*Guest Blog* The basics on yoga for beginners by Helen Portas

Yoga teacher, Helen Portas, works in the community, teaching yoga to all ages and abilities (her youngest yogi is 10 and oldest is a young at heart 77!) She aims to make each class unique, basing each one on an imaginative theme which is then woven into the class.


Over to you Helen…

I’m new to yoga and I don’t know what to expect in my first class. Help!
The beauty of yoga is that there are always many variations which can make poses comfortable and accessible to all. Firstly, make sure that the teacher knows that you are new so that they can make sure you are kept safe and sound. If you can, get to class a little early the first time so you can introduce yourself…and don’t hide at the back! Make sure you can see what’s going on. No-one else will be watching you…they’ll all be too involved in their own practice once you get going!

Whilst there are many different styles and each teacher will be different, in a nutshell, you can expect to focus on your breathing as you move from posture to posture (asanas as they are called in Sanskrit, the lingo of yoga!!) These postures will probably be both seated and standing and perhaps balance will be incorporated. You will certainly get the chance to stretch out muscles, as well as build up strength as you hold the postures. At the end, you can expect a delicious relaxation.

I can’t get to a yoga class every week. What tips can you give me so I can practise yoga safely at home?
Whilst it’s always useful to go to a class with a qualified teacher to make sure you are in the correct alignment for example, that may not always be possible. A short yoga practice when you get up or before you go to bed can be hugely beneficial.  In the morning, remember that muscles may well need some extra TCL to warm up and, in the evening, avoid doing anything too strenuous which may keep you awake. Focus instead on some gentle stretching, bringing awareness to your breath to quieten down the mind before going to bed.

I’m a bit worried about meditating. What will this involve exactly?
Each teacher will have a different way of approaching this important element of yoga into the class. It may be that you start the class with a simple exercise when you sit comfortably (not necessarily cross legged!) or lie down and simply focus on your breathing. You may find this really hard to do at first and your mind will wander. Don’t worry! Over time and with practise, you will begin to find it easier to switch off your ‘monkey mind’ and to enjoy moments of peace, away from the endless busy thoughts that can overwhelm us all at times.

What sort of clothes do I need to wear to practise yoga in?
Wear comfortable clothes such as a pair of stretchy leggings and a T-shirt and you should be fine. Bring along a blanket or a warm jumper for the final relaxation if you wish. We do yoga bare foot but, if you feel the cold (like me!) I recommend that you buy some special non-slip yoga socks which will ensure your toes are toasty and will also prevent you from sliding on the mat.

Do I need a mat or any other equipment?
Check with the teacher first. In most leisure centres or studios, equipment is provided for you but, if your class is in another location such as a village hall, the teacher may not provide everything. If you enjoy yoga, you may decide to buy your own mat which you’ll find are very reasonably priced and readily available on line.

I have a back injury. Will yoga help me?
Yoga can be great at helping to strengthen muscles and build up stamina, as well as stretching tight or overworked areas. However, it’s really important that you tell the teacher in advance of any injuries or illness. They can then ensure that they look after you safely and can offer alternatives if a particular posture may aggravate any underlying problem. Don’t be embarrassed! It’s important for teachers to know in advance.

Let’s get started!
These websites offer some useful online resources which you can watch and follow….but remember that using technology before bed is not the wisest choice when trying to wind down!!

https://www.doyogawithme.com Plenty of free online classes which you can filter according to ability, length of class, style of yoga etc

http://www.yogajournal.com Lots of information including classes, meditation ideas etc. You will need to subscribe to the site to access some of it but, plenty is free to download.

http://sequencewiz.org A really helpful site with short, well structured classes as well as top tips to keep your practice safe.

https://movementformodernlife.com Great site with some excellent teachers. Subscription only but, you can try it for free first.

Cleansing with konjac

Ahhh I am so excited to launch this product! I’m in love and pretty certain you will be too.

This is the ultimate cleansing product going. In fact it’s not really a cleansing product this is a sponge. However not just any old sponge this is a 100% natural konjac sponge. (Konjac is a plant native to Asia, just incase you thought I was talking about the alcohol.)


The pure Konjac sponge is free from chemicals, colouring, additives and irritants. 100% biodegradable and fully sustainable, this moisture rich plant fibre is mixed and handmade into sponges with natural water filtered through volcanic rock.

Sounds amazing right?
That’s because it is 🙂

Oh and it’ll save you lots of money!

This sponge can be used in place of a cleanser. Yes really, no cleansing products required! Although, if you really want to you can use but I like it best on it’s own. The sponge lasts around 3 months if used daily and it is £8.99 per facial sponge.

100% natural vegetable fibres
Packed with minerals and antioxidants
Non toxic
100% free from impurities and pollutants
Earth friendly
100% cruelty free & certified vegan
Naturally sustainable
Environmentally Safe
Kind to The Environment & Skin
100% Colouring Free
100% Additive Free
100% Biodegradable
Deep cleansing

100% Pure Konjac Sponge deeply cleanses, removes blackheads and gently exfoliates the skin. The unique net like structure of the vegetable fibres helps to stimulate blood flow and promote skin cell renewal.


Approximately 8cm wide, it fits perfectly in the palm of your hand for easy cleansing. Just add water for the ultimate in natural skin care. It can be used over the eyes and removes water based make up.

After use, always rinse your sponge well, and allow to dry in an airy place between uses. Please be careful not to wring it out as this may damage the delicate plant fibres, just squeeze between your flattened hands. You can also pop your clean sponge in the fridge to keep it fresh and cool, which helps keep your Konjac Sponge last even longer. Alternatively your sponge is happy to be aired on a heated towel rail or from a window hook. When dried it will shrink and harden, this is perfectly natural. Simply allow it to absorb water and rehydrate before using again. Never use the sponge when dry. The better care of the sponge, the longer it will last. Never leave the sponge in the shower or in a pool of water. Your Konjac Sponge is a 100% natural vegetable product and should last 2 to 3 months. Once it starts to look tired and/or breaks down, replace it. Our Konjac Sponges can be safely composted or used in the garden to help water your plants by holding moisture. The better care you take of your Konjac Sponge, the longer it will last. Never leave a child unattended with a sponge.

Contact me to purchase your konjac facial sponge from me. It is £8.99 per facial sponge. #shoplocal

Fit Pit Deodorant

Lets take a look at your deodorant… Turn it around, scroll down, AH! Ingredients. Well – there’s most likely a long list of words that you can’t pronounce?

I’ll convert it for you … “toxic chemicals”

Your welcome 🙂

What can you use instead?
A 100% organic and 100% natural deodorant cream.

1. Free from Aluminium, Parabens, BPAs, Petrochemicals and plastics.
2. Suitable for vegans.
3. Tough odour protection that’s gentle on your skin and the planet.
4. Hand made by The Green Woman in the UK.


Is it effective?
I have tried and tested countless natural deodorants but could not find one that was effective to last me the whole day. Fit Pit actually works. If you don’t take my word for it read some of my customers reviews below…

“I will never go back to ones loaded with chemicals. I bought some FitPit from Melissa and it’s amazing!!! 100% effective. One application lasts the whole day & still feel fresh at the end of the day. I thought that I have to accept that natural deodorants aren’t quite as effective and you need to apply several times a day. But not FitPit, I really am thrilled with how well it works & it’s nicer to use than previous ones I’ve used.” – Susan Turp, Basingstoke – Environmental Health Officer

” I have used my Fit Pit for almost a week and I love it!
I won’t be going back now. Thank you Melissa. ” – Beth Horner, Froyle – Spa Manager

“This stuff really does work! I was so sceptical when I heard about it, as I find that basically no natural deodorants work for me. But Fit Pit is really effective. “- Jo Jackson, Haselemere – Nutritionist

“I love Fit Pit deodorant, it’s really effective. I hate using toxic ingredients. You wouldn’t believe that it was 100% natural and 100% organic!” – Cathy Hogg, Fordingbridge – Retired

“Thanks so much for the deodorant, it is amazing! Works so well, stops you sweating, doesn’t leave white marks and I love the subtle smell.” – Alex Pearce, Alton – Hair stylist

Why it works
Bicarbonate of Soda subtly alters your skins natural pH which prevents smell causing bacteria from thriving. The Coconut oil and Shea Butter, moisturise and the Aloe Vera soothes your skin.

Unlike some deodorants, it doesn’t merely mask bad smell, it prevents it. And unlike antiperspirants it doesn’t block your sweat glands, which means your body can still remove toxins, making it even healthier for you.

The result is beautifully soft and healthy, odour free underarms.

Lovely Ingredients:
Sodium bicarbonate, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) oil, Organic Maranta Arundinacea Root (Arrowroot) Powder, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) seed oil, Organic Aloe Barbadensis powder (Aloe Vera).

Want to get one for yourself?
If you would like to purchase it is £8 per jar. Just message me here


What Is It?
Chlorophyll is the molecule in plants that makes them green. It’s in dark green vegetables. Chlorophyll has a similar molecular structure to haemoglobin; the substance that makes blood red, which is responsible for transporting oxygen around the body, giving you more energy and improving your wellbeing.


Chlorophyll can:

  • Remove heavy metals from the body
  • Neutralize toxins and pollution – (high in antioxidants)
  • Enhance energy levels
  • Help the body absorb water better
  • Detoxify and cleanse
  • Eliminate body odour
  • Heal and repair
  • Block some cancer-causing chemicals
  • Maintain normal blood pressure
  • Regulate bowl movements
  • Decrease cravings
  • Decrease gas and wind
  • Help the body fight cancer

Okay, it doesn’t look very appealing.iproduct
It doesn’t taste like it looks! The chlorophyll that I use and sell has mint oil added so it has a minty smell and taste which is very refreshing.

Interested in losing a couple of pounds?
A recent study found that adding chlorophyll to the diet resulted in greater weight loss over 12 weeks than those who didn’t. And the longer the study went on, the more weight was lost compared to the control group. Another study found increased the secretion of a hormone called CCK, which helps to metabolise fat in the diet.

Healthy Bones
Important minerals considered essential for keeping your bones healthy include calcium, vitamin D and magnesium. When you eat green plants, you take in a high concentration of magnesium, because of their chlorophyll content.  Chlorophyll contains large amounts of magnesium, helping keep your bones strong. In the body, about 50 percent of magnesium is in the bones, and the remaining 50 percent is distributed in the cells, tissues and organs.


Strong Muscles
The magnesium in chlorophyll also helps your muscles contract and relax and remain strong. Not eating chlorophyll deprives you of a huge supply of magnesium, and deficiency can make your muscles weak.

It is very unlikely that we are all getting enough chlorophyll in our diets nowadays. Therefore why don’t you take some today? It possesses an amazing range of benthefits and is readily available to everyone. Please take note that the chlorophyll I sell contains mint oil so it tastes good, majority of brands do not add essential oils for taste. If you would like to get some chlorophyll for yourself, contact me here. Or you can join my private facebook group for some more info filled with a fantastic community of like minded people.

High Street “natural” Brands Debunked

Here are a few brands that deem to be green/natural/pure when the reality is that they are the opposite! I have only picked 3 ingredients for each brand otherwise we will be here all day 🙂


Parabens – Cancer causing, been found in tumours and damages reproductive system.
Phenoxyethanol – Has been banned in some countries due to being a strong irritant
Sodium hydroxide – Toxic, irritant and organ system toxicity.


Oxybenzone – Endocrine disruptions, organ toxicity, development and fertility toxicity.
Fragrance – Skin irritant, causes allergies and organ toxicity.
Coumarin – Cancer, immunotoxicity and allergies.


Parabens – Cancer causing, endocrine disruptor and damages reproductive system.
Oxtinoxate – Organ toxicity, allergies and biochemical changes.
Benzyl Salicylate – Endocrine disturbance, allergies and immunotoxicity.


2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol – Linked to cancer, irritant and toxic.
Parabens – Damages reproductive system, linked to cancer and endocrine disruptor.
Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate – Allergies, organ toxicity and immunotoxicity.


Isobutane – Organ toxicity, irritant and linked to allergies.
Methylisothiazolinone – Neurotoxicity, irritant and immunointoxicity.
Parabens – Cancer causing, endocrine disruptor and damages reproductive system.


Cyclopentasiloxane – Linked to cancer, endocrine disruptor and organ toxicity.
Dimethicone – Skin unable to breathe, toxic and bad for the environment.
Talc – Drying, toxic and banned in some countries!


Parabens – Cancer causing, been found in tumours and damages reproductive system.
Fragrance – Skin irritant, allergies and organ toxicity.
Lilial – Allergies, organic toxicity and endocrine disruptor.


If you are interested in using non harmful, organic and natural products in your383180-facebook-fb-logo life and improving your well being
join us in The Holistic Skin Coach Facebook Group Here 


Oil is your friend
Oil collects oil. If you spilt some oil on the floor and tried cleaning it up with a non-oil based product you wouldn’t get anywhere. Use an oil or balm to cleanse your skin and avoid anything that foams. There are many different oils to use depending on your skin type.

You need to rid the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin in order to allow your pores to be open and push the dirt out. If you have a lot of dead skin cells on the surface it’s like a barrier for the pores. I’d recommend you exfoliate with a natural and organic exfoliator once to twice per week and no more.

Free Stock Photo: three sented aromatherapy tealight candles

Avoid sugar
Open pores can be caused by sugar! You need healthy collogen to keep your pores tight but sugar breaks down collagen. Refined sugar causes glycation ageing which brings on premature wrinkles. Avoid the refined processed sugar and stick to natures sweeties – fruit!

Stop over cleaning your skin
Yes, you can cause blocked pores by over cleaning your skin! Using harsh stripping cleansers and toxic chemical exfoliates you strip the skin of its acid mantle which is the protective barrier. When this happens your skin is more open to getting blocked pores. Opt for oil and balm cleansers and natural exfoliators instead.

Remove all petroleum
Petroleum and mineral oils are very disrupting to the skin and I would recommend that everyone avoids them at all cost. The molecule structure is very large and sits over the top of the skin. This causes blackheads because your skin can not breathe and any dirt or grime under can not escape so ends up falling into the pores.

Try to have make up free days, at least once per week. The days that you do decide to wear makeup ensure that you remove it fully before sleeping that evening. Ensure that you make up is natural, mineral and organic to ensure that it is not contributing to skin issues.

Avoid saturated fat
Diets high in saturated fat can slow cell turnover, resulting in more clogged pores.

Eat the rainbow
Foods high in vitamin A, such as raspberries, sweet potato, butternut squash and carrots increase cell turnover. These foods will help to reduce your chances of blackheads.


If you would like to know more about a holistic approach to healthy skin you can join my facebook group here. It is a fantastic buzzing community, full of people all interested in natural skin care and holistic wellbeing. See you there!

Summer skin


Looking after your skin during the summer months is vital as this is when we tend to cause the most damage.

Do you want to feel confident to not have to wear makeup during the hot summer days? It is absolutely possible.

Skip the chemical-laden, endocrine-disrupting lotions and potions! Focus on the beauty of nature to give yourself the skin you desire.

Eating fresh, wholesome foods will not only help you get the radiant skin you’re after this summer, but also provide many other health benefits to your whole body. Nutrient-rich foods will help enhance your skin’s appearance, boost its wrinkle-fighting ability and protect against skin cancer.

Feed your skin from the inside
The more fresh organic leafy greens you can incorporate into meals, the more resilient your skin will be. Go heavy on nutrient-dense leafy greens because they’re loaded with antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which research indicates are beneficial not only for overall skin health but also for their protective effects against the sun’s damaging UV rays. If you really can’t stand greens you can add a scoop of Naturya organic greens blend to some water and drink it plain or add to a smoothie.

Healthy fats
Studies have shown that chicken skin can improve your skin’s natural sun protection. I recommend that if you eat meat and fish, then eat free range and organic – or go one better and eat wild! But eat the skin and the fat too! Yes that’s right, the bit you cut off and put in the dog bowl. Enjoy it! Good fats hydrate and nourish your skin with fatty acids, this is the part that can help protect against sun damage and skin cancer. Here are some healthy fats that I love:

  • Avocados: Creamy rich source of healthy fatty acids.
  • Chia Seeds: Tiny seeds, big benefits. Packed with inflammation-taming omega-3s.
  • Coconut Oil: Use in place of butter, it adds medium-chain fatty acids and saturated fats to help fuel the formation of new skin and prevent sun damage.
  • Fatty Fish:Wild salmon and sardines come complete with omega-3 fatty acids to help keep inflammation in check and protect skin from damage and skin cancer. Not a regular fish eater? You can still reap many of its benefits by supplementing with krill oil, which contains astaxanthin to support skin health and helps protect against the UV damage that leads to sagging and wrinkles.

Say goodbye to processed foods
If you want sunshine-ready skin. Ditch sugar and processed foods. They weaken the body as they are usually made with lots of chemicals. Salt, sugar and fat are sometimes added to processed foods in quantities you wouldn’t realise. They do this to make their flavour more appealing and to prolong their shelf life, or in some cases to contribute to the food’s structure, such as salt in bread or sugar in breakfast cereals.

Antioxidants? What are they?
They neutralise free radicals. Free radicals are around us all the time from our computer, toxic chemicals in products and phones to just name a few. The sun damages skin cells by releasing free radicals, if these free radicals damage your DNA it may cause the cells to become cancerous and replicate. The good news is that having a large amount of antioxidants in body may neutralise these free radicals and prevent skin cancer.

Consuming a healthy diet full of natural sun blocking antioxidants is a useful strategy to ensure your body has the best defence. Carotenoids are the compounds that give foods their vibrant colour from the green, yellow, orange and purple. These carotenoids act as natural sunscreens to the plants and offer us the same benefit! Pretty amazing right? These little beauties also boost collagen production! Here are a few under each colour to inspire you to eat the rainbow.

  • Greens:Kale, collard greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts.
  • Blue/Purple:Eggplant, purple asparagus, blackberries, black currants, blueberries, plums.
  • Red:Beetroot, red cabbage, red onions, tomatoes, pomegranates, strawberries, cherries, cranberries.
  • Orange/Yellow:Carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apricots, peaches.


Have a cuppa
I suggest having an iced green tea in the morning to boost your skin’s protection during the summer. For thousands of years, tea has been known for its positive effects, due in part to the significant amount of antioxidant polyphenols found in every cup. Studies have shown that green tea fights ageing too! I love Pukka Herbs Organic Matcha Green Tea.

Watch out for the sun cream
As humans we need sunlight to thrive. However, a lot of us get so excited about the sun when we go on holiday or out in the garden during the summer that we completely over do it! Sun exposure is necessary for the body’s natural vitamin D production so I recommend building your skin’s defence to the sun throughout the whole of the year. You can do this by exposing your skin to the sun on a daily basis even when its cloudy and windy. Your melanocytes get stimulated and rise to the surface so you get a colour very quickly.

It’s too late? Summer is here and you look like Caspar the ghost. Get the sunscreen out! But not just any old sun cream. With so many of them containing dangerous ingredients, I urge everyone to only ever buy natural and organic sun creams. I love Neals Yard Remedies Lemongrass Moisturising Sun Lotion.

You can really boost your diet by taking some supplements to support it. I love Cytoplan Phytoshield for boosting your skin’s natural sun protection. It’s also high in vitamin C which is great for helping kill off free radicals that your body produces in response to the cellular damage caused by exposure to sunlight.

Psoriasis and it’s effects

It’s the visible effects of psoriasis that get most of the attention — from doctors, family members and friends, even strangers — but there are numerous effects that can’t be seen and, as a result, are often neglected. Here are seven of them and how they can affect your life with psoriasis.



According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis patients are twice as likely to experience depression — especially related to the stigma that can come with the condition. People with psoriasis may face discrimination in public places, including swimming pools, spas, and hair salons. Because of common misconceptions, the quality of life for someone with a chronic condition like psoriasis can be particularly challenging.

It’s not unusual for someone with psoriasis to wear long sleeves to hide his or her skin — even when it’s 99 degrees outside. Covering up is part of the common tendency to isolate yourself. If you have psoriasis, it’s important to find people who love and care for you despite your disease, and make sure to spend time with them.

Lack of vitamin D
A recent study suggests that vitamin D insufficiency can occur in people with psoriasis and in those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Vitamin D plays a role in immune system function and exposure to sunlight and uva/uvb light can improve psoriasis symptoms in some patients. Talk to a holistic practitioner before using medications. 
About 30 percent of psoriasis patients will also develop psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis range from moderate to severe, but the disease typically gets worse without proper treatment. In serious cases, the joints can become damaged and disfigured. It’s very important to see a rheumatologist if you experience joint pain.

When you experience fatigue, you feel weak and lack strength — no matter how much sleep you get. Fatigue can be caused by being over worked or eating an unhealthy diet, or by certain medications or illnesses. Having a chronic disease like psoriasis can make fatigue worse. Although researchers don’t know much about the relationship between psoriasis and fatigue, they do know fatigue begins in the brain and results from chemicals released by inflammation.

Sleepless nights
Itching, which serves as an important sensory and self-protection mechanism in response to irritation of skin or nerve cells, is a difficult and often bothersome symptom of psoriasis for many people who have the condition. Keep your skin moisturized at night, avoid hot showers or baths, and/or sleep in light gloves to fight against severe itching throughout the night.

The American College of Cardiology reports that people with psoriasis are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without the condition. Psoriasis increases stroke risk to as much as 54 percent, and heart attack risk to as high as 21 percent. According to the results of another study, aggressive treatments for psoriasis also may increase cardiovascular disease risk.


A final note
If you have psoriasis, it’s important to speak out about your symptoms, feelings, and concerns. Contact me today and lets chat about how you can heal naturally.

Could probiotics help acne and rosacea?

In recent years, probiotics have become well known for helping maintain good digestive health. Whether it be from some form of yogurt like kefir or as a supplement. Probiotics are live, “friendly” bacteria that can have many health benefits.

Research is now finding that the benefits of probiotics may extend beyond the digestive tract, to the skin. If the situation is right I treat my acne and rosacea clients with daily probiotic use and the results have been phenomenal.


Most bacterial cells that live inside and on the body are harmless and studies show that, in fact, they can be extremely beneficial to the body’s normal functioning.

In patients with acne and rosacea, living microorganisms on the skin are recognised as foreign by the body’s immune system. The immune system springs into action to counter this potential threat resulting in the inflammation, redness or bumps, common in these skin conditions.

Sometimes the substances produced by probiotics have antimicrobial properties, meaning they can create holes in bad bacteria and kill them. Researchers are now testing probiotics to determine which ones make the substances that can kill bad bacteria.

Probiotics sold as daily supplements containing Lactobacilli and/or Bifidobacterium or in yogurts containing live cultures – could influence skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. Stress and processed foods are major culprits as they can alter the type and number of good and bad bacteria that live in the gut.

Eventually the gut lining becomes leaky and toxins are released into the bloodstream causing inflammation throughout the body. People who have acne or rosacea can experience flares as a result of this shift in gut bacteria and subsequent inflammation.

A recent Korean study of 56 acne patients found that drinking a Lactobacillus-fermented dairy beverage effectively reduced their total acne lesion count and decreased oil production over 12 weeks.

In an Italian study, half of patients were administered an oral probiotic supplement in addition to their standard acne and rosacea treatment. The other half of patients did not receive the probiotic supplement. The probiotic group experienced better clearing of acne and rosacea symptoms.

To counteract flares of acne or rosacea I recommend the following:

  1. Find that help to manage or cope with stress
  2. Fix your diet
  3. Add a whole food supplement of probiotics
  4. Use pure, gentle and natural skin care

Contact me if you would like to get started but sure on the best steps to take.