• Demystifying Eating Disorders

    “Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses;
    they are not a lifestyle choice, or a diet gone ‘too far’.”
    -National Eating Disorders Collaboration

    When I was diagnosed with an eating disorder in the 90’s, there was not as much awareness of these mental illnesses as there are now. After I went to treatment in college and learned about how eating disorder symptoms are a way to cope with painful feelings, I remember feeling so relieved, because I was worried that my preoccupation with losing weight made me shallow.

    I too had fallen into the trap of believing common stereotypes about eating disorders: that they are related to vanity, that they are just about controlling my food and body, and that I just had to eat and get over it. Over 20 years now on my healing journey, I still hear these rumblings about eating disorders from those who may have not had a reason to understand or learn about them. In the spirit of debunking these and other stereotypes about eating disorders, I offer some helpful education and resources.

    WHAT ARE EATING DISORDERS?

    Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental illnesses caused by a range of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness, and suicide is also common. In order to recover, individuals who are affected usually require professional help and support.

    According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Characterized by an obsessive preoccupation with weight, food, and body shape, eating disorders are associated with persistent eating behaviors that negatively affects one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) identifies five types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), binge eating disorder (BED), and other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED). Not yet in the DSM but on the rise is orthorexia, which is characterized by an obsession with eating only healthy foods.

    Other types of eating disorders include pica, and rumination disorder. Symptoms associated with these disorders, such as restricting food and/or food groups, bingeing, purging, abusing laxatives, and over exercising, are ways of coping with trauma and other painful feelings and life events.

    Individuals affected by eating disorders are also prone to severely negative body image and body dysmorphia, a mental health disorder in which characterized by obsessively thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in one’s appearance. Co-morbid conditions include depression, anxiety, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and addiction.

    Common medical complications include but are not limited to blood pressure issues, electrolyte imbalances, reduction of bone density, muscles loss and weakness, severe dehydration, fainting, fatigue, hair loss, dental issues, hair loss, dry skin, digestive problems, circulation problems, and hormonal imbalances.

    WHO IS AFFECTED?

    Only until recently, has the popularly held image as to who is affected and what an eating disorder looks like—emaciated, white, privileged adolescent girls—this mental illness affects every age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic group.

    Knowing that eating disorders are characterized with a preoccupation with food and weight, it may seem counter-intuitive, but what is so important to understand is that weight is not a clear sign of an eating disorder. We typically think of eating disorders in terms of extreme thinness, but that is not the case for many who are affected. In fact, one can have anorexia, an eating disorder characterized by food restriction, without being underweight. Other eating disorders can present with various weights, too.

    The mental processes associated with eating disorder behaviors and physical ramifications (which include much more than weight), all contribute to the diagnosis of an eating disorder. One size does not fit all and includes every age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic group—a fact the eating disorder community is working hard to raise social awareness of.

    HOPE IS REAL

    As the awareness of eating disorders continues to increase in our schools, among parents, and in the medical field, we are in a much better position to prevent eating disorders compared to when I was first diagnosed in the 90s. Treatment options are many, and include residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient. Many treatment centers focus specifically on eating disorders, and some addiction treatment centers also specialize in eating disorders, as these two mental health conditions often co-occur.

    Online resources, such as the National Eating Disorder Association, Mirror-Mirror Eating Disorder Help, and Eating Disorder Hope are filled with helpful information for those experiencing an eating disorder as well as for their loved ones and supports. In addition to discussing the warning signs and symptoms of eating disorders, these websites also provide invaluable information about eating disorder programs and treatment, screening tools, free and low cost support, help hotlines, and advice on how to talk with loved ones who you are concerned about.

    Whether you are experiencing an eating disorder or worried about someone in your life, hope is real. I urge you to consult online resources like the ones mentioned here and reach out to eating disorder support groups—you don’t have to go it alone. Connecting with others going through something similar just might be the key to taking the next step in your journey.

    By Jennifer Kreatsoulas, PhD, C-IAYT

    Jennifer Kreatsoulas, PhD, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, is a certified yoga therapist specializing in eating disorders and body image. She is the founder of Yoga for Eating Disorders, creator and host of Real Body Talk, author of Body Mindful Yoga, an international speaker, and mental health advocate. Jennifer provides yoga therapy via online and in person, and leads yoga therapy groups at Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Philadelphia. She also teaches workshops, retreats, and specialized yoga and eating disorder recovery trainings for professionals. Her writing about her personal journey of eating disorder recovery and professional experience as a passionate yoga therapist has appeared in Yoga International, Yoga Journal, Recovery Warriors, and other influential blogs. Jennifer has appeared on Fox29 news and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Real Woman Magazine, SJ Magazine, Medill Reports Chicago, Philly.com, YOGA Magazine, and on several podcasts. Connect with Jennifer: www.Yoga4EatingDisorders.com and www.JenniferKreatsoulas.com.

    Photo Credit: White Flower Bloom by Aaron Burden 

  • 3 Tips To Get Your Family Hooked On Green Smoothies

    Green smoothies are the beginning
    and the end for many people.

    The beginning because it’s often the easiest way to start incorporating more raw food into the diet. The beginning because once you feel the immediate buzz of energy you’ll want to replace your morning coffee ritual with the green smoothie. The beginning because it’s easy to prepare. The beginning because it’s highly transportable and a quick way to get the whole fruit, vegetable and fibre into the body.

    The end because if you’re not used to drinking green vegetables it’s a pretty foreign idea. The end because if it’s too full of kale it may be too chunky to swallow. The end because it’s dark green and looks like swap juice. The end because if you don’t know how to make it taste delicious you’ll never want one of these again.

    Follow these simple tips to ease your family onto the green smoothie revolution.

    Start with neutral or pleasant tasting greens.

    A cucumber is perfect. It is high in water content, mildly flavoured, packed full of B vitamins and blends up easily. Mint leaves are another favourite of mine. They are super green and packed full of chlorophyll, yet they have a lovely pleasant minty taste which enhances the drink’s flavour. Save the Kale for the hardcore or the more experienced green smoothie connoisseur.

    Make it sweet.

    It’s kind of a cheat’s way of doing things, but hey, we want results. If it gets your family happily downing glasses of the green stuff then it is a good start. You can always wean them off the sweetness as time progresses. Start with a frozen banana. Make the smoothie on a base of coconut water which is naturally sweet. Don’t have a young coconut handy? try some liquid stevia drops with filtered water. Grapes are another good way to increase the natural sweetness. Or add a little apple juice. I’d recommend just one of these sweet boosters at a time. Mixing grapes, bananas, stevia and coconut water might be a little too sweet.

    Blend it well.

    A good quality high speed blender is a must. I started this green smoothie revolution years ago with the worst blender out there. I’m pretty hard core so I would suffer on stoically swallowing chunky lumpy drinks, sometimes with a fork. Then I got an excellent blender and life changed. But with or without the powerful blender there are some tips to make it more texturally pleasing – more like a drink. If you are using kale, then remove the hard spine and throw that away. If you are using ginger, you may want to grate it first with a micro-plane. If you are blending up large or hard vegetables like celery, chop them into smaller bits. And finally, let your blender whir for a good two minutes if your vegetable choice is robust or your fruit is frozen.

    That’s about it. Check out my e-book for heaps of beautiful simple smoothie recipes or get started by making my zingy ginger green smoothie with the recipe below. Go easy on the ginger or omit if it’s for the kiddies.

    Not so Green Smoothie Recipe with Buzz

     

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 Small cucumber
    • 1 green apple
    • 1 lime juiced
    • 1 tbs grated ginger
    • 6 grapes
    • 1/2 cup apple juice or water
    • Ice cubes

    Method

    • Blend all ingredients until smooth. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs. Makes 2 cups.

    The buzz comes from the freshly grated ginger. I love ginger for it’s stimulating effect on the metabolism and it’s appetite suppressing effect (also the taste). But it has a host of other health benefits from anti-inflammatory, to relieving nausea. Just add a tsp at first if you are uncertain, or leave it out.

    Try Natalie’s Banana Chocolate Protein Shake on Omstars

    By Natalie Prigoone

    Natalie Prigoone is the author of ‘The Great Uncooking’ a raw food detox book and A Piece of Cake: Easy Raw Desserts. She is a yoga teacher, high school teacher and raw food chef. Natalie discovered raw foods and their healing magic in 2011. She is passionate about healthy life hacks, and creating recipes that lead to greater health and healing. Follow her on Instagram @thegreatuncooking or Facebook.

  • Top 10 Reasons to Take Sound Bath Classes in the New Year

    Sound baths are going mainstream. Last week, the Today show featured one, and they are the most popular classes at every meditation studio. Some call them “meditation for lazy people.” But they are so much more than that.

    If you are one of the few who are unfamiliar with the concept of a sound bath, or reluctant to try it, this article is for you. I encourage you to step into the world of sound and experience what all the fuss is about.

    Basically, you come to a sound bath class at a meditation or yoga studio because you want to relax and de-stress. And who doesn’t want that?

    The instructor leads the group on a journey — usually 45 minutes, perhaps an hour — using sound waves produced by various instruments that might include crystal bowls, metal bowls, chimes, rain sticks, drums, bells, and so on. Some of them are traditional instruments from other cultures. Some are new inventions. The sound waves (otherwise known as vibrations) wash through the mind and body at a deep, cellular level — thus, the name, sound bath — interacting with the nervous system and helping you to let go and relax in a way that even meditation, mindfulness, or yoga sometimes can’t achieve.

    Here are 10 reasons why you should seek out high-quality sound baths and make them a regular part of your life in 2019:

     

    1. UNIVERSALITY. Sound baths are universally accessible to anyone, regardless of age, fitness level, or previous experience with meditation. We all process through our bodies the stories of our lives. At one time or another, we all face stress, illness, pain, or other challenges. Sound classes are accessible to anyone who can take the time to show up. Absolutely everyone is welcome to join a sound class as long as they can walk-into the studio by themselves and they can comfortably lie on their back or be seated for 45 minutes.

     

    1. COMFORT. When you think of meditation, or even yoga, you probably picture someone sitting on the floor in lotus posture. That’s not in the cards for most of us. One of the great things about sound classes is how comfortable they are, which encourages you to go deeper into relaxation. You lie on cushions, cover yourself with blankets, perhaps use a prop to support your neck, maybe something to cover your eyes and dim the lighting even more. By and large, there are no meditation police in a sound class. You relax and enjoy the experience however you want to receive it.

     

    1. EFFORTLESSNESS. One of the greatest things about sound classes is that you don’t have to do anything to get the benefits of the practice. You don’t have to concentrate your mind on an object or chase a carrot to unlock the next level of experience. The benefits of sound therapy start working from the first chord or note you hear. There’s no physical activity involved. Quite the opposite. Your heart rate and breathing will slow down, and your mind will slow down. You don’t have to drag yourself to the gym and put yourself through a workout. There is no effort involved in receiving the gift of vibrational waves. You will feel energized and yet relaxed in a way that requires no effort.

     

    1. LASTING EFFECTS. After reading my social media posts about the benefits of sound, a close friend decided to give it a try. Her days, like mine, are spent in constant conversation with others, so at the end of the day she tends to feel depleted. She came to one of my sound classes and immediately became a regular. Not long ago, she came to and mentioned how during a particular sound session she was able to let go of some deeply buried struggles within herself, so much so that the benefits of that particular session lingered with her for days. Even to the point that her colleagues at work, in her stressful job, were surprised at how relaxed she was, meeting all the deadlines in such a graceful way.

     

    1. SLEEP. So many people I know have trouble sleeping. So many people I know (including a few Ayurvedic masters) use pharmaceutical sleep medications. Another reason why you should consider sound classes is because they can help tremendously in improving the quality of your sleep in a natural way. Even if you already sleep well, sound classes can help you wind down into the closing part of your day.

     

    1. STRESS / ANXIETY / DEPRESSION / TRAUMA. It’s difficult to put all these words under the same umbrella. But they are all connected. Stress can easily spill into anxiety, depression and many other mental states that we don’t like to talk about openly. As someone who has experienced all of these things, I can testify that sound has been a very important tool in my path to recovery. Sound has a way of penetrating the deeper layers within ourselves and helping to shift energy around in order to find greater equilibrium. In sound classes I’ve had breakthroughs, aha moments, and released tension in specific areas of my body that needed attention. I’m not recommending sound as a primary form of treatment for severe depression, anxiety or trauma (PTSD), but I would certainly recommend it as part of a regimen of mental health and well-being.

     

    1. CONNECTION. I believe that anything that allows you to spend an hour with yourself and not in front of a digital screen should be treasured. I discover in teaching sound classes, but also in taking sound classes, that at the end of class, people feel more open, more relaxed. In the studio where I teach sound, Innergy Meditation, we always have a few minutes at the end of the practice for anyone who would like to share their experiences or their questions. I’ve seen a community of mindful and curious students coming together and friendships being formed. The healing properties of sound bring forward those innate qualities within ourselves of opening up in a natural way and connecting to others. Without phones. Amazing, right?

     

    1. GRIEF. After my mom’s passing, too many emotions were bottled up inside me. Talking to loved ones or therapists didn’t cut it. There was so much emotional turbulence that I couldn’t navigate it with words. Sound for me was revolutionary because it didn’t require me to think. It didn’t take effort. It offered a completely different path to healing. One that entered through a different sense door, and yet seamlessly helped to put the house in order. I am not saying that sound classes will heal your pain. But maybe you are able to see and feel things without being overwhelmed by them. And maybe, in time, in conjunction with other resources, it helps you create the framework that is necessary to move through the pain into the life on the other side.

     

    1. TAKES YOU OUT OF YOUR HEAD. My days go by in a flurry of meetings, phone calls, classes, projects, emails, social media, and more. One of the things that resonates so much for me with sound classes is their ability to take me out of my thinking, rational mind, the part of my brain that I use most of the time. I’m able to access other, less rational parts of my mind where I am not hijacked by thoughts and to do lists. Sound classes unlock my creativity, and they help my productivity because I can go back to my tasks feeling less overwhelmed.

     

    1. MAKES YOU A BETTER PERSON. The net effect of you learning to relax ripples out into every area of your life. Maybe you stop lashing at people. You stop barking at your loved ones. You experience more silence within yourself. Your pauses are longer. Your answers are more thoughtfully composed. Often I’ve found myself dealing with delicate matters or conversations and I think to myself…let me take a sound class and then I will make a decision.

    We live in difficult times, when we increasingly expect our minds and nervous systems to process information in the same way that our computers and phones do. It gives me hope to see sound classes starting to go mainstream because sound reminds us that we are humans. And we are all babies. We need to be connected to something larger than ourselves, and nurtured, and we need to feel safe and relaxed.

    I hope you give it a try.

    By Adrian Molina

    Adrian Molina has been teaching yoga continuously since 2004. He is a well-known and respected instructor in Miami and New York, with an extensive worldwide following through his platform and school of yoga, Warrior Flow.

     

     

     

     

  • Layered Salted Caramel Peanut Fudge

     

    This is one of my favourite freezer desserts, and I like to keep it ready to grab at a moment’s notice. A decadent delight, it homes in on the irresistible flavour combo of caramel and sea salt. The unique peanutty edge makes it fulfilling for adults with a cuppa, but also brings plenty of happiness to little kids.

    Fudge

    • 270 g (9.5 oz/1 cup) almond butter
    • 80 ml (2.5 fl oz/ 1/3 cup) coconut oil, melted
    • 90 g (3.25 oz/ 1/4 cup) rice malt syrup
    • 30 g (1 oz/ 1/4cup) raw cacao powder
    • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

    Salted caramel and peanut

    • 90 g (3.25 oz/1/4 cup) rice malt syrup
    • 2 tablespoons cashew butter or other nut butter
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • sea salt, to taste
    • 35 g (1.25 oz/1/3 cup) roasted salted peanuts

    Method:

    Line a 12 × 18 cm (41/2× 7 inch) baking tin with baking paper.

    To make the fudge layer, whiz the almond butter and coconut oil in a food processor until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin to 3 cm (11/4 inches) deep and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or a spatula.

    For the salted caramel and peanut layer, clean the food processor then process all the ingredients except the peanuts until the mixture has a caramel-like consistency.

    Spoon the salted caramel over the fudge, smooth with the back of a spoon or a spatula, then scatter the peanuts over and press them in gently. Freeze for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. If stored frozen for longer, it may need some time in the fridge to soften a little before serving.

    Sprinkle with extra salt before serving, if you like.

    By Lee Holmes

     

    Lee Holmes, Gut Friendly Food Expert, Super charged foods, recipes, OMstars

  • Vegan Banana Bread

    Have some overripe bananas you need to use? Time to make banana bread! And we’ve got a new vegan banana bread recipe just for you. Not only is banana bread delicious, but it’s a great way to satisfy that sweet tooth. Cut up and enjoy a slice for dessert after dinner, or try eating a piece of banana bread as breakfast for those on-the-go mornings. However you choose to serve up your banana bread, this spiced treat is sure to make you smile.

    Vegan Banana Bread

     

    – 2 cups 100% whole wheat flour
    – 1 tsp of baking powder
    – 1/2 tsp of baking soda
    – 1 tsp cinnamon
    – 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    – 1/4 tsp clove
    – 1/4 tsp of salt
    – 1 stick of vegan butter
    – 3/4 cup raw cane sugar
    – 1/4 cup vegan brown sugar
    – 1 tsp vanilla extract
    – 4 bananas

    Method

    Grease and flour one loaf pan.
    Preheat oven at 350.
    In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and salt.
    In a stand up mixer, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and brown sugar.
    While the mixer is creaming the ingredients, mash bananas in a separate bowl, just enough so there is still some texture but well mashed.
    Add mashed bananas in the mixer. The banana acts as a binder so no need to add any egg substitute like a chia egg for example.
    Turn mixer speed down to low and gradually add 1/2 cup dry ingredients into the stand up mixer.
    Mix until combined then add another 1/2 cup.
    Keep repeating the process until all of the dry ingredient mixture winds up in the stand up mixer.
    Finally, mix until all ingredients are nice and smooth.
    Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 20 mins or until toothpick comes out clean.
    Let cool for 10 mins before cutting.
    Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or your favorite cup of tea.
    Vegan Banana bread recipe on OMstars

    by Karyn Homeriki

    Get to know a little more about Karyn Homeriki by visiting her page on instagram
  • An Interview with Erica Tenggara

    Who is Erica Tenggara? You may have seen her course on OMstars, or maybe you follow her on instagram, but we wanted to know more – about who she is as a teacher, about her relationship with yoga, and why yoga is so important to her. So we reached out to Erica with a few interview style questions, and now we’re sharing her answers with you! Check out Erica’s Interview below and find out if she’s someone you can relate to, someone you might like to practice with or someone who inspires you, then check out her course, A Week Of Practice, on OMstars.com!

    1. How long have you been practicing yoga and why did you start practicing yoga?

    I’ve been practicing for 5 years.

    I started practicing for a few reasons, the instigator was that I was bored. My boyfriend at the time spent most nights socializing & I was bored of that, so I decided to fill my nights with yoga.

    Why yoga? Because I couldn’t really do anything else. I tore my ACL in high school & couldn’t do anything high impact so yoga it was & yoga has been my main squeeze ever since.

    1. What is yoga to you?

    Yoga is my happy medium.

    I’m a very extreme, emotional, erratic/irrational person. I’m very up & down but in yoga, I’m at a medium, I am just okay & I’m okay with that. I can’t escape, it’s not an escape. Practicing is a time for me to find a way to be okay with the practice and myself & that has a ripple effect into my life off the mat. So in a way, yoga is my mediator.

    1. How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you want students to feel after they practice with you?

    Like I was on a high. I started out with Bikram yoga, the teacher was Irish & spoke with this incredible motivating Irish accent. I loved it! It was so hard, so much sweat, so much holding of what seems easy but isn’t & left me feeling like “woah – I don’t know what it is but I friggin love this”

    For my students though, I’d love for them to walk a way from my practice with a better sense of understanding. I’m not so into needing to create a high. But if someone can understand either themselves, a pose, a process, a feeling a little more than they did before. I feel like I have done my job. Awareness & perspective I realize more & more each day is what makes living a little more manageable & that’s what I’d like to give to my students, a way for them feel like what yoga is for me – a happy medium. A mediator.

    1. What impact has yoga had on your life? Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved and transformed?

    Such a huge question. Where do I begin!

    Long story short: I’m a third culture kid who has gone through 2 parent divorces. Both of those divorces made me feel abandoned. Even today they still do although I realize them leaving me has actually nothing to do with me (that’s the yoga there – the realization/awareness)

    For whatever connecting reasons, in school I was depressed, bulimic & attempted suicide I think in 2009.

    Today though – I love my life & I believe I have a future in this lifetime.

    I feel I am naturally, highly emotional. I’m very erratic and irrational which can be a great thing but not always. I take everything to heart & it’s hard for me to take a joke and criticism. So of course I am also hard on myself & I am hard on others. This has affected the relationships I’ve had with everyone I have known from family, friends, colleagues, boyfriends and even students etc.

    I cannot say it is the yoga practice itself but it’s the elements of yoga & the yoga community that has helped me become a more understanding, empathic person with both myself & others.

    I can’t say I’m made of sugar but I can say that if someone is in child pose, I no longer just think they’re lazy. When it comes to my family, especially to my Mum, maybe it’s just cause I’m finally growing up a little bit, but I am making an effort to be nicer to her. Even when she’s so annoying, I try to make peace with her & try not to control the decisions she wants to make for herself.

    When it comes to relationships and yes I mean romantic relationships, I try to make better decisions. I think someone like me who is so erratic, who has gone through parent divorces, bulimia, depression etc. You crave love. You crave love, attention, affection. You want to feel wanted & desired & that feeling when you have it is addicting. It’s a high.

    I’ve learned though, to have a little more self control, to be aware of those feelings of need & desire, try to step back and look at the bigger picture “is this what I want?”

    And so the relationship I am in now, is the most grown up relationship I have ever been in. It’s one where although there is still a lot (like loads) of love, there is an effort to not just rely on affection. But to be two responsible adults for not just ourselves, but each other. Basically, I don’t always win all the fights & I get called out for my s**t. Which rarely happens. Even with my friends & family.

    I’m kinda rambling but in summary I’m a better person to myself, I’m a better colleague, better friend, better lover & daughter than I was before yoga.

    1. Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what makes a good yoga teacher?

    I didn’t really decide I want to teach yoga, it was more a “wow, this is what I am meant to do” kind of situation.

    It was when I was doing my mock teaching during YTT – which I took for just curiosity sake really, and that’s when I had the “aha” moment.

    What makes a good yoga teacher? This is based on personal preference.

    I have a few teachers that I consider mentors & I love them for different reasons so I’ll just describe them and I think then it’ll make sense.

    Patrick Creelman

    Patrick is a child in an adult body. But when he teaches he is all business. Mostly influenced by Iyengar & Anusara yoga so as expected he is also strict. The only time I have ever done a child pose outside of his sequencing was when I had altitude sickness.

    His instructions can get annoying, if you have been to an Iyengar class, they talk – non-stop. But I kinda love it, the instructions make me work hard, Patrick makes me work hard. He’s one of the few teachers I know who doesn’t give a crap that I am a teacher, that I’ve got Instagram, that I’m… whatever. But if I’m in class, he works me hard & works me to my fullest potential without forgetting the other 50 students in the room.

    Arun Rana

    Arun is more your guru type yoga teacher. He has that presence. When he walks into the classroom everyone stops talking & sits in preparation. He specializes in flexibility & is the inspiration behind many of my tutorials that I have shared both on OMstars & instagram.

    Arun is also a very empathetic & understanding teacher, his is the total opposite of Patrick but still he has the ability to make you work hard without telling you to work hard. He just has that presence where you want to work hard for him.

    His sequencing I would 100% say can make the stiffest person more flexible.

    Noelle Connolly

    Is an American teacher based in Sydney & she is a 40 year old beast. She is just bad ass. She is a no fuss take no bull kind of teacher yet her teachings come through with love & intention. She totally summaries the definition of tough love.

    Her sequencing is what inspires my flows. She somehow is able to combine methods of iyengar & ashtanga into a modern day flow to amazing music.

    So Patrick is I would say my alignment & technique teacher, Arun is my flexibility (both physically & emotionally) teacher & Noelle is my transition & movement teacher. Each all so different from the other but each great at teaching.

    Not everyone likes these teachers, no one can please everyone. But more often than not, it’s the teachers who make you realise your potential or who believe in your potential, whether through asana or just life in general, who make you come back for more.

    1. What style of yoga do you practice and what makes that style most effective? Do you have a teacher in your style of yoga?

    I practice mostly Hatha yoga that is iyengar inspired.

    I love alignment, I love simple effective sequencing that isn’t about being pretty, but about creating accessibility & thus freedom in the body & mind.

    Patrick Creelman is right now is my main influence in my teachings.

    1. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Dont worry, dont rush. Trust.

    1. What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice?  

    The handstand.

    I have such a love & hate relationship with handstand. I don’t feel that anyone is better when they can hand balance but it seems to be what is most admired on Instagram these days. Maybe that’s why I don’t love it? And to be honest, I was very happy when I couldn’t handstand but now just because I know it’s so hard to get & I see it all the time on IG. It makes me want to do it more & I question – why. Like is this so necessary?

    So although it was such a high when I could finally handstand, it’s also caused me injuries & makes me question my ego more than I would like.

    1. What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    Instagram.

    It is so love and hate. Instagram for me in the beginning was a place where I could discover other local yogis & just kind of rejoice in our little community. But now? It’s about personalities, popularity etc. What you see on Instagram, with an exception to a few select accounts is not what yoga really is in a class setting.

    It’s so conflicting & I am conflicted as well. 95% of my photos on IG, I’m wearing make up & my hair is down.

    But in real life? I only really wear make up for date night & hair is mostly tied up.

    But everyone does that. So does it make it okay? Or am I just thinking too much? Let IG be IG, let real life be real life. Does this even matter?

    1. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you as a student and as a teacher?

    Queefing & sweaty back farts. In both teaching & student situations. But such is life.

    1. What is your dharma, your life mission? 

    I don’t really have a life mission to be honest and many may not know but as much as I love teaching yoga, I actually just really want to be a mother and eventually have being a mother as my main job & teaching on the side. Can that be considered a dharma? A life mission? 😅

    Erica Tenggara

  • Coriander Pesto

    You may know coriander as cilantro. Either way, it’s detoxifying effects are legendary and enhanced when you combine it with chlorella (more on that another time). Coriander helps chelate toxins from the body, this means it binds to the waste products to help remove them from the cells.

    Today it’s the recipe I want to share with you. Forget the science.  Just know that when you eat this you’ll be doing great things for your body.  

    Ingredients

    I large bunch of coriander

    1 cup raw macadamia nuts

    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    1 lime juiced (about 1/4 of cup)

    1 large clove garlic

    1 tsp malden sea salt

    2 – 4 tbs of home made coconut yoghurt (see below for link)

    1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes or freshly chopped chilli to taste

    Method

    I blended up a massive bunch of coriander with a cup of macadamia nuts, 1/4 cup olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chilli,  sea salt and 2 tbs coconut yoghurt. My homemade coconut yoghurt was already sweetened so it was a nice way to offset the chilli.Creamy, delicious and  healing. Just what you should expect from #wholefoods #rawfoods. 

    This would be a fabulous dressing drizzled over salad and rolled into a wrap. But right now I’m just eating it by the spoonful. If you haven’t yet made your own yoghurt then I encourage you to grab the next opportunity for a full moon and make it.

    By Natalie Prigoone

    Check out Natalie’s course The Great Uncooking Real Food/Raw Food, on Omstars wellness channel for more scrumptious recipes!

    Coconut Yoghurt

    Add your delicious coriander pesto to wrap!

    Colourful vegan wraps

     

  • Yoga For All

    The practice of yoga means a great many things to a great many people. For some, yoga is just an exercise. For others, yoga is a path to greater spiritual understanding. For me, yoga means a practice of connection and liberation. A connection to myself through breath and movement and a larger connection to the world through consciousness-raising and activism. Yoga has taught me to see wholeness in both the external part of who I am and an internal part of who I want to be.

    A

    ccording to ancient yoga philosophy, Hatha yoga can be a complete journey to wholeness. We can develop a connection to physical well-being through asana (physical practice)  and pranayama (breath work), mental clarity through concentration, meditation and spiritual illumination.

    For a lot of us, the images of yoga have primarily focused on the body beautiful; yoga as a function of beauty and physical prowess instead of an act of spiritual awakening. But do only young, thin, hypermobile or super flexible bodies do yoga?  What about everyone else who are invited to be on the yoga mat? Although you may not always see it, everyone can do yoga. Yoga is for everyone. While not all of us practice in the same way or have the same access to the practice, at the core of this practice is simply a connection to our breath and each other. We all can do that regardless of our abilities, the size of our bodies or our socioeconomic backgrounds.

    Being able to do challenging or complicated poses is not what the practice of yoga is all about. It is about setting your soul free, making a connection to yourself and the world around you. Yoga can be a pause in your day to smell the flowers or take a walk in the park. Yoga can be a moment of quiet, compassionate self-reflection. Yoga can be a meal with friends or intense physical asana practice that gets you out of your head and feeling your body. Yoga can be stillness and quiet. Yoga can be anything that connects you to a deeper understanding of yourself and a feeling of connection to the world.

    Don’t let the images you see of yoga scare you. Know that this is only one way to see yoga, through a lens that values ability over spirituality and unity. Yoga happens everywhere.  Yes, you can do yoga. Find a class or teacher that understands what you want and need from your practice and jump in. You won’t regret it.

    By Dianne Bondy

    Click here to learn more about Dianne

    Omstars will be launching a course with Dianne in early 2018, in the meantime watch this space for more posts by her leading up to the release!

    Follow Dianne on Instagram