Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bianca the Holistic Hippie

This beautiful soul is Bianca. She is full of wisdom, light and intoxicating happiness. I feel so blessed that our paths have crossed in this life and that some of her bliss might be rubbing off on me. Aside from being a fabulously fun person, Bianca is also a natural healer. Her journey has sent her on a quest to understand the connections between the mind, body and spirit. She now works with energy, yoga, colour vibrations, Reiki, chakras, massage and meditation in an effort to help others understand how the body can heal itself. Her treatments and teaching styles are inspiring, intuitive and life affirming.

I recently had a massage with Bianca and, having started off sounding like one of the Chipmunks both in tone and speed speaking, at the end of the session, my voice was easily a octave lower and I was so very very calm. All my stresses from the wobblies that have recently assaulted my inner peace seemed to slip away, and although the issues were still there, I was no longer allowing them to affect me in such a negative fashion. I am not experienced with getting massages, but I have had one or two over the years, but this one was so much more than a feel-good body experience. Bianca accessed parts of my unsettled mind and heart and eased the pains there too. I know this might sound a little dramatic, but to be frank, the results were dramatic. By the time of my massage with her, we had already done this photo shoot and I was embarrassed I hadn't worked on the images yet, but now I am glad I waited until after I had a session with her so I could speak from first hand experience.

At the start of any of her sessions, classes or workshops, Bianca always burns sage to help clear any negative energy around her clients' aura as well as from the place being used. This way, a sacred space is created to allow them to embark upon a wonderful journey. I know this must sound so airy fairy to the uninitiated. I remember when I first went to a yoga class, even the simple chanting of "Om" sounded so silly to me, and I was embarrassed and self conscious and didn't understand why everyone else wasn't feeling the same. Now, after practicing yoga for six years, I love the vibrating feeling down my spine and throughout my whole body from not only my own vocal chords, but indeed from all the voices in the room. It was this way with things like sage as well. I didn't get it and didn't even believe in this type of energy before, but so much has happened since that I know now, when I allow myself to tune in, it is very real, very powerful and very healing.

Bianca is incredibly in tune with people and can read their bodies and energies with great accuracy. When she was working on Alexa during our shoot, she picked up on all sorts of things and Alexa, who does get massages regularly for her health, was very impressed.

I loved watching how Bianca used her whole body to reach the deep tissues in the massage for Alexa, while for me, since I was so wound up the day of my massage, she was gentle and worked only as deeply as I could handle. There are many different types of massage which Bianca offers and depending on what her client's mind, body and spirit needs, she will do many variations from deep therapy massage, swedish massage, yoga massage, to other specialised massages. Bianca's favourite work is using alternative therapy massage, which is done intuitively including different styles of hands on working to energy therapy to psychotherapy and using colour and vibrations. She works mainly on the chakras which help guide her into intuitively recommending the right therapy for each client. She connects not just on a physical level, but on a spiritual level as well.

Bianca uses pure essential oils blended to suit the each individual's needs that day, whether it be grounding (which is what I was desperate for during my massage), energising, or decongesting. Oil is used in massage to help drain lactic acid and toxins from the muscles.

This gorgeous bowl is actually made out of quartz crystals. As Bianca drags the leather stick around the bowl, the crystal vibrates on the note F, which is linked to the heart chakra. The bowl is placed on the client's back and when it starts to vibrate, it resonates with the heart's energies, bringing this chakra back into balance and leaving the client feeling lifted and calm.

Bianca has so many options on offer and although I went for the simplest one for my first massage, I can't wait to explore some of her other therapies like Reiki, Colour and Sound, Elixer of Youth Head Massage, Brazilian Light Energisation, Abdominal Chi Massage, Ear Candle Therapy, and the two I am most keen to try - Dream Therapy and Past Life Regression Healing. And did I mention the best bit of all? She came to my home! Can you imagine? She set up in my favourite spot and turned on some dreamy music and I didn't even have to step out the door. It was heaven.

Bianca incorporated Thai yoga massage techniques into Alexa's session to give a full spectrum of relaxation treatments. 

These three glorious quartz crystals help to feed positive energy back into the body, working along the spine to unblock stagnant energy. Crystals are one of those things that when you are not in the new age world, they seem a little (ok - a lot) hippie dippie. But I have grown to love crystals and one of my children's favourite things to do as a reward is go to My Sereni-Tea, the crystal shop, (much healthier than the ice cream shop!) and select some crystals that speak to them.

This banner shows the seven chakras - life forces or vital energies -  located in the body's energetic system. Each one has its own archetype governing the energy within the physical body from organs, arteries, muscles, skin etc They also store all our thoughts and emotions and memories and keeping them in balance helps prevent disease (dis ease). A colour is associated with each chakra along with multiple functions and they are believed to spin and draw in this energy to keep the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health of the body in balance.

For Bianca, yoga brings her physical body, mind and spirit into balance. It is a tool to bring her back into her true self and centre, creating great strength through physical and spiritual practice. She adores its play and freedom and as she says "all the yummy stuff in between!"

Bianca teaches yoga and hosts courses and workshops at the Healing Cottage at Cambridge Beaches. Her expertise includes Shamanic Yoga, Ayurvedic Yoga, Yoga Dreams, Shivananda Yoga and Chakra Yoga. She calls herself the Holistic Hippie and I simply adore how apt this name is for such a talented soul.

How cute is this tattoo on the back of Bianca's neck. It is a yant tattoo and it was done in Thailand with ink on the end of a bamboo stick with lots of tapping - very painful! It is a spiritual piece written in old Thai Sanskrit and is only done by a monk or one who has been trained by a monk. Tapping writing opens gateways into the spiritual realm, and then Ayurvedic oils are rubbed in with gold leaf and a prayer blessing is chanted to activate the yant.

This dashing gentleman is Henry, Bianca's adoring hubby. He gives love love and more love to Bianca and all she does and spreads a whole lot of light on the scene too. He helps out on workshops and is the biggest supporter to her incredible holistic wellness business. Henry had originally bought this session for Bianca as a maternity present and we had planned to capture her gorgeous belly when she was pregnant, but life slipped on by and it ended up being a session just for her to capture who she is and what she loves doing.

And this delectable ball of scrumptiousness is Eli. He is the ultimate little hippie earth child, spreading laughter everywhere he goes.

I was quite in love with this fabulous double barrel hoop drum below. It is used to help break up unwanted thought or tensions in your energy field so you can descend into a deep meditation. When I found out it was used for Shamanic meditation drum journeys, it made sense that I loved it so much. The first time I met Bianca was when I randomly (and back then, given where I was on my "journey", it really was out of the blue) signed up for her Shamanic Animal Spirit Guide workshop - officially I think it was called Shamanic Yoga and Ecstatic Dance workshop but I mostly remember the Shamanic animal bit. I don't even know why I decided to do something so out of my comfort zone, but I was so glad I did. It was a full day session and we did everything from yoga to meditating to making our own dream catchers, though oddly enough, I don't remember the dance at all! What I do remember is sitting there with my eyes closed in a circle with a group of people I did not know (very rare in Bermuda) and suddenly feeling a wolf breathe heavily down my ear. I screamed and jumped and everyone stared at me stunned. I searched around looking for this darn wild dog!! I was so freaked out and Bianca just calmly said how cool it was that my spirit animal is obviously a wolf and how cool it was he was there and how lucky I had been. I was completely shaking from the bizarre experience and couldn't stop replaying in my head what had happened, trying to figure out how I might possibly have imagined it, but why would I have at that moment. It was intense.

I've been begging Bianca to make a disc of her sweet soothing voice taking one on a journey into a deep meditation. There are so many that I would love her to do - one helping me to let go of hurts against people whom I believe have wronged me, another to help me find my spirit animal, another taking me down the roots of a great tree into the earth's core (not to the too hot bit!), and another leading me through a field of flowers, past this glorious water fall and up an over grown path to my meditation temple with all its special rooms. When she has taken me on these journeys in her workshops (I also did an Inner Peace one last year), my mind has been blown, yet I have never succeeded in fully going so deep on my own. As soon as Bianca makes this recording, I promise I will share on my blog where one can get a copy! There have been so many studies proving how meditation can prevent and heal illnesses and help one keep calm when the storm outside is raging. I could definitely use a little help keeping my emotions from getting the better of me which would of course make life easier but also have the added benefit of keeping me from getting ill later in life!

This drum below is Bianca's beloved Djembe, a rope-tuned skin covered goblet drum that is played with the bare hands and originates from West Africa. The word Djembe comes from a saying which translates to "everyone gather together in peace" and defines the drum's purpose. This drum is Bianca's bliss and creative joy - it connects and grounds her while releasing stress and tensions. Bianca loves how it connects her to her musical brothers and sisters.

I nearly had kittens I was so excited about Bianca's hula hoop. I used to be able to spin one on my waist for ages when I was little, but have lost the talent since becoming grown and have not figured out how I kept it up for so long. Bianca, on the other hand, is fully connected to her inner child. Her hula hoop makes her smile just thinking about it. It has water inside it to give it more weight and spinning movement. She had only owned it for about five minutes when the whole thing came apart and splashed water all over her mum's living room walls and furniture! It was quite funny, and Bianca put it back together with duct tape which I think only adds to its charm along with the purple and glitter!

Bianca has been traveling with her guitar since she was 21 and says she loves how playing teleports her into the lands of mantras and happy tunes. When she plays, it is her sacred time and allows her to express things that she finds hard to say.

At the end of our photo session, I asked Bianca about this scar on her arm. She is so cool about everything including hip scars like this one. She just laughed and asked "Do you want this life's explanation or my past life's explanation?" Of course I was fascinated and wanted both. She told me an elaborate story of how she had barely touched the wall when she hit is in her teens on her bike and they thought it was nothing when it ended up being really serious. Bianca told me it is believed that scars we gain in this life are memories of larger injuries from past lives. Long after her arm had healed and only the huge scar remained did she experience a past life regression where she found out that she had been a soldier and had had a serious war wound in that very spot. Makes me wonder about some of my scars and indeed sweet Oslo's lip scar.

Dream catchers are part of Shamanic practice and are used to filter out nightmares, like a spider's web, and only allow the good dreams to pass through the hole in the centre. They are believed to bring healing to you whilst you sleep and are also works of art in their own right. I loved making the dream catcher in the workshop. Bianca made this one herself and when making them, she taught us to be aware of the materials we used as each part is symbolic to the creation. For mine, I chose beads and crystals all in a single muted palette of stone and sand - it was soft and dreamy, as a dream catcher should be in my mind. Dream catchers

Bianca - thank you so much for asking me to capture you with my camera and thank you especially for bringing so many personal things to make the shoot so very very you. It was such a fun shoot and you are just such an inspiration in your attitude towards life, your wisdom and your healing ways. Thank you for sharing your talents with me and the rest of the world. Love you oodles! xxx

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