Kate talks on meditation & more

The best way of understanding something is to hear what others have experienced as it helps you relate to how, meditation for example, could perhaps benefit you.


This is why I love it when students are willing to share their experiences.


Here’s Kate talking about her journey with meditation:




Kate offers pre and postnatal massage and runs workshops as well as many other things in the Watford area. You can find out more by visiting her website here: Kate Codrington

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Inspirational Readings

Setting the tone of a yoga class is one of the most important aspects of teaching. You have students arriving, bringing with them so many fragments of their day from home, work or even a delayed journey getting to class.


Bringing all these fragmented energies together takes skill – just as an artist would rarely paint directly on to a canvas without consideration or even preparing the canvas, we too need to prepare.


I usually like to start with a reading – there are so many resources out there and poetry books that we really are spoilt for choice. Personally, I prefer pieces that relate to the collective of the group I’m teaching, Something that they all can relate to and in turn, feel inspired by.


Here’s the reading I gave in last night’s class.

Taken from p128 ‘Journey of the Heart – An Anthology of Spiritual Poetry by Women’


The Gardener

It’s not about you
It’s not about me
It’s about something far greater
making the world a better place
What does that mean?
Who do you follow?
Do you follow your heart
distilling and discerning from teachers who went before
who now guide you?
The wisdom is in your hearts
look within and tend to the garden of your souls
using the richest soil of tenderness, kindness and compassion.
The storms of life are your best teachers
fertilizer to help you grow
water the garden with the tears of transformation
grounded in the present moment
firmly rooted in your Truth.
Pull out the weeds of jealousy, competition, discontent and self loathing
that choke the roots of the beautiful flowers
reach toward the light
bend with the breeze being One with all that is

Mary McManus


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Wintertime Nourishing & Nurturing

Winter is the time where, in nature in particular, there’s the great rest. Life turns inward in order to rest and replenish energies.


We can take our cue from what’s happening outside and use this as a way to rebalance ourselves.


The diminished levels of daylight often leave us feeling uninspired to get outside and to be moving around and this can lead to a reduction in our energy levels and emotional mood too.


Most people use the post-Christmas phase to detox and reduce their food intake in order to lose weight. However, we are designed to hold onto our weight at this period of time!


Taking our guidance from the science of Ayurveda you may like to try…


Dry brushing the skin: helps move blood and lymph around the body and is very invigorating. Several times a week is ideal, if not every morning before you shower. Start at the feet and brush upwards towards the heart.


Self-massage with Ashwagandha oil: a warming oil that nourishes the muscles, bones and tissues. Particularly beneficial if gently massaged into the nose and ears of an evening!


Yoga: balancing the inner fire (agni) within the body at this time through chest / heart opening practices to keep the lungs stimulated; resting the nervous system through forward-bends and bhastrika pranayama is the ultimate breathing practice to ensure the lungs are strengthened during the cold winter period.


Heart & Chest Opening Sequence with Breath:





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Kind of Urban Art Girl with squirrel in the sunset between black and orange color

The Importance of Ritual

Dinacharya – comes from Ayurvedic principles which teach the importance of daily rituals to help support body, mind, and spirit.


Many of the Ayurvedic practices for this would include oil pulling and tongue scraping. Whilst I am not adverse to any or all of the ones traditionally proposed, I do believe we can adapt the idea to suit ourselves and lifestyles a little better.


My focus here is on the ritual aspect – things we can do at the beginning of the day to really set us up in the best way possible. These are by no means foolproof in that they will guarantee you won’t run into life’s hurdles along the way. But, they do give us something which ensures we’ve tried our best to create the right conditions.


My day starts at 6.25am. This is my personal choice. I could stay in bed longer and there are days I wish I had made that choice! By the time I’ve swung into action, it gives me about 20-30 minutes of quiet and focus before I set the rest of the household into action.


The following is my ritual / routine which may inspire you to follow or to create your own.


#1 Set Your Intention


Upon waking, simply sit on the side of the bed and take a maximum of 3 minutes to consider your intention for the day ahead. It can be as simple as, ‘May I greet everyone with a smile’. Whatever you choose, ensure that it sits comfortably.


#2 Cleanse


Consider the needs of your body and the A.M.A.Z.I.N.G job it does for us – continuously. A quick and easy go-to is hot water with lemon.  Here are just a few of the many benefits that can be derived from this simple morning ritual:


  • Is an aid to digestion and the production of bile
  • Flushes out toxins from the body
  • Lemons contain potassium which is a boost from brain and nerve cells
  • An excellent source of vitamin C
  • Beneficial to the skin


#3 Morning Pages


I got this idea 2 years ago after reading Julia Cameron’s book , ‘The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of Enough’.

The process is to write 3 sides of paper without any censorship or judgement. Write whatever comes into your head. It doesn’t have to be neat handwriting (oh, forgot to mention, it is to be written by hand, not on your laptop or tablet). It doesn’t have to even be complete and proper sentences. Just write whatever is there.


What you choose to do with the results is entirely up to you. I always shred them a day or two later (another kind of ritual as it’s about releasing and letting go of the content).


Try it. It may seem like hard work, but it can be such a wonderful way of creating clarity before you move into the busy-ness of the day.


This can be done whilst enjoying #2


#4 Meditate


Simply sitting with the sensations of the body for up to 10 minutes.


If I have decided against the hot water and lemon, then mindfully drinking my first cup of tea of the day can be the focus of my sitting practice.


Should you need more guidance, then there are many, many meditations that can be downloaded which will inspire and motivate.


I alternate some days with #3 and #4 if time is a little tight, so I pick one rather than do both.


#5 Choose an Oracle Card


Many of us are inspired by the random nature of choosing a card from a deck that appeals to us, either because of the artwork or the theme it carries. Choosing a card, reading the definition and then sitting for a few moments to contemplate what it suggests.


So there you have it. As I said before, I usually only have between 20 – 30 minutes. You can create your own ritual that demands less time, or more if you have the luxury of being able to and don’t mind early starts.


Intention forms a strong basis of a regular meditation practice. This is a structure I teach on regularly in my monthly meditation sessions in Watford on Saturday mornings. Check the website for more details

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