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Mindfulness is defined as ''a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.'' 

In this insanely busy world that we live in, life goes by fast.

Between social media meaning that we always have to be ''on'', the working day stretching into the evening, it's like we're in a permanent state of exhaustion.

So, it's more important than ever to take a few moments a day to gather your thoughts. 

To just be.

And that's where mindfulness comes in – so here are a few easy ways to grab a quiet moment and centre yourself before all the madness starts again. 

1. Essential Oils

Essential oils are amazing for a range of things. 

Not only do they smell delicious but they can help soothe the mind more than you think. 

So how do they help bring about a sense of instant calm when you're in a chaotic day?

Apply one to your wrists, temples, behind the ears and the soles of your feet. Enjoy the relaxing smell; breathe in and out slowly and deeply.

Notice your breathing and your posture. Be aware of your body and any thoughts just let them flow by you for a few minutes. 


Nothing beats a cuppa tea.

And now you can try a mindful tea-drinking ritual that will remind you to be conscious in the now.

Pour a cup of your choice and find a quiet place to sip it – and make sure to just sip it.

Taste each mouthful and close your eyes, challenging all your energy into you, sitting in the chair, enjoying how it tastes and smells.

Be aware of your sensations and if you have a thought, let it enter into and then pass through your mind without following it.

3. A Bath 

A bath is a pace of privacy, serenity, and relaxation – what better place to practice mindfulness?

make sure that you won't be interrupted, before filling the bath with bubble bath or salts.

Again, let go of all other thoughts and try to focus on the sensations you feel in your body – the warmth of the water on your skin, the bath against your back.

You won't want to get back to the real world – but when you do, you will feel reinvigorated and full of energy. 

4. Yoga

Some people adore yoga while others think it isn't for them.

To get a few moments of peaceful mindfulness, it is an ideal thing to try.

When sat on a mat, forget about wanting to be more flexible or losing weight and just take a deep breath in and out. 

Focus on every part of your body while you are doing each pose – empty your mind of anything but how your body is positioned and how the feelings in each muscle.

5. Breathe

Try this one technique known as The Stimulating Breath – it raises energy and increases alertness.

Inhale and exhale quickly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed. Your breaths in and out should as short as possible. 

Try three in-and-out breath cycles per second – this produces a quick movement of the diaphragm.

Breathe normally after each cycle and don't do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. 

6. Eat Lunch

It might sound stupid, but taking time to zone in on what you're actually doing can shift your whole mindset. 

With a small portion, take a minute or two to appreciate the healthy food on your plate. 

Then, while taking small bites, bring all of your sense to the meal.

Chew thoroughly and try to identify all of the flavours and seasonings. 

Eat your food slowly and you might find that you're enjoying the meal a lot more than you normally would…because you're present in the moment.  

7. Walk 

A breath of fresh air is always good for the mind – but you can actually go for a 10-15-minute stroll and practice mindfulness the whole way through. 

When you're out,  pay attention to each step you take – to the lifting and falling of your foot.

Notice movement in your legs, how your arms swing, how your back feels. 

We know our mind wanders, so try to bring it back to the present moment when it does. 

Shift your attention to the sounds around you – a bird crowing, someone mowing their grass.

Also, tune into the smells as you walk – flowers blooming, etc.

As you finish your stroll, bring your mind back to your body and the sensations in each part.  


To mark World Mental Health Day (tomorrow 10th October 2020), Avoca is proud to partner with Walk in My Shoes, the flagship mental health awareness campaign from St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, which promotes positive mental health, tackles mental health stigma and works to change how people think about mental health.

This Christmas, Avoca’s team of crafters have designed two bespoke exclusive products for the Walk in My Shoes campaign; a beautiful candle and pack of paper chain decorations, with all proceeds donated to this worthy cause.

The exclusive candle, made in Ireland, invites the smooth and warm scent of Sandalwood and will be available for €22.95 and the paper chains at €8.95, will add a charming festive flair to the home with a beautiful decorative floral print. Both items are designed in Avoca’s Wicklow Studio and will be available to purchase from 27th October in store and online at www.avoca.com.

The Walk in My Shoes campaign was first established in 2012 when a young man in St Patrick’s Mental Health Services said, “he wished his friends could walk in his shoes to understand how he was feeling.” Since then, Walk in My Shoes have launched initiatives each year to promote positive mental health in schools and communities around Ireland. Thousands from across Ireland have become involved with the Walk in My Shoes campaign, including charity ambassadors, TV and radio presenter Blathnaid Treacy and Dublin Ladies GAA player Nicole Owens.

Amanda McArdle, Project Manager at Walk in My Shoes comments: “We are delighted that Avoca has chosen Walk in My Shoes as their charity partner this Christmas. Walk in My Shoes runs a number of awareness-raising and education campaigns throughout the year, such as our #MindYourSelfie resources for classrooms, our Transition Year programme and our popular Mission Possible awards, celebrating schools that promote positive wellbeing. This partnership will allow us to create further opportunities to support young people, teachers and parents at home, or in the classroom, during this challenging time.”

Maoliosa Connell, Marketing Director at Avoca, says: “We are very proud to support and promote positive mental health and effect meaningful change in peoples lives, particularly in these current challenging times. We’re thrilled to be part of the conversation this Christmas and support Walk in My Shoes’ campaign initiatives, as well as raise funds to aid the awareness-raising and education resources they provide to local communities across Ireland. We are proud to offer a meaningful gift to give this Christmas.”

To mark World Mental Health Day this Saturday, 10th October, and as part of the Walk in My Shoes Live campaign running all week, Avoca will be hosting a complimentary virtual yoga class this Saturday, 10th October from 11am– 12pm, on their Instagram Live platform. The class will be hosted by Avoca staff member, Rachel Lenny of Earth and Purpose Yoga and it will be centered around mindfulness and mental wellbeing, through a vinyasa flow practice accessible for all levels. It will offer a welcoming opportunity to breathe, stretch and connect within.


We’ve all been there. Wide awake at four in the morning, curled up with a hot water bottle, cursing the fact you were born with a womb. 

Period cramps are sh*t. 

But what if we told you there was a simple and natural way to relieve those dreaded symptoms?

Well, yoga may be the answer.

That’s according to a review of studies published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Findings from 15 studies that examined the effect regular yoga practice had on a woman’s menstrual cycle, were reviewed.

These studies looked at how the exercise affects period cramps, PMS, polycystic ovary syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Each of the studies found a link between regular yoga practice and reduced severity of symptoms in woman who suffer from the conditions.

Some women even reported reductions in bloating and breast tenderness along with a more regular cycle – what’s not to love about that?

Unlike painkillers, yoga can relieve both the physical and mental symptoms of menstrual disorders, making it the ideal natural remedy for women who suffer every month.

Further research is needed to determine which type and exactly how much yoga is best for your menstrual health, but with these results, it’s got to be worth a try. 


Have you ever been sitting at your desk at work, contemplating escaping out a nearby window just so you can achieve a bit of inner zen? Yeah, us too.

Luckily for the stressed population of Dublin, free yoga classes are now running every Monday in Merrion Square this summer to encourage wellness and mindfulness.

The classes are provided by Camile takeaway in partnership with Dublin City Sport & Wellbeing Partnership, and were a massive success last year.


A post shared by Camile Thai (@camilethaiirl) on

The yoga sessions will be running every Monday evening until August 19, from 6:15pm to 7pm, with certified yoga instructor Veronica Vincenzi.

Everyone from complete beginnings to yoga masters are welcome to join, and 60 mats are provided but participants are encouraged to bring their own due to demand.

Join your fellow zen-seekers at the Defence Force Memorial side of Merrion Square across from the National Gallery in Dublin, and you 100 percent won't regret it.


A post shared by Camile Thai (@camilethaiirl) on

Free classes are also provided on Tuesdays in Bushy Park and Wednesdays in St Anne's Park, so anyone farther away to Merrion Square or with plans on Mondays can alternate days and location.

For more information about the classes, check out the deets on the Camile Thai Eventbrite page here.

yoga GIF


2019 is set to be an absolute smash for rising Irish star Dermot Kennedy, if this latest announcement is anything to go by.

News has just hit that the singer-songwriter from Dublin is set to hit the Coachella stage this April, joining the ranks of headliners such as Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala.

The world famous California music festival attracts attention from all over the world for the big names it procures, and now Irish talent will be joining them.

The singer made the big announcement over Twitter, writing that the opportunity is "a dream come true" for the artist,

Despite the fact that Kennedy has yet to release an album, he has sold a whopping 75,000 tickets worldwide in the last year alone following the release of his EP, Doves and Ravens.

His latest track, Power Over Me, has generated over 300 million streams globally and the Dubliner has over 2.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify.. 

He is also part of YouTube's first ever Ones To Watch list, and his 2019 tour which kicks off in May has sold out four nights in the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, Brixton's O2 Academy and Manchester's Albert Hall.

Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James was the only Irish artist to make the Coachella 2018 list, which attracted 99,000 concert-goers to the festival.

Congratulations to Dermot, he'll do us proud.


Millennials don't exactly get an easy time; most people hate us or just dismiss us as snowflakes who only have knowledge about wi-fi and avocado toast.

While we generally have more of a penchant for the internet seeing as we GREW UP WITH IT… this doesn't mean we're as lazy and vain as everyone says we are.

For example, we only have three selfie sticks and check our reflections between the hours of 9am and 11pm everyday, so what's the big deal about?

which is worse the daily show GIF by The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

We've all heard the lectures from our elderly relatives about how we drain the economy and refuse to get jobs, but people love to focus on the negatives rather than the positives.

Getting a millennial a Christmas gift can be a challenge, seeing as the chances of them being vegan, supporting paraben-free and cruelty-free produce and generally hipster and full of notions are sky high.

They'll also most likely blog the entire gift opening session, and post every aspect of it to social media, so it's gotta be impressive.

We've made a gift guide especially to help you out this festive season, y'all are welcome.

bbc three millennials GIF by BBC

1. Do What You Love neon sign

Buy: Urban Outfitters
Price: €59

2. Loqi reusable bags

Buy: Designist
Price: €12

3. Scratch map

Buy: Easons
Price: €19.99

4. The Gospel According to Blindboy

Buy: Designist
Price: €13

5. Showerless shaving gel

Buy: Amazon
Price: €8.85, excl. shipping

6. Photo journal

Buy: Photobox
Price: €14.95 (40 pages)

7. Gratitude journal by Karen McDermott

This gorgeous journal has 52 empowering quotes; one for each week of the year. Positive vibez all round, gals.

Buy: Book Depository
Price: €9.24

8. Tarot card tapestry

Buy: Urban Outfitters
Price: €39.99

9. Fujifilm polaroid camera

Buy: Urban Outfitters
Price: €159

10. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 30ml

Buy: Beauty Bay
Price: €6.75

11. Luxury bathtub tray, for all your needs…

Buy: Amazon
Price: 44.23

12. What Do You Meme? party game

Buy: www.BoardGamer.ie
Price: €24.99

13. Umbrella that changes colour when wet 

Buy: Trouva
Price: 28.07

14. Lush 'goddess' bath bomb in purple

Buy: Lush
Price: €6.62

15. Avocado toast Christmas tree decoration

Buy: Urban Outfitters
Price: €10

16. Sivan health yoga mat set for beginners

Buy: Amazon
Price: €33.98

Namaste, ladies.

andre braugher millennials GIF by Brooklyn Nine-Nine


Scientists have found a solution to sleepless, anxiety ridden nights. A new study revealed that yoga music has a positive impact on our mood and can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

There have been many nights where we spend hours tossing, turning and wishing we could just doze off peacefully.

As time whizzes by we become increasingly aware of how little sleep we’re going to get which makes us feel even more anxious.

149 people took part in the study. The participants listened to three types of music before going to bed. Firstly they listened to soothing yoga music. Secondly, they listened to pop music with steady beats and during the final session they didn’t listen to anything.

The group revealed that they felt more uplifted and at ease after listening to the yoga music. The study also found that their anxiety levels were lower too.

Speaking of the impact music has on the mind and body, study author Dr Naresh Sen explained that music has a positive impact on your heart rate

Listening to soothing music before bedtime is a cheap and easy-to-implement therapy that cannot cause harm,” he said.

Due to the small number of participants in this study, he said they want to further their research: “This is a small study, and more research is needed on the cardiovascular effects of music interventions offered by a trained music therapist."

He added: “Science may have not always agreed, but Indians have long believed in the power of various therapies other than medicines as a mode of treatment for ailments.”

We’ll certainly try out this technique to help us get a good night’s rest.


Ah, the summer time. When our social calenders are stretched just as tight as our budgets. Between festivals, BBQ's and essential patio cocktails it can be tough to find the time, never mind the moolah, to look after our health. 

Well luckily for us the fitness fanatics at The Happy Pear are to the rescue! 

Starting from Sunday 17th of June, The Happy Pear is to run weekly exercise and wellness classes on the grounds of their gorgeous Clondalkin cafe. 

Running on Saturday and Sunday mornings throughout the summer months, the classes have something for everyone including yoga, pilates, mindfulness, essential oils, and more.

Oh, and did we mention that it's for FREE?!

The classes are taught by Irelands top wellness experts and is a follow on from last year's wildly successful free yoga classes-which saw up to a hundred people attend each week. Reckon you'll be among them this year? 

Your dedication to raising early will be rewarded with access to the cafe open for breakfast and coffee. Choose from a cup of hand-roasted coffee (essential), a selection of vegetarian and vegan breakfasts (clean eating buzz) and free organic porridge (get in my belly)! 

The series kicks off with yoga this Sunday 17th June 9.30am-10.30am and runs until 26th August.

For more information on all things free and fitness check out the Summer Wellness Series on Facebook

So gowan, show your body, soul and bank balance some love this weekend. 



It's hard to imagine a world without apps. The smartphone is still a relatively new invention, and yet the technology has impacted almost every part of our daily lives.

We use apps to socialise, to finds dates and catch up with old friends. We use apps to practice healthy lifestyles and keep our diet and exercise regimes on track. We use apps for, well, just about everything really. 

However, with the app stores packed with so many 'must-haves', it's hard to know which ones are worthy of our precious phone memory – but never fear, because we've got you covered. 

Every week, we'll bring you our favourite apps across health, beauty, fashion and lifestyle, so you can spend less time searching and more time sorting your life out! 

This week's pick – Gotta Joga 

What is it?

A self-described "mobile yoga studio", this sleek wellness and fitness tool promises users a calm and strengthening yet fun yoga experience.

Created by Anu Visuri, an Anusara-Inspired and Yogamazé graduate yoga teacher, it's selection of easy-to-follow programs make it easy to learn yoga at home or on the go.

Designed to fit around you and your lifestyle, the app offers users a variety of yoga and meditation classes ranging from five to 50 minutes.

How does it work?

When you first open the app, you'll be given the option to select your level – beginner or familiar.

From here, you'll be presented with a number of simple, guided programs that will help you build your strength and fitness over time.

Track your progress using the 'yoga tree' which will grow every time you complete a practice.

Where to get it and how much does it cost?

Gotta Joga is available to download from Google Play and the Apple App Store, and is purchased on a subscription basis.

Some of the in-built programs are available free of charge, however if you wish to unlock the apps entire range of features you'll need to choose one of the following payment plans.

One month: €9.99/ Month

Six months: €49.99 (€8.33/ Month) paid every six months

One year: €79.99 (€3.33/ Month) paid every year


'Alien Yoga' is the latest fitness trend to take over our Instagram feeds and it's as odd as it sounds.

Videos of the bizarre fitness technique have been popping up all over the image sharing site and they've been met with some mixed reviews.

Also know as Nali, the traditional yoga is practiced by exhaling fully, isolating the abdomen and pulling it under the ribcage.

The muscles are then contracted and released in a side-to-side motion.

Completely confused? 

Check out the video below.


I don't have much rhythm, but I think I caught the beat there for a second #aloyoga #beagoddess #nauli

A post shared by aubry wiltcher (@aubrymarie) on

The technique is thought to promote digestion and strengthen the core, and according to Nauil.org, can be mastered by a person of any fitness level.

According to The Independent, 'Alien Yoga' can be broken down into four key movements. 

First up – Uddiyana Bandha, an abdominal lock achieved by emptying your lungs and pulling the abdomen under the ribcage. 

Closely followed by Madhyana Nauli, Vama Nauli and Daksina Nauli which isolate contraction of the central, left and right abdominal muscles.

Although there are a number of health benefits associated with the practice, experts have warned that it should only be attempted in the presence of a qualified yoga instructor.

So, next time you're in a yoga class, why not ask for a little demonstration of 'Alien Yoga'.


Beer yoga is being tipped as the next big fitness craze, and it's one we could definitely get behind. 

The practise combines traditional poses with an ice cold bottle of your favourite larger.

The concept took off just over a year ago at a yoga studio in Berlin, Germany, when yoga teachers, Jhula and Emily, introduced it to the locals after seeing the idea at the Burning Man festival.


What a fabulous day. Thanks for the love and the laughs Bieryogis

A post shared by BierYoga (@bieryoga) on

Beer yoga is the self-described  "marriage of two great loves,'' both of which are ''centuries-old therapies for mind, body and soul."

Honestly, it sound like a hipster's own personal heaven, but founders, Jhula and Emily insist they are very serious about what they do.

"BeerYoga is fun but it's no joke.''

 "We take the philosophies of yoga and pair it with the pleasure of beer-drinking to reach your highest level of consciousness."

The alternative fitness trend has started to spread internationally, with classes poping up in Australia and the US.

Sadly, there's no word yet on when the craze will hit Dublin, but we predict that the concept will prove very popular on these shores. 


We all need a bit more mindfulness in our lives, and taking up the relaxing manoeuvres of yoga is one way to introduce some TLC for your body and mind. 

Yoga increases your flexibility, improves your muscle tone and strength, improves your breathing and helps to focus your mind. 

With all of these benefits, we were delighted to discover that a yoga festival is coming to Dublin this summer.


A post shared by Sophia Myliotis (@sophmylo) on

Hot Yoga Dublin and Yoga Next Door are coming together to create Yoga In The Park 2017, an event which brings together yoga newbies and seasoned enthusiasts for a prolonged session of yogi goodness. 

The event will be set on the stunning west lawn of Malahide Castle, and yoga veteran Lisa Phillips will be leading the 75 minute class.

The event is completely family friendly, with a kids yoga tent organised for the little ones. 


A post shared by ___StevaniLow___ (@stevanilow) on

Proceeds from the yoga festival will be going straight to charity, with Yoga In The Park contributing their takings to multiple charities.

This year, the funds from the €20.00 tickets will go to the LauraLynn Foundation, Adi Roches Chernobyl Interanational Foundation, and the Bringing Chair Yoga to Nursing Homes concept. 

The event will take place on Sunday June 11, at 11am, so hopefully they get the weather for the outdoor festival. 

Feature image: Yoga In The Park