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How happy are you in your skin?

How happy are you in your skin?

U Can Yoga in Psychologies Magazine

Healthy Happy Body - Psychologies Magazine

Healthy Happy Body – Psychologies Magazine

With it’s uplifting, informative and insightful content, Psychologies magazine is and has been one of my favourite publications for many years.

The Dossier theme of the current issue of Psychologies, ‘Healthy Happy Body’ is not only close to my heart, it also ties in with the U Can Yoga ethos. Yoga has played a huge part in helping me find peace with my own body image issues and to find a greater appreciation for the body that I have and all it can do. So, I am excited to be featured in the July issue of Psychologies sharing my story.

Thanks to make-up artist Sadaf Ahmad and photographer Jon Enoch for being so lovely and making the photoshoot so fun :D

You can pick up the magazine in the shops now or download it via the new Psychologies app – find out more at U Can Yoga in Psychologies Magazine

Lotus Mudra Love

Lotus Mudra Love

Lotus Mudra drawingCultivate love and affection with Lotus Mudra this Valentine’s

Mudras are symbolic hand gestures that can have an influence on the energies of your body and consequently, your mood. The word ‘mudra’ means ‘sealing in the energy’ in Sanskrit.

Lotus Mudra is the mudra of the heart. You can use this mudra to promote love and affection and also to ease loneliness.

How to practice:

Bring your palms together at your heart centre. Keeping the base of your palms together, fan your fingers out and bring the tip of your little fingers and thumbs to touch to form your open lotus blossom (as pictured). Hold here for four breaths.

After four breaths, close your lotus into a bud by bringing your hands back together with the base of your palms and the pads of your thumbs and all your fingers touching. Then turn your hands (turning palms towards you) placing all the fingernails of both your hands on top of each other, then the backs of your fingers, then the backs of your hands.

From here, turn your fingers in towards you then down. Let your hands hang down for a few breaths.

Bring your hands back to your lotus bud, then open into your lotus blossom.

Repeat this several times.

Ease into the Christmas Season – December Day Retreat at Tilton House

Ease into the Christmas Season – December Day Retreat at Tilton House

Tilton House in Firle, East Sussex

Tilton House in Firle, East Sussex

Get grounded for the party season at the beautiful Tilton House nestled underneath the South Downs on Saturday 7th December. After teaching on a wonderful Autumn Detox Yoga Retreat for Sally Parkes Yoga, I’m very excited to be returning to Tilton House to bring you a blend of energising and gentle hatha yoga classes as part of your health-boosting day.
The library at Tilton House where we'll practice yoga by the open fire

The library at Tilton House where we'll practice yoga by the open fire

As well as two yoga classes with me, you’ll enjoy a delicious vegetarian two-course lunch around the kitchen AGA. Plus you’ll have the opportunity to take in the stunning surroundings with a downland walk, breathing in fresh Sussex country air and glimpsing sea views. Or if you’d prefer to stay toasty indoors then you can pamper yourself by booking a massage, or curl-up in one of the sunrooms with a cuppa. (Tea, coffee and fresh fruit are on offer throughout the day). Guest can also enjoy a 15% discount at the Charleston Xmas Shop. Yoga mats and blocks are provided so just bring yourself, and maybe a friend :)

It’s a perfect way to recharge before the Christmas season gets into full swing!

The cost is £75 for the whole day and you can find full details and the retreat schedule by clicking here. You’ll also find details of the Wreath Making Workshop at Tilton House on Sunday 8th December if you fancy making a weekend of it.

To book please contact

NEW Yoga Class in NW6 – From Thursday 12th September

NEW Yoga Class in NW6 – From Thursday 12th September

From Thursday 12th September I will be teaching an additional Yoga Energise class at My Fitness Boutique in West Hampstead from 18.15-19.15 every Thursday. You can still join me for Yoga Energise on Saturday mornings from 9.15-10.15am too, so come along to one or both classes :)

Set to music, in this upbeat class you will release tension in the body and mind while developing stamina, mobility, focus and flexibility. With a mix of energetic sequences and longer-held postures, you can expect an emphasis on alignment and breath awareness. For schedule and booking info please visit Come and play!

Hatha Flow Yoga – **NEW FREE / DONATION Community Class**

Hatha Flow Yoga – **NEW FREE / DONATION Community Class**

ALL proceeds go to the Music4Children charity

Join me in Streatham SW16 for a new yoga class. This is donation yoga, so it’s free to attend or anything you can donate whether it’s pennies of £’s goes straight to the fantastic Music4Children charity (learn more about their wonderful work here: The only condition is that you bring your own yoga mat please and a smile :)

WHEN: Tuesdays 12.00-12.45pm from 11th June for 6 weeks

WHERE: The Streatham Stables (entrance via The White Lion, 232-234 Streatham High Road, London SW16 1BB)

COST: FREE or donate what you can into the Collection Box each weekALL proceeds go to Music4Children

ABOUT THE CLASS: With an emphasis on alignment and breath awareness, you will be guided through a mix of energetic sequences and longer-held postures. Release tension in the body and mind while developing stamina, mobility, focus and flexibility. Set to music, this upbeat class will leave you feeling re-energised.

NB – **Bring Your Own Yoga Mat Please**

Hope to see you there! :)

BE LOVE – Serving the Community with Style (PLUS an Exclusive Giveaway for Readers)

BE LOVE – Serving the Community with Style (PLUS an Exclusive Giveaway for Readers)


**Read on to find out about a special BE LOVE Giveaway Offer**

“Life is so full that we often get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget about the simple yet powerful truths, such as being love.” – Kyle & Kam-Gi Finch

LA-born BE LOVE creates quality clothing that is both beautiful and inspiring to fulfil their vision of making a difference. They take part of the profit from sales to fund services that impact youth and positively transform the community. Now, Be Love is looking at ways to continue their work in London. They are committed to working with local organisations in a hands-on way, targeting projects focussed on youth education, art, non-violence and community empowerment. Here Be Love founders Kyle and Kam-Gi Finch explain how they took their passion for service and made it their business:

What attracted you to fashion or the art of design? Why a clothing company?
Our intention from the beginning of Be Love was to create a ‘vehicle’ that could help support the community service projects we believe in.Be Love also make kidswear - 'Peace Warrior' t-shirt

Starting a clothing company seemed like a natural way to do this. We love art and spreading positivity through creative messages. Our goal is to create beautiful, quality clothing that inspires & empowers. The designs & messaging on the clothing affirm and underline everything we believe in…… ‘Love & Truth Shall Prevail’, ‘May All Beings Be Happy & Free’, ‘Be the Change’, ‘Be Love’, ‘Seva’ are just a few of the great Be Love messages and designs.
Be Love is the way we have found to serve in our community and make a difference where we can.

Why the name ‘Be Love’? What does that name mean to you?
The name Be Love serves as a reminder for us that this is what we are meant to be. It’s an active name that implies the need for action in order to realize our full potential & our connection to all.
Life is so full that we often get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget about the simple yet powerful truths, such as being love.
The messages on our clothing also serve the same purpose, to remind all of us of the things that essentially make us happy.

Where do you see Be Love going? What is your vision or hope for the future of the company?
We see Be Love growing as a brand that stands for service, community empowerment, and gorgeous clothing!
We would like to be a model and inspire other individuals and businesses to put service to the community higher up on the priority list.
As we grow so will our giving. We are really inspired by Paul Newman’s company ‘Newman’s Own’ & his model of giving away all profits.
We envision Be Love being a ‘conduit’ through which money flows. Through Be Love it reaches the organizations and places that will do work of great value.
It is our belief that there are enough resources to go around, and we want to be one of the channels that keeps it all flowing!
We also see our brand growing geographically – Be Love is now being stocked by a number retailers in the UK and Europe. Our vision is to be able to place more focus on that growth and eventually set up service projects in other places, with London being a key location for us.

More about the charities you want to help and how you want to help your community? Which charities and why?
We are committed to working with small organizations with strong track records of service in our community. We want to make sure that the money we raise goes directly to the intended goal so that it makes a real impact.
To start, we have partnered with a grass roots, local organization here in Los Angeles, Alexandria House (a transitional home for formerly homeless women & children) to initiate a transformative community project that has a measurable & achievable goal. We will initiate an after school program for the youth in this inner city Los Angeles community and bring talented teachers (musicians, yoga instructors, photographers, videographers, writers and poets) to provide ‘Art-Shop’ workshops for the kids.
Our initial goal is to raise $25,000 for the after school program at Alexandria House. We will do this by donating 20% of the profit on all shirts sold through our website. This equals $5 on each product sold. Once we reach the funding goal for Alexandria House we will introduce a powerful new project to support.
We will consistently update our customers, as to the progress and effect of each project we support with video, photos, and reports from the field. Additional service projects that we are reviewing will reflect similar values and will be focused on youth education, art, nonviolence and peace studies.

Me donning my 'World Peace Through Inner Peace' tank top When you design your clothing, what inspires you? How does this process work?
We design much of our graphic art ourselves and also work with various artists whose work we love. It is a good way to keep things fresh. Our way has always been one of collaboration & co-creation with exceptionally talented friends ~ this works beautifully for us.
Its important that our clothing looks & feels wonderful, pieces you can wear at home, out and about, during yoga after yoga. Be Love is a lifestyle brand that is spirit inspired!

Who wears your clothes? Who is the “Be Love” customer or supporter?
Our demographic is huge! It is always such a sweet surprise to see how many different kinds of people (of all ages) love & resonate with our clothes and mission. Essentially the Be Love customer is someone who appreciates beautiful design & quality clothing, someone who is part of the ‘awakening’ and is down with the cause! Be Love is about making a positive difference.

You can learn more about Be Love by visiting their website

And if you’d like to get in touch with Kyle and Kam-Gi you can email them at and

Be Love are generously giving away one top to a lucky reader (women’s and men’s styles are available, so guys you are not left out on this one!). To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is Like Be Love on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. The deadline is 5th May and the lucky winner will be announced shortly after by Be Love via Facebook and Twitter so keep your eyes peeled! Good Luck!” :)

Be Happy

Be Happy

“There’s beautiful things in life, so when you’re suffering, it’s part of the package. You know, you look at it – we’re born and we also have to die. We know that, so it makes sense that we’re gonna be really happy and things are gonna be really f***ed up too. Just ride with it, you know. It’s like a rollercoaster ride. It’s never gonna be perfect. It’s gonna have perfect moments, and then rough spots, but it’s all worth it. Believe me. I think it is.” – Patti Smith

The above quote from the iconic Patti Smith is from a video I came across on Twitter via Jill Ettinger & Dr Frank Lipman. It’s titled Patti Smith’s Advice to the Young, but I feel Patti’s words can also serve as advice and wise reminders to those of us who may not be quite so young anymore :) That’s why I wanted to share this here on the blog. You can watch Patti Smith by clicking here: Patti Smith Advice to the Young

Many thanks to Jill and Dr Frank for sharing :)

Lust for L!FE

Lust for L!FE

Yoga, Pilates, Food & Music in the heart of Shoreditch.

On Monday 4th March an exciting brand new space, L!FE Shoreditch opens on London’s Brick Lane. Spread over three floors there will be a whole food cafe and over 100 classes a week including Hot Yoga, Pilates, Jivamukti, Forrest Yoga, Acro Yoga, Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Yoga Barre and much more!

I am over the moon to be teaching there. Each week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, you can join me for Hot Yoga , Hot Flow Yoga and Hatha Yoga, starting with Hatha Yoga 9.30-11.00am from Wednesday 6th March in the aptly named Skylight Studio, bathed in natural light.

There’s lots of brilliant teachers plus the cafe is perfectly located on the ground floor for refuelling after class with a lovely outside space which will be great in the summer. Also, by evening you can expect DJ’s there too.

For more info check out their Facebook page and you can follow them on twitter @lifeshoreditch.

You can find L!FE at:

The Old Truman Brewery,
152c Brick Lane,
E1 6RU

I can wait to teach and practise at L!FE. Hope to see you there too!

5 Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat

5 Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat
Marsh Farm House in Arundel, East Sussex

Marsh Farm House in Arundel, East Sussex

Originally published on Urban Lucy‘s Urban Blog.

Despite practising yoga for a decade I didn’t go on my first yoga retreat until 2011. One of my very first thoughts once I was there was “What took me so long?!” The retreat I’d chosen was a weekend break in the UK, yet it was just enough to bring my mind and body back into balance. And suited by budget too. I’d always thought that a retreat was a pipe dream but whether you want to head off to far-flung sunny climes or have a short but sweet weekend break closer to home there’s such a wide range of choice out there that it is possible to find a getaway to suit your tastes and needs.

I loved the experience so much that I now teach yoga on retreats and believe so much in the value of taking time out for you. Far from being selfish, taking that time to take care of you allows you to recharge and, in turn, enables you to give the best of yourself to your loved-ones. I recently returned from teaching on a weekend retreat in Sussex and was reminded all over again of why it’s so good. Here are just a few reasons for you:

1. No pressure to ‘do’ anything
Ever been on holiday and ended up with an itinerary so packed that you came back feeling like you needed another holiday? Well, one of the great things about being on retreat is that there’s no pressure ‘do’. We have enough pressures and ‘shoulds’ in our day-to-day lives and even on holiday that can creep in when what our minds and bodies really need is the opposite. On retreat you have the genuine opportunity to slow down with no guilt whatsoever. You can opt in or out of as many of the classes and other activities on offer as you like. Hang out with the group, or spend time alone. It’s your choice! It’s a real chance to Relax and restore.

2. You get to indulgently focus on your yoga practice (or even begin your yoga practice!)
If you already love yoga, then what better opportunity to practice every day! Though if you’ve never done yoga before, a retreat is a great place to start. There are lots of beginner-friendly retreats out there in the UK and abroad, including the ones I teach on for Sally Parkes Yoga ( As a beginner you’ll be in a safe, nurturing environment and guided by teachers who want to support you.

3. It can be an opportunity to support a transition phase in your life
When I went on that first yoga retreat I was in the process of being made redundant from the job I worked at for almost ten years. Though it was a change I wanted, it was still a lot to come to terms with at the time. Being out of my regular surroundings was a great chance to step back, take stock and reassess things. It helped me get clearer about what I wanted. I’ve heard similar stories from other people about how they found a new perspective while on away on retreat and consequently, were able to take positive action once back at home.

4. It’s okay to go on your own (if you want to!)
Of course it’s okay to go on any holiday on your own, though holidaying alone isn’t something everyone feels comfortable with. From my experience, going away on retreat is a great way to go away on your own. The environment is safe and supportive and you get to meet some great people. People come from diverse backgrounds, yet often similar experiences have brought them to a retreat. It’s not uncommon to form lasting friendships.

5. The effects can last when you get back home
I feel this is best summed-up by a recent retreat guest who at the end of our weekend retreat totally humbled us with the following:

“I came on one of these retreats a while ago and came away with a warm feeling that lasted a long time. This time I’ve got that feeling again.”

So what are you waiting for? Why not start planning your next, or even your first yoga retreat? Do something nice for you.

This Spring you can join me for two weekend retreats in East Sussex in March and April and a week on the Adriatic Coast in May:

With Sally Parkes Yoga:
‘Revitalise Detox Retreat (as featured in OM Yoga Magazine) runs from 22-25th March at the gorgeous Brooklands Barn, where there is also a heated swimming pool for guests to use.

‘Yoga, Pilates & Detox’ (as recommended by The Metro) is from 19-21st April at Marsh Farm House.

For full details and to book please visit

With Alan Sweetingham:
From 12-19th May I am thrilled to be joining Alan Sweetingham as a guest teacher on his Montengro Yoga Holiday . As I type there are just 4 places left. For further info and details of how to book please visit my website –

Embracing The Longest Night

Embracing The Longest Night

Visoka va jyotismati – Sutra 1.36

Today is the Winter Solstice – the shortest day and longest night of the year.

This year the Solstice also coincides the end of the Mayan calendar (cue a slew of gags about the end of the world – like this one…) I like to think that what this really signifies is a move into a new, more conscious age.
The Winter Solstice is a time that provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the past twelve months and set intentions for the coming year.

When I think about where I was this time last year so much has happened. 2012 has had its high points but I know that for many of us it has been a tumultuous year with its fair share of darkness. One of my lessons this year has been around learning to embrace those times, to understand that darkness itself isn’t bad or a thing to fight against. As a place where lots of good things emerge from, it’s necessary. Things are ever changing, but when we’re in the midst of those darker times it can feel as though we’re trapped. And it can be easy to forget the light within – the light each of us possesses.

Visoka va Jyotismati

Visoka – blissful
va – or
jyotismati – the supreme light

I’ve been thinking about this sutra recently and it feels very apt at this time of year. It speaks about the light that resides within each of us – within the heart centre – and reminds us to concentrate on that inner light which is beyond all fear and worry.

On this shortest day, why not take a little time to acknowledge where you’ve been this year, looking upon yourself with compassion? If you decide you’d like to set an intention for the next twelve months then this is a great time to look inward and ask yourself what it is you really want. And beyond today, as we move through the Christmas season – possibly being confronted with the odd bit of seasonal stress here and there – you could try this simple meditation. In the spirit of sutra 1.36, I’ve started doing this in the run up to Christmas and have found it helpful (especially on packed rush hour tube trains!). Maybe you will too. Give this a try whenever you feel stressed, anxious or unsettled:

– Take your awareness to your heart centre. Visualise a light there, glowing radiantly.

– Stay here, focusing on this inner light for as long as you can, even if it’s just a minute. Feel that light expanding, radiating throughout your body, until you are filled up with this light. Then feel your light expanding further, outwards into the space around you.

– Don’t be surprised to notice that your breathing has become slower and more steady – a good sign!

And, if by chance the short winter days are still getting you down, then take heart that after today we’ll start to notice the days gradually getting longer again. So, there are brighter days ahead – in more ways than one!

Namaste x