and do they have your best interests at heart.

As women, we tend to put ourselves last don’t we?

As we enter midlife, our youth orientated society tells us what we can and can’t wear, tells us we are invisible, past our prime!

What’s up with that?

(Check out my blog on style Dress Your Identity and why it’s even more important in midlife)

Yoga – on and off the mat – cuts through this noise so you are able to tune back into your own beat, your own rhythm – and see if it matches the drum you’ve been marching to. You’ll start to know know what you want to keep and what you want to jettison.

You’ll find yourself gaining clarity and confidence in who you want to be in midlife. You’ll begin to feel it’s an exciting new chapter, and yoga helps you get there.

Interested in going deeper? Find out more info about working with me
https://bit.ly/stepintonewnormal
or email me antonia@newlandscapeyoga.com

Unsure how to gain clarity?
This lovely self authority meditation is a great place to start.

Want to go deeper? Check out these prompts and excercises

Confidence Navigating a Situation – Confidence in Yourself

Confidence Navigating a Situation – Confidence in Yourself

 



When you are supported stepping out of your comfort zone, it has the most amazing knock on effects. It goes so far beyond, helping you assess situations with confidence.  

Yoga helps you get the space and the quiet to separate out what the voices in your brain are saying. You can figure out which ones you want to dismiss as false narrators. That could be something like a parent’s voice saying ‘you’re useless, you can’t get anything right’.

This is how you can gain self confidence – scroll to the bottom for free breathwork to get you started.

 
Becoming Independent as a Child
 
My parents always wanted me to feel that I could navigate any situation and I learnt Independence a young age. When I was about 14, I started to visit family friends in France for half term. This was logistically fairly complicated, involving buying tickets for the train and the ferry, traveling across Paris by Metro to get another train out to Orleans where these friends lived. I did the trip many times, always looking forward to the warmth and enjoyment at the end of the journey.

Sizing up a Situation

One trip when I was about 16, I boarded the train at the Port of Boulogne to find it heaving – sardines doesn’t do it justice. I barely found a corner for my bag, sitting on it and standing through the several hours it took to get to Paris.
 
On the way back I was aghast to see the train was going to be equally crowded. What to do? I sized up the situation and went to sit in first class, paying the supplement with the credit card I had on my parent’s account. Still, I was trepidatious when I told my parents – but they gave me a big pat on the back.

Yoga Helps You Get that Confidence – it’s never too late

 

Yoga, self confidence
 
 
Yoga helps you get the space and the quiet to separate out what the voices in your brain are saying. You can figure out which ones you want to dismiss as false narrators. That could be something like a parent’s voice saying ‘you’re useless, you can’t get anything right’.

Interested in going deeper? Find out more info about working with me
https://bit.ly/stepintonewnormal
or email me antonia@newlandscapeyoga.com
 

Curious how to do this – enjoy this pranayama / breathwork  Self Authority

Dig even deeper with these free exercises!

The Importance of Support in Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

The Importance of Support in Getting Out of Comfort Zone

 

Do you hesitate to take on new challenges because you’re absolutely convinced you’ll flat on your face? It’s always difficult to step out of your comfort zone and because of that you need support. Did you get that support when you were a child?

comfort zone, yoga, support

Were You Thrown in at the Deep End – without being taught to swim?

Perhaps you were thrown in at the deep end without being taught to swim. Talk about setting someone up for failure. This happened to someone I’ve coached. She was just expected to ‘get things’ when she was a child. Somehow it was considered normal by the adults in her life that she could just step up and do something new and scary with absolutely no guidance.

As a result, she felt like all she ever did was fail. It’s still really hard for her to put herself out there because in the back of her mind she still thinks there’s no way that she can actually succeed when stepping out of her comfort zone. She’s had to do a lot of work to realize that she’s not destined to fail and I’m very proud of the progress she’s made – and her success.

The Importance of Support – It Can Make All The Difference

I understand the importance of support, the feeling that someone has your back and to know that even if it doesn’t work out it’s not the end of the world. You can you make it work next time. This is because that’s exactly how my parents acted.

One time when my mother literally role played with me sticks out in my memory. I was about six years old and we were staying with my grandparents in London. Mum wanted me to call Paddington Station to ask about train times. This seemed far too scary for me and I baulked. Mum would never have made me call, but she suggested that we role play the call. Doing that made all the difference.

I realized it was not a difficult thing to do after all and I felt like I’d worked out the kinks during the rehearsal. The role playing gave me the confidence to go ahead and call Paddington. I got the information we needed!

If mom had said ‘just do it’ in an annoyed voice, I would bottled and felt small. As it was, that bit of support was all I needed – and I remember how it gave me such a boost to be able to step out of my comfort zone that way.

comfort zone, yoga, support

The Importance of Support – It’s Never Too Late

You can still get guidance and support, I can help and yoga can help. 

When you do a yoga practice, it’s the support you give your body and the support your body gives you that helps you out of your comfort zone.

Try this: getting out of your comfort zone is stepping back pushing and thrusting to get to a more difficult variation. Getting out of your comfort zone is going deeper into the pose and seeing what that tells you.

Want to work with me –  send me an email to chat about how I can help you.

Interested in going deeper? Find out more info about working with me
https://bit.ly/stepintonewnormal
or email me antonia@newlandscapeyoga.com

Check out my free meditation – click here to get to it directly