Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Slow Food

How do you interact with your food?

Where do you purchase your vegetables?

Do you turn on your oven or microwave?

Notice the colors on your plate?

Taste the food you chew before you swallow?

Share a meal with your family or turn on the TV?

I have struggled over the past few years with truly savoring my meals. Factors that contributed to my rushed food habits: I used to get home from work and be absolutely STARVING, so the quickest remedy was most frequently fried eggs or a PB & J sandwich. And I live alone, so it always felt silent, weird, and boring to eat without music or television to accompany my meal.

A dear friend who's dining ritual is punctuated with patience and care has suggested that I feed myself like I would feed a guest. She suggested lighting candles and spending more time cooking (finding a rhythm in the preparation and a meditation in the quietness). But I think the truth in my struggle has always been giving myself the permission to relax and enjoy. When I do take the time to carefully prepare my food and then elegantly serve it, I always photograph the meal, perhaps trying to capture the feelings it invoked inside me: the feelings of pleasure and self-care and respect for my body. I have a great respect for my dear friend and for the people who created the Slow Food Movement. I am so thankful for those treasured souls in my life who remind me to nurture myself with food and help me to slow down...

This summer I decided to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in order to support my local economy. I have tasted new foods (including baby bok choy) and feel empowered by eating local, organic produce. There is something very romantic about picking up my basket of veggies and eggs every Sunday morning, and I am continually mesmerized by the bright colors: green lettuce and red strawberries to name a few.

The more happily and healthily you treat your body, the more fluid and strong your yoga practice will be, right? Just one more reason to slow down and enjoy good eats!

How can you slow down your experiences with food?

Choose love,

PS I love garlic! Anyone else love garlic?!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Clip, Rip, Glue, Recycle!
I will be leading a Journey Collage class in Cincinnati
at Park and Vine, my favorite green general store,
on May 30, 2009 at 11:00 am.
Please join me!
What you think you create.
What you feel you attract.
What you imagine you become.
-Adele Brasheer

I enthusiastically believe in the law of attraction: your thoughts create your reality. I have manifested my hopes and wishes over the past 10 years with the visual aid of journey collages recycled from old magazines. Seeing the images prompts my subconscious to stay focused on what I truly want. Oprah calls them vision boards, Sarah Van Brethnach calls them illustrated discovery journals, but I call them journey collages because everyone is on their own unique journey of self-discovery and exploration. This is a powerful tool to help you get what you want!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Savasana- a place to pause

A friend new to yoga recently attended a class with me. She commented afterwards that the most challenging part for her was the lying down at the end- savasana. She said the more she tried to relax her face, neck, arms, belly, legs, toes, the more tense and tight she became. The more she tried to trick her body into letting go, the more she became rigid and locked. So her mind analyzed why she was failing at simply lying down, and her thoughts raced around her body in circles, round and round.

I cherish savasana at the end of my yoga practice. But savasana wasn't always so simple for me. I remember when I first started practicing yoga, and I was super fidgety. I didn't feel comfortable on the hard wooden floor. My fingers twitched from all my muscles being pushed to their edge in ways they weren't accustomed to. I kept opening my eyes, afraid I would fall asleep. I remember being more afraid of being still than twisting my body into funny postures!

Why is savasana important? Savasana allows your body to soak up and absorb all the energy you have built and created through your flowing practice. Savasana is a literal place to pause. Savasana is the one time during my day where I can completely release and sink, dissolve, melt into the floor. It is the one time where I give myself permission to be peaceful and be totally present to the moment.

The rest of the time I find my mind buzzing and my body racing from one event to the next. I sometimes spend a portion of my day holding my breath (see? Even yoga teachers are tarnished...). So I crave those moments of silence during savasana, and I enjoy them to the maximum.

I invite you to find the SPACES in your day and savor them. Seek out those moments when time just stops. Allow yourself to be drenched in rest at the end of a yoga practice.

What are your tricks for letting go completely (in savasana or in life in general)?

Choose love,

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I am fascinated with balance, especially in regards to balancing activities in my life. I am a social butterfly, and lately my life has overflowed with a variety of fun and fulfilling experiences: yoga classes (taught and taken), theater, indy films, art openings, ballet performances, kirtan chanting, massages, and dinners with friends. I choose to surround myself with creative and amazing people and events, but sometimes I get caught up in the swift current of busy-ness. It is a daily practice to live in the moment.

Yoga helps me find balance in my life. It gives me a place to pause and reflect on all the wonderful swirls of love and laughter that fill my life to the brim, or to just settle down and catch my breath. It is super important to focus your drishti (gaze) when standing in balancing postures. In life, having a purpose or guiding compass (a way to focus your inward gaze) will help you to find balance because it will guide your choices to support your values. When choosing to participate in one thing, I am choosing to not participate in something else. Life is all about finding the fine line between busy and bored, entertained and overwhelmed, elated and run down, calm and anxious.

Throughout your yoga practice, I encourage you to find a balance between lifting up and rooting down, inhaling and exhaling, eyes open and eyes closed, strengthening and stretching. There is always an opposite, there is always a choice, and there is always a balance. If you can find that PLACE, you will be immersed in what IS.

How can you use your life purpose to encourage a balanced lifestyle?

Choose LOVE!