Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm BACK !

Happy Marvelous Monday everyone! I have been gone for over a week and last Monday I was in New York but now I am here and ready to blog:) There is a fun week coming up with me doing an Acro Yoga workshop on Sunday-- should be interesting! I will be writing about it for the Atlanta Yoga Scene http://www.atlyogascene.com/ so stay tuned!!!


New York was absolutely amazing and such an experience. It was great to see where this country came from and it was great to bond with my sister. As you can see.....we took the city in our hands and experienced the Big Apple with pleasure.

Have a fabulous week and remember.....there is much to be thankful for in any situation.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday's Wine Pick!

This week’s pick surprisingly came to me when I got home from an awesome yoga class last night, and my husband brought out a bottle of red that was recommended to him from the wine shop. I asked him if I could pick his brain and therefore, this week’s choice comes straight from the mind and palette of my sweet Bill. Of course, I had to try it and I loved it! This will certainly become a regular wine in our house.

WHAT: Full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon
NAME: Siegel Reserve
YEAR: 2010
REGION: Central Valley in Chili
COST:  $9.99!!

Bill’s review: Siegel is a smooth and spicy cab with a bold finish on the middle back of the palate. It can be drank alone, but it would preferably go with a steak or some pasta, as it is a very big wine.

Enjoy!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Uneasiness -- turn easy


Lately, for some reason my mind has not been open to writing and it really has shown in my blog and even in my personal relationships. My mind was at a constant battle within itself for some reason and there was a strong sense of uneasiness and insecurity within myself.

This weekend, my husband traveled out of town and although I miss him dearly, I believe it was the best thing for my mind to weed itself out. My weekend involved a lot of yoga, prayer and meditation, along with much "me" time. Today in church, things became more clear and my mind finally felt at peace. I followed up with a great yoga class and found I was back to my social self by mingling before class with some girls. We talked to each other about how yoga gives us more than just a good workout and flexibility. Yoga brings a sense of your whole self and guides your awareness throughout your spirit, body, mind and energy. One lady was saying how her body was changing shape dramatically the more she does yoga, and I completely agreed. It gives your spine and energy the fluidity to move as it should, which in turn aligns your body as it was meant to shape. At this point in time, there is a sense of balance and peace and I am excited to hold in that energy as long as possible. When class was over, they were handing out bumper stickers which is shown below, and I thought it was a great way to conclude my weekend!



Even though my husband was gone, that didn't mean I wasn't spending much time with my other boys!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Splits......day one.

Well....the splits for me this evening didn't work out any better than this past weekend, but I vowed to slightly stretch my body and have discovered I have a lot to work on!

Tomorrow, I will be attending Power 2 at Red Hot Yoga which will loosen me up nicely and I plan to get some insight from one of Atlanta's most respected instructors there on the best ways to move into this pose. Also...thanks to some fellow yogis, they have made me realize that patience and determination will be my friends;)

Better late than never!

Alright, so this week's Wednesday wine is posting a bit late in the day, but I think it's just in time for all of you to go out and buy some to enjoy tonight! I mean...we have already made it halfway through the work week, we deserve it!

Today's wine is not only absolutely delicious, but it has been on that I have been looking for since May. It was on my daily wine calendar and I looked high and low for this little number...even Total Wine said they didn't have it, but have heard it was great. Then, yesterday when I was at Super Target (of all places) - there it was in the wine aisle screaming out my name! It was even on sale for $10, so I bought it and here it is:

Name: pro-mis-Q-ous
Grape: blend of Zinfindael, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah
Region: California
Price: $10
Flavor: It's a more full-bodied wine with some spice and blackberry, but it's also an easy drinker where you really do not have to pair it with anything except a wonderful glass and an eager palate.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Goal

I must say that although I have been doing yoga for many years, only lately have I dabbled into experimenting with different poses and styles. This past weekend at my Hot Power class on Saturday…we dove into a little pose called “The Splits”, or in sanscrit: Hanumanasana. This was not only somewhat frustrating because I could hardly get to a foot off the floor, but it was also motivating. With that being said, my new goal is to conquer the split before I start my Yoga Teacher Training program on September 24th!


I will work on it this week and my goal is to work on it each evening or every other evening for five minutes….I will keep you posted! Oh how I love new thingsJ

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Be careful with Bliss~

Bliss Yoga Class #3:

Our third and final introduction of class was by far the most beneficial and powerful. You know how sometimes you are “on” and sometimes you are “off”…well I was “on” this past Sunday and ready to dive into the delicious practice of Svaroopa yoga! We did a series of poses throughout the 90 minutes, but the one that stuck out at me was Half Frog. This pose opened me up so graciously and had me even feeling lightheaded afterwards due to the energy being released in my spine. After Half Frog, we did a lunge that must have put me over the edge, because there was a “zing” feeling going through my body and I had to sit down and take a drink of water. Awesome stuff!!!

The class ended with by far the most UNIQUE shavasana experience I have ever had….. As I lay there, letting my body unfold and melting to the earth… waves of energy flowed through my body so fierce that it felt like my mat was on a bed of jell-o. Finally, it became so intense I had to open my eyes for the duration of the resting pose….and let me tell you – I NEVER open my eyes in beautiful shavasana! I felt a sincere sense of well-being when we left and Bill looked at me and said, “you are glowing today.”

With that being said, let me just say there is a twist in the story. After class, we were in such a cloud that we thought it would be fun to check out the Historical District of Roswell. We went in a couple shops and then saw this cute little patio overlooking the street…so of course we had to discover this little hidden gem! We went up into this quaint overlook and ordered a glass of wine. For those of you who know me, you know that I enjoy wine and have a pretty high tolerance for it….not on SUNDAY!!! After opening up my spine and sending energetic fluid up into my body, then rinsing it with a glass of Chardonnay is not something I would recommend. It threw me for a loop and the next day I felt completely exhausted and wiped out.

Moral of the story: Yoga is a powerful energy balancing practice that you should have fun with and explore, but remain very respectful of what is happening to your body during this process and make sure to take care of your soul’s casingJ

Next time, I will cleanse myself with a glass of water or some herbal teaJ

The sneaky Chardonnay:)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday's Wine Pick~

Okay.....let's talk white people! It is warm outside and many of us have done some serious pool, lake, or for the very fortunate - ocean time, this summer! With the hot summer days, must come a fantastic white wine of course.

Since my rule of thumb is about $15....this week I am going to recommend a wine that was recently recommended to me and I found it for $7.99 at Total Wine. It is Dry Creek Vineyard - Wilson Ranch Dry Chenin Blanc. This medium bodied white wine is crisp, clean and smooth and not too sweet at all. It almost started off with a citrus flavor and ended very smooth. It has many complex layers that would pair well with most anything or nothing at all.



I think this healthy (of course) and fun recipe below was an amazing pairing! Let me know your thoughts!

Summer Chicken Salad --
Here are the ingredients, and you can use the amount of each to your liking:

Fresh Kale
Fresh Romaine Lettuce
Red Grapes
Slivered Almonds
Grape tomatoes
Feta Cheese
Red Onion

ADD: Grilled Chicken - seasoned   with Olive Oil, pepper, dash of salt

We used Newman's Own Balsamic dressing and the Raspberry Vinaigrette to top it off!

 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday monday.....

Well, although I normally have something really uplifting to say on a Monday.....today I was not feeling it...but I read a little something that brought a smile to my face....and maybe it will do the same for you too!!!

If there is light in the soul,
there will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
-Chinese Proverb

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Egg Salad - Gone Healthy!

Okay.....I love eggs....I could never be vegan for even a week because one of my favorite foods is eggs. Another one of my favorites is tofu. I found this recipe and it's a great way to substitute mayo for some protein!!!
http://recipes.rodale.com/Recipe/better-for-you-egg-salad.aspx

Enjoy!
 
 
 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Close your eyes - and see what happens!

Thursday night I did yoga at Peachtree Yoga Center and the focus of the class was to keep your eyes closed. Let me tell you - this made me realize that I take the simplest poses in the world for granted. It's funny how little you trust yourself when you cannot see yourself - but only feel yourself.

I wiggled, fell, peeked a little :), but mostly wondered. I usually gaze into my own eyes for support in the most difficult poses or while doing a balancing sequence, so why when trusting myself within - did i lose focus? Maybe I was thinking too much? Maybe my energy was a little "off" that day?

Either way, I learned something about myself. I learned to feel what is happening in my body and become more aware of my "self", instead of looking and trusting only the exterior.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Even my dogs can smell the bliss~

Sunday was our second Svaroopa yoga class and for some reason this one was better than the first. Maybe it was because things seemed more familiar and we dug into class right away, or maybe it was because my spine was thirsty for more but this time was more relaxing and beneficial to me personally.

The thing that struck out most this time was a yoga pose I do many times, but when tying in props, blankets and effortlessness….my spine smiled. The key word here is effortlessness....guiding your body and not forcing your body to do something truly allows it to open up naturally. Now, you must realize that me of all people love a challenge and especially a good aerobic workout, so when the teacher keeps emphasizing the fact we must only guide our legs into alignment and not pull them back, it was a hard adjustment for me and especially my husband. Let me just say, "it's worth it." After class, the teacher put us on task and told us to practice at home, or we will not reap the full benefits of this practice. Therefore, after my two mile run this evening, I got home and Bill was already in his full shavasana. Therefore I grabbed some blankets, my mat and a pillow and off I went!

Right now -- I feel..AMAZING. Let me honestly tell you currently my energy is one I wish for all of you to feel....but.. I am holding onto this goodness as long as possible!!! It was one of the most relaxing 20 minutes in our household on a Wednesday evening in a long time. The strange part is that normally our dogs are dying to get into the room we are in, but they must have sensed our energy, because they sat laying in their beds in the other room....like two peaceful little doves. When I opened the door, they went sniffing exactly where I was practicing...good energy? - I think so!

Now I will continue to feel this light-weight and freeing feeling as I venture into the evening.

Good night my friends, sweet dreams and I will see you tomorrow.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
...
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep. - Rumi

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Let's make it hot...Hot...HOT!

With it being 93 degrees outside you would think Hot Yoga wouldn't be everyone's first choice...but there sure was a lot of people heating it up on the mat tonight!!! It is amazing the feeling you have after sweating (a lot) for a long period of time. You challenge your body to new limits and I find myself much more flexible in a heated room. Although, it's not for everyone, and even I only do it about once or twice a week...it really does get a good workout in for the day.

Well...now am going to light some organic sage and let the aroma fill the room as I drift off into the evening...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Good Stuff for a Monday

Below is a card I recieved from my best friend Sara. You must know that Jake G. is one of my "boyfriends" - it's okay...bill and Heather Graham are an item;) But this is my "get through Monday" card and I am not going to lie...it makes me laugh everytime!!!! My friend Krisy is right...dreading Mondays is wasting 1/7 of your life...so I take that statement and this card below with me as I journey on through my 9-5 today, and I believe today shall be a good day~

Front of the Card

The inside of the card:)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Little of this - dash of that

Sorry, I feel like I have been MIA lately! Busy week starting with last weekend. We went to see "A Tribute to Abba" last Friday night at Chastain Park in Atlanta. Let me tell you....listening to music under the stars while sipping on a good glass of wine....there's something to it. 


This weekend was good -- although it's not over yet!!! It involved some yoga (of course) then hanging out with great friends, enjoying some good food and laughs. Sometimes it is the simple things in life that bring you the most joy. Now...I'm off to Bliss Yoga with my Bill and we shall see what it holds for us today. Then...what else - but another BBQ!!!

Happy Weekend to all~

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday's Wine of the Week!

This little number isn't new to me, but it's a goodie. I chose it this week because....well it was on sale for $9.99 of course!! It is normally about $12-$13 depending on where you go.

What is it: Evodia - 2009 Spanish Old Vine Garnacha

The first time I tried this wine was at a wine tasting and they asked me what I smelled. I said, "to be honest, burnt tires." I figured this was going to get a chuckle, but the guy actually said that is one of the most common answers! Well, I had to try it, so I was surprised when the taste was full - smooth and spicy! I loved it and bought a bottle.

This time, when the bottle was decanted, and ready for some tasting, I poured some in my glass. Then I took a large inhale to smell and it smelled completely different- but better!!! I smelled spice and blackberry. I took a sip and also tasted spice with a blackberry finish.

Was this because my nose knew what my mouth tasted last time? Who knows....but it's a common one around this house, and now you try it!

Happy Wine Wednesday everyone! Work week is halfway through:)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Svaroopa “Bliss Yoga”


"This style of yoga teaches different ways of doing familiar poses, emphasizing the opening of the spine by beginning at the tailbone and progressing through each spinal area. Every pose integrates the foundational principles of asana, anatomy and yoga philosophy, and emphasizes the development of transcendent inner experience, which is called 'svaroopa' by Patanjali in the 'Yoga Sutra'. This is a consciousness- oriented yoga that also promotes healing and transformation... New students find this a very approachable style.”
 (above is a description of "Bliss Yoga" from the Plum Tree Yoga Center's website)

Last month, after attending a Nia class at The Open Mind Center, one of the gals came up to me and we started to “talk yoga”. She  recommended this “bliss yoga” and said it helped her so much with creating alignment; more so than any other class. She said that she has always dealt with chronic back pain, and this class aligned her back, where she now is almost pain free. After hearing this, I knew it must be relaxing and a great alignment tool. I have done vin-yin classes, so I wasn’t sure if it was a lot like that or if I was missing something great. I read the website’s description above, but still thought what IS “bliss yoga”? Was the “bliss” part just a marketing tactic? Either way, I had to find out..and who better to have come with me but my one and only BILLJ!  I knew he would benefit the most from this class, since he just had a groin injury in March and always deals with chronic back pain. Well…he was open to the idea, and you know me and my curiosity……I signed us up immediately!!!

 Sunday was our first class of the three class series at Plum Tree Yoga and immediately I did fall in love with the quaint little studio. We started the class with the teacher taking many blankets and she showed us how to fold them a certain way and we “learned how to sit” properly. It was a little different, but felt very good. We went through a series of poses, each very gentle and effortless by the muscles because we were supported by props and blankets. We then incorporated breath, along with certain poses to release energy in the different areas of the spine, starting from the base and working our way up through the sacrum and into the upper neck. It was the most unforced and quiet class I have done in a while.

After the class my body felt very light and  graceful. My breathing was like a ribbon blowing in the wind. I was calm, but very balanced and aware of the flow of movement. It was almost as if I were dancing with every step I took.  Ironically, I was very anxious earlier that day for some reason, and afterwards, I noticed a dramatic difference – some could say I was in bliss!!!

Bill felt very good during the class and noticed a lot less lower back pain and easier movement throughout each step. One thing that was interesting was that in the last 20 minutes he felt very anxious and this is when we were opening up the sacrum along with ujjayi breathing. This is usually where he carries a lot of his pain and I am wondering if there is energy stored up in that area that was released, and then his body was feeling it passing through his system. He is going to ask the teacher next Sunday why this might have happened (will keep you posted).

Overall, we both really enjoyed the first class and have been doing some of the exercises throughout the week. Next week, we get a little deeper into the practice, so stay tuned for our synopsis and maybe even a couple pictures!

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's Monday...Let's dance!


This post is a small tribute to the book "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein:
We manifest our own destiny….. Maybe we really can create our own goodness, or possibly our own badness.... Have you ever noticed how happy people- always seem to have things go "their way"? Well...I'm not sure they always see it as that, but you get my drift.
I believe if you look at a situation in a completely different light and realize something good out of every situation....things might seem a little more "half full". Of course, life will always test you and throw curve balls your way - but isn't that what keeps us going (in a weird sense:)?
Next time try to take the more “half glass full” approach. This really is nothing new, but there is something to it! For example….it is getting harder and harder to face the dreadful Mondays. But why? Could it be because I am creating Mondays to be such an awful thing? Why do i make another day of life so awful by choice? There is some serious possibility here people....and with a somewhat decent attitude...maybe we really can manifest our own destiny.
I cannot promise this every time, but I vow to make today a good day!
"Happiness is not something already made. It comes from your own actions." - Dali Lama
Peace I give you,
Katie

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Balance

Balance -- beautiful word isn't it....once you get just a little bit --- it works.

When we can find balance in something - we find that is when we are the happiest and feel the best. The balancing act might include more than just a simple tree pose, but also between work, family, yourself, food, exercise, entertainment, etc.

In yoga balancing poses for me are the most enjoyable. I feel it correlates to my current state of mind. As we all know, our practice on the mat can vary from day to day, but if I am feeling centered, calm and focused, by balancing act in yoga is supreme.

Food and exercise used to be extremely difficult for me to have a healthy balance level. Through yoga, prayer, meditation and chakra education, I can easily dive into a good place.

Chakras...those fascinating energy sources in our body.... must be balanced out to reach optimum results in our personal well-being. Although it will always be a continued battle...practicing yoga helps me tie in my prayers and meditation, along with getting great exercise results and reaching a healthy level in my life. That is why I love yoga so much...the complete balance between body and mind. Every pose and every practice you are always incorporating the concept of  balancing your body, breath and mind.

There is a much more sense of clarity in my head, and I attribute this to God who has provided me with such a natural resource that is so very enjoyable and basically saved my life.

Wednesday's Wine of the Week!


  
So, I have decided to give a weekly wine recommendation for those of you (like me) that love learning about a new wine that fits the budget. I am going to always try to keep under $15 a bottle ... and we all love the $10 or less!!!

Last weekend World Market had Napa Valley's Wheelhouse Cabernet 2008 on sale for $13 (normally $18)! I knew I had to try and and boy was it was a smash in my book! I loved it and ended up getting two bottles. It was medium - bodied, but almost tasted like a really smooth full-bodied with it's natural spicy flavors. Wheelhouse is worth trying if you like a dry, deep and almost a little oak in your reds.

Although, $18 isn't in my budget for an everyday wine...it was a great way to open my palete to a new wine and for the price...this will definetely be bought again by this girl!!!

Try it...let me know what you think!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Four more lunches....

So....in a perfect world every work week would be short. There is always a saying between me and a co worker. We count the lunches instead of saying what day it is...the little things...ha!

Today is a special day for many reasons. First and foremost, my wonderful parents have now been married for  41 years! Secondly, it is independence day. so.....do i agree with many american cultures....NO. But....it is the land of opportunity and I appreciate many things. Therefore.....lets make today my favorite monday of 2011~~!!! (aka....i will never capitalize the "m-word").

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Just me and the boys


Sven and Olie
These are my boys...Sven (the pug), Olie (the pug mix) and Bill (the love of my life). I will be enjoying the simple pleasure of the weekend with these folks, among others. Hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July and I will post some pictures from the weekend next week! Also, next week look for some motivation to start out - some good wine recommendations, pictures...and of course -- some good ol'e fashion yoga talk!!!


This is my sweetie - Bill


Mommy loves them!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

back to life -- back to reality!

After just getting back from vacation from Wisconsin, reality set in all too quickly….plus, I realized that I haven’t been on the mat in a week. It’s funny how different I feel when I haven’t had that quiet time on the mat to do my praying, meditating, breathing, stretching and moving!! Tonight I will be doing two things that make me extremely excited! First of all, I will be trying a new studio in my world called Omi – which for those of you who don’t know me, I love trying new things! Secondly, I will be taking my husband with me who has been out of the yogi practice for many years. Introducing the practice to someone and having them appreciate at least one element of yoga,  brings me such joy. People’s lives are hectic enough and many of us do not take the time for wellness, balance and breathing. This is exactly why I have such a good relationship with my practice and mat. It may not be perfect, and some days I’m much more flexible or strong than others, but it’s my practice…..and I’m sticking to itJ Namaste ~

This picture was shared with me from someone very special. It helps me know the support around me and helps me support others. It also helps me look at things in life and know that sometimes we can manifest our own destiny.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Taste the goodness of bliss~

When I decided to try Kundalini for the first time, not only was I eager to uncover the mystery, but another yogi was willing to take each of our experiences and compare them - while neither of us having a clue what the other experienced. Tune into http://www.atlyogascene.com/ tomorrow to see the two minds at work!!!

Here were my thoughts:

When I saw Kundalini yoga on the Peachtree Yoga Center schedule there was a deep mystery I wanted to unfold. The description said, “combines active yoga postures, energy, chakra work, visualization, chanting, and breath work.” I thought, “I HAVE to try this class!” Having no idea what to expect, I eagerly opened my heart and energy to the experience and I was ready for the ride. 

We began the class with mediation and a peaceful chant, which was new to me, but Siri guided us through it with ease and her positive aura. Then, we moved into several yoga poses paired with breath of fire. This swift and firm breathing heat up my body quickly, while Suri guided us with her words through poses working on each chakra. I opened up to immerse the feelings of the energy sources in my body, and realized I had a special experience with each pose. The feelings started with warmth in the heart, and then moved into a feeling of slight lightheadedness, next I experienced an emotional release and then finally I eased into a grounded and balanced state of mind. The rest of the class entailed stretching, breathing, meditation and I must say it was the best savasana I’ve had in a long time. The class took me away and left me in a place of relaxation, tranquility and well-being.  
On a daily basis, I prefer a class with more flow and movement, but I would like Kundalini to be in my practice about once a month to realign my balance and energy. It was an awesome way to feel what happens in your body when your equilibrium is on track.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A New Experience

After contacting  Atlanta Yoga Scene about an interest in getting more involved in the yogi world in Atlanta, she offered me an opportunity to write about a new experience of my choice. I choose to try a Nia class for the first time at The Open Mind Center in Roswell, GA. Click on the link below to read more about it!!

http://www.atlyogascene.com/

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just Breathe

         Some days are just a little off and everything seems to come flooding down at once. The thoughts in my mind are in a constant motion and new thoughts are born almost every second. Today I felt that I was swimming in that flood, gasping for air, but then I see this:
“Let silence take you to the core of life.” – Rumi
      This struck something in me. Why is it that a certain couple of words and a visual can completely change your track of motion? It made me stop and take a step back and realize that life is not perfect, nor will everything be easy and the way YOU want it. In today’s society, the goal is to get everything and everyone to move faster and faster, but we forget that sometimes you have to just…..breathe.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Mondays....

For anyone who knows me, they know that Mondays are like a four letter word in my vocabulary – I am not a fan. That is why I am choosing to write something positive each and every Monday. Today, I wanted to take a step back and say how thankful I am to have a great husband, a wonderful family and amazingly supportive friends. These three ingredients completely make my life whole and who I am today. With that being said…Happy Monday folks, and remember, if we didn’t have a Monday, there wouldn’t be a Friday either!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Writing matters...

Writing has always been something that allows me to free my mind and get a fraction of a million thoughts swimming around in my head released.  There are many ideas, quotes, recipes, workouts, events, experiments and thoughts swirling through my mind, just ready for action, so I will take you on my many journeys and have a little fun! The world of blogging is new to me, but I feel a sense of freedom in my mind by getting back into the practice of writing and tapping into my creative self.

Yoga is something that has allowed me to become more balenced again and start doing the things that bring me peace instead of anxiety. Trust me, life isn’t perfect by any means, but I am starting to learn how to create balance through yoga, art, learning of chakras, meditation, prayer and creating a positive environment.

With that being said......welcome to a little piece of my thoughts and I hope you enjoy the ride!