Finding my way home

In five days of being home at the ashram in Rishikesh I have already received so much nourishment and developments in this unexpected spiritual journey of mine. Let me clarify- the building blocks were set at home although there is something in the air around here (not just the smell of cow poop). I’m not sure when it happened this year but at some point in time I surrendered to my faith in the Power of the Universe (God, the Divine, however it relates or doesn’t to you). My yoga practice became more reverent, more devoted and more grateful for the way my body moves and allows me to access this life – physically and spiritually. And with that followed an openness to explore what literally makes my heart sing with unconditional love. It was chanting mantra and finally I accepted that it was also Kirtan – devotional chanting traditionally community folk music from India. Think happy Hare Krishnas and that appears to be where my heart has found its home.

Believe me when I say no one was more surprised than me by this realisation! The first Kirtan I went to at the ashram in June 2015 was mildly traumatising for this previously uptight Brit. I sat in bemusement as the group around me banged drums, whirled their hips with abandon and sang to Shiva. But like my initial reluctance to shove salt water through my nostrils, my resistance softened with time and with surrender to the experience. Kirtan however remained one area of challenge for me as for the whole of my adult life I believed I could not sing. So I didn’t. I was embarrassed by my voice (or lack of one) unless you got me one too many vodkas and plonked me in the safety of a karaoke booth with just my friends.

I indulged my secret habit of singing during my drives around Liverpool and Southport for yoga jobs. It was a delightful opportunity to belt out a few of my favourite numbers and laugh when I hit (regularly) a bum note. And perhaps I did not quite appreciate it at that stage but it was all part of me finding and connecting to my voice. That’s also the main reason why I outed myself on Facebook as a vegan – because I had been apologising in jest for years for being an awkward vegetarian and I was fearful of being even more awkward or of having to defend my choices if I went vegan. But I needed to be heard and after some clarification that there is plenty of food I can still eat it all happened without too much fuss. Although I have been warned that giving up booze would be the last straw for some close to me…

Anyway, back to my singing! I have been known to put myself in uncomfortable situations and so in that spirit of self development I decided this year that I should confront my fears and host kirtans in Southport. I did a couple alongside my beautiful colleagues Sharon and Johnny and with the honourable company of fellow open minded Southport souls. Like anything in life, we improve with practice -the nerves lessen and the joy takes over. And it was those baby steps that led me to have the confidence to volunteer myself to lead a Kirtan song on the second day of my course this week, in the home of Kirtan, in the ashram that means so much to me, surrounded and slightly intimidated by other yoga teachers and residents watching and waiting. With a racing heartbeat and a few deep breaths I gathered myself together and I let my voice free. I sang a devotional chant to the Great Mother (Jai Ambe by Bhavana (the professionals!) and I connected with my heart, with my love for the Mother within me and around me. The Mother that has held me in these last two years of stumble and fall, of trying to find my way forward as the real me. Liz the yogini, the believer – not Liz the Lawyer, the overachiever, the people pleaser.

Call it a receptive audience but the energy went wild. We all sang together with drums, people danced and clapped and smiled and I held the space for the group but also held my deep and almost uncomfortably burning love for God at my heart. As I rested with this love and unexpected feeling of liberation and euphoria (which comes from facing your fears big or small) something a little strange then happened to me- I saw a deep vibrant blue colour. Seeing colour is believed to be seeing your aura and blue is intuition (so I am told). You see despite varied meditation experiences I’ve not before had this ability to ‘see’ which rather frustrated my overachieving fear-of-spiritually-missing-out soul. This time though I know that I saw it – it wasn’t merely the light coming through my eyelids, as usual.

To face a fear, to let your voice be heard, is one of the greatest freedoms I have experienced to date. And it means even more to me to know I have connected with the love I am meant to feel, to share and to believe in even on the darkest of days. Finding love and connection with the Divine has also freed me up, a little, in respect of my expectations to feel love and connect with men, loved ones and friends. Humans basically. Our fellow humans cause us so much pain because we have our own expectations of them and if you can just, even if only a little, find a deeper love from within you to sustain you then your expectations soften and your fellow humans can be just that – human. Perfectly imperfect. Which we all are and always will be. And I believe we are all searching for love and acceptance, some in more damaging and disruptive ways than others, and I for one have struggled and searched high and low for love in some amazing, amusing and also painful of places but it’s only now that I get it. That you can cultivate love from within – a dizzying overwhelming love and connection to life if you let your heart be free to do the things you love. And my heart is happiest when singing to God out loud and proud. So go follow your heart. And remember that your faith is always greater than your fear.

NB. This week also included: sticking a rubber tube in my nostril and down into my throat and gagging on my guru as he tried to pull it out with his hand… Meeting Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Swimming in the Ganges. Attending an Aarti (fire ceremony). Being munched by mosquitos. Eating my body weight in lentils and daal but crushingly finding out that the banana samosas here are NOT vegan. I repeat are NOT vegan and they were pretty much the reason I came back here…spiritual fulfilment was my second aim. And there’s been more. More expectations, frustrations and also love and joy and new friendships and new beginnings. I know not what happens next but only that I am blessed to be here now.

To be continued…..(subject to Indian wifi)

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OPEN DAY at The Dairy

Liz (Renewed You Yoga) and Sharon (Strimasana Yoga) are proud to host our FREE open day at The Dairy on Sunday 25 June 2017.

Join us and our Partners Johnny Booth – Avalon Personal & Spiritual Development and The Plant Academy for a day of taster yoga sessions including Kirtan, Reiki, Meditation and Xi Gong. Also on offer is a special lunch with The Plant Academy at The Dairy. We are also delighted to offer complimentary juice and cake tasters after each class and a range of The Plant Academy items will be available to purchase in the Dairy

All places in classes and for lunch must be reserved by contacting the teacher or The Plant Academy directly by email and we will respond and confirm your place. First come, first served!

Liz –lgyogasouthport@gmail.com

Sharon- Strim71@hotmail.co.uk

Johnny – johnnyboothavalon@gmail.com

Ellie – eleanor@theplantacademy

9:15-10:00 Akhanda Hatha Yoga with Liz
17 mats available

10:15-11:00 Xi Gong with Johnny
17 mats available

10:15-11:00 Mum & Baby Yoga with Liz
6 mats available

11:15-12:00 Yoga & Reiki energising flow with Sharon
17 mats available

12:15-13:00 Pregnancy Yoga with Liz
10 mats available

13:00-14:00
Lunch with The Plant Academy – join Ellie for a special lunch offer with The Plant Academy. £6.50 meal deal including tomato and cashew soup, a small hummus and falafel sandwich and your choice of chakra balancing tea from Positivitea. (12 places available) Booking is essential. Contact eleanor@theplantacademy to secure your seat.

14:00-14:45 Women’s Yoga with Sharon
14 mats available

15:00-15:45 Wellbeing, Philosophy and Meditation class with Liz
20 places available

16:00-16:45 Yin Yoga with Reiki with Sharon
14 mats available

17:00-17:45 Restore & Renew Yoga with Liz
14 mats available

18:00-18:45 Kirtan with Liz, Sharon & Johnny
20 spaces available

19:00-19:45 Yin Yoga with Sharon
14 mats available

Six reiki facial taster sessions with Sharon – 10 minute appointments available at:
9:15AM, 9:35AM, 10:15AM, 10:35AM, 12:15AM, 12:35AM

Upcoming events for June 2017!

Hello All

UPCOMING EVENTS, CLASSES & WORKSHOPS – Yoga at the Dairy!

I hope you are enjoying this sunny Bank Holiday weekend! Is that a first?!

I am settling well into my new Yoga Studio 91A King Street PR8 1LQ which is off the main road – secluded, tranquil and dedicated to Yoga and holistic health and healing. I hope those of you who have made it down are also enjoying the new space.

My current yoga timetable is:

Mondays

17:30-18:30 Akhanda Hatha Yoga £6

19:30-20:30 Restore & Renew Yoga £6

Tuesdays

12:30-13:15 Akhanda Hatha Yoga £5 (45 mins) NEW CLASS

18:30-19:45 Pregnancy Yoga (£11 or £9 with block booking)

Wednesdays

19:00-20:00 Akhanda Hatha Yoga £6

20:00-20:45 Wellbeing, Philosophy/Meditation classes £5 (2nd and 4th Wednesdays every month)

Fridays

7:00-8:00 Akhanda Hatha Yoga £6

18:30-19:30 Restore & Renew Yoga £6

 

In addition to these regular classes the following events are coming up:

Mum & Baby Yoga – 4 week course commencing Tuesday 30 May 10-11AM £40 – limited spaces available.

A gentle and safe way for new mums to return to exercise and find time for themselves with Yoga. Including baby massage, bonding time and sing-a-long.

 

Stress Management Workshop – Sunday 4 June 2017 2pm-5pm £25 – spaces available.

During this relaxing and informative afternoon event, you will be guided through a selection of holistic therapy taster sessions including restorative yoga, massage therapy or reflexology and Xi Gong practices. Join us in an interactive seminar discussing how to reduce and manage stress through four key areas – exercise, diet/nutrition, sleep and relaxation. The focus of this workshop will be about ‘balance’ There will be three short talks on nutrition, yoga and Ayurveda, and organic nutritional remedies, followed by a round table discussion on sleep and rest, ending with a guided group meditation. You’ll also receive wellbeing tips with tea and tasty nutritional treats.

 

Second Restore & Renew Pamper Night – Friday 23 June 2017 19:30-20:30 £18 only 4 mats left

This special evening event will begin with a restorative yoga class in soothing candlelight and aromatherapy oils, using lavender eye pillows, bolsters, pillows and blankets to help you relax deeply and release stress and tension from your body. We will then indulge in a complimentary glass of prosecco (or herbal tea) and sweet treats before Liz will guide you through a self mini facial using organic, natural and nourishing products from Neal’s Yard Remedies. There will also be time to sample other lovely skincare and well-being products and take goodies home with you to prolong your pampering.

Kirtan on Sunday 11 June 2017 8pm-9pm £5

Sharon, Johnny and I are joining forces again for Kirtan at The Dairy on Sunday 11 June 2017 8-9pm.

Kirtan is collective, melodic chanting of devotional mantras and is a form of meditation and Bhakti Yoga. Kirtan helps to connect with your own voice and sound, it lifts energy and mood taking you to a happy, peaceful meditative state. It was a transformational experience for me in India and I cannot wait to share this with you all!

 

OPEN DAY Sunday 25 June 2017

SAVE THE DATE! Free events at The Dairy all day on Sunday 25 June 2017 – more details coming soon. Will include Akhanda Hatha Yoga, Yoga with Reiki, Restorative Yoga & Yin Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation, Mini facial taster sessions, Pregnancy Yoga, Mum and Baby Yoga and Kirtan (devotional meditation practice). Something for everyone!

 

Look forward to sharing these events with you. I will try and blog soon too. I have missed writing but I am busy with good things, with yoga things, and manifesting more. ; )

Namaste

Liz x

 

Kirtan at The Dairy in Southport Wednesday 3 May 2017

Sharon, Johnny and I are joining forces for our first Kirtan event at The Dairy on Wednesday 3 May 2017 8-9pm.
 
Kirtan is collective, melodic chanting of devotional mantras and is a form of meditation and Bhakti Yoga. Kirtan helps to connect with your own voice and sound, it lifts energy and mood taking you to a happy, peaceful meditative state. It was a transformational experience for me in India and I cannot wait to share this with you all!
 
Johnny is a musician and along with his fantastic voice we will also be accompanied by instruments in what promises to be a special event in Southport. Explore yoga and meditation with Kirtan in the beautiful yoga room at the Dairy. The acoustics are fabulous even with just the three of us.
 
All places must be booked in advance by sending £5 to me via PayPal using my email LGYogaSouthport@gmail.com (please select pay a friend/family). Alternatively, contact me for my bank details or leave £5 in cash with Sharon, Johnny or I before 3 May 2017.
 
Liz x

The Plant Academy, Southport opens today!

The best way of effecting change is by how and where you spend your money.

Today I am running my 9:15 yoga class as part of my own baby business and then reporting to my new and fabulous boss Ellie at The Plant Academy for her opening day!

I’m proud to stand by Ellie today and support her new business venture. Not only is it simply good food, she’s an independent woman standing up to bring change and inspiration to our town with plant based food and fantastic coffee (from local business Crosby Coffee!). It’s easy for the big names in food and coffee to set up and sell to you but I know personally how difficult and challenging being a small independent new business can be.

So I ask you today to cast your vote and consider where you spend your hard earned money. Ellie is a local exciting new business so why not buy your coffee and cake, breakfast, lunch or snacks from The Plant Academy in Southport Market?

Plant based food is about offering us all (meat eaters/veggies/vegans) more choice, more colour and a more balanced diet. It’s also delicious (try the lemon drizzle)!

Yoga begins in the kitchen – so they say. And that’s where you’ll find me today. Supporting Ellie. Supporting local business. Earning my keep by doing something I value.

We can all begin to effect change. And it can start with where you buy your coffee!

Good luck Ellie. Xx

Upcoming Special Events in Southport April-June 2017

As many of you know I do more than just teach yoga classes! This is potentially why I haven’t had time to blog as much as I’d like and hopefully you’d like… I will try and rectify that over the next week or so because it’s not because I don’t have things to say, share and rant about as usual ; )
 
The reason for posting – well – here are the upcoming events in Southport which may interest you:
 
(1) Monthly meditation – Wednesday 12 April 2017 8pm £5
 
(2) Mum & Baby Yoga 4 week course starting Tuesday 25 April 2017 £40 for 4 weeks
 
(3) Monthly Wellbeing and Philosophy class – Wednesday 26 April 2017 8pm £5
 
(4) Pregnancy and Birthing Workshop for Mums to Be – Saturday 29 April 2017 (1:30-4pm) £25
 
(5) Kirtan at the Dairy – Wednesday 3 May 8pm £5 Details coming soon.
(6) Pamper and relaxation night – Friday 12 May 2017 (£15) -Restorative yoga, complimentary prosecco or herbal tea, mini Neal’s Yard facial (self-treatment), skincare and wellbeing tips and goodies to take away. (Limited spaces)
 
(7) Couples Birthing Workshop – Saturday 27 May 2017 1:30-4pm (£25) – details coming soon.
 
(8) Stress Management Workshop – Sunday 4 June 2017 – details coming soon.
 
See events or my website for further details and contact me to book on to each event. Pre-payment is required to secure your place.
 
Liz x

Free Friend Fortnight Yoga- 27 March until 8 April

For two weeks you can bring your friend(s) for free to any yoga class at the Dairy in Southport!  Starting on Monday 27 March 2017!

Spring is the ideal time to begin something new or return to yoga and meditation. And yoga is the perfect way to begin to move your body, connect with your breathing and boost your mood and mindset. I offer yoga classes which are accessible for everyone including meditation and philosophy classes designed to relax and improve your wellbeing.

This is a great opportunity to introduce your friends and family to yoga and meditation and perhaps give yourself the re-start you need this year!

Please note that only one friend can come to a class at one time but the same person can join you as many times over that two weeks!

Booking is essential so please contact me on LGYogaSouthport@gmail.com to book your mat and one for your friend.

Liz x