MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: JASMINE HEMSLEY

Jasmine Hemsley is the British former model turned foodie, who found fame as half of healthy eating sister act Hemsley Hemsley. But her new book, East By West, is a solo venture—a modern take on the ancient practice of Ayurveda … PLUS she shares what makes her a Material Girl in a Mystical World.

THE NUMINOUS: So Ayurveda. Why is it having such a moment? Is it a backlash to the “clean” eating movement?
JASMINE HEMSLEY: I think it’s because when we talk about “wellbeing,” is not just about the physical anymore—what we look like. We want to FEEL great too, so it’s also become about mental and spiritual health. For example, yoga is so mainstream now, and Ayurveda is the framework for this practice. It also isn’t a fad diet. It’s a philosophy that’s been tried and tested over 5000 years. It’s a way of eating that’s comforting, and that can also feed a whole family.

TN: Having been exposed to lots of different diets as a model, what’s the one thing you’d like to teach the world about food + healthy eating?
JH: That it’s time to take a beat to really enjoy our food. So often we talk passionately about food, but do we really savor it? How about treating each meal with respect, like a ritual, and taking the time to ask: do I actually like this? Does it make me satisfied? Do I really need more? These kinds of observations can help us begin to figure out what we need in life, let alone on our plates.

TN: For a newbie, Ayurveda can look so complex—how would you sum up the philosophy in a sentence or two?
JH: Ayurveda is about finding your balance, and going with the ebb and flow of life. It’s as simple as, if you’re feeling hot eat something cooling, and when you’re feeling cold eat something warming. But what’s really magic about Ayurveda is the herbs, which are nature’s medicine cabinet. For example fennel and ginger are great for indigestion, turmeric is anti-flammatory. By sprinkling your food with these herbs and spices you’re fortifying yourself against whatever the day will bring.

Jasmine also creates pop-up sound baths as Sound Sebastian

TN: So many popular food philosophies have a kind of “one-size-fits-all” approach. Which is not our experience of life! What is the best thing about embracing our inconsistencies and ever changing physical and emotional states?
JH: I see mind-body awareness as a framework for understanding our whole selves—for example, coffee makes me go a bit erratic and crazy, so I know it doesn’t suit me. I can drink it on holiday when I’m a bit more chilled, but when I’m in London, buzzing already, it sends me into overdrive. What you’d say in Ayurveda is having too much “vata.” It was this awareness that coffee was making me anxious that helped me find ways to bring more calm into my life. It’s about feeling empowered to make choices that are right for us as unique individuals—with hot beverages, and with life!

TN: You’ve already got a name as being part of Hemsley Hemsley with your sister, Mel. Why did you want to do a solo project?
JH: It’s been seven years with Mel, and we’re still a team and we’ve still got lots of projects going on—but this is my passion project and an expression of all the things that excite and inspire me individually. I have a Filipino mum and a British Dad, so I’m East by West by upbringing. And my travels through India and the influence of the natural wisdom in the way of eating there has always completely fascinated me.

TN: What’s your fave recipe in the book and why?
JH: That’s a hard one! I love tasty, easy comfort food that makes you feel all cozy inside—and there’s something so warming about the Rasta Dal. The recipe was taught to my meditation teacher by a Rastafarian, and also shows that Ayurveda isn’t just curry, or “Indian food,” it’s part a bigger philosophy. It’s got coconut milk, it’s got French mustard … I don’t know anyone who hasn’t tried this and begged for the recipe! But I have to get a sweet in here too, as I have a sweet tooth—and my buckwheat banana bread is my ultimate crowd pleaser, toasted with butter. It hits all the spots.

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:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label
Mother of Pearl dresses and anything vintage!

Wanda dress, $925, Mother of Pearl

My shoes
Barefoot where possible … otherwise I’m loving Veja sneakers, anything with a block heel for going out, and in this weather some snug Sorel walking boots.

Organic cotton Veja sneakers, 120 Euro

My fragrance
At the moment I can’t live without Sequoia Ayurveda Vata Perfrume—it just makes me feel calm and grounded, and everyone comments on it.

Sequoia Ayurveda Vata Perfume, $30

My jewels
My engagement ring from my long term partner Nick—a chrysoberyl (lime green crystal) in a gold setting. And my vintage turquoise eternity ring which he actually gave to me first!

Engagement ring + lentil dahl. Photo: Nick Hopper.

My pampering
Massage all the way! Particularly with oils, deep tissue, and any Ayurvedic massage.

My home
All I need is a comfy (and big!) bed and my three dogs and I’m home.

My food
…is everything! Tasty comfort food, loads of flavour, global inspiration—with a touch of Ayurvedic magic.

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:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::

My awakening
I try to beat the sun and rise at sunrise for maximum energy. I begin with a morning meditation and sun salutations for at least five minutes (which activates 95% of the body!), some tongue scraping, oil pulling and a hot herbal tea, followed by a nourishing hot porridge or stewed apples. Then I wrap up and get walked by my dogs!

My sign
Aquarius

Aquarius and Air ring, $325, Lulu Frost

My mantra
Slow down and breathe! I’m very Vata—airy and ungrounded.

My healer
The philosophy of Ayurveda, which includes food, meditation, mindfulness—it’s all about balance.

My reading
At the moment I’m reading Real Love by Sharon Salzberg. I love a feel-good read that reminds me what life is about.

My transformation
Discovering Ayurveda over 10 years ago.

My mission
To bring the wonderful world of Ayurveda to the mainstream so everyone can discover it.

East By West: Simple Recipes for Ultimate Mind-Body Balace by Jasmine Hemsley is out now.

OUR OBONJAN TAKEOVER WILL BLOW YOUR MIND AND FEED YOUR SOUL

Join us on Obonjan island in Croatia for a mind-expanding week of music, magic and healing—PLUS take part in a special celebration of the Leo New Moon Eclipse …

When the people at Obonjan island in Croatia asked if I’d guest curate a week of cosmic workshops for their summer-long music and wellness festival, it was a HELL YES from me. Having heard amazing things about last year’s event, the whole Obonjan ethos is seriously … numinous. Yoga, meditation, and mind-expanding workshops by day … dance parties, ritual, and beachside Moon bathing by night. Thank you.

Even better, I got to pick my date—and knowing that summer 2017 was the backdrop for a super potent pair of eclipses, I chose the week of the August 21 Leo New Moon Eclipse (a rare second Leo New Moon in 2017) to bring the Numi magic. You may have heard even non-astro geeks talking about this eclipse, since it’s set to be the first total eclipse of the Sun visible in America since 1979.

This is crazy powerful energy for breaking free from limiting old beliefs, and planting the seeds of our future intentions. For us as individuals, sure, but with this New Moon Eclipse in a very tight conjunction with the North Node (or karmic destiny point of the zodiac), and with the Sun in a direct trine to game changing Uranus, the stage—or rather, the Universe—is set for nothing short of a REVOLUTION.

We’ll be celebrating with a special New Moon Ceremony featuring the all-star team of mystics and healers coming together for our Obonjan takeover—which we’ve dubbed Moonrise Kingdom. Read on for everything else you need to know …

DATES: Aug 19—23 2017

ACCOMMODATION: Is in luxury bell tents or air-conditioned forest lodges, and is booked per night (so you can stay as long or as little as you like). Rates start at €32.50 per person per night. Click HERE to check availability.

TRANSPORT: Fly into Split and take a transfer to the port of Sibenik. There is a regular ferry service to Obonjan island.

NUMINOUS WORKSHOPS: As well as our Leo New Moon Ceremony on Aug 21, I’ll be hosting two further workshops –

Dharma School (Aug 20)
“Dharma” is the ancient yogic concept of tapping into our life purpose as an act of service. Or rather, discovering the work that we were born to do, and our unique contribution to society. In this talk, we’ll discuss why in 2017 it’s more vital than ever for us to stay true to our authentic life path, how to channel our unique gifts, tools to help us stay the course, and how our yoga and meditation practice can be the gateway to truly doing our dharma. There’ll also be a Q&A with fun interactive exercises to help you discover your dharma.

Story Medicine (Aug 23)
When we come together we create community; and when communities share our stories with each other we weave unity. In every experience we share, there is a valuable lesson for someone—and listening in itself is a gift. It’s when our stories are heard that we become healed. In this simple yet profound exchange we find ourselves uplifted, connected and more inspired by our own lives than ever before. Expect to leave this ritualized open sharing circle feeling seen, valued and inspired to continue on your journey.

Full line-up below …

THE LINE-UP: Check out the incredible roster of Numinous collaborators bringing their magic to Moonrise Kingdom!

Jasmine Hemsley—Sound healing sessions with Sound Sebastian.

Shaman Durek—How to Harness the Power of the Quantumsphere, Traversing the Dark Period on Earth and Nature as Technology.

Lisa Luxx—The Fourth Brain Show, The Internet is Spiritual, Writing Wrongs, and Be Queer Now.

Shanua Cummins—Dream Life Hypnosis Salon, Wishcraft: Hypnosis for Manifestation, and Past Life and Ancestral Clearing.

D.A.X.—Ibiza DJ / producer will also collaborate on shamanic dance sessions (with Shaman Durek).

With yoga from Melissa Exner, fitness from Seb Eubank, and meditation sessions daily.

PLUS!!! Win one of 5 signed copies of Material Girl, Mystical World when you visit Obonjan for Moonrise Kingdom with The Numinous! To enter, simply repost the lead image from this post on Instagram and tag @Obonjan and @The_Numinous, along with the hashtag #moonriseonobonjan. Entries accepted through midnight Friday July 21*Winners will be asked to provide booking reference to claim prize, and books will be awarded on arrival at Obonjan. Applies to all bookings for accommodation on Obonjan Aug 19—23 2017. Click HERE to reserve your spot.