A Cooling Recipe for Summer
Try this tasty Cacao Smoothie Bowl
Since we’ve been having some proper summer weather recently (something that’s never guaranteed in the UK!), I’ve been enjoying having smoothie bowls for breakfast.
Inspired by @wellbeingsarah who posted a recipe on her Instagram I tried this cacao smoothie bowl and it has become a real favourite.
If you’d like to try this for yourself, then blend spinach, frozen banana, avocado, raw cacao power and milk (I used almond milk) together to your desired consistency. I’ve also added a greens power to mine or you could add a scoop of protein powder.
(The addition of frozen banana makes this very cooling which has been especially welcome on hot days!)
Complete your smoothie bowl with toppings of your choice and enjoy! 😀
Flow & Restore with Yoga Nidra at Create, Raynes Park – Wednesdays 12.30-13.45 from 3rd August
I’m excited to announce I will be teaching a new yoga class at Create starting this summer every Wednesday from 3rd August.
The first part of this beautifully balanced class guides you through a series of flowing yoga postures to develop strength and flexibility. The pace then slows for the second part of the class with a focus on restorative and yin poses allowing your body to release both physical and mental tension. This prepares the physical body for our closing Yoga Nidra practice – a guided meditation known to be a form of deep relaxation, allowing our bodies and minds some much needed rest. (Yoga Nidra, which translates as ‘yogic sleep’ has also been shown to help relieve stress and anxiety).
To visit the Create website click here.
Reclined Pigeon pose – also known as Eye of the Needle – is a fantastic post-run and cycling stretch and also a great Pigeon variation that is kinder on the knees than the more traditional version of Pigeon pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana).
As well as particularly targeting the hips, glutes and lower back this is also very helpful for stretching the IT band (illiotibial band), therefore improving your performance.
I found this pose and Legs Up The Wall especially helpful after running the Brighton Half Marathon in February this year. I had no soreness the next day. (NB – Click here for a Legs Up The Wall video where I show you how to get into the pose).
That said, even if you don’t run or cycle this pose can be of help if you spend a lot of time sitting – I imagine that includes most of us! 🙂
Reclined Pigeon can also be good for easing sciatic pain. Speaking from my own experience of sciatic pain due to having spondylolisthesis I have found this pose to be incredibly beneficial.
Aim to hold this stretch for at least 5 breaths but ideally longer. Work up to holding this stretch for 3-5 minutes on each side.
In this short video filmed at evolve, I show you how to get into Reclined Pigeon.
(Thanks to <a href="http://www.urbanlucy.com/" title="www.urbanlucy find more info.com” target=”_blank”>Urban Lucy for the comfy Beyond Yoga outfit I’m wearing in this video!)
Time flies when you’re taking Savasana. The more you practice, the truer this becomes! At least, this is what my experience has been so far.
Back in September 2014 I embarked on a 365 day Savasana practice. The aim – to practice for Savasana for 20 minutes each day. I did not know what to expect. But I knew I had to do something about taking out some time for myself each day as well as address my difficulty with allowing myself to be still (without that guilty feeling that there was something else I should be getting done instead!).
I find it hard to believe six months have already passed. Some days my twenty minutes has extended into thirty minutes and it feels like no time at all. I notice patterns depending on how I am feeling. For instance, when I have been working long hours or feeling more stressed there is a high chance that I will fall asleep. Falling asleep during Savasana is not ideal, but it does tend to be a sign that I am exhausted. That said, the good thing about this is it gives me a clear signal to look again at my schedule and ask myself if I am filling my diary with anything unnecessary.
Most days, (when I am not falling asleep part-way through) my Savasana is when I meditate. So, my meditation practice has over the past six months shifted from sitting to lying down. Part of me did feel I was some how ‘cheating’ by meditating lying down. However, my mind was changed during my Yin Yoga intensive earlier this year with Norman Blair when Maitripusha Bois who led a meditation session with us talked about lying down meditation. There are also days when I listen to a guided meditation like this one from Tara Brach while in Savasana.
There are days when I have kicked myself for deciding to do this. Ah, 365 days of savasana sounded like such a good idea at the time! However, I am very happy to find (especially on the days where I think I don’t have time) that practising does not take time, it gives time. Always. I never think, “Ah, I shouldn’t have bothered with that Savasana.” As a consequence I feel overall more content and more determined to be less ‘busy’, that does not mean that I want to sit around doing nothing all day, but rather it has made me more aware of looking at how much of my time is spent doing things I want to do versus things I do not want or need to do.
Now I am just past the halfway-mark, I am already looking forward to the next six months.
For more on The 365 Savasana Project or to give it a try for yourself, please click here.
Saturday 4th April 3-5pm at Embody Wellness
Join me for an Introduction to Yin Yoga – a quiet, meditative, floor-based practice where poses are held for several minutes. With Yin Yoga, it’s all about softening and staying.
In this workshop you will experience some of the fundamental Yin postures and gain an understanding of some of the basic concepts and benefits of Yin Yoga including the characteristics of Yin and Yang nature and the value of a passive practice.
An ideal complement to more dynamic practices which emphasise the muscular “yang” tissues, Yin Yoga allows us to target the deeper “yin” tissues of our bodies. While Yin Yoga might appear easy, yin practice can be quite challenging due to the duration of the poses which are held anywhere from one to ten minutes. Holding the poses for an extended period stimulates the body’s energy pathways (meridians), and gently stretches our deep connective tissue, particularly in the hips, pelvis, and spine.
Benefits of this practice include the promotion of deep relaxation and improvement of flexibility and mobility. In addition, Yin Yoga encourages the cultivation of a calm state of mind.
Suitable for all levels except complete yoga beginners. Please click here to book.