Earth Angels

Written by Gillie Sutherland and published in The Express and Echo

In a world where there seems so much focus on what divides us, I’m often drawn towards the things that connect and unite us.


For instance, the presence of angels is a phenomenon that most religions agree on.


Tonight reminded me that angels come in many forms, and it’s brought me a sense of peace as I wind down for the evening.


Sometimes angels come in human form. Friends we know that are always there for us, that consider what we may he going for, and reach out to help without us even asking.


My friend Rob from Exmouth is such a person. He was originally a yoga student of mine, coming to classes in Topsham and at Powderham Castle, and we formed a solid friendship which has been equally nourishing and inspiring.


Against the odds, with my dodgy WiFi connection tonight, we chat about everything that has been going on in our lives; his empathetic nature meant that he knew this was a difficult time for me in terms of my work, and his support felt like a warm hug from across the seas.


We got chatting about the importance of connection, and how many have struggled through this time due to lack of social engagement.


I told him about my latest findings, in how important oxytocin is in reducing stress and keeping us in a state of wellbeing.


We release oxytocin when we give birth and take that first look at our newborn, but also when we cuddle, when we move to music, and when we enjoy time with loved ones.


It’s also released through connection to our pets and I was interested to hear that more and more people since lockdown have been acquiring pets.
Rob told me that lords and ladies back in mediaeval times would sleep with their pets at the bottom of the bed. They prrovided comfort and safety and a feeling of being nourished.


I know this feeling so well.


My little cat Lucky Boots has been my faithful friend, my protector, my cuddle companion, and a true earth angel to me over the years. He sleeps with me on the bed and often puts his paw across my arm when Im dropping off to sleep as if to say “you’re ok, just rest now”.


I felt the presence of angels once more this week though. It had been a challenging week, but then I discovered that the cat is been feeding for a friend had just given birth.


I heard the cute little meows and when I went to look, there were the most adorable little furry faces staring back at me. My heart was melting. All was well in the world again. I had a new sense of purpose, making sure I looked after their mum and gave them the best start in life I could.


I never gave birth myself so I haven’t experienced that big dose of oxytocin that comes from having your own child, but this gave me enough of a boost to know what it’s about.


Whether earthly or ethereal, one thing I know for sure is that there are angels everywhere, and I feel blessed to know this.

Classes Update from Gillie

Due to popular demand and the growing tribe of Rise and Shine yogis, I am adding in an extra weekly class, meaning that you can do 3 times a week online with me. You can attend the live class or you also get the recording of the class to watch at a time that suits you, and as many times as you like!

July Zoom Classes

Tuesdays and Thursdays 7.15am

Saturdays 10 – 11am

*** Sign up for unlimited classes in July before end of June and get 2 free classes (Saturday 27th June and Tuesday 30th June 2020)

July Class Pass

Get all 12 classes for just £35 include recordings of all of the classes

£35.00

Block of 4 classes

Get 4 classes plus recordings to be used throughout the month of July for just £20

£20.00

Single Class Booking

Book for one class and attend live plus get the recording to keep

£6.00

Solstice Yoga Fest HR/UK 2020

Let’s come together to celebrate

Summer Solstice in 2020!

Movement, Music, Meditation

We may have different time zones, mountains and rivers, but we are all connected by the same Sun, Earth, Sea, Air, and Sky!

In this International Yoga Event, with live cello accompaniment, which will be held in Molunat, Croatia, but streamed live across countries via Zoom, we join together to honour all that we share.

Saturday 20th June 2020

9am – 11.30 am British Summertime

1000 – 1230hr Croatia and Central Europe

*** Pre-booking is essential. Sign up below before 15th June to get discounted rate of 10 Euros!

Soul Flow Workshop

2 1/2 hour s of mindful, flowing yoga and meditation set to an uplifting musical playlist led by Gillie Sutherland

£10.00

About The Event

For the first time, we will be bringing together students from all over the World to the same sacred space to celebrate our unity and solidarity, in a culture of diversity and inclusivity.

I will be streaming live from Molunat, on the very southern end of Croatia, and if it is accesible for you, I would love for you to join me in person.

For those further afield, you can join us live on Zoom, where we can interact in real time.

For two and a half hours, we will meditate, salute the sun, share time and space, and cultivate a loving compassion in and around us.

We will also be joined by SPECIAL GUEST Jo Hooper, who will be playing cello music she created especially to accompany yoga.

This is open for all levels. As long as you can breathe, you can do this!

Pre-registration is essential. Please sign up above and you will receive joining details by email.

About The Summer Solstice

As the longest day of the year, throughout time, the Summer Solstice has been marked by festivals and rituals as the day we are fully awake, and our spirits are alive, as we are bathed in the energy of the sun.

Ancient monuments, such as Stonehenge are thought to be have been built to slign with the Sun during the solstice, and cultures all

The Summer Solstice is an exact planetary moment, when the tilt of the Earth birngs us closest to the sun, meaning it takes place at the same moment all around the World.

What a perfect day to celebrate our Global Connectedness, and that no matter how far apart we may be, we all share the same sun?

Midsummer, as it is also known, is a reminder of all the magical in nature, and a time to fully embrace all that you love about life.

This is what this event is all about. Nature, love, and global connectedness.

About Me

My belief is that “the closer you are to nature, the healthier you are”.

When we feel connected to the world around us, when we align ourselves with nature, and come into a state of harmony with the world arund us.

This helps us “be love” and “spread love” – what our planet needs right now.

I have over 20 years of experience in the field of wellbeing, which has included scientific study or the body, as well as the more spiritual aspects during my time living in India.

What I love is how the two worlds of science and spirituality are starting to come together, and this movement is helping raise the consciousness of the planet.

My work is inspired by nature, but grounded in science, and more recently I have been studying the work of Nikola Tesla, and my classes are based around raising our vibrational frequency to the energy of love – 528 hertz!

I love bringing people into yoga that haven’t done it before, I love making people smile whilst they are practising yoga, and I love inspiring people to lead healthier and happier lives.

My classes are based on my values of inclusivity, accessibility, compassion, and love. You are all welcome!

If you have any questions about the event, please feel free to contact me on gilliesutherland73@gmail.com

Justified Anger

Not for the first time, I find myself counting my lucky stars I am not in the UK at the moment. More than ever before, I am saddened by what is happening in my home country.

Like many, I watched the Prime Minister’s speech last night, laying down the guidelines for the easing of lockdown.

It was like a party political broadcast, full of soundbites and carefully constructed straplines, and most people watching were left in a state of confusion like never before.

The news this morning was full of it, and even Piers Morgan had an angry outburst. I’m not usually a fan of his, but I feel he echoed the thoughts of the large proportion of viewers who are also frustrated by the important questions not being answered.

Again, the country is in a state of “cognitive dissonance”, that feeling when you don’t know which way is up.

Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviours, which leads to feelings of mental discomfort. All the graphs, the new “alert” system that’s been created, all give the impression that there’s a clear strategy, and the new strapline was delivered as if it was some ground-breaking new solution to it all.

Here’s an idea (one which should possibly have been considered at least 8 weeks ago): Why not look at what has happened in other countries, and perhaps construct a strategy based on what has worked in places where the virus has been contained?

Oh no, “we know better” is the answer. Just like Trump and the US, our arrogant Government decide to waste weeks making sure they’re OK, whilst everyone else suffers, in particular the most vulnerable.

I’m not surprised people are angry. I am a great believer in “keeping your face to the sunshine”, but there is also a time and a place for anger, and the time is now.

I can’t help feeling that this new strapline was purposely drawn up to instil yet more fear in a society that is already anxiety-ridden. Whoever is coming up with this stuff clearly has a background in marketing – they know the power of a strapline, and they also know the power of words.

Whereas “Stay At Home” was a very clear message, almost comforting in it’s simplicity and it’s connotations, “Stay Alert” invokes feelings of being under threat, and having to stay in a state of hypervigilance the whole time.

It also confused a lot of people.

Put fear and confusion together and what do you have? A collective that is easy to control, to shift blame to, and to detract from the very real truth which is that this crisis was dealt with appallingly by our so-called leaders.

Good leadership does not involve confusing your people, scaring them, and scapegoating them. It involves getting a clear message out there, gaining understanding, engaging people in the process, and getting people onboard.

Here in Croatia, where we have had less than 100 deaths, in spite of being neighbours to Italy, due to early lockdown measures, closing the borders, insisting on tests and quarantine for those coming in, and having enough safety equipment available.

Not only did they manage to contain the virus, but 94% of the Croatian people (according to a statistic I read) are supportive of the Government and how they responded. A very different story, and I am grateful every day I am here.

There is cohesion amongst the Croatian people, because the message was loud and clear. It wasn’t full of marketing jargon, nor saying “hey, didn’t we do a great job?”, it was honest, authentic, and instilled a sense of safety through it’s clarity.

In contrast, I am dismayed every time I hear BoJo, Raab, Hancock, et al speak. The worry is that so many are just being tricked again, like they were before the referendum. People don’t realise it’s because instinctively their bodies don’t trust what is being said that they feel so fearful. They fight amongst themselves instead of directing the anger where it is due, and this is heart-breaking to watch from afar.

The rest of Europe seem very clear on what’s happened. The UK have aligned themselves with Trump and the US.

I just hope the British people come together at last, and that this disaster wakes people up to what is going on, so the country can begin to heal.

Empathy over Fighting


There’s no doubt in my mind that I am in a more fortunate position that most during these strange times.

Even when I forget that the one small supermarket in the village will be closed over the Easter weekend and run out of food (and wine!), I don’t need to panic. My neighbours bring me fresh fish, painted Easter eggs, apple strudel, and their own home-made wine.

There’s nothing I need, and I don’t feel isolated nor alone. For this I am blessed.

It is not lost on me that others will not be coping so well. Although I am a great believer in that “we are all in this together”, that we walk the same Earth and breathe the same air, I am under no illusion that this is the same experience for everyone. I feel sad for that, and I wish I could do more to help.

I was so impressed by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight last week, when she opened with words of empathy and in recognition for the fact that this is not the “great leveller” that certain politicians are saying it is.

It came throughout the time that Boris Johnson was in intensive care, when the chosen soundbites of the Downing Street cronies was that he would survive because he was a “fighter”.

Whoever wrote that Newsnight opening deserves a pat on the back at the very least, and I was pleased that it received the recognition on social media that it did. The statements from the Prime Minister’s aides were at the very least insensitive.

Only the day before we had Trump saying he was flying over his top people to offer privileged treatment to our Prime Minister. How is that possibly a level playing field?

If the news is true and MPs are getting a £10,000 bonus to work at home, when many do not have any income at all, and resorting to the measly Universal Credit allowance to live on.

Many of these MPs will be the same ones who clapped and cheered as they blocked a pay-rise for nurses back in 2017.

Those who will now be congratulating the NHS for taking such good care of their leader.

Many have no idea what it’s like out in the real world; the ones who do care, the ones who did their best for these key workers, they were smeared, blasted and mocked, as the elite continued to thrive during the “austerity” years.

As long as you’re alright, Jacob, sorry, Jack.

Of course, I wished our Prime Minister a full recovery, I’d be some kind of sociopath if I didn’t, but since when was his life more important that anyone else’s?

What about the doctors saving lives, the people that are risking their lives to save others. Surely that life is just as valuable.

I know what they’ll say, I read it so many times I had to take myself off social media.

“But he’s our leader, we need him back to lead the country”.

I guess that’s a matter of opinion, but give me Jacinta Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister any day. Her response to the virus was like a masterclass in crisis management.

Not only did she lead New Zealand into what has been described as the “most decisive and strongest lockdown in the world”, but throughout she was also able to display empathy, an often over-looked leadership quality.

By acknowledging the challenges people face by staying at home, such as disrupted family and work lives, to people not being able to attend funerals, she conveyed compassion and understanding in her public messages.

When she spoke to the children of the nation about the Easter Bunny being an essential worker, and that perhaps that’s the reason he may not make it this year to deliver eggs, I could have kissed the screen.

Let’s hope what comes out of this when it ends is more Emily and Jacinta moments, I just find it hard to believe it will come from this government, who still think “fighting” is more important than “caring”.

Karma Yoga Day to raise funds for charity in crisis

Help Yourself, Help The Helpers, Help The World…..

Love It Forward

On Earth Day this year, Wednesday 22nd April 2020, Flow Yoga Devon are putting on a Karma Yoga Day to raise essential emergency funds for local charity Estuary League of Friends.

A team of ten local yoga teachers are going to be donating their time and expertise to offer a full day of diverse and nourishing sessions for you and the family to enjoy from online.

The classes will be streamed live on the Event Page, and all donations will go to support the charity in its work supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

Here’s the full schedule for the day

Suggested donation £5 per class or £25 for the whole day.

If you are struggling financially at the moment then you can still help my sharing the event and even asking friends or family to sponsor you!

To register for this event please email gilliesutherland73@gmail.com

To read more about Estuary League of Friends go to http://esttest.estuary-league-of-friends.co.uk/

So why are we doing this?

One of the most caring and compassionate charities in the area need our help.

And they need it fast.

The Estuary League of Friends are in desperate need of funds in order to keep up the vital work they do in supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

From delivering groceries, medicines and essential supplies to the elderly and disabled, cooking and delivering hot meals to those that are not able to provide for themselves, to taking people to urgent medical appointments, they are stretched to their limit.

Add to this that they have lost their usual income from the Community Hub and the two shops due to the lockdown.

This crisis is likely to continue for some weeks, and in order for the Estuary League of Friends to continue the great services they offer, they are in need of some funding.

So, on Earth Day, a team of Yoga Teachers are coming together and donating their time to offer a full day of sessions for all ages and abilities to do from home.

Every penny of your donation will be going to the Estuary League of Friends to support over 600 of the most vulnerable in our community, so whatever you have to spare would go to a great cause, and at the same time give you and your family a healthy day to spend together.

Where will your money go?

  • £12 could provide a hot, nutritious lunch for an elderly couple self-isolating at home
  • £25 could keep the minibus on the road for a whole day to transport local people with chronic health conditions to and from urgent medical appointments
  • £100 could feed a family of four for a week
  • £500 could fund visits to 30 elderly neighbours who need our help to prepare meals or change the bedding at home 
  • £1,000 could provide grocery and medicine deliveries to 200 vulnerable people in our community who need to self-isolate

That’s why we are appealing to you for help.

Please help us protect the vulnerable in our community by supporting this event or making a donation today to keep these vital services running that we deliver to people in need in Topsham and the surrounding areas.

Thank you for your support!

Gillie xxx

Lighten Up FREE Webinar

How to feel great in only 15 minutes a day!

Sounds too good to be true, I know!

So in this FREE webinar on YouTube, I’ll be explaining why and how this can work for YOU.

Find out what the MAGIC PILL is that is within you, and how to activate it

In this 45 minute webinar with me, Gillie Sutherland, you will learn:

  • Why most people fail to stick to a new healthy regime in the first month
  • Why diets don’t work and what you can do instead
  • The power of rituals and why first thing is the absolute best time of day
  • Why NOW is the best time of year to embark on something new and how you can kickstart the system
  • The secret ingredient to keeping up new habits

To sign up for the webinar join me LIVE on YouTube (Gillie Sutherland)

Wednesday 26th February 7pm GMT

Or if you can’t join me live, then send me an email gilliesutherland@me.com and I’ll send you the link to watch it later.

Pride On The Beach: The BIG 🌈 ONE

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It’s the Sunmer Solstice…. ☀️

It’s Exmouth Pride …. 🌈

And it’s time to get down to the beach for some feel-good Wild Yoga 🌸🌊😎🙏

Celebrating love in all it’s forms, diversity and inclusivity, equality, freedom, and solidarity… 

“We’re all in this together…We are all different, but we are all equal!”

So this is yoga for everyone!

 

The Big One 🌈🌈🌈

Yoga On The Beach session for one person Saturday 20th June 2020 10am Exmouth Beach

£5.00

 

So what’s so special about this one??

It’s all about Good Vibes, Love In All It’s Forms, and Summer!

For the first time, we are part of Exmouth Pride. We did a session on the beach last year, and then went along to the festival afterwards for a daytime dance, and it was awesome!!

It’s all about love and diversity, and it felt so aligned to our values here at Flow Yoga Devon.

For me, in my sessions, I like to show people that we are all different, and that yoga is for everyone!

We are all creatures of nature, we are all unique plants, and when put in the right environment, we bloom!!

In yoga we recognise that each of us have a unique light within us, and when raise our vibrational frequency (through mindful movement and being in nature), we can shine our lights out into the world with a sense of freedom and pride!!

If you’ve not tried Yoga On The Beach before, I invite you to come along and experience the good vibes of being by the sea, feel good movement with a sense of fun, and the love of the rainbow warriors that come along… ❤️🌈🙏

If you’ve any questions then drop me an email on gilliesutherland@me.com or sign up at the button above and come feel the love

Gillie xxx

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Down To Earth

trust in the magic to hands

Today was my favourite day back in the UK so far.

Thanks to a little girl called Eva and a lump of clay.
In amongst the craziness of silly season and my busy social calendar (most of which I’d ducked out of, on the verge of exhaustion), I’d been looking forward to an escape to the Rame peninsula to see one of my best friends.
Little did I know I’d find something that lit me from the inside.
I’d had a vague memory as a child of visiting Wetheriggs Pottery, which was near where I grew up in the Lake District, and of throwing a big lump of brown clay onto a potter’s wheel, but it was fuzzy, like a lot of my childhood.
All I knew was that, given half a sniff of a chance, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the clay again. Especially as I had Eva, age  5 (nearly 6, as she pointed out) keen to show me the ropes.
As we sat side by side, and her Grandad, the famous potter Paul Cardew guided me through it, I could not have been happier.
I lost all sense of where I was, and all the mattered was the feel of the clay, getting the pressure right, and making sure my foot stayed steady on the pedal.
When I finished, and I looked at my modest little pot, it was like I’d just scored the winning goal for Carlisle United in the Champions League Final. I hadn’t dreamed it would have been possible. I had thought I was so clumsy with my hands, but here it was, the proof in the pudding. I’d created something!
I thought about all the times we hold ourselves back, thinking something isn’t for us. I do that myself. I don’t think I can sing. I don’t think I’m artistic at all.
Yet here I am, in my work at the moment, surrounded by musicians, artists, creative types, feeling completely in my element. It’s like “coming home” after a week of feeling like a fish out of water. I’m at peace with the world again.
As I look at Eva, I’m in awe of this five year old, filled with love, who states with confidence that she’s going to be an artist when she grows up.
I’m reminded of a quote I once read from the Dalai Lama , and how well it resonated at the time, but now more than ever.
“The planet does not need more successful people. The planet needs more storytellers, healers, restorers, and lovers of all kind”.
Amen to that.