The Importance of Daily Grounding- Techniques for off the Mat

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Grounded. What does it mean to be grounded? 

To me, being grounded means being fully present: physically, emotionally and energetically.

When we are grounded we can feel our physical connection to the earth. Taking our attention to how our feet feel on the ground, giving us an awareness of our physical connection to the earth. When we are grounded our minds are not wandering or pulling elsewhere. We feel stable, and at ease. Fears and worries we have fade away quickly. we can feel safe and protected. And when feel grounded, we are more able to deal with the difficulties that life gives us.

Here are my top tips that to help you take this sense of grounding off the mat and into your daily life. 

CONNECT WITH NATURE

Get outside. Go for a walk or cycle, do some gardening or just sit for a few breaths outdoors. Living in the green city of Edinburgh offers me a plethora of beautiful places to walk, from the seaside to climbing a hill, taking a woodland stroll to visiting wide open green spaces, Edinburgh offer so much to us. Try, if you can, to walk daily, even just for 5-10 minutes. And if you live near a green space, take advantage of it! 

HERBAL TEAS

Sip on some herbal teas throughout the day, and try to cut down on the coffee! My current favorites are Redbush tea and Lemon Balm leaves, freshly picked from my garden, steeped in hot water.. For night time, I drink valerian root tea, sweetened with honey. It is a natural sedative and can be very calming.

ESSENTIAL OILS- AROMATHERAPY

Anything earthy here will work wonderfully! Cedarwood, Paolo Santo, Frankinsence, Patchulie. Try adding a couple drops of to your bath at night, or my new favorite a few drops onto your shower curtain before you hop in- creating a mini steam room and making your morning routine BLISS!

BREATHING 

Connect with your breath. Notice your breath. Breathing in fully and exhaling slowly. As you inhale really focus on the breath in your body. Feel your stomach and ribs expand on an inhale and relax and let go as you exhale.Even just 5 minutes of mindful breathing every day!

What are your favorite ways to ground? 

Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto

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I love wild garlic season. The smell permeates the air of woodland walks and  I was lucky enough to discover it in abundance whilst taking a blue bell walk with my mum last weekend. Wild garlic, also known as Ramson, can usually be foraged between March and May, however this year, due to the later frosts it's still available now in the countryside. 

Wild garlic is  very versatile. It can be added to stir fry's and salads, it can infuse oil for drizzling, and my favorite, it make's a delicious pesto.   As a wild uncultivated food, wild garlic is chock full of bioactive phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins that are known to be beneficial to health, and great for your gut!

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Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto

Ingredients 

  • Large bunch of Wild Garlic leaves, washed thoroughly
  • Toasted Pine nuts
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Juice and grated rind of half a lemon

Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan until they get a golden hue and let them cool down. This is an important step, toasting the nuts can add a much nicer flavor, often removing any bitterness. Add all of the ingredients in the food processor and blitz until it has the typical pesto consistency. Transfer the wild garlic pesto to a sterilized glass jar. Top it off with olive oil to protect the pesto from spoiling. The pesto might keep for several weeks stored in the fridge. If you take some out always cover it again with olive oil.

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Vegan Carrot Cake

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This week we received our first organic veg box delivery from Bellfield Organics. I can sometimes get stuck in a rut with cooking so getting a veg box delivered gives me the opportunity to try different veggies and recipes. This week we had lot's of carrots, so a super moist, sweet and delicious carrot cake it was. 

My new favorite cake recipe, there is a high chance it will feature at Lena and myself's TONIFY: Year of The Down Dog yoga workshop next month!

  • 250g of Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp of GF Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp of GF Baking Soda
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 Grated Orange
  • 250g of Grated Carrot
  • 170g of Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Flax Egg (ground flax seed mixed with warm water)
  • 110ml Olive Oil
  • Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Chopped Walnuts 

Preheat the oven to 180'C

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a mixing bowl.

Add the grated carrot, orange zest and the brown sugar.

In the meantime, add the oil, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, walnuts and flax egg to the bowl and mix well.

Add the mixture to two cake tins and place in the oven for 30 minutes 

Once ready, remove from the oven. Allow to cool before removing from the tins. Option to add icing, but I found the cake so sweet and moist, icing wasn't needed!  

Coconut Lemon Melts

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Coconut Lemon Melts, one of my favorite treats. Refreshing, zingy and sweet. 

  • 1 1/2 cup of ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup of ground oats
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon maple syrup, agave syrup or honey
  • 3 unwaxed lemons (freshly squeezed juice)
  • Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Place all the ingredients into a food processor/blender and process until well combined. If you don't have one I have made these before by just mixing the ingredients together by hand. 

Once the ingredients are well combined using the palms of your hand, roll them into small balls. Place them in the fridge to let them harden slightly then ENJOY!

 

My Morning Self Care Routine

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With Winter feeling like it has truly arrived, I'm spending time focusing on Self Care.

Self care isn't something we do to 'treat ourselves', self care should be the practice of taking care of ourselves to nourish and recharge our minds, bodies and spirits, EVERY DAY.

Below are my top morning self care rituals. These are so important to my well being, I try to follow them daily.

However, as someone who has struggled with depression for a few years, my mornings don't always look like this. Sometimes, they look more like me lying in bed waaaaay past my alarm, followed by three strong black coffees, instead of refreshing hot water and lemon, and a whole bar of chocolate (not the healthy kind!) just to make the trip from my bed to the sofa. Other's my act's of self care can be as simple as washing my hair and putting on fresh yoga pants- and that's OKAY, as long as it nourishes and recharges my mind, body OR spirit.

Yoga

Even if it's just 5 minutes of breath work, a few sun salutations, or a tree pose while I brush my teeth, I try to practice every morning. Sometimes my yoga practice is just Savasana, some days it can be a sweaty flow and others (most) it can be a fifteen minute soulful stretch. Whatever it looks like for you, a daily yoga practice can be a great start to your day.

Hot Water & Lemon

Every morning, without fail, I drink a large mug or two of hot water with a few lemon slices. This kickstarts my digestion, helps to flush out toxins and energizes me for the day. Sometimes I'll add a little grated ginger or turmeric, and always with my favorite mug.

Morning Hot Cacao

I'm telling you, hot cacao for breakfast is what gets me up and out of bed in the morning. I use it as a mindful ritual first thing, heating the milk up on the stove, gently, stirring the ingredients, then watching the steam rise as I softly cup my favorite mug in both hands before my first sip is bliss. Cacao has so many amazing nourishing properties it's a great morning drink. I love to add a little honey, cardamon seeds and a pinch of cinnamon powder.

And YES- following on from my Hot Cacao, I always have a coffee. ALWAYS! 

Mindful Face Wash

Some mornings I have time to go all out with my beauty regime. I'll wash, exfoliate & moisturize. But most mornings its a warm face cloth and couple drops of my favorite essential oil followed by moisturizer.

Self Massage

Post shower when my skin is still warm, I'll massage a little oil in. As I don't have time to do my full body, each day I'll target a different part of my body- where ever feel's like it needs a bit lovin'. Abdomen massage is my favorite and ladies, it's great for reducing period cramping. 

Tongue Scraping

An Ayurvedic self-care ritual,  tongue scraping removes bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. It's the first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning!

These are my favorite acts of self care in the morning. As I mentioned above, my morning's don't always mirror this and if your's don't either that's okay. In fact, I can not stress enough just how important it is to ACCEPT where you are at with your self care. The last thing we need is another guilt riddled box to check on our to-do list. 

What ever your self care means to you, do it and do it as much as you want!

Namaste