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I love you…and chocolate too! February 8, 2012

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, I’m sure you can’t help but realize that it’s almost Valentine’s Day. It’s kind of hard to miss as it’s probably one of the best marketed holidays of the year…next to Christmas! Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not, this is a great time of year to think about connection. We could all use a little more love…and ahem…chocolate! So, I invite you to connect with someone special in your life through partner yoga and a few indulgent treats.

The meaning of the word yoga is literally ‘to yoke’ meaning to create connection or union. We create this connection within ourselves when we do yoga. We connect our mind and our body through breath and awareness. When we do partner yoga, we extend this connection with one another. We allow ourselves and our partner to go much deeper into a pose by supporting each other and allowing ourselves to be supported. What better way to deepen your relationship with your friend or lover and with yourself?

It’s so nurturing to feel the warmth and support of another person as we open into and through our bodies. As you practice the following poses with your partner, focus on connecting through your breath. Poses done back to back are especially powerful. You may literally feel as if that person ‘has your back’ as you feel the warmth of their body supporting you from behind.

To begin, spend some time centering yourself as you sit back to back. First, start to notice your own breath as it enters and leaves your body. Then, as you tune into your own rhythm, start to notice you partner’s breath. Notice how fast or slow it is and where you can feel it in their body. Take a few moments to start to synchronize your breath with your partner’s. This creates a connection that goes beyond the physical form of the body. You enter a space with your partner where you come into sync and are intimate with each other. Use your breath to come into and out of each pose that follows. (Thanks to Roz and Dan for the beautiful demonstrations!)

Forward and Back Bend – In this pose you will open through the chest and back as you come into a supported back bend. Sit back to back in an easy, cross-legged pose and link arms with your partner. When you have entered into a rhythmic breath together, inhale to extend through the spine and then exhale to come into the pose.

As one partner bends forward, the other partner allows themselves to be supported as they come into a back bend. Spend a few breaths here as you allow yourselves to go deeper into the pose. Inhale to slowly come out of the pose and then repeat it with your partner.

Back to Back Twist – Begin sitting back to back in an easy cross-legged position. Each person then reaches their right hand back to take a hold of their partner’s left knee. Your left hand can come to your own right knee to facilitate the twist. Inhale to lengthen through the spine and then exhale to twist to the right. Continue to use your breath to extend through the spine and releasing deeper into the twist on an exhale. Exhale to release back to the center and then repeat it on the other side. When you are finished your practice, you can turn and offer each other a “Namaste” which literally means “I bow to you” acknowledging your appreciation of that person in your life.

If you’re a little hungy after all that yoga and you’d like to indulge in some mouth-watering recipes to enjoy with your loved one, read on to discover a delicious Chocoate Pot-de-Creme or some Healthy Turtle BonBons. And of course, keep posted for our upcoming Partner Workshop through Rejuvenate Your Prana!

Namaste to you on Valentine’s Day!

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Oh the weather outside is frightful January 19, 2012

“…but the fire is so delightful”

I can’t quite sing “let it snow, let it snow” at the top of my lungs with the same holiday zeal anymore. We were blessed with embarrassingly beautiful, mild weather in Edmonton over Christmas and the New Year – then boom! The beginning of this week saw temperatures plummet into the minus mid-thirties and forties. It’s the type of cold that makes your skin feel like it’s being pricked with thousands of tiny pins. It’s almost mind-numbing in that you are reduced to one thought and sole mission when you step outside – how to get from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time possible.

Unfortunately, my old ’96 Toyota Corolla has become a casualty at the hands of winter. She’s been sitting outside the house, covered in snow and refuses to respond. I’ve tried everything to give her a boost but alas, she remains icy and cold like a scorned woman who’s angry with me for neglecting her (which I did, in a way, because I left her outside with less than a quarter tank of gas!). Luckily, my sweet little sister was generous enough to lend me her car for work. Then it’s straight home and into warm socks and sweaters for the night.

Being trapped indoors does lend itself to resourcefulness though. As much as I would love to zip out and get a warm drink, the general consensus in our house seems to be, “Who the ‘bleep-bleep’ wants to go out in this weather?!” Well, I won’t argue with that. So tonight, I decided to revisit a favourite drink of mine that I discovered last winter. It’s a green tea hot chocolate that I made by accident as I was trying to create something else. I’m sure there are other versions of this drink out there; what I like about this one is that it’s dairy free but still oh-so-creamy. I can’t help but smile after every sip.

Vegan Green Tea Hot Chocolate:

Ingredients:
– Chocolate almond milk (sweetened or unsweetened – if you are limiting your sugar intake, opt for the unsweetened version and add your own natural sweetener, such as honey or agave, as desired)
– Your favourite green tea
– Matcha green tea powder for sprinkling on top (optional)

Directions:
Bring one cup of chocolate almond milk to a low boil. Steep green tea leaves into the almond milk for several minutes until desired strength. Ladle into your favourite “I’m having a relaxing night in” mug and sprinkle Matcha green tea powder on top. Slip under your favourite blanket on the couch and enjoy.

Despite the cold weather, we are looking forward to a good turnout for our Vata Workshop this Saturday. We will be working off the winter chill in Alanna’s yoga class and fuelling our bodies afterwards with a home cooked meal made by me. In the spirit of spreading warmth, Rejuvenate Your Prana will look forward to donating a percentage of the proceeds from Saturday’s workshop to Hope Mission in Edmonton to support their efforts to provide meals and a warm bed for those in need in our city.

Thanks for stopping by and please leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you! Namaste.

 

Dark and sexy November 18, 2011

Filed under: Chocolate,Vata — rejuvenateyourprana @ 2:51 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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No, I don’t mean the snow globe situation that we are currently living in. The days may be darker, but there’s nothing sexy about running to your car in clunky boots with snow melting on your glasses and your keys stuck to your fingers – maybe that’s just me. Oh well, welcome to the Vata Season!

No, what I’m referring to is the oh-so-good-I-need-more vegan callebaut chocolate gelato served at our recent Rejuvenate Your Prana Workshop. Sweet dark chocolate meets spicy Saigon cinnamon – now that’s sexy. A room full of vibrant women taking control of their health through yoga – also sexy. Follow that with a home-cooked three- course vegetarian meal and the weekend is complete. At least the hope is that everyone went home a little more rejuvenated and refreshed from a great workout and quality time with friends.

I can’t wait until our next Vata workshop in January. Until then, check the site often for updates. Alanna and I are planning on posting yoga poses and recipes for your for Prana-rejuvenating enjoyment. So keep your yoga mat and an apron handy! Namaste!