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Savasana…My favorite Part of Yoga

At the end of every yoga class, you often hear the teacher instructing you to lie still on your back with your eyes closed and legs long for “Savasana” or “Copse Pose”.  This is the moment I am able to let out a big breath and finally allow my hour-long yoga practice to sink in.  This is the best moment of my yoga practice.

But as I start to travel and teach yoga to more and more athletes, I started to realize that not many people understood the power of this pose, or asana.  B.K.S. Iyengar explained in his book Light On Yoga   “By remaining motionless for some time and keeping he mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax.  This conscious relaxation invigorates and refreshes both body and mind.” Believe me, for years the idea of laying down and clearing my thoughts seemed impossible.  But once I was open to the idea of savasana, I slowly felt how beneficial this was for my everyday life.

savasana

Why do savasana?

Savasana allows the breathing rhythm and heart rate to steady and rest.  In all of our hectic lives, this is very rare.  With heightened heart rates, people loose control and often result in anxiety problems and stress overload.  As athletes, we are really good at heightening our heart rate and pushing our bodies to the limit.  It’s important that the body and mind get a few minutes to rest a day for balance.  By practicing savasana, one can train themselves to slow down their heart rate and breath with complete control.  I know that I can run farther distances and snowboard longer powder lines knowing that I can have complete authority over my heart rate and breath.  Because of techniques learned in savasana, you learn to become aware of those things around you, and observe from a calm and pleasantly detached place.  The word “hectic” and “stressed” are slowly eliminated from your vocabulary.

 

So take 2 minutes after your yoga practice to complete your workout.  Your mind (and body!) will thank you.

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Healthy Holidays: Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip

As we shop during the holidays, its hard to pass up the various goodies along the shelves.  Chocolate this, peppermint that.  Since we do most our shopping at our local Trader Joe’s, it does help with some of the temptation, especially when we are searching for the best appetizer to bring to the many Holiday parties!

Recently, we came across this, Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip and of course we had to give it a try!  Needless to say, but we will, it was good. So we got to thinking, how could we could make our own homemade version, and keep it low in calories and fat, but high in flavor?

 

And here is our version of Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip…with a little help from our friends over at Homespun with Love.

1/2 a box of frozen, thawed and drained spinach
3-4  medium, fresh curly Kale leaves, washed, stem removed and chopped into thin julienne slices
1 1/2 cups non fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise 
2-3 gloves of garlic, minced
1 package Knorr vegetable mix
1/4 Italian red onion, chopped small
Salt & Pepper to taste

Place spinach and kale in a bowl and toss to combine. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. We found we did not need to add additional salt. Check for seasoning. Serve or chill in refrigerator covered until ready to serve.

Serve this with crackers, bread or vegetable sticks.

Optional add ins: water chestnuts, red bell pepper, green onions.

Happy Healthy Holidays!

 

Yoga, Travel and Life Lessons

Recently I helped Contiki Travel with an interview on my thoughts on travel.  You can read the interview here, and see some travel advice I have for you!  But this really got me thinking about WHY I travel.

Throughout my career, I have become very lucky to be able to combine to of my passions: Yoga and Travel.  The best advice I can ever give someone is to travel.  Lots.  And everywhere you can.  Go somewhere you don’t know the language and travel to place without a plan.  Immerse yourself in cultures you’ve only heard about and experience things that you have only read in books.

Why Travel?  Because traveling shapes you into who you can become and introduces you into other worlds.  You can sit for hours watching this different life walk in front of you, unconsciously taking in the culture, experiences and manners within.  I watched myself grow up with each place that I visited…moving from Europe to Hawaii and stationing back in Southern California all while traveling to 20 different US states, Australia, Canada, South America and more.  Each town and country added to my own values and personal beliefs and I am happy to say that I will continue this travel addiction.  There’s so much more of the word to see.

Why Travel and do Yoga? Traveling through college, I spent most of my times sleeping on trains in Europe or dancing the night away at the local pubs.  Once I started to emerge myself in yoga and finding a daily practice, my two worlds of yoga and travel were pushed together as one.  Practicing yoga in a different place allows my body to react to change, be challenged to other perspectives and learn what the destination has taught me.  Yoga in another culture or place gives you a moment on your trip to reflect.  To express through movement what you are learning and gaining, while taking that serene silence to soak it all in.

So give it a chance.  Grab your passport, research yoga studios near by and try something new.  Just remember “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey”

Post Cleanse: Wrap-up

After following our trainer, Lindsea, on her 3 day cleanse experience we wanted to check back in with her and get her thoughts post CAN CAN Cleanse.

“It’s an amazing feeling to accomplish three days of a cleanse. During the three days I felt challenged and was constantly reminded of what I was putting into my body. As a result I am more aware of what I am eating and have learned how to incorporate more juice into my diet. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and thought the CAN CAN Cleanse was very well organized and really enjoyed all the tasty juices/soups. Thank you CAN CAN Cleanse for helping me feel lighter, brighter and most importantly empowered! I can tell you this will not be my last CAN CAN Cleanse and will definitely be ready for my next one soon.”

Finding the Right Cleanse for Your Body: Day Two

It’s day two of the CAN CAN Cleanse and we wanted to check in with Lindsea to see how the cleanse was going. Here’s what she said had to say:

“So far it’s been good, but the cleanse requires a lot self-control especially in the moments when all you can think about is your favorite not so good for you foods. The moments I have been tempted I have had hot tea or gone for a quick walk around the block. The cleanse itself has been really easy to follow with an approximate timeline to consume each juice. I found all 8 of juices to taste really good and fresh, but my favorite so far is the Zucchini and basil soup – it hits the spot! I’m already starting to see and feel results and look forward to completing the 3 day cleanse.”

Stay tuned for more tomorrow….

Finding the Right Cleanse for Your Body: Day One

It’s that time of year to renew and rejuvenate our bodies as we move from summer to the fall. After evaluating the different cleanses, CYS trainer, Lindsea Swisher decided to try the CAN CAN CAN Cleanse and report back to our bloggers. Lindsea chose this specific cleanse because they are a local SF company and we are a huge advocate of supporting local businesses. We found that the cleanse was the most approachable, especially since they provide a pre-cleanse warm up with instructions to help prepare your body for juice consumption. Lindsea is anticipating a challenge, but is keeping her eye on the prize of feeling more rejuvenating from the inside out! “It’s inspiring to set out on a new health track and know that in 3 days I will be on my way to optimum health!”, Lindsea explained.  Come along on the 3 day journey as we share our experience throughout the cleanse.

Cost: $185 for the 3-day cleanse

Number of Juices Per Day: 8

Based In: San Francisco 

3 Day Seasonal Juice Cleanse!

Are you ready for a better and happy self?

Vegetarian Help: Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Cannellini Beans

 The first question I get when I tell someone I’m a vegetarian is, “How do you get your protein?” It’s actually quite easy to get enough protein if you know the sources to build your meals from. Protein requirements vary for each individual. In the book Eat to Live by author Joel Fuhrman M.D., he provides an easy way to calculate your protein requirement according to the USRDA. Multiply your body weight in pounds by .36 grams. A woman who weighs 120 pounds needs about 44 grams of protein per day.

Vegetarian Sources for Protein:

Barley- 1 cup has 3 grams of protein

Quinoa- 1 cup has 5 grams of protein

Lentils- 1 cup has 17 grams of protein

Tofu- ½ cup has 20 grams of protein

Almonds- 12 almonds have 3 grams of protein

Cannellini Beans- 1 cup have 16 grams of protein

Include at least one vegetarian source of protein at every meal along with other fruits, vegetables and whole grains to meet your daily requirement.  The recipe below for Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Cannellini Beans has about 10 grams of protein per cup.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Cannellini Beans

Yield- 4 cups

Ingredients and Preparation:

  • 3 Zucchini, sliced into ribbons
  • 1 Bunch of Asparagus- cut and keep only the spears
  • 1 can of Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Shallots, finely diced
  • ¼ cup of fresh Tarragon, pull leaves from stems
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, pushed through a garlic pressed or finely chopped
  • 4 Green Onions, sliced
  • ¼ cup of Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ½ cup of White Wine

Directions:

  1. Put the zucchini ribbons in a bowl and top with the juice of 1 lemon, a dash of salt and pepper and use your hand to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small sauté pan: heat about a tablespoon on Olive Oil and then sauté the asparagus spears on medium heat add the Cannellini Beans about half way through to warm.
  3. Remove Asparagus and Beans from heat and add to the bowl of Zucchini Ribbons. Mix together. Set aside.
  4. In a large sauté pan: heat remaining Olive Oil and add garlic and shallots on medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine ingredients. Once the shallots and garlic have softened add the tarragon and stir. Add the juice of 2nd lemon and let mixture reduce. Once reduced, add the white wine and reduce heat to simmer.
  5. Once the sauce has reduced and slightly thickened add the bowl of vegetables and toss together. Top with a pinch of salt, pepper, and green onions. Serve.

 

Enjoy,

Tricia

Tricia is our guest blogger from the blog  www.sunshinefitfoods.wordpress.com. We are so honored to have her share her vegetarian insights with her!  Check her blog out for more fit foods!

Summer Yoga Playlist…Sun Salutations and Jams!

Tired of your typical yoga music that makes you feel like it’s still winter?  No worries, we have compiled a rockin’ playlist of songs to make you enjoy flowing in the sunshine!

1. “Comptine D’un autre ete” by Amelie Soundtrack

2.   “Fineshrine” by Purity Ring

3.  “Weekend” by Class Actress

4.  “Youth (Adventure Club Dubstep)” by Foxes

5.  “Gold on the ceiling” by the Black Keys

6. “Azure” by Paul Kalkbrenner

7. “Super Scorer” by Boy Robot

8.  “Live in Vanilla” by Boy Robot

9.  “Everything Goes” by Club 8

10. “Ooh Child (alternate version)” by Beth Orton

11.  “Turning Page (instrumental)” by Breaking Dawn Soundtrack

12.   “Samsketi” by Sigur Ros

Enjoy, Flow and get outside!

Miami Swim Week with ZICO Coconut Water

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim returned to the warm sands of Miami Beach, and I was so excited to be apart of it!!! Jetting off from July 19th-23rd, the event showcased over 25 international designers from Australia, Brazil, Columbia, and the US at what has become the premier swimwear event in the world.
I traveled with ZICO Coconut Water, as they partnered up with Salon Allure for this years’ events.  The weekend was incredible.  Laying by the pools of the W Hotel and Perry South Beach, walking through the booths of the upcoming swimwear in 2013 and seeing the suits being strutted down the aisle at the late night fashion shows were all highlights of the weekend.  Here’s the Salon Allure Show at the W and the Tropicana Pool Party at the Raleigh Hotel:


Even through all the glitz, glamour and bikini-clad models, ZICO was able to set up one of the most inspirational yoga classes of my life.  ZICO & Salon Allure invited parents and patients from The Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, to participate in a yoga class lead by me, on the beach.  Teaching both on the rooftop of the Perry South Beach hotel and on the sand of South Beach was amazing, but the interactions with these children made it even more memorable.  I watched the children take a moment out of hospital visits, blood tests, etc to sit and learn the techniques of breathing and stress-relief.  Afterwards, their smiles and lively hugs brought tears to my eyes.  I saw how much yoga can help these children deal with things in their lives that they can’t control.  They need a space to have to themselves to stop and breathe when things get tough.  I am glad to have this effect on this group of children, and so thankful to ZICO for giving me this opportunity.  Here I am with the group, and Jimmy who suffered from stomach cancer.

 

Check out the two different set ups for the yoga classes…

THANK YOU ZICO COCONUT WATER! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR MIAMI!

Yoga Workout Playlist

Upon many requests, here is Lacey‘s Hour-Long playlist for a yoga class that incorporates strength training and multiple cardio burst!  You can use this playlist for running, weight lifting, or just a quick dance party this weekend! 

“Oh That I Had” – Mt. Eden Dubstep

“Don’t Wake Me Up” -Chris Brown

“As Long As You Love Me” -Justin Bieber

“Greyhound” -Swedish House Mafia

“Back In Time” – PitBull

“Sweat (130 MPM French Connection Mix)” -Bump n Grind

“Body Work” – Morgan Page & Tegan and Sara

“Titanium” -David Guetta and Sia

“Carry Me” – Morgan Page & Nadia Ali

“Learn to be Alright” -Mashup Germany

“Wide Awake” -Katy Perry

“Ho Hey” The Lumineers

“Comptine D’un autre ete-L’apres-midi” -Yann Tiersen

“Samskeyti” -Sigur Ros