Yoga With Emma

500hour RYT, Musician, Writer, Published Author of 'Ancient Yoga Wisdom For Modern Yogis', Children's Yoga Teacher, Massage Therapist, Spreading The Word On Health & Happiness….

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Mushroom, Chickpea & Spinach Curry

chickpea, mushroom and spinach curry photo.jpg

While Summer is usually the season of salads, fruit, ice creams and smoothies, these kinds of raw, cold foods have the potential to wreak havoc on the digestive system. Having at least one cooked meal per day (especially in the afternoon and evening) helps the body to digest things a little easier, which means less energy is spend on digestion, and more energy can be used for maintaining full health and happiness.

The system of Ayurveda places primary importance upon digestive health, reasoning that the body is only able to work properly when digestive fire or ‘agni’ is strong. When food is consumed and unable to be digested properly, it stays in the digestive tract and creates toxins or ‘ama’, eventually leading to disease. Many Ayuvedic recipes contain food combinations and herbs that help each individual to be able to properly digest their meals according to their body type.

There are even studies which show that the human brain increased in size when we started to cook food, as the energy previously used to digest raw, hard foods could instead be used for brain activity, thus increasing its size! Cooking meals also means nutritious ingredients like leafy green and veggies can be cooked down so we’re able to eat a larger quantity of them without compromising digestive health!


  • 2-3tsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium size punnet of closed cap mushrooms (keep whole if not too big or cut in half)
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach leaves
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 2-3 tbsp curry paste
  • Small bunch of freshly chopped coriander.

How To:

Melt the coconut oil in a heavy based pan and stir. Cover and stir occasionally until onion is soft and just turning golden.

Add the curry paste. (I used Patak’s madras paste but you can use whatever brand you like the most. or better still – make your own!)

Stir well until onion is coated with the paste.

Add the mushrooms and chickpeas and stir well.

Take care not to burn he spices at this point.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir again.

Put a lid on and simmer on a medium/low heat.  Stir occasionally for approximately 7-10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked and everything is heated right through.

Add the spinach last and just stir through until it is wilted.

Sprinkle freshly chopped coriander over to serve.  This is great with rice/flatbread and pickle or even add a halved boiled egg to each plate.

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Brighton Yoga Festival ~ This Weekend!

byf main page

So after a year of hard work from the Brighton Yoga Festival team, we’re so excited to welcome everyone to the event this Saturday 23rd July, 10am-6pm at the Brighton Dome, Corn Exchange. Right in the heart of beautiful Brighton!

Having managed the festival this year, I can tell you that everyone has put their absolute heart and soul into this day, and all #ForTheLoveOfYoga. Our team are volunteers and work for free, to bring the benefits of yoga, therapies and healthy eating to others. We BYF LOGO with datecome a long way this year, with a new venue, new team members, and even managing to become a certified charity!

This year we welcome a host of international and local teachers, guest speakers, nutritionists, therapists, retailers and lots more, including ‘Pay As You Feel’ food from Brighton’s The Real Junk Food Project. We’ve even brought along a children’s face painter for everyone bringing their children along to the morning kid’s yoga classes.

There are lots of different areas all with classes happening at once, so we advise you arrive early to choose where you want to practice. All classes are first-come, first-serve and you’ll only need to register when you arrive to enter the festival. We’ll be offering programmes, goodie bags and BYF t-shirts to take home too.

For more details, visit the Brighton Yoga Festival website at

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Almond Butter & Cinnamon Sustainable Energy Balls

Almond Butter and cinnamon energy balls

When it comes to fast food, these snacks are just about as fast and healthy as you can get. All combined, the ingredients in the recipe provide an abundance of protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, energy, and the ability to maintain blood sugar balance for a long period of time.

Make these at the beginning of the week, and you’ll have a perfect go-to snack for when you’re tight on time and full-on with your schedule.



(Amounts vary depending on the size of your snacks. Experiment and add more / less of each as needed. If the balls aren’t sticking together very well, add more raisins. If they need to be softer or you want more of a protein boost, add more almond butter!) These ingredients made around

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup organic raisins
  • 3 tbsp organic raw almond butter
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

How to

  • Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor – adding more raisins if the mixture doesn’t stick together – until it all reaches a ‘dough’-like consistency.
  • Remove from  blender / food processor and shape into balls.
  • Share and enjoy!
  • Store in the fridge for up to a week.


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LookFantastic: July Beauty Box



Giving skin a chance to breathe in the Summer months is a wonderful way to maintain a healthy complexion and ensure the face gets some much needed vitamin D! It’s lucky then, that this month’s LookFantastic Beauty Box has everything needed to feel your best come rain or shine (in the UK we can always hope to see more ‘shine’…)

Worth over £50, you can grab this box of goodies for as little as £11.25 per month on the LookFantastic site.

Mi Ti

Professional Hair Tie

mi ti

Whether your hair is curly, straight, short, long or everything in-between (is that possible?) the Mi Ti hair ties are ‘professional’ for a reason. They keep hair in place without snagging or pulling, therefore helping hair to stay healthy and strong, and don’t leave noticeable ‘dents’ in the hair so you can go from ‘work look’ to ‘leisure look’ in seconds….



Anti-Frizz Cream Serum


No matter how good those Mi Ti professionals are, they can’t exactly magically make hair frizz-free. The Kebelo Silk anti-frizz serum can, though. Smooth a small amount through the hair after washing and before a hair dryer or straighteners as it also help to protect from heat, and you’ll have luscious locks right until the next wash.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse

Golden Shimmer Oil (Multi-use: for face, body and hair)


Not going on holiday this year? Don’t fancy slapping on fake tan? Still looking out of the window when it’s going to be sunny in the UK this year? Give yourself your own little golden glow with this Golden Shimmer Oil. Use on your hair, body and face for a natural golden touch….


Goof Proof Brow Pencil

good proofFill in the gaps and tidy up the brows with this super simple brow pencil. I’m hoping it’s definitely Goof-Proof as I’m not the most experienced at drawing-on eye brows….


In-Transit Camera Close-Up

Mask, Moisturiser and Primer

in transit

Yes, it does really work…. After several late nights and early mornings, it seems no amount of plastering-on makeup will hide a tired face. Use the right moisturiser and primer though, and you’ll instantly notice the difference in a more alive and awake face and brighter, healthier complexion.

Bella Pierre

Lip & Cheek Stain


The tradition of using ‘rouge’ has been around for of years, even dating back the Ancient Egypt! Women would redden their cheeks in the hopes of appearing more healthy and youthful, and in the English Regency period, both men and women placed blusher on their cheeks to encourage a more radiant look. It must work then, because we’re still using it today in 2016. Use this on both the cheeks and lips for a dash of colour and extra youthfulness…. (instant youth not guaranteed….)

Click HERE for this month’s box!

summer lovin




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Chickpea Flatbreads 2-Ways


Chickpeas are a fantastic source of protein, fiber, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and magnesium. They’re filling, help to lower levels of inflammation, also also help to rid the body of visceral fat (the type of fat found around internal organs, which is particularly important to pay attention to as we age).

So how can we get more chickpeas onto our plates and into our bodies? Other than using the dried or canned chickpeas in a salad, stew or curry, chickpea flour is a versatile ingredient that deserves a place in the kitchen cupboard. If you’re searching for something to help you create gluten free cakes, and breads, this could be your healthiest bet yet.

These flatbreads are filling and provide the body with an abundance of protein and vitamins. Perfect for any meal of the day; just change the toppings to suit your mood!


Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • coconut oil for greasing the pan


For the savoury flatbread (vary the amounts according to your taste and experiment with different toppings):

  • Mixed and dried herbs
  • Avocado
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil
  • Sprouted seeds
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • B12 flakes


For the sweet flatbread:

  • Coconut yogurt
  • Fresh sliced strawberries
  • Raw honey
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Shredded coconut flakes


How to:

Add your chickpea flour, salt and water (and mixed herbs if you’re using them) to a large bowl and whisk well until the mixture becomes slightly foamy.

Leave the mixture for at least an hour (leaving the mixture overnight is likely to help everything bind together more and is likely to work better in the recipe!)

When you’re ready to cook, pre-heat your oven to 200 C.

Heat a tsp of coconut oil in a large pan and add a large ladle-full of your mixture

Cook until you notice small bubbles appear of the surface and then carefully flip over to cook the other side for a couple of minutes.

When you’ve cooked the batter on both sides, carefully slide it onto an oven tray covered in baking paper and bake for approximately 10 minutes. If you want the texture a little more firm and crispy, leave it in the oven until it reaches the consistency you’re after.

Carefully remove from the oven and slide onto a place.

Top with whatever you fancy!



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Interview Special: Peter Deadman ~ Live Well, Live Long

LWLL cover small

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be invited to the book launch of Live Well, Live Long: Teachings From The Chinese Nourishment Of Life Tradition. Peter Deadman’s 45 years of practice, study and teaching of traditions of health cultivation has lead him to compile this absolutely fascinating, well-researched and comprehensive book. Live Long, Live Well offers an abundance of wisdom and knowledge, with all research backed up and meticulously referenced in each chapter, and serves as a manual for anyone interested in maintaining the health of body and mind.

Peter Deadman is the co-founder of Infinity Foods and the Brighton Natural Health Centre and a highly recognised figure in the world of acupuncture. He is the author of the best-selling book Manual of Acupuncture, and now offers this new publication in order to bring about awareness of ‘Yangsheng’ (nourishing life) in order to improve health, lengthen life and live it fully.


Q: Your book ‘Live Well, Live Long’ is a culmination of 45 years practice and teaching in the field of Chinese medicine. As a British male growing up in the 60s and 70s, how did you first become interested in these Eastern practices and why did you stick with them yangsheng1throughout life’s ups and downs? 

A: A fascination with Eastern art and culture has been part of European thought since at least the 19th century. The Impressionists, for example, were influenced by Chinese and Japanese painting and all kinds of spiritual/mystical groups looked to India and to Buddhism for inspiration in the early 20th century. This already strong trend was taken up by the growing hippie culture of the early 1960s and that was the time – aged about 16 – that I first encountered yoga, Buddhism, Tibetan religion and culture and so on. For me, that progressed to an interest in the macrobiotic diet which was based on a version of Japanese yinyang theory and very much influenced by Japanese and Chinese medical culture. Whilst that led to my co-founding of Infinity Foods, it was the medical and health cultivation side that became more and more important to me as the years passed, and once I’d decided to study acupuncture in 1975, my path was pretty much set. As for ups and downs, the wisdom of the Chinese health cultivation tradition and its associated philosophies – especially Daoism – have shaped my understanding of the world, and my appreciation of them has only steadily deepened as I’ve navigated life’s unpredictable paths.


Q: You co founded Infinity Foods in the 1970s; what was the mindset towards health and wellbeing like back then? What health products or foods did you sell that were seen as ‘out there’ at the time?

InfinityFoods_3_sA: It’s hard to believe now, but orthodox medical opinion in the early 1970s was that other than deficiency diseases (for example of vitamin A), diet had no significant influence on health. The suggestion that the food we eat might influence the onset or progression of diseases such as cancer was met with outrage, hostility and even legal action. Of course a pioneering natural and health foods movement had existed in the UK for some decades, particularly influenced by ideas brought back from the British Imperial days in India, but it was a real minority pursuit and felt very unfashionable to we (arrogant) youth. Health food shops at the time mostly concentrated (as they still do) on supplements, and real food such as brown rice tended to be sold in tiny packets in the back of the shop. After all, it hadn’t been many years since the only place you could buy olive oil was at the chemist’s – for earache. Our (Infinity) vision was to provide readily available, affordable, download (2)sustainable, natural and organic foods and we worked with other newly appearing natural food shops to buy them in bulk, pack them ourselves and sell them as cheaply as possible. ‘Out there’ foods were probably the Japanese products that went along with a macrobiotic diet – seaweed, miso, tamari etc. Incidentally, the attitude to exercise in the 1970s was similarly backward. In general people played sports, went dancing or did nothing. There was barely any jogging, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, gym or any of the multiple ways of exercising the body that we take for granted today.


Q: Tea seems to be one of your passions; what’s your favourite and do you change your tea habits according to the time of day or the seasons?

001ec94a1ea10f7cfbbb18A: Tea (the leaf of the camellia sinensis tree/bush – not herbal teas) has been studied fairly intensively over the past decade or so and has been shown to have remarkable health benefits. In fact it appears to be the single healthiest drink we can consume. This is what the Chinese and Japanese traditions always taught, and once again they have been proved to be bang on the nail. I love black, green, oolong, white and puerh teas and drink them according to my mood, and to some degree according to the season. Dark teas (black, highly oxidised oolong and puerh) are considered more warming and are drunk more in winter. Green teas are cooler and are drunk more in the summer (if we ever have one!). One important thing to remember is that tea has as much variety and variation in quality as wine and you get what you pay for. Bottom-end green tea of the kind found in the average tea bag or cheapish pack is just like buying the cheapest wine. Tea offers not only great health benefits but also the chance to enjoy a wonderful range of types and flavours. But to access these you need to buy good tea.


Q: There is currently a lot of conversation around the topic of ‘wellness’ in the media, with the term ‘orthorexia’ being used to describe the obsession with being healthy. What is your opinion on the modern health industry? Do you think we’ve taken things too far when it comes to striving for wellbeing?

CachedImageA: As the American humourist Redd Fox said, “Health nuts are going to feel stupid some day, lying in hospital dying of nothing.” If we are suffering from illness, it may be natural to become preoccupied with our health behaviours for a while, though if this becomes tight and obsessive it may do more harm than good. But if we want to cultivate and maintain health and wellbeing in the long term, the key is to be kind to ourselves and follow the middle way. On the one hand that does mean committing long-term to a good diet, regular exercise, mental and emotional cultivation, healthy sleep and sex and so on, but on the other it also means that we have to enjoy what we are doing – love our exercise and our way of eating, have lots of fun and relish and embrace life. Preoccupation with health can easily get tied up with issues such as guilt, self-punishment, excessive self-control, obsession, fear of impurity and contamination, clean versus dirty and so on. This is why the Chinese health tradition puts cultivation of the mind and emotions first. Without a wise, balanced and self aware mindset we can easily end up causing ourselves misery and even harm. Two other features of the modern wellness trend are that it is usually trying to sell us something (a superfood, a detox spa, a range of expensive yoga wear – a narcissistic obsession with wellness as consumerism) or it’s constantly changing and deeply faddish. When we look at the Chinese health cultivation tradition we find both a 2500-year old history (ample time to work things out) and some core principles that provide wise guidance in navigating competing and often hysterical health claims.


Q: A large part of your book covers the topic of exercise, and from reading it, I understand you have a daily practice of Qi Gong. Having tried a range of other practices, what is it that appeals to you most about this way of moving?

QigongSlide2.jpgA: Well, I was fat and massively un-sporty at school and seemingly not cut out for yoga (I tried hard for a few years) but I took to the Chinese internal arts tradition like a duck to water. It would take too long (hence a whole chapter in my book) to say exactly why but for shorthand I’d say it cultivates muscle, bone and sinew strength, flexibility, balance, rootedness, mental resilience and stillness, emotional stability, deep and healthy breathing, youthfulness and more. Some, indeed many, of these can be found in other Asian practices such as yoga, but the Chinese internal exercise tradition is much older than modern yoga and has (yes I know it’s controversial and only my opinion) some wise differences.


Q: Have you always been ‘healthy’?

A: Absolutely not. I led a fairly wild and reckless life in my late teens and early 20s and anyway was never especially robust as a child. I’ve had my fair share of health problems and in fact that’s why I became so interested in this tradition. There’s a Chinese saying, “Better to have one disease than no disease.” We learn a lot from the challenge of illness and one of the things available to us tree.pngwhen we confront it is to seek the reason for it and adapt our lifestyle accordingly. This is actually a continual process of learning as we navigate life, which never stays the same (apart from anything else we are constantly ageing). Everything changes and as Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”


Q: What three things do you do every day to take care of yourself and your health, and how do you find balance?

A: First, I generally aim to practise qigong for an hour a day. I cannot emphasise how deeply I understand now that the untended body and mind will decay and fail more rapidly than the cultivated body and mind. And what’s great about qigong (and suchlike) is that it can be practised for one’s whole life and deepen all the time. Second I drink a lot of tea. Thirdly I eat well – mostly organic foods, tons of vegetables, whole grains etc. and I try (I emphasise try) that single most important of dietary practices – to eat less.


Q: How can you sum up your message to the world in one sentence?

A: Our health, wellbeing and longevity partly derive from our innate constitution and the fortune we encounter in life, but the rest is in our hands and if we love and cherish ourselves and others, let’s practise and teach each other how to live well and long.

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Raw Summer Strawberry Shortcake


strawberry shotcake recipe

Something to watch Wimbledon with if you’re in the UK this week, or to celebrate Independence day with at a picnic if you’re in the US. Perfect for get-togethers, desserts on warm evenings and paired with tea; these are easy to make and easier to eat….

Ingredients (makes approximately 25)

  • 2 cups oats
  • 10 dates
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup coconut powder (you can use shredded coconut, but coconut powder is finer and acts more like a flour here)

For topping

Sliced fresh strawberries

How to:

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend / pule until everything is well combined.
  • Take the mixture out of the processor – it should have formed a ‘dough’-like substance – and roll firmly into a ball
  • Roll the ball of ‘dough’ out to about 1 cm thick and cut with a cookie cutter or the top of a glass. I used the rim of a champagne glass and ended up with about 25 little cakes
  • Top each ‘cake’ with slices strawberries and either eat straight away or store in the fridge for about half an hour to cool
  • Eat, share and enjoy!




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