As many of you will know, I have a chronic knee injury, my knee is slowly getting stronger and stronger, but as I can’t train in the way that I used to (lots of high impact, running and plyometrics), over the last three years I have changed the way I train a lot, and part of my rehab for my knee has been to take up spinning classes. Before I moved to London I wasn’t too into them, but since coming to London and realising that the spin scene here is AMAZING, I am now becoming a spin addict!

On Thursday I attended an event to celebrate the opening of the new Another Space studio in Bank, in collaboration with Figleaves. We did a spin class with Olivia, one of my favourite Another Space teachers and oh my god it was as awesome as ever! The more I go to spin the more I love it, and my knee surgeon has been really happy with the strength progression in the muscles and tendons surrounding my knee.

I was lucky enough to be able to try out the Figleaves Anita Sports Bra, and as someone who kind of assumed I could get away with wearing yoga sports bras (little to no support) to spin, I have now realised I need to switch up my game and make sure I wear a correctly supportive and well fitted sports bra when I go to spin classes. Whilst spin is technically low impact on your joints, when you are up out of the seat a lot (like you are in classes at Another Space), you do end up with a slight high impact movement, not for the joints as the resistance of the pedals removes any real impact, but for your upper body, particularly if you do choreography in your classes that requires a lot of fast upper body movement.

So Why Should You Wear a Well Supported Bra?

Our breasts are formed of fatty tissue, and are supported by fragile ligaments, when we undergo high impact activity, the ligaments that hold our breasts in place are put under tension, causing them to stretch, due to the formation of ligaments, when they get stretched, they don’t return to their original length, and remain stretched. This, along with back pain, is one of the reasons why it’s important to keep those breasts in place with an adequate sports bra.

A survey carried out Herriot-Watt University last year showed that even breasts sized 34A need extra support during sport, this same study found evidence that wearing a sports bra can reduce breast movement by 56%!

Wearing my new Figleaves Anita Sports Bra I definitely felt more supported and I have made a vow to myself to wear a proper fitting sports bra from now on whenever I go to my spin classes! If you haven’t checked Figleaves out, you need to! I think the bras they provide are so pretty and stylish, which is super uncommon for those bras with higher support, they have SO MANY designs and colours on offer, and they go all the way up to a 54E! So there will literally be something for everyone on there, it’s truly amazing that they cater to such a wide variety of women, as opposed to just going up to a D cup like many brands that sell a sports bra (or even worse just having S, M or L as an option).

Make sure you check out Figleaves’ sports bra collection here, and if you fancy trying a spin class, make sure you go to Another Space, their new studio in Bank is so nice, the changing rooms are HUGE and you are provided with fresh towels, cleats for when you spin (so you don’t even need to bring trainers), Cowshed products in the showers (if you haven’t used this stuff before you’re in for a treat) as well as GHDs and everything else you could want whilst getting ready! Check Another Space’s webpage here.

Mercury is currently retrograding or ‘in retrograde’, you might have possibly noticed that things in life right now don’t seem to be going so well, you’re more likely to smash your phone up, you’re more likely to lose your keys and waking up has been really bloody hard. Some people (including myself) believe that this has a lot to do with the little planet named Mercury and the fact that it’s doing this thing called ‘retrograding’. I would knowingly nod whenever I hear how over the past few weeks, a friend’s life has just been a little bit ‘shit’, and say ‘well you know Mercury is totally messing with us’ and in all likelihood they would knowingly nod back. But if anyone asked me ‘What does Mercury being in retrograde actually mean?’ or ‘why does Mercury being in retrograde cause so much distruction?’ I’d be unable to answer. And this annoyed me, so I fixed it, and now I’m sharing it with you, because I’m nice like that.

What Does ‘Mercury in Retrograde’ Mean?

When Mercury is in retrograde, it means that the planet looks like it has started to reverse its orbit around the sun and move backwards. It hasn’t in fact done this at all, it’s an optical illusion that makes it look this way to use on Earth. This YouTube video I found was super helpful so I thought it was better for me to share the video as opposed to trying to poorly explain it myself.

I genuinely found this video so useful and informative, as it explains exactly what ‘retrograding’ is. But the question still remains… why does it affect us so much (or at least seem to?)

Why Does Mercury Being in Retrograde Mess Up So Many Thing?

People say things like ‘never get your hair cut when mercury is in retrograde’ or ‘don’t get a tattoo when mercury is retrograding’ but why?!

There is no scientific proof that this effs up our lives, but, I think many people can agree, there is some kind of correlation, and things have been going a little bit weird around my life over the past few weeks, and I’ve heard friends say the same, the question still begs, why?

In astrology, Mercury is the planet of communication, and day to day expression. Mercury is known for being unemotional, it is inquisitive, analytical and it rules how we categorise our thoughts. When Mercury is retrograding, astrologers believe that these things the planet gives us, start to shut down a little, communication isn’t quite so simple, it’s harder to express yourself, and as a result, things get misinterpreted and life in general just starts to get a bit funky.

What Do We Do About It?

Well unfortunately, because the Earth is going to keep on turning, and it will keep orbiting the sun, as will Mercury, Mercury retrograding is an inevitability we have to deal with. I truly believe as human beings start to become more in tune with themselves and with the universe around them, things such as astrology will start to play a bigger role in our lives. So, when Mercury is in retrograde (like it is now until the 23rd December *GULP*), what can we do reduce its effects?

The first thing is to just accept it, if you believe in this phenomenon then just accept it for what it is, and just be more diligent with your communication, be more patient with yourself and with others, and take more time when making decisions about certain things, understanding that maybe you’re not quite so clear headed as usual.

I hope that was helpful! Lots of love x

Since I’ve started sharing my new moon ritual ideas and just general love for the moon over on my Instagram account @hannahrosecluley, more and more people have started asking me more questions about my ritual, so I thought I would write out a blog post explaining what I do every new moon.

Before I begin, just to explain, the new moon is the first phase of the lunar (moon) cycle, when the moon is on the same side of the Earth as the sun, and therefore the sunlight shining on the moon’s surface can’t be seen on us down on Earth because it’s on the other side of the moon. We have a new new moon (ha) roughly every 30 days. So with the new moon we can’t actually see it from Earth, but obvs it’s still there. In the Hebrew, Chinese and Hindu calendars, the new moon signifies either the start of their month, or an important date to set new goals or start working on new projects.

Many people believe (and especially throughout history), that, just as the oceans are effected by the moon’s cycles, so are we. Both the moon and sun have a gravitational pull on the Earth, and therefore on humans, animals and plants, there is no scientific studies that prove that the moon truly does affect us, but sometimes you don’t need a study to back up what you already know (like really, people go crazy around a full moon and my sleep is always fucked up, I don’t need a study to tell me whether it’s related or not).

Whether or not there’s a connection, I personally love the moon (it’s so pretty hey!) and I love that I have a firm place every 30 days or so to sit down, check in with myself, meditate and do my new moon ritual and goal setting. Before I explain, I would suggest a few things:

  • Get Moonology by Yasmin Boland – goes into so much detail on the moon and it’s my moon encyclopedia!
  • Get a note book or journal that you can use purely for your new moon rituals
  • Get yourself a nice candle or some palo santo for cleansing the air
  • Download the free app ‘The Moon’, it adds all full and new moons into your phone calendar and you can see what star sign the new/full moon will be in
  • Dedicate 20-30 mins 2-3 days up until the new moon to do your ritual
  • Create a happy, warm, calm and welcoming space for your ritual

My New Moon Ritual

Here’s how I do my new moon ritual:

What you will need:

  • Notebook & pen
  • Candle/palo santo/incense
  • Crystals (optional)
  • Quiet space
  • My phone for meditation timer (I use one called ‘Meditation’)

What I do:

  • Set everything up & light my candle/incense/palo santo
  • Pull 3 cards from my ‘The Universe Has Your Back Deck’ for some nice loving inspo
  • Write down a list of things I want to achieve in the next month, get real specific and make them realistic. For example if you have an overarching goal of ‘Move to the countryside’ then start to think of the smaller steps you need to take.
  • I then take a moment to just sit with those goals, and I manifest them, which means I truly start to believe in my heart that they’re not just ‘going’ to happen, but that it’s already a done deal, and that I don’t even need to worry about it. Yes I may need to work towards them, but I don’t have to feel anxious that they won’t come true, because they will.
  • I create my own affirmation for the month that is relevant to my goals. You can find loads of affirmations online if you need inspiration, don’t feel shy about using one someone else wrote.
  • Meditate on my goals, so after the manifestation I set them in place with a clear mind, sometimes I hold a relevant crystal in my hands if it feels right
  • I ‘ohm’ three times to seal my ritual

Please bear in mind this is my own practice and I have worked out what feels right for me, what feels right for you may be totally different!

Do you have a new moon ritual, if so how do you do yours?

If you are remotely into the well-being scene, chances are you’ve seen turmeric being splashed around on social media and online as one of the latest health trends, I’ve been taking it in tablet form for a year or so to help with my knee and my gut, and now that turmeric lattes are as common as pigeons in London, I thought I’d share some reasons why it’s such a highly coveted spice and also a recipe to make your own turmeric latte at home:

5 Reasons Why You Need Turmeric In Your Life:

It’s highly anti-inflammatory

Turmeric contains a compound called Curcumin which helps fight inflammation (the bad kind – the swelling around an injury is actually helpful for your body) and aids your body in repairing damaged cells.

Turmeric increases our bodies’ antioxidant capacity

Antioxidants fight off free radicals, which helps to protect the body again diseases, ageing and damage to cells.

Turmeric could help improve brain function

Curcumin found in turmeric can help to increase amounts of a certain hormone called BDNF. This hormone is thought to improve the way your brain functions, although this still needs to be scientifically researched.

Turmeric lowers your risk of brains diseases such as Alzheimer’s

Due to Curcumin’s effect on your body’s levels of BDFN, turmeric could in turn decrease your chances of developing brain related diseases, as lower levels of BDFN increase your likelihood of developing such diseases.

Turmeric may even have cancer preventing properties

Studies have shown that the Curcumin found in turmeric can help to reduce the growth of new blood vessels in cancerous tumours, the spread of cancerous cells, as well as aiding the body to fight and kill cancerous cells.

Having read all of this it’s little wonder that turmeric is THE supplement to watch going into 2018, with high street coffee shops selling the golden coloured beverages that you can have as a caffeine-free option!

If you’d like to recreate your own at home why not check out Wunderworkshop, a company who sell loads of turmeric goodies!

Meditation is taking the wellness scene by storm, even though it is something that has been around for thousands of years, the majority of people in the western world have only just begun to take it seriously. I myself aim to meditate every morning for 11 minutes, and if I can get another meditation in that day then that’s amazing. Here are five reasons why you need to get on that practice ASAP:

1. Reduces Stress

I am pretty certain that 99% of people come to meditation (in London anyway) because their life is stressful. And meditation will help you with that for sure! Meditation triggers the release of endorphins, which reduce stress in the body. Meditation also triggers out parasympathetic nervous system, which is our ‘rest and digest’ which allows us to relax, thereby reducing the levels or stress and the levels of cortisol in our bodies.

2. Helps You Focus

Studies show that people who meditate are better able to remain focused on the task at hand as opposed to getting distracted either by things going on or by random thoughts that pop into your head, here’s one study if you want to read about it! When you hit that 3pm slump at work, instead of reaching for a coffee, why not head off to a quiet spot and meditate for five mins, see what happens!

3. Improves Sleep

I’ve already mentioned that meditation triggers that relax and digest response, as opposed to your fight or flight response (a sudden release of adrenaline and cortisol that’s released into the body, previously to run away from lions, now to just deal with everyday life, funny but it’s not funny…) so just as meditation helps you to reduce stress in this way, it also enables the body to enter into a deeper sleep more easily. It also allows you to change the thought patterns your mind goes through, and enables you to let thoughts move on by, instead of lingering on them, and therefore clear some headspace to allow ourselves to enter into a calm and relaxing sleeping state.

4. Helps Digestion

This is something I learnt recently from an absolute gem named Kate Lister, is that researchers are looking into the connection between meditation and two gastrointestinal ailments, IBS and IBD. The link between the mind and gut is already something that has been explored, and I will tell you that since leaving my old job, and taking a huge stress out of my life, my IBS has pretty much disappeared within 6 months, that’s pretty amazing! Scientists are now going so far as to say that the gut is no longer just our ‘second brain’ but that our brain (original pink thing) and our gut, actually join together and make up one working organism, how cool is that?!  As well as the obvious role it plays, our stomachs also have a brain-like neural network, which plays an essential role in keeping us healthy, as just as meditation changes our brain’s neural pathways and reduces stress, it therefore makes logical sense that it does the same for our gut. And as I have already said, if meditation reduces stress, and stress is one of the main triggers for IBS/IBD, then again, it makes sense that it will help these two really shitty (LOL) issues.

5. Make You Happier

Less stress? Sleeping better? IBS taken a hike? Well hot damn you’re going to feel happier! Not only that but those endorphins being released are going to make you feel damn good too! So all in all meditation is an amazing practice, and yes, sometimes it’s bloody hard and your ten minutes feels like hell on earth but you KNOW that it’s good for you, so give it a try!