Photo of the Day

June 15, 2011

February 23, 2008,  my first week of yoga which is a story I’ll certainly be blogging about soon!  I thought this was a great photo of the day since I just posted “Instructing” my first yoga class tonight (see here)

This picture was taken at a friend’s party while I vividly remember making fun of my first few yoga classes.  I was that girl, and even making up silly nicknames for certain poses.  After my fifth class I was suddenly hooked and over the next several month lost about 10 pounds after this was taken.  Thank you yoga, I love you.

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“It happens to the best of us” photo from Ashtanga News

Tonight I decided to head to an 8:00pm gym yoga class, which isn’t very common but I do from time to time.  I arrived early and chatted with a few girls while the class prior finished up.  The class was packed and at 8:10pm the gym announced the instructor called and canceled.  Someone asked “anyone here able to lead a class?” and a bunch of people pointed to me and asked me to teach the class.  My face lite up flattered, but I was just too chicken.  A few of them kept asking and encouraging me and the thought of how to teach was flashing through my head.  As much as I would have loved the opportunity I realized I really couldn’t lead a class for five minutes!   If I had been just a few weeks into training maybe I would have but I don’t know the dialect at all and between the sequences, dialect and leading inhales and exhales I really wouldn’t know what to do.   The timing of this was great though.  It made me decide to stay after everyone left…and “instruct” a class out loud to myself.   I felt a little silly in that huge room with no music talking to myself so I asked the gym if I could get some music.  The guy handed me a small boom box with a hip hop CD in it.   Do you know how silly it feels to speak out loud to yourself in a large room while doing yoga?  I needed some kind of background noise so yes, I made do with the hip hop background!  I actually got through 35 minutes of yoga by myself (10 minutes of talking out loud before it turned into just talking in my head.)  I’ve only lead myself through yoga a few times on a pier in Belize when I first got into yoga.  That was over 2 years ago, click here to check out my hilarious first week of yoga picture!  It felt both great and stressful (an anti-yoga word) to get through it tonight.  I realize there’s a lot ahead and look forward to learning.  200 hour Training starts this Saturday, June 18 and I’m looking forward to the experience.  It seems so far away but I know soon enough I will have the honor of guiding others through something that benefits the mind, body and heart… and one of the things I enjoy most, power yoga.

On a scale of 1-10 I give my “instructing” a 2 and my yoga “quality” I performed this evening a 6.  But wait, it’s yoga… so no judgement right?  Om Shanti.  Namaste.

What healthy snacks can you share that have under a 5 minute prep time?  Today I tried out some simple and healthy snacks, all with less than five minute prep time!

Baked Grapefruit I read about baked grapefruit awhile ago and have been meaning to try it for months. So easy and so delicious.  Baking the grapefruit with honey makes it bubbly, juicy, and gives it that desert-like feel.  The glazed appearance is so pretty.  I imagine adding mint would give this an awesome touch.  I had also read a dash of cinnamon was optional.  It’s such a lovely and refreshing way to serve grapefruit!

Directions:

  • Separate the grapefruit into sections.
  • Drizzle honey on each half.
  • Bake (or use a toaster oven) at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes or until top has formed a carmalized crust.
  • Optional top with fresh mint leave.  I bet that’d be delightful, I just used up my fresh mint yesterday.

Roasted Chickpeas  I’ve seen roasted chickpeas sold in stores, and came across this simple recipe on Zen Habits.  How much easier does it get?  You could cook the chick peas from a bag but using canned chick peas works great.  They should keep up to a week.  Play around with seasonings or just use sea salt and pepper.  I’m a huge fan of pita chips with just sea salt so I am sure it would be delicious on chick peas.  They’re also a great addition to spice up and add protein to salad.

Directions:

  • 1 can chickpeas (14oz / 400g), well drained
  • 1-2 TBSP olive oil
  •  sprinkle with smoked or sweet paprika or other seasoning

1. Preheat your oven to 400F 

2. Place chickpeas in a roasting pan or oven proof dish, drizzle with olive oil and seasoning bake for 10-20 minutes until golden and crisp on outside. 

3.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Fresh Strawberry Iced Tea ahhhhhh, sipping my refreshing cool summer drink now with my tasty snacks while entering this post.   Fresh strawberry iced tea is a great way to jazz up iced tea and it’s so simple!  No sugar needed, just the right amount of sweetness from the fresh berries boiled into the water.


Directions:

  • Boil water on stove or in tea kettle
  • Add number of black regular or decaf black tea bags according to amount of water with handful of fresh sliced strawberries.
  • Cool, add ice, garnish glass with a strawberry
  • Optional add fresh squeezed lemon

Photo of the Day

June 14, 2011

Baddhakonasana (Cobblers Pose)

We all know to drink at least six to eight glasses of water each day and that’s the bare minimum for those doing intense cardio or power yoga workouts.  I intend to drink 12-16 glasses of water on power yoga training days, starting this Saturday.   Fresh fruits and vegetables are also water-based and full of hydration.   What else do you eat or drink in addition to water to keep hydrated?  I love new ideas.  Here are some of my favs.

Natural Infused Flavored Water  I love adding fruits to water.  Strawberries, lemons, limes, watermelon, honeydew, cucumbers, raspberries with lemon, and even fresh mint or basil (try strawberry-mint or watermelon-basil!)  Photo:  Green Baby Guide

glass of water infused with watermelon

If you like the idea of fresh natural flavored water but don’t have the time to prepare it try HINT water, it’s the next best thing I’ve found.  HINT water review here

Citrus  I especially love a sweet orange right after a power yoga class.

https://i2.wp.com/www.viable-herbal.com/images/herbs/orange-peel-bsp.jpg

Herbal Tea  Great alternative to snacking (when I really do not need something to eat.)  There’s lots of great energizing daytime and bedtime flavors too.  In the summer I love iced herbal hibiscus tea.  Make it fancy and drink it out of a wine glass!   My fav at home is Republic of Tea Natural Hibiscus Tea Superflower (Photo below by Republic of Tea ) You simply brew it and add ice.  It’s loaded with vitamin C, it is thought to inhibit the body from absorbing too many carbohydrates, often used to cool the body, and it may actual assist in lowering blood pressure.  But I drink it simply because it’s refreshing! 

Starbucks is my favorite when I’m out and on the go.  They offe an Iced Tazo Passion Tea (Photo by Starbucks.com below)  which is hibiscus based and delicious. (ask for it unsweetened, it’s still sweet and refreshing!)

Tazo® Shaken Iced Passion Tea

Coconut Water  I am a huge fan of fresh coconut water!  I lived in the Caribbean for several years I was able to get fresh coconuts straight from the tree.  An island legand named “Coconut Leo”  climbed the trees, threw the coconuts down then crack them with a machete or sometimes even using his head, true story!  See Coconut Leo’s picture in my post “Free Hugs” 

When I’m unable to get the fresh coconut water but craving the benfits all natural Taste Nirvana Coconut Water is the number one Coconut water in my opinion. I love the one “with pulp”

These are just a few of the health benefits of coconut water.  Google it for more, the list is huge.  Coconut water keeps body cool, rehydrates body, natural isonotic properties full of electrolytes , cleanse digestive tract, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, balances pH, raises motablism (YES promoting weight loss), boosts circulation, provides magnesium, vitamin C, calcium, Iron, is fat free, and very low in calories.

Emergen-C Health and Energy Booster  Emergen-C Acai, my favorite flavor, is one of my favorite mid (or post) workout recovery drinks loaded with Vitamin C and tons of other vitamins and minerals features “24 nutrients, including 1,000 mg of immune supporting vitamin C,* 7 B vitamins to enhance energy naturally* (no caffeine, no crash), electrolytes to refuel and replenish post-workout,* and more”

Yoga in Prisons

June 13, 2011

I admit, I love Facebook.  Not only does it keep me in contact and up to date with family and friends, it also keeps me well informed on things that are important to me.  Today Yoga Journal posted an interesting concept on facebook regarding yoga in prisons.  I’ve reposted it on my  My yoga facebook (click here)

I personally believe yoga should be incorporated into elementary and highschool PE curriculum.  Maybe this would help people from ending up in prison yoga!  An interesting thought that I’ll expand on for tomorrow’s topic.

Yoga Journal

Yoga in Prisons

Posted by Nora Isaacs on June 13, 2011 |via Yoga Journal
James Fox began teaching yoga to prisoners at San Quentin State Prison in California nine years ago, where he founded the Prison Yoga Project. Recently, he’s been traveling around the country training others how to teach in a prison setting.

We caught up with James before his June 18-19 training in New York City, “Working with Incarcerated Communities,” where he’ll instruct people about how to teach yoga in prisons, addiction recovery facilities, halfway houses, and other rehabilitative facilities.

trikonasana_class.jpg

Are your trainings just for yoga teachers?
They are for serious yoga practitioners. They may not necessarily be a certified teacher,  but they want to be of service in some regards.Why is there so much interest in teaching yoga in prisons?
The yoga community in general is looking at karma yoga as the next step in their personal evolution. They know they are getting a lot out of the practice, and at a certain point, a part of the yoga is tradition is to give it back. I know that’s been my path. I’m always interested in going to populations who haven’t been exposed. There is a whole economic paradigm shift in this country, where it’s becoming more and more obvious that the under served populations aren’t being afforded the same opportunities for health and well-being. And here we are with this incredible practice, and yogis are stepping up.How did you end up teaching at San Quentin?
I was contacted by the Insight Prison Project to set up their yoga and meditation program. I still teach for the Insight Project. While they focus on rehab and the whole restorative justice movement, I focus on yoga.What are the benefits for prisoners?
The big focus in on impulse control. How does a yoga practice assist those whose major issues are addiction and violence? It all comes down to impulse control, to learning how to pause, learning how to deal with difficulty. If you are experiencing difficulty in a pose and coming up against your limitations, how do you work it out and work through it?Anything else they take away?
Another focus is in really understanding yourself as a whole person, [and] yoga really helps support integrating the mental, emotional, and physical. It leads to a greater understanding that we are this whole person, not just thoughts going through our heads, but feelings going through our hearts and sensations going through our bodies. We hear these things in a yoga class, but populations like prisoners need to hear this kind of thing. It’s simple wisdom that they can apply to their lives. To me this really brings it home, to the core of one’s healing.

If you can’t get to the Prison Yoga Project training in New York, look for future trainings in San Francisco. Or pick up Fox’s book:  Yoga: A Path for Healing and Recovery or sign up for the Prison Yoga Project Facebook page.

We want to know: How does yoga help you with impulse control?

Photo of the Day

June 13, 2011

I love this photograph of Alex Holmes.  Even more, I love that she happens to be a local Philadelphia yoga instructor at Dhyana Yoga who I found thanks to Urban Yoga Philly’s Facebook.  Click to add them and join them for their summer Thursday yoga happy hours throughout the city!

Alex Holmes

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II (One-Legged King Pigeon)

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