Monthly Archives: December 2011

Cupcakes are my new favourite experiment…

OK…I bought this e-book online from a Groupon type thing (ethicalDeal, I think)…it was two books by Natalia KW…you can find more info and the books to download here  ) because it was a raw book for raw cupcakes. I’ve had this coconut flour that I’ve been wanting to use but didn’t know what to do with it and along came this e-book with several recipes using coconut flour! Perfection.

I’ve made 3 different flavours of cupcakes. They all have the same basic base for the cupcake and icing but with different additions to change the flavour and theme. So far I’ve made basic vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing, then I made mini strawberry cupcakes with honey ginger icing…and the most recent was the mini chocolate cupcakes with mint icing…super yum.

The texture of these cupcakes is so amazing…the coconut flour is so porous that it soaks up the liquid of the other ingredients so it’s dense enough to have body but not dry…and it’s not all full of nuts. I actually think that these are the *healthiest* raw dessert I’ve ever made. I’m so excited by these and so excited by the range of flavours that I can make. SO fun!

Here’s the mini chocolate cups with mint icing:

You have to experience it for yourself to make your own choice…

Good evening, Yogis…

Tonight I taught a class and saw one of my favourite yogis there…this yogi did a personal 365 day challenge last year (January 1-December 31, 2010), and then didn’t come for almost all of 2011. She tried many other kinds of yoga during the past year, practiced often and experienced what she felt in the other classes…but didn’t do Bikram. However, she came back to the Bikram practice because she really likes it and likes the way she feels…but she had to try it all in order to find that out!

Did you get that the first time…SHE HAD TO TRY IT ALL IN ORDER TO FIND THAT OUT!! The only way you can really know what YOU like is if YOU TRY things and experience them for YOURSELF!!! I can wax poetic about the benefits of Bikram yoga and I can tell you how my life has changed and I can regale you with the thousands of stories I’ve heard from thousands of students…but you won’t really know how it is for you until you experience it for yourself. And, I mean, REALLY experience it…now, I’m not saying you have to do a 365 day challenge, but you need to give it a try in ernest and feel what you feel and then pick your choice.

That’s all…I was so inspired to see her and her knowledge of herself to choose to do different styles of yoga and listen to herself to know what she likes and how she feels. I was so inspired to see you ALL tonight in class…see you all tomorrow 😉

She’s Got Such a Long Neck

Good afternoon, my pretties. I am sitting in my bed in the middle of the afternoon because it is pouring rain outside and I am not feeling the least bit inspired to go out there into it! So, here I sit, getting stuff done that I’ve been putting off and enjoying a quiet afternoon…this time of the year can be so energized that it’s nice to have the day “off”. Even for a girl like me, who subscribes to low key holiday celebrations, the amount of energy floating in the atmosphere can be overwhelming…well, to me it is…and it finally caught up with me lastnight. So…I took class this morning but have given myself today to chill.

Now, on to my neck post…it’s really kind of a query that I had this morning in class. I was in Pranayama Breathing and was hearing the teacher say the dialogue…”push your head back all the way, your neck should hurt a little…”. It reminded me of the conversation I had with someone the other day in which she said that she hears the teacher tell her to look at the wall behind her but when she pushes her head back that much she can’t breathe from the pressure on the front of her neck….huh, really? You see, this is why I have been teaching for the length of time that I have been…there is never a dull moment with this practice!! I told her that she should push her head back until she feels it in her neck but not as much as to stop her breathing…counter-intuitive to the breathing exercise, yes? So, today in class I was thinking about it more and wondering if how far a person can see back and push the head back is directly related to the length of his or her neck…

When I was in university I was in a play (I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting). My grandmother came to see the play one night and in the middle of a scene I hear (as does everyone else in the theatre and on stage), “she has such a long neck” in a decidedly loud “stage whisper”! I was mortified at the time because I knew it was my grandmother…now of course I would love to hear her say something like that to me. I digress…

So, I know that proportion wise I have a good body for yoga. My waist is pretty well in the center of my body and my limbs are in proportion to everything else. My neck doesn’t seem extra long to me, but I am able to bend my neck and drop my head back quite far…in fact, often further than many people…so, the question is, is the length of the neck directly related to the amount of the wall one can see behind her?

This is my answer….I don’t look at the wall!!! haha. Yup, it’s true. The dialogue instruction is used as a guide, TRY to see the wall behind you…if you are trying then you are moving in the right direction and therefore getting the benefits!


You Have to Learn to Fall in Love With Yourself…

I posted this on FB the other day and my mom told me she didn’t understand it. I told her it was because she isn’t a Bikram teacher. Haha. That’s only partially it. I think I said that because I didn’t understand why she didn’t understand it, it seems to simple to me. Maybe it’s simple because I’ve heard Bikram say it so many times over the years.

It started me thinking about what I teach and how I teach and how other teachers teach. A friend of mine told me yesterday that  in the class he took, the teacher told a man to take off his watch because she would be in charge of the time. He said that the same teacher also said some kind of comment to the new person who was talking in the back…some comment about how she’s the only one who talks or something. My friend was not pleased by the comments of the teacher, he had a negative reaction to her saying these things to people and wanted to know what my thoughts were. I told him that I used to be much more strict than I am now (are some of you laughing because you think I am still very strict??! haha), but I understand now (through my own experience as a teacher and as a student) that people (in class) are doing the best they can…even if it isn’t the best I think they can…who am I to say that they are or aren’t?

As a teacher, I am the guide…I tell you what to do and how to do it and if you’re lucky I will tell you the effect of doing it that way. I am not here to teach you the behaviour of your life…I can suggest not drinking water at a certain time because it may impede the posture, or I can suggest that you stand up and try again or that you wear different clothing for comfort or that you think about the meal you eat right before coming to class…I can look at your body and maybe I can see that you could go deeper or that you should ease up. I can help you with alignment and precision…but I don’t know what you feel and I don’t know what is in your body and how you are responding to the postures. That is for you to know and figure out. I teach you the postures. You have to learn about your self. Discover your self. Get to know your self. Fall in love with your self. From there, you’ll figure out what to eat and what to wear and where to stand and how often to come to class and what time you like to practice.

I will use your name if I know it and I will give corrections if I see them. I will never yell at you for not doing something or “get on you” in class. What’s the point? I will teach you the postures as best as I can and  in my class I will try to keep your mind in your mind for 90 minutes. What you do with that is your business.

If you ever want my opinion I will be happy to give it to you…I always like to talk about yoga, this practice, how it’s changed my life over the years and what it’s taught me about myself and the world at large…but what works for me might not work for you, so this practice is to teach you about YOUR self and from there the world is your oyster…as they say.

Just Leave Them Alone…

Good evening, Everyone. I think about you often, even though I haven’t been posting!!

This morning I was thinking about the End Of The Year…yup, the END of 2011. Seriously? Where did it go…?! Well, for me, it went to travelling more than I have EVER this year, seeing more studios and meeting more yogis than ever. What a year, what a year. Thank you to all of the people I met this year, all of the students, teachers and yogis who made me feel so welcome at your studio…I truly feel blessed for my fortune this year.

So, that being said, sap out of the way, I want to share what I was pondering and musing about this morning before I went to teach class (which, by the way, was a fabulous room of 52 sweatties who made my day!)…

You know how when you first start practicing (this) yoga, you suddenly want to scream it from the tallest mountain and drag everyone you know into the room to try it? I remember when I first started practicing I was working at a restaurant in Vancouver and it was all I could do to get to my tables because I was so busy telling everyone about sweating from my elbows in class that morning. So, we all do it, we all wax poetic about the benefits, the sweat, the heat, the struggle…and eventually (or in the future) the euphoria and bliss of the practice…and how we all say “you just HAVE TO TRY THIS YOGA WITH ME” to everyone we know, meet or encounter on the street. Eventually we start to realise that not everyone is overly excited by the endorsement we give it…the sound of a hot humid room with people crammed in like sardines all sweating and breathing and wearing next to nothing isn’t attractive to all people (they clearly aren’t understanding what we are describing, if they could just experience it for themselves, then they would truly understand 😉 ). So, sometimes we let it go, stop pestering people…sometimes we keep on them until they finally have to just say to us, “listen, I’m NOT going to that yoga place you go to…ever…so you can stop bugging me about it” or, “you know, just because you like it, doesn’t mean I have to like it”…or something like that. So, we let it go, but secretly still want them to try it, we continue to imagine all the things that would feel better from yoga, how all the complaining they do about this that and the other thing could be alleviated if they just came to class…we think about how great it would be to have a yoga buddy, someone to share stories with and how we’d support eachother on the 30 day challenge. 

Then…one day…(seemingly) out of the blue…your loved one/sister/child/besty says to you, “I think I’ll come with you to yoga today”…and, after you pick your jaw up off the floor, you smile, and casually go get one of your micro fiber towels from the cupboard, and the spare mat you have in your car, and fill up the water bottle you bought specially for this occasion and dump and extra EmergenC into it for good measure…and do a silent cheer as soon as you are out of sight. No sense in making a big deal out of it!!

OK, so the moral of the story here is, inspire the people around you through who you are being rather than trying to convince people of something. Actually, to quote a goody from Ghandi, “Be the Change you Wish to See in the World”…really sums it up, huh?! If there is one thing I’ve realised about this life (really, Ida, only ONE???) it’s that people will do what they need to do when they need to do it. Just leave them alone.

Yup, just leave them alone. We all figure it out eventually. You can be inspiring through who you are and when they are ready they will want to know more about what you are doing to create the person who you are. 

That is (one of my) end of the year messages. I’m sure I”ll come up with a few more before this weekend…

I have a picture or two to post, so I’ll get to that as well…just to share a few of the things I’ve been up to over the past little while.

Love to you all, hope you’re all having a fab holiday season.