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M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 6

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Must-Read Wellness  Tips From New Mom

Display until June 30, 2016


Postpartum Survival Guide Feature: Raising Conscious Children Essential Oils for 8 Common Pregnancy Ailments





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In This Issue INSPIRE

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE OF ALL with Kimberly Snyder �������������������������������� 10 by Jenn Bodnar

BEYOND THE PHYSICAL: BEING HEALTHY IS EMOTIONAL & SPIRITUAL with Kimberly Spreen-Glick ����������������� 16 by Jenn Bodnar

SEEING THINGS WITH SPECIAL EYES with Gina Dunn������������������������������������������������ 18 by Jenn Bodnar

REAL HEALTHY TIPS FROM A REAL HOUSEWIFE with Cary Deuber ����������������������������������������20 by Jenn Bodnar




THE DIRT CURE: PART 1 Healing Our Children From the Outside In����������������������������������� 24 interview by Jenn Bodnar


MONKEY DO! Yoga’s offerings and history���������������28 by Marni Sandler

MINDFULNESS & KIDS��������������������� 32 by Kira Willey

HOW TO RAISE A PEACEFUL WARRIOR��������������������������� 34 by Susan Verde


5 STRETCHES for a More Enjoyable Third Trimester ����������������������������������������������� 38 by Hillary Hall

SELF-CARE DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY with Essential Oils ��������������������������������������� 44 by Cary Caster

HORMONE HEALTH 101 �������������������46 by Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz


WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS�������62 interview by Kim Bauman

THE WHOLE WORLD IS FAMILY�����������������������������������65 by DJ Taz Rashid

YOU’RE LIVING WITH YOUR BEST TEACHER �����������������������66 by Susan Stiffelman

GRATITUDE Helping Our Children Count Their Blessings ����������������������������� 67 by Monisha Vasa, M.D.

5 TIPS FOR PRACTICING YOGA & MINDFULNESS AS A FAMILY���������������������������������������������������68 by Mariam Gates

GROWING OLD WITH YOGA ������� 70 by Angela Ambrose

IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL & CHANGE THE WORLD, DO YOUR INNER WORK. HERE’S WHY������������������� 74 IN EVERY ISSUE YD WARRIORS!���������������������������������������������� 8 STAFF PICKS������������������������������������������������� 76 UPCOMING EVENTS����������������������������80 STUDIO PARTNERS�������������������������������� 81 OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE with Kurt Johnsen ����������������������������������������82


POSTPARTUM SURVIVAL GUIDE ������������������������������������ 48 by Cheryl Zauderer

BREAKING THE SILENCE: A Look Inside Postpartum Depression������������������������ 50 by Jenn Bodnar

OUR FAMILY TABLE FOOD THAT BRINGS US TOGETHER ��������������������56 by Angel Yaffa

44 4



Capri ITALY 2 0 1 6


Join Jonny Kest for an unforgettable retreat experience on the Island of Capri. Housed in the luxurious Grand Hotel Quisisana you will be bathed in sensual vinyasa flows and decadent vegetarian cuisine. Greeted each morning by the healing waters of the Mediterranean Sea, this is an opportunity you do not want to miss!

A full itinerary + registration prices available at jonnykest.com 248.229.2919 | retreats@centerforyoga.com



Save the Date

The One Love Movement’s 5th annual charity yoga event in partnership with The Chopra Center. Date: Saturday, September 24th, 2016 Time: 12pm - 3pm Location: U.C. San Diego Tickets & Info: jointheonelovemovement.org

MAY / JUNE 2016

Publisher Yoga Digest, LLC Founders & Chief Editors Jenn Bodnar Cody Groth


Senior Columnists Kurt Johnsen

Cover Photo by Ylva Erevall

Senior Contributor Kim Bauman

Magazine Designer Zoran Maksimovic

Contributors Angela Ambrose Cary Caster Mariam Gates Suzanna Gilberg-Lenz Teresa Anne Power Erika Prafder Taz Rashid Marni Sandler Susan Stiffelman Monisha Vasa Susan Verde Kira Willey Angel Yaffa Cheryl Zauderer

Advertise advertise@yogadigest.com Order Additional Copies orders@yogadigest.com Copyright 2016 by Yoga Digest, LLC. All rights reserved. Yoga Digest is not responsible for advertising claims or health claims. The editorial content of Yoga Digest should NOT be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


FAMILY WELLNESS EDITION The circle of life. It’s magical, mysterious and delicate. We arrive innocent, un-struck and perfectly imperfect. Then we are molded and shaped by the people, places and experiences we encounter along the way. Impacted largely by our family, friends and surroundings, it’s an on-going journey balancing ourselves between self-actualization and connection to others. We are faced with many decisions, big and small, along the way. I read recently that we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most amount of time with. Scary. Especially if you are surrounded by young kids or teenagers on a regular basis! We learn a little more about ourself through every conversation, interaction and relationship we share. Sometimes we discover what we would like to see more of in ourselves. Sometimes we are exposed to traits we would like to see less of in ourselves. It is a beautiful thing, though, when like-minded individuals collide. That’s exactly how we feel about our Yoga Digest family! Health, wellness and conscious living are some of the fasting growing trends today. It’s no longer reserved for the extreme fitness enthusiasts or the desperately ill making attempts to do damage control. Information is at our fingertips and more and more people are waking up to simple, yet groundbreaking changes to enhance optimal well-being. We are so excited to share some tips from cover model Kimberly Snyder, creator of the Beauty Detox. Through extensive travel around the world, studying nutrition and observing other cultures that appear much healthier than ours, Snyder uncovered how beauty (and health) is an inside job. She shares these secrets as well as the joys (and surprises) of becoming a new mom! This issue is full of information for new moms including: the top 5 pre-natal yoga poses for happiness; what to expect postpartum, how to connect with your family and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle when everyone around you is not as on board. We take an in depth look at challenges faced by families and wellness advocates of all kinds. You will find ways to overcome the typical obstacles for healthy living in our society that is dominated by technology, fast food, ‘I want it now’ world. Most importantly, this issue conveys that we are not alone. Our experts provide sound strategies to


help you confidently conquer some of the many choices you are faced with each day. Abraham Maslow states that one of the most basic human needs, after food, water, air and safety is to love and be loved! We hope this issue inspires you to be heard and share wellness with your family and the ones you love. Whether it’s aging parents, new additions to your family or the people you interact with on a daily basis, we hope you will be empowered to practice your beliefs about conscious living in a diplomatic and peaceful way. Lead by example! We are so grateful for our Yoga Digest family of writers, partners and readers and thank you all being a part of our tribe! We are always expanding and growing our community. Check our website and social media for unique opportunities to raise your voice and be heard together. Much love, Jenn Bodnar & Cody Groth Photo by O wen Bo dnar


“What does Family

Robert Sturman

Family means trust. Rock solid, unquestionable confidence in another. A person I am so deeply connected to, all petty things disappear. Vulnerability that we never question the safety of it. When they need something, there is no hesitation and it is as if I am giving it to myself. These are people that I know have my back. This is deep stuff. A lot of people who haven’t known each other for much time, like to talk about being best friends and like family, but the kind of stability I’m speaking of is on another level. True family never needs to speak about any of this. They just know it. And blood doesn’t always make others family. But when your blood family happens to also be the kind of family I am discussing, you’ve been blessed.

Erin Sanders

To me, family is about love and connection. Family isn’t limited to those who are related by blood. We can choose our family. We may not always agree with them, or always want them around; and that’s okay. Family is the core connection we share.

ErinTeachesYoga.com @erinzariah

RobertSturmanStudio.com @robertsturman facebook.com/Artist.Photografia Photo by Jake Spencer

Jonah Kest Taylor Harkness

“My family has always been this really broad, diverse, welcoming group. Even friends of friends have been at our holiday dinners for as long as I can remember. I think because I grew up that way, I recognize that I’m blessed and fortunate to be a part of a much bigger family-- an extended version around the world. My family is huge and I love that it gets bigger everywhere I go.”

www.TaylorHarkness.com @tjhark

Family doesn’t try to change or fix you. Family is just able to be with you. Family loves you for exactly who you are. Not as you want to be, or not even how you think you should be. As you are :) Family loves you without expecting anything back in return. Family is also the union of opposites. Family tells you the truth. They give you honest feedback. Even if it doesn’t feel good. Family is unconditional.  Family is community.

JonahKestYoga.com @kestyoga


mean to you?�

Gina Dunn

Living together as a family is an art, a patient, beautiful, fascinating journey. It does not end once you have won each other’s love... Rather, it is precisely there where it begins! Making the family strong is the privilege of those who lead it. For me, this commitment to being a strong role model, provider, caretaker, and cheerleader is both my life’s greatest work and joy.

GinaMarieDunn.com WeYogis.com @asanadealers facebook.com/AsanaDealers

Andrew Sealy

Family is the foundational support system of positivity that keeps us on path to realizing our greatest purpose and potential.

Anton Mackey

Family is everything, and everything is family. When we recognize that we are all one and that there is no separation we can see everything as family. I believe that our soul chooses our parents and the family line that will best serve our growth and evolution. Family is our roots and the beginning of existence in this lifetime. It is our blood, our heritage, our relatives, friends, our community, it is our souls connection to other souls. At this exact point in my life I am growing a new family. My lover and soul mate, our furry soul companion and a new soul that has chosen us!

@andrew7sealy facebook.com/andrew.sealy3

AntonYoga.com @antonyoga11


The Most Beautiful

Experience Of All with Kimberly Snyder

New Mom, Kimberly Snyder, shares her beauty detox tips for every stage of life. BY JENN BODNAR

Photo by Ylva Erevall


omorrow he is officially one month old!” says Kimberly Snyder after being congratulated on the arrival of her beautiful baby boy. “In the beginning, he looked like me and now he kind of looks more like his father. He was a really big boy! At his 2 week checkup, he was in the 90th percentile for both height and weight!” Snyder is a nutritionist for the mind, body & soul, a yogini and the New York Times best-selling author of The Beauty Detox Solution, The Beauty Detox Foods, The Beauty Detox Power and now a proud and doting new mom of son Emerson. “The best thing about being pregnant was feeling him move inside of me,” recalls Snyder. “He was on my root chakra and I could just feel this incredible surge of creativity that changed me as a woman and was very empowering.” The biggest surprise about being a new mom, Snyder says is how often a baby eats. “I’m doing on demand breast feeding and aside from sleeping, he’s on my body feeding at least 12 times a day!” Prior to baby bliss, Snyder’s extensive studies and observations during a three year global backpacking experience helped her to formulate a simple yet groundbreaking program that creates beauty from the inside out. Basically, the cleaner you eat, the better the digestion. And the easier the digestion process, the more energy you have! “When your cells and blood are clean,” Snyder says in her book, “ your body

will function optimally and you become radiant from within.” She practiced these same principles throughout her pregnancy. Though she opted intuitively for a more nurturing and gentle yin yoga practice, she remained active through long hikes and deep stretching. The only modifications she made to her Beauty Detox regimen was eating smaller meals more often. Snyder admits that she did eat more coconut “ice cream” than ever before. (Dairy free of course!) “It’s important to remember that there are satisfying alternatives to any and all cravings.”

Yoga Digest: How long have you been practicing a healthy lifestyle? Tell us about the evolution of your journey! Kimberly Snyder: Before becoming a nutritionist, I spent three years traveling the world through over 50 countries, visiting every continent but Antarctica. I originally wanted to become a doctor but became disillusioned after interning in a hospital one summer. After suffering from acne, weight gain and very low energy post-college, I was able to rebalance my health, weight and skin after making certain dietary and lifestyle changes (after trying so many other approaches and diets that did not work!). I was inspired to learn more about nutrition in holistic ways and share how to heal with others, and that is what inspired my world journey, as well as my very strong passion for wellness.

Through my travels, I often visited regions of the world with access to far fewer resources than we have in America, but I noticed something very interesting—the women look much more beautiful. They have gorgeous skin, look much younger, and simply don’t have the same weight and health problems. As I immersed myself in these various cultures and the way they approach health and beauty, I gained a fresh perspective. I could really see how much Western society overcomplicates things with our different diet plans and beauty products. In contrast, simple beauty practices coupled with a more natural diet gets much better results. When I returned home, I took the best beauty and health secrets I’d collected from my travels, immersed myself in the study of nutrition and backed up my findings with science. My philosophy is the combination of all of my discoveries.


Photo by John Pisani


INSPIRE The Most Beautiful Experience Of All with Kimberly Snyder

When You’re Expecting Digestion is still a focus. Mama must keep up her digestion in check. Constipation is a common problem for mothers, which needs to be dealt with so toxicity does not amass. Taking the SBO probiotics is super important. The Glowing Green Smoothie is the absolute best way to supply yourself with Beauty Energy and Beauty Minerals. In one delicious drink, you get the fuel for energy, vital nutrition and enhanced digestion. Made up of about 70% green vegetables and 30% fruit, the Glowing Green Smoothie helps you eat far more greens than you ordinarily could. But it is not just the quantity of greens that makes the smoothie so amazing—because we blend the greens and fruit for easy digestion, your body is able to absorb more of the vitamins and minerals without working so hard. It is great especially in the second and third trimester, when you have to be strategic about what to eat that won’t make you overly full or induce acid reflux.

Photo by Ylva Erevall

Focus on good ‘ole veggies! Vegetables, and especially organic and local ones, are full of healthy antioxidants and phytonutrients. But my program puts the most emphasis on green vegetables, which are the most nutrient-dense, and packed with chlorophyll, minerals, vitamins, and are about 50% amino acids. These nutrients provide your pregnant body with so many nutrients it needs. Most people don’t think of greens as protein sources, they actually are. In fact, gorillas are the strongest animals on earth, pound for pound, and as plant eaters they derive their protein needs from their high greens diet! Remember to also eat a wide variety of other plant foods: seeds (especially chia), nuts, whole grains, legumes (like lentils), organic, fermented tempeh to get more than enough protein in your diet. Animal protein concentrates environmental toxins because you go higher up in the food supply, so limit animal proteins to a few times a week or at most once a day, if you choose, and always get antibiotic-free meat whenever possible.

YD: What are some things you do differently than others to instill wellness in your family values? Best practices? Tips you can share? KS: FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL Don’t worry about everything! If you do the grocery shopping and the majority of food prep, you can control sourcing organic, whole foods and stocking them in the house to cook with and for your family to snack on. But when they venture into the world for restaurant meals, celebratory parties and events, they may not always eat perfectly. But so long as you establish a great home base, where your family eats the vast majority of the time, you and they are doing amazingly well! MAKE IT EASY TO EAT HEALTHILY Keep fruit and freshly cut veggie sticks with yummy hummus and other dips and almond butter in the fridge for ready snacking. Source crunchy lentil or brown rice crackers as alternatives to pretzels and fried potato chips. Make chia pudding, and make delicious, kid-friendly smoothies with your family made of dates, bananas, dried figs, Goji berries and other

Photo by John Pisani

What to Eat

YD: How is your approach different? KS: There are a lot of beauty and diet books because our society makes health and beauty seem so confusing! Many programs focus on what I call the “surface” evaluations of foods- how many calories, grams of carbs, protein, etc. a food has. And too many women feel like they have to micromanage and count everything they eat in order to look their best. That’s simply not true! My program focuses on the powerful link between beauty, health and energy. The key is unlocking our Beauty Energy, the potential energy we all have inside us that can rejuvenate skin, reduce wrinkles, melt away pounds and give us newfound energy. A staggering 50-80% of our energy is spent digesting, and the more energy we spend digesting, the less energy we have to rejuvenate our cells and fight aging. With the Beauty Detox Solution, you can free up this Beauty Energy, so you can use it to create beautiful skin, hair and nails. And you’ll even have the energy to be able to play with your kids at the end of the day! Sure, there are many programs out where you can lose weight- at least for a time. But what’s the good in being a size 4 if you look 10 years older? My program is not only about losing the weight but having amazing skin, feeling energized and looking younger, too!


SET A GOOD EXAMPLE! Your kids will follow your lead if they see you genuinely enjoying healthy foods most all of the time. START AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE If you can start your kids early on loving the Glowing Green Smoothie and simple meals like broccoli and brown rice (sounds non-kid friendly but so many of my clients’ kids grow up on such foods and love them!), they will be into them for the long-term.

Photo by lva Erevalli

IT IS ABOUT ABUNDANCE, NOT RESTRICTION Detox is not worrying about just specific foods, but teaches a whole different approach to eating that maximizes Beauty Energy and increases the beautifying vitamins and minerals you eat every day. Focus on celebrating natural deliciousness, such as juicy peaches in the summer and yummy baked sweet potato fries, instead of no to this and no to that. The good will naturally crowd out the bad!

Photo by Ylva Erevall

sweeter treats that will satisfy their natural sweet cravings over candy.


Top 5 Pregnancy


ALMOND BUTTER An excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals, Mamas can make a super fast and healthy snack when hunger hits by slathering on celery sticks. DARK LEAFY GREEN VEGGIES Full of folate, which is essential for baby’s proper development, as well as calcium and other minerals, and amino acids that build protein in your body. CHIA SEEDS Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals, protein, and fiber, simply soak chia seeds in almond milk and a sweetener to make an easy chia pudding to snack on every day. LENTILS A great source of plant protein that is also energizing and fibrous. Be sure to soak them overnight and rinse well before cooking to make them easier to digest and assimilate their nutrition. TAHINI Sesame seeds are super high in calcium, which Mama needs, and tahini, made from ground sesame seeds, can easily be blended to make delicious salad dressings and sauces to top on steamed or baked veggies.



INSPIRE The Most Beautiful Experience Of All with Kimberly Snyder

Pregnancy Myths


MYTH #1: YOU’RE EATING FOR TWO Don’t Succumb to this. There is a huge misconception that pregnancy ruins your body forever. If you go into the pregnancy balanced and don’t succumb to the myth that you’re eating for two. Really you only need about 300 extra calories and that’s in the last trimester. It’s possible to get back to your pre-pregnancy body. Quickly. It’s possible to be energetic post pregnancy and in general. MYTH #2: MOTHER (OR DR., OR SISTER, ETC...) KNOWS BEST Everybody is different. Be gentle with yourself. Trust yourself. Not everybody’s experience has to be your experience. Listen to yourself and trust your instincts. People will ask you to read this book and that book. It should be instinctual, natural and simple. Women have this amazing intuition and it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Photo by John Pisani

MYTH #3: BUY TWO OF EVERYTHING You don’t need as much stuff as you think! Don’t worry about trying to get everything ready. The baby will likely be sleeping in your room for a fair amount of time. It’s important to relax as much as possible before baby arrives. Having extra and unnecessary things takes up energy. Save it for the baby!

Photo by Robert Sturman

YD: How supportive are your friends and family to your lifestyle and what obstacles, if any, do you face when staying on your wellness path? KS: The main theme is compromise! My dad and others close to me still like eating burgers and cheese sometimes. Not everyone is as passionate about health as me, and I just have to accept that. You have to accept that everyone is doing their best, and is on their own journey. My dad may still eat red meat occasionally, but is way down on the amount overall, and now will enjoy Glowing Green Smoothies. I think a big obstacle is holidays because certain family members are attached to the idea of traditional holiday fare. Just remember that you can bring a holiday dish to share with everyone, so they can try it and see what you are eating. If anyone calls you out or gets defensive about how you are eating, you can always respond that it simply makes you feel better. If you make it be about you and your feelings, rather than getting into an intellectual nutrition argument or criticizing others, no one can really argue with you. You can’t worry about the defensiveness of those around you around their eating habits; you have to just focus on what is best for you and your family and not feel guilty or awkward. If you share and remain non-critical, as I mentioned, it will be easier for everyone.


Beauty Detox Tips for a

There’s a LOT of misinformation out there and fear-based notions that are simply unfounded. It causes people to cling to what they know or what others are doing… which may not necessarily be the healthiest.


KEEP A PREGNANCY JOURNAL There is so much that women are processing, it’s important to have a place to be really honest and not worry about others opinions. It’s a great place to reflect on fears and happy thoughts. DEVELOP A HOME YOGA PRACTICE Even if you still go to classes, it’s important to do what your body is feeling on any given day. At least some of the time, take a moment to really be in tune with your body. Your center of gravity is changing everyday, hormones are shifting and when you’re on your mat by yourself you can move in an authentic way. Do whatever kind of movement feels right, whatever you can trust. MEDITATION. EVEN MORE THAN EVER MEDITATION IS KEY There are periods of feeling weepy, emotional and scared. If it’s your first pregnancy you don’t know what to expect: is the baby going to be healthy, what’s going to happen with work and your relationships. Meditation is a great way to feel centered in the middle of this storm. MASSAGES In Ayurveda it’s called Abhyanga, which is self oil massage. Even a great prenatal massage can help balance hormones and be so comforting during pregnancy.

Photo by John Pisani

YD: What is the biggest challenge with choosing a Healthy lifestyle and raising a child? KS: There’s a LOT of misinformation out there and fear-based notions that are simply unfounded. It causes people to cling to what they know or what others are doing…which may not necessarily be the healthiest. For instance, the notion that kids need to eat dairy products to get calcium- or adults for that matter. Dairy can be very difficult for many of us to digest and creates a lot of toxicity in the body. Think of toxicity as rust in a bicycle wheel--it’s so much harder to pedal a bicycle along when the wheels are clogged with rust. Over time, our bodies collect toxins in much the same way a bicycle wheel collects rust. All of that toxicity can contribute to over-acidity, gassiness, digestive distress, respiratory issues and more. Dairy is meant for a baby cow, not a baby human or an adult human. There are so many other ways to get calcium and other nutrients, and actually retain them in the body (chronic overacidity can cause alkaline minerals, such as calcium, to be excreted through the urine, resulting in a net calcium loss). This is backed up with science and studies- but unfortunately many people still insist that dairy is a health food, based on the food propaganda or because their families ate it historically. When other people are fear-based, they tend to project their fear onto you and try to judge or be critical. You have to stay true to what you believe and tune out all the noise! Also, you can only control what is in the house and what are the day to day practices, most all of the time.

Healthy Pregnancy

Beyond The Physical: Being Healthy is Emotional & Spiritual with Kimberly Spreen-Glick

Kimberly Spreen-Glick is the National Director of Group Fitness Programming and Education for Life Time Fitness, a member of the IDEA Program Director Committee, LifePower Yoga Faculty Member and coproducer of EMPOWER! Fitness Events.


nown for her passion, enthusiasm and humor, Kimberly travels the world as a Presenter, Motivational Speaker and Continuing Education Provider. Kimberly’s philosophy: Do what you love – LOVE what you do! Now she does just that while also balancing the needs of her family. Not only does she inspire through her charisma, classes and presentations, but she is also making major waves with her Karma Warriors project. The mission of Karma Warriors is to get at least 1 million people to take the Karma Warriors Pledge. Why? Because an idea grows more powerful when it is shared! The pledge is simple, yet profound: “Through e k a M both random and planned a s s e elln complete w acts of kindness, I pledge g sin

hout focu priority wit n any one too much o for is the need area. There e ..but also th movement. iet time need for qu and rest.

to do what I can, when I can to make a positive impact on the world around me. I AM a Karma Warrior.” You can make your pledge at www.karmawarriors.com. Along with husband, Rob Glick, also well known in the fitness industry, she is a pioneer and innovator in the wellness world. They have both been leaders in the fitness events circuit for many years. It’s amazing to see Spreen-Glick transform and blossom so gracefully into shuffling family life and a high profile fitness career. Yoga Digest: How long have you been practicing a healthy lifestyle? Tell us about the evolution of your journey! Kimberly Glick: Well, it hasn’t been my entire life, that’s for sure. Over my teen years, I dealt with a poor body image, which led to nasty battle with

anorexia and bulimia. At the age of 18, I was actually quite frail and unhealthy. This is when a concerned friend recommended a local jazzercise class to me. I figured, what the heck! I only lasted 19 minutes but it was “love at first grapevine”. The music, the movement, the energy…it was like it made a part of me deep inside wake back up. I quickly came to understand that, in order to keep enjoying this newfound love for movement, I needed to eat. I don’t mean it lightly when I say that group fitness saved my life. And once I realized that I was on the road to good health, it became very clear that my path in this world was to ‘pay it forward’ by trying to empower as many people as I possibly can to live a healthier, happier life. So, at 19 I became certified as a trainer and soon after started teaching “aerobics”. Over the last 24 years (wow, has it really been that long?!), I’ve taught and trained others in just about every format you can imagine from kickboxing to cycling to strength training; but, within the last 12 years, it has been yoga and positive psychology that have been my greatest passion and focus. There is no measure for the gift I’ve received through the shifting of my perspective of wellness from merely physical to include both emotional and spiritual. It has been a game-changer, as they say. YD: What are some things you do differently than others to instill wellness in your family values? Best practices? Tips you can share? KG: Make complete wellness a priority without focusing too much on any one area. There is the need for movement and activities that get our blood pumping but there’s also the need for quiet time and rest. There is a need for proper nutrition but we have to be sure not to be so attached that we no longer embrace the joy of eating a beautiful meal…along with a fun treat. Talk openly – we even talk with our 3 ½ year old about things like love, compassion and God. There is no complete wellness without emotional and spiritual wellness. It’s important that we instill that throughout our lives and our children’s lives. Practice gratitude. My husband and I make an intentional habit out of noticing things we have to be grateful for and we verbally express them to each other – often. When you make this a habit, the list grows and multiplies – not because you’ve gained more things but because you’ve gained more awareness. At the age of 2, our son started saying on his own every morning, “It’s a beautiful day”. Heart melting!!! WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

YD: How supportive are your friends and family to your lifestyle and what obstacles, if any, do you face when staying on your wellness path? KG: Our friends and family are hugely supportive. We couldn’t be more blessed. I’d say our greatest challenge is constantly being on the road. We pretty consistently find ourselves in different times zones, relying on a hotel restaurant menu for healthy meals, etc. We try to focus on making it an adventure but I’ll admit that it’s always nice to get back to the routine of “home”. YD: What is the biggest challenge with choosing a healthy lifestyle and raising a family? KG: I think the biggest challenge for us all is balance. It’s easy to get lost in the “not enough hours in the day to get it all done” mentality. I’ve learned that time management is priority management. You make time for what you feel is important, period. Most of the times in my life with my family, when I’ve felt “off” or disconnected, it’s been because where I’ve been dedicating my time and energy hasn’t matched up with what in life truly fills my heart and fuels my passion. YD: What is your favorite family activity? KG: Well, living 4 miles inland from the Pacific, I think I would be in big trouble if I didn’t say “the beach”! We do love getting together on the beach, playing in the waves or in the sand. There’s something about the ocean that just brings us all back to a place of connectedness and peace. The ocean always takes me to 2 very different places in my mind – it reminds me that we are all so small, part of something so much greater than ourselves and yet it reminds me that life and the possibilities it offers are boundless!


Seeing Things

With Special Eyes with Gina Dunn

Gina Dunn is a YD Warrior, serving on the 2016 team of Yoga Digest Ambassadors! She is the Director of Yoga at We Yogis, a Summer Educator at the Dallas Museum of Art and owns an Art Studio. Dynamic and driven, Dunn is known for being genuine and authentic in all that she does.


unn is a wife and mother of three, has fun making art every day, and believes it is never too early to instill a love of the arts in children. She is also an active community advocate and serves on various local philanthropic committees by donating her time and talent. Her humble approach to life is a breath of fresh air and we are truly blessed to have her as part of our yoga community! Yoga Digest: How long have you been practicing a healthy lifestyle? Tell us about the evolution of your journey!  Gina Dunn: I have been practicing a healthy lifestyle since I had my daughter, who is now 9.  After she was born I found myself facing an uphill battle on


how to feel at home again in my body after gaining 50+ pounds during pregnancy. The transformation happened when I focused on working on myself from the inside out and structuring my approach to well-being in a holistic, rather than a linear way. I discovered yoga during pregnancy and this practice opened my eyes to the mind-body connection. Being a research lover, I delved into the study of nutrition, the science and philosophy of yoga, and noticed so many connections. Although I have always enjoyed being active and played sports growing up, it was only after Annabella was born that I began to consciously integrate a lifestyle of health and wellness with my athletic training. I became mindful in how I fueled my body by generally eating a cleaner diet WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

and how I fueled my thoughts by beginning a meditation practice. I found incredible differences in my body’s capacity when I trained in this way, ran competitively for the next six years, and eventually an active style of vinyasa yoga that satiated my need of movement to calm the mind and helped soften the hyper-driven, competitive edge. I completed my 200 and 500-hour yoga teacher training and discovered my passion for helping others discover the practice of yoga that has enhanced my life and world views in so many beautiful ways. YD: What are some things you do differently than others to instill wellness in your family values? Best practices? Tips you can share?  GD: I make sure to practice with my family regularly on how to see things with “special eyes” ... a term we use for looking and understanding beyond the literal. We hone our creative thinking through art, journaling and meditation. Everyone has a sketchbook at home and in the car.  Rather than making these formal activities, I have worked hard to create the space for it to happen spontaneously and cultivate the desire for them to work independently. The art studio door is always open. When they go out there on their own accord, they receive a lot of positive reinforcement.   Due to busy after school schedules, we are often eating dinner at different times. Family breakfast together is a priority. I cook breakfast every morning and when my husband is not traveling he helps out. The kids have learned the choices

we make at breakfast can get us started in the best possible way. Everyone eats a full, balanced breakfast together to get us fueled for the day.

YD: How supportive are your friends and family to your lifestyle and what obstacles, if any, do you face when staying on your wellness path? GD: I have been fortunate to develop so many close friendships through yoga and before yoga with people who are interested in growing, learning and evolving.  My husband and our parents have been slower to come around to some of the dietary changes I have incorporated over the years, but I have never forced information on them or been overly regimented about it and just tried to lead by example and offer information only when asked.  It has been gratifying to see them eliminating harmful things like processed foods and becoming smarter about the choices they make. They are still a little yucked out by mommy’s green juice, but my husband will drink it if he is trying to keep a cold at bay or has a big day ahead... that’s how I know he understands it helps him even if it’s not his favorite taste in the whole world. I have found the most resistance with traditional doctors who are not receptive to alternative ways of treating injury and illness, especially in an athlete’s body. I walked out of an orthopedist’s office after being x-rayed for a third degree ankle “Make sure to sprain when I asked him how I could help the healing propractice how to see cess and he told me to “wear l ia ec ‘sp th things wi a walking boot for 6 weeks eyes’....looking and and eat a sandwich.” Using a combination of Eastern and understanding beyond Western philosophies has led the literal.” me to find physicians who are more open-minded.


YD: What is the biggest challenge with choosing a Healthy lifestyle and raising a family? GD: The biggest challenge is not going overboard with a healthy lifestyle by controlling my kids’ choices. When they are younger (mine are 9, 8 and 6), it is easy to do this, but it creates a situation that is satisfying as a parent, but is not sustainable in reality.  There are choices they make in the cafeteria, at birthday parties, at grandparents’

houses, on vacations, and I want them to feel confident rather than confused. There is a bigger goal in mind: teaching them to make healthy choices and find balance. YD: What is your favorite family activity?  GD: Dallas is a huge resource.  We like to take advantage of it as a family. We love to do things outside of the realm of our regular routine and activ-

Real Healthy Tips

from a RealwithHousewife Cary Deuber

Nurse, mother, yogini, and star of the shamelessly addicting “The Real Housewives of Dallas,” Cary Deuber’s most important role is her household as a wife, mom to her baby daughter, two step-children, and three dogs.


inding balance has always been her motto, as Deuber is an avid practitioner of yoga, and spends her downtime meditating and finding time to do her yoga routines wherever she can place her mat and let go of all her stress. It’s refreshing to catch a glimpse behind the scenes with Deuber who is active in her community volunteering for the Junior League of Dallas, Suicide and Crisis Center, Trinity River Mission, Turtle Creek Recovery Center and Texas Ballet Theatre. After studying nursing, she pursued an advanced practice degree to become a CRNFA certified registered nurse first assistant. She has actively led and participated in multiple medical mission trips, focusing on pediatric surgeries in various third world countries. There’s always more than meets the eye and it’s inspiring how Deuber manages it all! Yoga Digest: How long have you been practicing a healthy lifestyle? Tell us about the evolution of your journey! Cary Deuber: I began running in college and ended up participating in two marathons in my 20’s and a lot of half’s. Pounding the pavement eventually took


In our home, our kids pitch in. y They choose a health recipe, go the grocery store and buy items to e make the meal, cook th meal and clean up.

ity obligations. Museums, street festivals, cultural events, even mixing it up by going to grocery stores or shopping in other neighborhoods keeps us from being too sheltered by our immediate bubble.  I love cooking with my youngest son and painting with my middle son and daughter. My husband and I hold date night sacred and trying new restaurants with friends is one of our favorite things to do. 

Gina Dunn assisting Cary Deuber. Gina is Cary’s yoga teacher at We Yogi’s in Dallas.

its toll on my joints. I started cycling and practicing yoga in my late 20’s. I have to admit it took time for me to get hooked on yoga. It was love at first practice! I remember sitting in my car after my first yoga class and almost crying it was so hard! Now yoga is my release and way to distress while keeping my body in shape. It has just been amazing for my body and mind! YD: What are some things you do differently than others to instill wellness in your family values? Best practices? Tips you can share? CD: In our home, our kids pitch in. I started with a calendar and assigned various things for the kids to do. One of my favorites is when they cook a meal. My step kids are teenagers and I love empowering them by showing them how they CAN do it themselves. They choose a healthy recipe, go to the grocery store and buy the items to make the meal, cook the meal and clean up. It teaches them the value of a dollar as well as how much goes in to making a meal for your family. YD: How supportive are your friends and family to your lifestyle and what obstacles, if any, do you face when staying on your wellness path? CD: My family is very supportive of my healthy lifestyle. My dad ran one of my marathons with me! My parents are avid golfers and are very active. My husband and I hike and cycle together. We also try to get our 10,000 steps a day together. It is a great way for us to spend time together and get exercise. My husband also cooks amazing meals for our family which is a huge help! YD: What is the biggest challenge with choosing a healthy lifestyle and raising a family? CD: “Kid friendly food”. It is hard to find healthy foods that a toddler will eat. It is a struggle and like everyone we fail at times. I thought I would never buy sugar and processed foods for my daughter. I nursed her and then made all of her baby food. All that went out the window


during the toddler years! We try our best but everything in moderation. Even cookies and goldfish! Teenagers are hard as well because they love junk and are surrounded by it. You just do the best you can! YD: What is your favorite family activity? CD: Traveling. We love to see the world! It is so important to teach your kids and travel is the best way to do it! Getting out of the Dallas bubble and into the world is just so influential and it raises a more well rounded kiddo. I also love going to yoga with my daughter and stepdaughter! We have so much fun together learning, exercising and just breathing!


Healthy and Active Kids by Introducing Them to the Benefits of

Yoga at an Early Age As a children’s yoga teacher for over ten years, I am often asked why we should encourage children to embrace yoga at a young age. BY TERESA ANNE POWER, ILLUSTRATIONS BY KATHLEEN RIETZ EXCERPTED FROM THE ABC’S OF YOGA FOR KIDS


s a children’s yoga teacher for over ten years, I am often asked why we should encourage children to embrace yoga at a young age. Yoga has become the most widely practiced exercise system in the world, and although many people are beginning to recognize the many health benefits of yoga for adults, they may not realize that kids can reap the same benefits from practicing yoga as well. Yoga instills non-competitive skills and is a huge boost for a young child’s self-esteem. It is a non-competitive form of exercise suitable for children of all ages and athletic abilities; even kids who are not good at sports can achieve excellent results. This accommodative nature of yoga is one example of how yoga differs from other forms of exercise, which often focus on competition and performance. Yoga instead combines breath and movement to promote a mindful connection with one’s body. During their formative years, children are very impressionable and open to new ideas and concepts; yoga helps them get over the fear of trying something new at an early age. In addition, children benefit from yoga’s physical strengthening, as maintaining the pos-


ture requires effort from young muscles while encouraging flexibility as well. Take, for instance, Dog Pose. This posture not only stretches the spine but also strengthens the back, arms and shoulders at the same time. In addition to the physical activity benefits of yoga, children who practice this art form also develop a good value system as they learn to respect themselves and in turn respecting others. Yoga promotes calmness, centering, and even-temperateness while developing discipline and a love of learning. This translates into better concentration and focus at school. Children’s yoga is a natural and healthy way for kids to exercise, relax, focus, and strengthen their minds and bodies. The many benefits of yoga for kids also help those with childhood challenges such as autism, ADHD, obesity, stress, and physical disabilities. Autism is a complex condition that can vary from child to child, with symptoms including significantly impaired social skills, difficulty staying calm, limited body awareness, disconnection to others, and delayed language development. Children with autism who practice simple yoga poses benefit by gaining better balance, body awareness, strength, and coordination,


as well a sense of calmness and improved mood and self-esteem. Yoga also benefits children with ADHD, a common behavioral disorder where kids act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. Yoga helps kids with ADHD by boosting concentration and focus while reducing impulsivity and hyperactivity. Tree pose, pictured below, is a great posture to increase focus and concentration in children; it is beneficial for all kids, including those with autism and ADHD. Besides the rise of autism and ADHD in many of our youth, children are also under siege by obesity, stress, and diseases like diabetes that stem from poor diet and lack of exercise. Children who are overweight or obese are at risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Thus, combatting obesity at an early age is vital to preventing long-term negative effects on overall health and well-being.

Yoga for kids creates good habits and a foundation for well-being. A commitment to practicing simple yoga poses offers an ideal way for safe and long-term weightloss success and reduced stress levels as well. Yoga can help kids manage stress by giving them an outlet for their emotions, through breath and movement. Lastly, yoga can help children with physical disabilities. Many yoga poses can be modified, as necessary, to meet the individual needs of the child, such as Ragdoll pose below. Yoga can be used to complement a child’s existing medical care, therapy program, or exercise regimen; however, always consult a doctor before starting a yoga routine for a child with physical disabilities. In sum, yoga offers a plethora of different benefits for today’s youth and is a great way for them to incorporate healthy activity into their daily lives. Yoga helps children attain inner peace while encouraging them to connect with the world around them in a new sense and under a new light. Introducing yoga into your child’s life can make a difference in raising them to be healthy and active at a young age.

Teresa Anne Power is an internationally recog-

nized children’s yoga expert and best-selling author of the award-winning books The ABCs of Yoga for Kids and The ABCs of Yoga for Kids: A Guide for Parents and Teachers. She has taught yoga to kids for over 10 years, helping thousands of children develop a healthy attitude towards their body. Teresa has also appeared on local and national TV and radio talking about the health benefit of yoga for kids, and is a keynote speaker. In addition, she is the founder of Kids’ Yoga Day, an international event to raise global awareness of the benefits of yoga for kids. For more information go to

www.abcyogaforkids.com www.kidsyogaday.com WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M



Healing Our Children

From the Outside In What if our best-intended efforts to protect our children’s health were found to be a primary cause of today’s disturbing rise in chronic illness? INTERVIEW BY JENN BODNAR W/ DR. MAYA SHETREAT-KLEIN




hat’s exactly what medical evidence now shows. One in 13 children now suffers from food allergies. In the last 8 years, the number of children diagnosed with ADHD has jumped nearly 50%. And one in 45 children now carries an autism diagnosis. Many parents have been told that their children will have these conditions for life, or are simply untreatable. Children are part of a growing and massive health crisis in which chronic illness has become the new normal. The culprit? Our national obsession with over-sanitization - of kids’ bodies, their homes, even the soil that grows their food - that does far more harm than good. Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein proves that it’s possible to reverse this trend by allowing our children exposure to microbes, feeding them fresh food from healthy soil, and encouraging time in close contact with nature. Shetreat-Klein explains how to keep their kids healthy based on two essential principles: First, heal them from the inside out (buy and cook the healthiest natural foods); and second: heal them from the outside in (playing in nature).

YD: What is the best way to encourage kids to spend time outside? Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein: I think playing outdoors actually comes naturally to most children. They need to have the opportunity. I grew up in a generation in which our parents kicked us outdoors on nice days and told us to come back by dinner time. Neighborhood kids found each other to play, and we rode our bikes to parks or the playground and played for hours. In my family now, we have outdoor chores like walking the dog or gathering vegetables from our garden and eggs from our chickens, or raking leaves or shoveling snow. But we also have a frisbee and balls, a hose, binoculars and a magnifying glass for detecting wildlife, shovels and places for the kids to dig. We make bonfires (safely), rake leaves into piles and then jump in them, and build snow forts. YD: What about safety precautions? What tips do you have for parents who might live in an urban area? Or even rural where wild animals etc. can be a concern? Dr. MSK: Safety is important. But it’s also important for children to learn how to navigate the natural world, in age-appropriate ways, of course. It is always a challenge for parents to find that balance, and the pendulum is always swinging in one or the other direction. These days, we are more focused on safety than independence. But a certain amount of independence actually helps many children develop the judgment to navigate situations intelligently. That said, my family lives in New York City, and one way we navigate the safety issue is by having a WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

dog. Each of my children is expected to take our dog for walks every day. So, my children get outdoors and in nature, and the dog protects them to some extent from strangers or wild animals. (Believe it or not, we have coyotes wandering through our New York City neighborhood at times). YD: How does being outdoors benefit children? Dr. MSK: Children benefit in so many ways. They have better focus and attention, calmer and happier mood, improved sleep, enhanced performance on tests and fewer symptoms of ADHD. Some studies have looked at what happens when people spend sustained time in the forest--it turns out that they release lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and produce higher levels of anti-cancer proteins.

...heal them from the inside out (buy and cook the healthiest natural foods); and second: heal them from the outside in (playing in nature). YD: Do you have any statistics? Are children spending less time outdoors these days than before? Dr. MSK: Yes. During the last 30 years, the amount of children’s free time has declined, in favor of more structured activities. For example, between 1981-1997, unstructured outdoor activities fell by 50%. Some of the most important time children connect with nature is through unstructured time spent exploring and playing. Children also are spending half as much time outside as they did 20 years ago – and much more time doing “inside” activities. YD: How does technology play a part in outdoor time? Dr. MSK: The average American child spends 44 hours per week (more than 6 hours a day!) staring at some kind of electronic screen. But it’s possible to use technology to enjoy the outdoors. One way to draw children outside with technology is through geocaching. It’s a worldwide digital scavenger hunt, which takes people to small “caches” where they find tiny treasures and then leave tiny treasures. There is also a wonderful app called Merlin, which helps to identify birds based on the time of year, color, size, and call. Even though I welcome time free of technology, for some it can enhance our time outdoors in many ways.


EDUCATE Healing Our Children From the Outside In YD: In your book you discuss that spending 3 hours outside a day can improve vision. How so? Dr. MSK: East Asia has been gripped by an unprecedented rise in myopia, also known as nearsightedness. Sixty years ago, 10–20% of the Chinese population was nearsighted. Today, up to 90% of teenagers and young adults are. In Seoul, 96.5% of 19-year-old men are nearsighted. Myopia now affects around half of young adults in the United States and Europe — double the prevalence of half a century ago. It was previously thought that myopia was based solely on genetics...but it is impossible to have a genetic epidemic, so genetics couldn’t explain the whole story. After studying more than 4,000 children in primary and secondary schools for three years, researchers found that children who spent less time outside were at greater risk of developing myopia. Other studies have corroborated these findings. And in East Asia, children are being encouraged to spend an hour or more outdoors each day in order to help prevent myopia.

After studying more than 4,000 children in primary and secondary schools for three years, researchers found that children who spent less time outside were at greater risk of developing myopia. YD: What difference does it make whether you’re spending time in a green environment vs. a pavement area? Dr. MSK: Researchers have explored this very question, and it does make a difference. Children derived the enhanced cognitive benefits and better focus only from spending time on highly natural playgrounds instead of blacktops, or attending schools with greenery around them as opposed to concrete, or from walking through green landscapes as opposed to city streets. There really was a significant difference between the two. Our physiology plugs into nature in ways that it doesn’t to manmade materials in manmade environments.


YD: What are some of your favorite outdoor activities? Dr. MSK: I love foraging for mushrooms. It’s like putting on another set of eyes and entering a secret, beautiful world. I love to hike with my dog and my family in the forest--it’s our own practice of forest bathing, immersing ourselves into the environment of the woods. Nature photography is a passion of mine. This year, I’ve been learning quite a lot about birds-their call, their behavior, what it means. It’s fascinating. And of course, I really enjoy planting and growing food and medicinal plants. I also love spending time just sitting on rocks or getting to know trees. I’m a bit of a tree-hugger...literally! YD: Do you know of any organizations or websites that encourage families to get outside? Dr. MSK: National Wildlife Federation is one, American Forest Association, Children and Nature Network, and many, many more. The goal is to leave no child inside and get children to interact with, learn about, and fall in love with the natural world.

Maya Shetreat-Klein, M.D., author of The Dirt Cure,

is a pediatric neurologist with a medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she was awarded the Edward Padow Award for Excellence in Pediatrics and graduated with a Special Distinction in Research in Child Neurology for her original work on autism. Dr. Shetreat-Klein completed the University of Arizona’s two-year Fellowship in Integrative Medicine, founded by Andrew Weil, M.D., and is now a member of the faculty. She lectures nationally and internationally at conferences for both physicians and laypeople on topics such as children’s health, autism, integrative medicine and nutrition, toxins and neurological health.


5 Ways to Cultivate

Young Yogis Generous Heart Giving without receiving is a tough concept for many, particularly kids. BY ERIKA PRAFDER


hey are so focused on their needs and extrinsic motivations. Just consider the sticker reward charts that parents use to acknowledge good behavior,” says kids’ mindfulness and yoga teacher, Susan Verde, (susanverde.com). “It’s not to say that it’s a bad thing, but it becomes challenging when not balanced with acts of being kind for the sake of it.” In yoga circles, the practice of seva, or selfless service, is one that parents can model and teach their children about early on. “It basically means that you give of yourself, without any expectation of getting anything back,” says Verde. For anyone, young or old, the virtues of seva can be intrinsically powerful, says the expert. “There’s no better feeling, I think, than doing some kind of service without any material gain,” says Verde. “It’s

empowering to know that you can make a difference – and that you’re capable of contributing in some way. It’s a way to pay it forward and express the good side of humanity.” Seva comes in many forms and sizes, too. “A simple smile or helping hand can make the biggest impact,” says Verde. “You don’t know what kind of day or life someone is having.” Another reason to weave seva in to your day-to-day is that, it helps to develop more resilience against the bumps and challenges on the road of life, says Verde. “Remembering the important, connective things – those things that make us feel part of a compassionate and caring community - - this is what will help to get you through tough times,” says Verde. “Not being ashamed or embarrassed to ask others for help is an important life tool, as it can be difficult to do.”

Here are Verde’s 5 Tips for Cultivating Your Child’s Generous Heart VOLUNTEER Investigate opportunities to contribute to society locally. Work at a soup kitchen or participate in a marathon to benefit charity. Tune in to your child’s interests. If she loves animals, encourage her to volunteer to walk a neighbor’s dog or volunteer at an animal shelter. BE A PEER ROLE MODEL School is a perfect setting for doing good deeds. Read to another child, introduce the “new kid” at the lunch table, or bring a sick friend his homework. START A “SEVA CHALLENGE ONLINE” Social media is a great medium for kids to launch a kindness movement. Invite Facebook friends to post happy thoughts, uplifting news, or quotes. Challenge Instagram followers to upload images of charitable public role models. KEEP A CHARITY JAR Encourage kids to donate their spare change, a portion of their allowance or earned cash to a benevolent cause. When given the opportunity to give, most rise to the occasion. MODEL THE MISSION If you really want to teach your kids seva, let them in on your own caring gestures. Tell them about the $20 bill you returned to someone who dropped it. Bring them along next time you carry your elderly neighbor’s groceries inside from her car. Ask them for their own altruistic ideas and act on them together.

Monkey Do! Yoga’s offerings and history Building a yoga studio for children is something I had dreamed of for years, slowly putting together a plan, sharing the idea with close friends and relatives. I had been practicing yoga since my late teens, and have worked quite a bit with children’s media – but combining those seemingly disparate loves seemed like something of a pipe dream.



verything changed when my own daughter was born at the end of 2014, immediately the idea shifted from pipe dream to reality and became something of a calling. The idea to create a comfortable space where kids could have fun exercising, learning as well as building confidence and making new friends – was now a mission, and we opened at the end of 2015. The aim was to build the environment in a neighborhood setting, tailor made for Brooklyn kids with a focus on community and family (every kind of family). It’s a really special group of people here; It’s clear as soon as you walk in, that everyone on the MDY team shares a love of yoga and children. Our offerings include classes and workshops for all stages and abilities, prenatal through teen and everything

in between, as well as family yoga. There’s also open play time where little ones simply get to climb and explore. Some classes are drop-offs, some are for kids & their adults to spend time moving together. We love seeing caregivers modeling healthy behavior for their kids, and definitely see the difference that it makes. In addition to classes and events in our studio, we also work with local schools and organizations to bring yoga to them. Kids encounter stresses everywhere – academic and social, as well as busy families, not to mention electronic overload in this connected world we’re living in. The energy in our urban environment can heighten that even more. Monkey Do! Yoga equips kids with healthy ways to meet those challenges through strong minds and healthy bodies.



Benefits of Yoga for Kids Mental Focus

Watch a child balance in tree pose and see the focus in their eyes. Those busy minds aren’t wandering. With practice, they can bring this into all aspects of their lives.


We may think of yoga as a solitary endeavor, but if you’ve ever seen two kids giggling through a partner pose you can see the sense of community and trust it builds. They create friendships and learn to help each other.

Mindfulness and Self-regulation

Children discover what it’s like to be aware in the moment and recognize what they’re feeling. It’s powerful to watch a 4-year-old take a deep breath to calm themselves down, rather than shift into a tantrum.

Healthy Exercise Habits

Through poses (asana) kids enjoy physical activity, making movement a natural part of their lives. With constant opportunities to sit passively in front of screens, this becomes increasingly important for our kids.

Kids Sequence

When working with kids, one of the most important things to do is to read the room – rethink the sequencing you might experience in an adult class. If kids start out with a high level of energy, begin class with something fun to release it, and then move into more focused exercises. Be ready to improvise - if the kids need an extra round of sun salutations, throw it in! Are they losing focus? Take one out… throw in a game. Here’s a routine for a high-energy room: ●

It’s for EVERYbody

Yoga teaches us to be comfortable where we are, in the skin we’re in. Children learn where their individual level is, and challenge themselves slowly working to move past that – both physically and mentally. So everyone has the ability to say ‘I can do this’ and to see themselves progress.

It’s FUN!

Yoga is playful, we embody animals and nature, classes are filled with creative expression and movement.

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Frog Hops – Start out on the yoga mat (aka lily pad), squat and hop around the room, hop back on the mat to settle in. Balloon Breaths – Sit on knees, raise hands over head as we breathe in dee filling the belly up like a balloon. Breathe out, bring hands back down to the floor. Repeat for approx. 3 rounds. Kid-sized Sun Salutation (Modified Surya Namaskar), repeat approximately 3 rounds. Fun Tip: play around with the speed of the sequence, slow them down and speed them up: Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) Reach up high (Urdhva Hastasana) Touch your toes reach down low (Uttanasana) Move into dog, wag your tail (Adho Mukha Svasana) Throw in a donkey kick or two Jump back to Mountain OR, if you’re at your final round walk in down dog over to the wall L-Shaped Handstand (Ardha Adho Mukha Vrksasana) against the wall. Hands on the floor, eyes


EDUCATE Monkey Do! Yoga’s offerings and history

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focusing in between hands on the ground, legs, and feet pressing against the wall Boat Pose (Navasana) - when its time to come down from handstand swing feet through into a boat. Count and see how long you can hold it, take a rest and try again. Time to work together in Partner Boat Pose (Double Navasana) Toe-ga Game – Spread pompoms on the floor - using balance and concentration, kids will pick these up with their toes and place each one in a cup in front of their mat. Then everyone back to their mat for Relaxation Pose (Savasana) with Creative Visualization. They can imagine that their mat is a boat on the ocean, take a few seconds and have described what they might see. Sit up in Easy Pose (Sukasana) ring a bell, use a Tibetan singing bowl if you have one, make the sound while the children listen carefully for the moment they can no longer hear that sound


This sequence should be a slow moving flow, and the use of props is encouraged. Pregnant women should always get clearance from their doctors first. Avoid poses lying on or compressing the belly, deep backbends, and deep twists. After approximately 20 weeks, it’s recommended that pregnant woman should not lie on their backs. It’s important to note that pregnant women may feel more flexible due to the hormone relaxin, but overstretching should be avoided. Although you will hear conflicting information on this, based on advice from Obstetricians I avoid offering kegels as well as holding locks (bandhas).

Be sure to avoid overheating and keep water on hand. If you experience any discomfort, stop and contact your doctor. ●

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Easy Pose (Sukhasana) with meditation – Sit crosslegged, back against the wall, or blanket under bottom is helpful. Slowly scan the body releasing tension working from legs up to head, spend extra moments on the belly taking the time to connect with baby. Modified Prenatal Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) 2-3 rounds Mountain (Tadasana) Modified Upward Hand Pose (Urdhva Hastasana), Swan Dive with a flat back, feet hip distance apart, Forward Bend (Uttanasana) modify by bending knees and hands landing in between feet, or on blocks between feet. Right leg back (shin and top of foot on the ground), left leg back into Table Top Take time for gentle hip circles and spinal waves here Wide leg Child’s Pose (Balasana) Gently push up to Down Dog (Adho Mukha Svasana), stay for 5 mindful breaths Slowly walk to the front of the mat Forward Bend (Uttanasana) Modified Upward Hand Pose (Urdhva Hastasana), Mountain (Tadasana) Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) – This can be modified with a shorter stance, taking care not to have knees go beyond ankles.


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Side Angle (Uttita Parsvokanasana) Triangle (Trikonasana) Facing the other direction, Repeat Warrior I, Side Angle and Triangle on the other side ● Stand up slowly with a flat back, feet parallel move into Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana) ● Bound Angle (Baddha Konasana) ● Relaxation Corpse Pose Variation (Savasansa) – Incline with a bolster, or lying on the left side in fetal position


At least 6 weeks after you’ve given birth, and once you have go ahead from your doctor (this may be longer if you’ve had a C-section), you can begin a gentle asana practice again. Remember be easy on yourself, this is a time to heal. Postnatal yoga is a wonderful opportunity for new moms to begin to move back into their bodies, bond with their children and other new moms in a class. Avoid squatting, jumping, wheel, cross body movement (i.e., knees to elbows in plank), and anything that doesn’t feel right for you. ●

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Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhan). As an added bonus, by making this audible, this familiar sound can even have a soothing effect on the baby. Move into a gentle stretch for a Shoulder & Neck Opener. Looking forward, bring shoulders to the ears, then do the opposite, and keep shoulders down the back. Bring right ear to right shoulder, chin to chest left ear to left shoulder. Repeat and go the opposite direction. Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana) Modified Postnatal Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar). At this point you can very slowly and gently begin to engage Root & Flying up lock (Mula and Uddiyana Bandha), it was likely avoided during pregnancy. Add additional rounds in as you build up your practice. Mountain (Tadasana) Upward Hand Pose (Urdhva Hastasana), Swan Dive, tickle baby


● ● ● ● ● ● ●

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Slowly walk your feet back to Down Dog (Adho Mukha Svasana), avoid jumping Transition to Knees, Chest, Chin Kiss baby as you move into Child’s Pose (Balasana) Down dog (Adho Mukha Svasana), 5 mindful breaths Slowly walk to the front of the mat Forward Bend (Uttanasana) Modified Pigeon aka Eye of the Needle (Sucirandhrasana) Gentle Bridge – (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) – You may use a block for extra support. If baby is awake and in the right mood, you can bring them into the pose by supporting them on your legs or gently on your belly Relaxation variation Legs up the wall (Viparaita Karani). Again with the option of including baby. Close by singing to baby. This is a version of Itsy Bitsy Spider I learned from mentor Shakta Khalsa: “The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout to ask the universe what is life about. The stars in the sky said, ‘Life is great,’ so the itsy bitsy spider went home to meditate.”

With a background and Masters Degree in Interactive Media for Children, Marni Sandler knew it was time to bring her two favorite worlds together. While her career in Interactive Media and Advertising has given her the opportunity to produce work for organizations such as Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, and PBS – she can’t think of anything more interactive than Kids Yoga! A mom and kids yoga teacher, Marni knows that learning and growth happen best through play and founded Monkey Do! Yoga on that principle. Marni is thrilled to have the opportunity to help foster a community focused on children’s health, confidence, imagination and well-being.


Mindfulness &



Yoga Educator and Musician


We’ve all heard about the benefits of mindfulness for us stressed-out, busy-all-the-time adults.


t’s even permeating corporate America: big companies such as General Mills, Google, and pro sports teams like the Seattle Seahawks have implemented mindfulness practices in an effort to improve productivity and well-being. There are books, magazines, and apps, oh my! But mindfulness for kids? Really? Well, consider this: a recent US study suggests that the percentage of kids who have psychiatric problems by age 21 exceeds 80%—yes, you read that correctly—with the majority of conditions having child or adolescent onsets. The key words here: “child” and “adolescent.” Imagine if we could head some, if not most, of these off, by teaching children crucial skills for self-awareness and emo-


tional self-regulation? Looked at through this lens, mindful practices seem much less a fad than an essential part of kids’ education. As more schools are implementing mindfulness-based intervention (MIB) practices, there is now a growing body of research on their effectiveness. A recent study done of one such program showed strong positive results after a five-month program with fourth and fifth graders: 82% of children reported having a more positive outlook, 81% of children learned to make themselves happy, and 58% of children tried to help others more often. Another significant result of this study: 100% of classroom teachers reported that the mindfulness practices positively influenced classroom culture and that students were significantly more attentive. WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

Here’s a new Mindful Moment perf ect for the summertime, best for age s 3-8. Try it with your child, and enjoy!


Sit up tall, and close your eyes. Imag ine you’re sitting on the beach on a warm day. Take a long breath in through your nose, and let it all the way out through your mouth. You can hear the waves rushing in and out. Take another long breath in through your nose, and let it all the way out through your mouth. Make your breath sound like the waves, coming in, and going out, coming in, and goin g out. Continue breathing like this as long as you want to, and then open your eyes.

breathing or a quiet walk, the best way to start by doing it yourself. My eleven-year-old is an active boy who can have trouble winding down at night. To my great delight, his classroom teacher has implemented mindfulness practices every morning in school, so with a little prompting from me, he will often teach me a breathing exercise at bedtime. He really enjoys it, and I love that we can do it together.

TWEEN TIP: Kids this age are usually

very happy to teach you something. Give them a framework for a simple breathing exercise, and then let them lead the way. You can simply ask, how may long, deep breaths should we take together? Let them pick the number. Just this simple exercise can be very calming, and you’ll feel closer to your child after doing it together, both fully engaged. My seven-year-old loves to pretend; my Mindful Moments for Kids are perfect for this age. He’ll happily do a few of them with me before bed. His favorite is Clouds, where we imagine we’re outside on a warm day looking at the sky, and we decide what kind of cloud we feel like—a white, fluffy cloud, an angry storm cloud, or a sparkly cloud full of snowflakes. It’s a great way for kids to recognize how they’re feeling without holding on to it too tightly. So, how do we make it work in real life, in a regular family? I have three children, ages seven, eleven, and fourteen. Implementing anything close to mindfulness practices, some days feels nothing short of hilarious. When they do happen, it’s in short spurts, here and there, where it fits in. And, although mindfulness clearly has benefits for all ages, it’s not a one-size-fits-all method: it looks quite different in each phase of child development. My teenager doesn’t want to be “taught” anything— she knows it all already—so I have to be subtle about bringing mindfulness, like lighting a candle when I’m sitting near her, and quietly watching the flame. She’s usually drawn in, becoming still and calm.

TEEN TIP: Get outside if possible, away from screens, and—this can be tough—zip it. Just don’t talk. Lead by example, but don’t try to persuade. Whether it’s deep WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

TOT TIP: Involve animals or nature. Close your eyes and invent a pretend scenario: you’re a bunny, taking short little breaths in through your bunny nose and long exhales out of your mouth, or a hissing snake, breathing in deeply and then exhaling on a hiss. Kira Willey is an award-winning songwriter and kids’ yoga

teacher. Her three albums of children’s yoga songs have all won Parents’ Choice Awards and earned national acclaim; her hits include “Colors,” featured in a worldwide Dell advertising campaign. Willey’s most recent release is Mindful Moments for Kids, a collection of 30 one-minute mindfulness exercises designed to help kids de-stress, calm down, and focus. Willey is the host of a public television series called “Fireflies Yoga,” and her “Back Seat Yoga Breaks” series airs daily on Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live. She leads workshops, conducts teacher training, and performs yoga concerts with her band nationwide.



How to Raise a

Peaceful Warrior BY SUSAN VERDE

Author of, “I Am Yoga,” (Abrams Young Readers, $14.95)


he world is not an easy one to navigate. Trying to deflect or explain the hatred and violence that rears its ugly head in a larger, global context right down to the bullying that exists in schools is a daunting task. The warrior poses (Virabhadrasana) not only help children feel strong and solid in their bodies, but also in their minds and hearts. As they experience them physically, these postures are an opportunity to discuss what it means to be a peaceful warrior.


Children learn that they can be warriors by connecting with their own emotions and approaching situations (such as bullying, shyness or anxiety) with compassion and empathy. It is a chance to talk about other “peaceful warriors” in the world, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi or other personal “heroes” and the qualities they possess. As children hold their bodies in the warrior poses, they can say a mantra or phrase, such as, “I am brave,” (Warrior 1), “I am caring” (Warrior 2), “I am peaceful” (Reverse Warrior) that invoke strength and kindness on all levels. Disagreements and conflict are most likely not ever going to be a thing of the past, as we are human beings who don’t always see eye to eye. But, we do have an opportunity to teach children to resolve their differences in a manner that doesn’t call for weapons and violence, but with open hearts and minds and an opportunity to teach children to resolve their differences in a manner that doesn’t call for weapons and violence, but with open hearts and minds and a willingness to be strong in their vulnerability. WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

When kids learn that they can “stand up for me,” and “stand up for others,” and “stand up for peace,” (*all pages from the book), they are learning how to heal the world. To extend this peaceful practice, try guiding children through a variation of the Buddhist lovingkindness meditation… Start by finding a comfortable seat. Close your eyes. Place your hands on your belly taking a few deep breaths. With each breath, you are sending and receiving energy. Imagine you are looking in a mirror and say these words to your reflection

“May I be Happy” “May I be Healthy” “May I be peaceful” “May my life be filled with joy” Continue breathing and sending this love to yourself. Repeat this meditation again, this time imagine someone who you don’t know as well, or are having a bit of difficulty with. Perhaps it’s a friend with whom, you’ve had a disagreement. Repeat the same words of lovingkindness.

“May I be Happy” “May I be Healthy” “May I be peaceful” “May my life be filled with joy”


Finally, imagine all the children in the world and everyone on earth who could use some love and compassion and again, repeat the meditation.

“May I be Happy” “May I be Healthy” “May I be peaceful” “May my life be filled with joy” Take a moment to breathe and consider how it feels to send love to yourself, to someone you love, to someone you are having a tricky time with and then to the world… You ARE peace In addition to having her own personal yoga practice, Susan Verde is certified to teach yoga and mindfulness to children has been doing so for the last 5 years. Susan is currently living in East Hampton, New York with her twin boys Joshua and Gabriel and her daughter Sophia where she writes children’s books and teaches kid’s yoga and mindfulness. Her children, her practice and the ocean at her doorstep keep her constantly connected and inspired. She is the author of the picture books The Museum, You and Me, I Am Yoga and the forthcoming The Water Princess with illustrations by Peter H Reynolds (due for release in the Fall of 2016)


5 Reasons Why Every Family

Should Have a in

their Home

BEMER’s proven ability to help the body perform at its best is the highlight of why every family should own a BEMER for optimal health. BY CODY GROTH


aving been featured in over 50 medical publications around the world, BEMER’s patented configured signal has been scientifically proven to positively influence the way blood flows through the tiniest blood vessels in your body, allowing the body to produce amazing benefits. This increased blood flow helps the body perform optimally, making BEMER a must-have product for every family to have in their home.

n Fact Fu BEMER

International is ith collaborating w pa lo ve de NASA to ng zi ili ut it space su ER the BEM technology.

Here are 5 reasons every family should have a BEMER in their home:

Enhanced Nutrient Delivery & Waste Disposal

BEMER has been scientifically proven to enhance specific characteristics of blood flow, ensuring that the cells of your body receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to metabolize correctly. Your body is composed of billions of cells, with each cell performing an average of 4 million chemical reactions per second. Each one of these cells requires a consistent supply of oxygen and nutrients to perform their life-giving metabolic functions. BEMER’s patented signal optimizes our smallest blood vessels, enabling the re-normalization of blood flow. As a result, the body’s cells are better supplied with oxygen and nutrients and are able to perform their various functions much more effectively.

BEMER, an established approach to Wellness

FDA Registered Medical Device

5 International Patents

Featured in over 50 medical publications (Pubmed)

Used in more than 4,000 Medical Clinics, Hospitals & Universities

Improved Sleep Management

It has been demonstrated that the use of the BEMER technology enables significant improvements in sleep management. An assessment of the various sleep studies used in The Jenkins scale revealed that two-thirds of users reported they were able to sleep better. BEMER has particularly been shown to improve the user’s ability to sleep and stay asleep, while supporting the body's key regenerative processes during the rest phase. Sixty percent of all users also experienced significant improvement in their quality of life after just six weeks of using the BEMER.

Your Pets will Love BEMER!

Only good, functional circulation ensures proper supply of nutrients and oxygen as well as proper waste removal within the body. Increased Endurance, Strength and Energy

Whether you are aiming to enhance your workouts or improve your quality of life, numerous publications and scientific studies have demonstrated BEMER’s ability to boost overall performance and reduce discomfort. Worldclass athletes such as 5-time World Cup ski champion Marc Girardelli have been using the BEMER for years and various professional sports organizations around the world are starting to discover BEMER as a tool to boost their player’s performance.

When you turn on your BEMER unit, it is not uncommon to see your pets attracted to the BEMER like a magnet! Pets love the BEMER frequency. Many BEMER users have reported their pets jumping on top of them while the BEMER is in use. Linda Tellington Jones, creator of the The Tellington Method and renowned animal expert says, “The BEMER has a unique ability to enhance delivery of nutrients and oxygen while removing waste material from the blood. This makes BEMER a must have product for those who want the very best for their animals.”

BEMER Lasts Generations

BEMER is 100% safe and can be used daily with total confidence regardless of your age. BEMER is very simple to use and due to its innovative digital platform, BEMER is a one-time purchase that lasts generations.

BEMER takes just 8 minutes twice per day to enhance the body's performance of its vital functions. Will BEMER work for you? Based on years of success, we believe BEMER is one of the most significant things you can do for you and your family. You owe it to yourself and your family to check it out today at YogaDigest.com/BEMER


5forStretches a More Enjoyable Third




ello Third Trimester! The final stretch is here. Just as I was starting to feel human again (after a rough first trimester) I was back in the thick of daily fatigue and nauseous nights. Can anyone else relate? Fortunately, I found five stretches that really helped me feel refreshed and empowered. I’ll be honest, some mornings it was more appealing to crawl back in bed and at eight months, pregnant stretching took some effort! But I promise, if you try this series of stretches for 15 minutes, 3-5 days a week, you will feel better. I did. You may even find that it will help improve your quality of sleep, which at this point in pregnancy is vital. Before we begin, I’d like to offer a few recommendations: First and foremost, you’ll need to get yourself a QUALITY YOGA OR EXERCISE MAT for floor exercises. I recommend the WellnessMat FitnessMat (wellnessmatsfitness.com) because it is thicker and more supportive, which gets increasingly more important as


pregnancy progresses and joints become more elastic. It also stays put – it won’t slip or slide nor ‘bunch up.’ It is my go to.     Each pregnancy is different. What felt great to me might throw you red flags.  LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND TAKE YOUR TIME easing into each pose. HOLD EACH POSE for at least 5 deep breaths, followed with long exhales. You may find it difficult to fall into a deep stretch when you first introduce your body to a new pose, that’s okay! PERFORM THE STRETCH ANYWAY, hold for 5 breaths and continue to the next pose. Once you’ve completed all five poses, REPEAT THE POSES AGAIN. The more you go back to each stretch, the deeper your body will fall into the stretch because your muscles have relaxed thus making them pliable. And, of course, GET YOUR DOCTOR’S APPROVAL before performing any sort of exercise regimen. Every mom-to-be deserves to feel great in these final weeks. WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

Stretch #1

Downward dog

Start on all fours, then lift your knees off the ground as you drive your heels towards the floor. Your knees should straighten, but never lock. If you’re ready to take this move to the next level, take your head through your arms as you look at your knees. As you do this, flatten your back and extend your chest towards your thighs. Oh sweet calf relief!



EDUCATE 5 Stretches for a More Enjoyable Third Trimester

Stretch #2 Warrior II

This pose helps strengthen your legs while stretching your hip flexors (located on the front of your hips). Our leg muscles are long and large which requires a lot of energy. You may find that you are slightly out of breath when you come out of this pose; be sure to fully recover before moving on to the next pose.



Stretch #3

Reverse Warrior

Take caution! BabyCenter.com advises, “You’re probably feeling less graceful now that your belly is bigger, so perform standing poses with your heel to the wall or use a chair for support to avoid losing your balance and risking injury to yourself or your baby.” You should feel a substantial amount of relief through oblique muscles and your back with this stretch.



EDUCATE 5 Stretches for a More Enjoyable Third Trimester

Stretch #4

Pigeon Pose

According to WhatToExpect.com, “Sciatica will most likely occur during the third trimester, when both you and your baby are bulking up (it can develop earlier, but it’s not common).” For me, I just started struggling with sciatic nerve pain at 34 weeks, once I felt my baby shift. Whether you’re experiencing pain or not, the pigeon pose is an excellent way to relieve tight hip and glutes.



Stretch #5

Sources: www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/sciatica/ www.babycenter.com/0_great-pregnancy-exercise-prenatal-yoga_7862.bc?page=2

Lotus Pose

(or modify with Butterfly Stretch) + Neck Stretch This may just be my personal favorite. As you sit cross-legged or feet together (as shown), gently place your hands on your ankles or rest your forearms on your knees. Sit up straight and press your shoulders down away from your ears. Next, drop your right ear down to your right shoulder, then your left ear to your left shoulder. This is a great way to relieve stress. Congratulations on your growing miracle! You are just weeks away from meeting your sweet angel; these moves should help make the final days more enjoyable. Live Healthy!

Hilary Hall, FitnessMats Brand Ambassador, CPT, blogger, Owner of Shed n’ Shred Boot Camp and Mom of 3! WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M


Self-Care During and After Pregnancy with



Becoming a parent is both an exciting, yet daunting, time in one’s life. BY CARY CASTER


here are so many sources of information that it’s hard to know which way to turn. It is always best to have an open dialogue with your health care professional in regards to safety and general obstetrics. However, when it comes to incorporating essential oils into your maternity care, there is a wonderful sense of empowerment that allows this childbearing period to provide great satisfaction. While it seems harmless enough, it’s important to remember that due to essential oils’ small molecular size and lipophilic nature, these active constituents can easily cross the placenta and effect your baby’s development. Therefore, they should be used with care and precaution during this delicate time. If you are not working with a midwife or Clinically Certified Aromatherapist who has a working knowledge of each essential oil’s chemistry and how it effects the body, there are some simple guidelines that you can follow to enjoy the benefits of essential oils during the various stages of pregnancy and post partum. WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M


There are essential oils that need to be avoided and are contra-indicated for pregnancy due to their potential tetragenic (cause developmental malformations) and fetotoxic (toxic to fetus) affects. This list includes Basil, Birch, Camphor, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Fennel, Oregano, Pennyroyal, Sassafras, Tansy, Wintergreen and Wormwood. All of these oils contain active ingredients that have shown to interfere with the normal structural or functional development of the fetus in clinical studies. That being said, there are some wonderful essential oils that can help to reduce the discomfort of the transitions that the body experiences. NAUSEA, BLOATING OR HEARTBURN Sweet Orange, Mandarin or Roman chamomile essential oils are wonderful oils that help with all types of digestive issues. Place a few drops of any or a combination of these oils on a cotton ball and keep in a small Ziplock bag to inhale when feeling nauseous or experiencing discomfort. EMOTIONAL CHANGES Lavender is gentle and calming to the nervous system, which we know can be edgy during these new hormonal changes. Also, Rose and Geranium are gentle essential oils that nourish the spirit and are supportive of the feminine physiology and psyche. Add 5 drops of any combination of the above oils to an unscented cream or lotion and apply when you want to feel an emotional lift. STRETCH MARKS Using pure coconut oil or cocoa butter can be beneficial in the prevention of stretch marks, but the addition of Palmarosa or Rose essential oil will further help with skin elasticity. Add 5 drops of a combination of these essential oils per ounce of coconut oil and massage onto your ever-expanding tummy.


BACKACHE AND CONTRACTIONS Ginger’s warming sensation provides a topical numbing effect while German Chamomile is wonderful at relieving spastic muscles and is relaxing to the nervous system in general. Add 5 drops into an ounce of unscented oil to apply to your lower back while beginning the birthing process and reapply as needed. WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

TENSION HEADACHES AND NERVES Peppermint essential oil is wonderful to use during labor, as it’s cooling and has a natural affinity to clear the head and provide energy and focus through the delivery. Lavender or Ylang Ylang are calming and soothing oils to settle nerves and help to relax during the delivery process. Saturate a cotton ball with any blend of the above oils and inhale at the onset of nervous tension.


PERINEUM CARE AND HEMORRHOIDS Discomforts in the vaginal area can be soothed with floral hydrosols such as Lavender or Rose hydrosol. Simply mix 50% water and 50% hydrosol in a spray bottle and spritz after each visit to the restroom. SORE NIPPLES A drop of Rose essential oil in an ounce of organic jojoba or coconut oil is a wonderful way to keep nipples soft and supple. EMOTIONAL CHANGES Once the adrenaline wears off from delivery, one can be overwhelmed with emotions and the discomfort of so many new experiences. Rose, Roman Chamomile, Sweet Orange and are all wonderful oils for the feminine psyche to help you to get back your bearings and embrace the miracle of childbirth. You can create a low concentration oil or lotion to apply after putting your baby to sleep so you have the chance to enjoy these calming scents without overwhelming your new born baby’s sense of smell. Essential oils can provide great support and a sense of control to help you through this exciting time.

Cary Caster, B.S., LMT, CCA is a Botanist, Licensed

Massage Therapist and Certified Clinical Aromatherapist who is on a mission to help people be their best self every day. She believes that people can take their health into their own hands. Cary is not only the founder and expert behind 21 Drops, an essential oil therapy company, but she is also a devoted healer who sits on the board of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and has been featured as an essential oil expert in the Huffington Post, Vanity Fair and Martha Stewart Living, among others. Cary offers continuing education classes in Aromatherapy at the University of Miami’s iCAMP program, and throughout the country.

www.21drops.com facebook.com/21drops Pinterest.com/21drops @21drops



Hormone Health Feeling sluggish – even after yoga class? Your hormones may be sending you a message. Below, the best supplements, foods, and recipe ingredients to achieve optimal hormone balance, and help you get your energy back. BY DR. SUZANNE GILBERG-LENZ


here’s so much valuable information our hormones can reveal to you if you know how to listen. Feeling sluggish? Experiencing mysterious weight gain – the kind of weight that just won’t come off? How about sleep problems? Are you waking up in the middle of the night, suddenly wired for no reason? If so, then it’s possible your hormones are trying to send you a message. Even if you’re a healthy, active individual, the kind who exercises, performs yoga, and generally eats right, it’s not uncommon to experience symptoms like these in a cluster. As on OB-GYN, I start to look for a hormone imbalance when my patients

report these kinds of things because it often points to estrogen, progesterone, and even cortisol levels that need some adjusting. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do naturally to fine-tune your hormone levels, before turning to, say, hormone replacement therapy. That’s because food is medicine, and consumed properly – i.e., in the context of nourishing meals and aided by quality supplements – you can heal yourself in a big way. Let’s look at some of the signs of hormone imbalance, and what you can do to naturally get things back on track, for restored energy, better sleep, and weight help.


Falling levels of estrogen and progesterone can disrupt your sleep, and though you can experience it at any age, it’s especially common for women’s estrogen and progesterone to diminish as they get older. Sleeping pills can provide some relief, but truly, those are a surface fix to a deeper problem if hormones are the culprit.


This symptom frequently points to too-high estrogen or too little progesterone. If your sports bra is all of a sudden feeling uncomfortable, take note: it could be your body’s way of signaling out-of-whack hormones.


Obviously, there are a ton of factors that can affect weight – but I meet with many extremely fit women, the kind who under normal circumstances, shouldn’t be dealing with a distinct, sudden weight gain. This too often stems from a hormone imbalance, especially if sleep quality if off. Your body releases more cortisol following sleep deprivation, which encourages your cells to store additional fat. OK, so some (or maybe even all!) of this is feeling familiar. What can you do about it? Let’s try out a culinary prescription.


I recommend a good calcium supplement taken with magnesium to my female patients, and suggest they start weaving it into their meals. A spinach salad with almond slivers is excellent for spring and summer, and not only are these ingredients healing for female hormone levels, but they’ll also boost your bone health, too.


A true superstar in the hormone department, Chaste Berry supports cellular function and the production of progesterone (which in turn affects your estrogen levels). Low progesterone can wreck your energy levels, so if you’re craving more pep, give your progesterone some TLC. You can’t really eat Chase Berry, though, so take it in supplement form. One that’s shown promising science is Asensia from Daily Wellness Company, whose formula has been shown through studies to increase progesterone production by 153%. WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M


In addition to what you eat, how you eat is just as important. So open up your refrigerator and pantry, and take a look. What do you see? If it’s vegetables, plus lean, organic meats, nuts, and fish – then congratulations. You’re getting a ton of great minerals! If it’s mostly cereal, rice, and white bread, then it doesn’t all need to go, but see if you can tip the balance in favor of the former options. Doing so will significantly help your digestion, setting up your hormones to work as effectively as possible.


This won’t be a shocker to my fellow yogis and yoginis, but along with food and supplements, meditation should be a part of your regular health regimen – especially if you want to balance your hormones. Why? Cortisol, the stress hormone, can seriously tax the rest of your hormonal system. And here in our Western, breakneck-speed culture, it’s incredibly easy to elevate our cortisol levels at a moment’s notice (getting cut off in traffic, watching something distressing on TV, bad email from your boss, etc.). So carve out some time for the medicine of meditation – even if it’s just 5 minutes daily – and reap the benefits this powerful practice can offer. Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz completed her undergraduate education at Wesleyan University and post-baccalaureate pre-medical studies at Mills College. She earned her medical degree in 1996 from the University of Southern California School of Medicine, completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and has been in private practice of obstetrics and gynecology in Beverly Hills, CA since 2000. After many years of a personal yoga and meditation practice, she completed her Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist degree at California College of Ayurveda in 2010 and was board certified in Integrative and Holistic medicine in 2008.



Survival Guide Top 10 factors to watch for during your early postpartum period BY CHERYL ZAUDERER


(can be a sign of a postpartum hemorrhage) If your bleeding is bright red, or has returned to bright red after becoming pink about 4 days after birth, you might be experiencing a postpartum hemorrhage. Other warning signs include saturating one pad per hour, seeing large clots, feeling dizzy, faint, weak or clammy. With any of these signs and/or symptoms, please call your health care provider or have someone take you to the nearest emergency department.


If your vaginal bleeding has a strong, foul odor, and/or you develop fever or chills, you may be developing a uterine infection. Contact your health care provider immediately.


(breast infection or plugged mild duct) Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, you may notice a hot, reddened area, or pain in one particular area of the breast. In addition, you may also experience flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, fatigue, headaches, and muscle aches. Please notify your health care provider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.



The risk for blood clots is higher in women who have had cesarean births than vaginal births. If you experience any isolated pain in your lower legs and/or swelling or redness in the area, you can be developing a blood clot. If you have any of these symptoms please seek help immediately.


If you are experiencing low urine output, blood in the urine and/or pain or burning sensation when urinating, you may have a bladder infection, or an injury to the bladder. Please contact your health care provider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.


If you notice redness or pain at the site of where you have stitches, or swelling ecchymosis (discoloration, black and blue), fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, bleeding, pus, or oozing you may be developing an infection in your incision. Contact your health care provider right away. WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

Postpartum Mood and anxiety disorders: Postpartum Blues...

...are considered part of normal postpartum adjustment. Symptoms: Mood instability, restlessness, fatigue, weepiness, sadness, anxiety, inability to focus or concentrate, insomnia, being overly sensitive, or feeling overwhelmed.

Postpartum Depression and/or anxiety...

...can occur at any time. Symptoms: Excessive worry or anxiety, appetite disturbance, eating too much and craving carbohydrates and sugars, sleep disturbances such as insomnia/fatigue, wanting to sleep all the time, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, lack of interest in the baby or excessive worry about the baby. Other symptoms include feeling inadequate, irritable or short tempered, withdrawal from others. Feeling sad, crying, guilty or phobic or overwhelmed is also common. Physical symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, possible thoughts of harming oneself or others, or thoughts of running away. With postpartum depression and/or anxiety you can have either depression or anxiety, or sometimes a combination of both.

Postpartum OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)

Symptoms: Obsessions: scary intrusive repetitive and persistent thoughts or mental pictures that pop into your head. Compulsions: counting or checking or other repetitive behaviors, doing things over and over again to reduce the anxiety such as like cleaning, putting away dangerous objects or counting.

Postpartum Panic Disorder...

...extreme anxiety or panic attacks, shortness of breath, chest pain, heart palpitations, sensations of choking, hot or cold flashes, numbness or tingling in the extremities. Some women having panic attacks feel like they are going crazy, losing control, or having a heart attack.

Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder... ...usually brought on by an event beyond the usual range of stressors where you may experience intense fear or horror such as in a traumatic childbirth. Symptoms include: flashbacks, nightmares, daymares, increased arousal,and always on alert.

Postpartum Psychosis...

...a very rare and dangerous illness that requires immediate medical intervention. Symptoms include delusional thinking, visual or auditory hallucinations and/or manic symptoms. (not to be confused with scary thoughts as in PPOCD) If you are having any of these symptoms please seek help immediately. You can contact Postpartum Support International at www.postpartum.net, to locate help in your area.



If you are breastfeeding, or bottle-feeding, and trying to dry up your milk, you can develop engorgement. Both breasts will begin to feel very hard, tight, and sore. Even the skin will look taut and shiny. Your breasts become so full that your nipple and areola are stretched to the point that your newborn cannot latch on if you are breastfeeding. Some women feel the engorgement up into their armpits. This happens when your breasts overfill with excess fluid that blocks the milk from coming out. You may also develop fever, chills and achiness, such as flu-like symptoms. You can contact a local lactation consultant, or your health care provider if you are having these symptoms.


Constipation can occur due to a number of reasons: not drinking enough fluids, taking narcotics for pain after birth, taking iron supplements, or having a sore perineum from an episiotomy that prevents you from straining or pushing. Eating fiber rich foods, drinking fluids, and taking a mild laxative can help. Please contact your health care provider if symptoms worsen.


Bonding occurs when you and your newborn form a strong connection to each other beginning the moment you lay eyes on him or her. You will feel a tremendous amount of joy when you are with your newborn, and a strong desire to protect him or her. A bond is your baby’s first relationship with someone. It provides security and helps your newborn learn about trust. A secure attachment will help your baby form trusting, strong relationships with others as they get older. Nourish and take care of yourself. If you are healthy, you will have an easier time and more patience to attach to your newborn. Some ways to encourage secure attachment and bonding are: ● Practice skin-to-skin contact. ● Hold your newborn close when feeding, whether breast or bottle. ● Hold your newborn close when comforting. ● Respond to his or her cries. ● Talk, smile, laugh, read, and sing to your newborn. ● Make a lot of eye contact. ● Dance with your newborn to music.

Cheryl Zauderer, PhD, CNM, NPP, IBCLC has been a

registered nurse, nurse-midwife and nurse practitioner. Dr. Zauderer is a tenured assistant professor in the department of nursing at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, N.Y. After obtaining her doctoral degree in psychology, she has maintained a thriving private practice where she treats women for perinatal mood disorders, and other women’s health issues, by providing psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. She can be found online at:



Breaking the Silence:

A Look Inside

Postpartum Depression Having a baby is one of the most exciting events a woman will experience in her life. The anticipation, preparation and planning is exhilarating! BY JENN BODNAR


rom baby showers and belly bumps to doctor appointments and decorating, the conversations never end. Throw in the bonus “healthy glow” and random acts of kindness from literally everyone around you and being pregnant can feel like you are in a 9-month long parade! While preparing for a baby is a joyful time, it can also be one of the scariest. The hormones and changing body are only a small piece of the larger, psychological transformation of becoming completely responsible for another human being. Whether it’s a first child or fifth child, every pregnancy, birth and child is unique. Sometimes it’s a “walk in the park.” Everything runs relatively smoothly. Other times, complications arise and can add to the stresses of becoming a mom. Regardless of how the pregnancy goes, nothing can prepare you for the reality of a newborn baby. You can read books, watch videos, babysit, take classes, talk to your mother, grandmother, your best friend’s mother.. and grandmother but nothing takes the place of real time with your own, brand new, precious, delicate, unpredictable child. A recent study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine finds one in ten new moms suffer from symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD). These statistics only represent self-reported symptoms and live births. Women who experience miscarriage or stillborns are not included. The numbers are staggering


and the problem is very real. Recent headlines have made PPD a controversial topic amongst spiritual leaders, the government and pharmaceutical companies. The bottom line is awareness and education. Women should not feel ashamed and need to be able to seek help, express their challenges openly and not be judged. Yoga Digest spoke with a few moms who experienced varying degrees of postpartum depression. They also received varying degrees of treatment, support and communication.

Marta M.

“I knew something was wrong when I had serious thoughts about throwing my first born through the window - even if he wasn’t crying. Seriously scary stuff. I didn’t really want to hurt him as much as make him go away, but I also loved him intensely. I don’t know if that makes any sense. I decided to try antidepressants. Those worked, kind of, and I was able to get off them before becoming pregnant with my second. After my second was born, it took me a long time to admit it, but I needed help again. This time, I wanted to hurt myself more than my kids. I still have those feelings sometimes and get completely overwhelmed. I’m not the same person at all that I was before having kids. It’s frustrating. My sister-in-law who works for the CDC has done some studies about how pregnancy and WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

birth can cause permanent chemical changes in our minds. I’m currently on antidepressants and honestly not sure if I can get off. I’ve tried and it was always scary. In fact, I had to add two separate prescriptions about 4 months ago. I would love to not be on them, but the thoughts and urges I have when I’m not taking them are scary. I’m open to any suggestions. I live a pretty healthy life, and get a lot of exercise, so I know it’s not that. I just wish the stigma wasn’t there. People say “what’s wrong?” That’s the worst thing to ask, because I have no idea. And please don’t say to someone that it could be worse or there is so much to

“I just wish the stigma wasn’t there.....So many of us are suffering in silence and shame.” be thankful for. That doesn’t help. It just makes you feel ungrateful and more depressed. We’ve got to talk about this and I’m so glad you are doing this. So many of us are suffering in silence and shame.”

J. A.

“I knew about postpartum depression from friends so I always kept an eye out for it. It wasn’t until my second child that I experienced it. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, I felt like I was walking around in a haze all the time. I would work out in hopes of making me feel better but I would just want to cry all the time. No amount of coffee or caffeine would help me wake up. I would also go through bouts where I knew I was getting sick - body aches, sore throat, chest hurting then I would wake up the next day and would be fine. A few days later it would hit again and do the same. My OBGYN diagnosed me and put me on Effexor. I did not want to WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

take it because I wanted to handle it myself. My friend told me I needed to take it so I did. The next day I woke up and jumped out of bed. It was a total 180 for me. It went away over time. I never wanted to hurt my kids but I was detached from them. Once I took the medication it made all the difference. It is very common. I was just sure that I would notice

EDUCATE Breaking the Silence: A Look Inside Postpartum Depression the symptoms and it would not happen to me. Well, I got that one wrong. The medicine takes about 2 weeks to fully get into your system so you will feel a bit weird for a bit but it does even itself out. The hard part was getting off the medication but

“If I would have been more informed on holistic treatments, I think I would have tried that first.” I needed it. If I would have been more informed on holistic treatments, I think I would have tried that first. I was so deep into it that I needed something to work fast. Since then I did a lot of research. At the time, I didn’t know much. I did not have postpartum depression with my first child, so I was sure that it was not happening with my second.”

Karen R.

“It’s something that just kind of crept up on me and before I knew what was happening... I remember vividly driving on the highway, taking an exit ramp and wondering how much better I’d feel if I’d just drive into a pole. I tried to deny there was anything wrong, sleeping all day when I could, getting up just before my husband would get home. Tried to keep the baby and my 4 year old occupied as much as possible. Mothers morning out and pre-k were truly a God send. The more I thought about trying to stop time, the more I knew I had to get help. At first, my husband didn’t really understand why I couldn’t just “snap out of it”. My life was better than it had ever been. I had a husband who truly loved me, 2 beautiful healthy children, a wonderful community of friends and a job


teaching fitness classes that I loved. But none of it seemed to matter. Anxiety about teaching got worse, I continued to close down and shut everyone out. I finally reached out, made an appointment with a doctor who immediately medicated me. Through trial and horrible error, 2 doctors, several med changes and tons of support, I finally got a handle on my condition. I wish I could say I’m cured, but like any other illness, I fight everyday. I continue to look for peace with myself, and continue to try and be kind to myself. Yoga has helped more than anyone will ever know. It has taught me coping mechanisms that I’m not sure I could have found anywhere else.

“Yoga has helped more than anyone will ever know. It has taught me coping mechanisms that I’m not sure I could have found anywhere else.” Patience, self love, being true to yourself, letting go of ego- all valuable lessons. I truly encourage anyone with feelings of self loathing or harming themselves to do whatever it takes to seek out the help they need. And like we have always heard, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Summer B.

“Unfortunately NO one screened me for it. I didn’t admit that it was postpartum until the baby was 10 months old. It had gotten so bad that I contemplated leaving everything behind. I was so overwhelmed, frustrated, sad, and felt so alone. I had worked in the mental health field for 10 years prior and knew the symptoms inside and out - didn’t matter. You just don’t want to believe that it could happen to you. I was otherwise healthy, always in shape, active and involved. Found the complete opposite to be true. I finally scheduled an appointment with my OBGYN after talking with and being encouraged by a friend. They immediately put me on a low dose of Zoloft which took a while to get used to but most definitely eliminated the symptoms I was experiencing. Zoloft, more or less, leveled my moods and allowed me to rebuild my life with more confidence so I could handle being a parent.


Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression ● You feel overwhelmed. ● You feel guilty. ● You don’t feel bonded to your baby. ● You are very confused and scared. ● You feel irritated or angry. ● You have no patience. ● You feel resentment toward your baby, or your partner, or your friends who don’t have babies. ● You feel out-of-control rage. ● You feel nothing. Emptiness and numbness. ● You can’t stop crying. ● You feel hopeless You feel weak and defective, like a failure. ● You can’t bring yourself to eat, or perhaps the only thing that makes you feel better is eating. ● You can’t sleep when the baby sleeps, nor can you sleep at any other time. ● You can’t concentrate. ● You feel disconnected. ● You feel out-of-control rage. However, the leveled moods made it difficult to experience real joy. There were no highs and there were no lows. Around the two year mark, I felt strong enough to make my way off the meds. The negative effects were enough to encourage me to try life without them again. It took a LONG time to taper my way off - withdraw is so bad. It made me wonder what these little pills were really doing

“It had gotten so bad that I contemplated leaving everything behind. I was so overwhelmed, frustrated, sad, and felt so alone.” to my body - SO I took charge. I started a Whole30 in October, began to eat clean to help my body recover, lost all the baby weight I was holding onto, successfully got off my medications all together, and have continued to maintain the healthier eating habits. I have invested my time into church and healthy relationships and found myself outside of this season all together.”


EDUCATE Breaking the Silence: A Look Inside Postpartum Depression The symptoms and experiences of PPD vary greatly. Evaluations and treatments are just as diverse. It’s important to understand all of the options available and find the best plan for you. Dr. Prudence Hall, M.D., is a pioneer of mindful medicine. She looks at the physical, the mental and the spiritual in order to uncover and treat the root causes of symptoms and conditions. A gynecologist for 30 years and now founder of The Hall Center (www.thehallcenter.com) in Santa Monica, CA, Hall offers new thinking on the safest and most effective treatment modalities for PPD. YD: How often do you treat patients for postpartum depression? Dr. Hall: As many as 80% of women feel blue or down after they’ve had a baby, but only 10-15% have actual postpartum depression. I prepare my pregnant clients for the prevalence of postpartum baby-blues and encourage them to

monitor their feelings and report back to us. At their “well-mommy” appointment 3 weeks after giving birth, I check the core hormone levels including adrenal stress hormones, thyroid and estrogen levels. All of these deficiencies cause postpartum depression. I also supplement a new mother’s diet with healthy oils like coconut oil and omega 3, as well as iodine to help raise their baby’s IQ. Many minerals are depleted after pregnancy that can also cause postpartum depression. YD:  Why do pregnant and postpartum women become depressed? Dr. Hall: Depression is due to a variety of factors. The main cause is hormonal imbalances that occur during the pregnancy and postpartum, such as low thyroid states, low estrogen and low adrenals. I have measured hormone levels in hundreds of postpartum women and not only are their estrogen levels typically depleted to menopausal levels, but their thyroid is frequently deficient, as well as their adrenal stress hormones. Postpartum depression also arises from exhaustion, isolation and feeling overwhelmed. A postpartum woman is also depleted of her healthy omega 3 oils, minerals and other essential nutrients.   YD:  What percentage of pregnant moms are being screened? What is the current screening process? Dr. Hall: The screening process is frequently a conversation between a new mother and her doctor, and I am not sure how many doctors take the time to discuss baby blues and postpartum depression. Women can be reluctant to admit feeling depressed because motherhood is supposed to be such a joyful time.   Some states are using the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) questionnaire, which helps identify depression in new mothers. YD:  There are numerous drugs on the market being prescribed for postpartum depression.  What is your take on these medications? Dr. Hall: Most of the drugs used to treat postpartum depression are the SSRI antidepressants. I am not in favor of using these drugs as they will be present in the mother’s milk and have the potential to affect the baby’s developing brain. Far better is to address the root core causes


“This is a great time for mother to be introduced to yoga if she already doesn’t have a practic e. Meditation is also very beneficial to new mothers...” of depression. In my experience, most postpartum depression is caused by a deficiency of core hormones. For example, thyroid deficiency commonly begins in the postpartum period due to the baby depleting maternal iodine stores. Maternal Omega 3 is also commonly depleted, and so are essential minerals. In fact, the entire weight of each baby comes 100% from the mother, depleting her body. By addressing the root causes and not treating superficial symptoms, a full, safe recovery of the mother and child is much more rapid and successful.   YD:  What are some side effects of these drugs on mom and baby? Dr. Hall: Antidepressants have numerous side effects that are well documented. For the mother, they include increased hunger, weight gain, nausea, agitation, drowsiness, and loss of sexual desire. Over the years small studies have looked at the breast milk of women on antidepressants, and the breast milk is reported to have small amounts of medication in it. Studies of the effects on the infants are even less common. The few report mention irritability, lack of feeding, and listlessness as possible side effect. Zoloft appears to be the safer medication compared to other anti depressants. YD:  Why is it so hard to get off these drugs? Dr. Hall: These drugs need to be tapered slowly because over time they actually deplete a mother’s neurotransmitters. If she stops all at once, she may experience withdrawal symptoms of worsening depression, fatigue, anxiety, moodiness, irritability and


headaches. I taper them slowly over a 3-month period while correcting any underlying hormonal and nutritional imbalances. YD:  What are some of the safest, most effective alternative therapies for treating postpartum depression? Dr. Hall: I use an integrated, natural approach to rebuild the mother from her depleted state. I routinely correct deficient hormones including thyroid hormones, adrenal stress hormones and estrogen, using bioidentical hormones. I also replace her omega 3 oils and minerals, as well as offer aromatherapy, which is highly effective for depression. Supplements to safely support sleep like Body Software Sweet Sleep is an excellent choice.  Rather than prescribe antidepressants, I recommend a Body Software supplement called Bliss, which is very effective and safe. While this is not a time for psychotherapy, it is an excellent time for encouragement, listening, mentoring and resourcing new mothers with support groups. Isolation, feeling overwhelmed and under helped are all problems a new mother faces. This is a great time for a mother to be introduced to yoga if she already doesn’t have a practice. It is beneficial in rebuilding her core strength as well as her pelvic floor muscles. Meditation is also very beneficial to new mothers and I encourage them to attend our classes or go online to Mentorschannel.com. Mentors Channel offers the most comprehensive meditations available online, with a wide variety of guided meditations and teachers. For more information on Dr. Hall and Postpartum depression, visit The Hall Center at www.thehallcenter.com


Our Family Table Food that brings

us together

My highest family value is Ahimsa, nonviolence. When we look at young children we can see that Ahimsa flows freely, they love animals and all beings are their friends, wishing no harm to anyone or anything. BY ANGEL YAFFA


e choose to raise our family with this value and it reflects in everything we do. We work, live and play a vegan lifestyle and one of the most exciting parts of this is the food we nourish our bodies with. We call the table we share our meals at ‘The family table’, we have made it a fun and sacred space to freely talk about our day, our thoughts and our dreams. Making it this way, gives us all something to look forward to when we get home. To enhance the experience and bring us all back together after our busy days, we share meals that we have often prepared together at the table. So its always, make your own sushi, make your own cold rolls, make your own tacos etc, the kids love it, its healthy and a great way to encourage them to eat a variety of fresh food by enjoying their very own creations. Just like in yoga, they are much more likely to use/ enjoy what they have created themselves. The recipes below are all easy to prepare, and fun to put together at the family table, try making them for yourself, your family and your friends. I try to buy as local, unpacked and organic as possible. Enjoy! Foods to make together and share


Brea kfast

Vegan Pancakes Sweet & Savory Ingredients Basic Vegan Pancake Mixture

Use half this mixture for each (sweet

and savory)

1 ⅓ cup Spelt Flour 1 ⅓ cup Plain Flour 4 1/2 cups Soy Milk 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 Tablespoons melted vegan butt er or unflavored coconut oil Sweet Pancakes add 2 Tablespoons coconut blossom sug ar (if not available use raw sugar) 1 teaspoon cinnamon add for serving Around two/three cups of your favo rite seasonal fruits Maple syrup Lemon juice and sugar Savoury Pancakes add 1 1/3 cup baby spinach ½ Bunch coriander leaves ½ Bunch flat leaf parsley ½ teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon mustard seeds add for serving Around two/three cups of your favo rite sprouts, fermented and fresh vegetab les + Tahini dressing ( ¼ cup tahini, ¼ cup water, 1 tsp miso, lemon juice, salt and pepper, whisk with a fork until crea my)

Directions 1. Place all ingredients together and process with a stick blender until smooth, separate into two bowls and add ingredients for sweet and sav ory. Set aside for 10 minutes to rest. 2. Prepare on a platter your sweet and savory fillings. 3. Cook pancakes with a little vegan butter or unflavored coconut oil, one pancak e ladles worth at a time, around two min utes on each side or until they have nice color. Don’t be in a hurry to turn them, give them time to seal and they wont stick. WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M


RECIPES Our Family Table - Food That Brings Us Together

Raw Cauliflower Sushi Ingredients Cauliflower rice 1 whole head of cauliflower 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon dulse flakes

Lu n ch

Filling Ingredients 10 sheets roasted seaweed sheets 1 avocado sliced into lengths 他 cup sprouts 1 carrot finely sliced into lengths 1 Cup green beans, tails removed 1 red bell pepper finely sliced into lengths ths 1 Lebanese cucumber sliced into leng 4 Tablespoons sunflower seeds 4 Tablespoons hemp seeds Extras to serve Tamari Wasabi Pickled Ginger

Directions Cauliflower rice essor Place all ingredients into a food proc small es and pulse until cauliflower resembl nally grains. You will need to stop occasio ensure and scrape the sides of the bowl to even texture. Cauliflower sushi rolls y 1. Start by placing your nori sheet shin . mat g side down on top of a sushi rollin 2. Using wet fingers spread 他 of cauliflower rice over the bottom two y. thirds of the nori closet to your bod 3. Next make a line of your favorite prepared ingredients on top of the cauliflower rice at the edge of the nori closet to you. the 4. Using the mat started to firmly roll nts, nori around your center ingredie wet the remaining nori with a little water to help seal the roll and complete your rolling. 5. Cut with a serrated knife to serve.



D i n n er

Rainbow Mexican Tacos Ingredients 1 Red onion diced 2-4 cloves garlic chopped 1 Cob of corn, kernels removed 2 tomatoes chopped 2 Cups cooked Black beans 2 Cups cooked Adzuki beans 2 teaspoon ground cumin 2 teaspoon ground coriander ½ teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon salt 1 Tablespoon olive oil ½ bunch coriander chopped 1 Lime juice 18-24 soft corn tortillas Pica de Gallo 1 Large tomato finely diced 1 Medium red onion finely diced ¼ Bunch cilantro finely chopped 1 Tablespoon olive oil ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper

Guacamole 2 Avocados 1 Tomato chopped finely ¼ Cup Bunch cilantro ½ teaspoon salt juice of 1 lime Cashew Sour Cream ½ Cup raw cashews soaked over night or at least 2 hours ½ Cup water ½ lemon juice ½ teaspoon salt Rainbow Extras for serving 2 x Cups grated carrot 2 x Cups grated coconut cheese or other vegan cheese 1 x Cup of shredded salad leaves 1 x Cup of mixed sprouts 1 x Cup snow peas finely sliced 1 x red capsicum (bell pepper) finely sliced Your favorite chili sauce or salsa

Directions Heat olive oil in pan, add onion and cook until soft, add spices and sauté until fragrant. Add corn, tomato, beans, coriander, lime juice and salt. Pica de Gallo (Mexican Salsa) Combine all ingredients, season to taste. Guacamole Mash avocado (best in mortar and pestle), combine all ingredients and season to taste. Cashew Sour Cream Drain cashews and place in food processor with all other ingredients, blend until smooth. Rainbow Extras For Serving Arrange all vegetables and cheese on a platter or two for sharing on the table together. Soft tacos Wrap in foil and heat on the oven for 10 minutes before serving.



RECIPES Our Family Table - Food That Brings Us Together

D es se rt

nilla Cheesecakeworth the three stages it takes to create. Raw Raspberry & Va and decadent dessert; it is well This is a delicious, very healthy shine and holiday time! our garden, it tastes like summer, sun Inspired by the beautiful berries from

Ingredients Base 1 Cup Medjool dates 1 Cup almonds ½ Cup coconut flakes

Directions Base t flakes in a Blend dates, almonds and coconu ss firmly into pre and fine is food processor until it paring the pre le whi ate iger a spring form pan. Refr next layer.

Vanilla Layer t an hour 1 x Cup cashews soaked for at leas med to war tly gen be t ⅓ Cup coconut oil mus pouring liquid ¼ Cup agave syrup 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped ⅓ Cup of lemon juice Raspberry layer an hour 1Cup cashews soaked for at least warmed to tly gen be t ⅓ Cup coconut oil, mus pouring liquid ¼ Cup agave syrup 1 tsp lemon juice garnish 1 Cup fresh raspberries + extra to

and applies it Angel Yaffa believes in the . magic of love world everything she shares with the e beings: Emily, Oli, DelShe is a devoted Mumma of four divin ld be surrounded with shou ren child phin and Indi. She believes that wonder-filled, and she enjoys everything especially enchanting and . level their on sharing the world with them talk, often involved in can’t that als anim the for voice She is a


Vanilla Layer ds and lemon Process cashews, agave, vanilla see oil, Process t onu coc the in juice and slowly pour r and ove oth smo , pan until smooth, pour into r. laye t nex ng refrigerate while prepari Raspberry Layer ds and lemon Process cashews, agave, vanilla see oil, Process t onu coc the in juice and slowly pour ly until all slow ries ber rasp until smooth, and add the top and r ove oth smo , combined, pour into pan ate for at iger Refr . ries ber decorate with some rasp least 6 hours before serving.

the benefits of being vegan for animal activism and loves to spread . the people, the animals and the world teaching experience and her of s year her using Angel has been people to create a unique and passion for yoga, Tantra bodywork rocking the yoga world. is that yoga l socia and e style of interactiv ys endeavors to create alwa l This is our Rainbow Yoga where Ange food, yoga and love. with ther toge r close le peop new ways to bring WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M


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With My Own

Two Hands Every day we practice yoga. You could never step on your mat and still be a yogi because the truth of the matter is that the yoga begins off of the mat, more than it does within those four corners. INTERVIEW BY KIM BAUMAN WITH LINDSEY PLUIMER PHOTOS COURTESY OF WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS


f you have a graceful, flexible, beautiful asana practice, it then no longer correlates if you were to step out into the world and be rude or ill-willed. Meet Lindsey Pluimer, Founder, With My Own Two Hands Foundation (WMO2H), a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned and disadvantaged children. Lindsey was a star athlete her whole life. She played basketball at UCLA before going on to play professionally where she found yoga and became certified to teach. Here’s her inspiring story of travel, finding her calling, and taking her yoga off the mat. Kim Bauman: The moment or time period you realized this work was your calling…. what happened, who was there, and how did you take the first step? Lindsey Pluimer: While on a volunteer trip to South Africa I came across this beautiful girl at an orphanage. Her name happened to be Shanti, which in Sanskrit means


“peace”. She had lost her parents to AIDS and carried the HIV virus as well. She had visible lesions and was pretty standoffish to me throughout my trip. One day, we decided to pass out donated clothes, and I made a conscious effort to give her clothes that would cover up her lesions. So, the next day we arrive at the orphanage, and she had her new outfit on, smiling ear to ear. While we were playing soccer with the kids, her hand slid into mine, and I was shocked. She was a totally different girl. She displayed more security, confidence, and was truly grateful. That was the moment I knew I wanted to start a nonprofit dedicated to helping children in need. I saw how such a small act could transform a girls day/life. Once I returned from my trip, I reached out to a friend and started With My Own Two Hands Foundation and never looked back. I knew that whether I raised $5,000 or $5,000,000, it would go a long way for the children, and that was all the motivation I needed to start the organization. WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

KB: So much happens in our younger years that shapes who we are today. Can you share with us a childhood memory that you believe contributed to you as an adult dedicating your life to serving underprivileged kids? LP: I was fortunate to have a loving home and access to good education growing up. But it wasn’t until I reached college where I studied the lack of media in Darfur (genocide was going on at the time) that I had the itch to go to Africa. It was almost as if it was a calling. So I wrote a meaningful paper and committed to the conclusion to going to Africa one day. That paper, that class and that professor changed my life. KB: What touched you the most on your first volunteer trip to Africa, before With My Own 2 Hands was even a concept? LP: I saw how a little went a long way. It was yoga in action to me. I knew that whether or not we lived on the same continent, spoke the same language, or had different life experiences, that we were connected. I realized that we all want to see and be seen and love and be loved. KB: How did you get into yoga? What inspired you to become a certified teacher? LP: I took my first yoga class while playing basketball at UCLA. I had finished all of my credits and needed to take a few “easy” classes to stay eligible. So I signed up for yoga and fell in love. I felt better physically and felt better mentally as well. After playing professional basketball abroad, I came home from offseason and got certified in 2009. I have been teaching ever since. I believe yoga and the nonprofit world go hand-in-hand together. KB: How is yoga incorporated into your programs in Kenya? LP: When we take teams out to Africa, we typically lead a morning yoga class with our volunteers to start the day. We also will teach the kids yoga (usually, them mimicking us due to the language barrier). Yoga seems to cross the boundaries of culture, race, ethnicity, and class. It became a universal language through the body. There are a ton of giggles when practicing with them! KB: Your partner projects in Kenya sound so incredibly inspiring from an orphanage to a school, to a rescue center, all falling in line with your mission’s focus to serve in the areas of education, shelter/ health, water, and agriculture. Please share about these projects and where they are now. LP: We work with many projects (right now we are based in Kenya) that help benefit children in need. We WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

Yoga seems to cross the boundaries of culture, race, ethnicity, and class. It became a universal language through the body. There are a ton of giggles when practicing with them! have helped build an orphanage, build a school, drilled multiple water boreholes, built multiple greenhouses. We focus on providing sustainable solutions through education, shelter, water and agriculture. Our main focus is to educate the children, but we understand that in order to do that all kids must have shelter, food and water as well. We most recently built a rescue dormitory that helps rescue girls from forced marriages and female genital mutilation. Within two short weeks, the dormitory was at full capacity (42 girls). Our intention with the rescue dormitory was to give the power back to the girls so that they can make the choice to escape these forced marriages and instead have control over their bodies and access to education.


We also never just help one project and leave them, we cultivate long-lasting relationships with the projects to make sure they thrive. KB: Many people have heard of female genital mutilation in Africa, but most of us are still so in the dark about this cultural phenomenon. What is this and what is their belief behind doing it? What type of girl falls victim of this abuse? How does WMO2H rescue these girls? LP: Female genital mutilation is a long standing tradition (practiced by the Massai tribe in Kenya) where the girls clitoris will be cut before selling her off into marriage. It is horrific, unsanitary, and unimaginable. These girls are viewed as property and are often sold without even being notified. Once they are circumcised and sold into marriage they lose their education, and they have to take on the fulltime role of wife and mother. Girls will get sold off as early as 9 years old to men, sometimes over the age of 50+. We have partnered with two rescue centers in Kajiado, Kenya that help rescue the girls. Between the two projects, they have rescued over 1,000 girls from this practice. KB: A looming worldwide issue in donating funds to support highly under-served communities is sustainability. How does WMO2H work to ensure its efforts create a lasting impact? LP: We find projects that are doing great work in their community. Many of these projects struggle financially and are barely getting by. We help them find sustainable ways to generate income or provide education to the children. We have an African Program Director that oversees are projects while we are in the US. He is a huge reason for our success. Not only does he research and find the projects, but he also gets local pricing and reports back to us monthly on the projects. We also never just help one project and leave them, we cultivate long-lasting relationships with the projects to make sure they thrive.


KB: What are some of the miracles that came out of your most recent January 2016 volunteer Kenya trip? LP: On our trip in January, we were able to open the rescue dormitory for the HELGA project in Kajiado, Kenya. It was a beautiful celebration and our volunteers loved being apart of the grand opening. We got to hear their horrific stories but saw a new sense of hope for them as they had a safe refuge and access to education. KB: What is your biggest need right now in Kenya that WMO2H is seeking support for? LP: We are seeking support for education sponsors. Many of the girls need help paying their tuitions while living at the rescue center. We also have uniform and birthday programs as well. Funding these projects is always a need for us. KB: What’s in store in 2016 for WMO2H? LP: We are partnering with some other amazing organizations that are doing such important work for children. We also will be launching a new documentary this summer which is exciting. We plan to expand outside of Kenya in the next 1-2 years, and we hope to extend our reach to more children in need.

Check out WMO2H’s Documentaries

AIC Rescue Center, Kenya

St. Ann’s Orphanage: Kenya

KB: How can people get involved? LP: We would encourage people to visit our website www.withmyown2hands.org to either contribute, come on a volunteer trip with us, fundraise, or sponsor a birthday/education/uniform. We are always looking for people to take their yoga off the mat and into the world around them! By Kim


www.jointheonelovemovement.org The One Love Movement @theonelovemovement


The Whole World Is Family When the editors of Yoga Digest told me this issue deals with family, the first thought which came to my mind is how I have been experiencing a global family on the dance floor as I travel the world. BY DJ TAZ RASHID


hen the editors of Yoga Digest told me this issue deals with family, the first thought which came to my mind is how I have been experiencing a global family on the dance floor as I travel the world. Let me explain. Back in 2012, I started hosting mindful dance parties in Chicago in a substance free setting, and I noticed many families coming to dance together. Now this is something you definitely don’t see often in the night club or bar scene, and I personally didn’t have a setting like this growing up. And when I mean families, I mean mom, dad and kids of all ages. Now as I am traveling around the world playing stages at different festivals, I am seeing this same situation on a grander level. Not only am I seeing families but, I’m starting to see grandparents dancing on the same dance floor to the same music as their grandkids. So when I am speaking of festivals, I don’t just mean any festival, these are primarily yoga festivals, spiritual festivals and events/ conferences of a mindful nature. Most of these dance floors are alcohol and drug-free and some of these dance parties are happening in the middle of the day with hundreds sometimes thousands of people. What’s beautiful is that these folks are gathered not just to hear a particular style of music but more so in the intention of celebration of community and each other. I’m usually playing a multitude of different genres blending music from the past 4-6 decades, and I feel this has a great way of making a real all-around kind of experience for everyone to enjoy. One of my most recent experiences where I played eclectic music was as at Bali Spirit fest in Indonesia (I’ve included a mix so you can sense the spirit of the music from the ecstatic dance gathering). I remember

looking out into the Ecstatic dance community at Bali Spirit Fest at one point and seeing teenagers and couples in their late 60s dancing together. How cool and beautiful? It really gives me great hope to see individuals in their 60s and 70s dancing. I think it’s a false cultural idea of becoming old and not being able to do the things you once enjoyed in your youth that ecstatic dance communities are gloriously debunking. It is so inspiring to witness people living their lives at full speed regardless of their age.

Folks are gathered not just to hear a particular style of music but more so in the intention of celebration of community and each other. I really believe that the ability to have so much forward momentum in life is especially possible for folks who have an attitude of joy and have great passion for contributing to the betterment of the world. These individuals often reside in the awareness that the whole world is one family and want to support humanity to return to this way of interacting with one another. Being a peacemaker myself, I also often ponder on what would it take for all of us to get along? Maybe we all just need to get on the dance floor together and let our beautiful human bodies sway to the rhythm of life together. One Breath. One Heart. One Love dancing to music as humanity has for thousands of years. Could it be as simple as that?

DJ Taz Rashid is an international musician performing for

mindful yoga and music events and festivals specializing in music for meditation, yoga and dance. He lives in Chicago, IL with is wife. FREE DOWNLOAD Listen to DJ Taz Rashid’s album Sacred Grooves for free by texting LOVEYOGA to 44222

www.DJTazRashid.com facebook.com/djtazrashid soundcloud.com/djtazrashid

You’re Living With

Your Best Teacher I

n India they’re called householder yogis — women and men with an unshakable commitment to their spiritual path who have decided to have a family rather than to live in a cave or an ashram. They choose to grow and evolve through their experiences at home and in the workplace, embracing the challenges of everyday life as the means to their transformation. Many of us subscribe to the belief that spiritual growth happens as a result of daily meditation, mindfulness retreats, and inspiration from wise luminaries. But one of the greatest teachers you could ever hope to learn from is living right under your roof, even if (especially if) he or she pushes your buttons or challenges your limitations. In parenting, things get very real, very fast. Figuring out how to cope when your child spills juice on the new sofa or managing your reactions when your kids tease each other nonstop on the long ride to Grandma’s is the equivalent of an advanced course in personal growth. Do you fall apart, or are you able to stay present, deepening your ability to be with “what is,” responding rather than reacting? True spirituality doesn’t happen in a cave at the top of a mountain. It’s down here, wiping a runny nose, playing yet another round of Candyland, or rocking a colicky baby at two in the morning. The Buddha is crying in the next room. How you handle that is as evolved and as spiritual as it gets.

What is a teacher?

Many of us are charmed by the image of our sons and daughters as divinely appointed teachers who can help us transform our hearts and souls. But while the idea of seeing our child as one of our teachers has a lyrical, enlightened ring to it, there’s a difference between accepting the idea of something and embracing the reality of it. Our children may indeed catalyze a love within us that we could not have imagined possible. But they can also elicit powerful elements of our shadow selves, calling forth aspects of our nature, such as impatience and intolerance, that leave us ashamed and overwhelmed.


Maintaining equilibrium is key to living in the moment, but nothing tests our ability to stay centered like parenting. Raising kids can be anything but peaceful, with sibling squabbles, homework meltdowns, and arguments over video games all-too-familiar features of the landscape of family life. It’s easy for soulful principles to collide with the realities of day-to-day life with children underfoot. Even the most seasoned meditator or yogini may find herself shouting, threatening, bribing, or punishing, despite having set intentions to remain loving and calm no matter what. There is a saying, When the student is ready, the teacher appears. I have long found it to be true that when I am ready to expand my horizons intellectually, psychologically, or spiritually, an opportunity presents itself that seems divinely orchestrated to allow me to stretch, grow, and learn. That said, I don’t always want to stretch, grow, and learn! Instead, I may feel as if I’ve been involuntarily enrolled in a class I had no desire to take! When it comes to parenting, it seems that although we may not have knowingly signed up for the “course” our children offer, we nonetheless find ourselves forced (“invited?” “given the opportunity?”) to profoundly grow, and grow up. In this respect, I believe our children can become our greatest teachers. While we may not deliberately choose to have a baby so that we can heal wounds from our childhood or become a better version of our- selves, in fact, those opportunities — and thousands more — are birthed right along with our children.

Susan Stiffelman, mft is the

bestselling author of Parenting with Presence and Parenting without Power Struggles. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a credentialed teacher, and the Huffington Post’s weekly “Parent Coach” advice columnist. She lives in Malibu, California where she is an aspiring banjo player, a determined tap-dancer, and an optimistic gardener.

www.ParentingwithPresence.com WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

Excerpted from the book Parenting with Presence: Practices for Raising Conscious, Confident, Caring Kids ©2015 by Susan Stiffelman. Printed with permission of New World Library. www.newworldlibrary.com

An Excerpt from Parenting with Presence by Susan Stiffelman


Helping Our Children Count Their Blessings BY MONISHA VASA, M.D.


perspective of gratitude is one of the greatest gifts we can offer to our children. Gratitude gives children a more thankful attitude as they move through life, improving their overall happiness and well being into adolescence and adulthood. Fortunately, encouraging gratitude in kids does not have to take lots of time and effort. Here are some “Get Grateful Quick” strategies to try with your family:


Children learn by imitation, and are more likely to learn from what they see us do, rather than what we tell them to do. Make it a point to incorporate gratitude into your daily routine as a family. For example, start by telling your children what you feel particularly thankful for as you drive them to school in the morning, or tuck them into bed at night. They will naturally follow suit. Moments like these become opportunities for connection and conversation, and help to encourage a daily practice of being thankful. It is important not to force the issue if they are not immediately interested. Just continue articulating your own gratitude; you will still be demonstrating an important idea that they will absorb over time.


It can help children to be able to visualize the idea of gratitude, in order to make it a more concrete concept for them. For example, a fun idea for children is a “Happy Jar.” As a family, write down on a piece of paper what made each person feel particularly happy that day. Fold the papers up and drop them into the jar. They can be taken out and shared at the end of a week, month, or year, as a way to remember all of the pleasurable moments that were experienced WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

over time. Other ideas include reading children’s books that foster gratitude, or creating a gratitude journal together.


It is helpful to remind our kids that we can be grateful for the simplest of things in life. For example, we might point out a particularly sunny day, a delicious strawberry, or a good grade at school. Although these might seem like simple every day occurrences, the act of noticing the small pleasures in life can help to cultivate joy. We want to teach our children that we often take important blessings like running water, food, and even our health for granted. We also want them to learn that, although we can be grateful for “big” moments like trips to Disneyland or a special birthday party, that most often, a meaningful gratitude practice comes from paying attention to the beauty in ordinary moments. It can be challenging to learn concepts such as mindfulness, compassion, and gratitude as adults. Encouraging these behaviors from a young age can help provide a strong foundation for our children. The fundamentals of resilience and well being begin in childhood. Let’s help our children, and ourselves, by sharing the importance of gratitude in creating a happy, healthy life.

Monisha Vasa, M.D. is a board certified General and

Addiction Psychiatrist in private practice in Orange County, CA. Dr. Vasa is the author of the non-fiction children’s books, My Dearest One and Saying Thank You. She is also a marathon runner and a student of yoga and meditation. Learn more about Dr. Vasa at  monishavasa.com and read her blog on The Huffington Post.


Tips for Practicing

Yoga & Mindfulness


Make it Fun

As any parent knows, kids have a long list of things they ‘have to do,’ so we are not looking to and another item. Yoga can be something they want to do—if we remember to make it fun. Try poses that will definitely bring a smile to everyone’s face. Add music and you’ve got yourself a yoga party!

A Little Goes A Long Way

Don’t worry if you find you can’t do more than a few minutes (or seconds) of yoga or mindfulness exercises at a time. For kids (and adults) we are going for small shifts. Simply noticing where we are, noticing our breath in and our breath out, and noticing how we are feeling inside creates a feeling of calm. Even that seemingly modest practice can have a lasting effect on the whole family.

Use Transitions

It can be hard to know when to bring yoga into an already busy schedule. Natural transitions can be great cues to bring a little more awareness and a little more flow into your family routine. Try doing a simple 3-minute flow from Good Morning Yoga when it is time to move from playing or homework to head to soccer practice. Try counting breaths (5 slow inhales and slow exhales following each complete breath in and out) before it’s time to brush teeth.


Watch Me Now

Being a parent who does yoga, who takes the time to relax and re-center in the day is great modeling. What we want for our kids is to form healthy habits of self-care and the ability to pause and re-focus regularly. Modeling what that looks like is essential to their learning.

Don’t Worry About What It Looks Like There are a lot of ways to practice yoga and mindfulness as a family throughout the day. Be open to those moments. Taking a walk and noticing how many things you can hear in nature can be a way to develop present-moment awareness. Lying in the grass and paying attention to where every part of our body touches the earth is another. There are always opportunities to slow down and to notice where our feet are on the ground. All of this is a way of practicing slowing down and being here now, which can have a lasting positive effect on the whole family.

Mariam Gates holds a master’s in education from

Harvard University and has more than twenty years’ experience working with children. Her renowned Kid Power Yoga program combines her love of yoga with teaching to help children access their inner gifts. She is the author of Good Night Yoga: A Pose-byPose Bedtime Story (Sounds True, April 2015), and the forthcoming book, Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Wake Up Story (Sounds True, March 2016). Mariam lives in Santa Cruz, CA, with her husband, yoga teacher Rolf Gates, and their two children.

www.mariamgates.com WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

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Growing Old




Janet Rae Humphrey had serious reservations about doing yoga. The 58-year-old had excruciating pain and stiffness from fibromyalgia, she couldn’t kneel because one of her kneecaps had been surgically removed and she became dizzy when she put her head below her waist.


’d been wanting to do yoga for years, but I was scared because I didn’t know anything, and I didn’t want to look ridiculous,” says Humphrey. “I had been through 15 surgeries in my life, and I had always pictured myself as having major physical and mental limitations.” She finally gathered up the courage to try her first class and loved the way it stretched and opened up her entire body and focused her mind. She kept coming back, and within a few months, she noticed improvements in her range of motion and felt less pain and stiffness. Like Humphrey, many people are afraid to try yoga because they think they are too weak, inflexible or have too many health issues to overcome. “The only thing you need to do to practice yoga is breathe,” says Carol Krucoff, yoga teacher at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, N.C., and co-director of the Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors teacher training (Yoga4seniors.com). “More and more people are recognizing that yoga is not about standing on your head necessarily or turning into a pretzel,” says Krucoff. “Yoga is much more than just physical activity. Yoga also brings in the emotions, energies and thoughts, so it can really be very important dealing with the whole aging process.”

How Aging Affects the Body

Today an estimated 36.7 million Americans do yoga, and more than one-third of them are 50 or older, according to the 2016 Yoga in America Study. As we age, our spine and joints become stiffer, our muscles and bones become weaker, and we are at higher risk for a host of health conditions including arthritis, heart disease, dementia and diabetes. A growing body


of research suggests that a regular yoga practice may help slow down the effects of aging and improve our overall health. Many older adults start doing yoga so they can maintain their physical health and independence. “They’re not so much motivated by having yoga abs or trying to look like a cover model or do some sort of acrobatic pose. The motivation is much more to be able to function in daily life: to be able to get down on the floor and play with grandchildren, to be able to reach things on a high shelf, to be able to turn your head so that you can drive,” says Krucoff, author of Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less.

Finding the Right Class and Teacher

The popularity of yoga has opened up a mind-boggling array of choices – from the intense hot, power, flowing or acro-yoga classes to the more gentle beginner’s, restorative and chair classes. The challenge is finding a class that is appropriate for your age and ability and a teacher who is experienced in dealing with any major health conditions you may have. “There are a lot of new teachers out there – a lot of inexperienced teachers – so I think you need to be a little more discriminating as we get older because we obviously have more things that we have to be mindful of,” says Baxter Bell, M.D., yoga teacher and medical acupuncturist who educates the older population through his blog, YogaforHealthyAging.com. “Make sure you have an up-to-date health exam and find out if you have any health conditions that could be impacted by a new yoga practice. Ask your doctor questions and ask your experienced teacher questions before you actually start practicing.” WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

yoga,” says yoga teacher Desirée Rumbaugh of Encinitas, Calif. She suggests looking for teachers with training in Iyengar or Anusara yoga, which emphasizes body alignment, and avoiding classes with a gymnastics-style workout or drill sergeant mentality. Using props such as blocks, straps and blankets can make poses more accessible and soften the stretches. “Growing older gracefully is not trying to cling to the things you used to be able to do when you were younger, but be willing to change with the time and accept that this is the new way if you want to feel healthy and avoid injury,” says Rumbaugh. She also teaches her students the importance of sleep, cleaning up their diet by cutting back on sugar and alcohol and eating “lighter, greener meals.”

What to Expect in a “Seniors” Class

Classes for seniors attract adults well into their 60s and beyond. They typically offer a slow, gentle pace with numerous modifications to standard yoga poses. Depending on the class, the student may practice on a yoga mat, seated in a chair, standing and using a chair for support or a combination of the three. Osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease and glaucoma are known as “silent diseases because people often have them, but may have no obvious symptoms; therefore, teachers should assume that this age group has major health conditions, even if they are undiagnosed. Studies show that half of women and up to Patrice Welsh-Benjamin's yoga practice and one-quarter of men 50 and older will break a the support of fellow classmates helped her and her husband, Don, deal with her bone because of osteoporosis. To reduce the risk breast cancer diagnosis two years ago. of fractures, teachers should follow the guidelines from the National Osteoporosis Foundation when teaching a class for seniors, says Krucoff. For example, they should avoid bending forward Photo by Angela Ambrose from the waist with straight legs and end-range twists, in which you rotate your body to a point Setting specific goals can help you reap the most of strain. benefits while reducing your risk of injury, says Bell. Although some teachers shy away from twists alFor example, the goal may be increasing your range of together when working with older adults, they are motion after a hip replacement, improving your balance an important functional movement and are generally to prevent falls or dealing with depression and anxiety safe when the twists stay in the mid-range and have after losing a loved one. a gentle quality of motion, says Krucoff: “If we don’t The range of fitness levels among older adults is very twist, we’re not going to be able to catch ourselves wide, so age is not always the best indicator of ability. if we stumble. We’re not going to be able to drive.” An 80-year-old marathoner who has been practicing Another common guideline in senior classes is to keep yoga for decades might be able to handle a vigorous the head above the heart due to the risk of glaucoma, yoga class while an out-of-shape 45-year-old may be stroke, hypertension and cardiovascular disorders. safest starting out in a gentle class. Students should always inform their teachers of any “If you’re new to yoga, stick to beginner classes, major health issues before starting yoga because many experienced teachers and alignment-based styles of conditions require further modifications. WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M


CONNECT Growing Old with Yoga Benefits of Belly Breathing

At the heart of the yoga practice is the breath. “Breath can be used for lots of different things,” says Bell. “Breath can be used to calm the nervous system and quiet your mind. Breath can be used, conversely, to excite your nervous system and sharpen your mind.” In Krucoff’s classes, she instructs seniors to use a relaxed abdominal breath. Also known as diaphrag-

Wisdom Warriors™ for Strong Yogis

Just because you’re old enough to get the senior discount at your favorite restaurant doesn’t mean you have to do chair yoga. Desirée Rumbaugh teaches workshops around the country, including a 12-hour training called “Wisdom Warriors,” for athletically-oriented students over 50 who are experienced practitioners. She teams up with a physical therapist to teach students how to practice safely while dealing with age-related issues such as arthritis, joint replacement or injuries. Because her workshops tend to draw more seasoned yoga students, she guides them through all levels of poses including challenging inversions, arm balances and backbends. However, there is one pose that she has stopped teaching – to young and old alike – headstand. The continuous use of technology has created unhealthy necks and shoulders and a forward head position, says Rumbaugh. Instead, she teaches headstand with the head off the floor and fingers interlaced and forearms on the floor. “We have to work slowly, and we have to warm up slowly. We have to work way more consciously,” says Rumbaugh. “We can’t just throw ourselves into things like we used to when we were younger, but we can still have a challenging practice.”

matic or belly breathing, it can help you feel calmer during periods of high stress or discomfort. Sleep disturbances are more common with age, so many older adults use a slow, relaxed breath to help them fall asleep at night. “Breathing is probably the single most important thing that we teach as yoga teachers because it affects so much,” says Krucoff, who is releasing a new book this fall called Relax into Yoga for Seniors, along with co-author Kimberly Carson. Slow, controlled belly breathing can help reduce stress, which may have a positive effect on heart disease, high blood pressure, respiratory problems and mood. Traditionally, students are taught to breathe in and out through their nose during yoga class because it helps warm, moisten and clean the air. However, this can be challenging for students with asthma, emphysema or other breathing disorders. Krucoff encourages students with respiratory issues to breathe in through the nose and exhale through pursed lips: “When there’s a slow, smooth exhalation through pursed lips, it can help create a back pressure that helps release some of the trapped air that’s problematic for people with lung disease.” Keeping the focus on your breath can help calm the mind and prevent unhealthy habits such as holding your breath or using shallow chest breathing.

Desirée Rumbaugh photo by Agath

e Padovani

Support During Tough Times

Yoga helps us prepare for the inevitable losses and health problems that come with age – the impaired functioning and the anxiety and fear when dealing with a chronic disease, cancer diagnosis or coping with the death of a family member or friend. Patrice Welsh-Benjamin knows firsthand the power of yoga to get through tough times. Ironically, a year after retiring from her job as an oncology nurse, she was diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram. “The diagnosis was very disruptive – going through the testing, choosing all the care providers and having to wait six weeks for the surgery. During that time, there was a lot of fear, a lot of uncertainty of what was going on,” says Welsh-Benjamin, who attends SilverSneakers Yoga classes with her husband Don several times a week at the YMCA in Scottsdale, Ariz. “Yoga brought a calmness and groundedness to my life and a sense that I can meet the challenge. I can find the strength. It frees me in a lot of ways to step back and let go of the fear and uncertainty.” Having recently retired, Welsh-Benjamin missed the daily interactions and comradery of her co-workers.


When she joined the yoga class, she was surprised by the warm welcome and support she received from the students and teachers. “What was quite an incredible experience for us was the way people in class reached out to us with their expressions of concern. There were cards, flowers, food and people calling and checking in to see how I was doing,” says the 69-year-old. Attending classes regularly can help combat the feeling of isolation that older people often feel when they retire or move into assisted living centers away from family and friends. Many of them come early to class to socialize, go out for coffee or lunch together, and call each other if someone is out sick. The social aspect of yoga may not be the initial reason why people show up to yoga, but it’s often the reason they keep coming back, says Bell.

Transforming Fear into Gratitude

Although Humphrey felt a reduction in pain and stiffness a few months after starting yoga, the most profound changes came years later. She progressed very gradually from one class a week to practicing six days a week and took a few private yoga lessons to receive more personalized instruction. Yoga helped eliminate her fibromyalgia, reduce her scoliosis curve, increase her strength and flexibility, and improve her memory. She also tapered off six prescription medications. “I had such a dramatic improvement in my body and mind that I wanted other people to experience that, too,” says Humphrey. At age 70, she became a certified Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors instructor, and by sharing her story of hope and healing, has motivated many skeptical seniors to give yoga a try. Along with the physical improvements, she has seen positive changes in her mental and emotional well-being. “I’ve gone from being quiet and reserved to much more outgoing and relaxed. With all my neurosurgeries, I had lost my ability to assemble new information, but now my mind is so sharp,” says Humphrey, who wrote and self-published Age without Limits: Over 200 Chair and Standing Yoga Poses for Seniors and the Health-Challenged. “Yoga has helped me break free from the label of being “disabled” and peel away the layers of fear and negative thinking.”


Where to Find Classes for Seniors

Community senior centers • Yoga studios Religious organizations • Health clubs or local YMCA Online at: SilverSneakers.com • Silver&Fit.com YogaAlliance.org • Yoga4seniors.com/graduates Like Humphrey, Welsh-Benjamin has used her yoga practice to transform her fears and worries into gratitude. Since her lumpectomy and radiation treatment, she has undergone numerous tests, biopsies and mammograms to ensure she remains cancer-free. Every time she faces another test or goes back to the oncologist, the fear and anxiety float to the surface. “What yoga does for me is bring me back to the moment with a gratefulness that I’m alive today. This is my breath, this is who I am – and being able to let go and being able to say that it will be alright. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be problems or illnesses, or there isn’t going to be death. It means this life is a gift. And it’s a gift now.”

Angela Ambrose is a Phoenix-based writer with near-

ly 30 years in magazine, corporate and video scriptwriting. As an ACE-certified group fitness instructor and yoga teacher, she combines her writing expertise with her passion for healthy living. Angela loves sharing the gift of yoga with the seniors in her SilverSneakers classes, and they, in turn, share their wisdom and warm hugs with her. Angela recently served as editor of Janet Humphrey’s recently released book, Age Without Limits. Contact her at:




If You Want to Be Successful Change the World,

Do Your Inner Work. Here’s Why.


o do well and do the good often means you’re bucking the system. You’re changing things that define the norm for lots and lots of people.  You are outside the box; you’re at the bleeding edge. In other words, when you’re giving everything you’ve got to your life and work in service of others — your family, your community, your country, the planet — you’ll find yourself stretched, both personally and professionally. It’s the hardest work of all — and it’s the work most needed.  

It’s hard because it asks a lot of you.

First, you’ve got to be brave. You’re charging into the unknown, and there, you’re carving new paths where none yet exist. And, you’ve got to learn to get out of your own way because the greater the effort, the more inevitably you’ll reach your own internal limits.  You’ve got to collaborate with people you don’t like, and, if you’re really trying to do something big, you’re going to need an inner resilience and inner amazingness so you can endure uncertainties, take on dragons and tame them, shape-shift like a mofo, see the whole picture at any point, adapt to whatever life throws at you, surf the chaos, see the invisible, be there for others in loving and generous ways, get through chaos and complexity to unexpectedly wonderful and amazing results.  This is the side of success that isn’t talked about nearly as much as the outer manifestations - money, glory, arrival. And of course the dark side of success are all those attempts that failed. Any kind of success is an inner game, but success that also bucks the system in order to make the world a better place is a challenge that demands inner super powers. There is only one way to grow super powers: do your inner work; strengthen your light so you can face your darkness; deliberately cultivate your creativity, your compassion, your insight; do it each and every day. WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

Growing Super Powers 101

The greatest place to cultivate your inner abilities to meet the world with all your power, strength, and amazingness is in meditation. Meditation is your laboratory, your studio, your practice room, THE place where you go to exercise your capacities. You need to build up certain mental muscle groups, certain soul flexing and stretching abilities. You need to refine your feeling life and turn it into an organ of perception and insight. You need to develop a strong will that can see you through the rough spots.  With the right exercises and tools, all this can be accomplished in your meditative life. So let’s start with some simple teeth brushing for your soul to keep you clean and straight: the Peace Meditation. If done right, the Peace Meditation is about getting your silence back.

The Peace Meditation

Sit comfortably, and take a moment or two to clear your mind of the constant stream of mental chatter. Work to create a space where you are feeling present to yourself and not distracted by your constant inner muttering. Then think the word: Peace. As you think the word, deliberately try to bring up in your soul a feeling, a mood, of peace. It might help to remember a moment when you felt peaceful, and re-evoke how that felt

Building the Hut: 3 Tips For Meditation

Any meditation is only partly useful in and of itself; the greatest value is to be gained from the rhythmic activity of doing the meditation. When you do it every day, over time you lay a foundation upon which, stone by stone, is created a place where you can go when life gets tough. It is literally like you build a reserve of quiet, of centeredness, that you can call on when you need it. This is called “building the hut.”   When you build the hut, you are creating order and structure where before there used to be chaos and noise, even darkness. Over time, you will build a place to go where you can find some peace for a few minutes each day. Just those few precious minutes of a little peace and quiet can help you get a grip in the tide of your inner world that can overwhelm you at any moment. Getting that grip, even for a few minutes, can be the difference between having resilience in the face of trouble, or being stomped. Remember these three key elements to doing any meditative exercise: it takes some investment of time and effort before there will be any noticeable difference. 

Magenta has coached and consulted for leaders, entrepreneurs,

and change makers working on some of the toughest problems on the planet — from peace and democracy building to reinventing national and regional social services, child protection, people with disabilities.  Magenta has worked with thousands of people in corporations, WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

Without silence you can’t be objective, you can’t be inwardly quiet enough to resist the temptation to be pulled into dramas — either your own or someone else’s. Dealing with the storms of feelings and emotions that can rip through the calm and centeredness you struggle to maintain throughout any given day is a big challenge, and the best tool for this, hands down, is the peace meditation. The activity of doing this exercise is a homeopathic dose of peace medicine, which slowly, imperceptibly, works upon your soul giving it strength and resilience over time when you need it. It doesn’t happen by magic; it arises out of your activity, your striving, every morning and (for extra dynamos!) every evening.

to you. After you do that, let the word peace and the mood you evoked, fall away into silence. “Give it away” into the silence — let it go.  You are free to repeat these steps a few times, until you are done. Don’t do it for too long and find yourself setting a standard that you can’t keep up with — but if you go deep, go deep. You only need a couple of minutes, which can actually feel like quite a long time when you are just sitting in silence.

It is a subtle process. And, at the same time, sometimes the effect is noticeable instantly.  Just don’t expect results.  Instead, do it.  Over time, the results make themselves known.  The point is not whether you “achieve” the “purpose” of the meditation you are doing — in this case to evoke a feeling of peace — but that you do the exercise. It is the intention and most importantly the activity of your doing that builds the hut — not how “successful” you are. This is very important to know, because we can so easily give up in the face of our apparent failure. This is so important I will say it again: it is the activity of doing the exercise that builds capacity, not the “success.” As with anything, success comes at the end, not the beginning, of your efforts. Meditation must be done every day. The hut grows if your practice has a rhythmical nature, much in the same way that practicing any new skill happens most quickly and effectively with regular practice. Doing meditation every day increases the potency of your efforts over time.

in government, in NGOs — at every level of power, many nationalities and cultures — on many kinds of problems. Magenta helps leaders and entrepreneurs meet their challenges with inner super powers - like imagination, creativity, flexibility, and resilience - so they can be wildly successful as well as make a big positive impact in the world.


Staff Picks for the Entire Family

powerful nutrients into Squeeze some natural vitality and ORGANIC CHIA your day with MAMMA CHIA’S sed with delicious SQUEEZE! Organic chia seeds are infu , fun and tasty ient ven fruits and vegetables to create a con With Omega-3s, protein, snack for active people of all ages. g anytime snack that and fiber, Chia Squeeze is a satisfyin your soul’s purpose. er naturally provides the vitality to pow flavors including the my Chia Squeeze is available in six yum chia seed snacks able brand new Cherry Beet! These port satisfy you on-theto are great for tucking in your yoga bag go! www.mammachia.com

ADEN + ANAIS (pronounced UH-nay) is the creator of the original muslin cotton swaddling blankets. Founded in 200 6, aden + anais is responsible for intro ducing breathable swaddles to modern mom s in the U.S., as well as providing us with a much-needed style update. Ten yea rs later the company has evolved into a hug e lifestyle brand with bedding, layette, blan kets for adults, a skincare line and more. www.adenandanais.com


takes protection to the next level. While protecting your smartphone it redirects cell phone radiation away from you, reducing your exposure to cell phone radiation. Each case features Patented RF technology, which protects you while maintaining your phone’s signal. Additionally, Pong offers protection from 4’ drops and certified to U.S. military specifications. Cases can be found at www.pongcase.com.


Say hello to comfort and goodbye to back, knee, and foot pain. WELLNESS MATS’ revolutionary anti-fatigue floor mat s are ergonomically engineered and med ically proven to provide unsurpassed com fort, safety, relief, and support while you stand, wherever you stand. The compreh ensive 7-year performance warranty guarant ees it. Offering a nearly limitless array of color ways and patterns, each mat within the new Estates collection offers distinct pati nas & subtle washes making each a one of a kind. www.wellnessmats.com



100% organic, virgin, unrefined coconut oil that melts on touch. This mother of all multi-taskers is the ultimate all-over skin moisturizing, under eye rescuing, hair deep-conditioning, belly-balming, baby skin soothing, beauty in a jar for your whole body. Crafted from cocoippines, Kopari’s nuts sustainably sourced from the Phil erated coconut oil Organic Coconut Melt is pure unadult ainably manufacof the utmost quality, cruelty-free, sust kaged in a beautiful, tured in Southern California and pac jar. user-friendly recyclable, soft-touch m y.co aut ribe www.kopa

CORAL COMPLEX3, one of the orig inal and now one of the most popular cora l capsule formulas in the world, helps support healthy bones by providing 900 mg of bioavailable calcium per serving – 90% of the reco mmended daily value – along with 1,200 IU of Vitamin D3, which is integral to the body’s uptake of calcium. Additionally, thanks to its Eco Safe®, above-sea-harvested coral calcium , Coral Complex3 also delivers more than 70 othe r trace minerals essential to healthy body functions. The formula is excipient-free, non-GM O and available in easily digestible and abs orbable veggie capsules. MSRP: $59.95 for 300 capsules www.coralcalcium.com

rable pain relief Carving out a new category of wea world’s first FDAthat treats the body, iTENS is the ice that works via cleared, wireless TENS therapy dev . While most wearan iPhone or Android based app d to gather data able medical technologies are use S actually delivers or deliver biofeedback, the iTEN ant, long-lasting and therapeutic stimuli to provide inst ition, the iTENS meamedical-grade pain relief. In add charts progress. sures pain scale, tracks results, and a portable and conveDesigned for people in need of that doesn’t involve nient pain management solution S is thin, flexible, taking prescription medication, iTEN t www.iTENS.com discreet, and easy to operate. Visi to learn more.

The LOTUS comfort and yoga bra has been stylishly designed for pregnan t and new moms following the success of the Cake Lingerie’s Sports and Seamless bras . Ideal as the everyday comfort bra or to wea r as a yoga bra, the double cup design cleverly allows easy discreet feeding or use with you r breast pump. The Lotus bra is seam-free, stylish, soft and comfortable, making it the perf ect bra for every new mom. www.cakematern ity.com WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M


CONNECT Staff Picks for the Entire Family Just like our Mason Jar Mavens, the reCAP team is a mix of Mason jar enthusiasts. Karen, reCAP inventor, strives for zero waste, Laura takes snacks on-thego for her little one, Nicole shows off her crafty and clever ideas, and Carlo shakes it up in the kitchen. But we all have something in common - memories from childhood catching fireflies in Mason jars. All of us remember a time when we weren’t so connected to technology - and we want to inspire the children of today to get out, step away from the screen, and explore all of nature’s wonders. Competing with video games, hashtags, and selfies, the traditions of yesterday do not need to be discarded along with your VHS tapes and Polaroid cameras. After an afternoon of adventure, catching, observing, and releasing critters, the vast and informative internet is a resource for explorers to validate their findings.

By better understanding the world and connecting to nature, children in today’s world will be more likely to respect and preserve our natural resources so that future generations will have a chance to experience first-hand the detail of a grasshopper’s anatomy, the beauty of a butterfly’s wings, and the magic of a firefly lighting up the summer night.

HYLETE is a premium

performance apparel and gear brand designed for the modern athlete, whose line includes fashion-forward tops, bottoms, outerwear and accessories for both men and women. The man is wearing: ● Verge Flex-Woven Zip Pocket Short – Features HYLETE’s proprietary flex-woven fabric and is , engineered as the ultimate “cross-over” short. Perfect for any condition for ideal it making quickly dries and moisture away this fabric easily wicks inhigh heat, water and mud conditions. Great to wear during a cross-tra gun blue, cobalt in Available race. course obstacle ing competition or an metal, neon green and shocking red accent colors. ($80.00) ● Apex Light Compression Tight ● Stacked Tri-Blend Crew Tee The woman is wearing: ● Invex II Crop - Built for the female hybrid athlete this flattering fit is designed to complement a wide range of body types. Available in grey, mint and coral. ($70.00) ● Insignia Racer Tank – The racer back design and ultra-light-weight, sweat-wicking, four-way stretch fabric provide unrestricted range of motion and an unforgettable fit. Available in grey, mint and coral. ($50.00)

The ZOUQ mission is simple: to connect people and cultures through food, starting with our line of Indian-inspired Gourmet Snack Mixes. Made from wholesome, delicious, savory ingredients and spices like lentils, chickpeas, peas, turmeric and cloves, these crunchy snacks are prefect for fueling your body and mind. ZOUQ’s roots lie in the idea of balance and unity to help foster connections between people of all cultures and backgrounds. Each of our four flavors, Golden Lentils, Fiery Sticks, Curry Crunch and Jubilee Mix, is inspired by a story or custom from India, and our logo is a joining together of all 7 chakras. www.zouq.com




Beyond the Mat A Complete Yogic


With International Yogini, Cathy Woods At Hollyhock, Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada September 11-14, 2016

Explore & experience all aspects of the yogic path. This synergistic program takes yoga beyond your mat & into the rest of your life. The retreat combines body-mind learning with surrendering to the inner voice of spirit & the intelligence of Prana (life force energy)

“An Authentic Yoga experience!�

w w w. c a t h y w o o d s y o g a . c o m / s c h e d u l e

Upcoming Events Retreat (yoga, lodging, meals), $200

Adventure package is packed with THE THE LOVEriding, surf lessons, waterfall ONE LOVE ONE horseback hikes, boat trip, fishing, and a massage. MOVEMENT MOVEMENT $1500 Total. Take a break from the “SERVE YOUR HEART”

“SERVE YOUR dailyHEART” hustle, save some money, and

come connect. For more details visit www.taylorharkness.com/retreat

Stretch 4 Vets 2016

The One Love Movement

Embrace is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that mobilizes college student volunteers to serve veteran communities. CorePower Yoga will lead between 500-1500 participants in a 1-Hour yoga class for charity. Participant efforts will support Embrace’s Healing Our Heroes’ Homes program, which remodels the homes of disabled veterans. A portion of the event proceeds will support the Georgetown University Student Veterans Association and The Navy Memorial.  

The One Love Movement is coming to San Francisco! Please join us for a Charity Yoga Event hosted by Ambassador, Danni Pomplun.

Saturday, July 23, 2016 8:30am – 10:00am

Your ticket purchase will be a direct donation locally to Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco, aiding to get homeless and at-risk kids off the street, and globally to the One Love shelter in India, which is home to 20 kids rescued from the streets.

The Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania NW, Washington DC 20004 www.Stretch4Vets.org

Yoga Tree, Castro (97 Collingwood St, San Francisco, CA 94114) Saturday, June 18th, 2016 @ 1:30pm Tickets & Info: jointheonelovemovement.org

Yoga For All Fest

REGISTRATION: $25 - $45 For more info on EMBRACE please visit: www.Embrace1.org

The Telluride Yoga Festival The Telluride Yoga Festival is a unique and special gathering unlike any other. This inspirational 4-day event features over 100 offerings including yoga, meditation, music, hiking, dining, SUP yoga, social gatherings and more.  Find yourself deeply immersed with more than 50 inspiring and motivating presenters in intimate and historic venues throughout the towns of Telluride and Mountain Village.   July 21-24


Shine On Retreat w/ Taylor Harkness. Two options: June 12-18th orJune 20-26th. I was tired of seeing yoga retreats priced only for the wealthy-we all deserve to travel and unwind on a relaxing vacation that doesn’t break the bank. So I’ve worked hard to bring that to life. Imagine 7 days in a serene, remote hideaway with the jungle at your back and untouched, volcanic black sand beaches ahead– dreamy, right? The space is limited, so this will be a small group, traveling, having adventures, and practicing together in Costa Rica. Includes daily yoga practices, 3 big, family-style meals per day and nightly bonfires on the beach. Airfare is not included. Price: $1300

Asanas for Autism and Special Needs and Special Olympics San Diego County are teaming up to offer the first annual YOGA FOR ALL FEST! Our Mission: To bring persons of ALL abilities together to encourage and support community, connection and inclusion through the practice of yoga. Our Purpose: A yoga fundraiser to support programs for Special Olympics Athletes. Yoga for ALL levels and ages will be provided to include experienced practitioners, anyone new to yoga and adaptive yoga to meet the needs of unique bodies and abilities. Cardiff Sports Park. Encinitas, CA September 25th, 2016 www.yogaforallfest.com


Studio Partners Everything LifePower Yoga offers its students is meant to create community and enhance human connection, get them beyond the reactions of their mind and cultivate greater self love and acceptance. LifePower Yoga studios, which reside within Life Time destinations, are known for doing that by offering students an empowering and challenging, breath-driven vinyasa practice where they can explore and soften around their edges. Although known for heated Vinyasa, their LPYoga Yin classes provide yogis living a fast paced, hard-charging life the ability to slow down and drop into themselves while healing and nourishing the connective tissue. If you’re looking for a beautiful environment to practice and be challenged while surrounded by incredible people, LifePower Yoga is worth a visit. www.lifepoweryoga.com

Trilogy Sanctuary nourishing mind, body and spirit

We serve 100% organic plant-based food that can heal the body and balance the mind. We offer detox programs, fresh pressed juice and superfood smoothies, to make it easy to nourish the body from the inside out. We offer delicious desserts and treats, uplifting the spirit. We offer aerial yoga, yoga, meditation classes, spiritual guidance and energy healing to balance the physical, and non-physical. We simply offer a space to ‘be.’ A


space to feel inspired. A place to meet like minded people. An alternative to a coffee shop or bar. We are creating a healthy vibrant community, that perpetuates a harmonious balance between mind body and spirit. Trilogy provides a supportive framework towards harmony and wellbeing in peoples lives. www.trilogysanctuary.com

There’s an old saying: “You can’’t be all things to all people.” At We Yogis®, we fight that notion with our objective of providing “Yoga for All.” We Yogis® aims to provide a non-intimidating yoga environment where there is no comparison, no judgement, and no expectations. As such, yogis are encouraged to practice at their pace and level of comfort. All classes are taught by Dallas’ finest certified yoga instructors, who are dedicated to help you meet your practice goals. www.weyogis.com

The Yoga Joint is a space where connections are fostered not only in our bodies and minds but in our community. Our facilities in-

clude a large hot yoga studio and a separate non-heated studio in which some of our more specialized classes and Teacher Trainings are held. We provide our students with the best possible home for their Yoga practice. Our signature Hot Fusion Flow creates a fun, nurturing, safe, multilevel class that provides an extraordinary experience for the very beginner to the most advanced. Practice our Hot Fusion Flow anytime anywhere on our virtual studio at www.empowermovementyoga. com. For more info on upcoming Teacher Trainings, Retreats & location please visit www.theyogajoint.com

Many people first find their way to MOSAIC through our yoga classes, however, MOSAIC is much more than a yoga studio. We offer a variety of programs in health, leadership and spiritual development in San Diego CA and Charlottesville VA. Our mission is to awaken and uplift the consciousness of human beings and thus, the world, one Soul at a time. Often people that connect with MOSAIC’s mission are those that are looking for “something more” during this time in which so many feel lost or disconnected from a larger purpose and greater meaning. We invite you to come explore with us. www.exploremosaic.com


Comfort Zone Out of



Kurt Johnsen

The Currency of our Lives As I watch my son gather his treasures as he prepares to sleep, I smile. His treasure is not precious metal or gemstones but it is much more valuable - three pacifiers, referred to as “ba’s,” and two soft, light blue blankets with silk on one side. Since he can only have them at bedtime, he gathers them as soon as we get ready for the night. Though he can only truly enjoy one pacifier at a time, he sleeps better with a spare or two on hand much like I sleep a little better with a few months overhead in the bank. This is what he covets, what he wants to have close by while he sleeps. It is his security, his “money in the bank.” As we journey through our lives, our values change and therefore, our currency changes. Watching my son feel comforted by his “ba” wealth, I wonder what his next currency will be. My guess is Hot Wheels and then maybe trading cards. Actually I may be showing my age. A safer bet might be video games or an iPhone app. As he reaches his late teens and early twenties, I suspect his priority will turn to young love, that hormone-enriched period where the love or attention of that special person is all that matters. From there I would guess it goes to the green stuff, that magical paper that makes most of us step in line and grow up. We have no choice, right? We have payments and mortgages, educations and retirements to consider. But as life moves on and that ever elusive wisdom creeps in, we start to realize there is always more money to be made, but time is irreplaceable and therefore more precious. Time, while fleeting, is made up of a vast number of little movements, each as magical and meaningful as we make them. There is often more meaning and joy to be found during the random moments of our normal days than in larger events such as birthday parties or holiday celebrations.


Is that precious, limited time the ultimate currency in our lives? Look a little closer into the most meaningful and special moments in your life and you will discover time is not the true currency of life. If it were, we could just sleep less and have plenty of time. The true currency of life is energy, without which there would be no advantage to having an abundance of time. Life can only be expressed through action which requires energy. Most of what we have accomplished and that gives us joy requires a commitment to act, to move, to be, to live life to the fullest. What are you doing to generate this precious commodity in your life right now? Are you pursuing it as vigorously as you do the other currencies in your life? If you are not, I have good news. Change is constant and you can change your priorities and pursuits right now. This moment begins the rest of your life! Enjoy ~Kurt

Kurt Johnsen is the founder of the national-

ly recognized yoga system, American Power Yoga, and host of Yoga for Life. He is the CEO of Simplified Genetics, a health and lifestyle company offering proprietary genetic tests which generate actionable results for maintaining optimal fitness and assessing the genetic risks of traumatic head injuries.

www.simplifiedgenetics.com facebook.com/kurt.johnsen WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

Profile for Yoga Digest

Yoga Digest - May/June 2016  

Family Wellness Edition

Yoga Digest - May/June 2016  

Family Wellness Edition