I have bare feet a lot of the time. For yoga, of course, but also just to walk around the house. As a treat to myself I will take my shoes as I walk on Portobello beach or through the Edinburgh meadows grass. I love that feel of the physical ground beneath my feel. It is somehow nourishing and feels childlike, carefree and connected. There is a whole barefoot movement out there:- http://www.barefooters.org/index.html and lots of evidence and theories of why it is so good for you, but mainly I just love the feel of it.
All this exposure means my feet need some tlc. So here is how to look after your feet with homemade polish which is chemical free, really cheap and so good for you!
1 - Fill an old jam jar 1/3 full of sugar or salt. This will be the abrasive which will get rid of the dead skin leaving your feet super smooth. You can experiment with adding different size crystals from rock salt to caster sugar depending of how you prefer the texture.
2 - Pour over oil (could be olive or almond or sunflower or whatever you prefer, I am currently using rapeseed) to just over the sugar/salt line. Oiling your feet is really nourishing for the skin and soothing for the mind, as there are many nerve endings in the feet. It is an age old ayuredic practice. This link will give you more info on this and what oil is the best one for your to use depending on your dosha (constituency).
3 - Add your favorite essential oil, perhaps tea tree or lavender, so that your feet will smell nice as well as being beautiful too.
4 - Use the scrub in the shower, massaging it in to your feet a few times a week.
Let me know how you get on!
I love chocolate and all things baked! I have been vegan for about 7 years now. The two have resulted in many interesting experiments in the kitchen. I have had many many disasters and a fair few triumphant and spectacular successes. This one goes in the later category:-
Raw Chocolate Brownies
Hand full of dates, blended with a little water
Then add to the blender:-
Hand full of walnuts or any other nuts you have in the cupboard
A good tablespoon full of flaxseed
1 - 3 teaspoons of cocoa powder (raw if you have it)
A pinch of salt
Just a little extra of somethings sweet - honey, agave, stevia........as you prefer
Roll the yummy mixture up in to balls. Then if you like you can roll the balls in chopped nuts, coconut, cocoa power........whatever takes your fancy.
So good for you and so goooooooooooood! As they are all blended up with no cooking, you can add more of anything you like - remember to taste test so they are just right. Therefore you really can't go wrong with them. Hope you enjoy.
I have just come back from Australia where I had my first solo art exhibition.
Here is a link to my art website:-http://kristinahanson.weebly.com/
The pieces in the exhibition are all inspired by movement - of the sea, the body and birds. Beyond this I am looking at whether there is a still point within all this movement and flux, something that remains the same, and if so how to access it. I think in the actual act of drawing, often the still point is glimpsed for me. The point where I seem to step outside of the normal constrictions of time and hours can flash past, as it is for many things that anyone is wholly involved in - dancing, music or yoga. The single pointedness of mind that seems to come from really engaging in something - is this the still point?
I have been in training for the Brighton Marathon since before Christmas and it is coming up in six weeks time now. Tomorrow will be my first time attempting 20K! I will then be able to gauge a little better what 42K might feel like. I have been inspired by the book 'What I talk about when I talk about running' by Haruki Murakami, one of my favorite writers. This book is about his life as a writer and as a long distance runner and how the two go together. In it Murakami talks a lot about the mental attitude of a long distance runner and how it is similar to the one needed to write novels. The ability to carry on, moving through what you need to get through, with no goal in sight, or so far off it is best not to think of it. I could not help comparing this to yoga and the attitude that yogis try to cultivate of non attachment, trying to stay within the moment and work not for your rewards. Its true that there is a main goal in the marathon for me of getting to the end, but if I fix my mind on this from the start it would be easy to give up as it seems so far away. Better I think to try enjoy the journey, or try to live it moment by moment, whatever it may bring. Today on my way training run home from work I stopped a heron in the water of Leith, one of my favorite moments of the day!The charity that I am running for is Greenpeace and I need as many sponsors as possible to help me raise lots of money for their awe inspiring campaigns. Please sponsor me at www.bmycharity.com/Kristina. Thank you!
I have been doing loads of interesting things in India so far, learning to cook curries, trekking in the mountains, and of course doing lots of yoga. There are so many things to learn here it is hard to know where to start!
I was asking after a meditation class at the Sivananda center the other day and was told there was none on. The monk talking to me told me that I would be welcome to go and meditate on my own in one of the temples, that I did not need any instructions or a group. In this sacred place all I had to do was sit and listen to my inner voice for guidance. The sitting and listening is all that is required, to be present. It was a beautiful reminder to me and I am thankful for the lesson.
I have been staying in Santosh Puri Ashram, India for the past few days. I felt held in this sacred place and would recommend it to anyone wanting to have authentic teaching in a family environment. The yoga practice in the morning was simple and at first try a childlike approach but in time I really got in to the spirit of things. We were encouraged in each posture to be the animal, be the cat, be the eagle, be the camel, letting each form emerge from the infinite in to the finite and then return, in this way confronting death, rebirth, any the many forms of the formless. Each posture was accompanied by the noise of the animal! There was much giggling had out of class about this but once I allowed myself to get past feeling really silly, I got in to it. I felt this approach got close to how the yogis of old thought up the postures, being inspired to take the forms of animals. Why don't you try it out (in your personal practice!) and let your imagination run free and wild.
I am back in India. Arrived this time in to the fog filled Delhi airport in the wee hours, thinking of my last arrival 7 year ago in to Bombay. Then everything was ablaze with heat and colour, the roads full of cows, horns and chaos. That first rickshaw ride was one of my most striking and lasting impressions of my stay. This time I got in an orderly government taxi with no haggling, the traffic almost in ques, in winter time wearing a coat. Everything was different this time, and I have changed so much too since my student days. In all this change I am reminded to ask - what is it in ourselves and the world that stays the same?
Hope to get some pics of my trip downloaded asap.
As my class will know I just returned from a little break away in lovely Itlay. One of the things that I love the most about that beautiful place is the food. Even the simplest of meals is created with such care and attention, usually produced locally by people who have farmed the land for generations. It is amazing how different just a cheese and tomoto sandwich can be when it is done in this way, mmmmmmmm. It is the same in yoga in a way... when you allow yourself to b completely absorbed in a simple movement, give yourself to it completely, that is when you can suprise yourself with the discovery of the simple pleasure of being alive right now in this moment.
The sun is shinning in Edinburgh and the effects can be seen in everyones faces today. After a long Winter it really feels like we are coming in to Spring now.
The sun has been celebrated throughout the ages for its healing and life giving properties. All life needs the sun, and so it is no suprise that it makes us all happy to feel it warming our faces and our backs again.
Throughout the Winter I have been practicing the yogic sun salutes series. In this dynamic series of postures the qualities of the sun are built up inside. The sun we are saluting is not only the sun that is now shinning in Edinburgh but the light energy and warmth that we create in our own bodies in the pratice. We are stoking our internal fires, recognising our own strength, inner power and ability to heal oursleves.
Hope you are enjoying the suns warmth where you are today.
Recently I have been inspired by Gaudasana, the eagle pose. This asana is really good for focus as it is pretty much impossible to think of anything else at the same time as doing it without falling over. It is one of my favorite postures as I love the sense of taking off and opening when I come out of it. I have also been obsessed with birds and flight in my art work for the last while and so it brings out my imagination and sense of play in yoga. Garuda is the steed of the Hindu God Vishnu and the mythic 'king of the birds'. I recently also found out that Garuda can also be translated as 'devourer' and this refers to the all consuming fire of the suns rays (which eagles soar towards and also the fire or agni that burns within ourselves). This works really well for me as this posture demands the mind to be devoured by it, directed inwards, single pointed in its vision. Have you got a posture that you are observed with?
Kristina is a Yoga teacher and artist who lives in Braunton, North Devon with her husband, two children and a cat.