The Green Life with Jane Kersel, yoga teacher extraordinaire

by Clare Neill,

Jane Kersel is one of the UK's leading authorities on integrative wellbeing, specialising in energy work combined with intuitive coaching. She draws on a unique blend of holistic modalities, including: yoga (kundalini, tantra, vinyasa, yin); meditation; creative movement; hypnotherapy; spiritual psychology and natural nutrition. We are honoured to have her thoughts on being well and living a balanced life. 

Jane Kersel, janekersel.com

How do you view the connection between mind, body and spirit?

As one continual integrated loop.

It's a great shame, living in the western world we are taught that our mind is in our heads so already we see the body as separate from the mind, the spirit somewhere else.  It gives the impression that we are linear with two points of reference on that line - the beginning and the end.  So we think life is about duality: forward/back, past/future, black/white, yes/no, up/down, happy/sad, in/out, for/against. It's such a narrow minded, contracted way of living life. No wonder there is conflict in ourselves and not surprising there is therefore conflict and wars outside of ourselves.

Imagine instead that everything is concentric. The past is one of the spirals circling you, the future another. The mind is in the body, the body is in the mind.

Has your yoga practice changed over time? How?

Yes fully.  I never 'got' yoga when i was in my 20s. I was really flexible so could twist into any pretzel shape required with ease and wondered why the big deal with it.  I never understood the point of it.  Meditation even lying down to relax at the end was something I ran from. I felt then life needed to be a million miles an hour or I'd miss something. Now I realise in that speed I was missing everything - it was like being on a fast speed train and never stopping once at a station. Life moved through me or around me like a blur.

How do you encourage your clients to fit yoga into their busy schedules?

I don't ;) 

In that style, their to-do list just gets longer and they have something else to beat themselves up about if that doesn't get done too. Why feed the perfectionist inner demon; it gets enough food elsewhere.

What does your daily diet and exercise routine look like?

Well firstly, I really hate exercise. I like simplicity and letting the body move in a more playful way.

Diet is a word I don't like. I've never dieted in my life. When you focus your mind on diet then it becomes rigid and the focus is only on food. Learn to be in your body and you will naturally gravitate towards - and crave even - healthy food that has a high vibrational content.

How do you stay grounded despite the frantic pace of living in London?

That is extremely hard. You need the earth - you need to feel it, touch it, breathe it, smell it to stay grounded and in your body. I'm very lucky I purposely live on a communal garden. I have always sought a place to live near or on a park. If you live in a flat or work in a high rise building you are going to be so much living in your head that you need to put house plants around you, try to walk barefoot on grass at least once a week (that grounds you) or sleep on a grounding sheet. Learn to unplug your computer from the mains whilst you work on it at the very least. Drink one of your green juices everyday. You can never have enough green!

How can a complete beginner benefit from meditation?

I don't like the word meditation much. It's much overrated and made too 'special' for my taste - a bit like the yoga world. None of this is rocket science yet we live in a world of wanting to make things special and different. We all meditate to a degree. Sometimes you can feel that state of a calm, expanded mind when you're watching a beautiful sunset, making love beautifully and tenderly, stroking a cat, riding a horse, going for a run. It's that state where you are aware of your mind and you know that you're not your mind. You know we have about 20,000 thoughts a day - most of them the same thoughts we had yesterday and will have tomorrow. Meditation or stilling yourself so you are able to witness that onslaught of thought is the first stage of meditation. The second stage is giving the mind a particular thing to focus on - a mantra (set of words), a candle flame, your breath - anything that keeps you steady and encourages your mind not to wander.  These simple practices help quieten the mind and in turn quieten the nervous system and the adrenals.

What are your top 3 tips to de-stress the mind and body?

1. If you're feeling really stressed write down your thoughts or anxieties and see them for the 'madness' at times that they are. See what you can action and do and see those that are constant niggles. Maybe there are some things on that list that you cannot control.

2. Learn to know what you can control and what you can't. For example if you're having trouble in a relationship the only person you can change or account for is yourself. So let go of pushing out and focus inwards. What is my part in this? What is my vulnerability? Why do I react so strongly when X does Y? Once you get an insight into yourself then the next part is to choose whether you need to speak to that person. Then you get to speak/live your truth and allow the other person to meet you where they are at. So the stress gets diffused and not said from an attacking/judgmental part of us.

3. Lie down flat on the floor on your back - wherever you are - it really doesn't matter - close your eyes, put your hands on your belly and breathe five long deep breaths into your tummy. Each exhale let out a long deep sigh with open lips.  At the very least you will have raised a smile for everyone else around you and you will definately feel better.

Which are your favourite products in your bathroom cabinet?

I love sesame oill. The ancient yogis used to use it to keep their skin supple and muscles relaxed. It warms the body and skin and is very comforting to the nervous system. I massage it all over me before I have a bath or shower - London water is brutal. This helps to keep you hydrated and loved up.

What are your must-haves for staying healthy when travelling?

It's a real challenge to find the balance of staying healthy whilst travelling. Sometimes you can stay at the most luxurious hotel in the world but the food will be overly rich, wheat laden and dairy full - none of which makes me feel good and vibrant or sleep well.

1. A fresh green juice at least once a day and breakfast made of quinoa and avocado. I stayed at Amankila in Bali this year and had everyone on green juice by the time I left and quinoa was a firm fixture on the menu.

2. An enema bag - another great way to feel grounded is doing a coffee enaema when you arrive - it relieves the pressure on the liver and digestive system.  

3. A good pillow - sometimes I take my own or just use a rolled up towel under my neck instead.

Who do you look to for inspiration?

I like people who don't follow the norm because they 'should'. People who've really looked and felt into something and said 'yes this works for me/this doesn't'. Living from a place of true heart and mind alignment.

There's a difference for me, between those who are prepared to stand out from the crowd and not mind being different and those who purposely do things to be seen as different - that's too tied up in ego and specialness for me. I enjoy people who are just getting on with their lives and not making a big deal out of any of this stuff.  I've only ever studied or learnt my craft from folk who truly walk their talk, who are vibrantly healthy from the inside out, who have gone to the places that scare them in their hearts and minds and can speak from there, folk who are conscious - who realise the impact their actions/words/deeds may have on another, on the planet and choose to walk in the world lightly, kindly and generate love and tenderness around them.

 


The Radiance Christmas Gift Guide

by Olivia Cartwright, , link

Hemsley + Hemsley Spiralizer

A staple item in all of our kitchens here at Radiance HQ, you'll be making oodles of 'courgetti' in no time with this Hemsley + Hemsley spiralizer. Buy it along the Hemsley sisters' new cookbook. It features lots of amazing recipes to help keep you really inspired for a healthy, happy new year. 

The Unbakery Book - Raw Food

We all know, Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry. The Unbakery cookbook is 100% raw and plant based, which actually is not as daunting as it sounds. It's filled with delicious nutrient rich recipes that will nourish you and your relatives without scrimping on flavour. The vegan bacon comes highly recommended!

Lucas Hugh leggings

There's nothing like some added motivation for your 2015 workout plans in the way of new fitness clothes. We've tried and tested a few and, hands down, these are our favourite leggings on the market. They are cut from tightly knitted compression fabric for a flattering and supportive fit and last really well despite frequent washing. 

Liforme yoga mat (also available in grey)

Liforme founder James Armitage spent over five years intensively researching and developing these yoga mats which are embossed with the brand's unique AlignForMe system, which is a navigational tool to help monitor and correct your body position during practise. These mats are PVC-free and environmentally friendly. They are made from eco-friendly natural rubber with a felt layer providing a deep cushioned yet perfectly solid and stable surface. Our yogi friends tell us that unlike other mats that require 'breaking in' to become non-slip this mat has a grippy surface from the word go. Namaste.

And few stocking fillers...

SilkSkin Pillow Case

These pillows help to keep the beauty in 'beauty sleep'! Made from the softest silk you can imagine, Silkskin pillow cases help to keep you skin youthful and maintain elasticity. Sleeping on Silkskin helps to avoid any deeply etched pillow lines so you wake up looking fresh and rested.

Facial Steamers - Hang-Over Reviver

In the interest of pre-empting the post New Year after-effects, these Facial Steamers will be a welcome gift come January 1st.  The 'Hang-Over Reviver' sachets will cleanse, nourish and rebalance your skin when you are feeling a bit worse for wear. You can thank us later.

 

Facialift by Sarah Chapman

Admittedly it looks a little daunting at first but this handy device produces excellent reults. Sarah Chapman, the crowned queen of facials, has developped her 'Facialift' to tone and sculpt the face whilst improving circulation. A great stocking filler for the beauty minded. 

The Artist's Collection - Hazelnut Truffles by Booja-Booja

A favourite of everyone whose tried them, 'Booja Booja truffles' never fail to impress. Pass these irresistable innocent truffles around at Christmas drinks and they will be sure to receive a welcoming audience. They may be gluten free and dairy free but they are certainly full-flavoured. An ideal gift to take to a party.

 

Green Tea Bath Brew by Page Thirty Three

This product is genius. Just as you would with a herbal tea bag, you dunk this giant tea bag in your bath, wrapping the string around your taps to hold it in place. Alongside green tea it contains rock salts, Australian olive clay, organically grown seaweed, tea tree, calendula and essential oils, designed to stimulate all of the senses.


The Green Life with Georgie Cleeve

by Rosie Guest, , link

Georgie Cleeve is the founder of OSKIA, a London based nutritional skincare company (and winner of Best British Brand & Best Natural Brand and countless other accolades). Having discovered the benefits of MSM, commonly known as the 'Beauty Mineral', and how transformational the ingredient can be, Georgie decided to make a leap from an editor at House & Garden Magazine to the world of nutritional science and skincare therapy to create OSKIA.

We managed to catch up with Georgie to ask her a few questions about her journey and about the nutritional concept which is integral to her skincare products.

What inspired you to create OSKIA?

I was lucky enough to be introduced to MSM by my father whose business brought it to market as a joint supplement (initially for race horses) 30 years ago. At the time I’d had numerous unsuccessful knee operations but the MSM completely repaired my damaged cartilage, enough to go from no hope of running again to competing in triathlon and marathons, but most significantly it also transformed my weak, eczema prone skin. The seed of an idea was sown, and later I went on to study skin therapy and pulled together a team of exceptional nutritionists, cosmetic scientists and doctors to formulate a nutritional brand designed to improve skin health.

What makes OSKIA different from other skincare brands?

We are the only natural, nutritional skincare brand that targets skin health from a nutritional angle, rather than just ageing and other skin concerns.

Can you tell us more about the nutritional skincare concept behind OSKIA?

Our products deliver unique blends of bio-available nutrients, many fermented, to improve skin health and functionality. MSM is just one of our key minerals, but we also use a vast range of vitamins, amino-acids, proteins and glucides.

MSM plays a key role in all OSKIA products. Why is it such an important ingredient for skin health?

It’s so simple it still amazes me that we were the first to utilise MSM for skincare. MSM is the most bio-available form of sulphur, and sulphur is needed to produce collagen (which is why it’s so great for joint cartilage). It’s also found in keratin so great for your hair and nails. On top of that, it’s one of the best anti-inflammatories and helps detoxify the skin’s cells – unbeatable for acne and eczema.

How long do you need to take MSM supplements for before you should notice a difference in your skin?

Like all supplements, to see a real difference you need to take MSM for about 6-8 weeks – for 1 -2 skin turnovers. For acne suffers, it can be much quicker as the skin detoxes quite rapidly.

What is your view on nutritional supplements for health more generally and are there any that you take on a daily basis?

I’m a firm believer in eating a proper diet, and a massive advocate for vegetable juices. Even my 13 month old loves her fresh green juices. However, I am also a realist and a very busy, completely disorganised, working mother of two, and know all too well that good intentions can go rapidly out of the window. Correct and targeted supplements can be wonderful, in natural and not cheap synthetic forms. I currently take MSM, Hyaluronic Acid (for my dry skin) and astaxanthin (the world’s best anti-oxidant) – the rest I get from my diet.

OSKIA products contain blends of bio-active nutrients such as Swiss Apple Stem Cells, Ribose, MPC Milk Peptides and Glactoarabinan to name just a few.

Can you explain what is meant by 'actives' in skincare products?  

Actives are ingredients that actually ‘do’ something, ie stimulate collagen or hyaluronic acid production, reduce melanin pigmentation etc. The rest are ‘functional’ ingredients, such as emulsifiers or thickeners. Ideally a product should have more of the former and less of the latter.

What ingredients are key to a healthy skin?

Avocados for their omegas, turmeric and chilli for their anti-inflammatory effect, watermelon and coconut water for their skin quenching trace nutrients, mushrooms for selenium and oysters for skin healing zinc.

What are your top three beauty products?

Our Renaissance Cleansing Gel is my absolute go-to cleanser at the moment. I’m obviously biased but it’s fabulous and leaves my skin so plump and smooth. Our Restoration Oil is full of wonderful actives and delicate oils, a must for winter, but my all-time favourite is still our Renaissance Mask which is used on set at Pinewood before close-ups and completely revitalizes my complexion.

What is your long term vision for OSKIA?

Onwards and upwards! I’m working on 16 new products are the moment…

If you want to try Oskia products for yourself use the code RADIANCE before the end of the month for 15% off.



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