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Happy Fall! September Is Here – Take Care Of Yourself!

Taking Care of Yourself During the Vata Season 

Summer is behind us and we are now moving into the fall season. In Ayurveda (the sister science to yoga or science of life), fall is known as the vata season, when air and space combine and increase movement in our external environment, we see more wind these days, our skin might be a bit dryer, as well as the leaves, drying and falling from the trees. This season tends to leave us a little scattered, unbalanced and can lead to anxiety. This transition from summer to fall often seems to come on quickly. The temperature is cooler, the days are shorter and suddenly were looking for our wool sweaters because now it’s fall. During these shorter vata days, it is important to nourish and take care of yourself properly.

Here are a few tips that can help you move through the vata season smoothly:  

Food: During the fall and vata season, we are moving away from the cooler meals that we focused on over the summer and looking for more nourishing, filling meals. Things like whole food casseroles, hearty soups and baked veggies. And of course, splurge on pumpkin spice everything! One of my favorites of the season is the Pumpkin Bread mix from Trader Joe’s. It’s easy and you can make muffins or bread, add in dried fruit, nuts or chocolate chips for a treat.

Keep Moving:  The best advice for daily activity is to check in and ask yourself “does my physical movement/practice make me feel more grounded?” If not, skip it. Maybe this is the season to investigate more nourishing and slower paced yoga classes, slow down your running schedule or start swimming to take some of the pressure off your joints. In the end, make sure whatever you do helps you to stay grounded and connect with yourself. Remember, that every little bit of movement helps, parking a few steps further from the grocery store or setting reminders to do some chair yoga at your desk will give you a nice little boost in your day.

Lifestyle: The fall season also brings a lot of transitions, not just the changing temperatures, but family schedules and activities tend to ramp up during this time of year. Therefore, creating and sticking to a schedule is important to keep that vata energy in balance. While you are adding things to the schedule plan in some self-care time and some connection time with your partner or loved ones.

Vata season also allows for creativity, spontaneity and lightness. This is the time to dive into your creative endeavors, enjoy time connecting with friends and immerse yourself in the changing seasons. Get outdoors, play in a pile of leaves or take a hike in the woods and enjoy the transition of nature.

 

LOVE & KINDNESS … 

This week in class I wanted to focus on the theme love and kindness.

I recited the following chant: LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU, the meaning of this chant is simply, “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

When life gets difficult and challenges arise, keep this mantra in mind and try to connect with what brings happiness and joy to yourself and others.

 

FALL RECIPE: Slow Cooked Chickpea Coconut Curry With Sweet Potatoes from PopSugar 

During these busy fall days, throwing a bunch of ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and letting it cook all day is one of the best ways to get a fast and healthy dinner on the table. Not to mention all the spices will make your house smell amazing!

Click here to check out this easy, healthy and delicious recipe.

 

It’s not too late to join the September Sunrise Yoga Series. Classes are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6:30 am at the Sunset Hill Community Club in Ballard. For an hour we will focus on nourishing and energizing our bodies to get ready for the day ahead. Click here to sign up online. $100 for the unlimited month or $15 to drop in. 

Spring is Here!

WELCOME TO SPRING! 

Over the last few weeks we have been talking in our classes about detoxing and renewal during this new Spring season. This month I am hoping to share some tips and information that might be helpful to you during this season.

secret garden spring

KAPHA SEASON
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According to the Ayurvedic seasons we have moved out of the Vata season which is generally late fall to early winter, with Kapha taking over the second half of winter and lasting through spring. In many areas, specifically the Seattle area, that means plenty of wet weather, which is exactly what we have been seeing over the last few days.
During this wet and sticky time of the year, it is important to move your body to balance the heavy, wet and sticky effects of the Kapha season. This can include an invigorating vinyasa flow or adding more twists to detoxify your internal organs during your yoga practice.

In addition to moving your body, it is also important to fuel and feed your body with the proper nutrition. Every person has a different constitution, so each person’s diet will be different, during the Kapha season, we may favor foods that are light, dry and warm. Foods with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes are most beneficial for pacifying Kapha. Adding spices to our food, eating seasonally and keeping things warm and light during this time of year will help you feel more healthy and balanced.

MERCURY IN RETROGRADE
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Mercury-retrogradeHave you been feeling a little out of balance, chaotic or scattered the last few weeks? It might be because Mercury is in retrograde. It started on March 22 and will continue until April 15, 2018. During this time the planet Mercury entered apparent retrograde motion, marking the three-week span of misfortune down on Earth.

Retrograde motion is when a planet appears, when observed from Earth, to reverse direction. Because Mercury is moving backwards during this time, we may be feeling issues of confusion, delay, and frustration. By knowing when Mercury is in retrograde, we can take this as a sign from the universe to try and be more careful and a bit slower, giving ourselves a little more patience and self-love during this time. For additional information on Mercury in retrograde and to mark your calendar for the upcoming 2018 dates, click here for the details.

SANGHA: Sanskrit word meaning Community
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sanghaIf you are interested adding more yoga into your life, of course I would love for you to sign up for my Sunrise Yoga Series, but if you want to find other times to practice, I highly recommend Sangha Yoga on Queen Anne hill. Located in the former Om Culture location at 8 Boston Street. Sangha offers a wide variety of classes and teachers and it is a loving, warm and inviting community.

I am partial to this studio because it is where I did my teacher training, I am a substitute teacher and a Karma Yogi here, but in addition to that, the owners, Heather and Scott Falkin have transformed the studio into a super inviting, luxurious space, that makes you feel invigorated and grounded as you float out the door. Come check out Heather’s 90-minute Bhakti class on Thursday mornings at 9:30 am (your first class is free!). I do my Karma Yogi work on this day and I truly love being guided through the intentional chanting, pranayama (breathwork) and movement offered in each class.

Get Into Nature This Spring
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cherry blossomsIf you want to connect with nature this Spring, here are a few different outings in the area that can help you enjoy all that Spring has to offer:

— If you move quick, you may still be able to catch the Cherry Blossoms at the University of Washington

— April is the month for tulips in Washington, to see all the blooms head up to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival April 1-30th

Enjoy Free National Park Day! Washington has some amazing National Parks and entrance is free the week of April 21st.

New Year – New Yoga

Commit to Yourself this New Year

Sunrise Yoga Series at the Sunset Hill Community Club – Starting January 3rd, Unlimited Yoga – 3 days a week only $100  – Sign up here! 

So often the New Year brings new, positive intentions for people. The New Year is a new start, a reset button, a chance to begin again.  What better way to start your year by making a commitment to yourself?  What a lovely gift to give yourself — one hour a day, 3 days a week to move in your body, connect with your breath and set an intention that can carry you through your day and your week.

My yoga classes are for every body.

Sun Salutation with the sunrise… an amazing way to start the day! Join me in 2018 welcoming the sun in the morning!

Whether you have been practicing for years, or you have never practiced before, Sunrise Yoga will give you an amazing start to your day. If you are a runner or have another exercise practice established, yoga is a beautiful compliment to your existing work out, it will provide the balance, strength and the stability you need to move even further.

The Sunrise Yoga Series is offered for just $100 for unlimited yoga for the month of January. Come to the first class on Wednesday, January 3rd at 6:30am and make a commitment to yourself to take care of yourself.

In my journey as a yoga instructor, I have spent the last 3 months creating a regular practice for myself and others in the lovely space at 5 Lights Wellness. Due to some space and convenience factors I have decided this location is not the perfect space for a regular practice and in order to reach more people, I have decided to move my practice to the Sunset Hill Community Club.

Starting on January 3rd I will be offering a Sunrise Yoga Series.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings we will practice for one hour at 6:30am. Practices will be energizing but gentle, they will be grounding, but light at the same time. Overall, they will be an amazing way to start your day and your year.

Sign up for the series or drop in – January 3rd class is just $5 to drop in, drop in for the rest of the month is $15/class.

Sign up and order online by clicking HERE.

Offering New Yoga Classes in Ballard!

I am SUPER excited!

Next week, I will start teaching yoga three mornings a week at a new spot in Ballard, 5 Lights Wellness. The practice space is beautiful! It holds about 8-10 people so classes will be small and intimate, allowing me to focus on what students really want and need.

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Beautiful practice space at 5 Lights Wellness
Starting on Monday, September 11th, I will be teaching Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6:30am (Vinyasa Flow class) and 9:30am (Yoga Energetics class), both classes are 60 minutes long and will be focused on moving energetically and gently in our bodies.
You can view the schedule, read about the classes and sign up at the website: https://5lightswellness.com/yoga/
We are offering a Grand Opening Special, $50 unlimited classes from September 11th – October 11th.
Sign up online to reserve your spot and let me know you are coming (you don’t need to pay until you come to class) – I would love to have some familiar faces join my classes! Feel free to tell your friends and family and pass the information on.
Let me know if you have any questions or if you need more information. I look forward to seeing you on the mat!

HAWAIIAN YOGA – LIVING ALOHA

Our family recently returned from beautiful vacation in Hawaii. We stayed on Maui and spent time in Ka’anapali, Lahaina and Paia. During our days in Ka’anapali we were traveling with family and we jumped into the resort mindset and made sure to pack our days with plenty of activities.  For me, I was thrilled to see that the resort offered multiple yoga classes on the lawn, overlooking the ocean. The yoga classes were 45 minutes long and targeted to the general public, they were gentle and relaxing, allowing the class to take in the view of the ocean and be still for a few moments. When I didn’t attend class I practiced on the beach on my own, which in some ways was better than the organized class because I was able to tune into my body and make sure I was moving in the way that my body needed, on that day.

Sunrise at Haleakela

During the week we signed up for a variety of adventures: we took a helicopter trip to see the other islands around Maui, we enjoyed an outrigger canoe tour, we snorkeled and swam in the ocean, took a dinner cruise and Andrew and I got up in the middle of the night to see the sunrise at the highest peak on the island, Haleakala National Park.

While we were on the top of the mountain Andrew took some yoga photos of me because I wanted to make the most of this amazing view and backdrop.

pregnant dancer… but not really, just a puffy coat :-

Although we were in Hawaii, the temperature at the top of Haleakala (over 10,000 feet) was about 50 degrees, the wind was blowing strong and it was bitterly cold. We had planned on this adventure before we got to Maui, so we knew what we were getting into, we made sure to pack our down jackets, long pants and warm hats. When I was totally layered up the photos Andrew took made me look like I am about 9 months pregnant, which I guess is ok considering yoga is for everybody, but it was not quite the silhouette I was going for!

Sun Salutations on the mountain… an amazing way to start the day!

Overall, it was amazing to see the sunrise from the highest point on the island and to be able to practice my Sun Salutations while watching the sun come up. Even if the photos may not have been prefect, the experience it self was one I will always remember.

After leaving Ka’anapali, our family of four extended our vacation and took a few extra days to stay in Paia, on the north coast of Maui. This cool, little town had an awesome hippie vibe and every where you looked it seemed everyone was “Living Aloha”. Aloha is more than a greeting or a farewell, it also means love, kindness, compassion and regard for others.  The concept of “Living Aloha” is similar to the philosophy of yoga, which explains why there are hundreds (if not more) yoga studios and classes all over the island. It is clear from our visit, people living in Hawaii truly love their islands, they take great care and are eager to share the Aloha spirit with others.

 

 

 

 

News, Tea and Yoga

This blog will be where I am able to share articles, stories and news about yoga. I will also start sharing Ayurvedic  recipes that I come across and try, like this one for Ayurvedic Chai Tea. This tea was delicious and it made my whole house smell wonderful! chai2

I will also use this site to post updates on when and where I am teaching.  This week I will be at Sunset Hill Park on Wednesday, June 21st at 10, teaching a lovely outdoor class on the first day of summer. Donations are Welcome. Sign up here is you are interested.