thEM x Secret Yoga Club Badge
I wanted to work with Jo Ratcliff to celebrate the incredible power of menstruating bodies. The badge design has 12 petals as a subtle nod to the cycle, and it takes inspiration from Hilma AF Klimt, a 19th Century artist and mystic.
I believe in a future where all people understand their bodies. Our monthly bleed is sacred, yet it’s misunderstood or even shamed in some cultures. Exploring our periods, bodies, and hormones bestows us with a deeper understanding of our emotions and an opportunity for more self-awareness, self-care, self-trust, and respect.
Spot clean only (do not dry clean!) Do not iron. Contains magnets
Gabrielle founded Secret Yoga Club in 2012 to gather curious and like-minded souls to explore new ways of experiencing themselves and the world around them.
Dubbed “The Yoga Guru” by British Vogue, she encourages a holistic and intuitive approach to being and loving by creating nurturing, kind and inspiring spaces for self-enquiry and evolution. She published her first book Secret Yoga Club with Octopus 2020.
SYC pioneered new approaches to yoga through immersive experiences that combine ancient technology with multidisciplinary practices. She’s credited with introducing full moon ceremonies, sound baths, and pussy gazing to the mainstream audiences that enjoy them today.
Proceeds from this badge go to Bloody Good Period
Bloody Good Period fights for menstrual equity and the rights of all people who bleed. They provide period products and education to people living in poverty or the asylum system, who cannot afford menstrual care.
Sadly, lack of access to sanitary products, hygiene or health is only one of the issues. Lack of funding for menstrual health and research leaves many suffering from painful gynecological conditions like fibroids, PMDD or endometriosis for years without appropriate care.
Bloody Good Period ensures people have access to the products they need to menstruate safely and continue their education or work. I think their advocacy work is key to creating a society with more equity for all humans.
Tell us about you!
I live in Hackney and host beautiful multidisciplinary yoga events and retreats, do menstrual health speaking events and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion offerings for businesses.
How do you lean out, stay active, get out and explore nature?
I used to travel a lot pre-covid, as we hosted about five retreats a year in beautiful venues all over the world, from Portugal to India.
These always felt like a rewilding and rebellion. A remembrance that there are other ways to be, live, love and work. More feminine I believe, more natural. London has a very masculine energy to me - action based and constantly in flux. Those times were precious for grounding and integration.
The last few years I’ve had to be resourceful and seek urban wilderness. We’re lucky London has so many green spaces. Before I was pregnant, I would run through Hackney Marshes. My favourite thing to do was to go swimming in the Ladies Ponds. We used to live right next to Hampstead Heath, which is a magical green space with some special tree friends and ponds you can swim in all year round.
There’s nothing more grounding and cleansing than swimming in ponds.
I’ve started to do this a little more in the cold weather, to prepare my nervous system for birth.
Finally, yoga and breathwork and dancing. As I slow down in my pregnancy (I write this in my 33rd week) I realised I had to keep walking to shift the energy and stay fit. I walk about 5 miles a day, 4 times a week and also finding spaciousness and liberation through yoga and meditation.
It’s wild having a tiny disco baby growing in your belly, it can be easy to feel claustrophobic and usurped by discomfort.
These things keep me feeling integrated, expansive and receptive.
What are your tools for leaning out?
Very little for what I like. A curious mind, stillness, wonder, bare feet, my eyes, my breath, my skin, my fingertips, a forehead, a tree, a breeze, a splash … simple things. And when there’s no time, sipping something slowly, tasting, licking my lips and closing my eyes.
Tell us about your gear - what do you tend to bring/wear?
I wear a lot of Marie Yat, which is my friend's underwear and clothing brand. I love the little bra tops and the swimwear is my favourite. I don’t really like regular yoga clothes, normally I prefer to wear natural rather than synthetic fabrics.
Maria somehow manages to make clothes that feel practical and sexy, or feminine at the same time. So I love the swimming costume for wild swimming. I have a pair of goggles but other than that, even in winter, I’d just go in my costume.
I have some Salomon Trainers for walking and am getting a lot of wear out of all of my boyfriends Stussy Tracksuit bottoms whilst pregnant and practicing a slower yoga class. Otherwise, Nike shorts when not. When it’s hot I’ll wear underwear and an old men’s silk shirt that feels good to move in.
Do you have a bug-out bag and if so, what’s in it?
No, but I love this idea. I will make one!! Though I am mostly practising yoga at home these days and trying to walk without a bag feels more freeing. I dream of a bug out van though! I’d love a new VW campervan kitted out with some lovely linens and crockery for spontaneous escapes.
What is one of your most memorable adventures or favourite places to lean out?
I’ve always loved Wales. We are getting married there next year. It feels magical and abundant to me. Filled with myths and faery glens. I love that you can go swimming on an empty beach and then just inland there’ll be flames of amber heather in the Autumn, waterfalls and bright, mossy trees. Enchanting!!
What do you do to stay safe so you can really relax in nature?
Hmmm, I’m not sure this applies to me. I tend to always feel safe in nature. Even with the odd brazen skinny dip!! But perhaps you were alluding to more extreme sports…?
Who inspires you in the outdoors?
Jo Ratcliffe of Jo Can Draw is pretty badass. She did these designs and is an illustrator and a rider! She’s always going on incredible riding adventures and I’m hoping one day (though this is news to her!) that she might exchange lessons for yoga classes.
Also, Ruby who does Native Hands. I was so inspired the first time I met her. We were in Wales at my friend Jayne Goldheart’s retreat, called Sisters of the Wild. She taught me how to create fire with flint, metal and a little straw nest. It felt primal and empowering. She does courses in the forest, making clay pots and straw baskets. I’d love to do a camping retreat with her in the future.