All posts tagged: health

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 …

Hot & Pungent Chilli Prawn Ramen Bowl & the True Benefits of Bone Broth

Craving pungent warmth?  This ramen bowl HITS THE SPOT!  And it has lots of health benefits too.  I’m just over a stinking cold and with a fridge full of slow cooked bone broth this recipe gave me a hot hit and all the re-mineralising benefits of the broth.  Although strictly speaking this isn’t a Ramen as there are no noodles, but if you’re not grain free, then feel free to add some! So what’s all the hype about bone broth?  I was looking for specific mineral analysis breakdowns and found lots of varying and not very promising results relating to what you actually get from bubbling your broth for long periods.  Initially I felt disheartened, but then I remembered the fab smell of the bone broth sitting in the kitchen, the warmth of the slow cooker, the good feeling of using up a carcass and the rich flavour the broth provides.  There’s no question it’s good for the skin and digestion, you feel in once you’ve eaten it, but it seems as though the jury …

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 …

Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat…5 Life Enhancing Food Choices

I was about 10 when I heard my granddad say this.  I didn’t fully understand what he was saying as a child, I totally forgot it as a teenager of course and as an adult turned it on its head and lived for every sugary snack, pizza, glass of wine or bag of crisps I could get my hands on.  In more recent years I switched those indulgences to ‘organic’ or ‘high end’ products.  My focus was mainly on eliminating chemicals and preservatives.  I enjoyed eating healthily but I most certainly enjoyed the extras too.  That was B.C. (Before Cancer). Cancer drops like a bomb in the centre of your life, scattering its parts far and wide… Those parts of me were and still are scattered.  Pulling my life back together is currently my life’s work.  To go back to what was though, to live relatively carelessly would be to deny what has happened, it would undermine my gratitude for being alive and well, and I just can’t do that, but equally I can’t live …

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 …

Turmeric Lattes and Living with Cancer

The wonderful news is that the biopsy results on the lymph nodes and tissue taken away during my Anterior Resection of the bowel (the surgery which took half of my colon away and stapled it back together), show clear.  No cancer cells were found.  In terms of living with cancer this is a victory.  What is means is that there are no visible tumours in my body, and the tissue around the tumour which was taken away is also healthy.  I’m really pleased, and enormously grateful that, for now, it looks as though I don’t need chemotherapy.  But there’s a but, you can feel it coming…  What it doesn’t show is that this body is capable of creating cancer.  This body already turned on itself.  For some reason, despite relatively good health, fitness and a healthy diet, the ‘C’ bomb trigger was pulled.  Whilst the disease itself may be gone, I hope never to return, there’s no getting away from the fact that this happened. that it was even possible. So while my supporters get …

Colon Cancer, SIBO & Blueberry Breakfast Crumble

I don’t know about you, but until my recent colon cancer diagnosis I hadn’t heard of SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth).  SIBO can be responsible for symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, wind, constipation and diarrhoea, Iron and B12 deficiencies as well as more long term chronic disease.  It dawned on me (slowly),  how my ‘healthy’ diet had probably contributed to imbalance within my own system.  Despite enjoying whole food, I very definitely place emphasis on starches and carbs in the form of rice, beans and legumes.  I had no idea that the generic view of what is healthy, could actually be causing me a problem… When you’re diagnosed with a critical illness, it’s like a bomb goes off in the middle of your life.  Everything (literally everything) looks, and feels different.  I was torn between a longing for the oblivion of yesterday and wanting to wake up sometime in the future when it was all over.  Despite critical illness diagnosis, however, the body has a remarkable capacity to keep functioning ‘as normal’.  Sleep still comes …

Charity Yoga Garden Party in aid of Mind

Those of you close to me will know that mental health awareness is an issue close to my own heart.  Those of you less close to me may be aware of my interest in the subject via blog posts and facebook news updates.  Students of mine will be familiar with our work around simply noticing our states of mind, emotional qualities and the differences between entering a yoga class or treatment with a whirring or racing mind and leaving with a more settled sense of well-being.  And for anyone else in the world, at some point it’s likely you will have experienced stress, overwhelm, feelings of anxiety, pressure, uncertainty or sadness.  It’s also possible that these states of mind have come with the added pressure that because we’re feeling them, it means we’re not ‘coping’ or that somehow we’re ‘lesser’ than our peers who seemingly navigate the world with ease and tranquillity. Recognising and accepting ourselves unconditionally can be difficult.  My own experience practicing Yoga has created a structure, and safe space within which I …