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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PUMPKIN SOUP

ingredients 5

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

THEN SLICE AND DICE…

SLICE AND DICE BEST

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

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THEN ADD PUMPKIN, POTATO, AND COVER WITH WATER.

PUT TO BOIL 3

BRING TO BOIL AND ADD GARLIC AND ORANGE PEEL.

ORANGE PEEL AND GARLIC

LEAVE TO COOK ON MEDIUM HEAT FOR 30 MINUTES

DECORATE AND SERVE

DECORATE AND SERVE

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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INSTANT WINTER TAN

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As we go deeper and deeper into the winter, we lose our lovely summer colouring, our tan and  summer glow wears out . This is when a little something can change a lot. I always notice the inside transformation of a person while I do her make up as she is looking at herself in the mirror. The person may start a little reserved and discouraged with negative her body language. As she sees the progress of  make upbeing done and she looks better and better, the  improvement brings her back to a moment when she felt positive and happy. The reflexion of happiness is sent back from the mirror and brings her back to that moment and from there, little by little she start to sit up straight, to gain confidence, to speak up and sheers to that self that she seemed to have forgotten… That person that she knows so well, the happy her she can at last reconnect with. A little something can go far, this is why I chose to use these few products, the tint lotion from Dr Haushcka which is so easy to use for an optimum result, it just tints the skin as if it has just been in the sun for a little tan, then on top of this I use a bronzing powder with a big brush I gently stroke the angles where the sun would hit naturally when one walks about, I gently brush on the top of the fore head, the cheek bones a little touch on the noze. The eye lid can have a little shimmer and the lips even though moisturised stay lusciously mat… here after a touch of mascara in the conner of the eye, no one would ever know, the secret  mission these few products have achieved leaving no evidence, only the trace of  a glowing event which would have flushed our skin to glow naturally.

SWIMMING IN FREEZING COLD WATER

14069386880_8d2df89f32_z-2SWIMMING IN COLD WATER

I have been swimming in cold sea water from 18 degrees to 15 now every other day for the past month. The results are spectacular, whether for the morale, the energy level, toning, accelarating the metabolism, results are amazing.
Cold water stimulates your parasympathetic system, it triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin. Along with the effect of endorphins and adrenaline from the plunge, ice swimming is packed full of neurotransmitters that are vital to keeping us happy. This is a natural substitute to anti-depression medications so if you are near the sea, or a lake jump in or if not, try standing in a cold shower a few minutes a day.

Natural benefits and advantages of ice swimming:
More vitality
Improve memory performance
Reduces pain associated with fibromyalgia, rheumatism, or asthma
Increases your defense system
Gets your blood pumping
Enhances your sex life
Burns calories.

Is an all-natural high

Winter swimmers talk a lot about the ‘HIGHS’ they get from cold water – a feeling of wellbeing that’s so encompassing that it becomes quite addictive

The cause? Endorphins.

GET YOUR BLOOD PUMPING

Being cold sends blood it to your organs and make you feel ALIVE……

ALSO: Economical, ecological, free ant-depressant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPENING PARTY AT THE MAMO IN MARSEILLE

 

 

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Meet Dan Graham and his interactive art. Art that connects and bounces of its environment and changes with the colour of the sky, the reflection of light and modifies our vision by exposing more and more layer of infinite possibilities, shapes and light move with the sky and people walking past, with colours blending into different shapes while other colors bounce off one reflection to the other, infinitely moving . Here is Dan Graham giving a speech at the opening party of the Mamo museum in Marseille on the roof of the cite Radieuse the famous building designed by the architect Le Corbusier, at his side, Emily Marant , Ora Ito and the CEO of Parley for the ocean who gave a talk on our over consumerism of fish and of plastic waste that are poluting and suffocating the oceans. We will have to drastically modify our consumption of fish and plastic within the next years if we want to save the biodiversity of our oceans. Already, some  people through awareness and knowledge  are choosing to significantly reduce their consumption of fish . We all have the power to chose to consume or not, we all have a voice through the choices we make every day.

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EMMANUELLE BERCOT PALME D OR MEILLEURE ACTRICE

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C’est l’année d’Emmanuelle Bercot ! Après être venue présenter son film «La Tête Haute» diffusé pour l’ouverture du Festival de Cannes, l’actrice-réalisatrice française a monté dimanche une dernière fois les marches de la Croisette pour venir recevoir le Prix d’interprétatoin féminine.

Elle a été récompensée pour sa prestation dans «Mon Roi» de Maïwen. Elle participe ainsi au joli palmarès français lors ce 68e Festival de Cannes.

C’est dans une belle robe noire, avec un maquillage lumineux et naturel qu’Emmanuelle Bercot est venue recevoir son prix des mains de Tahar Rahim. «Ce prix, je veux dire à Maïwenn qu’il récompense son audace, son sens aigu de la liberté, son anticonformisme. Après «Polisse», elle pouvait viser les plus hautes sphères, avoir les plus grandes actrices. Et non, elle a choisi une inconnue de 46 ans pour être son actrice», a-t-elle déclaré, émue.

Depuis les premières marches cannoises jusqu’à la cérémonie de clôture l’actrice a pu sublimer les tapis rouge avec l’aide de Guerlain. A 47 ans, l’actrice illuminait la scène avec une mise en beauté signé Coral Clark pour la marque parisienne.

Base :
Le nouveau soin Météorites Oxygène

Le teint :
Precious light, enlumineur rajeunissant, teinte 01
Lingerie de Peau, fond de teint fluide, 03 Beige Naturel
Terracotta Joli Teint Poudre Duo Bonne Mine, 02 Naturel Blondes
Rose aux Joues, 01 Peach Boy

Les lèvres :
Le Stylo Lèvres, 44 Bois de Santal
KissKiss, 363 Fabulous Rose

Les yeux :
Khôl Me Kajal, noir
Ecrin 6 Couleurs, 68 Champs-Elysées
Le Crayon Sourcils, 01 Brun Idéal
Mascara noir Cils d’Enfer So Volume

MAKE UP GUERLAIN BY CORAL CLARK