Raw Girl in Japan

Archive for the ‘ashtanga’ Category

So here I am in Ubud in Bali. I planned the trip back in April and booked to attend an ashtanga week with Sharath. Been looking forward to it for ages, but alas last week I was struck down with a nasty chest infection which triggered an asthma attack. So made the decision to back of ashtanga for a couple of weeks, but came to Bali anyway to heal with raw food and gentle yoga.

While here I have been eating at KAFE and it’s sister eatery Little K. Have taken some photos which will be posted later this week. I also have two private raw food classes booked, so am excited about being a student and learning.

I really do want to keep on top of this blog now as so much is happening. Am now training to become a Health Counsellor and am also part of karen Knowler’s Living Magically on Raw coaching. Although am raw, thought it would be a great way to see what Karen does and meet some like minded people.

This blog will return to the daily munchings of AvocadoGirl as of tomorrow and more about raw in Japan. Also my yoga.

This blog lost direction for a long while, simply because I didn’t know where I was going with my yoga and diet,  but it’s getting back on track as I living life to it’s fullest and want to share.

Check back tomorrow.

Oh, and although I am in Bali it doesn’t mean I have lost my love for Thailand.


Feels strange. Doesn’t really feel like Christmas, which is kind of nice. If we were in Japan, hubby and I would be working. Yet, there is a little sadness that I’m not with family in the UK. 

We headed out to the mountains to see some waterfalls. There were elephants treks there. Obviously, we didn’t take one as it is cruel. I did see one of the handlers hit one of the elephants with a stick for wandering off track slightly and I nearly burst into tears. The elephants look very sad. I hoped my face spoke to them as they sauntered passed me. I just wanted to set them free amongst the trees. 

Animals are not here for our entertainment. 

Animals are not here to be eaten.

Daily Munchings

The usual – spiralina and coconut, banana

After our climb to the waterfall, we happily drank coconut water and then munched on the meat

Green salad for dinner.

Really not that hungry today. 

My Practice

Was raining this morning, so the heat was different in the shala. More humid and my practice was great. Absolutely loved being on the mat. The pranayama session, just before the asana practice felt more connected. My breath was reaching places it didn’t normally reach. My concentration was deeper -and it continued right into the asana flow. 

Always reaching a new level in a pose, and enjoying the opening of the body. How slow can I take the breath? How far can the body open? How much can I lift my heart?

Learning as always.

Am lucky to have such great teachers.


Will download photos tomorrow. Share some of the magic I am surrounded by.

Am reading The Secret – perfect way to lead into 2009.

Colonic tomorrow.

Enjoy your Christmas everyone.

Hugs to Suvine (you sexy raw girl).


Everyday I choose an angel card. Have been doing so for over a year now. When I travel I take them with me. They speak to me. I learn from them. I like to flick through the pack sometimes and just look at the messages and focus on the pictures. I have a particular way of choosing my daily angel – the way I wish to keep secret, but there is one card that seems to come to me more often than the others and this really has helped me decide on my next venture. A venture essential to yoga, without it there is no yoga. More will be told in my New Year post.

Daily Munchings (wheatgrass and spirulina had run out this morning)

Before practice – 6.00am – MSM in water

Breakfast (10-ish) – Coconut (straight after my practice), 1 banana, Pineapple, ginger and coriander juice (amazing)

Lunch – (2.30-ih) – Apple, celery, carrot and parsley juice – perfect 

Dinner (6.00- ish) green salad and avocado

Am finishing eating before 7, making sure my body has time to digest prior to sleep.

My practice

I felt strong, connected. really flowed with the breath today. Hadn’t felt this strong for a long time. Yes, I have asanas to keep working deeper in, but the natural heat here really helps the body organically melt into a pose, while the muscles stay alive. 

I try and spend more than five breaths in poses where my body needs to open. Sometimes if I’m loving a pose I will spend longer in it. The mysore practice is a self practice. Work with where your body is at. I have never understood why people zoom their way through. Surely they are missing the beauty of the practice. As a teacher, I also listen to my body so I know how to explain deeper details of sensations arising to my students.

Every time I come to my mat I fall in love with yoga a little bit more.

Other things

The food at Yoga Thailand is vegetarian and 98% vegan. Low sugar, low fat. Healthy, organic produce. The first year I came here I was toying with becoming vegan (having been vegetarian for 20 years). The next time I was here I was more or less raw, so the staff would allow me to use the kitchen and use the fruit and veggies to make whatever I wanted. Now with the new place, (and because I am frequently here I think), the chef is playing with some raw recipes, which I have been asked to sample – of course I am happy to oblige. I have already sampled a soup, which was lovely just recommended adding a little bit of tumeric to add a bit of ZING. 

So if anyone fancies a yoga retreat, but are worried about food, please know that Yoga Thailand will accommodate your needs.

I need to sleep now. Up early to meditate and listen to my angel before practice.


Will write more tomorrow. Arrived safely at Yoga Thailand, around 9pm (Thai time). Nice to be back at the place I call my second home. Familiar faces, fresh air, great food. 

Today started with 2 bananas, lunch was a mango juice, mid afternoon a coconut and then this evening I had a pear and two bananas. Drinking lots of water.

Early evening saw be being twisted and flattened as I had a Thai massage.

It’s only 8pm – can see me in bed very soon – all the fresh air has made me sleepy. 

Night nite

AArrgghhh!!! Sore throat, swollen glands, lying in bed. Hate feeling like this – useless and pathetic. I’ve been stressing alot about my upcoming course and worrying that my yoga diploma has taken a back seat for a while. My munchings have been sporadic and somewhat small. I have to take more care of myself, especially now I’m a yoga teacher. It’s important to stay healthy and full of energy as this is what your students feed off.

Refuse t ever feel like this again – take it as a lesson learned.

Am sipping on a smoothie as I write – Oj, mango, banana, raspberries, flaxseed oil and maca, courtesy of hubby.

Purchased a big bag of clementines yesterday and that is what I will eat over the weekend as I will be out and about. Am attending several workshops with the ashtanga teacher Chuck Miller: backbends, shoulder openers, inversions, and a teacher training workshop. Have never attended one of Chuck’s workshops before.

Tomorrow’s classes will be followed by an evening kirtan with Gina Sala at
Sun and Moon in Meguro (my home). Just hope my voice is back to sing and chant – then again maybe it’s a blessing if it stays away so no one else has to suffer as I use my vocal chords!!

With the yukkiness in my body today I do feel my body is crying out for a fast, so with light meals over the weekend, Monday will be a water fast from noon till noon on Tuesday. I’m not teaching on Monday, just going to an ashtanga class, Tuesday sees me teaching in the evening, by which time I will have eaten so I will be fine.

I intend to fast once a week. Should be easy to do when in Thailand, then maybe not if surrounded by durian, coconuts and all other beautiful fruits of the world.

Yes, Thailand is just a week away. I leave next Saturday. The TTC starts on Monday. Sunday will start with a Mysore practice in the morning, followed by a coconut. A few hours spent on the beach and then off into the next town Nathon to get my fruit. Have never been so excited about fruit shopping before and I still have a week to go. Is this how people feel when they plan to shop at Prada or Gucci? What a buzz…would much rather spend my pennies on a mango than an overpriced dress!

So back to now, before I drift off into Thailand heaven.

Yesterday I returned to the new raw restaurant in Tokyo, Veggie Paradise. For those who are interested in going, you need to go out the south exit at Yoyogi-uehara station. Walk up the hill for about 30 seconds and Veggie Paradise is down a street on the left. Very easy to find – I get lost in Tokyo easily and I found it!

I met with my friend KC (love you KC), who chatted to myself and a friend Mutsumi (who has just attended a raw food course in the states). KC is writing an article on raw food and nutrition for an expat magazine here. We chatted for a good 2 hours while eating yummy food (raw pumpkin soup, salad with shitake dressing, mushrooms with a cashew cheesy sauce, seaweed salad). We discussed a number of topics, not sure if I should discuss them here as I want to see the magazine article first and then maybe elaborate. What I did notice was my passion for this subject. I don’t think I had recognized it before. Was like someone had walked in a dropped a pineapple on my head and said ‘look – you can make this work here’.

So I came away buzzing, full of ideas. Thinking of yoga and raw food retreats to run here in Japan (would give us a chance to run away from the concrete and out towards the ocean). Then today I wake up feeling like crap!

Will be back on track this weekend, with the yoga and things. Living life to the full, but being more aware of my energy levels – I just get so excited though and keep going and going them wham! I’m lying in bed.

Need to get my webpages up. Many ideas, would still like your input though as to what you would like to see. Hopefully they will be ready to view late January.

So, I will leave you with some photos of yesterday.

Veggie Paradise







So clean fresh, spacious, relaxing


And to finish with, our new babies. Three stray cats that have found home on my balcony. Simply adorable.


Stay warm and healthy

I promise to write an update over the next couple of days.Lots to tell.* There is a raw food restaurant here in Tokyo….* Have just completed a 40 hour ashtanga teacher training with the magnificent David Swenson* Am teaching LOTS of yoga and forever learning* Nashi season is here.* Lara bars can be found in Tokyo.* Feeling positive about combining my raw food and yoga here in Japan. Really think it’s going to work. Love to all. Have a fabulous raw weekend.Mxxxxx 

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