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Manifesting as if things already exist

IMG_1354We have all heard about manifesting I’m sure but if not it can be defined as “displaying or showing (a quality or feeling) by one’s acts or appearance; to demonstrate”. Essentially creating something that you would like to exist in your world. We all chose to be embodied in this world to create. The chakra located right below our naval is connected with our sense of creation is called the Sacral chakra – why because it is our entire purpose to create here. We are always creating something whether it is through our thoughts or actions.

One of the key components of meditation is to become aware of our thoughts so that we don’t get caught up in them. Our thoughts are either connected to our Higher Self or our ego. The original thought (gut reaction) is our Higher Self or intuition speaking and then any thoughts following that is our ego. Have you ever noticed that your ego is constantly complaining or creating drama in your life? The purpose of meditation is to become aware of your ego doing this and pull yourself out of it.

You might be asking why I brought up mediation… and that is because it has a lot to do with manifesting. Whatever we think – becomes. Here is an example: Someone may be so worried (thinking about it all the time) that their significant other will cheat on them. Guess what eventually happens.. the significant other cheats! NOW – if we practice meditation and gain awareness, meaning we can catch the worrisome thinking and flip it to a positive like “My significant other is so attracted to me and always wants to be with me.” What do you think is going to happen? Just that!!

Now there are some other important factors in manifesting that we often forget…

  1. We say the desired state as if it already exists. Notice I didn’t say “My significant other will be so attracted to me and will always wants to be with me.” I said “My significant other is so attracted to me and always wants to be with me.” If we don’t state it as if it already exist then the Universe doesn’t always know when we want it. So maybe this might be some other significant other down the road… or later after they cheat they change their mind. Here’s another example. Say you really want to move to San Francisco… you wouldn’t say, “I want to move to San Francisco.” You would say  “I am moving to San Francisco.”
  2. Now, let’s take deeper look at this move to San Francisco… we need to help the Universe out even more… so we have the statement  “I am moving to San Francisco.” Great! But when??? You haven’t told the Universe when you would like to go. You might be moving there when you’re 80. Let’s get more specific!  “I am moving to San Francisco January 1, 2018.”

love-your-selfOk so let’s review:

  • Become aware of the thoughts you don’t want and flip them into desired states.
  • State the desired state as if it already exists.
  • Be time specific.

Now start creating the life you have always dreamed of! AND always show gratitude.

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Wellness Wednesday: We Need to RELAX!

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My mind has been overactive these past few months. Shifting into fall from summer play, outdoor activities, packing lunches, toddler nap times, nursing baby, etc. seems a bit jarring, especially since my 4 year old started full day preschool, my 7 month old is becoming more awake everyday and I started working part-time. I haven’t worked since February when I was biking around the city teaching yoga classes. Here’s the thing – when you’re with children and babies most of the day, they require your presence; and the same is true for teaching yoga classes. If you’re not grounded and present in the classroom, most likely your class will suck. So I am currently moving through a brain shift – working at a computer from home while simultaneously trying to manage the household, drop off/pick up Nico from school, take care of my perfect little baby (and of course practice yoga because I don’t know how to live without it). All of this has my mind reeling. I am mentally stimulated, inspired and learning, but I’m having a hard time TURNING OFF.

The reality is that we are really busy. The yoga practices are reminders to slow down and travel from the mind, and all it’s mental heavy lifting, to the heart – to remember that the body is finite, the Self is infinite and everything we experience is for growth and learning. These practices are the most precious gifts, especially as we learn to tune in and use them to support immediate needs. I tend to make time and space for asana, pranayama, and meditation, but I rarely prioritize relaxation unless I absolutely need it. Lately, I’ve even been skimping on savasana because I am so desperate for time to move my body that the window closes (i.e. Sascha wakes up from his nap) before I am able to practice a long savasana. THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR ME. My body suffers and I don’t get the recharge that I so desperately need. Most days, I would most benefit more from a 20-40 minute Yoga Nidra than 1+ hour of asana. So, let me tell you about the magic that is Yoga Nidra…

Yoga Nidra, or psychic sleep, is a guided meditation while laying in savasana, releasing one body part at a time until the entire body is relaxed. My teacher Sri Dharma uses the example that the body is like a computer – from time to time you must close the apps to clear away the clutter so that the computer can function at it’s highest capacity. There are many different styles of Yoga Nidra meditation – some are more wordy and some will take you far out. I prefer a simpler version. Sri Dharma leads a very simple Yoga Nidra that results in total relaxation so that deep healing may occur. He also guides you through beautiful visualizations that stimulate the higher chakras. With regular practice of Yoga Nidra, you may lose body consciousness which allows for an expansive experience.

Yoga Nidra is a technique that not only facilitates the deepest relaxation for the nervous system and all of the muscular and connective tissues, but it also integrates all of the techniques that prepare you for the higher practices and limbs of yoga. The seemingly mystical experiences that may occur during Yoga Nidra aside, the practice will most likely leave you feeling recharged and refreshed in body and mind.

Because we are so busy and our minds constantly turned on, finding time to find deeeeeeep relaxation is essential. Sri Dharma says, 1 hour of Yoga Nidra is comparable to 4 hours of sleep. Totally worth it.

Here’s how!

(1) Go to a class! We offer Yoga Nidra classes! Wednesdays @ 7:30-8:30 pm, Thursdays @ 1:00-2:00 pm (this is a cOmmunity by donation class!) and on Saturdays @ 6:10-7:00 pm.

(2) There is no shortage of free guided Yoga Nidra audio on the internet, but I recommend spending a few dollars on a quality recording that you will use over and over again. I, of course, recommend Sri Dharma’s Yoga Nidra. And here’s a good iPhone app!

Deep relaxation reminds us that we are supported. By the Earth, by our loved ones, and by our highest Self. I highly recommend taking time from your busy life to slow down and go deep. I promise to continue to remind myself that I, too, need to relax. Give it a try!

Meatless Monday: Red Lentil, Yam and Ginger FALL SOUP

meatlessmondayyyEating seasonally is best for the body and the planet (and Lord knows, she needs some love right about now). Michael Pollen, longtime advocate for local, slow, seasonal food, is also a huge proponent of cooking at home primarily because we as consumers make better health choices by planning in advance and home-cooking is proven to be better for the environment.

That all being said, FALL IS MY FAVORITE FOOD SEASON. Most every season I participate in a yogi seasonal cleanse with one of my fabulous teachers. She is trained in Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga, the Dharma Yoga diet and raw food cuisine – she has combined these principles to create a compassionate and updated diet that will bring radiant health to the body and mind. I have learned SO MUCH from these cleanses; it’s unreal. What we choose to eat is loaded – politically, emotionally, socially – so we all must do our best to make personal upgrades. Another message that has seeped into my heart-mind: we all deserve the best ingredients to support the best health possible. This notion is especially potent when coupled with mindful buying, paying attention to labels, fair trade products, etc. I think it’s also important to note (I can’t write this blog post with this left unsaid), you can eat well within your price range! Make a few updates at a time – for example, smoothies for breakfast – using fruits and vegetables, even if you can’t afford the organic variety (check out the dirty dozen list to help you decide what to buy conventional or organic).

Okay, so what’s on the menu for fall? During this windy, dry season, it’s good to bring balance and grounding with nourishing soups and stews, seasonal root vegetables and squashes, and as always, LOTS of greens. I want to share a recipe that was shared with me via the cleanse group. This soup is perfect in every way (especially with the fresh ginger and turmeric root) and sooooo easy/inexpensive.  Check it::

1 cup red lentils

5 small garnet yams, peeled and chopped

2 Tbsp fresh turmeric, grated or finely diced (if you don’t have fresh, 1-2 tsp powder will do it)

4 Tbsp ginger, grated or finely diced

1 Tbsp coconut oil

6 cups vegetable broth

¼ cup coconut milk

1 tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

Garnish with A TON of chopped cilantro

Add coconut oil to soup pot at medium heat. Get the pan nice and hot, then add grated turmeric, ginger and lentils. Saute for 3-5 minutes until fragrant and then add yams. Toss until coated and slightly caramelized. Add stock and bring to gentle boil, then simmer until yams and lentils are soft. Turn off the heat and add coconut milk and cilantro. (When I made this soup, I also added chopped kale for extra greeeeens).

A tip from a friend: when you reheat this soup, add a ton more fresh cilantro!!!

Wellness Wednesday “A Little Everyday”

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Yoga is spreading like wildfire across the country and the world, and with good reason! The sacred science is just that, a science – meaning with consistent practice, Yoga will systematically take you as deep as you are willing to go. Once you get a taste of the bliss, or “yoga high,” it will leave you wanting more, which is why you see so many folks walking around with yoga mats on their backs and yoga studios filling up daily classes. Culturally, we tend to binge on entertainment to stimulate and satisfy the senses, but bingeing on Yoga will only lead you deeper into infinite knowledge and union with your higher Self (!!). Bingeing on asana, or postural yoga (the exercise), can surely create exercise junkies and enable more activity in the mind and body. Eventually you may notice that it is not working anymore. So you have to go deeper, more subtle. Here’s what I’ve learned in my many years of practice and from my Yoga teacher, Sri Dharma – with constant practice, you will reap the benefits. To practice a little everyday is better than practicing A LOT OF YOGA two or three days a week. This makes sense for me now more than ever as a mother to a 4 year old and 6 month old. Gone are the days when I could practice 2 hours everyday! I mean, binge all you want! But don’t neglect the practice on the days you don’t get to a class.

What does “practice a little everyday” look like? For me, it means 20 minutes of meditation in the morning and 30 minutes of asana with a baby rolling around next to me. Sometimes it looks like 10 minutes of pranayama and reading a Yogic text or article to fan the flames inside my heart. I practice asana in the grass while my boys play outside! It looks different everyday according to my needs. Sometimes I make it to a 90 minute yoga class! That being said, taking classes and connecting with community through your local studio or practice space has been so nurturing to me. In my experience, the safe learning space, a haven if you will, of a trusted studio will provide you with the Yogic techniques and support to integrate the practices in your life, and to do a little everyday.

The concept integration always comes up for me. We are constantly integrating new teachings, processes, information. After my second son was born, we went through a process of integrating a new member into our family. More and more integrating. So seek out the highest knowledge and teachings available to you and integrate your own personal lessons into your daily life.

It’s also nice to share tricks and experiences – it helps us support and share with each other. How do you practice a little everyday? Post below in the comments!

#whatdharmataughtme

Thoughts on Meatless Mondays And an introduction to our new blogger!

As you can see from our blog history, the latest Be Here Now blogger was a talented vegetarian chef offering custom recipes, practical food preparation and kitchen tips. Thanks to Greer for her fabulous Meatless Monday contributions.

Here’s a bit about my food journey and some thoughts on Meatless Monday! My experience of vegetarianism/veganism as well as my attempts to raise a well-fed and healthy family has been on a steep learning curve. The eating styles within my family vary – I am a fairly strict vegan, my husband eats meat and my son is somewhere in between (and the baby gets plant-based breast milk ☺ ). Labels aside, I think Meatless Monday is a smart and accessible way to learn about plant-based diets and how to integrate this style of eating in the kitchen – and I love how it’s become pedestrian language. I am not a militant vegan and my intention is not to place judgment on anyone for their eating choices, but I’d like to share some of the reasons why transitioning to eating less meat and dairy is great for the health of our bodies and the planet. My yoga teacher, Sri Dharma Mittra, is a huge advocate for veganism as a gateway to cultivating compassion in the heart. By refraining from eating our animal brothers and sisters, we begin to see their sentience and the interconnectedness of all beings. Again, this sensitivity to the dead flesh of animals is cultivated and some do not see the value in it simply because they love the taste of meat or because they are not ready to break a lifelong habit. This is where “Meatless Monday” comes in –eating no meat one or two days out of the week as a grounds for experimenting with vegetarian cooking. A more modern reason for consuming less is for economic and ecological/environmental reasons. Staggering statistics show how much water and land it requires to raise livestock, producing far less food than the same ratio of water/land to grow vegetables. Livestock, particularly cows, also pass gas of high levels of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide (although it’s lifespan in the atmosphere is much shorter than CO2)! There are plenty of resources available that inform our personal decisions, specifically about what we buy and put into our mouths, as it relates to the economy and environment – and as scientific findings and the conditions of this planet continually change, I believe we have a responsibility to adapt accordingly. AND eating less meat is good for the body! Eating less meat reverses heart disease and makes you feel lighter! Again, it’s all about INTEGRATION and that’s precisely why Meatless Mondays is genius.

SO. There is no shortage of delicious recipes out there. Grains, beans, legumes, healthy fats like avocado and coconut, fruit and TONS of vegetables, especially those dark leafy greens – this is the stuff that healthy recipes are made of. Some of my favorite food bloggers are Ohsheglows and MinimalistBaker. Check them out. My friend recently suggested this veggie burger recipe – so delicious and offers a savory denser meal to satisfy the meaty craving. I also have supported my diet with protein-laden superfoods like hemp seeds, goji berries, and the algaes like spirulina.

I’ll be blogging for BHNY and I hope to bring you recipes, musings, wisdom, and lightness (I’ll try not to be so serious ;). We will have plenty of guest writers to bring more voices to the conversations. xoxo


 

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Emma McGonigle is a seeker, mother and D.C. based Dharma Yoga teacher. She is a dedicated student of Sri Dharma Mittra, who serves as an endless source of inspiration through the teachings of Self-Knowledge and hatha-raja yoga. Spending her days (and nights) mothering 2 boys ages 4 years and 6 months, she also works as Marketing Manager for Be Here Now Yoga and hopes to update her teaching schedule soon!

Meatless Monday: Baked Fries

IMG_2371Potatoes are by far some of my most favorite foods in the world. They’re so versatile, nutritious and full of flavor. They also are very affordable which means they can be a great, healthy staple in your diet. Turning them into baked fries is my favorite way to prepare them, they’re so simple you almost doesn’t need a recipe, but every time I eat them I love them so much that I want to share the recipe. Roasting them slowly lets them get so perfectly crispy on the outside and turns the inside into the texture of mashed potatoes. Mmm… baked fries you have my heart.

Baked Fries Recipe:

Ingredients:

Potatoes – as many as you want, I usually roast at least 1 pound just so I have them on hand

Olive oil to coat

A mix of chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper (all optional)

How To:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash and dry the potatoes, cut them into wedges. Put the wedges in a bowl and top with olive oil and all the spices. Use enough that you coat the potatoes with the spices. Once coated place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they are fork tender and crispy on the outside.

Eat with any variety of sauces (sriracha, ketchup, peanut sauce, chimichurri), top your rice bowls with them or eat plain and hot right out of the oven. If eating them as leftovers just heat them up in the oven first.

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Greer Gilchrist is a D.C. based Yoga Teacher and Plant Based Chef. Find her at Be Here Now on Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am and 12:00-1:00pm, on Saturdays 3:30-4:45pm for Power Flow, 5:00-6:00pm All Levels and 6:05-6:45pm Yoga Nidra. Catch all of her yummy recipes, veggie adventures and practice yoga alongside her with 30 minutes videos at Sagecityyoga.com and on Instagram #sagecityyoga. Namaste well fed, nourished and happy!

Meatless Monday: Banana Bread + Almond Butter

banana breadYou know what makes it easy to wake up in the morning? Fresh coffee and banana bread! And then of course what makes it even easier is when you know you have homemade almond butter to smear all over that fresh banana bread. Making nut butters at home is super easy and really rewarding, I always feel better when I’ve made something from scratch and now just exactly what went into it. This banana bread is really easy too, you literally blend everything together and pour it into the baking dish. I found the recipe online at chocolatecoveredkatie.com, which has lots of fun recipes for indulging your sweet tooth on a regular basis. Here’s a quick nut butter recipe, as well as the changes I made to the banana bread recipe.

Almond Butter:

Ingredients: 

1 cup almonds (preferably soaked overnight or for at least 2 hours for easiest digestion)

pinch of salt

1-2 TB of grape seed oil (you can also use coconut oil, safflower oil or sunflower oil, I like grapeseed oil for it’s neutral qualities, plus I practically bathe in coconut oil so I try to switch it up sometimes)

How To:

Pour your 1 cup nut of choice into the blender/food processor. Blend until the nuts grind down to a flour like consistency. Add the salt and gradually stream in the oil while the blender/food processor is still running. You might have to pause the machine so stir the nuts around since it will be very thick. Continue blending/processing until a butter consistency forms. If you like your nut butter chunkier then stop when it looks mostly creamy with a chunkiness. If you like your nut butters smooth then keep blending/processing until it is as smooth as can be.
You can easily double this batch, although the more you make of it the better it is to make in a food processor than in a blender. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. I like to keep it on hand for eating with fruit, pb&j, and peanut sauces for rice/veggies.

Oat Flour Banana Bread:

Here is the link: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2015/09/28/flourless-banana-bread-recipe/

I found the recipe to be a bit dry so I added more banana. I also added a pinch of nutmeg, it adds to the warmth of the bread.

I hope these recipes help spring you out of bed before your alarm clock in the morning! What are some of your favorite breakfasts that wake you up in the morning?

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Greer Gilchrist is a D.C. based Yoga Teacher and Plant Based Chef. Find her at Be Here Now on Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am and 12:00-1:00pm, on Saturdays 3:30-4:45pm for Power Flow, 5:00-6:00pm All Levels and 6:05-6:45pm Yoga Nidra. Catch all of her yummy recipes, veggie adventures and practice yoga alongside her with 30 minutes videos at Sagecityyoga.com and on Instagram #sagecityyoga. Namaste well fed, nourished and happy!

 

 

Meatless Monday: Raspberry Dreamy Creamy Smoothie

raspberry skin smoothieThis glorious warm weather is starting to effect my time spent in the kitchen. During the winter I am happy to spend hours baking, roasting and slow cooking. In the spring and summer though, especially in D.C. where it gets hot fast!, it’s nice to step away from the ovens and stovetops and work with more raw and fresh materials. Enter in the smoothie! They’re cooling, filling, generally raw and you can stuff a lot of nutrition into them! Using frozen fruit and bulking them up with things like bananas keeps them them affordable.

There’s a lovely secret ingredient hidden in here that you wont taste but that you will love for it’s creaminess! This is a great recipe to start your day as it’s so gentle on the tummy and sets you up with healthy fruits, fats and protein right off the bat!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen raspberries

1 TB almond butter

1 1/2 cups coconut water

1/2 cup filtered water

1/2 avocado (surprise!)

 

How To:

Place all of the ingredients in your blender. Blend everything together until smooth and enjoy! This is best enjoyed right away. Feel free to modify it with different frozen fruits. If you’re interested in adding more healthy fats then go ahead and add in 1 tsp of coconut oil, it’ll make it more creamy and dreamy! Mmm it is so yummy. Doesn’t it feel great to take care of your body?

What type of smoothies and foods do you like with this warmer weather?

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Greer Gilchrist is a D.C. based Yoga Teacher and Plant Based Chef. Find her at Be Here Now on Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am and 12:00-1:00pm, on Saturdays 3:30-4:45pm for Power Flow, 5:00-6:00pm All Levels and 6:05-6:45pm Yoga Nidra. Catch all of her yummy recipes, veggie adventures and practice yoga alongside her with 30 minutes videos at Sagecityyoga.com and on Instagram #sagecityyoga. Namaste well fed, nourished and happy!

Meatless Monday – Recovery Smoothie

IMG_2165Recovery Smoothie

Smoothies are pretty popular in the wellness community and there are so many different ways they can be enjoyed. They’re having such a moment right now because of all the goodness you can squeeze into them, from different veggies to healthy fats to plant based proteins, a lot can go into your blender.

As we practice yoga and build strength in our minds and bodies it’s important to also make sure we continue promoting that strength as we end class for the day, leave our mats behind us and venture into the real world. Just like we try to cultivate the calm and stillness we find in meditation and enjoy it throughout our day we want to feel the great effects of the physical yoga practice as well.

A recovery smoothie is a wonderful way to restore your body from the vigorous movements of your practice. This smoothie can help with inflammation, soreness and hunger. Smoothies are easy to digest which is great post workout. Trying to include a recovery smoothie into your day post practice is another way you can carry the joys of yoga beyond the mat. Think of your recovery smoothie as a way you are protecting and caring for yourself, practicing wellness and self-love off the mat.

This smoothie is delicious as much as it is good for you. I always choose to eat for the yum factor first and the nutrition factor second, luckily Mother Nature combined both with all of her earthly goodness so I never have to sacrifice one for the other!

Smoothie Recipe:

4 medjool dates (these add sweetness and carbohydrates)

1 tbs hemp seeds, flax seeds or chia seeds (these add healthy fats and protein)

1 cup kale (the alkaline in dark leafy greens helps balance the acidity built up from a workout)

1 cup spinach (same benefits as above, yay!)

juice of 1 lemon (same benefits as above and they help with electrolytes)

1 cup of your favorite fruit (this adds natural sweetness + hydration – a few favorites of mine are blueberries in the summer and cranberries in the fall/winter)

1 frozen banana (this adds great texture + it’s health benefits)

Swirl it all together in your blender and enjoy!

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Greer Gilchrist is a D.C. based Yoga Teacher and Plant Based Chef. Find her at Be Here Now on Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am and 12:00-1:00pm, on Saturdays 3:30-4:45pm for Power Flow, 5:00-6:00pm All Levels and 6:05-6:45pm Yoga Nidra. Catch all of her yummy recipes, veggie adventures and practice yoga alongside her with 30 minutes videos at Sagecityyoga.com and on Instagram #sagecityyoga. Namaste well fed, nourished and happy!

Meatless Monday – Acorn Squash with lentils, spinach and Sauce

IngredientsRed Lentil Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash cut in 1/2

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Lentils

Spinach

Spaghetti Sauce

 

Directions

  1. Cut the acorn squash in 1/2 and place it on a pan that has been greased with Olive Oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Bake in oven until tender
  3. Meanwhile, cook lentils until soft. Add in tomato sauce and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted.
  4. When the squash is ready, spoon in the lentils and sauce and serve!