Happy 4th of July!
I hope you're all enjoying all that summer brings your way.
I've heard from many of you that you'd like more classes and different days/times for the upcoming season so wanted to reach out early to ask for your thoughts as I begin to prepare the fall (& winter) yoga schedule.
Taking this survey doesn't commit you into anything, more it allows me to find out where the class needs are so that I can expand my offerings.
Please take a moment to share your thoughts on this short survey linked below.
Please click on the link below to access the survey.
Did you know that you can improve your day in just 5 minutes...yes 5 minutes, by merely breathing deeply and with purpose?
Focused & controlled breathing, i.e. a foundation of meditation, has many powerful benefits:
Coming soon to the website will be short meditations. If you are interested in meditations geared just for your needs, let me know!
The dark and cold days of winter are the perfect time for warm, feel good down to your bones lattes! The problem is that most lattes found at the market, grocery or cafe's are loaded with added sugars and nearly half the daily caloric intake for many people!
For those who get my monthly newsletter, you may remember my warm turmeric latte from a while back, this recipe is a spin on that one!
I discovered matcha (Encha brand, ceremonial grade is my favorite) a few years back and it's been a staple in my diet ever since, especially when I want a warm alternative to coffee.
What is Matcha? in short, it's finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves.
Do I need anything special for making a matcha beverage? while not necessarily required, a bamboo whisk allows you to easily whisk the powder into the hot liquid and the process itself of whisking is, if you allow it, a very meditative process. A tea scoop is also a preferred way to measure the tea powder, but you can just as easily use a teaspoon. And lastly, a bowl or cup that allows you to thoroughly whisk without splashing the contents onto your counter! *
*If you use a mug rather than an 'official bowl', I suggest putting just a small amount of hot liquid into the powder first to whisk thoroughly, then once you've created the foam add the remainder of your liquid and gently whisk again.
A few of the health benefits of matcha, include:
Hot or cold, this recipe adds a bit of spice to your usual latte.
2-4 oz water, boiling (ounces will vary depending on the size of mug being used, I don't usually measure, just use a visual gauge)
1-2 tea scoops if using, or teaspoons, of your preferred matcha powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
6-8 oz unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice, use one or a combination for more depth of flavor (coconut, almond, etc)
* If desired, add a sweetener of choice (stevia, agave, honey for example)
* If desired, also add a scoop of your favorite collagen powder which is known to boost the appearance of skin, hair and nails and aids in the digestive process.
Heat the water and the milk separately, once the water is boiling add it to your mug or bowl, whichever you are using, along with the matcha, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger and whisk away until a froth forms.
Then gently add your warmed 'milk' of choice and stir. Taste and add sweetener, if needed, accordingly.
If you prefer this cold once prepared, either pour over a tall glass of ice and serve, or chill for about 10 minutes, before serving.
Find a cozy spot to relax with your mug or glass and enjoy!
There's been quite a bit of chatter lately on hands-on adjustments or assists. Yoga touch, or hands on touching, is very personal, whether one is suffering from trauma, abuse, PTSD or a simple preference on respecting personal boundaries, my goal is for everyone to feel safe in our yoga classes while also reaping the benefits of proper alignment for each pose.
Yoga consent is a discreet way for students to say when they want a hands-on assist, and when they would prefer to be left in peace.
For many, just walking into a yoga studio is a huge first step, the idea of a teacher touching in any way to adjust can be troubling in various ways.
Whether you practice yoga in a children's or adult studio class, on-site corporate classes, in our addictions recovery classes or private lessons, gaining permission to assist or touch in some way to help make adjustments to better align in each pose will done.
How will I offer assists?
Verbal: If you've taken one of my classes you'll often hear me give verbal cues either to the class or near a particular student to help them with their alignment or the pose itself. Sometimes, however, verbal cues may not help the student to fully understand what we mean, so alternate methods may be used so that the student gains as much benefit as possible from the pose and also prevents injury.
Props: Blocks, straps, blankets, rolled up socks, even 'going to the wall' are often used to help a student practice asanas and breath control with greater ease, stability and effectiveness.
Touch: For hands on adjustment touch can be more direct and effective than verbal cues. Touch can allow the student to get out of their heads and focus more on their body. Sometimes verbal cues simply aren't enough, but a light touch or direction using hands can be all the student needs to move easily and appropriately into each pose. A few benefits of touch:
Respect for each other: in the new year I'll offer cards that will be discreet and double sided so that you can adjust your preference as class moves along. One side says Yes I'd Love an Assist, whereas the other side will simply say No Thank You. At any time during class you can flip the card, this will allow me to respect your personal space as I walk around and adjust either using verbal cues or light touch.
Remember yoga is non-judgmental, everyone is here for their own personal reasons and on any given day their needs may change so please respect each persons decision and not call to attention which side they choose.
In preparing for my fall/winter class schedule I'd like to hear from you on the type of yoga class and the days/times that are most preferred by you.
Please take a moment to share your thoughts on this short survey linked below.
Please copy and paste the link below into your browser to access the survey.
In addition to studio yoga, I've been invited to teach yoga at the Swanson Highlands Swimming Pool!
More information coming soon but starting in June through early fall, I'll teach yoga in the poolhouse and when weather allows outside on their green space.
It's a great relaxing spot, a bit of a hidden gem in South Bend.
Children's Yoga (ages 7-12)
Adult Yoga (all ages/levels)
Interested? Send me an email and once I have all the details and pricing confirmed I'll send a post update directly to your inbox!
Celebrate Earth Day
Sunday, April 22nd
Yoga and caring for the earth go hand in hand. Join your community in spreading an eco-friendly mindset.
Do yoga outdoors!
Take your practice outside, bare feet connecting to the earth, let the wind blow easily through your hair, giving gratitude to Mother Nature.
Set an intention for your practice sending love and kindness to keeping the earth a clean and safe place.
Practice 108 Sun Salutations- the week of Earth Day I plan to get us started, so we'll practice a few (NOT 108) sun salutations in each of my classes.
Lights-turn off for a full 24 hours and only turn on what you need and for the length of time that you need them. Or replace a few of your traditional lightbulbs to environmentally friendly versions. It can save money and energy.
Electronics-try to go 24 hours (or start small with 4 or maybe 8 hours) and not use your phone, computer, tablet and truly unplug from external stimulation, and instead focus inward. Visit with friends in person, go outside, hike, plant a tree, do yard work, or help your neighbor or elderly friend/family member with their yard needs left from the harsh winter.
Walk-keep the car in the garage and walk or bike to your destination, if distance is a concern try carpooling.
Invest in an earth friendly coffee mug/water bottle-start today using an eco-friendly mug instead of cardboard or plastic. This bottle is my favorite, I have them in every size and in various colors and it really does keep your liquids cold/hot for hours, as if you just poured them minutes ago.
Invest in resusable grocery bags- instead of store plastic or paper bags, reusable bags are eco-friendly, hold more items, are more sturdy and often easier to carry than what the store provides.
Start a recycling or compost practice. Unsure how to compost, visit my blog article for easy step by step directions.
Volunteer- take part in national or local events that help the environment.
Online or electronic bills-moving from paper to e-bills or online versions can save millions of trees each year.
Yard Oasis-consider adding a bird house, water element or plant(s) that attract birds and other creatures. A few minutes a day of watching nature can reduce stress plus it's a welcome haven for these beautiful creatures.
Plant a vegetable or herb garden-it helps you to eat healthier, allows you to enjoy more time outdoors in the fresh air and enriches the soil. Check out my blog post here for growing herbs.
These are just a few of the many things that you can do on Earth Day and every day of the year.
Whether your efforts are large or small, every change that you make can make a significant impact!
Continuing our series on essential oils, this month we'll review the use and benefits of Lemon Oil!
Boosts immunity and cleanses system
Helps with insomnia
Helps with weight loss
Helps in reducing fever
Cleaning Your Yoga Mat: make a 50/50 solution of plain water and vinegar (white) adding 2-4 drops of lemon oil for a clean fresh scent. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, spray down your mat, allowing it to sit and soak into your mat, then using a clean cotton cloth wipe down your mat, flip it over and repeat, then allow the mat to thoroughly dry.
Essential Oils- Lavender!
They've been around for thousands of years being used in various ways for medicinal and health purposes, from aromatherapy, to beauty products, cooking, in household products, to natural medicine. The beauty of essential oils is that they act as a natural medicine without any side affects.
Benefits-using lavender in whole form, oil, inhaling in oil form or use in a diffuser can bring tremendous benefits to your life. Lavender can reduce anxiety or stress, calm your body for better sleep, be used for acne, with burns or wounds,slowing the aging process, improving eczema or psoriasis and for alleviating headaches.
Acne-apply a drop of pure essential oil directly to a pimple and watch it heal within 2-3 days.
Migraine Headaches-mix 2-3 drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil and rub into your temple or back of your neck.
Insomnia-sprinkle a few drops of essential oil directly onto your pillow, inhale straight from the bottle or place into a diffuser.
Relaxing Foot Soak-into a bowl or tub of warm water add a cup of Epsom salts and up to 15 drops of essential oil and soak for 10 minutes.
Cooking- adding a few drops to your cooking or baking or into your tea or honey brings a nice lavender flavor; or next time you make your favorite shortbread cookie recipe add finely chopped lavender to your dough. It adds a nice unique flavor while providing enormous benefits. (I do the same with fresh rosemary too).
These are just a few quick ways to introduce the benefits of lavender into your daily lives. Experiment and share how it has helped you!
"Using a chair allows REAL people to do REAL yoga!"
Whether you have mobility issues or sit at a desk for long periods of time, using a chair allows you to practice yoga, the same yoga done on a mat, but using the chair as a prop, whether sitting in it or using it for balance.
Actually, using a chair can allow you to improve your posture and get into poses that normally are challenging on the mat while allowing you to perfect your alignment. For example, I love Half Moon Pose using a chair, the quality and range of movement when using the chair in this pose is surprising!
What are the benefits?
Deepens flexibility and strengthens personal body awareness.
Chair yoga not unlike mat yoga provides the following benefits:
Who should take this class?
Anyone! While it's great for office workers or those with mobility challenges, a chair yoga class can be structured for beginners using a gentle sequence, or, with more challenging poses for the more advanced yogi!
Chair yoga is great non-intimidating introduction into yoga for those unsure of ability, and it's great for socializing