Theme of the Week – February 25th 2019 What is our Motivation

‘You are what your deep driving desire is. As your desire, so is your will. As your will, so is your deed. As your deed, so is your destiny.; – Upanishad 4.5

DSCF1372Do you ever feel that weird emptiness? A longing for something… but what? Not really sure.

I’ve come to believe there are different levels of existence. We can live in the physical, tangible and transitory realm, where we are concerned mostly with the external – I’ve defiantly done that. Or we can live in the perennial experience of existence – the deep connection with our driving desires, ultimately our nature. I’m now learning to do this.

Of course, we are in and of this world and I’m personally not looking to transcend it (for now anyway), so this isn’t a comment on how to find joy by overcoming the daily lives we lead. Instead, I’m interested in exploring what this deep driving desire that motivates us, or doesn’t, truly is.

What I’ve come to discover, is that unless we are actively doing the work, we could end up living our whole lives not even acknowledging this deep almost hidden desire. If we do recognise it, we spend time feeling slightly confused as to and why, whatever we do, we can’t quite seem to satiate it… ‘what even is it?!’ We ask.

When we operate from what I call the first realm of existence, being connected mostly with the external – the desires that we feel are self-perpetuating. We satisfy one for the new dress, then we need the new bike, then the amazing holiday – but before we know it we are again outwardly searching for the next ‘thing’ that will momentarily ease us of this longing. We accumulate until we need to start clearing our clutter to accumulate more. Why?

Is it that we haven’t even acknowledged to ourselves that this deeper (second realm) desire is present within us? Has been forever and will continue to be until we start to pay attention? If this deep longing is yet to be acknowledged it seems to me that we keep chasing, hoping to capture the promise of a better life, but never seem satisfied no matter what we end up with.

It is from this place of lack of awareness, or perhaps even denial, as to acknowledge this emptiness would require us to actually change, that we lose our balance and our path. We desperately search for this inner peace and happiness through becoming addicted to our jobs, to shopping, relationships, food, alcohol, drugs. Have you stopped for a moment just before satisfying an impulse and asked yourself what you’re really looking for? It is a most fascinating insight.

My belief is that somewhere underneath the shopping, working, binging, exercising and drinking – we are all desperately seeking a way home to ourselves.  We are after-all creatures of this planet – but we are humans and love to believe we are above it. We are not. ‘Just like migrating birds, who instinctively navigate thousands of miles each year to nest in the same branch of the same tree, something within us is always seeking this place of homecoming.’ (Donna Fahri)

I know the feeling, and it’s what took me to yoga. An inner longing. I didn’t know what the feeling of emptiness was. I loved my life – my friends, family, I had a masters degree, and on paper there was really nothing ‘wrong.’ So why then, as such a lucky girl with material goods available to me, was I craving something more? Anything material was not worthy to fill this craving or longing. I used to describe it as a little hole deep inside me. An emptiness where I was sure there should be fullness. With that comes a guilt that you even feel this way – how dare you when you have so much. But this inner-longing to come home to ourselves, our nature, has nothing to do with all the stuff we have. And it has everything to do with our internal ‘second level’ life of our deepest desire to be at peace with ourselves and our true nature.

I have lots of friends and know plenty of people that dismiss the practice of yoga (I also used to be one of them), that scoff at being on a ‘spiritual path’, as if that’s just not something they’re interested in. Well my experience and my observations lead me to believe that every single soul on this planet is on a spiritual path – is searching for happiness, for peace in their minds, for freedom and comfort in their bodies. How else can you achieve internal richness that manifests itself as health and happiness, without acknowledging there is a deeper understanding/spirituality to it?

I do not mean spirituality in terms of workshopping any gods – that is not spirituality to me. I mean knowing that we are unexplainable and unfathomable miracles. Our planet is a miracle, our sun, our moon, our galaxy. The universe. Science explains some, but certainly not all – and whatever our belief systems may be, we can unite in the truth that we are a part of whatever this is. For me, seeing that and opening up to it – is spirituality.

Wherever we find ourselves searching for fun, happiness, joy, relaxation – it is in fact already a spiritual searching. We are looking to lose ourselves in whatever it may be in order to experience a lightness of being and a transcendence which allows us to live in joy. The problem is – when we find it in work, alcohol, food, drugs… it’s sadly not a real and lasting joy, relaxation or happiness.

What we truly seek, I believe, is an intimate relationship with the potent (and paradoxically unknowable) animating force that stands behind our own creation. Why do we so often crave to be ‘out in nature’? Why do we feel peacefulness when we reside in nothing but the natural existence of this planet? This animating force, energy – that causes my fingers to move and type, our eyes to see and our brains to process these little figures into a language  (oh my god what, it blows my mind), this animating force causes our hearts to beat – the trees, flowers and plants to grow, the birds to sing and the snow to fall, and we are it. It is us and we are it. Surely then, it is obvious – to lose this true connection to what we actually are, is going to leave us spiritualty starved.

So for all this rambling, I hope it becomes a little clearer… as I see it, our motivation in every single choice we make is ultimately towards meeting our deepest driving desire. We may not know it, we may not be able to decipher it amongst our behaviours, but ultimately, we are drawn towards this need to be fulfilled by, quite simply, our own true selves.

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f l e x & f e r m e n t

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Join Louise and Nicola for an awesome collaboration, bringing together a love for kimchi and connectivity. We bring you two very different companies with one shared goal – to create healthy bodies and healthy minds.

This workshop is run by Loup Yoga, founded by Louise and The Urban Fermentary, founded by Nicola. We want to give you a day of health and happiness so you leave having learnt new things, tried new foods, stretched out the body and calmed the mind.

Guests will arrive at 10:00am to a welcome drink… homemade Kombucha, obviously. You’ll have time to set up your mat and meet Nicola and Louise.

At 10:30 we’ll get started with the fermentation demonstration. You’ll get a full lesson in making your own kimchi, including different ferments and of course, having loads of tasters! You’ll get your own Urban Fermentary Kimchi to take away with you.

At 11:30 we’ll get onto the mat for 75 minutes of yoga. The class will be ‘Yang+Yin’. We will move from a strong 45 minute practice to get you sweaty – allowing your body to detoxify – before spending the last 30 minutes in a calmer, stiller practice to allow your bodies to settle and move into the healing ‘rest and digest’ state. The body stops to chill, moving out of the sympathetic nervous system (‘fight or flight’ mode) and into the parasympathetic (the exact opposite -relaxes the body and inhibits or slows many high energy functions).

After your fermentation demonstration and yoga session, we’ll settle into a delicious fermented brunch, made by The Urban Fermentary.

Happy Body, Happy Gut = Happy Mind!

What you need to know:

Time – 10:00 – 13:30. Date – 14th April 2018. Venue – St Cuthbert’s Centre, 51 Philbeach Gardens, Earl’s Court, SW5 9EB. Price – £39. Please bring a mat.

To book your ticket, click here.

We would love to see you there! N & L x

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About The Urban Fermentery

The Urban Fermentery, a London based, artisan, fermentation house producing Kimchis and hot sauces. We make our Kimchi with love for nature, the planet and the body and our aim is to make beautiful probiotic foods, produced with traditional fermentation techniques. We believe the vitality of body begins in your gut. We are passionate about gut health and the link between a healthy microbiome and a healthy mind.

About Nicola

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My love of food and health began whilst I was at high school and has since never wavered. Post school I studied Food Science and Nutrition and upon completion I found myself cooking commercially with my own catering company in Perth. Desiring more, I accepted a job in the North West of Australia on the mines and sadly I saw my health take a significant turn with the changes in diet and lifestyle.

In a bid to restore my health, my interest in food production, nutritional profile and holistic nutrition was reignited. I immersed myself in these subjects to learn about the gut and microbiome, where I discovered my issues were stemming from.

The microbiome (gut bacteria) is fundamental in the final stages of digestion allowing us to breakdown proteins to amino acids to make available for neurotransmitters. It is also fundamental to immune function and protecting the body against infection and attack. I learnt through my studies that the modern diet is degrading and preventing this symbiosis of bacteria and the human body to take place.  A diet high in processed foods, consumption of antibiotics, absence of probiotic (ie fermented) foods from our diets and even meat raised on antibiotics, all degrade the microbiome and prevent it from performing optimally. Aware of this, I began to explore ways of restoring the microbiome to its optimal state. The solution was fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha which all deliver good bacteria in the form of probiotics to the gut and build a healthy microbiome

Arm Balances and Inversions Workshop

Saturday 24th February

16:30-18:30 – £25 (£15 for students)

Benk + Bo: 4-6 Gravel Lane, E1 7AW

Booking: HERE

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The focus of this workshop is to build strength and work towards achieving playful arm balances and inversions. We will work specifically on crow, side crow, headstand and a few others!

Arm Balances and Inversions are generally a goal for many yoga practitioners as they are so fun and empowering. Louise will ensure we are working safely and patiently towards achieving these crazy poses!
We will work on strengthening the required muscles, as well as deconstructing the poses to understand which parts of our body we are using and why.
The focus of this workshop is on playfulness and fun! We will be trying all sorts of things… whilst remembering we won’t get everything straight away.

This workshop includes demonstrations, partner work, active participation and lots of playing.

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Practicing inversions is said to positively influence four major systems in the body: cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine!

Mats are provided at the gorgeous studio Benk + Bo.

Any questions, please contact Louise on louise@loupyoga.com

Turning In – Candlelit Yoga, Guided Meditation & Sound Healing

As the seasons change and winter draws near our bodies naturally slow down. Join us to create space within; allow your body and mind to move in flow with the natural rhythms of the earth.

Louise, founder of Loup Yoga, will lead a one hour class focusing on mindful movement and meditative stillness. The flow will be dynamic, strong but slow and accessible to all levels. Ending with restorative yin poses to move students into the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing the body to be totally nourished.

Paris, creator of Sacred Heart Alchemy, will then lead a guided somatic meditation to create a space of receptivity in preparation for the soothing sound journey with the Alchemy Crystal Tones Singing Bowls. Paris will channel energy healing as she weaves together the therapeutic tones of the bowls to leave you feeling light and peaceful.

This workshop aims to calm, centre and restore; to bring balance and harmony to the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical bodies.

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Book now for this deliciously restorative and healing workshop

Here’s all the information you need:

  • Thursday 26th October
  • 19:15 – 21:30
  • 42 Acres Shoreditch, 66 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4LW

Mats are provided.
Bring warm cosy clothes.
Please arrive promptly.

Simply click here to book your ticket

Y O G A + L U N C H

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Join Loup Yoga for 2 hours of yoga and a delicious healthy lunch!

Sunday Workshop


Our 2 yoga classes will take place at the gorgeous Evolve Wellness Centre in South Kensington, followed by a lunch hosted at Bramham Gardens, a short 10 minute walk from the studio.

We will start off the day at 10:00 with a vinyasa flow class… this can be sweaty and strong, but Louise will cater for all levels and ensure the class is accessible to everyone.

We will have a short break before beginning our meditation and restorative class. This will shift us into rest + digest, allowing student to become deeply relaxed.

After 2 hours of moving, stretching and deeply relaxing, we will head off for a delicious lunch to nourish ourselves after opening up the body and stilling the mind.

£50 per person includes all yoga, lunch and a refreshing juice.

9:50 – Meet at Evolve Wellness Studio (10 Kendrick Mews, SW7 3HG)
10:00 – 11:00 – Vinyasa Flow (all levels)
11:00 – 11:15 – Juice Break!
11:15 – 12:15 – Meditation and Restorative Class
12:30 – 14:30 – Lunch

Please email louise@loupyoga.com to book.

Yoga for School Teachers – Urban Retreat Workshops

Loup Yoga’s second month in action saw two workshop days for school teachers come to life.

‘Louise’s teachings were so attentive and provided a range of options to support or challenge us. The food was utterly delicious and presented beautifully.’

We were lucky enough to have 20 school teachers, who were able to unwind after a hectic school year.

‘A wonderful first experience, I’m sure it won’t be my last. Thank you for introducing me to a new way to unwind.’ 

The workshops began with a vinyasa flow class, followed by a vegetarian lunch. The atmosphere and energy shared amongst the teachers was fantastic to see. When you’ve given so much energy for so long, having a day of strong yet deeply restorative yoga and nutritious, nourishing food seemed very welcome!

After 2 hours of indulging in plenty of delicious food, the teachers had an afternoon of deep relaxation ahead.

‘The whole day was beautifully thought out and prepared. I feel I had both a workout and a chance to really unwind.’

Moving from a place of active and energising ‘yang’ style yoga, we spent the afternoon back at the studio for meditation and a long cosy restorative/yin session. Practising meditation and yin brings the central nervous system into equilibrium – transitioning from a place of active alertness, to rest and digest.

‘Thank you so much, I am well and truly a yoga convert and I can’t wait to do this again.’

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Thank you to all those that came to our retreat days for school teachers. We hope you enjoyed it!

See you next time. LY x

‘Please do more! Such a fabulous way to spend the day.’

 

 

SUMMER URBAN RETREAT DAYS

W E D N E S D A Y 26th J U L Y

Loup Yoga’s urban retreat day… fun, healthy, relaxing and rejuvenating! Open to all on Wednesday 26th. You don’t want to miss it!

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Email louise@loupyoga.com or call/text on 07972007515 to book your place.