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Juice Fast

7 day juice fast.

A juice fast is a fantastic way to detox the body. The PH of your blood and tissues is the most important marker of your health. The PH of your blood should be mildly basic or alkaline. Our entire metabolic process depends on an alkaline environment. To create the correct alkaline balance within your body you should consume the correct balance of alkaline and acid foods. 80% should be alkalising e.g. green vegetables and only 20% should be acid forming foods e.g. meat and grains. By alkalising your blood PH you will increase energy levels, improve concentration, lose body fat and increase muscles mass. Your skin will become clear and fresh. You will also see a reduction in any health problems you may be experiencing. “Over acidification of body fluids and tissues underlies all disease” There are two kinds of chemicals (acids and bases) which are in opposition. When these are in certain ratios they cancel each other out which results in a neutral PH. It takes twenty times as much base to neutralise the acid, therefore it is easier to maintain balance rather than regain it. Juicing enhances all the benefits of vegetables and grasses. When you drink your vegetables your body receives a greater concentration of rapidly usable alkaline salts, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and enzymes. Juice from green vegetables is highly alkalising. Although you lose fibre through juicing, the nutrients are then freed. Juicing vegetables that you would usually cook provides enzymatic relief for the digestive organs. By completing a juice fast, you can reset your body so that it is brought into an alkaline state, where disease can't survive. Once in this state, it is recommended that we eat 80% alkaline forming foods and only 20% acid forming. Precision Fitness London advocates completing a 7 day juice fast to kick start your fitness journey. We will give you the juice fast plan, detailing the supplements and method to follow. You can choose whether to make the juices yourself, or order from an online supplier.    

Workout of the Week

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Barre Concept

BarreConcept is a creative 60 minute workout, which combines the precision of Pilates, alignment of yoga and the grace and technique of ballet. Add to this the strength from sports conditioning and you have all the elements of a typical BarreConcept session. This unique program is designed to tone the thighs, lift the butt, sculpt the arms and flatten the abdominals. Full range muscular contractions are performed, followed by end range isometric contractions and then a static hold in order to fatigue the muscle. Stretches follow directly afterwards in order to elongate the muscles, creating that long, lean physique. Equipment such as balls, weights and bands are added to the class to challenge the body further. Benefits of BarreConcept include: • Increased stamina and cardiovascular efficiency • Improved posture in static and dynamic work • Increased flexibility and joint range of motion • Increase in muscle tone without the added bulk of some other regimes • Decreased risk of injury due to an increase in core strength • Motivating group environment helps to relieve stress • Increased sense of wellbeing Please get in touch for more details.

My Yoga Journey: LOVE

Today’s blog post came to me during an asana class (the physical element of yoga). We were meant to have advanced asana but as it was the end of the second week of our yoga teacher training, everyone was exhausted so our instructor decided to do a gentle class instead. If this had happened last week I would have got really upset and angry, believing that hard was always the better option no matter how my body was feeling. I have started to appreciate my body in a whole new way, maybe this is what it feels like to love yourself. The class focused on hip openers which can cause you to feel emotional, during a forward fold I suddenly realised that I need to be kinder to my body and myself. I love to exercise and push myself as hard as possible but I refuse to listen to my body when it says ‘no’. I always think that I am just being lazy and that after a coffee I must do what I had planned to. I now realise there is a difference between being lazy and pushing to the detriment of your body. I have made a pledge to listen to my body more and on those days that I feel heavy and lethargic, I will find a gentler form of exercise. Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of HIIT workouts on my Instagram. This idea of being kinder to myself doesn’t only relate to exercise. The focus for one of our meditation classes last week was ‘I am enough’, something that is easy to say but do we really believe it deep down. How do you talk to yourself internally? When I think of the things I say to myself, I realise I am not kind at all, in fact I am out right nasty. If anyone else spoke to me like that it would be classed as abuse and I certainly would not talk to any of my friends that way. Next time you start to say something negative to yourself, try to catch that thought and replace it with a positive. If it was someone else, would you think badly of them or say that thought out loud? Treat yourself as you would others and start to congratulate yourself even on the small things. Repeat after me, ‘I am enough’.

My Yoga Journey: FEAR

Today’s blog post is about overcoming fear. I have been forced to face a fear that I have had for as long as I can remember, singing in public. I don’t know where this came from, I think it may have developed when I was a young teenager making a tape of myself singing and realising it did not sound good. Since then I have never sung, not when I am by myself or even when drunk at a karaoke bar (this is the true measure of hating singing!). I did not get any pleasure from signing as all I could focus on was how bad my voice sounded which is such a shame because I see other people getting such pleasure out of it even when they aren’t pitch perfect. How does all this relate to a Yoga Teacher Training? Well, two weeks ago we were advised that we would be leading the morning meditation, chanting and pranayama classes in groups of 3. We were to split the elements up between ourselves. I went into a sudden panic, the thought of everyone hearing my voice was rather overwhelming and I didn’t think I would manage to do it, I envisioned no sound coming out of my mouth at all. it would have been very easy for me to having taken all the pranayama exercises and let someone else do the mantras but I didn’t, I knew that it was now or never and if I didn’t do it I wouldn’t be able to lead a chant in my own yoga classes. When I first started yoga I hated the mantras, mainly because a) the fear of signing and b) because I didn’t really know what the words were so felt silly humming something random along with the teacher. If you ever go to a yoga class and feel like this don’t worry, it is the vibration of the sound that does the magic so just join in the best you can. Even being in the room with the vibrations will do you good. I took 3 of the matras and at this point I didn’t even know how to pronounce most of the words. Here is an example, along with the translation: Om Sahanaa vavatu Saha veeryam karavaavahai Tejasvinaa vadheeta mastu Maa vid vishaavahai Om Shaanti shaanti shaanti hi   Together may we be protected (both the teacher and the disciple), Together may we be nourished, Together may we work with great energy, May our journey together be brilliant and effective May there be no bad feelings between us. Om, peace, peace, peace.   Luckily our group had two weeks to practice, some people only had two days. As the time passed I felt more comfortable with the chants, I was also eased into it as firstly we had to do a mantra on a 1-1 basis, then in front of 2 other people and I realised my voice wasn’t as bad as I had built it up to be. As the other groups had their turns it was obvious that the group was very supportive and there was no judgement. I think we forget that in life people generally do not want us to fail (whatever failure means I was taught in NLP that there’s no such thing as failure, only feedback). So today was the day and I felt surprisingly calm, probably helped by the fact we did it at 6.45am so my conscious brain hadn’t had that much time to kick in and think about it too much. We were meant to project our voice and despite having a microphone I was told to chant louder, I was concentrating on this so much that I mis-sang/chanted a word but just smiled and carried on. Everything is a learning experience and just because things may not necessarily go as you had hoped, you are your biggest critic and no one else will remember if you make mistakes. I’m very happy I did it and although you probably won’t see me on next years X Factor auditions, I hope I feel comfortable chanting in my yoga classes (don’t let that put you off coming). The moral of the story is that when fear is faced head on, it is never as bad as we build it up to be so don’t let it be the reason for not doing something important to you.

Yoga Journey: OFFICIALLY A YOGA TEACHER

Its official, I am now a fully qualified 200 hour Yoga Teacher Trainer! Yesterday was our graduation, I can’t believe the month is over, it went so quickly. Being completely immersed in the world of yoga has been amazing. This qualification is only the beginning, my education is far from over and this past month was the tip of the iceberg. Within yoga you are always a student first and teacher second. This is something I’m excited about because I love to learn and the fact you can keep delving deeper into the subject suits me perfectly. I can move in different directions, applying it to anything from using yoga to reduce stress, relieve the symptoms of arthritis to using it to improve body image. I feel so honoured and grateful to have studied Yoga in India and for having such a fantastic teacher. I am proud to say I am now part of his lineage. I am also excited to see where yoga takes me but also how it will help improve my own mental and physical health. graduation Now on to the not so great stuff, which I could easily keep to myself and paint this perfect picture of yoga solving all my insecurities and hang ups. I am still in the process of writing something about my first week, it doesn’t want to be told at present but I can let you into the inner workings of my mind over the past week. I had been feeling great over the 2 weeks prior to this, then last Sunday, out of the blue I started to feel, well, blue. I felt fine when I woke up and then as the day progressed I felt myself going more into myself. I suddenly felt very lonely even though I was surrounded by other people. I started to tell myself that everyone else had forged fantastic friendships and I hadn’t and that maybe no one really liked me (these kinds of thoughts have plagued me in the past). The problem is when I start to feel like this, I retreat more into myself, which then makes me feel more cut off and becomes something of a vicious cycle. This was also silly as the night before I had gone out for someone’s birthday and had a great time, I wouldn’t have been invited if I wasn’t liked. Also, I am currently in Agonda with two people from the course and having a great time and hope to keep in touch when they leave. Unfortunately, the rational part of my brain doesn’t always speak up. Sunday night I went for dinner with some of the girls and then felt fine again, the next day I realised I was probably premenstrual and put my emotions down to that. Fast forward a week and I have been a bit up and down, suffering a bit with anxiety. It wasn’t overwhelming, just there in the back of my mind, I didn’t feel 100% comfortable and this made me want the course to be over so I could escape. Rather than solve my thinking pattern I wanted to get away from being in a group. I suppose that is ‘fight or flight’ despite having nothing to fight or escape from, just my mind! As always writing this post event I realise how silly I was being. After graduation those of us who hadn’t left immediately went for dinner, it was a lovely evening but as it was time to leave we had the emotional goodbyes and instead of feeling sad that we were parting ways I felt quite uncomfortable. Not because I wasn’t sad that it was all over and we wouldn’t be together anymore but I got it into my head that other people were sorry that they wouldn’t see each other but didn’t feel that way about me. Looking back this probably made me come across cold or that I didn’t care. If I had entered the situation enthusiastically without worrying what anyone was thinking, I would have got that back. Instead, I left feeling quite deflated. I cause my own suffering in these situations, it is ultimately my version of reality that causes me pain not the actions of anyone else. I build these things up as being something they aren’t. Why am I writing this? Well because I don’t believe I can be the only person who feels like this. If you do too, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. In summary, I am still a bit of a crazy person and yoga hasn’t fixed all my problems. I have however, been given ways to manage my monkey mind and I am more aware of my thoughts and actions. I need to meditate regularly to keep my brain in check. I am looking forward to seeing how it enriches my life going forwards and hopefully I can help not only myself but others in becoming more comfortable in their own skin.

Yoga Journey: ACCEPTANCE & LETTING GO

I have been trying to write this post for the past three weeks but for some reason the words did not want to be written. Perhaps it is because there are things I don’t want to admit to myself let alone other people but I said I would be 100% honest and if I don’t write this then I’m not being true to myself. I am reading my journal, trying to remember the emotions I felt so strongly such a short while ago. That’s the thing about emotion, once it has passed it is very difficult to bring the feelings back in their entirety. This is a shame when they are good but a very good thing when we have gone through something traumatic. I suppose the lesson there is that if you are currently experiencing some challenging emotions, take comfort that they will pass and once they do the full strength of the emotion will be diminished if not fully forgotten. Those who know me or follow me on Instagram will know that I love the gym, constantly pushing myself to the limit physically. One of my fears before coming on my Yoga Teacher Training was that I would lose my cardiovascular fitness and all my strength. I had planned to get up early and do some HIIT and still go to the gym 2-3 times a week to do weights (this seems quite ridiculous now). During our opening Puja on the first day of the yoga course we were told explicitly not to do any other form of training as not only would we not fully get the benefits of the yoga but also risked injury. To say I was upset is an understatement, I felt angry and I was on the verge of tears through frustration as well as fear. During the first week I was forced to access why this mattered to me so much. Was it really the fitness that was upsetting me or something deeper? I felt a loss of control, not only could I not exercise as I wanted, I could not eat how I normally would. I feared putting on weight, which I realise may sound silly as I am naturally thin but like many women I have a daily battle with the way I feel about my body. One day I will feel too big, usually imagining I have big thighs (something I have thought since I was horse riding as a teenager) and another I will think I look too skinny.  To not like your body is a horrible feeling and our bodies don’t deserve to be treated like this. We are constantly bombarded with images of what we ‘should’ look like. The current fashion is a big bum, something I will never achieve as that’s not my shape. I also have no boobs which used to really bother me, now I’m fairly accepting. We put far too much emphasis on the outside and ignore what our bodies do for us. Simple things like being able to get out of bed in the morning or putting on socks, which I discovered was a luxury when I suffered from a back injury a couple of years ago. It is only when something is taken away that we appreciate it and then it is sometimes too late. Before coming away I was so regimented in my exercise routine that the thought of going on holiday lost its appeal, I feared breaking my routine. When things become an addiction, it is no longer a good thing regardless of it being alcohol, drugs, exercise, yoga or love. We often jump from one thing to another, usually to fill a void and until will fix the underlying problem we won’t feel fulfilled. Taking a week off or even 4 weeks off in my case isn’t the end of the world and if it feels like it is maybe take time to consider why. During the first two weeks, I battled with my emotions, I was really angry a lot of the time. The yoga wasn’t hard enough for me so I felt like I wasn’t getting enough of a workout. This is completely not the point of yoga, it is not exercise and shouldn’t be viewed as such. I was just struggling to let go of my addiction to exercise and my fear of putting on weight. It also made me realise that I didn’t want to cure myself of this feeling as I worried that if I did then I would relax diet and exercise regime and ultimately put on weight, so the whole thing is something of a viscous cycle. Another thing that came up in those first two weeks was my battle with injury. When I was 17 I had issues with my knees which forced me to give up horse riding. Since I’ve been exercising regularly they have been fine but after spending the first day sat cross legged they rebelled. They hurt all the time and I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to bend them at all due to inflammation. This also made me very angry, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do my usual exercise after the course and remember quite clearly thinking nothing was worth injuring myself long term. Thursdays were our ‘day of silence’, left alone with our thoughts. By the end of the first Thursday I had been trapped with my thoughts all day and was getting more and more upset about my knees. Someone asked if I was ok and that’s when it all came out. Why is it that the minute someone asks you that you that question it is impossible to hold it together?? I got back to my room and sobbed, proper loud, uncontrollable sobs, luckily my roommate wasn’t there. I didn’t really know why I was crying, I thought it was about my knees but it went deeper than that. At one point, I didn’t think I was going to stop, fortunately I did as I would have been seriously dehydrated if I didn’t 😉. It felt good to have got everything out, I didn’t need to know its source, just releasing it was enough. This was the turning point for me and I am pleased to say that although it was not plain sailing after this, it was much easier. I’m feeling much more relaxed now, by the end of the course I did not miss exercise at all. I have spent the past four days doing HIIT on the beach and it felt good to get out of breath, tomorrow I am going to have a rest day which I wouldn’t have allowed myself previously. I have lost muscle and I am sure the gym will be a struggle when I get back. I am accepting of this, I think I have nourished my body over the past month and become more in tune to its needs. I can now start a fresh, working on imbalances to prevent injuries and lay a strong foundation to hopefully result in becoming even stronger, faster and fitter. While I don’t think my body hang ups are resolved, they may never be but I have acknowledged them and my addiction to exercise, hopefully that is the first step to letting them go.

My Yoga Journey: A TIME FOR REFLECTION

It is my final morning in India, I can’t believe I have been here for 5 weeks. It has gone so quickly yet I feel like I have been here forever. London seems like a distant dream, a different lifetime. I do not know how I will readjust or how things will be when I am back. I just hope that I can keep this inner peace with me once I am there and make positive changes to my life. As our yoga teacher told us, the peace is within without it you can travel anywhere and your troubles will follow. You cannot run away from problems as they will travel with you. I would like to say a huge thank you to all my teachers from Himalaya Yoga Valley, each and every one was so passionate and knowledgeable on their subjects. They made them come alive and there wasn’t one that I did not enjoy. Secondly, to all you yogis that I shared the journey with, thank you for being such wonderful people and making the experience so special. I wish you all luck going forwards, you will all make fantastic teachers. Lastly, to Lalit Kumar for being our Yogacharya, I feel so honoured to have been taught by you and proud to say I am part of your lineage. I have a whole new appreciation of yoga and I am sure it will enrich my life as well as my future students. I will be coming back once I have processed and put into practice everything from this training. If anyone is interested in becoming a Yoga Teacher I can’t recommend Himalaya Valley enough, here is their website for more details http://yogagoaindia.com/. They also have a centre in Cork and Lalit will be doing workshops in Europe over the summer. I feel like I have changed so much both physically and mentally. I am much more relaxed (although it’s hard to be anything but chilled when you are spending your days reading on the beach). Our times spent in silence forced me to look inside myself and become more at peace with who I am. At first it was challenging but now I feel more at ease. I used to like being in my own company but I realise I used to fill it with exercise, TV or my phone, I was never fully alone with myself. I can now sit contently in silence, quietly contemplating rather than my mind going at a million miles an hour. Here are my big take homes from the experience: 1. It is ok to cry and to have emotions even if you can’t put a label on them. Emotions need to be released. I got caught up with the NLP approach that you control your state therefore you can change it. While I see that this is true and you don’t want to get caught in negative thinking, you also shouldn’t push down your feelings as the more you do this the more power it gives them. Also, this is placing a judgement of your emotions, that feeling sad is bad being happy is good. We shouldn’t be afraid to feel hate, anger, jealously or sadness, fully let go into them and they will pass rather than bottling it up to get stored in the body for it to show itself later in the form of disease or physical ailment. 2. You don’t know anyone else’s story, someone may do something that appears rude or aggressive but you do not know the full story. Treat everyone with compassion no matter how they treat you and try not to let other people influence your behaviour. Easier said than done but it’s something to work towards. 3. Suffering yet to come is to be avoided. This comes from the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. We should stop worrying about the future and what ‘might’ happen. live in the present and generally there is nothing to fear. This doesn’t mean spend all your money or do not make any plans, just don’t let the little fears of tomorrow and beyond stop your enjoyment of today. 4. Put the phone away! We should limit our exposure to the TV and our smartphones. I read in the Guardian that our attention span has reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds since the mobile revolution. I can fully believe this, I noticed myself talking to people whilst simultaneously checking my phone, I knew it is rude yet somehow couldn’t stop myself. My brain also felt sluggish, struggling to grasp the words I wanted to use. I don’t know if it is from the yoga, meditation, reading more or from having limited access to my phone but I have felt my brain awakening. My vocabulary has grown and my writing seems to have improved (you be the judge of this). Is it very easy to switch on the TV when you get home from work as it takes no effort to sit aimlessly in front of it but my intention is to limit my screen time and read instead. 5. Don’t be too strict with your routine. Having a routine is great and exercising regularly/doing yoga/eating healthily etc are all fantastic in moderation but once you can no longer skip it without feeling a sense of panic or remorse then it may be time to take a step back and reassess. Skipping the gym or eating a burger isn’t going to kill you, it is all about balance. 6. Take time for yourself, it is OK to put yourself first. Of course, you want to be there for friends and family but if you don’t recharge your own batteries you are no good to anyone. Seek out positive people, you absorb other people’s energy so if you surround yourself with happy people, you will feel happy also. 7. Meditate! Probably my biggest lesson, I struggled so much with this at the beginning, my mind was controlling me and it was exhausting. We are all human so there is no escaping the monkey mind but with practice we can learn to quieten it. Even 10 minutes a day can bring about big changes and it is well worth the effort. 8. Look after your body it’s the only place you have to live. You don’t always need to push yourself to the limit, listen to your body. When it wants rest, let it rest. If you are injured, let it heal. This will be the thing I struggle with most but I am not getting any younger and I need to take care of myself if I want to stay active for the rest of my life. 9. Love yourself, no one else can love you if you don’t love yourself. Nourish yourself with food, exercise, yoga and compassion. Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as planned, it is all a learning experience. You are exactly who and where you are meant to be in this moment. 10. You are not your story. Whatever has happened in the past is in the past, don’t let it dictate your future. Let it go and move forwards, all you have is the present so make the most of it. I think that’s enough of the deep and meaningfuls. My journey home is going to be long, let’s hope I don’t lose my zen in the process. I will continue to write about my reintegration to society, let’s hope the road isn’t too bumpy (although that will give me more to write about 😉). Namaste xx

Yoga Journey: BACK TO REALITY

I have now been back in London for exactly one week, officially the longest week since records began. Not necessarily in a bad way, I haven’t had a terrible time since being back, just feels like forever ago I was on the beach planning how I was going to conquer the world. It’s amazing how much more creative you feel when you don’t have any commitments and can just exercise, meditate, read, sunbathe and do yoga. Now I am back, my mind is filled with potential projects, things I ‘should’ be doing/reading, session planning, classes etc. How has it been reintegrating into society? Well, up and down. When I arrived back I felt quite flat, as if ‘is this it?’. While away, I had so many ideas of what I wanted to do with regards to setting up classes and events, the direction I want to take my business in etc. Now I am back, the reality of the obstacles that stand in my way are more apparent. There is also the familiar voice of ‘what if it doesn’t work?’. To that I must say, ‘if it doesn’t, no matter, just try something else’. It would be great if life was as easy as our daydreams, but then success wouldn’t be as rewarding. Apart from feeling slightly flat, I also feel disjointed, as if this isn’t real. Currently I am not sure of what I want, both short term or long term. I have just slipped straight back into working in the gym as if nothing has changed. I don’t want to get too comfortable and drift away from where I envisioned myself whilst away. I have a few things up my sleeve but these are just ideas at present, I haven’t made any positive steps towards them just yet. I probably shouldn’t be so hard on myself, it has only been 7 days after all. On the plus side, I have continued my morning meditation, chanting and pranayama. I feel so much better for it and since I have been home I have been asleep by 10 every night (yes including the weekend, I am officially a loser). I have always struggled with sleep, even as a baby much to my mother’s delight. While at university I was pretty much nocturnal, I remember my house mate saying to me, at 1pm when I had finally awoken, that I was the most asleep awake person she had ever seen. I would be tired all day then as soon as I got into bed my brain would switch on and it would be unlikely I would be asleep before 2am. Since being back I have not watched TV, I just don’t fancy watching anything. When my housemate had it on last night, it suddenly felt very hectic. I can see why I always struggled to doze off, I had a TV in my bedroom and used it to unwind. Really, this was completely counter intuitive and it has now been banished. I have also started to put my phone onto airplane mode at 9pm, no more email, Instagram or Whatsapp. It stays off until I have finished my morning meditation, starting my day gently rather than instantly getting caught up with messages and social media. My mantra since being back has been ‘the peace is within’, I am trying to stay calm despite the usual frustration and annoyances caused by the general public, particularly in a big city. I have also realised that when we have these kinds of reactions, it is usually down to our own mental state rather than their behaviour. I am also trying to stop and see the situations from the other persons point of view rather than instantly thinking they are a knob (I deduce that after analysing both sides). So far, this strategy has been working but that may be because I am still all ‘zen’. The thing that has helped me with easing back in to reality the most has been my clients. They have been really pleased to have me back and I realise what a difference I make to their lives (their words). What I do matters and that is a great feeling. I now have this wonderful gift of yoga and it is my duty to share that so that it can bring happiness into other people’s lives. I am ready to work hard over the next few months, on myself but also in getting myself out there and spreading the yoga love. In difficult times just remember, ‘the peace is within’.  

Ayurveda & The Doshas

One of the modules we studied as part of our Yoga Teacher Training was Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the traditional healing modality of the Vedic culture from India. It is said to be 2000 to 5000 years old. Ayurveda translated from Sanskrit means “the wisdom of life” or “the knowledge of longevity”. In accordance with this definition, Ayurvedic medicine views health as much more than the absence of disease. Within Ayurveda is the principle of the three Doshas; Vata, Pitta & Kapha. According to the philosophy, universal life force manifests as these three different doshas (or energies). We're all made up of a unique combination of these three forces. People can be strongly one dosha or they can be a combination of two or be a mixture of all three. This unique combination is determined at the moment of conception. As they move into and out of balance, the doshas can affect your health, energy level, and general mood. If you’re interested in finding out your constitution here is a link to a website that will tell you https://www.naturesformulary.com/test/dosha-test/ Kapha Kapha types have strong frames and are naturally athletic as long they are exercising regularly to manage their tendency to gain weight. The influence of the earth and water elements makes them innately stable, compassionate, and loyal. They appreciate doing things in a methodical, step-by-step manner, and prefer a regular routine in their personal and professional lives. When imbalanced they can become unmotivated, stubborn, and complacent even when change is necessary. Their metabolism tends to be slow and their appetite for both food and stimulation is less intense than vata or pitta types. They benefit from exposing themselves to new environments, people, and occasionally fasting. Pitta Pitta types are dominated by the fire element, which makes them innately strong, intense, and irritable. Pitta types are prone to bursts of anger although they do not hold grudges. They tend to have a medium build and endurance with powerful musculature. They often have freckled skin that easily reddens in the sun, during exercise, massage, and when blushing. They are strong willed and good at doing what they think is right. They approach work and play with the same intensity and competitiveness. They are natural leaders and quick learners whose ability to easily comprehend and master new skills and concepts can make them judgmental or impatient toward people they feel are slower or less focused than themselves. They have strong digestion and intense appetites because the burn food quickly. If they miss a meal they are likely to become grumpy and get ‘hangry’. It is common for them to suffer from health conditions such as stomach ulcers, inflammation, rashes and acne. For balance, pittas need to manage their "fiery" tendencies, channeling them in productive ways and learning to recognize their destructive power. Pittas should avoid spicy foods although it is common for them to enjoy the very things they should not have. They should also avoid performing too many backbends in yoga or kalabatti breathing as these produce even more fire. Vata Vata types tend to be slim and long limbed. They are very mentally and physically active and enjoy creative endeavors, meeting new people, and traveling to new places. When they are balanced, vatas are flexible, have lively imaginations, and are original thinkers. When imbalanced they can get anxious, ungrounded, and can seem "flaky" about fulfilling commitments, sticking to a routine, and completing projects. They tend to be cold so they do much better in warmer climates. It's common for vata types to experience cold hands and feet, dry skin, and cracking joints. The influence of the air element in their constitution causes their energy, mood, and appetite to fluctuate dramatically. For this reason, vata types often fail to eat and sleep regularly, swinging from eating heavy foods to ground and sedate themselves, or ingesting stimulants like coffee and sugar to sustain intense physical or mental activity. Insomnia and low immunity are very common problem for the sensitive vata person. I had a private appointment with an Ayurveda doctor and I am pretty much 100% Vata (I have a small amount of Pitta too). He said that my problems stem from the fact the nadis in my head are too open so I think too much. This causes me to suffer with insomnia and then really struggle to get up in the morning. He prescribed the following:
  1. Do a soup fast twice a week (funnily enough I usually do the 5:2 diet and found my body responds well to it.
  2. Perform two Svanasanas when I get home from work in the evening to calm my mind.
  3. Use oil on my skin to protect my joints (either sesame or almond).
  4. Don’t consume caffeine after 2pm.
  5. Do not eat late at night.
  6. Eat hot foods and if consume cold foods then also have a hot ginger tea.
  7. Use the sauna (or move somewhere hot which I think would be preferable).
  8. Get up before 7 otherwise you will struggle to wake up properly before 12.
  9. Perform nadi shodhana in the evening to balanced the nadis.
Since doing these things I do feel so much more balanced. It is all a viscous cycle, I would struggle with sleep then sleep in, use coffee to keep me going which would then cause insomnia. Now I have broken this and finally got control over my sleep, everything has fallen into place. I also previously suffered from digestive problems but since eating more hot food I haven’t had any issues with my stomach. I think part of this may be from eating mainly vegetarian, I watched an interesting documentary on Netflix at the weekend called ‘What the health’. It is definitely worth a watch as it completely went against everything I thought I knew about diet! The experts stated that eating too many animal products causes inflammation and various health conditions. I have found that since cutting down on my meat consumption I feel much healthier and a lot of people have commented on how good I look (thanks guys 😉). Try cutting down a bit and see how you feel, as the doctors on the program said, ‘no one ever comes in with a protein deficiency’. Food for thought….. dosha-diet