Bali Blogs: all my favorite food places

Bali Blogs: all my favorite food places

Bali has amazing, endless cafes and vegan eateries full of delicious food. If you are looking to eat well while on vacation, Bali has you covered. The places below are some of my favorite ones that I ate at during my trip and therefore can speak directly to! I listed my recommended orders but they all have extensive menus with TONS of options. If you’re looking for more options, I highly suggest Lonely Planet or searching your favorite travel blogs. At the bottom I also listed a few additional places I wanted to try but ran out of time for 😭

Canggu

Shady Shack – This vegetarian food cafe looks out over rice fields and has a menu full of delicious bowls, tacos, and smoothies. Our group tossed back a round of the Immunity shots (#wild) and ordered tempeh bowls and the burger!

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Tempeh Bowl at Shady Shack

Order the: tempeh bowl, a spritzer drink, and a juice shot.

Crate Cafe  This open air cafe is an right off the main road in Canggu and full of amazing breakfast options. Their servings are big, so come hungry!

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Iced Latte and Tofu Toast at Crate Cafe

Order the: chia bowls, açaí bowls, or mega stacked toasts!

Seminyak:

Earth Cafe (also in Ubud) – This was one of my favorites places; I went twice in two days and wanted to try everything on their menu. Both locations also have a small health food and goods shop!

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Raw Burger at Earth Cafe

Order the: raw burger and one of their juices!

Kynd Community – This place was made for instagram with palm tree walls, a cute swing, and gorgeous food. I love that they stress the message of “being kynd” through eating a plant based diet and being mindful how our actions impact the planet.

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Brekkie Salad

Order the: açaí bowl with writing on it, whole coconut, brekkie salad.

Coffee Cartel – This was one of my favorite lattes from my entire trip in Bali – the creamiest almond milk and incredible latte art made with their Ripple machine.

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Coffee Cartel Ripple Latte

Order the:  latte with the “ripple” if you want yours with your name on it!

Ku De Ta – This restaurant and bar overlooks the ocean. You can hang out at the pool or on one of their daybeds loungers while you enjoy your food and drink!

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Ku De Ta

Order: anything. I got a green juice but they have a great array of cocktails. Come for an amazing view of the beach at sunset!

Batik – I went here for dinner one night and absolutely loved the place. The restaurant is beautifully decorated and has lots of outdoor seating. I recommend outdoors for dinner because the heat of the day is gone and you get prime people watching seats.

Order the: One of their curries 🤤 I got a green curry here that was amazing!

Ubud:

Revive – this cute hipster cafe recently opened just on the outskirts of Ubud. With cozy velvet seats or tables to sit at, it is the perfect place to post up and do some work or enjoy coffee with a friend.

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Revive Cafe Golden Latte

Order the: amazing, frothy golden lattes and vegan chocolate covered coconut balls!

Nu Hype – I stumbled upon this place on my way to Alchemy and had to try it. This is a classic Instagram friendly cafe. Come for a picture in the swing chair, try one of their smoothies!

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Nu Hype

Alchemy – A must go place for every plant based foodie.

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Matcha Latte at Alchemy

Order the: the entire menu. Make sure to check out their dessert cooler filled with raw balls and amazing vegan desserts.

Sage – This space is beautiful and has one of the best plant based menus. It is a bit outside the center of Ubud but worth the trip!

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Jackfruit Tacos in a bowl

Order the: cauliflower fritters (slightly spicy but SO good), the nourish bowl, or the jackfruit tacos. Also anything and everything with the tempeh; it has a bit of spice to it that I loved. Make sure to get some of their chocolate chip cookies on your way out – amazing!

Seeds of Life – This restaurant makes raw foods fun and delicious! If you’ve never tried raw foods, this is the place to go. They have everything from raw lasagna, to pesto burgers, to desserts.

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Raw bowl at Seeds of Life

Order the: try a tonic if you’re looking for a health indulgence. I got one of their bowls and loved it!

Mudra – everything here looked AMAZING. This was one of my favorites places. Mudra’s food is sourced locally and based on ayurveda.  I got the veggie wrap as I wasn’t too hungry.

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Wrap at Mudra with Wasabi Aioli

Order the: smoothie for breakfast or poke bowl for lunch (the party sitting next to me got these and RAVED about them).

La Pachamama – If you are craving mexican-style food in Ubud, try La Pachamama. Great place for dinner with a group of friends.

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Buffalo Cauliflower at La Pacha Mama

Order the: buffalo cauliflower for some comfort food away from home. Or try a margarita and tacos for a Mexican kick.

Kafe – cute cafe with lots of breakfast options at the center of Ubud.

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Latte and Carrot Cake at Kafe

Order the: almond milk lattes with a tasty pastry on the side!

Elephant (views) – I got the green brekky here and to be completely honest wasn’t thrilled with it. It was tasty, but nothing special. The views here  are worth a stop. Enjoy your meal looking out over the Campuhan Ridge.

Clear Cafe – This place is well known for their decorated stairs, Clear Cafe also has great vegan, vegetarian and raw options.

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Steps at Clear Cafe

Order the summer rolls and a fresh juice for a light meal!

Other places that were on my list to try:

  • Yoga Barn
  • Nalu Bowls
  • Cafe Organic
  • Buda Bali
  • Milk and Madu
  • The Loft

The Good and the Bad of Habits

The Good and the Bad of Habits

Habits are a tricky thing. If you follow me on Instagram you know one of my intentions for the month of May was to shed old patterns and expand my horizons. Part of that is breaking myself out of habits that have turned into ruts. A habit can start as a commitment to ourselves to set a positive pattern in our life, but over time, when the habit becomes routine, it can also stunt our ability to grow and learn.

For example, imagine you never go to the gym so you decide that four mornings out of the week you will get up an hour earlier to make it to the gym to work out. Great! You’re getting exercise, you feel great, and you’re getting stronger. This is a great habit to set! But what if six months later you’re still doing the same routine at the gym each day? Are you still challenging yourself in the same way that you were when you first went to the gym? Of course not.

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my top habit: getting in some kind of MOVEMENT each day

Habits can be a wonderful tool to help us set positive, new patterns in our lives. They can also be a great way to automate things that we should be doing daily but don’t necessarily need to dedicate new thought to (brushing our teeth, taking vitamins, etc.). So before I tell you why you should break your habits, let me tell you why you should form habits to begin with:

  1. Set yourself up for success: Good habits can help you build the life that you want and move towards your long-term goals. Habits build the foundation towards realizing a larger goal. Each bigger goal (running a half marathon) can be accomplished through setting habits to achieve smaller goals along the way (start jogging 3x a week).
  2. Healthy habits, healthy life: Getting in more movement or eating healthier isn’t always easy. Habits such as meal prepping, walking on work breaks, or getting to a yoga class each week help to create a healthier life.
  3. Streamline your life and your mind: Habits for every day activities helps eliminate excess time. If you have the same morning routine for skincare and don’t need to decide what to do each morning, you remove the decision time and free it up for fresh thought. In this way, habits can also lower stress levels because the routine reduces what you need to actively think about and act on.
  4. Get stuff done: Creating habits and routines makes it easier to check things off our to do list. A more scheduled day means less time for procrastination; each task has a specific time when it is completed each week (i.e. Saturdays are for cleaning and Sunday mornings are for grocery shopping). Blocking out time for tasks ensures they get done and is one less thing to worry about.

Habits are a tool for creating order in a busy life and an amazing way to help establish a healthy lifestyle. However, their strengths are also their weaknesses. By creating routine and removing the active thought around the action, habits can quickly stunt our growth as individuals. Automating action so we don’t have to think about it is great for efficiency, but horrible for being in the present moment. To be present is to be fully aware of each action, thought, and breath. In habits, we are able to move through action without thinking.

Habits establish routine, which can set us up in positive patterns, but once the routine is mastered, can stunt our ability to continue to challenge ourselves. By breaking out of the habit (always jogging for 30 min at the gym) and creating new patterns (trying yoga, spin, and boxing classes throughout the week), we not only challenge ourselves in new ways physically and mentally, but are forced to be more present because there isn’t a set pattern for our brain and our body to follow.

I think habits are best used as a way to start a new, positive design in our lives. But they need to be re-evaluated regularly to make sure that the habit is still serving us. When the habit starts to feel too comfortable or too easy, it is time to shake things up a bit – to either adjust the habit to create more of a challenge, or set a new habit to build upon the established one. For example, if your positive pattern is getting to a yoga class each week, once that becomes an established habit, switch it UP. Try getting to two or three classes. Try different styles of yoga. Try going with a friend. Try yoga outside. You get the idea 😉

Here are two ways I am breaking habits:

  1. One of my positive patterns is the commitment to my yoga practice, getting to yoga classes or spending time on my mat each week. But I began to realize that my body was getting comfortable in this and that I wasn’t challenging myself in the same way anymore. This month I am working in more cardio, circuits, and trying new yoga classes.
  2. I eat a plant based diet and love to meal prep to help prepare me for the week. I have a pretty good line up of all my favorite, easy recipes that help me to eat well throughout the week. While meal prepping in one habit I want to keep, I am building on this habit by also choosing one new recipe a week to try, normally on Sunday nights when I have the most time. This both helps to keep the foods I’m eating more interesting but also expands my cooking skills and my arsenal of recipes

What are some habits you have that are positive patterns in your life? What are some ways you could expand upon these habits to keep challenging yourself?

xo

Jules

Happy Belly, Healthy Gut: Why Probiotics?

Happy Belly, Healthy Gut: Why Probiotics?

let’s talk about gut health 🧐

I have a notoriously sensitive digestive system, reactive to certain foods and even more sensitive in times of stress. over the past year I have learned a lot about what foods do and don’t (dairy, gluten, heavily processed foods) work well for my system.

I’ve also learned to supplement my diet to keep my gut healthy and happy. here are a few of my go tos:

1. kimchi: a fermented cabbage, kimchi is a Korean dish made from lacto-fermentation. Kimchi is packed with enzymes, B vitamins, vitamin C, and contains probiotics. I typically eat it right of of the jar but it’s also great in a buddha bowl 🤤

2. kombucha: a fermented tea, made from a “scoby” or the mother bacteria and yeast, kombucha has active bacteria, or probiotics that absorb nutrients and support your immune system. healthade is my go to kombucha and their lemon ginger is my ride or die ☠️💛 they are brewed in super small 2.5 gal batches, only in glass jars 🌍, and are FULL of probiotics and healthy acids!

3. lemon ginger tea: I find this super soothing when my stomach is upset or to help with digestion. Lemon ginger tea is full of antioxidants, has immune boosting effects, and can even boost your metabolism! I like mine w a little raw honey 🍋 🍯

4. yoga and/or meditation: while not a food, yoga and meditation help to keep my stress levels low(er) which is key to keeping my stomach happy. even just 5-10 of meditation or breath work makes a huge difference 🧘🏼‍♀️

have you struggled with digestion? what tips and tricks have worked for you to get a happy belly?

xo

Jules

Resolutions: intentions for the new year

Resolutions: intentions for the new year

​There seems to (strangely?) be a lot of controversy about New Year’s resolutions. Being anti-resolutions seems like the new fad. If New Year’s resolutions aren’t your thing, you do you.

But I for one, love them. I like a fresh start, new goals, and setting a plan. New Year’s resolutions are an awesome way to set focus for the New Year, get clear on what I want to work towards, and identify what I want to cultivate in the year to come.

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2018: traveling, exploring new places

I want to share my resolutions via the blog, not so much to keep myself accountable, but as something to refer back to, to remember what my thoughts and intentions were at the beginning of the year. Hopefully, these inspire your own resolutions, goals, intentions, etc.

En route back from London last week, I wrote all my intentions / resolutions. Looking back over them, I summarize my overarching resolution as this:

to live simply & connected

to expand my horizons

Each resolution below feeds into these umbrella resolutions.

Nurture current relationship, cultivate new ones: Living at a distance from family and friends, taking the time to maintain and nourish those relationships is key. Time spent together is few and far between. Setting up phone dates, FaceTime, or old school letters are all key to maintain that closeness, even at a distance. I also want to make a real effort to build new relationships and friendships this year, with people both similar and different than me, with people who inspire me, and with people who I could inspire.

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2018: nurturing new and old relationships

Prioritize saving, spend on experiences, not things: I am already a pretty good budgeter. I have a monthly budget spreadsheet that lays out all my base expenses, money for savings, and money for spending. This provides a pretty solid foundation to work off of. Base expenses aside, I figure out how much of the leftover I want to put into savings. What doesn’t go into savings is my spending money for the month. Instead of things (e.g. growing my yoga pant collection), I want to focus on putting this money towards experiences: workshops, traveling, trying new restaurants. Along with not accumulating new things, I also want to go through and really tailor down what I have to what I need.  KonMari the whole apartment.

Create space for disconnection and self-care: An introvert by nature, I recharge when I am alone. Solo time is so important for me to be my best self. Although it can be hard to find the time or justify it to myself, I plan on setting aside some time each week that is just “me” time. This could by my practice, a walk, a bubble bath – anything that is solo me time. An important aspect of this time is disconnection. The internet, social media, and our phones provide such an incredible way to connect with each other and are an endless source of information. For me, my phone can also be a huge source of stress and anxiety, spending time truly away from it is a critical part of my self-care. Self-care also means taking care of my body – some form of movement each day and nourishing it with whole, clean, plant-based foods.

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2018: slow down, disconnect, catch more sunsets

Continue to try to new things:I think there is so much to be gained from trying new things. It break you out of your comfort zone, expands your horizons, exposes you to new people, provides new perspective, and is a learning opportunity. Continuing to try new things applies to my yoga practice – I want to work on pincha and handstand — two poses that are very much a work in progress and outside of my regular practice currently. Trying new things also means traveling to new places, cooking new recipes, trying a new restaurant, or maybe a finding a new hobby. Lots to be learned, lots to be gained!

Commitment to learning: I have always loved learning. I loved being in school and going to class. I crave learning and although I am not an official student anymore, I believe you can be a student throughout your life. This year I want to commit to my education – through reading, workshops, and my own resources. I plan to sign up for a Yin Yoga teacher training and to seek out other workshops to develop my teaching and my practice. I also want to dive back into the French language. I took French while I was in school, but it has now been years since I really used it. I would love to be fluent, or close to fluent again.

So there you have it! 2018 resolutions. Reading over them gets me excited for the year to come and motivated to make them a reality.

What are your resolutions?

If you’re into the anti-resolution camp, lmk why!

 

 

 

Current Crushes vol. 2

Current Crushes vol. 2

Current Crushes:

a few of my fav things I’ve been crushing on recently

hiking

Workouts: Aside from my yoga practice, I’ve been focusing on taking my workouts outside. As we move towards “winter” here in San Diego, we move into hiking season. It’s not nearly as warm as the summer and the breeze is slightly cool aka ideal hiking weather. Getting outside as much as possible has the double benefit of helping to reduce stress, while also not feeling like a workout at all. I’ve had the personal goal of trying to get more movement in each day, whether that’s a weekend hike or just a long stroll to get coffee. If I’m in a funk, feeling lazy, or need to get centered, a little dose of nature and fresh air always seems to help.

superwoman rxBooks: In the Superwoman Rx, Dr. Taz helps you identify your own “blueprint” to determine how to build a diet and fitness plan around that to optimize your health. You take a quiz to determine your Power Type: Gyspy Girl, Boss Lady, Savvy Chick, Earth Mama, or Nightingale. Each type has a plan tailored to their needs: including meditations, exercises, supplement, and general strategies. I really like that Dr. Taz pulls on her holistic health background to incorporate Chinese Medicine and ayurvedic systems of medicine in each plan. This book is an easy, fun read that gives lots of good tips to bring into your daily routine.

Podcasts: Lately I’ve been super into listening to podcasts. They make my commute to and from work go by so much faster and make the traffic slightly less aggravating. I also love listening to them when I’m at the gym or going for a walk. A few of my favorites from the past week:

  • TED Radio Hour: Manipulation – touches on just how much social media is influencing us and how memories can be swayed
  • The Skinny Confidential Him & Her with Lorna Jane Clarkson – Lorna is SUPER inspiring and gives lots of tips on living a healthy life.
  • The Balanced Blonde Soul on Fire with Kelsey Patel – I’ve heard amazing things about Kelsey from friends and this podcast did not disappoint. Jordan and Kelsey talk lots about reiki and transitional times.
  • Radically Love with Rosie Acosta featuring Ruby Fremon – Ruby shares her journey to becoming a transformational coach, including her own struggles and how she took power in her life through decisions.

Life: Turkey Day – This year I am celebrating Thanksgiving in a non-traditional, yet very traditional way? There will be no big feast with turkey and stuffing, but instead lots of hiking and exploring at ZION NATIONAL PARK (all caps= my level of excitement). I love Thanksgiving as a time to be able to gather with family and share good food. My personal favorites are stuffing and mashed potatoes. But I am beyond excited to be spending this Thanksgiving exploring more of the natural beauty of our country, which I feel like is equally as fitting for celebrations. If you have any hike recommendations for Zion, send them my way please 🙂 Angels Landing, Weeping Rock, and Observation Point are all high on my list!

experience_angelslanding.jpgThings: If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know I have a thing for phone cases and love getting new ones fairly frequently. I’ve tried to limit myself to at least 6 months between switching them up, but sometimes it’s hard to do that… like when you see the perfect COSMIC case from Sonix.

Other obsessions:

  • This faux cheese recipe from Lee from America using butternut squash.
  • This jacket from Zara that I can’t totally justify buying since “winter” in San Diego is 65 degrees.
  • This DIY terranium table that I wish I was handy enough to make.
  • This helpful guide for what to feed and not feed your pup this Thanksgiving.
  • A cute AF planner to keep you organized.

 

Yoga as a lifestyle, not a workout

A co-worker asked me the other day what I do to workout and it took me a few seconds of staring blankly & scanning my brain (What do I do?! Do I even workout?!)

I eventually came to and responded “Yoga mostly, and some cardio here and there when I’m craving it.” For someone who typically gets on my mat 5+ times a week, you wouldn’t think this would be something I’d have to think about. But yoga to me isn’t a workout, at least not in the traditional sense.

When I think of “working out” I think of treadmills and elliptical, ab circuits, and squats. I think of sweating away until you hit some numeric goal – miles, calories, reps, etc. Yoga is anything but that for me, its “me” time, it’s time to decompress, time to center myself before the day begins.

Yoga also stretches so much further beyond the four corners of my mat. Yoga weaves its way into every aspect of my life, every day. It impacts my relationships, my methods of communication, the lens through which I see the world, the foods I choose to eat, the products I choose to buy, and the path on which I try to set my life.

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The reason why I chose to name this blog and my instagram “Eat Flow Live” is because I want them to embodied yoga as more than just the poses (asanas). I want to have a platform that shares the practice, yes, but also the food, actions, and thoughts that round out the yogi lifestyle.

While I don’t technically consider yoga a “workout” (because it is so much more) – it is an incredible way to move your body and to become more in tune with what your body needs. The combination of these two of these has resulted in me being far happier with my body now than I ever was back in my gym-cardio crushing days.

Your yoga practice can absolutely be a workout.

Power and vinyasa style classes will challenge your muscles, balance, and cardiovascular systems. More restorative classes may not be as physically challenging, if that is what you are craving, but are wonderful for centering your mind and working out any kinks or soreness in your muscles.

Any style yoga class will help you tune into your body’s needs, and this, just as much as the workout, is crucial to being in shape, being healthy, and being happy with your body.

Yoga helps you to really listen to what your body is telling you. Ultimately, when you are able to intuitively feed your body what it needs —

  • a long walk or a power class?
  • a big bowl of veggies or a slice of pizza (dairy free chz plz)?
  • a nap or a hike with friends?

— you are able to get to a point of optimum health and functioning. This is where yoga (IMHO) far excels any diet or exercise program because you are doing what you need.

Listening intuitively to your body is obviously more complicated, but with time, the practice will get you there.

All that to say, I don’t do yoga to “workout”,

I do yoga because it is part of my life.

If I am craving a workout, my favorite ways to move my body are:

  • spin classes (the only cardio I really enjoy)
  • getting on the elliptical or stair stepper (while watching food network)
  • and barre class (pure barre is a fav)

Thoughts? What is your favorite way to workout?

Creating Space: what self care means to me

“Me-time” “Self-Care” “R&R” – these trendy terms are popping up all over social media, accompanied by pictures of bubble baths, pretty lattes, and charcoal face masks. There is a lot to be said for carving out time for “self care” in your life and something I realized recently that I desperately needed to do.

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Let me back track for a second. Rewind about a month and I’ve got 7000 things on my plate and a to do list that never ends: I’m prepping to host a yoga challenge (coordinating with sponsors and the other hosts, getting pictures prepped, etc), preparing to travel back East for a wedding, trying to squeeze in some blog posts to keep the website current, posting daily on insta and working to cultivate real connections through the social media sphere, teaching yoga 3x a week, prepping for a yoga audition, sending out my resume to other studios, trying to maintain my own yoga practice, all while working a full time job (my team is currently under staffed by two people as well), trying to spend some QT with friends, my boyfriend and kitten, and trying to really be present in long distance relationships (my family and most of my best friends are all back East). I was pouring energy out in all directions.

Here’s the thing – for the most part, I loved it. Every area I was pouring energy into was something l loved and felt strongly about; they were all aspects of my life that I wanted to grow or nurture. I hit a breaking point at the end of August where I just felt like it was all too much. I felt like I never had a moment to breathe. I decided I need to create some space. I wanted to do it all, but in this case all was too much. I was running a deficit on my energy and it was catching up with me.

Creating space meant some difficult choices. It meant trimming some aspects of my life that I do truly love and bring me joy. I tried to take a holistic view of everything that was currently on my plate in order to create balance. To continue the food analogy (#fatkidatheart) I identified what the main courses were – what were the staples in my life that nourished me and were a necessity? This came down to time really being present with my friends and family (in person, phone, etc.), my career, and my personal yoga practice. Everything else was just dessert if you will. While some dessert is great and delicious, too much is too much. Food analogies make everything make sense, no?

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All of that to say, I’m pulling back on those “dessert” areas of my life for the next 3-6 months to help create some space in my life and find a point of balance. That means less time devoted to Instagram and the blog. Thanks to the #shadowban, Instagram has helped to kick start time away from the platform, but I have found myself craving it as well. While it is such an amazing tool for connection, it can also suck you in for hours a la the beginning days of Facebook when you would endlessly scroll. I’ve stepped away from hosting some challenges (thanks to all for understanding) and plan on posting less, but more meaningfully. Quality > quantity. Creating space also meant stepping back from teaching, at least for the meantime. I’ll still be teaching once a week which is a perfect sweet spot of being able to continue something I love without it being overwhelming.

I’m planning on dialing back for the next 3-6 months to create some space for “me time”, some space to relax, to be present, and to reflect. It’s pretty hard to figure out what you want when you never have a moment to think about it. At the end of the 3-6 months, or whenever I feel some clarity, maybe I’ll start adding things back in, maybe I won’t, maybe I’ll redirect my path in another direction. TBD friends. Until then I’ve got some time carved out for bubble baths and almond milk lattes.

Eight Limbs of Yoga: diving into the niyama, saucha

Eight Limbs of Yoga: diving into the niyama, saucha

I wrote a post a little while back about the eight limbs of yoga: the yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, and dhyana. Eventually I will get around to writing more about these. Although at my current pace of blogging (slow), you may all need to show some real patience. Skipping over the first limb for now (I’ll circle back to these). I chose to focus first on the niyamas. The niyamas are observances of ourselves, tuning into how we relate to ourselves in order to live more skillfully.

The first niyama is saucha, or cleanliness. Saucha is a personal fav as I tend to be a person who craves cleanliness and order by nature. Whether I’m going to relax and watch a movie or need to focus on a specific task, I need my surroundings to be clean. Saucha includes the cleanliness of your mind, body, and environment.

Saucha of the environment, to me, is the most straightforward of the three. Cleanliness of environment applies to your home, your practice space, your work space, car, etc. Any place where you are spending time. Create order and cleanliness within your space. By creating a calm environment, you create a space where you are more able to focus your thoughts, to find a sense of peace. Saucha in your environment also reflects a respect for that space and creates an enjoyable environment. I like cleaning, (weird,I know) so creating saucha in my space is enjoyable for me. Last weekend I did a deep clean of the apartment to get everything sparkling. This weekend I am tackling buildup of sand and dirt that has collected in my car. Daily, I make a conscious effort to put things back where they belong, keep up with the dishes, and clean up after the kittens (toys everywhere). These are little things but they make a world of a difference in cultivating saucha in your environment.

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Saucha for your body is two-fold, general hygiene and diet. Obviously to keep your body clean you gotta shower (duh), especially after hot yoga classes. Hopefully we’ve got that step covered so take it one step further. Next time you shower, take a look at what products you’re using. What’s in your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, etc. etc.? How many unknown chemicals are in those products? Your skin is a living breathing surface, absorbing all those products. What’s in the products matters. This goes for makeup too. Some products are harder to find replacements for. I’m forever on a hunt for deodorant that works (sorry friends). An entire overhaul of all your products might seem like too much to take on at once, so take bite size chunks. I recently switched all my face care over to Naturculina, a California based company that uses all organic, natural ingredients. I know exactly what’s going on my skin. Moreover, this stuff works. More on that another time perhaps. Bottom line, be conscious of what you’re putting on your skin. Choose all natural products when you can.

Saucha of the body, part deux. Diet. To be as simple as I can here because I could write for days on this and I like to keep these posts a reasonable quick read: Eat clean, real food. Read your labels. If you don’t know what’s in it, probably not the best for your body. Some easy advice on diet comes from Michael Pollen (love him): “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” You are what you eat. Literally. It makes up your cells. So if you’re eating mostly processed, chemically laden foods versus local produce, imagine the impact on your body. No food is hard core off limits for me. I tend to avoid meat, dairy and gluten. I try to fill my diet with veggies, gf grains, fruits, beans, nuts, and occasionally fish. Also, water. DRINK it. This one is hard for me sometimes as I can easily go a day only having consumed coffee. I know; not good. La Croix is a life changer. Bubbly and delicious. I also make an effort to drink at least 3 water bottles at work plus an extra bottle if I take or teach yoga.

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And finally, saucha of the mind. Your thoughts matter too. Tune into your thoughts and your intentions. Saucha of the mind is a little more complex (IMHO) than the environment and body. To me, it is more about having clarity of thought, goodness of intention, and speaking truth. Saucha of the mind doesn’t mean that you have to only think pure thoughts or else you’re failing. It is about shifting those intentions and thoughts toward goodness and purity. Two ways I work on incorporating Saucha of the mind into my life include becoming more conscious of my thoughts towards myself (e.g. no more negative self-talk) and goodness of intention when relating to others, trying to think and act with their best in mind. Speaking truth is still a hard one for me as I tend to avoid the truth when I think it will lead to confrontation. We are all a work in progress 😉

Thoughts? Lmk.

Next up: santosha.

Shoulder Speak: yoga poses to strengthen your shoulders

Shoulder Speak: yoga poses to strengthen your shoulders

Let’s talk shoulders.

Last weekend I took a workshop on shoulders, focusing on the anatomy, common misalignments, and ways to modify your practice to protect against injury. I found the workshop to be really helpful, both in my teaching and in my practice, so I thought I would share some of what I learned.

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. This means that it has the greatest range of motion, but also the least stability. The less stabile, the more prone to injury, making it key to focus on alignment of the shoulder throughout your practice and to work on strengthening the muscles of the joint to help support it.

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Dolphin Pose – draw shoulders blade in & up to your tailbone!

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint (think golf ball on a tee), the head of the humerus rotates around on the glenoid fossa of the scapula. There are a ton of muscles working together to allow for such a range of mobility in the shoulder. Due to frequency of injury, the most commonly heard about is the rotator cuff, a group of four muscles that attached to the scapula and surround the joint. For scientific purposes, the official names of the rotator cuff are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and the teres minor. Other major players in the joint are:

  • Deltoids: action to engage = raises your arms out in front of you
  • Rhomboids: action to engage = superman arms
  • Trapezius: action to engage = shoulder shrugs
  • Serratus anterior muscles: action to engage = plank pose

The rotator cuff and the serratus anterior are stabilizers of the shoulder joint. These muscles will help to you to find balance in inversions and protect against injury. In the effort to keep this as simple as possible, two key points to make here:

  1. CHATURUNGA ALIGNMENT: protect your rotator cuff people! When you move from high to low plank (chaturanga), your shoulders should never dip below your elbows. Keep the body in one straight line and lower just till the shoulders are in line with your elbows (or above). From there, push the earth away and pull the heart forward to upward facing dog. You can always, always, ALWAYS, place your knees to the earth for more support, or skip completely and flow to downward facing dog or take a cat/cow. This is SO important (if you can’t tell by all the bolding and capitalization) to protect your shoulder joint and prevent strain on the rotator cuff.
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Eka pada chaturunga – shoulders in line with elbows!
  1. ENGAGE THE SERRATUS ANTERIOR: Take a break from reading and try this one out for me: Get into a plank position (knee to the ground optional), let your chest sink between your shoulders, now actively press the ground away, chest rises between your shoulders, space is created between your shoulder blades. Do this 5-10 more times. Feel it?? That’s your serratus anterior. The muscle wrapping around your ribs is a major stabilizer, providing support to the scapula and preventing impingement or winging of the shoulder. Now that you know where it is, you’ll be able to more easily engage the muscle in your practice.

Let’s talk postures:

Shoulder strengtheners:

  • Downward facing dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Dolphin, Ardha Pincha Mayurasana
  • Handstand, Adho Mukha Vrksasana
  • Low plank, Chaturanga,
  • Cobra, Bhujangasana

Shoulder stretchers:

  • Puppy pose, Uttanashishuasana
  • Thread the needle
  • Cat pose
  • Cow face arms, Gomukhasana
  • Eagle arms, Garudansana
  • Reverse prayer arms

 

**Shoulder stretches have been so important for me in my practice. I have really tight shoulders, so in order to access certain poses (any flipped grip) I have to stretch my shoulders plenty in advance.

Triple Nutz Nola: easy, extra crunchy vegan granola

Triple Nutz Nola: easy, extra crunchy vegan granola

triple nutz nola

Feeling all kinds of inspired by Rainah (@yoginiranah), I made my own granola this weekend. If you haven’t checked this girl out, her feed inspires me to eat cleaner, live more fully, and get more adventurous in my kitchen. Not to mention she is the sweetest soul. Mid-scroll stalk of her feed, I came across a granola recipe that looked SO delicious but also easy enough to whip up before the season premiere of Game of Thrones. I made some alterations based off of current cravings and pantry supplies, but followed her lead.

What goes into the nola:

  • Rolled oats
  • Cashews
  • Slivered Almonds
  • PB (look for versions with just peanuts and salt)
  • Melted coconut oil (unrefined, organic, raw is my preference)
  • Dried cranberries
  • Raw cacao nibs
  • SALT

I mix the melted coconut oil and PB together, poured it over the rolled oats, cashews, and almonds, gave it a good stir and spread over a lined baking sheet. Place the sheet into a 350 degree oven for 22 min. Halfway through give the mixture a stir to break it up a bit. Once the mixture is baked, mix in dried cranberries and raw cacao nibs. No need for measuring cups here, whatever proportions you like of oats to nuts to berries works! I ground some fresh sea salt over mine because I love a good salty / sweet combo. That’s it! Let it cool, jar it up, and you’re good to go. There are SO many combos that could be made here. More to come 🙂