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'It was a start of a journey for me...' - interview with Hannah

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'It was a start of a journey for me...' - interview with Hannah

On a snowy, stormy and extremely cold Friday afternoon we all arrived to Elie to discover that the house suffered a heating problem. Which meant NO HEATING on the coldest, most windy and awful day in Scottish history! We are talking horizontal rain with snow and all. We had a choice: stay and make the most of it or go. After a few organisational changes, purchasing an extensive amount of portable heathers (thank you B&Q Leven), Phil bringing more heaters from the studio and a delicious dinner at Ship Inn in Elie, we settled in for the night. 

Five incredible women remained with us through that experience and we have had one of the most transformative and exceptional retreats. The heating was restored the next day, but not until Debbie made soup from scratch in the oven (another blog just on that coming soon).

Today we cough up with Hannah who came to the retreat and this is what she thought of it.

What was your favourite thing about the retreat and why? 

I don’t know if could choose my favourite part as each and every minute was my favourite part for different reasons. Probably cosying up by the fire and doing the relaxing yoga before bed and having the best nights sleep I’d had in months. I also loved how amazing everyone was. We were all very different but all got on so well. We all felt so looked after and nurtured by both Daria and Debbie.

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What did you think about the accommodation?

The accommodation was gorgeous. Homely and cosy but modern and luxurious. It was the most lovely place to relax and I was surprised at how at home we all felt. The beds were so comfy too and it was so nice to have a relaxing bath.

Was yoga THIS scary?

None of it was scary. There were parts which were out of my comfort zone but in a positive way. I felt I was able to be encouraged in a positive way which made me feel I had achieved. It was so satisfying and empowering!

How did you feel?

I’ve never felt so relaxed. It brought lots of emotions to the surface and made me realise the issues within my life and what I wanted to change. It gave me a positive outlook and a way to make positive changes. I felt connected with everybody there and it didn’t matter about age, lifestyle or our individual reasons for going on the retreat in the first place.

What did you think of the food? How yummy was it?

The food was AMAZING! There was plenty of it and each dish was so tasty and filling. It was so nice to have such fresh, nourishing but yummy food which catered to everyone’s needs.

What did you learn? Was it an inspirational experience ?

I learnt a lot about myself, about my life, my job, my friendships, my family, my exercise routine, my eating and what I wanted to change as well as small changes to make to achieve this. It was VERY inspirational and the start of a journey for me. My friends, family and colleagues all noticed the difference in me after the retreat. This also made me LOVE yoga even though I was a beginner and didn’t think I had time for it before.

Retreats are not just holidays... they transform lives.

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YOU MATTER

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YOU MATTER

Here’s the thing NON-yogis 🔻You don’t need a yoga body to do a yoga retreat. If you have a body (and I hope you do) and you come to a yoga class -then you already have a yoga body. 🔻you don’t need most bum firming, expensive and fashionable pants. But something that is stretchy and doesn’t have a hole in your crotch and you are set 🔻you don’t need a buddy to go with you, you will be fine! Seriously, none needs to hold your hand, we will do it and it will be the most caring hug you have ever had. Alone you will have the freedom to air your mind and connect with people - and guess what - like-minded folk normally attract one another and chances are, you will be lying in savasana next to someone who has gone or is going thru the same thing.

Stop overthinking something that is so simple - YOU MATTER!

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I am sorry ... but tell me why do we feel the need to apologize so much?

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I am sorry ... but tell me why do we feel the need to apologize so much?

How often do you say ‘I’m sorry’? 

It is probably the most over-used word in the United Kingdom: whether you are sorry about the weather or sorry because someone else has bumped into you. 

Notice how often do you say ‘sorry’ and why? Saying sorry too much can trivialise the act of apology, making the important ones carry less weight. Why not save it for when you really need it, and mean it. 

There is a lot of expert advice around the ‘sorry syndrome’. It stems from a sense of insecurity, and it is also said that women, more than men, will often apologise for things they do not need to or start a question with 'sorry' so they do not seem too demanding. In a lot of cases low self-esteem can be a big reason that people say 'sorry' so much. Think about it, how often when you say 'sorry' in unnecessary situations are you in fact avoiding eye contact and just trying to get out of a situation where you have made it awkward or someone else has. 

Start now by using different words to get the submissive, powerless behavior out of our system. Instead of saying, “sorry for talking too much” you can say, “thank you for listening.” Instead of saying “sorry” when you move past someone on the street, you can say “thank you for making room.” At the studio or retreats we ask students to say ‘sexy’ instead of ‘sorry’ as it’s so much better and worthwhile to be sexy rather than constantly sorry for not other reason than devaluing your own worth. 

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Banana Coconut Flapjack Heaven

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Banana Coconut Flapjack Heaven

One beautiful day Debbie though she will clear her seed cupboard....as a result we got most delicious flapjacks ever!

ingredients you will need:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 4 tablespoons honey/agave syrup (ideally syrup - leave bees be)
  • 4 tablespoons nut butter of your choice
  • 200g oats
  • 100g raisins or dried cranberries
  • 75g shredded coconut
  • handful sunflower seeds
  • handful pumpkin seeds
  • 50g chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted
  • toasted coconut flakes


Pre-heat the oven 200c (fan oven 180c)

First peel the bananas and mash them in a large mixing bowl. Add the honey and nut butter or your choice and mix well. Now add all the dry ingredients and lastly the coconut oil. Mix well and spread in a greased and lined 20cm square brownie tin. Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin before cutting into 16 squares.

Tell us how did you like yours? info@wandertreat.com 

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Roasted beetroot hummus

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Roasted beetroot hummus

Beetroot not only tastes amazing, but also has amazing health benefits. It’s high in vitamin C, is fibre rich and contains minerals such as potassium and magnesium.

The wonderful bright pink colour makes it look so appealing on your plate - colourful foods look so much more appetising!

If you have a hand blender or food processor you’ll be able to make this hummus easily and very quickly. You can still make it without a blender, but it will take a little longer to mash and it will have a thicker consistency.

What you will need:

  • 1 medium roasted beetroot peeled
  • Can chickpeas drained
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large garlic clove crushed
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend mixture until smooth.

Delicious on toasted rye or sourdough, also yummy served with a salad of your choice. I love to top with chopped walnuts!

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Cashew butter turmeric chai yumminess

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Cashew butter turmeric chai yumminess

We all have our go-to-remedies and one of my favourites is turmeric! This immune-boosting remedy is one of the world’s most powerful natural healers. Its active ingredient - curcumin, has been known for centuries to have extremely potent medicinal properties.

This Turmeric Chai Tea is an easy and nourishing morning beverage. The tea gently wakes you up, turmeric coats your body in protective cloak and the ritual of drinking a slowly and purposefully made drink is a perfect morning elixir bringing mindfulness to the day.

Allowing yourself to slowly drink the tea while setting your intent for the day feels amazing. Maybe you can even squeez in a little bit of yoga? 

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Cashew Butter Turmeric Chai

  • 1 cup of hot water (let it cool a little bit before you put it into your nutribullet) 
  • 1 tea bag of your favourite chai tea
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Sometimes I add a couple of black peppercorns but not always
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • I don’t like it sweet but if you find it too blunt then I suggest 1/2 tsp of agave syrup or a banana

Place your chai tea in a mug with hot water and let it brew for 3-5 minutes. Add all ingredients to nutribullet and blend max 2 minutes. It will quickly turn smooth and frothy.

Enjoy with a smile. 

**Version with non-dairy milk

Heat your favourite non-dairy milk (mine is almond) in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to steam. Remove from the heat, add in the teabags and cover with a lid. Let steep for 5 minutes.

Remove the tea bags and place the milk into your nutribullet with the other ingredients. Mix for 1min and voila!

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Your habits aren't your destiny

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Your habits aren't your destiny

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
— Albert Einstein

Most of us will admit to having a habit or two. You may even admit to having more than that. How often have you heard someone referring to you as a 'creature of habit'? Like it or not, as humans we ARE ALL creatures of habit. However, whether those habits are good or bad for us—and whether those habits are completely unconscious or purposely planned is largely within our control. Learning what habits are and how they are created is an important step in creating a happy and meaningful life. ⠀

According to a Charles Duhigg - 'habits aren't destiny, even once they are rooted in our minds. We can choose our habits, once we know how'. 

All habits can be ignored, changed or replaced. But the only way to do it is to really understand the habit loop. Duhigg talks about three-step loop:

  1. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use.
  2. Then there is the routine, which can be physical, mental or emotional.
  3. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.

Over time, this loop: cue, routine, reward, cue, routine, reward... - becomes more and more automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation and craving emerges.

When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. Therefore, unless you find new routines — the pattern will unfold automatically.

Habits are not the bad guy!! We think they are, but a good, nurturing and loving habit can be extremely beneficial. They fulfil a very important role in our lives. However, if follow the usual automatic processes of our lives without taking the time and energy to analyze between those that serve us, and those that work against us—we are slaves to our habits. ⠀

So set new habitual routines that help us to create the kind of life we say we want to live. Habits then, become our friend and lead to living happier and more meaningful life.

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Handstand pictures by Siobhan Diamond Photography

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Let’s celebrate us!

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Let’s celebrate us!

Today is the International Women’s Day.  It has been set up to celebrate and promote hallmarks and achievements of women worldwide: social, economic, cultural or political. To me it also celebrates female energy and its qualities: feminine strength, beauty, power, wisdom and intuition! 

Politically and economically most of westernised world was built on masculine energy. And in this male dominate world it’s easy to forget yourself, and turn off those magical female qualities to try to fit in with the current standards or the speed of life. 

If you are feeling a little disconnected, frazzled maybe even numb, use this day to turn things on again! To lit more fire and embrace being the wonderful woman you are 🔥 

Celebrate your femininity by doing something for YOU that makes YOU feel like the badass, amazing, sexy and confident self. It could be anything, from applying the most scandalous red lipstick, to putting on those long forgotten skinny jeans and booking yourslef into a gig. 

In Hindu tradition we have Shakti, concept or personification of divine feminine power. It's responsible for creation but also is the agent of all change. Deep down we all embody a Goddess. We have the strength, passion and creativity. Life starts with us and we are constant changing and evolving. 

Whenever you feel like you need a wee boost of energy, just invoke your favourite Goddess! Tap into her qualities to sparkle up your own fire!

My latest favourite is Durga, the warrior Goddess, who is strong enough to combat evil and demonic forces that threaten peace, prosperity and good in the world. She is the fierce form of the protective mother goddess, willing to unleash her anger against wrong, violence for liberation and destruction to empower creation. You can’t mess with Durga! She is an absolute and ultimate badass! 

Following embracing your Goddess fire, remember to do something that nourishes you EVERY DAY.  Something that fills your energy levels up.  Your ‘me time’ is the time when you can be honest with yourself about your challenges, hopes and hurts. It’s not time to judge, it’s the time to acknowledge and nurture. Keep it real, this is all part of being alive. 

There is no better feeling that being a woman! To tap into your own majestic energy. So go ahead just tune in, you will love what you hear. 

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Photographs by another strong and fierce woman: Siobhan Diamond Photography

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Most yummy retreat!

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Most yummy retreat!

Debbie if our amazing food magician. She can flick her fingers and create most delicious, full of flavour and colours dishes. Let's see what she thinks about a yoga retreat...

What was your favourite thing and why?

I have so many amazing memories from my first yoga retreat I co-hosted last September in Elie. Relaxing with the guests in the lounge on arrival I knew instantly we were in for a great weekend. There were so many amazing things we enjoyed together full of fun and laughter. From having photographs taken on a sunny day in the beautiful grounds to having more photographs taken the next day doing crazy yoga poses with a group of amazing women holding me up in splits! Whilst preparing lunch throwing my apron off and a second later heading off to the beach for a walk with everyone, as we had collectively decided getting out in the fresh air was what we needed and lunch could happen 2 hours later! Sleeping on the top bunk for the first time in around 45 years because my roommate was scared of heights! Making connections and new friendships. Switching off from technology because the phone signal was rubbish!

What inspired your food?

I’ve always loved cooking ever since I was a teenager. Today my cooking is inspired by my desire to take care of my body in the best way I can; this includes regular yoga practice, exercise classes and cooking foods from scratch using the best possible ingredients. Removing refined sugar and all processed foods from my diet have made such a difference to how I feel as well as my energy levels. I love experimenting with new healthy and wholesome ingredients and cook with lots of grains, pulses, seeds and nuts. I still bake cakes and treats, but much healthier versions! I gain so much pleasure from cooking and sharing what I have cooked with others, as well as showing how they can cook in this way too. My cooking is inspired by Ella Woodward (Deliciously Ella), Kimberly Parsons (The Yoga Kitchen) and Bear Grylls (Fuel for Life). A selection of my cookery books are always on hand for people to browse and chat with me about the recipes they may want to try.

Why do you love yoga retreats?

Yoga retreats are so special, offering an opportunity to truly relax and recharge your batteries. Everything is taken care of allowing you to switch off from the usual responsibilities and stresses and indulge in some well deserved me time. Spending the weekend with a small group of like minded people who engage, support and inspire one another can feel very uplifting and leave you feeling refreshed. There’s something unique, perhaps powerful even about the yoga and the yoga space when your mind and body are so relaxed. I often reflect on the yoga retreats I’ve attended and when I take myself back to the yoga and the yoga space I instantly feel comforted and relaxed.

Hosting a yoga retreat is special too...an honour and privilege to be able to nourish and care for those attending through my delicious food prepared with love.

Why Treescape was so unique and special?

Treescape really is a true home from home where you can instantly feel comfortable and relaxed. The house is spacious, but still small enough to feel cosy and offers a feeling of togetherness for the group. Everything you could ever need is right there with some special little luxuries too that make if feel even more indulgent, such as an area on the landing to chill and read a book! The kitchen met all my expectations and more, making it a fabulous space to busy myself preparing food. The grounds and garden area are so peaceful just to sit in and relax, enjoy some outdoor yoga or have a little wander to stretch your legs.

What did you think about the area?

The East Neuk of Fife offer fabulous walks along the Fife Costal Path and Elie itself boasts a gorgeous beach worth exploring whatever the weather. Walking around Elie gives a sense of being away from it all without having to travel too far from home. There are several little gift shops and coffee shops too, if like me you need real barista coffee to help you function at your best! The Ardross Farm shop is worth a visit as well as nearby Bowhouse whee they often have food festivals.

Temped? Visit our calendar and join us...

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Dare to be great!

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Dare to be great!

We are creatures of habits! We do things the same old way because it’s comfortable and feels safe. But the risk in staying inside our comfort zones is that it creates psychological and even physical barriers that can lead to limitations, really freakishly REAL limitations. 

Because we haven’t done anything unusual, scary, strong or new in a long time, we begin to think we can’t. We start telling ourselves that we can't, that it's impossible. Eventually we don't even feel worthy trying. 

We forget that there are 52 weeks in a year! That’s plenty of opportunity to schedule new ways to grow and test ourselves, to try something big or start small but get our bums out of this limiting comfort zone and vicious circle of 'I can't'. 

If you say ‘I can't, the bare truth is that you probably won’t ! If you say ‘I can’t, YET’ - you WILL. Today we all did something that is hard, scares us, is awkward, new, impossible, works in a different way. And we all succeeded as we showed up to an amazing class with Darren Guru Tait! 

.Thanks so much Darren! You are a true Handstand Guru. 

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Why yoga retreats are so god damn amazing

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Why yoga retreats are so god damn amazing

Does this ring a bell: 'I’ve been exhausted lately’, 'I’ve been just hanging in there riding the avalanche of my to-do list, running from one place to another and feeling constantly behind in a state of near overwhelm’? 

Then you say ‘no, I can not take time off’ and finally... ‘I will be fine’. 

You probably will be fine as each of you is strong and limitless in your actions. However, sometimes you just need a little help and encouragement to move past the annoying little slumps and simply recharge.

What if I told you that you actually CAN take time off. That your job is still going to be there when you come back. That your parents can take the kids for the weekend. That you have just spent £££ on sales, even more on make up, coffees and you purchased items not experiences or real rest.

So, in a moment of deep realisation you go ahead and book yourself into a yoga retreat...

Holy healthiness, peace and serenity here you come! Doesn’t this feel amazing?

Then you arrived to Barcelona and it’s warm and bright! Actual sunshine not just permanent gayness. Then you see our beautiful accommodation - specious, bright and full of natural warmth. Suddeny, everything feels so much lighter. Your body feels lighter.

You are greeted with a big bowl of yummy amazingness followed buy a restorative yoga making all the aches and pains go away! You go to bed with a happy belly and excited for the weekend ahead.

This is just the start. The next day you wake up naturally to a bright Spanish light, the smell of coffee and yoga! Yes morning yoga is not such a bad thing. It wakes you up slowly, and gets you moving in a way you have never thought is possible. Then you eat more yumminess and go exploring the city! And you know the day is going to be amazing as there is nothing better than more food, yoga, relaxation and a fun group of like-minded people. 

Finally, when you almost don’t remember any of the stress or tiredness that was present everyday for the past million years - you realise that the best is still to come - the Ancient Thermal Baths experience!

Oh my goodness, is it even possible to feel so relaxed? Yeah it really is! At the heart of Barcelona, there is a place where time does not exist. An old warehouse built at the end of the XVII century, turned into a temple to disconnect your mind and body from the surrounding reality. This is a space full of magic in which history and water provide you with a unique total relaxation experience.  A journey through sensations, by candlelight, smell of herbs and water, that consists of a tour at your own pace through the different baths at different temperatures.

C’mon! This could not get any better! So, get ready to start an unforgettable journey.

And this is why yoga retreats are so God damn amazing!

I, personally, always feel so filled-up, loved-up and restored afterwards. It doesn’t take that much to slowly shift back into feeling whole and good again but we rarely give ourselves the time and space to do it. 

Retreats are ALL about giving back to yourself. They’re all about honoring your needs and desires and creating the space where you can achieve that. 

Our retreat runs between 9-12 February and we have one more twin room and a single room left. Join us!

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Lovingkindness

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Lovingkindness

As the year ends, take time to find love in your heart not only for the people and beings around you but also for yourself.

Begin by finding a comfortable seated or lying position. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, filling your lungs with oxygen and feeling your body alive. Take a moment being aware of any thoughts or feelings you may be experiencing right now. Maybe your heart rate is high, maybe your breath is sharp and shallow. Maybe you feel stressed, disconnected and distracted. Just acknowledge how things are for you right now without the need to change anything. 

Slowly bring awareness to your body: feeling your feet…legs…hips…lower back and abdomen… upper back and chest…shoulders…arms…neck...head. Fell the movement of your breath, the actual sensations of breathing, reminding yourself that you are here, alive.

When you are ready, bring to your mind the image of a person from your past or present who makes you feel loved and safe. It could be a spouse or partner, parent or family member, mentor or close friend. Someone who has been or is good for you, help you to feel whole and at ease. Someone who cares for you. 

When this image you strong, when you feel that delightful warmth in your chest, image saying to this person:

May you be happy, healthy and whole

May you have love, warmth and affection

May you be protected from harm and pain

May you be free from fear and grief

May you be alive and joyful

May you be at ease, struggle free

You may want to add to this list. Feel free to use any words that resonate with you. Send all the loving messages you want. 

Take a few minutes to feel the love, to feel how wonderful it is to send good wishes someone who loves you so much. Allowing yourself to sense that loving connection between you and that person, and all the way from that person back to you. Noticing how it feels inside you.

Image that person seeing same wishes back to you:

May you be happy, healthy and whole

May you have love, warmth and affection

May you be protected from harm and pain

May you be free from fear and grief

May you be alive and joyful

May you be at ease, struggle free

Soak it all in. Let those feeling wash over you. Feeling his or hers unconditional love and caring for you, letting the feeling of love and safety grow in you. Knowing that there is nothing you need to do to deserve them. They are given freely, without a condition. 

Now see if you can have those wishes for yourself:

May I be happy, healthy and loved

May I be safe and protected

May I be alive and free

May I be at ease, struggle free

Just take a moment feeling that love. Knowing that it always starts with you and ends with you. See how much self love you need yourself. 

Keep this in your heart.

Remember that the circle that begun with the person you love the most and with yourself can be extended to include more people that you care for. Maybe your furry family, your neighbours, perhaps even someone who’s difficult for you right now. Maybe not the most difficult person in your life but some with whom you have lost your connection, maybe with someone for whom there’s been some sort of frustration or misunderstanding. You may remember that just like you, they want to be loved and they want to be at peace. You may realise that we are all so similar. 

Perhaps tell them:

Just as me, he/she wants to be loved

Just as me, he/she wants to be happy

He/she wants to be loved and to know his/her loved ones are safe and healthy

And if it feels possible, strong and secure perhaps saying:

May you be happy, healthy and whole

May you have love, warmth and affection

May you be protected from harm and pain

May you be free from fear and grief

May you be alive and joyful

May you be at ease, struggle free

You may stay here as long as you want. Extending the wishes to all people with whom you want to reconnect building love inside you. 

Once you feel ready to close this meditation, take some time to feel what's been generated through the practice. Even if there have been difficult and uncomfortable parts, know that every time you do it you generate more love. You increase your own sense of aliveness, of connection and of belonging. 

When you are ready, letting yourself feel again your physical presence, sensing your body from your feet up towards your head. Beginning to notice the movement of your breath. 

Carrying with you that sense of avileness and nourishments. 

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Love letter

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Love letter

Why exactly is it so hard to love who we are? The skin we live in? Why can’t we believe in all those self worth books, inspirational talks, yoga teachers telling us we are enough? Why can’t we accept our strengths but also weakness, limitations, bits of adipose or the way we move or speak? Why can’t we simply let the love that we have for others spread over ourselves too?

We try really hard to appear attractive, smart, kind, worthy and validate our actions for everything we do but we forget that no one can actually do a better job of being you than you. Over the years I have noticed that the reasons are different for each person but the ones that recur are:

  • all the negative experiences, comments and remarks stick like glue. We, as human beings are much more likely to remember and hold to the negatives said or done to us, than the positives. It gets even further and we ignore or completely forget all the positive evidence of our beauty, choosing to stick to the negatives.

  • we are also born into an environment that is based on the need for approval, which means that our primary focus IS approval, not self acceptance. We go out into the harsh world where our beauty is compared to others, and suddenly, our self loving thoughts have vanished. Then, we feel it’s wrong to love ourselves. It's shameful and narcissistic.

We have tendency to attach labels to everything we do, to how we look and perform, to others. Since we already do this, go and grab a bunch of post-it notes. Type a loving message on each page. What every comes to mind. It may feel a little bit odd at the beginning, so think about someone you love dearly, our partner, child, friend maybe even a pet. What would you like to tell them every day when you see them, what is that you love about them. Put it in this format ‘YOU ARE ….’

If you happen to live with someone, ask hem to stick one note every day on your bathroom mirror in the evening, just before going to bed. If you live by yourself, do it yourself and just go to bed after you have done it. 

How do you feel after a week, or even after the first morning when you wake up and this is the first thing you see? How does it feel when at the time of looking in the mirror you know you are enough. How does your life feels like when you don’t care about the aesthetics, pre-considered notions and you move to the place where you love exactly who you are right now?

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

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"Good" bacteria vs. "bad” bacteria - how antibiotics may not make you healthier

As a kid I was quite frail and prompt to being unwell. One cold followed another one, every allergy ended up with a cold and it all resulted in taking another antibiotic. Back in the 80s neither my mum nor even the doctors could see the connection between antibiotics and allergies or recurring colds. Even now my mum's first reaction to a sore throat is an antibiotic! I stopped it when I grew up old enough o say ’no' and now I am against even a simple painkiller but obviously the damage has already been done and now I pay for it with various allergies or infections.

Even now, when we are constantly being told to avoid taking unnecessary drugs and both immunologists and allergists have noted a dramatic increase in the prevalence of allergies linked to antibiotics, I still personally know a lot of people who religiously run to a GP for yet another perscription and wonder why they are constantly off sick.

Your immune system is the greatest defence against foreign invaders on the planet. It’s got its watch on 24/7 and it has the ability to remember harmful agents and how to destroy them. Much of the immune work is done in the intestinal tract. Antibiotics are designed to kill or halt the growth of bacteria. They don't target your white blood cells that we normally consider our immune system but the bacterial cells, which is a completely different thing. 

The difficulty is that antibiotics do not differentiate between "good" bacteria and "bad" bacteria, thus hey just kill all of them. The good bacteria living in your digestive tract helps to fight off bad bacteria, aids in digestion, nutrient absorption, and keeps yeast in its proper balance. The absence of "good" bacteria in your gut leaves you vulnerable to repopulation or mutation by "bad" bacteria, which can cause some serious problems and having the same allergy or cold coming back within a month. This is why you'll often be told to eat some yogurt when taking antibiotics, because it'll repopulate your gut with "good" bacteria.  

Since everything changes permanently after taking just one round of antibiotics, it takes years of targeted nutrition and probiotic therapies to recover a balance in the body (do you even consider this?).  

Next time, perhaps think twice before you get the prescription. See whether this is exactly what you need to become healthier?  

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A MAGICAL ELIXIR FOR CLEANSING

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A MAGICAL ELIXIR FOR CLEANSING

3 Easy Ways To Get Started

The greatest journeys start with a single step.  Here are 3 ways to start small and build it from there:

1) Put your phone on airplane mode an hour before going to bed

2) Turn your emails off around 8pm and don’t turn them on until you get to the work the next day

3) Spike up you digestion by drinking a beverage with lemon first thing in the morning, at least 30 min before breakfast. This will stimulate digestion and elimination. You can either drink a glass of warm water with ¼ to ½ of fresh lemon juice or prepare this:

Magical Elixir

Juice of ½ lemon or lime
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
Pinch cayenne
Small cup of warm water

Stir together, sip slowly then step out into the day!

Becoming more conscious of the habitual patterns that deplete your energy and build toxins in you body and mind will add new depth to the detoxification process and make it more successful.

Read more on MFML's website.

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Digital Detox

It’s true that the body has a very intelligent detoxification system built right inside us. But it’s also true that our bodies aren’t always up to the challenges we modern human beings throw its way. Our lifestyle exposes us to an increasingly complex environment, situations and emotions, so that detoxification systems must work overtime just to process the toxins we encounter everyday. It’s also true that January is when people start buying juicers and detox books! After Christmas and New Year are over and the reality kicks in, we know we need a proper cleanse. 

Check yoga and fitness studios around you, you will notice that each of them is writing about cleanse or detox. Which is great as this is what our bodies need post Christmas food explosion. However as I was writing my detox programme, it stroke me that we forget about one of the biggest toxins polluting our body and mind: phones!

Yes, owning the newest smartphone makes it more convenient, and yes it makes life easier! Period! You can keep in touch with people who matter and communicate with them regularly. It also occupies your mind when you are queuing in a shop, traffic, commuting and in general waiting and having to be patient and still. But do you even know how to be bored these days? Boredom can be a very creative place as this is the time when your mind can wander and create!

The richness of communication channels, ways to advance your learning and exploring via your phone is so immense it almost lefts as partially everywhere and fully nowhere. It puts on us the pressure and constant fear of 'missing out’. I often scroll Instagram at 11pm telling Phil that this is my way of checking what’s new in the world of yoga. I travel with all my friends to distant lands and studios, eat great food, do yoga but as a side effect I deprive myself from my precious sleep. Various studies have shown that smartphones have detrimental effect on your sleep and concentration. How can you sleep when your brain is trying to process all the pictures and information you’ve just accumulated. 

How often do you spend you holiday searching for wifi rather than observing and enjoying the moment? Or instead of listening to your partner’s story you scroll your Facebook. With technology where you can search any topic, google became a conversation killer. You no longer ask ‘how does this work’, you just go and google it rather than engaging in a conversation. Which is partially great as all this knowledge is as far as one click but it makes you more detached from your physical surroundings. As yoga teacher (and a yogi) I have spent years observing people’s postures. We are gradually moving from looking forward into people's eyes, to looking downward into our phone screens. This not only messes up the alignments of the spine vs. the head and closes the chest but also builds a barrier between other human beings, discouraging people to connect.

Ownership of a smartphone doesn’t make you a better or worse person. The act of numbing yourself and login out of life because it’s boring, painful or disappointing is something we all do regardless of technology. You are the very person responsible for your own actions and life. How about approaching your detox this year by adding a little technology detox. 

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Moon days vs inversions

'There has been a monumental conflict between inversions (or in some cases even yoga) and feminine menstruation for many years now. [..] But the bottom line is that yoga is full of contradictions, leaving each of us ultimately responsible for our own choices.' To read more please visit Movement for Modern Life website.

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'I'm strong to the finich, cause I eats me spinach'

As all Popeye fans know, whenever the sailor needs some extra strength, he simply downs a tin of spinach and instantly grows bulging biceps. That cartoon made even me eat this greasy, slimy veg that my mum used to put on my plate! Interestingly, at the end of 19th century, a German chemist Erich von Wolf correctly ascertained the amount of iron in spinach, but then, the poor man accidentally misplaced a decimal point: instead of recording that spinach had 3.5 milligrams of iron per 100-gram serving, he wrote that it had 35 milligrams. An here we have a fantastic but misleading cartoon boosting spinach-growing industry.

Today, many people around the world are iron deficient. Funny enough, back in Palaeolithic time, iron deficiency was probably uncommon as people used to eat animal muscle tissue, plants and lots of vit C (alas you probably would have been eaten by some wild animal at the age of 30 anyway). Too little iron can impair body functions, but most physical signs and symptoms do not show up unless iron deficiency (anaemia) occurs. Iron deficiency will make you feeling tired and weak, your performance will decrease and you will feel absolutely knackered at the end of the day. Maintaining body temperature will be an issue and your immune system will slow down so you will be catching every possible infection. But you can improve your iron status by changing your diet. 

What you need to know about iron is that the foods with high iron content aren’t necessarily the best sources of iron. By weight, soybeans have roughly twice the iron as beef. But only about 7% of the iron in soybeans is absorbed. Spinach, as we already know, is also high in iron, but less than 2% of the iron in cooked spinach is absorbed.

We have got two types of iron:

  • Heme iron is the most absorbed form of iron, and it’s found in shellfish, red meat, poultry, and fish. This one is absorbed two to three times more efficiently than iron from plants. 
  • Nonheme iron is found in plant foods, as well as in eggs, milk, and some meat. This one can be literally carried through the digestive tract unabsorbed (I know it sounds ugly, but this is one of the reasons why mom elephant would stick poop into it’s son’s mouth…I still love elephants, I really do:)

You can enhance iron absorption by adding vitamin C when eaten at the same meal. 

If you are taking supplements or trying to increase your iron intake you should definitely avoid:

  • drinking tea, wine or fizzy drinks within 30 - 45min of taking iron supplements or eating your iron based foods. So no diet-coke ladies!
  • leave 30 - 45min between the consumption of iron and milk (e.g. in cereal) and other diary products. Phytates in cereal can also inhibit iron absorption. 

Those of you who are currently really struggling with iron or are pregnant I would encourage to make bone broth (use good quality meat and slow cooker, cook for at least 5h), alternatively if meat is not part of your diet, then smoothies are a great idea too: just mix spinach, nuts (esp. sesame, pumpkin, almonds), avocado, orange maybe strawberry and kiwi.  I also recommend using this superfood powder: Green Superfood All Natural Drink Powder. Just add a spoon of this powder to your smoothie and in a few weeks you will notice that your hair and nails look so much better. 

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