Friday, 27 May 2011

Animal, Vegetable, Mystery

As your yoga practice develops and integrates itself into your everyday life (if that hasn't happened to you yet, just you wait...) one question naturally plagues the yogi - what is a true yogic diet? 

Many yogis will adopt a strict vegan diet, based on the principle of Ahimsa - meaning to avoid the carrying out of harm or violence -  and as such eat a purely plant based diet free of all animal products. Others will interpret this as not eating the meat of an animal, but include animal products such as dairy, eggs and honey in their daily diet. However, there has been an increased focus in the consumer market on sustainable, ethical treatment of animals in recent years  which begs the question - if the animal has been raised humanly and is consumed mindfully with thought for its spirit, is it acceptable to eat? 

Well my beautiful followers, that decision is completely up to you. Whether or not you choose to consume animal products is an entirely personal decision and one that may change over time as your needs change and practice deepens, but the two most important factors in making your decision are:

Listen to your body - you are the one who is going to be making this decision, preparing your meals and nourishing your spirit -- your body will know exactly what it needs!!

Educate yourself - in nourishing your spirit it is important to know that your body will be getting the nutrients that it needs -- explore vegan, vegetarian and sustainable eating cook books and become familiar with recipes, ingredients and flavours. For anyone who is considering, interested in or would like to know more about a vegan lifestyle, I strongly recommend The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone which details the health benefits of veganism as well as how to construct a healthy, nutrient dense and exciting meal plan. Another great find is Veagnist by Kathy Freston - Oprah's go-to-girl when she and her crew explored a vegan diet. For foodies who wish to eat sustainable, fresh produce without sacrificing flavour pick up Kylie Kwong's It Tastes Better which explores the sources of Kylie's produce as well as fresh, simple, flavourful recipes. 

Happy eating yogi's -- follow your heart, listen to your body and you will know what to do

Love and light,
Lauren xxx




Wisdom from a Star

I am lucky enough to have a yoga mentor - the incredible, beautiful, kind, patient, wise, trend-setting yogini goddess Kathryn Budig. Not only is she inspirational with her yoga practice, food philosophies and philanthropic endeavours - she is a very, very gifted writer.

My favourite of all her pieces is from the Daily Love, and writes something that I often find myself reading and re-reading if I feel lost or troubled:

“To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don’t worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest.”

Be a star; be yourself; be a beacon of inspiration. A shining reminder that the world moves on and love can never fail. My heart goes out to anyone in need of support and my wish is that we all do the same. Your glow will fill the world, sky and hearts in need of magic, creating a constellation map back into the light.

Love and light,
Lauren xxx


Sunday, 8 May 2011


"You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings." 

 Elizabeth Gilbert

Green Eggs and Ham - if Dr Seuss was a yogi...

So perhaps this recipe lacks the traditional elements of "green eggs and ham" but trust me if Dr Seuss was a yogi and as such ate in ways which nourished his soul there would be a few less eggs and a bit more green!

So firstly, let's keep the green - kale that is. Kale is a wonderful vegetable packed with more vitamins than you could possibly imagine! And because green is such a lovely colour, let's keep going with some delicious avocado and crunchy pumpkin seeds! Eggs are a great but because this is all about complete soul nourishment let's go completely vegan and substitute some quinoa! Quinoa is a South American seed which is high in protein, iron, magnesium, fibre and is an all-round good guy! So now we are getting somewhere -- I am not a fan of ham; not just because it's highly processed and overly salty, but because I try not to eat meat when I can - so today we are going to replace ham with raw broccoli (I am a huuuge fan of raw foods! Once you try, you won't be able to go back!) ground flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and goji berries.

Firstly, rinse 1 cup quinoa (red, white or black - or a mix of all three varieties!) then add to a saucepan and bring to the boil with  1 3/4 cup water (purified is best), then allow to simmer for around 12-15 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed the water. Fluff with a fork. In the meantime, steam rinsed kale in a vegetable steamer or in an Asian-style steamer (most useful, as you can use the saucepan cooking the quinoa to steam the kale and save time)  until soft.

In a bowl place the steamed kale and fluffed quinoa, then top with fresh avocado, toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, raw broccoli florets, ground flaxseed meal and goji berries! Dress with a spritz of fresh lemon and some umeboshi plum vinegar!

Delicious, light and satisfying - when it comes to eating simple is always best!

Love and light,
Lauren xxx

Yoga - or will someone please look at me I am balancing on my head!

Finding yoga has probably been the most pivotal moment of my life thus far. I came into my practice through the incredible gift that is Eat. Pray. Love. by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have always been fiercely independent and the idea of going by myself to a yoga clinic one weekend to explore what changed Elizabeth Gilbert's life so much seemed like an adventure worth embarking on! At first I was quite frightened by the idea of balancing on my head or forearms, and doubted my ability to balance my entire body weight on my little hands then proceed to tip my body forward without face planting all the while breathing calmly and having a clear mind. Alas, practice makes perfect - and when I say perfect I mean today's best effort - and yoga has become a daily ritual in my life.

For me, yoga is the vehicle by which I am able to feel my place in the universe. It gives me a chance to connect with Mother Nature, my soul and my body.

My hero, my inspiration, my guide, my mentor and my saviour is a beautiful yogi called Kathryn Budig. I was lucky enough to attend a yoga workshop with Kathryn when she came to Sydney from her LA home last month, and learnt both the techniques of many commonly explored yoga poses but more than anything she taught me about gratitude. In our yoga practice, we must find a place where we are vulnerable, receptive and open to everything the universe intends for us to receive and dedicate our trials and tribulations to those who need it. Yoga is about finding our place in the universe, exploring our body and more importantly our soul.

This was my introduction to yoga, what is now an essential part of my daily existence, and I intend to use my blog to explore some of my musings about yoga and reflect on yoga experiences that I have and ways in which you can use yoga to benefit your life too.

"Wherever you are up to in your practice today, even if it is is less than yesterday or last week, is perfect. It is perfectly what you need today." - Kathryn Budig.

Love and light,
Lauren xxx
A Healing Light - it is found in each and every one of us.

Isaac Newton discovered that a spectrum of colours are needed to create a white light. In our lives, a spectrum of sources are needed to create a healing light.

Each individual needs a unique spectrum of colours to create their healing light, and during their life the colours they need may change - this is all part of the healing process.

For me, a healing light is created through daily rituals that nourish my spirit; yoga, organic foods, positive affirmations. Some days what I need is clearer than others, and that is all part of the journey - it is after all the journey that we are here to experience! In my blogs, I will document some ways that the healing light is created in my life - such as food recipes, yoga and lifestyle reflections and positive affirmations - and hope that it helps to inspire or guide your own unique journey in creating a healing light in your own life.

Love and light,
Lauren xxx