I am a big lover of massage balms and regularly use balms and soothers in a variety of my yoga classes as I find they can really encourage deep breathing and a sense of relaxation in the body. Recently I’ve had quite a few people ask me what my favourite one is, so I thought I’d write a little review on one of my absolute favourites, Gwdihw Muscle Soother.
Gwdiwho!? I hear you cry! Yes, precisely. Gwdihw is pronounced Goody Hoo (it means ‘owl’ in Welsh, hence the branding!) and they very helpfully put this on their products to try and save confusion. They’re from North Wales, so they are throughly entitled to have a brand name that nobody can pronounce. I personally adore the fact that they stay true to their roots and use a Welsh name for their products. I’m a little biased since I’ve some Welsh blood running through my veins and therefore I do tend to have soft spot for all things from the land of rain, sheep and words without vowels.
I discovered their products after using China Gel for quite sometime and then realising that it had an awful lot of things in it that I didn’t want to put on my body, or anyone else’s for that matter. And so the search begun. Continue reading
Recently I’ve been trying to make my smoothies more vegetable-heavy as I’m well aware of the sugar content of too much fruit in a smoothie. If I’m honest I haven’t found this a very easy process as I eat so many vegetables with other meals that it really messed with my mind to throw them into a blender instead of a steamer! Equally I managed to make some pretty awful tasting things initially which didn’t result in very much enthusiasm towards a veggie blend. With practice now however I’m slowly starting to make up recipes that I find just as easy and tasty as the more fruit-heavy varieties. I’ve recently found some nice british blackberries at the green grocers too however and I’m a total sucker for berries! They’re so delicious and high in vitamins so they are a welcome addition to my diet, and when you can buy local and british it’s even better! When you use berries it really adds a sweet kick to an otherwise vegetable-heavy blend so throughout the summer I think they’re going to become a staple in my diet.
This morning I needed something to keep me going for a good few hours and made up this little number which went down a treat! As always I have a lot of my ingredients split into portions and thrown in the freezer so my smoothie is nice and cold and I get maximum nutrients, but you don’t have to use frozen if you don’t have it prepared already.
- Frozen Spinach – large handful
- Frozen Banana – half
- Frozen Blackberries – generous handful, probably around 10 blackberries or thereabouts
- Avocado – half
- Celery – whole stick cut in pieces
- Cucumber – 2 inch lump
- Flaxseeds – sprinkle (also known as linseed!)
- Green Powder – 1tsp (I use, without fail, Supergreens by Nua Naturals)
- Bee Pollen – sprinkle, probably around half a teaspoon
- Almond Milk – a decent glug, you can always add more or less dependant on how thick you want it
Blend it up, drink it down and away you go! Enjoy!
So for ages I’ve been planning on putting recipes, playlists and all sorts on here. Let’s be honest… frankly I’m pretty crap at updating my website but the reason is that I’ve been in the midst of redesigning for so long that I feel I don’t want to update it all that much till it’s done! But new moons have been and gone and I’m still not done so I’m just going to crack on with uploading all manner of new things anyway! So here’s my first recipe… I had this today for breakfast. Smoothies play a massive role in my diet as being a teacher and massage therapist, and moving around from place to place a lot, I often find it quite difficult to make time to eat ‘proper’ lunches and breakfasts. If I eat too much then I’m uncomfortable to practice, teach or do massage, and if I don’t eat enough then I don’t have the energy! I also have quite a particular diet – no sugar, no wheat, no gluten, no dairy, no grains, no legumes (for those in the know, yes I’m paleo, but I won’t go into all the reasons why in this post…it’s health-related and connected to a condition that I have, the long and short of it is that being paleo just works for me). Being paleo means that grabbing snacks on the go is not always easy, so I need to be organised. That means I make homemade healthy snacks and smoothies to drink between classes and clients, things that are healthy, full of nutrients, fuel me well and provide nutrients. Food is fuel people! So all that said, here’s what I made this morning for my breakfast.
I’m really excited to announce that I have just launched an exclusive organic facial treatment at Down To Earth in North London. Using only L:A Bruket products, plus a few raw, natural organic ingredients, I have created what I believe to be a simple yet luxurious facial that balances the skin, replenishes moisture levels and will revitalise the face to leave you with naturally glowing skin.
Originating from Sweden, L:A Bruket specialises in organic, botanical skincare that contains high-quality, natural ingredients. The Down To Earth facial is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. The facial begins with a gentle double cleanse using organic coconut oil and a chamomile and bergamot L:A Bruket cleanser to remove any impurities from the skin and soften the face before being refreshed with a stimulating natural facial water and toner. Once the face is cleansed the skin will be gently exfoliated using the L:A Bruket Petitgrain facial scrub to remove impurities and smooth the surface of the skin. This is followed with a relaxing neck and facial massage using one of the L:A Bruket facial oils selected to suit your skin type. The face contains many pressure points which relate to every part of the body and this facial massage is designed to stimulate many of these points in order to rejuvenate not just the skin but also the muscles and lymphatic system of the body. To complete your facial treatment the signature L:A Bruket facial cream will be applied to heal and protect the skin before, using Indian Head Massage techniques, one final massage is given to the scalp to truly send you into the depths of relaxation and renewal.
Should you choose a ‘luxury facial’ you will also receive a luxurious homemade and organic turmeric face treatment after your exfoliation and before your facial massage. This will be customised to suit your individual skin type and while your treatment gets to work you will enjoy a stress relieving arm and hand massage.
Whether you’re a lover of natural products or are simply looking to relax and have your skin looked after, this is an opportunity to get some well-deserved pampering.
Prices are £75 for the organic facial, and £100 for the organic luxury facial. To book in simply contact Down To Earth and they will find a suitable time for you to come in and see me for a treatment.
Christmas. Whether you celebrate or not, this time of year can be hectic to say the least. If you practice yoga it’s probably the one time that your body and mind need the practice the most, and yet somehow it always seems to be the thing that drops to the bottom of the list below shopping, organising, festive drinks (hangovers!) etc. And then comes the guilt, which invariably leads to stress, which is one extra emotion that you really don’t need right now! The good news is that you can continue your yoga practice away from the mat. I don’t usually like to mention this, as I love to see people on their mat practicing with me! But sometimes life gets in the way so it’s important to remember that there are small tools you can use to ensure that you keep your calm all the way into the New Year.
I’m excited to announce that on Sunday 21st December I will be running my last workshop of 2014 at Down To Earth in Tufnell Park, North London. The winter period and all its festivities is a busy time that can sometimes result in us feeling like we’ve no time for ourselves. Yet this is the one time of the year when we probably need to dedicate time to ourself more than any other as our bodily functions often have to work harder than normal and our routine often disappears out the window without us even having the time to realise! The 2 hour workshop, Move Mindfully & Restore Balance, is designed to provide a sense of stability and get you back to feeling like you can take on the world again.
Over 2 hours we will explore a deep slow flow designed to help you reconnect with your body and your breath. We’ll experience some balancing vinyasa flow and break down the alignment of some of the key poses to help build up the relationship between body and mind once again. All the sequences will be designed to recharge the body from the inside out and we will practice some pranayama flows in order to awaken our energy and find our inner calm.
We’ll finish by relaxing completely with a blissful restorative practice to balance and calm the senses, and give us time to set good intentions for the forthcoming new year.
You can see more information on the Down To Earth website and book in there. Really hope to see you on the mat to end the year with some fluid flow and nice long exhales!
I’ve been keeping this under wraps for a while but I am excited to finally announce that I will be running a very special yoga retreat next year with fellow yoga teacher Clive Fogelman, in the beautiful Pugliese countryside of southern Italy. Taking place from Saturday 16th May to Saturday 23rd May 2015, the retreat will be held in the stunning Masseria della Zingara, a charming 18th century farmhouse situated in 20 tranquil acres of olive, cherry and almond groves only 7km from the unspoilt Puglian coastline.
Each day will begin with an uplifting practice focused around setting good intentions for the day ahead, and this will be held either in the stunning yoga shala, or outside surrounded by the beautiful environment of the Masseria. After the morning practice we will enjoy a delicious breakfast together on the terrace. The day will then be yours to enjoy, and in the early evening we will meet again to enjoy a more relaxing class.
The retreat will offer a variety of yoga styles, including vinyasa, alignment-based flow, yin and yoga nidra, restorative and meditation. Each day will include at least two opportunities to practice but both are entirely optional. For those wanting an extra challenge, there will also be a few fun workshop-style opportunities to practice some more advanced poses. The classes will be suitable for all levels of yoga, and options and alternatives will be offered. One of the rare benefits to the trip will be having two teachers dedicated to delivering you a very special yoga programme. This means that adjustments will feature highly and you will receive a truly focused teaching experience.