sandy beach
Community, Mental Health, Motivational

Exercise – I hate it, so I found a solution.

When you live in a hot climate, exercising is hard. The will to jog or pump iron in the blistering heat of a steamy summer’s day, is almost impossible to find.

Stradbroke Island
Adder Rock

Entering my fifth decade, I discovered that if I didn’t exercise regularly and followed my ever increasing sedentary lifestyle, my body and its joints quickly became stiff. The flexibility and mobility of my youth was lost. As we age, many of us find this loss might even become permanent, if we don’t find a way to move.

black and white sepia beach


Balance is also the first of our senses to deteriorate with the passing years, so it is vitally important to find a way to preserve that sense of balance, for as long as you can. How many older folks pass away or deteriorate after a fall and the consequential broken hip?

Gentle Exercise with Benefits

If you find the prospect of jogging or hard aerobic exercise unbearable, as I do, Yoga is the perfect way to begin an exercise routine and achieve some gentle movement, in your body. If you are able to devote a few minutes each morning or even three times a week, you will find that before too long, your body will begin yearning to stretch.

jump happy

Hatha Yoga

The best thing about Yoga is that it is designed for people of all ages and levels of fitness. The beautiful thing about Hatha or most styles of yoga, as opposed to the punishing regime of Bikram or hot yoga, is that it is not competitive. You work at your own pace, listening to your body, gradually encouraging it to stretch and strengthen when it’s ready.

Hatha Yoga practices are designed to align and calm your body, mind, and spirit.

But don’t think you won’t get any sort of workout in Yoga if you like something more challenging. You can choose to push your limits, if you are able, but you will do it gently and safely and calmly. No stress, no over reaching your body. Just gentle stretching.

Digestive Benefits

Practising Yoga not only keeps you fit and toned, but provides innumerable benefits to the internal systems of the body as well. The many forward bending asanas, or positions, stimulate digestion and elimination.

Calming the Nervous System

Twisting poses and backbends stimulate spinal nerves, benefiting the entire nervous system but please start out small, very small, if you haven’t exercised for some time.

Yogic stretches and accompanying breathing techniqes are one of the best way to calm an over-stimulated nervous system, and with regular practice, you’re find that you are able to relax and face life’s difficulties more easily. Inversions – even as simple as forward bending and touching you toes, pump up your blood circulation and can even counteract depressive feelings.

The ancient Yogis believed that holding a ‘downward facing dog’ posture for up to 30 minutes could cure depression! Perhaps that is a stretch, (no pun intended), but I think holding a pose like this, would certainly distract anyone from feeling bad about themselves, albeit temporarily!

What is the Secret?

The breathing exercises incorporated in yoga, bring increased oxygen to the blood, which then washes through the body’s cells, rejuvenating them from the inside out. It is the squeezing and releasing of muscles within the many physical poses that then creates many of the bodily benefits.


Yoga asanas may also affect the glands and regulate the production of hormones, something modern medicine finds difficult to control without nasty side effects. In fact, hatha yoga does wonders for all systems of the body and for your general immunity.

Even a small effort at this form of exercise is repaid almost instantly with increased feelings of well being.


With regular yoga practice, you will quickly notice how your body feels lighter, livelier and more limber.

Depending on the Yoga exercises you choose to do, you can focus on improving your balance, strength and/or flexibility and general mobility.

handstand on sandy beach

More subtle forms of yoga aid and prepare for a meditation that may relieve stress and benefit the body, mind and you, the soul.

Here is how to reduce stress via some simple meditations you can do at home.

For more specific poses for knee and back pain click here at this blog




Good Design Balance – A matter of Maths?

  • The Elements of Design Rhythm and Repetition. Rhythm is the repetition of design elements at regular intervals. This helps to give a composition visual harmony by creating unity in a layout.Examples include the repetition of similar shapes, colors or textures.

IMG_3281 (Small)In the above design, you can see some various lengths of stylized acanthus leaves, in the form of ‘s’ and ‘c’ shaped scrolls, repeated throughout the design. Can you also see the repetition of floral elements:  main flowers, heart shaped petals, and lilies, as well as the repetition of colour.

  • The Elements of Design Direction. The lines and forms that lead the viewer s eye through a composition are referred to as direction. Direction can help to create flow of how information is processed. (FLOW – rhythm in a design, everything going back to the root)

The following design has ‘flow’ and direction, but is it balanced in terms of colour? Rosemalingwork13

  • The Elements of Design Weight. Weight refers to the contrast in thick and thin lines within a layout. Variation in visual weight can add interest to selected areas of a composition and can help draw the viewer s eye through a piece of art, emphasizing important areas of information and de-emphasizing others. (Variation in liner-work and embellishments)

Telemark rosemaling

  • The Elements of Design Contrast. Contrast refers to any variation between elements within a composition, such as difference in weight, size and texture of a composition. (Differences in sizes of flowers/scrolls/elements)
  • The Elements of Design Balance.  Balance refers to the distribution of visual weight within a composition. Lack of balance disturbs the harmony of a composition. A work that is unbalanced visually creates tension. (Divide a round plate into 1/4s and ensure each colour in represented, and each elements in the design albeit different sizes, for rectangular designs see note re Rule of Thirds, below)
  • The Elements of Design. Symmetrical Balance. Symmetrical Balance is when elements are arranged in a mirror image of one another on the vertical or horizontal axis of a page. Also known as formal balance. This type of balance is often seen in the architecture of buildings.This is the most familiar type of balance to the viewer. Rogaland Rosemaling has such balance in its designs.
  • The Elements of Design. Asymmetrical Balance. Asymmetrical balance occurs when elements in a design are not arranged as mirror images on a page. Also known as informal balance.Can be created through the use of value, texture and size of elements within a composition.
  • The Elements of Design Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical Balance Piet Mondrian, Composition in Red, Yellow, and Blue (1930)- Very dark or saturated areas of color demand attention within a composition.An area of high contrast, even at a small size, will automatically draw the viewer s eye. (Especially the colour RED) Forms placed near the edge of a page can also draw more visual attention than forms placed directly in the center of a page.


  • The Elements of Design The Rule of Thirds.  The Rule of Thirds refers to the idea of dividing a composition into thirds based on a grid. The most important elements of the composition fall on the lines in between to create a strong composition.A slightly off center balance is more visually interesting and harmonious than an evenly centered composition.
  • The Elements of Design The Golden Mean. Golden Mean: Relationship between sizes that is pleasing to the human eye. This concept was first formally recognized by the ancient Greeks, and examples of the golden mean can be observed through Greek artwork and architecture. The Golden Mean or The Fibonacci Sequence is also one of the most elemental building blocks found in nature. The golden mean appears in everything from atomic structures to galaxies. Graphic designers can use these proportions to create work that instinctively looks right. The Fibonacci Sequence is also one of the most elemental building blocks found in nature. The golden mean appears in everything from atomic structures to galaxies. Graphic designers can use these proportions to create work that instinctively looks right. Proportions for the Golden Mean are based on the number Pi, in which measurements are approximately 1.618 times one another in a layout. In the example above, segment A is 1.618 times the size of segment B, and segment B is1.618 times the size of segment C.B and C added together equal the approximate length of segment A. This principle is based on the Fibonacci sequence, which is a series of numbers to denote proportions: 2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144,233, etc. Each number in this series is the sum of the two numbers proceeding it.  Each number in this series is the sum of the two numbers proceeding it. Keep in mind when adding elements to a design.
  • The Elements of Design. Design Harmony Design Harmony: The overall effect of design that is visually unified and in which elements flow together to make a successful layout. When all the elements of design work together in tandem, harmony is achieved.[Source:

IMG_3281 (Small)  Good luck and practise lots. Your designs will improve.

Good design should be pondered about