Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hydrosols - Herbal Baths & Body Care

Hydrosols - Herbal Baths & Body Care
by Irena Stathis

Hydrosols, also known as flower waters, are produced through the ancient art of essential oil distillation - in which boiling water or steam is passed through fresh plant material extracting subtle energetic and aromatic properties of the plant along the way. The resultant liquid is the hydrosol (composed of water-soluble compounds) and the essential oil, which may be seen floating on the surface.

Their uses are many, from exotic drinks and desserts to creams and lotions. Tonifying and mildly astringent they are an excellent addition to any skincare routine and will soften and smooth both skin and hair.

Their aromas, although less bold than essential oils, retain their therapeutic benefits having a direct effect on our minds and emotions. Each plant carries its own unique qualities that resonate in the flower water and you may find yourself drawn to certain ones over others. One of my favorite uses is simply to mist the air around me to purify and enliven myself and the space of a room. 

The experience of distillation can be a transformative one that is itself magical and healing. Join me this Saturday to learn more about the essential nature of plants and the craft of distilling fragrant herbs!

Join Irena for a hands on workshop on hydrsolos this weekend! 

Hydrosols :: Herbal Baths & Body Care
Saturday, October 21st from 12:30 - 2:30pm at Namaste Highland Park. 

$35 pre-register / $45 drop-in

Each participant will go home with their own hand-crafted flower water!

Follow Irena via Facebook & Instagram


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cookin' with Jazz - Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

 Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats 
by Jasmine De La Paz 

October is my favorite month of the year. It's the month I was married, the weather starts to change, and Halloween occurs (yes, I love Halloween). But honestly, the main reason it's my favorite month is because of pumpkins! The minute I see pumpkins appear at the farmers market my mind starts racing with all the possibilities of how I can incorporate them into recipes. 

Although it's not full on Fall in southern California, we can still devour all the amazing fruits and vegetables in season. I love this recipe, as you have all the warming Fall flavors but can still enjoy the oats chilled until the weather starts to cool down. This is similar to my Mindfulness Muesli but I made a few adjustments by incorporating pumpkin puree (fresh is best, but canned still works), and crunchy almond butter. It is so creamy but with a light crunch from the almonds. It also tasted like pie! 

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats 

(Serves 2) 

1 cup gluten free oats
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup crunchy almond butter
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp flax seeds
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
dash of salt 

Add all the ingredients to a bowl, and mix until well combined. Cover the bowl, and set in the fridge over night to let it work it's magic. Serve chilled or warmed with granola, fresh fruit, and a huge dollop of coconut whip cream if you are wanting something similar to pie! 

I know, this post is coming a little later than usual and I apologize for that. Last week was our last Breakfast on the Patio of the year, and I would like to thank everyone who attended and enjoyed coming together and having food with our Namaste community. I am truly honored and humbled by the positive feedback I received and so grateful to have gained so many new friends.  

I have compiled the recipes we enjoyed this year below, as well as a picture of our last breakfast together. We will return next Spring! Feel free to follow me on instagram for more recipes and inspiration! 


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How to Choose and Cleanse Crystals (Crystals Part 2)

by Chona Bernardo
(Please read the previous blog post on Crystals here before reading Crystals Part 2.)


The best way to choose a crystal, gem or stone is by using your intuition. Sometimes we are drawn to its particular shape, color, transparency or texture.  Internally, we feel an energetic activation within ourselves when we gaze at it or hold it in our hands. That’s how you know you have an automatic connection to a stone. Once we have identified the type the stone it is, we can then look up its healing properties from a crystal book or find information online.

Sometimes crystals magically make their way to you.  Whether you are gifted a stone or if your eye catches the gem tucked away somewhere, you get the intuitive feeling that you were meant to discover them.  They are material manifestations that are here to assist you through your journey.  If, perhaps, you’re not exactly drawn to it, just let it sit for a while and see if you have a connection to it.  If time passes and still feel a disconnect, maybe it’s time for you to give it away and honor that you were the middle person to hand it to someone else that was meant to have it.

Perhaps you feel called for a crystal boost somehow but not exactly sure what type you need.  You can go into a crystal shop or a metaphysical shop and read the different crystal properties.  You might go through the descriptions of the gems and find one to be exactly what you need to help enhance your life.

Also, think about your intention for using these stones.  Is it something you’d want to carry with you on a daily basis?  If so, perhaps you can get a tumbled stone that’s polished, small and light that can be kept in your pocket or purse.  Perhaps you’d want it to be stationed in your work office, your home or altar?  Then you can choose one that can be bigger, heavier, or more delicate where it won’t be handled often and can hold space to give off its healing vibrations.


After choosing a crystal, it is often necessary to energetically cleanse the crystal of any unwanted energies it may have.  Crystals absorb good energy and energy that may not be aligned to your energetic frequency. So it’s important to cleanse them on a regular basis- once a week, monthly, after someone else has touched them, or whenever you feel like it’s time to neutralize the stone.

You can place it in a bowl of rock salt or sea salt making sure it is completely covered.  Salt is made up of positive and negative charged ions.  Leave it for 24 hours, then you will have a completely neutralized crystal.  

Other ways of cleansing:

  • Placing under running water 
  • Placing it outside to absorb sun light, or the moonlight especially during the full moon
  • Smudging it with sage, palo santo, or sweet grass

It’s good practice to set your intentions when you cleanse these gems.  You may chant simple words repeatedly as you cleanse them, such as “CLEAR”,  “PURIFY”, “NEUTRALIZE”, or “CLEANSE”.  Or say a prayer like, “Please be fully cleansed so you may assist me through my healing journey.”

The more you take care of your crystals and develop a connection with them, the greater the healing properties may affect your life for the better.  These practices are not set in stone (no pun intended), so it’s really up to your best judgement to use your intuition of what crystal or cleansing methods are best for you.  Hopefully you enjoy working with these beautiful allies and watch the magic unfold.

Join Chona and Janae for their next workshop - Sound Bath: Singing bowls, Reiki, and Meditation on Saturday, September 23rd from 7pm - 8:30pm. Register in advance at namastestudios.la/workshops

Chona is a crystal lover and a certified Usui/Holy Reiki Master. She offers Reiki sessions both at Namaste Highland Park and Namaste Downtown LA.  In the coming months she will be offering Reiki Level 1, and hold regular Reiki Circle Meetups for those interested in practicing and receiving Reiki in a group setting. For more info, visit www.HealingWithChona.com

photos by Dave Gezschman and Collective Evolution 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Yoga Teacher Training 2017 with Yoga 108

Yoga Teacher Training 2017 with Yoga 108
by Dana Kraft

You’ve just finished your yoga practice and your teacher makes an announcement about that upcoming 200-hour teacher training once again.  As you start rolling up your mat you hesitate before leaving, thinking about whether or not to approach the teacher and ask more about it, but then go on your way, thinking it’s too time consuming, it’s too expensive, or “I’m not good enough at yoga to do a teacher training”.

Excuses, excuses! If you have a love of yoga, and a consistent practice, perhaps it’s time to give yoga teacher training another thought. 

Students tend to get into a groove after many months, or years of practice, and can become stuck or stagnant, and instead of being mindful practitioners, can become mindless in their practice, because of the repetition of familiar movements.

No matter how attentive teachers are, we just don’t have enough time to delve deeper into adjustments, technique, alignment, spirituality, and other yogic topics, between the time frame of 60-90 minutes.

This is where a teacher training can be an investment in your mind, body, and spirit.  Whether you want to become a teacher or not, deepening your practice is life changing and transformative. Ask any yoga teacher or student who has gone through a 200-hour training themselves.

Namaste Studios Highland Park partners with Yoga 108: 200 Hours of Mind, Body, & Spirit and offer students a 200-hour program with lead teachers Dana Kraft and Jennifer Smith. Guest faculty include are Ralph Craig (Sanskrit and Philosophy), Sat Devbir Singh (Kundalini), and Chrissy Canning (Pre-natal) and more. 

Our program is extremely unique in that our teachers are extremely prepared for real world yoga teaching experience. We go beyond a normal 200 hour training program and teach our students how to:

  • Administer physical adjustments
  • Give our students an array of guest lecturers from all yogic backgrounds
  • Prepare them to apply for jobs in the yoga industry
  • Strong foundation of the Ashtanga lineage and Vinyasa Flow
  • In-depth yogic anatomy
  • Opportunity to teach live students in a community class setting (students leave with 20 hours of teaching experience)
  • Opportunity for employment
  • Analysis and discussion of ancient text and yogic philosophy

Yoga has changed my life. My yoga teacher training changed my life. I’m sure you have heard this statement before, not just once, but over and over again. It’s a grandiose statement to make, but there is a reason so many yoga teachers make it.  Yoga teacher trainings should be thought of as transformational, inward, profound journeys.  Yes you will learn about your body, you will understand alignment and learn to listen to your body in order to avoid injury, you will advance your practice and become a more skilled yogi, but more importantly you will evolve into the person you have been waiting to become.  This is what yoga teacher trainings are about.  We can’t wait for you to join us this October!

Our training dates are Saturdays and Sundays October 7-December 17th, 2017 
Saturdays  1-7pm, Sundays 1:40-7:40pm. (Thanksgiving weekend is omitted)

To get the Yoga 108 experience check out our video
Yoga 108 Teacher Training

Early Bird Deposits of $500.00 are due by September 15th.  Students who attend open house on Sunday September 17th at 1:45pm-3:15pm get an early bird extension. Sign-up HERE. Payment plans available. Inquire for pricing.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Cinnamon Oats with Stewed Maple Berries

by Jasmine De La Paz 

Today is the 1st of September, and it’s currently 105 degrees in Los Angeles. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting right in front of my air conditioner, as it’s the only cool spot in my house! So, I’m keeping this post short and sweet, as the heat is somewhat melting my brain.

Although it is still so hot outside, September marks a change. It means that Summer is coming to and end, and Autumn is near.  It’s important to prepare our bodies for this change, by incorporating more cooked foods. This doesn’t necessarily mean the food has to be hot – it can be cooked and chilled. For example, I like to lightly steam my veggies, then freeze them to add to smoothies. You can also “cool” warmed foods, by adding yogurt, hummus, or chilled stewed berries like the recipe below.

This recipe is so comforting and perfect meal to prepare your body for the change in seasons. The creamy oats, topped with the stewed berries pair so well with crunchy granola. Since the base is oats, I decided to add a grain free granola using one of my favorite recipes from My New Roots. You can also add fresh fruit, yogurt, and almond butter for something even more substantial.

Cinnamon Oats (serves 2)

  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½ cup coconut milk 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 
Pour the oats into a pan, and top with the warm water. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes covered. Uncover, and turn on stove to medium heat. Add the coconut milk and cinnamon, and stir. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring every couple minutes until bubbly and thick.

Stewed Maple Berries
  • 1 cup berries
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • Sprinkle of salt

Add coconut oil to a pan on medium heat. Add the berries, maple syrup, lemon, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Cook until it starts to boil, then cover and turn to low for about 5 – 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve warm over oats, or allow to cool then refrigerate over night. It tastes great warmed or cooled.

*every first Saturday of the month!

Saturday, September 2nd from 10:30-11am.
Free to those who attend the 9:15/30am & 11am classes.
Reserve your spot online here.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Humble Summer Berry Crumble (Cookin' with Jazz)

by Jasmine De La Paz 

Tis the season for fresh, juicy, plump berries! I love berry season, and when berries are in abundance a fresh crumble is in order. Crumbles are a perfect breakfast or brunch item and are even better when shared with friends. Plus, it's pretty much like eating dessert for breakfast, but a lot healthier! 

Berries are my favorite fruit. Not only are they delicious, but are also full of anti-oxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. Did you know a strawberry actually has more vitamin C than an orange? In this warming crumble, the sweet berries have soft notes of cinnamon, vanilla, and cardamom - pairing so well the crunchy maple walnut oat topping. For this recipe, I decided to add fresh peaches to add more body to the filling. However, you really can add any fruits you like, and experiment! 

Humble Summer Berry Crumble Recipe 
serves 4-6 people 

Berry Filling 
  • 1 heaping cup blackberries
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 sliced peaches 
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardomom
  • dash of salt 
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
Oat Topping 
  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp brown rice flour
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup 
  • dash of salt 


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Add the fruit to a bowl, and combine with the coconut sugar, spices, and lemon juice. Stir, and set aside to marinate. 

Add all the dry toppings to a separate bowl and stir. Pour the maple syrup on top, and mix  until well combined. 

Lightly grease a baking dish with coconut oil, and pour the fruit filling in, spreading evenly. Top the dish with the oat crumble, until all the berries are covered. 

Place in the oven, and bake for about 35-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, and the fruit is bubbling. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, and serve warm with yogurt. 

Best if enjoyed with friends! 

*every first Saturday of the month!

Saturday, August 6th from 10:30-11am.
Free to those who attend the 9:15/30am & 11am classes.
Reserve your spot online here.