07/05/17: Mandala Making Workshop

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Beautiful day. Beautiful space. Beautiful people. Beautiful artwork. Beautiful lessons.

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Here’s me setting up everything, one pen at a time. And check out my wobbly left shoulder holding on to its dear life. 🌷

I had such a wonderful time teaching the Mandala Making Workshop last weekend. Somehow, those two hours made me feel more alive than anything else has in more than half a year now. The most beautiful thing about the experience was the very fact that it brought people from different walks of life together, for one shared purpose: to give a break to their busy minds and let their creativity run wild.

We had a retiree who was looking for ways to keep her mind active, a yoga teacher exploring ways for self-expression, a mandarin language teacher who had forgotten that she can create, a computer engineer who needed her calculating brain to quieten for once… none of them had ANY background in mandalas or pattern-making, hadn’t done much research and yet they were there because it seemed right…I mean, isn’t this just WOW?!

Even though it is not uncommon, I am still so amazed at how the whole process shifted something for some of the participants. For me, being there and seeing that in itself was such a deeply moving experience. To be honest, I’m still letting it all sink in. Everything from the place, to people and to the tea we had seemed right. I don’t think I could  have asked to be anywhere else on that Sunday morning but there, teaching, sharing and learning. I’m fatigued out of my mind and yet so full in my heart. Let’s see how long it takes for me to recover from all of it physically but I know I’ll be okay and I’ll do this again when it’s time. My body needs rest now. Conducting a workshop after half a year of being 90% bedridden is a big step ahead for me. And it didn’t just happen overnight… this big step comprised of many, many small steps over the last so many months and years…

One day at a time

One step at a time.

🌷🌿🙏🏼✨

Dark Chocolate + Coconut Milk Popsicles

85 % Dark Chocolate + Coconut Popsicles. Pure bliss! 💕

I could’ve done with more dark chocolate but you know, I didn’t want to push it. I made sure to stay within the allowed quantities of each ingredient and frankly, these just turned out magical. As usual, my friend couldn’t believe these were SIBO friendly and this time, neither could I.

Here’s what went in them:

6 pieces of dark chocolate + 8 tablespoons of coconut milk + 1 cup of coconut water + 2 tsp pure vanilla essence + 1 tbsp raw clover honey + 3.5 tsp raw Cocoa powder + 2 tsp pure coconut oil. This recipe made 4 popsicles.

Method:

The easiest way of making them would be to blend all the ingredients excluding dark chocolate, pour into your moulds and pop them into the freezer for about 8 -12 hours. Before serving, melt dark chocolate + coconut oil and drizzle over the popsicles. You could also just dip the popsicles into the melted chocolate if you wish.

I made these in three parts because I wanted to add extra dark chocolate pieces inside each popsicle and also have bits of plain coconut cream in every popsicle. So we had the main body, chocolate flavoured coconut cream + parts of honeyed coconut cream + pure dark chocolate pieces and drizzle.

Rice Krispies Savoury Snack 

Took 5 orders (3 Large + 2 Small) for Rice Krispies Snack this week. All done! Feeling rather satisfied and accomplished. I’d be lying if I said I’m not tired but hey… I’m still smiling :) I managed to make two extra packs (small) in today’s batch – one for dad and one for anyone else who wants to get it! 
 

INFUSED, by Manntra

I took my first perfume mixing class when I was 10. I remember making perfumes in beautiful bottles and attaching a tiny hand-made greeting card along with it. From what I recollect, it was probably the first time I started saving up in my little brown pouch. In my perfume mixing class, I learnt what sort of fragrances and essential oils go together and I started experimenting with some combinations of my own. I’m not sure what happened and I sort of forgot about oils for a while. Maybe I was meant to focus on something else. Much later while figuring out a pain management plan for EDS, I started mixing various oils (all over again) to help me in different situations, be it physical pain, mental stress, fatigue, sleeplessness or hyperfocus.

I personally love using oils as a part of my self-care ritual and Ayurveda routine and have seen how certain blends have helped me greatly. Combining my childhood perfume making knowledge + my understanding of oils over the last few years of reading and research, I wanted to share some of these blends with the rest of the world.

So…Here’s introducing INFUSED, by Manntra.co

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Rose + Marjoram | Body Oil

My very first mixture is a unique blend of Rose + Marjoram. This is a natural infusion of pure and organic ingredients, Rose + Marjoram + sweet almond & grapeseed carrier oil, embellished with visually soothing, dried red and pink rose petals. Rose is known for its uplifting and healing properties and marjoram for its general warming effect. Both are natural nervines (medicine for the nerves) – rose helps to calm the nervous system while marjoram helps to strengthen it. This combination also helps with muscle fatigue and restlessness. Rose + Marjoram is a great tonic for the heart-center and shouts nothing but love – love of all kinds & all things love.

Rose

  1. Antidepressant
  2. Antispasmodic
  3. Antiseptic
  4. Nervine – calming effect on the nervous system
  5. Utterly Romantic <3

Marjoram

  1. Warming effect & improves circulation
  2. Antispasmodic
  3. Cephalic – Fuels the brain and relieves headache
  4. Nervine – strengthens the nervous system

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From the samples that I gave out, the 3 most common words I received as description for this oil were – love, nurturing and uplifting – and believe it or not, that is exactly what I wanted to hear! I was going ckASJhgfihasfhkwhfkjankdam from inside, feeling extremely giggly and excited.

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Each infusion is made to order, so please allow at least 12 business days for it to be ready. It will be carefully hand-crafted, with much love, patience and care from me :) You might be reminded of a snow globe from your childhood when you receive one of these – beautiful golden-amber oil with pretty rose petals floating around – it’s magical to look at!

As of now, I’m only taking orders over email – hello@manntra.co

50 ml – SGD28

Payment will be via Paypal

You can also call me at +65 97163976 for more information.

I’ve got more blends coming up soon, but until then, treat yourself to some much needed self-care and have your mind and body thank you for your time and love ❤︎

❊ Important note – This oil is not suitable for anyone with allergies to nuts. Other options will be available soon!

Once a dancer, always a dancer [2]

The memories I have of the times I could dance are nothing short of beautiful. Dance was something that filled me with pure ecstasy each and every single time performed, taught or just danced for myself. I used to sprain my ankles very often and required rest but I couldn’t resist dancing even during those times.
 
When life started looking different and I had to spend more and more time in bed, letting go of my passion for dance was one of the many painful decision I had to take. It used to hurt me each time I saw that those around me were able to dance and I couldn’t. It used to kill me each time I looked at old photographs and videos of myself dancing and I’d think to myself that life was becoming pointless – how is it that everything you love so deeply is harmful for you and your body in some way or the other? I’d wonder.
 
Then there came a point when I literally deprived myself of anything related to dance. No more old videos. No more old photographs. No more watching anyone else dance. No more listening to happy bollywood songs which drove me mad. No more talking about dance because each time I did, I’d have tears in my eyes. I thought I was helping myself get over my passion for dance by trying to forget everything related to it in my past. Which meant forgetting a BIG PART of my past and that was ridiculous.
 
Over last year or so, things started looking different. It was the year when I allowed myself to feel pain. I had to let myself grieve over what is no longer mine and what I had to leave behind, along with an older version of myself. Letting go wasn’t easy, because it wasn’t only dance I had to let go of. There was a list of all things that I loved and wanted and couldn’t have that I had to come to terms with. Till this point in time, I hadn’t let myself grieve that old version of me. The one I was so familiar with. I was only holding on. Not moving on. Soon, I began to ease into not being able to do certain things because I realized something very important – I started choosing health over everything else, and that is what made me come to terms with my present self. I don’t regret that I left dance but I know dance hasn’t left me. Dance will always be a part of me.
 
Though this process has been extremely uncomfortable, it has been absolutely worth it because I no longer look back at my photos and feel like shit. It doesn’t bring me to tears. When your story doesn’t make you cry, you know you have healed. Watching others dance doesn’t make me feel bad that I can’t. Instead, looking at people dance out of happiness and passion makes me insanely happy. And you know what? It makes me want to dance again sometimes. I can’t compare it to how things were and I won’t try because I understand the change my body has had to go through. I do what I can do and even that brings a smile on my face – even if it means just to dress up, blast music, move just a little bit and imagine as if I can dance like before. Dance involves both movement and expressions and even if EDS has taken away a decent amount of freedom of movement from me, it most definitely hasn’t taken away my ability to express/give expressions, or imagine and choreograph steps in my mind.
 
It’s true – once a dancer, always a dancer.
Today was one of those days when I let myself dance a little bit. Just a little bit. I was careful not to over do anything and it really required me to be aware and present. I think it’s okay to do what your soul craves sometimes as long as you have your next physiotherapy session booked. I do.