Loving life with nature, beauty and yoga's wisdom.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fall 2013 Yoga Workshops

Unlock Your Neck and Shoulders Workshop... find Space, Trust and Your Voice

In this workshop you will unwind your neck, open your heart and strengthen your neck and shoulders by way of practicing yoga. In detail upper body anatomical cueing and special learn how to do a pose exercises will keep you free from harms way and create long lasting good habits for your yoga practice. This workshop is a 1 hour and 30 minute yoga practice threaded with upper body chakra/energy center wisdom. You will gain awareness of where the emotions of feeling free, self love, hope and expressing what you feel reside in your body. We will end by practicing a half hour of restorative postures, meditation and making personal affirmations.

Saturday September   7th   4 pm  2 hrs  @ www.bamboomovesenglewood.com   Englewood, New Jersey

Special FREE Class at Lululemon: Branching Out While Feeling Grounded as the Season Shifts

As the sun sets sooner and dry cold air becomes the norm, feelings of there's not enough time to do this or that swells within. In this special class at Lululemon we will discover the wood element within us that travels along the sides of our body. Our yoga practice will consist of side body focused tree like postures that will leave you feeling rooted, stable and able to branch out peacefully.

Saturday September   21st   9 am   @ www.lululemom.com   West 75th Street and Broadway, New York City

A Chakra/Energy Body Overview at Ramapo College, New Jersey

Yoga and various healing methods from shamanism to acupuncture teach that there are seven energy centers in our body called chakras. They travel from the base of our spine to the top of our head. In this workshop you will be introduced to the chakras followed by a yoga practice that will be threaded with in depth chakra, energy body wisdom. Since the 7 chakras are said to be where we hold different emotions in the body, we will sit, feel, breathe, reflect and heal our chakras in restorative yoga poses as well as be guided through a chakra meditation. We will end our practice by chanting mantras associated with each chakra. This practice is suitable for any level.

Friday October 4th   6 pm   3 hours   @ www.ramapo.edu   Mahwah, New Jersey

Tone Your Lower Body with Yoga and Ayurveda Workshop

During fall and winter, the elements air and space reign. Ayurveda, a natural medicinal practice from southern India calls it the Vata season. A time when our schedule overloads, our skin dries out and our appetite craves cozy comfort food. At the same time the sun sets sooner and cold dry wind combs the leaves from the trees as we bring our energy inside to welcome the harvest's fruitful dark.

Unfortunately the holidays offer an anxious frenzy that can lead to a whole host of unbalanced feelings such as stress, anxiety, panic, insomnia, fatigue, depression, and constipation. What to do? Follow Mother Nature's cue as she moves into a still point and ground like her. Listen to your inner and outer worlds that are yearning for peace. Turn toward what wants to be birthed and strengthen your roots this season for its arrival by practicing Yoga and applying Ayurveda's natural wisdom.

This workshop is a 1 hour and 30 minute yoga practice threaded with Yoga and Ayurveda's wisdom followed by a discussion about Ayurveda. Here you will ground and strengthen your lower body. Release lower back and hip tension. Learn what natural foods to eat to soften your skin, decrease high calorie comfy food cravings and regulate elimination. You will also discover what natural products to use to moisturize your skin and elevate your mood.

Saturday November 9th   4 pm   2 hours   www.bamboomovesenglewood.com   Englewood, New Jersey

Saturday November 16th   2:30 pm   2 hours   www.bamboomovesyoga.com   Forest Hills, New York

Bandhas, Mudras, Magic Workshop at Ramapo College, New Jersey

Bandhas means locks in Sanskrit. More specifically it refers to areas of our body we can contract to not let extra energy spill out. Mudras means seals or hand gestures such as hands in prayer position or taking your thumb and pointer finger to touch. Making hand gestures while you practice yoga like working with the bandhas conserves your energy.

As we refine our practice we employ the bandhas to magically lighten our step, take flight as we jump, feel space in our lower back, power in our belly, and length in our neck. Making mudras also has a special magic to them as they keep our energy powerfully circulating within while appearing graceful.

In this workshop we will practice yoga with attention to exercises that focus on the bandhas and mudras. The physical practice will be followed by a meditation and discussion.

Sunday December 6th   6 pm   3 hours   @ www.ramapo.edu   Mahwah, New Jersey

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Stretching Out Summer

Although it is lazy August, I'm finding myself a little more busy these days preparing for my Fall yoga workshops. Having my mind project into what will be good to teach in the Fall when there's shorter days, a cold bite in the air, a tighter schedule with less sleep, pre holiday stress and trying to tie up the loose ends of 2013 makes my thoughts scatter. Imagining what's ahead, I find myself even though I'm sitting in the long lazy days of summer more interested in practicing what I call more Fall like yoga poses which are soothing and grounding like seated hip openers, forward bends and twists.

If you're feeling as though the earth is moving under your feet like I am as we get ready to creep into new environments this coming September and cling onto new schedules and goals, my suggestion is to sit directly on the earth and ground. Feel her support you, see what's around you and then soften your eyes. Maybe even close them. Notice the temperature of the air as it touches your skin. Soften your jaw, forehead and relax your belly. Notice the wave of your natural breath rise and fall. Your thoughts will come in and take you to many places yet your desire to ease your nerves, be in the moment and stretch out summer will have you return your awareness to watching your next inhalation and exhalation. Have a thought, feel a feeling then watch your breath. Continue this pattern, have a thought, feel a feeling then watch your breath. Eventually adding seated postures just may keep you here a little longer so you can ground even deeper, be in the now and appreciate what is.

Gomukasana, cow face pose with a twist. Also I've been working on stretching out my summer wardrobe. Finding this statement bib necklace with a felt back round on super sale @ www.lailarowe.com made my yoga wear cover up look so much more pulled together and special than just an oversized bright tee and patterned tights.

T-shirt and tights www.zara.com spiked bangle www.lailarowe.com rhinestone bangles, gifted from India, nail polish www.mineralfusion.com in pebble/galet, makeup www.onehundredpercentpure.com and www.drhauscka.com

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Being a Veg Mom to Non Veg Boys

Being a vegetarian Mom to non vegetarian boys means my vegetarian cooking needs to be phenomenal so they don't notice there's no meat in their food. Fortunately my husband is a vegetarian but I knew that when I married him however with my children I don't believe in forcing them into a choice of ours that may not work for them. This is why I cook them fish every once in a while and encourage them to eat whatever they want when we're out. For now my vegetarian dishes are working in not only satisfying their hunger and health but also teaching them that eating meat and chicken everyday isn't the only answer.

My Sloppy Joe recipe gets a five star rating from my boys every time. I love cooking it because it is quick and easy to make. All you need is:

Vegetarian Soppy Joe mix.  If you can't find www.fantasticworldfoods.com Sloopy Joe mix at your health friendly store, order it online. It is textured soy protein which is seasoned to taste amazing. It is so good that it fooled my boys into thinking it was non vegetarian.

Olive oil

Baby potatoes

Buns, I like using brioche buns.

Tomato paste


Not shown in the photo above is an optional side salad with your choice of veggies and dressing.

Since the Sloppy Joe mix cooks up fast, I start cooking by preparing the potatoes first. I use baby sized potatoes rather than frozen French Fries because I feel they are less processed no matter what the packaging says plus they are easy to cut up. Simply set your oven temp to 425 degrees, drizzle olive oil over your sliced potatoes and bake until crispy.

In a large covered pot boil 1 3/4 cups of water. Then add the Sloppy Joe mix along with 3 ounces of tomato paste and a table spoon of olive oil. Stir, lower the flame, cover with a lid and let it simmer.

Since corn is in season, we're eating a lot of it these days. Clean, cut it up, put it on a baking sheet and place it in the oven.

In no time your Sloppy Joe mix will absorb the excess water and look something like this. Turn off the flame, keep it covered and set aside.

It is now time to heat up the buns. I use brioche bread rather than hamburger buns because I like the way it soaks up the Sloppy Joe sauce. Slice the bread in half, put on a baking dish and toast in the oven.

This would be a good time to put on your oven mitts and pull out your potatoes. Stir and flip the potatoes around with a spatula or large spoon. Put them back in the oven to bake and keep an eye on your corn and buns as you get your salad ready. Here I have plenty of baby green leaves, sliced cherry tomatoes and avocado tossed in a bit of our favorite, Annie's Naturals Goddess dressing www.annies.com

Pull your buns and corn out of the oven first. Keep the potatoes in as long as you can because they need the most amount of time in the oven. Place the Sloppy Joe mixture on the buns, salad and corn on your dishes and then get those potatoes out. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Free of the Toxic 3 Chemicals found in Nail Care

Three years ago while walking through Whole Foods apothecary aisle I came upon toxic free nail polish. Not knowing much about the harmful three chemicals found in base coats, nail polishes and top coats I thought the colors were pretty so I bought a few bottles. Since then I did a little toxic free nail polish research and learned about the toxic three chemicals found in most nail polishes.

The 3 chemicals to avoid and why:

Toluene is a chemical that contributes to the recognizable nail polish smell. When inhaled toluene affects the central nervous system causing headaches, forgetfulness, confusion, fatigue and nausea. Although the symptoms fade away once you stop breathing in the fumes, toluene stays in your body for a long time. There's evidence from female animals exposed to toluene that exposure to it can cause birth defects. Pregnant women and just about everyone should avoid Toluene.

You may remember the chemical formaldehyde from your high school biology class because the frogs we dissected were floating in it. Formaldehyde is a preservative and found in most nail strengtheners. Formaldehyde can cause cancer according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It can also irritate skin around the nail bed.

DPB-Dibutyl Phthalate is a plasticizing chemical used in nail polishes, top coats and strengtheners. This means it makes the paint both flexible and tough. It has also been shown to cause birth defects in animals exposed to large quantities of DPB. In Europe dibutylphthalate has been banned from all cosmetics.

Now that I'm aware of the toxic three I bring my own base coat, nail polish and top coat to the nail salon and of course use them when I apply my own polish. Currently several new nail care companies are offering free of the toxic three polishes. I've tried a bunch and I give www.nailtini.com the highest ratings as it is cruelty free, smooth to put on and creates a glossy look that lasts.

Do note that the more famous nail care companies are catching onto this free of the toxic three nail care trend and are removing a chemical or two. I recommended using nail care products that are free of the bad three for your good health.

Bloody Mary red nails www.nailtini.com

Natarajasana, King Dancer pose prep

Top www.urbanoutfitters.com tights, tank, beads, shades www.forever21.com earrings and bangles gifted

Natarajasana, King Dancer pose variation

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Gratitude Pose

I love August. For as long as I can remember August is when I finally feel summer's lazy days effect as the city finally gets quiet, schedules super lighten and moments of reflection seem to go on for hours at a time. Practicing this pose, malasana with prayer hands demonstrates what August feels like for me. It is grounding, clarifying and humbling with stirrings of gratitude for what I have and where I am showing itself to me with all the extra time I have to think and feel.

If you're not feeling this way and would like to be able to let go, chill out and count your blessings, I strongly suggest softening your front body with back bending postures more often. Eventually you will notice as you come out of a pose like bow or any other back bend and rest in a calming counter pose like malasana how stress, worry and anxiety is there to fool you and make more of itself while the real you who has emerged from a back bend wants to relax, play and enjoy the warmth of the second half of summer.

One legged bow pose, danurasana

Full bow pose, danurasana, make up www.onehundredpercentpure.com earrings, New York City street vendor

Malasana, a nice alternative to child's pose.  Top www.zara.com skirt, vintage from India, cuff www.forever21.com nails, seaport breeze www.karmaorganicspa.com