FREE YOUR BODY AND MIND BY WALKING AND FASTING

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Yes it is possible go for a week with no food….
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For your first  fasting experience it is best to do it in a specialised group with experienced practitioners for support. I went to a center called Jeune et randonnée in la Drome France. When I enrolled I was told to prepare my body a week in advance by cutting out coffee, sugar and slowly reducing meals to vegetable. After a long drive I reached  a windy dirt track off a main road dug into rock cliffs which eventually led to a dead end where their was  a house tucked at the foot of a impressive mountain. This was where I was going to stay  a  week. While driving 6 hours through the Alps I had mentally prepared myself  for this experience.

I was a little nervous since my up bringing had always been paced with recommendation such as: “Finish  your plate”, “What are we having for lunch, when are we doing the shopping etc… Whether these were post war fears, during which there had been rations I don’t know but food takes up a hugh part of our  time,  shopping, cooking, cleaning and organising each meal  and especially in France….we love our food…

When I arrived a group of people all ages and gender was gathered outside in the garden, we were all there for the same purpose so our introduction was easy and we instinctively knew that we would need to support one another, some were on their second week of fasting, others had a yearly routine of fasting and like me some were experiencing this for the first time.

That evening we were given some sodium chloride (taste disguting) that was very efficient to clear our intestines over night. We were also allowed some herbal tea.

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The next morning after a few warm up exercices we marched off with our coach and guide into the mountain having only had half  a small glass of organic apple juice. He gave us information as we started off about how much water we should  drink, to walk at our own pace and  that we would be returning  a least 6 hours later to the house. Suprisingly enough I was not hungry on the first day, we drank a lot, rested under a tree at midday walked slowly passing our steps around the mountain paths where not a sounds  was heard, we were so far from civilisation, not a cars, or machines only the sound of  our breaths, birds , insects flying, the wind  or footsteps tredding  the moist grass, and at times the intense, vast sound of silence. The mechanical movement of the walk freed us from thinking about our usual routine and kept us active enough not to think about food. And so the day went by, we got back, showered, rested, read our books and gathered around the table to discuss our experience with warm teas. Because of the altitude, the clean air, the silence, the exercise, we all slept well. And so the days went by, time was suspended, no cooking, no shopping, no cleaning, no washing up, no trash , no schedule, my  mind was freed of all these things that monitored my every day life.

Our coach explained how our bodies depending on our weight could keep going for days without food only taking in water, he calculated that I would be able to survive for 100 days by just drinking water..This was reassuring, there would be no more food panics over empty fridges.

As  2 days went by,  day 3  was the most difficult and after 4 hours climbing I felt a little weak my coach then brought out a miniscule spoon and a pot of honey and filled in a quarter and gave it to me for energy. I was suspicious, how could such a small quantity have an effect on my body?

A few seconds later I was back in the group on track speeding up the hill. Such a small amount of sugar had given me enough energy. We eat way too much, our body needs very little food to keep going. Our energy is therefore spent absorbing digesting processing all this food.. So much of our time is spent preparing meals  we  only need small portions of healthy non processed foods…

This was our first meal after 6 days of fasting, organic freshly picked vegetables.
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I came back feeling clean and pure like a baby, my skin looked fresh and toned, I had so much more energy…The key is to then fast one day a week or monodieting by eating one same food in 24 hours, to keep that same energy going. Fasting should be done in a specialised center with experienced practicionners, consult your doctor before you go…

http://www.jeune-et-randonnee.com

 

 

 

Aleppo soap

This is a reminder of lives their history and their culture culture,The Aleppo soap is the first hard, authentic soap to be created in the world. It is famous for its remarkable qualities and historical background. The production methods used to create this soap have been preserved to this day by Aleppian master soap makers. Since the 8th century families have been producing Aleppo soap in small scale and using the same techniques which has maintained this 13 century old tradition.

Aleppo soap is considered one of the purest soaps ever made, created exclusively with the most natural ingredients. It is made of olive oil, laurel bay oil, sodium hydroxide and water. In some cases some other natural ingredients are added such as honey, pure essential oils, red clay, dead sea salts and argon oil.

Aleppo soap is boiled with olive oil and laurel oil. The quantity of both oils used may vary from one soap bar to the other. Usually olive oil is between 60-98% while laurel is between 2-40%. The soap which has the most amount of laurel oil in it is considered to be the most valuable and it has the most costly production. Aleppo soap doesn’t contain any artificial colorings (its color is due to the proportion of laurel oil), no artificial fragrances and flavors, parabens, foam establishers, perfumes and no animal fats. This makes the soap the ultimate natural product, with properties that are extremely good for the skin.

Over two thousand years the town of Aleppo in ex-Mesopotamia has preserved this ancient processing method which is the soap’s main secret. The large blocks of soap are made by hand using traditional method, these soaps are cut into blocks and stamped with the mark of the manufacturer. After, the soaps are set out to dry for a period of 6 to 9 months on racks in well aerated arches. During this drying process, the soap gets both hard and its color changes from olive green to a beautiful deep gold. The color the soap acquires depends mostly on the amount of laurel oil the bar has. Color ranges from a pale yellow (small concentration of laurel oil) to a deep brown or golden color (large concentration of laurel oil).

Aleppo soap is so mild, gentle, moisturizing and natural that it can be used on adults, babies, small children and even pets. It will not dry your skin out and once wet it has a luxurious, smooth and creamy feel. After each use your skin will feel refreshed. It is most popular because of its stronger disinfectant, regenerative, purifying properties which help sooth sensitive skin. Anyone who finds themselves suffering from skin allergies, irritated skin or conditions such as general dermatitis like eczema, psoriasis, bacterial dermatitis, acne, herpes, rosacea, it also helps prevent hair loss and it aids in the recovery of skin diseases. It’s recommended for all skin types. Olive lo is very rich in vitamin E and polyphenole, which is a useful anti-oxidant that can help delay the effects of aging while the bay tree oil has antiseptic properties. It tones, stimulates and brightens skin complexion. It is an excellent product that can be used against spots and pimples. It softens and nourishes the skin without causing dryness and irritation.

This product is said to last for months due to its high density and it is also cost effectiveness it can replace shampoo, conditioner, face soap, body soap and shaving cream.There are several types of Aleppo soap products on the market, including solid soaps (in bars, cubes), liquid Aleppo soaps, clay masks, soap flakes (for washing clothing) and sachets for linen.. Normally all of them are imported from Syria. Aleppo soap is slightly pricey compared to regular bars of soap. In the United States prices range form $7.80 to $11.40 approximately. In the U.K. prices may range from $6.00 to $10.45 approximately. Most of these products are found online, so you also need to consider shipping and handling together with the soap’s price.

Manufacturers claim that the advantages linked to the usage of Aleppo soap are endless.When used on the face and body, the soap will clean the skin deeply while it eliminates the peeled cornea layer, the sebum and sweat (which is the main cause of a tarnished complexion), dust and other micro-bodies of the environment. It can also be used as an excellent make-up remover. using Aleppo soap will aid in preventing infection. Also, the la of artificial coloring or other chemical additives is the reliable guarantee from allergies or other attacks that may harm the skin if rubbed by an industrial soap.

Some Dermatologists advise to use Aleppo soap to eliminate the hydro lipid, sebum, excess from the skin. In the case of people with sensitive skin, it is recommended to use Aleppo Soap Flakes to wash linens, baby clothes even lingerie; any garment that may come in contact with the skin.Aleppo soap has a forgotten quality in the Western world, but known in the Eastern world, which is an effective way to eliminate clothes moths in the closet.

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SHEA BUTTER

thThe benefits of shea butter, something that  Africans have known for thousands of years.

Shea butter has been used to help heal burns, sores, scars, dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff, and stretch marks.

It may also help diminish wrinkles by moisturizing the skin, promoting cell renewal, and increasing circulation.

Shea butter also contains cinnamic acid, a substance that helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays.

Shea butter protects the skin from both environmental and free-radical damage. It contains vitamins A and E,

Dilutehttp://www.freshstartbycoralclark.com/2018/05/05/shea-butter/ it with a natural oil like sesame or avocado and blend it in to the skin.

 

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MONICA SHAKA and her yoga practice

DSC_0442Monica a yoga teacher, singer, mother,

Having been to a few other yoga classes, I can say that what is special about your class is that you get us to do a lot of hand stands and postures with our feet up against the wall, could you explain the benefits of this posture?
Inversions have a wide range of benefits, from the obvious strengthening of the arms and upper body, to boosting ones confidence. We reverse the effects of gravity on our circulatory, digestive and lymphatic systems whilst changing perspective for a moment ! As children we love doing handstands and hanging upside down. Its fun and it feels good. Doing inversions keeps us young in all ways. It also gives one immense satisfaction, especially if there is an initial fear. Ideally one should do an inversion 10 minutes a day.

For some positions you talk about massaging inner organs this I really felt after your class. Could you tell us more about this.
Our organs are like our motor. If the motor is kept clean, it can function well and for a longer distance. Regular fasting is recommended in order to keep our system clean. Many diseases start in the intestine and stagnation in this area can cause sluggishness, prevent good absorption of nutrients and be a breeding ground for illness. By doing postural twists, we ring out our vital organs. As we release, fresh blood comes rushing through to reoxygenate and nourish the organs hence preventing stagnation.

Could you tell us how and why you became a yoga teacher?
I have been practicing yoga since I was 24 years old, 23 years ago. I initially started yoga for my double scoliosis that was giving me a lot of pain. With the modeling, long days and high heels we had to wear, I would often end the days in excruciating pain and unable to stand. As my practice progressed, I realised the multiple benefits of this discipline and knew that one day, it would be my path. At 42 years old, and after having finally settled with my children in France, I felt ready to pass on the knowledge. I got my certificate and stepped into my path.

After years of teaching what is noticeably different about your life, as a yoga practitioner and as a teacher?
The discipline and constancy that teaching yoga has given me is remarkable. It was hard for me to find the time and discipline to practice every day. Teaching was the only way for me to incorporate this rhythm into my life. Not only would I be passing on the knowledge, but also making my life better. My everyday life has improved drastically, in all areas. The mental strength and clarity yoga gives me is indescribable, let alone the physical benefits. My conscious choices and behaviour have made me a much happier person overall. The strength overcomes the fears, the hesitance, the doubts….most of the time! The progress is continuous.

How would you say that yoga can help with confidence?
Yoga postures have direct benefits on the body and mind. A simple inversion boosts your confidence, and there are many inversions to choose from. Meditation and pranayama help calm the mind, get rid of the clutter and see things more clearly. Lack of confidence comes from negative mind patterns. These can be changed.

Is confidence part of inner beauty? And, if so why?
Definitely. Someone who shines from the inside out is very attractive. Confidence, not to be confused with ego, is inspiring and allows other people to shine as well. When you are connected to your strength, the pure strength and radiance of the Universe (what they call ‘Purusha’), we become channels. We are born with this energy, a baby radiates this beauty and confidence. The problem is that most of us lose it along the way with all the issues that can cover up the ‘Purusha’ inside of us.

Is a strong body, a strong mind?
Absolutely. My sister used to joke with me when I was younger and acted at times very hesitant or unclear. She would say I was acting ‘scoliotic’ ! The spine is our backbone, it leads to and supports our brain. I can personally testify that a strong body is a stronger mind.

Would you say that any body could experience inner radiance through yoga practice?
Yes. If the right intention is there.

You have experienced being a model? Is a bone structure, colouring enough to be beautiful
For certain jobs, like editorial, a good bone structure and colouring might be enough. I mainly did catwalk. I felt that a certain presence was required and appreciated. 

Does inner energy have a role to play in what we project?

Definitely.

Has the experience of modeling helped you in your yoga vocation? If so, how?
I never liked being in the limelight. Modeling definitely helps you get used to that. More than the modeling, I would say that my 20 years working on my singing, taking numerous workshops, courses and giving concerts has helped me learn to take the space I need to take when in front of an audience. This I can apply when teaching yoga. However, I feel as a teacher, I am just channeling the knowledge. It’s as if I enter a different space where I, Monica, doesn’t exist anymore.

I have often heard girls, whom are not in the modeling industry, are made to feel uncomfortable about their physique, I would like them to understand that there is more to it than meets the eye. Is there anything that you could tell them?
I started modeling rather late, when I was 21 years old. I was lucky never to have been aiming to be a model as I had other interests, like singing, so physical beauty was not my main concern. But castings can be rough, and having gorgeous girls around you as well. I would recommend having other main interests to keep the focus away from just your physical aspect. Cultivating your inner self with hobbies and curiosity for all the wonderful things around us. Also, surrounding yourself with real friends to keep you grounded and to have fun. Seeing the bigger picture. It is easy, but extremely unhealthy, to zoom into ourselves, and the industry will want to push you into that very lonely place. Zoom out ! And realise that you are much more than just your physical body.

Email: monicashaka@gmail.com

 

Are you what you eat?

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Article: Are you what you eat?

Recent Western research has suggested that our digestive system is our second brain and that our two brains are directly and intimately connected and function as one. A reliable study has at last proved that when sugar is absorbed, it instantly triggers off an adrenaline reaction that goes to the brain to stimulate and release dopamine (neuro-transmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers), just as drugs do: heroine, cocaine, alcohols, cigarettes, gamblling etc. For some this can create an addiction and dependence.

Researchers have also uncovered connections between intestinal bacteria and anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders. We are deeply connected to our digestive system much more than we think or, have thought in the past. Interestingly enough looking into the benefits of Ayurvedic medecine, the world’s oldest medecine in the world, that is based on the theory that every human is unique, each treatment is individual and the key element being a balanced diet; it’s believed to be the cure to all health problems. In other words: You are what you eat. Food is considered a natural medicine and, a balanced diet the main resource for good health. In the Ayurvedic system good health always begins with good digestion with emphasis on healthy, fresh, tasty and easy to digest foods. An unbalanced diet can be the cause of virtually every condition and disease. Only then comes the supportive system of herbs, treatments, and medicine. People are becoming increasingly aware that such “quick fixes” might not be the best answer to their situations. Ayurvedic medicine maintains the Dosha therapy, which determines the individual’s constitution.

Individual diets for individual people

The foods you eat affect your Doshas and their balance in your body, and what can be good food for one person may be poison for another. A good way to start is to stick to a diet that favours foods soothing your dominant Dosha. You don’t have to eliminate anything from your menu, Ayurveda is not about ridiculous dietary regimes, but about guiding principles: Just try eating a bit more of the foods that balance your dominant Dosha and a bit less of the foods that don’t. At no cost start to feverishly avoid them – this will only increase your appetite for those foods and suppress the natural cravings of your body for it knows best what it needs at any given time.

 

General guidelines for your diet

Food should be of good quality and pure, obtained from naturally grown products. Cooked food is generally considered easier to digest than raw food and should always be eaten in a calmly manner, not in a rush. Ayurveda promotes a diet with little meat or a vegetarian diet. Moreover, as foods closely connect with the Doshas, different sorts of food are required at different times, and should correlate to the time of the day, the season and your personal Dosha constellation.

Ayurveda has a way of breaking down flavours, each having its own therapeutic effects and changing impacts on your body; from the first taste to on entering the body to being absorbed. The six tastes or Rasas that are distinguished in the Ayurvedic diet are: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Pungent, Astringent and Bitter. These tastes originate from the five elements and transmit their properties. For a balanced diet Ayurveda recommends getting all of these flavours with every meal and adjust the amounts of each to your personal constitution. Apart from feeling satisfied this practice also ensures that all major food groups and nutrients are present in the meal.

 

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STIMULATE THE GROWTH OF YOUR EYEBROWS AND LASHES

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Ricin oil is a derived from castor oil (cautionary note: it can be toxic if used orally) and with time, it will reinforce your eyelashes and brows.
 If your eyebrows and lashes are thinning out then consider this solution. In a new mascara tube, add a drop of ricin oil and each day apply with your mascara. If not, use an empty tube and apply with the brush then with a tooth or eyebrow brush dip into a little ricin oil and comb gently by dabbing into the roots of your eyebrows.

This is a long term process, done on a daily basis, you should get a result after a couple of months (this is an average; each of us react differently). You can also use it in your hair to reinforce and encourage growth. Always use organic.

 

 

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TENSE YOUR SKIN BY USING NATURAL INGREDIENTS

ALOE VERA:AVOCADO

TENSE YOUR SKIN BY USING NATURAL INGREDIENTS

Here is a simple and effective solution for our skin. In the palm of your hand mix half aloe vera, half avocado oil for day time and, at night mix your aloe vera with argan oil.
 This is a great way to nourish, and the aloe vera will tense, your skin. These are organic products that do wonders…

 

PUMPKIN SOUP

DECORATE AND SERVE

Choose an organic Pumpkin, one onion, one potato, 2 carrotts, one garlic clove, soya cream and olive oil.

THEN SLICE AND DICE…

ORANGE PEEL AND GARLIC

IN A SAUCE PAN ONE TABLE SPOON OF OLIVE OIL ONIONS AND CARROTTS.

 

THEN ADD PUMPKIN, POTATO, AND COVER WITH WATER.

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BRING TO BOIL AND ADD GARLIC AND ORANGE PEEL.

 

LEAVE TO COOK ON MEDIUM HEAT FOR 30 MINUTES

DECORATE AND SERVE

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Photos by Coral Clark

WHO’S MY MIRROR

Stephen Jones_00011/You were a model before becoming a photographer do you think that the energy of a model can impact and influence a photographer?

Making pictures with people involves a certain projection of oneself. I try to recognise something of myself in someone I photograph. I also need to understand the energy, but by that I don’t mean their forcefulness or vitality, it’s rather ‘what makes them tick?’ because models come in all configurations. If the sitter isn’t compliant, I try to tweak them to a place where we are both in agreement.

2/Is it the photographer who influences the picture more than the model. Who leaves the most feeling or is it a fine balance?

The idea is that many decisions have been made before the person sits in front of the camera, there is some kind of (physical) situation or decor there for the sitter to interpret. I need to be receptive to their interpretation, but I want to guide the sitter so that they look right. I’m looking for an unknown area, ideally to try to transcend the images that we might have already seen of that person.

3/Did you consequently feel like an object of art while being

photographed or as a photographer do you find that you are the

influence?

No. I influence in that I have an idea that I’m trying to share. It’s not terribly complicated, you just have to find a space where the sitter relates to the proposed situation, that’s the idea.

4/Is a models personality relevant in an image or it is the

photographer’s personality that creates the image…

See 2) above. I really don’t care for the ‘Who’s who’ part of picture making. If I did, it would mean I wasn’t thinking for myself.
Models really are put in uncomfortable situations, and many don’t complain at all! I’m too conscious of that, and I think that when we are absolutely set on reproducing a theoretical idea, we tend to forget that to be human is also to be spontaneous, and to see what happens when…

5/Do you think that working with different artists as a model and having to adapt to their strong perception is a danger for ones perception of ones self?

When people know you’re a model by profession, and have a physique that can be used to conjure up ideas and sell things, they feel at liberty to comment on it. Let’s remember that standing in front of a camera/being on a catwalk is one small part of life though! I don’t remember being affected by the experience, but I remember at the time constantly thinking “what would my life be after this?” I knew it wouldn’t last long, although it turned out to last I lot longer than I imagined, when in more recent times I was rather flattered when Martin Margiela asked me out of the blue to model for him, so in that respect it was a positive thing. What is more problematic is the kind of images young people are looking at, we need to be really watchful of imposed ideals.

6/Would you call a photographer a different mirror each time, or is

the job of a model to be so strong that she is the drive of the

photo session?

More than a mirror really. The dictates of the fashion industry pay a large part in the final result. The model may have been selected because she corresponds to a certain look. But that may be very exciting, too, it may give her/him great confidence to know that they are desired and chosen, because it is hard work to photograph somebody who doesn’t want to be there or has very different ambitions.

7/Would you say that this is what defines a good model as opposed

to one that melts into the decor and world of the artist photographer

or even painter?

Are we talking about celebrity models? I think it’s a different kind of photography. With photographs of celebrities I’ve always been amused by totally unexpected roles, When I assisted Michael Roberts, he took some brilliant pictures of Kylie Minogue who was a soap star at the time and put her in a sort of very elegant Hoyningen Huene situation, which we had never seen before; and the picture of Vivienne Westwood as Margaret Thatcher is legendary.
In order to understand the picture, we need to know who the personality is. Models are known for their capacity to adapt, so the effect is less surprising. Personally I find it interesting working with the same person a lot, so we start to get the point of each other.

8/Does the interpretation and reflection of your physique affect who

you truly are?

It’s part of it, like any work you do, if you analyse and debrief after you’ve done it, it gives you a better understanding of what you’re doing. As a photograph or video is a visual trace, it perhaps more immediate. But frankly, even at my grand old age, I still don’t really know what I project, and I’m often shocked by other people’s interpretations.

9/Would you be a different person if you had never questioned your physique?
– Yes, ever so slightly.

10/Do you consequently wonder what people see when you walk

into a room?

Well, when I get ready to go out, I would like people to think ‘Ooh she cuts a fine figure!’ However when I am in teaching or photography mode, there’s not much that is further from my thoughts. In that role I have to be completely receptive to others..
I’ll just say that going grey is incredibly empowering! I’m afraid to say if looks were the only concern, perhaps it means there’s not too much else going on, and I suppose it would be a recipe for anxiety.

11/You come across as quite shy, so do you think that you would be different had you not been a model since being aware of the way

you look would possibly make you question your reflection into others…ie different people different mirrors?

Interesting question.. I suppose I am quite discrete. Maybe that’s more noticeable because I’m quite tall, or maybe because I’m intense and don’t wish to come on strong, I’ve spent a lot of time doing sport, particularly competitive swimming which changes your body a lot, so I think it’s more complex than that.. but I don’t think that being a model changed any of that, the time spent on a shoot is too short to make too much impact. I should mention that much of the time I was doing something else, I was at college or working by helping to produce photos when I was asked to model, and so often working with people who I knew very well.

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