Wednesday, March 29, 2017

April Breakfast: Mindfulness Muesli

Mindfulness Muesli
by Jasmine De La Paz

Yoga has so many positive affects on how you live your life, including what you decide to eat. When you take the time to practice asanas and meditate, you create an energy and intuition that allows you to be more 'mindful' of what you consume.

Lately I have been focusing more on digestion, and how to handle and prepare certain foods to make it easier on my digestive system and allow for more absorbability of nutrients. There are certain foods such as grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes that are much easier to digest if soaked in water for a specific time! Oats are definitely one to always soak.

I won't get too into the specifics, but all grains contain a phytic acid that can block absorption of minerals, and lead to all kinds of digestive issues. Soaking allows enzymes and  good organisms to neatralize the phytic acid, making the grains more digestible and full of nutrients.

I'm calling this recipe Mindfulness Muesli, because you are being thoughtful by taking the time to soak your oats so they absorb the ingredients and neutralize! Your gut will love you! This is also perfect for warmer weather, as it's cooling but will still leave you feeling satisfied and full of energy.

Mindfulness Muesli
(Serves 2) 
1 cup gluten free oats
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup almond or coconut yogurt
3 tbsp chia seeds
1tbsp goji berries (can sub cranberries or raisins)
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon

Fold everything together in a bowl, and store in your fridge overnight. Top with fruit, nuts, seeds, and extra goji berries before enjoying!

We will be serving this at our next Breakfast on the Patio, April 1 from 10:30-11am, along with a berry chia pudding, array of fruits, toppings, juice, tea, and coffee.

Reserve your spot online today!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Namaste Presents: Yang/Yin Gong Bath

by Dana Kraft

Top Reasons to Experience a Gong Bath:


Gong baths are one of the most healing experiences, and are a tool to soothe the body and detoxify in a holistic manner.

The first time I experienced a gong bath was in a Kundalini workshop. I was skeptical, but when I felt the vibrations through the floor entering my body, it felt like I was being transcended to another plane.

After that I went to another gong bath, and had experiences where I laughed, and also cried.

I am always looking for ways to find balance and healing into my life and bring these techniques to my students.  I decided to start combining my Yin Yang yoga classes with Gong Baths and create workshops for students to get the full experience of healing the body.

Most of us are seeking out balance in our lives, but we don’t know how to achieve it, maintain it, or why we fell out of balance in the first place. The Taoists teach us about two opposing energies called “yin” or in-flowing energy and “yang” out-flowing energy. The “yang” energy is how we are out in the world, our power, how we get things done. The “yin” energy is our internal world, our relationship to ourselves, our ability to get quiet and receive. These energies need to be in an even flow for us to feel energized and relaxed at the same time. In this two- hour practice, we will divide our time evenly between these two forces. The first part of our sequencing will begin with the “yang” practice in which we will heat the body through sun salutations and standing postures seamlessly put together into a vinyasa flow sequence. This time is designed to burn off impurities, to literally melt away the tension and stress that resides in the pockets of the body. The second half of the practice will take the open cleansed body through long hip openers, restorative postures, pranayama and meditation. Your svasana is the final part of the practice where we bathe you in the healing sounds of the gong. This process will rejuvenate the body leaving you feeling peaceful, passionate and balanced.

If you love to work hard and engage in that fiery energy, create sweat but know you need to balance that energy out, then this might be a challenge for you that you should push yourself to take on. If you prefer gentle flow and long restorative holds it is actually good for  the body to push yourself and build heat, because your body and your psyche needs that other half to be in balance.  The gong bath will only help to restore that balance more.

Clay Allen has been using gong, bowls and bells to create peaceful, vibrationally holistic sound baths for the past ten years. Training at the Integratron and Golden Bridge, Allen has learned how vibrational constructs are used to entice the brain into Alpha/Theta/Delta wave-scapes of enrichment. He plays a symphonic gong, which general considered the most etheric of these instruments, containing a sonic range that includes four specific spheres, and uses multiple mallets to guide bathers further out and further in.

Namaste and myself are excited to bring this workshop to you this Sunday evening, March 26, at 7:45pm to help restore, rejuvenate and balance those energies!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How to Build a Playlist for Your Practice

If you've been practicing yoga with a variety of teachers, you are bound to notice the differences in the way they teach whether it be favorite poses, certain phrases, distinct flow sequences, and even the music they play. Hannah Skye, one of the first teachers at Namaste, has some of our yogis' favorite playlists. It isn't uncommon for a student to ask for the name of a specific song after class and Hannah of always willing to share the wealth! 

In order to provide you with some great new jams to listen to any time of day and some perfect songs to practice to, we asked Hannah for her current class playlist. Check it out below along with the answers for how she decides what to play in her classes so you can feel inspired to build your own playlists at home!

This Week's Playlist: Spring Marched in

The Warehouse - the M Machine
Dreaming - Monteur
Body Suit - Banoffee
Stay Close - Anth M
Fire - Down Time
Away - Slaptop
Zero Hour - Dualist Inquiry
Voyeur - The M Machine
Isoterra - Dualist Inquiry
Touch feat. Daniela Andrade - Dabin
Fast Lane - Rationale
Breathe - ANIMA!
Purple Tears - Skye Chai
Forget you in LA - Poema
Now I'm Alive - O Mer
The Way She Moves - Tenru
Memory Tape One - HNNY
Float - Sol Rising
A Meaningful Moment through a Meaning(Less) Process - Stars of the Lid
Weightless Part 1 - Marconi Union

What do you look for in the songs you choose to play during your class?
When I build a new playlist, I first and foremost look for songs that will support the the practice and the vibe of the class. The rhythm of the music helps to set the rhythm of the breath and the movement. I love a good bass line.  If I'm playing songs with lyrics, I try to make sure that the lyrics either support the yogic theme or at least don't pull focus from the practice - no aggressive swearing or violence is allowed on my yoga playlists. I love electronic music, but I try to avoid anything with excessive beeps, clicks, or shrill noises. I love it when I can find songs that specifically match the theme of the class, though that's less important than the overarching feel of the playlist. I used to be more "on the nose" with the songs I picked. For example, a few years ago I taught a summer themed class that included songs all about summer - one of which was "Summer Girls" by LFO. After a couple classes, one of my students stopped me and begged me not to play that song any more. It's less important to be clever with my song choices than it is to blend a mix of songs that can support a seamless flow.

How do you find the music you play in your class?
I've never been very "cool" when it comes to music. Honestly, I get a lot of recommendations from Spotify and through stalking other people's playlists whose music tastes I like (specifically other yoga teachers). I've definitely pinned down a few artists that I love, particularly for yoga playlists: Dualist Inquiry, the M Machine, Chrome Sparks, Odesza, Milk and Bone, Broke for Free, Big Wild, Helios....and I'm sure many others that I'm forgetting.

Do you play songs in a specific order according to tempo? If yes, how to decide the order?
To fit the normal arc in a Vinyasa flow, I start with songs a little calmer and slowly build as we build heat. The fastest and most exciting songs usually happen somewhere around the middle of class where I often break for some core strengthening. The tempo will then dip back down a little stay fairly steady until we approach the end of class and everything slows down and mellows out for cool down. If I play music during savasana, I always look for something instrumental and mellow enough for people to either enjoy in their meditation or tune out completely. Usually I time everything pretty well, but every now and then I have to shuffle songs around so that the playlist matches where we are in the flow.

What would you suggest for anyone putting together their own playlists to practice at home?
If you're practicing at home, I think you can play whatever you like! It's actually fun to do yoga along to dubstep or hiphop or even show tunes. In general though, it's good to build a playlist that has an arc and that matches the sort of practice you are going for. If you're having a nice chill yoga session, maybe stick to soothing instrumental songs. If you're going for a more fiery flow, then play the music that inspires you to move or dance even. The rhythm of the music will almost certainly influence the rate of breath and the speed of your movement (even if you aren't consciously aware of it), so I'd recommend choosing songs with a medium or slow tempo. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us, Hannah!
Come check out her classes (and playlists) at the following days and times:

9:15 - 10:30am         VINYASA :: Intermediate
10:50am - 12:05pm        VINYASA :: Advanced
5:00 - 6:00pm                 VINYASA :: Candlelight

8:00 - 9:00 am                VINYASA :: All Levels
7:00 - 8:00pm                CORE :: Yoga Workout

8:15 - 9:15am                VINYASA :: All Levels
8:00 - 9:00am                VINYASA :: All Levels
7:00 - 8:00pm                CORE :: Yoga Workout
8:15 - 9:15pm                VINYASA :: Candlelight

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Get Out and V O T E

This past Saturday we hosted a voter's education open house for those who were looking for a breakdown of the measures on the upcoming ballot. In case you missed it, this free presentation was given by Genevieve and Jay, a couple of informed citizens without political ties. Review the slides from the presentation to see the position of both sides -- and get out there and vote!

Don't know your polling place? Click here!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Orange Cardamom Chia Pudding

Orange Cardamom Chia Pudding
by Jasmine De La Paz

When I first discovered chia seeds, I felt like to stumbled upon some magical gift from the Gods! Not only are they full of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, calcium, and antioxidants (just to name a few), but their absorbability and somewhat plain taste makes them one of the most versatile seeds in the World!

The word "chia" means "strength" in ancient Mayan cultures, and rumor has it Aztec warriors would eat the seeds before going out to battle! Scientifically, the seeds provide satiation for hours without leaving you feeling full or groggy, and provide your body with the nutrients you need to balance your energy pre or post Yoga.

There are many ways to use chia seeds - chia "eggs" in baking, adding them to smoothies or porridges, protein bars, desserts, etc. My favorite is making chia puddings. Since chia seeds are so versatile, you can literally make hundreds of variations to chia puddings, and it is so quick and easy to make.

I try to eat based on seasons, and oranges are in abundance right now and flavorful as ever this time of year. I balanced the tangy citrus flavor with a warming cardamom spice and hints of vanilla. This might be my favorite chia pudding recipe yet!

Orange Cardamom Chia Pudding (serves 2) 

4 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup plant based milk (coconut is my favorite for this recipe)
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 orange
1 tbsp orange zest
Juice of half an orange

Mix the chia seeds with the milk, then slowing whisk in the rest of the ingredients (setting aside the orange) and let sit for about 2 minutes. Whisk again making sure all the ingredients are fully mixed together, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight in an air tight container.

Cut the orange into thin slices (removing the skin afterwards with a knife), and apply them to the sides of a jar. Layer with coconut or almond yogurt, and top with coconut shavings and orange zest.

This chia pudding will be available Saturday for breakfast on the patio, which will also include oats, fruits, nuts, superfoods, juice, tea, and coffee - all made with love!