March 2012

Superfood Salad with Shrimp

I made it with shrimp, but chicken would be good too

This is what I made for lunch today.  And it is mighty tasty!

Who knew that healthy could taste so good?

The recipe came from Iowa Girl Eats.  Here’s a link to her blog.

She’s got a lot of recipes on there I’d love to try like Thai Chicken Burgers with Mango Salsa.

Iowa Girl posts recipes, and she also blogs about working out and travel.  Pictures are phenom!

Happy healthy eating for Spring & Summer weather!

Practicing yoga in an intelligent way

The New York Times published an article recently called “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body.” The story was reported by William J. Broad who coincidentally has a new book coming out soon.  Nothing like a little sensationalism to sell a few papers and cover the cost of printing a hardback book!

The article and an NPR Fresh Air interview with the writer has generated a lot of conversation among my yoga friends and colleagues.  It’s made me take a careful look at what we are teaching at Evergreen, and articulate our mission a little more clearly — sort of an EYC manifesto.

  • The yoga we offer here is different than exercise.
    • We emphasize the importance of attention and presence of mind when you are doing the poses.
    • We believe that awareness is more important than rushing through a series of postures to break a sweat or to “get a good workout.”
  • Our teachers are engaged in an ongoing rigorous training process.
    • Our teachers are actively engaged in training as Iyengar students and teachers.  The Iyengar method is known to be the best and most challenging training for yoga teachers.
    • Some people who call themselves  yoga teachers have been through weekend certification training programs or training programs that provide little teaching experience.
    • As a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, I hold all of our teachers to a very high standard of professionalism, ethics, knowledge and ongoing study requirements.
  • Yoga has the power to transform your body and mind.
    • Sounds like a big claim, but it’s true.
    • It makes sense that anything that has this much power to cure and to heal also has the power to damage.
    • Yoga is a powerful tool.  Just like a knife or fire, it must be respected and you must learn to use it skillfully.
  • We empower students to make intelligent choices about how they practice yoga.
    • We urge current students to ask questions about the practices and philosophies taught here.
    • We want you to do your research and find the very best yoga teacher for you.
  • Progress depends on diligence, patience and persistence.
    • We encourage students to practice yoga on their own at home.
    • We would rather students come to class once or twice a week and practice daily on their own, than come to class every day and never practice at home.
    • We provide the tools needed for each student to have a transformative and self-guided yoga practice.
    • We instill confidence in each yoga student to make intelligent decisions about what is right for him or her.

If you have read this far, then you know a lot about us.

We are a welcoming, kind, disciplined, yet fun-loving group of people.  We work hard in class, and we also learn how to relax deeply and let go of what we no longer find useful.

We span all ages, shapes, sizes, backgrounds, colors and religious backgrounds.  Some of us are vegetarians and some of us are meat-a-tarians.

Most of all, we are committed to providing the opportunity for transformation through yoga.  We love yoga and we love our community!

From L to R: EYC teachers Laura Allen, Leah Nichols, Wendy Trenthem, Courtney Oliver, Debbie Denny (not pictured: Jessica Banti)

Take that first step

This morning I was inspired by the brand-new yoga students who walked into the morning class.

Twenty students took today’s Intro-Level 1 class today.   For 9 of them, it was either the 1st or 2nd Iyengar Yoga class they’ve ever done.

To begin something new requires a strong act of will.

It is no small feat to walk into a yoga class for the first time, take off your shoes, discuss your physical concerns with the teacher, and then do exactly as the teacher asks.

All of the new students did just that this morning.

We steadied ourselves in one-legged balancing poses, strengthened our legs in the standing poses, discovered tight spots we didn’t know we had.
We breathed, we laughed and we all worked hard.

To be a beginner requires an open mind.  We are asked to try new things — not knowing if we will succeed.  We are asked to take a step toward our challenges.

The quote below illustrates my own experience on the yoga path.  Whether you are new to yoga or among the most seasoned of practitioners, I hope it inspires you too!

“Do not wait for strength before setting out, for immobility will weaken you further. Do not wait to see clearly before starting; one has to walk toward the light. When you take the first step and accomplish that tiny little act, the  necessity of which may be apparent only to you, you will be astonished to feel that the effort, rather than exhausting your strength, has doubled it—and that you already see more clearly what you have to do next.”

– Philippe Vernier