Have you ever asked the questions: ‘Who am I?’; ‘Why am I here?’; ‘Where have I come from?’

Speaking to actress and yoga practitioner Leah Bracknell, otherwise known as Zoe Tate in the soap Emmerdale, she explained that although we become consumed with everyday life, we get to a point where we all want to know we have a real purpose.

Sometimes those everyday things are not enough and we want to know more – what can I offer, or what can I give back? People have a hole in them and want to find a deeper meaning.

Talking specifically about Shamanic Yoga, Leah explained it goes back thousands of years and is practised around the world but it varies from region to region.

Shamanic yoga happened organically for Leah. She had always wanted to act since she was 5 years old and her father had been in the film business. At the same time as feeling this was her calling, she knew she wanted to help people in some way.

Yoga came along and after attending one class, Leah thought it was amazing. She wanted to know how to deepen her understanding and share it with others so while she was at Emmerdale, she studied it for three years.

It all sounds very personal! For Leah, Shamanic Yoga is personal and she believes it is personal for each and every person.

It is about connecting with the spirit of nature and everything has a spirit – from a rock to a mountain. One becomes hyper-aware of their self in relation to the universe and relation to their past and present.

With regards to past and present, one understands their responsibility in relation to their ancestors. We stand in front of hundreds of lives and through shamanic yoga one honours those who came before us.

Although we are at the forefront now, it also means being aware of what you are leaving for your future generations.

Leah also explained the element of connecting with guides and allies, or as I would say ‘angels’. These guides give us information, maybe not about ourselves but about others and the community.

It is all very experiential! Leah explained how she started to read the signs she was presented with. We all get signs and have intuition and a gut instinct, but deliberately ignore it because our head overrules. But Leah explained that you should start to listen. Listen to your gut and instinct and then decide if something you want to pursue.

Don’t doubt what being told but rather understand that the truth is being presented to you. The more you open yourself up to it the more you read into it.

Shamanic yoga creates harmony with the self and universe and gives us greater understanding of our balance in the web of things. We are a tiny, tiny part of everything.

Leah noted that the breath is key. Breathing is the first and last thing you do in Shamanic yoga. Exhale negative thoughts and feelings and inhale positive.

If you are somebody who has lower back pains, it may be because you bend over backwards to please people. So it is necessary to build your core to strengthen that to have more physical support and less necessity to please people all the time.

The heart chakra is about love – universal rather than romantic love. Universal love of oneself, of the Divine and includes compassion and forgiveness. If people have rounded shoulders, it means they’re trying to hide away from life. So try to sit up with a straight back. Changing the physicality of the body has an impact on the psyche.

I was very interested in the Third Eye placed in the centre of the forehead and wanted to know how to tap into this. Close your eyes and direct your gaze towards the centre of your forehead. Even bowing down and touching your forehead to the ground stimulate the Third Eye. It’s like a Sixth Sense.

If you begin to feel overwhelmed it means you need some grounding. Work with the element of the Earth by placing your feet to the ground. Take off your shoes, feel the grass under your feet, and feel the earth.

Leah wanted to leave you with some advice. She said ‘be good to yourselves’. Take some time out even it’s for 10 or 15 minutes a day. Have this time just for you. And do not feel guilty about it. Just be in silence, be quiet, and breathe.

If that does not feel you leaving relaxed, I do not know what will! After this show I was fully in relaxation mode, ready to look for all the signs and head out of the studio to look up at the sky and appreciate my life and the world.