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Keeping it Real

I used to love the Fast Show where Jesse used to say “This week I’ll be mostly…………” for me this week I have been mostly feeling……… unsettled……………Is it the solstice? Lots of people I have spoken to tell me they have been feeling out of sorts and tired and even though I appreciate the links between the energetic and emotional effects of the what’s in our sky and how this effects the release of hormones from the pineal gland, I have to confess I know little else about it. Change, shifting, that’s what it’s felt like, a sense of restlessness and yet frustration. Almost a not knowing of what to do with myself. This restlessness seems the polar opposite of the meaning of solstice, latin of course “Sol”– Sun and “Stit” – stopped, as if the sun as stood still. On Sunday, even though I had been working away on Friday and Saturday and had a bonkers 39 hours from 5am on Friday morning, I felt it hard to settle and relax and felt I had to expel this restless energy I had, to the extent of hoovering, polishing and having a bit of a de-clutter (anyne who knows me, knows that, these days housework is pretty low on my agenda); It felt like a paradox. Even in my yoga practice I felt I needed to keep moving, before I could find my stillness….Initially when I was walking my pooch I felt harried until I caught myself doing this and then dropped my pace a little….. There have been challenges this week that come with running my own business...

A few of my favourite “F’s”

I spent last weekend spending my time with and doing my favourite “F’s”…….. Friends, Fleetwood Mac, Festivals, Food…….. With a group of some of my oldest friends we rented a cottage on the Isle on Wight, as we are all music fans we try to go to the musical festival each year. This year was a no brainer for me as Fleetwood Mac were headlining and I just had to be there at the front waiting for my all time favourite group…. It was amazing and we had a blast. Being FMF (Fleetwood Mac Fans) we headed to the front as soon as we got into the arena, formed an orderly line at the front to get the best view we could. We were there from early afternoon to bag our spot and what I loved was the camaraderie of the other fans, we all became friends and helped each other save our spaces when we had to leave for the lovely loo’s (a-hem!!) or to get food and drink. (I have a thing or two to learn here – some folks brought packed lunches and chairs, so they could sit it out between acts).   After a mere seven hours standing (these legs are used to 22.5 hours don’t you know!) and being entertained amongst others by Pharrell Williams , First Aid Kit and the delicious Paolo Nutini, it was time for Fleetwood Mac, they were worth the wait. It’s so easy to want to capture every moment for posterity and with smart phones, it’s easy to do. I made a conscious decision to take it all in with...

Eating My Own Cooking

As you are probably aware last weekend I took part in a charity walk for Epilepsy Action, which involved walking 54 miles within 24 hours around the Brecon Beacons national park. I shared this experience with 3 amazing friends and I can honestly say it was physically and mentally the most challenging thing I have experienced. Physically I felt ready in terms of strength, stamina and ability, as I had been focusing my yoga practice on increasing leg and core strength. I had the deep down feeling that physically I could do it, but my concerns were more about how I would cope as it got colder as we walked through the night. In short would my mind give in? It didn’t start well, after a sleepness night at a hotel where the guests of a wedding were in and out of each other’s rooms and children were running along the corridor, I awoke with a headache and then later about a mile in I had a blister issue…..by mile 13 I wondered how I would get through the following 41 miles…..while others chatted, I preferred to keep quiet, to preserve my energy but also to focus on my breath and I found myself repeating “I have an infinite amount of energy and an infinite amount of strength” This was the mantra that kept me focused for the rest of the walk……. Thankfully as the hours and miles passed my feet were happy 🙂 and even though there was no time for dancing we did pause at the top of Pen Y Fan to take in the amazing views and...

What Do you Want?

What Do you want? Last week whilst paying for my fuel at Sainsbury’s the lady behind the counter asked me if I wanted to save my nectar points for Christmas?!!!! There was my reality check that we are well on our way to being half way through this year. It feels as if each year I’m on this planet, the years go quicker and right now it seems as if the weeks are speeding up to….. Projects and plans made late last year for “summer next year” are suddenly upon me and my diary already has entires for teaching workshops up to Autumn 2016. A couple of years ago I didn’t think this would be possible as I believed I didn’t I have too much to offer. Through my training with Susi Hately I gained confidence and more skills to become a Yoga Therapist and I am now helping people who’ve suffered with chronic pain to live with more ease and am also seeing more people who want to excel in their chosen sports, all through simple, pure movement. Only last week, one of my Better Back clients said I had “changed his life”….. So, what’s changed? I continue to practise yoga but I also took the time afterwards to focus on what I really want and want really I don’t want. I then worked on my beliefs, with the help of some amazing therapist and coaches to help me move forward and gain momentum. Some people might think spending time practising yoga may be indulgent but I believe it is a necessity, not only on a physical level...

Best Blistered Foot Forward

As you are probably aware I am preparing for a 54 mile charity walk on 6th June, one the biggest challenges for me will be walking through the night, by that stage hopefully having completed over 30 miles. One of the other challenges will be if it rains, I am a fair weather girl, not hardy at all, so staying postitive whilst soggy will be harder then climbing Pen Y Fan. My other challenge which is what I can deal with right now are my blisters on blisters. On Saturday I did another prep walk, about 24 miles around the Derwent Valley. Compeed at the ready and new anti blister socks on, we set out. The day before was a long one and as I drove up the M1 early on Saturday morning, bleary eyed I wondered how I was going to get through the day…. but I did, I had blister issues, my water pack leaked, I forgot my walking poles after another blister incident and had to walk back to get them, not to mention where to have a discreet pee (note to self – do not drink tea, No matter how much I believe it’s what I need). The idea of these prep walks is to obviously build stamina but also to figure out where to have your snacks easily to hand and whether or not I do need the walking poles (I do). I am realistic enough to know there will be issues on the day and the added pressure to complete each stage within the designated time, but this just reminds me that this...

Too tired to read this?

For a couple of weeks now I feel like my energy has been low and at times it seems like I’m wading through treacle. I’ve had busy weekends teaching or climbing what feel like mountains in the Peaks in preparation for TrekFest and busy weeks teaching and seeing clients without a moment to catch my breath. “How come?” I hear you say, you’re a yoga teacher. Even I fall behind with things too, but it’s not that I don’t get my personal practice in, it’s just that over the weeks it’s got shorter and shorter, sometimes just 15 minutes between clients. I don’t like it when I allow it to get like this, I feel It if I’m cheating myself and my students. This week it’s been different and I have given myself a priority pass and to use a flying analogy, you have to fit your oxygen mask first before helping others. I’ve been ensuring my yoga practice is a priority, when I take care of myself I am more ready and able to support my students and clients. Last week I spoke about my former self’s drinking and smoking habits and wondered how I did that and how others around me still do. I feel the same when I look at folks running around looking frazzled and harassed and so wrapped up in their thoughts, I see the strain they are under. I see this a lot at Champneys Springs with the visiting guests, when they tentatively step into a yoga class for the first time (I think they think I’ll have them in a head-stand straight...

Bad habit gremlins

I feel a bit behind with everything last week, a bit discombobulated (what a great word). I know why; the extra day off work due to the bank holiday add to that spending the weekend at a wedding in London, throw into mix free flowing champagne and there you have a cocktail to throw me right off track…. I do love a visit to our capital city, and the bank holiday weekend was soooooo busy down there. As we were waiting to meet my cousin at Holborn tube I was literally bamboozled by the amount of people, from all across the globe. I wondered what they made of this amazing city, where they were going and how do they all fit in the underground? Crazy! I do love to people watch. It also made me think how lucky are we to live in a society that we have so much freedom and choice. The wedding was really lovely and the champagne flowed…..and flowed…..and flowed (yes, I do enjoy a glass of bubbly) but boy, did I know about it the next day? Many moons ago, before I got into yoga and then became a yoga teacher, I’d think nothing of coming home from work (I worked in the Crown Court, seeing a completely different side to life) and heading straight for the wine and a cigarette, having been fuelled throughout the day with copious amounts of builders tea. You remember the mantra workshops I attended with Simon Heather in March? He said something interesting (which I clearly did not remember night of the wedding), it was something along the...

Something I wasn’t expecting……

Last Saturday I attended the first weekend of a Sound Healing Practitioner training course. I wrote a little bit about this in my blog Good Vibrations and decided to take this training to explore the healing power of sound for myself, my students and clients….. As well as using sound in the form of tones (think of the Sound of Music’s Do-Rei-Me except we use different versions, one of which is the ancient Indian scale) we also use tuning forks. When chimed they create a vibration which can then be placed on an area of the body that needs healing or can be placed close the ears so the body can feel their resonance. It is amazing! Okay, so back to me creating sound, oh boy, not the biggest challenge in my life but worth a prize for going the colour of scarlet I went! This is classic example of me not quite doing my homework and believing we would all be chanting together (just like I did a month ago)– nope…. there’s me jumping in as soon as I saw a training course close to home and next thing you know I’m “sounding” along one of the other student’s body. Don’t get me wrong I love it and can see and feel the benefits. For me it feels like a deeper healing, down into the core of my being without having to talk through anything; having someone “sound” to you and sing your name is deeply touching and nurturing. I totally understand as well it’s about presence and forming a connection between the receiver and giver. And before...

It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it

On Saturday I was involved in a yoga teacher training course in Derbyshire. This is the first time I have taken part as a teacher as I am normally always (and still am) the student. I was nervous and excited to be a part of someone else’s yoga teaching journey. I was asked to share what I know about how the body moves. When I first taught yoga (and how I was initially trained) there was a lot of focus on the postures and correcting your “alignment” once you were in them, even then I’d look at the bodies in front of me and wonder why there were rounded spines in forward bends, pushed out rib cages in standing postures and wonky knees in warrior poses. I wanted to know more. My own personal practice included the same adjustments and alignment principles and I had begun to lean more to practising a more flowing style of yoga, I loved it, a combination of inspiring music and up-tempo movements, I felt uplifted, albeit a little frazzled after each class I attended or dvd I followed; the only downside was my right elbow and shoulder were not so elated. After spending a lot of time (and money) with various therapists to improve the increasing pain in my elbow (by now just being on hands and knees aggravated it) I was drawn to a book called “Anatomy & Asana, Preventing Yoga Injuries” by Susi Hatley, reading this confirmed my ever growing suspicions that my yoga practice was actually the cause of my issues and the path to healing was to stop doing...

It’s OK not to feel OK

When I was a little girl, according to my mum, of the three daughters I was the one that would throw myself on the floor and have a “paddy” if I was upset. I would literally flail my arms and legs around crying and most probably screaming, it couldn’t have been easy to be around but I bet I felt a lot better after. This now makes me smile – some time last year I could feel a lot of stuff bubbling under the surface over a situation that I could not control, I felt powerless, frustrated and pain for those all of us who were affected by it. I almost did not know what to do with myself, so I found a moment to lie down in Savasana (that’s resting on your back in Yogic terms) put a yoga bolster under my knees, a lavender pillow over my eyes and hid under a blanket or two (I love to feel cocooned). Did I rest quietly focusing on my breath, feeling the sensations in my body? Only for a minute before I erupted into a sobbing, wailing five year old again and I did it for so long and so loudly in the end I actually made myself laugh……..did it change anything? I felt a whole lot lighter and it helped me move toward accepting the situation. I’m referring to this because this week I’ve had few conversations with my students and clients about keeping it together when actually what they want to do is to let it all out. Who are we pleasing by keeping it all in?...

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