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This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes + culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health + happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine + the low down on the Sydney wholefoods scene and beyond...

Filtering by Category: My Community

Tasmania Food as Medicine talk!

Becca Crawford

 

TASMANIA!!!!!!!! You asked us to come to Tassie as part of our Food As Medicine Australian tour and we are obliging!

On Saturday 31 August myself and Marieke Rodenstein - Australia’s leading holistic dietician whose shares my passion for ancestral dietary principles and regenerative farming - will be presenting in Launceston for a FULL DAY event (9am-6pm). The morning Food as Medicine talk focuses on the fundamentals of robust nutrition and robust gut health, along with myth busting around conventional dietetic principles that have led to an epidemic of chronic illness and degenerative disease. I will educate you on how to kick dietary toxins to the curb and healthy swap with nutrient-dense food in an easy, positive and empowering way. You will receive a comprehensive HOW TO manual that sets you up for life with all the information, tools and resources you need. 

A delicious organic wholefoods lunch is included followed by a healthy homes/ healthy swaps/ essential oils talk in the afternoon where the focus is on kicking the chemicals in your home environment especially in conventional personal care products and household cleaning products to create a toxic-free home environment (the ONLY environment you can control).

Make a FULL DAY of optimising your health by learning how to increase nourishment and reduce dietary and environmental toxins to become the best possible version of yourself.

To learn more or to book click here!

Please help me promote this event by forwarding this email to everyone you know in Tassie. You will receive a free copy of one my online cooking classes of your choice for every person who books in upon your recommendation. So if 4 people book in upon your recommendation, you will receive all 4 of my online cooking classes valued at $79 each. Sweet! Please help me spread this important message to our friends down under that FOOD CAN BE THE MOST POTENT MEDICINE and that KICKING BOTH DIETARY AND ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS IN YOUR HOME is the fastest and easiest way to reclaim and maintain spectacular health. 

 

The 7 ways that yoga changed my life

Becca Crawford

 

Exactly 20 years ago to the month I had my first monumental wake up call. At 26 I burnt out as a young corporate lawyer after years of pushing myself to the extreme at high school, university and then at a top tier law firm. Too many long hours, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, pressure-cooker environment, little sleep, and binge drinking all culminated in finding myself lying flat on my back for 2 months with physical and emotional burnout. Every time I got up to go to work, the universe would raise its finger and strike me down. Bronchial pneumonia, an immune system that was completely shot, an osteo skeletal system that was so tight and ropey I felt like a wound up spinning top, and migraine headaches that made me want to jump off a cliff to end the pain. The universe was sending me clear messages that the way I was living wasn't sustainable. But I failed to heed to the warning bells my body was increasing screaming out until the sirens became so loud that one night I found myself in a hospital bed having wet myself from all the drugs I was pumped with and feeling poignantly the pain of (a wet) rock bottom. 

As I lay in that bed staring at the ceiling I knew that my lifestyle was unsustainable and that big changes had to be made. I needed to learn the hard lessons and rewrite my life from scratch. But what would it look like and how would I do it? 

While I knew I wasn’t happy in my job I didn’t know what else to do. I had no idea what my passion or purpose was back then other than a realisation that I was deeply unhappy and unhealthy and that I wanted something better for myself. It was a realisation that unless I turned my health around I couldn’t live a life of purpose and was only a fraction of who I could truly be. 

I had no tools, no mentor, and no one holding my hand through the process. Podcasts, blogs and social media did not exist. No doctor I saw ever asked about my diet, my sleep, whether I was exercising, whether I enjoyed my work or was happy in my relationship, whether I was stressed out of my brain or whether I ever saw the light of day. All I knew is that I felt broken, lost, confused and alone.

Until I worked out the bigger picture and hence my next move, in the meantime I would have to stay the course as a banking and finance lawyer BUT I instinctively decided to make 2 changes immediately: 

Firstly I decided I wanted to spend my weekends bushwalking as a way of immersing myself in nature and getting some exercise and fresh air. This started a life long passion of hiking and trekking taking me to numerous places around the globe. 

Secondly I wanted to try yoga. Back in 1999 yoga was still very alternative. People had only just started talking about it in the west and there were literally only a handful of yoga studios to choose from. I remember one of the partners at the law firm responding with "Why on earth would you want to do THAT?!" when I told him I was off to try yoga after work. 

I don't know why or how these 2 things came to me but somehow they felt intuitively right. It was though I instinctively knew that they would provide nourishment for my broken body and depleted soul. It was these 2 things that kick-started my journey into healing myself and then my life’s work in health and wellness. My passion for traditional wholefoods followed in the ensuing years as one door opened another and another.... 

I can’t say I loved my first Hatha yoga class but afterwards the teacher looked me in the eye and said "You have a lot of fire in you. I think you should try Iyengar yoga." I had never heard of that before. I found an Iyengar yoga school down the road from me in Melbourne where I lived and I was hooked after my first class. It was like a light bulb that went off inside me and I couldn’t get enough of it. Like a child starved of nourishment, I lapped up every instruction and found myself counting down the hours to the next class. It was dynamic, intense, precision focused, and deeply relaxing all at once. It was exactly what I needed physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Iyengar yoga is not trendy. You won't find flashy yoga studios. You won't see instructors and participants clad in the lasted active wear. There's no slick sexy marketing campaigns. There's no franchises and you won't get the feeling that you're in the latest "it" place. But there’s a deep well of rich instructions that form a strong foundation for the most rigorous practice I’ve come across. 

From there started a passion and deep respect that has lasted 20 years to the month. I've tried many systems of yoga during that time but I keep coming back to Iyengar. Before I had my kids, I would average approx 10 hours of practice a week but since having children my practice has been very sporadic and, at times (for months or even years), non existent. But like a cherished friendship with a life long friend, yoga is now so deeply ingrained in the fabric of my DNA that I simply pick up from where I left off when life affords me the opportunity. 

What has 20 years of yoga taught me? More than I can articulate but set out below are 7 of the most unexpected and potent ways that yoga has enriched my life: 


1. I’ve learnt that it all starts with becoming more conscious about ourselves


The point of yoga is to raise one’s consciousness. Starting with becoming more conscious about myself, I learnt how I was so out of deeply out of touch with my physical (and hence emotional) being. Yoga took me to places I never knew existed in myself. I learnt how unbalanced the right and left side of my body were, how the reason for many of my osteo skeletal issues stemmed from a broken collar bone from birth, and how inflexible I had allowed my body to become. Just to name a few. 

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2. I’ve learnt that physical strength flexes our emotional strength 


By pushing myself to the edge of my physical limits, I soon discovered how this flexed my emotional resilience. The more physically strong I became, the more emotionally stronger I became. 

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3. I’ve learnt that inversions can help overcome fear 


I went from being the kid in the playground at school who loved doing handstands all day to some 15 years later being petrified of doing the same thing even against a wall. Fear overcame me when it was time for inversions with clammy hands, sweating and increased heart rate. It took me 10 years to do my first unaided headstand. I discovered that the more inversions I did, the more I loosened my grip on fear in all areas of life. Inversions provide me with a sense of freedom, lightness and playfulness that have translated to all areas of my life. They are also an antidote for depression and heaviness, and give our internal organs a much needed break. 


4. I’ve learnt to relax within effort

Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled or riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life
— B.K.S. Iyengar

Holding a pose for what seems like an eternity is a characteristic trait of Iyengar yoga. The idea is that only after a certain period of time the muscles get the signal that they have no choice but to relax. 

Within that time your body is screaming at you to remove yourself at all expense from the uncomfortableness of it all. My teachers taught me that how we respond in an uncomfortable pose is characteristic of how we respond to uncomfortable or intense situations in life. At first I squelched at how I would respond. A pose would trigger feelings of panic and rage that I wanted to escape from- typical of how I always responded to bad news (a trait I learnt as a kid from my mother). Over time I observed these feelings, and started to breath and relax into the messiness and uncomfortableness of it all. I can’t begin to tell you how this helped me tremendously in giving birth twice naturally without drugs to my 2 babies (averaging four kilos each). I owe my calm births to my years of yoga that preceded them. I greeted the contractions like a challenging pose and simply breathed and tried to relax within the effort.

Finding a way to relax within effort has been one of the most valuable lessons for me in copying with life in general. For life throws at us mess, discomfort, inconvenience and often downright atomic bombs and semi trailer collisions. It’s how we respond to these events that defines us. 

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5. I’ve learnt that support is not a sign of weakness but a way to strengthen our ability 


For those not familiar with Iyengar yoga, the key point of differentiation is its use of props such as bricks, bolsters, benches, walls, ropes, chairs, planks, straps etc. These are used to support you in a pose and /or allow you to go much deeper into the pose than you otherwise would without props. 

At first I thought the use of props was cheating. Then I discovered how much deeper I could go, how much more aligned I could be and/ or how I could stay in the pose for so much longer aided with props. 

I learnt that it’s not only ok to rely on props, they were necessary to advance my practice. 

In the same way I’ve learnt that it’s not only ok but essential to ask for support from friends or professionals when I’m feeling stretched, blocked or to move to the next level. It’s not a sign of weakness but a sign of being open to becoming a better version of yourself. 

Just like it takes a village to raise a child, we can’t do it all ourselves. Rely on support when it’s available. 

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6. I’ve learnt that flexibly in the body translates to flexibility in dealing with life 


When I started yoga I could barely reach down to my knees in agony. I would have described my personality back then being a reflection of my body- tight, rigid and uncompromising. I was startled that within 8 months of consistent practice I was able to get my hands flat on the floor. In learning how to increase the flexibility in my body, I also started learning how to become more flexible in my mind with how to deal with life. 

A brilliant analogy one of my yoga teachers taught me was to become less mercurial and more like putty. When responding to life’s events (positive or negative), instead of spilling everywhere like mercury on a board, we can become more like a piece of putty that is firmly planted on a board and simply moulds to where it needs to go without bending too much out of shape or becoming imbalanced. 

No matter what life throws at me, I’m learning to go more with the flow, responding gently and graciously than react outrageously. This one is still a big work in progress! 

I will point out though that when it comes to matters of principles and values, I stand firm. In matters of fashion and style, sway with the wind. 

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7. I’ve learnt to redefine “all or nothing” 


I used to think that unless I could devote at least 2 hours to a yoga practice it wasn’t worth doing it at all. I used to scoff at people who would do anything less than that thinking it’s not worth it. Then I had babies and they turned that mentality swiftly on it’s head. I mean, what mother of small children has a lazy 2 hours up her sleeve most days?? 

Ive learnt to redefine “all”. I’ve learnt that 5 minutes is “all” I have some days and that’s better than no practice at all. It’s the little small daily increments that add up and count for a lot. 

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Since having kids going to yoga classes has been replaced with doing my own yoga practice either at home or outdoors in sunshine at my local beach often using my kids as props 

I wish to pay immense gratitude to the late BKS Iyengar and to all my yoga teachers over the past 20 years who have taught me so much (especially Tony Rothburg from Bridge Yoga School in Richmond Melbourne who started my love affair with yoga with his unconventional humorous and playful style).

Now I’d love to hear from you - what lessons have yoga taught you that you apply in day to day life? 

Namaste
Soulla x

 

Brisbane 25th May Healthy Homes / Healthy Swaps / Essential Oils gathering 

Becca Crawford

 
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My recent talk on the Gold Coast in mid April on swapping out the toxins in our home was fully booked with many disappointed to not have secured a spot. I’m delighted to announce that I’m heeding to your requests to run another identical talk in QLD – this time in Brisbane on 25th May (1PM - 4:30PM in Toowong).

If you have already been to one of my Healthy Home talks please come again and bring friends to help them onto a less toxic, more nourishing path. After all, it all starts with a friend helping a friend, who helps another friend, and so on. My journey started over 20 years on the grassy knoll of Bondi with a friend telling me that conventional apples were sprayed. I was so shocked, disgusted and outraged that the “food” that I thought was healthy was actually covered in a toxic film. This then sparked a journey that radically altered the course of my life. And of course one door opened another door and from an exploration of our food system the path then lead to an investigation of the ingredients found in personal care products, household cleaning products, pharmaceuticals and everything in between. Chemical Sh%tstorm is how I would sum up what I discovered. Is it any wonder why we have this epidemic of chronic illness and degenerative disease when so much of what we ingest, touch, inhale, and slather on our skin, hair and scalp is questionable at best or toxic at worse. 

In my next Healthy Home talk I’ll show you how simple, easy and cost effective it can be to rid your house of all hormone-disruptive toxic chemicals and healthy swap to all-natural, super powerful products. In this no nonsense, comprehensive 3.5 hour talk I’ll explain how you can use therapeutic-grade essential oils and oil infused products to:

  • healthy swap ALL your conventional personal care products and household cleaning products to create a toxic-free home environment for your family;

  • turbo charge or enhance the fundamental pillars of health to take your and your family’s health to a whole new level; and 

  • healthy swap conventional pharmaceuticals with safe, yet powerfully effective, alternatives (this is very empowering as a parent!);

  • add a beautiful energy and spirit to your home making it a safe, inviting and comforting sanctuary. 

There’s no time like the present to start kicking toxic chemicals to the curb in the ONE and only environment you can control! 

Learn More, or Book Here.


I can’t wait to see you in Brissie!!!


Hi Soulla, a huge thank you for the amazing session last night. It was such an eye opener and I am feeling so inspired and ready to dive in. I was up til after midnight checking my existing personal care products only to find many of the “clean” options I have been using are scoring really high in the toxic category. Perfect time to start swapping them out! Thank you for sharing such a wealth of information and being so generous with your time. I so deeply appreciate it 🙏 
— Kate
Thank you so much for such a fantastic morning talking everything oils! Your session was brilliant and covered everything I could have hoped for. Your beautiful energy, integrity, knowledge and lovely, relaxed way of educating and sharing information was infectious (in the very best way!). Thank you again as I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I’m really looking forward to seeing you again in Melbourne as you’re like a breath of fresh air and really motivated me to up my oils game. Absolutely love Young Living!! 
— Tracie
Soulla, I would have been lost if we hadn’t crossed paths. I am so different than everyone over here. You and our Young Living tribe have given me so much love and support. Without that I’m sure the stress would have taken over! 
— Kelly
Hi Soulla, I just wanted to reach out and tell you how much I appreciated today. Thank you. This is the start of my journey, yet after today’s workshop, I walked away feeling:
* empowered by the knowledge you shared
* clear on the direction I wanted to take; and
* motivated to change
The first thing I did when I got home was run all my favourite household products through the EWG website. I’m now scared to touch some of them but I’m grateful that I now know what is really inside them. I can’t wait for my Young Living Healthy Homes kit to arrive. Thanks again!
— Fabiana