We are celebrating our 5th birthday this month – come and join us for special offers, prizes and wonderful new workshops and experiences at The Vegan & Sustainable Living Festival 22nd – 24th April at Bishton Hall.
I’d like to start by saying a huge, huge thank you to everybody that has joined me for a yoga class, workshop, meditation, therapy or treatment over the last 5 years. I’m truly grateful to each and every one of you that have joined me on this journey. You have all helped The Well Nest to survive through the toughest of years. A lot of you have become great friends over the years – some have been with me from the start! – and I have absolutely loved seeing you blossom on your wellbeing journeys. It’s a great privilege and a joy to work with people and share the gifts of holistic therapy, meditation and yoga…there is so much more on the way from The Well Nest!
What’s on This Month?
To celebrate our 5th birthday, there are number of special offers, workshops and experiences to try.
£5 off all 60 minute holistic therapy treatments – throughout the month of April, every holistic therapy (60 minutes or more) has £5 off. Get yourself booked in as soon as possible as spaces are already filling up.
Prize giveaway – enter our prize giveaway at The Vegan & Sustainable Living Festival. Your opportunity to win therapies, treatments and wellbeing products.
Workshops and experiences – This month there will be new workshops with sustainable themes such as making your own natural deodorant and body scrubs. There will be sound baths, mini holistic therapies such as Indian head massage and hand massage. Join me in the fabulous Nordic Tipi at the Vegan & Sustainable Living Festival.
More exciting things will be coming soon to The Well Nest…regular PILATES classes with our new teacher Sue: perfect for beginners and those wishing to begin a movement practice. Pilates is fantastic for building stability and core strength as well as assisting with hip and back strength and mobility. You might just find a new lease of life! If you’re interested in Pilates classes, use the button below to sign up to the waiting list and be the first to grab a space when classes go live:
MEDITATION classes with Hannah will soon be starting on a weekly basis at The Well Nest. This will be your weekly opportunity to take time out for yourself, practice meditation in a quiet and friendly atmosphere and seek advice on your practice. We will try meditations from lots of different traditions (not just mindfulness) so you can become a skilled meditator; able to find peace of mind even under the most difficult challenges of modern life.
See you soon!
Exciting things are happening at Bishton Hall this month – join us for our first Vegan & Sustainable Living Festival! Come along and try some fantastic vegan street food, shop sustainably, discover amazing local makers and crafters and join me in the Wellbeing Tipi for some retail therapy, self-care therapies and workshops.
We have so much going on at the Vegan & Sustainable Living Festival, it’s hard to know where to start!
On the lawn we have a large marquee housing around 30 vegan and sustainable living traders. Here you’ll find things such as candles, bath and body care, pies, Turkish food, jewellery, general stores, wood crafts, sauces and pickles, eco gifts, recycled and up cycled crafts, wines, doughnuts, preserves, flowers…the list goes on.
There is also a presentation area in the main marquee where you can hear traders talk about their sustainable projects, vegan living and see demonstrations and taste products. There will be a new speaker every hour on each day of the festival, including our very own Charles Hanson at 3 pm each day giving talks on antiques and buying sustainably.
Holistic Wellbeing Tipi
Take a walk around the grounds and you’ll find a magical Nordic Tipi housing the Yoga and Wellbeing area. Come and see me there for retail therapy, mini holistic treatments in the Tipi, sustainable themed workshops and a chance to win prizes.
You can shop all things yoga and meditation – mats, yoga blankets, yin pillows, blocks, carry straps, meditation cushions and eye pillows. A vast supply of incense and incense holders, diffuser oils, oil burners, bath and body care, mala beads, mandala cards, salt lamps, candles and gifts!
On offer during the festival will be mini holistic treatments such as hand massages and Indian head massage. Workshops on creating your own natural deodorant and aromatherapy body scrubs. There will also be Sound Baths to relax and unwind.
Artisan Courtyard and Street food
Come and visit our wonderful artisan courtyard of shops and makers:
The Quirky Emporium for sustainable furnishings, gifts, handmade candles and items for the garden.
Mercia Spirit Lab for tastings, artisan gin and whisky, cocktail masterclasses (!), gift vouchers and experience days.
LuvFelt for fabulous handcrafted works of art, clothing and accessories, bird house pods, cards and tea towels.
S&P Watercolours for wonderful works of art inspired by the natural world as well as cards, mugs, cushions and tea towels.
Earth & Fire Ceramics for classes and workshops in pottery and throwing techniques as well as handmade works of art, sculpture and gifts.
Ivy House for a huge range of homewares and gifts, cards and handmade candles.
Kate Bennett Fine Art Photography for wonderful landscape photography, inspirational and occasion cards and giftware.
For the vegan festival there will be street food from Nelly’s Delhi (gorgeous Indian food), No Baloney (vegan sausages), Where’s the Catch (vish and chips), Hugo’s Bar (ice cream, jacket potatoes, hot and cold drinks, milkshakes), stews and soups from Mercia Spirit Lab. Yum!!
Did I mention there will be FREE children’s crafts all weekend? Wander over to our fabulous historic orangery and find Outdoor Answer offering children’s crafts throughout the weekend. Let your little ones try making seed bombs, making leaf pledges for Earth Day (Friday 22nd April) and connecting to nature. Bishton Hall has fabulous grounds including a Temple Garden, woodland and amazing historic trees – let their imaginations run wild.
Cannot wait to see you there!
Halloween isn’t just about costumes and sweets. Samhain, as the festival is traditionally known, is a wonderful time for acknowledging the past and letting go before calling in your hopes and dreams for the future.
October’s unique workshop will bring together the best of the season and the energetic changes to give you a boost into the Autumn with a fresh outlook and high spirits. The workshops uses aromatherapy, sound waves and yogic sleep to help you relax deeply before calling your hopes into being.
Your body, mind and spirit all benefit from this practice of aroma, relaxation, meditation and sound therapy. It’s a complete package for renewal! This year, Samhain falls between the date at which Venus is closest to the earth (29th October) and a new moon (4th November) making it the perfect time to cleanse, release and turn our energy towards the new.
This workshop will be an opportunity to use ritual and relaxation to make the most of the spiritual and celestial energies available to make a new start. We will begin our workshop session by crafting a personal blend of bath salts, essential oils and natural ingredients to take away and use over the next 30 days to repeat our intentions for the future whilst practicing self-care. You will be encouraged to set intentions and affirmations for the future as you build your self care bath ritual blend.
We will then begin a yoga nidra session – deep relaxation bringing us to the cusp of sleep so that our consciousness becomes susceptible to creativity, intuition and release on a deeper level. This is a passive practice, so no physical postures are practiced – it is a guided visualisation and relaxation practice. Get comfortable under blankets and drift away.
We will then transition into a gong bath to let the sound waves wash over us, cleansing the mind and body and allowing us to start anew.
The focus of this workshop will be based around the energies available to us from the cosmos at this point in time:
Samhain/Halloween – a time of transition from the old to the new. A slowing down of one cycle and the beginning of another. Coming into a deep rest before calling our dreams and wishes into reality.
Venus – A focus on the heart chakra and self compassion. Looking deeply at our own happiness and how we gather and expend our personal resources. We will be able to utilise the divine feminine/shakti energy of the provider, nurturer and fierce protector to help manifest our goals
New moon – Heart chakra energy from the new moon helps us to align for a new beginning and cleanses us of whatever has just past or is no longer beneficial. This energy is a powerful force for helping us to let go.
Everybody will be able to create their own blends using salts, oils, plants, natural ingredients and the fruits of nature. You will take away the bath blend in a kilner jar to use at home several times as part of your own bathing, cleansing and intention setting ritual. You will also receive a free gift to take away.
Spaces are limited on this small, cozy workshop. All materials are provided…get yourself booked in!
I am so very pleased to say that community classes start again this week! All venues have given the go-ahead for classes to resume. There will be new guidelines and procedures for using the community venues in light of COVID-19, but if we all do our bit, we should be able to practice safely together.
The venues are luckily large enough for us to practice and observe social distancing without restricting numbers. We may need to alter the room layout to practice in rows rather than in the circular layout we usually, use, however each class will be assessed based on participants at the time.
Importantly, as part of track and trace measures, you will be required to provide name, address and contact details so that you can attend class. You can do this in advance by booking online, or you can do this when you arrive at class (please allow extra time for this).
The main points to bear in mind when practicing at community venues are as follows:
- Please queue outside the building allowing 2 metres between each person prior to entering the halls
- A one-way system for entry and exit will be in operation. Please follow signage at the venue
- Hand sanitisers will be available for use at the venues
- There will be no yoga equipment available to borrow; please make sure you bring everything you need with you
- Kitchens will be out of use at all venues. Toilets will be in use to allow one person at a time to use the facilities
- Place your belongings on the floor in the hall to keep use of furniture to a minimum. If you need to use a chair for your practice you can do so, but please leave it set out in the hall for cleaning afterwards.
- Doors and windows will be open for ventilation purposes. Please try not to touch door or window handles unless necessary
- Mats will be spaced 2 metres apart during the class
- You can choose to wear a mask before or during your practice – please make your own assessments of whether this is appropriate for you
- Please make your own assessments of your health and individual risk factors in taking group classes
- If you feel unwell at all, do not attend class
- You will be required to provide name, address and contact details at the time of booking or on entry to the class (please allow extra time for this)
- Payment should be contactless where possible. Loyalty cards can still be used (and cash if that is your only means of payment)
- There will be no late entry once the class has started due to data collecting requirements. Please arrive in good time or book online to provide details in advance of the class.
If you have any questions, please get in touch [email protected]
See you soon!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
As the summer draws to a close and we start to look inwards, the Autumn provides the perfect opportunity to invest in renewal; of the mind, body and spirit.
Whether you are looking for relaxation, self-care, indulgence or a total change of direction through insight, there are courses, workshops and retreats at The Well Nest this season to suit every need.
It’s important to take holistic approach to wellbeing; looking after body, mind and spirit, to ensure that a balance of overall wellbeing is achieved. At The Well Nest you will find it easier to achieve this balanced approach to wellbeing as events are all designed with a holistic approach in mind. Working on one element of wellbeing, whilst beneficial, often doesn’t address a more long-term imbalance. Make new habits and invest in you this season. It might just change your life…
What’s on this season?
All Workshops and Retreats can be booked on the Events page where you will find lots more information on each session.
- Yoga for Menopause – by Candlelight. Friday 6th, 7 pm – 8.30 pm, £15. TopLine Studio, Stafford. A gentle Hatha and Yin Yoga session with relaxation and meditation. Postures to help manage the symptoms of menopause and tune into the body through meditation.
- Be Kind to Your Mind – Mindfulness for Wellbeing. Tuesday 10th, 6 pm – 8 pm, Free. The University of Wolverhampton in Stafford. A public seminar exploring why and how we should practice mindfulness for better health and wellbeing. If you are interested in the 8 Session Practitioner Course (below) this seminar will give you a lot more information on that course and its benefits.
- Introduction to Mindfulness – Morning Retreat. Saturday 21st, 10 am – 12 pm, £20. TopLine Studio, Stafford. A full introduction to the practice of mindfulness that will allow you to practice at home and approach life’s challenges with a different perspective.
From the first week of September:
- Guided Meditation every Wednesday morning 8 am – 8.30 am at TopLine Studio, £5. Guided morning practice of Mindfulness and Meditation to help you establish a routine of Mindfulness. Morning is the best time to practice and where you will feel the most benefit for your day and your week.
- Yin Yang Yoga – Beginners & Improvers every Thursday morning 10 am – 11 am at TopLine Studio, £6. A gentle mid-morning practice of Hatha and Yin Yoga to help you stretch out, work on strength, balance, flexibility and joint mobility in a comfortable and supportive environment.
- Eight Session Mindfulness Practitioner Course. Tuesdays from 8th October, 2 pm or 6 pm, £160. The University of Wolverhampton in Stafford. A complete course to enable you to practice mindfulness fully and to provide the tools for you to change your mind and your life. The course provides an in-depth toolkit to tackle the challenges of life from work/life stress, relationships, sleeplessness, emotional and physical pain (plus more!). All course materials and refreshments provided.
- Choosing Happiness – Morning Retreat. Saturday 19th, 10 am – 12 pm, £20. TopLine Studio. A morning retreat looking at our relationship with happiness, what it means to each of us and how we can cultivate it to live freely and more joyfully.
Welcome in the new season and find your balance with The Well Nest. Renew this season, for you.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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?