Lucy Keller: Yoga, Turmeric cream + Thailand

bangkok yoga

Have you ever fallen deeply in trance to someones voice and wish you could record it at that moment and take it home to listen to for relaxation? This might sound a bit creepy, but if you heard this girls voice you would say the same thing! Lucy has such a relaxing and calming voice that when I went to visit Yogatique on Sukhumvit Soi 23 to giveaway some shirts from my new softly launched fitness line Sweat SIlhouette, I was close to recording it to meditate too. After meeting Lucy and getting to know her I was drawn to her calmness, her energy and her passion for yoga! I wanted to share her with you guys so you could get a sense as to what I experienced that day and pickup a few natural beauty tips and stress reducing practices.

Lucy Keller: Yoga, Turmeric cream + Thailand

Tell us a little about you – a current project or goal you are tackling?

I am very happy to be both a primary school teacher and a Yoga instructor as I love learning and I can’t think of two better professions that support my passion. I would like to combine both jobs more equally in my life and have no doubt that someday the two will merge more fluidly. I am really excited right now because I am having a bit of a creative overflow and I am writing a book. I tend to let projects evolve organically and like to follow that which excites my spirit. I am enjoying being present while writing and I frequently feel that the ideas are coming to me rather than I am searching for them. This is what Yoga does for you! When I am thinking too much I have to stop because I know that what is being recorded is less authentic and too constructed.  I am not thinking about a finished product or even taking it at all seriously. It could be finished in 20 years, next year or never but I am not putting pressure on myself, although I know what I have already is very interesting!  Rather than planning projects, my main aim is to stay very present in each moment. All the answers and guidance to the future is there so there really is no need to look for it. Searching just creates thoughts that lead us to spiral in a loop of mind stuff and we miss all the opportunities that are in this beautiful gift of now.

What got you into yoga and when did you know this was your passion?
A very dark period in my life got me into Yoga which I am thankful for. I was trying too hard to be perfect in my job and at home as a partner (as we all often do!)  My job at the time was very stressful.  I taught in an inner London school and many of the families I worked with had suffered trauma and either survived or displayed a lot of challenges. I threw myself into this job with pure emotion and no thought for myself. I did the same in my relationship at the time. On a deeper level, all of this was a cry for approval. We often become a martyr when all we need is a little love. We just don’t realise that we need to learn to love ourselves first before we can genuinely support others.  I ended up with a very extreme form of psoriasis all over my body due to stress that was incredibly shocking to look at!  I couldn’t sleep, had major headaches and felt a lot of pressure building up. It was a wakeup call. A doctor suggested Yoga as a form of stress relied. That was 9 or 10 years ago now. It all seems so long ago now but I will never forget how it made me feel when I first experienced it. I felt as if I had come home. I wanted to cry as a release because I realized I had been unkind to myself and neglected knowing me. Initially, it gave me permission to care for myself and give myself the love that I had needed. It then became an amazing journey of learning about all aspects of myself and being human.  Nowadays I am much more calm, patient and joyful due to following the path Yoga. The journey of true Yoga is not for the faint hearted however, as you bring up all kinds of issues that need to be dealt with. They stand up to meet you and do not leave until you confront them with courage, honesty and positivity. For me, life is being as authentic as possible and to be truthful and understand oneself you need to spring clean the dark corners of your mind.
yoga in bangkok
How do you define “wellness”? What does it mean to “be well” to you?
‘All will be well’ is one of my favourite things to say amongst others. Wellness of mind and body of course are important but I would say that faith in oneself and life itself can lead us to ultimate wellness. I let go of all to the divine universe and know that whatever happens will help me to grow and learn, even if I perceive it to be painful at the time. When we learn to accept things with grace and faith, then all is well. My mum would laugh at this because as a child, I never accepted anything with good grace ha ha. I have worked hard at this!
I keep my mind and body well by eating healthy foods and my mind by practicing Yoga and meditation. Yoga is the path to meditation.
What is your day to day life like in Thailand?
I always start my day with a positive attitude by engaging in some yoga or pranayama or meditation. I have a shower and a healthy breakfast. this sets me right for the day. I get to work at about 7:30 a.m. and am generally very busy! I work with 5 years olds which is pretty full on but incredible at the same time. Young children are very inspiring and are often more insightful than adults. I am normally at school until about 4:30 p.m. or 5 and then I will exercise and cook something healthy for dinner if I am not going out for dinner with friends. Day to day living is busy but very normal! It varies on the days I teach yoga too.
What is one natural beauty product you cannot live without?
Turmeric cream. It is amazing! I mix it with a little of my moisturizer on a daily basis to make the cream less greasy. It is antiseptic so it makes me feel clean in this congested city. I even mix a little with my make-up! When I have a cut or pimple, I whack it on. It’s great! Have you ever tried neem scrub? That’s fabulous too. I love the Himalayan products.
Lucy Keller
Tell us about your perfect day – start to finish. What would you do and who would you spend your time with?
I would wake up a bit later than normal. I get up daily at about 4:30 a.m. to 4:45 a.m. so I would welcome a little lie in. I would do my yoga that was guided by my intuition. Then I would have a wonderfully healthy breakfast on my balcony whilst feeling gratitude for my life. I might do some baking or reading then go for a walk. I love alone time because my work is so busy but I am love being social too.  I would probably go and meet a friend for coffee or go to the studio.  I really love to spend time at Yogatique studio where I teach yoga because it has a great community feel. In the evening, I would go out with some friends and also meet new people. I love to make new connections. If I wasn’t tired, and the flow was good then I would love to go out and shake my booty on the dancefloor. After saying all this, I would also welcome a crazily hard task like trekking and camping in Nepal which is something I am researching at the moment. Every day can be perfect if you look for the positives but I appreciate that this is challenging too sometimes.
Any fears moving to Thailand?
No fears! I actually had a dream that I packed up all my belongings and came here before doing so. a couple of weeks after the dream a friend messaged me out of the blue to say there was a teaching job going here. She lived here already and had no idea about the dream.  It was a definite calling from the universe so here I am and I am here until I am guided elsewhere!
Share a quote that best describes your outlook on life. 
Oooooohhhh this is hard!!!! There are so many inspirational quotes that reflect how I choose to live. I have to be clever and efficient here to encompass all that I wish to communicate. Ok…. after much deliberation and not getting anywhere I left this interview and said to myself ‘it will come when it is ready’.
10 minutes later I passed by my friend who was explaining how he needed to get so much done and he said, “As you always say Lucy……the universe provides”. I smiled. I always say this and the universe even provided my own quote back at me when I chose not to look for it.
“The universe provides”. 
Thank you universe.
Ok now that you can see why I love her if you live in BKK you have to check out her yoga class at Yogatique on Sukhumvit Soi 23 (website here). If not than you will have to just stick around and wait for her meditation tape (yes I want her to make one so I can ease my stress away ASAP)

Connect With Me:

+Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyvioletbentley

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+To get workouts and recipes in your email go HERE http://bit.ly/1bNWjnJ

Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

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Fit.Fun.Fabulous :: Fitness Fashion Files

fitness fashion for women Every so often I like to get FUNKY like in a funky fresh sense and mix it up old skool style..so I pulled out the old adidas crop top and came pretty close to throwing on some hoops but at that point I would look more like a hip hop dancer than a gym goer…

Fit.Fun.Fabulous Fitness Fashion Files

Fitness Fashion

I used to be one of those girls that wore her PJs to the gym, literally not kidding.. but then I realized how unprofessional I looked and after wearing actual outfits or “costumes” as some of my friends call them, I realized how much better I performed at the gym and how much more confident I felt.

courtney bentley

I was chatting with a friend the other day about how a blow out made us instantly feel like a million bucks and neither one of us could put our finger on why such a simple thing could change our moods, our attitude and our chicness all at once. It really is cross to me how a cute outfit, a blow out, gloss and for myself a spray tan makes me turn into superwoman. When I look like hell I get NOTHING done, feel sad and make every excuse to sit at home and cook in the kitchen all day..BORING!

So the next time you feel like sulking around all day and being negative nancy, put on some lip gloss, curl your hair and put on a cute outfit + I can almost promise you, you can take on the world!

So I wanna know..

  • How will you go about the rest of the year?
  • Do you get weekly blowouts? I am kinda on one right now with those..

Photos By: Jessica Teal :: https://www.facebook.com/JTealPhotography :: jtealphoto@gmail.com

Connect With Me:

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Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

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6 Pack Ab Workout:: Pilates Inspired

6 Pack Ab Workout:: Pilates Inspired This month I have been ALL ABOUT THE ABS..like literally kind of obsessed with working them out which is RARE because I am all about that BOOTY usually. I find ab exercises boring + that breakfast slosh feeling ain’t my thang.

But since I am on mission ‘I WANT a 6 PACK’ I have to do them so instead of whining about it, I created a workout to force myself to get in the mood. I like to make abs as fun as possible so these movements are a bit odd but I can promise are VERY effective, just check out my obliques in the photos!

6 Pack Ab Workout:: Pilates Inspired 6 Pack Ab Workout:: Pilates Inspired

6 Pack Ab Workout:: Pilates Inspired

Directions: When you start to workout your midsection, really breathe and connect to it. Practice contracting your ab muscles so that when you do each movement you can truly connect with the muscle and flex it throughout. Do each exercise 15 times, rest for 1 minute or so and repeat 1-2 more times for a complete ab workout. Turn up some tunes to keep you motivated + imagine those abs shaping up each rep!

+Table Split:: Lye flat on the floor and bring your legs to table top position. Crunch up into the table top with your fingers lightly placed behind your head. Now split your legs with pointed toes and reach in between. Bring your legs back together + back into table top + lye flat. Repeat. This exercise will focus on the upper and middle ab sections.

+Frog Criss Cross:: Lye flat on the floor and bring your feet into first position. Now raise them up with knees outwards and bent. To begin, straighten your legs from this position while crunched in and criss cross your legs one time then bring them back to straight legs and bend your knees back into frog with feet in first position and lye back flat. Repeat. This exercise will focus on the lower abdominals and center.

+Figure 4 Drop (Rt/Left):: Start with your legs straight up towards the ceiling, arms relaxed. To begin you will slide your right leg pointed down your leg with the knee pointed outwards down the leg as you bring both legs down. Repeat with the right leg for 15 reps and then move onto the left. This exercise will hit your lower abs and side abdominals so remember to breathe!

+Side Oblique Leg Raise (Rt/Left):: Lye on your left side with your arms relaxed and upper body straight up. If you have bony hips be sure to place a pillow or towel underneath your hip bone for comfort. Relax your head, neck and shoulders so you do not tense up while performing this movement. Bring your legs in so that both knees are bent and toes are pointed. Slowly straighten your legs out and lift the right leg up towards the ceiling but not past your hip. Now bring everything back in towards you and repeat. This exercise targets the side abs otherwise known as the obliques. Because you do a leg raise your adductor (outer part of the thigh) will be engaged throughout.

While working out it is important to BREATHE, I cannot tell you how many times during a client session I have to say BREATHE. Without breathing your muscles are losing oxygen and the flow of the movement is lost.

So I wanna know..

  • What is your favorite body part to workout?

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Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

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Khao Lak: Thailand Trip

khao lak

After a love filled weekend in Khao Lak, I am back and ready to get back to a solid meal plan, workouts and just life in general. To often I tend to get trapped in doing what I have always done with the stress of what is next for myself, my career and my life. After a fitness competition (read my journey here), I notice a trend amongst other competitors and it is always what do I do next..how do I eat “normal” again and how do I bounce back without completely going off the rails…

khao lak thailand

Taking time away from my daily life and placing my toes in sand for hours gave me some release of that fictitious stress I was placing on myself. Somehow connecting with Mother Nature grounds me and takes the load off my head, neck and shoulders..and my brain. This last month has given me some bad news but instead of letting this bad news take me down, I am seeing it as a sign to move on and focus on bigger and better things. When one door closes, another opens and I can say from my life experience this is very true.

Why You Should Connect With Mother Nature…

+Balance and grounding with your chakras

+Helps maintain positive direction and emotions in your mind, body and soul

+Improves direction and reason in your passions

+Clarity and connection with your past

So if you live in a city like myself, it is important to take a moment and walk barefoot in the grass or getaway to the ocean or the mountains for a few days so that you may connect and reap the benefits mentioned!

 

khao lak thailand jw

My three day trip with my husband has left me relaxed, rejuvenated and like I said before connecting with Mother Nature really helped me just take some deep breathes and relax. Khao Lak, meaning Lak Mountain, is a serious of villages near Phuket in Thailand. The beaches there were clear, the ocean was smooth and calm and the sand was clean and supreme. I literally just walked into the warm ocean and stood in the stillness and loved the smell of the salty water surrounding me. Last year my husband and I went to Bali for a week long trip to celebrate Valentines Day but the beaches, at least where we were at the W Resort, were DIRTY and there was trash everywhere! It made me sad that we have trashed such a beautiful beach and from that day I started watching my use of plastic bags, straws and containers and try to use tupperware as much as possible and skip straws when I can. khao lak thailand beach

Since it is only February, I hope you will look into getting out of your daily life even if its a local hotel just get out of your head and routine for a few days it can really help you to grow and de-stress. I had so much time to just journal and clear my head of all the ideas I have!

So I wanna know..

  • Any trips planned this year?
  • What do you do to connect with Mother Nature?

Connect With Me:

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+IG: http://instagram.com/courtneybentleyfitness.bkk

+Twitter: @CBentleyFit

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Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

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Healthy Valentines Day Recipes

healthy valentines day recipes

Love is in the air, the air of affection and the touch of cupids bow to our hearts is celebrated once a year on Valentines Day. If you are looking to spark desire and passion in your loved one or that special someone you have set your sights on, creating a sweet aphrodisiac inspired dessert may be your ticket to a passionate night.

Aphrodisiac, a word derived from Aphrodite the goddess of love, is a food or drink that stimulates sexual desires. Ancient civilization has used different foods to cultivate sexual desire through use of scent, shape or sensual mouthfuls. The Food and Drug Administration may have a different respect towards these foods, but ancient studies and beliefs tell us a different story.

The day of love, passion and some ‘Oh la la’ time could use a bit of a spark for some of us ladies and our relationships. I have compiled a list of stimulating foods and simple recipes you can make at home for a late night treat after Valentines Day dinner.

Tip: wearing lingerie while serving is a bonus!

7 Foods for a Healthy + Loving Valentines Day

Ginger

Ginger, a delightful spice, revs up your metabolism and can get your entire body humming with renewed sexual energy. Whether you top it on sushi or drink it as tea, ginger helps to soothe your stomach during digestive woes, and tastes great in cocktails. Ginger stimulates the circulatory system with its distinct scent and leaves your loved one lingering for more. Feel free to mix your cocktails with some ginger tea to conjure a night full of passion.

Avocado

With the avocado tree resembling that of a male’s reproductive organ, this fruit is said to fulfill many nutrition requirements for our bodies and a healthy body sets up a healthy body and an increased sex life. Avocados are rich in skin healing Vitamin E, high in mono saturated fats, which will give you long lasting energy and reduction of inflammation in the body.

Bananas

The shape may make this fruit an obvious love sparker, but beyond that, bananas are high in vitamin B and potassium. The vitamin content makes it a top notch choice for increasing libido. Bananas are loaded with chelating minerals, which help the body absorb more nutrients from food. This function in turn increases health in the individual and creates a more vivacious glow. Bananas make for a great snack, and can be frozen to be enjoyed for a late night dessert!

valentines recipes

Almonds

French writer Alexandre Dumas would dine on almond soup nightly before meeting with his mistress to get himself revved up and ready for a long night of arousal.Long regarded as a symbol of fertility, almonds are high in vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber. The aroma of the almond is what makes this snack a sensual feast; the smell of almonds is said to arouse desire and passion in women. Dip almonds in chocolate for a tasty treat and take advantage of their many benefits as you have a romantic night in.

Honey

Persians have long known of honey’s promotion of sexual desires and couples were subject to drinking a fermented honey drink for a month after exchanging vows (also known as the honey month or as we know it now as honeymoon). Rich in B Vitamins and boron, studies have suggested adding honey to your diet can enhance testosterone levels in the blood. The simple sugars in honey will also give you that extra pep to kick start a passionate night. Be sure to stick to raw honey and look for an organic version; processed honey will not give you these amazing benefits, but will leave you tired after a quick sugar high.

Pomegranate Juice

Lucky for us, street vendors sell pomegranate juice all over Bangkok. Pomegranate juice is said to lift sex hormone levels up to 30% making both men and women a bit friskier in bed. Full of antioxidants, pomegranate juice is a great source of Vitamin C and known for its effectiveness in the treatment of depression. Add pomegranate seeds to your desserts, cocktails and morning oatmeal to experience these juicy benefits.

VALENTINES FOOD

Chocolate

Cassanova was known to seduce his women and get his libido flowing by eating and drinking mounds of chocolate. Modern research has proven coco beans aphrodisiac benefits to be true. Chocolate contains tryptophan, which produces sexual arousal, and methyl xanthine, which triggers the release of dopamine in the body. Not only is chocolate a top seller during this time of year, it is delicious and if you make the choice of dark chocolate with a high cacao percentage, you will be providing your body with health benefits and antioxidants. My favorite chocolate recipe here..

Recipes to swivel up the magic:

Ginger Love Spell (Serves 2):

170mL Vodka

60mL Ginger Tea

60mL Soda Water

60mL Pomegranate Juice

5mL Raw Honey

Directions: Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake and pour. Garnish with Pomegranate Seeds.

Crazy For You Chocolate Mousse

2 Ripe Medium Bananas

1 Avocado

45g Cacao Powder or Cocoa Powder

30mL Stevia or Organic Sugar

15mL Vanilla Extract

Directions: Place all ingredients into food processor or blender and blend until smoothed out. Place mixture into a serving bowl and chill in the fridge 10-15 minutes before serving. Top with a kiss.

valentines recipes

Heart Racing Almond Chocolates

500g Raw Almonds

15mL Stevia or Organic Sugar

2 Bars Dark Chocolate (the higher the Dark Cocoa % the better)

Coconut Oil

Directions: Break up the chocolate bar into ½ inch pieces into a medium bowl, place bowl over simmering water on the stovetop until melted. Line two baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the almonds with stevia/sugar and melted chocolate, stir until almonds are coated. Transfer coated nuts to baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Store in the freezer in an airtight container.

Aphrodisiac foods can add that spark to your love life as well as keep your body nutrient full and healthy. Take note of these recipes and be sure to use organic and raw ingredients to experience the full health and aphrodisiac benefits. Enjoy!

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Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

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Valentines Arm Workout for Women

Arm Workout for Women

The season of love has come upon us and for myself that means a tropical vacation in Khao Lak, Thailand with my husband and a magnum bottle of champagne. After a fitness competition (recap here), a speaking engagement (4 macros to self love here) and really buckling down on my business I have been craving the salty sea and a later evening listening to the crashing waves with champagne in hand..

Although I would like to say I take a break from training this is NOT true. I love taking advantage of the hotel gyms and my husband and I make sure that where we stay has a gym of some sort. I created this workout for a quick yet effective arm workout that requires a pair of dumbbells, a dance mix and a smile of course.

Valentines Workout

Directions: This workout should be flowy, almost dance like with precise movement. When you hit the movement, hit the movement like someone is taking a photograph of you. When you flex your muscles that you are working you get a pump and when you get a pump you gain strength and lean muscle mass. Throwing your arms around with no flex is a waste of your valuable time so make sure to flex and hold each end portion.

+Face Box (Shoulders, Upper Back) : Stand with your feet underneath you and sit in your seat with a slight bend in your knees. Start with your arms out in a box position with your dumbbells secure in your hands. Keeping your shoulders down and elbows at chin level box your arms in. Try not to let your elbows touch one another and if you want an extra burn lift your arms a bit once closed.

+Box (Rt/Lft) (Shoulders, Triceps) : Stand with your feet underneath you and sit in your seat with a slight bend in your kneesStart with your arms in a box position with palms facing down holding dumbbells. Without moving your shoulders tilt your arms in a diagonal to the right. Bring them back to the center and tilt left. Resist gravity and flex your triceps for a burn!

+Box Punch (Triceps, Biceps): Stand with your feet underneath you and sit in your seat with a slight bend in your knees.From that same box position like you did in the last position punch your right arm out straight keeping your left arm where it started. Now resist both arms back to the center and repeat with the left.

+Criss Cross T (Abdominals, Shoulders, Triceps): Stand with your feet underneath you and sit in your seat with a slight bend in your knees. Flex your abs by pulling your belly button in, cross your left arm on top of your right arm and shift your waist to the left side. Now resist your arms out to the side and stand back upright. For advanced keep repeating on one side for 20-30 reps and then go to the other side, for beginners keep switching.

 

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Whenever you workout it is so important to send LOVE to your body and remind yourself that your workout is YOUR time to shine, your time to commit to your health and wellbeing so make some time everyday even if it is just 20-30 minutes. When people tell me they have no time to workout my first question is do you care about your wellbeing? Most of the time you can carve out some time for yourself even if its just working out at home while watching your baby nap or doing some squats while preparing dinner for your family.

Photos By: Jessica Teal :: https://www.facebook.com/JTealPhotography :: jtealphoto@gmail.com

SO I wanna know..

  • Doing anything special for V-Day?

Connect With Me:

+Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneyvioletbentley

+IG: http://instagram.com/courtneybentleyfitness.bkk

+Twitter: @CBentleyFit

+To get workouts and recipes in your email go HERE http://bit.ly/1bNWjnJ

Remember YOU can not WORKOUT a BAD diet if you want the ULTIMATE fat burning combination meal plan check out this LINK: http://bit.ly/1bfsATg

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