Eat, drink, be merry and indulge: it’s good for the soul and, after all, it is the festive season.
Over Xmas we let go to merriment, abandon our usual dietary discipline, stay up later than normal and generally surrender to having fun with those we love.
But there is a cost to our wellbeing.

So why not celebrate wisely? It is actually not that hard. A clear intention is crucial, along with few well-made plans. And there you are – maintaining wellness.
The Plan:
1.Detox to counter the Xmas re-tox by using foods as medicine and remedies. Drink plenty of water.
2.Continue your daily yoga practice but make it an easy 10-15 minute practice. or if you’re in Auckland, drop into the Yoga Academy over the break – https://www.yoga.co.nz/timetables/christmas-timetable-201516/
Simplifying things but practising daily -just a little bit – keeps the joints moving and the organs squeezed (removing toxins) and stretched (fresh, oxygenated blood surging in) as well as steadying the mind and soothing the nervous system.
Rationale for the de-tox plan:
Our blood can become too acidic from consuming excessive sugar, refined flour products, alcohol, toxins and animal foods.
Alkalinity is an important factor for health. We want our blood to be slightly alkaline (about 7.35). If the blood is too acidic, then harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, fats and mucous thrive and grow, contributing to degenerative blood and disease.
Rationale for the daily but short yoga practice: (good news: our Yoga Academy will be open this Xmas but with a reduced program. See the Xmas timetable online)
Taking even a little bit of time (15-20 minutes daily) to practise over Xmas will ground you and inspire you, so physical and emotional kinks that build up during the festive season do not derail you.
This kind of approach also means you will slip back into your yoga class routine in the new year with ease. A little bit of practice on a daily basis goes a very long way to ensuring you maintain balance.
Two useful remedies for detoxing over the Xmas Period:
1.Umeboshi Plum:
Umeboshi plum is a great remedy for a hangover or over-indulging in sugar or acidic foods.
Umeboshi plum is a processed, pickled plum used throughout Japan, China and Korea for its incredible health promoting properties. Its natural bacteria, enzymes, organic acids and powerful alkaline qualities are the reason umeboshi plum has been called “The King of Alkaline Foods.”
Where do you buy umeboshi plum? You can buy the plums in a jar or in paste form from Harvest Health Foods, Huckleberries, IE Produce and Wise Cicada.
How does one take an umeboshi plum? Soak an umeboshi plum or a tsp of the paste for five minutes in hot water or in Kukicha/Bancha tea. Drink the liquid and eat the plum together.

2.Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar can be used to balance the body’s pH (acid vs alkaline levels) and to create an overall detoxification of the body. It is super-rich in minerals like potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and copper, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and E, bioflavonoids, and pectin.
Where do you buy apple cider vinegar? From most supermarkets and health food stores.
How do you take apple cider vinegar? Mix one to two tablespoons of vinegar in eight ounces of water. Drink one glass daily.
Two useful food ideas for detoxing during the Xmas period:
1. Fresh fruit, fresh nuts, flaxseed puree and yoghurt (coconut if you’re dairy intolerant): Every morning have fresh fruit salad with fresh walnuts, almonds, and flaxseeds (the flaxseeds need to be soaked overnight and pureed). Put one cup of flax seeds in a bowl, cover with water and leave in the fridge for up to four days. Each day, get out four tablespoons of the mixture, pop in a blender and puree. (At this stage, add frozen raspberries if you want a better taste). And ensure you buy high quality, organic nuts. It’s important to avoid the packets in supermarkets as they are often old and rancid. Yes, they cost a lot but look at all the money you may be spending on alcohol!!

2. Vegetable Miso Seaweed Broth:
Easy to make and easy to drink, this alkalizing broth can go into the fridge for at least 3-4 days. Each day, heat up one cup and drink it. As well as being full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, the miso content of the soup provides probiotics (good bacteria to help with digestion and elimination-de-toxing). Be sure to add the miso after the broth has been cooked because, like most probiotic foods, miso should be added to soups or other dishes just before they are removed from the heat. This preserves the live koji cultures in miso and also retains as many nutrients as possible.
Recipe:
1.Place an assortment of veges such as potato (potassium), broccoli (sulforaphane), carrots (Vit A, Vit C), green beans ( Vit K B2, manganese) zucchini (magnesium, phosperous) into a pot with three litres of water.
2. Add 1 tsp of Vecon (a stock paste that has high nutritional value with added iron and vitamins), and 2 tbsps of Pacific Karengo Fronds (buy both of these products at organic health food stores: Wise Cicada in Newmarket, Huckleberry in Royal Oak, Harvest in Grey Lynn, IE Produce in Takapuna).
3. Add 3-4 cloves of garlic, a small onion, a 2 inch chunk of ginger root and, if available, 3 sticks of organic celery. Dice everything finely.
4.Bring to the boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5. Remove from the heat, add 1 tbsp of the miso and stir it in. Taste and, if necessary, add more miso.

A simplified less-is-more yoga practice:if you’re in Auckland, drop into the Yoga Academy over the break – https://www.yoga.co.nz/timetables/christmas-timetable-201516/
Ashtanga Yoga:
If you practise Ashtanga yoga at our Yoga Academy, simply do five salutes A and five salutes B daily. If you want to up the practice to 30 minutes, do the salutes A and B plus the standing pose sequence.
Hatha Yoga:
If you do Hatha yoga as taught at our Yoga Academy, do the following sequence and remember to hold for 30 seconds in each pose:

virasana 1virasana 2virasana 3

fwd benddog downhalf handstandtriangle posetree posesetu fulltwistDSC01010

MERRY XMAS NAMASTE!