Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Make Each Moment Count

Hi all! Happy Wednesday. I hope you all are having a great week. Today I was thinking about moments; what we spend our time doing, thinking about, if we worry, stress, or stay in the present. For most of us we probably do a little bit of everything. I was thinking about all the moments collectively and how each one is important to us in some way. Whether it is our worry giving us information about what to release, or stress telling us to back off or when were in the present truly living from our core. They are all important. I was reading today from Melody Beattie and she says, "All the moments count. The quiet moments. The moments of boredom and solitude. The moments of sharing. The exciting moments of discovery. The moments of grandeur. The exciting moments of discovery. The agonizing moments when we feel sad, angry and upset. Each moment is equally important. Don't wait and hope for one person, one event, that will change your life, plummet you into the future you desire. Instead remember that each moment in time brings change, evolution and transformation...

The life you desire is happening right now.

Cherish all your moments. Embrace the beauty and importance of each one. 

I just wanted to take a moment to share that with all of you! Hope you have a wonderful rest of the day and week. :) 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Vegan-Strawberry Breakfast Cookies

These are a staple at the Saturday morning classes and many of you have asked for the recipe. They are really quick and simple to make, and you can also tweak things here and there. The other weekend I made them with raspberries and they were equally delicious! Enjoy!

Recipe from Tasty Yummies:

Strawberry Coconut Breakfast Cookies – Gluten-free + Veganmakes 18-24 cookies
2 cups of certified gluten-free rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup certified gluten-free oat flour (or just process some gluten-free rolled oats into a fine powder)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 organic bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup fresh organic strawberries, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F. Line a baking sheet or two with unbleached parchment paper. In a large bowl combine oats, oat flour, coconut, chia seeds, almonds and salt. Stir in bananas, strawberries, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. I use my clean bare hands to mix it all up so I can really get in there and get everything well mixed. You can of course just use a large spoon or spatula.
Form the dough into 2 1/2 inch balls/discs with your hands and place into even rows with just a little room in between them. Press them down very gently to flatten them a bit.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until fragrant and golden. Cool on pan for a few minutes than transfer to a cooking rack. Enjoy for breakfast, dessert or an anytime snack.

Take some time... for you.

Hello again sweet yogis, I just wanted to let you all know that the studio will be closed Wednesday through Sunday. I am heading to a few yoga workshops in Dallas. I am looking forward to soaking up some good nourishment and to having some fun with my family! There is a part of me that hates not being at the studio and hates having to close it but, to give you all my best, I have to create space for my own self. I feel like it's important to as much as possible create a life that feels good on the inside. In valuing ourselves we create a life that isn't draining, but instead one that always helps us to grow, learn and have all the space in the world to feel and be. We have to make a conscience effort not to run ourselves into the ground simply because we can. I think it's almost harder to back off, than it is to go full force. So, if you are one of those people, maybe take some time this week, this weekend to back off a little. Enjoy yourself and take your time.

Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend. Lots of love!


P.S. Monday, be prepared to sweat! 

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is so, so good. I watched it last weekend and was amazed. It is incredible what eating healthy does for the body as well as the mind. Our society has become a place entrenched with fast food, diet foods, obesity... but what would happen if we all decided to eat according to feeling good? Forget weight loss, it will happen naturally when you are taking in nutrient rich foods. Or at least it did for these guys. Watch it! :) You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Morning Catch-Up

Hello dear yogis, hope you all had a great rest of the week and weekend. Mine was busy to say the least, but it was sunny and beautiful outside which was wonderful! Soaked up some much needed Vitamin D. Last week, my friend turned me on to Udo's Oil. Have you all heard of it? I put it on everything from avocados to salads. It is basically the perfect blend of Omega fatty acids. Not just Omega's 3's... you get all of them and it doesn't taste bad. I will dare to say I even like the flavor! If you want to read more about it, check it out here, Udo's Oil.

An announcement for the studio: there will be no class Wednesday and most likely for the rest of the week. One thing that is difficult is not having anyone to sub for me and teaching 6 days a week can be intense! I haven't really had very much time for my own nourishment since the studio opened. Which, is wonderful, but at the same time, I have to have nourishment to be able to nourish others. :) I will give you all an official update when I figure out my schedule.

Wishing you all a lovely Sunday. It is a nice rainy Sunday here and I am loving it.

P.S. I've also been making these raw energy bites and I love them. You can see the recipe on Gimme' Some Oven. They are really, really quick and easy!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy Tuesday, all!

Hi friends. Hope your week is off to a great start. The 6:30 class yesterday was pretty darn sweaty, but everyone hung in there! The theme for class... moving to your soul's rhythm. In life everything has a rhythm from your heartbeat to nature. When we are in sync, we can move easily with the flow and allow our rhythm to come naturally, but when we're caught up in everything that we think we should be, supposed to be, etc., we can fall out of our natural rhythm and into something that just doesn't seem to quite fit. Yoga is yoking our mind, body and soul. What we think, what we feel... it's the process of aligning. When we do this, we can start to notice what "feels" right and what seems out of place within our bodies, within our hearts and within our lives. This week, allow yourself to flow; to move and groove to your own heartbeat, your own breath. Notice when you're in sync,' notice when you're not. Just notice, become aware of your own rhythm.

Hope you all have a wonderful day! A little song for you from Ben Howard. Enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Treat

Hi all!

Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend. On Saturday, I received some wonderful treats to share with you. My cousin makes the best jelly and she kindly made dozens for the studio. There is everything from Apple Butter to Habenero Pepper. All of the produce such as the peppers came from her garden. It's safe to say that there is nothing processed, it's all natural, organic and delicious. Sound good? Come and get some!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Yogi of the Month :: Lauren Murphy

Check out how this marathoner kept going without hitting the wall, injury or soreness...
Maitri's Yogi of the Month Q&A, with a shout out to Arsagas. If you haven't been and live in Fayetteville you must go. Best crepes in town!

Meet Lauren Murphy...

Why did you start practicing yoga?
I started practicing because it forced me to stretch, and I knew the poses and practice would strengthen my running.

What surprising things have you gained since practicing?
I have realized that yoga can be a workout routine all by itself.  I used to think that yoga was a slow and boring exercise, but after trying Maitri, I understand that you just have to find the right style for you.  Vinyasa is the perfect blend of sweat, cardio, and strength for me, and I think people looking for a more active routine would agree.  The beauty of it all is that I don't feel exhausted after an hour and a half; instead, I feel rinsed out, energized, and uplifted!

Finally, I've just recently seen the tangible, positive results from my practice:  I ran a marathon without injury, without hitting the wall at any point during the 26-mile run, and without much soreness in the days following.  Plus, it was my second best time!  I give full credit to yoga for one of my best marathon experiences, and I will be sure to couple the two workouts for future training purposes.
What's your favorite pose?
My favorite pose is Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose.  It stretches the tightest parts of my body and feels like a standing massage!

What would you say keeps you coming back to the mat?
The sweat, the community, and the incredible sense of accomplishment and relaxation I feel when I leave the studio.

What would you tell people who would like to try yoga, but haven't yet?
It will change your body and mind.  I know this because I've seen it in others and I've felt it for myself.  And while yoga will certainly strengthen your body, it will also affect a host of positive changes in nooks and crannies of your life that you never knew existed or needed change.

What is your favorite benefit of yoga?
The lean and mean muscles I'm developing that never received the attention they deserved through running or other exercise!

What's your favorite restaurant in Fayetteville?
Hippie shout out to Arsaga's for the clean and yummy food they make.


Last night's class:
A lot of times I don't pick a theme before class, because I never really know until walking into it, what the mood of the room will be. Each class is different and sometimes I feel like I can read things pretty well, while other times it feels a little muddled and I can't tell exactly which way to go (to have music or not have music, to do hips or shoulders, etc...). Tonight while I read from Melody Beattie's book, Journey to the Heart, about loving the questions themselves, I knew I had a theme in mind for receiving. Lately my mind has been coming back to the fact that we don't have to know all the answers all the time and it often takes a certain amount of quiet and space to even receive the answers we're looking for. I think in life there are always questions, but I think the more we can connect to our own heart and our own selves, we can receive what we need to receive... as long as we are willing to listen. Sometimes we don't want to know the answer because we're afraid we might not like it, and sometimes it can be scary to know what you really feel.

So for the rest of the week and weekend, when you find yourself wondering about something, love the questions and have faith that the answers will come when you're ready to hear them.

Lots of love to you all!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Welcome to Maitri

Welcome to Maitri's blog. I have written another blog for years and I kept it going until I opened up the studio. Some how it hasn't been as cohesive and I wanted to create a blog just for sharing all things yoga, all things Maitri. If you miss a class or need some Maitri in your life, feel free to visit this space any time. I will try to have updates on themes, what was talked about in class and what was shared. Yoga has been one of the best gifts I have ever received in my life. It brought me back to myself; to my heart, to my roots and to my core. It has given me space and room to branch out. I hope to offer the same thing that was given to me, to all students who walk through the door of Maitri. My hope, my mission is to give people a safe place to come as they are and let go. How often do we feel like we have to keep everything together? And what would happen if we let go?

The reason I chose the name Maitri Yoga is because the word itself, “maitri” means
loving-kindness or compassion. Let your yoga mat be a place where you can go no matter what is going on in your life. This practice isn’t about having the perfect pose it’s about
the journey. This is your practice, and it’s up to you what you wish to receive.

I wanted to share with you where the name maitri came from. I read it in one of Pema
Chodron’s books and here’s what she says, “Loving-kindness, maitri, toward ourselves
doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy, angry,
jealous or timid, or have feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to change
ourselves. This practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become
something better. It’s about befriending who we already are. The ground of practice is
you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s the ground, that’s what
we study, that’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest,” …she
says, “Being with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in full,
unrestricted, and inspired. One of the major obstacles to what is traditionally called
enlightenment is resentment, feeling cheated and holding a grudge about who you are,
where you are and what you are. This is why we talk so much about making friends with ourselves. This is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we
have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we
already have. Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance,
our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and
therefore it doesn’t do any good to try to get rid of our basic wonderfulness. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than
trying to change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to
become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves. The ground of loving-
kindness is this sense of satisfaction with who we are and what we have. This path is a sense of wonder… We know we’re never really going to find all the answers, because
these kind of questions come from having a hunger and passion for life—they have
nothing to do with solving anything or tying it all up into one neat little package. This
kind of questioning is the journey itself… “

So that’s just it…
It isn’t about tying everything up into one neat and tidy bow. It’s about embracing all
the parts of you—the light and the dark, the happiness and the heartbreak, the fear and
the courage. It’s just about showing up and bringing all the parts of you to your mat…
breathing through it and letting go.

See you on the mat, friends. Namaste :)