Lives less ordinary

A Moroccan desert adventure

I’ll be honest. When I first signed up for a yoga retreat in the desert I was thinking more glamping than camping. It was only when I had an email instructing me to take a sleeping bag, loo roll and a lighter to burn said loo roll (after digging a hole in the sand to go to the toilet) that I realised this retreat was not going to be of a five-star nature. So, I had a few doubts about how much I was going to enjoy the week: I mean, what’s so great about a big pile of sand anyway?

Desert love
It didn’t take long to learn to love the desert

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How aerial turned my world upside down


Have you ever hung from your hocks? If your answer is yes you were probably a big fan of climbing frames when you were little or you might be an aerialist. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, aerial activities are all the things you see acrobats doing when suspended in the air, so things like hoop, silks, trapeze and rope.

Your hocks (the backs of your knees) are a vital body part for many of the upside down moves. As an aerial newbie, mine turned purple with bruises after my first day of the week-long aerial retreat I’d signed up for.

Aside from feeling bruised and knackered after 5 hours of aerial and body strengthening a day, I learnt many new things about my body and mind during the week. A month on from the retreat, here are the reflections that have stayed with me.

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Be more Brooklyn

Williamsburg bridge
Me striding across the Williamsburg Bridge 

I’ll admit that I don’t always find it easy to speak my mind. It is a very English trait. My worst nightmare is confrontation of any kind. I will tell the waitress that my meal was good when she clears the plates even if it it was actually a very bad time. I know it is disingenuous but l do it to avoid offence. Of course it can be a good thing to care about others’ feelings but when it paralyses you to act or speak your truth this is not constructive for anyone. 

Given my naturally reserved nature, I’m always in awe of those who freely speak their mind with oomph and pizazz. Which brings me to this blog’s purpose: a celebration of Brooklyn’s residents. Continue reading “Be more Brooklyn”

Becoming my own sculptress


Learning Thai massage techniques from Master Wong as part of a Chakra workshop in Paris

It was time for two and a half days of Wong time, attending a Chakra workshop series taught by Master Duncan Wong in Paris. I was there for the two base Chakra sessions: Muladhara (roots) and Swadhisthana (pleasure and self-expression). Having attended Duncan’s teacher training as part of a retreat in Italy I knew what I was letting myself in for – lots of energy, action, passion and knowledge. The main thing I felt during the workshops was my lack of strength and power. But I was in the right place to work on this.


As well as these two days of intensive yoga practice, my trip to Paris included a visit to the Rodin Museum to see the work of this nineteenth century master sculptor and painter. I clearly still had yoga on the brain because the toned muscularity of these sculptures  was what struck me most, alongside their beauty and the skill of creating them. Some of the sculptures bore striking similarity to yoga poses…

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Eight things to know before embarking on a yoga teacher training course

Daily self-practice is an important part of teacher training

Since completing my yoga teacher training, a few friends have said they would like to take the plunge too. They always admit this with some trepidation, as if it might be an unachievable goal, which of course it isn’t. This makes me smile because I know that if their heart is in it, they will have an incredible, positive experience and no regrets. So, for any prospective teacher trainees, here is my honest take on what it is like to commit to the mat and learn to teach yoga.

Continue reading “Eight things to know before embarking on a yoga teacher training course”

Lives less ordinary: A Valencian odyssey


Shenel enjoying the Valencian sunshine and way of life
Shenel enjoying the Valencian sunshine and way of life

My good friend Shenel took it upon herself to escape the high-flying city life, and chose Valencia as her home, where she’s now learning Spanish and indulging in more creative pursuits. Here is her life less ordinary’. 

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Lives less ordinary: Kitesurfing in Sri Lanka


Cat on the beach in Kalpitiya
Cat on the beach in Kalpitiya 

Cat and her husband Dan escaped their busy London lives for a year to remember. They quit their jobs, got married in South Africa in February and in April they arrived in Sri Lanka to spend four months learning to kitesurf. I spoke to Cat about her experience of living ‘a life less ordinary’. 

What would you be doing in your ‘ordinary’ life if you hadn’t taken time out to do something different?

Continue reading “Lives less ordinary: Kitesurfing in Sri Lanka”

Lives less ordinary

Are more people in their mid twenties to late thirties making big lifestyle changes ?
Are more people in their mid twenties to late thirties making big lifestyle changes ?

I’ve read a lot recently about different people making inspirational life changes, whether that’s leaving a top job in New York to scoop ice cream in the Caribbean, becoming a wilderness therapist or cycling round the world with a dog.

And I’ve heard of friends taking their lives in different directions (geographically and metaphorically), perhaps learning to kite surf in Sri Lanka, moving to Cornwall and retraining in carpentry or spending a few months on a xen retreat to figure a few things out.

My own move is perhaps not very physically intrepid but definitely involved a lifestyle change, going from buzzy London to a sleepy Provençal village. Why did I make such a drastic move? Continue reading “Lives less ordinary”

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