do yoga. sleep better

 

The team at Casper Mattress, a new sleep start up specializing in memory foam mattresses, asked me to share my in bed yoga poses with you. “I’m always saying in my classes “Rest is underrated. It makes us all nicer!” That said, in my house, getting good, regular sleep can be a little tricky. With varied work, school, and activity schedules there has to be a mindful commitment to getting to bed and getting that much needed rest, whatever the time of day.

Whether it’s a quick nap or a shutdown the shop, done for the night, lights out sleep, it’s pretty common for me to wind down with a few yoga poses in bed (even more common when Bruce is away or before he settles in so I can have my run of the bed). I find for me that twists, a little hip opening and a nice deep forward bend help to rinse away and let go of whatever doesn’t serve a restful sleep.

Be sure to find your own flow. Do what feels good in your body and on your bed. Happy Sleeping and Namaste!

Note: These photos were taken in the middle of the day when I usually try to get a nap. For the sake of light, we kept the blinds open. No worries, post pics, the blinds went down and off to sleep I went! Yay me!

photos by Bruce Dunkins

 

 

bytracye yoga.yummy food retreat Costa Rica, November 19th-23rd

Las Mareas de Tamarindo & Pangas Beach Club

We’re headed back for our final 2014 retreat! Join us on the stunning beaches of Tamarindo, Costa Rica at beautiful Las Mareas and Pangas Beach Club for an incredible yoga.yummy food experience! Dive into your yoga practice, awaken your taste buds, and, of course, relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy the magnificence that is the Costa Rican culture and landscape. Pura Vida! Click here for details and to register today!

bytracye yoga.yummy food retreat Costa Rica, November 19th-23rd

We’re headed back for our final 2014 retreat! Join us on the stunning beaches of Tamarindo, Costa Rica at beautiful Las Mareas and Pangas Beach Club for an incredible yoga.yummy food experience! Dive into your yoga practice, awaken your taste buds, and, of course, relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy the magnificence that is the Costa Rican culture and landscape. Pura Vida! Click here to register today!

Retreat will include:

4 nights, 5 days villa accommodations. All modern luxury villas have 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, full kitchens, ocean view balconies and a shared infinity pool also with ocean views. Click here to find out more about villa interior and exterior amenities
Morning and sunset ocean side yoga classes bytracye (All levels)
3 daily ocean side meals with locally sourced, farm fresh ingredients
Farmer’s market visit and fresh cooking instruction
Excursions, activities, and spa options (additional cost)
Costa Rica Airport Transfers*
*Airfare not included.

Sample Daily Schedule

Pre-Yoga Early Morning Coffee/Tea/Juice/Water & Fruit Smoothies @ Pangas
Sunrise/Early Morning Vinyasa Class (90 min) – Ocean side studio or @ Las Mareas Villas
Full Breakfast @ Pangas
Late Morning- Early Afternoon Flex time for activities, excursions, sightseeing, etc.
Lunch @ Pangas (or lunch dining excursion)
Sunset Hatha/Restorative/Meditation Class (60 min) – Ocean side studio or @ Las Mareas Villas
Dinner @ Pangas (or group dining excursion)

Retreat Investment:

Early Bird Special (ends August 8th)*

Single $1429 per person; room includes 1 king bed, and private full bathroom
Couple Share $1209 per person; room includes 1 king bed and private full bathroom
Master Suite Couple Share $1539 per person; room includes 1 king canopy bed, private full bathroom, television, and private balcony with ocean views.
Master Suite Single $2525 per person; room includes 1 king canopy bed, private full bathroom, television, and private balcony with ocean views.
*Early Bird Special registrants must pay-in-full to receive discount.

Registration after August 8th*

Single $1575 per person
Couple Share $1330 per person
Master Suite Couple Share $1695 per person
Master Suite Single $2805 per person
*$500 non-refundable deposit required in order to reserve your spot. A second payment of $500 is due no later than August 22nd. Remaining balance is due no later than September 26th.

Airport

We recommend flying into Liberia (LIR), Costa Rica. As well, and to be safe, we also recommend purchasing travel insurance with your flight.

Airport Shuttle (in Costa Rica)

Once you are confirmed for the retreat and have booked your flight, our logistics coordinator will contact you to book your shuttle from Liberia to Tamarindo, as well as your return trip. Your airport transfer is included in your package.

Cancellation Policy:

$500 is non-refundable for all registrants.
A $100 administration fee is non-refundable for all registrants.
A 50% refund will be issued for those canceling prior to July 26th.
A 30% refund will be issued for those canceling between July 27th-August 22nd.
No refunds will be issued after August 22nd.

Space is limited. Click here to register today!

Be Well and Pura Vida!

Roasted Delicata Squash & Brussel Sprout Boats

The oven is on full tilt boogy for the fall and I’m on a roasting roll! These “boats” combine two of my favorites and came, as usual these days, from what was left in my farmer’s market or Corbin Hill Food Project bags. Also, as usual, there’s nothing complicated at all about this recipe. You simply season a bit, roast, stuff and eat. And if you can’t find a Delicata squash, you can always substitute a yam or sweet potato, or butternut squash, or my new top winner honey nut squash (YUM!). That’s it yogi/yogini foodies. Enjoy!

1 medium Delicata squash
1 1/2 cups Brussel sprouts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon raw sugar, honey, or agave
1 teaspoon good cinnamon
Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Coat with 1 tablespoon or less of olive oil and season both halves equally with sweetener of choice (or not), cinnamon, salt & pepper. Roast face up for about 15-20 minutes until almost fork tender. Coat sprouts with remaining oil and season very lightly with salt & pepper. Remove squash from oven and add sprouts to pan (not inside squash just yet) to roast for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place sprouts into squash boats. Drizzle with more olive oil (optional) and serve.

Makes 2 servings

The 5-Minute Meditation Challenge

Meditating is hard work for me. There, I said it. Whew! So, happy to get that off of my ego mind’s “What the heck, I’m a 15-year yogini who teaches for God’s sake and should be an expert meditator by now!” shoulders.  But, now that I’ve confessed, I feel like I can better offer up a tip or two to my family, friends, and students on how to sit still, because we’re all in this together!

This idea of stillness and finding a physical and mental place to quiet the mind and find clarity is difficult for many of us to grasp when our lives are filled with teaching multiple yoga classes, cooking up breakfast, lunch and dinner for a teenager, the guy you love and clients, blogging, workshops, retreats, cleaning house, New York City,… Wait! Ok, so that’s my bit of craziness, but you get the drift. It’s tough. But, meditation/stillness/whatever you want to call it is absolutely, positively, without a doubt a necessary part of the yoga practice. Who doesn’t want ease and peace?

“Ok, I get it. Meditation rocks. So how do I get there, Tracye?”, you ask.  Well, I’m definitely no guru, but I can share what’s working for me and maybe something might resonate with you.

Decide to practice

Meditating takes practice. It goes right along with showing up with our Lulu’s, fancy customized mat, and even fancier coconut water to turn ourselves inside and out like pretzels. You have to show up and practice. So, set aside (and I mean schedule it, like with an alarm on your phone or something) a time during the day, preferably first thing in the morning, when the powers-that-be say that our minds are the most open. Find a place that affords you the most quiet and the least distractions. Three days a week, I meditate in the steam room at one of my studios. Whatever it takes!

Breathe in, breathe out, and let it flow

Here’s the really hard part. Let go. Let go of what you think meditation is supposed to look like, what you’re supposed to or not supposed to think about. Just begin. Find an easy seat, close your eyes and begin to breathe. There’s no need for any fancy yoga breath. Just breathe. Decide to let whatever comes to mind come. No judgement if you start thinking about how badly you suck at meditating. Just let the thoughts come and go. Breathe in. Breathe out. See what happens.

Take 5

I sat and watched a guy meditate in Central Park last summer for, well, forever! I thought, “Man! That’s how you get it done.” Not so for this gal at this point in my practice, it would seem.  You might be thinking, I’m good for 5-minutes max. Ok, then start there. Get yourself a timer or alarm. Sometimes, I grab the $7.99 Duane Reade kitchen timer I use to bake bread. Hey, whatever works. The ticking actually becomes a form of mantra sometimes for me.  Take the 5-Minute Meditation Challenge.  Just sit, for 5-minutes each day for two weeks.  It’s a start and we have to start somewhere. You might actually be surprised. That 5-minutes might only be 1-minute one day (Hey! It’s totally happened to me.) or you could find yourself in a 20-minute sit. You never know until you try.

It works

There are a myriad of facts that support the benefits of meditation i.e. stress relief, better sleep, nicer, etc. It just works. Give it a try. I’ll be sending you “be still” vibes!

Talk back and let me know how it’s going for you!

Be Well,

Tracye

 

Roasted Acorn Squash & Sweet Potato Curry Soup

Fall is the birth of the soup du jour in my house.  I started making my own soups around 10 years ago and never stopped. It’s the easiest, can’t mess it up really, because it’s just stuff you throw into stock, thing you can make. Truly!  It’s my go to dish on a “school night” for all of us with a crusty loaf of homemade bread and a fresh collard green, cabbage, and grape salad (recipe coming soon). Now, I’m no chef (just a “really good cook”), so I don’t mean to offend those who absolutely have this thing down to a science. That said, YOU can make soup. So, with that, it’s getting chilly outside. Let’s get to it!

In the Fall season, I usually make my soups out of whatever comes from our Corbin Hill Farm Share or the farmer’s market.  Late September brought us the cutest acorn squash, which I love and usually roast and stuff with yummy wild rice, nuts, currants, etc.  I opted for a slightly spicy, with a bit of sweet, curried soup instead this time.

Enjoy the recipe and be sure to play with your food! Add or delete what you think works or doesn’t for you. Flow with whatever feels good. It’s soup, and really, you can’t mess it up!

1 acorn squash
1 medium to large sweet potato
1 1/2- 2 cups vegetable stock (I use my own “Surprise Stock”; which is all of the frozen vegetable parts from various pre-meal  boiled down w/herbs to yummy goodness, but you can buy a good stock too I suppose)
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt & Pepper
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut squash and sweet potato lengthwise and remove seeds from squash.  Coat with 1 tablespoon or less of olive oil.  Roast until fork tender, about 20-30 minutes, depending on oven temperature. In a large saucepan, saute garlic, onion, and curry powder in olive oil until tender. Scoop out squash and sweet potato flesh and add to pan.  Add stock and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.  In a food processor, process until smooth.  Add nutmeg, coconut milk, salt & pepper and return to pot. Simmer on low heat.  Serve and enjoy!
 Makes 3-4 servings