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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: Pizza Puttanesca

    If I had to vote for the easiest meal I’ve posted in this Meatless Monday blog over the past few years, it would probably be this one. Normally, I cook everything from scratch. Because of this, I assume anything I make is going to take time. The toppings for this gem took only a few minutes to prepare. This makes it a great in-a-hurry meal for busy days. Like pasta puttanesca, it is salty and forward-flavored. There are many legends about how the name, “puttanesca” came about. The most family friendly of them is this (from Pasta Amore): “Some believe...

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  • Firm and Soft: The Perfect Yoga Bolster

    If your idea of Restorative Yoga comes only from photos you’ve seen of it—looks boring, you say—your view is likely not accurate. While it’s true that Restorative Yoga does involve lying around on blankets and a yoga bolster for long periods of time, it’s anything but boring. Setting your body up in supported positions that you can then hold for long periods requires knowledge, body awareness and a pile of props. The results can be profound. Restorative Yoga practitioners know its powers well. Restorative practice provides something we all could use in our non-stop lives—deep rest. It is both relaxing and...

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  • Meatless Monday: Smoky Chickpeas with Kale

      Many omnivores harbor the mistaken impression that vegetarian food is boring, that it’s lacking in flavor. I think I understand why. Way back in 1978, when first I stopped eating meat, I do remember craving heavier flavors. My tastebuds were used accustomed to heavier flavors. Back then I made a lot of omelets, ate lots of pizza and in general felt attracted to bolder flavors. The further I drifted from eating heavy meats, my tastebuds became more sensitive to subtler flavors. While most of what I eat these days is simple and subtle, I do enjoy a robust meal from...

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  • Urdva Hastasana: Upward Salute

    When your first leave the comfort of your bed each morning, what’s the first thing you want to do? Like other animals—think about your cat or dog—our instinct is to stretch out. While we sleep, our bodies immobile, the fascia that surrounds our muscles tightens. In order to wake up our muscles, we need to loosen this outer sheath. So we stretch. So our first actual asana of the day might be a simple standing stretch. In asana practice, this stretch is called Urdva Hastasana (Upward Salute Pose). In the context of a vinyasa class it’s often the pose that initiates the whole sequence. From Urdva...

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  • Meatless Monday: Kale Salad with Figs

    My garden kale has made a big comeback. July’s oppressive heat was not kind to it. Nor was the aphid infestation. But as it's gotten cooler, my kale is plentiful. As for the aphids, I hired some helpers, a package of ladybugs, to take care of them. Garden-fresh kale, like so many other veggies, is just better when you grow it yourself. It’s naturally tender, so it generally doesn’t need “massaging” with oil when you plan to eat it raw. Of course, if you’re buying kale at a market, massaging it (rubbing it with some oil until it’s soft) tenderizes...

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  • 3 Yoga Bolsters, 3 Poses to Restore Your Energy

    Last week, we passed Autumn Equinox. Days are definitely shortening. I gauge this by whether—or when—I have to turn the lights on in my yoga classes. It’s just dark enough in my early morning class that natural light doesn’t suffice. We can still make it through the evening classes with just the sun, but it won’t be long. As the days shorten, we naturally draw inward. After a summer of outdoor fun, fall gives us a chance to burrow in and restore our energies. And of course, Restorative Yoga practice is a healthy way to renew ourselves. In my opinion...

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  • Meatless Monday: 2017’s Last Asparagus

    I know, I know. Asparagus is a spring vegetable. Having just passed Autumn Equinox, I’m aware that we’re now in the opposite of spring. Still, when I saw a beautiful bundle of pencil-thin organic asparagus at my favorite local grocery, I had to nab it. Not only was it beautiful, but it was also their last bundle. And thin asparagus is just so elegant. I love roasting veggies. Roasting concentrates the flavors and caramelizes them. But pencil-thin asparagus needs a different treatment. Roasting tends to shrink veggies. When you roast thin asparagus it almost disappears. So instead, I decided to lightly...

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  • Bharadvajasana: A Sage’s Twist

    The heroes of yoga’s ancient texts appear in many of its asanas. Most of these heroes (and heroines) take the form of gods and goddesses. Revered sages have also been honored with poses all their own. The pose I’d like to feature today, Bharadvajasana, is named in honor of Bharadvaja, a famous sage in the Ramayana. Here’s how Zo Newell, author of Downward Dogs and Warriors: Wisdom Tales for Modern Yogis, tells the story of Bharadvaja: “Bharadvaja was a rishi, an ancient sage—one of the famous Seven Sages of Vedic times, who are immortalized in the constellation known in India as...

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  • Meatless Monday: Burrito Bowl with Raspberry-Chipotle Salsa

    This week’s Meatless Monday recipe is another example of my current crush: vegan bowls. What attracted me to this one was the sweet potato-black bean combo that I always love. But what really set it apart was the tantalizing idea of raspberry-chipotle salsa. I had to try it. This is one of the most flavorful bowls I’ve made. It’s pretty simple too. I found the recipe at Connoisseurus Veg. All told, it took about 45 minutes from start to finish. The sliced avocado didn’t make it into the photo—oops!—but do add up to half an avocado to each bowl. Meatless...

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  • Parvrtta Ardha Padmasana: Revolved Half Lotus Pose

      It used to be that when people in the mainstream thought of yoga, Padmasana (Lotus Pose) came to mind. Now that yoga has entered the mainstream, Padmasana may still be emblematic of practice, but the asana field has become much more crowded. Photos of yoga practitioners in all manner of pretzelish poses dominate social media. But Padmasana remains a goal for lots of practitioners. While Padmasana may be symbolic of yoga, it’s not necessarily a pose everyone can do, no matter how much they practice. Whether you can practice this pose depends more on genetic skeletal structure than it does...

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