My Black Dog is loose!

My Black Dog is off the leash.

It smells fear and it’s baying for blood.

I’ve decided to turn to the one thing that has saved my life in the past, hoping that I can be saved again (How yoga saved my life purchase hytrin vs flomax buy pills places to buy azithromycin zithromax ).

My return to Sydney in August 2011 didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked.A� Any hope for a reconciliation with my husband were quickly dashed when he asked for a divorce and his lawyer began chasing 50% of my life.

I have always loved my work but getting bullied by a supervisor is never fun and when you begin to hate doing what normally brings you great joy, then it’s time to bow out.A� In 2012 I rejoined the mining industry but my timing was poor as the tide began to turn on the Australian mining boom.

In February 2013 I decided to take a sabbatical and pursue some personal goals.A� I went on a yoga pilgrimage to India, enrolled at uni, began renovations, started my own consulting business, dropped out of uni, did an 8 week body challenge, stopped renovating, ran a 12 week body challenge, started renovating again….. basically taking it easy so that I could work out what I really wanted to do!

I don’t know exactly when the symptoms began to reappear.A� Probably around the time of my divorce but they steadily grew in strength until getting out of bed took the same amount of effort as climbing Mt Everest.A� Weekly trips to a psychologist weren’t helping and I now have a unfilled prescription for anti-depressants sitting on my desk.

Over the past year, I’ve been learning more about my Black Dog.A� I also broke the news to my close friends and family which came as a shock to all.A� Showing them this Black Dog video was the easiest way to explain how it feels.A� Everyone has been wonderfully supportive although for some it’s a difficult subject as they don’t know how to handle it.A� I tell them that I am still the same person just with a Black Dog!

But on Friday 24th January my Black Dog broke it’s leash.A� Chased into a corner with no one to turn to I called Lifeline.A� Hearing my words reflected back to me was terrifying.A� “Lonely”, “isolated” and “unhappy” are not words that anyone likes to hear being used to describe them.A� But it’s true.

I made the promise to visit a new GP (mine has moved away), reach out to my psychologist and find a way to cope.A� Unfortunately the first one turned into a bit of a disaster because I can’t get depression because I teach yoga unisom price walmart – apparently!

So I’m reaching out to the local yoga community.A� I’ve signed up for a 40 day Yoga Challenge at Power Living Yoga here in Sydney, Australia.A� It will provide me with a structure around which I can begin to rebuild; five studio yoga classes per week, one home yoga practice per week, two daily meditations per week, a community meeting once a week and a book to guide my personal transformation.A� You can read about Baron Baptiste the founder of this program here.

It’s time.

I hope that yoga can save my life (again).

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How yoga saved my life

Yoga saved my life.

No exaggeration, no lies.A� In 2008 I lost my aunt to pancreatic cancer, discovered that the man I married didn’t exist (he was a sociopathic liar) and I began to develop symptoms such as heart palpitations, unexplained bouts of tears and loss of appetite.A� I went to a GP and was told that I had “an allergy to stress” and prescribed anti-depressants.

The drugs helped with the physiological symptoms but did nothing to assist with the little inner critic that was getting louder with everyday that passed.A� “You’re a failure”, “only losers are users” were a couple of it’s favourites.A� I felt like I was walking around in a grey fog.A� All the colour from the world drained out and “fun” was a distant memory.

By the middle of 2009 I had hit an all time low.A� My husband’s lies were being revealed like some terrible Greek tragedy and I was left with a stranger in my bed and a future that was becoming more and more uncertain.

One weekend I attended a yoga class at micronase online Cheap furosemide without prescription cheap pills Yama Yoga Studio in Qatar and afterwards I noticed a poster advertising a Yoga Teacher Training program.A� I made inquiries and was told that I could join but I would find it very tough as I didn’t already practice everyday.A� Undeterred I paid my money and showed up for the first evening class.

Sitting crossed legged on the floor posed the first problem.A� Looking around the room I saw just how out of place I was.A� Many were sitting in a full lotus, others had these wonderful serene looks on their faces and here was I with my knees round my ears (no, I’m not flexible) and the green snake of jealous uncurling in my stomach.

Our instructor, Valerie glided into the room and welcomed everyone to the program and asked everyone to go round the room and explain why they were there.A� All those that went before me talked of practicing yoga for 10 or more years and were looking forward to being able to help others on their yogic journeys.

My response was far less altruistic.A� “Hello, my name is Sarah and I have depression.A� I’m here for a purely selfish reason.A� I’m on medication and I want to stop.”A� Scary as it was to say this I was relieved.A� People now knew that I was a nut ball, the crazy in the room, the one to be whispered about and approached with caution!

As the weeks passed my body began to respond to the physical training.A� My muscles grew strong, I could almost touch my toes and there were days when I got out of bed pain free.A� I learned to be kind to my body, listen to my breath and allow the process of rebuilding a broken body to take place.

Crying was a big part of my yoga practice, especially during hip openers!A� When a wave of emotion would take over I would withdraw to the safety of child’s pose (balasana) until the sobbing passed.A� I would unfold my body to find a box of tissues at the end of my mat and there was always a re-assuring hug at the end of practice from a fellow trainee or teacher.

Three months later I stopped taking my medication and I celebrated by taking a weekend workshop with Julie Martin from Brahmani Yoga.A� She was visiting our yoga studio and in my opinion is the best Vinyasa Teacher out there!

By this time my emotional outbursts had evolved from sobbing to uncontrollable laughter.A� For those that had traveled this journey with me it was a wonderful transition.A� For visiting instructors it was always an initial shock to have someone burst into a fit of giggles and then take half the class with them!A� Julie was great and understood that for some yoga is an incredibly emotional journey.

In April 2010, my husband got on a plane and returned to Australia for good.A� My yoga gave me courage, my fellow yogis kept me strong and my teachers kept me grounded as my future life disappeared along with my hopes and dreams.

On 21st June 2010 I graduated with my fellow teacher trainees as RYT200 Yoga Teachers.A� The whole school celebrated both the summer equinox and our graduation with 108 Sun Salutations.A� Nearly 100 people squeezed into the studio that night and the energy was incredible!A� I felt that I had beaten depression and was ready to move on with strength, courage and wisdom.

In July 2010 I was made redundant and given 90 days to pack up my life and leave the country.A� In those 90 days I taught over 100 students; beginners, advanced, pre-natal, Vinyasa and Ashtanga.A� I wanted to give back so much of the love and strength that had been given to me over my jouney to becoming a teacher.

In September 2010 I left Qatar.

Yoga had saved my life. amantadine price uk

My First Ultra Marathon Training Session

What did I reflect on yesterday?
Yesterday I realised just how important it is to look after my body!A� We all want to achieve our goals as quickly as possible but sometimes we have to be realistic.

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One of my current goals is to run an ultra-marathon (50km) in the Blue Mountains in mid May 2014.A� I’ve started training for it now – good but I’ve underestimated how strong my body is right now – bad!
So yesterday, as part of my race trail preparation I joined a running group and we ran 16km of the 50km route. The session was led by Brendan Davies, 2012 Australian Male Ultra Runner of the Year.A� So this was not going to be a stroll in the park!A� You can read Brendan Davies’ Blog here.
The alarm went off at 4:30am and both myself and the boyfriend got up (yes, we did hit the snooze button!), dressed, grabbed our pre-packed gear and headed off to the Blue Mountains.A� At this time in the morning there’s no traffic and thanks to my awesome driver/bf I was able to sleep most of the way there!
There’s nothing more daunting than arriving in a carpark filled with lycra clad athletes limbering up and talking about the number of grams they have managed to get their running kit down to.A� If you must know, my kit weighs about 4 kilos (and it’s not complete) and I bought the hydration backpack from the post office for $30!A� I figured this is probably the one and only ultra-marathon I am ever going to be daft enough to do so why spend hundreds on a pack that I’ll use for training and one race.A� Another WTFWIT moment perhaps?!
I’m very pleased that I kept up with Brendan Davies.A� Watching him run is the equivalent of seeing Ian Thorpe or any other elite athlete in their element. The trail simply flattened out beneath his feet.A� Boulders were nimbly dodged, rough downward stairs were ‘tumbled’ down…. apparently gravity is our ‘friend and should be used!

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To use the words of my bf “I learned more in the 30 minutes of running behind Brendan Davies than in all the research I’ve done on the web to date.”A� I have to take his word for it…. I’ve done no research on the web except to look up possible foods to take on this run!
Sadly, after 10km of knee jolting descents, glute busting stairs and quad burning hills, my knees gave up.A� Obviously I am hugely disappointed but it was also a huge wake up call.

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Last year I ran a 21km Tough Mudder, a 21 km Spartan and a 14km City Surf with little to no preparation.A� Thinking back, I’ve been extremely lucky that nothing more serious has happened.A� I’ve been signing up for these challenges believing that I have the strength and stamina that I had 10+ years ago… WTFWIT?!
So now I’m nursing two very sore knees, which will put a bit of a blip in my training schedule 1) I need to rehab my knees and 2) I’m not where I thought I was and so have to take my training back a few paces!

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My wake up call is that it’s really important to listen to my body, be kind to it and understand that reaching my goal is a journey that takes a step by step approach.A� I have to have my milestones written down; run 10km without pain, get the Kedumbar Stairs under my belt, two laps of the Manly Dam etc.
Step by step is the secret and it’s how I’ll achieve this goal AND prepare me for future challenges.A� I know that I can complete this race, I certainly proved yesterday that I have the mental toughness, although perhaps I wouldn’t be in this amount of pain if I’d stopped sooner!
So two steps forward and five steps back on my way to my first ultra-marathon!

You can’t have depression – You teach yoga!

Yesterday I visited the local GP to fulfill a promise that I made to a lovely lady on the end of a Lifeline phone call.A� I made the promise that I would connect with a new doctor (mine has moved away) and let them know that I was struggling once again with my symptoms of depression.

This new doctor demonstrated to me everything that is wrong with the western approach to diagnosing depression.A� It was insulting enough to not be asked to explain my history, have I been on medication before, what’s worked, what doesn’t, what triggers it etc etc.A� But what he said next left me gobsmacked.

“You can’t be depressed – you teach yoga!”

My boyfriend had the perfect comeback “Do you ever get sick? Well you shouldn’t – you’re a doctor!”A� If only he had been in the room with me!

As I was driving home with little more than a verbal pat on the shoulder and a “if things don’t get better, come back”, I recalled a saying… “those that can’t, teach”.A� I wonder how true this is.

I am told by appreciative students that my explanations and cues for achieving a downward dog are great.A� Yet the pose continues to allude me after years of practice.A� During my teacher training I led a guided meditation which received glowing feedback.A� Yet I struggle to sit still for 5 minutes.A� Savasana (the corpse pose) is a calming, restorative pose yet you can find me gently snoring at the end of the class.

How many other teachers are out there that struggle with the fundamentals of yoga?A� Am I the only one?A� I teach because I know how good I feel after I give or receive a class.A� I teach knowing that most poses will never feel comfortable in this lifetime (I pray for the next!).A� I teach because for the 60 minutes of physical focus my little black dog retreats to his kennel.A� I teach in the hope that one day I will practice what I preach 100% (and not the 10%, 25% or 50%).

But above all else I teach because I love the way yoga affects everybody differently.A� Whether you’re a Lululemon junkie or a Bikram groupie, a 50 year old desk-bound accountant or an anxiety-ridden, overachieving manic depressive like me.A� We all experience yoga personally.A� Some go for the endorphin buzz or the feeling of being put through the spin cycle of a washing machine.A� Others find a moment of peace in an otherwise crowded and noisy world.

To be told that I can’t suffer from depression because I teach yoga is belittling.A� And so I continue my journey into the world of yoga with my black dog as my companion.A� And let me tell you something.A� On a black dog day – we’ve got downward dog nailed!

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Manly to Shelley Beach Swim (M2SBS) – Swimming with Dolphins

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The Manly to Shelley Beach Swim is about 1 kilometre in distance.A� Not actually that far when measured in lengths of a swimming pool.A� 20 lengths in a 50m pool, which I have done a few times (many years ago).

But we’re talking about swimming in the sea…. the ocean.A� Whilst waves and rips get me nervous, it’s actually the unseen world below which really brings on the anxiety.

So yesterday I bit the bullet and began my training for the Manly to Shelly Beach Swim (M2SBS).A� Shelley Beach is a sheltered cove which people tell me is a gorgeous place to snorkle because there’s loads to see.A� Great.A� It’s also a known shark nursery. Super.

So my reason for starting at Shelley Beach?A� It’s calm and flat 9 times out of 10.A� I am extremely proud to say that I managed to swim round to the first flight of steps that lead out of the rock (near the Mambo Coffee Shop) which means that I have completed about a third of the swim.A� What’s more I had enough energy to swim back!

Perhaps this goal is achievable after all!

That afternoon I heard a rumour saying that a dolphin was swimming in the waters at Shelley Beach.A� Having just completed part of the M2SBS I was mighty glad that I didn’t come head to head with a large, grey 8 foot creature swimming in the water near-by!

So the boyfriend with a “kick the bucket list” dragged me down to Shelley Beach to face my fears.A� Yes, 8 foot grey sea monsters are a fear of mine although the ones I’m scared of tend to have more teeth.

Armed with a mask and snorkel, I bravely swam out (actually I was dragged out by the boyfriend – literally!) and got to swim with a wild dolphin.A� The experience was nerve wracking, awe inspiring and just plain a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!A� The dolphin passed just 6 feet below me and circled around the the other swimmers that had also swam out to be there.

Seeing her (yes apparently it’s a female) breach the surface in that characteristic dolphin arching glide took my breath away.A� I was swimming just a couple of metres away from one of the most graceful creatures on this planet.

How do I feel now I’m back on dry land?A� Truly Blessed.

 

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A Healthy Brownie – Why? (Reason 2)

Perhaps I’m just really lucky but I have the digestive system of an Indian street dog.A� I can seriously eat anything; cheese with green fur coat? Cut it off – it’s perfectly fine underneath (especially if you eat it with marmite!), bread with green spots? Pluck ’em out, toast it and add marmite.

I thank my parents for this.A� After every meal, all the leftovers would be dutifully placed in tupperware containers and stored in the fridge.A� Every fortnight (sometimes longer), Dad would make one of his curries.A� These curries are a family favourite.A� Each one is unique, specially crafted from the contents of those tupperware tubs.A� Basic rule of thumb, if it’s not furry it goes in the Balti pan.A� Then add spices, plenty of chilli and serve with rice and poppadoms.A� Yummy!

I’m not sure how many doses of penicillin would be in one of those curries but I never suffered food poisoning or gastroenteritis, until I left home and lived with a boyfriend who never ate anything that was approaching it’s ‘use by date’.A� Take from that what you will!

Fast forward a number of years and I now have a collection of friends with various different ‘food sensitivities’.A� Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Celiac, lactose intolerant and so on.A� So reason number 2 is my friends.A� Why should anyone have to miss out on the delight of biting into a freshly baked chocolate brownie?

I figured that I like baking brownies, I like eating brownies and I like sharing a cup of tea and a sweet treat with my friends.A� It really is a no brainer!

So, Steve, Kylie, Marie and all my other beautiful and sensitive friends around the world – this blog is for you! amantadine 100mg where to buy it buy pills buy pills purchase doxazosin 2 buy innopran er

A Healthy Brownie – Why? (Reason 1)

So let’s go back a few years…..A� okay 25+A� years!

I was living in England and my best friend lived a few doors up the road.A� Her mother is German and was an amazing baker; gingerbread, almond cookies, fruit cakes, the works.A� Not only would my friend greet me at the door but so would these incredible aromas that wafted down the hallway from the kitchen.

When we reached secondary school, my friends mother became interested (perhaps obsessed is a better word) with healthy eating.A� Overnight, her aromatic, tasty baked wonders turned into sugarless, dry and tasteless shadows of their former selves.

Looking back I am reminded of a science experiment called “Pavlov’s Dog”.A� I would visit my friend and be greeted by the same warm, delicious promise of baking that would make my mouth water and stomach grumble.A� My highly trained auto-responses would be rewarded with a “healthy” cookie that tasted of spiced dirt.A� Perhaps now is a good time to apologise to my brother for making him eat mud pies as a baby?!

My parents have always drilled into me, “be polite”, “don’t be rude”, “say thank you” etc etc. Human instinct (especially that of a 13 year old with a sweet tooth) is to grab that cookie and consume with gusto but biting the head off a sugarless gingerbread man is the same as taking a swig of coffee when you think it’s tea or vice versa.A� Every nerve in your body tells you to spit it out, bleugh!

Such a conundrum!A� AND I never learned.A� Just like Pavlov’s dog I would smell the baking, take the offered cookie and then smile my way through 3 minutes of torture while I tried to eat the damn thing.

My friend’s mother was a pioneer!A� Before Jamie Oliver waged war on school dinners or Irritable Bowel Syndrome became a dinner table conversation topic, she was blazing a trail for others to follow.A� Perhaps not in the way she had hoped but a benchmark is a benchmark.A� Even if it falls into the “I never want my food to taste like that!” category.

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