Freedom

I started this blog in January whilst waiting 20 hours at Bahrain airport en route back to the Uk form India. Of course I had no idea at the time what lay ahead in just a couple of months time in the UK and the rest of the world. The original blog is below and I have also now added a couple of new paragraphs at the end.  What is freedom? How does it manifest in your life? Read More…

Yoga, putting it all into practice.

Someone recently asked me why I don’t play music when we practise together, and also if I could cut back the philosophy content and chat a little less perhaps? I explained politely that if this is what they wanted from their practice that’s no problem, but that is not how I view Yoga and so it is not how I teach. Should anyone (including you reading this, yes you!) want a different approach then you need to go to someone other than me.  I share what I practice myself.  In my view the focus on the breath is essential to the whole practice, so if for example there is music being played surely you cannot properly focus on the breath or the body experience, because the music serves as a distraction. Of course, as humans we rather like distractions because they help us to feel more comfortable and to take our attention nicely away from the present moment reality, discomfort and challenges.
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Magical Munkudil, a little piece of paradise

I am just coming to the end of a six night stay at Munkudil, an Ayurveda Yoga retreat in a rural part of Kerala, South India. The environment here is sublime. The entire place is founded on ecological principles, as well as being incredibly beautiful and, most unusually for India, very peaceful. Read More…

What type of Yoga is it?

I cannot tell you how frustrating I find this question! I get asked this a lot, and my response is usually ‘its Yoga’. Which is possibly not that helpful. I know that this question is usually asked in compete innocence. There are so many so called ‘types’ of Yoga being offered that it is no wonder people are confused. So I thought I would try to explain things from my perspective. Read More…

The four laws and moving on

I am in the habit of keeping random notes on my phone. Today I found this (I have no recollection where it came from).
In India, we teach the ‘Four laws of spirituality’ Read More…

Ayurveda! Ayur….what?

The ancient Indian art, Ayurveda, the ‘science of life’ has now become an integral part of how I function from day to day, hour to hour, and seasonally. I use it for my own health and wellness as well as to assist other people. How did this all come about, how did I begin this journey of self care and self discovery? I will try to explain a little about how it all happened for me and why, as well as giving a little insight into the Ayurvedic system itself. Inevitably this will also include some of my Yoga journey as the two are inextricably linked, often called ‘sister sciences.’ It is said that they should always be practised with one another in order to achieve the ultimate ‘Sattvic’ state. To be Sattvic means complete equanimity in body and mind, as a result of your diet, daily routine, Yoga and meditation practice and general lifestyle. Read More…

Healing the Heart

For the heart to need healing it must be broken, right? On some level aren’t all of our hearts broken? Haven’t we all at some point in our lives, from early childhood, experienced disappointment, loss, trust issues, some kind of emotional conflict? All of these things, these emotional happenings, are matters of the heart. Read More…

An Indian Love Affair

An Indian love affair, that title will make a few people I know sit up and take interest! But it’s not about anyone in particular, it is about this incredible journey, about falling in love with life again, about maybe for the first time ever in my entire life trusting myself, my own judgement, my own instincts, my intiuition, its about falling in love with myself. It is about being able to say to myself, “yes, you’re doing ok.” Read More…

Looking within…..or without?

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. (Anais Nin)

What’s it all about, the male female relationship? Or any intimate relationship for that matter? And what is it that we are seeking from it? I’ve figured out, in my world at least, that it’s all about needing and wanting love and hugs. The Yoga, gives that feeling when practised of bliss and peace. When we feel wanted and cared for and receive a hug and affection it’s a similar feeling. We just all want to feel loved. Read More…

Its all about love, one year on

I get off the train at Kings Cross station. I walk up until I reach the carnage and detritus, the ugly, twisted, violent beauty of the Caledonian Road. It was his place, our place. It was my place first, back in the day. It is my place again now, I have reclaimed it. I feel at home here, in the relative chaos, the edgy, slightly dangerous feel of the place. It feels real, it makes me feel alive. Read More…

Wild Women and the world

Recently a dear friend said to me ‘Just be yourself’. How amazing. The most beautiful thing anyone ever said to me. Just to be myself is enough, I have learned. And you, just to be yourself is enough. You are a beautiful goddess, wild, free spirited, with wisdom, creativity and courage beyond that which you can even imagine you possess. When I am my true self, when I trust my instincts and intuition, I know I am safe. Read More…

Yoga, keeping it real

I was introduced the other day as ‘A yoga teacher, and a person.’ How refreshing. All to often it can feel that because I teach Yoga I am apart from the regular members of the human race and that I should somehow float just above the ground and glide rather than walk as I am so serene and pure. This is not the case at all. If anything at all I feel that I am more human than most. Read More…

Turn off, Switch on

Imagine a place where the buzz and bustle of todays modern, frenetic pace of the world doesn’t disturb you. Imagine being immersed in an environment which is peaceful, grounding, calming and full of nature. Magical ancient trees, lush green everywhere, the elements of fire, earth, water and fresh air. Delicious wholesome food. Good energy within and all around you. Can such a place exist? Yes it can, and it does. Read More…

Nomadic and Rootless

I am Nomadic and Rootless, the dictionary definitions of these two words are as follows:

Nomadic: A person who does not stay long in the same place; a wanderer. i.e. Nomadic people travel from place to place rather than living in one place all the time. Synonyms: wandering, travelling, roaming, migrant, itinerant, migratory, vagrant.
Rootless: If someone has no permanent home or job and is not settled in any community, you can describe them as rootless. i.e.These rootless young people have nowhere else to go.…people who refused to integrate within society and instead lived rootless, jobless lives. Synonyms: footloose, homeless, roving, transient . Read More…

Who are we really?

Recently I’ve been really looking into who I am. This may sound strange at first so let me explain.

We are generally seen as our roles or places in society. How often do we meet someone new and the initial question is always ‘what do you do?’ How often do we respond with our current (not necessarily chosen) job role or profession and not say what we actually do? When I ask myself what I do and I don’t respond with ‘Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic massage therapist’ the answer is quite different. People generally only see what we want them to and they only see our ‘public’ face, not the real us. We can feel afraid of showing up as we really are, afraid of being judged and thought to be crazy. Read More…

Don't be an emotional control freak

New years day morning 2018. I wake and stretch and my breastbone cracks, it feels as though my heartspace is literally breaking open after months of being stuck and stagnant. My awareness tumbled straight into my hearts consciousness. Happy new year. New years day, a full moon, a manifestation meditation. A day of letting go, opening and embracing whatever is to come. Oh yes sounds idyllic and wonderful doesn’t it? It was in fact the next instalment of a seemingly continuous process of emotional and heartfelt shift and change. Read More…

Feeling 'deranged'

Vata derangement, in the world of Ayurveda, is a relatively common phenomenon, It is not something I had ever experienced, until now.

Ayurveda is the ancient Indian ‘science of life’, a system that looks at individuals holistically and using the elements to put together individual constitutional types known as ‘Doshas.’ Read More…

Its not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

Last week I climbed Ben Nevis, at four thousand four hundred and thirteen feet its the completely highest point in the whole of the British Isles.

I didn’t even feel like going out of the house, let alone to Scotland (living in Devon it felt like a very long way for someone who didn’t even want to get out of bed!) I had promised my best friend that I would go with her and that, for her 50th birthday, we would climb Ben Nevis, and I would not dream of letting her down, so off I went. Read More…

Being fully human

Life had given me experiences (extreme experiences!) that mean I have to embrace self acceptance and to speak what I feel, or risk regret, which is not an option. Its not easy to do this, but I make myself do it everyday because it now the only way I feel I can now be. Is this  a gift or a curse? I really don’t know. Read More…

Rewriting Grief

On 17/7/17 my partner of 17 years died. I was lying by his side as he took his last breath. It was not entirely unexpected but it was tumultuous, as was he. He was a complex person, full to the brim of life, love, laughter, so many thoughts and words, and yet always with a darkness and haunted sadness behind his blue eyes. I always knew that our time together was precious and finite and so I drank in every single sweet moment, we left nothing unsaid, we left nothing undone. Read More…

Yoga in challenging times

This is my most favourite and often thought of quote from the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali.

“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” Read More…

Heartfelt experiences

My right arm and shoulder hurt. I had no idea how this had come about, it was at times very uncomfortable. Over the course of a couple of months I sought help from various sources, all holistic. Firstly the chiropractor. Wise words and an intense adjustment later I felt as though I had been run over by a herd of yak, but the shoulder did improve a little. Read More…

Make your own luck, get grateful!

‘You’re always so lucky’….thats what people often say to me. Am I? How do you know? What is luck? And what is our lifes purpose or destiny? How often do we connect with our real life purpose and how often does it pass us by? Read More…

The coffee pot and the cat flap

Attachment, non attachment. Dukkha, Sukha (remember last time?)

Many years ago we had a coffee pot, a simple stovetop screw together affair that worked very well and made the best and most delicious coffee. The Dukkha (unsatisfactoriness with how things are) crept in. The ‘old’ coffee pot was given away (perhaps as we were moving on in other ways we felt we should get rid of that too?) and we sourced a fabulous looking shiny coffee ‘machine’, plug in and milk frothing all singing and (almost) dancing. Read More…

The Orange Jumper

Today I bought an orange jumper, from a charity shop in Nottingham. I have never been to Nottingham before. I have always longed for an orange jumper, just like the one I found today.

Why? Because orange, the colour orange, makes me feel good, vibrant, uplifted, energised, motivated. I generally feel quite motivated and excited by life in any case, but this, I believe, is because I have this perspective on life, such as, an orange jumper helps things along nicely (and only £7.50, so much happiness for a total bargain price!) Read More…

Out into the world!

At the end of June this year I left the NHS. I had worked there since the age of 18, (I am now 46) when I started my general nurse training. I never subscribed to the pension, I didn’t intend staying…I stayed for longer than I intended but l did leave for a few years here and there in several futile attempts to find an alternative. I guess in some ways thats been a theme throughout my life. If I haven’t felt that I was on the ‘right’ path I have changed direction, in many ways. In my 20s addiction work was right for me, in Central London, dynamic, fluid lifestyle. As we age we change. Our Yoga practice changes (Ramaswami has a book, Yoga for the 3 stages of life), our lifestyle, relationships, and so why would we be suited to the same work all of our lives? We change, we grow, we move on. Read More…

Samsara

Samsara, the cycle of never ending existence. Birth death and rebirth, and all the stuff in-between. Thats what this blog will be all about….life, and more besides. Written from my own experiences and thoughts, pondering on life and including Yoga, Ayurveda and other philosophical theories. Food and recipes, travel and other musings as well, everything we experience as we walk this path. Do come and join me in the land of Samsara…….