Canggu, Bali, August 2016

Buddhist Monastery, Banjar, Bali, August 2016

Yogi at Hindu Monastery, Kauai, Hawaii, March 2014

Article by Dr Christiane Northrup MD

When you were a child you were probably told that going in the ocean would help heal your cuts and scrapes faster. Or, perhaps your mother had you gargle with warm salt water to soothe a sore throat. (Today, many holistic dentists continue to recommend salt water rinses to heal inflamed gum tissues and mouth sores). Yet, there is a huge debate as to whether salt is good for the rest of your body. For example, many people are told that they need to watch their sodium intake or they risk having“>high blood pressure. In fact, sodium has long been the villain when it comes to hypertension and heart disease and stroke.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns Americans to consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, less than your kidneys can filter in five minutes! If you use the My Fitness Pal app, you’ll notice that it warns you if you come within 1,000 mg of the limit. Other health organizations recommend even less than 2,300 mg.

But, sodium is an essential nutrient that your body depends on. And like any essential nutrient, getting the right amount is important for maintaining good health.

Why You’re Confused About Salt

There are a few pieces to the salt puzzle that keep people confused. One part of the confusion when it comes to dietary salt is that many people—doctors included—use the words “salt” and “sodium” interchangeably. However, they are not the same. Sodium is a mineral found in salt. Salt is a naturally-occurring compound comprised of sodium and chloride. Then there is table salt, which is created from natural salt but then is refined through a process of heating it to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which destroys most of its beneficial compounds. To use the words sodium and salt interchangeably is not accurate. But, to confuse table salt with natural salt is where you get into real problems, as with any refined foods.

Another area of confusion is the theory behind why salt is bad for you. The theory stating that sodium (and therefore salt) causes high blood pressure stems from the myth that when you eat salt, you get thirsty and drink more water. Your body holds onto the extra water in order to dilute the saltiness in your blood. This results in increased blood volume, which the theory suggests leads to high blood pressure. Therefore, the theory states, a low-sodium diet reduces blood pressure.

However, this theory has never been scientifically supported. In fact, some studies show that salt actually helps your body conserve water and makes you less thirsty. Additional studies show that the connection between salt and high blood pressure is more complicated or even non-existent. The Framingham Offspring Study—an offshoot of the Framingham Heart Study—found that participants who ate a low sodium diet (under 2,500 milligrams of sodium per day) had higher blood pressure than those who consumed higher quantities. And, more recent studies show that there is really no link between salt intake, high blood pressure, and risk of heart disease.

Why You Need Salt

Despite the fact that you will probably continue to hear messages that sodium is bad for you, your body cannot function without enough sodium, and the best way to get enough sodium is through dietary salt.

There are many studies that show the adverse effects of too little salt. Some of these adverse effects include insulin resistance and an increased risk of death from heart failure in patients with heart failure, plus an increased risk of death for both type 1 diabetics and type 2 diabetics. Low-sodium or low-salt diets are also associated with elevated LDL cholesterol and tryglicerides and low blood pressure (hyponatremia), which can be particularly concerning for certain populations such as athletes and the elderly.

And these effects aren’t just the result of purposeful salt restriction. Low-carbohydrate diets, such as Paleo and Keto, and certain medications can cause sodium loss. And even if you don’t eat a low-carb diet, if you don’t have a healthy microbiome, you may not be absorbing enough sodium from your diet.

Symptoms of sodium deficiency from salt restriction or poor salt absorption include dehydration, muscle cramps, headaches, weakness, irritability, and even cognitive decline. In addition, when you restrict salt, your body eventually will start to increase insulin to help your kidneys retain more sodium. Over time this can lead to chronically high insulin levels, a craving for sugar and refined carbohydrates, and a cycle of weight gain, insulin resistance, and even diabetes.

By contrast, adequate salt intake can help you to stay hydrated, prevent muscle cramps, support a healthy nervous system and a healthy metabolism, and even help you sleep better. And, while a diet too low in salt may reduce libido in both sexes, increase erectile dysfunction in men, and reduce a woman’s likelihood of getting pregnant, adequate salt intake may support reproduction.

How Much Salt Do You Need?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the minimum physiological requirement of sodium simply to sustain life is 500 mg per day. However, in The Salt Fix, author James DiNicolantonio, Pharm. D., a cardiovascular research scientist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in St. Louis, says scientists have found that when people’s consumption of sodium is unrestricted, they typically consume between 3,000 to 4,000 milligrams per day. This amount holds true for people across all populations, in all hemispheres and climates, and across a range of cultures and social backgrounds. In other words, all humans gravitate toward the same sodium intake range every day. That’s because this amount of sodium intake is optimal and is driven by the hypothalamus, the part of the reptilian brain that keeps your body in homeostasis.

That said, whether you need to increase your healthy salt intake depends on many factors, including your diet and lifestyle. For example, if you eat a whole food diet, you may benefit from adding more healthy salt to your diet because unprocessed, all-natural foods are low in sodium. In addition, athletes, people who sweat a lot, people who take diuretics and other medications that cause sodium loss, and people recovering from adrenal fatigue can benefit from added natural salt.

However, sodium is present in high amounts in processed foods where it is often used as a preservative or a flavor enhancer—think monosodium glutamate (MSG) and “natural flavorings.” And even foods that don’t taste salty can have high amounts of sodium, including breakfast cereals and bread. So, if you eat a lot of refined foods (which I don’t recommend), you are probably already getting more than 4,000 mg of sodium per day.

The Best Natural Salts and How to Use Them

Adding natural salt to your diet is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you get enough sodium and other essential minerals, especially if you are active. The most common natural salts are sea salt, Himalayan salt, and Celtic salt. Each has a unique flavor and mineral composition. For example, sea salt often contains high levels of trace minerals, including potassium, iron, and zinc. It also contains small amounts of natural iodine. Himalayan salt comes from the ancient sea beds of the Himalayan mountains. It is rich in iron, which gives it a pink color, as well as 83 other essential trace elements, including magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Celtic salt is hand-raked in Brittany, France, and is gray due to the clay and sand where it is harvested. It is a moist salt that is rich in many minerals.

Other natural salts include black and red salt from Hawaii, and Fleur de Sel, a solar-evaporated sea salt typically used as a finishing salt. There are many more natural salts that you can experiment with, including exotic salts such as Vietnamese pearl sea salt. I encourage you to try many and use them in different ways.

Here are 7 rules of thumb if you plan to incorporate more salt into your diet:

Determine if you need more salt. If you eat primarily whole foods or are on a low-carb diet, such as Paleo or Keto, you may want to add natural salt to your diet. In addition, if you sweat regularly or a lot, you will probably want to try adding more salt. Finally, if you suffer muscle cramps, have trouble sleeping, or crave salty foods, these are signs that you need more salt. (Muscle cramps also indicate the need for more magnesium.)

Salt your food. If you want to try increasing your salt intake, start by adding a little to your food. It’s a great way to improve flavor and increase essential minerals. Salt also helps to improve your digestive process by activating amylase (an enzyme that allows you to taste your food), creating hydrochloric acid to support your stomach wall, and stimulating intestinal and liver secretions to help break down food and aid digestion. Plus, salt adds a satiety factor, so it may encourage more mindful eating and even help with weight management.

Drink sole water. We are often told to drink lots of water in order to stay hydrated and to flush out toxins. However, drinking too much water can cause your body to flush out minerals and electrolytes. It can also lower your metabolism. But, when natural salt and water are combined, the positive ions in salt surround the negative ions in water and vice versa. This creates a new structure, called sole, that is more absorbable. To make sole water start, by adding about 1 cup of natural salt to a jar and fill the rest with filtered water. Cover the jar with a non-metal lid and let it sit overnight. If all the salt is dissolved in the morning, add a little more until the salt no longer dissolves. (This is how you know you’ve reached saturation). Take 1 teaspoon first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Start slowly and work up to taking 1-3 teaspoons throughout the day as you feel necessary.

Track your salt intake. If you want to track your salt intake to determine what level is optimal for you, try using an app such as My Fitness Pal. Track your intake when you enter your foods and then take notes regarding how you feel, your energy level, your sleep quality, and more. After a few weeks, you’ll notice what amount of salt you need to feel good.

Monitor your blood pressure. If you have been told to restrict sodium due to high blood pressure, be sure to track your blood pressure at home while increasing your salt intake. You can buy a good quality blood pressure cuff online or at a medical supply store. Be sure to speak with your health care provider before changing your diet or using any supplements, and have your blood pressure checked during your visits.

Eat foods rich in potassium. It’s important to maintain the correct balance of electrolytes in order for your body to work optimally. The electrolytes that most commonly can become unbalanced include potassium, sodium, and calcium. To offset any potential imbalance while increasing salt, be sure to eat foods rich in potassium, including bananas, spinach, sweet potatoes, edamame, cantaloupe, and lentils.

Listen to your body. As with any new protocol, the best way to proceed is to listen to your body. Start by allowing your salt cravings to dictate how much salt you consume and in what form, then be sure to track how you feel.

Have you tried adding healthy, natural salt to your diet? What were the results?

Last Updated: November 20, 2018
Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, MD, is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

The silent killer affecting more than 7 million Australians



How do you get people to care about a disease with no symptoms? That’s the challenge for doctors worried about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which can lead to liver cancer and liver failure – often with little warning.

“By 2020 more people will have liver cirrhosis caused by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease than with hepatitis C and hepatitis B combined,” says Dr Alex Hodge of Melbourne’s Monash Medical Centre and University.

The Gastroenterological Society of Australia estimates that translates to more than 7 million Australians by 2030. About 5% will have developed cirrhosis.

“That’s 400,000 people with liver cirrhosis that could be avoided,” says Hodge.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is an umbrella term for a range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol. As the name implies, the main characteristic of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is too much fat stored in liver cells.

The condition is also closely linked to metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of abnormalities including increased abdominal fat, poor ability to use the hormone insulin, high blood pressure and high blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease usually causes no signs and symptoms. When it does, they may include: Enlarged liver, fatigue and pain in the upper right abdomen.

Experts don’t know exactly why some people accumulate fat in the liver while others do not. Similarly, there is limited understanding of why some fatty livers develop inflammation that progresses to cirrhosis. However, experts do know the disease is linked to being overweight or obese, having insulin resistance, high blood sugar and a high level of fats in the blood.

They also have a threefold risk of type 2 diabetes and double the risk of heart disease.

Losing weight around the middle and eating healthier food is the only way to reverse or reduce it, Hodge says.

His research found evidence that fasting might improve fatty liver disease. A study of patients at Monash Medical Centre found that restricting eating (but not kilojoules) to just an eight-hour period between noon and 8pm improved markers of fatty liver disease and reduced abdominal fat.

Dr Sandra Cabot says other things you can do to help reverse a fatty liver include, avoiding sugar, increasing the amount of raw plant food in your diet, eating protein with every meal and avoiding huge meals.

Thanks MiNDFOOD for the article


Join us for a beautiful & empowering women's weekend with organiser Gail Watene, Holistic Health Educator, & a wonderful line-up of professional & highly skilled women, ready to share their knowledge & wisdom, to help guide you to your optimal wellness. 

For more details & information on presenters, check Gail Bosmann-Watene's post on facebook, or email Gail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly, for all enquiries, & for registration.

We look forward to seeing you there at the peaceful Persimmon Lane Estate in Te Puna, Tauranga on Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 November 2018.



Remember the power of presence. The past is the past and the future unscripted - but we so often miss "the power of now" by dwelling on both. Reduce your speed and luxuriate in this full moon's earthy and all-natural vibe.

Join us tomorrow evening at @paulaknightartist home & studio for our Bail Retreat Info Evening! Grab a mulled wine or @goodbuzznz kombucha & relax in the warmth of the log fire while we chat about the Bali painting, @yogalign & pampering retreat. 
Meet repeat retreaters & new retreaters for this amazingly rejuvenating experience 20-26th September 2018. Suitable for all ages & stages! 
There will be a tasting platter of absolute goodness & exceptional giveaways on the night, including an hour massage & facial combo from the skin specialists @mountskinandbody & a @zeparltd glass flask for all your hot & cold drinks on the go.
For those itching to known more, come join us & you are welcome to bring a friend. Tomorrow Thursday 26th July from 6.30pm at 682 Papamoa Beach Road, Papamoa. 

Ready to Relax & Rejuvenate? Thanks to the wonderful team @mountskinandbody we have a Glow & Go 60 minute massage & facial treatment that could have your name on it, value $130. Other prizes include a private 75 minute YogAlign session with myself & a NZ print from artist @paulaknightartist.

Pencil in the date for our Bali Creative & YogAlign Retreat Info Evening on Thursday 26th July from 6.30pm at 682 Papamoa Beach Road, Papamoa.

Grab a friend & come meet the Retreat Team. Refreshments & lots of prizes drawn on the evening!

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries.



How is your Plastic-Free July going? Don’t fret if you’re finding it difficult. Cutting out plastic requires a great deal of commitment, organisation and time. Raewyn from Little Bit Daily  has put together a few handy tips that will help you to develop simple plastic-free habits and routines.

1. Put Together a ‘Zero Waste’ Tool Kit 

If you can, invest a little more on items that will last, are functional and maybe a bit cute so that you actually enjoy using them.

An ideal kit includes:

  • A tote bag
  • Cutlery, chopsticks and a stainless steel straw (in a handmade cutlery wrap or cotton bag)
  • Reusable coffee cup (KeepCup)
  • Drink Bottle (Lifetime Bottle)
  • Container (stainless steel or reusing a plastic one is fine)
  • A couple of small cloth bags (for bulk bins/baked goodies). I roll these up tight and secure with a hair tie/rubber band.

2. Be a Crazy Bag Person (reusable bag that is!)

Get bags. Lots of bags. If you’re on a budget, check out your local op shop, or you can sew your own bags from old sheets/fabric. If you’re buying new reusable bags, choose cotton, hemp or recycled fabric. Thin bags that fold up small are perfect for stashing away in handbags, jacket pockets and the glove box. You can never have too many bags.

plastic free july

3. BYO Snacks

Scroggin (nuts, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate) isn’t just for tramping! Have some on hand in order to resist the temptation to buy packaged snacks. Popcorn is another healthy and affordable snack you can easily buy in bulk. I also like to make bliss balls and mini muffins.

4. Switch to Soap Bars

Shampoo, conditioner, body and hand wash bottles can all be replaced by soaps – check out the full Ethique range. Keeping soap dry between use will help them last longer.

plastic free july

5. Avoid Plastic Wrap

Give up cling film (plastic wrap) for a month and you’ll realise you don’t really need it. Use containers, jars, cloths or beeswax wraps instead. You can also use a plate or saucepan lid to cover leftovers in the fridge. 

6. Reuse Jars

There are endless uses for jars. To remove lingering smells, soak the jars with a baking soda and water mixture. To get rid of stubborn labels, soak in boiling hot water and scrape away, you can also use eucalyptus oil to easily wipe off sticky glue. Then use a china pencil to write on jars, it’s waterproof but can be rubbed off easily.

7. Make Your Own Products

Cleaning products are the easiest to make. All you need is white vinegar and baking soda. You can DIY all sorts of beauty, bathroom and kitchen products. Try to learn to make one new thing each week.

8. Check Out Your Local Farmers Market 

Supermarket produce is often covered in plastic. Get up early, take a coffee and get down to your local weekend fruit and veg market. Just make sure you take your bags! You can reuse old plastic bags or get some reusable mesh produce bags. They also often sell free-range eggs, bread, and local honey in jars. Return the empty egg cartons and jars to the famers next time you go.

plastic free july

 9. Try Bulk Food Shopping

If you’re unsure, just take one jar/cloth bag or even a paper bag to a bulk food shop and get one thing to start with. Places like GoodFor make it easy for you to use your own jars and bottles too.  It’s really fun. You’ll be hooked first time.

Finally, share the plastic-free message, there’s a steadily growing ‘zero waste’ online community happy to give advice and share in your success. Join the ‘Zero Waste in NZ’ Facebook page and check out the #zerowaste hashtag on Instagram. Spreading the message and inspiring others is a powerful way to make a difference.

Contributed post by Raewyn Pearce (@littlebitdaily)


Pumpkin is a powerhouse of mental health nutrients. It is also one of the most versatile vegetables that can be served many different ways. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin beer….there are so many ways to fix pumpkin! Pumpkin is widely available all winter and is very inexpensive. Pumpkins are also easy and fun to grow!

What’s so good about it?

  • Fiber

Pumpkin is high in fiber, which not only aids in digestion, it acts as a prebiotic for healthy gut bacteria. As we learn more about the important connection between gut bacteria and mental health, the more we know how critical it is to have good gut health. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that strengthen our immune systems and even regulate our moods. Probiotics need fiber in the gut to colonize and flourish. A cup of pumpkin has 3 grams of fiber and only 49 calories. Adding pumpkin to a meal will help you feel full longer.

  • Potassium

Pumpkin is a great source of potassium. A cup of pumpkin has about 500 mg of potassium – more than the boastful banana! Potassium is a critical electrolyte that contains a positive electrical charge and works closely with chloride in regulating blood pressure and PH balance. Potassium is necessary for the heart, kidneys, and other organs to work properly. Potassium allows our muscles to move, our nerves to fire, and our kidneys to filter blood. The right balance of potassium literally allows the heart to beat.

Low potassium levels have been associated with greater risk for mood disturbances and depression. Potassium deficiency can cause irritability, fatigue, muscle weakness, cramps, Restless Leg Syndrome, and chronic pain. Depression and pain are intimately intertwined. People with chronic pain have three times the average risk of developing psychiatric symptoms – usually mood or anxiety disorders.

Potassium also helps regulate serotonin, the neurotransmitter that is primarily targeted by antidepressants. Potassium acts as a facilitator in the brain’s ability to utilize serotonin. Potassium’s positive electrical charge is necessary to spark neurotransmitters like serotonin to make us feel better. Even a slight decrease in potassium levels can trigger significant feelings of anxiety. “When levels of serotonin are high, you’re in a better mood, sleep better, and have a higher pain tolerance,” says Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, author of numerous nutrition books, including her latest, Eat Your Way to Happiness.

  • Amino acids

Pumpkin is a good source of the amino acids tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine, all of which are associated with mood-regulating neurotransmitters. Tryptophan converts to serotonin in the brain. While antidepressants attempt to make serotonin more available, tryptophan is the only substance that can make serotonin. Pumpkin seeds are especially high in tryptophan and can be roasted for a delicious snack.

Pumpkin seeds are also high in magnesium. Just half a cup of toasted pumpkin seeds has 92 percent of your daily value of magnesium. Magnesium is nature’s relaxer. Most Americans are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium has long been used to calm nerves and to relax muscles. Its therapeutic role in both depression and anxiety is well documented.

  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids play a very important role in the management of inflammation. Inflammation has been linked to depression and anxiety as well as many other modern diseases and disorders.

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatories. They are extremely important for many aspects of health, including mental health.

Omega-6 fatty acids are inflammatory. In other words, they cause inflammation. We need inflammation sometimes. When we have a wound, we need inflammation to protect the wound and promote healing.

Many people are experiencing chronic inflammation, which is detrimental to our physical and mental health. Diseases of chronic inflammation are more prevalent in societies that eat a Western Diet. This is likely due to the high amount of processed food, junk food, and fast food that is full of omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils. Oils like soy oil, corn oil, and canola oil are very high in omega-6 fatty acids and very low in omega-3 fatty acids.

The proper ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is critical for maintaining an inflammation balance. The ideal ratio is 1:1 to as high as 1:4. The Western Diet has a ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s that typically ranges from 1:25 to 1:50! It’s no wonder we suffer from chronic inflammation.

Increasing the omega-3s in our diet while decreasing omega-6s can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety. Many of the foods we eat commonly are high in omega-6s compared to omega-3s. Pumpkin is one of the relative few foods that have the perfect balance of omega-3s to omega-6s in a ratio of 1:1!

How to eat pumpkin

Pumpkin can be baked, boiled, roasted or pureed. It can be made into soups, smoothies, desserts, and casseroles. There are countless recipes online for the myriad ways to eat pumpkin. Pumpkin can also be substituted in almost any recipe calling for other types of winter squash. And don’t forget about the seeds, which can be eaten raw or roasted.

Here is my recipe for Pumpkin Overnight Oats. This recipe is full of mental health nutrients like tryptophan and omega-3s. It’s super easy, healthy, and a great way to start your day with pumpkin!

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

¼ cup regular rolled oats

¼ cup milk, almond milk, or coconut milk

¼ cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)

¼ cup canned or pureed pumpkin

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

1-2 teaspoons maple syrup to taste

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (recipe below)

Mix together all ingredients or place in a jar and shake until well blended. Leave in the refrigerator overnight and enjoy in the morning garnished with pecans.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Mix 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger, and ½ teaspoon cloves until blended. Store in an airtight container.

Thanks for the article Angela Dailey



Moving meditation ideas to quiet the mind


Find the right moving meditation practice for you.

For those who find it difficult to quiet the mind by stillness alone, consider these movement-based meditation options that may be your key to finding inner calm.



Gentle yoga often referred to as restorative, has a gentler pace that many other styles of yoga. It promotes attention to breath and tuning into the needs of your body. Other forms of yoga that are gentle specifically designed for quietening the mind are Kripalu, Hatha, Viniyoga and Sivananda.


Runner feet and shoes

Whilst also triggering ‘happy’ hormones, walking is a great way to relax your mind by focusing on moving forward, whats happening in your body and your planned route.

Gentle stretching


Focusing on the breath is a key to moving through stretching positions in a safe way. This attention to breath triggers the slowing down of your heart rate and allows you to “go into your body” to get vital biofeedback, listening to what your body needs as you go.

Feldenkrais Method and Alexander Technique

Woman in reclining twist yoga position

Both are considered therapies that are designed to treat pain and improve physical function, using gentle repetition of movement and practicing new patterns of self-awareness. These techniques both provide the tools of “self-observation through movement.”

Dance meditation

Woman with long brown hair, dancing

Kundalini meditation takes you through four stages of movement starting with shaking out the stress, heading into stillness. 5Rhythms send you on a journey through five different qualities of movement led by a meditation guide.

Traditional Martial arts and movement systems

Group of people doing thai-chi pose in field

Qigong, a posture, movement and breathing meditation practice and peaceful martial arts techniques like Aikido and Tai Chi involve the practice of kata, a sequence of movements performed carefully in mindful slow patterns.

Thanks for the article.


The Wellness Routine You Should Follow This Winter


Three tips to help you adapt to the seasons for better health.

Winter is the time for restoration, nourishment and nurturing, says Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat Program Manager, Donna Abbate. While venturing out into the cold might not seem like the most appealing idea, ensuring you get enough fresh air and exercise is just as important during the colder months as it is in summer.

1. Change up your exercise regime

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, our energy and overall health are better balanced by adapting to the seasons. Adapt your exercise regime to the weather and get moving in the form of yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong. This will help you consolidate your energy in preparation for the burst of new life in spring.

2. Nourish the body

Remember also to adapt your diet to match the season. Eat more cooked foods, root vegetables, spices, porridge, hearty soups and stews. Support your immune system by keeping hydrated with more drinks, such as herbal teas and hot water with lemon and ginger. These will also help you feel warm and nourished.

3. Adjust your everyday rituals

Finally, align your daily habits with the change in weather. Go to bed earlier to ensure adequate rest, and keep the kidneys warm by rugging up in the cold. Keep your head, neck, upper back, and belly warm and safe from wind. Wear a hat and a jacket with a warm collar or scarf.

Gwinganna offers a speciality program designed around Winter Wellness from 7-10 June and 19-22 July 2018. For more details visit

Thanks for the article.





Painting, Pampering & Yoga Retreat


Unleash your inner vitality & radiance. Join Paula Knight artist & painting tutor and I for a tropical journey to indulge your senses and relax into a truly inspirational environment. Set in a luxury coastal villa, we will be sharing with our guests our collaborative knowledge base with dedicated relaxation, pampering and creative inspiration to feed your soul. 


September 20th – September 26th 2018 (6 nights)

​What you can expect

On arrival to our villa, life becomes a dream. This week is about relaxation and connecting to your creative flow. Paula will lead you through fun, confidence building painting exercises and guide you while you create your watercolour and acrylic paintings.

Practising YogAlign, modified to accommodate each inviduals ability, set in a tropical garden. Everything is optional, and we encourage our guests to relax as they need to.

Safe and easy

We have a preferred travel agent who will help you with flights and get you onto the same flight as other guests. We will arrange a driver to meet you at the airport and bring you to either the villa or if you prefer a day or two prior to the retreat, prearranged separate accommodation, where you can join us and the others in your group to relax and catch your breath after your flight. We will also have a meet and great before we leave NZ for those who can make it.

Booking options available for couples, singles and small groups. You can sign up to Paula's email alerts at so you don't miss out.


Who’s there

Paula Knight: renowned art teacher, mentors, guides and advises, as well as helping you to deepen your creative connection and maximise your time there amongst the magic. Covering botanical watercolour painting and acrylic on canvas painting. Suitable for all levels, no experience needed. Paula loves introducing beginners to painting.

Leonie Main: YogAlign instructor & wellness enthusiast will teach you a complete healing modality integrating mind, body & soul. 

Harriet Meyer-Knight: architectural talks explaining local Balinese architecture. Plant-based food demonstrations, happy tummy delights and beautiful creations to make you smile.
The villa staff will be on hand to make your whole experience that little bit more special – you just wait and see!


The food


Delicious and healthy meals, using local produce, including authentic Balinese cuisine. We will be offering nutritious plant based, raw food options and cater for gluten, vegetarian and dairy free diets. 


Our Villa

Our secluded luxury villa has panoramic views overlooking rice paddies and surrounding tropical jungle, near Balian beach. 

Our beautiful bedrooms are shared or private, all with ensuite bathrooms, luxury linens and overlook the tropical garden. Fresh fruit and purified water being replenished daily. Massages at the villa and plenty of time relaxing on king size daybeds by the infinity pool, overlooking the beautiful tropical gardens. Staff can arrange any extra pampering as you feel. Your entire week will be about looking after you.


Surrounding areas

You are 2min from the beach by car. Alternatively you can walk and enjoy the glimpses of Balinese life on your way. Only 1km from the sacred Balian river, Balian beach and the lively local village.

Rice field walks and visits to water temples, beach & local night market.



Bedroom with king bed & ensuite NZ$3295 pp  (NZ$2995 pp king share)

Twin share rooms & ensuite NZ$2995 pp 

All beautiful bedrooms have ensuites, air conditioning & lovely views. 

NZ$250 discount for all Earlybird bookings paid by 30th June 2018


Dates: 20 September – 26 September 2018 (6 nights) 

​What’s included?

+ 6 nights luxury villa accommodation

+ Private or twin share rooms all with ensuites

+ Each room is serviced daily by our attentive local staff
+ Guided nature walks in surrounding rice fields
+ Transportation for our excursions, visits to all natural sites & temples
+ Adventure to the beach, sacred Balian river & hike (weather permitting)

+ Local architecture narrative from Harriet who holds an architectural degree

+ All your delicious, healthy breakfasts, lunches and 4 evening meals at the villa included. We cater for vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and other dietary requirements 

+ Raw plant-based food demonstrations
+ Daily tropical, fresh fruit platters
+ Bali coffee & fresh herbal teas
+ Filtered water, fresh fruit juices

+ Daily YogAlign classes

+ Individual client assessment & YogAlign consultation

+ Powerful tools to create awareness & self-heal

+ Re-set your body with proper alignment, breathing & self-care

+ Release self-limiting beliefs

+ Meditation in movement
+ 1/2 or 1 hour Balinese massages


+ Acrylic on canvas painting. Take your piece of tropical paradise home with you 

+ Botanical painting in water colour

+ Confidence in your creative side & general self-expression 

+ Relaxing art therapy

+ All art supplies


Why us?

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3 Lifestyle Hacks to Dampen Inflammation  

Inflammation is a natural and needed process in the body; it is part of an effective immune system response. The body uses beneficial acute inflammatory reactions to direct blood flow, immune cells, and nutrients to areas in need of healing, such as wounds and infections. But when inflammation gets out of hand or occurs in the wrong place, it can result in tissue damage, hormonal imbalances, and even death.

The body releases chemicals, hormones, and other mediators to bring about and direct an inflammatory response. You have likely experienced the pain, redness, immobility, swelling, and increased temperature that occur when your body initiates acute inflammation in response to a cut or infection. On the other hand, chronic insidious inflammation often occurs deeper in the body where the signs may not be as obvious right away.

How Chronic Inflammation Affects the Body

Chronic inflammation may result from the failure to eliminate the cause of an acute inflammatory response, such as an infection, an autoimmune disorder where the body mistakenly attacks normal tissue, or exposure to internally or externally generated toxins or irritants. These inflammatory processes can also be triggered by chronic food allergies and sensitivities, imbalances of bacteria and fungi in the gut, constant psychological or physical stress, and environmental toxicity.

When these inflammatory chemicals circulate in the body over time at a certain level, they can disrupt normal function and cause damage. This may result in symptoms of fatigue, pain, fever, and psoriasis. Over time, chronic inflammation may contribute to many lifestyle-related disorders, including:

Lifestyle Strategies to Balance Inflammation

Like many chronic conditions, the development of inflammation-related disorders is often influenced by lifestyle choices. There are some powerful steps you can take to optimize your lifestyle habits and build abundant health. Since each body and lifestyle is unique, always check with your healthcare provider before making major changes. Consider some of these strategies to reduce chronic inflammation and prevent future disease.

1. Fill Up with Fresh, Real Foods

Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet is a good start to keeping chronic low-level inflammation at bay. To keep inflammation levels in check and blood sugar levels stable, it is important to eat real, whole foods without added, refined sugars, processed carbohydrates, and artificial ingredients.

An anti-inflammatory diet that is rich in a wide variety of colorful organic vegetables, natural fiber, essential phytonutrients, and probiotics can help to nourish a healthy microbiome and squelch excess inflammation.

There are also some specific foods that have anti-inflammatory properties:

  • Berries
  • Dark leafy greens including kale and spinach
  • Cold-water fish such as salmon and mackerel
  • Spices like ginger and turmeric
  • Herbs like basil and parsley
  • Organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • Naturally fermented foods like raw sauerkraut and supplements like probiotics

2. Reduce Your Stress Levels

Your levels of chronic inflammation are also highly influenced by stress. Like inflammation, stress is a normal process that your body uses to protect you, but too much ongoing stress can become harmful and contribute to chronic inflammation. Relentless emotional, physical, and psychological stress weakens the immune system and promotes unchecked inflammation.

Research suggests that chronic psychological stress results in the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response. The stress response involves the release of hormones, like cortisol, which help to prepare the body to fight or flee a perceived threat.

Immune cells are also influenced by cortisol. In normal amounts, cortisol seems to influence immune cells to limit and regulate the acute inflammatory response. But when immune cells are chronically exposed to stress hormones, they become insensitive to the normal regulatory effects of cortisol, and inflammation can become out of control.

People who respond to stress with anger and hostility are also at risk for increased inflammation and heart attacks. Unhealthy coping strategies such as smoking, alcohol use, and overeating can worsen the impact of chronic inflammation and contribute to the risk of chronic diseases.

Instead, opt to cope with stress in a way that soothes the mind and body.

3. Remember Your Oral Health

Keeping your mouth clean and healthy not only results in great oral health, it can also help reduce your overall levels of inflammation. Good dental hygiene keeps bacterial levels in the mouth under control and gums healthy so that bad oral bacteria do not escape into the bloodstream and trigger inflammation.

Consider incorporating some lifestyle habits that help to maintain good oral health.

  • The mouth needs fat-soluble vitamins, like D and K, along with the right balance of minerals, like calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium, to stay healthy.
  • Tongue scraping (jihwa prakshalana) is an Ayurvedic self-care practice to support oral hygiene. It reduces undesirable bacteria and volatile sulfur compounds, which are linked to bad breath, dental decay, and inflammation.
  • Oil pulling is another Ayurvedic self-care ritual that can benefit oral health. Use one tablespoon of organic sesame or coconut oil and squish it around your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes before disposing of it in a trashcan (avoid spitting it in your sink as it may cause clogs).

Use these lifestyle practices to allow your nervous system, mind, and body to stay balanced and keep inflammation in check!

*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.
Thanks for the article.

Come join us in Bali for 6 nights in a luxury villa, from the 20th to 26th September 2018.

Indulge your senses in a tropical oasis & let your creativity flourish.

Myself & artist/teacher Paula Knight will be sharing our knowledge & create an amazing experience for those who wish to join us.

More details for this luxury retreat to follow.

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