I keep reminding myself........

You've got to follow your passion. You've got to figure out what it is you love -- who you really are. And have the courage to do that. I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams.

~ Oprah

Let Go and Trust

If we can just let go and trust that things will work out they way they're supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.

~ Goldie Hawn

What Chemicals Should You Look Out For In Your Personal Care Products?

What Chemicals Should You Look Out For In Your Personal Care Products?

This list was taken from the book REVIVE: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again (2009) (previously called SPENT)Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again [Paperback] - Frank Lipman (Author) &
Mollie Doyle (Author)

DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine)
These three chemicals are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing agents — research indicates a strong link to liver and kidney cancer. They are commonly found in shampoos, soaps, bubble baths and facial cleansers.

Phthalates and Parabens
 Banned by the European Union in 2003, phthalates and parabens are a group of chemicals commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They keep hairsprays sticky and bacteria and fungus out of things like nail polish and perfume. Both have demonstrated themselves to be carcinogenic and particularly linked to breast cancer.

FD&C Color Pigments
 Most FD&C color pigments are made from coal tar and studies show that almost all of them are carcinogenic. Many of these pigments cause skin sensitivity and irritation, or even oxygen depletion in the blood. FD&C Red #4 is no longer available for use in foods because of a known threat to the adrenal glands and urinary bladder.

“Fragrance” is a euphemism for nearly 4,000 different ingredients. Most “fragrances” are synthetic and are either cancer-causing or otherwise toxic. Exposure to fragrances has been shown to affect the central nervous system. “Fragrances” are found in most shampoos, deodorants, sunscreens, skincare and body care products.

Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin
These are formaldehyde donors, which means that they are derivatives of the formaldehyde, which is what scientists and morticians use to preserve corpses and body parts. Remember dissecting frogs in school? These chemicals are linked to allergies, chest pain, chronic fatigue, depression, dizziness, ear infections, headaches, joint pain, loss of sleep, and can trigger asthma. They can weaken the immune system, and, surprise surprise, cause cancer. Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin are used in skin, body and hair products, antiperspirants and nail polish.

Quarternium-15 commonly causes allergic reactions and dermatitis, and breaks down into formaldehyde. Quarternium-15 is used as a preservative in many skin and hair care products.

Isopropyl Alcohol
Isopropyl Alcohol is used in hair color rinses, body rubs, hand lotion and aftershave lotions as well as in your car’s antifreeze and shellac! Scientists believe that it has the ability to destroy intestinal flora, leaving the body’s major organs open to parasites, and thus to cancers. Beyond attacking the intestinal flora, isopropyl alcohol can cause headaches, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, and coma.

Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is a petroleum derivative that coats the skin like saran wrap, which prevents the skin from breathing, absorbing and excreting. It also slows the skin’s natural cell development, causing the skin to age prematurely. Note that baby oil is 100% mineral oil – and 100% bad for your baby’s sensitive skin.

PEG (Polyethylene Glycol)
PEG’s are most commonly used in spray-on oven cleaners and in many hair and skin products. PEG’s main fuctions are to dissolve oil and grease. Thus, on the body, they take the protective oils off the skin and hair, making them more vulnerable to other toxins.

Propylene Glycol
Propylene Glycol is the active ingredient in antifreeze. It is also used in makeup, toothpaste and deodorant. Stick deodorants have a higher concentration of PG than is allowed for most industrial use! Direct contact can cause brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. The EPA requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles when working with it. And yet, the FDA says we can put it in our mouths!!

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are the most toxic ingredients on this list. When used in combination with other chemicals, they can form nitrosamines, a deadly class of carcinogen. They are used to clean engines, garage floors and at car washes. AND still the most popular ingredients for makeup, shampoo and conditioner and toothpaste. Exposure causes eye damage, depression, diarrhea and many other ailments.

A synthetic antibacterial ingredient that has been compared to Agent Orange. The Environmental Protection Agency registers it as a pesticide, highly toxic to any living organism. It is also classified as a chlorophenol. In other words, it is in a cancer causing chemical class. Triclosan disrupts hormones, can affect sexual function and fertility and may foster birth defects. Triclosan has been linked to paralysis, suppression of the immune system, brain hemorrhages, and heart problems. It is widely used in antibacterial cleansers, toothpaste, and household products.

Talc has been linked to ovarian and testicular cancer. It can be found in makeup, baby and adult powders and foundation.

Petrolatum is a petrochemical that contains two well-known carcinogens: Benzo-A-Pyrene and Benzo-B-Fluroanthene. As you might imagine from a petroleum derivative, petrolatum prevents the skin breathing and excreting.

Tesla was convinced that everything in the Universe...

Tesla was convinced that everything in the Universe , of galaxies and electrons have consciousness, that the Kosmos is One Intelligent Living Organism. (Super Consciousness)

Nikola Tesla used ancient Sanskrit terminology in his descriptions of natural phenomena. As early as 1891 Tesla described the universe as a kinetic system filled with energy which could be harnessed at any location. His concepts during the following years were greatly influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda was the first of a succession of eastern yogi's who brought Vedic philosophy and religion to the west. After meeting the Swami and after continued study of the Eastern view of the mechanisms driving the material world, Tesla began using the Sanskrit words Akasha, Prana, and the concept of a luminiferous Ether to describe the source, existence and construction of matter. Tesla's understanding of Vedic Science was the pre-requisite for the free energy systems envisioned by him.

Core of Being

“In order to hold onto our identities and our purposes even when under attack, we need to find and anchor our basic sense of core worth. Core is a wonderful word that refers to the center, where the life force is held.”

“The core of an apple is the center of the apple, but it is also the place where the seeds lie. From this center of potency, a whole new apple tree can arise.”

“…So at our core we are each the ultimate and highest value. There is no rank or comparison here, no striving or proving. At our core, we are each a deep and potent well of self-creation…”

“When we touch the deepest part of our own self, when we touch our true potency, we touch a place that is far beyond criticism or flattery from others, far beyond any defeat or accomplishment in the outside world.”

“When we touch this place and anchor it, so that we can return to it at will, we have created for ourselves the strongest possible defense… we will be able to keep weaving, spinning, and sewing no matter what others may say or do.”

~Starhawk from The Twelve Wild Swans


“If you want to be sad, no one in the world can make you happy. But if you make up your mind to be happy, no one and nothing on earth can take that happiness from you.”

Paramhansa Yogananda

“Forget the past. The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until anchored in the Divine. Everything in future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now.”

—Yogananda’s Guru, Sri Yukteswar, quoted in “Autobiography of a Yogi”



Delicious Cranberry Orange Sauce

1 pound fresh organic cranberries
1 cup fresh organic orange juice (about 3 oranges)
1 tbsp ground orange peel
½ cup organic cane sugar or natural substitute

Preparation:  In a medium saucepan combine the cranberries, orange juice, orange peel, and sugar.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to burst and the sauce thickens, at least 15 minutes.  Let cool and serve at room temperature.

Start your day with water & lemon ~ Dr. David Jockers

Start your day with water & lemon ~ Dr. David Jockers

(NaturalNews) Clean water and fresh squeezed lemon is one of the most well tested energy boosters around.

Most people in America rely on caffeinated beverages like coffee to get aroused in the morning. These adrenal stimulants produce dirty energy in the form of blood sugar swings and oxidative stress. Water with lemon produces clean energy by hydrating and oxygenating the body to extraordinary energy and mental clarity.

After sleeping through the night the bodily tissues are dehydrated and need clean, pure water to filter out toxins and improve energy production in the cells. Most individuals turn to stimulants like coffee in the morning to give them a jump start. Unfortunately, coffee is a diuretic that depletes your body of water reserves and essential minerals and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium & magnesium.

People feel energized by coffee due to the effects of caffeine on the adrenal glands. Coffee stimulates these organs to pump out instant energy hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones stimulate the body to breakdown stored sugar and release it into the bloodstream. This process causes abnormal blood sugar that increases oxidative stress, free radical formation and overall tissue damage.

This is called dirty energy because it produces a rampant amount of damage to the body in order to activate energy formation. Clean energy produces cellular energy without an excessive load of oxidative stress.

Food as Bioelectrical Energy
The food and beverages we eat provide electrically charged molecules that initiate energy production in our body. An ion is part of a molecule that carries an electrical charge. Positively charged ions are called “cations,” while negatively charged ions are called “anions.”

Most of the food we put into our bodies comes in a cationic form, while our natural digestive processes (hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, saliva) are anionic. Lemon is one of the only anionic foods on the planet. This means that it carries a very strong negative charge and is extremely electrically active.

Fresh lemon helps oxygenate the body and maximizes enzyme function. Lemon is known to stimulate the liver’s natural enzymes. This assists the liver in the process of dumping toxins like uric acid and of liquefying congested bile ducts.

Citric Acid Cleanses the System
Citric acid can also play a very important role in chelating out abnormal calcium stones. It has a unique ability to form soluble complexes with calcium that many have used to eliminate pancreatic stones and kidney stones. This mechanism can also help prevent calcium deposits from building up in the arteries that promote cardiovascular disease.

Clean water with lemon provides the body with hydration, anti-oxidants and electrolytes. Lemon is a rich source of the immune boosting vitamin C. It also has good quantities of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. Lemon is a tremendous source of citrus bioflavonoid anti-oxidant phytonutrients that have been given the label Vitamin P.

Vitamin P consists of the flavonoid glycosides hesperetin and naringenin among others. Studies have shown that vitamin P enhances the anti-oxidant capability of vitamin C. These bioflavonoids also improve capillary permeability and overall blood flow. This is especially important for oxygenating tissues and maintaining normal blood pressure. These anti-oxidants have also been shown to reduce swelling, venous backup and edema.

Upon rising take 1 full lemon and squeeze it into 16-32 oz of fresh clean water and drink. Be sure to eat out the membranous parts of the lemon where the majority of the pectin fiber and citrus bioflavonoids are located. Stevia can be added to form sugar-free lemonade. Apple cider vinegar and various herbs can be used to boost enzymatic and anti-oxidant potential.
Today I am a Witness - to the unfolding of Divine Life before me. I see this wondrous miracle in the mundane moments, the challenging opportunities for growth and transformation and in the quiet moments of stillness.

I welcome this day, filled with all it's mystery and wonder. I open my heart wide to receive the diversity of emotions, I open my my mind to new thoughts, new ideas and transforming patterns. This is a brand new day, I cherish the fact that I am here, now and from here and from now I create the wonder that will fill this day.

~Keith Allen Kay
... By



Transition, full moon, significance of letting go of the old to make space for the new. We are always in a state of flux; physically, mentally & spiritually. We are continually learning new things & forgetting the old, creating new thought patterns/neural pathways and letting old ones die out. Spiritually, we are always growing and expanding.

Asanas are transitions that flow together and are connected by breath. Your practice is more powerful when you are present not only during the asanas, but also during transitions. Just like the transition matters in asana practice, so too does it matter in meditation. Transitions are like the darkness in between the stars, they make the bright moments stand out for us. Light/Dark, Sun/Moon, full moon/new moon, left/right, male/female, conserving/consuming, Up/Down, fire/water, energy/particle, formless/form, without thoughts/with thoughts are all contrasts. There is a flux to everything in life, and it makes for good contrast. Without contrasts, we would not appreciate the beauty in life.


Start to slowly dissipate into your mat, melting all of you.  Loosen completely and just let yourself unfold.  Body & mind are connected; if the body is still, then so too is the mind & if the mind is so too is the body.  Welcome this image...Imagine you are underwater.  Relaxed & calm, become one with the water.  Let it move you like a dance partner.  Predict its movements knowing that you and it are on in the same.  Co-create a dance with the water while staying totally relaxed in the body & mind.

Yoga Poetry & Words of Wisdom

Towards the Light

By moonlight, or starlight, or in the sun's bright rays,
I journey, guiding my way by keeping to the light as best I can.

Sometimes all seems dark, then I remember
how the poppy turns its head,
follows the sun's passage across the sky,
then rests in night's cool shadows,
bowing in thanks to whatever power makes the stalk stand straight and strong,
drawing deep from its roots a wine dark love.

In moonlight, the garden glows, silvering the poppies.

And even by starlight you can tell shades of darkness if you try.
So do not lose heart when vision dims.

Journey forth as best you can- bloom when you are able, rest when you must,
keep faith, keep always towards the light

~ Unknown ~


Embrace each of your senses in turn;
Seeing as being touched by light.
Hearing as immersion in an ocean of sound.
Tasting as enlightening.Smelling as knowing.
Touching as electrifying.

Then leave all these behind,
Enter the spaciousness of the heart,
Intimate with the unknowable


Flames arise from fire
Rays emanate from the sun
So it is that you and I shine forth

Gaze out at space,
Aware of multicolored luminosity
Permeating everywhere....

The blue sky, filled with rays from the Sun.
The night sky, dark, and yet crisscrossed by
The light of a billion suns.
How can that be?

Al space is the same,
Inside you and far away.
Lose yourself in it,
And find your Self

The above inspiration is a sutra from The Radiance Sutras, Tantra Yoga Teachings For Opening To The Divine In Everyday Life.


Yoga practice is like life
Each circumstance in which we find ourselves is like a pose.
Some poses are hard to hold, others are pleasant.
It is how we hold the pose that determines whether or not we will suffer or grow
And whether or not we will listen to the drama of the ego or the wisdom of the spirit.

Be true to life by being true to this moment



Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying here
No trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

-David Wagoner



You never know
What will change the world-
a word lightly spoken,
a touch from a stranger,
a glance from a woman
in a red dress,
or a flower opening in your garden.
What you do know
down deep in your bones
is that the cells have
lined up in a new arrangement,
muscles grown
where before was weak and hollow,
and when you woke up this morning,
something else was on your mind
because the old furniture had moved
around to make room.
A momentary alignment of planets
has opened a door somewhere.
You never know how or when,
only that it means

~ Unknown Poet ~
Waves rise from water

Anusara Kula Practice - November 26, 2011

Acknowledge Your Creativity & Genius
Acknowledge your creativity and genius. The qualities of creativity and genius are within you, awaiting your decision to match up with the power of intention. Genius is a characteristic of the creative force that allows all of material creation to come into form. It is an expression of the divine.
~ Wayne Dyer

Your vision will become more clear only when you look into your heart.
Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakens.
~ Carl Jung

Know that Grace has the power to transform everything you aspire to. So aspire to the highest, and offer yourself to that Grace. Grace will hold you every step of the way. Anusara is a path of Grace.
~ John Friend

"Is Kali, my Divine Mother, of a black complexion?

She appears black because She is viewed from a distance;
but when intimately known She is no longer so.
The sky appears blue at a distance, but look at it close by
and you will find that it has no colour.
The water of the ocean looks blue at a distance,
but when you go near and take it in your hand,
you find that it is colourless."

... Ramakrishna Paramhansa (1836-86)

Yoga Is a Light
Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.
~ B.K.S Iyengar

Nerdy Anatomy - On the Core

Core and Tailbone Tuck...

Over the past number of years, core stability has really jumped in popularity as a way to protect the back or improve overall function. While this is all good, there seems to be some trouble with making this happen properly because I am meeting more yoga teachers who have pain, and/or who are limited in their movement, despite practicing what they think is "core work".

Tucking the tail bone, or lengthening the tailbone creates an action of posterior tilting of the pelvis (a little or a lot depending on who is practicing). The rectus abdominus contracts and the lumbar spine flattens (a little or a lot depending on who is practicing). From a "feeling perspective", many teachers tell me that they feel this in their lower abdomen - and this feeling makes them believe that they are "doing it right". All fine and good to "feel contraction in the lower abdomen" but that doesn't mean the core is "on".

The inner core stabilizing muscles are the transversus abdominus, the pelvic floor, and the multifidus. The largest of the 3, the transversus abdominus is made up of horizontal fibers. When the muscle contracts it squeezes like a girdle. The multifidi attach vertebra to vertebra and "check" the vertebral movement helping to stabilize segmental movement. The pelvic floor produces a squeezing inward action like when you wrap your left hand around your right finger and gently squeeze.

You'll notice in these descriptions that none of these muscles have the fiber arrangement nor the attachments to cause a posterior pelvic tilt.

So what is happening with a posterior tilt or "tucking the tailbone" or "lengthening the tailbone"? The superficial abdominal muscle - the rectus abdominus - is contracting, as are the hamstrings. These aren't core stabilizing muscles.

Okay, well, what about people who have an anteriorly tilted pelvis - wouldn't they still benefit from tucking? In my experience - no. The mistake that is often made when wanting to improve movement is people assume that the "pelvis woke up one day and decided to be anteriorly tilted". That just doesn't happen. Instead - the body responds to stimuli. In the case of the anteriorly tilted pelvis, it is in that place because of other forces at play - like issues in the shoulder girdle, issues in connection between the pelvis and feet etc. If we want to improve an anteriorly tilted pelvis, we need to clean up those issues (and these issues are different for everyone). When those are cleaned up, the pelvis finds its place and lightness emerges.

So now what? One of the key things you can do as a teacher teaching core work is to show your students how to do the following:

1. Move in a pain-free range of motion, or if your student is already in pain, in a range where the pain levels don't increase. If you are in pain, your core is not as functional as it could be.
2. Breathe easy. When you force your breath, you will be bracing and not using your core muscles. You may even be doing "breath holding".
3. Move in a range of motion that is optimal and "pure" for you. This is the single biggest thing people can do to improve their core stability and overall function.
We either makes ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
~ Carlos Castaneda

I'm not claiming divinity. I've never claimed purity of soul. I've never claimed to have the answers to life. I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can... But I still believe in peace, love and understanding.

♥ John Lennon

Today's Quotes for Motivation

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”

Quote Audrey Hepburn

In this world, there is nothing softer or thinner than water. But to compel the hard and unyielding, it has no equal. That the weak overcomes the strong, that the hard gives way to the gentle -- this everyone knows. Yet no one acts accordingly. - THE TAO

* The Character of Abundance - our character is not defined by circumstances or situations. Our abundance is not defined by how much money we have. Our character of abundance comes from the source of who we are and our value in the Universe. When our eyes are opened to who we really are, our soul is flooded and permeated with divine value and supernatural abundance. This is our reality.

* Today you are swimming in a sea of infinite potential, potential for newness of life. To enter into this infinite potential one must loosen the grip on the finite patterns that appear to keep us safe. Like standing behind the window pane watching the seagull scoff at the rain and wind. Safe and secure, dreaming of flight. Your day is filled with wonder and opportunity.

* Step boldly into the unknown, embrace this new day without the shackles of the expected and familiar. There are new wonders to fill every moment, there are new relationships, new wisdoms, new challenges. There is so much about you yet undiscovered, untapped and unwritten. Forget what lies behind and press into the splendor of now.

* Desire is a powerful agent for transformation, it acknowledges a want for something not possessed, a dissatisfaction with the current state. It embraces the uncomfort of change and the pain of the not yet. Those who fearlessly desire with passion transform their hearts, minds, relationships and the world around themselves.

~Keith Allen Kay

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

~ Einstein

Low Carb Foods List


These foods have either less than 5 g of carbs in a 100 g serving, or less than 20 calories in a serving.

(The numbers are the grams of carbohydrates in a 100g serving)

Be much more discriminatory about your meat, fish, eggs and dairy consumption.

Alfalfa seeds, sprouted 1.28
Arugula 2.05
Asparagus, cooked 2.63
Bamboo shoots, cooked 0.92
Beans, green, cooked 4.69
Beans, snap, green, cooked 4.68
Beet greens, cooked 2.56
Broccoli, cooked 2.16
Brussels sprouts, cooked 4.5
Cabbage, cooked 2.16
Cauliflower, cooked 1.41
Celeriac (celery root), cooked 4.7
Celery 1.95
Chard, swiss, cooked 2.04
Collards, cooked 2.1
Cucumber 1.8
Dandelion greens, cooked 3.5
Eggplant, cooked 4.14
Endive 0.25
Fennel, bulb 4.19
Hearts of palm, canned 2.22
Jicama 3.92
Kale, cooked 3.63
Lettuce, butterhead 1.32
Lettuce, cos or romaine 0.67
Lettuce, iceberg 0.69
Mustard greens, cooked 0.1
Mushrooms 2.94-3.57 (except shitake)
Nopales, cooked 1.27
Olives, canned ripe 3.06
Okra, cooked 4.71
Olives, canned ripe 3.06
Parsley 3.03
Peppers, serano 3.00
Peppers, jalapeno 3.11
Peppers, sweet green 4.63
Peppers, sweet red 4.43
Pumpkin, cooked 3.80
Purslane 3.43
Radicchio 3.58
Radishes 1.99
Rhubarb 2.74
Sauerkraut 1.78
Scallions (green onions) 4.74
Spinach, cooked 1.35
Squash, summer, cooked 2.91
Squash, zucchini, cooked 2.53
Tomatillos 3.93
Tomatoes 3.54
Tomato juice 3.83
Turnips, cooked 2.9
Turnip greens, cooked 0.86
Watercress 0.79

Avocados 2.39
Chayote (christophene) 2.20
Raspberries 4.77
Strawberries 4.72

NUTS: (two listed here, but the others are good also)
Macademia Nuts 4.83
Pecans 4.26

All meat and fin fish 0
Caviar 4.0
Crab 0.95
Lobster 1.28
Shrimp 0

Butter 0.06
Buttermilk, lowfat 4.79
Cheese, cheddar 1.28
Cheese, Edam 1.43
Cheese, Gouda 2.22
Cheese, Swiss 3.38
Cream cheese, 2.66
Cottage cheese, 2% milkfat 3.63
Eggs 1.22
Half and Half 4.30
Heavy Cream 2.79
Goat milk 4.45
Mayonnaise 2.70
Milk, 1% milkfat, added solids 4.97
Milk, 3.25% milkfat 4.66
Ricotta cheese, whole milk 3.04
Soy milk, 0.51
Yogurt, plain, whole milk 4.66

Soluble and insoluble fiber (a part of other foods) 0

All herbal teas are 0

Tea (without milk or sugar) 0- but when drinking green or black tea, it is best to have some form of calcium in the stomach at the same time (to bind with the oxalates in the tea, so you don’t form kidney stones).

Ask John Douillard: Eat more Carbs in Winter?

Ask John Douillard: Eat more Carbs in Winter?

Q. During the winter months I always crave more carbs – warm bread to go with a winter stew, risotto, and filling pastas etc.

Is it bad to eat too many carbs?

What’s your take on this, Dr. Douillard?

A. This is a great question!

Most experts tell us that about two-thirds of the diet should be alkaline and one-third should be acid. While this may sound healthy, it is quite a challenge for even the most health conscious Americans to accomplish.

Basically this means that every meal you eat, when you look down at the plate: two-thirds of it should be fruits or veggies and the other one-third should be bread, grain, meat, cheese and other acidic foods.

Not only is this a challenge, but a flat out impossibility in nature. While experts decree the 2/3, 1/3 plan should happen each day, in nature it takes one year, a full 365 days a year to complete nature’s annual cycle.

In nature, there are three main harvests, thus the title of my book, The 3-Season Diet. Here’s the seasons according to the harvests:

The first harvest of the year is Spring, which is almost 100% alkaline, loaded with spring greens, root veggies and berries.

The second harvest of the year is summer which again almost all alkaline. A summer garden will supply you with more alkaline fruits and veggies than you can possible eat.

The third harvest is the late fall and winter harvest which is almost all acidic. In the winter, without a grocery store, one would be eating stored grains, nuts, meats, eggs, cheese and other more dense and very acidic foods.

Two-thirds of the year, in the spring and summer, the harvest is alkaline.

The last one-third, during the winter, the harvest is acid.

So nature accomplishes a two-thirds alkaline and one-third acid meal plan – it just takes one full year to accomplish.

What about breads?

It is quite natural to crave grains, breads and meats each winter. This is a natural desire to insulate, store fats and proteins to rebuild in the winter so to be ready for natures new year come spring. In fact, what is interesting according to Ayurveda is that each winter, the digestive fire or digestive strength becomes stronger so to be better able to digest the more insulating and dense foods of winter. So go for it….eat those foods while the fire is hot!


Anusara yogis don’t hang out in cremation grounds, but we seek to embody Tantric philosophy, orient ourselves around Tantric texts, and perform Tantric practices. We follow many of Tantra’s fundamental principles, but adapt them to modern Western society.

Let’s start by defining Tantra: it’s a technology for expansion of Spirit. Tantra uses the manifest world as a means to experience Enlightenment. Unlike other yoga philosophies, Tantric Enlightenment doesn’t transcend the everyday world; it points us back to it, in a more joyful, appreciative way.

Although yoga and Tantra are living, ever-evolving traditions, there are key distinguishing principles of Tantric philosophy that transcend historical, cultural, and religious parameters. For example: tantrikas identify everything, absolutely everything, as Supreme Consciousness and Creative Power—including body, mind and Spirit.

Anusara yoga’s Shiva-Shakti Tantra philosophy is easily identifiable as Tantric. We teach that Spirit is Good, Free, Full, Pulsating, All-Knowing and Blissful. We teach that yoga is a practice that celebrates this Supreme Spirit as it manifests in ourselves and the world around us. We teach that humans have the common desire to experience the freedom of our true nature. We teach that through skillful action, we can reflect upon and joyfully recognize who we really are, who we always have been and what we may yet become.

In this way, Anusara yoga holds a tradition that has been around for thousands of years, yet is still as relevant and applicable today in our 21st century as it was at its inception. John Friend didn’t invent these ideas: he learned them over a lifetime of study and practice.

Do Milk & Sugar Cause Acne?

August 9, 2011 
By Mark Hyman MD

ice cream
It’s confirmed. Dairy products and sugar cause acne.
As our sugar and dairy consumption has increased over the last 100 years, so has the number of people with acne. We now have over 17 million acne sufferers, costing our health care system $1 billion a year. Eighty to 90 percent of teenagers suffer acne to varying degrees. The pimply millions rely on infomercial products hawked by celebrities, or over-the-counter lotions, cleansers and topical remedies. Recent research suggests that it’s not what we slather on our skin that matters most, but what we put in our mouth.
Many have suggested a diet-acne link, but until recently, it has not been proven in large clinical studies. Instead, dermatologists prescribe long-term antibiotics and Accutane, both of which may cause long-term harmful effects. In 2009, a systematic review of 21 observational studies and six clinical trials found clear links. Two large controlled trials found that cow’s milk increased both the number of people who got acne and its severity. Other large randomized prospective controlled trials (the gold standard of medical research) found that people who had higher sugar intake and a high glycemic load diet (more bread, rice, cereal, pasta, sugar, and flour products of all kinds) had significantly more acne. The good news is that chocolate (dark chocolate, that is) didn’t seem to cause acne.
The dietary pimple-producing culprits—dairy and sugar (in all its blood-sugar-raising forms)— cause spikes in certain pimple producing hormones. Dairy boosts male sex hormones (various forms of testosterone or androgens) and increases insulin levels, just as foods that quickly raise blood sugar (sugar and starchy carbs) spike insulin.
Androgens and insulin both stimulate your skin to make those nasty, embarrassing pimples. One patient recently told me he would give a million dollars for a pill to cure acne. He doesn’t need to. It seems that, for many, the cure to acne is at the end of their fork, not in a prescription pad.
While pimples are not as simple as too much milk or sugar in your diet, both have a significant impact. Nutritional deficiencies, as well as excesses, can worsen acne. Correcting common deficiencies, including low levels of healthy omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats, low levels of antioxidants such as vitamin E, zinc and vitamin A, and including an important anti-inflammatory omega-6 fat called evening primrose oil all may be helpful in preventing and treating unwanted pimples. I will explain how you can correct and incorporate all of these nutritional elements of your diet and outline some supplements that will help you fight acne in a moment.
But first it is worth taking a deeper look at milk and sugar.
Stay Away from Dairy and Avoid Acne
One scientist referred to milk as a “complex aqueous, suspended fat, liposomal, suspended protein emulsion.” What we know that milk is designed to grow things—namely, babies—and in the case of cow’s milk, calves. It is naturally full of what we call anabolic hormones (the same ones that bodybuilders and A Rod use to grow big muscles, and that cause bad acne). These are mostly androgens (like testosterone) and growth hormones, including insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). There is no such thing as hormone-free milk.
Here’s a short list of the 60-some hormones in your average glass of milk—even the organic, raw, and bovine-growth-hormone-free milk:
  • 20 α-dihydropregnenolone
  • progesterone (from pregnenolone)
  • 5 α-pregnanedione
  • 5 α-pregnan-3 β-ol-20-one, 20 α- and 20 β-dihydroprogesterone (from progesterone)
  • 5 α-androstene-3 β17 β-diol
  • 5 α-androstanedione
  • 5 α-androstan-3 β-ol-17-one
  • androstenedione
  • testosterone
  • dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate acyl ester
  • insulin like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF-1 and IGF-2)
  • insulin
This is what our government suggests we drink in high doses—at least three glasses a day for me, a healthy adult male, according to the choosemyplate.gov website. Those guidelines have been strongly criticized by many, including leading nutrition scientists from Harvard such as Walter Willett and David Ludwig.
The famous Nurse’s Health Study examining health habits of 47,000 nurses found that those who drank more milk as teenagers had much higher rates of severe acne than those who had little or no milk as teenagers. If you think it is the fat in milk, think again. It was actually the skim milk that had the strongest risk for acne. In other studies of over 10,000 boys and girls from 9 to 15 years old, there was a direct link between the amount of milk consumed and the severity of acne.
It appears that it is not just the anabolic or sex hormones in milk that cause problems, but milk’s ability to stimulate insulin production. It actually may be the lactose or milk sugar in milk that acts more like a soft drink than an egg. Drinking a glass of milk can spike insulin levels 300 percent. Not only does that cause pimples, but it also may contribute to prediabetes. This is true despite studies funded by the dairy council showing that milk helps with weight loss. The question is compared to WHAT diet—a diet of bagels and Coke, or a healthy, phytonutrient- and antioxidant-rich, plant-based diet with lean animal protein?
Stay Away from Sugar, Refined Carbs, and Pimples
If a glass of milk causes pimples, that may drive you back to your Pepsi. But not so fast. Recent studies also show that sugar and refined carbs (a high-glycemic diet) cause acne. More importantly, taking kids off sugar and putting them on a healthy, whole foods, low-glycemic load diet resulted in significant improvements in acne compared to a control group eating a regular, high-sugar American diet. In addition to having fewer pimples, the participants lost weight, became more sensitive to the effects of insulin (resulting in less pimple-producing insulin circulating around the blood). They also had fewer sex hormones floating around their blood that drive pimples. We know that women who have too much sugar and insulin resistance get acne, hair growth on their face, hair loss on the head, and infertility. This is caused by high levels of circulating male hormones and is called polycystic ovarian syndrome, but is a nutritional, not gynecologic, disease.
But the dietary influences don’t stop there. It is not just sugar, but the bad fats we eat that may also contribute to acne.
Get an Oil Change
Our typical Western diet is full of inflammatory fats—saturated fats, trans fats, too many omega-6, inflammatory, processed vegetable oils like soy and corn oils. These increase IGF-1 and stimulate pimple follicles. Inflammation has been linked to acne, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats (from fish oil) may help improve acne and help with many skin disorders.
Balance the Hormones that Cause Skin Problems
The link is clear—hormonal imbalances caused by our diet trigger acne. Our diet influences sex hormones like testosterone, IGF-1, and insulin, which promote acne. The biggest factors affecting your hormones are the glycemic load of your diet (determined by how quickly the food you eat increases your blood sugar and insulin levels), and the amount of dairy products you eat. The good news is that eating a healthy diet and taking a few supplements can balance those hormones. Exercise also helps improve insulin function.
How To Prevent and Treat Acne
Nine simple steps will help most overcome their acne problems.
1. Stay away from milk. It is nature’s perfect food—but only if you are a calf.
2. Eat a low glycemic load, low sugar diet. Sugar, liquid calories, and flour products all drive up insulin and cause pimples.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. People who eat more veggies (containing more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds) have less acne. Make sure you get your 5 to 9 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables every day.
4. Get more healthy anti-inflammatory fats. Make sure to get omega-3 fats (fish oil, or a vegan source of omega-3 (such as this one)
5. and anti-inflammatory omega-6 fats (evening primrose oil). You will need supplements to get adequate amounts (more on that in a moment).
6. Include foods that correct acne problems. Certain foods have been linked to improvements in many of the underlying causes of acne and can help correct it. These include fish oil, turmeric, ginger, green tea, nuts, dark purple and red foods such as berries, green foods like dark green leafy vegetables, and omega 3-eggs.
7. Take acne-fighting supplements. Some supplements are critical for skin health. Antioxidant levels have been shown to be low in acne sufferers. And healthy fats can make a big difference. Here are the supplements I recommend:
-Evening primrose oil: Take 1,000 to 1,500mg twice a day.
-Zinc citrate: Take 30 mg a day.
-Vitamin A: Take 25,000 IU a day. Only do this for three months. Do not do this if you are pregnant.
-Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols, not alpha tocopherol): Take 400 IU a day.
8. Try probiotics. Probiotics (lactobacillus, etc.) also help reduce inflammation in the gut that may be linked to acne.
9. Avoid foods you are sensitive to. Delayed food allergies are among the most common causes of acne—foods like gluten, dairy, yeast and eggs are common culprits and can be a problem if you have a leaky gut.
Following these simple tips will help you eliminate acne and have that glowing skin you have always dreamed of. It’s much cheaper (and safer) than expensive medications and dermatologist visits. Improve your diet and take acne-fighting supplements, and you will watch your pimples disappear.
For more information on how to optimize your nutrition and improve your skin, seehttp://drhyman.com/.
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Have you struggled with an acne or skin problem? Have you noticed any link between your skin? What seems to be a problem for you?
Why do you think we are encouraged to consume so much dairy when the risks to our health (and our skin) are so high?
What other steps have you taken to fight acne? What has worked? What hasn’t?
Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Sources for this article can be found here.
Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt

The Beauty of Fat

The Beauty of Fat.

Essential fatty acids - ARE ESSENTIAL
known as EFAs or the good fats, are Omega-3 fatty acids (linolenic acid), Omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid), and Omega-9 fatty acids (oleic acid)

Kate Leinweber, B.Sc R.H.N

How I Rediscovered My Love for Butter.

I used to eat butter straight off the spoon. As a treat growing up my parents used to buy real butter for dinner parties. Usually we ate margarine, because of course butter at that time was perceived to be unhealthy. But for those special occasions we had butter. And as a child I loved butter so much I used to sneak whole chunks of butter! Oh it was so so good, and I got in so so much trouble for it. It was considered gross and unhealthy and over the years I came to be conditioned to believe what society told me and agreed that fat must indeed be bad.
Flash forward to my mid-twenties and I was living as a raw food vegan. High and mighty I was eating the healthiest food around; mostly vegetables and fruits, and some nuts and seeds. Sometimes I would go on an avocado kick and coconuts were pretty pricey so they were a rare. Needless to say I did not have a wide variety of fat in my diet. My diet was not very balanced and I was not very balanced. My food sensitivities were getting worse, my hormones were coming out of balance, my energy levels wildly fluctuated, and could not keep on muscle mass or fat. I was emaciated, tired, and deficient. One day I woke up and all of my joints ached. I was inflamed. I couldn’t make a fist. And the scary thing was nothing I did was helping. Not homeopathy, not hydro-therapy, not yoga, not avoiding gluten, dairy or even the nightshades.
This was a dire situation and it allowed me to finally wake up to the message my body was sending me. After avoiding this all-important nutrient for over 20 years my body had had enough. It was screaming please eat some fat! I went for the good stuff. I reconnected to my love for butter. And oh, it tasted so so good! Just as good as I remembered. It opened the floodgates of my body’s need for fats and I even drank some homemade organic chicken broth! And guess what? The pain started to go away. And freedom came to my joints like the freedom that had come into my diet.
Butter Curls
Fat is what was regulating my inflammation, hormones, energy, protein absorption and immune system. I let go of what society had brainwashed me to believe and listened to mybody’s inner wisdom.

What are Fats?

Let me be a Microbiologist for this paragraph. Fats, or Lipids, are organic substances that are not soluble in water. They are chains of Carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. Three of these chains hook onto a glycerol molecule and create a triglyceride. This is the form of most fat in our body and food.
And enough of the boring sciency stuff.

What does fat actually do?

Fat has many crucial roles in the body. Primarily fats are our long distance running type of energy source. Fats give us the ability to sustain energy levels throughout the day without the dependence on sugar or caffeine boosts.
Fats make up the membrane of every single cell in our body and our brain is 60% fat.
Saturated fats protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins, insulate and protect our organs, regulate body temperature and enhance the immune system.
The polyunsaturated fatty acids are the building blocks to hormones and prostaglandins, which control inflammation.

Fat Sources.

Fats are found primarily in meats, dairy, nuts, and seeds, although most foods contain at least a small amount of fat.
Coconut Macaroons
Coconut Macaroons
Vegetarian Sources of fat: Coconut oil, Olives, Avocados and Nuts & seeds.
Hemp Seeds
Hemp Seeds

Animal Sources of fat:Fish and seafood, organic meat, whole dairy products and butter.

    The Essential Fats: Omega-3 & Omega-6 in Flax, Hemp and Fish.

Why do I need to eat fat?

Because they are essential! Essential fats are those that are required in our diet. That means our bodies cannot make them. The essential fats are the Polyunsaturated Omega 3’s and 6’s. The
re are other conditionally essential fats like lauric acid found in Coconut Oil. Conditionally essential means our body can make them from other molecules, but it can take a load off our processing requirements if we just eat coconuts!
Many of the nutrients in vegetables cannot be absorbed without fat and protein cannot be assimilated properly without fat. In fact saturated fats are even needed for the proper utilization of those brain boosting Omega 3’s. Calcium can only be absorbed efficiently into bones with the help of saturated fats.
Fats help us feel full faster so we eat less food. The less fat we eat the hungrier we are since we are eating food that is a lower energy source. For this reason a diet with an adequate amount of fat can reduce cravings for sweets (quick energy sources).

Quality of Fats.

Saturated fats are stable at high temperatures and in the presence of oxygen, or light. Fats such as butter, ghee or coconut oil are ideal for high temperature cooking. Mono-unsaturates like Olive oil and Grapeseed oil are good for low temperature cooking.
Unsaturated fats are very delicate and require minimal processing. Upon exposure to heat, light, or oxygen these fats can become oxidized and harmful in the body. When shopping for vegetable or nut/seed based oils ensure the label specifies, “COLD PRESSED, UNREFINED and UNFILTERED”. If these labels are missing, it can be assumed that the oil was processed and damaged. Stored these oils in the fridge.

And in case you are still stuck on thinking fat is bad:

Elevated triglyceride levels in the blood have been linked to heart disease. This is true. But to consume this excess amount of fat is very difficult due to its satiating effect. Fat makes you feel the “I’m full” signal! The secret culprit here is excess Sugar. I’m talking white flour, white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and even agave! The body has a limit to how much sugar it can use. And when its limit is reached, the liver just converts the excess into fat.
Unfortunately this poor reputation of fat has led people to cut fat out of their diet, resulting in higher consumption of carbohydrates. And guess what. Heart disease rates are still rising…interesting.
Another fun piece of information: An evaluation of fats in clogged arteries found that only 26% are saturated, the rest are damaged unsaturated fats.
So eat and enjoy fats from their natural sources. Nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts, organic dairy and meats in moderation are whole natural healthy sources of fat and deliciously scrumptious! Kick the packaged, boxed, bagged, refined, processed stuff to the curb.

Live in synchrony with nature

“Seeing the webs of coincidence in our lives, is the first stage in understanding and living synchrodestiny…Awareness translates into energy. The more attention you give to coincidences, the more likely they are to appear, which means you begin to gain greater and greater access to the messages being sent to you about the path and direction on your life.”

“The final stage of living synchrodestiny occus when you become fully aware of the interrelatedness of all things, how each affects the next, how they are ‘in sync’ with one another. ’In sync’ is a colloquial way of saying ‘in synchrony,’ which means operating in unison, as one.”

“Picture a school of fish swimming in one direction, and then in a flash, all the fish change direction. There is no leader giving directions. The fish don’t think. ‘The fish in front of me turned left, so I should turn left.’ It all happens simultaneously. This synchrony is choreographed by a great, pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature and is manifest in each of us through what we call the soul.”

“When we learn to live from the level of the soul many things happen. We become aware of the exquisite patterns, and synchronous rhythms that govern all life. We understand the lifetimes of memory and experience that have molded us into the people we are today. Fearfulness and anxiety fall away as we stand in wonder observing the world as it unfolds. We notice the web of coincidence that surrounds us, and we realize that there is meaning even in the smallest events.”

“We discover that by applying attention and intention to these coincidences, we can create specific outcomes in our lives. We connect with everyone and everything in the universe, and recognize the spirit that unites all. We unveil the wondrousness that is hidden deep inside us and revel in our newfound glory. We consciously shape our destinies into the limitlessly creative expressions they were meant to be, and by doing so we live out our most profound dreams…”

~Deepak Chopra from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
Via http://www.mysticmamma.com/live-in-synchrony-with-the-nature/

Yoga Poetry

In a Corner of the Body, A Thief Sits Waiting

In a corner of the body,
a thief sits waiting
to steal your attention.
Like a pickpocket in the black market,
he hides in the dark alleys of the body,
but the breath is a lantern
rooting him out.

Catch a glimpse of him
as he rounds the corner
to hide in the hip joint,
watch him fly
as he darts between
the shoulder blades,
marvel as he ducks
under the sacrum,
laugh to see him tumble
headfirst into the pelvic bowl.

But once you catch him,
don’t throw him into prison.
Don’t bind him up in rope.
Rather, hang him out in the light,
and praise him effusively.

For when the chase is over
he will have taught you
the many secrets of the maze,
and you can start to polish
all those precious gems
he’s been guarding.

~ Leza Lowitz

 I Am the Space Between the Bones

I am the space between the bones,
the synergy that manifests between two points.
I am the expansion depending on my ability to let go.
I am potential that waits for awareness to set me free.

In this place I am infinite.
Yet my potential may not be my reality.
Where is my attention?

If I settle into this bone or that,
I’ve left the land of expansion.
If I accept this matter of “fact,”
I cease to acknowledge the other point of reference,
the other bone that allows structure to take form.

So I let myself fall over onto that side.
I dive into the other opaque density
that connects and defines form.
Then I go back and forth.

With passionate hip shakes and serpent arms,
I dance this relationship.
And this flutter from one point to the other
reminds me of the illusion of form.

Because again,
I’m not this bone or that one…
I am the pulsing sense that emanates between the two.
My inter-action is the gift of humanity
and is the catalyst for evolution and ascension.

Freely blessing “the bones”
with centered awareness and creative expression
is infinite living.

~ Alexandra Folz

Following the Breath

I feel the energy rise and fall with my breath.
Closing my eyes I follow my breath,
Like Alice down the rabbit hole I seek the edges,
Of reality,
Of my body,
Of the Energy.

When I encounter resistance,
Within my body in a pose,
I have come to understand that the root,
Of this resistance lies within my mind.

Memories etched in the unconscious mind,
In movement revealed,
Come as I am ready to heal them,
So I let them come.

I do not resist because I know,
All things in their time will surrender,
To the Love that lives within,
And the pose will evolve.

I have come to trust my breath will lead me to relinquish the pain
And bring me to that moment of release,
Where my being conjoins,
And I reach the state of Oneness.

~ Liz Smith-Anderson