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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.

  • Meatless Monday: Vegan Pizza Time!

    My backyard tomatoes are no longer ripening on the vine. But they’re in no danger of freezing, so I’m still picking them fresh.

    Because they’re still sweet, I prefer not to make them into sauce just yet. So I decided to make a dinner pizza this week with kale/basil pesto as the base, and put the tomatoes on top. The slight roasting they get as the pizza cooks makes the tomatoes even that much sweeter.

    You can use any kind of pesto as a base. Here’s a vegan version I published a few weeks ago. I used the...

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  • Protect Your Wrists in Chaturanga

    I remember the first time I was able to hold myself up in Chaturanga Dandasana. After spending a year struggling with lifting my body off the floor, it was truly thrilling. Later on, I can remember being amazed that I could make it through 108 jump-through sun salutations without crashing and burning.

    Now, 30-some years later, I still practice it, but I’m much more focused on quality than quantity.

    The thrill of Chaturanga does not come without possible pitfalls. Chronic wrist pain has emerged as a common yoga-related injury. Chaturanga requires that our wrists support a significant percentage...

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  • The Hugger Mugger Catalog: A History

    Back in 1986, when Sara Chambers founded Hugger Mugger Yoga Products, she couldn’t have predicted its future. From its humble beginnings of a single strap and pair of shorts, the company has cultivated a worldwide community.

    In order to build that community, Sara knew she had to get the word out. Back then, the flagship for any mail-order business was their catalog. But how to begin?

    Sara and I knew each other from public classes she attended and I assisted. At the time, my day job was as a darkroom technician for a photographer, Butch Adams. Sara enlisted...

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  • Meatless Monday: Warm Kale Salad

    What do you do with a burgeoning bounty of backyard kale as autumn arrives? Of course, there are many wonderful ways to cook kale. But when you have a LOT of it, and it’s fresh and tender, kale salad is the best.

    While I love raw foods in the summer, when it gets cooler, they don’t provide the internal heat my body needs. So today’s kale salad uses a hot cider vinaigrette to wilt the kale slightly, and make the salad more warming.

    I prefer Tuscan kale (aka Lacinato kale) for salads—not just because it is abundant in...

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  • Meatless Monday: Vegan Pesto

    The basil harvest is an annual marker for me. It means that the garden is winding down. There’s still a bounty of kale, tomatoes and herbs, but I’m turning toward preserving what’s left.

    For some reason, basil does really well in my yard. I pretty much always have enough to make three or four batches of pesto. And that’s saying a lot, because it takes a hefty amount of basil to make a single batch.

    But that’s okay. Pesto has such an intense, concentrated flavor that very little is needed in any recipe to make a lasting impression.

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  • Celebrate Pumpkin Seeds!

    Which came first: the pumpkin or the pumpkin seed?

    It’s one of those great mysteries we may never be able to answer. What we do know is that in terms of receiving national honors, National Pumpkin Seed Day (today) precedes National Pumpkin Day, which we’ll celebrate every year on October 26th.

    We also know that pumpkins and their seeds have been around a long time. Native to the Americas, the oldest evidence of pumpkin-related seeds were found in Mexico, and date back to somewhere between 7000 and 5500 BCE.
    Eat Your Pumpkin Seeds!
    In addition, we know that...

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  • Meatless Monday: Preserved Lemon

    One of the delights of attending retreats is the opportunity to taste new, healthy food at every meal. While I love to cook, I also enjoy being surprised. Last summer my favorite new ingredient that appeared in all sorts of main and side dishes was a traditional North African condiment: preserved lemon.

    Preserved lemons are simple to make. The main challenge is to remain patient. Like most pickled condiments, they take a while to mature. You can buy lemons already preserved at Middle Eastern grocery stores or online, but they’re usually not organic. While I was initially anxious to...

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  • V-Shaped Cushion for Sitting Support

    Most people learn pretty quickly that comfort is crucial when you practice sitting meditation. Maintaining your natural spinal curves in meditation is the key to ease in sitting. The key, even if your hips are very flexible, is making sure your pelvis is higher than your ankles.

    You can accomplish your perfect sitting position in many ways—by sitting on a Zafu, a Zen Pillow, Meditation Bench or a V-Shaped Meditation Cushion. Depending on the structure of your hip joints—which is unique to all of us—the V-Shaped Cushion may be a great, supportive choice for your sitting practice.


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  • Shriners Hospital for Children

     When most of us hear the word “hospital,” the first adjective that comes to mind is probably not “cheery.” And yet, Salt Lake City’s Shriners Hospital for Children fits that description. The color-studded building sits atop a hill surrounded by an expansive green lawn. As you walk in the front door, you’re greeted by life-sized renditions of Alvin and the Chipmunks.Shriners Hospitals have a long, storied history. Conceived at a 1920 meeting of Shriners International Fraternity, their mission is to provide orthopaedic care to children 18 and under regardless of their ability to pay. From the first Shriners Hospital, founded...

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  • Meatless Monday: High-Protein Pilaf

    A few days ago I was asked to bring a favorite grain or bean salad to a dinner. Not knowing which to make, I decided on a salad that has both.

    But here’s a fun fact: Quinoa isn’t actually a grain. It is the seed from the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It is often classified as a grain because we cook it the same way we cook grains, but it is, in fact, part of a subcategory called “pseudograins.”

    No matter. Besides its earthy taste and toothsome texture, quinoa is a complete protein. Paired it with chickpeas and...

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