If you practice yoga every day with perseverance, you will be able to face the turmoil of life with steadiness and maturity.
We’ve seen the Instagram posts. Sped up videos of chaturangas, down dogs, and chairs. Preferably in front of a wall of plants or a row of huge windows. Hashtag homepractice.
But before Instagram, in 2008, I set my New Years resolution to start a home yoga practice and do yoga every day. I had seen the mental and physical benefits of increasing from 1 day a week to 2 days a week, and then from 2 to 4 or 5. My teachers had talked about how yoga was a daily practice for them. That it was their way to check in with their body and mind. It gave them time to feel their heart beat, their blood pump, and to set an intention for their day.
In 2008, I was in the throws of college courses like organic chemistry and fluid dynamics…I needed an outlet, and daily yoga was a powerful place to start.
Join us in making friends with each other & our bodies during a panel discussion and breakout sessions. Register here!
Partner Yoga – Saturday February 10th – 1:30-3:00pm
I’m co-teaching with Vanessa at Spark Yoga Arlington. Come by yourself or with a friend to learn fun partner poses and assists that you can do at home to deepen your practice! Register here!
Ayurveda for Relationships – Saturday February 17th – 9:30-11:00am
Join us for a workshop at Take Care DC. We’ll use the framework of Ayurveda to explain why you get along so well (or not) with certain types of people, plus how you can create more productive and positive relationships.
You’ll learn what your unique mind/body type is as well as the strengths and the pitfalls of each type in interpersonal relationships. Then, we’ll discuss how to identify (and deal with) the other mind/body types so that you’re connected, confident, and successful both personally and professionally.
Kitchari Cleanse with Laurel Street Kitchen – February 26-28th
Kitchari is a rice and lentil dish prized in Ayurveda. for it’s health and wholesomeness. With Renee of Laurel Street Kitchen, we’ll be leading through the why’s and how’s of a 3 day kitchari cleanse so ease you through the seasons.
Stay up to date by sending an email to sam[at]behappyhealthyhuman[dot]com. There are more details to come!
Fun events and opportunities are always popping up! The best way to stay informed is to follow me on Instagram – @behappyhealthyhuman.
I also offer private events for small groups, yoga teacher trainings, and corporate clients. If you’re interested in hosting me as a speaker or yoga instructor, please send an email to sam[at]behappyhealthyhuman[dot]com. Looking forward to hearing from you!
I’ve had my moments where I’ve thought that in order to be successful, I need to act alone. I’m the queen of self-reliance, and I know that I have a hard time asking for help.
However, last January, I heard the impeccable Madame Gandhi speak at an event thrown by WORN. She talked about how “the future is female,” and that she envisions a world that is “linked not ranked.” She talked about how we’ve been taught that self-reliance and pulling yourself up from your bootstraps is the ultimate marker of success, but to actually succeed in this world, we need to embrace a more collaborative spirit (which many would typify as a more feminine vs masculine viewpoint).
A switch flipped in my head. Here I was thinking that I needed to act alone in order to make the best impact, when in actuality it was the opposite. If I work with, everything is more successful.
This spirit of collaboration inspired me to put together a collaborative event. I invited Madame Gandhi to lead a live DJ set while I taught a yoga class. Jessica Guzik took on the role of event planner, Lauren Louise as photographer, and Alex Triana from Dacha lended the venue. We knew we wanted this event to be for charity, and specifically to benefit women. When I learned about Global Fund for Women from my friend Heather, I knew we had the perfect partner.
Global Fund for Women’s vision is that “every woman and girl is strong, safe, powerful, and heard. No exceptions.”
This vision resonated with me because it reflects a collaborative spirit. Being heard necessitates that there’s a listener – there’s a dialogue. That is collaboration. When we are heard – truly heard – that’s when we feel our strongest and most powerful.
The morning of the event, the positive vibes could be felt throughout the building. We moved, we danced, we laughed. It was an amazing day.
I could help but recognize that the success of the day was because of the collaboration of these women coming together, not in spite of it.
A few months later, I got the itch to do it again. I missed the camaraderie and togetherness. With Jess moving to Berlin and Madame Gandhi living in LA, it was time to build new partnership and friendships.
Truth: I worried. I didn’t know if we could recreate the magic of our first event. And I had some doubts as the date drew closer. But once the party started…voila. Once again we proved that positive energy and collaborative spirit reigns supreme. Odetta wowed us all by playing guitar, violin, and tuning forks through the class, and we shat and chatted long after the class was finished. These photos tell the story better.
All in all, we raised over $1,000 for Global Fund for Women.
How this helps me
For me, it proved the power of collaboration. I realized that self-reliance can sometimes assume scarcity. It’s assuming that having more people will dilute your personal gain. Instead, I found the opposite to be true. As we added more partners, the event only got better.
I’m not sure what form our next music/yoga event will take (soliciting ideas….), but I do know that there will be a rag tag team of awesome women to make it happen.
You could say that’s a lot of different things, but to me, they’re all unified under the goal of helping people live their happiest, healthiest life in full alignment with their values and goals. The yoga, the nutrition, the food, those are just some of the tools I use to help people get there.
So even though sometimes we’re talking about headstand, and sometimes we’re talking about how to prioritize your schedule….they’re all with the same goal of living your life in full alignment.
It’s with this goal that I started throwing Yoga Parties. A yoga party is a yoga class with tea, snacks, and time to talk and hang out with friends new and old after class. It lasts a little longer than your typical yoga class, but you also get the benefits of nourishing your body and meeting new friends.
My first few Yoga Parties were held in Meridian Hill Park, and were they a blast. Most participants said their favorite part was connecting with new people they wouldn’t have met otherwise. It was amazing.
The Yoga Parties will be slowing down for the winter season, but I’m excited to continue to bring food, yoga, and community together at some other events this winter (be sure to check out my calendar for the latest updates!)
Now onto the muffins. I made these apple cider muffins for my last yoga party because I wanted a delicious, filling treat with flavors of fall. These muffins do not disappoint.
They’re made with a combination of almond, oat, and chickpea flours for a high-protein blend of gluten free flours! I use flax to replace the egg, and apple cider to sweeten it up. They’re moist, light, and delicious!
Check out the recipe below, and let me know in the comments: what does living a life of alignment mean to you?
Have you ever returned from your vacation more tired than when you left?
That was my experience when I returned home this last weekend. I had a wonderful and whirlwind trip – first presenting my research at the American Heart Association conference in Baltimore, and then traveling to Buffalo, my hometown, to celebrate my cousin’s wedding. There was a lot of dancing, and it was a great weekend of family and friends. But this year more than others in the past, late flights, late nights, and Daylights Savings Time completely knocked me on my butt. Combined with a particularly long list of work tasks, I knew I needed to get myself out of my rut, and fast.
Battling a foggy brain haze, I turned to my yoga mat to wake me back up again. When I got to my mat (relieved to not be doing yoga in a hotel room!), I knew that twisting poses were the way to go because they are great for boosting your energy while relieving stress. Continue reading…
Most of us experience low back pain at some point or another. Sometimes the cause is easy to identify — you had a long car ride or lifted some heavy boxes. But other times, back pain seems to come and go daily, perhaps during your yoga class, while you’re riding your bike, or sitting at your desk. Super frustrating.
If you’re experiencing low back pain in your daily life, in your yoga class, or during other exercises, here is a 10-minute set of yoga poses you can do to strengthen up those muscles and relieve your pain. With these poses, we’re looking to do three things: release tightness in the muscles of your low back, strengthen your lower back muscles so they’re more resilient, and give your low back muscles support from a strong core.
Warning: the following post contains yoga gifs. They’re pretty hilarious, but so useful so you can see the movements I’m talking about! Thank you for laughing along with me. Continue reading…
But if you’re anything like me, you’ve resolved to start a meditation practice many times, and subsequently haven’t follow through with it, either because the actual practice of meditation is unfamiliar, or you begin and can’t seem to take the time every day to practice.
Sometimes you have to go off balance to be in balance.
Revolved Side Angle Pose. It’s a tough one, right? You’re trying to keep your balance, and you’re all twisted around…the temptation is to round your shoulders, crunch in, and protect yourself from falling. It’s understandable that you’d fear falling…your body is not used to being in such a precarious position!
But what if you press your belly to your spine, feel your tailbone lengthen towards your feet, and envision your breath filling up your side body and back? Rather than bringing your off center, these motions help you bring integrity and strength to the pose. Even though it seems further off balance, you actually get stronger and feel more secure in the position. Crazy right?