Excited about herbs…

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We’re getting a little excited.

Now if you erase the recent gale force winds from your mind, there is definitely a little hint of Spring in the air, don’t you think? A little bit of blossom on the trees, a few daffs popping up here and there and if the above pics are anything to go by then we’d say we’re on the home straight..yay! Our surroundings are starting to gently change colour at this time of year and spring into life with brilliant fresh green everywhere. And it got us thinking a little green fingered and especially about the wonderful world of herbs.

Herbs and essential oils have been used for centuries for health benefits, and we thought we’d share some of our favourite uses for them but really we’re just scratching the surface. Enjoy exploring!

ALTHOUGH HERBS AND OILS ARE ALL NATURAL YOU SHOULD USE WITH CAUTION ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR ON OTHER MEDICATION. CONSULT YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE USING.

On our retreats essential oils are used in abundance to create the right mood and vibe for classes, relaxation and massage. We burn them in oil burners, sprinkle them on our guests pillows and add to our home made products in our goodie bags. There are so many different ways to use herbs and oils, here’s a few of our favs….

For getting a better nights kip. Lavender is known for its super calming and relaxing properties. Its can help to relieve stress and anxiety. We like to add some drops of the essential oil to our bath and pillow but you could also fill an eye bag with some dried lavender and pop it on for a nice deep sleep.

For cleaning and sanitizing your home. Tea tree oil is not only great for your skin it offers antibacterial, antiseptic and anti fungal properties which makes it great for cleaning! Add a few drops with some water for a home made spray disinfectant.

For easing anxiety and when you’re feeling blue. Recent clinical and laboratory research has determined that chamomile is not only relaxing, but it can significantly decrease anxiety and even fight depression. We like to drink this in a tea and you could even try growing it from seed in your garden or balcony.  http://www.herbexpert.co.uk/growingchamomile.html

For an all round super health boost. Pick young nettle leaves (yes the ones that can be found on your garden!) before they flower, add to a cafetière and pour over boiling water. Allow to infuse and drink. Nettles are known for so many amazing health benefits but to lists a few – rid the body of toxins, ease digestion, ease arthritis and muscles aches, helps ezema, asthma and hay fever! Some more things to do with your nettles.

 

 

 

 

Happy memories for Jan.

WOW! What an amazing weekend we had of last in Arundel, retreating with our lovely 16 guests, in the gorgeous and misty West Sussex countryside. We’re sure the pictures speak for themselves but it was a truly nourishing and relaxing weekend with great food, craft and Pilates.  We super excited to be going back here in May for maybe a little bit of a warmer affair! Booking is now open so do contact us if you’d like to come along and retreat with us…but for now we’ll leave you with some kind and wise words from this year’s guests.

“I think it was half way through Saturday when I realised just how relaxed I felt.  A feeling I haven’t had in a long time.  I was almost giggly with it on Saturday evening thinking that we had a whole day to go. I came away Monday morning, relaxed, energised and calm. I’m still managing to hold on to that calm. Even after a rushed double school run, delayed train and cancelled trains, work crap and screaming kids – it’s magic!  Blimey, I even got up this morning and did the 100s first thing.”

“Soothing, relaxing and a real step away from the ‘day to day’. Tune Out offers a simple, stylish check-out from a busy routine and really does give you the physical and mental space to get back to the best version of yourself – I wouldn’t be without a Tune Out weekend at the start of each year. I am fortunate enough in my work to travel and enjoy massages in some very well-known hotels and spas. That said I consider Lisa to be one of the most in-tune and skilled massage practitioners I have had the pleasure of being treated by. She is inherently sensitive to your needs and it is inevitable that I leave feeling better, lighter, more relaxed, and – always – with a stash of her cards for friends and clients.”

“I felt completely refreshed and in a much better place ‘mentally’. I have been much more patient since the weekend with my children!”

“The retreat successfully made two extremely neurotic people unravel to such a stage that true relaxation (and de-stressing) was achieved. The level of relaxation was such that the level of discomfort normally experienced on a daily basis from irritable bowel syndrome, or chronic intractable pain was actually reduced (which was a shock to both of us who believed that this discomfort was an inevitable side-effect that cannot be soothed/cured).” 

The best time for new beginnings is now

First of all. Happy new Year!  By now you’ll most likely be well and truly settled back into work and daily routines post Christmas, and for us too.  We’ve had a lovely long break, Katherine is about to return from an amazing trip to New Zealand, and I’m ready and raring to go as January is one of our busiest months. We’ve got our weekend retreat at the end of the month to the lovely Arundel which is now fully booked. We’ll be going again in May if you missed out on this one, all the details can be found here. And of course our weekly classes are bursting with enthusiastic folks getting fit and healthy post Christmas.

So back to this year’s first post! We’re a little over resolutions these days, and instead we’re all about taking up new stuff rather than cutting it out. Trying for a more balanced approached to January with more achievable outcomes.

There’s a few little things we like to do at this time of year to enter the New Year on a positive note. So here’s just 3 things you could have a think about whilst moving gently into 2016….

  • I N T E N T .  Its never too late to set some clear and simple intentions for your year (or life!) ahead. Take a little time to think about where you want to be or what you would like to achieve in your year ahead. It might just be 1 thing that you’d like to do or have wanted to do for some time. Learn to dance, plan a family holiday, do some work to the house, walk to work. Whatever it is just choose ONE for the whole year. Much more achievable this way. Write it in a place that you see it everyday – on the fridge, bathroom mirror, post it note on your computer. This little reminder will allow you to take steps towards it through your decisions and behaviours.
  • R E C O N N E C T .  With a glut of new fitness DVD’s and fads at this time of year it can be overwhelming knowing what to do to get fit! But recent research has shown that going for a brisk 30 minute or longer walk can be more effective than going to the gym. PLUS connecting with nature can have huge phycological benefits so its a win win. Use this time to think about your intentions for the year. We’re loving the Time Out Country walks book at this time of year.
  • B U I L D  A  T R I B E . (face to face) We recently blogged about how to use technology in a more balanced way. Too much technology use and little face to face connection with people can leave us with feeling of loneliness and unconnectedness. Once you have set your intentions for the year think about the tribe of friends and family that might help and support you. Also where could you support your friends and family more. Maybe some friendships with come to an end and maybe on your way new friendships will be created, but know that the people your surround yourself with get you and support you fully.

We wish you well for 2016…

L & K x

The TuneOut Guide to Christmas…

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Well folks, December, with all its merriment is well and truly here!

Does that thought fill you with joy or dread? For us all, December can be pretty extreme to say the least. Work parties, Christmas shopping, lots of drink, lots of indulgent food, then throw in the pressure of spending time with family, money worries, and lack of sleep and you’ve got yourself a big ol’ recipe for feeling pretty rubbish by the end of it all. Hence where the extreme January detoxing comes from!

But with the risk of us sounding very boring, what if you wrote yourself a few simple rules to live by in December, because sometimes when we’re in thick of it, we just need a little reminding. The essence of Christmas can get lost in amongst the need to buy the best present, host the coolest party, give our children great big piles of gifts, and really Christmas is a time of thanks, giving, and most importantly spending quality, precious time with our loved ones.

So strip away some the ‘stuff’ that isn’t needed and maybe try doing some of these to help keep you sane and allow you to float into your New Year (minus the crazy detoxing!)

G I V E  T H A N K S . Take a moment to look back on the last year. What’s changed. What did you achieve, however small it was. Who helped you out in times of need. Remember that others in the world are in much worse situations and be grateful for where you are and the people you have around you. Christmas is the perfect time to show thanks.

R E – C O N N E C T . Christmas is a great excuse for getting in touch with those you haven’t connected with for a while. Family members, friends and neighbours. Now is your chance to say hello, in a card, an email, or we’re loving the Paperless Post Christmas cards at the moment. When you do get to spend time with family, try to ignore those annoyances and embrace the special moments, even if copious amounts of alcohol are needed!

K E E P  M O V I N G . Have you felt a change in your body as the seasons change. Maybe a tight shoulder, a stiff back or some old injuries rearing their ugly heads. That can be down to the darker evenings and colder days, our bodies can tense up and go into ‘hibernation’ mode so its important to try to keep moving. Whether that be going to a class, for a big country walk or dancing the night away at your Christmas party there’s no excuse not to!

D R I N K . Not the way you’re thinking! Yes Christmas parties are in full swing, and its hard not to get swept along in the fun and games, so all we’re saying is load up on the water, which will help the hangover the next day. Try some lemon or apple cider vinegar in your water which will help rid the body of those pesky toxins. Plus we’re loving these super cool S’well bottles which make a great gift and help the environment along the way!

T U N E  O U T . Could you give up just 10 minutes of your day. The Headspace app is OUR FAVOURITE and free for 10 days. A subscription would make a great gift for those stressed loved ones. Meditation is scientifically proven to reduce stress, increase happiness, creativity, help cope with anxiety, depression and improve digestion. The list is endless. Why wouldn’t we want to be doing this everyday!

B E  K I N D . Now is a great time of year to put some kindness into practice. Gestures of kindness can be so small too and make such a difference to someone’s life. Visit an elderly neighbour, donate to a charity or just do something nice for someone.

This year we’ll be donating 10% from all the money made from items sold through our  S H O P to the homeless charity CRISIS. Check out their website, there are loads of ways to get involved.

L E T  Y O U R  H A I R  D O W N . This is a very important part of your well-being, and you know we’re all about the balance here at Tune Out. Have fun, drink another cocktail, eat another mince pie, and go dancing BUT be sure to have lots of laughs along the way.

M A Y   Y O U R   D A Y S   B E   M E R R Y   A N D   B R I G H T . . .

Laura and Katherine xx

How To Tune Out….from technology.

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Over the weekend we ran the second of our ‘Half day Urban Retreats’ in Walthamstow, London.  It was a lovely afternoon of Pilates, craft and relaxation. And craft we did, making these amazing macrame plant holders, plus there’s always a little tea and cake thrown in there, of course! It was so good to get making and creating with our hands, highlighting the amazing therapeutic benefits of crafting and its an important reminder of why we should all take time to tuneout of our busy schedules and more specifically, technology.

Because technology is EVERYWHERE! Just take a look around on your morning commute. Its rare these days to find anyone that doesn’t own a laptop, tablet or smart phone. Its true that technology is helping us to feel more connected than ever before. It allows us to easily stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues and for us as a new, small business it plays an important part of our marketing strategies! BUT studies are starting to show the link between too much time with technology and negative impacts on our health. We’re talking poorer sleep patterns, muscular pain, depression, social anxiety, and addictive behavior are starting to surface. So in our work obsessed culture we’re encouraging you to take some time to look at how you have integrated technology into your life and is it too much?

Taking time off can allow us to reconnect with ourselves, re charge (excuse the pun!) and lead fuller, happier lives. Give these a go…

  • Notice the impact of too much time spent on technology and your physical body. If your day is spent at a desk then know that this will have an impact on your body. Practice Yoga and Pilates to stretch, re balance and help to correct poor posture by strengthening core muscles.
  • Try to balance your day out if your job requires you spending long hours in front of the screen. It might sound obvious but schedule in breaks from the screen, take a walk on your lunch break, and try to keep some movement in your body through out the day even if that’s a few neck and shoulder rolls.
  • Re connect with people face to face. In our text and email worlds are we loosing the ability and confidence to communicate properly with people face to face. Not only will the other person appreciate you taking your phone off the table, listening properly and turning your phone to silent, but you’ll feel much better for it too!
  • Unless you’re waiting for an important call why not turn your phone to silent. Do calls really need to be answered instantly?
  • Schedule in time in the day for answering emails and calls. Again it boils down to whether people that are connecting with you need an instant answer.
  • Ban the TV for a night. What could you do with an evening of no TV at home…craft, have a bath, cook, have some friends round, visit a neighbour.
  • Put pen to paper. Its good to be aware of our paper consumption, but nothing beats getting a hand written letter or card. Take 5 minutes to send a little note to someone you love or you haven’t spoken to for a while. It will probably make their day.
  • Turn technology off for bed. Technology is SUPER stimulating and could be affecting you getting a good nights kip. Try no technology before bedtime rule and if you need more help getting to sleep check out our guide…
  • Take holidays. Taking time off should be seen as a valuable part of our lives that helps us to re connect and open up creativity, not an opportunity to re fresh and be a better worker. Savour these moments they will be the ones you remember the most.

Thanks to all that came along on Sunday. Looking forward to more of these next year. Join our mailing list to be the first to know. Plus if you love our plant holders but don’t have the to make one then you can now buy them at our SHOP.

Enjoy your technology free time!

L and K x

 

 

Why everyone should try retreating…

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This time 2 weeks ago myself and Katherine took ourselves on a weekend Yoga retreat. What a treat! We figured, how can we preach why its so good to go on a retreat if we don’t sample it ourselves, right? It was great to be on the other side of hosting and be hosted for a change. And our hosts did not disappoint. We went to, of course relax and restore after a busy summer but the weekend also offered up lots of inspiration plus we got to check out some exciting new venues for the Tune Out Retreats on the way, more on that another time.  It really set in stone for us why everyone needs a little retreating in there lives for time to time. It doesn’t have to be for a long time, expensive or luxurious. There are so many different types of retreats out there these days its really about finding something that suits your budget, time, and what you want out of it. Watch out for those ‘retreat’ labels which could end up costing thousands…a retreat could be a simple as taking a day off and turning your phone off.

So whilst we’re still daydreaming about our weekend and trying to hang on to the retreat feeling, we thought it would be a good time put down on paper why we went and why we’ll be  giving ourselves a retreat again next year. For sure!

You reconnect with your body. When you spend a weekend tuning into your body, different things can come up, some things feel easier and maybe some things feel harder. But you get an over all sense of connection to your body and your feelings when all the other ‘stuff’ is stripped away and that can feel pretty empowering.

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You get to sit still. Can you honestly say you still and do nothing at any point in your day? (Not when your sleeping?!) Being on a retreat, in whatever version you choose, allows you to have the opportunity to do that. Whether its in one of the relaxation sessions, curled up on a sofa with a book, or taking in the gorgeous view for a moment. In a world that you get praised for doing more stuff in less time, its not often that we are forced to do nothing and its feels great!

You get to be creative.  Being creative isn’t just being arty or good at making stuff. Change inspires creativity in lots of ways and retreats can offer up a whole load of new things to try out. Maybe a new Pilates exercise or Yoga posture or eating different foods or getting a little craft on. We kind of got addicted to the colouring in books on our retreat, inspired by Anna’s love of them, we were able to colour as we wished in our free time, and we got hooked!

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Someone takes care of YOU for a change. Not having to think about what we were eating for more than 2 whole days and being greeted at every meal with wholesome, hearty, healthy food was such a treat. Knowing that you’re nourishing our bodies feels good but when its someone else doing the thinking and cooking for you, then that’s a real treat!

You get to be someone else for a little while. We all have roles to play and schedules to follow in our day to day. Those things are stripped away on a retreat, if only for a short time, and you have the choice to spend your weekend how you like. You can either fully engaged with the group and surroundings and do all the activities OR you can retreat to a corner with a book, go for a walk and/or be on your own. No questions asked.

 

Thank you so much to our lovely hosts Anna and Monique. You can check out their  super Yoga retreats here.

xx

 

Autumn is coming…are you ready?

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Its true! Its on its way. How you feeling about that? Personally, we’re suckers for a season change, especially Autumn. Everyone comes back to their Pilates classes…yay, and we do love to get all organised in a back to school kind of way. But more seriously, the cold, wet and darker days can have a REAL impact on our health and well being. After all we are a part of nature ourselves and therefore we’re going to celebrate the turning of the seasons with a little tuneout guide to preparing for the Autumn.

Are you suffering from post summer burn out? Yep we’re feeling it too. Its great to enjoy the summer and lets face it, its pretty short lived in this country so we’ve got to make the most of it! But all those late summer nights, after work drinks and festivals can take their toll on our bodies leaving us needing a little pick me up. So here goes…

  • Be boring. In our ‘do it all‘ culture and constant updates on other peoples lives via our smart phones the pressure is always on to get more stuff done and be a better version of you. And that’s great, its always good to be inspired and strive to be your best but when taken to the extreme that can have the opposite effect on our health creating a bit of a multi tasking monster!!! So maybe for a little while could you try doing LESS stuff? It might just be a couple for days or even a week, until you feel less wired and more tuned in to YOU. Try eating simple, uncomplicated, clean foods, go out less, drink less, exercise slowly with some Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi, finish work on time, turn your technology off, read and potter. And once doing so hopefully allowing some space not only in the body but mentally too for the start of a lovely new season…
  • Mix it up. Could you change your daily routine? We love doing this as its stimulates the brain, leaving us feeling revived and refreshed.

Could you…

  • Get to bed earlier. With the darker nights, we’re not going to feel bad about sneaking off to bed at 9:30pm. Nope. If you struggle with getting off to sleep you could try our recently posted ‘How to Tune Out…last thing at night’
  • If you’re getting to bed a little earlier, could you get up earlier in the morning? Try re-setting your alarm to allow for an extra 15 minutes, which might allow some time for the following – a 10 minute Headspace meditation. A morning stretch. A hot water and lemon. A mindful breakfast.
  • See sunlight. Whatever you’re day entails, try to get outside. In your lunch break or hopping off your commute a stop early and walking the rest of the way.
  • Make some plans. Sit down and think about who you’d like to see over the next few months, things you’d like to do and see. Life can move so fast sometimes we get caught up in the day to day and those special moments can pass us by. Catch up with some old friends, book a retreat (!) workshop or start a new project.
  • Bring your green inside. The garden might be on the turn but there’s still loads of homegrown veggies that you can plant up in your container garden just now. Or you could buy some indoor plants and help to detoxify the air with these species.
  • Mix up your midweek meals. Have you been eating the same things for a while? What about cooking some new recipes or checking out your local farmers market for some inspiration and the best fresh seasonal food.

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Urban Day Retreats in London

This morning we wanted to share an exciting new side of TUNEOUT that we launched earlier this year. Every couple of months, when we’re not retreating somewhere in the countryside with you guys, we’re going to be running day and half day urban retreats based around London. We realise, for everyone its not always possible to give up the time and money to attend a full weekend retreat but its still super important to our health and well being to take that much needed ‘you time’ even more so when you live in this crazy old city called London! This is really cool for us as it allows us to indulge in all our passions (one of those being helping you to feel better!) The idea is you join us for either a few hours or the full day, we move, we make and we definitely relax. We add in loads of little tuneout treats throughout the day to make you feel extra special and you leave feeling pretty damn fine! No experience is required in either Pilates or craft, and EVERYONE is welcome, you just turn up, as with our retreats and let us guide you through the day. So first of all make sure you subscribe to hear about it first as spaces are limited, then you book yourself in and turn up. Easy peasy. You can find the details of our next one (in November) below, and really we hope to see you there for some good quality tuneout time….

Laura and Katherine x

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M O V E. M A K E. M E N D.

SUNDAY 8th NOVEMBER 2-5PM

Hosted by Laura Hogg & Katherine Pentecost

Venue : East of Eden Walthamstow. London E17

We’re heading back to the lovely East of Eden studio for a breezy autumn afternoon of Pilates, crafting and relaxation. You’ll get all the best bits of one of our weekend retreats squeezed into an afternoon.

Starting the afternoon with an energising and cleansing juice/smoothie, followed by a class designed to get you to MOVE around lots and allow the creative juices to flow. The class is suitable for all levels. Then after a little break it will be time to MAKE. We’ll be getting our craft on and this time making a super cool macrame plant holder. (Similar to the one below) with of course tea and cake (of the healthy variety) Then to finish, time to MEND. A deep relaxation, stretch and mini massages.

Nice yes? We hope to see you there…

To book contact tuneoutpilatesretreats@gmail.com or call 07817604846
Cost £35 per person including all teas/juice and craft material

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A beautiful match.

We woke up to this sky this morning. Whoop whoop! Summer’s back in London. Phew. Really thought that might have been our lot this year!

This week we’re getting a little geeky and talking about the beautiful connection between swimming and Pilates, and why? Well in this kind of weather,  nothing beats a spot of outdoor swimming. And who would of thought that we’re actually pretty spoiled for choice right here in London. You’ve got the lovely (and at times busy!) London Fields Lido, mostly lane swimming, but heated all year round, which of course wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Broadway market for a little post swim coffee/smoothie/juice.  Then there’s the Hampstead Ponds for a true – all natural swimming experience.  Can be pretty bracing but a beautiful place to take a dip. There’s a pop up beach in the Olympic Park for the summer – Beach East is very much kiddy friendly and has a decent sized splash pool and man made beach for all your sand castle needs! Plus if you’re up for travelling a little further afield just over an hours drive from East London you could go for the real deal with some swimming in the sea at the delightful town of Whitstable. Very much a chilly experience and definitely one for the more experienced swimmers.

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So not only is it super fun to be outdoors and splashing around in the pool, swimming is obviously a great way to exercise and keep fit and healthy,  but just like Pilates its supported and safe so anyone can do it. Take the breast stroke, for example, its allows your spine to be in an extended position,  something that lots of us are loosing through poor posture from being desk bound all day or over connection to our smart phones or laptops.  The breast stroke helps us to open up the chest, extend the upper spine and strengthen the back, arms and legs, and therefore creating B A L A N C E in the body. Its a win win!! Plus for those of us who find extension difficult to achieve (think cobra or swan positions)  its a very safe and sensible way to move your spine in this direction.

And it seems Joseph was inspired too. In the classical Pilates matwork you’ll find an exercise called ‘swimming’ its a great exercise which allows for many variations at different levels, and again just like the swimming breaststroke its strengthens your whole body, whilst working your core. Plus in the classical Reformer there’s also ‘breaststroke’ and ‘backstroke’ exercises and then also ‘butterfly’ on the Cadillac. Sounds fun, no?!

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Why not head down to one of our local classes and give it a go…or to your local pool for a dip.  Happy swimming…

Enjoy!