Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

My India Trip

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I had a wonderful trip to Haridwar, Rishikesh, Delhi and Agra – and I just want to be back there right now.  There was lots of yoga, shopping and just soaking up life in technicolour that is India without even trying!  

There were 16 of us in all and it was the most fabulous sojourn.

 

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We practiced on one terrace and meditated early morning on the terrace above.

 

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I feel like the trip has opened my eyes on several things which I want to contemplate over the next few weeks and months.  

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Internet

First of all, I could hardly get any internet which was a good thing really, because it meant that I had a bit of a digital detox.  And that is good because it’s lovely to ‘come down’ once in a while.  By being off-line for a change I felt like I was alive, living.  Present.  All the things as creatives and yogis’ and entrepreneurs and sensible people we should want to be.  ‘Present’.

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On the other hand, I wasn’t expecting the internet not to be working so I brought my laptop with me.  I brought an expensive sleeve the day before to be able to travel with it.  I didn’t let my on-line group know that I wasn’t going to be posting daily (because having asked in advance I was expecting the internet to simply work).  Well there was WIFI.  But this is India.  This is life, we have to roll with what is and accept graciously what life throws at us.  And although wifi was available it was very shaky.  And hardly ever worked.

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OK it wasn’t totally internet free.  Every now and then there would be a burst of internet and all us yogini’s would make a dash for our phones.  The talking would stop and everyone would have their faces down and fingers and thumbs tapping. Again.  Like we do in our normal lives.  

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Whilst there we celebrated Holi, Festival of colour, Spring Equinox, Full Moon and whilst walking around Rishikesh we walked into my teachers’ lineage ashram that had only open-end that very day!- you could still smell the paint!  and no, I don’t think that any of this is an accident!  

Something Sonia Choquette says come’s to mind – ‘When you get in tune with the universe the universe works with you not against you’.

 

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If you work with me on-line or come to my yoga classes you will know that creating space is one of the things I talk about a lot.  When you create space in your mind and body you are able to see more, feel more and perceive more.  You’re able to be more, do more and have more. 

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As an intuitive, creating space is really is important.  When you have space you are able to flow more and able to create much more and feel what is going on.  So that if you are blocked you are able to discern where the blockages are and take steps to unblock yourself.  But when you are packed solid and bombarded with messages and updates and flashing things it’s difficult to really feel into what is going on around you.  

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When you have space in your mind and body you can read energy.  Energy within yourself, AND energy around you.  That’s my take on it and that feeling of space that I like to create in every practice I make and class I teach I felt much more whilst I was in India and it is something that I wish to try to cultivate within my life much more now that I am back.  

 

How about you?  How do you create space in your life?  What are your fave tips and tricks?  

Come to one of my workshops or yoga classes if you are local or connect with me to chat one on one about how you can create space and flow in your life.

 

 

 

P.S. My Full Moon Workshop is on Sunday 24th April 2pm-4pm

Full Moon Vinyasa Yoga Workshop ‘Letting Go’

As women we rarely take the chance to take space for ourselves.  This workshop allows the opportunity to dive deeper into a vinyasa yoga practice whilst working with the energy of the full moon.  This lunar energy brings a chance for us to realise and celebrate our achievements and manifestation and be creative in our flow.

Anatomically we will focus on our hips in this practice, however, as usual the practice will be full spectrum.  

The workshop is being held in exchange for £20 before 9th April and £25 thereafter.  So grab your early bird discount – quick!

Bring your journal for self reflective journalling and also bring your colouring pens because we are going to get creative!

Contact me to secure your space.

Yoga Poses in Autumn

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Have to say yoga has been absolutely dreamy these last few week! I’ve been working on bringing an internal fire into the practice to heat up the immune system for this time of year where there is change of weather. The Vata energy is so prevalent right now cold, dry, light and unsettled. Windy.    This is reflected in the physical body as well as in the mind.

The yoga poses in autumn that you can incorporate into your practice are listed below:

Asana Practice

Practice poses such as half-spinal twist, bow, bridge, seated forward bend, shoulder-stand, camel, warrior I, II and III and sun salutations.  These asanas all serve to bring that internal fire which helps to ward off colds and build immunity.

Foods

Also, at this time of the year eat warm foods, warm soups, warm teas of fresh ginger and avoid raw veggies and salads.  Apples are good to aid elimination.

I had a bit of an upset tummy last week which lasted a few day and at first I didn’t associate it with the change in season, that is until I had one cup of ginger tea which calmed it right down.  And I remembered the above information.

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The yoga practice last week was particularly warming and fire-y.  You might find that you feel dreamy and spaced out after practice.  And with the super moon and moon energy of this week just gone, the practice for this week has been way more famine and yin-based.  You may feel emotional as well as dreamy.   This is fine and all is good.  Take good care, rest and drink plenty of water.

 

Namaste!

 

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Create Space For YOU

 Create Space For You

 

Do you know how you can Create Space for You?  A couple of years back my coach suggested that I take some space for myself.  It was a challenge to even imagine what that would feel like.

In my house, everyone follows me around – from husband, to son to cat!  So as soon as I walk through the door, there’s a trail of people (and animal) behind me!

I’ve since realized I have to put boundaries in place whereby I protect my energy and eek out some much needed space and time for myself.  Make it part of your self-care and self-nurturing routine.

One of the things you can do is create a mini retreat.  It doesn’t have to cost money.  Be creative. You can take a day off and go to a spa or have a sauna.   Then go to a cafe or go back home (when you know no-one else is in) and enjoy a cup of tea all by yourself and read a book or journal or meditate – or whatever YOU feel like doing.

One of the things I did after my coach’s’ challenge was to take myself off to a hotel for a night all by myself.   It was daunting, it was scary – but it was total bliss

The whole weekend I played ‘intuitive detective’ and I tuned into how everything felt before I made any decision.   So much fun!  It was a Friday night. I wondered around the City and decided where I would have dinner –  and I found a really lovely restaurant and had a sumptuous dinner. Then I returned to the hotel,  wrote in my journal, read, watched some TV, meditated and then went to sleep.   I woke very early, used the hotels gym for my own yoga practice and then used the swimming pool and sauna and just floated on my back, staring up at the glass ceilings for hours.

I then took a late breakfast, taking my time to choose the perfect place and spot in the spring sunshine.  Afterwards, I wondered around and found some markets where I could browse to my hearts content.  (If I had been with my husband he would have hated this bit), but being on my own, I was totally free to enjoy the experience.

After years of being a mum, being in a relationship etc., you forget how it feels to spend that much time on your own doing whatever you want to do without having to consider anyone else feelings.

When you learn how to nourish yourself, you need less from your external world because you are filling yourself up from within.  You are making your own self happy and you know the steps to take care of yourself spiritually, mentally, emotionally and to take care of your physical body.

I challenge you to create your own mini-retreat!  Create space for yourself, its part of nurturing and taking care of yourself.  

Let me know how creative you can be and share with me in the comments below:

TIME & SPACE WORKSHOP

If your in London, join me on the 22nd March @ 3pm.  I’ve created a mini retreat for you. It’s a Yoga Workshop called ‘Time & Space’.  It will take care of the YOU time that you crave giving you a glorious 2.5 hours for you to enjoy spending time on your mat; exploring a deeper meaning for time and space.  A vigorous Vinyasa Practice, some chanting, some candles and just a lovely experience.

Find out more about the TIME & SPACE WORKSHOP HERE

 

I Used To Be A Yoga Purist …

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I used to be a yoga purist, but….I had a long break from yoga due to illness.  Well, about 5 years.  I had such severe anaemia & chronic fatigue that at one time I could barely do Savasana (Corpse pose)!  Then, with the aid of Ayurveda, and then, eventually, convential medicine it has to be said; I got better and I was able to come back to yoga again full flow.

Whoa!

Before my break, I was most definately a yoga purist and a staunch advocate of the fact that yoga was so accessible – you could do it anywhere.  You didn’t need any equipment really – just a mat.  And even if you didn’t have a mat, you could practice on your floor.  I also purposefully wouldn’t  use props for the same reason– but then I have pretty long arms and am fairly flexible – but if I couldn’t reach something, I would prefer to use my clothes as ‘props’ (not for everyone, I know) – but that’s just me.  My yoga purism stated that yoga should be kept simple with minimum equipment. 

And, ahem, I used to find music slightly off-putting.

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Not now!

After my break away from the yoga scene; and my practice, I came back.  Slowly at first.  And I very quickly realized that times had moved on.  And I felt differently about the music.  I started to enjoy the way the music helped with the flow.  And I loved the way that even after a class, I might find myself humming to one of the tracks.  And I loved that the music stayed with me after my practice – like an extra dimension to the practice.

I’ve also always loved and enjoyed music and now it was the time to put yoga and music together.  I have to say, that personally, I can practice to anything, but I quickly learned that this way is not for everyone.   I don’t like to anchor anyone to a particular time or place as that would defeat the purpose.  I want the class to remain in the moment and to stay present to their practice.  The music is not there to put anyone off – it’s to help with the flow!   I tend to look out for music without words (as much as possible); although it doesn’t always work out that way.

Now:

There are still some yoga purist out there, but I am no longer one of them.  In my classes, I play all kinds of music including jazz, dance, dub, classical!  It’s often more modern stuff – but I love to mix it up with with chants and chimes etc., I also theme the music to what’s going on – the seasons, the moon cycle or an energy I may want to bring in for the class for example, some weeks might be a tribal theme.  Other weeks a funky flow theme.

Wanna try one of my classes?  Click Here for more information!

How do you feel about music in yoga classes?  Let me know in the comments below:

How to Stay Centered During the Holiday Season

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Whatever your beliefs, Christmas is a time of year that’s usually pretty crazy and stressful.  It’s a time when families get together and old resentments and arguments can flare up.

You might find that your dreading the whole season – let alone ‘the big day’!  It’s therefore good to have some supportive measures to help you stay centered during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

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Here are my fave tips for staying centred

 

Don’t bottle Stuff Up

When angry feelings comes up, it is better to let it out and deal with it.  It only hurts you in the end if you continually bottle stuff up.  Speak out about how you are feeling if it is hurting you.  Choose your moment (not necessary Christmas day!).  Think about what you want to say and practice it if necessary.  Then speak in a calm manner about how you feel.  If you are speaking from your heart you can’t go wrong.  

Remember:  If you need to create boundaries for your own sanity; then it’s perfectly ok to do so. 

 

Yoga

Practicing yoga gets you out of your mind and into your body.  Right now, my practice is a fairly strong Vinyasa practice.  I feel like the heat of the practice burns away everything that is no longer needed and serving me.  I find that the more I can let go on a physical level, the more I can adapt this into my emotional life.  However, at times I might want a simple grounding practice. Whatever your practice; moving your body, is supportive and enables you to focus on being present and in the moment.  

 

 Peace Breath

Practice this as much as you can throughout the day.  It has the ability to calm the mind.  Inhale your breath for 4 counts; Hold for 4 counts.  Breath out for 4 counts and hold for 4 counts before repeating the process.  The ratio therefore is 4:4:4:4.  You can amend this ratio to suit your own breath.  

 

Mantra

 Om Mani Padme Hum “within everybody a lotus blossoms”  My teacher advises me to practice this mantra with the peace breath.  It centers the mind.  For when you are not meditating, I found this useful rendition on-line incredibly uplifting to play in the background whilst working.

 

Smudging

Light a white sage smudge stick and clear negative energies.  You might find that you need to do this more frequently  during this season.

 

P.S.  Don’t forget to choose to do something from your heart-list.  In this way, you get to stay calm, centered and grounded throughout the holiday period and hopefully you get to ‘just do you’.

 

Let me know in the comments your tips and techniques for staying centered.

 

 

/R

 

Image Credit : Unsplash

Ayuveda, Cycles + Goal Planning for the New Year

 

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 Image Credit: Unsplash

I’ve just spent the most amazing 5 days enjoying Yoga and Ayuveda!  We worked a lot around cycles.  Cycles of the day, week, month year; and of course the cycle and phases of the Moon and the women’s cycle. 

According to Ayurveda, if we consciously attune ourselves to these cycles in our daily lives we can be more in our feminine power; our natural ability to heal, nurture, nourish and intuit.   

Ayuveda is all about bringing our doshas (biological energies found throughout the body and mind) into balance where possible.  The 3 main doshas are Kapha (Earth & Water); Pitta (Fire & Water) and Vata (Air & Space).  We are all born with a more dominant dosha and the doshas are effected by what we eat, think, feel and also the cycles of the year.

Was it synchronicity that the course ended on  the eve of a full moon?  I doubt it!  

Each day, our practice was based on the seasons of the year.  However, our last practice was a gorgeous 2 hour Moon (Chandra) Vinyassa practice.  Lunar practices are often, cooling and nourishing – however, my teacher works with fire (Pitta) in everything she does – so it was always going to be a strong Vinyassa class but we ended with a sumptuous 20 minute Savasana!  (Yum!)

This brings me to goal writing.  It now makes perfect sense that you should align your goals with the phases of the moon.  This means that between now (after the last full moon of the year)  and the winter solstice on 21 December is the optimum time to release 2014 and prepare your goals for 2015 (as opposed to January 1st).  Because the light is decreasing each day culminating in the shortest day of the year at Winter Solstice. You get to let go and release during this time so that you don’t bring 2014 in with the New Year. 

 

Guidelines for Writing Your Goals for the New Year

Have you started working on your goals for next year yet?.. I feel that working with the natural cycles of the planet will be big theme for me this year.  How about you?  See below for a really great way to prepare your goals for 2015 that I learned on the course:

  1. Treat yourself to a lovely new journal (oh what a shame you get to go stationery shopping)!
  2. Next start writing a list of what you are grateful and thankful for in 2014 – tip – make the list long – keep going even when you think your done!
  3. Next write your goals for 2015 – tip – make the list in present tense!  i.e. ‘I am living the most amazing life’

Have you started to plan your goals for 2015?  Any gorgeous, juicy ideas and goals lined up?  I would love to hear from you!  Share with me in the comments!

P.S.  Want to know what your primary and secondary Dosha is?  Best to see a qualified Ayuvedic practitioner.  However,  I’ve found an amazing tool on-line for you to do a Dosha Self -Test 

P.P.S  If you do take the test, don’t forget to share with me what your Dosha is and how accurate you found the test.  

 

/R 

 

Yoga Poses for Grounding – KISS – Keep It Simple Series #5

   

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Grounding Yoga Poses:  Here is not only a KISS – Keep It Simple Series post on Grounding Yoga Poses : I thought I would put together a little sequence for you.

 

If you are in any doubt about your health, please discuss with your doctor or alternative health practitioner before practicing yoga.

 

I have put these yoga postures (asanas) together in a fairly straightforward sequence;   Make sure that you go through the instructions via the links provided to check you have the correct alignment.  Also check out the contra-indications.  

Take the practice at a slow and gentle pace.  Be present throughout the practice.  Presence is key to grounding.

Keep your awareness on your breath.

It’s good to have an intention for your practice.  In this class, gift yourself the intention for being grounded and achieving groundedness throughout the practice and afterwards.

 

When not grounded – the soul or spirit is somewhere else.

 

Being grounded is all about our foundation.  What do you stand on?  How solid do you feel?  How comfortable?  To be grounded is such an important part of strengthening and being kind to yourself and brings about nourishment to your first chakra.  Hence why I have put together this sequence as a gentle and nurturing sequence.

There are many more grounding yoga postures that could be added to this sequence – for now though lets just keep it simple!  

Contact me directly, if you would like to experience a longer, more thorough practice and we can work together 1:1.

 

The whole practice takes approximately 20 minutes.

 

  1. First of all, sit in easy cross-leg pose and connect to your breath:  Start to steady your breathing. Breathe in and out through your nose.   Take 3 or 4 breaths.   Then start to make your inhalation and exhalation the same length.  Take 10 deep inhalations and exhalations like this.    You can also start to connect to your Ujjayi breath if you are used to doing this. Take 4-5 Ujjayi breaths here.

  2. Next move onto your hands and knees.  Have your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.  Prepare for Marjaryasana or Cat/cow pose. Repeat this simple vinyassa (movement connected to breath) 10 times; synchronizing your breath with your movement.  When you are at the end of the movement you come to the end of the exhalation and when you are at the beginning of the movement, you are at the very start of the inhalation.

  3. Then come to stillness in table top position; from this place,  walk your legs back one at a time until you are in plank pose, take 3-5 breaths there. Then walk your hands back towards your feet; come to Uttansana (standing forward bend); This asana helps soothe the mind (from the monkey mind it so often is) so it’s therefore great for de-stressing! Take 5 breaths here.

  4. From here, come to standing.  Roll up slowly, vertebra by vertebra with your head coming up last.  Stand tall in mountain pose with your feet rooted into the ground.  Spread your toes.  Breathe.  Take 10 deep breaths here.

  5. Now move into Utkatassana (Chair pose).  Chair pose can be tricky to get right.  But incredibly grounding.  Be sure to check out these instructions.  Take 5 breaths, relax then repeat x2; so that you do the pose 3 times in total.

  6. Tree pose (Vrkrasana) would follow nicely here.  Tree develops your balance as well as poise and concentration.  Here is a useful article that not only shows you how to do tree pose, plus contra-indications etc., but also provides demonstrations for beginners and shows you how to practice against a wall if you are concerned about your balance.  Take 5-10 breaths each side.  Remember that your foot should be either above or below the knee joint but not on the knee joint itself.

  7. Next, come to Virabadrhasana II – (Fierce Warrior). This asana, (Warrior II) opens the  hips and builds strength.  Take 5 breaths to the right side and then turn your feet in the opposite direction (left side) and repeat; repeat both sides x2.

  8. Follow Warrior II with:  Side angle pose or extended Side Angle pose:  Uttitah Parsvakonasana .  Turn your feet in the opposite direction (to the right).  Take 5 breaths each side – and repeat twice both sides.

  9. Now come back to the floor.  Lie on your back and prepare for supine Baddha Konasana.  Place your feet in Baddha Konasana (soles of the feet touching each other, knees bent, hips open to the sides.   See the pose instructions here.  Place your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your belly.  Take a couple of deep breaths here.  Take a moment.  Feel the ground beneath you.  Realize you have all the support you need from the Earth. Tune into your heart and maybe take a moment to ask your heart how it feels.  Tune into how your physical body feels in this moment. You can lay here for 5-10 breaths.

  10. Then bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are upright.  Take an inhalation and exhalation.

  11. Next, prepare for Setu Bhandasana. This asana (Bridge) lifts the spirit with the heart, stabilizes the core and grounds the feet.  Can be a relaxing pose but can also be used to fire yourself up. Ensure knees are hip width apart and pointing directly ahead.  Take 5 breaths once up in the full position. Repeat x3.

  12. Next come to sitting and prepare to fold forward into seated forward bend. I have always found Patchimotanasana incredibly grounding.

  13. Next prepare for happy baby.  Ananda Balasana.  This pose always makes people smile!  Take 5 breaths here.

  14. Lie on your back and hug your knees to your chest and rock from side to side gently.

  15. Finally, from happy baby, lengthen your right leg, followed by your left and allow your legs to lie along the floor, 2-3 feet apart.  Place your arms, palms face up at a 45 degree angle away from your body and prepare for relaxation.  Savasana (Corpse pose).  Relax totally, giving way to the floor.  Nothing to think about.

  16. After relaxation, you might like to sit and meditate in easy cross leg pose.

 

Below is a playlist I put together to go along with this ‘Yoga Poses for Grounding’ Sequence……because I love ya!  Enjoy!

 

 

 

This is the 5th of a 5-part ‘Keep It Simple Series’;  Where I write about topics that uplift, inspire and support you in your ‘inner-game ‘.  Always keeping it simple.  Check out the other posts in the series:  

 

KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE SERIES – A MESSAGE

KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE SERIES #1 – Self-Nurture – Quick & Simple Tips Whilst Dealing with Stress

KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE SERIES #2 – Grounding & How to Get Grounded Quick

KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE SERIES #3 – Practicing Presence

KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE SERIES #4 – What’s Great About Gratitude?

 

 

 

Image courtessy of Claudia Borgatti

 

 

FLOW

 IMG_0429Flow is the word I chose to be my energetic word for 2014.

I love being in flow.  When everything flows to me beautifully all in perfect order and time.  Wouldn’t it be great to feel like that all the time?

A couple of Saturdays back I felt seriously in flow.  I was working on my blog in the morning at home and then in the afternoon I took some time out to wonder around our local market where on Saturdays they sell a few organic vegetables, homemade breads, vintage jewellery, books and such like.  There’s also a really lovely coffee shop and I thought I would finish my blog there with a delicious Very Berry tea!

Anyhow, at the moment I’m really drawn to turquoise jewellery for some reason (maybe because that is most like the colour for the throat chakra & one of the lessons I need to learn right now is to speak up).   So anyways, at the vintage jewellery stall, I came across a beautiful silver dream catcher necklace!  Wow! And with – you guessed it – a turquoise stone in the centre!  I also came across some vintage turquoise beads – that go really well with a turquoise bracelet my son bought me for Christmas (he had no idea I was getting a serious obsession to that colour at the time).  All Flow.

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I then bought a lovely organic cabbage and as I was walking away, I was tapped on the shoulder and offered a free loaf of bread from the bread stall (the people who run it go to my church), they were just about to close the stall for the day and had a couple of loaves left over (I don’t eat bread – but my husband and son do!) Thank you very much!

I then went into the coffee shop – I knew a couple of people in there so got chatting in the queue – all very friendly. I went to pay for my tea when I was asked if I had a points card (I had almost forgotten) I dug in my purse and handed it over – and you guessed it – I was entitled to my tea for free !

I sat down with a smile on my face – and I knew what my next blog post was going to be about – FLOW.

Spiritual Practice for Enhanced Flow

One of the best tools I know for being in flow is to have a spiritual practice.  

Your spiritual practice could be whatever suits you.  Whatever floats your boat.  It could be one of the below or something different:

  • Attending church/reading scripture on a daily basis
  • Daily meditation practice
  • Daily Yoga or Tai Chi practice
  • Journaling
  • Gratitude practice
  • Other spiritual practice

Another tip I have found useful is to always aim to have at least two or more spiritual practices going on at the same time.  That way, when/if life throws a big spanner in the works – and, for example, your yoga practice falls away for a bit due to ill-health or whatever, you still have another spiritual practice to rely on. 

Whatever, you do – keep it regular and that’s when you begin to notice that flow starts to come to you.  Life starts meeting you because you are on a higher frequency.

Oh and don’t forget to thank the Universe whenever flow comes to you !

When have you been in flow?  And what do you do to keep it going?  If you were previously in flow but have lost your mojo with this for some reason – please contact me and I would be happy to chat to you for free about ways we can bring flow back into your life.   

/R

rosemarie@intuitivegroundedcoaching.com