Wow! It’s December, the holidays are upon us! And with holidays come travel. Many students ask me about yoga when traveling. I get it: airplane bucket seats that compromise the natural curves of your spine, heavy foods and airplane foods, as well as the stress of the holidays that can most certainly raise our blood pressure–insert yoga, please and thank you!
We believe that healthy children and families are at the heart of a healthy community. When basic needs are difficult to obtain, this impacts the ability for children to learn and thrive in school. This holiday season, we will be collecting donations of personal care items to support the Family Resource Center located at Shuksan Middle School, and open to all Bellingham families. The center helps link families with local resources, human services, and access to basic needs in order to support and uplift students and families in times of need. This initiative is part of the Bellingham School Districts Family Support Services which includes the Family Resource Center, homeless support program, health services, counseling, mental health supports, suicide prevention, social emotional learning, wellness and more.Read More
When you teach and practice physical movement, you need a breakfast that is going to sustain you for hours, not something that is going to leave you hungry again right away. Smoothies, juices, shakes, protein bars–you name it, I have tried it. I spent years experimenting with different forms of my morning meal, only to find myself still searching. I didn’t want something too heavy, that would slow me down; and I can’t be hungry, because then I am weak, tired and grumpy- not the right mood to be in while teaching yoga! Read More
You probably hear this word, mindfulness, almost too often now, and may still wonder what it means. According to John Kabat Zinn, founder of the Center for Mindfulness Medicine at the University of Massachusetts, mindfulness is “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
Before practicing mindfulness meditation, I assumed that the practice was mind-centered because of its name, and was happily surprised to learn that it is body-centered. “Paying attention” is also known as feeling: feeling your body, right now, with a minimum of judgment or commentary. This might mean feeling the sensation of your feet on the ground or the touch of your breath inside your body.Read More
pssssst! Did you know that cell phones and other wearable technology aren’t allowed in class with you? (if you are on-call for medical reasons, please discuss with your teacher prior to class). Yoga is a practice of connection…and DISconnecting with our phones for 60-90 minutes is great for mind, body, and soul. Need some help with letting go? Read on!
I just spent the last four hours working on trying on fixing some computer issues. Four. Hours. And the time just flew by. I can’t remember the last time I was so absorbed by something that I had such one-pointed concentration for so long. The ability to focus so acutely on one thing is the first step in successful meditation, and is called dharana (one of the eight limbs of yoga) in Sanskrit. In today’s world, where we all feel the impulse to constantly be reaching for our phones, looking at our Facebook feed, and checking our email, the ability to concentrate is increasingly more difficult and rare. Lucky for us, though, it’s also something we can practice. Read More
When did you stop thinking you were beautiful? Have you ever thought about this question before? I first heard this question when I watched a Ted Talk by the Global Director of the Dove Self-Esteem Project at Unilever in London, Meaghan Ramsey, called “Why Thinking You Are Ugly is Bad For You”.
I came across this Ted Talk while spending a normal work day researching body image and the impact it has on our sense of self-worth, our relationships, and ultimately how we show up to life each day. Back in 2006, at just 17 years old, I moved down to California. After an attempt at city college, I ended up modeling and acting in Los Angeles. Coming from my background as a homeschooled gal from Orcas Island, this was quite an extreme. I always loved challenges! But oh wow, I was not prepared for the challenge ahead.Read More
We are so blessed here in the PNW to have what must be some of the loveliest summers in the country. Not only is the weather pretty amazing, but we are blessed with so much abundance in produce this time of year! One of the best ways to take advantage of both, is to blend up a cooling smoothie. Stay hydrated, beat the heat, and enjoy the fruits and veggies of the season! Here’s a current favorite:
1 stalk celery
1 c. frozen pineapple and/or mango chunks
1 big handful of parsley
Coconut milk to taste/consistency you like
Blend and enjoy!
In Ayurveda, summer is ruled by the pitta dosha, which can express in the body as agitation, sluggish digestion, sour stomach, and skin irritations. Ingesting cooling foods (look for foods with astringent, bitter, or sweet tastes) is one way you can help to counteract the effects of this fiery season. Other things you can do to balance pitta:
– Stay near water! Swim or bathe in cool water as often as you can
– Cooling yoga practices, such as yin or restorative
– Avoid heating foods such as coffee, alcohol, meats, and fried food. Favor fresh, local vegetables, cooked grains.
Stay cool and enjoy this gorgeous summer while it’s here!
I have been reading Deepak Chopra’s Why is God Laughing, Here’s the line that has stuck with me:
“Either you’re a person wondering if you have a soul, or you’re a soul who knows that being a person isn’t real.”
Whoa, heavy stuff, right? That line hit me like a ton of breaks, right in my third chakra (this is the solar plexus, aka the spot right underneath your sternum where your ribs separate, aka the “bread basket.” This is the place where we hold our self-identity and fears). So much of our lives are fear-based, but the reality is that we cannot predict the future. Read More
Summer is upon us, and many of us will be spending more time in the car off to see family, spend time in nature, and enjoy all that the PNW has to offer. So whether you’re in line for the next ferry or spending long weekends tucked into a cabin in the mountains, check out a couple of these podcasts to keep you inspired and take your practice wherever you go.Read More
Have you ever wished you could bottle up the feeling of deep, grounded peace you feel after a really great guided meditation or yoga nidra session to enjoy later? Us, too! We’re still working on figuring the bottle part out, but we’ve got the next best thing – a recorded yoga nidra session with Michal that you can enjoy anytime, anywhere!Read More