We are all BIG fans of our Aloha Yoga Retreat cook, Christine.  She creates our retreat menus, sources local ingredients and lovingly prepares our retreat meals.  Her food gives us inspiration and fresh ideas for dishes to make at home.

By popular request here is one of her lunchtime dishes.  A tasty salad which is vegan and gluten-free.  You can swap the cashews and cashew butter for peanuts and peanut butter.

And yes Christine will be with us for the Bala Brook 2015 Aloha Yoga Retreat!

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups finely cut purple cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper (capsicum), diced
2 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
½ cup cashews (or peanuts)

¼ cup cashew butter (or peanut/almond butter)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger)
3 tbsp tamari (light soy sauce)
2 tbsp agave (or maple syrup)
2 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tsp crushed red chili pepper (or 1 tsp Sriracha sauce)


  1. Place the quinoa along with 2 cups salted water in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to the lowest heat setting. Simmer until water is completely absorbed and quinoa is fluffy, about 20 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.
  3. Add the quinoa to the dressing and mix well to combine.
  4. Add the veggies, onions, cilantro and cashews.

Original source for this recipe:
Author: Angela @ Vegangela.com
Image credit vegangela.com
Adapted from http://www.juliehasson.com/2012/10/peanut-sesame-noodles

Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 August 2014, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire.

Not long now to go until my favourite Festival… Wilderness is the multi-award winning 4-day festival combining live music, contemporary arts and an array of theatre, craftsmanship and dining experiences.  Headliners include London Grammar, Burt Bacharach and Metronomy.

I will be an In-House Massage Therapist with Wild*Wellbeing at The Sanctuary, WILDERNESS Festival.

The Sanctuary returns for another body-healing, soul-nourishing year, securely nestled on the top of a beautifully shaded hill above the lakes. Hugely popular – the Sanctuary has even more to offer in 2014.

The Wild*Wellbeing team has curated The Sanctuary as a festival destination, combining leading yoga teachers to twist, stretch and shake down your body, alongside a repertoire of highly qualified therapists and complementary health and wellbeing consultants from all disciplines. From acupuncture to zero-balancing, there is no ail that can’t addressed in this village of happiness.

Hopefully see you there!

Wilderness – The Film from Wilderness Festival on Vimeo.

Visit the Wilderness Festival Store to book your treatments. Click here for more about Wilderness Festival.

(Image Wild*Wellbeing. Copyright Wild*Wellbeing 2014)

I have just returned from our wonderful Aloha Yoga Retreat on Dartmoor.  It is always such a privilege and an honour to work with such inspiring groups and to be teaching alongside my colleague, Jagdambe Ma.

This year we allowed plenty of time for creative activities alongside yoga classes, massages, walking and of course rest.  On the Saturday morning we hosted a Raw Chocolate Workshop making a Raw Chocolate, Oats and Almond Milk Breakfast Smoothie; Raw Chocolate Fudge and a Clay & Raw Chocolate Face Mask.

We forget that play and laughter are important sources of relaxation for adults.  By developing our playfulness we can feed our imagination, creativity, develop problem-solving skills and improve our mental health.

In our busy lives, we may focus heavily on work and family commitments and having fun can be a low priority.  Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we have stopped playing and we may take life a little too seriously.  We all need to play so it is so refreshing to have the time and space for some fun!

We had the added bonus of being in an area with no phone signal and limited WiFi access so it was the perfect opportunity to be creative, playful and also have a digital detox.

There are numerous benefits to play such as:

  • Stress Relief – Play can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.  This helps to promote an overall sense of well-being.  The social interaction of play can also help ward off stress and depression.
  • Improve brain function – Puzzles or activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems and improve brain function.
  • Stimulate the mind and boost creativity – It is easier to learn new task when it’s fun.  Play can also stimulate your imagination, helping you adapt and problem solve.
  • Improve relationships and your connection to others. Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others.
  • Keep you feeling young and energetic – Playing can boost your energy and vitality and even improve your resistance to disease.

Here’s the Clay and Raw Chocolate Face Mask Recipe from our Raw Chocolate Workshop.  It’s great fun to do and makes your skin feel so smooth and glowing.

Clay helps to draw purities out and away from skin. Cacao is packed with antioxidants to help repair skin and flavanoids to reduce inflammation. The copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc in cacao can also promote healthy cell growth. Combined, these ingredients can help your skin feel fresh and cleaned, while also offering the aromatherapeutic pick-me-up benefits of chocolate.

Choosing to use green tea in this mask instead of distilled water can offer additional anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, which is particularly helpful around tired eyes.


1 tablespoon of powder clay

1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon distilled water or cooled green tea


1. Place the clay and cacao powder a bowl and blend well with a spoon.

2. Add purified water or cooled green tea to produce a paste that is of medium consistency — not too thick, not too runny.

3. Using either your fingers (or a clean brush if you prefer), apply a thin but evenly distributed layer of the paste to your face in upward strokes paying particular attention to your t-zone and nose, but avoiding the eyes and lips.

4. Allow the mask to dry for 15 minutes. Take this opportunity to put your feet up and relax. Once the mask has dried slightly, gently rinse your face with warm water and gently pat dry with a clean towel.

If you wish, you may follow this with a gentle face wash and toner, but most importantly, don’t forget to moisturize. This mask is not recommended for people with eczema. If you have sensitive skin, please do a patch test first.



After the Yoga Nidra workshop on Saturday, we had an interesting discussion regarding the need to slow down.  How slowing our yoga practice can help us find balance in our fast paced world.  We are constantly rushing in our lives, juggling responsibilities, suffering digital overload, feel more stressed about being stressed and our adrenals may be in overload.

By taking a traditional approach to our asana practice and allowing ourselves to slow down, we can access much deeper awareness and connection.  We can be aware and enjoy our subtle progress, prevent injury, learn to love ourselves by not adding the pressure to achieve and observe how slowing down filters into our everyday life.

My friends at Yogalaya posted this interesting piece regarding slowing down which gives us much food for thought.

It is interesting to note that many Hatha Yoga scriptures ask us to relax, slow down and take it easy. This, I think, is one of the most important message of Hatha Yoga to the modern yogis. Imagine a situation of a yoga enthusiast /student who comes to the class at 7 in the evening after working 11 hours in the office. In the morning this person jumps out of bed, rushes into shower, runs to catch the train to office and takes the bull of challenges by its horns throughout the day. Such has become the pace of us urban people. Such a person who comes to the class in the evening brings the “let’s do it” alpha energy into the class. The hyper active, achievement oriented office mind-set will unconsciously continue in the yoga class too and could be a cause of injury. It is in such situations that the person needs a calming asana practice focused on breathing, awareness and conscious movement and not just stretching the muscles for achievements sake. It is the responsibility of yoga teachers to guide the student through this wider, pacifying orientation and not just create another opportunity for the enthusiast to live through the adrenals.

Traditional Hatha Yoga schools have used asana practices primarily as an awareness deepening and energy realigning technique and not as flexibility or stretch training. Deepening of self-awareness is facilitated by general slowing down and when asanas are used, through asana practice focused on sensations, breath, prana flow and emotional sensitivity. In this respect the scriptures ask the sadhaka to relax and take it easy as well. Gorakh Vachana Sangraha says “asanasya rajo hanti”, asana is about removing the rajas. As we know rajas is the hyperactive, unsatisfied and the dynamic aspect of body-mind complex. Gorakhnath in Gorakh bani says “thabaki na chaliba” means do not walk in haste. Sant Kabir, says “asana se mat dol”, means do not move from your asana, be still. Even the highly revered Hatha Yoga scripture like Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati defines asana as “asanamiti svasvarupe samasannata” means, asana is to remain in one’s own true state. Thus, we see that asana is understood more as a mental attitude than a physical practice. Nowhere in traditional Hatha Yoga the active, goal oriented aspect of asana practice is pressed upon. Asanas were looked upon as method to generate stillness. Modern yoga enthusiasts need to start entering the zone of stillness by slowing down their asana practice and making it “conscious” based and not competition based. The world needs to learn how to slow down and take it easy. It is essential that today’s yoga asana culture understands this and adopts this orientation, otherwise the beauty of asana practice will be unfortunately relegated to a level of competition and exhibitionism”. The quote is from Prasad Rangnekar.

I had an interesting lesson in slowing down this morning on my way to class.  Local children were leaving home to go to school and a little boy said to his sister.  “Look Evie, Look” I wondered what was so exciting and important.  “A puddle….  And it’s a huge puddle”.  The wonders of slowing down, taking notice and enjoying life!

Hopefully see you on your mat soon.  Click here for classes, workshops and retreats.

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Photo credit: The DoubleDubs

I am extremely honoured to have a feature in the new edition of the International Lifestyle Magazine.



The International Lifestyle Magazine takes a look at positive lifestyle choices from around the globe. Promoting balance in life.  It’s a really great magazine featuring retreats, alternative health and wellness, recipes, yoga, meditation, travel.  Be inspired and take a look!  Plus it’s totally FREE.

You can sign up to get the magazine to your inbox each edition and International Lifestyle Magazine is on Facebook.



Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 August 2014, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire.

I have just been confirmed as an In-House Massage Therapist with Wild*Wellbeing at The Sanctuary, WILDERNESS Festival.

The Sanctuary returns for another body-healing, soul-nourishing year, securely nestled on the top of a beautifully shaded hill above the lakes. Hugely popular – the Sanctuary has even more to offer in 2014.

The Wild*Wellbeing team has curated The Sanctuary as a festival destination, combining leading yoga teachers to twist, stretch and shake down your body, alongside a repertoire of highly qualified therapists and complementary health and wellbeing consultants from all disciplines. From acupuncture to zero-balancing, there is no ail that can’t addressed in this village of happiness.

Wilderness – The Film from Wilderness Festival on Vimeo.

Visit the Wilderness Festival Store to book your treatments. Click here for more about Wilderness Festival.

(Image Wild*Wellbeing. Copyright Wild*Wellbeing 2014)

This is your invitation to live radiantly. I am honoured and delighted to join together with a phenomenal group of inspiring women on a mission to uplift and encourage others around the world.

Rise and Shine: Gifts to Awaken Your Most Radiant Life is a heart-centered, inspiring giveaway event filled with gifts to help you flourish in a life you truly love.

There are FREE gifts from 25 inspirational women on a whole range of topics.  Why not take the time to learn more and select your radiant living gifts today!

Right now I am completely absorbed by “The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Callingby Stephen Cope, the  Director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.

Stephen takes us on a step by step journey through the ancient spiritual text the “Bhagavad Gita” and makes it relevant for our contemporary lives.  He explores the notion of dharma, the inner possibility within every human soul.

It is a perfect, and easy, read if you are feeling a little lost on your journey, if you are asking bigger questions about your life and you wish to explore your true calling.  It might be that you are living fairly close to your dharma but you need minor adjustments to be fully living your life purpose.  Or perhaps you have been living on purpose for many years and now it just doesn’t feel right, your inner knowing is telling you that changes are needed to live your life more fully at this present time.

Every man has a vocation to be someone: but he must understand clearly that in order to fulfil this vocation he can only be one person: himself.” stated Thomas Merton.  This is so true, we each have a unique calling.  We may get influenced by outside opinions such as those from parents, teachers or peers but it is only when we tap into our true calling do we experience true energy, passion and magic.

If you bring forth what is within you it will save you.  If you do not, it will destroy you.  And what precisely is destroyed? Energy is destroyed first.  Those shining eyes.  And then faith. And then hope. And then life itself.”  I am sure we have all experienced both sides of this coin, when we are fully living our dharma we feel alive, we can feel it in our heart, others can see it in our face and they witness “those shining eyes”.   When we are not living our dharma we may feel heavy, stressed, confused, desperate and unhappy.

I think it is comforting to know that at each phase in life we may have a different calling and sometimes we may have several dharmas running at the same time, for example your calling may be musician, parent and community activist.

What steps can you take to start to explore and live your dharma?

Allow yourself time to reflect and to ask questions such as “Why am I here?”, “What is my purpose?”, “What am I being guided or drawn to do?”

Create quiet time and stillness to let your heart and mind speak to you.

You may get lots of answers but over time your truest answers will begin to develop.

Don’t be frightened to try new things, it doesn’t have to be huge scary life changing stuff but taking action can open the door to your true purpose.

Think of the small as large.   All of our actions, however small or large, are important so do not overrate or underrate your dharma.  You will know when it feels comfortable for you at just the correct balance and size.

Trust in your inner knowing!

Here’s the latest recipe which I made for last Saturday’s Yoga Nidra workshop.  A really tasty, healthy snack and as it is raw chocolate they are fairly rich so you do not need too many to enjoy the taste!

We all know how powerful chocolate can be particularly from our intuitive emotional response to it.  Here are a few chocolate facts which further explain our natural response to the pleasure of chocolate…

  • Chocolate contains over 300 chemicals including a vast range of vitamins and minerals (calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium).  It contains phenylethylamine which is released naturally in the body when you fall in love and is also considered to be an aphrodisiac.
  • The smell of chocolate promotes relaxation, it significantly reduces theta activity in the brain which is associated with relaxation.  (Source: International Journal of Psychophysiology, 1998).
  • Chocolate also contains dopamine which is a natural painkiller. Serotonin which is found in chocolate produces feelings of pleasure. Chocolate has over 400 distinct smells.  A rose has only fourteen and an onion just six or seven.
  • A cup of hot cocoa (using pure cocoa powder) has more than double the amount of antioxidants as green tea and four to five times more than black tea. (Source: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, 2003).

1 cup of cashews blended until smooth (or you can cheat as I did and buy cashew butter)
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 dates (pitted and soaked for at least 4 hours or you may wish to buy chopped dates)
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (raw chocolate)
1 cup of desiccated coconut for coating

Place all of the ingredients,except for coconut, into a mixer and mix until smooth.  With your hands roll the mixture into small balls.  Then pour the desiccated coconut onto a chopping board and roll the balls in it to top.  Place the balls on a plate and refridgerate until hard.

Raw cacao powder and cashew butter can be found at your local health food store.

Make a batch and keep them in the fridge, they make a tasty snack across the week and saves eating too much processed chocolate!



A huge big thank you to Kimberley Jones for inviting me to write a guest post for her website, Kimberley Jones – Mentoring & Community for Awakening Women.

Click here to read my full guest post and to find out more about my experience of working with Kimberley on her mentoring programme.

Here’s a little bit about Kimberley in her own words:

I’m Kimberley Jones, I’m a highly sensitive, intuitive woman living in a small village in the UK. I work from home following my heart and doing what I love. Right now that involves creating helpful content for my website and making a film based on my own story of awakening.

I help women navigate their awakening process, come out of the ‘spiritual closet’ and step into their purpose.

My intention is to help you make a difference AND make a living by doing what you love and by simply being yourself.”

Visit Kimberley’s website for podcasts, audios, one to one sessions and to find out more about her work.

(Image Kimberley Jones. Copyright Kimberley Jones 2014)