Thrive in 2019 & tips to stress less

Each year when it gets to the final few weeks of the year it feels as though someone comes along and cranks up the intensity dial. Did you feel that?

More social engagements. Last minute work deadlines. Christmas shopping. A quick run. One more drink. Work. Run. Drink. Blah. Blah. Blah…

It’s exhausting and not just draining for the bank balance, but draining on the body, mind and soul.

If you’ve returned to work this week, you’re probably feeling a little slower (maybe even sluggish post-Christmas & NYE celebrations). But it’s kind-of nice. That feeling of exhaustion has lifted. And yes, there may be a lingering kg or two to deal with and a promise to never drink again… but you feel renewed, for the most part.

Don’t you feel as though your mind is more spacious? Creative ideas might be flowing, aspirations for the year to come are high – we’re altogether more authentically ourselves.

The thing is, we can have this at any moment throughout the year. Yes, I hear you, having time off with loved ones helps, but a huge part of that wind-up is simply not taking the time to notice just how stressed we are.

For me, it’s during silly season and any other stressful period that I really need some (extra) me time. Time to breath and nourish my body with movement. And plenty of self-care.

I only recognise this now after years of saying yes to more deadlines, yes to more coffee and yes to more booze in those times of stress – but in the end none of that makes me feel less tired or less inclined to want to yell at the person who cut me off (Christmas is the only time of year I feel any road rage, anyone else?). In the end, none of that makes me more present for those around me I love most.

We can have all this year round. We can thrive. Give your body the right ingredients and you will thrive.

At a time of year where you are setting intentions ask yourself; what will make you thrive more in 2019?

And how can you lay that foundation now, while things are a little slower and you can implement change – what can you do this week to help yourself thrive more in 2019?

SOME TIPS TO STRESS LESS

Breathe deeply.

If you stop breathing you die, it’s simple. Breath keeps you alive! But so often we restrict it, often unconsciously. When we’re stressed or nervous or anxious, we hold our breath or breathe in short, shallow bursts. Try becoming aware of your changing breathing patterns. Make a mental note to yourself to breathe when you find yourself feeling stressed. Stop what you’re doing and breathe deeply—in through your nose, out through your mouth—for as long as you need to. I also like making an “aaghrrr” sound. Not only will you find that your heart rate slows and the chatter of your mind tends to cease, you’ll also likely find greater clarity around whatever was worrying you. For a deeper practice see Nadi Shodana below.

Move daily.

Movement helps the body process the stress. The stress will hang around far longer than it needs to without movement. The next time you’re stressed, try going for a walk or run or doing some yoga or signing up for a class – find something that gives you pleasure and get out there and do it.

For me, it’s yoga.

In yoga we use deep, slow breathing as an anchor into the present moment. Each movement or posture is paired with breath. Each posture an opportunity to be present in that moment. See below for a few favourites.

If yoga or meditation interests your workplace, contact me at The Happy Living Project to arrange a free consultation or trial.

Bathe indulgently.

When all else fails (though I promise the tips above won’t!), treat yourself. When the stress won’t abate, allow yourself the time and space to luxuriate. You don’t need to head to a fancy spa—though you’re welcome to! You can create a stress-free, relaxed, indulgent experience right from the comfort of your own bathtub. Water is healing and restorative, especially with some magnesium bath salts and lovely aromatherapy oils( lavender and rose are my fav).

POSTURES & BREATHING EXERCISES TO STRESS LESS

  • Forward fold (Uttanasana)

This can help quite a busy mind, balance the nervous system, and promote feelings of calm and peace. This posture is super easy, not props or experience required.

Steps

  • From standing, bend the knees, slightly engage the core, and hinge forward from the hips, placing the hands in front of or alongside your feet.
  • Shift the weight onto the balls of your feet and feel the sit bones lifting up toward the ceiling. For tight hamstrings, you can keep the knees bent to protect the lower back. Otherwise, lengthen through the backs of the legs while keeping the weight in the balls of the feet.
  • Take hold of each elbow with the opposite hand and soften around the eyes, jaw, neck, head, and mind.

Hold for a few breaths, or longer if you feel comfortable. If you have low blood pressure, take your time coming out of the pose.

  • Nadi Shodana – Alternate Nostril Breath

Alternate Nostril Breath (nadi = subtle energy channel; shodhan = cleaning, purification) is a balancing breath and body technique. A few minutes of this breathing technique is great way to destress the mind and release accumulated tension and fatigue.

Read about Hilary Clinton using this following her parliamentary loss.

5 – 10 x full cycles (full cycle is in through left, out of right, in through right out of left)

Steps

  1. Find a nice tall spine
  2. Place thumb and ring finger over the hollow at the top bridge of nose cartilage. Use your right hand, so the thumb covers the right nostril and ring finger the left. Fold the middle two fingers down.
  3. Closing your right nostril with thumb or right index finger, inhale only through the left nostril
  4. Close the left nostril (apply Kumbhaka “breath retention”/ hold if you’re comfortable with this). .
  5. Open the right nostril, covering the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril
  6. Inhale through the right nostril (apply Kumbhaka “breath retention” if you wish)
  7. Switch fingers to exhale through the left.
  8. Alternate between left and right to the ratio of 4 count (inhale): 2 (hold) : 4 (exhale). You can build towards 8:4:8.

BENEFITS

  • Lowers heart rate reducing stress and anxiety
  • Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system so healing and rejuvenation becomes a priority
  • Balances the two hemispheres of brain functionality as it balances the body
  • Increases mental focus and clarity
  • Find equanimity of the energy system by purifying the Nadi’s so that prana can flow more easily.

Explore, Nepal with two adventurous yogi’s. Hiking. Yoga & meditation. Thai massage.

Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown. 

-Anthony Bourdain 

Two well-travelled and highly experienced yoga teachers Nikki and Janel are collaborating in this once in a lifetime trip. These ladies have grown up in opposite ends of the earth but a few things core believes unite them;

  • Their love of sharing yoga,
  • Their sense of adventure into the unknown and
  • Making people feel good.

Working with World Ex. we’ve designed a magnificent trek in the Annapurna Region with daily yoga, meditation and Thai massage.

You get 15 days to disconnect from stress and reconnect to self through travel, hiking, and yoga in Nepal. Explore sights, sounds and smells wandering through Kathmandu. Trek for 11 days through lush mountain trails, reaching heights of 4,600m while enjoying the comforts of warm meals in our private eco-camps and eco-lodges all while coming home to yourself daily with yoga and meditation.

Trip highlights

  • Wake up to guided Yoga and Meditation Daily
  • Thai yoga massage or yin in the evening
  • Trekking guide and porters
  • Traverse the high pastures above Kopra Ridge beneath Annapurna South, where ancient pilgrim trails lead to the sacred Khayer Lake (up to 4,600M
  • Rejuvenate each night with freshly cooked meals in our private eco-campsites and handpicked eco-lodge
  • Sleeping bag, mat and jacket
  • Park entry fees and permits
  • 1 day guided tour of Kathmandu
  • Return flights to Pokhara from Kathmandu

APRIL 11-25, 2019

Your leaders

A warm welcome from Nikki & Janel!

We are excited to be leading you on a yogi’s adventure through Nepal – one of the most amazing countries to visit on earth! Our intention for this trip is that we help you reconnect more deeply with yourself. Clear your mind with daily mediation, yoga and hiking. Relax your body with Thai Yoga Massage and Yin Yoga and experience the simple pleasures of connecting with earth and like-minded people as we adventure into the unknown.

About Janel

Janel is an avid explorer of the outer and inner realms and is excited to share her passions for travel, yoga, and hiking with you, trusting that the journey will change each of us.  She says; “when we travel, we rediscover wonder, we see the world with new eyes, open our minds, and expand our hearts.  When we walk in nature, we are immersed in the present moment, feeling truly alive.

When we practice yoga and meditation, we come home to ourselves, generating peace, and compassion to see clearly, feel deeply, love abundantly, and live with intention.”

Janel’s journey has taken her to 35 countries and counting, to climb the Rockies, Himalayas and Kilimanjaro, to practice yoga and meditation with many teachers in many places and to study the healing arts of Thai massage and Reiki.

Janel is a yoga teacher and holistic healing arts practitioner offering yoga, meditation, breathwork, reiki, massage, doula, and integrative nursing services. She is a certified yoga teacher (RYT-500), reiki practitioner (level 1), birth doula (DONA), and family nurse practitioner (FNP-BC).

About Nikki

Until recently Nikki was a corporate marketer, working a stressful 50 hour week. Now she runs The Happy Living Project, a corporate yoga and wellness business in Sydney. Nikki believes that yoga and meditation is medicine for the body and mind. Yoga teaches us to better connect with ourselves, others and nature. In that way, yoga is the perfect pairing with outdoor adventure.

“I’m passionate about getting people of all shapes, sizes and abilities nurturing their body, mind and spirit. This trip is an opportunity to strip all the stress away. Get back to basics. Walk in the wild. Feel the earth each morning when we rise with the sun. Talk with strangers as we wander and fall in love with yourself and the magic of life again and again.”

Nikki is a certified vinyasa yoga teacher (RYT-500) and 100 hr yin yoga teacher, 25 hour Fertility Yoga teacher and she has trained with a number of international and local yoga teachers. She brings a smile and cheeky sense of humour to all she does.

Combined these two ladies have a wealth of knowledge in yoga and healing. Each has travelled to Nepal and can attest to her beauty. They both believe that this journey and the group that will come together will truly be special.

Superfoods Christmas Recipe

I am a self-confessed food-aholic. 

I love and am totally addicted to good food. Cooking. Eating out. Traveling and letting my tummy guide my explorations; from Michelin star restaurants to road-side sticks on plastic crates – I love it all.

Nowadays, I practice ahimsa. Which is the Sanskrit word for Non-harm. That means I eat consciously. For now, I’m a vegetarian.  I choose to not consume dairy or gluten becuase that makes me feel better. What I do may not suit you and your lifestyle. But one this is hard to argue with – chocolate is amazing. Since choosing to be dairy free I’ve experimented with many dairy recipes. And love sharing my sucesses, so read on if you’re keen to learn about cacao and for my Vegan Chocolate Mousse recipe.

I believe in eating to nourish. Although sometimes I over nourish – especially at this time of year!

The fuel we give our bodies ultimately gives us the energy we need to perform physically and mentally.

What is all this who-ha about superfoods – what exactly are they?

Superfoods are just that – foods that contain significantly higher quantities of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other health-boosting, anti-aging, disease-fighting goodness. Some are everyday whole foods that you’ll likely be eating already (broccoli, blueberries, chia).  Others are more exotic and grown in the rainforests of Peru.

My favourite, cacao….

BENEFITS OF CACAO 

  1. The highest source of plant-based iron. If you’re on a plant-based diet and looking for iron, look no further.   Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man, at a whopping 7.3mg per 100g.  Beef and lamb are at 2.5mg, and spinach at 3.6mg per 100g.
  1. 40x more antioxidants than blueberries – that’s a bucket load of free radical fighting goodness.
  1. A Natural Mood Elevator and Anti-Depressant. Cacao is a great source of four scientifically proven bliss chemicals – serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine.  These neurotransmitters are associated with feeling happy! And can even alleviate depression. It also contains theobromine – a substance like caffeine. A natural, healthy, delicious (and legal) way to get your buzz on. I’m not arguing with that.

Here is my favourite Vegan Chocolate Pudding – you can make this at Christmas adding a few goji’s or mint on top for a splash of colour. It literally takes 5 mins to blend, taste and pop in the fridge. This is refined sugar-free and 100% fuss-free. Enjoy.

VEGAN CHOCOLATE MOUSE

I love love love making this recipe. It literally takes five minutes to blend. And even non-vegans love it. I take it to family gatherings and make it in replace of ice cream on the weekend. It’s dagerously good and super easy – so you’ve been warned if you become addicted like I am.

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ – 1 ripe avocado (depends on size)
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ½ can of coconut cream (shake it up)
  • ¼ cup cacao powder more if you like it super chocolatey
  • 1 tbs of Macca Powder if you’d like some extra superfoody caramelly goodness.
    • This superfood is great to balance hormones (both males and females) and is a natural energy booster too. Not to mention it just tastes amazing! Here is somemore details on this superfood if you’re interested: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/11/21/maca-powder-benefits-nutrition-and-uses_a_23284913/ 
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Dates or Maple Syrup are optional if you like it a little sweeter. Good for vegan chocolate mouse virgins or the sweet tooths amongst you.

METHOD

  • Pop all the liquid into the blender first
  • Then cacao
  • Then add the banana and avocado.
  • Taste before you pour it out into your serving vessel. You may need a little more sweetness or fluffiness.
  • Add to a big bowl, (or a few little dessert glasses – this should make three or four) and place in the fridge for at least one hour to set. Two hours is ideal but not necessary.
  • If it’s too sloppy once you’ve finished blending option to add chia seeds or psyllium husks to bulk it up – I suggest two tablespoons. You’ll need to allow about 20 mins for it to work its magic and do this step as soon as you pop it into the fridge, don’t worry it wont change the flavour just firm up your texture.
  • Enjoy!

Conscious trekking in Nepal

Two personal chefs for 11 days

Not only will we enjoy hiking and yoga daily amongst some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, we will also be accompanied by two of private chefs!

Our chefs will source the freshest local produce on route and provide three nourishing, balanced meals each day.

Why having private chefs is awesome!

  • Food safety and hygiene ensured – hygiene standards vary in tea houses and when at altitude our western bellies can be easily affected by bugs. Our chefs cook everything fresh for each meal.
  • Dietary requirements looked after – Vegan? Celiac? Dairy intolerant? No worries, our chefs will look after you provided you provide plenty of notice before the trip departure date.
  • Value for money – food in the mountains can be costly and often fried. According to World Expeditions meals in tea house for two weeks of trekking can cost around $800USD per person.
  • Convenience – no need to go hunting for good food or having to prepare our own meals – than means we have more time to chat, enjoy sunrise and sunset and stretch our muscles.

Eco camping and trekking

No plastic bottles policy

We will trek consciously, we are a fully sustainable camp – what that means is no plastic bottles for water. We are provided with clean, fresh drinking water at each meal to refill our bottles.

Waste is thoughtfully taken care of

Waste is thoughtfully disposed of. We burn non-toxic waste and carry out rubbish where possible ensuring minimal impact on the environment.  So all the people after us get to enjoy the beauty of the Annapurna just as we do.

Keep the trees standing 

The campsites use yak or cow dung to fuel heaters, kerosene to cook meals and boil water – don’t worry it doesn’t smell like poop!

Treats! Bliss Ball Recipe

I am a self-confessed food-aholic. I love and am totally addicted to good food. Cooking. Eating out. Traveling and letting my tummy guide my explorations; from Michelin star restaurants to road-side sticks on plastic crates – I’ve tried it.

I believe in eating to nourish.

The fuel we give our bodies gives us the energy we need to perform physically and mentally

As a yoga teacher and small business owner I’m always on the run and I need my fix of sweet snacks.

Packed with super-food goodness these treats are simple, healthy and delicious snacks.

PEANUT BUTTER POWER BAR

These little power bars are full of nutritious ingredients, protein, and sweetened by the humble date. They are easy to make and store really well in the fridge or freezer.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ cups of pitted dates to become paste (soak them in warm water for 15-30mins then drain and mash or blend)
  • ½ cup of your choice of dried fruit (goji, figs, sultana’s work well in my experience)
  • 4 tbsp of natural peanut butter
  • ¼ crushed peanuts or slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup of gluten free quick oats or quinoa flakes
  • Pinch of cinnamon

METHOD

  • Soak the dates in warm water for at least 15 mins then drain
  • Place dates in food processor or mash with the back of a fork until it becomes a creamy paste. I often make a few cups of these at a time and store in the fridge with a little vanilla essence for up to two weeks to add to smoothies etc.
  • Set the dates aside for a moment
  • Place oats or flakes into the processor – blend until the oats are small pieces. Mix in cinnamon
  • In a mixing bowl add the oats, dried fruit, and sunflower seeds. Mix it all together.
  • Then add your date paste and peanut butter
  • Use your hands to mix it all together – don’t be shy.
  • Cover a baking tray or square container with baking paper
  • Scoop mixture into the container or tray and press the mixture down to make an even layer. I user another sheet of baking paper and the back of the cup measures for a smooth, even finish.
  • Place in the fridge (or freezer for speed) for 15 mins then cut into bars
  • Store in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer.

TAHINI BLISS BALLS

I just love the blend of tahini with a little sweetness and cacao. Tahini is one of the best plant-based sources of calcium. It’s also high in protein, packed with magnesium, iron and vitamins.

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup of tahini
  • ¼ – ½ cup of maple (depends how sweet you like it)
  • ½ cup of almonds (or peanuts) broken into small pieces (I use a food processor)
  • ½ cup of almond meal
  • ½ cup of organic shredded coconut
  • ¼ sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
  • ¼ -½ cup of organic raw cacao (depends how bitter you like it)
  • ¼ cup sultanas
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt

METHOD

  • In a mixing bowl add all the dried ingredients and mix them well
  • Slowly add the maple syrup and then the tahini – mixing consistently
  • Then use your hands to mix it all together.
  • You can adjust the sweetness and chocolatey-ness by adding more maple and cacao. If it becomes too wet, you can add a little more coconut but remember once the mixture goes to the fridge the moisture will dry off
  • Set for a minimum of 15 mins (or if you’re like me and you can’t wait, enjoy them right away).
  • These store best in the fridge for up to one week.

Food glorious food.

I am a self-confessed food-aholic. I love and am totally addicted to good food. Cooking. Eating out. Traveling and letting my tummy guide my explorations; from Michelin star restaurants to road-side sticks on plastic crates – I’ve tried it.

I think about food all the time. Sometimes that means that my relationship with food is overindulgent. Especially when I’m stressed – my go-to comfort food; something sweet and nutty.

Knowing your imperfections doesn’t mean you have to give them up. Knowing our weaknesses can actually be a great strength, for me that has meant mastering the art of healthy vegan treats.

I follow the basic principles of Ayurveda, some of which are described in a previous article.

Put simply all life forms rely on food to live, food gives (what yogi’s call prana life-force or) vitality.  For this reason, food is celebrated! Yay – another reason to love yoga.

Yogi’s believe that food can nourish on three levels;

  • The physical body – experienced through the energy we need for each day
  • The emotional body – experienced through the senses and the mind
  • The spiritual body – experienced through the ability to have a clear consciousness.

One Ayurvedic guideline is practicing non-attachment. When it comes to food that means quantity. When something tastes amazing, this can be a real challenge! So we try to eat what we need and eat mindfully. That’s not to say we shouldn’t indulge in treats…

In fact, one of the most revered ingredients in Ayurveda is the humble date.  They are believed to balance all dosha types and to promote immunity and energy when consumed in moderation.

Dates are high in vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fibre. They are rich in selenium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron to name a few minerals. Interestingly, selenium is a trace mineral that plays an important role in thyroid and immune system function as well as sperm production.

Dates are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin K, the B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6) and folate. But, they are also high in sugar (especially fructose) so should only be eaten in small amounts.

I like to include about two dates into my daily diet. I do that either through my morning porridge or smoothie depending on the season or bliss balls – my favourite healthy treat.

2019 retreat alert! Nepal Adventure – EARLY BIRD ON

CRAVING ADVENTURE AND CONNECTION? JOIN ME FOR 15 DAYS OF YOGA, HIKING AND ADVENTURE THROUGH NEPAL.

11 days of hiking in the Annapurna ranges, reaching up to 4,600M. Yoga and meditation daily.  Sight-seeing in Kathmandu. And everything looked after for you except international flights and a few meals.

Trek with a small group of like-minded adventurers through the grand peaks of the Himalayas. Nic will be your trip host, however, we have the helping hand of a bi-lingual guide for the journey as well as sherpa’s and two personal cooks.

Discover more about yoga, meditation and happy living with daily practices surrounded by the divine beauty of the Himalaya.

INCLUSIONS

  • Daily yoga and meditation with Nic, your host
  • 14 nights’ accommodation in a mix of hotels, eco-lodges, and private campsites
  • A day of guided sight-seeing by a bi-lingual local in Kathmandu
  • Return flights to Pokhara from Kathmandu
  • A local bi-lingual trekking guide
  • A fully supported trekking team – that means you don’t have to carry your pack or worry about meals
  • The use of a quality, all season sleeping bag, sleeping mat, and jacket.
  • All sightseeing, park entry fees, and permits
  • Most meals included (except a few lunches and dinners).

I’m offering an early bird deal for all trip booked with deposits paid before October 1.

For more information please email nic@thehappylivingproject.com.au and for the full trip itinerary, you can take a look at the World Expeditions website.

Balancing physical changes in winter

If wintertime is creating excess mucus and body weight for you and/or making you feel sluggish and depressed, then add more light, dry and high fiber foods. Consuming more high fiber foods will reduce feelings of being weighed down, stagnant or uninspired. Focus on adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your cooked meals. My favourites are broccoli, zucchini and green beans. Even adding some drying qualities to soak up some mucus can help too – think wholegrains grains, beans, millet, quinoa etc.

Nic’s wholegrain breakie porridge.

  • Cook quinoa as per the packet instructions always good to make a bunch in advance to enjoy through the week.
  • In a small saucepan, add half a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of almond meal for some good fats, 1 tablespoon or chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of desiccated coconut.
  • Add ¾ cup of water or a milk of choice – warm through. Allow the chia to become collagenous – about 10 mins, stir every now and again.
  • When its ready, add cinnamon and nutmeg (or what ever spices you like for the morning)
  • Add about a quarter of a cup of your pre-cooked quinoa.
  • Turn your pot back on for a few mins just to heat everything through again, you may also need to add a little more liquid.
  • Option to add a protein powder and or a mashed banana when you add your spices.
  • I like to top min with walnuts and sunflower seeds or pepita’s. You can also add your favourite fruit. I like to eat with my eyes, so figs and kiwi are my go to.
  • This is a really warming and nourishing breakie that will keep you full for a long time.

This is just some general advice that I’ve seen support and nourish my body. For any more information on Aryuveda, get in touch.

Winter nourishment

It’s obvious that winter is a time for hibernation. Less daylight hours, plants and trees are dormant and even animals are less frequently seen. But what we don’t often talk about is how to change our diets and lifestyles to suit the cold, dark, often damp conditions.

This three part content series will cover some tips and thinking on how to support your body through the chilli change of weather based on Ayurvedic principals.

Ayurveda, yoga’s sister healing science helps us to understand how to support our bodies to maintain vitality through the changing of each season.  According to it’s principles, winter resonates the strongest with the dosha (bio-elemental energy) of kaph. Kaph’s qualities are of cold, heavy, moist, grounded, and slow. When in balance, kapha is a source of strength, vitality, and stability to our bodies and minds. In winter kapha is prone to imbalance leading to excess mucus (cold and flu season) and excess body weight as well as a feeling of sluggishness and sometimes even a little depressive.

Tweaking our diets can help to keep the energy of kapha balanced and strong throughout winter. Over this content series you will get a simple tip and recipe per week.

  • Tip one: Keep warm internally

Our digestive fires go into a little hibernation during winter too. Eating foods with cold, wet and heavy properties, (raw veggies, frozen foods, sweets, and oily or fried foods) —weakens our digestive fires. To strengthen, drink hot or warm water (instead of cold or iced) and drink warming teas like fresh ginger or chai (these have warming spices in them as well as being warm).

Focus on eating warm, slow-cooked, slightly oily, and well-spiced foods. And you can add these spices to teas or meals to boost your digestive fire: black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, fennel seeds, licorice, cardamom, and ginger root.

Nic’s Warming Pumpkin soup

  • Roast half a pumpkin (I use butternut or jap)
  • While this is in the oven, sauté some onions or leek (or both for extra richness) as well as a fennel bulb. Fennel gives the soup an extra creamy quality. I use coconut oil to sauté.
  • When the veggies have soften, grate some fresh ginger and garlic into the pot (I use at least four cloves and about half an inch of grated ginger but please adjust according to taste). Sauté for another 2-3 mins until their flavours mellow.
  • Then add half to a full teaspoon or fennel seeds, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ to a full teaspoon of turmeric – grate some black pepper on top. Enjoy the fragrance as they stew.
  • Add about 1.5L of water to the pot and some salt (you can add stock if you wish for more flavor).
  • Add your roasted pumpkin. You can also add some cut carrot for extra thickness and sweetness. Allow everything to come to the boil and simmer for at least 15 mins. As long as your pumpkin is roasted and carrot, if you’re using, are soft then its ready!
  • Blend and enjoy.

Living fully in the moment

Yoga offers its practitioners the gift of being present.

When we are fully present in the moment, we offer our whole selves to whatever it is that we are doing. Our attention, and our energy are all fully immersed on the task at hand.

This experience is so powerful that when we are in this state, we feel completely alive. Some sports phycologists call it the “state of flow” or being “in the zone”. This feeling of aliveness comes easily when we are absorbed in work or play that we love, but it is available to us in every moment, and we can learn to summon it regardless of what we do.

Next time you find yourself fully engaged in the moment, whether you are cooking, lifting weights, running, or talking to your best friend, you may want to take a moment to notice how you feel. You may notice that you are not thinking about your to-do list, your body feels – good, your brain is focused, you might generally feel content.