The consistent practice of yoga has allowed me to know and understand myself deeply. It has brought me to my edges, my limitations, my thrills, my fears and has helped me to develop strong self-love. More importantly, through cultivating movement, dynamic breath and flow for myself, I have been granted a greater stillness and satisfaction in life.
I've been practicing vinyassa-flow yoga for 5 years and I teach the practice. I was trained, taught and inspired by Claire Missingham as part of her 200 RYT programme.
There’s nothing more intoxicating than finding yourself in your own body, however you get there. It might be dancing all night, playing the drums, it might be physical intimacy, it might be a juicy yoga session, an incredible meal, or even a long bike ride in the countryside. Whatever gives you pleasure (and also pain) will give you growth, will bring you to love, to gratitude and to oneness.
Come and practice with me online or attend one of my day or weekend retreats, where I can share this beautiful practice and help you breathe and to find gratitude.
Carry on reading to find out more about my spiritual journey...
I began to recognise myself as spiritual in my early 20s. I read the countercultural classic Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance one summer in Brighton. My view of life shifted.
At 22, I moved east to Japan to follow my calling to understand eastern philosophy in practice, chasing my own satori moment. Japan is a soul land for me. I loved the quiet vigour of Japanese culture, and the breath-taking beauty of the Japanese countryside.
I did surprise myself. I found the most precious and spiritual moments in Japan were not engaged in the Zen arts like Ikebana, but dancing in the forest as the sun rose at secret parties in the mountains.
I became aware that I authentically felt the most connected to oneness not when I was living in removal from my senses, but when I was living in full flow with them.
Which is perhaps why I found that satori moment three years later in New York City. Food, music, love, nature and human connection just seemed to jazz me higher, until all I could feel was a heart full of sublime love and gratitude and a deep trust in the universe.
For around a month, I lived a true dance of oneness and non-separation with the magical city that is New York. I felt grateful for absolutely everything. In those vital days, I realised that spirituality, for me, had as much to do with the heart as the mind. To find flow with life, my heart had to be open, and importantly, I had to be listening for the call.
The call to start yoga soon came. I signed up for an Iyengar class, which I instinctively knew wasn’t for me after 10 minutes, but did leave walking taller and feeling brighter. I eventually found my way into Eryck Brahamania’s and Shira Hess’s kundalini-fused vinyassa-flow classes.
The journey with Eryck and Shira was so many things: inspiring, amusing, challenging, frustrating, tearful, deeply philosophical, transformative and importantly, very pleasurable and emotionally painful in equal measure. It started a deep process of cleansing and unblocking the knots of trauma that I held in my body. On a more basic level, I realised I had a body and what an incredible thing it was!
Grounded and grateful
I had always been spiritual of course, but my yoga practice gave me more direct awe of the life force that I held and that I was connected to. I remember laying in Savasana feeling so deeply moved and grateful for the morning bird song, or the sounds of children playing, the rustle of leaves outside the window, or even the drilling from the nearby construction site. I felt so much gratitude to be alive in this crazy trip that is being human.
My practice took me to India three years later, where I studied with two teachers who opened more doors, further introducing me to the idea of changing the world through quietening monkey mind. I will always remember my precious weeks in Meenakashi Ashram in Tamil Nadu, waking up at 5am to the loud sounds of frogs, meditating quietly and then joyfully singing Kirtan. I felt authentically able to offer my heart in the community without any sense of presentation. A beautiful feeling…
What followed as I returned to London was a building of deep self-respect for my physical being. I began to find gratitude in what my body facilitated for me. It allowed me to wake up and see the sun shining through the curtains, it allowed me to prepare and taste the sensations of a yummy breakfast, and it allowed me to unroll my mat and take part in this beautiful yoga practice. And one day, it would grow another human…
I began not to seek enlightenment or satori outwardly, in other places, or books, but inwardly. I bowed down to my lungs, my feet, my arms, my eyes and every cell I had been gifted and every breath I was afforded.
I then signed up for my teacher training with Claire Missingham. It was in this programme that I found white Tantra.
Finding Tantra and Tantric thought was like putting all the spiritual pieces of jigsaw together. It started with reading the incredible Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton. I now take my goddesses with me on every journey – long or short. I have since gone on to develop the practice of unwrapping the heart, channelling my intimate goddesses, Lalita Tripora Sundari and Dhumavati. These days, I bow in deep reverence to the divine feminine in all of her abundance. I notice Shakti in every breathtaking essential moment she affords me. I also dive right into pleasure every day and say yes to all my senses as a way of honouring this gift.
You have to bring your whole self on the journey too. I believe in the transformative power of life’s painful moments, and the profound growth they allow if we dare look at them. The wounds inside us are like a compass, a force field, and when we heal them, they spin us to face another direction - the path we were meant to take. Yet we can only do that by knowing them, loving them and being real with them. It’s a surfer term, but you have to dive into the wave to survive it.
Working on our shadow is the highest spiritual work in my view, as it will lead us more strongly and potently into deep love, authenticity and union.
Live your life and it will teach you