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Ume

Florence Lefebvre

Every now and again, I indulge into mentioning wonderful people and their lovely products . This blog is a modest gesture to help spread the word about an enjoyable substance highly recommended for its purity. Breaking Bad fans, no, I am not talking about meth… just about incense!

I discovered the brand Ume through its founder Emma Leafe. Also a photographer, Emma launched into bringing back from Asia some of its desirable and enchanting smells. The word “ume” means “plum blossom” in Japanese which evokes a natural and fresh scent.  

The match-thin sticks can be deceivingly tiny but - proof that it is all about quality not quantity - the scent is so concentrated that one of these little guys will be all you need to create a lovely atmosphere for your meditation or yoga practice, or add a nice touch to your home. And at £10 a box when shopping online, it is an affordable luxury!

To find out more about Ume, check the following link. 

http://ume-collection.co.uk/traditional-incense-sticks/

Thanks for some beautiful incense, Emma!

Switch off...

Florence Lefebvre

After a pretty busy patch which I am very grateful for, it was time for a little holiday!

Like a salmon (without the reproduction and dying part…), I returned to the source, namely the family holiday house which my grandfather had built an hour away from La Rochelle about four decades ago and is now seeing the fourth generation enjoy the sea air, sun and fresh food.

My grandfather left us 11 years ago but he would be overwhelmed with happiness to know that this house still plays an important part in the life of our extended family. 

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Swap it!

Florence Lefebvre

Things have been nicely busy on the yoga and catching-up-with-friends-and-family front, but oh dear, I can’t believe it has been so long outside the blogosphere already!

So let’s get to it, shall we? I hope this little blog will have been worth the wait. Um, no pressure… Anyway, the theme is simple: swaps. 

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All about dogs...!

Florence Lefebvre

To make up for my absence, here are two blogs written for the Hemsley & Hemsley crew for the month of April and May respectively on two poses inspired by our canine friends, namely Downward Facing and Upward Facing Dog.

You will never look at a dog again in the same way! ;-)

http://hemsleyandhemsley.tumblr.com/post/48277077192/position-of-the-month-adho-mukha-svanasana

http://hemsleyandhemsley.tumblr.com/post/51796634200/position-of-the-month-urdhva-mukha-svanasana

image

Picture by Nicholas Hopper

Feel the vibes!

Florence Lefebvre

Physics has proven that the whole universe is made of vibrations which themselves have frequencies, making it the biggest instrument a musician could dream of. Everything that exists vibrates because atoms, the smallest building blocks of matter, vibrate.

A vibration can be defined as “a rapid oscillation of a particle or elastic solid back and forth across a central position” while a frequency is a rate of vibration.

No, you have not made a mistake, you are indeed reading a yoga blog!

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The Locust Pose

Florence Lefebvre

I have been invited by Jasmine and Melissa from Hemsley & Hemsley (you will find them on Tumblr too) to contribute to their lovely blog every month, bringing under the spotlight one yoga pose and explaining its benefits as well as how to do do the pose safely.

This month, I decided to pick Salabhasana or Locust pose. Read the blog to find out why and how!

http://hemsleyandhemsley.tumblr.com/post/41714675153/position-of-the-month-salabhasana-pose

Rain, sweet rain...

Florence Lefebvre

Like so many of us, my year started with my non-friend Flu and let me tell you, I was not impressed. As it is taking a little more time than I thought to shake off the post-sickness-induced lethargy, I have been feeling admittedly a bit blue. Sickness aside, January is often a month synonym of anti-climax after spending time with friends and family over Christmas and New Year. 

But after reading the latest blog of my friend Lorna Clansey, I finally woke up from a desire to hibernate and sulk. She is on Tumblr so check her out, it will be give you the incentive to get up and go: http://lornaclansey.tumblr.com/

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Hey by the way, what IS yoga?

Florence Lefebvre

Now that is a question which many of you probably asked yourselves at some point or another. The answer is luckily complex, which makes for a lifetime of discoveries!

What I am going to write below is therefore, by no means, an exhaustive answer. It is more about sharing and passing on some pointers, which you will have the opportunity to explore at will in your own time and as your yoga practice unfolds.

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POSE OF THE MONTH

Florence Lefebvre

Here is a little blog I wrote for my friends Jasmine and Melissa from Hemsley & Hemsley.

December can be a pretty hectic month with all the Christmas shopping and parties, so here is a way to slow down and clear your head. Just click on the title and you will be redirected to the right page. Enjoy!

Mung bean soup

Florence Lefebvre

Green soup recipe

More soups to warm your tummies and hearts this winter! This one is especially nourishing thanks to the main protein-packed ingredient mung beans.

You will also need some stock (homemade is best, but if you don’t have time, use a stock pot); 2 onions; 2 carrots; 200g of spinach or greens; 1 medium swede; one bay or laurel leaf; some fresh or crushed chilli; pepper; a lemon/lime; some umami dust to garnish.

Soak your mung beans overnight and cook them the next day for about 30 minutes. Leave them a little tender so that they can finish cooking in the stock. Drain them and put them on the side.

In a big saucepan, put a tablespoon of ghee and throw in the chopped onions, carrots and swede with the chilli. Stir regularly for about 10-15 minutes. Add the stock, mung beans, the bay or laurel leaf, pepper and cover. Once all the vegetables are almost cook, stir in your spinach or greens and simmer until soft.

Remove from the stove to cool down. Then put everything in a blender.

Pour the soup in a bowl and add some freshly squeezed lemon or lime to taste as well as the umami dust. Possibly add some tamari sauce or salt if you taste buds need an extra kick!

Enjoy… :-)