The Nature of Relationships by Michael Fong

When we study yoga, we are studying the underlying qualities of our relationships to ourselves and the world around us. It is imperative as we progress through our practice to examine the relationships to our mind, our body, food, other people, our environment, etc. Yoga allows us to examine our deeply rooted tendencies and habits. It is not easy to take an objective look at your life and it may feel quite shocking at first. Observing the cycle of your patterns is the first step to taking action in the right direction. DEVELOP A FIRM UNDERSTANDING OF HOW YOU RELATE TO SOMETHING AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ENGAGE WITHIN THE RELATIONSHIP IN A WAY THAT POSITIVELY BENEFITS EVERYONE.

The first place to look when investigating your relationships is the present moment. The present moment provides the most crucial information- the real nature of reality. It is easy to generate past & future stories that leave us polarized in attachment & aversion. This pattern of thinking and observing will only take us further away from the present moment. I am not suggesting that you disregard reflections of the past or future contemplation. It simply means don’t indulge in anything that takes you away from what is real.

THE MAIN STEP IN GAINING ACCURATE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIPS IS TO STAY OBJECTIVELY PRESENT WITH ACCEPTANCE AND WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. To look at something objectively means to witness something in its truest form. Stories, preferences and judgements provide information, but will most likely cloud your ability to see the fullest truth. Stay present with your relationships and you will learn how to optimally conduct yourself in the world.

Much love,

Michael

 


Healthy Bytes by Ezio Garritano

Hi and welcome back to this segment of the Leap Blog where I share with you some tips I’ve put to use in my own daily eating habits, to help bring more health and vitality to living! And I think it starts with what we are consuming on a day-to-day basis. I hope you’ve taken a look at my previous posts where I’ve provided some easy but nutritious recipes that are tasty, simple and healthy!

So here we go once again with another easy option for preparing a nutrient-dense mea! You know eggs have gotten a beating (pun intended) for a long time, just like a lot of other foods where we’ve seen the scales tip from being bad, to then good, and ending up bad again, only to leave us more confused and questioning where we stand! Well, let me say that most research has concluded that consuming eggs, even on a daily basis, can provide a wide range of nutrients, including a great source of protein, with little or no adverse effects for most of the adult population (up to 70% according to some estimates). Eating the whole egg is preferred, though one caveat I’ve come across for those who may be dealing with high cholesterol to begin with, is that their egg consumption should be monitored a bit more closely, keeping watch on the cholesterol levels.  But let me point out that the whole egg contains a balance of both types of cholesterol, HDL and LDL, both the good and the bad.  And as I always mention, get the best source of whatever you’re eating; in this case we look for eggs from free range chickens. They are higher in all of the nutrients as well as the healthy omega fats, another plus for those with higher cholesterol levels.

So with all that said, if there’s any concern, take a look at all the information available on the safety of egg consumption. There’s a lot out there. I’m also providing a couple of links for you to go to at the end of the blog as a good guideline. Now to the making of a traditional Italian dish called frittata. Similar to a quiche or an omelet, but a bit thicker, it makes for a great anytime meal.

Let me start out by saying that the frittata lends itself very well to variety and your own creativity. Whatever vegetable or other main ingredient used is totally up to you and your preferences and food delights! I’ve enjoyed many a potato filled frittata, with red peppers and onions. But have also had rice frittata as well. Love to also throw in mushrooms! Let your own tastes guide you as you try different foods that you already enjoy eating. Taste buds, lead the way!

A 5 egg frittata can provide up to 3 good sized servings. So as you increase the number of eggs used, you get an idea of how many more people it can serve. So, an 8 egg frittata will feed 3 adults and have one or two leftover servings. Depending on the vegetable(s) being used, I begin by sautéing each in olive oil and a little grass fed butter. It’s important to amply coat the bottom of the frying pan being used so as to avoid any sticking which can be a problem towards the end of the cooking process. So begin with the vegetable that may take the longest to sauté. So for instance, after getting an onion cooked, I would add the red pepper next, since it will take a bit longer than let’s say mushrooms. So vegetables are added accordingly based on their individual cook time. And we are adding salt to these as we begin the cooking process. Once you have all the vegetables just about ready, then it’s time to prepare the eggs. We’re going to beat the eggs until mixed well and have become frothy and light. I add salt as well as black pepper, and have found a pinch of curry powder adds an interesting flavor to the mix. Add each according to taste, and once everything is combined well, make sure the bottom of the pan still looks well-coated with the olive oil and butter mix. Otherwise add a bit more butter. Use a frying pan with a tight fitting lid, and set the heat to low with the cover on. You’ll notice the egg begin cooking along the sides and edges. I periodically check the bottom of the frittata with a spatula gently lifting the egg mixture which has begun to take shape, making sure it’s not sticking to the pan. Once the underside has lightly browned, then it’s time for a little bit of a tricky maneuver, but stay calm. It’s not difficult. What we’re going to do is flip the frittata so that the cooked underside becomes the topside and vice versa. What works well is a large dinner plate that is wider in diameter than the pan. Place the plate over the pan, pressing it firmly onto the pan, and while holding it there, use the other hand to turn the frying pan over while you rotate the plate to have the frittata end up on the plate with the cooked side facing up. Not hard at all, but sometimes a little messy. Now we slide the frittata off the plate and into the pan again to finish cooking the other side. Cover and within a few minutes, we have a beautifully shaped and lightly browned frittata! Depending on your choice of vegetables, you can add a side dish to complement the meal. The frittata also does very well as a leftover, taking only a minute or so to reheat in a microwave or a few minutes in a lightly coated pan. Tasty and a great way to incorporate some very healthy foods into the meal! A salad, such as the beet and dandelion salad mentioned in the last blog post, can be a great companion to the frittata!                                                                 And remember, healthy eating leads to healthy living!

Tip of the Day

Normally, I end each post with the mention of an herb, usually of the adaptogenic variety, that I’ve found to be particularly beneficial to maintaining health and increasing lifespan. This time around, however, I’m going to share with you information regarding the importance of the breath and what effects proper breathing has on optimizing body/mind performance.  Just the simple procedure of bringing your attention to the breath, and then slowing it down can be immensely beneficial. We use the ujjayi (victorious) breath with nostril breathing to help us focus on, as well as slow down and control the flow of air. And by using a 5 second count on both the inhale and the exhale, we bring the breath to that rhythm which naturally results in deeper states of consciousness, producing alpha and even theta brain waves. What occurs on a physiological level is that the parasympathetic nervous system becomes activated, and we naturally enter into a state of rest and relaxation. Here, we not only function more efficiently on a physical level, from improved digestion to better sleep, but our capacity to use our mental abilities is vastly improved. We increase our problem-solving capabilities and are able to more easily access our innate creativity. It’s no surprise that functioning from a place of calm can be so much more effective than trying to be productive while experiencing  stress and anxiety.  The breath is the key, as the ancient yogis have known, and with the yoga tradition we have been handed down techniques to teach us to gain better breath control.

I want to share with you some of these pranayama exercises, along with learning to incorporate the breath, into a gentle and restorative series of yoga poses, in a workshop called

Mindfulness Yoga by Candlelight. This will take place on Friday, Aug. 30th, from 6:30-8:30pm. The emphasis will be on the proper use of the breath to bring us to that place of calm, and to give us the tools to carry that over into our daily lives. Take a look at some of the details on this upcoming workshop, and come experience the power of the breath, and begin to experience more of the fullness of life!

https://undark.org/2019/07/18/science-of-eggs/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/article/health-benefits-of-eggs/


The Repetition of a Healthy Process 

The development of a balanced life requires the creation of positive & sustainable practices. Making daily routines that feed our higher goals inevitably will generate more stable conditions. Perhaps you have a yoga posture practice as a consistent part of your life- you don’t have to stop there. A yoga practice on your mat has wonderful effects; however, it does have limitations. There is a ceiling on how far you can go physically with the postures, but THE DEPTH IN WHICH YOU CAN EXPERIENCE YOURSELF IN THE POSTURES IS INFINITE.

The quality of your experience can be dramatically improved by having healthy rituals off of your mat. These rituals can range from meditation, reading, writing, other forms of exercise, etc. Just like how you can enhance your life through a practice on the mat, so to you can enhance your mat practice with what you do in life. This is the way to take your practice to the next level.

How does one create consistent healthy practices?

  • IDENTIFY YOUR HIGHEST CALLING that creates goodness in your life and your environment. Aim at the greatest good you can generate. You can’t go towards something if you don’t have an aim.
  • BUILD A SCHEDULE so that your plans are organized. It is very difficult to find consistency when your actions happen at random times.
  • MAKE A FIRM COMMITMENT and go for it! Repeat your process and then sit back and enjoy the benefits of your efforts.

Much love,

Michael


The Movement of Kaiut

 

“Might I ask…would you please share with me what caused you to be in the wheelchair?”  His voice was gentle, but direct, and he was clearly prepared to listen carefully as he squatted by my wheelchair, bringing his eyes to my level.

“I lost all movement and sensation from T-12 down overnight.  They diagnosed me with Multiple Sclerosis.”

“That is wonderful!”  His face had transformed with an incredible smile and he briefly squeezed my hand.  The inquirer was Francisco Kaiut, and he was, and remains, the only person in the world to respond to my disability in this fashion.  My journey in yoga and in a wheelchair was forever changed by that encounter on January 18, 2018.

I was brought to yoga as it seems most of us are:  because it was the right time; because I so desperately needed it, even though I did not understand it; and because loving friends and the Leap Yoga community made sure I had the opportunity and the acceptance to make it work.  I was brought to Kaiut in much the same way.

For me, MS is a disease of exhaustion and pain, and I had to learn to live with it while combatting intense fear, loss of so much that made me myself, self-loathing, loss of my independence, and inadequacy.  Starting to practice yoga after my medical retirement not only demonstrated how very far my physical health had deteriorated, it showed me how the uncritical acceptance of physical limitations had crept into my world.  Yoga offered healing and a path to follow, not back to the life I had before (which is not possible), but an alternate path forward.  The practice of yoga showed me that I had the power to make it happen…if I chose, and “did the work.” 

At the time of that first conversation with Francisco Kaiut, I had made some progress in my weekly chair yoga class, progress I defined as not feeling I was likely to pass out after a five-breath seated spinal twist.  My wonderful and intuitive teacher for that class suggested that I attend the first evening of a four-day Kaiut workshop at Leap to learn about the practice.  I assumed this would be a sort of lecture/demo introduction, so I signed up, and met Francisco when I rolled through the door.

In addition to the above inquiry and extraordinary response, he explained the reason he was so pleased to learn the nature of my disability.  “Just because you can no longer feel a thing does not mean it is not happening,” he explained.  “Everything in you remains connected.  I can show you how to move.”  A lovely gentleman then took charge of me and told me that I would be doing exercises with the class.  I was in no way dressed or prepared for this, but when I demurred, I was informed that if Francisco said I was to work with the class, then that was what was going to happen.  And off he bustled to collect folding chairs, bolsters and a mat and set me up near the door.  (I thought he was just a little scary wrapped around an inner marshmallow, and I later learned that I was correct:  it was Butch!). 

At the end of the evening, I had a second conversation with Francisco.  Again coming down to my level, he asked if I could attend the rest of the workshop, which I told him was not possible, as it was sold out.  He squeezed my hand again gently and told me that there would likely be another opportunity.

“Please come then if you can.  I believe that the things you do to accommodate your paralysis are limiting you more than the disease.  If you allow me, if you return, I know, I know that I can help you.”

oooOOOooo

At heart, I am a closet etymologist.  “Movement” has so many definitions unifying around the principle of activity, change and progress, e.g.:  the act of changing physical location; activities during a period of time; the moving parts of a mechanism; a change or development; the development of a story; a self-sufficient portion of a longer musical work; a group of people working together to advance a goal or idea.  Movement to a paraplegic is both a dream and an impossibility, pain and hope, and always the first of the three wishes we would make should that genie ever appear.  Movement, I had been reminded, can also take place in the privacy of one’s own thoughts, and that particular movement can have the most lasting consequences.  Francisco had made me think once again about moving, in all of its faceted definitions.

When I learned that another Kaiut workshop was planned for late July of 2018, I did not hesitate.  I had heard Francisco’s voice and promise in my head for months.  The Universe had once again thoughtfully dropped a rock on my head to point me in a direction, and I felt it would behoove me to listen.  I had been given the opportunity to observe one of Molly’s classes, but had not yet participated much.  While daunted by the prospect of four straight days of physical activity, I believed strongly that I had been placed on the path of learning something I did not want to miss.

Francisco explained that part of our survival instinct is to withdraw from pain and that this instant avoidance is a part of all of us.  We were not, he emphasized, going to power through pain like gym devotees on a stair climber; we were going to approach it, touch it, acknowledge it, and learn from it.  He then asked that each participant do the following:  suspend the emotional component of confronting pain; refrain from judging or evaluating pain; recognize pain as the sensation it was; respect the feedback that our bodies were providing; and to open our minds to fresh responses rather than relying on what we “knew.”  We were to do each movement with the body that we brought to the mat that day.  Very simple.  Incredibly difficult.  Months of rehab had emphasized that I was not to do anything that caused or could cause pain (broad base, that!), I was not to work my muscles until they were tired, never stand unsupported by my hands, to limit movement to the necessary and keep it task oriented, and that limitations were my new reality and would keep me safe.    Francisco dismissed that notion from the very first day.

I thought it would break me.  I believed I would injure myself.  I feared I would fail.  Getting to the mat was a challenge.  It took me several minutes to lift and shift my legs into what I hoped resembled Sukhasana, a word and a position that was completely new to me.  The pain when I attempted to fold forward was excruciating.  I flinched away, condemned myself for a failure, and renewed my hatred for the now only semi-functional body I occupied.  Then I found myself laughing.  I simply had to.  I had just violated nearly every tenant of the request that Francisco had made at the beginning of the workshop.  My only failure, I decided was not listening to my body, which could only whisper at best, and whose message was now so very garbled.  I was here to learn, not just poses, or even Kaiut; I was here to learn about me and where I now (metaphorically) stood.  I grabbed the two blocks I had been provided, and cautiously shifted forward.  I had no core strength and my hands could come nowhere near the floor with my legs in front of me, but I was starting where I was.

Every day I went home exhausted.  Every day I deferred any commitment to attend the next day’s program until I took a morning assessment.  Every morning I felt better.  I was thoroughly nonplussed.  By the Sunday morning session, it still took me quite a while to achieve what I called the “Sukhasana Semblance,” but my hands were now on blankets rather than blocks.  This was literally more movement in four days than I had done in any like period in the four years since my diagnosis.  And I could feel the difference.  Feel. The. Difference.  My movements had changed tempo and structure and for the first time in four years, having pressed my movement beyond the confinement of the pain in my right hip, I felt my left hip.  Just a shiver, but I had not imagined it.

I had no idea what to do with the information I was struggling to process.  I knew I wasn’t just learning; I had been given a gift and it was that previously promised movement.  I was changing my physical location and moving parts of the mechanism that was me.  I was experiencing a huge change and development.  I had movement through Kaiut.  Just a taste, just the beginning, but perceptible progress.  

oooOOOooo

I was going to liken my state when I began yoga to that of a blank slate, but I was not even in that promising a condition.  A blank slate implies that the slate has no preconceptions, that it is sturdy enough to take the words to be written on it, and that acceptance of that writing is without an emotionally biased response.  I was more like the arid soil of a formerly productive plot of ground, focused on the conditions which had previously existed and craving the water and joyous participation in being one’s best self.  What began with the suggestion of a beloved and respected friend blossomed into something amazing, growing from chair yoga to include the magic of Kaiut, varied seminars, different types of yoga, and workshops/retreats.

The best of my Rehab doctors told me that in order to evaluate progress, one should never look to yesterday, but always in larger blocks of time.  The daily state of one’s body is too variable, he said, but if you compare where you are to where you were a month ago, a year ago, then you can better evaluate whether progress has been made.  After two years, I can proudly say that I can point and flex my feet to put on my own socks from the chair.  I can reach more things off of grocery store shelves, a feat that impressed and surprised the clerks at Raley’s.  My ability to rotate my neck and spine keeps me safer in the car and in the chair.  I can, on a good day, stand and fold the laundry as it comes out of the dryer.   My locked and overstressed wrists, which are not designed as weight-bearing joints, are not in constant pain and now rotate rather well.  I can bend and reach my entire body to dry off after a shower.  I have toned muscles I didn’t know I was moving and could not feel.  I am healthier and have more energy and stamina.  And I am so very grateful.

I am poised to embark on a new level of adventure, taking the Kaiut teacher training with Francisco in a few days.  Since my diagnosis six years ago, there is almost nothing (including eating and sleeping) that I have done for eight straight days.  Considering all I have learned, I believe I have chosen the absolute right thing with which to begin…again.

oooOOOooo

I want to acknowledge my profound gratitude and love for Iwona and Molly, who shared amazing parts of themselves and their knowledge with me.  I want to thank Butch and Stacy for being so very happy for me, always.  I want to thank Cindy and Michéal for being there to help me get there and smile.  And to the Leap Community – you are the reason this works and you have all made the most profound difference in my life.

Thank you for reading my story.

Katie

 


Healthy Bytes

with Ezio Garritano

Hello and welcome back to this segment of the Leap blog. I’m happy to once again have the opportunity to share with you some helpful information from personal experience that I think can add a little more health and well-being to your daily lives!

This time around, I want to provide you with a fairly quick and simple nutrient-dense recipe that not only is very tasty, but as I said, is packed with quite a nutritional punch! This was, and still is, one of my favorites growing up. My stay-at-home mom was quite the cook and was well-versed in simple, healthy home-cooked meals. With that said, what we’ll be looking at is a basic recipe for black beans and rice, a favorite amongst Brazilians (and Italians as well)! I’m providing the instructions for just the beans, and leaving the rice up to you. Keep it healthy though with the choice of brown or other varieties of more nutritional rice.

When you combine any type of bean with rice, the result is an excellent source of a complete protein, providing all of the essential amino acids which the body cannot make and must therefore get from the foods that we eat. Besides that, you are also getting a good portion of fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals!  We can’t go wrong!!!

First off, we need to begin with the best choices for our starting ingredients. If you use either dry beans or canned, I would strongly advise the organic source for both. In the case of the canned ones, check to make sure that the lining of the can is Non BPA, a chemical which we want no part of in our food! So, proceed from here, appropriately preparing either source of black beans. Once ready, using canned beans in this example, we start with 2 cans or 30 oz. of beans. You can double these amounts if you’re cooking for the whole family. Otherwise, you’ll have enough for 2 people with some leftovers. I like to cook enough so that there are leftovers for 2 or 3 more meals, easy enough to just reheat at a later time! In a large enough pot, we sauté at least 3 minced cloves of fresh garlic in olive oil, covering the entire bottom of the pot with the oil. If you love garlic like I do, then be generous and add more! When ready, we add the beans. We’re going to cover the beans with either a good spring water, or you can substitute that with an organic vegetable broth. Either way, the beans themselves are quite flavorful and will make their own tasty sauce using just the water. Bring this to a boil, and then set the heat to a slow simmer, which we will keep going for a good 2 hours. Add salt to taste when starting to simmer, so that it has a good chance of being incorporated into the beans and subsequent rich, creamy sauce. That’s really all that is needed! Stir occasionally and give the beans a taste throughout, checking the salt content. As you come to the end of the cooking time, you will notice that the water/broth has thickened up and taken on the flavor of the beans and the garlic. That’s what we’re after, at which point you’ll know that they are done! I like to keep it simple, but I’ve seen recipes that add vegetables as well. I would suggest this basic approach first, without the addition of veggies, and then next time around decide if you want to experiment and add some of your favorites to the cooking process.

And there you have it, a delicious and nutritious meal! I usually toast a corn tortilla on the burner and then add the rice to it and cover that with the beans. Corn tortilla chips are also a tasty choice, along with a slice or two of avocado and a choice of greens, such as romaine lettuce. I also like to top the rice/bean combo with a little arugula in place of the romaine; quite a power-packed source of nutrients with minimal effort and preparation time.

As you can see, this is a vegetarian version of the Brazilian dish known as feijoada, which has either chunks of pork or beef, or pieces of sausage added to it as a main ingredient; also quite tasty! If you’d like to go that route, go for it, but as always, choose a healthier source for your meat, such as grass fed beef, and so on. There’s plenty of good instruction out there to make that addition with minimal effort. I’ve eaten it that way and enjoyed it as well!

Herb of the day (and some added health tips)!

I’m sure everyone now-a-days has come across some information about the importance of detoxing at least twice a year, particularly during the spring and fall seasons. And though I agree to the relevance of this process, I think it much more critical and beneficial to eat healthy and follow a life-enhancing routine on a day-to-day basis, incorporating nutrient-dense foods and plenty of physical activity, like walking and yoga. By adhering to such a lifestyle, we provide our bodies with the proper nutrients and the movement our bodies need for eliminating toxins and waste more efficiently and continuously. Our bodies, primarily through the work of the liver, detoxify anyway on a daily basis, and depending on what we’re eating, can do it much more effectively! For instance, 3 excellent food sources for liver support are organic dandelion greens, beets and garlic. These supply specific nutrients that have been shown to increase the elimination of toxins and improve overall liver health and function. So why not make use of these healing foods, and get ahead of the health curve! All three can be combined, along with olive oil and apple cider vinegar, to make quite the tasty beet salad. Details on that perhaps in an upcoming blog!

As inhabitants of a planet that has become overwhelmed with thousands of toxic chemicals circulating in our air, water and food, it only makes sense to take a close look at what we can do to keep the body working optimally for as long as possible! And what we choose to eat is the most direct path we can take to do so. I’ve included a link below which contains some practical advice we can all benefit from! And the website itself is a great source of information and herbal products from a company whose decades-long reputation is widely recognized amongst industry professionals.

So until next time, remember that healthy eating leads to healthy living!

Let’s enjoy life!!!

https://blog.gaiaherbs.com/2015/05/06/5-tips-to-cleanse-and-detox/


Hi everyone…please accept my personal invitation to experience either the Kaiut Teacher’s Training from July 20th to 27th or our four Day Kaiut Workshop, which will be from August 1st through the 4th ….or both…. with Francisco Kaiut, founder of Kaiut Yoga.

 

I  recently completed the 14 day Kaiut Teacher’s Training with Francisco in Telluride, Colorado. Don’t let the term “Teacher’s Training” scare you.  This training is for those who might be considering teaching and those of us who were there to learn and explore the poses and get  deeper into our practice…the experience was all I hoped for and more. I learned about my practice and how my body responds to the different poses. I learned to feel and pay attention to what was happening to my body and  not evaluate my poses based on what was taking place on the mats next to me.  While there was plenty of practice time…over 3 hours a day….there was lots of time for lecture and discussion.

 

And now it’s your chance to experience one or  both of these upcoming events….and you don’t have to buy an airline ticket or find someplace to stay…the founder of Kaiut Yoga will be here…in Folsom….July 20 – 27 for Teacher’s Training and a 4 day Workshop August 1st – 4th.

 

I encourage you to attend one or both of these upcoming events….you will be so glad you did.

 

Namaste

 Papa Yogi.

 


“As we are entering the Age of Aquarius, we have to become responsible, outspoken, leading teachers of this Age. That’s what we have trained for and that’s what we have grown into. You cannot live under a camouflage. You have to live openly, honestly, brightly, and forthrightly. Your words should be so strong that they affect every heart; your truth should be so pure that it lifts a person’s soul to the heights.”

-Yogi Bhajan, 7/28/02

 

 

I recently returned home from an 8-day immersion course entitled Kundalini for Addiction Training in Espanola, New Mexico.   I was super grateful because this training satisfied my Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Continuing Education Credits along with my credits as a Kundalini Yoga Teacher.

The training was taught by those who studied intimately under Yogi Bhajan and was graciously hosted at his ashram where many still live and carry on his work and live the lifestyle he and so many have found so helpful.

Our schedule was intense.  We woke for Sahdna around 3pm to walk 15 minutes in the dark along the dirt path of the ashram to the Gudwara.  Gudwara is the Spiritual Practice that uses devotional songs and uplifting live music called Kirtan, to connect the individual with the Infinite.   It is also the name of the structure we gathered in.

3:40-4:00am we recited Japji (Prayer)

4:00-4:45am we practiced Kundalini Yoga

4:45-6:00am we sang the Aquarian Sadhana Mantra Meditation to live music (amazing!)

6:00-6:45am we participated in the Gudwara celebration

 

 

We ate purely organic, vegetarian meals grown on the property. The delicious food was prepared by those committed to Seva (service). Many of these volunteers came to live at the ashram and worked in this way.   We also joined in serving, washing dishes, cleaning the rooms, bathrooms and more. It was an honor.

Class was from 9-1pm, a break for lunch and then resumed from 2:30-6:30pm

Dinner and bed was shortly after.

There were 47 other amazing humans present.   They came from all over the world to include: Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, Belgium, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Hawaii and many other states in America.  The collective of these individuals was pure joy and light.

I would like to share some of my take away thoughts from this experience.

1.)You are your own best teacher. All of your answers are inside of you. You simply must look deep within and create space and time to listen in order to find your way.

2.)When you understand who you are you will radiate.

3.)When you have a strong Nervous System you will have a strong and positive outlook on life.

4.)Gratitude is the grace inside.  It is the connector and communicator to all that is good.

5.)Kundalini yoga can take away cravings, inner anger, shame, reduce addictive behavior and clear your mind of negative thinking.

I am beyond thrilled to bring many of the teachings to Leap on a regular basis.

I will be teaching from 1030-1145am regularly on Mondays beginning April 29th @ Leap Yoga, Folsom, CA.

Please come check out this amazing practice, which is sure to open your Heart Wide Open.

Written by Hannah Zackney,  www.hannahzackney.com.


Hi and welcome back to this segment of the Leap newsletter where I share with you simple and easy to follow steps you can add to your daily lives to bring more health and wellness to you and the family. Hopefully you had the chance to read and personally experience the information I shared in the previous post. If not, it is available in the Blog section and can be easily accessed there for future reference.

I thought it would be good to build upon that simple preparation of lightly sautéed vegetables I discussed prior and add a small but significant dimension, specifically to the arugula, in the form of protein. Amongst the main food groups, protein and its healthy consumption can be problematic for a number of people. What we should keep in mind is that there are other healthy sources besides the animal ones we’re all too familiar with. In the case of this simple arugula side dish, we’re going to add white beans, which can be the Great Northern or Cannellini variety; either work well, and both are a good source of nutrients including protein and fiber.

The method of cooking will be the same. Once the arugula has been sautéed, it is put aside and the beans will be added to the same pan where garlic has been lightly cooking in olive oil. Leaving some of the natural juices created from the arugula in the pan will only add to the flavor. Cover with a lid, but cooking time is quick, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the pan, stirring frequently and adding salt to taste. I usually use a good organic brand of canned beans, checking that BPA was not used in the lining of the can. But if you prefer, you can use dry beans, soaking overnight and afterward following the proper steps.

Once the beans have softened and taken on the flavor of the garlic/olive oil mix after 20-30 mins. of light heat, they are ready to be joined with the cooked arugula. Just toss it in with the beans and give the two a chance to come together with their own unique flavors. Stirring occasionally, allow another 10 mins. or so of cooking time. And there you are, a great combination where two distinct flavors are joined to make a tasty and healthy side dish, good with just about any main course! I know and believe that the simplest and most nutritious cooking is possible and accessible to everyone, as is evident in more remote, less-westernized regions throughout the world.

Now before I wave you on till next time, I want us all to go nuts! That is, to bring in the nutrient rich components of raw nuts to our daily eating habits. It’s preferable to buy them in the shell. That natural protective covering helps to keep the nuts fresher longer. At the top of the list are walnuts, along with almonds and pistachios. All 3 are a good source of heart-healthy nutrients, and another source of non-animal protein. They can be eaten as is, or adding raisins or other minimally processed dried fruits can create your own trail mix, and have handy as a healthy snack throughout the day. Nuts can also be a great complement to salads, again adding a good source of protein and healthy fats to the mix. As a snack or as part of a meal, nuts can help to stave off those hunger pangs and keep your appetite satisfied for longer periods of time. And of course, you can also enjoy them as nut butters, making sure they’re without any added unnecessary ingredients, and preferably raw. Enjoy and feel good about eating more healthy!!!

Herb of the day (and every other day)!

Holy Basil or Tulsi-another adaptogenic herb from the Ayurvedic tradition, this herb has been used extensively for centuries because of its wide-range of medicinal qualities beneficial for the entire body. It can be taken in supplement form, or as a tea. It has a mild flavor, and can be consumed any time of day. Look into it and seriously consider making it a part of your everyday drinking or supplementing habits. I’ve included a link below to get a good idea of its far-reaching merits.

Until next time, healthy eating, and with it, healthy living!

https://draxe.com/holy-basil-benefits/


LEARN TO LISTEN

Think about those moments when a loved one calls and you can tell just by the sound of their voice that something is wrong. The Pitch and tone can provide loads of information even without the other person explaining the details. This is why learning to listen is of such high value.

Listening is fundamental to the yoga practice. Problems, frustration, and even injury can occur when our attention is scattered. Most importantly, our ability to connect will suffer.

There is so much more we can take in when we communicate if we just stay present. Listen carefully and it just might be one of the best gifts you have to offer.

During the Yoga for Life: 4 Week Program, we will explore ways to go deeper into our courage, commitment, and ability to connect to ourselves and others. Each week you will learn the ancient teachings of the Niyamas, the personal observances of yoga. Discover how the Niyamas serve as compasses in your daily living. Gain tools to make purposeful choices and learn to listen to your inner teacher.

Take four weeks with Tristina Kennedy & Michael Fong to commit to building a healthier relationship with yourself, others and the world around you. Be supported by your yoga community and break through the negative patterns of the past to start the year off with balance and power!

Click here: http://leapyoga.net/workshops/


Healthy Bytes by Ezio Garritano

I would like to present to you quick and easy-to-follow guidelines that I have personally put to use and that have made a difference in my life, improving immune strength and increasing energy levels amongst other benefits, and which I believe will make a difference as well in your overall health and well-being! 

It is my firm belief that a healthy lifestyle should begin with the foods we eat on a daily basis. With that said, it is important that we choose the best quality of foods and incorporate as many superfoods into our daily meals as possible. What I’m talking about are organic, nutrient-dense foods, which on a bite-per-bite basis, will provide you with the most nutrition available.

Let’s look at 4 of my favorites which all happen to be in the cruciferous family, and whose nutritional benefits have been highly praised. They are arugula, dandelion greens, broccoli and red/purple cabbage. I prefer each of these lightly sautéed rather than raw, though arugula lends itself quite well to salad, as do dandelion greens. But as in many cases, cooking with minimal heat as in sautéing can help release a number of nutrients otherwise not available if consumed raw. Each of these vegetables can be substituted using the same exact cooking method.

I use olive oil almost exclusively, though there are other very beneficial oils with higher smoke points. I enjoy the aroma of olive oil, especially when combined with garlic. So, cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil and sauté the garlic over light heat, and if you enjoy a little spicy kick, add red pepper flakes to the olive oil-garlic mix.

Once the garlic is ready, keep the heat at the same level as you add any one of the 4 vegetables. I cut the broccoli and the cabbage into more manageable bite-sized pieces, as well as the dandelion greens which usually tend to be long in length. Cooking will only take a few minutes, so keep vigil over the pan, stirring frequently as the greens begin to turn a bright, vibrant color, particularly the broccoli. I place a lid only over the broccoli for just a few minutes so as to cook it more quickly and thoroughly. Add salt to taste during the cooking process, and in just those few minutes, you have a very tasty and healthy side-dish which can be added to any main course. With the broccoli leftovers, you can combine them with pasta by simply adding it to cooked pasta. I like keeping the pasta simple in this case, again sautéing garlic in olive oil, adding red pepper flakes, and then pouring this over the cooked pasta with the broccoli.Quick, easy and very healthy! You can substitute any other vegetables which you might have a preference for. Each of these are high in vitamins, minerals and those important phytochemicals which protect us with their antioxidant activity.

Herb of the Day (and every other day)!

Ashwagandha-an adaptogenic herb used extensively in the Ayurvedic tradition of medicine. There is much information available on its use and benefits, and feel it is very worthwhile looking into and considering making it a part of your daily health regimen. Below I provide two good sources as links which will give you much information on this wonderful herb.

Until next time, healthy eating and healthy living!

https://draxe.com/ashwagandha-benefits/

https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/herbs/ashwagandha/