Christmas. Whether you celebrate or not, this time of year can be hectic to say the least. If you practice yoga it’s probably the one time that your body and mind need the practice the most, and yet somehow it always seems to be the thing that drops to the bottom of the list below shopping, organising, festive drinks (hangovers!) etc. And then comes the guilt, which invariably leads to stress, which is one extra emotion that you really don’t need right now! The good news is that you can continue your yoga practice away from the mat. I don’t usually like to mention this, as I love to see people on their mat practicing with me! But sometimes life gets in the way so it’s important to remember that there are small tools you can use to ensure that you keep your calm all the way into the New Year.
I’m excited to announce that on Sunday 21st December I will be running my last workshop of 2014 at Down To Earth in Tufnell Park, North London. The winter period and all its festivities is a busy time that can sometimes result in us feeling like we’ve no time for ourselves. Yet this is the one time of the year when we probably need to dedicate time to ourself more than any other as our bodily functions often have to work harder than normal and our routine often disappears out the window without us even having the time to realise! The 2 hour workshop, Move Mindfully & Restore Balance, is designed to provide a sense of stability and get you back to feeling like you can take on the world again.
Over 2 hours we will explore a deep slow flow designed to help you reconnect with your body and your breath. We’ll experience some balancing vinyasa flow and break down the alignment of some of the key poses to help build up the relationship between body and mind once again. All the sequences will be designed to recharge the body from the inside out and we will practice some pranayama flows in order to awaken our energy and find our inner calm.
We’ll finish by relaxing completely with a blissful restorative practice to balance and calm the senses, and give us time to set good intentions for the forthcoming new year.
You can see more information on the Down To Earth website and book in there. Really hope to see you on the mat to end the year with some fluid flow and nice long exhales!
This video is entitled, ‘Words Of Wisdom Brought To You By An Insane Person’.
Well I watched it and I don’t think he’s insane. I think he’s genius! According to the dictionary, to be ‘crazy’ is to be mentally deranged; demented; insane. Therefore I can conclude that this man is NOT crazy. He speaks the truth.
Mad? As in intense excitement or enthusiasm. Absolutely.
But regardless of all that, he still speaks the truth. I think we could all do with a little more eccentricity and madness in our lives judging by this awesomeness, and while we’re at it, there’s definitely space for a few more beards of this magnificence too.
Click the following title to see the video! Words of Wisdom Brought To You By An Insane Person!
Change your world!
It’s 4pm as I write this and I am in bed. I’ve been in bed all day, and I spent all day yesterday in bed too, and the day before that. I know what you’re thinking… ‘lazy bitch!’, and usually with the facts above I’d agree with you, only this week I’ve had no other choice. You see, this week I went into hospital for, what was originally, exploratory surgery to my lower abdomen and it ended up being rather more complicated than anticipated. Thankfully, despite the unexpected complexities, it all went really well, but what it’s made me realise is how much we take our bodies for granted. Even me, a person who uses their body consciously and energetically every single day and who didn’t consider myself to be somebody that took it for granted, not for a second. But I did.
On Wednesday morning, the day after my surgery, I went to sit up, only I couldn’t. It suddenly occurred to me that we are using our muscles every single second of every single day, even when we’re not aware of it. This might sound an obvious fact, and it absolutely is. But when is the last time you actually ‘thought’ about sitting up? For the lucky majority of us, we don’t think about it, we just do it! Yet here I was having to figure out a new way of attempting to sit up, without engaging my core muscles in the natural way I normally would. As it happens, for the first day, I couldn’t sit up at all without help but since then I’ve been working out ways of getting myself upright that don’t put too much pressure on the front of my body and it’s been a fascinating learning curve to realise just how much of my daily movement is normally autopilot; unthought and natural. Continue reading
This question could have an awful lot of answers for me as, over the years, I have been inspired by so many wonderful people. Today however, I want to focus on one particular person of inspiration who has had an absolutely profound effect on my life since I saw them speak, in (I think!) 2005. Back in 2005 I was working one day a week as a Sports Therapist, while the rest of my week I was still firmly in ‘career mode’ working in Business Development & Marketing for a large venture capital company, 3i plc, in London. I was also just about to sign up to do my yoga teacher training having been practicing yoga then for about 5 or 6 years, with my British Wheel of Yoga foundation courses already under my belt. It was a time of self-discovery and learning for me, as it has been ever since!
Every couple of years the company held a worldwide conference in a different location and this particular year it was held in London, at the Roundhouse in Camden. It was a fantastic event, filled with colleagues from around the world, and on one of the afternoons we were treated to two inspirational talks, one by the amazing Kevin Spacey, and one by a gentleman by the name of Benjamin Zander. I must confess that although my career with this company seems a long time ago, and so different to my life now, they were some of the best ‘career’ years of my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today without having gone through that experience. Now you may be thinking I’m about to write about Kevin Spacey, but in fact I’m not (sorry Kev!). Today is actually all about Ben Zander. Though don’t get me wrong, Kevin Spacey was truly mind-blowing and a real treat that, I confess, certainly succeeded in making me feel rather starstruck!
This may be the most short and sweet thing I’ve ever written, but it certainly won’t be the least important…
I was raised a Catholic. I attended church regularly and with enthusiasm until I was a teenager and started asking A LOT of questions. Without going into too much detail, I no longer consider myself a Catholic but it’s important to note that I am grateful of my upbringing; it instilled great morals in me and I wouldn’t change it in the slightest. I met great people, learnt valuable lessons and was lucky enough to mix with people who allowed me to question anything I needed to. People now often ask me am I religious? No. Do I have a faith? Yes. Would I describe myself as spiritual? If you like, I have been known to hug the odd tree when the mood takes me…!?
I recently got married and we chose a Humanist ceremony in an outdoor location (outdoors is my ‘church’)*. Many people have since asked me ‘what is Humanism?’ and ‘why did we choose to get married in this way?’ and I’ve struggled to give an answer that I feel appropriately showcases what Humanism is…until today! Today my friend shared a link on Facebook that answers everything so well that I simply have to share it here. So thank you to the frankly awesome Stephen Fry and the British Humanist Association for creating a video that I feel answers the question far more efficiently than I ever could. See below:
*We got married in New York where the Humanist wedding is recognised as a legal marriage however it’s important to note that at the moment a Humanist ceremony is not legally recognised in England so anyone choosing this route would still have to have a legally recognised service as well. This is hopefully going to change in the not too distant future!
Ahhh Spring! Is there anything better after a long dark winter? On Saturday April 12th I will be teaching a Spring Detox workshop at Glow Yoga in Covent Garden – I’m totally excited about it since I love this time of year when the weather begins to get warmer and the days start to get a little longer. I always do a massive spring clean of my house and feel the same is needed of my body! Come and join me to embrace and welcome the warmer, lighter weather by investing some time in yourself with a spring yoga cleanse. Working on both the physical and mental aspects of yoga, the workshop will incorporate cleansing pranayama techniques with a detoxing, fire-building flow designed to tap into those deep-seated comfort zone areas and awaken the beast within! (yes, we all have one that’s gagging to get out for the summer!).
Finally to really melt the winter from our bodies and minds we will finish with a detoxing tea (I might even read you a spring limerick or two!) and a chance to set intentions for the seasons ahead before springing out into the world to spread our new-found joy!
Do come along and join me for some fun and embrace your awesome springy self! The workshop will run from 3-5pm on Saturday 12th April. Details are on my classes and workshop page but, but you’ll find all the finer details and booking options on the Good Vibes Workshop page!
With sunny love!
I’m up early today and on my way to teach the morning yoga class at Glow Yoga, Covent Garden. Sometimes the early alarm is tough, I’m a little out of practice for regular early classes so sometimes it feels a rather rude awakening. As it happens, today I was ready for it before it was ready for me, but this is a novel thing…I am not a known morning person, much as I’d like to be! Though once I’m up I’m always happy to be embracing the day.
Today as I stepped out of my door I was greeted by a wonderful sunrise and this beautiful spring blossom and it dawned on me how it is a real metaphor for the beauty in all things. No matter how tough or challenging things can appear sometimes there is always a thing of beauty to be found. Whether it’s a lesson to be learnt or whether something that doesn’t seem great at the time eventually leads you onto a path you would otherwise have not trodden, the possibilities for beauty are endless. You just have to open your eyes and make the choice to see it! Today and every day choose to view all the possibilities, choose to embrace the challenges thrown at you, choose beauty!
With endless possibilities,
Everyday that passes is one day closer to the future of your choosing, one day closer to your true self.
The journey is tough and even when you’re on a steady path there are still distractions, choices to make, offers to tempt. There are lessons to learn, bad days and sad days to be had. But the truth lies in understanding the simplicity and not over complicating it all. Keep moving, keep breathing, keep looking within when you’re looking without. The truth can be revealed, always.
Be true, look within – honour your heart, your inner teacher.
I’ve just come back from a long and blissful weekend at the beach. Those who know me will know that I’m happiest in, on, or around the water so you’ll understand that right now I am feeling totally connected and inspired!
With that in mind I’m really excited about teaching my regular yoga class at Glow Yoga tonight as it will be the first of what I hope will become some real elemental flow classes.
Sometimes the most important thing that yoga gives me is not flexibility of the body, but flexibility of the mind. To be able to embrace fluidity of thought and flow through life without a mental fight, without resistance and without strain against the path is truly the biggest gift I have ever experienced. I am still learning, I still fuck up and I still make mistakes but the fact I can see them, accept them and then move on with freedom? That is what yoga has given me, and that is what will keep me coming back to my practice day after day and year after year.
That’s my yoga.
I’ve just got home from teaching my regular Tuesday night class at Glow Yoga. It’s always such a highlight in my week; the blessing I receive from spending my evening offering yoga to a room full of embracing souls open to personal evolution is indescribable. I am frequently reminded why I teach simply through teaching.
Tonight I spoke a lot about possibility, strength and choice. These three things have played a big role in my life, particularly the past few years as I feel like I’ve grown more in these past years than ever before. In many ways its like I’ve simply awoken to the game, awoken to the invention that is life. I’ve realised that life is surrounded by rules but that these rules are all invented. I’ve realised that the way we feel everyday is largely a choice and I’ve realised that what we put ‘out there’ is key to what we get back. It’s like I’ve cracked a secret code and have ‘tricked’ life, but of course I haven’t. It’s just that life is tricking most of us most of the time and actually if we were just to cut the crap we’d all see that it’s actually pretty simple…
Twice a year I travel to Cannes with Chapman Taylor for work conferences and as I write this I’m currently sat on my return flight from Nice to London Heathrow. Thankfully this flight is at a friendlier hour than my outbound flight on Monday morning which required a 4.30am alarm call!
I wouldn’t describe myself as a frequent flyer but I travel enough that I’m fairly organised with it now. I keep all my paperwork and passport in a little file and have the BA app on my iPhone so that I can have a paperless boarding card, which I must admit I still find very novel! I also always schedule reminders to check in online the day before and ensure I get a decent window seat. I confess that I’m still completely useless at packing however and even with my incessant list writing it never seems to get any easier! It is truly one task I could happily live without, particularly for conferences where I try to pack light but have to take such specific outfits.