Inhale, exhale, breathe and relax… why you really need to start yoga

How often do you say you need a break, then end up doing things for other people or perhaps manage to get that sofa time but still answer emails on your phone?

Well, now is the time to ringfence your ‘me time’ and put you first.

With a little helping hand from One Yoga London, you can do just this as they vow to help you “inhale, exhale, breathe and relax”.

[Credit: One Yoga London]

By inviting you into their beautiful boutique studio in the heart of Hornsey, they promise to transform your scrambled work/life brain into one of peace and serenity.

Sounds heavenly.

The team do this through a variety of classes – including Pilates, Yoga Flow and Restorative Yoga – that look after your mind as well as your body.

[Credit: One Yoga London]

They also offer a meditative candlelit class that helps access deeper tissues by holding poses for longer and relaxing into them, which is the perfect practice for a good night’s sleep.

If it seems tempting but you don’t know your Rooster from your Warrior or your Lotus from your Tortoise, then don’t worry, total beginners are welcome.

Founded by Belle Amooty and Holly Park back in September 2015, these body-bending beauties strive to help you find the confidence you need to get to know your body.

And having created a charming space, with a focus on community to encourage connection between people, they pledge you will feel supported and nurtured to unwind.

[Credit: One Yoga London]

If you still have the yoga heebie-jeebies, why not try one of the hypnotic meditations?

These deliver the ultimate chillout experience, with 75-minutes of sound gongs, Himalayan bowls and other instruments played to restore balance, harmony and inner peace.

The power of this holistic process is said to be such a force that it has the capability to accelerate healing by clearing the mind as well as shifting physical traumas in the body.

Seems like we could all do with putting a sound bath top of our weekly to-do list.

To find your zen, click here: One Yoga London.

Pirates of Cornwall! Meet the couple who are changing our seas

When it comes to recycling, we do our bit by taking reusable bags to the supermarket, but often we leave the big stuff to ‘other people’.

These ‘other people’ just so happen to be a badass team, coined ‘the pirates of Cornwall’, and are taking matters into their own hands.

The ‘pirates’ are a crew of dedicated activists protecting the ocean by going on voyages from the tip of Cornwall to the Isle of Skye to manually collect plastic from the water.

They pride themselves on their ethos that “with any small action everybody can make a difference” and work tirelessly to clear the sea clogged with waste – not only for a prettier coastline but because it is killing wildlife and getting into our food chain and water supplies.

[Credit: Clean Ocean Sailing]

Known as Clean Ocean Sailing, they are a group of sailors, surfers, swimmers and divers who collaborate to reverse the impact of decades of overconsumption.

Buying the odd bottle of water or using plastic cutlery from the chippy may not seem that big a deal, but cumulatively 12.7m tonnes of waste is being dumped into the ocean each year.

While old school pirates would receive a bounty for capturing a criminal, these modern-day pirates consider their bounty to be the sea kayaks they create from melted down seized plastic.

These newly-crafted kayaks are then uses to go out and collect more rubbish!

[Credit: Clean Ocean Sailing]

Kickstarted by Steve Green and his partner Monika Hertlová in 2017, together with an army of volunteers, they have removed a staggering 250,000 pieces of plastic from the water.

With the help of their beloved Annette – a century old 66ft boat weighing 50 tonnes – they sail around European seas for day trips, weekends, or even weeks to host their clean-ups.

They also use smaller crafts, like their kayaks, to paddle around coastlines and visit tiny, inaccessible beaches where they collect rubbish to try and nurture Mother Nature.

Speaking about their mission, Steve is incredibly proud of how the project has evolved and is delighted to now have a rapid response unit in place.

[Credit: Clean Ocean Sailing]

Steve explained: “People send us a photo or location, and we have volunteers set up and ready to pick up any ‘ghost gear’, before it gets washed out to sea again on the next tide.”

He added: “We have found fish crates and fishing gear from South Africa, China, south and north America. It’s crazy.”

Chatting to Positive News, he credited his fellow Cornish residents for selflessly devoting their time to help, with some even gifting beer or groceries for their travels.

Steve said: “They aren’t particularly financially motivated. It’s an island attitude, we all lean on each other and look after each other. It is an ideal place for a testing ground for a circular economy.”

To jump aboard the crew, click here: Clean Ocean Sailing.

[Credit: Clean Ocean Sailing]

Blind world hip-hop champion’s moves will take your breath away

Seeing dancers pull off flips and freezes that can rival Olympic gymnasts is enough to leave you wondering, ‘How do they that?’

Yet throw Joe Picter into the mix, and your jaw will truly hit the floor.

For Joe, who just so happens to be a hip-hop world champion, is blind.

[Credit: Joe Picter]

The body-bending athlete is part of the Dark Angels squad, who are flexible geniuses that pogo through the air as if gravity doesn’t exist.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the Bristol-based troupe catapulted onto our screens during the second season of The Greatest Dancer, making it through to the final 10.

While the BBC show gave their profile a boost, with Oti Mabuse and Cheryl Cole fangirling them, it was their performance at the World Dance Championships 2019 that really cemented their status as Diversity rivals, taking home gold and silver trophies in the hip-hop categories.

[Credit: Joe Picter]

As a master of his art, it’s easy to get lost in the theatrics and excitement of the tumbling, while not even realising that Joe is partially sighted.

However, the Chippenham lad has such a severe impairment, that he is registered as blind.

Currently, Joe relies on a very costly prescription, yet while competing on The Greatest Dancer he did it without the use of his glasses – and all he could see was blurry colours.

One of his loyal friends is now busy fundraising, taking on a 10km open water swim in a bid raise £10,000 for what could be a life-changing eye operation.

Speaking about the challenge, Joe’s friend Ryan Boyd said: “Joe is a remarkable young man, with a huge career ahead of him and this operation could really change his life.

“To be a part of this and to support such a great, hard-working chap is an honour for me.”

Having kickstarted his hip-hop journey at the tender age of 10, before going on to compete around the world, we have no doubt this is only just the beginning of Joe’s rise to stardom.

For more mind-boggling moves, click here: Joe Picter.

How to stop being a people-pleaser and reclaim your boundaries

If you say ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’ or find your diary packed with too many chores because you’ve agreed to help when you don’t have time, you might have people-pleaser syndrome.

Initially, people-pleasing may seem like the nice or virtuous thing to do, but you risk major burnout by running yourself into an unhealthy state and leaving yourself frazzled.

One person who is all too familiar with this, is Sara Cardinale.

Sara says she often struggled to separate her energy from the energy of those around her.

[Credit: Bloom and Manifest]

Yet by taking a step back and recognising that her altruistic DNA belonged to the heart of an empath, she began exploring ways to use her innate kindness in more beneficial ways.

Speaking exclusively to InspoDaily, Sara opened up about her journey and what led to her founding self-help blog, Bloom and Manifest.

Sara said: “I had no idea about boundaries and how to use them to reclaim my power. I had no idea that I didn’t have to help other people process their emotions, or that it was an option to not wear the weight of the world on my shoulders.

“I see many empaths playing small and getting caught up on the label ‘empath’, thinking it means they will forever be a victim to the energy around them.”

She continued: “My aim is to transform that and empower empaths to activate their intuitive gifts and higher vision so they can truly enjoy a fully expanded and abundant life.

“Bloom and Manifest is a place where empaths, spiritual seekers, and soulful entrepreneurs can come to feel a sense of community and gain access to teachings their soul needs.”

[Credit: Bloom and Manifest]

Alongside her passion for humanity, Sara also loves tapping into her flair for writing, which she has been nurturing for years during her time as a travel blogger.

Now, she mishmashes her talents together, on a mission to connect women and flood them with self-esteem so they realise their capabilities of following their dreams.

Sara explained: “I want every empath, intuitive, and spiritual woman to feel she has the confidence and the tools to succeed in whatever her heart desires.

“After going through years of spiritual growth and awakening, I decided that I needed to share about my experience and offer guidance to those going through the same thing.”

She added: “I felt a pull to act as a guide for others, I attribute that to being a triple Aries and a projector in human design ­– leadership and guiding others are my thing.”

Human design falls under the astrology umbrella, offering a map of your unique genetic make-up with detailed information on both conscious and unconscious aspects of yourself.

Within that concept, there are different personality types, including ‘projectors’.

Projectors are able to see into the energy of others and experience people in unique ways, which allows them to be great leaders as they access wisdom from seeing their peers.

[Credit: Bloom and Manifest]

Sara continued: “The response has been incredible. I’ve connected with so many beautiful souls and feel like I have ignited my purpose in life. This is just the beginning.

“I want people to feel inspired, confident and aligned. I also want them to feel understood and like they are not alone.”

In addition to her blog – which is brimming with tips and tricks on manifesting, strengthening, and identity – Sara offers reiki, chakra readings and coaching.

The wellbeing guru has also set her sights on penning a book that she hopes will inspire others to begin their awakening journey and step into their empathic truth.

Sara concluded: “I identify as a healer and it brings me joy to help bring light energy into this world, but the difference is I am now conscious of my power and able to use energetic and physical boundaries to protect myself from doing this unconsciously 24/7.

“When my cup is full, I’m better able to serve others. And that’s what this is about.”

To build your boundaries, click here: Bloom and Manifest.

The ultimate staycation: Your summer playground has arrived

With the dodgy weather this summer, we’ve had a somewhat soggy road out of lockdown.

But, with the forecast set to shine next week and over bank holiday, it seems the sunny rays are finally set to cast their magic over the UK.

If you’re on the prowl for ways to make the most of it, then look no further.

[Credit: London Wonderground]

London Wonderground is your mecca for all things entertainment, from family shows to late night comedy alongside fairground rides and live music to get lost in.

As a taster of what to expect, you’ll discover 360 All Stars who perform crazy stunts from a team of breakdancers, BMX freestylers and beatboxers; as well as The Choir of Man who are the ultimate pub singalong crew with the finest male vocalists reinventing a catalogue of absolute bangers.

For something a little spicier, then Queenz: The Show with Balls might be up your street.

This dragtastic extravaganza promises a night of gender-bending, life-affirming fun and frolics with a bunch of boys who ‘dance like Britney and sing like Whitney’.

[Credit: London Wonderground]

There’s even a city beach too! So, while you won’t quite be dipping your toes into the Bournemouth coastline you will have a sprinkling of sand over your flip-flops.

Of course, no pleasure attraction would be complete without some of London’s finest street food and outdoor bars, including Venezuelan delights and traditional Neapolitan pizzas.

Having flung open their doors in July, London Wonderground will be going strong for another month until September 26. Better yet, it is totally free to enter.

[Credit: London Wonderground]

This said, if you’re keen to grab a seat for one of the shows, each one is priced individually and ranges from £12.50-£20 per ticket depending on what you see.

Established in 2000 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the organisers at Underbelly Ltd continued to create incredible events globally, from Blighty to Hong Kong.

Speaking about their mission, the crew said: “We love creating fantastic and unique pop-up events. We love entertaining. We love creating something for all ages and all tastes to enjoy.

“Most of all, we love live entertainment and events.”

To get your groove on, click here: London Wonderground.

Quit negative self-talk: Change yourself from inside out with reiki

We’ve all been there, lying awake at night questioning whether we’re good enough for our job, our partner, our kids, or even ourselves.

And it can be damn hard to stop that thought process when it feels relentless.

Yet thanks to reiki, pronounced ray-kee, you can take back control and silence negative self-talk that is holding back (or at least keeping you awake at night).

Stefanie Ruth, a reiki teacher, perhaps describes it best when she says the practice “pushes away the darkness and gives us the strength to put ourselves first and focus on healing”.

[Credit: Stefanie Ruth]

With its roots originating from Japan, the alternative medicine is also known as energy healing, whereby the practitioner uses a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing to transfer their energy through the palms to the patient in order to encourage change.

Speaking about her own journey with reiki, Stefanie credits it with transforming her life and overcoming past experiences that she had previously tried to bury inside.

Stefanie said: “I was always the type of person to dim the light on my own happiness. I would allow myself to shine a really bright light on anxiety, unworthiness, and self-doubt.

“I wouldn’t allow myself to sit in feelings of excitement or happiness. Looking back, I’m like, ‘Why? Why was I like that? Why was it always so easy to support others, praise others, give others second chances, and give others the love that I withheld from myself?’”

She added: “For those of you stuck in that same cycle, allow yourself to shine the light on your brightest parts. Dim the light on negative self-talk. Release that old energy. It’s never too late.”

[Credit: Stefanie Ruth]

Sounds pretty powerful, but can a hands-on treatment alone really fix this?

Stefanie says yes, and it’s all thanks to the energy passing from the practitioner to the client and focusing on flow to areas that are in need of healing – whether physical, emotional, or spiritual.

It is believed that the holistic practice activates the body’s subtle energy systems to remove blockages which can then trigger healing and significantly reduce stress.

Stefanie said: “Reiki is a type of energy. Everything is made of energy, including our body. Our body is designed to function at its best when our energy is centred and balanced.

“In times of stress, you may feel an imbalance in the form of irritability, anxiety, exhaustion, or simply feeling ‘out of sorts’.”

She explained that if left to accumulate, these feelings could lead to energetic blockages while reiki can assist in removing them to reinstate the body’s natural state of balance.

[Credit: Live and Breathe Reiki]

Despite the process being hands-on, it is not like a massage and instead you will feel more emotional cleansing than physical sensations.

This said, Stefanie says everyone is different and as the energy in your body shifts, some people may feel heat, warmth, or tingling sensations, while others may see colour or images.

Stefanie added: “Healing is hard. It takes bravery. It takes effort. It takes feeling emotions you would rather not feel. It takes facing fears you would rather not face. It takes patience.

“Suppressing things does not heal you. It becomes old junk that just takes up space in your body, mind and heart. We heal when we are ready, and when that old clutter is released, we open up that space and an opportunity to be filled with light and hope.”

Tbh, we could do with a declutter ourselves!

To flood yourself with light and hope, click here: Live and Breathe Reiki.

Struggle at work? Tackle mental health with incredible wellbeing tool  

In 2021, we’re pretty wise to the fact that we need to be talking to future generations about their mental health while they’re still in school.

But what about the older generations who didn’t get the chance to talk to their peers and teachers about it, the ones now sitting in offices struggling in silence?

To you, we say listen out for the Everymind klaxon!

This glimmer of hope amongst the darkness is not a therapist or antidepressant, but a wellbeing app for employees to eradicate the stigma that surrounds mental health in the workplace.

[Credit: Everymind]

By offering courses totally free of charge, Everymind strives to normalise the mental health conversation, raise awareness, and provide peer support.

While the brilliant initiative is making waves supporting businesses and HR departments, it was launched after the founder tragically lost his own father to suicide.

Speaking about his journey, Paul McGregor explained how he found the strength to keep his dad’s memory alive with a long-lasting legacy to create change.

[Credit: Paul McGregor]

Paul said: “My life was pretty carefree up until I was 18. I grew up in a loving household, I was pretty academic at school, and I played football nearly every minute I had spare. My life was following a pretty ‘normal’ path, but then my life was turned upside down.

“At 18, my dad who showed no signs of depression or previous struggles with mental health, my dad who had ‘everything’ on paper, attempted suicide.”

Paul continued: “His attempt came as a shock to us all, but he miraculously survived the accident and after a few weeks in hospital physically recovering, he was home. But even though at the time we thought we’d escaped a nightmare, things got worse.

“On March 4, 2009, just six months after his first sign of depression, my dad took his own life.”

[Credit: Everymind]

Now, Paul shares his experiences in a bid to promote early intervention and better support for those who need it, rather than reacting, often too late, once crisis hits.

He added: “I started Everymind and created this course as there still continues to be a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting our mental health. I believe we can all take some responsibility for looking after ourselves and our peers, and that is where you can help.”

By signing up to the app, you’ll get resources aplenty at your fingertips, from a monthly newsletter with ideas to make your workplace a mental health safe space; a free course designed and presented by Paul; and networking opportunities to connect with others.

To get involved, click here: Everymind.

For confidential advice, you can contact the Samaritans website, email jo@samaritans.org, and/or call 116 123 at any time of day or night.

[Credit: Everymind]

Summer is only just beginning as new music extravaganza hits UK

You may’ve been looking at the calendar lately wondering where the holidays went.

While some of you might welcome September with open arms, namely parents looking to send the kids back to school, some of you are likely dreading the end of sunshine.

But, thanks to a brand new star-studded event, your summer is only just arriving!

Say hello to Trentham Live 2021.

[Credit: Trentham Live]

This music extravaganza is swooping into the UK on September 3 for a three-day fiesta of live acts against the backdrop of stunning surroundings at Staffordshire’s Trentham Estate.

“We can’t wait to see our fans and perform live again after such a strange year.”

McFly

If you know your Obviously from your All About You, then the Friday headline act will need no introduction, with pop punk phenomenon McFly gracing the stage.

If you’re not quite down with Tom, Dougie, Harry and Danny belting out their bubble gum rock classics, then you can flirt with The Vamps set on Saturday instead.

There will be a taste of X Factor glory too, with Rak-Su also on the line-up with support act Amy Jo.

Or for a totally different flavour, you’ll find classical legend Alfie Boe ­– known for his powerhouse West End and Broadway vocals – showcasing his tenor tones on Sunday.

He will be sharing the spotlight with Britain’s Got Talent stars Collabro and Jai McDowall.

Chatting about the upcoming festival, Alastair Budd, senior director of the Trentham Estate, said he can’t wait to host “an unmissable weekend of amazing live music”.

Meanwhile, McFly can barely contain their excitement to hit the stage following a long and slow road out of lockdown where live music has been sorely missed.

[Credit: Trentham Live]

In a statement, they said: “We are delighted to be the first headliner of Trentham Live. We are told that musical greats such as The Rolling Stones and The Beatles played at The Trentham Estate in the past, so we’re in very good company.

“We can’t wait to see our fans and perform live for them again after such a strange year.”

To bop down the front row, click here: Trentham Live.

Pray for sunshine!

Your wellbeing made easy with this personal growth tool

The number one tip from therapists and wellness gurus alike is to jot your feelings down so that you can externalise what is going on internally.

Yet putting pen to paper to splurge your inner most thoughts is easier said than done; where do you start, what do you say, how do you say it?

Well, Prince Charming has arrived, only this time instead of a glass slipper he’s bringing you the Handbook for Today.

And he is actually a she, named Anna Tomkins.

[Credit: Handbook for Today]

Anna has created a journal that prompts you to write down thoughts, feelings and things that happened in your day so that you are guided rather than thrown in at the deep end.

Her handbook invites you to reflect on the whole spectrum of life, from the things that are going well to the areas that you might want to work on too.

Speaking about her product, Anna describes it as a journal designed to give you a “more positive outlook on your future through gratitude and mindfulness”.

[Credit: Handbook for Today]

Anna said: “It helps bring clarity around issues you may face and encourages you to tackle those issues, step by step, building more resilience as a result.

“It guides you in changing your life by changing perspective. By focusing on the good you can rewire your brain into positive thinking, no superpowers, money or time needed.”

So, what’s inside?!

[Credit: Handbook for Today]

Once you open the front cover, you will find a variety of tools to help you, beginning with a journaling page to highlight the ups and downs in your life that are on your mind.

There is also a list of positive habits to incorporate into your life, named ‘micro habits’, that promise to increase your overall happiness providing you practice them daily.

Then there is the weekly reflection, a space where you are encouraged to understand where you are at a certain point of time so that you can grow.

[Credit: Handbook for Today]

Anna explained: “The weekly reflection page enables you to assess your current mood, your learnings and the progress you have made so far.”

So, if you’re ready to get a positive mindset, tackle your worries, and achieve personal growth, then this wellbeing journal might just well be your BFF.

To grab your copy, click here: Handbook for Today.

Queen of curves brings plus-size beauty to Miss GB pageant

We talk about body positivity and diversity, yet still we judge our reflections and deem foods to be worthy of moral value if they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to eat.

Though every now and then, someone swoops in to challenge us.

This time, the spotlight is on Kat Henry who is proudly ripping up the rulebook to prove that there is space for plus-size bodies in mainstream media.

And it’s all thanks to falling in love with watching Miss Universe as a child.

[Credit: Kat Henry]

Catapulting into the future, Kat now finds herself in that pageant world and is making serious waves of her own. Namely, becoming a Miss Great Britain finalist. Yaas, queen.  

Speaking about her journey, Kat said it’s not only because of her passion for all things pageant, but she also wants to be a role model and show that the female body comes in many glorious sizes.

Kat said: “The typical Miss Great Britain contestant is tall, leggy, slim and fair or olive-skinned. You rarely see women of colour or plus-size women being crowned.

“I want to be a role model and break those stereotypes. I think that every single body requires representation within the media within the world.”

[Credit: Miss Great Britain]

Speaking to Metro, Kat explained that contests are not based on aesthetics alone, also taking into account confidence, style, demeanour, and if competitors lead by example.

As well as dismantling the idea that you have to look like Barbie to be a beauty queen, Kat works tirelessly to destroy the myth that you have to be petite to be fit – and when she’s not strutting her stuff on the catwalk, Kat is getting sweaty as a Zumba instructor.

If you’ve heard the word but aren’t quite sure what it is, Zumba classes combine Latin and international music to dance moves, so it feels more like hitting the club than exercise.

[Credit: Kat Henry]

It is especially popular because it offers a total body workout, meaning it combines all elements of fitness from cardio to muscle conditioning to flexibility.

Chatting about her appetite for health, the south London bopo activist says she strives to boost her strength and focus on mood without obsessing over what she weighs.

Kat explained: “There’s always going to be people who believe that plus-size women are not necessarily a healthy body type. I’ve never really let that bother me.”

[Credit: Kat Henry]

She added: “I’ve had the typical trolls on social media, but I sort of pride myself on being the sort of person that says: ‘Look, I’m not asking people to be like me but I’m asking people not to judge people. Let them enjoy their lives, and really just focus on being mentally healthy.’

“I’m a woman and I’ve been through my share of dieting drama and I’ve realised that there is more to life than worrying about the numbers on the scales.”

Amen, sister!

To shimmy to the Zumba magic, click here: Kat Henry.