Reconnecting with Nature
Hi, I’m Bex, a Dance and Yoga teacher in Edinburgh. As well as teaching weekly classes, I specialise in hosting workshops, events and retreats which focus on connection with nature. During my retreats and workshops, nature is our source of inspiration and Yoga and Dance is our modality for seeking it. During my retreats (which take place in Scotland and abroad) we spend a lot of time outside, walking, hiking, paddleboarding, cycling, climbing, surfing, playing, eating and simply being, to allow the Yoga we explore on the mat, which is so often inside a studio, to integrate and be embodied in how we interact with the world around us.
Connecting and reconnecting with nature is also about connecting with ourselves and recognising that we are a part of nature, not separate or isolated from it. This is how I relate to and understand the great outdoors and why, when I came back to spending time outside, I came home to myself, after years of feeling lost.
My love of nature began as a child. I grew up in Northumberland surrounded by fields and spent my weekends walking the dogs with my family and horse riding. I would watch Monarch of the Glen and thought it was the dream life. I loved tramping through fields to get to our village and felt very Elizabeth Bennet! However, up until a few years ago I hadn’t realised how important being outside is for me to feel fulfilled and how much it is part of who I am. Living in cities and working all day indoors, cut off from the natural world had separated me from this understanding and was actually contributing to a large part of the deep disconnection I felt from myself.
So, when did this disconnection from nature begin? It was most likely when my dancing started to take precedence. Around age 12 I began to get serious with dance and realised that I had the potential to become a professional dancer. To pursue this ambition, I was travelling into the city most evenings after school and every Sunday right up until I qualified for the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. I had to give up horse riding and field exploring as most of my time was spent inside at the dance studio. This became my dream, and I was so passionate about it. Dance was all I did, and was so gruelling that I had to adopt the “I am a machine” mentality, meaning I had little energy for anything else.
But the thing is, we’re not machines, we’re not meant to work all day every day. When we do this, so much of our identity is attached to our work and our role in work. What happens when this goes, or is taken away, who are you left with? From my experience, I had no idea who I was if I wasn’t a dancer, and this led me to having problems with my mental health.
Fast forward a few years, my partner and I moved from London to Brighton and I remember looking out to sea on the beach and thinking, “this is what I have been missing, quiet, open, natural spaces”. It felt like a huge sigh of relief to be out of London, maybe partially helped by the fact that everyone in Brighton had a dog. I leapt at this opportunity and now we have our 8 year old Cockerpoo, Molly. What a gift she has been. I wanted Molly to have the best life, which means, going on walks and trails and hikes every day!
My love for Molly has helped me navigate my next steps in life. If the job would negatively impact Molly, I wouldn’t take it. You might think, but what about all the missed opportunities? Not for me, I quickly began to realise that being outside with Chris and Molly wasn’t something I wanted to sacrifice for a job. That’s how we ended up in Edinburgh, I was offered a job down in London but I couldn’t face living in the big city again and so despite having no work to come to here, I knew I needed to get myself back to nature, and Edinburgh seemed like a good start. That’s exactly what moving to Edinburgh was, the start!
My dance work was picking up but I needed something to supplement it, so through 2019 to 2021 I completed the 200hr and 300hr teacher training to become a certified 500hr advanced yoga teacher. By 2023, I was fully trained in Elemental Flow as well as Restorative and Somatic practices of rest. Drawing on my skills in dance and yoga and the wonderful world we have on our doorstep, I have created a business that helps people to come home to themselves, as beings who come from nature and are a part of her, not machines with the sole ambition to work. I truly believe that the more we connect with nature the sooner we will mend our relationship to ourselves, to others and to our planet.
“The world isn't in your books and maps, it's out there.”
The scenery in The Lord of The Rings films are enough to make you want to get outside but it has also become very easy to live life through a screen. I love this quote because it reminds me to step away from the screen, get off my sofa, my Yoga mat and go explore the real world! We can see so much of the world through our screens, it’s easy to get sucked in and think wow, I wish I could do that, or go there and see this. You can! Get up and go outside!
Favourite place that has inspired me to get out more
Scotland is stunning! Since having a car, it has become so easy to hop into our car and drive somewhere magical. You don’t have to go far before you are in the Pentlands or The Trossachs. Scotland is full of off grid cabins which we love for when we drive a little further and want to escape the business of life. Scotland is an outdoor playground to be explored. Lochs to swim in, Munros to climb, coasts to surf on. Everything!
Song choice to remind me to go on adventures
Step Out- Jose Gonzalez.
This piece of music was used in the film “The secret life of Walter Mitty” and watching this film was such a moment for me and my partner. We were living in London, poor as anything and this film is about a man, who finally goes on his adventure, and we thought. Yep, it’s time for our adventure! We need to get back to nature!