Creating a Sacred Yoga Space at Home



We are all currently in a global lockdown due the Covid-19 pandemic. Its a very challenging time for many and there might have never been a time in our lives, when our yoga home practice has been more vital and important to get us through this.

I’m currently offering four yoga classes a week via live stream on an app called Zoom. Its great to connect with you live, it means I am sharing from the heart, on the same day as you, with the same news from politicians, that you too have received that day, the same weather, same moon and stars and the same isolation day count!

Nothing beats real yoga, all together, sharing space and a deep connection, but the live streaming is proving popular, I feel more natural and comfortable with it and what I’m hearing from you is that you are really enjoying it too.

There are many ways to practice yoga at home and so many teachers offering a variety of yoga styles from Dynamic Ashtanga Flow to Restful Restorative Gentle Yoga, not only live streaming to you in the moment but also on channels like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Vimeo. Its very likely your teacher will be sharing something on the web during this time and it is so lovely to stay connected to that person who helps you and inspires you as you move through this challenging period.

To make your new found yoga at home practice a little more special there are various ways you can bring elements in to enhance your space and take you back to the yoga space you love with the yoga teacher you miss.

  • Clear as much of a space as possible for your yoga mat, a small space is no problem just try to ensure you have an arms length of space around you and above you
  • Unplug phones, door bells and computers to make sure you won’t be disturbed
  • Music can be a wonderful addition to a yoga practice, I often send out a link to my yogis before a class to a playlist on Spotify, you can follow me on Spotify  to hear my yoga playlists that you might like, but there are hundreds of yoga type songs you will love on there and on iTunes or Youtube.
  • Aromatherapy essential oils are really beneficial to the wellbeing and emotional state as we practice yoga, particularly at the end in Savasana. You could put some oils into a diffuser to burn during your home practice or pop a few drops in your hands and massage, inhaling the aroma, as you move into relaxation. I buy all my oils from the lady I trained with Denise Brown who offers mail order. Their products are inexpensive compared to many and I can guarantee their quality as I use them all the time for my massage work.
  • Choose oils that you know your love, or if you need some inspiration you could try the diluted Rose, Neroli or Jasmine oils, Cypress and Black Pepper are very strengthening, Geranium is uplifting and Vetivert is super relaxing and grounding.

  • Try creating an altar as a way to bring a sacred energy into your space, you could create one that you can leave out all the time or something very petite that you just bring out when you roll out the mat. Use anything that feel right, a Buddha, candle, fairy lights, all on a special scarf or cloth, some incense, crystal Mala beads, perhaps some angel or affirmation cards. I use these cards by Micheal Singer, author of The Untethered Soul

Most of all, remember a yoga home practice doesn’t have to fully reflect how it feels to go to your regular class. A few minutes of stretching, breathing and finding awareness will be so beneficial at this time, it doesn’t have to be perfect or fancy! Do what you can, even if the children are climbing on you, the cats are under you and the neighbours are blaring out their not so yoga-ish tunes.

Mellulah yoga

It would be lovely to see you in one of my ‘virtual’ live stream classes soon. Classes are currently FREE for NHS staff. If you are one of my yogis already and you are currently struggling financial due to loss of income since the lockdown, please contact me for some free credits, I really don’t want you to be missing out because of your situation. Its hard for everyone right now and there is no shame in asking me for help, it would be pure pleasure to have you join the classes online.


Lots of love, stay safe, stay well, stay strong until we can be together again, Saira xxx

Download my blissful Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation on my online shop Lulah Loves.





Mothers Day Special Therapy Offer

Soul Replenish Massage

We find ourselves in unprecedented and difficult times, but it is Mothers Day on Sunday and here is opportunity to buy something special that your Mum can look forward to once this is all over. This gift will especially lovely if your special lady is currently in isolation and needs something to enjoy when she can leave the house again. Or treat yourself to this too!

This offer also helps us at Mellulah to stay afloat during difficult economic times so we’d like to say an extra big thank you for supporting us with this paying forward idea.

Special Mothers Day Therapy Offer
for you and your special people xx

Give the Gift of Blissful Relaxation and Indulgence, no expiry, this voucher is Forever!

Give a gift voucher for this treatment plus a free gift of a Geranium Face Cream made by Mellulah for just £49! Usual Price £75!
Until 1st April 2020Mothers Day Gift Vouchers

You deserve to treat yourself too, so feel free to book this offer if you’re a mother, sister, wife, partner, friend, colleague, superwoman, cat woman, any woman!!

You can buy as many vouchers as you like before 1st April, there is no limit on how many you purchase and you have Forever to use them.

This indulgent Mothers Day Special Treatment will take you from an invigorating and uplifting Indian Head Massage, to a therapeutic full body Aromatherapy Massage, beyond this Saira’s healing touch with hands on Reiki Healing, ending with Reflexology at the feet.

Mothers Day Gift Vouchers 30ml Geranium Face Cream made with essential oils & a cream base that contains no nasties worth £10.

Initial Consultation & Treatment (1hr 45 mins) £70£54

Follow Up (90 mins) £65£49


How to buy this voucher

  • Use the PayPal option below to buy 1 or 2 vouchers at a time
  • Gift Vouchers can also be purchased via BACS Mellulah 82611963 51-81-01 with the amount you require
  • We will email you your voucher within 24 hours (more urgently if needed) for you to print off and give or keep for yourself if you prefer!!
  • You could also forward to voucher on by email, if you can’t visit Mum right now xxx
  • If paying by BACS make sure we have an email address to send your voucher to
  • If you are booking a treatment for someone who has never seen Saira before you will need to book an Initial Consultation and First Appointment £54, otherwise its a Follow up £49.
  • Buy 1 or 2 of each voucher option and if you want more just follow the process again or do a BACS instead, thank you!
  • Offer runs until 1st April 2020, vouchers can be used anytime, forever.

Mothers Day Massage Offer

Coranavirus Update


All classes are continuing until/if we have to close.

Here is what I/we can all do to continue practising yoga during these difficult times:

ASAP I will be offering online live streamed classes via ZOOM. You might wish to download the APP and become familiar with ZOOM in ready-ness for these classes being available within the next few days. Classes will be pay per view and you can use your existing credits to book or buy a one off option  to watch these classes, once paid for you will be sent a password to access the live class from your home! Yay! (teenagers are great at this stuff if you are not tech-savvy, I cannot offer tech support during a live class so best to get this sorted sooner rather than later) xx

In the meantime watch my free youtube videos here if you can’t make a class.

Here is what we will be doing at Mellulah:

  • Please do not come to yoga, a retreat or for a therapy if you are ill. No one wants to catch your bug especially now. You can cancel yoga up to 12 hours before the class, a therapy 24 hours before, a day retreat 7 days or a residential 6 weeks before the date and you will get full refunds. After these times I’m afraid we can’t refund unless we fill your space (please don’t ask xx) See our Ts&Cs 
  • All classes will now run on reduced class capacity to give you space so you are not too close to each other, book early to avoid disappointment, Milborne classes will now be full at 13 rather than 17 etc.
  • If you need to cancel long term due to a consequence of this situation (you are high risk, you have elderly relatives, you are isolating etc) please contact me for an extension to your credits. I can extend them to a ‘no-time-limit’ pack for which I ask for a top up, as if you paid for drop ins, £20 for a 10 pack, £5 for a 5 pack, this extra time will help you to not lose your credits and the top up payment will help me to stay afloat. If you do not have the financial means to make the top up payment please let me know and I will support you with that.
  • Do not come to any class/appointment or event if you have been to one of the high risk areas around the globe but stay home until your 14 day self isolation is over, or one of the moderate areas if you have any, even very mild, symptoms for the full 14 days
  • When coming into a class etc, please immediately wash your hands.
  • I will no longer be handing out eye bags or blankets so please bring your own or buy one of ours here 
  • Please buy your own mat to use in classes and on retreats, if you wish I can loan you one of my mats with a £10 cash deposit that will be refunded on return of the mat when this is over, clean and washed thank you.
  • I will no longer be giving hands on adjustments during classes and on retreats.
  • Read Government Guidelines if you are unsure about any of the above
  • I really appreciate you continuing to join yoga classes and support me as a very small local business, but also appreciate all of our health and wellbeing is more important than the economic crash this is causing for many of us xxxx

Most importantly, relax, take your immune system supporting supplements, loads of Vitamin C etc and stay chilled as stress is the number one factor for all of us, in reducing our ability to fight lurgies.


Begin your journey with a Reiki Healing Workshop in Dorset

Reiki Healing Workshop in Dorset


I am so excited to be back to teaching Reiki Healing Workshops in Dorset after a long 5 year break! I stopped teaching back in 2015 as I just felt so busy running retreats that I didn’t feel I had the energy to offer enough to the Reiki teaching. One of my students who trained with me then, asked me about a year ago if I would teach her the next level Reiki II, I said absolutely no! “I’m too busy and its been too long, I just can’t fit it in anywhere” I said, over and over again. But Jessie wore me down and flattered me with lovely compliments until I said ok just this once!

We booked a date in for January 2020 and I said a prayer to the universe. “If I am meant to start teaching again, then send me the students and I promise I will take it seriously and begin to share the healing energy whole heartedly once more”, of course what happened?! January was full with the maximum I would teach at the moment, 4 lovely students very keen to take their Reiki journeys further. Since then I have been adding in and filling up dates over the coming months.

So that is the story of how I am back to teaching, I surrender to whatever I am meant to be offering others, in full and humble service to the healing Light and wherever it takes me, always listening to guidance and trusting that I am being shown where and how I can serve best.

Enough about me!

Reiki Healing Workshops in Dorset

I would love to share the wonder and excitement of finding Reiki Healing and bringing it into your life, with you. I would also be honoured if you chose to begin or extend your Reiki journey with me. I offer Reiki Healing workshops  in Dorset, in just one full day, its a long day with lots to pack in but its works for anyone who like me, hasn’t got a lot of time and as all courses are on Wednesdays it works well for those of you who need to keep your weekends preciously free.

All Reiki Healing Workshops in Dorset are based at my home in Milton Abbas DT11 0BE for a very limited number of students.


On the Reiki I course we will cover the history of Reiki, what the energy is and its many creative uses, ethics and practice, self healing, the reiki principles, self treatment, treating family and friends and all about the 21 day cleansing process which occurs after the course. We will do lots of meditation, working on forgiveness and release and clearing blocks so that you can become a purer channel for this sacred energy.

After this first workshop you will be able to practise on friend and family, not all Reiki teachers offer this on the first course but I find its really important to leave on after this first day feeling confident enough to get started, after all that is what Reiki is all about, sharing!

2020 Course dates:
Wednesday 29th July – Fully booked sorry! 
Wednesday 12th August – 3 spaces available
Wednesday 9th September – 4 spaces available


On Reiki Level II we will begin connecting deeply to the angels and our guides to open up and begin to channel this sacred energy and learning the reiki symbols. We will work to cut the negative ties with the past so you are a clearer channel for the Reiki energy, we will learn how to send distant healing using the symbols and how to send healing energy to the Earth.

After this workshop you will be able to freely practise reiki on others as a practitioner, getting insurance etc, once you have completed the 21 day cleansing process that occurs after this workshop.

2020 Course dates:

REIKI LEVEL III (Master Teacher Level) £200

Full details about what this course involves coming soon

2020 Course dates:

Reiki Healing Workshops in Dorset


All workshops take place at my home West Luccombe Cottage, DT11 0BE in Milton Abbas. We are blessed to live in a very tranquil and beautiful spot away from traffic and noise. I do have cats and a small dog so please let me know in advance if either are a problem for you (if you have allergies etc)

We will spend the day together in my home, cosy and comfortable. Bring a packed lunch and I will provide vegan cakes and lots of tea! Wear comfortable clothes and be prepared to switch off the phone and only check it at lunchtime if possible. The day is very busy but also fun and relaxed, be prepared to possibly over run a few minutes and try to ensure that you have nothing much to do that evening, if possible the next day too! Its normal to feel tired after a Reiki workshop as you assimilate all the lovely energy so try to plan as best you can, as a Mum of 3 I know how hard this can be though!

Reiki Healing Workshops in Dorset


How to book!

Wonderful, you’ve decided to book a Reiki Course with me, amazing!! So now you just need to confirm your space and place a deposit to be sure of your spot. I am more than happy to accept payment in whichever form suits you best, cash, debit or credit card or BACS. I ask for a 50% deposit to book and then the remainder can be paid on the day or whenever suits you best.

Book now by contacting me via email, text or telephone.

You can drop cash to my home address, I can send you a link for online card payments or you can BACS to Mellulah 82611963 51-81-01. If you prefer to pay in instalments that is fine, take all the time you need.

Mellulah Wins Yet More Tourism Awards!!

Its been another incredible year for Mellulah at the Tourism Awards here in the South West of England.

We have won GOLD AGAIN in Dorset! That is the 3rd year running and we are delighted, over the moon in fact!
We then got through to the Finals at the South West Tourism Awards which really is the shining lights of this very competitive part of the Uk and won BRONZE again after winning BRONZE last year and a lovely glittery SILVER the year before that!

Here are some pics of us all glammed up and out of our yoga pants for the awards night at Exeter Cathedral which was wonderful. Some of you will recognise my daughters Betsy and Mimi who help out on the retreats and who joined for the special night which felt perfect.

I’ve decided we won’t be entering the awards again this year, its time for a break! I really think a hat trick is enough for me for a while and I can not thank the Tourism Awards team for giving us the recognition they have over these past miraculous years. I might enter again in a few years but for now I have quite a collection of awards in my house and some wonderful memories of excitement and pure delight to keep us going a while. Watch this space  maybe in 2021 when we might have another go! XxX


Trying to get pregnant? Yoga can help!

I recently wrote a blog for Dr Larissa Corda, Fertility Dr and expert who often appears on ITV’s This morning, as well as in countless magazines, newspapers and tv shows talking about pregnancy and helping those with infertility issues. You can read this blog on her website here Dr Larissa Cordas Fertility Website 

Here it is, I hope you enjoy it!

Saira Francis runs Mellulah Therapy & Yoga Retreats in Dorset UK. She teaches Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation and Stress Relief classes and retreats throughout the year. /

If you’re trying to get pregnant, looking after yourself is vital. Self care, exercise, nutrition, staying relaxed and being kind to yourself become more important than ever when you are trying for a baby. This can be a very exciting time, but can also be one of the most stressful too.

Yoga is very different from other forms of exercise, because it isn’t just about looking after your physical body, but also your mental and emotional wellbeing. Yoga is an ancient practice, with its roots in India, that is becoming more and more popular in the West for its benefit on our wellbeing. Our lives can be busy and stressful enough without the added pressure of trying to conceive, which sadly isn’t the best environment for us when we’re trying to get pregnant.

Its likely that as you start to share with friends and family that you are trying to get pregnant, everyone will be telling you how important it is to stay relaxed. That can be really hard, especially if you’re having problems conceiving and you’re starting to feel upset, sad, frustrated and perhaps very angry with your body. A Harvard Medical School study showed that women, struggling to get pregnant, are likely to be as stressed as someone with cancer or another serious disease. Its important to recognise if you are feeling stressed, its hard not to feel that way if you’re having problems with fertility, but its best to try to find a way to stay calm if you can.

Yoga can help to feel more peaceful and become deeply relaxed. Practised regularly either in a group or at home, yoga can help you find lasting benefits to how you feel both inside and out.

Stress can seriously affect the hormonal system in the body, this needs to be working at its best to conceive. Yoga brings balance and calm to the hormones and and the body can be a well functioning environment for conception. Yoga also helps stretch and tone the muscles as well as stimulating the reproductive system in both men and women and calming the nervous system so you feel better, sleep better, your libido lifts and you feel more positive.

Practicing yoga reconnects us to our bodies, if you are disappointed month after month, at not getting pregnant, its easy to start to feel disconnected from your body altogether, particularly around the lower abdominal area of hips and the reproductive organs. Its really important to feel accepting and happy about this area of the body. Loving your body will create an open energy to welcome conception. A few simple yoga poses can help you feel like the perfect, beautiful woman you truly are.

Yoga also works in more mystical ways. Prana is energy that moves through our body and when we are stressed or have a lot of negative emotion, energy blocks can occur. These blocks can go back to childhood and often when we face challenges in adult life, clearing these energy blocks can help us move through old trauma and pain that might be holding us back in some way.

Try these yoga poses a few times a week, or more often if you can. As you hold the pose, repeat the positive affirmation to yourself, either aloud or mentally, at least three times. Positive thinking helps to release old negative patterns and keeps us open to receiving miracles and blessings in all
kinds of ways.

1. Sukhasana – (Easy Pose) Flex & Curl
Benefits – gentle massage for the spine and for the reproductive organs
• Sit cross legged with an upright, extended spine. Bring hands to the knees and close the eyes.
• Flex the spine by taking an inhale and pushing the the chest forward and squeezing the elbows and shoulder blades together. Lift the chin.
• As you exhale, curl the spine back by drawing the navel back into the spine, tucking the chin in.
• Repeat for 3 minutes, in a smooth slow rhythm with the breath, forward and back.
• As you practice the pose repeat the affirmation “I flow with the rhythm of my life, I allow myself to surrender to all that is”




2. Marjaryasana (Cat Pose) & Bitilasana (Cow Pose)
Benefits, as above, a gentle warm up for the spine
• Come to all fours, knees below hips and wrists below shoulders with a flat back.
• As you inhale come to Cat, take the tail bone high and look up.
• Exhale to Cow, tuck the tail bone under, pull the navel up to the spine and look to the belly.
• As you practice the pose repeat the affirmation “My body is strong, I feel alive and my vitality is increasing everyday”




3. Utkata Konasana – Goddess Pose
Benefits – Connects us to our lower body, stretches and tones, harnesses our inner feminine
power and deep strength within
• Take the feet wide apart and turn them slightly outwards, bend the knees, keeping the knees above the ankles.
• Keeping the tailbone tucked in and the abdomen drawn in and up, come into a squat, pull up the pelvic floor muscles.
• Lift the arms to shoulder level and bend the elbows, spread the fingers.
• Either hold for 5 deep breaths, release and come into the pose again 3 times or
• Inhale straighten the arms and legs and exhale come back into the pose, repeat 5 times
• As you practice the pose repeat the affirmation “I embrace my feminine power, I connect to my beautiful, sexual, goddess energy”


4. Malasana – Garland Pose Squat.
Benefits – tones and stretches the groin, connects to the pelvic floor and energy centres at the root and sacral chakra.
• Begin in Tadasana, Mountain pose, standing with spine long and feet together.
• Take the feet slightly wider apart and bring the hands together at the heart.
• Slowly come down into a squat, if the heels don’t touch the floor place a folded blanket underneath them.
• Inhale lengthen the spine, exhale squeeze the elbows into the inner knees.
• Hold for 5-10 breaths.
• As you practice the pose repeat the affirmation “I love my body, I accept my body, I am open to receiving miracles and blessings from the universe, in which ever form those gifts may come”


5. Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclined Bound Angle Pose.
Benefits – Stimulates the abdominal organs and ovaries. Improves circulation, tones inner thighs
and groin, helps relieve stress, depression and hormonal imbalances.
• Lie on your back with the soles of the feet together.
• Draw the heels in towards the body, allow the knees to drop out.
• Tuck the chin in and keep the spine long.
• Bring the hands to your lower belly and feel your breath creating a rise in the belly on the inhale,
lowering as you exhale. Hold for 5-10 minutes. As you practice the pose repeat the affirmation “I am birthing new ideas, creative projects and a fertile energy is coming into my life, bringing excitement, hope and trust that all will be well. I allow myself to dream big and enjoy creating a new exciting future for myself


Dorset Yoga Class Changes January 2020

Yoga Class Changes January 2020

Its the start of a new year and there are a lot of changes happening for me with my work as I move away from the barn in Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset and find new venues both for yoga classes and day retreats. I’m excited about sharing new spaces with you and really feel that I am being led to get right into the heart of our local communities. Its been lovely at the barn, but I feel it will be beneficial to share yoga in places that can be easily accessed by all and to bring yoga to people who perhaps might not otherwise have found it and all its wonderful benefits!
Therefore I am moving super soon! I have decided it is the right thing to move straight away so from next week Monday nights and Tuesday mornings will be at new venues:

Mondays Mixed Ability 7-8.30pm The Bow Room, The Exchange, Sturminster Newton DT10 1FH
Tuesday Mixed Ability 9.30-11am Hazelbury Bryan Village Hall, DT10 2DP.

As a way for me to THANK YOU for your ongoing commitment and loyalty to my yoga I am offering  Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st Jan to all existing yogis for FREE! This is my way of showing my gratitude to you during this change that I know may feel a shame for many of you xxx
Please still book your classes as usual, I will then refund all credits (unless you are a new yogi using your already free first credit)

If this changes are inconvenient for you then Please let me know and I will refund you fully for any class packs bought.

When we surrender to the flow of the universe and trust in her divine plan, all will be well.

Love and Blessings to you all, Saira xxx

Luxury Women’s Wellness & Renewal Spring Retreat

Luxury Retreat Yoga & Pilates in Dorset

We are delighted to announce our new Luxury 5* Yoga & Pilates Retreat for 15th – 18th May 2020

See full details and booking options here

This is going to be a perfect collaboration of two award winning, expert movement teachers, Saira Francis and Sammie McFarland.

Saira teaches Vinyasa Flow Yoga and Sammie is a Pilates Instructor and Holistic Core Restore® Coach. Both established for many years in Dorset they bring their unique and passionate teachings to help women of all ages, during this 3 night retreat stay in the most stunning venue.

Luxury Retreat Yoga & Pilates in Dorset

This retreat will be focused on Women’s Wellbeing and Health, we will help you find balance, restore health and wellness and relax deeply to leave feeling renewed and alive!

Healthy, cleansing, plant based meals and juices by Feed the Soul, movement sessions morning and evening, sound healing, therapies, walks, fresh air and laughter, all guaranteed.

Luxury Retreat Yoga & Pilates in Dorset

Stapleford Farm near Maiden Newton in Dorset is an organic working farm with miles of private land, a lake, woodland, dingly dell and bluebells in Spring. The stunning barn conversions sit nestled in this pretty valley surrounded by beautiful views and rolling hills.

Set over 3 barns, with 11 perfectly appointed double and twin rooms, many ensuite, we hope you can find something to suit you.

Luxury Retreat Yoga & Pilates in Dorset

See full details and booking options here

Luxury Retreat Yoga & Pilates in Dorset


King Double Ensuite – single occupancy £899/to share £799pp
Shared Twin Ensuite – £799pp
Double Shared Bathroom – single occupancy £749/to share £649
Shared Twin Shared Bathroom – £649pp

Please note: Doubles can be shared with good friends or family! Shared twins, either bring your friend or we will team you up with a new one! Women only on this retreat stay.

Be the first to reserve your space with a £250 deposit 


Luxury Retreat Weekend Schedule:

4.00pm Arrivals
4.30pm Welcomes, tea, snacks and chats
5.30-7pm Grounding Opening Yoga with Saira
7.15pm Plant based supper
8.30-9.30pm Restorative Pilates with Sammie
Luxury Retreat Yoga & Pilates in Dorset

7.00am Breakfast Smoothies
7.30am Early morning walk
8.30-10.00am Energising Vinyasa flow yoga with Saira
10.00 Tea & Fruit
10.30-11.15am Gentle Pilates with Sammie
11.30am Plant Based Brunch
12.30pm Treatments and Chill Time
2.30pm Heavenly Sound Healing Workshop
4.00pm  Chai Tea & Plant Based Cake and Treatments
5.30-7.00pm Pilates workshop with Sammie
7.15pm Plant based supper
8.30-9.30pm Reiki Healing Circle in Pyjamas with Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate with Saira
Luxury Retreat Yoga & Pilates in Dorset

8.00am Breakfast Smoothies
9.00-10.00am Pilates with Sammie
10.00 Tea & Fruit
10.30-11.15am Restorative Yoga Nidra & Sound Healing with Saira
11.30am Plant Based Brunch
12.30pm Treatments and Chill Time
2.30pm Woodland/Countryside All Weather Bluebell Walk
4.00pm  Chai Tea & Plant Based Cake and Treatments
5.30-7.00pm Balancing Vinyasa Flow with Saira
7.15pm Plant based supper
8.30-9.30pm Guided Relaxation in Pyjamas with Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate with Sammie

8.00am Plant Based Breakfast
9.00am Closing Meditation with Saira & Sammie
10.00am Retreat ends

This schedule may change slightly. Please bring wellies, wet weather gear and cosy pyjamas and socks etc for evening workshops.

Luxury Retreat Yoga & Pilates in Dorset

Luxury Retreat Yoga & Pilates in Dorset

Luxury Retreat Yoga & Pilates in Dorset


One year alcohol free and what a year it’s been!

A year ago today, I gave up alcohol completely and what an amazing year its been. I hadn’t considered that giving up alcohol would give me such a range of benefits other than just feeling better after a few glasses of wine on a Sunday morning. Its been really interesting to look back and see what I’ve actually done with myself this year, to see how much more positive it has been, in so many ways.

My relationship with wine had come to an unhealthy end and it took me a couple of years, attempting ‘mindful drinking’, ‘moderate drinking’ all of which felt as controlling and annoying as a calorie controlled or weight watchers style, restrictive diet. Or like having a relationship with someone who you know isn’t good for you, but you keep trying to make it fit. The facts were obvious, alcohol was not doing me any good and rather than trying to fit this toxic stuff into my life so I could fit into the social norm, I made the choice to get out.

Liberation came when I read Annie Graces book ‘This Naked Mind’, a fascinating study into the effects of alcohol on the brain and a very real look at how conditioned we are into believing alcohol needs to be a part of everyday life in our culture. 

Armed with this knowledge and a strong desire to wake up everyday feeling energised, I announced to myself and the world that was it, for good. Some considered this a brave move, some over the top and some questioned why I was making such a big deal about it, some still do. I am making a big deal about it again today! Because its a big deal! 

For many of you too it seems, I have had so many clients and friends tell me, my story inspired them to do the same and give up, I think thats amazingly positive, the collective consciousness is rising and we are becoming more aware of how alcohol has lied to us for too long, its time to take back our own power and push away what keeps us down and keeps us small.

My own life in the past twelve months has exploded into creative successes and adventures I had only dreamed of. I thought I had suffered with anxiety my whole life, but now I wonder if it was alcohol that made me anxious all along, I have never felt more balanced. Something was always blocking me from really achieving my goals, fears were always keeping me just below full throttle. It is still hard to describe what has happened, but its like a switch has been flicked and rather than my ideas and dreams bubbling just below the surface, never being allowed to be fully realised because of fears and doubts, they have literally exploded.

I’ve pressed the ‘book now’ button on travelling dreams I’ve had for decades. What made this suddenly seem possible? Nothing else has changed but being sober. I planned and booked a family trip to Thailand for six of us that we took back in June, I’m currently away running a yoga retreat in Morocco and after years of dithering, booked a trip for my husband and I to India coming up in a few months time, its like I’m having my gap year, just 30 years late! 

Work has always been a passion but its changed, I’m fully booked, all the time! The therapy diary is solid, often weeks in advance, the yoga classes are packed out and retreats are selling out over and over again, I have some money in my bank account for the first time in my whole life! My relationship has balanced out and I’m lucky that my husband isn’t a big drinker, but we never argue about politics anymore, hm perhaps that was me getting bulshy after the red wine got into my veins! And I still have fun on nights out, I definitely laugh more and feel more free to be myself when I walk into a room of strangers at a party or supper night. Alcohol lied to me for years telling me I needed it to be ok, I am ok, I am more than ok.

What has changed but being sober? I feel richer and fuller with more to give, my energy is balanced, my moods more stable, my anxiety non-existent and my belief and love for myself are complete in a way that I never knew was possible before.

I will never judge anyone who drinks and I wish that people wouldn’t feel judged by my not drinking, my giving up alcohol is about me and not about anyone else. Not everyone struggles with life sometimes the way I did, or feels that alcohol is detrimental to them in anyway and thats fine. But if you are even the slightest bit concerned that the booze is lying to you, that it isn’t helping you unwind or relax, that it isn’t fun or indeed a necessary part of having fun, that the craving for a glass of wine isn’t healthy and that we have all been told a very big fat lie our whole lives, that fits a social conditioning that needs rebelling against, maybe its time to make the leap into soberista life.

Enjoy, Saira xx

6 Simple Yoga Poses for the Menopause

Practising yoga can greatly reduce many of the symptoms of menopause. From hot flushes to mood swings, stress, insomnia, exhaustion and lack of sex drive, yoga can alleviate and comfort as we go through this transitional stage of life.

Here are 6 simple yoga poses for the menopause, suitable for all levels of experience. Try practising these as a sequence a few times a week.

Getting to a group class could also be really beneficial. Restorative or more gentle yoga can help if you are suffering with hot flushes, but any yoga can help so find somewhere local and give yoga a try.

Yoga teacher, Saira Francis shows you a few simple poses that can be of great benefit when practised regularly.

Mellulah Yoga Classes are held in Dorchester, Hazelbury Bryan nr Sherborne
and Milborne st Andrew near Blandford.

1.Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge Pose

This pose helps to balance, fluctuating hormones, it also reduces stress levels and lowers blood pressure which can rise as a woman oestrogen levels lower. It also stretches and tones the back, reduces anxiety, fatigue and insomnia.


2. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose 

A yoga pose that becomes part of every style of yoga. This pose is excellent for stress relief and relief of fatigue. Holding the pose for 2 minutes can be very energising. The pose also helps to lengthen and stretch the spine, it relieves menstrual pain and as many yoga poses do, it can prevent osteoporosis.


3. Uttitha Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

A classic yoga pose, Utthita Trikonasana is great for preventing osteoporosis. It can stimulate the abdominal organs, including the reproductive organs and calms the nervous system. Really beneficial to reduce anxiety and also improves digestive issues.


4. Baddha Konasana – Butterfly Pose

This gentle pose is great for calming the nervous system and aligning the spine, It helps to soothe menstrual pain and alleviates menopausal symptoms. Stimulating and balancing the abdominal organs, ovaries, digestive system and also receives sciatica. A lovely pose for anxiety, close the eyes and enjoy rooting down into the base of the spine. The pose will also help insomnia and depression. Hold for a few minutes each day.



5. Janu Sirasana – Head to Knee Pose

The forward fold stretches and tones the spine, hips, hamstrings and groin. It massages the internal organs and is wonderful for headaches and migraines, a common symptom of menopause. The pose helps to calm the mind and the nervous system, reducing anxiety and stress.


6. Virasana – Hero Pose

A fantastic pose for the thighs, knees and ankles, brilliant for the digestion and symptoms of the menopause, reduces hot flushes and also beneficial for high blood pressure. Sit and still the mind in this pose for a few minutes.


At the end of each set of poses, find time to rest in Savasana, Corpse pose. Lie on your back feel comfortable and warm, close your eyes and let go completely.

Look out for ‘Affirmations for the Menopause’ and ‘Healing Meditation for the Menopause’ coming soon.


Enjoy, love Saira xx

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