Author: holefoodfamily

Join us on Retreat…

Transform & Restore Friday 19th – Sunday 21st October 2018 Join Hannah & Lauren for a transformative autumnal weekend yoga retreat.  Mirroring the season of letting go we will be working with meditation, chant, asana and sankalpa to release old habits and patterns which no longer serve us and to nurture and restore body, mind and soul, ready for the winter months ahead. Staying at the beautiful Tilton House, East Sussex (voted by The Guardian as one of the top Yoga retreats and holidays), the house is set in the South Downs National Park, immersed in nature and history. From 3pm on Friday – 3pm on Sunday, our weekend includes 5 full Yoga sessions, all vegetarian food sourced from the orchards and kitchen garden, accommodation comprising twin or double rooms (and one triple room). In addition spa treatments can be booked at around £60 per treatment and house wine purchased at £12 per bottle. Total Price:  £375 Booking is on a first come first served basis via a non-refundable deposit of £100.  The remaining £275 …

Sacred Sleep, 5 Powerful Sleep Aids for Improving Vitality

Sacred sleep… Are we getting enough?  And how does sleep deprivation impact our daily lives, our sense of vitality and our overall health? I’ve slept a lot recently.  Having been stopped in my tracks by critical illness, I’ve transferred my energetic focus away from the mind, its thoughts and fancies, and towards the body and its needs.  It seemed obvious that, following surgery, I would need to sleep.  But in fact what I have noticed in prioritising sleep, is the mind’s ability to convince the whole body that what it thinks, fantasises about, fancies and fixates on, is actually more important than the needs of the organic organism which houses it.   The mind can be like a child, who doesn’t see the importance of clearing up, washing up, putting things away, or taking care of things and instead just does whatever he or she pleases.  The body has its own voice, which is led by feeling and being – this deeper more intuitive voice is often drowned out by the busy mind child, clanging …

Turmeric Lattes and Living with Cancer

The wonderful news is that the biopsy results on the lymph nodes and tissue taken away during my Anterior Resection of the bowel (the surgery which took half of my colon away and stapled it back together), show clear.  No cancer cells were found.  In terms of living with cancer this is a victory.  What is means is that there are no visible tumours in my body, and the tissue around the tumour which was taken away is also healthy.  I’m really pleased, and enormously grateful that, for now, it looks as though I don’t need chemotherapy.  But there’s a but, you can feel it coming…  What it doesn’t show is that this body is capable of creating cancer.  This body already turned on itself.  For some reason, despite relatively good health, fitness and a healthy diet, the ‘C’ bomb trigger was pulled.  Whilst the disease itself may be gone, I hope never to return, there’s no getting away from the fact that this happened. that it was even possible. So while my supporters get …

Colon Cancer, SIBO & Blueberry Breakfast Crumble

I don’t know about you, but until my recent colon cancer diagnosis I hadn’t heard of SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth).  SIBO can be responsible for symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, wind, constipation and diarrhoea, Iron and B12 deficiencies as well as more long term chronic disease.  It dawned on me (slowly),  how my ‘healthy’ diet had probably contributed to imbalance within my own system.  Despite enjoying whole food, I very definitely place emphasis on starches and carbs in the form of rice, beans and legumes.  I had no idea that the generic view of what is healthy, could actually be causing me a problem… When you’re diagnosed with a critical illness, it’s like a bomb goes off in the middle of your life.  Everything (literally everything) looks, and feels different.  I was torn between a longing for the oblivion of yesterday and wanting to wake up sometime in the future when it was all over.  Despite critical illness diagnosis, however, the body has a remarkable capacity to keep functioning ‘as normal’.  Sleep still comes …

My Yoga Playlist – Music to Get Your Flow On…

Music is a great way to access the emotions.  It’s there in high times, low times and the everywhere in-between.  The sounds of our musical peers reminds us that we’re not alone, whatever we face.  For every mood, there’s a melody, and for every social movement a distinct sound to define it…  So for me, music and yoga go hand in hand as a form of self-expression.  Where words fail me music very often speaks, where life overwhelms me and I become stuck movement and dance allows me to flow.  Often, music triggers unexpected mood, memory or emotion and at times can be an inspiration. Using music in Yoga practice can be controversial though.  It’s not for everyone.  In fact, it’s not always for me.  I would never practice Ashtanga to music for example.  The repetitive flow of the Ashtanga series can be deeply meditative.  A Place where we come up against ourselves in whatever state we are in.  Music here can be a diversion away from our inner experience, and the point of this …

Early Winter Warmer – An Afternoon of Asana, Pranayama, Chant & Meditation

Join Zone in Yoga and Black Dog Living for an afternoon of Soul Warming Yoga practice. As the winter draws in and the festive season approaches we gather our energies in preparation for the winter months ahead. We’ll be using Asana, Pranayama , Chant and Meditation to focus inwards and bring warmth and flow to the whole body, mind and soul. Date:  18th November 2017 Time:  2pm-5pm Location:  The Harmony Centre, Ashley CofE School, Ashley Road, Walton-on-Thames. Working with warming asana to bring stability and grounding to the body, an awareness of our foundations and heating Pranayama focusing on the abdomen and inner fire.  Followed by a yin yoga practice to open the heart, encouraging the flow of joy within the body and Chant to bring flow to our inner voice.  The session will end with a Meditation to align the mind and body, and as always there will be tea and sweet treats before we go home… Bookings are £35 in advance.  Please email lauren@blackdogliving.com to reserve your space.  

Daim Bar Laundering Brownies… Post-modern and possibly gluten-free

These brownies represent the emotional wreck that I am this week… In a frenzy of duty-free chocolate buying which went something like this in my mind… “oooh Toblerone, oooh Daim bars, oooh nougat… snap out of it Lauren you don’t even like nougat… but daim bars…Mmmm”  and then I justified the buying of the Daim bars by thinking “it’s really only ever the airport of Ikea that I would buy them, so that amounts to about once or twice a year, so it’s a special treat, right?”…. I ate a handful on the plane until I felt sick… and then tried to fob them off on everyone else… and then, when I got home to the realisation that I had a year’s supply of daim bars and no self-control I went in to panic mode, no amount of yoga or meditation could fix this.  I had to wash the daim bars like dirty cash (I learned about this watching Ozark on Netflix by the way which is really good), transforming them in to something legitimate, …

Charity Yoga Garden Party in aid of Mind

Those of you close to me will know that mental health awareness is an issue close to my own heart.  Those of you less close to me may be aware of my interest in the subject via blog posts and facebook news updates.  Students of mine will be familiar with our work around simply noticing our states of mind, emotional qualities and the differences between entering a yoga class or treatment with a whirring or racing mind and leaving with a more settled sense of well-being.  And for anyone else in the world, at some point it’s likely you will have experienced stress, overwhelm, feelings of anxiety, pressure, uncertainty or sadness.  It’s also possible that these states of mind have come with the added pressure that because we’re feeling them, it means we’re not ‘coping’ or that somehow we’re ‘lesser’ than our peers who seemingly navigate the world with ease and tranquillity. Recognising and accepting ourselves unconditionally can be difficult.  My own experience practicing Yoga has created a structure, and safe space within which I …

States of Transition – Yogic Exploration, Relaxation & Meditation

As the summer draws to an end and life resumes as normal after the holidays, we often find ourselves in a state of transition.  We often start new ventures, our children start new schools, we re-visit personal resolutions.  For many of us, this transition represents a fresh start.  Transitions, by their very nature, are unstable.  A state of flow, motion and movement, before re-claiming firm ground.  When life becomes unsettled, dormant parts of our being re-surface.  As yogis we have the opportunity to examine these changes from the safety of the mat.  Establishing ourselves in the presence of our being through transition and static posture allows us to experience what it means to be grounded, and to accept the processes of movement and flow just for what they are. Join Zone in Yoga and I for an afternoon of yoga exploration, relaxation and grounding meditation. We will be examining the way we transition between poses, states of mind and looking to establish a true grounded presence within ourselves. Date:  16th September 2017 Time:  3-6pm Location:  …

Peach, Pea & Halloumi Salad

What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror?  “Hallou-mi!” This salad though, it’s no joke.  In fact it’s seriously lovely… It’s about as easy as dinner comes too, so when you’re ready for a super summer supper and a glass of cold white wine this is for you… Full of allotment bounty and wholefood nourishment… If you’re not buzzing with vitality (and a sense of virtuousness) afterwards then… well, pop to a yoga class instead!! Ingredients (serves 2): A bed of mixed watercress, spinach and rocked (around 2 large handfuls) 2 good handfuls of fresh, shelled, green peas 4 roast new potatoes (halved or quartered depending on their size) 2 handfuls steamed green beans 2 flat peaches, cubed 6 slices halloumi 1 beetroot, cubed 1 tbsp olive oil, 1tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp agave nectar 1 sprig fresh rosemary Sea Salt Pepper Method: 1) Pre-heat the oven to 180C.  Cut the potatoes and beetroot in to halves or quarters, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea-salt, add a sprig of …