Massaged Kale Salad

1 bunch kale, stems removed
1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup red onion, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
½ green apple, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1. Wash and dry kale.
2. Stack leaves, roll up and cut into thin ribbons.
3. Put kale in a large bowl and cover with salt.
4. Massage salt into leaves with your hands for about 2 minutes or until it looks wet and broken down.
5. Transfer kale to a fresh bowl and discard any leftover liquid.
6. Mix in onion, cranberries, apple and sunflower seeds.
7. Dress with oil and vinegar and toss.
8. Enjoy!

Spring Cleaning

People like “stuff”. We tend to hold onto it year after year. We save and stock up on things that we don’t know what to do with anymore. Maybe we keep things because they hold precious memories of days gone by, or they remind us of our parents, grandparents, past loves or childhood. To part with these precious possessions seems out of the question. There is a saying that goes, “You have to get rid of the old to make way for the new.”  If you are feeling stuck or stagnant in your life, try spring-cleaning. Throw out some of that stuff, say goodbye to your past and welcome the new energy of your happy, healthy future.

For good mental and physical health, we actually have two “houses” that need to be spring-cleaned: our physical homes and our physical bodies. Just as we accumulate “stuff” in the form of outgrown clothes, magazines, rusty bicycles, tools and random keepsakes, so do our bodies accumulate old food residues and toxins that need to be cleaned out.

To spring clean your body, give it a break from rich and complicated foods by either cleansing or fasting for a short period of time. Cleansing means paring down your food to just simple fruits and vegetables, lots of water and perhaps whole grains. Fasting means limiting most foods and drinking lots of water, fresh vegetable and fruit juices, teas and soups. Without much energy going toward digestion, more energy is available to the rest of your body and mind. Cleansing and fasting can sharpen your concentration, help you gain insight and promote spiritual awareness. It can also bring improved immune function and better digestion.

While you’re cleaning out your body and home, don’t forget to spring-clean your heart. Throw away negative thoughts and habits you’ve been harboring that no longer serve you. A clean, open heart will allow you to receive all the good that awaits you each and every day. If your heart and mind are cluttered, there is no room for life’s gifts and surprises to enter.

Adventures of a Yogi

As we say our farewells to Corinne, we explore the “limbs” and styles of yoga.

This week, Corinne continues her exploration of Yoga back at the site of her original yoga training– Ananda Ashram. She will spend the season working on the farm and delving deeper into her yogic studies.

Yoga (meaning union, or to yoke) brings together many different practices under the umbrella of this one term.  There are 8 limbs, as they are called, to a traditional yoga practice.  They are:

Yamas (outward or moral practices): The 5 yamas are non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-hoarding

Niyamas (inward or self-restrictions/observances): The 5 niyamas are cleanliness, contentment, spiritual purification, study of sacred texts, and devotion to one’s higher power.

Asana (the physical postures): What you think yoga is!

Pranayama (breath work): Ever notice how your breath changes when you are angry, or anxious?  Breathe deep. Live longer.

Pratyahara (sense withdrawal): Prepare for meditation.

Darana (focused concentration):Mantra repitition– continue to prepare for meditation.

Dyana (meditation): Release!

Samadhi (complete absorption or nirvana): Ahhh… Bliss!

We wish you love and light on your yogic adventure–

Live your bliss, Corinne!