Standing Forward Fold


This is one of my favourites but we’re all built differently. If you don’t find it relaxing (even as you feel a pretty intense stretch), be extra kind to yourself easing into it gently.

With the feet hip distance apart and facing forward, raise your arms over head, hinge at the hips and allow yourself to gently fold forwards to whatever degree feels good. Ensure you have at least a microbend in your knees and if it feels better to bend them more, honour that.

Whether your hands end up under your feet, on the floor, around your ankles, on your shins or higher up, trust that you’re getting the right stretch for your body in this moment.

Notice your breath and aim for 5 complete breaths (or even 3+ minutes for Relaxation Response benefits if this is comfortable enough). To come up, bend the knees a little more and roll up slowly and gently. Pausing in Chair can on the way up can help you avoid any lightheadedness.

What’s your favourite version of Forward Fold?

Feel free to comment below.






Child pose benefits


I once had a yoga student say, ‘Oh! I used to sleep like this when I was a kid!’ but for most of us, Child pose, while relaxing, is not the kind of pose we’d find ourselves in without being guided into it.

Still, relaxation is incredibly important and Child’s benefits go beyond offering a pose for students to relax into any time they want to break from what the class is doing.

Child is said to be especially good when menstruating. Mukunda Stiles, in Structural Yoga Therapy writes that it can help eliminate extra fluid and energy.

Apart from stress relief, benefits include stretching the spine, hips, thighs and ankles.

It should be avoided if you are pregnant, have diarrhoea or if a knee injury makes it uncomfortable.

Child can also encourage self-care. Even with a yoga instructor telling you to feel free to relax into Child anytime you choose, you’re still likely to pause as you watch what everyone else is doing.

Yet learning to choose what’s right for you in any given moment is liberating and empowering.

Notice the variations. Sometimes, the outstretched arms (pictured above) are what you feel like. Other times, you may want to rest with the hands as a pillow for your forehead (see below) or even wrapped around your torso, first resting on one temple and then gently turning so both sides of the neck feel balanced.


If you want to play with Child pose, while it’s traditionally taught with the knees together, many adults simply aren’t shaped that way. So you may want to kneel with your knees wide apart and big toes together. This will allow you to relax more deeply into Child than attempting to keep the buttocks on the heels as your forehead reaches for the mat (of course, if your body does work that way and you find it relaxing, go for it!).

You can also use Child pose to consciously release any headaches and heart aches into the earth, knowing it can all be recycled for the benefit of the planet.

What’s your favourite Child pose variation?

What are your other favourite relaxing asanas?

Any top tips for Child you feel like sharing? Feel free to use the comments section.







Roaring relaxation with Crazy Lion and more with Sadie Nine on BBC Essex today


I always have so much fun with Sadie Nine and guests on BBC Essex and today, as well as talking about cat advent calendars and premium rate phone lines for customer services, I led a mini (really mini but you’ll get the idea and can expand it when you have more time and space (or to create more time and space!)) meditation and relaxation.

Click here if you’d like to listen (am live from about 60 minutes in and if you want to just hear the relaxation/meditation bit, that’s from approximately 90 minutes in).

Metta x

Image courtesy of tiverylucky/


Working with YOUR edge – Yoga Therapy for the Mind classes in Witham

Britney Spears uses yoga to help herself manage her anxiety
Britney Spears uses yoga to help herself manage her anxiety
Image courtesy of

Yoga’s benefits for mental and emotional (as well as physical) wellbeing keep popping up with Jennifer Aniston, Britney Spears and Vanessa Hudgens recently crediting it for helping them manage life’s stresses and anxieties.

Vanessa Hudgens has spoken about the way yoga changes the brain's chemistry
Vanessa Hudgens has spoken about the way yoga changes the brain’s chemistry
Image courtesy of

I’m teaching loving my small classes in Witham, Essex and find that each one is as helpful for me as for my students (am very much looking forward to this evening’s Finding calm in a 24/7 world!).

Jennifer Aniston has long been a yoga enthusiast and has recently credited it with helping her stay calm during wedding preparations
Jennifer Aniston has long been a yoga enthusiast and has recently credited it with helping her stay calm during wedding preparations
Image courtesy of

Each class draws on my training with Heather Mason at The Minded Institute. Regular classes (and practicing between classes) helps students learn how to retrain their brains and nervous systems to enhance their wellbeing and better manage life’s stresses, anxieties, depression and traumas (although trauma work is done on a one to one basis).

These classes begin with pranayama (breath work), move onto asana (physical practice) and finish with relaxation and meditations drawing on my psychosynthesis counselling, NLP and coaching experience as well as my yoga therapy training.

If you’re interested, click here for more information about upcoming themes, times, dates and prices (as well as more about what to expect).

    There are currently some spaces available in the following classes:

Working with YOUR edge (Saturday, 3rd August, Tuesday, 6th August and Wednesday, 7th August)
Hello, Inner Critic! (Saturday, 10th August, Tuesday, 13th August and Wednesday, 14th August)
Motivate yourself! (Saturday, 17th August, Tuesday, 20th August and Wednesday, 21st August)
Mood boosts (Saturday, 24th August, Tuesday, 27th August and Wednesday, 28th August)
Manifestation (Saturday, 31st August, Tuesday, 3rd September and Wednesday, 4th September)
Love your body! (Saturday, 7th September, Tuesday, 10th September and Wednesday, 11th September)

For people struggling more deeply with anxiety, stress and depression, I recommend they talk to me about signing up for the Yoga Therapy for the Mind 8 Week Course for Anxiety, Stress and Depression. The next one in Witham starts in October (click here for more information) and you can find classes nearer you by clicking here.

Hope to see y’all soon.

Metta xx


Some benefits of Minded Yoga therapy classes


Loved, loved, loved teaching my third Minded Yoga therapy class in Witham this lunchtime. The tools have helped me enormously (even today, getting a little nervous before the class, being able to do some asana and pranayama practice meant it passed very quickly).

While I’ve enjoyed sharing the tools with clients since I began the yoga therapy work (sharing some with counselling and coaching clients, too), am especially loving teaching them to groups of students.

While you’ll find more information about Minded Yoga here, to summarise, as well as being a lovely yoga workout, you’ll be:

* helping to retrain your brain and nervous system
* modulating mood through the breath
* using your body and breath to send signals to the brain which say, ‘It’s safe, all is well!’ and help the whole system calm down (80% of the messages sent between body and brain via the vagus nerve go from body TO brain so we have a wonderful capacity to change the way we feel by moving and breathing more consciously)
* gaining a better understanding of the way you react to life’s challenges from the way you talk to yourself on the yoga mat
* increasing your capacicity for mindfulness and
* learning tools to help you calm your whole system not just in class but in real life situations.

Each Minded Yoga therapy class lasts for 90 minutes and, with a maximum of 3 people (plus me), you’ll get lots of individual attention.

Click here if you’d like to find out more or book.

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti /


Are you making the most of your weekends?

Not in terms of getting loads done. More to do with recharging your batteries. Starting the new week feeling rested and relaxed.

If you laugh and think, ‘If only!’, while it might seem quite contrived, consider an experiment this weekend – log the way you spend your time. From the time you finish work on Friday to Sunday night.

We want this to be a useful exercise for you, not yet another chore to make time for. So, if you want to regain some control over the way you spend your limited time off, just spend a few minutes on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night and ask yourself:

* What did you enjoy most about your down time?

* Where did you feel sucked into doing things you didn’t want to be doing (be that household chores or something your partner really wanted to do to something which you do for the benefit of your family even though you, personally don’t enjoy it)?

* When you consider the things they do for you, did that feel like a fair exchange? Do you need to have a conversation about changing things so it’s a more equal partnership?

* How might you make chores, if not fun, then at least a team effort? Are your kids old enough to begin learning how to do basic things for themselves? To contribute to the home in some simple way? (Yes, teaching them how to wash up / do laundry etc. WILL take longer at first as you not only patiently wait for them to finish but then, no doubt, do the thing properly, but how will they ever learn if you don’t let them practice?)

* What kind of things did you all enjoy?

* If you have a busy household, how can you find some downtime for yourself? If you live alone, how much time do you want to spend with friends? Everyone has a different ‘perfect amount’ and even that will change – sometimes, you’ll need more time alone and other times, will feel like a social animal.

Just notice… Spend a few moments each evening – what worked, in terms of your wellbeing today? What will you do differently tomorrow? What do you want to do more of?

Find out more at