16 minute read

# B E G R A T E F U L


I was keeping everything crossed to be able to re-open and bring you some seasonal yoga joy in person this Christmas.... so as of writing this... insert happy dance ... looks like all my twisting and binding work has paid off. Yes...your studio will reopen for in person classes on Weds, Dec 2. Places remember will be limited. We still have to work within Government guidelines to keep you all safe.But if you want a mat space reserved for you in the studio you can now go ahead and book on. Online classes will continue to run as normal to support the studio timetable. Which ever you choose, either in person or online, Kat, Olivia, Maz and myself can't wait to see you for practice soon.



If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you want for yourself next year? What experiences are you hoping for? How do you want to feel? What emotions do you want more of?

When you ask yourself these questions, were any of your answers the same as those you had last year and the year before that? At the risk of voicing the depressingly obvious, does that not kinda suck… real bad? Do you pass off not quite hitting the mark (again) as bad luck, not your year, or it’s too late for you anyway? Ouchee, ouchee, ouchee. Insert a pattern interrupt, pause, stop, brake. I’m going to step in and ask you to consider what’s going on here. I’m only going on what I’ve observed, learned and experienced as a yogi but the way I see it is we don’t get what we want because we expect and desire change, without actually embracing change. You see what I’m saying? Let me explain. Same old same old. It doesn’t matter how much you might pray, wish, beg, desire or intend for things to be different, unless you play this beautiful game of life a little different, you will get served up a big old helping of more of the same old same old. At some point you have to wake up and accept that if you keep feeding the miracle of creation you call your body with the same low-level energy and intelligence (food, thoughts, feelings, movement, beliefs perceptions, interpretations), your life will reflect exactly that right ‘back at yer baby’. If you want to live a life your love (for longer), yoga is your go to tool every time, and I really hope I can be the one to inspire you to find your way to your mat today – yes today (yesterday would have been better but today is great). Don’t keep putting your life off until tomorrow or New Year. Change can start now.

This article was first posted in December 2017 and you can read it in full here:



Our studio doors might have been closed in November but you guys generously showed up for practice during the four weeks of lockdown. Thanks to our technology and your commitment to your practice, we got to work on exploring the mechanics of forward folding and back bending, all within the framework of deepening our understanding of the energy behind giving and receiving. Week one was all about being generous to ourselves and letting go under the guiding yogi principle of Aparigraha (non grasping). Meeting things where they’re at and not fighting against what is, is a big lesson that can release us from a lot of suffering (and ever so timely right now don't you think?). The second week was about being generous to others and exploring the nature of give and take. We noticed the energy behind our own giving - compulsive or with conditions attached! Week 3 we talked about the principle of Asteya (non stealing) and worked with generosity to stay present in every transition and posture. If you're just going through the motions you steal a precious opportunity from your self to evolve and grow. By Week 4 our spines and hearts were so open it felt only right to introduce some twists to bring in even more space to the body and flow us into a state that felt generously balanced.


So who took action? And who ate the cake? 😉 If you're on my email list you just got your Week 4 Yoga Lockdown Plan, and if you did the work, you have milestones to feel warm and fuzzy about. Yep, it's time to celebrate. If you didn't do the tasks and are no healthier or happier than four weeks ago, practice some non-judgement but be curious about the choices that you did make. Sometimes making progress is not just about the action of ‘getting the job done’. It can also be about how you fuelled the action. Maybe you were low on fuel? You see, you absorb energy and information on a daily basis. How?

Through your environment, through your connections the right people, the experiences you want, the tools (and workbooks), the podcasts, the practices (yoga, meditation). Make the right choices and you absorb what you need to thrive and your actions become spontaneously right. This workbook series, although written for the purposes of navigating the uncertainty of lockdown I hope now could help you navigate your way through the uncertainty of life. It's always going to be a rollercoaster of a ride and I for one want be the one screaming with my arms raised in joy, trusting that something way more intelligent than me, is working in unfathomable ways to set down the tracks safely in front of me!


My lockdown plan was to get back into some kind of running routine. If you run you'll know that coming back to it after time off is not fun. I also had the fear of injury (I'm not a natural born runner). But what I was and am curious about is how, with the benefit of my yoga practice, could I better look after myself and get back to enjoying some cardio- boosting fitness outdoors. We'll have to wait and see!


Class: Discover Practice Stage 1

Description: Learn how to reduce your body’s toxic burden with your skin care choices. In Ayurveda (the sister science that umbrellas yoga and meditation as lifestyle practices) skin is considered a manifestation of inner health. It is our LARGEST organ and what we apply on it is absorbed to a far greater extent that most of us realised. Skincare is therefore a tool to balance your body and achieve healthy and beautiful skin. Come and join myself and Tropic expert Sam Cunningham and learn how to upgrade your skin care regime with a complete daily Tropic diet that uses 100% naturally derived ingredients.

• Access to expert knowledge of individual Tropic products, the ingredients and their effects.

• Personal skin care advice and a take home Tropic product prescription.

• Meditation and relaxation session.


Now most of you know, our YL teacher Kat is trained in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition, but what most people don’t know is what Ashtanga has got to do with cleansing, detoxing and elimination of waste. Well, Ashtanga is often described as the most strenuous form of Hatha Yoga so this new course we have coming up for you in January will most certainly improve your ability to breathe and sweat. But more than that, an Ashtanga style yoga practice can help the body rid itself of accumulated toxins by increasing circulation. How? Both lymph fluid and blood are the vehicles for carrying waste and helping this stuff find its way to the lymph nodes and kidneys for filtering is what I’d call a ‘op notch’ idea. ;) But just to be clear, this 6 Week Yoga

Detox programme we've created is not intended to be just another way to punish yourself physically for past food and exercise choices (or what you did or didn’t do over Christmas and New Year). Punishment as a route to transformation rarely, if ever works! Yes, you will enjoy a physical reset through this Ashtanga practice but you will also get the opportunity to nourish yourself on all levels. Yoga as a tradition can get you out of the boom/bust approach to your wellbeing and get you on a path to health that you can sustain for the rest of your life. Now, don’t you want to start your 2021 year off like that?

If you're still not sure, join us for the taster session on December 13. We'd love to show you more. Book now to avoid disappointment as in studio places will be limited.


Join me in June 2021 at the exclusive Villa Mandala, Morocco for a seven-day yoga and meditation retreat designed to help you retune your body, mind and spirit to nature’s beat. (Who doesn't need this after the year we've just had!) Not only will you fly home with a more physically strong, flexible, and balanced body, you'll return with a complete science of balanced living and a path to knowing your best self and creating success in all areas of your life through the style of yoga that got me hooked, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. In it we work through all areas of life. Relationships, spiritual connection as well as emotional, physical and material wellbeing It's all to play for guys, and all on the magical coastline of Morocco (which, not so coincidentally, is the perfect place to practice riding a few of life's waves as I discovered in January 2018. Are you in for the ride of your life ?


Exquisite vegetarian food: wholesome breakfast, nutritious lunch & a gourmet dinner. Unlimited fruit, tea and coffee.

Exclusive and unlimited use of all facilities: ocean front swimming pool, yoga shala and props: yoga mats, bricks, straps, bolsters, lavender eye bags, sand bags & blankets.

A full yoga and meditation programme which includes two yoga classes each day with highly qualified and experienced teaching (for all levels & abilities)

Daily cleaner service

The friendly host service of me (Josie) and the Villa Mandala team at the retreat throughout your stay

A meal out on me (Josie) as it's chef's night off on Thursday.

Transfers to and from Agadir airport.

The 7-day Retreat DOES NOT include:


Transfers from Marrakech or other Moroccan cities

Travel insurance

Extra activities, excursions or trips (these can be booked at a discount in advance - speak to me, Josie)

Extra taxis to and from places during the retreat


Saturday 12 June to Sunday 19th June, 2021 TO BOOK, EMAIL: JOSIE@YOGALOCAL.CO.UK

PRICES This one-week Yoga Retreat is between £675- £800 per person depending on room choice.

DEPOSIT: A non-refundable deposit of £200 is requested to secure your booking. Full payment is required at least 8 weeks prior to your retreat.


Based on the Moroccan coastline, just outside of Taghazout, Villa Mandala boasts a lush garden, relaxing living areas, plunge pool and yoga shala. The sea views are beautiful with great beaches in walking distance. The renowned Yoga Surf Retreat at Villa Mandala has been featured in The Guardian and The Telegraph Travel, amongst many more publications and we have it exclusively to ourselves!


The rooftop wooden yoga shala boasts ocean views stretching more than 180 degrees in front and the foothills of the Atlas mountains behind. It measures 6m by 11m, with wooden flooring and surround glass sliding doors its' a naturally light and airy space. Blessed with the first magical light each sunrise and the last rays at each colourful African sunset. It is a perfect haven for a deep and unforgettable yoga and meditation practice.


Indulge in delicious, nutritious vegetarian food, so you can enjoy maximum energy and vitality throughout your stay. Using only the finest and freshest local produce, the Villa Mandala's talented chefs, make each day of the retreat a 'taste sensation'.


Day trips to the local souk (markets), Agadir and Paradise Valley, Horse riding, Quad biking, Camel riding and more. Massage and hammam spa treatments at the Amouage Spa (located at our boutique hotel Amouage in Taghazout) Surf Lessons & Surf Gear RentalAll activities are easily arranged during your stay upon request.


When I found this place I couldn't wait to get back (and take everyone who loves the magic of the woodlands with me!). So, who wants to come in 2021? Join me from Friday 5 March to Monday 8 March to enjoy a fully immersive wellness retreat designed to help you unwind, relax and align your body, mind and spirit. St Nectan’s Glen off the coast of North Cornwall is nature’s perfect getaway. To reach this magical place we adventure on foot into the depths of a lush wooded valley, guided by the sound of the sacred waterfalls ahead. The Retreat and Yoga Studio sit within the tree canopy, surrounded by 14 acres of native woodland. This area has been appointed a Site of Special Scientific Interest and it’s simply breathtaking. Immerse into a four-day programme of yoga, meditation and Ayurveda and discover a complete science of balanced living. As you eliminate your daily stress, your mind and body can begin to function with maximum effectiveness, creating health, vitality and happiness . It’s all to experience – and all in the tree-tops of St Nectan’s Glen.


3 nights accommodation in The Retreat or St Cledars. Wholesome breakfasts, nutritious lunches and hearty evening meals. Fruit, tea, coffee and baked goods. Exclusive and unlimited use of all facilities: yoga studio and props: yoga mats, bricks, straps, bolsters. A full yoga and wellbeing programme (for all levels & abilities) Morning Walk to Waterfalls Fire Pit Evening Gathering. Meditation (Sunset/Sunrise).* Private and exclusive access to the waterfalls anytime outside the hours of 10am and 3pm. Public access to the waterfalls is between 10am and 3pm and you are welcome during these times also. Optional walk/trip to the Beach/Tintagel/Boscastle (to be agreed and arranged collectively with the group – minibus transport provided if necessary.) The friendly host service of myself and my husband (Paul).

The Retreat DOES NOT include:

Travel insurance Extra activities, excursions Extra taxis to and from places during the retreat. Travel ( A minibus will be provided from Northampton to St Nectan’s Glen at an extra charge).

*maybe dependent on weather

NOTE: The retreat is not accessible by car but car parking is available a 30 minute walk away. Your luggage can be arranged to be collected.

DEPOSIT A non-refundable deposit of £200pp is requested to secure your booking. Full payment is required at least 8 weeks prior to your retreat.

PRICES This 3 Night Yoga Retreat is between £449- £649 depending on room allocations. Single Room Occupancy is available with limited availability. Special rates for groups of 2/3 or 4. Limited availability. Please email josie@yogalocal.co.uk for details.


St Nectan’s Glen has long been regarded as a sacred and magical place and is the perfect environment for an unforgettable yoga and wellness retreat. At it’s heart is the Waterfall. The water falls 60 feet (18 metres) emerging through a naturally formed round hole in the rock where it surges into a shallow pool at the base of a dark gorge, before flowing gently between high walls covered with ferns and trees.It is situated midway between Tintangel, fabled as King Arthur’s birthplace and the village of Boscastle famous for it’s Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. This magical and secluded valley cuts deep into the landscape, as the river Trevillet which is its lifeblood, rushes to the sea. Enchanting falls and cascades burble gently through dark slate and sparking granite, travelling first through woodland and then into the more open Rocky Valley, which is renowned for two mysterious labyrinth carvings on the cliff walk. This mysterious and beautiful place has long been a place of pilgrimage for anyone wanting to experience the majesty and power of nature, the remarkable history of the landscape and to discover what is ‘sacred’ to them. I can’t wait to share this place with you!


OK. Call the priest, time to fess up. I have ballooned to the heaviest I have ever been. I have struggled with my anxiety and depression and, like all of us, I have endured a frustrating month where my shop hasn’t been able to open and take any money in what would have been our busiest month of the year.

It can be like falling into a whirlpool, your head pops above the water for a few brief seconds and you think everything will be OK, then you sink again. The problem is when you sink, instead of healthy wholemeal sandwiches for lunch, you grab chips and beans from a greasy spoon, instead of meditation, you plunge your head into youtube, anything to stop you thinking about ’normal’ things or anything close to reality.

I may be the man behind yoga assist’ but I haven’t actually practiced any yoga since March… I have become the true definition of talk the talk and my ability to walk the walk has walked away from me in disgust.

So. WHY am I telling you all this? It’s not for the ‘poor me’ it’s to show that under the surface, we all have demons, we all struggle with something and the brave thing to do is to tell someone. As Josie can testify, I am not good at talking about me so this is my way of just saying that right now, I am struggling.

Please feel free to text me if you want to share anything you are struggling with, I am one of the few people who won’t judge you because, I have stood in your shoes…

Text me: 07764 151368

Much love x

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