To restore & reclaim vital energy,
cultivate nourishing healing rest
align to your inner voice of
wisdom and compassion.
'Pause to Breathe' offer thoughtful programmes, workshops, courses and immersive experiences which are presented in a structured and focused, yet fun and unpretentious way.
They are suitable for all levels of participants.
The practices are presented in a contemporary way
for modern women and embrace:
Check out our
Aleksandra Horwood from Happy Stance Yoga Therapy
Leigh (Sherab) Taylor from Red Lotus Projects/Sustainable Human Being
are joyfully collaborating to bring you rich nourishing offerings
to restore your vital energy, clarity of mind and to instil a sense of balance and
overall wellbeing for body, mind and heart.
In collaboration they have created "Pause to Breathe" to share some insight into these
time-tested practices. Together they create a tranquil and compassionate space to
nurture healing, embrace holistic wellbeing and activate vital wellness
bringing a sense of greater self-empowerment for women
to reclaim their energy, confidence and vitality.
Aleksandra and Leigh are both passionate and compelled to
support women on their journey of wellness and wellbeing.
Through their decades of deep rooted experience living and serving in meditation,
wellness and healing centres around the world and embracing these authentic healing
and therapeutic practices themselves, they have experienced the direct benefits of these ancient healing practices studying with great masters
internationally and in the Himalayas.
KEY BENEFITS OF
will help you enhance:
improved mobility and stability
develop strength, flexibility, and agility
better balance and coordination
build up resilience and stamina
enhance clarity and awareness
stimulating vitality and self-healing
achieving emotional equilibrium
soothing the mind and the nervous system
KEY BENEFITS OF
RESTORATIVE YOGA NIDRA
will help you cultivate:
deeper rest & relaxation
lowers stress consciousness
increased conscious awareness & lucidity
feeling of overall wellbeing
Our deep passion is grounded in humanitarian outreach projects:
SUPPORTING GOOD CAUSES
Hunger has no religion - Nuraan Gain's community feeding project
Slovo Centre of Excellence Toy Library
Himalayan refugees making shawls - purchased directly in India
Malas - Tiruvanamalai supporting a women's community & village incentive
Shwe Shwe gift bags made by local entrepreneur and sewing circle in South Africa
The reason I do yoga is that it calms me. It helps to stabilise my emotions and my whole being.
“My yoga journey began in 1991, the first year of the war in her home country of Croatia and it was a terrifying time. On top of this I had grown up in a household where domestic abuse was normal and now I was on the receiving end of physical abuse from my partner.
Yoga helped me to calm and stabilise not only my emotions but also my whole being. It taught me how to take charge of my life and situation while being present and open. These tools saved my life. This experience and my desire to embody these values were the contributing factors in my decision to becoming a yoga teacher.
Health and peace of mind are achievable goals, and this world needs serenity, stability and calmness more than ever before."
‘Reflections’ was the name of the first newspaper Aleksandra founded. She wrote, edited, and got funding for its publishing as a 12-year old in her small home-town school. A year later she began her own radio show at the local broadcasting station and from that moment on there was never any doubt about her choice of the profession. She was always genuinely curious and inspired by interviewing, questioning, and reporting on all kinds of different topics. Yet two of them stayed as main pillars in her journalistic career and private life until now: social justice and the personal wellbeing.
As a 20 year old student at the University of Political sciences and Journalism she ambitiously worked for a number of different publications. One of them being the Magazine "Svijet/The World”, where she would later become chief editor. She continuously emphasised the importance of honouring our shared humanity and not neglecting those in need, which was tough when facing the terrible atrocities that occurred during the civil war in Croatia.
An interview with a yoga practising hospice founder, a vibrant 92-year old lady whose clear and kind eyes she can still remember vividly was the encounter that changed Aleksandra’s life. Then and there she realised there is something that she can do for herself to stay focused, calm and open-hearted and not become overwhelmed with the raging war and its brutalities. The development of a regular yoga practice gave Aleksandra the strength to survive, to change and to thrive.
In the nineties, she was extremely lucky to spend a couple of beautiful years in California, learning from some of the worlds best yoga teachers. Having access to that platform through the golden years of the rise of the yoga buzz, before it became the ‘yoga biz’, helped her establish a nourishing and rewarding yoga practice.
After this Aleksandra moved to Germany, and officially finished her three year long yoga teacher training. She opened her first yoga school "Lotus" while simultaneously working as a head of communications for Daimler Chrysler Supplier and Partners portal. Nevertheless, always searching for a deeper understanding of life, she heard of a traditional strict three-year Buddhist retreat starting in the south of France. She decided to go for a two-week meditation course to learn more about it, yet she was accepted to stay for the whole period of the retreat and ended up staying for a further six years of study and practice, becoming one of the first ten lay practitioners in the retreat centre.
While being there, in a tiny chalet, with a view over the biggest and most authentic Tibetan temple in Europe, which was inaugurated by Dalai Lama, she wore many hats to support the growing community. In the summers she managed around 1,500 volunteers and in the winters she would do everything, from cleaning the sanitary blocks, washing laundry and cooking to being part of a very carefully selected team of night-time carers for two elderly Tibetan ladies who were well into their eighties.
During this time she continued to teach and to practice yoga as the ancient science for keeping the body fit in order to be a suitable vessel for meditation practice. After accomplishing her study and practice in the Buddhist retreat center, she moved to a small local town, got married to a fellow practitioner and opened "Let's Go Vegan", a local catering business, promoting the value of non-violence and sustainable life on Earth for all living beings.
As Aleksandra's husband is British, they moved to London a couple of years ago and Happy Stance Yoga Therapy was born to advocate the inherent therapeutic aspects of yoga so needed in our modern society. Older adults or youth groups from underprivileged backgrounds did not have access to the benefits of yoga and her sole mission was to bring it to them, wherever they are. Residential care homes, community centres, youth clubs and youth organised events. Aleksandra has been invited to many programs as a guest speaker and as the organiser of a platform for welcoming everyone into the world of yoga.
This programme is her heart essence and sublimation of three decades of studying, learning, practicing, and teaching this wonderful ancient art and science.
Working directly with individuals and groups and committing fully to its healing potential, she undoubtedly believes optimal health and peace of mind are achievable goals for every single person.
Yoga and meditation assist a holistic way of living and they provide a toolkit, which can help when in physical pain or when facing sorrow and in need of a tranquil space to collect oneself. It helped Aleksandra during and after all of her life's journeys, a divorce, burnouts, different chronic illnesses, a terrifying menopause rollercoaster, etc. They were resourceful companions, counterbalancing everyday trials with equilibrium, gained on the mat and integrated into daily life.
By making a conscious decision to be healthy, she wants to inspire and support others not only in their physical wellbeing but also in the mental, emotional, and spiritual areas of their life.
With a flourishing humanitarian global network, Aleksandra supports two United Nations goals to transform our world: to end hunger and promote good health and well being.
Focusing on serving charities, which particularly feed the poor and those in vulnerable situations, and using her expertise and experience to promote health for all ages, Aleksandra works tirelessly to tackle inequality within the yoga community and in a wider perspective.
It is important to her to reexamine how we can all work together in order to leave no one behind and to create a better world for everyone.
Leigh Taylor (Sherab)
Red Lotus Retreats &
Sustainable Human Being
"Yoga nidra has been an invaluable aid to my wellbeing and maintaining my health, especially for managing pain due to a long standing chronic illness. Coupled with meditation practice, it helps to sustain my inner peace, have better energy and resilience, and instil more clarity of mind.
My commitment is to share these time tested practices for more ease and a true sense of holistic wellbeing for women of all ages as a method to soothe weary bodies and minds, and for women to self-clarify more inner wisdom and compassion for self and others."
Leigh started her journey of inner development and exploring the rich intricate world of Eastern philosophy and meditation in the Himalayas where she lived in a simple hut for one year at the tender age of 19.
She lived full time in India and Nepal for most of 15 years, 10 of those permanently with her partner, Justin. During this time she studied and practiced in Himalayan monasteries, universities and temples and worked at volunteer and refugee centres. Most of her time was spent in earnest cultivation of meditation practices and studying Asian philosophy under the guidance of great Himalayan masters whilst absorbed in undertaking extended periods of intensive meditation retreats.
Leigh was engaged in organising many retreats and large international events and gatherings during her decade of living in Asia. She was regularly contracted to share her expertise in her trade skill of graphic design for large printing projects including for the Office of His Holiness Dalai Lama and various established Tibetan organisations, Refugee and Human Rights groups in India and Africa.
She is a qualified Life Coach, Yoga Nidra Facilitator with IYT, Meditation Guide, Mindfulness Facilitator and Indian Head Massage Therapist. She regularly collaborates with international events coordinators from Europe, Asia and Africa. She also has a qualification in Child Care Development and is dedicated to support education and trauma healing for children.
Leigh's heartfelt wish is to share more practices of holistic wellbeing to instil and integrate more inner peace and inner harmony in everyday life especially for busy women.
Leigh understands the stresses and strains of modern pressurised life and apart from her extended time spent in India she also worked as the Events Manager for FGS in South Africa, (the largest international Taiwanese cultural organisation); contracted for Shell working on Environmental oil spill prevention in London, and was an invited speaker for the international women's movement called 'SheSpeaks' alongside Google in Amsterdam in mid 2018 where she guided mindfulness and yoga nidra events for women in corporate careers. She also facilitated wellness events for entrepreneurs at Escape the City, London, and Zoku for start-ups and staff wellness and Delite Labs for Syrian refugee entrepreneurs in Amsterdam. She organises the annual Soul Trader retreat in Portugal with Rasheed Ogunlaru, coach-speaker-author, for compassionate leaders with her partner.
Leigh is a seasoned expat who loves roots reggae, jazz, Indian classical music and exploring local living. She is a fanatical lover of plants, the ocean, trees and nature to restore wellbeing and to unwind. She is a passionate cook specialising in cooking nourishing vegan and vegetarian meals for retreatants and those recovering from illness. She is also an ardent student of ergonomic and sustainable eco-design.
Leigh's heart lies in Humanitarian work and her most recent incentive is to support Nuraan Gain from Hunger has no Religion to raise funds to feed thousands of vulnerable people daily from Nuraan's own home in Johannesburg and provide girls with feminine hygiene products and the elderly with blankets. They are also collaborating with Slovo Centre of Excellence to support the education and development of young children and promote the invaluable activity of learning through play for young children in impoverished areas in South Africa.
Leigh currently lives in Barcelona, Spain. Meanwhile they are working on establishing a Meditation & Wellbeing Retreat Centre in South Africa on the breathtaking Garden Route with her husband, Justin who is a yoga teacher.
In South Africa they previously owned a mini-yoga studio and shop purveying fine imported Asian products whilst starting the foundation preparation for their Sustainable Human Being Retreats Centre.