Snow…

Snow…. Mmmmm!  Finally!  One of the things I have missed since living in Italy is the sight of freshly fallen snow laying a thick blanket over the earth.  I have only seen a sprinkling here in the three years I have been back and was yearning yesterday to see a winter wonderland again.  So, the power of our thoughts!  Draw the curtains this morning and lo!  Desire satisfied.  Standing outside early this morning, I listened to the silence that only snow can bring….it is as if a hush has fallen over the world, there’s nothing quite like it.  Stunningly beautiful, a little inconvenient…didn’t make it to work today!  It was thick and falling where I live and roads that just don’t melt.  An unexpected day off; some risks I’m happy to make in life, others are better not taken so I decided to stay safe, stoke up the fire and work from home instead.

The moon is shining now in a sky studded with diamonds… and have just returned from a venture outside to witness the glitter that sparkles on snow – it’s quite awe-inspiring, and to soak up a little more of that surreal silence.  My cat is not quite so keen! He has ventured out very briefly with a look of puzzlement on his face, followed by disdain as his paws sank into the snow!  Now, my Italian cats were old hat at it, they used to fly out and dive headlong into it with utter abandonment and thoroughly enjoy themselves!  No help when it came to putting snow chains on though, must admit I don’t miss that part!

So though we are fast approaching Spring Equinox, we have some full on weather to deal with, minus 5 tonight and more snow forecast for Thursday.  The birds are out there so remember to help them out as they will have trouble finding food now – proper bird food is best as bread doesn’t sustain them very well.  And outdoor animals need plenty of warm bedding and straw if they are sleeping outside in these temperatures.  Despite their thick winter coats, dogs and cats can die from the cold and it isn’t good for them to be inside cold houses either.  I read an article recently that said if you feel cold, for sure so does your pet.  So make sure they are warm when you are out.  And for us?  Well, lots of nourishing food, echinacea tincture to keep our immune system boosted, fresh ginger tea and lemon.  Thyme tea is great for colds along with loads of vitamin C and try a steam inhalation with a drop of eucalyptus to clear the airways.  If you have those achy flu symptoms, there is nothing like a hot bath with a few drops of lavender and marjoram added to bring some ease, 3 drops of each maximum.  And sometimes we just have to listen to what our body is trying to tell us and slow down a little…  Just added the first herb workshop to the calendar for this year…’Practical Magic’ at Sedgwick Park House 10th June to learn how to use nature’s goodies for our health and wellbeing.  Keep an eye on elderly neighbours too at this time of year.

Stay home and warm, and know that spring isn’t far away now….and as winter has been pretty dramatic this year, I reckon spring will be warm and glorious!!

All blessings Nalini x

Sunday Dance – Fall into Grace

Come dance with us

Yesterday morning saw us dancing our way to bliss and falling into grace again at the Lower Beeding venue with its sprung dance floor, and a great group who entered into it all with openness and enthusiasm!  Kathryn led us on a dance through the elements to a fab play list which got us all shaking our stuff, leaving behind tension and finding our natural joy and laughter.  It was a pleasure for me to participate and not lead this time, which is one of the reasons Kathryn and I take turns to lead, we both love to dance and participate too!  Oh how I love doing this, so freeing, a good workout and a chance to connect too.  If you haven’t tried it yet, please come along and give it a go.  There are no steps to learn, some guidance is given.. and you just let your heart guide your feet!  It’s easy, enjoyable and a lot of fun.

Have a look at our Dancemantra uk dance collective on Facebook and join the group for updates on events.

The next one “Blossoming into Spring” takes place on Saturday 17th March at the Barn, St Marys Church, Horsham.  You can book online which is preferable, or you can come along on the day if you don’t want to commit beforehand.  We so look forward to seeing you and welcoming you into our dance tribe who are fast-growing.  Many of our dancers arrived with just a little trepidation, not sure what to expect, and loved it!  Well, they keep coming back so something good is happening!  See you in March for our next monthly event.  Love Nalini x

Menopause Initiation of Change

The Initiatory Journey of Menopause – coming home to ourselves

Menopause… what does the word bring up for you?  Is it fear or fascination?  Dread or excitement?

For many women, the transition of menopause can bring up feelings of negativity and resistance, and I believe this to be mainly down to the stigma that society has placed on this perfectly normal, healthy transition in a woman’s life.  Menopause happens to every single woman and our bodies and minds are designed for it, but there is such a huge negativity around it from society and this has become engrained on most women’s psyche.  What if there was a new way to look at it, a way that leads to freedom, joy and fulfilment?  Wouldn’t that be a healthier, more healing way?

For me, menopause is for sure a change, but a change that brings many rewards and teaches us how to know ourselves a whole lot better, and a change that allows us to say yes to ourselves, possibly for the first time in our lives.  Women spend much of their lives in service to others, taking on board so many various duties and responsibilities, and find that as menopause approaches, they have less energy for it.  All perfectly normal.  In the cycle of a woman’s life, there are times to be active and out there, and times to rest and be more inwards.  For anyone who has practiced ‘menstrual cycle awareness’, they will know this to be true.  As we cycle around the month, different energies emerge and each month, there comes a time when rest and renewal are non-negotiable.  So it is with menopause…. we are in the part of the cycle of our lives when we need to down tools a bit and re-evaluate what our lives need to look like.  Change indeed is on the horizon, and oh how joyous to take quiet times, reflective time, time with other woman going through the transition, and get to know ourselves a bit better.  Cycles are part of nature too, look at the seasons and how nature has times of full blooming and times of rest and renewal.  The rest and renewal give the impetus for a fuller blooming, so is a seriously important messenger for us too.

When we understand more fully the menopause journey, much resistance falls away…. and as a result, many of the ‘symptoms’ fall away too.  Our bodies are trying to tell us something when symptoms become overwhelming and they are asking us to slow down, listen and make some changes.  This really is the most amazing time in a woman’s life if she works it well.

My training in menstruality and menopause, along with my own menopause journey, have guided me into sharing with other women the keys to coping with, and making the most of, both our monthly cycle and menopause.

Come along and learn more at a new monthly support group for women in peri-menopause or menopause, or indeed for any woman that wants to know herself better and prepare well for the journey.  There is nothing like a supportive group of women all on the same track to inspire, heal and bring joy and laughter to the experience.  Held on one in four Wednesday evenings, you will gain support, understanding, tools and techniques, and enjoy a session of lovely, deep relaxation at the end to send you off home relaxed and at ease.  Relaxation is one of the key ingredients for the menopause or menstrual journey.  Click here for more details or to book or feel free to contact me for more info.

All blessings Nalini x

Coming Home to Myself – Dancemantra 21st January

Thank you to all you lovely dancers who braved the elements this morning to come. It was heart-warming to witness your openess, movement, voice,stillness. It brings me such joy to be able to offer sacred space for us to dance this life together, to let go, to share, to trust, thank you xxx Next Dancemantra is with Kathryn Premshakti Varley Sunday 19th April, same time same place.

If you haven’t tried conscious dance, come along to one of our monthly events.  People from all walks of life join us for these wonderful sessions.  If you love dancing but don’t fancy the nightclubs, try this alternative possibility.  Conscious dance is free dance, with some guidance from the facilitator (Kathryn or I).  No special steps are needed, it is about expressing authentically and freely in the moment.  Please contact me if you would like to know more, are a little nervous of taking the dip, and I am happy to talk to you about what it is we are all getting up to!  Love Nalini xx

 

Autumn – news and inspiration from the Hedge Witch!

Autumn Newsletter, tips, events, ideas for Easing into Autumn – transitioning into a slower groove… news from the Hedgewitch!

Summer draws to an end and we ease into Autumn.  Still some warm, sunny days ahead of us and the magic of watching the leaves start to turn and grace us with a myriad of colours and beauty.

Nights are drawing in quickly now, and many are sighing with discontent!  But wait!  Can you imagine how it would be to live near the equator?  To have equal day and night all year round, always the same?  Gosh, I would be so bored with that.  I can remember working in Africa, finishing work at 5 and it being a hot day.  No looking forward to sitting outside in daylight, all dark by 6pm, every day without fail.  Light at 6am every day without fail!  Sigh. Now THAT’s something to sigh about!

So, look on the bright side, isn’t it marvellous that we have those long, summer evenings with so much daylight?  And the opposite coming in during the dark half of the year.   Magical!

I love the seasons, they have so much to teach us about how to live.  Autumn always points the way to slowing down on the energy of high summer and starting to quieten down a little and begin the descent inwards into deeper waters.  Time to reflect on the harvest of my year so far, what has happened, what has grown?  And with the changing of the season, changing colours of the earth, what needs changing in my own life?  We always ponder these reflections in my regular meditation group on a Friday evening.  We have a special evening to celebrate each solstice and equinox and to mark the transition.  It’s a lovely thing to do.

Soooo… Autumn is easing in as we pass the equinox when day and night were equal, and come into the darker time of year.  So many magical things around now though!  Look out for shiny conkers bursting forth from prickly shells, I can never resist having a few in my pocket.  Seeing the squirrels with nuts in their paws, stocking up their larders for the coming months. Spider webs sparkling with morning dew. Halloween on its way, the most important festival for the pagan community – a time when the veil is the thinnest between worlds and we remember our ancestors.  So looking forward to getting creative with a door step altar again this year, will it be different from last year’s??  My American friend was here last year – and you know what they are like about Halloween!  I kinda got into the groove with her, especially after she bought me my very own broomstick!

Mother Earth has laid a quilt over the land of differing, more subdued colours now as she starts to turn her gaze inwards towards deep rest and renewal – hmm, maybe not such a bad idea for us too!  Lovely, long evenings cozyed up with books, cats and hot chocolate.  Wood stove not lit yet, that is a winter pleasure yet to come!  Plenty of candles though to shed a warm glow to my home.

So don’t be blue because of the shorter days, look for all the beauty in nature, both physically and also to what she teaches through the changing seasons.  And my boots collection is on its way out!  Can you imagine life without being able to wear boots!!  Unthinkable!

AUTUMN TIPS FOR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

So, what about our health and well-being in this season?  What can we do to look after ourselves?  Well, let’s have a look at the plants and what we can utilize for free.

Rosehips from the wild dog rose – go foraging, fill a glass jar or bottle with them and cover in apple cider vinegar – leave on a sunny (or not!) windowsill for a couple of weeks to allow all that gorgeous Vitamin C to pour out.  Then strain your liquid, and take a teaspoon daily in warm water as a great immune boost.

Nasturtium flowers – those lovely bright flowers are a natural anti-biotic, just eat a few!  Don’t go too mad, two or three will do.

Sage – love her!  Make a strong tea, leave to cool and use as a gargle if a sore throat is challenging.

Thyme – makes a wonderful herbal tea, good for when we have a cold but drink it regularly too to keep the winter blues at bay.  Just put a sprig in a mug of water just off the boil, leave to stand for 5 minutes and then drink – it tastes amazing!  Add honey to help soothe if you like.

Echinacea – a well-known immune booster.  Buy the tincture and take it daily during the build up to winter, it is really a great preventative measure.  You can tincture the roots if you have it in your garden.  Dig up the root, wash thoroughly and chop into a glass jar.  Fill with vodka and leave to mature for about a month.  Strain and bottle.  Add 10 to 20 drops to water twice daily.  If you want to buy it, A.Vogel are a good company to buy from.

Conkers!  – Those gorgeous shiny horse chestnuts are great for varicose veins and thread veins!  Chop them and tincture as above.  Only 5 drops twice daily, they can be toxic if overdone so be careful.

Essential Oils

You can use them in the bath or in an oil if you do get caught with winter ailments.

At onset of a cold or flu – hot baths with a blend of 3 drops lavender and 3 drops marjoram OR 3 drops lavender and 3 drops eucalyptus.  Add to a little honey or milk and add to a pre-run bath, shut the door and inhale the steam.  Use the marjoram blend if that achy body symptom is present, it really helps.

Steam inhalation.  Add water just off the boil to a large, pyrex bowl, add two to three drops in total of one or a mix of eucalyptus, camphor, thyme or ti tree.  The steam in itself fights germs and the oils ease coughs, congestion and are anti-viral.  Just put your head over the bowl, cover with a towel and breathe in the steam.  Stay for at least 5 minutes.

More recipes to follow in the winter newsletter, I hope you won’t need them but it’s great to use natural stuff rather than medicines to help.

And if all else fails, come and see me for a warming session!  I can always make you feel so much better.  Lovely, warming aromatherapy oils, yummy!  And try mixing that with a hot stones massage for a real double whammy!  Just what the cooler days call for! Mmmmmm, nice!

 

EVENTS

Had a great workshop at the end of September on making natural products from the Autumn plants and herbs!  Always such a joy for me to share the magic and teach how to make lotions and potions.  More workshops coming in Spring if you missed out on this one.  Keep an eye on the calendar next year.

 

I just love doing these.  I will be sharing lots of tips in my blogs so keep up to date and learn some interesting fact and folklore…

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

‘Right Here, Right Now’ – A Dance of Awareness Event

Sunday 12th November – Lower Beeding Hall 10.30 – 12.30

Come and warm up those bodies and join us for a Dancemantra two hour morning class – see website for full event details.  These dance workshops are a great success and everyone is enjoying them, no special steps required, this is free dance, moving how you feel in the moment.

Full details are here

Regular events held by me and my friend Kathryn Premshakti Varley

 

Inspired!  New Year one day workshop

Saturday 30th December – at beautiful Sedgwick Park House, Horsham

An inspiring and motivating workshop to enter into the New Year with calmness, clarity and ease of being.

Join us for a great day that will include yoga nidra, some meditative practice, dance and journalling and will conclude with a glorious outdoor fire ritual for letting go of the old and bringing in the new.  Breathe life into your very being and go forwards with vision and trust.

Full details will be available from September but please do contact Nalini if you would like more info.

Prem Kathryn Varley  (Horsham Yoga) and Nalini are holding the space for  this day together.

 

Hope to see you on a workshop soon, please do call if you would like to chat about them before deciding.

Many many Autumn blessings to you, get into the magic and enjoy!  Love Nalini x

(October 2017)

Magic of Healing Herbs and Plants


Delighted to say that we had our first workshop last Saturday at Sedgwick Park House in Horsham and had a glorious time and glorious weather!  It was such fun to forage in Clare’s stunning gardens finding the plants we needed to make some great products with natural ingredients.  Everyone made an infused oil, some with St John’s Wort which is a great anti-inflammatory oil, others with lavender which is a multi-tasking oil good for all sorts of things.  We also made herbal tinctures, a healing balsam for cuts and wounds and a wonderfully nutritious face cream that smells like heaven!

Transforming calendula into an oil that is great for all skin problems, gentle enough to use for nappy rash too.

The gardens are so gorgeous as part of them are left to nature and are a little wild, just how I like them!  Easy to find what we needed in those parts of the garden for all our luscious products.  There are more cultivated gardens and some natural lakes and ancient woodland too – magical!   A great group attended and we have had some really positive feedback!  Seems everyone had a really enjoyable day and are inspired to get to it at home with their own products.

Next one is coming up on 30th September and we will be making some new products on this one using different plants.  I am over the moon to be able to be doing these workshops here in the UK.  After running them in Italy from my own garden there, I wasn’t sure they would continue here.  And then I met Clare!  Bless her for being so open to sharing her healing and magical space, and for coming on board with me to do these educational and fascinating workshops!  We had great fun working together and are looking forward to continuing doing stuff together.

If you have never been to Sedgwick Park House, put it on your to do list, it is so lovely there!

Well, I am off this Saturday after a full on day last Saturday, and about to go outside and pick my calendula flowers ready for infusing.  A cup of tea first though!

Love Nalini x

My garden isn’t quite as impressive as Clare’s but it is proof that even the most modest garden can be host to the plants used for making products.  Mine is full of wild flowers and herbs and all carefully guarded by Mr Tao Bennett, the cutie in black and white!

Dancemantra – Horsham Dance Collective

A lot of good feedback has come for the first event run by Prem yesterday ‘Let your Yoga Dance’ and it is great to know that so many of the participants enjoyed experimenting with dance and movement in this way, and also that the experience went deep too.

We are both really happy to be offering this service to our community, it really gives an invitation to open your heart and see what happens.

Conscious movement is a doorway into your inner being and the dance we are offering helps tap into ourselves in a deeper way by allowing the mind to rest and the body to do the talking.

We had a lot of fun too and are so looking forward to the events coming up over the next few months.  Thank you to everyone who came.

Dance Horsham

Delighted to say that our first Dancemantra dance event was held today in Horsham, led by Prem Kathryn Varley and attended by a great group of people.  It was a lovely space and so good to dance.  Conscious dance is such a freeing practice, a real retreat from the mind into the intelligence of the body, moving from the heart and soul.  We raised £220 for the charity Ourmala too.

The turnout today was good and it is so inspiring to be creating space in Horsham for people to move, dance, connect and open their hearts.  Thank you to Prem for her energy and idea in getting this together!

I am holding the space for our next event – “Move into Life” – a Dance of Awareness event, 20th August, see our dedicated FB page – Dancemantra for more details. If you have never tried this type of movement and dance before, come along and give it a try, many beginners came this weekend.. and really enjoyed it!   No formality involved!  Just space to move freely and do what you feel.  View the full calender here.

“Move into Life” – a Dance of Awareness event

20th August Lower Beeding Village Hall

10.30am – 12.30pm

Dance of Awareness is a free-flow approach to dance and movement and consciousness in which we are able to develop our connection to ourselves and the world around us. When we move and dance with awareness, we experience our authenticity, our heartfelt desires and release places where we may have become stuck in patterns of habit that no longer serve us. Feeling into the body and allowing the mind to rest brings us into our felt sense from where we can touch our innate wisdom and joy.

The Dance of Awareness cycle embraces our developmental years through a ‘wave’ of movement and energy, inviting us to move through old imprints into new ways of being. We dance to explore, express, release and connect, and to come home to ourselves

Please come and join us for our second event and let’s continue the journey of exploration, connection and openness together. It’s fun, it’s freeing, it’s relaxed. No special steps needed, just an open heart and curiousity.

Book with me directly 07432 404229 or go to fb Dancemantra.   If you would like more info before booking, please call.

New Mindful Meditation and Relaxation group for teens

TEEN WARRIORS – Quiet space in Horsham for meditation, mindfulness and relaxation for teenagers
Starting soon in Horsham, a weekly ‘quiet hour’ in which teens can unwind, relax and learn tools to ease stress and anxiety.
Mindful movement and meditation to reduce stress and increase confidence!
Fun and interactive as well as calming and stress-reducing
Kids and teens take to meditative practices like ducks to water. And the benefits for them in their lives not only help them deal with school and exam stress, it gives them a grounding in how to live and to promote a calm and focused future. Here are some of the reasons to practice:
• Increase self-confidence
• Develop mental clarity and creativity
• Relieves stress and anxiety
• Increases focus
• Decreases aggressive and/or impulsive behavior
• Expands self-awareness
• Improves quality of sleep
• Better decision-making
• Promotes correct breathing
• Helps with social skills
I have many years experience of meditation with my own practice and taught mindfulness and meditation to kids and teens during my years as a teacher at the Living Wisdom School where it was part of the programme for students. “Kids and teens easily pick up the practices and are enthusiastic and curious. It was always a pleasure to see the changes in them once they had been practicing a while.

Healing Plants Workshop at Sedgwick Park House

 Workshops

Healing Plants and Herbs – the joy of making natural products at home

Saturday 8th July 2017 – 10am – 5.30pm

Workshop held at Sedgwick Park House, a stunning location close to Horsham , come and immerse yourself in nature and learn how to prepare your own natural remedies from nature’s bounty including face and body oils and creams and healing tinctures.  And a nature walk in the magical gardens will show you how to forage for wild plants for culinary and health use.  You will go home with enthusiasm to start your own collection of products and with a handful of products that we’ll make on the day.  They are easy to make once you have the know-how and the products are wonderfully healing for body, mind and soul.  Don’t miss out on this workshop, the venue alone is worth the day out!

Nalini has a wealth of experience in cultivating and using herbs and plants for  health and well-being and you will learn loads of interesting stuff, not only how to make lotions and potions but also herbal teas, elderflower cordial and what a magnificent ‘weed’ nettle is and its myriad of uses!  Many tips for health including menopause, skin care and common ailments – all easily helped by plants and herbs that can be found in most gardens.  Clare, the owner of Sedgwick, will teach and share her knowledge of preparing tinctures from the amazing choice of plants she has in her beautiful garden.  You will also have the experience of walking a labyrinth, a healing and meditative journey that brings clarity and vision.

Please contact Nalini to book.  Call 07432 404229. Please see www.sedgwickpark.com for more details on the venue.  £65 including all materials.  A £25 deposit is required to book your place, limited availability.