All posts tagged: love

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 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 …

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 …

Peach, Pea & Halloumi Salad

What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror?  “Hallou-mi!” This salad though, it’s no joke.  In fact it’s seriously lovely… It’s about as easy as dinner comes too, so when you’re ready for a super summer supper and a glass of cold white wine this is for you… Full of allotment bounty and wholefood nourishment… If you’re not buzzing with vitality (and a sense of virtuousness) afterwards then… well, pop to a yoga class instead!! Ingredients (serves 2): A bed of mixed watercress, spinach and rocked (around 2 large handfuls) 2 good handfuls of fresh, shelled, green peas 4 roast new potatoes (halved or quartered depending on their size) 2 handfuls steamed green beans 2 flat peaches, cubed 6 slices halloumi 1 beetroot, cubed 1 tbsp olive oil, 1tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp agave nectar 1 sprig fresh rosemary Sea Salt Pepper Method: 1) Pre-heat the oven to 180C.  Cut the potatoes and beetroot in to halves or quarters, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea-salt, add a sprig of …

Mushroom, Lentil & Red Wine ‘Shepherd’s’ Pie… (He’s a veg shepherd. Obvs.)

The crisp cold and frosty season is well and truly upon us.  The air is cold and the sky is blue, which can provide light relief from the January blues…  The stillness of winter reminds us how important rest is though.  Pacing ourselves, and taking time to be still, whether that’s sitting with a warm drink, or switching fast paced exercise for a more restorative yoga practice.  Stillness in winter can be a way to reconnect to our sense of vitality (or lack of) and preserve our energies, it can also be a place where we begin to feel stagnant, where coughs and cold creep in and it becomes hard to move at all.  Balance is key (Not just tree pose -but it helps!)… One thing this time of year requires, however you’re feeling, is warming hearty food…Good nourishment and extra calories. This is a vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe that’s hearty and rich, warming and comforting!  Just what’s required in the middle of winter… Ingredients for the Filling: 1 Red Onion 2 Cloves Garlic 2 …