lifestyle

Exciting LahLah news and a free class!

2018 brings change and some exciting news to share

I will be returning to hosting classes at my home, although now home is in Siggiewi, and I will also be starting prenatal classes! The classes will be very intimate, a maximum of 4 yogis per class which means you will get lots of personal attention and we can really focus on what YOU need.

LahLah Yoga Siggiewi

The last classes I will be teaching at Sanya will be on the 11th & 13th December. Following this, I will be offering a few complimentary classes at my new home studio (which is located here) to give you a taste of what is to come.

Complimentary classes

20th December 6pm - Gentle Flow Class

21st December 6pm - Dynamic Flow Class

See map for location

Book your complimentary class now - booking is essential

Following the complimentary classes, I will officially launch the classes in January 2018, with classes as follows:

Monday - 6pm Gentle Flow

Monday - 7.30pm Dynamic Flow

Wednesday - 6pm Gentle Flow

Thursdays 6pm - 6 week Prenatal Course (more details here)

Of course I hope you will join me in Siggiewi, but if this is not a convenient location for you there are still many other wonderful teachers at Sanya.

Cheagan: the cheating vegan!

Happy Sunday lovely readers!

A few days ago I came across this article from the Independent online which says that veganism has grown by 360 percent in the UK with many world-class athletes leading the way: Novak Djokovic, David Haye & Venus Williams all choosing to go vegan. It's great to witness such radical changes in lifestyle, heath and body awareness in world class athletes who not only have very demanding lifestyles and need to be fully nourished to do what they do, but are also role models for many. It's also awesome to note the huge increase in the general population!

I have recently been experimenting with being a "cheagan" as Venus puts it :) a cheating vegan. When at home I only eat and cook vegan but when out I allow myself to have dairy if there are no alternatives (which sadly living in Malta is not as rare as I would like it to be). To be honest I thought it would be much harder than it is. Of course in the first few weeks I missed cheese at home but that passed quite quickly.

My decision to start this experimentation stemmed from more awareness and knowledge of the dairy and chicken farming industry in general. That is to say I do not necessarily think it is wrong to eat dairy or eggs as you are not killing the animal to do so, however the way that the industry treats these commercial cows and chickens is horrifying, and aside from the compassion I feel for these poor animals, I highly question the quality and life energy level of anything which has been so mistreated and produced and packaged for mass supermarket sales and consumption. 

For example did you know that commercial dairy cows are kept in a constant cycle of pregnancy to keep producing milk? Any mother who has been pregnant and breastfed knows that this is a physically demanding process to go through for one baby, let alone to be kept in this cycle for your whole life. This constant cycle of milk production in many cases causes severe mastitis (an inflammation of the udder) which causes the production of somatic cells which are released into the milk they produce. Legally in the UK there can be up to 400 million somatic cells in a litre of milk. Somatic cells as more commonly known as pus. Lovely. The cow is repeatedly put through all this trauma and continues to be pumped despite infections and weakness until they fall over and can't go on any more when they are then put down and sold as beef. 

Aside from this, now on the occasions when I do cheat and consume dairy/eggs I am very aware of the fact that within a few hours I begin to feel mucus congestion in my chest/throat starting. 

There are plenty of non-traditional sources of protein available to us: Dark, leafy green veggies, hemp, nuts & nut butters, quinoa, tofu, pulses, lentils, beans & chickpeas to name but a few and if world class athletes are thriving and training and winning on plant based diets, it means that us mere mortals can certainly nourish ourselves on a plant based diet too.

I apologise if this comes across as preaching, that is not my intention as I am really not one to preach my views on others, I would just like to spread more awareness around this industry and leave it up to you what you do with it :)

If you're interested to find out more there are plenty of documentaries around this issue, most recently I watched a great one called "Forks over Knives" which stars two ex-dairy farmers and cattle rearers who have now switched to a plant-based lifestyle. There are plenty more examples of dairy farmers themselves turning vegan - read more here

Should you wish to find out more about the dairy industry in a short, no holds barred video - here you go..

The Benefits of Yoga for Skiiers

Have you ever thought about how perfectly skiing & yoga complement each other? Skiing is fast, adrenaline-pumping & risky. Yoga is calming, meditative & mindful. Combining the two creates a perfect balance of mindful fun.

The biggest benefit that yoga can bring to your skiing is injury prevention. Out on the slopes it is cold and we use our cold muscles in ways or in an intensity that we generally aren't used to. Yoga can help reduce stress, strain and possible injury.

If you're planning a skiing holiday I would highly suggest attending as many yoga classes as you can before you head into the snow. Balance, concentration, flexibility & strength form the basis of most yoga classes and these are also the most important skills to get you down the mountain with a big smile on your face!

See your yoga mat as you see you your skis…and see your skis as a yoga mat

Here are a few tips to help you find alignment on your skis:

  • Feet should be shoulder-width apart, as if in Mountain Pose, to create a stable base for the body.
  • Knees should be in line with the toes.
  • Hips should be tipped slightly forward. This is a somewhat unnatural position for most people; however, ski boots help encourage this shape in the lower body. This posture helps you gain control. 
  • Shoulders should be dropped, or relaxed, as in Mountain Pose.
  • Torso should be still & stable. Referred to as a “quiet upper body” in skiing, having a “still” torso is akin to riding a bicycle with the lower body doing most of the work while the upper body provides stability.
  • Hands should be in front of your body to encourage forward movement and to initiate pole plants.

Here are a few poses which will help strengthen, lengthen and balance you prior to skiing:

  • Forward fold: A yoga pose for hamstrings as it helps to loosen the back and stretch hamstrings and calves.
  • Warrior I and II : Stretches hip flexors and hamstrings on the back leg whilst strengthening feet, ankles, glutes and quads on the front leg.
  • Chair pose: classic ski and board pose, warms up and builds strength in quads. 
  • Reclined cobblers pose: improves flexibility of inner thigh muscles, which can cause knee injury in skiing if not stretched.
  • Tree pose: helps with balance, tones & strengthens quads, calves, ankles & spine whilst stretching hip flexors, inner thighs, chest and shoulders. Improves balance, promotes mobility in the hip and knee joint, very important for turns whilst skiing. 
  • Downward facing Dog: Stretches the back & opens the chest. Vinyasas can build core strength.
  • Crescent Pose (high lunge): stretches hip flexors & hamstrings on the back leg whilst strengthening feet, ankles, glutes & quads on the front leg. Low lunges are also good!

If the idea of yoga & skiing tickles your toes, have a look at our next escape:

Pause // Play // Ski

16th- 23rd March 2016

Morillon, French Alps

Daily morning yoga with a mountain view, afternoons to ski/board to your hearts content, a full body massage, meditation techniques for the curious, a B-EA-U-TIFUL chalet complete with a sauna and right next to the ski lifts. Oh, and of course stinky french cheese and wine are also included! 

New year.....New me? No, thank you!

Happy New year!

I hope you've had a wonderful break and are ready to start this new year with a spring in your step! It can be easy to fall into the trap of New year = New me, but really we don't need to make any crazy resolutions about how we are going to move mountains (either literally because we will be so strong from working out SO much (!), or figuratively at work or in our personal lives) and become amazing at XY or Z. What we really need to do is learn to love and accept who we already are.

You don't have to move mountains

Simply fall in love with life

Be a tornado of happiness, gratitude & acceptance

You will change the world just be being a warm, kind-hearted human being. 

Anita Krizzan

If we could all learn to love and accept ourselves as we are, the world would be a much happier, peaceful place so my challenge to you this year is to stay you and to love you. 

x

On this note, I am not making any crazy resolutions but I am feeling very dull and heavy after the last few weeks of overindulgence so I will be doing a Cold Pressed Juicery 3 day juice cleanse this week to help me get back to feeling energetic and light again. If you're thinking about doing a cleanse too it's important to prep a few days before - here is a yummy, easy peasy recipe I made yesterday as a pre cleanse meal, enjoy!

LahLah's Zoodle Pad Thai

Zoodle (zucchini noodle) Pad Thai

If you've never tried a zoodle pad thai then you are missing out because, oh boy is it good! It's also conveniently healthy too ;-) 

I couldn't find a recipe I was happy with online, so I have been experimenting and am finally happy with the results!

The ingredients & recipe might look long, but it really is super simple to make and a lot of the ingredients are cupboard ingredients that you may already have, or will need to buy once and they will be there each time you make this (I'm sure you'll make it more than once, it's that yummy & easy to make!).

LahLah's zoodle phad thai

Ingredients: (feeds two hungry yogis)

Store Cupboard Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 3tbs fish sauce 
  • a handful of dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • a pinch of rock salt
  • a few good splashes of sesame oil

Fresh Ingredients:

  • 4 x zucchini (you will also need a spiralizer. I use this one. If you don't have one you could grate the zucchini on a large hole grater. same same, but different!)
  • 1 x red pepper (or your preferred colour of pepper!)
  • 1/2 a turnip (optional)
  • 3 x spring onions
  • 2 x red chilli
  • a big handful of mange tout
  • a big handful of coriander 
  • 1 x lime
  • 2 x big garlic cloves (or 3 small)
  • a small piece of ginger
  • and any other veg you fancy - I would add beansprouts too but I can never find them in Malta!

Method

  • Finely chop your spring onions, red chilli and place to one side in a bowl together. Slice your mange tout into thirds and add to this bowl.  Roughly chop your corriander and set aside
  •  Make your dressing: crush (or very finely chop) your garlic, grate your ginger and add the tamarind paste, fish sauce and the juice from half the lime to this and mix. 
  • Crush the handful of peanuts and a pinch of dried chilli flakes and rock salt in a pestle & mortar until the peanuts become big crumbs. Set aside.
  •  Sprialize your zucchini to make your zoodles. I use this very simple spiralizer.
  •  Finely slice (julienne them if you want to be fancy) your pepper and 1/2 the turnip (if using). 
  • Heat a BIG frying pan or wok on high heat with a few splashes of sesame oil, when it's heated add the zoodles, pepper and turnip to the pan. Lightly coat all in the sesame oil and fry for a few minutes. Don't cook the veg too much, just so it is heated through -approx 4 minutes. 
  • Take the zoodle mix off the heat, mix in the spring onions, chilli & mange tout. Add your dressing and mix well. Plate your zoodles and then add some chopped coriander and a sprinkle of your peanut chilli crumbs to the top. Serve with a wedge of lime & extra chilli flakes if you like it hot!

The perfect blend of taste, crunch, spice, yumminess & health!

Enjoy & please feel free to comment if you like it or if you find any delicious variations!

xx

Balance is Key

Balance is key. In everything we do. 

Over the past week, this message has kept appearing to me in various different ways, and this post from Cold Pressed Juicery Malta says it so perfectly. 

Cold Pressed Juicery Malta LahLah Yoga

Be it through diet, exercise, work, fun or relationships, balance is ALWAYS key!

This past week, I have also been exploring the balance in my yoga practice, not only trying to find ease in balance poses, but more specifically the balance between stillness in movement, and the movement in stillness. 

Finding the stillness & peace of the mind during movement on the mat helps me to physically focus & balance in many of the challenging balancing poses . Finding the movement within stillness: the movement of the breath through the body, the movement of your muscles in a stretch, your heartbeat, and the movement of heat & energy through the body all help me to become truly present with myself. When we actually slow down enough to really feel and listen to our bodies, it can be magical :-)

Next time you venture onto your mat, I invite you to notice this difference and try to find this balance of stillness in movement & movement in stillness.

Happy Thursday! xx