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Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve been opening up to my creativity again and with pencil and paintbrush in hand, have come up with some yoga illustrations of poses that really resonate with me.  From the strength of a warrior to the surrender of a child’s pose, I painted those poses that have felt healing and empowering.  I wanted to share that same love and connection that I felt in these poses with the wider world, so that you too, could feel the love and sanctuary I feel when I’m in those poses on my mat.  So, the yoga post card set of six was born!  They are simple and striking, make a thoughtful gift for that special yogi in your life and equally look great framed up and on the wall in your home.  Each post card is blank on the reverse leaving you plenty of space to write your own personalised message.

More importantly to me though, is that these post cards give the gift of yoga.  Every £1 per pack sold goes towards Edinburgh Community Yoga Outreach, an innovative charity whose work includes yoga for addiction and trauma.  Being able to give back what I have been able to get in the way of healing from yoga, is definitely part of my life’s calling.  So, I am reaching out to all of you reading this to help support my mission to raise funds for this valuable cause.  You can buy your pack here today. or if overseas .  You get some beautifully illustrated cards and someone in need of support in our community gets to benefit from yoga.  It’s a win win!

Price includes postage and packing – please complete your address details in paypal.


card promo image

It’s been an absolute age since I’ve popped by to update you all on the latest news of all things Caroline Yoga.  My baby is now two, life is busy and I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to write an inspiring blog and to let all of you following this page know that I’m back!  However, I now know that there is no perfect time, that life is a juggle and that if something needs doing, better have it done than perfect, (which doesn’t exist anyway)!  I have exciting news to come of yoga artwork post cards I’ve been working on, of upcoming yoga workshops that will take you deeper on your yoga journey and give you an opportunity to play as well as news of an inspiring yoga festival that I am part of and that I hope you will all come along and enjoy.  So, watch this space, I promise I’ll be back much sooner this time!

I am so delighted to be part of this year’s Pay It Forward Yoga Festival Edinburgh running 13th – 19th Feb 2017 with a full and vibrant programme of all things yoga.  This really is a celebration of yoga that is attempting to shake the image that yoga is just for the fit and flexible, so with that in mind, you can expect something for all ages and abilities, from complete beginners to seasoned yogis.  If you don’t believe me, check out the full schedule here.  Added to that, this festival is extra special as each participant is literally giving another person less fortunate, the chance to experience yoga’s healing benefits. How does this work?  Because each time someone buys a ticket for one of the festival events, the money pays towards a yoga class for someone else out there who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to access or afford it.

So, come and take part, give it a go and give the gift of yoga not only to yourself but to someone else too whilst you’re at it!

You’ll find me teaching a beautiful empowering pregnancy yoga flow at Serenity Cafe on 19th Feb 1:15-2:15PM (please spread the word to your mama-to-be friends)

Or/mama baby

By donation at my usual open ECY Thursday class on 16th Feb at Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre Palmerston Place 6:45-7:45PM

Full details 

So, it’s been a very long time since I last wrote a post and a lot has happened in that time.  In the world at large and in my own small universe.  I’ve just returned to teaching after becoming a mum for the first time and was asked the other day, “How are you finding it being back?  Does your body feel different now? Has your practice changed?”

As I sit down to write of my return to teaching, I wonder where to begin.  I feel like I’ve possibly been on the biggest yoga journey of my life so far in the last ten and a bit months of motherhood.  There’s nothing like becoming a mother for the first time to put you face to face with your own daemons that lurk in the recesses of your brain and the tissues of your body after countless long dark sleepless nights, endless hours on the sofa breastfeeding without the movement that your body so craves and the biggest responsibility for life that you have ever known.

As with many challenges in life, there are huge rewards to be reaped, not least in this case having the most beautiful content and smiley little boy who bursts my heart with joy, but I have learnt new depths to the yoga practice too that perhaps until now I was not ready for?

So if you’re facing a challenge or a huge change in your life, good or bad, that asks you to look beyond the physical asana practice of yoga, perhaps due to physical injury or lifestyle, then I invite you to delve into some of yoga’s less sung heroes that certainly helped me to find my feet, my breath, my mind, my sense of humour and most importantly my sense of Self.

Yoga Nidra: I can’t rate this practice highly enough.  I reckon the NHS should start prescribing this as medicine for Western Society!  So many of us are constantly switched on high alert as a result of our fast paced culture of instant everything when what we could all do with is some proper deep relaxation.  The kind of relaxation that is apparently as good as sleep.  Now what new sleep deprived parent or any being for that matter doesn’t need that?  Added to this, to allow for optimal healing, be it physical, emotional or mental, we need to bring ourselves into rest and digest mode and yoga nidra can be a great vehicle for doing this. Check out some lovely yoga nidras here by donation.

Breath or Pranayama: Ask yourself what it is that you need then adopt a breath that reflects that.  It’s something I often invite those who attend my classes to do and beyond weaving a mantra into the intention of the breath, there are some specific breath practices that I have found particularly useful both in times of anxiety and lethargy.  Ujjayi pranayama, simple even inhale and exhale that resonates at the back of the throat.  For me, it literally feels like a breath of fresh air whispering through the tissues of my body, balancing out the kinks, calming down the places that need calmed, energising the places that need energised and with its wave like sound, it’s a breath that I have to say works wonders at helping lull a newborn to sleep in the wee small hours.  Add in some breath retentions and you have an even more powerful tool that literally is like hitting the pause and reset button.  I must admit for a long time I struggled to find my ujjayi breath, but finally, when I stopped trying, it came to me.  So as with anything, practice with ‘Aparigraha’ or non grasping for results and the rest will follow.

Philosophy:  To me, yoga philosophy is another important aspect of my practice.  As much as our bodies like to be challenged, so too do our brains and being able to weave in the “why” yoga works and the “why” we do things the way we do, helps me to unravel and let go of the deep samskaras or imprints on the mind that unless identified will repeat again and again as habitual unhelpful patterns do.  Just as unhealthy foods will make our body and mind ill, so too can unhealthy thoughts. I could write a huge list of the books I would recommend on this subject but one that has really stood out for me is “Yoga And the Quest for The True Self” by Stephen Cope.  It’s a book that integrates Western psychology with Eastern philosophy and reflects on the different lineages of yoga through the story of Stephen’s own yogic journey.

Mantra:  Whether it be the words we speak to ourselves or the resonant hum of a gentle Aum, both are powerful ways to shift our brain chemistry.   Looking down on my post natal body after a few weeks, belly still inflated and swollen, plagued by the images of those celebs who just seem to bounce back to their pre natal bodies within days, I realised the grip that my own false identity had on me.  The false identity that said I must look a certain way to be me.  It has been a daily practice to accept and embrace what is now a different physical body.  To not only accept but to be proud of my torn abdominal muscles, my herniated belly button, for they represent that something greater than “I” exists and something way more important than the Ego Self.  It was useful to stand back and observe those deep routed ideals I had of who I was based on my physical appearance, so much judgement!  This has been one of the biggest still in progress lessons in self love, dropping the Ego and understanding a much deeper beauty that resides on the inside.  My chosen mantra?  “Om Namah Shivaya.”  We’ll cover this one in class soon!

If time is short as it is for many of us, think of this: There are 1440 minutes in the day.  Take off some of those for sleeping and some for work and you’re still left with a good few minutes.  So, let’s make them count with this delicious recipe for not just surviving but for thriving.  5 minutes of breathing first thing in the morning, 5 minutes to read something inspirational or journal or both if you have time, then 10 minutes of yoga nidra at night before bed.  All marinated with an inspiring mantra of your choosing, perhaps just “ I Breathe In Peace, I Breathe Out Tension, All Is Well”  Think of it as an extension to brushing your teeth, to quote another, “self care is not self indulgent, it is necessary”.

mama baby

It’s time for me to say a temporary goodbye as I embark on a whole new joyous journey, one that I think will require me to call on my yoga in a completely new way, (!), as I excitedly step into motherhood for the very first time.

So I leave you with this parting message until we meet on the mat again soon, something I am very much looking forward to.

As the nights draw in and the craziness of the festive season draws many of you away from the quiet contemplation that we so often unbeknowingly need at this time of year, it’s even more important to take time out to take stock, to stop, to stand still and enjoy being present.  If your social schedule is busy, then time on your mat might be spent breathing, doing a yoga nidra, or some restorative poses.  Five minutes is fine if that’s all you have.

With that in mind, I’ve created a short seated sequence that should help to release tension and restore your energy levels in time for that Christmas night out or family gathering…

shoulder sequence

If you’re feeling run down or depleted in sleep, then I’d recommend yoga nidra, or yogic sleep.  Move over power nap, you have nothing on yoga nidra’s ability to leave you feeling revived and ready to roll!  Check out for some lovely downloads.

Also, take the opportunity at this time of year to sow the seeds of intention for 2016.  Last year, I painted the above picture to reflect my own personal desire to start a family, this was my sankalpa for 2014/15 and one that I held very dear to my heart and weaved through mantra and intention on and off my mat.  In times of stillness, think what is it that you would like for yourself in 2016, what is your heart’s longing, what would you like to see grow and flourish? Here’s a great article exploring this concept more with ideas on how to incorporate it into your daily life.

For those of you on spotify and who have been asking about my recent playlist, here is a link to it:  Spotify Playlist Winter 2015

Lastly, let us remember the meaning of this time of year as a time of giving.  Contemplating that perhaps the best gift that you can give, is giving time back to yourself, so that you can truly and wholeheartedly give to others from a place of loving kindness.  Happy practice on and off your mats my yogi friends!

Namaste…. Caroline xx

Balasana 2 (2)

Now that Autumn has kicked in and the leaves are turning beautiful shades of crimson and red, this is the time when you might start to feel a little bit discombobulated.  Unlike mother nature’s ability to adapt to the change of season, the trees shedding their leaves in complete faith that they will stand tall through winter only to be blessed by budding new leaves come Spring, we may find ourselves feeling twitchy, flighty and ungrounded.

So here’s my go to pose whenever I need to reconnect, ground, chill out and stop spinning out.   Use it between your vinyasa flows or stay here for 10 minutes with a bolster or pillows under your torso.  Breathe in the support of the earth beneath you and breathe out creating space for stillness within yourself.  Enjoy the pause between the inhale and the exhale, take time to switch off and reconnect.


supported shoulder stand‘salamba sarvangasana’

This is one of my go to poses when my legs feel fatigued or ‘jumpy’, for the occasional times I experience insomnia or when I just need to shift my perspective, let go of whatever’s playing on my mind and bliss out.

BKS Iyengar describes this pose as the “Mother of asanas.  As a  mother strives for happiness and harmony in the home, so this asana strives for the harmony and happiness of the human system.”

This fantastic pose supports the important thyroid and parathyroid glands responsible for controlling many of the body’s functions.  It stimulates the abdominal organs, so helps with digestion and is a great stress reliever and nerve soother due to the gentle chin lock regulating the blood supply to the head whilst stimulating the vagus nerve, taking us more into the rest and digest mode and away from fight or flight.

For tips on how to get into the pose safely – click here.  For those with a regular practice and no underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, enjoy at least 20 breaths in this pose before coming down.  Pregnant students should avoid this pose in first trimester or if this is a pose not practiced before pregnancy it is not recommended that you start now.  As ever, trust your body, if it feels good to you, great, if not, come out.

Look forward to seeing you back on your mats soon.  In the meantime, give this a try and let me know if this becomes one of your favourite poses too.


Yoga with Caroline is back week commencing 13th July – check out my classes for more details of when you’ll find me on the mat.

Meantime, why not keep up the practice by taking to your mat in your own time in your own home or if you practice at work, keep to your regular worktime slot.  I promise it will be time worth spent, even if it’s only ten minutes flowing through the below sequence, just by breathing and moving, you’re going to feel the benefits.  Practicing in your own time really allows you to tune in and go deeper as you start to listen to yourself more, trust yourself more and notice what feels good and what doesn’t.

The Sun A and B sequences are as taught to me by my teacher Claire Missingham in London.

Vinyasa Flow Start

In Sun B – 2 refers to warrior I or Virabhadrasana I, 3 = warrior 2 or Virabhadrasana II and 4 = reverse warrior or  viparita-virabhadrasana and 5 is just windmilling your hands down either side of your front foot.

I’ve added some more sequences below – the idea being that depending on time, mood and energy levels, you could do the full flow, or pick and choose one from each of the three different sections.  Your practice, your choice.  These sequences are merely to give you some ideas, if your body starts to take you off into different poses, listen and follow, be intuitive and go with what feels good for you.

If you are looking for ways to start a home practice but you’re not sure if you’re doing things right – watch this space as I’m currently working on a “Cultivating a Home Practice” half day workshop coming up this September in conjunction with the lovely Nichola Veitch.   We’ll be sharing our tips and techniques to get you confident and ready to rock your asana at home!  Dates and venue to be confirmed.

Vinyasa Flow Middle

Vinyasa Flow End

Summer Solstice Sun Salute

Summer Solstice Sun Salute

Okay so the sun might not be shining right where I’m sitting, not outside at least, but there’s a smouldering flame in my heart as I start the morning celebrating the Summer Solstice.  Added to that, it’s International Yoga Day, so there’s a certain amount of energy in the air.  Perhaps all those yogis across the globe taking to their mats, harnessing their prana has me tuned in and all fired up!?

After an early start and many sun salutations later, I’m radiating from the inside out as I rest down into meditation, softening my gaze and turning inwards to reflect on the achievements and challenges that have arisen in the past few months where the darkness of the long nights has been replaced by the light of the long days.

And now, it’s time to take stock.  What seeds have I sown that have grown into fruition, good and bad?  For me it’s worth noting that being mindful is all important when it comes to wishing for things in your life as I firmly believe, you have to be careful what you wish for!  I ask myself what has worked well?  What is it that I would like for the coming months?  What can be burnt off and what can I invite into my life to nourish and nurture me, so that I can be of better service to those around me and play my albeit small part in making this world a better place?  Some of the answers were clear to me and others are part of my daily sadhana, that daily inquiry that leads me further from external desires and needs and closer to a place of truth that resides deep within.

So, here are some suggestions as to how you might like to celebrate and harness the amazing energy of the Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day.

  1. Traditionally and even still today, many yogis celebrate the summer solstice with 108 sun salutations.  Give it a try, surprise yourself with your own strength and ride the challenge of the fluctuations of the mind as the body starts to tire and then gets reinvigorated by the breath.  Stay with it, enjoy the heat you build and embrace the quality of stillness of mind that comes at the end of the practice.
  2. Practice yoga nidra or a simple meditation in which you plant the seeds of what you would like to grow in the coming months that will bring you closer to your personal goals and true happiness.  Set time aside each day for the next few months to dedicate to this potent yet restorative practice.
  3. Get creative.  Allow some time to brainstorm your top 5 priorities for the coming year.  Where would you like to be in a year’s time from now?  Are you looking for a change of career, would you like to set up your own business, invite love into your life, start a family, or perhaps just start some hobbies that really sing to your soul?  Set the wheels in motion by creating your own mood board that reflects your life’s goals using cut outs from magazines, brochures and photographs.  Stick these images on a blank sheet of A3 paper to create your own collage of what you wish to invite into your life.  Dream big, plant the seeds and who knows what could grow as a result.
  4. Stay grounded.  With all this fiery energy circulating, it’s easy to feel unstable and as though the world is spinning all around you.  Whether walking, sitting or doing your yoga practice, you can always establish your connection to the ground by spreading your toes, (even in your shoes), and noticing where your feet make contact to the earth.  Think about inhaling the breath from the earth through your feet all the way up your body into your lungs and heart space and out again through the earth.  Repeat as many times as needed adding in a mantra such as “Breathing in peace, breathing out peace, I am grounded, I am safe.”  Work with a mantra that resonates with you or simply repeat, inhale, exhale silently in time with your breath.
  5. Seek out some summer solstice songs to set the scene or choose from a selection that I’ve created that are great for inviting light into your life.

Enjoy – Happy Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day everyone!

Vasistha = literally means “most excellent, best, richest.” Yoga Journal

Vasistha = literally means “most excellent, best, richest.” Yoga Journal

Turn things on their side, come and find a whole fresh perspective as we explore yoga through sunny sequencing to leave you feeling uplifting and revived.

When and where?

6-7:15pm Wednesday 27th May until 24th June inclusive @ £40 for the 5 week block (block bookings only – numbers to ensure personal attention for each yogi)  Please bring your own mat.  Blankets and blocks provided.

Broughton St Mary’s Church, 12 Bellevue Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 6NE – also the option to practice in the beautiful secluded walled garden if the sun is shining!

9:30-10:30am Wednesday 27th May until 24th June inclusive @ £30 for the 5 week block or £7 drop in.  Please bring your own mat.  Blankets and blocks provided.

Temple Village Hall, Temple Village, Nr Gorebridge, Midlothian, EH23 4SQ

To book your place or for further info email

Look forward to seeing you on your mats!