From addiction to obsession
Before I discovered yoga I was in survival mode. I went from work to sleep to work and from addiction to obsession looking for something I felt was missing in places I would never find it.
My first yoga class in an East London gym cracked through the barriers I'd had up for a lifetime and as I sat there cry laughing in confusion I knew I was close to that something that was missing but it wasn’t until I left London for a simpler and safer life in the countryside and re-established a relationship to myself and to nature that I remembered what it was.
It found me on a mountaintop
I still remember the exact moment I found myself again. Sat at the peak of a mountain in the Lakes I closed my eyes and sat quietly for a while. When I opened them again the mist parted, the expansive panoramic view opened up before me and I remembered what it was to be free. That precise moment changed the course of my life.
For 5 years I opened up boxes I'd locked away and with each unfolding story and its accompanying cascade of physical and emotional pain I discovered new ways to cope: yoga, meditation, restorative, yoga nidra, therapy, journaling, the forest, the ocean, the mountains and then eventually the most medicinal of them all...
A circle of womxn
I remember being completely terrified the first time I sat in circle, I had no idea what to expect, I was terrified of speaking in a group and had always had tricky relationships with groups of women (girl gang school vibes) but it was completely transformative and healing in ways I could never have anticipated and changed the course of my life's work completely.
I am not a natural feeler. I have always run from challenging emotions given half a chance and if left unchecked still catch myself trying to! Womxn's circles helped me connect to my emotions, reminded me how important it is to feel fully and offered the space for my stories to be heard, held and healed.
I started offering gatherings that I called wild yoga but no 'yoga' ever happened. We just sang, shared, cried and danced under the moonlight.
The crash and burn
I kept opening boxes and I kept finding new ways to run from their contents and then at 29 years old my body gave up on me. After years of trying to contain and suppress my stories and pain through addictions and obsessions I found myself in bed exhausted, swollen joints, in excruciating pain and unable to move.
It took 3 years to recover and a huge part of that journey was learning to live a slower, more cyclical life that honoured the rhythms of nature and my body. And so Moon Forest Flow as born: a wild and cyclical approach life and practice.
Yoga, nidra, nature, womxn's circles and Menstrual Cycle Awareness have helped me to integrate trauma, heal anxiety, ride the waves of moods and emotions, recover from addiction and eating disorders, heal period pain and continue to support me in learning how to break habitual patterns, open my heart, make peace with my mind and live in my body.
Yoga, nidra, nature, womxn's circles and Menstrual Cycle Awareness have helped to heal my body and mind in ways I had never thought possible. These practices have taught me to take a stand for rhythm, to feel the rumble of rage pulsing through the earth and our bodies and reject any expectation of consistency, predictability and infinite resource. In the forests, on the mat and in circle I have been shown how to truly live from a place of simplicity, congruency and connection and to honour my wild and cyclical nature.
Bringing yoga, womxn and nature together feels like a homecoming.
I want nothing more than for every woman to know their worth, reclaim their body as their own and be empowered with the body literacy they deserve to live a life of freedom.
If you're here and you're feeling drawn to these offerings then welcome! I can't wait to meet you.
'Yoga is not a workout, it is a workin. And this is the point of spiritual practice; to make us teachable; to open up our hearts and focus our awareness so that we can know what we already know, be who we already are.' ~ Rolf Gates