Category Archives: Yoga

Can’t Blog – Busy Fermenting…..

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OK, so the title of this post may be a little of a contradiction. Considering a lot of ferments pretty much take care of themselves, it really isn’t a valid excuse for having uploaded zero posts in the past 5 months.

But it is the truth I’ve been busy… busy making plans, busy ticking stuff off the bucket list, busy fulfilling dreams… regrettably none of the ‘drafts’ I saved got finished (something not unusual for me), but I’m here right now, and that’s all that matters… right? Man, I’ll deal with the guilt of procrastination later. For now I’m here to share with the world my new found love and fascination… the art of fermentation.

When I used to hear the word ‘ferment’, I’d automatically think of bananas that have turned brown and mushy in the fruit bowl, or gone-off milk that’s been sat in the fridge for weeks, or how my teenage brother’s bedroom might smell, if I had a teenage brother.

When in reality, the process of fermenting food (and drinks) is an age-old practice, utilised by our ancestors as a means of keeping food stored and edible for months on end, especially through winter.

Not only that, the longer food ferments, the more the ‘good bacteria’ grows… good bacteria which when consumed, can actually work wonders for our guts and digestion. Everything from vegetables, fruit, tea, milk and seeds can be fermented. And let’s not forget those of us who regularly consume yogurt – this is simply cultured (fermented) dairy!

Fermentation works by natural bacteria feeding on the sugar and starch in the food, which creates lactic acid. This not only preserves the food, but also creates beneficial enzymes, Omega-3 fatty acids, b-vitamins and most importantly, a multitude of probiotics. The process also helps break down the food into a more easily digestible form.

We’ve probably all heard of ‘probiotics’, and how they can benefit our health. But most store-bought products and probiotic supplements contain substantially less probiotics than home-made versions (not surprisingly).

Admittedly, I’m really just a noob at all this culturing business. But I’ve been reading a LOT, and have dabbled in a few experiments for the past few months. And I can tell you, I have not been disappointed.

It all started when my yoga teacher gave me a sip of kombucha to try, and I was instantly hooked. My body knew straight away I was giving it something so nourishing, and it wanted more. I won’t go into it too much here (will pend for another post – no procrastination!), but it’s basically black tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Yes, it sounds gross, but the magic happens when they all come together to create a delicious, fizzy, detoxifying beverage. And the benefits are amazing. I call it my elixir of life.

Similarly, the first time I tried sauerkaut (simply shredded cabbage left to ferment in its own juices), my body heaved a sigh of relief, like it finally found what it had been waiting for in food. I could literally feel my gut grabbing and digesting with delight, like a party going off inside there. And it’s super easy to make! Now I have multiple jars of different sauerkraut, along with things like brocolli, kale, asparagus, beetroot and apple, all stewing in their own juicy goodness (my housemates think I’m a bit mental).

There’s no going back for me now; fermented foods are part of my healing path. And I urge anybody who feels they need a health boost, wants to cleanse and re-balance their digestive system or just feel (round about) one-hundred times better in themselves to give it a try.

There’s tons of information out there and I want to reassure you not to feel too overwhelmed by it – it really is a super simple process. Honest – just give it a Google, then give it a go!

Peace and love friends 🙂

 

6 reasons I fell in love with yoga

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Through daily practice, yoga has become my foundation for a healthy, happy life.

Just half an hour each morning sets me up with a fresh outlook and good intentions.

On top of that, my fitness levels and general physique have improved so much. And after a year and a half, I can connect my mind and body, and do things I never imagined I’d be strong enough for!

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So, just because the love has hit a deeper level recently, here are 6 reasons why I’ve fallen madly, head-over-knees in love with yoga:

  1. It clears the mind- if I’m feeling stressed, anxious or just generally down in the dumps, doing a few sun salutations or releasing some residual tension in certain areas of my body (such as the hips, where much of our past angst is stored), really helps clear that stuffy mind-fog. Sometimes, our amazing minds become so entrenched with thoughts (whether positive or negative), that it becomes overbearing and we need to just stop the flow for a while, to reset and regain some clarity.
  2. It tends to the body- physically speaking, yoga is a wonderful way to strengthen, tone and stretch our bodies, without even realising we’re doing it. Because much of the practice is so subtle- focusing on remaining calm, breathing mindfully and flowing through movements gently, it’s easy to forget we’re essentially getting a ‘workout’ the whole time. Then every few days you take a glance in the mirror and see some newly sculpted muscles here and there – awesome surprise!
  3. It reminds me how it feels to Be Alive- This feeling is so easy to forget. Too many times I’ve found myself stagnant, mooching on the sofa or playing video games for days on end, with no real activity. And the longer this goes on, the harder it is to pull yourself back. But once you do, even in that first downward dog of the day, a fire is ignited instantly and the energy flowing through your body reminds you of what it is to feel, what it is to be. And how wonderful it actually feels to be a living, breathing entity on this planet.
  4. You get back what you put in (and then some)- Like any healthy relationship, you reap the benefits when you invest the best part of yourself. Yoga has no expectations- all it asks is that you show up, and just be yourself. And in turn, the path will lead you to beautiful new places, inspiring new people and exciting new experiences.
  5. Anybody can do it- I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Every body is a yoga body. Fat or thin, tall or short, muscular or feeble. We can all reap the benefits of regular practice. Of course, every body is different and every body will adapt and grow in different ways, but the truth is yoga is not exclusive for just already-bendy dancers or skinny fitness freaks. Yoga will embrace you, whoever you are.
  6. It will never leave me…. Sure, I could leave yoga. I could roll up my mat and stop practicing for the next 6 months, become shrivelled and tight. But the philosophy of yoga and the lessons it brings won’t ever go- I’ll always remember to breathe in stressful situations. I’ll always be more aware of how individual muscles and body parts feel at different times. And I’ll always remember the mind-body connection that yoga and I chiselled together through dedication and commitment. We’ll always have that mutual love. And that I adore.

I’d love to see schools introduce yoga as part of Physical Education or maybe those odd, ‘Social Studies’ classes that encouraged even the nerdiest of kids to skive. This in turn would create the space and opportunity to learn mindfulness and stress-relief, throughout their education, which they then take with them to use later in life.

In fact, I’d just love to see everybody try it, period. Sure, some won’t be as taken as I was, and that’s fine. But just to experience it would create a newfound outlook, everybody can benefit from.

Maybe I’m being biased towards my love. But I believe in it so much, I’m even willing to share it with the world! Now that’s commitment.

Peace and love all.

Yoga and Life Lesson: remember to breathe!

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I’ve ‘suffered’ with a few ‘ailments’ over the past six months or so; such as hip pain/tightness and bruised knees, and as such forced to decrease the amount of exercise I do, including yoga.

Though I still practice yoga pretty much everyday (though with less intensity), I’ve missed classes etc, in order to not overdo anything. Now more recently, I’ve managed to bruise my left rib/breast bone quite badly, and have minimised even more the amount I’ve been practising.

But of course, there’s always a lesson in these things. And here I learned, I must try harder to breathe. All the time. I must be more mindful of how deep each breath is. Cos each stifling pain cutting through my swollen rib with even half a ‘real’ breath, reminds me every time that I never breathe properly. 

And here I am, 9 days later and the pain is far more bearable. I’m just trying my best not to forget how much it hurt.. so that every inhale is full and each exhale is finished, lungs depleted completely.

Each breathe should be felt. And then peace can pour through.

Since I began my yoga practise, I’ve known real breathing is the part I need to spend the most time on. Only now the universe has become bored of repeating itself, and instead chose to give me the lesson through physical pain. Well waydago universe, it’s working.

But it is kind of crazy, the way the body utilises breath; supplying the sacred heart with power to pump oxygen and life preserving/building nutrients around the body. 

Now time to embrace it, one inhale at a time, one exhale at a time…

Finding ‘blog balance’ between my 2 favourite things

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Lately I’ve been wondering why I share more food moments than yoga moments on my blog.

Like both are my main loves in life, but I guess the balance of ‘want’ and ‘need’ between the two is quite rocky at times.

Most of my days lately have been spent in the kitchen. I mean literally, if I have just an hour free time I’m back in there, looking to throw something together that will help me to get me through another day.

Yoga is a deeper experience, executed mostly by, and with, myself, in a sacred space I have devoted to the practice.

Don’t get me wrong- I still practice every single day. And to a degree this is because it’s something I ‘need’.. but it is also merely a ‘want’, from my body and mind.

Whereas food is comparatively a huge ‘need’, as clearly it’s needed for survival. Even more so now being vegan, I need to make sure I’m always a step ahead of the eating game, and that meals and snacks are prepared and on hand as and when they’re needed.

I suppose with yoga being somewhat of a ‘private’ practice (aside from when I attend classes), I’m less inclined to ‘share’ my experiences on my blog.

But I love to inspire, and I want as many people as possible to experience this wonderful practice. So I will try to incorporate more yoga posts.

Cooking has been one of my main ‘exercises’ of late, and I do want to inspire healthy eating too. Yet again we return to that issue of balance… something I am also working on👌.

Peace and love yogis, chefs and fellow humans. I love you all, unconditionally.

Avacado Green Smoothie for Extra Protein & Fibre

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What I love about smoothies is how experimental one can be with them. You can literally research the ingredients corresponding to the kind of health benefits you’re looking to achieve, throw them all into a blender and reap the good stuff.

This particular smoothie just came together through my need for extra fibre and protein. Avacados were of course my natural choice, being delicious and packed full of both of these; a medium sized avacado on average contains 17g of fibre and 7g of protein. Boom!

Romaine lettuce is also an excellent source of fibre (and somewhat underrated, being so cheap). Throw in some banana for added potassium and fibre, blueberries for extra antioxidants and radish (very random, but I also suffer with nasal congestion and they’re a perfect decongestant).

Finish it off with some spinach, which is great for iron, vitamins A, B2, C and K, and of course extra protein. And you’re left with a delicious, very powerful concoction. A real Warrior smoothie!

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Ingredients (makes approx 3-4 servings):

1-2 Avacados
2 handfuls spinach
1 head romaine lettuce
3 handfuls blueberries
2 bananas
8 radishes
Small glass fruit juice of your choice to sweeten (I used apple & pear) – not from concentrate
Juice of half a lime (stops the avacado turning brown)
Water

I of course always encourage experimentation.. these servings are a rough guide, and you can substitute any of the ingredients with something more suited to your own taste/ needs. This one actually turned out surprisingly sweet.

Good luck warriors, and may your body and mind be blessed with health!

Yo..

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Since beginning my yoga journey some twelve+ months ago, I’ve experienced a whole new level of Self. My inner being feels cleansed, I’m more aligned, and I have a much deeper sense of Oneness.

Every posture, from the simple yet delightful up-dog, to the muscle-tingling baby grasshopper (I’m yet to find my way to the more hardcore version; the daddy Grasshopper) takes me on a journey through the mind and body.

Becoming and being aware of one’s own physical structure, discovering the sensation of each muscle maybe for the first time, feeling the body, brings with it new self-inquiry, and a deeper understanding of what lies beyond. Whether warming up for the day, playing around after work to wind down, or just passing time, it seems there’s always something new to be had from practising yoga.

It also gives a wonderful head-start to a meditation session, placing you nicely into a relaxed and calm state, especially after a well-earned savasana. I’ve found myself in many a ‘surprise’ meditation right after yoga, where my body and mind fall right into place.

Aside from the spiritual side, there’s also the health benefits that are complimentary with a dedicated yoga regime; more energy, self-satisfaction, balanced chakras, reduced stress, increased happiness,  a strong physique. And I’m sure there are many more fellow practitioners/yogis  could claim.

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I personally recommend anybody who hasn’t, to give yoga a try. Don’t let age, weight or flexibility get in the way of your will – yoga is for every body, and after discovering it, everybody is for yoga 🙂

Peace and love.

Namaste.

Hi-gha, God

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Why do we look up when we address God?

Neck craned, spine poised,

Gazing up to the ceiling.. even into the sky

Is it because God is a, nay, THE ‘higher’ power?

 

[But God is within Us?]

 

Gaze into the sky again

Stare past the stars

Deep through the u-niverse

Into yourself. Look within.

 

[Pray with true intent]

[[Even in-a tent]]

 

Hands together, liberated harmony

Drawn close to our hearts

Feel the particles of love beaten

God truly never departs

 

 

 

Healthy Randdige

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This random porridge is a brilliant way to start a new day!

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This morning I was nourished by this delicious, random porridge concoction. I’m running low on a lot of food items so I threw in bits of what I had:

Porridge oats
Oat milk/water
Raw honey
Frozen raspberries
100% peanut butter (crunchy)

Hob on medium, heat everything together in a saucepan for 4-5 mins, or until excess liquid has gone. Mush raspberries a little with a spoon, to mix with the oats.

The peanut butter forms a slightly thick consistency on the spoon, but it’s still all good.

My energy levels were boosted all day and I got some extra protein from the peanuts. Plus it’s dairy free! Simple, tasty and nutritious. A class breakfast.

Luvviz

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Love is the most intense energy in the universe. It can throw us back and forth, hurling us in its hurricanous vortex, beating us side to side. And then it can take us in an opposing gentle touch, soothing us outwards, cradling us as we float peacefully in its enthralling midst.

Love can burn and it can soothe. But we can’t choose who we love. And that is never anybody’s fault, in any instance, no matter what circumstances that feeling may have grew of.

Though we can make decisions that direct us in the more likely direction of love, in the form we most desire. We can make moral choices, about the paths we take. Finding love in the most truest and faithful means is a love that cannot be compared. A love so honest, and real.

Waiting for love and looking for love are essentially one and the same, the only difference being that true love will find us when we stop looking for it.

I hold a lot of love right now. Some of which may be being returned to me, in different ways to what I might have imagined. Though I do believe it is of equal measure.

Love is extremely powerful, I suppose the most powerful energy in the universe. And I LOVE it.

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I also still hold a lot of love for this pancake. See how the chocolate melts in the middle?

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Raspberry, blueberry, golden syrup (naughty- I was on holiday) and melted chocolate.

Just fold and roll. Cut in half and voila.

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Wanna see it again? There you go. Man, I could eat that right now.

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Peace out lovers.

Why Did the Hens Cross the Mountain? Cos they were Brayve as cluck.

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Last weekend I stayed in Bray, Ireland for my friend’s ‘Hen Do’- three days of mad ‘girly’ partying stirred up with peaceful beach strolls and lung – busting island hikes.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend, made perfect by a combination of fantastic people, clean air and stunning views.

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Such deep, lucious, earthy colours, filling blankets of forest with dewy greens and the like, that invites you in with deep breath, like one giant, leafy hug. So refreshing and satisfying. Therapeutic for both the mind and body, and nutritious for the soul.

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Post – spiritual awakening, the end of each new trip I make now leaves me with a new sense of growth and wisdom. Like I’ve discovered another part of myself, within the new pastures I’ve tread. Even if I just go camping for a night- I feel renewed, of sorts.

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I’m so grateful for the experience in Bray. And the moment I emerged over the top of that mountain(esque hill), and it felt as if I’d risen over the horizon and sea itself… well, it was breathtaking, to say the least. More than exhilarating… it was nothing short of being on top of the world.

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If touring the Earth (or considering it), I’d highly recommend visiting the Irish coast when in Europe. It’s a beautiful country and one I’ll certainly never forget.

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"Freedom exists"

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