Category Archives: music

I am a miracle made up of particles

Bodies of info performing such miracles.
I am a miracle made up of particles.
and in this existence,
I’ll stay persistent,
and I’ll make a difference
and I will have lived it.

A quote from one of my new favorite songs in the world. Just talking about music rarely does it justice, so I encourage you to download and enjoy this empowering song.

Free download of the piano version here!

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Confessions: Hippie Dippie Things I Love

My salt candle

I love my Himalayan salt crystal candle holder. This candle holder works like an air purifier, emitting negative ions that fight against positively charged particles that cause us to feel stuffy and sluggish. It can help reduce allergens and also removes excess moisture from the air. Each one is different, and they look really beautiful. Throw a bee’s wax candle in there and you’ve got a beautiful living air cleaner! I got mine from friends over at Salt Room Yoga.hippiedippie-6

Juicing/kombucha/coconut water

I practice hot yoga daily, and would totally be that girl who asks if you ‘want to grab a coconut water after class.’ Kombucha is full of probiotics and amazing when you want something fizzy. We have a citrus juicer and Breville juice fountain in our kitchen, and use them regularly. Seattlites check out my favorite juice company in the world, Strawberry Moon Juice.

Krishna Das

The longer I do yoga, the more I get into kirtan and other new age music (this IS a confessions post!). I really think KD has an amazing voice, as does Enya(Yeah, I said it!) and other artists of that genre. I’ve taken to playing KD’s song Baba Hanuman at the end of my class most days, just because I love the vibration and good vibe it sets.

DIY homemade beauty products

I make my own shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, bath salts, exfoliating scrubs, room freshener, and soon my own dish soap. I just get fed up with all the yucky stuff in beauty products nowadays, so I decided to make my own so I can have full control of what goes on my body. All of my beauty products are completely edible and less than 4 ingredients. hippiedippie-5

On the left are some essential oils which I also love, but probably don’t merit their own category.

Hemp Products

On the far left you can see my beloved hemp hand scrub, and that’s just the beginning of my love for hemp products. I always have hemp seeds on hand, they are a high protein seed containing all nine of the essential amino acids. It also has high amounts of fatty acids and fiber as well as containing vitamin E and trace minerals. It has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats at around a three to one ratio. They are also more easily digested than flax seeds.

Hemp seed oil is delicious on salads and hemp milk in my favorite for hot chocolate. Because hemp is one of the strongest and most abundant crops to grow, that makes it a more sustainable option that many other types of fabric. It’s also a very strong fiber, even our first american flag was sewn from hemp fabric!

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Herbal tinctures

Herbs are so powerful! My very favorites are Kava Kava, which naturally gives you an ‘it’s all good’ feeling, and Skullcap, which calms your nerves and quiets a chattering mind. The ‘Detox’ tincture with burdock, fennel, and dandelion was gifted to me when I went on my cleanse to help my liver clean my blood more efficiently. I even began making my own tinctures in the last couple months. That’s pretty hippie dippie, eh?hippiedippie-3

Ethically sourced foods

Organic, grass-fed, local, cage-free, fair trade, GMO free, all of that crap. When you do yoga, you really start to be keenly aware of how you’re fueling your body and get freaked out by all the alien ingredients in food nowadays. Farmer’s markets are my gig, which is pretty hippie dippie, but local is really important to me because I like to know the money stays in my own region instead of going to some distant corporation.

Thanks to a slew of netflix documentaries I’ve watched recently, ethical treatment and the diet of animals is VERY important to me. When we buy eggs or cream at the farmer’s market, I always ask- “Are you nice to your cows?” or “Are your chickens happy?” It was a particularly disturbing scene in the documentary Vegucated that sparked this. A woman in the documentary called up a farm that claimed to be organic/grassfed/ethical only to get some startling information about the treatment of their animals.

My cats

It’s not the mere fact that I love my cats that makes it hippie dippie, but maybe the extent of how much I love them and believe they love me too. Which is a lot. I hope they also hold some value for me other than the required duties of a pet owner that make our lives run smoother. I know they don’t understand my words when I say ‘I love you,’ but I believe that they feel it.

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Sushi Monster & Oliver

Yoga cat. Yes, I know I'm hyperextending my elbows.

Yoga cat. Yes, I know I’m hyperextending my elbows.

I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones I’ve been making fun of myself about lately.

Time to ‘fess up! What are your hippie dippie loves?

 

 

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Imagine Yoga: Flow in the Glow of Chihuly

Thanks to Lululemon Athletica Pacific Place for this free event that drew a line of over 300 yogis around the block!

Sanga, kula, samajam, graama… It’s no wonder there are so many sanskrit words for community. There’s something about the energy of a full room of people moving and breathing in sync with one another that draws people from miles away!

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The Glasshouse

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My view from savasana

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Flowing in a different light

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Shaking it out!

This was a fun event, I can’t wait to see what the Seattle yoga community has in store for summer!

Namaste!

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FEEL THE MUSIC

I’ve been going a little crazy over Kirtan style music recently. When I was training at the Baptiste Institute, there was no music during practice at all. I understand- for some it can be distracting and take away from their experience going inward. I was going a little bit insane. For me, music can only ADD to my yoga experience, it gets me out of my head and into my breath. Making and listening to music is such a natural instinct of being human, it awakens some powerful, joyful emotions in us that nothing else can.

Music is so powerful. I’ll never forget the song that played at my grandfather’s funeral, the song that played during my first middle school slow dance, or any of the words to the songs in The Lion King. There is nothing I love more than flowing through my Sun A’s and B’s with a nice beat vibrating through my being. I’ll never forget the Led Zeppelin theme class I took at Urban Yoga Spa, when our practice was finished with a harmonium lullaby at Brooklyn Yoga School, or the Go W/ The Flow music based yoga tour in Seattle.

A little bit about Kirtan & Sanskrit. Kirtan music is a Sanskrit chanting/repeating style mantras in song. Sanskrit is the oldest language known to man. It’s based on vibrations, the root sounds. A Sanskrit word is not a word chosen to name something, but an actual reflection of the inherent ‘sound’ of that object, concept or phenomena.  Perfect pronunciation of Sanskrit words can replicate the exact nature or essence, of that which it is referring to. So what? you say, I don’t know what they’re saying anyways. I think of it like an orchestra. You hear the violins, and even though they’re not speaking words or a language you understand, it still feels very emotionally charged and registers as something beautiful.

For teachers: In my class, I play the ‘Omstrimental’ versions of MC Yogi songs, which include the chants and music with no other words, it’s perfect. You can find all of his songs wordless on iTunes.

I will write very soon all about Sanskrit Mantras, but for now I wanted to share with you some of my favorite ‘remixed’ Kirtan songs. I’m apparently the last Yogi to hop on the Krishna Das bandwagon, but now I can’t get enough of him.

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Little Windmill- A 2012 Retrospect

Little Windmill – A 2012 Retrospect from christina russo on Vimeo.

I AM NOT PERFECT.

BUT I AM EXACTLY WHERE I NEED TO BE.

May all beings everywhere be happy, healthy, and free in 2013 & always.

Namaste,

Little Windmill

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same love

Same Love. It’s such a simple notion. However, the issue of who we choose  to love continues to cause controversy across the world.

Yoga teaches self acceptance. It teaches us to look inside ourselves and take the things we love and accept the things we don’t. Yoga, as my incredible mentor Silvia Mordini often says, helps us to “accept the full spectrum of our being.”

I got into yoga for the physical aspects. I wanted a yoga body, but by the time I reached that point, it was an afterthought to all of the emotional and spiritual benefits I had gained. While yoga can give you physical results, it first teaches you to not only be comfortable in your own skin but be proud of your body; the magnificent vessel that carries you through your life. Yoga teaches us that it’s OKAY to not be perfect! Everything you’re not makes you everything you are.

I found that if you can accept yourself, you can much more easily accept and see the true beauty in others. Even if you don’t fully understand another person’s life, yoga gives you an open and loving perspective on humanity. This video is an amazing example from a seattle musician of embracing love in any way it may manifest itself.  If it’s love, how could it be wrong?

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This moment of clarity, this moment of honesty

practicing arm balances

There comes a moment when the dust settles and you can begin to prioritize. Choosing to focus on the things in your life that make your heart sing. Choosing to get rid of the things that don’t belong.

Relax with what is. This has been my mantra lately. Let go of how things were, how things might be. Just be okay with how things are right now.

My life feels more complicated every day. Returning to the simplicity of movement gives me the opportunity to go inward and see things with clarity, with honesty.

Sorry. There’s no “how to” or “tips” for this post. Each person has to figure their shit out in their own time, and that’s the beauty of it.

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Refresh

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“Take a deep breath, release stress, please rest-
Be blessed by a heartbeat and the essence of these texts
Peace kept with what the deity left: respect
And let the breeze lead me in these steps, we set
to reach the peak lest we meet death, terrestrial – at the
Sweet behest of the celestial decree-yes
Repeat “yes” we defeat weakness
Deep breath, feel the steez in effect, and let the breeze refresh…”

Common Market

Namaste everyone! We’ve made it to Friday…

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yoga & music

I know there are a lot of people  in debate about the concept of playing music in yoga class. I see your point- yoga should be for quieting the mind, listening to only your breath and your body. But I LOVE music during yoga. I was raised in a musical family, and have been a pianist for years so I might be extra sensitive to the feelings that music can evoke. Anything to enhance the experience of the student and help them connect is a good thing, in my opinion.

Urban Yoga Spa occasionally offers amazing themed classes “Get the Led Out” Led Zeppelin power vinyasa, “Lighten Up” pop music power vinyasa, Madonna, etc. They are fun and really get you out of your routine. I recently did a two hour ‘music intense’ class and what really picked me up was “Don’t Stop Believin'” played right in the middle of our flow. That’s all it takes- something to break you out of any frustration you have and get you to smile. I think it’s very possible to have a focused practice accompanied by music. At The Grinning Yogi, a new studio in Seattle, the concept of every class is based around music.

I am CONSTANTLY looking for new music for my practice and imagining what songs I’ll play in classes of my own someday. I’ll only share two today, because if you’re like me, you get excited to get brand new music all the time. I swear, this is good shit.

My Current playlists-

Salutations. A high energy playlist I pair with a modified Baptiste flow. It was made for Vinyasa!

Don’t Panic. For a more mellow, restorative session with lots of fun, focused experimentation.

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