What’s Your Mantra?
Natalie Bradshaw owns (alongside her husband James) Yoga in Nature. A gorgeous Yoga retreat in the stunning French Alps. Already we feel relaxed at the sheer thought and sound! Anyway, back to Natalie.
Natalie loved nothing more than working like shed never worked before fueled on copious amounts of coffee whilst dealing with health issues. There came a time when enough was enough and changes had to be made, here she found Yoga and soon realised there was such a thing as a work-life balance. We spoke more to Natalie about Yoga and her mantra.
What made you get into yoga and teaching?
I had always dipped in and out of Yoga for years but my perception was that doing yoga meant getting into poses and being as flexible as you could be. I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG! In fact, it is the complete opposite. I have always known I wasn’t on the right life path and in my late 20’s there were some big and stressful changes in my life that really did have a negative effect on my mental and physical health and combining that with being a workaholic in the corporate world lead to eventually being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, many deficiencies, adrenal fatigue and generally burning out. I was in and out of specialists and they gave me steroid injections along with a multitude of medication but I couldn’t bear the thought of living like this and being dependent on medication for the rest of my life so I started to explore alternative healing and yoga. It started from there really and the last 4 years have meant intensive study, immersion and practice but I have managed to heal myself, learn so much about the human body, mind and ancient wisdom whilst significantly changing my life. My passion is to share with others and help in whatever way I can.
What are the benefits of yoga to your soul?
I translate ‘soul’ to be our subtle body – in other words the energetic body. Our emotions, reactions and past experiences can get stuck in our physical and energetic body which can over time make us sick, in pain and affect our physical and spiritual being (our soul). Having a regular yoga practice can be life changing for the soul. Although I do practice and teach dynamic styles of yoga and it is very beneficial for many reasons, my passion is Yin Yoga – working with the energetic, emotional, physical and spiritual body and incorporating Singing Bowl Therapy, Chakra balancing and Reiki Drumming of which I work in conjunction with my husband James to offer positive experiences and transformational practices which we absolutely love to share.
Some of the benefits of combining Yin Yoga, Reiki and Sound for the soul are:
- Stretch the deeper connective tissues such as Fascia, ligaments, bones and joints – Improving joint mobility and increase lubrication between joints
- Calm the nervous system by triggering the parasympathetic side of the nervous system taking us out of fight/flight mode
- Stimulates the blood vessels, lymph, nerves, veins and muscles to open up blockages and loosening tension in the body
- Relaxes the body and releases pain
- Helps the body generate a positive flow of energy
What 5 things help you relax in your daily life?
- Trying to approach everything mindfully is definitely top of the list. There is a fantastic monk called Thich Nhat Hanh who explains mindfulness beautifully and rather than getting stressed out or frustrated with general life situations, tasks or challenges; being mindful can really help me to relax, prioritize, see the enjoyment and appreciate life – his books are a must!
- A hot bath is one of my favourite things to do full stop! And definitely a beautiful way to relax especially with Epsom salts to soothe my body and candles/essential oils to calm my mind.
- Listen to a Pod Cast – generally about yoga, sound healing or working with energy. I love to learn and absorb new information that I can pass on to our students. I find this very relaxing.
- Writing my yoga sequences! Most days James and I spend time studying, writing, practicing and incorporating sound into our classes, workshops or retreats. Because we are using sound healing and reiki in our sessions, it is really important to understand the energy we are working with and to experience the practice before we offer to students. I love to do this and it can be very relaxing to practice yoga – bonus!
- Going for coffee! When I worked in my corporate life I used to depend on coffee to get me through very long days and ended up with bad anxiety from too much caffeine but now I love to have ‘one’ coffee a day either at home, out with friends in a coffee shop to catch up or as I currently live in the French Alps for winter – to warm up on the slopes and enjoy the breath-taking views!
Are there any mantra’s you live by day to day?
My Nana always used to say to me ‘Natalie…. The world is your Oyster’ – at the time I didn’t really understand fully what she meant but now I truly do believe that anything is possible and life doesn’t have to be about conforming. The laws of attraction are very obvious to me now and I always try to spend a few minutes each day repeating this mantra and manifesting the possibilities. There is a great documentary called ‘the secret’ which is all about the laws of attraction.
Which is your favourite Fern & Coco Scent?
Weekend Vibes! (Lemon, lime & Geranium) Because every day should feel like the weekend and Geranium is used in holistic treatments to improve physical, mental and emotional health so this scent sits beautifully with my intentions as a yoga teacher. We are offering Yoga retreats in the summer in the French Alps and will be choosing our scent from the new Fern and Coco range for the retreats over the coming weeks – EXCITED!