An ex of mine used to refer to me as a “firecracker”, if you look it up you’ll find explanations like “women with a loud personality who isn’t afraid to speak her mind” and “a high spirited women”, I haven’t found many, if any searches which said a man can also be described as a “firecracker”. If that’s the case how would we refer to a man with a loud personality who isn’t afraid to speak his mind? Charismatic? Confident? Endearing?  

From a young age I have been called many variations of “firecracker” for essentially, now I really think about it, having an opinion or questioning why. The key point is, having an opinion that people didn’t like or agree with. It wasn’t that long ago that I was pulled over on the motorway for having my full beam on. It was about 10pm at night and a section of the M62 which is surrounded by fields. Initially it was a fairly pleasant interaction, “do you know why I’ve pulled you over”, me “erm no, sorry”. From there, I was told I was driving with my full beam on, which I categorically knew for certain that I wasn’t. We went back and forth until he eventually said “do you even know what your full beam is”.

Now, I had a choice, nod, smile and have a laugh about what he just said, then more than likely be on my way, but I’m sure you guessed I didn’t. I replied “why, because I’m a women”? To those of you rolling your eyes, do you think he’d have asked a man the same patronising question?

He then said “bit less of the attitude” and asked me to sit in the back of his police car. Now this was late 2015 before the recent events involving a male police officer on his own and a women on her own, so I did it. I sat in the police officers car at 10pm at night on my own. The atmosphere was frosty, he thought I had an “attitude problem” and at this point I remember feeling a little anxious. He asked me for all the routine information and eventually let me get back in my car before checking the dashboard and looking at the front of my car, as if he’d “corrected” something – nothing, he’d done absolutely nothing besides tell me I had an attitude problem.

What’s worse, as I drove away I felt like I’d done something wrong, offended him in some way. How backwards is that – I thought I’d offended him!

Where does it come from? This need to refer to women in a negative context because they speak their mind. My daughter who’s 2 constantly gets told “she knows what she wants” or “she knows her own mind”, in fairness it’s when she’s refusing to put her shoes or coat on but other times it’s not, it’s when she’s telling me what she wants or doesn’t want to eat for example. Do people have the same experience with 2 year old little boys, do they get told “he knows his own mind”?

Maybe this is too vague and you feel like I’m on some sort of mission to simply bash men which for the record I’m not because honestly a lot of what I’m talking about has come from women of a certain generation too. It’s likely all toddlers get told that, I guess it’s that age when boundaries are constantly being tested and as a parent your grey hairs start to appear.

So let me move on to something more obvious. A women who organises her family, makes plans and takes charge is often refferred to as being bossy or overbearing. Why are women “the old ball and chain”? What is so terrible about a women knowing exactly who she is, what she beleives in and what she wants? I’m always described as being “strong willed” or that I’m high spirited (don’t you describe a horse as high spirited for Gods sake), and no before you say it, these descriptions were not meant as a compliment, because the context in which it was meant was essentially “difficult to manage”. However, describe a man as strong willed and does that then become a compliment, maybe?

Saying “no” or having an opinion does not mean you are outspoken, challenging someones point of view does not mean you have an attitude problem. I don’t think it’s as simple as “men need to do better” I think women need to do better too, and not just with our vocabulary but with how we say it.

Happy International women’s day. I hope you’re surrounded by opinionated, outspoken, high spirited beautiful women who have an attitude problem.

I’m back (ish)

I just rediscovered some writing I did back in 2016/17 and proceeded to sob, “whoop” and profusely nod my head in agreement, is that unbearably arrogant?
Finding my own writing so relatable and inspiring? I say to myself now, 6 years on, a home owner and mum, absolutely not, be your own cheerleader because you’re unlikely to get it from anywhere else.

So what am I doing back here? Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure. I feel a little lost in these years that have passed – the pandemic, having a baby, essentially starting my business from scratch, and losing the last of my beloved grandparents. So much has changed in such little time.

Maybe I should start with the biggest shift, motherhood, only I don’t think I have enough time, quite literally ever in my entire life to try and explain motherhood, and my daughter is only 2! The whole new feeling of love, a love that I only imagine exists for your children. Rage, pure rage that comes when you have to repeat yourself multiple times a day to get a simple task done, such as putting shoes on. The awareness that you would quite literally do anything for them, anything, without question, “o you need to eat my arm in order to survive” *mum passes child knife and fork*. It’s completely wild, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Covid was this surreal time which I feel like now, looking back, being pregnant when it essentially all kicked off was like some sort of weird film. Not only was it the fact that everything shut down, people struggled financially (and continue to), we couldn’t socialise, the planet was happier, the roads were quieter and i didn’t have to force a
smile to avoid some one (man) shouting “cheer up love” or “smile love might never happen” because i was always in a face mask … wait I’ve lost my train of thought, or have I. I was hoping the pandemic may have taught us a thing or two about the world we live in, and how to respect it and everyone in it but, alas.

2020 was a truly exhausting time, I lost my Grandad in the April, my father in laws health deteriorated rapidly due to dementia , I gave birth in September, then finally lost my Nana in the December. I, like many others attended her “covid restricted” funeral on Christmas Eve. I remember having to fasten my leather pants with a safety pin because of my post baby tum, (we wore them in her honour, she was the Queen of leather pants). I pumped frantically the night before and morning of, to ensure Skye had enough milk while I was gone.

Poor me, cry me a river – lets move on.

Yoga. Well that came into it’s own during all of this really, showed its true colours and kept me going. I like to think a lot of people found their mat during these time, moving for 10 minutes or simply sitting still for 5, the question remains did you all keep it up post pandemic? My brain is completely fried since becoming a mum so these blogs I suspect will become short, hopefully sweet, some errors and most obviously a little random, but the point will of course be to hopefully bring a smile to your face, have you worry less, feel seen and personally for me, provide free therapy.

Life, the big ? I listened to P!nk being interviewed today and she said “I have one rule with my kids, well all people actually, just don’t be a dick”. Could it be that simple? 

The more I try to learn about life; emotions, racism, levels of consciousness, misogyny, homophobia, yoga, sexism, religion, the list goes on, the more I come back to what P!nk said.

Dippy egg, boiled egg, soldiers?



Take two free range eggs and put them into a pan of cold water, just covering the top of the eggs. Once boiling turn them down to a simmer for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, drain water from eggs. Take a tea spoon and gently tap the top of the egg to stop further cooking, begin to tap around the top quarter of the egg until you can scoop it away and immediately eat the lid, add a sufficient amount of salt and pepper before dipping your perfectly sliced soldiers into your perfectly runny egg.

This is the only way I would cook a boiled egg and soldiers – not a “dippy egg” or a soft boiled egg; mine always comes with soldiers and so would my mums and her mums.

James puts the eggs into boiling water for 4 minutes. Once ready he carefully cuts the top off with a knife and proceeds to over load both lid and base of the egg with pepper – taught by his mum. My sister in law and her sister boil the eggs for 3 minutes and then peel the shell from the top of the egg! Taught by their parents. Some people add vinegar to the water, some people start the whole procedure from cold water and some from boiling, some insist on it depending on the size of the egg or the temperature of the egg, but one thing that generally stays the same in everyone’s technique is that it was learnt from either mum or dad, and after listening to lots of people, more commonly their dad. Now, i could go down the route of stereotyping all the dads out there by saying eggs would always be a back up plan for the kids tea when mum was away, and in my house hold that was actually the case – my dad makes a mean omelette – that’s about all he can cook, but my God they’re tasty omelettes.

It’s those certain things I’ve learnt from either my mum or dad that don’t seem to budge and I’m quite belligerent about not letting them. Boiled eggs seem to be the one thing that every one does differently, another being making the bed!? Most people learn these insignificant tasks from a parent and most are reluctant to change their ways, even if it could improve their dippy egg or make life easier when making the bed.

Take the finer things in life however – eating out and what to eat, which supermarket to shop in and where to go for your next trip are all things that we usually take more of an individual approach and outlook on. When it comes to politics and opinions we may be slightly influenced by our parents but we will always put our own spin on it giving our own view and occasionally doing the polar opposite of our parents and totally disagreeing with them. The more you grow up and learn about the world the more you become your own person, but we still hold on to our dippy egg techniques.


Parents guide and prepare you to the best of their ability for what’s out there, they teach you with a sprinkle of how they were raised, but the majority they picked up as the years went on. It’s those small sprinkles of tradition that have been passed down that allow you to keep your parents close to you and have a little giggle the next time some one cooks their boiled egg a “funny” way.

I have written this with my sister in law Michelle Binieda Mullany and her sister Dominique Binieda in mind and to their parents – long may your dippy egg technique continue.


When life throws you lemons

I recommend not to make lemonade, unless of course you were planning on adding gin to the equation.

Whether you believe in fate or not, it’s inevitable that somewhere along the road there will be lemons launched at you in your life. These lemons may take the shape of being bullied throughout your school life, or your very good friend abandoning you when you need them the most. Either way I think making lemonade is a pretty poor response.

Life, and the people who are in it is a journey that I believe just can’t be predicted or controlled; you can only do your best, you can choose who to surround yourself with and hope that the relatively short period of time you have on this bloody wonderful planet is beautiful, fulfilling and inspiring.

I used to pretend that things didn’t bother me, like I had the skin of a rhino, but truth be told, when relationships never worked out or friendships started to crumble, and names like ‘fat’ or ‘posh’ were thrown my way, it all hurt. It hurt in an inward way, I would see problems within myself, what did I do wrong? Why do I speak this way? Why doesn’t that girl like me anymore? I, I, I – a vicious circle that all ends with a sort of depressing state of loathing and blaming yourself. Sure, I would regularly tell people I don’t care… ‘am I bothered’? Trust me when I say the people who say that, they hurt the most.

I mentioned before one of the reasons I left hairdressing was because I could never find a way to avoid absorbing all my client’s issues, worries and problems. I would go home with their burdens weighing heavily on me, questioning myself – what could I do? How can I help them? Making their hair pretty for all of a day didn’t quite suffice for me, and there is that word again – ME, or I! What I never took time to think about was what if it is enough for them, my clients. What if the hour they spent talking to me was enough to help them, and maybe this seems so obvious to you guys reading this but it never occurred to me. Every situation that could be described as negative in my life I have taken it upon myself to either fix it or blame myself.

So my answer for those lemons, homing in like missiles, launch the buggers back! I don’t think it’s healthy to just make some lemonade with them, I want to know why they were thrown in the first place. Turn that negative yucky stressful feeling outward. This person that may have suddenly decided to cut you out of there life, stop asking yourself what you have done and start to understand what may be going on in that other person’s life. That person who bullied you throughout your school life, what could they have been going through behind closed doors at that time? When a relationship breaks down, instead of crucifying yourself over what you didn’t do, maybe start to realise what they didn’t do! Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you really do need to look within yourself, but before you start to beat yourself up take a step back and try to see things from a different perspective. You can never and will never understand how that other person feels or what they have been through – don’t make it all about you. Mediation gives me the time and the release to take that step back before I explode. I guess what I’m trying to say is, in the words of the Dalai Lama ‘We’ve been all the way to the moon and back but struggle to walk across the road to meet our neighbour’.

With technology progressing at the speed that it is I feel like it’s becoming too easy to make every situation about you and to totally misinterpret it, for example immediately assuming someone doesn’t like you because they don’t text you back, or the text they do send seems ‘off’ – it’s been typed! How can you possibly know the mood of the person? Call them or better yet go and see them. When a friend doesn’t show up to your birthday bash, instead of taking the hump and deciding they’re unworthy of your friendship, find out how they are and what’s going on in their life.

If you are content within your own life, make the decision that when something doesn’t go quite right, take a step back and almost remove yourself from the equation – be selfless. I used to think I could change the world and help ‘fix’ everyone in it, and I still would if I could, but for now teaching you lovely lot how to be content internally and carrying you around like a rucksack is quite sufficient for me.




Lots of love your sturdy mule

Grace xxx

Light Yoga

Of all the places I expected teaching yoga to take me it certainly wouldn’t have been into the weird and wonderful world of neon art, so after being approached by the immensely talented Richard William Wheater I immediately grasped the opportunity to delve into this diverse project with both hands. At first i was a little confused as to what Richard actually wanted from this morning which he decided to call “light yoga”, which for the record I think is a brilliant title. As we met over coffee we started to understand each other a bit better, my understanding of neon developed and Richard’s of yoga, together we began to brainstorm ways in which we could mesh these two wonders together.

Richard talked me through a series of different neon artists all of which were from the UK, one was himself, he told be bits about their history as artists and what inspires/inspired their work, I then took over in interpreting them into different yoga postures, it was great fun and a way to layer a more creative and artistic level to yoga.

light yoga backbend.jpg

The workshop its self was actually a full day with Richard developing peoples skills and understanding of neon art, our “light yoga” kicked things off as soon as the guests arrived at The Hepworth gallery in Wakefield (a truly amazing place). As I imagined there were a few nervous looks as I advised people to take their shoes AND socks off, as well as some people lumbering up in their jeans. After a short introduction and a brief acknowledgement that we were not going to be doing the splits, we began with some simple breathing techniques that seemed to calm the atmosphere – the breathing techniques were to represent neon artist Julia Bickerstaff, she seemed to hold a strong foundation within the neon community just like our breath does in yoga.

Next the guests were introduced to Martin Creed, an artist who mainly creates empowering and supportive text and phrases through neon the most famous which read “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT”. We decided to interpret this into a posture by laying the guests on their backs and hugging their knees, giving them a sense of security and comfort.


We then went onto Ceryth Wyn Evans and David Batchelor, Ceryth’s work was heavily based around circles and the flow of energy within materials, so for this our guests did a forward fold holding their arms this helped them feel their own energy flowing around their bodies. David was an interesting artist as he took very normal used household goods like old TV’s and turned them into beautiful pieces of art. The way David presented his work reminded me of the game Tetris so for this we guided everyone into the structured yet beautiful posture Trikonasana or Triangle pose – the way you move your body into the pose and the shapes you create resembled David’s work.

light yoga forward fold.jpg

Next we were introduced to Richard’s own work, he regularly uses the electric insulator shape to represent how energy flows through man. We decided we wanted the next posture to be a collaborative one, asking the guests to face towards one and other pressing their hands together and sitting into chair pose, this created the shape of an insulator as well as allowing their own energy to flow through each other.


Half way through and everyone was relaxing into the class and smiling away, we worked on another collaborative posture straight after from artists Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers. Together in 1898 after experimenting with many different gases they illuminated neon by exciting it with electricity. We wanted to show the class that without one and other they wouldn’t have achieved this, our guests faced one and other held onto each others forearms and had to trust their partner to lean back – it worked beautifully (see top picture).

Tim Etchells was next up and with his work we interpreted a bit more of a challenging posture in the form of warrior 3 to aim to create a capital T for Tim.

Chris Timmermans, Richard’s old neon boss who unfortunately had a motorbike accident involving him losing his leg. Coming from generations of neon artists Chris’s roots are firmly grounded in the neon industry, so naturally we decided to do tree pose with a little bit of black comedy we admit. We paired our guests side by side and offering support for one and other they balanced into tree pose.


Neon artist Richard Box created neon art in the form of fluorescent tubes across a 3600 square metre farmers field, representing electricity pylons and how dangerous they can be. Swaying palm tree pose seemed to be the most obvious choice to try to create electricity flowing through the tubes or pylons.


Finally what better way to finish than with Fiona Banners work titled “full stop”. The “full stop” represents an ending but also signifies a beginning.


10 neon artists and yoga postures later the day was unfortunately over for me but carried on for the guests to learn more from Richard. An unexpected direction in which yoga took me that I would do again in a heart beat and once again yoga proves its ability to connect everyone.

Keep the energy flowing by staying connected
GEM Yoga xxx

Thanks to Richard William Wheater for creating light yoga and David Lindsay for the superb photographs.

Time – Slow down, please!

I received a phone call the other day from my Mum who was nearing the end of her three week island hopping holiday through Greece. Initially I thought we must have had a bad line but it soon became apparent that my mum was extremely upset – she couldn’t cope with being away from home for so long and the fact that nothing was in her control. At that moment I knew exactly what to say and how to reassure her, it happened instinctively. After the phone call ended I thought about the times I have rung my mum crying – her voice and words would so easily calm me. I thought about the times you see a child fall over and the way they look to their parents for that security, whether it be in a smile or a cuddle. It made me think about how a parent feels when their child goes to Uni, or even more relevant to where this is going, how does a child feel if you have to put a parent into a nursing home? When does it hit you that role reversal has already happened? When did I gain the ability to calm my mum down the way she did so well when I was younger? More to the point how does it feel to get older and realise you are starting to rely more and more on your children?

I recently asked a question on Facebook “What is the worst thing about getting “old” or what you imagine will be?”, the answers really hit home, here’s some of them:

  1. Loneliness
  2. No longer being able to speak to Mum and Dad  (I still cry at this one)
  3. Peoples perception of you change due to a number
  4. Fear of change
  5. Not achieving your goals
  6. Becoming dependent on others

The one that was mentioned most was losing your mental and physical ability which for me is terrifying, my Grandma passed away after suffering from dementia for nearly 10 years, my Nana has recently under gone surgery after she broke her hip – it has consumed her, she rarely leaves the house. My Grandad is 90, he still drives but his knees ache and I sense a feeling of him being a little lost – I can’t imagine how different the world looks for him now!

3 generations.jpg

Three generations

” Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone”

” Enjoy your body use it every way you can ,don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own”

“Get to know your parents you never know when they’ll be gone”

Quindon Tarver – ” Wear sunscreen”

A truly excellent song that sums up where I am taking this.

Our bodies and our minds are the most individual and exceptional things we will ever have, together they make us who we are. Your body is designed to move and stretch (ahem) as well as your mind being there to learn and expand – Don’t ever take that for granted. As we grow older the physical movements might not be as big and our minds might not be as sharp but we learn to adapt, we give our knees a longer rest that have been holding us up for 60+ years, we focus more on keeping a healthy spine and back and we may have to occasionally take a step back, a deep breath and acknowledge just how much the world has changed; but this is all inevitable and we are all going to be in that same situation eventually, so love your body and use it however you can, when it gets tired give it a chance to rest. Keep stretching your mind but if things become over whelming don’t be afraid to ask for help – whether it be from your mum or your daughter.

Stay young at heart – Grace xxx

Pigeon Pose

Pigeon Pose; its a little bit like Marmite you will either love it or hate it, however hate is such a strong word to use as a nature loving hippie Yogi so let me rephrase that – Pigeon Pose will grow with you over time throughout your practice, in the beginning there might be a feeling of exploding knees and glutes, but as time passes and your practice deepens Pigeon Pose will slowly creep in and become a posture that can give you the most wonderful release, both mentally and physically.


Don’t be too eager to bend your body into postures it’s not ready for, remember the human body is like iron – the warmer it is the more flexible it can become. Before you turn your body into a little pigeon make sure you warm up with some Sun Salutations, if its your first time trying this posture i would recommend a couple of blocks to give your body some support.



Pigeon Pose with use of blocks

Make sure your back leg is extended straight down your mat, then pop a block under the glute/thigh of the bend leg, the further away from your body you have the foot of the bent leg the more intense the pose will be. Try to lift and move your hips so they are sitting square as appose to falling to the side. Finally extend your hands forward laying your chest over the bent leg, use a block under your forehead if needed before using every exhale to relax your body deeper into the pose. Repeat on the opposite side.




Pigeon Pose

Next gently start to remove the blocks whilst being mindful of any discomfort in the knee, keep the extended leg straight back down your mat and the hips square. Extend your hands forward and rest your forehead to the mat. Depending on your body and level of practice hold this posture for 5-10 breathes. Repeat opposite side.



Pigeon Pose with mermaid variation

Once you become comfortable in the above postures you can start to bring Pigeon Pose into a heart opening posture too. You will need to be able to sit up and take your hands off the ground whilst keeping your hips square. Keep pushing your glutes down to the ground as you bring the back foot up, from here place the top of your foot into the elbow crease of the same arm; for example if you look in the picture my right foot is snuggled in to my right elbow joint. Finally begin to lift and open the chest bringing the other arm behind you to create a bind. Avoid any strain on the neck by keeping your gaze straight forward. Repeat opposite side.



One Legged King Pigeon Pose

Don’t underestimate this posture or any heart opening asanas, they can release all sorts of emotions; i can end up quite teary – not because i’m in any pain or discomfort its more a sense of total release and openness. There are a couple of different ways to achieve One Legged King Pigeon Pose; if you have open shoulders and thoracic try bending your back leg bringing the foot off the ground, then as you inhale reach the hands up and back finding your foot. Keep your breath deep but steady as you allow your head to drop back guiding your toes to your forehead. The other way to achieve this posture is by “flipping your grip”, bend the extended leg and take hold of it with your right hand (i’ll use my photo as an example), start to change your grip by directing your elbow up and back – guide your foot to your forehead and once there bring your left hand back to meet your right. Whichever way you choose to enter this asana keep lifting the rib cage, opening the heart and releasing the entire spine. Rest your body in Pigeon Pose before repeating on the other side.


If you’re a pigeon with blocks or a crown, enjoy either way.


Grace xxx


Controlling fear 

​Fear – An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.

Phobia – An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.

I’m afraid of spiders – terrified, in fact I can’t remember a time when they didn’t frighten me; however I’ve never been able to figure out my actual lack of fondness for them. I’m not afraid of them biting or causing me any harm, my mind has somehow created this irrational phobia, to the extent that I don’t even like the word – SPIDER! It could be the speed of them I don’t like, the fact that they have 8 legs or in my opinion just don’t look overly friendly (the reality is that they’re probably terrified of the screaming giant running around). I think a lot of phobias are passed onto us from parents or a family member; my mum is afraid of spiders too, my dad however had a tarantula crawling on him just last week! So when we talk about “phobias” we’re referring to spiders, wasps, birds, moths, sharks, zombies, heights, lifts, etc. Fear is different – it’s an emotion that is triggered by our phobias causing us to panic, cry or scream; I do all three when I see a spider. 

Other phobias like flying or deep water are still connected to the emotion of fear but aren’t always the real phobia; take flying for example, what is the actual phobia of? Falling? Small spaces? Death? And if your fear is deep water, could it be the real fear is the unknown or could it be that the one thing all these phobias have in common is “control” or the lack of it. You can’t control the direction a spider will move in or how fast, you can’t control the aeroplane – unless you’re a pilot (but then I doubt your phobia would be flying), you can’t control what is lurking at the bottom of that well or ocean and you most certainly cannot control death. The one thing as human beings we are able to control is our own emotions and to control them we must learn to control our breath and mind.

However, what if our fear in life is “failure” and who decides if you have failed? Who dictates if you have passed? You decide – it’s your mind, your thoughts, and your life – you are the only person who ever decides if you have failed or passed. As humans we have been given a very powerful gift – our minds – and if we are not careful the mind can start to control us, thereby developing fears, anxiety, depression and phobias. The word “failure” has a hugely negative impact immediately on us as human beings – to be told you have failed, to have a failure of a marriage or to be failing as parent – but what if you studied hard for that exam, what if for years you worked at your marriage and what if as a parent you’re doing the best you’re capable of? Should you still think of yourself as a failure? 

In yoga we teach pranayama, which consists of different ways to control the breath. To control the breath we must learn to control our diaphragm then over time we make the diaphragmatic muscle stronger. Diaphragmatic breathing reduces the heart rate and brings the body from sympathetic fight or flight to parasympathetic calm and relax – ideal for when you’re ready to board that flight, get in a lift, hold that spider (ahem) or stop yourself from changing into the Incredible Hulk! Pranayama is a physical way of controlling your body; we must then learn to mentally rationalise situations, emotions and negativity through meditation. To mediate is to try to calm the mind and come to a serene almost euphoric state; there are many ways of achieving this – through guided mediation (having a teacher talk to you), thinking of a mantra (a single image that doesn’t change), focusing on your breath, etc., all of which can be very tricky to begin with. Meditating is a truly wonderful way to remove negativity and failure from your mind. 

I’d like to say I’m writing this whilst holding a spider – small steps though right!

Diaries of a nomad 

I’ve recently been privileged enough to start blogging for online brand, the latest blog was to be titled “life of a nomad”, further more the life of a nomad blog was going to be about me – my life as a nomad. It’s the best way to sum my life up at the moment so I poured my heart into it, I’ve been honest and told my life how it is. I’ve tried to explain who I am – why I’m sometimes quiet then in a few minutes bouncing off the walls, how I became to be me… Grace the yogi, Grace the dog walker or hairdresser, Grace the climber or daughter, sister or hippie, nutter or just Grace. 

I would be very honoured if you click this link and have a read. Feel free to browse mymantra clothing too, its ace!

Don’t forget your roots 

“Back bending” or “heart opening” postures in yoga can make us feel very ungrounded and fearful, sometimes we even allow them to take our breath away. If you’re new to yoga everything about extending (bending) your spine seems unnatural, your entire life has been folding the spine forward so arching your back, for example: tying your shoe laces, getting into the car and actually, just picking anything up, these are all things we do on a daily basis without even thinking about. Yoga allows you to extend and strengthen your spine the opposite way, creating an arc.
Stating the obvious here but always warm the body up before moving into any spine opening asanas. Never ever allow any posture to take your breath away – I find when I’m teaching, a lot of my yogis hold their breath as they move into spine opening asanas. You should feel comfortable and maintain a steady breath as you open the spine, there may be a sense of uncertainty and that your body isn’t fully grounded but that’s where your yoga teacher should come in, physically supporting you or getting you to use props, they will then guide you into the different poses. Again another obvious piece of advice is to really listen to your body, if it hurts don’t do it!

When I use the word “grounded” it applies more than ever when opening the heart in yoga. In the beginning of your yoga journey you’ll think all the strength and flexibility is required in the back, this isn’t the case, especially as you go deeper into these poses. Strong legs are needed more than ever to support, ground and stabilise your spine as it opens – for example in wheel pose or Chakrasana, yes it’s the mobility of your spine that needs to open but it’s your legs getting you there and stabilising you once in the pose. When you start to practice dropping back into Chakrasana from standing, your legs need to be rooted and strong to give your back the support as your hands come down to the ground. 

For me staying grounded is important not only when opening the heart but in life too. It’s important not to forget your roots – where you came from, even if you feel no desire to go back there. I used to be embarrassed to say I was from Huddersfield, immediately adding on “but my mum is from Manchester”, like it made me who I was. The truth is my roots are here in Huddersfield, I don’t have any desire to live here or carry my life on here – but family and friends are here, old work places and some most excellent memories. Huddersfield in a way made me who I am, it made me realise that this isn’t enough and I want to see so much more – to always pronounce my H’s, to never stare someone directly in the eye on a night out and to say “three” instead of “free”. To wrap it up, even though I can only cope with Huddersfield in short visits, it still holds so much familiarity that I can’t help but love it and be grateful for all the opportunities it has given me and to be proud of my roots. 
So don’t allow your roots to hold you down but always remember them, you owe them that. 
Grace from da Hudd. Xxx