January 2018 – New Yoga Term

IW_dental_flierCapture

My yoga classes at the lovely new studio at Life Dental & Wellbeing on Queen Street, Exeter (directly opposite Exeter Central Station) start again on Wednesday 17th January 2018.

 

Classes are for all abilities and run each Wednesday from 5.30 – 6.30pm.  All equipment will be provided but feel free to bring your own mat if you prefer.

 

Your first class is free so come and give it a try without any commitment or cost.  You can book a block of 4 classes for just £30.

 

I look forward to seeing you at the Top Floor Studio, Life Dental & Wellbeing, 31 Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3SR.

 

Call the LDW team on 01392 278843 to book your place or email me for more info.

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Spring Wellbeing Coaching in Exeter

Chrissie Tarbitt, Integrated Wellbeing

Whether you’re keen to lose some weight or boost your confidence and self-esteem, the aim is to help you bust through any blocks you’re experiencing in your life and free you up to be the joyful, fulfilled person you want to be. I’m excited about sharing with you many of the powerful tools I have used on my own journey to bring about life-changing transformations.

Take advantage of my spring coaching package of 6 face-to-face sessions, now with extra Skype and email support throughout a 12-week period. I’ll work with you hand in hand to set your goals for transforming your life and guide you to prioritise your actions.

The cost of this life-changing 12-week coaching course is £360 and includes 6 individual face-to-face sessions plus weekly Skype and email support.

“I would thoroughly recommend Chrissie for hypnotherapy and life coaching.  I have been struggling to lose weight for some time and knew that it wasn’t just knowing what to eat that provides success.  Chrissie helped me with visualisation techniques, showing me how to overcome problems in everyday life in a different way, so as not to over eat and guided me away from compulsive eating to a more mindful approach.   I am a happier person and positive about achieving my goals because of Chrissie.”  L.A.

Book your FREE 20-minute telephone consultation to explore how wellbeing coaching could help you by emailing chrissie@integratedwellbeing.co.uk.

Read more about my approach to wellbeing coaching here.

10 Reasons Not To Skip Breakfast

Integrated Wellbeing - Food Matters - breakfast

Are you ever tempted to skip breakfast?  Here are 10 good reasons why that’s not a good idea …

1. Stress

Ever wake up feeling stressed about the day ahead? It could be that your “feel good” hormone (serotonin) levels have dropped and need a boost. Breakfast that includes oats and/or whole grain will lift serotonin levels, as well as provide you with a great source of the B vitamins that are essential for energy.

2. Mood

Sometimes when we wake up and our sugar levels are low (after all, it can be as long as 12 hours since the last meal), we can feel out of sorts. Eating a nutrient-rich breakfast will also help lift your mood.

3. Hunger

Choose breakfast that has a low Glycaemic Index (low GI indicates the rate at which the carbohydrates you eat are turned into sugar and released into the bloodstream as energy). Having persistently high blood sugar increases risk of type 2 diabetes and heart attack, as the number of destructive free radicals are raised in the body.

Eating lower GI carbohydrates such as oats and whole grain food help keep blood sugar levels in check which should help you feel fuller and more satisfied for longer. This approach to the most important meal of the day will also help you avoid the craving for high calorie, high sugar snacks mid-morning. Ghrelin, the hormone in the body responsible for increases in appetite, will remain lower during the day if you eat a satisfying breakfast and as a result you’re more likely to experience a steady feeling of fullness throughout the day.

A nourishing breakfast will also have an impact on levels of insulin, glucose, and fat in your blood, which can help lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

4. Hydration

Breakfast is a great opportunity to boost your hydration levels with a drink of nutrient-packed juice, smoothie (add a higher percentage of veggies than fruit to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels) or herbal tea. Check out my Get up and Go Green Smoothie recipe (link). Avoid too much caffeine which can cause irritability and also acts as a diuretic.

We all know how important it is to drink plenty of water throughout the day, but we often forget if our routine is interrupted. 

Best practice is not to let yourself get thirsty, but take plenty of sips through the day, so have an easy to carry eco-friendly glass drinking bottle with you. I never go anywhere without mine and I do try to drink at least the recommended 2 litres per day (that does include juices and herbal teas). As a rule, the more active we are in our daily lives, the more fluids we need to take on board.

5. Immunity

Breakfast is also a great opportunity to nourish ourselves with the nutrients that help maintain a healthy immune system and help us protect against and recover from illness, such as the A, B and C vitamins, as well as minerals such as zinc. Consuming freshly made vegetable juices and smoothies is a perfect nutrient-dense way to start the day (add a small handful of cashews or almonds to your favourite smoothies for protein and vital nutrients such a magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and calcium which will also help you feel fuller longer).

6. Concentration

Skipping breakfast can contribute to feeling foggy-headed and an inability to concentrate properly – not great when we know we have a busy day ahead of us.

After an overnight fast, the brain craves some carbs to alleviate tiredness, help concentration and stay focused at work.

Add oats and flaxseeds to your smoothie – honestly, the oats work really well!

7. Memory

The old grey matter needs a helping hand in the mornings too as a low GI breakfast refuels the brain cells that depend on glucose, by elevating blood sugar levels. This approach will help when we need to process and manage complex and challenging information as well as with the formation and retrieval of memories.

8. Weight

A nutritious, low GI breakfast helps to manage hunger and energy levels through the morning and at the same time encourages us to consume an overall lower number of daily calories as well as manage body fat levels.

9. Metabolism

Surprisingly to some, having breakfast actually gives the metabolism the encouragement to get going in the morning and helps us burn calories more efficiently.

Studies also show that eating the same amount of calories during the day, but switching the main meal from dinner to breakfast, actually aids weight loss.

The biological process that the body follows over a 24-hour cycle is called our circadian rhythm. Metabolism is impacted by this rhythm so the time of day we eat can have a big impact on the way our bodies process food.

10. Energy

Choosing a low GI breakfast will release energy slowly through the morning and help maintain energy levels. This in turn will affect our choice of food at lunchtime. If our energy levels don’t slump too much, we are far less likely to choose a high calorie, often high sugar meal.

 

The recipe for my current favourite breakfast option – the Integrated Wellbeing Bircher Muesli – is here: Bircher Muesli Recipe

And you can watch the accompanying video from the Integrated Wellbeing kitchen here: Chrissie TV – From the IW Kitchen

 

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

New Exeter City Centre Yoga Class

chrissie tarbitt, integrated wellbeing, yoga, retreats, andalucia

I’m delighted to launch a new weekly yoga class in Exeter city centre.

From Wednesday 27th September 2017, I’ll be teaching at the lovely new studio at Life Dental & Wellbeing on Queen Street, Exeter (directly opposite Exeter Central Station).

 

Classes are for all abilities and run on Wednesdays from 5.30 – 6.30pm.  All equipment will be provided but feel free to bring your own mat if you prefer.

 

Your first class is free so come and give it a try without any commitment or cost.  You can book a block of 4 classes for just £30.

 

I look forward to seeing you at the Top Floor Studio, Life Dental & Wellbeing, 31 Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3SR.

 

Call 01392 278843 to book your place.

Easy Hummus With A Twist

Red pepper & watercress hummus, recipe, integrated wellbeing

Hummus is not just yummy and incredibly versatile; it’s high in fibre and a great way for vegetarians and vegans to get protein.

There are loads of different versions available in deli’s and supermarkets but there’s nothing quite like making your own.  And it really isn’t tricky!

My most recent hummus recipe experiment was a real hit at home, so I thought I’d share it on what is apparently International Hummus Day!!!

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1/4 of a red pepper
  • 1 handful of watercress (including stalks)
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 small handful of coriander
  • 1 glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 generous squeeze of lemon
  • Sea salt & black pepper for seasoning (to taste)

Process

Nothing tricky here. Put it all in a food processor and whizz it up until smooth.

Tip

For a more textured end product, hold back a handful of chickpeas. Once the food processor has done its magic, add the final chickpeas and give the machine a quick ‘pulse’. That last handful will be chopped in but leave you with a slightly coarser hummus.

There’s no end of different versions you can make. Get creative.  Have some fun!

Please share your own favourites in the comments box below.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Yoga Retreats & Holidays

Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats

I’m a self-confessed lover of the seasons, but not in equal measure.  I have nothing against winter and I’m lucky enough not to be affected by a lack of morning and evening light.

That all said, the air of optimism and increase in energy around me at this time of year is infectious.

Spring has definitely sprung!   I’m loving being able to go for early morning walks, watch the sunrise over the estuary where I live and, on beautiful clear evenings, enjoy sunsets that we would normally expect on some exotic summer holiday!

Topsham, Goat Walk, sunsetTopsham, Goat Walk, flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing beats a walk in nature to dust off any vestiges of winter blues and I highly recommend going for a paddle if you live near water for instant grounding.  I promise you, not only your feet, but your whole body will thank you for it as you invite any stagnant prana/chi to leave achy joints and muscles, not to mention the shift in your mental state, helping us to view the world through a more positive lens.

All this talk of prana (our vital life force) and nature has me thinking ahead to yoga retreats and summer meditations on the beach.

A dear yoga teacher friend has invited me to co-host a gorgeous wild eco retreat in Southern France with her this summer and I’m already looking at various retreat centres in my favourite part of Spain, Andalucía, to take students for 2018 retreats (more on this in a later post). 

You don’t have to be an experienced yogi to enjoy your first yoga holiday.  My husband often tells friends of his first ever foreign yoga adventure in which he thought he was just accompanying me to keep me happy. His intention was in fact to drink nice coffee and read lots of books while I indulged my passion.  However, he was gently persuaded by our gorgeous yoga teacher, Michelle Bartolo of MichelleBartoloYoga.com, to give it a go.  To cut a long story short, by day three, 5 one and half hour sessions later, he was totally hooked.  He said he felt inches taller (this is a guy who is already 6’ 4”) and that he hadn’t slept so well in years!

The benefits of yoga have been widely written about, but if you’ve never been on a yoga holiday or retreat, I urge you to take the plunge – the effects will be exponential and equal to at least 6 months of going to a regular weekly class. 

Go with a friend or partner or if you decide to go on your own, you won’t be the only one.  I have tried all three ways and enjoyed each experience for different reasons.

A few things to look out for when choosing the right place for you:

  • A yoga holiday tends to be just that; you have yoga in the mornings and evenings and are often left to please yourself during the day with the option of organised outings or workshops.
  • A yoga retreat quite often means more participation in the preparation of food, clearing up etc. 
  • Check out the style of yoga by looking at the biographies of the host teachers involved.  If you’re used to a gentle hatha flow type of class, then you may not find that a week of dynamic Ashtanga meets your needs. 
  • There are themed holidays too, such as combining yoga with a sport you’re passionate about, specialist cookery classes or mindfulness and meditation workshops. 

There’s a huge amount of variety and of course wonderful destinations to choose from.  It’s definitely worth investing in the research before taking the plunge.  Finally, I would also check out the accommodation:  Are you happy to share with a stranger of the same sex (the cheaper option of course) or do you definitely want your own space?

There’s something for everyone out there and, in my experience, the teachers are very keen to ensure you have the best experience possible so don’t be shy about contacting them and asking for clarification.  If it’s luxury you’re after, then a campsite in the forest ain’t going to cut it after all!

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Post-Ride, Cool-Down Yoga Stretches

Chrissie Tarbitt, Cyclist's Lunge

It’s all too easy come off our bikes at the end of a ride and tend to other needs; grabbing something to eat or drink, or jumping into the shower.

Of course these are an important part of our recovery, but a few minutes spent on post-ride stretches can pay huge dividends with injury prevention and increasing our flexibility (warm muscles respond so much more kindly to being stretched than cold ones!).

So here are my top 4 stretches as part of your post-ride cool-down.

1. Back and shoulder release

I love this one as you also get a gentle hamstring stretch into the bargain (not unlike a downward dog pose in a yoga class).

DSC00999

  • Steady yourself on the bar, hands approximately shoulder-width apart
  • Walk the feet back until you come into a 90 degree angle with the ground
  • If this feels too tight on the back of the legs, soften the knees
  • Keep the spine long and extended and your gaze to the ground avoiding undue tension in the neck
  • A gentle tuck of the tailbone towards the ground will prevent undue tension in the lower back
  • The key is to take a few slow deep breaths and enjoy this stretch along the sides of the body, and through the shoulders
  • Hold for at least 30 seconds, then walk the feet towards your bike and stand up slowly

 2. Glutes stretch

This is one of my favourite stretches in my yoga classes. It’s a preparation for the “eagle pose” and is fabulous for releasing tension in the glutes. Again we get to use the bar of the bike.

DSC01006

  • Hold onto the bar approximately shoulder-width apart
  • Bend the standing leg and sit back as if going to sit on a chair
  • Lift the other leg off the floor, turn out the hip and place the leg (just above the ankle) on the standing leg
  • Again use the breath to help you relax and keep the oxygen flowing to the muscles
  • Try not to slump into the stretch by keeping the spine long and looking forward
  • Hold for at least 30 seconds on each side

As the eternal optimist, I’m offering these next two on the basis that it won’t be pouring with rain when you come off your bike through the summer season, so you can take socks and shoes off (although they do work with shoes on too!). It’s so good to be able to stretch out the feet after a long ride.

3. Front of the lower leg stretch

  • Chrissie Tarbitt, Integrated WellbeingHold onto the bar approximately shoulder-width apart
  • Really feel the standing foot connect with the ground so all the little muscles in the foot are fired up and ready to give you stability up through the ankle and the knee into the hip
  • Take the other foot back, keeping the spine long and avoiding any arching of the lower back
  • Gently place the toes on the ground (hopefully there is some grass nearby) and soften that leg very slightly to enjoy a gentle stretch through the front of the foot and shin
  • Take a few deep breaths and hold for at least 30 seconds on each side

4. Stretch out those tired digits!

Integrated Wellbeing, Chrissie Tarbitt,

  • Hold onto the bar, again approximately shoulder-width apart
  • Start with a firm foundation, a long spine and gazing forward
  • Rock back very gently onto the heels and lift the toes out in front of you
  • Raise the heels off the ground slowly and inhale

 

  • Slowly lower the heels to the ground on an exhale
  • Repeat at least 3 times

Check back soon for more sport-specific yoga, or sign up for my Integrated Wellbeing newsletter so you won’t miss a thing!  And please share your own favourite warm-down stretches in the Comments below.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

 

Yoga with Chrissie – January 2017

chrissie tarbitt, integrated wellbeing, body matters

The new yoga term at the Ocean Physio studio in Woodbury starts on Wednesday 4th (7.15 – 8.15 am) and Thursday 5th January (9.30 – 10.45am).

Classes will be payable in advance, in blocks of 6 @ £42 per block.

The drop-in fee will be £9 per class.  If you’re unable to book a block, please call Ocean in advance of any class to check availability, as I can only take a maximum of 10 in the studio.

All equipment is provided, but if you prefer to use your own mat, then of course that’s absolutely fine.

You’ll find the Ocean Physio & Rehab studio at:
Woodbury Business Park, Woodbury, Devon, EX5 1AY.

Wishing you a happy new year!

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Save

The Beauty of Imperfection

Integrated Wellbeing, leaves

The great weather this summer has allowed me to really indulge my passion for spending as much time as possible outdoors, from early morning yoga overlooking the estuary, camping in beautiful craggy Cornwall to trying my hand at the wonderfully meditative pursuit of SUP (aka paddle boarding).

Being removed from my digital devices during these times has also provided me with the all-important head space I so often crave, enabling time for reflection and the opportunity to focus on the here and now.

I have often written about the importance of mindfulness or awareness practice in my own life and, for me, the most challenging aspect of it all is to practice without judgment, with acceptance of all that is. 

In being mindful or aware, we learn to notice how we react in a situation, which at the same time can raise all kinds of negative thoughts and judgments about ourselves. However, the true gift is that, in that moment of awareness, we have a choice – the choice of how we respond rather than react.

Finding myself in a spiral of self-criticism recently, I came across an article on the Japanese principle wabi-sabi (said to be the most essential of life’s principles in Japanese culture).

Emerging in the 15th century as a reaction to the importance of lavishness, ornamentation, and riches, wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection.

This definition beautifully sums up how our mindfulness practice can bring about inner peace without judgment if we just allow ourselves to fully accept and appreciate who we are, as a result of everything (including perceived flaws) that has taken place in our lives.

“Bringing wabi-sabi into your life doesn’t require money, training, or special skills. It takes a mind quiet enough to appreciate muted beauty, courage not to fear bareness, willingness to accept things as they are—without ornamentation. It depends on the ability to slow down, to shift the balance from doing to being, to appreciating rather than perfecting.”  Robyn Griggs Lawrence, Natural Home

My husband has been a life-long fan of the work of Leonard Cohen, who sadly died just a month after I wrote this article.  Now, I have to be honest, I’m a latecomer and it wasn’t until I took him to a Leonard Cohen concert for his birthday that I discovered the wonderful poetry and words of wisdom he conveys in his lyrics.  I find these beautiful, simple words from his song “Anthem” very moving:

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”

Of course there is no need to strive for perfection.  He’s reminding us to get over ourselves, give ourselves a break and ultimately, enjoy the light that gets through the cracks as that’s where the creativity is, the real essence of who we are, if we are only prepared to let it in.

[*This article was first published in the November issue of the wonderful Om Yoga Magazine*]

With wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Save

Save

Save

Save

Yoga with Chrissie – Autumn Term

integrated wellbeing, outdoor yoga

I hope you’re all having a great summer and enjoying some sunshine. I’ve been out early most mornings with a rather lovely view from my mat!

The new yoga term at the Ocean Physio studio in Woodbury starts on Wednesday 7th (7.15 – 8.15 am) and Thursday 8th September (9.30 – 10.45am).

I have decided to change the booking system slightly for ease of admin.  From September, the classes will be payable in advance, in blocks of 6 @ £42 per block.

The drop-in fee will be £9 per class.  If you’re unable to book a block, please call Ocean in advance of any class to check availability, as I can only take a maximum of 10 in the studio.

The first block’s payment will be for 7th/8th September through to 12th/13th October inclusive.  Please could you call Ocean Physio on 01395 239455 prior to the start of the classes to make payment and secure your place.

All equipment is provided, but if you prefer to use your own mat, then of course that’s absolutely fine.

You’ll find the Ocean Physio & Rehab studio at:
Woodbury Business Park, Woodbury, Devon, EX5 1AY.

Let me know if you have any questions.  In the meantime, I’m really looking forward to seeing you again in a few weeks’ time.

With wellbeing wishes,
Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing