Archives: February 2014

Meditation in Sedona Red Rocks

Meditation in Sedona Red Rocks

Chad and I traveled to Sedona, AZ and Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago – it was such a great time that I have to share with you. What are the chances that there would be a yoga festival going on at the same time we were visiting Sedona? Chad thinks I planned it, but I promise that I had NO clue! We landed in Phoenix, I turned on my phone, checked Facebook and saw a post from one of my favorite teachers – Yogi Charu. He wrote: can’t wait for my trip to Sedona. So I wrote him a message wondering what he was doing there. Turns out he was teaching at the Sedona Yoga Festival which was happening the same weekend we arrived AND the classes we liked were taking place IN our hotel! Holy moly! You can imagine that I was completely in heaven. Chad was an awesome sport and took part in the festival with me for one day. We were completely blissed out by the end of our trip. The hiking, good food, yoga, clean air, great convo and a whole lot of relaxation made for an incredible trip.

Then we made it to Vegas, which was a total shock to our systems! Lights, noise, pollution, money, money, money! Even with all the noise in Vegas I managed to sneak away to take an anti-gravity restorative yoga class (not on the strip). I left feeling blissed out again and ready to take on the rest of my time in Vegas. I even found a delicious, healthy and organic lunch spot (also off the strip) that I was able to nourish myself in.

Fresh Mama Cafe in Nevada - 15 minutes from Vegas

Fresh Mama Cafe in Nevada – 15 minutes from the Vegas strip

The only way to travel is to research where the locals go. Yelp is a huge help when we’re traveling – we use it to find restaurants and fun things to do that might be off the beaten path. Next time you travel, make it a point to seek out some non-conventional activities and restaurants. Remember, just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you have to eat crappy food and feel like crap too- travel the healthy way! Here’s another post about planning for your travel. Our next trip is Mexico! Crossing my fingers to find healthy options there.

Restorative Yoga with Shira

Restorative Yoga with Shira

This Thursday 2/27 from 10:45am-12pm I’m teaching a restorative yoga class at Nyack Yoga at 42 Main street in Nyack. Petrina Plecko typically teaches a therapeutic class at that time, but she’s away and asked me to sub. This class will be filled with delicious, relaxing, supportive, nourishing poses to help soothe and heal your body, mind and soul. If you’re having any symptoms of disease, this class will give you helpful tools to relax on a daily basis. I can’t think of a better way to spend your Thursday morning. Make your way over to Nyack Yoga at 42 main street in Nyack, NY. Let’s breathe together!

Love Over Fear

Love over fear bumper sticker

Through the seven years that I’ve been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, I’ve learned some pretty valuable information. One thing that I’ve learned is: in order to feel my very best I’ve got to break the pattern.  When you’re struggling with any particular disease, it’s because your body has gotten into a certain pattern that’s not working – yep, you heard me – it’s time to change it up. Sometimes I’ll start taking a certain supplement that I feel is helping me for a while, but then all of a sudden it’s not working anymore and I’m standing there scratching my head wondering what I’m doing wrong. You have to take a stand back and look at everything that you’re doing to see if something can be changed.

If you’re in a flare up that’s your body’s way of telling you that something’s got to change.  If you’ve been practicing a certain set of breathing exercises, stop and try something different. If you’re drinking raw green juice everyday, stop and try something else. Some of the efforts that you’re doing, even though they are healthy for some, might just be toxic for you. Every body is different so make sure to listen loud and clear to hear what yours has to say – eventually, you’ll break the pattern.

Trust fall partner yoga

Trust fall Valentines partner yoga

Valentines partner yoga supine twist

Valentines partner yoga supine twist

This past weekend I hosted a Valentines partner yoga workshop at Union Arts Center in Sparkill, NY. It was awesome! My husband Chad was my demo partner and we had so much fun together! It was such a wonderful way for couples and friends to connect in a loving, trusting, non-judgmental way! The class was open to all levels, so even if you hadn’t practiced yoga before I made it accessible to everyone. It was such a great time that we are planning to host monthly partner yoga classes at Union Arts Center. Why not right?? The simple act of touching each other in a supportive, helpful manner is absolutely priceless. Who wouldn’t want more touch in their life from loved ones? It’s all about healing, connecting, jiving and having fun together! Want to get some one on one time with that special someone? Or connect with your bestie? Come to partner yoga! I will let you know when the next class is. Here’s a rave review from one of the students in the Valentines partner yoga class, Kenyatta Jones-Arietta. This post here has a fantastic clip that will surely get your heartstrings moving.

Cheers to connection.

 

colitis crohns flare up exercise

Start with your feet on the ground and stable

colitis crohns flare up exercise

Stretch over the ball to release pressure and tension in the whole body

It’s important to move your body especially when you’re having a colitis or crohns flare up. Here’s a photo of an exercise that’s fantastic to get you moving. Use one of those large bouncy balls either at home or at the gym to stretch your entire body. Make sure you have something to hold onto behind you so that you don’t fall! The more you roll back, the more of an inversion you will get, the better it is for your belly and the more you will move your body. I mention another exercise in a previous post here that is also helpful when combating a flare up. The more tools in your toolbox, the better. It’s all about trial and error – see what works and stick to it. Enjoy!

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Beautiful snow filled NYC trees

Last week was a stressful week for me and in my case that means my stomach gets off balance, which could potentially throw me into a colitis flare up. Yep, it sucks and it’s totally happening right now… Yuck!

Here’s what I’m NOT doing –

- Sitting around feeling sorry for myself

- Racking my brain trying to figure out exactly what threw me off

- Getting depressed

- Eating crap because I feel like crap

Here are the top 5 most important things that I AM doing for myself during this time:

1) Exercise. Get to the gym! if that’s not possible because you’re snowbound then do 100 jumping jacks right now to sweat and get your blood flowing. The worst thing you can do is sit or lie down all day.

- If you can get to the gym use that large ball in the stretching area to roll and stretch out your body – it also gives you an inversion, which is gentle, feels great and again gets the blood flowing. OR use the body foam roller and roll your whole body out. I’ll post pictures of both of these exercises in a future post – stay tuned.

2) Go to the steam room and sweat it out. I like steam especially in the winter  time since it’s so dry out. The steam brings moisture and helps open the pores – this is also another way to help you sweat.

3) Try a soft food cleanse. What does that mean? Any food that’s safe for a baby to eat is good for you to eat, ie: steamed or boiled golden beets, potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, yam, carrot, etc. Eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for one whole day. This will help your system take a break and allows the body to heal.

*** While in a flare up watch everything that you put into your mouth. You should be eating cooked foods that are warming and easy to digest. Foods that are slow cooked are usually a great option, ie: soups and stews in a crock-pot that don’t have many spices – keep it plain and simple for now.

4) Take it easy and relax. If you can get yourself to a restorative yoga class try it. If you’re in NYC here’s a restorative yoga class that I absolutely LOVE! Her name is Laura Wooton and it’s Tuesday’s at 8:15pm at Pure Yoga West. Get there.

5) Practice breathing exercises such as alternate nostril breathing, shown in this clip below:

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Click the photo to watch the video

BONUS) DE-STRESS! I’m not yelling here… I’m just trying to explain the urgency of this disease and if you don’t de-stress, let go, breathe, practice yoga, meditate, eat properly then there will be many negative consequences. Take care of yourself. When you feel it coming, (we all know the signs) then boost up your de-stressing techniques. Try this voice recording that I created below:

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Click the photo to listen to voice recording

I know you know how to take care of yourself – but when you’re in a flare, or period of stress, the body feels it in a bad way. You MUST balance it out. Try acupuncture, meditation, qi gong – anything to take you out of your stressed state. The whole idea here is to break the pattern – if you can do that, then you’re golden.

Listen to your body – it absolutely, 100% knows what you need – just open your ears and listen carefully.

Just because I’m feeling crappy this week doesn’t mean I get to complain about it. Instead I’m taking action and being proactive – that’s what you should be doing too!

Rock on!

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Click image to watch the video

Did you eat too much chips and dip at that Super Bowl party? I’ve got the perfect cleanse for you. It’s a yogic breathing technique that’s cleansing and gets the digestive fire moving. First thing in the morning, before you wake up – practice this exercise (watch the video above). It only takes 5 minutes to do and it’s totally worth your time. Then take a probiotic vitamin, drink warm water with lemon and start your day off right.

Cheers to your health!