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The yoga courses at Echo have been an absolute treat to do, welcoming the same group, who get to know one another and are sharing their yoga journey together.

As part of the courses I offer reflections each month, as I was taught during my training in India, I believe Yoga is not just a physical practice, it helps you relate to the world, to connect to yourself and those you love.

As we work through the course we also get to know the physical, mental and spiritual body. Building from the roots up, rebalancing the whole body and system as the weeks pass by.

In between classes, I send out regular emails full of journalling prompts, links to meditations and insights. So I thought I'd share some of this with you.

Last week we focused on releasing the jaw, finding our voice, respecting ourselves, and others, voicing our needs while holding Ahimsa near and diving even further into self-worth.

So grab yourself a cuppa, and your journal and take a moment to reflect on this area of your body, the voice is such a significant part of who we are, from our timbre, rhythm and speed. To how we might clench our jaw, cough, get neck tension. And how this might be linked to our emotions, and whether we are sitting on a mountain of stuff we want to voice.

I would say this is very common for many of us, especially us British! It also depends on your upbringing, and whether uncomfortable, truthful conversations were welcomed with compassion and connection. No one wants conflict, but to be able to voice your truth in a kind, considerate way, can be a game changer. Also, I might add, we can't voice every truth, sometimes it's not going to gain a result or help certain relationships.

Plus some things might be tucked into your past, there might be a certain moment where you wished you could've found your voice, journalling can be amazing for this, also singing, loudly and freely, it's like the stuck words than hold energy within can finally be set free.

I'll share a little story with you, in regards to all this.

When I was 19 I went to Drama School in London, it feels like a past life, another person, when I write about it. Which I don't do much.

I learnt a lot, the training was wonderful, but the emotional turmoil, the total disregard for all of our mental health was astounding, especially looking back I see how damaging the teaching techniques were. Pushed to our limits, 70 hour weeks dancing, singing, acting, studying...

There were so many moments I couldn't find my voice, a natural people pleaser I wanted to please my teachers, I worked my socks off and it didn't ever seem good enough.

There's one moment, one of our biggest shows, where I played one of the lead roles, I just knew I wasn't getting the character right, but the director couldn't help me, she was also nervous about doing things right, which I can now see very clearly. But, instead of guidance, more teaching, the creative team defaulted to bullying, I was told moments before our first show, she sat me down in the auditorium and said:

'is your agent coming to this?'

'yes' I mumbled

'well, the thing is, if they see you, performing the way you have been, you'll never get a role, you'll only ever be in the back, if you're lucky you might make the chorus, but right now, you're not being a lead, you're not good enough, if you don't do better, your carer will fail'

It feels strange to write this out, but this happened, I was 21, so young, desperate to fulfil my dream of making it to the west end. And do you know what?

I lost my voice.

Second day in, of the show run, my voice failed me, the chorus had to sing my part for me. I went home and got really sick, I powered through the show but it was awful. even now it makes my heart hurt.

In my feedback meeting, which we all had, I was told I was mentally weak and needed to seek support. The failure of the show was my doing.

Now this moment, right there. I wish I had said so much, I wish I had screamed, shouted, told them of the horrors, that yes maybe I wasn't mentally strong enough to take bullying. But honestly I don't think many of us were. And we wanted to please, so no one ever said anything.

I'm aware this might not seem a particularly dramatic story, but it was a pivotal moment of my mental health taking a nose dive, I just couldn't handle it and after three years I was done. It was only a couple of years later I started practising yoga, which as many people often say, saved me.

The reason I share this, is sharing stories helps and in a weird way takes power out of the sad moments. But mainly to express that I've worked through this moment, with my amazing therapist, I've also written out what I would have said in my journal and I also found confidence in myself through working on cruise ships and with American creatives who are way more supportive, they build you up and give you the tools you need to get better, which was a blessing that not everyone gets.

SO.... if there are moments like this, take to the pen and just go for it, or dance your heart out, or sing your socks off, or thrash about in the sea and whoop very loudly.

Reclaim your truth, which ultimately is re-claiming your self-worth.



Week 5 we focused on Calling in the truth of the heart, Respect for yourself and others. Voicing your opinions with respect and truth. 

Jaw tension release, softening the back. Releaseing the Hips, correlates back to the jaw and throat. Strong focus on breath. Humming and Om. 

For a great Jaw release self massage check out this video:

This video is rather old, but I’m explaining about humming bee breath a pranayama practice that is fantastic and also stimulates the vagus nerve. 

Phrases to hold near:

Your truth finds freedom in your voice.

I am free to create, to connect to music and singing.

I will voice my needs and truths, but with respect and self-awareness, Ahimsa and Satya running side by side. 

Questions to ask yourself, these are not so you burden yourself with judgement but a great way to check in and see how we are balanced. 

How does it feel to hum, does it feel silly, or scary? how can we cultivate more of a curious mindset similar to children? There is freedom in the space of no judgement. 

Respect, what does this word mean for you? How can you execute it with vulnerability and connection? 

Where are you not expressing your truth?

How is your voice, are you coughing, hoarse, jaw tension, hip tension... where you might be neglecting your own needs? 

For a littler more info on humming and nervous system/vagus nerve check this out.

See you next week!


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