Raw Rocky Road

After countless requests I have finally got around to putting this recipe online… there are still hundreds more to come and I promise that one day they will all get here. I wish I had more time to update my website but alas, I find myself grabbing at random moments and ending up doing ‘maintenance’ instead of the good fun stuff, like this! Now I’m not sure that this recipe is technically a Rocky Road, but regardless it’s what I refer to it as! I also refer to it as my Paleo Rocky Road, however my favourite version of it does have sprouted buckwheat in it so technically it could be argued that it isn’t paleo. For me sprouted buckwheat works nicely in my diet once in a while, but if it doesn’t suit you it can easily be left out or substituted with something else.

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The Rocky Road process…

One of the nicest things about this recipe is that it genuinely tastes delicious, I find myself going back for more (and more) every time! It’s also extremely easy to make and can be adapted to suit whatever you might find in your cupboard. My kitchen cupboards are never without a bag of raw cacao powder, coconut oil, chia seeds, linseeds and cacao nibs so these tend to be my staple ingredients each time, but the rest changes almost every single time I make it. The only things you absolutely cannot substitute are the cacao powder and coconut oil as rocky road without chocolate is never worth considering, and you need the coconut oil to help it set in the fridge. Other than that, feel free to play around and create your own version! Here’s the one I made today, along with some helpful substitutes… Continue reading

Yoga Pose Clinic *4 – Trikonasana

April is nearly here and with it, the fourth of my yoga pose clinics! This time around it’s Trikonasana that takes centre stage…

Trikonasana

Our good old friend triangle pose might well be one of the first poses you were ever acquainted with, but whatever tradition of yoga you practice the chances are that you’ve been taught it in a few different ways. I know I have been, and it’s led me to explore this particular pose in great detail over the years. The fourth yoga pose clinic will take a good hard look at the pose in a functional way; how can we practice the pose in a way that supports our bodies today and avoids injury both now and in the future? How can we make it strong, safe and accessible for all?

We will build the pose from the ground up before exploring some variations, including Revolved Trikonasana and binds, before moving into a flow that will allow us to explore coming into, and out of, the pose fluidly and with ease.

The clinic takes place at Down To Earth London in Tufnell Park on Sunday 17th April, from 3.30pm – 6pm.

Hope to see you there!
Cx

Spring 2016 Yoga Retreat in Italy

It’s almost time for the second of mine and Clive Fogelman‘s Spring Yoga Retreat in Italy! Last year we had an absolutely amazing time with the most fantastic group of yogis and we can’t wait to return this year. From the 7th – 14th May 2016 we’ll be staying once again in the stunning Masseria della Zingara, a place that offers the perfect escape from a busy life and the ideal opportunity to re-energise and reconnect. It’s a charming 18th century farmhouse with a private pool, set in 20 tranquil acres of olive, cherry and almond groves only 7km from the unspoilt Puglian coastline.

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Led by Clive & Clare, the retreat offers a truly dedicated teaching experience with a variety of yoga styles including; vinyasa, alignment-based flow, yin, restorative, candlelit meditation by the fireside and yoga nidra. A variety of massage treatments will also be available on request (given by Clare).

Example day…

IMG_6948Every morning we will meet for a morning meditation to set intentions for the day ahead. This will be followed by an uplifting
vinyasa practice 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 however you wish whether it’s reading a book by the pool, treating yourself to a massage, or exploring the local countryside and towns. On a few of the days we will arrange optional excursions – last year we went to a market, visited a local town and had a beautiful day at the beach, and some afternoons we will offer yoga workshops to explore and play. In the early evening we will meet again to enjoy a more relaxing class focused around yin and restorative, before enjoying a beautiful dinner together. After dinner some nights we will offer a guided candlelight meditation session in the studio, warmed by a log fire. All the yoga and excursions are optional and you may join in with as much or as little as you like throughout the week. The retreat is yours to enjoy as you choose! Continue reading

Yoga Pose Clinic *3 – Downward Dog

The third of my yoga pose clinics is here! Good ol’ downward dog, it gets so taken for granted sometimes, so it seemed only right that my third clinic focused on it.

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Downward facing dog is a staple ingredient of any yoga class yet rarely do we give it the attention it deserves. When we are beginners on the journey we break it down but often not enough to consider modifications and injuries, and then once we are familiar with it we forget to check in with what’s actually happening in the pose. Downward dog can become a bad dog pretty quickly!

This 3rd Yoga Pose Clinic will break the pose down completely and look at what is really going on in the body within this asana and how we can continually keep it fresh. We will explore a variety of modifications and variations of the pose, some practical and some fun and even play with a little bit of partner yoga.

The workshop is happening at Down To Earth London on Sunday 21st February from 3pm – 5.30pm.

Hope to see you on the mat
Cx

Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

The best things in life are unplanned and spontaneous aren’t they? So why not do something crazy and book to come to Costa Rica in a fortnight with me and Adam Hocke for a week of yoga from the 27th February to the 5th March!

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Beautiful Blue Spirit nestled in the stunning nature of Costa Rica

I’m so excited to be joining Adam to teach this wonderful Costa Rica Yoga Retreat where we will be inspired by the natural rhythms and waves of our beautiful setting at the Blue Spirit Retreat Centre. We’ll find freedom and joy through mornings of energising vinyasa flow yoga, afternoons of tropical adventures and excursions, and evenings of guided relaxation. Supported by mine and Adam’s hands-on adjustments and individualized modifications for your body in every class, find a personal yoga practice over the course of a healing, invigorating, and fun week. Whether you need a challenge to deepen your practice or an opportunity to de-stress and let go, we’ll ride the waves together and help you find the yoga that works for you. The retreat is open to all levels.

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This could be you…

Blue Spirit Costa Rica yoga retreat is a  centre of the highest calibre, frequently hosting internationally prominent teachers and attracting students from around the world. Located on the Southern end of Guiones Beach in Nosara, on the Northern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, the centre is perched on a hilltop that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and a three-mile long white sand beach that is protected as a turtle refuge – Blue Spirit offers an extraordinarily beautiful and natural setting on one of Costa Rica’s renowned beaches.

There’s still some spaces left so if you fancy throwing caution to the wind let me know! And in the meantime if you’d like more info you can take a look on Adams website:

Costa Rica Yoga Retreat 2016

Go on, you know you want to!
Cx

Stepping Into Strength; A Glutes Workshop

My last glute-focused workshop was so popular that I’ve decided to run another, very similar one at the lovely Yoga On The Lane this month. Taking place on Sunday 31st January from 3-5.30pm, Stepping Into Strength is a workshop that will teach you all you’ve ever wanted and needed to know about your ‘behind’.

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It’s likely that you sit on your glutes every day but never give these stabiliser muscles a second thought, and yet they play such a hugely important role in our overall core strength. When they’re under utilised it means you are left to pick up the slack elsewhere and over time this will effect you in your daily life, leaving you with poor posture and performance both on and off the yoga mat.

This workshop is designed to teach you how to properly activate the glutes and re-pattern bad habits so that you can start to use them effectively and with more awareness. Physically this workshop will be strong but mindful, giving you tools to cultivate power from within. Energetically, the physical practice will also reflect the ability to step forward through obstacles in our life, perfect for keeping your motivation up and your fears and anxiety down as you take these wonderful and initial steps into 2016!

Hope to see you there!
Cx

Yoga Pose Clinic #2 – Warriors

I’m really looking forward to this weekend and the second instalment of my Yoga Pose Clinic workshops! This time around it’s the Warrior group of poses that will be getting a good looking at.

Warrior 3 Pose

1, 2, 3, humble, flying, reverse… is there any end to all the possibilities that come from the warrior group of poses? The warriors frequently make up a good portion of any vinyasa flow class and there are so many options within each one that it can be hard to know all the breakdowns and options, never mind know whether you’re doing the basics correctly. This workshop will explore the poses in detail and look at the some of the benefits and modifications that are available within each one. We will also look at how best to flow in and out of each pose with strength and ease, giving you the opportunity to concentrate on being able to enjoy the breath and move more confidently through your practice.

This is going to be a fun one! Plenty of learning, exploring and moving! Taking place on Sunday 13th December from 3.30 – 6pm at Down To Earth.

Hope to see you there!
Cx

Winter Warrior Workshop

IMG_0157On Saturday 28th November I did my first workshop at Yoga On The Lane in Dalston. Winter Warrior explored a little of the link between chinese medicine and our yoga practice and looked at ways to improve immunity and energy levels over the winter period.

Throughout pretty much my whole life I have personally struggled with my immune system. It was this struggle that led me to my own yoga practice years ago so it was a wonderful privilege to be able to share some of the knowledge that I’ve gained over the years that has helped me.

We melted into the body with a yin practice designed to stimulate the bladder and kidney meridians, before moving into an intelligently sequenced vinyasa flow designed to build fire from within and help empower the mind. Finally we explored some pranayama and kriya practices to help combat winter blues, bring balance to the energy channels of the body and hopefully, awaken our inner glow!

A massive thank you to all who came! I really hope to be able to share this workshop with more of you soon!

Happy winter warming to you all!
Cx

Yoga Pose Clinic #1 – Chaturanga

It’s been a long time coming but finally my new series of workshops – Yoga Pose Clinic – are starting with the first one taking place on Sunday 25th October at Down To Earth London.

Our yoga practice is not solely about the body, in fact our physical yoga (asana) practice is only talked about in 1 of the 8 limbs of yoga, and yet for most of us it plays a very big role. Because of this it is important that we understand our options and how to build strength efficiently. The ‘Yoga Pose Clinic’ will break down key poses and elements commonly found in a vinyasa flow practice to help us learn how to progress and practice safely. Each ‘clinic’ will last 2.5 hours and will be focused around a different yoga pose or technique. It will be an opportunity to delve into the detail, ask questions, learn variations, and even discuss injury modifications if you have anything that you are particularly working with. The groups will be kept quite small so I can give you more dedicated time and we can really get to grips with as much knowledge as we can.

Yoga Pose Clinic number 1 is…Chaturanga!Chaturanga Continue reading

Smoothie No.2 – Spinach & Blackberry

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 Purple Smoothie No.1result 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.

Ingredients…

  • 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!
Cx

Smoothie No.1 – Kale, Strawberry, Avocado & Almond

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.

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L:A Bruket Organic Facials

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.

L:A Bruket productsOriginating 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.

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How To Keep Your Christmas Calm

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.

Calm Breath Open Heart Continue reading