Yoga Digest - Nov/Dec 2015

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y ar rs ve e ni su An Is

N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 5

I N S P I R E • E D U C AT E • C O N N E C T



Celebrate the Ordinary Moments

Detoxing Poses for immunity & stress relief


Yoga Getaway Guide 4 Energy Boosting Practices to Beat the

Holiday Blues

Stay Happy and Healthy this season with


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Display until December 30, 2015

CELEBRATE THE PAST, EMBRACE THE FUTURE Yoga professionals weigh on the benefits of celebrating.



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

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Senior Columnists

Copy Editor

Senior Columnists Kurt Johnsen Kurt Johnsen Glenna B. Musante Glenna B. Musante Senior Contributor Cary Caster Kim Bauman

Cover Photo Alexis Schrepple Jen Rosenstein


Zoran Maksimovic

Senior Contributor Angela Ambrose Kim Bauman Erin Bryon Bob Butera

Cary Caster Contributors Tiffany Cruikshank Angela Ambrose Staffan Elgelid Jen Carter Avgerinos Scot C. Farber Brian LaurenCrawford Peterson Keith Donahue J. Donathan Price CarolFishman Roberts Jay Rich Roll Meenakshi Gupta Beth Shaw Kiera Nachman Jeramie Vaine Melanie Taylor Sean Vigue Cathy Lauren Woods Walker James McCrae Cathy Woods

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Be thankful for every memory you had this past year. The good ones made you smile and the bad ones made you stronger. You cannot create great new beginnings until you sincerely celebrate the endings that precede them. With that, we want to send our sincerest expression of gratitude out to those who helped us bring Yoga Digest to you this past year. We are so humbled by the teachers, the writers, the photographers, the wellness advocates, and all the amazing people who contributed to our first 6 issues! We are excited to share updates from many of them like our very first cover features, Kathryn Budig and DJ Drez, plus many, many more in our Stop, Drop and Celebrate 5 feature on page 12. The holidays are a great time to reflect on the past year. As you think about your experiences, keep in mind these 4 reasons to reflect and celebrate: • By celebrating success, we open ourselves up to more abundance and manifest more to celebrate in our lives. • Celebration is emotional nourishment. We reinforce our progress and success. WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

• When we celebrate we are aware, in the present moment and enjoying the journey! • Celebrating builds confidence and belief in our abilities.

This issue was created with love, authenticity and people who have been there with us since day one! In it you will find tips on Ayurveda, essential oils and of course, yoga! Enjoy insight and inspiration from Jason Mraz on page 8 and learn about the largest group meditation in history lead by Gabby Bernstein and Deepak Chopra on page 60. Finally, we thank you, the readers, for your incredible support. We hope you enjoy this special anniversary issue as much as we enjoyed creating it and hope you will celebrate the next 6 and more with us! Jenn Bodnar & Cody Groth Founders & Chief Editors, Yoga Digest


Meet the 2015-2016

YOGA DIGEST Robert Sturman

Erin Sanders

The subject of two New York Times articles, Robert Sturman’s art captures the timeless grace and embodied mindfulness of asana. A dedicated yoga practitioner himself, Sturman’s work has increasingly gestured at something beyond the physical, something transcendent. His stunning repertoire runs the gamut from yogis perched on rocks surrounded by the Pacific ocean, to African orphans practicing yoga in Kenya, to breast cancer survivors, bare-chested and scarred. Sturman’s portraits, whether set in the lively streets of Manhattan, the expansiveness of Malibu’s beaches and canyons, the timeless elegance of Walden’s New England, or the bleakness of San Quentin Prison, remind us that there is beauty everywhere. Instagram@robertsturman

Erin Sanders has been practicing yoga for over 16 years. In that time, yoga has become a passion, and a calling. Along with her acting career, Erin is on a mission to bring the beauty and serenity of yoga to as many people as possible. Erin believes that yoga is all about connection: To breath, to movement, and to yourself. She deeply cares about helping students find an element in their practice that is very personal to them, and provides them with tools they can use to take control of their yoga practice, and truly make it their own. Photo by Jake Spencer

Taylor Harkness

Taylor is a yoga teacher bent on moving people both on and off the mat with skillful action, an open heart, and gratitude. An avid rock climber, yogi, rookie sky diver, excited learner, foodie, traveler at heart, and paramedic-- he applies these experiences of life to his teachings and to instructing mindful, accessible, super playful asana and smart philosophy. For more info and to find his global schedule, visit or practice online with him at


Jonah Kest

Jonah Kest was born into a yoga legacy. With his father, vinyasa yoga pioneer Jonny Kest, and his mother, Milla Kest, as one of the first yoga business owners and yoga teacher training programs in the Midwest – he was destined to follow the path. At the age of three, Jonah was walking the yoga room with his dad and shortly thereafter he began to learn the importance of a daily practice and evening meditation. At 17, Jonah trained under his father to become a teacher. Today, Jonah is a well traveled ashtanga/vinyasa teacher whose classes are both graceful and intense. His plant based diet and love for creating raw, rich, vegan meals has also become a passion and healing modality. Follow Jonah on Instagram@kestyoga


Photo by Danielle Doby Photography

Anton Mackey

Anton Mackey is based in Phoenix, Arizona. He teaches vinyasa flow and power classes and workshops at several yoga studios throughout the Greater Phoenix area. He guest teaches across the country at studios and festivals and leads yoga retreats all around the world. He is a faculty teacher for multiple Teacher Training programs. His background is in Anatomy and Physiology and has a degree in Kinesiology from Arizona State University. Instagram@antonyoga11

Gina Dunn is the Yoga Director at We Yogis in Dallas, Texas and founder of Asana Dealers. She loves the feeling of flow... that state of when things seem to unfold naturally and organically. The true prize of the practice for her lies in the process of strengthening the body, breaking through personal barriers, and achieving a state where our bodies become conduit for the energy we create. Yoga opened her heart and Dunn feels privileged to share this gift with her students. Her classes are a dynamic, energizing blend of focused breath and flowing postures that energize the body and calm the mind. Off the yoga mat Dunn is an Artist, and brings her creative side to teaching. Instagram@AsanaDealers Facebook@AsanaDealers

Andrew Sealy

Andrew Sealy is a connection catalyst, a yoga artist, and a movement creator. His days are spent traveling to find adventure, practicing to cultivate growth, and constantly absorbing wisdom to creating new experiences that he shares with love to his friends around the world. The continuous self discovery process of yoga compels Andrew to embody progressive knowledge while positively influencing and empowering his students. Andrew’s teachings aim to answer the question: How can we adapt to create and evolve to sustain? Instagram@andrew7sealy | Facebook@andrew.sealy3

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Table of

Contents INSPIRE

JASON MRAZ �������������������������������������������������� 8 by Kim Bauman

KEVALA ���������������������������������������������������������������� 10 by Keith Donahue

STOP, DROP AND CELEBRATE 5 ��������������������������������� 12 CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF Dr. Wayne Dyer �����������������������������������������������26 by Jenn Bodnar

PHOTOS BY BRIAN CRAWFORD PHOTOGRAPHY ���������������������������������������� 32



HOW TO HAVE A Scent-sational Holiday Season! ������� 38 by Cary Caster


GLOBAL MEDITATION The World is Waking Up ����������������������� 60 by Kim Bauman

4 NOURISHING YOGA POSES For Winter �����������������������������������������������������������40

HOW TO GET WHAT We Really Want �����������������������������������������������62

AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE Creates Abundance ����������������������������������� 44

STRETCHING Toward Happiness ���������������������������������������64

BEATING THE HOLIDAY BLUES with Yoga �������������������������������������������������������������46

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE �������������������������66

by Jen Carter Avgerinos

by Cathy Woods

by Angela Ambrose

ORGANIC INFUSIONS ������������������������ 48 by Jenn Bodnar

INNER PEACE IN PARADISE Jamaica Yoga Retreat ������������������������������ 50 by Jenn Bodnar

YOGA GETAWAY IN BEAUTIFUL Lake Chelan, Washington ��������������������58


by Melanie Taylor

by James McCrae

YOGA FASHION & FUNCTION A Preview of What’s New, Yoga Style, for 2016 ����������������������������������� 72 by Glenna B. Musante

MAINTAIN HARMONY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON With Ayurveda ������������������������������������������������ 74 by Meenakshi Gupta

VEGETARIAN HOLIDAY APPETIZERS Under 200 Calories ����������������������������������� 76 BENEFITS OF SPICES ���������������������������80 by Jay Fishman

WINTER WELLNESS Ayurvedic Seasonal Tips for Self-Care ������������������������������������������ 81 by Kiera Nachman


IN EVERY ISSUE YD WARRIORS! ���������������������������������������������� 4 OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE w/ Kurt Johnsen ���������������������������������������������82



Celebrate the



fter I hung up the phone with Jason Mraz, I sat in stillness. First, being mesmerized by the fact that I had the opportunity to write a story about one of my favorite superheroes for love and social advocacy. Second, by how inspired and awake I was to the possibility of any and every moment in life being a celebration. How often do you find yourself doing something the same way over and over again? Being a creature of habit, I am all too familiar with the same ol’ same ol’… the same route to work, the same thing for breakfast, taking the same yoga class, and even down to familiar ways of being the same, same, same. From a small age, Mraz knew he wanted to sing. “I remember at age 7 stepping up onto my grandma’s fireplace and just singing. Every chance I got, I was being self-expressive through my singing. It was as if that was all I knew, it was natural, I was out of my head, and just being what I was supposed to be,” says Mraz. At age 20, Mraz packed up his life and drove from his hometown in Virginia to San Diego, California to pursue his singing career. “I cried the whole drive there. Because I just knew. I knew this wasn’t going to be just a visit, I knew I wasn’t coming back. I was stepping into something bigger and following my calling in life,” says Mraz. At that time in San Diego, a coffee shop called Java Joe’s was the place to be. Here, Mraz performed live every week for over 2 years, before receiving a record deal in 2002. “It wasn’t that I remember a specific moment where I made it big, or that I could feel that this was the moment when the world would realize me. It was more so that I was just doing what I was supposed to. I was singing,” Mraz quotes. Do you remember singing to the main chorus of the childhood song, Old McDonald Had a Farm…

“Through yoga I’ve learned that how we do one thing is how we do everything…” —Jason Mraz



“E I E I O”?! As a way of creating a mantra, or a set of inspirational guidelines during songwriting and tour production, Mraz says he titled E I E I O as an acronym: Entertain – is it fun? Inspire – will people light up? Educate – what do I want to be received by others? I am... being honest in the work – who am I being? OMG, this is the best show I’ve ever seen – will people have a blast?

About 10 years ago Mraz was exposed to yoga through his manager. Like a lot of things in life, we have to experience something firsthand in order to be a true advocate for it. As Mraz began to practice, he realized that yoga was far beyond just the physical asanas or postures, and rather a way of being and a way of living. It was access to being more mindful with words, thoughts, and reactions. It was a space to cultivate understanding, compassion, and service to the world. Mraz began to experience these benefits the year he brought a yoga teacher on tour, where practicing daily became methodical. Mraz went on to say, “I was experiencing the true impact of yoga and could see how it was changing my life. When life feels routine, I look to see how I can celebrate ordinary moments and yoga did just this. It took the routine out of our tour and propelled us into clearer intended days, where our purpose to infuse the world with love, through music, was renewed.” Mraz says, “Through yoga I’ve learned that how we do one thing is how we do everything. If I’m beating myself up on the mat for not being able to balance in a pose, there’s a resemblance off the mat in how I can get in my head and beat myself up over certain situations in life.” “On our recent tour in Taiwan, I noticed a guy in the crowd, Stan, who had an instrument, so I decided to bring him up on stage. Not only did he have this homemade shaker instrument, but he was also brilliant at singing! So it was very endearing to have him on stage, and performing live together. I called Stan up on a whim because when on tour, I want to look for new ways to make each moment memorable, and I want to include others to make it meaningful for them too,” said Mraz. It’s clear that Mraz has a big heart. What shines through to so many of his fans is how he sees the world as one. Mraz says, “We are all different, we are not the same, but we ARE all equal and giving back is essential to humanity.” The Jason Mraz Foundation was created to be able to give back to the world as a way to inspire change in the human experience, through advancing equality, promoting the arts, empowering through education and preserving the environment. “When I became a homeowner, I discovered an appreciation for our Earth that I was intrigued by, and what it means to be sustainable and to support local efforts,” WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

“Being grateful for what I have and for where I am is what makes the simple seem grand.”

—Jason Mraz

related Mraz. As we continued our conversation, Mraz went on to share how even the daily acts of pruning a tree or picking an avocado can be special. “When I stop to look around and see all I have, that’s when abundance pours in. Being grateful for what I have and for where I am is what makes the simple seem grand.” Mraz is also a huge backer of the organization SPARC (School of Performing Arts in the Richmond Community), a program that he was a part of while growing up. SPARC is all about celebrating being human, bringing the performing arts to life, with the students of any race, disability, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or family status being the stars of the show. “I want to celebrate kids from all walks, and contributing to causes such as SPARC gives me that purpose,” adds Mraz. Currently, Mraz is focusing on writing and creating a new album. He finds the calm of meditation in farming and caring for his property, as well as learning new ways of living healthy, and giving back. To read more, please visit

Kim Bauman

Founder, The One Love Movement Website: Facebook: The One Love Movement Instagram: @theonelovemovement



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Weekends do n’t exist as an entrepreneur, you w ork every day. If you take a vacation – yo u are usually unplugging el ically to reboot ectronspiritually. You celebrate obst ways to improv acles as e, you don’t re sist reality; an tion leaves th d procrastinae building or your dream w BLEED your m ill become ex ission to the po tinct. int where you al. Praise othe become delu rs; hate is mea sionni ng less. Become committed th so focused an at work becom d es a lifestyle of Most important serving others ly, if you don’t . feel LONELY th on the right tra en realize you’ ck…yes, you he re not ard me correc because you tly. You will fe are sacrificing el PAIN everything to the planet. If yo better yourse u quit, the pain lf and will stay. Do th e work. “Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.” — Eric Thomas


Stop, Drop and

Celebrate We are so excited to celebrate our 1st Anniversary! It reminded us to take a look back at all the beautiful souls who helped us get here. We challenge you to stop what you’re doing, drop everything, and celebrate


5 milestones from the past year

hy 5? The number 5 is the most dynamic and energetic of all the single-digit numbers. It is unpredictable, always in motion and constantly in need of change. Numerology states the number 5 relates to making positive life choices and decisions and learning life lessons through experience. Most importantly, we can’t wait


to celebrate 5 years of Yoga Digest, so we are planting the seed! Are you still thinking of your 5? Need some inspiration? Check out what our Yoga Digest community had to say. In the following pages, you will see what some of the Yoga Digest pioneers have celebrated in the past year and why they believe it’s important to stop, drop and celebrate! WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

Amy Ippoliti “I’m a big fan of celebrating our achievements in life. Some might say it’s “not yogic” to focus on our success, however most of us spend far too much time looking at what’s going wrong and ruminating on our failures. The only reason to look at our mishaps is to learn from them and do better the next time. When I started making a point of celebrating my successes and wins - no matter how big or how small, not only did my outlook on life become more positive, more opportunities for success and achievement came to me!


Swam and did yoga underwater with three different species of wild dolphins as part the marine conservation work we do.


Started rebuilding an old home with my partner. We are using sustainable building materials and alternative energy which has been a dream for both of us!

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Ran our 200 hour, month long teacher training with an incredible group from all over the world.

Submitted the final manuscript of our book to the publisher - coming out in 2016!

Traveled to the Gaia Herb farm in North Carolina, got to dig in the dirt, eat delicious home grown food, and learned all about herbal supplements and sustainable farming.


Brian Crawford


yoga, I completed an As a photographer specializing in one hundred days visincredible world tour of more than , Spain, Singapore, iting Dubai, UK, Ireland, France, Italy a (Jakarta, Flores Malaysia, Cambodia, and Indonesi incredible yogis. Island, Bali). I met more than fifty

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specializing in yoga Being a recognized photographer g able to collabbein of or hon photography, I had the such as Boys of ions licat pub zed orate in yoga speciali e, Yoga Digest. Yoga and this wonderful magazin different cultures, Throughout my travels, I learned ntly, about myself. I languages, food, and, most importa I thought I was, esthan d learned that I am stronger wille addictive permy ing troll pecially, when it comes to con , I was a little road the on eling sonality. When I was trav remain sober to me for cult diffi be worried that it would been walking the path and clear headed. Currently, I’ve Trusting in my spiritual of sobriety for almost four years.


and drugs aren’t a journey and knowing that alcohol a great reminder in was life my of healthy, positive part alone. those lonely times while traveling


this fantastic yogi Learning and enjoying Yoga with accomplishment. It community has definitely been an n my craft. After upo has truly inspired me to improve ry, I realized inju k bac r being hospitalized for a lowe ng my yoga taki t star to had ly one year ago that I real practice more seriously.


t respected yogis in Getting tips from some of the mos sing. I met beauour community has truly been a bles red generosity, ove tiful people around the world. I disc heart and soul my filled warmth, friendship, and love that of gratitude. e sens ing elm with positivity and an overwh re with you today. I have much to celebrate and sha Magazine! Happy first birthday, Yoga Digest Namaste.


David Romanelli 5 milestones each of which was cause for celebration in 2015:

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Became a father. I had heard that when your baby smiles at you, it awakens virg in territory in your soul. That is TRUTH!

Published a book, Happy is the New Healthy. In a way, this is like hav ing a baby. A labor of love. Everytime I see som eone post an Instagram pic with the boo k, i remember that life is not about reac hing the multitudes, but one person at a time !


Launched a business, Meditate ON. It’s an online meditation program that makes meditation…entertainment. Day by day, step by step, breath by breath, I celebrat e and nurture it’s growth.


Made peace with myself. Woah this has been a hard one. Each day we are face d with a decision to be happy, to be grateful , to wrap our arms around life instead of push it away. Finally i decided to be happy and embrace the journey, even when it’s a rock y patch.


Developed a new habit. To start and end the day with breathing instead of emailing. Makes a huge difference to booken d the day inhaling life…. instead inhaling info rmation!


I was in rural Alaska on a camping trip with a friend. We needed a taxi to take us back to our car. The taxi driver shared a very awakening story. He had just left hospice where his father passed away. My friend and I said, “We’re so sorr y to hear about that.” But the taxi driver said, “Don’t be sorry. It was actually really wonderful. I got to know my dad in a way I never kne w him before. We spent everyday of the last 6 months together. We talked, we listened to every pitch of opening day baseba ll on the radio. We bonded. But why, why , why did I wait 50 years to get to know my dad until the last 6 months of his life?” He reminded us, “Don’t wait. Enjo y your journey. Celebrate the small vict ories and simple pleasures each day.”


DJ Drez


This past year has been an amazing adventure. I mentioned in the 1st issue that I was releasing an album with my wife Marti Nikko. We did.

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“Dreaming In Sanskrit” hit number 1 on the iTunes world music charts. It also hit number 3 on the Billboard World Music charts. Its been years since we’ve toured together and this release provided many fresh opportunities for us to share the stage again.


We are currently recording random ideas of what will turn into our next album. It’s important to take time to celebrate. Acknowledging my accomplishments, good deeds, and to recognize exactly where I’m at keeps me awake to the present. Celebrations can be simple like taking a walk in nature or allowing positive thoughts to flow. It doesn’t always have to be a party with gifts. That being said, parties are good, too. It is fun celebrating each other together.


Jonny Kest This year was !*@#ing amazing!


Yoga retreat in Capri, Italy. Milla and I held our first yoga retreat overseas. Over 30 yogis attended on the beautiful island of Capri, Italy.


Vipassana Meditation. Sat a 10 day and served a 10 day Vipassana meditation course with my 18 year old son Jonah.


Celebrated 300 hours. Lead over 40 students through a life changing 300 hour international yoga teacher training course in Detroit, MI.


Bar Mitzvah Party. Shared a powerful and intimate Jewish ritual with family at my sons Benjy’s Bar Mitzvah in the heart of Detroit.


Mountain bike race, Leadville 100 Stage Race. Spontaneously jumped into a mountain bike race in Leadville, CO with LifeTime Fitness CEO Bahram Akradi, COO Jeff Zwiefel and many of my amazing friends and colleagues. This exercise of writing out five milestones for 2015 is very important for everyone. It reminds us to celebrate how far we have come instead of how far we have to go!


Jordan Younger It’s so important to celebrate our reaccomplishments, excitements, of lls lationships and all around thri s elve ours life. If we don’t celebrate I ? will! and our loved ones, who am a firm believer that every day is worth celebrating, and special occasions are worth going ALL OUT for!


My book, Breaking Vegan, publishing on November 15th! It is my first bool and also a memoir of a very important and challenging period of my life. Getting this book out of into the world and into the hands by is help will it e hop I who people far the most exciting and celebratory part of my year.


My kitten! Until I got Hudson this summer, I had never had a pet in my entire life. My parents are not animal people, and I always begged I for a cat or dog growing up. Now t etes swe st, dlie cud t, bes the e hav and most adorable kitten in the universe. Find him on Instagram-he’s @huddythekitten! He is my little h baby and he’s taught me so muc iond unc and y ibilit about respons tional love already.


I am training for the LA Marathon this February which will be my first ever full marathon. It terrifies me, fy and I think doing things that terri d goo is e whil aw us every once in the on ing runn am I for the soul! so NutriBullet Team and I have met far. so ple peo le edib incr many


The growth of TBV Apparel has been so fun to be a part of. Working tive with my talented and super crea Cole and iels Dan partners Tynan Arutian has been a dream. I can’t wait to see where we are with the line at this time next year!


My website was mentioned on Jessica Alba’s Snapchat story yesterday and it kind of made my life. She’s incredible.


Kathryn Budig


We actually just received our wedding album (better late than never), and are reminiscing about our growth as a couple in the last year.


I’m so incredibly excited to share this very personal book with my readers. I’m proud of my first book, but this lifestyle book is the new direction that I’d like to continue to move into.

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I have a big year planned! Tons of travel around my book tour as well as trips to Australia and the UK.

I’ve been sharing my recipes weekly through my blog, Yahoo Health and my Aim True Kitchen newsletter. Stay hungry—I got ya!

I’ll be entering my 3rd year of being sponsored by Under Armour. I’m so honored to help promote strength and empowerment through their IWILLWHATIWANT campaign and breast cancer awareness through Power in Pink.


I had the amazing opportunity to talk about body image, being a ‘real’ woman, and creating positive change at the MindBodyGreen Revitalize Summit which can now be viewed on their or my site. I’m hoping it will empower anyone who watches to love exactly where they are right now and shake off the baggage that holds us down. I’m so incredibly excited to share this very personal book with my readers. I’m proud of my first book, but this lifestyle book is the new direction that I’d like to continue to move into.


Kino MacGregor Celebrating milestones is a great way to take stock of how far you’ve come. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have but every now and then by taking stock of what you have accomplished you will cultivate an attitude of gratitude for all the blessings in your life. It’s been a big year!

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My third book, The Power of Ashtanga Yoga II was published. Kerri Verna and I launched the first of many online yoga videos on to support our monthly IG challenges.


Together with @yogisheart I founded, funded and awarded the first ever Journey To India scholarship.

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I started the Fifth Series of Ashtanga Yoga with my teacher R. Sharath Jois Last but not least, my husband and I are taking a vacation to the Turks and Caicos.


Laura Kasperzak It is so important to recognize and CELEBRATE achievements or milestones in your life. These celebratory moments don’t hav e to be huge either, they just hav e to have a significant impact on you r life that you will remember fore ver. Here are my top 5 moments of this past year:


I was able to leave my desk job to pursue teaching yoga full-time! Talk about a celebratory moment! I will always remember walking… no… SKIPPING out of my office building on my last day. It made me realize how important being happy is and that anyone can pursue a new care er at ANY age.


I hit ONE MILLION followers on Instagram. When I set up my account 3 years ago, it was simply to track my yoga progress and maybe connec t with other local yogis. I never kne w what impact it would have on my life.


I stepped out of my comfort zone and overcame a huge fear… public spe aking. It was one thing that held me back for a long time. Over the past year, I felt that fear subside and swit ch to excitement to teach! It is no long er fearful nerves before I start a clas s, it’s excitement and readiness!


I spent two beautiful weeks in Bali and became a certified ACROVINYA SA teacher. AcroYoga has become such an integral part of my practice. Being able to connect with my husband and my children in this way has been a joy! Becoming certified to spread this joy is an event I will never forget!


I became one of the faces for the Gaiam apparel line at Kohl’s. It is surr eal to see Two Fit Moms in ads or on displays in the store! Along with this, I have also had the honor of grac ing the cover of a few magazines! The se are moments I will treasure and share for the rest of my life. WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M


Masumi Goldman the It’s easy to become consumed with cult diffi n ofte is negative. After all, life learned and full of heartache. But if I’ve spent I’ve as r, yea t pas anything over the pital hos ’s dren chil the in ts countless nigh life at my daughter’s bedside---it’s that It is ing. brat cele th wor and l utifu is bea s focu to l far better for the body and sou the with t on all that is good and righ all that world than to expend energy on is wrong. stones Here are 5 of my significant mile r: yea t pas from the


ar anniIn September, I celebrated the 1-ye splant. tran ey versary of my daughter’s kidn a ned plan and I decorated the house cupcakes kidney birthday party with pizza, mark to g fittin only was It and presents. with a r yea h toug ly edib incr an the end of joyous celebration.


teach In August, I had the opportunity to ional macrnat inte yoga classes at the largest was a It ld. wor the robiotic conference in h at the teac to rn retu to full-circle experience own my on me ed help that healing center s. year e thre past the r ove health journey


over the One of my proudest achievements design help to past year was a collaboration s ren’ child of a line of leggings in honor ing legg each of health. A percentage arch sale was donated to a children’s rese has that child a of nt pare hospital. As a this is spent countless days in the hospital, rt. hea a cause that is near and dear to my


from a This past year was also significant partner s ines bus business perspective. My Gaiam the for le eop and I are now spokesp r thei nt ese repr to d brand. We are prou we and e”, ryon eve for a “yog philosophy of m Gaia new the ch laun help to were excited es. stor apparel line in Kohl’s department


cover of Last but not least, landing on the mer sum t pas Yoga Digest Magazine this all was e issu was a huge honor. The two about yoga and family, which are hope My r. soa rt hea my e topics that mak live to ilies fam ired insp e hav is that we a. healthy lives and to embrace yog



Rachel Brathen

1 2

This is really easy! I got married last year! Our wedding day was a big celebration and milestone.

I taught a class in my hometown in Sweden. We had 1,000 people attend which is a big deal because in Sweden, yoga is not mainstream at all! The fact that we had 1,000 people come practice was really amazing!

3 4 5

My first book Yoga Girl was released and became a New York Times Bestseller!

I’m working on my second book which will be completely different and is due out next year.

I gave my first TED Talk. I have a massive fear of public speaking. It doesn’t affect me in yoga class, but the idea of preparing a talk and standing up in front of a crowd is really one of my biggest fears. Facing that feels like a big milestone. Celebration is really valuable. Acknowledging milestones is helpful in determining where we go in the future as well. We’ve got to stop and acknowledge our successes and accomplishments because it’s too easy to get stuck on all the things that are not going well. We can obsess about this one thing that isn’t working, when there are so many other things that are working. It’s important energetically, too, to be grateful for what you have and not just focus on what you don’t have.



Taylor Harkness Lift Up the Day! Why Celebration

is Key to Happiness

nd there’s yet It seems every time you turn arou . Human beings day holi another seemingly made up re actually we’ and ing, are really good at celebrat d a National nee ally actu we do wired to crave it. But . 19th) to let our hair Butterscotch Pudding Day (Sep e and more evidence down? I don’t think so. And mor e even the smallest suggests that those who celebrat an “attitude of gratiof things and choose to take on e connected lives. tude” live healthier, happier, mor Here are five things I’ve recently can, too!

celebrated that you


d the love of my life Love of all kinds— this year, I foun a lot of time cele*cue the blushing* and we spend But even if you’re not brating the little things together. all of us. Celebrate in a relationship, love surrounds with your family ds the love of your family and frien . And if you need feel you and friends! Tell people how r feelings into you get to g nalin clarity, spend time jour . Love matters. words, then tell them. This matters


ed to a new city. I Where you live— this year, I mov ng the time to research wasn’t thrilled at first, but by taki really come to enjoy things to do in the area, I’ve now to art to live music food what this city has to offer, from time is now more free my but and events. It took work, help you meet new well-rounded. Plus this can also groups of friends!


your castle! We ditched Where you sleep— your home is shelves all on our own, some old furniture and built new got new dishes. We and threw around some fun pillows, and organized so tidy e put the time in to keep our hom ion with others at brat cele for y we can relax and be read your head. any time. Respect where you lay


your body. But What you eat— food should nourish a moment to be even if it comes in a wrapper, take te your food, for the grateful for the effort it took to crea t into your food, wen plants and animals that perhaps rself. I celebrate you feed and for having the means to ld celebrate a wou I way e a fast food taco in the sam oughly grateful. thor Be l. mea iving homemade Thanksg


you celebrated YOU? Your Self— when was the last time I love and to give myI often make time to do the things done. Treat yourself self a pat on the back for a job well rest, or even just an of to a massage, an unplugged day Celebrate you! e. hom ice cream cone on your walk


Anniversary Special

1 year (6 Issues) for $9.99 70%+ OFF Newsstand Price Enter Promo Code 'ANNIVERSARY' at checkout

Celebrating the Life of



n August 29, 2015, Dr. Wayne Dyer passed on to his “next adventure.” At least that’s the way Dyer looked at death, merely a transition to something new. Dyer was a self help guru who inspired millions with his motivating and empowering advice. He was a pioneer in bringing the principles of self-discovery and personal growth alive for the masses. He will forever live on in our minds and hearts.


The spiritualist magazine Mind Body Spirit regularly listed Dyer as one of the 10 most spiritually influential people in the world. He ranked eighth last year. We agree and that is why we celebrate the life of Dr. Wayne Dyer! His legacy lives on through his 8 children and is celebrated by the many lives he influenced during his 75 years. We were fortunate and grateful that his daughter, Serena Dyer Pisoni, shared her eulogy with us to share with you. Look for it on Page 29. WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

Here is what some had to say about Dyer’s passing

“The world has lost an incredible man. Wayne Dyer officiated our wedding & was an inspiration to so many. Sending love.” — Ellen DeGeneres, @TheEllenShow

“It was always a pleasure to talk to @DrWayneWDyer about life’s big questions. He always had big answers. RIP Wayne. You brought the Light.”

“Wayne will be greatly missed by those who were fortunate enough to know him but his teachings will live on forever.” — Portia de Rossi, @portiaderossi

— Oprah Winfrey, @Oprah

Saje recently sent this note to her friend: Just wanted to share something. I was sitting in a park while babysitting yesterday and I pulled out my school planner to jot something down in it. After I finished writing what I needed to, I put my pen down and looked up at the kids playing in front of me. Out of no where a big gust of wind came and the pages in my planner started blowing around. As I looked back down I was so surprised because this is the page it stopped at: WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

I don’t even remember getting this note from my Dad and I have never before put anything like that in my planner. Any sticky note that is in there is just a list of things I need to do. 27

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi photos by s_bukley/Sutterstock, Oprah Winfrey photo by Helga Esteb/Sutterstock

Wayne had recently returned from Australia and New Zealand right before he passed away. His daughters Saje and Skye were on the trip with him. Wayne would have Skye sing during his speaking events and he had Saje come on stage to talk about her miraculous healing from flat warts on her face as a child which she has turned into a children’s book title “Good Bye Bumps”.

Here are 10 of his most inspiring quotes that are sure to give you the motivation you need to be a better you.


“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”



“When you have the choice between being right and being kind just choose kind.”

“Practice being the kind of person you wish to attract.”



“Anything you really want, you can attain, if you really go after it.”

“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.”



“If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t you will see obstacles.”


“You have everything you need for complete peace and total happiness right now.” “Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.”


“You are not stuck where you are unless you decide to be.” 28




My dad didn’t have a filter, so I am going to not filter this either. I want to share with all of you some things about my dad that you probably wouldn’t know unless you were one of his children or closest friends… Two things stand out to me about dad, one is his sense of humor, and the other is his desire to share, whether that was share knowledge, share money, share stories... He was always teaching and sharing with everyone around him. One summer when we were on Maui and I was about 8 years old, our family and friends took a catamaran over to the island of Molokai, where we swam, ate lunch, climbed trees, swung on vines, and played in a giant valley of mud that we used to cover ourselves in from head to toe. Some of the little kids were running naked in the mud and my brother Sands asked my dad if he was going to get naked and run in the mud too. My dad replied to us that he couldn’t get naked and run in the mud for three reasons. The first was that if he did, all the women would go crazy over his peeper (our family word for penis) and chase him all over the island. The second was that the kids would mistake his peeper for a vine and try and use it as a swing, and the last was that his peeper would drag on the ground and scrape and he didn’t want to get hurt. We were in hysterics over his responses and to this day we have never forgotten those reasons, even though this happened some 20 odd years ago. My dad is funny, really, really funny, and every time we were together we were laughing and telling stories. My dad rarely had a simple answer for any question we may have asked. Just a few weeks ago we were taking Sailor’s pacifier out and dangling it in front of her, trying to encourage her to use her hands to reach. My dad was laying there watching and said “this is like the myth of Sisiphus, every time she gets close you take it away.” Having no clue what he was talking about he went on to explain the greek mythology of Sisiphus, and all of

this was before breakfast! He was always telling stories and teaching us, his children. He was creative in his story telling, he had his own language, he could deliver a punch line like no other. He was obsessed with not wasting things. He never wanted to throw anything out and because of that, his fridge was full of items way passed their expiration date. He would sense Skye or myself sifting through the fridge, looking for things to throw away, and he would fly into the kitchen and exclaim, mustard doesn’t’ expire! I don’t care if it says 2009 on it that mustard is perfectly good you are not throwing that away. He went one entire summer using one paper plate for his toast every morning just to prove that could. One paper plate for breakfast for the entire summer! He and technology had a terrible relationship. He could never figure out how to use his iPad and would call me and say something like “the Google isn’t letting me YouTube the website,” or “I want to send my website to someone in an email, how do I give them the password.” The first time he saw one of us put in a password on a computer he smirked and said, I know your password! And we were like oh yea dad, what is it? He was completely serious when he said “four stars.” I was at the mall with Matt recently and my dad called twice in a row, which meant a technology panic, and I answered while Matt was in the dressing room. For the next 30 minutes I had to explain to him how to copy and paste the link to a website that he wanted to email to someone. Other people in the dressing rooms were cracking up listening to our dialogue..


Another summer we put a couple of pictures of our family on the wall in the kitchen and when we came back the following summer, the collage of pictures was now covering the cabinets. That Christmas, when we were all there on Maui, the photos were now spreading out to the walls, but the best part about it was that about a third of the photos were of people we didn’t even know. We would say, dad, who is this kid? And he would say “I don’t know, his mom sent me his picture so I put it on the wall.” His condo on Maui is basically covered in photos of our family and friends and complete strangers. His love for people always so apparent. Dad had an inherent sense of justice, of doing what was right, even when it may have been easier to ignore something. He is just so good, so full of love, and he did so many generous things in ways that never brought attention to himself, and I would like to share some of those with you.


He saw an HBO show a few weeks ago that highlighted a story of an elderly African American woman named Harriett Cleveland who was 61 years old, living in Montgomery, AL and was raising her 3 year old disabled grandson . Unable to pay a driving fine as well as her medications and food, she put the bill in a pile of unpaid bills to be gotten to later. Over time, the fine compiled and built, eventually going from $75 to over $3000. She was arrested in her home in front of her grandson and brought to jail, spending 2, two week sentences in a confided cell. My dad, having seen her story, was so moved that he had his assistant, close friend, and coauthor, Dee, look her up, locate her, and he wrote her a letter and sent her $3,000 to cover the fine, and additionally sent her two multiple thousand dollar checks just to make sure she was alright. The woman called him in tears, she couldn’t believe that a complete stranger sent her more money than she had ever had at one time in her life. This woman’s story aired on HBO and only one person, one person in the whole world, reached out to help her, without seeking any attention or praise, and that on person was my dad. He received hundreds of pieces of mail a week and there were always letters asking him for money or financial assistance. Coincidentally, there was always money being sent to him from his fans as well. People who believed in tithing would send him odd dollar amounts all the time. He had a system where, when someone wrote asking for money, he put it in a pile, and when he received money from someone, he would take a letter from his pile and send that person the money he just received. He maintained a constant flow of financial support to complete strangers just because he could. He has paid for the education of over a dozen children unrelated to him, children of friends or even strangers just because he believed in the value of a good education and he was capable of providing one. He set up a million dollar college fund at his alma mater for inner city kids struggling to pay for school and to date over 74 inner city kids have benefited from that scholarship. Every time we took a walk together on Maui, which often times was everyday I was there, someone would stop him to tell him that his work changed their life and WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

every time he would engage with them as if they were the most important person in the world to him at that time. Then, he would ask what hotel they were in and what their room number was and he would send me to deliver a few signed books to their room. This happened constantly. Daily, really. He had an incredibly powerful platform. He attracted huge audiences all over the world and he knew how much sharing the stage with him could impact someone’s career. Every year, without fail, he would find someone whose cause or story or message he believed in and he would include them in his program for that year. He would endorse their work and if they did work together, he gave them every dollar of the royalties he collected on it, never taking any of it for himself. As weird as this sounds, I had a longing to be near my dad. I had a longing to talk to him, to hear his voice, as he has always been the person I most wanted to be like. Incredibly kind, generous to a fault, interested in the world and in people in particular, funny. On his birthday this year I sent him a card and in it I wrote that on his 75th turn around the sun, he should be so proud of the fact that his children take all of their free time to be with him, to be around him, and that that is the mark of a great man and an even greater father. He called me after he got my card and told me he loved that, he loved that his kids always wanted to be around him. I am so grateful that he knew how much I loved being with him. My dad and I took several trips around the world together, just the two of us, and on one of those recent trips I wrote him a letter and told him how much I loved him. He read that letter at every one of his talks afterward and my sister Skye even turned it into a song that she sang to us while we danced together at my wedding. I am so grateful to have that memory. In that letter I told him that I could feel that he believed in me, and what greater gift could a parent give their child but to make them feel how much they believed in them? When we came up with the idea to write a book together, a book about how I was raised and what it was really like to grow up in the Dyer household, I felt daunted and thrilled. I wasn’t sure I could adequately express what it was like to have him as a father in just 10 chapters. But he was so encouraging, so loving. He worked with me, telling me over and over again, “Serena, you have a gift at telling stories, just tell your stories and it will be perfect.” At the end of writing that book together, we were both so proud of it. I felt his love and pride for me. I am so grateful he is the kind of dad who shared that. I am grateful that he taught me to go within and find God. Grateful that he taught me to be open to other people’s ideas and ways of living. He taught me to leave the judging to someone else, and instead, to just treat people with WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

compassion, understanding that everyone is just doing the best they can. Most importantly, in this moment, I am most grateful that he taught me that even in death, we are just shedding one coat and putting on another. He told me he would never leave me, even when he left this earthly realm, and I am most grateful that I know this to be true. Everyone that knows me knows I am a talker. My dad is a talker too. Talking to him is and was my most favorite thing in the world. I think that is what is so hard for me about all of this. Our relationship was built on talking to each other. We spoke on the phone almost every single day. We talked so often and about so many things that for me it is impossible to narrow down who my dad is to me on a few pages In closing, I want to tell you that Dad and I agreed to name our book “Don’t die with your music still in you” because for me, it was the most important lesson he taught me. Dad came here with music to play and he played it so loudly, it changed the world. One man, with some really big ideas, changed the lives of millions of people for the better. My dad, with his love of teaching, of sharing, of story telling, helped millions of people improve their lives. It is now my promise to you dad that I will not die with my music still in me. I carry who you are within me, and I will do everything I can to continue your message as you had just recently asked me to one day do. For me, this isn’t goodbye. I could never say goodbye to the person who is everywhere and everything for me. To me, this is just learning to see you and hear you in a new and different way, cause as you said, when you die, you will still be here, just in another room… I love you forever and ever dad. Thank you, for everything. I AM —Serena Dyer


Photos by

d r o f w a r C n Bria ography w w w.briancraw fordphot

@salutethesunn 32


Photography @briancraw fordphotogra


@ninieyoga @dylanwerneryoga


Photos by

d r o f w a r C n Bria

@iamalexdiehl @jun_help_me


Photography @briancrawfordphotography

@senoritayogini & @hanadoesyoga 35

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d r o f w a r C n Bria

@blackcatwhisperer 36

Photography @briancrawfordphotography

@dimaharani @stefbert4


Scent-sational Holiday Season!

How to Have a

Be proactive this holiday season by supporting your moods and creating an atmosphere of choice by using the benefits of nature’s precious gifts: essential oils. BY CARY CASTER


sing essential oils at every step of revelry during the holiday season can help you get the most out of this valued time.

Scent Your Home

Enhance your home with smells of the great outdoors by diffusing pure essential oils of Pine, Fir and Spruce. This helps create the holiday spirit and a connection with nature that is grounding and supportive. And if you don’t have time to fill your home with the warming smell of fresh baked goodies, you can still envelope your abode with these homespun scents by diffusing the essential oils of Cinnamon, Clove and Allspice.

Add 5 to 10 drops into an unscented lotion and apply before you greet the day to help you radiate joy at every encounter.

Boost Your Energy

If your holiday social calendar is packed with party after party, you’re going to need reinforcements to help you manage all the fun on the run! Too many energy drinks can get you jittery, while caffeine will keep you up all night. Instead, inhale invigorating essential oils such as Rosemary and Peppermint to give your body and mind that extra lift needed to make it through all the merriment without the added side effects.

Open Your Heart

It’s normal to experience a array of emotions when family and friends get together. While the messages of the season are filled with love and joy, some situations can be taxing and uncomfortable if difficult histories prevail. Set a positive mood by applying uplifting essential oils before you enter gatherings, so you can greet any situation with an open heart. Some beloved essential oils for uplifting the spirit are Bergamot, Sweet Orange, Neroli and Jasmine.



Keep Yourself Healthy

Visiting family and friends for the holidays usually requires travel to places with changes in climate. It also means being exposed to public transportation, which expands your chances of exposure to foreign germs. Add the stress of travel to the mix, and you have a triple threat for being run down and likely to come down with some bug. You can boost your immune system before hitting the road by using essential oils that are high in antimicrobial properties, such as Tea Tree, Spike Lavender, Eucalyptus and Ho Wood. These essential oils all have properties that fight bacterial growth and can help you keep invasive germs in check. Saturate a cotton ball with any one or a combination of the above essential oils, keep in a plastic baggie and breathe in deeply every few hours before and during travel to keep infections at bay.

body naturally produces to rid unwanted chemicals and impurities. Juniper helps support the kidney and bladder, which both work overtime when ridding the body of imbibing excesses. I like keeping a blend of 6 drops of Lemon, 6 drops of Cardamom and 3 drops of Carrot Seed essential oil mixed in one ounce of lotion to apply to my abdomen prior to bed when the body is already working to rectify the day’s stresses and strains. Adding 10 drops of Juniper to one ounce of any carrier oil is great to rub onto the lower back where it gets quickly absorbed and helps support the kidney and bladder.

Soothe Your Stomach

There are lots of sweet and savory temptations during the holiday season, so sometimes you need a little help to digest all of those delicious treats. There are many digestive essential oils that can come to the rescue. Ginger and Cardamom are warm, spicy oils that aid digestion, while Peppermint and Sweet Orange have a cooling effect to help with assimilating and settling an overworked stomach. Add any combination of these to a cotton ball and keep in a plastic baggie for a quick inhalation after meals or when your stomach feels unsettled..

Let’s face it, holiday time by its very nature is cause for indulging. Using essential oils that support the body’s detoxification processes will help you recuperate before you start all over again. Supporting the liver, which is constantly cleansing impurities from the blood and managing excesses, is of utmost importance when you’re in party mode. Lemon and Carrot Seed essential oils are wonderful for nourishing the liver while Cardamom essential oil offers a natural source of glutathione, which the

As you can see, it is easy to be mindful and set your intentions when you have extra support through the holidays. The usage of essential oils can enhance all your holiday experiences for a scent-sational festive season!

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. To learn more about Cary and how to work with her, please visit



Bottle of fir tree essential oil photo by Madlen/Sutterstock, Bergamot photo by Sanit Fuangnakhon/Sutterstock, Rosemary photo by motorolka/Sutterstock, Juniper branch and berries with pharmaceutical bottle and Ginger photos by spline_x/Sutterstock, Eucalyptus branch photo by suradach/Sutterstock,

Detoxify Your Body


Yoga Poses Nourishing

for Winter

Winter—the season of introspection, hibernation, and surrender—is the perfect time to go deeper into the practice of yoga or to cultivate a home practice. BY JEN CARTER AVGERINOS



Photos by fizkes/Sutterstock

s the fourth season, winter is a time for stabilizing. The number four corresponds to the grounding nature of all things as well as nature itself— the four seasons, the four elements, and the four directions. This foundational number also corresponds with the heart chakra—the fourth energy center. And the heart chakra, much like winter, is the bridge between the spiritual and the physical. The following four yoga postures are gentle and nourishing for the cold winter months ahead and will help to support your immune system, gently squeezing toxins from internal organs and lowering stress hormones in the body. With these supportive poses in your pocket, old man winter can bring it on.


ED RECOMMEND PROPS: et, bolster, blankk yoga bloc 40


NAd ASA UTdTinAg N Forward Ben



lengthens the This posture d s flexibility, an spine, increase . ck ba er in the low reduces pain er ld ou sh e th open It also helps to d the pituitary an es at ul im st , joints s se , and exerci pineal glands ncreas, and pa n, lo the co Stand with fe et hips-width kidneys. apart. On an exhale, fold at the waist, bendin g knees slight ly if needed. Clas p opposite el bows and straighten the legs, if possible. Hol d for 5 to 10 breath cycles .



This pose stre tches the neck , the chest, and the spine. It he lps to stimulate abdo minal organs, improving digestion. It also stimulat es the thyroid and lu ngs and is reju venating to tired legs. This posture is calming to the mind an d helps to relie ve mild depressi on as well as insomnia.


nt, with knees be Lying supine, s into es Pr . at et on the m place your fe ighs; th e th d an g the hips ight the feet, liftin he d sire block at the de ers, ld place a yoga ou sh , ad crum. The he n ca under your sa u Yo . at m ain on the and arms rem dy bo ur yo r de nds un clasp your ha a nice k if you want oc bl e th nd arou to 10 5 r er. Hold fo shoulder open . er ng lo or breath cycles



EDUCATE 4 Nourishing Yoga Poses for Winter

A H D D A B A T P SU ANgAle Pose KONoAuS nd An

Reclining B


cation pose of This is the va e g a deep sens yoga, providin the s lm ca se po of rest. This d , provides bloo nervous system , en m do wer ab flow to the lo inner thighs, e th s he tc re st to open s lp and he the hips.


Use a yoga bo lster or a firm couch cushio n. If your hips are tight, fold two blanke ts to place un der each knee. Sit with the support be hind you—in line with your lower back. Li e back over the bolster or pillow and brin g the soles of your feet to gether. Extend arms out from the shou lders. Hold fo r 10 to 20 breath cycl es or longer, up to 10 minutes . Enjoy!





, tches the neck This pose stre e th t bu e in the sp the chest, and est ch e th g in en on op focus is more a an as center. Matsy and the heart d an ic the thorac also stretches rd helps to co an e in sp cervical a s— er ld ou sh rect rounded ic in the serious epidem computer age.




Place a yoga block at its desired height and lie back ov er it. You can also place a pillow or another block under your he ad if the stretch is too intense. Extend your legs and open your arms ou t from the shoulder. Hold the pose for 10 to 20 breath cycles or long er, up to five min utes.

Jen Carter Avgerinos is a creative and passionate writer, marketer, and yoga teacher certified in the Seven Spiritual Laws of

Yoga, prenatal/postnatal yoga, and kids yoga. Her favorite thing about teaching is helping people connect with the present moment and with their body, mind, and spirit in order to live their most fulfilled lives. She is the author of the popular book The Yoga of Cleaning: An Essential Guide, and she blogs about yoga at WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M


An Attitude of Gratitude Creates

Abundance ABUNDANCE begins with a sense of self worth, self-love, and an attitude of gratitude. But what does the term abundance really mean? In our society, it is often measured by quantity of material goods and wealth. This surely is one aspect, but there is also a simple abundance that we feel when we have “soul contentment.” I’m going to offer some strategies to invite greater abundance into your life. BY CATHY WOODS


ABUNDANCE begins with a sense of self worth, self-love, and an attitude of gratitude. But what does the term abundance really mean? In our society, it is often measured by quantity of material goods and wealth. This surely is one aspect, but there is also a simple abundance that we feel when we have “soul contentment.” I’m going to offer some strategies to invite greater abundance into your life. Contemplate and create a list of ways you are already abundant. Perhaps you have friendships, a job, a place to live, food to eat each day, and so on.

Facilitate and manifest your heart’s desires. • Visualize them clearly • Write them down, stating them in positive and specific terms • Affirm your intentions by reading them frequently, either silently or aloud • Lightly introduce them into your meditations, perhaps reading them before meditating • Practice gratitude for what is good in your life, rather than focusing on what is wrong (more about this later…) • Contemplate what holds you back from fulfilling your heart’s desires, and then, find creative solutions to alter what stands in your way • Make an effort toward your desires, then let go and turn the results over to Higher Power with non-attachment to the outcome WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

Practice GRATITUDE; it actually creates more abundance and happiness. There’s a saying, “an attitude of gratitude is a prayer in action.” Feeling grateful for what we already have is essential in self-care and a spiritual life. Why are we asking for more if we are not already grateful for what we have? Seek and notice things each day that you have to be grateful for. Keeping a gratitude journal is a powerful technique. Every morning or night, write down at least five things you are thankful for. This “homework” helps you notice how much there already is to appreciate in your life, from the blankets that keep you warm at night to the warm smile of a friend or family member. If you’re not the journaling type, making a gratitude jar can be a fun and creative practice. Craft or find a cheerful-looking jar and leave it in a place you will see it often (like on your kitchen counter or desk). Keep a small notepad next to it and each day spend a couple of minutes writing down anything that invokes gratitude. On days you are feeling down, pull out some of your entries and remember all that you have to give thanks for.

Now you have put your intentions “out there” by identifying the areas where you want more abundance, and you are practicing gratitude on a regular basis. Once these seeds are planted in the fertile ground of pure potentiality, step back with non-attachment and trust they will bloom when and if the season is right. Then, trust in Spirit’s timetable, which may be very different than the timetable you have in mind. May you enjoy the beautiful path of Gratitude and Abundance and love the life you live.

Cathy Woods, ERYT 500, Yogini, is a long-time yoga

teacher & retreat leader (of 25 years) offering yoga retreats, lifeskills enrichment programs and Body, Mind, Equine, nationally. Cathy teaches yoga as awareness” practice to be used on and off the mat. An authentic, adaptable, clear teacher, assisting students to embark on their own inner journey. Though she maintains connected to Kripalu lineage, she teaches the “yoga of her heart.”


Happy woman photo by InesBazdar/Sutterstock, Enjoy the Little Things photo by Melpomene/Sutterstock,

Create a list of ways you’d like to become more abundant. Choices about what we seek are best made from a calm and clear place, rather than a scattered, fearful, grasping or doubtful place. We have the capacity to attain what we want by co-creating with the Universe and Higher Power (however you like to define those terms), so it is very important to be careful in our choices. A healthy lifestyle, meditation, and yoga increase clarity of body, mind, and spirit. These practices put us in touch with our intuition about what’s wholesome and in our best interest. So before you begin, take some time to quiet your mind and body. Examine the reasons and areas where you want to become more abundant. What is the energy or intention behind them? Are they coming from a place of clarity? Are your reasons ego-based or fear-based? Will they serve your highest good? Will they serve the good of others? Will they create more soul contentment in your life?

Beating the Holiday Blues



f you’re suffering from depression, the demands of the holiday season can be overwhelming – from fighting the crowds at the shopping malls to attending obligatory work parties and big family gatherings. Whether you’ve lost a loved one, a job or are struggling with a serious health condition, the holidays can stir up feelings of deep sadness that make it tough to get out of bed in the morning. “If we’re grieving or we’re just out and out depressed, and we don’t acknowledge it, it’s only going to get worse,” says Amy Weintraub, founder of LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute and author of Yoga for Depression. “Yoga helps you let go and clear the space through the focused breathing and through the movements, so that your muscles move and you’re getting oxygenated blood throughout the body. It’s about releasing what you no longer need.” What makes yoga so powerful is the attention to the breath and sensations in the body. It helps release bottled up emotions and opens up constrictions in your muscles, giving you a feeling of lightness and renewed energy. “You can allow the tears to flow, roll up your mat and get on with your day,” explains Weintraub. A large number of scientific studies have proven the effectiveness of yoga in managing moods, especially depression and anxiety. According to Weintraub, practicing yoga can help elevate “feel-good” hormones including dopamine, oxytocin, prolactin and GABA levels, which help cultivate a feeling of well-being and relaxation. When practiced regularly, yoga can also create healthy restructuring of the brain and increased lung capacity. “People with depressed mood tend to have slumped shoulders and may be upper chest breathers,” says Weintraub. “Yoga helps to deepen the breath, so that you’re breathing more fully into your lungs diaphragmatically. It also helps


release chronic tension in the muscles.” Although yoga can help fight depression, don’t throw away your antidepressants. Yoga is considered a complement to medical treatment, not a replacement. If you practice regularly, you may be able to slowly decrease your level of medication under the close supervision of your health care provider. To reap the most benefits from yoga, Weintraub recommends practicing daily, but that doesn’t mean you have to roll out your mat for an hour every day. Even a few minutes of focused yogic breathing or a short moving sequence can invigorate your body and boost your mood. Backbends are energizing so try to incorporate them into your longer practices. Be sure to warm up your body first, stretching the spine in all directions. Start with gentle backbends such as sphinx, cobra or bridge pose before moving into more advanced heart-opening poses like camel and upward-facing bow. If you’re feeling anxious and depressed, try to include forward bends with an extended exhalation to help calm the nervous system. Work with a qualified yoga teacher and start slowly. With time, you will feel stronger and more balanced in your body, mind and emotions. “People who are depressed don’t really trust that they have the tools within them to get better, but they do,” says Weintraub. “It’s about clearing the space, and yoga does that better than anything else I know.” For more ways to fight depression, visit Weintraub’s website at

Four Surefire Ways to Boost Your Energy Weintraub offers a few quick tips for boosting your energy level when the holiday doldrums are bringing you down. Rest for a minute after each set of exercises and notice the sensations throughout your body.

If you’re having a hard time dragging yourself out of bed in the morning, practice a couple breathing exercises when you first wake up. Stair-step Up the Mountain: Take little steps of breath through the nose until the lungs feel full as though you’re climbing a mountain. When you get to the top, bring to mind something beautiful. Then slide down the mountain as you exhale the breath smoothly through the nose. Repeat two times.

Visual imagery

Sit up tall in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Close your eyes and imagine a time when you felt completely at ease and strong with a clear mind. Inhale your arms out in front of your heart and see that image in your heart’s mind. On the exhale, draw your hands to your heart and say out loud “So Ham,” which means “I am that.” Repeat three times.

Photo by Sergey Nivens/Sutterstock

Elevator Ride Up the Mountain: This exercise reverses the above breathing technique and is more energizing. Take an elevator ride to the top of the mountain, breathing slowly in through the nose and imagine something beautiful at the top of the mountain. Exhale through the nose taking little steps of breath as you go down the mountain. This creates a gentle pumping action in the belly that cultivates higher energy. Repeat two times.

Power Hara

Stand with your feet wider than hip distance and place your hands on your shoulders with elbows pointed out. Fill your lungs half way as you twist to the left. Inhale deeper as you twist to the right. Extend your arms out to the sides and forcefully twist to the left as you exhale out the mouth with a “ha” sound. Forcefully twist to the right, once again exhaling out the mouth with a “ha” sound. Repeat 10 times.

Pulling Prana


Angela Ambrose is a Phoenix-based writer

Photos by Leo Gosselin

This short sequence links breath with movement and is a simple but powerful way to generate more prana, also known as energy or life force. Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart. Inhale deeply through your nose as you reach your arms overhead with your palms facing toward your body and fingers spread wide. On the exhale, make two fists and forcefully pull the hands back to your waist as you bend your knees. Repeat 10 times.

Photos by Leo Gosselin

Focused Breathing in Bed

with 28 years in magazine, corporate and video scriptwriting. As an ACE-certified group fitness instructor and certified yoga teacher, she combines her writing expertise with her passion for healthy living. Angela’s yoga classes are infused with heart-centered themes that take her students beyond the physical poses to help them connect with their true nature of peace and love. Contact her at Angela or on Twitter @AAHealthFitness.




rganic Infusions Founder and CEO - Rose Heart is a Certified Master Aromatherapist and Herbalist - her life’s purpose was and continues to be, to enhance one’s emotional and physical well-being through our connection to the vibration of authentic pure essential oils. With over 15 years of experience in aromatherapy - Rose educates and creates signature blends for companies all over the world. As a supplier to thousands of yoga studios and practitioners throughout the country, Organic Infusions is committed to bringing 100% pure, natural products to the community. We had the opportunity to ask Heart to explain why all oils are not created equal, the true power of essential oils and what oils should be in every medicine cabinet! Yoga Digest What’s the difference between your products and what you can buy at the grocery market? Rose Heart Typically what is found in the grocery store are either synthetic or commercial grade (plants grown with herbicides and pesticides) essential oils. Organic Infusions offers certified organic and wildcrafted therapeutic grade essential oils that are derived from plants that are grown without herbicides or pesticides. Organic Infusions, Inc is a farm direct, wholesale essential oil supplier committed to purity. During inhalation of an authentic certified organic or wildcrafted


therapeutic grade essential oil, you are connecting to the very life force of the plant. The energetic vibration of the plant unites with the body harmonics within each of us. Organic Infusions understands that when aromatherapy essential oils are altered by artificial means, the precious essence of those oils is forever changed. Organic Infusions does not carry essential oils that have been diluted, altered, or synthetically modified. Over the past 15 years, I have embarked on a journey of hand selecting many of these farms and distilleries according to our stringent guidelines. YD Why organic vs. not organic? RH Non Organic Oils are often used commercially (used by chemical companies/cleaning companies etc) and do not adhere to the stringent quality standards that Certified Organic oils must adhere to. Organic Infusions offers the highest quality Certified Organic oils that must meet strict guidelines that are outlined by the USDA – NOP (National Organic Program).

Production Flowchart Outlined Certified Organic Soil

Organic Seed

Organic Plant

Certified Organic Distillation Process

Organic Infusions Organic Oils


YD Do you believe there is an oil for every ailment? RH Yes. We believe that every organic essential oil exists for a unique purpose - to bring the body, mind and spirit into harmony. Because we resonate with and connect to nature on a physical as well as metaphysical plane, our bodies welcome and honor the gift that each oil offers to us through that connection. Individuals and practitioners alike have been using our oils therapeutically to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. YD How long have people been using oils as wellness treatment? RH Essential oils have been used to maintain wellness throughout history for thousands of years. YD What made you decide to get into oils? RH After suffering many years from allergies and migraines from synthetic perfumes, a friend introduced me to essential oils. Not only did my allergies and migraines disappear, but my other body imbalances were restored when I connected to the life force of the true essence of the plant – therapeutic grade organic essential oils. I had just started attending massage school at the time and took a basic class on aromatherapy for massage. I would “play” with the essential oils and soon discovered I had a unique gift for infusing the oils together in a way that was noticed by my fellow students. Every day I would go to class and I would have requests to make them blends for massage oil. My teacher at the time said “you seem to have a gift here... Maybe you should start a little side business.” Soon, the word started to spread from fellow students to upper level staff, to friends of friends and I began to grow exponentially. Soon, my garage became too small as demand for my infused blends kept growing. Around this time, I began to attend an Aromatherapy and Herbal Studies course, where I graduated with my Aromatherapist / Herbalist Certificate. Shortly thereafter, I was hired as a chief formulator for various companies around the globe, whereby, I created unique essential oil synergies. Then, in 2008, Organic Infusions was born! YD: You got into oils before they become mainstream, describe your journey? RH: Before I embarked on my journey of starting Organic Infusions, I became a well-respected authority in the field of aromatherapy. For many years, I educated and created signature blends for thousands of massage therapists, massage schools, healing cenWW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

Rose Heart’s

TOP CHOICE Ess ential Oils

Organic Peppermint

This is the oil I use whenever my head or body is achy, or my mind needs to wake up, or my nerves are shaky, or my tummy is rumbling in protest.

Organic Lavender

This is my go to oil for just about everything – calming my mind, while soothing my soul. I love to put a few drops on a tissue and stuff it in my pillow at night for a good night filled with sweet dreams.

Organic Frankincense

This is my all-time favorite oil. The first time I partook of frankincense, I wept from deep within as I could feel old emotional wounds being cleared. I love to anoint my third eye with this oil just before meditation for deep relaxation and connection to the Light of my Soul.

ters, medical spas, yoga studios, spa resorts, dental offices and luxury hotels. As the founder of Organic Infusions, I continue to educate and create signature blends for companies all over the world. My life purpose was and continues to be, to enhance one’s emotional and physical well-being through our connection to the vibration of authentic pure essential oils. My intention is to awaken in us the truth that we are One with the majestic elements through the essence of these organic sacred plants. I have more than 15 years of experience in aromatherapy, herbal therapy, natural perfumery, custom blending, product development, massage therapy and crystal healing. I’m also a member of ABMP & NAHA. As the years unfolded, I have discovered ancient healing techniques that unite pure therapeutic essential oils, prayer, and meditation to release emotional blockage, balance energy, and rejuvenate the body; thereby removing obstacles to attuning to our Life’s Purpose. Through my Vision of Purity, I have inspired her dedicated staff and thousands of devoted customers to embrace sustainable, organic farming practices that honor farms and their communities.


Lavender Essential Oil photo by Catherine311/Sutterstock, Lavender photo by Subbotina Anna/Sutterstock, Peppermint photo by ailenn/Sutterstock, Frank Incense photo by Malchus Kern/Sutterstock,

YD How are oils made? RH Organic Infusions single note Organic Oils are either Cold Pressed or Steam Distilled from the plant. The essential oil blends are infused by me.

Inner Peace

in Paradise

Yoga Retreat? Yeah Mon! BY JENN BODNAR



There are many types of yoga. Some yoga is very traditional, while other styles are more contemporary. Certain yoga classes can feel more restorative, while others are quite vigorous. The same is true for yoga retreats. There is no ‘one size fits all’. Yoga retreats, like yoga practitioners and styles, come in all shapes and sizes.




ltimately, your yoga retreat should leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired. If you are looking for a combination of humble elegance, timeless charm and natural tranquility, Jamaica Inn may be the setting for you. If deep release through intense yet fluid postures is what your body is craving, then the ‘Inner Peace Yoga Retreat’ may be just what the doctor ordered. And if you have a serious appreciation for reggae legend Bob Marley and celebrated Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, this is definitely your spot! Jamaica is beautiful and sacred, with a strong sense of culture and heritage. The Inner Peace In Paradise Yoga Retreat at Jamaica Inn manages to pull it all together to create a one-of-a- kind, exquisite experience.



Pulling up to Jamaica Inn feels more like arriving at someone’s stately, historical oceanside home than a 5-star resort. Maybe it’s the refined yet laid back staff. Or perhaps it’s the brilliant all white on mahogany furniture against the turquoise Caribbean backdrop that makes Jamaica Inn a balance of classic comfort like no other. It might be the fact that the resort has been family owned for nearly four generations that gives it the intimate feeling. The family can often be found blending in with the guests along with their token black Labrador, currently ‘Shadow IV.” Jamaica Inn is prestigious, not pretentious. Passion, pride and preservation can be felt throughout the entire island, and Jamaica Inn brings it all home.


Whether you choose to play a game of cricket, relax in one of the hammocks or take it to the ocean for stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) or snorkeling, there is something for everyone. Leave your cell phone at home, or at least in your room, because Jamaica Inn is a technology- free environment. Also, there are no TVs, radios or clocks in the rooms to distract you from the tranquility and peace of this boutique hotel. The award-winning spa boasts three oceanview treatment rooms with local aromatherapy products that will leave you feeling renewed and refreshed.


There were two yoga classes a day: 7:30 am and 5 pm. Classes were led by E-RYT500, Sarah Yukie Gingrich. As an assistant to Baron Baptiste and Shiva Rea, Gingrich’s infusion of power and clarity with creative inspiration and fluidity was felt in every moment of the practice. Dynamic contrast was a recurring theme within the resort, and Gingrich’s unique combination of structure and grace carried out the balance of opposites in class as well. Whether this was intentional or not, it was noted and only added to the heightened sensation of the entire experience. There were all levels of practitioners within the group of 10. Gingrich’s intuitive guidance offered practices that were both therapeutic and empowering. Sequencing was unique and specific to common issues in the hips and shoulders. The different variations of pigeon and fire log mixed with lizard lunges and gate poses kept the body guessing! Confident hands-on adjustments from Gingrich and her assistant, Christina, created a sense of deep healing, connection and restoration. Classes were held on a private veranda that overlooks the crystal waters of Caribbean. Gingrich gave gentle reminders to take in the beauty of the island: the breeze, the sun and the waves. “Remember, this beauty around you can always be found within, it’s part of you, even at home” said Gingrich.


re·treat | /rəˈtrēt/ | noun • an act of moving back or withdrawing


For some, the idea of driving around the corner to the local yoga studio for a one hour class can be daunting enough. Making the commitment to travel and attend multiple yoga classes for days in a foreign place may seem down right frightening. For many, however, the idea is exhilarating. Experienced and new practitioner’s can all benefit from joining the yoga retreat movement. If the following list describe you, a yoga retreat may be a great option for you:

You want to deepen your practice. Intention goes along way. Simply eliminating the daily grind and immersing yourself in a space entirely dedicated to yoga will open you up to many aspects within the practice, not just the physical. Reflection, mindfulness, self care and new perspective are all parts of getting away from it all.

You want to unplug from technology. Many retreats and facilities are technology free. Depending on your location, you many not even have service. This can be a little scary but also very empowering and clearing.

You want to indulge in a good way. Self care can be challenging at home. Many retreats will offer spa treatments, excursions and activities as well as time for meditation and rest. Meals will be more mindful and healthy. Spoiling yourself with some self love and care can be invaluable.

You want to try something you never tried before. With many side activities included in yoga retreats like SUP Yoga, Acrobatic and partner yoga it’s likely you will experience yoga like never before. Most places will offer activities and excursions like swimming with dolphins, zip lining or cooking classes.

You want to be inspired. Learning about a new culture can open up creativity. Routine can literally rob the mind of creativity. We spend most of our days completing tasks for someone else. We wind up one step behind and never reaching our full potential. Getting away from it all, unplugging and clearing your mind opens you up to creativity that lies deep inside you if you quiet the chatter around you enough to hear it!



Eating, like everything in Jamaica, is much celebrated. Meals at the resort were decadent, formal, and full of vibrant, local ingredients that tantalized the palette. A trip to the nearby farmers’ market is included in the retreat. Guests sample and learn about the many different native produce like June plums, jack fruit, naseberry and sour sop. Upon our return, Chef Maurice Henry prepared a traditional fresh caught snapper dish called Escovitch. As we watched, he sautÊed peppers and onions in oil seasoned with fresh thyme, salt, pepper, vinegar and sugar. His secret: a dab of cold butter to tie all the rich flavors together. A variety of traditional Jamaican dishes were served throughout the stay, like ackee and salt fish, bammy, pepper pot stew, jerk seasoned meats, fried plantains and curried vegetables. Vegetarian and gluten-free diets can be accommodated and are respected by the staff.



A prickly football-size pod that is full of nutrients and energy. Known for being somewhat bland and resembling the taste of unseasoned potatoes, it can balance the otherwise spicy and flavorful Jamaican dishes.


Sweet tasting fruit recognized for its unique shape, size, and delicious flavor of its bulbs. (See article: Health Benefits of Jackfruit on page ???)

Jerk seasoning

Style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dryrubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. Jerk seasoning is traditionally applied to pork and chicken.



Exceptionally sweet, malty flavor fruit that grows on large trees. Similar in size and look of a fuzzy, brownskinned kiwifruit. It’s flavor resembles caramel or a pear candied with brown sugar.


Known as avocado in American cultures.

Ackee A fruit rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin A, zinc, and protein. It contains four pods inside, is considered toxic in the United States and is used in a traditional Jamaican dish with salt fish.

Pepper pot stew

A classic Caribbean soup. Ingredients vary, but commonly you will find callaloo, yams, coconut milk, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, thyme and various meats when not vegetarian.

June plum

Egg sized fruit that grows in clusters of up to a dozen or more. They drop from the tree while green, once ripe they turn yellow and have flavors similar to pineapple, mango and apple.


Fish (usually) that is seasoned, fried and marinated with a peppery vinegar-based dressing made colorful with julienned bell peppers, carrots and onions.


Known as a Jamaican green superfood vegetable that tastes like a cross between broccoli and spinach.

Meat Pattie

A pastry that contains various fillings and spices baked inside a flaky shell, often tinted golden yellow with an egg yolk mixture or turmeric. It is traditionally filled with seasoned ground beef, but fillings can include chicken, pork, lamb, vegetables, shrimp, lobster, fish, soy, ackee, mixed vegetables or cheese.

Bammy A traditional Jamaican cassava flatbread made from bitter cassava (also called yuca in American cultures.) They are mostly commonly about 6” in diameter and served baked or fried. As a treat they can be soaked in coconut oil and fried with cinnamon and sugar.

Plantain Hard, starchy bananas used for cooking, as contrasted with the soft, sweet dessert varieties. Jamaican plantains are a staple food and found in most traditional breakfasts served fried.

Sour sop

Widely promoted (sometimes as “graviola”) as an alternative cancer treatment. There is, however, no medical evidence that it is effective. The flavor has been described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple, with sour citrus hints contrasting a creamy flavor like coconut or banana.



In addition to a decent supply of stand-up paddle (SUP) boards, including Boga Yoga boards that are perfect for taking your practice to the ocean, there is amazing reef snorkeling literally right on the shoreline of the property! Kayaks, a fishing boat, an award-winning spa, garden tours and cricket are available for guests to use at anytime. You can also take it down a notch and chill in a hammock on the beach, at one of the two bars, or in the study where photographs of Marilyn Monroe from her honeymoon at Jamaica Inn adorn the walls. There are amazing side trips and excursions as well. Konoko Falls is just down the road and boasts a factfilled, guided trip through the falls, zoo, museum and botanical gardens. There is also a restaurant at the top to make it a day! Other excursions include the Dunn’s River Falls, zip lines, swimming with the dolphins, golf and other usual tourist fare. We were lucky enough to assist in a live sea turtle hatching! While these can rarely be planned, summer and fall is considered the nesting season for sea turtles in the Caribbean. Jamaica Inn supports the preservation of the sea turtle population in Jamaica. When there is a turtle hatching nearby, General Manager, Kyle Mais is notified and can let the guests know it’s an option.

How to Choose Your Yoga Retreat

Yoga retreats have become as popular and diverse as any other element within the yoga world. There are as many yoga retreats to choose from as there is yoga attire, studios and styles of practice. With so many choices you may be wondering whether a yoga retreat is right for you. If you decide that a yoga retreat is part of your journey the selection process can be overwhelming. Here are some very basic guidelines in no particular order:


It’s good to start with an idea of where you would like to spend your days. If you love warm weather and water activities, a lake, beach or island location could be a place to start researching. If you prefer cooler temperatures and the mountains, there will be a whole different set of retreats to choose from. You can stay local or travel to the other side of the world. Decide what’s best for you.

BUDGET While a two week trip to a private island

can be enticing, it’s important to be realistic. Remember there are many to choose from. There are options from fine dining to kitchenettes for preparing your own meals. Do your research and find something that will be meaningful and reasonable to your specific needs and desires.

THEME Some yoga retreats will have a lot of

yoga, some will not. Some will be more of a spiritual journey while some are solely focused on having a


good time. There is nothing wrong or right about either, again it’s a personal preference.

TIMING While there is rarely such thing as perfect timing, it’s important that you are in a position to take time away from work, responsibilities and obligations. Planning a yoga retreat the same weekend as your sister’s wedding could cause more stress than it’s worth. Check your calendar, look at your schedule and pick a time frame that makes sense.


Many people will join one of their regular teachers on a retreat. If you are looking for a new and different experience be sure to check credentials, read their bios and research the studios they work at. Most teachers are on social media and have websites. You can get a baseline vibe there. Talk to them beforehand! They would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have to make your experience exquisite!

Turtle Season COURTESY OF JAMAICA INN BLOG If you have booked a vacation to the hotel this summer, chances are high that you will either spot a mother sea turtle crawling ashore at night to lay her eggs in the sand, or possibly see the baby turtles hatching and make their way to sea. Mel, our turtle expert from the Oracabessa Turtle Project, has already come in a few times to mark the nests and track the expected hatchling dates.

A turtle’s journey

From the time the Leatherback sea turtle slowly makes her way ashore and finds the perfect spot on the beach to lay her eggs, you should realize the thousands of miles she has traveled. Turtles will always return to the same beach each year to nest, but usually it is also the same beach on which she hatched!

Sea turtles will most often only nest at night, but occasionally you may see some nest during daylight. Sometimes the turtle will crawl out of the ocean, but for unknown reasons decide not to nest. This is called a “false crawl” and it can happen naturally or be caused by artificial lighting or the presence of people on the beach. Most turtles will nest at least twice during nesting season, although some species may nest only once and others more than ten times. Sea turtles are generally slow and awkward on land, and nesting is exhausting work.

Digging the nest

Once the female turtle has found the spot where she will lay her eggs, she begins to construct a “body pit” by digging with her flippers and rotating her body. After the body pit is complete, she digs an egg cavity using her cupped rear flippers as shovels. The egg cavity is shaped roughly like a tear drop. As the process of nesting and laying her eggs is so sensitive for the sea turtle, Mel cautions guests to please be careful and not use lights or flashes on cameras or cell phones as it may disturb the turtle.


Wherever you go, go with an open mind. You don’t have to be an ‘advanced’ yogi to attend a yoga retreat. Whether you travel near or far, take notes, journal and stay connected to your new friends. Write down even the smallest of details, as these will be big when you look back. More importantly, plan another one as soon as possible!


Our Security guards and Beach patrol are trained to know how to react around the turtle and to wait patiently until she leaves so that the area can be marked properly. They will then call Mel Tennant to mark the area and track the dates.


Approximately 60 days from the nesting, the turtle hatchlings are expected to emerge. Because we have such a certain idea of when this will happen, we will let our inhouse guests know ahead of time, so they can take part in the experience of releasing the baby turtles to the sea. You will get to play a part in helping us prepare the beach by raking the area from the nest to the sea to flatten out the “bumps” in the sand. Mel will inspect all of the baby turtles and those that are deemed “healthy” are placed on the sand where they then waddle their way to the ocean. Some of the hatchlings may not be ready and are placed back into the nest for another 24-48 hours. Many guests are now booking over certain times in the summer so that they can be here to witness this spectacular experience.

The Inner Peace in Paradise retreat is held annually in September. The four-night package includes roundtrip airport transfers, an ocean-view room, three meals daily, two daily yoga classes, two excursions, complimentary water sports, and a massage. Prices start at $1,445 per person. Find more info and 2016 dates at


Photo by EpicStockMedia/Sutterstock

False crawls

YOGA GETAWAY in Beautiful

Lake Chelan Washington

Vineyard photo by ARSimonds/Sutterstock, Background photo by Eugene Kalenkovich/Sutterstock

Located in the heart of Washington’s Cascade Mountains, Lake Chelan is a spectacular Pacific Northwest waterfront destination three hours east of Seattle. The region is primarily known as a summer hotspot with its gleaming waters and breathtaking mountains. With hills sprinkled of orchards and vineyards, Lake Chelan is home to a thriving winemaking community with nearly 25 wineries. Come winter, Lake Chelan is transformed into a picturesque, white-clad wonderland. Lake Chelan is characterized by its crystal clear, blue water; sunny, semi-desert valley climate; and sprinkled horizon of orchards and vineyards. Described as one of the most beautiful lake settings in the world, generations of families have been making the journey to Lake Chelan to enjoy year-around

recreational opportunities in a world-class setting. Visitors experience a combination of breathtaking scenery along with a long list of activities including boating, water sports, golf, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling and cross country skiing. A thriving community of boutique wineries operate as members of the Lake Chelan Wine Valley that are attracting attention from winemakers, grape growers and wine enthusiasts. Downtown Chelan is home to a classic American Main Street with galleries, retail shops, a variety of dining options and the crown jewel, Ruby Theatre offering visitors a look back into the history of small town America. The Lake Chelan Valley also encompasses the quaint Village on the Bay in Manson and a variety of premier dining options.

Snowga in Wine CountryDuring the winter, Yogachelan offers a unique retreat with Snowga – an innovative combination of snowshoeing and yoga. A unique alternative to the traditional snow sport, Snowga-goers will enjoy a two and a half hour excursion as they snowshoe up the mountain through vineyards on the Echo Ridge Trail. Along the way, stops are made overlooking the stunning view of Lake Chelan and the Chelan Valley for yoga poses in the snow. At the top, attendees bask in the view with hot Yogi tea and delicious treats provided by the local Bear Foods Market. The retreat is offered on two separate weekends in January, during Lake Chelan’s Winterfest, an annual festival that boasts family-fun activities, ice sculptures, wine tasting, beach bonfires and more.

Yoga Digest Favorites Food

Marcela’s Cocina Mexicana • Local Myth Pizza • 18 Brix

Accommodations Grandview on the Lake


Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center • Grape Stomping Electric Bike Rides to Tsillan Cellars and Tunnel Hill Winery Heal Wellness Studio Massage • Benson Vineyards As a Yogi, I see the Chelan Valley as a place for connection to the environment. Dipping my feet into the deep blue waters of Lake Chelan and seeing the reflection of the clear blue skies above. Walking the paths and trails in the hills and enjoying the changing seasons of the apple orchards and the vineyards. And then there is nothing more beautiful than the snow covered mountains that reach all the way to the shores of the lake and the snow and the water meet. Yet, we are also a playground of activities. It is these activities that bring so many visitors to our small town of 4,000: nearly 30 wineries to explore, water skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, biking, running, parasailing, electric biking, restaurants (vegan specials), shopping, and of course, YogaChelan with classes, events, and adventures. YogaChelan combines yoga with a variety of outdoor events: snow shoeing (Snowga), paddle board yoga, yoga at the wineries, hiking and barefoot yoga walks, zip lining, horse back riding, river rafting; and indoor events: candlelight yoga, spa yoga, wine tasting, yoga in the dark, wedding and bachelorette party yoga. We believe that yoga is for more than the yoga studio, it is part of life. Our mind, our body, our breath, our spirit. -Lynda Kennedy, Owner of YogaChelan


The World is

Waking Up

d that n a , w o n t h rig ve a w a g in rid re a e “W ’,” ss e sn u io sc n co f o n a ce o e ‘th is wave r, ce ffi O g tin ra e p O f ie h C y, ve ar H says Sara The Chopra Center. BY KIM BAUMAN

Dallas Brown, I had the honor of sitting down with Producer of and r Chopra Center Marketing Directo en I asked Wh on. itati Deepak Chopra’s 2015 Global Med , “It was said she be, her how this global event came to Global first the ched the perfect accident. When we laun that idea no had we 4, Meditation in the summer of 201 e stat the by ed elm rwh it would go viral. We were all ove . help to ng ethi som of the world and desperate to do ent. mom that in ed Connection and healing was so need ntry in the world 140,000 people from nearly every cou


ld Record for the participated. We set the Guinness Wor It was magic.” ory. hist in on largest synchronized meditati 5, we live201 e Jun past is Brown went onto say, “Th passion Com for tion dita streamed our 2nd Global Me r own thei ed aniz org ple in English and Spanish. Peo That ld. wor the und aro s community events in citie e so mad it that ized real was amazing to us but we l Bow er Sup for r ethe tog much sense. People come why so t, nigh tion elec on and to watch the results for a cause we all not come together and meditate WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

240 satellite events care so deeply about? There were organized world-wide.” Meditation? It’s So what is The Chopra Center’s Global all around the from ple what happens when you get peo n to Deepak, liste g, doin world to stop whatever they are hundreds of ally liter It’s and learn about meditation. , sharing time e sam the at thousands of people meditating ld by wor l cefu pea e mor the same intention to create a anyr offe ’t can e “W es. finding more peace in themselv with t star to got it’s so thing we don’t already possess Brown. us. That’s Deepak’s teaching,” says 20th anniversary. ter’s Cen Next year, 2016, is The Chopra by Deepak and en driv is Brown says, “Everything we do n of creating a visio a has his work in the world. Deepak point of social ing tipp a critical mass that will push us to one billion with on itati change. Our work is to share med y are, then reall you who w people. The idea is that if you kno because rs othe to or rself it’s impossible to do harm to you , and nity divi ion, pass com the truth of who we are is love, who er emb rem we itate pure consciousness. When we med Now . flict con no e’s ther , we are, and when you know that ld is waking up.” is an exciting time to be alive, the wor

Don’t take my or Brown says, “We’re all about proof. own experience. r you e hav e Deepak’s word for it, com ard. It’s a scary inw go and t People are afraid to get quie no space for silence thing because in our culture there is essence of who we the is it , in our busy lives. However and find answers to s elve ours are, it’s how we get to know t? And what’s my wan I do at questions like, Who am I? Wh and you already s stion que dy’s purpose? These are everybo t enough to quie ing gett ut abo have the answers, it’s just or belief me, inco , und kgro bac hear. No matter your age, elves. And we could system, we’re all seeking to know ours help us get there.” all use a few tools and techniques to my heart beamed ds, wor e When Brown said thes is the magic the s Thi ed. and my body goose-bump is to change the it t wha is s world is waking up to. Thi ide of ourselves outs look to world. So often we want to change the world and fix people. We think the way s, but what if we all is to stop terrorism or pass new law , “to create a more says pak healed ourselves first? As Dee peace from within.” peaceful world, we must first find pra Center, please Cho The on For more information visit:

“When you go home from a program, don’t tell your family they’re doing everything wrong, and that you’ve ch. learned the right way to live. Don’t prea ve. All you have to do is live what you belie ll People will start coming to you. You wi d seem peaceful, you will be glowing, an n, that’s when they’ll come to you and the perhaps there’s an opening to share.” lsbad, California. The Chopra Center is located in Car with the mission It was created to be a space for healing and transformato be the global source for balance that is by sharing tion. “The number one way we do live events, teacher meditation with the world through erience with Oprah trainings, our 21-Day Meditation Exp says Brown. “We’ve & Deepak, and online education,” on app called, ‘My also launched our first kids meditati posed of 22 guided Light Shine Bright.’ The app is com nections, celebratmeditations focused on gratitude, con you are. Imagine if ing differences, and embracing who on growing up?” all kids had access to yoga and meditati WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

Kim Bauman

Founder, The One Love Movement Website: www.jointheonelovem nt eme Mov Love One The Facebook: Instagram: @theonelovemovement


How To Get What

We Really Want It’s amazing what people will do for scraps of love. The struggle, as they say, is real. BY MELANIE TAYLOR


onnection. Study after study provides endless data illustrating that more than anything as human beings, we want to be seen, felt and heard. We buy books, we go to seminars, we race to our yoga mats in search of it. Yet oddly enough, as much as we go looking for it, we find and create new ways to avoid it. Settling instead for surface intimacy, co-dependence, or isolation. What is this paradox about? To be truly seen, felt and heard is the deepest longing of the soul and yet we resist it as much as we crave it. Like anything worth having, the road to it is marked with effort, requirements and a leap of faith.


Taking risks

At some point in life, our choices went from what felt right in the moment, to what will and won’t cause harm, embarrassment or loss. Sometimes in crow pose it’s fun to remind students who glance nervously around the room and are hesitant to even lift one foot up, that they are safely hovering about 6 inches off the ground. The only thing that tends to get hurt if they fall is their ego. We think the risk is solely in taking a chance, but there is also risk in not doing anything at all. It may not end up like you thought, but every outcome serves you. Is there a more valuable teacher in life than experience? If asked about the moments that really shaped and defined us, we

“When we step into the unknown w ith the intention to truly connect, we end up coming face to face with our own humanity .” would surely recall the moments we were stretched far outside our comfort zone. Of all the emotional costs to pay, regret and living small can be a steep price indeed.

Managing Fear

There is fear in being truly seen. I’ll never forget a training I went to years ago. We were lined up in front of each other and we weren’t to speak or touch. The exercise was to simply stand 6 inches apart and take turns looking each other in the eyes for several minutes. The initial fear in the room was palpable; it was like we suddenly didn’t know what to do with our arms and hands. Some later went on to describe they would have been happier if the earth had suddenly opened up at their feet and swallowed them whole rather then look into a stranger’s eyes. Compare it conversely with looking into the eyes of a child or even a pet. Kids and animals are so present, so grounded in their bodies that the desire to connect feels as natural as breathing. Looking someone in the eye, letting others see into our hearts, flaws and all produces an overwhelming fear that can be hard to navigate through. However letting ourselves be exposed in the face of fear is a high frequency vibration that instantly resonates and allows people to feel safe and grounded.


When we stand back we see that forming connections in ways that are meaningful is vulnerable. It requires us WW W.YOGAD I GEST. CO M

to step off an internal cliff and can create a feeling of falling with no net. The idea of rejection or failure holds us back. However the stories we love to share with others typically revolve around an individual or group of people that was brave. Think about it! No great story ever included the phrase, “I was too nervous so I just sat back.” Or “We thought about it, but ultimately decided against it.” Reaching out to each other leaves us exposed, but it’s where we encounter the shared qualities that actually make us more alike than different. American philosopher William James may have explained it best when he said; ‘We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.’ Taking risks, choosing action in the face of fear, letting go of what others think and standing in our truth not only gets us what we want, but empowers others to do the same. And just like that we get what we actually want: Deep, whole, meaningful connection where we are truly seen for whom we are and we no longer settle for the scraps.

Melanie Taylor is a 500 ERYT who teaches athletic, sweaty, light-hearted but inspirational power yoga classes designed to lead people to their true nature. Her teaching focuses on restoring and nourishing mind, body and soul through active meditation. Instagram @melanietayloryoga


Toward Happiness How I Approach My Career Like Yoga BY JAMES McCRAE


still remember the first time I tried yoga. It was the dead of winter in New York City and, as I walked into the dimly lit yoga studio, I felt a little out of place. Casually looking around the room, I watched an array of bearded, beaded yogis giving each other greetings and salutations I did not comprehend. I must have missed the memo because I was the only person not dressed head to toe in white. My five o’clock shadow and Nike sneakers stood out amidst the draping white linen and prayer beads. Some of them even wore turbans. “Where do you even buy something like that?” I asked myself, making a mental note to check Amazon later. It was my first yoga class and I didn’t know what

to expect. I was a little uncomfortable, but the steady rhythm from the brass gong in the corner kept me relaxed, even uplifted. “Here goes nothing,” I thought. Midway through the session, everything clicked. I could feel my muscles stretching, expanding, and releasing pent-up toxins as I down-dogged only a little behind the rhythm of the group. I felt connected with my body and with myself. Afterwards, I was tired. My muscles had left their comfort zone and stretched into uncharted territories. It felt fulfilling, but it was not comfortable. This is expected. Expanding yourself, whether in life or in yoga class, is never comfortable. But this soreness ultimately feels great because it is life affirming. It is an indication of personal growth. I try to approach my career like yoga. I stretch and bend myself to test the limits of my ability. When I get too comfortable, I stretch myself further, learning new mental postures that expand myself beyond my comfort zone. Stretching ourselves beyond what we know is how we grow. Challenging ourselves and embracing uncertainty is how we remain fresh, alive, young and inspired. We can only grow (as people and professionals) by challenging our personal status quo. When we stopping stretching we become stiff, immobile and stuck. Toxins build up and energy stops flowing. We even start to look downtrodden in our faces and body language. Why is that? Because everything in life is connected, and how we approach one thing affects everything else, including our appearance, our happiness and financial abundance. How we do one thing is how we do everything. Whenever I have a meeting in my office, I often remember my first yoga class. I ask myself, “How can I stretch my talents further? What new posture can I try on this project?” While it might be easier to simple go through the motions and approach each day with the same proven methods, doing so does not allow us to grow. We make progress by testing the limits and stretching beyond our comfort zone. You may get a little sore, but your body (and your career) will thank you.

James McCrae is a Hay House author and creator of

Simple Strategies to Overthrow Your Ego and Become the Hero of Your Story.




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Fashion & Function

A Preview of What’s New, Yoga Style, for 2016 BY GLENNA B. MUSANTE


n early August Yoga Digest went to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the annual Summer Outdoor Retailer show. This is one of the largest athletic wear and gear trade shows in the world. And as always, it drew hundreds of vendors representing every major (and many minor) US sportswear and equipment brands. They were there to showcase their new products for 2016 and after three days of perusing the aisles and talking with product reps, retail buyers, merchandising managers and company owners we learned that the options available for yoga wear and yoga gear are simply exploding with potential. Yoga attire, for example, has become so popular outside the studio that brands that normally specialize in other types of sportswear –for example, running shoes or winter jackets –are unveiling full yoga lines in 2016. This included brands like Columbia, which is known best for cold weather jackets. In other words, if you are one of those yogis who like to wear their yoga clothes running errands – or even on days when you aren’t even thinking of stopping by the studio for a class – then know you are riding the wave of a hot new trend. As we have written about before, athleisure, as that fashion phenomenon is known, is a big deal. From a general style trend perspective, several yoga lines introduced products made from very soft fabrics like bamboo. Tasc, which has headquarters in vibrant New Orleans, is introducing a yoga/athleisure line made from bamboo. These fabrics feel better than silk, plus have natural wicking and antimicrobial properties (translated: help reduce that post-workout sweaty feel and smell). This line features bright colors and eye catching patterns. But most of the other brands we saw featured muted colors and classic black basics, including Columbia and a new brand called Coliseum. Cory Vines, a Canadian-based designer, is introducing a Spring Summer 2016 line that combines soft bamboo fabric with elegant black meshing and burnouts. Pieces from that


line could easily be worn at night on the town. My favorite piece from that line (and possibly in general at this point) is a black mesh zip jacket that perfectly drapes one’s curves. Another general trend we noticed was that the higher price point brands offered pant pr legging materials that were fairly compressive. Lower rend brands seemed to have more give, but also less stretch recovery. In addition to yoga clothes, we looked for accessories and supportive gear. Below are a few of our favorites.

The Planet Zak “Hydra Trak” Water Bottle

OK, I know, this is a water bottle. But it’s a really great one. Whether you are doing hot yoga, or conventional, you need a good water bottle. This one has an insulated double wall, a straw, a flap that can seal the straw hole to prevent spills, and movable multi colored rings to help you track how much water you’ve consumed in a given day, or the number of yoga classes you’ve attended in a given week. It’s awesome.

Altra 2.5 Zero Drop Running Shoes

Yes, I know, these are running shows. But with more and more yoga workouts being tied to other activities like running or circuit training, you need an athletic shoe versatile enough to work in multiple environments plus fashionable enough to look great with your sassy new yoga ensemble (more on that later).


This shoe is designed for multi use and has what Altra calls a “Zero Drop” footbed , where the heel and toes are equidistant from the ground. It also has a wide toe box, so that your feet won’t feel cramped after a good yoga workout. This shoe is also lightweight and available in a variety of colors.

ushering in a full line of yoga attire for 2016 that includes bras, sleeveless and long sleeved tops, a variety of fashion forward leggings and a gorgeous hoodie with a back cut out to die for.

Cobian Footwear

With the growing popularity of Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga as well as beachside yoga classes, we were curious to find out if any of the sandal brands popular with surfers were venturing into the yoga attire space. It seems like a natural fit, given the styling of many yoga clothes, and the overall causal nature of yoga attire. While none seemed to be zeroing in on yoga-philes, several are offering shoes that make an ideal companion to one’s favorite yoga attire, on beach or dry land, plus can slip on or off easily. At this show, Cobian was a standout, pun intended. We tried on a new version of their Braided Bounce line called the Lalati. It was like walking on a cloud, with arch support. The top straps were snug, but not too tight, and the cushy feel underfoot was just right, plus this shoe is available at a lower price point than many other brands. In addition, the heel bed is slightly higher than the toe bed, giving this shoe a slightly dressier look than a typical pair of flip flops.

Ahnu Yogasport

Ahnu is traditionally known for boots, sandals and performance wear. A few years ago the company introduced a shoe for wear to and from yoga called the Karma. This was one of the first shoes specially designed to go with yoga togs and has become one of the shoes most seen in yoga studios. For 2016, with the growing interest in all forms of yoga attire, as well as demand for shoes that can fit different types of workouts, Ahnu has introduced an entire yoga line of shoes called “Yogasport.” This includes a workout shoe designed for those days when you need to transition quickly from the gym to your yoga class and a new line of yoga clothes. Yopgasport also includes apparel, and that’s a big a big deal. This is the first time Ahnu has offered yoga pants or tops. Through a collaboration with a brand called Nux, Ahnu is


Lucy Women’s Activewear

We have talked about Lucy before in this column, and yes, we will again because their new line for 2016 says some very interesting things about the future (or at least near future) of yoga wear. While some brands are going crazy colorful, Lucy is staying put with more subdued hues, including our favorite blacks and grays. But they are also adding in a new line of fuller, looser yoga bottoms designed to be worn all the time. The new line for 2016 showcased at Summer OR, as it’s known, included culottes, palazzo pants and blousy pants that have “stay-put” ties at the cuff. This is a versatile line that you can dress up or down, depending on the day and your activities. At the show we spoke with the line’s marketing manager, who just happened to be wearing a pair of Capri’s from that line. While at the show, she was staying up in Park City – a mountain town 30 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City, best known for the Sundance Film Festival. Park City is also home to wonderful mountain hiking and earlier in the day she wore that same pair of Capri’s while hiking in the Rocky Mountain foothills. After we spoke she took in a yoga class wearing the same outfit. She says the focus for Lucy’s 2016 line is on pants, tops, bras and other pieces “you can wear everywhere” that are designed for style but also performance. Their 2016 line is keyed into what she called the “loose trend” that helps you just get going, wherever that may be, without unnecessary downtime making costume changes.

That’s just a sample of the many new clothes and accessories we saw. We’ll have more for you in future issues of Yoga Digest in my “Fashion & Function” column. So stay tuned! Glenna can be reached at or


Maintain Harmony

This Holiday Season

Ayurveda With



t’s the most magnificent time of the year, an enchanted time of merrymakings, feasts and generous gifts. Every holiday has a ritual, a history that enlightens the reason for rejoicing it. In day-to-day life people are busy working and dealing with pressures. That’s why in every culture, holidays provide an indispensable break. It’s also the best time to appreciate your family and friends. Unfortunately it also can be a time for over-eating, over-drinking, over-working and over-stressing.


Between the never-ending shopping adventures, traveling, and festivities; one is likely to spiral themselves into a season of out-of-control activities and stress binge. Of course, none of this is inescapable. With a little help from Ayurveda and your own mindfulness, we can stay happy and healthy throughout the chaos that the holidays may bring. Whether you are traveling or staying home, these simple reminders will keep you energized and fit all season long. WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

Stay in a routine

Warm Oil Massage

Nothing creates more anxiety than an inconsistent routine. When there is certainty, there is less anxiety. Start by waking up and going to sleep at the same time; try to have meals at the same time every day, and set a time for a daily walk, meditation or yoga. Trying to keep an optimal sleep cycle, eating schedule and exercise routine is a very effective way of keeping balance throughout this season of celebration.

Use warm sesame or almond oil and add a drop of lavender essential oil to calm the mind and nervous system. Do self-body massage and wrap yourself in a warm bathrobe. Rest for at least 15 minutes and concentrate on your breathing. A warm oil massage will boost energy level during the day and induce peaceful sleep at bed time.

Make healthy digestion a priority During this season of parties, potlucks and Christmas cookies it is easy to over tax our digestion; leading one to sluggishness, toxic build-up and ailment. Some humble ways to keep digestion sturdy are to avoid grazing, eating without hunger, overeating. Eating well-cooked, flavorful meals will help to aid digestion. Avoid raw foods and eat local, seasonal foods that are fully cooked and served warm. Stews and soups are all excellent options during the winter months. Turmeric and ginger are anti-inflammatory and help to strengthen the digestive fire (agni). Cayenne is especially helpful in eliminating mucus and flushing toxins from the body. Garlic is also heating and supports heart heath. Avoid iced beverages, opting for room-temperature or warm drinks.

Herbal Teas

Most yoga poses can be relaxing when done slowly and with breath awareness. Shoulder stand (sarvangasana), plow pose (halasana), half spinal twist (ardha matsyendrasana), locust pose (shalabhasana), and lion pose (simhasana) are great for stress relief. Meditation is different for everyone. Choose the one that fits you. Take a 5 min Shavasana, enjoy a 10 min Yoga Nidra or do a Deep Breathing exercise. Whatever you choose to do, concentrate on being in the present, being aware of your body, and your breath.

Letting Go We tend to hold on to memories, experiences and feelings and more so to the negatives. The similar festive setups and individuals can at times stir back memories, experiences and, feelings causing of grief. Gently remind yourself of your strengths, love and compassion. The art of letting go and forgiveness is the best gift you can give it to yourself.

Namaste and Happy Holidays!

Meenakshi Gupta was classically trained in India and has been practicing and teaching Ayurveda worldwide since 1998. She has natural flair for a life devoted to the study and practice of ancient Indian science. Her specialties are wellness counseling, lifestyle management, and Panchakarma therapies (natural detox & rejuvenation). You may reach Meenakshi at


Luxury ayurvedic spa photo by Poznyakov/Sutterstock, Cayenne Pepper photo by showcake/Sutterstock, Asian herbal tea photo by Wichy/Sutterstock, Yoga at sunset on the beach photo by Evgeny Atamanenko/Sutterstock

Meditation and Yoga

Age-proven plants like chamomile, brahmi (gotu kola), tulsi (holy basil), peppermint, licorice root, or valerian root have a calming stress relieving effect. Ginger is a vital daily necessity during these times of heavy foods, drinking and overall sluggishness. This sharp and penetrating root is a great way to keep your digestion robust, your metabolism strong, remove toxins and keep the energy flowing.

Vegetarian Holiday Appetizers Under

s e i r o l a C 0 20 Stuffed Baby Baked Potatoes Serves - 16

Serving Size - 2 pieces


16 small red potatoes Salt and pepper ½ cup sour cream 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives ½ cup shredded cheese


Mini jacket potatoes photo by travellight/Sutterstock, Homemade Baked Stuffed Mushrooms photo by Brent Hofacker/Sutterstock, Cashew with salt photo by lOvE lOvE/Sutterstock

1. Scrub potatoes well, place in a pan and cover with cold water by at least 1 inch. Add 1 tsp. salt, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are tender and a knife can be inserted easily, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain; let cool. 2 Cut each potato in half crosswise. Trim a small slice from the bottom of each half so it stands upright. 3. With a melon baller or teaspoon, remove center of each potato, leaving a ¼-inch border. Put potato flesh in a bowl and mash with sour cream; season with salt and pepper. Fill each potato half with sour cream mixture and sprinkle with chives and cheese.



Greek Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Serves - 12 Serving Size - 4 mushrooms


24 button mushrooms 2 roma tomatoes, diced 1 cup of spinach, finely chopped ¼ cup red onion, diced ½ cup crumbled feta cheese balsamic glaze


1. Preheat oven to 350. 2. Wash and remove stems from mus hrooms and place on a baking sheet. 3. Toss next 4 ingredients in a sma ll bowl until evenly blended. Fill each mushroo m cap with mixture. 4. Bake for 10 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve immediately.

Hot Curried Nuts Serves - 12 Serving Size - 2 tablespoons


1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted 1 ½ teaspoon honey 2 cups cashews ⅛ teaspoon sea salt ⅛ teaspoon cayenne 1 teaspoon curry powder dash of black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350°. 2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl with a sealable lid. Shake until blended and nuts are evenly coated. 3. Spread nuts evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.


Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip Serves - 12 Serving Size - 1/2 cup


½ cup sour cream pepper ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black ½ teaspoon garlic powder drained and chopped 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, d spinach, thawed, ppe 1 (10-ounce) package frozen cho drained, and squeezed dry cheese, softened 1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream ese, softened che m 1 (8-ounce) block fat-free crea , shredded and ese che 6 ounces part-skim mozzarella divided (about 1 ½ cups) ed and divided 1 ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, grat (about 1/4 cup)



Photo by cobraphotography/Sutterstock

1. Preheat oven to 350°. e bowl, stirring until 2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a larg mozzarella and 2 ) cup (1 well-blended. Add 4 ounces on mixture into Spo l. tablespoons Parmesan; stir wel baking dish. mic cera or a broiler-safe 1 ½-quart glass and remaining lla zare moz Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup 30 minutes. for ° 350 at e 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bak WWW.YOGADIG E ST.C O M

Grilled Jalapeño Poppers

Serves - 16 Serving Size - 2 jalapenos


8 oz. cream cheese, softened ½ cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parm esan cheese ½ cup finely chopped seeded tom ato 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thym e 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cila ntro ½ teaspoon sea salt 16 jalapeño peppers, seeded and cut in half lengthwise


1. Prepare grill to medium-high hea t. 2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Spoon about 2 teaspoo ns of cheese mixture into each pepper half. Place pepper halves, cheese side up, on grill. Grill peppers 5 minutes or until bottoms of peppers are charred and cheese mixture is lightly browne d. Carefully place peppers on a serv ing platter. Serve immediately.


Benefits of Spices BY JAY FISHMAN / CEO / GROUND 2 TABLE


efore we had pharmaceuticals, plants were our medicine for preventative and healing purposes. Many of the herbs and spices found in everyday cooking have powerful and positive effects on our health, and can be an integral in avoiding or recovering from a disease. Sometimes, though, trying to consciously incorporate these beneficial plants into our everyday meals proves to be more challenging and time-consuming than we are prepared for. Luckily Ground 2 Table, an organic food company, has made

this task so much simpler by developing 12 perfectly portioned sugar, salt, and GMO free blends to add flavor and accessible wellbeing to all of your meals. All twelve blends are packed with beneficial herbs and spices, loaded with delicious, superior flavor, and are an effortless addition to any meal or snack. Who knew healthy living could taste so good – and be so easy? If you are interested in getting your hands on your own set of these fabulous blends, you can find them at

Bunch of basil, rosemary and sage photo by Vitalina Rybakova/Sutterstock, Methi, fenugreek leaves photo by bonchan/Sutterstock, Red chili photo by Nattika/Sutterstock

Wondering which herbs or spices will start your body off right? Here are a few of our favorites. Cayenne, one of the predominant

Basil and Rosemary, two of the

Fenugreek, one of the key spic-

ingredients in Spice Blend 3 – a dynamic and zippy taco seasoning – is a warming circulatory stimulant and is also a powerful aid to immune support, making it a must-have spice during cold and flu season. Add this blend to hummus for a little extra kick or use it as part of a dry-rub or marinade for meat or tofu.

primary ingredients in Spice Blend 9 have powerful effects on the digestive system, with basil relieving pain and bloating, and rosemary facilitating the digestion of fats and starches. Add this highly aromatic herbal blend to your healthy homemade tomato sauce, roasted vegetables, or mid-week chicken dinner for an added flavorful flair.

es in cinnamon-spice Blend 12, has been shown to lower blood sugar levels making it a must-have food in a diabetic diet. Mix this delicious sweet or savory blend into your morning oatmeal or post-workout smoothie to start your day off right and filled with energy.


Winter Wellness:

Ayurvedic Seasonal Tips for Self-Care BY KIERA NACHMAN

WHAT TO AVOID RAW FOODS AND SALADS These are difficult to digest in Vata season, and will unbalance you during this time. Summer (Pitta season) is the best time to eat raw vegetables. Bitter, astringent and pungent foods. Indulge instead in sweet, salty and sour tastes, which will balance Vata. LEFTOVERS, RAW FOODS, CANNED FOODS, PROCESSED FOODS These will aggravate Vata. Eating fresh, homemade, sattvic meals is best for Vata types. COFFEE AND CAFFEINATED TEA Especially for Vata-dominant types, these are too stimulating. Consume in moderation. DRY SNACK FOODS This includes chips, popcorn, crackers, and dry, cold cereal.


In the wintertime, when we look around us, our environment is cold, windy, and dry. A fundamental rule in Ayurveda is that like increases like. So, if we are in a season that has certain qualities, we want to bring the opposite qualities into our diet and lifestyle, so that we don’t fall out of balance - and fall prey to disease. Vata season lasts from approximately mid-October to the end of February. Since our external environment during this time is light, cold and dry, we want to avoid these characteristics in the foods we choose. Instead, incorporate heavy, warming, moist, and nourishing foods and remedies into your daily life. Also, digestion is stronger in winter, so please stay mindful that our bodies can consume larger portions of food than in other seasons. Let’s take some time for ourselves this winter season, by incorporating some Ayurvedic Ritucharya tips into our daily life. The health benefits will last into the spring and beyond.

Kiera Nachman is an Ayurvedic practitioner based in New York

City, where she has a private practice. Kiera created Sundara Holistic, an Ayurvedic skincare and wellness brand, with a commitment to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. Sundara Holistic products are 100% natural and non-toxic, using only food-grade and plant-based ingredients.


Winter landscape photo by Triff/Sutterstock, Lentil soup photo by Anna_Pustynnikova/Sutterstock


inter. Just the thought of it can make us want to flee to the tropics until the first sign of spring. When we are faced with the long, cold winter months, we immediately get the urge to hibernate. This may not be the worst idea - there is good reason for our bodies to be sending us this message. While summertime is often filled with a busy social calendar and time spent basking in the sun, winter is the perfect season to look within, and nurture your body and mind. Ayurveda, the ancient holistic system of health and healing - and yoga’s sister science - teaches us how to live within the laws and rhythms of nature. As humans, we are actually inseparable from nature. According to Ayurveda, we are made of the same material as the rest of the universe: we are a microcosm of the macrocosm. So, as the seasons shift, so do our bodies. In order to stay in balance, stay healthy and avoid disease, we must follow a seasonal routine, or Ritucharya.

Comfort Zone Out of



Kurt Johnsen

The Yoga of Sushi It happens almost every time I go. Even as I drive to my favorite place, I know later that evening I’ll be rummaging through the fridge for a snack. I understand that for many, sushi is problematic. I have friends, particularly those who enjoy hunting and fishing, who say, “sushi’s no more than overpriced bait.” And yes, when you break it down by cost per ounce, sushi doesn’t seem like a very good value. But hey, I love sushi and it’s a great example of yoga! That doesn’t mean that you’re going to find the best pose for digesting raw and exotic foods here. No, the elements of yoga I see on display at my favorite purveyor of Japanese cuisine are some of the deeper -- yet most often overlooked -- variety. They are elements at the very heart of the true nature of yoga: pure awareness and simple enjoyment. The awareness is apparent as soon as you walk into a true sushi restaurant. Right away, the busy yet agile knife-wielding masters pause from their work to recognize your arrival and greet you with a respectful bow. There’s a classic yoga opening: paying attention to someone walking and offering a bow as a sign of greeting and respect. It’s just another form of Namaste or “the divine in me honors the divine in you.” As you watch them create each piece of sushi, it becomes apparent that they are truly focused, or as we say in yoga, fully present. The cleanliness and meticulous organization of each workstation demonstrates the same deep caring, absolute attention, and discipline that are the cornerstones of a yogic life. As they slice, perfect and uniform pieces of the highest quality ingredients, we can see that they display our true currency of life: attention. Attention to every movement and, indeed, every piece of fish. When finished with each ingredient, they thoughtfully place it where it can wait for the next individual to enjoy. As for me, it all starts with the respect I bring to these establishments. I know they will recognize and acknowl-

edge me so I come ready to connect (connect, yes, yoga). I’m not rushing in on my cell phone, indicating with a couple of fingers the number of chairs required. I recall the words of the ever concise and a bit enigmatic, Lao Tzu, who advised us to be “courteous, like a houseguest.” I nod to the talented men behind the counter and reserve a smile for the ever-polite server who hands me the menu. The offerings are actually quite simple, usually made up of just a few ingredients. Like the poses and practices of yoga, the simple yet very deep combinations are profound and powerful. While here, I try to refrain from my usual style of eating (which, I’ve been told, closely resembles a seagull eagerly gulping down a meal). When surrounded by so many examples of yoga I adjust and slow everything down, taking time to first notice and then appreciate the look, smell, feel, and taste of every morsel, one at a time. Just as I teach in my classes, I try to slow life down to a breath – or in this case, a bite -- at a time. In sushi, as in life, quality overrides quantity every time.

Kurt Johnsen is the founder of the nationally recog-

nized 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.

Interact with Kurt at 82


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