Laughing Yoga

I’ve been curious about Laughing Yoga since our Sing Along Yoga Workshop here at NOURISH. It was briefly mentioned before the workshop started and since then I’ve been thinking about what it might be like to participate in a Laughing Yoga class.

After some reading online, it seems that laughing yoga can be very similar to our Sing Along yoga class. Everyone being a little apprehensive at first, not knowing what it’s going to be like, how much they will actually sing aloud, etc. As it turns out, everyone sang their hearts out to every word that they knew and it seems the same is experienced in Laughing Yoga. The participants usually begin tentatively until you just can’t stop yourself from laughing even if you tried. By the end of the class everyone is feeling refreshed, more clear headed and feeling like they just had a really unique yoga experience.

The class begins with grounding and centering, then the laughing is introduced as an exercise. For example, try to give the deepest belly laugh you can, or add in a body movement that is in sync with your laughs. Soon enough you’ll be watching as those around you can’t help but join in the laughter. Can you imagine the potential health benefits from all the laugther? This can be a really fun yoga class to try out! (lol)

The Downward Facing Dog

I heard someone in class ask the other day, “Why’s the downward facing dog so special?”

I completely got where they were coming from. Even before I really knew anything about yoga, I had heard the name. It seems like it is one of those yoga words everyone knows. But why?

Victor explained to the curious student that it is a pose that is used regularly and is often one of the very first stretches beginners learn. It’s a transitional pose that is fairly comprehensive in its benefits to the body; having a positive effect on the shoulders, legs, spine, arms and feet. Furthermore, it’s thought to improve digestion, increase the blood flow to the sinuses, build strength throughout the body and even help your immune system.

However, Victor was also quick to point out that despite its fame, it is not considered a superior stretch. There is no technical reason why downward facing dog has become entrenched within the mass public’s notion of what yoga is all about (alongside Sting and herbal teas).

So there must be some other reason. I would be so presumptuous as to suggest it’s good branding. It has dog in the title.

You may laugh, but a large portion of the population love dogs. Sure there are other “cooler sounding” poses (Warrior pose, Cobra pose etc.) but at the end of the day we are all suckers for a cheeky-looking cocker spaniel.

Perhaps on some level we also like the idea of copying the movements of a dog. I know at various points of my life I have watched a lovable mutt go about his day and thought to myself, “a dog’s life… they’ve got it pretty sweet!”

And there’s even a case to suggest it brings us closer to lost friends. I read about one lady who enjoyed the pose because it brought back fond memories of her very first puppy and made her feel closer to him in some way.

Whether any of this hits a chord, or you think I’m barking up the wrong tree, I think it’s fair to say… for a number of reasons… the downward dog is a special pose.

Anthony

Sing Along Yoga


I had the pleasure of listening to the sing along yoga class tonight while working at the Nourish reception desk, and I have to say that it was the MOST FUN class that Nourish has ever offered. I got to sing while I was working! I can’t even imagine how awesome it was for everyone who attended to sing while doing yoga. So for all those who missed the class, but still want the fun of yoga with a karaoke twist, or for all those who attended and can’t wait to do it again, here is the playlist from tonight:

Love’s In Need of Love Today by: Stevie Wonder
This Little Light by: The Montgomery Improvement Association
The Circle Game by: Joni Mitchell
Every Breath You Take by: The Police
Hey Jude by: The Beatles
Three Little Birds by: Bob Marley and the Wailers
Wonderful World by: Sam Cooke
Joy to The World by: Three Dog Night
Into the Mystic by: Van Morrison
Your Song by: Elton John
59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) by: Simon and Garfunkel
Lean On Me by: Bill Withers
You’ve Got a Friend (featuring special guest star James Taylor) by: Carole King
Bridge Over Troubled Water by: Simon and Garfunkel
Sunshine On My Shoulders by: John Denver
Imagine by: John Lennon

Dana

Why We Do This

Jocelyn works late on Thursday nights. It’s the schedule we’ve had for a while now (Dalia in preschool all day M/W/F; On Tues. with me during the day and Jocelyn at night, on Thurs. with Joc during the day and me at night).

Most Thursday’s she’s in the office seeing clients who need after work hours appointments, or taking someone on a guided grocery shopping at New Leaf/TJ’s/Staff/Whole Foods. Tonight she was in Monterey at CHOMP giving a presentation for the American Cancer Society, “Fight Cancer With Your Fork.”

Until February of 2009 Jocelyn worked part time at the Monterey Bay Oncology Center doing in person and phone consultations with cancer patients. In that capacity she mostly helped patients find foods they could keep down during chemotherapy, find nutrients to support getting well, and for some simply find joy in one of the basic pleasures of life during their transition into death.

Tonight, the spouse of one of those patients came to the presentation in order to meet Jocelyn in person and share how much the sessions his wife had had with Jocelyn in the last weeks of her life had meant to them and their family.

While she told me this my eyes swelled with tears. Tears of pride (I am so proud of my wife). Tears of sorrow (suffering and loss). Tears of gratitude.

Victor

What do Photographers Blog About

For over a week, I have been wracking my brain for something to say on this darn blog. I have literally sat down twice and begun writing things, only to get distracted and never finish. Let’s just say that my attention span is limited to visual appeal. I am of the kind that can remember your face, what you wore, if you smiled, how you smelled, and generally everything about a person except their name and ‘how they were that day.’ With this said, I think it is very suiting that I recently finished my bachelor’s degree in photography. So, what do photographers blog about…

This past weekend was one of great enjoyment for me. I spent all day Friday at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur listening to a slew of bands, two of which really caught my eye, War Paint and Sleepy Sun. War Paint is a band I had never heard of before, but will definitely see again. Consisting of 3 women and one man, this psychedelic folk group captivated the audience with their soulful and melodic tunes. Their style blended the teenage angst of Minor Threat and the saucy vocals of Crass with heavy psychadelic riffs more influenced by Phish and later Anastasio projects. Sleepy Sun is a local Santa Cruz band who I have been following for a quite a while. There is no way to put my finger on their sound and style other than saying that they are the high minus the drugs. I saw them once, and have gone to every show since for over a year now. Here is my favorite picture of the week of their lead singer, Bret.

Dana

Mist On, Mist Off

The other day I was in Los Gatos at Sur la Table, and a certain kitchen gadget caught my eye: the Misto olive oil sprayer. Misto is a refillable canister which can be hand-pumped to produce a fine mist of oil. After a week of using Misto, I am quite impressed with its performance and would recommend it to anyone who uses olive oil in home cooking. Here’s how it went:

I filled my Misto with olive oil and pumped feverishly until I felt too much resistance to continue. It is a pretty easy process, but after a while can get a bit tiresome. (You pump the Misto by pushing the cap up and down over the canister) If you have enough will to pump the Misto totally, the charge lasts for a few meals. Otherwise, you have to pump it each time you apply a mist. Overall, the pumping is the worst aspect of the Misto, but not enough to turn me off in comparison to all its positive benefits.

I like using the Misto to lubricate pans and baking dishes before cooking with them. The Misto produces a mist that works just as well as Pam or any other kitchen spray, but doesn’t have an unnatural taste or residue like those store-bought mists. I will even use the Misto to top broccoli or pasta instead of tossing the food with oil, as the coverage tends to be a lot lighter and even. I don’t really eat salad, but I imagine that the Misto would be an awesome substitute for too-rich vinegarettes if you added some balsamic to the salad and then sprayed a light layer of Misto over the dish.

I have begun to use the Misto almost daily in my cooking, and I feel like it has improved my diet a lot. My foods are less oily and taste fresher and crispier as left overs. I also can appreciate the money Misto saves by using less oil and saving me from buying cooking sprays. I am not sure if other oils can be used in the Misto, but it would be worth trying out. For about $10, I think the Misto is a great buy in all aspects.

Kate P

Living (a little bit) Greener


Live Green. We hear this catch phrase tossed around so often these days. But until a few days ago, living green only meant recycling and biking to work for me. I never knew that applying this statement to every aspect of my life could be so rewarding and easy, until my first nutrition consultation with Jocelyn last week.

Going in, I was a little nervous about letting my employer in on my history of dietary indiscretions, picky eating habits and lack of exercise. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the baby steps Jocelyn was willing to take with me.

Despite the fact that there are only about 4 or 5 vegetable which I will really eat, Jocelyn had a world of information on how to incorporate these, and other not-as-nasty-as-I-thought greens into my diet. We found ways to work greens into my morning routine through treats like broccoli pancakes and sweet beet smoothies. She also taught me that a little spinach goes a long way, but does not add any “green” flavor to smoothies or shakes. Getting my daily dose of greens as early as possible really helps sustain my energy and health throughout the day, even if I don’t get a chance to eat another serving later.

Before my nutrition consultation, I was scared of the word, color and taste of green in reference to food. But now I realize that there are so many ways to get this important food group into my daily routine without much effort at all. Little by little I am living greener everyday. I even tried kale for the first time yesterday, and to my surprise, it really wasn’t that bad.

Kate P

West Cliff Walks

Sometimes I think we forget that we live in Santa Cruz. Not in a medically concerning way, but in a getting caught up with life and bills and work kind of way. We forget that the air we breathe is that little bit cleaner and crisper than most folks. We forget that wildlife still gets to be wild around us. We forget that the epic and enamoring Pacific Ocean is right on our doorstep.

Not today.

This afternoon I felt the walls closing in on me at home and so I stepped out into the lovely warm sun and wandered toward West Cliff. Being a Tuesday it was not jammed with weekend cyclists and tourists, so I strolled peacefully along the coast. I thought about lots of little things and made plans for the rest of the day. It was calm at sea so instead of watching surfers battle it out for the next wave, I watched two guys goof around in kayaks. At the surf museum I sat on a bench and listened to the sea lions honk. A man wearing a shirt that looked like it used to be a curtain in a Hawaiian breakfast diner made me smile. And then I walked home.

All in all I probably spent 40 minutes escaping the same old routine and thinking back over it tonight, it was the best part of my day. I’m promising myself to do it more often. After all it’s the summer. We should all be soaking up Santa Cruz!

Anthony

A Yogi’s Dilema

So Jocelyn and I are at the downtown farmer’s market on Wednesday (which is our regular Wednesday date now for more than 12 years!) a little later than usual because Jocelyn’s 4:00 p.m. client had called to say she couldn’t make it. No sooner had we approached our first stand when Dana calls and tells Jocelyn that her 4:00 p.m. client is there and ready for her appointment!

So, we finished up at Route One (thanks Ora) with carrots for juicing and green plums for devouring and headed back to NOURISH. Jocelyn goes in with her client and I am left to fly solo at the market.

Particularly in the summer having two of us is great. Not just because Jocelyn looks awesome in her summer attire, but also because there is such a bounty to gather and return with. So I gather the bounty myself: two bags full of onions, peppers, tomatoes, avocado, etc. and 1 full flat of Frog Hollow peaches, nectarines (white and yellow) and apricots.

I’ve got the smaller of the 2 bags on top of the 10 lb+ flat of fruit, which I am carrying in both arms like an offering, and the larger of the two bags over my left shoulder. Sure the bags and box are heavy, but that is not my dilemma.

My dilemma is that I am a yogi. So after years of practice my shoulders have a natural inclination to NOT hunch, which means one of the straps of the large bag is falling off my left shoulder and I’ve got all this ridiculously beautiful if not fragile fruit in my arms. Luckily, I’ve seen hunched shoulders, so had some idea how to do it and safely transported all the produce back to NOURISH.

Luckily for me, Jocelyn was the one who had to bring all that stuff home.

Victor

One Bite At A Time

It’s been such a great morning! I just finished consultations with fantastic clients who are motivated to transform their health. It is so great to see people get excited about having a new list of healthy groceries to buy, breakfast menus to try, and energizing snacks to carry with them on the go. Though our sessions are packed with information, I remind people of the easiest way to improve their nutritional well-being-one bite at a time.

Jocelyn

Blog and What's Happening Today