Author: Yoga Naturals

If every day seems like a bad hair day and your nails are a shocking sight, don’t despair. Recent discoveries about what causes hair and nail problems are being made and there are now plenty of natural solutions available that are worth trying.

Hair and nails are both largely made of a tough fibrous protein called keratin. The visible parts are dead, but to make healthy hair and nail cells we need a good supply of nutrients to support the activity that is going on beneath the surface of the skin.

Help! I’m Losing My Hair and My Nails Are Brittle

It can be distressing when your hair starts thinning and your nails become unsightly. While nail and hair growth is largely determined by genetics, we can still improve their condition once we know the underlying problems.

Starvation Diet

In developed countries, most get plenty of calories, but, paradoxically, we may still suffer malnutrition if we’re starved of essential micronutrients (e.g. vitamins and minerals).

Malnutrition can occur when you’re not properly absorbing nutrients in the gut.

Conditions linked with malabsorption include:

  • Weight loss surgery
  • Coeliac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Prolonged use of antacids and proton pump inhibitors
  • Stomach ulcers

If you think your absorption is compromised, it’s worth taking protein powder every day, as well as a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement that contains zinc, folate, B12, iron (if tests show you’re deficient) and biotin.

Biotin is particularly useful in strengthening brittle nails.

Dieting Warning

Beware of meal replacement diets that don’t supply healthy amounts of protein and vitamins and minerals. You may lose weight but it can have a negative impact on your hair and nails at the same time.

Fad diets that only allow a limited range of foods will cause the same problems, as will fasting for too long and following very low calorie diets.

The Impact of Hormones


Thinning hair can be one of the toughest symptoms to deal with as we age. More than a third of women become partially bald by the time they reach 70.

When women reach menopause, the growth phase for hair becomes shorter so hair sheds faster than it can be replaced.

The underlying hormonal process is not well understood, but it is thought that oestrogen stimulates hair growth. As our production of this hormone drops off, sadly, so does hair growth.

At the same time, women produce more biologically active ‘free’ testosterone. Some is metabolized into the hormone, DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT causes hair miniaturization, where the hair follicles shrink and hair grows finer and shorter and shorter over time.

This so-called androgenic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women.

Are Bald Men More Virile?

Men like to think that baldness is a sign of lots of testosterone and therefore lots of virility. This isn’t strictly true as male pattern baldness is more influenced by DHT.

Those who are genetically programmed to be more sensitive to this hormone will lose more hair than others.

Natural Solutions

Bear in mind that you’re more likely to see improvements if you tackle the problem early on.

Since DHT is the main culprit in most cases of hair loss, it stands to reason that most treatment strategies focus on inhibiting production of this hormone.

Natural DHT inhibitors include:

  1. Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens work in several different ways to improve hair growth and quality. They are DHT inhibitors, but they also promote hair growth and help you keep your natural colour by increasing your body’s natural growth hormone.

Phytoestrogens from soy also help to promote stronger, healthier nails.

Good sources of phytoestrogens include:

  • Soy-based foods (e.g tofu, soy milk, and soybeans) – Fermented miso paste is a good choice as you’re getting the bonus of good bacteria. Try 1 tbsp miso paste dissolved in hot water as a snack. You can also add miso paste to salad dressings, soups and stews.
  • Flaxseeds (linseeds) – These need to be ground, as our bodies are unable to extract the phytoestrogens from whole seeds. Enjoy a daily dose of 1-2 tbsp sprinkled on cereal or in smoothies.
  1. Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto is usually found in supplements for prostate health, but both sexes can use it to support hair health.

  1. Pumpkin seed oil

Research has shown that pumpkin seed oil is an effective DHT inhibitor. In one study, participants achieved a phenomenal 40% increase in hair after 24 weeks of treatment using 400 mg pumpkin seed oil capsules.

  1. Chinese knotweed

Chinese knotweed is also known as Polygonum multiflorum or Fallopia multiflora or Fo-Ti. Make sure you consult a reputable herbalist if you want to try this herb.

  1. Zinc

Zinc is also crucial to growing long, strong nails.



Healthy Smoothie Recipes - 6 Flavors - She Likes Food

Blend together:

  • 1-2 tsp almond butter
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1-2 tbsp protein powder of your choice
  • collagen powder
  • 1 small handful of either frozen mango or frozen pineapple chunks
  • ¼-1/2 banana
  • 2 tsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1-2 tsp pumpkin seed oil (optional extra)


Are You Anaemic?

Anaemia is a common cause of hair loss and weak, ridged nails.

This can be because you’re not absorbing minerals well or because you’re not meeting your body’s iron needs through diet.

Iron in diet for hair health

Before taking an iron supplement, it’s best to have your iron and ferritin levels checked by your doctor. Ferritin will show you what your iron stores are – if this is low, you’re likely to suffer hair loss.

Keep in mind that if your iron and ferritin levels are on the low side but still within the ‘normal’ range, you can still suffer hair loss.

Top 10 Nutrition tips for your yoga practice

There are many beliefs and changing statements on what, when and how you should eat as a yogi. However, in truth, your diet and eating habits are as unique as your lifestyle, your practice and your goals.

Don’t Eat Heavy Meals Beforehand

It is commonly agreed that eating too much before a practice leads to a full, tired and groggy feeling which can limit your practice. It can also make you feel uncomfortable because you are working your digestive system in some asanas. Therefore, small and often is better than a large meal, and avoid anything other than a snack for 2 hours before your yoga practice.

Other Yogis believe in fasting or only eating specific foods, but others believe that this may reduce your strength if done regularly or for long periods of time.

Mindful Eating

Yoga promotes good health and strength and also encourages discipline. It is a mindful practice which is life changing. Food is our primary source of energy, offering us strength and wellness. If we reflect the mindfulness of yoga into our eating habits, and practice discipline, we will also see greater benefits than if we don’t. Mindful eating can prevent overeating and ensure we eat foods which strengthen, as opposed to weaken, our bodies. Therefore, it can well be argued that the links between nutrition and yoga are very close. So what should we be nourishing our bodies with as a Yogi?


Berries are a well known superfood, offering a whole host of nutrients and goodness. Their bright colour suggests to us that they are full of disease-fighting antioxidants. Berries are high in natural sugars, giving you a good supply of energy throughout your yoga practice, without the dreaded sugar crash from artificial sugary food. They are also high in fibre, which helps to prevent hunger pangs and strengthen your digestive system.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Dark green vegetables are full of vitamins C, E and K, calcium, iron and fibre. Eating these nutritious greens will allow the benefits of yoga to be even greater, as you allow your body to become the very best it can be.


It is very common for yogis to be vegetarians. The discipline of the practice, teamed with the discipline of a vegetarian diet is said to be very beneficial for both the mind and body. However, it is still vital to find a strong source of protein, especially for someone as physically active as a Yogi.

Tofu is a complete protein source, due to the 9 essential amino acids which it provides. In addition to this, it has a low fat and low sugar content, making it a great choice for your protein source.


From almonds to cashew nuts, peanuts to walnuts, nuts are a great source of good fat and protein. Nuts boost energy and satisfy hunger, with their slow release. You can enjoy nuts as a snack, although avoid the salted or coated options, or you can have nut butters and dips to offer more variety.


Water is an essential part of nutrition to keep our bodies working to the best of their ability. As well as drinking water, we can ensure we consume hydrating foods, such as cucumber and lettuce. The body can more easily absorb water in this way, making it a great way to hydrate.


Quinoa is another super food, with a high source of protein. It provides you with energy and improved concentration, as well as being a great source of iron, magnesium and vitamin B2. The compounds of quinoa promotes healthy blood and blood sugar levels, and much more.


Refined sugars, alcohol, caffeine and unhealthy fats can all have a negative effect on how your body functions. It can add to the ageing process, inhibit concentration, increase your weight and body fat, increase diabetes risks, heart disease and so much more. By focusing on what can strengthen our body instead of poisoning ourselves we can live a much longer, happier and healthier life.


Like life, food is a gift. It is our source of energy and strength, but it is also a pleasure and something which we should be grateful for. When meals have been lovingly prepared, it is important we give them the gratitude which they so deserve.



Modern day life can often be so busy and stressful, that we forget to take time out to enjoy all that we are working for and achieving. Even when we do take time to sit down and relax, we’re frequently found scrolling through social media sites, browsing the Internet or catching up on emails.

However, there is a lot to be said for taking time out to just sit, relax and switch off the mind from outside distractions. This kind of relaxation is great for your mind and body, reducing stress levels from your mind and body.


Some people think that meditation is this magical thing which you need to learn to do. In truth, it really is just about taking time out to unwind and relax. Find somewhere peaceful and relaxing for you and sit or lay in a comfortable position where you will not be temped to fidget. Allow your eyes to close and take the awareness to the breath. Allow your breath to be free, and watch as it naturally deepens as your body remains still and your mind quietens.

By using your breath as your focus, you encourage yourself to remain in the present moment, instead of planning what you are going to have for dinner, or mentally scribing a to-do list. Remain focused on the breath and allow your mind to begin to scan down over your body, releasing any tension which you find in your muscles or joints with each exhalation. Notice how you feel, notice what you hear.


It is perfectly natural for your mind to wander during your meditation. When this happens, don’t be annoyed with yourself, just take the awareness back to the breath and begin to rescan the body as soon as you realise your concentration has drifted.

If certain noises or disturbances occur, again, let them pass and return to your calm. Distractions can in fact, help you to strengthen your mind; they encourage you to focus more deeply within.


The benefits of meditation are limitless. Meditating helps us to understand our own mind and the way we work. It can help us to transform how we feel in any situation, from negative, to positive, purely by being aware of the way we act and react. By practising meditation regularly, you will be able to begin applying it to your everyday life. Being aware of you and your surroundings, preventing you from making rash decisions, getting upset over something trivial, or losing your temper frequently.


Research shows that there are multiple proven benefits of regular meditation, on both our mood and our health. It is suggested that 10-15 minutes of mindful meditation, is equivalent to one hour’s sleep. Our body relaxes so completely, releasing tensions from within, that we ‘awaken’ feeling refreshed and relaxed. Also, meditating before falling asleep can improve the quality of your whole nights sleep.

Medical benefits include reduced blood pressure, improvement of asthma and other respiratory problems, depression and anxiety management, prevents signs of ageing, improves skin condition and so much more. As discussed, it can also create an improved mood and lasting feelings of happiness. From this, willpower, confidence and success all follow.

In short, meditation can improve, pretty much, every aspect of your life, as it changes your perception on things in a positive way. By taking 10-15 minutes each day for you, changes will happen. And don’t worry about doing it wrong, there is no secret formula. Like anything, with practice, it will come.

Supplements often promise to keep you looking young, your joints mobile, increase your metabolism, improve your energy levels and so much more. For almost every wish, there is a bottle promising the desired results. So how do we know how reliable these claims are. Are supplements are worth it, and which ones to choose from?


Yogis are often renowned for their love of nature and their passion for health. Yoga is a practice which has been built upon for centuries, with benefits proven over many years. With this in mind, it is suggested that natural supplements are the preferred choice, over synthetic vitamins. Natural vitamins from reputable companies, tend to include less artificial ingredients, which often cannot be digested, making the vitamin of no benefit to your body. Others include artificial colourings or binding materials, which often are not of benefit to your health. Read the ingredients on the back of your bottles to ensure you are buying natural products.


Just like our yoga practice, what we want from a supplement differs from person to person. Some people yoga for peace of mind, others for increased flexibility or strength. In the same way, some people may want to take supplements to increase their iron levels, improve their energy or improve their skin condition. You may spend little time in the sun and want to increase your vitamin D levels. Or, you may worry about your joints and require more lubrication. Whatever your individual requirements, your supplements need to enhance your health.

It is recommended that you do your own research on the benefits of supplements and make your own decision on whether they will benefit your health. Marketing tools will promise you instant results, however you need to have realistic expectations and know what you are putting into your body.

No Replacement

Studies may differ, showing differing benefits to various supplements and vitamins, however it is still believed that no amount of tablets or other items can replace a healthy, balanced diet. Exposure to sunshine, exercise, a healthy balanced diet and mindfulness offer the optimum setting for good health. There is no short cut to being healthy, it takes time and effort, but it is the best thing for you to invest your time and effort into.

Which Supplements?

In an ideal world, we’d all practice yoga regularly, eat fresh, whole foods and get the perfect amount of fresh air, sunshine and sleep. However, sometimes life doesn’t quite go to plan and we need to bridge the gaps in the best way possible. Supplements offer this bridge. Probiotics, Vitamin B12, essential oils and multi vitamins are some of the top, arguably most important supplements available. The combination of these supplements offer potential for good overall health, when used alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle. This said, it is important to ensure you are not taking too many of any particular nutrients. Always stick to the recommended does provided on the label.

Have you noticed how often your answer to the question “how are you?” is “busy”? Or the different-but-same “good, but busy!”

Busy is our new normal. But that doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

It’s easy to fall into the cycle of wake up, check your emails, go to work, come home, scroll through social media in bed, and rinse and repeat.

When did our lives become on autopilot by default?

Enter meditation

Meditation is the practice of training our minds to switch off from outside distractions and focus. Its aim is to develop mindfulness – bringing you attention to what you’re doing in the present moment, instead of thinking about what’s already happened or what could happen in the future. It leads to greater concentration, clarity and calmness.

And it doesn’t need to be complicated or stressful or something you need to ‘learn’ to do. It’s about the practice.

[Block quote] Meditation is like yoga – you don’t need to learn to do it, you just do it.

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Starting to meditate

The first thing to know is there is no “right” way to meditate. There’s no set amount of time, or pre-determined pose you need to sit in. You can do whatever feels right. As time goes on, you’ll naturally develop a style that suits you.

It may seem daunting when you hear some people say they meditate for an hour every morning. If that works for them, that’s great. But that’s probably taken them years to work up to, and is not realistic for many people.

The best way to start is with five minutes a day. In the beginning, this will seem like hours. But start small, increasing a few minutes every week or month until you reach a length of time that feels best. Although everyone is different, 15-20 minutes is a good aim.

If you want to know when you should meditate, the short answer is: whenever is easiest for you. It may be mornings that work for you, but if you’re not an early bird it could also be on your lunch break, when you get home from work, or in the evening before bed.

How to meditate: a 4-step guide

  1. Find somewhere quiet and sit comfortably.

Find a place where you won’t be disturbed, and sit in a way that is comfortable for you. This could be on the floor, on a chair or upright on your bed. Set a timer for the length of time you want to start with.

  1. Close your eyes and relax.

Allow your eyes to close and rest your arms in your lap or on your legs. Mentally scan your body and release any tension you’re holding – start with your head then move through to your neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, chest, stomach, hips, legs, knees, ankles and feet, checking in with each body part.

  1. Focus on your breath.

Start breathing low and slow. Breathe in slowly through your nostrils, then out through your nostrils. The aim is to do “belly breathing” instead of “chest breathing”. This means breathing in deeply so your stomach expands out, instead of up. It can help to count to four slowly while you breath in, then again as as you breathe out.

  1. When your mind wanders, return to your breath.

Quite quickly, you’ll notice you’re thinking about something else. This might be what you’re going to have for dinner, a noise you hear outside, or anything on your mental to-do list. When this happens – and it will, repeatedly – just return to your breath, breathing in, breathing out.

And that’s it! That’s really all it is.

“Help – I can’t focus!”

As mentioned, your mind will wander. But as soon as you notice this, bring your awareness back to the breath. If certain noises or disturbances occur, let them pass and return to your breathing.

You might find it frustrating how often it happens – and it could be 20, 30 or even 50 times during a five-minute period. But don’t be annoyed. This is actually a good thing – noticing distractions then returning to the present moment via focusing on your breath is what helps you to strengthen your mind and focus more deeply within. As you continue, eventually your mind will wander less and less.

Remember, the focus is not to think nothing – it is to practice coming back to the present moment.

Benefits of meditation

Initially the benefits of “just sitting still” may not be obvious. But it doesn’t take long to understand the deep, powerful benefits of this practice.

With regular meditation, you’ll notice how you start applying its techniques to your everyday life such as being aware of yourself and your surroundings, breathing deeply, focusing on one thing at a time, and being less distracted.

This prevents you from making rash decisions, getting upset over something small, or becoming irritated when something doesn’t go your way. This leads to more stable moods, greater compassion and tolerance, and a more positive outlook on life. It can help us to transform how we feel in any situation, from negative to positive, just by being aware of the way we act and react when situations arise. From this, willpower, confidence and success all follow.

Consider meditation an act of self-love and self-care. Taking the time to mediate – even for just five minutes – demonstrates to yourself that you’re worth the time and effort to improve how you feel, how you act and your outlook on life.

Physically, the health benefits are well documented and backed by research. These include reduced blood pressure, improvement of asthma and other respiratory problems, depression and anxiety management, improved skin condition and even anti-ageing benefits.

It’s suggested 10-15 minutes of meditation is worth an hour of sleep. The body relaxes so completely that afterwards we ‘awaken’ feeling refreshed – and if done before bed, meditation can improve the quality of your whole night’s sleep.

Final tips

In summary:

  • Meditation improves every aspect of your life, as it changes your awareness, perception and reaction to situations and people.
  • There’s no secret formula and you can’t do it wrong. Find a length of time, location, sitting position and breathing style that works for you.
  • Your mind wandering and becoming distracted is not only normal but a good thing, as this helps to strengthen your mind by encouraging you to focus more deeply within.
  • Like anything, with practice it becomes easier and more enjoyable as you continue.


Do you have any techniques that help you meditate, or any burning questions? If so, let us know in the comments.


You may have heard of electrolytes – perhaps you have a vague memory from a science class or TV ads for Gatorade.

While sports drinks aren’t the kind of drinks you want to be consuming for good health – they’re expensive and often packed with sugar, artificial sweetener and additives – they’ve got it right about the importance of electrolytes.

What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals in your body with many important functions. From regulating your heartbeat to ensuring your muscles contract properly so you can move. They also control nerve function, hydration, blood pH, blood pressure and the repair of body tissue, including healing cuts, bruises and skin blemishes.

The most important ones we need on a daily basis are sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Electrolyte imbalances

Electrolytes are found in our bodily fluids like sweat, urine and blood. We obtain them from certain foods and drinks, and lose them through fluid loss.

The most common way this can happen is sweating. Some sweating is good – it’s the body’s built-in mechanism to keep us cool. But when we perspire, it’s not pure water we’re losing – sweat also contains urea (a waste product), lactate (also known as lactic acid), nutrients and electrolytes. As a result, excess sweating that typically occurs during exercise such as yoga causes electrolyte depletion. This can lead to an imbalance.

Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance include a racing pulse, headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, numbness, twitching, bouts of confusion, muscle spasms and, in serious cases, seizures and blackouts. All of these are seriously, especially if experienced during a class.

To maintain good health, it’s important for lost electrolytes to be replaced quickly.

How to get back on track

Whether you’re feeling drowsy, weak, or simply have a headache, the best method of bringing electrolytes back into balance is to drink plenty of water straight from the tap, have a piece of fruit, or eat some vegetables.

Bananas are particularly rich in potassium, while kale and broccoli contain high levels of calcium. Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), a good source of sodium, is also excellent for gut health. Try chopping up a range of mixed veggies and storing them in your fridge in an air-tight container, to grab quickly and easily whenever you want.

Supplements are also a simple, effective method of ensuring healthy electrolyte levels. Be sure to choose a good quality supplement free that is 100% natural, free from animal products, ethically sourced, and rich in the right minerals you need for optimal health and performance.

The Yoga Naturals range of premium plant-based supplements has been specially designed to enhance your yoga practice and overall wellbeing. View the full collection of products here.


One of the benefits of yoga is its ability to strengthen mindfulness – our awareness and experience of the present moment.

While we practice mindfulness on the mat, that’s just one place we can do so. Off the mat is where we truly get an opportunity to put those tools and techniques into place.

But it’s not just in a traditional, seated meditation pose that we should encounter mindfulness – there are many routine, habitual activities where we have the opportunity to explore it.

5 Times to Practice Mindfulness

  1. First thing in the morning

Instead of snoozing your alarm or scrolling through your phone, become mindful of your body. Do a big stretch then check in with different body parts from head to toe. This could include moving your neck from side to side, lifting your shoulders up and down, shaking your shake and flexing your toes. Finish with 10 deep, long breaths.

  1. In the shower

Notice how the water feels flowing across your skin, and the sensations as it travels over your body. Imagine tracing the path of each drop from start to finish. Notice how the water sounds, and how your legs feel as you shift your weight from one foot to the other. As you shampoo your hair, give yourself a head massage and apply gentle but firm pressure. Use soap or a body wash and exfoliate your skin, making circular motions up and down each limb.

  1. When eating

Ensure you’re seated for every meal or snack – avoid eating while standing up, on the go or in the car. Limit distractions like the TV being on, sitting at a computer or scrolling through your phone. Look at your food as you eat it, chewing each mouthful at least 20 times. With every bite notice the taste, texture and flavours. How does it smell? What’s hard, soft, chewy? What’s sweet, salty, bitter?

  1. While doing the dishes

Run the water, patiently watching the sink fill. Wash each dish or cup thoroughly, rinsing with cold water as you go. Focus on the soapy water and bubbles, the warmth of the water, and methodically move each item from the sink to the drying rack. Afterwards, keep your hands soft (water can dry them out) by using a good quality moisturiser or hand cream. Rub it in slowly, applying pressure on the pads of your hands, and go over each knuckle and fingernail slowly.

  1. While walking

Avoid using your phone or listening to music. Notice the way your feet hit the ground and enjoy the rhythm of your steps. Change your pace from fast and slow. Alternate between pushing off from your heels and your toes. Notice the ground – are you walking on pavement, grass, floorboards? Are there lines, cracks, leaves?

As you practice mindfulness during small moments each day, this will invariably lead to a deeper and more mindful yoga practice – and vice versa.

How do you practice mindfulness?


4 Drinks That Hurt Yoga Practice – and 3 to Improve it

Any yogi understands there’s no one right way to do yoga – that’s why it’s call a practice.

It’s the same with our diet – bio-individuality is a food philosophy that means there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to nutrition.

However, there are certain foods and drinks that will disrupt anyone’s practice.

4 Key drinks to avoid

1. Soft drinks

Loaded with sugar, these negatively affect your performance by causing energy slumps, bloating, brain fog and weight gain. And diet drinks with artificial sweeteners aren’t any better, causing poor gut health, sugar cravings, mood fluctuations and digestive issues.

2. Coffee

For most people coffee is fine is small doses – 1 to 2 cups (or shots of espresso) per day has benefits including lower rates of cognitive decline, lowered inflammation and protection against sun damage. However, excess consumption of caffeine causes jitters, nausea, rapid heartbeat and muscle aches. Additionally, added extras in takeaway coffee often make it unhealthy like cow’s milk, artificial sweeteners, syrups and flavours (high in sugar).

3. Milk

While encouraged by nutritional authorities as a good course of calcium, the newest research shows many reasons why dairy is not good for humans. Its proteins and sugars (including lactose and casein) are common allergens that can aggravate asthma, allergies, headaches, sinus problems and weakened bones. It also affects our joints, which is not good for our flexibility.

4. Alcohol

No surprises here! Alcohol takes a significant toll on health – for your practice, this means lethargy, fatigue, reduced energy and stamina, and lack of mental clarity. Not to mention that a yoga class with a hangover is just not fun. If you do like a drink, best choices are red wine (look for organic, bio-dynamic or natural wines), vodka with soda water, and spirits on the rocks.

Complete list of drinks to avoid

To perform your best and for overall better health, this is our comprehensive list of drinks to avoid:

  • Soft drinks, including ‘diet’, ‘lite’ and ‘zero calorie’ soft drinks
  • Tonic water – basically a soft drink (it has just as much sugar)
  • Artificial sweeteners – including aspartame (sold as Equal, NutraSweet and SilvaSpoon), saccharin (Sweetex and Hermesetas) and sucralose (Splenda)
  • Bottled fruit juice – high in sugar, plus and the vitamins and minerals normally associated with fruit are almost entirely eliminated during the manufacturing process
  • Sports drinks like Gatorade
  • Energy drinks like Red Bull, V and Monster
  • Take-away coffee with cow’s milk, sugar, sweeteners, syrups and flavours
  • Smoothies with cow’s milk or yoghurt
  • All types of cow’s milk – including skim/skinny/low-fat/skimmed
  • Cocktails – made with sugary syrups
  • Spirits with mixers (soft drinks)
  • Beer – high in carbohydrates
  • Prosecco and white wine – higher in sugar than red wine

Best drinks for your practice

The good news is, there are drinks that will see you bursting with energy, clarity and focus instead! They are:

1. Before: Green juice

30 to 60 minutes before your class, have a vegetable-based green juice. We like the combination of spinach, cucumber, celery, lemon and green apple.

2. During: Coconut water

Coconut water is loaded with electrolytes – the minerals lost during strenuous activity – making it the perfect choice during a vinyasa class.

3. After: A non-dairy smoothie

After class, replenish with a non-dairy smoothie using ingredients like banana, avocado (for ultra creaminess), spinach, berries and chia seeds.

Have you noticed any health benefits when you exclude or include particular drinks?


How to Prepare for Your Yoga Practice

Yoga has long been recognised for its benefits on both the mind and body. 

Physically, it develops muscle tone, strength, balance and flexibility. 

Mentally, it offers stress relief, deeper relaxation, better focus, improved concentration and also greater self-awareness. 

But to benefit holistically, you must prepare holistically – both the mind and body. 

Preparing the mind 

Your mindset is the foundation to yoga practice success. 

At the start of your practice, take a few minutes to calm the constant chatter of your ‘monkey mind’ – a Buddhist term meaning ongoing unsettled, indecisive and restless thoughts. 

To do this, focus on a single point in the distance. This is known as drishti, or the focused gaze, and is a tool to strengthen your dharana (concentration) and pratyahara (sense withdrawal). 

With patience and practice you’ll strengthen your ability to tune out distractions. Stop your eyes from wandering and direct your energy appropriately. 

In this restful state, you can focus more deeply on your pranayama (control of the breath) and also asanas (postures or poses). 

Preparing the body 

Firstly, physical preparation starts the night before – get a good night’s sleep so you’re not tired. 

On the day of your practice, also ensure you’re well-hydrated. Drink at least two glasses of water before, or more if doing Bikram yoga (‘hot yoga’, practiced in a room heated to 35-42°C). Eating a light snack 1-2 hours before also keeps your energy levels high and prevents you feeling dizzy or faint. 

Also, consider a supplement from the Yoga Naturals range. When taken 30 minutes before a class, the natural blend of vitamins, minerals and herbs optimises your practice by preventing fatigue, boosting energy, enhancing flexibility and also promoting recovery. 

How do you prepare for your practice?