Yoga, Wellness and Summer Essentials with Jo Fellows

Friend of the Brand Jo Fellows sat down with our team to talk about her plans for the summer, living in the Cotswold countryside and her tips for yoga, wellness and skincare in the summer months.

Q: As someone who is very in tune with seasons, through both where you live in the countryside and your work, we would love to hear more about how your daily rituals change in the summer day? It is a beautiful, sunny summer’s day - how would you ideally spend it?

As a qigong teacher, an advanced yoga teacher and reiki master, I feel very connected and in tune with the seasons. I live in the countryside, so I am surrounded by nature, which helps me to stay connected to the natural rhythms of the earth. I love to spend time outdoors, so my daily rituals change quite a bit in the summer – it’s a time of great energy and vitality, and I find that my daily rituals reflect this.
I rise earlier in the summer. My ideal summer’s day would start my day with an energising morning flow yoga practice, followed by qigong to help bring my energy into balance and pranayama (breathwork). These practices help me to connect with my inner energy and to prepare for the day ahead. I find that the early morning hours are the most peaceful and clear, and I love to use this time to connect with my breath and my body.
After my morning practices, I love to spend time outdoors. I’m very lucky, I can walk straight out of my front door and onto the rolling Cotswold hills, or to our local woods, go for a ride on my bike, or simply sit in the garden and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. I find that being in nature helps me to relax and rejuvenate.
In the afternoon, I love spending time in my garden – there’s always lots to do! I also enjoy spending time with friends and family. In the evening, I enjoy a leisurely dinner, some reading and personal reiki practice. I like to end my day with a few minutes of meditation, to help me to process the day and prepare for sleep.
My daily rituals in the summer are a way for me to connect with the natural world and to nurture my own well-being. They help me to feel energized, balanced, and at peace. I find that these rituals help me to stay connected to my body, mind, and spirit. They also help me to feel grounded and centred, which is especially important during the busy summer months.

Q: Do you find practicing yoga outside gives a greater connection to nature and what are your top tips for taking yoga or meditation practice outdoors?

I love practicing outdoors and have found it gives me a greater connection to nature. The feeling of the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair, and the sound of birds chirping all help me to feel more grounded and connected to the present moment.
The natural elements of the outdoors – the sun, the wind, the earth, the trees – can help to ground us and bring us into the present moment. The sounds of nature, such as the birds singing or the leaves rustling, are very calming and meditative and a source of inspiration and peace.

My top tips for taking your practice outdoors:

• Choose a safe and appropriate location. Be mindful of your surroundings. Make sure the area is free of hazards, such as uneven ground and be aware of the plants, animals, and other elements of nature.

• Allow yourself to be present and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. If you are practicing in a public space, be mindful of others and choose a spot that is not too crowded.

• Consider the weather. If it is too hot or too cold, you may not be comfortable. If it’s hot and very sunny look for a spot in the shade or under a tree. If it is raining, you may want to find a covered spot.

• Protect your skin. Wear sunscreen and a hat if the sun is strong and if you’re practicing in the cold, wear layers of clothing to stay warm.

• Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your practice.

• Let go of any expectations. The beauty of practicing outdoors is that it is unpredictable. The weather may change, and you may be interrupted by other people. Be willing to go with the flow and enjoy the experience. While practicing, don’t push yourself too far. The whole point is to heal, not harm.

• If you are new to practicing outdoors, start with simple poses that you are familiar with. This will help you to stay focused and not become distracted by your surroundings.

• Listen to your body. If you are feeling tired or uncomfortable, take a break.

• Have fun! Practicing outdoors can be a fun and rewarding experience. Enjoy the fresh air, the sunshine, and the beauty of nature.

I hope these tips help you to have a safe and enjoyable practice outdoors.

Q: Do you change your nutrition according to the seasons?

I believe that eating seasonally, and as locally as possible, is an important part of living a healthy and balanced life. The foods that are available in each season are naturally suited to our needs at that time of year, both physically and energetically. By making an effort to eat seasonally, you can give your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
In summer, when the weather is warmer, we need foods that are cooling and  hydrating. It’s a good time to eat salads, fruits and vegetables while also drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated.
One of the reasons that I chose Notgrove to host my twice-yearly retreats, is the fact that the chef there always uses local produce whenever possible.
Zero food miles and zero packaging is good for the body, and the planet too. I love that we enjoy Keith’s tomatoes from just over the road! And at home, so far this summer we’ve enjoyed salad from our own vegetable plot which is just wonderfully satisfying and seems to taste so much more flavourful than shop bought.
We’re looking forward to harvesting our beetroot, onions, garlic, broccoli, and potatoes later on in the year. I find that seasonal eating can help me to connect with the natural world and to feel more in tune with my own body. When I eat foods that are in season, I feel more grounded and balanced. I also find that I have more energy and that my overall health is better. You may be surprised at how much better you feel when you eat in harmony with the seasons.

Q Which Rhug Wild Beauty products are your go to warm weather essentials?

I simply love the whole ethos behind the Wild Beauty products.
Using natural ingredients, organically produced and using sustainable packaging too, there’s nothing not to love!
They really do help me to maintain healthy, radiant skin, whatever the season. In warm weather, my skin can become easily dehydrated and irritated, so I need products that are lightweight, moisturising, and protective.

My personal summer favourites are:

Protecting Facial Oil with Bakuchiol - this lightweight, non-greasy formula provides essential hydration and helps to reduce the signs of ageing. It's also packed with antioxidants to help protect against environmental damage. It leaves my skin feeling nourished and pampered.

Restorative Overnight Cream with Evening Primrose - packed with antioxidants and essential fatty acids it helps to protect and nourish my skin. Wonderfully hydrating it makes my skin feel plumped, alive and nourished on waking.

Exfoliating Body Scrub with Rhug Honey - is a great way to remove dead skin cells, stimulate cell renewal and reveal soft, summer-ready smooth skin. It does a wonderful job of exfoliating and nourishing in one – particularly for dry areas like feet and elbows. The scrub is antibacterial and antifungal, which helps to keep my skin healthy. The other ingredients in the scrub, such as oats, almond oil, and lavender essential oil, nourish and hydrate my skin.

Replenishing Mask with Rhug Honey - made with a blend of mineral rich natural ingredients that help to detoxify the skin, remove impurities, and improve the skin's texture. It’s my go-to before an event where I need to look my best – and a great way to give your skin a real boost of radiance after a long day.

I find these products help me to maintain healthy, radiant skin in warm weather. They’re natural, non-toxic, and gentle on the skin, which is important to me. I also appreciate that the products are made with organic ingredients that are sustainably sourced from the Rhug Estate.

Q: Are you planning a Wild Beauty escape this Summer?

I am always looking for opportunities to connect with my inner wild beauty.

This summer, I will be taking a trip to Bruges, Belgium, followed by a visit to my son Jasper in Dringenberg, Germany. Bruges is a beautiful city with a rich history. We plan to visit the Church of Our Lady, a stunning Gothic cathedral, and take a boat ride on the canals, enjoying the views of the city's medieval architecture.
I’ll also be sure to practice yoga and qigong in some of the city's beautiful parks and gardens.

Then, in Germany, I’ll be visiting Dringenberg where my son and his partner Doreen live in an apartment in a grand 14 th century castle which overlooks the Teutoburg forest, in an area famed for its beauty and thermal springs. I plan to spend my time relaxing in the thermal baths, exploring the surrounding area and spending time with my family.
I know that my travels will be a time of great relaxation and renewal. I am excited to connect with my inner wild beauty and to experience the beauty of these two amazing places.