Several years ago my mentor at the time posed the question ‘where, what or who are you giving your power away to?’  It took me a while to fully understand what she meant but have since realised that the question was a gift that keeps on giving because it’s stuck with me and is one I come back to again and again.  I see the question as a gift because it’s often relevant, has provided many answers and been adapted in many situations to help me see how I might be giving my power away but also how to reclaim it pretty quickly.  This process has been hugely helpful in continued development of self-awareness and compassion, seeing or applying those same qualities to others and importantly forces me to be very honest with myself.

What does power even mean anyway?  What does it look and feel like?  Those answers are likely to vary amongst us but I felt called to share my thoughts and experiences that might resonate, be supportive or offer food for thought.

Power is seen by some country leaders as being able to control and manipulate but if we consider that this kind of action is likely to be driven by fear and inadequacy then the reality is actually someone abusing being in a powerful position.  This kind of ‘power’ isn’t helpful and can create feelings of hopelessness but as soon as we feel hopeless we have given away our power.  Of course we can’t necessarily do anything that will directly counteract what is going on in the wider picture but equally wallowing in despair and not taking responsibility for what we can control doesn’t help any of us.  So what to do?

Personally, my power lies in my energy so it starts by being mindful about where that is being expended.  If we consider that everything is energy we start to see how quickly it can become absorbed or depleted, then we get to choose where we can do things differently or use it more wisely.  This applies to our body & mind, our time and the company we keep.  That last part is often seen as controversial but is true – I’m sure we’ve all been around people that leave us feeling a little zapped of energy.  Sometimes we have a choice whether or not we spend time with these people and sometimes we don’t.  If we do decide that there is someone we can no longer spend time with we can choose how to handle that departure and the least energy draining way is to send them love, wish them well and move on.  For many of us we will have people in our lives and places we must go that are unavoidable so taking exquisite care of our energy becomes very important.  This can be done by setting very clear boundaries around such interactions and cleansing our energy after being in places that might leave us a bit deflated.  Clearing our personal energy could be doing some exercise, going for a walk, being in nature, taking a shower or having a bath.  Burning incense, sage or palo santo has been used forever in many traditions as a way to clear our personal energy fields and the spaces around us.

Our thoughts pack a real punch considering we have so many of them floating through our mind at any one time.  Of course we get to choose how attached we become to our thoughts and how we react to them (something meditation is super helpful for – if you’re not already doing it then check out my YouTube channel for some free guidance).  Being mindful about what we are allowing our minds to absorb is also something worth considering as every bit of input leave an imprint.  Things to consider around this is what we watch, read and look at on social media and how any of that stuff leaves us feeling.  Our thoughts can easily turn to worry, which is a big drain on our energy because when we worry we cause ourselves to suffer twice but of course it’s easy to tell ourselves not to worry but not so easy to do.  I’m not here to give my opinion or answer as to how you might stop worrying because of the varied and personal reasons for it but what I can recommend it adopting some healthy helpful coping mechanisms (talking it through with someone or journaling etc).  If worry is creating anxiety and/or impacting daily life then seeking additional outside support would be a very good idea because the long term fix for worrying less is repairing the nervous system which causes the initial reaction to the stimuli.

Nervous system healing is one of the most profound ways I reclaimed my power.  Firstly by acknowledging that experiencing some level of daily anxiety was no longer how I wanted to exist and refusing to accept that being anxious was ‘just the way I was’ and secondly seeking the support and guidance I needed in order to make permanent change.  This is a complex topic so not one I will delve into here but felt it was important to share because much of my acceptance around the person I used to be came from believing others perceptions and opinions about me – the epitome of handing over our power.  Because of this work I have come to realise that power also sits within my peace so recognizing when situations, places or people are disrupting or disturbing that peace is now a significant part of my day to day practice.  It would be unrealistic to expect to feel peaceful at all times as life is always full of surprises but being able to recognize where we can regain control of our peace by removing ourselves from situations, people or places is empowering.

I am a former perpetual seeker of others opinions, which was down to a lack of connection to and trust in my intuition.  Of course I still ask for input or run ideas by others but those people are those who know me the best (there was a time when I’d trust a stranger over me!) and I now recognize that there is a vast difference between being supported and becoming dependent on others to make your decisions.  If you recognize this in yourself I encourage you to do the things that you know (or try some if you don’t know) that help you to connect to your deep inner knowing.  Yoga and meditation are a great place to start but it could be anything that helps your mind to quieten and listen to the whispers from your heart instead.

Your energy and your peace are powerful gifts – take good care of them!


Busting meditation myths has inadvertently become a fundamental part of what I share with others and is also something I am incredibly passionate about.  I was put off by the meditation myths for years but my lived experience of meditating daily has been very different to what I had come to expect.  After years of telling myself that my mind was just too busy to meditate and I’d just stick to yoga (because you know, keep moving in order to not look at old emotional wounds that were desperate to be healed) I reached a point where I needed to face why I had settled for living with anxiety for so long and part of that healing journey (alongside talking therapy, other healing modalities, movement & journaling) was a non-negotiable daily meditation practice.  This daily commitment has helped strengthen my intuition, repair my nervous system and increased my ability to see and change old patterns that were keeping me stuck.  When all distractions and masks are stripped away nothing but the truth remains and although that isn’t always easy to face there is a comfort and beauty in being able to connect with our deepest truth.

That all sounds pretty deep (because in part it is!) but there are many ways to also keep it simple and go gently, especially if exploring meditation for the first time or for the dabblers – I see you all and part of my mission is for anyone with a desire to meditate to adapt what I share and develop a practice of their own.

Sitting still with racing thoughts and a fidgety body are 2 of the most common reasons why we either give up meditating or don’t start in the first place!  Meditation can also be seen as something we do rather than it being a state of being, meaning it can get easily get added to daily to do list as something to tick off.  This can then make it feel like a chore (rather than the radical act of self-care it actually is) and I’m sure most of us can relate to the unsatisfied feeling having unticked chores can leave us with.

Much of what is shown and written about meditation often suggests that it’s all about sitting quietly to clear the mind, become empty of thought and feeling calm, which gives rise to its appeal but is also what can lead to feeling defeated by it when that isn’t the case.  What actually happens during meditation is that we get to sit and notice all the thoughts that are passing through the mind and how they are making us feel.  So a meditation practice really is being able to sit with, witness and not respond or act upon what the mind is bringing to the surface – when we hone the ability to do this we increase our resilience and strengthen the nervous system, both of which are directly linked to how much of a sense of peace within we can connect to.  When this is practiced consistently we then not only start to experience the benefits to our resilience and nervous system (which enables to be much more responsive instead of reactive in our lives) but we might also start to notice that the mind does sometimes become quiet or there are longer gaps between the thoughts.  HOWEVER PLEASE NOTE I would never suggest that anyone sits with thoughts that lead to great discomfort or distress due to past or current trauma or grief.  Seeking therapeutic support might be the best form of self-care if this is the case.

The beauty of meditating is that it isn’t just about being still and watching our thoughts, there are so many ways and means in which to find a more meditative state of being using the breath, mantra, visualization, sound, sensations etc. and many of these are things that we can then use in daily life rather than just saving them for a more formal looking seated practice.  In fact for times when restlessness is taking over journaling is a good option or a walking or moving meditation (like yoga) is often a better way to give space for the feelings to move through us.

These are just some of the feelings that you might experience during meditation:

  • Restless
  • Empowered
  • Agitated
  • Happy
  • Frustrated
  • Free
  • Bored
  • Grateful
  • Impatient
  • Joyful
  • Sad
  • Peaceful
  • Energized

Although we are all unique living different experiences please know that you are not alone in the similarities of things and feelings that can crop up when meditating.  If you would like my guidance or to ask any questions please reach out, I will never claim to have all the answers but I am always happy to share what I do know or can probably point you in the right direction.


Autumn is the season for shedding and nature is showing us how it is a time which brings an opportunity to take a closer look at ourselves and surroundings to notice what might no longer serve a purpose or is now surplus to requirements.  The air has become drier, energy more contracted and the light has changed.  The trees that need to are letting go of the leaves that will zap their vital energy in order to fully thrive once more in the spring – what a lovely way to look after themselves and what a great reminder to us to do the same.  Is there anything zapping or impacting your energy that you could change, do differently or stop?

I had a physical declutter at the weekend which involved tidying and reorganizing spaces, as well as taking a really honest look in my wardrobe and sending off a fair few items to the charity shop.  Looking in my wardrobe after living through a pandemic for almost 2 years was interesting as I had a huge desire to simplify whilst also realizing I was convincing myself that I hadn’t worn certain items because I haven’t been to places where I would normally wear them but even some of those went in the end too!  Whether it’s clothing, paperwork, your laptop, phone apps, social media accounts, your diet, a habit, a messy drawer, or anything else this is the time and nature is showing us that there is no rush, (it took me 3 days to complete operation wardrobe fully!) it doesn’t matter if it takes all season!

The slower we go the more awareness we bring to our actions and this is what I’ve been encouraging in classes since it officially started to feel like autumn – slow steady movement, getting into the body and allowing time for the mind to start to feel more spacious.  If you’ve ever been to a yoga class when the teacher has encouraged you to ‘let go’ without any meaning behind it you’ll know how that can feel trite at best and triggering at worst.  I try my best to give any theme we work with in classes some context but if I’m honest have avoided ‘letting go’ because if I couldn’t give it enough meaning it might have the same impact on others as I’d experienced myself, which doesn’t help anyone.  However, this week I decided we’d give it a go so worked with letting go in the context of resistance and attachment in terms of noticing what we resist and/or attach to in our yoga practice, here are some examples:

Resistance to a yoga pose that we don’t like – acknowledging why we don’t like it is key, there is a big difference between honouring a body that is just not made for a pose, taking care of an injury or avoiding it because it’s challenging in some way.  Resistance can also arise in the form of tension when moving in or between poses, holding/gripping/making unnecessary effort.  This can also happen in breathing practices when we start to ‘try’ too hard.

Attachment to a yoga pose that we do like or a position we like to sit or lie in then don’t want to move out of!  We can also attach to expectations and outcomes of what we think could or should happen and then there are the stories we tell ourselves.  For example so many people tell me that they’re not good at balance and there are many genuine elements (neurological/physical imbalances/menstrual cycle etc.) that do impact our ability to stand on one leg but if the internal narrative is negative then it’s likely that nothing will ever change or we won’t perhaps be open to trying new or different ways.  In one of this week’s classes we were working with tree pose and exploring various ways of approaching/being in it and the thing that stood out as I watched people work at it in their own ways was that everyone gave it a shot and no-one gave up on themselves.

It’s also worth remembering during this season that whether you choose to let things go or not is no reflection of you as a person – we are ready when we are ready so whatever you do, whether big, small or nothing at all, do it with LOVE.


The easing of lockdown restrictions here in the UK is without doubt bringing feelings of hope and light for many but I feel it’s important to acknowledge that will not apply to everyone. Firstly, however quickly or slowly we are returning to any kind of familiarity the world as we knew it now exists with the ripple affect of the pandemic and that in itself is enough to bring about at least some apprehension and at worst high levels of anxiety. We are returning to a world in which a virus lives amongst us and a need to take great care of each other and ourselves, which is possibly unchartered territory. I have no idea how best to navigate leaving our homes more frequently and returning to activities and socialisation but I do believe there are 2 important feelings that might be able to help, which are gratitude and compassion.

Gratitude can sound very trite but when connected to on deeper level is a very simple yet powerful tool, for example in this context it could be as easy as taking time to acknowledge and be thankful for feelings of happiness and excitement about reuniting with people and the world, if that is your current experience. This might then help bring about a greater sense of presence and ease which could be hugely supportive for anyone around you who isn’t finding things as easy.

It can be very difficult to be kind to ourselves if we perceive that we are struggling or not finding things easy so beginning to connect with some level of inward compassion can also be a very useful and supportive tool. In my experience finding compassion towards myself is work in progress but has become easier with time & practice and the more I have connected with it inwardly the more I am able to offer outwardly. I feel it’s important to add here that is not related to the ‘if you cannot love yourself how can you expect anyone else to love you’ notion (with which I firmly disagree having been loved by others during difficult times when I’ve not been able to be the best of myself). It’s about acknowledging that you feel however you feel and treating yourself with the same love and care that you would a loved one. Here are a few ways of connecting with compassion when feeling anxious/uneasy/apprehensive….

Taking some time to sit quietly and notice where the feelings of unease are within your body then use your hand to give that place (or places) a loving rub to help encourage some ease before resting the hand there whilst you breathe and with each breath invite some space/love/healing into that spot.

Acknowledge your thoughts are just that – thoughts. It is the nature of the mind to create thoughts but although they are not reality try not to push them away, let them be and notice how they are making you feel. Invite them in and invite them to leave, sometimes when we allow the mind to wander rather than trying to control it the thoughts start to feel less powerful and can become less frequent.
NB – it is VERY important to not force yourself to sit with any thoughts that are uncomfortable or disturbing and also recognise that it might be more compassionate to use simple guided meditations or listen to relaxing music instead. Even more importantly if your thoughts are continually distressing it may be worth seeking guidance from a mental health professional.

Take time out to show yourself an act of kindness, such as be listening to music, reading, sketching, writing, having a cup of tea, sitting outside, going for a walk, a long soak in the bath or an early night. Remind yourself on a regular basis that you are very much worth taking good care of.


I’ll let you into a little secret – yoga doesn’t always make me feel good or better! When I first attended regular yoga classes I desperately wanted to feel both of those things and the reason I first went was because someone told me it would help me to learn to breathe better. I was in my early twenties experiencing some challenging issues with my mental health which had led to regular panic attacks and feelings of being out of control without the ability to breathe very well. At the time I thought that my mental health was purely affected by circumstances which happened to be a stressful and unfulfilling job, a difficult relationship and persistent physical health issues but didn’t know where to start to deal with those things so hoped that yoga would offer some light relief and perhaps teach me a thing or two about my breathing.

The apprehension of being in a different environment with people I didn’t know was very triggering for me at the time so I didn’t honestly know if I would last the duration of the first class and on arrival I quietly made the teacher aware that I had been experiencing panic attacks and if I needed to leave she should not take it personally. I was fortunate to have a very close friend join me at the classes and we happened to choose a very supportive, compassionate and easy-going teacher who taught us enough about the practice without it feeling overwhelming. What followed were weeks of returning to this unusual space that gradually started to feel more familiar and comfortable. This regular attendance wasn’t always met with enthusiasm, there were many times when I felt resistant to turning up but there was an underlying curiosity that kept me showing up even when I didn’t want to.

Yoga had started to give me a faith in something much ‘bigger’ than me that helped me to feel more connected to the world I lived in and those around me after spending many years with persistent anxiety which led to feeling very small, lonely and detached. It also gave me a faith in a practice where I could connect with myself in a way I hadn’t experienced before and for several years I did ‘the work’ whilst on my mat, starting to find comfort in the discomfort of longer held poses and gradually found more ease within the stillness of meditation and sitting with the freight train of thoughts that often rattled through my mind. What yoga also helped me to see was that for much of my life I had been highly influenced by the values, opinions and beliefs of others (many of which I had taken on as my own and lived by) which is partly what led me to find myself in circumstances where I was disconnected from my deepest truth, love and intuition. For a long time I didn’t understand what I was disconnected from but the realization about how I had been living my life in a way that wasn’t right for me helped me to help myself. It was the beginning of a time of awakening which led me to seek support in the form of counselling and holistic therapies that enabled me to process emotional trauma and heal some of the wounds that had left me with. I finally began to experience a way of living that didn’t involve being in a constant state of anxiety or feeling depressed. This was where the yoga really began – the real practice of self-enquiry, finally showing up for myself in a way I hadn’t known possible.

It feels like the right time to share this part of my story because we are all having a unique experience of living through these times and there is a collective need to have faith in something, particularly on the days that feel confronting or challenging. We have been surrounded by sadness and loss on a personal and global scale and this often shifts perspective so many of us may already feel we have changed or feel differently to how we did a year ago. However, we are still very much living in times that are sometimes proving difficult to navigate and I am sure that deeper insight and more change will be there to greet us when we do eventually come out of the other side. The need to show up for ourselves however we might be feeling is really important, we need to know that there is something we can have faith and trust in that allows us to have our unique experiences without judgement. Whether your faith is in yoga, meditating, running, writing, nature or anything else it should bring with it a sense of allowing ourselves to feel exactly how we feel in any given moment (whether that be sad, frustrated, happy, bored!) and allow the spectrum of feelings move through us unconditionally.


Following the racially motivated sickening killing of George Floyd I have awakened to the fact that not being racist is in itself simply not enough because it does nothing to help those who continue to experience racism on a daily basis. I am realising for the first time that I must use the white privilege that I was born into to contribute to the change that I, and the majority of us, want to see in the world. The post I wrote on social media about this a few days ago got very little interaction compared to the usual type of posts I share. I have no idea where many of my followers are at in terms of anti-racism. The lack of interaction could be because people who saw it are already actively engaging in anti-racism work so they couldn’t relate to what I was saying, or it could be that the discomfort around the situation makes it difficult to engage with, because lets face it these necessary conversations are not easy. I was unsure about posting anything publicly in fear of saying the wrong thing but realised that continuing to stay silent was helping no-one. Awareness and change cannot occur if these difficult conversations are never had and the fact is that black people have been and are continuing to be killed and suffer because of the colour of their skin, this IS NOT OK.

For the first 8 years of my adult life I had a boyfriend of African-American descent. His Mother had been born to a white Mother and black Father, who had arrived in the UK during the war. She told me many saddening stories about the difficulties she had experienced during her lifetime, involving unashamedly blatant racism, as well as living with the challenge of an absent father during a time that having a child out of wedlock was also seen as shameful. My ex boyfriend’s Mother was an incredibly strong and resilient woman but only with hindsight do I recognise just how deeply traumatic her life would’ve been. I feel sad that she gave me not only an education but also an opportunity to take a stand and say that racism is not OK but naively I thought that because things had become easier for her and attitudes generally seemed to be improving with each generation that eventually we would reach a point where it would no longer exist.

I now see this as a missed opportunity all those years ago and am not prepared to miss another, particularly now that I have a role where I have a voice and platform with which to use it. I am also incredibly fortunate to have the support of peers and teachers who are helping me to understand what I can actually do to actively help in the fight against racism. Writing this blog and starting to share my experience openly is just the beginning of small personal steps towards bigger changes. I am reluctant to do anything that feels like knee-jerk reactivity to make myself feel better and then continue to turn a blind eye so I am in the process of re-educating myself with material that has been produced in more recent years, which will help me to find a way to play a long-term active part of this new wave in the anti-racism movement.

If you’re wondering what this has to do with yoga – it has everything to do with yoga. Yoga is a practice of awareness, where we use the body and mind to connect with ourselves more deeply, it provides us with endless opportunities to shift energy, our state of being and our perspective. It is a practice of self-enquiry which brings what is unconscious to the surface, whether that emotional wounds, memories, or deeply ingrained ancestral beliefs. The movement and the stillness of yoga can give rise to discomfort so we get to see and acknowledge how we respond to that discomfort – can we allow it to move through us, shine a loving light on it? Or do we push on through it to make it disappear so we can go back to feeling comfortable with our familiar preferences and miss golden opportunities to do better and to be better. The choice of whether we acknowledge, learn, heal or suppress is entirely ours. This is the work, yet also the magic, of yoga because we cannot learn without some level of work and we will miss its transformative magic if we do not bring what is learned into our own lives and those of others.

Some of the resources I have found to be very helpful, some of which also have links to further resources:

‘Your Camera Phone Is Our Weapon’: Light Watkins on Why We Need to Talk About Racism

If you have access to Netflix and haven’t watched 13th I highly recommend that too:


These simple supported poses are great to help you reset or restore if you’re feeling restless, tired or just a bit frazzled. Grab some cushions, pillows and blankets to ensure your body can feel really well supported. Each pose can be done for a couple of minutes or longer if you have more time/need to feel well rested. Obviously there is no need to do all of the poses, just pick what you feel drawn to or more comfortable with.

Child’s Pose
Kneel on the floor with a cushions/pillows or rolled/folded blankets vertically in front of you. Keeping the toes together, let the knees spread apart wide and lengthen your torso and arms forward over your cushions with your head turned to one side, then turn your head the opposite way half way through the time you’re taking here.

Reclined Butterfly
Place a pile of pillows or cushions on the floor, then lie down on your back onto the pillows (you may want an extra cushions or folded blanket under your head). Bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to move apart adding as much additional support (cushions etc) as you need under the outside edges of your knees/thighs.

Legs Up the Wall
Place some pillows etc horizontally a few inches from the wall. Sit on the floor and turn onto your right side, propping yourself up with your hands. Arrange your lower back on the pillows. Lift your legs up and inch up closer to the wall until the back of your legs rest on the wall. Adjust your position on the pillows so that the lower back feels lifted and supported. You may want to place a folded blanket under the neck and head.

Tools for challenging times – Covid-19

What an interesting time we find ourselves in, for many of us it is a time like no other and one that will go down in history for so many reasons. Firstly, I have to acknowledge the great sadness and loss that this pandemic has caused and is yet to cause and for those of us that are not key workers we are being asked to comply with a simple request to stay at home in order to save lives. I do hope that all of us who can are doing so.

On a wider scale it feels as though mother earth has pressed pause whilst humanity takes part in a collective worldwide meditation that none of us knew we had signed up for. I feel that these unprecedented situations bring out the best and worst in humanity, as does meditation, because when we sit quietly to meditate it allows space for our subconscious patterns, behaviours and habits to rise to the surface in order for us to work with or release them. I’ve been practising and teaching meditation for several years and often remind myself and those who attend my classes that sitting with ourselves is not always pleasant or easy and blimey aren’t we now witnessing that on a global scale? Behaviours such as stock-piling food, forgetting how to be kind to ourselves and others and frustration & anger of feeling as though our freedom is being stripped away are fine examples of how attached we are to our habitual and patterned behaviours. None of this is anyone’s fault, some of this stuff is deep-rooted programming that many of us have lived with for a very long time so the mania it creates is unsurprising and very difficult to face.

We are collectively navigating a different way of living for an unknown period of time, our nervous systems are being tested in ways that many of them have never been tested before but the good news is there are plenty of ways in which to support ourselves in order to do the same for others. In the past week I have experienced feelings of sadness, overwhelm, helplessness and utter despair times and others where I felt calm, grounded & focused. I’m sure that these fluctuating feelings will continue in this way as our current reality evolves, however I understand that this is my nervous system adjusting to and accepting a new kind of normal, it takes time and I have used pretty much every tool from my box of resources in order to steady the ship so that I am able to continue showing up for myself, my family, friends, yoga community and the rest of humanity. I will be sharing many of these tools online over the coming weeks (send me your email address if you would like access to this) but whilst I finalise navigating the technicalities of doing so I thought it would be helpful to share some of the resources I have used in order to maintain some sense of equilibrium in these tricky times:

(Disclaimer: these are written in no particular order and are in no way proclaimed to be clinical advice, I am simply sharing with love my own experiences in the hope that it may be helpful to anyone who might read them. It’s also worth noting that wherever you’re currently at some of what I have suggested may not feel appropriate at this particular time.)

I am journaling every day at the moment, writing down thoughts and feelings, I find the process of releasing these onto paper very therapeutic. It doesn’t need to flow or make sense, just let the contents of your mind pour onto the page.

Conscious Breathing
Simply pausing to be aware of the fact that you are breathing, hands resting on the sides of ribcage and slowing the breath down to a comfortable pace which is soft and easeful.

Mindful Movement
Yoga – sometimes moving very slowly, sometimes a little more dynamically depending on my energy. Focusing on really small movements and feeling into the body and breath takes me into a greater sense of awareness.

Tapping & shaking
Sometimes even yoga teachers don’t know what to do when they arrive on their mat so to help me shift some energy and get into my body and out of my head I find these techniques super helpful. Literally just tapping the whole of my body with my hands and then having a good old shake out, even a minute of this can make a real difference. (‘When in doubt shake it out’ is a motto I live by at the best of times!)

Not necessarily in the sitting still and quiet ‘traditional’ way, unless it feels right for you to sit in silence, perhaps focusing on your breath or repeating a mantra in your mind if either of those feel helpful you. I sometimes say to myself ‘breathing in’, ‘breathing out’ with each inhale and exhale or repeat to myself ‘I am here’. If you do have a bit more time on your hands than normal look for ways in which you make daily tasks a mediation. Maybe sit down and savour every mouthful of your meal or sip of a drink, gaze at clouds or trees moving in the wind, massage your own hands or feet or weed the garden if you have one.

Cleaning & Clearing
There always seems to be a cupboard or drawer in our house that is ready for a good old sort out! Cleaning is something I’ve found myself doing a bit more of in the past few days, which for me has been therapeutic. Although I have to be honest I did find myself in a cleaning frenzy the other day when I had quite an urge to spring clean the whole house in the space of a weekend but soon felt chore overwhelm – why did I do that?! I wasn’t sure either but after sitting with that scenario for a while realised that a very old pattern of mine (which I thought had vanished for good!) is that cleaning is something I can use to feel in control when so much of what is going on around me is completely out of my control. It was an interesting observation so I’ve now written a list of things I’d like to do around the house (as well as another list of fun things I’d like to try/learn/investigate) and am trusting that a time for everything will unfold.

Input & interaction management
This has been vital for me over the past week, finding a way to remain informed but not overloaded with information. Not just from the news but what is being shared on social media. I have felt saddened by insensitive memes, seeing people actively trying to profit from our current situation etc. but my heart has also been warmed by wonderful NHS workers returning to the service, the existing workers doing an absolutely incredible job under this huge strain, many people sharing offerings of help and support from the heart in so many ways. BUT I have had to be cautious with everything – feeling inadequate when I see the good being done as well as angry about the not so good, which has been a stark reminder that we cannot filter what is being shared but we are completely in control of what and how much we choose to digest and who we are following etc. Staying informed and connected is so important but setting a limit in terms of time and choosing sources wisely can be very helpful.

Cold showers
These have been game changing for me since I started a couple of years ago. I don’t spend ages in them, just long enough to do what I need to but they have a very positive effect on how I feel and have been great for building a sense of inner resilience. HOWEVER they are not for everyone, particularly for those with heart conditions, high or low blood pressure, a weakened immune system and many others reasons – if in doubt don’t do it. If you do want to give them a try I started by very gradually turning down the temperature over a period of time.

Singing or humming
Literally raises our vibration, you don’t need instructions or guidance from me on how to do it, just do it!

Same applies as singing! Nothing quite shifts my energy like a good old dance around to some ‘dance like no-one is watching’ music!

Connecting with nature
However you can with whatever you have. I realise not everyone has a garden but if you have or can get somewhere to feel your feel on the actual earth, smell some flowers, hug a tree, sit quietly outside, there is no better medicine in my opinion.

Furry friends
If you have one or many, hug them often! They are also a great meditation tool, just sitting and watching them go about their business, and they are a great example of beings that unapologetically live in the moment.

Eating well
Seems simple and easy right? For me it is something that can slip when I need it the most. You may also be in a position where you have time to learn to make something new or experiment with recipes, this in itself can be a great meditative activity.

Staying hydrated
Again seems simple but I have noticed that it’s easy to forget to drink regularly when the mind feels like it’s overflowing with thought and emotion.

Sketch, paint, doodle, colouring books, arts and crafts, making music, writing, knitting, sewing, card making. Let your inner child be free, another great medicine in my opinion.

Focus on elevated emotions such as joy, love & gratitude
Spending some time focusing on what we already have to feel grateful for, who we love and are loved by or what helps us to experience joy can make a huge difference in counteracting fear. Writing these down on a note that you can look back at any time is something I have found useful. Even the simplicity of remembering that if you are able to read this and connect with others online you are not truly isolated. Laughter can seem like a distant memory in difficult times but we all know how wonderful it is for lifting spirits so I do hope that where we can and when appropriate we can continue to smile and laugh together.

Taking it easy on yourself
Not everything needs to be done today and today doesn’t need to be productive. This has been such a lesson for me in the past week, I started to panic that I hadn’t acted promptly enough to support my community, that I should be doing more or wasn’t doing enough but quickly realised that I cannot pour from an empty cup. I had to take a few days to adjust and remind myself that if I’m not resourcing myself in a helpful way I will absolutely useless trying to help anyone else.

It took me a long time to understand that relaxation is a skill that needs to be practiced, not something I could force upon myself at free will. I’m sure many of us at the moment have a desire to feel more relaxed and almost everything I have already mentioned here is helpful for taking ourselves into a the parasympathetic nervous system (rest/digest/restore), meaning we move further away from the sympathetic state of stress response (flight/fight/freeze). Having a bath, watching an uplifting or funny film or programme or sitting with candlelight can all induce feelings of relaxation so they can be good places to start but when you feel able to I highly recommend lying down anywhere you can supported with lots of cushions/pillows with a blanket over you. If you’re comfortable to put something over your eyes (a folded flannel or an eye pillow if you have one) that can feel soothing but possibly best to do only if you already feel quite relaxed. I have found one of the most soothing acts of self care over the past week to be wrapping myself in a blanket and curling up on the sofa.



Today’s musings are about the sometimes confusing place that is ‘Yogaland’, which is obviously the arena in which I spend a lot of time and the platform from which I put my work into the world. I find it confusing because much of what has happened (and continues to do so) in the yoga world doesn’t align with its roots which saddens me. Most concerning are the cases of sexual abuse by well-known and respected yoga teachers. There is also the strange manifestation of how the traditional trusting and valued teacher-student relationship has been watered down into some kind of hierarchal offering that at best can be patronising but is also convincing many eager participants to believe that there is only one way yoga should be practiced, leaving many feeling a sense of lack and believing that they need to stick with a particular way in order to eventually obtain either a sense of achievement, relief or enlightenment! There have also been times when I have found myself dragged into a weird popularity contest party that I didn’t accept the invite to with people inflicting their likes and dislikes about mine or another teacher’s style of teaching. These are some of the reasons why I have questioned countless times whether I still actually want to be a part of Yogaland and whether there is really a place for me there. I have had several conversations recently where I have been told that people are either too fearful to walk into a class in the first place as they already feel a sense of not being good enough because they don’t own a pair of sparkly lycra leggings, have no idea what any of the ‘styles’ of yoga actually mean and feel that even if they did yoga for the rest of their days they would never look anything like what is often portrayed as ‘#yoga’ via social media. This accompanied by another story from someone who actually went to a yoga class to spend the duration of it feeling completely intimidating by the show boating that was going on at the front of the room by the ‘teacher’. This sounds like more of a performance rather than someone sharing anything remotely helpful to the rest of the room. Of course this could’ve been that they may have unknowingly entered an ‘advanced yoga class’ where there was some expected level of prior knowledge or existing practice but this wasn’t made clear at the beginning and it put the attendee off ever returning to a yoga class. This kind of stories really do make me feel sad and questioning where my place is amongst all of these goings on BUT having contemplated further I feel strongly that there is important work to be done in Yogaland and who am I not to do it? I believe that there is a way to keep the fundamental philosophy of yoga alive whilst exploring the practice in a way that is inclusive and accessible for our modern bodies and minds. Ultimately, I will never be your teacher if your desire is to learn to stand on your head with your hands in prayer position. Having said that I do feel there is a place for challenging ourselves physically because it can be a great way to work with the mind and the process of self-enquiry but it’s knowing what is driving our desire that is most important. I love feeling strong in my body because it helps me to feel stronger in my mind too. It doesn’t matter what someone wants to get from a yoga practice and there are plenty of ways to explore it but if we know why we are doing what we are doing then we are more likely to be able to utilise the practice as originally intended, one of healing. There may be no desire to ‘heal’ or to experience a deeper connection with ourselves, it is ok to practice just because we want to or to feel good. I don’t believe that yoga is the answer to everything but I do believe in it as a practice and in my experience if the healing or awareness doesn’t come directly from the practice itself then yoga can be a way for us to find clarity as to what will. Of course I would like Yogaland to exist without the pain and sadness it has caused and minus the weirdness but that’s like the world itself isn’t it? Most of us hope for equality, less division and more compassion don’t we? Therefore it is important for teachers (especially those of us that feel as though we’re going against the grain) to be putting their work out there to lead the way in another way. Walking away from the field of work that I am passionate about would be like saying I no longer care and I DO CARE! It is an important time to be a yoga teacher and to be of real service to the world, whether it’s weird or not, it’s still wonderful at the same time. I love sharing sustainable mindful movement that helps maintain, improve & strengthen physical health and care deeply about sharing what I feel can support & promote good mental health with practices that strengthen the nervous system. I feel a collective call for support in feeling well and I know I can help with that so for now I’m staying put in Yogaland to do my bit of important work with a great deal of love for what I do and those I connect with.

Hello 2020

I wrote a little post on my social media pages earlier this week about how I was patiently waiting for my mojo to appear this year!  I certainly haven’t arrived in 2020 with a sense of get up and go, more like I’m peeking out from under a cosy blanket to see how the start of this new decade feels and wondering what I’ve got to bring to the party.  Although I’ve not set resolutions for some time I still had a habit for many years of allowing myself to feel some kind of pressure to enter a new year with goals about what I needed to change or do differently, however having that type of mind-set in January feels really quite jarring because what I actually want to do is use my energy wisely by showing up to be of service and do my work to the best of my ability, resting in between and pondering what I might enjoy doing or look forward to during the year.  I already know that I’d like to have fun & adventure, do something I’ve never done before and visit somewhere new this year, what any of that will look like or when it will happen I have no idea.

Setting goals / resolutions can bring a sense of feeling that we aren’t already enough and send us down a rabbit hole of needing to be or do more.  It can be easy to get swept away with wanting to do something new or different because we have reached another year but sometimes the simple act of pausing and remembering how fortunate we are to be here for another year is enough!  I’m not suggesting we should never want to change anything about or for ourselves, change is a good thing and without it we wouldn’t learn or grow and life could become pretty stagnant and boring but it’s also a skill to be able to recognise wanting to change something for the sake of it and stopping to ask ourselves why.  Life is pretty full on for most of us and comes with a fair bit of pressure already so why do we sometimes finding ourselves piling on more?  Wanting to lose a few pounds or do more exercise is great but does it really matter when or how it happens?  If it does then take action, if it doesn’t trust that it will happen when the time is right.

I find that a helpful way to look at what I’m asking of or saying to myself is to consider for a moment whether I would ask that of or say the same thing to someone else?  If the answer is no then I know I need to reconsider!

I feel that 2020 will be a year of taking action, Mother Nature is telling us in no uncertain terms that we need to change the way we treat our planet.  But considered compassionate action can’t always happen at lightning speed, small realistic and do-able changes are likely to make the most difference.