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Author Archives: Charlotte Bell

Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice, published by Rodmell Press. Her second book, Yoga for Meditators (Rodmell Press) was published in May 2012. She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to schools and to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.

  • International Day of Yoga: 4 Ways to Celebrate

    Depending on where you live in the world, today may be the longest day in the year. Summer solstice can fall anywhere between June 21st and 22nd. Here in Salt Lake City, solstice occurred last night at 10:24 pm. In Mumbai, it happened this morning at 9:24 am. The year’s longest day is reason enough to celebrate. But on December 11, 2014, the United Nations gave us another reason. At the request of India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, the UN designated June 21st as the annual International Day of Yoga. Modi requested summer solstice to honor the yoga tradition because...

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  • Yoga Poses for Hiking: 3 Asanas to Prepare You for a Trek

    Here in Utah, the time is ripe for getting outdoors. The creeks and rivers are raging with runoff from winter’s voluminous snow. As temps climb into the 90s in the Salt Lake valley, mountain air remains crisp and crystalline. Down south, the slickrock desert beckons too. While it’s considerably hotter, the red rock and contrasting royal blue skies, along with the deep silence, provide much-needed solitude. No matter where you choose to spend time outdoors, it’s time to hike. The benefits of being in nature are well documented. Studies have found that spending time in nature promotes sleep, increases vitamin...

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  • Meatless Monday: Herbed Farro with Asparagus

    Everything tastes better when you eat it outdoors. Whether you’re coming back to camp after a day of hiking or gathering with friends at a picnic site, dining in the great outdoors is somehow festive. A few weeks ago, I was invited to a potluck picnic. Picnics can be tricky because food often sits out for a period of time. I like to bring food that tastes good at “room” temperature. As a vegetarian, I never know if others will bring substantial meatless dishes—or any meatless dishes. So I bring a dish that, on its own, will satisfy my nutritional needs in...

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  • Meatless Monday: Savory Yam Pancakes

    A couple weeks ago, I posted a recipe for Yam Quesadillas. While they were absolutely excellent, after I’d used up my tortillas, I still had a lot of the filling left—three cups. Rather than buying more tortillas and continuing on the quesadilla track, I decided to try making yam pancakes with the remainder of the filling. I’ve made potato pancakes in the past, but hadn’t ever tried yam pancakes. The results were wonderful. Based on traditional yam pancake recipes, I simply added two eggs and 2/3 cup of flour to the quesadilla filling. You may want to experiment a bit...

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  • Celebrate National Meditation Day!

    Images of meditation have become ubiquitous. In the past, meditation was depicted as something that was confined to monks in the East. You know the images— loincloth- or robe-clad sadhus in Lotus Pose. Of course, now that yoga and meditation have entered the Western mainstream, other more seemingly relatable images come to mind. Ubiquitous among them is the young, attractive woman sitting on a sunset-drenched beach in white leggings and yoga top. (Would most people actually sit on the sand in their white leggings?) An even more recent popular image shows a man or woman in a business suit meditating...

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  • Eagle Arms: Dissolve Upper Back Tension

    Garuda, the eagle god known in Buddhist lore for his 40-foot wingspan, is revered for his special powers, such as shrinking and growing at will. A single flap of his gargantuan wings is said to move mountains. Garuda is ubiquitous in the East. His image is the national symbol of Thailand and Indonesia, and his legends span across Hinduism and Buddhism. He plays a starring role in the first book of India’s epic, Mahabharata. Garudhasana (Eagle Pose) expresses Garuda’s powers by strengthening and rooting our legs and feet. The arm position expresses the eagle god about to take flight. In...

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  • Meatless Monday: Easy-Peasy 5-Minute Butter Beans

    I’m currently on deadline for an article I write every year for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Last evening, after furiously writing all weekend, I needed a quick and easy dinner of food I already had on hand. There was some fresh broccoli in the fridge, which gave me a taste for roasted broccoli. (It’s basically the same preparation as the roasted romanesco I posted a while back, except that you can just chop it into florets. Peel and chop the main stems if you like. They’re very sweet). I also wanted to add a bit of protein to the meal...

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  • What is Kundalini Yoga?

    Kundalini Yoga is a form of yoga practice derived from the Tantra and Shakti schools of Hinduism. Kundalini practice was introduced to the West by Swami Sivananda through his 1935 book on the subject. But the practice became popular when Yogi Bhajan introduced his own method to the U.S. in 1968. Yogi Bhajan’s style of Kundalini Yoga is propagated by 3HO—Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization. The name comes from the Sanskrit adjective kundalin, meaning “circular or annular.” Wikipedia says this about the origin of the name: “ … It as a noun for ‘a snake’ (in the sense ‘coiled,’ as in...

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  • Meatless Monday: Spicy Yam Quesadillas

    When I was a kid, grilled cheese was my favorite meal. I never liked meat, so it was always a relief when my mother would serve the traditional grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch. It meant no bologna, salami or braunschweiger (you don’t want to know), at least for a day. I still indulge in a grilled cheese sandwich every once in a while, but I really enjoy the much less cheesy Mexican version—quesadillas. I don’t eat much cheese. When I do it’s sheep or goat cheese. Quesadillas need only a small amount of cheese, just enough to hold the...

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  • Relax and Stretch: Yoga for Fibromyalgia

    Today is World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. In case you’re not familiar with fibromyalgia, here are some facts: According to the National Institutes of Health, some 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia. Eighty to ninety percent of fibromyalgia sufferers are women. Fibromyalgia is most often first diagnosed in middle age. So what is fibromyalgia? Here’s what the Mayo Clinic has to say: “Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. “Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical...

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