Surrounded by Beauty

Surrounded-by-Beauty

Having hibernated in my London flat for most of this year, I managed to escape for a few days last week to a yoga retreat in Switzerland. I must admit, I was expecting something austere – I had pictures in my mind of a clinical medi-spa perched high in the Alps. Sure enough the Alpine setting was spectacular – acres of lush green meadows edged in elegant pines, snow topped mountains, sun sparkling in cloudless blue sky (very Sound of Music) – yet the retreat itself was anything but strict and disciplinarian.

It turned out I was retreating uber 5 star-style. Yes, the mini bar had been emptied of anything sugary, and of course alcohol, and most distressing for me at that point, no Nespresso capsules – only herbal tea. Having been up at 4 am for the flight, I really wanted a coffee. But, I didn’t cave in and phone room service (my pride wouldn’t let me break the retreat before I’d started!). Instead, I threw open the balcony doors and took in the sweet, fresh air and picture postcard view and then went straight to the spa for my consultation. Cocooned in the golden lit atmosphere, I began to melt away from London. Once I’d had a massage I was amazed at how relaxed I was – in fact, I was like jelly and could easily have sneaked into bed, but dinner awaited. Read More…

Find Your Perfect Yoga Holiday

Yoga

Most of us go on holiday to relax, revive, unwind. Flopping into a beach with a pile of blockbusters and a piña colada can do that for some people. Others find walking the streets of bustling reviving, guidebook in hand to help track down pitstops to refuel between museum/monument visits.

But for me – and countless other yoga fans – there is quite simply nothing to rival a yoga vacation’s power to restore us. I’ve seen a yoga holiday described as ‘not recreation, but re-creation’ – and that hits the nail on the head. A yoga vacation can be the ultimate – even life-changing – way to immerse yourself in this pursuit. Sometimes you really have to ‘lose’ yourself to ‘find’ yourself…
Read More…

Your Body Knows

Your Body Knows

When it comes to looking after ourselves, we often hear the expression ‘listen to your body’. In fact, I find myself repeating it often. But do we know what it really means? I’ve always believed in the mind/body connection, but for years have understood it on an intellectual level without truly experiencing it. Looking back now, I can see I wasn’t listening to my own body until fairly recently. Mostly because, in my 20s and 30s, I was lucky enough to be able to rely on natural resilience to remain healthy. Throughout my career as a Beauty & Health Editor on magazines, I researched all the new fitness and nutrition trends, and would road test the latest things – a new herbal tincture here, superfood powders or coconut water there. A few weeks of boot camp Pilates or a phase of jogging round the park in ‘barefoot’ trainers. However, I wasn’t sticking to a balanced, healthy regime a lot of the time, and I took it for granted that I could bounce back from late nights and pressure in a full-on job with constant deadlines.

That all changed in my late 30s when it started to become obvious my bounce back ability wasn’t so strong anymore. It would take me two days instead of one to recover from a big night out; my digestion began to play up and I felt like I needed to move more to deal with the tension stiffening my body. I was running on empty. So, I began taking care of myself on a physical level, being mindful over the food I was eating and what I put into my body generally, as well as taking up yoga regularly. Read More…