During the 2020 lockdown, when restrictions allowed, good friends Lou Steele (Yoga teacher) and Anna Morton (Doula) started to meet regularly for walks in their village; in the warm summer evenings and under the full moon. It was a balm for them, salvation from the exhaustion and claustrophobia of suddenly finding themselves in this strange time of isolation.
They walked and talked for many hours over this time about how they were feeling and how they were coping; finding deep relief and joy in the acknowledgment and understanding of the others’ experiences. They shared tips with each other from their own practices: yoga, pranayama (breathing techniques), menstrual cycle awareness, journaling and yoga nidra (relaxation).
Women’s wellness was already at the heart of Lou’s work as a yoga teacher and Anna’s as a doula and natural health therapist, but it was through this mutual support and sharing, during a challenging time, that they decided to come together and offer their learnings and personal practices to the women in their community, through women’s circles and seasonal workshops.
Lou and Anna have been overwhelmed by the amazing response over the past 8 months. So many women have heeded their call and gathered together. The women’s circles take place in the village of Bampton every month on the Sunday evening nearest the new moon; the women come together to share, laugh, rest and practice self-care and community support - every circle has a different, seasonal theme, includes homemade treats and delicious chai and concludes with a deeply restorative yoga nidra practice. The seasonal women's wellness and yoga workshops focus on the time of year and the inner cycles of women, and include time in circle to learn and reflect and then plenty of time on the mat, to practice yoga. Lou and Anna have received some amazingly positive feedback from these offerings: it is true that when women gather a kind of magic occurs, which is both empowering and enriching.
“Anna and Lou make everyone feel at ease and we all seem to go for the same reason: to relax, be ourselves, without feeling judged, and to feel connected. A time of peace and giggles, we reflect, pause and think about our inner and outer world in the context of our cycles, not just our menstrual cycles (or moon cycles) but the cycles of the seasons too. I often float home and have a yummy sleep. Best self-care ever.” Emma, regular circle and workshop attendee
For more info on Lou and Anna’s upcoming circles and workshops, including their first Women’s Spring Retreat Day on 24 April, please see https://bookwhen.com/lousteeleyoga
Lou Steele - www.lousteeleyoga.com
Anna Morton - redthreaddoula.co.uk