Sunrise yoga

 

Lately I haven’t had much of a chance to attend my morning yoga classes.  Work has been insanely busy and when waking at 5:30 am I am torn between staying in bed to contemplate life or getting out for a good stretch!  This morning I decided to attempt both.  I face the Griffith park hills and have this really awesome private-ish patio.  Each morning I see the sun rising I tell myself I will do yoga on my patio, well this morning I actually did!

The sun was just beginning to rise above the hills, there was a sliver of the waning moon still in the sky.  I laid out my mat and began with some simple breathing and meditative exercises.  Soon it moved into gentle stretches and mini sun salutations. It wasn’t a strenuous feat but I think until I can get back into my normal routine this could possible be a nice way to start the morning.  Just as I was doing my routine I noticed my little hummingbird buddy coming back to curiously buzz about the tree near my patio:)

Of course I blame all of this inspiration on my new nail polish from O.P.I cleverly called,  Sun Salutation!

This is close to what my morning moon looked like – insert a bit of warm horizon:)

 

My favorite new polish!

O.P.I Sun Salutation

 

Namaste!

 

Yoga and Gypsy Tea….

Last night after a long day of training on new software at work, I dragged myself to a 7:30pm yoga class at Yoga Blend.  It is a mixed level class taught by Christy, the owner.  She is one of the most amazing teachers I have ever had.  She has such a warm and welcoming personality.  She always does something different with her class and presents a flow that is inspiring and creative.  Upon leaving her class I feel grounded, happy, safe and secure.  She always gets the energy and juices flowing that really open the mind and the heart.  I was completely exhausted from all the mental powers I had to utilize during my day but leaving her class last night I felt my body and soul cleared out and room made for more that was to come.  I’m thankful to have found her studio and happy to be back in her warm presence.

While practicing at Yoga Blend last year I discovered Zhena’s Gypsy Tea.  I am also thankful to have found this tea because I really do love it.  Christy keeps a wide variety of flavors out and available for pre/post yoga class.  It is a perfect way to finish a class and bask in the glow of doing something good for our bodies.  If you haven’t tried Gypsy tea I suggest checking it out!  The woman behind the company also has an inspiring story which will make you feel glad that you support her tea and her business.

Regardless of how tired or mentally fatigued you feel, do something good for yourself today:)

http://www.gypsytea.com/

The Goji Cacao Berry and the Coconut Chai are two of my favorites!

 

 

Clearing your mind with yoga- and a smelly mat

I’ve recently relocated back to Los Angeles for work.  I arrived over the weekend and for some reason the jet lag really hit me, I was also extremely achy from the flight and stress of the move.  I hadn’t been to a yoga class or even attempted yoga on my own in over a week.  I knew I needed to get back into the swing of things so Monday morning set my alarm for 5:15am and made it to my first early morning class back at Yoga Blend.

My usual yoga mat is a bit on the thick side so I brought my thinner traveling mat.  This mat I bought just before I attended my yoga teacher training in Costa Rica and used it the entire time I was there.  The mat has seen a lot of action so it is fairly dirty and very thin.  There were a couple of times in the past where I nearly donated it or threw it in a Goodwill pile.  However, it always brought me good memories and a connection to a very happy time in my life.  So it stuck around:)  On this particular Monday I used it for my practice.

I unrolled the mat a bit embarrassed by its appearance, hoping in vain that the lights in class would soon go off.  As I settled down into my mat and began my pre-class relaxation stretches the mat no longer offended me.  In fact it felt very warm and inviting.  Once we began practice, upon my first Chaturanga as I lowered down and deepened my breath I had this overwhelming sensation of being back in Costa Rica.  The mat literally smells exactly like my memory of the trip.  I was so overjoyed I wanted to sniff the mat some more!  Each pose and each time I was close to the mat I inhaled deeply and the memories of my trip and the happiness of that moment came rushing back.

After class I decided to stop by this apartment I kept seeing online.  It is a  small apartment community in Burbank near the Equestrian center.  I’m not a huge fan of amenity driven, homogenized complexes but after driving past twice I decided to pop in for a look.  I was only going to look.  However, when I saw it and I spoke with the leasing agent, I knew this is exactly where I needed to be.  I will be moving into my new home on Wednesday and I’m getting more and more excited.  In fact, they even have a small yoga studio on the premises.  The manager mentioned they would love to have a resident teach a class once a week.  It definitely has peaked my interest.

I truly do not think I would have had the clarity had I not dragged myself out of bed yesterday morning to attend my first class in LA.  I also feel that the strong smell of the mat and the happiness it invoked really brought me to a level of understanding what I was searching for.

Enjoying a cup of tea

 

 

 

 

 

while watching the sunrise in Costa Rica:)

Sweet Dreams…..

Lately, I have been hearing from many friends of their inability to sleep at night.  There are times in my life where I’ve had bouts of insomnia as well as being someone who suffers from anxiety (should explain my yoga and tea connection:)  In these situations I’ve always tried to take a more natural approach to healing my body whenever possible.  I am not a doctor or a holistic healer by trade, however, I’d like to share a few things which have helped me when I’m finding it hard to snuggle up at night and get a restful sleep.  As always, go by what your body tells you and do your own research into the matter and if you have a doctor/natural practitioner who you trust consult he/she as well.

TEA

In the later part of the evening I usually try to avoid caffeine or a tea with very low caffeine content, some alternatives which are naturally caffeine free to try would be an herbal infusion or a Rooibos tea.

Chamomile an herb which has a long history as a relaxant as well as other health benefits.

Valerian Root was recommended to me last year when I was having a lot of trouble sleeping.  I swear by this herb.  I take the Gaia brand capsule.  I haven’t found the ingredient in tea as of yet but I’m sure it must exist:)

Lavender is another “magic” herb for me!  I keep Aura Cacia Lavender calming oil in my bedside table.  I sniff it or place a couple of drops behind my ears.  Lavender also pops up in many tea infusion.

Many tea blenders are beginning to also recognize the connection between yoga and tea and are coming up with their own unique blends.

Elmwood Inn Fine Teas– has recently launched their Ayurvedic Blends.  Which are low caffeine, soothing teas that promote relaxation.

http://store.elmwoodinn.com/search.aspx?find=ayurvedic+tea

I also keep a variety of Yogi Teas around.  One of my favorites is the Yogi Tea Bedtime tea.

http://www.yogiproducts.com/

***When looking for a “tea” keep in mind that any blend which contains the tea-plant, “camellia sinensis” will have caffeine, unless it specifically states that it is caffeine free, decaffeinated or low caffeine.

Yoga

One of my favorite yoga poses to promote a calm mind which in turn helps with sleep is legs up the wall.

photo courtesy of Yoga Journal

Also a great article I have come across in Yoga Journal giving some tips to help with calming the mind and having a peaceful night sleep.

http://www.yogajournal.com/dailyinsight/yjnl_20110217.html?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=site&utm_campaign=dailyinsight

And if all else fails.. snuggle up with your favorite sleeping companion:)

Yoga Ayurveda – Tea Season

There is nothing more comforting than to curl up with a good cup of tea on a cold, dreary winter day.  The yoga journal article below gives wonderful suggestions for the types of tea to drink for whatever ails you during the winter months.  The tea recipes are taken from the Ayurvedic tradition which seeks to keep the body and mind in balance with nature and keep disease and poor health at bay with prevention.

One herb that has been getting a lot of buzz is the Indian herb Tulsi or holy basil.  The herb is said to aid in detoxification, it’s rich in antioxidant and also known for its restorative powers.  My good friend Deb suggests the “Organic India,  Sweet Rose Tulsi.”  Tulsi can also be purchased in bulk to create your own healthy blends.

Yoga Journal – Yoga Ayurveda – Tea Season.

Tulsi herb

 

 

Organic India tulsi tea

 

 

 

Enjoy a cup to good health!