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

Winter Tunes Playlist

The winter blues are definitely draining me of inspiration and making my home practice feel like a chore.    My body feels helplessly lethargic.  My aspirations are even lame;  I find myself fantasizing about taking hot showers and laying around under several blankets and sleeping.  (Which is SO not me, I’m a movement junky who hardly ever showers). Continue reading

A Beginner’s Mindset

“You only like the beginnings of things,” said one of Don Draper’s objects of affection after he ended their romance.   These words have since resonated with me especially when I feel bored or uninspired.

In the beginning of any relationship or endeavor, change happens quickly and remarkably.  The tremendous and inexplicable high brought on by excitement and curiosity captivates like no other.  Expectations, thanks to naïveté, are minimal keeping disappointment or the risk of failure at bay.  In the beginning, with nothing to lose and indifferent as to what we may gain, we dive in headfirst without looking back.

I’m pondering the subject of beginnings because I recently began to instruct at a yoga teacher training.  The very heart of our training is practice; namely, learning to develop the unique language that clearly articulates one’s personal experience on the mat to beginners of yoga.  That might sound simple but it’s a totally freakin’ tough task.   Yoga is introverted in nature and an ineffable experience.  We feel things, observe stuff and work through challenges on the mat without any requirement to NAME said stuff, feelings or challenges.  Once we embark upon the journey towards teaching, we have to vocalize our journey clearly to ensure the safety of our students.   Unfortuantly, we lose some of the best stuff in translation from raw feelings to words.   Anyone out there who assumes that it’s easy to teach yoga, you are sooooo very wrong. Continue reading

Sweet Potato “Fried Rice” (gluten free, vegan option, paleo option)

I’m inspired.  Or should I say inspiralized.  

My cousin directed me to the food blog Inspiralized after I purchased my spiralizer.  I salivate over her recipes each and every time I visit her page.  For the most part, the recipes are easy to prepare and can easily be prepared vegan and gluten free.

Fried rice is without any doubt my personal defintion of comfort food.   It’s warm and flavorful, easily prepared (or purchased) and most importantlyI’m not necessarily proud of this oneeasy to shovel down.   Sometimes it’s just a fact, like when I’m hungover, have my period or I’m feeling defeated around my house, eating becomes emotional. Vegetarian fried rice, loaded with veggies of course and sometimes an egg, makes everything better without too much guilt. Continue reading

Dragonfly Pose Breakdown and My Defense for Complaining About Arm Balancing

I always preface the instruction of arm balances with a warning statement:  “I hate arm balances.”  I am 100% sure I’ve made that clear in more than one blog post as well.

Hate is strong word.

I actually like the challenge arm balances bring to the practice;  it’s exhilirating to work outside of my comfort zone. But, I HATE seeing myself in a picture of an arm balance.   My body doesn’t look like Kathryn Budig’s or Tiffany Cruikshank or the other arm balancing extraordinaires who are paid to make arm balances look easy.   When I see an image of me in an arm balance I see my neck muslces bulging from face tension, my face looks like I’m constipated and my upper back looks like Quasimodo. Continue reading