Nurturing & Empowering

artwork by Rita Loyd www.NurturingArt.com

Produced with permission


“So great that you had just taught us contraction breathing techniques, this got me through 12 hours of 1st stage labour at home without any medication & just a bit of extra help from swaying on a swiss ball.

Thanks again for a brilliant pregnancy yoga course”.


The above was feedback received this past weekend from a very happy client who had been attending the weekly pregnancy yoga classes with me in Central Watford.


Women typically join pregnancy classes to help them relax and learn breathing techniques*. They also cite wanting to increase their flexibility, without realising that their flexibility is naturally being increased by way of the hormone relaxin which increases in pregnancy!


For me, it’s about really connecting with each and every woman, whether she attends for just one week or throughout the whole of her pregnancy.


It’s an absolute privilege to share this special time with women, and to also offer the years of training and experience I have gained from both my teaching and being a mother too.


My classes run weekly (term-time) on a Thursday evening 19.30 to 21.00 and can be attended either as a course or on a weekly, drop-in basis.


Full details and booking can be found here: Pregnancy Yoga with Claire Murphy


*based on recent survey results


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Mindful Writing

My forthcoming workshop in January in Stamford (being held in the historic Arts Centre) encourages the use of expressive writing. Combining several contemplative modalities – yoga, meditation and mindful writing, it will be a day of ease and deep inner reflection.

Benefits of writing: Author and social psychologist, James Pennebaker, found in his research that people improve their physical and mental health by writing about their deepest secrets.

Expressive writing (journaling or writing about how you feel) is linked to improved mood and well-being and is also known to reduce stress for those who do it regularly.

Research by Laura King found that people who were in a stressful job saw their hourly efforts at work increase by 29% over two weeks after writing in their journal daily on how their work made a difference.

Another study found that engineers who had been made redundant, found another job quicker once they engaged in expressive writing compared to those who didn’t.

Interesting isn’t it?

So our day will be a mixture of writing prompts and jumping off points to get your writing juices flowing. Themes which as women, we can very much relate to.

No prior writing skills are necessary, though you may find that it helps you flourish a little more if you are a budding writer.



This day retreat / workshop for women runs on Saturday 14 January 2017.
Details & booking: www.claire-murphy.com/courses/workshops



[Image: Google / themindfulword.org]

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hazel's eye

Visual Meditation

This Saturday (08 October), I shall be introducing my monthly meditation group to a new meditation practice. A visual one.


Some may think that meditation is simply sitting – that’s it.


Well, in essence it is, but it isn’t.


I teach Shamatha (Calm Abiding / Shinay (Tib) meditation. Which means ‘with support’.


Support means using various means to help focus and train the mind. The mind is a slippery character and really doesn’t like to be guided away from it’s normal routine – endless thoughts; constant dialogue about how good / bad something is. Heaven forbid it runs out of material, it’s always got the ‘rehash button’ – this is where you get to relive all those things that have gone before (normally those that bring up some kind of negative emotion).


So, support is necessary – to begin with.


It’s also important to offer various options within meditation as it is not a one-size-fits-all. Some are quite content sitting watching the breath. Others may fair a little better with the silent repetition of a mantra. It’s about finding the meditation that suits the person, rather than imposing something that simply brings more discomfort and suffering (hey, isn’t that what we’re supposed to be reducing?)


Meditation…take another look.


Classes run in #Watford once a month on a Saturday morning from 10.00 to 11.30am.


Find out more here: Claire Murphy Yoga & Meditation




[Image: Copyright Hazel Haddock 2014 – image may not be reproduced under any circumstances]

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Dates (the fruity kind) & pregnancy

A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology found that women who ate dates daily during the final month of pregnancy were less likely to need induction of labour, as opposed to non-date eaters.

There’s more!

When arriving at hospital, these women had also progressed further (were more dilated) and laboured in seven hours or less!

Melinda Johnson of Academy of Nutrition & Diatetics says that it would seem dates have a compound that mimics the hormone oxytocin (which causes contractions).

This menu and information on dates I found (thanks to Lorraine Scapens) is ideal in pregnancy from 34 weeks. It is also packed with protein that nourishes you and baby as well as potentially help you prepare for birth.


8 – 10 moist dates (remove stones)
2 x handfuls of almonds
1/2 can of coconut milk or 1/2 can of almond milk
1 x banana

This gives 2 x adult servings

Simply put all the ingredients together in a blender for 60 seconds and you’re good to go!




[Image: Google images]

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