Guest Post! Discount Yoga By Kellie Murphy

namaste-mat

By Kellie C. Murphy

My practice got a little too expensive in the Fall. My regular studio is a quaint little dojo in Moorestown that can hold about 12 of us on a crowded Saturday morning. I got to the point where I couldn’t afford to pay the $144 per 12 classes what with Christmas coming up and many of my other major expenses — like my car insurance bill — being due. This isn’t news to anybody as many folks are struggling financially and the non-essentials needed to be cut out, at least for a little while. And for that little while I allowed the lack of funds to interrupt my practice. Well, there’s never a good time to neglect your practice, but the holidays are definitely NOT that time. I was going out of my mind! What to do?

I began practicing at home.

I found a number of great online resources, many of them free or at a very low cost, that helped me to continue my practice and get some much needed exercise and stress relief, without breaking my already strained piggy bank.

I found a website, Yogaglo.com, that hosts more than 2,000 practices in all different yoga styles and for any and all skill levels. The membership costs just $18 per month and your first 15 days are free. This is not only perfect for those of us that are broke, it’s perfect for beginners who want to try different styles and to get over that initial bendy, twisty embarrassment beginner yogis may feel when practicing in public in the beginning. There are also some great full-length practices on YouTube that are absolutely free.

This isn’t to say that at-home yoga is preferable to in-studio yoga. Nobody gets the full “namaste effect” of a practice by staying at home alone. Yet if it’s a matter of some practice to stay limber and keep the mind clear and the spirit strong rather than no practice, then by all means get your yogi on at home, and after savasana send love, light and your purest namaste out to your yogi peers in your mind. Trust me, this works.

Just remember to breathe and to be kind to yourself.

Namaste!

Two Of Kellie’s Favorite YouTube Yogis:

Esther Ekhart of Ekhart Yoga…

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoX35pqk5ZY&list=PLhheL8XkvsRYM4UGbvM9g_P2PB5cjtbHr&index=3

Vinyasa Flow with Ali Kamenova…
LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2Gb2UBEYzQ&feature=share&list=PLhheL8XkvsRYM4UGbvM9g_P2PB5cjtbHr

Kellie is a freelance journalist and yoga enthusiast who’s been practicing for about 15 years. You can read more of her work via her website www.KCMJournalist.com and follow her on Twitter @KCMJournalist.

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Don’t forget to….

just breathe…

Yoga Love New Zealand

” The normal rate of breathing is 21,600 breaths inhaled & exhaled every 24 hours. The yogi measures his/her span of life not by the number of days, but of breaths. Since breathing is lengthened in pranayama, its practice leads to longevity.”

B.K.S. Iyengar

As simple as that As simple as that

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Mushroom Farro Stew

mushroom farro

The polar vortex has temporarily lifted. In the NYC area Sunday greeted us with 40° temperatures. In the background though, a snow storm is brews. I want to be prepared so off to the grocery store I went.

Since moving to my new place I haven’t been playing around with recipes. However, cold weather and especially snow has a way of bringing out the comfort food fanatic in all of us. And yes I realize that this particular Sunday is a big deal in my area, bit I’m not a football fan. Making a stew while listening to a book sounds like a perfect plan.

This recipe requires a bit more prep than some of my others, but it’s worth it. This stew freezes well- so make a ton and store it!

Mushroom Farro Stew

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of your favorite mushroom blend (I used oyster, shitake, cremini and baby bellas)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 stalk celery stalk diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red potato minced
  • 3 cups kale finely chopped
  • one heaping pinch sage
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup cooking sherry or red wine (or grape or pomegranate juice if you don’t cook with alcohol)
  • ¼ cup brown roux (recipe included in this post)
  • 6 cups of your favorite stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup faro

How to make roux (from Vegetarian Times)

1. Stir together equal parts melted or hot liquid fat (butter, oil, or margarine) and flour in wide-bottomed pan or skillet over medium heat.

2. Cook the roux, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, to desired color (the darker the roux, the deeper the flavor):
WHITE 2 to 4 minutes; add milk for a béchamel (the basic French white sauce) or broth for a velouté (a stock-based light sauce).
BLOND 5 to 8 minutes; used for veloutés and chowders.
BROWN 10 to 15 minutes; used for espagnole sauce and stews.
DARK BROWN 20 to 30 minutes; used for gumbo.

3. Add liquid preferably warmed to prevent the roux from seizing up. For sauces, cook, stirring constantly, until desired consistency is reached.

Directions for the stew

  1. Heat olive oil in dutch oven or large soup pot
  2. Sauté onions, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes and mushrooms until onions are translucent
  3. Add red wine- keep stirring – scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan (cook for another 5-7 minutes)
  4. Add sage, salt and pepper
  5. Add the roux- keep stirring constantly scraping the bottom on the pan
  6. Add half of your stock- gently stir and bring to simmer
  7. Add remaining stock- reduce to very low heat and cook for 45-60 minutes checking frequently
  8. Add the faro 30 minutes before completion- add 1/2 cup of water and raise heat to medium. Check frequently to make sure faro cooks through and doesn’t stick to the bottom of your soup pot.
  9. Add the kale 15 minutes before completion

Serves 6-8

Enjoy!

Namaste y’all.

The geometry of Utthita Parsvakonasna

Yes to all of this!

Home Yoga Practice

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Utthita Parsvakonasana, or Extended Side Angle Pose is a prism of geometric shapes. Like a dynamic ramp, there is one crisp line from the base of the foot all the way to the finger tips. There is also a 90 degree angle in the leg that is difficult to properly attain without discipline from the practitioner. It is the pose I chose for my cover photo while I was visiting the battlefield of Gettysburg shortly after my Iyengar assessment in Pennsylvania.

I will present the classic asana the way I learned from my teachers.

First start in Tadasana.

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Jump the feet 4 to 4.5 feet apart (1.25 Meters) like in Utthita Trikonasana (see previous post). This is called Utthita Hasta Padasana. Notice I am using straps to illustrate how the wrists are above the feet when the distance is correct.

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Rotate the left foot to the right and the entire…

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Food Yoga- When Mistakes Get Delicious

Grown-up pizza!!!

 

I had these grand plans to make a tasty pizza with prickly pears goat cheese and caramelized onions. But it just wasn’t working. I tried, but square pegs, round holes and whatnot. The pears will make an appearance in another recipe. Now what should I have for dinner? I pulled out the tomatoes I had roasted and decided to make a grown-up pizza.

 

Pizza may not seem like typical healthy dinner fare, but if you keep the toppings in the veggie world it’s really not bad. Have a salad and you are set! I haven’t experimented with gluten-free dough, but it’s in the works!!! This pizza is about 300 calories (thin crust) for 1/4 of the pie.

 

 

It’s perfect for Meatless Monday. I topped this with my veggie of the moment, roasted tomatoes. Additional toppings were caramelized onions, fresh basil, feta and asiago cheeses. I used the cheese sparingly- less than a 1/4 total. I didn’t use sauce but instead brushed the crust with olive oil. Cheese is easily omitted- it could be substituted with a peppery jam!

 

Bake in a pre-heated 425 oven for 15 minutes!

 

I used tomatoes I roasted and pulled out a few things to make a yummy tasty pizza without sauce or mozzarella.