Yoga

Sound Healing and Meditation This Friday!

Sound Healing with Quartz Crystal Bowls combines sound and vibration to foster a sense of deep peace and greater harmony on all levels. During this season of giving and joy, of drawing friends and family near, it is important to remember that self-care is a necessity. You have more and better to give to all you do when you are taking steps to maintain balance and well-being in your life. After all, you can’t give those pies away until the apples have been lovingly fed, watered and tended within, right? Please bring a yoga mat or a blanket so you can rest comfortably. Chairs will also be provided if you prefer to sit in a chair. No prior experience with yoga or meditation is required.

Date: Friday, November 24th

Time: 4-4:30pm

Location: Babies in Bloom, 1948 Via Centre, Vista CA

Admission is $5.

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It’s Labor Day at Babies in Bloom!

Just a reminder… Babies in Bloom will be open on Labor Day. And Baby & Me and Toddler & Me Yoga will be happening at their regularly scheduled times- 9:30am and 11am, respectively. As always, please bring a mat if you have one. I hope to see you there! Wishing a happy, safe, and healthy holiday to all!!

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Pumpkin pie for breakfast?

Although it  currently feels like the dog days of summer here in Southern California, fall has arrived. One of the clearest signs of fall is the presence of pumpkin spice everything… everywhere. The lure of the mountainous displays of fall goodies has been a running topic of conversation among the expectant mamas in my prenatal classes. So much so that I promised this yummy, yummy (and nutritious) pumpkin smoothie recipe that is a fall favorite of mine. But first some fun facts about the benefits of eating pumpkin:

  • High in fiber for healthy digestion
  • Rich in carotenoids, which makes it both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
  • Good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin E

So there you have it… delicious and so good for you. What’s not to love? I highly recommend roasting the seeds as suggested in the recipe. They make a great snack and taste like popcorn! So, without further ado…

Fall Pumpkin Smoothie

1 can (8 oz) pumpkin or 1 cup boiled or steamed organic pumpkin meat
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg        
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 banana
1/2 cup purified water

Bonus super ingredient: 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

If using a fresh pumpkin, use a small one, as they are better for cooking. Cut the pumpkin open; remove seeds (you can was and dry the seeds in the oven on a low temperature, 225 degrees. Remove the pumpkin stem, then cut the pumpkin into 2- to 3-inch squares of meat and skin. Steam for 15-20 minutes, until the meat is soft. Scrape meat away from the skin. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to one week. Use one cup of pumpkin meat per smoothie. Blend all ingredients once pumpkin has been prepared.

from Chakra Tonics by Elise Marie Collins

Enjoy!
 

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hOMework: Brahmacharya

Repost from my teacher training hOMework:

Brahmacharya has always been the most abstract yama for me. And, I’ve heard it defined many different ways. Moderation? Celibacy?? Continence? I wasn’t even sure of the meaning of that one- really, what does that mean? Words are a favorite pastime of mine, especially the etymology of words. So, I did what I do, and sure enough! Continence comes from Latin ‘continens’ [con (with) + tenere (to hold)]. To hold within? To contain. I’ve often heard Brahmacharya associated with one’s ‘vital energy’. So, is it about containing my vital energy? What is my vital energy? Can I feel it? After considering this, I decided that I can feel my vital energy, and I feel it most powerfully after meditation, asana, and spiritual practices. Also, I feel its absence in other situations when I feel ‘zapped’. Deflated.

My bodies are a heart-shaped balloon. My vital energy inflates it and keeps it aloft. When I step away from my Sadhana, I begin to lose altitude. Challenges in ‘the real world’ cause my mind to stress, worry, and plan. My balloon starts sinking toward the briar patch.

This week, I decided to stay in touch with my vital energy and monitor what inflates my balloon and what torpedoes it. I was amazed at how much I could feel my balloon rise and fall. I began charting its ups and downs and listing the associated activities. As the list began to grow, I noticed that their labels could also be ‘sattvic things’ and ‘tamasic things’. I began focusing on bringing a sattvic quality to my actions, thoughts, food, intention, etc. I felt my balloon soaring! As it would dip, I noticed that a rajasic or tamasic thought would usually initiate the drop, so I focused on stopping my mind at the first negative thought and countering it with an affirmation that would pump the balloon back up.

It didn’t take long to realize that coming back to Source and giving Source its proper due was the key to smooth sailing. In fact, Source is the One filling up the balloon. When it comes to sailing over the briar patch, a simple ‘I love you, Shakti. You’re doing a great job’ works better than any amount of effort. For me, Brahmacharya is about conserving our vital energy so that we may redirect it back to Source. Any action that is not feeding that reciprocal exchange is like throwing gold into the abyss. My experiments in vital energy this week showed me very clearly that any kind of excess or action that feeds the ego has the net result of one droopy little balloon. Stick with sattva! Stick with Source! Fly high!

Love and blessings-
Holly

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Sleep Like a Baby… Yoga for Better Sleep

We’ve all heard that getting adequate sleep is crucial to our overall health and well-being. Just one night of insufficient sleep can lead to moodiness, poor mental clarity and focus, and low physical energy. A prolonged pattern of sleep deprivation can even put us at a greater risk for certain diseases and health disorders.

As a new mom, I am more aware than ever of the rejuvenating, restoring bliss that is a good night’s sleep. One way I make the most of the precious hours of sleep I get is to take a few moments before bedtime to practice yoga postures that promote healthy, restful sleep. Here are a few of my favorites that can be done in the comfort of your bed!…

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle): This is my absolute favorite! I love this asana as a cool down during my classes, and it is a great way to wind down from your day as well. You can even use the pillows from your bed to enjoy a restorative version of the posture. It not only stretches the hips and groin area, which are areas where many of us hold tightness and tension, but it relaxes the mind and the sympathetic nervous system and promotes balance throughout the entire body. I find that placing one hand on the heart and the other on the abdomen is especially soothing. With the hands in place, focus on the rise and fall of the chest and abdomen as you breathe. And watch yourself drift into deeper and deeper relaxation…
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend): This asana is very calming for the central nervous system. It reduces anxiety, helping you to unwind. Physically, it stretches nearly all of the back body, from the Achille’s tendon into the upper back. For this reason, allow yourself to ease into the posture and watch the body open as you remain in the forward fold. Again, focus on the breathing for a deeper, more soothing experience of the asana- growing longer and more spacious on the inhale and relaxing and melting on the exhale. You can use pillows for a supported, restorative version, placing them along your legs and folding onto them.
Balasana (Child’s Pose): Child’s pose is commonly known as a resting posture. It is where I instruct my students to go if they need to rest or recenter during class. It has additional benefits, though, including a gentle stretch for the lower back, hips, feet, and ankles and a relaxing effect for the neck and shoulders. Child’s pose is said to balance all seven of the subtle body’s main chakras, or energy centers, and calm the central nervous system. Again, pillows may be used as a prop if your forehead does not comfortably reach to the bed. Place a pillow between your knees and lay over it, turning the head to one side.
Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall Pose): This one only works if your bed is against a wall, but it is wonderfully relaxing if you are able to do it. Viparita Karani is essentially a very, very gentle version of shoulderstand. It comes with the benefits of an inversion without the exertion that most inversions require. Having the feet raised allows the bloodflow to move into the upper body, which is deeply rejuvenating. Use a folded blanket under the pelvis. This elevates the heart above the head, moving circulation into the head and helping you to relax.
Reclining Twists: Reclining, or supine, twists are a great way to stretch the back after a long day. The twisting action in the abdomen also aids digestion. If it feels okay for your neck, take your gaze in the opposite direction of the knees. This creates a spiral from the tailbone up to the crown of the head. If you have any neck sensitivity at all, keep your gaze either straight up or toward the same direction as the legs.

So, there you have it, my friends. Move through some or all of these asanas as you prepare for sleep and make the most of those hours you get. Gotta go now… time for a nap!

(Looking to get the gear to take sleepytime to the next level? Check out Casper mattresses… and thanks to them for inspiring this post!)

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New Weekly Class on Monday!

Create a solid foundation for your week with this hour-long yoga practice. A thorough, thoughtful warmup builds to an invigorating vinyasa sequence, with careful attention to breathing, alignment, and mind/body awareness. Finally, as class concludes, a cool down including restorative postures facilitates deep opening, relaxation, and rejuvenation. This class is appropriate for students of all levels of experience.

Hello, yoga lovers! Well, baby man is three months old now, and I am slowly regaining my strength and focus (hello, sleep deprivation!!…). The opportunity has arisen to begin teaching a weekly class on Monday evenings. I hope you will be to drop in and check it out!

Energize and Restore is a new weekly class at Ascension Holistic Healing Center in Bonsall, CA. It is a great little space, adjacent to a new age bookstore and cafe, next to the Bonsall Post Office on Highway 76.

This class will meet on Mondays at 6:30pm for one hour. The drop-in fee is $10, but class packages are also available. You can find more information about those here on Ascension’s website.

I’m so happy to have this opportunity to ease my way back into teaching again now that I am a momma of two. I hope that you join me and support this new adventure!

See you on the mat, my friends!!

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Yoga this week!!

Guess what??… December’s here!!! Can you believe it? We’ve officially arrived in the last month of 2013.

Fortunately, we are blessed and lucky enough here in Southern California to still have favorable weather for yoga at the beach. The last few Sundays have been absolutely gorgeous, and the view can’t be beat. We will be in action at the beach on Thursday at 9am and Sunday at 9:30am. Please bring a mat (and probably a towel for under your mat) if you plan to attend.

And the conditions are always warm and inviting at Black Sheep Yoga in Oceanside. I will be teaching Yoga 101 at Black Sheep on Wednesday at 10am and Sunday at 11am. Join me for an all-levels appropriate class that is built around mindfully practicing basic postures with careful attention given to alignment.

As Jason Crandell points out so astutely in my favorite quote of the week, “The best way to develop advanced postures is to practice simple, accessible postures with exquisite detail, attention and care. Basic poses will compound over time and allow you to do more challenging poses skillfully.” Start building those foundations with me this week, yoga lovers!

See you on the mat!

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Yoga this week!

Hello, friends and yoga lovers!

Another week, another opportunity to rock it on the mat with me! Several opportunities, actually… the first is tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10am at Black Sheep Yoga in Oceanside.

This is the schedule for the week:

♥ Wednesday, 10am – Yoga 101, Black Sheep Yoga
♥ Thursday, 9am – Yoga at the beach, details here
♥ Thursday, 6:30pm – All level flow, Black Sheep Yoga
♥ Friday, 12pm – The Rocket (heated vinyasa), Black Sheep Yoga
♥ Sunday, 9:30am – Yoga at the beach, details here
♥ Sunday, 11am – Yoga 101, Black Sheep Yoga

I hope that your week is off to a great start and that you can join me for a class or two to make it even better… see you on the mat!

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Yoga this week!

It’s November already! The Halloween decorations are down, and the holidays are fast approaching. What better way to stay centered and manage holiday stress than with yoga? Establish your holiday yoga foundation this week with me.

My first class this week will be on Wednesday at 10am at Black Sheep Yoga. I will be teaching Yoga 101, a foundational class with a strong emphasis on alignment.

I will also be teaching the following classes this week at Black Sheep:
♥ The Rocket (heated vinyasa), Friday at noon
♥ All level flow, Friday at 6pm
♥ Yoga 101, Sunday at 11am

…And believe it or not, we are still going strong at the beach! It’s actually supposed to be an overcast 80 degrees on Thursday. There will be an all level class at the beach on Thursday at 9am and Sunday at 9:30am.

That’s a whole lotta of yoga love, yoga lovers! I hope that you will join me for the party!

Happy November, and I’ll see you on the mat.

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Yoga this week!

Happy Tuesday, yoga lovers! I hope your week is off to a good start. Halloween is quickly approaching, but the weather is still beautiful and the skies are still sunny here on the coast. I will be teaching several classes this week- some at the beach and some at Black Sheep Yoga on Coast Highway- drop in for one (or all) of them and take your week to the next level 🙂

I will be at the beach teaching an all-level flow on Thursday at 9am and Sunday at 9:30am.

And I will be at the ever-awesome Black Sheep Yoga for the following classes this week:
-Yoga 101, Wednesday 10-11:15am
-All-level flow, Thursday 6:30-7:45pm
-The Rocket (heated), Friday 12-1pm
-All-level flow, Friday 6-7:15pm
-Yoga 101, Sunday 11-12:30pm

Please check out their website for additional details about location, pricing, etc.

There you have it, my friends. The only thing missing now is… you! See you on the mat!

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Upcoming Events

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12:00 pm Yoga @ VeraVia
Yoga @ VeraVia
Jul 21 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
VeraVia is an all-inclusive, luxury health and wellness retreat, located within the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, CA. Please visit VeraViaFit.com to learn more.
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12:00 pm Yoga @ VeraVia
Yoga @ VeraVia
Jul 22 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
VeraVia is an all-inclusive, luxury health and wellness retreat, located within the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, CA. Please visit VeraViaFit.com to learn more.
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9:30 am Prenatal Yoga Flow @ Cap Wellness Center
Prenatal Yoga Flow @ Cap Wellness Center
Jul 23 @ 9:30 am – 10:45 am
A 75-minute yoga flow, appropriate for all stages of pregnancy.
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9:30 am Baby & Me Yoga @ Babies in Bloom
Baby & Me Yoga @ Babies in Bloom
Jul 24 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am
This class combines a gentle, postnatal appropriate yoga flow with yoga for baby and postures mama and baby do together. Appropriate for 6 weeks to crawling.

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