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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.

  • Supta Virasana: Restore Your Belly

    Most of us spend the lion’s share of our days sitting in chairs, with our joints in flexion. Our hips are flexed to 90 degrees, as are our knees. Our shoulders hunch forward—unless we constantly remind ourselves not to hunch. By the time I shut down my computer in the evening, my body craves at least a few minutes of the opposite.

    One of my favorite poses for countering the effects of sitting, as well as preparing my body to wind down for sleep, is Supta Virasana. Supta Virasana is the lying-down version of Virasana, aka “Hero’s Pose.” Supta...

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  • Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Purée

    Cauliflower is finally having its day in the sun. And it’s not just vegetarians who are enjoying it. Paleo diets favor ground cauliflower as a grain substitute. Its mild flavor and al dente texture make it perfect for casseroles and gratins.

    Today’s Meatless Monday recipe features cauliflower as a spread. Among my cookbooks, there are three different recipes for cauliflower purée, each with slightly different flavor accents. I’ve made and liked all of them, but chose to publish the most recent recipe I tried. I found this in the Salt Lake Tribune, but the recipe comes from Eating Well.
    ...

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  • Meatless Monday: Vegan Chili

    I’ve always loved chili. Growing up in Cincinnati, Skyline Chili was—and still is—almost a religion. I recently visited a food truck in Utah that offered “Cincinnati Chili” poutine. So yeah, it’s a thing.

    I haven’t had Skyline Chili in years, even though they now sell a vegetarian version. It’s just that I haven’t been to Cincinnati in quite a while. Instead, I’ve experimented with lots of other versions of veggie chili. My favorite, so far, comes from Friendly Foods by Brother Ron Pickarski.

    Because the recipe calls for canned beans, it’s pretty quick to put together. I almost...

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  • Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Gratin

    It’s always great to have an excuse to turn on the oven in the winter, especially if you live in a drafty, old house. This recipe, which I’ve played with a bit, came from The New York Times. It’s simple to make and is the definition of comfort food. Served with a small green salad, it makes a meal.
    Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Gratin

    1 large or 2 smaller heads of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), broken into florets
    3 T extra virgin olive oil
    salt
    freshly ground pepper
    6 ounces fresh goat or sheep cheese
    1 clove garlic, halved
    5...

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  • Starting a Yoga Practice

    A new year is upon us. A healthy percentage of us use this annual marker to reset our lives—resolving to give up what doesn’t work and start something new. If that something new you’d like to start is a yoga practice, here are some tips that might help:
    Finding the Right Yoga Class

    Ask friends. The bigger, better-funded studios have much more advertising power than the more modest studios and teachers, so they are easier to find. They may also have great teachers, but huge classes are not for everyone. Ask friends, relatives and co-workers where they like to...

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  • Give Your Body Some Gratitude

    The past few years have given me a bit of a wake-up call. My body, which has always been very low maintenance, has been sending me a big message: “Stop taking me for granted!”

    Almost two years ago, my left hip was replaced because of hip displaysia. I’ve long known it was only a matter of time for my right hip. Now the time has come. In another week, I'll have a new, titanium hip joint to match the other one.

    On the first day of an 18-day meditation retreat I at Spirit Rock Meditation Center last summer...

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  • Meatless Monday: Warming Soft Polenta for Any Meal

    As the holidays approach, two things are likely: Temperatures are dropping, and you’re probably crazy busy.

    I love to spend an hour or two on a warming winter meal, but especially at this time of year, it’s not always an option. Soft polenta is a go-to for me when I don’t have a lot of time, but I want to eat something warming and soothing.

    You can dress up soft polenta in lots of different ways. Here are a few ideas: Add chopped, mixed, cooked greens; add a variety of steamed or sautéed veggies; throw in some simple...

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  • Grounding Your Yoga Practice

    In 1989, I went to Pune, India, to study with Geeta and BKS Iyengar. A group of 30-some dedicated practitioners from around the U.S. joined senior teacher Mary Dunn for a three-week intensive.

    I gravitated toward a group of teachers who all stayed at the same $10 per night hotel—which I’m sure is not nearly that good of a deal these days. In the evenings, we’d gather on one of our balconies and discuss our day of classes.

    A theme that kept arising in our discussions was disappointment in the absence of “advanced” poses in our asana classes...

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  • Celebrate National Cocoa Day

    Happy National Cocoa Day!

    My first memories of hot cocoa: Coming indoors from an afternoon of sledding, fingers and toes numb, coat and hat covered with snow. Peeling off thick layers of sweaters and a wet jacket. Wrapping my hands around a hot cup of chocolate that seems to have appeared magically on the kitchen table. Ahhhhh …

    The hot chocolate of my youth is not the hot cocoa that has survived through the ages, however. A robust, bitter brew, the cocoa drink of old contained no sugar or milk, just the pure, earthy cacao powder that Yucatan...

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  • Meatless Monday: Masala Lentils

    Until my mid-20s I didn’t care much for curries. Commercial curry powder has always tasted musty to me. But when I first made Indian curry from The Vegetarian Epicure, mixing the spices to make a unique curry flavor, I fell in love with it.
    Recipes for Indian food can look daunting. The ingredients list is always long. But most of the ingredients on the list are spices. If you look at the recipe below, you’ll see that half the ingredients are spices—or more than half if you count sriracha and salt as spices, which I do. The veggie chopping prep...

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