Category Archives: INTENTION

Mini Mindful Moments for Mammas (or anyone craving a little more calm in their days)

May 30, 2019

INTENTION

It can feel like your time is not your own when you’re a mama. Mum-days are spent constantly trying to working through chores, feeding-cleaning-changing on repeat, jumping from one activity to another trying to keep your little entertained. On work days there are the bags to be packed, drop-offs and collections to do on time, things to remember – snacks, nappies, sunhat, raincoat. CHECK! CHECK! CHECK!

No wonder we end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It’s a lot. But I find practising mindfulness goes some way to helping me both reclaim a feeling of control over my days and surrender to the lack thereof. For me, this means learning to slow down and creating pockets of calm in my days.

Meditation has been an important part of how I’ve cultivated a more mindful way of being and I do still try to keep up a regular practice when I can. But, unlike meditation, mindfulness is readily available at any given time and can be practised anywhere.

“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

mindfulness.org

Practising mindfulness isn’t particularly about doing anything outside of your normal routine, but rather reframing the tasks and actions you already do. Even brushing your teeth could become a mindful activity if you fully devote your concentration to it.  For me, mindfulness is the pausing, the noticing. Being fully present in the moment and not letting your mind wander to plans, daydreams or worries. It could be observing the way the light falls in the morning, immersing yourself in an activity or chore or giving your full attention to your toddler (without one eye on your phone 🙋🏻‍♀️). And actually, it turns out toddlers are pretty mindful little souls – being fully present is pretty much their default setting.

I’m at pains to make it clear I’m not walking around in some zen bubble, the image of calm motherhood. I get worn down, grouchy and impatient. When I’ve been up since 6 am I’m still frazzled come naptime. I go on about mindfulness and intentional living because of *needing* these practices so much. Not because this stuff comes easy to me!

My mini mindful moments

The key is to fully focus on the task or activity, not to multitask or to have your attention pulled in various directions but to be completely present in the moment.

// Connecting with my senses upon waking. I run through what I can hear, feel, see etc. and check in with how I’m feeling in my body and in my mind. I often do this whilst giving Casper his morning breastfeed.

// Dropping essential oil in my (usually very quick) morning shower.

// Putting on a favourite song and dancing together for the duration.

// Naptime meditation. Before I open my laptop or get on with chores I head to my bedroom for at least 10 minutes of meditation.

// Hanging out the washing.  This is one of my favourite chores to single-task, especially if it’s a nice enough day to dry the washing outside.

// Weeding, gardening or tending to house plants.

// Going for a mindful walk. Leave the phone at home and just go for a wander. Notice the tiny details, the sights and sounds. Toddlers are the perfect mindful walking companion.

// Finding a moment to sit, pause and enjoy a cup of tea.

// Reading instead of scrolling as I feed the babe to sleep.

// My evening skincare routine. Cleanse, use my face brush, apply an oil. Breath, feel grateful for the day.

These are just some things that can become mindful activities for me. Yours might be different. Of course, sometimes I do these things on autopilot, with my phone in my hand or a podcast on in the background. But I know the more I carve out mini moments of mindfulness in my days the calmer and more resilient I feel. As with my philosophy on living a simple creative life, I believe that the small things we do each day add up – “drop by drop we fill our cup”.

🌙 🌙 🌙

Some more mindful resources…

Getting started with mindfulness (via mindfulness.org)

Modern Mindfulness for Mothers a guided meditation course on Insight

The Mindful Kind podcast hosted by Rachael Kable

The Zen of Single-Tasking blog post by Brooke McAlary

The Power Of Now a book by Eckhart Tolle

Creative Business: Intentions and goals for May

May 15, 2019

INTENTION / WORK

I know it might seem a little late to post about monthly intentions may seem a little late given that we are already half way through May. However, I strongly believe that you don’t need to wait for a new quarter, the start of a month, a Monday or a new moon to set goals and intentions in your creative business.

“April showers bring May flowers”

Although last month was actually pretty decent weather-wise, this saying was speaking to me as we headed into the month of May. Working and living in tune with the seasons this year has meant I’ve had a slow start to 2019. No matter how I plan to steel myself against them, those long dark winter months take their toll on my energy, creativity and productivity. Towards the end of March, however, I could feel that shift in me as the natural world was also beginning to wake up to Spring.

The arrival of April marked the beginning of the second quarter of the year and my first full month of having regular childcare. I now have one day a week to fully devote to my business whilst Casper is with a childminder. This had me excited but also apprehensive, feeling the pressure of now having to really step up and make things happen in my creative business.

It’s been a month of settling into a new rhythm, with a fair bit of soul-searching but also knuckling down when needed. I’ve found that after gently gathering momentum I’m suddenly feeling ready to bloom with the Spring. Or at the very least unfurl and open up to new possibilities as the year marches on.

April reflections

  • For me, diving deep into the task at hand means I have to*really* give myself permission to focusing on one thing at a time.
  • Asking myself ‘what is the simplest way to do this?’ is always a good idea!

April high-fives

// I launched my newsletter.
// I had an Instagram post hit over 700 likes. The first time that has happened for me in a long time but people seemed to love the self-portrait above.
// I felt in a good place creatively.

May Intentions

// Show up more for my business. I’ve felt frustrated being in this relaunch/rebuild season of my business and this has meant I’ve not been showing up and doing the things my business need from me right now. Namely promoting myself, actually talking about my offering and putting effort into connection and outreach.

// Honour my ebbs and flows. As the month began I was enjoying feeling full of creative energy and inspiration as the new moon coincided with the ovulation phase of my cycle. I know that on the opposite side I’m also likely to experience a dip each month. I want to lean into that more, be gentle with myself when needed and know that it’ll come back around soon enough.

Goals for the month

// Send my first monthly newsletter to my subscribers.
// Talk about my offering and creative mentoring packages with my community (and potential clients) on Instagram at least once a week – in Stories or on the grid.
// Work on getting ahead with content – my newsletter, blog and podcast editing.
// Reconnect with my meditation practice. Especially to support me around both my intentions for the month.

So that where I’m putting my energy this month. I feel like there’s so much more I could say on a lot of these points. Leave me a comment if there’s anything you’d like me to expand on. 🙂

Living a Simple Creative Life

February 5, 2019

INTENTION

creative plant photography living pilea peperomioides cutting in hand

What does living a creative life mean to you? Is it turning your passion into a living and running your own creative business? Or pursuing a career in a creative industry perhaps?  Or maybe for you, it’s more about finding time for creative activities and hobbies outside of what you do for work. Creativity is such a personal thing and I’m sure creative fulfilment looks and feels different for everyone. However, I think we can find common ground in our shared craving for creative expression, and the fact that a large majority of us wish we had more time to dedicate to our creativity.

In a recent episode of my podcast Friends With Business Benefits, my cohost Franky and I discussed creativity – specifically ‘How do you make time for creativity when you’re so busy being creative for clients?’Getting paid to be creative (for clients or customers), is, of course, a dream for many but I don’t think it’s uncommon to still feel the need to pursue your creativity outside of your day job.

And obviously, it isn’t just work commitments that lead to us feeling creatively bereft. Something else we delve into in the episode is how becoming a parent has changed the way I can indulge my creative inclinations.

On a number of occasions over the last year, I’ve received the question of *how* I’ve managed to still find time for creative activities alongside being a new mum. I’ve found myself initially baulking at this comment because as with so many things in parenthood I feel that there are two contrasting sides to how motherhood has impacted my creativity…

On one hand, being a mother (and I guess specifically being a stay at home mum) feels inherently creative to me. Our days are filled with play and curiosity, music and dancing, books and silly voices. I’m constantly thinking on my feet, making games out of household chores in order to get anything done, coming up with ways to delight and distract my little shadow. Along with the practical side, parenthood has also sparked a more emotionally expressive creative side of me – basically, becoming a mamma has turned me into a wannabe poet. I scribble love notes to my son and fill journal pages trying to find the words to capture how immensely wonderful/inspiring/exhausting/frustrating (delete as required given the time of day) motherhood feels.

On the flipside, there’s just so little time to really get stuck into a project or creative activity the way I would have done pre-baby. Which of course can be very frustrating. Especially as I’m the sort of person that needs time to get into my groove creatively – I’m just not able to bash out blog posts quickly or shoot photos I’m happy with straight away. But instead of feeling constantly frustrated feelings over the last year I’ve found it helpful to reframe what creativity looks like and means at this stage of life.

I’ve realised that to me living a creative life is as much about cultivating a particular mindset than any actions. It’s about noticing the little moments that add up to me feeling that I am honouring and making time for creativity. All this reframing and readjusting has led me to uncover somewhat of a personal philosophy – one of simple creative living.  What that means is that I’m prioritising creativity alongside striving for a simpler slower way of life. And what that looks like is some simple habits and ways I bring creativity into my everyday.

simple creative living pilea peperomioides cutting in hand

Here are some of the shifts which have been so helpful to me. Maybe they’ll help you also think about how to cultivate your own simple creative life…

// Notice and appreciate the smaller moments of creativity in your everyday. From creating a meal from scratch to foraging something to decorate your home, creativity probably already shows up in your days more often than you realise.

// Shift the focus from the output to the process. I think we can get hung up on our creativity having to have a (sharable) end product rather than creating for the joy of it.

// Tune into your cycle. You may well find that your creative energy ebbs and flows depending on what your hormones are up to. Likewise, it’s thought that the lunar cycle can have an impact.

// Follow your joy. There may be a time and a place to dig deep and do the hard work to see your creative projects realised, but when your time is limited I feel like creating for enjoyment should be paramount.

// Meditate on creativity.  A search on Insight or YouTube will bring up a number of guided meditations and visualisations that focus on creativity. Depending on what you’re needing you could choose a meditation for inspiration or motivation.

// Use the tools you have to hand. And I mean literally *in* your hand – take photos with your phone, use the notes app to write. Or whatever it is you are creating don’t let waiting until you have fancy equipment stop you!

// Be mindful of what you consume. Often listening to a podcast or reading blogs can be great for motivation and inspiration, but sometimes I find they can have the opposite effect. If you’re really feeling overwhelmed by the noise try taking a break from consuming altogether.

I feel I should state that my life doesn’t always feel simple or creative by any means – sometimes far from it. But I do find making these intentional choices and shifting my mindset help to move me out of frustration towards creative fulfilment. I hope you may also find this helpful or inspiring. Creativity is a topic I never tire of chatting about so if you have a question or something to share come and let me know!

A few things I’m grateful for right now.

July 11, 2018

INTENTION

Photography. Feet in the morning light

How are you handling the heat? I’ve found that this weather, although glorious, can be a little challenging to manage with a baby. Restless nights have been followed by early starts and sticky and sweaty days that have involved a lot of hiding in the shade. That said, in trying to avoid being hot and bothered, there’s been so much to enjoy over the last few weeks. I’ve been embracing a slow holiday-vibe pace of life and really noticing and enjoying life’s little pleasures.

Here are a few things that I’ve been grateful for and which have brought me joy recently…

☾ Diffusing summery scents in the morning whilst the early light dances around the room.
☾ Creating a shady nest in our garden for snoozy outdoor feeds with my babe.
☾ Clean washing drying on the line and the satisfaction of getting to the bottom of the laundry pile – thank you heatwave 🙏🏻.
☾ The euphoric feeling of swimming in deep, cool salt water.
☾ Dancing like only the baby is watching!
☾ Fresh veg delivered to our door (our Able & Cole delivery makes me so happy each week).
☾ A messy little yoghurt covered face.
☾ Beautiful sunshiny weekends spent with friends.
☾ Salad days for days.
☾ Football.
☾ Deliveroo *finally* serving our postcode!
☾ An electric fan in the bedroom at night.
☾ Sharing homemade ice lollies with my little buddy.
☾ Dinners in the garden.
☾ The vibrancy of the city in the summer.
☾ Escaping the city at weekends for fresh air.

What’s been bringing a little extra sunshine to your life on these warm days?

Intentions for May

May 1, 2018

INTENTION

Tea with flowers

The thing about wanting to live more intentionally, mindfully, gently or slowly is that it’s a constant work in progress. For me, it’s a balance between cultivating the habits that help me feel more aligned in my day-to-day but also learning to let go of internal expectations that cause frustration and stress. So often it’s much more about a mindset rather than anything practical. My intentions this month are all about working on that mindset shift and reminding myself that it’s ok to prioritise the things that fill me up.

I’ve purposely steered away from goal-setting so far this year during the first part of my maternity leave, but inspired by Jen Carrington’s weekly letter I decided to add some goals to go along with my intentions for May. Aligning with my intentions, these are gentle goals and things that will make me happy to achieve.

My intentions for May

Let go of the of-do list stress – House chores, life admin, Instagram posts…all the things that “need” to be done will be there whether I stress over them or not. I’m always coming back to trying to accept the fact that I can’t do ALL of the things and if I don’t prioritise the stuff that fills me up and feels good then I’ll never find time for it.

Practice presence – It might not always be the easiest thing but I know I’m always happier on the days I spent living a little more in the moment and not with half a mind on that aforementioned to-do list.

Make time for creativity – For their May ‘slow experiment’ the hosts of The Slow Home Podcast are doing something creative every day this month, with the point being that it’s about enjoying the process rather than creating something to share. This week’s episode made me want to crack out my sewing machine and material box, but I think I’ll have to find something that fits in a bit better with the baby.

More reading (less scrolling) – I recently joined our lovely local library. I would like to use some of that time I’m spending stuck underneath a feeding baby to slowly but surely make it through a paperback!

My goals for May

Write my birth story –  I’m heading into the sixth month since Casper arrived and I’d love to write up the story of how he joined us in the world in time for his half-birthday.

Make a start on a new project – My friend Franky and I have been hatching plans to launch a new creative project together (you can probably guess what!). This month I’d like to flesh out our plans and set a schedule for launch.

Back up and print some photos – Always a job I say I’ll stay on top of but it gets out of hand so quickly! I’d be heartbroken if I lost all the baby snaps so it’s definitely time to back up those memories.

Plan and book our holidays – Over the years we’ve been pretty ‘last minute’ when it comes to booking time away. It’s always worked out fine for us but I’m certain that now we’ve got a baby in the mix we can’t really continue with such a laid-back attitude. We’d like to get away for a mini-break soon and plan a longer trip in the summer using the remainder of my husband’s generous paternity leave.

Pump it up! – I’m yet to pump a drop of milk or try Casper on a bottle. While this has been fine for us so far it would definitely be nice to let Dad do the odd feed here and there!

Do you have any goals or intentions for this month? I’d love to hear about them. Let me know on Instagram and use #MyIntentionalYear for any posts.

Embracing The Fourth Trimester

March 22, 2018

INTENTION / NURTURE

Maternity Photography, Floaty, feminine, baby bump

Early in March my baby turned three months old, this means I have now come to the end of my ‘fourth trimester’ – the last stage of pregnancy. The fourth trimester is a phrase coined to acknowledge the significance of the first twelve weeks after birth for both mother and baby. There’s plenty to read online about a baby’s development in the early months and how certain things may help ease their transition into life outside the womb. However, that time after birth is also a period of great change for a woman and embracing the concept of a fourth trimester can help us connect with the idea that birth is not quite the end of our pregnancy journey.

While I was pregnant, I set the intention to really let these first few months be a time for recovery and adjustment. To go slowly and not to put pressure on myself (or my body) to do or achieve too much. For me, this has meant deciding not to worry, or even think about certain things during this fourth trimester. It hasn’t been a time for routines, to-do lists or getting back to pre-baby shape; but for bonding with my baby and gently adapting to a new way of life.

Maternity Photography, Maternity Photography, Floaty, feminine, baby bump Maternity Photography, Floaty, feminine, baby bump

This is not to say that embracing the fourth trimester has meant new parenthood has been easy. I’ve had days when I’ve been blue, felt exasperated and overwhelmed, have fought with my partner and cried over the tiniest things…basically, I’ve been as exhausted and hormonal as any other new mamma. Surrender is the word which has accompanied this time. I’ve done my best to surrender to the extreme tiredness, the three-nappy-changes, being covered in puke and screamed at. “This too shall pass”…and all too quickly. Surrendering to the tough moments may not make them any easier but it has definitely helped manage my wellbeing and my headspace.

Now I’m three months postpartum I’m not planning on changing things suddenly. I’m not about to go on a diet, become obsessed with getting into a routine or returning to starting an exercise regime. To see the three-month mark as some sort of end point, I feel, would somewhat defeat the point of a gentle transition period. This is only the beginning of this parenthood journey and I know the adjusting and adapting is now pretty much a constant, life-long process.

I do believe embracing the forth trimester has helped see me through the crazy newborn haze and I would encourage any pregnant women or new mammas to do the same. It’s been so important to honour the final stage of pregnancy.

Images by the brilliant Kasia Kiliszek (www.kasiakiliszek.co.uk) shot for an upcoming story on thisiswomb.com.

Read on… Me & My Bump: Body Confidence In Pregnancy

My Intentional Year: A Gentle January

January 27, 2018

INTENTION

A Gentle January blog title

In my last post I shared that I’ve not made any resolutions this New Year, instead of focusing on plans and goals I’d like 2018 to be the year for being more mindful and intentional. Rather than think about what I want to achieve each month, when I take some time to set my intentions for the coming few weeks I’ll be thinking about how I want things to feel and what mindset I want to cultivate as I navigate through my days. To help guide me I’m choosing a word for the month that encapsulates these feelings.

This month, I knew that more than anything I wanted to prioritise going slowly, taking things easy and being kind to myself and my family as we adjust our new lives together. So my guiding word for January has been gentle. Although you’d hope a new mum would know not to put too much pressure on herself I’m afraid it’s all too easy to let those nagging, negative thoughts creep in. When overwhelmed by tiredness – thinking I should be doing better or achieving more, it’s been helpful to come back to the idea of gentle and g e n t l y reassess how I’m approaching or feeling about a moment or situation.

bunch of gypsophila baby's breath lace ribbon handsbunch of gypsophila baby's breath lace ribbon

New baby aside, I think we all need a reminder, especially at this time of year, to approach things in life more gently. You’d think that after a month dedicated to spreading joy and cheer it wouldn’t be so difficult, but it seems as though after the excess of the festive season, January brings about a collective guilt trip. Dry January, Vegan January, a plastic-free month – as worthwhile as these lifestyle changes may be, I can’t help but feel that they still come from a place of beating ourselves up!

Last week’s Blue Monday may be mainly there to give marketers something to Tweet about during a slow season, but there certainly seems to be more people suffering from the blues during January. Even us ardent winter-lovers are searching for signs of spring! When things seem a little bleak ‘gentle’ seems to be a good solution. Gentle doesn’t tell you to “cheer up” or “try harder”; Gentle instead speaks of not being to hard on yourself and of sitting with those uncomfortable feelings knowing they will pass.

And yes, I know there’s only a few days left of January, but maybe, as we come to the end of this long month, it’s the perfect time to have a little check in. And if your 2018 hasn’t got off to the best start I hope you can choose to be gentle with yourself.

Join the conversation on Instagram using the hashtag #myintentionalyear to share your gentle moments this month.

My Intentional Year

January 8, 2018

INTENTION

My Intentional Year

It’s that time of year for reflecting on the past twelve months and making plans for the next. Although I love that fresh start, clean slate feeling that January brings, it seems these days, we’re mostly in agreement that a ‘new year new me’ mentality is not a sustainable way of bringing about real change. Read more, eat well, buy better, declutter, write more, exercise – whatever your list looks like, a generic and vague set of life ‘improvements’ only serves to become something to beat ourselves up about come the end of a long winter. That’s why this new year, I’m choosing to focus on intentions rather than outcomes or achievements.

If there are goals, dreams or habit-shifts you’d like to see come about in 2018, then by all means, lay them out and take steps to work towards them. However, I think it’s important not to get caught up in the big picture and be sure to focus on what is needed for this particular season, month or moment of your life.

This is especially apparent for me right now as I start the year as a new mum with a one-month-old baby. I have no idea what the next couple of weeks will look like or demand from me, let alone the next few months or rest of the year. That said, although I might not know what to expect from our day-to-day, I do have an idea of how I’d like to navigate our new lives together.I want to prioritise quality time and connection. I would like to be present in the moment as much as possible; to remember all the fleeting little details and find meaningful ways to document them. I want to be mindful of my emotions and ride out the tougher times without spiralling into negativity and becoming overwhelmed.

dried hydrangea petals in hands dried hydrangea petals

I know that when I’m living more intentionally I’m calmer and more content. Not mindlessly scrolling on my phone; knowing my limitations and not trying to do everything at once, taking time for reflection, meditation and mindfulness – the actions that help me feel aligned may well look different now my priorities have changed but by keeping intentionality at the forefront I hope to be able to bring about that same sense of calm.

I’m starting my intentional year by deliberately taking January gently and slowly. If you’re not feeling the New Year buzz (or maybe you’ve already lost it) then I recommend emerging into 2018 gradually, without putting pressure on yourself this month. I’ll be publishing a post later this week on having a gentle January.

My plan intention is to share my journey into a more intentional year here on the blog and over on Instagram using the hashtag #MyIntentionalYear. I’d love it if you would like to join in with the tag to share your own moments of intentional living this year.

How are you feeling about the new year? My friends online seemed to fall into two camps –  those who are raring to go and those who would rather ease themselves gently into the new year.

Pregnancy Massage with Relax Bristol

December 2, 2017

INTENTION / NURTURE

Relax Bristol Pregnancy Massage Table

In collaboration with Relax Bristol.

Trying out Relax Bristol’s pregnancy massage could not have come at a better time…As I headed into the third trimester those aches and pains associated with pregnancy that you hear about, really began to kick in. I had to quickly make a few lifestyle changes, choosing the bus or train where I would have usually rushed about on foot and I had to start leaving my computer at home instead of lugging around for meetings and later pay the price physically. Despite doing my best to make sensible decisions not to push myself I’d often wake up feeling achy and sore after a bad night’s sleep with my hips, back, shoulders and neck reminding me that they’re baring the strain of growing a little human.

A local independent company, Relax Bristol offer massage treatments in your own home. With customers being able to book a massage treatment at a time and date that suits them, including evenings and weekends. Alongside pregnancy massage, Relax Bristol’s therapists can provide a whole range of therapies including Thai massage, reflexology, sports massage and bespoke treatments. The online booking process is super simple and with a just few clicks, you’ll have a confirmation that an experienced massage therapist will arrive at your preferred time, ready with their equipment and oil to effectively transform your living room into a home spa. You can even book a massage for the same day!

I decided to book my treatment for the Friday before we headed off on our babymoon. My thinking was it would be a lovely way to begin a week dedicated to relaxing, self-care and quality time unwinding with my husband. It turned out that Friday would also happen to be the end of a very stressful week. After days of battling a broken computer and feeling like I was falling behind on my workload, let’s just say I was *tense*! Certainly not the productive week I’d planned in order to feel good about taking a week off. Although I was tempted to cancel my appointment and use every last moment to play catch up, I’m sure glad I didn’t as, of course, it was exactly what I needed to release the tension and help let the stress go.

Relax Bristol Pregnancy Massage Candles at homeDining room Relax Bristol Pregnancy Massage

Relax Bristol had included suggestions for how to prepare myself and my space for receiving a treatment at home and I decided to fully embrace the idea of creating a spa-like environment. I lit candles, burnt my favourite essential oil and chose some relaxing background music. When my therapist Olga arrived right on time, she effortlessly set up her table, finishing my dining room’s transformation into a treatment room.

Before she began Olga was sure to check on the details of my pregnancy, confirming how many weeks along I was and if I’d experienced any particular issues that she should be aware of and checked if I was happy for her to massage my bump – understandably, not all pregnant ladies like having their tummies touched. Olga, and the other Relax Bristol therapists that can be booked for pregnancy massage, have gone through training to provide a treatment that is specifically comfortable and safe for pregnant women. The treatment felt mostly quite similar to other massages I’ve had before, apart from having to lie on my side opposed to my front to allow Olga to work on my back. I was instructed to lay on my left side as this improves circulation and blood flow to the placenta and a cushion was placed under my bump for extra comfort.

As I closed my eyes and relaxed into receiving the massage, I can’t quite explain how wonderful it felt to not only have the tension of the week melt away but also have all this attention given to my aching body that has been working so hard and going through the most intense period of change. Instead of letting my mind wander whilst receiving my massage, I chose to focus on my body and cultivate some internal loving kindness – something I’ve learned through my meditation practice. I extended gratitude to the part of my body being worked on and consciously released any tension I was holding.

I felt so relaxed after the hour-long treatment and having a therapist come to my home meant that I could fully enjoy that post-massage feeling. It really was the perfect way to let go of all that stress ahead of our babymoon week away. I would urge any fellow pregnant ladies to think about booking a massage for themselves or better yet – wouldn’t it make a perfect baby shower or Christmas gift for a mum-to-be friend?!

If you’re local you can book with Relax Bristol here: www.relaxbristol.co.uk and readers of my blog can receive 10% off any treatment over 60 minutes throughout December using the code SNOWFLAKE.

Relax Bristol kindly offered me this complimentary pregnancy massage, but all opinions are my own. 

An evening with Yoga Brunch Club

July 19, 2017

INTENTION / NOURISH

Yoga Brunch Club Yoga Brunch ClubYoga Brunch Club

As evening fell on a warm June day, I joined a group gathered to enjoy a yoga class with a difference. Yoga Brunch Club – as the name suggests – can usually be found popping up on a weekend morning, with brunch clubs held regularly in Bristol and London. Switching things up for this midsummer event, Yoga Brunch Club’s founder Clem Balfour hosted a yoga supper club which consisted of a vinyasa flow class, followed by a delicious Italian feast; all taking place in the beautiful setting of The Forge.

It was the day following the hottest of the year and with fans running and windows open wide, I think we were all grateful for the drop in temperature as we arrived and settled on our mats ready for an hour of yoga. Having not attended a yoga class for a good few years I was honestly a little anxious about my ability to keep up, not to mention being nearly four months pregnant obviously needing to be considered. However, Clem took the time to chat with me beforehand, mentioning a few poses I should adapt or skip, which put my mind at ease. She also made her way around the room before commencing the class, checking in with all the attendees.

As she led the class, Clem was sure to include options to adjust poses accordingly for the variety of abilities in the room along with providing gentle words of encouragement. I particularly remember her pointing out to the class that yoga is not about striving to attempt the perfect pose, but maintaining awareness of your own body during the practice. As my particular combination of tight hamstrings and little arms have a habit of making me feel like the least flexible girl in the room this felt like a very good reminder for me as a novice – plus I realise that pregnancy is probably not the time to lament not being able to touch my toes!

I really enjoyed the flowing nature of the class and as we rested in savasana at the end of the session I had that lovely satisfied feeling of an hour well spent.

Yoga Brunch Club A Tavola Food Yoga Brunch Club The Forge Yoga Brunch Club A Tavola FoodYoga Brunch Club The Forge

Having visited The Forge for all sorts of events I’m always impressed by the versatility of the space, which on this occasion seamlessly transitioned from yoga studio to dining room half way through the evening. Cocktails were served as mats and blocks were replaced by two long rustic tables, which looked so pretty decorated simply with flower stems in vintage bottles.

Bristol based caterers A Tavola had prepared a three-course Italian feast for the evening meal. As the sun set, we tucked into a delicious starter of spring broth, handmade ravioli main accompanied by two incredible salads followed by panna cotta with strawberries and pink peppercorns. Natural Italian wines were also available to enjoy with the meal. The food was so fresh and delicious, perfect for a midsummer’s evening and a lovely balance of hearty and wholesome which felt just right to follow our exercise.
Yoga Brunch ClubYoga Brunch Club

Having got into meditating regularly over the last year, I’ve been really wanting to give yoga another go as the two practices obviously compliment each other so well. Yoga Brunch Club was a lovely reintroduction for me and I’m definitely going to seek out a local pregnancy yoga class, although I may be disappointed in the lack of yummy food to follow!

Whether you’re also an absolute beginner or if unlike me you’re a seasoned yogini, I think you’ll find Yoga Brunch Club a beautiful way to spend a morning or evening.

The next Yoga Brunch Club in Bristol takes place on September 10th at The Forge with Vietnamese brunch menu from Uncle Ho’s. Early bird tickets are available for £30. Or you can catch Yoga Brunch Club in London with their next event in Brixton on August 13th.

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All photos shot by the lovely and talented Kasia Kiliszek: InstagramPortfolio

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I was invited to this event by Yoga Brunch Club but all opinions (and tight hamstrings) are my own.

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