Monthly Archives: May 2013

Spring Into A New You

new_nAs part of our Spring Into A New You wellness program today’s post is about committing to what you’d like to see flourish, grow, or let go of from your life. Our new program will focus on all things health, yoga, food, nutrition, and personal wellness/development related. As you begin to settle into a comfortable seat bring your awareness internally, specifically to your belly center – the seat of our desire, intuition and instinct – and ask yourself: what positive wellness changes can I bring into my life? Once you’ve settled on your goal and desired outcome start to envision yourself embodied with this change. Use your goal and vision as a mantra for the next few minutes in pranayama and meditation.

As you inhale use the breath to invite the change you desire into your body and as you exhale send this bountiful breath to every part of your body. With each exhale feel the fresh oxygen circulate throughout the body and use this as a catalyst toward a fresh start. Be the agent of change you seek in your life. Let your breath ignite your will and use your will (and some guidance from the Yin Yang Yogi family) to see, feel and experience this positive change in your life.

Interested in joining our FREE Spring Into A New You wellness program? Join our group here! The Y3 family will guide you through different levels of cleansing, detoxing, re-discovery and so much more to help spring you into a new you!

Superfood Pineapple

Pineapple_sqThe pineapple got its name in English because of its resemblance to a pine cone, but in parts of Europe and in South America, it’s called some derivative of annas which comes from the Paraguayan word nana, meaning excellent or exquisite fruit – and we couldn’t agree more! Native to South and Central America, pineapples are known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Bromelain, an enzyme found in the juice and stem of pineapples has been used medicinally for centuries among indigenous groups to help reduce inflammation that may flair up internally or externally in the body. It can also help minimize hay fever symptoms, slow down/reduce blood clotting, and even enhance the absorption of antibiotics. More than just anti-inflammation, researchers suggest bromelain can be used to control the growth of tumors and malignant cells that may form in the body.

If that’s not awesome enough, pineapple is packed with fiber to help aid in digestion, and contains vitamin C to boost the immune system. However, due to it’s slightly high, albeit natural, sugar content try to not eat the entire pineapple in one sitting – if you must, try to keep the rest of your sugar consutop_pops_pina_coladamption in check during the day. When adding pineapple into your diet, a great option is adding a small handful, about 1 cup, of fresh or frozen pineapple to your morning green smoothie. Another great way to indulge on this super stellar superfood is adding pineapple chunks or the juice to a frozen Popsicle recipe. Check out our Coconut Milk Popsicle recipe here. Pineapple Coconut Pops doesn’t sound like a bad idea on a hot day like today!

Source and facts: Greatist

Coconut Milk Pops

After too many weeks of unseasonably chilly weather, warm temperatures are  finally here in Maryland.  No matter where you are, what is more refreshing than an ice cold popsicle? Not much! These are so easy to whip up for a planned event or to make ahead so you always have some waiting for you in the freezer.


Coconut Milk Ice Cream Pops
Makes 12 Popsicles
1 can full-fat coconut milk (look for the cleanest ingredients list possible)
1-2 handfuls of your favorite fruit chopped, washed, and dried of any excess liquid(berries, mango, and pineapple are all good choices)
Up to a 1/4 cup of your preferred natural sweetener- raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc
Chopped fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, or rosemary (optional)

1.  Combine the coconut milk and the sweetener until you’ve reached your desired “sweetness” or up to a 1/4 cup of the sweetener.
2.  Distribute the fruit (and optional herbs) evenly among your molds. (if you don’t have molds you can use dixie cups and popsicle sticks)
3.  Pour the coconut milk over the fruit (and optional herbs) to fill the mold.
4.  Freeze overnight or until frozen solid.  Enjoy outside, preferably on the deck/patio with good friends :).

Recipe adapted from The Rawsome Vegan Life.  Photo courtesy of

Saddle Pose {Yin Series}

Saddle Pose


In last week’s Yin series, we covered a pose that allowed us to find space in our spine while simultaneously opening the hips.  In this week’s post we’ll discuss Saddle (also known as Supta Virasana in Yang practices), a fairly deep but incredibly therapeutic pose that works to open the sacral-lumbar arch.  As always, the yogi’s number one priority is to listen to their body.  If there is ever any pinching, burning, or other painful sensation in the back or knees, back out from the pose and try Sphinx/Seal pose instead.  Tight ankles can often be an issue here, but sometimes a rolled up blanket or towel is a simple fix.

To come into the pose, start by simply sitting on the heels of your feet.  Take notice of how this feels.  For most of us, this is okay.  For those with particularly tight ankles, you may already start to feel some sensation in this area.  As long as there are no painful sensations in the ankles or knees (which we talked about in our intro post), place your hands behind you on the floor while leaning back and begin to feel the arch in your lower back.  Stay here for a moment; our stiffer yogis may already be noticing a pulling sensation in the quadriceps.  This is okay and should dissipate in about 30-60 seconds.  Breathe into it! If this feels okay, begin to lean back onto your elbows.  The arch in your back should be fairly dramatic here.  Again, there should be no painful sensations.  Be sure to remember that discomfort and pain are two different things.  If you are ready to take the full expression of the pose, come into a position where you are comfortable enough to spread your feet apart (this may mean coming off of your elbows) so that they are on either side of your hips with palms facing up.  Begin to lower your shoulders towards the floor, stopping and laying on a bolster if the sensation is too intense.  If you have made it onto the floor or a bolster allow your mind and body to breathe, relax, and find stillness.  Ideally this pose is held for three to five minutes, but if any kind of painful sensation arises while in the pose back out and take Sphinx/Seal.

A bolster to support the back but maintain a significant arch and a blanket to relieve pressure from the ankles.

A bolster to support the back but maintain a significant arch and a blanket to relieve pressure from the ankles.

When you are ready to come out of the pose, do so very slowly.  If you start to come up too quickly, your body will tell you.  Come up just the way you came down; onto the elbows first, then the hands, and finally to rest on your heels.  From here, release the legs out in front of you and come to lie flat on your back.  Stay here for a few breaths.  If you feel “stuck” in the pose, just roll to one side and release the legs until you are able to roll over onto your back.  After you’ve stayed here for a few moments, hugs the knees to the chest for a nice lower back release.  You may choose to sway from side to side here massaging the spine.  Once you have found stillness, release the legs once again to be straight out in front of you.  From here, come into child’s pose and allow your body to recover here for as many breaths as you see fit.


Alternatively, Saddle can be taken as Half Saddle where the yogi only has one leg bent and keeps the other straight staying for 2-4 minutes and then bending and straightening the opposite legs.  This makes the sensation of the pose in its entirety a little less intense.

Half saddle with a bolster.

Half saddle with a bolster.

However you choose to do Saddle, enjoy it a few times a week to truly reap the benefits.  Practicing this at night will have you waking up with rested and refreshed legs, making it truly perfect after a long day on your feet.  Enjoy!

Images courtesy of:

Live Life, Your Life

live-your-life-on-purpose copy

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson

Meatless Monday’s Memorial Day Happy Breakfast

HappyBreakfastPerhaps you may have overindulged a bit much this Memorial Day Weekend.  It’s easy to get back on track.  Start your day off clean and simple this meatless Monday with fresh fruit for breakfast.  Breakfast is the easiest way to introduce simple healthy additions to your diet and get you back on track fast after a holiday or any time you need to restart, refresh & recharge your routine.   Remember, fruit is best eaten alone, on an empty stomach, thus making breakfast the perfect time for fruit.  Be creative, use whatever fruit you have on hand for a happy breakfast this holiday and be sure to look out for our upcoming  Spring into a New You.”  Whatever your health goals are for this season we will have you covered in our group program. Past participants have finished the program a few pounds lighter, with glowing skin, renewed energy and simple tools to maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle. It’s all about balance, join Y3 to find yours and enjoy your Happy Breakfast!

Photo Credit:


Memorial Day Meditaion

memorial-day_s345x230Once known as Decoration Day, because tombstones were decorated with flags and flowers, Memorial Day is a time of remembrance and gratitude for those who have died serving our country in the armed forces, beginning with the Civil War and today in Iraq and Afghanistan and across the globe.  Many of these women and men did not choose to fight, and came to military service with grave reservations, but they nevertheless obeyed our leaders’ decisions and fought on our behalf.  Memorial Day is not a glorification of violence – and it is not a denial of the spiritual quest for global peace – but a time to remember and give thanks.

Regardless of our feelings about a particular war or military service in general, Memorial Day invites us to remember the sacrifices of others and the intricate interdependence of life. Memorial Day also observed as the celebratory unofficial kick-off to summer and the first of many summer BBQs be sure to take time during the weekend to honor the lives of friends, family, loved-ones and strangers around the country who have lost their lives with the below mantra.

Sat Siri Akal

meditating_woman_on_grassIn a comfortable seated pose begin your meditation with a few deep inhales and exhales. Once you mind becomes still begin to invite “Sat Siri Akal” into your breath. This mantra is quite beautiful and powerful as it speaks to the undying, eternal nature of our souls while honoring the physical loss of our loved ones. When we are grounded in the knowledge that the soul lives on we can feel peace for ourselves and our departed loved ones.

Complete Mantra:

Sat siree siree akaal, siree akaal mahaa akaal,
Mahaa akaal, sat naam, akaal moorat, wahay guroo


The True Great, Great Deathless, Great Deathless beyond Death, Beyond Death, Truth is His name,  Deathless form of God, Experience of the Divine

Mantra Source: Spirit Voyage

Grilled Cannellini and Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

Memorial Day is just a few short days away and whether or not you’re hosting a party or just celebrating at home with family, menu planning is in full force!  These grilled stuffed tomatoes would make a lovely, light addition to any menu and are especially nice in place of the typical heavy mayonnaise-laden BBQ fare like pasta salad or coleslaw.  Serve with a big garden-fresh salad and a protein of your choice and you’ve got a refreshing menu that won’t leave you with regrets come Tuesday.  Enjoy!
Serves 6

1 box (6 ounces) roasted garlic with olive oil-couscous mix, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin), divided
1/2 cup prechopped onion, minced
6 large ripe but firm tomatoes (10 ounces each; about 4 3/4 pounds total)
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning


Preheat the grill. Coat a 9″ x 6″ disposable foil pan with cooking spray. Measure 1/2 cup of the couscous and 1 tablespoon of the seasoning packet from the mix. Set aside. Store the remaining couscous and seasoning packet for another dish.
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, or until the onion is softened. Meanwhile, cut 1/4″ slices from the tomato tops. Discard the tops. With a serrated knife or spoon, scoop out the tomato flesh, leaving 1/4″-thick walls. Set aside. Finely chop the tomato flesh. Add to the onion along with the beans, parsley, Italian seasoning, pepper, and the reserved couscous and seasoning. Stir to combine. Spoon into the reserved tomato shells, mounding slightly. Spoon any extra stuffing into the base of the pan. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Cover with aluminum foil.
Place on the grill away from direct heat. Grill, rotating the pan occasionally, for about 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender and the tops are golden. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Reds to Root

red__aFood sustains our prana, the life force that flows within our body. Prana can also be described as the the fuel, the juice if you will, that sustains our chakra system. When we’re eating foods that nourish our body we can enhance our prana and help revitalize and balance out our chakras.

The root chakra, the space that connects us with Earth energy, is responsible for manifesting our sense of security, of comfort. When we eat healthy food, our basic needs are met, and we are more able to fully express our original, true selves. To take this one step further we can actually eat specific foods that bring more pranic energy to a particular chakra, which can be helpful with dealing with blockages and stagnant flow.

When it comes to healing chakras with foods the best tip to keep in mind is making your meals colorful and taking in more foods that match the color of specific chakra you’re working on.  So choosing red foods for the root chakra is beneficial for the healing and balancing of the energy center.

The sight of colorful and thoughtfully prepared meals can be extremely uplifting and healing for our mind, body and soul. Food carries subtle energetic vibrations that can enhance our sensory experience which directly affects how you feel on the inside whether you are aware of it or not.

Foods that are good for the health and well-being of the root chakra include those that have similar characteristics as this center.

Feeding Your Root Chakra

beets1Root Vegetables: radish and beets are best (because they’re red), however, other root veggies such as garlic, onions, parsnips, and potatoes are good options as well.

Protein: Proteins can also enhance our connection to our physicality, and therefore to the earth. Much of our body is made of protein and proteins have a grounding effect. Protein-rich foods include eggs, beans, lobster and red meat.

Spices: Cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, and saffron.

pomegranate-1000Fruit: Pomegranates and red apples. Throughout history the Pomegranate and apple has personified abundance, rebirth, immortality, fertility and metamorphosis in many cultures, depicting it as a symbol of oneness & eternal life. Red berries, cherries and watermelon are also great juicy substitutes!

Source: Squidoo

Butterfly Pose {Yin Series}

Butterfly Pose


In this week’s Yin series, we’ll cover the fairly basic yet incredibly beneficial butterfly pose.  This forward fold is particularly beneficial for those with tight hamstrings as the nature of this pose does not require loose hamstrings to get a therapeutic stretch.  Our typical American lifestyle usually means too many hours sitting at a desk, driving a car, and more often than not, on the couch.  The rounding of the spine allows for space between the compressed vertebras to counteract all of that sitting (much like in Dangling and Caterpillar) and the stress on the hips helps to regenerate “stuck” joints.  This pose (like most Yin poses) is suitable for yogis of all levels, although those with sciatica should be sure to have a forward tilt in their pelvis and may find that sitting on a rolled up mat or a cushion helps them to achieve this.  The really nice part about this pose is that you can control the stretch of the muscles while still working our target area; the connective tissue of the spine and hips (which you can learn about in our intro post here).

To come into the pose position yourself in a sitting position with optional sciatica support already in place.  Be sure that your weight is evenly distributed through the sit bones, and if you feel that your pelvis is rotating backwards go ahead and adjust the support. Once situated, bring the soles of your feet together and move them away from the body allowing the knees to fall open.  Begin to fold forward noticing the reaction of your muscles.  Once the back is rounded, adjust the placement of your feet until you achieve the muscular reaction you are looking for; the further the feet are away from the body, the less you’ll feel it in your groin.  Be sure that the feet are not so close that your groin or hamstrings could prevent you from reaching a fully rounded spine.  Remember that our goal is to eventually find stillness so that the emphasis can be taken off of the groin and instead be on the rounding of the spine and the stress on the hip joints.  Once you have found your edge, the place in a pose where there is some discomfort and intensity but never pain, remain in the pose for three to five minutes.  Allow the neck to hang (unless there has been recent trauma or whiplash, in which case it should be supported) and the hands to rest comfortably on the feet or the floor.  Keep your focus on your breath, and if the mind wanders simply bring it back to the rhythm of your breath.  When time is up, press your hands into the floor and slowly begin to roll back into an upright position.  Spend a few moments taking note of any new sensations in the body as a whole and in our target areas of the spine and hips.  A nice way to end this pose is by lying flat on the stomach, allowing the natural small backbend that comes with this to counteract our forward fold.

Butterfly can be enjoyed for much more than 3-5 minutes and can be done while watching TV, talking on the phone, or wherever you see fit! Enjoy this pose as a regular part of your Yin practice.

Photo courtesy of