Matri Mater Omm is hosting the First Yoga and Art conference for Malta seeking to support the global Yoga and Sacred Art community and to connect with like-minded souls who share the same intention.
This conference will bring together experts from diverse fields: Business, Yoga, Science, Philosophy, Health and more…
The vision statement is:
The Key to Planetary Health is Human Health!
Can the planet be healthy if the individual is not??
This event will be held online and will feature plenty of inspiring and experienced people including Marius Govinda Zammit, Nik Keter, Claire Mangion, Jennifer Cortis, Svetlana Abela, Michelle Bartolo Yoga, @Gilbert Ross, Godwin Genovese and more.
Visit www.matrimateromm.com for more information.
Order your tickets NOW at https://matrimateromm.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0VwKGVbuwc
A day to turn inward with a small group of people. A day to meditate, do yoga, a day to reflect, hike and all of that in silence. Weather permitted some activities will be outdoors to enjoy a bit of sunshine too.
You will be guided by Monique and Michelle, yoga and meditation teachers in Gozo.
We will enjoy a vegan lunch together in silence too and at the end of the day we will break the silence with some tea, nibbles and sharing.
Michelle and Monique intend to offer silent retreats for one day or for a weekend at least once every three months. Both teachers also offer retreats for a long weekend or for a week, so feel free to reach out if you cannot make it this time, but if you would like to do a silent retreat some other time.
Our program for the 15th of January:
9:00 – 10:30 KriyaAsana Class with Michelle
10:30 – 11:00 Tea break
11:00 – 12:00 Meditation and Journalling
12:00 – 13:00 Silent Lunch
13:00 – 15:00 Silent Hike
15:00 – 16:15 Restorative Yin with Monique
16:15 – 17:00 Tea & Sharing Circle
To book, please send 90 euros to Monique or Michelle through Revolut. Message one of us for payment details. Yellow Rock Yoga Members and members of Michelle Bartolo Yoga will enjoy a discount and pay 75 euros.
Closing date for registration is 8 January 2022.

Welcome to my words, worldly creatures of the human kind….

December has begun – Is it just me or does it feel like the years fly by faster the older/wiser we become? heheee

At the end of each year we like to sit and reflect on what the past year was like for us – here’s some questions to instigate your mental rewind into 2021

* How did the year feel when it started ?
* What were your intentions & goals at the beginning of 2021?
* Did you follow through with them?
* Where did you do well and where could you have done better?
* What new things have you learned this year?
* How do you feel about the past year in general?

Let’s acknowledge ourselves for what deserves ‘a pat on the back’. On the other side of that coin we learn to  accept & send love into our shortcomings and be more aware of feeding them what they need next year.

The practice that gives me the most stability and teaches me to stick to the commitments I make is a morning practice, everyday – NO MATTER WHAT – it could be 5 minutes or 1 hour depending on the amount of time available.
Let’s create an anchor of stability, presence and balance.

As a special new year treat I’ve decided to invite all of you to my next 40 day Sadhana 

What is Sadhana?
It’s a practice of breath, movement and/or sound, meditation & kriyas. It can be just one of these elements or all of them.
WHY 40 DAYS?
In the Yogic tradition it’s believed that it takes 40 days to break any negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through breath, kriya or mantra.

These practices can be done at any time of day but it’s important to choose the same time of day. These sessions will be recorded so if you are in a different time zone and would like to join you can. You can also do them at the time that suits your schedule.

As a special gift for the holiday season I will be running this 40 Day Sadhana live on ZOOM as an Introduction to Sadhana for this one time special offering of 40 euros.

I will continue to run a few of these throughout the year – this one is for you to experience the beauty of these practices as a part of your everyday life. The practices will change weekly with breath, sound and movement practices that are all seated & suit all levels, meeting you where you’re at.

WhenJanuary 17 – February 25th
7.00 – 7.30am CET EVERYDAY

https://michellebartoloyoga.com/news/40-day-guided-online-sadhana-january-17-february-25th-2022/

“All sadhana is meant to purify the mind and make the mind one-pointed and inward so it can be directed toward the centre of consciousness within the inner chamber of your being. Physical growth is in the hands of nature; mental growth and spiritual growth are in your hands.” – Swami Rama

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With a hand to my heart I wish you all a season full of love from the inside out – spread it thick to those that need it and remember the higher way of service, love & forgiveness – all the best to you and your loved ones and out into the world 

Highlights:
Fire Earth & Ether are back with our FREE Soundbath Meditations
Here is Decembers practice for your relaxing pleasure – we will be sending one out each month for the winter season – enjoy 🙂
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFAUTUFWh-g&t=6s

My partner in life Marc Dold aka Mawk Phoenix has just launched a course on Udemy for Music Production – he’s professional, wise, experienced and makes it fun to learn & it’s incredibly affordable if you or anyone you know maybe interested
https://www.udemy.com/course/musical-architects/

MBY Offerings 2021/2022

KriyaAsana Classes LIVE ON ZOOM
Tuesdays 18.30 CET
Booking necessary
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/product/one-one-online-yoga/

Private Classes LIVE ON ZOOM 
in your space and at your designed for your individual needs
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/product/one-one-online-yoga/

Yoga, Art & Sound Workshop
Saturday December 11th | GOZO
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/news/yoga-art-sound-workshop-saturday-december-11th-gozo/

108 Sun Salutations for Winter Solstice
In person & LIVE ONLINE 
Tuesday December 21st
8 – 10 am CET
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/news/108-sun-salutations-for-winter-solstice-tuesday-december-21st-gozo/

A Day of Silence | 2022
January 15th | GOZO
9 – 5pm (lunch included)
email: info@michellebartoloyoga.com for more information

40 Day Sadhana | LIVE ONLINE
January 17 – February 25th  
7.00 – 7.30am CET
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/news/40-day-guided-online-sadhana-january-17-february-25th-2022/

MBY KriyaAsana 200 hr YTT 
Spring & Fall
https://michellebartoloyoga.com/news/40-day-guided-online-sadhana-january-17-february-25th-2022/

There’s a lot a person can learn by understanding the meaning and concepts of the unconscious and subconscious. In the best practices of diversity and inclusion, it will benefit us when we understand how our mind model work consciously, unconsciously, and subconsciously. Psychologists believe we’re able to navigate our emotions and reactions better when we’re able to understand the unconscious bias vs. subconscious bias.

Three main levels of mind models

There are three levels of the mind model – conscious, subconscious, and unconscious.

Briefly, consciousness defines our thoughts, actions, and awareness.

Subconscious is defined as the reactions and actions we realised when we think of it.

Unconscious is defined as the deep recesses of our past and memories.

What is Unconscious?

Contrary to the conscious mind, where we can and readily acknowledge feelings and cognition, we define unconscious as a deeper mental process. Scientists have agreed that it’s difficult and almost impossible to measure unconscious mind events because it’s not a neuroanatomical structure.

The unconscious is a process that happens automatically. Human’s conscious thoughts can’t examine this process because it occurs underneath the conscious awareness. However, researchers have hypothesised that the unconscious affects human behaviour.

According to Freud, the unconscious stores all repressed thoughts and feelings. These thoughts and feelings can manifest in both everyday and unexpected situations, often caused by a trigger. For instance, suppressed hatred towards one’s father’s alcoholism can be triggered by the smell of liquor.

It’s theorised that it’s difficult to measure the unconscious mind, but Freud believed we could access it through psychoanalytic therapy. Through psychoanalysis, the unconscious can be “lured” out because it’s thought to that repressed thoughts and feelings are the sources of many psychological issues.

Unconscious Behaviour examples

Examples of unconscious events include suppressed feelings, auto reactions, complexes, and concealed phobias. Historically, feelings, thoughts, and responses that are outside of a human’s consciousness were attributed to a divine’s role in dictating a motive or action.

The most common example of unconscious behavior is the Freudian Slip. It’s a phenomenon where a person makes a memory or a verbal mistake e.g. calling a spouse’s name by the ex’s name or using the wrong word for something.

Listeners often interpret these mistakes as the speaker’s hidden emotions. Even though they are seen as accidental, Freud believed it reveals more than what it seems. Supposedly, the slips show a much deeper and more real secret thoughts and feelings a person holds.

There have been some studies conducted to find the correlation between these verbal and memory mistakes to the unconscious. It’s theorised that the more suppressed thoughts and feelings a person has, the more likely he or she to commit verbal errors.

Another example, though more complex than a Freudian slip, is internalised racism. Psychologists and mental health professionals believe that even if we’re consciously against racist ideology, everyone is likely to have some conditioned  internalised racism.

It’s an unsettling thought, but by understanding and exploring our cultural make-up and upbringing, we might be able to confront racist conditioning. Conditioning is an essential factor in analysing to know where our unconscious behaviours stem from.

What is Subconscious?

The subconscious mind is a secondary mind system that regulates everything in our life. In psychological terms, we define subconscious as the part of our mind that is not currently in focal awareness. In simpler terms, it’s the barrier our mind makes because the brain is continually receiving information through our senses.

However, this barrier is not blocking everything. It stores the information in the brain for later retrieval. You may have heard the saying that our mind forgets nothing. The subconscious acts as a filter, so we’re not overloaded with stimuli from our environment.

Examples of Subconscious Behaviour

Subconsciousness allows us to do things we don’t have to think about, but we can alter them if we choose to. A good example of subconscious behaviour is breathing. We don’t have to think to breathe at all, but we can change how we control our breath and its pattern.

Other examples of the subconscious are subconscious memory or automatic skills. Pianists or typists don’t have to look at the piano keys or keyboard to know where the keys are. Automatic skill started as a learned skill, but as we repeat the movement, the executive function fades over time.

Resistance towards change is another example of subconscious behaviours. Survival is wired into our psyche, but sometimes our gut instincts may be harmful to us. Gut instincts are subconscious behaviour that tells us what to do and what not to do. However, gut instincts can be wrong sometimes.

We may assume that finding happiness is good, but the change that we need to make to achieve that happiness may cause us fear and pain. Fear and pain are not necessarily bad, but our subconscious may tell us otherwise and thus deterring us from making that leap.

The difference between unconscious and subconscious

The unconscious and subconscious are two distinct phenomena. The unconscious is a process that happens automatically and is not available for introspection. The subconscious, by contrast, is part of our consciousness process that is not actively in focal awareness.

You can derive the subconscious through introspection that you can likely identify your behaviour subconsciously, motivation, or impulse. The unconscious can’t be, for lack of a better word, “summoned.” For example, it would be much harder to derive or determine the point of origin for your deep-seated phobia, but you can easily alter the way you breathe.

It’s not uncommon for some to use the terms interchangeably because of their subtle differences. One of the easiest ways to understand them is by imagining an iceberg. What is visible is the conscious, while what lies below and deeper are the subconscious and unconscious.

An iceberg is larger than what the naked eyes can see when the entire structure is taken together. However, both the tip and what’s below exist more than what is noticeable. As much as the unconscious is not available to introspection, it’s possible to find its origin with the help of mental health professionals.

Conclusion

The study of the human psyche is interesting, both to professionals and layman. Understanding the unconscious vs subconscious can help us navigate our emotions and reactions better. When we can find the anchor of how we think and behave to what our brain has experienced, it may allow us to have better and healthy consciousness.

In our world of creating a diverse and inclusive society and workplace, it is critical and important for us to understand how we make decisions and judgement consciously, subconsciously, or unconsciously. At the end of the day, you are fully aware that there are too many types of diversity that could affect our decisions. Awareness is our first line of defence against discriminations and prejudice.

Keeping the tradition alive come join us for 108 Sun Salutations as different teachers on Gozo will each host their own event of 108 Sun Salutations on Tuesday December 21st for Winter Solstice in Gharb
Donation: 10 euros (all proceeds to the Gozo SPCA)
Booking is necessary
Typically yogis do 108 Sun Salutations. Surya Namaskar, the Sun Salutation, is a series of 12 postures performed in a single, graceful flow. Each movement is coordinated with the breath. The Sun Salutation builds strength and increases flexibility.
The 108 ritual is performed 4 times a year, with the start of each season, to acknowledge the changing world around us. It usually takes about 1 1/2 – 2 hours to complete.
What Happens on the Winter Solstice?
On the day of the winter solstice, we are tilted as far away from the Sun as possible, which means that the Sun’s path across the sky is as low in the sky as it can be. Think about the daily path of the Sun: It rises in the east and sets in the west, arcing across the sky overhead. During the summer, the Sun arcs high in the sky, but during the winter, it arcs lower, closer to the horizon.
Why 108?
The number 108 carries spiritual significance in many cultures:
108 is the number of “Upanishads” comprising Indian philosophy’s “Vedic texts”.
108 is the number of names for Shiva (a really important Hindu god).
108 is the number of names for Buddha.
108 is the Chinese number representing “man”.
108 is the number of beads on a Catholic rosary.
108 is the number of beads on a Tibetan “mala” (prayer beads, analogous to a rosary).
108 is twice the number “54”, which is the number of sounds in Sanskrit (sacred Indian language).
108 is six times the number “18”, which is a Jewish good luck number.
108 is twelve times the number 9, which is the number of vinyasas (movements linked to breath) in a Sun Salutation
108 is the number of Sutras in the Yoga Sutras.
1 stands for Higher Truth, 0 stands for Emptiness and 8 stands for Infinity.
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SaNamNamaste xx
I’m inspired to share such a potent practice with you all. The inspiration came to me through many students feedback stating they just didn’t have the discipline to stick to a consistent practice. I know how much I LOVE these 40 day Sadhanas and the beginning of the year is when I always do one so I thought I’d invite you all to join in.

I also realise the importance of having a daily practice and how much better I feel for it.

The Importance of Self-Discipline by RADIANT BODY YOGA, Kia Miller

‘Sadhana (personal practice) is the cornerstone of the practice of yoga and the process of self-transformation. There is truly no more valuable thing we can give to ourselves. It is this ritual of centring  ourselves within our SELF that enables us to walk through life with an open heart and with grace. Sadhana is a practice of self discipline, which leads to direct experience and an expansion of our awareness.

Our sadhana, our spiritual practice, needs constant vigilance; old habits can be hard to break. Therefore we need to develop the muscle of self-motivation and will. We need to be willing to set aside time and to attend to the inner experience with the same enthusiasm we may attend visiting a new country for the first time.

Get up with time to set up, set up by aligning your energy, attitude and commitment for the day, and keep it up day after day. This consistency gives us steadiness and excellence over time and prevents us from getting swept up in a reactive mode to things around us. This daily practice also allows us to maintain our radiance and impact in life

 

WHY 40 DAYS? 

In the Yogic tradition it’s believed that it takes 40 days to break any negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through breath, kriya or mantra.

I personally do a few 40 day practices / year and have done so for many years now. It gives me an anchor, a focus, peace & energy and so so much more. I feel balanced and when I’m done I feel so good that I stuck to my commitment for the whole 40 days which is what builds integrity of character –  keeping the word we make to ourselves, the most important and the most harmful to break.

Remember, a habit is a subconscious chain reaction between the mind, the glandular system and the nervous system. We develop habits at a very young age. Some of them serve our highest destiny. Some do not. By doing a 40, 90, 120 or 1000 day special sadhana, you can rewire that chain reaction. You can develop new, deeply ingrained habits that serve your highest good.’

 

We will work with a different practice each week. The practices will consist of small seated movements, pranayama (breathwork) and sometimes sound through using our voices to cleanse and clear our minds, bodies and spirits.

 

When:

January 17th – February 25th

7.00 – 7.30 am CET — EVERYDAY

Where:

LIVE ON ZOOM

Invest: 40 euros for 40 days

Payable via: Revolut +356 99670342 OR direct bank transfer

 

“All sadhana is meant to purify the mind and make the mind one-pointed and inward so it can be directed toward the centre of consciousness within the inner chamber of your being. Physical growth is in the hands of nature; mental growth and spiritual growth are in your hands.” – Swami Rama

 

Integration: Yoga Art Sound
Immerse yourself and enjoy (mutually beneficial) integrated practices of Kundalini Yoga, Active Sound Meditation and Therapeutic Arts.
Together we will experience holistic Mind-Body connectivity through this introduction into embodied art psychotherapy, energy arts through movement and Kundalini practices and therapeutic sound practices.
An energetic, healing practice where we will creatively and imaginatively explore
integration of our emotional self, our energy body, and connect to spirit and each other.
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Location: Gharb, Gozo (address given once booking is confirmed)
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Date: Saturday May 14th (vegetarian lunch included)
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Time: 10.00 – 17.00
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Invest: 90 euros
*Full payment secures your space
*Space is limited to 8
*Payments can be made via Revolut or direct bank transfer, contact Michelle
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About Us:
Michelle Bartolo / Yoga
Hola – I’ve been guiding yoga for 18 years through classes, privates, retreats and trainings. I now specialise in combining the practices of Vinyasa & Kundalini. My practice has sent me all over this wonderful world and more importantly has transformed the lives of many. I can keep going on about me but that’s not going to give you the experience – check it out for yourself as we practice Kriyas to give us a deep integration of the SELF.
www.michellebartoloyoga.com
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Eden Orfanos / Art Therapy
After many years of working within international aid and humanitarian missions, Eden has witnessed the healing potential of visual and expressive arts combined with energy arts practices.
Eden enjoys integrative modalities within her private practice and active workshops merging Embodied Art Psychotherapy, Trauma Sensitive Yoga and Trauma informed Expressive Art
Therapy.
Art(s) can be a panacea for social justice and personal insight allowing for narrative and connectivity, it is a universal language holistic for healing body and mind, and connecting to spirit.
https://www.edenarttherapist.com/…/A-creative-approach…
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Szilvia Bajada-Gardian / Sound
After teaching various movement disciplines for almost a decade, I received a special gift on my 30th birthday. It was a singing bowl, the first one of the many instruments I work with today.
This gift shifted something within me. I became interested in exploring the mindful aspect of movement. Moving in a way that makes us feel recharged rather than depleted.
Teaching Yoga and Pilates became the main focus of my work, alongside using singing bowls and gongs as tools for facilitating relaxation, meditation and the enhancement of general wellbeing of my clients.
During this workshop I will bring the sound of singing bowls, gongs, chimes to accompany us on our journey of INTEGRATION. We will explore some of the many ways their unique sounds and vibrations can move us. To create, to connect, and to realign.
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We look forward to welcoming you all and spending a day integrating with all that we are
SatNamNamaste
xx

The Quality of your Life Depends on the Quality of your Breath 

Greetings Compadres!
Fall has finally arrived here in Gozo with cooler temperatures and rain (yay) turning our landscape from shades of brown to green.

Fall has always been my favourite season. In the Yoga Tradition it’s believed that this is the Spiritual New Year. Fall’s theme is RELEASE and BALANCE of mind, body & soul.
What better way to do that than through your BREATH!

Ah the beloved breath! We wouldn’t be here without it – how much importance do you give it considering it’s keeping you alive?

Breath Check Practice:
* What is the quality, quantity and shape of each breath you take?
* Do you naturally breathe in and out from the nose or from the mouth?
* If you feel anxious, stressed, facing a challenge and/or conflict what happens to your breath?
* Can you feel that each inhale offers stimulation and each exhale relaxation?

I recently read a book I highly recommend called
Breath: New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
He uses a practice called Sudarshan Kriya which is a breath exercise from the Kundalini Tradition hailed as THEE breath practice to bring your body, mind and soul in balance.

Research has proved that this breath exercise has helped people with mental disorders come off their medications, helped asthma sufferers to no longer rely on inhalers, cured depression, ptsd, anxiety etc. It’s powerful and simple.

The eyes remain closed the entire practice
We use a breath called Ujjai pranayama where you restrict the breath coming in and out from the nose from the back of the throat. Kind of like fogging up a mirror but with your mouth closed and on both the inhale and the exhale.

Then it’s as simple as:
Inhale from the nose and count to 4
Hold the breath in and count to 4
Exhale from the nose and count to 6
Hold the exhale out and count to 2
REPEAT for 20-30mins for full benefit then rest in meditation

Here is a link to follow so you can focus on breath and not on counting, this is from the Art of Living

If you do practice this I’d love to hear your progress and experiences.

Our monthly workshops will continue through the winter!
Seeing that the Fall season is all about RELEASE we will work with a kirya set for SELF RELIANCE.
When practiced, this kriya helps us to connect with our internal compass to know the truth within. We connect with the infinite self upon which we can rely.
Radiance is blocked by fears. Fear comes with dependence. The only dependence that is acceptable is complete dependence on the Guru in YOU and wisdom, for that will lead to self-reliance vanishing all fears. If your self-reliance is strong, you are protected and those that are with you are protected.
The first exercise balances the aura, while putting pressure on the liver to stimulate cleansing; the second and third exercises open the heart centre to generate self-compassion and surrender of the ego to infinite wisdom; the fourth exercise increases circulation of blood in the liver; the fifth exercise directs the flow of sexual energy upwards and the sixth exercise brings the realisation that as a finite identity we dwell in infinite wisdom. This realisation develops Self-reliance. – KYT
Location: Gharb, Gozo
Cost: 60 euros payable via Revolut or Direct bank Transfer
Times: 11.00 – 15.30
* Includes a healthy vegetarian lunch
* Please advise of any dietary requirements
* Space is limited to 8 participants
SatNamNamaste
Michelle x

Finding Meaning

Good morning, good afternoon or maybe good evening to all of ye – September has arrived and here in Gozo we’re hoping the cooler temperatures will start soon as it’s been one HOT summer!
We did manage to jet set off the isla for a month to France, Switzerland & the Azores and I’ll never underestimate the inspiring power that travelling provides. Looking around with a new set of eyes as we set sights on natures magnificence, getting lost through streets we’ve never walked, sitting in cafes and watching all the lovely peoples, bathing in waterfalls, hots springs and the sea. Back home now refreshed and waiting for the weather to match. 🙂

The search for meaning becomes predominant for me when I travel.
Have you ever wondered about life’s meaning?
Do you ever find meaning through your challenges and/or conflicts?
Do you have a habit of giving everything you go through a meaning?
Do you ever make a situation into a story that means more than it really did?

Finding Meaning….

My niece recently recommended a great book called ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ written by Vicktor E Frankl. This man survived 3 concentration camps and as a psychiatrist he had a very interesting perspective as he watched how everyone dealt with the situation they were in. His conclusion is that those who made it through were the ones who could find MEANING through what they were experiencing. The ones who couldn’t, didn’t make it, they couldn’t see the point in going any further.

I like that kind of meaning machine. It leads us to growth and an eloquent way of seeing our challenging situations.
If LIFE were to ask you “What is the meaning of your LIFE?” would you have an answer?
If you don’t here is a breath practice to connect you deeper IN

A breath practice to bring you closer to you:
* In a comfortable seated position begin to notice your natural breath cycle
* Now begin to inhale and count to 5-6 the exhale to a count of 6-10
* Do this for a few minutes
* Once you’re comfortable with that begin to inhale and exhale for 5-6 seconds and hold the inhale in for 3-6 seconds and then hold the exhale out for 3-6 seconds.
* Do this for a few minutes
Then release, come back to your natural breath and notice how everything feels.
The slower our breath the more in tune we become.
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Here’s a talk I found informative, inspiring and forward thinking from one of my favourite doctors who is also an environmentalist – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOmPHFiOMxI

Wishing you all a lens that allows you to see the bigger picture
SatNamNamaste & thanks for reading!