Om is where the heart is…

Use the heart gesture as you sit quietly, root of your spine seeking the earth, crown lifting to the sky…watch your breath, and then gently bring your breath to a more even flow…inhale deeply…exhale slowly…no forcing, no effort, simply watch the breath and be present as it slowly becomes deeper, slower, more rhythmic…

Anahata chakra symbolizes the consciousness of...

Anahata chakra symbolizes the consciousness of love, empathy, selflessness and devotion. On the psychic level, this center of force inspires the human being to love, be compassionate, altruistic, devoted and to accept the things that happen in a divine way. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As you breathe in, bring your awareness to your heart centre (Anahata chakra) and as you exhale, silently chant Om to yourself, allowing the sound to ripple out through your body creating widening circles of peaceful calm…

The heart gesture helps to bring peace & calm by directing prana to the heart centre from the hands, you can safely use it in even serious conditions to relieve heart ailments, release blocked emotions, unburden your heart and you may find it especially useful at times of emotional crisis or conflict.

Heart Gesture


Something for everyone…Find your quiet centre

Whether you are pregnant or have recently given birth, whether you have a vivacious toddler or a spirited adolescent, taking some time out to find your quiet centre can be an essential part of being the mother (or father) you want to be.

Try this as a meditation or relaxation…take 1 quiet minute or half an hour, whatever you want to spend or what time you can spare will do.

Close your eyes, keeping them softly closed, no tension held in your forehead or face, space between your upper & lower teeth to keep your jaw soft, your tongue released away from the roof of your mouth & your teeth.

For a moment or two, simply watch the natural rhythm of your breath.

Be aware as you inhale…aware as you exhale…

As you watch your breath, notice that you connect to your breath, it slows & deepens, and you gently become calmer (it lowers your blood pressure, slows your heart rate and as your breath deepens, you improve your lymphatic drainage, massage your abdominal organs to support effective digestion, and bring more oxygen into your body, helping you to feel more energised & improving your well-being).

Now visualise a velvety darkness behind your eyelids, and slowly begin to lay down a golden thread in the soft, serene dark, circling around and gradually inward to create a spiral.  Inhale deeply and exhale slowly as you journey from the outer most point and in toward the centre of the spiral.

When you reach the centre, rest your awareness at the centre of the spiral.

And in the words of the wonderful Snatam Kaur “Breathe, my love, breathe in your quiet centre”.

Take as long as you can to connect with your breath, to feel the calm that you can create, to feel the quiet within your heart centre at the innermost point of your spiral.

When you are ready, slowly retrace the spiral, gathering in your golden thread, returning your awareness to your physical body by taking a breath to the soles of your feet, another to the crown of your head, breathe into the palms of your hands and to the root of your spine.  As you become aware of the space that your body occupies, try to remain gently conscious of the quality of your breath and remind yourself to breathe with freedom & ease, as you did in your quiet centre.

With love, and with thanks to all the teachers, real & virtual, book-based & web-based whose words & teachings have inspired this simple practice Lx

Peace One Day

It is Peace Day.  Only the fourth I have been aware of…the first was the day I gave birth to my beautiful son, Joe Benedict.  Joe can be derived from “Jonah” – it comes from Hebrew, meaning ‘a dove’.  Benedict is not in honour of the current Pope, but rather we chose the name because in the original Latin, it means ‘blessed’.  I chose these names for Joe before a family friend told me it was Peace Day.  Had he not been Joe, he would have been Fred – meaning ‘peace’, ‘peace-keeper’ or ‘peaceful ruler’.

My pledge to the Peace One Day campaign is that on my son’s birthday, as I light candles to celebrate the blessing he is my family, so I will share candles with our friends and family to spread the message of peace.

It was whilst I was pregnant with Joe that I discovered Birthlight and began my training with Francoise Freedman & Ingrid Lewis.  As Joe grew in my belly, I began my case studies and coursework, and after his birth I continued my studies until I finally gained my Perinatal Yoga Diploma (Level 2) in Autumn 2011.

In Spring of this year, I attended the Childbirth Preparation course, and was lucky to be taught by Ingrid once again, and to meet a wonderful group of mothers & yoga teachers all wanting one thing: to support mothers in finding ways to birth gently, to experience the transformational rite of passage that is the birth of a child (whether your first or your fifth) in a positive, supportive, empowering relationship with her birth partner, and to feel that they made real, informed choice about their place and manner of birth and those who  would be honoured to share the sacred birthing space.

Peace and birth are linked ~ to freedom for birth and to understanding that women’s bodies are not lemons ~ because when women are free to birth as nature intended, it has physical, emotional and mental benefits to our health & well-being as a society, not only as mothers.  A healthy society is one in which fear and greed are not the ruling attributes.  When mothers fear birth, something is wrong. When women’s birth rights are restricted by greed (eg unnecessary caesarean births motivated by a desire to avoid perceived potential litigation or insufficient numbers of midwives where managers & policy makers abound), fear takes over.  It is time to stop this trend, to halt it now, at the ‘bottom of the abyss’ (Michel Odent), and begin a slow, determined climb back into the light.

A beautiful birth, no matter how hard or long labour has been, yields peace in a mother’s heart.  Every woman deserves to feel that peace looking back at her child’s birth.  A mother’s peace brings peace to her children, and in turn peace to the world at large.

I hope that I can play some small part in working towards peace in birth for the pregnant women I encounter in offering yoga that empowers, that celebrates the beauty and intelligent design of the female body as it morphs from maiden to mother, that supports a positive and joyful approach to the journey into motherhood, and especially labour & childbirth.

Pregnancy Yoga is a passion, and a lifetime’s learning ahead of me; I offer my heart & soul to women everywhere with the promise that as I glimpsed what birth could be when my first son, Bill, arrived Earthside, and experienced my beautiful birth breathing Joe out into water & into my arms, so I will endeavour to support you to find the path leading to yours ~ here’s to peace in every mother’s heart as she experiences beautiful birth ♥