Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Cook Book is on its way!!!!!!!

My dream of writing my own cook book is coming true as we speak! I am in the process of writing and editing. While my passion for Yoga will always be in the top spot my passion for food is a close second. I practically get high when a meal I've created receives rave reviews, and over the years my recipes (which usually start as experiments) have gotten many. It is time to share them with the world! It is exciting knowing that I will be able to help others' change their lives in a different way. 

As I prepare for this new venture I am magnetizing all forms of assistance from the universe. If you work in publishing, know someone who does, are an editor, or know any way in which you can encourage momentum on this project then please email or call anytime. Food is a crucial part of our lives as Yoga practitioners and this book is going to provide a much needed link between these two vital elements. I thank you in advance for your support and energy. You will see the final product of all those good vibes very soon!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Private Lesson Summer Special!

I am very pleased that I can extend this offer to my students. Private yoga lessons with me (normally $100 per hour), are currently being offered at $85 per hour effective now through July 31st! This offer applies to students whom have not yet done private lessons with me, even if they normally take my group classes. Further discounts are offered when lessons occur 3+ times per week. You can use the hour for yourself or with a group of friends. The hourly rate applies regardless of how many people you choose to participate. Be sure to take advantage!

If you are working through an injury, looking to enhance your alignment and focus, or simply ready to commit further to Yoga as a lifestyle, then private lessons are your answer. The intimate atmosphere gives you the attention required to take your practice to the next level and bring you the unity of body, mind, and spirit which you are seeking. 

Private lessons also make a wonderful and unique gift for special people in your life. Give the gift of fulfillment, joy, and awareness that can only come from inside ourselves.

Email or call Sara at 516-521-7545 for details.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How To Eat Like A Yogi Part Five

At last, we are back to nutrition. In part four of this series we discussed some of the reasons for vegetarianism. However, not all vegetarians are created equal. For example, my college boyfriend was a self proclaimed "vegetarian whom didn't like vegetables"!!! His diet consisted mostly of pizza, cheese, eggs, and taco bell. I cringe looking back on it! Although all of those foods are meat free they aren't necessarily healthy. There is a difference and many people are wondering what, in fact, should we look for when examining our food?

The sad fact is, most people don't examine it at all. Journalist Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma (which you should read immediately), states that while researching for his book he discovered that most people put more investigation into buying a new TV than they do into their food choices. If this sounds familiar, don't fret. Through the many years I have spent as a yoga teacher, vegetarian, food lover, and cook, I have discovered something crucial. What we want in our food is the same thing we want to build in our bodies and minds: PRANA aka Chi aka Vital Energy.

Prana is what we create during yoga practice using the alchemy of breath, poses, mind control, etc. But it is also present in our bodies and in nature in varying degrees. For example, you might see two women of the same height, weight, and shape. While one looks vibrant, has bright skin and eyes, silky hair the other has dry skin and hair, dull and saggy eyes, and lacks that certain vitality. While a doctor might say they are both in fine health, the naked eye can see that the former is full of prana while the other is much less so.

How does this relate to what you eat? Prana occurs in nature. Freshly picked produce from the local farm is full of it, as it doesn't waste away in trucks and shelves before it gets to your plate. The sooner food is consumed from the earth the more nutrients and prana the eater receives. As a result you will probably need to eat less to feel satisfied because the food is much more nutrient rich. This is the reason for the Raw Food Movement, which will be a posting in and of itself very soon.

Not surprising, food produced in factories by machines and kept on shelves thanks to man-made preservatives is very low on the prana scale. It may be low in calories too, which is unfortunately why many people eat it and presume they are being healthy by doing so. This is likely to be that person who looks dried out and lacks vibrancy in their appearance. I went down this road many years ago and in hindsight I always felt hungry, probably because I was never truly satisfied by what I was eating.

When there are thousands of food options within reach how can we be wise and choosy shoppers and eaters? Below is a list of ways to eat as clean as possible. Do whatever is within your desire and convenience levels for now. The more you get into it the easier it becomes.
  • Grow your own organic produce in the garden (I have not done this yet but I have resolved to once we actually buy a house).
  • Find a local farm stand for seasonal produce. It may not be listed as USDA organic but that may not matter since smaller farms often avoid expensive pesticides anyway. The best thing to do is call around and ask. Makinajian Farm in Huntington is my FAVORITE! I buy my eggs there too. Golden Earthworm Farm in Jamesport makes a great pit stop after a trip out east. 
  • Whole Foods often lists the origin of the fruit and veggies they sell. Choose the ones closest to you as they have spent less time in a truck and contain more prana. Less traveling also reduces petroleum usage and fuel emissions into our environment.
  • Cook at home! Unless you are the chef in the restaurant you visit you may never know where your food is coming from, how fresh it is, and the hidden preservatives that might be inside. Lots of butter, oil, and salt can mask signs of decomposition. People are always saying that eating out contributes to weight gain but they never specifically say why aside from calorie counting. This is because the food has such little prana that they give you bigger portions to feel satisfied. Sound familiar?
  • Have a raw component to each of your meals. Salad is most common, of course. Even super tasty items like pesto can be made raw. Freshly juiced beverages are raw too. Luckily summer is upon us so making delicious greens with dressing or tomato salads can spice things up a bit.
Have fun and don't become a Food Nazi! In other words, start with small changes and increase your awareness as you go. Eating should be enjoyable, not just something on the to do list.

Coming up in How To Eat Like A Yogi Part Six: Why measuring calories is useless.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Shopping

This is going to be great! My favorite designer and friend, Stephanie Hammitt, is holding a trunk show for family and friends next week! 

Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: The Baschnagel Residence
  118 Locust Street, Garden City, NY 11530
Phone: 718-490-6609

Let the fun begin as Hammitt Bags releases their new summer collection! Stephanie is an innovative and practical designer of gorgeous handbags and accessories. She is environmentally conscious and doesn't use any endangered leathers. She also has synthetic, animal friendly bags to choose from and they are just just as stylish as the rest! I carry her bags often and get compliments almost daily. Join us at the Trunk Show and receive the special discount for the day. Katie Costello jewelry, another L.A. based company, is also showcasing their hot new items. Cash, credit cards, and personal checks are accepted.

Come play :) You know you want to!

Summer Retreat Is On!!!!!!!!

I am extra pleased to announce that after many requests I have been able to put together a fabulous Summer Yoga Retreat! Space is limited to 15 participants, so if you are interested please contact me asap via the channels posted at Sara Yoga.

Here is the important info:
Date:Saturday, July 19, 2008
Time: 9am-6pm
Location: Private Residence in Southampton, NY 
(I will email address and directions upon registration)
Cost: $200

The amazing day will include the following:
  • A 2 hour morning Vinyasa Yoga class with Sara and assistant.
  • A healthy and delicious vegetarian breakfast.
  • A discussion on Meditation and its important role in a daily Yoga practice. We will decipher the differences between various methods of meditation and practice them together. The small group setting will allow for all of your challenges and questions to be addressed. This will take your practice to the next level both on and off the mat.
  • A 1.5 hour "Meditation in Motion" class where we will use all we have learned about meditation to deepen our asana practice and release the blockages of our Prana (vital energy).
  • A gourmet buffet lunch with vegetarian, vegan, seafood, and gluten free options! 
  • A 1.5 hour Restorative Yoga class and meditation to end our beautiful day together.
I have no doubt this event will sell out quickly. I hope you can join us for this intimate gathering of learning, awareness, and empowerment.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Honey, I'm Home!

I'm back in Long Island, folks. I have adjusted my body clock and I am back to teaching. There will be some schedule tweaking in the next few weeks, so please check my website here and there for the rest of June.

India was a huge transformation. Beyond. It completely blew my mind, even more than my previous trips. I have become a human sponge apparently, as I absorbed and integrated more than I thought possible. I hope I have returned a better teacher, student, and person. 

As far as life at home, I must admit it took a few days to adjust. Luckily I have so much love in my life. Not to mention a very patient husband who didn't panic when the jet lag made me mentally ill. Aside from that, I am easing into work this week and getting my schedule back to snuff. I got my organic co-op veggies yesterday and supplemented with a trip to Makinajian's Farm (these people know and love food), which made me happy....I am a chef at heart. My next venture just might be a cook book! For healthy, organic eaters, of course. Anyhow, I am reconnecting with my favorite people and my fantastic students. I feel light and open and I know the universe has a great plan for me now that I am putting down my roots at home. 

The nutrition blogs will begin again now that I am back in action!