Monthly Archives: December 2012

Living with Intention

With another year coming to an end, I can comfortably say that 2012 was quite a year–a whirlwind with ups, downs, and adventures both good and bad. For me, it began with a terrible accident that left me hospitalized with bumps, bruises, a concussion, deep sadness, frustration, and anger. I wondered: how this could have happened? Why me? What are the chances?

This particular incident got me thinking a lot about chance. The dictionary defines chance as ’something that happens unpredictably without discernible human intention or observable cause.’ Intention: such a great word. No, I had never intended for such an accident to happen. However, it could be argued that I was given another chance to change the way I lived my life. Maybe I was given this life lesson as a means to readjust, reevaluate or quite possibly set intentions.

After the shock, sadness, and pain wore off, I was able to appreciate life and the power of intention. I was empowered, felt happier than ever before, and I’m sure not to take any moment for granted. I live with intention every day: to not sweat the small stuff and to find pleasure in the little things.

The word ‘intention’ is especially powerful this time of year as many start to discuss or contemplate New Year’s resolutions. I tell this story as a way to inspire you. Live your life with intention and to the fullest. During the holidays most people take the time to reflect on the moments that painted the year leaving you to either classify it as monumental, a flop, or simply just another year. We ultimately make a discriminating decision on whether or not we enjoyed, approved, or just plain loathed the year and then vow to do it better or differently next year. This is great! I love the moment one’s eyes widen feeling immediately inspired to change. However, if you fast forward to mid-February, you don’t seem to remember any goal or intention that was set a few weeks earlier.

Why wait all year for such a brief moment of time to start something new or finally get around to whatever you’ve been dreaming about? When one year ends, a new one begins. The two are so closely linked that this fine line, or literally a millisecond passage of time, is essentially like everything else in life; with death comes life, an inhale leads to exhale back to an inhale, and so on. Day becomes night and night becomes day. What if we look at every day as a mini New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day?

As humans, we have a tendency to get comfortable and caught up in our ‘ways’ or ‘routine’ because its familiar and feels good. Familiarity is by no means a bad thing. It’s always nice to come home to your family pet after a long day at work or knowing you can sleep in tomorrow because it’s Sunday. But wouldn’t it be nice to leave some of these ‘routine’ comforts behind to unleash the goodness that unfamiliar terrain usually unveils. Yes, that might mean waking early Sunday mornings to meet your running group.

2012 was an intention filled year for me (one for the books so to speak) but that may have not been the case if I was never given the chance to intend. Every intention I set has come to fruition for me. That’s a year filled with a new home, new friends, my own business, new work, new romance, constant joy, and appreciation for life.

I’m taking all the good and the ugly I’ve experienced from the year and I am not looking back. In fact, I’m leaping into 2013 with new intentions to give thanks, to smile, to inspire, to eat delicious food, to dance, to practice yoga, to sing, to travel, to write, to educate, to complete my first marathon, and even to train for my second.

So I encourage you take this time to treat your last week of the year as you would the first week of the new year and every day after. Step out on that ledge and tackle whatever big or small intentions you have for your self. Why not start training for that marathon you’ve been talking about for years? Maybe learn to tango in Argentina? Or maybe say I love you for the first time to your boyfriend or girlfriend? In actuality, it can be all of the above.

I often tell my students to find their strength, will, and desire needed to empower them to be the agent of change in their life. You may fall out of a pose from time to time but that should not discourage you from getting back into place. Instead of giving up after one try, keep at it–365 times.

By Kristin Esposito

Energy Boost. No Coffee Necessary

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, “Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” Today’s featured pranayama is a stimulating breath. When done correctly its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.

Bhastrika Pranayam: Bellows Breath

  • Breathe in deeply through your nostrils. First, feel the diaphragm move down, allowing the lungs to expand and forcing the abdomen out; then feel your chest expand with your collar bones rising last.
  • Breath out quickly through your nostrils. Feel the collar bones dropping, chest deflating, and abdomen shrinking as the lungs collapse. This process of exhaling should be much faster than the process of inhaling — almost like a rapid deflation.
  • Repeat the process. When correctly done, your chest will expand when you breathe in and deflate when you breathe out. Continue doing this for 5 minutes.

With practice, speed up your breathing. Beginners should always start slowly to avoid hyperventilating, but over time, it will be possible to turn this into a rapid breathing technique.

So the next time you feel like reaching for another a cup of coffee give this breathing technique a try and after a few short minutes you’ll feel invigorated.

Good Morning Greens!

green-smoothie1

As we start to wake from our after-holiday food coma still feeling slightly sluggish from one too many cookies or eggnog, it’s time to smoothie it up. This green smoothie recipe is super easy to make and a great way to start your morning. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how delicious it tastes and how nourished and satiated you’ll feel for hours after drinking. Keeping you to feel lighter, refreshed and energized just in time for a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Good Morning Green Smoothie

– Handful of raw spinach

– 1/2 cup of cucumber

– 1/4 avocado

– 1 cup of frozen mango

– 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

– 1 cup almond milk

– Dash of cinnamon

Place all the ingredients in the blender. Blend and Enjoy. And don’t be shy to customize, replace or add ingredients to your smoothie. Feel free to add or replace blueberries or strawberries instead of mango. The same goes for milk, all non-dairy and dairy milks will work great in smoothie recipes.

 

photo credit: Two Peas & Their Pod

Quote

Quote of the day

“Listen to your heart and follow it or it will find a million ways to remind you that there is something missing.” – Anon

This is such a wonderful time of year, and lazy holiday week to reflect, listen, and take action on what your heart and soul desires. Embrace the truth of your deepest desire and experience the beauty that unfolds in each step you take toward that goal.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from your friends and family at Yin Yang Yogis

Pranayama For The Holidays

pranayama copyPranayama practice Nadi Sodhana, also called alternate-nostril breathing, can help calm you down in moments of stress or holiday freak-out. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through your left nostril for four seconds. Immediately close the left nostril with your right ring finger. At the same time remove your thumb from the right nostril and exhale for eight seconds. Switch to the left nostril, and begin again. This breathing technique produces optimum function of both the right and left side of your brain, therefore enhancing creativity and logical verbal activity. What this means for you – a quick way to balance out, cleanse, and rejuvenate vital channels of energy in your body, keeping you refreshed and at ease this holiday weekend.

 

– Image and directive from Yoga Journal.

Nutty Cranberry Maple Granola

Stay warm, cozy and nourished this holiday season with a bowl of delicious homemade granola. It even makes a perfect DIY stocking stuffer for all the foodies in your family.P1000182

 

 

 

 

Nutty Cranberry Maple Granola
* Recipe adapted from Beatrice Peltre’s, La Tartine Gourmande.

– 4 cups rolled oats
– 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
– 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
– ½ cup pecans, lightly chopped
– ½ cup slivered almonds
– 1/3 cup sesame seeds
– 1 cup walnuts, lightly chopped
– ½ cup water
– ½ cup maple syrup
– 1/3 cup coconut sugar
– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
– ½ teaspoon sea salt
– ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
– ½ teaspoon cinnamon
– 1 cup dried cranberries
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, mix the rolled oats with nuts and seeds; set aside. In a pot, heat the water, maple syrup, sugar, vanilla, sea salt, and oil over low heat. Allow for all ingredients to simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the granola is golden brown. Stir occasionally to make sure the granola cooks evenly. Remove from the oven, transfer to a large bowl; while granola is still warm add cinnamon and cranberries and mix well. Let cool to room temperature before jarring. Granola will keep for up to 4 weeks stored in an airtight container.

Quote

“You must not l…

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – M.Gandhi

Such a beautiful quote, especially after the tragic loss and incident at Sandy Brook Elementary School. Our thoughts and prayers are with the community of Newtown, CT.