Recipes

Spicy Mango and Noodle Salad

Everything in this is raw apart from the noodles and it has so much TASTE! Just 20 minutes prep time… the perfect midweek dinner.

 

Ingredients:

1 large mango

1/2 red pepper

1/2 orange pepper

1/2 red onion

1 chunk of cucumber

100g mange tout

100g sugar snaps

1 big red chilli

1 spring onion

1 handful of cashews

1 small bunch of coriander

2 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 chunk of ginger

2 limes juiced

2 nests of vegan/vegetarian noodles depending on preference

 

 

Method:

  1. chop red onion, peppers, cucumber and mango into long strips. Cut mange tout and sugar snaps in half. Place all in a bowl.
  2. Cover the chopped veg with the juice of 2 limes, and the vinegar.
  3. Boil the noodles till soft and allow to cool.
  4. Chop the spring onion and cashews roughly. Chop the ginger and chilli finely. Chop the coriander roughly.
  5. Add the ginger, coriander and chilli to the veg mix.
  6. Combine the noodles and the veg mix.
  7. Serve in bowls covered with spring onion and cashew!Mango salad
Yoga blog

Two Yoga Breathing Techniques (Pranayama) to Calm and Cool the Mind

NB: If Sukhasana (crossed legged position) is uncomfortable, you can sit on a chair, bring the legs out in front of you or make any other adjustments so that you are comfortable

 

  1. Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

How to:

Sit in Sukhasana (crossed legged position). Keep the spine long, shoulders back and down. Close the eyes or soften your gaze. To perform Nadi Shodhana bring your left hand to rest on the left knee. Form Vishnu Mudra (pictured below) with your right hand by tucking your little finger under you ring finger and then bringing your middle and first fingers down to the base of your thumb. Then bringing the right hand up to the face use the thumb to close off your right nostril and inhale through the left. Then open the right nostril and close the left. Exhale through the right. Close off the left nostril and inhale through the right. Close off the right nostril and exhale through the left. Inhale through the left, close it off and exhale through the right. Repeat this.

Benefits:

Nadi Shodhana cleanses the body, focuses the mind and energizes the body.

Vishnu Mudra:

Vishnu Mudra

 

  1. Sitkari Breathing

How to:

Sit tall in Sukhasana (crossed legs) with a long spine. Slightly part your lips and have your tongue just behind your teeth. Inhale drawing the breath along your tongue and as you do this lift your chin slightly. Close your mouth. Exhale out through your nose. Try to get the inhale to a count of four and the exhale to a count of eight.

Benefits:

Sitkari is a cooling breath which will reduce body temperature, alleviate stress and can help with insomnia.

 

Recipes

Goat’s Cheese & Roasted Veg Salad

Now the sun is out why not try this lovely summery salad. Perfect for eating outside with a glass of wine.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

125g soft goat’s cheese

1 yellow courgette (green will work too!)

1 red pepper

1 red onion

1/4 of an ice-berg lettuce

10-20 plum tomatoes

1 chunk of cucumber

2 steamed beetroots

2 tablespoon of caramelised red onion chutney

1 teaspoon of oil

Salt & Pepper

Salad dressing of your choice

Method:

  1. Chop up the courgette, onion and pepper. Place them on a baking tray and mix through the oil. Roast at 180 degrees C for 30-35 minutes.
  2. Chop up the lettuce and place it into bowls. Also chop the cucumber, tomatoes and beetroots and add them to the bowl.
  3. Drizzle with your choice of dressing (or just a little olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar).
  4. Add the roasted vegetables when they’re ready (I like to add them warm).
  5. Dot the goat’s cheese around the bowl and then add small patches of caramelised onion chutney.
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

Recipes

Chickpea and Green Bean Salad

Serves 4 (2 if pretty hungry!)

I got back from climbing earlier and I just needed something tasty and quick which wouldn’t make me feel like I had undone all the good of exercising. This was it…

Ingredients:

250g Green beans

Half a red onion

1/4 jar of partially drained sun-dried tomatoes

1 can of chickpeas

1 can of cannellini beans

200g spinach

2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

1/4 of a lemon

1 clove of garlic

Caper berries in brine

salt and pepper

Optional – corn tortillas

Method:

  1. If you want to add crispy tortillas to this recipe just pop them in the oven on about 200 degrees C to crisp up. Remember to take them out when they are crispy! (takes between 5-10 minutes depending on whether the oven is preheated and how strong it is).
  2. Chop the red onion finely and take the tops off the green beans. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes coarsely.
  3. Steam the green beans for a few minutes to your personal preference. I like to keep them with a bit of crunch!
  4. Drain and wash the chickpeas and Cannellini beans, then pour into a microwaveable bowl. Add the chopped red onion and sun-dried tomatoes (with the oil they come in). Add a crushed clove of garlic. Squeeze in the 1/4 lemon. Mix the paprika through
  5. Cover the mixture with the spinach. Microwave for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Mix thoroughly and serve topped with a couple of caper berries and the crispy tortillas 🙂 Enjoy!
Yoga blog

Your First Yoga Class: What to Expect

I’ve had quite a few people email, message and say to me that they’re worried about coming to a yoga class for the first time. Reasons range from medical conditions, fitness levels and flexibility to looking silly, holding other people up and essentially being an inconvenience. I’m writing this largely to reassure people. I’m going to go through the reasons people have given for being concerned about yoga and why they don’t matter because yoga is for everybody. Then I’ll briefly explain what a typical yoga class is like.

Concerns about going to yoga…

  1. Physical Fitness – you will be fine. Yoga varies massively in intensity, some classes are more physically demanding than others, but there are always options. Much as with running where you can take a slower pace, have more breaks etc. to reduce the intensity, there are similar adaptations in yoga. But in yoga you will always end up in the same place as the rest of the people in the room. That’s the beauty of it, it is perfectly suited and adaptable for everyone.
  2. Flexibility – I always find it funny when people say they don’t want to go to yoga because they’re not flexible. Building flexibility is something yoga does in abundance! Not wanting to do yoga because you’re not flexible is like not wanting to go to school because you don’t already know everything you’ll be taught. If we only did the things we’re naturally good at we wouldn’t get very far.
  3. Looking silly/holding people up – you won’t. And if you do no one will see because they’re so busy concentrating on what they are doing to worry about you. I may (or your teacher may) correct you, but that’s what you’re paying us to do. We care about you. We love yoga that’s why we decided to become teachers and all we want is to see you progress safely to the best place you can be at in your practice. Don’t worry about holding other people up, it does nobody any harm to take a moment to reconnect with their breath in a posture.
  4. Being an inconvenience –when you’re in a class the mat and the space around the mat are yours. You are not an inconvenience you are a strong, capable person who has made the choice to come and do something which is good for your body. Own that space. Feel like you can ask the teacher questions, that’s what we’re there for. It’s your class and it’s really important you enjoy it, so giving feedback is always great too. You are never an inconvenience.
  5. Medical Conditions and Injuries – if you have any medical conditions or injuries you must ask your GP if it is safe to practice yoga. As long as you have been given the go ahead by a medical professional just let me (or any teacher whose class you’re in) know about the problem and often they can offer you options for some poses which might suit your body better. You should also never do anything you know is not good for you or that has been advised against by your doctor. And yoga should never hurt! If something feels painful, stop immediately and let the teacher know.

 

A Typical Yoga Class

A typical yoga class will involve an initial relaxation. Then usually a warm up where muscles and joints are mobilised through actions such as bending sideways, small spinal twists, extensions and flexions, and rotation of key joints which will be used in the classm like the ankle.

This is followed by a more rigorous warm up of the cardiovascular system. This is usually in the form of Sun Salutations. Sun Salutations are a sequence of movements which may feel unfamiliar at first, but they are often repeated so they will begin to feel more and more natural over time. The Salutations move every muscle and joint in the body, building strength, flexibility and balance.

Flow classes have more cardio, gentle yoga classes focus on stretching and strengthening through various positions known in yoga as asanas. Some asanas are more demanding than others, but all have modifications and progressions so in a yoga class you can work at your own pace in a way that challenges your body. People’s bodies are all different so some asanas will feel easier at first than others, that’s normal. It’s also normal for one side to be easier than the other.

After these asanas there is a meditation or relaxation. This can be silent or guided and focuses on letting go of any tension in the body. This can be a daunting, particularly for those with anxiety. If you want to you can keep your eyes open and just soften your gaze. Although it can be a little uncomfortable at first this becomes easier and it begins to feel amazing! I promise, stick with it 😊

 

Hope to see you on the mat soon!!! Hxxx