My Top Five – September

1) Pana chocolate       One of my yoga teacher’s recently introduced this to me. Raw, vegan, intensely chocolatey and a little bit fudgy, it is hands down the best chocolate I have ever eaten, vegan/raw or otherwise. Coconut and goji is my favourite, though it also comes in yummy orange, mint, cinnamon and with nuts. And when it’s full of ingredients like coconut oil and raw cacao, you can almost convince yourself it’s good for you too!

2) Coconut milk yoghurt      I recently gave up dairy (again) but needed something to replace my beloved Jalna yoghurt. Enter Coyo. Rich and creamy, it’s marketed as being heaven in a mouthful. And oh! How it is! Somehow food tastes even better when you know it’s cruelty free.

3) Yoga retreat    There’ll be a proper post on this soon, but it was such an amazing, inspiring weekend that it deserves a place in my top 5. Yoga, meditation, delicious food and beautiful bushland all combined to create a blissful, internet/television/radio-free retreat, in the truest sense of the word.

4) Finishing my yoga teacher training    Again, a proper pose coming soon, but again, it HAD to get a mention! (Plus it means I’ll have more time to keep this blog up to date!) I finished my final exam this week and while graduation is still a few weeks away, I’m so excited to know I’ll be able to start teaching soon, and start creating a new life for myself, in which yoga plays the starring role.

5) Compassion    Compassion is one of the traits I most pride myself on. It was tested this month with the arrest of a local man accused of abducting, raping and murdering a young woman on her way home from a night out. Angry, I posted a nasty little rant about him on FB. Later, one of my previous yoga teachers commented on my post, reminding me that no matter what terrible things he has done, he is still a person with a history and life of his own and still deserving of compassion. It was like having a mirror held up to me, and I didn’t like what I saw. Especially as I’m a social worker, and separating people from their behaviours is all in a day’s work. I felt I should know better. Shame-faced, I deleted my post, replacing it with an acknowledgment of the lesson I had learned in compassion, humilty and self-awareness.