Month: October 2018

Love is….the absence of judgement – Dali Lama

October’s intention of non-judgement is subtle, after all, judging a comment, a person or action are things that happen within a split second. Before we know it we’ve created a belief or a habitual thinking pattern that can be hard to shift. Thankfully, the practices of yoga and meditation can help us figuratively slow things down, so we’re able to take a step back and observe our emotions, thoughts and reactions. When do we judge others, and why? How does judging affect us, and how can we overcome it? Read on for some inspiration on living your yoga in the world this month, and infusing your actions with the intention of non-judgement.

To Judge Another….

We’ve all been there; judging another person based upon how they look, what they say, or what they’ve done in the past. Judgement however, is only based upon our own perceptions and life experience, and entirely made up of our own personal thoughts and opinions. To judge another person only limits our life experience, closes us off from making a connection with them, and ultimately prevents us from experiencing reality.

The primal act of judging does originally come from a useful place – once used for deciphering whether a plant was safe to eat or an animal safe to approach, our judgements are now reserved for comparing ourselves to other people, and how we might measure up to them. Judgement and comparison go hand-in-hand, and these reactions stem from a place of lack, fear, and essentially not feeling grounded and comfortable with who we are. The barometer for measuring ‘normality’ is entirely inaccurate – how do we know what ‘normal’ is, or how ‘normal’ we are compared to another? Should we even all desire to be ‘normal’ anyway?

Forgoing the act of judging altogether may take many years of mindfulness and practice, but there is something we can do when we catch ourselves judging another; we can choose whether to let that judgement blur our experience of reality, hinder our ability to be fully present and open to new experiences, or we can choose to observe our thoughts and emotions, and approach the situation with fresh awareness. Non-judgement is like taking off a pair of smeared glasses; we’re able to see a person or situation for what it really is, experience it as it really is, and be in the moment for what it really, really is.

Some questions to ask or journal when you’re feeling judgemental:

·     Do I know the full story behind this person / event / object?

·     Through judging this person / event / object, how do I decide to react?

·     What does this judgement reflect about myself?

·     Through judging this person / event / object, what do I miss out on?

Live Your Yoga This Month

October 10th marked World Mental Health Day, opening our eyes to the reality and suffering many people go through on a daily basis.  We all have mental health, it’s just a case of how healthy our mental state is, and just like the rest of our physical and emotional health, it can change constantly. The current statistics tell us that there are about 8.2 million cases of diagnosed anxiety in the UK, with depression being the most predominant mental health problem world-wide. Practice living your yoga in the world this month by casting judgements aside and putting compassion, acceptance and a friendly face in its place.  

Don’t know your asanas from your elbow? Read on!

I’m always being asked to describe my yoga style to prospective clients and, I must confess, it’s the hardest question to answer. Truth be told, I’m just not sure!

Even though I spend my working life in front of the class, I have always made time to reverse the role and become the student. The experience is totally different; in the former, I’m responsible for the wellbeing of others while, as a student, I’m solely responsible for myself.


And, the teaching of others informs my own practice and how I deliver my own classes. So, if I’ve been to a particularly fiery vinyasa flow, my planning may reflect that the following week. Similarly, after my weekly yin class, I may tune in to this sense of calmness and teach a chilled out practice, focussing on turning the spotlight inward using more meditation and pranayama. Like a yoga magpie, I collect shiny ideas to feather my mat with; ideas drawn not just from other teachers. The natural world, poetry, loved ones…the sources are many and varied. Life offers a rich seam to be mined.


Whatever style of yoga floats your boat, this helpful article describes just some of the options available. Yoga offers something for everybody….and every body!



Just let it go!

As we transition into Autumn, this junction point of the year which marks the start of a new season, it is the perfect opportunity to make time to consciously let go of something,  anything that no longer serves you. Here is a short meditation practice to support you in the process…

A meditation to let go

To start, find a comfortable seat – somewhere that you can sit for a few minutes. (Use props to support you and perhaps a blanket to cover you in case your body temperature drops.)

Close your eyes and soften the muscles in your face. Take a few deep breaths and feel the contact of your body with the ground. Allow your sit bones to drop into the ground and the crown of your head to reach towards the sky. Taking a few moments to arrive and settle into your body.

Bring to mind something that you’re struggling with, something that you’re finding difficult to let go of. As you do this, notice where you feel the struggle in your body. For example – your chest. Now, place a hand on your chest and notice the comforting warmth of your hand on this part of your body.

Quietly say, “My peace is worth more to me than this. I choose to let this go”.

Repeat this process as many times as you need until the struggle or tension in your body begins to ease.

When you’re ready to bring your practice to a close, simply take a few deep breaths and slowly open your eyes. 

Make it ‘Easy, always, always, easy’

This is a practice you can come back to any time. And remember to make it “easy, always, always, easy”.

I want to leave you with this very special poem written by Safire Rose that has recently inspired my own process of letting go. For me, her words beautifully capture the quiet, simple process of surrender and I hope they can inspire you too…

She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.  She let go of the judgments.  She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.  She let go of the committee of indecision within her.  She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go.  She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go.  She let go of all of the memories that held her back.  She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.  She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.