You may have gathered from my previous post that the hustle and bustle of London Fashion Week left me fashion weak - both mentally and physically, and on top of that I had blog posts to shoot, clothes to organise, blog posts to write for several brands, as well as the usual meetings and radio planning so I decided to unwind and destress by taking part in a week of wellness with beauty brand Rituals. The idea of the week was to demonstrate how to realign our bodies with our mind and to regain our focus in a world full of stresses and distractions. What could be more perfect?
Day 1 - Mindfulness and New Beginnings
My week began with an early morning yoga session hosted by Stella Magazine's resident wellness expert Angie Newson. I must admit I don't usually do much yoga because I'm more of a cardio and weight person but I was actually really amazed at how much it felt like a workout. Angie had a really nice warmth to her and I thoroughly enjoyed having a good stretch first thing on a Monday morning. I don't know if it's related but I had SO much energy and felt so happy all day. I would definitely recommend you force yourself out of bed that little bit earlier and do some exercise as it was such a great feeling to not have it hanging over my head all day.
An Evening with Sleep
I've always been an incredible daydreamer in the daytime and deep sleeper at night; when I say deep I mean I don't even wake up to fire alarms! Needless to say I was incredibly excited for the opportunity to have a one on one dream analysis session with Media Dream Expert Ian Wallace and a sleep pattern and positioning session with leading sleep expert Sammy Margo. Sammy couldn't really offer me much advice when it came to my sleep patterns and positioning because I have literally no problems with going to sleep or waking up, however it was really nice to talk to her and was interesting to listen to her advise others on the way in which they should change their position in order to alleviate pain and discomfort. One awesome bit of advice she gave was to sleep on a silk pillow as it helps your night cream absorb into your skin. I chatted to Ian about my deep sleeps, vivid dreams and history of both sleep walking and talking and it was interesting to have him tell me I am very creative and I need to train my brain to stop daydreaming in the day time by telling myself 'I am awake'.
Finally the evening ended with a temple massage, which are probably my favourite things in the entire world. Miraculously I woke up at 9am the next day (I usually wake up at 7am on the dot without an alarm) so the evening definitely worked in relaxing me!
An evening of Purifying and Cleansing
This day was probably my favourite day of all of them as meditation experts Inner Space gave us incredible advice on how to slow down and relax our mind. Being self-employed with lots of different things going on at the same time (my blog, my radio show, modelling, and the day to day stresses of life) I find it very hard to switch off or to focus my energy on one thing at a time. The advice was simple but highly effective and included allowing yourself to enjoy a few things without the distraction of work or technology such as a meal or your morning coffee, and starting your day with something positive - a song or a positive quote for example.
I had never heard of Inner Space before, but it's a Meditation and Personal development centre based in London (they do online courses too), and they offer lots of talks and development courses from positive thinking, to self esteem, to relaxation strategies - and all of them are free as well. How amazing?
We did a little meditation session to show how effective 5 minutes can be to your day and then we were treated to a reflexology session from A List reflexologist to the stars and founder of Mobile Healing, Keah Lan. I've never had reflexology before but am a huge fan of foot massages. I was amazed at the analysis Keah managed to provide about my body from only touching my feet such as that I have a hormone imbalance; I know this to be true already from my recent acne breakout. If you haven't done reflexology before then I recommend you try it!
Day 5: Nutrition
The final day of my week focused on my favourite activity off all time: eating. We were given a talk by chef and author of the Naked Diet Tess Ward on the benefits of clean living and how to nourish our bodies before indulging on some of her insane raw treats including green juices and the most delicious healthy brownies, like ever! You can check out her beautifully crafted recipe book here.
I've worked a lot on my food and exercise patterns over the years with my nutritionist and life coach Mel of the Green Goddess Life so feel pretty confident already in this area but it was awesome to chat to Tess (who has a similar ethos to Mel - enjoy yourself but be good most of the time) and to get some new recipe ideas as well as spending the evening with my friends Olivia Cox, Lilah Parsons, and Lauren Frazer Hutton.
I was so sad for the week to come to an end as it was nice to learn something new every night, be surrounded by positive quotations and people, but it also forced me to dedicate a little bit of time to myself everyday. I genuinely felt so calm and happy by the end of the week. If you're interested, My Rituals have created an app which teaches you how to meditate in just 5 minutes a day - I've started using it and it's pretty great.
So here I am, rejuvenated and regenerated and missing the buzz of London Fashion Week - I'm already excited for next season. It might be a rollercoaster of a week but I'm a sucker for theme parks, and luckily I don't have long to wait as I'm off to Thorpe Park's fright night for Halloween.
I really hope you've enjoyed this post. If you found it interesting you can head over to ashleylouisejames.com as I've offered some advice and personal tips on how to clear your headspace.
Speak to you very soon. :) x
Find me on ashleylouisejames.com / twitter: @ashleyljames / instagram: @ashleylouisejames
All my images were shot on a Canon PowerShot G7 X
School Of Life: www.theschooloflife.com/london/
Inner Space: www.innerspace.org.uk/
Hello Fresh: https://www.hellofresh.com