health

The ‘Ugly Yoga’ Challenge

I’m launching an ‘Ugly Yoga’ Challenge on 1st September 2019 and I really hope you’ll join me!

In just 5 minutes a day you can change your life and it won’t cost you a penny!

Read on to find out how!

WHAT IS UGLY YOGA

‘Ugly Yoga’ stems from my passionate belief that yoga isn’t about having the ‘perfect’ mat, clothes, body, posture (insert any other ‘perfection’ that’s ever put you off going to a yoga class).

It also doesn’t require you to have ‘perfect’ health either!

Instead, I believe yoga is about connecting with your heart and soul and moving your body in a way that nourishes YOU and your individual needs!

It really doesn’t matter how your poses ‘look’. What matters most is how they make you ‘feel’!

When I say ‘ugly yoga ’ I want you to think about the story of the ‘ugly duckling’ who transformed into a swan…your ‘ugly yoga’ too will transform you in ways you can’t even begin to imagine!

MY STORY

I’ve been practicing ‘ugly yoga’ for nearly 4 years. Before that, I used to go to yoga classes trying to do ‘perfect yoga’, I was training for London Marathon, I was also weight training and seeing a personal trainer. Admittedly, I was one of those yogis that was trying to appear ‘perfect’.

What unachievable bullshit!

In January 2016, aged just 30, I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer.

Since then I’ve trained as a yoga teacher specialising in adult ashtanga yoga, children’s yoga, pregnancy yoga, pre and post natal yoga and baby yoga.

I have a colostomy bag, a pneumothorax (hole in my right lung) and lung tumours. I’ve have multiple organs removed during major surgery including a complete hysterectomy and splenectomy. Most importantly, I’m still alive!

To say I understand the human anatomy, holistic health and yoga would be a massive understatement! I can guarantee whatever you’re feeling…I’ve been there too!

BUT through it all I’ve done yoga every single day (yes, even when I was in hospital). I’ve taught classes and one to one and I’m now running yoga retreats in Scotland with Integrative Retreats.

I believe that yoga is for EVERYONE! And I get super frustrating with the western view that yoga has to look a certain way.

When I trained as a yoga teacher one of the fundamental aspects I was taught was about the philosophies of yoga and it’s role in nourishing us as a whole – our mind, body and spirit. We were never taught that yoga was about having washboard abs or ‘nailing’ a particular pose. That’s all ego led nonsense!

Understanding this important differentiation is something I reference as significant to my physical and emotional healing in my book ‘How Long Have I Got?’

When I stopped trying to do ‘perfect’ yoga and stopped comparing myself to others and what I couldn’t do, I discovered that my body was capable of so much more than I ever imagined!

I also discovered that 5 minutes each day doing yoga that nourished my body is far better than zero minutes!

Of course, some days I do more. Some days I do 90 minutes when I’m feeling good and in flow with my body! But I never set this as the goal. I always set the goal at a manageable and non threatening 5 minutes. Because we can do anything for 5 minutes…even when we feel rubbish and unmotivated!

THE ‘CHALLENGE’

So, I am starting a different kind of yoga challenge. One that doesn’t promise to get you doing a headstand in two weeks – although you might and that’s great if it feels nourishing for you.

Instead this challenge promises to help you connect with, love and learn from your unique and special body.

And, best of all, it’s suitable for everyone, regardless of your health situation or any other circumstances.

All you have to do is commit to 5 minutes of yoga every morning for 30 days.

Just 5 minutes.

You don’t need a yoga mat or fancy yoga clothes.

You don’t even need a yoga studio.

All you need is 5 minutes.

You can do ‘ugly yoga’ in your pjs or your gym clothes…hell you can even do it naked if you like (you badass you!)

You can do it in a chair, on your bed or even in your bathroom – I know that’s the secret place you busy parents hide from your kiddies when you need 5 minutes…yes you!

All you have to do is carve out 5 minutes each day where you put on some relaxing music (I have a free yoga playlist on Spotify under ‘Fi Munro Yoga’) and just stretch and move your body how it wants to move.

Some days you’ll do big stretches and lots of downward facing dogs, other days you might sit and gently twist your body from side to side. There might even be some days where you just lie on your back in shavasana for 5 minutes.

And do you know what? That’s all perfect!! As long as you are listening to what your body needs for at least 5 minutes then, I assure you, you are nailing ‘ugly yoga’ my lovely!

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Starting 1st September 2019 commit to just 5 minutes each day for one month where you stretch your body in ways that feel nourishing to you. That’s it!

Take pictures or videos or write about how ‘ugly yoga’ is making you feel and share it all with me using @fkmunro and #uglyyoga or #uglyyogachallenge

You’re going to be amazed at how different you feel! Seriously!

AND I’m going to join you too by posting live videos of my ‘ugly yoga’ each day across my social media channels.

Are you in?

Love, Fi xxx

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Read more in my books

Book into one of my workshops.

Listen to my groundbreaking podcast on all podcast apps – search for ‘Live Like You Are Dying’

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Book a place at one of my retreats.

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Fi is Currently:

Listening to my yoga playlist on Spotify.

Feeling grateful for a day in the sea.

Loving life and the gift of being alive.

Admiring the sunflowers on my kitchen table.

ovarian cancer

How Yoga Healed My Fear of Cancer

“I’m really sorry. You have cancer”.  
      I’ll never forget that moment. The moment the word ‘cancer’ entered my world.

      I was just 30 years old and I was being told I had stage four ovarian cancer. There is no stage five. My diagnosis was terminal.

      I knew, in that moment, that I had a choice: a choice between succumbing to my poor prognosis, giving up and immersing myself in fear and self-pity; or choosing to embrace life, rediscovering the joy of living and spreading positivity with those that I meet.

      I, of course, chose the latter.

      So, when I was told that my cancer was likely inoperable but that they would give me chemotherapy to ‘make me more comfortable’ I decided that my story didn’t need to end there. I had far too much living to do. I still had the power to remain in control.

      Mustering as much strength and positivity as I could – you need to remember at this stage I was critically ill and could hardly walk – I decided to dedicate my time to my health. Having practiced yoga and meditation as a form of relief from a very stressful work life for a number of years I knew that health and healing should be viewed holistically. I began developing my personal healing journey by looking not at the cancer in my body, but at the dis-ease in my mind, body and spirit. The deeper I explored, the more I realised that I wasn’t as healthy as I’d once thought. Stress, anxiety, grief and, unsurprisingly, sugar where plaguing my immune system. I needed to start making changes and fast!

I started to meditate daily – something I’d previously pushed to the bottom of my priorities, telling myself I was far too busy for ‘nonsense’ like that. I started to spend time in nature breathing in the beautiful fresh air that surrounds our country home. I also started to embrace a whole food, sugar free diet. And guess what, something wonderful started to happen. Just 10 weeks following my diagnosis I was approved for surgery.

      In May 2016 (five months after my diagnosis) I had the largest operation the team had performed on a stage IV ovarian cancer patient. During this they removed my ovaries, fallopian tubes, womb, cervix, appendix, spleen, omentum, part of my bowel (I now have a colostomy bag), part of my liver, part of my diaphragm and part of my pancreas. Recovery was hard and I spent a long six weeks in hospital.

      Once home I wanted to immerse myself into everything I’d been learning. Most importantly, I wanted to start practicing yoga again. However, no one could tell me if it was safe. I’d been told I shouldn’t expect to even walk up stairs for a few months, but here I was 3 months later, walking 2-3 miles daily and desperate to bring Asanas back into my life. A deep inner knowing was telling me this was what my body needed and I wasn’t prepared to give up.

      Finally, admitting that no yoga studio was going touch me, I approached a teacher training school. If no one knew if it was ‘safe’ then I would learn for myself. I would become an expert in my own body and healing. Amazingly they took the risk and, just 4 months after my surgery I enrolled in their 12-month training program. Something incredible started to happen. No longer was I just being taught about yoga as a form of fitness – the prevalent view in modern western society – but, instead, I was learning about the holistic benefits of yoga. I was learning about pranayama, the yamas and niyamas and a plant based diet. I knew this was the healing journey I had craved.

      And, I was right. I have now been in remission for nearly 6 months and, aside from some fatigue, I am feeling healthier and happier than I ever thought possible.

      I don’t know if yoga and embracing holistic health healed my cancer but one thing is for sure, it healed my fear of cancer and taught me how to live again.


      I now embrace a happy and fulfilling life flowing with joy and positivity. Having started my teacher training as a means of supporting my own healing I now want to share this knowledge with others and help them on a journey to recovery too, and not just those who have cancer, but all those living with dis-ease in their lives. Most importantly I want to encourage those I teach to embrace yoga philosophy.

I recently qualified as a specialist children’s yoga instructor and in August I’ll qualify as an Ashtanga Teacher for adults. I have just launched my own business as a yoga instructor. I couldn’t be more excited to start this new and exciting phase in my life.

Love and light, Fi xx


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Fi has recently set up her own business as a yoga instructor for children and adults.

You can read more about Fi Munro on her public Facebook page.

She is currently writing a book about holistic health and healing due for release soon.

She is also a regular blogger for Huffington Post.