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?