Thursday, December 29, 2011

Healthy Yogi Friendly Products for your Body & Home

While many people are waking up, breaking free from the hypnosis of marketing, embracing healthy eating, yoga and even adjusting their home & beauty products to a less toxic chemical selection....there are still some people who think it is conspiracy. Actually, part of becoming aware is enlightenment, not to be afraid, but rather to be aware.

Whether you want to believe that giant beauty companies, food companies, and government run factory farms are creating products with cancer causing/toxic chemicals as part of a conspiracy or not, the reality is, those chemicals have no benefit for us.

So educate yourself on the ingredient list of things that you use. Our skin is our largest organ, and absorbs everything from products to the water we drink. So if the ingredients are similar to ones that can cause rust removal (like the ever famous Coco Cola), perhaps we should make adjustments to what we put in our bodies and outside.

For a beautiful list of popular products that have cancer causing chemicals as ingredients visit the link here: (Below are two)
  • Johnson and Johnson Talcum Powder: TALC = carcinogenic and risk for ovarian cancer and lung irritation.
  • Crest Toothpaste: FD&C Blue #1=carcinogenic, Saccharin=carcinogenic
If you are looking for options, you can create your own products yourself or some products that are natural and safe include:
Things that you can use or make yourself:
  • Use Coconut Oil with Peppermint Oil/Clove Oil & a little Baking Soda for a homemade toothpaste
  • Use Coconut oil/Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil for a body Moisturizer or Hair Oil
  • Use tea tree oil to help prevent blemishes and keep skin clear
  • MAKE REGULAR VEGETABLE JUICE for clear skin, healthy intestines and a healthy body

Choose wisely, choose consciously......

Friday, December 16, 2011

Welcoming New Reiki Healers

A week ago, myself and my dear friend Joseph welcomed 5 new Reiki Healers into the world of Reiki. These 5 individuals enjoyed as they sat in a beautiful sunlight, crystal grid, Yoga Healing Room at Reebok Sports Club and learned about all things for Reiki Level 1. This Zoga Yoga program introduced them to the History of Reiki, Dr. Usui, Uses, Benefits, Chakras, Energy Bodies, Grounding Techniques, Hand Positions and much more. To top it all off, they each received 4 attunements. The energy for this Training was so beautiful, and I know these 5 amazing individuals are going to go on to share radiant love & light with various aspects of this Universe. I am so grateful to have been part of their journey and I look forward to receiving Reiki from each of them.

For those who are unaware of Reiki, it is an ancient technique that was rediscovered by Dr. Usui. I say rediscovered because it was Dr. Usui that believed Reiki to be a Healing Technique that always existed. It is not connected to any Religion in any way, but rather meant to share Universal Life Force Energy. It brings peace and tranquility to both the giver and receiver. Many Hospitals and Medical Schools are now recommending Reiki as an addition to their patients regular treatment. This transfer of positive energy can be done on people, animals, things, situations etc....but when done on people you are supposed to have the permission of the receiver.

Since I have had the honor to give many Reiki Sessions, many people have asked me to train them in Reiki, and since becoming a Reiki Master myself, I provide a list of Teachers who have inspired me, and teachers who have had may years of reputable experience in the field of Reiki. With this list, I ask the students to meditate and allow themselves to be open to who resonates best with them. Much like Yoga it is important to experience Reiki & practice for sometimes before giving attunements.

For those interested in learning about Reiki, there are many amazing Reiki Masters and Teachers to choose from. Like with any search for an Instructor, it is important to learn from the teacher that resonates with your heart. For myself, I learned Reiki 1, years ago, and practiced for years before ever embarking on Reiki Level 2, and actually, I repeated both Reiki 1 & 2 just so I could experience it with a different teacher, and to learn more. Tremendous love & respect to all my Teachers! Reiki attunements open peoples energy up to something very amazing, and in my view, it is important to practice for some time before ever embarking on actually Teaching others, because this makes us a better conduit for the transfer of energy.

Finally, many years later, I had a brilliant Yoga Student in a morning Yoga class that I taught, by the name of Mary ( She explained how she was learning Reiki, and I casually mentioned that perhaps one day she would be my Reiki Teacher for Master level training. This turned out to be a prophetic statement, as a year later, Mary trained both myself and Joseph to be Reiki Masters and Crystal Healers. Thank you Mary for an amazing experience that I will forever cherish.

After my Reiki Master training, I went through what is called a Healing Crisis, and also after attuning these 5 amazing new Reiki Healers, again, I went through a Healing Crisis. The reality is, Reiki is very much like detoxification to the body (emotional, physical, spiritual) and like with any detox, the body goes through symptoms of sickness first before the plateau of Purity. A Healing Crisis is also called "Herxheimer Reaction", which happens when the body is trying to eliminate toxins at a Rapid Rate. My amazing teacher Mary had gone through the same thing. Using grounding crystals like Arragonite Star Cluster, and drinking lots of water can help. I think for now I will only be conducting smaller groups for Reiki Training, since the energy is very intense.

Once again, thank you to the 5 amazing new Reiki Healers: Alexander, Carissa, David, Jackie & Jamie! And thank you Joseph for sharing giving the attunements, it was so awesome to work with you, and I foresee many more experiences ahead.

For anyone interested in having a Special Reading done from Joseph, and also Setting your New Year off Right, please consider attending "THE NEW YEAR MEDITATION WORKSHOP" hosted by the incredible Rock Whisperer herself, Krista N. Mitchell. The line up of healers looks amazing!!! ~ Om Shanti

Photo: Joseph & Ambria at Reebok Sports Club

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Burning Sage - Clearing Energy

Sage is an herb known for its healing and medicinal properties. The botanical name for sage is "Salvia Apiana" which comes from the Latin root Salvare, which means "to heal or to save". Since ancient times people have used Sage to clear negative energy, and bring purification to homes, objects, etc. Sometimes sage is bundled up into smudge sticks, white dried sage or even dessert sage is burned to give off a smoke & aroma said to clear out any negative energy. Some people say it improves their Spiritual practices, and some say say that it creates happiness and abundance to their lives and homes. You can also use loose leaves and burn them in an Abalone Shell or some sort of bowl so that the ash does not get everywhere. Many people who do healing work, use Sage as part of their ritual practice. It really creates a lovely energy and has a sweet fragrance. It is a wonderful addition to cleanse the energy of a Yoga Studio, or Reiki Healing Space. Also, burning of sage is great to use for your Crystals. Sage will make your crystals sing, and your homes ring with abundance of Joy and Bliss. Recently, my fellow Yogi and dear friend Joseph shared some Fresh Sage that was grown by his friend. A huge box of Lavendar Sage and other wonderful! I like to think of Sage as a Spiritual Shower. If you are looking for something to set the energy of your home, cleanse for your crystals or yourself, look into burning some sage and embrace the energy. ~ Om Shanti

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rebounding with Carissa

As I am now in transit, and blessed to spread my wings in the global Yoga community, I returned to NYC on a brief trip. Of course I wanted to take classes with some of my beloved friends & fellow Yogis, and most importantly embrace the concept of stillness. This particular post is about a class that is the opposite of stillness. The class is called Rebounding, taught by my Yoga Sister, Carissa. If you have read my posts before, you may have read about my incredible respect and admiration for this awesome lady, Carissa, who I am blessed to call friend. We met teaching at a lovely studio together, where we left maintaining our friendship. In many ways, Carissa and I have agreed that we consider ourselves equals, in that we are both artists, yoga teachers and if we need to, we will kick your butt in a sweaty class that will leave your muscles shaking, all with a loving/encouraging smile on our face, and a namaste as you leave. For two years she has mentioned this class Rebounding, and I was always teaching at the time she gave the class in Manhattan. Finally, my monday night was free, so I decided to get to this class.

The class was packed, with people eagerly waiting to get on their individual trampolines. So this is what the class is Yoga, Dance Mania, Cardio KickBox, Sculpt and more Dance mania, all done on a trampoline!!! Yes, I said trampoline. A lotta jumping. The music playlist was an incredible compilation by an awesomely talented NYC DJ Dax, that was enough to have anyone motivated. I gave Carissa my hair elastic, as I knew she being the Instructor, needed it more than me. She taught the class with the enthusiasm of a ROCK STAR, because she basically is. While she is cueing the class, counting us in and taking us through this routine of mayhem and sweat, she has a giant "Carissa" smile, and she is head bopping to the music. Making her routine look effortless and amazing. I LOVED EVERY SECOND. Being that I have an irregular heart beat, intense cardio is usually a challenge but if you know me, once I get in a zone and the music is playing I just go for it. Carissa is the awesome teacher that makes you wanna go for it! I still kept it yogic and went at my own pace, not always trying to mimic her Janet Jackson Dance moves on a trampoline, as much as I wanted to...perhaps with practice.

The cutest part was, Carissa had her phone/ipod on silent, and it rang twice. The only person who seems to be able to call her when her phone is on silent, is her mom....I could have swore that her mom called so I could catch my breath. This is the class that will make you sweat, shed those extra layers of fat, get your heart beating, and bring a smile ear to ear, because it is so much fun!! The jumping is also amazing for our lymphatic system too. Carissa gives the new students perfect alignment cues, and is attentive to their safety while making them eager to keep up with the pace of the class....which is probably why the class is so packed. If you are looking for a class to get in shape with, try out Carissa's Rebounding class....she will get you trim & slim. At the end of class after all the sweating, and jumping, I love that Carissa had us sit on our trampolines and center ourselves......what a Yogini. Thank you Lovely Carissa for an awesome Class!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Frozen (Grapes) bites of heaven

Recently after teaching an awesome Yoga class downtown to three families on their amazing rooftop, the ever popular topic of healthy eating came up. We were discussing juicing, and healthy foods, when one of the ladies eyes lit up at the mention of fruits. They were insistent that I try frozen grapes, the kids specifically insisted on frozen red grapes. While I have had frozen fruits before, especially for smoothies, I had to admit I never froze my grapes. I was told they are like little bites of sorbet, another person insisted to call them Popsicle bites of heaven. The reality is, organic grapes can be expensive, and sometimes can go bad quick, so putting them in the freezer is also economical.

I tried, and WOW!!! My new favorite snack, that can last for long time. Since the frozen grape has a longer shelf life, their is no excuse to avoid purchasing an organic grape. For the calorie counters out there, grapes are not so high in calories, roughly a little over 60 calories for one serving/1 cup. For parents who are itching to ween your kids to a healthier lifestyle, 4 kids gave their seal of enthusiastic approval when I was informed of this awesome, healthy snack.

Grapes also happen to be an excellent source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium and vitamin A. Grapes are rich in antioxidants like flavones, tannins, anthocyanins, which scientists claim to have anti cancer benefits. Red Grapes are also a great source of Resveratol, which promotes a healthy heart.

Thanks Roof top Yogis for sharing the wonderful snack idea.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Yoga with Mary

After my time at the Zendo, my very first Yoga class was with Mary Krensavage, 10 am-ish at the Reebok Sports Club. Mary is an amazing Dharma Yoga Instructor who teaches wonderful Yoga Classes. Her classes are creative, challenging and incredibly balancing to the mind-body & spirit. She was actually subbing the class this particular morning. I had taken class with Mary before, when she had played her "Rock" playlist. Like many yoga teachers she has a few "playlists" to pick from for her yoga classes. The "Rock" - playlist yoga class had us flowing through sweaty vinyasa flows where we did push-ups after every chuturanga, it was awesome!

I knew I was in for an awesome challenge at 10 am with Mary, on a Monday morning, after coming from a week of sitting hours and hours.....oh WOW!

This particular class was packed, and she played her "Zen" playlist. An amazing play list of soft music that echoes in the heart and soul. I was joined by my friends/Sensei's, Joseph & David. The playlist couldn't have been more fitting for me personally, since I was fresh from the Zendo. Amazing, peaceful music that guided us through a class of mega hip-openers. She started class with a lovely meditation, integrating a story of the new timers set on the walk/don't walk street signals. She was telling us to embrace our own time, and avoid pushing or rushing to nail a pose and rather just be present to where our body needs to be. Mary had us flowing through a wildly creative, and challenging vinyasa, with her harmonious voice to lead us in the occasional breath cue. Mary gives breath cues almost like a song, you can't help but extend your inhalation as she swoops the word into a magnificent crescendo. During the beginning of class, a crystal that I had kept in my sports bra popped right out and onto my yoga mat, Joseph noticed it, and we both shared a little laugh.

The class had a deja-vu moment for me.....So here we go, flash back years ago, when Dharma East was the main Dharma Center in NYC, it was packed with the regulars, amazing bendy, flying yogis, and I was in class with my ankle bandaged up. I was in a little bit of pain, but wanted to take Dharma's class so badly, that I had taken a cab from my Upper West Side yoga class, just to attend. I was so grateful to be there, even if I knew physically it would be a challenge. We went through a literal "race" of Surya Namaskar. Sri Dharma challenged the entire room to "beat him", of course none of us did, and a specific song played when I rose my head up to the last Tadasna, simultaneously, Mary Krensavage, who I didn't know personally, except as a familiar friendly face at Dharma's, with her hair in adorable pig tails, was directly across from me in this Massive Ocean of yogis packed into Dharma East, smiled at me. Her smile made me feel so amazing. Energetically she was sending me love & positive energy. I had a moment of feeling like I didn't belong in the Master Level class, since I knew my ankle was a little sore, but her comforting smiles made me feel reassured to stay with my breath and my heart filled with gratitude. As we progressed through class, Dharma came and adjusted me into a deeper variation of Pigeon, it felt heavenly.

So Fast Forward to this DE-JA-VU moment....Well, in this "Zen" class, I am in a forward fold, hands wrapped around my calves, and the same song comes on, I slowly stand up and see Mary smiling. A flood of grateful tears began to fill my eyes, as the moment couldn't have been more perfect.

I thanked Mary after class for another brilliant experience, and told her about my Deja-vu experience. We hugged, laughed and her eyes started to tear, as she actually remembered that specific moment.

Regardless of if you have an injury that forces you to modify your practice, or apprehension due to a break from your regular Yoga practice....Embrace the moment, embrace each breath, surrender to that Portion of God within your heart, and cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Yoga has an amazing way to connect your mind-body-spirit and remind you of the beauties of life.

Thank you so much Mary for amazing classes! I love to practice with you! ~ Om Shanti