WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

Movement

The Equinox Effect

Anytime, Essentials, Lifestyle, Movementdanielle coppermanComment
8F20A778-46F9-4FEC-A6F7-A59254333B16.JPG

Equinox gym is unlike any other gym. At Equinox, they believe that results come from the right balance of movement, nutrition and regeneration - not just intense workouts and protein shakes, which was a big turn on for me. With my 360 degree approach to well being, I was drawn to the way Equinox promote such a balanced formula for getting fit and living well.

Facilities

With locations all over America and with two in London, every Equinox club is curated with each component of this formula in mind; a gym filled with the latest equipment and a selection of separate studios (pilates, boxing, group classes, pilates and yoga); a lounge complete with a highly nutritious food offering (think shakes, smoothies, juices, breakfasts, salads, protein snacks and more) and even personalised nutritional coaching; and a spa (including a sauna / steam room in each changing room).

The gym is the focal point of Equinox in Kensington, where I have been spending most of my time. They have every machine you could dream of, and such a vast selection of weights, bands, kettle bells and other floor equipment that you'll never find yourself waiting from someone else to finish with something; there's plenty to go round. Including ice cold eucalyptus sweat towels. Definitely one of my favourite perks, and the perfect thing for cooling down and calming down between reps.

You can also use the large studio, boxing studio or yoga studio when there are no classes taking place, which again are filled with all the equipment you could need. The freedom to use these spaces is an added luxury as, if you go at the right time, you're likely to find yourself completely alone with no distractions.

Equinox also offer a selection of exclusive club classes, from jump rope, studio cycling, ballet barre, treadmill workouts, yoga, tabata and many more, as well as their own signature classes such as The Pursuit, Anthem, Pure Strength, Boot Camp, Precision Running, Definitions, Elevate, Formula, Metcon3, The Muse, Adrenaline, The WorkX, Tread & Shred, Whipped and many more. You'll struggle to find something they don't do. 

They also hold regular events - both private members-only events and also open events - to keep things fresh and interesting; you'll find it pretty impossible to get bored here.

The changing rooms and the spa serve as the perfect restorative spaces post-workout or no workout at all. Upon entering, you are greeted with an aroma of essential oils from the spa and steam room combined with the Kiehl's products they have practically on tap. If you don't have a spa appointment or treatment booked in, a powerful shower (try alternating between hot and cold to boost circulation), a session in the steam room and / or a slow ritual of face and body cleansing and moisturising is more than enough to calm even the sharpest mood, workout or no workout. Equinox is like a second home; it's not all about hitting the gym.

At Equinox, there is a strong community vibe, where like-minded people - either members wanting to achieve higher health, or welcoming staff wanting to assist you in getting there - come together and create a positive, pleasant and inspirational environment to workout in and to thrive. Joining Equinox, you become immersed in this powerful energy, and it's hard to leave. 

Snapseed.JPG

My Experience

My experience began with an Equifit introduction, which is ultimately an in-depth chat followed by a movement assessment, which helps you to learn more about your body and set some goals, and helps the team of trainers to personalise a training plan for you. This was a really nice touch, as I really got to know myself on a deeper physical level (things like body fat %) and had a chance to really think about my goals and what I wanted to achieve from my time there. During this assessment, the trainer discussed my diet with me and made some suggestions, and also recommended certain areas I should consider working on given my goals. We then went onto the gym floor and worked through a few movements which were measured by some really old school equipment. They assessed things like flexibility and range of motion, and also made suggestions and adjustments if my form was off in any exercise / position. After this, once the trainer had gotten to know my goals and my current strengths and weaknesses, he outlined the areas he thought I should work on and strengthen, and why, and we booked in a one-to-one session for the following week, to design some personalised workouts together and so I could become familiar with all of the equipment.

During my time at Equinox so far, I mostly workout independently, purely because I struggle to make it to on-schedule classes as work / meetings / castings / shoots tend to be booked quite sporadically throughout the week. I feel incredibly motivated whenever I visit, surrounded by hard working yet not intimidating others.

I have also been doing private one-to-one pilates sessions, which involves a combination of work on the Gratz mat, reformer machine, cadillac, chair and other classical pilates apparatus. I've been working with Marcela who is a really calm and knowledgable teacher. She has taught me so much about my body and how to move it and use it, and she always makes tiny adjustments to my form which make the world of difference, intensifying each posture or movement far more effectively than I could have done on my own. 

IMG_4625.JPG

I've attended a few classes, and love the Precision Running, Jump Rope, Boxing, Tabata and Barre classes. With the members app, it's super easy to book a spot a few days before a class, and if you're on the waitlist, it's likely with a few no shows that the trainers will always make space for you.

Alongside working out, I spend a lot of time in the Lounge before of after a workout. With lounge seating as well as a more formal shared desk area with plug points, and free wifi, it is an ideal place to work from, not to mention super convenient. I've also become addicted to several of their smoothies, and if I need something more filling, they do the best poached sesame salmon, poke bowls and fresh daily salads. I'm also excited to announce that Qnola will soon be available on the breakfast menu and also in single-serve takeaway pots. 

For more information on the clubs and to find your nearest one, explore here.

2C6B77CE-C882-4CE9-8BD0-B32DCF184C55.JPG

#Equinox #EQXPartner

Movement ~ Abs in seconds with Tempo Pilates

Essentials, Inspiration, Movementdanielle copperman1 Comment
DSCF0462.jpg

I've been going to Tempo Pilates ever since a friend of mine recommended it as their favourite local studio. I'd previously tried SLT, Brooklyn Bodyburn and Pilates on the Square in NY, and a few Heartcore classes in London, but had never made a consistent routine of it. That changed after just one class at Tempo; I am hooked.

Tempo offers comprehensive reformer pilates classes dictated by the beat and frequency of music.  Each sequence and each move or posture is controlled and consistent with the tempo of the studios upbeat playlists, to provide a fun and structural pace to flow to. The transitions within and between each movement are controlled and precise, and strengthen not only the major muscle groups but, just as importantly, the mind/body connection; something that not a lot of other fitness methods achieve. The classes also bring attention and awareness back to the breath, which, as well as energising muscles, helps to keep the whole situation calm and relatively stress-free.

Most classes begin with the same sequences, first stretching, settling and becoming accustomed to the machine, and then straight into some challenging ab work followed by warming leg exercises. You'll glide, slide, jump, squat, lunge, plank, push, pull and resist in each and every direction, each movement guided and fuelled by the breath. The breath, whilst centering the mind and enhancing focus and concentration, remains deep and controlled, with powerful exhales introduced to get you through the most challenging moments the movements.

DSCF0476.jpg

What to expect

The beginner and intermediate classes begin with a few core exercises to warm and awaken the core muscles. You'll then move onto double leg work and then glute exercises and single leg work - focussing heavily on the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. You'll then usually do some more core work - involving some variety of crunches, sit ups and pulses, moving swiftly on to some excruciating inner thigh work. Then depending on the day, the time, the instructor, the mood, you'll either go onto some floor lunges (with one leg on the floor and one on the machine), some jump work (using a spring board attached to the end of the reformer machine) or some plank work (involving dynamic isolated planks, active plank to pikes, or some kind of knee to nose crunches or commando planks). Whatever it is, it's gonna burn, it's gonna be uncomfortable, but it's gonna give you abs pretty much instantly.

DSCF0496.jpg
DSCF0508.jpg

Well Being Ritual Series - Checking in + Grounding

Movement, Rituals, Video, Wake Up Well, Well Being Bookdanielle coppermanComment

Checking In + Grounding

This exercise is all about bringing awareness to the physical body and for you to get to know how you feel at the beginning of each day. 

As you stand in a neutral position with your hands on your lower abdomen, bring the attention to your breath and really notice the expansion and contraction of your stomach, and how it feels beneath your hands. 

Close your eyes and consider how you feel right now, both mentally and physically. Is your mind busy? Do you notice any pain, tightness or discomfort? What parts of the body are you immediately aware of, and why? 

As you scan your body, notice how each part feels and acknowledge any sensations along the way, breathing into each body part as you approach it. Imagine, as you inhale, that fresh energy enters your body, and as you exhale, imagine any tension physically leaving the body. 

Spend a few minutes on this practice, and repeat if you move through it quickly. This practice can be performed on its own if you are short of time, but i’d recommend following it with an energising rituals, such as tapping (demonstrated in the second part of this video and detailed on page 000) or shaking (page 000).

Tapping

Tapping is 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. This is one of my favourite rituals as it is incredibly invigorating, yet so simple and quick. It helps to raise your vibrational energy and instills a sense of balance and lightness. It works to awaken the energy of the body, encouraging any ’stuck’ or ‘stagnant’ energy to get moving, which, in turn, helps us feel more energised and alert.

(page 48-49 in Well Being)

Well Being book is out now - get your copy here.

Not another cookbook - Well Being Book Announcement

Anytime, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Movement, Rituals, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wellbeing, Well Being Bookdanielle coppermanComment
71aT5bCBvHL.jpg

The time has finally come for me to reveal the release of my debut book, Well Being: a collection of recipes and rituals to realign the body and mind. Below is a brief breakdown of what's to come, and if there's anything else you want to know, leave a question in the comments or ask me via email.

I have been manifesting this book for years and finally started working on it in 2016. I then spent pretty much all of 2017 planning, writing and shooting its contents and, 10 months later, it's a real life book that you can buy and hold and read. Life is crazy.

The book contains natural recipes and rituals inspired by ancient traditions and aimed at realigning the body and mind to restore balance within, both mentally and physically. It contains rituals and other practices aimed at undoing the damage of side effects of modern life - such as stress, depression, low energy, lack of sleep, poor digestion, and much more.

Well Being is a combination of the most valued rituals and recipes I have discovered over the years, since embarking on my journey of eating healthily and living well. Each section contains rituals to help reduce stress, ease digestive issues and encourage a sense of balance, calm and clarity, followed by recipes made with entirely natural ingredients, designed with each stage of the day in mind. Morntime rituals and recipes energise the body and mind, Daytime rituals and recipes enhance productivity, In Between Time rituals and recipes encourage concentration and focus, Evening Time rituals and recipes aim to refuel and Nighttime rituals and recipes aim to encourage relaxation and deep sleep. 

Offering a collection of recipes and rituals to realign the body and mind, inspired by nature, modern-day needs and a variety of age old traditions from wellbeing systems from all over the world, the book combines all-natural, carefully considered recipes with simple rituals, each of which are tailored to specific times of the day, underpinned by the common interest in reducing the stresses of modern day life. Its main intentions are to reduce stress, improve digestion, enhance energy levels, improve sleep, enhance concentration, strengthen immunity, encourage positivity and reverse the effects of illness - all by understanding and utilising the power of natures healing ingredients and the potential of your own body and mind.

With over 200 recipes, 60 rituals and 30 recipes for beauty and home remedies, Well Being is a versatile and easy-to-use handbook for anyone, anytime, anywhere. It will guide you through each stage of the day and provides advice and education to help you to fine-tune the fundamental foundations of wellbeing, to personalise them and to curate an individualised set of guidelines you truly understand and enjoy enough to sustain them. It will guide you through your ever-changing journey with flexible and adaptable information rather than restrictive rules or extreme, quick-fix methods.

MAIN FEATURES

Official release date: January 4th 2018

Over 200 food recipes

Over 60 rituals

Over 30 recipes for beauty remedies and home solutions

The book is divided into five main sections: Morntime, Daytime, In Between Time, Evening Time and Nightime. Each is then subdivided into rituals and recipes

The recipes are mostly plant-based although some contain eggs, and there are suggestions to include meat or other animal products in certain recipes, depending on your dietary choices / requirements. The recipes in the book are adaptable and don't fall under any official label or systems, reinforcing that no single diet works for every one and that the keys to adopting sustainable lifestyle habits is responsibility, understanding, individualisation and flexibility.

The book includes a detailed introduction to the more 'buzzy' ingredients I tend to include in my recipes, such as adaptogens and tonic herbs, and these are always included in an 'elevate it' section of the ingredients list, rather than standing at the forefront of a recipe. The foundations of the recipes in this book are all accessible, easy to come by ingredients. 

How-to recipes for daily goods (including how to make 2 minute almond milk, coconut yoghurt, sauerkraut, buckwheat pasta, almond pasta, bagels, breads, pickles and quickles, chutneys, nut butters and other spreads, stocks and broths from scratch) that guarantee consistent and effortless cooking at your fingertips.

Follow @dcopperman and #WellBeingBook to explore more about the book or to get involved once you have your copy ;)

BARCELONA CITY GUIDE, THE YOGA KITCHEN AND WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL ALONE

Movement, Travel, Wellbeing, Lifestyle, City guidesdanielle coppermanComment

I'm (finally) getting around to writing this from the comfort of my boyfriends apartment in Sweden, wearing tiny nike training shorts with a contradictory oversized jumper, wrapped in blankets, drinking iced coffee. It's all very confusing, but this is what tends to happen during that awkward inbetween phase of seasonal change. And now, writing about Barcelona and browsing through photographs of myself in mermaid pose by a pool is just throwing me off even more. But you need to know about the places I discovered in Barcelona in case you're thinking of going in the future, so I'm going with it.

Earlier this year, caught up in a not-so-irregular email frenzy (the kind where you're beginning to question whether your fingers are even attached to your hands anymore given the rate they are moving) I almost trashed an email invitation that I thought at first glance was an ad. It was not. Kimberley Parsons, owner of Retreat Cafe and author of The Yoga Kitchen, was reaching out to invite me to her Catalonian Yoga Retreat (just outside of Barcelona), to celebrate the release of her cookbook. And since I had made no sturdy summer plans, and was still yet to make my way to Barcelona, my répondez (or should I say respuesta) was a no brainer. I booked my flights almost immediately, and added on a few extra days before the retreat started to spend some proper time exploring the city. My friends often find it brave that I travel alone, but I think my past experiences as a model probably have something to do with my personal lack of concern. I don't like being alone at home all day in London, but abroad, I love to be left to my own devices, and to explore a new place on my own terms. I don't just love travelling, I love exploring and discovering, which is why being alone doesn't seem to phase me. There is nothing like connecting with local inhabitants of a new place, and from experience, I manage to do less of this if I am travelling with others. Sure, I also love travelling with friends or family as the chance to share certain experiences with another person is unbeatable in its own way, but travelling alone gives you the chance and space to interpret things for yourself, and without necessarily realising it, you will often discover new things and rediscover the old, by reconnecting with yourself internally. I find that travelling opens my mind and also my heart, and enhances my energy output in a way that attracts positive and inspiring experiences and discoveries to come to me.
 

_________________________________________________________________________________

Despite growing up in the countryside, I have become quite the city girl. But despite being a self-proclaimed city girl, the fast pace of city life will always get to me and is something I really don't miss when I'm away from it. Barcelona has the perfect balance in this respect. It has all the busyness, excitement, creativity and innovation of any capital city, but the atmosphere is sleepy and slowed, and the vibe is more communal and authentic. And it has a beach.

With only two full days in the city before retreating north into the Catalonian hills, the inner tourist in me woke early every morning and slept late every evening. I hate the thought of missing something and love to immerse myself in the traditional culture of a new place, which in Spain, means eating dinner around the time I would usually be going to sleep. Here are a few of my favourite Barcelonian discoveries, and after that, more on the retreat:

FLAX + KALE, TERESA'S + TERESA CARLES
I headed here for a smoothie and left with three. I then returned en route to the airport at the end of my trip and gorged on sashimi salmon toast and a vegan ice cream sundae to end all ice cream sundaes. They have some unique flexitarian options and something delicious for everyone. Teresa Carles is the chef in charge, and is also responsible for Teresa's Juicery, Teresa Carles and Teresa's.

SATANS COFFEE CORNER
This place has two locations, one of which is located on the corner of some quiet bending back streets, which is where I guess the name comes from. I had an amazing iced coffee (made from the finest single original coffee beans) and chose a breakfast bowl and some poke from their menu of local, house made dishes.

BRUNCH + CAKE
More than just brunch and cake, but you can’t call a place brunch, breakfast, smoothies, coffee, juices, sandwiches, salad bowls, toasts and cake, can you? With several locations across the city this place offers interesting and exciting nourishment any time of day (despite the name).

SURF HOUSE
A cute little surf shack that makes Barcelona Beach feel like Bondi. They have an amazing selection of fusion bowls, fresh burgers and revitalising drinks, and from them I chose an amazing tuna sashimi bowl and a smoothie. It's not often you find a place with vegan options sitting across from bbq ribs and nutella drenched waffles, but this place proves it can happen.

BOCQUIERA MARKET
If you like food, and lots of it in one place, spend some time wandering Bocquiera Market. A huge indoor/outdoor food market selling fresh produce, cooked meals, meat, fish, cheese, bread, smoothies and nut and seed pick & mix. I stumbled across it accidentally and stocked up on the most amazing macrona almonds, macadamia nuts and a coconut smoothie.

MACBA MUSEUM
Due to my time restriction (and the beautiful weather outside), I didn’t explore inside the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, but a friend of mine living in the city suggested swinging by to watch the skateboarders doing their thing. I took my Bocquiera takeaways and ate them in the sun, watching them make a half pipe out of the museum steps.

PRESS + RESET
One of few juice joints in the city, Press and Reset is a cool, cold pressed juice bar, located on the sidewalk approaching the beach. I took a strawberry almond milk from the fridge and enjoyed it with my feet in the sea.

THE JUICE HOUSE
Juices, smoothies, tea infusions, acai bowls, chia pancakes, avocado toast, salads and more, with options for meat eaters, vegans and everyone else in between.

BLUE PROJECT CAFE
Vegetarian, vegan and raw nourishment. Beautiful, delicious and incredibly functional if you need some cleansing between tapas courses and rounds of san gria.

PARK GUELL
I thought it was only right to engage in some actual tourism in between exploring the health food scene, so I made my way from the beach, through Park Cituedella all the way up to park guell. its quite a walk but i wasn’t working out so i enjoyed every sweaty minute of it. when i reached the park i explored the public grounds before taking the tour of Gaudi’s infamous architecture.

_______________________________________________________________________________

T H E    Y O G A    K I T C H E N

After two days of touring Barcelona's health food scene and making my way to enough of it's famous landmarks to satisfy my inner tourist, I headed North of the city to the a traditional 19th century converted farmhouse situated in the Catalonian hills, to join Kimberley and ten other guests for The Yoga Kitchen Retreat. Kimberley's book - The Yoga Kitchen - is all about eating to realign our seven chakras which, incase you are unfamiliar, are the different energy systems within our bodies. These chakras, known as the Root, Sacral, Solar, Heart, Throat, Third Eye and Crown, are the major energy centers of the body and are charged and recharged through contact with the stream of cosmic energy in the atmosphere. Each chakra relates to a certain part of the body, and if you feel physical or mental tension or experience complications in a certain area, this is known as a blockage or closure, and is your bodys way of showing when something is out of balance and unaligned. In her book, Kimberly focusses on the connection each chakra has with diet and mindful habits. She explains how we can support each one through our diets and provides over 100 plant based, sugar free and gluten free recipes to nurture each chakra. To emphasise the importance of phsycially and mentally nurturing our chakra's and keeping them balanced, Kathryn Fielding was our yoga teacher for the week, and each daily practice was inspired by each daily menu, focussing on a single chakra each day, starting from the root upwards.

We spent every moment before 8am in complete silence, and from 8am to 9am, this was only broken by the words of our teacher. At first, especially since I was sharing a room, I found this challenging as I hate awkward silences as it is, and wanted to acknowledge my roomie with a friendly 'good morning'. However, since everyone was silent, it wasn't really awkward at all, and by day two I had come to quite enjoy over-emphasising my smile and pointing at things in order to communicate.

After half an hour of independant, self-guided meditation, we started each day with 1 to 1.5 hours of chakra relevant morning yoga, either on a rooftop overlooking the hills, or on the edge of the infinity pool (not the infinite edge, dw). We then walked, simultaneously energised but relaxed, back up to the main house where a breakfast shot and smoothie was waiting for us. We sat at a long, communal table and got to know each other between courses of avocado toast, savoury flapjacks, egg bowls, rice bowls and hearty, seasonal salads - all made from the freshest local produce. You couldn't even imagine a brunch so perfect if you tried, unless greasy spoons or frosted flakes are your jam.

After breakfast - which was often 4 or 5 courses (sometimes 6 if you finished someone elses) of the most wholesome, natural and intentional ingredients - the rest of the day was our own. At first, I was dubious about going away with people I didnt know and was concerned that I might not want to commit to everything on the program, however, unlike a lot of more regimented retreats, we were left to do whatever we wanted for the rest of the day, and even the afternoon and evening activities were not compulsory. This fitted with the 'wake up well' and 'wind down well' ethos behind my brand, as I loved having structure in the morning and evening, but freedom to do what I wanted during the day. Somedays we walked off our breakfast banquet with a hike to and from a local lake. Others, we took bikes to the local town, played tennis in the private courts, swam in the pool, sunbathed, socialised or in some cases worked without feeling like we were working.

In the evenings, we had the choice to take part in yin and restorative yoga, often in a cool, cave-like room or on the rooftop overlooking the sunset. After that, we gathered around the communal table for a three course selection of chakra-relevant Yoga Kitchen nourishment. We started each meal with something light (raw asparagus mousse, roasted carrot gnochi, warming soups and seeded crackers). The mains (lentil dahl, white bean risotto, aubergine brown rice bowl to name a few) were fulfilling but also easy on the digestive system, and the desserts (turmeric mousse, raw chocolate bites, brazil nut ice cream) were, although not needed at all by this stage, welcomed and received with open arms (and chakras, lol). Some evenings we toasted essential oil spritzers and digestive tonics whilst star gazing, and others drew to a close with a cup of tea, a late night swim or just some low-key independant reading.

The experience as a whole was incredibly heart opening, and to have Kim and her husband both hosting, their love and energy definitley penetrated through every one of the guests. Some guests had never done yoga before whilst others were comparably pro, but no matter anyones level or ability, i defeinitely noticed something change in each guest by the middle of the week. Some people had stressful journeys, many of us were going through hectic times at work, and one was dealing with a painful breakup, but as we all opened up, shared things and let good food, positive energy and restorative yoga practices sooth these current challenges, we were able to accept things, enjoy things, embrace the power of positive thinking and of each others energy and truly let go. I swear I saw all twenty tense, hunched up shoulders drop heavily after a few hip opening postures and superfood shots.

I think the temperature just dropped by another 5 degrees so I'm going to round this up now, but if you want to find out more about The Yoga Kitchen, follow Kim @kimberleyparsons. She holds these retreats all year round and all over the world, so take a look on our website or subscribe to her newsletter to keep updated.

If you want to keep up to date with my travels and discoveries, follow me @dcopperman. I'll also keep these posts updated if I discover new things on repeat visits.