What is it?

It is characterised by many physical, emotional and behavioural changes and symptoms. It affects around 80% of women during the last week of the menstrual cycle. The main reason for PMS and its symptoms is an imbalance or fluctuation in hormonal levels.  The symptoms reset approximately 7 days before menses appear and recede shortly after menstrual flow begins.

According to western medicine PMS symptoms are triggered by elevated levels of oestrogen.

Some of the physical symptoms of PMS are:
•  Increased appetite
• Cravings for certain kind of foods especially sweet or salty treats
•  Bloating and weight gain
•  Fatigue, tiredness and lack of energy
•  Cramps in the abdomen
•   Headaches
•   Swelling and tenderness in breasts
•   Muscle and joint ache
•   Lower back pain
•  Low libido
•  Constipation or diarrhoea
•  Tendency to easily catch cold
•  Palpitations
•  Clumsiness
•   Acne

Emotional symptoms:
•  Poor concentration
•  Sad or depressed mood
•   Anger, irritability or aggression
•    Anxiety
•    Frequent mood swings
•     Decreased alertness
•     Withdrawal from family and friends
•     Weeping

Elevated stress may affect conception as it blocks blood flow to reproductive organs and causes imbalance in hormone production. This results in irregular menstrual cycle, lack of ovulation, and high FSH levels. Poor ovarian production, and decreased egg quality are other major problems.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Can Help
Experts have found evidence that Chinese medicine in combination with acupuncture reduces these severe and elevated PMS symptoms:

•       Regular sessions alter your brain’s mood chemistry which works to reduce serotonin levels and also increases endorphins and neuropeptide Y levels
•       Acupuncture and Chinese medicine also stimulate the nerves located in muscles, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors
•       It also changes the processing of pain in your brain and spinal cord
•       Reduces inflammation as it promotes release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors in the body together with all this, your acupuncturist can even recommend nutritional changes and lifestyle counselling.

For long-term remedy, chinese natural treatment need to preferably be received in combination with acupuncture continuously for a long period. As with all natural medicines, this treatment should more or less take over the duration of three menstrual cycles.

Acupuncture works to free the flow of energy in your body and stabilizes hormonal fluctuations.
It additionally facilitates calm your thoughts by means of uprooting the cause of stress. This mitigate PMS symptoms and increased emotional harmony.
Suppressed feelings disrupt the natural flow of Qi and create imbalances, Liver Qi stagnation, emotional anxiety and/or depression.

Chinese herbs enhance the natural functioning of the hormones and additionally alleviate negative emotions. Herbs like vitex, black cohosh, bupleurum, and white peony are used in Chinese herbal medicine treatments to stabilise your hormones and treat Qi stagnation.

There are four phases in the menstrual cycle:
After period, before ovulation, after ovulation and before period, during every phase we treat accordingly with acupuncture, the best time to start the treatment for balancing the hormones and heal your reproductive system is at the beginning of the cycle, which is last day of your period or first week from the beginning of your period.  I also show you how you can continue treatment at home with moxa, self massage and specific exercises and we look at your diet.

Please let me know if you find this article useful, Thanks
Uby Munoz Lic. Ac.

To book an appointment with Uby 
Please send me a message at:
or my telephone/WhatsAp:
622 720 499

Interview with Lotta Nygren-Bonnier

Interview Questions for Health Professionals // Q + As

Name: Lotta Nygren-Bonnier
Occupation: Massage- and Beauty Therapist

What is your educational background? 
12 years of basic school, 2 years of professional for Beauty- and Massage Therapist and various shorter educational courses.

How did you build your success/career to where you are now?
Through working with one client at a time. They´re spreading the word. Through different channels of working; in salons, travel groups, gyms etc.

What inspired you to become what you do?
 People feel happy when they feel good – relaxed or pretty or strong… and
I like to be able to give a little of that to whoever feels they need it

What does a typical day look for you at your job?
I work a bit with social media – Facebook/Instagram – go and give a couple of treatments – massage and or facials – always a wonderful experience with my clients, seeing them, listening to them and doing my best to give them a moment of relax and tranquility

What advice do you have for people aspiring for the same career as yours?
If you truly love working for the people, making a difference in their quality in life when it comes to their own health and self-awareness just go for it. Put your heart into it.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your job?
Still learning, always; we are all different, tensions, reason for stress, desire    to look good but not having the time or money or energy … How can I help you? Still learning…

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? What are some goals for your job?
Doing the same

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When I see I really have been a positive influence in somebody’s life – a moment in their life

Your health philosophy in one sentence?
Be kind to yourself

What are benefits people can achieve from a session of yours?
They can feel less tension and stress, both physical and mental. See and feel a difference of the hydration, small lines, elasticity of their facial skin. In general, feel more positive, relaxed and happy.


Tips to Make the Most of Spring to Improve your Life and get rid of irritability and frustration

Tips to Make the Most of Spring to Improve your Life and get rid of irritability and frustration.

Spring and Chinese Medicine Acupuncture


Spring is an excellent time to stop procrastinating and face the challenges that emerge from within our beings or in our day to day lives that can impede us from our spiritual evolution.

The Five Elements in Chinese Medicine Acupuncture are: Wood – Fire – Earth – Metal and Water.
They are manifestations of change in nature thus each stage is associated with a
particular time of the year, a time of the day, a pair of organs in the body, the different tastes, colours, etc.

Each element has its particular character and belong to one of the seasons of the year
Our goal is to harmonize ourselves with the prevailing season.
We are entering Spring that belong to the Wood Element which characteristics are
upward movement, expansion, creativity, vision, new beginnings, flowers bloom and there
is a sense of renewal all around. It is the ideal time for cleansing, rejuvenation and wellbeing.

The related organs are Liver and Gall Blader,
the Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body.
When the liver function smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout
the body also run smoothly, so move your Qi for optimum health by stretching,
exercising and doing more outdoor activities and using your creativity.

The Liver and the Gall Bladder are the primary organs for detox and cleansing, so do
you Spring cleaning at home and your body.
The color of the Wood Element is Green, so eat fresh food, leafy greens like kale,
spinach, sprouts, young plants, sour food like lemon and vinegar to improve the liver
functions and aid in the movement of Qi

The Liver with its function of smooth flow of energy or Qi is affected by the negative emotions such as
frustration, anger, resentment so that is why it is so important to use your creativity in new projects and outdoor activities so as to move stagnant energy that will help to move the Qi energy and get rid of irritability, despondence and frustration so to bring up the positive mental emotional attributes of this important Element which are Compassion, patience, acceptance, benevolence and honesty.

The acupuncture points in the body that resonate with spring have the power to harmonise us with this very powerful time of the year. They synchronise us with movement, positivity, determination, creativity and cleanliness that is proper to the Spring.
I offer a special detox treatment with acupuncture based on the Five Elements

Acupuncture, if you are interested and want to know more about it or
want to book an appointment please send me an email to or
WhatsAp at:  622 720 499
Uby Muñoz
Address: We are located Calle Casp 80, 1-3
on the corner of Casp and Bailen.
Barcelona, Spain,

Interview with Angela Sealy



Name: Angela Sealy  

Occupation: Yoga Instructor/Massage Therapist

1.     What is your educational background?
I received a BA in International Political Economy from Tulane University in 2008 and worked in international development for 5 years before fully transitioning over to yoga & massage full-time. I’ve been practicing yoga for over a decade and doing various massage trainings since 2011. In 2013, I became certified as a 350-hr Yoga Instructor and since then have completed trainings Therapeutic & Restorative Yoga. I’ve trained and assist teaching courses in Spain, Greece, France, Mexico and the US.

2.     How did you build your success/career to where you are now?
I work best with meeting people face-to-face so in the beginning, I went to many networking events throughout the city to recruit new clients. Overtime, business has become more stable which thankfully comes from recommendations by my clients and also thanks to the other therapist at Well Woman that recommend me to their patients.

3.     What inspired you to become what you do?
I’ve found an unwavering passion in both yoga and massage as a healing method for both myself and my clients. I continue to be amazed by the healing power of both as I continue to learn more thru workshops and trainings but also thru every encounter I have with my students/patients.

4.     What does a typical day look for you at your job?
Everyday is completely different which I love! But normally I do some planning/marketing work in the mornings or I might teach a private in someone’s home. In the afternoons, I might do a few massages or teach a group yoga class.

5.     What advice do you have for people aspiring for the same career as yours?
Take a leap of faith and do it! If you are passionate about what you do, you simply SHINE! Others are drawn to that shininess. But be patient, as Uby Muñoz, owner of Well Woman told me when I first started, because it takes time to make connections, build up your clientele and find your flow.

6.     What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your job?
That everyone is an individual and will receive and respond to treatments and therapies in very different ways, depending on whether they are open to that particular method. What could be the key to recovery for one person doesn’t work on another so it’s always good to be ready for that.

7.     Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? What are some goals for your job?
I’m currently in the beginning stages of planning to open a retreat center outside of Barcelona that people can escape to for a long weekend or come and do a retreat surrounded by nature, healthy food and options to relax with different healing modalities. It would combine both my background in business and my love of yoga retreats.

8.     What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing the progress and transformation that takes place in my clients — from when they first try out Thai massage and leave blissfully relaxed to when a beginning yoga student tries a more difficult pose and gets after several tries and leaves feeling confident and strong.

9.     Your health philosophy in one sentence?
Tap into the flow of life….find balance, harmony, listening to your intuition, movement, breath, food as medicine and nature!
10.  What are benefits people can achieve from a session of yours?
Blissful relaxation and realignment of the body both energetically and physically. I love to work with anyone dealing with pain or recovering from an injury and how surprised they are to feel better after one session.
To know more about Angela Sealy click Here

Interview with Lucy Hackney

Name: Lucy Hackney
Occupation: Physiotherapist

What is your educational background?

I have a BA Combined Arts degree with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology gained in 1995 and BSc Honours Physiotherapy degree from 2000.

How did you build your success/career to where you are now?
I started working in the NHS and therefore got a very broad base of general medical experience and for the last 14 years I have been specializing with neuromusculoskeletal patients.
Throughout my career I have always practiced ‘Continuous Professional Development’ by attending post graduate courses and furthering my knowledge.
After the birth of my son in 2007 I started to work in private practice as it was more flexible and so when I moved to Barcelona in 2012 I had enough experience to set up my own business.

What inspired you to become what you do?
When I was 15 I did a 2 week work experience placement at my local hospital in the physio department and loved every minute of it.
The variety of work, the interaction with the patients, being able to help people, problem solving, the hospital environment. I just loved it all. And I had a teenage crush on one of the physio’s, along with all his geriatric patients who also adored him!

What does a typical day look for you at your job?
I work part time hours as I have 2 children and so every day is different for me. I can see anything from 1 to 7 patients in a day. I try not to treat more than 6 if I can help it. I also work one evening a week.
Each patient is different, so I might see one patient for low back pain and then next for running related knee pain, and then a pregnant lady with sacroiliac pain.

The variety between patients is what I love about the job and what keeps me on my toes as each patient involves knowing different anatomy and using different problem solving and clinical reasoning.
I also teach one day a week on an International Physiotherapy degree. This is a great privilege as I get to have some influence over future generations of physiotherapists!

What advice do you have for people aspiring for the same career as yours?
You have to be curious and like talking to people and not be squeamish about touching bodies!
The physiotherapy degree is full on in terms of volume of learning and the subject matter so you have to be prepared to get your head down and work hard.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your job?
Pain is a great leveler, you can be rich or poor, strong or weak, black or white and you can still get pain.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? What are some goals for your job?
In 5 years time I would like to still be treating patients in a clinical setting and also continuing to teach future generations at the University.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When someone comes in with a problem that has been bothering them for years and they think they just have to put up with it, and then I give them treatment and advice that resolves the problem and therefore improves their quality of life.

Your health philosophy in one sentence?
Variety is the spice of life! Do different types of exercise, keep moving little and often throughout the day, eat mostly well but with occasional treats and always remember to breath.

What are benefits people can achieve from a session of yours?
I always try and educate the patient as to why they are in pain and how they can try and resolve the pain and avoid it recurring. I think when we understand why something is happening, it takes the fear away and helps us to make the changes we need, without worrying that we will make it worse.

To know more about Lucy Hackney click Here

The Truth Behind Natural Fertility

Catherine Garner Wellbeing Consultant #2The Truth Behind Natural Fertility

When I first started thinking about having a family with my partner a couple of years ago, I was 37 and naturally feeling a little anxious having been constantly reminded by well meaning friends, the medical world and society; don’t leave it too late.
My career over the years has been blended with the best of both healing worlds nursing and complementary healthcare modalities, so I like to think I have a pretty well rounded approach to my health when needed. I was wrong.
After some pretty quick success, I was pregnant! Great I thought. I continued taking my pregnancy supplements, a little exercise and continued with life.
At our second ultrasound, 11 weeks down the line, my world ended.
I like to think I have a good relationship with my body. It subtly tells me what I need and when I need it and also when something is not working.
Nothing prepared me for this. I felt completely betrayed. We were no longer friends.
Refusing the prescription for “helping complete the process” I went home in a state of confusion, despair and complete heartbreak.
2 Months after I was physically given the all clear, but emotionally I was still feeling “off”.
Months later, I was still experiencing both physical symptoms and emotional loss. Hormonal disruption is so tricky to live with because the balance is so finely connected to our emotions. Thoughts would appear which would leave me feeling, sad, anxious, panic, depressed, hopeful, and disappointed. I wasn’t moving on.
It actually felt guilty and dangerous to move on. So my body complied.
Month by month, I waited for a positive sign. Suddenly a year had passed.
I needed to get out of the loop.
As a natural health practitioner and passionate advocate for integrated health, I wanted to find a medical doctor who was compassionate and open to holistic and natural health, who I could work with one to one.
I didn’t find one.
What I did find was a very curt and rude female doctor who brought me to tears with her bleak expectations of my health and family wishes.
That appointment spurred me on to do my own goddamn research.
There are AMAZING women all over the world, having babies naturally, fixing their own bodies and taking charge of their own health – I was going to be one of them.
Armed with my blood results, I began my research.

Knowledge is your friend

To me the internet is the eighth wonder of the world.
Type in <natural health  – natural fertility – natural hormone balancing> and the world is your oyster for great information and an abundance of free resources.
Not only does it offer advice on how to interpret blood results it offers the “whys” and “ways” to fix the problem.
I started with looking at how to balance my hormones because without me being balanced, my body would not have the resources to start let alone maintain any pregnancy. Plus, it’s extremely exhausting to experience the highs and lows of swinging hormones.
I came across a brilliant book (and website, check it out!) called The Period Repair Manual by an Australian Naturopathic Doctor, Lara Briden.
This is a must read for any woman, regardless of whether you are looking to conceive or not.
She carefully explains the different hormones, their jobs, and the various ways an imbalance shows up in your health. More importantly she explains why and how to fix it with natural supplements, diet and lifestyle choices (cue joining the gym!).
Now I had my own personal diagnosis. I went shopping to stock up on the specific  natural supplements I needed and booked my first session in a programme of specialist fertility acupuncture.
Interestingly, even though I have been through medical training, I learned an enormous amount from her observations and experience: an important discovery was that our eggs take 90 to 100 days to mature, so this was the goal: to introduce and maintain a supportive diet and lifestyle to 100 days and beyond.

Next stop – emotional health.

Over the years, and often through necessity, I have discovered and trained in many different techniques to overcome and balance thoughts and emotions. Two of my favorites are Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).
Both find ways to bring balance to mind, emotion and body. Both are very effective.
EFT in particular has helped me the most in regaining some centre and perspective when faced with disappointment, anxiety and grief as well as effectively processing trauma. When I first experienced EFT I was amazed at how quickly very intense emotions would gradually subside after only a few minutes. What I also love is that it’s so simple to use, anyone can do it at anytime, reducing any dependence on a health practitioner and the perfect go to tool when you’re feeling out of sorts.
EFT is a way to express and acknowledge all the worst feelings you have about a situation or yourself, in a safe and non-judgmental way. Combining this with acupressure tapping naturally heals the upset and more importantly reduces the emotional intensity you feel towards certain events and memories so that they no longer have a hold on your emotional wellbeing.
This combined approach has an extraordinarily positive effect on your body, interrupting the flight or fight response and reducing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. It’s so effective that after a range of positive results were obtained in clinical trials in America (and around the world) they now use it to treat PTSD in war veterans among others.
It’s particularly important to minimise the production of these stress hormones as chronic stress as it not only impedes fertility but it also disrupts and inhibits digestion, reduces immunity, causes muscle and joint problems, increases heart problems and increases the risk of developing circulatory disease.
Nobody wants that.

The results

Well, after applying these changes for a couple of months I decided that a new batch of blood tests was required to see how my body was reacting to the new diet, healing modalities and lifestyle changes.
Positive. In fact, very positive. So much so that my new found Doctor had wondered what I had been doing. Excessive hormones had been lowered and deficient hormones had increased. Hormones to show fertility levels were now at excellent levels despite my age (It’s just a number!).
Integrating the best of both worlds, medical and complementary, has offered many solutions to regaining my health and wellbeing.
I feel much more empowered about my health and have developed a new and respectful relationship with my mind and body plus a strengthened inner confidence that whatever happens with my health in the future, I will be OK.
Good health and wellbeing is available to everyone.
We have the choices, we have the resources we just need to have the courage to make a change.
Be brave, you won’t regret it.

Catherine Garner  is a specialist mind-body Wellbeing Consultant helping women to regain and improve their fertility health and financial wellbeing, with EFT and NLP.

How to Repel Colds

Herbs with alternative medicine herbal supplements and pills

Bring out those fuzzy socks, scarves and wool sweaters out of the back of your closet because winter has come! But unfortunately something else comes along that is common during the winter time and that is the hated flu.

So what can we do when this horrible sickness affects us and our winter spirit?

My first recommendation: stimulate the immune system and strengthen your defenses, since prevention is more important than the cure itself!

To disinfect the environment and prevent infection at home and at work, we can burn or vaporize essential oils such as pine, thyme, sage, lemon, grapefruit or eucalyptus.

Other naturist tips for preparing for colds/flus are:

  • Daily walks to clean air (countryside, mountain, sea).
  • Hot // cold water showers (head-to-toe).
  • Circular brushing of the skin throughout the body (heart direction).
  • Drink enough! Recommended drinks would be: water + sea water, thyme infusions with ginger, lemon and honey or vegetable broths with seaweed and miso.

We should also increase the consumption of all foods with capacity to stimulate our immune system, which are: garlic, onion, leek, thyme and ginger for their anti-infectious and mucolytic action.

In addition to lemon, orange, grapefruit, kiwi, red pepper, radishes, beets, fresh parsley and mauve infusion for its contribution in vitamin C, which reduces histamine in the body and stimulates the immune system, without forgetting to adequately complete our daily diet with raw and cooked vegetables, whole grains, healthy fat and protein.

Here are some tips that will help keep us healthy and that would support healing:

  • Begin each meal with something raw, such as fruit, green leaves or fresh vegetables, better organic, for its contribution in vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
  • Include fermented foods such as natural yogurt or organic goat kefir, sauerkraut (fermented raw white cabbage) and non-pasteurized miso, which provide probiotics to our intestinal flora, keeping it in balance and thus help reinforce our first line of defense.
  • Combine vegetables with whole grains and legumes or animal protein, and include on the dishes dry fruits and seeds, seaweed, turmeric and ginger.
  • Take advantage of citrus, kiwi, pineapple, pomegranate, artichoke, shitake mushrooms and all kinds of cabbage, because they strengthen the immune system, and also purify the liver and kidney.
  • Consume spinach, pumpkin, carrot, moniato, cabbage, broccoli and apricots for their contribution of beta carotene (pro-vitamin A), very important for the health of our mucous membranes!
  • Prepare organic chicken broth with many vegetables such as garlic, onion, celery, leek, turnip, carrot, ginger and seaweed, adding fresh parsley, olive oil and miso diluted at the end of cooking to maintain health.
  • For dessert take infusions of different herbs, to alleviate the specific symptomatology of each moment and to increase hydration and excretion.
  • Avoid sweets, sugars, cookies, bakery and refined flours, because they are the preferred food of bacteria.

We can easily see the importance of our “ground” (predisposition) to keep us healthy, when the children are in contact with their friends who have already “caught” something or when we travel by metro or bus and around us everyone struggles with their symptoms of cold.

Some of us then become infected, and many others do not. It will largely depend on how your digestive system is, because most bacteria and viruses come in contact through the mouth or hands. In both cases they pass to the esophagus, go down to the stomach and continue their course to the intestine. There awaits our first and most important nonspecific line of defense, the lymphocytes, the police of our immune system.

If your mucosa and intestinal flora are in good condition, they will repel these aggressors, they will deny entry to the organism and will be excreted with the feces to the outside. But if the flora is damaged, unbalanced and “out of order” for many possible reasons (inadequate diet, candidiasis, treatment with antibiotics, etc.), the invaders can easily pass through the mucosa to the blood and penetrate into the body, where they will affect the most appropriate tissue for them and make us ill.

As soon as they reach the respiratory system, the body tries to defend itself from them by producing mucus to hook bacteria or viruses and then with an attack of coughs or sneezes to expel this infected mucus to the outside.

But there are also foods that favor the production of more mucus, thereby aggravating all the symptoms of the respiratory system. In addition, “atopic” children, with a tendency to suffer from symptoms such as rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma or dermatitis, often improve their symptomatology with just that: the elimination of cow’s milk from their diet. In case of much mucus, it would even be advisable to pause with all dairy products until the improvement of the symptoms. When reintroduced, fermented products (kefir) based on goat or sheep milk would be the most appropriate.

In any case it is very important to have adequate rest, good ventilation of the bedroom, humidify the environment and drink enough throughout the day, especially water at natural temperature, juices and fruit smoothies and fresh vegetables, infusions and depurative vegetable broths.

You can also use some dietary supplements, especially indicated to support the immune system, such as:

  • Natural vitamin C to strengthen defenses and prevent infections.
  • Bee Pollen, a valuable energy nutrient that helps stimulate defenses.
  • Royal jelly, which strengthens the immune system, stimulates the appetite and is known as potent reconstituent of the body.
  • Propolis, which acts as a natural antibiotic, with anti-infective and anti-inflammatory effect.

As last, I detail some “home tips” to relieve the most frequent symptoms. In case of mucus:

  • Perform nasal washings with a nasal lot (in dietetics), filled with water + pinch of natural sea salt or use Quinton nasal spray (sea water).
  • In case of thick mucus: make inhalations with thyme or chamomile or essential pine oil fumes to fluidize and disinfect.
  • Insert 1-2 drops of lemon (disinfectant) into the nose (inhale up) and then blow.
  • Leave an onion open on the bedside table, so you can breathe better.

In case of sore throat and cough:

  • Prepare an onion syrup (mucolytic, balsamic and expectorant), cutting a raw onion in tacos, covering with honey, whole sugar or agave syrup and let it rest in the refrigerator. Take the juice that is releasing.
  • Prepare a decoction of “lotus root” or jasmine flower with water and honey, take 3-4 cups a day.
  • Gargle with infusion of sage, apple cider vinegar, lemon or hot water + natural sea salt.
  • Take infusions based on thyme, mallow or marshmallow, plantain, willow, fennel or jasmine, with ginger, organic honey and lemon.

Is it necessary to continue eating when there is no appetite?

In case of infection it is normal for the patient to lose his appetite. The body needs all its energy to fight the invaders and save energy. It would be advisable to ensure the hydration of the body and thus fluidify all its excretions, preparing a chicken broth (anti-flu effect), juices and liquefied vegetables and natural and infusions according to discomfort and at ease. It is not necessary to insist on solid foods before an improvement, which will quickly return the appetite.

I wish you well this winter!

Author: Dorte Froreich
Naturopathic and orthomolecular nutritionist


5 Reasons To Practice Pregnancy Yoga


I’m a wife, yoga teacher but a mum first. I practiced yoga throughout both my pregnancies (although to a lesser degree with the first). Here’s what I know, from my own experiences, about how a pregnancy yoga practice can help YOU.


In pregnancy, emotions are haywire, particularly in the first trimester but there are ups and downs throughout, it’s a rollercoaster. In my first pregnancy (when I didn’t have a daily yoga practice) I had a hard time coping with these – floods of tears and dramatic outbursts at times. The second pregnancy was different, those weird dramatic mood swings weren’t there. I was in a new country (alone while my husband worked away), with a small child and cooking up another one and yet after my practice I felt level and together and more able to deal with things. There was a calmness and lightness that came over me that I hadn’t had before and above all a sense of joy, all of which helped massively, especially when I had tricky times.

2. IT CREATES A CONNECTED RELATIONSHIP TO YOUR BABY (yes even when they’re still in there!)

When you’re busy like most of us, there are times within your pregnancy that you can forget you’re actually pregnant. So sometimes it’s important to take time out to focus on that. The practice meant I started to build a relationship with my son while he was still in my belly. I took time to really focus on him and send him love. We communicated. I believe we’re extra connected now as a result. Oh I should also add I felt this connection to others around me, my daughter, my husband. I also see this connection happening with my students that I teach at my classes at The Well Woman Centre. I see how connected to others in the class they become in a very short space of time.


All being well, pregnancy can be a time to WORK, especially in the 2nd Trimester! It’s really helpful to build strength in your legs and bum, find more movement in your hips and pelvis, tone your pelvic floor and generally get your body working. It creates a strong basis for you and your baby for the birth and beyond. During my pregnancies I was lucky that I had minimal discomfort (only sometimes when I was sleeping) and I put a lot of this down to my yoga practice. My legs and my whole body felt strong and so I was agile and active, riding my bike, swimming in the sea and best of all this continued right up until about 38 weeks of my pregnancy. I didn’t waddle, I didn’t feel exhausted, I felt like me right up until the end.


This is such a big deal, especially when you are in the latter stages of pregnancy and your baby is pushing against your diaphragm (making you breathless), your stomach (causing heartburn) and your bladder (you need to wee all the time). Whenever I practiced I would be amazed at the change in my bump, how it softened, carried differently and most importantly gave me and my baby a feeling of space (and lightness). Wonderful! I see this in my students too, a physical change which gives them a brighter look behind the eyes.


Putting the practice in when your pregnant is massively helpful to regaining ‘you’ once you’ve had your baby. Obviously you then need a post natal yoga practice too but if your body has a learned knowledge (a muscle memory) of the movements you can spring back much quicker. Keep your body strong and your pelvic floor elastic throughout pregnancy, it will serve you well. My body is back, if not improved upon, to where it was before I had kids, I’m firmer generally all over. I’m slightly rounder in my buttocks/ belly/ hips (but I see that at as bonus – more feminine) and I have no stretch marks from either of pregnancies. I’m active but have done no other specific sports other than the practice so this is all down to that. Pelvic floor wise I still have some work to go until I feel my pelvic floor is the same as it was pre kids – perhaps it will never be- but there has been no issues and I’m still working on it. I feel like I’m strong from the inside out though.


Winter: A Time to Nourish the Soul


Based on my studies of Eastern traditions, I’ve found quite an astounding observation about the Western world — that many of us are living our lives contrary to the rhythms of nature. With so many advances emerging in technology, why is it that we’ve forgotten simple, innate intelligence on living a healthy, balanced life in tune with nature?

Healthy lifestyle choices in tune with nature include maintaining our biological clocks — such as waking with the sun & going to bed at the same time, and following the flow of the seasons — by eating what’s local and in season. That being said, one of the most evident acts in the Western world of going ‘against the grain’ of patterns found in nature is how we don’t slow down during wintertime. In fact, many of us do the polar opposite.

As the days get shorter and the nights longer, the darkness is meant to slow us down. Think about our ancestors who lived before us without electricity and heating. What do you think they did during the winter months? Huddled together under blankets by the fire drinking hot liquid to stay warm. All of their work to hunt and gather food is done during the warmer months of the year. Look at how animals & plants around us prepare themselves for the winter months. Take cues from nature to slow down during the winter and also notice how they flourish, thrive and reproduce during times of peak sunshine and warmth.

This concept is prevalent in so many traditions – from Chinese to Tibetan to Ayurvedic Medicine (Indian). Winter is a time to retreat, reset & quiet our souls, a time to go reflect and go inward. It is a time to eat hearty and slow cooked root vegetables and stews as these are more easily digestible when our digestive fire, our internal Agni, is low. In the Taoist tradition, wintertime is considered the most Yin time of year (versus summer which is Yang & ruled by the Sun, fire, action, etc). Yin characteristics include slow, quite and feminine which means during the winter months we should decelerate and reserve energy.

Yes, many people may be forced to slow down due to snow storms and cold weather, however between the holidays, celebrating the New Year and work ambitions to finish the year strong, we don’t create much time for reflection, going inward and reserving our vital energy. So why is this concept so important?

In my observations, the idea that we don’t slow down during wintertime is what leads to so much stress, illness and even depression around the holiday season. In order to feel our optimal best, harmony must exist between our physical being and our surrounding environment. When we have less life-force & energy, we must honor ourselves with self-care in order to keep our immune systems strong and our mental/emotional state sound.

Because most of us cannot afford to completely hunker down during the winter months, here are a few quick recommendations to keep yourself balanced during the coldest time of the year:
-Go to bed earlier & wake up a bit later if there is flexibility in your schedule
-Honor your energy levels – practice slower exercises like yoga & Tai Chi
-Drink herbal teas throughout the day to heat up our internal fires (ginger for a pick-me up & chamomile for relaxation)
-Eat slow cooked, hearty foods like root vegetables to nourish body/soul
-Avoid carbs, sugar and dairy in excess
-Take time to receive healing touch — massage, reiki or a cuddling session will do.

Written by Angela Sealy
December 8th, 2016

Angela is the Founder of Lila Yoga Massage. Thai Massage, Yoga, Reiki, Mantra & Retreats – Come experience ‘divine play’ at one of her next events. Be sure to follow Lila on Facebook.

Maternity Moves for All


I have recently started a new course teaching at The Well Woman Centre here in Barcelona (Tuesdays 10-11h). Rather than the class being specifically for pregnant ladies or new mums with babies, the group welcomes all maternal stages. In the first class I taught pregnant ladies ranging from their first trimester to their 37th week and new mums with 3 week, 7 week and 4 month old babies! It was certainly a real mix but it created the most fantastic vibe and supportive atmosphere. 

The class is adapted to meet the different needs of each stage and is effective for whichever place the women are at. I know this from direct experience having used this method throughout the pregnancy, birth and post-natal period with both my children.

So what exactly is it? The Maternity Moves method is a pratice based on yogic and Tai Chi principles. At its heart are two simple yet precise movements which both originate from the sacrum (back of the pelvis). This delightful scooping physical movement has many benefits and encourages activity in the spine, the pelvis, the feet, the legs and the pelvic floor. It is the root of all the standing and seated work that happens in the class.

These simple movements work to softly break down tensions in the body, allowing us to feel and then listen to our bodies and then to let go of tensions to bring us back to our natural state. It facilitates space across the lumbar spine and pelvic region and naturally activates the pelvic floor. It brings softness to your belly and whole body. This is great for pregnant ladies; more space for baby and more ease for mama, and for post natal ladies, as in order to reconnect internally (the deep core muscles) we first need soften the external ones.

This method also helps us to find connection; to ourselves, our breath, our baby, the floor, our own femininity, not to mention connection to others around us. To me, this is what yoga is all about, connecting with others wherever they are at, meeting and learning from them. I can see this connection happening in the classes I teach at The Well Woman Centre. Seeing women coming together and bonding through shared experiences. After all who remembers better than a brand new mum how it feels to be pregnant, and being around mums and their new borns is a great experience for those about to have their own. It’s a unique dynamic and one I’m proud to be part of.

Jo x