Yoga Belly Blog

Committed to delivering the gnarliest yoga experience.

Tag: Health (page 1 of 2)

From the Noobie: On Getting Hurt


You might think of yoga as gentle and restorative (at least, until you know better, and realize that yoga can kick your ass) but that line of thinking can be dangerous. ANY activity comes with inherent risks, and yoga is no exception.

You can get hurt. Really hurt. A recent New York Times article outlines just some of the havoc that yoga can wreak on your body.

Luckily, I can’t speak from too much experience here. I have yet to injure myself in yoga (knock on wood). I think I have, however, come close. One time, I was so deep in a twist that I felt this weird, sudden shift in my ribs– it didn’t hurt, but it startled me, and I came out of the pose right away and everything was fine. Another time, as I was working on a bind, I felt these weird shocks all of a sudden, like mini bursts of electricity shooting through me. I assumed I somehow touched on a nerve, and again, it didn’t hurt, but I came out of the pose thinking, “Whoa.” I probably shouldn’t have done that. I probably take my backbends too far sometimes, and wake up the next morning more tender than I should be.

It’s a fine line to walk: on the one hand, you want to push yourself, and you’re doing all this funky stuff with your body that you’ve never done before, everything’s so unfamiliar! How can you tell when you cross the line from challenging and new to dangerous and over the edge?

For now, my answer is: know thyself. I know I have a tendency to push it, so I need to work on playing it safe. Not wussing out by any means, but respecting and protecting my body. It’s just not worth an injury that will leave me out of commission for weeks and weeks!

So now, readers out there, what do you think? Have you ever injured yourself in your practice? Have you come close? How can you tell when you’re flirting with danger?


Tea Time


It’s official, Fall is here. It rained on Saturday, and in my mind, we went from Summer to Winter in about three days. I can never pick a favorite season, but this transition is always my favorite: maybe it’s just because I’m a teacher, and my heart follows the academic calendar, so every time the leaves turn I instinctively think new. For most people, spring is the season of newness, but for me, it’s the deepening from summer to fall. From sweaty days out in the sun to cozy nights curled up with a book. If I had a fireplace, I’d say, “in front of the fire,” but right now a candle will have to do.

One of my favorite things about fall is the tea. In the summer, I drink light, green, citrus-y teas, but in the colder months, I prefer something sweet and spicy. I also need to battle the countless germs that my students bring in, and try to keep my classroom from turning into a petri dish. I don’t know much about the health and wellness benefits of tea, but if you’re interested, Yoga Journal has a guideline for fall brews that will help ease you into the phase of shorter days, colder nights, and showing up to the studio super early just to defrost.

So tell me, what’s your favorite cold-weather tea?

What’s In Your Blender: In the Kitchen with Matt

Hello lovelies!

Today, in what is now officially the last half of September, we conclude our summer “What’s In Your Blender” series. We’ve gotten some tasty, healthy recipes from our instructors, and we’re going out with a bang. Mr. Matt Sharpe, NASA-brainiac-turned-yogi, shares his smoothie recipe with us:

“Here’s my recipe for making smoothies…
1. Ice – duh.
2. 1/2 to 1 whole banana
3. 4-6 strawberries – keep the leaves on, they’re edible and contain vitamins. Only eat them if they’re fresh and green.
4. plain, vanilla, or strawberry/banana yogurt (single serving or 6 oz)
5. dash of OJ, or honey as an extra sweetener.”
Blend until smooth and enjoy!
And with that, happy Friday everyone! Jeff and I are off to go represent YB at the LinkedIn Health Fair today… which means we’re doing yoga in front of people, eeps! Though, luckily, Jeff is primarily responsible for rockin’ the yoga, I’m just supposed to babysit and make sure he doesn’t cuss too much.
Have a great weekend!
xoxo, T

Apparently, September is Yoga Month. Who Knew?


Well, I totally missed the boat on this one. Sorry guys. But yes, it’s true, September is Yoga Month, and Yoga Journal is celebrating with a 7 day Fall Ayurvedic detox.

Wait. Celebrating with a detox? That sounds miserable. Yet, you heard right, my friends. If you can get through the first three days, you’re home free. And, you’ll probably feel amazing.

The rest of the yoga world started suffering, I mean detoxing, on Monday, September 12th. By this time, they’re probably all feeling lighter and calmer and sexier, but it’s not too late to start if you’re into doing a little pre-holiday damage control.

Feeling up to it? Start with the Dosha Quiz. If you don’t know what this means, don’t worry, they walk you through everything. I’d never even heard of Dosha until 15 minutes ago, but now I’m ready to holla at my fellow Pitta-Kaphas. It sounds like a sorority, we should make sweatshirts or something.

So fresh and so clean clean!

What’s In Your Blender: In the Kitchen with Thoa

Good morning lovelies,

You all met Sophie, the adorable yogini standing on her head, yesterday. Well, today, her mother, our feisty and fiercely-good-looking Thoa van Seventer, shares a smoothie that tastes delicious and actually helps you look good in a bikini. She sent the recipe from the sunny shores of Puerto Rico, and she claims she drinks this twice a day because it’s so good!

In a blender, combine:

1 cup of soy milk

1 and 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter

1 banana

2 tsp of cocoa powder

3 tbsp of silken tofu

Blend until smooth, and enjoy!

What’s in Your Blender: In the Kitchen with Jeff

Or, as I’ve begun to think of it, Protein 2.0. I tried this smoothie this morning, and it tastes like dessert! But, according to Jeff, it’s actually really good for you. In his own words:

“This recipe was adapted from Timothy Ferriss’ book, The Four Hour Body.  The purpose of this shake is to speed recovery after strenuous workouts.  There’s an incredible amount of protein and Omega-3’s in this (as well as fiber if you’re using Hemp Protein Powder which I highly recommend).

The two egg yolks have high cholesterol which, according to Ferriss, is essential to producing testosterone which speeds muscle recovery.

Chia seeds are a super food!!  Amazingly high in omega-3’s which help the body to repair and keep inflammation down.  They also contain a tremendous amount of antioxidants.

Cinnamon is a natural way to help control blood sugar and as this shake is already low sugar, unlike many smoothies out there, it’s safe for most diabetics.


Jeff’s Protein 2.0 Super Smoothie:

  • 16 oz. milk of your choice (almond, soy, whatever)
  • 4T almond butter or peanut butter
  • 2T chia seeds
  • Pinch of vanilla powder
  • 1/2 T cinnamon
  • Scoop of protein powder OR two raw eggs (make sure they’re fresh!)

Combine in a blender and process until smooth

Eat Your Greens: Who Knew Dandelions Packed Such a Punch?

Edna sent this along to encourage us all to try her smoothie with dandelion greens… a vegetable that I have never once before purchased, but did show up in my CSA box one time and I had no idea what they were. Now I know!

Just a preview:

By Peter Gail

Suppose your doctor tells you, on your next visit, that he has just discovered a miracle drug which, when eaten as a part of   your daily diet or taken as a beverage, could, depending on the peculiarities of your body chemistry: prevent or cure liver diseases, such as hepatitis or jaundice; act as a tonic and gentle diuretic to purify your blood, cleanse your system, dissolve kidney stones, and otherwise improve gastro-intestinal health; assist in weight reduction; cleanse your skin and eliminate acne; improve your bowel function, working equally well to relieve both constipation and diarrhea; prevent or lower high blood pressure; prevent or cure anemia; lower your serum cholesterol by as much as half; eliminate or drastically reduce acid indigestion and gas buildup by cutting the heaviness of fatty foods; prevent or cure various forms of cancer; prevent or control diabetes mellitus; and, at the same time, have no negative side effects and selectively act on only what ails you. If he gave you a prescription for this miracle medicine, would you use it religiously at first to solve whatever the problem is and then consistently for preventative body maintenance?

All the above curative functions, and more, have been attributed to one plant known to everyone, Taraxacum officinale, which means the “Official Remedy for Disorders.” We call it the common dandelion. It is so well respected, in fact, that it appears in the U.S. National Formulatory, and in the Pharmacopeias of Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, and the Soviet Union. It is one of the top 6 herbs in the Chinese herbal medicine chest.

According to the USDA Bulletin #8, “Composition of Foods” (Haytowitz and Matthews 1984), dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value. Minnich, in “Gardening for Better Nutrition” ranks them, out of all vegetables, including grains, seeds and greens, as tied for 9th best. According to these data, dandelions are nature’s richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, from which Vitamin A is created, and the third richest source of Vitamin A of all foods, after cod-liver oil and beef liver! They also are particularly rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin, and are a good source of protein.


What’s In Your Blender: In the Kitchen with Edna

Dearest yogis!

I can’t believe it’s already August. I grew up in the Sacramento Valley (read: 112 degree summers) so it feels like summer should be coming any day now, rather than ending in a few weeks. So, to celebrate the last third of my favorite season of the year, with bikinis on the brain, and because the instructors at Yoga Belly are easily the hottest people I know (except for my honey, of course : )), here’s the start of a little blog-lovin’.

I give you: the “What’s In Your Blender” series. For the next few weeks, I’ll be bugging instructors for their favorite bootylicious blended recipes, and sharing the nutritional wealth with you. Because I love you. And because you’re beautiful. And because, as Will so eloquently laid out, “I do yoga because I want to be hot forever.”

Kicking off this series is none other than our very own Edna Barr… take it away, Edna!

In her words:

“I pretty much throw whatever is laying around in the blender!

Kale Smoothie (can use dandelion greens as well)

water (can use coconut water for better hydration or half water/OJ)
lime or lemon (no skin, seeds ok )
fruit – any combination will work: TJ’s frozen mango,pineapple, banana, tangerine, strawberries. Any fresh fruit getting over ripe; toss it in there!

Depending on how much frozen fruit you used, add a few ice cubes. I just have a low end cheapo blender that works fine; you just have to let it run for a good minute. Otherwise you end up chewing your smoothie. It really is fast & easy to make; no need to chop anything. Just throw it in the blender!”

Mmmmm… happy eating/drinking, and happy Friday!

Chakra Cheat Sheet

A little “chakra-for-dummies” for those of us who could use a reference : ) Bigger-ize it to find out more.

Happy Tuesday!

Thanks to YogaDork

Most Valuable Yogi

Is anyone really that surprised that LeBron James credits his super-human endurance to his regular (yet covert) yoga practice?

It’s true. All the cool kids are doin’ it.

Image courtesy of, and thanks to William for the great find!

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