When our body is out of alignment, we often experience pain or discomfort. When our mind loses connection with our spirit, we miss the clarity and the deep sense of knowing. Living in our 21st century often means we become more reactionary and working at a pace that is hard to keep up without losing our spiritual centre. That’s why yoga or meditation are becoming increasingly popular as many of us have experienced these effective practices. They help us to get still, stay calm & centred and block out distractions.
In my interview with Belinda O’Dea, we discussed what is a yogic lifestyle and how it helps us to stay in alignment. We talked about how to become more productive and creative when we follow our own monthly cycle or moon cycle. It is truly about embracing our feminine power and nurture ourselves with centring spiritual practices. She also shared with us her journey to transition from a successful designer to become a yogini (a female yoga practitioner), spiritual teacher and mentor.
Belinda O’Dea is a heart-based certified Yoga & Meditation Teacher in Hatha, Mantra, Tantra, Vinyasa and Yin yoga. She is also an accomplished fashion designer and she is passionate about yoga, travel and wellness. She is an experienced Women’s Circle Leader where she creates a safe, welcoming and inspiring space for all women to participate, to feel the connection and the importance of the sisterhood. She also offers personal or business 1-1 mentoring and these beautiful circles for women both online and in-person.
- Her Goddess Journey: The changeover from fashion accessories designer and buyer into a yogini (female yoga practitioner), leading women retreats, Goddess circles and mentoring.
- Transformation takes time to develop and deepen, allow your curiosity and inner wisdom to guide you
- Finding life purpose vs. fulfilling a goal
- What keeps us going when the going gets tough? When and how can we decide to take a risk in order to pursue our dreams?
- The process of shredding and unlearning, then learning and sharing. There is no overnight success, but only overnight recognition of all the work prior to achieving your success
- The yogic lifestyle is more than just doing yoga on a mat as a physical aspect, it is living in that connectedness and alignment
- Living as a yogini with two main concepts: Ahimsa – non-violence and non-harming and Satya – Truthfulness.
- Female energy force – Shakti – is our creative force. Knowing how to be connected and contain our own feminine energy.
- Living in Alignment – Ayurveda and Self-Care retreat in India
- How being spiritual and keeping up with spiritual practices can make you more effective and productive
- Working along with your menstrual cycle or moon cycle for maximum creativity and productivity
If you would like to connect with Belinda, experience her wonderful goddess circles online or in-person, please go to her website:
or you can find her on social media @yogatravelwellness
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|Sze Wing:||Okay. Hi, everyone. I’m so excited to introduce you to my guest today. Today I got Belinda O’Dea with me. She’s a heart-based certified yoga and meditation teacher with over 800 hours of yoga teacher training. She’s certified in Hatha, Mantra, Tantra, Vinyasa, and Yin yoga, which is so many styles. And actually, I think I’ve tried almost all of them. Anyway, I got introduced to Belinda through a common friend who’s also a yoga teacher and she told me that Belinda’s doing a lot of Goddess work. So, of course, I jumped on the opportunity to chat with Belinda, and I think it’s so awesome to have her to be on my podcast as I’m writing a Goddess book, the second Goddess book, and I’m doing all our podcast to Goddess. So little bit more introduction on Belinda. She’s originally from Australia and currently a citizen of the world. I’ve heard that she lived in a suitcase the last five years and before that, obviously, she have lots of yoga training, but she’s also accomplished fashion designer. She’s passionate about yoga, travel and wellness and that’s why she now takes women on beautiful retreats several times a year to North India, South India and Japan, which I’m going to ask her more about it because it sounds really fun and exciting. And she’s also experienced Women’s Circle leader and I definitely want to ask her more about it because I think the community of support is so important for women, and I know she create a safe, welcoming, inspiring space for people to participate, to feel connected. And I think that’s something we really need. And she also offer personal business, one-to-one mentoring and so that’s a lot of work she’s doing. So really excited to have you in my show. So welcome, Belinda.|
|Belinda:||Thank you. I’m really happy to be here.|
|Sze Wing:||Fantastic. So as I.|
|As mentioned before, Cate Pearson, who was also on my podcast probably couple months ago, she was the one that introduced us and she told me about your work, which is really a lot to do with hosting the Goddess circle, providing the space, so of course, I jumped on the opportunity. Now before we get into what you do now, what you do now and how you take people on their journeys, I’m curious to know how did you move from working in fashion design to teaching yoga, running retreats and mentoring women? What was your journey? Tell us a little bit about your background story.|
|Belinda:||Yeah. Sure. Well, it was probably quite a tumultuous changeover if I think about the merging from fashion into spiritual life, which is really the way that I live now, and all of the things that I share come from that spiritual aspect of being a yogini, which is the female yoga practitioner. So I see everything that I do as aspects of yoga. But obviously, I had a successful career in fashion design. My last big role in Australia was at Alannah Hill. I was the accessories designer and buyer for many years. And then I had another big role in Asia where I was an accessories designer for an international company. So I had a lot of me was revolving, in those days, was revolving around ego and success and materialism, and it’s kind of the opposite to how I am now. So there was quite a long transition. I was thinking about it earlier and it’s probably– it was at least five years of this slow change of shedding layers and kind of rediscovering an essence of me that was there when I was a fashion designer but was– has also trying to– it’s definitely evolved into something much more less oriented towards success and more oriented towards helping others and just finding the tools that have transformed and changed and empowered my life and then sharing those with other women. But that’s, yeah. I can tell you it was not a smooth journey. It was quite hard to shed the ego in the early days because I was geared for success and achievement and even being a name in fashion is something that is very different from being a presence that’s in the yoga world, so yeah.|
|Sze Wing:||That’s really interesting because lately I’ve been obviously doing a lot of research for my book and I think one thing really struck me about women finding the passion or purpose. It’s not like oh, so you wake up and you find this calling and then you spin your world around it. I found that often it’s that you got curious about something or you think something needs to change. And you need to investigate, discover and you need to develop it a bit more. As you said, the transition took years because you know something it’s there. You don’t know quite what is the form and shape. And you know something needs to change but it’s a step -by -step process and takes time.|
|Sze Wing:||And I think there’s a deepening process in which not a lot of literature that we read like say in the coaching world. There’s a lot of discovery and development. I think the deepening piece is actually the hardest but essential because your transition requires a period of deepening so that you know eventually there’s a purpose, which is probably a more life-long pursuit over a goal that is not just for yourself but also the bigger meaning for others. And that takes time to develop. Very few would just say, I woke up and I want to make a difference in the world and can articulate in what way you can contribute, in what way that interests you or you’re capable of.|
|Sze Wing:||So I think that’s in way a beautiful journey. But if you didn’t take the step to shred the layers, you won’t come to where you are today. But it’s definitely a process and it’s never– I haven’t heard anyone necessarily will have a transition very rapidly unless something like a crisis. That is slightly different. You got shattered. But often it’s a slow period until you realise what is your calling. And it’s never very clear at the beginning. I don’t think when you start taking your first yoga class, you said, “I’m going to change my life forever!|
|Belinda:||Absolutely not. In fact, in all honesty, it was a 12-year transition. So I would say this year, I just turned 42 last year. I’m 42 and a half now. We have 12-year cycles. And if I look back and of course it was the end of a decade, so I reflected on the last decade, at the end of last year. And this transition was five years. It was quite tumultuous because my sense of self was embedded in my fashion career. But the universe had different ideas for me. So I fought against that for at least the first three or four years because I mean, I knew I had an affiliation with yoga and I knew I had an affiliation with philosophy and I started to get into it. And I had found yoga when I was 20, just at the beginning of my fashion career. And then I let it go because I was busy and becoming successful. And travelling the world as a fashion designer. And so, if I look at the time, about this year it’s 12 years, so the last 7 years I’ve merged out of that cocoon of difficulty that was the first 5 years, where I was really didn’t know. And, of course, I knew I was interested in yoga, but I didn’t know that I would end up running amazing programs in India and Japan for women only. That seed wasn’t there. But in some respects, that seed was there from the beginning of my life because all of the things that I do now are a conglomeration or an accumulation of everything that I’ve done up until now. So even that undoing process of that five years of a changeover, where I finally understood, by the end of about five years, “Oh. I’m moving into something different now. I can let go of what I was doing before.”|
|Sze Wing:||Becoming ready as well, I suppose?|
|Sze Wing:||I’m curious that listening to your journey of transition, so within the five difficult years, because it’s quite a contrast, in what you do. Like some people may have a more merging approach, but your interests or lifestyle would be quite different. So in those hardest years, what keeps you going on and not giving up? I mean, giving up, I don’t mean that at all. I’m not going to develop this knowledge of doing yoga anymore. I don’t mean that. I mean, giving up as in you know there’s something you need to pursue, even at the risk of closing that chapter of your fashion career. You kind of knew what that’s coming, but times were hard– sometimes we don’t have evidence so quickly to show, well, that could make a living, that could be my next 10 years. Before we can see and anchor that belief, what kept you moving on and knowing you may risk it all?|
|Belinda:||Well, in all honesty, I think there were several years there that I was just in survival. But the thing that kept me going was this reignited passion and love of yoga that I had touched on when I was younger, but then let go, and knew that I wanted to come back to. So as soon as I came back to it, only as a hobby, and a passion, that was something that became my focus in my life. So I took on other jobs to make money to pay for things, and to survive. So as far as survival, I mean that monetarily, I was just surviving. I’d come from a successful fashion career, and then I came back to Australia from a big job in Asia and the global financial crisis had hit. And I did get a couple of big roles, but a few major things happened. So the first one, I was in a car accident, and so I was injured, and I wasn’t able to continue to work. And then the second big role that I got, I was fired after three months because I wasn’t a cultural fit. So these were huge kind of points in the crossroads for me, where I started to understand, in a difficult way, “Oh, maybe this is not what I’m supposed to be doing anymore.” But what underlined everything was that– so I, of course, I found other ways of making money, and obviously pay the bills.|
|Belinda:||So I found other ways of making money to pay the bills, but all along I just kept going to yoga classes. And I started going to workshops. And then I started volunteering at the yoga school nearby me doing karma yoga and offering myself as a service to this yoga school. It just began from there. So it was like this seed of interest and passion and joy that I was getting in my personal life from my hobby which they say if you’re stuck on what your life purpose is, you can start to look at things that you really enjoyed doing when you were a child. So this type of– I’ve always– was a very kind of introverted, quiet, introspective type of child and very creative. And I was a ballerina. So all of those things kind of– when I started doing yoga, they were all things that really, really had me feel a sense of purpose that I’d had as a child as well. So it was exciting for me just to have that going in my personal life.|
|Belinda:||I was just plodding away, and then organically things evolved. But it’s not like I had success in a new area anytime soon. It took a really long time to re-establish myself in a new way, and it’s continually changing, as you said, as I deepen into my– as I continue to deepen through my practices and my areas of interest as they change. It’s just a continual process of shedding and unlearning and learning and sharing. So yeah, long answer, but that’s kind of how I got there.|
|Sze Wing:||Yeah, not to discourage anyone, but those who believe after a week-long or weekend certification of any modality and then you’re going to score a client and then you can quit your job the next day, it usually doesn’t work that way. As I said, deepening is actually the hardest because you know something else is there you need to pursue, you feel like “I need to harness my skill or my knowledge” or even know what that is you want to do may take time to articulate. So you write a book and you think you’ll become an instant bestseller. There are instant bestsellers, but, actually, if you look at those people’s life, they’ve done a lot of work in themselves or in the world to deepen their contribution and then they’ve become instant bestseller. So that’s really important.|
|Sze Wing:||And I think a lot of women can identify with it because let’s say for me having a baby right now, you have nine months of nurturing. There’s always a period of becoming. It’s never overnight. But I think it’s rewarding in some way because as you plod along, tiny step at a time, you really appreciate yoga. You really appreciate everything you’ve learned, the people you’ve met. It’s kind of like if you didn’t have that process, you wouldn’t be the teacher you are today.|
|Sze Wing:||If suddenly from a big fashion job you jump into big yoga teaching job, what’s the journey? What’s the becoming, right?|
|Belinda:||Yeah. And there’s so much journeying even in becoming a yoga teacher. I mean, you reeled off all of the different types of training that I’ve done. I think most people’s foray into yoga – and it was the same for me – is the physical aspect, but now the type of yoga that I teach is the yoga of living a yogic lifestyle. So it’s not just when you get on the mat, it’s in every single aspect of your life. So becoming present, more aware, more conscious of what you do. Including, the types of relationships that you have, what you eat, what type of environment you live in, what type of things you surround yourself with. They’re all, for me, now that’s all yoga. There’s no separation of, I go and do yoga. It is I am yoga and yoga is me and yoga is everything that I do. And you can speak about yoga being a connectedness, so being connected to that purpose that we talked about that was a seed in my childhood. It was also a seed in those dark days when I didn’t know that was where I was going to go. But it was there as enjoyment, as a passion, and in those days, yes, it was mostly going to yoga classes and practising meditation, and feeling better every time I– I mean, I don’t think there’s anybody that goes to yoga and walks out of a class and says, “I feel worse for having gone to that class.” You always feel better in yourself, you feel more centred, more aligned.|
|Belinda:||So, yeah. Yoga now, for me, is a lifestyle. And that’s what I share in my mentoring. And that’s what I share in my retreats. One of my retreats is called Living in Alignment. Which is an Ayurveda and self-care retreat in South India. Ayurveda’s is the sister science of yoga. And I like to say now that I think if Ayurveda, which it’s the Chinese medicine of India, so the herbal medicine and the lifestyle aspects that come from India. So Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga. Yoga’s in the middle. I think the other sister, maybe even the prettier sister, is women’s circles. And that’s another area that I’m really passionate about these days.|
|Sze Wing:||Yeah. So I need to dig deeper into each of this area. Because I need to think it was a very good say what to ask you about yogi lifestyle. Because I didn’t know until today, yogini, it’s a woman yogi. So you touch on the yogini lifestyle. But can you tell us a little bit more, in the sense that you mentioned? So it’s about living in alignment, I suppose it’s connecting your body, mind, and spirit. So can you tell us a little bit more? Like more tangible things that you tend to see people who are living in a yogini lifestyle ? Say, you look after your health, you do your yoga practise on a mat, you do meditation, you eat according to your dosha? I don’t know. Tell us a bit more exactly what includes if we say, “You got a yogini lifestyle.”|
|Belinda:||A yogini lifestyle. So a yogini is a female yoga practitioner. Commonly misunderstood, lots of classes you’ll hear mostly all females and they’re called yogis. You can be called a yogi but yogi really is a man.|
|Sze Wing:||I didn’t know that, so that’s really cool.|
|Belinda:||A female yoga practitioner, so I like to identify as a yogini and I teach yogic lifestyle, and I live the yogic lifestyle. And what that means is that– if we look at the Yoga Sutra which are kind of the threads or the base principles of yoga. Then the two main important ones are two concepts and one is– you probably heard them. One is Ahimsa, which is non-violence or non-harming . And then the other one is Satya, which is truthfulness. So, Ahimsa, if we look at it in the very basic aspects, it’s why most yogis, yoginis keep a vegetarian diet. So we don’t want to harm other animals or other beings in order to sustain ourselves. So that’s one basic way of living a yogic lifestyle. Living as a yogini, for me, means that I have daily practices, that keep me centred in myself. And the practises that I have are journalling practise in the morning when I wake up, and meditation practise. And those two together take about an hour. Then I’ll do a physical yoga practise during the day or I’ll go out for a walk in nature. So I try to stay connected to the rhythms both inside of myself so my menstrual cycle, the moon that resides inside of me. And I also try to stay in touch with of course the cycles of nature. The sun and the moon, sunrise, sunset, and also the seasons which are really important. And so I try to have an awareness, a consciousness about everything that I do. So maybe before I start most things I have a moment of connection to myself. I try to remain centred, I try to keep awareness in my body because of the body– if we look at the idea of truthfulness, the Satya. The body never lies so the sensation within your body, you stay connected with that. You can generally know how you’re tracking so it gives you great signals as to whether you need to slow down or whether it’s danger or what have you.|
|Belinda:||So I use a lot of connection in with myself and the sensations within my body and trying to stay within my body. Because, as women, we tend to be very– we’re known as Shakti, the female energy. So the Shakti, which is an amazing force, is what creates life. As you’re pregnant, you’re creating life in your body and life will come through your body. So it’s the most beautiful, creative process in the world. So that energy is a beautiful thing but it’s very chaotic as well if it’s not contained by masculine energy. So I know, for myself, and for most women I’m sure you can identify with this. That our energy tends to be going outside of ourselves constantly, all day long. So especially as nurturers and natural givers of nurturing to others. We often have that energy get dispersed outside of ourselves and we don’t take any time to draw the energy back in and centre ourselves. So we often feel we’ll get to the stage where we’re burnt out or we’ve overdone it or we don’t know how to stop|
|Belinda:||or we get PMS, or frantic, or start having reactionary ways of being. So there are all the things that living as a Yogini or yogic lifestyle. In many ways, those things are harmful to us, right? So that’s not practising non-harm by over-running our systems. So we’re trying to stay connected enough most of the days so that we don’t go too much into that extreme over-drive. It doesn’t mean that we don’t still-achieve and create and have a lot of purpose in what I do and do a lot of things. But trying to do them with more consciousness. And of course, foods a major thing. Getting enough rest is also another major thing. But probably the main thing with the daily practices and staying connected to the cycles of nature. Both within myself and nature that surrounds me.|
|Sze Wing:||Lovely. It sounds so good just to listen to your lifestyle. I don’t know. It brings me calm and peace and centredness. And I get it– one thing I like to point out is about the misconception about “spiritual” people or practices. ‘That’s for the spiritual people. Or people who have spiritual practices. I don’t have all day hanging around and got nothing better to do.'” And so they can be meditating yogi, practising this and that, or writing journal and all that. Actually, what I think people often have this connotation is that, when we have that practices or centredness, they tend to think spiritual people either have lots of time or they kind of don’t have enough productive hour to do work. Actually, the contrary. I think I’m way more efficient, productive, by being able to centre myself. So I have my own practices as well. Maybe, everybody has different style and time and when do you do it and how do you do it. But I actually think the more centred and spiritual I have become through the years, the more productive, effective, and not doing things that don’t serve me, doing useless stuff. And I don’t waste as much time. So I always say, the person tend to think they’re spiritual and grounded and they seem to spend too many hours meditating. Actually, they can still write 10 books a year, for some reason. It’s not false. It’s true. And you’re just more productive, and you just don’t do things that you’re going to delete or useless later. I don’t know. Do you have that feeling that some people have? This misconception? But it’s actually not true. Spiritual people can be very productive.|
|Belinda:||Yeah. I mean, I think there are two camps. I think there are spiritual people that are shown the spiritual path. And they’re doing that outside of regular society. So they’re living in ashrams or removing themselves from the needs to have a regular job and pay the rent etc, etc. But, for sure, I definitely feel it, myself– I can see it in other people, where, not just other people, in people in general. If you have a yoga practice or a centring practice of some sort, a spiritual practice, then you have the ability to concentrate for longer. And the biggest issue that we’re having these days, because of things like smartphones and being engaged and being reactionary all the time, with having notifications and things on. People’s ability to concentrate, it’s a very small amount. So the effectiveness when people are working, for sure, is not as effective as someone that has a centring practice, like meditation or mindfulness, or anything else that keeps you very centred in what you’re doing. So I absolutely agree with you. I’m much more productive. And because I keep an awareness of how I’m tracking when I’m not productive – and there are unproductive times in my menstrual cycle, and I do run my business in alignment with my cycle – that I now don’t schedule things that I need to be really productive on. So I do a lot of production when I’m in the energy of having the ability to concentrate and kind of churn things out. And when I don’t have that energy, then that’s when I schedule other things, like contemplation or my creative projects. So I think, yeah, for sure, it’s a misconception. And it’s an unfortunate reality of society now, that we are very distracted and very unable to concentrate. You see it in restaurants. Even couples can’t concentrate on a five-minute conversation with each other without checking in on their phones and getting distracted.|
|Sze Wing:||Yeah. I completely agree with you. So when I work on my book or doing some serious creative brainstorming or writing, I turn off everything. I won’t have internet. I won’t have anything. I just spend the two hours doing it, but I churn out a lot more. And it’s funny, someone called me today in the middle of the day, and from her question, I think she expects that I must be seeing emails constantly. And I actually only check email maybe two or three times a day, just so that I know I keep on top of things. But I don’t let it– some people check their emails way too frequently throughout the day, so they get distracted as you said. And actually, I realized she probably thinks I’ll be looking at it constantly, so when she sends something, immediately it will be in front of my eyes. But it’s not like that. Not everyone lives like that. So I love what you said about concentration. And I really want to follow-up on what you said just a little bit earlier on about you checking with yourself, but also work along with the moon cycle, or menstrual cycle. And I’m the same. I mean, it’s a great time to compare notes, now. Because what I do is that I am pregnant, so I have no menstrual cycle, but I just follow the moon cycle, as such. But maybe you tell us a little bit more about how you work or type of work that you think is most suitable during this cycling of the moon. Because I think we may be probably following similar astrology. So I think people would love to know because this is very, very cool.|
|Belinda:||Yeah. It is a cool concept. So those two things, I think, even just to reference your idea about productivity as well, just to backtrack to talking about others, I also follow a lot of the similar things that you’re talking about. My phone is always on silent. I don’t have any notification. So I’m pretty much only ever ringing people back because I don’t normally answer when I get a phone call. And then that way I’m able to respond to things, rather than react. So I find that that’s beneficial, for me to be able to stay in the center within myself. And I also have one practice that’s like a religion to me, and that is on Saturday night, I turn all of my devices off. So my laptop and my phone, I turn them off, and I don’t turn them on again until Monday morning. And sometimes, it’s been extending into Monday afternoon now, because I’m trying to extend it out to try and have two days a week. And I call that my sacred Sunday, it’s my absolute favourite day of the week because it also gives me the awareness of how dependent we are on using technology and what a relief to the nervous system it is when we take a break from it. So I don’t let a week go by without taking that break. And I have done more extended periods overseas on trips where it’s been up to 10 days of just turning everything off. And I do encourage my ladies to do that when they come on the retreat with me. But in reference to talking about living in accordance with the old moon cycle, the moon cycle or your menstrual cycle within you and doing business according to that.|
|Belinda:||So I told you I have a daily journaling practice. So in my journaling practice, I write the date and I also write the day of my cycle in order to keep a track of it. And then any main things on that day of the cycle. So I’m on day eight today which just means I’m coming up to my fullest amount of energy, which is a great time to be speaking to you and be in the public eye. So day one is when we start to bleed and that’s our quietest time of the month. Well, it should be our quietest time of the month if you’re tracking and aware of your cycle. Unfortunately, in our culture and the way that we’ve been initiated into menstruation, there’s a lot of negativity and taboo even still around the whole menstruating process.|
|Belinda:||So many women still don’t understand that it’s a massive opportunity to tap into a really big pot of gold and information about yourself in order to know yourself even deeper and to live life with more ease. So if we break the menstrual cycle roughly into four weeks, they can be called four weeks like four seasons. So the first week is the week that we bleed. And ultimately that’s the time when we retreat. So it’s our inner winter. So if you think about winter and the kind of what that makes you feel like, you want to rug yourself up and go into yourself. You’re not really feeling like having any conversations or being around other people. You want to have a little book, a nice cup of tea and just be quiet and with yourself.|
|So that’s week one, in the winter. Week two, we’re coming into spring. So think of spring It’s exciting, there are some beautiful flowers starting to bloom. Your estrogen is rising, so you’re starting to feel really good about yourself. You’re wanting to be out in the world more. And then the peak of this spring turns into summer. So we would say the peak of spring into summer is when we ovulate so that the peak of our month. And after ovulation, our summer is also beautiful into late summer.|
|Belinda:||And then we go– so if we think about energetics, winter, don’t really want to do anything. But very creative time, the darkness of the winter. Spring and summer, really outwards, energetic, can achieve and do a lot of things. And then autumn, starting to descend back into the quiet time again. Maybe need to finish a few things off and then prepare to be able to take time off during winter again when you start to bleed. That’s kind of the energetics and that’s definitely the way that I live with my cycle and how I track daily and weekly. And also, I’m able to track the work projects at the right times of my month. So obviously getting onto speaking in public, hold and posting events, all of those things I try to do at the peak of my cycle, so in spring and summer. Even autumn is okay. And I try not to have to do too much in my winter because the repercussions of not taking a rest during your bleeding time are that next time in your autumn, your premenstrual symptoms will be much, much stronger if you didn’t take a rest in the winter. So if we think of our menstrual cycle as the barometer of our well-being, as the report card of how we did for the last month, it all shows up the next month, as far as PMS, if you weren’t able to take a rest. And I have to say that in working with a lot of women, that slowing down and taking a rest is the biggest problem [laughter].|
|Sze Wing:||Yeah, I know. I know. Even I talk about this myself and I do think sometimes I realise probably I think I’m resting, but I’m probably doing a little bit too much. But I got a– two, actually, questions, one big, one small probably. So the first question is so let’s say people like myself who is pregnant or people in menopause, so do we map it– I mean, I’m guessing because this is what I would explain to people who ask me will be I’m mapping my menstrual similar to the moon, so your winter will be the dark moon or the new moon and then waxing, full moon, and then winding will be your second and third week, your spring and summer. And then when it comes to autumn, it’s going again, winding, winding furthermore into the dark moon again. Is it roughly just saying– would that be how you will advise if someone like me or in menopause?|
|Belinda:||Yeah. Yes. Absolutely. So if we’re in menopause or even in perimenopause where the cycles are erratic and you can’t really track very easily, or postmenopause, then definitely. And pregnant, with the cycle of the moon, so that’s absolutely correct understanding. So when we cycle with the moon, we cycle with how we would have traditionally cycled with the moon. So in the olden days when we were less affected by hormones and synthetic light, artificial light, and we lived in communities more and we had this concept of the red tent. So nomadic communities where all of the women would menstruate at the same time so they would go into the red tent and spend a few days off, which is actually a tradition that’s still honoured in India interestingly. So it’s pretty common for women to take the first few days off so that even if you’re– especially if you’re a housewife, someone else in the house will take over your duties and you’ll take complete rest for two or three days. So yeah, but if we look at the moon cycle related to the inner moon, then traditionally, as you’ve said, it’s full moon represents ovulation, where I’m close to, coming into the light and wanting to be out in the world, and then the new moon, the dark moon represents that quiet, inner time, very creative time, that dark mystical time was kind of the in-between lands, the mystical, luminal time of receiving messages. That’s definitely the new moon time. But what we’re finding, and it’s still– even I track the moon cycle with my [moon?] a cycle, if you know what I mean. And what we’re finding is that many women now, because they’re always overdoing it, have flipped their cycles. So they tend to be bleeding at a full moon, which makes you feel a bit crazy because you’ve got all of this big energy happening in nature, and you’re trying to have this quiet time within yourself. And likely, you may not even be aware that you need that to be your quiet time, so you’re overdoing it. So we have this, and that’s what’s called a red moon. So there’s this idea of red moon and white moon, and the white moon is the traditional model used by [inaudible], and then, the red moon is when we bleed at the full moon. So it’s this kind of signal that we’re doing too much, and we’re not listening to our bodies, and we’re not living with the rhythms of nature that reside within us because we are different on every single day, as women. We’re not balanced and even. Our hormonal differences and changes happen daily with, of course, those big peaks and troughs in the cycle that are really obvious, so.|
|Sze Wing:||So interesting. I love it. And ultimately, I’m guessing that one should probably be slowed down and wondering why you’re flipping 180 degrees to have the red moon? Probably, the signalling may be a bit to nurture your body or slow down or rest some more, and, it’s so interesting. Once I get my cycle back, I will definitely track it. Oh, the other thing I want to ask you was about travel. So when is good for travelling? Because I’m really good about the creative department, and to thinking and reflecting what I’ve learned. I get that really clear, or starting project, finishing it, meeting people, socialising podcasting. But what about travelling? What would be a good time for that?|
|Belinda:||Well, I mean, many women notice that their cycles change when they do travel. They notice it because it does create some disturbance. If you have an airy nature within you, which comes from Ayurveda, the different doshas. And I am Vata dominant, and most people have a Vata dominance these days because they are externally getting engaged with things so much, with being on technology all of the time. And then, the best time is, of course now, for me. It’s when you’re in spring, summer, even autumn. Ideally, you don’t do anything in your winter. So, I think, if there’s any kind of– there’s no problem in women having a red moon. Our cycle changes constantly. You may have an average length of your cycle, but it will fluctuate within a few days, and sometimes quite extremely depending on what’s happening in your life. So it’s always an indicator of what’s happening in your life. So if there’s only one takeaway from talking about cycling with the moon is that if you can learn to take a rest, and I know it’s not realistic for many women, who are holding space for children and partners and businesses, to take one or two or the first three days off. But to find some personal time, where you can remove yourself from responsibility and just be with yourself and do nothing, is the biggest thing you can do for yourself in order to charge or give energy to the rest of your cycle. So in particular, because how common is PMS, right? It’s a really big issue, and it doesn’t feel good to the woman going through it. It doesn’t feel good for the people in the woman’s life that live with her. And so if we can start to remedy that a little bit by just taking some time out during bleeding time, then that’s some big magic that can happen in women’s lives.|
|Sze Wing:||Yeah. I think it’s actually perfect that way, to wrap-up today’s talk, and, I think, I learned a lot from you. I hope people will enjoy this podcast or video if they watch it. But okay, so ladies wrapping up. Your homework is to look at your cycle, or if you’re not cycling, then check out the moon, and maybe consider mapping it whatever way is possible for you. I mean, we talked about a lot of different things that may be better to do in certain times. I mean, if you have to like, plan a party, then maybe try and not to do it during the winter or the rest days. So that’s little things that may make a difference, so. So now, I know we actually touched on a lot of things. So I know you take people to retreat. You mentor people. So if people want to connect with you online, what is the best way they can find you?|
|Yeah. My website’s the best, and that’s my name belindaodea.com. On Instagram, I’m @yogatravelwellness, and I’m also on Facebook. So I’d love to connect with everyone. And if I wanted one message to be given to all the women that are listening, it would be– please give yourself permission. Give yourself permission to rest. Give yourself permission to slow down. And give yourself permission to say, “No.” And those things will really change your life and help you to live in a more centered and peaceful and happy, and yeah. That’s all from me.|
|Well, thank you so much. And I will put your website and your social handle at the bottom of the blog post. Thank you so much for today. It’s such a wonderful time, and hopefully we will maybe do another one about things we didn’t touch on like women’s circle, like your travel and wellness retreat. What goes on within those retreat and all that stuff, so thank you so much.|
|Belinda:||Thank you so much|