Thursday, December 1, 2011

Celebrate good times...

Dear sweet followers,

I am super excited to announce that you can now find all post from this blog at the new website for Misfit Yoga! The website still is and will always be a work in progress. Please feel free to email me with any comments or suggestions and I'll do my best to integrate your wishes into the site.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie...

October means pumpkin season is in full effect and if you know me you know this makes me very happy. I love pumpkin and all things pumpkin-esque - sweet potatoes, squash, etc... Here's a great fall smoothie recipe. Depending on what I have in the fridge I'll use either honey or vanilla Greek yogurt OR coconut milk (the thick kind) in this recipe.

Not only does pumpkin taste so freakin' good it's also good for you. Pumpkin is loaded in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and manganese. It's also an excellent source of folate, omega 3 fatty acids, copper, tryptophan, and B vitamins. (B1, B6, B3, B5).

{Pumpkin Pie Smoothie}

5 Tablespoons canned pumpkin puree (get organic and check the ingredients to make sure it's just pumpkin puree)
4 Tablespoons Greek yogurt OR 1/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 banana
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon honey
sprinkle nutmeg
handful of ice cubes

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New digs...

Holy Moses! I can't believe it's been a month since the last post. It's not that I've forgotten, things just tend to get a little crazy around the turn of the seasons. New weather, new job, new classes, new friends...and so on.

I have been busy chipping away at the new blog/website. It's still lacking a few things but the basic idea is up. You can check it out and re-read some of your old favorites, well only a few. Slowly but surely I have been transferring old posts over to the site.

I've added a few other sections that should, within the month(?), have a plentitude of information about my playlists, detox and cleanse programs, and traveling aka. adventures in wellness with NOMAD. I know so much new stuff! You can find recipes easier on the new site and search for topics you might be interested in.

Head on over to check it out and change your bookmark/rss feed. New stuff will be posted only on that site come December and I'd hate to lose touch with y'all :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

National Yoga Month!!! Yee Haw!!!

September is National Yoga Month!

Never done yoga? Have questions? Want to deepen and develop your practice?

In celebration of NYM I'm giving away 10 FREE private consultation sessions! Each session runs about an hour and includes discussion about what YOU want and can attain from a regular yoga practice and creation of your own personalized, at home practice. One session per person on a first come first serve basis*. Don't worry if you aren't in the Portland area, these sessions are also available via Skype. Send me a note for more details or with any questions you have.


*Offer expires 9/30/11.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Everything is going to be okay...

Chronic back pain? At 31? For an active yogi? Seriously, what twisted version of the Twilight Zone is this?

There could be a hundred reasons why I'm dealing with this in my body and truthfully it's probably a combination of many things: working in the service industry for 12 years, ski injuries, falling off things, teaching yoga (yes it's hard on the body, demonstrating unwarmed, adjusting), years of poor posture, emotional stress, and so on. Unfortunately I paid no attention to warning signs that something might be going on and waited until I couldn't bear to sit or stand to do something about it. I found a great chiropractor, we're working on it, and a month and a half in I'm finally starting to feel a bit better, but the point here is not my back but what this injury has done for me in a positive way.

Being forced into a gentler yoga practice as well as other forms of activity that are kinder to my body has been a test of patience. When I finally let the frustration go that I wouldn't be able to do headstand for awhile or push really hard rock climbing because I can't risk falling, so many other things opened up to me. Instead of taking a vigorous hike I take a longer walk and notice all of the beautiful things on the trail. I have developed an even deeper sense of awareness of what is going on inside my body and how it reacts to certain things. I think about how my body might be affected by an action or movement. There is an incredibly powerful surrender and beautiful form of acceptance that takes over, and man alive when it does yee haw!

At some point in most of our lives we are faced with an injury or an ailment that doesn't allow us to live life as we normally would. Often this is incredibly frustrating, especially for those that tend to be active. However, with a little shift in perception and a little risk (admitting you like that water aerobics class is okay), you can find zen moments with yourself. Looking at the girl sweating and miserable on the stairmaster while I am contently jogging away on the elliptical was a pretty satisfying moment. I don't have to bust my ass everyday to feel good in my body. All I have to do is provide what my body wants and I feel great.

Everyday for the past couple of months has been a test of patience and an adventure of discovery. I'm not saying go get injured because it's great for your psyche and you'll achieve some wicked sense of enlightenment. You can do this without pulling, tearing, compressing or straining something. We often find ourselves injured because we tune out and turn off what is really going on in our bodies. We stop listening. We need to step back and ask ourselves are we really being good to our bodies. Turn down the vinyasas and treadmills and turn up the sound of our own beings. Find some balance. Search for some honesty.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Homemade Banana Ice Cream!!!


Okay beautiful people. Two recipes in one week!! I'm tellin ya, being broke is awesome for the belly. So much kitchen love going on around here lately. Buy some groceries, pump that stereo and what do you get? Tasty treats for the belly and tasty licks from the tunes. What follows came about as an all out refusal to use the browning bananas for banana bread...I thought this was too cliche and I hadn't unleashed the ice cream maker yet this year which is just a travesty. Yum!


3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 - 1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 - 4 ripe medium bananas
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract


Mix milk, sugar, and nutmeg until sugar dissolves (a wire whisk or hand mixer works well).
Mash or puree bananas until the bananas are pureed well.
Stir bananas into milk mixture.
For best freezing results, chill banana/milk mixture for at least 1 hour.
Add whipping cream and vanilla.
Stir well.
Pour mixture into ice cream maker.
Churn about 25-30 minutes or according to manufacturer's instructions.

The ice cream turned out a little too sweet and a little too banana-y for my tastes but other ravenous beasts around the house seem to love it. If I make this again I'll probably use 2 bananas before they get too brown and halve the sugar. I like the flavor of a not quite ripe, a little green at the top banana and I think this would go really nicely with the salted caramel that was added.

If you make this send me photos and let me know how it goes! I'd love to get a solid recipe for this so I can add it to the book!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

So delicious...

After a long weekend of working and workshopping I was super excited to come home and home cook myself a bit of food. I know this sounds crazy but I made stew. Hot and hearty stew. Even though it's been close to 90 degrees here in Portland there was something pulling me towards a pot of veggies. Perhaps it was the vast amount of farm vegetables my mother bestowed upon me a few days ago. Potatoes, cabbage, carrots, green beans...what the hell else are you gonna do with it?

So here's what happened. Don't freakout about the lack of measuring. I'm mostly a baking kind of girl and a bit of a, as some would say, control freak. I would much rather call myself someone who appreciates efficiency and it really only manifests itself in some situations.

What Was In the Fridge Stew

3 stalks of celery
4 medium red potatoes
1 yellow squash
handful of green beans and wax beans
couple of crowns of broccoli
few carrots
4 cloves of garlic
1 yellow onion, chopped up
half of a Nappa cabbage
10 cups of chicken or veggie stock
3 sausages (meat free, bratwurst, polish, kielbasa) optional

I sauteed the onion in some olive oil on low heat until they started to soften and turn translucent, then added the garlic and celery. After that started to smell really good I added my stock and the rest of my veggies except for the broccoli and squash. I like to add these veggies a few minutes before it's done so they are crisp. If you add squash early on it tends to get squishy and disintegrate...which is kind of gross. You don't have to add the sausages and I wasn't going to until I realized the majority of my stew was going to be cabbage and potatoes, and when I think of cabbage and potatoes I can't help but think about sausages. Yum!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Willfully surrenduring...

Tonight is a full moon. In any given full moon there lies an opportunity to release. The moon has a very strong gravitational pull on the earth & when it is full it has the most power. Releasing what no longer serves you on a full moon is a very powerful way to align your intentions with the natural cycles of the universe, in this case, the moon. And since we are a part of the whole, this release is a microcosm of the macrocosm for what release is going on in the universe as all living things are naturally called to release on a full moon. You might not even realize it, but you are innately aware of these natural cycles. Sit, right now, and connect with what it is that you would like to let go of. Close your eyes and go there.
Now, spend another moment breathing deep, letting the intention of using your breath & your mindfulness as a form of prayer, devotion or love as an offering to a higher power, in which you are a part of. Your conscious participation in this release sets you up for the universe to illicit a shift in your consciousness to create more space from which you can create what you really want.

Surrendering all to the self is a difficult if not impossible task for most people. This is because we are not aware of the peace such surrender brings. There are many kinds of surrender: there is surrender in war, when the defeated side surrenders in order to preserve whatever life and property remain. This is a willful surrender to a superior force -- some thing like a plea for mercy in the hope of avoiding death and total devastation. Then there is surrender in a totally hopeless situation, the surrender of a man, for instance, facing an unavoidable death. And there is also willful surrender to some thing overwhelmingly pleasant -- like the surrender to a lover, or surrender to some desire or to the senses. Such surrenders are qualified by extraneous desires and circumstances, but there is a total and perfect surrender -- the surrender unto the self.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happiness lies where?

I was standing at the book store looking at a magazine rack and was overcome with a sense of panic. Different publications telling me how to live my "happy life" and textually screaming at me how to "be healthy now!". It seems that being healthy is a full time job and I already have a couple of those. But then I remembered that I already live a fairly healthy life. I do what I can, and feel good most of the time. It's taken me awhile to get to this point but after some small changes in my life living well has become just like breathing.

So...what does a healthy life look like? That depends on what source you're looking at as a reference. Cosmo will tell you it's flat abs and good sex. Lucky will tell you the key to happiness is in a pair of great fitting jeans. I, however, am a firm believer that a healthy life has many, less materialistic, attributions. It's not just what you eat, where you shop and how you exercise. It goes much deeper than that. I think of my own healthiness in categorical terms. If you know me at all you know that I'm constantly trying to compartmentalize and organize into boxes anything and everything I can.

My healthy life is this...

Establishing yourself in a community and becoming active with it's participants. Whether it's your kids' school, a sports team or the fellow Twinkie eaters of America. Find something that you love and become involved in the community of people that makes it up. Yes it is as simple as going and saying hello to your neighbors. They ARE your community, even if they don't take their trash cans in right away or they make their own fireworks on the fourth of July. You'll feel that you are a part of something bigger and this feels awesome.

We can't all make a living at doing what we love. I doubt my IT friends love sitting in their cubicle 8-10 hours a day looking at code and answering questions like why someone's wireless mouse isn't connected to the computer. Find a way to tolerate. Have an active life outside of work. If you absolutely hate your job...quit. Shannon Kaiser says it better than I could in her essay at Tiny Buddha.

{Love} friends, family, lovers
Love a lot. Love ruthlessly. Love everything. Find a way to love what you do. Sometimes this means shifting your perspective but it's worth it. Love your community, they might become extended family if you're not careful ;)
Lead a life full of love. Give love and you will get love. Bring a friend flowers the next time you see them. Send a letter to someone in your family. Tell your lover how awesome they are. When you do this without expectation you will feel full of love and a smile might even creep up on that face of yours unexpectedly. Be open to love and if you are not or think you could (and probably should) do better then practice being open to love everyday...openness comes.

{Movement} exercise-ish
Move your body. Walk down the street, strike a pose, climb a tree, swim, dance to that song on the radio or jump up and down. Get your body moving for the sheer purpose of moving it everyday even if it's just for 5 minutes. If this is something that you haven't done for awhile it might suck and not feel good...until later...when you look back and smile because you hadn't done anything like that for a long time. Your body was made to bend so move those bones!

I could go on and on about the effects of food on our bodies and mind but it really is this simple: Bad stuff in, bad stuff out. Now, I'm not saying that a piece of cake is bad and if you eat it you will be a bad person that bad things happen to. But if you eat nothing but bad food you won't feel good about yourself, your body will feel gross, your brain won't work as well as it could, and you'll be tired all of the time. Eat food that is good for you and eat food that isn't with moderation. Have a drink! Eat ice cream! But eat some veggies and fruit and whole grains in there too. Your body will thank you in so many ways.

God, Jesus, Mother Nature, Allah, Yoga, Elvis...whatever works for you. We all have questions that no one will be able to answer. This is why we pray, vision quest, make pilgrimage, and meditate. We all search for something greater than ourselves, something to find solace in and hold faith to. Some of us walk into a forest and see God everywhere, some of us see our own selves. We practice spirituality to become more familiar with our inner selves. Spirituality is the idea of a path to self-discovery and of learning not only who you are, but who you want to be. It's cultivating a deeper connection and understanding of what surrounds us. And yes, if you haven't already figured it's complicated.

And above all...embody a sense of ADVENTURE. This doesn't mean you have to go bungee jumping or deep sea diving. Next time you're in Warrior II sink a little deeper into that lunge, explore a street in your neighborhood you've never been down, eat a fruit you've never tried before.

Yes, while I have made these little categories I know that there are more. I am always striving to live my life in a way that respects my body and my surroundings. Sometimes I forget but I always ask myself if what I am about to do, say, eat, etc...will make me truly happy.

Where do the successes to leading a healthy life lay for you? Comment with your two cents either here or on facebook. I'll choose one at random next Wednesday and the winner will get a special gift.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back in the side saddle...

shine shine shine

Ahhh home. Smoked salmon, yoga classes that I get to go to daily, farmer's markets, chai tea...ahhh the good stuff. Culture shock? Only if you consider my surprise at the abundance of skinny hipsters on bikes in Portland. I'm slowly acclimating to my old but new life. Hibernating a bit in the warm confines of local yoga studios working on those hammies and hips. I treated myself to a wonderful weekend workshop with the ever lovely Kathryn Budig where I got to reconnect with some old friends, favorite teachers and met some new friendlies.
The theme of the workshop was "all is full of love" and provided me a great space in which to think about what it means to be back in my "regular" life, how I want that life to be different, what I want to be the same and where I want to see this life going. Day one was a great flow including Kathryn's signature Aim True sequence. Day two was all inversions and arm balances. I thought my arms would fall off by hour two but powered through and felt great. Day three, however, was backbends and heart opening and this is where our story takes us.

An entire day of backbends?! Seriously, I know I signed up for this and at the time I think it sounded like a good idea but I really dislike backbends. I love the idea of heart opening but my upper back isn't that flexible and I always feel claustrophobic or like I'm about to have a panic attack when I'm in backbends. Yes I know, this means that I should practice them even more and, more importantly, this means that I could use some serious heart opening but for 3 hours straight in one day?! It's like deciding to go to therapy and start dealing with all that gross stuff you've been carrying around with you. Just breathe. This is what I told myself over and over yesterday. See, backbends are so much more than just a physical practice. In a backbend we put ourselves out there, exposing everything. We purposefully open our hearts and surrender to life.

Think about what you do when you're feeling vulnerable, stressed out, sad, self-conscious. We physically collapse inward. Our shoulders turn inward, we cross our arms, and shield our hearts. In a backbend we take all of these things and present them to the world, exposing our center, the very essence of where we came from to the elements, the things that surround us including the scariest thing of all...ourselves. Backbends are this incredibly powerful tool to explore and potentially conquer your own fears physically and emotionally. We learn to love what we are, all that we have and put it out there. We embrace what is in our hearts and let it shine upward and outward.

Shit comes up when you're present in your backbends and yesterday was no exception. I'd say it was a level 5 shit storm. I've been in a place of transition since before I left Mexico. My priorities are shifting and many seeds of change have been planted. I know where I'm at and have a general sense of where it is I'm going but this is a general sense. How am I supposed to expose myself when I don't even know what that self is right now? Savasana, a few tears and a great conversation later I was gently reminded that sometimes not knowing is a perfectly acceptable answer and I remembered that this is why we practice yoga. On our mat we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable so that we might see what it is that really makes us up and what it is that we want or need to work on. Through our practice we constantly discover little nuggets of awesomeness about ourselves. We find things that might make us frustrated or cry but then we find the things that make us smile and shine.

I'm working on a setup to start doing short videos for you and a little heart opening backbend sequence is at the top of the list. For now you can check out Yogaglo, they have some free classes with awesome teachers over there.