A Holiday gift! Yoga Nidra, Peace and Joy

Sunday, December 21, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 6:08 PM
Happy Holidays friends!

I hope that you all are enjoying this holiday season and are finding health and joy. Even though it is a season inspired by giving, peace and joy, sometimes it may not feel that way. There are alot of factors that could cause stress. Money, expectations, family, over commitment, _____ (insert your own reason!)  It can be hard to really experience the joy of it all.

Yoga Nidra is a wonderful way to discover that peace! Yoga Nidra is translated as Yogic sleep. It is not really sleep but deep relaxation. It is that beautiful space between wakefulness and sleep. (hypnogogic state) In this state you are at the deepest point of relaxation that you can be in. Your body is still and relaxed but your mind is still alert. You are able to set an intention for yourself during this practice that effects the sub conscious. This can be helpful in changing deep seated trauma or negative ideas that we have about ourselves or others. (when practiced consistently) Creating change on the inside and outside. You also are guided into a visualization to help bring you deeper into meditation and peace. Coming out the other side with new insights and a feeling of tranquility.

So I hope that you enjoy this practice and it inspires love and joy in you, and that you can share it with others!

Much love and blessings to you and your families this season and coming New Year!

Namaste'

Jess

Props- yoga mat, 2-3 blankets, eye pillow or wash cloth for eye pillow, bolster or pillow

Turn off your phone, tv, music, go to the restroom.  Lie down on your back on the the floor or bed (if you wont fall asleep) in shavasana(corpse pose)

You can put a blanket on top of your yoga mat, blanket for a pillow, bolster or pillow under knees if you have low back pain,  cover yourself with a blanket, and put eye pillow over your eyes. Make sure you are completely comfortable before you begin!

Yoga Nidra Peace and Joy




Poem- The Spirit Likes to Dress Up by Mary Oliver

Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 5:50 PM
This poem made me think of yoga asana, and how spirit inhabits the physical body and you can feel it when you practice in the way of steadiness and comfort. Hope you enjoy Mary Oliver's talent!

The Spirit Likes to Dress Up- by Mary Oliver


The spirit
likes to dress up like this:
ten fingers,
ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
at night
in the black branches,
in the morning

in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather

plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
it needs
the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids:
it needs the body's world,
instinct


and imagination
and the dark hug of time,
sweetness
and tangibility,

to be understood,
to be more than pure light
that burns
where no one is-

so it enters us-
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning:

and at night
lights up the deep and wonderous
drownings of the body
like a star.




Ahimsa! Living with Compassion

Monday, November 17, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 5:36 AM


Happy November Yogi's!

This month my students and I are studying the idea of Ahimsa. Ahimsa is one of the Yamas or moral social contracts in the 8 limb path of yoga.

8 Limb Path Of Yoga-(this is more like a wheel shape, not a linear path. You practice all or several at a time)

1. Yama: Moral Social Contracts
2. Niyama: Personal observances
3. Asanas: Body postures
4. Pranayama: Breathing exercises, and control of prana
5. Pratyahara: Control of senses
6. Dharana: Concentration and cultivation inner perceptual awareness
7. Dhyana: Devotion, meditation on the divine
8. Samadhi: Union with the Divine


 Ahimsa is translated as Non-Violence but is more than that. It is cultivating compassion in life, compassion for yourself and for others. If we look at non-violence, we may think its not physically hurting others, but it also includes how we treat ourselves and how we treat others, how we think, speak, eat, treat the planet, etc. So how do we do that? How do we live non-violently? I believe it begins with having compassion on all levels. Realizing that everyone is just bumpin' around trying to do the best they know how. Seeing past the fear that are those proverbial onion layers to the real SELF, and seeing the light that is in everyone. When we see their light and our own, we start to ask, how can I help this person see it too? Or how can I help the planet heal? Or where can I be of service to people who are less fortunate? These questions are the first signs of compassion. When we take action from there we start to heal and so does everyone else we come in contact with. It has the ripple effect. Yoga is about being the best version of ourselves we can be and to help others see it in themselves. So it is perfect that Ahimsa is the first of the Yamas in the 8 limbs of yoga because when we start with this idea everything else just falls into place.

So here is a link to the audio clip:

Compassion meditation

for you on creating Compassion with in. Enjoy and I hope it is of help to you on your path!

Much love!

Namaste'

Jess

Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer, a celebration of you!

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 6:04 PM





Hi Friends!

I need your support!!! I am currently working on creating a DVD  called Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer, a celebration of you! This DVD is for people who are living with or survivors of cancer. The diagnosis of Cancer is a scary one, and the stress of living with this disease can be just as debilitating as the cancer itself. Studies have shown how successful yoga is for stress reduction. When trying to heal, reducing your stress is extremely important in helping your immune  function. When you are stressed it makes it hard to sleep, your more at risk to sickness, pain may feel increased, and emotionally it can really take a toll. So when practicing yoga, you can feel like you are taking control of your healing journey, and letting the endorphins help you reduce stress and lift your spirits. Yoga is not meant as a cure to cancer, but can aid in healing on many levels. This DVD will begin with a restful breathing practice, then it will continue with gentle yoga postures and end with a deep relaxation. The gentle yoga postures are for bringing some strength and flexibility back after going through treatment that can cause a feeling of weakness in the body. The deep relaxation portion is a guided meditation that is to used inspire a  positive outlook on life and helps to befriend the body again. I truly hope that by creating this DVD for this population of people that it gives them some peace in their lives. It is also a beautiful practice for the loved ones as well, they can practice along with them, giving support and also getting wonderful benefits for themselves. 

So why did I choose this specific topic for a yoga film? Personally, cancer has touched the lives of many of my family and friends. My grandmother and grandfather,whom were very special to me,  both passed away from lung cancer. Watching them decline was difficult as well as watching friends suffer from this disease. The horrible side effects from radiation and chemo are intense and cause such pain and sickness. Its heartbreaking and I wanted to give to them something that could help them feel better, even if it is just in their outlook on what's happening. 

The money that I am raising for this project will go to paying for the production costs, pressing, packaging, distribution of the film, music and location costs. All of the information is on my Kickstarter-Therapeutic yoga for Cancer, a celebration of you page, you can find it at this link:  


Whatever you can donate to the project is greatly appreciated. There are several tiers for donations and all have great rewards that go along with them!

The progress so far:

We have filmed the DVD. We are currently working on editing, voice over and aquiring the music. Once those things are completed they will be sent to pressing and packaging for distribution. I am hoping to have the project complete and ready for distribution by March 2015. If you have any questions feel free to email me and I will answer them the best I can. If you know anyone else who may be interested in supporting this project please feel free to pass this along, it would be much appreciated!

So thank you so much for your support on this project in advance. It means alot to me to get this film out there and share it with others. With your help I know we can do it!

Much love and blessings!

Namaste'

Jess





And Westward We Went

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 4:30 PM





I have returned after a month long trip with my family. We went to Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. Really God's country. Nothing like seeing wide open space for miles and miles.  We decided to take this trip for a couple of reasons. 1-We love to travel any chance we get.  2-Work. We decided to go West to film a few yoga dvds (available soon!) Which I am really excited to share with everyone. And 3. Because LIFE IS TO SHORT!!!! So many times you hear people say I wish I would of. We didn't want to come to the end of our lives and make that same statement. See my boys are 9 and 11 and there is this very short window when they still think were not totally lame. (although many days they think we are) We wanted to take advantage of that time to spend time with them, show them some of the world and have adventures. Hopefully to inspire them to take chances and have fun in their lives too.



So what did I learn from this experience? Well, to begin, financially it may of not been the most logical choice, but really when is it the most logical time? There are always what if's. Sometimes we as a society spend so much time planning for the future and saving for the proverbial "rainy day", that we end up passing that day by and find ourselves saying that dreaded question. So I learned to take a bit of a chance and trust the universe is going to have my back.

The next lesson was surrender.(see previous post about surrender!) Sometimes life just doesn't go as planned so I had to go with the flow.

Next was to slow waaaaay down and enjoy the world around you. 4 days without internet service was AWESOME!!! Spent lots of time in nature, hanging out with my family, reading, painting, and chillin'. It was really great and I need to commit to more of ditching the tie to technology.

Lastly (well not lastly, because there were so many lessons but...) walking through Fear! That means feeling courageous on the other side. There were so many opportunities to walk through fear. Alot of it was self created fears, such as talking on camera,  putting myself out there with my teaching, meeting new people, showing others my art, taking my kids on really looong hikes!! :) and trusting the future will all turn out ok.



The experience was amazing and I am so happy we took the chance. I will forever be grateful to all of the help along the way, that my students were so kind to let me take a month off and that I got to spend this priceless time with my family.

So I hope it inspires you to take a chance, walk through those fears, go on some adventures and spend that, oh so short time, with your family while you can!! Much love!


Jess








The gift of Surrender!

Monday, October 13, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 1:23 PM
Hey there friends!

As alot of you who follow me know that my family and I have been trying to make our way out West for a few weeks. Partly for work and partly for play. We started our trip heading to the Mid-west to visit family for a few days and decided to get some things checked on our school bus that we travel in. They found a few things that needed fixed. So instead of a half day job it turned into a few day job.


The day we were supposed to leave was a little disheartening. Finding that they couldn't fix the problem that day, but maybe tomorrow. We decided to try to find things to bide our time, but I had an underlying frustration that we weren't on our way yet, and we were losing precious time out climbing the Rockies or scrambling boulders in Utah. Needless to say it caused some friction between me and my family members.  I would tell myself that its okay, nothing I can do about the situation. Act mature, handle this like a pro. But of course I didn't! Found myself reverting back to 5 year old tactics to try and solve my frustration. That didn't go over well! :) So the next day came and still not finished! It started to wear on my self worth. I started in on the self defeating questions: "Was everything I am trying to accomplish a complete waste of time?" "Should I even be doing this?" Yada Yada Yada. You know the drill. It continued till the end of the day when the shop finally called and said that we could take her west!

Oh sweet relief! So we headed out late in the day and started westward. Ending in Illinois for the night. The next day we started out and noticed some noise. Not too much to worry about we thought. Then after a few more hours we hear sounds coming from the clutch that don't sound very promising. We got to Newton, Iowa and had to stop. It was Sunday and we were lucky enough to find a highway side RV park. So we stopped there. Called our roadside assistant and they said no mechanic could come out because of it being Sunday and the next day was a holiday. They weren't sure if they could get someone. So here I was again. This time in the middle of Iowa, drizzly, grey, nothing but corn and highway surrounding us. What was I going  to choose? I could always resort back to the 5 year old like the day before or I could "surrender" to the experience. So I choose to try something different. Surrender.




The day and circumstances didn't change, but I felt better. I actually didn't mind the confinement of being in the bus all day long, trying to make the best of the situation. I enjoyed my time with my family. We even had some fun and laughs. There is a quote that says "There isn't pain in change, only pain in resistance to change." How often I resist what is happening and how much pain I cause myself and everyone around me. Instead if I just surrender to what is, things go a whole lot smoother and much more enjoyable. My aunt said, "Often times life isn't linear" and how true that is. I think my life is more like a scribble. Twisting and turning and circling back around here and there and I can try and resist but if I just go with it, life is so much smoother.

So as I write this we are sitting in the shop as they work on our bus. And to be honest I feel content. Hopeful we will still make it west but if not then I will surrender to that and try to go with what comes!


Happy Trails!

Jess



Thai Yoga Therapy!

Thursday, October 9, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 8:15 AM
Hello Yogi's-

Well October is here and fall is sweeping in new changes! Last weekend was new changes for me and OM Therapy Yoga! I took a wonderful training, Essentials of Thai Yoga Massage,  with Deon De Wet  @ www.deonthaiyoga.com learning Thai Yoga Therapy. It was a great experience sharing and giving Thai Yoga Massage/Therapy.  If you are unfamiliar with Thai Yoga it is an ancient method of healing. It combines rhythmic massage, accupressure, assisted Yoga stretching exercises, gentle twisting, energy work and meditation.

"This practice aids in relieving stress, increasing vitality and wellbeing and strengthens the connection between mind, body and spirit.

Thai Yoga Massage/Therapy was designed to reduce stress, relieve pain and to support the body's natural ability balance and heal itself. It integrates many techniques and practices from the East.

Traditionally, treatments are done with the client comfortably clothed on a special mat on the floor, with out use of oil or lotion.

Results typically include the deep release of energetic blockages in the body and mind, as well as improved spinal alignment, better physical balance, improved joint mobility and increased flexibility.

People also report enhanced mental clarity, deeper sleep, greater endurance and more enjoyment in life."

-Deon De Wet

So be looking for this as an option from OM Therapy Yoga coming soon! I will post more with in the next month! Enjoy the changing of the seasons and see you soon!

Namaste'

Jess




Happy Hips!

Monday, September 22, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 1:49 PM


Hello Yogi's-

This month my students and I have been working on strengthening and opening the pelvic girdle, or our Hips! :) So I thought I would share a short practice that you can do at  home to continue the stability and flexibility that is being built.

The pelvic girdle consists of the illium, the pubis, the ischium, the sacrum and the coccyx.  This structure is the bridge between the spine and the legs, transferring weight between the two. Its home to several muscles, ligaments, nerves, major organs and also houses the femur bone in the hip socket. So just hearing what is there should give you an idea on why it is so important to take good care of our hips. Not only does it consist of all these parts, it also affects the rest of the body. Many common complaints such as knee injuries, imbalances in the feet, low back pain, neck pain, bad digestion, sciatica, etc. stem from disfunction in the pelvic girdle. Energetically it is the place of our first two chakras which is our space for safety, stability, creativity, and sexuality. When this area is in balance in our body we feel strong, like "we can stand on our own two feet". Our stride is smooth and fluid; we have a sense of freedom and lightness that permeates the rest of our being. So in yoga asana we go between strengthening and stretching to create balance, moving the joints in all directions. So give this practice a try and see how it feels in your body. Remember to only practice with in your own range of motion. That means leaving pain, or added pain OUT of your practice.  Moving your body where you feel pain free. Hope you enjoy!

                                                                   Baddha Konasana
Sitting tall, either on the floor or on a pillow or block. Bring the soles of the feet together and allow the knees to come apart and relax in the direction of the floor. Stay for 5 breaths.


Bird Dog
Start on your hands and knees. Extend your Right leg behind you on an inhale. Keep your hips level. Bend your Right knee and draw it toward your chest on an exhale. Continue 5x moving with the breath. Switch sides.



Side Lying Internal/External Rotation

Lie on your side with knees bent, legs in a 90 degree angle. Keep the feet together and just lift the top knee, externally rotating the leg bone on an inhale. Exhale bring the knee back down. Repeat 5 times. Then with legs together, keep knees together and just lift the top foot, internally rotating the leg bone on an inhale. Exhale lower the foot back down. Repeat 5 times. Switch sides and repeat.





Butterfly

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Squeeze the thighs in together. Take 5 breaths to slowly separate the knees, soles of the feet together. Hold for 2 breaths. Then slowly bring the knees back together taking 10 breaths. Practice 2x.




Setu Bandha Sarvangasan

Lie on your back with the knees bent, feet on the floor. Arms beside the body. As you inhale press down through the feet and arms and lift the hips up toward the sky. Hold for 5 breaths. Lower yourself slowly back to the floor.






Supta Pandagustasan 1

Lie flat on your back. Bring one knee in and place a strap on the bottom of your foot. Extend your leg straight toward the sky. Hold the stretch for 5 breaths. Open into Supta Pandagustasan 2, hold 5 breaths. Bring your leg back to center, then bring your leg across the body into Supta Pandagustasan 3, hold for 5 breaths. Bring your leg back to center. Then switch sides, doing all 3 postures. 



Supta Pandagustasan 2



Supta Pandagustasan 3


Supta Ardha Kapotasan

Lie on your back. Inhale, and cross your Left ankle across the Right thigh. Externally rotating the leg away from the body. Exhale and bring both legs toward the chest with the legs in position. Hold behind the thighs. Hold for 5 breaths. Inhale and release legs back to the floor. Switch sides and repeat. 






Supine Garudasan

Lie on your back. Inhale and cross your Right thigh on top of your left thigh. Then on the exhale bring both legs in toward the chest. Hold onto the knees. Hold for 5 breaths. Release the legs and switch sides. Repeat on the other side.




Apanasan

Lie your back with knees bent, feet on the floor. Bring both knees in toward the chest, placing your hands on your knees. Elbows bent. Inhale straighten the arms, knees away from the body. Exhale bring the knees toward the chest, elbows bent.  Continue to move with the breath 5 times. 



Shavasan

Come to lie flat on your back, legs and arms extended. (if your low back bothers you, place pillows under your knees) Separate your legs and let them relax. Bring your arms away from the body a few inches and turn the palms upward. Close your eyes and relax the body into the earth below you. Rest here for 5 minutes or more. 



(Poomba the cat loves yoga too!) 

Namaste'





























Yoga Nidra and why its an important practice!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 12:29 PM
Hello Friends,

Since I am going to be hosting a workshop about Yoga Nidra this coming week. I thought I would share with you why I find it to be such an important practice.

The definition of Yoga Nidra is derived from 2 Sanskrit words, yoga meaning union or to yoke, and Nidra meaning sleep. So it is typically defined as psychic sleep, or yogic sleep. Though this practice may resemble sleep;it is actually the state between sleep and wakefulness. Your body may be still and other sense organs subdued; but you are still conscious, using your auditory senses as your teacher or CD guides you through the practice. This is a powerful technique in which you learn to relax consciously. That means physically, mentally, and emotionally.

So why is this practice so important? Well, we live in a world that is fast paced, over taxed, extreme with overstimulation, lots of expectations and stress, and the list goes on! So we are plagued with stress related disorders such as PTSD, diabetes, over eating, addiction, violence, psychological disorders, hypertension, migraines, asthma, ulcers, digestive disorders as well as heart disease and cancer, that stem from tension being manifested physically. So how can we help ourselves when we are being challenged with stress from all angles? Learning to deal with this tension by changing our ideals and the way we think and feel. When we can balance our tension we can balance our emotions, anger and health.

When we practice yoga nidra we are relaxing and restructuring ourselves from the inside out. In order to have peace on the outside, we must manifest peace on the inside.

The process begins with preparing the body for stillness. Focusing physically on the different parts of the body and mentally relaxing them. Then we make our Resolve. The resolve or Sankalpa is where we "sow the seeds of change" so to speak. The Sankalpa is a positive short mental statement which is impressed on the subconscious mind when it is receptive and sensitive to suggestion. It is made by the person practicing yoga nidra; and  NOT by the teacher. So you are the one to decide what resolve you need. This is a very powerful practice. To be taken with great care, for it creates great change when practiced consistently. Then the practice continues with breath awareness. This helps to bring continued physical relaxation. Next is relaxation on the level of feelings and emotions. They are recalled and awakened to be experienced fully and then removed. Then moving onto Visualization which induces mental relaxation and developing self awareness. You then begin to end the practice by repeating your resolve or Sankalpa fertilizing those seeds that were planted in the beginning. Then bringing yourself back to consciousness.

There are several different options out there for practicing yoga nidra. I hope that you will give it a try so that it can help you in living a life filled with more peace, joy and  health. If practiced daily or just a few times a week, it can really create amazing change in your life. I know from experience what the effects can do when I practice consistently. And that is the key, Practice, Practice, Practice! :)

So join me Saturday September 27th at Wilmington Yoga Center for my Yoga Nidra Workshop 9:30-11:30 a.m. if you are in the area. If not I hope you find a teacher near you or a cd online that is helpful.
I will be having one of my own available soon. So be looking for it to be posted here on the website!

OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti


Jess




Yoga for a Good Night Sleep!

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 7:04 PM
Hello Friends!

 I was asked to blog about yoga poses that could help you sleep better at night by a Mattress company called Casper, www.caspersleep.com. So I agreed. Good sleep is one of the top on the list besides good nutrition and exercise to keep your immune function strong. So if you are someone who is living with insomnia or lack of sleep, hope this is of help to you!

Insomnia can really effect you more ways than you would expect. Especially if you are someone who is trying to heal from cancer. Besides living with pain and sickness, then not being able to sleep well on top of it is frustrating. A good night sleep is extremely important in helping the body to heal. Your immune function depends on it! Pain, medication, and stress can all contribute to sleepless nights. So how can you help yourself have more restful nights, and relieve pain and stress at the same time? Exercise. Yoga especially is beneficial because of its adaptiveness to your body and pain level. There are many postures to choose from and being conscious of deep breathing at the same time helps to reduce these symptoms and help you to sleep better. Here is a short sequence that you can practice before bed, on the floor or in your bed! :) Just remember to be gentle with yourself, not pushing yourself into pain, and of course lots of deep breathing to calm the nervous system and bring that life giving oxygen to nurture the cells. Enjoy and let me know how you sleep!



Cat/Cow

Start on hands and knees. Tilting the tailbone toward the sky, allow the spine to follow as the belly draws down. The heart lifts as you look forward. You can hold for several breaths or flow with the inhale and exhale.
Now draw the tail bone down and arch the spine, letting the head follow. Again taking several breaths in the pose or continue to flow.

Balasana

Come to all fours and bring your feet together separating your knees slightly. Sit your hips back to your heals, arms are stretched out in front. Rest for 5-10 breaths. Surrendering to gravity.



Seated Twist

Sit in a comfortable position for your body. Spine erect, turn your heart to the Right, placing your Left hand onto the Right leg, Right hand comes behind. Hold in the position for several breaths. Breathing deeply, unleashing tension in the spine. Twist in the opposite direction for the same amount of time. Come back to center.



Supta Pandagustasana 1

Lie on your back. Bend your Right knee and bring it into your chest. Left leg extended straight. Bring both hands behind the Right thigh onto the hamstring. Extend your heel toward the sky. Hold in this position for several deep breaths. Then release your Right leg to the floor or bed and switch sides.



Apanasana

Bend both knees, placing your hands onto your knee caps. Stack your knees over your hips, arms extended straight. Inhale. As you exhale draw your knees toward your chest, elbows bent. Continue to move with your inhale and exhale. 5-10 times.



Supine Twist

Bring your knees back to center. Arms come out to the sides into a cactus shape, palms facing up. Bring your bent knees to the Right, turning the head to the Left. Take several breaths. Come back to center and twist in the other direction for the same amount of time. Then come back to center.



Supta Baddha Konasana     

Legs at center, bring your feet together and open the knees out wide. You can place supports under them to keep the hips relaxed. Arms come away from the body out to the side, palms facing the sky. Rest here for 5-10 minutes taking deep breaths. Eyes closed.

                                                                                 

Modified Vipriti Karani

Laying on your side. Bring your legs to face the wall or headboard. Scooting yourself as close as comfortable to the wall or headboard. Extend one leg at a time straight up onto wall/headboard, rolling onto your back. Arms extended out next to the body, palms facing up. Lay there for 10-20 minutes with your eyes closed breathing deeply and relaxing your upper body into the support below you. 



You can try the full sequence or pick a few that speak to you that night. Breathing deeply and comfortably. Silently saying to yourself that you are relaxed. Continue this practice nightly helping you relieve stress and soften the pain as you heal. 

Sleep well!

Namaste'

Jess

(photos by Lindsay Alisa Photography)





New workshops coming in September!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 6:05 PM
I have some new workshops coming soon in September at Wilmington Yoga Center.  To find out more info check www.wilmingtonyogacenter.com and to sign up.

Healing yoga for cancer

September 13th- 9:30-11:30 a.m.


Yoga Nidra-The Art of Relaxation

September 27th 9:30-11:30 a.m.



For workshop description check out class schedule page! Thanks!


Can't wait to share these classes with you!

Much love!

Jess

Yummy Vegan Recipe- Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro

Posted by Jess at 3:48 PM
Happy Saturday All!

Tonight I decided to make one of my favorite summer time meals. It is so delicious and cooling for when it is sweltering outside!

One of the important lifestyle changes that needs to be made when diagnosed with Cancer is your diet! There are more and more studies showing the benefits of a vegan diet when it comes to staying cancer free. Studies are showing that cancer feeds off of animal protein, dairy, high fats, and sugar. So trying to eat a plant based diet rich in organic whole foods, is your best bet! So if you are someone living with cancer currently or a survivor. Check out the website www.forksoverknives.com, a great movie with lots of great information on how to stay healthy, possibly even reversing your cancer with diet and exercise. (disclaimer: I am not a doctor, just sharing information I have read and seen in the film) So thought I would share this delicious recipe with you all. Hope you enjoy! Let me know what your taste buds think! :)
 



Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro

Ingredients:
2 cups quinoa
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup cilantro, chopped
5 green onions, sliced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced small
2 cups cooked black beans

Dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin organic olive oil
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice(4 limes)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:
1. Place quinoa and water in a medium pot. (rinse quinoa first) Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
2. Remove cooked quinoa from pot, place in a a large bowl, let cool.
3. Combine olive oil, lime juice, cumin, and sea salt in a small bowl. Whisk together and pour over cooled quinoa. Toss well with a fork.
4. Add cilantro, green onions, jalapeno pepper, red bell pepper, and black beans and toss again.

Use organic ingredients for the best health benefits.

Great with chips, or in burritos, or as tacos!

Expect more great Vegan Recipes to come!!


Namaste-

Jess



Yoga, a path to healing while living with Cancer!

Monday, June 16, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 6:40 PM
    Yoga is everywhere now. You see studios in most towns. Even in those small farming communities in the mid-west! ;) (if you live in Indiana check out Laughing Lotus, www.tiffanyherron.com, amazing studio!) Its even show in places that really don't make sense. (mattress ads!) I have had several students tell me that their doctors recommend yoga as well. All yoga is not the same; so when living with Cancer, or after Cancer, what do you choose for your practice and how is it beneficial?

    So to begin, always check with your doctor first to make sure that yoga is appropriate for you in whatever place you are in on your journey with cancer, then finding a teacher that has experience working with students that have had Cancer. There are group classes available, some specific to cancer recovery as well as private sessions that help address your specific personal needs. But if you are currently going through chemo or treatment of some kind you may be feeling alot of fatigue and pain. And exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do. So at this stage in the game, gentle or restorative yoga postures are more what you need. Maybe even only breathing exercises and relaxation is all you can muster. But the most important thing is to honor where you are at and work from that point. Pushing yourself to hard only hinders the process. So loving yourself enough to be gentle during this process helps in so many ways.  On the days you feel more energetic a practice of gentle movements and some chair and standing postures may help you to feel that strength in your body again. You know your body best.


   So why is yoga beneficial to someone with Cancer? Yoga asana(postures) and pranayama(breathing exercises) help the body to build strength and flexibility, remove toxins, boosts the immune system, gives more energy, relieves stress and anxiety, lessens pain and eases insomnia. During treatment you are experiencing alot of symptoms and their are studies that have been done that have shown that yoga helps to lessen those symptoms and help the patients to have a better and more peaceful outlook on the process and their life. Yoga is not a cure for Cancer but helps to aid in the healing process. Giving you more joy while living with the effects of Cancer.

  There are many complimentary practices on your journey into healing. Yoga is said to be one of the more successful alternative practices for cancer. Many living with this debilitating disease state that it was a life-saver for them. So if you are someone who is living with Cancer or a Survivor I send you many blessings on your path to healing. And hope I can serve you in your recovery.

Namaste'

Jess


-Beloved Lord, Almighty God!
Through Rays of the sun,
Through the waves of the air,
Through the All-pervading Life in space,
Purify and revivify me, and , I pray.
Heal my body, heart, and soul.
Amen.
-Hazrat Inayat Khan

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 6:23 PM
"If you have just a little fun today, it's a sign that maybe the future will hold even more fun for you. Fun isn't just fun-it's hope." - Linda Richman






Fun with my boy in OBX!  Wishing you fun and hope! 

                                                       LOVE!


                                                             -Jess