One of my favourite things about the holiday season are the delightful smells that come along with the traditional trimmings… the freshforrest-y scent of a Christmas tree, the mint tingle of candy canes, the richness of mulled wine, and the spicy warmth of gingerbread.
This granola recipe is reasonably healthy (no added sugar – just what’s in the maple syrup and dried fruit – and no added fat), full of fibre and protein, and smells wonderfully like more decadent holiday baking. It’s also inspired by the wonderful homemade chai tea at Bound Lotus Meditation & Yoga Centre, where I’ll be teaching in the new year.
Continue reading “Beginning to smell a lot like Christmas”
Intense physical activity, such as running or training for endurance sports like triathlons, can be very hard on your body. Yoga can help you recover. Read other posts about recovering.
Taking a meditative approach to yoga and flowing through postures, rather than quickly jumping from pose to pose, helps shift your nervous system from fight or flight reactions (sympathetic state) to a restorative, healing modality (parasympathetic state). You’re capable of making better decisions when your nervous system is more relaxed and you’ll generally feel happier!
The controlled movements of a yoga practice encourage circulation in your endocrine and lymphatic systems. Gently stretching your muscles re-distributes lactic acid and reduces oxidative stress generated by free radicals.
Perhaps most importantly, the relaxation portion of a yoga class helps your body recover from activity. Taking time out of your busy schedule to focus on your body helps you connect with your physical being and pay attention to what it’s telling you.
Yoga can also help undo the damage of a late night and flush out toxins. Backward and forward bends squeeze and release your internal organs, which brings fresh blood into your liver and kidneys and encourages toxins to clear more quickly. Specific yoga poses can also help relieve headaches and soothe sore muscles. Additionally, a long version of guided relaxation called yoga nidra slows your brainwaves, which can help heal your body more quickly and may feel more restful than napping for four times as long.
Born and raised in Richmond, BC, I now live on the North Shore with my husband of 10 years and our small dog.
I’ve practiced yoga on and off since age 16 and it became an increasingly important part of my life three years ago when I struggled to physically balance running and horseback riding. I took up yin yoga to help loosen my hips and it allowed me to continue both running and riding.
My yin yoga practice quickly became about more than my hips and it began to transform my sense of self and view of the world. I turned to yoga and meditation to help me balance a stressful job and in early 2011 I decided to concentrate on my well-being by taking a leave of absence from work.
While on leave, I continued my meditation and yin practices and also found a wonderful kundalini yoga community. My kundalini practice and the support of teachers and other students within the close-knit North Shore kundalini community inspired me to leave my corporate job and pursue a more healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.
Yoga is an integral part of my journey to integrate all aspects of my life and find balance. I am particularly drawn to the concept that yoga is always “practice,” and not a competition for mastery. I enjoy teaching and sharing knowledge; being a yoga teacher gives me the opportunity to help others with their yoga experience and well-being.
I have experienced the transformational effects of a consistent yoga and meditation practice and want to share that power with others.