Catching up on things

Yoga Philosophy and Tantra
Wow it really takes a short while to readjust to usual routines again after an adventure holiday, doesn’t it? I wanted to post more to this blog this past week but other things needed my attention first because they had important deadlines to meet. It hasn’t felt stressful though, I spent last week flipping through books, sipping tea and pondering.

I had to write a two thousand word essay to complete my Yoga Philosophy course and the subject I chose to write about is “What is Tantra and how has it influenced Yoga?”. You see I have enjoyed learning about Tantra since my mid teens and already knew a lot about this philosophy so it seemed natural to write about something I already had knowledge on and had a love for therefore I wrote with complete devotion towards my essay! Secondly I had to work on my Business & Admin course too, which is very boring but important because I need to have some basic business skills for when I have my freelance creative movement workshops up and running. I am now half way through that with three modules left to do, I should be finished with that at the end of April.

Towards the end of May I will be starting a Dance Therapy Diploma however for a short while I do want to take a mini break from professional development and focus on creative pursuits. There are some illustrations I have in mind, my second children’s book to complete and a dance performance I am preparing for and I really want to focus on my Yoga practice because since January I have had to cut down on attending classes for personal reasons as well as the holiday. I also really want to enjoy reading poems, play with my silk veils in the sun and delight in flipping through the pages of Frankie magazine which I found in Nepal, it’s very similar to Kinfolk but it is created in Australia and it’s really lovely.

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Postcards from Ken south America
Postcards from Ken
A few days ago we arrived back at home in Plymouth from our amazing adventure backpacking around Nepal. On stepping through the front door and into the house we were welcomed by a postcard from Ken (and Joann) who at the moment are adventuring around South America I think? and are awaiting our stories and photos about our time in Nepal. I have mentioned this before but I do love letters and postcards, they are such lovely keep-sakes and very personal. I am unable to always send such things to people but on occasion I do end up with a large quantity of parcels I take altogether to the local post office. Right now I have maybe 5 or 6 to have wrapped up and posted which I need to do at some point. The postcard from Ken was such a well timed and lovely ‘welcome home’ message as oppose to the horrible brown envelopes or bank letters nobody likes to open when they arrive back home after almost 24 hours of travelling (thankfully, we didn’t receive such letters!).

Backpacking around Nepal lasted nearly 3 weeks, it wasn’t your usual holiday involving a suitcase full of swimwear and sun lotion and pictures of sun, sea and sand. It was giving us the chance to practice being constantly on the move with our packs, to sleep a little rough, to delve into situations involving the locals such as local transport, local food, language barriers (but friendly faces), not having all our hotels booked and arriving at destinations having no clue where we were to sleep or eat and figuring things out daily on what to do and where to visit. It was tiring but in the best possible way. This practice is giving us skills towards something we are both planning for the near future, whether we decide to go backpacking for 6 months to a year or emigrate one day we are unsure but backpacking holidays like this really helps and gives us a taste for what may come. Morocco gave us an insight into moving around every day visiting destinations with the help of a guide and in a group, Croatia as a relaxed, European country allowed us to do it safely on our own and Nepal gave us the opportunity to do it in proper backpacker’s style, we are now more confident and have agreed we can do this again and are planning our next backpacking adventure to Cambodia or Vietnam for March 2016. This September we are looking forward to spending 10 days at my Mum’s home in Bulgaria-similarly to Croatia it will be a more relaxed environment.

It is good to be back as both Jon & I have our own things to plan and save for (which we discussed whilst away & will be putting into action for the remainder of this year) but we do miss Nepal, we miss that way of living and actually after living out of a backpack for nearly 3 weeks we came home and realised we do not need most of the stuff we have sat in our house and after a huge spring clean we have decided to sell and give a lot of it away and I will post our Ebay link up on this blog once we have enlisted every thing in case any readers fancy buying anything?
I hope you all had a lovely Easter and I can’t wait to catch up on my blog writings within the next few days!

Nepal so far

Thamel, Kathmandu
Hey everyone it’s been just over a week and I haven’t been able write up a blog post until now. Although this one is going to be short. Nepal so far is great, if you are thinking to go this country, do it! There is so much to see, the people here are friendly, so many hotels, resturants & gift shops offer well made but cheap products (I bought a Saree for £2!) and the food is amazing (I am pretty sure I have put on a couple of pounds from eating all the Momos!) We spent about 4 days in Kathmandu and it’s surrounding districts such as Bhkatapur & Pashupatinath amongst others, then we took a 4 hour bus journey to Chitwan national park where we bathed elephants and spent some time with the locals of Tharu village and now we are in Lumbini which is a Buddhist Pilgrimage and world heritage site since it has been discovered to be the birth place of the historical Buddha. In a couple of days we head out to Pokhara for some mountainous & lake side views and possibly some paragliding. This country and it’s people is so colourful & has so much to offer you can’t not fall in love with the place!
Chitwan National Park Evergreen Eco lodge

Welsh mini break: Swansea

Cheddar Gorge
Soon after our couple of days in Cornwall we ventured to the South of Wales and spent four days in and around Swansea. We stayed with his delightful Aunt & Uncle who are also keen adventurers themselves, telling us stories of their motor bike adventure around Europe and their most recent adventure on a huge sail boat around the Atlantic Ocean on their own! Jon’s Aunt & Uncle have been to so many places around the world and it was just so inspiring hearing their tales. It was just so lovely to be out all day and know we could come back to an environment that was very cozy and welcoming.
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Before we arrived in Swansea we spent the first day in Cheddar Gorge and Bath city centre. Cheddar Gorge was awe inspiring, it was a prettier drive up to Wales through the Gorge as oppose to going the usual route on the main motor way. Although it was raining, there was no wind so it was a pleasant stop to take in the scenery and the rain actually added to the magical feel. I love the smell of nature during and after the rain, it’s so earthy and robust don’t you think? In Bath we stopped for lunch and enjoyed a mooch around independent arty boutiques. We had been to Bath a number of times before, it is just such a beautiful city to visit with it’s grand Roman sandstone architecture and Victorian houses, cobbled path ways and quirky shops. The atmosphere in Bath is relaxed, it is clean and Idyllic.
Bath
The second day we did a five hour walk around a nature trail within ‘The Vale of the Neath’. It reminded me of Ingleton Falls in Yorkshire and we were surrounded by lush plant life, rivers and streams and breath taking waterfalls. Waterfalls tend to be more my thing than Jon’s, as I just find them soothing & magical, he is more of a mountain man and loves the epic scale of fells, massive hills and mountains watching over the valleys below. It was a lovely walk, it started off blustery but calmed down an hour into the walk. It was sunny and quiet most of the time and it felt like we had the whole nature trail to ourselves as it was off season.
Swansea

Vale of the Neath

South Wales

mini break in Swansea

things to do in south Wales

On the third day we went exploring on the Brecon Beacons. This was more Jon’s domain. He has a love of walking up steep hills and fells to see if he can get to the top. I usually decide half way to stay where I am and peacefully enjoy the views. It was nice to see snow on our walk, it added a pretty yet crisp look to the scenery. The day on the Brecon Beacons was a chilly one and very windy. I wore at least 4 layers of clothing and kept my hood up around my head and face. Towards the end of the day and whilst we climbed one hill together, a great thick mist crept in over us and it began to hail and snow. The moment we got back to the house my skin felt amazingly smooth and fresh. The cold air and wind really gets your blood pumping and seems to brush away all the grit and impurities. This is a great beauty tip if you want clean, soft skin, just spend a few hours on the Beacons!
Things to do at the Brecon Beacons

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Brecon Beacons walk

Day at the Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons in the snow

On the fourth and final day we managed to visit two separate destinations. In the morning we spent three hours at Three Cliffs Bay and in the afternoon we stopped at the Worm’s head for two hours. Again the weather was pleasant but changeable with a slight wet mist in the air that you couldn’t see so much but could feel and I noticed my hair slowly getting damp. At the Worm’s Head I was intrigued by the strange cloud formation over one of the hills which was next to the pub we had some chips in, looking out to sea the sun was shining and there were barely any clouds but that odd fog or cloud looked like it had come to a halt on that hill and wasn’t breaking up. Visiting anywhere in Wales, always pack walking shoes or boots, most places outside the cities are muddy and the weather changes constantly, so pack thermals and waterproofs.
three cliffs bay

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All in all it was a bloody good mini break and I noticed we managed to spend time in four awesome but very different types of natural hot spots. The first day a breath-taking Gorge and pretty Cityscape, the second day a woodland like nature reserve, the third day the mountainous plains of the Brecon Beacons and lastly two destinations around a beach and cove. We managed to make sure our mini break had variety and I think that is important if you want to keep things fun and fresh. Many people who go on any type of break tend to stay in one place for too long and that is when things become stagnant and boring. It is good to keep things moving. Where ever we plan to go we think about how to break up the holiday into sections, we plan to stay in one location for a few days and then move on to the next location. This is what happened in Morocco, Croatia and when we venture up North to see my family-we plan day trips to other areas around Lancashire to really make use of our time. Now we are off to Nepal so I won’t be blogging as much as I usually do for about two weeks. I will try (as always) to do mini updates. We plan to spend time in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Bandipur, Bhaktipur and Chitwan as our main destinations. See you guys in two weeks, wish us a safe (long) journey and I hope everyone has a pleasant weekend.
the worm's head

YogiQ Chocolate

YogiQ
Towards the end of February I entered and won a competition by Om Yoga Magazine. I won some delicious YogiQ chocolate. I didn’t expect to win because I am one of those people who never wins anything and just isn’t very lucky, I usually have to work hard for a long period of time to even notice the benefits are being reaped. The day I found out I had won the chocolate I actually sighed with relief because I had had a really bad day at work and just wanted to snuggle into my woolen blanket and read Om Yoga Magazine. The moment I discovered I had won I felt uplifted and it made me feel like things will get better, it truly was a great way to end such an awful day. The lesson learned here is that no matter how bad things become, you know something positive is waiting for you around the corner, life isn’t always bad and certain things are presented to us in the nick of time to remind us, in my case it was chocolate, yum!
IQ chocolate

When it arrived in the post I didn’t expect YogiQ to be so generous, the package was reasonably big & heavy. I thought a few sample bars would have been sent to me and I would have been happy with that but they sent me a whole box! Wow thank you!
Om Yoga Magazine competition

The chocolate itself is yummy. If you like dark chocolate then you’ll love the taste and texture of YogiQ chocolates because not only does it have a rich flavour it is also very good for you. Their chocolate is antioxidant rich and packed with essential minerals plus it is 72% Peruvian Cocoa and not full of toxins or overloaded with sugars. On top of that it is also Gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soya free, has no GMO and is Vegan/Vegetarian friendly!
I have been enjoying my YogiQ chocolate bars with a cup of Chai Tea in the evenings as the spices in the Chai really compliment the dynamic yet soothing pungency of the Peruvian Cocoa.
YogiQ dark chocolate

YogiQ’s product design is detailed, thoughtful and adorable, so much so I was upset when I accidentally ripped one of the cardboard wrapping when trying to get to the chocolate. The IQ chocolate team have really gone to great lengths to care about their brand and their customer’s wants and needs. A whole lot of love has gone into this creation and I must say it has been a success, everything about the chocolate from the taste to the design is just exquisite.
YogiQ review

Because the IQ chocolate team sent me such a huge box I had to share it with friends and I have been giving bars away to those who appreciate healthy living, nutrition and enjoying something without the guilt. Being able to eat chocolate again and have it as part of a nutritious diet is wonderful and so important and I thoroughly support and want to promote YogiQ’s message that chocolate can be healthy and yummy!
healthy chocolate IQ chocolate

72% Peruvian Cocoa

eating YogiQ chocolate bar

YogiQ Ginger and Ginseng chocolate
Want to buy some chocolate and check out other products IQ super foods stock? Click here.