Many of you have made this summer so special for me and there have been bundles of wonderful things happening on and off the mat that I wanted to share them all with you.
OUT IN THE ELEMENTS WORKSHOP
June 30th saw the first of a very much anticipated workshop with my dear friend Heather Pearson of Weave Yoga at PAUS.
We spent the day both in the elements and in our respective elements, exploring an "Air"-based dynamic Vinyasa flow session, followed by a beautiful guided walking meditation.
The highlight of the day really felt like the beautiful food provided by our friends at PAUS as well as the glorious bathing experience in their outdoor wood fired hot tubs... a glass of prosecco or virgin mojito all part of the fun!
We rounded the day off with some Restorative yoga under an ageing oak tree at the bottom of the field, covered in dappled sunlight, soft breeze dancing across our skin; the perfect complement to the blend of essential oils used in this "Earth"-based part of the workshop
A huge thank you to all who came along and helped create a very special day.
Heather and I are so excited to host more of these joint ventures and all be releasing upcoming dates for 2020 shortly.
Sign-up to my newsletter for updates (bottom of page).
POP-UP FLOW & SUNDAY SANCTUARY
Storey's Field Centre in Eddington continues to offer the perfect backdrop for my new weekend yoga sessions: Saturday Pop-Up Flow and Sunday Sanctuary.
I've been blown away by the popularity of these classes and offer gratitude to each and every one of you that has chosen to spend a slice of your precious weekend to nourish and honour yourself with fluid movement on Saturdays or deep rest on Sundays.
They've have taken a holiday of their own for some of the Summer but are back this Autumn (upcoming dates below).
All of them are already half full so do take if you're interested and would like to invest in a little wellness, do consider booking sooner rather than later.
Sat 21 Sep | POP-UP FLOW | 09:15 - 10:30 | BOOK HERE
Sun 22 Sep | SUNDAY SANCTUARY | 10:00 - 11:30 | BOOK HERE
Sat 9 Nov | POP-UP FLOW | 09:15 - 10:30 | BOOK HERE
Sun 17 Nov | SUNDAY SANCTUARY | 10:00 - 11:30 | BOOK HERE
Sat 14 Dec | POP-UP FLOW | 09:15 - 10:30 | BOOK HERE
Sun 22 Dec | SUNDAY SANCTUARY | 10:00 - 11:30 | BOOK HERE
FRIDAY FEELS AT THAXTED YOGA
July 26th saw the first of my new six weekly ‘Friday Feels Flow' class at the beautiful Thaxted Yoga Studio. What an utter joy it is to teach in this space and to met so many lovely students who regularly attend the yoga studio.
And a full 90 minute practice really offers the opportunity to slow down properly and explore fluid, creative and accessible yoga with pockets of space to feel into breath, body and intention.
If you missed the July session, then I'm back at the beginning of September (Friday 6th) where we'll be exploring the shift in seasons towards Autumn and how that impacts our practice on and beyond the mat.
It'd be wonderful to see you there and if you’ve never been to this delightful studio, I couldn't recommend it enough!
OFF THE MAT
WANDERLUST 108 FESTIVAL
I was lucky enough to attend two day festivals this Summer. The first was the yoga-fuelled fest at Battersea Park for Wanderlust 108.
Despite the torrential rain first thing in the morning, it turned out to be a wonderful day filled with all the things I love: yoga, good company (my yoga partner-in-crime Heather P) and amazing food!
HAPPY PLACE FESTIVAL
The next was Fearne Cotton's Happy Place Festival.
Her podcast (Happy Place) has been a go-to listen of mine since it began and I never miss an episode, so my excitement levels on discovering there was going to be a related festival focusing on health and wellness meant my excitement levels were sky-high!
It was a wonderful day and didn't disappoint at all.
Myself and Daisy (the second of my three daughters) spent the most fabulous day together, walking around the beautiful grounds of Chiswick House & Gardens.
The festival had such a warm inviting feel to it with yoga, meditation, and breath work classes, arts and crafts sessions, shopping and free wellness talks.
There was also, of course, a Happy Place podcast tent with Fearne and guests which you could pop in to. My personal highlight was listening to Russel Brand in all his unique, exuberant brilliance!
If you get the chance to go next year, I cannot to recommend it enough for a chilled, feel-good day.
FAMILY-TIME, SUNSHINE & SWIMMING IN ITALY
August is traditionally the time we take off as a family at Matthew's parents house in Italy. And this year was no different.
It's become a much loved and anticipated home from home; a place we can truly let go and relax.
We do very little except swim, eat, lounge, swim, eat, lounge and repeat!
I must say, I used to struggle hugely with this.
I'm the only member of the family with the inquisitive bug and am always eager to wander and explore. Being typically "Vata" in nature, I tend to feel airy, scattered, often ungrounded, with hundreds of ideas swimming around my mind.
Over the years, I've gotten my way more than a few times and have made the family do their fair share of traipsing around Italian towns and markets!
But I'm learning to embrace these 10 days of holiday as an antidote to my natural tendencies.
Perhaps it's age, or maybe simply a keener desire to slow down and be more present, but it's become a lot easier to sit back and use the time to collect my thoughts, letting my creative ideas flow onto the pages of a new notebook (I always have one ready for this yearly trip).
This sort of rest allows me to return enthused and ready for September which always feels like a new start, a time of new beginnings and openings.
FOR THE LOVE OF PODCASTS
I think I was fairly late to the game when it came to discovering the benefits and beauty of podcasts, but oh my days!
Now, I couldn't love them more. Some make me laugh out loud or move me to tears, others make me really consider my actions or offer up new and interesting information.
I love them and I'd love to share some of my favourites with you over the next few months so stay tuned. Oh, and if you've got any recommendations, I'm all ears!
HAPPY PLACE with Fearne Cotton
A brilliant podcast in which Fearne conducts candid conversations with some well known (and not so well known) people from all walks of life about their happy place and the tools they've collected to navigate through the sometimes murky waters of ‘wellbeing’.
Sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad but always interesting and a wonderful listen!
It's only relatively recently that I rediscovered the joy of reading purely for pleasure, nothing else.
For years, I felt guilty for reading anything that wasn't related to yoga or teaching as I convinced myself that I should be constantly bettering myself. That meant I mostly consumed non-fiction.
But over the past month of so, I've been delving into the world of fiction and I'm loving it!
Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
This is an utter page turner!
It tracks the lives of Maggie, Line and Sloane, telling their uniquely gut-wrenching stories in a heart-searingly honest, raw way. Throughout the book, you become totally embroiled in their lives and feel heavily invested in the outcome of their narratives.
What makes it all the more powerful is that these women are real. Lisa Taddeo actually spent eight years and thousands of hours tracking these women, even moving to their home towns to better understand them.
At times shocking, at times funny, at others hot and racy, it never feels overdramatised, self-indulgent or unimportant. Each one of these women deserves to be heard, and I'm sure we can all resonate with parts of their individual stories.
I've recommended this book to all my girlfriends and urge you to grab yourself a copy and lose yourself in the lives of these three women.
Sattva by Emine & Paul Rushton
There are some books that you open and within the first few sentences, you feel your whole body exhale. A deep feeling of peace settles over you, like coming home. This is how I felt reading Sattva.
Being the little magpie that I am, the rich blue and gold design on the cover was enough to entice me! The inside didn't disappoint either.
Sattva is a beautiful, compact book that offers lifestyle pointers for balance, harmony and ease using the ancient science of Ayurveda as a backdrop.
Emine and Paul look holistically at all areas of your life (diet, seasons, monthly cycle etc.) and explore how adopting simple everyday practices and mindsets can infuse them with a sense of deep-seated health and wellbeing.
"Sattva is the quality of light, love and life, the higher or spiritual force that allows to evolve in consciousness" - Dr David Frawley
Whether you've never heard of Ayurveda before or have fully embraced this ancient science and sister of yoga, these pages truly offer something for everyone.
There are so many little gems sprinkled throughout that I know this book will act as a solid reference point for me. It sits very contently next to my growing number of Ayurvedic books, which I look forward to sharing with you!
As we leave the Summer months behind, I've been thinking about what to focus on as we approach the more introspective part of the year through Autumn and Winter.
So as the weather changes, I've been reflecting on the flux of the seasons in the menstrual cycle. This is largely a result of dipping in and out of Maisie Hill's immensely brilliant Period Power.
If you haven't dived into this book yet, you must!
It relates the various stages of your menstrual cycle to the seasons of nature, and helps you learn how to harness the power of each stage. Because why shouldn't we use our uniquely feminine gifts to our advantage instead of constantly demonising our hormones and fighting against them?
It seems so obvious but it's made me aware of how little I've acknowledged the power of my cycle and how the ebb and flow of my hormones influences so many aspects of my life.
I mean, how many times has this happened to you...?
You're grumpy, frustrated and everything feels like you're climbing Mount Everest, then your period starts and you realise that it was all just your hormones going bonkers?
I'm ashamed to admit that at the age of 45 (and most like peri-menopausal), I've found myself lost in this cycle countless times. I had never taken the time to reflect on how I was feeling and certainly didn't have the insight to really understand how best to look after myself during these times. I just felt low, sad and depleted but tried to carry on as normal.
So for this coming month ( and beyond) my intention is to begin living in harmony with my hormones, to be present with the changing seasons of my cycle, and act accordingly.
That means honouring the need to withdraw in the 'autumn' and 'winter' months of my cycle (just before and during menstruation), and embracing the exuberance and creative swirls of my 'spring' and 'summer' (around the time of ovulation).
Although acquiring this knowledge doesn't magic any of the harder emotions in my 'autumn' phase go away (on the run up to my period), what it does do is give me crucial insight. It gives me the awareness to understand the cause of my need for solitude or troughs of low mood, so that I can make sure I look after myself properly.
Knowledge is power, after all.
And this, to me, is Intentional Living.
Presence, awareness, insight, curiosity. Always curiosity.
What are your intentions for the month ahead?