As mentioned last week, my summer has been busy working on my creative project.  Alongside that I have been completing extra yoga study and also focussing on study related to my business.  It was recommended through my business study to read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks PhD.

I was familiar with Gay’s work and background in psychology, personal growth, abundance and consciousness so I jumped at the chance to read this book.  In fact it was so engaging, I couldn’t put the book down and ended up reading it in two days!

The book is a comprehensive and simple guide to overcoming our barriers to achieving our full potential and to live more fully.  This potential is not just financial but also in love and life.

The goal in life is not to attain some imaginary ideal; it is to find and fully use our own gifts.”

The book can lead to some major “A-Ha” moments in terms of understanding our gifts and how we may be subconsciously sabotaging ourselves so that we don’t move forward to be the best we can be.

We have a limit to how much success, love, joy we may experience in life and generally this can be set early in our childhood.  This limit comes into play when we are doing well and we subconsciously do things to sabotage our achievements such as making bad decisions, engaging in negative thoughts, physically injuring ourselves, creating personal dramas.

Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy.  When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves , causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.”

Hitting this ceiling is referred to our “Upper Limit Problem”, when we push through our upper limit a voice in our head may say “You can’t possibly feel this good” or “be this happy in love”.  Unconsciously you do something to bring you back to your safe zone, a place where you feel  most comfortable.

Gay talks about our “Zone of Genuis”, a set of activities that are uniquely suited to you and serve your highest purpose in life.  The key thing here is that they are unique to you drawing on your talents and strengths.  This is what we truly LOVE to do, what makes our heart sing.

The fear of being fundamentally flawed brings with it a related fear.  It’s the fear that if you did make a full commitment to living in your Zone of Genius, you might fail.  It’s the belief that even your genius is flawed.”

Gay expertly guides us through the hidden barriers giving advice on how to bust through them.  The four barriers identified are:

  1. Feeling Fundamentally Flawed – A feeling that you are fundamentally flawed in some way.
  2. Disloyalty and Abandonment – Believing that if you achieve success you will end up alone, be disloyal to your roots and leave behind people from your past.
  3. Believing That More Success Brings a Bigger Burden – Believing that reaching your highest potential will make you an even bigger burden.
  4. The Crime of Outshining – Feeling that having full success will make you outshine others which will make them look or feel bad.

I really loved this book and found new ways to look at how I deal with situations.  It gave me the opportunity to really look at how I respond to situations and where I may be sabotaging my life.  I firmly believe that you can change your life from the inside out so this book is a useful tool to examine ourselves and develop ways to change.

I’m sure I will get more out of the book upon further reading.  I’d highly recommend this book if you wish to take a different look at your inner life and would like to make positive change.

I love the mantra Gay quotes “I expand in abundance, success, and love every day, as I inspire those around me to do the same”.  We can each be the change.

the big leap


Next week I am back to my full yoga schedule and I’m certainly looking forward getting back into the studio. I’ve had a lighter programme over the summer which has allowed me to focus on my creative projects.

I’m in the middle of writing a children’s illustrated book which is a collaboration with Nia Gould, a locally based artist. This project started a while ago when a chance conversation seeded an idea. I must admit I started the project and didn’t really have a firm timetable in place which has allowed the project to evolve of its own accord.

On the one hand a lack of timetable could be seen as frustrating or unproductive but in this case it has allowed the book to emerge naturally and organically. I look back at our early proofs and can see how much the book has developed.  Using a collaborative way of working we have developed ideas, tried out different creative ideas and allowed the characters to find their voice.

The process of creative writing has also been interesting. I have spent most of my career writing in some form or another. Academic essays, business reports, funding applications, marketing copy, press releases, theatre programmes and brochures, web content and the list goes on. I thought this would have prepared me for the creative task ahead but it has been a steep learning curve.

Introducing the characters, setting the scene, linking the story to the illustrations, allowing the story to open up and flow have been new ways to write in order to gain the reader’s attention. Crafting a book that draws people in, grabbing their attention and sharing some inspirational thoughts has been the goal. Creating a fictional world that speaks to the reader has sometimes been an interesting challenge.

At times I have felt too close to the project which has obscured my view. Luckily I have had creative friends and “guinea pigs” around me to test out our ideas. I now realise that it is time to take the project to the next level so I have commissioned a writing coach to seek their professional view, iron out any concerns and to ensure that the book will be the very best that we can create.

At the outset I didn’t really know what adventure I had signed up to but I am certainly enjoying the process, allowing the book to emerge and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the life of this book.

Watch this space as I am looking forward to the time when I can share this book with you…

Follow this link to sign up for my monthly e-newsletters.

At the beginning of August I held a Yoga at the Beach class to raise funds for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project.

We raised £82 for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project, a campaign under the International Marine Mammal Project at the non-profit Earth Island Institute. The Dolphin Project aims to stop dolphin slaughter and exploitation around the world.  This work has been chronicled in films such as A Fall From Freedom, the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, and in the Animal Planet mini-series Blood Dolphin$.

Here’s a lovely thank you letter from the project which explain a little more about their work:

dolphin project thank you letter

Also visit the Dolphin Project website to find out more and learn how you can get involved.  If you haven’t seen them already it is worth watching The Cove and Blackfish.

Taking action, no matter how small, builds momentum.  Do something….”  We sometimes think that our small action will not make a difference but our collective effort can make a huge difference.

Om shanti.

yoga at beach tree aug



I’m back from deepest Oxfordshire where I had the pleasure of working for Wild Wellbeing in the Sanctuary area of Wilderness Festival.  A perfect space for people to immerse themselves in peace and tranquility in order to feed their body, mind and soul.

I love this Festival and it’s always a highlight of my annual calendar.  There is a huge mix on offer and it’s certainly more than just music.  Theatre, arts, talks, workshops, craft, wellbeing, lakeside spa, adventures, magical experiences, banqueting, good food, chilled vibe and great people.

It’s meant to be a holiday rather than a festival,” Jo Vidler, creative director and co-founder of Wilderness told Positive News, “A holiday experience with amazing entertainment around it.”

I was working as an in-house therapist offering Lomi Lomi massages in the Sanctuary.  I love working outside, nature brings an added dimension to the treatments.  The Sanctuary team was amazing, it’s great to work with such highly regarded therapists and yoga teachers in this special space.

It’s not all work and no play though.  Festival highlights for me included Burt Bacharach, Jessie Ware, London Grammar, dancing at the “Village Hall”, dancing to a soul band in the pouring rain, the fire spectacular, bathing in the light of the supermoon (the closest and largest full moon of the year) and accompaniment from the Friends of the Earth Busking Stage whilst we were massaging.

Here’s Vogue’s “Postcards from Wilderness Festival”, a picture diary of the weekend including a special mention for the Sanctuary!

Thank you Wilderness, it’s been fun.  Until next year…

Photo Credit: Wild Wellbeing/Secret Sanctuary

A HUGE thank you to everyone that attended yesterday’s Yoga at the Beach in Exmouth.  We were blessed with a sunny and warm morning.

Outdoor classes can add a different dimension to our practice, enable us to make deeper connections and encourage us to be very present.  Being outside can intensify our yoga experience and the sounds, fresh air and sensations can guide us to deepen our awareness and to connect more fully.

I love to witness the change in students, the deeper connections, the heart opening, the pure joy and the harmony.

It was an amazing way to start the day and hopefully we’ll plan a few more yoga sessions at the beach.

We raised £82 for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project, a campaign under the International Marine Mammal Project at the non-profit Earth Island Institute. The Dolphin Project aims to stop dolphin slaughter and exploitation around the world.  This work has been chronicled in films such as A Fall From Freedom, the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, and in the Animal Planet mini-series Blood Dolphin$.

Campaigns for dolphin protection are currently underway in a variety of locations around the globe, including the Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Egypt, and Singapore.

It seemed fitting to raise funds to support this vitual project as we were at the beach.

Kids speak out against dolphin captivity

Here’s another recipe from our Bala Brook Aloha Yoga Retreat 2014.  Christine is a dedicated foodie and gets her inspiration from many sources including professional chefs.  This recipe is one of Jamie Oliver’s.

Minutes to prepare: 20
Minutes to cook:  30
Number of servings: 4

12 oz chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
1 medium potato, peeled
6 leek, finely, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
knob of butter
2 cloves of garlic, finely, sliced
freshly ground pepper
850 ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 handful parmesan cheese, grated
extra virgin olive oil


  1. Rinse the soaked chickpeas, cover with water, and cook with the potato until tender.
  2. Remove the outer skin of the leeks, slice lengthways from the root up, wash carefully and slice finely.
  3. Warm a thick-bottomed pan, and add the tablespoon of oil and the knob of butter. Add the leeks and garhc to the pan, and sweat gently with a good pinch of salt until tender and sweet.
  4. Add the drained chickpeas and potato and cook for 1 minute. Add about two-thirds of the stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Purée half the soup in a food processor and leave the other half chunky this gives a lovely smooth comforting feel but also keeps a bit of texture.
  6. Now add enough of the remaining stock to achieve the consistency you like. Check for seasoning, and add Parmesan to taste to round off the flavours.


We are all BIG fans of our Aloha Yoga Retreat cook, Christine.  She creates our retreat menus, sources local ingredients and lovingly prepares our retreat meals.  Her food gives us inspiration and fresh ideas for dishes to make at home.

By popular request here is one of her lunchtime dishes.  A tasty salad which is vegan and gluten-free.  You can swap the cashews and cashew butter for peanuts and peanut butter.

And yes Christine will be with us for the Bala Brook 2015 Aloha Yoga Retreat!

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups finely cut purple cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper (capsicum), diced
2 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
½ cup cashews (or peanuts)

¼ cup cashew butter (or peanut/almond butter)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger)
3 tbsp tamari (light soy sauce)
2 tbsp agave (or maple syrup)
2 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tsp crushed red chili pepper (or 1 tsp Sriracha sauce)


  1. Place the quinoa along with 2 cups salted water in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to the lowest heat setting. Simmer until water is completely absorbed and quinoa is fluffy, about 20 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.
  3. Add the quinoa to the dressing and mix well to combine.
  4. Add the veggies, onions, cilantro and cashews.

Original source for this recipe:
Author: Angela @
Image credit
Adapted from

Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 August 2014, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire.

Not long now to go until my favourite Festival… Wilderness is the multi-award winning 4-day festival combining live music, contemporary arts and an array of theatre, craftsmanship and dining experiences.  Headliners include London Grammar, Burt Bacharach and Metronomy.

I will be an In-House Massage Therapist with Wild*Wellbeing at The Sanctuary, WILDERNESS Festival.

The Sanctuary returns for another body-healing, soul-nourishing year, securely nestled on the top of a beautifully shaded hill above the lakes. Hugely popular – the Sanctuary has even more to offer in 2014.

The Wild*Wellbeing team has curated The Sanctuary as a festival destination, combining leading yoga teachers to twist, stretch and shake down your body, alongside a repertoire of highly qualified therapists and complementary health and wellbeing consultants from all disciplines. From acupuncture to zero-balancing, there is no ail that can’t addressed in this village of happiness.

Hopefully see you there!

Wilderness – The Film from Wilderness Festival on Vimeo.

Visit the Wilderness Festival Store to book your treatments. Click here for more about Wilderness Festival.

(Image Wild*Wellbeing. Copyright Wild*Wellbeing 2014)

I have just returned from our wonderful Aloha Yoga Retreat on Dartmoor.  It is always such a privilege and an honour to work with such inspiring groups and to be teaching alongside my colleague, Jagdambe Ma.

This year we allowed plenty of time for creative activities alongside yoga classes, massages, walking and of course rest.  On the Saturday morning we hosted a Raw Chocolate Workshop making a Raw Chocolate, Oats and Almond Milk Breakfast Smoothie; Raw Chocolate Fudge and a Clay & Raw Chocolate Face Mask.

We forget that play and laughter are important sources of relaxation for adults.  By developing our playfulness we can feed our imagination, creativity, develop problem-solving skills and improve our mental health.

In our busy lives, we may focus heavily on work and family commitments and having fun can be a low priority.  Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we have stopped playing and we may take life a little too seriously.  We all need to play so it is so refreshing to have the time and space for some fun!

We had the added bonus of being in an area with no phone signal and limited WiFi access so it was the perfect opportunity to be creative, playful and also have a digital detox.

There are numerous benefits to play such as:

  • Stress Relief – Play can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.  This helps to promote an overall sense of well-being.  The social interaction of play can also help ward off stress and depression.
  • Improve brain function – Puzzles or activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems and improve brain function.
  • Stimulate the mind and boost creativity – It is easier to learn new task when it’s fun.  Play can also stimulate your imagination, helping you adapt and problem solve.
  • Improve relationships and your connection to others. Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others.
  • Keep you feeling young and energetic – Playing can boost your energy and vitality and even improve your resistance to disease.

Here’s the Clay and Raw Chocolate Face Mask Recipe from our Raw Chocolate Workshop.  It’s great fun to do and makes your skin feel so smooth and glowing.

Clay helps to draw purities out and away from skin. Cacao is packed with antioxidants to help repair skin and flavanoids to reduce inflammation. The copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc in cacao can also promote healthy cell growth. Combined, these ingredients can help your skin feel fresh and cleaned, while also offering the aromatherapeutic pick-me-up benefits of chocolate.

Choosing to use green tea in this mask instead of distilled water can offer additional anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, which is particularly helpful around tired eyes.


1 tablespoon of powder clay

1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon distilled water or cooled green tea


1. Place the clay and cacao powder a bowl and blend well with a spoon.

2. Add purified water or cooled green tea to produce a paste that is of medium consistency — not too thick, not too runny.

3. Using either your fingers (or a clean brush if you prefer), apply a thin but evenly distributed layer of the paste to your face in upward strokes paying particular attention to your t-zone and nose, but avoiding the eyes and lips.

4. Allow the mask to dry for 15 minutes. Take this opportunity to put your feet up and relax. Once the mask has dried slightly, gently rinse your face with warm water and gently pat dry with a clean towel.

If you wish, you may follow this with a gentle face wash and toner, but most importantly, don’t forget to moisturize. This mask is not recommended for people with eczema. If you have sensitive skin, please do a patch test first.



After the Yoga Nidra workshop on Saturday, we had an interesting discussion regarding the need to slow down.  How slowing our yoga practice can help us find balance in our fast paced world.  We are constantly rushing in our lives, juggling responsibilities, suffering digital overload, feel more stressed about being stressed and our adrenals may be in overload.

By taking a traditional approach to our asana practice and allowing ourselves to slow down, we can access much deeper awareness and connection.  We can be aware and enjoy our subtle progress, prevent injury, learn to love ourselves by not adding the pressure to achieve and observe how slowing down filters into our everyday life.

My friends at Yogalaya posted this interesting piece regarding slowing down which gives us much food for thought.

It is interesting to note that many Hatha Yoga scriptures ask us to relax, slow down and take it easy. This, I think, is one of the most important message of Hatha Yoga to the modern yogis. Imagine a situation of a yoga enthusiast /student who comes to the class at 7 in the evening after working 11 hours in the office. In the morning this person jumps out of bed, rushes into shower, runs to catch the train to office and takes the bull of challenges by its horns throughout the day. Such has become the pace of us urban people. Such a person who comes to the class in the evening brings the “let’s do it” alpha energy into the class. The hyper active, achievement oriented office mind-set will unconsciously continue in the yoga class too and could be a cause of injury. It is in such situations that the person needs a calming asana practice focused on breathing, awareness and conscious movement and not just stretching the muscles for achievements sake. It is the responsibility of yoga teachers to guide the student through this wider, pacifying orientation and not just create another opportunity for the enthusiast to live through the adrenals.

Traditional Hatha Yoga schools have used asana practices primarily as an awareness deepening and energy realigning technique and not as flexibility or stretch training. Deepening of self-awareness is facilitated by general slowing down and when asanas are used, through asana practice focused on sensations, breath, prana flow and emotional sensitivity. In this respect the scriptures ask the sadhaka to relax and take it easy as well. Gorakh Vachana Sangraha says “asanasya rajo hanti”, asana is about removing the rajas. As we know rajas is the hyperactive, unsatisfied and the dynamic aspect of body-mind complex. Gorakhnath in Gorakh bani says “thabaki na chaliba” means do not walk in haste. Sant Kabir, says “asana se mat dol”, means do not move from your asana, be still. Even the highly revered Hatha Yoga scripture like Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati defines asana as “asanamiti svasvarupe samasannata” means, asana is to remain in one’s own true state. Thus, we see that asana is understood more as a mental attitude than a physical practice. Nowhere in traditional Hatha Yoga the active, goal oriented aspect of asana practice is pressed upon. Asanas were looked upon as method to generate stillness. Modern yoga enthusiasts need to start entering the zone of stillness by slowing down their asana practice and making it “conscious” based and not competition based. The world needs to learn how to slow down and take it easy. It is essential that today’s yoga asana culture understands this and adopts this orientation, otherwise the beauty of asana practice will be unfortunately relegated to a level of competition and exhibitionism”. The quote is from Prasad Rangnekar.

I had an interesting lesson in slowing down this morning on my way to class.  Local children were leaving home to go to school and a little boy said to his sister.  “Look Evie, Look” I wondered what was so exciting and important.  “A puddle….  And it’s a huge puddle”.  The wonders of slowing down, taking notice and enjoying life!

Hopefully see you on your mat soon.  Click here for classes, workshops and retreats.

Sign up here for my monthly newsletter – news, updates, free meditation downloads

Photo credit: The DoubleDubs