One year alcohol free and what a year it’s been!



A year ago today, I gave up alcohol completely and what an amazing year its been. I hadn’t considered that giving up alcohol would give me such a range of benefits other than just feeling better after a few glasses of wine on a Sunday morning. Its been really interesting to look back and see what I’ve actually done with myself this year, to see how much more positive it has been, in so many ways.

My relationship with wine had come to an unhealthy end and it took me a couple of years, attempting ‘mindful drinking’, ‘moderate drinking’ all of which felt as controlling and annoying as a calorie controlled or weight watchers style, restrictive diet. Or like having a relationship with someone who you know isn’t good for you, but you keep trying to make it fit. The facts were obvious, alcohol was not doing me any good and rather than trying to fit this toxic stuff into my life so I could fit into the social norm, I made the choice to get out.

Liberation came when I read Annie Graces book ‘This Naked Mind’, a fascinating study into the effects of alcohol on the brain and a very real look at how conditioned we are into believing alcohol needs to be a part of everyday life in our culture. 

Armed with this knowledge and a strong desire to wake up everyday feeling energised, I announced to myself and the world that was it, for good. Some considered this a brave move, some over the top and some questioned why I was making such a big deal about it, some still do. I am making a big deal about it again today! Because its a big deal! 

For many of you too it seems, I have had so many clients and friends tell me, my story inspired them to do the same and give up, I think thats amazingly positive, the collective consciousness is rising and we are becoming more aware of how alcohol has lied to us for too long, its time to take back our own power and push away what keeps us down and keeps us small.

My own life in the past twelve months has exploded into creative successes and adventures I had only dreamed of. I thought I had suffered with anxiety my whole life, but now I wonder if it was alcohol that made me anxious all along, I have never felt more balanced. Something was always blocking me from really achieving my goals, fears were always keeping me just below full throttle. It is still hard to describe what has happened, but its like a switch has been flicked and rather than my ideas and dreams bubbling just below the surface, never being allowed to be fully realised because of fears and doubts, they have literally exploded.

I’ve pressed the ‘book now’ button on travelling dreams I’ve had for decades. What made this suddenly seem possible? Nothing else has changed but being sober. I planned and booked a family trip to Thailand for six of us that we took back in June, I’m currently away running a yoga retreat in Morocco and after years of dithering, booked a trip for my husband and I to India coming up in a few months time, its like I’m having my gap year, just 30 years late! 

Work has always been a passion but its changed, I’m fully booked, all the time! The therapy diary is solid, often weeks in advance, the yoga classes are packed out and retreats are selling out over and over again, I have some money in my bank account for the first time in my whole life! My relationship has balanced out and I’m lucky that my husband isn’t a big drinker, but we never argue about politics anymore, hm perhaps that was me getting bulshy after the red wine got into my veins! And I still have fun on nights out, I definitely laugh more and feel more free to be myself when I walk into a room of strangers at a party or supper night. Alcohol lied to me for years telling me I needed it to be ok, I am ok, I am more than ok.

What has changed but being sober? I feel richer and fuller with more to give, my energy is balanced, my moods more stable, my anxiety non-existent and my belief and love for myself are complete in a way that I never knew was possible before.

I will never judge anyone who drinks and I wish that people wouldn’t feel judged by my not drinking, my giving up alcohol is about me and not about anyone else. Not everyone struggles with life sometimes the way I did, or feels that alcohol is detrimental to them in anyway and thats fine. But if you are even the slightest bit concerned that the booze is lying to you, that it isn’t helping you unwind or relax, that it isn’t fun or indeed a necessary part of having fun, that the craving for a glass of wine isn’t healthy and that we have all been told a very big fat lie our whole lives, that fits a social conditioning that needs rebelling against, maybe its time to make the leap into soberista life.

Enjoy, Saira xx

6 Simple Yoga Poses for the Menopause

Practising yoga can greatly reduce many of the symptoms of menopause. From hot flushes to mood swings, stress, insomnia, exhaustion and lack of sex drive, yoga can alleviate and comfort as we go through this transitional stage of life.

Here are 6 simple yoga poses for the menopause, suitable for all levels of experience. Try practising these as a sequence a few times a week.

Getting to a group class could also be really beneficial. Restorative or more gentle yoga can help if you are suffering with hot flushes, but any yoga can help so find somewhere local and give yoga a try.

Yoga teacher, Saira Francis shows you a few simple poses that can be of great benefit when practised regularly.

Mellulah Yoga Classes are held in Dorchester, Hazelbury Bryan nr Sherborne
and Milborne st Andrew near Blandford.

1.Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge Pose

This pose helps to balance, fluctuating hormones, it also reduces stress levels and lowers blood pressure which can rise as a woman oestrogen levels lower. It also stretches and tones the back, reduces anxiety, fatigue and insomnia.

 

2. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose 

A yoga pose that becomes part of every style of yoga. This pose is excellent for stress relief and relief of fatigue. Holding the pose for 2 minutes can be very energising. The pose also helps to lengthen and stretch the spine, it relieves menstrual pain and as many yoga poses do, it can prevent osteoporosis.

 

3. Uttitha Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

A classic yoga pose, Utthita Trikonasana is great for preventing osteoporosis. It can stimulate the abdominal organs, including the reproductive organs and calms the nervous system. Really beneficial to reduce anxiety and also improves digestive issues.

 

4. Baddha Konasana – Butterfly Pose

This gentle pose is great for calming the nervous system and aligning the spine, It helps to soothe menstrual pain and alleviates menopausal symptoms. Stimulating and balancing the abdominal organs, ovaries, digestive system and also receives sciatica. A lovely pose for anxiety, close the eyes and enjoy rooting down into the base of the spine. The pose will also help insomnia and depression. Hold for a few minutes each day.

 

 

5. Janu Sirasana – Head to Knee Pose

The forward fold stretches and tones the spine, hips, hamstrings and groin. It massages the internal organs and is wonderful for headaches and migraines, a common symptom of menopause. The pose helps to calm the mind and the nervous system, reducing anxiety and stress.

 

6. Virasana – Hero Pose

A fantastic pose for the thighs, knees and ankles, brilliant for the digestion and symptoms of the menopause, reduces hot flushes and also beneficial for high blood pressure. Sit and still the mind in this pose for a few minutes.

 

At the end of each set of poses, find time to rest in Savasana, Corpse pose. Lie on your back feel comfortable and warm, close your eyes and let go completely.

Look out for ‘Affirmations for the Menopause’ and ‘Healing Meditation for the Menopause’ coming soon.

 

Enjoy, love Saira xx

Nutrition for the Menopause

Nutrition for Menopause

As part of Menopause Yoga Day on Saturday 13th July 2019 here in Dorset, we created a lunch menu, perfectly balanced nutritionally to support us as women, through the menopause years.

Here are some tips on how you can help yourself through this natural change.

  • Cut down on stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, eliminating them completely if possible, sugary chocolate and spicy foods can all stimulate hot flushes so avoid especially late at night.
  • Sugary foods can create tiredness and lethargy, they cause a rise in blood glucose levels which give us a sharp dip and leaves us feeling drained. Look for alternatives to sugary snacks in health food shops.
  • As we age, we tend to need less calories, adjusting to this change can help to limit weight gain as we go through menopause. Try to cut down how much we eat, cut back on fat in foods and switch to higher GI – complex carbs like wholemeal bread, pasta and rice, oats are also great. These foods balance blood sugar and help us stay feeling full for longer.
  • Increase the amounts of legumes, nuts, seeds – pumpkin and sunflower, almonds for vitamin E, zinc and calcium to help prevent dry skin and normalise hormone levels.
  • To help alleviate depression and irritability increase the amount of protein and amino acid for tryptophan which increases the release of Serotonin, the happy hormone.Serotonin helps moods, sleep, sex drive and appetite. Don’t skip meals to keep glucose levels balanced throughout the day. Oat cakes are a great snack to keep in your handbag or desk drawer to keep you going if you don’t have time for lunch.
    • Butternut squash seeds
    • Sea vegetables – kelp, spirulina, seaweed
    • Soy
    • Cucumber
    • Walnuts
    • Cauliflower
    • Mushroom
    • Leaf Greens
    • You can also supplement your diet with L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP from your health food shop
  • Too much Phosporous accelerates the loss of calcium and magnesium into the body so reduce sodium, caffeine and animal products particularly red meat.
  • Eat food high in magnesium and boron to help bones and possible osteoporosis. Apples, pears, grapes, dates, raisins, legumes and nuts.
  • Consider taking supplements for magnesium, calcium, Vitamin E, D and zinc
  • Phyto-oestrogens bind oestrogen receptor sites to body cells increasing oestrogenic effect which may help keep hormones balanced. A high intake of Phyto-oestrogens i thought to be why women in populations eating a largely plant based diet rarely suffer with menopausal symptoms.
    • Soya Milk
    • Soya Flour
    • Tofu
    • Tempeh
    • Linseed
    • Miso
    • Pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds
    • Celery
    • Rhubarb
    • Green beans
  • Raw Cacao is packed with Magnesium and it gives you great energy, plus tasting delicious! Use it to make chocolates, hot drinks, porridge and more.

Our recipes for the retreat day all made by our caterer, Marcia Hannam:

Plant-Based, Hormone Balancing Lunch Menu

Brown Rice Salad with Silken Tofu, Spinach & Soy-Miso Dressing

Salad: Brown rice, Spinach, Grapes, Raisins
Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Linseeds
Almonds, Silken tofu

Dressing: Miso paste, Silken tofu, Rapeseed oil
Soy sauce, Balsamic vinegar, Poppy seeds

Miso Roasted Cauliflower with spring onion & Sesame Seeds

Cauliflower, Miso paste, Rapeseed oil
Spring onion, Salt, Black pepper
Sesame seeds, Sesame oil

Apple, Pear, Celery & Walnuts Salad

Apple, Pear, Celery, Walnuts
Caraway seeds, Lemon juice
Rapeseed oil, Whole grain mustard

Spicy Garlic Cannellini Bean Hummus

Cannellini beans, Lime juice, Garlic
Rapeseed oil, Paprika, Salt, Black pepper

ENJOY! XXX

Our Caterer is Marcia Hannam and she is based in Spetisbury, nr Blandford in Dorset. Marcia runs a farm shop and cafe at Marcias Market Wednesday – Saturday weekly. All produce is locally sourced and wonderful.

For more information about our speaker on Menopausal Health Judy Evans, please see her website progesteronelink.com  for lots of info and great alternatives to HRT for women.

 

Beginners Yoga Flow Practice

This weeks latest yoga video practice I’m sharing with you, is a Beginners Yoga Flow. Super gentle, seated sun salutations, gentle stretches and twists to get you up and ready for the week! Beat any Monday blues with some chilled time on the mat, lots of love Saira xx

We have a lovely Beginners Day Retreat Sunday 16th June 2019 10-4pm £65 in Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset DT10 2AU

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS BEGINNERS YOGA RETREAT

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MELLULAH YOGA IN DORSET

 

beginners yoga

Monday 
7-8.30pm Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Mellulah Yoga & Wellness Space,
Hazelbury Bryan, DT10 2AU

Tuesday
9.30-11 am Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Mellulah Yoga & Wellness Space,
Hazelbury Bryan, DT10 2AU

Thursday 
9.30-11 am Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Mellulah Yoga & Wellness Space,
Hazelbury Bryan, DT10 2AU – TERM TIME ONLY

6-7.30 pm Beginners Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Milborne St Andrew Sports Pavilion,  DT11 0JA 

Friday
9.30-11 am Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Milborne St Andrew Sports Pavilion, DT11 0JA

BOOK ONLINE AND GET YOUR FIRST CLASS FREE!

Energetic Yoga Flow – A Video

YOGA PRACTICE ONLINE!

Watch one of Saira’s yoga videos on Youtube, a short 7 minute Energetic Yoga Flow practice to work with for an Energetic Stretch and Release.

Have fun with this short practice that you can hopefully find time for anytime in your day!

Energetic Intermediate Yoga Flow enjoy!

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MELLULAH YOGA IN DORSET

Energetic Yoga Flow

Energetic Yoga Flow

Monday 
7-8.30pm Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Mellulah Yoga & Wellness Space,
Hazelbury Bryan, DT10 2AU

Tuesday
9.30-11 am Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Mellulah Yoga & Wellness Space,
Hazelbury Bryan, DT10 2AU

Thursday 
9.30-11 am Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Mellulah Yoga & Wellness Space,
Hazelbury Bryan, DT10 2AU – TERM TIME ONLY

6-7.30 pm Beginners Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Milborne St Andrew Sports Pavilion,  DT11 0JA 

Friday
9.30-11 am Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Milborne St Andrew Sports Pavilion, DT11 0JA

BOOK ONLINE AND GET YOUR FIRST CLASS FREE!

Yoga for Stress and Anxiety – a video

YOGA PRACTICE ONLINE!

Watch one of Saira’s yoga videos on Youtube, a 2o minute yoga practice to help Stress, Anxiety and work with some Positive Affirmations.

Yoga for Stress and Anxiety, enjoy!

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MELLULAH YOGA IN DORSET

 

yoga for stress and anxiety

Monday 
7-8.30pm Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Mellulah Yoga & Wellness Space,
Hazelbury Bryan, DT10 2AU

Tuesday
9.30-11 am Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Mellulah Yoga & Wellness Space,
Hazelbury Bryan, DT10 2AU

Thursday 
9.30-11 am Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Mellulah Yoga & Wellness Space,
Hazelbury Bryan, DT10 2AU – TERM TIME ONLY

6-7.30 pm Beginners Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Milborne St Andrew Sports Pavilion,  DT11 0JA 

Friday
9.30-11 am Mixed Ability Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Milborne St Andrew Sports Pavilion, DT11 0JA

BOOK ONLINE AND GET YOUR FIRST CLASS FREE!

Fertility Yoga – Saira on ITV’s This Morning

Fertility yoga with Saira on ITV's This Morning
Saira was  recently featured on ITV’s This Morning, along with the fantastic team of therapists at Middle Piccadilly Rural Retreat.  This Mornings Fertility Expert, Dr Larissa Corda brought three couples to Middle Piccadilly, where they enjoyed fertility yoga with Saira, ate delicious nutritious food and felt transformation through the retreat centres amazing array of Spiritual Therapies.
This was part of a four part series that Dr Larissa has made for This Morning, trying to help these three young couples who are struggling to conceive and sharing her unique wisdom on how looking to alternative therapies, yoga and lifestyle changes can really help them to have a baby.
Fertility yoga can really help couples to conceive. Its important to be able to relax and vital to try to stay positive. Yoga helps us reconnect with our bodies which can be hard for a woman when she is struggling to have a baby. Having fertility problems can be devastating and women can cut themselves off from there reproductive organs and there lower part of their body as it frustrates and upsets them. Practising fertility yoga can help to prepare the body for conception and help a woman enjoy and accept her body as it is.
It is also very important to stay positive, positive thinking can have a profound effect on conception. Its so hard but couples do need to try to create positive thoughts and affirmations every day about having a baby.
Try these:
  • I am opening up to create space of new ideas and projects
  • My life is full of abundance in all areas, health, wealth, success, my family and I am surrounded by love
  • I trust that all will be well, I don’t know where my life is taking me, but I know its the right way
  • I have faith in the creative flow of all life and feel held and loved by the universe
  • Everything is going to be ok!
  • My heart is open and let go of all feelings of fear and doubt

Repeat these mantras everyday as many times as you can and particularly when your mind becomes full of dark and negative thoughts. X

 

Fertility yoga with Saira Francis on ITV's This Morning

Ever thought of a juice cleanse?

Juice Cleanse

Spring is the perfect time of year to start thinking about a Juice Cleanse

If its something you have considered now could be a great time to give it a go. At Mellulah Yoga Retreats we often include a morning juice as part of a residential retreat diet, juices are a fantastic way to boost energy, cleanse the digestive system, remove toxins and bring healing to the body. Just one healthy green juice a day can transform your health and the best way to enjoy the benefits of juicing is to begin with juice cleanse for anything from one to five days to start.

Juicing isn’t for everyone, its best to work alongside a juice therapist or health professional if you have any concerns about whether a juice cleanse is for you.

So why start a juice cleanse?

Our diets can contain too much processed food, sugars and salt. Saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, caffeine and alcohol play havoc with our bodies and it is difficult to get enough fruit and vegetables into our daily diets. Not eating well can give us digestive problems that make us feel sluggish, irritable, gives us skin problems and other health conditions. Juicing can help to counteract all of these problems by giving us the enzymes and antioxidants we need, green juice particularly is full of goodness that can transform the way we feel inside and out.

What to watch out for on a juice cleanse.Juice Cleanse

The first problem you might encounter on a cleanse is some withdrawal system. Its a great idea to cut down on caffeine before you start cleansing. Try cutting down for one to two weeks before cutting caffeine out completely. Its normal to get a headache during your first cleanse, but stick with it, get plenty of rest, exercise and do yoga to help reduce the negative symptoms. Hunger can of course be a huge issue, drink five juices spread out throughout the day. Choose the right time to start your cleanse, weekends are best as juicing whilst working can be an added problem and avoid holidays, birthdays, social events. Plan ahead and you will manage much more easily.

What to juice?

There are so many resources now online, in books and in magazines to help you find juice recipes that you will love and enjoy. Try to avoid too much fruit as this can be too much for the liver, stick to green vegetables as much as possible and just use fruit to give a little sweetness, apples are great for this.

Heres a fantastic recipe that we often use on our retreats, to get you started:

1 stick of celery
1 courgette
2 apples
a handful of kale
half a lemon

Juice the ingredients together and enjoy x

Juice Cleanse

 

We are running a Yoga & Juice Cleanse Retreat Weekend at Middle Piccadilly 26th – 29th April 2019 

Special Mothers Day Therapy Offer

Mothers Day Gift Vouchers

Soul Replenish Massage

SPECIAL MOTHERS DAY OFFER!Give the Gift of Blissful Relaxation and Indulgence.

Give a gift voucherfor this treatment plus a free gift of a Geranium Face Cream made by Mellulah for just £49! Usual Price £75!
Until 1st April 2019Mothers Day Gift Vouchers

You deserve to treat yourself too, so feel free to book this offer if you’re a mother, sister, wife, partner, friend, colleague, superwoman, cat woman, any woman!!

You can buy as many vouchers as you like before 1st April, there is no limit on how many you purchase as long as you use them before the end of 2019.

This indulgent Mothers Day Special Treatment will take you from an invigorating and uplifting Indian Head Massage, to a therapeutic full body Aromatherapy Massage, beyond this Saira’s healing touch with hands on Reiki Healing, ending with Reflexology at the feet.

Mothers Day Gift Vouchers 30ml Geranium Face Cream made with essential oils & a cream base that contains no nasties worth £10.

Initial Consultation & Treatment (1hr 45 mins) £70£54

Follow Up (90 mins) £65£49

 

 

Gift Voucherscan be purchased via BACS Mellulah 82611963 51-81-01 or Paypal below.
We will email you your voucher within 24 hours (more urgently if needed) for you to print off and give or keep for yourself if you prefer!!
If you are booking a treatment for someone who has never seen Saira before you will need to book an Initial Consultation and First Appointment £54, otherwise its a Follow up £49.

Offer runs until 1st April 2019, vouchers can be used anytime before the end of 2019.

Mothers Day Massage Offer


Happy New Year from Mellulah! X

A new year message from Mellulah. Gratitude for all your support and love in 2018, its been a wonderful year! Looking forward to seeing what the new year brings. Thank you for choosing Mellulah as your sacred space on your own healing journeys, its a pleasure and pure joy to share yoga, therapies, healing and compassion with you all! Saira xxx