Yoga for Your Toes (and Feet)

A quick flow for your yogi toes and feet.

I sprained my ankle a few months back and have been doing this little flow regularly as rehab. It's an awesome way to stimulate the flow of qi to the feet, to build strength and flexibility in the feet and ankles and to develop your grace and ease as you move - your feet contain proprioceptors that help you navigate through space and host the constant dialogue between our bodies to the earth. Give them some love. Get barefoot, grab a ball (tennis ball for those new to this, golf ball if you're a sadist) and give this a try.

  1. massage the plantar fascia with your ball. Spend some time here, use your body weight for more pressure and if you find tender spots, stay. Pay particular attention to the heel attachment and the bubbling spring point, in the middle ofthe foot.
  2. toe squat. Build up to five minutes here. Lean forward for less intensity, and separate the feet. Feet together and weight fully back is most intense.
  3. practice isolating your toe movements. Lift one toe at a time, then place them all back down one by one. Lift all the toes of one foot, then the other, then place them back down one by one. You get the idea, see if you can move your toes like your move your fingers.
  4. ankle squats - stand on tip toes, keep feet and knees parallel, squat til butt touches heels then rise again. Stay on your tip toes the whole time! Slowly. Do 8-15.
  5. top of ankle stretch. Sit on tops of feet, most people will prefer knees wide, and lean back slowly to rest on hands, then elbows. Maybe all the way down. Don't do this on hardwood without padding unless you're a master!! 😳 Ow! Stay up to five mins.

Done. Namaste! 🙏🏼

Winter Green Juice Boost

...for the old immune system.

This is beyond delicious. If you're not sold on green juices (grassy! Tastes like lawn clippings!), this might convert you. The secret ingredient is lemonade fruit, which I appreciate isn't to be found at Woolies or Coles, but hey, that's just a great reason to check out the Farmer's Market! :) Lemon will suffice, if you can't procure a lemonade fruit, but start with a quarter of the lemon and see how it tastes. If your lemonade/lemon is organic, juice the peel, heaps of yummy vitamins and minerals in there. If not organic, please peel before juicing. Wash your veggies well if you're using conventional produce, k?

1 pear
1 knob ginger
1 knob turmeric (start with a small knob, it can taste weird if you're not used to it) (optional)
Couple handfuls celery stalks and leaves
Couple handfuls of kale
1 whole lemonade fruit (or 1/4 or 1/2 lemon)
1 cucumber

Bung in your favourite juicer. Stir. Drink slowly. Mmm.

Makes about 400 mls

Health Benefits
Lemonade/Lemon: full of citric acid, which preserves Vit C activity and relieves congestion. High sulphur content dissolves mucous of respiratory system, cleanses body or toxins and has antiseptic and cleansing effect for the digestive system. Provides alkaline balance to body.
Ginger: relieves inflammation due to compounds gingerols (they reduce the production of nitric acid that causes free radical damage). Boosts immune system, relaxes digestion, provides antioxidant power and is warming to the body.
Pear: source of copper, potassium, iron, silicon and folate. And let's face it, they make all that green stuff taste better. ;)
Kale: high in cleansing minerals sulphur and chlorine, help expel waste matter from body. High in chlorophyll, Vit U. Alkalising.
Cucumber: great for the skin, hair and bones - high in silicon, sulphur and chlorine. Source of Vit E. Alkalising, diuretic, reduces excess uric acid in the blood.
Celery: long history of therapeutic benefits - great for the liver! Contains phthalides which help decrease nervous stress. Great source of Vit A. High in organic sodium, keeps calcium soluble in the bloodstream so great for osteoarthritis. Anti-inflammatory, diuretic, stimulates the pancreas. Source of alkalising chlorophyll.
Turmeric: anti-inflammatory powerhouse, source of curcumin. High in manganese, iron and copper.


Meet the...Hawaiian Massage Therapist, Casey Adams

Meet the... is a new series of interviews I am going to conduct with awesome people in this town who are providing a healing/health-focused service that I personally believe in. I get asked a lot where I go for massages/naturopathy/healing etc and I have personally benefited from some long relationships with healers/health professionals in this town. Newcastle has an amazing community of conscious folk who are beating the drum of a balanced life well-lived, and I thought, hey, why not profile some of these awesome people on the blog? Most of the people here also practice yoga; many at Yoga for All. It's so lovely to have, in our Newcastle community, this amazing and inspiring bunch of humans around. If you know someone who is an amazing healer/health professional, please share their details. It's for the greater good of us all. :)

First up is Casey Adams. She is Hawaiian (Kahuna) massage therapist, and damn, she is amazing. Watching her work is like watching a person dance with the energy before them; she is present and powerful and I highly recommend her.

I'm going to profile a couple of hands-on therapies first up because I truly believe we all need healing touch; our hands carry healing energy, chi, prana, whatever you want to call it, carried through from our hearts. Casey is no exception, her hands are magic. She gave me an incredible treatment in Kahuna massage; I was absolutely astonished at how relaxed, free and calm I felt after a session with her. I went home and slept like a baby that night! Kahuna isn't that common in Australia, but it should be! Based on the traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian massage techniques, it works across the whole body in these long, amazing strokes that just carry tension away, like a beautiful wave. So good. Here's Casey's interview, and her contact details are below in case you want to book in with her. Please note that I only recommend people I absolutely trust and would see myself, and I get no financial gain out of this, I just really believe in sharing the love. We all gotta find the things that make our hearts and bodies sing!

What inspired you to become a Kahuna/Hawaiian massage therapist? Why did you choose to pursue massage?

I had always been interested in massage and fascinated by the depths of the body. When originally thinking about studying massage, I contemplated remedial first, however, my parents (who also practice the Hawaiian style) directed me towards Mette's Institute where I trained and never looked back. I ended up living and working at the massage training retreat on the Sunshine Coast for 6 months, co-facilitating courses at the lower levels. Although I am just about to complete my Certificate IV in Massage Therapy, plan to complete my Diploma of Remedial therapy and continuously further my studies and knowledge of massage and the anatomy, I believe Hawaiian massage will remain the base of all my treatments as it is beautifully holistic and exactly what I was looking for.

What would a yogi get out of a Hawaiian massage?

Similar to Yoga, Hawaiian massage works by stimulating the natural flow of energy within the body in order to bring about changes in the physical and emotional areas. Stress and tension is released so that energy can flow freely once more.
Hawaiian massage is deeply relaxing and rejuvenating and is good for the following:

stress, depression and exhaustion
detoxification and waste removal
improving the immune system
increased range of movement and flexibility
stimulating lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems
releasing muscle tension

Favourite yoga asana and why?
Shavasana! …because the most satisfying feeling is when every inch of my body tingling with gratitude, absorbing and integrating a strong practice.

Can't live without?
...Water, Yoga, Massage, Nature, my Health, Family/Friends, Love...

Life philosophy…?
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind :)

Casey Adams
Hawaiian Healing, Cooks Hill
Ph: 0422 758 494
Web: Hawaiian Healing


Meet Tamara...

Tamara wandered into my class at Yoga for All and we just clicked. I knew I wanted her to teach here, to share her passion, and when the chance came to get her on the timetable, I jumped at it. As far as we know, Tamara is the only Hridaya Hatha Yoga teacher in Australia; I'm so excited to offer this less-well known style of yoga here in Newcastle and beyond delighted that the beautiful Tamara is the one sharing it with us. If you haven't made it to a Thursday night class yet, I highly recommend it! The Heart Space Meditation that follows is powerful and intended to connect you deeply to your true Self...if you're new to meditation it's a wonderful introduction, and if you're more experienced, the dynamic group energy can be profound. Give it a try!

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
I am passionate about a human being's ability to know how to be resilient, independent and find their truth. I think what inspired me to be a yoga teacher is being able to help facilitate and empower people to become the best person they can be. Yoga is powerful tool that anyone can have access to that can address the multitude of issues we each face in our life journeys. By using the physical body to express how we are feeling internally and learn how to relax, that's where the healing and transformations occur.
To me it is my service, an honour and a gift ... to truly share from the heart and not just to teach but to learn always.

Why teach at Yoga for All?
Yoga for All is an incredible community that allows equality and freedom. By taking away the challenge of a monetary value, individuals have access to Yoga and dive deeper into their own practice. It is genuine and authentic for both the teacher & the student. I also love being supported and surrounded by beautiful teachers that truly teach from the heart.

Favourite asana and why?
Chakrasana ~ The Wheel Pose.
Why? I love love the opening of the heart in this asana. I feel inner strength and freedom! I love the enthusiasm & the energetic rush of activating Manipura (navel) and Anahata (heart) chakras. But most of all I love the post-asana awareness. The body feels open, radiant & full of light!

Can't live without?
Coconut! In any form... fresh, oil, milk or water. I use it for absolutely everything!
( And I can't live without love )

Life philosophy?
"Only if one knows the truth of love, which is the real nature of Self, will the strong entangled knot of life be untied. Only if one attains the height of love will liberation be attained. Such is the heart of all religions. The experience of Self is only love, which is seeing only love, hearing only love, feeling only love, tasting only love and smelling only love, which is bliss". - Ramana Maharshi

This quote is by one of my beloved teachers. Knowing that the essence of who we all really are is love is ultimate freedom. The possibilities are endless:)


Meet Nat...

The magical Nat Brazil is the next Y4A teacher we're featuring; Nat is a prenatal yoga teacher extraordinaire, as well as a Purna Yoga-trained Hatha yoga teacher and mama to two very cute short people. So much talent; so many skills! Here it is...Nat's interview.

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?

After practicing yoga on and off for about 8 years, I began to notice a transformative change in my actual being. Initially this was purely very physical but gradually I noticed other positive benefits. I felt a deep yearning to incorporate it more completely into my life. Yoga is amazing because it accessible to everyone on all levels. One of the greatest misconceptions of yoga is that you have to be flexible to go to a class! I want to share my love of yoga!

Why teach at Yoga for All?

Yoga for All is a beautiful studio with a great ethic – it makes yoga financially accessible to everyone and has a great variety of different classes available from 6am til 7pm. What more could you ask for?

Favourite asana and why?

Trikonasana = Triangle pose. Love this asana because it is so simple but there is so much going on from the base, all the way up to the tips of the fingers. The balance of a triangle is beautiful and I like to imagine that I am suspended between the sky and the earth, being pulled in two different directions.

Can't live without?

Lemon and ginger tea first thing in the morning!

Life philosophy?

You never know what is just around the corner.