move. smile. release. Uma Spender (previously Jessie Neave) - name in transition - new website coming soon!

Uma Spender (previously Jessie Neave) - name in transition - new website coming soon!

dharma, radiance & expansion

Here on the Peninsula it’s been cold this week. So cold! I’ve been leaning into the natural rhythm of Winter; going to bed earlier, waking up earlier for sadhana - feeling the call for quiet & solitude and doing the best a mum can do to answer it…although some days it's hard to get 2 minutes alone in the bathroom! We do what we can, right?
Winter is the time to tune into the natural drawing in, the deep inward part of the constant cycle of contraction & expansion that is our own nature, and, on a cellular level, the nature of absolutely everything. We can’t have expansion without contraction. The two are completely bonded and reliant on each other - without one the other loses it’s meaning: Yin & Yang, Sun & Moon, Shiva & Shakti, Prana & Apana, Winter & Summer…these opposing forces work together to create the miracle that is life, on all levels. 
We can naturally contract (like what happens in Winter), and, we can be forced into it more abruptly (accidents, sickness, loss, failures etc). The path of the Yogi is one of recognising these setbacks and challenges as times of deep spiritual growth. When we close in to the centre and face ourselves, face our wounds and our fears, when we can sit with them in the darkness - truly be with them & know them - then the journey outward begins again from a place of deep inner alignment. A place of strength, luminosity, radiance and purpose. A place where we can ask the big Yogi questions-“What is my Dharma & how can I best be of service in this life?”
Dharma is your own unique life's purpose, the reason you are here. Dharma is the magnetic point of radiance that the yogi listens to, dials into & ultimately surrenders to. You know your dharma when you see it because it nourishes and sustains you, and, makes you naturally expansive. The Yogi begins to see any contractions as sign posts that we need to re-assess our own alignment with dharma. 
When you are in the flow of your dharma you are luminous and strong - absolutely radiant from the core. 
I’ve been playing with the theme of Dharma & Radiance (expansion) in my own practice this Winter, and I’ve decided to make it the theme for the October 7 day Yoga Retreat is Thailand. Coming out of Winter, into the expansive state of Spring, radiating from the very centre of our own unique life’s purpose.  We’re going to explore ancient & traditional sadhana (practices) to unleash powerful creativity, cultivating the 'vajra (diamond) body' - the power of luminosity, strength & clarity…in short; your own unique radiance. 
Places are limited on the Retreat and are filling up. The Early Bird special is over at the end of July so if you’re tempted don’t hesitate to email me with questions.

Following my own dharma always brings me back to service, to giving, and it is in the spirit of generosity that I want to extend an offer to anyone who is interested in coming on the Women's Weekend in Red Hill at the end of August - I would like to give away one place to a very deserving woman. This is how it's going to work: You have to write to me and tell me why your friend/mother/sister/daughter deserves to come - how she has helped you in the past and why she needs this special time for herself now. This offer will be a "two for one" kind of thing - so if you win then you both come, and share a room, and only pay for 1 person. Hope that's clear! The entries don't have to be long, just sincere and from the heart. Please get them to me by Friday 31st July.

On that note, I have been overwhelmed by the courage & generosity of 2 huge hearted eleven year old girls in my community, Grace & Chelsea, who have decided to shave their heads to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation. I will be collecting donations at my next Deep Healing workshops and supporting them with 100% of the profits from the next 2 Monday morning classes (in an effort to pack the class out I've decided to make it half price until the end of August - $10!). If you would like to support them directly please go to Crazy Coconuts Fundraising. How inspiring are they? What total legends! If you think that's a bit great please show them your support with a few bucks.

here's to a life where we can keep opening & expanding our minds, bodies & hearts