Quotes

There’s no doubt that food is a large part of holidays. Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas Ham- it just wouldn’t be the same without these classics! While I am a vegetarian, I still appreciate the tradition of holiday food and enjoy how it brings people together. Modifying my diet has taken a lifetime, but I’ve ultimately decided that I feel better about myself mentally and physically when I fuel with the right things. Many people have a ‘to hell with it’ attitude this time of year, but there are so many options to lighten your holiday feast, without sacrificing taste.

I am absolutely not advocating you switch all the sugar to splenda (EW!) and only use skim milk; my own diet consists of small portions of full fat/full sugar whole foods. But you can eat during the holidays without getting blah, groggy, or full of high fructose corn syrup.

This year I made a delicious chocolate cake using 100% raw, vegan ingredients. It’s decadent and delicious, with healthy fats, natural sugars and zero guilt. It will turn even your most carnivorous friends into raw food lovers! Here are the stats for the main ingredients:

Hazelnuts:

  • Hazelnuts have a high amount of vitamin E in addition to B vitamins, including folate. Vitamin E is important in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. The B vitamins are important in proper cell and energy metabolism. Hazelnuts are also a rich source of potassium, calcium and magnesium. The minerals provide many health benefits, including regulating a healthy blood pressure.
  • Hazelnuts contain heart-healthy fats that can protect heart health. Specifically, they are high in healthy polyunsaturated and mononunsaturated fats and low in unhealthier unsaturated fats. Hazelnuts are a good source of oleic acid. Oleic acid can help to lower levels of bad cholesterol, LDL, and can raise levels of good cholesterol, HDL, in the body.

Dates:

  • Dates contain many minerals, including potassium, copper, sulfur, iron and magnesium. Dates are a particularly good source of calcium, which helps promote strong teeth and bones. Dates are also a good, low-fat source of fiber.

Cacao:

  • One of the main health benefits of chocolate is its high concentration of antioxidants. It’s a superfood! If you want the best hardcore antioxidant power of cacao beans/seeds, then you will want to get it in its natural raw state – nothing added, nothing taken away.
  • It’s got phenylethylamine, which is a mood enhancers. In combination with theobromine, phenylethylamine can elevate your mood because it is a super low potency antidepressant that works similar to the body’s endogenous dopamine and adrenaline. The serotonin also balances your mood.
  • Essential Minerals: magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese
  • Essential Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and Pantothenic acid
  • Other fun stuff: It’s an anti-aging superfood, it can increase circulation, and help sharpen your focus due to it’s synergistic effect on your body, blood, and more!

SOURCE

If you’re interested in the recipe, give me a shout below!

More holiday recipes for Yogis to come!

Fuel III: Yogi Christmas Cake!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Click either picture to download

I wanted to share with you a recent addition I’ve made to my home practice. If you have an Iphone, Android, or other smartphone, you should check this out. You may recognize Pocket Yoga Builder from Starbuck’s Pick of the Week, which is where I picked up my promotional code for this cool App. Unlike other yoga apps, you can easily create sequences as it suggests appropriate poses when you are building your practice. It has a huge range of poses, from the simplest to the most advanced. I like that it’s intuitive and can be taken anywhere.

You can email your practice to friends who have the app and they can open it right from their phone. You can also email a PDF of your practice and send it to itunes. After this app came out, friends and family started requesting I build them sequences…here are my favorites:

Power Flow I – 25 min fast paced vinyasa flow

Flexibility I – 23 min restorative cocktail of hatha and vinyasa

If you have the app, feel free to email me at littlewindmillyoga@gmail.com and I can send you the iphone/ipad version of these flows!

Home practice: Pocket Yoga Builder

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A couple posts ago I wrote about the Icelandic Naked Yoga Project. While this project was largely showing a beautiful connection between raw landscape and real, imperfect people; it got me curious about the actual practice of naked yoga. This is a real thing, it exists in many studios and gyms across the country.

In my own city, Seattle, there is The Yoga Den. It’s a men-only studio that hosts clothed and naked yoga classes a couple times a week. I contacted them with a few questions:

Sti: What are the benefits of doing yoga in the nude?

John:

  • It allows one to be and/or become comfortable with one’s body as well as others. So much of society and media place stigma’s on our physique. By accepting one’s own body as well as someone else’s regardless of size, shape or age, a deeper sense contentment and self awareness can be experienced.
  • it allows more freedom of movement. Really.
  • it can bring a deeper sense of focus. By being aware of obvious distractions, one can take their mental and emotional awareness to a deeper and more personal level by keeping their attention on their own mat.
  • It’s fun! Anything that is fun creates happiness and contentment. Can’t go wrong there.
S: Why offer only men’s naked yoga and not women’s?
J: Men in general are still unsure of yoga. Most studio / schools / classes are predominately attended by women. The Yoga Den was created as a place where men, straight or gay, could learn more about the practice of yoga in their own community. The Yoga Den offers both clothed and naked classes. The naked aspect of the class was to create a space for men to be comfortable with themselves in a non-challenging, non-sexual atmosphere.
S: How many men are in a typical class?
J: Class size varies week to week. Average class is about 5 to 10 students.
S: Are there any notable transformation stories of men who do men’s naked yoga?
J: Many guys attend class to see what it is about. For some it has been a challenge to get naked in a room full of strangers or friends and then do a physical exercise. They may be nervous because they have never done yoga or have never done it naked. There have been many guys who have attended class never having done yoga let alone a naked class and walk away with a huge relaxed smile. Self confidence is built by challenging one’s preconceptions and normalcy. Classes have been attended by guys that are over weight, have physical or health issues or major scarring from burns or surgery. Exposing what may create insecurity in a non-judgemental atmosphere can have incredible healing affects. A lot of guys just think it is fun! We shed our clothes and our ego and acknowledge ourselves and each other as equals.

S: How in the world do you do crow pose when you’re nude and sweaty?

J: There are always plenty of towels at hand. 🙂

Thank you for the information, John.

I am as guilty as anyone of analyzing other people’s appearances during class. But when everyone is nude- everyone is vulnerable. I can see how that would make me feel very free.

I’d love to hear about anyone’s experiences with naked yoga!

nude yoga

Tagged , , , , ,