Under a week to go until a BIG focal day in many people’s annual calendar, and if you’re anything like me you’ve left your seasonal gift shopping perilously late! Fear not, my dear disorganised reader, for here’s my snappily-titled “Christmas Eve Emergency Health & Fitness Top 10 Present Idea List” (phew!) which I whipped up for just such an eventuality – perhaps it’s one to send your other half for those last-minute ideas! So here we go, please Santa may I have… (more…)
I was recently whisked on an adventure with Air New Zealand to discover a different side to California, one which is very much off the beaten path, especially compared to my California trip last year. This excursion led me to LA where I voyaged onward to Joshua Tree National Park, Hicksville Trailer Palace, and Anza Borrego Desert State Park as well as Two Bunch Palms. I had the chance to experience one of the few Dark Sky communities in the world, gazing up at the Milky Way and Jupiter (through a telescope) in Borrego Springs. However, the focus of this post is to share the incredible art of singing sound baths. If you’ve never tried it, it involves neither water nor nudity but instead is a mindfulness movement which took up roots in the desert at the beautiful Integratron – a somewhat quirky location 20 miles north of Joshua Tree. It’s a 38-foot high, 55-foot diameter, all-wooden dome designed to be an acoustic resonance chamber, and an electrostatic generator “for the purpose of rejuvenation and time travel”. Sounds trippy? Click MORE to learn more about a totally unique experience…
I’m regularly asked what classes I love in and around London, and we’re totally spoilt for choice here! Given that variety is one of life’s multiple spices (and also keeps the attitude towards training fun and fresh), I’ll typically try a couple of new classes on a monthly basis, which I thought I’d start to share with you here. I’m kicking it off with a session at Heartcore, a 55-minute dynamic pilates class which I tried this weekend in the heart of St Johns Wood. I’m wearing all Kate Spade New York in these pictures, a couple of super cute pieces from of their Beyond Yoga activewear collaboration! Click MORE to see my full take on the class, the clothes and the rest of these images!
I’m a big fan of Yoga as a holistic form of exercise for both body and mind, as you may have noticed from the multiple musings on this blog! In my quest to discover ever more of the intricate fabric that makes up the tapestry of the ‘Yogasphere’, I sought out Iyengar Yoga as an additional way to engage with this discipline. Whilst you may or may not have heard of the Iyengar variety, it’s thought to be one of the most commonly practiced forms of yoga in the western world. It was brought here by B.K.S. Iyengar and focuses on posture, technique as well as breathing and timing; for this reason, I find it somewhat of a meditative practise, and incredibly relaxing. This post talks about the discipline, and is shot outside one of my favourite studio spaces – The Iyengar Yoga Instutute, founded in 1984 where the man himself taught! I’m also taking the opportunity to highlight some of my favourite yoga kit of the moment, including these gorgeous Stance socks & this equally awesome Yoga Design Lab mat. Click MORE to see it all…
Regular readers will know that Fitness On Toast is all about pursuing a lifestyle of healthy, natural ‘wellness’; with that in mind, this post is sponsored by my friends at Yes To, a natural skin & haircare brand to which I was introduced a few months ago, and which really struck a chord with me. I work out 5 days a week, and as a consequence of such regular showering, I’m constantly searching for nourishing products that are kind to my hair and body! These products are almost edibly natural (think carrots, coconut oil, blueberries, avocado, grapefruit), but are also ethically conscious, affordable, work a treat and smell delicious – all important, to my mind! I used them after this awesome ‘Anti Gravity Yoga’ session at Virgin Active Mayfair last weekend; I spent a good hour suspended mid-air, mostly hanging upside down in a bright red hammock – and I LOVED it! Click MORE to see more about the session and discover my Yes To kit of choice 🙂
These days, Instagram is awash with mega-flexible Yogis dispatching pin-like headstands in all manners of exquisite locations. On my recent active escape to Ibiza I re-learned this liberating manoeuvre! Of course as a child, it was a daily activity, but as an adult it’s not something I have too much cause to practice often! In the photos below, my friend and yoga legend Mel demonstrates some of her favourite poses and how to do them correctly. I was a little apprehensive at first to enter the headstand pose (a.k.a. Sirsasana), but after reviewing the benefits and under expert guidance I gave it a shot! Click MORE to get the full 8 reasons you might like to try it too (with pro supervision!)… (more…)
Whilst on a trip back home to Sweden, I spent some time at a truly unique spa hotel. ‘Yasuragi‘ as it’s named in Japanese, is nestled on the outskirts of the beautiful Stockholm archipelago, and is deeply infused with Japanese heritage throughout. The hotel, a former school designed by a Japanese architect, is vast, light, natural and altogether in tune with the verdant forestry surrounding it. Wherever you look there are sweeping, majestic views are over the lush archipelago and a fascinating combination of ‘the modern’ – large concrete slab walls, floor to ceiling windows – and ‘the traditional’ – Japanese tatami mats on the floor and walls and the respectful national ethic. It’s a place to unwind and re-energise amidst the invigorating beauty of Swedish forestry, and from which to return home with renewed physical and mental strength. Click MORE to see my review…
There are those iconic postcard images we’ve all glanced at one time or another, formed of opalescent skies, gentle haze and crystal seas, which are conjured in the mind at the mentioning of ‘paradise’. For me, that place had always been embodied by the Grecian sun-kissed island of Santorini. Crisp white villas topped with royal-blue domes, perched romantically on cliffs, and peering dizzyingly over the azure Aegean Sea hundreds of meters below. The hotel I’ve long lusted after has ever been the hyper-picturesque Katikies in the town of Oia (northern-most Santorini), a snaking labyrinth of immaculate whitewashing, breezy luxury, and care-free bliss. My experience there has revealed a slice of secluded, heavenly perfection, intimately nestled amidst secret white coves, overflowing with charming personality, and totally dedicated to the faultless service of guests. The active traveler is truly spoiled here… (more…)
I love discovering new fitness brands, especially when their ethos totally strikes a chord with my own. This post sheds light on the enchanting bohemian collections of House of Dharma, a brand of earthy-toned beautifully-designed resort & activewear founded by two sisters (and best friends), Kayleigh and Carrie Curneen. Their operation is based partly in Bali and partly in Ibiza (where I first met Kayleigh years ago), and the clothes have a unique aesthetic which I’ve not encountered elsewhere; it’s a blend of free-spirited ancient silhouettes/shapes, impossibly soft and relaxed floaty materials, tribal patterns and themes, gorgeous natural tones, and ethically sustainable local production values. The result is glamorous, feminine, chic, and effortlessly inspirational! I met up with the founders in London’s Primrose Hill for a full interview on all things Dharma. Click MORE to see the pictures we shot, along with reading their responses! (more…)
I recently went on an active trip to one of my all-time favourite islands, Ibiza (full ‘active escape’ review upcoming!). For decades, the island’s had a strong bohemian feel and it still breathes the same warmth and welcoming today! There’s so much more to discover than the commercial megaclubs; countless hidden beaches, organic farms, horse rides, hikes, tranquil spa hideaways, beautiful hotels, vistas of exceptional natural beauty and much more, which I’ll revisit soon!
Since part of my trip’s daily routine was yoga and mediation with the fabulous instructor Mel, I wanted to focus on Chakras, which in Yogic lore are the 7 core ‘junction boxes’, or centres of energy by which Cosmic energy is said to flow into our bodies. They run down the central pillar of the seated body, and the word itself means ‘Wheel’ in Sanskrit, as Chakras are thought to be spinning vortices of energy. In my photos, Mel shows me how to dispatch some of her favourite poses to help access some of the principal Chakras. I’m also wearing Daisy London’s gorgeous Chakra line of jewellery, inspired by ancient Buddhist symbols representing these 7 core Chakras, which felt appropriate! As you might have spotted on my Instagram, I’m thrilled to be contributing to Daisy’s four-part wellness guide; hop over to their page to find my mini wellness guide and win some jewellery in their competition! (more…)