My favourite products to treat my skin with

Coming home after a long day is always such a great feeling and first thing I want to do is jump in a shower to wash off all the pollution. As the air is so polluted, we need to take care of our skin to prevent damage. 
So I will tell you about a few of my favourite products I currently use. My currently favourite shower gel to feel nice and refreshed is: Aesop shower gel (Rose petal, Cardamon and Black pepper) although they have so many different and very nice scented shower gels.

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Twice a week instead of shower gel I like to use salt or sugar scrub. Currently I am using ESPA Invigorating Salt Scrub. It has natural sea salt, lime, menthol and almond oil. It leaves the skin nice and fresh with a cool feel. If I use the scrub I don't moisturise my skin after the shower as the scrub already moistures the skin with its almond oils.

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If I use the shower gel, then I like to use any organic coconut oil which I apply on a wet body straight after the shower as it is much easier to apply it this way and then I lightly dry myself with a towel. Currently I am using Vita Coco coconut oil.

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My shampoo and conditioner that smell so nice are from OUAI brand. I use shampoo for Volume and conditioner for Curls. It gives my hair nice waves and volume from the roots. 

I have recently discovered a very nice face wash that leaves the skin squeaky clean. For those who like that sensation I really recommend bareMinerals Pure Plush cleansing foam. It washes of the makeup, minimises the pores and leaves your skin squeaky clean.

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As I like to change my facial products for my skin not to get used to and stop reacting to the benefits of each cleanser I also currently use Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser. It purifies and tightens pores, it lifts excess oil without drying the skin and calms irritated complexions. 

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For moisturising the face skin I use a couple of products. I use from the Organic Pharmacy two products: Collagen Boost mask, which I apply before the face cream (you don't have to wash it off), and then moisturiser Manuka Face cream, which has all natural ingredients and leaves the skin bright and smooth. I use these products in the mornings and evenings.

Also sometimes I like to change it up and in the evenings I use this amazing Ayurvedic facial oil Kumkumadi Thailam from Kama Ayurveda. I bought mine in India, but you can find them in Europe as well or if you would like Kama Ayurveda brand- they ship to Europe. Kumkumadi Thailam is a blend of amazing oils and extracts like: Saffron, Indian Madder and Banyan tree, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Lotus and Liquorice. 

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If any of you are using any of these products please leave a comment of what you think of them and if you have any other cool stuff to recommend please do. I would love to discover and try something new :)


 

 

Why should we practice back-bending

In Ashtanga second series there are a lot of deep back-bending postures, which can be very pleasant and beneficial for some and maybe too intense for others. Back-bends not only integrate movement in all sections of the spine, but also integrates your limbs while doing the posture. By using the whole body you can avoid over-using your most flexible parts of your body (which could be: shoulders, spine and hips).

Why SHOULD we be practicing backbends

The most obvious reason is that it opens up and stretches out your chest and shoulders. Most people have a tendency to hunch forward as big part of our days we spend by the computer or in our phones. So by doing any variation of a backbend, depending on your level, will greatly improve your posture.
Backbends, especially where you start lying on your stomach, strengthens your back muscles and the spine as you need to use all the back strength to lift the body up from the ground. 
Backbends like Wheel pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana) or Camel pose variations (Ustrasana) are very good for shoulder and hip-flexor stretching. Also most of the time during the day we are bending forward (sitting, picking up something, walking), and by practicing Ustrasana or Urdhva Dhanurasana we open up the whole front of our bodies. 
Also as stated above backbends stretch out the whole front of the body, which improves your lung capacity. Always leaning forward also minimises the lung capacity and the breath becomes short and shallow. By opening up your shoulders and chest you release the tension and give more space for the lungs to expand and your breath becomes deeper and there is a larger capacity of oxygen inflow in your body. 
 

What to think of when practicing any kind of back-bend. 

Some people, when doing back-bends, find it better to squeeze their buttocks and some find it better to keep it relaxed. Some, when flexing, might feel compression in the lower back or at the sacroiliac join and vice versa. It really depends on the personas. We all are so different. So try and see which version is better for you. 
Lower back is the most bendy part in our spines. That keeping in mind, try to intensionally bend more in the upper back. This can take the pressure off of your lower back and will include all parts of spine in action. 

 

 Laguvayrasana, Kapotasana A&B

Laguvayrasana, Kapotasana A&B

Pasasana --> Noose Pose

Pasasana Benefits

In Ashtanga yoga, Pasasana is the first seated posture in second series. Pasasana is a deep twisting and balancing posture. For this posture it really helps if you have longer limbs and more flexible ankles/ achilles.  For those who cannot do the full version of the asana, there are a few modifications and adjustments that can help you get the same benefits as from the full version. 

For example I cannot lower my heels to the floor in a full squat so I need a yoga BLOCK under my heels to feel stable and to be able to twist and wrap the arms around the torso and legs. 
If you cannot clasp your hands behind your back you can use a STRAP by holding on to it. 
If your heels are not that far from the ground you can ask your teacher to help you lower them down by gently holding the top shoulder with one hand and pressing down the same side knee with the other hand without getting you off the balance.  

Noose pose is a great twist and stretch for the spine. Furthermore it reduces tension and stretches out the shoulders and upper back.  Due to the squatting position the ankles and knees are strengthened.  

Benefits

  • Can relieve asthma 
  • Relieves back, shoulder and neck pain
  • Strengthens ankles and knees
  • Improves digestion by squeezing and massaging the internal organs 
  • Relieves menstruation discomfort