What is a Menstrual Cup and Why should you be using one…

I did a poll recently on my Instagram to see how many people knew about menstrual cups and were using them and I was surprised at how many beautiful ladies didn’t yet have them in their life. I thought I would take some time out to explain to you the benefits not only for you but for the environment in using a menstrual cup and what they actually are!

So first things first…

What is a menstrual cup? A menstrual cup is a reusable female hygiene cup used to collect the blood of your menstrual flow during the time of your period. (pictured below).

Menstrual cup.

Next up why should you be using one? Well ladies honestly there are SO MANY reasons why you should make this investment, but I will list just a few.

  1. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: You know the plastic straw hype? Well there are millions of plastic applicators off tampons also floating in the ocean getting caught up in fishermans nets. Tampon applicators are particularly problematic as a source of long term pollution. Menstrual cups can last up to 10 years, and depending onto the heaviness of your flow they can be worn for up to 12 hours (I must say I never make it that far but nonetheless the options there). So they are much more environmentally friendly Read here for more stats on the quantity of menstrual products polluting our ocean: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/plastics/plastic-periods-menstrual-products-and-plastic-pollution
  2. YOUR HEALTH: Not only are menstrual products such as pads and tampons polluting our oceans and earth, they are also polluting us. Tampon manufacturers do not have to disclose the ingredients in their products and we do not know exactly what tampons contain (scary right). And the all bright white look of the products might make it appear clean and inviting but in actual fact, the paper bleaching process means they often contain dioxin, one of the most carcinogenic substances known.
  3. COST: Menstrual cups cost between £10-15 pounds, (ours are priced at £11.11), that’s a one time cost for probably 5 years, potentially ten. Rather than £5 every month, do the maths.
  4. VAGINAL PH.Tampons absorb all your vaginal fluid along with the blood, which may disturb the delicate pH and bacterial balance in your vagina. Not to mention you run the risk of toxic shock syndrome with a tampon (no doubt related to the chemicals).

For me switching to a menstrual cup is a no brainer, but my best advice would be to try it and see if it works for you. You can visit our instagram page @_yonilove_ for updates of benefits and to purchase your very own.

Keep healing

Beck x

Back to Basics with Beck: Online Beginners Yoga Course

Ready to start your yoga journey?

Have you been desperate to start yoga but just can’t get to a studio or class? Over the four years that I have been teaching I am always asked: ‘do you do anything online?’ and for those four years I have promised multiple people that ‘not just yet but I definitely will’.

At last that time has come. My mind used to take me in the direction where I thought an online class wouldn’t be as beneficial. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to give the students as much attention and 1:1 contact and interaction. This combined with the number of people who would say to me ‘I wish I could get to your classes but I can’t for (insert reason) led me a bit of a conflict. How can I share yoga with people who can’t make it to class but still provide my full attention and 1:1 contact? From this the course was born. I wanted to create a platform where yoga is accessible to every single person, with proper guidance and mentorship from me throughout.

How will it work?

The course is a duration of 4 weeks. Once signed up, I will add you to a private facebook group, where all videos and info about the course will be uploaded. The group will of course have all of the other members so you can interact and ask questions to each other and me. One of my favourite things about yoga is the community of friends that I have met, this group will become our online studio, where we can interact and discuss yoga related things with our new likeminded friends !

The content:

The videos will begin with a 15 minute sequence in week one, a 30 minute sequence in week two, a 45 minute sequence in week three and a 60 minute sequence in week four. Progressively working you up to and hour long practice but also giving you the options of shorter sequences.

The videos will be uploaded of a Sunday in preparation for Monday, there will be guidance as to what time and how often to do the sequence.

Additional content:

I will also share without things that have helped me on my yoga journey, recipes, detox tips, ideas and books to read. I will also share breathing and relaxation techniques and the philosophy behind yoga.

My support:

You each will have my constant support throughout, I will be available for scheduled calls if you wish to chat and also available to answer any of your questions at any time throughout the course, this way I hope to ensure you have my full support and guidance throughout. If there are parts of the sequence or particular postures you are not understanding I will make separate videos to specifically explain that part and clear up any confusion.

Cost and Date start:

The course is £44 but the first 30 sign ups will get the course at 25%off which is £33

The course begins the first Monday in June: June 3rd – June 28th

I will upload the first video on June the 2nd.

How do I sign up?

If you want to sign up send me an email on:

info@beck.yoga

Or a message via facebook : Beckyoga 

Instagram: @beck.yoga

Hope to see you on the mat soon!

Keep on healing,

Beck

How I am overcoming body dysmorphia…

We live in a societal construct today that is built in a way to make women feel bad about themselves.  We have been born into a structure that is causing us to be so disconnected from our bodies that it is impacting us further than just effecting our self esteem but also our spiritual growth.  We are polluted through every sense possible.  Everywhere you turn there is a certain look that is being shown, and whether or not you actively partake in the reading of magazines, watching tv shows, trying to keep up to date with the latest fashion; the subliminal and not so subliminal messages are unavoidable.  If it doesn’t come direct from the source (the people making money off your self hate), it will be regurgitated to you from a friend who believes she is fat or ugly.  If you didn’t already think this about yourself you might now be thinking ‘if she thinks she fat what must she think about me’.  And so these conversations, combined with the vile unachievable representation of women portrayed in what is a male dominated media outlet, the constant advert for Botox, or implants or efforts to make you everything you are not, you’ve created a perfect recipe for a young girl to believe that everything she is isn’t enough.  

I was a victim to this. 

I spent years and years of my life crying in the mirror. 

I spent nights in pain crying wondering why I was so ugly.

I used to dress in only black. 

I had panic attacks every time I had to leave the house for a social event.

I never felt beautiful.

I never felt enough.

Always I thought that as soon as somebody met me, they were looking at how fat and ugly I was.

Of course this seeped into all of my life. I never had any confidence around men, I never felt that anybody would ever find me attractive and so this small wound created in my mind seeped out into a huge amputation of my self worth, given away in a desperate bid to feel good about myself.

In the common conversations that women have on a regular basis, almost like a competitive match of who can put themselves down the most, I always wanted to win.  I had to win.  I was the fattest. I was the ugliest. 

Believe or chose not to believe, the link between a thought and then its manifestation in the world as something tangible but through my life I have noticed the correlation and power.  So unknowlingly at that time, when I thought all the terrible things I did about myself, that is the same person I turned up as.  The same person everybody saw.  My inner intuitive mind now recognises the destruction that I was causing to myself by thinking these thoughts.

Nobody saw how kind I was, nobody saw my interest in philosophy and the interest in intricate workings of the world, nobody saw how I liked to write sometimes and was a desperate dreamer, nobody saw how I always felt I was psychic, nobody saw my deep love for my sister and my mum, my dad and my brothers, nobody saw my friendships and my deep empathy for the world. Nobody saw me. (Slight exaggeration many people did see me and they helped me grow into who I am today).

Because that’s not the book I was writing.  They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we definitely innately judge a human by their vibrational energy and mine was low.   

I was living out the same habitual patterns, I was watching tv and sleeping all day, I was drinking alcohol and masking my face with make up, masking my soul with learnt behaviours, I was taking antibiotics for multiple years to unsuccessfully clear up my chronic acne, I was abusing laxatives in a desperate plea to feel skinny, I had no clue about what was nutritious, my taste buds called out for food that had a vibrational match to me, junk food, fake food. 

If you know me, reading this might seem like a person you’ve never met.  So how did I get to where I am now? Well you know how they say ‘no good story ever started with a salad’?, this one does.  At around the age of 20 I started eating vegetables, daily.  Being the girl that had always pushed the veg to one side because it was ‘disgusting’ this was an interesting experience for me.  My then malnourished body applauded me for this showering of fresh foods, suddenly I was able to wake up earlier, without a struggle.   My mind felt less fussy. My struggles with constipation started to pass, and with the gut clearing came mind clearing, I took up running, my body just wanted to move. From taking up running I started attending yoga classes (you can read about that here)  From the yoga classes I was led to a yoga teacher training course, of course I’m summarising a few years of events but all of these things I had started to do, started to shift my mindset, started to shift my energy levels, started to raise my vibration. 

When I went on my teacher training I was fascinated with learning about the connection to the true Self, the soul.  I learnt more deeply about the power of thought.  I had this yearning desire to help others in the world to recognise people for their souls and not for their aesthetics.  

Though upon this journey it cannot be ignored that our aesthetics are a byproduct of our thought and also of what we are putting into our body.  

Take for example, the image portrayed in the media that I was discussing earlier, this causes young women to start consuming all sorts of lotions and potions that cause literal blocks in the physical body to the energy body.  And so it becomes difficult to recognise people for their souls because we cannot see or feel the soul past the man made chemicals and pollutants that surround and deeply imbed us.  Which is why overcoming body dysmorphia is more than just changing a thought, it’s more than counselling or anti depressants, it’s revolutionising your whole life.  It is recognising that somebody out there is making a huge profit from your belief that you are not enough and therefor deciding that you will no longer feed the dream of the hierarchical white man: a world of oppressed woman, who don’t tap into their true power.  It is finding ways to reconnect with your true power, your intuition, a woman’s greatest power.  The guiding light in a a woman’s life.  We woman are literal portals to the spirit realm. Whether we chose to or not, our body holds the capacity to create life, and that life we create goes through cycles just as we do of ageing but also becoming wiser.  

Overcoming body dysmorphia for me means dismantling patriarchal rule, for me means tapping into my true power, for me means rewiring all of my neurological paths, learning to love myself, means I rid my body mind and soul from all that which is distorted and dysmorphed my view so that I may stand in front of a person and vibrate as my true self.  So that I may enter a room and people will feel my presence not because I bring a dark energy of hating who I am, but because I bring light and healing energy of love for myself and love for the rest of the world.  

So how did I over come body dysmorphia 

I remembered who I was.

A sacred woman. 

A goddess.

A giver of life. 

A woman. 

And my mission is that you may realise that too.  Whether you are male or female we all hold inside of us that strong Shakti power, the divine feminine. 

The pain we woman are feeling now are labour pains for a birth of a new world. 

A softer world. 

I overcome body dysmorphia by deciding that I will not pass on generational curses into the next influx of souls, by deciding to dedicate my life to empowering each and every individual, to embody love.  

Keep on healing,

Beck

Contact me via: info@beck.yoga for detail on courses and classes 🙂

My First Yoga Class

As a yoga teacher, who’s been teaching now for 4 years, and 7 years since I attended my first class, I think sometimes people can look at you and think you fell out of the womb with the life you have now, rolled out doing backbends and talking about energy shits. Thats not true though, there was a time I had no idea about yoga. I didn’t understand any of it. I also couldn’t understand Sanskrit and had no idea why my wrists ached so bad. To be honest, I forget a lot of it myself. Though I thought I would take a little time out to recall it.

I was living in Australia at the time, at the fine age of 20. Makes me feel a bit strange writing that. I can’t quite believe its been 7 years. So i’ll set the scene for you that led me to eventually entering that studio.

I had always been the child my parents were a little worried about. I’d been a slightly troublesome child in my teenage years and shall we say and my mother had been ever so concerned about me just upping and leaving my job, my university course and well my whole life, to hop on a plane to Australia, without any real reason. My reason? I just wanted a change, I wanted to get away. I was tired of education. I was tired of working. I was tired of my life. I had three jobs at the time, I was an assistant manager at a pub, a cocktail waitress at a bar and an admin girl in a solicitors, all while being (pretending to be) a student in University. When I say pretending to be I wasn’t really attending. Though I was technically a student. So I would work a couple of days a week in the solicitors, a couple of evenings / days a week at the pub and Friday and Saturday evenings in the bar. In between working, I was out: drinking. Thats just what I did. I worked, I went out, I drank, I stayed out longer, I drank some more, I slept (minimally) and I went back to work. Needless to say I must not have been a very good employee, but some how I was always a pretty hard worker (or so I thought), I’ve always liked being busy. Eventually the lifestyle had gotten the better of me, I was tired and I was unhappy. So I did what any 20 year old fed up girl would do, I used my student loan and I hopped on a plane to Australia. Impulse has always been my thing.

When I travelled there, somehow, I seemed to end up in a similar situation, partying too much, working too much but on top of that I was in a pretty unhealthy relationship. Being the strong independent woman that I am haha it might be hard to believe this but I was pretty shy at the time ( I still am actually), and I was put into a hostel room with 5 Irish boys, I didn’t speak to anybody for the first 5 days of my time there. (For anybody who knows me personally it was actually Emma and her partner at that time that recommended this hostel, funny how the world works). Anyway one day one guy did speak to me, to cut a long story short we ended up together, i’ll be brief on the details but I wasn’t happy in the relationship, it is true what they say about having to love yourself before you can love somebody else, my self esteem was very low and lets just say that was taken advantage of.

After about 6 months, I ended up landing an amazing job as an Au Pair with a beautiful family, I never appreciated it as much as I should have at the time but they changed my life, it was there that I started to eat vegetables (really I wouldn’t eat a vegetable prior to that and I was 20 years old). Not only that but the Mum of the family had advised me to go to Yoga, I tell a slight lie when saying this was my first yoga class, I had definitely done some sort of yoga before but I think it was just a gym class.

Anyway, I decided to give it a go. It was winter at the time while I was in Australia, raining a lot of the time and very cold. while I was working as an Au Pair for the family, I was also working in their cafe part time too. The cafe was really close to the families home, up a really steep hill, like really steep, so I would walk home often in the cold and rain up this hill and it always seemed like such a struggle. One day after my shift, I decided to take myself along to a class, before my ‘dreaded’ walk home. To begin with, I got lost (I always get lost) I couldn’t find the studio anywhere, when I eventually arrived I was in a very flustered state. I was a yoga studio virgin, I did my best to go unnoticed and popped myself onto a mat. looking around the room in awe of others, especially in awe of the teacher. She was glowing, radiant and smiling at everybody. The room was very cold I remember that but once we got moving, I was sweating so here’s my inner dialog:

‘oh my god this is so hard’

‘why are my wrist hurting so bad’

‘whats a sacrum’

‘is that another language’

‘am I supposed to be sweating this much’

‘am I standing out, I’m getting everything wrong’

‘what did she say, look at her and see’ *looks up* ‘eek she’s not doing anything’

‘oh my god she wants us to go in pairs i have to talk to somebody’

‘oh wow how did she do that’

‘that girl beside me is so good at this’

‘what is this aum’

The wrist pain is one of the biggest things I remember and my palms slipping, they just WOULD NOT stay in place. Then a student beside me asked why that happens, the teacher replied and said ‘the palms are connected to the heart meridian line and when the heart is heavy and needs to release this will come out through the palms’ now listen believe what ever you want of that, but at this time, my heart was broken, I had a boyfriend, but it was toxic, I was sad and heavy in my heart. When I heard her say that I was like ‘wow, that’s why that’s happening’. The funniest thing I can reflect on now is the *aum* chant at the beginning of the class. If you attend my class you will know I ALWAYS begin and end with an AUM, but then I thought it was hilarious, I had to hold my laughter in as the whole room hummed this sound that I had no interest in joining in, I thought ‘that was weird’. I got through the class, with some tumbles sore wrist and sweaty palms and a little bit of inner laugher at the end. I was all a bit of a whirl, to be honest my recollection of it isn’t that great, but I remember walking home at the end of class, up that dreaded hill, late at night in the dark and absolute awful rain, and I had this big smile on my face. It is difficult for me to explain the feeling I felt, only to say that I hadn’t experienced it before, or I hadn’t experienced it for a long time. something had shifted.

Needless to say I continued to attend the class as often as I could, one of the days at the end of the class there was an optional meditation class at the end from a ‘white witch’. Again I was like ‘this is a bit weird isn’t it’ : I stayed anyway, now I am the one meditating every morning and looking into witching practices.

I would love this to be a happily ever after story, its not some how partying won over yoga for a while again, but once the practice had entered my life all these small shifts and changes started to happen, from turning vegetarian then vegan, to aligning with people who taught me things, to then meeting a girl who was going to do her yoga teacher training in India (the same training I ended up doing). Life started to get weird in the most beautiful and interesting way, and it is been a bumpy and difficult road to get where I am today, this blog is already too long to start covering all that. I thought it important to share with you my first yoga class and let you know ‘every master was once a disaster’. I didn’t wake up one day, as a non drinking, non smoking, vegan, reasonably successful yoga teacher, with a daily practice and beautiful life. It all started there, in that cold room in Avalon Sydney, the class that first taught me how to do a downward dog properly, the class that taught me about how emotions can effect us physically, the class that first taught me the beauty and importance of the spine, the class that I had no idea what was going on but the class the ultimately changed my life.

Yoga is who you are, it is a deep connection to self, it is not important really what brings you to the practice, my only advice is just start, it doesn’t have to make sense, just go along, find that inner smile, you won’t regret it.

I promise.

Keep on healing,

Beck.

How yoga helped me process my emotions.

Do you ever have one of those days where you just cry? 

The smallest of issues happens and it sets you off.  

The flood gates are opened and they cannot be closed. 

This happens to me. 

I am fall victim to my own walls in that I do not often allow myself to feel all that I need to feel. 

Moving through life I always adopted the ‘I don’t care’ attitude about everything.  Truly these were just walls around me, it was easier to say ‘I don’t care’ than to show I cared and then have to experience the emotion or feeling that came with that.  Then somewhere along the line, when I introduced yoga into my life, I became a lot more open to my emotions.  I began to notice how much we applaud people who almost do not show emotion.  The people who ‘hold it together’, yet the ones who wear their heart on their sleeve we almost see them as a little too soft, a little dramatic, a little ‘too sensitive’.  

For me I feel I’m somewhere in between both of them and at times I just cannot seem to find the balance.  

My practice though, helps me.

In my classes, I always begin the class by asking my students to recall their day ‘from the very moment you woke up, until this very moment now’, this practice is called reflection.   At the end of the class, I ask them to repeat the same practice but instead of recalling the day, this time to recall their practice ‘from the moment you stepped onto the mat, until this moment now’. What I like to observe is how our time on our mat is like a simulation of our daily life. At times we show up and we are tired, everything feels difficult, we have times we enjoy and times that are harder, moments of bliss and moments of anger, but at the end either of your practice or of your day – YOU MADE IT, you made it here to you mat to your savasana and that has to be acknowledged.  Then I ask that we just observe any repeated habitual thought processes or actions, just as an observation.  I use this practice as it has helped me in so many ways. 

As I personally began to observe the range of emotions that I went through on my mat, I noticed the same that I feel throughout my day.  And how sometimes I might not reflect back on them to take a lesson.  When I began reflecting onto my practice, and the thought patterns there and acknowledged the correlation between the thought process throughout my day and throughout my life.  I began to make space for change.  I recognised the areas where I kept telling myself ‘I can’t do this’ and the areas where I got angry, I noticed when I would become angry at my teacher, I noticed times when I would get angry at another person. I noticed how when I was feeling low my practice was more lethargic, and when I was feeling good it was more energised. In the same way when I felt low in my day, my actions became lethargic, when I felt good in my day I was a lot more productive.  

Not only this, but the practice gave me the tools, such as breath work, movement and relaxation to allow myself to sit with and work through any emotions.  and allow that application of breath and movement to filter into my life. Often now I find when I am avoiding my practice I am avoiding myself.  They are the moments when I become less ‘in my feelings’ and more ‘I don’t care’.  And in those times the last thing I want to do is backbend, because I know the floods of tear will come some days. I find the same for students too.  When they make excuses not to come to class, maybe they are just not ready for the healing right now.  Maybe it’s not time to go within.  But when we decide to roll out the mat, we work through those blockages, allow them to be released and make space for healing.

Taking time to be with yourself and practice yoga, you begin to understand yourself better, understand yourself better and understand others better and that’s when you really let go and surrender to the practice, surrender to life.  

 See you on the mat

Beck xxx

Outakes from my Diary : Guilty Eating

 

September 3rd 2018

“Each day when I wake up I hope that things will be better.  This morning it felt that they were.  I felt good.  The sheets felt soft around my body.  The rain fell nicely outside, I took comfort in knowing I did not have to go outside just yet.  I enjoyed the rain.  I enjoyed my body.  I enjoyed being beneath my sheets.  My back felt a little stiff.  I felt I should have practiced.  But I chose not to.  I thought I should just enjoy this moment, enjoy feeling good.  I made myself a smoothie bowl.  Somewhere midway through eating it – I stopped feeling good.  As my belly became more full, I could feel every inch of fat on my body.  Suddenly I felt guilty for not practicing, now I didn’t feel like practicing.  I crawled back into bed.  The sheets didn’t feel the  same, the rain looked grey and depressing.  I couldn’t think of anything worse than having to get dressed.  I left it to the very last minute, I changed 5 times.  I looked so fat in every outfit.  I weighted myself.  Confirmation.  I am fat.  It is okay I told myself ‘We will lose it’.  I wanted to eat more, but I knew that was just to drown out the way that I felt.  So I didn’t.  I missed my train. I felt like I might cry.  I bought a chai latte at the station.  I felt so guilty after drinking it.  Why am I so consumed by this? I never write any more, I never read any more.  I am barely living.  What does it even mean to live.”

 

This is a diary entry of mine from just three months ago.  Of course, it is very personal to share although I know now that I am no longer in that place and I feel that it captures a lot of how I felt on a regular basis.  I had developed this unshakeable guilt surrounding food, when ever I had not eaten it was like an achievement, the feeling of having no food in my belly gave me a greater high than the feeling of actually allowing my body to function optimally.  I have never suffered with an eating disorder per say, now when I reflect on it I would use the term ‘disordered eating’ which stemmed from body dysmorphia and a strong lack of self worth,  the eating habits were just a manifestation of what I was feeling inside.  For years and years, I have had these same feelings around food, never able to sit and enjoy a meal, and when ever I did allow myself to eat ‘off limit’ foods, I would be so hungry I would eat them in excess and be entirely disgusted with myself.  I am healing, I am able to talk about it now, I enjoy food, I eat to fuel my body and if I am desperately craving something then I allow myself to eat it in a small quantity to satisfy the craving, rather than being deprived and resulting in a binge.

I know I am not alone in these behaviours and feelings and that is the only reason I have decided to share this, to let you know you too can heal! You do not have to be tormented by these toxic thoughts and feelings, you can start to enjoy being inside of your body and not be afraid of social events.  I know I know, you are reading this thinking ‘no never’.

Decide that you want to get better, that is our first goal.

Below I am going to give you 5 tips on overcoming food guilt and create a better relationship with your food and body.

#1 Get professional help! Chances are that there is something going on for you much deeper than how it is being manifested on the surface.  Often we will think ‘but its not that bad’, I always felt because I wasn’t actually underweight, I wouldn’t be taken seriously.  This isn’t how your relationship with your food and your body needs to be, seeking help will help you to understand what is really causing these habits and thoughts.

#2 Stop the diets! Each time you diet or try to restrict what you are eating, you are starving the body which will undoubtedly result in a binge somewhere along the line.  Eat the right amount of calories for your body and energy expenditure.

#3 Mindful eating! Set time aside to eat, enjoy your food, cook from scratch and sit without TV or distractions, feel and enjoy your food.  Give thanks for it, think about everywhere the food has been before it has arrived here on your plate, think about how it will fuel your body.

#4 Allow yourself treats! When I say this I do not mean ‘treat your self to a macdonalds’.  For me my treat is peanut butter with banana and a bit of dark chocolate, I am huge advocate for health and I think there are lots of healthy choices for what might right now be considered a ‘bad food’.  My theory is that if it is causing you more mental distress to not eat a particular food then it is better to eat it and satisfy the craving, once you make peace with allowing yourself it you will crave it less.

#5 Start loving your body! This can come in many forms, start speaking more kindly to yourself, every time those toxic thoughts come in replace them with kind ones, write, take up a new exercise or movement, dance, buy colourful clothing, change the draining habits of hating yourself that you have had for a lifetime.  Once you start to love and appreciate your body for everything it is doing for you, you will want to eat, because you know your body cannot function without food, and that  binges and periods of starvation are not good for your body.

 

I know it is hard, and heaven only knows how many blogs and how to’s I read without ever getting better.  This has absolutely tortured me for years. In the end though your body knows what is best it will fight to keep you alive, that is why you binge after a starvation period because your body takes over to keep you alive.  When your body is aware that it is no longer going to be restricted those feelings will be less intense.  It is possible to get better. I know that you can, because I am, I fuel my body so that I may be stronger, I do not feel guilty for doing something that is literally keeping me alive.

I hope this finds you well today,

all the love

 

Beck xxx

ABHYASA: Empower, Evolve, Enlighten

What is abhyasa? The new concept coming to Liverpool Yoga Studios.  Abhyasa is a concept consisting of three sequences.  The term Abhyasa (pronounced ab-yA-sa) translates to ‘Practice’ and refers to a practice that aims at achieving a tranquil state of mind. Sage Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras, explains the importance of abhyasa and vairagya (detachment/letting go) to achieving a yogic state of mind.  Abhyasa refers to a practice that is done consistently, with effort over a long period of time, with no expectation only consistent practice.  It is seen as one of the core principles of yoga, that allows for the realisation of true self.

As I move into my fourth year of teaching this year and reflect upon how yoga has enhanced my life and how I have seen students grow in their life, it is beyond magnificent to see what we both have achieved and what people are doing worldwide by stepping onto their mats every day.  When I thought about what stood out to me as a leading influence into my own and others growth, it was simple – PRACTICE, consistent practice.  This combined with observation and study of oneself, is where Abhyasa was born.

This concept can be applied to both spiritual and all your life practices.  We each have different reasons as to why we step on our mat, and flow through the movement that is asana practice.  Though at is very core, asanas / the physical practice of yoga was practiced to create space and mobility in your body to enable you to sit in meditation for a long period of time.  Over the years this physical practice has become popularised and became very dynamic.  We want to bring to you a disciplined, yet accessible practice.  When we think of the term discipline it can often be considered a harsh word though I invite you to think of it like this.  Think about brushing your teeth every single morning when you wake up, you wouldn’t dream of leaving the house/ starting your day with out brushing your teeth.  You do this because you know it maintains good oral health.  In the same way, a regular yoga practice done consistently and with the same effort will be done to maintain your overall, mental physical and spiritual well-being.  How your teeth will become cleaner each time you brush them, so your lungs, circulatory system, digestive system, thought process, body systems and soul will become cleaner each time you practice.

We have created an individualised practice, deeply rooted in the ancient teachings of Yoga with a sequence that though challenging can be adapted to all abilities and allows for room for growth.  The intention is to allow you to begin to feel what your body and mind are telling you, to use your breath to move through those feelings, to be with those feelings and allow tensions to begin to release, to evolve, to become empowered, to enlighten yourself!   Through true focus onto your breath and synchronisation with your movement, the practice encourages you to go completely within and become your own teacher.

Abhyasa is inclusive of three sequences, empower, evolve and enlighten.  Each of the three sequences compliment one another and will massively compliment all other yoga, fitness and lifestyle practices.  These sequences combined will work with all your body systems, providing you with a more efficient working body and a better quality of life.

 

Evolve: ‘to change or develop gradually’ Evolve is a deeply satisfying class, including both dynamic movement and yin inspired postures, to enable stress release and letting go.  Evolve wants you to move through the tensions in your body.  Lots of deep stretches and back opening postures. After the initial warm up evolve will be taught in a workshop style working with techniques of how to move into postures that may require a more in-depth explanation or different variations dependent upon experience. Break the posture to make the posture.

Empower : ‘make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights’ Empower is a strength-based class, the physical focus will be onto building more strength in the body, whilst also building strength in our minds.  We will learn strength in our postures through proper use of muscle groups and control.  Our minds focus will enable us to build the strength required to maintain the postures.

Enlighten: ‘become enlightened’ The enlighten sequence is where it all comes together.  Enlightens focus is breath synchronised movement, concentration and focus.  A dynamic class based on building strength and flexibility in the body whilst also using the breath to maintain concentration, so it becomes a meditative movement that is healing our body from the inside out.  Enlighten is very much inspired by traditional yogic practices, it is disciplined taking you on a journey through movements on your mat, to bring a more enlightened state of being off your mat.

I am beyond excited to share this with you!

 

See you on the mat!

Beck xxx

To be a WOMAN

What does it mean to be a woman?
I have been thinking a lot of late, about being a woman.
A woman, it is a strange thing really, what fascinating creatures we are. I have never really felt that I fit the shoes of a woman, quite literally, I would much rather be bare foot. This does not mean to say I want to be a boy, though I have always envied them. It appears that their life comes with a lot less pressures (excuse the mild sexism – I really do not know how life is for a male).

For as long as I can remember, I have always felt a little off in a dress, though I have worn make up, I have never really understood how to apply it, or more so, where people learn to apply it – did I miss that lesson in school? I do not know what primer is used for and my eyebrows are most definitely never ‘on fleek’. I once dyed my hair blonde when I was 18, outside of that – I rarely visit the hairdressers and when I do – it is always a strange ordeal, it is like some sort of culture shock, where I have walked into this unknown country, everyone is speaking the native tongue of highlights, toners and styling. When I am around women I always start saying random sentences like, ‘oh my hair looks terrible’ or ‘I must get a facial’ – like I feel as though that’s what helps me to relate, it’s a bit like when you start using your school GCSE French, on a trip to Paris. You really are trying, but it is pretty obvious that you aren’t from round here.

Though I absolutely adore women, I have always felt more comfortable in male company. Right from when I was a little girl, I wanted to hang out with my brothers, play football and wear football kits, I didn’t understand why I had to go the female toilets and couldn’t just go with my Dad. I have never been on a ‘girls holiday’, but lots of ‘lads weekends’.  With men it just felt simple, less judgemental.

My friends and I at primary school started a movement to allow girls to wear pants to school. We started a petition. And much to my mother’s dismay – it was granted, and I wore long grey pants to school and played football without worrying about my knickers being on show.
I have been told a few times, that maybe I have some underlying issues with feminine energy and I should be more in touch with my feminine side, it did resonate with me a little – I have been reflecting on it.
When I thought about how I could be more in touch with my feminine energy, it got me thinking ‘What does it mean to be a woman?’
A girl said to me after class a couple of weeks ago ‘you have the body of a yoga goddess’ – ‘ A goddess’ I thought. ‘me? Beck? A goddess?’

I would never have considered myself as looking like a goddess, though what exactly does a goddess look like, what exactly does represent a woman? How does one ‘be more feminine’? It appears to me that on a large-scale femininity is measured in our image. With that it seems our looks are being adjusted to a perfectionist standard. What might we consider to be feminine? Big breasts, long hair, round bums? Big lips and long eye lashes, high cheek bones, long legs, small waists, sitting with crossed legs and never talking about bodily functions?
Then what must we do if we do not have these things? Invade our body with alien substances to meet the required specification? If our breasts are not large we should just make them bigger, right? Apply plastic eye lashes, and if you don’t have long hair? It is cool, somebody somewhere grew and sold hers so that you could have some. If your nails will not grow, not to worry – you can apply false ones, your bum isn’t big enough? Implants. You can contour your face if you do not have very high cheek bones, if the contouring gets to be too much though, you can just get fillers. Eyebrows not on fleek? Not to worry just get them tattooed. (must note I recently had my eyebrows microbladed – I know I scream hypocrite).


What it really got me thinking is, is this image of a woman artificial? Are we seeking womanhood or chasing an unattainable ideology of a woman created by the media? An image that will forever evolve, that will always be one step ahead.
Is this what makes you feminine, is this what makes you a woman?
Am I less of a woman because my breasts are my own? Am I less of a woman because I think skirts are unreasonable for sitting in a comfortable position? Am I less of a woman because I have scars on my face? Am I less of a woman because in spite of the many aliments and things I do on my body I do my upmost to just be that which I am, so that other women may feel empowered to also be all that which they are.


I recognise of course, truly ladies I do, that certain surgeries or adjustments to images can really give people a lot more confidence. And that is a beautiful thing, I recently had my brace taken off and I feel brand new and I am 100% in support of anybody doing as they please with their bodies. I am not against plastic surgeries, physical enhancements or looking good.  I do not want this to appear as a judgment unto any persons image.  I am envious of ladies who look 10/10 every day.  You should take pride in your appearance and dress yourself up if you feel too, just ask yourself are you just as happy with how you look when you strip it all down and your head hits the pillow at night?

The part that makes me sad is, why can we not be confident without the enhancements, where did it all go wrong? Can we not be confident with small breasts, can we not be confident with scars, why can we not be confident with cellulite, why do our teeth have to be perfectly straight, our eyebrows even? And what kind of a message are we sending to the younger generation. Think how much social media is influencing our feelings towards the way that we look and there was a time when we didn’t even have mobile phone, young girls (and boys) today are victim to this from the day they are born.
I just feel saddened that we cannot just be as we are.

What I do know is, we have a duty to empower one another, globally.
I have been on a bit of a journey, most intensely in the past 3 years, of desperately trying to learn to love Rebecca exactly as she is, and though we should not be affected by the actions of others it is so hard to accept yourself when it seems every corner you turn, every ad you see, every person you speak with is trying to convince you that you just do not fit the bill – you are just not woman enough.

Truly what I have realised, is that who Rebecca is, is not the girl in the school pants and the football shirts. I did have to embrace being a woman a little more, embrace the divine feminine that lays inside of me.  its a process.  I started up some more self-love practices, that you can read about here, I study the history of women, I talk to more women, I spend time with more women, I seek to understand. What I have realised is that embracing my femininity does not mean changing the way that I look. It has been in recognising the power that being a woman brings.

I read recently, ‘female friends make you face your problems’. Girls always know what is going on for you, we are a collective power, our intuition means that we cannot hide our feelings from one another. We help each other heal, we help each other grow. Maybe, avoiding women, I was avoiding myself. I was not ready to heal, I was not ready to embrace my true power and purpose.
If I was to define what femininity means to me, what it truly means to be a woman. To be a woman is to recognise your true divinity, to recognise that are a CREATOR of life, that you feel and love so very deeply, because you were born with an inherent innate desire to heal the world and you were given the tools to do it. Femininity is empowering other females, femininity is empowering other men, to be a woman is to educate ourselves, to educate others. To be a woman is to recognise that sensitivity is a beautiful thing, that your empathy can heal others and heal yourself. To be a woman is to be unapologetically you, to embrace all that you are, and love all that you are and most of all to love and support all the other females (and males) around you, females of all species.


Within ALL of us, male and female alike, lies a dormant shakti energy that is awaiting her awakening, she has been sleeping too long. We are the divine, we give life ladies, we empower, WE ARE EMPOWERED. It is time to rise.
What does it mean to be a woman? To be all that you are, to be you – nothing more nothing less.
Do not ever doubt yourself! and don’t judge a book by their eyebrows…
Eternal love always,
Beck.

Magical Detox

Magic Detox

I made a huge proclamation at the beginning of this year to go raw for the first 3 months of 2018.  Of course, it lasted about a week.  Like almost everything, everyone goes through the same right? You make a big decision that you are going to develop these new habits, eat better, smile more, do more  yoga, walk more, run, but life just gets in the way. 

Embarking on a detox can be considered as a fad and often is misused as a way of weight loss.  Though weight loss is often a by-product, it is a healing process that has much more depth than just shedding a few pounds.  Our bodies are in a constant ongoing detox, by consciously eliminating certain toxic habits and foods from our lifestyles and diets we clear the way for the natural detoxification to have an easier task and restore the bodies natural healing abilities.

For me, having never had any formal training in nutrition, I like to eat intuitively.  Lets face it, we shouldn’t really have to read books to understand what our bodies need *Note I am not discrediting the work of nutritionists*, it is the deep disconnect from ourselves that has led us to become malnourished.  Over the years as me and my body have gotten to know each other better my perception of what is good for me has become clear.  My body is aware of what makes it feel good and what does not.  This includes a wide variety of things, nutrition goes beyond just the food that we eat.  Because of this and a deep desire to end animal cruelty, I currently eat a whole food plant-based diet.  It works for me.  Most of what I eat is raw, though I am inconsistent.  Since arriving back from India, I have fallen back into some bad habits drinking coffee, eating biscuits, undereating, overeating and eating too much late at night, eating an unreasonable amount of chocolate.  When my eating habits become a little erratic, it is normally when my schedule has also become erratic, suddenly I am forgetting everything, losing everything, life just seems to get a little out of hand.  It is like all the simplest things in life, like eating and sleeping become some dreadfully difficult task. 

We all know that good habits require consistency.  Since I walked more consciously on my life path, my only ever intention has been to raise my energy levels and vibration, to move on a higher frequency and to spread more love.  That is why I practice yoga every day because on the days I do not my prana (vital energy) gets less, that is why I eat foods high with prana because on the days I do not, I vibrate a little lower, I conduct a little less electricity, I fall into a lower space.  When I fall into a lower space how can I expect to uplift and move those around me?

I am hoping to give you an insight into why I like to move into certain disciplines and why statements like ‘if you want the cake just have the cake’ are not always applicable in our lives.  And I am not just talking about cake.  Some people do not agree with fasting, or with being vegan, that’s cool – you do you.  For me I have experienced the power of these things, I know how clear my brain feels, how well my body functions, and the deep clarity in my soul. 

Where are you going with this Beck?

Detoxing encourages a shift, detoxing supports a shift. I am ready for a shift, for clearing the path to new ideas and creating space for movement and growth in my life. 

Being that it was the beginning of lent yesterday and today is a new moon, I have decided to embark on a 40 day detox.  A detox not only within the foods that I am eating but also a life cleanse.  For as long as I can remember (and I cannot remember much), I have been disorganised and forgetful – that’s just Beck.  I also used to be lazy and unfit, that was just Beck.  If there is one thing that I have become aware of over the past 5 years it is that at any time we can recreate ourselves, stop rewriting bad habits back into your story.  If I want to be Beck who is always on time, super-efficient and has a great memory and always has her meals prepared, then I can be that Beck right? If I want to be the Beck that embraces each and every part of herself and never for a second doubts herself, I can also be that Beck right? If I want to help other human beings to also recognise their power I guess it is mandatory that I connect with my own. 

We shall see …

What will this detox mean?

On a dietary level:

Foods avoided

Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol, wheat, anything processed, soy based products etc. 

(obviously meat and dairy but that goes without saying)

Foods eaten

Fruit, Vegetables, Legumes, Nuts (limited), Seeds, Herbal teas, A lot of water

What will my days look like?

I wake up at 4.30 and meditate and then I teach from 6-8am, 8-10 I practice.  90% Raw foods, a lot of water, a lot of yoga, I have recently started training twice a week too.  My first food of the day will be a juice or a smoothie and I will be eating between the hours of 10 and 6, fasting on Sundays. Doesn’t this sound fun?

Alongside all of this I will be incorporating a daily meditation 15-30 minutes per day, this detox is 90% for my mind, right now I am seeking some clarity for where to move forward in life, I guess at a crossroads looking for some answers and I know those answers are not at the bottom of a rich tea soaked cup of tea or a bottomless pit of odd socks.

There will be a variety of practices that I will be including, the plan is not set out as such, the inner voice will send me some guidance I guess.  I shall make sure to keep you updated with all cleansing practices.

Do you feel like you need a clearer mind? A reset?

I would love for you to join me.  I will offer as much support and advice as I can, like I said I am no expert – just your average little human trying to be a magical light being. 

Lets strip back the mess and get back to being magical.

Eternal love.

Beck

Talk Less, Listen more

 

There is a person in every person’s life who they know they can seek out for advice, that one person who will always uplift you and help you to understand yourself better.  I have people like this in my life.  It appears that certain humans have a skill that enables you to open and feel comfortable in what you are saying, they have a strong understanding about what you are speaking on and give you the ear that you need at that time. 

When I considered all the traits these people have I realised, it is listening skills – the ability to keep mouths closed and ears open, it is creating a space for a person to hear themselves.

When people come to us to talk, I would say 9.5/10 we will always reflect to that person a situation of our own.  ‘That exactly what it was like with my friend so and so, and this is what I did.’ What we forget though, is that no two situations are ever the same.  Though it is a natural way to reply by associating something to our own lives, we must remember that it is not our own lives. 

When you begin to listen, really begin to listen, it becomes more than just the persons words.  Look in to their eyes when they speak, see their body language, feel their energy, listen to their heart.  Really the words and sounds are barely half of it.  Like when a person tells you a lie, yet you know it is a lie – because you did not listen only to the words coming from them. 

We have become so disconnected from our true communication that we have this requirement to make sound, to try to have people understand how we feel. We are so engulfed in constant contact, that real communication is lost.  Nobody is really listening, everybody is just waiting to reply. 

When we really begin to listen, we create a space for a person to be able to express themselves, usually what you will see unfold before you is this person will talk themselves through the answers they need. 

I have acknowledged a need to listen more, not only to others but to myself.

So how can we become better listeners?

1.        Be quiet, tune in truly hear the person.

2.       Do not interrupt (this is my worst habit). When we interrupt, we give off the impression of being impatient or waiting to reply, hold onto your thoughts until the person is done. 

3.       Make eye contact, a lot of communication is lost when we do not look into a persons eyes, the eyes are the windows to the souls, you will ‘hear’ a lot more through eye contact than you will from words.

4.       Give an acknowledgement that you have understood what the person has said by replaying the situation, without including opinion or personal experiences.

5.       Give your full attention, how often have you been on your phone while talking and said ‘I am listening, just finishing this text’.  

6.       Be open minded, try to not attach your personal opinions to the persons life.  Step into their shoes for the period of the conversation, live their story. 

7.       Let questions be minimal and only to allow a deeper understanding.  

8.       Allow time for silence, sometimes after a person has spoken, that time of silence will allow the answer to come.

9.       Do not be in a rush.

10.   Try to not let your reactions be shown on your face, keep a calm and friendly attentive face.

These 10 steps can also be applied when listening to your own thoughts. 

Happy listening, happy learning,

Beck <3