Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Colin Davis - Sun Power Yoga at TreeHouse


Do you want try something all the top athletes are doing? 
Do you want to improve your fitness, your strength and flexibilty? 
Do you want to learn techniques to relax and unwind? 

Then start the New Year with Sun Power Yoga classes run by Colin Davis every Tuesday 5.30 – 6.30pm.  For only £5 a class you’ll benefit from improved breathing, posture, muscle tone, flexibility and a happy state of mind....for just £5 a week!

To book your space contact Carol Repton at reception.

And if you thought yoga was about sitting stretching and chewing on lentils, then think again!  Sun Power Yoga has the fitness enthusiast in mind and promises to deliver a challenging yet rewarding experience for all fitness levels.

With a background in martial arts, Colin has a wealth of experience teaching  in many of the top London health clubs, with a variety of personal clients and, possibly the hardest of them all, in schools! Colin spent a year co -teaching with Cathy Underwood (who used to teach yoga at TreeHouse) yoga fitness classes in local schools...270 children every week! It was a really rewarding experience and Colin and Cathy developed Yoga Rocks! and are currently putting together a teacher training manual for those looking to teach yoga fitness classes for kids of all abilities.

Colin is a much loved and respected yoga teacher who has incredible agility and strength...NOT to be missed!

Come and try something new - For further information call 07957 272066

Monday, 17 September 2012

Gary Markwick - Now It Begins!

Always give with love and compassion
Without guilt, bitterness or an empty feeling
Open your hearts to those who suffer
And show forgiveness and understanding
To a world which needs healing
 - Gary Markwick

Palmist, Psychic & Reiki Master Healer
I've had the pleasure of knowing Gary and his partner Denize for many years now and I've always known him to be an exceptionally gifted Palmist, Psychic and Reiki Master Healer.

So I was thrilled to hear that Gary had fullfilled his dream of writing his first book 'Now It Begins' - a self-help guide that draws upon personal testimony, professional guidance and the best of New Age thinking.

Gary Markwick

Now It Begins!
Split into 10 distinct 'phases', Now It Begins systematically tackles some of life's biggest and most personal questions about identity and interconnectivity, love and fear, choice and destiny.

The book explains that most of us are trapped in a harmful illusionary world of our own subconscious creation.  Gary encourages the reader to break the mental chains holding them back and, by exercising the gift of choice, take responsibility for their own future happiness.

Gary Markwick at his book signing

Our True Purpose 
There's a real sense that the author is there every step of the way to provide a clear and accessible path through the clutter of our negative thoughts, moving us forward to a self-realisation.

At the heart, the message is simple -  once you let go of illusion and draw upon a more fundamental, universal source of motivation,  then you will reconnect with your true purpose on earth.

When you are happy with yourself in the present you are creating happiness for your future

My particular favourite was 'Phase Four' which focuses on being present, the power of intention, exercising forgiveness and learning to believe in yourself.

Illustrated throughout with ancient learning and pithy stories Now It Begins will consistently inspire and encourage people on their exciting journey to freedom and fulfilment. 

As Gary so beautifully puts "The world is now on the verge of a great spiritual awakening and everybody owes it to themselves, and their neighbours, to tap into the limitless energy of the moment and bring about a lasting change for the better."

Win a FREE signed copy of Now It Begins! 

It's simple - email here for the opportuntiy to win a free signed copy. 
The winner will be contacted by Friday 28th September 2012

Now It Begins is available to order in paperback from Waterstones, WHSmiths and all other good bookstores throughout the UK.   Also available as an ebook on worldwide.

Written by Cathy Underwood

Monday, 21 May 2012

Who motivates the motivator?

Me & Mus

How do you motivate the motivator?  My answer: find a great teacher.  

I love being around people who are passionate about what they do.  Their enthusiasm radiates an infectious energy and leaves you wanting more.  As a dancer, fitness instructor and an award winning yoga teacher (did I mention the award?) I like to think I’m a passionate health advocate...but I still need motivating!

Who are my favourite motivators?  I seem to have created a team of them over the years.  Some come and go whilst others seem to become lifelong friends.  My yoga guru, Denise Martin Harker, runs Aware studio in Ware.  She’s been my teacher and mentor for many years and I believe I will be her eternal student.  Then there’s Mus (pictured) a talented personal trainer who trains me like an athlete and then there’s Maggie, Forty Hall Running Club, who at 60+ is the inspiration I aspire to be.

But my favourite motivators of all time, are my two boys.  They remind me to have fun with fitness.  So we’ll try yoga on the trampoline, ride our bikes through big muddy puddles or dance like Diversity in front of the telly.  They’re my biggest excuse to be silly and if there’s ever a reason to maintain my health and wellbeing, then it’s for them.  Being their role model is important as I hope to encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle.

So do you have a favourite motivator? I would love to know who they are? 

Over the next few months I'll be highlighting some of the health and wellbeing 'stars' of my community in the hope that you'll explore some of the services on offer in yours.  

Or better still why not come and try some with me? It’s the year of the London Olympics so what better motivation to get fit do we need? 

Are you up for the challenge? Well, let’s get motivated!

Go Fitness!

I’m on a mission to find out what sort of exercise really does keep us motivated to stay active and fit? Is it the exercise or the motivator?

Over the next few months, I'll be highlighting some of the health and wellbeing 'stars' in my community and reporting back to you.  I hope that maybe you’ll join me and explore what’s on offer in your area too?  

It’s the year of the London Olympics so what better motivation do we need to get fit?

Are you up for the challenge? Well, let’s get motivated!

Kevin Matthews with students & teachers

Go Fitness! This event was organized by Kevin Matthews and Samantha Russell of Fitness For Your Future and was held in my local town Enfield on Sunday 13th May.  The day was designed to bring health enthusiasts and their friends together to enjoy a variety of fitness classes. 

Kindly invited by Kevin and Sam I thought this would be an excellent fitness challenge.  The timetable read Zumba, Body Combat, Total Tone, Body Attack and Stretch.  Just to test me a little more I was given a MOVband to wear.  The MOVband is a wrist worn perdometer/activity monitor designed for kids and adults and FFF are currently the UK’s distributors. It’s really easy to use and an exciting way to track your daily steps and movement mileage.

It’s been a while since I hung up my aerobic teacher boots in favour of the yoga mat but, wow,  it didn’t take me long to get back into the swing.  The teachers were full of energy and kept us motivated throughout.  Even now I can’t quite believe I took part in five back to back sessions, clocked up 10 miles and still had energy later to take my kids out for a bike ride!

'I did it!'

I have since bought MOVbands (in funky colours) for my family.  My boys love them and one day they clocked up 29 miles on the trampoline.  Now that’s active! 

I would thoroughly recommend taking part in a Go Fitness Event because it's not just about getting fit, it’s about having fun,  trying something new and meeting likeminded people.   Maybe I’ll see you there next time?

For information about FFF Events and MOVbands go to

Who motivates you? Would you like me to come and review your favourite class or activity?

I'd love to hear from you.  Please contact me here

Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Path To Enlightenment...

This week I went to hear Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) talk about ‘True peace and happiness in the here and now’ at The Royal Festival Hall.   At aged 86 he sat cross-legged like a young man but showed his years as he shared his wisdom.

His approach was very simple and I was reminded just how similar the Zen and Yogic philosophies are.  Both teach the importance of mindful breathing, leading us to a union between the mind and the body.  A place where we are present.   When we are present we are not distracted by our thoughts of the past or of the future.  This doesn't mean we ignore what has been or what is to come but we acknowledge that our soul's purpose is to live.

In our busy lives, mindfullness is a necessary practise that can help us make sense of this chaotic World we live in.  Stress, depression and other mental health problems can be alleviated using these techniques but it takes practise.  Daily practise takes will power and self discipline and this may take time.  But what we gain is a life that is fullfilled and not empty.

In the words of Thay ‘Everyone can become enlightened, it beings with just one breath’

Here is a breathing meditation that resonated with me during Thay’s instruction.  It is life should be.

Finding peace – the first meditation

The following breathing technique practiced regularly can help eliminate anxiety, depression and feelings of hopelessness

Find a comfortable position either sitting or lying down

Align your body and focus on gentle breathing

As you inhale, acknowledge the inhalation

As you exhale, smile to the exhalation

Repeat, several times

Peace be with you.

To find out more go to


Monday, 27 February 2012

'Don't tell me to relax!'

Life can be really annoying right?  So, I'm guessing that the last thing you want to hear is a yoga teacher telling you to relax, chill out, it's all going to be okay?

Well, as bad as it may seem, it really is going to be alright.

We are no strangers to modern day stress.  Our current financial climate has had a  demoralising effect on our nation’s workforce and the continual spew of negative media headlines only feeds our fears for the future.  This pressure puts our home life and our personal health under attack!  

How to cope?  Well, most of us want to bury the stress and try to ignore any physical signs that the body is in overload.  Re-occurring headaches, backache, addictions to food and alcohol are just a few examples of the inner self sending us warning signs.  We all know what happens...and it's not a fun place to be.

Yoga is the answer.  Chocolate comes in at a very close second but sadly it never lasts, whereas Yoga is a loyal friend. 

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means ‘union’ – the union of the mind and the body.  The key to that union is the breath, which the yogis call pranayama. Roughly translated this means correct breathing.  Most of the time we ignore the breath and it becomes shallow and weak.  This can send the body into an agitated, anxious state and creates tension that eventually affects us energetically.

With regular practise yoga and pranayama techniques will help calm the mind of busy thoughts.  This has a soothing effect on the nervous system and the body begins to respond.  Our posture improves.  We begin to stand taller to allow the breath deep into the lungs and this simple action re aligns the body taking tension away from problem areas such as the neck, back, hips and knees. We begin to feel better!

Me, my stress and I

When I step onto my yoga mat, I practise stepping out of my busy self and into a peaceful, neutral space.  I take a few deep breaths and then, using my pranayama techniques, I connect with an energy that I believe nurtures and heals me.  Focusing deeply on my yogic breathing, I move through the sequence of postures, gently releasing any tension held within the physical, mental and emotional aspects of myself.

At the end of my yoga practice, I sit and enjoy the lightness within and about me, a deep inner peace that is without judgement or expectation of myself or others. This is where the magic happens in yoga and it is a very powerful healing tool.

Try this simple breathing exercise

Close your eyes and fill the lungs with breath, then slowly let the breath out across your lips.  Repeat as many times as necessary.  On the inhalation imagine that you are coming back to centre, drawing positive energy back into the body and on the exhalation imagine you are letting go of any tension or stress you may have picked up. Repeat until you feel whole again, centred and calm.  

So please... relax, chill out, it's all going to be okay....x

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