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Veronique started yoga in 2000, at the age of 34, when she was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting MS. At the time, she was addicted to the gym. She loved aerobics, steps, spinning and spent 8 to 10 hours per week in the gym – but still smoked 25 cigarettes a day.

Even though she was convinced that Yoga would be boring, she decided to join an Iyengar and an Ashtanga class a week. She now knows that doing yoga and sticking to it was one of the best decision she ever made.

Over the years, she studied and practiced different types of yoga with different teachers: Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Forrest Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Therapy Yoga… She has been teaching yoga since 2009.

MOTTO: “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right!” (Click to Tweet!)

In this Trail Blazer Interview we talk about:

– What is Taming the Walrus, and how can we tame our own?

– The 3 main challenges Veronique faces living with MS, and how she manages them

– What wellness looks like with a relapsing condition

– How to integrate a holistic approach to living with MS at home

Subscribe below for more Trail Blazer interviews and check out Veronique’s work here, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Guest PostI hope you enjoy this fabulous guest post from June, one of our amazing Trail Blazers in the Trail Blazers’ Cafe.  A huge thank you to June for sharing her arty suggestions with us here. See you next week, darlings. Grace xx

1. Draw what you see: I’ve been inspired by a visit to the David Hockney exhibition in Saltaire where there was a sequence of artwork on a big screen where he had drawn the view from his window using his iPad. It doesn’t have to be digital – it could be a pencil drawing with highlights done in coloured pencils, or using pastels or paints.

2. Artistic endeavours are a good excuse to buy yourself some flowers, then you can draw or paint them. Try drawing a single flower first – look very closely at the details, then go to the vase of followers. Remember when the flowers are gone, no-one will know how accurate your creation is – so don’t get hung up on creating an exact image. Also, try drawing the flowers from varying angles or in a different medium.

3. Have you got a favourite artist? Try creating your artwork in the style of…. Van Gogh or Henri Matisse?

4. Next time you are going in to town how about working a trip to the library into your plans? I’m very lucky that my library has a good arts & crafts section. I quite like to browse whenever I go anywhere with a good bookshop – especially the ones that provide comfy chairs & encouraging browsing!

5. Do you knit, or crochet? Or do you enjoy sewing or embroidery? Have you checked out to see if there are any groups locally? The town I live in has several Knit & Natter groups at libraries & cafes. I’m part of two groups at different libraries as they are free! Attending groups are a great way to stimulate creativity & share ideas & successes. If you can’t always get out to groups there are some great groups on Facebook where you can share images of your work & be part of an online experience.

6. Paint your nails! Create nail art – you don’t necessarily need expensive equipment – a simple pin head is great for creating polka dots!

7. If you’d like to learn a new technique or practise with a new medium, YouTube provides some great tutorials – though try not to get sucked into spending too much time online, get practising!

8. Try creating illustrations to go with a favourite book or poem.

9. Stuck for ideas for something to draw? How about a piece of jewellery, an ornament in your house, a bowl of fruit, your mug from a cup of tea or coffee, a pet, a dining chair (so Van Gough!) or how about your own hand, your mobile phone? Really look closely, study the details.

10. Get a mirror & create a self portrait – try a different hairstyle on your image, or put yourself in a scene of something you fancy – could be an exotic destination or dressed up for ladies day at the races?

11. Take some photos, go for a walk if you can. Look for beauty in unusual places. Try editing your photos on the computer.

12. Try something then you’ve never tried before, possibly Zentangles if you love to doodle, or Mandalas if you love neatness & structure.

13. Check out Pinterest, or Flickr.com for inspiration. I particularly like Pinterest as you can get your favourite images in subject or category groups.

14. Research World Art for inspiration, how about Aboriginal Dot paintingsAfrican textilesCeltic artOriental artMexican or Moroccan art.

15. Have a go at origami.

16. Fancy pottery or ceramics but think you need a kiln? Well how about creating clay work using air hardening clay, you don’t even need a specialist art shop to find it! Many high street stationers sell it very reasonably.

17. Start a collection of things to use in a collage – I’ve been saving postage stamps for years knowing I’d find a creative purpose for them. I stuck them onto plain white paper & cut them into heart shapes & made them into door hangers.

18. Try embellishing your work using sequins, embroidery thread or buttons.

19. If you get chance to go to the beach, how about a bit of sand sculpture? The key is to keep it wet. If you can’t get out, how about sending someone to get some play sand. You can use a pencil to draw in the sand. Photograph your work & start again.

20. Have a go at print making, you can make marks with the polyester packaging that apples are sometimes packed in using a pen or pencil & use it as a printing block.

21. Choose a colour, add varying amounts of white to create a range of tones of that colour & create artwork using just this range.

22. Learn about colour theory, paint your own colour wheel to use for future reference.

23. Create some art work using just warm or cold colours.

24. Create an image to help you create a specific mood or feel; yellow for positivity, green to soothe, blue to calm, purple to uplift, pink for energy, red for enthusiasm, and shades of white for clarity.

***

*The featured image is a painting I did inspired by Kandinksy’s Concentric Circles and goes along with tip #3 above.

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GraceExperiencing pain, grief, trauma and seemingly insurmountable challenges are inevitable to the human condition.

But what if “being broken” – a “misfit” – serves as a catalyst for liberation and greater purpose? (Click to Tweet!)

As a trailblazing wellness pioneer I explore my own life-changing physical illness… and share the story of a dramatic shift in thinking that incited a destiny I never could have imagined.

Please watch, and share with all those feeling broken and stuck, with the outsiders who want to shift into trail blazers.

 

Tweetables

Using your “brokenness” to break boundaries #TEDx http://bit.ly/1MblhwN

Living day to day as yourself, and loving yourself exactly as you are, is a revolutionary act for a misfit. #TEDx http://bit.ly/1MblhwN

We are all Trail Blazers. We with the broken bits, we who go forward to incite revolution, to make change. #TEDx http://bit.ly/1MblhwN

What are you going to shift from misfit to pioneer? From broken to breaking boundaries? From sick chick to trail blazer? Let me know in the comments!

Image courtesy of Amin Art.

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