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….

Leave a comment

Seasonal Butternut Squash & Carrot Pasta Sauce (V+GF)



It’s Autumn, it’s cold, and it’s time for some hearty, warming dishes. What it’s also time for however, is lots and lots of vitamins and minerals, which can be denatured and lost when we cook foods and heat them to a high temperature.

By gently steaming the squash, and then simply blending all the other ingredients raw, the maximum amount of health benefits are maintained in this recipe, whilst still allowing the dish to be a comfort-food feast. Seasonal, immune-boosting and completely satisfying, this is a recipe to keep on hand for a healthy weeknight meal.

Serve this sauce with your favourite pasta, or try an alternative like brown rice, quinoa or chickpea pasta. As a Summer dish you could also serve this with courgetti!

The photo above shows mine served with fresh basil leaves and sun dried tomatoes, and steamed beetroot greens on the side.


  • ½ Butternut Squash
  • 4 Carrots
  • 1 Yellow pepper
  • ½ tsp Pink Salt
  • A few cracks of black pepper
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1-2 Tbsp Good Quality Pure Sesame Oil

How To:

  • Chop ½ a butternut squash into 1-inch cubes (this will make the steaming time a little quicker). Steam for approximately 6-8 minutes, or until it is tender when prodding with a fork.
  • Allow the squash to cook for a couple of minutes, then add all ingredients to a blender or food processor.
  • Blend until you reach the desired consistency. Longer for a smooth, creamy sauce, or shorter for a thick, chunky sauce.
  • When you’re ready to serve, warm the sauce for a few minutes in a pan before pouring over your favourite pasta. Keep the sauce well below boiling point when you warm it so as to retain the maximum amount of nutrients.
  • Stay warm, stay well and enjoy!

Leave a comment

Interview: Helen Forester & Chant Malas


First published on the Holistic Journal, read my latest interview with a leading thinker in health, happiness and wellbeing.

The idea of crystals and mala beads might seem a little too ‘mystical’ for some, but for thousands of years people have been proving their healing benefits, and using them to harness their health and wellbeing. There is something very special about particular stones and the potential energy they hold. Mala beads have been a meditation and mantra tool for as long as we can date back to, and they’re way more meaningful than a fashion accessory……

Meet Helen Forester, creator of unique mala beads, crystals collections, mum, yoga practitioner, meditator, long distance runner, business woman, and a lady with big plans….


Q:What first drew you towards an interest in crystals and mala beads? 

A: I have always had a fascination with crystals ever since I bought a piece of Amethyst from Kensington Market (RIP) when I was about 15. I never really knew much about them, however, until around 3 years ago, when I was given a Quartz point by a friend. This rekindled my interest and I began looking deeper into their significance. I began creating jewellery just before my daughter was born 2.5 years ago. I started with simple mala bracelets, and wire-wrapped crystal pendants and necklaces but quickly moved onto creating mala beads as I was already using them in my meditation practice and as part of my preparation for the birth of my daughter. It took me around a year and a half to ‘perfect’ (although I’m continually learning!) my technique.


Q: What are your favourite crystals and what do you use them for?

 A: I’m not sure that I have any favourites, but there are definitely crystals that I am frequently drawn to for different reasons. At the moment, I love Moss Agate and Moonstone. These are very feminine stones, which represent new beginnings. I use crystals in my meditation practice and in creating moon water for myself in my every day life – in fact, I’m never without a piece of crystal somewhere on my person, whether it be in a mala, in my pocket or under my pillow! Amethyst is a bit of a staple of mine and I even have a piece in both my daughter and my son’s bedrooms to help calm and soothe the moonatmosphere.


Q: Is there a particular crystal that works well for people at this time of year?

A: As we move into Autumn, anything that helps to provide stability (Ayurvedically-speaking, we’re now in Vata season, so may tend towards more ‘flighty’ behaviour). balance and greater insight as the night’s darkness increases. For these reasons, crystals such as Fluorite, Moon, and Sunstone, Carnelian and Moss Agate are all great for around this time of year.


Q: Do you have a practice of using your own mala beads? And how might we start a practice of our own?

A: I use my mala beads every evening before I go to sleep. As a busy mum of two, who both teaches and runs a business, it can be difficult to find time for my own meditation practice, but also to wind down at the end of the day. For these reasons, I started practising japa mantra (reciting a mantra 108 times using a mala to keep track) before bed every night. Just to have that time to myself every day       (especially if my children get up before I do meaning I don’t get my asana practice in!) Then I can find some kind of space. For me, meditation gives me more time in my day – as odd as that may sound!

mala3For those wishing to start a japa meditation practice, I’d really advise starting with patience. It can be challenging to recite the same mantra 108 times without becoming distracted by something – either externally or internally – especially in this age of distractions! I began with just nine recitations using the sections of each finger and trying to get to the point where I could do this fully focused on my mantra for the whole nine chants. Then just increase as you feel is appropriate. Some days I find I become completely
absorbed quite quickly, some days my mind might be everywhere. Be patient though. Find a mantra that you can connect with (or even better, that someone (your teacher, for example) has given you) and then work on that.


Q: Have you always been interested in health, wellness and alternative practices?

A: I’ve always led a very active life, as a young dancer and then a rower throughout my teen years and until the end of University when I took up long distance running. I began practising yoga during my PGCE as a way of relaxing and it quickly became clear that this was something more than just a form of exercise and relaxation. Four years later, I completed my 200hr yoga teacher training with Claire Missingham and have been teaching off and on since then.   Everything else has just stemmed from this really, and as I”ve become more aware of alternative practices, so I’ve tried to incorporate them into my every day life.


Q: You make custom designs and speciality collections, but do you have a favourite item youve made and felt was particularly special?

A: I have always loved creating custom malas and am always so humbled when people approach me to create something special just for them. Pregnancy malas are always wonderful as are malas for anyone who has a specific use for them, those going through transitions or difficult times, for example.

I have recently been working on my Goddess mala collection and these have opened up a whole new side of the art for me. I see my designs in a completely different way now more as a way of telling a story through colours and crystals.


mala1Q: What does your typical day in the life…’ look like?

A: This is a bit of a difficult question to answer as every day is so different. I work twice a week as a teacher in a school and when I’m not teaching I am caring for my two children all day. I tend to find it easier to break my business work into bite-sized chunks of ten minutes at a time. I’ll make myself a list of what I need to get done in the morning, or the night before, and then try to work through that as best I can – sending emails, packing up orders and the general admin side of things. I try not to be too hard on myself if I don’t get everything done as this isn’t conducive to anything. My ‘working day’ really starts at around 7pm, when my children are generally in bed. This is when I create most of my malas and get through orders.


Q: With the addition of a new baby in the last few months and now two young children to care for, how has running your own independent business and juggling family life been?

A: I now have a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old, which can make things interesting at times. For me, it’s just about being super-organised and open to any sudden changes like tummy bugs, sleep regressions and teething issues! It can be very frustrating at times if things don’t go as I’d planned or if I take longer to create something or get back to someone than I’d like – for example if one or both of my children are having problems settling in the evening – but I just have to remind myself that they aren’t in control of their bodies right now and have as much patience as I can possibly muster with them and myself. On the other hand, it’s made me even more determined to see that this works as I’d like it to. They give me an incentive to keep going and a focus that I’ve never had before. I’m definitely less of a procrastinator than I was!


Q: Do you have any advice for someone looking to follow their dreams and start up their own venture?

A: Just go for it. Do your research, practice what you preach and start as soon as you can. Be really organised and get a good accountant. Take advantage of social media and where it can take you, and ask for help when you need it.


mala2Q: What three things do you do to look after yourself and your health each day?

  • A green smoothie in the morning
  • Getting outside with my little ones as much as I can
  • Meditation in the evening.


Q: Do you have any favourite quotes for us to remember?

A: The Arthur Ashe quote, ’Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can,’ has really become my mantra since I had my daughter and I am constantly reminding myself of it.


Q: Whats next for Chant Malas?

A: I have so many plans and only 24 hours in a day! Getting my blog up and running; my ‘Once Upon a Mala’ project, which involves 1 mala and 108 stories, all written by those who come into contact with the mala that will be making it’s way around the world in the next couple of months; more amazing collections, mala-making workshops, more festivals and opportunities to get out and actually meet the people who buy my creations, crystal healing workshops, moon water kits…the list goes on. I’d love to find some time to take more courses for my own personal practice and to develop my knowledge of nada yoga, the yoga of sound, for example.

If you would like to get involved in the ‘Once upon a mala’ project, please contact Helen for more information by emailing and giving your name and location.


Follow Helen via social media:

@chantmalas on Instragram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Go to to view and buy malas, crystals and other yoga and meditation-inspired pieces, and for further information about Chant Malas.

Use code emma15 for 15% off your whole order until 1st December 2016!








Leave a comment

LookFantastic October 2016: #LFPamper



Autumn and Winter are the perfect time of year to inject a little self-care into each day. This doesn’t have to mean taking hours in the bath, spending a little too long in front of the mirror, or anything that may seem a little narcissistic. If you work hard, if much of your time is spend helping others, if people need you, then you need to help yourself too.

The darker, colder seasons easily show up whether we’ve been neglecting self-care practices or not, so especially if you’re feeling a little low or ‘under the weather’ (or you know someone who is), take some time for you. You’ll be glad you did, and so will everyone else!

Head to LookFantastic now to grab your box of monthly goodness. Subscribe and get yours from £11.25 per month.



Renaissance Mask

While Summer may be a little bit of a memory, you can maintain glowing skin with this exfoliating face mask. Removing old, dry skin cells, the Renaissance Mask can reveal the naturally brighter and fresher skin underneath. Passion fruit, lemon and grape fruit acids work together to renew skin, as Papaya enzymes help unclog pores.



Liquid Yoga

Last year I had the pleasure of working with MIO Skincare at an event in Hoxton. I taught a day of mini Yoga classes, and as you can imagine, this bottle of Liquid Yoga was exactly what I needed! Relieve, relax and revive any aching muscles or cold joints with this little bottle of restorative bath soak. Just like after a restorative Yoga class, you’ll feel good-as-new. Magnesium and Arnica, Horse Chestnut and Murumuru Butter, and a host of other delightfully indulgent ingredients to help you restore and feel your best.



The Genuine Lapland Cream

Dry, cracked lips are very common at this time of year due to dry air and suppressed immune systems. This handy little balm however, will ensure your lips stay soft, smooth and hydrated. There are no added fragrances, colours or parabens, so you can be sure that what you’re putting on your lips probably is good enough to eat! (The silver and red is even a good reminder that Christmas is coming!)



Intensive-C Radiance Peel

Tingly and refreshing; if you tend to feel sluggish at this time of year, this will really perk up your face and your mood! Vitamin C, Indian Fig and Gyolic Acid all decongest the skin so you’re ready to face the world again.





Pout Perfection – Waterproof Lipliner

This particular lipliner is waterproof and long-lasting, perfect for long Autumn days when the weather is a little unpredictable! Vitamin E and Jojoba oil also moisturise and condition the lips so again they’re protected from dryness or cracking.



Caviar Anti-Ageing, Oil Creme

Dry air in Autumn and Winter often means dry hair that is prone to damage. If your hair is at all prone to dryness, this is the season to give it some love and a pre-wash treatment. With caviar extract, you’ll definitely feel like you’re pampering yourself with this little bottle of anti-frizz magic!





Leave a comment

Cough and Cold Curing Curry, With Pumpkin & Chillis



Get the tissues ready (seriously), because this curry recipe is going to un-block and clear-out your annual bout of cold or flu! All the ingredients in this recipe have a purpose: to get you back on your feet if you’re feeling unwell. High in vitamin C, antioxidants, spice, and a little help from seasonal pumpkin with zinc and decongestant properties.

Perfect for the Autumn and Winter seasons, keep this recipe on hand to warm your body and give your immune system a helping hand. Chilli peppers are a natural remedy for sore throats – so add as many as you can handle, whilst turmeric is nature’s incredibly effective anti-inflammatory, and red cabbage is surprisingly very high in antioxidants.


(serves 4-5 with a side of rice, or 3 without)

  • 1 red onion
  • ¼ red cabbage
  • i inch fresh ginger
  • 2 bell peppers (red & yellow)
  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 2-3 red birds eye chillis
  • 2 big handfuls spinach
  • 1 can chickpeas or cannellini beans
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • handful fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Pinch of good quality salt and pepper
  • Glug of olive oil

How To:

First of all, roast the pumpkin:

  • Peheat the oven to 220C
  • Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the insides (roast the pumpkin seeds along-side the pumpkin and eat them as a snack the next day)
  • Chop the pumpkin halves into bite-size squares
  • Place on an oven tray with your large tsp of coconut oil dotted around
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes (check on it when your kitchen starts to smell of roast pumpkin)

When the Pumpkin is roasted, it’s time to cook the curry:

  • Add a glug of olive oil to a large cooking pot and warm
  • Chop the red onion into small pieces and throw into the pot. Cook the onion until it’s browned.
  • Shred the red cabbage, chop the ginger into small pieces and them to the pot. Cook until the cabbage has softened slightly
  • Chop the bell peppers and chillis and add them to the pot. Cook together for around 5 minutes
  • Add the roasted pumpkin, chickpeas or beans, canned tomato, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper
  • Mix well and cook everything together until it begins to bubble and the ingredients are quite soft
  • As the last few minutes approach, add the spinach and cook down until it is wilted and encorperated into the other ingredients
  • Just before you finish, add the fresh basil and parsley (this ensures they retain as much nutrients as possible)
  • Cook for a couple more minutes and then remove from the heat
  • Spoon onto plates and serve with your favourite curry accompaniment and some lime pickle for an extra kick of cold-busting chilli goodness.

For a twist, you could even sprinkle on some oregano. This herb is one of the highest sources of antioxidants, and is a powerful way to boost the immune system. Oregano oil is even currently being re-introduced as a supplemental way to stay well. 

Leave a comment

Sayonora Summer: Lemon, Orange & Sunflower Seed Muffins (V + GF)


With no nasty ingredients, all-natural flavours from orange and lemon zest, and warming almond oil, this plant-based muffin recipe is one to keep on hand for when you need to whip up some treats in a short amount of time. Say goodbye to Summer with a light, citrusy snack to remind you of those beautiful, warm and sunny Summer days.

This recipe has been adapted from many different recipes that I used to look up when making gluten free cakes and muffins, however I’ve made them so many times now, I rarely look at a recipe at all. The amounts here make around 20-25 mini muffins, enough to share at any of the many seasonal celebrations approaching at this time of year!


  • 1 ¾ cups gluten free flour (I use Doves Barn Gluten Free Flour or Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup organic apple puree
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup almond oil
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk (add more if the mixture seems a little dry or thick)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • pinch of pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 handfuls of sunflower seeds + more for the topping

How To:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C
  • Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl
  • Add the baking soda, baking powder, coconut sugar, salt, sunflower seeds and zest and mix well
  • Add the wet ingredients: apple puree, almond oil and non-dairy milk and mix to create a thick batter
  • Spoon the mixture into small muffin cases
  • Top with extra sunflower seeds
  • Place on the middle shelf in the oven to cook for about 15-20 minutes (check on them after 12-15 minutes). I’d generally say that the muffins are ready when their scent starts to fill the kitchen.
  • Share & Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Raw Veggie Crackers



While you can use an oven to make these crackers, a dehydrator is worth buying if you are looking to be more self-sufficient, want your foods to retain the most nutrients, or if you want to preserve foods and make healthy alternatives. They can run for hours or days depending upon what is it you’re dehydrating, without using up a huge amount of energy.

This recipe actually comes from my very own mum, who is always trying different things in the kitchen. Opting recently for more alkaline recipes due to a few different reasons, we’ve been juicing and making everything from scratch even more than usual.

Using a dehydrator is also a wonderful way to reduce waste! There are a number of things you can do with leftover pulp from juicing (or leftover vegetables, or parts you aren’t going to cook with) but apart from putting them in the compost or adding some to a smoothie for added fibre, there aren’t a whole lot of delicious things you can do with unused vegetable pulp…. Until now!

These crackers are high in fibre, extremely tasty and full of vitamins and healthy ingredients, but they’re still very savoury and satisfying. You could make sweet versions with the pulp from fruit juices, or create a whole pizza base or flatbread instead. Try this recipe out using either your dehydrator or oven, knowing that you’ve reduced waste, saved energy, and created something healthy that will last the whole week, so you can grab something good for you on-the-go!


  • 2 cups of vegetable pulp left over from juicing
  • (ideally some carrot, celery and greens)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped pepper (any colour)
  • ½ tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup milled flax seeds
  • ¼ cup milled chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp tamari, soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: 2tbsp nigella seeds/sesame seeds



In your food processor, add the onion and pepper and process until almost liquid and pour into a large bowl.

Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well. If it is too dry add a little water. If it is too wet you will need to add some more dry ingredients such as extra milled flax/chia seeds.

Scoop out the mixture onto dehydrator sheets and spread evenly in a rough square.

Use your hand and/or the back of a spoon to spread the mixture until it is about an eighth of an inch thick. (Quite thin).

If you want to, at this stage, you can sprinkle some nigella seeds or sesame seeds over the top, pressing them into the crackers lightly.

Score the crackers into the shape and size you would like them to be using a pizza cutter or similar.

Set your dehydrator to 110-115F and dehydrate for about 12 hours.

If you don’t have a dehydrator you can use your oven set low:

Place the crackers on a baking tray in a preheated oven (lowest setting) with the door ajar for approximately 6-8 hours.

Once dehydrated the crackers will keep for a week in an airtight container…. (unless you live in our house, in which case they’ll all be gone within a few days!)


Leave a comment

Cacao & Cashew ‘Chocolate Milk’


You may have heard that chocolate milk is one of the traditional go-to drinks for bodybuilders and athletes, and even weekend warriors at the local gym. What you may not have heard however, if that milk can be laden with hormones, is highly acidic for the body, and whilst touted as being ‘good for your bones’, dairy has actually been linked to a decrease in bone density and osteoporosis!

This drink contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals, perfect for drinking post-exercise or as a snack. Cashews are full of copper, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus – all essential for maintaining healthy muscles and bones, and they have good amounts of protein too. For an extra boost, add a scoop of hemp seeds or hemp or pea protein powder for plant based power.

Ethics aside, whether you’re Paleo, plant-based, or consider yourself to eat a ‘standard’ Western diet, it’s always worth experimenting with different ingredients and snacks to see what effect it has upon you. For those who are lactose intolerant, it’s important to find reliable dairy-free options, so prepare these alternative ‘milks’ ahead of time to grab throughout the week. If you’re considering being a little kinder to your body and the planet, starting with plant-based ‘milks’ is an easy and delicious change to make.


(serves 4, or makes about 1 litre of ‘milk’ to be stored in the fridge for up to a week)

  • 1 large handful cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 3 dates or 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp pink himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • Optional: 2 tbsp shelled hemp seeds / hemp or pea protein powder

How To

Soak your cashews over night or for about 8 hours

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for a minute or so to create a creamy texture.

There’s no need to strain this nut milk, so you can drink it straight away!