I dance like I’ve got diamonds…

It’s an oldie and a goody. Whatever the world throws at you, stand tall and with love for yourself. Words and actions of others do NOT have to dictate how you feel about yourself and how you live your life. Read it for yourself and see what it says to you….

Still I Rise

By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/still-i-rise-by-maya-angelou

Finding a daily practice : Buddhism

Applied Buddhism is central to my life. Trying to make the philosophy a practical ‚adventure‘ and finding daily application to the insights gleaned through study and mediation – and this woman and book is a perfect guide and aid in that arduous task.

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo has changed my life over and over again.
I read her book ‚cave in the snow‘ as a teenager. Re read it in my 20‘s twice and then had the pleasure of attending a 3 day teaching at Tuschita meditation centre in McLeod Ganj in 2015 – it broke me apart and gave me a new vitality. I was in a very difficult place emotionally and she answered my question with cutting insight and compassion and told me exactly what I didn’t want to hear and needed to come to understand. I have listened to the teachings again and again on audio and they still give me so much to chew on. An ongoing journey
So much to learn.

This book is also, again, shaking me up, re orienting my focus and reminding me of the concepts and ideals I continue to grasp and then lose and test and value. I need reminding because it doesn’t come naturally.

When we’re bombarded with advertising and media and the capitalist agenda in all its manifestations we are drawn further and further away from coming to an understanding of how we can truly alleviate some of this suffering, how we can truly help ourselves and others.

A new dress💃, shiny brown legs👯‍♀️ and being able to do a handstand 💪🏼 isn’t going to lighten this heavy load we carry around and the feeling of discontent – sorry. That just isn’t the way it works, and actually we all know it on some level.

But I truly madly deeply believe that within the tenants of Buddhism there are seeds of wisdom and a structure set out for us to learn to open our hearts and minds to a way of life that is brighter and holds things lighter and brings us more moments of bliss and joy.

Sorrow is real, loss, dissatisfaction and death are real, but so is love compassion and joy.

Choose to develop a life that seeks to increase joy and compassion and for yourself and others.

Hard work to say the least, many lifetimes the Buddhist would argue, but well worth it.



My eggs are as good as they can be. Not my womby ones, my fridge box eggs. I used to be vegan-anti-egg-eating, but I eat them now and try my best, to buy the best – the price for ‘good’ eggs is of course more than Netto’s 12 for 99c – but I believe you vote with every purchase you make for the kind of world you want to live in and so I pay 50c per egg and eat just eat less of them.
It’s a laborious task, tracing the origin of our produce, but it’s very important to me so I do it. It can be difficult not speaking very good German to ask questions and get information; I often end up doing comical clowny, pantomime movements at people hoping they understand I’m asking if the little boy chickens are killed – I’m often met with blank stares and so just leave egg-less. But today I had a minor victory in my quest.
In the Berlin Markthalle Neun there is a little stall that sells the eggs I dream of. Organic, free-roaming, non-little-chick-killing egg farmers, from Germany. They even describe on their website how each clan of hens has a cock who helps with social stability, that they are looked after by Frau Blum und Frau Eckelt and once a week they get fed a bottle of the bizarre fermented wheat drink Brottrunk . I’m completely won over by their narrative of the chickens life, even if they do admit that once the chickens are really old they are killed to make chicken soup and Fricassee….
Where do your eggs come from? Often you can type in the code from the egg into a search engine and find out, have a look, be curious, see where your money is going, perhaps you will enjoy your omelette more knowing that Frau Blum is feeding the chickens Brottrunk under neath the Cherry trees – or your vegan and don’t eat eggs at all – salute. But I do, it’s the path I’ve decided to take and I want the best eggs I can find.
Stadtgut Görlitz is my happy egg famer. Maybe I go visit one day and see for myself what it’s like.

Like a knife in me, burning inside : PAIN

A wonderful article about PAIN and metaphor by David Butler. Oh, the pain. We all have it. We have all felt it. And most of us spend a lot of time trying to avoid, alleviate and fight it, but is we take the time to re-conceptualise pain then perhaps our experience of it and our actions towards it will change and it will be less ‘painful’ to bare.


PAIN IS ENEMY is ever so wrong!

Homo Sapiens got this one wrong. Pain is not enemy; pain protects us. It’s part of what makes us who we are, and tragically we may die an early death if we can’t experience pain. A little bit of pain can even be nice – think of the gratifying ache after a day spent undertaking enjoyable and productive physical activity.”

Full article is here


David Butler has also written a great book called Explain Pain does this in a brilliant way which is in my house and has helped. The article below is a

Do your ankles sag? Feet feel tight?

“The following tips will help you refine the positioning of your feet and knees in some common yoga poses. Practice these refinements in a standing position at the top of your yoga mat, ideally in front of a mirror. ”


Check out the full article here

Baby it's cold outside

Kälte Hilfe is German for Cold Help and boy does it get cold here in Berlin in the winter months. I’m already wearing three pairs of socks and and makeshift hat-scarf combos.

There are initiatives to get support to the people who need it in these colder months and one of them is KÄLTEHILFE.There is a cold bus that goes and collects people through the night that cannot make it to emergency housing themselves and there are also services that offer a hot meal and medical treatment. Things we often take for granted.

If you are here in Berlin they, and many other organisations are looking for volunteers.

You can also donate to help them run the services – more information can be found here – it’s in German, but translate works just fine 🙂

The Proper Way To Take a Probiotic And The Mistakes That Are Wasting Your Money"

Really interesting article about probiotics and reintroduction into the diet.
Read in full here

” Your intestinal tract is a long tube filled with a lining made up of good and bad bacteria. This bacteria alone weighs three pounds, the same weight as a brick. If you spread it out flat, it would cover a tennis court. When the good bacteria is killed off from antibiotics (against life), birth control pills, GMOs, pesticides, and other damaging elements, it must be rebuilt through probiotics (for life).

Probiotic foods, such as fermented coconut water, sauerkraut, kraut juice, kefir, kombucha, yogurt, kim chi, etc. are easy to make. The biggest challenge is your own fear. In his book Wild Fermentation, Sandor Katz says there is no danger in fermenting fruits and vegetables. Most importantly there has never been a reported death to the FDA from fermented fruit and vegetable products. Fermented fish and meats are different and are susceptible to botulism.”
Read in full here

The Adrenal Body Type

What are you taking about? I hear you ask.  Well, I work with people whose adrenals are messed up and exercise alone isn’t going to help getting rid of that belly fat. It is more than exercise and sometimes, exercise can stress the body even more.

“When your body can’t handle stress, it creates an increase of the hormone, cortisol. The nature of Cortisol is to help you survive and handle stress. Excess cortisol causes belly fat because “Fat” to the body, is “potential energy.” Belly fat accumulates as energy “reserves”. Your body works in this cycle: the more stress, the more cortisol, the more energy reserves. This results in more fat storage. You have the most challenging body type because of this imbalance.”

This video is a really good introduction to understanding what the adrenal body type is.

Although I don’t have the physical characteristics, I have the personality characteristics and use some of the recommendations in here for keeping me feeling good. Give it a watch and ignore the product placement at the end 🙂






Drawing the bow – Dropping the heels

As a personal trainer it’s important to continue to be a student. If I stopped learning and developing my own practice, I believe I would cease to be any good at my job. In the past 7 days I have been teaching less, because I’ve been in London, but learning more. I got a month pass to a yoga studio and have been making my way through the classes I have time to get to and loving it. I am SO happy to be a student in a classroom and to learn new things; and there is so much to learn.


On Saturday I did Qi Gong for the first time. Out of fascination with the name and because I’ve seen a book called Qi Gong fever on my brother’s book shelf for years and always made a note in my head to look at it, but never did. So, when I saw Qi Gong on the studio schedule I got excited to see what it was and booked in. Told my friend and was swiftly told that its Chi gung not Kee Gong 🙂

It’s an ancient, almost 3,000 year old, system of healing from China rooted in Taoism. It gets the fluids moving through the body and stimulates the organs. It claims to ease stress, strengthen the nerves and improve vascular function. What’s not to like. It is also said to loosen the muscles and build power, which I feel in need of as I might overdo the strength and intensive yoga and feel the need to balance it out with something different. This could be it for me.

I had no idea what to expect though and felt nervous – my brain was whispering “what if I can’t do it?”  “maybe you shouldn’t go” Not a feeling I have very often, but lately I have been pushing myself out of the comfort zone less and less as I’ve become busier and busier.

When I first moved to Berlin I was doing new classes all the time and there was a point when I first got my Urban Sports Card and set up You Me Body Bliss that I had a rule to try a new class at least once a month (this resulted in both pole dancing and Brazilian Ju Jitsu related injuries), but I have been so busy that this rule fell by the wayside. Until this week, I got back in it and have done 3 new classes (I’ll write about the others soon).


I was surprised by how much effect the movements had on my body. It’s not that they were small, simple or easy, it wasn’t yoga and I was sceptical. It wasn’t so anatomically aligned and concentrated on muscle groups like yoga can be and so honestly I just didn’t think it would be ‘all that’. But once I got into it I remembered of course it’s not yoga, it doesn’t have to be, there are other completely amazing and valuable traditions of mind matter and movement out there that are good for you! I just have my thing and tend to do that because I love it. Somewhat blinkered eyes.  But it really did something for me – I really loved it.


The one clear similarity and something that I really felt familiar with was the attention to breath and the instruction to match the flow of movement to the breath. I felt myself completely connected to my new movement sequences, breathing and concentrating deeply. I found the flow state I so often seek in life and I loved it. I hadn’t expected to.


The movement sequence was called the 8 brocades and our wonderful teacher Tom Watson at Triyoga clearly and confidently took us through the sequence and gave us theory throughout the class. It was a perfect balance of practice and knowledge for the beginner like me.


When we did ‘Drawing the Bow’ I felt a pull across my chest and through the middle of my arm that I haven’t felt in a long time. The ‘lifting the heels’ left me invigorated and I wanted to keep on dropping my heels back down onto the floor, so ‘simple’ and so satisfying. It reminded me of a video I saw about an Osho yoga practitioner who said it was an arousing thing, to stomp the heels down into the floor and it had stuck in my mind.


At times I felt like a ballerina with graceful movements and long limbs, pulling and stretching and softly floating lines in the air. But it wasn’t easy. I had waves of heat, at one point I felt nauseous just turning my head left to right as we swung our arms at the start. Perhaps it was my stagnated chi? I don’t know what but it jostled my system.


Since the class I’ve woken up and gone through the sequence again and when I woke up this morning I did it instead of my sun salutations which I decided to leave until later. I felt peaceful in the movements and it seemed like a good pre yoga warm up, meditative alignment. I will continue for a while to do it first thing and my yoga afterwards and see how it goes.


My morning ritual is ever evolving and this new addition is exciting.


I hope I will get a chance to do another class before I go, otherwise I will find one back in Berlin.


Do give it a go if you can! Try something new, let the body move in new ways and keep an open mind.


Find out about Qi Gong and it’s history here