Take your haramaki with you on adventures

Ooh I love an ingenious packing tip. I also like to pack as light as possible. I am still grateful for whoever (Lonely Planet?) told me not to take a towel but a sarong when I went back-packing many eons ago – dries quicker (so smells fresher), doubles as a sheet when the accommodation seems slightly less than spotless and is almost weightless. Plus it makes a fabulous souvenir when you are home if you buy it when you get there. I found even more great reasons here!

There are some great tips here for example: “If you place your shoes inside a shower cap, it keeps your suitcase clean.” . I also love the idea of taking herbal teas “Not only can they help keep you hydrated, but flavours such as peppermint and ginger can aid with digestion – which is a great help for your body when you’ve been sat down for long hours. Herbal teas are also a cheap way to get a drink when you’re stuck in airport layovers. Avoid paying for coffee, which will make it harder for you to sleep. Instead ask the café just to give you a cup of hot water. Dunk in your herbal teabag and enjoy for free!” (Big World Small Pockets). I would take my own cup too for greater planet saving frugality.

There is something missing from all these lists  – the haramaki! lightweight and small, the haramaki can roll up tiny inside your handbag or hand luggage.  It takes up hardly any space but packs a big punch when you start to feel the air conditioning in the airport or the plane. Pull on your haramaki and have warmth right where you need it without bulky, uncomfortable layers. Great for budget backpackers to business travellers. Air conditioning can mess with your body temperature and weaken your defences when flying – wearing a haramaki core-warmer round your middle can really help. The image below shows how effective a haramaki belly-wrap can be .

Thermography A: Without Haramaki Thermography B: With Haramaki *Male age 25, data taken in an air-conditioned room set to 25°C. Data may vary according to individuals.

We would love to hear your travel tips and any on location photos with our haramaki would be FANTASTIC (and shared!) x

Wombs Love Warmth

 

In “Surprising ways to change your lifestyle and boost your fertility” the Mirror newspaper recommended women:

“Wear a Japanese garment called a haramaki – which is effectively like a boob tube around your tummy,” says Gemma McCrae, life coach. “My acupuncturist diagnosed that I had a cold uterus – which meant that it wasn’t a hospitable environment to conceive and grow a baby. I’m now 22 weeks pregnant.”

Wearing a haramaki can support fertility

Acupuncturists recommend them to their clients they are treating for fertilty issues such as ‘cold uterus‘…

The abdomen (hara or dan tian) is the centre of qi (energy). Acupuncturists advise that that warmth supports womb health. Heat on the uterus, abdomen, and lower back decreases common discomforts of menstruation including cramping and helps to reduce stagnation of energy in the uterus.

Cold in the uterus is related to menstrual problems and infertility. Warmth is supportive to the internal ‘fire’ energy of the uterus, and many traditions around the world keep the womb warm to keep the internal fires of health stoked, and support the flow of qi energy.

Keeping your core warm is not just good for fertility….

A warm core is “Key for our health, fertility and creative power” says Tiffany Power of Nurture Works Yoga – A ‘Cold Womb’ is one of the key patterns underlying infertility in Chinese medicine. But our Womb is not only a cradle for physical babies; it is the source of all our creative and nurturing power as women. When we allow this sacred space within us to freeze over, we lose our capacity to connect with this gentle, yet unstoppable, strength in our centre. In addition, Cold stagnation in our Womb is a cause of painful menstrual cramps. “

So keeping this vital part of us supported and cosy in a haramaki can help improve our health in a number of ways.

Signs that you are low in Yang Energy and may have a cold uterus:

“ Someone who is deficient in yang lacks the catalytic spark, the cellular chemistry of combustion. When our fire is weak, we become cold and slow, and physical processes become sluggish.” (Qi Gong master David Leggett)

In Chinese Medicine the following are signs that your Yang energy may be depleted: always feeling cold, hypo-activity, lower back pain or soreness, low energy, poor circulation, poor digestion, urinary disorders, low libido, infertility.
Wearing a haramaki can help with this by keeping your core warm and raising your overall body temperature.

Why not give our haramaki a try?  Click here to buy one

 

Keeping warm on snow days – cozy in a haramaki back warmer

Do you have a snow day today? The key to getting outdoors is the right gear. We even managed a sea swim (6 degrees) with the help of our hats, haramakis and thermals.

Cozy with a fire, tea and a haramaki (with a hot water bottle shoved down the back) we can crack on and go through finances, stock take and planning for the future. With a little help from Gary 😉

Photo credit Ruthie Delfruity

NukuNuku on tour – or how to plan your holidays around swim spots

“Imagine a summer spent swimming in mountain waterfalls, exploring lost ruins and caverns, and camping in ancient forests.” Wild Guide – Lake District and Yorkshire Dales: Hidden Places and Great Adventures

Inspired by the above and the heat of early summer this year I planned our family holiday around my new love, wild swimming. I found two amazing resources – the Wild Swim Map.  This is a website where you can search for swim spots wherever you are heading and read other swimmers’ reviews and notes. I also bought one of the  Wild Guide series for the Yorkshire Dales. This not only features swim spots but covers other ‘wild’ aspects wherever you are going – forests, ancients spots, walks etc.

None of us like a long journey without a stopover – so I used the amazing resource that is the Wild Swim map to find a swim along our route – Port Meadow on the Thames. I wanted somewhere halfway (ish) between home and final destination. We took a picnic from Brighton, drove up, parked in the car park and ate in the car because it was pouring with rain. Of course. The braver (less grumpy) 3 of us then went investigating up river, guide book in hand. Argued over whether this was ‘the spot’,  looked round and felt slightly shy as  dog walkers were the only others around. Our inner Seabird kicked in then and we thought ‘sod it’, whipped off our clothes and jumped in with the ducks. Weedy green water caused squeals when legs became entangled in it, ducks and swans and anglers only a little further off. We felt slightly self conscious before getting in but the minute we were in we didn’t care and felt adventurous (or a bit naughty).

It was the perfect stopover when heading North – just off the M40. Rope swing nearer the bridge that even the older two would play on – smallest one ending up soaked to the waist and doing the rest of the journey wrapped in a towel. Then onwards and Northwards….

Masons Campsite is right next to the river Wharfe in the Yorkshire Dales near the village of Appletreewick. The river is at the bottom of the small campsite and has 2 great rope swings where the kids line up and swing out over the river endlessly or spin each other into dizziness and the thrill of nearly falling in.

10 minutes down river from the campsite, after a bit of hesitation and doubt, we found the spot that matched the picture in the book. Despite the glorious sunshine nobody else was in there. Whipped off our clothes again (becoming a theme) while bemused dog walkers looked on and slid in tentatively. Much much colder than the sea in Brighton, peaty tasting brown water, soft and silky. Fantastic. Numb feet like November in Brighton in just a few minutes. Slimy, weed covered stones under foot and bum. Surrounded by stunning scenery. All to ourselves.

We spent the holiday using the Wild Guide as our bible and it kept us outside, off screens and well fed with great pub grub suggestions. Fantastic. Highly recommend. Take your haramaki with you and keep those kidneys warm. Keep tuned for the next wild swim spot recommendation coming soon…

Haramakis to the ready – we are cold-water swimming

Earlier this summer I was attending Camp Abyss with some of my favourite people in the world, close family and oldest of friends. Hot and exposed in the field for 3 days we needed to cool off and get wet. I turned to my new favourite discovery I have banged on about before the Wild Swim Map and the Wild Guide and found Wallers Haven was our nearest swim spot to the field.

It is a little difficult to match the spot on the road to the description given. However, we parked on the side of the (very fast) road and waited for a gap in the traffic and headed over to the bridge to investigate. We took the most difficult route in which turned into a battle with nettles and one of our party almost falling down the side into the river. Don’t do that as there is a ‘proper’ access by path a bit further up the road each way!

We walked on until we round the concrete jetty described in the map. It is a beautiful spot. Peaceful and surrounded by countryside. Weeping Willow trees dangling down over the silky water surface of the river. Minerally (?) tasting water refreshingly cold in the heat of the day. My first river swim! Having been stung by nettles almost falling in the river and spotting a ‘snake’ on the surface of the water one of our party stated that they were just there to watch. However….it was inviting enough to get all of us in having fun. This is despite our varying levels of confidence and anxiety about being out our depths etc. Some stuck to the edges for a quick float, others dived and jumped in and generally messed about. A lovely spot. Much fun. We all returned to the festival invigorated, energised and happier. I highly recommend. Take your haramaki – you will need it whatever the weather after the cold water. Keep that core warm and the rest will follow 🙂

Also published by the Seabirds Blog