Malvern Wells Yoga

Smile, it's yoga! Yoga classes in the Malvern area.

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Gluten-Free Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe


I made a cake because it’s Easter.  I couldn’t face buying us Easter Eggs… because of a million reasons, ethical, dietary and just plain no!  Anyway, I made a cake.  I must add a disclaimer here – JUST BECAUSE IT’S GLUTEN-FREE DOESN’T MEAN IT’S HEALTHY!!!!!  Take it from me, I eat a gluten-free diet… but if you look hard enough, you can find many, many ways of being unhealthy.  This is just one way….


Serves: 8
  • 150g margarine (now then, I ran out of marg here and ended up using 50g of butter too)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 150g wheat and gluten free self-raising flour (I also ran out of g-free s-r flour and put in 50g of rice flour instead)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk (I don’t do cow-dairy, so I put in goat milk)

For the filling:

A good half jar of Strawberry or Raspberry Jam (and it has to be the stuff with bits in, not the smooth stuff)

Buttercream – 50g butter, 100g sieved icing sugar, 1tbsp goat milk, 1 drop vanilla essence: cream butter and gradually add icing sugar.  Add vanilla essence.  Add goat milk gradually at the end – you don’t want it to be too sloppy, so be careful.

Preparation method

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 15 mins-ish

Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
Cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
Fold in the flour and baking powder, beating well to combine.
Add the milk. The mixture may be a bit sloppy, but that is fine, do not add more flour to dry it up! Turn the mixture into two lined sandwich tins.
Bake until a skewer inserted near the centre comes out clean, about 15 minutes. (To be honest, I baked it until it was golden on top and this took about 22 minutes in my oven.  Keep an eye on it.)
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool and then sandwich together with strawberry/raspberry jam and cream.  You could even put a layer of fresh strawberries/raspberries in the middle if you are going to eat it all on the same day.  I wouldn’t recommend putting fresh fruit in it if you want to keep it for a couple of days.
Make a cup of tea and ENJOY!!

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Feeling a bit philanthropic

So I’m feeling a bit philanthropic.  I’ve just been writing about Asteya, the 3rd Yama or restraint.  Asteya means non-stealing.  Not only does it mean not shoplifting or stealing tenners out of your husband’s wallet (I would never do that :-p)… but there are many deeper meanings too, that I may write another blog post about at some point.

Anyway, I got to thinking about what I give back.  Yesterday I took part in the International Women’s Day Celebration Get Together at The Grove in Malvern.  The whole day had been put together by a group of women who wanted to give something back and to help other women not as fortunate as themselves.  I just rocked up at the end with some yoga mats and candles and taught a Moon Flow class… but I didn’t really contribute to the day.

I’ve been toying with this idea for some time.  I was going to do it for my 40th birthday…and I still will, but I also want to do something now – well, in a few months.  To celebrate my 36th birthday on 14th August 2013 I am going to do 36 Sun Salutations on top of the Worcestershire Beacon.  At 425m, the Worcestershire Beacon is the highest point in the Malvern Hills.

I am hoping to raise £360 (£10 per Sun Salute) for the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Trust.  I have suffered from HS since I was about 15 years old.  It is a chronic, debilitating skin disorder estimated to affect around 1% of the UK population.  People often suffer in silence because the areas affected tend to be of an “intimate” nature and they are too embarrassed to seek medical advice about it.

The aim of the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Trust is to increase public knowledge and educate the medical profession on the symptoms, treatments and severities of Hidradenitis Suppurativa, and to provide vital funds for the purpose of research into causes, prevention and treatment.

So why 36 Sun Salutations?

I’m a Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher.  I began yoga in the first place as a way to lose weight (something that can exacerbate HS), plus I found that yoga is an excellent way to manage stress (which also contributes to HS) and pain.  A flare-up of my skin can cause chronic pain that can last for days, weeks or even months.  Some people aren’t as lucky as me and they never, ever experience pain-free days.  Whilst HS is a recognised medical condition, there is no cure for it and the medical profession remains mystified as to how to control it.  I hope that by doing my 36 Sun Salutations and raising £360, I can contribute in a small way to the work done by the HS Trust.

Please give generously to help raise awareness and to help end the silent suffering.  Thank you.  Namaste. xxx



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The Time is Now!

The lovely ladies from my Wednesday evening class are all busy this Wednesday, apart from one!  So rather than cancelling the class and because I want to encourage more people to come along and give it a try, for this week only (06/03/13) if you come along and bring a friend, both of you only pay £2.50…

That’s right – £2.50!!  That’s less than the price of a sandwich.

And if you need any more of an incentive, read this article.  It speaks sense about why it is a good idea to practice yoga and why yoga is accessible to anyone, regardless of age or ability.

Tell everyone!  This offer will not be repeated on a regular basis!!

The Time is Now

The Time is Now