yoga retreat

Yes it’s happening! This year allnewyogalife will be investing time and energy into its first ever Retreat. For me this is very exciting. I love teaching, sharing knowledge and supporting my clients, so loving having the opportunity to do this on a much bigger scale, in a beautiful location, giving comprehensive care. It will be fantastic.

What is a Retreat?

One definition of the word Retreat is ‘the act of moving back, withdrawing’.

No matter what your lifestyle, fitting in self-care or me-time around family or work obligations can be hard.  So ‘moving back’ from that busy life, ‘withdrawing’ to a place where there are no obligations will give you the space to breathe and be yourself.

Even as a yoga teacher with a daily practice of yoga and meditation I struggle switching off to the world’s chaos. That is why I decided to organise a retreat.

It’s been interesting researching the world of retreats and advertising, picking a venue, putting together all the yoga and mindfulness classes, looking at vegan and vegetarian menus, setting dates and building a website. Setting up a retreat has been hard work and is not very “yoga” but I have enjoyed the challenge. Respect to all those others on the same journey!!

Finding the venue was the easy part, Cambo Estate, just outside St Andrews is simply magical and a place dear to my heart. Having had the pleasure to work here as part of the wedding events team (yes it does weddings!) I could see how it would be best and most beautiful location. My favourite way to do yoga is outdoors, no walls, no boundaries just the sky above us, connecting with nature through breath, yoga and meditation. Cambo is perfect for this. With seven classes over the four days, hopefully the weather will allow us to be outdoors for most of them. The classes will be based around my regular Hatha Practice, using the gentle slow flowing sessions to connect body and mind to the natural world around us.

The Retreat will be fully catered for with delicious fresh home-cooked foods everyday. Using my experience as a cafe manager and cook, it’s given me great pleasure to come up with a menu for all tastes that can be adapted for various dietary requirements.

Again… very excited that this is happening!

So the date is set July 1st – July 5th 2019.

Yoga and Photography

The Yoga world and photography seem to go hand in hand, perfect poses in luxurious locations. This is not always the reality. Until now for all of allnewyogalife blogs, facebook and instagram posts I have taken and used all my own photos. This has involved setting up my mobile on a wobbly stand in random places at home and outside while getting into pose, staying in pose while randomly shouting PHOTO! in the hope my phone hears me, then focuses, then takes a half decent picture. Despite this am not a shoddy photographer and thus far it has served its purpose, however there comes a point where you need to get the professionals in.

So I Did.

Yesterday I had the best time working with Zoe from photos by Zoe.

Zoe is a fantastic photographer with a beautiful way of looking at the world through her lense. Her eye for detail and gift for capturing light, space and subject makes her work sensitive and personal. This was why I chose her. I wanted someone to capture how the combination of yoga and nature makes me feel.

Believe it or not as a yoga instructor I still get pretty tense especially when getting my picture taken even in a yoga pose.

Why do I feel like this?

Why do so many people feel like this?

We love to capture life around us but to are unable to capture ourselves. Is that bare-ing too much? Never in my life have I looked at someone and thought they should never get their photo taken but am happy to think that of myself?

Thankfully Zoe has a way of making you feel at ease, safe and comfortable in front of the camera.

So we took Zoes’ people skills and photo skills and my love of outdoors yoga and put them together. All we needed was a venue.

Cambo House is a dramatic Victorian mansion set in the East Neuk of Fife. Surrounded by green lawns, walled gardens and wild woods. It sets a magical scene for any occasion. Mostly for weddings, festivals and snowdrops but today it was the location for our photoshoot.

Luckily it was a glorious day. We explored the grounds, walked through the woods, trip-trapped over bridges, clambered over rocks and paddled in the stream (which was freezing but refreshing). All the time trying out yoga poses and laughing. Even relaxing enough for some portrait shots.

It was a very life changing day.

Seeing images of myself taken by a professional made me see myself differently. Not that I was different or looked different, I was myself but I was doing what I love best, yoga while outdoors, connecting with nature. In all the fun I lost the fear of what I might look like, enjoying the moments before the photograph, not focusing on the click of the camera.

How yoga is that!?

Why did I decide on a professional photography?

Right now I am content with teaching classes, hanging out in fields and posting blogs. It is the best life. My own photos are fun for me and a very good visual diary so I will keep sharing them on Instagram and Facebook but they are not enough.

It is important to me to keep pushing my business forward in a professional way to give the best service for my clients. Providing clear information and a feel for what yoga is and what yoga means to me is a huge part of this.

Yoga is about being myself, the best of myself. Being happy within my body whether I can achieve a pose or not.  Finding peace when the world around me is busy. Being able to look at myself and not be judgemental.

My hope is that Zoe and I have captured that.

And by capturing it, it can be shared and if it can be shared it can be taught. Personal compassion and peace is what I want for my students. This is what I would love to help my students to find for themselves.

Below is one of my favourite photographs from yesterday. Its not a yoga pose but it is most definitely yoga…. More coming soon!

Photography byphotos by Zoe

Leggings byWildemode