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Namaste yogis, thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings.
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No matter what I do in this life there is only one thing I can be better at than everyone else
...and that is being me.

 
No one can be more me than me, yet to consistently 'be me' means I need to fully commit to loving and accepting myself - warts and all.

I would be lying if I said that I feel this commitment 100% of the time. And it is exactly when this 'me-ness' feels shaky that I notice the insecurities creeping in and instead of accepting I am human I begin to feel shame at my so-called 'negative' qualities.

I've really been trying to work on this recently and to not give myself (or others) such a hard time for being human. It was on my mind when I came across this passage in Anam Cara by John O'Donohue.

“If you try to avoid or remove the awkward quality, it will pursue you. The only effective way to still its unease is to transfigure it, to let it become something creative and positive that contributes to who you are.
Nietzsche said that one of the best days in his life was the day when he re-baptized all his negative qualities as his best qualities. Rather than banishing what is at first glimpse unwelcome, you bring it home to unity with your life…..One of your sacred duties is to exercise kindness toward them. In a sense, you are called to be a loving parent to your delinquent qualities” 

 
I love his idea of having 'delinquent qualities'...I love the idea of taking that feeling of unconditional love that a parent has for a child and applying it to myself. But how do I action this? how do I work towards being more kind to myself in order to really 'be me'?

Loving yourself is a first chakra issue. It revolves around our deep grounding connection to the earth and the security of knowing that we have a right to be here and are supported. A confidence that comes from knowing that our needs (not necessarily our wants) will always be met.

Maintaining a solid grounding in life is akin to creating a strong pot - a pot which you then fill will all your fabulous 'me-ness'. Start to feel ungrounded; tired, flighty, insecure, over-analytical or critical and the pot develops cracks where all this wonderful 'me-ness' drips out - leaving you a depleted, weakened, self-loathing version of yourself - and not much fun to be around.

One of the best ways to get re-grounded once the cracks start to appear is to DO LESS.

So I am going to be a strict parent to my 'me-ness'. I am making a commitment to myself that when I start to feel cracks appear I will slow down. I will try not to over schedule myself. I will re-set my boundaries. I will check in with myself throughout the day and take my emotional pulse. I will prioritise a cup of tea over the housework and I will allow a few plates to come crashing to the ground knowing it's for the greater good. I will give myself interventions in the form of having fun in nature, dancing to silly music, going to more yoga classes, regular early nights and taking long hot baths.

What would you commit to in order to be more you? I'd love to hear your ideas...

Mindfully committed to avoiding the washing ;)

OFF-GRID YOGA RETREAT IN THE SURREY HILLS
FRIDAY JUNE 5TH TO SUNDAY JUNE 7TH.


It's not too late to book and join me for a weekend of glamping in the Surrey Hills. We will be staying on National Trust land in beautiful artisan shepherd's huts each heated by a wood burning stove. This is really an opportunity to immerse yourself in yoga, delicious food and great company. The site has NO ELECTRICITY which means no charging your phone and no wifi. This is truly an opportunity to unplug from distractions and reconnect to your most authentic self.

The retreat is intimate in size and restricted to women only..click on the link below to download more information, prices and booking details.


https://gallery.mailchimp.com/ec7b5d70312a5fa26dc570c7a/files/Retreat.pdf

 
The retreat venue is called The Green Escape and you can see more about it on their website.
 

STAY WEIRD

There's a Michael Franti song that the girls and I like to dance to called Stay Human...one of the main lyrics is "all the freaky people make the beauty of the world". This song came to mind as I heard about the beautiful OSCAR acceptance speech made by Graham Moore as he accepted his award for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitiation Game.

"So in this brief time here, what I wanted to do was say this: When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different, and I felt like I did not belong. And now I'm standing here...and so I would like this moment to be for this kid out there who feels like she's weird or she's different or she doesn't fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. Stay weird, stay different and then, when it's your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along. Thank you so much!"

At the end of each class I close with the word 'Namaste' it is a Sanskrit word and commonly used in India as a greeting. Etymologically it means 'I bow to you'. However it goes deeper than that. Namaste is more than just a greeting, it is an acknowledgement that while we may all be difference externally, we share within us a collective consciousness, a universal light of life, a soul. Yoga encourages us to strive to look beyond external differences, appreciate our own uniqueness and honour the light in every being.

So namaste...and stay weird.
 
TRY IT FOR FUN: ABHYANGA MASSAGE

If there's one thing I am not at peace with it's dry skin. Yet until a couple of years ago, when a yoga teacher introduced me to idea of abhyanga massage, I had never been anything more than a mechanical moisturiser.

Abhyanga simply means 'oil massage' and in this case it is a self given massage. Part of the beauty of it is that you perform the massage mindfully not just slopping on some cream to get soft skin, you really take the time to treat yourself and your body with respect and reverence as you rub oil into your skin. In short your daily moisturising routine upgrades itself to part of your sadhana - the daily disciplines that you undertake as part of your spiritual journey.

Ideally abhyanga is done early in the morning BEFORE you shower. The oil is applied in sweeping movements over your long muscles, vigorous circular movements over your joints and gently over the abdomen. If it fits with your lifestyle then following the massage you perform your yoga, pranayama or meditation practice while allowing the oil to soak in to your body.

In addition to the fantastic connection you make to the temple of your body through this mindful self massage - the action of oiling your body before you shower serves to protect your skin from the harsh drying effect of hot water. After showering you simply pat your skin dry, get dressed and on with your day.

After experimenting with various oils (including unrefined sesame oil which left me stinking of stir fry) I have settled with this Organic Black Sesame Oil which I purchase from Naissance. Sesame Oil suits most body types but people with a pitta constitution (who feel the heat easily) may want to switch to more cooling oils like coconut or olive in the hotter months.
A little drop of wisdom from The Upanishads
click here to view my website; news updates, gallery & class information.
CLASS INFORMATION


Please join me any of my regular classes where you will experience a dynamic flowing style of Hatha yoga…if you have any questions as to the suitability of the class of you please get in touch - I am always happy to chat yoga!


If you are interested in private, small group lessons or bringing yoga into your workplace the please email me.
MONDAY
TIME: 7.30PM TO 9PM
LOCATION: Yoga Mila http://www.cafemila.co.uk, Godalming
STYLE: This is a dynamic hatha yoga (aka Vinyasa Flow).  Expect to move!
COST: £14 drop in (cheaper packages available on-line)

WEDNESDAY 
TIME: 8PM to 9.30pm (term time only)
Easter Holidays means no classes 1st April or 8th April
LOCATION: All Saints Church Hall, Onslow Village, Guildford
STYLE: This is a flowing hatha mixed ability class
COST: £9/class drop in or £50/6 class card

SATURDAY
TIME: 9.30am to 11am
LOCATION: Yoga Mila 
http://www.cafemila.co.uk, Godalming
STYLE: This is a dynamic hatha yoga (aka Vinyasa Flow).  Expect to move!
COST: £14 drop in (cheaper packages available on-line)

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