My name is: Jasmine Hemsley.
I’m known as: I wear many hats! A cook, author, speaker, restaurateur, sound therapist, wellness expert and Ayurveda enthusiast.
My expertise is in: Holistic wellness—mind, body and spirit—and the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda. I’ve been cooking and coaching professionally for the last 10 years and my interest in well-being has changed my life for the better over the last twenty years. I advocate the mind-body-spirit therapy of good old-fashioned home cooking whenever possible!
I stay physically healthy with: Living with the rhythm of the day whenever possible and listening to and supporting my “agni” (digestive fire). For example, whenever possible, I go to bed early and rise early, which really works well for me (I never thought I’d say that!). Of course, it’s easier now in the warmer months, but it always has such a positive effect on my day if I work my schedule around the natural rhythm of following the sun and getting outside as much as possible for natural light—especially in the winter. I eat my main meal at lunchtime when my agni is at its strongest and eat a warming breakfast and a light supper. I keep difficult-to-digest foods like raw or heavy meals for lunch and I try to cook as much of my food as possible, which I find incredibly important for connection and nourishing myself mentally, physically and spiritually.
I keep my emotions balanced with: I practice Vedic meditation every day for 20 minutes (and, when I’m on a roll, twice a day!) to help me feel balanced, calm and ready to take on my to-do list. It works in place of catnaps when you travel and gives you a caffeine-free boost to combat a wave of fatigue and an immunity boost when you’re feeling run down. A regular meditation practice helps me to be more efficient and incorporating a late afternoon/evening session goes a long way towards helping me wind down from work and being on screens too. The other thing that really helps is sound therapy—using sound to create a dedicated, immersive space to rest my eyes and tune into a meditative state. I have a collection of beautiful crystal alchemy sound bowls and my partner and I have been running 15-minute #lunchbreaksoundscapes on Instagram Live, Monday to Friday, throughout most of lockdown. There is a regular tribe that joins me for the live sessions, and then many people who drop in and out when they can or when they need it! People from all over the world message me to say they do the IGTV recordings as part of their wind-down or wake-up with family or as a kind of comfort blanket during their lonely moments. These 15 minutes really help me to tune in and check in with myself and notice any emotional disturbances, so that I can remedy them in good time!
I’m intellectually stimulated by: I’m fascinated by the science and technology we have now and by being able to understand and provide evidence for the theories that make up ancient philosophies such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). For example, quantum physics understands the vibrations of the world and of our bodies in a similar way to Ayurveda. Lately, I’ve found the work that Dr. Joe Dispenza is doing around the mind, body and spirit relationship and our health through studying the fields of neuroscience, epigenetics and quantum physics really fascinating.
I was recently transformed by: Stepping away from the hustle and bustle and rush of city life. This enforced time to reevaluate, to get creative and adapt to a new way of working has been challenging, but, in time, I’ve been able to appreciate what this huge change has been able to offer. It’s been a very apt time to practice being grateful for what I have and working with what I’ve got! Though I miss the fun of city life, I haven’t missed the hectic travel and always having to have one eye on your next appointment as you negotiate what is usually a mad dash to fit it all in. Though I look forward to taking meetings in person again, I hope that I can find more of a middle ground!
In the last six months, the ritual that has become so important for me is: Sound. I used to co-create big sound events, which was a wonderful way to share sound and our singing bowls with the local community. Lockdown and social media has given me a chance to enjoy sound on a regular basis with a round-the-world community, which has helped keep me connected and helps me to give back as well as making me commit to a regular practice and a chance to keep playing and experimenting with sound.
These past six months have also seen me dive headfirst into gardening. I’ve been using the “no dig” permaculture method to grow at least 15 types of veg in my garden and get me out into the fresh air, away from screens and into the moment—and, of course, the best bit is the harvesting and eating, all that Prana! It’s also given me a new appreciation of the work of people who grow and produce our food. It’s been a wonderfully synergistic experience, working with the microbiome of the soil (using the no dig method, you avoid disturbing the delicate harmony of the soil and the all-important microbial fungi), which is similar to looking after our own gut health—the importance of which is now reaching the mainstream and is what health is all about!
Here’s how you can do it too: You can start by tuning in or catching up with my sound baths on Instagram Live or on my IGTV—10-15 minutes of using the bowls as a focus to slow down the mind and become mindful of the present moment. Notice how you feel after each session, but don’t go into them having any expectations. “Busy” or blissful meditations—all of them work to help to unwind accumulated tension. If I find myself wired with no access to a sound bath or instruments, I simply create my own one by beginning to hum on the outbreath. At first, my breath is tight and the humming feels like an effort and the sound feels a bit “caught” and jagged. As I commit to the practice, I soon develop a peaceful rhythm, which allows a longer, deeper outbreath and signals my nervous system to calm down.
It helps me live my process because: It’s the antidote to the “crazy” of a fast modern world. It keeps me grounded and helps me to process my thoughts and emotions, so that I have more mental space to be creative. The benefits of meditation, sound baths and being out in nature are a message that I want to spread and a message that I strive to live by; such are the benefits that I see time and again. For me, it’s all part and parcel of my work, as well as my lifestyle and philosophy in general, and helps me to be of more use to myself and those around me.
Take a moment to learn more about Jasmine’s journey here.
Image via Alexis Christodoulou