I must admit I was a little nervous heading off to my very first Women’s Wellness Workshop a couple of weeks ago. On paper the event had sounded so appealing: a yoga class and group discussion with Emma Palmer from Mokcha Yoga in Bentleigh, a sugar and gluten free morning tea, followed by a chat from Alice Nicholls from Doterra Essential Oils, what was not to like?
But when Saturday morning came around, my usual anxieties kicked in. Would I be the oldest or even worse, the saggiest one there? I mean, what if during the class I burst my leggings or, even worse, literally tied myself in knots?? Trying something new in a group of 40+ other strangers can be a confronting and my fear was real my friends.
Of course when I walked through the doors on the rooftop of the Cullen Hotel in Prahran and saw Wellineux founder Amanda McMillan’s friendly face, I instantly felt at ease and was proud of myself that I’d made the effort to attend. Turns out that whilst the yoga class was challenging, I was quite okay at the “old downward dog” and felt so much lighter and calmer after the soothing meditation that followed.
At this point we broke off for a delicious morning tea (see photos) that included an array of healthy and tasty foods to refuel and energize. Whilst enjoying my vanilla bean coconut yoghurt, blueberries and buckwheat granola (garnished with gorgeous edible flowers!) in a jar I had a few mindful minutes to relax and chat with some other women who, funnily enough, were just like me!
As this was the first Wellineux Workshop of the year, we then settled back on our yoga mats and bolsters for some of the many giveaways of the morning that was followed by a discussion about New Years Resolutions and our intentions for 2017. The topic of intention (Sankulpa) came up throughout the morning. What were our intentions not just for the moment, the day, next week, but also, for the year ahead?
For me, I’d already set a lot of things in place for the next 12 months and I felt a little chuffed about that. After a few health scares late last year and finding out that I had the autoimmune disease Hashimotos, I’d already planned out some life changes well before I showed up to my yoga mat that day. Some of them included making my health a priority and learning as much as I could about getting healthier and all that that entails.
I knew I needed some structure to actually make sure I followed through so I decided that I would write something everyday for the entire year about my wellness journey. In the beginning, like all intentions, my year started off with a blast of motivation and I thought I was a bit special and had this wellness thing down pat. But over thislast month, I’ve certainly had my moments where I’ve thought, “What am doing this for again??” That’s the problem with intentions and resolutions as they are just words. It takes action to ensure they actually happen.
Another part of what I’m calling my “Year to Wellness” is that I will be attending lots of wellness events over the coming year.
The purpose of this is to make sure I keep on track with my goals but also to put something concrete in place that is just for me. As my friend Olga mentioned that day, her husband gets to play golf all day so why cant she (or any of us) take time out to do a wellness workshop?
The fact is, as women, we often struggle with the many things we need to accomplish everyday that we often forget to even put ourselves on our own to do lists!
For me, since I’ve started this challenge to get healthier, I’ve realized that I’m quite incompetent at pencilling my own name into my own schedule. Emma from Mokcha Yoga reminded us all that day that through the practice of yoga and mediation and showing up for ourselves not only puts our own health and wellbeing at the forefront but it also affords us the time, space and opportunity to consider where we want to be in the moment and also in the future.
The most important message I took home from the day was that I learned that it takes 66 days to break an existing habit. Whilst I’m now into my 36th day of my year to wellness, I realised that I still had a long way to go to reach that target, let alone get through the rest of the year. It will take a consistent effort and a sense of responsibility to show up in whatever capacity I can manage each day. After all, true health and wellness is more that just making another New Years Resolution, it’s about making positive life changes.
Anyway so far so good but I will definitely let you know next month if I’m still on track, fingers crossed! In the meantime feel free to comment here or stop by to my Instagram page @susanllewelyn for a chat (It's here I'm recording my 'Year To Wellness' journey to). I’d love to hear about your own wellness journey and any tips you might have which I can share here each month.
If you'd like to join us for a Women's Wellness Workshop we would absolutely love to have you. Tickets for these events are just $48 +GST and you can read about the full line up of inspiring speakers and themes and check out the 2017 Womens Wellness Workshop schedule of events here.