Stop Throwing Away Food! Recycle it with the FoodCycler

I’m on an endless mission to make my home not only as nontoxic as possible but also eco-friendly. I’m one of those people that believe every person can make a difference and every action means something towards a larger impact. If I can raise my kids to be aware of what they use and extra mindful toward what is healthy for the earth then I’ve already made a larger impact as they try to teach their friends and cement this importance into their own futures. We have learned how to minimize our buying things, recycle everything, clean up the ground on our walks, eat healthier and better for our environment, buy products that our good for our bodies and have a smaller impact in the world, grow some of our own food, walk to places rather than drive, use reusable rather than single use, limit plastic… I think you’re getting the idea here.

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One of my larger area of concerns last year was food waste. With two young children, the waste can add up. Especially during times of illness where they so desperately want to eat but end up wasting a lot of food. I’ve always wished I could start composting since my daughter and I learned all about it on a field trip. I rent and can’t use the yard for composting, nor is there enough space. Natural composting takes up some space, needs taking care of and obviously attracts bugs (which help the process). This is where the FoodCycler comes in! Check out all these great reasons to try indoor composting by clicking here.

FoodCycler is a counter top food-recycling machine. I was so excited when I searched online for something I didn’t even know already existed and found the FoodCycler. I not only can put the food my kids didn’t eat in it, but I can recycle food waste that we don’t eat, like eggshells, apple cores (unless my husband eats it) and food that went bad before we could eat it. All of this is now recycled into fertilizer I can mix with soil to do indoor and outdoor gardening. It doesn’t sound like much, these food compost naturally anyway right? The impact recycling these previously wasted foods have on the environment is monumental. Food waste makes up 20% of landfill volume and weight. That’s 20% and all the resources it used to get there that we could be reusing in our own gardens, yards and potted plants.

I’ve been using FoodCycler for about a month now. I’m more aware of how we eat because of what can go in it. If it can’t go in the soil, it probably shouldn’t go in our bodies and I’ve cut down on processed snacks a lot because of this. Mostly, my FoodCycler gets avocado skins, lemon peels, paper cotton swabs, paper towels, hair from brushes and the vacuum, apple cores, banana peels and egg shells. Any time we cook, any small part that would go in the trash now easily goes in the FoodCycler. We made a salad and the stump of the lettuce and the onion skin and ends of cucumbers and such all filled the FoodCycler and when I empty it the next morning it feels so good to see all that unused food ready to get mixed with my soil and feed my plants. To hear how the professionals explain exactly what the FoodCycler does and how it does it, click here!

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Independent Research done on the sprout rate of plants using plain soil, soil and tablets, soil and tablets and foodilizer, and soil and foodilizer. The chart shows that sprout rates increase with foodilizer and increase even more with the inclusion of their tablets.

It’s that easy to use too. You collect everything in the dishwasher safe bucket and slide it in to the machine, twist the lid on to lock and press the “ON” button twice and it’ll light up as it starts working. It’s relatively quick as well, doing in a few hours what takes months outdoors. After it’s finished it shuts off, you let the “foodilizer” cool and then you dump it out. I put mine in a bin with soil I’ve mixed up for spring. After just four weeks it’ll be full of all the nutrients and healthy bacteria to have plants growing at a faster and more abundant rate!

To check the FoodCycler out yourself, click here and grab your own!

Disclaimer: Product must be used as stated within the user manual. Read the manual fully before using the FoodCycler. This is not a paid sponsorship. All opinions are my own and any information used comes from the FoodCycler. I was given this product free to try and give my opinions on.

You can grow Citrus in your home

After all the tropicals in my home I began thinking, is it possible to grow a citrus tree indoors in the Northeast climate?

I reached out to ViaCitrus to test my theory. There are a few reasons why I picked them versus other online citrus stores and even nurseries and big box stores near me.

The first reason is, their citrus trees are a fruiting age. Many places sell small trees that need at least a couple years to mature before fruiting. Knowing this, I felt my chances were best with a tree already mature enough to fruit and strong enough to handle the new enviroment.

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The second reason is ViaCitrus customer service. They truly love their customers and their trees and this makes the entire process such a joy. After having my Calamondin tree for a bit and eating two fruits right off the tree, I went ahead and purchased a Meyer Lemon tree for my mother for Mother’s Day!

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Interested in growing your own citrus tree? Here are some tips I’ve collected to be successful.

1. Only buy trees at least 2 years old. Anything less mature will struggle to produce fruit. Mature trees adapt more easily to indoor environments. Check out my unboxing video to see what you can expect from ViaCitrus.

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If you're looking for the perfect gift for a special mother in your life… I'M TELLING YOU THIS IS IT! My own mom saw this and told me how much she's always wanted a Meyer Lemon tree in her home to remind her of her childhood! Not to mention, this has been my children's absolute favorite plant in the house! It's already becoming part of their childhood. ViaCitrus not only has amazing reviews and customer service but their trees are already mature enough to be fruiting! This tree is a Calamondin Tree and we have eaten the ripe fruits off of it and they are magical! I cannot wait until I grab a Meyer Lemon tree and a Key Lime tree from them too! My tree sits in a southern facing window for direct sun and maximum sun exposure all day.

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2. Give your tree a big enough pot to grow in. The size of the pot will limit the trees growth so opt for something 15in or larger.

3. Use slightly acidic soil that is well draining. Some stores have citrus tree soil mixtures but they closely resemble cacti and succulent soil, a mixture of bark, peat moss, perlite, and organic soil. Adding some coffee grinds can also help the acidity of the soil.

When potting make sure to gently loosen the roots and soil so the roots more readily grow in it’s new pot.

4. Give your tree proper light! If you have a large southern window, this would be great. Fruiting trees need at least 8 hours of direct sun. Grow lights can help any lack of sun. You can also move your tree around to follow the sun during the day (if you’re home to do this).

5. Watering your tree is easy. Make sure it gets moist soil and allow about 2 inches of top soil to dry out before rewatering. I like to use terracotta pots to avoid any chances of rootrot.

6. Fertilize with high nitrogen fertilizer (according to packaging instructions). Also mist your plant with rainwater or distilled water if humidity is low in your home.

7. When the plant flowers, you can pollinate the flowers with a paintbrush and touching each flower like bees would! This will help grow larger fruits!

8. Fruits will feel soft rather than hard when ready to harvest. Gently twist them off or use pruning shears to cut them off. You can store them in the fridge or on the counter. If a stem is producing too many fruits, take some off to encourage the others to grow to their full potential.

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There’s plenty more if you want to go deeper into citrus growing but these basics will definitely get you through the season. Check out ViaCitrus for their easy to grow selections of key lime, calamondin and meyer lemon! If you order today, you might get it in time for Mother’s day !

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When you disappear

I recently struggle more and more with the state of our country. Everytime I hear the school alarms go off, I fear the worst. Everytime I turn on my phone, I see the worst. Raising a female, I battle what sometimes seems like the inevitable in this country, that she will be abused because of her gender. I question how to raise my son to be an empathetic, giving, kind, compassionate person.

Sometimes it seems like my hobbies are so insignificant with all the pain and suffering in the world, most especially so close to home.

I lose my love of writing. I forget to share all the things that heal me in battling 8 autoimmune disorders. I forget sharing what has healed me from the trauma, abuse, loss and oppression I have experienced. Sometimes I forget to battle the anxiety and depression that used to just be a part of my complicated health issues and traumatic experiences.

But that is why now is more of a time to share my path to healing from the inside all the way to my soul outside of me.

I spend a lot of time trying to spread awareness. One of the biggest battles this country faces is hatred. I try to spread awareness of important social issues that need to change, like the rampant racism, ethnocentrism, misogyny, disregard for our environment and animals, sexism (which is a separate issue from misogyny), violence and dehumanization of nearly any group of people that isn’t “white”.

With that awareness and constant education brings this feeling that maybe this is hopeless, maybe this country is getting worse and more violent. The headlines of everyday news can easily cause despair.

So I think it is important to have something that is carefree and positive. I practice short yoga flows, yoga nidra, some form of art, and indoor gardening. These outlets aren’t “life-or-death” terrifying, they focus on my breath and growth and give me space the clear the inward pain, release the fear and come back fresh.

It’s important to release so you build your energy back up and don’t become mentally or physically ill from all the despair, violence and fear.

With that, I begin again.

Later I will post a new article on indoor gardening and online nurseries! I have found some beautiful sellers who never disappoint and I can be rather picky when spending money on plants!

Find something good each day, to give a little attention to and fill yourself up with good so you can serve the country positively and work for change.

Follow @Shaunking @rachel.cargle on Instagram for easy access to keep yourself informed and aware of social issues.

Making Memories into Memoirs

I recently came across a book about writing a memoir. Like most people, I have always felt like I have a story to tell. I’ve probably written it down in pieces hundreds of times. I just haven’t found the write words to make my story be more than a recitation of my history.
The Butterfly Hours: Transforming Memories into Memoir by Patty Dann is a beautifully written. It gives a sweet little lesson followed by short stories to show that example. I learned so much about writing my stories, how one sentence can change the entire page.

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I started writing my story because I felt like it can help someone. My fiance asked why I would want to write about such terrible things AND let everyone read it, which is a very legitimate question. Those experiences are why I am who I am today. The best things about me grew from the worst nights I spent struggling to survive.

A lot of my battles are extremely common in America, amongst females and even possibly all people. If I ignore my past and just sit quiet. I feel as though I’m contributing to the society that perpetuates these awful things. Eating disorders, sexual abuse, suicide are not a right of passage, they are a symptom of what is wrong in our society. They do not need to occur and maybe writing my story will help others who have had similar experiences or perhaps create awareness for those who may be a little naive to everything wrong with society.

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This book gave me a starting point. It gave me tips for my story along the way. It is also why I haven’t shared my story yet. It needs time and space to be told. Without this book I may have never finally put words down and repeatedly thought to myself “I have a story to be told” without writing it.

It’s also a book that has helped me put my beautiful memories down so I can cherish them always. I am forever grateful for this wonderful tool of coping, letting go, moving forward, and appreciating the good!

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We all have a story. This book will help you write it down! And what you do from there, is completely up to you.

Check it out here: The Butterfly Hours: Transforming Memories into Memoir https://www.amazon.com/dp/1611802881/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_3ktHBb4N7Z6TF

 

 

A Woman with a Dream

I “met” Colleen a few years ago, back when my health was still completely debilitating and I couldn’t walk more than 5 steps without exhaustion.

She loves yoga, that’s how we started our friendship. She does yoga to cope with life and to reenergize her soul that she so selflessly gives others.

She’s helped me through some very difficult times, days when the pain consumed me, days when my family was exhausted by me, days when I didn’t know why I was here anymore.

Colleen not only listened whenever I needed, she worked to make my life better. It sounds ridiculous typing this but it’s true. This woman spent hours researching what could help me, getting me products to improve my physical health, and setting up a future for me.

She does all this while caring for her family. She does all this while battling bullies at school, helping her children grow and cope with their difficulties (which is already a full time job) and taking care of her home and husband.

For the first time in all of these years of knowing and speaking daily to Colleen, I felt like she needed me this time. I felt like Colleen needed more than a future unknown. I feel like it’s time for Colleen to step into Yoga Teacher Training.

After speaking to her, she is certainly ready too! She’s been teaching her son yoga for years to benefit his health and hosting 100s of yoga challenges on Instagram. She has constantly devoted her time and energy to learning yoga AND sharing it with everyone and anyone.

She is the perfect vessel for a yoga teacher.

She reached out to the studio closest to her and met the most wonderful soul. The owner her met with her and knew she had to take this teacher training next September, even though it’s full. Her new teacher said she could feel that Colleen needed this next step in her life, now.

I’ve set up a GoFundMe for Colleen and I hope you will share it! Spreading the word about her kind, loving, compassionate soul will help her be able to stay in TT, despite her financial situation.

https://www.gofundme.com/help-colleen-help-her-community

It seems like a small thing, but if you’ve read my own reflections on Teacher Training, you know it can change lives. This will give Colleen so much, it could never even be monetized. She will be able to work, give to others without draining herself and sacrifice her health, she will learn more skills to help her children and teach them, she will have an income and she will learn how to care for herself.

Please share! You can check Colleen out on Instagram and reach out her to find out more about her story!

When I started daily asana

Two and a half years ago I was interviewed for a female based yoga site on why I started yoga. While the site is down, I found my interview! I though it would be a nice contrast to just finishing YTT and my reflections in my last post.

“It’s amazing how emotional a question can be. I haven’t delved deep into the questions yet and I already feel my emotions, just below the surface stirring like ripples in a disturbed calm water.

 

How I imagine my first yoga class is calm, safe and humble. All the anxiety and pressure, the assumptions of expectations of my performance, fears of my inability all stayed outside the door, unwelcome in such a warm, loving environment. My teacher is relaxed, welcoming and inspirational. The class is an open space, with plenty of room to search for yourself. My initial thought is “this is more than I expected, I could find my home here.”

Yoga practice at home has become a medicine for me. Most of my life was dark and grey. The challenges I faced dimmed my inner light and there were many days I considered who I was as a person, dead. I contracted Lymes Disease as a toddler and have had Generalized Anxiety Disorder my entire life. These two things set the stage for my life. As a child I constantly feared traumatic events as very realistic possibilities. I became sick in puberty with a handful of autoimmune diseases ranging from thyroiditis, pcos and lupus. I missed more classes in high school than I attended but thankfully still graduated with a 4.0 gpa. I felt my life was stolen from me because I had dreams I was supposed to be someone significant in the world. Starting college I became severely ill and missed the first semester, while trying to get back on track during the second, I was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance. The police didn’t believe there was any proof of wrong doing, just some things were “off”.

Somehow after all this I fought my way back to being a human, got back into a new school, reunited with my high school sweetheart (who also overcame a lot during our long friendship) and while I was fighting another flare he stuck by me, making me laugh during every awful moment. He asked me to marry him (almost everyday) and I said yes. He passed away that night from a heart condition being agigtated by shoveling through the snow storm. After that devastating time I  eventually started dating the only other love of my life. He brought a glimmer of hope for my life and nonstop moments of happiness (in a world where I thought I had been dead inside). We had two children and I graduated college but am unable to work because of the progression of my disease through my pregnancies and after. I felt I had no purpose and nothing to contribute to the world.

I am very lucky to have my children, even though they fight some of their own health issues. I am very lucky to have all the love I have in my life. As things started to get magical in my life I kept waiting for the next bad thing to happen. I was terrified all these good things would be stolen from me, and often self sabotaging my personal relationships to avoid the assumed future pain. Yoga has brought me home throughout all the struggles since my mother taught me meditation techniques for coping as a child, filling my body with a soul again. I try to practice at least 3 minutes of asanas on a physically bad day. But I practice yoga in every aspect of my life as much as possible. I am always looking inward to become a better mother and spouse. How can I openly give and accept love from my children, my spouse and those around me? I ask myself how I can do good in this world and take advantage of the opportunities presented to me. Yoga has brought back my love for all things living (after years of hatred from suffering). It’s within the breathing and the movements you learn to let go of the pain, take care of yourself and love others. Within that space you learn to trust, accept and welcome the vulnerability in loving and caring for yourself and others. Yoga has reminded me that I am still alive and I have so much life left to give. I still suffer from anxiety and several autoimmune conditions but it’s no longer in control of my destiny, my love runs my life.

 

I practice asanas in morning to get my joints moving, even if it’s very brief. I practice yoga by trying to be kind even while I am struggling. People deserve kindness and compassion, especially my children, even while I may be suffering. The practice of yoga to me is to constantly grow, learn and evolve. It is emotional, mental, spiritual and physical.

 

I can’t say one moment has changed my practice. A single person is made up of endless moments and each of them change her or him (if not anything but at least time). It’s trying to stay in the mindset to make those changes as positive as can be. Becoming more. Becoming better, more open, compassionate, kind and forgiving. If you can appreciate each moment, it will change you and help you grow.”

Most interesting about this interview is that this was before I had taken any studio classes. I practiced daily with DVDs, online classes and YouTube. I found yoga in a way that many people believe the Western world lacks.

Also, my first studio class was quite similar to how I hoped but probably because that’s how I made it. I ended up at a place exactly that eventually, but it took time to experience different places to see where I belonged.

My passion for yoga hasn’t changed much! I am still deeply rooted in yoga and my life has dramatically changed for it.

Has your practice changed your life? Take some time to reflect on your journey and share below!

I found another interview with Gurus that I’ll share below!

Finding Time in a Busy Schedule – Gurus Ambassador Amanda Cordaro

Finding Time in a Busy Schedule

Making time for yourself and the things that make you happy

Gurus Ambassador Amanda Cordaro shares her personal thoughts and advice on making time for yourself.

We’re all guilty of being busy. But are we too busy to enjoy life? If you have been following me on Instagram, then you know I’m devoted to finding time for the things that make me happy. I started my journey to inner peace back in April. The hardest part of my journey has been learning to put happiness on the top of my priority list.

How do we put a yoga session above the pile of clean clothes waiting to be put away? Well I’ve come up with a personal list of chores and errands that need immediate attention while the rest can wait.

Amanda Cordaro Gurus Ambassador

I’ve learned a lot since yoga became part of my daily life. Honoring my self, stress management, better physical and mental health and surprisingly, time management, just to name a few. I used to have the mindset “If I find time to practice, I will” which didn’t satisfy me. I asked myself why the things that bring me joy are so conditional. Now, I block a particular hour of each day to love myself.
Whether I practice yoga, have a little accupressure session, use oils and meditate – I make sure to give myself a moment to appreciate my life, my body and my being.
I prepare my day by doing whatever is of top priority right away. If there is something that doesn’t have the flexibility to be done later, get it over with. Anything relating to health is a major priority. Schedule appointments early in the morning so you don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day or subconsciously put it off for days.
You may even decide to go to bed earlier so you can find that time to take care of yourself before work. Getting a good night’s sleep is another way of practicing self love.

 

January 26, 2017

Reflections of Yoga Teacher Training

I walked into a studio in beautiful Montclair, NJ last September. I was going to get food in this allergy friendly town with my family and just happened to be walking by. Something told me to go inside, even though I knew my family wasn’t in any position to spend money on a luxury like yoga.

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I grabbed a flyer and we continued on our way. A few weeks later I decided to go on their website and applied for the Karma Work Program. I also looked into places closer since Montclair is 30 minutes away on a good day.

JaiPure got back to me and gave me work day options. For one 4 hour shift a week, I could practice yoga there for free. They have the most classes per day of any studio I had seen in NJ and they ranged from Iyengar, Vinyasa, Jivamukti, Kundalini, Power Flow, Tibetan… it was like an Ice Cream shop and every single flavor you can imagine, I wanted to try them all. I still hesitated because of the distance and decided to at least go for training.

While I was training one of the owners had a class teach and she was warm and welcoming. I mentioned I may not be able to continue due to the schedule and she made space for me.

She cared about me and she didn’t even know me.

After I got my schedule situated I had brought a few Mala bracelets that I make and sell as gifts for the yogis who trained me and I offered one to the owner as well. She spoke to herself as she said “I wonder if we could sell these here, I have to talk to [the other owner]”.

A week later I was stocking the studio with my bracelets and making more friends than I have my entire life. I enjoy working at the studio, caring for strangers the way Loryn (the owner) cared for me as a stranger.

I had only been there a couple of weeks when Loryn asked me if I ever thought about Teacher Training. “Of course! I just don’t know when I would be able to afford it.” I replied, holding back that I am disabled and just a couple of years ago I was crippled in bed before practicing asana.

She didn’t press. Just smiled warmly.

And I thought about it more. Asking myself if I could possibly do this. Asking myself if I could possibly work and contribute to my family financially without costing my health severely.

Loryn asked me again and I told her I didn’t know if I was ready. She placed her hand on my forearm and gave a gentle smile and looked to her right as she slightly closed her eyes. Without knowing why I said, “I’m going to do it”.

She handed me a book and told me to read it before the weekend. Somehow I did, it was How Yoga Works and I couldn’t put it down. Reading this eased any fears I had about my decision to join.

Our first weekend training, I was so nervous meeting everyone. I had been shut away for quite some time due to my health as a teen and young adult. I also have small children with health issues that took up any energy I could muster up in a day.

Everyone was so different in this group of 10. I wondered if I was out-of-place in this upper middle class suburbia and imagined all the ways I could be judged. My lack of career amongst so many women with careers and families, my lack of wealth (I couldn’t even afford the books), my lack of confidence and wisdom… my lack of self-worth. How much is a disabled mother worth in this culture anyway?

We were asked why we wanted to be yoga teachers. Though exactly who may have been different, almost all of us wanted to help people. That’s what we had in common.

My online sales of my bracelets were enough to cover books and I felt more confident than ever about this choice. I wondered why everyone called me “brave” for doing this with 2 small children at home. I graduated college in honors with a double major and a minor while severely Ill and through 2 pregnancies with infancy and toddlerhood. Training couldn’t be that hard, could it?

Our training group felt unique to me. It spanned different cultures, ages and genders. Different classes, races and life experiences. How lucky we were is almost unexplainable. These differences are what bonded us, helped each other grow tremendously and it’s why we all succeeded.

I felt like I was being spoiled with the massive binder full of resources, the books coming in the mail (I ended up affording the optional books with my sales as well!), and the community. I had never felt a part of something. I never belonged anywhere without being “weird” or “dramatic” with my ideals of not hurting any beings, not even emotionally, or treating the body with such respect that you nourish it with healthy foods and avoid toxicity, or my strict beliefs of always being truthful, especially when it’s hardest. Everyone I’ve ever known has always swayed in their beliefs, their choices and their words. I was deeply rooted.

Remember, I grew up battling health issues, contracting Lyme Disease as a toddler. I experienced sexually assault and a horrifically flawed judicial system. I fell asleep engaged and woke up a “widow”, ending my unbelievably perfect love story. I had been in a Max Adema Coma, mistreated, misdiagnosed and severely regressing from several autoimmune diseases instead of being a normal teen. I had seizures start randomly in adulthood and a very low quality of life. I had children who struggled with health issues right in front me, because of my health. These things rooted me in the only things I could be sure of..

Be happy. Be healthy. Be kind.

Simply put but held to their extremes.

At JaiPure, for the first time socially, I met people who understood without me saying a word. Each person struggled and endured. Each person is filled with wisdom and life. I never felt pathetic around them. I felt at home.

JaiPure becomes a second home to anyone who walks in those doors. It is unlike any studio I have visited and the community is stronger than any yoga related event or place I have experienced.

Marcie ended up guiding me through a lot of my difficult times, probably in a lot of ways she doesn’t know (or maybe she does). She created more opportunities for me to succeed and her trivinyasa classes worked out all the pain I have stuffed down over the years.

We were told obstacles would come up during training. I’m not sure what my obstacle really was. My daughter ended up needing two eye surgeries pretty suddenly. We faced the worst health issues that we experienced in years. My lupus was no longer in remission, I had gotten sick every other week with my children and their growth and development suffered. My relationship struggled as I grew and changed and the family dynamics were changing.

There were so many times where JaiPure ended up being the only thing I had for certain. The teachings are what I had to get through the hardest year of my life since I had children.

Then, a teacher I just started getting the courage to connect more with became Ill again. I was faced with becoming close to someone very special and losing them, like I had so many times in my short life. Lisa Rotell terrified me with relentless inspiration. She did not take my fear to be more as anything but a weak ego. She crushed it and I was dreaming about a future I had long ago given up. Lisa left this life, but didn’t leave a single person untouched by her amazing spirit.

While learning about the history of yoga, asana, sanskrit, sequencing, Iyengar, energetic anatomy and the sutras, I learned even more about my life, this world and meaning.

Teacher training ended and I walk away with an amazing array of assists, I write classes with ease and love, I continue to study history and learn more about what yoga is. I have expanded my vocabulary to include sanskrit and mindfulness is now a way of life. I have friendships I know will always exist even though some will move, others will become busier and whatever else life throws in the way.

My bracelets have almost fully paid for my training. My shelves are stocked with books. My life filled with friendships and love. My home filled with health and happiness. I still work at the studio each week and look forward to teaching there one day.

I fear nothing and love every second all at once.

Challenges still occur. But how I face them is very different. Meditation has almost erased my anxiety disorder completely and enhanced my relationships with others tremendously. Yoga has eradicated arthritic stiffness and chronic fatigue that left me unable to function. I am no longer a shell of a person, each second physically breaking down more.

I’ve learned how to be alive and care for myself to make my quality of life better. In a way, everything in my life falling apart during training taught me how to deal with life and be happy even at the worst times.

 

Thank you JaiPure, Marcie and Loryn, and the entire YTT of 2018, you have truly changed me, in the best ways and I am eternally grateful.

If you live in New Jersey and want to check out JaiPure for yourself, here is the website:

Www.jaipureyoga.com

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Sacred Herbs and Sacred Crystals

I have recently found my two ABSOLUTE favorite books on crystals and herbs – Sacred Herbs: Your Guide to 40 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them for Healing and Well-Being by Opal Streisand – and – Sacred Crystals by Hazel Raven.

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I’ve never come across any herb book that didn’t overwhelm me before. Herbs are difficult for me because I have several health issues and a lot of allergies. In fact, I’ve been hospitalized three times due to severe allergic/asthmatic reactions due to common herbs such as parsley and basil.

I know what you’re thinking, I should probably stay away from herbs all together. But I don’t want to throw away an entire group of natural medicine if I don’t have to. Sacred Herbs: Your Guide to 40 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them for Healing and Well-Being is the absolute perfect book for me. It is fool-proof. It gives a description of the herb, what part to use, how to use it, what it’s good for AND what it isn’t good for.

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Sacred Crystals is just as well rated by users and the books are both beautiful. They’re both books you can leave out for amazing conversation or small enough to throw in your bag and carry along with you.

Crystals are a love of mine, though I don’t know too much about them, I usually follow my intuition to guide me towards which I want. This book gives a beautiful photo, description and use for a large amount of crystals. Every question I didn’t even know I had is answered when looking up crystals.

This book is so much fun to read, I actually read through it the first day i received it. Then a week later I reread the whole thing to my other half. It’s something beautiful I keep next to my bed and go through whenever a question arises. I stopped picking crystals based on pretty colors and more based on intentions.

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Sacred Herbs and Sacred Crystals are  the perfect books for anyone looking to learn about crystals and herbs. They are small enough for crazy, hectic lives yey informative enough to actually be educational. I’m hoping to grow some herbs myself with this wonderful book and have used Sacred Crystals to inform my mala making!

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(I have not been compensated for this post. I did request review copies of these books from the publisher.)

Get CLOSE TO OM with this new book!

Have you ever wished you could bring who you are during yoga practice throughout everything else in your day?

That calm mind, energized body almost makes us capable of accomplishing everything and yet 20 minutes later we find ourselves flipping off the guy beeping at us and yelling at our kids for the mess we had to come home too.

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Close To Om by Andrea Marcum teaches us just how to move through our days with that same yogic personality. The book teaches us how to practice within a pose and how to apply that practice to our outside lives.

Close to Om starts with the hardest practice to learn: Savasana. There is a practice for On the Mat and how to transfer these practices to your daily love.

This book helps deepen your practice and moves through all the practices of yoga beyond the asana. If you’ve only been practicing the poses, this book is here to connect your Mind, Body and Spirit.

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This is definitely an amazing tool for teachers as well. I can imagine taking an excerpt from this book to instill in my students and practice. It’s written in a way that reminds me of Yoga Teacher Training, and has a lot of quality yoga concepts. It’s like a mini course on training! Teaching you to be your own teacher and giving you tools to change your life by changing how you practicing and practicing throughout your day beyond the postures.

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Check out Close to Om by Andrea Marcum by clicking here

How to rest in a culture that tells us never to stop going

Yoga Nidra. Have you heard of it?

Yoga nidra (Sanskrit: योग निद्रा) or yogic sleep) is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the “going-to-sleep” stage. The yogic goal of both paths, deep relaxation (yoga nidra) and meditation are the same, a state of meditative consciousness called samadhi.

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How amazing does that sound? I meditate daily now and I struggled a lot with find my style. While lupus is active, sitting meditation is very painful and I often end up lying down on an accupressure mat and fall into a trance state where I’m aware of what is going on around me but I am so peaceful that I’m undisturbed.

Reading Daring to Rest by Karen Brody really connected with me! I love the idea of resting each day to put the body and mind at ease and feeling fully recharged.

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While Asana practice works from the physical practice to improve your well-being, Yoga Nidra is working from inside your mind to make conscious changes and growth in your personality and spirituality.

All yoga practices are to reach enlightenment. And while there are many different approaches they all have similar basic approaches, kindness, good morals, mind/body/spirit practices to gain growth in those areas.

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Daring to Rest outlines discusses the practice of Yoga Nidra, gives some science to back it up and why to practice it, outlines how to practice and gives scripts on some practices.

It’s written in an easy-to-read way, very comfortable, casual dialogue and a friendly voice. It has everything you need (including a list of resources) to begin your own personal Yoga Nidra practice. I highly recommend you not only try Yoga Nidra but also get this book to give you all the information  you need to cement this in your practice.

Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to review a copy of this magnificent book!