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The Functional Medicine Approach to Health


Hello Yogis.

One of my wonderful yoga students is also a practicing functional medicine practitioner.

I am honoured to share below an article she wrote about this approach to health and wellbeing.

Embracing Ayurveda and Functional Medicine to heal yourself

Dr Kavita Praveen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
MBBS, MRCPsych, AFMCP-UK Graduate

Who can benefit from the Functional Medicine approach?

Anyone who has a chronic disease such as Diabetes, PCOS, Multiple Sclerosis, Auto-immune Disease, Cancers etc. knows how difficult it can be to get through the day and address the many underlying health issues, not to mention the side-effects of the medications they are constantly battling. 

I share their frustrations regarding conventional medicine practices which mostly addresses the symptoms on the surface. So is there a different solution and what is it?

For individuals who are feeling demotivated, I can assure you there is a better solution which addresses the disease at the root level. 

This is called Functional medicine, which is a relatively new field in the UK, also called as Lifestyle Medicine. 

In essence, it is science and evidence based medicine of many ancient systems like the Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine etc. All these systems use a holistic approach, working with the mind, body and soul to bring back balance and healing. 

What is Ayurveda?

Some people think of Ayurveda as something that only yogis or people with intense discipline can practice. This is far from the truth and Ayurveda is much needed in modern day to help bring back balance and certainly needed for someone addressing a chronic disease. 

Ayurveda is the science of life (Ayur=life and Veda=science).

 Ayurveda truly and rightly so believes that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. Taking this one step further is that this can happen only when the right conditions for healing are provided. 

This can be done gradually and incorporated into your life style through making changes in lifestyle and diet, and you will start to see positive results immediately. 

One of the integral ways is to eat mindfully a variety of colourful and flavourful diet. 

Ayurveda teaches us that each individual has a certain dosha (vata, pitta, kapha or a combination of these). 

These change over time with circumstances and seasons. Tuning into yourself to identify this and eating as per your dosha helps to rebalance the body. This may sound complex but is very simple once you start to practice. For eg. although raw food is considered healthy, this may not be the case for vata types, certainly in colder months when they need cooked and easily digestible warm foods. 

Spices are very important in Ayurvedic cuisine adding flavour, warmth and medicinal properties for food. 

Then there are other elements of Ayurveda such as yoga and meditation which are ways to become more self-aware, improve digestion and assimilation. 

Why use medicines when our food can be so powerful!! 

So folks if you make one change in this direction, I urge you to cook fresh with a range of vegetables and spices, eat mindfully with your loved ones without the use of gadgets whilst eating.

You can find out more about cooking using Ayurvedic and Functional Medicine Principles in my cooking classes - COOK TO HEAL

Have you tried these?


Hello Yogis.

Now that you may be guiding yourself daily towards better health and vitality, through the 14 day challenge I set a couple of months ago and which I will continue to leave live throughout August, I thought I would share with you some other changes you can make in your life, to help not only yourself but this wonderful planet that you live on.

Yoga is a holistic practice and within it’s philosophy, Yogis learn to appreciate that they and the world they live in are one! 

As we breathe in, trees breathe out, and vice versa. 

Every action that we take, has a direct consequence, not only for ourselves but for everyone we come into contact with and who they then come into contact with, and so on, until it ripples far and wide, affecting the human, animal and planetary consciousness and welfare experience.

By making just a few small changes this month, I am hoping to contribute to a greater, collective awareness of this concept and also to help the planet as I go.

In order to achieve the above, I have been trying to complete a challenge myself. Throughout the whole of July, I have been turning my attention towards using other alternatives to single use plastic.

I have made some easy changes over the course of the last month or so that I thought I would share with you.


I have long since moved beyond conventional toothpaste for a more natural approach, choosing instead to use herbal brands, but these usually come in plastic toothpaste tubes. Kenny and I instead sourced a new brand called, Georganics, that is available to purchase directly from the Daily Bread shop in Northampton.

I have tried both the peppermint and spearmint versions but they do other flavours too, and have found them to be amazing. Conventional toothpaste contains a lot of harsh chemicals and you won’t realise until you stop using them, how badly those chemicals can negatively affect the feeling and health of your mouth. This toothpaste not only gets the teeth clean, and keeps your breath fresh, but your mouth feels relaxed and calmer following use.

Dental Floss

Dental floss is a real problem for the environment but fear no more. I have found a dental floss made of silk. It is biodegradable and comes in eco friendly packaging, It is called Woobamboo and is also available from Daily Bread 

Shampoo and soap.

As you know, I have very long hair and I need to look after it. I have sacrificed my usual shampoo this month for a Shampoo Bar made by Friendly Soap Company.

It not only washes but also conditions the hair. You need to take care to rinse it well, but it is amazing and has made my hair feel even thicker and fuller than normal. I have so far used the Lavender and Geranium version but have a new bar of Lavender and Tea Tree to try next. This is also available from Daily Bread and at a fraction of the cost of regular shampoo! 

I won’t be switching back to my previous brand!

I have also been using the faith in nature soap bar instead of shower gel for well over a year now. It is so much nicer on my skin.

Re-usable cups

For a few years now, I have used alternative re-usable cups when purchasing coffee and tea out. I carry them with me in my bag. Often coffee  shops will offer a 50p discount to customers who are using their own cups.

I always opt for organic bamboo cups

The coffee or tea always tastes better without that plastic undertone that you so often get when drinking from coffee shop disposable cups. You can purchase them here from Daily bread 

Weekly food shop.

For at least 2 years now, Kenny and I have been sourcing our weekly shop from online organic suppliers. There are lots to choose from.

Our favourite company and the one we will continue to order from are Abel and Cole. They are constantly updating packaging and supplies, carefully weighing up the impact all changes they make to their packaging, have on the environment in both the short and long term. You can read more about this here.

The produce is very very fresh and lasts well in a fridge. I find the prices to be very reasonable, with a weekly shop for groceries costing us about £80-£100. 

They deliver to our door early on a Monday morning, with no hassles or problems, leaving me more time for my yoga, meditation and other interesting pursuits, rather than fighting my way around the supermarket.

Buying groceries is a very personal choice so feel free to try a few companies before settling on one that suits you.

Having some meat free days each week.

The final change I have made is to consciously reduce the amount of animal products I am consuming. I have not eaten meat or diary regularly for around 10 years, but I usually have fish a few times a week. I love eggs so used to have them daily. 

I have over the past few weeks, gradually reduced my intake of both so I now have eggs once a week and fish once a week. The rest of the time, my diet is plant based.

What was interesting was the way in which I approached this. I listened to my body and I didn’t just change my diet overnight. I started by gradually introducing daily changes, where for one day a week, I would make that day a plant based day, this then increased to two and three, and it wasn’t long before I arrived at my current diet. 

I paid close attention to how my body responded to the changes and quickly realised that I actually preferred how I felt on the days when I didn’t consume eggs or fish. 

Having said that, even now, If I feel I need to have egg or fish I will do that.

Moving towards a plant based diet needs a lot of consideration. 

There are many many health benefits, but it is not always a suitable path for everyone. 

Do consult with a doctor before making drastic changes to your diet and in particular if you suffer from any health condition that dietary changes could upset.

As I mentioned, the important thing is to listen to your body, when making these changes. How much energy do you have! Where are your cravings, etc. If you find that you are craving meat, is it a head craving, or is your body that is asking for it?

Because I have been practically vegan for years, I made the transition quite quickly. If you eat a lot of meat and dairy, you will need to make the changes slowly and in a considered way. It takes time for the body to adjust. 

Also you need to consider taking certain supplements if you do move to a full vegan diet. There are plenty of websites that can offer this advice, but as I mentioned before, seeking advice from a doctor or nutritional therapists may be a good idea.

Do consider this before making lifestyle changes.

In yoga philosophy, one of the 8 limbs is Ahimsa, which translates loosely as non-violence. Initially, upon reading this statement, one could jump and interpret that meaning to say, that you should never eat animals or use animal products, where an animal may have suffered in it’s production, but Ahimsa moves beyond this initial concept. If your body is responding negatively to changing from a meat based to plant based diet, for whatever reason, then you are causing yourself harm, that should be considered strongly when making a decision as to whether to continue with the changes you are making.

If you are interested in the plastic free July challenge, you can view more details here.

With love and blessings!


A complete success!


Hello Yogis.

Following the success of last month's 14 Day Challenge, I have decided to extend the availability of the videos I recorded, so that you can enjoy guided yoga and meditation every day for the next month or so, in the comfort of your own home.

During the challenge, I recorded a live Facebook video each morning for 14 days and some students were able to join me live at 6.30am to be taken through a 20 minute practice.

For those who were unable to join at that time, I shared the videos to the group so that they could be enjoyed at any time of the day.

The videos are still live and I will be keeping them live for at least a month. 

In order to start from day 1, look out for the video dated 3rd June and begin the classes from there. Videos recorded prior to that are just setting the stage for the classes. You are of course welcome to watch all the video content.

If you would like to view the video’s and take the classes, you will need to join the Facebook group I created.

If you do decide to watch them. do give feedback because if I can see that they are being viewed, I may keep them live for longer.

I do hope that you can make use of them to increase your energy, strength and wellbeing as we move through summer so that you are stronger and more buoyant as the winter months approach.

It has been a real pleasure to deliver the online classes and I am planning to run some online classes in the future so do watch this space.

Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Take me to the Facebook group and videos.

Sending lots of love and light to you all!

Carrie-Anne. xx

Reiki Relaxation Evening - Optional Yoga - 31st July


Hello Yogis.

Let the stress melt away as you lie back and relax completely.

This evening has been so well received in the past, due to demand, I have decided to bring it back.

Reiki Healing is an energy healing practice, that can be used as an effective tool for:

* Reducing stress

* Increasing your energy

* Insomnia

* Anxiety

* Depression

* High Blood pressure

* Compliments conventional medicine in the treatment of injuries and medical conditions.

Reiki can be delivered with hands on or through a hands off approach so I won't place my hands on your body, unless you consent for me to do so.

I have found Reiki to be a very reassuring and restful experience It will help your body to restore a more harmonious energy flow, thereby encouraging deep healing at a pace your higher self is ready to receive.

You will lie down on your mat, cover yourself with your blanket and enjoy distance Reiki, while music plays softly. I will also come round and spend a few minutes with each person, to deliver Reiki directly. Be assured you will be receiving Reiki throughout the session.

Should you wish to join us for the yoga class that runs just prior to the Reiki relaxation, pricings will be as follows:

6.30pm-7.45pm - Yoga only £9

6.30pm-9.00pm - Yoga and Reiki £20

8.00pm-9.00pm - Reiki Healing only £15.

Venue: Church of the Holy Trinity, Balmoral Road, NN2 6PQ

Please do contact me to book your place, either by PM or via 07984191016 or Paypal or Bank Transfer options available for payment on request.

Due to the demand for this evening, if you would like a place, I am asking for payment prior to the event so that I can ensure the spaces are filled.

Limited to 10 People.

Warm regards


Summer Solstice Celebration 2019 - 19th June


Hello Yogis.

The Summer Solstice is a time to celebrate the longest day of the year! 

In 2016, the summer solstice coincided with the full moon, as the sun fell, the full moon rose. It was the first time in 70 years that the two events had occurred in this way.

This year, the solstice falls four days after the full moon. Every month, Yoga Freedom holds a regular Monthly full Moon gong bath, and this month it will be held on 19th June. As this falls between the Full Moon on 17th and the Summer Solstice on 21st, I thought it would be the perfect time to combine the celebrations.

Summer Solstice Yoga Session 6.30-7.45pm:

Throughout the yoga session, I will guide your practice to enable a balance of moon energy and sun energy using the awareness of the breath and an awareness of the subtle energies that will be moving through your body.

Using the ancient techniques of Hatha Yoga, we will be representing both the Sun and the moon throughout the session; allowing a balance between these two forces. With the Sun inspiring the 'Ha' energetic, masculine side of your energy and moon inspiring the 'tha', feminine side of your energy;  this 'Hatha' yoga session will leave you feeling balanced and refreshed!

Full Moon Relaxation 8.00pm-9.00pm:

During the last hour of the evening, you will enjoy setting your intentions and then soothing the mind with a candle gazing meditation. The Gongs and Crystal Singing bowls will then close the evening.

You can choose to attend:

Yoga only - 6.30-7.45pm - £9

Gong Relaxation -  8.00pm-9.00pm - £10

Yoga and Gong Relaxation - 6.30pm-9.00pm - £15

Complimentary tea and biscuits will be served 7.45-8.00pm.

Venue: Church of the Holy Trinity, Balmoral Road, Kingsthorpe, Northampton, NN2 6PQ

Payment secures your booking.

You can pay via paypal, debit or credit card, using the paypal button listed on the Events page. Please book using the 'Gong Relaxation' Paypal button, or send your payment through Paypal to, but be sure to indicate the session you wish to book.

Alternatively, I can send bank details on request, should you prefer to pay via Bank Transfer.

As I will be supplying candles for the meditation, please do let me know as soon as possible if you would like to attend the session.

I so look forward to sharing this event with you!

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

With warmest of wishes.


*payments are non-transferable and non-refundable after 11th June 2019.

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