Blog

Tag: wellbeing


8 WAYS TO LOVE YOUR ‘OTHER BRAIN’

8 WAYS TO LOVE YOUR ‘OTHER BRAIN’

Posted August 26, 2013

This is the first of the amazing guest posts that will be appearing on the blog while I’m away at the ONE Infinite Training Retreat. Please welcome Lee Holmes.  Lee recently won the BupaBlogAwards and rightly so. The work she does over at Supercharged Food is incredible. __________________________________________________________________________ I’m so excited at being asked by Claire to be a guest blogger for The Wellness Project. I love Claire’s blog  and find It full of rich content and inspiration. I’ve known Claire for a few years now and we both share a passion for wellness with deeply aligned philosophies when it comes to holistic health.  My book and blog, Supercharged Food helps people to make nutritious food and lifestyle choices; if you take a visit you’ll find healthy recipes, a shopping list, meal planner, cooking tips and wellness information. I hope you come and take a look and try out some of the recipes, here’s the address www.superchargedfood.com What I’d like to chat about this week is something that was at the very heart of my own healing from an auto-immune condition and a key aspect of my overall wellbeing.The importance of a healthy digestive system or “The other brain” as it is often referred to is the central point for effective functioning of other body systems. Did you know that serotonin is manufactured in the gut? And our enteric nervous system in our bellies goes far beyond just processing the food we eat. I would love to share with you my eight simple ways to improve your digestion and absorption. Not only is it important to eat healthy foods full of vitamins and minerals, but it’s also important to ensure your digestive system is able to take advantage of these foods through proper absorption. If you suffer from any kind of digestion stress – diarrhea, constipation, IBS, acid reflux or other disorders – you might want to try these tips to get yourself on the way to maintaining a healthy digestion. 1. Take probiotics Probiotics are a live microorganism that improve the balance of flora in the digestive system. For a healthy digestion these friendly bacteria are essential. They help prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria and are often depleted if you’ve been taking antibiotics or if you’ve had gastro. Probiotics can be found in some yogurts (check there is no added sugar), or taken as supplements. 2. Use more coconut products Coconut oil contains lauric acid – a proven antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal agent that is easily digested and absorbed. The antifungal aspect helps kill candida in the gut, which is a common problem for people with digestive stress. Plus, coconut helps absorb beneficial nutrients from our food. 3. Soak your nuts and grains When you soak your nuts and grains you are reducing toxic substances and inhibitors that occur naturally within the grain. For example, phytic acid (found in most nuts, seeds and grains), will combine with minerals such as calcium, zinc and magnesium and prevent them from being absorbed during digestion. Soaking neutralises this natural inhibitor. 4. Do an elimination diet If you find you experience adverse affects after eating a particular food, it might be worthwhile trying an elimination diet. Remove the suspected food or food group from your diet for anywhere between two weeks and two months and see if symptoms resolve. 5. Try bone broth Your digestive lining is supposed to be permeable to absorb nutrients. But for some people it can become too porous and let too much “leak” through without absorbing it properly. When this happens, your body can react, attacking the foods you eat. This can create IBS and other gut problems, even some autoimmune disorders. Bone broth contains gelatin which helps reinforce the lining of the gut and soothe digestive distress. 6. Drink less with meals Drinking a lot of fluid (even water) while you eat can dilute the level of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach. This acid is needed to help kill bacteria and digest your foods. It’s best to minimise the fluid you drink while eat and for at least an hour after you finish your meal. 7. Drink warm water and lemon Along with a delicious breakfast, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of starting the day with a cup of warm water with lemon. This alkaline drink will help jump start your metabolism and get your digestion moving. 8. Chew your food If you’re a mum or dad, you probably tell your kids this all the time: chew your food! Chewing is the first step in food digestion. Try not to rush through your meal, but allow yourself plenty of time to chew, chew, chew before you swallow. Hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for having me! Happy Cooking Lee xo Find Lee here: share: www.superchargedfood.com like: www.facebook.com/superchargedfood tweet: www.twitter.com/LeeSupercharged blog: supercharged1.wordpress.com link: www.linkedin.com/in/leesupercharged watch: www.youtube.com/leeholmes67 Read more

CAN’T SLEEP? BLISS OUT WITH SHIRODHARA

CAN’T SLEEP? BLISS OUT WITH SHIRODHARA

Posted December 17, 2012

One morning during my time in Goa, India, I woke in a very groggy state. I had barely slept the night before, missed my yoga practice and felt like a train had run over me. I realised that my first week in India had been emotional, exciting, intense and life-changing. I could tell I needed a day of silence. Seeing and speaking to no-one was the only remedy. Eventually I came out of hibernation and went for a walk. I paused outside an Ayurvedic centre and realised that a treatment was in order. I knew instantly what to choose – Shirodhara. Shirodhara is a treatment in Ayurvedic therapy originally developed in South India, in Kerala. Shira means head and Dhara means flow. This treatment involves oil gently poured over the forehead and third eye space – the Ajna Chakra. Different oils are used for different requirements and can range from coconut, sesame, almond, coconut water, buttermilk, water or jojoba. Shirodhara is such a simple treatment that can been used to treat a variety of conditions such as: Allergy Memory loss Colds Sinusitis Insomnia Anxiety Stress Psoriasis of the scalp Shirodhara is a unique and profound Ayurvedic treatment that especially acts to heal and address the psychological and spiritual aspects of a person. The steady, rhythmic pouring of oil that induces a deeply relaxing and blissful state of consciousness called ‘Turiya’ ~ the state of awareness that is neither fully conscious nor deep sleep. While in this Turiya state, we are able to fully let go, perhaps witness ourselves from an objective perspective and get some clarity! The brow and third eye center are linked to the endocrine glands (pituitary, pineal & hypothalamus), which regulate all hormonal secretions. These hormonal secretions are responsible not only for the autonomic responses which control digestion, breath, elimination but are also responsible for our moods and emotional states. The Shirodhara method helps our nervous system move into the parasympathetic mode – a calmer more restorative state. If anyone has ever been to one of my yoga classes you may have heard me talk often about this or the importance of tapping into this state regularly for our well-being as it allows the during the innate intelligence of our body to flourish, encouraging true balance within body, mind and soul. During my own treatment I flickered between clear moments of consciousness – awake and awake – to hazy phases of deep relaxation where my focus was internal towards an unidentifiable peaceful space. Here in Sydney I know that the Ayurvedic Wellness Centre offers the Shirodhara treatment. The centre will literally take you straight to India with its authenticity. Not to mention the abundance of traditional Ayurvedic treatments on offer, including access to an Ayurvedic Doctor. As a gift to you the Ayurvedic Wellness Centre are offering you lovely readers a 10% discount. All you need to do is quote The Wellness Project when booking. I’m still in a very slow mode after just returning from India, but I can see around me the flurry of the end-of-year madness. Christmas is close, the new year is nigh… my recommendation? Press pause. Treat yourself – mind, body and soul – and feel nourished and whole.I highly recommend Shirodhara especially if insomnia, stress, depression and anxiety are plaguing you at the moment Saha to you, Claire Read more

MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT3 – ACUPUNCTURE

MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT3 – ACUPUNCTURE

Posted October 26, 2012

With a small hamstring strain, lower back injury, shoulder strain and trying to fight the lurgy that was flying around I was keen to try something… anything! I remembered my osteo had previously told me about this fantastic organisation – Experienced Community Acupuncture – who provide 1 hour treatments for $25 with experienced acupuncturists. Experienced Community Acupuncture (ECA) is passionate about making acupuncture accessible to the general public. And I think that is a noble thing to do. My dad used to suffer from severe back pain after spending hours, alone all day at work, lifting and carrying heavy boxes. Acupuncture was the only thing that made a difference for him – but the cost of it was often a boundary. ECA moves to different suburbs throughout the week making it even more accessible and at $25 a pop, what do you have to lose? Well, that’s what I thought… and I lost nothing. In fact, I gained an education into Chinese Medicine and it certainly helped to alleviate the pain in my body. The needles didn’t necessarily hurt as they were inserted but I was told that there were quite strong blockages in certain areas due to the intensity of the ‘ache’ I would feel during some of the sessions. Particularly with anything related to my back. I’m looking forward to going again to see if these have cleared. To bring to life acupuncture a little more Ray Ford from ECA has kindly answered a few questions which I hope will give you a clearer picture. What is acupuncture? The word acupuncture can be divided into two parts “acu” which means needle and puncture. Therefore acupuncture is the insertion of the tips of very fine sterile needles into the body at strategic sites. What is qi and meridian channels? Qi is the vital force that flows in the channels/meridians and enervates the body it is also translated as “vapor” suggesting an essence derived from food which supports, sustains and nourishes the body. The channels OR meridians are energetic pathways that flow in set patterns within the human organism. The Chinese have identified and mapped the meridians for at least two thousand years.  How do these affect our day to day lives? Qi travels in the 12 main channels and does one complete cycle every 24 hours. Each channel has a high energetic “tide” of 2 hours.When there are problems, blockages or deficiencies it will often show up in the body at the time appropriate to the channel or organ involved.It may also show up in the opposite 12 hour period.An example is that people with a Liver disharmony often wake up between 1-3 am which is the high point of the Liver energy.  Can you describe an acupuncture session An acupuncture session involves the practitioner listening to the patient, looking at signs such as complexion and asking about symptoms. The pulse is taken to assess disharmony and where it may be located, the tongue is observed to reveal the condition of the digestive and inner organs. The abdomen or other parts of the body may be palpated to check for restriction or tenderness.  After this, a diagnosis can be made and acupuncture points will be chosen that are known to balance the particular imbalance/pain/injury that is present. As acupuncture stimulates the body’s internal regulatory system, acupuncture points can stimulate a natural healing response without directly having to treat the site on an injury or imbalance. This is why points may be far away from the area involved in the injury /illness. Why the use of needles? What effect does this actually have. Needles are use because they are metal which have the effect of conducting the energy in the body, redirecting or unblocking it. Acupuncture has an advantage over manual systems that do not use needles in that with acupuncture we can combine several points at the same time. How can someone be sure that their practitioner is good? Practitioners must be a member of a recognized association that has standards of competency. The public are entitled to ask the practitioner about their experience and qualifications so they can make an informed decision. This may also be on their website if they have one, in other words look into a practitioners education,qualifications and experience. Acupuncture is an acquired skill taking years to refine. Reading the classics or pulse diagnosis take time, dedication and application to master. By application I mean having the experience of actually performing many thousands of treatments to gain experience, this cannot be fudged, there are no short cuts. Are there any risks? In the hands of competent experienced and well trained practitioners acupuncture is a very safe procedure. What are some of the results you have witnessed yourself? I have witnessed breech babies turning many times. Prolapsed lumbar discs which were said to need surgery have moved back into place after acupuncture verified with MRI. Completely healing debilitating migraine headaches in some patients some of whom had been suffering for more than 20 years Many cases of “infertility”  in women and men as diagnosed by western medicine have been “reversed” with acupuncture and resulted in numerous healthy children over the years. Immune system disorders and allergies helped significantly Debilitating neck, back, shoulder pain completely removed. What is the history of acupuncture? The History of Chinese Medicine in general goes back at least 4000 years and even as far back as the mythological Xia Dynasty. I think it is such as vast subject that cannot be answered in a question and answer format such as this. I think if I did that most of your readers would be asleep or in a deep trance. Some people have taken four years and obtained a PHD and only slightly answered this question so you can see its a very big topic. (I suggest a google search if you are keen to know more!) Learning how to surrender with needles in you was a task in itself, but long […] Read more

MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT 2 – KINESIOLOGY

MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT 2 – KINESIOLOGY

Posted October 19, 2012

So, during my little experiment in surrender I made sure I explored other modalities of healing – partly to give me something to put my energy into but also because I’d finally gotten serious about my healing. First stop, Kinesiology. Before I go any further, let me tell you that even I was a little unsure/cynical about kinesiology. But when you are in a session it’s hard to deny the clear messages your body is sending. By my second session I felt light, floaty even. Like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I have felt less anxious and stressed and my physical injuries have improved. I discovered some surprising, but profound things during my kinesiology sessiosn: On some deep level I didn’t believe in my own achievements nor did I feel proud of myself. Let me tell you – I should, I’ve worked hard and achieved alot. But still, I had this core belief inside of me that needed shifting. And shift it did. I was also sabotaging myself. Huh? Why, do we do this to ourselves. FEAR. Always, fear. And again, kinesiology has helped me accept and shift it too. So, let’s take a look at Kinesiology – even the word is weird. I was going to detail, blow-by-blow my experience, but instead I’ve asked a professional to help. Let’s face it, this one is very complex and deserves to be explained properly! I had my Kinesiologist, the lovely Kimberley Pipe, answer a few questions for you. Her explanations do it much better justice than what I would. __________________________________________________________________________________________ Can you explain what Kinesiology is in a way that everyone can understand? Kinesiology is a method using muscle feedback and body awareness that can clear blockages in your body and help to reduce stress and pain, improving performance in all areas of your life, promoting good health and well-being. Kinesiology uses the chi energy flow around the body, which flows through meridians.  Muscles are indicators for these meridians. Kinesiology works with this energy and taps into the body to allow it to heal itself. Our body has it’s own innate healing ability! Why do you believe in it – what have you witnessed during sessions? I have had Kinesiology sessions for 12 years and it has changed my life. Kinesiology really resonates with me because it deals with all aspects of our lives – emotional, physical and nutrition and the results I get never cease to amaze and inspire me. The reason I believe in Kinesiology is because I can see how the body reacts using different testing on different areas of the body – particularly when you are also thinking different things. Because I can also show the client this, there is something visible you can see and measure. I have had sessions with clients where they have completely transformed their lives.  I have one client who achieved everything she set out to do at her first session. I went to see her perform and she told me I had such a huge part in her success. What are the benefits of kinesiology? And who can benefit from it? The benefits of Kinesiology is that it can heal any aspect of your body and mind. Whether it is emotional, physical or biochemical (nutrition). Kinesiology can help you shift old patterns, which may be holding you back, to allow you to create the life you want to live, and achieve what it is you want to in life. Kinesiology is for any layperson. It is individual to the client’s problems, issues, blocks and life experiences. How did you become a kinesiologist and why? I first stumbled across Kinesiology in 2003, in my hometown of Auckland, New Zealand.  I thought that it was the most beneficial and effective modality I had experienced. Moving to the UK shortly after, I took the opportunity to really immerse myself in this healing art, and in so doing, discovered a valuable and effective tool for dealing with issues. Continuing in my personal development, and working closely with other Kinesiologists I realised that I, too, had a drive to help people achieve the most out of their life, by helping them to overcome obstacles and trauma. I have my Certificate IV and Diploma in Kinesiology and studied at the Australasian College of Kinesiology Mastery. Alot of people think it’s a bunch of voodoo how would you convince someone of the power of kinesiology? The role of the Kinesiologist is to act as the mediator when there is a breakdown in communication between the body and the mind. I would show them an example of muscle testing, which is evidence in itself and nothing beats an actual session. Anything else you want to add? Since I became a full time Kinesiologist I have not looked back. Every day I get to see the power of people and the amazing doors that Kinesiology helps open. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ So, what do you think? Are you intrigued by Kinesiology? Or have you already experienced amazing results? I would love to hear your thoughts and get a different perspective or learn from your experience. Saha to you, Claire x Read more

THE SURRENDER EXPERIMENT

THE SURRENDER EXPERIMENT

Posted October 17, 2012

This year has been a big year. I left my old career to dedicate myself full-time to yoga teaching and The Wellness Project. It’s been exciting, eventful, challenging and so rewarding. But it hasn’t always been rosy. This year my body has been put through it’s paces through a number of small injuries. Nothing major and I’m not moaning about it at all  – I can still walk, run, practice yoga and live a normal life. However, as a yoga teacher and dedicated practitioner it most certainly has got me down. Feeling limited by my own body has been difficult to say the least. Recently, just as my body was starting to heal I sustained another minor injury. After taking off 4 days from yoga I went back to practice only to realise this new injury was much worse than I had realised. I spent most of the practice modifying and skipping out poses to the point where I was fighting back tears. My favourite motto ‘it’s only a problem if you object to it’ was really testing me that morning. It was a problem, I was objecting to it. It got me thinking and questioning … why am I creating a problem out of this? Why was I crying? Why am I so attached to the asana, to the poses? Isn’t my yoga practice everywhere, in every moment of my day? Isn’t it so much more than the shapes – there is the breath, the way it creates space for me to let go and be me, to feel alive and connected. The lessons that I take off my mat – isn’t that what yoga is about? Ahh… the lessons. Light-bulb moment. It had become apparent to me that our idea of who we are, how we live our lives, the way we react, respond, participate, think, feel be… it’s all challenged when someone challenging happens. There is a saying in arabic that basically implies that you don’t really know a person until you scratch the surface. Well, my surface has been scratched – scraped and cut-up. And, I was starting to realise that if I want to live my life the way I ‘talk’ about it, well then these injuries were here to test my resolve. That test came about when my teacher advised me to take a few weeks off. “Go home” she said. “Set-up your yoga space with candles and soft light and every morning move your body as it asks you, not as you think it should. Forget about the (ashtanga) sequence. Just move in a way that feels right”. Wise, wise words. And ones I’m sure I’ve given to my students before. It’s funny how we don’t heed our own advice… And that’s where I have been for the last few weeks. At home. I didn’t get up, dress and drive straight to yoga. I rolled out of bed, meditated, drank tea, and then rolled out my mat. I dimmed the lights and I moved. No, in fact, I breathed through my life. I let my breath guide me and then I did whatever I felt like. Sometimes that was a long, long sirsasana (headstand). Other times a few gentle salutes and standing poses. Mostly I went back to my iyengar days and propped, bolstered and cushioned myself. I held restorative poses forever and moved deeper into dynamic postures without the intensity. What did I discover? My life didn’t fall apart because I didn’t go to yoga. My body, although it craved the deep opening and release it is normally used to, thanked me for pulling back. I also gained time – not doing a 2-hour practice really gave me the chance to do so many other things I normally don’t have the time for. The biggest lesson? My attitude towards my injuries are slowly changing. Instead of seeing them as a barricade to my practice and progression I’m seeing them more as a very loud and clear message about something deeper, energetically, happening within me. Which led me to a journey of experimentation with deep energetic healing. I realised during my time ‘off’ that I was (still am) dealing with some emotional blocks. What’s a girl to do when green juice is not the answer? (I know, shock! horror!) Well, I booked into Reiki, Acupuncture, Kinesiology and Massage sessions (yep, it was an expensive few weeks!). Something was telling me I needed to use this time to tap into my body and move through its deeper layers. I discovered alot. But really, I already knew it, I just wasn’t hearing it clearly. Over the next coming posts I’m going to share information with you on kinesiology, acupuncture and reiki… because holistic wellness is just as much about your energy as it is your body, breath, nutrition and lifestyle. I would love to hear your experiences with these healing modalities, or your thoughts on them even if you haven’t Saha to you, Claire * image: http://piccsy.com/2012/04/picc-abhqd2xs8/ Read more

7 THINGS NOT TO DO IN A YOGA CLASS

7 THINGS NOT TO DO IN A YOGA CLASS

Posted June 25, 2012

This list of no-nos is most certainly shared by fellow yogis and teachers alike. Now, let me just say this is not to scare you out of yoga, in fact, I’m always trying to do the opposite (it’s taken me 5 years but my fiance has finally caved and started practising!) but, some things just need to be cleared up for seasoned and new yogis. Yoga classes are unique in that you are sharing space with the people around you, but really, it is a very personal and private experience. One that allows the individual to explore their own body and breath in their own way. That being said, because you are sharing space it’s important to find the balance between interacting with others, respectfully, and understanding the kind of space you are in. It’s not a gym, boot camp or a social situation. These 7 essential tips are mostly from my years as a student and perhaps a few from my teaching. Etiquette or the rules of polite conduct are just as important on the mat as off. 1) Be on time. Yes, it’s a personal practice but if you run late you disturb everyone else in the class (including the teacher). And you miss out on the benefits of the early warm-up and relaxation 2) Watch where you step. Nothing used to irk me more than fellow students walking on my mat as they crossed the studio. Your mat is your home for however long the class goes for. You wouldn’t want someone trudging all over your home, would you? 3)Mobile phones off. Silence and moving the attention inward is really, really hard when someone’s mobile phone is ringing, beeping or vibrating. Not to mention as a teacher it does throw you off your focus. 4) Mind your manners. With all that deep breathing, a yoga class is not the place where you should be coughing and sneezing without covering your mouth. Simple manners really – just be mindful that your fellow yogis are happy to share their energy with you, but not your germs. 5) Keep it down. If you enter a studio and there are already a number of people set-up in a relaxtion postures, fight the urge to gossip and talk loudly amongst your friends. It’s fantastic that yoga brings people together and creates a community but you never know why someone has come to class that day – that might really need some quiet space. And, would it kill you to talk a little less? 6) Less is best. In confined spaces breathing in strong perfume whilst trying to balance on your head isn’t much fun. If you can, avoid strong scents (perfumes, body products etc) as some people find it really difficult to breath freely without irritation. 7) Stay awhile. Nothing is more frustrating than almost slipping off to a deep, quiet space during savasana (corpse pose/relaxation) than being disturbed by a fellow yogi, unable to settle for 3 minutes, jumping up and leaving class early. Yoga is about finding comfort in the uncomfortable, so yes, if it happens try not to be distracted. But, for those that are serial savasana-skippers, if you can avoid it, stay awhile. It’ll go faster than you think and before you know it, class will be over. Oh and it’s a tad disrespectful to the teacher who has shared their energy and knowledge during the class to have you skadaddle because you can’t WAIT to run off to work/breakfast/life. I hope that doesn’t deter you, but instead make you feel clear on the best behaviour in a yoga class. Hope to see you on the mat soon! Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live. Claire x Read more

YUMMY COCONUT, CACAO + CASHEW SQUARES

YUMMY COCONUT, CACAO + CASHEW SQUARES

Posted June 22, 2012

These make for a delicious treat, after dinner sweet hit, running out the door snack… anything really! You can play around with the ingredients to make them more cacao flavoured, or more tahini, nut flavoured! Eat and enjoy! Ingredients: 1 cup Cashews 2 tbls Cacao 2 tbls Coconut Oil 2- 3 Medjool Dates 2 – 3 tbls Date juice 1/2 cup Organic Dessicated Coconut  1/4 cup sesame seeds 1 tbls Coconut Crunch 1 tbls Chia Seeds 1 tbls Tahini Method Blend cashews and coconut oil first until soft. Add in dates, date juice, cacao. Blend again. Next add in chia seeds, coconut crunch and tahini blend again. At this stage test the consistency. If it’s too sticky (hard to shape) then add in more cacao or coconut crunch. When you get the right consistency (sticky but not too goopy) spread dessicated coconut and sesame seeds on a plate. Take 1 spoon of the mixture and quickly shape into a ball. Next, roll it in the coconut and begin to shape into little squares. Once you’ve finished them all lay on baking paper in tupperware and place in the freezer. Ready to eat when you are! YUM. Signing off with an exhale. Pause. Listen. Live. Claire x Read more

MAYBE YOU JUST NEED A GLASS OF WATER?

MAYBE YOU JUST NEED A GLASS OF WATER?

Posted June 18, 2012

Water is the foundation of life – we are mostly made up of water.  In fact, around 75% of the human body is water, the other 25% is solid matter. But, what also might be surprising is that our brain is 85% water – that’s alot of water! Not to mention your blood is 82% water,  lungs that carry oxygen are 90% water, your bones are 25% water. Are you reaching for a glass right now? During my health coaching studies I was exposed to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, a researcher, author and advocate of the healing powers of water. I remember thinking, oh please, we all KNOW that water is important. But I didn’t expect to find out HOW important. With that much water making up our entire system, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we literally need water. But, I am shocked by how many clients/friends confess to barely drinking 2 glasses of water a day. These are the same individuals who might also struggle with cravings, migraines, lethargy, crabbiness. I can definitely vouch for unusual mood swings, headaches and exhaustion when I haven’t had enough water throughout the day. Now, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj takes it a little further. Through his research he goes as far as saying that water can be a cure for many degenerative diseases. Big statement, but one that he backs with countless studies and scientific documents. Amongst the degenerative diseases Dr. F mentions are: Heartburn Migraines Angina Arthritis High blood pressure Cholesterol Whether you choose to accept that water can prevent and cure serious diseases, it doesn’t matter, the reality is we need water to sustain life. Water generates life, in our bodies, but also around the planet. Food is necessary but we can definitely hold out a little longer without it. Water, is vital. We are what we eat, but we are mostly what we drink!  Unfortunately, alot of the time we see thirst as hunger, and treat it with excessive eating, especially sugar, to jack up on and fight the feelings that dehydration can cause such as headaches, mood swings, fatigue, excess acid in the body, sluggishness. Or maybe you do identify that you are thirsty but reach for the wrong type of drink. In lieu of water if you are slugging back tea, coffee, soft drinks and juices you aren’t getting the necessary hydration your body and brain needs. In fact, you are only exacerbating the problem and leading to further dehydration. So, what happens when you starve the body of its most vital life-source? Lots of unhappy things! It seems that we can avoid all of that if we just treat our thirst with some water. The next time you crave something you know isn’t right for you, (food or drinks!) try this first: drink water! Simple, huh? Or even better, realise that by the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Make water a normal part of your daily habit. Water will sort out whatever your body was craving for. So, how much water should we drink? This is where it gets a little confusing. 8 cups a day, 2 litres, a % of your body weight? There are a zillion different theories. But honestly, I believe this answer comes down to a few things – your weight, the climate you are in, the amount of exercise you are doing, if you are pregnant, the altitude and so on. As a guide, at least 1.5 litres per day as a minimum. And of course, more if it’s hot, you are exercising or you know you need more. An easy tip – add a sprinkle of pink salt to your water to aid absorption when you feel dehydrated. Try not to over drink as it can deplete minerals in the system. Whilst drinking too much towards the end of the day/evening can make you feel too awake and active which makes it difficult to settle and fall asleep. You want to enjoy a really deep sleep without having to rouse yourself for a toilet break! It’s important to not disrupt your natural dream cycle to process the day and allow the body to rest, digest and revive. Finally, don’t drink just before, during or just after a meal – allow your enzymes to digest and do the job they are supposed to. When it comes to what type of water, well there are lots of different options and theories – this is going to be a whole separate post! Filtered, tap, bottled, hot, cold. Me, I’m not too fussy. I use a filter at home but I’m not afraid to drink from the tap. Really, if you are not drinking alot of water, just by increasing your consumption you will make the world of difference. Personally, I tend to reach for warm water in winter, or at least at room temperature so it doesn’t shock my system. I always start everyday with a big glass of water followed by hot water with lemon. From an Ayurvedic, starting off with a big glass helps kick-start the system and nourish your organs. Also, in winter Ayurveda believes that really ice, cold water in winter can exacerbate your vata and lead to colds and flu. So drinking warm water is recommended to cleanse and nourish the system and aid digestion. Also, according to Ayurveda, normal drinking water can take about 6hrs to be absorbed. However, hot herbalized water takes about 1.5hrs and a half hours, and the addition of the herbs helps open the channels, clear mucous and toxins and cleanse the body as it hydrates it. Here’s an easy way to enjoy water that will hydrate, nourish and cleanse the system: Boil up 2 litres of water on the stove-top After a couple of minutes add in: 1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp whole fennel 2 x 1inch slices of fresh ginger root Drop the heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the heat, strain and keep […] Read more

HOW TO TURN INJURIES INTO A BEAUTIFUL THING

HOW TO TURN INJURIES INTO A BEAUTIFUL THING

Posted May 30, 2012

My beautiful partner, Chris, has unfortunately torn his hamstring. Been there, done that! I have also been is the anxious place he is in – knowing that for a short period of time he has to hold back from doing the things that brings him happiness. Having been injured more than once during my yoga practice, I’ve learnt many things that I am now grateful for. Firstly, each injury has made me a better teacher. I now teach from a deeper understanding of the body and its anatomy and a deeper respect for its limitations. Each injury has also taught me that my ego is constantly at play. Always trying to override my best intentions and always tricking me into doing, thinking, being in someway that doesn’t benefit me. This ego has made me, unknowingly, push myself past my limit, driving me to obsess over a pose and ignore clear signals my body has been sending. This ego is no friend of mine. An enemy of sorts, but the reality is I couldn’t live without. Because without it, I wouldn’t be learning and growing. Chris asked me today – “What am I going to do? How am I going to do this?’ By ‘this’ I know he meant not go insane, lose my motivation and end up blobbing on the couch. Our solution? Let’s find a new way. I remember when I injured my hamstring last year I had to hold back in every single yoga pose. Asanas that I could normally practice with ease felt raw and new, like unchartered territory. But it was the holding back that helped me really switch in to my body and be honest with where I was at. I also had to come at poses from a different angle – truly redefining what structure and alignment meant for myself. When faced with anything, injury or other, we have to learn how to slow down, give yourself space and time to accept, become aware, to heal and also override the fear of not ‘doing or being’ in a way we believe defines us. Because it doesn’t. We are not our yoga practice. We are not our football game. We are the way we respond to our yoga, our football. We are the way we absorb and learn from those practices. Not the doing and being within it. Together, Chris and I are coming up with a game plan – a new way of ‘being’ whilst he steps back from the old way. And in that I know he will learn more than he did before. I know he’ll come back to his game with respect, drive, motivation and mostly awareness. 1) Grieve for a moment then pull your socks up, accept and move forward 2) Review the situation 3) Let go of what you ‘usually’ do and embrace a new pattern, even if it’s just for a short time 4) Do something, anything to fill your time that’s safe and works with you and your injury 5) Enjoy the opportunity to take a step back and slow down, you’ll be surprised by what comes out of it 6) Stay focused on your goal, but give yourself time – accepting that your ‘goal post’ might change along the wayHow have you been ‘injured’ – physically or emotionally – that has made you reassess and review. Did you find beauty in it? Signing off with an exhale.Pause. Listen. Live. Cx Read more


Join The Wellness Project

Get free weekly insights & inspiration
  • Get your FREE ebook: 21 Days to Free Your Mind, Fuel Your Body & Feed Your Soul