Tuesday, 28 November 2017

NORTH KERALA THE HIDDEN JEWEL IN INDIA'S CROWN

BAREFOOT BEACHSIDE WINTER SUN YOGA 

Escape the winter blues & join us in a little slice of paradise!

Now booking for 2018 our dreamy winter sun yoga retreat on the deserted shores of the blood warm Arabian Sea


NOW BOOKING
 7 Nights 7 Days February 24th - March 3rd 2018 
from £1000 per person


Stay in beautiful Kerala bungalows overlooking the beach, swimming pool and set in tropical gardens 



Short film of our 2017 yoga retreat in North Kerala - see you on the beach!

WARMING WINTER EVENING DAL

We really love our annual winter yoga holidays in Southern India. With its wonderful climate, warm sunshine, sea breezes, deserted sandy beaches & blood warm Arabian Sea - its very hard not to! Nor do we ever  tire of this region's wonderfully flavoursome, nourishing food. Every year we return to the UK armed with lots of delicious new recipe ideas. However nothing is more comforting in the cold winter months than a good old fashioned no nonsense dal.

For details of our 2018 YOGA RETREAT on the deserted shores of NORTH KERALA, India's hidden gem & more Yogamumma Recipes visit www.elisawilliamsyoga.com




Ingredients


3 tbs high heat oil (eg coconut, olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp  black mustard seeds
1 chopped onion 
2-inches fresh ginger, peeled & minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander 
1/4tsp ground cayenne
1 tsp sea salt
1 tin chopped tomatoes, (drained)
125g (1 US cup) red split lentils, soaked in water
875ml (3.5 cups) water
280g spinach leaves, roughly chopped
2 jalapeƱos/red chillies chopped 

Fresh chopped coriander, naan bread or brown or whit basmati rice to serve

Method

In a large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Stand back as the oil may splatter, add the cumin & mustard seeds & cook until they start to crackle & change color. ( 10-15 seconds)
Add chopped onion, deseeded chopped red peppers/jalapenos, fresh ginger, garlic plus the turmeric, coriander, cayenne & sea salt. Stir 
Pour in drained chopped tomatoes & continue to cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes & they break down.
Stir in pre-soaked red lentil with 875ml water & bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a low boil & cook until lentils are soft enough to mash, (approx 30 minutes but maybe longer) Add more hot water as needed until they are thoroughly cooked. Use a spoon or a whisk to mash lentils
Add the spinach & cook until it starts to wilt, (5 minutes approx). 
Serve warm with whole grain naan, white or brown basmati rice & fresh chopped coriander

Monday, 6 November 2017

IMMUNE BOOSTING TIPS FOR WINTER



Now that Autumn has well & truly arrived it's time for us to take some cues from nature.
As nature prepares for the harsher climate & the dormant months ahead we too need
to get more rest. In winter it's important to get more sleep as this is the best way to boost
our immune system.

However some of us really struggle to get a good night's sleep. One way to compensate for
this is by practicing Yoga Nidra. This technique of Yogic Sleep is the state in between sleep
& consciousness. Just a 20 minute guided Yoga Nidra practice each afternoon, can
really help to boost energy levels & the immune system.

Your daily yoga and healing practices do just that. They heal your body as they relax your
nervous system. If you’re constantly in that ‘fight or flight’ state of adrenaline caused by so
much of modern life, you really will burn out too soon. Make sure you roll out your mat and
move, even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day. 

     
Make sure you keep up your '5 A Day'. It's more important than ever to include plenty of
fresh vegetables & fruit in our diet. Warming veggie packed stews, soups &curries
are perfect to boost the immune system. Baked apples, stewed fruits, smoothies &
rehydrated dried fruit & nut compotes are perfect on top of a warming porridge for
breakfast

Cut down on a heavy social schedule & enjoy more cosy evenings at home, reading,
doing something creative, cooking for friends. 
everything in moderation. 

For those that can, winter is the best time of year to go on a much needed yoga retreat. It will help to get through the winter to have somewhere warm & sunny to look forward to. I’m running a 7 night yoga retreat by the beach in North Kerala in late February which is one the most beautiful & unspoilt parts of Southern India. However if you can't afford the time or money for a full blown retreat I also have a number of one day yoga retreats scheduled for the winter months to help recharge the batteries.

Even though it's cold outside it's really important to dress up warmly & get outdoors. We run a walking group with a bunch of West London friends & take turns to plan a walk either in the countryside or even in some of the many fascinating or open spaces in London. Take a look at Transport for London's 'Capital Ring Walk' https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/walking/capital-ring  which sets out a series of walk right around the capital with the start and end points all easily accessible by the tube or London overground.

The winter months are a great time to spend happy times with friends &; family. A bit of laughter & banter help us all to lighten up, even on those darkest gloomiest days.

Keep warm, be happy, stay healthy. Find time to check out our upcoming yoga retreats; London classes by visiting www.elisawilliamsyoga.com



Monday, 31 July 2017

YOGA ASANA BY THE POOL

Summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to spend time outdoors, improving our health; wellbeing  and spend time becoming that little bit more self aware. Without the hustle and bustle of normal life we have more time to begin getting into the habit of a daily yoga practice. Even if it's only for 20 minutes why not roll out a mat or towel and nurture yourself!



For details of our upcoming yoga holidays, retreats & London yoga classes visit www.elisawilliamsyoga.com

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Retreat in Style on Kerala's Northern Coast



Whether you're looking for inner peace or just want to laze on some of India's best beaches, you can stay in style without breaking the bank on Kerala's beautiful coast

North of the town of Kannur, much of the Keralan coast is still very undeveloped by tourism. So there are glorious, empty beaches and quiet rivers and estuaries that seem a world away from the crowded backwaters of the more Catholic south.

The base for our winter yoga retreat is a boutique hotel complex of white Kerala style bungalows  with traditional wood-tiled roofs. The resort backs on to a long sweep of golden sands and is located just beyond the small town of Nileshwar. 
Fishermen launch their boats here, herons and egrets stalk the shallows. Paths run between the beach and the resort's gardens – complete with coconut palms and hammocks. This is a simple-yet-stylish place to stay, its 10 bungalows provide cool, generously sized bedrooms opening on to wide decks. You immediately sink into a feeling of peace here, lounging by the pool, taking Ayurvedic treatments in the small spa or pottering through the gardens to the sea.  The hotel's genial staff are delighted to arrange temple and festival visits, a rice-barge to cruise the tranquil northern waterways. 

Yoga takes place twice daily in our temporary yoga Shaka erected on the edge of the beach under the palms to enable us to enjoy the sea breezes and the sunsets.
The food is delicious, Southern Indian with plenty of fresh ingredients. An a la carte luntime menu features dishes for those who on occasion wish to indulge their western pallets. 
For details of our Winter 2018 yoga retreat in North Kerala which takes place from 24 Feb - 3 March please visit www.elisawilliamsyoga.com/yoga-in-kerala






Monday, 6 February 2017

WARMING SPANISH BEANS IN TOMATO SAUCE


 INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (pimenton dulce) - or hot paprika if you like it spicy
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 x 400ml tins butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 x 400ml tins plum tomatoes
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 large handfuls spinach, roughly chopped

To serve:
  • Fresh crusty Bread

  • INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry, stirring continuously, for 3-5 minutes until translucent but not browned. Add the garlic, paprika and bay leaves and fry for a further minute. Add the beans and tomatoes (plus chorizo, if using). Stir and break up the tomatoes a bit, then season with salt and pepper. Stir well and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, checking regularly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. As it finishes, stir the spinach through to wilt.
  2. Serve hot or cold, as tapas or a side dish, sprinkled with the fresh parsley.

Friday, 6 January 2017

NEW YEAR NEW YOU


The New Year is a very good time to take stock of ourselves - particularly those of us who suffer from seasonal depression and who struggle with the winter months. There are lots of ways that we can help ourselves through the weeks ahead. Here's a few suggestions you might like to try.


You are what you eat.  Snacking on raw veg, fruits, nuts, seeds and raisins will keep a sugar fix at bay.  Eat avocado's, leafy veg, salads, nuts, grains, Vitamin D, Iron supplements. Stock up with  healthy snacks and keep close by so you won't be  tempted to eat sugary junk foods when you need a boost of energy.

Make a shopping list and get stocked up with the right meal ingredients, prepare your lunch food box for the following day before you go to bed. If you’ve prepared well, you’re more likely to eat well.

Breathe deeply when you're tired or stressed. A few deep conscious breaths help to release tensions and calm the mind. Breathe in for the count of 4, exhale for 6.

Drink plenty of water - 6-8 glasses a day. Our bodies are made of over 80% water therefore replenishing is essential for good health.

Reduce your consumption of caffeine, alcohol and sugary foods and drink. Try drinking herbal teas instead or hot water and lemon.




Smile and relax and make a mental list of 6 things you have to be  grateful for about your life as it is right now. Treat yourself as you would your best friend,  with compassion, kindness and encouragement.

An unexpected act of kindness to a stranger can be uplifting for both you and them - so do something for someone else.

Exercise at least 2-3 times per week. Research has proven that maintaining a regular exercise routine helps beat depression, anxiety and low self esteem, increases life expectancy and combats health conditions and disease.

Make sure you get  out of the office and away from the computer at lunchtime. We need all the sunlight and fresh air we can get during shorter winter days. A brisk walk for 20 minutes will  increase your heart and metabolic rate; increased oxygen will stimulate your brain cells, keep your energy up during the afternoon.

Dry skin brushing - purchased at chemist or health shop. Start the day by using the brush against dry skin, with long sweeping motions. This increases circulation of blood, oxygen and lymph around the body which in turn aides release of stagnant energy, toxins and waste from the body. It feels great and acts as a fabulous morning wake up for the entire system.

Keep a journal, take up a hobby, spend time with people who encourage you.

Book a holiday! We have three fabulous yoga retreats in the sunshine lined up for 2017 in Kerala in India, Mykonos in Greece & Kaba, in Turkey and you don't have to be an experienced yogi to join us on any of them. www.elisawilliamsyoga.comwww.elisawilliamsyoga.com for details.

Get plenty of rest and sleep.

Take up yoga and and practice at least three times per week.

Whatever you do enjoy it and have fun!