ABOUT Lorraine

 

Lorraine Ereira was working as a clinical Sports Therapist when when her husbands cancer diagnosis drew her to study nutritional health. Her quest to help her husband inspired her to write “Love and Wheatgrass” in order to help others going through a similar ordeal, which has been a huge support to many.

Her desire to live a healthy lifestyle compelled her to study further, where she discovered that to really enjoy a healthy life, we must first look within to find out what we are made of and how we fit into the natural world around us.

Lorraine is currently writing her fifth book, “Gaia’s Gift ” – a book that embodies the ancient medical practice of Ayurveda but with a very unique approach which teaches the reader how to train their intuition to know instinctively what is good for them physically, spiritually and mentally.

Lorraine now works as an Ayurvedic Nutrition and Lifestyle consultant with people who struggle with various health issues, or those who want to change their life to become the best they can be.

Lorraine grew up in Surrey in England, where she also brought up her two sons. She holds a bachelors degree in Sports Therapy, and wrote one of her first books in this subject “Sports Pattern Release

Lorraine and her husband now live in southern Spain, where she continues on her quest to live a life of love, health and happiness.

Self Healing. A Gift We Can All Access.

As humans, we use only a part of our brain. Its capacity to function is in fact much greater than we realise.

What things we could possibly achieve if we could use more of this vital organ?

There are many things no doubt, but one that we can do with a little practice is to to help our bodies heal from within.
You do not have to be a swami or a monk to be able to learn self healing. It is an amazing gift that we all have access to.

Of course having a healthy lifestyle is fundamental to being able to bring about any self healing, and the indulgence of eating processed
foods or drinking alcohol mindlessly will only serve to hinder this innate ability, that we all have within us.

So here are the simple steps to learning how to self heal from within:

  1. Eat a natural diet.
    The more home grown, organic, free range, grass fed choices you make in your diet the better.

Whole natural foods are what we thrive on. Whole wheat, whole grain, unrefined, unprocessed, natural food. If you are not vegan then include butter and whole milk from grass fed, ethically raised animals.
But avoid any animal produce from mass produced, unethically raised animals. Get to know your local farm and talk to them about their animals.
Maybe even go and see how they are raised. This means you are supporting the welfare of the animals, and choosing produce from animals that haven’t been pumped full of
pharmaceuticals, and are not producing high levels of stress hormones both of which will contaminate their produce harming both them and you.

Don’t be fooled by products that are labelled “natural”. Its usually a marketing ploy to get you to buy it!
How can we tell if something is natural or not? A good rule of thumb here is – If its an ingredient its a good choice, but if it has ingredients its usually not. e.g. oats are an ingredient,
as opposed to brand named cereals with fortified nutrients, flavours, E numbers, sugars, starches and corn syrup.

  1. Avoid alcohol
    Alcohol has a negative effect on the pineal gland in the brain, hindering its function. It is one of many things that can cause calcification or hardening of this gland. Other things include fluoride, and other mineral deposits found in our food and water supplies. The pineal gland works with the pituitary glad to regulate hormones especially those that govern and control our sleep cycles.
    Ancient sages and mystics believed this tiny organ in the brain to be the space for ascension and enlightenment through the brain/body. It is perceived as a bridge between our inner and outer worlds.
  2. Detox regularly
    For the reasons explained above a regular detox can help to support healthy brain function.There are many different ways to detox but choose one that helps to remove metals from the body.
  3. Learn about the power of the breath.
    Deep breathing is a practiced art – when we are not used to it its hard to breathe deeply. However when we do we bring fresh oxygen and nutrients into the lungs which permeate into the blood nourishing our vital organs not least of which is our brain. When we don’t get enough oxygen into our bodies, we simply do not function. We become tired, sluggish, and foggy headed. We cannot digest our food properly, and our bodies will be unable to effectively heal from injury or illness.
    Self healing requires a good grounding in breath work.
  4. Be disciplined
    The ability to heal oneself takes time. This means you need to set aside time in your busy life to learn, explore and really give yourself to this. Choose a time when you won’t be disturbed. Turn off your devices. Unplug from the world outside. Find a warm, peaceful space with natural soft light and dedicate time to this exercise.
  5. Align your spine
    To be able to breath properly it’s important to have the correct spinal alignment. Ideally learn how to sit with the spine aligned correctly so that your muscles don’t ache. When aligned fully, with the right muscles engaged, you should be able to “ switch off” all the big muscles and relax into the pose, without slumping in your spine.
    If you find this difficult it is better to lie in savasana ( supine with palms facing up), on a mat.
  6. Breathe
    Spend time with your breath, just focusing on its flow through your body. With each out breath, relax more, letting go of tension in your body.

Practice these 7 steps as part of your daily style.

When you have been practicing the above for sometime, and you begin to feel that letting go of your anxieties and is possible during your practice, try this:

If you have pain in your body, begin with the last 3 steps above (5-7).
When you feel your body is relaxed and your mind is empty, allow it to travel to the source of your pain. e.g. a neck ache.
Notice exactly where the ache is e.g. at the base of your neck.
Firstly make sure the neck is aligned and not compressed. The joints must be free and not restricted by poor posture.
Next draw a long slow breath through your nostrils to the area that you feel the ache in. As you breath out ask your mind to allow this place to relax. To let go with the out breath.
Do this with every breath. As many times as you can.

Even if it is an external injury that is causing pain, you can train your mind to relax the tissues around that area. This will allow greater blood flow to those tissues, and induce healing.

This is the path to self healing.

Is Yoga Good or Bad?

Nourish by Samantha Jordaan. (Calle Terraza, Estepona, Spain)

The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit which means yoke or union. Traditionally, this refers to the union of the individual self with the Divine, Universal Spirit, or Cosmic Consciousness.
It dates back to pre-vedic Indian times (c. 1500 – c. 500 BCE), and has its roots in Hindu philosophy.
In the western world it has been taught largely as a series of physical techniques, which is commonly known as Hatha Yoga – Hatha, meaning “force”. These are body postures or “asanas”, which are taught to students of yoga so that they may learn to hold the postures both steadily and comfortably. The main goal of this is to be able to sit for extended periods in half lotus, in order to achieve calmness and stillness of the mind.
But yoga is many things to many people, and while some feel nourished by its practice and find it enhances their lives, others are afraid that it opens the doors to dark forces, and is something that should be avoided at all costs.

Christianity frowns upon the practice of yoga, and teaches its community that it draws one away from god and towards paganism. A Catholic church in Kerala, India explains it, like this : “ some of the main traits of yoga are conflicting with Christian beliefs. The experience of yoga is that the practitioner, nature, and God become one, but according to Christianity, nature and God cannot become one,” the report said.
But firstly, if one feels strongly this way, then they can still practice only the asanas, and focus on the word of God during their practice. It can be used as a time of quiet prayer, if that’s what the practitioner wishes to do or simply on what one is feeling in their own bodies with relation to their muscles, joints and deeper tissues that make up our physiology. And secondly as much as i’ve read on the subject I fail to comprehend how any regime that offers such a myriad of health benefits can be any thing that God could frown upon. Physical yoga is a cellular exercise increasing blood flow to areas that it would not normally reach. This also includes the brain and hormonal system. It provides fresh oxygen to the blood, brain and organs of the body through deep, focused breathwork. So practicing yoga may give you a natural euphoria or enhance a meditative state.

As a Sports Therapist who has worked with a range of professional athletes, I’ve seen first hand how yoga practice helps athletes perform better, by lengthening tight muscles, strengthening weak ones and also helping them to train their minds to be more focused on their sport. This is just one of many examples of how yoga helps people.
But it was while working for the British military that I saw how yoga was truly a gift to us, as humans. A wonderful yoga teacher, who first inspired me to study yoga, held classes for injured personnel. Most of these people had lost limbs or were in some other way badly disabled, both physically and mentally. But when they came to yoga, they shone. You could visibly see the light from them as they experienced relief from pain, greater movement, increased strength and tools to help mentally manage the challenging lives they now led. How could God not support this?
Christianity teaches us that to try and clear one’s mind only creates space for evil to potentially enter. However the notion of creating a vacuous space that an entity or energy may enter, is different from clearing ones mind to simply stem the barrage of worries that plague our daily lives and just to experience peace and tranquility, in order to recharge, our batteries. Living in a state of constant stress, with worry and fear as companions leaves us little or no room for love, peace and hope.


Before I found yoga, I lived in a state of low level stress. I ate nutritionally weak food, I drank my fair share of mind numbing alcohol and I gave little thought to others, unless they were in my immediate circle. There was no God in my life. I’d been brought up a catholic but never really understood the institution of the church, so had walked away as a young adult. I didn’t think about God, or anything beyond my own daily grind.
But through practicing yoga, I learnt to slow down. I found ways to literally exhale stress out of my body, and inhale peace. I felt my heart expand as kindness made its home there. I felt more love for my fellow humans, more compassion to all living beings and more at peace in myself than id ever felt. My whole outward appearance changed, to a healthier, brighter and younger looking version of myself. This was not because of what I wore, or how I portrayed myself, but because I had become and was still working on becoming a better person. I had found the power of loving kindness; of goodness; of God. One might say that yoga brought me back to God, but this time through my heart instead of the church.
God is good. They are one and the same. God is everywhere. Good is everywhere. God is in all of us; good is in all of us ( albeit to very varying degrees). We were made in Gods image; we were made in the image of good. Perhaps to say you don’t believe in God is akin to saying you don’t believe in good. Good exists, and so does his opponent, evil. They co-exist in all of us.
However, we get to make the choice, as to which one of these forces will dominate us – do we choose to exist in the light of goodness, or are we tempted by the fruits of evil, and allow our minds to be filled with useless material longings that serve no purpose in enriching the power of good in our lives?
Yoga has played such a fundamental role in my path to being a better version of myself. I know in my heart that for me personally, it has delivered me on to a path of light, of good. I have also seen how the light shines from the hearts of my own yoga students as they grow from within themselves in to more beautiful souls. And if when turning to God I find myself asking whether he really would disapprove of yoga, I only have to recall the joy I saw in the eyes of the soldiers who’d lost limbs (and almost their lives) when they practiced yoga to know the answer.

A Lesson For Us All

No matter how we feel about the world and all that is happening around us,  a different perspective can sometimes offer us a way to deal with the stress we are feeling.

 We could ask ourselves why it is we are experiencing the world in its current state of affairs? Why us, now and not the many generations that have passed before us – our ancestors and more recently departed relatives who lived and died without knowing about what lay ahead for their descendants. Many lived through world wars, civil wars, famine, disasters both natural and generated by man. Those people they can lay claim to surviving through the most perilous and terrifying times, only to come out stronger and often humbled by the rawness of the event and the devastation left in its wake. When you are in the company of a veteran or anyone who has experienced such an event you know you are in the presence of someone who truly values his life because he has seen the hand of death, and knows that being alive is the greatest gift we ever receive.

Perhaps we are somehow given our life with its own unique set of challenges at a certain time in history because it is what we somehow need. That may seem tough to fathom especially when we see innocent people with huge challenges in their path. But if we can try to learn from each experience however small or large, then we begin to see our problems as lessons to be learned, and they are no longer problems. As we go through life taking one day, one problem (lesson) at a time, then we have time to reflect and learn.

When a ´lesson´ presents itself, ask yourself what it is you can learn from it, to be taken forward? Sometimes the answer is quite clear, but often we need to really step back and take an objective view to be able to see what it is we need to learn in order to move on.

When we take a retrospective look at our challenges faced previously, we can often find patterns in the way we dealt with them. The pattern is often repetitive. A good example would be, in being attracted to partners because of a weakness in ourselves, rather than because there is a genuine connection.  Its only when we change our response to our challenges that they stop re-occurring. It is then that we have learned our lesson, so we no longer need that same challenge to keep showing up.

Of course the world events seem as though they are happening around us, and that we cannot effect them in anyway. We may indeed worry about them and feel consumed by them, but how can they be lessons in our personal journey, when we feel we cannot change them in anyway?

Perhaps it is we, the human race, who is being shown a lesson? A collective lesson. Did those who lived through war, emerge as a better society? Many individuals became better people, but collectively, what did we learn? Maybe the lesson is still to be learnt. Perhaps that’s why history repeats itself, in much the same way we do when we keep making bad choices, because we haven’t heard the message. What is it we need to see right now about ourselves during this time? Perhaps there is a lesson here for all of us, and maybe it’s the same one, but we must each confront it and deal with it ourselves.

Outside the Bathroom Door – a short story.

Sweat ran down my back, making my shirt stick to my skin. My heart beat fast, hammering me from within my chest. A nausea swirled in my guts, tying them in a jumble of knots.

My breath came in short, ragged gasps as though I’d been running, although I hadn’t.

I had been sitting in my front room, staring blankly at the TV. I wasn’t seeing the bright moving images on the screen, because something I was watching, its relevance now lost on me, had triggered a stress response in my body. As I sat shaking on the sofa, my body had reacted as though I’d been running away from a predator, and I was racked with fear. I was now lost in a personal minefield of thoughts which jumped out at me at every twist and turn. The trigger, whatever it was, had opened a pandoras box; a muddle of worries and fears that squirmed inside. As I tried to focus on one, it commingled with another and yet another, all of them writhing together gaining strength from each as they began their twisting invasion on my mind.

I stood up shaking and walked towards the kitchen. A bottle of whiskey drew my eye, and whispered a promise of refuge in its amber nectar. I hesitated and the door tempted by the ease of which respite could come with the taste of its warmth on my lips. But the reprieve would be brief, and my worries would be worse tomorrow with a thumping head.

I walked past the kitchen and found my way to the bathroom. Locating some salts I poured a generous handful under the hot tap and let them dissolve. I added a few drops of essential oils, and inhaled as the aroma merged with the jets of hot steam.

As I slid my body into the warmth and let the water draw me in, I visualized my squirming, writhing ball of worries and stress outside the bathroom door. I knew they wouldn’t go away, I still needed to deal with every one of them, but right now I needed to re-gather my strength and my energy in order to be able to untangle them and see them all as the individual challenges they were and not as an ever-increasing mass, that were seemingly all  conspiring against me together.

I allowed my senses to indulge themselves in the experience of taking a bath. The water cocooned me; a warm blanket around my whole body, its gentle pressure protecting me from the world outside. As I moved my hand through I focused on the “whoosh whoosh” sound the water made and felt conscious of the vital part water played in our physiology, our every function relying in some way on its properties.

I inhaled deeply and received the sweet smell of lavender and jasmine into my nostrils, welcoming its delicious perfume. I felt the effects of the aroma on my psyche, as I slipped deeper into relaxation.

Fleetingly my mind was drawn to the writhing mass outside the door where I’d left it, but not for long enough to re-awaken it from its current slumber, in fact it barely stirred.

Back in the soothing waters, my mind let go once more. I closed my eyes and filled my lungs with a deep breath, allowing my chest and shoulders to rise above the water, as my ribs expanded to take the breath fully. At the top of my breath I held it for a moment, feeling its energy in my body. With deliberate slowness, I allowed it to leave my body, taking some tension with it. For a few long moments I lay in the water, inhaling fully, and exhaling slowly. Every time I exhaled I visualized the stress leaving my fingers and toes, in rivulets through the water.

After some time, when I felt the bath begin to cool, I stood slowly and turned the shower onto cool. Still sitting in the warm bathwater as it flowed away, I let the cool water wash over my head, cleansing the stress from my body into the water, where it was slowly flowing down the plughole.

After stepping out of the tub, and gently drying my skin, I noticed how it tingled, feeling refreshed, and enlivened while my muscles felt warm and relaxed.

 I slipped on a robe and remembered the monster, id left outside the door. I checked myself for feelings of fear or stress, and currently found none. I took a breath and smiled as I opened the door. I was greeted with a very small creature who looked up from where id left it on the floor, and said “I´m still here, but my power over you has gone. You’re the boss of your life, not me.”

The moral of this little tale is that we all have problems. No-one goes through this life without having to face very tough challenges sometimes on a daily basis. We may not be able to change or effect some of these challenges in the moment, but we can make them more manageable, by taking a break from them. Allowing our senses a rest by indulging them in a simple but fulfilling experience. This story illustrates this by the example of taking a bath, but it can be anything where you can focus on the present moment and place your worries somewhere else so they cannot occupy the space you need to restore.  You will find that when you return to your tasks they don’t seem anywhere near as menacing as they did before your break and you will be able to deal with them in a calm, and more efficient manner.

Gaia’s Gift Hormone Health

Harmony with Nature brings Harmony Within

“Invite nature back into your system and allow her to re-tune your inner orchestra”

Women’s hormonal health workshop (including lunch)

  • Why your menstrual or menopause symptoms differ from those of friends and how understanding your uniqueness is key to balancing your system. 
  • How to synchronise your bodies rhythms with the rhythm of nature. 
  • Oils, herbs and food to bring your body into balance. 
  • A recipe for hormone balancing perfume. 
  • Gut healing and its relevance in hormone health. 
  • The effect of stress on the reproductive system and how to manage it.

Date: Friday 21st May. 

Location: Coin, Malaga (please contact for more details)

Prices
FULL DAY 11am-3pm
Includes : 
Yoga, coffee, workshop and  lunch. €27.50

WORKSHOP AND LUNCH ONLY. 12.30-3pm €20

To secure your place on the day a €5 deposit in is payable in advance at the time of booking which will be discounted from the total.

YOGA – Are You Too Shy to Try?

“I would love to try yoga, but I’m just not flexible”

“I would love to try yoga, but I’m just not flexible”

This has to be one of the saddest reasons I’ve ever heard of as a reason not to try one of the most wonderful experiences in life, an experience that if we let it, will transform us inside and out.

When someone sets foot into a yoga class for the first time, and they see ( or think they see) a room full of lithe, extra bendy bodies creating inconceivable shapes, it is most natural to feel overwhelmed and feel like turning around on the spot.

However perception can be incredibly cruel, in that it makes us feel inferior in some way if we are a beginner, or have a misconception about what yoga really is. The truth is that every single yoga student, including the teacher, is always learning and always seeking to deepen their practice, so all feel the same need to learn as the beginner does. The class is united in this desire to discover more about their bodies, and with a good teacher they will learn to surpass their own expectations and leave self-perceived limitations outside the yoga classroom door. Flexibility, is not the core of yoga however how to safely lengthen tightness in the body, by letting it go with the breath, is most certainly a very key part of it.

Yoga teaches us not only to lengthen our tissues but also to strengthen areas of weakness. When taught correctly, the student should learn how to align their joints, stacking them so that they can articulate in the most efficient range. When the student begins to understand how to move their joints from a position of stability, then tightness will slowly lengthen, and weakness will strengthen in the opposing muscles, reinforcing correct joint alignment and efficient movement.

Learning how to move the body efficiently, enables us to find long term relief of aches and pains as we release the build up of possibly years of misuse, and help us correct poor habits and will ultimately help to protect our joints from decline, especially as we age.

This coupled with learning how to focus on one’s breath, introduces the student to the world of tranquility that lies deep within every one of us; the place where we can take refuge from the chaos of the world outside, and find the keys to self-healing on the inside too.

Everyone, at any age or stage in life can try yoga. As long as you find a good teacher who has the time to consider your personal requirements, and help you to grow into someone who learns about their own body, and how to move without pain, restriction or weakness, and how to turn down the noise of life and benefit from inner calm and peace.

So if you would like to join a class, please remember that most yoga teachers and their students will welcome you with open hearts as a fellow traveller on a wonderful journey. Come on in, climb aboard your yoga mat and don’t look back.

Water and Earth Dominance

Are you well-grounded or simply “stuck”? Sparkling with lustre or drowning in sluggishness?

In Ayurveda the qualities of water and earth are usually combined because they share so common attributes.

They are both heavy, cold, smooth and dense in their natural state. Although both share many characteristics, they are still different elements and recognizing them within us, helps us to learn about who we are and how we work.

Earth

Do you sometimes have to really push yourself to feel motivated to get off the sofa and get on with things? Although once you do, you usually finish the task and enjoy doing it! Can you sometimes feel complacent about things, preferring familiarity and routine over spontaneity? Do you feel contented to the point where sometimes you can get “stuck in a rut”? Do you feel threatened by change, preferring things to remain constant in your life? Are you a bit of a horder, protective over tings you have acquired and attained over the years? Are you compassionate, but resolute in your beliefs?

These are the characteristics of someone who is earth dominant. Earth is steady, stable, strong, and not easily movable. Its reliable, and we know we can count on it to be there supporting us. When the earth dominant person is in balance they are the most loyal, trustworthy friends we can hope to find. They are methodical, diplomatic and are often the ones to keep the peace and make things run smoothly. They don’t worry too much, as long as they have the comforts of home and a loving family. If they don’t have these fundamental foundations, they can be prone to depression. An earth dominant person will be your friend for life. They are calm, sympathetic, patient, steady and usually kind. But when imbalanced they can become overbearing, withdrawn, unable to accept change, insecure and greedy.

Challenges for the earth element will often occur in the musculoskeletal system, as the bones, ligaments, muscles and fats can be the most effected physiologically. They can be prone to weight gain, heaviness, slow bowel movements or constipation. Another challenge for earth types that are imbalanced, is depression. Because they are disinclined to reach out, this can quickly become a deep pit of despair that feels impossible to “climb out of”. They have a tendency to withdraw from the world, bottling up their feelings and putting on a brave face. They can be the last to ask for help, as unlike those who are dominated by the water element, they don’t wear their heart on their sleeves!

Water

Water being the more mobile of the two elements is very evident in a person who is water dominant. They are usually quite emotional, and quite opposite to our earthy friends who hide their feelings our watery types are like open books with their feelings. This does make them more sensitive and more prone to heartbreak and hurt. Although they are easily upset they often blame themselves for problems. The water dominant type is romantic, sentimental, and often fall in love easily. Water types can have sweet melodious voices, although the pitch tends to be on the deep side. Peaceful and calm, but with a tendency towards over sensitivity or stagnation (think stagnant pool) if imbalance occurs.

Challenges for water element will often also show up in the MS system but usually as water retention. Like for earth dominant types weight gain is also a weakness in the water dominant person. Swollen, stiff joints, with poor circulation, often feeling cool to the touch, can be an issue for imbalanced water types. Other issues include excess mucous production, in the lungs, throat or sinuses; lethargy, stagnation, and being overly sentimental.

Both earth and water dominant people are most vulnerable in cold, damp weather. Keeping warm and dry is important especially during the late winter and early spring, which is their most vulnerable time of year. Much like our air friends, warm spicy soups, stews and casseroles will help keep the body warm and gently stimulated. Heavy rich food should be avoided, along with cold food and drink. Any cold drinks should be taken away from food as they will greatly hinder the digestive process. Instead try a little apple cider vinegar in warm water with some black pepper and rock salt, taken before food. This can boost the digestive system, and help it to break down and metabolize food more efficiently. A warm ginger tea sipped through a meal can also help. They should choose heating stimulating foods and practices, to help avoid congestion, in the tissues. Sweet, dense food like heavy desserts, especially cold ones, should be avoided. Water and earth types need to take care of too many heavy grains, meats and cheeses, as all of these will congest the tissues of these elements. Kitchen spices like ginger, black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, rosemary and garlic will help to balance these elements.

Taking care of the lymphatic system although important for everyone, is especially significant for water/earth people. Activities like trampolining, dancing, running, will all help to move stagnant lymph. Also hot and cold alternating showers, dry skin brushing and being upside down ( headstands, handstands and shoulder stands for those who are experienced to do these or simply lying with the legs raised, are all examples)

Engaging in social activities is really good for these elements – they need exposure to stimulating activities on a regular basis. Parties and lively social scenes are great for these types. A good exercise regime is imperative – one that includes heart pumping, aerobic activity like jogging, hiking, marshal arts, team sports or ashtanga style yoga would all be great options.

When earth and water dominant types are in balance they are the strongest of the elements. They heal easily, sleep well, and are content, stable, loving, kind people. They make loyal friends and romantic lovers. They often have beautiful hair and a soft supple complexion.

Fire Dominance – Do your Flames Burn too Brightly?

Are you highly focused to the point of being single minded? Do you sometimes get called stubborn? Are you passionate about your values and beliefs, and find yourself obsessing over things? Maybe you don’t concede easily in a discussion because you are confident that what you feel is right and you will argue to the very end rather than walk away? Are you passionate in your relationships, fiercely protective over those you love most? Do you sometimes feel possessive over your nearest and dearest? Are you competitive in your work or in your sporting interests? Do you push yourself hard and often fail to recognize your limits? Do you feel angry when you are most stressed, quick to lash out with a sharp tongue?

These are the characteristics of someone who is fire dominant.

Picture a roaring fire. Its inviting, alluring, warming and fascinating. It draws you in, because it is captivating and gives you energy. Its truly brilliant in its blazing glory.

The fire dominant person, when in balance is charming, charismatic and often intriguing. They are usually attractive, warm and show natural leadership tendencies. They often exhibit an enthusiasm for life that sparkles from within them. People want to follow the balanced fire type, and are often happy to put their trust in them. They are organized and structured, and keep a tidy home and workspace.

But when the flames get too big, fire burns too hot, too bright, and begins to consume everything in its path as it rages out of control. The fire person can burn themselves out, or suffer from inflammatory issues in their body.

The fire element has its greatest effect on the digestive system. Fire dominant people generally have a good metabolism, burning off excess energy from their food efficiently. But when fire is not controlled the digestive system becomes too strong and symptoms like heartburn, burping, indigestion, loose stools and haemarroids will result. They can suffer with inflamed or irritated skin rashes, bloodshot eyes and arthritis. Spicy foods, strong coffee, alcohol should be taken in moderation or avoided especially during times when symptoms arise.

Our fiery friends are most vulnerable during the hot summer months. Keeping cool and calm will help to restore balance from within. Take cool showers, go for a leisurely swim or evening stroll. Try to avoid competitive sports and situations, and choose activities that offer a way to restore the balance within you, such as golfing, yoga, drawing and meditation.

Choose cooked foods over raw (raw food requires more digestive action, and therefore can stoke the fire!). Try rice or pasta bean salads made with fresh cooling herbs like coriander, basil, mint and parsley, and some lightly blanched rocket, spinach or watercress.

Fruits are fantastic for cooling those flames, so enjoy peaches, pears, apples, mangoes, in fact all sweet juicy fruits accept the sharper citrus such as lemons.

Never eat while feeling angry or excited,

Avoid watching violent movies or adrenaline-fueled sport on television instead opting for quiet pass-times like reading, listening to soothing music or watching a factual documentary.

When fire dominant people keep their flames under control, especially during their most vulnerable time in the heat of summer, they are vibrant, attractive, motivational people who are warm, bright and full of inspiration.

Air Element Dominance. How to ground yourself and find balance.

Do you find it hard to remain focused on a single project? Always easily distracted by something else? Do you feel you are a restless soul, who loves to move, and if you are not moving physically your mind is in constant motion, often jumping from one thought to another? Perhaps the only time it can switch off is when you are doing something very physical, like running, or playing a sport. A talk or lecture has to be totally captivating to hold your full attention and even then, it can be difficult not to drift off on a thought voyage or resist the urge to fidget. For folk like you, meditation is a huge challenge and may even be something you shy away from, feeling that its just impossible to get your mind to switch off. Every time you feel you have made a small space where you begin to feel the stillness, another thought jumps right in, and starts demanding your attention again – and often its something you are anxious about. Does this sound like you, or someone you know?

These characteristics are typical of someone who is air dominant.

Picture a creature of the air. A bird. An aerodynamically designed creature who floats and glides through the element it is most akin to. A bird is at its most magnificent when its in full flight. It displays its energy, its stamina, and beauty all at once – but it cannot fly like this without coming to land frequently. When the air dominant person is at his or her best they are in full flight. The comedian, the centre of attention in a group, the source of energy in the room. They talk a lot and move a lot and because of these qualities are often very attractive. We are attracted to movement and colour, because these qualities give us energy. But the air person needs to take care of that energy, to ensure they re-charge it, because these are also the people that burn out easily.

They can also be easily overwhelmed in a sensory capacity, finding it draining. For example too much screen time or being plugged into electronic devices can cause sensory overload, resulting in elevated stress levels.

The physiological challenges that air dominance can create if not managed within the body have the greatest effect on the nervous system. This is because air is all about movement, and the nervous system relies on movement ( the relaying of information) to efficiently send and receive messages through the central and peripheral nervous system.   

High blood sugar can cause damage to the nervous system, and our air dominant friends can benefit from maintaining a steady level avoiding spiking. Add cinnamon to hot drinks to help balance blood sugars.

Air dominant people are most vulnerable in the cooler weather particularly the windy autumn and the chilly winter. Keeping warm and cosy during these months will help to ground you, and bring calm to your body and mind. Light a fire, play some nice music and sit down to a warm-spiced root veg casserole and feel the gentle heat bring calm to your nervous system.

Choose  soups, stews, porridges, warm spices and beverages over dry, crunchy or fried food, cold drinks or cold raw food.

Cook with black pepper, ginger, caynne pepper. Adaptogenic herbs work on the adrenals (they are herbs that reduce stress in our nervous system, through the regulation of cortisol), and thus help to soothe and heal the nervous system. Some more common ones include – rosemary, ginger, turmeric, ginseng and ashwagandha.

Be sure to get plenty of sleep especially during the cold weather, and try to select calming, grounding pastimes’, like fishing, walking, gardening, reading or painting.

When air dominant people choose activities, foods and lifestyle factors that bring calm, warmth and stability, it grounds them, and gives their bodies and minds a chance to rest and regenerate.

Making these little changes especially during the colder part of the year, and/or during times of elevated stress,  will mean that come the spring, the time that you begin to come alive again, you will be raring to go – a ball of potential energy whose abilities and strengths will be at their very best, both in body and mind.

The Monsters That Come by Night

Were you afraid of the dark as a child? I was. When the lights went out, every noise seemed ominous. Every creek a footstep,  every knock a bony finger at your bedroom door. But what was at the root of these scary thoughts? And why did they only seem to arise after dark?

Fear of the unknown. In the dark we lose our most dominant sense – vision. Our other senses become more acute making every little sound seems significant.  Its simply that you notice it, whereas when your sight is your principle sense, other senses are somewhat reduced. We have become so reliant on our eyes to tell us what is around us that when this sense is not enabled, we feel less secure. Our fear starts to rise, and begins to toy with us. As its tendrils infiltrate our thoughts, our adrenalin surges, increasing our heartrate, and making us breathe in short sharp cycles. We begin to think irrationally, because our body is behaving as though we are being threatened, so our hormones produce the necessary means to deal with a threat. It puts us in fight or flight mode.

During the hours when our body is meant to be regenerating with restorative sleep, our brain wants to keep us awake and tormented – maybe not with the fears of our childhood, but our much more tangible fears that we face in daily life. The worries that niggle away at you, during the day, grow like looming shadows as soon as we lay our heads to rest.

Some of these worries are from the mounting “to do” list that fills our waking life – from the bureaucratic demands society places on us, to keeping a roof over our heads and putting food on the table. When these lists, start to form, it is often a good idea to simply turn on a soft light for a moment and jot down the list, so that for now it’s been dealt with and you can rest while you wait for sleep to claim you.

However other worries stem from much deeper fonts of unease. Emotional turmoil, that comes from our precious relationships in life. When we feel misunderstood, or let down, by someone we love, or we have a deep and complex belief system that conflicts with that of someone we are very close to. Or it could be that we feel unappreciated, unloved or unheard. We maybe feeling rejection from a partner or a friend. These emotional “monsters” are very real to us, and when our day is done and our eyes should feel heavy with waiting sleep, they jab and poke at us keeping our tired minds active and restless, turning our thoughts around and around at a dizzying pace. The result is very similar in our bodies to the reaction we felt when we were sure the bogeyman was under our bed as a child. Fear. Stress. Anger. Anxiety. These emotions cause our nervous system to keep our heartrate elevated, pumping our blood away from our vital organs that should be receiving it to regenerate during the night, to our limbs, in readiness to fight or run – no wonder we cannot sleep, and feel so restless. Our poor brain is confused because of our emotions.

Life is so full of worries especially during our current time. It has a ripple effect on everything around us – our circumstances, our relationships, our work. We cannot stop the barrage of bureaucracy we have to deal with, nor can we change the current events taking place in the world. We cannot change how other people feel or think, or how their feelings and actions effect our own.

But what we can do, is to confront our monsters. If something is worrying you, and its something you cannot effect practically, then perhaps its shown up in your life to teach you something about yourself. Is the reason you feel rejected, unloved, unheard or let down, really because of the other party? Have you really tried to look at it from their perspective? Perhaps your perception of the way they are handling your relationship is more about you than them? Maybe you are truly justified in your feelings and they are at fault, but again why has this come up for you? Why is someone whom you love treating you the way they are? What does it tell you about yourself? Perhaps you need to be firmer, learn to say no so you don’t feel let down? Learn to speak truthfully and clearly so you don’t feel misheard? Or perhaps you need to walk away from that person, because their energy doesn’t resonate with yours, and you bring each other down? All of these answers are hard for us to face because it usually involves doing something we are not comfortable with. Admitting a flaw in our own abilities is much harder than pointing a finger the other way, especially when that admission requires an action from us to help conquer it.

Perhaps if you reflect, you will see a pattern emerge in yourself. If we keep making similar mistakes in our lives ( e.g. choosing or being attracted to unsuitable partners), then life will keep trying to show us where it is WE need to make a change in ourselves. If we keep ignoring that message, we keep finding ourselves in the same or similar situations.

We are here to learn. To become better versions of ourselves, so that we may grow and evolve as beings. We are here to learn about ourselves and about how we interact with the world we live in, and those we share our lives with.

Next time you are lying awake worrying about something that feels so much bigger than you – that huge monster, that jumps out from under your bed – ask him what he wants to show you, about yourself. Once he sees that you are not afraid but instead a willing student, that monster becomes your guide, helping you open the eyes of your inner being, so that the eyes of your outer body can close and bring you the rest you need.