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!

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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.

popsicles

Coconut Milk Ice Cream Pops
Makes 12 Popsicles
Ingredients:
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)

Directions:
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  http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/

Saddle Pose {Yin Series}

Saddle Pose

asana_saddle

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.

childs-pose-move

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: http://www.yinyoga.com http://www.plair.com http://www.spryliving.com http://www.dorestorativeyoga.blogspot.com

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:

Unkown

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

Translation:

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