Saturday, October 31, 2009

i heart books

I have always loved, loved, loved reading. There is something heavenly about having a good book in one hand and a cup of hot coffee in the other. You can usually find me reading about 3 books at any one time: 1 fun fiction read, 1 yoga book, & 1 self-help/personal growth/spiritual book. Currently, however, I am in the process of reading these 5 fabulous books (all of which I highly recommend):

What are some of your favorite reads?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


"I learned from Swami Kripalu that 'yoga reveals then heals.' First it brings our weaknesses to light. Then it helps us move beyond them." --Kripalu Yoga A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat


Saturday, October 24, 2009

newest project

This is my first ever knitting project. One of my friends at work is a Knitting Queen (seriously, you name it, she's knitted it!), and last weekend she gave me my first knitting lesson.
I used to have high hopes of designing and sewing my own clothes. Then, I bought a sewing machine and realized the whole process just STRESSES ME OUT! I was worried that I might find knitting to be the same; however, I was sweetly surprised to find knitting very relaxing.
On another note, this morning I attended a yoga class at a local gym. It was a slow, not power flow, but very good class! It always amazes me how one hour of yoga can make my body feel so incredibly good.

Friday, October 23, 2009

yummy soup recipe

I am not a cook. I can cook, but it is not something I find particularly relaxing or enjoyable. I do, however, like to cook soups. There is nothing like a hot, home-made soup on a cold, cloudy day. I recently made corn and potato chowder, and thought I'd share the recipe for those who may be interested:

Serves 4

1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 medium baking potato, chopped
2 celery sticks, sliced
1 small green bell pepper, seeded, halved and sliced (I used a red pepper as I prefer that flavor)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 cups water or chicken stock
1 1/4 cups milk (I used soy milk)
7 oz can flageolet beans (I didn't use this ingredient)
11 oz can corn kernels
good pinch dried sage
salt and ground back pepper
cheddar cheese, grated, to serve

1. Put the onion, garlic, potato, celery and pepper into a large heavy based pan with the oil and butter.
2. Heat the ingredients until sizzling then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent the ingredients sticking.
3. Pour in the stock or water, season with salf and pepper to tase and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover again and simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
4. Add the milk, beans and corn including their liquids--and the sage. Simmer, uncoverd, for 5 minutes. Check the seasoning and serve hot, sprinkled with grated cheese.

This recipe is from my all time favorite cook book: The complete book of 400 Soups. Edited by Anne Sheasby. Other soups I've cooked from this book include Garlicky Lentil soup, Peanut & Potato soup , Butter Bean, tomato & pesto soup , Mushroom, celery & garlic soup.

Bon appetit!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

some thoughts on yoga

My greatest intention when teaching yoga classes is that each participant's practice becomes a mirror for them to see themselves more clearly--that they accept who they are, yet open to evolving and growing into the best person they can be. Ultimately, I hope each person is able to take their yoga practice off the mat and incorporate it in how they live on a daily basis.

Tonight after teaching, I was talking with one of my clients and she mentioned to me that she was going to begin taking sign language classes. She said she had always been interested in becoming an interpreter, and that lately the yogathoughts I passed out at the end of class had focused on being brave, taking action, and taking risks. Essentially, these ideas prompted her to go ahead and embrace change (which she admitted she usually avoids) and take action to enroll in the classes. --In hearing this, my heart immediately filled full, for this is what yoga is really about!

If you would like to expand your yoga practice and take it off the mat, begin by pondering these questions:

1. How can I practice compassion with myself and others in my daily life?
2. How can I create new experiences in my life?
3. When was the last time I embraced challenges and viewed them as opportunities to grow into a "better" human being?

Let your life be your practice.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

favorite things

This has been an uber relaxing Sunday. To begin, Sweet husband and I slept in a little later than usual. After waking, he made me my morning cup of decaf brew and we hung out with the pups--he on the computer, me with magazines (InStyle & Simple Living) in hand. Both magazines had "favorite things" lists which I always enjoy reading. I completely and totally realize life is about so much more than "things," but I also know simple pleasures and gratitude for those favorite things is a very healthy approach! So, I'd like to share a few of my current favorite things:

***coffee made from a french press
***arm warmers and scarf from here
***pure ICE brand nailpolish in Taupe Drawer (it's more purple than it looks here)
***Leaves candle from Bath & Body Works
***Beyond the Zone Noodle Head curling cream
***my iphone and it's purple zebra case
***Carmal Apple Spice from Starbucks
***Brown giraffe pillows
***home-made potato and corn chowder
***my new winter coat

What are some of yours?


Saturday, October 17, 2009

soulful saturday

*sun is shining (yeah!)
*Sinatra is playing
*coffee sipping
*candles lit
*piles of books ready to be read
*pups snuggling up close

How can you make your Saturday a little more soulful?


Thursday, October 15, 2009

compassion and boundaries

Here is your yogathought for the day from Judith Orloff's book Positive Energy:

"To be a soulful giver and attract the same, be canny about what compassion means...We're trained as loving people to equate compassion with giving to others, easing pain. But many of us, especially intuitive empaths who're energy sponges, don't stop there. Inadvertently we imbibe their angst. Suddenly we're the desolate ones. This severe loss of center doesn't serve us. Compassion demands we set boundaries about what energy we take in or tolerate. Buddhist nun Pema Chodron warns agains what she brilliantly calls 'idiot compassion,' using kindness to avoid conflict when a resounding 'no' is required. I agree wholeheartedly with her conviciton that to stop people from draining our energy, we must know where to draw a line."


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

life is lovely

smile at strangers
love yourself first
take time to stretch
get your hair done
do yoga
try something new
embrace challenge
give back
paint your nails a color you would never wear

life is lovely...
because you make it that way


Saturday, October 10, 2009


I love surprises. Although I don't really love when I know a surprise is the anticipation is always close to torture. Yesterday, around noon my sweet husband sent me an e-mail saying he was taking me somewhere at 5:00 p.m. So, between the time of getting the e-mail and 5:00 p.m., I was left wondering. At 4:40 p.m. we pulled out of our driveway, and he ended up taking me to get a 90-minute massage!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, J! It has been one of the longest weeks I've ever had at work, and I definitely needed some relaxation. The massage therapist was wonderful, and the massage was heavenly. I've had quite a few massages, and this one was one of the best. This was my first 90-minute massage, and now I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go back to a 60 minute one.

This morning I'm off to my first ever cross country meet. J is a high school cross country coach. I used to teach yoga every Saturday, so I've never been able to go to a meet. It's at a park, so we're taking the pups. I think it will be a fun time; however, it's a little colder than I would like, but it's the perfect opportunity to pull out my arm warmers and scarf.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, October 8, 2009


Tonight after work I'm off to get my hair colored and cut. I've found a very good hairdresser, who is definitely reasonably priced, so I'm able to do this every 5-6 weeks. It's amazing how a little cut and color can make you feel refreshed and new!

Here's your yogathought for the day on one of my favorite subjects: self-care:

"Being smart about our energy means overthrowing the crazy fallacy that we deserve anything less than luxurious self-care...Preventing burnout does more for positive energy than trying to backpedal after you get sick. You have an inalienable right to self-care, and outgrowth of compassion. You don't have to be shy about loving yourself...

Soak in Hot Water in Bathtubs, Jacuzzies, or Natural springs

Get Regular Body Work or Beauty Services

Allow Yourself to Veg Out or Pursue Non-Mind-Stressing Activities

Splurge on Treats

Take a retreat" (at home or away)
--Judith Orloff


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

yoga does a body good

This week has been incredibly long (I realize it's only Wed.), but last weekend we had a very popular student commit suicide. It has been so sad to work with and see so many teens devastated by this loss. All week, I've been very aware of my body absorbing much of the sadness and pain, and the last two nights I've gone to bed by 8:15 p.m. completely exhausted.

Tonight, I taught my usual Wed. night yoga class, and at the end of class, we did some slow and deep stretching. All that stress, sadness, and emotion by body has been absorbing this week has literally just melted away. I so wish that all people who live in a state of constent stess, anxiety, and/or sadness understood their physical bodies are absorbing all that emotional stress, and it has to be released. Yoga is the perfect anecdote. It truly does a body (mind and soul) good!

Here is your yogathought for the day from Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat:

"Dr. Dean Ornish made headlines by proving that a lifestyle regimen of yoga, meditation, low-fat vegetarian diet, aerobic exercise, and support groups can reversee coronary artery disease. Since then, numerous researchers confirmed yoga's ability to reduce high blood pressure. Without a doubt, yoga is good for the heart....Ornish and many others believe that regaining the ability to access emotion is an integral part of the healing process for cardiovasular disease. Yoga 'opens the heart' by helping us regain the ability to feel."


Saturday, October 3, 2009

see me on joy yoga

I was very honored to have Lindsey from JoyYoga profile me on her blog. If you'd like to read the short interview click here!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

the four-letter word


Here are some thoughts about fear from the book Positive Energy:

"Fear is the biggest energy thief there is. A master seducer, it shamelessly robs us of everything good and powerful, preys on our vulnerabilites. Many people become mesmerized for a lifetime, letting negative attitudes seize control. Enough! Though some fears are intuitively protective... we can't let the irrational ones bamboozle us. Fear never stands alone; it inflames every vampire emotion from worry to shame....

May fears are self-induced. We don't mean to, but we inflict an emotional terrorism on ourselves when we let our dark side run amok. The self-sabatoging messages we send, including the 'I'm-not-good-enough' harrangue, distort reality. To ensure we're perceiving ourselves accurately, we must look through the lens of love....

7 Tactics for De-Engergizing Fear:
1. Name your Fears So They Can't Ambush You
2. Listen to Your Intuition
3. Say a Prayer to Lift Fear
4. Make a Gratitude List
5. Visit and Energetically Uplifting Place
6. Heal Energetic Scars
7. Avoid Absorbing Other People's Fears"
--Dr. Judith Orloff

It's so important to try and live our lives on a daily basis from a place of love rather than fear. We especially need to be aware if we are making decisions from a place of fear, as our decisions are essentially creating the tapestry of our lives. If we want a life we love, we must choose to act from love. Get rid of that four letter word once and for all!