My ‘perfect’ morning routine

My 'Perfect' Morning RoutineNamaste Beautiful!

So, you might have noticed the word perfect is in quotation marks. Why? Because I’m most certainly not perfect. And lets be honest here, not every morning goes perfectly. In fact, some days it all goes upside down, pear shaped and is the very definition of ‘cray cray’! The reality is, I’m a Mum to two beautiful little souls that sometimes wake up on the wrong side of the cot and from the minute their tiny feet hit the floor, #mumlife has well and truly started. I’m also a partner to an amazing man who works hard for us, meaning I’m often single-handedly wrangling the babes in the morning, all whilst trying to find my yogi centre!

At the end of the day, all of us are finding our way and are perfectly imperfect. That said, a solid morning routine helps focus your day; assists in creating good, healthy habits and sets you up to be more productive, happier & more grounded. The best advice I have is to find the non-negotiables; the things you HAVE to do to be able to get through the day. Other things on your list can be a little more fluid – on a good day, they’re part of your ‘perfect’ morning routine. But if time and life doesn’t permit, let them go and try to find the time somewhere else in the day. If you don’t get back to those fluid items, that’s ok – that’s why they’re fluid!

So, grab your pen and paper. Gather your thoughts and think about your ‘perfect’ morning routine. Jot them down and consciously make an effort over the next week to achieve as many as you can, each morning. See how you feel at the end of the week. What works? What doesn’t? From there, find the non-negotiables, identify the fluid items & do your best. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not getting the ‘perfect’ routine nailed each day. Check back in with me next week – I’d love to hear from you on how things went. Pop your comments below or connect on Facebook, I’d love to chat!

Now, on a good day, here’s what my perfect routine looks like:

  1. Connect & Breathe: As soon as I wake, I try to connect in with the Universe. I will say a little prayer and set an intention for the day and have some conscious deep breaths. If this doesn’t happen due to #mumlife 😉 I will try and do it in the shower.
  1. Dry Body Brush: Before popping in the shower, if time permits, I like to indulge in some Dry Body Brushing. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re in for a treat. Body brushing has some amazing benefits including opening up pores and releasing toxins; softens fat deposits below the skin including mucus and cellulite and helps discharge these up to the skins surface; relieves stress through the meditative action of body brushing the skin in a rhythmic motion; promotes circulation; activates the lymphatic system when taking the time to body brush the underarms and groin areas; helps foster and nurture your loving relationship with your self and your body in practicing this act of self-love; helps release muscle tension and energises the system in the morning, relaxes at night.
  1. Tongue scrap: Now this one often gets a raised eyebrow or two; Tongue scrapping. Yep it’s a thing. But before you think I’ve officially entered in to some weird dental practices, you should know that tongue scrapping helps remove bacteria which causes bad breath; it also removes the toxic mucus on your tongue which can block your taste buds! That’s right, food will taste better! It also helps boost your immunity by removing toxins; is good oral hygiene practice and helps improve digestive health. I’ll soon be following up on this ancient practice with a more in-depth look at Tongue Scrapping and what you need to get started.
  1. Shower: Taking a shower isn’t a huge deal, right? Taking a shower without interruptions is! #mumlife 😉 I tend to do a lot of thinking and soul searching in the shower so find this is a great time to reconnect with myself, my goals & intentions. I also may say a little prayer and practice my deep breaths if I didn’t get a chance when I first woke up. Once a week, time permitting, I also indulge in a beautiful body scrub. Physically, this body scrub invigorates my body by ridding it of dry skin but emotionally, it is a chance for me to re-connect with my body and appreciate all its beauty and imperfections.
  1. Skincare: After my shower, my skin is beautifully clean, light and damp. Itake this time to focus on my face by cleansing and toning with an essential oil spritz. I then apply an organic and natural moisturiser to clean and nourish my skin. Wherever possible, I really seek out organic and cruelty free products for my skin; our skin is our largest organ so its extremely important to be mindful of what it is we are applying to our skin and what is being ingested to our blood stream and internal organs through our skin. Shortly I will share another post with my recommended skin care products!
  1. Aromatically dress myself: I charge my body both emotionally and energetically with an “aromatic dressing” – this is a whole body self-massage using carefully selected essential oils, mixed in with coconut oil. Many essential oils are safe to be applied to the skin. To start, I intuitively choose between 1 to 3 oils and dilute with fractionated coconut oil. The recommend dilution ratios for adults are generally 5 drops of essential oils to 10ml of carrier oil. For example, try 2 drops of Frankincense, 2 drops of Ylang Ylang and 1 drop of lavender. So good!!!
  1. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar: To warm up and give the ‘insides’ a nice clean start to the day, I drink 250ml of warm filtered water with a spoonful of organic Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s a strong, unusual taste but something you very quickly get used to. Apple Cider Vinegar has many benefits – a quick google search will tell you ACV (as the cool kids call it) is one handy bottle to have stashed in the pantry.
  1. Take my Superfood Supplements: No matter how clean or healthy your diet, it’s my personal belief your body can always benefit from additional supplements. Modern life and diet takes it toll on our bods and even though I try to be mindful of the food I eat, I’m human and I have my little weaknesses. To help fend off any nasties and make up for anything I might be missing in my diet, I take my Superfood Supplements each morning.
  1. Breakfast: Breakfast is a biggie! For me, this is most definitely one of my non-negotiables. If I don’t get a decent breakfast by a decent time, my family is facing one #hangry Mumma. In the warmer months, I’ll generally start my day with a superfood smoothie (check back soon for some great Superfood Smoothie recipes). In the winter months, I’ll keep it pretty simple with some sourdough toast with fresh avocado and Himalayan salt sprinkled on top. A quick chai tea with breakfast means I’m having a good day.
  1. Yoga and meditation: If time, energy and children permit, I also try to add some yoga and meditation to my morning routine. Honestly though, squeezing this in is very challenging and a constant reminder to myself that each day is a matter of juggling my priorities! If I can though, I like to add in a quick meditation in the backyard by grounding my bare feet in to the earth and sitting down and quietly connecting with my breath and the earth.

If I manage to get all 10 of these things done, I seriously feel like a million dollars. I feel like supermum / superwoman / superyogi. It’s a rare thing to get all 10 done, but again, its all about being fluid, going with the flow & sticking with the non-negotiables, with anything else a nice big bonus in my day.

With the warmer days approaching, its my personal goal to bring back either a walk or jog back into my morning practice. What’s your personal goal? Let me know below!

Big love my beautiful tribe, Aimee X

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My 5 Favourite Yoga Twists to Detox the Body

 With Spring breaking through the Winter dreariness, so many of my Yoga students have told me they are raring to get back in to a more regular and structured routine. My best advice to all my students is that your practice doesn’t stop at class. Continuing your practice at home is so important to maintaining and sustaining your health and well-being.

 So, with that said, here are my 5 favourite yoga twists that help to detoxify the body (and you can check out my previous posts here on how and why detoxifying is so important for you!). These poses can easily be done at home and if you feel you need any advice or assistance on these poses and the sequence in which they are practiced, please don’t hesitate to grab Gav or myself at the next class, we’d love to help you!   IMG_6395

~ Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Seated Spinal Twist)

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. You may like to support your bottom with a booster or a folded blanket.
  • Bend your knees and place both your feet on the floor.
  • Slide your left foot under your right leg, to the outside of your right hip.
  • Lay the outside of the left leg on the floor. Step the right foot over the left leg and stand it on the floor outside your left hip. Your right knee will point directly up to the sky.
  • Exhale and slowly and gently twist toward the inside of the right thigh. Take your right hand and press it against the floor. This should be just behind the right side of your bottom. Then set your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh near the knee. Pull your front torso and inner right thigh together so they are nice and snug.
  • Actively and consciously, press your inner right foot in to the floor, release the right groin, and lengthen the front torso. Lean the upper torso back slightly, against the shoulder blades, and continue to lengthen your tailbone in to the floor.
  • In this pose, you have two options. You can turn your head to either the left OR the right. You should continue twisting your torso by turning to the right, or you might even like to counter the twist by turning your torso to the left and looking over your left shoulder, at your right foot.
  • Each time you inhale, lift a little more through the sternum. You may like to push your fingers against the floor to help. With every exhalation, twist a little further and deeper.

 ** Notes: Breathe through your poses! You should start slowly, but aim to hold the pose for between 30 seconds to 1 minute; release from the pose by exhaling. Return to the start position and repeat on the opposite side. IMG_6394

~ Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog) with revolved twist

  • Commence this pose on your hands and knees, taking care to align your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Ensure that the fold of your wrists is running parallel with the top edge of your yoga mat. Also take care that you are pointing your middle fingers directly to the top edge of your mat.
  • Stretch out your elbows, taking care to release and relax your upper back.
  • Press and distribute your weight firmly through your palms and knuckles, spreading your fingers nice and wide. Take care to ensure that you have an even distribution of your weight across both hands.
  • Now, exhale your breath as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor, in one nice fluid movement.
  • Reach your pelvis up toward the sky and then draw your sit bones toward the wall behind you.
  • Gently begin to straighten your legs, but focus on not ‘locking’ your knees.
  • Bring your body into the shape of an “A” (for Aimee! Ha!)
  • Conjure images of your hips and thighs being pulled backwards from the top of your thighs. Now remember that A! We don’t need to walk the hands and feet closer together, we want to keep that nice A shape and see the extension through your whole body. This my yogi friends is Downward-Facing Dog.
  • Inhaling, lift your left hand and reach it beneath your torso and around to your right thigh. Allow your torso and waist to twist open to the right. This move has two variations:
    • Advanced: Work toward placing your left hand on the ground to the outside of your right foot.
    • Beginner: Rest your hand on the outside of your right leg’s shin or upper thigh.
  • Turn your head to look underneath your right arm. Keep your gaze soft.
    • Advanced move: If you have no neck pain, gaze up at the sky.
  • Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths.
  • To release from the pose, inhale your breath as you un-twist and return your left hand to the mat.
  • Come back into Downward-Facing Dog.
  • Repeat the pose on the other side for the same amount of time, before finally returning to Downward-Facing Dog again. 

IMG_6393

~ Revolved Lunge Pose

  • Start in Lunge Pose with your right leg facing forward. Now, bring your palms together and place at your heart center. With your left knee lifted, push your left heel back and reach the crown of your head forwards to lengthen your side body and your spine.
  • Take a nice deep breath and as you begin to exhale, twist towards your right leg. Keeping your palms together, place your left tricep on your right thigh, attempting to get the torso as close to your leg as possible (but remembering to practice within your limits!)
  • To engage your arms, push your palms together and try to twist in deeper, sending your chest in the direction of the sky and shifting your gaze upwards and over your right shoulder.
  • Now, there are choices:
    • Stay here; OR
    • Extend your left fingertips down to the ground on the outside of your right leg, and reach your right fingertips up to the sky.
    • Stay here for up to 60 seconds.
  • To exit, unwind from the pose, placing your hands down on the mat. Step back to Downward Facing Dog Pose.
  • Repeat with the left leg forwards. 

IMG_6390

~ Revolved Chair Pose

  • Commence in Mountain Pose. Stand with your feet together, with your big toes touching. Beginners may like to stand with their feet a hip-distance apart.
  • Inhale and raise your arms above your head, at a 90 degree angle to the floor.
  • As you bend your knees, exhale and bring your thighs as parallel to the floor as you are able. Your knees will project out slightly over your feet and your torso will form a right angle over your thighs. We know this as Chair Pose.
  • Now, lowering your arms and bring your palms together at your heart centre.
  • Slowly exhaling, twist your torso to the right. Bring your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh.
  • Carefully shift your left hip back slightly, squaring off your hips. Bring your knees in to alignment.
  • Press your upper left arm against your thigh, bringing your right shoulder blade into your back to turn your chest to the right.
    • For a more advanced move, extend both of your arms, reaching your right fingertips to the ceiling and your left fingertips to the mat. You can also place your left hand on a block for assistance.
  • Turn your gaze to the ceiling. If you have your arms extended outwards, you may wish to focus your gaze at your top thumb.
  • Bring your hips down even lower. Lengthen your spine even further on your inhalations and twist even deeper on your exhalations. Stack your top shoulder above your bottom shoulder. Draw your thumbs to your heart, and your heart toward your thumbs.
  • Focus on ensuring you have balanced your weight in your heels, keeping your feet pressing firmly together.
  • Hold the pose for up to 60 seconds. Inhale as you return to your center, reaching both arms overhead in Chair Pose.
  • Straighten your legs, lifting through your arms. Exhale to release back to Mountain Pose.
  • Repeat on the other side.

IMG_6396

~ Revolved Abdomen Pose

  • To commence this pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. You can rest your head on a pillow or blanket.
  • Bring your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around them.
  • Extend your arms out along the floor at shoulder-height with your palms facing down. Straighten your legs, reaching your heels up toward the ceiling. Align your heels directly over your hips. Keep your knees soft and slightly bent.
  • Draw your low back down, so it is flat on the floor. On an exhalation, lower your legs to the right, twisting your spine and allowing your left hip to lift all the way off the floor. Allow the force of gravity to drop your legs all the way down. Allow your right foot to rest on the floor.
  • Stack the outer edge of your left ankle on top of your right.
  • Work toward bringing your torso and legs into a 90-degree angle, or slightly less. If your legs are angled up toward your right shoulder, you can clasp your left foot’s toes with your right hand’s fingers.
  • Turn your head to the left, bringing your gaze toward your left hand’s fingertips. Keep your shoulder blades pressing down toward the floor and making a conscious effort to keep those shoulders away from your ears.
  • Hold the pose for 10-25 breaths. On an inhalation, slowly come back to your center. Raise your feet straight up to the ceiling. Bend your knees and hug them to your chest.
  • On an exhalation, reach your heels up to the ceiling again.
  • Repeat the above on the opposite side.
  • When you’re finished with the pose, hug your knees to your chest for a few breaths, slowly exhaling and bringing your knees to your chest. Slowly exhale your breath as you extend your legs flat along the floor.
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Making the switch: My top 6 natural basics I recommend swapping today

Aimee Angelique Health Coach

I confess ladies; I used to be a product and make-up junkie. I was a marketing company’s dream – I lived and breathed new products, new lines, new colours and gave absolutely no thought to what I was applying to my skin and using in my wash, each and every day.

As my path changed and I began to approach my life and health in a more holistic way, I was absolutely shocked at the chemicals and toxins that I was applying to my face and body each and every day. From here, I started making small changes and began switching products. For me, the results have been amazing. My skin is clearer and more vibrant and I feel so good knowing that I have removed products from my life and my body that no longer serve me.

Below, I set out my top 6 products that you can make the switch on, today! Best part is, a lot of these products are now being stocked by the big supermarkets, so it’s never been easier to make the switch. Trust me, your body will thank you for it.

  1. Deodorant

We all sweat, right?! It’s normal! Completely normal, natural and important; sweat is a major part of the bodies detoxing process. Unfortunately, what isn’t normal is the products that mainstream anti-perspirants, deodorants and body sprays include; parabens, aluminium, propylene glycol, talc and triclosan. These chemicals are absorbed by our body straight in to the underarm, which is directly linked to the body’s lymphatic system. These chemicals also stop the body releasing sweat in the normal manner through our sweat ducts, which in turns slows down and even stops the body releasing the toxins from our system.

For this reason, I use and recommend making the switch to a more natural deodorant product. And yes, they’ve come a long way, beauty! You won’t be smelling like a dirty old gym sock; there are some really great products on the market these days that stop any BO smell, all without the nasties!

My picks:  

 LaVanila Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut

LAVANILA

Fresca in Wild Lavender

variant_52538

  1. Perfume to Essential Oils

You know how I said I was a marketing company’s dream? Perfumes. Oh my. I loved nothing more than indulging in the perfume counter at Myer. Taking home with me a beautiful new, ‘must have’ scent that was the result of a clever marketing campaign with the hottest celebrity peering at me from the counter displays. Huge amounts of money were handed over and my collection grew. But you know what? Perfume is one overpriced product! Did you know that most perfumes / colognes contains only 15 – 30% essential oils for the fragrance and the rest is pure alcohol? By comparison, making your own perfumes from essential oils means you are applying the fragrance in a more pure form, meaning it will smell nicer on your skin and even last longer! It’s also kinder on the environment and creating a ‘scent’ makes a great personal gift for family and friends.

Check back soon for my blog post on how to make your own Essential Oil based perfumes.

  1. Toothpaste

At least twice a day, 365 days a year we are putting commercial toothpaste in our mouths. Ever read the back of the box? Most commercial toothpastes carry warnings about ingesting the product and also information on how to call a Poison Hotline in case the product is ingested. Scary stuff! Just like a lot of our other ‘everyday’ products, there are a lot of nasties in toothpaste that we would be best to remove from our systems. Yep even those pearly whites can benefit from making the switch!

My pick:

Grants Herbal Toothpaste (you can even buy this from Coles and Woolworths!)

Grants toothpaste Mild Mint

  1. Moisturiser to Coconut oil

If you haven’t already worked it out, Coconut Oil is the bomb, baby! It’s such a versatile product and something I personally use a tonne of. One of my fave uses for my Coconut Oil is using it as a body moisturiser. Yep, put down that expensive moisturiser bottle that promises you the world but rarely delivers and grab a big bottle of a good quality Coconut Oil and plonk it down in the bathroom instead.

The benefits of Coconut Oil are huge but include; helping prevent the skin from moisture loss, rapidly hydrates the skin; helps condition the skin and protect it against UV rays.

Best thing is, it’s become super popular and is now readily available in the big supermarkets, chemists and health food stores.

coconut oil

  1. Pads, Tampons and Menstrual cups

This one is specially for my ladies. Not much discussion goes in to this sensitive topic. But stop for a minute and think about it. Pads and tampons are used by women so regularly, for such a long period of time. They are used near and inside our most private, sensitive and complex organs. And yet commercial products that we have been brought up knowing, trusting, are made with synthetic products like polyester and rayon. The cotton used in commercial feminine hygiene products is often grown using pesticides. There is also the environmental factor that we should consider; according to Flow: The Cultural History of Menstruation, the average woman will dispose of approximately 135 kilos worth of tampons in her lifetime. So, for these reasons, I have made the switch and alternate between using a Juju Menstrual Cup and organic Pads and Tampons. I encourage all women to do some research for themselves and also consider making the switch, as soon as possible. Your lady parts will be happier and healthier for it.

 My picks:

Pads and Tampons – (If I am using Pads or Tampons I use TOM Organic. Again, readily available for you at Coles and Woolworths)

TOM Organics

Menstrual Cup – (If I am using a Menstrual Cup I use Juju Menstrual Cup)

Juju Cup

  1. Laundry Liquid   

Laundry detergents and liquids weren’t something I really gave much thought to. I mean, you just buy the one you like the smell of right? Or, if you’re like me, the one that’s on special at the local supermarket; you take it home, wash your 5000 loads of washing that have accumulated in the last few days and life goes on. Trying to keep the dirty clothes basket empty was where most of my thoughts went with regard to laundry! BUT!

It wasn’t until I was looking around my home at products I needed to be more conscious of, that I spotted the bottle of laundry liquid lingering up the back of the laundry (behind the pile of washing, it never ends!) My personal online enquiries and research revealed some interesting information including; disclosure of ingredients is not legally required on any cleaning products in Australia or New Zealand; many commercial washing powders & liquids include chemicals like CAPB, SLS, Parabens and Triclosan and the safety of these chemicals is still to be determined; there are in excess of 80,000 chemicals available for commercial use and each year, around 1000 new chemicals are developed. Unfortunately, legislation doesn’t move quite as fast as the scientists and companies developing these new chemicals and often the health concerns of these chemicals aren’t known or disclosed until after the chemical has been included in numerous products. More and more links are being found between some of the aforementioned chemicals, which are available and used in many of our everyday products, and health concerns including allergies, asthma, disruption to hormone and endocrine systems and in some cases, even cancers.

On this basis, I made the switch to a more eco-friendly laundry liquid.

My pick:

Laundry Liquid – Eco Store eucalyptus laundry liquid (available from Woolworths)

Eco Store Laundry Liquid

Let me know what you decide to switch in your home. It doesn’t have to happen all at once – I recommend just replacing one item at a time and transitioning yourself and the family to products that are better for you, your children, your hip pocket & the environment.

Love Aimee x

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My top 10 tips for detoxing this Spring!

Spring Detox

Can you feel that? Slowly but surely, our dreary winter is shifting and making way for beautiful Spring-time.

Its time to pack away our slow cookers, winter flannelette sheets and heavy blankets to make time for lighter meals, lighter clothing. I find Spring to be such a great time of year – gorgeous flowers are starting to bloom, the smell of fresh cut grass and the warmth of the sun on your skin. It’s this time of year that I also like to ‘lighten up’ and undertake a light detox to nourish and nurture my body.

To help you get ready for Spring, I’ve set out my favourite tips for detoxing your body. Let me know how you feel in the next few weeks by leaving your comments below or by contacting me via Facebook or Instagram – I love hearing from my beautiful followers.

  1. Drink lots of water

Now I know we hear this so much – you need to drink at least 2L of water a day – but honestly, this is my number one tip in any detox (and for every day!).

I love my water and drink between 2-3L a day. This means that my skin, hair and nails remain nourished; my organs, particularly my kidneys are flushing out any toxins and waste in my system and my water intake assists with maintaining a healthy weight. Try adding a slice or two of fresh lemon to a glass of water first thing each day! And if you don’t love water, try a few things to improve your intake. It might be drinking water from your favourite wine glass, buying a nice new water bottle or even add fresh fruit to infuse with your water.

fruit-water

(Photo via Google)

  1. Move your body

Get outside today and take part in a local yoga class; grab the family and the furbabies and go for a lovely afternoon walk; call up your bestie and head along to a local bootcamp.

Get out and about in the sun – run, walk, swim – whatever makes YOU feel amazing and gets your body moving. Your health, family & furbabies will thank you for it. Before you know it, this will become part of your daily routine and your health will reap the benefits.

  1. Schedule in some downtime

Life. It’s darn busy these days. Between our family life, work, school, homework, sports, social life; there’s not a lot of time left for just being you. It’s not always easy but where you can, don’t make life so ‘busy’.

It’s not something I get to do every day, but allocating some downtime for ‘me’ wherever possible is critical to making sure this mamma stays on the straight and narrow.

I try to head to bed at the earliest possible opportunity (which doesn’t always happen); take naps with my girls if I need it (the laundry will still be there tomorrow!); soak in a Epsom salt bath with some Essential oils; enjoy a hot cup of tea. Whenever I can I also practice a quick meditation and some relaxing yoga poses.

  1. Practice your self love

We are all our own biggest critic and unfortunately, us women can be downright cruel and harsh on ourselves. Turning around a negative mindset or poor body image takes time – and love – but it is most definitely possible.

Ask yourself – if you heard your bestie saying the things about herself, her life and her body that you say inside your head, what would your response be?

            ‘I am fat / I am overweight / I am ugly…..’

“You are beautiful. How about I help you make some changes to help you feel better about yourself?”

‘I’d be happier if I was thinner / richer / more successful’

“You’re a great person, friend, mother, partner. You have an amazing life and are surrounded by people who think the world of you. What can I do to help you see how amazing you are to me?”

 Sounds familiar right? If your bestie said these things out aloud to you, you would be worried about her; you’d do your best to re-assure her that she isn’t all those bad and negative things she thinks about herself. So. It’s now time to talk to yourself and love yourself just like you would a friend. Practice some self love each day. If you have a negative thought about your body, life, relationships – stop for a moment and reflect on it. Why am I thinking like this? How am I feeling in this moment? Replace the negative thoughts with some positive ones. Yes, it’s true we all have bad days. But especially on our bad days, I personally feel it is super important to be gentle with ourselves and practice self love. 

  1. Find a local Naturopath

A local Naturopath is a great place to obtain the right tools to ensure your Spring detox sees a lighter and happier you.

Your Naturopath will provide help and guidance with herbs, supplements and probiotics suitable for your specific body type and your detox.

  1. Detox Your House
  • Opening up the windows and allowing the home to breathe
  • Diffuse uplifting essential oils
  • Lighting some fresh beeswax or soy candles
  • Freshen up the bedding and linen
  • Remove harsh chemicals and cleaning products and replace one at a time with a more natural product
  • Plant some fresh herbs in the garden and a few indoor plants – the family will love it and the indoor plants help purify the air
  1. Remove the Clutter & get organised

Clutter is crippling. When our home feels out of control, it manifests in other areas of our life. Kitchen a mess – who wants to cook in that? Can’t find your diary or Day Planner – always running late and forgetting appointments. Kids school bags cluttering up the hallway. Washing piling up? You get the picture and for sure, we’ve all been there.

With those storm clouds clearing, now is a great time to take charge and get things back on track. Start small. Tackle a room at a time. Don’t take on too much and involve the family where you can. I find making a list of what I want to achieve and marking it off helps me feel like I’m conquering the clutter!

Hot tip… one of my favourite books is “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie “KonMari” Kondo. Her techniques may be challenging for some but seriously life changing!!

  1. Digital Detox

Now this one isn’t easy. So much of our life and time is now spent on digital devices. Our mobile phones are now an extension of our everyday. They house our contacts, our day planners, our Facebook connections.

For some, a digital detox might be a complete removal from the social world. For others, just practicing mindfulness of the time spent on their devices is enough.

I have personally found this to be extremely challenging with running a business online but it is something I am currently working on. I recommend popping the phones up on the airplane mode at a certain time during the evening, maybe dinner time and leaving them switched off until morning. Instead of being distracted engage fully with your partner and your family. Maybe do some light yoga or meditation, watch a television show or documentary together, play a board game together, put the kids to bed and have some quality 1:1 time with your partner and re-connect. You will come to value this time so much that it won’t be long and you won’t even notice your phone is missing from you.

  1. Reconnect

Having healthy relationships is a huge part of feeling light, healthy and loved. If there’s a relationship in your life that needs some love and care, think about ways in which you can nurture it and actively take the time to do so. Reconnecting with your partner; children; family or friends (or sometimes, all of the above) returns love and fulfillment to your heart. Make plans with your loved ones – sometimes a family picnic or a catch up over a chai tea or green juice with an old friend can make you feel like a million dollars.

  1. A good old fashioned grocery shop!

Now this one is very much a practical one BUT one of the most important to a successful cleanse. Check the pantry and the fridge and clean out any products that are out of date. If your pantry is anything like mine used to be, there’s at least 3 or 4 cans of food in there that will never be eaten. If yours is like this, donate them to your local homeless charity. Not only will you have cleared some precious pantry space, you will feel great about helping someone in need.

Next, look for some detox recipes and plan out some meals for yourself and your family. I personally recommend anything by Jessica Sepel who is a Nutritionist and best selling health author. Her recipes are super easy and so tasty!

Write the shopping list and hit the supermarket. My family and I love heading to our local Organic grocers; the Farmer’s Markets (if time permits) and also love purchasing through our local food co-op.

Fill a jug with some filtered water to sip on throughout the day; pop the fresh fruit in a bowl on the top shelves where it will be seen much more often and not forgotten about in the dreaded veggie drawer where the kids will never look. Having a fridge and pantry full of fresh and healthy produce will have you feeling good in no time.

I’ll soon have some of my favourite smoothie recipes up on the blog so be sure to check back regularly – these are perfect for anyone undertaking a light detox. All the best with your detox beautiful women – I can’t wait to hear how you’re feeling over the next few weeks.

With love & light,

Aimee x

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There’s Nothing Wrong With Propping Yourself Up

Stretch Now

(Photo via Stretch Now Website)

Namaste Yogis,

How’s your time on the mat been treating you so far in 2016?
It can be a little tricky to get your practice back into full form after the holiday period, but here we are in February (already!) and it’s about time to start nourishing our inner yogi again – on the regular!

This week, I wanted to share my ideas with you about the amazing benefits of using yoga props during your mat time.

I have to admit that I never explored the use of yoga props until I had my first daughter, Isabelle. My body had changed so much throughout pregnancy and early motherhood that I was virtually ‘forced’ to start using them.

Talk about humbling, but also incredibly expansive!

It’s only now that I can see that before I was first pregnant, I brought a lot of ego into my yoga practice: ‘I don’t need props, I can do everything perfectly myself… And if I can’t I’ll push towards it!’

Having a dance background, I really believed that I should PUSH myself towards perfect alignment – using props would be cheating.

Once I shifted some major gears – having Isabelle and undertaking my yoga teacher training, I was finally able to embrace the true value of yoga props. They are, in fact, vital for experiencing the true benefits of many, many yoga postures, especially for those with injuries and poor flexibility.

These days, I LOVE props! So, here’s the rundown on the standard yoga props, how you can use them and why they’re so important:

Yoga Mats:

Not really a prop, but more an essential!
The key here is quality – yes, there really is a BIG difference between a department store ‘exercise mat’ and a quality, specialty yoga mat!

The most important aspect of difference is the materials used. Mass produced mats (ie. the really cheap ones) tend to be made from, or at least coated in, toxic plastic materials! Do you really want to be breathing that stuff in while you’re practicing?

The other elements I’ve really noticed is thickness and grip – the cheapies tend to have you sliding around on the floor and are either too thick to gain grounding, or too thin to feel solid!

Quality mats, on the other hand, are non-toxic and grip beautifully to both the floor and your hands and feet! They also last WAY longer and are a wonderful investment for your long-term practice.

Bolsters:

Especially wonderful for the more restorative yoga poses, bolsters provide deep support for some serious wind-down and body-opening.
They are incredible for gently opening the upper back, chest, ribs and belly in some key postures and just let you ‘flop’ in where your otherwise compromised flexibility might hamper you.

Ultimately, bolsters deeply support you in your practice. These days, I’m never without one! And FYI once you have tried Savasana with a bolster under your knees you won’t be able to turn back. They are addictive! 😉

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Blocks:

Some really daunting yoga poses can be made far more easily accessible with yoga blocks, especially for newbies to the mat. Do you have trouble reaching the floor in forward bends or triangle poses, for example? Blocks are your friend!

Blocks can also be great for advancing your practice! Between your knees in a backbends or shoulder stand, for example, can really intensify your experience and create some fantastic new levels of alignment!

Straps:

Support, safety, extension… Wow, I love yoga straps!

They’re a dream for yogis with tight hamstrings and shoulders in so many poses, allowing you to ultimately extend your reach and get into great alignment despite any injury or stiffness.

Eye pillows:

There’s no Savasana like a Savasana with a fantastic eye pillow!

My favourites are nice and heavy, providing sweet sensory darkness and the lovely feel of slight, supportive pressure over the eyes during relaxation.

If they’re scented with Lavender or the like, even better!

Blankets:

Yoga blankets are great for rolling up to sit comfortably on or to support you in poses where you don’t quite need a bolster but still crave some nurturing.

They are also heaven to swathe yourself in during Savasana or many restorative/yin poses, especially during the colder months. Quality yoga blankets are woolen and weighty, and feel like a great big cuddle during your tenderest asana moments!

So, you’ve probably guessed by now… I LOVE yoga props!

So tell me yogis how do you feel about propping yourself up during your practice? Have any props made a real difference for you? What are your favourite yoga props? Let’s start sharing in the comments!

With love until next time,
Aimee XXX

P.S For any of my students are interested in ordering either a high quality yoga mat or any yoga props to support your practice either at home or in class please email me as I am just about to place a bulk order which you maybe able to receive a discount and save on postage. Please email me ASAP at aimee@aimeeangelique.com and let me know what you would like to order.

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Power Process : Manifestation Boards + a Luscious Invitation

Aimee AngeliqueHey Beautiful,

Yep! It’s that time again!

The time that I love immersing myself in my goals and visions for the year ahead!

Have you ever created a manifestation board?

I can tell you from first-hand experience that they truly, truly work.

Manifestation boards are an amazing tool for getting clear on what you desire, creating a visual representation of those desires and letting the Magic manage the rest.

Whether you go old-school and paste clipped out images from magazines onto heavy cardboard or get online-savvy and use Pinterest or Photoshop to visualise your dreams, your manifestation board will move mountains in your life!

So, how do they work?

Well, the alchemy begins simply by focussing on what you really want.

We spend so much of our precious time worrying about how to solve problems or dwelling on our perceived ‘misfortunes’ that simply calling your focus towards a positive representation of what your heart desires is a BIG GEAR SHIFT!

It means that you’re shifting your mind-energy into the realms of dreams and possibilities… Tuning into your passion, enthusiasm and bliss!

Not only that, but you’re left with a clear visual representation of what you want – something that you can gaze at blissfully each day, without resistance, and let the miracles unfurl!

There are SO many ways to approach your creation of your manifestation board.

I’ve literally made dozens over the years and I’ve discovered some big and exciting ‘shortcuts’ along the way: tips and tools for getting clear fast and releasing resistance easily and joyfully.

I’m actually so hooked on manifestation boards that I’ve heard the call to hold an intensive workshop on this very subject! I would LOVE it if you’d join me! (Details below).

Whether you’re able to attend the workshop or not, I really want to share some of my favourite tips for creating a sleek, joyous and effective manifestation board.

I want everyone in the WORLD to create these representations of Magic and just see what unfolds!

Seriously – set aside a few hours as soon as you can, steep a pot of deliciously sweet chai, burn some sense-delighting essential oils and get creative!

The process in and of itself is so much fun that it’s worthwhile simply because it feels so good! But remember, there’s power in your creation – check it out daily, let yourself daydream and float softly in the possibility and know that moment-to-moment your deepest desires ARE manifesting!

My Manifestation Board Power Process 
  1. How do you want to FEEL?
    What words describe the way you want to FEEL by the end of 2016? How would it FEEL to achieve all you desire by New Years Day 2017? Get out a pen and paper and allow words to flow onto the page. Get gritty and real – there are no wrong answers to these questions!
  2. Work out your categories
    Think about the really important areas of your life that you want to work some Magic on in 2016.
    Career? Money? Creativity? Travel? Study? Relationships? Wellness? Spirituality?
    This is YOUR board and YOUR focus – you might choose to create a board on one area of your life and focus there, or get really holistic and cover all territory! It’s all up to you!
  3. Choose your medium and gather your supplies
    Are you going old-school with the clip and paste? Grab your cardboard, glue and magazines!
    Are you choosing virtual? Set up your Pinterest account or Photoshop document!
    I actually love both methods of boarding – old-school is so engaging and intuitive- there’s something so satisfying about the physical act of snipping, pasting and creating.
    But if you’re online, the world’s your oyster – you can find images of just about ANYTHING you could dream up!
  4. Link your desires to your categories and get to work!
    You can approach this two ways…
    If you’re playing old-school, you can flip through your magazines and tear out pages containing images that excite your soul.
    If you’re hitting this up online, you can search for whatever you choose!
    The important thing is to select images that really resonate with you, that call your inner Goddess to sing!
    Link up your desired feelings to specific images – what would visually represent, for example, your desire to feel vital and beautiful in your body? For one woman, it might be an image of a beautiful yogini in a perfectly executed asana. For another, it might be a rushing waterfall or tranquil beach scene.
    Don’t get too ‘thinky’ about it – just let your soul guide you through your eyes!
  5. Organise your board
    If I’m creating a ‘holistic’ board, I like to split it up into categories visually – a section for health, one for love, one for money, one for travel, etc… When I use Pinterest, I create a separate board for each area.
    Again – no right or wrong here, just create something that works for you and that’s easy to gaze at daily!
  6. Paste/Post/Pin
    Set this thing up!
    Get pasting!
    Get posting!
    Get pinning!
    Remember – you don’t have to agonise over a perfectly executed, artistic board! There’s no pressure here!
    Just get those images down in a way that appeals to YOU!
  7. Gaze, gaze, gaze!
    Whether you position your board somewhere in your home that you’ll see every day (the bathroom mirror or shower door are fantastic choices!) or as a virtual visual feast on your Pinterest boards or desktop image, commit to gazing at your manifestation board, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day.
    You might like to create some affirmations to voice while you’re gazing, or burn your favourite essential oil each time you devote yourself to your vision. Get as many of your senses engaged as possible! Create the connections!

Ohhhhhh, I really do love manifestation boards so much, and I’m super-keen to hear about your experiences with them. Tell me all about you and your visions in the comments and lets get a sacred sharing circle going on this one! And if you’ve never done this before, please nourish yourself by doing it this year!

Seriously, you’ll be amazed!

Much love and gratitude,

Aimee xxx

workshop: creatE your 2016 MANIFESTATION BOARD (date TBC)

We will begin our afternoon workshop with a sacred women’s circle followed by a guided manifestation meditation (to get you thinking about your dreams, intentions and visions for 2016 and beyond).

We will then get out creative juices flowing and create our own personalised manifestation board (to take home).

 All materials are included in the price plus a heathy afternoon tea.

To register  your interest in this workshop please email aimee@aimeeangelique.com

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Rain and Reflection… #Gratitude2015

Aimee Angelique

Outside the rain is falling as I indulge in this rare moment of ‘me-time’…

Snuggled in bed at 7am, I’m reflecting in deep gratitude of the amazing year that was 2015.

I had NO IDEA what the Universe had in store for me and my family when we were left with no choice but to move from Sydney back to my home ground, Medowie; a small, picturesque town near Newcastle on the NSW Central Coast.

We made the move when I was 6 months pregnant with my youngest daughter. Going from the ‘big smoke’ and hustle and bustle of Sydney was a jolt to my system – the quiet slowness was initially overwhelming. I felt as though this tiny town would allow no scope for me to grow, except as a mother and home keeper. How wrong I was…!

I’m a Type A personality through and through. I live my life at 100 miles per hour and always have a plan… a vision… a dream… and incredible manifestation in the works. But when we moved back to Medowie I had nothing…

I was feeling very flat, disappointed in myself and my depression and anxiety were returning swiftly – it seemed like none of the techniques I’d put into place to manage my emotions were effective anymore. I loved motherhood, as well as helping my partner grow his business by working on his marketing, public relations and administration. But I had lost myself… My purpose… My way…

When my best friend (since we were 8 years old!) Jacki visited us, she could immediately see that there was something going on – I was not my usual self. I confided in her about how was feeling and that I had no idea how to fix it. All she kept saying to me was ‘I really think you should start teaching yoga in Medowie…’

The very idea made me so nervous… The nasty voices in my head were having a field day: ‘Yoga won’t work in Medowie!’…‘Who are you to teach anyone?’…’You’re not good enough’… ‘No one will like you’… Just thinking about it triggered more stress and I was adamant to Jacki that it was a terrible idea. Luckily for me, she is not the kind of woman to give up on an idea…

After completing my yoga teacher training in Sydney I had no idea if I was ever going to become a teacher. The competition in Sydney is very tough – every second person in the city has done their yoga teacher training. The market is totally saturated and very competitive.

Despite hearing all of my protests, Jacki convinced me to just TRY…

My little Medowie Yoga classes started from very humble beginnings. My initial goal was so small – to teach one beginners class of 5-7 students each week. I started a Facebook page and hoped for the best… I ended up with 3 fully booked beginner programs! And my yoga business went from strength to strength throughout 2015.

I am also still in disbelief that, towards the end of 2015, I started by own clothing label #BreatheDreamCreateLove! This was the realisation of a very passionate, long-held dream for me! I had no idea how I was going to make it happen, but I did it! I released my ‘Breathe. Dream. Create. Love.’ T-shirts and tanks in December with totally unanticipated success! (Heads up: watch out for some amazing new designs coming soon in early 2016!)

After such a wildly wonderful year, I am taking a moment to reflect and give thanks to 2015…. #Gratitude2015
  • I am so grateful to Jacki for giving me that initial push!
  • I am eternally grateful to all of my teachers, including Lynette from The Soul Factory, Patty Kikos, Idit Hefer Tamir, Lynda Taylor, Katie Manitsas and Sarah De Graff thank you for for your guidance. Thank you for your wisdom and encouragement. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for taking the time and sharing your knowledge and your energy. Without you all I would not be where I am today. Much love and gratitude to you now and forever.
  • I am so grateful to all of the beautiful yogis I have had the honour of teaching throughout the year. My students, thank you for your trust, thank you for your love, thank you for continuing to support me and my journey. I love you all very much.
  • I am so grateful to my partner Gavin for supporting me through this journey of starting a business and becoming a teacher. Thank you for being there and supporting me through all the highs and lows! My man, my Soulmate, the one who keeps me grounded, the one loves me unconditionally (even when I am at my craziest!!!) I am so grateful we found each other again in this life. Love you forever…
  • I am grateful to my parents who are forever giving. Who are forever supporting. And who are the very best grandparents to my children. Thank you for everything you do. I love you with all my heart!
  • I am grateful for my brothers who I love and miss every single day!
  • I am grateful for my grandparents – my guardian angels who are always, always there. I love you!
  • I am grateful for my greatest teachers – my children! Thank you for choosing me. You are my everything. You are pieces of me and will always have my heart. I love you beyond words.
  • I am grateful for my Soulsisters – you amazing women are so special to me and I feel so honoured to have so many strong, nourishing female friendships.

Thank you ALL for sharing yourselves with me…

Thank you ALL for opening up…

Thank you ALL for trusting the journey and the emotional releases…

You are ALL so brave and I love you ALL so much!

I am so excited to just surrender and allow 2016 to unfold…

I am open to receive health, love, happiness, creativity, prosperity, abundance and joy with ease and grace in 2016 and beyond…

And of course, I’m relishing in the excitement of creating and manifesting an amazing 2016!

Just some of the goals I’ve got up my sleeve for my business are:

+ Creating new workshops and events #TheGoddessGathering

+ Creating, hosting and holding space for a supportive women’s coaching circle

+ Teaching more kids yoga

+ Creating an online studio with loads of full length yoga classes and tutorials

+ Recording guided meditations and yoga nidras

+ Writing my first book – ‘Breathe Dream Create Love: My Journey to self-love and Happiness’

+ Taking Medowie Yoga to the next level and setting up a beautiful, permanent studio space

And my more personal goals and visions?

+ To spend more quality time with my family

+ To be more present in life, especially with my children

+ To live from the heart

+ To choose love and forget fear

+ To attract only beautiful, positive and supportive people in my life

+ To always trust my intuition

The New Year is such a magical time… I just love this pivot point of reflecting back in gratitude and launching new ideas for the future! It’s so exciting!

Tell me, beautiful…

What were you grateful for in 2015?

And how is 2016 going to be your most powerful Goddess year yet?

Share your dreams in the comments and lets get talking – there’s power in numbers when it comes to creating paradise!

Much love (and Happy New Year!),

Aimee xxx

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My 6 Step Sequence for Relaxation and Restoration These Holidays

Namaste Yogi,

The ‘Giving Season’ is just around the corner now!

I adore the generosity, connection and warmth of the Christmas holidays, but (and especially now that I’m a Mum…) I also find that the ‘give’ factor can be super high…

By that I mean how easy it is to become overstretched for time and energy; balance being skittled over!

One of my favourite modes of yoga is restorative practice – poses and techniques that literally give BACK to the body, mind and soul. What I love the most is how brilliantly easy AND effective these nourishing practices are and the instant relief that they offer. Seriously, you won’t know yourself after just one beautifully simple session of this nurturing sequence!

I’ve designed this sequence to cool, calm and soothe you even during the most HECTIC of holidays! It’s a great set to do right before bed for a wonderfully restful night’s sleep and just about whenever you can manage to grab 15 or 20 minutes to yourself. Believe me, I’ve been known to do this practice multiple times daily when life gets really chaotic!

So, here it is… Let this gracefully smooth and healing progression flow you through your holidays with more calm, more steadiness and more to give!

  1. Alternate Nostril Breathing – 3-5 minutes

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I adore this practice for soothing anxiety and overwhelm. It’s a simple technique, but spectacularly and immediately calming! It balances the brain and settles the soul, helping to soften stress – straight away!

  • Sit up straight in a comfortable position and close your eyes
  • Curl the 3 middle fingers on the right hand towards the palm of your hand
  • With your right thumb, close off the right nostril
  • Slowly inhale through the left nostril to full capacity – allowing your abdomen and lungs to fully expand
  • With your pinky finger, close off the left nostril and then release the thumb away from your  right nostril
  • Exhale slowly and completely through the right nostril, releasing all air
  • Reverse it – inhale with the right nostril and exhale on the left
  • Complete nine full sets of breath
  • Release both nostrils, breathe deeply and notice the immediate effects of the practice
2. Child’s Pose – 3-5 minutes

Aimee Angelique Child's Pose

Option 1. Without a bolster (knees together or  to hip width apart)

Aimee Angelique Child's Pose

Option 2. With a bolster

One of yoga’s greatest calming poses, Child’s Pose (Balasana) brings you straight back to the relaxed innocence of childhood. Physically, Balasana is a beautifully gentle stretch for the lower back, chest and shoulders and it also helps to calm the mind by softly resting Arjna Chakra, the third eye, onto the floor. Spend as long as you like in Child’s Pose – let your intuition tell you how long you need here.

  • Kneel on the floor and sit on your heels with big toes touching.
  • Either gently separate the knees out to hip width or keep knees together (whatever feels best for your body).
  • On the exhale, lay your torso down between your thighs – adjust gently until you feel a broadening of your sacrum/lower back.
  • Lay your hands alongside your torso with the hands palms up near your hips.
  • Softly drop your shoulders towards the floor and allow your upper back to relax and broaden.
  • Stay as long as you like, and breathe deep!
  1. Reclining Bound Angle Pose – 3-5 minutes

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The Sanskrit name of this pose is Supta Badha Konasana, but I not-so-secretly prefer to call it Goddess Pose!

Providing a gentle stretch to the hips and inner thighs, it’s also a wonderful stress reliever and relaxant – asana heaven! On an energetic level, it helps to open and heal Svadhisthana, the second chakra that energises the yoni and reproductive organs, so is especially healing for Goddesses!

  • Sit with your legs straight out in front of you – if your groin or hips are tight, you might like to raise your pelvis slightly by sitting on a folded blanket
  • On the exhale, bend your knees, pull your heels towards your pelvis and softly drop your knees out to the sides, pressing the soles of the feet together and thereby creating a diamond shape with your legs
  • Breathe in, then exhale again as you gently lay back onto your forearms first, and then all the way onto your back
  • Rest your hands comfortably by your sides and just relax – don’t feel tempted to push your knees further to the ground. If the stretch is too much, you may like to support your thighs with bolsters or cushions
  • Breathe, chill, enjoy!

{Please note: You can choose to do this posture with our without a bolsters (or cushions) supporting your back}

  1. Seated Forward Bend – 3-5 minutes

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Option 1. Without a bolster

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Option 2. With a bolster

 A gentle stretch for the hamstrings, hips and lower back, this pose is also great for the digestion and pelvic organs, helping to massage and soothe them through soft compression.

  • Sitting with your legs straight in front of you, actively press your ankles away from you
  • On the inhale, lean forward from the hips, lengthening the tailbone away from the pelvis
  • If you can, hold onto the sides of your feet with your hands, or if you can’t, loop a strap around your feet and hold to that gently on either side (either way, keep your elbows straight rather than bent)
  • Breathe long and deep!
  • Throughout your 3-5 minutes here, you will probably find that your hamstrings release and give way for you to move forward a little more. Don’t be tempted to push beyond comfort – this does not add to the benefit of the pose. Just flow forward gently and lovingly as your body tells you.
  1. Legs Up The Wall – 3-5 minutes

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Option 1. Without a bolster

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Option 2. With a bolster

 Amazing for the circulation, lymphatic system and nervous system, this wonderful pose gives you all the benefits of more active inversions with almost zero effort! It’s also surprisingly calming to an overactive mind. 5 minutes is a recipe for bliss!

  • Place a bolster, firm cushion or a few rolled up blankets right up against the wall
  • Sit sideways on your chosen support, then exhale and in one smooth movement, gently rest back while swinging your legs up to rest straight up against the wall
  • Adjust your position so that you are full relaxed, your back is broad against the support of the floor and your legs feel comfortable
  • Find an arm position that feels great and keeps your back soft and relaxed – palms up at your sides is the best position for most people
  • When your done, gently drop your legs to one side against the wall, then relax for a moment in a loose foetal position and enjoy the benefits
  1. Savasana – as long as you can!

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The pose that allows you to completely, passively relax and absorb the restorative benefits of your practice!

Savasana isn’t quite as simple as lying down and closing your eyes though – it’s essential that your body is in a truly neutral position. Only you know how that feels, but some tips you might like to try as you gently adjust into Savasana are:

  • Lifting the base of the skull away from the back of the neck with your hands, then gently returning it to the floor, creating a little more length in the spine
  • Reach your arms to the ceiling to broaden the back ribs and upper back before gently releasing them to the floor alongside you
  • Gently rocking the pelvis from side to side to create spaciousness
  • Checking that your shoulder blades are rested evenly on the floor while gently expanding your collarbones and feeling the sternum relax
  • Scan through your body to make sure every area is softened – the eyelids, the mouth, the tongue, the facial muscles
  • When you feel truly comfortable, sink down deep and relax! For as long as you like!
  • To come out of the pose, roll softly to the right and stay here for a few breaths, then gently rise to a seated position

If you have a meditation practice, now is the perfect time to do it! Otherwise a nap, a warm lavender bath or a nourishing herbal tea are all great ways to congratulate yourself for taking the time out for self-love!

I’d love to hear how you go with this sequence – share the love and leave a comment! And while your there – are there any other yoga poses or techniques you love for the silly season? I’d love to know!

Yours in Festivity, Aimee xxx

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Making it EASY to stay STRONG this Silly Season!

Aimee AngeliqueHi Beauty,

Yep! We’re already here – it’s the Silly Season!

With seemingly everyone around you urging you to drop all disciplines and get into indulgent-mode, it can seem ‘hard’ to stay healthy throughout the holidays.

But with a few little shifts in your mind-frame, it’s easy to see that staying strong, healthy and nourished throughout December is actually EASY and PLEASURABLE!

Sound impossible?

Read on for my favourite tips for staying strong, nourished and centred this Christmas, with zero deprivation and maximum indulgence!

It’s OK to say ‘no’!

With a sometimes-ridiculous number of invitations to parties and get-togethers, December can be an overwhelmingly social month!

I totally understand how challenging it can be to maintain the boundaries of self-care during the silly season, but each year I’m getting better and better at tapping into my intuition about attending social events, especially if I’m starting to feel overstretched.

Accessing my instincts really just involves asking myself some basic questions and ‘feeling’ for my true, pure answers…

Regardless of who has invited me and who will be there…

Do I really want to go?

Will I feel happy if I go?

Does the idea of going fill me with feelings of love and excitement?

If I don’t receive a clear and excited ‘HELL YES’, it’s a ‘No, thank you. I hope you have a great time!’ from me!

It takes practice to hear your answers clearly, amid all the mind chatter that usually revolves around worrying about what other people will think if you say no! But believe me, it’s worth it! The right balance of ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ during the holidays simply means that you’ll be glowing and full of energy and fun for the parties that you’ve given an almighty ‘YES’ to!

Don’t forget the H2O!

Staying hydrated is more important than ever during the holidays, especially if you like indulging in some cheeky sparkles or an ice-cold beer!

I personally don’t drink alcohol, but I always recommend one large glass of pure water between party drinks, in addition to a baseline of 2-3 litres of pure water each day.

Keep moving!

When you’ve discovered a few ways of moving that you really love, there’s no reason to let the holiday season stop you from exercising!

In fact, the holidays are the perfect time to set ‘movement dates’ with your favourite people. Why not organise a yoga class, walk, run or swim with your besties BEFORE the party or pub? Or roll out the yoga mat at home before a big night out?

When you frame it right, there’s no reason to fall off the movement wagon this Summer!

Plan joyfully!

There are so many ways to nourish yourself, and others, while being in full party mode! All it takes is just a little forward thinking, a quick plan and you’re set! Some of my favourite holiday tips include:

  • Drinking 1 litre of pure water and eating a healthy, satiating, protein-rich snack before heading out to a holiday ‘do’. This will make it so much easier to stay moderate at parties and events
  • Offer to bring a healthy plate to share to any parties you’re invited to. Worst case scenario, and you’re faced with a table full of processed junk, you can just rely on your own plate!
  • Gifting, and indulging in, raw cacao treats and raw vegan desserts so that you, and your loved ones, are being nourished while you’re indulging!
  • Don’t be afraid to enjoy your favourite holiday treats in moderation. If your grandmother makes the most wonderful ‘White Christmas’ that brings back warm, fuzzy feelings from childhood despite it’s processed wickedness – go for it! Just have one, and bask in the memories and the love and care she put into it’s creation!

Prioritise RELAXING!

 It’s kind of ironic that the ‘holiday’ period is the busiest time of the year!

It’s time to reclaim the word ‘vacation’ and prioritise downtime!

Take indulgent naps and sleep in!

Fill a warm bath and settle in!

Conjure up a pot full of delicious, nourishing herbal tea and relish it in the sunshine!

Read something inspiring and delicious – slowly and deliberately!

Pamper yourself and keep up your self-love routine!

Keep up the basics!

 Just because you’re attending parties brimming over with indulgent, rich, succulent food, it doesn’t mean that your ‘basics’ need to go awry to!

If you keep on including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs and lean meat in your diet throughout the silly season, you’re doing a great job!

I especially love Juice Plus+ at this time of year, as my way of filling in any potential gaps in my diet, and I adore my daily morning smoothie or juice as a no-brainer, nutrient dense start to every day.

Tell me beautiful… What are YOUR tips for staying healthy and vital during the festive season? Comment below and let’s get sharing!

Love, gratitude and grace,

Aimee xxx

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Loving Yourself is the KEY

Aimee AngeliqueGreetings Sister,

Do you remember?

Do you remember loving yourself?

Do you remember loving yourself without question?

It might feel difficult or even impossible to recall, but you were born into this world loving yourself unconditionally. Self-love is your nature.

Does this feel hard to believe?

Take a look at babies and children; their inbuilt self-loving nature that manifests as laughter, joy, curiosity, wonder.

That was you, sister.

Sometimes the world and the people in it seem determined to beat all of your self-love out of you, but regardless of how low you might feel on the worthiness scale, you still embody the seed of self-love.

You are still here!

Your amazing spirit LOVES you!

The key to allowing your natural state of self-loving to expand and unfold is INSPIRED ACTION.

Rituals of sacred, nourishing pleasure actually teach us to love ourselves again!

My own self-love rituals are extremely important to me; they’re non-negotiable.

I have found that it’s their repetition combined with pure intent that has allowed me to create the momentum for ever-unfolding feelings of self-love, self-respect and worthiness.

It’s from this place that I’ve manifested the life of my dreams!

My wish for all women is the reclaiming of self-love and the magic that this generates.

I’ve been thinking about the importance of self-love so much lately that I’d love to share some of my own self-loving practices.

As you read the list below, remember: INSPIRED ACTION!

What resonates with you? What do you feel would bring you pleasure, good feelings, a sense of sacred connection and magic?

Work that out, then DO IT!

1. Set your intention:

Every morning, at almost the very moment that I open my eyes, I set an intention for my day. Sometimes just one word might float into my consciousness: LOVE… NOURISHING… OPEN…

Or sometimes I might gain my inspiration by pulling a card from my Angel Oracle deck and pondering its message.
I’ve found that writing my intention on either a piece of paper or my wrist helps to remind me of it as I go through my day!

2. Meditate:

Whether you’re simply sitting and counting your breaths, repeating a mantra or listening to a guided audio, meditation is a sure-fire key to self-love.

When we quieten the mind, we allow our true nature to shine bright. You may not notice the benefits of this practice immediately, but over time (and I’m talking days!) you’ll start to find yourself softening more, loving more, reaching for patience and compassion with ease and appreciating yourself and those around you with greater ease.

Believe me when I say… You cannot go wrong with meditation!

3. Pray:

Whether your prayer is to Goddess/God, your guides, your angels or simply the cosmos, the surrender of prayer is a beautiful thing that will always yield you the answers you need.

My absolute favourite prayer, one that I find myself repeating daily, comes from ‘A Course In Miracles’:

Universe, what Miracle would you have me perform today?
What Miracles do I need to share with the world?
Guide me as I work miracles today

This simple prayer is a recipe for inspiration for me and many others – I urge you to try it, at least for a few days, and watch the healing thoughts and ideas flow!

4. Affirm in the Mirror:

Many years ago now, I stumbled across Louise Hay’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’. It made so much sense to me and was one of the best reads of my life!
To this day I love her meditations and exercises, most especially her mirror-work affirmations!

Affirmations are made even more potent in front of the mirror, and this can be challenging work initially. When I first began this practice, I had tears rolling down my face as the years of pain and self-hatred unlocked and released. This is brave, warrioress work, but I wholeheartedly encourage you to try it.

My favourite, and perhaps most challenging, affirmation exercise is simple but powerful. Having lit a candle, I stand naked in front of the mirror and, out loud, name and describe everything I love about my body:

Aimee, your hair is so shiny and glossy and such a deep, rich colour…
Aimee, your hands are so graceful and pretty…
Aimee, your legs are so strong and sleek…

You get my drift 😉

Once I’ve ‘bathed’ myself in self appreciation, I get even deeper:

I love you, Aimee…
I honour you as a woman, Aimee…
You are a Goddess, Aimee…

The effect of affirmations accumulates over time. In my life now, I of course have days where I feel much more positive and immersed in self love and others that feel challenging, but this practice has resulted in a far greater ratio of ‘good’ to ‘bad’ days in my life.

I also know that that mirror affirmations are remedies that always help me to get unstuck so when life is feeling tricky, I prioritise them.

5. Be Grateful:

Did you know that gratitude is scientifically PROVEN?

Research has shown that a simple, daily gratitude journaling practice – listing five things you’re grateful for each and every day, has been shown to:

~ Help create more heartfelt relationships with family, friends, partners, children and workmates
~ Improve physical health – gratitude literally reduces your trips to the doctor and boost your motivation for self-care
~ Reduce toxic emotions and increase happiness
~ Enhance empathy and reduce anger
~ Create better quality sleep
~ Significantly improve self esteem
~ Increase mental and emotional resilience

If that sounds like a super-pill… It IS!
All you need is a notebook, a pen and 3-5 minutes per day…
Seriously… DO IT!

6. Pamper:

What does your body LOVE?

For me, it’s a home gently scented with my favourite essential oil blends… Gentle body brushing in the morning… Deep, warm Epsom salts baths… A wonderful, soothing cleanser and moisturiser applied with love… Preparing a nourishing meal to share with my family… A warm mug of tea sipped in a silent moment…

What makes your body SING?

7. Move Mindfully:

Whether you’re heading to a structured class or have manage to grab a rare-but-spare 5 minutes of ‘you time’, roll out your yoga mat EVERY day.

Let your movement be inspired and true! Let it nourish and heal you! Let your body be moved by your spirit!

Oh, Goddess, I have just LOVED sharing my self-love keys with you, and I would adore your input here: what do YOU do to love yourself? Let me, and your Sisterhood, know in the comments below! Let’s get a discussion circle going and share some ideas!

Until next time…

Yours in self-love,

Aimee xxx

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