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!



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!



Kaiut Yoga® is all about biomechanical health (or said another way, your freedom of movement). It has been designed to work through chronic pain & injuries, general aches & stiffness, and work for the inflexible, hyper flexible and the aging body.

Unlike most yoga that stretches muscles in extraordinary ways, Kaiut Yoga® works from the joints. As such, it has a dramatic impact in countering the harmful effects of modern living – where most of us sit most of the day  – as well as the harmful impact to our bodies of consistent movement patterns such as frequent running or cycling, playing a certain sport for years, or our compensating behaviours for old sports or other injuries.

Kaiut Yoga® is about maintaining or returning the body to optimal structure and functionality. It’s about freedom of movement, physical system and energy flow. It’s about keeping us as healthy, mobile and pain free as possible for as long as possible. With more freedom of body comes freedom of mind. It’s about a better quality of life.


The Agreement with a King Cobra


I met a monk in Thailand who lived and meditated in a cave for about four years. This is actually humanly possible! His mediation cave just so happened to be inhabited by a king cobra. The monk obviously feared for his life, so he made pact with the cobra. The agreement was simply, “I won’t hurt you and please don’t hurt me. Let’s live together peacefully.” Fortunately, there was no harm done during the four years that the monk meditated in the cave.

This is a beautiful metaphor of how we can co-exist in a potentially hostile environment through an agreement based on non-harm. The lesson is to set a foundation of mutual respect to achieve peace. The agreement between the monk and the cobra boiled down to this: I acknowledge your presence and power you acknowledge my presence and power. If we break this agreement, it could be catastrophic you, me, or for the both of us. If we keep this agreement, then we can make a miracle.

Go out a make a miracle!


Much love,

Michael Fong


Hi Leap Peeps!  

I am so excited to share an amazing opportunity we get to be a part of this holiday season.   It’s Christmas Around Towne!!! 

For the past couple years I’ve been able to work with Powerhouse Ministries supporting some of the most amazing women and children in our community.   IT’s NO surprise these powerful ladies are up to more good work and I am honored that we get to join them in this generous opportunity.   

This event will help SO many local families and bring SO many smiles to SO many faces.   Please join in the fun.  

How do I help?  

Take an ornament off of the Giving Tree located on the wall next to the tea station in the lobby.  

The ornament will detail out suggestions of a gift to bring back unwrapped for these many families in need.   

Please note that Gift Cards (esp. Amazon, Walmart & Target) and Money are also welcomed.   

Please return by Dec 17th at the latest but know that there will be earlier pick ups so the sooner the better.  

What is Christmas Around Towne? 

Christmas Around Towne is a collaborative community program offering families in Folsom in crisis or need the opportunity to receive assistance for Christmas with a dignified approach. 

Families are invited to a celebration complete with games, songs, brunch and a message. Then each person is given a shopping voucher and invited to shop for gifts for their families. 

Why do we do it? 

Service is such an important aspect of the yogic tradition.  It is one full limb of the 8 limbs of yoga as laid out by Patanjali.   Giving back to the world is our honor and our hukam, a sacred command.  

Who is eligible?

Folsom residents of any age who are in crisis or need.   Such residents are often referred by agencies such as Twin Lakes Food Bank, Mercy Housing, Folsom PD, Churches, etc.  

All applicants must apply in person at Powerhouse Ministries.  

Big thanks also to Denise Kucharek for the amazing design of our Giving Tree and to all the staff/ownership of Leap Yoga for allowing this magic to happen in our home studio.   

Thanks in advance to each of you who are blessed enough to give.  



“The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” —Mahatma Gandhi

Ready to Heal.  Ready to Deal.  Ready to Feel.

“Why should I share what’s going on in my life?”   “Why would I put my heavy burdens on another?” “What is the point of opening up?”   “What is talking to anyone going to change,…get me, …what good will that do?” “I don’t want to be a victim, that doesn’t help anyone.”  “People have enough to deal with.”

These are the thoughts of many who keep their personal world close to their chest.  I’m not talking about the people who make these types of comments and follow them up with endless complaints, blame and repetitive grievances.

The people who ask these questions from a place of sincerity are often the most compassionate, giving and charitable people I know yet they resist being aided in life by anyone else.  They are alone and they know how to suffer alone.   That’s how they’ve dealt with pain for most of their lives.  On an island.  They are self-sufficient and independent to a fault.

They have overdeveloped their giving capacities and underdeveloped the sacred art of receiving.

I wonder.  How is it that the same individual who demonstrates great empathy for another and can so readily discount their own experience that is as equally challenging?

Often it’s because they are busy comparing their unfortunate situations to another’s.  They use the very real tragedy of others to overpower or distract them from feeling their own feelings and experiences, which are equally as real.

MOST often these people resist acknowledging their own heartache because then they would actually have to feel through it, deal with it and find the courage to heal from it.  It’s way more convenient to minimize it to the point that there’s no reason to speak to it.

Healing is a courageous act.  Anyone can stuff it down.  It takes a warrior to Feel.  To Deal.  To Heal.

Maybe in the past they have tried to get a parent, an uncle, a friend, a teacher to listen only to be told they were being too sensitive, over-reacting, being selfish, didn’t know what they were talking about, needed to think more about other people, needed to let it go, or be grateful it wasn’t worse.

If they were told things such as these, I understand why they would not chance becoming vulnerable once again.   This kind of rejection stings to the core.  The body receives is literally the same way it receives a blow to the gut.  It hurts.  Hard.

Yet, staying quiet perpetuates the sting.

We do not become vulnerable to get something.

We do not share our stories to make a difference, although they often do so.

We do not open up to find a solution, even though that is often the result.

We do not let someone in so that they become our friend even though that might happen.

We open up, when we are in pain, when it’s easier to close down because we decide that being honest matters.

We come to a point in life where we recognize that keeping it in hurts us more than it helps and we desire to be free from our own pain and suffering.

We find ourselves ready to Deal.  Ready to Feel.  Ready to Heal.

If you are finding yourself in this space then mark your calendars for the Women’s Empowerment Workshop & Fundraiser on November 4th from 1-230pm at the studio.

We will begin to explore how to prioritize ourselves, know and ask for what we want and begin to set boundaries that keep the good in and the icky out.   You will not be required to share in this workshop but you will begin to learn how you can!

See you there!  You can register at the workshops section of the Leap Website of gather more info at www.HannahZackney.com.

Sat Nam friends!

Do you feel like there is something bigger out there for you?

Do you have moments where you recognize that you have a dream to be more, do more, and give more, access more?  

Are you stuck in-between feeling appreciative and grateful for the beautiful life you have and wondering why you feel like something is missing?  Wondering why you just can’t be satisfied? 

Has someone even said as much to you in a negative way?  

Let me reassure you that if you believe there is more, there is.  The grandest of ideas of what you believe is possible for you and for your life is only an itsy teensy glimpse into what is actually possible for you.  

Fantasy thinking is not magical thinking.

Your dreams and your desires are a call to a greater and bigger and bolder experience on this planet.   

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it! “ – Walt Disney

How do you begin to unlock your true potential?   How do you begin to actualize the essence of what is missing in your life? 

Step 1:  You must stay close to yourself. 

  • You must be committed to yourself daily, ritualistically, honestly without wavering.  
  • Your commitment to yourself must be stronger than your neurosis, stronger than your to do list and more important to you than what anyone else is asking for you to do.  
  • You need to be relentlessly disciplined to your self-care, time with yourself journaling, meditating, praying, yoga-ing, spending time in nature and likewise.   
  • Staying close to yourself is deeply knowing yourself, building a relationship with yourself and making this your greatest commitment.   
  • You must put yourself first.  

Step 2:  You must surrender your expectations and trust yourself, your intuition and your instinct ONE STEP AT A TIME.  

  • You must let go of a linear process and embrace the journey.   
  • You must hold a vision of what you’d like to achieve or create but softening to how and when or how you will get there.  
  • You must learn to trust the journey completely.   
  • You must let go of specific outcomes and rigid ways of getting there.  This is an exercise of faith.  

Step 3:  You must be willing to spend time outside of your comfort zone. 

  • You must feel, sit with, breath with and get to know anything inside of you that feels uncomfortable and that you would prefer to avoid.
  • You must embrace the fuzzy feeling, the questioning, and any sense of unrest that has seemed unworthy of your attention and yet presents itself to you over and over again.  
  • You must acknowledge the awkward or unpleasant feeling you have even when everything seems to be going right.  It’s the one you downplay, overlook or disregard.  
  • You must say yes to the invitation to stay close to yourself, to learn yourself and to grown yourself and your life.  

Wanna begin to learn how to do this?  


Ladies, you are ALL invited to the Heart Wide Open Workshop WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT Workshop this weekend on Sunday, August 19th at 1-215pm.   

Register or find more details under the Workshop section of the Leap Website. 

*All proceeds go to Powerhouse Ministries Folsom helping women and children in need. 

My name is Hannah Zackney and I am a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #92984 in Folsom, Ca.   www.HannahZackney.com  

I am honored to share what I learn from my own journey and from others.  

Last July the Sacramento yoga community lost a dear friend, teacher, and someone who helped to create powerful positive shifts in the lives of many. His unassuming presence, humility, sense of humor, and appreciation for simplicity are just a few things I treasure when I remember him.

One thing about Aaron’s passing that has stayed with me is how the community of yogis in our area came together to honor him, support his family, and take good care of each other. When Jaime from Akasha Yoga in Davis reached out to me to see if Leap Yoga and I would be interested in co-creating a memorial event with her there just wasn’t a question. Seeing our Sacramento community come together in support of a good cause (one so close to Aaron’s heart) would make him smile. I can almost see it now as I write.

Please join us for a special evening in memory of our friend Aaron Pappas on Friday July 20th. Live music by Girish and yoga led by Sarah Estabrook and Blake Mason. Proceeds will be donated to the Salvation Army Recovery, a program that Aaron strongly supported.

Tickets are $25 and you can sign up using this link: www.eventbrite.com/e/remembering-aaron-tickets-4774…

Namaste dear friends. See you very soon!

Stacy Whittingham

He fell off a ladder and hit his head. 

“It changed me.” He said. “I’m different, angry all the time. Most of the time for no reason at all, just filled with rage.”

“My wife says I’m not the man she married and my daughter, well…she won’t even speak to me after one of my episodes. I can see how much it scares her. We used to be so close.”

She was in a car accident and suffered a concussion.

“It’s been 2 years. My body is mostly healed, but I can’t sleep. The depression scares me the most. I feel like a bad mom, but most days I don’t want to get out of bed.”

“By early afternoon I need an energy drink. Homework, dinner and bedtime feel like chores. I used to be a really happy person, now everything feels heavy and hard.”

“A brain tumor.” He said, softly touching a scar on the back of his head. “They got it all. I have a clean bill of health. But, I had to learn to talk and walk all over again. I was a toddler in a 40 year old body.”

At Yoga Support, we hear these stories on a regular basis. People whose lives were forever changed in a instant from a head injury.

In The Body Keeps the Score, Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk writes that “…trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain and body.”

Yoga Support offers tailored yoga curriculum to those affected by traumatic brain injuries. We connect specially educated teachers at an affordable cost to help people get their lives back.

You can help support our work by joining us for a donation based class at Leap Yoga, Sunday, June 24th, 1pm-2:15pm. You will experience guided breath work and meditation followed by a series of yin and restorative poses led by Maryeth, one of our rehabilitation teachers.

This sequence is designed to encourage healing and balance in both mind and body. Poses will be seated and reclined with a focus on opening the heart. You will leave with several tools to help aid anxiety, depression and sleeplessness.

Maryeth A Loriaux