Soulsong Yoga Therapy Berkshire

personal yoga practice, yoga studies, walking with my dogs, cycling and vegan ayurveda studies

Meet Rosie-Moomoo

Rosie-Moomoo (2)

Rosie came to live with us when she was about 11 weeks old, travellers owned her, they weren’t cruel to her but because she wasn’t aesthetically perfect, nobody would buy her, so the travellers were going to leave her behind.  Well I came along in the nick of time, offered them a few quid and they handed her over.  I fell in love with Rosie the moment I clapped eyes on her, to me she was beautiful.  She had very long thin gangly legs, a very small body with this ever so perfectly shaped head, soft black ears and a cute face with sincere eyes.  Her markings then and still today are like that of a cow, my eldest daughter added the Moomoo nick name on to the end of Rosie and it has stuck to this very day.  Rosie has grown to be a classy bitch, she walks proud, is light on her feet and is the K9 equivalent to Kate Moss with the ‘London Look’.

Rosie is now 7 or 8 years old, I can’t remember which year she came to live with us, I am enjoying her so much I simply haven’t noticed the time, so easy to do when happy.  Rosie is devoted, loyal and so affectionate, she is my best friend, her love is unconditional and she is the first one to greet me when I come home.  Rosie talks to me with her body language and her eyes, I feel I know her so well that it’s not difficult for me to understand what she’s saying.  I have to walk my other dog, Asbo, before I take Rosie out because Asbo is uncomfortable with arthritis, Rosie never complains about that and sits at home waiting patiently for her turn.

Rosie has funny habits that are an endearment to her; when she eats from her bowl she has to take a mouthful of dried food, then spill that mouthful on the floor, only to be selective about what she is going to eat from the spilled food.  She almost chases her tail when she greets me and she likes to make conversation and has mastered a whining-grunt vocal communication, together with raising her paw for physical contact.  She will also rest her paw on my lap or likes me to hold her paw and I tickle between her toes while she sleeps.  She is a master at catching a ball but she is useless at keeping it, we have lost so many tennis balls.  She likes to sit very close up, almost to the point of sitting on top of whoever she is giving her attention too, she likes to touch my nose with her nose, which is a bit risky as she is lick happy .. urgh J .  She loves snuggling up in bed and I love her snuggling up in bed, she will disappear under the quilt close to me or hubby, for loveloves and comfort.  Rosie used to be a wind up merchant to Asbo my other dog but since Asbo has needed to slow down, Rosie has connected with this and has stopped teasing him and become patient with him.

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Meet Asbo, on the right of the picture.

When on our treks, we stop so that I can practice yoga and Rosie will guard me, she likes to let people and or other animals such as swans know, that I belong to her.  She stands or sits close by looking all around and will give a cough like grunt warning, she soon relaxes and when she is confident that all around is safe, off she pops to explore the area, popping back to check on me, and for that and her courage I love her with all my heart.  At home, Rosie is fantastic at letting me know that someone is coming to the door, her ever so manly dog bark with a howl, makes her sound as if she is ten times bigger than her 17kg self but to those who are welcomed in, she is accepting and friendly.

We are a team and together we are going to have lots more walking and yoga adventures.

I love you Rosie being with you is so wonderful, thank you for coming into our lives.

Xxx Mummy

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Man Is Tethered, Spirit Free. What Spirit Is, Man Can Be.

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I love that song, is from the album above, whenever it is played I have to sing it, loud and with intention.  To be free, for me, is a state of mind.  This morning on my walk with Rosie-Moomoo and as I was laying my mat for a short yoga practice, I remembered these lyrics.

On a morning trek we found another superb spot to practice yoga out there with Mother Nature and amongst the wildlife inhabitants.  This morning’s trek is the shortest of the now three walks that Rosie-Moomoo and I are doing regularly each morning.  Depending on weather (today was autumn fresh and sunny) and how much time we have before I have to go to work, depends on which of the three treks is best.  Starting from home, we walk to the Basingstoke Road and then cut through Kennet Island onto the A33.  We cross over and then follow Island Road until we get to the Recycling Centre, alongside the Recycling Centre is a path which follows a stream.  We walk to the end of the path and that brings us out into Green Park Business Park, we cross the main circular road, through one of the business’s grounds and on to the public path that surrounds the lake.  We follow the lake for a short while until we reach a large wooden jetty, that sits nicely on the lake and there I lay my mat and practice yoga.

The lake is obviously man made but it is beautifully done and the wildlife is amazing, despite Green Park being close to the A33 the area is very quiet.  There are high tech, spacey glass buildings all around the lake but set quite far back and sit onto purpose built hills, obviously because the lake floods.  There are a lot of trees scattered around and the lake plants have grown very high so I can easily forget for moment that I am in a business park.   The jetty can be seen from a couple of the buildings and every now and then I have seen a couple of suited people walking around the lake, one or two have walked out on to the jetty whilst I was practicing, I think I surprised them but they didn’t say anything.

I lay my mat at an angle and near enough to the edge of the jetty, so I can view the length of the lake, watch whatever birds are floating by and I can see fish just under the surface of the water.  As I practice, life on the lake just gets on with what is needed, the fish come to the surface of the water making ripples and on the odd occasion they make bubbles which pop, sounds so lovely as I vinyasa from one asana to the next.  Rosie-Moomoo is exploring around the bank and at the water’s edge and pops back to check on me before she trots off to explore the other side of the bank.

I suppose the people working in the glass buildings are watching, I really don’t mind, on the contrary, I hope they like what they see.  When I watch someone practicing yoga it always calms me, so I hope that my practice is calming them and even inspiring some to maybe try yoga.

Rosie-Moomoo and I finish, we walk back the way we came, from the lane we quickly pop in to the meadow so that Rosie can have a little longer exploring, before she goes back on the lead.

This morning I felt freedom, my spirit didn’t surrender to inhibition and my spirit felt alive.

Love peace & happiness

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I Am Sattva Warrior Slayer Of Tamas

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Sattva is all that is yogi good, positive and strong and Tamas is all that is wrong, negative and bad.   I called my Breast Cancer, ‘Tamas’ so it was easier to talk about it.

Wednesday 17th July 2013, was the last day of Radiotherapy treatment, the 3 weeks of treatment ran quite smoothly, although it did wear me down towards the end, I had a little melt down, took it out on my eldest daughter which I was so sorry for … Love you Danielle you were amazing during this journey, my little brick.  The medics warned me that I will probably feel bouts of fatigue every now and then, could happen at any time and last for up to a year, I’m ok with that, I understand why and I’m happy to chill – with cake!  Been fortunate tho, my ever so clean and active life has helped my body to rid me of the radiation and repair cells so only felt the fatigue one weekend since the end of treatment.

I am one of the lucky ones, found the lump in its very early stages, grade 1 they call it, had a simple lumpectomy, no migrating cells and lymphatic area under my arm was clear. The breast is a little different to the other one but doesn’t bother me in the slightest, on the contrary I am very happy in my skin, see my scars as medals.

I’m now on Hormone Therapy, Tamoxifen 1 tablet per day for the next 5 years and the side effects are, that I am now menopausal which I am not bothered about, I embrace that.  The other side effect is weight gain and I’m not having any of that I can tell you!  Gave up sitting!

So all in all, 2 months after treatments and I feel amazing, I feel empowered, never felt that before in my life.  A friend of mine told me to get a ‘Wonder Woman’ outfit, hahahahaha that is such a good idea.

I am concerned about the future, who wouldn’t be?   There is always that horrid little niggle that tries to tug at your joy, it’s like a whisper in your ear, ‘you’ve had breast cancer and it might come back’.  I have got to see that for it what it is, and that those concerns are a part of cancer, it’s a psychological dis-ease as well as a physical disease.  When I get those moments I talk to someone immediately, I share those insecure thoughts, it helps me to hear me say the words, so I can put everything into perspective.

Having cancer has changed me and my life.  I had already begun to change my life into more of a yogi lifestyle before the diagnosis and as a result of the cancer and the treatments, I went full steam ahead.  I truly believe that that had a contribution to me being positive and is still keeping me positive.  I had already gone from a vegetarian to a vegan so making changes to my diet wasn’t difficult at all.   Being 48 years old I understand that life is short but when a doctor tells you you have cancer, you feel your mortality and it feels shorter still, and as result I have become laid back and easy going about almost everything.   I cherish my family more not that I didn’t before the cancer but I am guilty of being selfish and taking them all for granted.

I am responsible for my own wellbeing, my health is not the responsibility of anyone else, I have been doing regular breast checks every 3/4 months and have done so since I turned 40, as a result of finding a lump which turned out to be a cyst.  I believe that doing those regular breast checks, I saved my own life and if it wasn’t my naturally strong instinctive will to survive, my healthy lifestyle and being fit, then the outcome would have been very different.

I do appreciate that I am a ‘survivor’ if the cancer had been any worse, would I be so positive? I really believe I would, because when you are faced with cancer you have no choice but to be strong and with that strength comes the positive.

I am one of the lucky ones, the cancer has had such a positive impact on my life and I am ridiculously happy.  I owe it to my girls, Danielle, Charity and Tori-Leigh to be happy, to be positive, to be strong and to be grateful.  I do it for them in the hope that who I have been and who I am now inspires them to be those things and more.

Love peace & happiness

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Wherever I Lay My Mat There’s My Practice

I felt I had to change the title of this blog from ‘My Travel Yoga Mat’ to the above.  I’m not talking about the mat itself neither am I travelling … yet.  There, I’m happier with that title.

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Practicing yoga out there, under the skies, amongst the trees, alongside the rivers and seas, is as important to me as the practice itself.  We are all microcosms of the earth and its universe, what I am so is the ground I stand on, I am the atmosphere that surrounds me, I am the water that flows in the earth’s rivers and seas.  Practicing my yoga out there with Mother Nature grounds me, neutralises me, oxygenates me and reminds me that I am made of the same matter as every living thing on this planet.

My travel mat folds up neatly into my back-pack and together with my trekking buddy Rosie-Moomoo off we go in search of a yoga spot.  What are we looking for? Somewhere peaceful with little human traffic, somewhere where Mother Nature resides and the inhabitants of the area can move freely around us, without being threatened by our presence.  Wednesday morning, this week, Rosie and I practiced our yoga in the company of a family of swans, yep that’s right, 4 signets and mummy swan they were only just a few feet from both of us.  Rosie sat on the raised river bank kindly observing, cocking her head from one side to the other obviously trying to work out their actions, I practiced quietly just behind her.  Mummy swan only hissed once other than that there was no threat, no fear, no intrusion everything was peaceful and magical, my spirit absorbed every moment.

So what am I going to do now the autumn has set in and winter is on its way? Well I found the perfect spot some time ago, have already practiced there many times but I used to cycle there, now that I like to have Rosie with me I have to walk.  It’s a fabulous trek, through a small woodland, all uphill via the back streets, very little vehicle traffic, passing some grand homes and some beautiful trees planted during the reign of Queen Victoria.  Our journey takes us to a Victorian building and there under its veranda overlooking a lake I practice my yoga and Rosie explores close by, never going off to far that she can’t see me.

Yoga is now a part of my everyday life, through yoga I have opened up to loving myself and the world I live in.  One earth, same matter of creation, one love …….

Love Peace & Happiness

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She told me ‘Yoga is not natural, you take your body beyond and over it’s limit’

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I had a magical yoga practice this morning.

 

I consider my morning walk with Rosie-Moomoo to be part of my daily yoga practice, walking along pavements alongside busy roads of traffic, I walk with a smile, my focus is on my breath and my posture, I am mindful of my pace and my companion Rosie, I remain calm and peaceful, clear of the monkey mind and never rushed.  We reach the meadows, I unleash Rosie and we both have a sense of freedom, our strides are larger and the pace picks up.   We walk in silence, I observe her as she follows a scent from one direction and then on to another, I hear and observe all different types of birds, I might be lucky and see deer before they see me, or Rosie.  Very seldom do we pump into another person so nothing interrupts the time we have with Mother Nature, who by the way is most definitely a yogi.

We come to the river, Rosie likes to jump in and splash about, whilst I lay down my small mat and begin to practice whatever asanas I feel the need to explore.  Today I felt Malasana (garland) to Vrksasana (tree) to a deep Utkatasana (chair) to Bakasana (crane) and finished with Uttanasana (deep forward fold) and I repeated them 3 times, the first is doing, the second is doing to being and the third is being.  There is a weir just up from the spot where Rosie and I stop to play, there is an energy from the ever moving flow of water, prana (oxygen) which is life.  The life from the river is all around us, beneath us and above us, when Rosie has had her splash and I have had my practice we both smile at each other and for that moment, while we are there, we too feel that we are a part of all that is living.

So what is not natural about yoga?  It all depends on what path you choose, who is your inspiration and your teacher and how big your ego is.

Love peace & happiness.

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