Grounding for Mental Health

 

When I’m struggling with my mental health, when my mind is in overdrive, and my nervous system has tripped me into “high alert”, I put my feet in the sand, and I walk.

It only took me around 40 years to realise that this was the answer for me. I always was a late bloomer! (More about that later in the week..).

Now I’ve learned there is science behind it too, but I just know from how it feels that it has a magical effect.

As it would happen, today was one those days. My head was a in a muddle, and my to-do list was getting longer and longer. I couldn’t even think what to write about, and if you know me at all, it’s not that often I don’t have anything to say.

I knew that I had to get out of my head and into my body.

For it is in the body that the wisdom lies. Our body was our first home, and when we go back to it, that’s where we can feel safe, where we can trust again.

Ironically, the body is also the place we go to heal our “body image issues”. For it is not the body that is the problem, it is our thinking around it.

The way to stop our negative thinking around it is to go into it, and to place it into it’s natural habitat – the Earth.

When it’s you and nature, have you noticed you’re really not bothered about your body?

I remember when I was in Lombok, and it was me, a bikini, boardshorts, a moped, a surfboard, and not much else. I never gave a second thought to what shape I was in.

Yet when I returned to the UK, and I was surrounded by images of so-called “perfection”, 8 foot, size 4 mannequins in shop windows, selling a dream that wasn’t real, my insecurities soon returned. In the changing rooms, I was wondering why the clothes in the window didn’t look like that on me.

I remember thinking how ridiculous it was. I had a normal body, if anything, in pretty good nick, and yet there I was feeling “less than” after weeks of not giving a hoot.

So I know now that I need to avoid all of that nonsense as much as possible and go back to what’s real…

What’s real is going back to nature, accepting my body as it is, and where I am now. With my feet in the sand, the sun on my skin, and getting out of my busy mind.

A few weeks ago, I stood up in front of 150 people with only little shorts on. This time last year, I was leaner, skinnier than I am now, but I was way more insecure and I couldn’t have done that with the same confidence, where I did not think once about whether I had a yoga teacher’s body.

That’s because this time around I did not have the voice in my head that told me I wasn’t ok as I was. (If I’m feeling brave enough, I’ll share why later in the week!)

BIGGER AND BETTER

Bigger and Better this year…

When we aren’t grounded, that voice can take over, but when we put our feet into the Earth, we get out into nature, and preferably on our own when we need to, that’s when we learn to observe those voices, question them, ask them if they are true. Eventually we just let them go…

At some point we forget the projections of others, the expectations of the modern world, the unrealistic images of a perfection that doesn’t exist, and we go back into our first home, and it’s OK.

 

mental health awareness week day 1

Yoga At The Castle

BIG NEWS!!!!  This is Flow Yoga Devon’s new venue!

candlelit

We are so excited to announce the most exciting venue yet for Flow Yoga Devon. Powderham Castle is steeped in history, the magical family home of the Earl and Countess of Devon.

Yoga lovers Charlie and AJ have generously offered the Grand Dining Hall to host classes for the community, so that members of the public can enjoy this wonderful healing art in the most atmospheric of settings.

Together we will be embracing the colder seasons by boosting the “hygge” quotient throughout the class. If you’ve not heard of hygge, it is the Danish term for “the art of creating intimacy in everyday settings”, or “cosiness” to put it more simply.

So the fire will be roaring, in the evenings we will be lighting the candles, and we will be enjoying blankets and lavender eye pillows to really make you feel like you’re being pampered.

candlelit-3

The aim of these classes is to make yoga accessible for all. We want people to feel comfortable that they are not going to be pushed beyond their limits, or compete with others, but rather find the joy and the healing that is available when you learn to use the breath to connect your body and your mind, and discover just how good you can feel when you give yourself the space.

Come and join us, and experience some yoga magic in this special place.

When:

Initially the classes will run for 6 weeks from 7th November until 17th December 2017.

Mondays 6.45 – 8pm Yoga by Candlelight

Set in the atmospheric dining room of Powderham Castle, the mood will be set to “cosy”, whilst we enjoy an escape from our busy lives and discover the healing benefits of yoga on the body and mind.

To book click here

Wednesdays 9.30 – 10.45am Flow Yoga

This class is all about balance, energising yet relaxing, strengthening and lengthening, challenge and rest, all you need for a healthy, happy body. Spend the morning at the castle, meet new like-minded people, and be inspired to feel good.

Numbers are limited to ensure quality and safety throughout the class, and this also means that all levels are welcome, as modifications can be given for special conditions*.

*To be discussed with the teacher prior to the class.

To book click here

Who:

Classes will be run by Gillie Sutherland of Flow Yoga Devon. Gillie has 25 years of experience in the field of wellbeing, and holds a degree in Physical Education as well as qualifications in ashtanga, hatha and aerial yoga, and fitness pilates. She lived and studied in India for a year before setting up Flow Yoga, and she is also a columnist for the Express and Echo as their expert on health and wellness.

Gillie creates a unique experience combining her scientific and spiritual knowledge, with a relaxed and fun element, making it accessible for those new to yoga as well as the more experienced.

Cost:

£30 for 4 classes if paying upfront. To purchase a block of 4 classes click here https://bookeo.com/behappyfit/prepaid.
You can then book which classes you would like to attend. If booking forst 4 weeks, and you use them all, your final week is free.

Drop-in classes are £9 per person and subject to availability.

candlelit-2

Here Comes Summer

Here comes the sun (salutations!)

Here comes the sun (salutations!)

Today is the 1st June, so even if the weather not may seem that way today, I think we now officially call this summer.

So I am letting you know about my new summer schedule of classes and workshops. As you will see, I am using new venues in and around Topsham.

If you’ve not been there already, Highfield Farm is a sunning rural setting with lots of parking, and is park of an organic farm and campsite. The Court Barn which I use for classses and workshops is spacious and light, with lovely views out to the fields. Everyone who has been just loves it, and we are also able to easily cater there.

Yoga in Nature at Highfield

Yoga in Nature at Highfield

I am also open to any suggestions you have for venues you know of. Any questions or suggestions please feel free to chat after class or give me a call.

Topsham Summer Schedule From July 2nd 2015 – September 4th 2015

NB There will be no classes from June 15th to July 1st as I will be away teaching on retreat in Spain. For details see www.samyamafitness.com.

Weekly Yoga Classes in Topsham

Mondays 6.15–7.15pm Mindful Yoga Highfield Farm (all levels, beginners welcome)

Mondays 7.30 – 8.30pm Mind Over Matter (weight loss group)Highfield Farm (parking available)

Tuesdays 9.30am Yogalates (yoga and pilates for all levels) at St Matthews Hall (upstairs)

Tuesdays 6.30pm Flow Yoga (a more dynamic class) Highfield Farm

Wednesdays 9.30am Yogalates (fitness and wellness class) venue Pebblebed Vineyard, Clyst St George (parking available)

Wednesdays 6.30pm Mindful Yoga  (all levels welcome, ideal for beginners)St Matthews Hall

Thursdays 6.30 – 7.30pm Flow Yoga (beginner to intermediates)Highfield Farm

Fridays 9.30 – 10.30am Yogalates (strengthening and stretching for all levels) at St Margarets Church

*Classes are £8 for one class, or £12 for two classes. Book a block of 4 for £30. Private sessions are £20 per session for upto 4 people (July and August only, usually £30)

  **Thursdays and Fridays I am available 9am – 5pm for private sessions and workshops for individuals and businesses. Also some Friday evenings andSaturdays. 

Upcoming Workshops and Events

(Held at Highfield Farm unless stated otherwise – visit http://www.highfieldfarm.org for details and directions)

Sat 4th July  YogaDance Workshop 10.30am – 12.30pm

Fri 17th July  FeelGood Friday Karma Yoga class (donation only for MIND charity) 6.30-8pm

Sat 1st Aug Eco Yoga Workshop 10.30am – 12.30pm

Fri 14th Aug FeelGood Friday Sunset Yoga and BBQ (option of camping and Saturday classes)

Sat 29th Aug SALUTE TO THE SUN! (just 108 times) donation only 12 midday

Getting ready for chakra workshop

Getting ready for chakra workshop

For more details and bookings email gilliesutherland73@gmail.com or call 07530 012 490.