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Lifestyle

Yoga off the mat. This is the place to find articles about yoga for everyday life.
  • How Mindfulness Can Boost Your New Year’s Resolve

    Do you make New Year’s resolutions? How do they usually pan out for you? The new year seems like a good time to start with a clean slate. Resolving to change habits we don’t like and develop newer, healthier habits is a worthy practice. But most of us have found out through experience that it’s not always as easy as we think it should be. Habits are powerful. Our repetitive actions and thoughts lay down grooves in our bodies and minds. The more we practice them, the more unconscious they become. Jeremy Dean, psychologist and author of the blog PsyBlog...

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  • Destress Your Holidays: 4 Ways to Develop Holiday Presence

    The holidays are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they’re fun. We get to turn our focus to reconnecting with friends and family. On the other hand, adding lots of extra commitments into our calendar can create feelings of stress. It's not always easy to fit more commitments into our schedules. Then there’s shopping, wrapping, mailing, etc. All these things can add up to a feeling of being overwhelmed. Yoga—including asana, pranayama and meditation—can help. Here are some ways to use your yoga practice to relieve potential holiday stress. I call it developing holiday presence.   4 Ways to Develop...

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  • Santosha: Cultivate Contentment for the Holidays

    When I was a child, Christmas morning was a well-orchestrated event. My parents loved to surprise us with special, unexpected gifts we hadn't asked for, and loved to set a cozy and festive stage for the ultimate event, the opening of gifts. They got a huge kick out of seeing us enjoying ourselves, so they took great care to make things as magical for us as they could. Now as an adult, I find myself wanting to recreate that cozy, festive atmosphere for my own holidays. Only since I’m no longer a kid, I have to create it myself—not as...

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  • 3 Yoga Poses for Snowshoeing

    I live in Utah, a place that touts the “greatest snow on Earth.” While I can’t say I’ve been to all the other places with world-class winter sports, I have to say Utah’s fluffy powder is a thing to behold. I don’t downhill ski, however. I tried it several times years ago, and it was a blast. I can see why skiing becomes an addiction. But I prefer to enjoy the snow in a quieter setting. Snowshoeing allows me to get high above the city and tramp around in fresh powder without the crowds. (I also enjoy cross-country skiing, but...

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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, I received...

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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 civilizations, including...

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  • Meatless Monday: White Bean/Rosemary Soup

    One of my favorite things about winter is that it’s soup season. I’m not talking about soups of the salty canned variety. I’m talking about slow-simmering homemade soup, the kind that fills your house with the fragrance of comfort. As a mostly vegan vegetarian, beans are my staple protein. I love legumes of all types: black, white, pinto, Anasazi, lentils, aduki, split peas—you name it. Of the white variety, cannellini beans are my favorite. They blend well with so many different types of flavors. One of my favorite pairings is white beans and rosemary. As it happens, my backyard rosemary...

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  • Meatless Monday: Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

    As the weather cools and the days shorten, warming veggies move front and center. In general, root veggies such as yams, potatoes, onions, beets, turnips, rutabagas, etc. are said to be more grounding than above-ground veggies. Of course, this is not entirely true. Many above-ground veggies ripen in the fall: all types of winter squash and Brussels sprouts, to name a few. Over the years, I’ve tried probably at least a half dozen winter squash soup recipes. Some have been simple, for example a savory soup with just four ingredients: butternut squash, yams, miso and water. Others have been much...

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  • Meatless Monday: Chickpea Salad

    Back in early November, I wrote about a new delicacy I enjoyed on a meditation retreat last summer: preserved lemon. At the time I promised I’d share a recipe that uses preserved lemon. Today’s the day. In fact, the plate in the photo shows two ways to use preserved lemon. I’ve included both recipes in this post. The chickpea salad comes from Spirit Rock Meditation Center. While I don’t know how much of each ingredient they used to make the salad I enjoyed there, I made up my own version using just their ingredient list. Feel free to play with...

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  • Meatless Monday: Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

    Happy Halloween! Perhaps one of the scariest things about Halloween is that it is the unofficial start of the holiday pig-out season. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a lot of fun to dress up and be someone or something else for a day. (When I was in college at Indiana University, Halloween was much more than a day; it was an actual season.) But for kids, it includes the awesome addition of tons of free sweets. In the interest of keeping things fun—but somewhat healthy—I’m sharing a recipe for vegan pumpkin muffins in honor of Halloween. This recipe comes from...

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