Feel Good February
22 January 2020 / Lifestyle / Food and Drink / Health and Fitness / Spa /
Almost one month on from our New Year’s resolutions – and our struggles to keep them – let’s make life a little easier for ourselves. Here are three simple things you can do every day to care for your body and lift your sense of wellbeing.
1. Wake up your body with yoga stretches
Stretching when you first get up will increase your muscle and joint flexibility and improve your circulation. By activating your muscles, your posture all day will be better. Here are two straightforward yoga poses you can do at home. Look up more online or come along to one of our classes.
This pose realigns and tones your spine while opening up your heart. It’s called the cobra because you roll up your torso like a snake preparing to strike.
- Lie face down. Draw your legs and feet together, keeping the fronts of your feet resting downwards. Point your toes. Press the palms of your hands down on the mat beside your hips, keeping elbows in line with your wrists. Straighten your legs by tightening your knees. Press the tops of your thighs into the floor.
- Breathe in while pressing down on your palms to raise your torso, keeping your pelvis on the mat while supporting your bodyweight on your hands and legs. Do not lift your hips off the ground, just stretch upwards as far as you can.
- Inhale to expand your lungs and lift your sternum, lengthening the front of your torso straight up. With each in-breath, allow your chest to raise as you tuck your shoulder blades into your back and keep your shoulders down. With each out-breath let your tailbone and pelvis sink down. Avoid straightening your arms.
- Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing normally. Roll back down to the floor on a long exhalation.
Holding this pose will increase your stamina for the day to come, each day. It will increase strength and stability in your hips.
- Stand up tall. Take a deep breath and breathe out as you jump your feet far apart while reaching out to the sides with your arms. Move your feet as far away from each other as you can, keep your heels horizontal and your toes straight ahead, your arms straight and in line with your shoulders. Your palms should face downwards.
- With your torso centred above your hips, rotate your right foot out to 90º. Rotate the toes of your left foot 45º towards the right. Balance your weight evenly between both feet and keep your left leg straight for the duration of this pose. You will know if you have completely straightened your left knee because when you do, the center of your left kneecap will be in line with the middle of your left ankle. Rotate both thighs outward and away from your pelvis.
- Now take a breath. Exhale and press your left heel hard into the floor for balance as you bend your right knee down to a right angle, bending down so your shin is perpendicular to the floor with your right knee above your right ankle.
- Turn your head to the right and look at your right fingers. Keep your arms parallel to the floor and extend outwards. Lengthen your spine as if your head and neck are lifting.
- Hold for at least 30 seconds and breathe as normal. (Over the weeks, you will be able to stay for up to a minute.) To come out of the pose, breathe in, straighten your right leg and turn your feet to face forward again. Now repeat Warrior on your other side.
2. Nourish your skin every day with a good skin product
For the month of February our Head Therapist, Ellie Waters recommends using Oskia Perfect Cleanser, a Nutri-active cleansing and nourishing balm. With youth-boosting vitamins, minerals, prebiotics and omegas to deeply cleanse, decongest and restore moisture levels. When you combine it with water, this rich nutrient balm becomes a light milk that penetrates deeply and lifts away impurities, leaving your face soft, hydrated and rejuvenated.
3. Eat 1 superfood every day
Superfoods are especially good for us as they are nutritionally dense. With superfood snacks such as avocados and almonds, it’s easy to make it a rule to consume at least one every day as part of your varied, healthy diet. Others such as turmeric are best enjoyed served in a dish. Turmeric contains the bioactive compound called curcumin, which has been scientifically proven to help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
This delicious recipe featuring freshly-ground turmeric comes from our Executive Head Chef, Stephen Wheeler, who cooked this dish regularly during his time working in Asia.
Noodle Broth with Turmeric & Lemongrass
- 800ml cold water
- 1 small carrot & 1 x small onion, both finely chopped
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 lemongrass stick, bashed to release flavour
- 1 star anise
- 2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 100gm baby sweetcorn, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese rice wine)
- 1 red chilli, sliced
- ½ teaspoon fresh turmeric, ground in a pestle and mortar
- 150gm medium noodles
- 75gm edamame beans
- I teaspoon light soy sauce
- Black pepper & sea salt to season
- 20gm fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- Pour water into large pan, place on heat and add the carrot, onion, rosemary and bring to boil. Add Kaffir lime leaves, bay leaf, lemongrass & star anise and simmer for around 10 minutes.
- As the liquid starts to reduce, add ginger, lime zest, lime juice and baby corn.
- Simmer again for another 10 minutes then add mirin, red chilli, turmeric, noodles, edamame beans and soy sauce.
- Stir well and simmer until noodles are cooked, approximately 5 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper
- Serve in deep soup bowls and finish with chopped coriander