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GOLDEN BALANCE: MAREE GECKS

We caught up with Maree Gecks, founder of Kundalini Rebels, who avidly searches the globe for new treasures, with a focus on yoga, travel and ethical fashion. In the midst of wearing her many hats, she shares how she stays grounded and balanced. 

- How do you find your daily source of golden balance?

Finding balance is really important for me; I'm a TV producer (Porshe, Burt's Bees, Warner Brothers & Universal Pictures are some of my clients).  I also have a wellness company, Kundalini Rebels that runs exclusive retreats all over the world & I run weekly Kundalini Yoga & Workshops from my floating studio - a houseboat in Chelsea Harbour.  Finally, I'm a jewellery designer & co-founder of Goddess Charms - a cosmic jewellery brand that uses the power of the Goddess to help you manifest your dreams.  I swear by a strong Kundalini yoga & meditation practice, it gives me so much energy, calms my mind & soothes my whole system.  It allows me to follow all my passions & gives me the strength & confidence to believe in myself, especially when I don't follow conventional norms of how you "should" live your life.  Kundalini is my secret weapon; people always ask me how I balance so many things & the answer is always KUNDALINI!  My other go-to is breathing properly.  Sounds easy, doesn't it, but when we get stressed & have a lot going on, our breathing becomes shallow & we activate our sympathetic nervous system (which is linked to our fight or flight mechanism).  Throughout the day, I'll take a moment to do a 4-4-4 breath.  Breathe in deeply for a long count of 4.  Hold for a count of 4.  Exhale for a long count of 4.  I'll do this every time I find myself rushing, every time I sit down to send an email, or before I walk into a meeting.  Try it throughout the day & see what a difference it makes.  I hate winters, so I've created a life where I can spend Nov - April living in India, making my jewellery & running retreats.  For me, the balance between the fast pace of urban London & the slow pace of Goan beaches is essential to my happiness & wellbeing.  I get stagnant if I'm in the same place for too long.

- How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?

Self-care is so important.  If we don't take the time to nourish ourselves & fill ourselves up, we don't have anything to bring to the world.  Do we want to present a tired, stressed, depleted version of ourselves, or do we want to be the very best we can be?  If it's the later, self-care needs to be your new best friend.  I use new moon rituals to get clear on my intentions & manifest my dreams & I use full moon rituals to let go of what is no longer serving & take stock of where I am in my life.  I open my boat up for these rituals & hold monthly workshops where people come together to rest, to share intentions, drink cacao & unwind with Kundalini Yoga, meditation & gong baths.  Building a strong community of like-minded souls around you is really important for your happiness & mental health.  Sleep is paramount too - a minimum of 8 hrs per night.  A nice, long hot bath with a special blend of essential oils at the end of a long day & a daily gratitude practice, where each morning & evening I write down 3 things I'm grateful for. 

- Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration. 

"You always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself."  The Wizard of Oz.

- We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day? 

Never under-estimate the power of good, healthy, fresh food to heal you from the inside out.  I love Riverford & OddBox fruit & veg boxes (it's like having an allotment without having to do any of the digging!).  Taking time to bless my food & be grateful to all the people who have grown it, harvested it, transported it & cooked it - it's a huge process, involving many different people that goes into making your meal - it's amazing if you think about it.  Eating slowly & taking the time to chew properly, rather than gulping food down (easier said than done, for me - I'm greedy!).  I love getting witchy & using healing herbs & tinctures to supercharge my body - it's all about going back to mama nature for me.  Most importantly, I think it's about nourishing yourself with positive affirmations & thoughts.  Roald Dahl said it best -   "A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."

- What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?

Deep & open conversations with wonderful friends.  Getting out into nature & walking barefoot, feeling the earth under your feet is so grounding.  A gong bath (I play that water gong on my houseboat & the sound is mesmerising).  Looking up at the night sky.  Taking a quiet moment with a cup of turmeric tea & watching the river flow by.  Going out dancing all night in front of a huge speaker (you gotta let your hair down now & again!)  Massage - my boyfriend has just trained in marma massage & it instantly calms my whole system.  Good music, cooking a delicious meal, a long walk in the countryside, acupuncture, being around animals, clean sheets & an early night.  

- Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen? 

A really good olive oil, garlic (I put it in everything), honey.  Or when I'm in Goa, just a fresh coconut will do!

- Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?

Salted Caramel ice cream & Reeses pieces!!! And I have a wired obsession with Mick Hucknall from Simply Red.  If I can listen to him whilst eating ice cream - I'm in heaven!

- What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?

We sprinkle it in our cacao for our gong baths & cacao ceremonies which gives it a slightly spicy, hot edge & people love it.  You can make the most amazing face mask by blending turmeric, honey & natural yoghurt.  A paste of turmeric & water is great for treating eczema of psoriasis.  It's also the secret ingredient for a mean carrot cake.  I recently did a 1-month panchakarma (ayurvedic detox) in the mountains of Kerela, India & the doctor's prescribed daily turmeric tea for pretty much every patient & every ailment - it really is the wonder herb!

- Matcha or turmeric latte?

Turmeric latte every time for me!