Pocomo, Nantucket                    August 2011



                                                                                                         September  2011


Healthy Spicy Life

with Kim Stetz

When you are fully gentle, without arrogance and without aggression, you see the brilliance of the universe. You develop a true perception of the universe.


~ Choygam Trungpa

In This Issue
Baja Retreat April 2012
Food Focus: Natural Sweetners
Kula Corner with Jen Guarnieri
Yoga Pose of the Month: Ardha Chandrasana
Meditation Practice: Gratitude

What's Happening



For Your Healthy Spicy  



For Your Citta (mind): Healthy Spicy Life   

Published articles on Elephant Journal  


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"Practicing with Kim is an oasis in my responsibility-and stress-filled days. She brings light and peace with her into my home, and helps me achieve confidence and happiness in my practice through her articulate instruction, attention to alignment and enthusiastic support of my movement and my journey."   Roxanne, 45, public relations executive, mother of two, has it going on




"I have been practicing yoga with Kim for over 5 years now.  It began with vinyasa yoga which was a wonderful break from going to the gym.  Kim helped me recover from ACL surgery and my husband recover from back surgery with strengthening and stretching sessions that were more therapy than yoga and demonstrated her extensive knowledge of the body. Over the past few years we did pre and post natal yoga through two pregnancies.  Over the course of the past 5 years Kim has become a great friend who is always there to listen, offer a new perspective, and give advice on how to better take care of yourself."     

Elizabeth, 31, interior design, world class mom




"Kim taught me that it was important to take time out of my busy schedule to breathe. 

The result was less pain and stress and finally an end to my sleepless nights."

Amy, 35, author, artist, Renaissance woman

Hello Friends,


First of all, thank you for opening this email and having a look through. I publish this newsletter to share information that I find valuable and to stay in touch with friends near and far.  


If anyone out there wants to go a bit deeper into understanding health, food, mood, mind, body, I recommend watching this movie Food Matters.  And here's another tip ... if there's one thing new and easy you can incorporate into your daily routine, drink a liter of water (or at least 8 oz) first thing in the morning without meds, fiber, etc. Just water (you can add a squeeze of lemon or lime to it).    


If you are in NYC and would like support in cultivating a meditation practice come sit with me Sunday, September 18th 3:00 - 4:15 at The IDP. The IDP also offers home study programs so if you don't live in NYC and can't make it to a live mediation class, don't let this discourage you. You still can learn to meditate and receive the benefits from practicing. In this newsletter I've included a meditation practice. You can get started today! Woo hoo! It's free!  


I can't say it enough how mediation has helped me in all areas of my life. Even our recent natural disaster that came through, hurricane Irene, I was able to relax with what I needed to do for myself, others and the earth.  How does your mind respond to stress?  


Could one conversation change your life?

Find out by scheduling a consultation with me. 

We will discuss your unique situation in depth and determine how I can help you reach your health and life goals.




With light and love,  
 fountain of youth

Please have a look at my website       



Ethan and Kim's Meditation and Yoga Retreat in Baja, Mexico!!!

April 14 - 20 , 2012


ethan nichtern  

Come sit, bend, surf, slow down, and truly relax at Prana Del Mar.  Join Shastri Ethan Nichtern and me for a week of rewarding work and healthy play.



bow down to the one you love 







With 40 years experience between us, we will lead you through a week of asana, meditation and philosophical study in this luxurious, oceanfront destination.  Ethan will guide a daily meditation practice followed by a dharma talk and I am teaching a daily, all levels, vinyasa yoga practice and offering nutrition talks.


Located on 5 acres on the southern tip of the Baja peninsula, Prana Del Mar is surrounded by mountains to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and desert all around. 


Included:  Daily yoga and meditation, philosophical study, nutrition talks, 3 vegetarian meals a day with seafood options, comfortable accommodations, swimming pool & jacuzzi, pristine beaches, and transportation to and from Cabo San Lucas airport when arriving and departing on retreat dates.


An arrival snack and dinner are served on the first day of the retreat after the check-in time of 3pm. Breakfast is served on the ending day of the retreat before the checkout time of 11am.  A fruit bowl for snacking will be available every day.


Prana Del Mar beach

We are organizing a beach clean up (though these beaches are pretty amazing already) to give back to this beautiful land. We hope that all participants will join us. There may be other volunteer opportunities, but those are yet to be determined.


Additional services while on retreat: Surfing, spa treatments, whale watching, horseback riding on the beach, snorkeling, hiking and more! Prana Del Mar staff will assist in organizing any of the above requests. Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional cost and will be charged directly to an individual's account.


Retreat Packages*:

$1655 - per person Double Occupancy

$1970 - per person Single Occupancy

$1400 - per person retreat without yoga and meditation teachings

*We will pair people who would like double occupancy

**Prices do not include international airfare to Cabo San Lucas (SJD) airport.


Deposit: $150 Non-refundable deposit to hold your space. 

Early Registration Discount - $125 off when you register before 10/15/11!

To register online follow this link.

For questions or concerns please contact or call 917-545-0938. Space is limited and we will fill up. 




Food Focus: Natural Sweetners

Who among us doesn't love sweets? The sweet flavor releases serotonin in our brains, the chemical responsible for our sense of well-being and contentment. But when it comes to sweeteners, not all are created equal. There are side effects and health risks from refined sweeteners like white table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, and from artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet, saccharin and Splenda. Since refined sweeteners have been stripped of vitamins, minerals and fiber, they can spike blood sugar, which can often lead to cravings and mood and energy fluctuations. Instead, using naturally and minimally processed sweeteners can reduce cravings for sugary things.


Here are a few natural sweeteners to substitute in drinks, food and baking. Since they are all approximately 1.5 times sweeter than refined sugar, you can use less. You can find them in most supermarkets or natural food stores. When replacing sugar with liquid sweeteners in a recipe, reduce the amounts of other liquids.



Raw Honey

Everyone seems to love honey, one of the oldest natural sweeteners on the market. Honey will have a different flavor depending on the plant source. Some are very dark and intensely flavored. Wherever possible, choose raw honey, as it is unrefined and contains small amounts of enzymes, minerals and vitamins.


Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is the concentrated extract of the sap of maple trees. It adds a rich, deep flavor to foods and drinks. Make sure to look for 100% pure maple syrup, not maple-flavored corn syrup. As with all sweeteners, organic varieties are best.



Stevia is an all-natural herbal product with centuries of safe usage by native Indians in Paraguay. It has been thoroughly tested in dozens of tests around the world and found to be completely non-toxic. Stevia is very sweet.  


Adapted from "The Cane Mutiny," New Age Magazine, March/April 1999.   


There is a lot of controversy over agave nectar and I have been a fan for years, and now I see the bigger picture. Food Renegade gets into the nitty gritty of agave nectar. Decide for yourself.  I appreciate Food Renegade explaining fructose (man-mad sugars which are processed in the liver first) vs. levulose (naturally occurring sugars in nature processed directly in the intestines).  

Agave Nectar - good or bad?  



Kula Corner  with beautiful NYC based Jen Guarnieri

 (kula = community of the heart)  

Jen G
Jen Guarnieri Peacful Warrior


KS: What's your favorite pose to practice?

JG: I love ardha chandrasana.  I love when my bottom hand floats up off of the floor; I love when my bottom set of fingertips connect to the earth; I love when I bend my lifted leg; I love when my hands are in prayer; I literally love EVERY variation of this pose!


KS: What do you like most about teaching yoga?

JG: There are so many things that I appreciate about teaching yoga, like being able to run all over the city every day, getting to make my own schedule, and being able to practice yoga in the middle of the afternoon, but my favorite thing about teaching yoga is that it allows me to share this practice that I absolutely love so much with so many different, unique, amazing people.


KS: What sound do you love?

JG: It's so cliche, but the sound of the ocean is truly the most beautiful sound to me.


KS: What is your favorite meal?

JG: My favorite meal is from this place called Siggy's in Brooklyn Heights. They have a delicious quinoa avocado salad, and they always have the tastiest soups.


KS: When I am not practicing or teaching yoga I am...

JG: Spending time with my husband, my sister, and my friends in my favorite city in the world.


I am really glad that I keep running into Jen on the streets of NYC and at Kula Yoga. Jen graciously agreed to be a part of Healthy Spicy Life when I asked a few weeks ago. Whist I was resting in Flight School yoga class, I had a chance to see Jen in scorpion pose, and WOW! is all I can say. Such a beautiful practice. Please have a look at Jen's teaching schedule and website to get to know her better. I highly recommend taking a class with Jen if you're in NYC!

Namaste, Jen!!!
Yoga Pose of the Month:

Ardha Chandrasana - Half Moon Pose 


Ardha Chandrasana


This is Jen's favorite pose. This pose feels very open and almost like a star pulsating. When you engage your leg and arm muscles drawing into the bones and then extend out in all directions, there's a spaciousness and floating feeling as your body negotiates balance. There are a few variations to try depending on where you are in your practice. Jen talks about lifting the hand that is touching the ground. Taking the bottom arm to what would be the 9:00 position here would be full moon pose and more advanced. Beginners can lean up against a wall for support and keep the head and gaze turned down towards the floor. Turning the head up towards the sky definitely makes the pose more challenging. A yoga block can be placed under the bottom hand to help assist with balance. Also note, the bottom arm is slightly to the right of the standing leg. They are not on the same line like a balance beam. Yoga Journal can guide you step by step into this pose. Give it try and glow in your half moon asana.

Meditation Practice: Gratitude   

I realize this is the same meditation practice as the last two months. Some of you haven't tried it yet. 



Find a quiet place where you can sit for 10 or more minutes. Use a timer for your practice. There are many apps available. I use Insight Timer app.  




You may sit on a chair with the feet flat on the floor or if you can sit cross-legged on the floor comfortably then try that. It is important to make sure you're not struggling to sit comfortably. Zafu meditation cushions are great to have, sitting on firm pillow or thick sturdy blankets like you find in yoga studios are all good options. When sitting cross-legged, you want to be able to sit up tall, upright but not uptight. The knees slope down from the hips and the hands rest on the thighs with palms up or down. Imagine their is a string in your spine that is being drawn up towards the ceiling lifting the whole spine up. Check to see that you didn't take your shoulders up with you. Allow them to slide down your back on an exhale.  


Now that you have taken your seat, check in with your mind. Ask yourself how you are doing in the present moment. Try not to dig too deeply here. You are seeing what the flavor of your mind feels like and leave it at that eg: I am tired, excited, anxious, OK, etc. Spend a few breaths with the flavor of the mind. Let that go and begin the contemplative practice of gratitude. Spend a couple of minutes with each suggested contemplation.  


Reflections to contemplate:

1) What place am I grateful for? This could be your home, your bed, a mountain, an ocean. When choosing a place see it's colors and sounds.   

2)Who has been kind to me? Think of one person who has been kind to you and you are grateful for. 

3) What personal attribute about me am I grateful for? This could be something physical like your hands or a quality about yourself that you like eg: patience or courage 

4) The phrase "I am grateful for my beautiful life" or "I am grateful for my precious life" 


Notice how you feel after these contemplations before ending your practice. 


Generating gratitude towards others and self opens our hearts and minds. You may not feel anything and you may feel strong emotions. If strong emotions arise, bring awareness to where you feel the emotion in your body and breath with it. When it passes, and it will, allow the mind to rest with your breath, following inhale and exhale, feeling the breath in your body. Maybe in your abdomen or the tip of the nose. When the timer rings you may want to acknowledge your practice by placing the hands together at the heart and bowing to self and your teachers. This is an option and an offering for your practice.  Meditation is recommended as a daily practice. You have the time.   


For more teachings and pod casts on meditation, please check out


For establishing a daily practice Sharon Salzberg has written the insightful gift of Real Happiness The Power of Meditation.   



Joan's Legacy

Join us for the Joan's Legacy, founding partner of Uniting Against Lung Cancer, annual benefit to highlight lung cancer awareness month in New York City.

News anchors Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams serve as honorary chairmen for the event and blues great Delbert McClinton will perform.

Supper, spirits, entertainment and silent auction.


Check back soon for a list of available auction packages!


Tickets and sponsorships available for purchase online or download and return this form with payment to:
Uniting Against Lung Cancer 27 Union Square West, Suite 304, NY NY 10003

Celebrating Me

 Kim Stetz is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, AADP, Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher and meditation teacher.Her dedication to health and wellness comes from her passion for yoga and nutritious food.  From the very first time she stepped on a yoga mat in 1992, she knew her life was about to take the path less traveled.  Kim received her nutrition training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Kim's meditation teachings are of Buddhist lineage and studied with The Interdependance Project sangha. Kim has yoga certifications from OM Yoga, Yoga For Two The Barnes Method (pre/postnatal), Relax and Renew Judith Hansen Lasater, and Anatomy Studies For Yoga Teachers with Jason R. Brown. 


Gravitating towards the healing aspects of yoga from the inside out, Kim teaches Hatha Yoga through a mixture of creative and challenging vinyasas, practiced with flow and grace while bringing mindfulness to alignment and the breath. She has guided many women through their pregnancies in classes, privately, and in couples yoga.  Her strong background and training in therapeutics lends diversity to clients who are recovering from injuries or in need of healing.  She has been blessed with students for eleven years since moving to NYC from LA in 2000.   Her personal practice developed under the guidance of Anthony Benenati City Yoga, LA.  Kim is thankful for his guidance and the many other gifted yoga and meditation teachers that have shared their knowledge and courage.  Kim believes that yoga is a way of life that can be embraced by getting into the nooks and crannies of your heart, body, and mind.  Sit, breathe, smile on the inside and eat your greens!