Ahimsa: Non-violence

As part of my yogic journey, I am doing my best to follow the 8 limbs of ashtanga yoga (more of which you can read about here) the first of which is Ahimsa (pronounced A-him-sA) meaning non-violence. 

As well as relating to the more obvious parts of non-violence: fighting, killing, physical and verbal abuse to other humans, animals, oneself (we all need to work a bit on that last one, not always putting yourself down EVEN in your own thoughts) recently I have been really aware of the violence we have been doing to our amazing & beautiful little planet. And today being Earth Day I was inspired to share this with you:

Aside from some of the more notable, well documented harm we are doing to the earth with C02 emissions, there so many less obvious things too. I was recently sent this powerful video and living on Malta, a little island in the middle of the beautiful Mediterranean sea, this really struck a cord in me.

I am not normally one to preach, but how often do we see rubbish floating around in the sea? According to The Ocean Clean Up about 8 million tons of plastic enters the oceans each year.

Did you know that if plastic bottles were around when Christopher Columbus was sailing the world and he had thrown one into the sea that it would STILL not have decomposed fully?  So every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists.

Jo Ruxton makes a great point in this video: "How can we make something disposable out of something that is indestructible?". We think it is fine to just throw away that plastic bottle after one use- out of sight, out of mind- but where is 'away'?! 

Next time you see a bottle floating in the sea or on the beach I urge you to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pick it up, out of the sea and put it in a proper bin. 

Although this is not solving the problem of making disposable things out of something indestructible, this will help the present situation hugely. Not only is it aesthetically not pleasing, but the plastic that breaks down in the Oceans breaks into tiny tiny particles which attract toxins which get eaten by the fish, and guess who eats the fish? US. As Jo Says, these toxins have a huge affect on our health, causing cancers, auto-immune problems, developmental problems in children and in fertility.  I certainly don't want to increase my odds of getting any of these diseases, do you? Throwing plastic into the seas is a form of violence not only to the earth, but also ultimately to ourselves.

One HUGE help would be making sure we all dispose of plastic properly, and if you do see any floating plastic PLEASE, PLEASE pick it up & dispose of it properly, otherwise it will still be there in 500 years time.

Another thought is to be mindful about the amount of un-necessary plastic that we use. I recently invested in a water dispenser and now buy the large (12 or 19 litre) water bottles  from h2only- this small adjustment has made a HUGE difference to the amount of recycling I am collecting every week. I'm just getting started and have a LONG way to go, but I am becoming much more aware of what I use and throw. Although I still have plastic in my life, I am very aware of every piece of plastic I consume and try to avoid it where possible. For more tips on reducing your waste check out  this inspiring family and this inspiring New Yorker.

Please feel free to share this post & video & help raise awareness keeping our seas plastic free.

Happy Earth Day!


LahLah turns 1!

This month LahLah Yoga turns 1, and I would like to thank all the LahLah friends & family for your support and energy on the mat over the past year. 

The LahLah Studio in Tal-Ibrag, where the magic happens as caught be River Thompson

The LahLah Studio in Tal-Ibrag, where the magic happens as caught be River Thompson

It has been a wonderful year, full of stretching, breathing, twisting, bending, balancing & flying and I am so grateful to every single person who has stepped onto a mat with me! Each person brings their own energy, and I couldn't have made it this far without you.

I hope that those of you with a regular practice are really noticing the benefits of yoga in both your body & mind, and as always if you ever have any questions (no matter how silly it may seem to you) PLEASE ask away :-)

I can't wait for the next year!

Lah Lah x

"Be happy, Be bright, Be YOU!"

The LahLah 1st anniversary class at Golden Bay. Thank you to all those who joined!

The LahLah 1st anniversary class at Golden Bay. Thank you to all those who joined!

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama: The better-than-a-double-espresso-for-waking-you-up breath!

Our breath: Probably the most vital process of the body. It influences the activities of each & every cell and is intimately linked with the performance of the brain. It also clears energy blockages in our nadis or energy channels. The breath is also closely linked to our mental state - when we get angry or anxious we may become short of breath but rhythmic, deep and slow respiration can help bring back a calm & content state of mind. 

Nadi Shodhana is a simple form of alternate nostril breathing which is great for both beginners & advanced students. 


  • Balances energy channels (nadis) and clears energy blockages
  • Reduces anxiety & calms the mind
  • Lowers your heart rate. 
  • Improves concentration & clear thinking by balancing & synchronising left & right brain hemispheres. 
  • Helps release accumulated tension & fatigue so can therefore be used in the morning to wake you up as a more holistic alternative to your shot of espresso. 
  • When I am feeling very monkey minded and can't focus, I find that this breath helps bring me into the moment especially if I am counting my breath. 


  • Bring your right hand up in front of the face and extend your index finger and thumb allowing the other fingers the rest. 

  • Take your index finger to your eyebrow centre and rest it here gently. Now you will use your thumb to close your right nostril & your second finger to alternately close your left nostril.

  • Begin by closing your right nostril gently with your thumb, and inhale in through the left nostril. The breath should be slow, steady and full but not forced. 

  • When you have reached the end of your inhale, close the left nostril with the second finger and open the right nostril to fully exhale with a slow & steady breath.

  • Inhale in through the right nostril, & then switch to exhale through the left. That is one full round of the breath. 

  • Inhale through the left, & switch to exhale out of the right. Inhale through the right & switch to exhale out of the left. Remember we always switch nostrils on an exhale if you get confused.

  • Keep going for 5-10 rounds, and increase your rounds of breath as you begin to feel more comfortable with the breath. 

  • Release the hand & go back to normal breathing.

Nadi Shodhana can be practised at any time of day, but it is best to practice on an empty stomach. Remember to keep the breath slow, easy (never forcing it), and full and try to keep your inhales & exhales the same length (ie breathe in for a count of 4, and out for a count of 4).

Keep Breathing, Keep Smiling 

LahLah x

Reflections of an Escapee

Ever since I left London to move to Malta and escaped the corporate world, people always ask me if I miss my London lifestyle. After having just spent a quick weekend there, I can happily say that I don't. And don't get me wrong, I spent 19 years of my life there and they were happy years, I had a very good education, I made some great friends, and I had some experiences which I'll never forget, but I guess I never felt truly at home there. 

Of course I miss all my wonderful friends there (but they get the added benefit of being able to come and visit me here and get some sunshine and yoga ;-) ). And I miss the abundance of yoga classes always available to go to at any time of the day and in any part of the city (even on Piccadilly Circus!), but this is a small price to pay for the great lifestyle I have in Malta.

Being in London last weekend was great, but I am glad it was only two days. The main thing that struck me this time is that almost every street you walk down in Central London is full of shops, and every shop is trying to grab your attention with their colourful, sometimes moving, attention grabbing displays. Each window shouting "BUY ME! BUY ME!". And not only the shops, but any bus or taxi that passes by is also advertising something in bright colours and sometimes flashing lights. And then if you descend into the underworld of the London tube, almost every surface of every wall is filled with adverts and information. I found it totally overwhelming, there was never a pause for my brain to be allowed to process any of the information properly, but just one after the other after the other. I was exhausted by just seeing adverts! It's hard to think clearly for yourself when the brain is constantly having to process all this different sensory information. It's stressful! And this was without having to deal with any of the added stress of a job I was rushing to, or a demanding social life. 

It's amazing how quickly you get used to a different life, when I lived in London I never even noticed the effect this had on my brain, and I think in a way when you are in that situation you become immune to all the adverts and constantly being sold something. You become numb to it. Just like you become numb to all the people walking down Oxford Street, you just march on through them. 

This may sound very negative towards London and city life, but I do feel very grateful for having spent that part of my life in London, it wasn't all bad, as I mentioned at the start of this post they were happy years - I actually had a LOT of fun, and it gave me life experience. Who knows if I would have found my way to this yoga path were I not in London in a demanding job, with an even more demanding social life which I needed to balance.

I like to think that using my experience of the hectic, demanding city life but creating the calm serene space that LahLah Yoga brings, that I can help people to find ways to deal with the stress of a pressured lifestyle. Whether that be a busy city life, a demanding job, screaming kids, too much partying or intense studies, I feel yoga can always help :-)

With Pause // Play, Cat and I are trying to create a space for city dwellers to escape this madness, at least for a few days, and to learn a few techniques to help deal with the pressure of city life once they return...all while having a bit of fun on the side too, and enjoying some sunshine, of course! The last few spaces are filling up, so do contact us if you're interested!