Unlike my dear, super-enthusiastic friends over at lululemon Singapore, #thesweatlife has never come second nature to me. Every email or conversation is always peppered with, “Wanna do yoga with me?” or “Let’s do a spin class!”
They walk the talk, is what I’m saying.
I guess that’s why it’s called a work out, because if it was anything less than that, it’d be a chill out. -_-
I recently found myself feeling really disconnected from my body and it was only after a restorative yoga class did I realise it was because I had spent too much time in my head, running around with meetings, and too little time in the quiet or on the mat.
We talk about grounding or centering but what does that really mean? When I feel like things are swirling about in my head or that I’m faced with dead ends and no way to progress, I’ve found these things to be helpful:
prayer & meditation
listening to music (I brought my Airpods to yoga and listened to Raura’s Crystal Singing Bowl Solo Collection album before class which seemed to slow down my beating heart)
doing something physical (go for a swim, a walk, jump on a trampoline)
adding a sensorial component – or in my case, I brought my crystals, Flow Elixir and Afterglow Elixir to class with me to layer the oils on my feet and heart. They both have complimentary citrus top notes but are grounded in ouds, so it really was the perfect combination of essential oils to help me get in the right headspace. I swear I’ve never felt so calm & euphoric after.
It’s so funny how often we can talk about things like self-care and mind-body wellness, yet forget that coming back to yourself is actually so simple.
In an age that has completely packaged and commodified self-care, here’s a reminder that:
self-care is not to be confused with self-indulgence
self-care is about creating a life you don’t need to escape from
self-care comes in all forms and is very often the things you don’t want to do/feel like doing in order for you to be or go to the next level. For instance, it’s about confronting gnarly feelings instead of burying them or allowing yourself to be distracted by other things. It can also be about exercising restraint when you want to go on a shopping spree because you know all those bills are going to give you anxiety later
when you feel out of it and disconnected from your body/spirit/mind, it’s as simple as doingthe thing you’ve been avoiding. There are times to be still and silent. But if you’re feeling ungrounded and needing to restore equilibrium as a result of overthinking things, it’s about actively pursuing peace or balance through movement, touch, and all those other sensorial elements we take for granted.
As someone prone to bouts of melancholy, I love citrus-based essential oils for their ability to help you chase away the blues and bête noires. With their refreshing, juicy, zesty nature, no other oils for me have the ability to lighten the mood and encourage play or stimulate the imagination like citrus oils.
Lemon essential oil MIND Sharpens, energises, helps bust stress, mental exhaustion and promotes clear thinking. BODY Antiseptic action detoxifies and fights infection; supports weight loss and lymphatic drainage; helps reduce the appearance of scars and rebalances oily skin. SPIRIT A physical and psychic cleanser—disinfects spaces, cleanses negativity and energetically uplifts.
Mandarin essential oil MIND Stimulates; calms the nervous system to uplift the mood and relieve anxiety; inspires the imagination to play and explore. BODY A powerful antioxidant, mandarin has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat digestive problems—helps relieve bloating and cramps;may help induce sleep; a friendly oil during pregnancy (helps prevent stretchmarks); a great first essential oil for kids. SPIRIT Known as a dosha rebalancer in Ayurveda as it restores harmony and creativity.
Lemon and mandarin essential oils are great for helping relieve water retention, but direct exposure to sunlight with skin may cause burns and what we call phototoxicity. For this reason, never use them neat—always blend your essential oils in a carrier oil such as jojoba, grape seed, olive or coconut and avoid direct sun exposure or tanning beds when you’ve applied these oils on the body.
Bergamot essential oil MIND A chilled out, uplifting oil; restores the mind when feeling depressed, anxious or burnt-out; helps chase away the shadows of the mind. BODY Antiseptic and antioxidant—supports the immune system; helpful in managing digestive and respiratory problems; deodorant; helps treat acne-prone and oily skin types. SPIRIT Bergamot helps us reconnect with our higher and positive selves, promoting mental rejuvenation and inner rest. Our bergamot oil is bergapten-free, making it safe for you to blend into a carrier oil and wear out in the sun. Of course, SPF 50 sunscreen is always the order of the day—in any weather, regardless if you’re wearing essential oils or otherwise!
Hope you enjoy discovering these helpful little essential oil healers x Alli
“Find meaning. Distinguish melancholy from sadness. Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but ‘steal’ some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.”
If you’ve ever traipsed across Orchard Road, you might have be lucky enough to encounter one of the seasonal artist windows over at Hermès, Liat Towers. In my opinion, they’re literal traffic-stoppers that just get better in time.
This season, the house gave French artist Lilian Daubisse creative carte blache and he decided to fashion a dreamscape entirely out of corrugated cardboard: think undulating vegetation, at once alien and artful. Inspired by Hermès’ annual theme of the year: In the Pursuit of Dreams, Daubisse discovered corrugated cardboard as a student and it has been his medium of choice ever since.
Visit Daydream Mirage up close, and you’ll discover the references to Pointillism and Aboriginal art. He creates all his pieces by entirely by hand and is drawn to cardboard as it doesn’t have the kind of link to history or ‘civilisation’ that a material like wood does. According to Daubisse who once worked in an archaeology office, it’s the unpainted colour of cardboard: warm and easily identifiable that makes it so relatable. And yet, his creations when viewed from afar don’t seem to be cardboard… until they are.
The unexpected beauty of his work makes sense when viewed in an Hermès context (the house likes to ‘ennoble’ materials, using straw and wicker for instance, in its furniture and bags).
A small group of us got a chance to spend time with Daubisse at Hermès Liat Towers where we had a great afternoon learning about his process and made cardboard necklaces (or in my case, a Christmas tree bunting) of our own! Don’t judge me, I’m not great with the arts and crafts…
It took us over an hour to create this, whereas the windows took the artist 7 months to create by hand, so let’s just say we’ll leave this to the professionals.
Be sure to take a gander at Lilian’s windows if you’re at Hermès Liat Towers – 541 Orchard Road, Singapore.
“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.
And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.
And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”