Yin and Yum - Nourish Your Body!
“Yoga is a beautiful way to serve and uplift life. It opens space for a person to come back home into their body and heart, quiet their mind, hear their inner voice, and soften into the unfolding of life.” -Monica Hansen
Yin & Yum is my practice of nourishing the body with yoga and healthy foods! I offer workshops, small group and private sessions in which we practice Yin Yoga and learn about creating healthy and delicious foods. And we don’t just talk about it! Each session includes food that I prepare especially for you.
Yin is a form of yoga that encourages the connective tissue in the body to release and soften. The poses are all on the mat – no standing – and are held for up to 5 minutes with an ever deepening release and quieting in the body.
My version of “yum” is homemade, wheat-free, low-glycemic foods made with healthy ingredients (organic preferred). Some of my favorites include muffins, granola, truffles, protein balls, dehydrated crackers, smoothie bowls, hummus, garden water and more!
If you'd like to know more, read on!
I am an RYT200 certified yoga teacher with The Yoga Alliance. Over my years of teaching I have been drawn to the slow nourishing practices of restorative and yin yoga. I focus on encouraging each person to soften into their own expression of the pose, creating space and acceptance of their authentic self, knowing that when the body feels supported in a pose it then feels safe to open to its fullest expression in that moment.
I have been first vegetarian and then mostly vegan since my teens. My interest in properly nourishing the body and preparing healthy foods has resulted in hours spent in the kitchen exploring new recipes that I discover by reading blogs and cookbooks. The results have ultimately been delicious and my use of unprocessed and low glycemic ingredients creates yummy foods that are truly good for the body.
The concept of Yin yoga has been around for thousands of years. It is a more meditative approach with a physical focus much deeper than Yang practices. In Yin the practitioner is trying to access the deeper tissues such as the connective tissue and fascia, and many of the postures focus on areas that encompass a joint (hips, sacrum, spine). As one ages, flexibility in the joints decreases and Yin is a wonderful way to maintain that flexibility.
Yin yoga postures are more passive, done mainly on the floor and there are only about three dozen or so postures, many fewer than Yang practices. Yin is unique – you are asked to relax in the posture, soften the muscle and move closer to the bone. Yin offers a much deeper access to the body – it is not uncommon to see postures held for three to five minutes, even 20 minutes at a time. The time spent in these postures is much like time spent in meditation. While in a Yin class you might notice similar postures to a yang class except they are called something else. On a basic level this is to help the students mind shift form yang to yin – from active to passive.
The practice of Yin encourages students to get intimate with the self – with feelings, sensations, and emotions. Yin yoga is often used in programs that deal with addictions, eating disorders, anxiety and deep pain or trauma.
Some of the benefits of Yin yoga are:
Calms the body, mind and spirit
Balances and regulates the energy in the body
Increases mobility, especially the joints and hips
Lowers stress levels
Increases flexibility in connective tissue
Releases fascia throughout the body
Helps with TMJ and migraines
Encourages Deeper Relaxation
Increases ability to cope with anxiety and stress
Yin yoga teaches us how to really listen. In this practice we don’t have the opportunity to go in and out, jump around and find a distracted version of stillness. Instead, we settle into positions for long periods of time, which may be slightly uncomfortable at first. And so, Yin guides us to “just be” and “accept what is” in a given moment. It is a great compliment to other yoga styles and to our own lives, and something we can all benefit from daily.
For me, yummy foods are all about nutrient dense, very low sugar, organic whole food ingredients. I eat mostly vegan and believe wholeheartedly in what Michael Pollan says: “Eat real food…not too much…mostly plants.” When I prepare from a recipe I always halve or quarter the sweet and will substitute dates or maple syrup for the listed sweetner.
Some of the things I like to create in my kitchen are: Granola – Protein Balls – Cheesecake – Muffins – Cookies – Truffles – Green Smoothies – Hummus – Pesto – Roasted root vegetables – Garden salads – Garden infused water.
Ingredients I use (organic whenever possible) include: Cocoa powder – Cocoa butter – Maple syrup – Almond flour – Coconut flour – Raw coconut butter – Raw Almond butter – Flax seed – Dates – Figs – Raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans and sunflower seeds), Raw coconut both shredded and flaked, Fresh fruits and berries – Avocado – Romaine – Hemp seed – Powdered greens – Frozen berries – Edible flowers – Fresh garden herbs – and CINNAMON!
Most of the things I like to make can be refrigerated or frozen to extend the life. I encourage you to experiment in your own kitchen. I guarantee you won’t have to eat everything yourself!