5 minutes with Diane Cousins

Diane Cousins

1) Why yoga? Why not pilates/horse riding/mountain climbing?

Yoga was a gift given to me as a child, so I always felt most comfortable choosing yoga. Yoga has given me  structure and stability and has supported me through some very challenging times in my life.

2) When did you discover yoga?

My Mother took me along to her yoga when I was young, my Aunt taught yoga too, so when I was 13yrs I began to take yoga seriously and I would even teach my friends yoga.

3) The world seems to be a really fast place to live these days. How do you slow down? What are your 5 tips?

I have learned a lot from two amazing Women, on how to slow down and be more present.  Mary Swan (Yoga Teacher and Healer) and Dr Claudia Welch (Doctor of Oriental Medicine, author of Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life.

5 Tips to Slowing down

-  a daily yoga practice, it grounds me and brings me into a space of presence.

-  a daily practice of breath work (pranayama) and meditation.

- trying to rest everyday, especially between the hours of 1-3pm. Understanding hormones and how they can support us and how they change in our bodies as we get older. I am continually teaching women to rest deeper than they ever thought, I am seeing women heal themselves when they learn to rest and look after themselves. It is a delight to walk this path with my students.

-  aiming to get to sleep around 9pm, tuning in more to nature and understanding the rhythms of the moon cycle, this can become a supportive process.

-  learning to do less, clean less, stress less, breathe less

4) What style of Yoga do you teach at Yoga Shala?

The yoga I teach is greatly influenced by Shadow Yoga which I have practiced and studied  since 1999. I found Shadow Yoga when I was in living in Adelaide.

5) What can people expect if they join your classes at the South Perth Yoga Shala?

When the subtle (energy body) and physical body begin to unblock, the body becomes lighter and internally warmer,  the mind feels that way too, lighter (not heavy and depressed) and the mind becomes still and present. The style of yoga that I teach supports this process, through the correct leg and foot work. Structure and stability is then established to support the body and the mind.

6) Three words that best describe you – Strong, honest and real.

7) How would you describe your perfect day?

Waking up early to do a yoga practice or teaching an early yoga class, chilling with my beautiful family with beautiful food and coffee, finding a great book to read on my bed for the afternoon and teaching a yoga class in the evening.

You can find South Perth Yoga Shala right next to Loose Produce and they’re also on Facebook. Like and share the love.

How to make Chia Jam

LP Chia Blog

I’m cold. I want warm tea with fresh gluten-free scones, lashings of real butter topped with fresh, zesty chia jam. Ok. And maybe triple cream from Banister Downs.

Chia Raspberry Jam (Raw)

500g fresh or defrosted raspberries
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup white chia (or black)
1/2 tspn vanilla paste
1 Tbs lemon juice

The How-To

  • Blend or mash the berries. Add vanilla, sugar and lemon juice. Stir through the chia seeds and allow to sit for an hour or better, overnight
  • Store in sterilised jars in the fridge or freezer
  • Keeps for two weeks in the fridge

Want to take advantage of the Autumn superfoods in season? Try this version:

Autumn Super Jam

1 apple, roughly chopped
1 pear, roughly chopped
2 plums, roughly chopped
500g fresh or defrosted raspberries
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup water
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup white chia (or black)
1/2 tspn vanilla paste

The How-To

  • Put fruit, water, juice and sugar into a pot and bring to simmer until soft. (roughly 20mins)
  • Blend or mash the fruit to your liking. Depends how chunky you like your jam.
  • Add vanilla and chia seeds. Stir through the chia seeds and allow to sit for an hour or better, overnight.
  • Store in sterilised jars in the fridge or freezer
  • Keeps for two weeks in the fridge

Autumn Superfoods

LP Autumn Blog

Ah Autumn! What a delight here in Perth. Clear blues skies, sunshine and shorter days. The perfect excuse to drink hot chocolate (check out our healthy hot choc recipe!) and get out the slow cooker for some of those fantastic stews using those less popular cuts of meat. So good for you!

What was I saying? oh yeah seasons…We’re lucky these days to be able to buy pretty much anything all year around. But what’s in season right now? If you’re eating with the seasons, the produce you find will be fresher and packed full of things your body needs at this time of year. Chances are out-of-season produce has spent more time in storage and isn’t as fresh.

Here in Perth, Western Australia, we have a bunch of regular farmers markets and organic fresh food retailers. There’s sure to be one near you. If you’re already shopping at one of these you’ll notice what is in season because thats what they’re selling. :) For those who are intrigued, here’s a short list of foods that are available in the cooler months that your body will thank you for!


  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemons/Limes/Oranges
  • Melons
  • Olives
  • Pawpaws
  • Passionfruit
  • Pears
  • Plums


  • Asian greens
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Silver-beet
  • Zucchini

Seasonal Food Guide

Buy West Eat Best 

Magical Maqui Health Tonic

Magical Maqui

Maqui contains high amounts of antioxidants. This means that your body is better protected from toxins, chemicals and free radicals that cause harm to the body. In fact, sources say that the Maqui berry has the highest amount of antioxidants of any berry on the market. Chia seeds add a great dose of omega-3′s, essential fibre and protein helping to curb your appetite and sustain your energy levels for longer. Have a go at making it yourself. All ingredients are available in store at Loose Produce, Como.


1 Tblsn Maqui berry powder

1 Tblsn Chia seeds

Juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)

Coconut palm suger to taste

Coconut water or filtered water


Pop it all in a jar with a lid and give it a good shake. Add ice if desired. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Give it another shake then sip, sip, sip away. Great to make before work, pop it in your bag and curve those afternoon cravings.

Sage Yoga joins South Perth Yoga Shala

Sage Yoga

We are tremendously excited to have Dana from Sage Yoga joining us in April. We sat down with Dana for a bit of chin wag last week. Check it out…

LP: Dana how long have you been practicing yoga?

SY: For 12 years – 6 days a week

LP: What is your favourite type of Yoga?

SY: Ashtanga yoga (meaning 8 limb yoga) is the practice perfect for me – I feel blessed everyday to have been fortunate enough to stumble into it. It has changed me for the better, both inside and out.

Although, I do believe that no one style of yoga is ever ‘one size fits all’, and (whilst respecting the fundamental bedrock of the style) the practice needs to be tailored to best suit individual needs and challenges.

LP: What is your favourite time of day and why?

SY: Sunrise – I love the stillness and the emerging light at this sacred time of day. I love that the world seems quieter and untroubled by its usual frenetic speed. I love pausing out in nature and taking the time to acknowledge that if I move slowly enough I can clearly sense that everything in nature is also moving and breathing, just at a much slower pace than ours. I love that I have the opportunity to practice yoga at this time of morning, it never fails to give me an energy and a sense of joy that lasts well into my day.

LP: Best meal of the day and why?

SY: Dinner, as every night I get to sit down and share it with my wonderful husband and gorgeous 7 year old son.

LP: Why yoga? Why not jogging or swimming?

SY: Yoga has the capacity to be so much more than just great exercise. It also offers a pathway (by way of philosophy, life science and guidelines) to how we live our lives.

Ashtanga Yoga has offered me the opportunity to heal myself inside and out. To connect with my breath and find a silence within myself I never knew existed. Every morning I gratefully step onto my mat and am afforded the chance to reconnect with the quiet space in my heart, and leave the busy often self critical place in my head.

I have the chance to strengthen, stabilise and become more flexible – attributes that are not only healthy and healing for my physical, mental and emotional body but also teach me how to better relate to others and behave in the world.

My yoga practice is the constant reliable force in my life, it grounds me, makes me accountable and gets me through good and bad times.

LP: The world seems to be a really fast place to live these days. How do you slow down? What are your 5 tips?

SY: 1) Yoga every day – it is an opportunity to be completely absorbed by our breath for an uninterrupted period of time.  This is the best tool we have and can always be used to slow the mind and bring us into the present moment.

2) As quoted by the great poet Rumi, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you truly love – it will not lead you astray.” Doing what we love and and are drawn to often leads (without wilful effort) to slowing down, enjoying the moment and not flying through the day at break neck speed just to get the job done.

3) Become curious and awed by the nature around you – go outside, place your bare feet on the earth, observe the trees, clouds in the sky, flowers, blades of grass, insects…whatever you feel drawn to. Curiosity and wonder about our surroundings is a great way to get out of the constant tiring loop of thoughts in our head, this is a great way slow down, become grounded and replenish our energy.

4) If you are fortunate enough to have a dog – observe closely. Animals (dogs especially) seem so great at regulating themselves and knowing when to slow down, that coupled with their awesome ability to love unconditionally…seems we humans can learn so much about being better humans from our dogs.

5) There is no time like the present – if you are always waiting for the perfect time/scenario/space to slow down, start yoga, meditate, take up the hobby you have always dreamed about…you are going to be waiting a very long time. Finding our way back to stillness and contentment in every moment and situation, especially the stressful ones, is the key to a much happier and free existence.

LP: We’re very much looking forward to you joining us. When will you be starting classes at South Perth Yoga Shala and what can people expect if they join your classes?

SY: Classes will be starting in the next school term – from Wednesday 22 April.

They will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.30am – 11am.

Monday’s class will be most suitable for beginners, Wednesday and Fridays some experience is recommended. In all classes offered there is the option of Mysore style (self) practice for more experienced yogis.

Sage Yoga classes are fun and informative, with a strong focus on correct breath techniques and postural alignment. There will be a balance between flexibility, strength and stabilisation. And an opportunity to learn more about the other limbs that make up the 8 limbs of Ashtanga yoga.

Most importantly there will be a chance to laugh, heal and share the space with a community of like-minded people.

You can check out the full schedule here.

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