Grounding Techniques

5 Grounding Techniques to Relieve Anxiety

Amongst the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and disconnected from our natural surroundings. Grounding, also known as earthing, offers a simple yet powerful solution to alleviate anxiety and restore our inner balance. By connecting with the earth beneath us, we can find solace, centre our minds, and experience a sense of calmness that transcends daily stressors. 

There’s no wrong way to approach grounding; for me, personally, I find solace in grounding through yoga poses, nourishing my body with grounding foods  (such as root vegetables, whole grains and fruit)  and indulging in the rejuvenating embrace of a sound bath. Let’s explore five grounding techniques you can easily practice whenever anxiety strikes, allowing you to tap into the healing power of Mother Earth.

Walking barefoot on natural surfaces like grass, sand, or soil is an instant grounding technique

Walking Barefoot

Step out of your shoes and feel the earth beneath your feet! Walking barefoot on natural surfaces like grass, sand, or soil is an instant grounding technique. As your bare skin connects with the earth’s energy, you absorb its healing vibrations. Take a mindful stroll, focus on each step, and let the earth’s gentle embrace soothe your worries away.

Lying on the Ground

Find a quiet spot outdoors, lie down, and rest your body on the earth’s surface. Letting your body make direct contact with the ground helps discharge any built-up stress and tension. Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and allow yourself to become fully present in the moment. Feel the support of the earth beneath you, and visualise your worries dissipating into the soil.


Spending time in a garden can be a profoundly grounding experience. As you plant seeds, tend to the soil, and witness the growth of plants, you connect with the cycles of nature. Gardening allows us to nurture life, fostering a sense of purpose and connection with the earth’s abundant energy.

Touching Water

Water is a potent conductor of grounding energy. Whether it’s dipping your feet in a natural stream, taking a relaxing bath, or simply splashing your face with water, these acts can instantly calm your mind and restore a sense of balance. The gentle flow of water connects us with the flow of life, reminding us to let go and embrace the present moment.

Earthing Equipment

If going outside is not feasible, earthing equipment provides an excellent alternative. Grounding mats, sheets, or patches allow you to receive the earth’s electrons indoors. These tools can be used while working, sleeping, or simply relaxing, providing you with the benefits of earthing without leaving your home.


Water is a powerful conductor of grounding energy.

Grounding is a transformative practice that brings us back to our roots, both literally and figuratively. By incorporating these grounding techniques into your daily routine, you can create a profound shift in your well-being. As you let go of worries and stress, the earth nourishes your body and soul with its healing energy, leaving you feeling centred, refreshed, and renewed. Embrace the simplicity and power of grounding, and experience a newfound sense of calmness and connection in your life.

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Body positivity and self-love

Embracing Body Positivity: A Journey to Self-Love

In a world that often places unrealistic standards of beauty, embracing body positivity becomes an empowering act of self-love. Recognising and celebrating our unique body shapes, sizes, and appearances are essential, as they reflect our individuality and diversity. By cultivating a positive body image and practising body positivity, we can foster a strong sense of self-esteem, reduce negative self-talk, and create a nurturing environment for personal growth. Let’s explore the importance of embracing body positivity, its impact on self-esteem, and practical practices to cultivate self-love in our daily lives.

The power of body positivity

Embracing Your Unique Body

Each of us possesses a beautifully unique body, a vessel that carries us through life’s adventures. Embracing our body means accepting it as it is, free from judgement or comparison. By shifting our perspective, we can appreciate the amazing capabilities and strengths our bodies possess. Remember, beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms, and it is our diversity that makes us truly remarkable.

The Power of Body Positivity

Body positivity is more than a movement; it is a mindset and a way of life. By adopting a body-positive mindset, we can dismantle societal beauty standards and challenge harmful narratives that perpetuate negative body image. Cultivating body positivity involves replacing negative self-talk with self-acceptance, self-love, and appreciation for our bodies’ unique qualities. It allows us to focus on our strengths, rather than fixating on perceived flaws, and nourishes our overall well-being.

Practices for Self-Love and Body Positivity


Engage in activities that promote self-care and prioritise your well-being. This may include relaxing baths, practising mindfulness, or indulging in hobbies that bring you joy.

Positive Body Language 

Smile, stand tall, and embrace positive body language. Our physical posture can impact our mental state and influence how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us.

Detox from Social Media 

Take breaks from social media platforms that promote unrealistic beauty standards and trigger comparison. Instead, focus on activities that allow you to be present and fully engaged in the real world. Personal experience has shown that stepping away from social media can free up time for self-reflection and pursuing meaningful activities.

embrace positive body language

Positive Affirmations 

Incorporate positive affirmations into your daily routine. Repeat phrases such as “I love and accept myself” or “I am worthy and deserving of love and respect.” Affirmations help rewire negative thought patterns and reinforce self-love and acceptance.

Rituals for Self-Love 

Explore personal rituals that promote self-love, such as going for massages, engaging in physical exercise that brings you joy, and occasionally incorporating fasting as a way to honour your body and reset your relationship with food.

Remember, learning to love and accept yourself is an ongoing journey, and it is normal to have moments of self-doubt. Be patient and kind to yourself throughout this process, allowing space for growth and self-discovery. Surround yourself with a supportive community that celebrates and uplifts body diversity. Celebrate the unique beauty that resides within you and embrace the love and acceptance you deserve. You are deserving of love, respect, and acceptance just as you are. Embrace the journey of self-love and let your body be a vessel of joy, strength, and empowerment.

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Somatic shaking

Shake It Out: How To Regulate Your Nervous System With Somatic Shaking

The practice of somatic shaking is based on the body's natural "fight or flight" response

In recent years, a rising trend known as somatic shaking has gained recognition as a powerful practice for regulating the nervous system and promoting overall well-being. This unique technique involves intentionally inducing a tremor or shaking in the body to release stored tension and stress. While it may seem unconventional, somatic shaking is rooted in science and has been found to offer numerous physical and mental health benefits.

Somatic shaking is based on the body’s natural instinct to release stress and trauma through trembling. When faced with a threat or experiencing intense emotions, the body responds by activating the sympathetic nervous system, triggering a “fight or flight” response. However, if the body is unable to complete the natural discharge of this activated energy, it can become stored as tension, leading to various physical and emotional issues over time.

As someone who has embraced the practice of somatic shaking, I can attest to its immediate relief and transformative effects. When I first encountered somatic shaking, I approached it with scepticism. However, as I surrendered myself to the practice in a safe space with comfortable clothing, I felt a profound shift within me. The gentle tremors that coursed through my body seemed to release layers of tension, leaving me feeling lighter and more centred. The cathartic experience provided me with a renewed sense of vitality, clarity, and inner peace.

Benefits of Somatic Shaking

Engaging in regular somatic shaking can yield profound benefits for both physical and mental well-being. Physically, it promotes the release of muscular tension, increases blood flow, and enhances the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Mentally, somatic shaking allows for the release of pent-up emotions, reduces anxiety, and improves overall emotional resilience. Additionally, this practice can help improve body awareness, restore a sense of groundedness, and foster a deep connection between the mind and body.

How to Practise Somatic Shaking

To embark on your own somatic shaking journey, it is important to create a safe and comfortable space free from distractions. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that allows for unrestricted movement. Begin by grounding yourself through deep, conscious breathing. Then, invite the tremors into your body by gently shaking different parts, starting with your hands, arms, and shoulders, and gradually progressing to other areas like the legs and hips. Allow the shaking to emerge naturally, surrendering to the innate wisdom of your body.

During the practice, remember to maintain a non-judgmental attitude and let go of any expectations. Focus on the sensations and allow them to flow freely, trusting that your body knows how to release stored tension. After the shaking subsides, take a few moments to rest and observe the newfound stillness within you. Embrace the sense of renewal and integration that arises.

To practice somatic shaking, be sure to find a safe space and wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Somatic shaking offers a transformative pathway to regulate the nervous system, release accumulated stress, and cultivate a deep mind-body connection. Backed by scientific understanding and the personal experiences of many practitioners, this practice has the potential to unlock profound physical and mental health benefits. By incorporating somatic shaking into your wellness routine and approaching it with an open mind, you can tap into its therapeutic power and experience the profound liberation it brings. So, shake it out and embrace the profound healing that awaits within you.

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Books to Shift Your Mindset

Four Books You Need To Read To Shift Your Mindset

In our journey through life, we often find ourselves caught in stagnant patterns of thinking. We yearn for fresh perspectives and transformative ideas that can break these mental barriers. Books, with their power to transport us to new realms of knowledge, hold the key to unlocking our minds. 

On my spiritual path, I have experienced the transformative impact of books firsthand. They have opened doors to new possibilities, challenged my preconceived notions, and empowered me to embrace a mindset of growth and possibility. Through their pages, I have discovered a renewed sense of purpose, gained valuable tools for self-reflection, and cultivated a greater appreciation for the power of our thoughts. Join me as I share four remarkable books that have profoundly shifted my mindset, offering insights and wisdom that have the potential to transform your life.

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a timeless guide that imparts profound wisdom rooted in ancient Toltec teachings. This book introduces four simple yet powerful agreements that can revolutionise how we navigate life: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. By embracing these agreements, we can cultivate self-awareness, authentic connections, and liberation from self-limiting beliefs.

Since reading The Four Agreements, I’ve found myself applying its principles in all aspects of my being. It has been an invaluable companion on my journey of self-discovery, providing me with profound wisdom and guidance for creating a life filled with joy, love, and authenticity.

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass is a fiery manifesto that ignites the flames of self-discovery, empowerment, and unapologetic living. With a blend of humour and heartfelt anecdotes, Sincero reminds us of our innate power and limitless potential. This book dismantles self-doubt, encourages fearless action, and guides us towards embracing our authentic selves, ultimately propelling us toward extraordinary achievements.

Through Sincero’s empowering words and relatable stories, I have learned to break free from the chains of self-doubt and embrace my true potential. This book has not only shifted my mindset, but it has also awakened within me a newfound confidence, igniting a fire to pursue my dreams fearlessly.

The Law of Attraction by Abraham Hicks

The Law of Attraction by Abraham Hicks offers profound insights into the universal law that governs our reality—the principle that like attracts like. Delving into the power of our thoughts, emotions, and vibrations, Hicks unravels the intricacies of manifestation. By aligning our desires, beliefs, and energy, we can harness the Law of Attraction to attract abundance, joy, and fulfilment into our lives.

By understanding and practising the principles of the Law of Attraction, I have witnessed a shift in my ability to manifest abundance and create the life I desire. This book has taught me to align my thoughts and beliefs with my desires, enabling me to attract positive experiences and opportunities.

Judgment Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein

Law of Attraction

Gabrielle Bernstein’s Judgment Detox serves as a potent remedy to release the heavy burden of judgement and criticism that hinders our growth and inner peace. This book invites us to examine the origins and impact of judgement, offering practical tools to cultivate forgiveness, compassion, and a deep sense of empathy. Through this detoxification process, we can liberate ourselves from judgement’s grip, fostering greater self-acceptance and harmonious relationships.

This enlightening book has brought to my awareness the detrimental effects of judgement and criticism, both towards others and myself. It’s also provided me with the necessary tools to liberate myself from the heavy burdens of judgement, and step into a space of love and acceptance.

These four books have been transformative guides on my journey of personal growth and mindset shift. From embracing powerful agreements to igniting self-belief, manifesting abundance, and cultivating compassion, each book has left an indelible mark on my life. By opening our minds to new ideas and perspectives, we have the power to break free from self-limiting beliefs and embark on a path of self-discovery, empowerment, and extraordinary possibilities. Dive into these books and unlock the limitless potential of your mindset!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Morning Routine

My Morning Routine

I firmly believe that how we start our day shapes our entire experience, so I want to share some of the practices I include in my morning routine as rituals of self-care and alignment. These habits are short, practical, and entirely doable for even the busiest of mornings. Here is my morning routine designed to infuse my being with positivity and set me up for a day of abundance.

Manifestation & Guided Meditation

I begin my day by creating a sacred space, a sanctuary for my dreams to unfold. Starting my morning routine with the art of guided meditation, I visualise the life I desire, aligning my intentions with the universe. This practice opens my heart to the infinite possibilities that lie ahead. By immersing myself in the energy of manifestation, I cultivate a positive mindset and attract synchronicities that align with my deepest desires. This way I set the tone and intention for a day filled with abundance and purpose.

Gratitude List

Taking a moment in my morning routine to appreciate even the small things, like a warm cup of herbal tea or the awakening of a new day, is essential. Writing down three things I’m grateful for anchors me in appreciation, shifting my focus to the abundance around me. This part of my morning routine nurtures a grateful heart, infusing my day with positivity and grace. It transforms the mundane into the extraordinary, lightening life’s burdens. Embracing and celebrating the small things cultivates a spirit of gratitude, reminding us of the abundant blessings that enrich our lives.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Harmony and balance are essential to navigating the twists and turns of life. Through the practice of alternate nostril breathing, I harmonise the flow of energy within me. By gently alternating between each nostril, I cleanse and balance my energy channels, creating a sense of inner equilibrium. This practice cultivates a calm and centred state of mind, allowing me to approach challenges with grace and clarity. As I’ve mentioned before, this is one of my favourite breathwork techniques, perfect for centering yourself for a day filled with balance and serenity.

Breath of Fire
Gratitude List

Breath of Fire

To awaken my inner vitality and stoke the flames of inspiration, I embrace the powerful Breath of Fire during my morning routine. Sitting with a straight spine and a grounded presence, I place my hands on my belly. Taking quick, rhythmic breaths through my nose, I focus on the forceful exhalation. This dynamic breathwork energises my body, invigorates my senses, and ignites my creative fire. It is a potent elixir that infuses me with renewed vigour, empowering me to approach the day with enthusiasm and confidence.

Singing & Dancing in the Shower

Not only a place for cleansing and purifying, showers can also be the perfect moment to unleash your joyful inner child. I sing and dance to my heart’s content, letting both the water and melody wash over my body and soul, and revelling in the vibrations the music sends through me. It’s the perfect addition to any morning routine for a boost in your mood and energy as you prepare to take on the challenges of the day.

This morning routine may seem simple, yet its impact is profound. Remember, these habits are not extravagant or time-consuming. They are gentle reminders to prioritise self-care and create space for the magic within us. By dedicating a few precious moments of your morning routine to connect with ourselves, we nurture our minds, bodies, and spirits. May your mornings be filled with gratitude and balance, guiding you towards a day of abundance and fulfilment.

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Types of Yoga and What They're Best For

Types of Yoga and What They're Best For

Yoga is a magical practice that has been around for thousands of years, offering countless benefits to those who practise. There are many types of yoga, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. From relaxation and increased flexibility to the development of discipline and spirituality, yoga can help you connect mind, body, and spirit in ways that will enhance your overall well being.

Yoga is more than just stretching. Practising yoga strengthens your body, mind, emotions, and spirit, bringing every part of your being into complete balance. Different styles of yoga have a vast array of benefits, from relaxation and renewal, to poses designed to energise and invigorate!

As a trained yogi myself, I wholeheartedly believe that yoga is the foundation to managing a nourishing lifestyle for the mind and body. But with a plethora of yoga styles out there, it can be challenging to determine the ideal one for you. To help, let’s delve into six of the most popular types of yoga and what they’re best for.

Hatha Yoga: Finding Balance

Hatha yoga is the most widely practised form of yoga and is the foundation for many other styles. Originating in India around 500 years ago, Hatha is a gentle and slow-paced style of yoga. During this practice, one focuses on finding balance in both the body and the mind.

In a typical Hatha yoga class, you’ll be guided in holding each pose for a few breaths, allowing you to find the right alignment and deepen the stretch. This style of yoga is best for those looking to increase flexibility, build strength, and find balance in their lives. As a beginner-friendly style, Hatha yoga is an ideal choice for anyone looking to start their yoga practice, or wanting to explore a more meditative approach.

Yin Yoga: Finding Stillness

Yin yoga is a slower and more passive style of yoga that focuses on holding poses for longer periods of time. This practice is defined by a series of seated and reclining postures that are typically held for several minutes each, providing an opportunity for deep stretching and relaxation. Yin yoga originated in the 1970s, and draws inspiration from Taoist philosophy. It has become increasingly popular in recent years as a complement to more active forms of yoga and exercise.

In Yin, each pose is usually held for 3-5 minutes, allowing you to sink deeper into the stretch and find stillness in both the body and the mind. Not only does this type of yoga increase flexibility and improve mobility, but it also helps reduce stress and anxiety. It’s a perfect choice for those who need a slower and more meditative practice. I personally love to practise Yin before bedtime to help calm my mind and relax my body for a deeper sleep.

Upward Facing Dog Pose - a staple in Vinyasa yoga

Vinyasa Yoga: Moving with Breath

Vinyasa yoga is one of the more dynamic and flowing types of yoga that synchronises movement with breath. It’s characterised by a series of poses that flow together seamlessly, creating a meditative and invigorating experience.Vinyassa yoga is a relatively modern style of yoga that emerged in the 20th century, and has since become incredibly popular in Western culture. 

Whether you are looking to deepen your mind-body connection or improve your physical wellness, Vinyasa yoga is an ideal practice to explore! The continuous flow of movement synchronised with controlled breathing, can elevate heart rate and improve overall cardiovascular health. The morning is a great time to practice Vinyasa when your mind and focus are sharp. The flow and poses of sun salutations are excellent ways to awaken your mind and body, getting your blood flowing and heart pumping.

Ashtanga Yoga: Challenging the Body and Mind

Originating in India in the 20th century, Ashtanga yoga is considered to be one of the more demanding styles of yoga that adheres to a specific sequence of postures. This practice is based on the eight limbs of yoga and is characterised by a sequence of sun salutations, standing poses, seated poses, and inversions.

If you’re seeking a more structured approach to yoga, this is the style for you! In a typical Ashtanga yoga class, you’ll be guided through a sequence of poses, focusing on linking breath with movement and building heat in the body. It can help towards enhancing strength, flexibility and mental focus, as well as developing a sense of self-discipline.

Kundalini Yoga: Awakening Energy

Another one of the ancient types of yoga is Kundalini – originating in India over 5000 years ago, this is a spiritual and transformative style of yoga that focuses on awakening the energy within the body. This type of yoga is rooted in the belief of the existence of a dormant energy, known as Kundalini, which is thought to reside at the base of the spine. 

In a typical Kundalini yoga class, you can expect to practise a combination of physical postures, breathwork, meditation, and chanting. Kundalini yoga is an ideal practice for anyone seeking to enhance their spiritual connection, awaken their energy, and tap into their higher self. I’ve found this style to be especially wonderful in my exploration of the mystical and spiritual dimensions of yoga, as it combines meditation and chanting with movement. 

As the focus of this yoga style is to awaken energy, Kundalini is best practised first thing in the morning. Use this powerful practice to connect with your inner self and start your day off with a positive mindset. Carpe diem!

Warrior II Pose - perfect for waking up energy in Kundalini

Power Yoga: Building Strength and Endurance

Perhaps the most popular form of yoga, Power yoga is a dynamic and physically demanding style that is influenced by Ashtanga yoga. Power yoga originated in the West in the 1990s and is designed to build strength and endurance in the body.

Power yoga classes move through a series of poses that flow together quickly, building heat in the body and challenging the muscles. It is best for more experienced yoginis looking for a challenging and intense workout that builds strength, flexibility, and endurance. It’s also a great option for athletes or those who enjoy a more physical and athletic practice.

There are many types of yoga, each with it's own unique set of benefits

Each style of yoga has its own unique benefits and is best suited for different individuals and goals. Whether you’re looking to increase flexibility, build strength, find inner peace, or connect with your spirituality, there’s a type of yoga that’s perfect for you. So why not give it a try? Roll out your mat, take a deep breath, and allow yourself to be swept away by the magic of yoga. Namaste!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
The Power Combo: Fasting and Meditation

The Power Combo: Fasting and Meditation

Fasting and meditation are two ancient practices used by cultures and religions around the world. While typically practised separately, combining fasting with meditation can be an incredibly powerful  tool to keep minds and bodies healthy, reduce stress and anxiety and promote spiritual growth. Fasting elevates our awareness not just of the emptiness of our bellies, but also the realisation that you are completely fine and in control. This brings a sharper awareness to your consciousness and creates a space of greater intention for your meditative practice.

Not only does fasting detoxify the body, it also detoxifies the mind. The term “hangry” is charged with emotion. When we’re in this state we often find ourselves eating through our emotions rather than sitting and meditating through them. Instead of binge-eating our feelings, we can repurpose our hunger by fasting. The fast creates a deeper meditation, allowing you to focus more clearly and detoxify yourself fully.

Fasting and Meditation

Historical and Cultural Significance

Various religions include fasting in their spiritual practice. Judaism has the Yom Kippur fast, Islam practices during Ramadan, and Christians have Lent. During these periods, individuals abstain from food and/or drink as a way of purifying their bodies and focusing their minds on prayer and meditation. 

Meditation, on the other hand, has been used for centuries in spiritual practices such as Buddhism and Hinduism. An exercise in training the mind, meditation can help one  achieve a state of mental clarity and inner peace.

I personally like to practise meditation during my morning routine when I first wake up or as part of my evening ritual 30 minutes before going to bed.

Benefits of Fasting and Meditation

Blending these two ancient practices unlocks several amazing benefits. Here are some of the most significant ones:

Increased Focus – When you fast, your body takes a break from the process of digestion. While your body isn’t focused on digesting food, your mind can experience greater clarity, making it easier to meditate and concentrate.

Healing – Taking a break from digesting also promotes healing as your body can focus its energy on other vital functions like repairing tissue and fighting inflammation. When combined with meditation, this process can be accelerated, leading to even more improvements in health.  

Less Stress and Anxiety – More and more, people are turning to meditation to help reduce stress and anxiety. When fasting, your body releases natural tranquillisers called ketones that help calm the mind, further alleviating anxiety.


How I Incorporate Fasting and Meditation Into My Routine

Running my own business Plant Essence can be very stressful, and that’s why I make a conscious effort to fast and meditate regularly. Fasting has always felt very natural to me.I even look forward to it and would do it more often if my work permitted me. When I was younger, I was able to practise a disciplined fasting routine. In my adult life, I realise the importance of sustainability and I understand the value of ensuring my body is fueled enough to energise me through my day.  I now stick to a much more practical and manageable fast, usually 12-16 hours. 

I also like to practise meditative breath work during my fasting periods, as my empty stomach heightens my sense of clarity. Combining all of these wonderful practices really helps keep me grounded, allowing me to fully connect and check-in with every part of my mind and body. I find it also boosts my energy throughout the day, and improves my sleep.

Fasted Meditation

How to Fast

Fasting can be incredibly impactful for both physical and mental health, but it is very important to practise fasting safely. Do a little reading on different approaches to fasting, and make sure to be realistic with your goals on expectations.  Here are my top three tips for fasting:

Staying hydrated is key to successful fasting

Start Slowly

If you have never fasted before, it’s best to start slow and dip your toe before diving straight in. Start with a shorter fast and gradually work your way up to longer periods. This will also create a more sustainable approach to fasting, encouraging you to really stick with it in your wellness practice.

Stay Hydrated

It is crucial to keep your body hydrated when fasting. Drink plenty of water, and avoid tea and coffee. The acidity and caffeine in tea and coffee will disrupt the cleansing process and be counterproductive to your detox.

Listen to Your Body

If you start feeling lethargic or experience any unwanted side effects, consider breaking your fast and changing your approach. It is always a good idea to speak to your doctor or a trusted health professional before beginning your fasting journey.

Combining fasting with meditation can be an incredibly powerful way to achieve better health, reduce stress, and increase spiritual growth. These two ancient practices complement each other beautifully, creating a dynamic synergy that helps unlock the full potential of these tools. For best results, it is essential to fast safely and correctly. Give it a try and see for yourself what a difference it makes!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Spiritual Healing Plants: Cacao and Blue Lotus

Spiritual Healing Plants: Cacao and Blue Lotus

The power of spiritual healing plants is something different cultures across the world have harnessed for millennia. Not only did plants provide our ancestors with food, clothes and shelter, but they also used botanicals to relieve ailments and as sedatives or stimulants to heal the mind, body and spirit. 

Humans started with a deep connection and appreciation for nature. We moved with the seasons and looked after the Earth just as it looked after us. Our modern lives, however, are so far removed from living in sync with the natural world that we’ve become disconnected, not only from nature but from ourselves. 

It’s no wonder alternative medicines are rising in popularity as we wake up and respond to our malnourished spirits. I am so glad many hear the call to return to our roots and rediscover the ancient wisdom of spiritual healing plants. If you’re new to experimenting with alternative medicines, then a couple of my favourites to start with are Cacao and Blue Lotus as their healing powers are gentler than others. I’ll be covering a couple more potent plants in an upcoming blog so stay tuned for part two of this mini blog series! 

Read on to find out more about Cacao and Blue Lotus, and how I like to use them to aid deep healing. 

Ceremonial Cacao

The use of Cacao dates back almost 4,000 years to Mexico where traces of its active ingredient were found in ancient fermenting pots and ceramic vessels. The most evidence we have of Cacao being used, however, comes from the ancient Mayan and Aztec empires almost 1,000 years later. Both ancient civilisations treated the Cacao bean as sacred and as a food of the gods. If you look back through Mayan drawings you’ll see many depictions of gods sprouting from the Cacao pods, while Aztecs considered the Cacao bean to be of divine origin and a gift straight from the god Quetzalcoatl. 

In our modern world, however, the Cacao bean isn’t regarded in the same way and is often confused with cocoa that’s used for chocolate. Although derived from the same Theobroma Cacao plant (and with similar names), cocoa and Cacao are processed in such a way that they are significantly different. To make cocoa, the beans are processed at very high temperatures to produce the smooth, sweet chocolatey taste we all know and love. However, this also removes many of the nutritional benefits of the bean. Cacao, on the other hand, is minimally processed and at much lower temperatures, so the beans maintain their nutritionally dense properties.

Ceremonial Cacao Spiritual Healing

Blue Lotus Flower

Thanks to its calming properties, Blue Lotus tea is one of my favourite spiritual healing plants. Also called Blue Water Lily, it is known to improve sleep, reduce anxiety and assist with muscle control. First cultivated by ancient Egyptians along the banks of the river Nile, the flower has been spiritually and culturally significant for more than 3,000 years! 

I usually drink Blue Lotus tea before bed as it can be soporific, promoting drowsiness and sleep. In my experience, drinking Blue Lotus tea before bed can induce lucid dreams and increase the likelihood of experiencing deja-vu. 

Making Blue Lotus tea is really simple. I like to use dried flowers to prepare my tea by adding about 5g for a mild dose or 10g for a stronger dose to a teapot, pouring over hot water and leaving the flowers to steep for 10-15 minutes before straining and enjoying while it is still hot. You can add a natural sweetener, too, like agave or coconut sugar, if you like. Ready-made tea bags are also available as an even easier option, but I prefer the ritual of making the tea fresh, as waiting for it to brew gives me time to reflect on my intention and connect with myself.

Ceremonial Cacao

Although Cacao is far more bitter and less palatable, it is also so much better for you than chocolate. In fact, Cacao drinking ceremonies haven’t changed much since the early Maya tradition. They would drink the Cacao at full strength in its natural state, usually without any sweetener, though adding honey wasn’t an uncommon practice, and that’s generally how it is consumed ceremonially today. 

Ceremonial Cacao is a heart opener that offers a gentle “high” without entering a mind-altering state. It’s a stimulant that feels similar to coffee minus the anxiety – which anyone with caffeine sensitivity will be glad to hear! 

I like to incorporate ceremonial Cacao in many of my practices. For example, I will drink Cacao during lunar rituals, equinoxes (read my blog on my Autumn equinox ritual including Cacao), when working with my heart chakra or any other time I want to tap into the childlike energy and creativity Cacao brings out in me.




Blue Lotus Spiritual Healing

Both these ancient spiritual healing plants have helped me so much on my journey, so I hope sharing my thoughts and insights will encourage you to also explore what powers they possess. In my next instalment of this mini blog series I’ll be sharing a couple of more potent medicinal plants to experiment with: Amazonian Hapé and Sananga. 

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Breathing Techniques To Calm The Nervous System

Breathing Techniques To Calm The Nervous System

Breathing is a natural reflection of the current state of our body and mind. Our pace of breathing changes depending on how we’re feeling at the time – whether that’s relaxed, stressed or in between. And, though it is an automatic reaction that we don’t even have to think about, once we find the time to tune in, we can unlock its powerful healing abilities for our mental and physical health.

As the easiest, most accessible and often most powerful form of healing, studies have shown that breathing exercises can relieve feelings of stress and anxiety by removing mental blocks and allowing you to think more clearly. Our brain associates different emotions with different breathing patterns, making breathing exercises a useful tool to help us understand how we’re feeling and apply effective coping mechanisms to counteract negative feelings.

In this blog, I’ll be sharing a few of my favourite breathing techniques for reducing anxiety and promoting calm. I hope you find them useful!

Breathing techniques

Breath in Through The Nose and Out Through The Mouth

One of the most common techniques, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth is a great way to relieve feelings of stress, anxiety and panic. You can get the most benefit by making it a part of your daily routine. This technique can be done standing up, sitting or lying down. Begin by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth for a consistent length of time, like 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out. After repeating this exercise in a cycle of at least 5 minutes, you’ll feel much more relaxed and ready to overcome the barriers that were once in your way.

I find this method helps when I am feeling restless and finding it difficult to focus when meditating. Whilst meditation is a calming practice in itself, it can be easy to get distracted and struggle to find the inner peace that is required for a really fulfilling session. Thankfully, this breathing technique really helps me to circle back and refocus when I feel agitated or unsettled during a meditation.

Many basic breathing techniques like this one are also being incorporated into popular apps like the Mindfulness feature on the Apple Watch, which includes a ‘Breath Session’. If you’ve already got an Apple Watch or a similar wearable device, you can set a reminder to do this every day, which is a great way to ensure you’re consistently incorporating breathing techniques into your daily routine!

Diaphragmatic Breathing

A slightly more advanced breathing technique that also uses the in through the nose and out through the mouth method is diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing or abdominal breathing. This technique helps you to connect with your diaphragm and train it to open up to your lungs so you can tune into your entire body and breathe more deeply and efficiently. The basis of many relaxation techniques, diaphragmatic breathing has many positive physical benefits, like increasing oxygen in the blood and reducing your heart rate and blood pressure, all of which help you to relax.

This technique is easy and involves a simple method – breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Once you’ve got yourself in a comfortable sitting or lying position, the first step is to relax your shoulders and place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Next, without straining, breathe in as much air as you can through your nose. As you do, take note of the air moving through your nostrils and into your diaphragm, as your stomach expands and your chest remains still. As you exhale, purse your lips and breathe out for 4 seconds through the small hole you’ve created as your stomach gently contracts. Repeat these steps a few times for the best results.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

I like to do this breathing exercise when I’m feeling overwhelmed by a situation or task and I need to bring myself back to the present moment and start afresh. Encouraging feelings of renewal, this method puts me in a better position to approach the challenge again with a clear mind.

Alternate-Nostril Breathing

Forming part of Pranayama (yoga breathing practices) and also known as nadi shodhana, alternate-nostril breathing is used not just in yoga, but mindfulness and relaxation methods, too. Deep-rooted in ancient traditions, this method works to recognise and channel the feminine and masculine energies; with the breath creating balance between the two sides. As the name suggests, this technique involves breathing through alternate nostrils, one side at a time. By controlling your breath and focusing your attention, this method of deep breathing has many positive effects on the body and mind including regulating the nervous system, lowering blood pressure, improving overall breath quality (if actioned regularly), and reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Begin by pressing your right thumb on your right nostril, close your eyes and exhale slowly through your left nostril. Once you’ve exhaled fully, you can move onto the other side and place your ring finger on your left nostril, inhale through your right nostril and release. Repeat the process by placing your right thumb on your right nostril and so forth. You can do this 3-5 times, but research shows you’ll reap the most benefits if you continue for around 10 minutes.

As an avid yogi, alternate-nostril breathing is a method that I regularly apply to my yoga practice. It helps me to generate the right mindset and take notice of my breath so I can sync my breathing with each movement. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is focusing on their wellness or using meditative techniques like yoga to connect the body and mind – particularly if you are practising vinyasa. 

My pet dog

My Practices

In addition to breathing, there are a few activities that I like to do to stay calm and centred.  These include practising yoga, going to the gym, playing the guitar and spending time with my dog. These activities help to clear my head and reach a peaceful and graceful state of mind.

Breathwork can be a great way to gain better control over your physical and mental wellbeing. Having incorporated all of these techniques into my practices and witnessed how effective they can be in keeping me calm and centred, I would highly recommend trying them out for yourself! 

Or, if you’re already using breathing methods like these and would like to explore some more complex techniques, I’d recommend holotropic breathwork, which I explored in a previous blog

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Invigorating Yoga Poses

5 Invigorating Yoga Poses For Energy

As an avid yogi, I know the power of ensuring my daily practice includes invigorating yoga poses for an energy boost on sluggish days. Hatha yoga, which I covered during my Yoga Alliance Teacher Training, combines postures and breathing techniques traditionally used to channel the vital energy source. When we practise invigorating poses, we bring ourselves back into balance and allow ourselves to tap into this energy source – not only during our practice, but also throughout the rest of our day. 

Energising asanas are best practised first thing in the morning, but that’s not to say you can’t practise in the middle of your day for an extra energy boost! Check out my favourite invigorating yoga poses below, with a step-by-step guide on how to get into each posture.

Wheel Pose Invigorating Yoga

Wheel Pose

Heart openers are fantastic invigorating yoga poses for providing an energy boost as they get the blood pumping around the body, helping to battle fatigue and low mood. Wheel Pose is an intense back bend and front body opener getting into the chest, lungs, shoulders – and even the front of the legs and hip flexors. While stretching out the front of the body, the pose also builds strength in the back body, particularly in the shoulder and upper back – though do be careful you don’t crunch and strain your lower back in this pose as it could lead to injury.

How to get into the pose: 

  1. Start lying on your back with your knees bent. Plant your feet firmly into the ground hip-width apart and directly under your knees. 
  2. Reach your arms up and back, placing your palms on the ground alongside your ears, fingertips towards your shoulders. 
  3. Inhale, then use your exhalation to lift your hips and torso off the floor enough to place the crown of your head on the mat. Make sure to keep the weight off your head. 
  4. Inhale and press down with your hands and feet to lift yourself off the mat and into the back bend. Keep your knees and elbows drawing into your midline and not splaying out. 
  5. Breathe deeply, rotate your inner thigh to the floor and reach your tailbone towards the back of your knees. 
  6. Hold for 5-10 breaths. 
  7. Tuck your chin into your chest to come out of the pose and lower your body to the floor.

Tree Pose

A beginner-friendly balancing asana, Tree pose is great for cultivating strength in the lower body while working the mind to stay focused. Although a simple pose, a lot is happening. The legs, glutes, core and back all have to switch on to keep you balanced, while the hips and inner thigh benefit from the opening stretch – this all aids in improving posture and alignment. 

Tree pose is also a play in opposites. As your standing leg grounds down and feels rooted, your arms reach up high above, pulling away. The mental focus required in this pose provides an energy boost for your mind ensuring you stay present throughout your day.

How to get into the pose: 

  1. Start in Mountain Pose, lift your sternum and shift your weight to your left foot. Press down through the base of the big toe and feel your inner thighs rotate in and towards the back of your mat. 
  2. Find something to focus your gaze on, place your hands on your hips and bend your right knee towards your chest. 
  3. Place your right foot high to the inside of your left thigh or shin. Do not place it on your knee, as you risk injury. 
  4. Actively press your right foot and left leg into the midline. Avoid leaning your torso to the side, stay level and squared to the front. 
  5. Inhale and bring your hands to the heart centre in Anjali Mudra, or if you feel steady, stretch them high overhead.
  6. Hold for 5-10 breaths before releasing slowly and with control back to Mountain Pose. 
  7. Repeat on the other side.
Tree Pose Invigorating Yoga
Garland Malasana Pose Sacral yoga

Garland Pose

Also known as a ‘yogi squat,’ Garland pose is another deep hip opener linked to our root chakra. Stretching out the pelvis, ankles and back, Garland pose is one I’d encourage you to incorporate into your daily practice since it’s fantastic for correcting the tightness we develop when sitting at a desk all day. 

While Garland is mainly a grounding and calming pose, I still wanted to include it in this list of invigorating poses as it shows how we can harness our energy in a gentler way. Yoga doesn’t need to be physically taxing to be energising, sometimes our bodies need the opposite. By sitting quietly in this pose you can work on harnessing your inner strength.

How to get into the pose: 

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose with your feet together and your weight evenly distributed. 
  2. Exhale as you lower down into a deep squat, trying to keep your heels on the floor. If they don’t reach, try resting your heels on a block or folded-up mat. 
  3. Spread your knees wide, so you can tuck your chest between your thighs. 
  4. Bring your palms together in Anjali Mudra and press your elbows against the inside of your knees. 
  5. Keep your chest lifted and avoid rounding the upper back. Look straight out in front rather than down to keep your chin lifted. 
  6. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Upward Facing Dog Pose

Another heart opener, Upward Facing Dog is a classic yoga pose that’s included in many Vinyasa flows and a key part of many Sun Salutation variations. As mentioned above, backbends and heart openers are wonderfully invigorating yoga poses for an instant boost! Upward Facing Dog, in particular, is ideal if you’re working on improving your posture while strengthening your spine, shoulders, wrists and even your glutes since your legs are active.

How to get into the pose: 

  1. Start laying on your front with your palms on the ground up by your lower ribs and legs stretched out with your feet hip-width apart. 
  2. Make sure your ankles are aligned with your feet, then activate your legs by pressing down all ten toenails. 
  3. Tuck your elbows in and press down with your hands and feet to raise yourself as you inhale. Your arms and legs should be completely straight, legs lifting off the floor.  
  4. Draw your shoulders away from your ears to elongate the neck. 
  5. Keep the core active to protect the lower back and avoid any painful pinching or crunching. 
  6. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Upward Facing Dog Pose - a staple in Vinyasa yoga
Warrior II Pose - perfect for waking up energy in Kundalini

Warrior II Pose

As the name suggests, Warrior II is a powerfully invigorating yoga pose that’s great for beginner and advanced yogis alike. It’s a pose that requires great discipline to practise for any length of time. Warrior II forces us to come back to our breath and inner focus. As a fire starts to build, avoid the temptation to straighten the front leg and instead relish in the challenge. 

Warrior II is a fundamental pose that once you’re comfortable with you can build upon to practise other fun variations such as Humble Warrior, Reverse Warrior or Extended Warrior. Each variation has its own challenge bringing with it different energies you can cultivate in your practice. 

How to get into the pose: 

  1. Face the front of your mat and take a big step back with your left leg. Turn your back foot, so the outside faces the short edge of the mat, and your toes point towards the upper left corner.
  2. Keep your right foot and knee facing the front of the mat. 
  3. Stretch your arms straight out from your shoulders, palms face down with your wrists approximately over your ankles. 
  4. Exhale and take a deep bend into your right knee, stacking it over your right ankle. 
  5. Keep your weight evenly distributed across both legs, pressing down through the outer edge of your back foot. 
  6. Lift up from the crown of your head, keeping it stacked over your shoulders and hips in one long line. 
  7. Reach through your fingertips and turn your head to look past your right arm, if that’s comfortable for your neck. 
  8. Hold for 5-10 breaths before coming out of the pose. 
  9. Repeat on the other side. 

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra