So it’s nearly that time again, we are on the cusp of summer and already getting moments of arm baring weather, how terribly exciting!!! That also means that it’s time to get those legs out and bare the flesh! Bye bye Winter tights but my first thought was yikes, I may be half-Indian but I am really really pale, for me!! Definitely a quick stop to Cura Apothecary for some MooGoo organic and natural fake tan is needed! It’s ok to cheat a little cause I’m not going away anywhere nice and warm till May and I would like to get my legs out before then. A little glow from the MooGoo fake tan and lots and lots of grounding postures, working into the thighs and holding deep, strengthening poses will be the perfect recipe for tanned and sexy pins, yippee!! Summer here we come!
Head to Cura Apothecary (Bishops Stortford) for organic MooGoo fake tan for those pre summer legs!
But moving on from the aesthetics of our appearance, what do grounding postures really do for us? You probably hear your yoga teacher constantly saying, “get grounded” so much that it becomes a bit of a cliche´ and nobody really understands the deeper meaning. Well, I am here to unveil the mystery, moving our energy downwards enlightens and connects you to deeper truths, the bigger picture. Think of it like Neo in the Matrix when he wakes up in the real world. You are plugging in to the history, the present and the future of the earth, just by drawing your focus there. Moving your awareness downwards does feel strange, as its our natural instinct to move upwards, but it’s all too easy to go so fast and lose your roots, lose your awareness and almost be so hectic and crazy you lose yourself and become a floating ego with no direction and no solid foundation.
15 minutes of fame in Hope on the X-factor 2007
For such a long time, I was so filled with dreams and ambitions that I was desperate to fulfil, I allowed myself to get disoriented in the clouds. After the X-factor and the addictive taste of my short-lived fame, I was hungry to hit the big time and prove that I could make it after a show like that and on my own after far too many girl group politics. When I got my record deal with Babyface (Sodapop records) I moved to LA with big hopes for the future. However, it became clear that I had really lost touch with my roots. I would go from studio to studio, writing music 24.7 and although I loved it and was doing what I enjoyed, I felt such a huge amount of pressure from others around me and that’s what made the whole situation become so negative. Constant envy of other artists and writers used to weigh heavily on me, focus on my weight used to get me down and continuous self doubt poisoned my already stressed and burdened mind. Am I really talented enough? Is she better than me? Am I kidding myself that I can do this? I felt so so tired and unhappy. I missed home and I missed my family. I knew the quality of the music I was writing was thinning out as I was burning out. I went from a full on bright fire to a flickering candle. I didn’t look after myself or listen to my heart enough at that time. I clearly remember going to yoga class after I had been dropped by my record label and bursting into tears in pretty much any pose where I could reflect and find my breath because I was suddenly so aware that I was well and truly lost. I didn’t recognise myself anymore and that was very scary. I came back to the UK with my tail between my legs, gutted, embarrassed and dejected. I had gone to LA with big dreams, big hopes and now I had been dropped and had to tell everyone. Ironically, that summer of 2010 ended up being the best summer of my life, so far. Not only did I finally get together with my husband (we had been “just” friends for a number of years previously) but I took the pressure I had been loading upon myself off! I became thankful for my friends and family again, I appreciated the beauty around me, but most of all I got to know myself again. I hadn’t failed, I haven’t failed, my life has gone in a different direction. I could not be happier or more grateful to the label who dropped me because I found myself and I didn’t need to be famous to do that. I guess the moral of this story, is to know what you really want although I know that takes time and also trial and error. Everyone has their own journey and scars from each chapter, but remember to stay grounded and be aware of who you are. Don’t let others coerce you into wanting something you never did. Stay true to you and you can’t go wrong.
This was one of the songs I wrote which I am really proud of and I still really love.
In class this week, I am focussing on getting grounded, connecting with the earth and accepting the past and being in the present moment, finding truth and stillness in each pose and drawing attention to the root chakra, Muladhara. The root chakra is situated at the tip of the coccyx at the very base of the spine and is known as the foundation of the “energy body”. It is so imperative to remaining true to yourself and staying grounded.
“By meditating thus on Her who shines within the Muladhara Chakra, with the luster of ten million Suns, a man becomes Lord of speech and King among men, and an Adept in all kinds of learning. He becomes ever free from all diseases, and his inmost Spirit becomes full of great gladness. Pure of disposition by his deep and musical words, he serves the foremost of the Devas.”
We will be practicing grounding poses in a slow, deep sequence which really work the quadriceps and the feet. Holding each peak pose for ten breaths in order to really feel that connection and deepen the asana. The word “asana” means seat, as my lovely teacher Jodie Merick reminded me in class this week, so it’s important to find stillness in each posture imagining the pose as a comfortable seat, yes easier said than done but at least we know where we are heading!
Trikonasana/Triangle Pose – again feeling that lovely balance in the body by reaching upwards and downwards at the same time. Strong legs, shooting those roots downwards, be aware of holding the core strong to stay balanced.
Virabhadrasana III/Warrior 3 – A beautiful balance reaching arms forward and the toes back keeping the hips aligned and facing the mat, lift up the arch of the supporting leg, keep both legs working and find your stillness.
We will be focussing a lot of awareness in tree pose really finding those roots, plugging in the base of the body into the earth and just like trees, growing both upwards and downwards.
My shout outs this week go to some of the most grounded people I have the pleasure of knowing and working with;
My teacher and mentor on my training at Suryalila Retreat with Frog Lotus Yoga, Vidya Jacqueline Heissel was such an inspiration in so many ways. It’s so easy to let the ego lead you, needing to hear praise from your teacher was something I craved. Vidya does not believe in giving praise because the only affirmation you need is to believe in yourself. I found that really hard on the teacher training but now I realise how important that lesson is to have a career in teaching yoga. No one tells you “well done” and you have to believe in your classes from your heart. Making them original and honest means you have to trust yourself. Thank you Vidya for giving me so so much!
Keith Ross @keithrossmusic co-writer and producer of both Never Too Late and Bring Down The Rain (see below) this talented and grounded young man is a force to be reckoned with. Expect big big things from him in the future. He has already had a number of cuts on very big artist including Leona Lewis, Rick Ross and many more. He has also been there for me in difficult times and for that I will always be grateful!
My moony JENNA HOLMES @jennabrook on twitter. One of my best friends since college days, probably the most grounded person I know and has always told me when I’m losing the plot! I love her, rely on her and miss her terribly as she has recently moved back up north! Below is her showreel, she wrote the comedy sketch, it’s fab and she is such a talented actress!!
Namaste my yogis…..and remember to stay true to yourself, keep dreaming but never forget who you are. xx