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Why 'Green Heart Devon'

When we were young my mother decided to assign a different colour to each of us children, mine being green. I don't know why. Perhaps colour coded children were somehow easier to manage, particularly with there being four of us! Or, perhaps it was to add some play to the development of our creative minds...? Growing up knowing that my given name 'Chloe' meant 'young green shoot' certainly started me thinking that 'perhaps Ma was right', perhaps 'my colour' really was green.

Years on I find myself living in the greenest of green places, The Shire. With the high stimulation of previous lives lived in London, Brighton and Sydney resolutely behind me, Devon enveloped me in a verdant bath of nourishment, cleansing and renewal, and it has been a place I have not since wished to leave.

Having made my home here, walking and now gardening the land, cocooned in a place officially known as an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty', the word, the feeling, the sight of 'green' now evokes an ever evolving menagerie of ideas in me: new, fresh, nature, alive, calm, growing, natural cycles, inception (and on...). A colour in all it's aspects and meanings intrinsically threading through my journey in life.

As for the 'Heart' part, well, one could wax lyrical there, probably most of us could! Suffice to say that during the Mindfulness & Compassion training I did last year, when we actively connected to our hearts, to self-compassion and compassion for others, I felt the penny beginning to drop. Although I have been practising yoga and meditation since my twenties, the true significance of us consciously getting to the heart of who we are through present moment awareness, with heart, with love, properly settled into my bones.

It was as if the course were the final piece of the puzzle that helped me to (finally) make sense of my yoga teaching journey, that in its very essence this is what yoga is about. We have heard the explanation that 'Yoga means union' but what does that really mean as we practice on our mats, and beyond into our every day lives? Connecting, reconnecting, to ourselves through asana, pranayama, mudras, mantra and mindfulness....with us a remarkably accessible means of finding, and residing in, the core of who we are.

Whilst naturally, the improvement of flexibility, strengthening and balancing the body, and calming the mind are sincerely welcome effects of yoga practice, what lies at the heart of the practice is self-exploration, re-uniting with oneself, moving towards wholeness.

Rolling out my mat in our yoga studio the other day I took a long moment to absorb the beauty of the three-storey Greenery, that Ian and I have created in the core of the renovated Lime Kilns. Standing in the place where yoga is practiced surrounded by our lovely plants, a place that for the past 3 years we have affectionally called the Green Heart.....the penny dropped.

(Great choice Ma, thank you xx)

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