Sunday, December 2, 2018

Life lessons


Today is the first day I can allow myself to grieve.
Today I don’t have any plans, I’m by myself and I can just sit down and let everything wash over me.
It’s the first day I can fully contemplate the consequences of my decision.

That decision was to leave England.
To leave a relationship.
To leave the life I’ve been busy building for the last 20 months.
A relationship that maybe I was a little naive to dive headfirst into, as I did. 
A life that maybe I wouldn’t have constructed the way I did had I not been part of the dynamic I was part of. 
Part of me wants to be the kind of person who holds on, who tries, who fights, who never gives up.
The reality is however, that the part of me that wants to be free always wins.


Why do I always find myself in situations I don’t feel free?
Or maybe the question is, why don’t I feel free when I’m in a relationship?
Have I not found the right kind of relationship yet?
Or am I the kind of woman who just needs to be on her own?

Right now I’m back at my mum’s.
Back to Base, as she calls it. 
Curiously enough my sister arrived the day before I did. Without planning to. 
Needing to be here for reasons completely her own. 

There’s probably more lessons to be learned here for the 3 of us than anywhere else in the world. 
About love. About family & belonging. 
About letting go. About being vulnerable yet strong. 
About deep breaths & tolerance. 
About non-attachment, non-judgement. 
About being ourselves.

Monday, August 20, 2018

7 days of Detox


Just like last summer when the effects of lazy holiday life were becoming a little too obvious we decided to go on a little detox.
It was supposed to last 10 days, but it became 7 because of a party invitation we gladly accepted.

We haven't eaten as well in the last 7 days as any 7 days previous to this week, and much of that is thanks to my friend Sarah who wanted my help taking pictures for a recipe e-booklet.

I guess the hardest part was cooking early enough to have enough daylight to actually take an ok picture.
At least 2 recipes will have to be redone to get it right. Not that I mind.

In my opinion, the 4 things you need to successfully change a habit, or commit to a certain period of healthy eating:
1. a plan of some sort (in this case a couple of really fun recipes and a shopping list)
2. preparation time (it's so easy to make excuses if you don't have the right ingredients at home)
2. a clear understanding of WHY you are doing what you're doing
3. a buddy, partner in crime, or at least someone to hold you accountable

I had all these things and because I'm convinced that just about anyone can benefit from more vegetables in their diet I'm sharing my favourite new recipe with you:



Colourful Detox Salad (serves 2 respectably hungry adults):


Before you get started: I used a knife & box grater to prepare my vegetables.
If you're in a hurry you can toss the veg (individually) in a food processor and quickly process.

You'll need:
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (about ½ of a small head of cauliflower)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (roughly 1 small broccoli)
  • 1 cup red cabbage, chopped in thin strips (¼ of a small cabbage)
  • 1 cup carrots, roughly grated or cut into pieces if you like more crunch
  • 2 celery stalks chopped into thin slices.
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)
  • 1/3 cup organic raisins
  • a handful of fresh parsley 
(If you don't have a cup measure you can use pretty much anything that roughly holds about 235ml. Improvise!)

& for the vinaigrette:
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Place the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake!
(If you don't have a jar you can obviously place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk.)

Chop & toast the almonds. (Don't step away from the pan. You know they'll burn the minute you do!)

Lightly boil the cauliflower and the broccoli (2-3 minutes).

Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Done!

***


Tell me what you think!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

What's the deal with #whynottoday?



"Why not today" became my motto after my friend Lotta & I decided on a name for the Plastic-Free Shop we opened together in 2015.

"Varför inte idag" (in Swedish) or Vii for short.

Vii became a real thing, fast. At least for our friends and families, and some of our customers who became friends. We'd organise all kinds of things (some more successful than others): second hand markets, seed & plant swaps, clothes swaps, we had a crafts night, a salsa night, you name it.

Why? Because we thought it would be fun! Because Why not? And Why not today?


When I prepared for my move to England I wasn't sure what to do with the concept, as I realised its success was mainly thanks to the network I had around me ... so it got put on hold a little while I did my yoga teacher training and dealt with the logistics of moving to and settling into a new place.



Fast forward a year and a bit and it makes more sense than ever.


After teaching yoga in a studio for a year I found he courage and made the decision to start to develop my own little community around my style of teaching - outside as much as possible! 

Since the beginning of this year I've been involved in an initiative called Plastic Free Harrogate which is proving to be really rewarding.
(Find us on Instagram and Facebook!)

I feel really passionate about the work we do, and convinced that we all can make a difference, especially if we work together ... and all of a sudden opening up my webshop made sense again.


... and on tough days when I don't want to do anything at all I remind myself of that powerful little motto ...



Why not today?



Some days, it's the only question you need need to ask yourself to get yourself moving.


Whether it is to tackle that one little extra thing on your to do list, to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, to change habits that need changing (like switching to alternatives to plastic ;))
or even just to roll out your yoga mat!


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Creating Space


I will never look back at this picture and not feel a sense of pride.
Pride mixed with (maybe slightly misleading) nostalgia.

This was not my first store space, not the last, but definitely the one I completely poured my heart into.

The picture above was taken on Gotland in the spring of 2015.

Yesterday, most of what was left of my stock went to live with Bo in her ethical and zero-waste shop CALF in Knaresborough until they find their forever homes with Bo's customers.

As she was leaving, carrying boxes to her car, Bo said she hoped I wasn't feeling too sad ...
and if I dig deep enough there is a slight twinge of sadness there somewhere, but mainly I'm proud of my well researched and thought-through products to get out there again, instead of waiting around in my cupboards for better days.
I'm happy that the remains of my old business now pave the way for new opportunities.

I'm letting go of things to create space for something else.
What that is time will tell.
I'm guessing it's going to be a mixture of my love for yoga, holistic nutrition, exploring, nature, houseplants, photography, my newfound love for ceramics ... and my need to write, document and share,
but in what form? We'll see.

***

CALF is in the process of getting a full make-over and will reopen again on Friday, with my stuff on the shelves amongst lots of other amazing products!

It's time for a trip to Knaresborough!

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Yorkshire Dales Yoga Show




Last Saturday I hitched a ride with a friend and went to Skipton for the Yorkshire Dales Yoga Show.

I brought my camera and yoga gear and planned to take pictures of pretty much everything and take as many of the free yoga classes as possible.

There were crystals, essential oils, reiki sessions, beautiful jewellery, homemade tea blends, eco skincare, raw vegan cakes and the most delicious vegan truffles, and of course, all things yoga.
I have seen my fair share of shows but nothing ever even came close to this level of fabulousness.

Yet, the whole thing was a trip down memory lane.

Setting up, glancing at others' tables, waiting for the first customers to arrive, always a little too cold, or a little too hot, wondering if it'll be worth your while ... a slight nervousness ... the anticipation ...

I ended up not bothering with the yoga as the queues always seemed longer than the amount of available mats, and found myself talking to the stall holders instead of taking pictures (with a few exceptions - I simply couldn't resist Tarn & Moon's setup ♡).

I loved the energy. I loved all of it. 
And since Saturday, my mind's been busy. Buzzing. Occupied.

"They" say yoga helps with these kinds of conditions ... so I went to Frankie's class at Yoga Zen (one of the perks of teaching there).

I stayed after class and we played around testing adjustments on each other, doing inversions, discussing potential workshop ideas and ended up sitting on our yoga mats talking about how great it would be to live a life trying new things, acquiring new skills and then building a business around them all.

Enter Buzzing Mind. Again.

Am I too comfortable in my current life situation to throw myself out there again?
Possibly.

Would it be a shame not to do it?
Definitely.

In conclusion, I hope the Yorkshire Dales Yoga Show gets a sequel. I'll definitely be there. Maybe even as a stall holder ... because #whynottoday? Right?

//Aina




Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018



A new year.
A fresh start, even if it's just in your mind.

I've got quite a few resolutions, and new ones get added to the list every day now.
I've set intentions for myself as a thriving human being, as a yoga teacher, as a part of a family, as a creative person, as a body that needs the right kind of nutrition and care, etc.
Not all of those can be kept all at once, and I'm sure many will be forgotten or dropped as the year goes on, but I do think it's helpful to write them down.

I know there's plenty of cynics out there, especially when it comes to New Year's resolutions.
I'm one of them.
I laugh at overfull gyms and yoga studios at the beginning of every new year and then again when they empty a couple of months later.
Yet I'm no different.
That's why I like to split my goals for the year into smaller projects, to tackle and come back to month by month. Most of them are ongoing projects I've taken with me from 2017, the most recent ones being my 30th b-day resolutions.


Project #1 is Pottery (see previous post)
Project #2 is Photography and getting out and about giving me reasons to use my new toys.
Project #3 is Playing the guitar instead of saying I will get better.
Project #4 is Blogging more often (day 2 and I'm already on it!)
and so on.

The list is long, and will hopefully go on until I hit the grave.
because #whynottoday?

Happy New Year!

xxx

Aina



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Wallåkra revisited. Project Pottery.








I've been going through the thousands of pictures on my external hard drive in an attempt to clean up and organise my past photographic adventures and one little selection that caught my attention is this, taken in 2011 during our lunch break while at a seminar (not at all pottery-related) held in the conference room at this stoneware factory in the South of Sweden.

It turns out these pictures have already appeared on my blog before but they deserve another post because I so clearly remember the curiosity and the wonder I felt while sneaking around this fabulous workshop with my camera. How much I loved the little details. 
The tea-strainer on the notice board, the clay splatters on the windows, the broken mirror shard propped up on the taps above the sink, the pleasant natural hues, the creativity in the air ...

Now, 6 years later, I'm in the process of learning the art of hand building and wheel throwing and other clay-related things.
Today I sat at my little work station at school feeling so incredibly grateful for having discovered this craft.
One day maybe I'll have my own space, my own wheel, my own kiln, 
but for now others' spaces and pictures and finished pieces inspire me to keep exploring, keep testing, keep learning. 

Project #1 of my 21 months of Projects.