Tag Archives: meditation

A prayer for Nepal


The Kathmandu Valley before the quake
The Kathmandu Valley before the quake

The news of the massive earthquake on Saturday in Nepal came as a huge and unwelcome surprise to us all. Nepal and its people are very close to my heart, after four trips there over the past seventeen years. It is my spiritual and my second home, so the news of such devastation and suffering left me feeling raw and in shock. My sense of disbelief and powerlessness has lingered into the days following the quake, as I hear about the death toll rising, the massive relief effort under way and gain a sense of the level of the destruction on the global news. The chaos and suffering caused by the quake is almost impossible to imagine, as I sit here writing this in my comfortable home, with access to every amenity possible, close at hand.

Yoga and giving

My sense of powerlessness has been somewhat alleviated by attending yoga class last night, where we collectively meditated and prayed, in our own way, for Nepal. I felt the positive energy and love in the room rise, even as I also cried inside. I sincerely believe in the power of healing through positive thoughts, so know our energies here will help. So often we suffer disaster/charity overload when we are constantly bombarded with disturbing images and words in the media, yet my feeling of helplessness was transformed into something far more positive during yoga.

I am also helping in a small way by donating money to ROKPA, a non-profit, non-religious charity based in Scotland’s Samye Ling monastery. ROKPA have for many years worked in Nepal helping Tibetan children, and following the quake have launched an appeal to help the ROKPA children’s home in Kathmandu. Please give a little to this charity, or any other collecting for Nepal, if you can.

Continue reading A prayer for Nepal

Labouring naturally: nature’s gift

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.


It is the journey, not the destination that matters. Here I describe the most beautiful, spiritual aspect of my labour, the first stages along a bumpy road to giving birth. My firstborn child, a son, was born in June 2010. Ewan’s birth was far from the ‘perfect’, natural birth I had envisaged, prepared for and naively believed I would have. Instead, I gave birth by emergency caesarean under general anaesthetic. Lying unconscious, I missed the first three hours of my son’s life, and then spent the next few days too ill to care for my son, recovering in hospital.

My suffering, the pain, trauma and long period of postnatal recovery were far outweighed by the child standing before me. My son was born a very healthy little boy, who nursed like a dream. Our first meeting was indescribable, as I instantly felt overwhelmingly attached to my son, an outpouring of unconditional love which knew no bounds.

Now, almost two years on, I can reflect on and celebrate this profound experience, cherishing the joy of labouring naturally, even though I could not in the end birth naturally. In this post I share the period before the second stage of labour, holding these hours up with strength, pride and happiness for all to see.

Continue reading Labouring naturally: nature’s gift

The wonderful Pampering Yoga morning for Mums

This article first appeared on the Nottingham Baby Fayre website on 1st April 2012; The Nottingham Baby Fayre

Also on the Yoga Home

What this class is

Pampering is the right word to describe this three-hour extended yoga session for Mums, a regular one-off Saturday event at the Yoga Home. Run once every term, three times a year, Yoga Home students who are also Mums are invited to a well deserved rest and relaxation event at the Iona School in Sneinton, an ideal venue for a few hours away from the kids. In this calming environment, in the schools kindergarden, students are led through two one and a half hour yoga sessions, broken by a short break for tea and healthy nibbles (Green and Blacks chocolate, oat crackers and homemade flapjack).  At the end of the morning students can stay for a fuddle, a shared lunch, which always includes Ameet’s delicious homemade dahl, plus lots of other scrumptious food brought in by attendees. The whole event is a wonderful combination of yoga and socialising; three rare hours of yoga, plus a chance to meet up with friends from past pregnancy and postnatal yoga classes.
Continue reading The wonderful Pampering Yoga morning for Mums

Postscript to Ewan’s birth story: Part One

A caesarean birth did not affect how I bonded with my son. Joy on both our faces.

Why a postscript is necessary

Writing and sharing Ewan’s birth story has been cathartic; helping me come to terms with the experience and accept the loss I suffered of not being able to birth Ewan naturally. The response from my family, friends and now the blog community has been amazing, which is why I have decided to add a postscript, as final points to this series of writings.

So many people have shared with me, in person, on Facebook and on my blog, their own experiences of giving birth. All these contributions are to be celebrated, because it sparks a much needed conversation about this often neglected area of many women’s lives, the birth of their children. These comments have illustrated to me the suffering, indignity and lack of control so many women feel when giving birth in hospital. Hearing their stories adds rage as well as sadness to my own experience, knowing many women suffer similar, or worse, treatment than I did. It also clarifies my own thinking on this subject, of which I share a few salient, final points below.

Intellect versus instinct

Our intellect can be a hindrance when giving birth. I wrestled with mine when in labour, thinking about what I’d read, what I’d heard, letting these thoughts interrupt the birthing process. In the end I let this intellectual chatter go, turning inwards into another level, one I had never ventured into before. My body believed in myself, was sure and certain, even if my intellect wasn’t. This physical being took over, directing me to follow my instincts, switching off from the invasive, artificial world surrounding me.  It simply knew what to do and how to do it. I completely switched off from my intellectual brain.
Continue reading Postscript to Ewan’s birth story: Part One