Abigail Adams is the founder of Oolong Holistic, a unique service offering both mobile beauty and holistic therapies, as well as private yoga classes. Thisi is combined with her passion for teas and herbal infusions, which form part of her treatments. Abigail is commited to organic skincare and uses the Pinks Boutique range for all her beauty therapies. She specialises in Thai massage (we are HUGE fans of this) and her private yoga classes have been helping keep me sane during my pregnancy (and for a long time before that!). Abigail's infectious enthusiasm and passion for what she does makes her a wondferful therapist. We picked her brains on living a green life.
What inspired your interest in yoga, complementary therapies and the wellbeing lifestyle more generally?
I started yoga when I was 17 purely for fitness reasons and to look good. As I got more into my yoga practice, a whole world of health and wellbeing began to unfold. Having had nice skin throughout my early teens, I started to have very unsightly and uncomfortable outbreaks of spots and was interested in how to organically heal my skin.
What therapies do you recommend to clients who are on a juice cleanse?
My all time favourite is the Thai abdominal massage. It works on a physical, emotional and mental level. It's great to start your cleanse with a gentle massage to help things open up and remove stagnation, allowing your cleanse to come into a prepared body. It's then ideal to finish with another so as to help any remaining blockages. A client who was giving up smoking commented how the next day she could taste smoke in her mouth! Just goes to show how strong the body is and how hard it holds onto things.
Are there any yoga positions which you find particularly beneficial during a detox?
Breathing! This understated little gift we have has an amazing detoxifying effect when working with certain breathing exercises such as the cleansing breath (used in traditional Kundalini yoga) and Kapalabhati. Then I like to open the windgates of the body (all joints but especially hands/feets) as this is where old energy is released and new fresh energy enters. Then when the body is tuned in and open, it's really good to work with twists (depending on your practice, gentle twists throughout your entire practice if new to yoga, starting gently and working up to more intense and longer held postures for advanced-intermediates) such as Adha Matsyendrasana (half spinal twist - good for beginners) and Marichyasana III (for the more advanced). Twists act like a pump, squeezing organs and blood vessels and then allowing fresh blood, lymph and prana (your vital energy found in your breath) back in to heal on a deeper level.
As an expectant Mum how are you balancing running Oolong with keeping yourself healthy?
It's currently a whirlwind of emotions and there are some days I just want to stay under my duvet and sleep - FOREVER! I really felt the nausea and fatigue in the first trimester which threw my practice completely out of play. This was a hard time for me, but taught me a lot about letting go and coming into something new. We're creatures of habit, that becomes addictive. The guilt I felt at not being able to do a practice first thing or only being able to do a shorter practice was terrible, but I had to take some advice and realise all this guilt wasn't great for me or my baby. It's been trying, but I now know when enough is enough and to rest.
What three foods would you always find in your fridge or kitchen cupboards?
Kallo rice cakes, humous and green tea from Organic Life Tea.
What are your favourite skincare products?
I use Pinks Boutique for most of my skincare routine as it's so easy, smells gorgeous and does what I ask of it. I also use Xylem's eye cream which keeps my crows firmly in their nests! My indulgence (and I'm hoping Santa might bring me some this Christmas) is the RSM Beauty Burity Bronzer. I have a lot of respect for the love of organic products and effort that goes into creating them.
Are there any products that you think are particularly helpful to use during a cleanse?
Keep it simple as this is what a cleanse is all about, ridding the body of excess so you can heal on a more natural level. There are a wealth of products out there to aid your cleanse thinking from the outside in, when you should be thinking inside out which is what your juice cleanse is all about. If I was to recommend anything it would be body brushing as its great to get the circulation going and sooooooo good for cellulite as the cells that store this wonderful gift respond well to vigorous rubbing (get a good one made from cactus for strength and durability), epsom salts to help draw out any further impurities (and who doesn't like a nice hot bath at the end of the day?) and a massage for more circulation support. A recent gift I was introduced to was oil pulling by my friend and fellow yoga teacher Kat King. Gargling with extra virgin olive oil first thing in the morning for 15 minutes. It's amazing what comes out!
What is your guilty food pleasure?
Crunchy peanut butter and banana on spelt bread. I try to keep bananas to a minimum as they are very mucous producing, especially whilst pregnant. But have been known to eat nearly half a tub of peanut butter!
You obviously love your teas - could you pick your favourite tea or herbal infusion?
I recently tried Saffron Teas Winter Chocolate - AMAZING! Just perfect for the crispy cold eves. Organic Life Tea produce a beautiful Peace Tea which is also a hit with my clients. But I am a sucker for a good green in the morning.
What's your favourite juice combination?
I love anything with beetroot - I'm almost obsessed! I'm not sure if it's the gorgeous dark reddy pink colour, but definitely a beetroot brew.