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From fear to faith…

Hi friends,

How does it feel in your body when you feel a deep sense of faith and connection, trusting that everything is working out in the right way?

How does it feel to feel the opposite?

Where are you on that scale right now?

Over the past week I have really been feeling a powerful reminder of the importance of maintaining faith.

I feel that this sense of faith and trust is one of the greatest gifts of spiritual practice. But like everything, most of us on this path will find that there are times where our faith dwindles, and other times where we feel deeply connected.

This morning in my practice I pulled this card:


This card feels so resonant, not only because of the words, but also because this is the posture that I find myself intuitively taking when I feel called to pray and ask for guidance.

Sometimes we can forget. We can feel alone. We can feel worn out, tired and lose trust. We can succumb to the constant stream of negativity through the media, and start to feel that the fear has outweighed the faith. It’s ok…

“Have faith in the benevolence of life, rather than harbouring the suspicion that life is seeking to catch us out, have a joke at our expense or carelessly toss us about as though we mean nothing…”

As I take the steps in my life right now to let go of the old and make way for the new, I am being asked to have more faith than I ever have had before.

It feels scary, but a part of me knows that this is an initiation into deeper trust and faith, into my new chapter.

I love this healing practice from my Oracle Deck (Sacred Rebels by Alana Blanchard):

‘Say aloud “I now ask that all disappointing experiences of the past that have led me to believe that life is not trustworthy or that faith is a silly or immature way to deal with life, be released from my mind, body and heart. I ask for help to accept that I can and will attract all that is needed into my life, at the perfect time and in the perfect way.”’

Yes. Yes. Yes.

For me, the practices that help me to deepen my spiritual connection are:

  • Yoga
  • Prayer
  • Sensual movement
  • Meditating with crystals
  • Chanting, singing and music
  • Giving and receiving energy healing
  • Oracle cards
  • Being in nature

What helps you to feel more spiritually connected and trusting?

What is one thing that you could do, over this weekend, to invite more of that feeling in?

If you are interested in deepening your journey by joining my Online Yoga Therapy Course – ‘Personal Transformation through the Chakras’ – just a reminder that early bird finishes TOMORROW 3rd Dec, when the price will rise from £147 to £197. Book before midnight tomorrow to secure the discount.

This course takes you on a journey through the 7 chakras, combining Yoga, Psychology and Meditation to help you to transform your mind and body, and deepen your spiritual connection. We start the course on Jan 8th, but you can access the materials in your own time and keep coming back to them whenever you need!

> Click here to find out all of the details about the online course <

Wishing you a lovely weekend under the sparkling radiance of the supermoon!

Love and light,

Lauren x

How to quickly feel less anxious and more grounded…

Hi there,

I hope you are having a good week.

After all of the intensity of the full moon last weekend, I am noticing within myself and others a deep need to slow down, nourish, rest and ground.

Are you feeling it too?

To be ‘grounded’ literally means ‘to feel the ground.’ Whenever we feel rushed / overwhelmed / anxious, we can feel like our mind is spinning at 100mph. We might feel more like a floating head than an embodied human being.

If I could teach one message through Yoga, it would be to slow down. Slowing down gives us chance to listen in, feel more, and think less.

Last night I was feeling exhausted after a long day. My mind felt tired, but my body felt tight and achey after a day of being indoors, and craved movement. You know that feeling?

Rather than going out as planned, I lighted candles, burnt some palo santo to clear the energy of the room, put on some soothing music and pulled an oracle card. Then, I connected with my breath and started to move my body in a conscious way, a way that felt nourishing and grounding. After the yoga I did a 15 minute relaxation practice.

Afterwards I felt totally transformed and in a deep state of ease and tranquility. Not a spaced out feeling, but a feeling of coming home to myself and back to my true nature.

I am always in awe of the power of conscious movement, deep breathing and relaxation.

When was the last time you consciously slowed down and spent some time to truly nurture yourself?

Here are some ways to ground yourself:

– Name 5 things in your environment. This is the simplest way to get out of your head and into the present moment. Bring your attention to whatever is around you.

– Take time to prepare yourself a nourishing meal. Eat mindfully, taking time to notice and enjoy the flavours and textures.

– Take 3 deep conscious breaths into your belly. Breathing deeply is the quickest and most powerful way to calm the nervous system.

– Bring your awareness down to your feet. Notice the sensation between your feet and the ground. Feel the physical support beneath you. Affirm to yourself ‘The earth supports me’

– Burn or diffuse a woody, earthy scent such as Palo Santo, sandalwood or cedarwood.

– Do a conscious movement practice such as yoga, followed by meditation / relaxation practice. Moving the body first helps to use up some of the stress hormones, anchor the mind and stretch the body, making it easier to relax. Here’s a link to a deep relaxation practice.

All of these practices help to balance the root chakra, Muladhara.

To learn more about the Chakras check out my new Online Yoga Therapy Course – Personal Transformation through the Chakra. I am so excited to launch this online course so that I can share these transformational practices with more of you!

Tomorrow I am heading off to Scotland to see my mum for a few days. I am excited for lots of nurturing walks and cosy chats 🙂

Speak soon,

Lots of love,

Lauren x

Finding your voice & feeling confident

Hi friends,

Today was my first day back lecturing after a long summer break. Even though I have been doing this for over 5 years now, I still get nervous. Before my lecture today to a class of about 150, I had a familiar feeling of anxiety. Luckily the lecture went fine and I felt reassured and confident in myself.

But it hasn’t always been this way.

I started thinking about what’s changed since I first began public speaking, when I started my PhD in 2010, and where I am now.

Occasionally I notice the old thoughts creeping back in…thoughts of inadequacy, feeling like a fraud etc…

The reality is that most of us have some version of the ‘not good enough’ story playing out. But often we think that everyone else has it all together, which can make us feel alone and ashamed.

Yesterday I was listening to a talk by Chris Germer, a self-compassion expert who spoke about, how, at the root of these core wounds, lies a desire to be loved. We all just want to be loved. We all want to be accepted.

When I think about my own relationship with myself, so much has changed since the early years. I no longer beat myself up. I don’t allow myself to get caught in negative loops of self-criticism and shame. Instead, I use the tools of self-compassion to respond to myself in a loving way. It is so much more effective.

Today before my lecture, I placed a hand on my heart and said to myself ‘it’s ok honey, I know that you feel nervous, you are safe, I’m here for you.’ I felt my slightly increased heart rate, and rather than freaking out about having anxiety, I simply breathed into it. Anxiety, my old friend, nice to see you again.

Alongside self-compassion, yoga has helped me to find my own sense of power and self-confidence. I ‘act’ as if I feel confident (even if I feel nervous on the inside). I feel into my belly centre, draw my shoulders back and ground myself firmly through my feet. Doing this sends a message to my brain, telling it that I’m safe.

Research by Amy Cuddy has also shown that through adopting powerful postures it decreases cortisol and increases hormones associated with confidence. I use every trick in the book!

Another thing that helps me is singing and chanting mantras, which I do as often as I can – clearing any blockages in the throat chakra.

One of my favourite phrases (linked to the seventh chakra) is ‘do your best and let go of the rest.’ The art of surrender. Sweet surrender. I find this comforting, to know that no matter what the outcome, I can only do my best. And that’s enough.

When I created the ‘Personal Transformation through the Chakras’ course I wanted to bring together what I had learned from yoga and psychology to help people to create real change in their lives.

I wanted to share the insights from my own personal journey, along with cutting edge tools that I had learned from western and eastern traditions to help people to feel more confident, empowered, connected and compassionate.

I truly believe that when we bring together the mind and the body, we have the power to create much greater shifts than working with just one.

Here is an overview of what we cover in each week:

You can read more about the course here. We begin on Monday 9th October from 6.30-8.30pm in Bournemouth. There is a maximum of 12 people in the group.

http://www.wakingwithwellness.com/chakra-yoga-course

Here are some words from previous attendees:

“I loved this course and it has had a huge impact on me. Lauren is an excellent teacher – knowledgeable, wise and skilled. 10/10” (Ginny)

“I have loved this course, it really has been a journey of personal transformation. I have learnt so much about myself and it is just the beginning of an exciting journey.10/10 ” (Annabel)

“I enrolled on this course to enable me to have a clear mind as I approach career crossroads. I left with a real sense of knowing myself, my boundaries and what brings me joy. Thank you for all the inspiration, it will stay with me always. 10/10.” (Tracey)

“An enlightening course, providing a safe, secure, lovely environment to explore myself, my fears, my emotions, hopes & dreams…10/10” (Jane)

If you would like to join please send me your registration form (download here) and I will send you booking info.

*If you have completed the course before and would like to repeat it you will receive a 20% discount.

Feel free to hit reply with any questions, or to share anything from this post that resonated with you.

Speak soon,

Love & light,

Lauren

(p.s. Here’s that link again…)

Updates + Taking action towards your goals…

Hi there,

I hope you are well and enjoying summer.

My summer has been a mix of lots of travel and fun, and working behind the scenes on a project.

When we think of the essence of summer, it is the most active and ‘out there’ time of year. Summer connects with the fiery, solar energy of Manipura chakra. The sun energy has two major properties – heat and light. The fire within our belly is what leads us to take action towards our true values; to be strong and courageous and true to ourselves. The light reminds us to not take ourselves too seriously, to be light-hearted, laugh a lot and to enjoy ourselves (equally important!)

For the past few months I have been working on a new project – creating an online Yoga Therapy / Personal Development course. It is something that I have thought about doing for about a year. As the summer season started, I felt a clear message that this was the time to take action!

Yesterday I finally finished recording all of the videos (about 27 to count!). It has taken a lot from me. No-one to push me on a deadline or force me to work when I’d rather be relaxing. Just me. Truth is, it would have been easy to keep putting it off. I could make a million excuses. ‘I’m not ‘ready’ yet. It will be too technically challenging. I’m not good on camera.’

Here are some things that helped me to keep on track:

  • I kept coming back to WHY. Why do I want to do it? What values is this goal connected to?
  • Consistent monitoring and mindfulness of all of the reasons why I should give up (‘thank you mind’ for that one!’)
  • Taking regular, consistent action – breaking it down into small steps
  • The feeling of excitement every time I finished filming a module (like one of my favourite anologies – the motivation is the exhaust, not the fuel. The more action I took, the more it fuelled me to keep going).

(a sneak peek of one of the videos, me in Goddess pose, my favourite!)

In fact I speak about all of these things in the module on Manipura Chakra. How can we find the strength and courage within ourselves to do things that make us feel a little (or a lot) uncomfortable? How can we trust ourselves, rather than having to get approval from other people? How can we cultivate this warrior strength physically, as well as psychologically?

I’ve still got a way to go with putting everything together, but I am proud of myself for getting to this stage. I’ll keep you updated!

So what about you?

Is there a dream or vision within you that is waiting to be birthed into the world?

What things inspire you and light you up?

What is the next right action step?

This Friday I am off to Sardinia for a week’s holiday before teaching with Sardinia Yoga (p.s still time to join me!).

A few things upcoming events to share with you:

  • The next 8-Week Yoga Therapy course begins in Bournemouth on Wed 4th October from 6.30-8.30pm. Early bird booking is open until September 1st (I have already had several bookings so get in early if you’d like to join!). You can download the registration form here.
  • Interested in taking the Level 2 course – Personal Transformation through the Chakras? I have a provisional date in the diary starting Monday 9th October from 6.30-8.30pm. Please drop me an email if you are interested in this course.
  • Tomorrow evening (Tues 22nd August) will be the last Summer seaside yoga session of the year! While it hasn’t been the most consistent summer, the weather is looking good at the moment and it would be great if you could join. See the event info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/158348161409696/?ref=br_rs

That’s all for now.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Speak soon,

Love,

Lauren

From shame to empowerment – what to do when you are ‘triggered’

Hi there,

I want to start by asking you a personal question…

What things tend to trigger you the most?

What are the particular comments that people make that are most likely to send you into some form of self-beat, feeling of unworthiness or total failure? (i.e. make you feel totally crap about yourself)

Is it the case that the criticisms that hurt you the most are the things that deep inside, you fear to be true about yourself?

(Reflect on that one for a moment…)

I know for myself, that one of my triggers is around receiving (negative) feedback. Starting a new part-time lecturing role over the past year, teaching Psychology to hundreds of students (who are there to learn a very physical-based therapy and thus sometimes a little hard to engage in what can be perceived as the ‘fluffy’ stuff) has opened me up to receive a lot of feedback.

On the whole, my feedback has been very positive, and I have told how much the students and staff have appreciated my input and enjoyed my classes. However, as human minds tend to do, I found myself at times honing in a couple of negative comments that had potential to send me into a really negative state.

I noticed that every time I would open one of the ‘mid-year feedback’ emails, my heart would start pounding and the dreaded anxiety would arise. My mind would spin with thoughts like ‘I am finally going to be found out! (aka classic ‘imposter syndrome that I am not good enough’) or ‘It’s true, I am a failure after all!’ I remember reading one particularly painful comment that my class was ‘badly delivered’ and un-engaging. Ouch!

The reason that I am sharing this is because it made me really reflect on what I believe to be true about myself – the voice of my own inner critic. While it can often feel vulnerable to share these things (my ego would much prefer to think that I totally have it all together!), as Brene Brown says, it is through our vulnerability that we create connection…We are all imperfectly perfect human beings and shying away from this fact often causes us more suffering in the long-run.

If I had received feedback that I am disorganised, that wouldn’t have been so painful. Why? Because I know that that can be true, yet I fully own that and don’t have shame attached to it. But seeing the word ‘bad’ instantly sent my inner critic into overdrive.

Here are some questions to consider:
• Notice what things trigger you the most and ask: do I, in some way, believe this to be true about myself? Is that why it hurts so much? You’ve touched a nerve in some way… When we recognise this we can start to own it. When we own, we let go of projections, blaming others, and putting up our defences.

Once we own, we can start to shine light and create more understanding. You might ask questions such as:

• When did this belief first arise? What is my first memory of this (e.g. not feeling good enough?)
• How does this belief affect my life now? Where am I most triggered? What happens when this feeling is triggered? Do I tend to shut-down, dig myself a hole of self-shaming?

How to move forwards:
• Once again, awareness is the first stage. If I can own that I am imperfect, that I sometimes make mistakes, could improve in some way, accepting my vulnerability WITHOUT shame, then I am much less likely to be triggered by someone else. I am able to take in the feedback that is helpful, use it to help me grow, and let go of the rest.
• I can also start to become really familiar with this inner critic, recognising it as an external voice, knowing that it has likely developed over many years. Because of that, it makes me believe that it is the truth, but I know that it is just a voice, and not necessarily the truth.
• I like to say things like ‘Aha, here’s the I’m not good enough story again – I’ve heard that one before!’ Or, you might give a name to the voice, imagining it as a type of character (perhaps a mean head teacher). Any way that helps you to create some space and perspective in your mind.

* Notice here that I haven’t suggested that you argue with the inner critic. I could easily start to build a case as to why I’m not a complete failure – listing my qualifications and achievements etc. However, the inner critic doesn’t care! It is not a rational voice. Until you start believing in yourself, no external source of validation is going to make this happen.

• Finally, learn to self-soothe. When I feel triggered, I like to place a hand over my heart and say some soothing words to myself like ‘Wow, this feels really painful right now. I am feeling vulnerable. It’s ok. I’m here for you.’ Or, ‘may I be kind to myself right now.’

We are all on our own journeys. Just like you, I am continually being challenged, confronted, learning to grow. I am also deeply committed to doing my own inner work so that I can stand in my truth and develop deep self-acceptance, so that I can also support others to do the same.

So, over to you. I invite you to really reflect on these questions. Real empowerment comes from turning inwards, owning our truths, vulnerabilities and letting go of the shame. We are all imperfectly perfect!

As always I’d love to hear from you. Just hit reply to this email with any comments.

If you’d like to challenge yourself a bit more, reply by letting me know what triggers you the most, and one thing you have taken from this blog post. Voicing our vulnerabilities is a powerful act in itself!

If you’d like some more support, just get in touch.

Love,

Lauren

Being happy and ‘in the moment’ versus thinking ahead…

Hi there,

One thing that I have been reflecting on today is the balance between setting goals / visioning the future, and also being happy ‘in the now.’ I recognise that for me recently, I have spent much more time in the former state. It comes naturally to me to set goals, think ahead, plan and dream. It makes me feel inspired. However, at times it can come at the cost of continually being in the ‘striving’ state.

When I achieve X, then I’ll be happy…

Once I have figured out X, then I’ll be happy…

Whatever that ‘thing’ is, it is really important to be mindful of the tendency towards future thinking. While achieving our goals can make us feel happy, inevitably something new comes along and we now have a new thing to strive towards.

‘Dreaming big’ is a phrase that is thrown around a lot. While I believe that it is really important to work through negative mindset patterns which limit our thinking, enabling us to widen our perspective, I can also see how dreaming ‘big’ can also make us forget about the small things in our daily lives that make us happy.

Here are a few that I wrote down today:

  • Writing in my journal – there is something about writing freehand that releases my creative juices
  • Having a bath or a long, hot shower without feeling rushed
  • Diffusing essential oils around my home
  • Candles
  • Cooking healthy, wholesome meals from scratch
  • Baking
  • Taking a walk down the beach & walking barefoot on the sand
  • Doing yoga
  • Meditating
  • Drawing myself a card from an Oracle deck
  • Cuddling my partner and / or cat!
  • Reading a book

Yoga therapy Bournemouth

These things make me feel really happy, but it can be so easy to overlook them as ‘less important’. I also know that I can easily fall into the trap of unhealthy habits, especially when I am feeling stressed and busy. The biggest one is aimlessly scrolling through social media or checking my emails! It is my intention to really cut down on this, turn my phone off much more often, and start slowing down to take in more of those small, happy moments.

So what about you?

What things tend to take you away from being ‘in the moment’?

What would it look / feel like if you were to feel fully immerse yourself into precious, joyful moments?

Love,

Lauren xx

Activating your third chakra

Hi there,

Today’s blog post topic is about activating the third chakra, also known as Manipura. This chakra links with self-esteem, having clear boundaries and taking action towards our goals.

Many people (especially women) stuggle to assert themselves, protect their time, and say no to other people’s demands, without feeling guilty.

This is something that I struggled with a lot in the past, getting tied up in various commitments that totally drained me, just because I didn’t have the courage at the time to say no. I was a chronic people pleaser!

Because of this, helping people to honour their worth and value themselves is something that I am really passionate about.

Here are a few tips for activating your third chakra in everyday life:

1) Get clear on your priorities and values
If you don’t decide how to fill up your time, someone else will. Without having a clear plan, it is so easy for your time to get taken up with other people’s demands, or doing the never-ending list of jobs around the house. This is fine from time-to-time, but if you never prioritise your goals (or yourself, for that matter), things will never change.

It is equally important to make self-care a priority. Don’t wait for someone else to give you permission. Just because it doesn’t generate a productive outcome, it doesn’t mean that it is any less worthwhile.

Write down your intentions the night before so you know exactly what your plan is for the following day. If necessary, tell others so that they are aware.

life coaching bournemouth
2) Choose discomfort over resentment.
Saying no to other people can be challenging, especially if we find ourselves feeling guilty. However, short-term discomfort is much better than long-term resentment – trust me! Try repeating this mantra often ‘I consciously choose discomfort over resentment’

3) Get physical.
In yoga, the third chakra is known as the power-house. When we feel activated physically, especially through cardio exercise, strong yoga and core work, this can manifest outwards, helping us to feel more confident and ‘lit up’. Do some kind of movement practice everyday.

4) Watch your posture.
On a similar note, it pays to be conscious about your posture. If you haven’t watched Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on power poses, I suggest you do. When we consciously have an open posture, we are sending messages to our brain telling it that we are safe, secure and confident. This is why practicing yoga can be so liberating, especially if you suffer with depression or low self-esteem.

In the Chakra Yoga course, we work from both the inside out (shifting our inner reality and mindset in order to create external shifts in our lives), as well as the outside in (using the physical body as a way to shift our inner world). I truly believe that working with both the mind and body is the key to real growth and transformation.

The next course starts this Monday (8th May) from 6.30-8.30pm in Bournemouth. There are still a few spaces left if you’d like to join.

Click here to download the Chakra Course registration form

Click here to find out more about the course

This will be the last course until October, so if you are thinking of joining, don’t miss out!

To book your place, simply complete the registration form and email it back to me. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Lauren x

Spring Equinox Blessings & Reflections

Bournemouth yoga

Hi friends,

Happy  Spring Equinox! This day is traditionally known as Ostara, which comes from the Greek Goddess of Spring time – Oestre (later becoming the festival of Easter).

As we move into the part of the year where the lightness increases, many of us are feeling a burst of inspiration and hope. Just as the seeds that have been resting under the earth during winter now find the strength to burst through into their first blossom, we too start to feel a sense of awakening deep within.

I invite you to spend some time today reflecting on these questions…

~ What does balance look like for you? ~

The word equinox means equal day and night. This is a great time to look within and ask how we could create more balance in our lives (this is also amplified by the fact that today happens to be a half moon). It calls us to recognise the equal value of both light and dark; darkness to rest, restore, bring our energy within; and lightness to step out, take action and feel inspired.

Often darkness is depicted as negative, but in order to fully blossom into our full potential, it is so important that we honour the body’s natural rhythms and need for rest. Do you de-value rest as being indulgent or lazy? Or perhaps you need a little more activation? Get honest with yourself.

While it can be difficult to achieve total balance as life is in constant flux, consider any small ways that you could cultivate more balance. How can you declutter your life and your time? What non-essential things, that you perhaps do out of habit or a feeling of obligation, could you let go of?

~ What visions / dreams / hopes are stirring within you? ~

Just as nature is coming alive with fertility, it is a good time to ask yourself – what is blossoming within me? This time of year invites you to dream big and allow yourself to be filled with inspiration. Don’t get too caught up on the ‘how.’ Don’t get bogged down by needing to be ‘realistic’ at this stage. Ask yourself – how could I be more authentic? Where do I hold back or play small due to fear? Where am I ready to take a bold leap of faith?

Read books that inspire you. Play music that uplifts you. Move your body. Go out in nature. Quieten the mind and ask within. Visualise how you would like things to be different. Feel your truth within your bones. In order to attract what we want into our lives, we have to allow ourselves to feel inspired. As one of my mentors Sianna Sherman says – Joy is the magnet! When we feel joyful, we are in a much more receptive space to be able to manifest out vision.

I would like to leave you with one of my favourite poems: Blessing for a New Beginning, by John O’Donahue:

In out of the way places of the heart
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

Love and blessings!

Lauren

 

p.s. Check out my upcoming Yoga Therapy courses below starting this May. I would love for you to join me! Booking is now open and early bird price is available for another couple of weeks. I also offer 1-2-1 therapies – click here for more information.

Full moon reflections ~ authenticity

 

Hi friends,

Today is the full moon, which is always a powerful and symbolic time of the month to reflect and think about what needs to be released.

This weekend my partner has been away, which has given me a great opportunity to have some ‘me time.’ Truth is, I didn’t really feel a strong urge in January to set goals or do deep reflections. Even though I did, it actually felt a little forceful.

Now that spring is approaching I am naturally feeling the desire to get clear on where I am, what I want, and what is getting in the way. I have been doing a lot of study recently into understanding the rhythms of the year (in my Urban Priestess course), which has helped me to feel so much more in-tune and aligned.

In January, we were still in the depths of winter, the time of hibernating, reflecting, and not so much the time of deep inspiration. Spring is the perfect time to do this. Just as the seeds are starting to sprout and burst through the soil, our minds and bodies often feel a little more hopeful, lighter and inspired.

One question that I have been journaling about and meditating on is:

~ What is the deepest expression of my heart’s desire? ~
~ What do I really want? ~

I know for myself, I can sometimes lose sight of this truth. My own truth starts to merge with the expectations of others, society, family, as well as my fears. I often convince myself that I ‘want’ something else, or that I’m fully happy with how things are, but I know deep within that it isn’t true.

When I connect with my truth within my body, it feels hopeful, alive, vibrant, energised. It is undoubtable.

Love. Connection. Authenticity. Freedom. Inspiration.

I feel this when I teach yoga; when I create new courses and birth them into the world; when I work with ideal 1-2-1 clients.

Second question:

~ What gets in the way? What am I ready to release / let go of? ~

This is a big one, and requires us to get super honest with ourselves.

Through exploring the many layers of this question, some things for me are:

Fear of judgement. Fear of not earning enough money. Fear of failure.

I recognise that I often feel a push-pull in my career. I can struggle to feel like I am being my true self in my academic role. I sometimes feel like I will be judged, mocked or punished for my spiritual beliefs.

Before I got my PhD, I felt so excited about becoming a ‘Doctor.’ However at other times, it has felt like a curse. Can I be a ‘Dr’ and spiritual? Can I be a Dr and a Yoga teacher? Can I be a Dr and a ‘Priestess?!’ Should I just throw in the title?!

I teach others to stand in their throne and OWN their gifts and talents. Yes, I might not fit in the box. Yes, I might not follow a typical career. But, I earned that doctorate and my Psychology background influences everything that I do.

Many women seem to hold their fear of judgement deep in their bones. It is as though it goes back to the time where women were burned on the stake for speaking their truth.

So today I am making a declaration to myself and to you…

I am no longer going to limit myself through fear of judgement. I know that not everyone will connect with me, and that is ok. I give myself permission to be unapologetically me.

Why? Because what matters to me most is authenticity. Authenticity can feel vulnerable, however it is through this vulnerability that deep connections can blossom (and I crave deep connection).

I choose to release all perceived limitations and see things differently.

I invite you on this full moon to take some time exploring your inner truth… Ask yourself through journaling / meditation / taking a walk in nature:

~ What is the deepest expression of my heart’s desire? What do I really want? ~

~ What gets in the way? What am I ready to release / let go of? ~ (I suggest writing these things down and then burning them in a fire ritual).

With deep love and respect to you for listening to my truth <3

I would love to hear from you about anything that has been stirred up within you from this post.

If you feel called to connect with me more and develop the tools to create spaciousness and ease in your mind and body, I invite you to join me on one of my upcoming Yoga Therapy Courses (info below). If you have already completed a course with me, there will be new offerings coming forwards soon (I am allowing the creativity to arise in its own time!)

We finished the current cycle of both courses last week, and I have shared a snapshot of some of the feedback with you below. I am so incredibly grateful for all of you. These courses were simply a JOY to teach!

Love and blessings,

Lauren

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Course feedback

“I have loved this course, it really has been a journey of personal transformation. I have learnt so much about myself and it is just the beginning of an exciting journey.10/10 ” (Annabel, Chakra course)

“I came on the course to help me managed anxiety and low mood. It met my expectations and was a very positive experience. Lauren was a fantastic teacher, explained things so well and the course has been a good grounding for future practice. 10/10” (Emily, 8 week course)

“Beyond expectations. I’ve found it very transformational – both spiritual and practical. The group has been amazing and I can’t imagine a better teacher. 10/10” (Kelly, 8 week course)

“I enrolled on this course to enable me to have a clear mind as I approach career crossroads. I left with a real sense of knowing myself, my boundaries and what brings me joy. Thank you for all the inspiration, it will stay with me always. 10/10. (Tracey, Chakra course).

8 Week Yoga Therapy course
This course is ideal for anyone who is seeking inner peace, ways to reduce & manage stress and anxiety and wants to learn yoga and mindfulness tools that can be integrated into daily life.

– Couse starts: Wed 3rd May 2017. Click here for full information.

Download 8 week course registration form

Personal Transformation through the Chakras – 7 Week Yoga Therapy Course
This is an ideal follow-on course if you have already done the 8 week course, or if you have previous yoga experience and are looking for deeper self-transformation. This course takes you on a journey of self-inquiry and personal growth through yoga, meditation, lifestyle reflections and discussions.

– Course starts: Mon 8th May 2017. Click here for full information.

Download Chakra Course registration form

Sardinia Yoga Retreats
I am really excited to be returning to Sardinia this summer with Sardinia Yoga. I will be there from 9th – 15th July and again from 2nd-9th September. The great thing about Sardinia Yoga is that you can stay for as long or as little as you’d like. The season is open all summer, with new teachers each week. Of course, I would love it if you could come when I’m there! You can find out more at http://www.sardiniayoga.com or email me if you have specific questions.

121 sessions and small groups
I also offer 1-2-1 private sessions using yoga therapy and / or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I can also offer small group sessions at my home.These take place on Monday and Friday daytimes. If you are interested in taking one of my Yoga Therapy courses but aren’t able to do evenings, please drop me an email and if I have enough people I can arrange a daytime course.

How to do your own shadow work…

Hi friends,

Today is the last session of my Chakra Yoga Therapy course and it has been such an amazing 7 weeks! We have had tears, laughter, deep reflections and personal insights. Above all, on both of my courses there has been a beautiful feeling of everyone in the group holding space for each other to be heard and accepted.I created the Chakra course to provide a sacred space to explore all aspects of self. In the yoga and self-help world there tends to be a big focus on positivity. While I believe that this is really important, it can also come at a big cost – pathologising normal human emotions.

Only when we shine light on the dark places can we bring about true growth and transformation. It is through our vulnerability that we create connection. Through vulnerability that we dare to look within and see ourselves fully, honouring our light, beauty and gifts as well as our perceived weaknesses or ‘shadow’.

One of the most powerful tools that I have learnt over the past couple of years is to do our own ‘shadow work’…What does this mean?

Carl Jung described the ‘shadow’ as aspects of ourselves that we don’t like / consider weaknesses / tend to ignore / deny. Often, the things that become our ‘shadow’ are qualities that were deemed unfavourable within our family. For example, consider someone that grew up in a family that did not express emotions, and they therefore learned that negative emotions such as sadness or anger are ‘bad’ and should be avoided. Or, perhaps they had a father who was very angry and they learned to be very obedient in order not to provoke his anger. Later in life, they may struggle to deal with anger.

Sometimes, their shadow may show up through an angry outburst, or they might witness someone else showing emotion and find it very uncomfortable. They might think ‘they have anger issues!’ when actually it may be an indication that there is some processing that they need to do around their relationship to anger.

The truth is, no emotion is ‘bad’ – it is our relationship to the emotion, and how we respond to it that is most important. Continually avoiding this emotion could mean that this person struggles to stand up for themselves through fear of conflict, or fear of judgement. Or perhaps they struggle to say no to other people, because they fear that the other person might get angry.They might take on the role of ‘peace-keeper’, which may have some benefits, but can also be a limitation in situations where being assertive is important.

The shadow can also take the form of ‘I’m not (good / clever / slim etc) enough’ (most of us have some version of this story!). Anything that triggers this feeling (such as receiving constructive feedback) may lead to a disproportionate reaction (e.g. thinking, ‘I’m a complete failure! Why do I even bother!’) Someone might make a general comment, but you see it as an attack on you.

Any time that we find ourselves being particularly ‘triggered’, it is useful to look within and to ask – why is this triggering me so much? Which aspect of my shadow is showing up?

It is really important to note that recognising our shadow and identifying our triggers does not mean that we should turn to self-blame. Everyone has ‘shadow.’ When we identify ours, we can learn to treat ourselves with compassion and understanding. We start to recognise how, where and when these patterns may have developed, and we bring kindness to these places.The better we understand ourselves, the less likely it is that others will trigger a sense of shame within us when we fall short or make a mistake.

Getting to know our shadow is the first step towards transformation. Through doing this work, we find empowerment. Here are some questions to help you to get to know your shadow:

  • What emotions were deemed as unfavourable in my family growing up? How do I relate to these things now?
  • What types of people / situations do I find most difficult / triggering?
  • What I tend to keep in the dark about myself is…
  • What I least want others to know about me is…
  • The emotions that I am least comfortable with are…
  • From these exercises, what would you say are your three biggest ‘shadow’ qualities?

Speak soon,

Lauren

 

P.S My next Chakra Yoga Therapy Course starts May 8th in Bournemouth – click here for details

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