Spring is finally in the air (well, the sun was out on and off today and there are a lot of daffodils out at least!) It’s inspired me to get my workshops on line and share the dates with you.
I’m at Sussex Prairies again this year, my favourite venue – the owners are great, the cake is exceptional, and the gardens are just a delight! I love being here and holding my events, and as well as my Practical Magic Herb Workshops, I have a couple of new ones coming up to. Here are the dates, and full details can be found by clicking here:
Saturday 24th June – Summer Solstice Practical Magic Workshop
Friday 21st July – Aromatherapy for Body, Mind and Soul Workshop
Saturday 29th July – Practical Magic Herb Workshop
Saturday 9th September – The Women’s Relaxation Workshop
I’m also holding a Women’s Wellness Workshop at Total Therapy Studios in Horsham on Saturday 20th May, details will be on my website soon. I’m running this with Sarah, the owner, and between us we’ll give you a great afternoon of gentle exercise, and deep relaxation for women, mixing our skill set.
Bookings are open for Sussex Praires, and I hope to see you soon!
With blessings for new beginnings as Spring bursts into bloom!
The more I work with women, the more I see how healing and nourishing it is for us to be in circles together, and also to deepen our connection with the earth. To hear each other’s truth, hold space for each other, offer support, comfort, encouragement, joy! Even just having someone listen, can create space for a deep shift in our psyche. My hope is that we can come together in person soon and create these sacred spaces again, and I will be adding more things as we move forwards.
I’ve held online workshops all through lock down celebrating the equinoxes and solstices which were an absolute joy! They worked really well online, but I have to say, I’m looking forward to starting to do them live again, all being well – watch this space!.
For now, I have some live, in-person herb workshops on the schedule, and the online women’s yoga circle continues. Full details here.
I’m also back offering one to one healing, coaching and therapy sessions too, in both Horsham and Handcross which I’m delighted about!
Friday Night Women’s Yoga Online
My online Friday night yoga women’s circle opens again for four weeks on Friday 11th June and I’d love you to join me. Gentle yoga, restorative, yoga nidra, mudras, meditation – and a quiet, peaceful space to share a little too.
I’m planning to offer more live women’s workshops later on this year to add to the Practical Magic herb workshops which are happening in the summer. (Details below). I’m going to put in a date for a menopause workshop in Horsham in September, and if you are interested, get in touch so I can let you know more once it’s booked.
Practical Magic Herb Workshops – make your own natural products, learn about healing plants
A morning of creativity, nature and healing, and some ‘Practical Magic’ to take home with you. From gathering herbs and making natural products, to meditative moments and peacefulness, these workshops appeal to both the practical and the mystical. Open to everyone who would love to know more about healing herbs, wild plants, aromatherapy and natural herbal remedies.
Dates: Saturday 19th June, Friday 23rd July and Friday 24th September – full details and bookings here.
Dates will be forthcoming too for the lovely Dancemantra workshops that I run with my dear friend and colleague, Kathryn Varley – can’t wait to dance again! Healing and fun, a great space for women to be creative and expressive!
Online classes? When I was first asked to teach them, I had a HUGE resistance! How on earth could that be an option, so impersonal blah blah. I gave in of course, what other option was there during lockdown? And I was so pleasantly surprised! Not only do I teach online, I attend online classes and just love the convenience of it all, and the possibility to go to things that I wouldn’t usually be able to get to.
I was concerned about the connection – it’s amazingly good! I have held a few workshops online with great success, weekly classes, and really lovely sharing amongst us all. So though I am back at the studios teaching live, I’m continuing with the online platform too as it works so well and many of you love it.
On dark evenings, what could be better than getting stuck into time out without having to go out?! Pillows, cushions blankets, candles……and at the end of a deliciously relaxing yoga nidra, you don’t have to move – brilliant!
Two classes coming up and keep an eye out for workshops (planning a menstrual cycle awareness one for December!)
Gorgeously soft and healing women’s wellness yoga, relaxation and sharing – at home
Online Mondays 10am 6 weeks from 2nd November
Online Wednesday evenings 7pm from tomorrow! (7th October)
Classes continue into the Autumn and it’s the perfect time to be warm and cosy at home without the need to go out. All you have to do is grab a couple of pillows and cushions, a warm blanket and a candle, and ease into some healing and inspirational time out, ahhhhh!
These classes are suitable for all women, no yoga experience necessary. They include gentle movement, breath work, and a deliciously relaxing session of yoga nidra. Nidra is a deeply healing and relaxing practice done lying down that really helps calm down the nervous system, which is where we store our stress and hyper-arousal. It helps with sleep, stress, fibromyalgia, CFS and other common challenges. Great for women who do too much….. (probably all of us!)
We leave time for a check in with each other too which is always open and honest and very supportive. There’s usually a little bit of homework to get you pondering things like your core values, what’s important for you etc.
I can’t quite believe that we are heading our way towards Autumn Equinox already – it feels very early this year, probably because of lockdown. Time is a strange thing, and definitely not linear! Maybe also because of this very hot weather we’re having (which I absolutely love!)
At the same time, I’m picking up shiny, brown conkers from the garden which always put a smile on my face as they are so beautiful. My garden looks a picture too at this time of year with gorgeous, subtle colours everywhere, and a few Autumn leaves already showing up. Back to the conkers – allegedly, if you put them on windowsills, they stop spiders coming in….Hmm, I tried as I’m always up for some natural magic! And sadly, I have to say, it’s not working here! I had a HUGE spider show up this morning in my living room! If anyone has any other tips, please let me know!! I always manage to catch them in a jug and get them outside, but it’s not my favourite hobby!
Autumn equinox is on us – when day and night are equal.
A time of balance before we tip into shorter days rapidly now, and a time to reflect on our ‘inner harvest’ this year. Maybe lockdown gave you the opportunity to slow right down and ponder where your life is going; maybe you made some changes. Or perhaps some real gifts came out of it for you.
It’s always good on the solstices and equinoxes to take our awareness inwards and introspect a little, as well as to set some intentions for the next phase of the Wheel of the Year.
My ‘Inner Harvest’ Equinox Workshop is happening this Saturday afternoon (19th September) and is online. We’ll be delving into the Wheel of the Year, looking at the special magic of Lammas (Autumn Equinox), journalling, chatting, and sharing a lovely ritual to mark this important time of year. We’ll be doing some gentle, nourishing women’s yoga, and easing into pure bliss with a lovely, long session of yoga nidra too! The fun part is setting up your own Autumn altar for the workshop – you can get really creative with this! It’s SO good for us as women to connect with Mother Earth and honour her seasons – she has so much to share with us!
I hope you’ll come and join me; the summer solstice workshop in June was a great success online and this will be a lovely afternoon.
Lots more workshops coming up too including two in person yoga nidra workshops, and an aromatherapy workshop too! Have a look under ‘events’ for full details.
It’s been an unusual year which isn’t over yet. This is an epic moment in time, and I believe some really positive change will come out of it. I hope you are doing reasonably well with it all, but if you are struggling, please get in touch as I may be able to support you with some coaching or stress management.
I’m running an online Wednesday evening class which focuses on gentle and restorative yoga, and breathwork techniques that are great for stress and anxiety. And of course some yoga nidra too which really works on calming things down.
I really look forward to seeing you soon and sending blessings for health and wellbeing.
Enjoy the change of season and stay safe and well.
Here we are in week seven of lockdown with an uncertain future and no clear direction. During such times, (and if we’re honest, always in life), we have need of each other, our communities, and of a deeper connection to ourselves. Nothing is ever guaranteed, life is a constant changing tapestry, and perhaps at this time more than ever before, we have the opportunity to take each day as it comes and live completely in the present.
This isn’t always easy of course! For me personally, I have no idea what my future is going to look like, but I do know it isn’t going to look like what I had thought it would – and therein lies the deepest lesson – nothing is for certain and the only moment we truly have is right here and now. I can spend my time worrying about it, or I can surrender to this moment with a faith and trust that whatever it looks like, all will be well. This is where yoga, meditation, yoga nidra or your personal practice can be so helpful.
Despite what is happening, or because of it, there is some beautiful connectedness happening and many many things that are bringing me such gratitude right now. The lushness of this Spring and the amazing weather we have been blessed with, birdsong, these clear clear skies we are seeing, a quietness unknown, and a sense of community that I really hope continues into the future. Community has the power to give everyone a place and to feel validated and worthy.
Communities – real and online!
As some of you know, I lived in spiritual community in Italy for many years and the benefits of it aren’t to be underestimated. With the current situation, I can hear Yogananda’s words so clearly – “you need to build small intentional communities and live a simpler life”. Absolutely! I am looking into this with a few other people and who knows what may be possible, it’s the start of an adventure!
In the meantime, we have our online community and I have been so pleasantly surprised by how well it is working out. I am doing my usual weekly classes online and have also held a menopause workshop and a meditation class with great success. There is still an intimacy, and I feel it is good for us to see familiar faces, and also to have the opportunity to meet new ones too. The joy of online is that we can join anything, location no problem! I have had the pleasure of meeting new people on my classes, and of going to a teacher that I really like to do hers too; distance has been a block before.
Sacred Women’s Circle – starting next week..
I have a new class starting next week, the theme of which has always been very dear to my heart. The class is a Scared Women’s Circle – Nourishing Yoga and Nidra. After witnessing how supportive the online menopause workshop was, I really feel to offer a space in which we can meet in sisterhood, be with like-minded women, be able to share some gentle practice, and to support each other during this challenging time, and ongoing.
Starting this Wednesday 13th May at 7.30pm, it is £18 for a block of 4 classes at a time, and if you miss one, they will be recorded so you won’t miss out on the class (but good to be on it in person if poss for the sharing and satsang). I really hope you will come and join me and give yourself an hour of peacefulness, support and nourishment.
The Power of Prayer
I think one of the most challenging things for me right now, is not being able to see my Dad who is on the vulnerable list due to medical challenges right now, and I so want to be able to give him a huge hug and go see him. This is happening to lots of us I know, the reality of not being able to be near our loved ones, especially when they have health issues and could use our support. If anyone has a need of healing prayers, please let me know as I am part of some prayer circles that will keep you in the light. I and my family, are so touched by the response to my FB posts asking for prayers and thank you so very much, we can feel them!
Love and blessings and really hope to see you soon. Online for now, better than nothing, and in person soon.
‘Daring to Rest’ is the title of the superb book by Karen Brody. What a novel concept!
In a world gone crazy with doing, achieving, going so fast we don’t know what down time is anymore, daring to rest may seem like a waste of our time. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Yoga Nidra (which is what Karen Brody’s book is all about), is, in my experience, the deep rest that our bodies, minds and nervous systems are yearning for. Stop, listen, breathe …. can you hear the call of your deeper Self imploring you to slow down and come home to yourself? Heed the call, it may well restore you to sanity in a world gone just a little crazy!
Deep rest, on the contrary to being a waste of time, is time so well spent that it gives us a new lease of life whenever we do it. When we are well rested, creativity and inspiration flow, our bodies can heal, our minds kick into being awake and focussed, and we generally become much nicer people! On top of all that, and probably most importantly, the deep rest achieved from a regular practice of yoga nidra calms down the nervous system, the place where anxiety, stress, overwhelm and trauma all sit, showing up as hyper-arousal. Many of us live in a hyper-aroused state which has become our ‘norm’ and it is only when it starts to calm down, that we can see how stressed we were and realise that without a sense of calmness and restedness in our lives, we are really missing out on life.
Anyway, don’t take my word for it, come along and try it and see how you feel. No effort required, just your presence on the mat…..along with a bolster, blanket and an eye pillow! Prepare to rest deeply, in both body and mind, and to enter a state of healing and peacefulness. No movement is involved, this isn’t a ‘yoga’ class in that sense. This is the meditative heart of yoga that brings you home to yourself.
All I can usually hear when people hit the mat on arrival at a Yoga Nidra class – is a huge sigh of relief! Time to rest and so ready for it!
As a women’s wellness practitioner and yoga teacher, I work a lot with women in menopause, and hold regular classes and workshops to support women with practices that can alleviate symptoms and increase confidence.
Yoga offers a pathway to health and well-being through our whole journey of life, but perhaps during menopause, it really shows itself as being of optimum benefit. From gentle movements to nourish aching joints and strengthen bones, to breathwork that eases hot flushes and overwhelm, and everything in between, there is something for all women to be gained from making a dedicated gentle yoga class part of their self-care.
The benefits of yoga are huge, for the body, mind and also our spirits. Inducing a sense of calmness, much healing comes from slowing things down and taking our time to work with ourselves in a gentler way. Yoga helps us to manage stress, anxiety, sleep and mood swings, whilst increasing strength and flexibility.
Five reasons why yoga is your ally during menopause:
BONES AND JOINTS – The asanas (postures) help build strength, a fundamental necessity for menopausal bones, while at the same time, easing aches and pains and gently nourishing the joints.
HOT FLUSHES AND EMOTIONAL OVERWHELM – Pranayama (breathwork) is a multi-faceted tool with practices that cool down the body, bringing relief for hot flushes, and calming breaths to ease emotional overwhelm and enable us to self-soothe. There are many different ways of using the breath to support us and cooling breaths really do cool down the body and the nervous system, giving space at a time when things can be a little overwhelming! Other breathwork techniques focus on bringing a sense of calmness and balance. Interestingly, the NHS recommend yoga for mood swings
SLEEP – The relaxation that is included with a quality yoga class supports a good night’s sleep.
INCREASES BLOOD AND LYMPH FLOW AND BOOSTS IMMUNITY – A regular yoga practice fills the whole body with vitality and life-force, resulting in feeling good and helping to maintain our health. It also supports pelvic health and is a good preventative against prolapse.
HEALTHY NERVOUS SYSTEM – Finding a class that includes yoga nidra is the icing on the cake. As well as regular exercise, women need deep rest during this change, it is non-negotiable if we want to have a positive and empowering menopause. Yoga nidra eases the body and mind into a state of letting go, and works on the restoration of the nervous system. We hold overwhelm, anxiety and hyperarousal in the nervous system – yoga nidra is the best tool I know for healing and balance.
The inclusion of restorative poses where we take the support of bolsters and blocks, are a joy to most menopausal women. My personal feelings here are that, as well as the benefits of supported poses, there is an unconscious sigh of relief when women do these poses as they finally allow themselves to receive support after supporting others for so many years. Part of the menopause journey is being OK with letting go and receiving support, and starting to say ‘yes’ to ourselves!
When we really learn about our cycle and how to work with it as an ally, life changes for the better! We change as we go through the month, and our abilities change too. Once we know what is happening, we start to live our lives differently, and really importantly, stop giving ourselves a hard time! If we try mental planning on day 26 for example, we are doomed for failure – and to make matters worse, our self-esteem is knocked sideways! Once we realise that the best mental planning times are in the first half of our cycle, we start being a bit kinder to ourselves.
The second half of the cycle is full of creativity, intuition and clarity – but it’s not the time to put that into action! Difficult conversations are good in the first half of the month, and we feel much more social then too. So when we really don’t feel like partying or chatting at certain times, rather than beating ourselves up, we know why we feel like that and can follow the rhythms our cycle has been trying to teach us for years! Peace and healing are the results. Include empowerment with that!
These are just a few examples of how working with, and not against, our cycle can really empower us. Healing takes place as PMT, pain and stress drop away. I speak from experience and can say honestly that working with my own cycle changed my life radically!
On this inspiring workshop, you will fall in love with your cycle as you see the absolute wisdom it contains. Gentle yoga and nidra too to ease away tension.
If I could teach women one thing, it would be this work; our cycle is our best friend when we acknowledge it and step into how it shows us, very simply, how to live our lives. Women were honoured many moons ago for the blood mysteries, and we are slowly waking up again to the absolute perfection of the wisdom in the cycle.
Hope you will come and join me for a life-changing workshop this Sunday!
Halloween (Samhain) Blessings and Honouring our Ancestors
Halloween has become ghoulish in the Western world, but traditionally, is an important festival in the Celtic year.
We are half -way now between the Autumn equinox and the Winter solstice and the final harvest has been completed. Samhain celebrates the harvest, and is also the point of the year where the veil between worlds in the thinnest. Traditionally, this is the festival where we honour our ancestors. Lighting candles and saying a prayer for them is a simple way for us to connect with them and honour them.
Loving the colours of Halloween, and had to create a doorstep altar of course! The Autumn colours are really starting to emerge now and it’s joyful to be in the country lanes, especially when the sun is out, and see the myriad of colours on display – nature at her best for me!
Many workshops coming up and I hope you will join me. I am covering menstrual health, menopause and a lovely December two hour class on Yoga Nidra and Meditation to bring some calmness into the crazy Christmas period.
New Year and New Beginnings workshops too. These are a lovely mix of yoga, dance, ritual and a gathering of like-minded women who want to honour the year gone past and the year to come. Last year was full and we had a gorgeous ritual to finish. This year fire is our ritual and we’ll burn away the old to make way for the new to come in.
The wheel of the year turns and we arrive at Autumn Equinox – and the weather turns at that exact moment! Still warm though as we start to crunch leaves underfoot.
Autumn Equinox signifies gratitude, for the harvest of the land, and also for the things we appreciate in our own lives… family and friends, warm days, nature, that we can choose what food we eat…there are so many things in our lives that we often take for granted. Starting a gratitude journal and jotting down three things daily starts to have a really positive effect on our psyche and our lives, definitely worth giving it a go!
So as we ease into Autumn, loving the seasons as I do, we had a heart-warming yoga class Friday evening. Very little yoga actually happened as it goes, we were busy making an Equinox mandala and chatting. A lovely Autumn yoga nidra was included though – time for deep rest and relaxation. The best tool I know for women who do too much…like most of us!
I have run a few Practical Magic herb workshops this year, sharing knowledge on how to work with wild plants and herbs and how to make natural skincare products – they have been sold out and I am so delighted that many of us want to return to the ancient knowledge we once had. Big thanks to Sussex Prairies for hosting me, and if you haven’t been there, it is absolutely worth a visit. Their last weekend is next weekend and then they will reopen in June. They also happen to have the best home-made cake by the way! I will be running workshops there again next year so keep an eye on the calendar.
My biggest challenge at present is getting up early to teach a Rise and Shine 7.15am yoga class in Haywards Heath Friday mornings – quite proud of myself for rolling out of bed and getting there! But I have to say, the energy is so still at that time of the morning, I am actually enjoying getting up at dawn!
Lots of things happening in the next few months, full details on the events page of my website.
I am in the process of changing my website so bear with me, it changes daily at the moment!
I am also working on a brand-new range of natural skincare and am very excited about it! Watch this space!
Blessings and I hope the Autumn is a great time for you. Really looking forward to the change of the colours as the trees turn, a trip to Sheffield Park on the horizon!
Upcoming events for the rest of the year include the following: