Online Retreat Centre

We may still be in lockdown, but the stresses and strains of life don’t give us a break. Work stress may have slowed down, but family life has certainly ramped up. Living in containment, even with those we love can be challenging.

The Well Nest is still fully open and ready to help you with your mental and physical wellbeing. Classes are on offer throughout the week on a pay as you go basis, monthly subscription or donation/pay what you wish basis.

What’s on?

Weekly classes:
Tuesdays at 12 pm – Mindfulness on Facebook Live. Donation based.
Wednesdays at 12 pm Yin Yang Yoga on Zoom. £5 per session
Thursdays at 6 pm – Vinyasa Yoga on Zoom. £5 per session
Fridays at 10 am – Yin Yoga on Zoom. £5 per session

All Yoga classes are part of the monthly subscription – £25 per month, giving you access to up to 12 classes.

You can book your sessions here, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates and special offers.

If you’ve never tried meditation or yoga, now is a great time to start your journey. All you need is a space to roll out your yoga mat or a chair in a quiet corner (headphones help!) and you can gain the skills to make a real difference to how you feel physically and mentally.

Life is about balance and there is a real strength in peace. Take your chance to get out of your mind and into your body – into your true experience of the present moment.

COVID-19 Update

All classes, workshops and treatments will be continuing as normal with The Well Nest until venues or official guidance suggests another course of action. Classes will be taking place in the community, privately and for 1:1s as arranged.

I will continue to keep everyone updated on the situation, but in the meantime, please be reassured that the following steps are being taken so that you can continue to attend wellbeing classes and therapies:

  • No props or yoga mats will be available to borrow for the foreseeable future. Please bring your own mats and props and care for them appropriately to ensure hygiene and cleanliness
  • Payments should be made by card or loyalty card where possible to keep cash handling to a minimum
  • Class sizes will be limited to less than 15 people
  • Please do not attend class if you are unwell or have been in contact with others who are unwell. Follow guidance issued by the NHS and WHO
  • Please wash hands and/or use hand sanitiser before and after class
  • Therapies and 1:1 sessions take place in a dedicated space used only by me and my clients. The space is kept clean and sanitised in line with professional standards. Hand washing facilities are available for use

If you have concerns about attending group sessions, I still have availability for private sessions for yoga, meditation and healing therapies.

Virtual Classes by Skype

If venues advise that they will be closing for a period, I plan to offer my regular classes as advertised in the class timetable, remotely via Skype so that you can practice with me from your home.

Your mental and physical wellbeing is important at this time of stress. I’d like to do what I can to help you stay motivated and uplifted and to keep your wellbeing routine going.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

[email protected]

Easing the Transition into 2020

So, we’re now two decades further along the path since we navigated the new Millennium. We have created a lot for ourselves to be concerned about in that time, but equally we find ourselves caught up in many things that we have very little influence with. It’s the nature of life that things will happen, as they are meant to, when they are meant to. Our resistance to this simple fact of life often causes us so much turmoil. How about starting this new year with a change of mindset – one that helps you find peace, ease and joy in life? It’s been a long time coming. Find your sense of purpose and allow your life to unfold; you don’t need to force it.

Change your mind

Hands up if you’ve set an intention or resolution in the past that involves changing your body? Diets, detoxes, fitness regimes, gym memberships, quitting smoking, vegetarianism, healthy eating…dry January?? Yes, we’ve all done these things to make ourselves more healthy, give ourselves more confidence and to improve our long-term health. But, how much success and longevity have you had with these attempts?

Meditation can be life changing. It changed my life ten years ago which is why I decided to share what I have learned with as many people as possible. It isn’t a secret; there are thousands of studies on meditation techniques that confirm that we can change our minds, change our behaviours and change our traits over time. If you change your mind, you can change your life.

If you want to be happier, get on with people better, be more patient, carry less tension in your body, see more positivity in the world, be more compassionate…then meditation might be the resolution for you in 2020.

Start with You

Meditation is a practice of training the mind to focus, pay attention and notice. Notice the present moment and what it has to offer. Focus your attention on what’s happening right now rather than ruminating on the past or worrying about the future. Freedom can be found right now.

Changing the way you relate to your thoughts and emotions can be liberating. You can choose to direct your mind to better things and learn to let go of what causes you mental distress. You can lower stress levels, improve relationships, improve physical health (by turning down your body’s reaction to stress) and overall wellbeing. A resolution to try meditation can benefit you and those around you.

If meditation has been on your ‘to do’ list for some time, why not come along and give it a try in one of our upcoming sessions? There is a lot to choose from at the Well Nest and it’s accessible to all.

**Meditation comes in many different forms such as Mindfulness, vipassana, Zen (Sesshin) meditation, Buddhist meditation, mantra, sound healing, shamanic drumming etc. At the Well Nest our teacher Hannah is deeply experienced and qualified to teach many methods; you can try several different traditions and find what works for you.

Instead of focusing on changing your body in 2020, try changing your mind. You will find things flow more easily, you start to feel lighter and have a greater sense of purpose. Your body will thank you for it too.

Here’s what you can try:

Weekly classes: Drop-in sessions at lunchtime on Tuesdays for 45 minutes. A teaching and guided meditation so you can try something different each week. Classes are at TopLine Studio at 12.30 pm and are £5 each.

Monthly sessions: Drop-in sessions on the third Wednesday of each month. Meditate in the evenings and enjoy relaxation, teachings and guided meditations exploring different themes and traditions each month. Classes are at Ingestre Orangery at 8 pm and are £6 each.

Workshops: Regular longer sessions with a focus on a particular practice or life skill. Coming up we have The Calm (for balancing, relaxation and focus), Learning to Let Go (a mindfulness morning retreat) and A Shamanic Journey (sound meditation)

Courses: Over several weeks you can give yourself the best chance at succeeding with a meditation journey by building a habit. Practices in groups each week followed by home practice and feedback is the best way to make a meaningful change to your life – in mind and body. Practitioner Courses are a great way to build meditation and mindfulness into everyday life.

Yoga: Not just for the body; yoga classes are moving meditations bringing focus, clarity, breathing and awareness into focus. Quieting the mind and relaxing the body. There are several different classes to choose from each week depending on your mobility levels. Men’s Yoga classes are also available.

Free courses and classes: Classes, workshops and courses are available throughout the year (free of charge) run in partnership with other organisations. Contact me to find out when the next free sessions are available.

Namaste.

Shamanism for Modern Life

Modern life is difficult – we all know this! Sometimes it’s hard to find exactly why it appears to be such a struggle – are we doing it wrong? Are other people finding it much more easy to navigate the challenges of modern life than we are?

The answer to both of these questions is largely no. Life is an art not a science – we aren’t doing it wrong and others aren’t having more success at it than we are (although social media and the art of ‘appearing happy’ would have us believe otherwise).

But…we do know that there are a lot of things we could do to help ourselves. Exercise, meditation, relaxation, therapy…all these things can help us sort through the difficulties of life and find more ease. Shamanism can help us find balance and ease with life too.

What is Shamanism?

Shamanism is one of the oldest systems of finding balance, harmony and wholeness that humans across the globe have relied upon for healing and wellbeing. Shamanism seeks connection to nature, to all of life, in order to find our balance and wellness.

Humans are animals, but with the development of modern society and cultural progression, we have lost touch with our foundations as creatures of the earth and have become largely separate. Living separate lives, looking after ourselves, losing the sense of community and balance with nature that is so fundamental to wellbeing.

There is a reason why so many wellbeing techniques rely on balance: re-aligning energy flows, using essential oils to correct imbalance, seeking inner stability of mind through finding balance between calmness and productivity. Modern life has thrown us out of balance. We live inside manufactured environments, surrounded by electronic devices, eating processed food and trying to protect our egos. This is not the natural life of an animal. It’s no wonder we desperately need help with our wellbeing.

Find balance and harmony

Why is Shamanism Relevant and Useful Now?

Shamanism is concerned with reigniting our nature connection. Re-discovering our place within the landscape of the earth and all of the life-forms within it. This is so relevant in today’s world where we desperately want to find that balance for ourselves, but with equal vigour, want to protect our precious environment so the earth can heal too.

Shamanism teaches us to live respectfully but to view ourselves as a part of something bigger. Part of the collective consciousness that all living beings can connect to. Shamanism is also a form of self-development. Practices give us a chance to live at peace, offering kindness and patience for the benefit of ourselves and others.

The Shamanic Journey and How it Can Help

The Shamanic Journey allows you to quiet the logical, thinking mind and access the subconscious; where our memories of living more harmoniously reside. The ego doesn’t run the show in the subconscious mind. We can access a place where we are able to work with intention and seek guidance on how to find the harmony and wholeness that is often missing from our modern life.

On a Journey, we can speak to other beings that appear to us and receive help on finding a new way to travel through life with more ease. Perhaps we are seeking answers to questions in life, perhaps we are looking for a new direction, or perhaps we are just curious. Nature is a great place to seek guidance; from the ancient wisdom of the earth that we have lost touch with as our society has developed into separateness.

Find a new way

Find out more and take a Journey…

Sometimes, it feels as though life doesn’t quite flow as smoothly as it could, or patterns of behaviour and experience often repeat themselves. The Shamanic Journey offers a way to gain insight into your path, your future plans and how to find balance.

The Journey is a meditation to the beat of the shamanic drum; the sound waves taking the mind to a place of relaxation and vision not usually accessible to the logical, conscious mind. Allow your logical, thinking mind to rest as your brainwaves adjust to the drumbeat and a new realm of the subconscious mind reveals itself to you.

Understand how to live with nature and all beings with more ease; flowing through life rather than resisting it. Appreciate the fullness of life and all that it has to offer when we understand our place in the universe.

Next Shamanic Journey Meditation Workshop is Friday 1st November 6 pm – 8 pm at TopLine Studio.

Men’s Wellbeing Series

The importance of men’s wellbeing can’t be stressed enough in a time when we hear frightening statistics about mental health, and about how men in particular tend to suffer with the stresses and strains of modern life. Men are much less likely to seek help for mental health issues, workplace stress or anxiety from life in general.

The Men’s Wellbeing Series aims to provide men with an opportunity to try wellbeing activities designed specifically for men, in a community space which aims to promote sharing and openness. This is an opportunity to invest in your health and wellbeing and learn techniques to calm the mind and release stress and tension from the body. Whether you suffer with the pressures of life already, or want to get a handle on your wellbeing before your health is affected, these workshops will provide valuable tools to help you take back control of your mental and physical wellbeing.

There are two options for men to try in this series, and no experience is necessary for either workshop. Each workshop can be booked individually (no need to do both) so you can choose both, or the one that appeals the most. To kickstart the Men’s Wellbeing Series, each workshop is offered at £5 off the usual investment.

The Workshops

Yoga for Mind and Body

Wednesday 26th June 2019, 6 pm – 7.30 pm, £15

A truly beneficial workshop for mind and body to help you unwind, de-stress, stretch and relax.

This workshop is a great place to start your yoga practice. The session will include dynamic movements for flexibility and strength and restorative, longer holds to encourage joint mobility and mindful movement. There will be guided relaxation and meditation included. 

To find out more, or book your place – visit the Events page.

Introduction to Mindfulness

Tuesday 9th July 2019, 6 pm – 7.30 pm, £20

A fantastic introduction to mindfulness that will give you the opportunity to try practices and learn how mindfulness can help to calm the busyness of the mind.

The workshop will cover: what mindfulness is, how to connect with the present moment through awareness, using mindfulness to calm the busyness of the mind, using mindfulness in daily life and in stressful situations. Participants will try different mindfulness meditations which can be practiced during and after the session.

To find out more, or book your place – visit the Events page.

The Venue

The Workshops will be held at a great new community space above Candid Beer in Stafford town centre.

Candid is a craft beer bottleshop/taproom/coffeeshop/co-working space and events hub rolled into one. Community and conversation are central at Candid.

See you there!

World Meditation Day 2019

Tuesday 21st May 2019 is World Meditation Day! I wrote recently about the benefits of a Mindfulness or Meditation practice and the difficulties of getting started.

When we are presented with an opportunity like World Meditation Day, there really is no better time to get started on the meditation journey.

Just sit…and observe

Meditation is for everybody

So what can you expect as a beginner? The good news is, absolutely everybody and anybody can meditate. It seems difficult because we hear phrases like ’empty your mind of thoughts’ and immediately we have fear that we won’t be able to do it. Luckily that’s not what meditation and mindfulness are about. If we could empty our minds, we wouldn’t need to meditate! Don’t be put off by popular phrases and preconceptions; come with no expectations and you’ll find your meditation experience all the better for it.

So what will you find at group meditation with the Well Nest? A warm and friendly welcome, a calm atmosphere in relaxing surroundings, full instructions from start to finish, knowledgeable insights and teachings and guidance through your meditation experience. At the Well Nest, we love beginners – because we remember how it feels to attend that very first group meditation session and feel like a fish out of water. But don’t worry, meditation really is for everybody. We will sit in chairs (no special clothing required) and enjoy teachings, progressive relaxation and meditation.

Meditation is for everybody

Join us…

Come and join us on World Meditation Day as we hold a Lunchtime Escape in Stafford town centre. At 12.30 pm at TopLine Studio, I will help you find 45 minutes of calm in the middle of your day. This is a great opportunity to try something that could really make a difference to your life and those close to you.

If sitting doesn’t appeal to you, why not try walking meditation. Learn to tune into the body and your surroundings in a whole new way: mindful walking classes are available at The Wolseley Centre. Spend your Saturday mornings wisely and invest in you.

You can read more about my Mindfulness and Meditation journey here. Isn’t it about time you gave meditation a try?

May is National Meditation Month

We hear about Mindfulness and Meditation all the time; on social media, in the news, at the doctors surgery and in the workplace…but where do you start if you haven’t tried it before?

Meditation and Mindfulness are founded on some of the simplest practices that have been relied upon for centuries by cultures that truly understood the real benefits of a meditation practice.

Take a seat…and find some peace

Although some of the practices are very simple, they can be very difficult. It’s understandable that most people read articles and think “I should learn to meditate” or “I know I’d benefit from mindfulness” but many don’t actually take the plunge. Part of that is availability, part of it is knowing where to start (what to try?) and what the experience might be in a class or group meditation.

Why not start with The Well Nest?

At the Well Nest we run Mindfulness & Meditation sessions through the week , evening sessions, courses and workshops in relaxed and welcoming environments. No experience is necessary; just come with an open mind and a willingness to learn a practice that could change your life. At the Well Nest we focus on delivering simple and effective teachings and practical meditations that you can take away and practice in daily life, right from the first session.

You are welcome to start your journey with us this month as we launch new Lunchtime Escapes in Stafford – 45 minutes of Mindfulness and Meditation on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the new TopLine Studio on Stafford Street. An opportunity to try something new that could last life time and make a real difference to your quality of life. Or, why not join us to learn the art of Mindful Walking in the beautiful surrounds of the Wolseley Centre on 25th May.

Learn to walk mindfully with the Well Nest

The benefits of a Mindfulness & Meditation practice

The benefits of a regular meditation or Mindfulness practice are well documented: here are just a few…

  • lower stress levels
  • reduced anxiety
  • better sleep quality
  • improved mental resilience and overall mood
  • better overall wellbeing
  • less instances of heart disease
  • less instances of respiratory illness
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Improved relationships….

It’s time to make this May, your meditation month. Join us and learn a practice that could truly benefit your life and free your mind.

New Classes and Courses for Spring

Exciting developments are on the way at The Well Nest bringing wellbeing and peace of mind to new areas in Stafford and surrounds.

A host of new classes, courses and workshops are on the way. There is something for everyone from lunchtime escapes into yoga and meditation to energetic vinyasa flow and in-depth mindfulness practitioner courses to change your mind and your life.

Wellbeing shouldn’t be the last thing we look after: if we prioritise our own inner peace, we can improve our mindset, physical and mental health, relationships and work. Don’t put it off any longer…join us and find something new.

Starting in May, we have a new partnership with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust to bring yoga and mindfulness practice to the beautiful location of the Wolseley Centre. 50% of all session costs go to support the work of the Trust. The following classes and courses will be on offer:

Yin Yoga – every Friday 10 am -11.15 am in the Conference Centre. Practice this restorative form of yoga to increase joint mobility and move mindfully. classes will include relaxation and meditation. No need to book, just bring your mat to practice: £7 per session.

Mindful Walking – learn the practice of mindfulness meditation in the Gatehouse and take that outside to practice mindful walking through the wooded areas, boardwalk and lakeside at the Wolseley Centre. Sessions run one Saturday per month at £15 per person per session. Booking required.

Mindfulness Practitioner Course – 8 sessions to provide a full practice of mindfulness for everyday life. Learn how to use mindfulness to work with emotional and physical difficulties, pain, mental busyness, anxiety and stress. A full programme to change your mind and your life. The course is £160 and booking is required.

Also starting in May, the Well Nest will have regular classes and workshops at the brand new TopLine Studio in Stafford town centre. Ideally located and beautifully renovated and transformed, this space has a lot to offer for yoga and mindfulness practice.

Lunchtime Escapes – taking place 4 days per week, these 45 minute sessions will offer the opportunity to either stretch and invigorate or relax and unwind in the middle of the day. Each session costs £5 and there is no need to book; drop in and leave with a different outlook.

Mondays – Yin Yang Yoga

Tuesdays & Thursdays – Meditation & Mindfulness

Fridays – Yin Yoga

Evening Yoga sessions – Finish the working day by stretching out, flowing through poses or moving mindfully with the breath. Two sessions are on offer to help you finish the day on a high. Sessions are 60 minutes long and cost £6 each.

Tuesdays 5 pm – Vinyasa Yoga

Fridays 5.30 pm – Yin Yoga

Hope to see you at one of our new classes soon! Watch this space for upcoming workshops and events.

Yin Yoga and Mindful Movement

Mindful movement provides a combination of physical and mental benefits that can connect the individual with the present moment and help develop a greater appreciation of how the body feels and moves.

Yin Yoga is the practice of holding yoga postures (asana) for extended periods of time providing stretching of the connective tissues and release of the energy flows within the body. Through long holds and conscious relaxation of certain muscle groups, participants are brought into deep focus in the present moment. Using mindfulness techniques participants learn to feel the true experience of the body in the moment. This combination of physical and mental practice makes Yin Yoga a deeply relaxing and balancing practice.

The practice of Yin Yoga is not the dynamic flowing yoga often seen on social media, but is instead a gentle series of asana combined with breathing and focus on the direct sensations in the body. Over time, joints become more fluid as the connective tissues (fascia) in the body begin to loosen. The muscles, tendons and supporting tissues of the joints gradually become more supple allowing greater movement and flexibility.

Yin Yoga is based on the principles of Taoist Yoga and the flow of Chi (energy) through channels in the body. By spending several minutes in each asana, individuals may start to feel the release and flow of energy in the body. Focusing on the momentary experience of these sensations in the body is a mindfulness practice that allows individuals to connect more deeply with the moment and with themselves. Combined with breathing practices and meditative relaxation, Yin Yoga is a holistic approach to mind/body wellness.

Yin yoga is a great lesson in surrendering to the present moment and the sensations of the body. The practice of holding asana leads to a breakdown of mental barriers that naturally steer us away from discomfort. Feeling into poses is a great release for the mind as the bodily sensations take over. This is beneficial for reducing stress, anxiety and low mood and can allow a deeper sense of relaxation which helps with sleep and improvement in general wellbeing.

Sign up via the events pages for upcoming Yin Yoga workshops to experience the effects of the practice for yourself.

Yin Yoga and Mindful Movement Workshop – By Candlelight Friday 5th April 2019, 6.30 pm – 8 pm


Regular Yin Yoga classes with The Well Nest are coming soon!

Namaste

The Season to Try Mindful Walking

The changing of the seasons from summer to autumn is a favourite time of year for many. The turning leaves and the activity of wildlife can be a feast for the eyes if we get the opportunity to go outside. It may also signal the onset of SAD for many, from the darker mornings and evenings and less time to appreciate the daylight.

One way to improve mood and cultivate mindfulness, which can help through the darker months, is to practice mindful walking. Taking the time to tune into our bodies and our environment can bring a new appreciation for the colder months and can lift the mood enormously.

Mindful walking doesn’t mean taking a hike through the countryside however. It can be practised anywhere; in nature, during the commute or even indoors.

So what is it?

Mindful walking can take many forms but largely falls into one of two categories (or a mixture of both): body awareness and environment awareness. To practice body awareness, we can move with the breath, observing the natural breathing pattern or tuning the breath into each step taken. With environmental awareness, we move steadily but turn our attention to our sensory experience of the environment. What we can see, hear, smell, feel etc. The important thing to remember, mindful walking is not about travelling from A to B, it’s not about getting somewhere. It’s about fully experiencing the present moment through the action of walking.

How to do it

Body Awareness

  • Start walking at a slow and steady pace. Try to match your steps to your breathing but keep the breathing pattern natural rather than extending the breaths.
  • You can hold your hands and arms where they are comfortable – at your sides, behind your back, wherever you like
  • Get used to this pace as you walk around your garden, around your house or along the street – wherever you choose
  • Start to bring your awareness to the feeling of your feet touching the ground. The contact points at various moments of each step. Notice how your arms move. Notice the sway of your hips and your balance as your step from one foot to another. Notice how you hold your head and shift your gaze as you walk.
  • If you get distracted, gently bring your attention back to the awareness of your body in motion
  • Try mindful walking for 10 minutes and as you finish, pause for a few moments and set an intention to take mindfulness into the other activities of your day.

Environment Awareness

  • Start off following the first three steps as for body awareness above
  • When you are walking with the breath at a comfortable pace, start to shift your awareness to what you can see. Raise your eye level to take in your surroundings fully. Notice the shapes, colours and textures of the things in your environment. Really take in the details.
  • Next move to what you can hear; the breeze, trees rustling, birdsong, vehicles, people talking, machinery – whatever it is, really pay attention to the sounds in the moment
  • Move on to what you can smell and feel. Use your senses fully to anchor yourself in the present moment.
  • If you get distracted or carried away by thought, just bring yourself back to the sensations of the moment as you steadily continue to walk.
  • As you finish, set yourself a mindful intention for the day.

As you become more experienced at mindful walking, you can try increasing the pace (if you want to) so that you can move mindfully wherever you are going. Otherwise, you can keep mindful walking as a formal practice that you make time for each day.