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January- The Month of Detox by Kate Sewell

Many people hear the word 'detox' being banded around, especially at this time of year when our bodies are suffering after all the indulgences of the Christmas season, but what does 'detox' actually mean?

Detoxification

The body works hard to eliminate waste produced from natural metabolic processes.  What our bodies don't use – the waste – is referred to as toxins.  The organs associated with eliminating toxins are the liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph, colon, and skin.

Why detox?

Our bodies naturally detox metabolic waste, but we often overload our bodies with xenotoxins - toxins from our environment and things we consume. These can come in many forms: alcohol, smoking, air pollution, chemicals, pesticides or medications from non-organic foods, eating too much, or not exercising or moving enough. 

To bring our bodies back into a healthy balance, we need to support the organs that contribute to detoxification through diet and exercise.

Ways to aid your body in detoxifying:

  • Eating foods that support the liver, lungs, kidneys, lymphatic system, our digestive system and the skin. 
  • Doing hot yoga – clearing toxins through sweat. 
  • Doing exercise – pumping blood around our bodies, charging up the heart, lymph nodes, kidneys, liver, colon, breathing deeply through with our lungs, and skin through sweating. 
  • Doing inversions in yoga, (turning upside down, or bringing the head below the heart) - can stimulate our nervous system, bring more oxygen and blood flow to the brain, boost our metabolic rate and energy levels, work the core, rouse the lymphatic system, and help with circulation. 
  • Doing yoga – breathing and exhaling deeply filters air through our lungs. 
  • De-stressing – slowing down, meditation, walks in nature, doing something you love; a hobby, reading.

Foods that support the liver:

  • Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, Kale, cabbage
  • Beetroots and their greens 
  • Garlic 
  • Lemon
  • Green apples 
  • Bitter herbs: dandelion and yellow dock. 

Foods that support the kidneys:

  • Water – drink 2 litres a day 
  • Parsley
  • Coriander 
  • Green tea
  • Nettle
  • Alfalfa
  • Cranberry
  • Juniper berry

Foods to support your lungs:

  • Mustard
  • Turnip
  • Radish
  • Wasabi
  • Cayenne

Foods to support your lymphatic system:

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Lemon, lime, and grapefruit
  • Seaweeds
  • Garlic

Foods to support your colon and the microbiome:

  • Lentils
  • Chia seeds
  • Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, apple cider vinegar)
  • Onion and garlics
  • Apples
  • Psyllium 
  • Aloe vera 
  • Dandelion

Foods to support the skin:

  • Blueberries
  • Purple cabbage
  • Beetroots
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower seeds 

Detox is a lifestyle choice, not just a short-term fix. Doing these things in daily life, on a regular basis will help relieve your body of toxins we encounter in everyday life. 

 

Come and see Katie for one to one nutrition consultations and personalised nutrition plans to achieve optimal health. Book by emailing info@yardyoga.co.uk

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A journey to Yin Yoga by Sarah Alice Lee

Everybody’s journey to the yoga mat is different, as is the experience of the practice of yoga itself. Whether you like the physical aspects of strength building and stretching or the spiritual connection to yourself that it may induce, we all have our own story to tell.

My Journey to Yin Yoga was fraught with an internal battle. I liked to sweat, I liked to move and create fire in my body even when it came to Yoga. I used to be such an exercise addict, craving that sweet serotonin release that comes with a good workout. I was that person who would never sit still. So, the idea of walking into a dimly lit room with relaxing music and for a meditative practice involving sitting still in poses for three to five minutes seemed like the wrong avenue for a hyper gal like me. Then I lived through the Christchurch Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 and everything changed. The big quakes in themselves were quite the experience but it was the thousands of aftershocks that took their toll on the body. To have constant raised levels of adrenalin, always in that fight or flight mode, resulted in toxic levels of the stress hormone cortisol in my tissues. My physical health and mental health declined rapidly. No amount of running or consumption of wine seemed to achieve a state of relaxation or equilibrium in my body that I was so desperately needing. It felt like I was surviving rather than living. Desperate to find some reprieve I let go of my assumptions of Yin and stepped on to my mat.  I finally listened to my body and I understood that I needed to go deeper. Rather than keeping busy, trying to sweep my emotions and stresses under the rug in order to get through each day, I gave myself permission to be still, to stop running, stop with the distractions, stop the numbing and allow myself to feel, truly connect to me. But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself with my story and should explain what Yin is.  

There is Yin energy and its opposite Yang energy in everything, from the elements of fire and water to the expression of moods such as ecstasy and sobriety. It refer to the balance in life originating from the teachings Chinese Daoism. Yoga adopted the application of Yin and Yang energies. Yang yoga such as Hatha and Vinyasa draw heat into the body through the exercising of the muscles. Yin is a cooling practice that accesses the joints, tendons, ligaments and deep fascial networks (the connective tissues of the body), and even the bones stressing them passively to achieve a deep stretch in the body. 

On a physical level, the practice of holding Yin poses allows increased circulation to the joints allowing oxygen to get deep into the connective tissues which heals, rejuvenates, and energises the body, as well as achieve an improved level of flexibility. If you are looking to compliment your hot yoga practice by inviting more openness into the body you will love this practice.

But there is more to Yin than just a good stretch. It is improving the connection you have to your body on a deeper platform that can be challenging to articulate. When you sit in deep sensation during a pose and you find that edge where you are no longer in your comfort zone and suddenly your breath becomes the only important focus, you find yourself fully present in the moment. No thoughts of yesterday, projections of the future, those busy thoughts that occupy our minds from the moment we wake up to when we go to sleep and even then, our subconscious has a way of allowing our worries to penetrate our dreams. In these moments of sensation through postures, the awareness of the body takes over and you can find that blissful disconnection from everything else and a reconnection to the true you. 

There is also the releasing of the “issues in the tissues” and this is where my story ties in. The tissues of the body store our emotions. Every thought you have leads to a physical reaction of the body. You have a fright and the body releases adrenalin, you become stressed and there is that cortisol. Our bodies are very clever things, the body seeks to achieve balance (hello Yin and Yang) so if the Sympathetic Nervous System is in control (fight or flight– Yang) the Para-sympathetic Nervous System kicks in to act as the counterbalance (rest and digest - Yin). But when one system is in use more than the other the body struggles to regain the balance. The practice of Yin addresses this imbalance, enabling the release of toxins and hormones to be processed rather than being stored in the body. Of course, the science goes so much deeper than this and yes, I totally geek out on reading about what happens on a cellular level but I won’t elaborate on that for now. 

The message I’m trying to share is that Yin really did save me when I really needed it and has shaped my lifestyle choices since. Whether you are looking to manage your stress levels, find reprieve from a busy schedule and find some you time, have an emotional release or maybe you just want to condition your body to find a more open Dancers Pose. Whatever your journey may be, you are welcome to the mat. A safe space, a non-judgemental practice where you allow your breath and body guide you to a depth that suits you. 

Sarah Alice will be leading a Yin Yoga Workshop on Sunday 21st of May 2017 from 12.00-14.00.

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Communal Yoga Poem by Mel Parks

Together for Yoga

Yoga brings us back together.

Sharing the time on the mat

stops the clutter in my head. 

 

Like-minded people achieve

with practice, awareness, balance, 

abundance of love

expanding the spirit within. 

 

Beating of my heart

clears negative thoughts. 

 

I feel beautiful simply

when I feel at peace, 

letting go

of what others may think.

 

Cherish the occupying goddess,

learning to breathe

through my veins.

 

I am with myself

and my breath;

we’re mending now.

 

My mind and soul 

transforms the form 

of my body.

 

Surrounding myself 

with a sense of peace, 

stillness in action we rest

in loving ourselves.

 

My body feels powerful

to my core, practising yoga

inspires me every day.

 

I just LOVE it!

 

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Writing Yoga - Guest post by Mel Parks

One cold, grey day in February, when I couldn’t get warm in my own house, I walked into Yard Yoga and immediately started stripping off my layers. It felt so comfortable, welcoming and nurturing. I wanted to spend more time there, so I approached Sarah and Daphne about becoming their writer in residence at part of my MA in Creative Writing.

It was also partly a ruse to trick my body into exercising. If I turned exercise into a writing project, I told myself, I would stick with it. So far, it’s worked. After years at my desk spending hours reading and writing and ignoring my body, the strain I felt in my shoulders and neck was crying out for attention. I needed to do something, so alongside the writer in residence project, I signed up for Yard Yoga’s £30 for 30 days offer. 

Another thought that attracted my writer self was that yoga is about so much more than exercise; it would help me write by giving me stillness, focus and calm. It would also engage my interest in story and mythology as yoga is rich in ancient history.

I have done yoga before, but not for about 15 years and not since having children. Yoga at age 45 is different to yoga at 30, I would have to be kind to myself! My first class of the 30-day offer was with Amber Scott on a Thursday morning. It felt decadent, taking time during the day when I should be working, but this was part of a writing project, after all. And if it helped my energy and focus afterwards, it would be worth it. I told her I was new and she reassured me, telling me to take it easy, rest if I needed to. I unrolled my brand new sticky mat and copying everyone else, lay down on my back. I did not expect to feel so uncomfortable just lying down. It was like lying on a twisted rope tied between my shoulder blades.

My arms and shoulders hurt during downward-facing dog. My hamstrings felt so tight they could pop any minute and they murmured to me for days. And the hardest part was the exhaustion after the first few classes. I fell asleep for two hours one Sunday afternoon. I needed more energy, not less. But, slowly I realised that if I drank lots of water after a class, and ate what I needed to keep going until bedtime, I would sleep deeply and feel refreshed the next day. 

Now, just a few weeks after starting yoga, I notice my breath more, the way my body sits at my desk and where I’m holding tension. I am not so tired after a class and when I walk out of there, I feel a little bit taller. I can also lie down on the floor without my shoulders feeling lumpy! 

Next, I’d like to integrate my writing and yoga. These two practices go so well together - yoga opens the body and creates space for writing, and writing can record feelings, thoughts and moments from yoga, deepening reflection. Both are good for mindfulness, staying calm and strong in our busy lives. 

Yard Yoga Writer in Residence Project

This project explores the connection between writing and yoga and brings the two practices and communities together. I will be making a poem from words given to me during two participatory sessions at the studio, as well as writing my own poetry inspired by yoga and the body. 

Books about writing and yoga

Writing the Fire! Yoga and the Art of Making Your Words Come Alive - Gail Sher

Journey From the Center To The Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices as Muse for Authentic Writing - Jeff Davis

More about Mel Parks

Mel Parks, a professional writer for 20 years, now runs HoneyLeaf Writing [link to: www.honeyleafwriting.com] aimed at helping other people find ease with writing. She offers copywriting services, creative writing courses, workshops and coaching.  She is also studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Brighton University.

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During the Full Moon I fell in love with the Alps

As most of you know, I went to teach a yoga retreat in the French Alps. It was a truly amazing and nourishing experience, one that I truly hope to repeat again next year!

We arrived on Saturday, the sun was shining, driving along a winding road, with fir trees on either side of the road interspersed with glimpses of wondrous looking chalets, we arrived where the road stopped at Chalet Rosiere, where two very gorgeous dogs greeted us. Chalet Rosiere is a typical mountain Chalet built from stone and wood. The sort of house you would want to spend an exciting holiday in, or perfect life, with views of vegetable patches planted by the local population, Fir forests, a valley, and across the valley the sound of a waterfall. The views from the balcony and the bedrooms are truly breath taking, postcard perfect.

The chalet is very well situated for summer and winter vacations. It is close to ski resort La Rosiere and to many stunning walks.

After arriving we spent the rest of the day doing yoga, eating delicious vegetarian/vegan food and getting to know one another.

The intention for the next mornings yoga session was “Exploration”. With that in mind we explored the ebb and flow of our yoga practice as the sun rose. The class moved from a slow start to building more heat and then again it eased into rest. With our intentions set and our purpose clear we ventured into the French Alps, soaking up every bit of fresh mountain air and stunning views.

The week continued in this way with yoga twice a day, fresh, sunny and exhilarating walks, yummy food and much talking.

Our second walk was my favourite walk of that week. Philip, our host, took us to the most peaceful part of the Alps I have ever been to. The trails were covered with wild flowers, and the cleanest streams you can imagine. The landscapes were dotted with remote little mountain chalets that people would use only in the summer, as you couldn’t get there during the winter.

The week was based around the full moon, so on Wednesday we had our full moon celebration. Which we enjoyed again with a stunning walk, more yoga, a cacao ceremony, intention setting and meditation in the forest after the sun had gone down. During the week we had all felt the power of the moon increasing, as we all seemed to have had vivid dreams during the night.

As we climbed higher and higher during the week and we got closer and closer to the snow line and saw several glaciers in our views I decided that I love being in the mountains. I couldn’t get enough of the energy that the mountains gave me, the shear strength of the mountains recharged me in a way that I have never experienced. Nothing was able to interfere with that energy, I fell in love with the mountains doing the thing that I love doing the most, teaching Yoga.

Please keep your eyes and ears open, as soon I hope to let you know when I will be there again.

Click here to see the photos from the retreat

Much love,

Sarah xx

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Full Moon Retreat with Sarah at The Wellbeing Chalet

Dear Yard Yogis,

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post something on the blog and I’ve missed it. We’ve been soooo busy with everything going on in the Yard that writing went out of the window.

So now I’m super excited about my next Yoga adventure this summer in the Alps. And am writing because I would love to share the experience with you. I’m teaching Yoga at this amazing Yoga retreat in the French Alps. We will do yoga, hike and celebrate the full moon.

For those that come to my classes know how much I like theming classes and I try to pick a theme that is appropriate for the day. Now we can theme the week with the celebration of the full moon. We’ll do yoga to set ourselves up for the day and for the hike, with a nice morning flow each day and then we’ll finish the day with some nice restorative yoga. I cannot wait to share this with those that are coming.  This yoga retreat will be away to celebrate yourself, so if you want to join me and The Wellbeing Chalet please book here : http://www.chaletrosiere.fr/hike-yoga/

Much love

Sarah xxx

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Standing on your own two feet with the muscles of the soul

Within our deepest core lie three long complex muscles that stretch along both sides of the spine, span laterally from the 12th thoracic vertebra (T12) to each of the 5 lumbar vertebra and flow down through the abdominal core, the pelvis, to attach to the top of the femur (thigh) bone. The ilio-psoas are muscles that are both vertical and diagonal: psoas major, psoas minor and the iliacus (a muscle sheath lining the inside of the pelvic basin). Where the psoas attaches at T12, is also where the trapezius muscle attaches and moves upward toward the skull, and where the diaphragm attaches. The diagonal aspect of the psoas acts as a 'shelf' for the internal organs and follows the urinary bladder connection to the kidneys. In this sense, it can be engaged muscularly or organically. This is also the same pathway that many suggest is the yogic energetic lock known as uddiyana banha.

What is interesting to me is the profound and direct effect these muscles have, not only on our physical alignment but also on our internal alignment; our emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. They are even referred to by Taoist healers as 'the muscles of the soul'.

The point where the upper psoas and diaphram meet at the solar plexus, is from a yogic perspective an area believed to be the centre for personal power, gut feeling, self-esteem and the power of self-transformation - the same area as the middle dan tian, and manipura chakra associated with the colour yellow. Physically the diaphragm sits just below our lungs assisting and regulating our breathing and our digestion. When we are under stress the diaphram contracts, our breath shortens and blood is sent from our digestive system into the muscles preparing us for our innate 'fight or flight' response.

Liz Koch, a psoas specialist, writes that “ If we constantly contract the psoas due to stress or tension, the muscle eventually begins to shorten leading to a host of painful conditions including low back pain, sacro-iliac pain, sciatica, disc problems, spondylolysis, scoliosis, hip degeneration, knee pain, menstruation pain, infertility, and digestive problems. A tight psoas not only creates structural problems, it constricts the organs, puts pressure on nerves, interferes with the movement of fluids, and impairs diaphragmatic breathing. The psoas is so intimately involved in such basic physical and emotional reaction, that a chronically tightened psoas continually signals to your body that you’re in danger, eventually exhausting the adrenal glands and depleting the immune system.”

Due to our modern-day fast-paced lifestyle (which runs on the adrenaline of the sympathetic nervous system) and because many of us are in a some form of seated position for the majority of the day bringing the hip joint into prolonged periods of flexion that shortens the psoas, both lifestyle choices/necessities signal to our brain that we are in some form of danger. Unfortunately for many of us this is difficult to avoid.

However, the great news is that if you are reading this you are most likely practicing yoga and therefore actively releasing the tension in the psoas everytime you practice! This can be as simple as deepening the breath or working through poses such as Pigeon or Lunge that specifically target a release in the psoas.

But if any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, then it might be interesting to try and first locate the psoas in your own body during your yoga practice. Try engaging the psoas in Downward dog split, Bridge or Warrior II. Instead of relying on the glutes or the quads see if you can engage the psoas by scooping the lower belly in and lifting from your core. It does take practice but that's what we do, we practice and as Iyengar put it: “The study of asana (poses) is not about mastering posture. It's about using posture to understand and transform yourself.”

So have fun, start with the breath, enjoy getting to know your body and as you come to understand yourself, watch how your life transforms!

If you have any questions please come and find me in class, I'm always happy to talk about our amazing body, and if I don't know something I'll find out! Also follow me on Facebook at Myrthe Aurora where I will share with you interesting reads and anything that inspires me.

Have a wonderful day standing on your own two feet with the muscles of the soul.


Namaste

Myrthe Aurora


References:

Liz Koch - The Psoas Book & Core Awareness

https://bodydivineyoga.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/the-psoas-muscle-of-the-soul/


http://www.wakingtimes.com/2015/06/02/the-muscle-of-the-soul-may-be-triggering-your-fear-and-anxiety/

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Meghan Currie

As yoga instructors we are on a forever journey to improve ourselves, our practice and our whole way of being in essence our lifestyle and relationships with self and others. This journey never stops, it’s one for life, and this is one of the main reasons why I fell in love with yoga.

To start this journey we search for teachers that inspire us. I have many teachers that inspire me to strive to be a person that is forever learning and growing. One of the teachers I currently follow is Meghan Currie.

Meghan Currie’s own personal yoga practice is unique and completely different to any other that I have come across. She channels something that is true to herself, something completely intuitive and shows us amazing, strong yoga posture sequences.

Recently I completed a 30 day programme with her online on the Cody App (www.codyapp.com) which was called “Wild and Free”. Being wild and free is something I’m not naturally good at. I struggle with fear, I don’t feel strong enough to feel fearless. So I started the 30 days, with the aim of trying to feel into my body in a more fearless way, and also trying to feel where I can feel free and a little bit wild....

When I started a regular yoga practice, one of the first things I noticed was how much freer in my body I felt and as a consequence much more free in my mind, my mind was clearer - less busy with past and present thoughts, just simply more present and focused. It took a lot of commitment to keep going through the 30 days as all the workouts were intense and strong, but on completing it I feel amazing, I feel stronger and yes I do feel more Wild (as in less fearless) and more Free.

It so happened that just after I finished the programme Meghan Currie was in London teaching a workshop. For me seeing her is like going to see a celebrity. I was very excited and she did not disappoint, in fact she was even more inspiring in person. She talked about all the things I try and achieve through my yoga lifestyle, like trying to allow myself to explore all my edges, meditation, journaling, tuning in with yourself body and mind and releasing all the negative stuff from past experiences.

So here I found myself, during the workshop falling in love with yoga even more, and feeling so grateful that there are teachers like Meghan Currie who are there for us to take inspiration from. My favourite quote from her on that day was: “Feeling free and secure in listening to ourselves, is where abundance lies”.

If you would like to take the Meghan Currie 30 day programme ‘’Wild and Free’’ I would really recommend that you visit www.codyapp.com and explore this experience, I loved it and feel very inspired by it, I hope you can too.

With love, Sarah x

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Lift Reach Twist Arch

"Lift, reach, twist, arch" bellows my teacher Shy Sayar's smiling voice from the back of the class room to try and be heard over the screaming cicadas outside. Parivrtta Parsvakonasana, Revolved Side-Angle Pose. I feel a bead of sweat run down across the inside of my lower ribs, watch it splash onto the purple mat, leaving a darker speck: I must be working hard.

So how is this pose helping me become aware of my interdependence? How is this simulating the challenges of life as I fan open my top arm?  Twisting deeper, I free my breath as I draw my sit bones into my hamstrings, arching my upper back through my chest to twist and reach it up towards the sky. My thighs burning, twisting and pulling away from each other. I sit. Deeper. I breathe into the pit of my abdomen where my breath, as if welcoming home an old friend with open arms, embraces all my thoughts of discomfort, screaming to get out and give up. There, in my own centre of gravity, are all my thoughts quietened, softened, stilled so that the suffering isn't quite so strong. So I practice, I turn up, I look experience in the eye and see it come in and out of existence. Experience coming into being and just as quickly fading away. Life is momentary. Each moment, although often experienced as eternal, changes, transforms and if you let it, can be freed from suffering.

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Showing up

Feel the body. What does it say? We are this incredibly unique life enclosed by flesh and bone and neural pathways whizzing across endless grids and with each turn the mind unfolds into different sensations, different thoughts and different emotions. In this body we practice yoga and a part of this practice is yoga asana, "simulating the challenges of life, the ups and especially the downs that the mind considers such a threat to its integrity, and shows us that we don't have to fight in order to win. We just have to keep showing up and fearlessly look experience straight in the eye." - Shy Sayar.

I'm already half way through my teacher training course. Time has flown. Everyday I get up at sunrise and wander out of my small bungalow that I'm not only sharing with my good friend Hazel but also with our friendly gecko who yesterday got himself into a fight. He lost both front feet, his tail and has a gash across his side. Now he seems to be quietly dying behind my camera case. His impending death means we'll have even more "not so friendly" visitors in our bungalow, who already frequently cause a pre-bedtime adrenalin frenzy of hysterical arm flapping and trying to weigh up how deadly the animal is and whether that justifies us killing it.

My teacher training consists of morning asana practice and meditation, anatomy, philosophy and studying the yoga sutras, plus some yoga play time consisting of acro yoga, shadow yoga and couples yoga. It has been intense, mentally, emotionally, physically but I am loving each and every minute of it. Everyday my understanding of yogic practices allows me to live more freely, more conciously and be ever more present by delving deeper into a sense of our interconnectedness. The thought that soon I will be able to bring some of what I have learnt to Forest Row and hopefully some other beautiful places across the globe, fills me with so much joy and so much gratitude. 'We all inquire into yoga. Yoga happens in the resolution of consciousness. Through yoga, consciousness can become aware of its interdependence.' In Matthew Remsi's translation of Patanjali's yoga sutras.

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Note from Sarah: What is Vinyasa Flow Yoga?

This time I want to talk about the benefits of Vinysasa Flow Yoga.

This practice is rooted in how you synchronise your breathing with flowing movement. The ultimate benefit is that you will arrive at a harmonious, balanced and mindful state. 

This particular style of Yoga practice is my passion. It has taken me beyond what I thought was possible for me. It has given me more energy and freedom of movement. This has given me the tools to be able to truly listen to my body and my state of mind, so that I find myself more present on the mat when I am teaching.

For me the most important benefit of this practise is arriving in a flow state. 

I recently had an experience, where I arrived to teach feeling extremely nauseous but was able to quickly zone in on my body, focus on my breathing and came to a stillness and I was able to not feel nauseous any more. 

You can apply this to your own practice, if you are feeling stressed, worried, anxious or overwhelmed, then a Vinyasa flow practice can mindfully alleviate and reduce the impact of these emotions leaving you feeling more relaxed, at ease and of course in “the flow state”.

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Come fly with me...

Did I forget to breathe? I step into the familiar hustle of Heathrow Terminal 4 departure lounge. My life once more on my back just the way I like it, alone, Birkenstocks with warm cashmere socks on, a yoga matt strapped to my bag, no make-up, ready to fly. For those that want to join me on my journey to becoming a Yoga Teacher, come fly with me! Over the next six weeks I will write and share with you some of my experiences on this amazing path that I have found myself on.

A little about my story and how I have come to be here in this moment.

I have always been a very athletic person. I was the girl competing against the boys, the girl that couldn't sit still for long, who had to move and use her body; and moving is what I have always done best. I rode horses as fast as I could, scuffed my knees playing street hockey, bruised my wrists playing volley ball, somersaulted on trampolines in my leotard, ran cross-country wherever my feet could take me, swam (mostly underwater) until I was blue in the face, if i could move I would.

So when I was sixteen I took my first yoga class. My body felt awkward and frustratingly inflexible. My mind wandered, comparing myself to the people around me, my breathing was difficult and why was I sweating when I was practically still most of the time?! However, I walked out of that class feeling something I hadn't felt before. I was familiar with the post-exercise endorphin rush that comfortably ran it's course through my veins but there was something more. There was a deep calmness that held my natural high and cleared my mind as if I had just come to some sort of epiphany. Perhaps I did, perhaps this is why I am here now about to start my Yoga Teacher Training.

Yoga has been my friend, my companion and my solitude. We have travelled to some amazing places across the globe together, practiced all sorts of different styles, and although we haven't always seen eye to eye with one another, like any good friend, you don't always have to see them to know that they are there.

Now here I am, in this moment, the only moment that really counts, excited, driven, liberated, filled with so much gratitude and ready to move.

"Movement feels like flight when wedded to space" - Yoga Sūtra-s of Patañjali

Namaste

Myrthe

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