Wellness – what does this mean in Dominica for me and others?

•September 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Well, a creative challenge has been set. What can you do,say, depict about wellness in Dominica in 6 to 8 minute film? Plus take some cool shots of some of the wellness practitioners on the ground.

I sought inspiration this weekend in the heart of Dominica. I was invited by the Forcinelli family to visit their organic farm and homestead – Gaidad Gardens, tucked amidst the mountains that fed and sheltered some of the bravest our island has ever know. The likes of Bala and Jacko.

There is a clue on the main road on how to find them. It is painted on the newly constructed bridge, just past Maxine’s Riverstone place. This 26 acre oasis soothes the soul. Weather was perfect. The water deliciously cool to the toes.

The spirit wraps enlivening on the palate.

Arrived just in time to taste the refreshing spirit wraps

Arrived just in time to taste the refreshing spirit wraps

We discussed many topics that day, community wellness, living simple, future farm tours, the trials of living here, and why it gets people to return to her forested shores. We left inspired by the family, the beautiful wood artistry and with a bar of the Neg Mawon coconut chocolate – 68% cacao!.


Plant Rite to Eat Rite

•April 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

As spring is in full swing I start to get romantic thoughts about planting life in the soil around me. In a recent interview I spoke about returning to the soil. Is this the season to get my hands really in the grubs and bacteria that sustain life?

I have been umming and arrhing about planting more herbs in my garden since I moved hourse. My sporadic attempts so far have proven unsuccessful (a potent combo of too much rain and not enough attention..).

Well after visiting the Saturday Roseau market with my f riends Tom and Sybil, I may well have found some added support to have my own herb collection chez moi.

Plant Rite William Tom n Sybil
Enter William Rolle, owner of Plant Rite. With an impressive array of plants, soil and fresh produce for sale.

Plant Rite Menu Apr2014

I bought a lettuce and started thinking again about being a herb farmer on a small scale. Not the type now legal in Colorado but less contentious ones. It also triggers memories of spending a lovely Christmas in Missouri where I was taken by my friends the Etelas to a diner called Eat Rite. White gravy all the coffee you can drink. A world away from my thought of planting parsley and another aromatic offerings.

Coming Soon – Primal Spa

•November 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In the years I have visited and lived on this primal isle called Dominica what has always drawn me in has been the mud and the waters. What you can do with them in and out of the body…

How they soften the skin.

Melt the stress.

Cleanse the soul.

Leave you singing in its waters.

Strip you of all pretense.

Nurture you til you sigh.

And leave you with an infectious smile.

My river pals Diann and Tiffany have been a great practical and creative inspiration in the past four years in offering some of what I personally enjoy with clients. It is time to make it a bit more visible..

The Baptismal Middleham Falls

•November 23, 2012 • 1 Comment

With rocket speed I climbed the rocks after bracing the strong winds as torrents of water descended into the pool. I was surprised at my agility. Had I been reborn with Supergirl powers? I have visited this Fall a number of times but I never fail to discover something new about the Falls or myself. Again I almost ducked out of bathing. I tested the contours of a rock with my feet as I moved into warrior pose.


Higher at one end that the other, this proved to be a high risk pose given the gusts of wind and water pounding down.


Then I opted for crane pose, one foot was steadier than two it seemed…In balance I become wild, wild in the sense of natural, free, spontaneous. Awareness centered in the breath and body as the wind gusted on, I stood on rock, joyous, connected to my nature in nature.



Domincan Waters An Indispensable Source of Renewal

•November 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A dip in Boeri Lake or a normal shower to revive a travel weary  body? I know which one wins hands down. After 5 weeks away from Dominica  in September I joined friends on a hike to immerse myself back into Dominican waters.


This started with coconut water once I had arrived after some delays, then a hike to Boeri Lake the following morning which accessed through the Roseau Valley, past the mountain village of Laudat.


It can be surprisingly tempting, especially after 5 weeks away, to be a spectator whilst beholding such sights. I ummed and arrhed before coming to my senses and revealing the bikini I had been wearing underneath.


This is a 45 minute walk from the main road so an easy morning expedition. You imbibe the cool mountain air and absorb the fantastic vistas into your spirit. It was good to be back.

Post Carnival Recovery with Yoga

•February 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Your mind feeling slow, body sluggish and bloated? Well, rather than wallow in regret over the one rum punch too many, come along to one of my class this week to get the circulation moving again.



Urban/Maritime Yoga

Fort Young, Roseau – Wed 22 Feb at 5.30pm-6.45pm and Thursday 23 Feb at 6.15am to 7.30am

25ec for locals, 15usd for visitors.


Rainforest Yoga

Papillote Wilderness Retreat,Trafalgar, respendent with mineral pools, orchids, bromeliads and humming birds in gardens cultivated over 40 years. Sat 25 Feb, 30ec for locals, 15USD for visitors/guests. Small class limited to 6. Booking required. Mats provided.


See you there? Call on 276 9455 if you need more information.


Finding Your Voice

•February 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I find the sad irony in starting to sing on the same weekend as one of the modern greats, Whitney Houston, departs with hers.

From famine to feast. A year in the making, since Free and I did an improv spectacle at the 50th birthday bash of Sam Raphael, of Jungle Bay fame, where I sang the poem I had literally written on a back of a napkin.

Last Friday, accompanied by Free Joseph, Dominican musical talent , I riffed, laughed, wobbled, yelled, crooned and went low…


Then later that same evening I did a variation with other very talented Dominican musicians, Nelly Stharre and Trevy.

Nelly drumming deep in th heart of Dominica


This is in addition to being asked to write for a Jamaican magazine called, NexGeneration, committed to providing a holistic informed view about the issues facing community and education in the Caribbean. My first article arrived in the post last week. I have a PDF copy if anyone is interested in reading it – “Dominica, The Wild West of the Caribbean”. Polly Pattullo a Domincan-adoptee, owner of Papillote Press (Publisher of The Snake King and other goodies) heads the feature in giving a regional overview about tourism in the Caribbean.


Reminiscing: My New Year in India 8 years ago….

•September 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

God bless Yahoo. Recovered: an email of 8 years, when  I lived and studied in India, at Bihar Yoga Bharati in Munger, which at times reminded me of Dominica in terms of foliage and food available.

Hi all

Well, thermals are in and bikinis are out!

I’m so glad my very co-operative sister Liz sent me a super warm TNF sleeping bag as I can comfortably hibernate whilst my class mates freeze You would think that living in a dorm with 9 other women would warm things up a bit but alas not. I got tired of lugging my laptop and peripherals up to Ganga Darshan so I applied to ‘sleep over’ for two nights over New Year’s. It was so nice i was treated like a long lost friend, given food and incense to make my new dorm feel cosy and spent New Year’s Eve eating chocolates that a friend scrounged off the Koren women who buy truck loads of food as they cannot handle the ashram fayre.

I have been giving in to my creative urges with varying degrees of success. I have now written two articles for the yoga magazine, one on maintaining silence and the other based on my old school motto ‘serviam’ = ‘I shall serve’ for the ignoscentes. The editor likes my pithy style and says I write clearly which I may say I did not do for the recent exams – results still pending.

i also participated in the New Year’s show. the theme was the five elements so most of it took place outdoors. As we have two circus performance on the short course it was quite a show. Delia, did amazing things with two pieces of red cloth tied to a high branch of a tree. we also had a fire show, Maori wailing. My role, if you can believe it was to play a didgeridoo which I had started to learn that very day. Talk about high risk strategy and play to your weakness – I play no musical instrument. I had originally been asked to blow a conch but couldn’t make it sound right so i gave up lest my lips fell off. I seemed to hit it off straight away with the didgeridoo  but it was not alright on the night. the sound that came out sounded like a cow fart and my friends started to laugh which meant I did which is a no-hoper for playing it. I was teased a number of people the following day.

My singing of Indian mantras or kirtan is a much more successful endeavour. I have been complimented on my accent and I shall continue to sing the scales whilst playing the notes on my harmonium – Billy Preston and Syreeta move over.

On New Year’s Day, Katya decided to paint my face in a style used for special occasions and this is the result. I had one male classmate come up to me bemused and say ‘what are those dots on your face for’ with typical tact. Katya also took this photo. Unfortunately she leaves for South Africa at the end of the month so I lose my portrait photographer. It reminds me of some sci-fi tv series where a woman had funny eyebrows. It’s Star Trek meets India. You can also see that although i am living simply and freezingly, I am still a walking ad for The North Face – it’s been the best non-bargain stuff I ever bought!

Later & HNY


Yoga and Meditation at Fort Young Hotel this week

•September 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I will not ask you to scale such heights during these yoga/meditation classes but it is an inspiring shot of my friend Tiff


Class summary this week

  • Mon 5 Sept 5.30pm-6.30pm –   NEW – Introduction to Meditation
  • Wed 7 Sept 5.30-6.45pm  –   Stress Management – unwind shoulders, back & pelvis
  • Thur 8 Sept 5.30-6.45 pm –      A more dynamic class
  • Fri 9 Sept  – 7am-8.15am  –     Restorative – energising breath work + Yoga Nidra


Please bring
– your body, whether stiff, self-conscious or alive is welcome.
– Where? Fort Young Hotel, Sky Terrace if dry.
– a yoga mat or you can rent one from FY reception for 2EC
– 25EC for residents or 15USD visitors



MONDAY 5.30pm – 6.30pm – Introduction to Meditation

It was only from living and studying in India for 2 years that enabled me to appreciate the depth to which the Western world lives in and is dictated to by endless mind chatter: fears, beliefs and identifications of our mind.
This has given me a completely different perspective on my former role in corporate finance, in which the quality of individual and collective minds shaping our global financial systems has led us to what we are now experiencing.
This class is designed to:

– simplify and de-mystify meditation.

– break down and break up some of the myths and false propaganda as to why people are interested in it,

– get you to experience what it does, and the pitfalls,

– and why some never seem to catch the meditation fever.


Meditation can use many objects which serve as the object of your attentionwhilst the real work goes on behind the scenes: body signals (breath/pain/thoughts/emotions), universal images, biblical passages, a leaf, trance-inducing herbs, candle flame, and mantra.


Meditation – Benefits – what’s in it for you?
Stillness (which is not spacing out!), peace of mind, growth, confidence, deepen your relationship to your God, and to remember your humaneness. It increases your capacity to pay attention to and see the link between what is going on inside reflected outside. And on a practical level, to help you be a master of your email, Blackberry and other gadgets where you may feel pressured to be permanently “on”.

Can yoga benefit you?
You can only tell if you come and experience it for yourself, not by reading about it or speaking to someone about it. It is not an intellectual path, but an experiential one.  It takes a willingness and openness to experience something which may initially take you beyond your comfort zone but where have you experienced anything of value that didn’t???

Yoga is not Indian, although much of this path was formally codified there, but universally practiced. Your body is the laboratory, and you are both the observer and observed, aided by your awareness and breath. It is a systematic process to unpeel that which separates you from being your most effulgent self and shattering the illusion that you are separate from life.

So consider this email as an invitation to experiment with how yoga can bring peace of mind, calmness of spirit and a release of deep-seated body tension which can result in illness if left unchecked. your quietness of your mind and the clarity of your heart. This dissolves emotions, instead of you spewing them onto loved ones and colleagues. So see your emotional intelligence grow on the mat, with your breath and body guiding you to your feelings, without voting or wishing it to be different.

See you there?



Health + Wellness Expo 2011 highlights vegan delight a la Caribbean

•June 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Again, I was lucky to be involved in organising this year’s Health and Wellness Expo, with Terri Henry’s inspired choice to invite Chef Taymer Mason, a Bajan in St Maarten, author of Caribbean Vegan, to delight us with tasty, yes, I said, tasty, Vegan culinary delights.

It was a steep learning curve for an ambitious itinerary, creating multiple dishes in 3 locations, in addition to holding an Expo with multiple vendors, healers and workshops. Check out the site for some Highlights.

So sometimes we had to slow down and just breathe….

or just see things from a completely different perspective.

My yoga teacher, the resident dog, comes to check my posture.

There was time to sit back, gaze at the sea from Anchorage Hotel restaurant, and enjoy the macaroni cheese, doubles and wonderful chutneys with Yvonne Armour, a key sponsor of the event and a vegetarian for over 30 years.