"Come Fly With Me" an interview with Claudine & Honza Lafond

“If walking on our feet is the most defining physical ability of human evolution, then standing on our hands is perhaps the most daring act of physical freedom.” ~Honza Lafond

“If walking on our feet is the most defining physical ability of human evolution, then standing on our hands is perhaps the most daring act of physical freedom.” ~Honza Lafond

In February of 2015, Sydney was lucky enough to experience its first (official) Wanderlust Festival on the eerily fascinating and especially charming Cockatoo Island.

For those of you who don't know,

"Wanderlust festivals are all-out celebrations of mindful living. [They] bring together exceptional yoga and meditation instructors, musicians, speakers, artists, and chefs for transformational retreats in the world’s most awe-inspiring natural resorts." - Wanderlust Website

As soon as I heard it was actually possible to volunteer at these kickass events, I went about applying immediately. Crossing all my fingers & [yogi] toes I eagerly awaited their response knowing if I was accepted, this would be a perfect opportunity to meet and network with other travel-lovin' yogis & yoginis (and possibly snag a couple interviews to boot!).

A few weeks later, I received an email from Volunteer Coordinator, Emma who let me know I'd be helping with "artist hospitality" - I was STOKED. I was assigned to work with two awesome girls, Imogen (Media coordinator) & Sophia (PR extraordinaire) in the Presenter Shala for my three "work" days [we also got one free Pilgrim Pass to be used on our day off]. On my second day, Imogen and I were paired up and sent off to comb the entire island for a step ladder and a staple gun (don't ask) realising this was my chance to do a bit of self-promotion, I decided to mention the blog. To my surprise, she was super-intrigued and to top it all off, offered to set me up an interview with acro-duo Claudine & Honza Lafond who I've been wanting to interview for AGES.

"#FreeStar in the spookiest place we've ever been to 👻 @CockatooIsland"

"#FreeStar in the spookiest place we've ever been to 👻 @CockatooIsland"

True to her word, the next morning Imogen announced that I'd be sitting down with C&H for an in-person interview at 4pm that same day.

The reality of the situation hit me in the pit of my stomach: I've never done an in-person interview - I was petrified.

Praying the terror in my eyes went unnoticed (I think I got away with it) I decided to focus on my second dilemma: I was totally unprepared.. Luckily I have a list of 28-or-so "generic" interview questions up my sleeve that I usually email to prospective interviewees. I hastily trimmed the list down, threw in a couple more "personal" queries and hoped for the best. I preceded to spend the next couple hours Googling things like "how to conduct an in-person interview" and "how to record conversations on an iPhone".

4 o'clock rolled around in what felt like a matter of minutes and, armed as best I could, I set out to meet the pair. 

Thank goodness, Claudine & Honza are totally down-to-earth and easy to talk to.. They breezed through my questions and were (mercifully) understanding and totally unfazed by my obvious lack of experience in the field of journalism. These two have come a long way and I (along with many others) am not ashamed to say am envious of their amazing lifestyle, travelling the world and teaching yoga while inspiring others on so many levels. Not only are they total veterans when it comes to living life on the road, they're also really good at talking about it. I hope I've successfully conveyed their infectious lust for life & all things yoga + travel in the Q&A that follows.

I've left the majority of this interview unaltered, only lending a few brackets to sentences for enhanced read-a-bility. I hope you enjoy! Also, links to their website, Facebook, Instagram etc can be found at the bottom of the post :)


"Miss this place! Throwing it back to our adventures in Barcelona, Spain🇪🇸 during our 2013 European tour. For a step-by-step tutorial and a spotting video check out @ACROVINYASA"

"Miss this place! Throwing it back to our adventures in Barcelona, Spain🇪🇸 during our 2013 European tour. For a step-by-step tutorial and a spotting video check out @ACROVINYASA"

I'd love to hear a bit about your yoga journey... I know that's a really generic (& generally broad) question.. perhaps how you got into Acro-yoga would be a better, more direct way to start?

Claudine: Well I can start with yoga because I love sharing how it started off.. I was 15 and a friend of my mom's said I should try a yoga class while we were in Bali. The class was set in an outdoor gazebo, [and I remember] the instructor guided us through this beautiful chanting. It was an Iyengar yoga class - two hours of practice and I had no idea what it was all about at the time, but I was completely mesmerised, fixated and really curious so the next day I got up early and went to the class again and went back every day for about two months; from there I was already hooked and at a young age. I didn't really understand what it was all about but I was so fascinated and curious. That was a long time ago now [laughs] but yeah, I was so clear about wanting to do more of this.. I mean once, there was a pregnant woman in class and I remember thinking "I want to be doing THAT when I'm pregnant" - it had left a strong impression on me so, I was very sure early on that that's what I wanted to do.

How often do you guys travel?

Honza: We probably travel about 6 months of the year.. This year it's shaping up to be more. We like to chase the summer, it's just something we started doing and we like doing. We dreamt it up for ourselves and somehow it's happening so, it just depends on the opportunities and the kinds of things we want to do and of course where we want to travel. We like to go to new places every year [also] there's a few regular festivals and destinations that we go to to teach. In between that, we try to weave in a bit of down time... to relax, see the sights, enjoy [ourselves].

What would you say is your #1 yoga related carry-on item?

Claudine: For me, right now, I have 2 - they're both kind of therapy/unwind items:

  1. "Yoga Tune-up Balls" I sleep with them, actually, under my neck.. they're great, we use them at our studio as well and for training we encourage all of our students to bring a pair of them. I take them on the plane [too] they're just great for unravelling the muscles!
  2. beanbag eye pillow 
"We're super excited to announce that we'll be teaching at Young-Ho Kim's annual Diamond Yoga Retreat in Turkey this year! Come join us for 5 days of fun, connection, yoga, acro and so much more! This is the kind of shenanigans we got up to last year with@inside_yoga and @cameronshayne at the Diamond Retreat in Greece. Expect more crazy #AcroFuFightingfrom Turkey!"

"We're super excited to announce that we'll be teaching at Young-Ho Kim's annual Diamond Yoga Retreat in Turkey this year! Come join us for 5 days of fun, connection, yoga, acro and so much more! This is the kind of shenanigans we got up to last year with@inside_yoga and @cameronshayne at the Diamond Retreat in Greece. Expect more crazy #AcroFuFightingfrom Turkey!"

You guys are very into social media - that's actually where I found you initially - I'm sure you're aware that you inspire a lot of people on there.. I'm trying to think of the best question to ask you about it..

Honza: DON'T do it [laughs] Do not get into it! 

Is it a black hole? I know I tend to get carried away and overwhelmed with my own accounts...haha

Honza: I can speak to this one because I make all our posts - Don't I [Claudine]? 

Claudine: Honza is the "artist" in the relationship. He's been an artist for a very long time... he's the creative genius behind our Instagram account.

Honza: So, my advice would be unless you love to create visual art, or for some strange reason you love to take a picture of yourself every day - or what you eat; I don't get that one.  But anyway, then I wouldn't. I don't think people should have to feel they have to do this because its the new "norm" and I feel that most people who wanna create something for themselves - not just in yoga, but in any industry - seem to be kind of forced into this [idea of] having to post and you know, the thing about it is not everyone is necessarily gifted or interested in visual arts .. in taking pictures and looking at lighting and angles and all of that, which I think is a huge part of the accounts or the "streams" and the popularity that some accounts get:  It's a visual form of art and, unless you are maybe famous for something, so [as a result] people [just] follow you [for that reason, you need to be invested & interested in that visual aspect of it]. I think twitter is kind of like that: it's more about the person who is known in a certain industry rather than the actual visual content. That's why I think Instagram has that differentiation: it's about the pictures, not so much about the text - well, not for everyone but for the most part. So, yeah I would say if a person feels that they have to be on it or they think its important for whatever they're doing my advice it to tell them to do some good research into what platform serves them best and pursue that. For us, it was always going to be a visual [platform] you know, we started with Instagram and I remember one day we thought "wouldn't it be wonderful if we could take short videos on this platform?" and I think it was 3 days later, Instagram announced 50 second videos and we we're like "score! well-manifested!" We obviously write captions about what these moments are about, but we're not so "gifted" and maybe in some ways not interested in the text form. Other people write blogs and they can beautifully arrange words to express themselves, [while] we are more into our [physical] practice so, to capture a moment in our practice is really [what we] do.

"Definition of bliss🔸Reach a state of perfect happiness, oblivious of everything else. Synonyms🔸joy, pleasure, delight, happiness, gladness, enlightenment, ecstasy, elation, rapture, euphoria, heaven, paradise, seventh heaven, cloud nine, Eden, Utopia, Arcadia"

"Definition of bliss🔸Reach a state of perfect happiness, oblivious of everything else.
Synonyms🔸joy, pleasure, delight, happiness, gladness, enlightenment, ecstasy, elation, rapture, euphoria, heaven, paradise, seventh heaven, cloud nine, Eden, Utopia, Arcadia"

What would you say is the craziest, coolest place you've done yoga? 

Honza: Wow, we've had a few.. Obviously we travel & part of what we have become in a way is we explore the places we travel to through the intention to capture our practice at those places. So, that's a wonderful drive for us because - I don't know how much travel you've done - for us, we can go for a bit but, we're not those adventurous nomads that can get very excited, put their whole life in a backpack & keep going.. there's a limit to it for us. When we need a little bit of routine, we just slow down and find stillness and be in our own "home" and so it's wonderful for us to have another reason, if you will, or it is a reason but it has so many aspects.. it's an artistic expression, it's a way to explore a new place.  Tt's [also] a way to meet new people: most of our photos are taken by strangers, we just ask them to help us take a picture - we say "do you have 10 minutes? Ok, do you mind lying on the ground here and getting just this exact angle that I've prepared for you?" [laughs] So there's a process to it that we enjoy which goes well with the way we like to travel and we get to capture our practice in these amazing locations where you would probably just stand there and take a "selfie" or something.. so also, it kind of forces us into a continual practice because to do this - to get into these postures - we've got to warm up.

Claudine: I'm just thinking about a couple really magical places that we've been to... Santorini in Greece was just really stunning, these locations that we find ourself are so dream-like and surreal; just for our personal practice, to wake up every morning in in these spectacular locations in nature and have that reflected as you're breathing and moving your body is such a blessing. I'm so grateful for those moments when we get to experience these incredible places in the world. Gratitude for both of us is such a strong current of why we are where we are now 

Honza: We've been to some crazy, cool places for our practice but we've also taught in some cool places.. This is the first time we've taught on a tennis court (motions to spot behind us) we've taught a class and lead a retreat that was on a cruise ship which was pretty unusual and spectacular and amazing.. A lot of beaches.. Actually, probably the most extreme for me was doing a dancer pose at the base camp of Mount Everest .. That was probably..

Claudine: That was your "yoga peak" [laughs]

Honza: [laughs] Yeah! There are so many special moments and we love having that documented on our feed. We love to share our practice with people but it s amazing to have a documented journey for US - not for anyone else - and in many ways that's how we go about it: it's our personal feed, our personal Instagram, and sometimes people get a little bit opinionated as to what we put up .. a lot of people feel entitled to impose some imaginary standard on us in regards to what we should and should not post and we think it's interesting because people seem to forget that this is our personal account.. we can put - well, for lack of a better word - whatever the fuck we want on our Instagram.. 

Certainly, people take a lot of liberties with anyone who puts their stuff out there and really, who are they to say what anyone can or can't put on their instagram..?

Honza: Well, exactly. That's really the issue we got into at the start of the conversation: not only do you get into it to put some content out but, once you get into it and you gain a certain following there's a shift - people seem to have a different perception of who you are and how successful and maybe "known" you are - which is the weirdest thing, because nothing really changes for anyone other than the number of "followers" their screen.. but it kind of goes hand-in-hand with it, we have to expect and maybe get ready for those trolls out there who like to offload their own insecurities onto other people and who seem to be doing well.. that's just part of the game.

Claudine: I think we always just handle it with a lot of grace - people are entitled to their own opinion.. we just need to give thanks for them voicing it and just continue doing what we're doing.

Honza: I [just] wonder where this whole thing will be in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years .. there seems to be the reality TV shows that kicked off like 20 years ago just merged into Social Media through Facebook and now everyone has an amazing platform to put out whatever it is that they want to put out into the world. It has its own set of challenges but it has it's own freedom of expression which is unprecedented. I think there's a Social Media platform for anyone as long as you're willing to contribute content in some way online, whether it's a blog, through Twitter, Tumbler, or Instagram or Facebook ... but you know, also we have days where we go "Hmm, I wonder what life would be like without Social Media..." and that sounds pretty good too [laughs] 

"Thought it would be a rather curious thing to take a moment in this grounding and calming pose in a place full of intense activity. Love the process of creating#YogaArt and challenging conventional thinking in the process. Needless to say, another great capture by@CreaCreaStudio at Bondi Beach Skatepark."

"Thought it would be a rather curious thing to take a moment in this grounding and calming pose in a place full of intense activity. Love the process of creating#YogaArt and challenging conventional thinking in the process. Needless to say, another great capture by@CreaCreaStudio at Bondi Beach Skatepark."

Claudine: But we're here now in the world of Social Media and we're embracing it!

What about your eating habits while you're travelling; do you find it difficult to stay healthy?

Claudine: Nope

Honza: I eat whatever I want. 

Claudine: He does.. [laughs]

Honza: I've never felt guilty about anything I've put in my mouth, ever. I always say "if it tastes good, it's good for you" and I think as long as you're resolved and well and somewhat balanced inside you will generally tend to gravitate to the things that you need without having to think about it. That's just my take on it anyway, Lafond over here [nudges Claudine] comes from a different school of thought [laughs]

Claudine: Well, I've also ascribed to his school of thought but my personal experimentation with food has been more on the natural, raw food, superfood side of things.. I studied holistic nutrition for a while so I gravitate towards, you know, lots of super, healthy, organic treats and when we travel I'm like a little squirrel I've got my bag of nuts, seeds, dried fruits and green powders so between the two of us we're pretty well taken care of.

So, you wouldn't say that a lot of planning & research goes into your diets while you're away? I mean, I know some people that research healthy restaurants, markets etc and pick out all their spots beforehand..

Claudine: We both really love food - I love it even more, I think - and wherever we go there's always something we can eat; we're not super-fussy, you know, we understand food has to taste good and it has to be nutrient-dense but you always have to be flexible when you travel.. you can't be so steadfast on one food being available otherwise you'll be hungry and a bit cranky

Honza: I also have this utopian thought that there's this chemical laboratory in my body that just converts any shit into this amazing nutritious food.. I eat chocolate and I turn it into sustenance

Claudine: I eat chocolate every day actually, raw chocolate in my cereal...

Honza: Yeah, for me it's a block of chocolate & for Claudine it's raw chocolate..

snaps from our interview


I'm SO grateful for the time Claudine & Honza gave me during their whirlwind weekend teaching and playing at this great festival.

You can find out more about their Yoga Journeys, ACROVINYASA classes @ Yoga Beyond in Sydney, upcoming Yoga Teacher Trainings and much more on their website: www.yogabeyond.com 

PLUS for daily inspiration, make sure to follow their journey on Instagram: @yogabeyond + @acrovinyasaFacebook & YouTube.

You can learn more about upcoming Wanderlust Festivals around the world HERE and about the amazing weekend that was Wanderlust Cockatoo Island HERE.


The Yoga Barn - Yin Yoga w/ Cat - Nyoman Studio

Saturday, Dec 06 (Day 1 of my 6 days of yoga in Ubud)

PM (5-6:30) - Yin Yoga w/ Cat - Nyoman Studio

Rear reception desk (below Nyoman Studio)

Rear reception desk (below Nyoman Studio)

Reached by a winding alley off Jl Pengosekan (before it splits into Jalans Wenara Wana & Hanoman) The Yoga Barn compound is narrow, long and downhill.

Starting with the "front" reception, stairs on either side lead past a small studio, followed by the [delectable] organic 'Kafe' and ending at a large deck in front of the "rear" reception desk, above which sits Studio Nyoman.

This space is out of this world... set in a traditional (two storey) Balinese hut, huge & round with a thatched roof, it can fit up to 42 students comfortably (according to a sign outside). The room is located upstairs via wide, spiral staircases that wind up either side. You check-in at the reception desk downstairs where you also leave your shoes (and in tonight's case, umbrellas/ponchos) and ascend the stairs, admiring the beauty of the surrounding greenery & neighbouring bungalows (which are rented out by YB). 

The beautiful Studio Nyoman (upstairs)

The beautiful Studio Nyoman (upstairs)

I was absolutely knocked out when I reached the top... 

Dozens of beautiful yogis and yoginis glistened in the humidity and chatted away while rolling out their mats and gathering props. The air was thick & carried the faint smell of citronella and incense as the breeze rolled through from all sides. My eyes were immediately drawn to the cavernous ceiling above, where a giant [and i mean GIANT] off-white lantern resembling a split pea pod (or, on second thought, perhaps a cocoon) is hung, filled with beautiful warm light.

Cupboards lined with bolsters, mats, straps, blocks and blankets line the left side of the room - leaving the remaining circumference of the rear and right of the room exposed to nature. Tearing my eyes away from the view, I admire at the front a sandstone statue of Ganesha, who acts as an altar adorned with bright orange garlands, candles and mala.

The rain outside was absolutely mesmerising, rolling off the steep roof and cascading around us as if we were taking refuge in a cave behind a waterfall... I grabbed two bolsters and a blanket (there were more than enough for the whole class to take 2, even three of each prop) and laid down to meditate. In this moment I immediately felt a sense of total comfort - I was safe here. In the arms of this space I knew I could fully surrender, which is exactly what you want in a Yin yoga, where tension in your deepest muscles & fascia are released through total relaxation in poses held for around 5 minutes each. 

Photo's don't do this space justice! View of the back of the room...

Photo's don't do this space justice! View of the back of the room...

The latter was not to be for me that night (my body indignantly rejects any pose held for over 1 min... or even 30 seconds... ) but this doesn't mean that the class wasn't well taught. Cat is obviously a very experienced practitioner & has a wonderful, calming presence as she practically floated around the room.

She described the channels, or paths, that carry energy through the body and explained that we would be focusing on the whole body (as opposed to working on, say, just the intestines or the back).

I'm kicking myself for writing this two days later - I've completely lost the sequence from my memory... We were brought into Yin backbends, hip, chest and shoulder openers and nourished our digestive tract.

Predictably, I spent the better part of most of these postures wanting them to end. I also moved around - a lot - constantly adjusting in futile efforts to find even the tiniest ounce of happiness. This is a hallmark of Yin - many students find it supremely difficult to "sink in" to the poses and walk out of class feeling frustrated and sore. This is humbling. I enjoy being humbled.

I trudged out of that class determined to "figure out" the mysterious so-called bliss that's said to be found through this practice. If persistence is key, I've got 4 more days to figure this sh*t out (hint: I do - and sooner than you'd think!)

Ganesh altar @ front of room

Ganesh altar @ front of room

Stay tuned for more on The Yoga Barn! I'll be sharing accounts of my classes, the studios and the teachers through journal entries I wrote during my trip.

I'll wrap the whole thing up with a whole bunch of links and other goodies! Stay tuned for Day 2 of my six blissful days in Ubud, coming soon!

Check out their class schedule here!

This lantern is absolutely stunning at night...

This lantern is absolutely stunning at night...

8 things we MUST know about Kathryn Budig

Kathryn Budig: a spunky, sassy, passionate, nomadic, pocket rocket yogini with a healthy sense of humor and lovable personality – these qualities alone earn her a gold star from us and a certain tick of approval from her numerous followers & students across the globe.

Yogi On Fire: An Interview With Natalie Adele

Meet Natalie Adele: Not only is she a fun-loving, travelling nurse who ALWAYS packs her yoga wherever she goes, but she is also an amazing writer and storyteller.

Read on to immerse yourself in her yoga journey; learn about her teacher training in Bali, feel like you're there as she recounts the most memorable/beautiful place she's practiced yoga, and hear about her plans for the future (hint: they involve a helluva lot of Travel + Yoga!)

 

Regarding Yoga + Travel: An Interview with Dr. Nicole Anders

It all started with a Dancer's Pose snapped in Bali...

During the course of the day, scrolling through my Instagram feed, I see hundreds of photos taken on the beach. While they're each beautiful in their own way, I always find myself looking for something more... some thing familiar.

One day I came across a gorgeous photo taken against a background of shining black sand, characteristic of the volcanic landscape of one of my favourite islands: Bali.

Regarding Yoga + Travel: An Interview with Danielle Mika

A Broadway performer in earlier years while residing in Germany, fluent in Japanese, Director of Studio Development for Chopra Yoga (Vancouver & Toronto), mother of two beautiful daughters and lover of travel - Danielle Mika is certainly a yogini who wears many hats! I came across Danielle on Instagram a few months ago, and after reading about her journey (both in yoga and in life) I thought she'd be fantastic to interview! Hope you enjoy (I know you will!) :)

Believing in The Universe isn't just for the spiritual...

I read an article recently on 'trusting the Universe' - something I, and probably you (yes, you), do every single day. 

It got me thinking about how and why we should perform this small, (yet often extremely difficult) act of surrender AND how we can do it 'properly.'

So yep, you heard me; I trust 'The Universe' .. And I think, at least in theory, you do too.

Call it what you want - spirituality, optimism, positive thought [Even 'hippy bullshit' if you're feeling particularly closed-minded today] - what you're actually doing is realising that you simply can't control EVERYTHING... 

every job promotion, every loan approval, every school acceptance... 

Sometimes, you just need to be ok with NOT knowing what's going to happen; be confident that you've done the best you can to facilitate your desired outcome, and just LEAVE IT.

Stop picking at it

Stop worrying 

And stop stressing everyone else out too. 

[It's annoying! Believe me, no one likes hearing about your insane lack of confidence, they've got their own shit to worry about.]

By doing these things, you're projecting - and wasting - [negative] energy (again, call this what you want; pessimism, doubt, lack of confidence) by complaining and/or voicing your concerns about something that you CANNOT CONTROL.

It's in the 'hands of the Universe' now - the 'All Knowing' [or I guess in your case, the 'Un Knowing'] and that's OK, because like I said, you can't control it any more.

It's out there, and like tossing something down a hill, it's going to keep rolling in whatever direction it wants until it reaches the bottom.

It's my opinion that by constantly voicing your concerns, worries and worst case scenarios, you're not only putting your energy into the wrong 'thing' entirely, but your also manifesting these shitty outcomes.

Manifest: clear or obvious to the eye or mind. (Oxford Dictionary)

Do you really know you're going to fail that test? Are you sure that guy you met over the weekend isn't going to call you? You're positive you're not going to make that wave you're paddling for?

Then why the fuck did you even bother in the first place?

Why even take the test, why give that guy your number if he's uninterested, why the hell are you going for that wave?

Because at one point you did trust yourself. 

You took those first monumental steps towards your goal and what are you doing now? You're throwing it all away. 

You're totally contradicting yourself.

You're wasting your (and possibly others') time.

Stop it. Just stop right now.

If you believe you can achieve something and have decided to give whatever it is a shot, you need to do a quick mental checklist:

  1. o I really want this?
  2. Is it attainable?
  3. Am I willing to put in the necessary effort?

Three ridiculously simple questions. 

Tick

Tick

Tick

If you can confirm these three things with yourself beforehand, what the heck is stopping you, right???

Ok fine, I guess it's not THAT simple..

We're all human. We worry. We doubt ourselves even when we're pretty sure we've got something in the bag because hey, we hate being disappointed.

And you know what we LOVE? Being surprised. Being excited. Being thrilled about an unexpected win. It's like winning the lottery (but, like, not winning the lottery because you haven't...)

I guess if you tell yourself you're not going to achieve something and then BOOM you actually do, it's pretty fricken' awesome. In fact, it feels amazing and I know we can all attest to that.

But I mean, come on.

Is it really worth constantly tearing your self-confidence down to bare threads for however long just for that short moment of heightened satisfaction in the end?

No.

The answer is no.

Not maybe, not kinda, just no.

If this is how most of you felt at the beginning of reading this then cool;

You're one of a very high number of people who do this to themselves (myself included, still, at times).

The good news is, you can try to reverse this [reverse] way of thinking!

Start Small

Next time you make a decision, just an everyday run-of-the-mill choice like, let's say buying a coffee in the morning: Trust yourself. 

You're buying a coffee this morning? Here's what I want you to do:

  1. Don't worry about how long it's gonna take (esp if you're in a rush, because that coffee will not get made in time for you to run for the bus, or whatever)
  2. Don't wonder if the shot's going to be bitter 
  3. Don't assume the milk will be burned... 

Why would you even purchase the bloody thing if you thought all of that stuff was going to go wrong? 

Here's your answer (and I'm just repeating myself now..)

YOU WOULDN'T

There. There's a simple way to turn your thinking around tomorrow morning.

Buy that coffee and TRUST it's going to be the best damn coffee you've ever bought.

And you know what, if it tastes shit, it wasn't your fault was it?

Did you make it?

No.

No you didn't.

So stop worrying because that won't make it come out better 

(and yes I get the obvious response here from a lot of people would be that your positive/negative thoughts won't 'affect' how the coffee's made because you can't control it...  And if you're thinking this then please f*** off, because you're missing the whole point of this)

So, do you get it now?

You probably got it before, in fact I know you got it before. The only thing stopping you is, I suppose it's easier said than done. 

Hopefully reading this has opened your eyes a little and made you realise that your mind is a powerful thing and you ARE capable of so much. 

You have potential. 

Trust yourself, your decisions, your beliefs because

well, 

what's stopping you???

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm certainly not finished with this topic!

Stay tuned for more about how I leave things to fate, and how I feel better because of it!

If you liked this piece, I think you'd enjoy another one I wrote on 'trusting your body' - read more here

 

All photos sourced from Pinterest

Regarding Yoga + Travel: An interview with Tina Bock

While compiling a list of travel-savvy Yogis & Yoginis to contact for this Q&A, Tina Bock was one of the first that came to mind.

I've followed her on Instagram for a while now and have been struck by her clear passion for not only yoga, but music as well... Growing up with a father as a musician, I'm instantly drawn to others that have music running through their veins.

Thursday, Sept 4th - The Redwalls: You'll Never Know


image.jpg

Artist: The Redwalls

Song: You'll Never Know

Album: Universal Blues

I absolutely LOVE this song. To be honest, I actually thought this was sung by The Beatles for ages... These guys are also a kind of mix of the Strokes + Arctic Monkeys... Looked them up for a bit more info and turns out they used to be called The Pages, but were asked by their record label to change their name in the early 2000's... They have a cruisy/groovy classic rock sound - good band worth listening to!

Actually did my first day of work in 4 months today, waitressing at my mate Shaun's cafe, Chelsea Tea House. Feels weird to be back on the grind, but [understandably] amazing to actually earn some cash.. (even if it does all go to bills...haha such is life).

If you're ever up in the direction of the Northern Beaches, you've gotta stop by this joint - nestled in the heart of Avalon for a perfect [Little Marrionette] coffee made by their awesome baristas or try the popular Poached Egg & Avo w/ Salsa Verde (my fave). 

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So I gave this post a break and came back to it during dinner.... sat down at a local pizza joint - Cranzgots in North Av - plugged my laptop in to do a bit of work while I wait for Sam to finish footy practice and upon checking my wifi connection found this internet source: 

"Don't even think about it"

Pure and absolute gold. I think I've found a new name for our wifi.....

Tuesday, Sept 2 - Fat Freddy's Drop: Roady

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Artist: Fat Freddy's Drop

Song: Roady

Album: Based On a True Story

It has been THE busiest week... what with moving house - prepping the new joint and cleaning the old one - I haven' had much time to think, let alone hit a yoga class...

I have MADE time over the past couple days to head down to the beach and practice for around an hour though, but unfortunately today wasn't one of those days. 

Once I'd finished scrubbing the walls of our apartment (yes, I know... I'm OCD) I decided to roll out my mat in our spare room and flow for 20 min or so.

I pressed play on my iPhone and decided to go with whatever came on from iTunes, Fat Freddy's drop must have been the last thing that I listened to and for that I was glad - They've got the bessssst reggae/soul beats & dirty electric guitar riffs that're so much fun to flow to! They've apparently dubbed themselves "hi-tek soul" which I can dig; even though a lot of their stuff is synthesised they mix it all up with their band (sax, trombone, trumpet, guitar & keys). Check 'em out below!

Monday, Sept 1 - Theivery Corporation: Shadows of Ourselves

 

Enjoyed a beautiful outdoor practice at Avalon SLSC this morning! 

Enjoyed a beautiful outdoor practice at Avalon SLSC this morning! 

My absolute favourite new place for my practice is the newly built Surf Club at South Avalon beach... I enjoyed an amazing practice in the sun this morning! It was actually really funny, as soon as I rolled out my mat, a tradie came through with a leaf blower and scooted around my perimeter for a couple minutes... Haha.. undeterred I continued my Sun Salutes and he eventually moved on 😂 

Avalon Beach, Sydney NSW

Avalon Beach, Sydney NSW

Today I listened to my 'Buddha Bar Radio' station on Pandora (don't ask me where it came from.. Ha) and heard a new song that was both fast and slow (does that make sense?!) elecrto jazz pop with some kind of twist... 

Artist: Theivery Corporation

Song: Shadows of Ourselves

Album: The Mirror Conspiracy

About (taken from Pandora) : Theivery Corporation make abstract, instrumental, mid tempo dance music whose classification falls between trip-hop [thats a new one!] and acid jazz.

Sunday, Aug 31 - Santana: Sideways

Every time I hear this song I get the chills..

Every time I hear this song I get the chills..

Artist: Santana (Ft. Citizen Cope)

Song: Sideways

Album: Shaman

"These feelings won't go away, they've been knocking me sideways..."

Where & When: Driving around running errands today and I got to enjoy this not once but twice :) It's such a groovy slow song, perfect track to make a Pandora Playlist with.... This came on while I was listening to my Beautiful Girls playlist (if you haven't heard of them, you MUST YouTube 'La Mar' - I promise you'll LOVE it) 



iFLYDownunder Part 1: Pre-flight

Skydiving: A deep burning fear

Photo sourced from Pinterest

Photo sourced from Pinterest

I don't know about some of you, but I have managed to maintain a deep, burning fear of skydiving for my entire 24 years of living.

There is NOTHING intriguing to me about gearing up, flying to 14,000 feet and flinging my body out of a moving plane, trusting an - admittedly large - piece of silk to float me back down to earth like a feather completely unharmed (and supposedly giddy with joy?!?!).

A girlfriend of mine once said it perfectly, "I think someone would actually have to knock me out and wake me up as we jumped..." 

AMEN SISTER

Knock me out and you would STILL struggle to wrestle me into submission.

Fast forward to the other day and I'm on the phone with the lovely Meg from PR Agency, Missy Mischief (cute), who is politely attempting to invite me to a Bloggers Event at the newly-opened iFLYDownunder facility in Penrith. 

At first I'm completely thrown off-guard at the fact that someone is approaching me to attend a Bloggers Event (those exist??? .... and if they indeed do, you want ME to attend??) followed swiftly by a (perceived) crushing realisation: She wants me to jump out of a plane.

Damnitt.

The first time I'm acknowledged as a 'Blogger' and it has to be via an offering of a terrifying experience during which I may lose my life, never to be acknowledged in the online world again (tragic...).

So, naturally I say "I need to think about it."

Photo courtesy of the IFLY Blog

Photo courtesy of the IFLY Blog

I plan to 'think' and email Meg that night (I can't let people down over the phone) apologising profusely, explaining that I can't write about something I'd most likely pass out during, therefore rendering the 'experience' nonexistent.

She must have read my mind, because before I could even finish half-heartedly turning her down she inserted that "admittedly it IS only indoor skydiving..."

I'm so totally embarrassed.

I've almost missed my first-ever (and who knows, possibly only-ever) opportunity to meet and network with other online writers. Nearly struck down by the only word I heard in her entire preamble: skydiving.

Who knew that this [less-petrifying] sister of the sport even existed???

I actually did.. iFLY's agency has been killing it on the advertising front, with TV & radio spruces popping up everywhere - even giant stickers on Sydney buses sporting grinning kids all geared up, faces rippling in the 260km wind...

Holly Kilham iFLY Downunder Operations Manager - Photo Courtesy of the iFLY Blog

Holly Kilham iFLY Downunder Operations Manager - Photo Courtesy of the iFLY Blog

Of course, I apologise for the misunderstanding and immediately accept. 

Meg isn't fooled, she says I can still think about it - It's a bit of a reach considering I'm in the 'Yoga + Travel' niche, but explains that she thought I could write about it from the angle of "trying new things" and "stepping out of my comfort zone".

If I wasn't sold before, I was now.

This was perfect! Not only was I being handed an amazing opportunity in the pubescent stages of my blogging 'career' but it was true, I was going to try something completely new to me and I was definitely going to be stepping (albeit "baby-stepping") out of my comfort zone.

I secure my seat on the shuttle bus with Meg for the next day and call it a night.

D-Day

Photo sourced from Pinterest

Photo sourced from Pinterest

That morning I wake to feelings of nervous excitement.

It's like the first day of high school again: uncertain of what's ahead...possibility of new friends... possibility of no one liking me... possibility of failing... OH GOD, WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR??!?

Ok, I felt like I was going to vomit.

I suck it up, try on all of my "comfortable clothing" and "close-toed shoes" as specified in Meg's email and sprint to catch the last-possible-E88-to-make-it-to-the-city-by-8:45, mind racing for the entire 1.5 hour ride..

How am I going to stack up against the other attendees?

I've only just started out... I don't fully understand how to use my bloody website (but am truly getting there), I'm unsure of the significance of my average page 'clicks' and I am definitely lacking in the content department...

All this aside, I really am qualified to be there I mean, I blog; That's (hopefully) all they're concerned with. Plus, people will read my piece (at least my direct family and handful of supportive friends, haha).

Photo taken from Workshop Cafe's Facebook Page

Photo taken from Workshop Cafe's Facebook Page

Once I arrive in the city, I immediately fuel up at my old regular, Workshop (if you're ever in the CBD and are after a FLAWLESS [Toby's Estate] espresso, it's a must) and head to Pitt St to meet the group.

At 8:45 on-the-dot, Christian from iFLY pulls up in their company shuttle bus and we're off.

I'm riding with two bubbly UNSW students who write for the school 'zine, Blitz and Debb Carr, the face behind popular What's On blog, SydneyChic. We make small talk abut work/life etc, all clearly slightly put-off by what we're about to do...


Stay tuned for Part 2: Taking flight!





Coming soon... iFLYDownunder: A Review

I recently attended a 'Bloggers Day' at iFLYDownunder - the first indoor skydiving facility in Australia!

I'll be posting a review of their state-of-the-art facilities, touching on everything from the mechanics of that crazy wind tunnel to the food served at their all-organic/raw cafe... PLUS of course, a run-down on my AMAZING experience flying under the care of their experienced team of passionate 'flyers'.

For now, here's a few photos for you to enjoy :)

Stay tuned! 

We were greeted by iFLY's amazing team of smily staff AND had a roped-off VIP area ;-)

We were greeted by iFLY's amazing team of smily staff AND had a roped-off VIP area ;-)

Thumbs up, ready to fly!

Thumbs up, ready to fly!

Pre-flight handstand!

Pre-flight handstand!

Post-flight handstand!

Post-flight handstand!

We were told to smile (teeth closed) while in the tunnel, or else risk an abundance of spit flying around! Unfortunately the latter still occurred for me...

We were told to smile (teeth closed) while in the tunnel, or else risk an abundance of spit flying around! Unfortunately the latter still occurred for me...

We were treated to beautiful organic & raw fare prepared by Nellie at upRAW Cafe & Juice Bar! 

We were treated to beautiful organic & raw fare prepared by Nellie at upRAW Cafe & Juice Bar! 

"Healthy Home-Made Mango Fruit Rollups" - Just A Taste

Healthy Home-Made Mango Fruit Rollups

Just A Taste

Satisfy that sweet tooth without noshing on candy bars & gummy bears.. Lovers of Gushers & Fruit-By-The-Foot rejoice! These may take 4-6 hours, but they are well worth it :)

Ingredients:

4 cups diced ripe mango (from about 3 large mangoes)

Yield: About 8 fruit roll-ups

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 4 hours

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 175ºF and line two rimmed baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

Puree the mango in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Divide the purée evenly between the two prepared pans, and using an off-set spatula, spread the purée as flat and as evenly as possible until it's about 1/8-inch thick.

Bake the purée for 3 to 4 hours. (See Kelly's Notes.) The fruit roll-ups are done when the purée is dry to the touch and pliable. If the bottom side of the roll-ups is still wet after some time, flip the roll-ups over and continue baking them until they are fully dried.

Remove the roll-ups from the oven. Place a piece of wax paper on top of the roll-ups and then peel off the wax paper and the roll-ups together. Cut the sheet into long strips and then roll up the strips.

Kelly's Notes:

The total baking time will vary depending on the exact thickness of your fruit roll-ups and the differing temperatures of ovens.

The fruit roll-ups will last for up to 1 week when stored in an air-tight container.

Check out more yummy recipes from Just A Taste here!

Regarding Yoga + Travel: An Interview With Dawn "Monkey" Yang

Recently I decided that, while it's all fine and dandy to be listening to advice from me - a wannabe yogini with limited travel + yoga experience - it would be extremely beneficial [& downright interesting] to hear some advice from people who have already done it all. 

So, armed with my laptop and a small list of questions pertaining to the topic at hand, I sourced email addresses for some of my fave travelling yogis -- on both Instagram and in the 'real' world -- swallowed my fear of possible rejection and/or general uninterest in the idea and cracked on with it.

I emailed probably a dozen people and, to my surprise, received replies from half of them by the next day! 

I couldn't believe it.

Me?

You're interested in answering my silly yoga/travel-related questions and you think what I'm doing is "great"???

Once I'd gotten over the inital shock, I went back to read the responses I had gotten and was touched by the genuine interest in my ideas (and in a couple cases, regret in not being able to participate at this time). My most exciting moment in all of this was reading a particularly heart-felt response from someone I've been following for a while now (on IG) and that wonderful person is Dawn Yang.

You'll learn as you read on, that Dawn (or 'Monkey' to some) is a veteran traveller (for both work and play), fab little yogini AND what I'd call a clear 'expert' in both fields. Our communication over the past week or two has been uplifting, inspirational and heart-warming [to be suuuuuper cheesy..] and I'm so thrilled to share with you my first of many interviews on this blog with this lovely lady!!

Hope you enjoy :)

Ash xx


Regarding Yoga + Travel:

An Interview With Dawn "Monkey" Yang

Q. What’s your name?

Dawn Sora Yang -  nickname 'Monkey' :)

Q. How long have you been practicing yoga?

I have been active my entire life primarily with running & spinning. About 2 1/2 years ago I found yoga and have been practicing daily since!

Q. Do you practice yoga at home? If so, how often?

Daily home practice is where the love all begins - this is where the creativity of crafting my classes come from!  I love that I'm thirsty for my mat every day. I love creating my own playlist and then allowing a little more freedom to move with my breath - the peace it gives me is like nothing else.  Outside of a daily yoga practice I stay active by hiking + spinning once a week.

Q. What style of yoga do you (predominately) practice/teach?

Primarily Vinyasa Flow + Hatha Yoga.  That is the style of yoga that I teach as well.  I love the freedom of movement with my breath.

Dawn currently teaches at Mirror Image Fitness in Pasadena, CA. Her classes are 90 minute Vinyasa Flow, crafted for all levels & paid for in 'LOVE DONATIONS' with proceeds going to the studio to assist in purchasing new props - You can find the schedule on her website!

Eka Pada Bakasana on the tarmac at PDX International Airport

Eka Pada Bakasana on the tarmac at PDX International Airport

Q. How often do you travel?

I am a traveling monkey... I travel for my work and love to travel with my fiancee as well.  We do it all: local trips, car trips in CA and in the USA... but our favorite destinations take us outside of the United States.  My favorite place that I've been to so far is Thailand where spent 6 weeks backpacking - It was a dream come true!

Q. Do you find it hard to keep up with your practice when you’re away from home and if so, what keeps you motivated?

When you love something as much as I love yoga, you MAKE the time for it.  I've learned it's not the amount of hours you spend doing yoga, but rather the quality time you're able to truly be present in your practice.  Some days with heavy traveling I don't get the sweat time I absolutely love on my mat so I've learned that closing my eyes, meditating and feeling my inhales and exhales sometimes is the yoga I need for that day.  I've tried to tell my students that it's not about the full practice.  We schedule it and try to make it happen but we all know we have those hiccups in our daily lives... so be kind and know even 5 minutes closing your eyes and being fully present IS YOGA.

Dawn loves her Yoga Paws - pictured wearing them above!

Dawn loves her Yoga Paws - pictured wearing them above!

Q. What’s the #1 yoga-related item in your suitcase?

About 6 months ago I found Jamie and her amazing Yoga Paws - they NEVER leave my suitcase or handbag!  They're the best for traveling and they allow you the freedom to practice anywhere, anytime.

(Follow the link above to check those puppies out!!)

 

Q. Please list your top 5 carry-on essentials (in order of importance):

  1. yoga mat
  2. glass water bottle - let's all stop wasting so much plastic :)
  3. playlist of inspiring music + yoga notebook - this combo is where a lot of the magic of crafting my classes happens.  You might even see me flowing in my seat if you're lucky...  hehe!
  4. basic bathroom essentials - toothbrush, toothpaste, eye cream, etc... I have travelled enough to know luggage gets lost so be prepared with a few of the basics... the other stuff is a wash right?
  5. a book, journal or computer - sometimes I'm not-so-lucky and have to work :(

Q. What brand mat (if any) do you travel with?

Manduka, Yoga Paws

Find your "soul mat" on the Manduka Website

Q. Do you listen to music while you practice and if so, what’s on your playlist? Do you ever use Spotify or Pandora?

You can find me on Spotify!  I love playlists.  My playlist varies based on the class that I'm crafting but there is one tune that is always on my playlist during warmup... LIGHT by Dr. Toast.  It's THE most beautiful tune ever..... close your eyes and allow yourself to flow with the music you hear.  You will create magic!

Follow the link above to hear Spotify for yourself!

Q. Have you ever used Yoga Paws? If so, what’s the craziest place you’ve busted out a move in them?

I LOVE Jamie and I love Yoga Paws.  OK, this will be hard because I am known to bust it out wherever and whenever I can....  I have a few but I think the best so far is after I landed on one of those commuter planes where you deplane on the tarmac... Well, it was a beautiful sunset and I was waiting for my luggage..... and without thinking BOOM Eka Pada Bakasana with the sunset behind me near the plane... I LOVE IT.  Sometimes you have to live on the edge, I believe it's good for the soul.  :)

Follow the link above to the Yoga Paws website! Also, check them out on Instagram for some GREAT shots of yogis busting an asana in them!

Q. What’s the most beautiful/memorable place you’ve practiced yoga, whether it was a class, a retreat, outdoors/indoors… in a few words, make us feel like we’re there!

I love yoga outdoors the best.  I've been to some fabulous places, practiced in some beautiful spaces... but when it comes to my absolute favorite it's in my own backyard with my pups walking around me, my playlist running and just flowing and creating my own class and magic.

Q. Have you ever done online classes? If so, what Website/App did/do you use?  

I love Yogaglo!  It's great to have access to amazing talent online...  I love listening to the verbal cues, seeing various ways master teachers craft classes - it's a wonderful way to be inspired.

Follow the link above to check out the YogaGlo website or, read my review of it on the blog here

Hanumanasana // Splits

Hanumanasana // Splits

Q. Have you ever used an app to locate local classes (Om finder, Mind Body Connect etc.)?  

Mind Body Connect, word of mouth from friends.  Typically I'll post on IG ... "Hey I'm going to be traveling to Anchorage.. anyone around for playtime, or anyone with a great yoga studio suggestion?"  I've met some amazing peeps on the road who now are close friends of mine.  The experience you have in a studio with someone you know (or one that's been recommended to you) is even more memorable..... I LOVE that about our IG yoga family.  

Q. Have you ever dropped into a class while travelling and if so, can you tell us about it? Good/bad experience?

ALL GOOD - see above :)

Q. Do you network on Social Media to hear about classes at your travel destinations?

Yes, the best way to connect with peeps all around the world.

Follow Dawn (@monkeymix) on Instagram for regular updates on her travels - hopefully you'll catch her on her mat in a town near you!

Visvamistrasana in SFO Airport

Visvamistrasana in SFO Airport

Q. What’s your take on hotel room yoga?  

I'm neutral.  When I'm staying at the hotel I typically use my Yoga Paws and just flow in my room.  The other option is taking class in the city that I'm visiting... I will typically plan my work travel so I can flow in at least one class in that particular studio.  My job allows me that freedom to plan that way and I love it!!!!



Q. How important is it for you to maintain healthy eating habits while travelling? Do you have any tips on doing so?  

I will say that I eat healthy 95% of the time...but let's face it.. sometimes it's fun eating those nachos, chips/salsa....  so in moderation.  I believe that life is more fun when you live in moderation and allow yourself those fun indulgences once in awhile.. :) *wink wink*

Q. What’s your favourite travel snack?  

Carrots/hummus.  I love that airports are now catering to those of us that want those healthy options.  I usually try to stick with hot tea, water and veggies when I'm on the go.

Q. When you have to have takeout food, what’s your go-to fare (Japanese, Indian, etc.) and why?  

I've travelled a lot and eating out for every meal gets OLD... so I'm a huge fan of hitting a Whole Foods or local market, where you can really control what you want to eat.  When I have to eat dinner with a client, I usually eat a snack before I head out and just keep dinner out small.  

Taken at the Hilton in Orange County, CA

Taken at the Hilton in Orange County, CA

Q. How do you cope with long flights? Do you stretch before/during/after or all of the above?  

I stretch ALL OF THE TIME.  Pigeon, wide leg forward fold, headstand... anytime to get the blood moving.  I used to be timid about stretching in public, but I got over that pretty quickly... when you think about it....  WHO CARES????  I love my carefree attitude - It gives me the freedom and energy to worry less about what people think and more freedom and energy to do what makes me feel good.  One time a passenger asked me to share what stretches I would recommend on the plane and we shared a simple stretching practice on the plane together to Seattle.  LOVE IT!

Q. Have you ever practiced in an airport Yoga Room? If so, what was your experience?  

I'm neutral to it.  I do love the one in the new SFO wing.  It's gorgeous and a beautiful space to unwind and forget you're in the airport.  :)

Q. Did I miss anything? Please add anything you think might be interesting/informative! Perhaps a funny story or strange tip… Also, any suggestions would be much appreciated!

I love to travel and I love yoga;  It's a dream that my life allows me to do them both together.  I believe the more we travel the more compassion we have for those around us.  We experience various traditions, cultures, foods and destinations, all unique in their own way.  

Pushing ourselves out of our own comfort zones is healthy.. It keeps you young, openminded and thirsty to always have an adventurous heart.

I have met and shared yoga with some amazing people while traveling the world.  Sometimes it's sharing a physical practice and other times it's sharing a genuine smile, hug or story.  I've learned so much about myself, others and how I want to live my life and know that I am a better me.  Traveling doesn't have to be to some dreamy location...  Create within your means and know that your travel could be somewhere closely just taking you out of your immediate comfort zone.  If you do that you are "traveling".  YOGA is free so now excuse there.  All you have to do is be present, feel your breath and move.  If you're doing that you're sharing and doing YOGA.  Fuse those together and I know you will experience wonderful MAGIC!

Check out this gorgeous monkey on Instagram, Facebook or via her website!

Dawn is also one of our Travelling Ambassadors!


Stay tuned for more great interviews with other intrepid yogis! Depending on the volume of responses, I plan on posting around one of these per month :)

Hot tip #2 - keep your hands clean

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When you go to sit down for a meal, do you ever think about where your hands have been?

Opening doors, pushing buttons on elevators, holding handrails on the train...

Those hands of yours come in contact with A LOT during a normal day, now, factor this into a day of travelling around a strange country... You're picking up trinkets at markets, tearing around town on a moped and of course, busting out yoga moves in front of, on top of and next to every single tree, temple and beach you come across! 

Nusa Cenigan, Bali Indonesia

Nusa Cenigan, Bali Indonesia

This is all fine and dandy, however - especially when you're overseas - your body might not be prepared for some of the stuff you're throwing at it. What's on the ground in a small town in Cambodia is NOT akin to what's on the ground at home [wherever that may be] and things could get a little hairy if you're not prepared to come in contact with it.

Your go-to preventative measure? Hand sanitiser. 

I like this 'Resurrection Rinse-free Handwash' by Aēsop 

I like this 'Resurrection Rinse-free Handwash' by Aēsop 

Yep, that same stuff your mother used to carry around with her in a bum-bag and ceremoniously squirt into every child's hand when in a dirty, strange place is now going to be your saviour. 

Use it every time you go out to eat ESPECIALLY when you're sampling all those delicious street stall treats and traditionally hand-eaten  morsels; You don't want to know the kinds of things you can pass into your system with just one bite...

ALWAYS clean your hands after handling monkeys. Photo taken in Ubud, Bali.

ALWAYS clean your hands after handling monkeys. Photo taken in Ubud, Bali.

You also need to remember that a lot of places you're going to may not have the right facilities for washing up after using the bathroom.. (need I say more?)

So, moral of the story is ALWAYS carry hand sanitiser when travelling. Also, always carry tissues... I'll explain later..

 

"Superfood Energy Snacks" - Delighted Momma

Superfood Energy Snacks - Delighted Momma

Whip these guys up in a matter of minutes on the way out the door! You can add extra seeds, whatever you have in the pantry, but make sure you increase the wet ingredients! 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of raw chocolate nibs (your local health food store will have these)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbs of honey
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

Directions:


Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes and then roll into small tablespoon size balls. Place in an airtight container and keep in your fridge up to a week.

Check out more yummy recipes from Delighted Momma here!

"Raw Vegan Energy Bars" - Inspired Edibles

"Walnut, Chia, Cherry & Pepita Raw Vegan Energy Bars" - Inspired Edibles

You don't have to be vegan to enjoy these delicious, chewy nut bars... I recommend bringing a napkin if you plan on having these on the plane as they look a bit sticky! 

Ingredients:

Makes about 8 bars or 16 squares 

  • 1 cup raw walnuts or any other nut of choice

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (substitute pitted dates, figs or prunes)

  • 1/3 cup just nuts peanut or almond butter

  • 2 heaping Tbsp chia seeds

  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, desiccated coconut

Notes:

You can easily double the quantity of this recipe and play around with different ingredient choices as desired. 


Once your ingredients are in place (mise en place) it will take you about 6 minutes to assemble these glorious bars.  Truly one of the best tasting and satisfying health bars our family has ever had.  I'm not sure I'll ever buy another granola bar again!


Directions:

Place walnuts in blender or food processor and blend for about 20 seconds or until nuts are fairly well ground.  Add cherries, peanut/almond butter, chia seeds and maple syrup blending until the entire mixture is well combined.  The mixture should be sticky - if it's too dry, add a little bit more nut butter or vanilla essence or coconut oil to create moisture.  

 

Meanwhile, place a piece of wax or parchment paper into a loaf pan (the pan should be in the range of  8" x 4") such that it hangs over the sides.

 

Remove mixture from blender and press it into the base of the loaf pan using the back of a spoon or other implement to flatten and smooth it down.

 

Sprinkle the surface of the mixture with pepitas and coconut, pressing down gently with your fingers so that they adhere to the surface.

Check out more great recipes from Inspired Edibles here!