Author Archives: The Lotts Yoga

About The Lotts Yoga

Kundalini Yoga instructor and Sculptor. I love to travel and discover new places, in both my inner and outer worlds.

Self Love, Self Care and Yoga


“Be a lamp to yourself. Be your own confidence. Hold on to the truth within yourself as to the only truth.”

~ Buddha –


Self love should not be confused with self care.

Self Love means accepting yourself unconditionally, including your perceived flaws, and cultivating compassion and support for yourself as you journey through your instabilities. It is not about being arrogant or vain and telling yourself how brilliant or gorgeous you are. It’s speaking to and about yourself as if you were speaking about your best friend (who happens to be gorgeous-but don’t rub it in!). It’s coming from a place of kindness instead of criticism.  It’s embracing ALL that you really are – It’s about listening to your intuition, and knowing what is truly right for you and acting on it.

We have an authentic self within us, but often we cannot see it. We identify ourselves with our egos. We are constantly bombarded by an achievement based and materialistic culture that suggests we need to do more, buy more, and be better. This can consume our minds and obscure our true nature. We compare ourselves with others, we have feelings of not being “good enough” based on how we measure up to expectations of society or other people. We will never feel loved when we are trying to be someone we are not, or comparing ourselves to others who we feel are  better than us in some way.

Loving yourself is not selfish. If you don’t learn to love yourself it is very difficult to be able give love and receive love fully too.

Self-love is the basis for self-care. Self care is taking care of your needs; respecting your body,  resting when you are tired instead of pushing yourself, eating nourishing food when you are hungry instead of waiting till you are famished, Not abusing  your body with additive substances and junk food, but also indulging yourself in caring ways when you feel the need!.

In both cases I am talking about valuing self here, not being selfish. If we are empty from exhaustion, hurt, disappointment, anxiety and fear of what others might think of us.  Can we really offer love and support to others? When we feel full of love, peace and a have positive outlook, we are in a much better place to share and support.

sunrise med

When you practice yoga, you make space. Space to breathe, space for your organs to function more efficiently and effectively, space to feel, and, mainly, space to love. Space to love and breathe into whatever is happening in your life and space to remember that you are enough—exactly as you are. This love is the foundation of a good solid relationship with oneself.  A regular yoga practice will  open us up to our true selves, develop our intuition, and open our hearts. It will nurture our body on a physical level too. The postures and movements, keep our bodies flexible and strong, our glands are encouraged to increase hormone production, and circulation is improved, all leading to enhanced health and vitality.

Finally, when we care for and accept ourselves, it doesn’t mean we become complacent. We don’t just sit back and say “well that’s just the way I am!” We use our knowledge and desire for self care to become the best human being we can be.. to start a true evolution!

Looking forward to a new year of yoga classes. The theme for the first four week course is Self Love. For information on class times and venues see The Lotts Yoga on facebook.

Hope your New Year is filled with love!  

light to shine


Massage in Mysore.


My plane to Bangalore was a cute little one with propellers. I sat next to a young woman on her first ever flight, and we had a very interesting conversation about her family, and forthcoming arranged marriage,to a young man she had only met twice so far.

I was met on arrival by the  charming Managing Director of Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre, Satyajit Sengupta and his driver.  We chatted on the three and a half hour journey to Mysore, only stopping for lunch in an interesting roadside restaurant.

Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre (IVAC) Is just outside the city of Mysore at the foot of the Chamundi Hills.  Ayurveda is one of the oldest surviving holistic medical systems in the world. Together with Yoga, Ayurveda gives us the means to lead a healthy, conscious, and fulfilled life.

My Cottage
My Cottage

I awoke refreshed the next morning, in my large and very comfortable traditional cottage, which was set amidst Neem and Sandalwood trees in the natural gardens of the centre. After breakfast – all food here is Ayurvedic and dosha balancing  I had a consultation with one of the Ayurvedic doctors. She recommended diet , lifestyle suggestions and treatments for my dosha. As my foot was still  sore from my fall on the holy mountain in Kerala, my first treatment was a wonderful leg and foot massage in one the amazing treatment rooms.

During the afternoon, I had a tour of the whole place, had a swim in the huge pool, saw the doctor again, and learnt how to  make a Rangoli – traditional folk art  pattern.

The next day, after breakfast and another check in with the doctor, I had the most wonderful massage. The therapists start by chanting a prayer. Then treatment commenced with a head and neck massage by one therapist while a second bathed my feet in a flower filled copper bowel of scented warm water.. and this was only the beginning! Then lying as God made me on a vast massage table two therapists work on the whole body together.. I can see you all flocking to try this.. just to let you know women have women masseuses and, sorry guys you have men!…  The treatment ends afer an hour or so with a shower and a detoxing cup of green tea.

In the afternoon I was accompanied into the city of Mysore in a tuk-tuk (Great fun!), we toured Mysore Palace, and shoped in the local markets. Its a city full of hustle bussle and colour.

On my final morning, Satyajit took me to meet the founder of IVAC, Dr Krishna , at his home,which is set in the grounds of the centre. He is a pediatric anesthesiologist by profession, also a writer and speaker at the world medical congress. His vision was to bring Ayurveda to the forefront of modern medicine, thus he founded the now world renown IVAC. A charming and gracious man. It was a lovely way to end my wonderful three day ayurvedic experience, before heading back to the delights of Goa.

Mysore Market

Mysore Market

Ashram Life.. Eat, Pray, Love it!


After a one and a half hour car journey through the palm forests and rubber plantations of Kerala, in southern India, I arrived at the Sivananda Ashram.

The Ashram is very clean and well run, and I was lucky to get a room on my own with a shower, luxury! I did have a room-mate for one night, as she was an exceptionally large spider, I put her out!
The wake up bell rings for morning Satsang at 5.10. We meditate and chant from 6 until 7.30. The roar of lions in the wildlife reserve accompany our morning chants. After, we have tea under the “tea tree”,followed by the 2 hour morning yoga class.

After brunch (a spicy vegetarian meal not a fry up!) We all have a job to do around the ashram (Karma Yoga). I was sure I would be cleaning the loos, but instead landed the enviable job of manning the internet room. After Karma Yoga there is a daily talk on interesting topics like Spirituality Yoga, diet and Ayurveda. Then, after this, a second 2 hour yoga class. Unfortunately, I sprained my foot a few days into my stay, on an early morning mountain hike. It was fabulous to see the sunrise high in the mountains but my yoga classes were off the menu for the rest of my time at the ashram. Luckily I had the wonderful company of Emily, who is staying in the ashram for several months. She had a very nasty infected bite.. so she was off yoga too. I can thank her for a night out in the local town, when I accompanied her to hospital to get treatment. (Not a place you would want to stay in!)

Getting back to the Ashram schedule. Our second and last meal of the day is at 7pm. It is a similar meal to brunch-eaten while sitting cross-legged on the floor of the large dinning hall- Most people eating Indian style, with their fingers.The food is excellent, but after a few days, I started to miss my morning porridge!

Evening Satsang is at 7- more chanting and meditating, and followed by a talk or film.
I love it at the ashram. I have met some great people. Its a simple life, in a warm climate, with interesting like-minded company.. who needs porridge!

The Ashram Dining Hall.

The Ashram Dining Hall.

Sun and Yoga in Goa.


After 10 days of sun, sea, fun and yoga in Mandrem Beach Goa. I am leaving for Kerala for 10 days at the Sivananda Ashram.
Goa was a welcome break after Kolkata. Just to reassure all those who supported Hope. No funds raised were used for this part of the trip! Yoga classes were Read the rest of this entry

More Smiles and Saris


“A smile is in the same language”
We did done so much in our 9 days in Kolkata. Visiting the Hope childrens’ homes, hospital and lifeskills centre, where there is a wonderful shop and cafe, teaching craft, clothes making and restaurant skills.
We are also lucky to be here for Diwali, the festival of lights, which is akin to our Christmas in importance.We celebrated this in the home of our pranic healing teachers and their family.. such a privilege.. beautiful food ‘ fireworks and company!
Kali puja’ was happening too..worship to a blue goddess with 4 arms’ who killed her husband’ and went on to do great things..awesome!
A profound experience for me happened when I reluctantly attended mass in. Mother Teresa’s hospice. A place where men and women come for their last days. Those few who were well enough to sit were opposite us in the small chapel area. I caught the pained and sad gaze of one of the men opposite me, I smiled and amazingly he managed to give me a radiant smile back… for a few moments he gave me the deep privilege of feeling completely connected to him. The power of a smile is wonderful indeed.
Ganga 2
Most of the group are with me in Goa now.. It couldn’t be more different here.. Sun Sea and Yoga! Look out for my next post. The group will be leaving next Monday, and I will be contiuing my adventure alone..

Smiles and Saris


The Hope Foundation Yoga group and I arrived in Kolkata on 28th October,and we were whisked into the city by a creatively painted bus built circa 1950, complete with off white lace curtains. Two men up front-one driver and one chief horn honker- he blasted the horn every few seconds as we dodged our way through heavy Kolkata traffic, which has an “every man for himself” traffic flow system.
After a short rest we were taken to the Kasba girls home- one of the Hope homes here in Kolkata. The welcome for the “Aunies” as they called us was wonderful. They proudly showed us around. Later entertained us with singing and amazing dancing. Our presence, delighted them as much as we delighted in theirs.
“The world always look brighter from behind a smile”

The Power of a smile.
We were entertained on Wednesday with a fabulous display of musical and dancing talent from the children who live in the Hope homes.The 14th annual Hope Foundation day was held at Science City- a big theatre in Kolkata.700 children took part The colour and production was just incredible, and the dances ranged from Bollywood to an Irish dance, performed by the girls from Kasba home, which we visited on our first day, and twice since then.
The theme was the power of a smile,which along with the vibrant colour seems to sum up the magic of Kolkata for me. “A smile is one of the most precious human expressions”
Later that day we went for a “cruise” on the Ganges, and saw a side to Kolkata very different from the mornings, and one from which some of the children may easily have been saved from.
ganga river

“A wise man travels to discover himself.” ― James Russell Lowell


A Passage to India!
I have always loved to travel, and I have visited over ten countries in almost as many years. Apart from the States on two occasions in recent times, these countries have been in Europe close to home. I have yearned to travel further afield. Earlier this year I visited a Psychic, and was delighted when she told me I would travel to India! I was even more delighted, when the very next day, the opportunity presented itself via a friend I had done my yoga teacher training with!

So here I am in the mid years of my life ready for adventure.

I leave Ireland for 6 weeks on Sunday to travel to India. Starting with 10 days volunteering with The Hope Foundation in Calcutta, then a week or so of Yoga in Goa, then on to Kerala… and then who knows? a couple of weeks in an Ashram and a visit to an Ayurvedic centre perhaps? The true traveller does not plan too much, for then he becomes a tourist!

I would love to have you on the journey with me. Enter you email below to join me!henna hands