Cacao Smoothie Bowl

Cacao Smoothie Bowl

A Cooling Recipe for Summer

Try this tasty Cacao Smoothie Bowl

Try this tasty Cacao Smoothie Bowl

Since we’ve been having some proper summer weather recently (something that’s never guaranteed in the UK!), I’ve been enjoying having smoothie bowls for breakfast.

Inspired by @wellbeingsarah who posted a recipe on her Instagram I tried this cacao smoothie bowl and it has become a real favourite.

If you’d like to try this for yourself, then blend spinach, frozen banana, avocado, raw cacao power and milk (I used almond milk) together to your desired consistency. I’ve also added a greens power to mine or you could add a scoop of protein powder.

(The addition of frozen banana makes this very cooling which has been especially welcome on hot days!)

Complete your smoothie bowl with toppings of your choice and enjoy! :D

NEW CLASS: Flow & Restore with Yoga Nidra at Create

NEW CLASS: Flow & Restore with Yoga Nidra at Create
NEW CLASS: Flow & Restore with Yoga Nidra at Create

Flow & Restore with Yoga Nidra at Create, Raynes Park – Wednesdays 12.30-13.45 from 3rd August

I’m excited to announce I will be teaching a new yoga class at Create starting this summer every Wednesday from 3rd August.

The first part of this beautifully balanced class guides you through a series of flowing yoga postures to develop strength and flexibility. The pace then slows for the second part of the class with a focus on restorative and yin poses allowing your body to release both physical and mental tension. This prepares the physical body for our closing Yoga Nidra practice – a guided meditation known to be a form of deep relaxation, allowing our bodies and minds some much needed rest. (Yoga Nidra, which translates as ‘yogic sleep’ has also been shown to help relieve stress and anxiety).

To visit the Create website click here.

NEW WORKSHOP: Summer Solstice Yin Yoga

NEW WORKSHOP: Summer Solstice Yin Yoga

Saturday 18th June 2016 1.45-3.45pm at Embody Wellness, Vauxhall
The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and also marks the first day of (astronomical) Summer, the Fire season. The heat and energy of fire can energise, encouraging us to live life to the full, but it can also consume, bringing out our fiery temperament or leaving us drained – so it is important to keep this energy in balance. Consequently, this season can be a good time to reduce the intensity and heat of our yoga practice with slower practices such as yin. By being in the yin yoga poses for 3-5 minutes at a time we open the meridian lines (energy channels) and allow our Qi (energy) to travel more freely through the body.

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Summer is connected with the Heart and Small Intestine meridians. In this workshop we will practice a sequence targeting these meridians (with a particular emphasis on the upper body) to encourage balance in both body and mind.

Open to all levels except pregnant students.

To book your place please click here.

How happy are you in your skin?

How happy are you in your skin?

U Can Yoga in Psychologies Magazine

Healthy Happy Body - Psychologies Magazine

Healthy Happy Body – Psychologies Magazine

With it’s uplifting, informative and insightful content, Psychologies magazine is and has been one of my favourite publications for many years.

The Dossier theme of the current issue of Psychologies, ‘Healthy Happy Body’ is not only close to my heart, it also ties in with the U Can Yoga ethos. Yoga has played a huge part in helping me find peace with my own body image issues and to find a greater appreciation for the body that I have and all it can do. So, I am excited to be featured in the July issue of Psychologies sharing my story.

Thanks to make-up artist Sadaf Ahmad and photographer Jon Enoch for being so lovely and making the photoshoot so fun :D

You can pick up the magazine in the shops now or download it via the new Psychologies app – find out more at U Can Yoga in Psychologies Magazine

NEW Class – Slow Flow in SW17

NEW Class – Slow Flow in SW17

Slow Flow Yoga – Mondays 6.30-7.30pm at reCentre Health from 6th June

Join me for Slow Flow Yoga - Monday evenings here at the reCentre studio

Join me for Slow Flow Yoga – Monday evenings here at the reCentre studio

I’m excited to be teaching this Monday night class at reCentre Health in Balham every week from 6th June.

This class weaves the asanas (postures) together, orchestrated by the breath to build strength, stamina and flexibility. It will release tension from the body, improve your posture and leave you feeling stronger, more energised and happy.

With a good dose of relaxation to top things off, this class will leave you rested, refreshed and ready for the week ahead.

Open to all levels except complete beginners.

You can find more details at the reCentre website here.

NEW Yoga Basics Course

NEW Yoga Basics Course

6-Week Beginners Yoga Course – Mondays 7.30-8.30pm at evolve – starts 11th April

Join me for a NEW Yoga Basics Course at evolve

Join me for a NEW Yoga Basics Course at evolve

Would you like to experience and appreciate some of the many benefits yoga has to offer but feel nervous about joining a drop-in class? Join me on this 6-week course at evolve which is aimed at complete yoga beginners, but those with some yoga experience who would like to go back to basics are also welcome.

There are a maximum of 6 places available on this course to ensure that everyone receives individual guidance and tuition.

Over the duration of the course you will be guided through the fundamental yoga postures and practices in a warm, friendly environment. There will be an emphasis on breathing techniques and safe alignment along the way as we explore standing poses, forward and backward-bending, twists, seated and balancing poses and inversions. You will become aware of how your body feels and moves in each pose and learn how and where to modify to suit your body if or where necessary.

By the end of the course you should feel confident to attend open level classes or even practice at home, further exploring yoga at your own pace.

For full details and to register please click here or call evolve on 020 7581 4090.

Open Your Heart – A Yin & Restorative Yoga Workshop

Open Your Heart – A Yin & Restorative Yoga Workshop

Restorative Yoga with Paula

Join me for ‘Open Your Heart – A Yin & Restorative Yoga Workshop’

Saturday 27th February 1.45-3.45pm at Embody Wellness

Join me at Embody Wellness for this special heart-themed February workshop. We will practice a mix of restorative yoga poses to open the heart space in the physical body and yin yoga poses to stimulate the heart and small intestine meridians which govern our capacity to love and be loved.

Imbalanced heart and small intestine Qi can result in digestive problems, heartburn, poor circulation, heart problems and low moods. When heart Qi is balanced we can have a greater ability to connect with others, feel more vitality, joy and inner peace.

Yin and restorative yoga are both deep, meditative practices which activate the parasympathetic nervous system (calming the body’s fight/flight response). Poses can typically held for 3 to 10 minutes or longer. In yin, the focus is on moving deeper into the connective tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons and fascia – the cling-film-like ‘tissue’ which holds our muscles together), while in restorative the emphasis is more on facilitating physiological rest to promote deep relaxation.

We will close our workshop practice with a calming Yoga Nidra (‘Yogic Sleep’) meditation.

Open to all levels except pregnant students.

To book your place please click here.

2016 Yoga Retreat Calendar

2016 Yoga Retreat Calendar

Relax and Restore Retreats at Florence House

Join Sally Parkes & I on our Relax & Restore retreats at Florence House

Join Sally Parkes & I on our Relax & Restore retreats at Florence House

(Re)Treat Yourself in 2016!

I’m looking forward to teaching on three more weekend retreats with Sally Parkes Yoga this year at the stunning Florence House.

Our first Relax and Restore weekend retreat of 2016 is 18th-20th March.

This retreat at Florence House in Seaford in East Sussex is a wonderful blend of Dynamic, Hatha and Restorative Yoga and Pilates.

Classes are suitable for all abilities as well as beginners. There will also be a delicious, healthy menu and plenty of time to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and stunning Sussex coastline.

There are also a range of treatments available including:

Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage
Holistic and Dermalogica Facials
Indian Head Massage
Pedicures and Manicures

For full details of this retreat and to book your place please visit Sally’s website here. You will also find the complete retreat calendar for 2016.

Read a review of our Florence House retreats by Miss Wheezy here.

Love for Louola’s

Love for Louola’s

Louola’s Quinola – Grain-Free Granola

Louola's Quinola

Louola’s Quinola

I was introduced to Louola’s Superfood Quinola last year by a great company called Superfoodio via their healthy snack boxes, and it’s quickly become a favourite of mine!

Commercial granolas and cereals are often loaded with hidden sugars. And it can be surprising to find out how much sugar there is even in the apparently ‘healthy’ choices out there.

Vegetarian and vegan friendly, Louola’s is a delicious alternative which is not only refined sugar free, but also grain and dairy free. I’ve found this to be a great smoothie topper and have also been using Louola’s in recipes for energy balls and homemade raw chocolate (This recipe for Raw Chocolate Bark using Beetroot, Cashew & Coconut Louola’s went down a treat over Christmas!) You can find more details, plus recipe inspiration here at the Louola’s website.

Detox Yin Yoga at Home

Detox Yin Yoga at Home

Stimulate your gallbladder, liver and kidney meridians with Butterfly Pose.

Here I'm demonstrating Butterfly Pose

Here I’m demonstrating Butterfly Pose

Thank You to Everyone who came along to my New Year Detox Yin Yoga Workshop where we practised yin poses to stimulate the liver and gallbladder meridians.

If you weren’t able to be there, here is a pose you can try at home.

According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) the meridians are the channels through which our Qi (energy) flows throughout the body. The gallbladder, liver and kidneys are all important organs in the body’s detoxification process. At this time of year when our minds often turn to detoxing, poses like Butterfly may be of some assistance.

In this pose the gallbladder meridian (running along the outer legs) is stimulated. If you bring the feet closer to the groin, then the liver and kidney meridians (running along the insides of the legs and groin) can be stimulated too.

As well as opening the hips and activating the thighs without straining the hamstrings, Butterfly provides a lovely stretch of the whole back.

To get into the pose:

– Sit with your back straight and legs in front of you
– Bring the soles of your feet together and allow both knees to fall out to the side (your legs should be in a diamond shape, so there is a significant space between your heels and hips)
– From here you can stay upright or begin to fold the upper body forward (allowing the back to round). Come forward as far as your body will allow without forcing or straining.
– If you are folding further forward, you may find some support under the forehead would be more comfortable. In this instance, you could use a block or bolster for support, or you may wish to rest your forehead on your hands.

Remain here for three to five minutes. To exit the pose, on an inhale gently uncurl back up to sitting.

If practising this pose seated is troublesome for your lower back or knees you can try sitting on a cushion or block and placing support under the knees. Another option is to try this pose against a wall (as I’m demonstrating in the picture below). I find this wall version can be very soothing for my lower back.
Wall Yin - Paula U Can Yoga

Enjoy practising this pose! :D

NB – If you are in London, I am teaching ‘Open Your Heart: A Yin & Restorative Yoga Workshop’ on Saturday 27th February 1.45-3.45pm at Embody Wellness. For details and booking please click here.