Ayurvedic Yoga Massage training

About 10 years ago, I had one of the best massages I’ve ever had. It was called Chavutti Thimeral, and the therapist used her feet to literally walk all over me. Absolute bliss. I’ve been wanting to train in this style of supremely deep pressure (and supremely relaxing) massage ever since.

I was lucky enough to meet the gorgeous Robyn, of AYMChesterfield earlier this year, and she gave me an Ayurvedic Yoga Massage (AYM) that hit all the right deep-pressure spots. From that very first treatment, I knew I just had to learn how to give this massage.

When I enquired about the where in London the Ayurvedic Yoga Massage (AYM) training in the first two weeks of July would be, it was like coming full circle. The venue was in Brixton, which is where I lived when I did my Tisserand Aromatherapy training almost 20 years ago!

A fine view of the city from Brixton, taken from the top deck

It also felt serendipitous because I have a cousin who lives in Tooting, whom I could stay with, and it was only 1 bus ride from his house to the venue (with short walks either end). This is a dream commute for London! Not to mention my cousin and his wife have a beautiful house, they are both great cooks (I definitely put on weight, which is no bad thing!) and couldn’t have been more congenial hosts. I loved every minute with them.

Level one attendees, L-R me, Marie, Vivienne, Charli, Lucy & Joti (pic courtesy Despina Psarra)

The first week of the course was levels one and two, which felt as much of an unlearning for me as it was a learning. From the very first contact of the massage, the pressure is deep and meaningful. I was told off for spreading the oil and then going into the massage. The massage starts the moment you put your hands on and spreading the oil is an integral part of the treatment.

Myself and Despina using our heels for deep relaxation

We also learnt how to use our feet to massage, being careful to support our body weight with a chair or stool, and where to apply the weight so that it releases deep tension and is ultimately relaxing. It was an intense week with lots of techniques to learn, discovering new ways to utilise our bodies for healing.

Stretching out the adductor muscles (photo courtesy Despina Psarra)

The second week (levels three and four) involved learning more techniques such as stretches, tractions and joint decompressions, and putting everything together in a sequence tailored to our individual clients’ needs. AYM is a remedial massage, and we have been taught to think of the skills we’ve learnt as like tools in a tool box, you pick the tools you need to offer the best remedy for your clients.

Fabulous view from the assessment venue

At the end of the second week was our assessment, with a change of venue to Aldgate. A stunning apartment worthy of a magazine cover and the view from the roof garden was unbeatable! The assessment involved a brief consultation with a client and devising a treatment plan. We then proceeded to massage our clients according to the plan, using the techniques we’d learnt under the watchful eye of the course leader, Despina. I’m pleased to say that the three of us that completed the assessment all passed, with much jubilation and relief!

End of assessment smiles! L-R Despina, Joti, Vivienne and myself (photo courtesy Despina Psarra)

I still have a lot to learn, as far as piecing the techniques together (let alone remembering them all!) and until the end of September I’ll be offering half price Ayurvedic Yoga Massage. Each appointment will be 1.5 hours (I will offer 1 hour appointments once I’ve honed my skills) and will be £75 full price. To book your half price session, call or text me on 07980262358 or email

grief, Uncategorized

Dearest Richard,

December 2012

Last weekend we should have been celebrating your 42nd birthday. We should have been having a garden party, dinner in a fine restaurant or drinks in a wine bar followed by dancing. You would have lit up the dance floor with your enthusiasm, exuberance and energy.

June 2018

We still haven’t celebrated your 40th birthday, flights to Spain and lunch in a Michelin star restaurant cancelled, twice, because of covid. In your head, that means you’re still 39. In my head, you are forever preserved as young, vibrant and joyous. You were born two months before me and now I am older than you. You will not get old. You have been denied that privilege.

Your birthday will be marked with sadness, loss and heartache in perpetuity. At present, I cannot imagine a time when these feelings won’t dominate each anniversary that passes. Each thought I have of you.

And yet I smile too. I smile at the memories of the adventures we had together. Of the mischief we made, of being led astray by you, of the incitement of naughtiness between us. The most fun I’ve had in my life, you were there, leading the charge with your charm, cheek and ginormous heart.

May 2021

You had a tremendous talent for making everyone around you feel included, special and beautiful. The light that emanated from you bounced off everyone you connected with. It was your reflection.

June 2014

The fight to keep your spirit alive is a daily battle. Some days are easier than others. Some days, surrender is the only option. The only way through. Grief is an expression of love. To deny that enunciation, in whatever way it exposes itself, is to deny your existence. This, I have learnt from your beloved Henry. He travels through his grief without repudiation.

December 2017

Henry is building a charitable foundation in your name. He is creating light, from the darkness of your death, and he is preserving, perpetuating and extending your light for the benefit of others. Your light loves on.

Le Petit Singe, the charitable foundation that Henry has set up, raises money to help those affected by sudden bereavement, heart conditions and international environmental and social issues that Richard was involved with. Please visit for more information and to make a donation.


Covid Reflections, Part 1*

Aaaah, d’ya remember when I posted that video to my fb page back in March 2020? It was when everyone was panic buying loo rolls, the UK government stated “As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK”, then went into lockdown just a few days later, we all thought we’d be flattening the curve and it would be over in a few weeks. 

[Shout out to my puffy face and eye bags btw. Sheeesh! It’s only since I’ve watched that video again that I’ve noticed them. Might write another blog on how I got rid of them. I think I look younger now 😁]. 

Who knew we were in for such a rough ride back then? In and out of lockdowns, don’t wear a mask, they’re not effective, do wear a mask (because we’ve all bought shares in them), don’t see your loved ones, definitely don’t cuddle them unless you’re covered in cling film, find yourself someone to get into a bubble with, get on first name terms with your delivery drivers, only have visitors to your home if you’re paying them, and let’s all bake banana bread. 

Not forgetting the clapping and the Belper Moo. WTF?

Where are we now? What have we lost along the way? Who have we lost along the way? What has happened to our collective psyche? How much damage has been done to our mental health, our economy, our spiritual wellbeing? Why are we all so afraid of coughs, colds and the flu? Why have we been divided into good people who have the vaccines, and bad people who don’t? Is this a pandemic, feardemic, plandemic or scamdemic? Where do we go from here? What is the new normal? Is the new normal acceptable? Do we want a new normal? How do we adjust to life after covid? Do we need to adjust? Should we adjust?

Who do you trust?

I was going to say I wish I had the answers, but actually knowing what I know now, like the PPE fiasco, Downing Street parties and the emerging figures for the excess deaths (not least in athletes and sports professionals), makes me want to bury my head in the sand and never come out again. A feeling that I’m sure we’ve all had in the last two years.

But I can’t, and I won’t. And so I reassess. What do I want to carry forward with me? What are the positives for me that have come out of the last two years? What do I want my life to look like? What do I want life to look like for my offspring?

I have found a wonderful community of like minded people, who aren’t afraid to ask these questions, nor are they afraid to discuss, debate and digest the answers. It is from this community that I have drawn strength, made fabulous new friends, learnt a tremendous amount and envisioned a future I want to be a part of.

This is definitely a big positive that has come out of the last few years for me and I will carry forward for as long as I am on this planet. The future that I want to be a part of includes building a new health care service that integrates medical professionals with holistic practitioners. A long job but I’m happy to do it. My future also includes staying true to my values and strong in my self belief, and passing these traits to younger generations.

I knew in 2020 that I wasn’t afraid of covid, that I trusted my immune system, I felt healthy and well and that I if I got covid it would have minimal impact. And looking back at that video today, I can see that I’m even healthier now! I’ve certainly learnt a lot more about health since then (I’ll definitely be writing another blog post on that, at some point), which I have put into practice. I am forever tweaking, experimenting and mastering my innerstanding of my own health and wellbeing.

I am focused on the life I want to live, the world I want to be in and creating a future for the next generation that I’m proud to leave behind. For that, covid (I refuse to capitalise covid, even though the red lines underneath it as I type are very annoying), I am grateful.

*I think there’s gonna be a part two. I’ve got a few more thoughts on covid I want to share, which I may, or may not, get round to typing up.

Make your own natural products, Uncategorized

How to make your own deodorant using kitchen cupboard ingredients

Hello there sovereigns, today I’m going to show you how to make your own deodorant using things that you can find in your kitchen. Plus essential oils of course.

The equipment and ingredients you need are

DIY deodorant with essential oils
Everything you need
  • a freshly boiled kettle
  • a larger bowl
  • a smaller bowl
  • measuring spoons
  • tea spoon
  • small jar (mini jam jar is fine)
  • coconut oil
  • bicarbonate of soda
  • essential oils


Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to the small bowl. Pour a puddle of freshly boiled water into the larger bowl. Place the small bowl inside the larger bowl, but don’t let the water come over the top of the small bowl. Stir the coconut oil until it’s melted, it will only take a few minutes.

Once the coconut oil is melted, take the small bowl out of the larger bowl and add a level tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to the melted coconut oil. Stir together to form a thick paste.

Add 15 drops in total of essential oil to the paste. You could use 15 drops of one oil, 7 drops each of two different oils, or 5 drops each of three different essential oils. Choose ones that you like and that don’t irritate your skin. You can make your blend of essential oils for your deodorant as unique as you are!

Now pour this into your jar and leave to cool until solid. You can put it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process if you like. Store and use the deodorant at room temperature.

To use, scrape a smidge with the back of your fingernail, rub between fingertips and then rub into your armpits. Done! Totally natural, very cheap and quick to make and an effective, yummy smelling deodorant.

Book Reviews

Book review – The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read… by Philippa Perry

This beautifully kind, wise and compassionate book has been a wonderful reminder of the parent I aspire to become. It goes without saying, of course, that I am not a perfect parent. Who is? The joy of this book is that it does not set out to achieve perfection (which would only set you up for failure), nor does it reprimand you for mistakes made in the past. It gently encourages you to explore your words, actions and the examples you set to your child, observing how they might affect your child(ren), how they affected you when you were a child and the possible long term effects on your relationship with your child.

It’s not about how many times you mess up, lose your rag and end up crying in a corner (with at least one child screaming on the floor at the same time). It’s about accepting that these things happen, putting actions in to place to minimise them (ie recognising your own limits and how to manage them), and ‘repairing the rupture’ by being compassionate with yourself and authentic in your restorative actions.

It has great examples and case studies of where parents have struggled with their child(ren), even to the point of wanting to leave the family unit, and offers tender, considerate and often humorous responses to the challenges we all face in our parenting (and indeed all) relationships in our lives.

It ties in perfectly with the La Leche League philosophy of ‘loving guidance’, which is one of the many reasons I kept going back to La Leche League. I knew I wanted to follow the gentle parenting path, I think even before I became pregnant, and it was demonstrated so admirably by the mums present at the meetings.

It reminded me that loving guidance is a long term investment (it also has short term benefits too), that patience is a virtue (no one has taught me more about being patient than my son), and that if you’re not looking back at your life and cringing at certain moments, you’re not learning and growing as a person, parent and human being.