Obscure Poetry Books I Recommend

When I was about six years old I began to write poetry, it was also around that age I discovered my gift for drawing.
I was quite an inquisitive child and at such a young age I had the eyes and imagination of an old soul where I’d sit for hours questioning the meaning of life, worlds beyond our own and realms within our own that we can not see. I’d sit in nature contemplating whether there were portals leaking out of plants and whether stones held prayers inside them. I’ve sadly only managed to keep one poem from my younger years, all others have vanished- probably thrown away by my mother. The poem I wrote at age 12 was about death being a form of eternal dreaming, where I believed after we see the light our soul is sent to a place of colour, an ocean of emotions painted on our skin to form new bodies in preparation for another life, yes I wrote that kind of existential poem at 12 years old!!! In my later teens I wrote a short prose poem about a girl who possessed the ability to grow flowers from her feet everywhere she walked, thus creating a dense magical garden around her that loved her too much it became poisonous with jealousy if anyone attempted to love her.
At 22, during a time when I was very poor I could not even afford art materials and after a very turbulent relationship, I think I went slightly mad not having access to things to help me express how I felt and all these words dripped from my lips and onto scrap paper, that was a collection of very dark poetry which I turned into a very badly made pamphlet called “Fragments of Light” which I am currently reediting to add to an illustrated poetry collection, yet to be given a title, it’s a very slow work in progress that I hope to actually have published as it’s a dream of mine to publish a book.

That being said, it’s a bit obvious I love poetry! Especially prose poetry that plays with the mystical in the mundane or the wicked in the divine. So here are 8 favourite obscure poetry books I highly recommend.

Cure All by Kim Parko

These collections of poetry are fabulously strange and surreal. Parko’s world in Cure All is populated and narrated by–on the whole–non-human actors, including animals, vegetation, and machinery. To call these pieces unique isn’t enough. With her fractured shards of advice, sweet little nightmares, tunneled eyes and sprouted scales, Kim Parko presents a twisting puzzle of fire blights and lonely spines.

This book is about language and sadness, oftentimes the sadness of language. The words are roads to impossible destinations, a thousand detours in only a fraction of that many pages.

The surreal images in this captivating book transport you to a dream-like world that is totally unique and mind-bending. This is a highly original work that is both beautiful and frightening.

Buy it here: Cure All by Kim Parko

A New Language for Falling out of Love by Meghan Privitello

Privitello’s prose poems are edgy; they are embodied and dripping with viscera; they are weird; they will cut you. These poems are not precious or saccharine (though they are beautiful!)–they are electric with dark humor and bodies that bite. Each line in Privitello’s poems is surprising: rather than presenting a linear narrative, the poems meander from one startling image to the next.  Reading this book felt like wandering inside a museum of Victorian oddities and noir grotesqueries.

These are really dense and thickly wild poems that will haunt and tantalize your mind. From the start, the reader is taken on a journey of “what ifs” as Privitello shows us that there are things to be learned from meditating on the hypothetical and allowing it to seep into the real world.

A New Language For Falling Out of Love’s enchanting prose assures readers that not only are we possible, but anything is possible. Privitello reminds us that it is okay to ache with desire, it is okay to ask ourselves “What if I ache?”

Buy it here: A new Language for falling out of Love

Why God is a Woman by Nin Andrews

Why God Is a Woman is a collection of poems written about a magical island where women rule and men are the second sex. Nin Andrews creates a world both fantastic and familiar where all the myths, logic, and institutions support the dominance of women.

This collection of prose poetry makes you think deeply about gender issues and what it might be like in a matriarchal society. The universe within this book is what sexist men think will happen with the world if feminism starts to work. it’s their worst nightmare.

As Women rule on the island where our unnamed male narrator grew up; men are the subservient, objectified sex. Frankly, I didn’t think the familiar device of gender switching would be that powerful for me, but it was. These prose poems look at what it means to live in fear of bodily harm and to understand that your appearance is your primary source of worth. And Andrews also explores how myth and storytelling teach us our place in the world. This is an accessible, elegant, thought-provoking collection.

Buy it here: Why God is a Woman

Changing by Lily Hoang

Changing is a Little Girl’s fate, and in CHANGING she finds an unsettling, beautiful home. Like a topsy-turvy horoscope writer, Hoang weaves a modern novella into the classical form of the I Ching. In glassine sentences, fragmented and new, Jack and Jill fall down the hill over and over again in intricate and ancient patterns.

Changing by Lily Hoang brings the reader not only a story but also an experience. You must read from the bottom up, and the narrator will reprimand you for not doing so– unless you are. In which case, the narrator apologizes. These little moments of interaction are what made this novel so wonderfully strange for me, along with its writing style and form. If you feel the need to break away from the traditional, this is for you.

Created to be read as fragments to be broken up and pieced together as though pulling parts of a riddle out of hat, Hoang explores the possibility of fate depending on which prose you read first and what comes next? You really have to let yourself go when reading this and then let it wash over you. A truly magnificent, experimental piece of writing.

Buy it here: Changing by Lily Hoang

The Exhibit (Chapbook) by Lauren Eggert-Crowe

Dark, muddy and rolls off the tongue like silk. Here is a collection of ekphrastic prose poems in which the speaker wanders through bizarre art exhibits that seem to undulate through the pages and come alive as living beings in your mindscape . Part lucid dreaming, instruction manual and part breakup in a haunted museum.

Another surreal book of poetry that speaks a bizarre yet undeniably beautiful language, This isn’t a straightforward book of prose poems, and I like that about it; there’s a lot of space in here to find your own meanings, to imagine, to roll about and come to an understanding.

The images that the poems bring to my head were so haunting and strange, and sometimes ghostly and mysterious, sometimes eerie but there’s definitely something powerful and moving about them. I pause a little after each poem, maybe reread some lines or the entire poem to immerse myself in those images.

Buy it here at Hyacinth Girl Press: The Exhibit

Apocrypha by Catherynne M. Valente

This is Catherynne M. Valente’s first full-length poetry collection, where freaks, emperors, bodhisattvas, beasts, witches, wicked stepmothers, Greek heroes, are told seductively and wickedly in poem and prose.

mesmerizing and frightening at times her writing is full of obscene and beautiful imagery described lushly and at times presented abruptly, certain passages made me gasp delightfully with a naughty smile. Valente was able to merge ancient and present times together, weaving the primordial with the modern to create homage to old fairytales, myths and legends.

These poems are all quite wrapped up with women, their perspective, fears, and angers. All were centered on myths, most notably from Japan and Greece, as well as not so pleasant versions of classic Western fairytales. Valente knows her myth and literature. A truly a unique and gorgeous collection of raw, wonderful stories.

Buy it here: Apocrypha by Catherynne Valente

Dream Animals (Pamphlet) Alyson Miller

This is a collection of grotesque little poems that reexamine fairy tales and mixes them with horror, dreams and violence. It is a really peculiar little book  that I carried everywhere with me and it is now very dog eared and tea stained.

I love Alyson Miller’s use of weird language that seeps in between mundane reality, where lost shoes brings a state of sadness, dream babies and a chalk- white girl roam like ghosts in this world. Where the sound of Cicadas sound like teeth chattering over metal spoons and a moon-faced boy cries at a muted T.V.

This is magical realism at its finest, the reader navigates through the poems to figure out where the bizarre ends and reality begins. This haunting collection is like a dream journal of Alyson’s lucid dreams and nightmares. Beautifully terrifying to read.

Buy it here at Dancing Girl Press: Dream Animals

Divinity School by Alicia Jo Rabins

A wide-ranging exploration of spirituality, sex, travel, food, holy texts, and coming of age, DIVINITY SCHOOL combines a searing eye for surreal beauty in everyday life with a deep knowledge of wisdom literature.

Divinity school serves as an instruction manual to uncover the mysticism of fragmented, passing moments and discover the sensual and sacred of ourselves. Sailing involves removing curses and traveling time; cross-country skiing is witnessing “a moon silence,” where the skier is urged to “read the snow while it scrolls across the hills . . . it’s in the static.” Outdoor recreation is access into spiritual Nature.

Rabins crossed boundaries between physical and metaphysical realms, implying anyone or anything can be holy or become a prophet. A make-up artist teaches the secrets of beauty to mystics, a frozen water-fall becomes the centre of a man, a security guard attributes the power of a watcher- like the watchful eyes of God. The poetry dissects every day life and imbues it with the power of ritual and ceremony. These passages are watery, tidal and elusive bringing you closer to the divine through nature and slip stream words.

Buy it here: Divinity School

I hope this collection inspires you? Are there any you are drawn to? What poetry books would you recommend?

I’ve also written book reviews for Yogi Approved click, on the links below:

Six Soulful books for the summer

Five books for the Winter reading list

Five books for your Fall reading list

And Bad Yogi:
8 Poetry books to inspire your yoga practice

Here are some other book reviews published on the blog:
Book Haul: Empowering books for Wild women
Book review of Plum by Hollie McNish
Book review of The Girl of Ink & Stars by Kiran Millwod-Hargrave
Book Haul: Picture books for little Yogis & ESL Learners
Review of The Rialto Poetry Magazine
Review of Candlestick Press Poetry Pamphlets
Book Review of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops By Jen Campbell
Book Review of Love poems from God by Daniel Ladinsky
Book Review on Kinfolk Magazine issues 11 & 12
Beautiful children’s books part one
Book Review on the children’s picture book ABC Dream by Kim Krans
Book Haul on Art Therapy Books
Book Haul on more Art Therapy Books

Yoga & Walking at Cann Woods

yoga in Plymouth
It’s been a short while since I ventured outdoors because I’ve been poorly with a kidney infection and that took about a week and a half to recover from, including getting over the drowsiness of strong antibiotics. Jon took me and the dog Milly to Cann Woods in Plymouth which is situated near Dartmoor. I’ve lived in Plymouth for about 6 years now and I’ve never been to this beautiful place. Walking down the first muddy path I was in love, it was raining and there was a beautiful damp earthy smell that I adore and the place just felt so magical. I’m totally an earthcentric ‘witch’ with my main element being water, I particularly love rain, thunderstorms and waterfalls; anything that looks and feels like it’s brewing and feels alchemic, like when you stand in a forest of trees and you can hear the trees sighing like the ocean, communicating with the dark rain clouds above as though they are churning a sacred concoction to feed the plants below. This is how my mind works, this is how I believe in magic and how I try to visualize the world every day, to see and feel the sacred in the mundane. People think I am crazy for it but I don’t mind, the people who think I’m crazy probably live very boring lives and don’t appreciate anything around them, which is sad but I see it all the time and I want to shake them awake and say “You’ve essentially only got one life! Look around you at all the beauty! You are wasting your time here on gadgets and furniture!”.

I’m seen as mad and childish for not wanting to live in the grown up world of Television sets, sofas and soap operas but it’s OK, I’d rather be off beat and live a life full of magic, wonder and freedom, than a normal life full of boxes. What I mean by that is: Everything in our material world is a box! Our house is a box, our sink, bed, bathtub, shower, sofa are all angular and box like, our rooms are boxes, our shelves are boxy, our T.V is a box whilst we sit to watch shows like “Goggle Box”, our food comes in boxes, so does our stuff we order from Amazon and most often than not even the stuff we buy is box-like junk!

I need to be away from all that societal madness pointing the finger at me being apparently crazy for not falling in line and being like everyone else. It is funny how individuals who do things slightly differently are penalized because they aren’t following the crowd, but then the moment when the crowd realizes that individual is on to something good they are then labelled pioneers or inspirational and everybody copies them, society is loopy! Nature is sane and wonderfully mystical.

If I could live on the edge of a forest (near to the sea as well), yet close by to a town for general needs like food and a doctor’s surgery, I’d be in heaven. I’d build an Eco-friendly home with a studio attached to it. The home doesn’t need to be massive (like they tell you it should be in magazines) but it needs to be light and airy with a herb patch, a greenhouse/conservatory so I can sit and make lotions and potions from flower essences, a spot to put my alter and it would have a quirky, bohemian vibe. Ah a girl can dream! My dream home would be similar to the house from the film Practical Magic which is a favourite film.

Next weekend we are going back to Cann Woods to help Jon on a freelance photography assignment and as a favour he’s offered to take some more yoga photos for me, maybe I can sneak in some belly dance shots too?

Cann Woods

walking trails Plymouth

Yoga in nature

Yoga teacher Plymouth, Devon

Rhythm of Beauty// Product Review

Rhythm of beauty products
I became good friends with the founder of the company Rhythm of Beauty, Louise Allen earlier this year during my first priestess initiation and upon discovering her freelance beauty business and her magical ability to utilize flower essences to create organic products I was intrigued. It is a subject I find incredibly interesting and I hope I have more time to explore this subject one day, perhaps after my yoga teacher training? And in fact Louise also offers courses enabling you to become a flower essence practitioner and a Rhythm of Beauty coach which I am highly considering as it would fuse beautifully with the yoga and belly dance teaching! Another beautiful aspect to her products and training courses is that they are seasonal and also work with the moon cycles so there is a feeling of everything Louise creates is steeped in a sort of earth magic, natural concoctions for your hair, skin and whole body, governed by the mysticism of nature. I just find that divine!

Back in May Louise very kindly sent me some sample products to use over the Spring and Summer months which I am now ready to review. packaged very beautifully and thoughtfully Louise sent a luxurious french face clay mask, a harmonizing day cream, a flower essence elixir consisting of magnolia, bluebells and cherry blossom and a night time skin elixir to aid in purification and detoxification whilst you sleep. All of these products were bundled together in a gauze bag with dried flowers, a pretty business card and a moon cycle guide. I love it when practitioners take the time to include detail and a personal touch to their products as it shows they truly care about their craft.

product review skin care
Upon receiving these products I was instantly absorbed in the divine smell oozing from the package, it smelled like a fresh spring breeze and ripe citrus fruits! The main theme for Louise’s spring collection was renewal, alignment and purification, releasing the old and feeling a new zest for life! The flower essences she chose were bluebell which encourages us to go inward and listen to our hearts, magnolia which encourages balance & integrity, willow to encourage a positive outlook on life and cherry plum for courage. Everything Louise creates is meticulously thought-out and hand crafted from her very own beautiful garden and her intuition for which herb or flower you need in your life right now is astounding, she is incredibly wise and wonderful.

essential oil product
Green Goddess Spring Masque:
European clay, or illite, is made from supercharged and decomposed plant minerals from volcanic action. Water activates the clay and all the nutrients that goes along with it, providing the cleansing and detoxifying experience that all skin types crave. This natural beauty remedy is super effective because the minerals from the volcanic ash actually contains calcium, aluminum, magnesium, copper, and zinc. clay masks can be used for reducing the size of pores, toning and softening dry, rough skin. It’s also an amazing treatment for oily skin and acne sufferers. Clay gets its fame from naturally drawing out dirt, toxins, and oil build-up, but the texture of the clay acts as an exfoliate and all those nutrients from the earth makes your skin feel heavenly. Louise’s batch of French clay felt both earthy and light upon my skin. I suffer with sensitive skin which causes rashes if I don’t cleanse it every day and this clay mask has helped to keep my skin hydrated and bacteria free. People have commented on how fresh faced I look recently. Her clay mask has also had a calming effect on me, perhaps because leaving the mask on for 20 minutes has encouraged me to be still and in the moment in order to take time out for myself.

Spring Day Cream with Qio & Botanical extract:
The seasonal day cream is perhaps my favourite out of the bunch because I live for face creams and body butters, I’m pretty sure I was an Egyptian princess in a past life spending hours bathing in milk and honey and it is literally a favourite past time of mine getting out of the shower and taking the time to moisturize my skin to feel and smell like a goddess! Louises organic face cream blends shea butter, aloe vera, coco seed butter combined with high antioxidants of Q10, Vitamin A and E, Sea Buckthorn seed oil and flower essences. This is a complete nutritional cocktail of super foods for your face by harmonizing and replenishing the skin. I’ve been using this face cream for months alongside the french clay and I feel magnificent! My skin is glowing and no longer feels dry and itchy and I adore that non of Rhythm of beauty products feel or smell of chemicals, it really does feel like a garden has been gently rubbed onto my skin to heal it from the inside out.

Botanical Night Elixir:
I am not one to use extra products on my skin, I wash it and moisturize daily and that’s about it, I don’t spend much time pampering it over night when I probably should. So upon being introduced to this night skin elixir I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to include it in my skin care routine. This potent elixir Includes spring water, cherry plum, willow, magnolia and bluebell to help perfect my skin whilst I sleep, in order to aid in repair and detoxification. Adding a few drops to a soft face cloth I gently massaged the elixir around my face and neck before I climbed into bed. The earthly, sensual smell began to soothe me to sleep and dream of forests and my skin felt exceedingly soft and ambrosial, my boyfriend loved it too and said I smell good enough to eat. With the added use of the clay mask and face cream alongside this night elixir, my skin has never felt so good and so healthy!

Spring Flower Essence Elixir:
This flower essence can be taken as 2-5 drops under the tongue or added to your bath water. Again infused with blue bell, magnolia, cherry plum and willow to make you feel exuberant and in tune with Spring from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep.
Flower essences are energetic imprints of the life force of plants which interact with the subtle bodies of the human being, and evoke specific qualities within us. We can say that they work in a similar way to inspirational music or art, which carry meaning through the vehicle of sound or light, while the flower essences work through the medium of water. Louise’s products are seasonal and she takes care to create batches based on a flower of that season and what the individual may need during that season. I feel that her bluebell, magnolia, willow and cherry plum infusion was perfect for me because of what each flower symbolized and what it’s healing property was. I do struggle with courage (cherry plum), and listening to my heart (bluebell) and in fact blue bell is one of my favourite flowers and is the flower associated with my sun sign Libra (alongside large roses hydrangeas, asters and large daisies) but also as a Libra I care very much about being balanced (Magnolia) and having a positive outlook on life (Willow). This flower essence really did wake up those qualities within me, so much so that I had more energy and I felt more optimistic and more creative.

natural beauty products
Befriending Louise has encouraged me to learn more about this art form and life path, especially studying more about working with and invoking the moon as well as learning about old traditional flower remedies or the symbolism of flowers to include in my teaching but also to develop my intuition about a flower I may pick, it’s a deeply spiritual practice, essentially tuning into nature as you walk bare foot in your garden or in a forest. I think creating workshops and retreats centered around holistic health from yoga to moon blessing ceremonies to flower essence sessions to meditations, belly dance and gong baths would be a wonderful project to build on. Louise believes I would be a fantastic Rhythm and Beauty coach so I may take her advice and do the training next year.

If you are fascinated about Louise’s beauty products, do head over to her website and online shop at Rhythm of Beauty to explore more of what she has to offer. Her Autumn/ Winter collection is currently available also!

flower essence products
If you wish to learn more about Louise Allen, creatrix of Rhythm of beauty, check out the interview here:Louise Allen of Rhythm of Beauty

View more product reviews? Click on the links below.
Wonderful bath products for a leisurely day off:Day off Ceremony to feel delicious
Yoga Mat Product review: Buying my first Mat
Yoga book review: Fierce Kindness and Kitchen Yoga

If you wish for your product to be reviewed and you feel it is in keeping with Sunflowerteeth Blog’s aesthetic then email me via my contact page.

My Journey on becoming a Teen Yoga Teacher

So why did I do this Teen Yoga Teacher Training? I’ve been through a lot in my life so far, I know I am not the only one to say that, everyone has a story to tell but my biggest lesson in life is to just breathe and what I mean by that is, is just to be content in my own skin, in my own self and do what is best for me. In the past I struggled with a people pleasing and guilt complex sprinkled with a touch of anxiety, hyper sensitivity to criticism and a tendency to have depressive thoughts and feelings of unworthiness topped off with putting other’s needs before my own, further loosing my sense of self and believing self love was selfish. You can imagine the drama unfolding, people took advantage, I was treated like a doormat, I didn’t know how to speak up and express what I wanted, I let people dictate how they think I should live my life and became a victim of my own lack of self confidence to discover who I really was beyond the voices of individuals telling me constantly I wasn’t good enough to achieve anything and I let that happen because it was all I ever knew.

This continued when I moved to Plymouth, even though I had bundles of charisma and ideas I wanted to set in motion after my Fine Art degree, obstacles prevented me from going down the path of Art Therapy so I had to find any job to have a secure income and reevaluate my life. Instead of being left to figure things out for myself I was met with criticism and being told what to do. It probably came from a good intention but instead I felt a lack of support for who I truly was, nobody had time to listen to what I wanted and there was an attempt to persuade me to let go of my integrity and free spirit by giving up and just working a safe, mediocre job for the rest of my life. A lot of people do do this and are happy, they just want a job that brings home a stable income to provide for their family and this is wonderful but not who I am and it hurt that I wasn’t being seen or heard, it was a very lonely time in my life.

It took a lot of courage to forge this path you see today. People have criticized me in any shape, way or form you can possibly imagine, some well meaning, some out of confusion, others have been cruel. The dedication towards the blog has been criticized as a waste of time “When you should be working more hours in your part time job.” my decision to study hard and gain further professional development has been criticized as wasting time too “When you should be cleaning the house whilst you are not at work.” and my desire to even consider becoming a freelance, holistic teacher has been met with “Why isn’t she thinking of going full time in her retail job and work towards a managerial position?”

And so with all of the above in mind, I have great empathy for the downtrodden and the broken. Those who are neglected and unheard. For the children from dysfunctional families who didn’t get a great start in life to the adolescents who struggle with disordered eating and emotional trauma to the women in abusive marriages and feel trapped and the refugees who just need a space to feel safe. If the path to become an Art Therapist is not available to me (right now), then staying true to myself and my dharma was so important in order to be of service to those who are suffering, somehow? How could I be a part of a global movement to encourage peace on earth in my own small way and have the strength to keep afloat and not drown in the constant criticism I was met with on a daily basis? This, I believe was one of my greatest life lessons for if I gave in, I wouldn’t be who I am today and I’d be living a very embittered, boring life.

It all started when I spontaneously decided to take an Indian head massage course and buy myself some red lipstick. I became qualified back in 2013 and whilst I am not a practicing Indian head massage therapist (yet), it gave me a surge of confidence that helped me realize that I can do what I want, my life is my own and doesn’t belong to anyone who is criticizing me, their power over me was beginning to dissolve. I then went on to gain certificates in Nutrition, Anatomy, eating disorders, psychological trauma and so on because I wanted to have more knowledge of that mind-body connection. In the mean time I started attending regular yoga classes and continued with my belly dance home practice.

At one of the lowest points on this journey I made the decision to become a yoga and belly dance teacher, I had nothing to lose, I was already at rock bottom, I love both these forms of creative movement and I wanted to share them so why not? I pulled myself out of my sadness and I envisioned that I would one day facilitate yoga & belly dance workshops and retreats that also included art, massage, meditation, poetry and more- I could see clearly that I would one day become a holistic teacher running my own sessions that specialized in healing emotional trauma, I realized I did not need a masters degree in art therapy to set up therapeutic creative movement & mindfulness classes, I could do this as a qualified yoga teacher! I set myself the task of saving as much money as I could over two to three years and a very kind uncle gave me a small lump sum to help pay for my Kids yoga teacher training in 2016 which catapulted me to teacher status! Straight after this course I got my first tattoo as a testament to my new found confidence and rebellion against the critics. This is my body, my life, my rules.

I have now just completed my Teen Yoga Teacher Training, and what a beautiful whirlwind that was! I learned so much and felt supported from day one. Although I will admit I was a tad shy to begin with, all the ladies were so welcoming and my teacher was super insightful and encouraging. The course itself was extremely in-depth and we were taught more than the bog standard “How to set up a Yoga fitness class for teenagers” Most people do not realize that “Yoga” is so much more than the poses and sequences, it is not a work-out, it is a branch on a very big tree! Yoga means union, union with your breath, union of the mind-body connection, union with others around you, a union with your intentions and thought patterns, union with your whole body self. It is essentially mindfulness which also means I learned my yoga classes could be an art session, a class devoted to meditation, dance or massage. It could be writing in a reflective journal and giving students the option to share their thoughts in a safe, non-judgemental space. I also learned the importance of tailoring classes to my pupils needs and emotional states so we were taught how to give sessions for period pain, mental well-being,, stress-management, feeling safe, hyperactivity, lethargy, boredom and much more. We learned how to teach a fun acro-partner yoga class, yoga nidra (sleep yoga), pranayama sessions (breath work), yoga for athletes and classes based on gender (so you have the option to teach either boys or girls). One of the ladies on the course brought her three teenage girls which was a wonderful experience getting to know them, asking them questions and interacting with them. All three girls wanted me to teach them belly dance and we spent hours at the evening meal discussing horses, uni life, dyslexia, dragons and favourite movies and I thought it was a brilliant idea to bring real life teenagers onto the course to remind us what it feels like to be a young adult again.

Our teacher Charlotta taught us to think outside the box and include classes that follow the seasons or moon cycles, other forms of movement (like Belly Dance) and zumba and to focus on the main areas we’d like to work in. We delved deeper into the complexities of the mind and how traumatic memories are formed in our teenage years which can cause an array of problems later in life such as addictions, mental health problems, dis-ease, social disorders, PTSD, insomnia and much more. This in turn creates adults with complexes they can’t resolve due to not being given the right tools to help them self soothe and therefore the vicious circle continues as the complexes are projected onto their children and it was learning this that gave me insight into why I received so much criticism and negativity- it was a perpetual limbo-like state and the people who attempted to knock me down and break me, probably had the same thing done to them too and I am living proof that the cycle can be broken so this was a great source of healing for me that I can utilize in my own classes if a young adult with a similar background walks into the room, I’ll be prepared and I can show them tools to cope and feel strong from within.

We also learned a bit about chakra theory which is a favourite subject of mine, mindfulness exercises, how to teach a bit of yoga philosophy in a themed yoga class, bringing mantras and prayers into the session, behavioural and class management, the adolescent psychological development and the business side to setting up or promoting your classes.

Through out the course our teacher encouraged small group discussions and interaction, we were also encouraged to share personal stories in relation to the topic being taught and to practice teaching on each other. On the last day our teacher discussed with us in depth what areas we could work in and believed I would be brilliant working with teens and young adults suffering with emotional trauma at organizations like the PRU Unit (Pupil referral unit), this is a place kids are sent to when everybody else has given up on them, these kids are neglected and struggle with an array of issues from emotional instability, self harm, depression, behavioural problems and suicidal thoughts. My teacher told me this is where I’d shine, probably because I can relate and I have so much empathy for those who are made to feel invisible. I also want to work in dyslexia organizations, refugee centres, language summer camps (activity leading in Europe), Forest schools (Yoga in nature), girls boarding schools and after school clubs. I have much to think about and I want to do it all! My teacher also teaches Yoga & Mindfulness in 3rd world countries and I’d so very much love to join her to help children in places of poverty.

The last few hours of the last day we all had to deliver a 20 minute session to the small groups we were allocated to. This wasn’t a final exam but more of a chance to play with what we had learned and to discover our individual styles. I opted to lead a session based on The Menarche (a girl’s first menstrual cycle) because it links in with my priestess training and the desire to facilitate sacred feminine workshops one day.The session included some belly dancing with lots of gentle circular hip movements, the mats were placed in a semi-circle (like a crescent moon), I taught cat/cow pose with the option to flow where your body wants to go, the Yoni mudra- pranayama breath in lotus pose, child’s pose with a gentle back massage, pigeon pose with an emphasis on bringing the ball of your foot onto your ovaries to gently press down on that area to relieve pain and to end I finished with a short visual journey during shavasana. In an actual class I would include candles, flowers and incense, I’d give each girl a poem to keep, time to write how they are feeling in their journals, gentle music and perhaps allow them to create a dream-catcher using soft feminine colours. I could even create a class like this specifically for refugee women and girls? The ideas are limitless!

So now I’m qualified what does the future hold for me? Well I’ve already been contacted by a woman who runs a youth leisure evening to teach yoga and belly dance to a group of teen girls once a week and my good friend Jodie and I have found a space to hire so we can start teaching and running workshops again!
In the very near future I have been encouraged to go on the 200hr yoga teacher training (which I want to do anyway) and I have my mind set on one particular course on a Thai island which also involves community volunteer work. I want to go on to study counseling skills level 2, fitness instructing level 2, Yin Yoga and I fancy doing a day training in Thai foot massage and do some self study on Ayurveda which is the sister science to Yoga . I see myself working with organizations and community projects both locally and internationally alongside my own weekly classes in my local community. I want to travel but I also want a base to grow my business, I guess you could say I want to be like my teacher Charlotta whose base is in Bath and she runs her 200hr Yoga teacher training there but she also travels to run her Teen yoga course around the world.
The Kids yoga teacher training I did last year set the foundations, this Teen Yoga teacher training has built the framework and has really given me clarity as to who I am and what I want to do and the 200hour Yoga teacher training will be the interior design, essentially creating my yoga home and giving me the opportunity to be a well rounded, knowledgeable yoga teacher, everything else I study soon after will be a bonus to my repertoire.

I feel so grateful to my teacher Charlotta who taught me so much, believes in me and has encouraged me to work with young adults who suffer with emotional trauma. She saw this in me from day one (it feels so good to truly be seen), this is the main area I’d like to focus on and one of the reasons I wanted to do this training in the first place, to be a guiding light to kids & teens left in the dark. This is my Life path, I realize that now. I want to teach yoga, belly dance, art and mindfulness together as one source of healing. It is my passion. I am also super thankful to have met an incredible group of ladies sharing their personal stories with courage, offering insight and wisdom and being so loving and accepting.I feel amazing right now, I’m totally in my power but I also feel incredibly humbled by the whole experience as well. So Grateful. So Grateful. So Grateful.
If you are interested in the Training, click on the link here: Teen Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training
If you want to attend Chalotta’s 200 hour teacher training, click here: Universal Yoga
If you want to donate to the charity, click here: Teen Yoga Foundation
If you wish for me to work at your school, organization or project visit my contact page

Avebury Stone Circle & Sacred Trees

Avebury stone circle
Before my Teen Yoga Teacher Training I stayed with a second cousin (on my Dad’s side of the family) I had never met before, we both decided she’d rather be an Aunt as she has never been called Auntie before and most likely never will since her older sister opted not to have children. So I visited Aunt Ami for 3 days in Calne, Wiltshire as a mini break before the intensive training in Bath. My Aunt is a pretty amazing person and I am so glad that there is family out there who are like me, it’s so wonderful to find a bohemian relative in the family, someone to have deep conversations with and not feel strange or judged for being ‘spiritual’. Aunt Ami is adorned with meaningful tattoos, is a yoga teacher and in her earlier years trained as a contemporary Laban dancer. One of her daughters is currently training as a dancer in Barcelona and the other is living in India, all three women are wonderfully independent and quirky in their own right. I find this discovery about this part of my family very enriching and comforting to know who I am is quite normal, being bohemian is not weird or wrong but very beautiful. It was truly an awakening experience especially when Aunt Ami’s friends and neighbors thought I was part of her immediate family, which is something I never get with my own immediate family- most people upon seeing me around my sister & mum, can’t seem to place me, many people say I look like my Dad but I think that is because of the curly hair. So it felt good to fit in and be seen as normal or simply cherished for just being me.

So upon spending three days in Calne, my Aunt took me on a day trip to Avebury stone circle and I was in awe of the mysticism of the place. Having a love for ancient Pagan traditions and ceremonies plus my thirst to learn more about the yogic way of life I’ve come to realize a lot of crossovers between Paganism and Yoga Philosophy. Both lifestyles have the utmost respect for nature, both have ceremonies or blessings to mother earth and the divinity around us and both are quite grounded in earth based medicines such as plant medicine or Ayurveda (which is the sister science to Yoga).
visit Avebury

For ages I was considering converting to Hinduism as I felt drawn to that way of life but after giving it a lot of thought, I feel even more connected to the Pagan way, it just feels right and I also feel I can bring Pagan ideas into my yoga teaching and be that mystical, witchy yoga teacher who has a statue of the Green man next to her Ganesh on her alter, why not?

Upon seeing the stone circles we came across these gorgeous cluster of ancient trees, sat on a hill and covered in ribbons! I knew instantly this was a very special site and these were very sacred trees. These ribbons represent prayers or wishes to the spirits in the trees and you could really feel the magic flowing around the area, so much so people were coming to sit and stare at the trees, not knowing the meaning behind the ribbons but felt something special pulsating from them. One man with his little girl, whilst holding a small guidebook asked me what it all means and I explained “They are wishing trees, kind of like a wishing well. It’s a Pagan tradition or ritual where you tie a ribbon on it’s branches and make a wish or prayer to a loved one who might be sick for example.” and the man replied “Oh wow, that’s amazing, nothing is written about wishing trees in the guidebook!”
visit Wiltshire

Ribbon trees are also used in Hand-fasting (Pagan Wedding) ceremonies, where the soon to be wedded couple stand under the tree with a priest or High priestess and have a huge plaited ribbon gently tied around their hands and those attending the ceremony can tie more ribbons around the couple’s writsts and on the sacred tree to offer a blessed marriage and I find that so much more beautiful than a church wedding!

This is the project I am going to be working on soon- alongside my dream-catchers I will be making some sample Hand Fasting Cords! I am really excited to be making them and very soon will open an etsy shop! So many more couples these days are opting for a non-traditional, bohemian wedding in nature with dream-catchers hung on branches with lanterns and using old Pagan ideas like Hand-Fasting and I love the idea of one day seeing my creations in a wedding like that.
pagan sacred tree

After sitting under the sacred trees we ventured to one of the stones considered to be the stone dedicated to the goddess of fertility so I serenaded her with Dancer pose and asked for support in making my yoga teaching business fertile so it grows to fruition.

I love sites like this, I have yet to visit Stonehenge but it really does make me think about the magic and mysticism of our ancient ways and even around the world. I remember when visiting Nepal we saw numerous shrines in the middle of nowhere dedicated to a deity of the forest or mountain and even in Portugal so many nautical themed alters were dedicated to sea deities and water spirits and it brings me joy to see the magic in the mundane, its all around us and within us, you only need to look for the signs and feel its presence.

wishing tree

sacred stones, dancer pose