Autumn Breathing Space

Friday 29th October, 7.30pm – 8.30pm online

Yoga nidra is a beautiful space of receptivity and physical and emotional rest. Through becoming quiet and peaceful, we can listen more attentively to the voice of our intuition. You might have experienced a taste of this in the short relaxation at the end of a yoga class. As your body sinks into softness and your mind becomes more spacious, new ideas bubble up. Problems that were lurking around in the back of your mind suddenly have easy solutions. Inspiration arrives or a decision is made. The receptive state allows deeper knowing to break through the surface noise of everyday thoughts. 

In the Breathing Space, we create the crucible for this transformation to happen. Through simple, breath-based meditation, we dial-down the mental noise. Then we let the body relax completely and through that relaxation we enter a space of conscious self-awareness. And that is where the hands and heart open to receive the gifts of yoga nidra.

Curious? Come and join me on Friday evening for the first of a regular monthly gathering.

We’ll begin with a short, guided seated meditation (sit on the floor or a chair or the sofa), followed by a lovely long relaxation to take you into the state of yoga nidra. Have a cosy nest of cushions and blankets ready for lying down on the floor. 

Get in touch for the zoom link. Entry is by donation.

The Breathing Space is back!

Celebrate the energy of the Autumn Equinox – 7.30pm Friday 24th September

The sun is still warm and the nights are drawing in. It’s time to grab your blankets and get ready for yoga nidra.

Yes, the Breathing Space is back!
This is a regular monthly retreat into a calm headspace. An hour of self-care where I lead you through a centring guided meditation and an inspiring and deeply physically relaxing yoga nidra. 

Come and join me in zoomland on Friday evening and let your body-mind rest and replenish. Let the insights of the lingering season bubble up inside you. This is a liminal, dreamy time as late summer mellows into autumn. A time to celebrate and appreciate what you’ve achieved this year, to harvest the gold of your learning and your wisdom. 

We reach the autumn equinox on Wednesday, when the northern hemisphere begins its gradual tilt into the darker months of the year. Align yourself with the planet and take a moment to integrate summer’s abundance and move confidently towards winter with a deep feeling of gratitude.

Get in touch for more details and the zoom link.

Summer Sanctuary Breathing Space

Meditation and yoga nidra, on Zoom, Friday 18th June 7.30pm-8.30pm

As we approach the solstice and midsummer, it’s time to embrace the fullness of the lovely long days and the balmy evenings…and also to enjoy the quieter moments, when we can retreat into ourselves and just watch the world go by.

Sometimes we need to create that sanctuary of peacefulness and that’s what I offer in the Breathing Space… quite literally a breather from everyday life. An hour to gift to yourself as relaxation and a recharging, so you can go back out into the world feeling more centred and energised. 

We begin with a simple guided meditation that you can do sat on the floor or in a chair. Then I’ll invite you to lie down and get comfortable for the yoga nidra – a deeply relaxing and healing process that stimulates the imagination, brings you into deeper awareness of your body and felt sensations, and settles you ready for a good night’s sleep. 

Email me for the Zoom link, or ask to join my mailing list and you’ll automatically receive the link each month.

A donation is very much appreciated, whatever you are able to at this time. Direct to me (ask for bank details) or via Paypal to (if you choose ‘payment to friends or family’ there is no fee taken from your donation). 

I look forward to seeing you in the Breathing Space!

World Meditation Day

Come together in meditation – The Breathing Space, Friday 21st May, 7.30pm online

Surrendering to the ‘now’, focusing on your breath or an external object, or gazing at the clouds…. all these, and many more, are portals to enlightenment… which is simply the settling of awareness (meditation) that leads to the realisation of who you really are… a uniquely beautiful expression of the collective consciousness of life. 

‘Meditation is simply about being yourself and knowing something about who that is.’ – Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are, 1994.

My favourite route to the state of meditation is being in nature. I have several places on my regular walks where I can pause and look and listen. When I rest my attention in the present moment, in my body, being in the space, I begin to merge with the space, to become part of it. I realise that me and the space are made of the same stuff, that on a simple material level, and at a much deeper level, I am the space. Nature is a beautiful and potent reminder of who I really am. 

Next time you can pause, undisturbed, somewhere you find beautiful and calming, just let yourself be for a few moments or a few minutes. Watch the wind moving the trees, hear the birds, feel your feet on the ground, look closely at a flower. Know yourself to be made of the same elements of the earth and the water and the stars in the sky. Being in nature, communing with nature, becomes a portal to deeper understanding of your true nature. 

‘As you sit on the hillside, or lie under the trees of the forest, or sprawl by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.’ – Stephen Graham, The Gentle Art of Tramping, 1923.

Centring is another very quick route into a grounded, spacious feeling of deep self-awareness. I like this practice and it can be done indoors or out, wherever you are and however you are feeling. It’s called 5-4-3-2-1.
Begin by noticing 5 different things you can SEE, really looking at each one with the curious eyes of a child.
Then 4 things you can HEAR
3 things you can TOUCH
2 things you can SMELL
1 thing you can TASTE

I promise it will bring you right into the present moment and once you’re here, your mind is receptive to the state of meditation. 

But don’t take my word for it! Have a go and see what happens. I’d love to know how you get on. 

If you’d like to experience other routes into meditation, join me for this month’s Breathing Space on Friday 21st May. The event is free and donations are welcomed. Get in touch for details and the Zoom link. Look forward to seeing you!

the blossoming and blooming!

May Flowers Breathing Space – on May Day eve, Friday 30th April 7.30pm-8.30pm

It’s exactly a year since the first Breathing Space, an idea that came to me while walking in my local woodland during those strangely quiet weeks of early lockdown. The cycle of the seasons has brought us back to where we started and we’ll be welcoming in the summertime again in a yoga nidra that combines the fertile creative energy of May Day with classic Indian imagery. 

We’ll begin with a simple guided meditation that you can do sat on the floor or in a chair. Then I’ll invite you to lie down and get comfortable for the yoga nidra – a deeply relaxing and healing process that stimulates the imagination, brings you into deeper awareness of your body and felt sensations, and can really help with restlessness, anxiety and sleep problems. 

Email me for the Zoom link, or ask to join my mailing list and you’ll automatically receive the link each month.

A donation is very much appreciated, whatever you are able to at this time. Direct to me (ask for bank details) or via Paypal to (if you choose ‘payment to friends or family’ there is no fee taken from your donation). 

I look forward to seeing you in the Breathing Space!

Feel the rising energy of winter’s slow-flow

Full Moon Rising Breathing Space, Friday 26th February 7.30pm on zoom

In both the Indian Ayurvedic and the Chinese medicine systems, winter energy is described as deep and continuous, movement that just goes on and on and on. It certainly feels like that this February!

We can help ourselves by finding ways to break the monotony, by enjoying everyday moments – noticing signs of the changing season, finding a new route for our morning walk, or (my favourite at the moment) planning the veg plot ready for some serious seed-sowing at the next new moon.

In yoga this month, we’re following the cycle of the moon to give a structure to our winter practice and channelling our ‘Winter Warrior’ energy. New moon is quiet and introspective time, calling for self-sufficiency and the patience to yield. As the moon waxes, energy slowly grows and our practice can echo that. Our warrior becomes a bit more dynamic, stronger and more energised. As we reach full moon, it’s time to express our full capacity to enjoy life, to exercise our will power, to reach outwards. We can embody courage to meet our goals, connect to others and inspire and be inspired. You might notice you have a bit more creative energy at this time of the month.

In northern hemisphere cultures, the February full moon is called the Snow Moon, for obvious reasons. And also the Hunger Moon, relating to the scarcity of food from the land and hard hunting conditions in winter. It can be a harsh month, with little glimpses of spring that tempt us out, and then icy blasts of winter that force us indoors again. It is still very much a time for resting and being slow, even as we feel the call to get moving and doing again. 

Devoting time to resting is a conscious act of self-care that renews our physical and mental energy. We can wait until we’re exhausted by boredom or frazzled with stress and then collapse in a heap. Or we can choose to stop and care for ourselves with regular deep and deliberate periods of rest to sustain our energy.

A good place to start is to be guided into relaxation, to have a calm voice hold a safe space for you to relax into, and that’s what I offer in the Breathing Space. The yoga nidra is an extended version of the ten-minute relaxation you’ll have experienced at the end of a yoga class. You know how wonderful that feels, and you can times the effect by ten!

Practicing yoga nidra can help you sleep better, improve your concentration, and tune up your imagination and that impacts so many different areas of life. Learning how to rest the mind can ease deeply-held tensions in the body, and when we let go of tension quite often the aches and pains and the worries disappear too. 

If that sounds good to you, get in touch and I’ll send you the zoom link.

the Breathing Space returns…

on Friday 27th November, 7.30pm – 8.30pm

We’ll gather together on Zoom – ask me for the meeting link – to focus and rest, each in our own heart space and within the supportive energy of community.

This is a great way to de-stress from the push and pull of life and find your inner balance through a simple focus on the breath and sensation. After a seated guided meditation, I’ll invite you to lie down and totally relax in a practice called yoga nidra.

Curious? Come and join me.

I look forward to seeing you for an hour of deep self-care.

“Thank you so much for last evening’s meditation, it was truly amazing.” – E.H.

“Try the ‘Breathing Space’ guided meditation and relaxation sessions. Once a month for just an hour. A little bit of Heaven!” – Victoria

Earth, air, fire, water

Hallowed Eve Breathing Space – Friday 30th October, 7.30pm – 8.30pm on Zoom

And using the Elemental Energies to guide our yoga practice and self inquiry

As the world continues to feel a lot crazy, let’s find sanctuary and stability in the knowledge that we are part of nature. As the leaves turn colour and autumn comes into its brilliance, the reality that everything changes comes into sharp focus. Life is always in flux, moving through decay and rebirth, always breaking down and being remade.

If we can tune into that cycle which we are naturally a part of, it can help put the chaos into context. Everything changes and yet our innate adaptability can be the solid ground on which to stand.

Wherever you are, try this right now. Read the words slowly and let your attention rest into the gaps between the words…
Take a slow breath low into the belly, in and out, feel your feet on the ground, let your weight yield to gravity. Watch, listen, feel. Come into your wholeness and become part of the deeper harmony of the present moment.

We are nature, if we choose to be
I had a lovely walk with a friend this week and as we followed a stream down the combe through woodland she sighed happily and said how autumn is all about feeling. And I totally agree. We seem to come more into tune with what’s going on in nature at this time of year – the colours, the delicious earthy smells, the cosiness of nights drawing in. We feel it reflected in our bodies, in the elemental substance of our being. Maybe you feel it as a call to slow down, a brilliant blaze of colour, like the leaves on the trees, fading elegantly away. Or maybe it feels more like a rushing, swollen river or the fierce heat of a garden bonfire, moving swiftly to get everything done and ready for the winter. 

The elements will be our theme in online yoga classes during November, tuning into the vital energies that shape our feelings and responses as physical bodies, as part of nature. The grounded reliability and stability of the earth element, the dynamic flow of water, fire’s capacity to clear and cleanse, and the air that permeates as breath and space all around us. The elements can be a language to identify our habitual patterns, to recognise what we need more of or less of in our lives, and to bring us back into harmony with nature as our ground state. 

Classes happen on Zoom on Tuesdays and Fridays 10am-11.30am, and Thursdays 6pm-7.30pm, and cost £10 each. There are spaces at the moment, so get in touch if you’d like to join in this elemental journey. 

If you’ve not used Zoom before and are feeling a bit unsure about the technology, no problem! We can do a trial run where we make sure you know how to join a zoom meeting and how to set up your home space for the best experience. It really is very easy once you know how!
“We so look forward to our weekly classes and the monthly Breathing Space meditation. At first the thought of a virtual class was a bit daunting, but it is not at all. It’s just as relaxed and friendly as being in a ‘real room’ with the other participants.” – Angela & Mike

The journey of our practice with the elements begins with this month’s Breathing Space – on Friday 30th October at 7.30pm on Zoom – ask me for the meeting link. We’ll venture into the Halloween darkness together (pumpkins and fancy dress optional!), breathing with the grounded earthiness and slow flow of autumn. I look forward to seeing you for an hour of deep self-care.