Reviews: living well

Reviews: living well

Reviews by Nicola Ashcroft, Anna and Lauren ClarksonSaoirse Connolly, Saffia Farr, Jess Hazel, Mark De’Lisser, Elizabeth Rodford, Nick Ward and Lia Wong

Flourishing Childhood

Participating in Rebecca Sheikh’s Flourishing Childhood Online Community offers a supportive, informative and introspective journey into child development, traumainformed parenting and self-care. The platform fosters a caring community, hosts experts who share valuable insights, and has a treasure trove of play ideas that enhance parent–child connection. Being part of this community, learning new games and self-care tips, and reading Rebecca’s supportive messages brightens my day and increases my capacity to parent in the way I aspire to. I’ve also attended the Transforming Families with Aware Parenting workshop, a clear and accessible exploration of Aware Parenting principles. It provides practical guidance on understanding children’s emotions, tantrums and play, while nurturing compassion for ourselves as parents embracing a new paradigm. Rebecca’s work is invaluable for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of their children and themselves in the journey of parenting. LW

From £25 per month


Shamanic Dimensions of Pregnancy

The power in Jane’s teachings cannot be put into words. Every woman needs to experience it for herself as it will change you on a cellular level forever. This workshop was the medicine I needed at 7 months pregnant with my second baby. With the busyness of being a working mother with a toddler in tow, I was finding it hard to connect with the baby in my womb. Jane facilitated a beautiful shamanic drum journey, in which I met my baby to ask him what he needed to feel safe to come through. He told me just to trust, surrender and remember my power. That’s exactly what I did to birth him peacefully and powerfully at home under the light of the full moon. Jane blew my heart, mind and womb wide open to the possibilities that arise when we reclaim rites of passage as ours, heal our birth stories, reframe our pain and face our fears. We can turn them into empowering statements that support us in making conscious decisions to have the birth experience we are worthy and capable of, and the empowered births our babies deserve. The workshop was a profoundly transformative experience and essential birth preparation. SC

From £167


Private Hypnobirthing

Hypnobirthing with Emma was the best decision we made. I had read about hypnobirthing previously and felt it was something I’d love. My wife was more sceptical, but even after our first session with Emma, she could see how empowering the skills would be. We come from a scientific, healthcare background, and we loved the evidence-based information that allowed us to feel totally informed about birth and the decisions we might face. Emma is such a passionate and dedicated teacher. She tailored the sessions to our family and our needs. Our birth could not have been further from our Plan A, but because of the skills we had from practising hypnobirthing, we look back on it with love. We felt we had control in every decision that brought our beautiful baby girl into the world. AC and LC



Spring Gift Set

This set has been designed to celebrate coming out of the dark days of winter, and treats the skin to some natural nourishment. The set contains Balmonds’ Intensive Facial Oil, Bath & Body Oil, and Daily Moisturising Cream, along with Bare Biology Vim & Vigour Omega-3 & Astaxanthin Capsules. The capsules, made from sustainable algae oil, are suitable for vegans. They are rich in the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA to support brain, heart and eye health. The Balmonds products are always a treat to use. They are light but nourishing and last really well as only a small amount is needed. This is also an incredible price for the set. SF



Sacred Heart Rose Tincture

Just the scent of roses is enough to lift my spirits, so I was keen to try this rose-based remedy. Roses are associated with the heart, and this tincture has been created to support you with sadness or grief, or in moments when you need a little courage. I’ve used it when I’ve wanted to feel a bit softer and more open, and even just the act of taking it – with a couple of deep breaths beforehand – helps shift my focus from my mind to my heart. “When we soften and open our heart chakra, we welcome in joy. A joyful heart has a healing ripple effect on those around us.” To take, you drop half a pipette under the tongue or into a glass of liquid. I also tried it in hot cacao as suggested, which made it feel like a special, nourishing elixir! I will keep using this with curiosity and openness. The roses used in this tincture are grown on a British biodynamic farm. JH



Extra-long Bamboo Toilet Rolls

We have enjoyed trialling these toilet rolls in the JUNO office! They are made from bamboo so are “tree-free”, and we know that bamboo grows quickly and does not have the same problems associated with deforestation. As well as being tree-free, BOO has four other pillars to its sustainability: the rolls are plastic-free; chemical-free (so the paper is a really distinctive biscuit colour); and the production process uses less energy and water. They are 3-ply with 300 sheets to a roll, so they really do last well and are thick, soft and effective. It doesn’t feel as if you are compromising on quality – in fact, quite the reverse. The rolls are wrapped in paper, which can be reused in a variety of ways. SF

£23.99 for 24 rolls


Motherhood Empowerment Photography Session

I had never before considered booking a photography session for myself, but when I saw Emily was doing a motherhood circle photoshoot, I thought, why not! Emily captured some beautiful shots of me and my son to commemorate our breastfeeding journey. We recently did a pregnancy shoot with my now toddler and 7-month baby bump and I am in love with the images. Pregnancy and the postpartum period are such vulnerable times that you can feel as if you want to hide away from the world, but I know in years to come, I will be so glad I had the opportunity to document these precious moments. NA



Buddhafield Festival

I loved the anarchy of free festivals and Glastonbury in the 90s, but when my son was born, I wanted something more chilled. Buddhafield’s atmosphere is calm but energetic, and there are so many beautiful souls! That was 14 years ago. Buddhafield’s is now my favourite week of the year. Life-affirming workshops, from sacred clowning to shamanic consciousness, great music, including my favourite folkie Martha Tilston and more recently Mobius Loop, plus a fab children’s area that even I enjoy spending time in. My children are older now and really enjoy the freedom of the festival. The after-hours fire is legendary: performances and chats will blow your mind. At Buddhafields, after four days of healthy living and life-changing workshops, the energy is through the roof! NW

From £155 for adults; from £30 for children (under-2s go free)


Bhutan Sandalwood Incense

Stickless incense is made from a carefully blended paste that is hand rolled and left to dry. As there is no supporting stick, you burn just the incense, giving a purer scent. They are also thicker than your usual incense sticks and last longer. You can stick them into sand or into one of the larger holes in a traditional incense holder if you have one. I love the subtle and familiar sandalwood fragrance, which I’ve always found relaxing, and it’s not overpowering as some incense can be. There are approximately 27 sticks in each tube, and the sandalwood blend combines more than 100 medicinal and aromatic plants from the Himalayas. The purchase of any of the Bhutan incense range supports the Grace Orphanage in Kathmandu, which Salago has been involved with for more than five years. JH



World Yoga Festival

The festival’s ethos is to focus on the authentic eight limbs of yoga, with yoga practice, Vedanta talks, meditation, traditional Indian dance and world music, but there are also lively and fun classes developed especially for toddlers, children and teens. The festival is a highlight of the summer for my family. It has art, crafts, storytelling and entertainment for all ages, plus great food and luxury toilets as standard. The family area is a safe, welcoming space that reflects the tranquil yet playful feel of the overall festival. You can upgrade from camping to glamping and really make a weekend of it. The teachers and workshop leaders create an inclusive and friendly environment where children can flourish, and the balance between exciting, engaging activities and free play is perfect. MD

From £209 for adults; from £89 for children


Comfrey and Calendula Rub

On one of the sunny, early spring days we finally enjoyed in March, I went out in the garden and got a bit overzealous with pruning and tidying, resulting in a very tired back. It gave me the perfect opportunity to try this natural balm, which I found to be warming and soothing. It’s very thick, without being sticky, and easy to rub in. Massaging it into my back was very restorative. It’s a gorgeous orange colour with a gentle smell, and contains generous doses of calendula and comfrey grown on the Lyonsleaf farm. All products are handmade in the UK, and I like all the work Lyonsleaf is doing to reduce its environmental impact and waste. SF



Zebulo Baby Carrier

As a sling-obsessed mum of three, my husband groaned when he saw the post arrive, “Another sling?” The Mamaruga Zebulo is not ‘another sling’; it is perfection! The gorgeous, stylish, woven wrap fabric is buttery soft, and the long, gently padded straps cosily wrap around the wearer. They can be worn either in an ‘H’ shape or crossed over. The carrier folds up so small that it fits in my nappy bag. What we love most about the Zebulo is how easy it is to adjust. In a couple of tugs, I can go from wearing my toddler on my back, to my baby on my front. For such a soft carrier, the support and comfort it offers is amazing, particularly when carrying my toddler. It is perfect for the school run – so quick to put on – and it’s super easy for feeding the baby on the go. ER


Published in issue 89. Accurate at the time this issue went to print.

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