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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
"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
"Kim has been my yoga teacher for 5 years and she has been an incredible help to me. She works me hard, explains things very well and adapts each practice to my needs for that session. Meditation has lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure and I have come to incorporate her teachings in my everyday life. Thanks for improving the quality of my life." Peter, 60, lawyer, full of vigor
|Greetings Friends, |
I am an "under the radar" type of person. The worst thing a sales person can say to me is, "This is popular." No, thanks. Sale lost. Most of the classes I take whether it's yoga, Buddhist Studies, Gita Studies, dance, are usually not crowded. If I feel the teacher is authentic with their teachings, then I am in the right class and environment. Popular doesn't mean experienced or caring. If you turn your attention towards the idea of finding someone who can help you rather than who's the most popular, you're world will change. You'll meet different types of people. That's what self discovery is about. Figuring out what you like, not what everyone else likes. As the yoga industry becomes more populated with teachers and practitioners, I urge you to explore what type of class and teacher suits you the best. Not what will get you skinny or has the best looking and most people. You laugh, but I kid you not. This happens.
Be that person who discovers something or someone new. I dare you!
Speaking of which, IDP Body & Movement classes are brand new. I teach a community class Wed eves. $8 members/$10 non-members. Please check out our new schedule. The yatra to India was amazing. Radhe! Radhe! People are asking was it a vacation? The answer is, no. Was it a yoga retreat? No, to that as well. So what makes a yatra different from vacations or retreats? A yatra is a Sanskrit word for pilgrimage which means a spiritual journey to holy places associated with Hinduism and other Indian religions. I've started to write about the experience. Here are two articles posted on Elephant Journal: Next Stop, Udupi
More posts to come. You can follow them on my
blog or RSS Feed at Elephant Journal. A self discovery I noted while in India was how relaxed my mind felt which in turn meant I felt relaxed. Even with all the hustle to and from places, sounds coming from everywhere, and a general sensory over load, my body and mind were very relaxed. This doesn't mean I didn't care about hand sanitizer or Sani-Wipes, au contraire, I used them A LOT. By checking in with my mind daily through meditation practice, basically, I could see the "flavor of my mind" was relaxed - not anxious. We had a couple of people bail altogether; one before the halfway mark, and one halfway. Also 4 other people rerouted and left the yatra early. It's not easy. People lose their shit when times get uncomfortable. Now home, I am trying to figure out where that relaxed mind of mine went. Seems all the "stuff" on my to do list which never ends has taken over. Reflecting on the trip, perhaps I am more relaxed with adventure, wild monkeys stealing eyewear and thinking every mosquito can infect me with the malaria virus (I did take the prevention pills) than I am in my "natural" environment I call home. This leads me to pause and wonder what is actually more natural for me?
From India to Indio, Ca.
Coachella, a 3 day music fest in Indio, is just around the corner. I will be there ready to rock-n-roll on the second weekend April 20 -22. Feel free to get in touch if you are going and want to meet up.
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.
Food Focus: Greens (If you think you've seen this article before, you have)
I could include a segment on leafy greens in every newsletter because the message never gets old and still it's not sinking in. Eat greens every day and more than once a day. One steamed broccoli flower isn't going to cut it. Please consider a variety of greens to choose from. And if you don't "like" something, consider looking at your mind as to why you don't like it. The more things you categorize in the "like" and "dislike" boxes the more you will add to your own suffering. That said, here's the article again ...
Leafy greens are some of the easiest and most beneficial vegetables to incorporate into your daily routine. Densely packed with energy and nutrients, they grow upward to the sky, absorbing the sun's light while producing oxygen. Members of this royal green family include kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, broccoli rabe, watercress, beet greens, bok choy, napa cabbage, green cabbage, spinach and broccoli.
How do greens benefit our bodies? They are very high in calcium (yes you just read calcium), magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc, and are a powerhouse for vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed full of fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Their color is associated with spring, which is a time to renew and refresh vital energy. In traditional Asian medicine, the color green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity. Greens aid in purifying the blood, strengthening the immune system, improving liver, gall bladder and kidney function, fighting depression, clearing congestion, improving circulation and keeping your skin clear and blemish free.
Leafy greens are the vegetables most missing from the American diet, and many of us never learned how to prepare them. Start with the very simple recipe below. Then each time you go to the market, pick up a new green to try. Soon you'll find your favorite greens and wonder how you ever lived without them.
|Recipe: Broccoli Rabe|
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 bunch broccoli rabe
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
Pinch of sea salt
1. Wash broccoli rabe and cut stems into 1-2 inch pieces.
2. Warm oil in pan and add garlic; sauté for a few minutes.
3. Add broccoli rabe and sea salt, then sauté for about 3 minutes.
4. Add water, cover and allow to steam for about 2 minutes. Check for desired tenderness.
5. If needed add a bit more water and allow to steam for a few more minutes.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese
Sprinkle with red pepper flakes
| Kula Corner |
(kula = community of the heart)
with Lisa Bermudez (WHOA!)
photo credit Michael Dehni
KS: What's your favorite pose to practice?
LB: Right now, it's Visvamitrasana. Since it requires a ton of flexibility, strength, and focus, I absolutely love how I need to take my time getting into this pose. When I'm working towards Visvamitrasana in my practice, I need to totally embody every single element of the pose in order to even think about going there. It takes my body, my breath, and my brain to a place of full concentration - which is what I look for when I practice the asanas.
KS: What do you like most about teaching yoga?
LB: I really love everything about sequencing. Whether I'm sequencing a class around a specific pose or sequencing a private session around a specific body or issue, I always get really psyched. I also enjoy working with so many people throughout my typical work day. It's amazing to connect with so many personalities, bodies, and mindsets. Every encounter is an opportunity to learn more and grow as a teacher.
KS: What sound do you love?
LB: The ocean, seagulls, rain, the sound after the rain, the sound after a snowstorm, laughter, crickets
KS: What is your favorite meal?
LB: Trader Joe's vegetable burritos and anything that comes in smoothie form!
KS: When I am not practicing or teaching yoga I am ...
LB: Trying to plan a camping trip, hiking, reading, watching movies, going to museums, getting lost, spending time with the people I love, writing, listening to songs on repeat, finding new music.
This beautiful yoga teacher I met on the yatra. Lisa is NYC based and teaches classes at Yogamaya, Crunch, David Barton Gym and more. She is a very busy lady. To view her full schedule and find out more about Lisa, workshops and retreats please visit her website www.LisaBermudez.com
| Asana of the Month: Visvamitrasana|
Lisa Bermudez's favorite pose to practice
|photo credit David Martinez|
With strength, flexibility and surrender you just might find yourself in Visvamitrasana some day. This is an advanced pose
. Advanced poses are like the headliner of a rock-n-roll show. Excited to see and experience, but it's best to do the opening acts (other asanas) so you get warmed and ready for the rock star pose - Visvamirtrasana. Warm up with sun salutes, trikonasana, hip openers like Warrior 2 and pigeon, and shoulder/hip openers like gomukhasana. Yoga Journal
has a whole article on this pose written by Shiva Rea. Twist and Soar friends.
|Meditation Practice: Metta
Find a quiet place where you can sit quietly 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 metta. Spend a couple of minutes with each suggested contemplation. I am giving you the 10 minute time version. A full Metta practice can take 30 - 45 minutes.
These are the four that I use. In the book by Sharon Salzberg listed below, she goes in to full detail about the practice of Metta.
1) May I be happy
2) May I be healthy
3) May I be safe
4) May I live with ease
First offer these phrases of loving kindness to yourself. You can either repeat the first phrase a few times and continue to the next and so on or go through 1-4 one at a time and repeat that way. If bringing your hand to your heart helps you connect then you can do that if it feels right.
You will spend about 5 minutes on yourself and then think of a mentor or hero. Someone that brings a smile to your face. Offer these 4 phrases to them. Let go of this person. In between people take a couple of full breaths. Complete your Metta practice by offering these 4 phrases to all beings everywhere for a couple of minutes.
Notice how you feel after these contemplations before ending your practice.
Generating Metta towards self and others opens our hearts and minds and breaks down barriers between self and other. 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 on Metta and pod casts on meditation, please check out The IDProject.org
For establishing a daily practice Sharon Salzberg (the queen of Metta) has written the insightful gift of Real Happiness The Power of Meditation.
|photo credit Timothi Jane Graham|Nomada Journeys
Come Wander With Us
If you're looking to travel, leave most of your world behind, and experience your environment with the locals, Nomada Journeys is for you. Nomada Journeys provides one of a kind, group travel experiences to every corner of the globe. No big hotels. Just authentic food, unique earth friendly accommodations and real cultural immersion based on what the locals do. Please click here for spring 2012 journeys.
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 Projectsangha. 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!