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Yoga

Taking Care of your Joints During Yoga

June 23, 2021 • By

As an Ashtanga yoga practitioner it’s almost inevitable that at some point during our dedication to practice we will endure some kind of injury. The most common complaints from an Ashtangi are wrist pain or knee discomfort. We spend a lot of our yoga practice pushing our bodies to the very edge of our comfort zone and, unfortunately, this can often result in twinges that delay our progression.

Before I started practicing yoga many years ago I used to suffer terrible knee problems. My knees would swell and become painful after 12 hours shifts and long distance runs. Eventually I had to seek medical help and was referred to a physiotherapist. I was given a recovery programme and vast amounts of anti-inflammatory medication. The moral of the story being, prevention is better than cure.

It wasn’t until I started to understand my body better through my yoga practice that I learned the importance of taking care of my joints. It’s not something we often think of when we are young, more interested in getting abs or a bigger bum, both of which become impossible tasks if you suffer joint problems.

In order to have a near perfect practice every time I roll out my mat I’ve started taking care of my joints from the inside out. I always ensure to warm up my knees and ankles at the start of every practice, I eat well, stay hydrated and I have started to incorporate Feel Joints daily vitamins into my wellness routine.

Feel are a subscription-based service that makes it super convenient to get your daily intake of goodness and stops you from running out as soon as you’ve got your body to a good places. When taken consecutively for a minimum of 90 days Feel Joints are clinically proven to alleviate knee osteoarthritis and sooth pain right at the source. The not so secret, secret is their highest quality, anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Think about what happens to your joints during your yoga practice, especially if you are new to the practice;

  • Downward Facing Dog – your ankles and wrists are closest to the Earth and are therefore taking the majority of your weight. A well seasoned practitioner may have built up strength in these areas overtime but would always benefit from extra nutrients to these areas.
  • Jump through: the hands and wrists take all the body weight on a jump through and there is also the added risk of injury from the movement (as soon as a joint becomes mobile, it risks injury)
  • Marichyasana B & D: the knee joints in these variations become temperamental if performed incorrectly. The knee joint should be kept locked to keep it protected, however if you have any issues with your patella these postures can often be problematic. Natural anti-inflammatory nutrients will help to alleviate this.

To ensure that your practice can stay consistent and you enjoy many, many years of a healthy yoga practice it’s important we take care of these often forgotten about areas of the body. If you’ve ever suffered an injury during your Ashtanga practice, either on or off the mat, you’ll know if can throw you off course for weeks, months or years, holding us back from progressing in our practice and feeling the full benefits of yoga.

I’ll be taking a holistic approach to my practice moving forward, taking care of my body from the inside and out.

For 20% off your first month use JOINTS20 at checkout.


Yoga

In the absence of love, nothing truly exist

May 18, 2020 • By

I watched a documentary recently on someone I admire.
She had fire in her. She was beautiful, strong, caring, assertive and, most importantly, full of light.
She pissed people off daily but made waves in her career.
She was a mother but not a wife.
She was a lover but not a partner.
She did everything she was told not to.
She died at 66 years of age.
No age at all.
66 years in a body.

It made me think, these things we choose to focus on in life. All of them are irrelevant in the absence of love.
Love of another person.
Love of a child.
Love of a twin flame.
Love of a passion.
In the absence of love, nothing truly exist.

Let’s be certain love is not something you can pursue. You can’t chase a person in the hopes they will love you. You can’t raise a child in the hopes that they will one day care for you. You can’t force yourself to be passionate about something. It all just exists, granted it is cultivated and cared for, but if you ask your lover why they love you they will produce a list of physical attributes and personality traits. In reality that isn’t an accurate answer, as when you no longer possess the looks and traits (i.e. when you die) that love from them to you will still exist.

Love already exists in you and, if you are one of the lucky ones, you will discover it at a young age, thus it will carry you confidently throughout your life. Once you find it within you will realise if another person, place, job or object doesn’t resonate it will, very quickly, cease to fulfil you and you will walk away where many won’t.

When all of your actions stem from that place of self love you will begin to attract those that can reciprocate; people that feel like home, careers that fan flames of determination, think sympathetic vibrations. Love resides in the feminine energy and from feminine energy creation happens. This allows you to birth new ideas, projects, even people (babies to be exact).

If you’ve spent your time in isolation wondering how you can improve your life post lockdown start with finding the traits within you can take you away from self love. Work on those traits, peel back layers of self discovery, are you holding on where you needn’t? Eventually you will find the source within you that will one day have you resonating from a place of the purest form of love and that will live on far beyond the 66 years old physical form.


Yoga

Practice with me during Covid-19 Lockdown

May 12, 2020 • By

Still wanting to stay fit, healthy and mindful during the Covid-19 lockdown? I’m really pleased to let you know you can now still attend my Sunday morning yoga classes but from the comfort of your own home.

The Northern Lawn Club and I are working hard to ensure you still get your weekly dose of yoga (and other fitness classes too!), all whilst staying safe and adhering to government guidelines.

If you would like to receive my weekly classes please email reception@thenorthern.com to sign up to online classes. Members this will be in your newsletter.

This lockdown won’t last forever and we will one day be able to practice together again. Until then, roll out your mat at home, stay fit, stay healthy and stay sane!

See you all very soon.


Yoga, Yoga & Meditation

Lululemon X The Refuge Manchester

July 4, 2019 • By

Lululemon Yoga Event | Northern Yogi

This past month has been a difficult one for me personally. I’ve had a lot going on in my private life (more on that at a later date) and I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to heal some hurts. As a dedicated yoga practitioner I know my yoga practice is my anchor when I’m feeling unsettled so I was really pleased when Lululemon invited me to attend their Bank Holiday Yoga event at The Winter Garden in The Refuge.

The class was held in the Winter Garden, an amazing, bright space for a yoga class. Lululemon rolled out their sticky mats, which looked great against the contact tiled flooring. The room is filled with greenery and trees so you really feel a calm aura as you soak in the environment.

Yoga Event Manchester | Northern Yogin

The class was taught by a wonderful teacher, Jen Possamai. She taught a beautiful Indian inspired yoga flow that focused on our Agni, our fire. We started with some calming breath work and gradually built up heat flowing through Vinyasa, warriors, balances and even grasshopper pose!

Refuge Manchester X Lululemon | Northern Yogi

I’m a great believer in messages from the universe and with all  the difficulty I’ve been managing lately I was very surprised to find a little quote left at the end of my yoga mat as I rose from Savasana, it read:

“Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another to control your emotions” 

Let us sit with that for a moment.

If you are interested in attending a free Lululemon event you can find them here: CLICK


Natural Beauty & Skincare, Yoga

Cruelty Free Face Mask for Better Skin

April 11, 2019 • By

Cruelty free skincare | Northern Yogi

 

Beautiful skin is something that most of us aspire to achieve, yet it can mean so many different things to different people, as we all have our own ideas of beauty. To me ‘beautiful skin’ means hydrated, glowing and (if my hormones will allow) blemish free. I love skincare, but there are two my skincare products must be:

  1. Cruelty free.
  2. As natural as possible.

I was recently introduced to a brand that ticked both these boxes, Bella Forever. They’ve created a cruelty free skincare range of face masks that are 100% natural.

You can read more about the natural clay they use here. (CLICK)

Vegan Skincare Blog | Northern Yogi

I’ve recently started using the Mint Cooler Deep Cleansing face mask. The mask aims to remove any impurities from the skin, it’s what clay does best, and absorb any excess oil. It contains sage essential oil which calms and refreshes. It also smells incredible! The mask also came with a cute little application kit containing a mixing bowl, stir stick, a super soft application brush and 3 measuring spoons. I’d recommend adding the kit as it made applying the mask so much easier. Any clay masks I’ve used in the past have been challenging to get the correct consistency and application, this kit definitely helped.

Vegan Beauty Products | Northern Yogi

The mask brushes on really smoothly and feels cool to the touch. It dried well but didn’t have that horrible, can’t move your face, tight feeling. I was able to talk and drink without the mask cracking off. I left it the recommended 15 minutes before washing off with a face cloth. It came away really easily and, again, my skin didn’t feel tight or in desperate need of moisturiser.

I have a problem area, prone to blemishes on my cheek. It’s a recent addition to my life and I’m not sure what causes it, yet. So a day or so after using the mask the toxins from this area of my face started to surface. Clay draws out toxins don’t forget! Don’t let this put you off, what is deep down beneath the surface of your skin will eventually let itself be known. Best to deep cleanse often, with non-toxic products, to keep breakouts down to a minimum.

I like this mask. I like this company. The skincare world is in need of good quality, non-toxic, natural and cruelty free ways of maintaining great skin and Bella Forever definitely delivered the goods.

 

Products in the blog were gifted, all opinions are my own.

 

 


Yoga, Yoga & Meditation

How to Block Any External Distractions In Yoga

March 17, 2019 • By

If our yoga practice was in a film it would be you, alone in a hilltop log studio, overlooking a picturesque rain-forest. Birds and crickets the only sounds you can hear, the temperature is perfect and the surroundings are breathtaking. Your body moves effortlessly to the sounds of nature and your mind transcends the mortal, sending you into a deep medative state.

 

Snap back to reality, Eminem style.

You’re at home. You’ve got a ‘to-do’ list as long as your arm, a full time job, children, partner and a dog. On top of the struggle juggle you’re trying to better your health and bring a sense of calm into your life by doing yoga. You roll out your yoga mat whenever and wherever you can and this often this means there will be a little, or a lot, of distractions. Interesting, however, this can really enhance your yoga life.

How?

When we practice yoga our aim is to bring our mind, body and breath into unison. To do this you must learn to block out any external distractions. It’s why we have a Drishti (focused gaze) and why we tune in to our Ujjayi breath. Now imagine the conditions of your daily yoga practice are consistently perfect. Would you tune is to yourself as much?

 

Practitioners that occasionally have to practice when the conditions aren’t ideal will built up a stronger resilience to external distractions. This means they have a stronger ability to block out anything that might distract them from their focus in life, be that a career challenge or relationship issue. Anything that throw you off course from achieving your desired goal.

So the next time the neighbours upstairs are banging around during your yoga practice think, ‘ah, this serves me’. Then breath a big, loud breath and continue to focus on your practice. The more often you do this the stronger your resilience will become.

And remember, it’s called a practice for a reason! We are all practising strength, practising focus, practising determination.

All is coming.

 


Wellness & Lifestyle, Yoga

Staying Healthy Through the Festive Period

December 14, 2018 • By

Yoga Wellness | Northern Yogi

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And, let’s face it, it’s the time of year where all our willpower goes out of the window. It’s definitely a time for hibernation, sitting on the sofa, watching Christmas films and stuffing your face with chocolate. I love to do this as much as the next girl, believe me! But this year I’m making a conscious effort to continue to focus on feeling good.

For me feeling good means having lots of energy, feeling well rested, feeling upbeat and motivated. To ensure this happens over the Christmas period I’ll make sure I tick off these feel good tips.

  • Don’t drink too much alcohol. Yep, I’ve said it! Over the Christmas period it’s more likely your alcohol intake will increase. A bucksfizz (Mimosa for my American readers) at breakfast, a red wine over dinner, vegan Bailey at deserts. It’s all too tempting, but then the next day when you feel groggy and sick and your head hurts you decide to do it all over again on boxing day, and again the day after that, let’s not get started on New Years Eve! By January 1st you are probably 40% proof and ready for a detox. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Yes, drinking is fun but it’s important to know your limits. You don’t have a different liver just because it’s Christmas and you need to give your body a chance to rest and recover. It you are wanting to hold on to your top notch health over Christmas then swap a few of your alcoholic beverages for water or non-alcoholic cocktails.
  • Get outside and go for a stroll. Being outdoors, in the fresh air, surrounded by nature is not only good for your cardiovascular health, it makes you feel better emotionally and mentally. We have a tendency to become that little bit lazier over the festive period, and rightly so. You’ve worked hard all year and this is the perfect time to take a good, long rest. But, just 30 minutes outside each day can normalise your sleep schedule, expose you to much needed vitamin D, unplug you from your electronic devices, giving you time to mentally recharge. It lowers your cortisol levels and your blood pressure and will help you shift that 3rd mince pie. Beside all of these amazing benefits being outdoors is fun!
  • Eat right! You’re probably thinking there is absolutely no way you’re going to watch what you eat over the Christmas period. But, hear me out, I don’t mean you have to refrain from eating, I’m saying eat right! Less meat (or no meat if you can), more veggies, dates, fruit, nuts, cover everything in dark chocolate and feast until your heart is content. Christmas doesn’t mean your body no longer needed vitamins. You’ll be more likely to avoid that January cold too!

Get Outside | Wellness Blog | Northern Yogi

Take time over the festive period to spend quality time with the people you love, switch your phone off and give them your undivided attention. Fill up on feel good foods, don’t overdo it on the works do and make sure you get some fresh air every day.

Have a wonderful Christmas, continue to practice yoga and mediate daily. I’ll see you in the New Year.


Wellness & Lifestyle, Yoga

Lisbon

November 20, 2018 • By

Yoga & Meditation Lisbon

For a very long time now Lisbon has been in my top ten must see places to visit and last month I was lucky enough to take my first trip. We spent 5 day, 4 nights exploring all the city has to offer. I’m already planning my next trip!

When to Go:

Apparently the best time of the year to visit Lisbon is either early Spring or late Autumn as the heat and prices are both very high June – September. We opted for autumn and were not disappointed with the weather. In the day it reached 31 degrees but at nighttime fell to a lovely 17 degrees. Although 31 degrees is still very hot to be wandering around the city it’s really easy to stay in the shade. Lisbon is famous for it’s winding streets and aside from creating a beautiful landscape they also provide much needed shade.

Yoga in Lisbon

Where to Stay:

We stayed at Hotel Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa because I wanted somewhere with a pool so we could have one afternoon of lazing around. It’s a beautiful hotel with the most amazing roof bar. Head up there around sunset for the most incredible views of the city and a great cocktail! 

Where to Stay Lisbon

What to Eat:

Eating Vegan is Lisbon was actually really easy. You’ll find with most major cities nowadays there are always vegan cafes and vegan options on the menu. I downloaded Happy Cow, the app that helps vegans find eateries around the globe, I was never more than a few KM aware from somewhere I could eat. A few notable places:

  • Zenith – The ideal breakfast or lunch place for both meat eaters and vegans. They have pancakes, toasts, acai bowls, smoothies and vegan options of most things.
  • Foodprintz – By far one of the best eateries I visited whilst in Lisbon. It’s 100% vegan and hosts yoga classes too. I have to avocado on rye with a green warrior juice and cappuccino.  This place has a lovely, peaceful atmosphere, friendly staff and great food.

Foodprintz Vegan Cafe Lisbon

Juice Cafe Lisbon

Eat Vegan in Lisbon

What to Do:

One of my favourite places was the Botanical Gardens which was like visiting a tropical oasis in the middle of a busy city. The air felt cleaner, there was space to move and space to be still, to breathe, to meditate to relax. It was tranquil and contained the most amazing collection of tropical plants, most I had never seen before. A tropical oasis of clam that is definitely worth the trip.

Surrounding the botanical gardens are cute and kooky shops selling everything from handmade stationary to bags, shoes, jewellery and shampoo. Across the road there is a small tree lined park, in which there is a cafe where you can sit and watch the world go by whilst eating chip butties. Absolute perfection!

Street Yoga Lisbon

If visiting Lisbon for the first time you must take a trip on the funicular that takes you to the top of one of Lisbon’s many hilltops, on which you will find lots of market stalls, sangria and live bands for dancing the night away.

We also took a trip on the oldest tram in the city (number 24) which takes you up to the castle via the little winding streets of Lisbon, it’s classic and you get to see the real Lisbon, complete with washing lines across the roads!

Lisbon really is a wonderful city, it has the perfect balance of ambitious city and laid back cool. It’s charming yet modern. It caters to vegans and there is always something to do or see, even if that means just sitting with a coffee and watching the day pass you by.