Ali Roff is co-founder of The Remedy Retreats with her husband James Farrar. Combining Eastern yoga and mindfulness with her degree in psychology, she aims to create a safe retreat space to rest, de-stress and improve physical and mental wellness.
What one piece of seasonal wisdom helps you in autumn?
For me, autumn is the perfect time to recalibrate and reset my body clock after long summer nights. As the clocks go back an hour, we get the perfect opportunity to trick our bodies into getting to bed earlier and so waking an hour earlier, without any great impact to our body clock – or, in other words, our ability to get out of bed!
Every year I use this chance to bring my wake time an hour earlier and spend the weeks beforehand setting a little intention to use that hour to do something for me before the day even begins, such as journalling, yoga, or meditation. Sometimes I just sit in the garden with a cup of lemon water and a blanket and listen to the world wake up. As we move into winter, I’ll get cosy with some candles and meditate in my living room. The best hour of the day.
What one self-care ritual do you never skimp on?
I have to move every day. Whether it’s a walk in nature, yoga or an energetic class at the gym, or even some simple stretches before bed (the intensity doesn’t matter), but if I don’t move my body each day, my mind will tell me about it. I’ve started to incorporate movement into my breaks at work too. To move away from my desk and sway my arms and my hips feels great after sitting for so long.
What’s cooking in your kitchen this month?
Pattypan squash. I even have a little song I sing when they arrive in my veg box. These little gemstone-shaped squashes are so sweet, tender and easy to chop into little wedges. I roast them with minced garlic, pink Himalayan salt and fresh sage or dried herbs, with a good glug of olive oil.
Share one book that taught you something amazing about life – and made you better at living it?
It has to be Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. Her collection of columns from her days writing as an anonymous agony aunt, always seem to speak directly to me and my life experiences, giving advice, counsel, compassion, and sometimes even a ‘kick in the pants’, as Strayed says in one of her replies to a reader in need.
But many simply offer tenderness in reply to life events which I hope will never touch me, from divorce to the loss of a son. It’s a heartbreaking book – not only the questions asked by readers, whom she calls her ‘Sweetpeas’, but the stirring, inspirational and heartrending guidance offered by Strayed herself.
What is the best treatment you’ve had locally?
Massage is so great for fascia and connective tissue work, which we are learning is more and more important, yet often neglected in our physical health.
I work on mine a lot through my yoga practice and often incorporate it into my classes and retreats, but massage is a lovely relaxing way to include it in our holistic health ritual and routine. The best one I’ve had is with a very talented masseuse called Becky Smith, who incorporates amazing essential oils into her treatments. She always offers a selection to choose from, depending on what you want to work on, or how you’re feeling. I tend to book in when I’m feeling overwhelmed. You can contact her here firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about Ali at aliroff.com
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