Our Highest Good

for well-being of mind, body and emotions


This blog is about how to experience bliss by having a better relationship with yourself, others and the environment.

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Come along to the Embrace Life Festival this Sunday

Posted by Ria Manolias on August 6, 2015 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

At this new festival you can see me perform with hoops on stage and you can get your friends to try it out for themselves.


Get there early to join me on the main stage at 10:45 am. This is where I will invite people of all ages to come up and learn some basic hoop moves. If you have children bring them along! The majority of children love it and pick it up very quickly too.


Later at 12:15 pm join me at the Om Cafe for more gentle and creative hoop moves. This is the quiet area and I recommend it for teens and adults. You will be surprised at how good it feels.


Check out the program below for all the other performances and workshops available on the day.

There will be a wonderful atmosphere with so many lovely performers and healing practitioners in the one place.

I am able to offer a 50% DISCOUNT to the entry price if you email me [email protected]

Find out more at http://embracelifelivelife.com.au/services/events-workshop/penrith-valley-festival/

What is the best time of day to meditate?

Posted by Ria Manolias on July 16, 2015 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been meditating since 1992 and over the years I have experienced various classes, philosophies and techniques. Thanks to a question from a meditation student this week, I have now summarised my knowledge and experience on this topic. It will only take a couple of minutes to read and I am happy to elaborate if questions are asked.

The age old advice has been sunrise and sunset are the best times of day to meditate. Nature helps at this time as it is especially soothing to the senses as it goes through the change of light and the birds are chirping.

If you meditate at sunrise you may find yourself focusing clearly after a good night’s sleep. This becomes easier as you practice and the older you become. Keep in mind it is natural for teenagers and young adults to need more sleep in the mornings. The more you practice, you will find that meditating in the morning will help you to start the day with clarity and motivation.

If you meditate at sunset you will balance your energy and gain perspective on the day's challenges. This then allows you to relax deeply and switch off from everything else for a while. The evening is a time when we naturally focus more inwards and this can help with your practice.


Lunch breaks are another time that you can go to a park, sit on the grass. Even whilst eating, you can allow your thoughts to settle as you observe nature and just be present.

All that said, in our busy lives if you want to meditate at other times, it can be just as effective.

Meditating before your bedtime will either refresh you and keep you awake or  help you to fall asleep. This will depend on what you need the most. If you are already relaxed enough, then the meditation will most likely reduce even further the amount of sleep you require.

However if you require deep relaxation you can fall sleep whilst you are meditating so that you receive the deepest rejuvenation possible.

You can also use meditation techniques to help you fall asleep if you need to stop thinking too much and just let go. Insomnia is often a result of worrying about the past or the future whereas meditation helps to put your cares and concerns aside whilst relaxing into the present. At that time I recommend lying in bed whilst you meditate. 

Also, I recommend watching your caffeine intake. I know personally when I have had too much tea to fall asleep within my usual amount of time which is about 20 minutes.

Finally remember, any time of day for meditation is better than not meditating at all!

I hope this helps and I welcome your questions or comments. Feel free to email me personally [email protected]

Gaffers grip tape is now available on my etsy store

Posted by Ria Manolias on July 14, 2015 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

This is great news for Australian hoopers who want the best value on hula hoop grip tape.  The tapes ship from Sydney and are available for pick from hoop classes. Check out the link and favourite the shop to keep up to date with new products. https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/TheCoreSelfAwakening?ref=hdr_shop_menu" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/TheCoreSelfAwakening?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Hula hoop circus parties are popular with tweens!

Posted by Ria Manolias on March 22, 2015 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

This blog post will show you have to have a fun and exciting birthday for your tween! Let me know if you have any questions. I travel throughout the Sydney area with my hoop truck!


The most entertaining workshop for team building.

Posted by Ria Manolias on June 9, 2014 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

When organising entertainment or a corporate workshop, it is very important to give your attendees a chance to get up and move around. This will increase their ability to absorb more information and it will boost their motivation.

With a hula hooping workshop they will get the usual benefits of fitness plus more. This type of movement brings laughter and activates many parts of the brain as well as body.  Learning circus tricks requires coordination of the left and right sides of the body. Our clients activate parts of their body that they hardly use when they are seated at a computer or table most of the day. 

Contact Ritza Hoops for a corporate workshop and entertainment in the Sydney area. Phone: 0400 841184

I just had a great night hooping at Maroubra Beach!

Posted by Ria Manolias on March 29, 2014 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I went by myself to the beach with my LED hoop, fire hoop and normal hoops. After a while some lovely girls joined in and we had a great time.  Eventually the adults hooped as well and they were suprised at how much easier it is with proper adult size and weighted hoops.

Some other people joined in as well and we had a fantastic evening. We talked about the nightlife in the area and how important community is. They video taped me hooping with fire so I would love it if they send me a link to it.

Here's the link to the girls hooping tonight, enjoy! http://youtu.be/ScpCslYQX0w

Hoopy Happenings 2014

Posted by Ria Manolias on March 26, 2014 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I just came back from a fantastic hula hoop retreat in Sydney with international hoop teachers. We had Brecken Rivara, Tiana Zoumer, Kenna Hoops and Angie Mack at the annual Hoopy Happenings event.

I am so excited to share with my hoop students plenty of new hooping tricks and tips including balancing, twins, floor and butt hooping! We hooped for six hours a day but the yoga really helped our bodies to cope.

The hooping community is so friendly, fun and creative and we hope you will join us!



Face painting is now offered Sydney wide for parties and events

Posted by Ria Manolias on February 11, 2014 at 2:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Please contact us to make an enquiry about availability and get a quote.

Family Life Study Reveals Key Events That Can Trigger Eating Disorders

Posted by Ria Manolias on April 25, 2012 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

ScienceDaily (Apr. 24, 2012) — Eating disorders can be triggered by lack of support following traumatic events such as bereavement, relationship problems, abuse and sexual assault, according to research published in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing. Even changing school or moving home can prove too much for some young people and lead to conditions such as anorexia or bulimia.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota, USA, spoke to 26 women and one man aged from 17 to 64 receiving treatment from a specialist outpatient clinic. They had suffered from eating disorders for an average of 20 years.


"The aim of our study was to find out if there was any link between transitional events in family life and the onset of eating disorders" says lead author Dr Jerica M Berge, Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University. "Eating disorders are an important public health issue and knowing what causes them can help us to develop more effective treatment and support."


The patients had a median age of 27 years and had been receiving treatment for between ten months and 18 years. Nine had anorexia nervosa, three had bulimia nervosa, one had both and the other 14 had eating disorders that did not meet the diagnostic criteria for any one specific condition.


Six key themes covered the transitional events that preceded eating disorders:


School transition. Some talked about the problems they had adapting to the more independent world of junior high school and others talked about leaving home to go to college and how they missed friends and family.


Starting college was very hard for one woman. "Nobody knew who I was…I was incredibly lonely with no support and I just stopped eating." Another struggled to cope without regular support. "You don't receive the daily love that you are used to growing up, you are left to provide that for yourself and I just wasn't able to do it."


Relationship changes. Breaking up with a partner affected some participants and others talked about their parents splitting up and moving on.


When her father got a new girlfriend when she was seven, one woman lost the close relationship they had enjoyed. "Overnight she became the most important thing in his life…his girlfriend would be really mean to me and my dad wouldn't defend me." Another woman described how her dad left for "the perfect Barbie," adding "I was so mad at my dad for choosing her over us…I think that is when my eating disorder really began."


Death of a family member. The death of a family member or close friend often proved traumatic, with people saying that they didn't not know how to deal with their grief and that they received little support.


One woman's sister died when she was five, but no-one talked about this "major event" in her life. "I started to eat -- to compensate for feelings of anxiety." Another lost her mother to an eating disorder when she was 11. She found herself living in a single-parent household where she was given "so much freedom with not much emotional support… I lost control."


Home and job transition. Some were affected by their family relocating or losing their job and described how they felt lonely, unsupported and lacked close relationships during these transitions.


A new job left one woman with little time for friends and she struggled to relate to her workmates who were all much older than her. "I felt really alone and had no-one to talk to or hang out with." Moving house at 16 was really hard for another woman. "I just felt lost and my eating problems began."


Illness/hospitalisation. A number had been ill and some said that their weight loss made them feel good and prompted positive comments from others.


Having viral meningitis scared one woman -- she realised she had no control over her illness, but could control her eating. "I guess I was thinking that if I could be this small, people would kind of take care of things for me." Being diagnosed with hypo-glycaemia and being told she needed to eat frequently was the start of another woman's problems. "I started to think constantly about food…since then I've had a real struggle with bingeing."


Abuse/sexual assault/incest. Some talked about abusive events and how they felt let down or deserted by the very friends and family they needed to support them. Two said they ate more to become unattractive or bigger and intimidating.


Being sexually abused by her brother triggered one woman's eating disorder. "I think in a way I developed the eating disorder just to get away from it…Just to kill the pain because I couldn't tell anyone." Another woman started eating to try and stop the abuse and violence from her partner. "I thought if I gained weight that he would leave me alone or I could fight him back."


Dr Berge says the study confirms that eating disorders can be triggered by a number of life changes and that lack of support was a common theme. "We hope that our findings will be of interest to parents as well as health professionals as they underline the need for greater awareness and support at times of change and stress."