For anyone who regularly attends my classes you will know that I nearly always have music playing in the background at some stage during the practise. Every yoga teacher has their own opinions on whether music belongs in a yoga class or not
There’s nothing like the brutal honesty of a 5 year old when you are looking for an opinion on something. Over the years my nephew’s passionately enthusiastic or wildly disgusted reactions have been a keen influence on my creative experiments, mostly of the baked variety.
We all know that drinking water is good for us: for clearer skin, to flush out toxins from the kidneys and to keep our muscles rehdydrated. And yet sometimes religously drinking the recommended 2 litres a day can seem like a real chore
Over the past few months Marie Kondo’s best-selling book “The life-changing magic of tidying up” has caused quite a stir, driving many people to reassess the piles of clutter they have have stashed around their house which have buried old backstreet boys cds, dodgy handmade halloween costumes and out of date perfume bottles (I confess to all of the above).
I'm always on the lookout for sweet tasting treats to help me through the afternoon slump, that are on the healthier side and actually taste good, otherwise really what is the point?! I had the privilege last year of working with the goddess of guilt-free treats herself Susan Jane White on her incredible book The Virtuous Tart and was amazed by the variety of ingredients she uses to create her “saintly” delights. In her own words it’s about “turning those pesky sugar cravings into a nutritional hit… and taking the hell out of healthy”. Sounds good to me!
January ... a month that a lot of us dread, our bank accounts are looking empty and lonely, it seems that little bit greyer and all the Christmas sparkle has faded. It’s a time where I’m sure many of us would probably prefer just to snuggle up into a duvet and hibernate until spring arrives (or at least until our bank account has recovered from the shock of Christmas spending). Getting lots of healthy nourishment, sleep and exercise is especially important around this time of year, it helps your body to restore itself after holiday indulgences and refreshes and cleanses your mind to allow for a more positive outlook for January!
“What is a mug perch?” you are probably asking. Probably what I would have thought too before I came across these tiny baked wonders online and was captivated but how cute they were. I don’t know if they are offically called mug perches, but it seems to be the most appropriate thing to call them. Resting merrily on the side of your hot chocolate or Irish coffee they instantly make any hot drink more festive and cheery, and are guaranteed to get a good reaction from any guests you might have visting over the holiday season
Every year I get carried away day-dreaming of all the Christmas crafts I’m going to make, and this year was no different – my pinterest page is bursting at the seams with ideas that I’ve added during one of my many frenzied pinning sessions. In reality though most of them will never happen! Living in a very small space I have to take a more minimalistic approach to decorating and so this year, trying to adopt a more “Scandi-chic” approach I’ve added more subtle touches around the house, rather than the Christmas decoration explosion that I’m sometimes guilty of. Being a devotee of all things petite, I came across a few things that don’t take up too much room and will add a dash of Christmas sparkle to your home or as a gift for someone.
Winter is a wonderful time for cosy nights in, marshmallowy hot chocolate, twinkly fairy lights and candles, but Christmas can also bring with it quite a bit of stress and over indulgence. I love a Christmas party as much as anyone, but a bit of balance is also important and it’s a good idea to allow for some time out to rest and restore after a few too many late nights and mulled wines!
To help you along the way I’m giving away a gorgeous gift basket that I’ve put together to encourage you to take a bit of time out and relax over the Christmas season.
When I started planning my restorative workshops for November and December, I knew that I wanted to add a few little touches to make the whole experience as relaxing and special as possible. Back a few months ago in the (slightly) balmier Irish summer, I took myself off with a basket and a pair of scissors to my parents house, and helped myself to a generous supply of lovely lavender that they have growing in their garden. As well as having a beautiful scent, lavender is known for the relaxing effect it has on the mind and the body – a small sniff of this gorgeous plant produces a calming and sedative state and some research even suggests that it slows the activity of the nervous system. Essential lavender oil also has some really handy medicinal properties, you can have a look at some of them here: www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7769/13-uses-for-lavender-oil-the-only-essential-oil-youll-need. Pretty impressive for a little plant you can grow in your back garden!
Starting public yoga classes in my own studio space wasn't part of my immediate plan when I first qualified as a teacher, I was happy enough running private sessions and covering in studios across Dublin. However it's funny how the universe works and offers up an opportunity when you least expect it - for me it was when I was on a morning run around Herbert Park! I spotted a lovely little wooden building with lots of glass windows and light, newly renovated and seemingly completely empty. With visions of it being the perfect yoga studio, curiosity and nosiness got the better of me.
Last weekend I was in London for a few days visiting a friend and was hoping to escape from the miserable Irish summer we've been having, but unfortunately the weather had other ideas and the rain followed me across! It didn't stop us having from a brilliant weekend though and was the perfect excuse for checking out lots of little quirky cafes and eateries across the city which is one of my favourite things to do. I love soaking up all the creativity that a new city has to offer and usually return home with my head brimming full of ideas! The sun even came out for a while on the Saturday and we made it to a fantastic food festival in Clapham Common called the Foodies Festival. I'm so lucky with how close and easy to get to London is, so I know that if I miss out on seeing anything on my list I'll be able to make it next time. If anyone is planning a trip to London in the next while here are some of the little gems I visited :
West Cork is a foodie paradise - tucked into every little village along this beautiful coastline are amazing displays of the best of Irish food. You are completely spoilt for choice and need at least 2 weeks to give this tasty trail proper justice. Pack some loose pants - this is not a time to be worrying about calories! Here is just a sample of some of my favourite places that we tried out during our week in this gorgeous part of the country - I can't wait to go back and try some more! We found the Wild Atlantic Way Food Guide by John & Sally McKenna invaluable for recommendations along the way - thanks to that we arrived back in Dublin a few stone heavier!