A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. It’s one of my favourite things to be able to gather round with a lovely bunch of folk and sit and eat glorious food in a beautiful setting – it feels like a really special way to mark an occasion.

When Emma and I spoke about organising the Gather and Tend retreat at Tilton House, we were both sure we wanted to be able to eat outside in the beautiful courtyard. We were so lucky with the weather and it was a real treat to be able to dine outdoors at the beginning of October. If you missed Part One of the slow living retreat you can catch up here, but before you do, have a closer look at this glorious table and find out what we got up to in the afternoon sessions.

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How breath is key... not just in Yoga, but in life in general. Breath is intrinsically linked to our well being. All yoga postures and movement start with a single inhale or exhale. Breath is where our energy and power comes from when we need it, it is also the key to letting go and releasing in certain postures. Read more about how breath helps me reconnect and find some stillness....

When I make it onto my yoga mat, it’s an opportunity for me to connect to myself. Firstly through, my breath… with every inhale, and exhale I feel myself arrive… my body, mind and spirit join together. Sometimes it can be the first time that day, that I am truly present in the moment.

Recently my body has been feeling pretty tired, so naturally I have wanted to do a gentle practice; a few postures, and a bit of stretching to get my body moving and work out any creases. A lot of pranayama (breath work) and always a little mediation and relaxation at the end.

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the gift of being present

the gift of being present on Geoffrey & Grace

The seasons are always a constant reminder of the passing of time. I think I notice the changes most in late spring and early summer though. First the Magnolias come and go, then the Blossoms bloom and fall, and currently we are in the heady midst of Lilac season here in England.

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my summer of slow living

Geoffrey & Grace my summer of slow living

It won’t be a surprise to you that after my last post on ‘big thinking and slowing down’ that I am dedicating this summer to some ‘slow living’. I need to regain some balance, and to me this seems the perfect way to do it.

My thoughts have turned to slow living lots recently. I often find that I naturally want to work at a slower pace than parts of our society seem to require. I like to take my time to process things, and when there is a lot happening, I crave time to soak it all up and let my thoughts have a little bit of space to develop. This was only highlighted by recent trips to London where everyone is literally moving at such a speed. I was reminded why I love it so much where we live, but even in our sleepy market town by the sea, you can’t avoid certain aspects of our society that expect you to keep up with things and move at a fast pace.

It turns out though that I am not the only one craving a more gentle approach to life. Last weeks post seemed to strike a chord with many of you, and it would appear that lots of us often get that desire to slow things down.

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