Yoga on the Beach

yoga on the beach 2

Join us for some Wild Yoga, where yoga should be done – out in nature!

Every Saturday, weather permitting (we will only cancel in case of rain, but otherwise just layer up and we’ll be there!) just near the Lifeboat station at the bottom of Foxholes Hill opposite the car park.

These classes are designed to be inclusive, accessible to all, with all levels welcome, including total beginners, and to be done with a smile on your face!

No need to book (although you do receive discounted rates if you book online), just show up with your mat or beach towel, if you want to use one, otherwise barefoot in the sand is even more beneficial!

Online bookings: £7 per session if booked online, or £8 as a drop in which is paid to the teacher on the day.

Package of 4 classes also available for £25 or 10 classes for £50.

To book go to http://www.bookeo.com/behappyfit or click on the icon below

book now

Teachers will alternate each week, so you get variety and to be a part of a growing yogic community in the area.

Refreshments are available afterwards from the fabulous Bumble and Sea cafe, but bring your own water bottle, and some layers to account for the changeable weather conditions.

For more details contact gilliesutherland@me.com

Scared / Excited

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“Be careful what you wish for” are the words going through my mind right now. 

A few months ago I went to see a film in Bristol called “Walk With Me”, a documentary about the Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hahn, and a experiential journey through mindfulness which left me awe-struck. 

I was in a dream-like state afterwards and standing in line for the loos at the end of the film, I realised I wasn’t the only one.

Everyone had a kind of dazed look on their faces (happy-dazed, I must add), and there was this weird scenario of people smiling at each other, with a shared sense of connection – something I rarely experience in public places, especially in big cities.

It was the magic of the film, and when I saw they were looking for places to hold screenings around the country, I was inspired. I knew the perfect place. The Powderham estate. Charlie and AJ would love it, it’s right up their street, I thought. 

Luckily I knew the perfect partners to screen the event, my old buddies Simon and Stu, from Pop-Up Events, who hold outdoor cinema events all over the area.

I set up a meeting and presented my idea to the group, without really thinking too much about who was going to head it up and make it happen. It turns out that “who” was me. 

Before I knew what was happening, it was on, and I’m running An Evening of Zen at Powderham Castle this Friday. I’m excited, but at the same time, I’m terrified as I’ve never done anything this big before and it’s quite a responsibility. 

I need 150 to even cover my costs, and although I’m two thirds there as I write this, it’s still a risk and a big deal as I want it to go well and for people to enjoy the experience as much as I did. I don’t want to mess it up. A fear we all have, I guess – the fear we haven’t met expectations. 

Managing my nerves, I’ve had to remind myself of what I say to myself before public speaking, which happens to be most days in my work, but it still gives me the heebie-jeebies every time. 

“Being excited and scared is the same physical sensation in the body”.

If I tell myself I’m excited, it gives it a positive connotation, and it’s more likely to go well than if I’m telling myself I’m nervous. What I’m feeling is the same physical reaction, whether its excitement or nerves. Yet I have the choice as to how to respond to it, and what meaning I attach to it. 

It’s all about taming that little monkey mind which tends to go riot when given a new challenge, one which takes us out of our comfort zone. All our doubts and fears come up, potential problems and worrying if we’ve got it right or not. 

Yet it’s these moments that remind us we’re alive, that tend to make life more fulfilling, and ultimately make us stronger. 

Another phrase pops into my head and i decide to keep this one:

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. 

And I’m excited about that. Without this understanding of mindfulness, knowing how to observe my thought processes and make more conscious decisions, I would have still been in a blind panic, for sure. 

An Evening of Zen at Powderham

Walk With Me Poster-page-001

 

An Evening of Zen

 

You are invited to join us for “A Journey Through Mindfulness” in the spectacular Powderham Castle on Friday 18th May 2018.

 

The main event will be an Outdoor Screening of the film “Walk With Me” featuring Thich Naht Hahn, and narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.

 

To watch the trailer of the film click here http://walkwithmefilm.com/trailerWalk With Me Poster

 

This will start as the sun sets in the Pleasure Gardens, an atmospheric setting in the grounds of the Castle, at around 9pm.

 

Before the film you can soak up the full meditative experience, walking around, being in nature, or enjoying one of the optional yoga and meditation sessions, or grabbing some nourishing food and drink.

 

There will be food and drink stands with some Buddhist-inspired meals available and a complimentary Chai at the end of the evening.

 

Entrance to the Castle is from 6pm, and tickets are £18 if purchased in advance, or £20 if you pay on the gate.

 

Children under the age of 12 can come for free.

 

 

NB We are restricted on numbers so booking in advance is recommended as you will not be guaranteed entry on the evening if we go over the numbers

 

 

You can book either at EventBrite or at www.bookeo.com/behappyfit.

 

For more details or enquiries email gilliesutherland@me.com.

 

 

Detox and De-stress with the Foam Roller

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Fascinating Fascia

If you’ve ever had a decent massage, then you’ll know how utterly blissful and freeing it is to get rid of some of those pesky knots, especially around the shoulders and upper back.

These knots are actually adhesions, which are areas of de-hydrated and hardened connective tissue, and they have often been there for years and can be really tricky to get rid of, even with yoga.

For the past few years, since reading about fascia (the connective tissues), and how important it is to our physical and emotional wellbeing (we hold our “issues” in our “tissues”), I’ve taken to foam rolling most days. It’s made a huge difference to my posture, as well as my skin tone, and I’m learning more and more ways it can benefit us.

For instance:

  • Improved flexibility and increased joint range of motion.
  • Better circulation.
  • Stress reduction.
  • Reduce exercise-related soreness.
  • Prevent injury.

If you want to read more about it, this is a fantastic piece written for Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog GOOP. She is a big fan, and one of her trainers, Lauren Roxburgh, explains here just what all the fuss is about.

https://goop.com/wellness/fitness/fascia-the-secret-organ/

I also have another workshop next weekend – Saturday 31st March 2018 – with the theme of Detoxing and De-Stressing using yoga and the foam roller. There are places still available, and for Members it is only £12.50 rather than £25 for non-members.

To book click here
 

108 On The Beach

108 on the beach

In celebration of Earth Day on Saturday 21st April 2018, as part of a full day of fitness and wellbeing activities on Exmouth Beach, Flow Yoga Devon are holding a charity yoga challenge in aid of the Community Café at Open Door Exmouth.

 

Open Door Exmouth has been at the heart of our community, helping those who need it most, whether it’s the homeless, young people suffering with mental health problems, or others who may have fallen upon hard times.

 

In some of the worst weather we have seen for years, these services are a life-line to those without a roof over their heads or enough food to survive.

 

This event is running specifically to raise money to support the Community Café, which is open 3 days a week offering both practical and emotional support for the homeless.

 

If you would like to help me in reaching my target of £1000, then you can either join me and gain sponsorship for yourself, donate online on this page, or show up on the day to support and bring your pennies!

 

108 On The Beach is open to everyone, and it consists of completing 108 sun salutations (a sequence of yoga moves), also known as a Yoga Mala. Yoga malas have been held globally for centuries, 108 being regarded as a highly sacred and auspicious number, and the effect is said to be transformational.

 

Although it is seems quite a challenge, and it is, it is achievable for most people with a base level of fitness, as there are also different levels to choose from.

 

Done in nature, facing the sun, is even better, and you will find that you can achieve more, with more energy and motivation, done on a beach with lots of other like-minded people.

 

What could be more fulfilling knowing that you are challenging yourself at the same time as making a difference?

 

When: Saturday 21st April 2018 9am start

 

Where: Exmouth Beach (Orcombe point end)

 

How much: £10 registration (includes refreshments from Bumble and Bee after the event and the remainder goes to Open Door, which is your minimum donation of £5).

 

Santander have also agreed to match fund this event, so every penny counts.

 

To register for this event go to www.bookeo.com/behappyfit and click on Special Events.

To set up a Fundraising event, follow this link and click on Start Fundraising. You will then be able to set up your own fundraising page as part of the event, and people can sponsor you to complete the 108 on the Beach.

If you are not able to take part but would like to donate, you can also follow this link and click on Donate Now.

No matter how big or small your donation, it all counts and is very much appreciated.

For more information and press enquiries contact Gillie Sutherland on gilliesutherland@me.com. Or 07530 012 490.

Background to the Event

 

Sobering Thoughts After The Snow

As much fun as it was at the time, playing in the snow, making snowmen and generally being silly, there was a niggling feeling inside me that all was not well.

Whilst we cosied up in front of a roaring fire, blankets at the ready, and loaded up with goodies from the fish shop on the quay, I couldn’t help thinking about those that may be less fortunate.

If you didn’t have a roof over your head, you couldn’t get warm or clean, and you had nothing to eat, I can’t imagine how horrific that must have been.

Were these people getting the care they needed? How were they going to survive? I’m not sure what the figures are but I’m sure we must have lost a few lives in that spell of snow and cold.

It’d be too easy to forget about it, “there’s nothing I can do”, we tell ourselves, so we get on with our lives, blissfully unaffected.

Yet we never know if something like that could happen to us. I’ve heard stories and we are all vulnerable to falling on hard times, and I just hope if that’s me, there’s at least somewhere I can turn to if I’m freezing and in need of food.

It turns out that there is a place in Exmouth that does just that. I only know about them because I came across a post on Facebook with advice on what to do if you saw someone sleeping rough. It was the height of the Beast of the East, and it was quite a wake-up call.

This is happening on our doorstep, this isn’t “over there” on the news. It’s here and it’s real. People out in the cold with nowhere to lay down their head or take a warm bath.

It was at the moment, I decided on the charity I was going to support in my upcoming event.

Open Door Exmouth have been around for 20 years “making a positive difference in people’s lives and helping those in most need in this town”.

I had no idea what they did, but visiting their Community Cafe yesterday and meeting Helen who heads up their fundraising, I was inspired.

Three days a week they open their doors to the homeless, offering a sleeping bag, a hot shower with toiletries to use, fresh clothes, their own clothes laundered, a hot meal and a hot drink, and a picnic to take for the next day.

Food and shelter, and access to hot water, things we take for granted, I imagine these are huge things to those that don’t have them.

So who pays for these services?

“We are dependent on wonderful, kind, generous people in our community who give up their time to volunteer for our projects. And we are incredibly grateful to receive over half of our funding from our local community”.

I’m in. I know there are so many deserving charities out there, and I’d love to support them all, but I think everything in life happens for a reason, everything has a lesson, and for me, this adverse weather has woke me up to realise how lucky I am, and reminded me of how important it is we take care of those that are vulnerable.

This is the true meaning of community.

 

Please donate what you can and help me by sharing this post.

 

 

New Season’s Launch Winter/ Spring 2018- Aurora!

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The new season starts on Monday 19th February 2018, and this is a great chance to get to get an in-depth understanding of what we are doing, whether it’s your first time to yoga or with me, and also if you’ve been coming a while but want to make sure you get the most out of every session in the 6 week block.

I am excited to announce the new season’s theme….

AURORA….Coming out of the darkness…

 

“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life… and I’m feeling good!”

 

Join me in celebrating the launch of the new season of yoga, a time when we leave behind the darkness of winter and approach a more lighter and brighter phase.

 

Aurora is the dawn, an awakening after a long period of hibernation, with the lighter of Spring days ahead, and the body sheds it’s winter heaviness and starts to come alive again.

 

This season’s theme helps us transition from Winter to Spring with a focus on mental health, becoming more powerful and resilient, as we unlock long-held patterns of stress and tension, and bring about more freedom of movement and expression, so we can unleash our true potential and move forward with a sense of lightness, energy and enthusiasm for life.

 

Drawing on inspirations from Japanese culture, primal movement and martial arts, with a soundtrack from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, and “Memoirs of a Geisha”, this is a mindful, grounding, stress-relieving practise, combining aspects from both science and spirituality.

 

 

This 2 ½ hour workshop will introduce you to the inspiration, concepts and techniques behind this season’s theme, and will give you more of an in-depth understanding of how to get the best out of your yoga classes, as well as integrate the concepts into your everyday life so you can get the very best out of this time of year in terms of your health and wellbeing.

 

Held at the light and spacious studio at Ocean Physio near Woodbury, with plenty of parking, mats and props, there will be time for refreshments afterwards and a chance to have your questions answered and to meet other students.

Date: Saturday 17th February 2018

Time: 10am – 12.30pm

Venue: The Studio, Ocean Physio, Woodbury Business Park, Exmouth Road, Woodbury, EX5 1AY http://www.oceanphysio.com

Cost: £25 per head (free to Premium Members or 50% off for Basic and Regular Members)

To book follow this link or for details of Membership email me gilliesutherland@me.com

 

Le Wild Retreat en France!

 

prana at le wild retreat

I am so excited and delighted to be returning to my favourite yoga deck in the heart of rural France, the inspiration for much of my writing on being close to nature as well as my Wild Yoga classes.

Staying at a magical retreat centre hidden in a valley of interlocking spurs in the forests of Aveyron, in the south of France, we will enjoy an entirely secluded eco-run hamlet, and our own expanse of wild tranquility.

Join me and other like-minded balance-seekers for a week of nourishing food, yoga and fun in this stunning setting in nature. My aim is to have you feeling energised, refreshed and full of good memories.

Retreat package is just £495 for all food, accommodation, yoga, meditation and walks. Flights are around £89 return to Toulouse at time of writing, and I will arrange transfers to and from the retreat. Take a look at what to expect

 

Yoga

The theme will be “wild” of course – the concept being that the closer to nature you are, the healthier you are. The yoga will have a “primal” flavour, based on the principles of Natural Movement and will be a blend of energising morning classes, and restorative evening sessions with meditation, and of course as many wild venues we can find to do our vogue warriors!

The yoga deck is one of the most stunning I have experienced, with amazing views where all you can see is green – so much prana, this is what forest bathing is all about.

With two yoga teachers for the week, myself Gillie Sutherland and the fabulous Chrissie Tarbitt, both of us keen foodies as well as coaches, you won’t be short of support or encouragement either.

There is also a hot tub in the wild to enjoy one evening as well!

Food

An additional element will be that we will be learning and journeying through the chakras, not just in terms of the yoga, but also with our food. Inspiration from The Chakra Kitchen!

We will be clean eating, and although not an entirely vegetarian retreat, vegans and those with special dietary requirements will be catered for.

Part of the fun of the retreat is shopping locally, at the markets, and from the local Artisans who live a walk away. You can get involved as much as you like, picking what you’d like, and helping create nutritious and delicious foods with us. September is also a great time for foraging, there’s lots of fruit to be picked and possibly mushrooms.

There is also a wood fired pizza oven and a Bar be Cue so they will be special evenings we will have together, and we will go out into the nearby town one evening to sample some of the local cuisine as well.

Logistics:

One of the great things about this retreat is how accessible

Arrive: Monday 17th September 2018

Depart: Friday 21st September 2018

I have looked at flights from Bristol to Toulouse and at the moment for those dates it is £80 return with Easyjet

Dep Bristol Mon 17th Sept Arrive Toulouse 13.25

Dep Toulouse Friday 21st Sept Arrive Bristol 14.45

There may be connecting flights from other local airports in the UK, and also some very cheap options from London Gatwick, City, Heathrow or Luton. Hopefully you can find an option that suits.

You will be picked up at Toulouse airport and there is a 90 minute transfer by minibus to through one of the most lush and green landscapes to arrive in our peaceful eco-hamlet.

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Accommodation:

The eco-hamlet, owned by a lovely British couple Luisa and Piers, has been tastefully restored into French-style gites, and offers some beautifully decorated rooms and spacious, luxury bathrooms for the perfect blend of style and comfort.

Like a home from home, we have lots of comfortable living spaces, including a large dining room, and plenty of outdoor areas for soaking up the sun, although the pool is something really special too for lounging and relaxing.

The accommodation will be for 4 nights and all food will be included in the cost, except for the one evening when we dine out.

All are shared rooms , with the choice of a double bed for couples or twins for singles. Don’t worry about coming on your own though as many people do, and it’s a great way to really escape and be yourself for the week!

You can see more examples of the accommodation here, as well as more reasons why this is my favourite venue so far!

https://www.wild-retreats.com/accomodation

The cost of the retreat is £495 which includes accommodation, food, walks, trips and 2 yoga / meditation sessions a day.

For the more wild, adventurous amongst you there is also the option of camping at the reduced cost of £395 per person. This is a beautifully set up , spacious Bell Tent in your own completely private forest glade with outdoor wood-fired bath tub, solar shower and forest composting toilet.

You can reserve your place with a £100 deposit and the balance is due by August 1st 2018.

  • NB Book and pay in full and pay just £450 0r £350 for the camping option.

Transport

I will arrange your pick up from Toulouse airport once I have your flight details

Throughout the week we will have a minibus to transport us around for the week so that we can go and explore the area and take trips into town as people wish.

Venue:

You can see details of the venue here. It really is a special place, and in one of my favourite areas of France. I travelled here two years ago and is a must for nature and food lovers!

http://www.wild-retreats.com/

 

Cost:

£495 per person for 6 nights food, accommodation, yoga, walks, transfers and some activities.

Guests arrange their own flights. At time of writing this is around £80 return from Bristol (other local airports available) and if travelling from Exeter, there will be others to share transport costs with or take the Falcon bus from Exeter to the airport for £13 each way.

There are just 8 spaces on this retreat, plus two yoga teachers and a driver, so it will be a nice intimate group (all fabulous I am sure!) with plenty of laughter and fun that I can guarantee!

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Email me on gilliesutherland73@gmail.com to book.