Posts By: MA_admin

Time Off

December 20, 2014

I’m currently taking off through Feb. 1, 2015 to enjoy life as a new mom. I’ll be back to teaching soon and will post an updated schedule then.

Thanks for waiting!

Maternity Leave

December 20, 2014

Can’t quite believe it is time to post this, but as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been quite lax with website updates lately. These last couple months of pregnancy have consumed my energy in more ways than one! I’m currently 3 days away from my due date and patiently (?!) waiting through day after day of contraction-action for this little guy to decide which day will be his birthday!

I stopped teaching at 38 weeks so I’ve had a little over a week to enjoy pampering myself with massage, mani/pedi, haircut and lots of yummy meals out. I’ve been walking everyday, enjoying meditation and longer yoga practices now that I don’t have to rush through a jam-packed schedule. What a life of leisure must be like!!

IMG_2616

38 weeks: right before teaching my last class!

39 weeks: Enjoying the holiday lights at the Botanical Gardens

39 weeks: Enjoying the holiday lights at the Botanical Gardens

I’m planning on taking off through the beginning of February to enjoy life as a new mom and then I’ll be back to teaching! While I’m gone, I thought I’d share a few resources of yogic-like inspiration to keep you motivated.

Lion’s Roar: This site is a wonderful resource for all things Buddhist in thought & inspiration.

Tara Brach: My favorite resource for guided meditations

Brain Pickings: I don’t even know how to describe this gem; just go, read and enjoy!

Kris Carr: My juicing, cleansing, wellness-living inspiration

YogaGlo: my favorite at-home yoga resource for when I just want someone else to teach me

Happy Yoga-ing my friends! See you soon!

Health Soup

December 20, 2014

By now, you are probably well aware of my soup-obsession. Seriously, I can’t stop. And, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that feel like they are increasing our vitality and wellness rather than weighing us down. This soup fits the bill 100%.

Now, I must warn that you are going to think:

a. it isn’t worth the effort to hunt down these weird ingredients (it is: I found everything at Whole Foods)

b. it smells a bit intense when you add the Bonito flakes (I know it. My husband swore this was going to be the worst meal ever but have faith. It is SO good, even your picky husbands/wives will like it.)

c. it seems complicated. (Yes, it is a lot of steps, but, truly, it took less than an hour to make it and was pretty freakin’ easy in the end.)

Ignore your hesitation, pull out your soup pot and get to cooking. If you have a cold or are feeling run-down from the holidays, that is even more of a reason to make this soup. I promise.

photo from nytimes.com

INGREDIENTS

DASHI

  • 1 package kombu (about 2 ounces, which is the size of a package)
  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 ½ cups dried bonito flakes
  • ½ teaspoon chile flakes
  • ¼ cup dried shiitake mushrooms

REST OF SOUP

  • 5 tablespoons miso paste
  • 3 cups chopped greens, like broccoli rabe, kale or stemmed collards
  • ½ cup chopped scallions or spring onion
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce
  •  1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 block silken tofu, cut in half horizontally then into squares **personally, I found the silken tofu to be too soft for my tastes. I’d use a firmer tofu next time.
  • 4 cups chopped cilantro, or combination cilantro and basil
  • 1 lemon

PREPARATION

  1. Make dashi, either by following these instructions or by making 4 quarts instant. For homemade: Wipe kombu with a damp cloth, and break into a few pieces. Put in a pot with water. Bring almost to a boil, then turn off heat; remove kombu with tongs.
  2. Add garlic, bonito flakes, chile and shiitakes. Bring to a boil, and let boil 30 seconds. Turn off heat. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain through a colander into a bowl. Put dashi back into pot.
  3. Add miso paste, and bring to a boil. Add greens and scallions or onion. Cook 3 minutes. Add fish sauce, salt and sugar. Lower to a simmer. Add tofu. Cook at bare simmer 10 minutes. Turn off. Add herbs.
  4. Just before serving, squeeze lemon juice into soup, to the sourness that you like.

Meditation

October 30, 2014

I am delighted to add a 30 – 45 minute meditation class to my calendar on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 7:15 p.m. at Atlanta Hot Yoga. Meditation has been a huge part of my personal practice for several years now and has inspired growth and insight that I never would have received from asana alone.

This class is appropriate for all levels; even if you’ve never meditated before! We will spend 10 – 15 minutes at the beginning of class talking about a yogic philosophy, meditation style or relevant topic before closing our eyes for a 15 – 30 minute guided meditation.

No yoga mats needed. Feel free to bring your favorite cushion to sit on or use some of the studio’s blankets for your seat.

This class takes place every Tuesday from 6:30 – 7:15 p.m. at Atlanta Hot Yoga.

Here are 10 reasons why you should do the practice according to The Huffington Post.

1. It may make you happier.

The practice helps you to cultivate more positive states of mind; if you’re happy you will do better in every area of your life. Emotions are contagious, and when you’re happy you spread that feeling to everyone around you.

2. There’s evidence that it strengthens the brain.

A study done at UCLA suggest that meditation actually strengthens the brain in a good way. Studies like this are pointing to the fact that meditation is literally a workout for the brain. How about right before you do your sit-ups, you incorporate some meditation to strengthen the brain?

3. It may help you focus at work.

Our hectic, technology-filled lifestyle is talking all of our attention; we’re constantly checking emails, Facebook updates, and our Twitter accounts. A new study suggested that meditation may make you more focused at work.

4. It could make you a more compassionate person.

Meditation helps you to calm down by centering your focus on your breathing and the sensations in your body. It also helps you recognize positive emotions within your own body, and to use those emotions to act more compassionate toward others. A newstudy from Northeastern University and Harvard University researchers showed that people who meditated acted more compassionate afterward than those who did not meditate.

5. It may help you lose weight.

Mindfulness is a way to pay attention to the all the sensations you’re experiencing. When you do meditation while you’re eating, you become more conscious of what you’re putting in your mouth.

6. It may relieve stress.

study in the journal Health Psychology showed that mindfulness decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This is something everyone in American could use, considering stress has literally become an epidemic here.

7. It may help you do better in school.

A new study done in the journal Mindfulness showed that meditation improved the test scores of students in a psychology class. Some of the students meditated before the lecture, and another group did not. After the lecture, the ones who meditated did better. Want your kids to do better in class — why not show them how to meditate?

8. It may help American troops.

A number of programs are working with troops to give them the tools of meditation to better their quality of life. Organizations like Project Welcome Home Troops, the Mind Fitness Training Institute, and the the Samueli Institute are using it with troops.

9. It positively changes the brain, even when you’re not meditating.

A new study has indicated that by participating in an eight-week meditation program, you can potentially change how the brain works even when you’re not meditating. The brain is just like a muscle you work out at the gym: If you do meditation every day, it’s going to positively influence your life.

10. It may help protect against colds.

study done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison showed that people who practiced mindfulness meditation or engage in physical exercise suffered less from colds than those who did not.

Cheers to America’s new push-up for the brain! With all the scientific evidence coming in over the years, meditation is now becoming a practice that anyone from any walk of life can embrace. You don’t have to practice any religion or have any set of beliefs to use this incredible tool for the brain.

Slow Cooker White Chili

October 30, 2014

Is there anything better than soup season? I could seriously eat soup every single day and never get sick of it. There is something so comforting about a bowl of soup. And something incredibly healthy *usually*! The only thing better might be a soup made in the Crockpot. One of the best kitchen appliances, in my personal opinion, and probably used more than anything other than my blender (all those smoothies!).

This recipe is brewing in the Crockpot as I type and comes to us courtesy of Whole Foods Market – a great recipe resource, btw!

 

Ingredients: 
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag dried cannellini beans, picked through
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen sweet white corn
  • 2 poblano peppers (or 2 green bell peppers), chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Method: 

Arrange chicken in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Top with beans, corn, poblanos, cauliflower, onion, broth, cumin and chili powder. Cover and cook on low until beans are very tender and cauliflower has fallen apart, about 10 hours. Stir in sour cream and salt, ladle into bowls and serve.

*My alterations – I also added a chopped up yellow bell pepper and a few handfuls of fresh spinach to up the veggies. Top with some guacamole and a side of cornbread. Perfection.

Serves 10 – 12

Radical Acceptance

October 30, 2014

For many of us, feelings of deficiency are right around the corner. It doesn’t take much–just hearing of someone else’s accomplishments, being criticized, getting into an argument, making a mistake at work–to make us feel that we are not okay. Beginning to understand how our lives have become ensnared in this trance of unworthiness is our first step toward reconnecting with who we really are and what it means to live fully.
from Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance

“Believing that something is wrong with us is a deep and tenacious suffering,” says Tara Brach at the start of this illuminating book. This suffering emerges in crippling self-judgments and conflicts in our relationships, in addictions and perfectionism, in loneliness and overwork–all the forces that keep our lives constricted and unfulfilled. Radical Acceptance offers a path to freedom, including the day-to-day practical guidance developed over Dr. Brach’s twenty years of work with therapy clients and Buddhist students.

Writing with great warmth and clarity, Tara Brach brings her teachings alive through personal stories and case histories, fresh interpretations of Buddhist tales, and guided meditations. Step by step, she leads us to trust our innate goodness, showing how we can develop the balance of clear-sightedness and compassion that is the essence ofRadical AcceptanceRadical Acceptance does not mean self-indulgence or passivity. Instead it empowers genuine change: healing fear and shame and helping to build loving, authentic relationships. When we stop being at war with ourselves, we are free to live fully every precious moment of our lives.

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