Midweek catch-up

26 March 2014

Monday started off weird when I woke up to find that I didn't have a baby and was really upset about it. In my dream (obviously) I loved having a little baby boy to hang out with and was really pleased that the pregnancy and birth was really easy. Like I'm talking seriously easy breezy, in and out of the hospital in an hour. Amazing. What did make me laugh though was how utterly unprepared we were. We had nothing, literally nothing ready for the baby when we got home. No nappies, no cot, no food, no blankets, no clothes, nada. This came to a bit of a head when I noticed that Ben was paying more attention to his new ps4 and not to the emergency situation we were dealing with! Oh dear.

Yesterday involved a complete meltdown on my way back from a venue viewing for my yoga classes. The meltdown was over what we were going to have for dinner and my complete inability to make a fucking decision. I won't go into details but I'm embarrassed by my behaviour. All I can say is hormones.

After 'dinner-gate' I promptly took myself into my yoga room and onto my mat while we waited for our food to be delivered. Fifteen minutes and a couple of headstand practises later I was raring to go. To watch an episode of Sherlock and relax on the sofa with my boys. Wild I know.

Tonight I'm planning on working on my website some more with Ben and hopefully putting some more business plans in motion. Then naturally the fun has to stop and I need to do some ironing. You win some, you lose some.

To round off this most random 'catch-up' post here are some of the things I have been loving lately...

// This blog.

// Choco yogi-tea. Oh my.

// The HeadSpace app. Meditation made easy. I'm now on the Take-15 journey and LOVING it.

// 2 months later and I can't live without doing my daily neti pot practice. Find out what you do here and the benefits here.

// The facebook page for my yoga business! If you fancy you can come over and check it out here.

// Seeking out & talking to a photographer that I love to work with for Spark Yoga. Magic will be created.

// Writing the posts for my Wellness Series. So much to share!!

The Wellness Series // Rules to live by // part 3

24 March 2014

Sail gently, create rituals.

Condition your life to support you. Find ways to connect to yourself and do them every bloody day.
I'm talking about finding your version of sacred self-care.
Experiment and find what nourishes you on your soul level. Maybe its a morning ritual that gives you a little time away from the stress of your job, maybe its 5 minutes of meditation squeezed into your day, maybe it's moving your body in which ever way feels most expansive, maybe it's simply giving yourself space for not-doingness. Whatever it is, experiment, practice and ritualize it.
Disclaimer: this is a practice.
Life happens, emergencies will happen but don't beat yourself up if it takes a bit of time to settle in... it's taken me weeks and weeks to really settle into my self care rituals and implement them in my everyday life. Remember, the journey is the point, there is no "end-goal". Feeling good is the goal and it's a practice.
Make them non-negotiable.
Maybe it means letting your loved ones know that you will be unavailable in the morning while you do your meditation, maybe it means getting up an extra 15 mins earlier, maybe it means locking yourself in the shower room at work to do some yoga on your lunch (I'm a lover of that one!).....whatever it takes, do it. Try it out, see how you feel.

Make them realistic for your lifestyle.
Creating rituals doesn't have to take hours and hours of your day (I mean really...we have jobs and family people!) so carve out whatever time feels feasible to you. It's much better to start small and set yourself up for success early on.

Taking care of yourself means you are more able to receive; love, energy, connection. And we all want more love, energy and connection in our lives. Taking care of yourself means you will be better able to hear, see and feel which way to go in your life. Being tuned in to your desires and passions means lowering the static of stress, fatigue and anger.

(I will be creating more posts soon on self-care - let me know if you have any specific questions about how I can support you better in your self-care exploration!)

Healthy and delicious chuncky chocolate granola

21 March 2014

Mmmm... chocolate.
Now we all know that I have a thing for chocolate.
It's no secret. I've even been found with a spoonful of nutella in my mouth after a particularly long day at work, or you know, on a Tuesday.
But I digress, chocolate.
It's one of my favourite things.
Thing is, the store bought stuff doesn't make me feel good anymore. The sugar rush, the headache, the sick feeling. All things that I'm not too keen on having in my life. I'm all about making myself feel good, strong and powerful. Unfortunately for me, processed, full of sugar chocolate no longer fits in.
So I'm finding alternatives. Ways to have chocolate that makes me feel good. Raw chocolate, superfood hot chocolate & brownies, almond raw chocolate cups....etc etc.
The latest thing on my list? Chocolate granola. Why the fuck not.

You will need:
  • 3 cups rolled oats 
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 1/2 cup mixed nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/5 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
The big "How to":
  • Preheat oven to 120 C and line a baking tray with baking paper
  • Combine oats, chopped nuts, dessicated coconut, cocnut flakes, chia seeds and the coconut sugar.
  • Over a low heat melt the coconut oil and add the honey, vanilla, salt and cacao powder. Which gently until completely combined and smooth.
  • Lick the whisk. Delicious huh?
  • Pour the chocolate sauce over the dry ingredients and fold together until completely coated.
  • Spread mixture evenly over the lined tray.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.
  • It can be a little tricky to tell when it's done due to the dark colour of the granola but dig a spoon in and test by taste! If it needs a litttle longer then pop it back in and mix every 3 or 4 minutes until it is done to your liking.
*recipe inspired & adapted from here

Thankful - a spring weekend edition

19 March 2014

For the sunshine and being able to spend the WHOLE weekend with Ben. We'd been looking forward to this weekend since the beginning of December and it was long overdue!
For this guy looking so very handsome.
For London. A city that truly shines in Spring.
This Goblin looking equal parts ridiculous and cute when he sleeps.
For being treated to a pair of Lululemon leggings as a graduation present from Ben. Seriously though, these pants are INCREDIBLE. So comfy, completely opaque, stretchy but firm, highly recommended. Now, 6 more pairs and then I'm set forever.
For Sunday morning yoga sessions in my giraffe onesie. Laugh all you must but yoga has never been so fun!
For nesting like crazy and finally having things in the flat coming together. I absolutely LOVE how things are shaping up!
For cuddles with these guys when I got home from a pretty intense yoga sesh at Hot Power Yoga that was filmed for Movement for Modern Life. Yup, filmed. For the internet. Oh my.
For Sunday afternoon walks around Clapham Common followed by tasty burgers at Hache. Yum diddly yum yum!
What a weekend. More please!

The Wellness Series // Rules to live by // part 2

18 March 2014

Own it, take responsibility. 
You create everything in your experience; the good, the bad, the incredible, the messy, the excitement, the sadness...all of it. All of your thoughts, your beliefs and your actions create your reality.
Want to find true power in your life?
Start by taking full responsibility from this exact moment.
Drop all of the excuses that are holding you back.
Drop the victim mindset that keeps you playing small.
Drop whatever doesn't serve you.
Bringing awareness and non-judgement to your situation is the first step. Shine a little light on your thoughts, where you shirk responsibility, where you place blame, where you believe you aren't anything other than incredible....shine light on all of it.
Bring presence, bring awareness. Watch what shifts and transforms, you might just be surprised.
Taking FULL responsibility is my idea of freedom.

I now take responsibility for my entire life. I now own all the parts of me, not just the sparkly, shiny parts.
I own the light and the dark but especially those dark bits...I'm completely unapologetic about those.
Radical transformation is found there.

The Wellness Series // Rules to live by // part 1

17 March 2014

There are no rules.
Give up all ideas and notions that you have to live by "the rules".
Who made the fucking rules anyway??
All those theories, practices, disciplines should instead be used to SUPPORT YOU in your journey.
Mix it up, keep it fresh, create your own freedom.
You are your own best Guru.
Decide what freedom means to you.

A post about following your dreams and becomming a kick ass yoga teacher!

14 March 2014

I did it.
I'm officially a Power Yoga Teacher.
Holy. Shit. Balls.
The last 5 weeks have been such a life changing experience that I don't even know where to begin in telling you all about it.
Maybe I should start with this, part of a post that I wrote back in October...
About five months ago I said to Ben in an off hand casual kinda way that I wanted to be a yoga teacher. Some day. Some day in the distant future. If I'm being honest at the time I was terrified to verbalise it in a real way for fear of what people would say and there was no way that I would've looked into doing anything about my dream.

But the Universe kept popping up and giving me hints; a conversations here, an article there, a passing comment, an inspiring class... I kept coming back to it. I remember Sas telling me to follow what you love and see what happens. So I did and after a while I told Ben that this is what I wanted and he said we would work on it coming a reality. Because he is pretty much the coolest and most supportive person I know. I've also been having a few life coaching sessions with a gorgeous lady who happens to be my yoga teacher and we have been thinking, scheming, exploring and expanding this dream of mine. The fear that I have surrounding this all (after all career changes are damn fucking scary) is melting away and I've started to make all this happen.

Last weekend I went to an Open afternoon at an inspiring training school in Clapham Common and it was like the Universe lined up and presented me with what I could ACTUALLY be doing in my life, I haven't been that excited in years.

So yeah, I've decided next year I'm doing this and there is nothing to be gained by waiting for five years, ten years, fifteen years to pass. I'm doing my yoga teacher training and I am making these scary but awesome changes.
At the time of writing this I had only just decided that I was going to do my yoga teacher training in 2014.
That was all the plan I had. I'd just made the decision and went about making it a reality.
I had a gut feeling about where I wanted to do it but no idea about where I was going to find the money or how I was going to carve out the space and time in my life to make it actually happen.
Fast forward a few coaching sessions (hashing out the resistance I was putting up for myself), lots of chats with Ben, a few tears, deciding on the exact course I wanted, butterflies in my tummy every time I thought about it, preemptively booking time off work before I was even enrolled, asking my sister to lend me the money to do the program, having an interview and then actually paying and being accepted, it became a REAL THING THAT I WAS GOING TO DO.
It wasn't a distant dream, it was reality.
Around came the 1st February and it all begun. I rocked up at Hot Power Yoga in Clapham and entered into what would later become known to us all as the big blue cave.
It was here that we spent 200 hours immersing ourselves in the program; meditation, practise teaching, posture workshops, chanting, pranayama (breathwork), assisting, journalling, crying (sometimes!),  transformational work and some emotionally intense discoveries.
This all accumulated last Saturday. The day of the practical and written tests.
Here we all are revising and studying away in the gap between our Asana practise in the morning and the tests! Not that we needed to stress though, we'd all done so much groundwork for this that we all rocked it!
The last day of this journey was Sunday, our graduation day.
What. A. Day.
I'm not going to talk to you much about the graduation ceremony as it was such a wildly personal and sacred experience but it was MAGICAL. Every single moment of it.
We received our test results (geek over here got 94%!!) and our certificates and I've never felt so proud in my life, not only of my own achievement but of all of my fellow yogi's too. I've already found a spot for my certificate in the flat!
You know what I have loved most about this journey? The fact that I've made life long friends. We're a team and a bloody solid one at that. Each and every one of those people in that picture up there holds a firm place in my heart and I'm so very lucky to have those people in my life. So a huge thank you to them for continuing to inspire me.

Never in my wildest WILDEST dreams could I have imagined that I'd be sitting here writing this post a year ago. Not one bit. A year ago today yoga was just something that I loved doing; something that brought me peace, ease and connection with myself. Now, thanks to that little dream, a lot of hard work and the program, it brings me all of those things but tenfold. The program has given me the tools not only to teach yoga but also to believe in myself and step into my life as a more powerful woman. I'm able to help others find a little more freedom and connection within themselves.
The next step?!?!
So much in the pipeline! At the moment I'm setting up my own business, Spark Yoga, which will be running classes in South London in a few weeks time hopefully. I am starting to take on private clients for one-to-one lessons, learning more about meditation, setting up my own workshops and I'm even teaching on a retreat in May with some incredible and inspiring women!
With regards to this space I'm ready to jump back in completely, its been really nice and refreshing to take a bit of time away but I've so much that I want to share with you!!  My main focus on expanding this blog home will be within  the Wellness Series; lots of exciting posts, guest posts and tips coming your way so stay tuned. I also plan to write an e-book this year too!!
Lastly, I would just like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the wonderful people that have supported me through the six months or so in making this dream of mine a reality. I am so grateful for you all.
p.s If you're thinking about doing a yoga teacher training program or are looking to explore your own practise in more depth Hot Power Yoga run a huge selection of open days, workshops, foundation programs and 200hr trainings throughout the year so have a browse around their website and contact them (or me) if you have any questions! I wouldn't recommend anyone else!