Expressing our aspirations for the New Year through dance and gentle yoga. Connecting with our heart energy, the earth, the elements, the chakras and the world around us…
Visioning and dreaming into our heartfelt intentions through journalling, candles, flowers…relaxing into a deliciously nourishing session of Yoga Nidra and closing with a life-affirming ritual to light up our year. Ritual is a way of taking a pause on our life path to see more clearly where we are at and where we are heading….just perfect for the New Year!
Moon is waxing too as we head towards the workshop and will be full on the day which is awesome – her energy will double whammy our intentions!
THIS WILL BE A SUBLIME WORKSHOP AND A BEAUTIFUL AFFIRMATION OF THE NEW YEAR.
Gently honouring our femininity through dance, yoga and ritual, feeling our connection with ourselves, each other and the nourishing Divine Mother energy of our earth. Gracious time-out for us to rest, relax and restore.
So many blessings to you all as we ease into the New Year, may it be filled with love, peace, inspiration and growth.
I had some lovely, quiet down time between Christmas and the New Year, time to reflect, rest and rejuvenate. I realise how deeply rest is needed. We have such busy lives and don’t always give ourselves permission to drop the ball and sink into quietness and relaxation. I did loads of Yoga Nidra during my quiet time and feel so much better for it. And also see how much more productive and creative I am when I give myself the down time. It’s easy to just keep ploughing on without stopping, but is it worthwhile? If we don’t slow down, we tend to ‘react’ to life from habitual thinking and conditioning, rather than ‘respond’. By slowing down, we have the possibility to see where we are putting our energy and time, if we are using them wisely, and what is really important for us. I know for me, that when I rush through life, I make mistakes, get in a muddle and end up chasing my tail. So my intention for the year is to slow things down a bit…and I know that by doing that, I am more likely, paradoxically, to be more productive and creative! And feel much better too.
What are your dreams and aspirations for your life this year? Rather than setting the usual resolutions (which is too hard a word to use and usually leads to failure), how about pondering intentions instead. Rather than setting ourselves up for failure, can we be kinder and more gentle with ourselves? The classic of course, after all those mince pies and goodies, is to set a resolution to lose a stone or whatever it looks like. How often have you set a resolution only to abandon it a week or so later? How about having the intention to eat more healthily and watch the goodies, to treat ourselves to a relaxation or yoga class weekly, instead of setting a target amount to lose? Just an example of how we can be gentle rather than hard. Intentions are about easing into a new way of being without bashing ourselves over the head – maybe taking a moment to light a candle as you make your intention. Candles always help me to bring some light to what it is I am easing into, and makes it a sacred moment.
Women’s Workshop – New Year, New Beginnings
Sunday 20th January 10.30am – 1.30pm
I am holding an exquisite workshop on Sunday 20th January especially for women, as a blessing for our New Year- New Beginnings. Why not come along and align with your intentions, supporting and nourishing each other? It is such a healing act for women to spend time with other like-minded women in a circle of sacred sisterhood, and to honour ourselves with self-nurture and support. I do hope you will join us for this magical event.
New classes also starting this year – Nourishing Yoga and Yoga Nidra – and dedicated Women’s Wellness Yoga monthly class for mornings of deep self-care and joyful practices! See here for more details. I am also planning some great workshops for women which will be coming on line soon.
Whatever your year looks like, may it include some deeply nourishing practices, some self-honouring and loads of joy and laughter! And new things to experiment with! I am also intending to try things outside of my comfort zone this year and see where it leads…Om Shanty!
Just loving the glorious start of Autumn, sun is shining, garden still colourful and the boots are out! (I love summer but sooo look forward to boots season too!)
Mr B, my lovely cat, is cozying up already next to the radiator, a bit disappointed that the wood stove isn’t blazing yet! How blessed we are to have these warm, sunny days still. Much as I love my wood stove, I am happy not to have to lug wood around yet.
Sweeping up leaves and watching them fall gently from the branches now in the breeze – nature demonstrating for us how healthy it is to let go so that we can make space for new life to come, just as they do in the spring. The majesty of the seasons, so much to teach us and each one has its own mystery and magic with gifts for us.
So what does Autumn hold in store for us? Autumn is harvest festival, Halloween, the wheel of the year turning as we move into longer nights and more inward times after the fullness of summer. What have you reaped in the harvest of your own life this year since seeding ideas in Spring? Maybe it’s a deepening of friendships, a new job, a project underway, or simply gratitude for all that you have.
Halloween, despite all the hype, is a magical time when the veil between the worlds is thinner and our ancestors are closer to us. There is no separation between us but delusion puts a veil over it which we can pierce in meditation or at times like Halloween. Went to the garden centre to meet my dear friend for breakfast on Sunday….and of course couldn’t help but buy some plants! Went for plants to start preparing my Halloween doorstep, I love the creativity involved in gardening and use it as an excuse to mark each season differently as it comes into being, that’s my sort of art.
I have been out and about running workshops and new classes on meditation and yoga nidra so please come along and join me for some delicious down time, and to learn some great techniques for handling the bumpy parts of life that come as we walk the path. We have everything we need inside of us to respond to whatever life presents to us – when we are quiet enough to access it. Learning to meditate is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself.
A great workshop (New Beginnings) on the calendar to inspire our entrance into the new year so do come and join us for a morning of sacred dance, ritual, candles, intention…and set the new year off from the heart.
And I am so excited to announce that my “Practical Magic” herb workshop will be at the gorgeous Prairie Gardens in Henfield at Summer Solstice next year – yayyy!
Upcoming Events and Groups (full details on events page)
New meditation group starting Monday 5th November 5pm at Iriness in Horsham
Regular yoga nidra and relaxation class in Handcross Parish Hall Mondays at 10.45
Shakti – Dance and Yoga Nidra – Yogaananda Holistic Centre Reigate, Sat 3/11 and Sunday 16/12
Dance of Awareness with Dancemantra in Horsham: Sunday 11th November
New Beginnings Workshop – Sunday 20th January in Horsham
Practical Magic – Saturday 22nd June 2019 (I know it’s early but space is limited!)
Nalini Natural Skincare – great gift ideas….
I have been experimenting with different packaging this year and have the thumbs up from many of you on the tissue paper packaging for gifts. Many lovely ideas for a really unique and heartfelt gift for your friends and family – it’s always lovely to receive something made by hand…and with a lot of love! I am happy to post, or you can get them from me in Horsham or Handcross, just let me know. Gift boxes made to order to accomodate two or more products. Nalini Natural Skincare range is suitable for all skin types, smells amazing and is deep, yummy nutrition for the skin.
Wishing you all a fabulous Autumn, enjoy the beauty and colour of this season and start wrapping up! Felt a real chill in the air this afternoon…hot chocolate needed!
GIVE YOUR SKIN A TREAT IN THIS SUMMER HEAT! (plus some tips for summer skincare)
Skin-soothing and nourishing aromatherapy with gorgeous calendula oil – the ultimate oil for caring for your skin during the summer sun. Add a bespoke blend of essential oils to the mix for a wonderfully healing and relaxing session.
I make 100% natural and organic calendula oil from the ground up – from flower to infusion to bottle to box…and finally to your skin to nourish and soothe. It’s not called the Skin Magician for nothing! It is extremely beneficial to a myriad of conditions including nappy rash, eczema, sunburn, sensitive skin, hemmeroids, scars and stretch marks, as well as being a lovely face oil. Your skin will drink it in and give you a big thank you afterwards for how soft and silky it feels, skin food at its best!
If you have been on any of my herb workshops, now is the time to harvest calendula and make your oil. The more you pick the flowers, the more the plant will produce. Or you can get it from me if you are too hot and bothered to make your own! Just get in touch. This is a red hot favourite with many as it is so versatile.
Other plants are coming into their own in this heatwave too, get some mint tea in the fridge and serve it with a slice of cooling cucumber – ahhhh, refreshing! Or you can use lemon balm or lemon verbena to cool you down.
What about our feet! Add some mint and lavender flowers to a basin of cool water and give yourself a foot spa, sipping your cooling herbal infusion while you are at it. Use calendula oil for dry heels too.
Treat your hair well too, pick a few stinging nettles, make a tea out of them and use as a final rinse when washing your hair – FULL of nutrients and will make your hair shine, as well as strong and healthy! I adore nettle, so many things we can use her for, the optimum ‘weed’. I make buckets of tea to water my plants with and they love me for it. You can also massage your hair with a little calendula oil to combat dryness and condition it well. Gosh, calendula really is amazing!
Bites and stings – use plantain leaves directly squashed onto a bee or wasp sting for instant relief. Use lavender essential oil for after care and for bites.
Lavender oil is a miracle cure of acute sunburn too, you can use it directly on the skin to prevent blistering and to heal it. Use calendula oil too to nourish and soothe after treating burnt skin.
And of course, if you can take a dip in the sea, go for it!
The seasonal wheel of the year turns…and we arrive at the half-way point of summer solstice – longest day, shortest night, and the wheel tips into the dark half of the year! But don’t despair, the best is yet to come as we enter into a period over the next few days of hot, sunny weather, gardens and the countryside ablaze with life and energy as Mother Earth flows into full manifestation.
Summer is the time for enhanced creativity as we align with the seasonal magic and take a leaf out of her book, using this energised time of the year to get things moving. Projects seeded in the spring can start to flower now as the creative juices flow! Summer has much to offer apart from the usual sun, sea and sand. The power that nature displays gives the impetus to flow with it and bring our dreams and aspirations to life.
Summer solstice is also a time of deep gratitude, for the earth and her abundance and sustenance, the people in our lives, the gifts that we take for granted like drinkable water flowing from a tap in our kitchen…and a deep gratitude for ourselves and all our inherent wisdom and beauty. Gratitude was the theme tonight at our meditation group…we celebrated solstice by creating an altar reflecting summer (which included flowers, fauna….and flip flops! Perfect!) and then meditated on all we held gratitude for. ‘Thank You’ – the simplest and most effective form of prayer.
Take a moment this weekend to reflect on your own life, the direction you are taking, where you are heading, and to give thanks giving to our beautiful planet and commit to walking more lightly on her, taking what we need with gratitude and giving something back in return – bless her with respect and love, without her we wouldn’t be here. Create a simple ritual – rituals take us out of everyday life for a while so that we can slow down and ponder on the path of life….
Two summer dances on the horizon too, first one this Sunday with Kathryn in Horsham, next one in July with me at Lower Beeding. Come and join our growing group of dancers and ride the wave of energy through the dance and let your heart move your feet, more info here at Dancemantra
Head into summer catching that wave of full-on life force while it lasts, before we head towards Autumn and shorter days and longer nights, with a different sort of magic yet to come…
Oh my! It’s that blissful time of year….and an unexpected free day today! Loving hearing the birds singing, astral green leaves everywhere, sun shining (hurruh!), being in my garden, and blissed out by wild flowers and the wildness of this time of year. Jack in the Green has been busy and the earth has woken up and thrown out a myriad of colour all over, who needs a TV?! There is always a special, new kind of magic in the air this time of year; waking at dawn to hear the birds welcoming in the new day, sunlight filtering through the trees, bees busy at work, smiley faces everywhere as the energy lifts the spirits. The seasons are so cool! I love the beauty each one has and the gifts it contains. I’m in heaven today with the unexpected day off, ahhhh, what a blessing! Pottering in the garden, relaxing in the sunshine, nowhere to go, marvellous!
Orders coming in for calendula oil, and I’m out of stock! So waiting on my plants to grow so I can harvest those gorgeous orange and yellow flowers and transform them into the best oil for skin, to keep it looking great or to heal those sore places, including nappy rash. I have a secret store left for myself, not sharing it though as I can’t live without it!
Really looking forward to our June workshop at Sedgwick on how to make all those lovely, natural skin and health products from the glorious array of herbs and ‘weeds’ in our gardens! Early bird price closing 15th May so book now if you would like to come. Sedgwick House is a treat in itself, amazing gardens, labyrinth, magical woodland, it’s a great place to spend the day and learn how to make the best products for your skin. Our skin doesn’t need the stuff from the shops, it does a lot better with pure ingredients like shea butter, almond oil and the herbs we find easily. This is pure food for the skin and body, easy to make, costs very little, not tested on animals, no rubbish in them! This is the third workshop I have done there and this time we’re going to make elderflower cordial as well as face and body products, love doing this stuff! And the calendula should be ready for us to use too!
Huge blessings for this wonderful spring, long may the sunshine continue, England is magic when it’s sunny.
And now….GDPR, grrrr! Perfect yoga nidra, working with opposites! Sun, bliss and greenery one minute, terms and conditions, privacy policies and brain-aching stuff the next! Got to be done though and thank goodness for my web lady who is on it, thank you!
Snowing again the morning of my Dancemantra class…but it didn’t deter everyone and we had a small, energetic group which flowed together perfectly. The Barn in Horsham was toasty warm and made a nice change from our usual venue.
It is so rewarding to see our regular dancers becoming more relaxed with each session and to witness how their dance has changed since we started in July last year. The more we dance, the more we heal and move into life with confidence and clarity, leaving behind what we no longer need, and bringing in that which we do. We had a newcomer who threw herself whole-heartedly into the dance and took to it like a duck to water, thoroughly enjoyed it, felt amazing afterwards, and also delighted to experience how quickly things shift and change, emotions long held, new visions yet to be lived, all comes to light when we dance from the heart.
Blossoming into Spring with snow gently falling….
Next Dancemantra event is with Kathryn on Sunday 22nd April and will be a workshop called ‘Tantric Heart – Seemless Being’ and will be a three hour session from 10.30 to 13.30 at the usual Lower Beeding venue with its wonderful light and sprung dance floor. I am also going to run a taster session at Total Therapy Studios for an hour and a half on the morning of Saturday 21st April for those who aren’t too sure if this is for them. A shorter session might be just the thing to give an idea of what Dancemantra is all about.
Please do come and join us for one of our regular events, details always available on the Dancemantra page or the calendar.
Snow…. Mmmmm! Finally! One of the things I have missed since living in Italy is the sight of freshly fallen snow laying a thick blanket over the earth. I have only seen a sprinkling here in the three years I have been back and was yearning yesterday to see a winter wonderland again. So, the power of our thoughts! Draw the curtains this morning and lo! Desire satisfied. Standing outside early this morning, I listened to the silence that only snow can bring….it is as if a hush has fallen over the world, there’s nothing quite like it. Stunningly beautiful, a little inconvenient…didn’t make it to work today! It was thick and falling where I live and roads that just don’t melt. An unexpected day off; some risks I’m happy to make in life, others are better not taken so I decided to stay safe, stoke up the fire and work from home instead.
The moon is shining now in a sky studded with diamonds… and have just returned from a venture outside to witness the glitter that sparkles on snow – it’s quite awe-inspiring, and to soak up a little more of that surreal silence. My cat is not quite so keen! He has ventured out very briefly with a look of puzzlement on his face, followed by disdain as his paws sank into the snow! Now, my Italian cats were old hat at it, they used to fly out and dive headlong into it with utter abandonment and thoroughly enjoy themselves! No help when it came to putting snow chains on though, must admit I don’t miss that part!
So though we are fast approaching Spring Equinox, we have some full on weather to deal with, minus 5 tonight and more snow forecast for Thursday. The birds are out there so remember to help them out as they will have trouble finding food now – proper bird food is best as bread doesn’t sustain them very well. And outdoor animals need plenty of warm bedding and straw if they are sleeping outside in these temperatures. Despite their thick winter coats, dogs and cats can die from the cold and it isn’t good for them to be inside cold houses either. I read an article recently that said if you feel cold, for sure so does your pet. So make sure they are warm when you are out. And for us? Well, lots of nourishing food, echinacea tincture to keep our immune system boosted, fresh ginger tea and lemon. Thyme tea is great for colds along with loads of vitamin C and try a steam inhalation with a drop of eucalyptus to clear the airways. If you have those achy flu symptoms, there is nothing like a hot bath with a few drops of lavender and marjoram added to bring some ease, 3 drops of each maximum. And sometimes we just have to listen to what our body is trying to tell us and slow down a little… Just added the first herb workshop to the calendar for this year…’Practical Magic’ at Sedgwick Park House 10th June to learn how to use nature’s goodies for our health and wellbeing. Keep an eye on elderly neighbours too at this time of year.
Stay home and warm, and know that spring isn’t far away now….and as winter has been pretty dramatic this year, I reckon spring will be warm and glorious!!
Yesterday morning saw us dancing our way to bliss and falling into grace again at the Lower Beeding venue with its sprung dance floor, and a great group who entered into it all with openness and enthusiasm! Kathryn led us on a dance through the elements to a fab play list which got us all shaking our stuff, leaving behind tension and finding our natural joy and laughter. It was a pleasure for me to participate and not lead this time, which is one of the reasons Kathryn and I take turns to lead, we both love to dance and participate too! Oh how I love doing this, so freeing, a good workout and a chance to connect too. If you haven’t tried it yet, please come along and give it a go. There are no steps to learn, some guidance is given.. and you just let your heart guide your feet! It’s easy, enjoyable and a lot of fun.
Have a look at our Dancemantra uk dance collective on Facebook and join the group for updates on events.
The next one “Blossoming into Spring” takes place on Saturday 17th March at the Barn, St Marys Church, Horsham. You can book online which is preferable, or you can come along on the day if you don’t want to commit beforehand. We so look forward to seeing you and welcoming you into our dance tribe who are fast-growing. Many of our dancers arrived with just a little trepidation, not sure what to expect, and loved it! Well, they keep coming back so something good is happening! See you in March for our next monthly event. Love Nalini x
The Initiatory Journey of Menopause – coming home to ourselves
Menopause… what does the word bring up for you? Is it fear or fascination? Dread or excitement?
For many women, the transition of menopause can bring up feelings of negativity and resistance, and I believe this to be mainly down to the stigma that society has placed on this perfectly normal, healthy transition in a woman’s life. Menopause happens to every single woman and our bodies and minds are designed for it, but there is such a huge negativity around it from society and this has become engrained on most women’s psyche. What if there was a new way to look at it, a way that leads to freedom, joy and fulfilment? Wouldn’t that be a healthier, more healing way?
For me, menopause is for sure a change, but a change that brings many rewards and teaches us how to know ourselves a whole lot better, and a change that allows us to say yes to ourselves, possibly for the first time in our lives. Women spend much of their lives in service to others, taking on board so many various duties and responsibilities, and find that as menopause approaches, they have less energy for it. All perfectly normal. In the cycle of a woman’s life, there are times to be active and out there, and times to rest and be more inwards. For anyone who has practiced ‘menstrual cycle awareness’, they will know this to be true. As we cycle around the month, different energies emerge and each month, there comes a time when rest and renewal are non-negotiable. So it is with menopause…. we are in the part of the cycle of our lives when we need to down tools a bit and re-evaluate what our lives need to look like. Change indeed is on the horizon, and oh how joyous to take quiet times, reflective time, time with other woman going through the transition, and get to know ourselves a bit better. Cycles are part of nature too, look at the seasons and how nature has times of full blooming and times of rest and renewal. The rest and renewal give the impetus for a fuller blooming, so is a seriously important messenger for us too.
When we understand more fully the menopause journey, much resistance falls away…. and as a result, many of the ‘symptoms’ fall away too. Our bodies are trying to tell us something when symptoms become overwhelming and they are asking us to slow down, listen and make some changes. This really is the most amazing time in a woman’s life if she works it well.
My training in menstruality and menopause, along with my own menopause journey, have guided me into sharing with other women the keys to coping with, and making the most of, both our monthly cycle and menopause.
Come along and learn more at a new monthly support group for women in peri-menopause or menopause, or indeed for any woman that wants to know herself better and prepare well for the journey. There is nothing like a supportive group of women all on the same track to inspire, heal and bring joy and laughter to the experience. Held on one in four Wednesday evenings, you will gain support, understanding, tools and techniques, and enjoy a session of lovely, deep relaxation at the end to send you off home relaxed and at ease. Relaxation is one of the key ingredients for the menopause or menstrual journey. Click here for more details or to book or feel free to contact me for more info.