So, last week was a bit of wobbly, weird week for me.
It started off great. I graduated from my two-year Dru Meditation Teacher training. I felt refreshed after a week off. I was looking forward to getting back to my yoga teaching – with that exciting “new term” feel. I’ve got new classes and workplace yoga and mindfulness initiatives coming up.
But then I found myself not sleeping very well. My mind wouldn’t shut up. A Facebook post irritated me and I let it get under my skin.
I felt the “not good enough” button well and truly pressed. Read more…
Today I’m feeling sad, disappointed, worried and, yes, scared.
The tone of the debate in the UK’s EU Referendum is nasty. It’s ugly. Both sides are scare-mongering.
Those with the highest profile on the leave side (the Brexiteers) are encouraging fear and hatred and scape-goating of immigrants – of fellow human beings who’s only “crime” is to have been born outside the UK.
It seems hatred, scape-goating and small-minded nationalism is on the rise across the UK. History shows us what that can lead to. Read more…
Do you sometimes not try something because you’ve already told yourself you can’t do it?
“I can’t relax because I’m too tense”, “I can’t stand up in front of a group to speak because I’m not confident enough”, “I can’t join a yoga class because everyone will think I’m bad at it” “I can’t meditate because my mind’s too busy”.
Yes, my mind does that too!
And it happened again last Saturday at my Dru Meditation Teacher Training. Read more…
So 2015 is almost at an end. A good time for reflection.
2015 is the year I turned 40, discovered the trait of high sensitivity, meditated daily and learned to ground.
An eventful year. Here’s what I’ve learned. I hope these lessons inform, amuse and inspire you.
1. There’s nothing to fear in turning 40 (or 50 or 60 or 70…) On February 2nd this year I turned 40. And (somewhat surprisingly I admit) I suddenly felt freer, unleashed, happy in my skin. I love being 40. I love being me. Read more…
So, I’ve been rather confused about yoga and my place in the world as a yoga teacher of late.
Increasingly, yoga seems to be about challenging poses, contortions, arm balances, headstands and pushing through your fears – at least that’s how it’s represented and how many teachers teach it.
But to me, practising yoga has always been about “stilling the thought waves of the mind” (as Patanjali, the sage behind the ancient Yoga Sutras states). A practice of becoming aware and alive to the subtleties of my body, emotions and mind and to connect to my inner self and inner peace. Read more…
You’d love to meditate. To sit with mindfulness in stillness.
To experience the benefits you’ve heard meditation can bring: stress / anxiety relief, lowering high blood pressure, better sleep, improving immunity, improving brain function, bringing greater clarity of mind, improving mood.
But you’ve got one problem: your mind won’t blinkin’ shut up!
My yoga students often ask me about meditation and say they’ve tried to meditate but they just can’t do it. They find it so difficult because their pesky, noisy mind jumps around from here to there and gets even louder as soon as they try to sit quietly and clear their mind.
And I love to reveal to them: you don’t have to have a quiet mind to meditate! Read more…
Your mind is whirring. Jumping from this place to that. You’re finding it difficult to focus.
Your jaw is tense. Your shoulders are up around your ears. There’s a feeling of contraction and tightness throughout your body. You’re barely breathing.
You’ve got that familiar feeling of not being quite able to put your finger on what’s wrong. An uncomfortable feeling you’re forgetting something; that you’re missing out on something; that something bad is going to happen; that you’re just not going to be able to get everything done that you need to.
“Don’t be so sensitive”. “You need to be more thick-skinned”. “Why were you so quiet at that party?” “You were so shy as a child”. “Don’t be a spoil sport”. “You’re so highly strung!”
Have you been on the receiving end of such comments? Did they feel painful? Do they still feel hurtful?
If so, perhaps your craving for quiet-time, to withdraw from the world sometimes, to day dream, to connect to your rich inner life, feels totally at odds with a society which values and rewards being out-there, assertively voicing your point of view, speaking before thinking, always being sociable and willing to network, and pushing yourself harder each and every day.
Being quieter and introspective in an aggressive society can feel painful. Read more…
So it’s Friday afternoon and you’re worn out – again.
Your back is aching and your nerves are frazzled. You’ve had another week of interminable meetings where everyone has something to say (at great length) but no-one wants to make a decision; stroppy phone calls; preparing that report with the oh-so-imminent deadline; and the rest of the time you were hunched up at your desk, chained to your email inbox.
Yay, it’s Friday – it’s the weekend. But straight away the thought hits home: two days and then it’ll be Monday and it all starts over again, and again, and again…
You’re on a treadmill. You’re tired. You’re stressed. Your mind is constantly running away with all the things you need to do. You know something needs to change because you’re getting tension headaches and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by life.