April 13, 2016 9:41 am

Introducing our new healthy partner Lara Heppell, a Leeds-based yoga teacher who aims to support women’s wellbeing at every stage of life, including pregnancy, birth, motherhood and through into menopause. She is also a Well Woman Yoga and Mizan Massage therapist, Doula and Lover of Movement, Dance and Life.

Lara has created allwoman, which offers bespoke one-to-one yoga programmes, special fertility, pregnancy, wellbeing and doula support programmes, alongside group classes, workshops, events & retreats.

We are so excited to share that any Filmore Union customers wanting to join Lara at her first Secret Shakti event will be entitled to a £10 discount!

Full details on the venue will be sent out 48 hours before the event and our first event is being held 40 minutes outside of Leeds….If you have been there before you may know where the picture on the website is from….Can you guess?

Click here for more:

Read on to hear all about Lara’s amazing journey…


My journey into the discovery of Well Woman yoga started when I experienced a period of real exhaustion and fatigue in my life. At the time I was juggling my yoga teaching alongside a very stressful full time job as a Project Manager in a large multinational corporation where I was in charge of the delivery of large scale projects. One particular project I was working on was understaffed and I was working long hours to stay on top of it, coupled with juggling my yoga classes outside of work and planning a wedding!!!
I began to get really tired and felt very bloated and also had extremely painful menstruation cramps and abdominal pains a lot of the time. I was experiencing dizzy spells and nausea and I was extremely emotional and ended up having to take some time off of work to relax and recuperate.
During this time I was referred for tests as the doctors felt that my symptoms reflected those of someone with fibroids. So I went for a ultrasound scan but found that while thankfully there were no fibroids, what could be seen clearly on the scan was the continuous contraction of my uterus, as if the muscles were in spasm. Even the doctor commented on this movement, but did not seem to link this to the problems I was experiencing. I, on the other hand, really felt that this was the key to my problems: it seemed to me that I was holding my stress in my womb and that the stress was so deep seated as to make it spasm repeatedly. I had always suffered with problems in this area of my body and now realized that I needed to work on the centre of my body in and around my pelvis and my abdomen, and to work at letting this muscle go and bring energy into my abdomen to help heal myself.
I then began making my daily practice one of rest and relaxation with lots of emphasis on breathing techniques that were often used in Pregnancy and movements used in Pregnancy yoga that I had learnt from my teacher Uma Dinsmore Tuli. This practice coupled with my own research into the pelvis, menstruation issues and the psoas helped me in time to get back to full health. In addition I had to re-assess my lifestyle at this time and make some dietary changes and also put my yoga teaching on hold to focus on teaching myself outside of my already busy day job.
My Yoga practice developed into one of exploration, looking inside at how deeply rooted my stress was in my womb, investigating different movement patterns to learn about ways to release tension. Learning about the art of release and surrender which did not come easily to me… my practice had to completely soften to support what both my mind and body needed at the time. I learnt so much about myself as a result, becoming more acquainted with my abdomen and womb, investigating my cycle more and learning to honour it and to start to fully appreciate what it is to be a woman.
Some months later (after my wedding) I was in a different place with lots more energy and was trying for a baby: my teacher Uma Dinsmore Tuli made a visit to Hebden Bridge for a workshop on what she called Womb Yoga. I went along and it was like a revelation… suddenly everything I had been doing at home for myself seemed to all fit into place. I loved the rhythmic movements, the flowing sequences, the heart and womb focus of the practice and also the yoga nidra practice which I had been doing for months to help support my recovery. It felt like I was coming home…..I loved this practice and wanted to know more!
I came home from the workshop determined to learn and listen even more closely to the natural rhythms of my body so I could know when I was ovulating and when I was pre-menstrual without the need for the thermometer and charts I had been using religiously. So I chucked them out and relaxed and practiced daily what I had learnt at the workshop: two weeks later I got pregnant!
After that I was a convert and continued using the practices I had learnt through my pregnancy and into motherhood. Once my maternity leave was over and I went back to teaching (as my main job apart from being a mama) in October 2012 I signed up for the Well Woman Yoga Therapy Course with Uma to learn even more, which I completed in November 2012.
Since then I have had the pleasure of sharing this wonderful practice at Yogakula at a weekly class initially and now at monthly KulaWoman workshops, in addition I have also had the pleasure of sharing this practice 121 with women with fertility issues and ladies in my Pregnancy classes. I do also weave some of this into my standard classes as well, as the practices are useful for women at all stages of life (and can be great for men too with tight backs and shoulders!).
I believe that in women our power is housed in our wombs (womb space) or our Yonis . Yoni is the Sanskrit word for the vagina. It also means the divine passage, womb or sacred temple. The word covers a range of meanings, including: place of birth, source, origin, spring, fountain, place of rest, repository, receptacle, seat, abode, home, lair, nest and stable.
Well Woman Yoga or Yoni Yoga is a style of yoga that is all about honouring what it is to be a woman by coming home to your Yoni, thereby coming home to yourself. It is a practice of yoga that respects femininity by working with women’s bodies through the natural rhythmic movements that our bodies want to do. It is also about getting in touch with our womb cycles and the cycles of the moon which we are guided by, through all stages of our life from menarche to menopause.

For more information, visit!