New Class at Vic City

I’m thrilled to combine two of my passions – yoga & crossfit! Tomorrow will be the first yoga class I’ll be leading at Crossfit Vic City. (Class is only $5) I’m looking forward to sharing practice with this incredible community (NOTE: open to Non-Members too!!!) and offering a time for us all to work on our mobility, breathing, focus and relaxation.  If you have any questions about classes, or want to contact me for any other reason please send me an email at

Classes at Vic City are scheduled for September 20th, October 4th, October 18th, October 25th from 8:45-9:45. Check out my class page or schedule for updates!

Tao let go


Owning your power

I haven’t posted in quite some time (sorry about that!), but this morning I had a revelation that warranted sharing….

The last little while has presented our family with a variety of challenges. It’s just general life events (man this whole ‘adult responsibility/decision making’ stuff is a blast isn’t it!), but all of those little things can add up and begin to wear you down.  This morning both my husband and I had reached our limits.  We were frustrated, upset, and I personally felt powerless. Many of the issues we’re dealing with are beyond our control, and a lot of things in our lives are unknown right now.  Having patience in a sea of uncertainty is a feat in and of itself without all of the other little things springing up here and there…

But I realized as I battled those feelings of frustration, fear, anger, and doubt that I was giving my power away.  It felt like I was walking around with my heart outside of my body, or my brain not inside my head!  As if someone was leading me blindly.  But I gave them permission to do that. I basically held my hand out.

Thankfully after a bath and some meditation/mindfulness – I’M BACK!
By allowing other people to dictate my reaction I was giving them all of my power.  I may not be able to control other people, the outcome of a situation or a decision that is made BUT I have complete power over my response to it.  I’m not saying one shouldn’t feel those initial reactions of frustration or doubt because they are natural (and ignoring them may cause them to fester etc). However by letting go of them, focusing on what is within your spectrum of control, and manifesting the desired outcome we can better handle everything that comes our way in a more positive and productive manner.  It’s not easy, it takes mental and emotional stamina – but in the long run it is a more sustainable attitude than being ‘beat up’ by the people and situations around us.  We waste a lot of energy thinking of probable outcomes, things that could possibly go wrong, or fearing the worst… While one shouldn’t be blind to what may occur we need to save our strength to deal with whatever happens when it actually arises. And by cultivating a good attitude and nurturing a state of mind that is open, ready and free of clutter (yes… those voices…) we can conquer whatever challenge may come along.

After all, as they say in Desiderata “Many fears are born of fatigue, and loneliness”… and one of my favourites:

“The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.” – Thomas Carlyle

I have been fortunate to have been introduced to meditation and mindfulness through my yoga practice, teacher training, and then through my own interest (and courses/studies I’ve pursued).  My experience with it today just reminded me of the immense benefits of this type of daily practice.  And here’s a quote that summarizes it beautifully.

“Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.” – Tich Nhat Hanh


Have a beautiful day dear friends xo

Class Update: Welcoming the New

Happy 2014 dear readers and friends! I hope the start of this new year has invigorated you with a sense of excitement and purpose.  As we welcome a new year we can take this opportunity to welcome other new things into our lives… for me this will be a wonderful little person in a few weeks time.  But before then I’m excited to see you for our Monday Morning yoga sessions.

Yoga will resume this coming Monday January 13th.  At the regular time of 7:45 – 8:45am.

This week we’ll be exploring how we prepare for things… Mentally and emotionally by opening ourselves up to the unknown and releasing fear, doubt and worry. We aim to mirror this in our physical practice as we mindfully move throughout our practice and transition from pose to pose.


As I prepare for motherhood I want you to know that the classes will continue thanks to the incredible Roosa Leimu-Brown.  Roosa has practiced astanga yoga for nearly 14 years and taught yoga classes in Finland and in Germany for 6 years before moving to the UK.  She has been teaching a class at Linacre College on Tuesday mornings, and is also a beautiful contemporary dancer.  When I feel I am no longer able to teach Roosa will be leading class! I feel blessed that she will provide you with a seamless transition.  I’m hoping to be back after some time with our little one whenever Minion arrives, but will keep you updated on how things are going.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me!
Hope to see you on Monday!
~ Erika

Welcoming the New

As we greet a new year we reminisce about what was and dream of what is to come.  We often make ‘resolutions’… but I saw this and agreed whole-heartedly with its sentiment.



Letting go and letting love in (and be my guide) are really the two principles I try to live by nowadays.  I find resolutions, goals, and that kind of evaluation is best done on a daily basis.  Listening to your gut and turning up the volume on your instincts is challenging in today’s world, but more and more I find myself working on this.  There are many rights and many wrongs… and many right nows.  Finding a balance between one’s heart, head, and the practical realities are challenging but that’s the joy in the day to day.  And by letting love be your guide; beauty, grace, bliss and laughter find you at every turn.

This year will bring about some exciting changes for our little family.  While it can be challenging not knowing where the future can take us, trusting the universe and going along for the ride can lead you to heights and discoveries never imagined.  I can only dream about the wonders (and the struggles) that awaits us – and am equally eager for both!  Each day and in fact each moment present us with opportunity.  Embrace that chance – nurture your strength, talent, courage, resolve and make the most of each experience.  Leave your mark by inspiring others, encouraging greatness in those around you, sharing kindness, and recognizing that the smallest ripple each of us makes together creates an impact greater than a tsunami.  You can be, do, think, feel, and share anything – what will it be today?



Wishing you and those you care about a blessed 2014.  

Love & Light to you this Christmas


The Holidays are a magical time of year. Amidst the hectic rush of festive preparations and a busy social calendar there is always more kindness, love and joy in the air.  And by tuning into that – the love of family and friends, sharing time with people you care about, creating fun new memories, and showing how much people mean to you through word and deed… these joys of the season can remain in our hearts so strongly the entire year through.

On that note I hope that you and those you love have a restful and blessed Christmas.  May the light that fills your hearts and home shine brightly after the twinkling tree is taken down… and may you take this opportunity to savour the precious time we have, and seize the opportunities this coming year brings.

As my own family blossoms, I reflect back on this year filled with so many exciting memories, and look forward to what the future holds.  Many of you know the best gift for us will arrive in a couple of months, which has me dreaming about next Christmas and how wonderfully different it will be.  Life is change, and I feel grateful for every step that has led me to this point (even the times I stumbled).

In what is likely our last Christmas in Oxford I feel grateful for the opportunities we’ve had here; the incredible people we’ve met, worked with and become friends with; and how living in another country has opened up our hearts and minds.  It has been challenging to be apart from our family, friends and loved ones for the last two years.  But the power of love is that it stretches miles and often strengthens when tested.  Our lives have led us around the globe, and because of that pieces of our hearts are scattered across the continents.  I hope wherever you are in the world you smile, and feel the hugs and love this message brings – and hopefully life will enable us to cross paths again soon!

May this Christmas bring bliss in the simple wonders and miracles of life.  May your love and passions be renewed, and your faith restored.  And may you find peace (and perhaps some relaxation) during this time.  I hope the coming year finds you hungry, curious, brave and full of love & laughter.

Finally, while we’ve been experiencing some lovely rain and wind in England, many of my friends and family have been challenged by mother nature and a doozy Ice Storm.  In the midst of hardship what has come through most strongly is the kindness and generosity of others.  And so I leave you with this… and a reminder that all we need is love, and we have so much of it to give!

1470379_629178527144822_766947816_nWith much love ~ Erika (Malcolm, Basil and the little “Howard-to-be”)

One more before Christmas!

The countdown begins – whether it’s to the end of work before the break, or until the last window is opened in your advent calendar!  I’ll be teaching one more class in 2013, this coming Monday’s Vinyasa Yoga Practice.  I know that many of you will have already begun your journey home or elsewhere for the Holidays, but if you’re in town I would love to share one last session together.

Wherever you’ll be for the Holidays I would like to offer you some classes that you can do in the comfort of wherever you find yourself!
A class I’ve put up on youtube is available here:

And this is a fantastic website that has a variety of classes for different levels (and some short practices if you only have a bit of time).

It’s so easy to get caught up in the rush of the season, last minute shopping, the possible chaos of travel and busy terminals, and fitting in all of the fun activities in our busy social calendar… so remember to take some time each day to close your eyes and connect inward.  Breath. Lengthen your exhalation. Listen to the sounds around you, observe the smells, and drink in other sensations that arise.  Take it all in and let it wash over you.  And then release it all. Keep only what serves you and remember what the essence of the holidays are about: LOVE. PEACE. TOGETHERNESS.

Enjoy this little post – where Charlie Brown helps put it all in perspective!

And a song that will always make me think of my youth and the hours I spent in the gymnastics gym 🙂


Thank you for the dances!

Dear friends,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to let you know that I am cancelling the Friday evening dance classes.  Due to low numbers recently, and the blossoming bump it’s no longer feasible for me to continue.  I want to thank each and every one of you for sharing your passion for dance with me, and allowing me to laugh, boogie and explore moving with you these past few months.

Perhaps in the New Year I might hold some workshop type classes, so stay tuned to the blog if you’re interested in that!

In the meantime Oxford has quite a few EXCELLENT classes available for you:
Wednesday Night Contemporary Dance Classes – David Hudson!classes
Helen Wadge/Body Politic (Wed at the Old Fire Station)
Lunas Dance Project

Also the Pegasus theatre has shows and classes:
You can also check out:
* Sign up for the mailing list if you’re not already on it, and stay in touch with all of the dance events happening around Oxford.
Monday Yoga Classes will continue as normal (see the class page for info)!  I would love to hear from you, so please stay in touch.  And if you have feedback (of any kind) on the classes and my teaching I would always appreciate your comments!
Wishing you a happy and peaceful Holiday season, and that you find a way to dance through every day!!!

Try Easier

In today’s class I shared some wise words that a dear friend shared with me many years ago.  I’ve held them in my heart and tried to put the concept in place… it’s a challenge to change our habits but a very useful skill to have.



Do you ever feel frustrated as you try to get something accomplished? Those “little buggers” known as inertia, “brain fog”, anxiety and a host of other maladies seem to hold us back from realizing our true potential.

Occasionally, as I begin to write, (or begin any new creative task) this often happens to me too… So how do I handle this “writer’s block” effect?
First, I “clear the space”.  I turn off all the “noise” on my desk. Usually, I get into my easy chair and relax (not my normal office chair – but one that’s “comfy”).

Then, I turn on some of my favorite music – calming, inspiring, music that “stirs my soul” like Steve Roach. (Steve’s music also appears in Dream-Minder).

Now, “the stage is set”. And it’s all perfect, right? Not always…
I get writer’s block like any one else, but what I’ve learned is to not force it. Instead I take a step back from it and ask “What am I inspired to write?” And in almost all cases, the creativity opens up…

But my books haven’t yet been finished… I’ve probably been trying too hard.  So several months ago, I was led to a very cool new book called “Accidental Genius” by Marc Levy.

Marc tells a story by Robert Kriegel – famous business consultant and “mental coach” for world class athletes.  He writes:
“Kriegel was training a sizable group of sprinters who were battling for the last spots in the Olympic trials. During a  practice run, Kriegel found his runners to be “tense and tight” – victims of “a bad case of the Gotta’s”

Levy continues…
“Conventional wisdom would have dictated that these highly skilled athletes train harder, but Kriegel had another idea. He asked them to run again, only this time they were to relax their efforts, and run with about nine-tenths their normal intensity.”

Of this second attempt Kriegel writes:
“The results were amazing! To everyone’s surprise, each ran faster the second time, when they were trying “easy” And one runner’s time set an unofficial world record.”

“Fine for running”, Levy says, “but does that idea hold up in any pursuit?
Kriegel continues:
“The same is true elsewhere: trying easy will help you in any area of your life. Conventional wisdom tells us we have to have no less than 110% effort to keep ahead. Yet conversely, I have found that giving 90% is usually more effective.”

Conventional wisdom… Is it possible that by buying into that conventional wisdom stuff – that we’ve duped ourselves…?

Have we lost touch with our Hearts and our Spirits by trying too hard? If we’re so in charge of our lives, why do so may of us not realize our Dreams? Why is it that so many people give up on what really matters most to them? Could it be that they’re trying too hard?

What would happen if you made the choice to “try easier” in your life? How could that affect:
*    Your Job
*    Your Financial Life
*    Your Social Life
*    Your Family Life
*    Your Health
*    Your Spirit

In what part of your life are you trying too hard?

Will you allow yourself to “Try Easier” today – so that this part of your life has the chance to open up and just BE? In other words, as our quote today by Amelia
Barr, reminds us:
“. . . it is always the simple that produces the marvellous”

You deserve to live a simpler life, with less stress. A life that makes you feel light, energized and passionate…

In short…
YOU deserve to live your Dreams…  Today!
Why wait for something to happen when you can re-light the torch… the torch of passion that kindles within you right now as you read this…

So, take a moment and…

B  r  e  a   t  h   e  . . .
step back from your “reality” and Dream . . .

As you do, you’ll re-connect to YOUR “childhood imaginings”, and re-claim your Spirit and be well on your way to Living Your Life’s Dreams… B r e a t h e, and take a moment to Dream today my friend.  And So It Is….   by Paul Bauer


Perhaps Paul’s words resonate and impact you as they did to me.  If so, play with going with the flow, giving over to YOUR incredible abilities and trusting that by letting go and trying easier (in lieu of forcing or fighting) we can actually get even further. 

As always, I welcome your comments, questions and feedback!  I hope you have a wonderful day!
Blessings ~ Erika

Class & Holiday Update!

dance in the rain

I wanted to say what a joy it has been to be able to share yoga and some fun Friday night dancing with such incredible people!  Thank you for sharing your energy, enthusiasm, passion and dedication!

I wanted to pass along some important information for the next few months.
First of all, class dates from now until up to the Holidays/Christmas.

Monday Vinyasa Yoga
Classes will continue as follows:
Monday November 25th
Monday December 2nd
Monday December 9th
Monday December 16th
* There will then be a pause for you to celebrate, relax and enjoy the festive season with those you love!

Friday Evening Dance
Classes will continue as follows:
Friday November 22nd
Friday November 28th
Friday December 7th
* There will then be a pause as University term ends, students return home to enjoy the festive season!

Class in January
As many of you know there’s a little one on the way.  I’m hoping that I will feel strong, healthy and able to continue classes at least throughout January – however I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep.  As such I will send out an email in early January to let you know of my intentions in terms of teaching schedule in the New Year.  I appreciate your understanding, support and compassion as I negotiate this exciting time 🙂

Entering the University Club
Many people have indicated that entering the club (especially on a Monday morning) can be a challenge.  The University Club does not require you to be a member to do class!  However, if you do not have a valid membership card, or are a University Member who has registered their card you will need to ‘buzz’ in.  There is usually someone there, however they might be busy elsewhere so you might want to give yourself an extra minute or two to deal with this!

Please know I will always welcome you to class whenever you’re able to arrive, and understand the challenge of Monday mornings and the front door “situation”.  Thank you for cooperating with the Club’s wishes as well!

I would love to welcome requests and suggestions for both yoga and dance (poses/movements, music, themes).  If there’s something we’ve done that you loved and you want to do it again – let me know!  If we haven’t touched on something and you’re eager to give it a try, let me know and we can explore it together… Please feel free to send me an email (!


Daily Challenge

Just over two years ago I signed up for a ‘program’ called the Daily Challenge. It’s an online site that is free to sign up for, and daily it sends you different tasks to do – with the emphasis being on your physical, mental and spiritual health.  It’s been a wonderful community to join (much like the incredible communities I’m lucky to be a part of: gymnastics, dancing, yoga, crossfit, rowing etc) and I’ve valued the support and friendship I’ve gained.

Today the challenge was: List 3 “gifts” you’ve received from friends or family that have helped shape who you are.

I really enjoyed answering this… and thought I would share my comments. I’m very grateful for the incredible people I get to call my family and friends, and who I get to explore this life with.  Thank you one & all!

♥ LOVE. The knowledge that I’m loved unconditionally, fully supported and cared for beyond words has allowed me to explore, make mistakes and ultimately thrive. Love truly is all we need!
♥ Wisdom. My family and friends may not know everything, but they learn with me and encourage/inspire me to find out the things I don’t know… we need to constantly learn in order to grow and evolve.
♥ Laughter. After all – it’s just life. If you can’t roll around on the floor busting a gut what are we here for? It’s the fun along the way that makes it all worth while and I’m so grateful that I have such wonderful people to share this ride with!

Live with gratitude. Grow with love!