Girls Night Zoodles with Peanut Sauce (Vegan and Gluten free)

Our girls nights are epic!  We meet up for some hardcore bootcamp (that may or may not involve pants peeing) before reconvening to unwind with wine, a feast and an offensive amount of peanut butter cups.   Last night, we stuffed our faces with these crack-tastic creamy and comforting zoodles.

I’m daydreaming about the leftovers that I will attack after I teach tonight.

In a word, peanut sauce is everything.  It’s like an edible hug; the kind that smothers you delicately and all at once, warming you up from the inside out.  It’s the epitomy of comfort food, harmonizing sweet and salty and topped off with a zing of spice. Oh, peanut sauce… je ‘taime.

Like all of the recipes I post, you can adapt and modifty this recipe to serve your needs and tastes.  But, I gotta be honest and warn you that this variation just might rock your world. Continue reading

As surely as there is a voyage away…

“As surely as there is a voyage away, there is a journey home.” – Jack Kornfield

Literally, I journeyed home on Friday from a week in NYC visiting family, friends, my beloved yoga studio and an amazing-one-of-a-kind-workout.   Figuratively, I journeyed home to my teaching, our teacher training and above all my personal practice.

In general, my life renders me a self-practice kind of yogi.  Fortunately,  thanks to being on the road, I’ve had the rare opportunity to take a heaping handful of led classes over the last few weeks. The common thread among the several teachers with whom I’ve practicedunanimously, in a number of studios in three different citieswas spring cleaning, namely, in the side bodies.

I love that I stumbled into a springtime yogic zeitgeist.  Everyone, including myself, was ready to melt away the winter blues and journey home to the open and fresh qualities of spring.   

I’m a firm believer that taking some timewhether seasonally or annuallyto approach the practice as a beginner student is critical.  Without a beginner’s perspective we risk disenchanment, embitterement or even ego inflation.  A trip away from your routine restores the wonder and vastness of the practice AND replenishes the passion for commitment.

My journey home to my role as teacher includes new sequencing, new challenges and of course a new playlist… I hope you enjoy this one!

Don’t Use Your Practice as a Weapon

I must clear my guilty conscious:  I confess that I occasionally disappear deep into an #IGyoga or #yogaeverydamnday rabbit hole.  Awe and inspiration seduce me into viewing copious accounts, countless videos and an obscene number of pictures.  What began as an innocuous sojourn into the realm of yogi imagery, in a matter of minutes, goes completely awry.   A cascade of relatively predictable reactions usually follows suit:  judgment, comparison and the laundry list of excuses.    My ultimate-go-to comparison (more like assumption) is that the other yogis—the ones doing the dope-ass tricks—just have more time, no kids and an overall more leisurely lifestyle than myself.  “I’m a REAL yogi,” I’ll profess in a moment of rockbottom-like weakness, “that is all just gymnastics and they are probably not even nice.” Continue reading

Breakfast Cookies: The New Wheaties

I am something of a cookie monster.  I know I talk a good game about all the peanut butter cups I eat and it’s true, those bad boys are my first dessert love.  But I don’t wait till dessert to indulge my cookie cravings.  I truly believe there is nothing better than sinking your teeth into a big ol’ dense, chewy, delicious cookie, then washing it down with a steaming cup of coffee.  For breakfast.  Move over, Wheaties.  There’s a new champion in town.

Now, since I’m pretty sure that somewhere, someone has done some fairly well-founded research that intense amounts of sugar and empty starchy carbs (read: triple chocolate chocolate chip fudge cookies) aren’t actually all that great for you, I’ve laid some ground rules for myself in these early morning forays into the cookie jar.  (I use the word “rules” loosely – I have, after all, found myself eating those triple chocolate chocolate chip fudge cookies with my morning coffee once or twice.)  Namely, whatever goes into these cookies has to be nutritious and filling enough that I’m not going to want a second breakfast before I’ve even finished the first, but tasty enough to trick me into thinking I’m really getting away with cookies.  For breakfast.  And what I’ve found is that as long as there is some kind of creamy nut butter and a banana or two involved, it’s usually going to taste just fine.  Continue reading

Kale and Cabbage Salad (Vegan and Gluten Free Recipe)

I love inviting friends over to my house for dinner.     It’s a cozy and informal way to socialize and catch up without hiring a babysitter.  I get to keep my slippers on, wear my comfiest clothes and know that my bed awaits me on the second floor.   My kids eagerly jump at the opportunity to show off for any and all adults who come to visit. Once in their beds, they  have no problem sleeping through the grown-ups-gone-wild shenanigans.

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Hannah glammed out wearing a wristband like she is going to Burning Man.

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Anatomy Inspires Practice!

Anatomy is sexy, right? We think so. It’s also stimulating, fascinating and never, ever dull…we swear! We are offering a workshop that will demystify the anatomy of standing and seated forward folding. At the very least, you will leave knowing there is oh-so-much more to a healthy forward fold than just long hamstrings.  We will focus primarily on the big picture concepts to help improve your alignment and overall experiential understanding of forward folding with an introduction to some of the nitty-gritty static anatomy.    Continue reading

On Commitment and Growth

The newest venture in my life includes teaching a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training.  This past weekend we embarked upon the second of nine weekend intensives.   The weekends are certainly intense but also magical and mystical.  Think about it:  each month you get to take an entire weekend off from non-yoga life and focus exclusively on any and all things yoga with a group of yoga-loving kindred spirits. That’s my job?!  Sounds like a dream to me!

I’m co-teaching along side an unbelievably inspirational team of instructors; a group of talented folks who seem to live and breathe their practice.   Hands down, this is the most intense and humbling act of teaching at this point in my career and, paradoxically, I’ve never felt as diligent in my experience as a student of the practice.

Like many of you, I entered into the realm of yoga through asana practice.  Even though the physical practice drew me in, I always remember searching for an all-inclusive-feel-good path.  In high school, my quest for “more” lead me to a born-again evangelical church.  Admittedly, I drank a diluted glass of their Kool-Aid (dabbling in everything, even the worship, but never really BFF-ing Jesus).  The kids at this church were SO cool… they just got it.  They introduced me to amazing indie rock music (no, not Christian rock), loved me and each other for who we were and appreciated all the quirks and more than anything they embraced community.

Hard-core Christianity—which I will not bash or even critique—was my first glimpse into spirituality even though it was after all not my path. Continue reading

On Learning to Chill the Eff Out

I suck at vacations. For all the travel that I do, I am actually really, really bad at vacationing. There is a big difference between the two: travel elicits that rush of adrenaline, of rushing to catch your flight, the thrill of stepping out of the airport into a new city, completely unsure of the language, whether you’ll be able to get transport to your hotel, if you even HAVE a hotel booked. I love that. I love the idea of embarking on a new and wild adventure, of stepping out into the Unknown and embracing all the insanity of the moment. Absolutely nothing makes me feel more alive.

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Break it Down: Split and tip into inversions

In the last few weeks, I’ve brought great emphasis into these techniques while teaching.   Somedays, my sequencing  explicitly preps inversions, while other days I approach inversions more subtly to help students feel some connections within their bodies.    Inversions are intimidating and they sure-as-shit did not come naturally to me.   I remember sweating with frustration, self-doubt and confusion with each and every attempt at a headstand.

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Ultra-Rich Body Butter to Beat the Winter Blues

It’s cold.  And I am miserable.  And if you have been in any of my classes in the last three weeks, you know it.  I start every class talking about it, about letting go of frustration and taking the time on your mat as a mini-break from the world.  Really, setting that tone at the beginning of class is more for me than it is for you guys…sorry, y’all.  #itsallaboutme :)

I know I’m not alone in my winter blues.  NPR had a whole segment the other day talking about how statistics show couples fight more in the winter, parents yell more at their kids, EVERYONE is less gracious to everyone else because we are all slogging through our own personal hell of snow, sleet, cold, slush…you get the idea…with our heads up our asses and our bodies wrapped in layer upon layer of wool and fleece in an attempt to stave off the -25 degree windchills trying to creep up our pants.  So at least I can take solace in the fact that misery does indeed love company. Continue reading