Connecting from the Heart – Week Seven Lockdown

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.

Witchy Hollow in full bloom!

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.

Nalini xx

Rest? What a Novel Concept!

‘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!

Why yoga is so good for us during menopause

Yoga – Your Ally on the Menopause Journey

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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
  1. SLEEP – The relaxation that is included with a quality yoga class supports a good night’s sleep.
  1. 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.
  1. 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!

https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/the-graceful-change  Read this inspirational article from Yoga Journal on menopause and the effects of yoga.  Yoga Journal also have a great article detailing 38 health benefits of yoga here https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit

Regular class timetable – click here for info

 

Partnering with Your Menstrual Cycle for Health and and Happiness

Our Menstrual Cycle is our Tool for Life!

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!

Women on Fire! Inspirational Menopause…..are you ready?

Finding Voice

The Initiatory Journey of Menopause – awakening our fire!

It’s both an ending and a beginning……

Menopause brings with it new clarity and creativity, and a letting go of the things that hold us back from being the fullest expression of ourselves.  It can arrive like an earthquake, or ease in gently!  And arrive it will!  But know that with it comes liberation and new life.  Many women make important changes in their lives at this transition, finding a deeper happiness and fulfilment than ever before.  They become true to themselves.

For me, menopause is for sure a change, but a change that brings many rewards, and gives permission to say ‘YES!’ to ourselves, possibly for the first time in our lives. So hang on to your hat (and they may get funkier as you get wiser!)  and get ready; this is our time!  Menopause is first and foremost about honouring our own deepest needs, time to look at the things we have put aside and discover who we truly are.  A relinquishing of the drive to ‘accomplish’ and in its place, a passion slowly awakens for a new way of being, both in our bodies and souls, and in the world we inhabit.  We don’t lose our passion, it is simply channelled in a deeply rooted, more nourishing way.

This is the time when rest and renewal are non-negotiable.  To down tools and reflect on our lives and the direction we want to take.  It’s exciting!  Change indeed is on the horizon, and oh how joyous to take quiet times, reflective time, time with other woman going through the transition, and get to know ourselves a bit better.   And the quiet times reward us with renewed energy for the things that REALLY matter to us.

When we delve into the deeper mysteries of the menopause journey, much resistance falls away…. and as a result, many of the ‘symptoms’ fall away too.  And just maybe – those hot flushes are to set us on fire in a positive way!

Come along and learn more at inspiring afternoon workshops for women in peri-menopause or menopause, or indeed for any woman that wants to know herself better and prepare well for the journey.  There is nothing like a supportive group of women all on the same track to inspire, heal and bring joy and laughter to the experience.  You will gain support, understanding, tools and techniques.  Gentle and nourishing women’s yoga and enjoy a session of sublime relaxation to send you off home relaxed and at ease.

Saturday 27th April and Saturday 9th November (Horsham)

Reigate date to be added soon

More info and bookings here

All blessings Nalini x