Clear & Energised: A Spring Yin & Yoga Nidra Workshop

Clear & Energised: A Spring Yin & Yoga Nidra Workshop

Saturday 23rd March 2-4pm at Embody Wellness, Vauxhall.

Tap into the energy of Spring at the third in my series of seasonal workshops in London.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there are Five Elements that are central to nature’s cycles and are reflected in the cycles of our bodies. They are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth, and each element is connected to a specific season, organ system and emotion.

Wood is linked to Spring and the Liver and Gallbladder.  Like springtime, the Wood element is about awakening, rebirth and renewal, and is connected to our imagination, dreams and vision. The Liver is the body’s main organ of detoxification and very important in TCM, being described as ‘the general of the army’. Energetically the Liver is in charge of the smooth flow of Qi (energy) through the body, which allows us to create and execute change. The Gallbladder, energetically, is associated with our ability to follow our own path without being put off by outside influences, and to recover from any obstructions that might come our way.

Part one of this workshop will be a Liver and Gallbladder yin yoga practice to help address Qi stagnation. Physically the focus is on moving deeper into the connective tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons, fascia – the cling-film-like ‘tissue’ which holds our muscles together). In this slow practice, each pose typically lasts three to five minutes.

This will prepare us for part two of the workshop – an extended yoga nidra practice of 45-50 minutes.

The emotion connected to the Liver is anger, and so a few ways imbalanced Liver Qi can manifest are as irritation, frustration, mood swings, aggression, under assertiveness, headaches, menstrual cramps and difficulty in adapting to change. When Liver/Gallbladder Qi is balanced, we can feel a greater sense of discernment, emotional calm and empathy. We are more able to see our path ahead clearly without feeling weighed down by day-to-day stresses and to be proactive in creating positive growth and expansion in our lives.

This workshop is open to all levels, but is not suitable for pregnant students.

To book your place please visit the Embody Wellness workshop here.

Calm & Renewed: A Winter Yin & Yoga Nidra Workshop

Calm & Renewed: A Winter Yin & Yoga Nidra Workshop

Saturday 2nd February 2019 2-4pm at Embody Wellness – £25

In Chinese Medicine there are Five Elements central to its philosophy – Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth – with each element linked to a specific season, organ system and emotion.

Water is linked to Winter and represents our will and courage; just as water yields to adapt to what lies in its path, by cultivating its qualities we can learn to embrace courageously life’s natural flow. Organ-wise, water is linked to our kidneys and urinary bladder. The kidneys are the root of the yin and yang energies in our bodies. Imbalanced kidney energy (or Qi) can sometimes be mistakenly diagnosed as a lower back problem, and can manifest emotionally as fear, anxiety, worry or depression. During Winter we often feel dull or fatigued with our immunity compromised and our motivation flagging. It’s a time of hibernation and darkness, but also a time when our potential can develop as we rest and conserve our Qi so as to be ready to emerge in Spring.

The workshop led by Paula Hines will begin with a kidney and urinary bladder yin yoga practice to shift us out of Winter stagnation. This practice engenders a sense of calm and relaxation, encouraging physical, mental and emotional balance along with a connection to our creativity and passions. Physically the focus is on moving deeper into the connective tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons and fascia) with each pose typically lasting three to five minutes.


This will prepare us for part two of the workshop – an extended yoga nidra practice to leave you feeling refreshed, restored and rebalanced.


This workshop is open to all levels, however it is not suitable for pregnant students.

To book your place please visit the Embody Wellness website here.

Joyful & Open: A Late Autumn Yin & Yoga Nidra Workshop

Joyful & Open: A Late Autumn Yin & Yoga Nidra Workshop

Saturday 10 November | 2.00pm to 4.00pm | £25

Join me for this upcoming seasonal workshop at Embody Wellness in Vauxhall.

In Chinese Medicine there are Five Elements that are central to nature’s cycles and are reflected in the cycles of our bodies. They are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth, and each element is connected to a specific season, organ system and emotion.

Metal is linked to Autumn and to the lungs and large intestine – and is all about transformation. Just as Autumn is a time when nature begins to draw its energy inwards to prepare for the colder, darker months ahead, precious metals can be found deep in the earth ready to be discovered and transformed without ever losing their true essence.

Part one of this workshop will be a lung and large intestine yin yoga practice, where physically the focus is on moving deeper into the connective tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons and fascia – the cling-film-like ‘tissue’ which holds our muscles together). Imbalanced lung and large intestine Qi (energy) can manifest as respiratory problems, sadness, fatigue, low immunity and colds. When lung Qi is balanced we feel present, optimistic and more able to face life’s ups and downs with acceptance and courage.

In this slow practice, we remain in each yin yoga pose for three to five minutes. We will then move into part two of the workshop – a blissful, extended yoga nidra to leave you feeling refreshed, restored and rebalanced.

This workshop is open to all levels, however it is not suitable for pregnant students.

You can book your place via the Embody Wellness website here or call Embody on 020 7099 0048.

Loving Kindness Meditation – Cultivating Compassion for Self and Others

Loving Kindness Meditation – Cultivating Compassion for Self and Others

What is Loving Kindness Meditation?

Metta Bhavana is the original name of this practice originating from the Buddhist tradition, which can be practised by anyone regardless of religious affiliation. Metta means (non-romantic) ‘love’, kindness, or friendliness: hence ‘Loving Kindness’ for short. Bhavana means ‘development’ or ‘cultivation’. Research shows that Loving Kindness meditation has numerous benefits from reducing self-criticism and depressive symptoms (Shahar et al 2014) to increasing positive emotions such as joy, love, gratitude, contentment and hope (Frederickson et al 2008)

I have recorded this Loving Kindness meditation for you to help cultivate a deeper sense of kindness, compassion, goodwill and appreciation for yourself and the world around you.

Knitting for Stress Relief – Stress Awareness Month

Knitting for Stress Relief – Stress Awareness Month

Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month?

One of my favourite ways of to manage stress (besides yoga!) is knitting.

I’m a newish knitter, currently making this cowl (pictured) to practise knitting in the round on double-pointed needles. I find the process of knitting meditative and calming. Not only is it brilliant learning a new skill, it is very helpful for stress relief and my mental health. And I’m not alone. It has been shown in research over many years that knitting (and crochet) has physical and mental health benefits. Just last month there were calls to prescribe knitting on the NHS. Charity organisation Knit for Peace (www.knitforpeace.org.uk) carried out a widespread review on the health benefits of knitting after receiving testimonials from their 15,000 volunteers about how it had improved their lives.

Sounds like a perfect reason to get knitting!

(P.S. If you’re interested in finding out more about the work of Knit for Peace and supporting their work by donating knitted or crocheted items or cash you can find more information at their website.