I have been a yoga teacher for just over a year now after having qualified in November 2016 and my thoughts on the yoga industry and on teaching have been galvanised in this time. I want to speak honestly in this blog and express what comes from the heart. It most likely won't sit well with everyone who reads this but I hope it will strike a chord with many people.

When I think of teaching yoga I get a mixed bag of reactions: firstly my overwhelming love of yoga practice and helping others to take on regular practice, my dislike of the 'yoga tribe' style of promoting and sharing yoga on social media, the importance of good energy exchange between teacher and student and the invasive nature of 'throwaway' yoga of the sort such as 'Beer yoga'. 

I'm going to go through each of these thoughts in turn and any comments are welcome from both teachers and yoga students! Do you share similar thoughts? 

First off I really enjoy teaching yoga to students who are at class with a genuine desire to learn asanas from the ground up with a reverence for the history and study of yoga. I appreciate students who see how yoga is benefiting their whole body and those who stretch their imagination with an open mind to what can be achieved in class. I love seeing someone persevere with an asana that challenges them and then completing the asana finally; with ease.

I tend to dislike self-made gurus of yoga and those that want to build their 'yoga tribe'. Yes you might be sharing an experience with others but at the end of the day yoga is an individual process where you go within and seek the profound. You don't need to be part of a 'tribe' with a certain set of rules and certain set of friends to do yoga! When I advertise classes I want my students to envisage themselves at yoga and not simply see photos or videos of me practicing yoga as everyones yoga is different and we therefore move accordingly. For students to try and emulate advanced asanas because they have seen a photo of my practice has the potential to inspire but more likely will likely cause disappointment or injury. The 'tribe' culture encourages ego and the 'I' sense to grow and develop - exactly what we try to break down in yoga as we aim to rejoin the universe and meet source.

I have noticed as I have been teaching the importance of energy exchange between teacher and student and how crucial this is. You can run a class with students that can perform the asanas well but their vibe is all wrong. Even when you try to connect deeper to these students they are lost often in the quest to look good in class or in the physicality of the asana. As a new teacher this can be off putting but I have come to realise that as long as I am putting in 100% and using my energy correctly in class that I am just meeting people in a different place to me on the mat and now I have realised that classes are easier to teach!

Finally as a teacher I am keen to pass on authentic yoga and a love for the real essence of yogic teachings and encourage a move away from 'throwaway' yoga like Beer Yoga, Goat Yoga etc. These might be fun but they are essentially classes designed for a bit of a laugh rather than the profound learning found deep within and along the yogic path. Yoga should always be evolving but not along a route that drags the practice into farce and folly. 

Let me know your thoughts! Have you struggled whilst in your first year of teaching or learning yoga? Do you subscribe to the yoga 'tribe' ? Do you enjoy trying 'fashionable' new yoga styles or do you prefer adhering to the traditional teachings? Would be great to hear from you! 

Bamboo isn't just for pandas! source for pandas and considered to be lucky on your windowsill but now really great for warm bamboo massage! 

Warm bamboo massage is provided using steam pressed bamboo which is then shaped to make smooth and enduring sticks of different sizes which are perfect for a deep and soothing massage. Bamboo grows fast and is sustainably sourced so no need to worry about the pandas going hungry.

Warm bamboo massage comprises of traditional Swedish massage strokes combined with a variety of bamboo stick movements and pressure with soothing heat to relax and soothe the muscles. Heat therapy is often used to help heal injuries and the combination of heat, rolling motion, pressure and sensuous oils removes any tension or pain that might be present and helps the body to start heal itself. 

I use wonderful Neal's Yard massage oils for your warm bamboo treatment and you can unwind in my beautiful therapy room in the heart of Altrincham. Come and treat yourself and discover the wonder of warm bamboo for yourself! 


Hatha Yoga and You

Hatha Yoga takes you back to the traditional way of practicing yoga with a focus on body, mind and soul. Ha (meaning the sun in Sanskrit - representing masculinity, energy, stability and heat)  and Tha (meaning the moon in Sanskrit- representing femininity, calmness, changeability and coolness) reside within us all at different levels and the aim of Hatha Yoga is to achieve balance and union between the two opposing forces. 

Our everyday lives can be very busy either at home, work or in our social lives and we neglect to look after ourselves. Yoga can work wonders on the body as it is both energising and relaxing, it helps to strengthen and stretch our muscles, massages our internal organs, improves blood oxidation and circulation plus helps to maintain our flexibility right up until old age.

At Restful Shores we aim to get your day off to a wonderful start at one of our classes. Each class begins with a short meditation to ground ourselves and chanting mantras to set our intention making peace with ourselves so that we are ready to unwind and relax. We will also use pranayama (the control of the breath and life force energy) to still our mind so that we can focus on the asanas ahead. We will be using classical asanas in our classes with a few twists but my aim is to get you used to and enjoying the asanas and practicing with good alignment so we are always protecting our bodies throughout class.

We begin with sun salutations before some warm up moves for our joints before giving our core a short work out and then moving on to practicing a collection of asanas that will exercise your body and focus the mind whilst simultaneously calming and relaxing you. You will enjoy the sensation of using your full lungs in asanas to take in replenishing air to your body which is both detoxifying and energising. To finish we enjoy a wonderful shirvasana asana where we give the body permission to relax and to take in all the wonderful movement that we have experienced plus a chant to finish. 

We follow our classes with a healthy yoga breakfast to set you up on your way to a bright and  positive day! You are sure to enjoy class and I will take care of you at each step of the way. There is no limit with age or body shape and we will be going at a pace where you can enjoy a dynamic class but also with a focus on alignment and correct posture to keep you safe. You are sure to make friends and remember it's not about attaining a posture or achieving a long blissful meditation but the journey there. 

Classes are on Saturdays 8-9:30am and Tuesdays at 7-8:30am and please do stay for breakfast; no need to bring a mat just comfortable clothes and your happy self. I'm really looking forward to welcoming you all and enjoying Hatha Yoga with you 😊 

Zephorium Soul Tonic Training Day

Wow! I just had to write about the training day I went to at Zephorium in Petersfield yesterday as it was such a great day and I'd like to share some information with you all about it.

I first came across Zephorium at an FHT congress meeting for therapists over a year ago. I was attracted to the lovely looking bottles and the scent blew me away from across the room. Once i started talking to the lady on the stand I was welcomed into a world of positivity!

Zephorium is really taking off globally (including Royalty!) as people learn of the benefits of marrying colour therapy, scents, essential oils, crystals and positive affirmation but its still a small outfit with founder Sarah Cox's father still sticking stickers on tubs and everything is hand blended which really enriches the products with a little extra love.

Each item looks like a jewel; a beautiful colour and with the most delicious scents and beneficial, natural ingredients. I love to use the oils for massage but there are other lovely items too like the sumptuous body lotion, the handy scent rollerballs and my favourite; the aura sprays. Whenever I need a boost of some sort; maybe I feel I need a little extra love for myself or more energy, then I will spray the most appropriate spray over my head, inhale the fragrance, repeat the affirmation and enjoy the inspiring uplift for my body and soul.

Meeting Sarah in person was lovely; she is a very genuine, warm and a loving person. With a group of other holistic therapists I felt very welcome in learning all about how the idea for Zephorium came together and has really taken off all around the world - spreading the message of positivity and love for yourself and for others!  

I'm excited to be able to offer Zephorium massages using the beautiful body oils which co-ordinate with the chakras. Whichever Chakra needs a boost or whichever colour you are drawn to or even if a particular affirmation rings a bell then we will use that oil for your massage to bring out your very best and help you to feel wonderful. I will have some Zephorium products in stock too should you wish to take the feeling home with you! 

Book now via the contact page or via for your very own Zephorium massage and feel the love for yourself! 

New beginnings...

As the tides change so does Restful Shores. 

A new website, a new home and a new direction all at once! 

After an amazing month at the Ayuryoga Eco Ashram in Mysore, India; I am now a fully qualified Hatha Yoga Instructor and I'm delighted to bring my new skills to you to help you relax and unwind from the stresses of modern life. To find out more click on Yoga in the top bar or ask me directly in the contact section or in the comments below.