Book Review: How to be a Yoga Rockstar

‘How to be a Yoga Rockstar’ rocks.

The glossy, magazine-style pages are crammed full of inspirational case studies, sound advice and little nuggets of wisdom. I devoured every page – and every page has made me feel inspired and excited about carving out a career as a yoga teacher.

Indeed, from all the yoga books I’ve read, this one stands out – it’s a must-read for any aspiring or current yoga teacher who wants to run a successful and sustainable yoga business… and perhaps become a yoga rockstar in the process.

I remember finishing my yoga teacher training and feeling overwhelmed by all the things I would have to do just to start teaching! I had a crazy to-do list – from setting up a website, blog and Facebook page, posting on Instagram, designing flyers, creating a YouTube channel, identifying my niche, finding my voice, making playlists, planning classes and actually getting out there and teaching!

I felt like I had this huge mountain to climb just to step foot into my first class. I’m pleased to say that I managed (with a lot of trial and error!) but my journey would have been so much easier with ‘How to be a Yoga Rockstar’ as my guide. Having said that, I have still benefitted greatly from reading it now. Written by Martin D. Clark, the editor of Om Yoga magazine, it has given me incredibly useful insight into the yoga industry.

The book breaks everything you need to know down section-by-section and makes the mountain feel more like a gentle hill. It makes the journey feel manageable and most importantly, like an exciting adventure. 

From marketing, to creating an on-line presence, to finding your voice and dreaming big, ‘How to be a Yoga Rockstar’ is the ultimate guide for yoga teachers today. It should be included on the essential reading list on every yoga teacher training course.

I haven’t been asked to write this review, but strongly feel that yoga teachers need to support each other. The more successful you are, the more successful we all are as a whole… and ‘How to be a Yoga Rockstar’ will help us all get there a little bit faster.


The Ultimate Breakfast Smoothie

I’ve been experimenting with smoothies this past week and this one is so good, I have to share it with you! The secret ingredient is maca powder – this superfood gives you a burst of energy and really boosts your mood. But aside from all the nutritional benefits, it tastes delicious (quite malty). Combined with a spoonful of peanut butter, it almost tastes like caramel!

Blend all these ingredients together in a blender, sprinkle with flaxseeds and enjoy:

– 4 frozen bananas *
– 2 cups of coconut milk
– 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
– 1 heaping tablespoon of pea or hemp protein (if you’re keeping it vegan)
– 1 heaping teaspoon of maca powder

* Never throw out those out, sad looking bananas – they are the perfect base for your smoothies! Just peel, slice and freeze (I put little batches of 3-4 bananas in separate bags or wrap them in cling film).

VIDEO: 10-minute yoga balance flow

Balancing poses are brilliant for creating a sense of focus and calm in the body. They challenge us physically and mentally and also bring us fully into the present. It’s for that reason that I tend to include a lot balance poses into my own practice and in my classes. 

With that in mind, I created a short 10-minute balance flow for you to practice at home. Try it out using my top five tips to feel stronger, more stable and centered in balancing poses and let me know if feel a difference!

Top Five Balancing Tips

1. First off think of your foundation – just like building a house, you want your foundation to be strong and solid. In standing poses, your foundation is the foot and leg that you’re standing on. So tip number one is really ground through all four corners of your foot. Press your foot firmly into the mat and feel that you’re pushing it through the mat. Then use your imagination to visualise sending energetic roots deep into the earth. 

2. Once your foot is solid, really engage your standing leg. Take the time to contract the muscles of that leg – you should be able to feel and see your kneecap lifting.

3. All balance is about core – whatever you’re doing should be coming from a centered place so really take the time to connect to your core. Before lifting or moving a leg, connect to your powerhouse, your core. It’s also a good idea to do a few core poses before flowing through balance poses.

4. Fix your gaze, your drishti on a point in front of you. So find something (a mark on the floor for instance) about a metre away from your mat to focus on and keep your gaze fixed there. This alone makes a massive difference! 

5. Finally, stay connected to your breath. This is important throughout your yoga practice, but I often see students holding their breath when balancing – remember to breathe! If you’re not breathing, you’re not in balance. 

And as with everything, keep it light – don’t take it too seriously! That’s why it’s called yoga practice and not yoga perfect. Have fun and let me know how you’re getting on. I always love to hear from you! 


How Yoga Nidra can help you do extraordinary things…

When I was little, I was petrified of going to sleep. I often had weird experiences at night – I felt like I was paralysed and shaking uncontrollably when I was trying to fall asleep. It was impossible to snap out of it or even to make a sound in that state – it was so frightening at the time! I thought I was being possessed by the devil (I had made the fatal mistake of watching the Exorcist!).

So to keep myself from falling asleep, I started to play little games in my head. I’m not sure why I started to do this, but I would imagine moving my mind into my left big toe. I would try to see if I could ‘think’ from my toe instead of my head. And then it progressed to all my toes, my foot, my leg, my hip and then up the other side and all the way to the top of the head. 

I found that I could indeed shift my awareness from body part to body part. It became a fun little game, but it also meant that my weird experiences multiplied. Now it wasn’t just the shaking that I had to contend with, I also started to experience floating body parts. My arm seemed to just detach from my body and it could stretch out like a rubber band. I also began floating up to ceiling – I could look down and just see myself lying in bed. 

I didn’t think too much about it at the time – I thought everyone who didn’t want to sleep was doing this! It’s only now, decades later that I’ve made the connection between my own made-up form of Yoga Nidra and Out of Body Experiences (OBEs).

I now actively induce OBEs and have a very animated and fun-packed ‘night life’ (I’ll save the details for another post!). I’ve been privileged enough to go to the Monroe Institute in Virginia – founded by one of my heroes Robert Monroe (whose first book was a revelation to me and explained exactly what I had been experiencing for years!). I’ve also been to a number of retreats and workshops organised by the charismatic and seasoned Out-of-Body explorer Todd Acamesis. If you’re based in London and interested OBEs, you should definitely check out Todd’s events!

Since starting to practice and teach Yoga Nidra, it has stuck me how similar it is to the ‘game’ I played as a child. The shifting of awareness from body part to body part helps keep your mind alert while allowing your body to deeply relax. That is the exact state needed to induce an OBE. 

Yoga Nidra is an incredibly powerful practice and helps you access a higher states of awareness… places where you can start to shift major blocks from your life, let go of limiting beliefs and embed little seeds of intention. It’s incredibly relaxing and refreshing as well – it’s said that 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is the equivalent of 3-4 hours of deep sleep! And if it’s something you’re interested in, it can also help you have some amazing out-of-body adventures…!

But the trick is to stay awake while allowing your body to fall asleep! And like so many other things, practice makes perfect… So a good place to start is right here on my website. If you’ve read all the way to this point, chances are you’re interested enough to give it a go! So why not download my free Yoga Nidra meditation and try it out for yourself?

I will soon be creating Yoga Nidra style meditations specifically to induce OBEs so make sure to watch this space 🙂 

P.S. This is the first time I have ever publicly ‘out-ed’ myself (outside workshops and events) as an Out of Body Explorer… and you know what, it feels really good! Here’s to embracing all our little quirks and traits that makes each and every one of us so unique.