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Wellness- Self Reflection and Growth!

Hi lovely souls, I wanted to write this blog about Self Reflection and Growth. Each one of us have and still are going through major adjustments this year, which have been out of necessity and not of our choosing.

We are well into our second week of our second lockdown, I wonder if you have taken the time to reflect on how are you feeling? Are you finding this lockdown easier or more difficult to manage? and on reflection, can you spot the moments, where you have identified qualities about yourself that you hadn’t really paid attention to before.

Throughout this roller coaster ride we have had to do some deep inner work that we might usually push to one side to deal with another day!

Did you discover something new about yourself? Maybe you found a new an enjoyable pastime! If so this is an opportunity for spiritual growth, a chance to mindfully accept our emotions exactly where they are, not judging or comparing ourselves, although this can be is tricky if we are looking at our social media feeds on a regular basis!

I personally witnessed mixed emotions throughout the first lockdown, at first I enjoyed not having a routine to begin with, but then after a while I created a routine, because I could feel lethargy creeping in.

On one hand I felt swept up in the panic to put my yoga and pilates classes online, plus set up a booking system and other admin, which in its self was a huge learning curve for me and I’ll be the first person to admit I’m not very digitally minded, so this was quite a stressful time. On the flip side of this I really enjoyed the slower pace and the quieter roads and having my daughter home before she went to University.

I kept myself busy and Rosie and I put together our online offerings, which are always a magical evening. I also trained in Yin Yoga and gained my certification.

The point of me telling you all this is, that I learnt a few things about myself during the first lockdown and now we have gone in to a second lockdown we might witness something else about ourselves, perhaps a different wave of emotions or you might discover a new hobby or passion…

I noticed that last time I tried to fit too many things into my day! which sometimes left me exhausted with little time for self care! yes I know, Yoga teachers preach about selfcare, but we can sometimes be good at giving and not always so good at recieving!

I also became aware that my mind craves knowledge and new experiences and that after my big digital learning curve I have gained more confidence and knowledge in dealing with technical issues than I had prior to lockdown. although I still have a long way to go!

I have even greater appreciation for all the things in my life however small or simple that might be, especially being outside in nature. Generally I prefer to travel outside of the UK but with travel restrictions in place I have come to appreciate my local area. One instance that highlighted how fortunate I was to live in this area was when I met some people by the river at Cookham, who had driven in from London to spend the day because they had no access to the parks and green spaces there to take their children too at that time. .

Once the second lockdown was announced I decided to approach this one differently and see it as an opportunity to not to overload my day, making more time for selfcare, whether that be spending time in nature, taking other instructors zoom classes, for my own practice and for inspiration, as we can learn so much from each other or just having a relaxing bath or listening to a podcast or audio book.

I have accepted that I like to challenge myself, I started a marketing course in September, that I knew would be a huge challenge for me as its not a natural strength, but I knew it was important for me to obtain some of these skills. It has been very overwhelming and time consuming and on occasion I’ve thought “why have I done this” as I was struggling to fit it into my normal working schedule

With this second lockdown I have taken a step back and decided the best way to cope with the course was to take it in small manageable chunks and gradually progress as I’ve realised it is not a race.

I was looking through some photos and came upon the one I have put as the blog picture, which was from my trip to Guatemala back in January, I can’t believe that we did that this year! it seems an age ago now. I reflected on how fortunate I was that Rosie spotted it and I’m so grateful that she did. We both decided to take the leap and book it short notice with only a month before the course started. It was one of those moments where the Universe aligns and you just trust in the process.

The day before we realised we had forgotten to fill in the ESTA form that we needed to land in Atanta en route, so there was a stressful few hours sorting that out!

It was worth the panic as when we finally arrived in Guatemala our adventures began. The venue was based at the permaculture forest home of Coby and Ananda the facilitators who just welcome you with open arms and you felt as if you had come to your spiritual home. The whole experience from sleeping in a tent under the stars, seeing the sunrise over Lake Atitlan, practising yoga looking out at the volcano and interacting with the other beautiful souls on the course, whilst learning the different ceremonies and trying different plant medicines, it was unlike any other training I had ever undertaken before and I feel so thankful to the facilitators at Kula Collective, for the transformational journey, the training helped me trust in myself, see things differently and be open to new opportunities and experiences. I am hopeful that one day I will be back to learn with them, when travel becomes easier again.

To summarise, our lives are a journey of learning and growth, there are times when its smooth and times when the journey is bumpy. Reflecting on how far you’ve come, what you have achieved and learning to accept when things are out of our control, helps us cope and manage our stress levels when the road is less smooth. This is growth!

if you can appreciate what you have in your life, your home, loved ones, green spaces, maybe an amazing yoga and meditation practice and seeing the beauty in simple things. Your mindset and outlook will become more positive, life seems less of a struggle and you find more happiness internally. One thing that this year might have taught us is that we can manage with less external stimulation and we are able create new patterns for ourselves.

Take good care to nourish your mind body and soul, trusting in yourself and trusting in the bigger forces at play, helps you live life with more ease, (sukha) grace, peace, flow and harmony, I look forward to seeing you all on the other side.

Reflecting back to January 2020

Yours in WELLNESS x

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why eat Seasonal Foods?

With the cycle of the seasons, comes a change in temperature and daylight and if we listen to our intelligent bodies, that have evolved over millions of years we might sense an instinctive need to adapt the types of foods that we eat to mirror the shift in season.

It’s important for us to eat seasonal produce, because the food is harvested upon ripeness, reducing early picking and packing, its grown closer to home, so that there is less time spent travelling from farm to table, this means that the produce has much more flavour and nutritional benefits. Nature provides all that we need at the appropriate time of year to sustain a healthy body.

If you ever gone fruit picking or foraging as a child, I’m sure you will remember the pleasure of picking your own fruit, plus the delicious taste of that juicy apple or blackberry all your senses heightened during that experience. Forever stored in or memory banks to be recalled each time that season comes back around.

 The difficulty that comes from living In a western society is that we have become so used to having the choice of foods that we desire on supermarket shelves all year round, that we get into the habits of picking up the same things regularly. With many of us having lost the awareness of when and how our food is produced.

Many items in supermarkets are not seasonally grown in our country or locality and have been transported many thousands of miles across the globe before the food is ripe. The produce is often sprayed with chemicals, waxes or concealed inside packaging filled with gases to preserve the shelf life. These items require extra unnecessary packaging that is not always recyclable and a vast majority of it ends in landfill or sometimes in our rivers and oceans.

Many more people are becoming aware that our climate is struggling with the damage that our overpopulated species and greedy corporate industries and leaders are doing to the World.

The cruel and damaging way in which we treat other species, the forests, the oceans, the list goes on! It can be overwhelming, we might want to help in some way but are not sure where to start!

There are many ways to help (that might be another blog for another day) but we can help ourselves, by starting small and smart by thinking about how you shop for food.

1. If you buy your fruit and veg from supermarkets try and buy the seasonal produce, if you can afford some organic items, they should not have all the harsh chemical pesticides on them that are depleting our bee population and other important insects, (our natural pesticides) that we need for pollination and the eating of aphids, black and greenfly etc. Plus bring your own mesh bags for fruit and veg and other items so that you don’t take home a load of unwanted packaging, highlighting to the supermarket that they need to reduce the amount of packaging they use.

2. Try to buy locally grown seasonal produce if possible, from farm shops and wholefood suppliers. Buying from shops that you can take your mesh or cotton bags with you and weigh out loose items such as pasta, rice and more.

3. A great way to eat seasonal and organic food is to order an organic fruit and veg box delivery, from companies such as Riverford or Able & Cole. Which are quite affordable and often have some different types of veg that you might not usually see in the big supermarkets. Which are limited to the ranges that they offer. Riverford also include a recipe sheet that shows a variety of ways to prepare and cook these items.

4. If you are lucky enough to have space in your garden to experiment growing your own veg in a veg patch or pots, you will benefit from being out in the fresh air, getting your hands in the earth and delight in eating the flavoursome fruits of your labour.

If you have young children, it’s a great way to teach them about where fruit and veg comes from. They are usually eager to learn and it gets them away from the TV, phones and computer games for a while, plus seeing their faces light up when they pick and eat what they have grown is a treasure.

5. One last and extremely important thing is to Waste Less Food. Try to reduce your waste. Its tricky when you supermarket buy as its easy to over purchase. If you can reduce some items from your shopping list that are not a necessity you will save yourself some money and help the planet too ! Soups are an easy and quick way to make a hearty and wholesome meal plus great way to use up any veg from your fridge or larder.

One thing the lock down was good for was to force society to slow down and to appreciate the simple things in life that can bring great pleasure along with the good weather that we had it allowed for many people to spend more time in their gardens.

Remember that adding just a few seasonal items will be a great way to nourish you and your family and help provide a buffer against the cooler  weather.

To get you off to a start this Autumn I’m sharing a soup recipe that I make every Autumn and it is suitable for vegan and nonvegans alike. Its colourful and nourishing and the flavour improves if you have any left over for the next day.

It’s originally a Russian soup called “Borscht” but the main veg for this soup is grown in the U.K in the Autumn.

Recipe: serves 6

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

450g/ 1lb of raw beetroot, peeled and chopped

1 large cooking apple, although I have found eating apples work too

2 sticks of celery, chopped

 4oz of mushrooms, chopped

25g or 1oz of dairy free margarine/ vegan butter

30ml/2tbsp sunflower oil

2 litres/3 1/2pts vegetable stock

 5ml/ 1 tsp cumin seeds

Pinch of thyme dried or fresh

1 large bay leaf

Juice of a lemon, ½ for the soup and ½ for souring the cream

salt and ground black pepper to taste

150mls ¼ pint of vegan cream

Few sprigs of fresh dill .

Method:

1. Place all the chopped vegetables into a large saucepan, with the margarine, oil and 3 the stock liquid. Cover and cook gently for about 15 minutes, shake the pan occasionally.

2. Stir in the cumin seeds and cook for a minute, then add the remaining stock, thyme, bay leaf, lemon juice and seasoning.

3. Bring to the boil then cover and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, for about 30 minutes.

4. Strain the vegetables and reserve the liquid. Pass the vegetables through a food processor or blender until they are smooth and creamy.

5. Return all the vegetables to the pan, stir in the reserved stock and reheat. Check the seasoning.

6.  In a small separate bowl squeeze the juice from ½ a lemon into the cream and stir together, it will make the cream thicken and taste great.

 7. (Optional) serve the Borscht with swirls of the sour cream and topped with dill.

Enjoy this hearty and nourishing soup.

Let me know how you get on with this recipe and if you have any Autumn recipes that are your favourites that you would like to share.

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Autumn Survival kit!

2020 has thrown us all into chaos, with the unwelcome arrival of a pandemic, that brought with it the heightened emotion of fear, the unknown and the resistance to change.

We have all been impacted by this, in a variety of ways no matter what background you come from and where you are located.

There have been many major adjustments to our normal behaviour patterns. Whether that’s daily routines, work and family life plus the disruption to our social lives, getting together with friends, family members and making travel plans. This has left many of us, feeling confused, fatigued and frustrated. As human beings we like to be able to plan ahead, having those special events marked on our calendars to look forward to.

This situation has challenged our mental wellbeing in a variety of ways and as we transition into Autumn, we will need to find some balance between the seasonal shifts and the constantly evolving corona virus situation.

Autumn signals change, the time of year for harvest, changes in temperature, receding hours of daylight and the trees flaunting their bursts of colour before shedding their leaves. It highlights that life is cyclical in nature and that it is a time to take stock of where we are, to slow down, to be thankful for all we have and to appreciate how far we have come throughout the year. A time to reflect and pause and plant seeds of intention for the coming months.

 To help us manage these challenges, here are 10 tips to maintain a healthy outlook.

1.Breathe Deeply

When we feel anxious, we breathe more shallow and rapid, this only exasperates the problem. Try this for 5 minutes a day.

2. Meditate:

Take time to sit in a quiet space, bring your full attention to your breath, take a full inhale and a full exhale filling the lungs on the inhale and completely emptying the lungs on the exhale expanding the abdomen on the inhale and releasing the air on the exhale. Continue repeating this for 5/10 breaths then add a small pause at the top of the inhale and a small pause at the bottom of the exhale. Repeat this for another 5/10 breaths. Take a moment to notice how you feel. Try to fit in at least 5 minutes a day you will gradually find it easier to focus on breathing properly and feel a state of calm. You can try practicing this when you are in a queue or at your desk.

Meditation is a wonderful way to bring calm and clarity to your day, when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. If you struggle to sit in silence to meditate, you can listen to guided meditations on your devices. This is a good way to start a meditation practice until you get used to sitting in this way. Try thisfor 5/10 minutes a day

Meditation practice usually starts with focus on the breath once you are sitting comfortably. The breathing exercise above can be used in your meditation to bring your attention inwards. Most people struggle with the mind wandering away from your object of focus. That is natural, it highlights your awareness of the mind chatter, just keep bringing your attention back to the breath. Meditation help us through transformation.

3. Exercise:

Allow some time to move in your day, whether it’s an exercise class, i.e. yoga, spin or an outdoor sport, whether its 10 minutes or an hour or two. There are plenty of options to choose from, gyms and studio’s or online live or pre recorded classes.

4. Music:

 Play some of your favourite music, during your meditation, or exercise, put on your headphones whilst doing house     hold chores, you will feel more motivated and the tasks will be more enjoyable too. Music can affect your emotions and help you to feel more positive.

5. Dance:

This can link in with the above tip when playing music, take the opportunity to have a shake out of the body and dance around the house or anywhere you feel comfortable too, just move your body and let yourself flow, notice  how you feel afterwards. I guarantee you will feel great and have a smile on your face.

6. Get Out in Nature:

This is one of my favourites, I love to be close to nature. Try and spend some time outside in green spaces every day.       Whether you walk, run, cycle, climb, swim or sit. Wrap up warm and enjoy connecting with nature, it will help you to feel grounded and calm, filling your lungs with fresh air and helping you gain a greater perspective on life.

7. Rituals:

Rituals help us consciously form positive habits and structure in our daily lives, providing a sense of meaning and purpose in an ever changing world. They offer an opportunity for healing and expression, for honouring special moments in our day or calendar and for co creating our reality, Rituals connect us with nature and the seasons and show us how we are a part of a much grander design. Here are 3 rituals to get you started and you can add in as many as you feel called to.

a; Gratitude; an underestimated and immensely empowering ritual, take time to notice and appreciate all the big and small things in your daily life, this will help create a more positive mindset.

b; write down the important tasks that you need to achieve in your day, ones that support your long term goals and are aligned to your purpose or passions. This will help to bring your goals to fruition.

c; Stand or walk barefoot on the grass in the morning dew for several minutes,This is my current favourite morning ritual! it is exhilarating, grounds you and gives you the chance to be thankful for the abundance of nature around you.

8. Seasonal Foods:

Eating the foods that nature provides during Autumn, is better quality will give you better nutrition, a richer flavour and help to nourish the body against the colder weather. Its more environmentally friendly to purchase organic fruits and vegetables grown in your local community if possible. Eat these Autumn fruits and vegetables; pumpkins, squash, savoy cabbage, carrots, parsnips, apples, blackberries and pears.

9. Rest:

This is one of the tips I need to follow every Autumn and Winter.

Take time to slow down a bit more in the Autumn, as nature slows down, so should we. Our energy levels drop as the amount of daylight hours reduce. It’s important to get to bed a little earlier to maintain your energy levels throughout this season. If you have the opportunity get a power nap mid afternoon, that can help you keep going through the rest of the day

10. Relax:

Make time to relax, try to find some time to relax, get cosy, with a hot drink and a comfy place to sit, whether that means reading, watching a movie that’s fun or uplifting, or get creative, drawing , painting, sewing, knitting, doing puzzles or any of the above.

I hope this blog, helps you find balance and ways to navigate the current situation and the changing seasons.

I’d love to hear how you get on, message me on info@rekindlewellness.co.uk Autumn blessings of wellness.

New Moon Awakening

I didn’t stay asleep for long the night of the new Moon  last week. No matter how much I tried listening to meditations, and despite drinking relaxing herbal teas, I couldnt get back to sleep, my mind was feeling active, full of energy and creative ideas, So after lying there for a couple of hours I decided to sit and write this poem as many of the words kept buzzing around in my head in to my head hoping that if I commit them to paper, I might be able to get back to sleep.

So here we go !!

Its four in the morning I’m awake again, this wasn’t the plan!

my poor body and brain!

Ive listened to a meditation for a couple of hours I slept,

but now into my soul new energy has crept.

The Universe has had a different idea,

There are many things I’m meant to see feel and hear.

There is a strange tingling sensation on the surface of my skin,

with healing movements taking place within.

My body is bathed in a dancing light.

These magical downloads always seem happen at night.

I’m overwhelmed with divine love and guidance,

(although the timing is a bit of a nuisance)

A sense of feeling light as a feather ,

connected by the purest of tethers.

This must be a sign to trust in the Universe,

as it has given me the opportunity to serve.

My mind feels fertile filled with new seeds to sow

A knowing thats its my purpose to inspire others to grow.

Many souls are awakeneing called to spiritual evolution,

As intelligent beings surely we can find solutions,

to solve all the environmental issues we face.

before its too late !!!, lets connect with compassion to save the human race.

We must protect, our forests wildlife and Oceans, from devastation halting al cruelty and exploitation.

Its time to show kindness to all beings whether, feather, fur or skin

and come to the realisation that we are all kin!

I’ll leave you with this thought for the coming days

please try and look for new ways to see joy in the World around you.

Observe all the colours, textures and sounds.

Take time to plant your feet firmly on the ground, its beauty will astound you

and then when you appreciate all its glory, your heart will feel a shift,

thats when gratitude becomes your gift.

May you be blessed with an open heart , eyes and mind,

I guarantee the path to truth and enlightenment you will find.

 

 

The Evolve journey continues!

The Moon and Yin Yoga

Hi lovely souls, I felt inspired to share this blog with you about the August Full moon and Yin yoga!

A lot of you were probably aware that there was a full moon last Thursday, named the Sturgeon moon by the native Americans, as  it was the time around each August full moon when the sturgeon fish would be abundant in the lakes and rivers.

A full moon represents the feminine energy of serenity, reflection, and intuition, symbolising the water element. It affects all tidal waters and as we contain approximately 70% of water within each of us it has an ancient and instinctive effect on many of our emotions.

I was driving to one of my classes last Thursday evening, thinking I would teach what I already had planned but then the universe decided to change that and placed the idea of Yin Yoga into my head, I chose to trust the guidance and teach it without having anything prepared, as the qualities of Yin yoga resonate well with the Full Moon energies.

It turned out that everyone was feeling quite fatigued that evening ( probably from the strong effects the Full Moon has on our energies) and it was just what the students said they needed to recharge their weary minds and bodies.

If you have not experienced Yin before its quite a different practice to the Hatha and dynamic Vinyasa styles of yoga. People can be mistaken into thinking that it is a gentle style of Yoga that they wont find challenging enough because it is a passive practice, but boy are they wrong!

What is Yin Yoga?

The term Yin Yoga comes from the Taoist tradition of Yin and Yang. Yang to create heat and movement in the body and Yin to find stillness and cooling.It was introduced  in the late 1970’s  by yoga and martial arts expert Paulie Zink and is taught in North America and Europe, further developed by teachers Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers.

What are the benefits of Yin?

Yin Yoga stretches and targets the deep connective tissues between the  muscles and fascia throughout the body, helping to increase circulation in the bones and joints whilst improving flexibility. The body’s flow of energy  becomes regulated and assists in reducing cortisol to calm the nervous system.This style of yoga is a wonderful for reflection and finding stillness helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.

What is different about this style of Yoga?

When practicing Yin, the poses are mainly seated and supine and are held from three to five minutes sometimes more, for beginners this can be from forty five seconds to two minutes. Props such as bolsters, blocks and blankets can be used to cushion joints and help with alignment supporting the body for the duration of the pose.

How is Yin Challenging?

The first step is to find the edge in the pose the place where the pose can be held without too much discomfort or any pain.

Secondly the student aims to stay in that position without fidgeting for the required length of time. As our bodies are not used to staying still for long except in sleep or meditation, this can be quite challenging, as the mind will constantly try to distract the yogi  because the ego likes to be in control.

The student can find the stretches very intense and the best way to get through this is by bringing awareness to the breath helping to discipline the chaotic mind and manage the intensity within the pose.

How does Yin relieve stress and anxiety?

By focusing on conscious breathing the Sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) transitions to the Parasympathetic nervous system increasing seratonin levels and instilling a calmness a feeling of deep inner peace, allowing time for contemplation and connection to ourselves, to simply be in the present moment.

Why I recommend this practice

I highly recommend this style of yoga as it is a wonderful counter balance to fast paced modern living. It can help us connect back to our disconnected selves and improve our communication with others. which can only have a profound positive effect for the Planet and you don’t have to wait for a Full Moon to try this extremely beneficial practice, it can be done whenever you feel the need, Yogi’s choice!

Funnily it turned out that I was asked to cover at two different studio’s teaching Yin classes over the weekend which was a delight to be with the students in their stillness.

So the Universe led me wisely! Always good to go with your intuition and trust in your inner knowing and you wont go far wrong.

I hope you found this blog helpful, let me know if there are any other Yoga, Pilates or mindfulness topics you would like me to blog about that interest you.

From my heart to yours in wellness,

Namaste xx

Exciting News, Events are Evolving

Hi Lovely Souls, just to update you with my latest news, I am delighted to announce the date for my first event with lovely Rosie Hill from Rosie hill Henna on 15th September. The venue will be at North Dean Village Hall HP14 4NL 2pm to 4.30pm

Throughout the afternoon we will be delivering a Cornucopia of wellness to prepare us for the change in season, as we head towards Autumn. We will be exploring how nature changes and how that effects our mental, emotional and physical state.

We will achieve this through gentle yoga, guided meditation, cacao ritual, ayurvedic alchemy and exquisite henna adornment.

This immersive afternoon will be accompanied with the relaxing sounds and  delightful singing voice of Florescense, to help us deeply relax and recharge our batteries for the cooler months ahead.

Completing our mini retreat with refreshments and leaving with token gifts to assist your wellness as you transform with the season.

You can buy your tickets here.

Inside info on Chandra

Welcome to Rekindle Wellness.

I’m Chandra founder of Yoga with Chandra, a spiritual wellbeing coach specialising in Yoga and Pilates, inspirational speaking and holistic therapies. I am passionate about helping people reconnect with healthy mind and bodies.

I’m married to my supportive husband David, with two amazing daughters. I’ve always been a busy, active and sociable person who has juggled work life with family life.

Whilst my daughters were growing up, I still felt it was vital for me to maintain a sense of my identity, continuing to gain knowledge and skills that resonated with my spiritual nature.

More than just exercise…

I have been passionate about keeping fit since my twenties; attending a variety of fitness classes where I left feeling energised and toned. But it was through Yoga and Pilates classes, that I really became aware of the important spiritual connection between the mind and body that I didn’t find in other exercise. The combination of the breath, poses and meditation, always left me with a relaxed mindset, a stretched and strengthened body and a deep feeling of inner peace.

This passion for wellness guided me to study a level 3 Yoga teacher training Diploma. After qualifying, I suffered a wrist injury which made me more aware that most of us are dealing with a vast range of issues in life, whether physically, mentally or emotionally. This highlighted to me that it was my purpose to help students find healing, peace and empowerment, aiming to serve and inspire the community.

I am also qualified in Yoga Philosophy, Classical Mat Pilates and Pre- and Post-Natal, in addition to inspirational speaking. Prior to my Yoga and Pilates journey I have been treating clients since 2005 with Reiki energy healing and Indian Head massage.

This journey continues to be an exciting and amazing experience of continuous learning with wonderful opportunities to meet so many beautiful souls that inspire me with hope for the future.

I hope this website inspires you and that we continue to share, learn and grow from each other, together in positivity, diversity, gratitude and compassion. Starting with ourselves we can make a change for the better, one step at a time.

From my heart to yours, in health and wellbeing,

Namaste,

Chandra