Entering My ‘Soft Girl Era’: Teaching Yoga in Paradise

Entering My ‘Soft Girl Era’: Teaching Yoga in Paradise


How slowing down and teaching yoga in paradise allowed me to tap into my feminine energy and soothe my nervous system.

Hi. I’m Katie. A yoga teacher & songwriter, who also happens to be a full-time Strategy Director at a creative ventures company in London. After years of trying to find calm in the chaos, using yoga as a tool to combat the overwhelm of high octane working life, I decided to take a 6 month sabbatical to travel, deepen my practice and bring my body back into homeostasis.

The first few months of my trip were hectic – hiking the Himalayas, hopping from retreat to retreat, immersing myself in new cultures. Intensity felt inevitable; I’ve spent the best part of my life programmed to do, to achieve, to tick things off lists, so why would travelling the world be any different? For so many years I’ve been led by my fiery, masculine energy, and an ayurvedic doctor I visited in India told me I needed to “do Ashtanga less, meditate more”, due to the excess of the fire element in my body. Even without work, I was showing workaholic tendencies. I still wasn’t in balance.

But then I landed in the Philippines, having found an opportunity teaching yoga at Eco Sanctuaries Resort in El Nido for a month whilst browsing through Yoga Trade. A month I’ll never forget, it was everything I needed and more. A month of teaching yoga as the sun rose to the soundtrack of ocean waves lapping the shore and birds chirping in palm trees. Rehydrating post class with fresh coconuts that I watched being harvested. Taking deep, fresh breaths in remote natural surroundings to calm my nervous system, and the systems of the beautiful practitioners who came through the beach-side shala each day. Giving myself the time and space to prepare each flow by feeling it in my own body the day before, usually whilst watching the most spectacular sunset descend on Nacpan Beach. Connecting with the energy of the New & Full moons through guiding meditation, breathwork, journaling and yin ceremonies. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Spending the majority of my time alone, grounding down on the hot sand, or lying in a hammock reading my book. Doing very little and loving every minute of it.

Importantly, the experience enabled me to practice what I preach as a yoga teacher. My time spent with Yoga Trade reminded me to be softer, slower, and so much kinder to myself. To rest, restore, receive. To embody the yogic principles of ahimsa (non violence) and santosha (contentment) day in, day out. After months of moving, doing, exploring, it was the perfect reminder that it’s okay not to ‘juice’ every day, that I don’t need to feel guilty for being unproductive. That I can just be, and that’s enough. Vulnerable, raw, more feminine than ever. My body and mind flowing in harmony, finding balance. Sharing the practice I love with both seasoned yogis and total beginners, who too were looking for an opportunity away from the stress of fast paced life. This grounded part of my sabbatical gave me ample time to think about what I want and need from the year ahead, and the list looks something like this:

-Daily yoga, more yin

-Meditation & breathwork

-Drinking more water

-Getting out in nature

-Early mornings & nights

-Teaching lots

-Reading lots

-Dancing lots

-Laughing lots

-Sleeping lots

-Singing lots

-Vitamin D

-Time by the sea

-Catching sunsets

-Cuddles

-Good food with good friends

-Gratitude out loud & on paper

-Following my heart not just my head

My time in the Philippines showed me that home isn’t one physical place, but the feeling of safety and comfort wherever your feet are. Feeling rooted regardless. My little oasis at Eco Sanctuaries felt like home, the team a family, and leaving was undeniably hard. I know this won’t be the last time I find myself surrounded by natural beauty, meeting new faces in downward dog each morning. I’m so grateful to Yoga Trade for dropping this magical opportunity at my feet, and I can’t wait to see where the journey takes me next.

Slowly, softly and with kindness, I’ve landed back in London. Long may my ‘soft girl era’ continue.

 

 

Connect with Katie here: @katiehind95

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