Valentine’s Night Yoga and Live Cello

E8D5CF62-2A65-42BB-AAA2-6435315BC051.jpegValentine‘s Day Special – Be Love Be Light !

Whether you’re coupled up, single as a Pringle, or not-quite-sure, come along alone or with a friend or lover and celebrate love in all it‘s forms.

We are blessed to be using the awe-inspiring Music Room

The perfect pairing of yoga and live music in the most spectacular of settings at Powderham Castle.

If you were lucky enough to catch our cello-accompanied yoga sessions over the couple of years at the castle, you will know what magical effects can be achieved when we combine these two modalities.

Jo Hooper is a local cellist, who also married at Powderham Castle, and as a seasoned yogi, has been attending Yoga at the Castle since it started a year ago.

What started as a random idea of playing live music to accompany Gillie’s flow yoga class, has evolved into a regular occurance and all previous ones have sold out.

For this very special one-off class, Jo has created some magical music taking inspiration from some of Gillie’s seasonal playlists, and sone brand new material for some partner yoga. ❤️

The effect of sound on both our body’s biochemistry and our nervous system is a well-established concept, and to experience

Yoga and Live Music At The Castle

Thursday February 14th 2019 6.45-8pm The Music Room Powderham Castle

£12.00

whale sounds played on a cello right next to you is a wonder to behold.

Book now to reserve your place ❤️🎶💫🙏

You Can’t Rush Magic…

 

nietsche meaning quote

Is it me or did it, just all of a sudden, become Christmas overnight?.

One day the decorations are all nicely tucked up in the loft, it’s regarded politically incorrect to even talk about putting your tree up, and then next minute Wham Bam it’s “Last Christmas” playing in every shop or public building you enter.

Even my yoga students have caught the bug. I had to resort to clapping my hands to get everyone’s attention so I could start the class, and when I asked why everyone was so giddy and excitable tonight, they told me that it was because they felt “Christmassy”. I make a note to get a gong or something more appropriate.

I just have to go with it. The “shift” has happened.

I try to pinpoint the exact moment it happened. The official turning on of the lights in Topsham, the first day in December, the X factor final, or something more meaningful? I give up asking the questions as I walk around the marina to The Point and see it lit up like Blackpool illuminations. Whatever happened, it’s here.

It just all seemed to happen so quickly, as things often do.

We can be coasting along, embracing the “liminal space”, and then in an instant, life changes.

It’s always unexpected. The big things always take us by surprise, they rip the rug out from beneath our feet, they give us a rocket up the arse, or they blindside us some ordinary Wednesday morning when we thought it had all just died down for a while.

For me recently, perhaps a last-ditch attempt from the Universe to redress the karmic balance of 2018, I was taken by surprise, in a good way.

It is said that your life can change in an instant; in a moment, you realise your life will never be the same again. Mine was not quite that dramatic, but I went from not knowing how everything was going to turn out, trying not to get anxious about the future, to realising that everything was going to be OK and that all my hard work had paid off, and then some.

Only a couple of weeks ago, I’d been writing about being patient, about the magic happening in the space. It had been still been really uncomfortable, but I had just kept telling myself to relax, that the Universe had a plan. “Just breathe, Gillie, let it all unfold”, I said to myself.

When the moment came, I’d actually forgotten that I’d planted the seed the week before. I’d come out of class at Powderham and I’d had an idea. This is where my usual habit had kicked back in: “no time like the present”, I thought, and I shared my idea.

By this Wednesday it was more than an idea, it was a plan shaping, a future I could see which both excited me and reassured me in equal measure. It is a future worth working hard for, but at the same time, staying well for. A future that was worth waiting for.

I’m reminded to adopt the pace of nature. “Her secret is patience”, as Emerson said. I make a mental note to honour the space between “no longer” and “not yet”, and I tell myself that the Universe has the most beautiful plan, it just needs to unfold in its own time.

Magic cannot be rushed.

Footnote:

I am now delighted to announce that I will be running monthly Slivers of Light retreats at Powderham Castle, with accommodation options, including wild camping this summer!!

For details go to Slivers of Light at Powderham

 

gillielet the light in

Self-Centred

accept yuourself

When did we all become so obsessed with “self”?

It seems to divide opinion, as ever. Being too interested in “self” can be used as a criticism, but on the other hand, it’s also regarded as the key to happiness.

I’m definately part of the second group, but I’d become a little bored recently with all this “self-care”, “self-talk”, “self-help”, and went exploring instead “self-compassion”, which beats the rest of them hands-down.

So here’s how I came to this conclusion:

Self-care – I’ve had more candle-lit bubble baths, face masks and early nights with a mug of golden milk than I will ever need. Still love it, but not every night.

Self-talk – no matter how many times I told myself it was destined, I have to face the fact that Jose Mourinho isn’t going to marry me. It doesn’t always work.

Self-help – I reckon I’ve read every personal development book ever published, and I’m still bonkers.

Self-compassion, however, I’m liking this. In my opinion, we spend far too much time beating ourselves up for being perfect. Exercising self-compassion on the other hand, seems to stop this negative voice in my head and conversations such as this happen instead:

“Yes, my house looks like it’s been burgled after a particularly busy week”.

“And that’s ok”.

“Yes, I showed up to work this morning with my leggings on back to front”.

“And that’s ok”.

“Yes, I did forget to bring my water bottle with me and had to buy a plastic one”.

“And that’s ok”.

“Yes, I did use particularly bad language when someone asked about my ex”.

“And that’s ok”.

“Yes, I did drink one or two too many after my book launch last week, stayed out far too late, and woke with a crushing hangover”.

“And that’s ok”. (Because I loved every minute!)

It’s all OK. I did what I did, I’m only human after all. If I forgive others all these things, so why not myself?

Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would to others.

And whichever way you look at it, I think this world needs as much kindness as it can get.

 

 

Don’t give up now, this is when you need it most..

0D266588-F4DF-44FC-A7EF-4707787E37C0

Namaste yogis and yoginis

 

I hope this message finds you well this sunny Friday and looking forward to the weekend.

 

It’s around this time that many people decide to give up on their wellbeing rituals and routines, and instead think “oh, I’ll get to it at the New Year”.

 

Its too early for that!! A more proactive approach works a lot better, so getting the preparation in now means you’ll glide through Christmas and it won’t be so hard getting started afterwards.

 

With regular yoga you can also reduce stress levels at this time of year which can be especially challenging. In the classes running up to the break, I’ll be giving you little mini routines you can follow to stay well and centred over the holidays.

 

So here’s what’s left in 2018:

 

Saturday 8th December 10-11am Yoga at Ocean, Exmouth

 

Monday 10th December 645-745pm Yoga at the Castle, Powderham **LAST FEW SPACES AVAILABLE

 

Wednestay 12th December 715-815am Wake Up and Flow, Ocean Physio, Woodbury

 

Wednesday 12th December 930-1030am Yoga at the Castle, with coffee and cake in the orangery afterwards

 

Friday 14th December 715-815am Wake Up And Flow, Ocean Physio, Woodbury

 

Saturday 15th December 10-11am Feelgood Yoga at Ocean, Exmouth

 

Saturday 15th December 1-4pm Yoga and Foam Roiling workshop ***PLACES AVAILABLE, click on Special Events

 

Monday 17th December 645-745pm Yoga at the Castle with Live Cello and Flute **FULLY BOOKED

 

To book for any of these classes go tohttps://bookeo.com/behappyfit

 

For any daytime classes it is possible to drop in, but Monday nights at Powderham are now bookings only

 

I do hope to see you before Christmas to send you lots of healing light to take with you until I see you again in the New Year

 

with love and light,

 

Gillie x

 

 

The Liminal Space

Liminal

I’ve never been a particularly patient person, I prefer more of a “carpe diem” kind of approiach to life, and as useful as that is in some contexts, I’m learning that slowing down and waiting for the right time holds much power in it’s potential.

Allowing the space for the magic to happen, and just sitting tight until the moment we are clear enough to decide on our next course of action, this is important.

Apparently there is a word for it, it’s called “the liminal space”, which is the border or threshold between possibilities. There could be more than one path to take, each hold different outcomes, or it could just be deciding if that one potential route is the one for us.

It’s the “sliding doors” moment, but with a pregnant pause.

The time before we make a decision, or take the plunge, when all is still unclear and uncertain tends to make us feel uncomfortable. The mind, or the “ego” rather, hates uncertainty. We’d much rather take action and make a mistake than wait around not knowing.

Think of how time seems to drag when we are waiting for results to come in, whether it’s been for medical tests or academic exams. We feel uneasy in those times, the waiting feels like torture.

But what if that liminal space was to teach us something, to help us see more clearly before acting?

There is an old I Ching saying:

“Waiting is not mere empty hoping. It has the inner certainty of reaching a goal”.

The sun doesn’t rise in the morning in an instant, it’s a gradual awakening of the next new day, but it’s going to happen. We are not sitting thinking,” I wonder of the sun is going to come up today”, it just will at some point, it doesn’t have to be ”right now”.

We live in a world of “instant gratification”, we want it and we want it now, and what’s the point in waiting?

Well there is a big point.

When we slow down, our senses are sharper, we are more likely to make good decisions in that moment, and there is a lot of pleasure to be had in the anticipation.

The problem is that we all want to have some great big flashing sign saying “this way”, some guidance from the Universe to tell us which way to go, the lightbulb moment in that exact moment when we decide we want to act.

Sometimes this doesn’t happen and that’s possible because we aren’t quite ready.

I remember when I was recovering from my surgery in the summer. I would get out of bed in the morning in the same way I usually did, jumping up, getting ready in a flash, ready to “seize the day” and get stuff done. I had all this space and time, after all, I was going to make sure I made the most of it. My body had other ideas.

“Oh no you don’t”, it said, “you, young lady are meant to be resting, and healing”. So instead, I would get myself a hot water and lemon and go back to bed, and ease my way into the day, getting up when it felt right.

The waiting, the liminal space, is to prepare us for the next step, but we have to take that time and space. Life can’t be all forward movement. Sometimes we need to sit back, be patient, and when the time is right, we will know it. There will be a sense of inevitability about it, divine timing if you like, as if it was always meant to be that way.

Timing is everything, and everything in time. Trust the journey.

 

Grounded Magic!

 

open heart

 

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears” – these are the words in my head today.

I’ve had many teachers throughout my life, many great ones, and a few that were, quite frankly, a pain in the ass, but brought a lesson.

The teacher that appeared for me this week was of the former, thankfully. I was ready, and then some.

Many years back my friend Adam and I were out for a drink, and I became aware that he wasn’t listening to me, just craning his neck to look at the beauty walking behind me. It was one of those magic moments where he knew he had to “risk it to get the biscuit”, and they are now married with a pair of adorable twins.

Of course, I take all the credit for it, wouldn’t you? I always tease Adam about how he “landed on his feet” with Laura. She is an incredibly gifted healer.

So when Laura contacted me the other day offering me a session, I jumped at the chance. She intuitively knew what I needed. Although we chatted for quite a while before I even got on the couch, she knew without my saying just what I needed.

My heart chakra was like a big brass door! Not surprising really. Those of you in the hippy world will know what I’m talking about here; for the rest of you, you can probably guess.

I think the healing started even before I lay down for the treatment. The room was warm, welcoming, with a homely Zen-like feel. Adam had built it, and Laura just fitted so naturally into her environment. It was built for her and it showed.

Anyway, the whole thing was such divine timing. I’d been preparing for a retreat this weekend, but it had felt like something was missing. My head knew what it was about, and what the day was going to entail, but I hadn’t quite figured out the key message. It had been rumbling in my head, but it hadn’t quite formulated.

After some transformational breathwork, bodywork, sound therapy, and a touch of what I can only describe as magic, I knew something had shifted, but I didn’t quite know what.

As Laura advised, I was gentle with myself afterwards, I drank plenty of water, and I slept like a baby.

The next morning I woke to inspiration – “an open heart lets the light in”.

That was the missing bit of the jigsaw, the key message.

The context also came to me, inspired not just my treatment, but by Laura and the space created by Adam and her.

“Grounded Magic”. The perfect balance.

I’m a great believer in the presence of magic, and angels, but I also believe we are inhabiting this physical plane for the length of this lifetime, so we need to keep our feet on the ground too.

I think of Adam and Laura’s life, and the simple beauty in her studio built by him, and it warms my heart, and I think, after my session, this was the perfect teacher for this moment. I believe in love again, my heart chakra is wide open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Under Pressure

grace under pressure

Grace Under Pressure

I just left the R D and E hospital in Exeter with a spring in my step and a lightness of being.

As fantastic as my surgeon was, leaving barely any visible trace of the injuries I sustained less than three months ago, I was ecstatic to get the news I didn’t need to see him again.

I feel free, not just physically but mentally.

This year taught me a lot of things but most of all how to have courage in the face of adversity, and that sometimes the bravest thing we can do is surrender.

There was so much I could have said, yet chose not to. There were times I wanted to fight back, to seek revenge, but I chose to do nothing. Except get on with my life.

I found a purpose. That purpose was my own healing journey and by fully immersing myself in it, I have found I had no time, energy or inclination to deal with the attacks that were still coming my way.

For those that had no compassion but still found pleasure in beating someone when they were down, I did not need that in my life. I chose to walk away from the drama and it was like taking a heavy rucksack off my back after carrying it around for far too long.

In this process, of letting it wash over me, I found the true meaning of courage – as Hemingway put it, “grace under pressure”.

Luckily I’ve got a strong backbone, and I’ve learned that I’ve got a thicker skin than I realised. It’s so liberating to let go of the opinions of others and just get on with what you’re meant to be doing.

“And still I rise”.

These words from Maya Angelou kept me going in the toughest times and when I was faced with some pretty dark forces trying to keep me scared.

My courage is quiet, it’s from a place of non-violence – no matter what you throw at me, I will not hurt you back. But I will stand strong in knowing who I am. I think that’s what Gandhi would have done, so I’m fairly pleased with how I’ve responded. There’s no doubt in my mind that this has helped me heal.

Sometimes life sends us tests in order for us to grow. I feel taller, stronger, and even with a titanium plate in my face now, I can look at myself in the mirror and be proud of what I’ve achieved.

There are enough people trying to pull us down in the world, and I’m not going to let myself be one of them.