All posts filed under: yoga

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 …

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 …

An Afternoon with the Goddess Durga

“Warrior Goddess of Protection & Inner Strength” Date:  22nd April 2018 Time:  4.00-5.30pm Location: The Zen Den, Hersham Booking:  £15 in advance Durga is the embodiment of the power of love, both gentle and fierce.  Through storytelling, meditation, chant and gentle movement we will connect with the innate power of Durga within us.   Once connected, this power is ours to summon for protection and inner strength throughout all our life circumstances. To book your place please contact Lauren:  lauren@blackdogliving.com / 07763 135146  

Breathing, Biorhythms & the Bija Mantra – How Yoga Heals us…

I don’t know about you, but in the process of wanting to be well I’ve discovered just how disconnected from my sense of self I have been in the past.  Noticing is always empowering, but it’s also frustrating.  When you notice something about yourself which doesn’t conform to the picture you’d like or had subscribed to, your world falls apart, maybe in a small way, maybe fundamentally, it really depends on how much life has been built on flawed foundations.  Take the example of me being a yoga teacher.  It might look and sound to the outside world as though I’m pretty peaceful, but in truth what’s led me to yoga is a lack of peace.  Yoga scooped me up when I was at my lowest, least peaceful stage of life to date.  After leaving a career to raise my children and then seeing both children off to school I felt hopeless and lacked purpose.  I couldn’t relax or find any value in the day to day living of my life.  Anxiety set in, and …

Sweet & Sticky Fig & Pistachio Quinoa Porridge…& Eating Intuitively

“The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…” This line generates a feeling of warmth within me… not just that it connects me to my own inner fire, or Agni as it’s known in Yoga.  Tuning in to our own inner Agni can connect us to feelings of internal physical warmth, we might also refer to it as ‘the fire in the belly’ or our passion for life… it could also relate to our metabolism and the way in which our digestive fire transforms our food in to fuel. Fire is transformational by nature.  Turning matter in to gas and ash.  Untamed, fire can be a destructive force at one end of the spectrum (Think ‘burn out’ in the metaphorical sense) or a damp smouldering smoky non starter at the other end (a lack of passion or a ‘non starter’). Keeping our Agni burning just bright enough is the work of our yoga practice, and I don’t just mean Asana, I mean our true connection with ourselves.  The mind and body working …

Join us on Retreat…

Transform & Restore Friday 19th – Sunday 21st October 2018 Join Hannah & Lauren for a transformative autumnal weekend yoga retreat.  Mirroring the season of letting go we will be working with meditation, chant, asana and sankalpa to release old habits and patterns which no longer serve us and to nurture and restore body, mind and soul, ready for the winter months ahead. Staying at the beautiful Tilton House, East Sussex (voted by The Guardian as one of the top Yoga retreats and holidays), the house is set in the South Downs National Park, immersed in nature and history. From 3pm on Friday – 3pm on Sunday, our weekend includes 5 full Yoga sessions, all vegetarian food sourced from the orchards and kitchen garden, accommodation comprising twin or double rooms (and one triple room). In addition spa treatments can be booked at around £60 per treatment and house wine purchased at £12 per bottle. Total Price:  £375 Booking is on a first come first served basis via a non-refundable deposit of £100.  The remaining £275 …

Sacred Sleep, 5 Powerful Sleep Aids for Improving Vitality

Sacred sleep… Are we getting enough?  And how does sleep deprivation impact our daily lives, our sense of vitality and our overall health? I’ve slept a lot recently.  Having been stopped in my tracks by critical illness, I’ve transferred my energetic focus away from the mind, its thoughts and fancies, and towards the body and its needs.  It seemed obvious that, following surgery, I would need to sleep.  But in fact what I have noticed in prioritising sleep, is the mind’s ability to convince the whole body that what it thinks, fantasises about, fancies and fixates on, is actually more important than the needs of the organic organism which houses it.   The mind can be like a child, who doesn’t see the importance of clearing up, washing up, putting things away, or taking care of things and instead just does whatever he or she pleases.  The body has its own voice, which is led by feeling and being – this deeper more intuitive voice is often drowned out by the busy mind child, clanging …

My Yoga Playlist – Music to Get Your Flow On…

Music is a great way to access the emotions.  It’s there in high times, low times and the everywhere in-between.  The sounds of our musical peers reminds us that we’re not alone, whatever we face.  For every mood, there’s a melody, and for every social movement a distinct sound to define it…  So for me, music and yoga go hand in hand as a form of self-expression.  Where words fail me music very often speaks, where life overwhelms me and I become stuck movement and dance allows me to flow.  Often, music triggers unexpected mood, memory or emotion and at times can be an inspiration. Using music in Yoga practice can be controversial though.  It’s not for everyone.  In fact, it’s not always for me.  I would never practice Ashtanga to music for example.  The repetitive flow of the Ashtanga series can be deeply meditative.  A Place where we come up against ourselves in whatever state we are in.  Music here can be a diversion away from our inner experience, and the point of this …