With health and wellness in mind, today Jayne interviews the ever-inspiring Noeline Clark, from Port Douglas Yoga.
Nols, please share with us a little of your story and practice.
“I have lived in the Douglas Shire since 2011, sharing yoga and meditation at Port Douglas Yoga since 2016. I am in my second year of studying Yoga Therapy for Allied Health at BIYOME. This incorporates evidence-based research in a trauma-informed practice, while cultivating traditional teachings. This learning supports those of us already in practice, and those of us not.
To live a holistic and heart-filled life, the practice of yoga, meditation and mindfulness is the medicine my body and mind need. The path I am now on is opened by sharing my passion, care for others’ well-being and the simplicity of practice.
Our Shire is home to many outstanding holistic teachers and therapists. I give gratitude for their dedication and deepest care in working with others. Every household deserves the opportunity to heal and find peace within.
The opportunity to teach yoga and meditation with other inspiring teachers has cultivated a true interconnectedness to our community.”
Please share your experience with the COVID-19 lockdown? What challenges or opportunities has it presented for you?
“I accepted lockdown, even though we were actually in Sri Lanka at the time. Later, being in Port Douglas, cultivated a real sense of gratitude. Gratitude for our health and safety, our surroundings, our community spirit, and for those who have done their best to support others.
I’ll be honest in saying there were moments of fear, worry, anger, frustration and confusion. Yet there were equally moments of peace, calm, acceptance and stability. When strong emotions presented, it allowed me to listen to what was being asked of me. To be open, yet compassionate. To stay with the practice-for growth and the strength to support others.”
I respect your selflessness in a time when you may have focussed on your own protection. I admire how service to others drives you. How can we manage to hold on to the lessons we’ve learned in the quieter, slower pace of life?
“Re-evaluating and re-connecting with what truly matters has been a clean slate for some, and not for others. The experience of more light drawn to issues at home, with business and with health, is a strain for many of us. While restrictions lift, try not to rush into situations, habits or routines that no longer serve us. Prioritise and honour that.”
What is your vision for our community when we emerge from this stillness?
“For support, unity and patience to continue – for all our locals and walks of life we have here in the Shire! Everybody needs this, now and after.”
As individuals, as families, and as parents, how we can we make space for mindfulness in our lives?
“Mindfulness can begin with our daily tasks then become part of a daily practice. Look at areas you wish to improve. Choose a time of day when you can focus on a mindful task. Gradually this will come naturally to your life. One step at a time is the best approach.
Mindfulness does not mean we will lose time. Rather, it creates space and freedom in our lives for what we truly need.
Introduce mindfulness by practising in your daily activities, such as enjoying one meal a day mindfully.
Essentially this means no technology, taking each mouthful slowly, enjoying all the senses-noticing the flavours, textures and feelings the food gives you. Consider too how the food is prepared or grown. You might even like to try this with your opposite hand. This allows you to enjoy the sensations more mindfully and digest more slowly. Try 25-32 chews before swallowing! This is simple, fun and super for any digestive issues, mental health and weight issues.
I also recommend learning to meditate. When we offer meditation into our lives, our mindful tasks gradually take place. I used to live a busy, multitasking lifestyle. Practising mindfulness takes dedication, practice, and a step-by-step approach. I trust everyone has the opportunity to cultivate this, for a healthier and happier state of life.”
Thank you, Nols. I recently enjoyed a mindfulness workshop on in which we spent the day in silence (a challenge indeed!). The mindful and silent lunch was an extraordinary experience. To deeply re-consider the daily habit of eating, each mouthful of food, that we take for granted was life-changing for me.
Moving forward (mindfully, I promise!), when does it look like yoga classes may re-commence in the Shire?
“We know that the easing of restrictions permit yoga classes resuming in mid-June. We are excited to re-open Port Douglas Yoga Shala.
We will release details to our mailing list and Facebook page.
To receive updates, please email: email@example.com”
Until then, how best to maintain our practice?
“Try not to over-complicate or cause yourself pain or stress. Check-in each day with your energy and work with that. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Smile and enjoy the opportunity to practice. Movement is King, rest is necessary, and breath is life.”
Thank you Nols, as always, for your guidance and inspiration.
Is there a parting thought you will leave us with?
“In the words of John Lennon, “all you need is love”.”
That’s a relief!
Thank you for sharing your time.
Best wishes with the re-opening of your new Shala. Peace be with you.