july 2017

  • getting high + staying free: the real deal of body rolling

    Monday, July 17th, 2017

    by Leila Sadeghee

    Everyone's tight, and everyone's achy. Even while teaching my yoga class, I see people trying to add a little neck stretch, I see them wincing in pain as they try to force themselves to be more flexible then they are. As a yoga teacher, no matter what I teach or what kind of encouragement I offer, I know that there is only so far that one class can go in terms of unravelling the chronic tension my students are coming in with. Plus - I see many students actually deepening their tension in the way they are choosing to perform the yoga asanas. Oh my goodness!

    Enter Yamuna Body Rolling (YBR) – a release technique that I have been teaching and practising for nearly 18 years. We use specially designed balls, and a sequence of focussed routines to unwind the whole body. I mean the whole body – cranium to feet. Here are a few things about YBR that make it so effective:

    we do the feet

    It seems obvious, but the feet are holding a lot of tension, and it's the root of so many patterns that restrict movement – so, getting on to the feet first sets off a much deeper release.

    it's systematic

    It's not just rolling around on balls because it feels good to put pressure on 'that place' like we do at home with the tennis ball. YBR is working through sequences of muscles and joints in a particular order to ensure release in a far more comprehensive way.

    not a foam roller 

    I know, we love the foam roller, but the ball is a whole other world. Two main reasons: the first is that the ball is round (duh!), so you can ANGLE into places the foam roller can't reach. Second, the ball is full of air, which mirrors the hydrostatic pressure of the body and the cells in structure. The 'give' the ball has, that the foam roller doesn't, is much more like the 'give' of your own body. That mirroring of structure means a more lasting release.

    getting 'to the bone'

    Instead of just addressing the soft tissue, we spend time on the bone itself and work out from there. This makes for a powerful release; one that has a much deeper effect on the nervous system.

    we re-pattern

    It's not just release, but it's also retraining the muscles to stay longer and work more harmoniously as one.

    integrate back into the spine

    We always close our work with the spine, creating space and length there. It feels SO good, but it also helps us to 're-centre' and allows the body to 'remember' the release, in such a way that each time we roll, we deepen the more aligned pattern in body memory.

    reaching the cranium + jaw

    We will work on the reaching the cranial and a deep jaw release in my daylong workshop at triyoga.

    YBR is best practised and shared with a whole day, so I offer just a few daylong events to get us to those crucial measures with deeper ease. I hope you can join me for the next daylong of body rolling.

    join Leila in camden...
    getting high + staying free: body rolling daylong workshop
    sunday 23rd july
    book now

    Leila combines lightness of heart with vibrant intelligence in ways that keep opening doors for her students. Empowered by 17 years of her own yoga practice, 14 years of practicing therapeutic work in the body, a love of language, and a lifelong freewheeling sense of fun, Leila has developed a straight-forward and uplifting style of teaching that supports people in opening to their highest potential.

  • 3 things to change today to improve your digestion

    Thursday, July 13th, 2017

    by Sujata Din

    Are you bloated or have lots of gas, which makes you feel uncomfortable and, at times, embarrassed? Or do you feel that your food takes long to digest and just sits in your stomach? Or is it the opposite, where you feel that you are rushing to the toilet soon after each meal?

    Many suffer in silence from gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea and learn to accept these digestive discomforts. I know many of my clients feel embarrassed to discuss these and try to live with them instead of finding solutions to address them.

    There are many causes of indigestion. Some foods and beverages, like caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, spicy or oily foods, can cause indigestion and how these affect an individual will vary from person to person. For others, poor gut bacteria or disorder (such as gall bladder) may cause indigestion. While for some, it may be caused by food allergies or intolerances – for example, a dairy intolerance.

    To help ease your digestive discomfort, I recommend that you incorporate my three tips below.

    1.  eat fibre-rich foods

    Include whole grains, fruits and vegetables since these are high in fibre, which keeps the bowels moving. If your current diet is low in these, introduce fibre-rich food gradually – fibre is great, but if you are not used to a fibre-rich diet and suddenly eat a lot of fibre-rich food, you may feel uncomfortable with an upset tummy. By making some simple swaps, you can increase your fibre intake – for example, have brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice. Did you know, according to USDA food content, that one cup of cooked white rice has 0.5 grams fibre, whereas one cup of brown rice has 3.5 grams fibre and one cup quinoa has 5 grams fibre? 

    2.  slow down + eat mindfully

    Try not to eat on the go but make time to sit down and enjoy your mealtime. Digestion begins in the mouth and as you chew your food, digestive enzymes in saliva begin to break it down, making it easier for absorption. Often, it is difficult to know if you are chewing your food properly or if you have just gulping it down. I encourage my clients to include raw carrots at meal times, as these have to be chewed properly before they can be swallowed.

    3. soak grains + lentils for easier digestion

    Grains, lentils and small beans should be soaked for two to four hours, and larger beans should be soaked for at least four to six hours (or ideally overnight). If these are new to your diet, begin with lentils, as these are easier to digest. Once you are comfortable with these, then have smaller beans like mung beans. You can also add cumin, fennel, garlic or bay leaves to the beans when they are cooking to make them easier to digest – plus spices and herbs add great flavours too!

    As with all changes, I recommend making them one step at a time, so you can sustain them and do not end up feeling overwhelmed.

    Sujata Din is participating in triyoga's summer specials, which includes 25% off your 1st appointment with her for all of July and August. Click here to learn more.

    Sujata is a certified health coach who offers wellness and weight loss consultations to those who are either at the beginning of their health journey or who despite eating healthily and exercising cannot achieve their health goals. These range from improving digestion, increasing energy, attaining a healthy weight, being better informed when preparing meals for the family, finding balance, etc. She provides her clients with practical step-by-step recommendations and guides them on how to make the diet and lifestyle changes sustainable. For more information, visit her website. Sujata is also a professional cancer coach, and works with those diagnosed with cancer, recovering from or wanting to reduce their risk of cancer. For more information on cancer coaching, visit her website.

  • how to manage (instead of fight) PMS

    Thursday, July 13th, 2017


    Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), which is also known as pre-menstrual tension (PMT), is a cluster of symptoms that may include bloating, tiredness, irritability, depression, mood swings, breast tenderness and headaches predominately occurring in the week leading up to menstruation for women.

    We asked triyoga therapists Avni Trivedi, Felicity Bevell and Susan Nove what are some of the best ways to manage (rather than fight) PMS as it comes every month. Read on for their answers below.

    1.  cherish yourself

    "Instead of fighting PMS, consider this as a time in the month where you need to cherish yourself. Women are cyclical by nature, and symptoms can be soothed by learning to slow right down before you get your period. Use that time to bring your energy inwards, by doing restorative yoga poses, taking naps and doing less intense exercise. Catch up on your favourite box set or book. That way you will have more energy for the rest of the month, especially in the second half of your cycle." – Avni

    2.  balance out imbalances

    "Consider using nutritional supplements to support and to alleviate PMS symptoms. Supplementing a good multivitamin and mineral, vitamin B6 100mg and zinc 10mg, consider also taking the following twice a day: Ester C Vitamin 1000mg, magnesium 300mg and a good Omega (e.g. Eskimo 3 Brainsharp. If symptoms persist, please seek professional advice from your naturopath." – Susan

    3.  find sugar alternatives

    "It's tough if you get cravings for it, but sugar makes the hormones much more jagged. Use warming spices such as cinnamon or ginger to give the feeling of satiety." – Avni

    4.  reduce stress in different ways

    "Try reducing stress with yoga, meditation or reflexology." – Felicity

    "Try using essential oils such as clary sage, ylang ylang and lavender, which can be used in a rollerball on the pulse points, on the inner wrists or in a diffuser to bring feelings of calm and balance." - Avni

    about the therapists

    Avni is a women's health osteopath with a special interest in pregnancy and birth. She lectures in pregnancy and birth at the British School of Osteopathy and on Nadia Narain's teacher trainings at triyoga. Avni has a MSc in paediatric osteopathy from the renowned Osteopathic Centre for Children. With an insatiable appetite for learning and development, Avni has also trained to become a doula with Michel Odent and Doula UK, and trained in zero balancing, family constellations, NLP, medical acupuncture, cranial osteopathy, reiki and shiatsu. She is a keen meditator and interested in yoga, ayurveda and anything to do with the mind, body, energy, emotions and spirit. Avni has an intuitive and practical style that can be both strong and gentle. For more information, visit her website.

    Through working in the NHS and in her own private practice for 14 years, Felicity has developed a real depth of understanding about physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Felicity is a dedicated and intuitive practitioner, open, kind and compassionate. She creates a safe, supportive, healing space for you to reconnect and re-discover what it is to feel a sense of your own inner balance, good health and wellbeing. For more information go to www.felicityreflexology.co.uk.

    Susan is an accomplished and fully qualified, Australian-trained naturopath, nutritionist, homeopath, medical herbalist and therapeutic massage therapist with over 20 years of clinical experience. Her dedication, enthusiasm and patience make her a unique therapist who is flexible with each individual's therapeutic needs.

  • sugar + its impact on women's health

    Thursday, July 13th, 2017

    by Merran Lusher

    A temptress in disguise - sugar may be seductive, but she has no nutritional benefits, is packed with empty calories and comes with a myriad of long-term health issues.

    Most women have an innately higher craving for the sweet stuff than men. Nonetheless it may come as a surprise to hear that our sugar demands have serious biological backing. Evidence suggests that:

    –  women need a certain percentage of body fat (approximately 20%) in order to maintain and sustain a pregnancy to full term.

    –  elevated oestrogen levels and hormonal fluctuations throughout the month may be connected to our sugar cravings.

    –  sugar raises our levels of serotonin - a neurotransmitter made in the brain responsible for regulating mood. Women naturally have lower levels of serotonin than men and are, therefore, more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. So on a biochemical level, we would be forgiven for reaching for that afternoon hobnob.

    Many experts are now saying that sugar is as addictive as tobacco and alcohol, and should be closely regulated. In fact it's almost identical in chemical structure to that of cocaine.

    top 10 reasons to avoid sugar

    1.  Studies show sugar may fuel the growth and metastasis of unruly cells in the body.

    2.  It's linked to insulin resistance and diabetes, as well as blood sugar irregularities, affecting mood, energy, fertility, stress and work productivity.

    3.  It elevates oestrogen levels, which impacts hormonal health, e.g. menstrual irregularities, PMS and PCOS.

    4.  Raises androgen levels, resulting in hirtsuism (facial hair) and the increased growth and thickness of hair in unwanted places.

    5.  Causes acne and pimples.

    6.  Accelerates the ageing process, reduces tissue elasticity and causes skin to sag and wrinkle.

    7.  Increases the risk and manifestation of autoimmune conditions.

    8.  Reduces satiety, increases appetite and fat composition.

    9.  Elevates prostaglandin levels exacerbating pain during menstruation.

    10.  Upsets the vital balance between good and bad levels of bacteria within our gut. Think IBS and bloating for starters.

    In contrast with refined sugar, unrefined natural sweeteners contain a much higher antioxidant value and an all round higher nutritional composition - so naturally a better option. To get you started, here are my top five alternatives to sugar below.

    top 5 sugar alternatives

    –  raw organic honey: is a true super food packed with enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Manuka honey is the crème del la crème of the honey family - but raw honey at farmer markets, direct from local the beekeepers is a good runner up. Note: the darker the honey, the richer the flavor and the greater the health benefits.

    –  stevia: is native to South America and has been used for centuries to support healthy blood glucose levels and weight loss. Two hundred times as sweet as sugar, it has zero calories and none of the nasty side effects that artificial sweeteners inflict.

    –  dates: are packed with iron, potassium, magnesium and B6. They help to lower LDL cholesterol and support protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

    –  coconut sugar: with a low glycaemic index, it's an increasingly popular choice amongst conscious consumers. It's loaded with polyphenols, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, antioxidants, phosphorous and other phytonutrients.

    –  maple syrup: native to North America, maple syrup is packed with antioxidants, calcium, potassium, zinc and manganese. Whenever possible, select darker, grade B maple syrup, as it contains more beneficial nutrients than the lighter syrups do.


    Merran is a Naturopath, Medical Nutritionist, Herbalist, Homeopath, Certified BodyTalk Practitioner and published writer. http://www.gingerandthyme.co.uk/