WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

Commisions

We Need To Talk About The Full Moon?

Commisions, Lifestyle, Moon Time, Natural Living, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

Danielle Copperman, author of 'Well Being: Recipes and rituals to realign the body and mind', shares some insights into the affects of the full moon and practices to help you align with it.

The Moon and its various phases is something I have been interested in for a while now. Since first learning about how the cycles of the moon work and how they influence so many things - from animals and humans, to tides and climate - I have been curious to find out just how much the different phases can effect our day-to-day lives. There is a lot of information and many references to the moon these days, particularly to the full moon - which is mockingly blamed for manic mood swings and rolling bad luck. But just how much does the moon really influence us, how exactly does it influence us, and what can we do to really align with it in order to get the most from its powerful energy?

I believe that when we really tune in to what’s going on in the Universe, we can instantly begin to understand ourselves, our environment and others around us on a much deeper level. The phases of the moon is a good place to start, as it introduces you to the idea of energy, and how everything is interconnected. Everything is energy, and understanding how the energy of the universe influences our individual energies has been life-changing for me.

The moon holds a different energy at different times of the month. The moon’s cycle is around 28 days, and during this timeframe, it goes from new moon to waxing moon to full moon and then waning moon. When the moon is waxing, it is essentially growing, and as it grows, it brings an energy of abundance, meaning this time of the month is an ideal time for you to manifest what you want. When the moon is waning, it is essentially shrinking, and that is why this time of the month is an ideal time for letting go and cleansing; be this physically (like tidying and decluttering) or emotionally (like letting go of negative thought patterns or challenges in career or relationships, etc etc). And that’s why the full moon and the new moon are seen as such transformational times. They are the pinnacles of the moon's cycle and are therefore seen to be the most powerful. In this article I’m going to touch on the most popular and perhaps most intriguing; The Full Moon. More on the New Moon next time!

Full moons are powerful but not all are created equally. Usually, we will experience one full moon per month, however sometimes, if we’re lucky, we get two. You can get conventional full moons, but you can also get super moons, blood moons and several other more spectacular and energetically unique full moons. If you delve even deeper, you will learn that each full moon correlates with a certain star sign too, which looks at the full moon in relation to stars and other activity within the cosmos.

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What is a full moon?

The full moon is when the moon is at its fullest. It is essentially when the sun and moon are exactly aligned on opposite sides of Earth, and the entire face of the moon is illuminated by the sun. It is thought that this sense of illumination is present in aspects of our own lives, too, with certain things becoming more illuminated and amplified in the same way as the moon. For these reasons, the full moon is thought to be a time of change and transformation.

How does the full moon affect us?

Generally speaking, people tend to feel physical effects of the moon, as well as mental. Often, during or leading up to the full moon, it’s common to experience more bloating and a feeling of fullness, as well as severe fatigue. And on a more emotional level, the full moon is also thought to amplify mood swings, anxiety, more frequent low moods and sensitivity. It is also interesting to know that in our most natural and harmonious states (i.e. without drugs, alcohol, contraception, other medication and / or poor diet), women are supposed to menstruate either at the new moon or the full moon. It is not surprising, then, that if we are naturally intended to sync with nature, we must have some kind of intrinsic connection to the energies around us. When you also think about how the moon affects water and, more specifically, tides, it is interesting to notice that we humans are made up of around 75% water, and so, if the moon can dictate tides and influence the gravitational pull of our planet, it would make a lot of sense that it might also do the same to us on a smaller scale.

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How to adopt the energy of the full moon and how to handle whatever comes up:

The time leading up to and during the Full Moon is a highly energetic one. It is a time when lots is in flux; it may feel like there is a lot bubbling away and like something is building up and you may feel unsettled, uncertain and ungrounded, but not quite be able to put your finger on it. Whilst the new moon is a time of intention setting and cleansing, the full moon is a much more active time where things seem to be really in motion and up in the air. If you are able to tune into the energy, you can often ground and go with the flow, and be entirely in your power - mimicking the energy of the moon and in fact being super productive and inspired. However, if you are not aligned with its energies, you might experience a constant sense of feeling overwhelmed, confused and lacking direction.

1. My first piece of advice is to honour your energy. Sometimes at a full moon you may have bundles of energy, whilst others you may be super tired and lethargic. The key is to accept however you feel, and understand that it is not necessarily because of anything you have or haven’t done, but is in some cases out of your control. Surrendering like this feels amazing, and it really helps you to tune in to what you need. Sometimes you just need to pause. And at the other end of the spectrum, if you have high energy levels and feel highly motivated, it is also important sometimes to slow down, and not to jump into any rash decisions or make any major changes. Whilst this time can be incredibly inspiring, it is sometimes still best to be open to what comes up, analyse it for a while, and not necessarily act on in straight away.

2. My second piece of advice is to start to take note of when the full moon is approaching. I would suggest downloading one of many free apps, or investing in a moon calendar, to ensure you can schedule in certain things around the full moon (such as seeing friends, a massage, or just doing nothing) and avoid certain things (such as intense exercise, important meetings or self-set deadlines). By doing this you can be not only more aware but also more prepared.

3. Thirdly, take it easy and don’t do too much. It is not just one day that the full moon affects us, unfortunately, but it is often just as difficult or emotional a time in the lead up to the full moon. My advice is to just keep aware of how you are feeling, and take it easy. Don’t try to do too much, instead, turn inwards and dig deep to discover what’s really going on, why you are experiencing certain thoughts or moods, and take time to be grateful for what you’ve got. Having a grateful attitude will attract more experiences and opportunities of the same vibrational frequency. This may sound a bit ‘out there’, but the more positively and abundantly you think, the more of the same you will attract, according to the unwritten law’s of the universe. So, take it easy, take time to take stock, and think positively.

4. Finally, a few tips on making the most of the full moon energy. How should you utilise this powerful time and what can help you in staying grounded whilst manifesting efficiently? For me, it is about taking time to pause and ask yourself a few meaningful questions. How are you feeling, physically and mentally? How is your career? How are your relationships? How is your fitness? Delve deep and try to find the root of any troubling thoughts or emotions, then try to set them right, or do something to change them. To do this, you might do yoga or try meditation, or even sound healing if you don’t have a independent meditation practice. Another thing you can try, to really tune in, is going for a walk, alone in silence or with someone else. Being in nature is incredibly powerful, always, and especially at this time of the month. I often take a cup of tea and walk around my neighbourhood with one of my friends when night has fallen and the moon is bright. Even just gazing at the night sky is an amazing ritual for instantly feeling grounded.

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Once grounded, it can also be useful to write things down or journal. You might want to write about how you feel or write answers to the questions you’ve asked yourself, or you might want to write down things you want to manifest or goals you may have had, or just random bits of inspiration that may have surfaced. I always find it useful to brainstorm at this time of the month, as i often feel quite unsettled and unfocussed. It works for me to brainstorm what i really want to be focusing on, and sometimes this means letting go of certain things or just saving them for another time.

Another way to really nourish and ground at this time, too, is to eat a really natural meal, either during the day of the full moon or the evening of, depending on the time. I like to choose fresh, unprocessed ingredients, such as vegetables and grains, and in the summer I'll keep these raw and in the winter, i'll turn them into some kind of soup, curry or stew, for a more deeply nourishing, comforting and grounding meal.

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So, a lot of information to digest, I know, but in a nutshell, if nothing else, the full moon should act as a reminder for you to slow down a bit and turn inwards; to recalibrate, take stock and to get focused on where you are and where you want to get to. It is a very personal time and can vary from person to person, from month to month, but I would strongly recommend getting to know the phases of the moon in order to get to know yourself a little more, to ultimately live a more informed and empowered life. Honour your energy, and if you're feeling active, get manifesting, and if you're feeling fatigued, indulge and take care of yourself! If nothing else, please go and gaze out at the moon and stars tonight; it will change your mood instantly!

Sustainable Swaps to Live More Consciously ~ for The Welle Co

Commisions, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Sustainability, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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KNOWING EXACTLY WHICH EVERYDAY ITEMS YOU CAN SWAP, AND WHAT FOR, GOES A LONG WAY TOWARDS LIVING A HEALTHIER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFE. DANIELLE COPPERMAN EXPLAINS WHY.

Sustainability is a hot topic right now. It’s no secret that human behaviour is taking its toll on the earth and people can no longer deny that the way we act (and more specifically, consume) is unsustainable.

Modern life has progressed so much and whilst we now have more than ever, we also seem to want more than ever, too. We crave more and more possessions, newer and newer things… when in actuality, basic human needs are really very little. As a result of recent warnings, such as the amount of plastic in the ocean equating to more than the amount of fish come 2050 (yikes!), I’m on an ongoing journey of overhauling my lifestyle to make it more sustainable.

I know first-hand that it can seem quite intimidating to know where to start when it comes to making impactful changes. But there are so many things you can do, some large and some small, so I’ve outlined a few of my favourite ‘harmful for helpful’ sustainable swaps below that will help you to reduce your consumption and in turn reduce waste, meaning you will have a much lighter impact on the planet this year.

SAY NO TO…

Single use straws

Say NO to plastic straws! If you absolutely need to use a straw, opt for a paper or bamboo straw or a reusable straw made from glass, silicone, recycled (and reusable) plastic or wood. Luckily, many cafés and restaurants are now ditching the disposable straws for more sustainable options, so this swap is getting easier and easier to incorporate into your lifestyle. You could also buy your own and keep one in your bag ICOE.

Takeaway coffee cups

As much as we all love our coffee, the abundance of takeaway cups being tossed into landfill is absolutely killing the planet. Instead of using takeaway cups, invest in a good reusable option such as a Keep Cup, or a reusable glass, plastic or bamboo takeaway-style cup or flask. Your favourite coffee shop will gladly fill it for you.

Disposable cutlery

Say no to disposable, single-use plastic cutlery from cafés. Instead, invest in reusable bamboo cutlery – this is great because you can keep it in your bag at all times. Alternatively, just keep your standard metal cutlery in your bag (however in my opinion they’re a little heavier, louder and less convenient). This set is super handy and comes complete with straws, straw cleaners and a fabric wrap to keep them together and clean.

Standard cotton buds

Swap your standard, plastic stick cotton buds in favour of those made from bamboo, wood or paper, and ideally with organic cotton. As a bonus, the organic cotton is better for your ears as it contains less harmful dyes than the cotton from a standard cotton bud.

Disposable make up removal pads

Swap disposable, single-use cotton wool pads for reusable versions. You can find reusable cotton rounds, or bamboo options, or even make your own from old fabric. Alternatively, use a muslin cloth or flannel to remove make up (instead of going through loads of cotton pads which take a long time to biodegrade and can harm the environment in doing so). Also, buy in bulk, to save of shipping packaging and transportation miles.

Plastic toothbrushes

Swap your plastic toothbrushes for bamboo ones. If you have an electric brush that lasts for longer, don’t worry too much… but for those of you going through a new plastic toothbrush every month or so, swap to bamboo! You’ll be taking care of your teeth and the environment.

Harmful beauty products

Take a look into your make up bag… how many of your products use plastics, parabens, chemicals and other fillers that are harmful for your skin? Those hidden nasties not only clog your pores but also seriously harm the environment (by circulating in our water supplies). Instead, opt for natural beauty products and keep an eye out for brands with recyclable, biodegradable or refillable packaging.

Fast fashion

We’re all guilty of impulsively spending on a trend that we just had to have… but we could all stand to stop buying so much! Next time you fancy a shopping spree, why not head to a charity, thrift or vintage store or a flea market? You’ll find something more unique whilst also finding a new home for something that could otherwise end up in landfill.

Plastic shopping bags

Not only are plastic shopping bags terrible for our planet and wildlife, they’re relatively flimsy, too… so instead, use reusable tote bags or other fabric bags when shopping. You’ll feel good about making a small swap that helps the planet and you’ll fit more in your bags, too.

Bottled water­

Bottled water costs you a pretty penny and contributes greatly to landfill, with as much as 91% of plastic bottles not recycled. Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle. Reusable bottles also come with great features that disposable bottles can’t complete with (such as fruit infusers, thermos protection and filtration), so shop around and find a bottle that fits your needs.

Supermarket shelf sanitary products

For the women out there, you should really rethink your period management and collection methods. Tampons can be dangerous (TSS, anyone?) and surprisingly, even organic tampons are quite unnatural. During menstruation, your body is detoxing itself so it’s really important to ‘let it out’, so to speak. Moon Cups are the most eco-friendly form of feminine care, and they’re cheaper too! The average period cup can last you up to a decade and has the benefit of being leak-proof (bonus!), so­­­ you won’t have to stock up on sanitary supplies every month.

Simple Lifestyle Hacks for Surviving the Winter ~ for The Welle Co

Commisions, Beauty, Autumn, Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Winter, Wellbeingdanielle copperman2 Comments
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WITH WINTER IN FULL SWING, THE DAYS ARE SHORTER, DARKER AND HARSHER, YET OFTEN WE FORGET TO TAKE THE TIME TO ADAPT OUR LIFESTYLES IN ORDER TO SURVIVE THEM. LONDON-BASED NUTRITIONIST DANIELLE COPPERMAN SHOWS US HOW.

Whilst we take care to brace ourselves for the freezing conditions (think more layers, bigger boots and larger coats), too often we forget to consider the areas of our lives impacted by the cooler weather other than our wardrobes. Instead, we carry on our lives as much as normal, trying to power through and forcing ourselves to continue our usual lifestyles whilst enduring winter’s side effects (such as low energy, low moods, low motivation, skin issues and much more).

For me personally, when the seasons change (and especially during the shift from summer to autumn/winter), I try to make small changes to all areas of my life to help me continue to thrive.

I find that I naturally begin to crave more seasonal foods (which I believe, if we are tuned in to listen to our bodies, is in our innate nature) and honour these cravings;

  • Swap out a few of my daily beauty products

  • Incorporate new rituals such as self-massage and natural movement (even if exercise is the last thing that I feel like doing!)

  • Make space for little moments to pause, take a breather and tune in to acknowledge and honour my energy at least once or twice a week – especially if there’s a lot going on in my life socially or with work. Sometimes, it’s important to learn how to say ‘no’ and the winter is a wonderful excuse for this, so use it!

These little life hacks make a big difference in my life.

Struggling to find the mojo to make it through to the summer with as much energy, inspiration, motivation and positivity as possible?

Try these life hacks and watch your mood improve (you’ll also benefit from supported physiological functions, a thriving immune system and vibrant, hydrated skin – bonus!)

PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOUR CRAVINGS ARE TELLING YOU

We have cravings for a reason and our cravings speak to changes in our activity level, physiological responses and environments.

We crave carbs when we’ve worked out or run or walked for miles. We crave sugar if our blood sugar levels are dipping too low. We crave salt if our blood sugar levels are too high. 

Similarly, at different times of the year and in different climates, we need different things from our food, and nature knows that. It prepares itself for the ingredients that our bodies really need to flourish, and in winter, these foods are usually ones that keep our immune systems strong and keep our energy levels high. They’re also usually warming and grounding.

At the beginning of the year, my seasonal cravings usually include Brussels sprouts, apples, cabbage, chestnuts, mushrooms, dark leafy greens, earthy roots (like carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and beets), blood oranges and grains (like brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat).

I tend to prepare more cooked meals during these colder months as they are easier on our digestion, warm us internally and support circulation. I also try to incorporate apples or citrus fruits into most of my days too, for their abundance of vitamins to protect against viruses.

I also ramp up my adaptogen game during the colder months and add in some new ingredients to replace those I need during the summertime. Adaptogens, herbs and spices play a major part in my daily diet and I find the easiest way to use them is in smoothies or stirred through hot or cold water or plant-based milks. During the winter, I love the SUPER ELIXIR with cacao, mucuna puriens, ashwaganda, cordyceps, reishi, shilajit and maca that really do wonders to keep my energy levels and moods high (as well as keeping those dreaded winter illnesses at bay).

NOURISH YOUR SKIN

My skin always suffers during this time of year and becomes incredibly dry, fragile and sensitive, so I always make sure to switch my lighter and usually water-based summertime products with denser and oil-based products. I also exfoliate less (and use more gentle products when I do) and cleanse as usual. 

Once a month, I also do a steam with essential oils and throughout the season, I use all-natural, organic products made with whole ingredients (without nasty additives or chemicals) and most importantly, lots of natural oils (such as coconut, almond, shea, cacao and essential oils).

If you suffer from dry skin, I’d highly recommend using more oil-based products - or even just pure carrier oils - as they are gentler on the skin whilst providing rehydration and bringing balance back to your complexion. Many people falsely believe that oils will make their skin greasier and blemish prone, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In addition to being nourishing, these natural oils are often antibacterial and antiviral too and as such, keep skin clean.

STEP UP YOUR DAILY MOVEMENT

During the winter, one of the most important rituals to incorporate into your routine (at least a few times a week, if not daily!) is movement. It’s so important to keep things moving and keep your circulation in check with supported blood flow and oxygen intake. If you can’t bring yourself to work out or if it’s just too cold for a run, try to walk places as much as you can. Walking is enough to get your heart rate up so it’s a great option for those who struggle with finding the time or motivation for more strenuous activity during winter.  

It’s super important to find ways to move that are still gentle and not too stress-inducing, as this is a time when most other animals are hibernating… and to some extent, we should be too. But it’s important for us, as we continue to go about modern life and our daily responsibilities, to keep things moving. You’ll feel better mentally and physically for it!

SET YOUR INTENTIONS

Other rituals I like to practice during the winter and particularly at the beginning of the year in January include setting intentions and journaling. This really helps me to reflect on my achievements from the year, focus on what I have and note what I am grateful for – as well as helping me map out my goals for the year ahead.

I also like to use tarot cards or oracle cards if I’m feeling particularly lost, stuck or unmotivated in life. These cards can help to give you a sign, a message or just a nudge in the right direction, and you don’t have to be a pro tarot reader to use them. It works by simply putting your energy into the deck of cards and asking them questions on things you want to know or need some clarity or guidance on. I love this practice and even if it seems a bit ‘woo woo’, if nothing else it helps you to become present and grounded and always gives positive and inspiring information.

BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH THE COLD

This one’s going to hurt, but it’s actually really good for us - mentally and physically - to be exposed to the cold… not for a long time, perhaps, but for short intervals.

That’s why during this time of year, I try to take interval showers a few times a month, which means standing under cold water for 1 minute then returning it to warm water and repeating a few times. It’s like cryotherapy in your own home.

On the other end of the spectrum, it is of course super beneficial to be warm too, and so I’d suggest saunas or steam rooms to be incorporated into your rituals, at least once a month if you can.

When I’m in Sweden visiting my boyfriend, there are places you can go to jump naked into an iced-over lake, and then run quickly (with a robe of course) into a sauna nearby. It’s so invigorating, revitalising and energising and is a wonderful way to move energy, shift blockages and keep your metabolism active.

Danielle Copperman is a qualified nutritionist, food writer and chef based in London. She is also the founder of QNOLA. You can also find Danielle’s book, Well Being, on Amazon.

This Simple (And Cheap) Hack Will Give Your Beauty Routine An Instant Eco-Upgrade

Anytime, Beauty, Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Sustainability, Commisionsdanielle coppermanComment

The U.N. warned us: We have 12 years before the damage we've done to the Earth becomes irreversible. Instead of letting reports like this paralyze us, let's use them to empower us. The experts are saying it's going to take a mix of large-scale change AND individual action to save our planet—and we want to help you do what you can. Consider our new series your no-excuses guide to cleaning up your act, one step at a time. Today, we're sharing an eco-friendly hack that will clean up your beauty routine.

When it comes to eco-friendly living, I like to think I'm on top of my game. Well, as much as one can be in this day in age.

I made my first step into a more sustainable lifestyle when I worked as a model. Having a behind-the-scenes look into the fashion industry inspired me to make more conscious decisions about my own wardrobe: buy less, recycle more, and support brands championing natural fabrics. Soon enough, I was spending more time browsing secondhand shops and vintage markets than high-end stores—and it felt good. I was excited to start becoming more mindful in other parts of my life too, and my beauty routine soon took centre stage.

The problem: Some beauty tools aren't great for us—or the planet.

I probably don't need to tell you that the green beauty industry is booming. In my opinion, it's great news: Natural products just feel better on my skin, and they also tend to be healthier for the planet since they are free of ingredients like parabens, paraffins, and other artificial compounds that are resource-intensive to manufacture. A lot of them also come in more sustainable packaging, be it recyclable, refillable, or biodegradable.

All of this is great, but I recognise that it's unrealistic to ask people to overhaul their entire beauty regimen in one go. However, even if the average person can't afford to switch over to green products overnight—they CAN easily update some of the tools in their kit.

Over the years, I've made some super simple and economical swaps in my vanity (think: bamboo toothbrushes for plastic ones and refillable floss containers), but finding an alternative for the masses and masses of cotton pads I use to remove makeup is definitely the one that brings me the most pride.

There are a few problems with standard cotton balls or pads: They can't be reused, and they don't biodegrade quickly. Cotton also requires a lot of water and heavy doses of pesticides and insecticides to grow. Cotton pads are often bleached, too, making them more harmful for our skin and more dangerous to the surrounding environment. When you consider that many of us use at least one of these suckers every single day, this ain't good.

The "one small thing" solution: Ditch your cotton balls or makeup rounds for a reusable option.

I've managed to ditch disposable cotton rounds for a reusable alternative that is kinder to the planet, gentler on my skin, and super absorbent. Win, win, win!

These days, it's pretty easy to find a pack of reusable cotton pads made using 100 percent cotton, fleece, or bamboo online. They often come in the same shapes and sizes as standard cotton pads—the only difference is you can still get more than one use out of them. I usually use the same one about three or four times during the week. Then I simply add it to the rest of my laundry. Most shop-bought reusable cotton pads come in packs of five-plus, meaning you can continue to use fresh ones while the old ones are in the wash.

My Favourite options are these, these, these, these and these. Some come in quite large pack sizes, but share them out with friends or family if you don’t think you’ll get through them all yourself. The more people making small sustainable changes the better!

Keep in mind: Cotton pads are not always guaranteed to be 100 percent cotton and sometimes contain synthetics like rayon or viscose. Read your labels carefully!

If you don't want to shell out the cash for these (though they are cheap!), you can simply use a muslin cloth the same way you would a cotton pad, focusing on one corner of it at a time and rinsing with hot water between uses. When it's time for a refresh, simply add it to the rest of your laundry. You can also make these yourself from old clothes or scrap fabrics.

Even if you don't use cotton rounds to remove makeup, there's bound to be part of your beauty routine that adds up to a lot of trash. Identify it, then see what you can do to cut back.

With all the information out there about how to make eco-friendly changes urgently, it can be intimidating to know where to start. The good news is, there are an infinite amount of tweaks each and every one of us can make that will ladder up to larger change. And these changes can be as small as a cotton ball.

Read the full article here.

How to Self Massage ~ For Ecoage

Commisions, Anytime, Beauty, Natural Living, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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Massage shouldn’t be a luxury confined to the spa…

Having a massage is commonly seen to be an indulgent act of self-care; an expensive and quite frankly ‘extra’ luxury that only a fraction of us has the time and money to enjoy. It is very rarely seen as a necessary part of our wellbeing, and especially not a priority in our everyday rituals.

However, since studying Shiatsu and holistic massage last year, I became so interested in the benefits that massage has on both our bodies and minds, and how it can be used not only for relaxation but in many cases to prevent and/or to heal all kinds of physical and mental malfunctions.

When you think of massage, likely an image of a peaceful spa springs to mind, and you associate it with feeling instantly relaxed and calm. That, or it’s an unimpressive setting, maybe even a pop-up massage table in your own home, and a deep-tissue sports-style massage that leaves you grinding your teeth and in more pain than when it began. Either way, aside from it being used for pure relaxation or to reduce physical tension, there are so many other benefits of massage and issues it can ease.

Massage, of course, is relaxing, which makes it a powerful ritual to reduce stress, anxiety and even depression. Also, given the purest oils are used, it can help to make skin softer and more hydrated, and can even be used to soothe and heal irritations or imbalances. Massage can also be incredibly energising, which may seem unlikely when you think of how relaxing they can be (I almost always fall into a deep sleep during mine). But given the right techniques are used, massage can really enliven and invigorate the body and mind, and help enhance energy levels. On the contrary, it can also aid sleep and improve sleeping patterns. But perhaps one of my favourite benefits of massage is how it contributes to internal processes such as circulation, lymphatic drainage and digestion. It can help encourage circulation, reduce toxins, shift stagnant energy and diffuse internal blockages, and even improve digestive issues such as IBS, indigestion, bloating, constipation and more. And one last thing, if you think of the body in terms of energy flow and its meridians, massage used to reduce physical tension can help to redirect the energy flow of the body and mind, having major affects on the mental and emotional, reaching them through the physical and enhancing the connection and communication between the two.

Granted, this information is all well and good but it still doesn’t make going for a massage any more accessible for you, right? Well, the good news is, you can still reap the benefits of massage by doing it on yourself. Or, better yet, getting a partner or friend to help you out once in a while. Make it a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ kind of scenario? However you choose to do it, dissolve accumulated stress and toxins within the body and mind and enhance your mental and physical performance with a daily, or at least weekly, doses of massage. You can do a full body massage using your hands, with or without oil, improvising as you go, or if you need a little more guidance and inspiration, read on for massage sequences for specific areas of the body.

1. Neck and shoulders

These exercises are great for people who are especially stressed and who hold a lot of physical tension in their neck, shoulders and back. It is great for those hunched over desks all day too, and can even be done at your desk during the day. If you want to make it more of a ritual, use a little oil and take more time over this sequence at home after a long day. This sequence is also calming and relaxing as just the act of focussing solely on this massage can help activate the parasympathetic part of the brain, slowing busy thoughts and becoming a kind of gentle meditation.

How to:

Use the thin edge of your hand and in saw-like motions, gently hack at the neck, focussing on the trapezius muscle - the large muscle that holds up the neck and runs over the shoulders and shoulder blades and even around the upper back. Tilt your head to the left, first, and work on the right side of the neck, then repeat on the other side.

After you have done this ‘chopping’ motion, make a fist and gently use your knuckle to work around the shoulder. Have your right arm hanging loose and limp, and using your left knuckle, work in a sort of Mexican wave motion, moving the knuckles in a flowing motion over and around the shoulder. Then, release your fist and simply use your finger tips and predominantly your thumb to work more deeply into the shoulder area. Repeat on the other shoulder.

2. Face and head

These exercises are incredibly energising for both the body and mind, but are simultaneously calming. Working to energise the face and head increases alertness and can enhance focus and concentration, which makes these exercises perfect at the start of the day.

How to:
Using the fingertips of both hands, start by gently tapping them over the forehead and temples. Move the hands across the forehead and the temples, back and forth a few times. You can use as much or as little force as feels good. Gradually work your way in the same manner up the sides of the head to the top of the head, and move around the entire top, back and sides of the head a few times. Finish by bringing the fingertips forward again to the forehead area.

Next, using your middle three fingers, smooth the eyebrow areas from the centre of the face where they begin, out to the edges. Then get your thumb involved, smoothing it under the eyebrows as the fingers remain on the top of the eyebrows or just away from the face. Next, use the fingertips under the eyebrows on the upper eyelid bone to smooth and massage. I often get puffy here after sleeping so this is a great exercise if you experience the same.

Next, bring the fingertips once more to the temple and press with some force, massaging in a circular motion. Then bring the fingertips to the cheeks and cheekbones. Start by tapping the cheekbones with the fingertips, back and forth from the outer edges of the face towards the nose. Then massage the cheek area using circular motions. You can also smooth the area (this works best if using a light oil), starting at the edges of the nose and smoothing the cheeks a few times, out towards the edges of the face. You should work on the top area, the main middle area and the underneath of the cheekbones. Finish at the edges of the face, towards the ears, and using your index finger, press gently a few times into the bone that joins the cheeks and the upper jaw bone.

Then, work on the jaw area. From the cheek and jaw bone join, drag the fingertips down the sides of the jaw to the bottom join, where you back teeth meet. With you middle three fingers on the bottom jaw bone, had the thumb gently gripping underneath the jaw bone, and work in circular motions to move from the edges of the jaw in towards the chin. Repeat a few times and alternate between using circular motions and just smoothing in one swift movement.

Finally, use the fingertips to move above the jaw into the main fleshy cheek area, over the teeth and around the mouth. Work in circular motions or however feels good to massage into the muscles of the cheeks, and do the same around the area above the upper lip and below the lower lip.

Finish by working around the nose, smoothing up and down the sides of the nose and pressing with your index finger into the corners of the nose. Smooth from the nose slightly out towards the cheeks. This is especially good for sinus issues and to improve breathing .

Finish by using the palms of the hands to rub over the entire face, pulling and stretching however feels good or just lightly brushing over the face to complete the ritual.

*You could also try using traditional massage tools for face massage, such as a marble gua sha, a jade roller or other wooden or stone tools

3. Feet

We demand a lot from our feet to support us, perhaps more than any other body part, yet we rarely consider taking extra special care of them. The following massage technique helps to invigorate the flow of energy and relieve tension within the feet. Through working on the major muscles and pressure points (and meridians) in the feet we can aid many other organs and ailments in the body too, including aches, digestion and inflammation. These exercises are great towards the end of the day, and can also encourage lymphatic drainage, meaning diffusing toxins and waste matter. 

Read the full article here, and find out more about self-massage along with more rituals in my book, Well Being.

How to Boost Your Immunity This Fall ~ for Glasshouse Journal

Commisions, Winter, Wellbeing, Rituals, Natural Living, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment
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Earlier this winter, I shared my winter wellness tips with Glasshouse Salon - one of my favourite natural / organic hairdressers and beauty salon. Find out how I keep well during the colder, darker months, below.

What do you do during the colder months to boost your immune system? Do you incorporate different things that you might not use during the spring/summer?

Yes, totally. Naturally, my body craves different kinds of foods this time of year. I never used to pay much attention to it but as I become more aware of locally seasonal foods, its super interesting to notice how my preferences adapt. I don't know if its tradition and comfort as the temperatures drop, but i start to crave more root vegetables, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, spices, curries, soups and broths, as well as tea on tap. So in that sense, i incorporate different ingredients into my diet and cook very different (more hearty and grounding, but also energising) meals. I also take more supplements (like vitamin D, 5 HTP, multivitamins, omega fish oils, zinc, copper, probiotics - depending on how I'm feeling) to support my body's natural immune response. And i continue to drink lots of liquids - lemon and ginger, water, charcoal in water, spirulina in water, greens powders and more. I think the more antioxidants the better. It's also useful to know that sometimes, depending on the type of illness (cold/flu or sore throat or headache) will depend on which remedies work for you. Last christmas my sisters and I were all ill with sore throats (it often happens when we fully surrender and relax and our bodies just shut down!), and we were chugging ginger tea like there was no tomorrow. but it was actually aggravating our throats more. So don't just follow what you read. Do some research and use more gentle herbs, rituals and rest whenever you feel the onset of any ailment.

In terms of beauty, I change up my routine slightly as things like colder, drier weather, heating, wearing layers and more viruses in the air tend to aggravate it. I stick to the same fundamentals mostly, as i find my skin gets confused if i change my products too often - and if your regular products are natural and pure enough, they should have a variety of adaptable properties and functions that can provide for all kinds of situations, skin-types and seasons. But I will stop cleansing my face too much with water-based products (as they are more drying), and I tend to use much genteel exfoliation processes, and much fewer masks (changing to sheet masks which I find more hydrating and moisturising). I like to let the natural oils of my face stay as balanced as possible and so i try not to over-wash. I think we over-wash so much these days, that our skins normal and natural PH, oil levels and immunity gets out of whack. If you wash your face less I find the skin is trained and more prepared to cope with bacteria and dirt, as the oils of the skin are our natural protection against these things. It's only really when you've been wearing make up that you need to cleanse thoroughly. A parting note would be not to be scared or sceptical of oils, as i think many people assume they will make the skin oilier. i wear an oil to bed almost every night, and as long as your diet is in check and you are drinking plenty of water, you won't find that natural oils contribute to blemishes or clogged pores like you think they will. what clogs pores is dirt, not powerful and functional ingredients from the earth. Oils are full of essential fats (for cell growth, elasticity and renewal), as well as antioxidants and are antiviral, antibacterial and much more. I use oils as my body moisturiser too, and dry brush to encourage circulation, lymphatic drainage and to remove dead skin.

Rituals I use to elevate my immune system include yoga, movement and pranayama. Pranayama can be really cleansing for the organs and also ensure that breathing is regulated and youre sending enough oxygen around the body for vital functions. I also find movement is vital in order to keep the body feeling alive and active. I use meditation and pranayama to enhance my energy levels this time of year too, as well as yoga and other exercise. I do tapping and shaking (both rituals from my book, Well Being) in the mornings to encourage circulation, to reduce muscle tension and to warm up the body. Hot baths are great when it gets colder, as they regulate temperature. Better more, use a potent mineral-based bath soak to restore essential vitamins and hydrate. I also turn to massage more in the colder months, as the drop in temperature can lead to aching or tight joints, muscle tension and poor circulation. I have the worst circulation and am a cold person most of the year, so in the winter i get really cold hands and feet and my fingers occasionally go completely numb and lose their colour. I use oils on my body to give myself regular massages (especially on my hands, legs and face), to encourage circulation and lymphatic drainage.

I truly believe that illnesses are an indication of a much deeper emotional / mental / energetic / chakral issue. There is so much to learn in this area and it sounds pretty woo woo but it makes perfect sense to me. When I'm anxious or stressed, I always reach burnout and my body just shuts down to show me that i'm trying to make it operate at a pace that isn't normal, and to really force me to stop. When i recently felt super low-confidence, fearful and a little uncertain, I had a sore throat and my chest was tighter than ever. I went to an energy healer and she told me sore throat was associated with not speaking your truth and intense worry. And in the past I have had migraines when i've been too in my own head with thoughts and not living in the present moment. The body is so clever, so if you do feel something coming on, take time to pause and really tune in. Then the real healing can begin. It may not always be something that can be healed with food, supplements or rituals. Although, often at this time of year, illnesses are virus or bacteria based (especially in over-crowded cities), so sometimes its unavoidable and nothing personal at all! Just be aware and then you'll find what you need.

Inside My Apartment & My Sustainable Wardrobe ~ With What's Your Legacy

Beauty, Business Stories, Essentials, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Natural Living, Style, Sustainability, Video, Commisionsdanielle copperman1 Comment

Last month, I welcomed What’s Your Legacy into my apartment and let them nose around my room and delve into my wardrobe in search of the most ethical and sustainable pieces and to discover the stories behind them. We talked about my business, my book, my lifestyle and much more, and I showed them my favourite eco-friendly / second hand / vintage items, from jackets and dresses to bags and other accessories.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.

Healthier Toffee Apple Recipe ~ For Ecoage

Sweets + Desserts, Commisionsdanielle coppermanComment
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Toffee apples are everywhere around this time of year as Fall celebrations like Halloween and Bonfire Night arrive. I was never very fond of them as a child, they were too tough to get into, and the reward for hurting teeth, cutting lips and getting sticky hands wasn't tempting enough for me. However, this variation is much more up my street. The coconut sugar used creates a really rich flavour and adding a dash of lemon juice and salt creates a wonderful salted caramel flavour, without the additives, e-numbers or artificial flavourings of most shop-bought options. I also use organic apples which always seem bigger and juicier. Apples are in abundance around September / October and I love to use ingredients that are seasonally available. I truly believe that ingredients grow for us as, when and where we need them and apples play a huge part in keeping colds at bay as the seasons shift, amongst other things. Offer a more functional and 100% natural sweet treat for family and friends this Halloween and if you have young children, get them involved in dipping and decorating too!

Components

Makes 4-6

1 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
250ml Cold Water
1 1/4 Cups Almond or Coconut Milk
Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt, sea salt or rock salt
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice - optional
4 Small - Medium Apples of choice (I used Granny Smiths)

+ You will also need a selection of bamboo sticks, kebab sticks or lollipop sticks.

Toppings

Chopped Salted Almonds (or any nut/seed of choice)
Golden Linseeds
Chia Seeds
Cacao Powder
Maca Powder
Chopped Cacao Nibs
Granola or Qnola

Method

Start by boiling the water in a medium saucepan. As it begins to boil, stir in the coconut palm sugar, and let the mixture boil on a high heat for 2-3 more minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce to a medium heat, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer here for 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly as it can stick to the pan or burn easily. Keep a close eye on it, watching it thicken, and continue to simmer until it becomes darker brown in colour, thicker and begins to reduce slightly. To test whether it is done, take a teaspoonful and rest it on a plate to cool. As it cools it should become even thicker and should be slightly tough to touch. If it is still sticky and runny, continue to simmer and allow it to thicken even more. Once you are happy with the consistency and once it begins to set more solidly, remove the pan from the heat.

Now you need to work relatively quickly as the toffee will cool rapidly. Lightly grease a plate or a baking tray with coconut oil. Take one apple at a time and insert whichever sticks you are using through the middle of it. It shouldn't go all the way through to the other side, but deep enough to ensure it won't slip out. Now, carefully tilt the sauce pan to one side, dip the apple into the toffee mixture, and turn the apple repeatedly to coat it evenly. Lift it out of the toffee and continue to turn it above the mixture, to let any excess drip off. I recommend scraping the bottom gently, to ensure it doesn't stick too much to the plate/tray that you place them on. As the toffee begins to stop dripping, place the apple on your prepare surface, and repeat with the other apples. You can either leave the apples bare like this, or roll them through the toppings of your choice. I chopped some salted almonds finely and placed them in a medium bowl, then gently rolled the apples around in the bowl until the almond dust stuck. If it is easier, you can top the apples by taking a handful of your toppings and pressing it into the toffee coating.

Once coated, or if you are leaving them bare, place the apples in the fridge to cool and set a little more, for around 1 hour. The longer you leave them, the better.

+ These will last for around 2 weeks in the fridge or in an airtight container.

+ You can also use this toffee recipe to make individual toffees. Instead of coating apples, simply allow the toffee to cool a little, and then take teaspoonfuls of the mixture and mould it into individual shapes, or fill chocolate moulds with the mixture, and set in the fridge.

See the full article here.

6 Morning Rituals to Try For a Better Day in the Long Run ~ for Byrdie

Commisions, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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Setting Intentions

Intentions help you to bring awareness to what you want to achieve and can instil a sense of clarity and focus from within. Your intentions aren’t set in stone and can change daily—even hourly. The only thing that determines their potential is making them authentic and backing them with belief.

Start the day by repeating your chosen intentions for however long feels right to you; if you make a conscious effort to acknowledge things happening around you, you’ll notice that the things you wish to attract come to you in some way. Take inspiration from the suggestions below, being sure to understand what it is you want:

I intend to forgive.

I intend to make more time for myself.

I intend to spread kindness.

I intend to be content and not compare myself to others.

Journaling

Journaling is a powerful tool to release negative thoughts and frees up space to focus on the things you do have and are grateful for. Writing a journal first thing in the morning can help you to declutter the mind and let go of anything that may be worrying you. Spend time acknowledging thoughts in order to accept them, appreciate them and use them productively to move forwards.

Neck Chopping and Self-Massage

The benefit of neck chopping and self-massage in the morning is that it’s super invigorating. It helps to encourage circulation, blood flow and awakens and stimulates the muscles whilst loosening them and relieving any tension that may be present upon waking. Here’s how to do it:

Stand tall and relax your shoulders down your back, elongating the neck. Support your forehead by resting it in the palm of your left hand and then let the head tip slightly forwards. Using the edge of your right hand (along your little finger to where your hand joins the wrist), use a gentle chopping motion to lightly tap up the base of the skull. Stay in this vicinity, working around the base of the skull and top of the neck. If tapping is too much, use sawing motions to release tension at the base of the skull and in the neck. Do this for about one to two minutes.

Return to standing and slightly tip your head back. Take your hands to your head with thumbs just under the ears, palms on the side of your cheeks and fingers along the sides of your face, fingertips on the temples (as if you were going to lean on a table with your head supported in your hands).

Then, use the pads of your thumbs to work around the base of the skull, pressing and massaging the area with however much pressure feels right (you will just know). Move your hands passively, however, feels comfortable, and work inwardly with the thumbs from behind the ears towards the spine. Work for about two minutes, and feel free to use the thumbs at other points in the skull that feel tight, such as above the ears or the temples.

Shaking

This may seem a strange concept at first, but shaking is an amazing technique to get energy moving around the body. You can do it upon waking or even whilst waiting for the kettle to boil. It doesn’t have to be done every day, but when things feel a little stiff or heavy it is such a simple technique to invigorate the body. Here’s how to do it:

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms hanging loosely by your sides.

Keeping it loose, start shaking your right arm, whatever way feels good. You might shake from your shoulder and upper arm, or from the wrist and elbow. Shake for around one minute, and then repeat with the left arm. Then, shake both arms together, for around the same amount of time if it feels comfortable to do so.

Next, work on your legs, starting with the right and then the left. Move from the thigh or the feet, as if your toes are kicking water. After shaking, massage one hip and then, with your hand in a loose fist, tap down the outside of the leg, and up the inside a few times. Repeat on the other leg.

Finally, return to standing with feet shoulder-width apart and shake your entire body. Bending at the knees, shake from the shoulders, the core or the pelvic area, however feels good. Stop and rest, grounded and supported by your feet and take a few final moments to notice how each part of your body feels.

To close the practice, take a big inhale and lift your arms above your head. With your left hand, grab the right wrist and guide it gently towards the left, taking a gentle side-bend stretch. Return to the centre and repeat on the right-hand side. Lower the arms to end the practice.

Mindful Eating

Our modern culture runs at a high speed in order for us to fit everything in, and as a consequence, our breathing, sleeping and eating patterns have begun to suffer. Functioning at a constant fast pace is productive in many ways, but counterproductive in others. If we move through life too quickly to allow basic bodily functions to occur and focus on too many things instead of them, we stop operating at our full physical and mental potential. This is true at all times of the day but is particularly important where eating is involved. If we don’t slow down when we eat, we can end up creating more stress and imbalances within the body, and no matter how “healthy” the food is, feeling good isn’t going to come easily or occur just by eating a kale salad.

Oxygen plays an important role in the digestive process, and since we restrict our intake of oxygen when we are stressed or rushed (due to shortened or restricted breathing), eating in this state is simply not the way to do it. Slowing down, taking more time to eat and ensuring you’re breathing in a way that can distribute adequate oxygen around the body is an essential part of eating well.

We need to make time and oxygen major components of every meal, and start to really slow down and breathe whilst we eat, to concentrate on our food and the acts of eating, digesting, burning and absorbing.

Here are two ways in which to be mindful about eating, start with breakfast but try to be mindful at every meal:

Slow down. Stop what you are doing, or at least try to reduce your level of activity before you start eating.

Breathe. Take a few moments before a meal to regulate your breath and check in with yourself.

This can help you assess your true appetite while fueling the digestive process. A simple breathing practice to regulate “stress breath” can shortcut the stress response in as little as one minute, which puts the body in a more optimal state to receive and use food.

Hot Palming

This simple action is really soothing and relaxing for the eyes. With so much “screen time” these days, our eyes are not only very active but are also dazzled by the artificial light of our devices. If you practise yoga in the morning add this to the end of your routine or simply before bed.

Sit or lie in a comfortable position, either on the bed, the floor or on a chair.

Bring the palms of your hands together in front of you and begin to rub them together rapidly, creating friction and heat.

Quickly cup your hands slightly and then gently place the heated palms over closed eyes. Breathe deeply and enjoy the heat spreading across your eyes, the darkness offering a welcome break from the light. Stay in this position for a few moments and then release the hands and gently blink your eyes open again, or head straight to sleep.

See full article here.

3 Breathing Rituals That Will Calm You The F Down ~ for Byrdie

Commisions, Mindfulness & Meditation, Natural Living, Pranayama, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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I don't know about you but I can get stressed out. Modern life isn't exactly a walk in the park. But thankfully, you don't need to spend loads of money or time ridding yourself of worry. Apparently, breathwork is the secret to a calmer day, according to wellness guru Danielle Copperman, who practices breathing exercises on the daily.

We've talked about the importance of breathing before and how it can be a simple, quick and free way to de-stress when life throws you a curveball. But, Copperman doesn't just wait use breathwork as a cure. She uses it as a preventative, too. There is one breathwork sequence she uses on the regular and two that are cooling, great for hot, humid summer days.

So what are you waiting for? Breathe your way into a better day.

Breath Retention Pranayama

The morning is an ideal time to practise pranayama (prana meaning life force and ayana meaning to extend or draw out) before your mind has the chance to start worrying too much about the day ahead. When you wake up with morning anxiety, focused breathing is a simple technique to help stop any kind of irrational thoughts and negative feelings in their tracks, preventing them from developing into a full-blown bout of stress that’ll stay with you throughout the day. Meditating in the morning instils not only a sense of calm but also an established sense of awareness and consciousness, which in many ways will help you experience more deeply, and feel more present in each moment.

1. Stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position, preferably in a quiet and undisturbed environment. Rest your hands on your knees if sitting on the floor, or by your side if standing, sitting on a chair or lying down. Notice any internal or external sensations such as thoughts and feelings or outside noise and distractions, and without trying to change anything, focus on nothing but settling.

2. With eyes open or closed and breathing in and out through your nose, become aware of the rhythm of your breath, relaxing your shoulders, your neck and your head. Begin to deepen the breath, taking a long inhale through the nose and exhaling fully to expel every last inch of the breath from your lungs. Observe how the breath feels entering and exiting the nose and the way the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

3. On an inhale, notice when your lungs reach full capacity, and pause for a moment before exhaling fully. As you take your next inhalation, count the length of your breath, in seconds, pause at the top of your inhale for the same number of seconds you inhaled for, and exhale for the same number of seconds. Repeat this cycle a couple of times, and if the breath allows, gradually increase the length of each inhalation, breath retention and exhalation, keeping the ratio 1:1:1.

Allow a few weeks of practising daily before extending the length of retention. Over time, increase to 8 seconds, but beginners are advised to work at 4 to 6 seconds. The practice should feel natural, effortless and entirely free from strain. As you retain the breath, feel as if the oxygen is sinking in and distributing itself, filling the tissues of your body.

4. You can either repeat the same counts in one practice (for example, working to a count of three for your entire practice) or you can increase the number of counts within one practice (for example, working to a count of three, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing to a count of four, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing again to five and maybe six, to however many seconds you can breathe comfortably).

5. Practise for up to 5 minutes, and sit in stillness for a few moments to readjust, before continuing your day. Once you are familiar with this practice and feel comfortable to develop further, work to a ratio of 1:2:3, for example, if you inhale for the count of 2, hold the breath for 4 and exhale for 6.

I don't know about you but I can get stressed out. Modern life isn't exactly a walk in the park. But thankfully, you don't need to spend loads of money or time ridding yourself of worry. Apparently, breathwork is the secret to a calmer day, according to wellness guru Danielle Copperman, who practices breathing exercises on the daily.

We've talked about the importance of breathing before and how it can be a simple, quick and free way to de-stress when life throws you a curveball. But, Copperman doesn't just wait use breathwork as a cure. She uses it as a preventative, too. There is one breathwork sequence she uses on the regular and two that are cooling, great for hot, humid summer days.

So what are you waiting for? Breathe your way into a better day.

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Pinterest

PHOTO: COURTESY OF DANIELLE COPPERMAN

Breath Retention Pranayama

The morning is an ideal time to practise pranayama (prana meaning life force and ayana meaning to extend or draw out) before your mind has the chance to start worrying too much about the day ahead. When you wake up with morning anxiety, focused breathing is a simple technique to help stop any kind of irrational thoughts and negative feelings in their tracks, preventing them from developing into a full-blown bout of stress that’ll stay with you throughout the day. Meditating in the morning instils not only a sense of calm but also an established sense of awareness and consciousness, which in many ways will help you experience more deeply, and feel more present in each moment.

1. Stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position, preferably in a quiet and undisturbed environment. Rest your hands on your knees if sitting on the floor, or by your side if standing, sitting on a chair or lying down. Notice any internal or external sensations such as thoughts and feelings or outside noise and distractions, and without trying to change anything, focus on nothing but settling.

2. With eyes open or closed and breathing in and out through your nose, become aware of the rhythm of your breath, relaxing your shoulders, your neck and your head. Begin to deepen the breath, taking a long inhale through the nose and exhaling fully to expel every last inch of the breath from your lungs. Observe how the breath feels entering and exiting the nose and the way the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

3. On an inhale, notice when your lungs reach full capacity, and pause for a moment before exhaling fully. As you take your next inhalation, count the length of your breath, in seconds, pause at the top of your inhale for the same number of seconds you inhaled for, and exhale for the same number of seconds. Repeat this cycle a couple of times, and if the breath allows, gradually increase the length of each inhalation, breath retention and exhalation, keeping the ratio 1:1:1.

Allow a few weeks of practising daily before extending the length of retention. Over time, increase to 8 seconds, but beginners are advised to work at 4 to 6 seconds. The practice should feel natural, effortless and entirely free from strain. As you retain the breath, feel as if the oxygen is sinking in and distributing itself, filling the tissues of your body.

4. You can either repeat the same counts in one practice (for example, working to a count of three for your entire practice) or you can increase the number of counts within one practice (for example, working to a count of three, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing to a count of four, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing again to five and maybe six, to however many seconds you can breathe comfortably).

5. Practise for up to 5 minutes, and sit in stillness for a few moments to readjust, before continuing your day. Once you are familiar with this practice and feel comfortable to develop further, work to a ratio of 1:2:3, for example, if you inhale for the count of 2, hold the breath for 4 and exhale for 6.

Cooling Breath

These two cooling techniques are ideal for regulating body temperature. The sitali involves creating a straw-like shape with the tongue and inhaling through it; as the air passes through the tongue, it collects moisture. If you can't roll your tongue, use the sitkari method. This technique is also thought to reduce anxiety, regulate the natural appetite and hydrate the system.

Sitali

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs on the floor or on a chair with your feet flat, however is comfortable, ensuring the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally for a few moments. Relax the mouth and then drop the jaw open, as if you were about to make a low ah sound.

3. Curl the sides of your tongue inwards to form a tube-like shape, and then poke it out of your mouth slightly, but with little effort.

4. Inhale deeply through the tongue, as if drinking the air in through a straw. Focus your attention on the cooling sensation of the breath and the rise of your abdomen, rib cage and chest. Retain the breath here for 5 to 10 counts, or release it instantly as directed in step 5.

5. Draw the tongue back inside your mouth, bring your lips together comfortably and exhale slowly through the nostrils.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 10 to 20 times, or however many times feels comfortable, and bring the practice to a close when you feel cooled and content.

Sitkari

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs on the floor or on a chair with your feet fat, however is comfortable, ensuring the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally for a few moments, then gently bring your lower and upper teeth together. Part your lips as much as you can to expose your teeth.

3. Inhale slowly through the teeth, letting the air flow through the gaps between each tooth, and focus on the feeling of the air against your teeth, entering the mouth, filling your abdomen, lungs and ribcage, and on the hissing sound of the breath.

4. Close your mouth, relax the jaw and the teeth and exhale slowly through the nose.

5. Repeat steps 4 and 5 10 to 20 times, or however many times feels comfortable, and bring the practice to a close when you feel cooled and content.


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We have the ultimate healthy-girl wellness tips ~ for Vogue Paris

Commisionsdanielle coppermanComment

In honour of #GlobalWellnessDay, I worked on a piece for Vogue Paris, sharing my favourite lesser-known wellness rituals, tips and tools. Full article below.

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Who better than Danielle Copperman, author of the brand-new “Well Being: Recipes and Rituals to Realign the Body and Mind” to lead us into Global Wellness Day with her tips, rituals and favourite objects for achieving greater equilibrium? We sat down with the model, chef and entrepreneur to discuss lifestyle adjustments that we can all use to enhance our wellbeing.

Tapping

“This is a simple routine that promotes blood circulation and energy flow, refreshing and invigorating the body. I do it in the mornings when I have time, to really wake myself up and feel energized. It involves tapping and massaging parts of the body, using a combination of fists and fingertips to activate them and to release any tension, emotion or energy blockages held within.”

Self-massage, and holistic massage for others

“I recently trained in holistic massage and I truly believe that massage should not be seen as a luxury, but as essential to life. It helps to alleviate stress, pain or physical and mental challenges, and it can even help to heal a person who is ill or injured. It also helps with circulation, lymphatic drainage and metabolism regulation, and can improve digestion and increase positivity. I massage friends and family, and also use massage on myself, which is known as self-massage – I particularly like doing Abyhanga, an ayurvedic self-massage ritual involving lots of oils.”

Shiatsu, Qi Gong and Do-in

“I also took a course in shiatsu, where I learned about qi gong and do-in, which are eastern self-treatment practices that involve moving, stretching or working somehow on the meridians of the body – the energy channels. Shiatsu is incredibly calming and relaxing, and I’d recommend it to anyone who is stressed or struggling with mental or physical complications. Qi gong and do-in involve many very simple exercises, movements and postures that you can do anytime and anywhere, and some of those exercises can be targeted to provide energy boosts, aid digestion, increase relaxation, for example."

Vedic meditation

“I use a mantra that was given to me by a Vedic teacher (a transcendental meditation practiced pioneered by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) to meditate twice a day – 20 minutes in the morning and 20 in the afternoon or evening, depending on my schedule).”

My wellness objects

“There are certain objects that can magnify the feeling of wellbeing, and to help you take in more good vibes. Here are some of the little things I can’t go without:

1/ I use my jade roller in the morning to massage my face and reduce puffiness.

2/ My body brush is great for exfoliation and to encourage circulation and lymphatic drainage.

3/ Crystals give you inner power and help you to set intentions, manifest and feel calm, grounded and open to whatever comes your way.

4/ Tarot and inner compass cards give you clarity and can help with feeling calmer, more grounded and trusting in the universe – knowing that things will work out in every way they are destined to.

5/ My Thinx panties and Mooncup: I no longer use sanitary products, as I have learned that they can often be toxic to the body and produce a lot of waste, which is obviously bad for the environment. I use a Mooncup instead, which is reusable and so much more sustainable and eco-friendly (in addition to being much cheaper) and I recently discovered Thinx period-proof panties, which are just magical!

6/ I use a tongue scraper to remove the buildup of toxins on my tongue in the morning and before bed, according to ayurvedic tradition. 

7/ I use natural and essential oils to make my own natural beauty remedies and for aromatherapy. The power of essential oils and aromatherapy to reduce stress and help you relax and feel more positive is so underrated! I use natural oils such as coconut, jojoba, almond, shea on my body instead of moisturizers, and dab on essential oil mixes instead of perfume or fragrance. Pro tip: sprinkle a few drops on your pillow if you need help sleeping.

8/ I remove my makeup with natural bamboo cotton pads instead of single-use, disposable cotton pads. These are reusable – and therefore account for far less waste – and made of really gentle natural fibers like bamboo and organic cotton, making them much more eco-friendly.”

My top energy-boosting foods

1/ Apple cider vinegar in water with lemon juice – hot or cold – is the perfect way to start the day. It awakens the body and helps you feel cleansed and detoxified.

2/ Ashwaganda is a tonic herb known for enhancing energy, concentration and longevity.

3/ He shou wu is another tonic herb which I use in hot water instead of coffee sometimes. It is incredibly energising and full of vitamins and minerals.

4/ Cacao is another superfood I sometimes use instead of coffee for a quick energy hit (and other nutritional benefits), in hot water or in plant-based milks.

5/ Seaweed: I use this in salads or as a side for hot meals. It is super high in vitamins and minerals – and the wisdom of the oceans.

6/ Qnola is my range of quinoa-based breakfast granolas, which are free from gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugar, yet very high in protein and skin-boosting ingredients such as nuts, seeds, healthy organic oils, and superfoods."

You'll Look Weird, But This Morning Ritual Will Boost Your Energy ~ for Byrdie

Commisions, Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment
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Tapping (aka the emotional freedom technique) has been around in one way or another for thousands of years, but it's Roger Callahan, MD, who is regarded as the founder of modern-day tapping. Back in the '80s, his concept known as "Thought Field Therapy (TFT)" launched.

Callahan discovered that by tapping acupressure points in different meridians of the body, he could relieve pain and anxiety. While it may sound quite out there, TFT was found to help war veterans with PTSD in a 2013 study. On Callahan's website, he says TFT should be used in addition to your medications to reduce the risk associated with continued medication use and to enhance their effect rather than as a replacement.

But what if you don't suffer from pain or anxiety? Does tapping have a place in your daily routine? Danielle Copperman, the author of Well Being, thinks so. "Tapping is a simple routine that promotes blood circulation and energy flow, refreshing and invigorating the body," she says.

"It involves tapping and massaging parts of the body, using a combination of fists and fingertips to activate them and to release any tension, emotion or energy blockages held within. This is one of my favourite rituals and can be an energising practice to include in your morning routine if you want to raise your vibrational energy and feel balanced, lighter and physically less stiff," says Copperman.

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Danielle Copperman Well Being ( £25) £14

Your 10-Step Guide to Tapping

1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bring each hand into a loose fist, keeping the wrists soft, supple and easy to rotate.

2. Starting at the head, use your fists (or fingertips if you prefer), and with both hands, tap over the entire surface of your head. Tap the back of your head and your upper neck; then make your way around the sides and up over the top and the crown of your head. Tap for a few moments in each place, keeping the power behind your hands gentle—you're tapping, not hitting or punching.

3. Use your fingertips to massage the head and then bring the fingertips down past your forehead and across your entire face. Use a similar motion to applying moisturiser or washing your face, concentrating on the eyebrows, under eyes, cheekbones and jaw.

4. Work down the neck, squeezing and massaging whichever way feels good. Move the head and neck to accommodate your actions, tipping the head forwards, backwards or from side to side. Massage the back of the neck and stroke down the front of the neck until you reach the chest area.

5. With one hand, hold the opposite elbow and tip your head toward the arm that is being held. Make a loose fist with the free hand and begin tapping the opposite shoulder, focusing on the muscles around the neck and shoulder and as far down the back as you can reach.

6. Release the supported elbow and continue working on the arms, tapping down the inside of the arms and tapping back up the back of the arms. Do this three to five times, ending at the shoulder rather than the wrist. Repeat steps five and six on the other arm.

7. Begin to tap across the chest area, tapping normally as you breathe out and more gently when you need to inhale.

8. Bend at the hips and fold forwards with your legs slightly bent. Release the head, neck and shoulders toward the floor and begin to tap the centre and sides of the back, moving to the lower back, the hips and then the buttocks. Use more force on the buttocks if you feel a lot of tension.

9. Tap down the outside of the legs to the ankles and up the inside of the legs to the top of the thighs. Repeat three to five times, ending at the feet. Using your fingertips and focusing on one foot at a time, rub the Achilles tendon, ankles, heels and the top of the foot. (If you experience pain in the back or feel light-headed, do this sitting down, on the floor or a chair.)

10. To end the practice, roll up slowly—one vertebra at a time—and stretch tall toward the sky. Release your arms, close your eyes, roll your shoulders down and away from your ears and stand, taking a few moments to notice how your body feels, and how it differs from before the practice.

See the full article here.

Restorative rituals for on the road ~ for Suitcase Magazine

Commisions, Wellbeing, Travel, Rituals, Pranayamadanielle coppermanComment

 

If your lifestyle requires you to travel regularly, you’ll notice it taking a toll on you both mentally and physically. To help reduce the side effects of excessive travelling, I’ve come up with three simple meditations that can be done anytime and anywhere to decrease stress, improve sleep, increase energy and keep you balanced while on the road.

While you can’t be expected to do yoga in the airport or start chanting on a plane, you can always find a corner to close your eyes and turn inward for a moment, requiring nothing but the power of your mind and breath.

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Body scan: to encourage restful sleep

Body scanning is an easy mindfulness exercise to relax the body, calm the mind and shift attention away from overpowering thoughts. It involves spot relaxing each part of the body by focusing on it for a few moments. Practising this meditation in the evening is ideal as it is best performed lying down, encouraging the body and mind to transition from “doing” to “being”.

Method

1. Lie on your back on a comfortable surface with your legs slightly apart and your arms by your sides. If you are not in bed, place a blanket over your body if you tend to get cold easily.

2. Focus on the breath and notice any thoughts or feelings that arise. When they do, try to turn your attention back to your breath and how it feels moving through the body.

3. Start by focusing your attention on the toes on your right foot. Be aware of how they feel and gradually move your attention up the right side of your body right up to your head, before continuing down the other side.

4. Settle here and notice how your body feels, both part by part and as a whole, and notice how your mind now feels.

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Nadi shodanana pranayama: to increase energy levels

This is an energising, cleansing and detoxifying practice that enhances concentration. It involves alternating breathing through the nostrils to control the breath in a way that rejuvenates the nervous system and balances both sides of the brain.

Method

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs or on a chair with your feet flat, ensuring that the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Decide how to use your hands to control the nostrils; one thumb to close off both nostrils, your thumb and index finger, or your thumb and ring finger (the vishnu mudra method).

3. Close your right nostril by pressing the thumb against it gently. Inhale deeply through the left nostril and hold your breath, then move your thumb to your left nostril and close it. Exhale through the right nostril. Keep the thumb on the left nostril and inhale deeply through your right. Hold the breath and then close your right nostril again. Exhale through the left. Repeat 10-20 times.

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Ideal destination visualisation: to reduce stress

Visualisation is a powerful tool for quietening the mind and instilling a sense of positivity within. It involves tuning in and blocking out external distractions and the noise of the mind in order to deeper into the subconscious. This reduces clutter in the mind which subsequently diminishes anxiety, giving more positive parts of the mind a chance to be active. Practise this on the plane or before bed to encourage sounder sleep.

Method

1. Sit or lie comfortably, somewhere private if possible.

2. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Take three long, deep breaths and then let it settle into a natural rhythm.

3. Focus on your third eye (the space between your eyes/eyebrows) and imagine you are arriving at your favourite destination or somewhere you would love to be. This could be a specific place or a vague environment, such as a mountain, a field or the beach.

4. Visualise yourself in these surroundings – how it looks, smells, feels. Are you alone or with people? What can you hear? How does it feel to be there in that moment?

5. Continue with this visualisation for as long as feels right. If your mind begins to wander, bring it back to this place and return to the scene in your mind, trying to notice new things each time. Let your mind wander without force or resistance.

6. Practise this ritual for 5-10 minutes. When you are ready, deepen your breath and start to make slow, subtle movements; wiggle your toes, move your fingers, roll your shoulders. Gently open your eyes if you have the space or privacy, take some gentle stretches.

 

Hola Pokē ~ For Womens Health

Commisions, Lunch, Dinner, Recipe, Vegetarian, Vegandanielle coppermanComment
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HOW TO MAKE A POKE BOWL

If you don't live near the capital, the good news is it's simple to make your own poke bowl at home.

Freestyle it and throw together your favourite poke bowl ingredients, aiming for a variety of textures and flavours, and serve. Salmon, tuna, avocado, mango, pineapple, sesame seeds… the opportunities are endless.

Copy this for your Masterchef moment:

HOW TO MAKE DANIELLE COPPERMAN'S POKE BOWL

More a traditional recipe kinda gal and want to read your poke recipe, rather than watch it? Try Danielle Copperman's Hang Loose Poke style bowl. Perfect for summer evenings and lunches on the go. More healthy recipes are available in her cookbook, Well Being, £14.40, amazon.com.

Hang Loose Pokē-Style Ocean Bowl

Serves 4

Poke ingredients:

250g brown rice, black rice, quinoa or millet

100g edamame beans

40g kale, spinach or broccoli, raw or steamed

1 avocado

Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

1 tsp lemon juice

100g grated carrot, beetroot or radishes

1 portion Quickled cucumber (page 316 of Well Being)

1 portion Pickled ginger (page 316 of Well Being)

2 tbsp sesame seeds

For the seaweed salad

15g dried hijiki or arame

1 tbsp tamari

1 tsp rice or apple cider vinegar

1⁄2–1 tsp sesame oil

1⁄4–1⁄2 tsp honey (optional)

1⁄4 tsp grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp sesame seeds

For the marinated enoki mushrooms

200g enoki, shiitake, chestnut or portobello mushrooms

3 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp extra virgin olive, sesame or coconut oil

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

4 tbsp water

2 tbsp coconut sugar

2 tbsp tamari

1⁄2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves

For the baked nori crisps

6 sheets dried nori

2 tbsp sesame oil

Pinch of sea salt

1 tbsp sesame seeds

Danielle Copperman Poke BOWL

Poke method:

1. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the edamame beans and cook for 10–15 minutes, then drain (reserving the water), transfer to a small bowl, and set aside.

2. Return the reserved cooking liquid to the pan and bring to the boil again.

3. Add the kale, spinach, broccoli or other greens and cook for 5–8 minutes until the leaves are wilted or the broccoli begins to soften but still has some bite.

4. Slice the avocado in half, remove the stone and then score the flesh either into cubes or thin slices, lengthways. Scoop the flesh into a small serving bowl, sprinkle with salt, drizzle with lemon juice and then place in the fridge until ready to serve.

5. For the baked nori crisps, cut the nori sheets into sixths, to make six small rectangles. Place on a baking tray, brush with sesame oil and then sprinkle with the sesame seeds and a pinch of salt. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until crisp and crunchy.

6. For the seaweed salad, soak the seaweed in a bowl of water for 10–15 minutes, until it has tripled in size. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Drain the seaweed and rinse it under cold water, then add it to the dressing and mix or massage the seaweed in with your hands to coat with the dressing and top with sesame seeds. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

7. For the marinated mushrooms, place all the mushroom ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 10–20 minutes, until the mushrooms soften and the sauce thickens. Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

8. When all your components are ready, divide the cooked rice or grain among four bowls. Tuck the edamame beans into one corner of each bowl. Do the same with the grated vegetables, greens, avocado, marinated mushrooms and Quickled Cucumber, and finally arrange the seaweed salad in the centre of the bowl.

9. Serve the Pickled Ginger on the side and either serve the nori crisps on the side or tuck 1 or 2 into each bowl. This recipe is vegetarian but I’d encourage adding either fresh sashimi, smoked salmon, cooked fish or seafood, soft-boiled eggs for a truer pokē experience.

Read the full article here.

Ultimate Wellness Tips Every Woman Should Know for a Healthier Life - For Glamour

Commisions, Wellbeing, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment
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We all want to live a more fulfilling life, right? Well, there's one gal happy to help us out.

Danielle Copperman, aka Model Mange Tout, has penned a new book quite fittingly titled 'Well Being', and has shared her ultimate wellness mantras with GLAMOUR to celebrate.

"Inspired by ancient traditions and slightly adapted to fit easily into busy modern lives, these wellbeing rituals help to give a sense of purpose and structure to each day," explains Danielle. "When your body and mind connect on an energetic level, they become powerful tools for dealing with the side effects of modern life. Instead of abiding by certain rules or forcing habits, it’s about discovery, progression and evolution."

Journaling

It's time to do a Bridget Jones and whip out your notepad. According to Danielle, journaling is a powerful tool to release negative thoughts and free up space to focus on the things you do have and are grateful for. "Writing a journal first thing in the morning can help you to declutter the mind and let go of anything that may be worrying you. Spend time acknowledging thoughts in order to accept them, appreciate them and use them productively to move forwards," she advises.

Tapping

Love a quirky new wellness trend? It's time to get acquainted with tapping - a simple routine that promotes blood circulation and energy flow, refreshing and invigorating the body. "It involves tapping and massaging parts of the body, using a combination of fists and fingertips to activate them and to release any tension, emotion or energy blockages held within," says Danielle. "This is one of my favourite rituals and can be an energising practice to include in your morning routine if you want to raise your vibrational energy and feel balanced, lighter and physically less stiff."

Hot Palming

We're all for new beauty tips and tricks to incorporate into our routine and this simple action is really soothing and relaxing for the eyes, especially after a long day, according to Danielle. "With so much ‘screen time’ these days, our eyes are not only very active but are also dazzled by the artificial light of our devices. If you practise yoga, add this to the end of your routine or simply before bed," she said.

Here's how to do it...

1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position, either on the bed, the floor or on a chair. Bring the palms of your hands together in front of you and begin to rub them together rapidly, creating friction and heat. Quickly cup your hands slightly and then gently place the heated palms over closed eyes. Breathe deeply and enjoy the heat spreading across your eyes, the darkness offering a welcome break from the light. Stay in this position for a few moments and then release the hands and gently blink your eyes open again, or head straight to sleep.

Mindful Eating

Anything with 'eating' in the title has our attention. So what's 'mindful eating' all about?

Explaining the concept, Danielle said: "Our modern culture runs at a high speed in order for us to fit everything in, and as a consequence, our breathing, sleeping and eating patterns have begun to suffer. Functioning at a constant fast pace is productive in many ways, but counterproductive in others.

"If we move through life too quickly to allow basic bodily functions to occur and focus on too many things instead of them, we stop operating at our full physical and mental potential. This is true at all times of the day, but is particularly important where eating is involved. If we don’t slow down when we eat, we can end up creating more stress and imbalances within the body, and no matter how ‘healthy’ the food is, feeling good isn’t going to come easily or occur just by eating a kale salad."

See full article here.