Archive for ‘Guest Post’
Friday, April 5th, 2013
When I come to my yoga mat, I ask myself what kind of yoga practice is going to help me rebalance my energy today?
“Do I practice in a Yin way, holding gentle poses for a few minutes and relaxing into my body or do I move my body through a flow of poses, engage in a more active form of yoga?” When I practice in a Yin way, the poses are the platform where I explore the concept of simply being in my body and allowing the sensations to come and go, relaxing my usual physical and mental reactivity. When I practice in a Yang way, I engage my muscles to hold poses with steadiness and I make constant adjustments to find more strength and ease in the pose.
According to the Taoist philosophy, all forms of energy that materialize contain two complementary polarities called Yin and Yang. Yin is the hidden, cold, still aspect of things while yang is the exposed, warm, moving aspect. It is also expressed as the Tha and Ha of Hatha Yoga, the reflective moon energy and radiant sun energy. These two aspects always coexist. This concept is really important, Yin and Yang are never separate, they constantly change into and become the other. They are constantly seeking for some equilibrium. One is not better than the other, although our Western culture certainly values more Yang aspects of ourselves and our life: light, activity, excitement.
Imbalances in these opposites can manifest in various forms. In my twenties I was caught in a constant swing of very excessive Yin and Yang episodes, known in the western medicine as manic depression. Through both Yin Yoga practice and meditation, I was able to nurture and accept myself and I learned to relax into overwhelming sensations of anxiety. My active Yoga practice helped me move energy blocks, gradually regaining confidence in my body and mind’s abilities and flexibility. I truly understand now the necessity of including both Yin and Yang practices to heal and to find a sustainable sense of wellbeing.
Balancing Yin and Yang in our daily yoga practice and life starts with becoming aware of the imbalance. With Yin and Yang being present in everything, the practice of balancing is always happening. It is a perpetual dance with opposites: doing and being, changing and allowing, becoming and awaiting, acting and observing… The swinging motion is always here, the more we practice, the more it becomes graceful and graceful feels good!
Monday, January 14th, 2013
Last week we had the opportunity to offer a personal retreat to a mother/daughter as a Christmas gift from the husband/father. It was so much fun, and an honor to create the space for their personalized retreat day. They began their day with a Yoga on the Beach class, and then we offered them tea by the sea, as they relaxed and communed in Ft Zachary State Park. (Want to read the view from our clients, check out their blog.)
Then it was off to a beautiful garden setting for their massages provided by Ocean Wellness Spa. In the shade of the palm trees with the waterfall singing the song of relaxation each of them had a personal and healing session with their massage therapist. They showered off and freshened up and then it was off to the kitchen for a little detox and dine session with Celine Peccatte.
Celine offered a hands-on kitchen session for each of them to learn more about how to explore detoxing for the body, healthy eating and food preparation with the end process being their healthy lunch. YUM!
Next they sat outside doing a mandala coloring meditation. Choosing their own mandala they sat in the quiet of the yard, picking their colors and delving into the healing powers of their mandala. They loved it!
Their day ended receiving a Reiki session with Nancy Curran and Don Bartolone. Their one hour hands on healing session offered each of the retreatants time to breathe, relax and find a deep sense of inner calm. They gently drew themselves off the tables grinning, and in deep gratitude. What was wonderful was how the feeling was across the board as all of the Yoga on the Beach and Ocean Wellness Spa facilitators felt the same way.
Thursday, February 24th, 2011
Welcome to our guest blogger Christine from Nourish the Budding Lotus. Christine has been a student of Yoga on the Beach in both Cape Cod and Key West and currently resides in Santa Fe, NM. She has been sharing her gluten-free and vegetarian recipes on her food blog for the past 2 years and today will be sharing a nutritious breakfast dish. Thank you Christine for sharing, and enjoy!
Funny that of all the recipes that I could have chosen to share with Yoga on the Beach, I choose this one. Quinoa Breakfast Pudding is a warm and hearty treat I have been making for myself for a few years now, and until this point, have never actually shared with the readers of my food blog. But, a few years back, I shared it with a few yogis and yoginis during a weekend retreat hosted by Yoga on the Beach in the Florida Keys.
I find myself continually returning to this recipe when I want a breakfast that will warm my belly and nurture my soul. Have you tried quinoa before? Quinoa is often considered a grain, but is actually a seed. It is protein packed and will start you off in the morning with long lasting energy. For those who avoid or minimize animal protein this is a definite super-star to add to your diet. Also, quinoa comes in 3 different varieties: white, red and black. They are all delicious, but lately I have been loving the red and black. They tend to sustain more crunch than the white, and are less tempermental to cook.
So, because of the quinoa, this pudding is a great source of protein and in addition it is naturally sweetened with banana, so you will not have a sugar crash midway through the morning. The pudding is also gluten-free and dairy-free, which makes it easier for the body to digest. So on a morning when you are feeling the need for some extra care and want to start your day off right give this recipe a try.
Quinoa Breakfast Pudding
1 c dried red quinoa
1/2 c full fat coconut milk
3/4 c water
1 small banana, sliced thinly
1 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 c fresh blueberries
2 T raw almonds, chopped
Using a fine strainer, rinse the quinoa with water. You will see some bubbles form. This is the natural saponin that is released from the grain. If the grains are not rinsed thoroughly they will be more bitter. Once there are no bubbles, the quinoa is clean.
Place the quinoa in a medium sauce pan with the coconut milk, water, banana, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir to mix the ingredients well, and then bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover the sauce pan with a lid. Cook the mixture for 10-15 minutes, stirring at least once in the process. I live at altitude, so it took a little over 15 minutes to cook.
Check the quinoa texture by tasting. The red quinoa tends to be more al dente than the white, and will have a crunch, but should not be hard or difficult to chew.
Once the quinoa has reached the desired texture, remove it from the heat and stir in the blueberries. They will begin to absorb the heat, and will pop in your mouth without being mushy!
Divide mixture between 2 bowls and share with a friend. Top with chopped almonds and devour!
Text and photos by Christine of Nourish the Budding Lotus.