Viewing entries tagged
Yoga

5 Essential Morning Mum Routines

1. Apple Cider Vinegar 

The first thing I do when I wake up is go downstairs boil the kettle. Whilst I'm waiting:

  • 1 desert spoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 squeezes of lemon
  • circa 5 Mls of boiler water
  • circa 5 Mls of cold filtered water

I drink this and it balances me, my PH and digestion and has worked wonders for my energy and skin.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother)

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother)

2. Run/ Yoga/ Mediate

So as a working mum I know it's not always possible to ring fence time, so it can depend on the day or maybe the nights sleep that was had.  What I do have is even if it's 5 minutes mediation, downward dog or more ideally for me a run and yoga.  After one of the above my energy levels are on peak for the day, if I have not down in the morning then I make sure I do a session at lunch.  I would be lying if I said as a mum life always goes as planned, but I've found a healthy habit is easier with a diversity of practice and making it achievable, as opposed to punishing the body for some unsustainable routine.

After a run I also do some yoga and kettle bells

After a run I also do some yoga and kettle bells

3. Coconut Oil - Teeth Pulling

I got into teeth pulling 3 years ago.  I wanted a more natural way to fight cavities, maintain and improve gum and dental health.  

  • I take a spoon of coconut oil when i finished my run or practice, and literally swim it around my mouth.  
  • Pushing and pulling it the coconut oil in and out of my teeth with my mouth closed for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Typically, I am still teeth pulling whist showering, doing my hair and getting ready.  
  • Sometimes, I use the floss tips at the same time or before for an extra clean.
  • Finally I gargle and spit it out into tissue or kitchen towel in the sink, so it does no block the drains.  Then straight into the bin.  
  • Finally, I scrub my teeth.
Organic Coconut Oil

Organic Coconut Oil

4. Salt (when needed)

8 or so years ago I got an infection from a spa, and to say I had acne was an understatement. It left my face badly scared,  After several treatments to the dermatologist which did not work the one thing that did was salt!  Just ordinary table salt.  None of the fancy kind which i normally cook with, but just cheap as chips table salt.  If my face needs a bit of an exfoliation or brighting (now only now and again). 

  • Splash warm water onto my face to open up the pores
  • Take a handful of salt and gently rub onto the skin
  • Rinse with warm water 
  • Finish with cool water to close the pores
Salt (just normal table salt)

Salt (just normal table salt)

5. Olay with SPF

I gave up using fancy cream. My husband has tried to treat me to posh creams, but honestly the best cream that works for me is Olay.  However, what ever your cream moisturise ideally with an SPF inside.

Oil of Olay

Oil of Olay

The Misperception about Yoga and Competition

I was one of those kids in school who got picked mid-way through or last to play on a team. I played rugby, netball, cricket and basketball. It was not that I did not like sports, but it was the fact I was a girl who had assets well beyond her years.  So much so I had to have a breast reduction at 18.

In my early 20’s I fell in love with spinning. I could infinitely peddle to the beat and get to Mars is I wanted.  I even trained to do a 470km run and cycle to raise money for the Princes Trust.  I felt so focused running.  Then S*** happened literally!  I came down with Shigella, which before you start googling is a form of Dysentery.  9 days into agonizing pain and my doctor not wanting to shell out antibiotics they did further blood tests and then the strongest dose of antibiotics knocked me flat.  I had no energy, my muscular strength went and I had to build it up again.

In my transition period I started Ashtanga yoga.  I loved it.  At that time of my life I was still deluded that career meant success.  So I spent my time as a Management Consultant working on bids until 4am in the morning, living out of a suit case, travelling, accumulating air miles and not knowing where I was going to be on a Monday.  To be fair it was exciting and I made the most amazing friends, and worked with really talented people that satisfied my intellectual needs. 

I then went independent but relocated to Zurich.  At that point I started to challenge what success really was.  I was earning lots of money, great friends, had a great serviced apartment, property and a jet set life style and I was still in my 20’s.  The truth was on a Sunday I would be alone in that apartment and working; but for what. 

In my second transition period a colleague at work asked me to go to a Bikram Yoga class.  I then practiced Bikram, but something inside of me changed.  I decided to not fly back home every weekend (because I had great friends and family), but to try and integrate into life in Zurich.  I decided to focus on me.  Each day I went into the studio I focused on me.  It wasn’t about those around me, my success was not measured by what others were doing.  It was about my practice.  Some days my body was different, and I could not go as far and some days my body had a new alignment having a deeper and more advanced practice.  I had gone from the competition being external, to internal.  I was figuring out what connected me, how could I improve with discipline and focus and this competition was tougher than winning a netball match.  It also had life changing implications.  In parallel I started and captained the netball team making great friends, but it took me away from what was my true passion. 

Life changing self-competition made me focused on everything that connects me.  I started to bring and define success for me: my amazing husband (I was single at 30), 2 beautiful children, teach and practice yoga, challenge my mind in a fulfilling and balanced role and education, a healthy life style as my appetite and food tastes changed, as well as launch my start up.  I broke away from Bikram yoga because of the significant number of alleged rapes.  I continue to practice Ashtanga and Hatha.

There is a misconception that because yoga is not directly competitive it doesn’t add any value.  I have had these comments from previous team mates, and even friends.  I never try to force my thinking on them.  Slowly over the years others have started to practice and you can see the change.  What I wanted to share was the clarity of perception I have now.   When I thought I was being competitive running, and playing netball it was a distraction.  The hardest thing was to constantly improve when the only tool is your own body.  That body can change, and believe me it did after each child.  I had to go back to zero again which is very humbling, and start again.  I don’t get distracted with what others are doing and my life is whole.

8 Minutes to Give You Energy Every Day

I pretty much practice yoga every day.  I have done so ever since I caught dysentery at a Hotel in Edinburgh.    Yes, dysentery I thought it was a disease from the times of Charles Dickens but this was in 2003.  Ashtanga yoga was my way to get my strength back, from that I grew the practice in breadth and depth to Bikram, Hatha, Kundalini and Vinyasa Flow and eventually teaching; which I love.

The health benefits have been enormous. The focus, self-awareness and energy I have everyday multiplies every area of my life.

I vary my practice dependent on the day and time as a busy working mother of 2.  If I have only 8 minutes there are 4 exercises I do to oxygenate my body, wake up my bones and get the blood to my brain.

Pranayama

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I always say Yoga get’s me at breathing.  This controlled breathing exercise increases your lung capacity delivering oxygen to your organs, and hence revitalising your body in the morning.  It’s also a good exercise before an important meeting or presentation.

Arda Chandrasana Padahastasana

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This posture not only gives quick energy, but also when done right works your stomach, bum, hips, thighs and spine.

Garurasana

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I include this posture because it balances out your hormones, which can impact your balance all day.  I believe it is also why I fell pregnant so quickly!

Ardha Kurmasana

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The stretch in this posture is great for your neck; shoulders, lymph glands and blood flow to the brain.

In India yoga was not necessarily a series, but postures to address different conditions.  A regular practice is of course the best scenario, once you know your practice, body and postures then you can break postures down into their benefits.  This compartmentalisation allows you to do a few postures that give you just what you need when you need it, when you are short of time.

Of course consult your doctor with any new form of exercise.

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