How to Do a Body Scan Meditation

One of the best ways you can become more aware of your body is by doing a body scan meditation. The whole goal of this meditation is to focus on one part of the body at a time and tune into how it feels without trying to change it.

Completing a body scan can help you identify any physical pain or sensations you may be feeling and any links between those physical feelings and your emotions. It can serve as a valuable regular practice that can help you discover ways to work through any stress, anxiety, tension or other physical pain in the body.

Step-By-Step Process

Like all forms of meditation, a body scan is meant to be simple. Here are 11 steps to help you successfully complete a full body scan meditation.

1: Lie down or sit comfortably in a place where you won’t be interrupted.

2: Start by bringing your awareness to your breathing. Take three deep breaths as you mindfully tune into your thoughts and emotions, observing them as they flow freely.

3: Choose to start your body scan either at the top of your head or the tip of your toes. You’ll work down or up from there.

4: As you place your awareness on that body part, tune into what you feel there. You may feel pain, aching, itchiness, tingling, firmness, lightness, heaviness, warmth, coldness, or possibly even nothing.

5: Once you’re aware of what you physically feel in that area, expand your awareness to see if it also triggers your emotional state (a positive feeling, a negative feeling, or a neutral feeling).

6: Now bring your awareness back your breath and feel it reach down through your entire body as you breathe in, then exhale as you let go of any tension in the body part you just focused on.

7: Remember not to try and control anything — just let those physical and emotional feelings be as they are.

8: Move up or down to the next body part. If you started from your toes, you’d move to the soles of your feet. If you started from the top of your head, you’d move to your ears or your forehead.

9: Repeat steps 4 to 7 as you move through each individual body part.

10: Take as little as five minutes or as long as 45 minutes to go through each part of your body.

11: When finished, take a minute or so to just be aware and feel your entire body as whole, relaxed, and loved — even if you still feel any discomfort in some areas.

This is the perfect meditation practice when you’re just waking up in the morning or lying down at night to go to bed. A morning body scan will help you feel more present and in tune with your body throughout the day while a night time body scan will help you relax more effectively so you can drift off to sleep.

Try it for yourself. You’ll be surprised just how healing such a simple practice can be!

Rachel x

10 Beauty Tricks With Coconut Oil

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When you think about the health benefits of coconut oil, the last thing that might come to mind is rubbing the edible plant grease all over your face! Or your arms. Or coconut oil for your hair. But a growing body of research, countless experts, and an army of natural-beauty devotees swear by the stuff for just about everything!

Coconut oil is used in many natural beauty products, and for good reason: It’s naturally antibacterial and anti fungal, coconut oil for skin is an excellent moisturizer, it can penetrate hair better than other oils, and, well, it smells amazing!

Here are my favorite 10 beauty uses for coconut oil that don’t require spending a fortune on store-bought products. In fact, all you need is one thing: Raw (and preferably organic) virgin coconut oil.

1. Deep-condition your strands overnight

There’s a reason many conditioners contain coconut oil: It’s better able to penetrate hair (and prevent protein loss) than mineral and sunflower oil, according to research. Apply a 10p sized dollop to your hair, comb it, and then pile it into a loose bun. You’ll want to place a soft towel over your pillow or sleep in a shower cap. In the morning, shampoo as usual.

2. Tame frizz

If you struggle with taming your mane, coconut oil can definitely help. Calm your frizzy, flyaway strands with just a bit of oil to leave your hair looking smooth and polished. As an alternative to straightening serum.

3. Add shine

Smooth a tiny amount of organic coconut oil onto your ends of your hair to add a little shine if you have dark hair. Remember that a dab will do you: Any more and your hair might appear greasy

4. Remove eye makeup

Yes, coconut oil even works on waterproof mascara! Put a little on a cotton ball and gently sweep it over your eyes, paying attention to your under-eyes as well. The oil does a great job breaking down waxy, inky eye makeup, and leaves the delicate area hydrated, too. Once you’re done, wash your face as usual.

5. Freshen your breath

Remember oil pulling? Turns out, swishing coconut oil around in your mouth may actually pull the toxicity out of your mouth. Just swirl it around your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes until it turns a milky white color, then spit it out into the trash and rinse with water. If this sounds like a gross way to spend 15 minutes, you’d be surprised—it becomes routine fairly quickly and can even feel meditative and relaxing.

6. Soothe dry hands

This won’t work for dry hands when you’re on the go, but at home, coconut oil for skin can work wonders on your dishwashing-parched hands. You can get a jar at your local grocery store, keep a jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil by the kitchen sink and put a little on after washing hands to keep them soft. And if you cook with coconut oil—you can sub it for butter in baking recipes because it’s solid at room temperature—scoop out a little extra for your hands, too!

7. Moisturize your body

A recent study found that when applied topically, virgin organic coconut oil for skin can speed up wound healing, and found it to be effective in increasing hydration and reducing water loss in seriously dry skin.

8. Have a little rubdown

Many store-bought massage oils have either coconut or jojoba oil as their base. Cut out the middleman and go straight to the bottle. It’s slippery, skin-friendly, and moisturizing.

9. Nourish cracked cuticles

Massaging coconut oil into your cuticles and the skin around your nails can bring some much-needed moisture to an often overlooked part of the body.

10. Relieve psoriasis

Apply coconut oil to relieve itchy, scaly skin caused by psoriasis.

Rachel x

Top 5 Yoga Studios in Brighton

As a spiritual and creative hub it is little surprise that yoga has taken off in Brighton in a huge way! There are plenty of dedicated studios across the city offering a variety of yoga styles and classes, Brighton also hosts its very own annual Yoga Festival!

Channel your inner yogi at one of my top five yoga studios in Brighton …

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Yoga in The Lanes

Beginners, intermediate or experts are all welcome at Yoga in the Lanes. Located just a short walk from Brighton station, this spacious studio boasts a great reputation and offers an average of 5 classes a day. The studio specializes in Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga).

Find out more

The Float Spa

The Float Spa is a hugely popular destination in Hove for practicing yoga, it boasts a lovely dedicated studio with friendly staff. The studio offers a wide range of classes, for beginners to more experienced yogis, with highly experienced teachers on hand to help adapt technique depending on your level.

Find out more 

Yoga for all at Yellowave

Yoga teacher Melanie Melvin holds a weekly class every Sunday at Yellowave Brighton. Offering a beautiful view of the seafront, it’s the perfect way to relax your mind and get yourself ready for the week. Mats are provided, the class is open to all levels and you can just drop in on the day. Having studied yoga for over 20 years Melanie knows all the ins and outs of Yoga.

Find out more

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Revitalise

Revitalise is a well-being center that specialize in 5 different types of Yoga – Mysore Self Practice, Vinyasa flow, Hatha, Ashtanga and Yin Yang. Their group classes are small but intimate, ensuring the attention is on you allowing for the teacher to help with quicker development and understanding. Suitable for all abilities, each student receives quality guidance and personal advice depending on their level.

Find out more

Unity Studio & School

Unity Studio & School is based on Lewes Road, Brighton. Unity offers group classes, workshops, teacher training as well as private one to one classes. The studio can hold up to 20 people, making an ideal size for group classes. Classes vary and include Ashtanga, Yin Yoga and Aerial yoga. With an ethos of meeting new people and connecting, you’re guaranteed to leave with more than just a great mindset and increased flexibility!

Find out more

Rachel x

 

 

Weleda Skin Food

Weleda Skin Food is the perfect all-natural multi-tasker to pack for your beach holiday, camping trip or festival. Replenish dry skin after swimming, smooth rough patches on feet, soothe shoulders glowing after a little too much sunshine, or protect lips from drying air-con on the plane. It’s your summertime saviour.

Skin Food the 100% certified natural all-rounder skin food

If there’s just one thing you need to take with you to a desert island, it’s this little green magic tube. Skin Food is a universal saviour of dry, rough skin on faces, elbows, hands and feet – wherever you take a lot out of your skin, let Skin Food put it back in. With extracts of gentle viola tricolor, calendula and chamomile, in a rich, thick base of oils and beeswax, Skin Food loves your skin back to its best.

One Cream, Eight Solutions

  • Replenishing cream for hands, elbows, knees and heels
  • Face mask
  • Nourishes chapped lips
  • Easy cuticle care
  • Makeup primer
  • Revitalises tired skin
  • Highlight cheekbones
  • Treat split ends

What’s inside?

Organic Rosemary Leaf Extract:

used in many Weleda products. Known for its revitalising, stimulating and warming action, improving circulation.

Organic Pansy Extract:

known for its soothing and healing properties and has a long traditional use for rough, cracked skin.

Organic Calendula:

has a long list of traditional medicinal uses and this outstanding strength is contradictory to a Calendula plant’s own vulnerability to water imbalance.

Organic Chamomile Extract:

are gentle and soothing and are ideal for delicate or sensitive skin. It is often in combination with calendula for gentle skin care.  

Rachel x

 

Please note I was not paid to endorse this product and all information taken from Weleda, no copyright infringement intended. 

 

Retreat Announcement

I am very pleased to announce that I will be hosting my first retreat at Champneys Forest Mere! Champneys-Forest-Mere-Spa-Interior-Design-water-beds

2 Night Relax & Replenish Retreat Friday 2nd November – Sunday 4th November costs from £455.00pp. 

Meditation, Mindfulness, Ayurveda and Crystal Healing  

This interactive and fun retreat will help you to replenish your energy levels through rituals and wellness. It promises to be a restorative weekend that is perfect for anyone feeling frazzled and will offer all attendees a chance to deeply relax and re-balance their energy levels, whilst giving practical tips and strategies to enrich your day to day life and avoid that burnt out feeling.

This weekend covers a variety of topics and practices that can aid relaxation and increase overall wellbeing. Topics include Meditation, Mindfulness, Ayurveda and Crystal Healing. It is aimed at those with little or no prior knowledge or experience and also includes a goodie bag for all attendees.

Includes

  • 2 Nights’ Accommodation
  • Arrival from 2pm, Programme starts 5 pm
  • Introduction and Welcome
  • 4 Workshops: Meditation, Introduction to Crystals, Ayurvedic Principles, Mindfulness practice
  • 2 healthy buffet lunches, two three course dinners and a two healthy buffet breakfasts
  • Unlimited use of spa facilities
  • Up to 20 different classes per day

To book please email CER@champneys.com and include the title and date of the retreat.  Alternatively you can call Champney’s on 0843 5611 943. 

There is a minimum number of people required for the retreat to run. The retreat will be cancelled if numbers are insufficient 2 weeks before the start of the break. 

Rachel x

Jade Roller Beauty Benefits

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For the last year the beauty enthusiasts among us have been obsessed with traditional Chinese derma rollers made of jade – or other gemstones like rose quartz – which have seen a resurgence in popularity.

Jade rollers are not just a huge hit because of their low price tags:

Why the resurgence?

Their new-found popularity could be explained in multiple ways. Given that data from Pinterest’s 48 million beauty lovers reported that ‘derma roller’ pins were saved a major 345% more in 2017, there’s no denying the fact that they look good on social media. Then there’s the fact that the devices, used for facial massage, are said to help sculpt the features – by encouraging drainage and toning muscles.

The recent wellness movement marrying skincare with self-care may also play a part in its resurgence. As we’re all buying into crystal-infused beauty, it makes sense to incorporate tools made of gemstones that not only grant us time out for a ritualistic daily facial, but made of materials revered for their restorative properties, benefit our skin in multiple ways, too.

The beauty benefits

The main benefits of self-massage using a jade roller are that of “drainage”, by encouraging the lymphatic system’s natural detoxification process, and brightening – by boosting the circulation and blood flow beneath the skin creating a visible glow.

Jade is really good for evening your skin tone, for cooling and calming the skin and a way of treating yourself to a daily facial. Jade rollers also have a cool surface that’s super smooth and allows you to access into muscles and tissues with a pressure that is more effective than manual massage than your hands alone, while still being gentle and safe.

Technique tips

It’s best to use your roller on clean skin, before the use of your skincare products. Cleanse your face, then roller, then apply your eye products, serums and moisturizers. In the evening, you might like to add a little oil to the rolling action, in which case cleanse, apply a small amount of oil to the surface of the skin, use the roller and rinse off any excess oil left on the tool.

While seemingly simple, they can be used in different ways. It’s best to use the roller back and forth, up and down and out to the side, to get the most out of it for an uplifting massage. Working around your facial contours, adding more pressure with the upwards motion – you want to lift the muscles with this action.

To encourage lymph drainage, imagine the bridge of your nose is the central point and roll away from that in all directions. Imagine you are very gently rolling all the toxin build up outward and downwards, finally rolling outward along your jaw and down the channel that runs down your neck by your ear.

The best buy

The Yu Ling Jade Facial Roller come in a single (£18) and double (£22) version, the duel-ended one featuring a smaller stone on the opposite end for use around the eye area. Positioned as relieving tension, while giving the skin and tissue a ‘lift’, it’s got rave reviews on Cult Beauty where you’ll also find detailed instructions on how to use it.

Rachel x

A Beginners Guide to Chakras

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There are seven major chakras. They are located at the base of the spine, at the reproductive centre, at the solar plexus, the heart, the throat, the brow and at the crown of the head. These sites in turn represent the body’s major systems: excretion, reproduction, digestion, circulation, respiration and the complex functions of cognition. The crown chakra is sometimes regarded as a unique centre of consciousness and not counted with the first six chakras. It is important to note that there are other minor centres also in the hands, feet and behind the knees.

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘wheel’ and denotes a point of intersection where mind and body meet. Chakras can also be called lotus flowers, symbolising the unfolding of flower petals, which metaphorically describe the opening of a chakra. Lotus flowers are sacred in India. Growing from mud, they symbolise a path of development from a primitive being to a fully blossoming consciousness, mirroring the base chakra rooted in Earth, which evolves into a lotus flower with a thousand petals at the crown of the head. Like lotuses, chakras have ‘petals’ which vary in number from chakra to chakra. Beginning at the bottom with the first chakra, the petals number four, six, ten, twelve, sixteen, two, and a thousand petals. Like flowers, chakras can be open or closed, dying or budding, depending on the state of consciousness within.

The chakras are traditionally represented through symbols. Their functions and nature are described not through words but through symbolic images. This is the traditional approach of all esoteric traditions, for the symbol is richer in meaning than the word.

The chakras carry the colours of the rainbow spectrum, and a shape also represents each. The first five chakras also have animal symbols that express the nature of the chakra, and an elemental symbol. There are also common associations between the chakras and the glands of the endocrine system, so when we are ‘balancing the chakras’ we are, at a physical level, balancing the glands of the endocrine system. This is of course a very simplistic explanation of the chakra system of energy.

Root Chakra

Location: Perineum (the area mid-way between the anus and the genitals). The chakra face downwards, between the legs, the stem faces upwards into the central.

Key words: Survival

Colour: Red

Element: Earth

Sense: Smell

Endocrine gland: Adrenals

Imbalance: An imbalance in the base chakra can make a person feel as if they are underground and unfocused, they may feel weak, lack of confidence and be unable to achieve their goals.

Sacral Chakra

Location: The chakra is approximately two fingers below the navel,

Key words: Reproduction

Colour: Orange

Element: Water

Sense: Taste

Endocrine gland: Ovaries and testes, it energies also effects the urino-genital organs, the uterus, the kidneys, the lower digestive organs and the lower back.

Imbalance: A person with an imbalance in this chakra may bury their emotions and be over sensitive, an imbalance may also lead to sexual difficulties, infertility problems and blocks of creativity

Solar Plexus Chakra

Location: Just below the sternum, extending down the navel. The stem is in a corresponding position at the back.

Key words: Personal power, will, self-esteem

Colour: Yellow

Element: Fire

Sense: Sight

Endocrine gland: Pancreas

Imbalance: People who are under a lot of stress will show imbalances in this chakra. It is in this chakra that negative energies relating to thoughts and feelings are processed. Imbalances may result in depression, insecurity, lack of confidence and worries about what others think.

Heart Chakra

Location: On the same level as the physical heart but in the centre of the body. Stem is at the back.

Key word: Love (unconditional)

Colour: Green

Element: Air

Sense: Touch

Endocrine gland: Thymus

Imbalance: If the energy does not flow freely between the solar plexus and the heart, or between the heart and the throat, it can lead to energy withdrawal into the body; a person with an imbalance in this chakra may feel unloved, be afraid of loving, feel unworthy of love or be afraid of rejection. This chakra represents ‘unconditional’ love.

Throat Chakra

Location: The neck, with petals at the front and stem at the back.

Key word: Communication

Colour: Blue

Element: Ether

Sense: Hearing

Endocrine gland: Thyroid and parathyroid

Imbalance: Imbalances in this chakra will have an impact on speaking one’s mind. It also deals with issues of truth and expression of the soul. As well as speech, an imbalance in this chakra may affect one’s willingness to hear.

Third Eye Chakra

Location: Above and between the eyes. The stem is at the back of the head.

Key words: Inspiration, insight, completeness

Colour: Indigo

Element: Light

Sense: There is no sense for this chakra

Endocrine gland: Pineal

Imbalance: The third eye chakra is central to ‘seeing’ past, present and future events. It is the storehouse of memories and imagination and is associated with intellect, understanding and intuition. Imbalances in this chakra may indicate someone afraid to look into the future, afraid of success, unassertive and undisciplined.

Crown Chakra

Location: At the top of the head with petals facing upwards and the stem going down into the central column.

Key words: Knowledge, understanding, release

Colour: Diamond, white, gold or violet

Element: Thought

Sense: There is no sense for this chakra

Endocrine gland: Pituitary

Imbalance: An imbalance in this chakra may be reflected in an unwillingness to open up to our spiritual potential.

Rachel x