The Sanctuary (curated by Wild WellBeing) at Wilderness Festival gets a mention in the Tatler Spa Guide 2015. I’m really proud to be part of this great team of therapists and yogis. Roll on summer!
The School of Bodywork is running a “Fascinating Fascia” workshop on Wednesday 6 May 2015, 10am – 5pm at Exeter Natural Health Centre. Cost £95
This course offers the opportunity to understand the importance of fascia which is an amazing 3D web of connectivity that surrounds and interpenetrates all of our various “parts”.
An understanding of fascia is now essential to all yogis, bodywork and movement therapists. A workshop where you will begin to understand the importance of fascia and also be introduced to Myofacsial Release techniques (MFR).
7 CPD points awarded by APNT
Watch the “Fuzz” Speech by Gil Hedley, Ph.D (www.gilhedley.com). Gil gives a lesson on the importance of movement and stretching to maintain the sliding properties of tissues in the body. [Warning: The video contains human cadavers which support the lesson]
A wonderful find, Ramana’s Garden is just a short walk from the Anand Prakash Ashram, Rishikesh. This beautiful sanctuary is just off an alleyway that weaves down to the River Ganga. Ramana’s Garden is tucked away but the sign promising “home-grown organic healthy foods” will entice you in.
Stepping off the main pathway you enter into an abundant space growing organic produce, housing cows and also a home and school for local children. As stated on the sign this most certainly is “A unique dining experience that helps Ramana’s Garden Children’s Home help you stay healthy!”. The organic garden provides fresh yummy produce for children in the home and school as well as for the visitors to the cafe.
Ramana’s Garden India was founded by a dedicated American woman, Prabhavati Dwabha, 18 years ago as a result of her spiritual practice on the banks of the River Ganga. Prabhavati’s heart overflowed with compassion for the numerous homeless, destitute, and abused children she met there, and she decided to make those children her life’s work. On a shoestring budget, she has for years provided a growing number of children with education, nourishment, and a future where they had little or no hope.
“Dharma is righteous living or living with God and consists of doing good to others and the practice of love, charity, truthfulness and purity in one’s life”
Today Ramana’s Garden India is home to more than 60 resident children, many of whom have lost both parents. There are an additional 165 children from nearby impoverished families, many with a single parent, who come into school each day. Twelve paid professional teachers lead a solid curriculum of core classes, including Math, Science, English, Hindi, and the arts. The education provided is on a par with the best primary schools in India, and thus will serve to provide the kids with opportunities for adult careers that otherwise would be unimaginable.
The cafe is operated by volunteers and sometimes the children help in the restaurant. The menu offers a selection of healthy options including breakfast, lunch set menu with organically grown salad greens, fresh baked breads, soup, daal, desserts and cakes. You can get a good coffee and real cappuccino here!
The cafe has stunning views over the surrounding area, it is a wonderful spot to catch some sun and one evening we dropped in to enjoy a drink on the terrace under the full moon. This is most definitely a magical place bringing much change and positivity into the world.
I look forward to my return visit to Rishikesh and to Ramana’s Garden….
Also feel free to make contact if you wish to volunteer. Volunteering at Ramana’s Garden is a commitment to the children and to yourself. Whatever you give you will receive back tenfold in love, hugs, smiles and fulfilment. Volunteering requires patience, motivation, energy and initiative. From the day of your arrival and for the rest of your life you will be part of their family of 60 children. They request a minimum commitment of three months but if you live at accommodation nearby you can also arrange volunteering for one month time commitment.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ramana’s Garden
Every day, I sprinkle Chia seeds onto my breakfast. I also use them in baking, blended into smoothies and in tasty desserts. These tiny seeds are jam packed with nutritional value and are extremely easy to add to your diet.
Chia, or Salvia hispanica L, is a member of the mint family from Mexico and South America. The Aztecs relied on chia as a staple food and revered it enough to use for religious ceremonies and medicinal purposes.
Rich in omega-3s, high in fibre, protein, magnesium and much more, it is no surprise that chia seeds are known as “the ultimate super food”.
- Chia is gluten free
- It is super high in dietary fibre, making it great for digestion and healing digestion issues.
- It contains 20% Omega 3 ALA, making it a super food for the brain and heart. Chia has eight times more Omega 3 than salmon!
- It boasts 20% protein
- It is high in antioxidants
- Chia contains five times more calcium than milk
- Chia contains seven times more vitamin C than oranges
- It contains three times more iron than spinach
- It contains twice the potassium content of banana
- It is food for healthy skin, hair and nails
- It has a positive impact balancing blood glucose levels
- Chia makes a great egg replacement. Just combine with water to form a gel, and add it to recipes that call for egg.
Here are a few simple ways to use chia seeds:
Blend into smoothies
Add a desert spoon of seeds to any smoothie and as the seeds have a “neutral” taste they mix well with any flavour combination.
Sprinkle onto breakfast cereals and yoghurt
This is my daily favourite and a great way to add nutrients to your first meal of the day.
Add to any baking recipe
Chia seeds can be easily added to any bread or baking recipe including gluten free recipes. Adding chia seeds increases the nutritional density of the recipe whilst reducing the glycemic index due to the gelatinous outer coating found on chia seeds. Check out this Oat, Nut and Chia Seed Energy Bar recipe.
Try sprouting with chia seeds
Perhaps something a little different but you can sprout and add to salads.
Make a ‘Chia Fresca”
Mix whole chia seeds with water or fruit juice to make a ‘Chia Fresca’ which translates as ‘fresh chia’.
A tasty (and healthy) Chia dessert
Per serving infuse ½ cup of almond milk with 1 teaspoon honey, vanilla extract and add 3 teaspoons of chia seeds. Allow the chia seeds to expand, ideally overnight. This pudding is great eaten with fresh seasonal fruit making a tasty, healthy pudding!
Wilderness Festival is always a highlight in my calendar. I’m a regular member of the Wild Wellbeing In-house Therapist Team. Roll on summer! See you in the Wilderness….
Here’s my recipe for super quick, tasty and healthy granola. Many of the shop bought granola is high in sugar, contains unhealthy fats and oils, and may contain unnecessary ingredients. The benefit of making your own is that you can mix up the flavours and experiment with ingredients.
Whole oats are full of good-for-you fibre, high in protein, and contain vitamins and minerals like iron and magnesium. Buy 100% pure whole rolled oats as “instant” or “quick cooking” will be highly processed.
Add nuts and seeds for flavour, texture, extra nutrients and added healthy protein. You can add unsweetened dried fruit and maybe added less sweetener if you are adding fruits to keep the sugar content down.
This recipe makes about three cups of granola – ½ cup is typically a serving. Serve it as cereal with milk (try it with unsweetened almond milk), unsweetened Greek yogurt and with fresh seasonal fruit. I like to add a sprinkling of chia seeds to add protein and nutrients. Plus chia seeds are very filling so will prevent mid-morning cravings!
Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 20 min
Use raw, organic ingredients whenever possible. These measurements are flexible; don’t worry too much about being exact.
2 cups raw, whole rolled oats
½ cup raw nuts, chopped
¼ cup raw seeds (sunflower or pumpkin seeds are great)
½ cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped (optional)
2-3 tablespoons raw honey
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
½ tsp vanilla extract or almond extract
1 large pinch fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and use your clean hands to mix well and to coat. The coconut oil might be liquid or solid depending on the temperature of the room you are in (it has a melting point of about 75ºF.) Your hands will warm it up and melt it into the mixture if it’s solid, just be sure to mix it all through the other ingredients so there aren’t any chunks of oil left. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until very lightly toasted. Cool before serving or storing. This granola can be kept in an airtight glass container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.
Why not get creative and add your own combo of healthy ingredients. Here are a few ingredient ideas to get you started:
The list goes on…. Enjoy creating your own flavour combinations!
Easing back into life is not always so straight forward particularly after an extended trip to India. Arriving in India, you feel as though you’ve entered a strange and magical world. Your senses get overloaded with sounds, sights, colours, smells and tastes. India pulses and you feel so alive. There is no hiding from the experience, it is all consuming and you quickly adjust to the ebb and flow of life.
My first destination was Rishikesh situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and known as the “Yoga capital of the world”. The sacred river Ganges flows through Rishikesh and the city is considered holy by Hindus. A bustling centre of temples, customs, rituals with a deep rich history. You become completely absorbed by life here.
Home during my stay was Anandprakash Yoga Ashram in Tapovan , just a few minutes walk from the sacred Ganges. Tapovan, an ideal location for yoga sadhana, is named for its heritage as a site for spiritual disciplines. “Tap”, represents tapas, the practice of spiritual disciplines. “Van” means forest. So, Tapovan is the forest of the yogis.
(Arrival at Anand Prakash Ashram)
The rigours of ashram living can be challenging particularly the strict daily routine. You wake up early before sunrise, meditate to go deeper into our mind, practice yoga asanas to work on a physical level within the body, practice breathing exercises to steady our mind, chant to raise our vibrations and bring balance, fire puja for purification, eat simple food, discuss philosophies to open the mind and lectures to develop our knowledge.
I had several goals for my trip, firstly to spend time with my teacher to seek guidance and spiritual wisdom. I was ready to learn new skills and techniques to deepen my knowledge and personal practice. I was looking for new ideas and inspiration to bring back and share with my students. And finally to meet fellow yogis and spiritual travellers.
(Our teachers – Gayatri, Yogrishi Vishvketu, Prem, Kamalika)
“Simply being with other people who are also seekers and who are involved in the same quest you are is very meaningful” ~ Dan Wakefield
My trip didn’t disappoint, I gifted myself this time and I absorbed new teachings, personal reflections, had the opportunity to be fully present and in the moment without the distractions of everyday life. I found peace and clarity of mind. I met an amazing group of fellow yogis from all corners of the globe. We developed a deep connection from sharing the same life changing experience.
As I reflect I can see that this trip is the beginning of something special. The depth of the experience was so immense that I do not think I will comprehend the impact until much further down the line… Every moment feels so special and I have a new vigour for life.
(Yoga Teacher Training Yogis)
“Spirituality is allowing compassion and love to flourish. When belongness begins, corruption ends.” ~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude” ~ Denis Waitley
Starfish Meditation from the “Yoga Sleep and Other Magical Guided Meditations for Children” is now available on my YouTube channel.
Thank you for all of the fantastic reviews that I have been receiving for this CD. It is such an honour that this CD is helping so many children in such a wide variety of ways. Ranging from relaxation and stress relief, for bedtime and for those that have been ill and have listened to the CD whilst in hospital.
Downloads are now available on iTunes, Amazon and on streaming sites such as Spotify.
“Thank you for this brilliant CD! Our 5 ½ year old daughter (who has sleep issues due as she is unable to allow her brain to relax) listens to it every night , and it has really help her to calm down at bedtime. For us, we can see a real positive change, and she is often less frantic when going to bed following using the CD, and sometimes she even falls asleep before the end – a real result!! She has asked me to tell you she particularly loves being an eagle, and asks when are you doing another one!” ~ LR, UK
Freshly back from my extended trip to India I have plenty to share with you! This sharing will happen gradually so for now I’ve created a video to give you an essence of my trip.
Wishing you peace, love and laughter in the new year! I look forward to seeing you soon or connecting online.
“May your coming year be filled with magic & dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself” ~ Neil Gaiman
I’m busy preparing for my upcoming trip to India and contemplating being back in an ashram environment. Life is pretty hectic as I get ready for this extended trip. I have friends and family to catch up with, planning to be done for the cover of my weekly yoga classes and monthly workshops, getting my business admin up to date as well as attending a number of meetings for future projects.
I feel both excited and apprehensive but I know the trip has come at the right time for me. My destination is Anandprakash Yoga Ashram in Rishikesh, just a few mintues walk from the sacred river Ganga (the Ganges).
Ashram living follows a strict daily routine which can prove challenging at times but reinforces the need for a regular daily practice. The ashram removes the distractions of everyday life so is the perfect opportunity to re-focus and to re-establish good habits.
The deepest learning comes from having this time to dedicate to our sadhana (practice) and to experience a much deeper personal enquiry. Sadhana is a discipline undertaken in the pursuit of a spiritual goal using mind and intelligence in practice towards this goal.
This extended stay in the ashram is a perfect time to get journaling and to focus on svadhyaya (self study). I know from previous trips and retreats that journaling is so creative and useful. Without regular distractions, really powerful realisations can come up.
I will have the perfect opportunity to evaluate what is important for me right now. Have the space to review my vision for the short to longer term. This is the perfect opportunity to make internal and external changes to generate greater fulfilment and happiness.
There will be the opportunity to meet fellow yogis and spiritual travellers all undergoing the same life changing experience. Great friendships to be formed.
(Anandprakash Yoga Ashram Tapovan)
Just to mention that regular classes and workshops will continue whilst I’m away so there will be no change to your programme. Weekly classes will be covered by Exeter based Carol Fentimen and Yoga Nidra workshops will be taught Christine Dumbleton. All bookings will be managed in the usual way so please book via my online shop or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. I have admin cover for this whole period so your message will be dealt with by Wendy.
Have a wonderful couple of months and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!