Author: Blackdogliving

Bedtime Rituals…10 minute Yoga & Cultivating Gratitude for the Day…

It’s a ritual I began after my cancer diagnosis. Faced with the fear of dying I suddenly became overwhelmingly grateful for the life I had, albeit with a life threatening disease. I’m now approaching 2 years all clear, but the ritual of gratitude at the end of the day (and sometimes intermittently throughout the day) has stayed with me. It was a struggle at first, thinking of something to be grateful for amidst the pain and uncertainty of life. I settled on the cosy socks I owned. Fluffy, warm, comforting. I’ve always loved a good pair of socks and as the gratitude for socks began to flow it opened my mind to just about every other aspect of my life which offered this comfort. A warm bath, a moment with a cup of tea, a hug with my husband or children. I began to focus on my home, my bed, our heating and hot running water. Having enough food to eat, the friends and family around us… After a little while practicing it occurred to …

Let’s Talk about Shame…

Shame lurks deep undercover, like a snake in the grass that you don’t know is there but step too close to that which it’s guarding and it’ll rise up with with all it’s got. ‘No closer’ it says as you look towards the deep undergrowth, ‘what I’m guarding is secret, it can’t be shared’… It’s enough most of the time, for us to move away, to let it be and to avoid going back. If you’ve ever felt that there’s something about you which is really dark, really disgusting, something which is different. If you’ve ever felt like you don’t fit, like everyone else is getting the plot and you’re failing at trying, there’s a chance that shame is the gatekeeper to that feeling, like a snake in the grass wrapping itself around what it’s guarding and holding on tightly. For shame, the fear of exposure is deadly, so it’ll use everything it has to survive. Being a harbour for shame is playing it’s game, is conforming to it’s rules and steering clear of the …

Distraction, Addiction & Avoiding Pain… Learning to be myself.

Hello, My name is Lauren and I am an addict.  I am addicted to anything which enables me to avoid feeling my feelings. In order not to feel, I distract myself purposefully, even wilfully by being exceptionally busy.  By saying ‘I can do that’ to anything that means I don’t have to think or feel, it might be caring for others, cooking, shopping, offering my services, teaching another yoga class, cleaning the house, scrolling through facebook, eating too many biscuits, drinking too much alcohol, the list goes on.  There are of course, lots of other drivers for these actions, but for me the ignition, before practicality or necessity and to the degree that I’m so busy I am physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted, is distraction.  It’s a deep internal pleading for my mental, emotional and sometimes physical pain to be taken away.  ‘Taking the edge off’ or even fully submerging myself in avoidance through whatever it is I’m addicted to in the moment (including Yoga classes by the way), is like putting blinkers on to …

My Anger, My Inner World, And a love note to Agni!

My Anger… I am so angry.  I’m angry because I’ve denied my anger for as long as I can remember.  I’ve denied my anger because I didn’t think it was pretty, or pleasing or useful.  I bought in to the Bullshit that in order to be a grown up, successful person, especially one who’s a yoga teacher, I would be pleased and gentle and kind and understanding, and above all I would put anyone else before myself, including anyone I walked past in the street and anyone who ever spoke to me, and anyone on the TV, and that’s everyone.  And then if my anger spoke up, I’d hush it away and try to pretend it wasn’t there.  Like shoving playdoh in to a pot that’s just a bit too small, bits spilling over the edges and me all the while trying to shove the lid on, playing ‘nothing to see here, anger, no, not me I’m calm and gentle and pleased about everything, stop looking at me funny and it’ll all go away’… Buying …

My Name is Lauren, I am a Recovering Bullshit Addict

A year ago I discovered I had cancer.  It took six months for shock to pass (aside from the physical recovery from major surgery), and a following four months of crazily energetic distraction to finally acknowledge how much fear, grief, loss, trauma & pain my family and I have gone through.  I am finally beginning to process those feelings and its taking everything I have (almost).  I emerge from a sleepy crying, snotty ball to teach yoga, to walk my dogs and to be with my family when they need me, all of which I love, and all of which are more than enough for me to deal with. Before cancer I was a Bullshit Addict.  I knew how to paint on a smile, I knew how to save you from my pain, my grief, my suffering and my desperate loneliness.  I was a hardcore pretender.  Bullshitting like my life depended on it, drowning my sorrows in smiles, and parties, and booze and home furnishings.  Before cancer I knew how to say ‘I’m fine’, when …

Rosemary & Walnut Buckwheat Loaf

Oh hi gluten free buckwheat loaf that takes just 45 mins in the oven.  How are you, you gorgeous indulgent bread friend with benefits? Your herby lusciousness lures me to you… I drizzle you with olive oil and sink my teeth, sumptuously in to your soft nutty loafiness… Can you tell I haven’t had bread in a while?  I’m a conservative grain consumer, saving myself for only the whole and gluten free goodies among the grain family… My gut says thank you – now I’m free of stodge and bloating and my taste buds say thank you – you meet my sweet nutty desires… So for the gluten free among you, or those looking for a quick bread fix, full of nutty buckwheat goodness this is for you… Let me know how you get on… Ingredients: 450g buckwheat flour 50g buckwheat oats 1 tsp sea salt 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (gluten free) 450mls Almond Milk 2 sprigs fresh rosemary large handful of chopped walnuts Method: Preheat the oven to 200C Chop 1 sprig …

4-Week Yoga Course for Absolute Beginners

Join Lauren for a 4-week course exploring the very basics of Yoga practice for self-care and well-being.  Lauren is a British Wheel of Yoga Certified Teacher with over 500 hours of training in Yoga philosophy, Meditation, Advanced Teaching and has a strong history with Mind Body connection. The Course will cover: Basic breathing techniques Common Yoga poses Introductory relaxation & meditation techniques The course is aimed at absolute beginners of any age.  It runs for 4 weeks and will equip students with the basic knowledge required to confidently move on to either a gentle hatha yoga class or more dynamic hatha yoga class on an ongoing basis. Dates:  Thursday 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th June 2018 Time:  9.30-10.45am Location:  The Zen Den, Hersham Price:  £50 The Zen Den The Zen Den is a purpose built yoga studio equipped for up to 5 students.  With a heated bamboo floor the den is hand built and clad in Cedar wood, insulated with natural sheep’s wood and finished with non-toxic finishes. Contact: Lauren@blackdogliving.com / 07763 135146 to book …