Carrie-Anne Fields is one of the Gold Coast’s leading Yogis with over 20 years of experience in Australia, Europe, India, Thailand, Bali and America.
Not only has Carrie-Anne owned and operated My Health Yoga at The Oasis Shopping Centre in Broadbeach since 1998, she also mentors hundreds of aspiring Yoga Teachers across Australia and worldwide.
We sat down for a chat with Carrie-Anne ahead of International Yoga Day on June 21st about partying too hard and why yoga isn’t just for fitness.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
It’s been 25 years living on the GC. I grew up on a farm near Beaudesert so in a way I’ve been a GC local all my life – 44 years! I went to university in Brisbane at age 17, then moved to London to work at age 21 but couldn’t wait to move to the Gold Coast!
What do you love most about living here?
The ocean and rainforest is what I love most about the Gold Coast. There is also an incredible spiritual community of people who care about eco-living and holistic health. I love that the GC has more vegan restaurants per capita than any other city in Australia!
What led to you becoming a Yoga Teacher and healer?
I partied way too hard when I lived in London at age 21 and came back to the Gold Coast determined to find more meaning from life. With my degree in psychology, I started a natural therapies clinic offering counselling and began training extensively in other natural healing modalities. The yoga movement was really gaining popularity around this time and it was the part of my business that really took off!
Can you share a story from one of the most memorable Yoga Teachers you studied under?
Kamala Devi is my favourite yoga mentor – she trained me for my Level 2 Yoga Teacher Training. She’s a normal Australian woman who lives in the Blue Mountains in NSW and is married to the local mayor! Despite her life supporting her husband in public office, she is devoted to the yoga way of life. She often works in ashrams in India and Canada where thousands of students gather – she is so humble and so inspirational! She reminds me not to get caught up in the dogma and rules of yoga and to always be your authentic self and have fun!
What does a normal day look like for you?
Meditation, coffee, emails, video chats with online trainees, filming content for our online courses or classes and having fun chats with our studio managers.
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the yoga industry?
When I commenced practicing yoga, it was always done in community halls or at someone’s house with only a handful of students. Now we see yoga studios in every suburb as well as yoga in fitness centres, yoga online, corporate yoga, kids yoga, yoga fusion styles and more!
Tell us some of your career highlights to date…
Being featured on the cover of Australian Yoga Journal at age 40 – it’s great that yoga celebrates women of all ages. Also launching our yoga teacher training in Italy last year in Italian!
What are some of the biggest challenges in your business / industry?
Convincing people that yoga is not fitness, it is a spiritual practice.
How will you be spending International Yoga Day on Friday 21st June?
Doing yoga on a tropical island in Northern Queensland – my second home and where I film content for our My Health Yoga TV.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Café for breakfast: Blackboard Coffee in Varsity Lakes
Coffee spot: Madison’s at The Oasis Shopping Centre
Restaurant for dinner: Gemellini’s at Nobby Beach
Fave spots to visit on the weekend: Tallebudgera dog beach for a walk and the estuary for a swim with my partner and dog.
Takeaway could well be the greatest thing ever invented and if wasn’t so bad for you, you’d probably get it every day right? WELL GUESS WHAT! According to this very article, takeaway food doesn’t have to be bad for you and that could be the greatest news ever not invented.
Here’s a list of the top 9 restaurants offering healthy takeaway options. Happy days.
Raw Energy, Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads
Located on the corner of Marine Parade in Coolangatta is Raw Energy, a healthy food and lifestyle café that started on the Sunshine Coast. Their focus is on fresh food, served fast in a funky environment. Raw Energy’s got you covered, offering anything from healthy smoothies or juices to macadamia and lentil burgers, YUMM!
Where: 110 Marine Pde, Coolangatta
If you haven’t been there yet, put this one on your ‘to do’ list! The Pocket in Burleigh’s Connor Street is an absolute favourite amongst locals and offers a great range of healthy take away options (with an extensive vegetarian/gluten free menu). The Pocket aims to be a conscientious restaurant serving locally sourced, wholesome food, often using produce grown by owners David and Michelle.
Where: 13 Connor St, Burleigh Heads
Marie Anita’s Gluten Free Health Cafe
Marie Anita’s offers a solely gluten free and sugar free menu designed to provide dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, and raw alternatives. With the aim to source from local suppliers and to use as much organic produce as possible, Marie Anita’s challenges the image of healthy eating.
Where: 2364 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Greenhouse Canteen & Bar
A personal favorite is Greenhouse Canteen & Bar, the holy grail of all healthy food. With the motto ‘anything you can do, we can do vegan’ they’re onto something, because they are busy every day of the week. But not to worry, they do take away, too! All produce are sourced from trusted suppliers and farmer’s markets – food is medicine and it should nourish the mind, body and soul. Amen!
Where: 1916 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami and 1/140 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
BSKT Cafe (Biscuit) was founded with the belief that people care about their health. They just needed the right place to deliver these health options in an indulgent and accessible manner.
All products are designed to inspire through nutritional quality, taste and a global conscious. Made from high quality plants and free from refined sugar and anything artificial. All products are hand crafted with love using traditional methods busting the myth Vegan and Paleo products can’t be delicious as well as nutritious.
Where: 4 Lavarack Rd, Mermaid Beach
The Shack Superfood Cafe
The name says it all, the Shack Superfood Café in Nobby’s is a health freaks paradise with real and fresh food that tastes great and is nutritious! On offer is quinoa, acai, smoothies and juices, breakfast, takeaway lunch and dinner boxes, plus tea and coffee. If you are looking for a hassle free, convenient and easy takeaway option look no further and go give the team at the Shack a visit.
Where: 2221 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
Cardamom Pod in Broadbeach is a vegetarian and plant-based restaurant inspired by the art of creative and tasty cuisine. With an extensive salad bar and delicious hot meal options such as curries or lasagne, Cardamom Pod is the perfect place to get some tasty and healthy takeaway, and word on the street is there are opening one in Brickworks! But be warned, their desserts are out of this world, especially the raw peanut butter cups.
Where: 2685 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach
Govindas is without a doubt one of the most popular vegetarian, eco-friendly take-away restaurants on the Gold Coast. They offer a variety of pure vegetarian foods (vegan and gluten free options available) including vegetable dishes, basmati rice, dhal, potato bake, samosas and a variety of salads, desserts and drinks. Veggies are sourced locally and all dishes are prepared daily using the freshest produce. The buffet style approach lets customer create their own meal at reasonable prices. YUM.
Where: James St, Burleigh Heads
Giri Kana Cafe
The Giri Kana Cafe is a fresh take on vegan and vegetarian food, with a wide selection of freshly made vegan / vegetarian items (many organic and gluten free options also), including an extensive dessert menu. Their emphasis is on fresh and wholesome foods, which are good for the body, as well as the mind and spirit – and to this end, food is cooked with love and devotion. Try one of their signature tofu or vegie burgers served on turkish bread or as a gluten free option the Open Burger on rice. All so good!
Where: Cnr of Nind St and Gold Coast Highway, Southport
Words by Kirra Smith
Raising awareness about mental health issues is a cause close to everyone’s heart in one way or another and at the moment, we all need to be vigilant about taking care of our own and keeping an eye on that of those around us.
Because we’re all about sharing/stealing good advice when we come across it, here are a couple of tips from local not-for-profit LIVIN if you’re feeling like your mental health could use a little TLC.
Get enough sleep
It’s super important to develop a regular sleeping schedule to help you feel energized, focused and motivated. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and if you can’t sleep, practice controlled breathing (focusing on inhaling and exhaling to help you relax).
Sounds very uncool but is actually very good for not only your physical health (obviously) but your mental health too. Even just a short stint (15 minutes) will give you a rush of feel good energy and can help to relieve stress and pent up frustration.
It’s no surprise fruit and veggies are good for you but did you know they can help your sleeping patterns, energy levels and general wellbeing? True story. Obviously fast food, that is easy to get when you don’t feel like doing anything, has very low levels of nutrition, which means low energy, and generally feeling worse than you otherwise would.
Having fun for the win! Here’s an excuse to find things that bring you joy, watch hilarious show online and have a good laugh whenever you can. Talking to people who uplift your mood is clearly a positive thing to do, not to mention, if you need a chat about how you’re feeling, your friends are the perfect people to do that with. At the moment we”re in such uncertain times, it’s highly likely everyone could do with a chat and since we aren’t really meant to go near each other, may as well pick up that phone.
If you, or someone you know, needs immediate assistance please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Words by Kirra Smith
No matter how you’re feeling right now or what you’re current situation is, there’s no doubt we can all use a little bit more health and happiness in our lives. So we’ve collected the five top tips to ensure your week is that little bit healthier from now on in. Take care of yourselves Gold Coasters.
Get up an hour earlier
It doesn’t seem like much but you’d be surprised how much you can fit into an hour. There’s nothing worse for your brain than waking up, going to work, going home, watching TV and going back to bed – where’s the relaxation? Instead of reaching straight for your phone the minute you wake up, roll straight out of bed and into some sort of exercise or stretching routine, play with the dog, cook yourself a healthy breakfast and ease into your day. You’ll soon see that starting your morning in a slower, more relaxed way sets the tone for the rest of your day.
Plan your meals
It sounds a little bit like something your Nanna would do but trust us, planning your meals will make life a million times simpler and healthier. Everyone knows what happens when you go to the supermarket after work, usually on an empty stomach and with very little willpower – you end up with an entrée of cheese and biccies followed by garlic bread and a big old bowl of spaghetti bolognaise. Delicious sure, but not so much on the healthy side. Planning allows you to choose healthy options, buy everything you need at once and not be tempted by the lure of excessive carbs.
Ahh the ever elusive shut eye. It’s highly likely you aren’t getting enough of it what with work, exercising, eating and those all-important Netflix binges taking up so much of your time. Something’s gotta give though and usually that thing is your health, or your sanity. They say you need at least eight hours but in truth, you need as much as you need. If you’re tired, sleep more, it’s imperative to both your mental and physical health (and the people who have to put up with you). If you need a nap through the day, go for it, this is your permission slip.
Take time out
You’ve been hearing people bang on about the miraculous benefits of meditation for awhile now and those people aren’t lying. It is one of the best ways to calm your mind, find out the answers to life’s big questions and generally just take time out from the chaos of day to day life. Seems overwhelming though right? Sitting down in silence and trying not to think. It can be simple though, start with five minutes of deep breathing and don’t be discouraged if your mind wanders, just stay there and enjoy the serenity, before you know it you’ll crave that time out.
Move your body
Although it’s easier said than done to get up off the couch when it’s cold out, the benefits are about three million fold. Even if you just go for a short walk around the block or do some easy stretching, your body will absolutely thank you. There are plenty of online workouts and yoga classes to choose from too so you don’t need to spend money on exercising to see the benefits. Morning is probably the best time of day to move, it’ll make you feel good all day but anytime will do. You’ll be happy you did.
Words by Kirra Smith