The Importance of Mindfulness & Relaxation – Elena Byers

The Importance of Mindfulness & Relaxation – Elena Byers


Ever told we live in a modern ‘yang’ world, what does this really mean for us on a everyday level? Traffic, light pollution, work demands, the buzz up of notifications, busyness happening all around on such a micro level we often don’t observe the effects of this on our inner world. And with this rising ‘yang,’ comes the powerful call for many of us to balance it out with more ‘yin,’ as we see in the popularity of wellbeing practices that reset us.

I increasingly find the deep value of the physical practice of yoga (the one path of many) is to unravel us from a place of tension, into spaciousness. As city dwellers can we cultivate more inner space, so than we may in turn have more spaciousness when dealing with our outer eco systems?

So in my teaching I like to offer up the idea of Sukha & Sthiram, ease & effort. Through dynamic movements we tap into our strength and explore mental challenge – this is Sthiram  – and the sweetness – or Sukha – of the practice comes from combining this with full surrender and relaxation in softer shapes. Thinking of it like this, we need the two to coexist to get a feel for the other. In a way, it’s in their opposition that we come to understand the value of them.

Many traditions – Yogic, Buddhist, Hindu – tap into nature as a tool for understanding the power of stillness. If we see the mind as a sky, thoughts passing through it like clouds on a hazy day, the clouds themselves are not our true self but the fluid consciousness, or blue sky that lies beneath them. The drop of a leaf onto a still lake, a dragon fly touching the surface of it, and as easily as it lands, it flies away. Through meditation & relaxation practices we begin to recognize the value in learning to let these thoughts pass organically. Of releasing our attachment to stale or busy thought patterns and by doing so finding more clarity and calm. I find by pausing to experience things fully, we begin to unpack the richness of each moment.

I’ll offer you a Lao Tzu quote to end:

Nature never hurries yet everything is accomplished.

Do you practice yoga? Do come along to a class sometime if so! Would be lovely to connect in person, I teach pretty much across Bristol.
Salted Caramel ‘Snickers’ Smoothie Bowl

Salted Caramel ‘Snickers’ Smoothie Bowl

As it’s August, we’ve been craving smoothies a lot at Norty HQ! And what better smoothie flavour than salted caramel ‘snickers’? We thought we’d share this winning recipe with you all so you can whip up this delight for yourself. It’s a super satisfying healthy breakfast, snack or even dessert option.

This breakfast is packed with fibre, healthy fats and delicious natural sugars from fruit- you can’t go wrong! All you need to do is add the base ingredients listed below into a blender and process until you have a smooth and creamy base. Once your ingredients are combined, scoop out into a bowl and add your desired toppings, we’ve recommended a few down below, but this is your chance to switch it up and get creative. If you want to stick to the caramel theme we recommend using dates, and the cacao nibs also add that chocolatey crunch and rich antioxidant hit.

If you do give this recipe a go be sure to tag us in your posts and pictures and share your wonderful creations with the rest of the Norty tribe.


Ingredients for the base:

1 1/2 Frozen Bananas

1 Scoop of Salted Caramel Vegan Protein (we use Vivo Life)

2 Medjool Dates

Pinch of Salt

1/4 Cup of Coconut Water


1/2 Banana

20 g Almonds

1 tsp of Flax Seeds

1tsp of Hemp Hearts

1 tsp of Cacao Nibs

15g of Norty Salted Caramel Cashew Nut Butter