Archive for the ‘Yoga’ Category

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Believing it is really possible

May 7, 2010

The still photographer from Iron Man 2 took this picture of me while I was there when the movie was shooting last summer. Those of you that watch the movie, this is scene on the race track!

Hi Loves,

I just wanted to quickly share with you a revelation I had today- right on my yoga mat!

Yoga is very confrontational for whatever is going on in our life, in our mind, our lives and our spirits. What we learn about ourselves and within the poses has the power to shift our consciousness past much more than the physical pose itself! Today I took “Flight School” with a wonderful woman named Summer, which is basically a yoga class that is all about inversions. Since I love being upside down, it seemed to be a perfect fit for me.

I have been able to do handstands for a few years now, and bakasana (crow pose) which is an arm balance. But I have never seen a girl be able to press up from a straight-armed crow pose into a handstand in front of me  …until today. Summer walked right up to the front to demonstrate, and did it right in front of me.

I had always seen lots of my guy friends do it, and thought it might be one of the poses that is easier for men and the male anatomy to accomplish. I never ever really worked on it because I didn’t think it could really ever happen. WELL I was wrong!!! Seeing the quiet grace with which Summer came onto her hands, bent her knees to the back of her arms and press straight up was awesome!! Like me she is not overly muscular and does not have a gymnastics background either.

I would then straighten my arms here in this arm balance and then...

Press up into handstand!

Just SEEING that it was possible opened up my mind and I had an almost immediate paradigm shift. Once I knew she could do it, I knew I could do it too. Why? Because we all have the unlimited ability of consciousness within us. All new poses take work to master, but I never focused on that sequence of poses because I didn’t really think it was possible. I didn’t even try. But today after seeing her, I really focused on learning to press up in class today and I almost got it! And I know in a few weeks or months I will get it. Why? Again because I now believe and know that it is possible.

There are so many limitations we put on ourselves, even unconsciously. I challenge you to consider something that you’d really love to do or accomplish but didn’t think you could, and prove yourself wrong. It could be dropping back to your weight from college, learning a new language, getting the promotion at work, making the Green Smoothie every day (of course right!!), etc. It doesn’t have to be something huge- in fact starting with baby steps to accomplish “smaller” things can help us build confidence to go for more.

Except for the truly outrageous thoughts (hey we can’t all be President of the United States but we can do so many other things!) 🙂 if you can even think about trying to pull it off… it IS possible!!

Also…it is the highly anticipated opening weekend of Iron Man 2. I remember being at the set last summer and the excitement back then during every day of shooting… I can’t wait to see it one of these weeks. You won’t catch me waiting in lines this weekend though.

On that note, have a relaxing night! I’m going to rest my pour wrists that had a lot of weight on them today, as I’ll go back to practicing my pressing up from crow into handstand tomorrow, now that I fully know and believe it is possible for me to achieve.

LOVE AND HARE OM,

Kimberly

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Yoga Tutorial: Forearm Stand (Pincha Mayurasana)

March 30, 2010

Hey Guys!

I hope you are having a great week so far! I’ve been having an amazing time in Atlanta, it is so pretty here and I’ve just been having a blast. Making lots of Green Smoothies, among other things!

I hope you enjoy the forearm stand tutorial. The Sanskrit name is Pincha Mayurasana, and it is really one of my favorite poses. There are a lot of benefits to inversions, and I like to feel like I’m flying. 🙂

I’ll write more soon! I’ve been swamped but I have a better idea of my schedule now.

Lots of love.

Om Shanti, Kimberly

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Easy Yoga Tips: Warrior (Virabhadrasana) Poses

February 2, 2010

Hey Guys! Hope you are having a great week so far. Here are a few quick yoga tips for the very important Warrior poses. Hope these help you in your practice!

Shanti and Love, Kimberly

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How Food and Everything Else In Our Lives Are Truly Connected

January 21, 2010

Hey Guys, tomorrow is already the end of the week. Doesn’t time go by so fast sometimes? I hope you had a great week, and can relax and regenerate this weekend. 🙂

So I was thinking about something my teacher Dharma said to me during my yoga teacher training years ago. He said that you aren’t really a yoga teacher if you don’t talk to your students about food and their diet. (Dharma by the way, is one of the people who have had a profound influence on my food philosophy). One incident lately made me realize that I haven’t really been doing that. At one of my group classes this week, one of my longtime students who I’ll call Susan, came in with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend got up and left twice during class. I was a bit worried he was tired and was leaving because he was embarrassed to rest during the series, or that he had hurt something. After class I went over to chat with them, and I found out that he had to run to the bathroom a few times because they had eaten so much before class! I was like, “Um, well what did you eat before class?” After all, that class was only at noon. Susan said, “Eggs and stuff. But what really did it was that last pancake we had right before we walked out the door!” Wow. At first I was a bit shocked that they would eat before yoga class— but then I really started to ask myself, “Do they even know that they shouldn’t be eating before class? Have I discussed food with them enough so they have guidelines to know what they should and should not be eating?”

What is funny is that most of my yoga students don’t know that I am a nutritionist, or that I have this blog. 🙂  Sure, they notice I travel every few weeks to LA and that I’m gone a fair amount, but I never felt comfortable pushing anything on them. But now I realize that in holding back other parts of what I’m doing and what I’m all about, I may have been inadvertently not benefiting them as much as I could.

After all, as Dharma said, you must talk to your students about food. Food is energy, just as yoga is energy and promotes the flow of energy throughout the body. They are intrinsically connected, and how we eat is part of our practice. In a larger extent, all parts of our life are completely connected in the same way. If we work out all the time, but don’t give our body the most nutritious food, for instance, there is a disconnect. And if we practice yoga and eat well, but don’t treat other people with love and kindness, there is a disconnect. And if we eat good food, but work in a toxic work environment in a job we find vastly unfulfilling, there is a disconnect as well. When I work with people in my nutritional counseling sessions, I often see that when there is an imbalance with obsessing over food or there is a major issues in some way- there are imbalances in other parts of their life. These could include self esteem issues, work stress, trying to be perfect in everything, deep sadness or loneliness. The point is that the food issue can be the symptom, and the way the issue is expressing itself, but if we don’t balance other parts of our life the food issue(s) will never fully get fixed either.

So tonight at the end of my large group class, I did what I have been taught by Dharma to do to fulfill my duties as a yoga teacher- I talked to them about their diet. I explained that how they eat has a direct affect on how they feel, and their practice. I told them it was really important that they did not eat for at least 2 hours before yoga class, as their food would still be digesting, and they would not feel their best. I talked about eating fresh produce and living, supporting foods, and even told them about my blog (!).

I must say that I feel good about doing that. I want to give my students all that I can give them, and why was I holding back about the info we have here on our blog community, that might benefit them, or at least some of them? It is sort of like how soon I’ll have a yoga video to offer to you guys that are interested in yoga, that has a beginner and intermediate series, as those that are benefiting from the food tips we talk about here might also like the yoga I practice. 🙂

So I encourage you to look to see where there are some disconnects in your own life. If we take a deep look, we might find some places that are a bit contradictory, or where we hold one part away from another. The more alignment we have in our lives, the more in harmony we are and the stronger we get towards achieving our goals. And the more we grow and progress, which is really what the journey of life is all about!

I feel like a student every day myself. I am so grateful for all my yoga students, and for all of YOU In our blog community, that continue to support me and help me learn every single day! Thank you so much.
See you back here soon here.
Lots and lots of love,
Kimberly

” Treat every other being exactly the same, with absolutely no discrimination. Treat everyone with love and kindness.”

– Sri Dharma Mittra

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Happy Holidays… and Twisting to Detox From Them! :)

December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Guys!! I am a huge fan of twists in yoga to detox, which twist out our liver and kidneys, and old stagnant energy.

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday! I’m at my parents house, wearing my pajamas that I used to wear in high school. 🙂 I promise to write more when I get back to NY.

Lots of love and light,

Kimberly

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Easy Inversion for Beauty (Instant Facelift!), Calmness and Peace

December 15, 2009


Hey Guys! Inversions are great for mental clarity, stimulating the endocrine system, bringing a beautiful glow to the face, and bringing prana to our upper chakras. The fresh blood flow and oxygen is indeed like getting an instant facelift!

Hare pose (not Hair pose! 🙂 ), is an easy inversion almost everyone can do. If you are more flexible, you can try holding on to your ankles the whole time, and bringing your head down closer to your knees.

Namaste and Shanti!

Kimberly


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Quick Yoga Video Tutorials Part 1: Tips for Some Basic Poses

December 14, 2009

So it was a gorgeous day in Santa Monica today, and I decided to shoot a few quick yoga tutorials for some common issues in form and alignment for a few common poses. There are a bunch more!

Hope this helps you in your practice. PS- The next few videos are easy movements anyone can do at home- whether you have an existing yoga practice or not!

Shanti and Love, Kimberly

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More Random Thoughts: Raw Food, Yoga…

December 12, 2009

Hi My Loves,

Yes, my brain does like to jump around sometimes. Not in a frenetic ADD way, but more in a way where I get really excited about a lot of different thoughts all at the same time that I want to share! While they don’t all really seem interrelated- well, I think everything really is related.

Here are some random thoughts- to give you an idea of that is playing on in my head:

1.  I know it is cold and winter because my coconut oil has turned white and solid. What should I do?
In a word- nothing. We love our coconut oil because it is a wonderful and commonly used ingredient in raw deserts, and because when we apply it topically it penetrates and makes our skin smooth and hydrated. It doesn’t matter whether it is a liquid oil or a solid butter- it will still work the same. I actually like it when the jar I keep near my bed to put on my skin gets a bit thicker and more milky. It is a little easier to scoop out how much I put on. When it is liquid it is a bit more unwieldy, and yes I have definitely oiled my sheets up more than once!

You don’t have to worry about refrigerating coconut oil in any form. If you are mixing a recipe by hand (like my Raw Cacao Truffles recipe) and you are worried that your coconut oil is too chunky to mix well, I would just sit your jar on your stove, which is always slightly warm anyway, and it should liquefy quite nicely.

2. I know it is winter because my body is craving warm food and cooked food sometimes. Great! It is important to transition with the seasons. No one said you have to eat 100% raw to get amazing, fantastic results. Some cooked food can be very beneficial in fact, as long as it is placed correctly and is easily digestible food. I do NOT believe in the die-hard 100% raw food philosophy people that promotes if you eat anything cooked you are doing something really “bad.” Please! Who wants to live a life of restriction?? To me, that is sort of like the calorie-counting people, which are also restricted and have to know how many calories are going into their mouth at all times. I reject both of those schools.

This is really a whole blog post which I’ll do soon as it is getting colder- and could really fill a whole book on how to eat, but I will say a few things. Non-cream soups like Miso soup and vegetable soup are fine. If you feel like something heavier, like a grain for dinner, I recommend quinoa, millet or amaranth after you’ve eaten a salad, and along with some lightly steamed vegetables. You can spice it up and make a whole meal out of it. Delicious!

Days when you eat some cooked food I do recommend being sure to have your Green Smoothie that morning, and also be sure to have a nice green salad beforehand. Remember that if we eat very well most of the time, and follow certain rules, such as the ones I just said, you are not being “bad” for eating some cooked food sometimes!

3.    I know it is winter because I can intuitively feel that my yoga practice needs more fire. Of course, this could apply to other forms of movement. In winter, it is easy to want to close ourselves off, burrow ourselves in our homes and apartments, and withdraw. We are wrapped up in layers and layers of clothes, hustling to get from place to place and spending much less time in the fresh air and the outdoors.

With all this happening, we need to be conscious that we are not closing our heart chakras. We need to find ways to stay open and passionate, engaged with what excites us and makes us feel alive and energized and joyous. We have to put out a bit more effort in the winter to ensure we are still living our life to the fullest and not getting sucked into a familiar routine that just rolls along. Where is the fire??

One way I am actively seeking and bringing more fire into my own life is with my yoga practice and the way I teach yoga. After warming up I am bringing a much more a fiery routine with sun salutations, faster and more modern music than I might usually play in my classes, and series where I have my students move one breath per pose. It is really helping me feel the fire right now. I love it! We much naturally adjust to the seasons and the cycles of nature. How can you bring in more fire into your own life right now?

4.    Along those lines, it is a good time to be reminded to remain unattached. With the closing off of the heart chakra and feeling more withdrawn, we tend to get a bit more attached to our routines and the minute components of our life because it makes us feel safe and so we have something to cling to. Have you gotten more upset lately over something that usually wouldn’t bother you? Of course, the upcoming holidays can also add more stress…

Yesterday in fact, I had a few situations that challenged this in me : 1) I was at a crappy airport terminal at JFK with 0 good food selections, and I was truly starving and about to get on a 6 hour flight. I did the best I could- baked rice chips and a not so great salad. Instead of dwelling on being mad at myself for not bringing food, or that I would throw myself off, I focused on letting it go. I also counter balanced it by not eating any peanuts on the airplane- alflatoxin mold! Even if I was near dying I don’t think I would eat those peanuts. 🙂

2 ) I take my friends’ yoga class once in a while and I get really excited when I can make it. And yesterday there was an unexpected sub! I noticed that feeling of frustration rising up, and I immediately took some deep breaths and tried to open up. And you know what? I loved the sub! She had beautiful energy. (And yes, I do think it is important for yoga teachers to keep being students as well!).

3) I was stuck in a cab for 2 hours and missed my flight. I had to pay a $50 change fee and got stuck with a middle seat instead of my original window seat. I am actually sitting in that middle seat as I write to you! I did get a bit put off for a minute, but then I realized, DOES IT REALLY MATTER? What’s the big rush anyways? I’m still breathing, still alive, and ultimately, everything will be okay. So I got to LA a few hours later- it is worth getting upset and secreting a large amount of harmful stress hormones?
Things are never such a big deal when we step back and become unattached to a specific outcome (even if we have to force ourselves to do so sometimes), and realize that in the big scope, 99% of the stuff we are attached to can shift, and it is okay. Being unattached in a very important practice, with our food and our lives. We just have to do our best and go with the flow. Everything does happen for a reason!

Love,
Kimberly

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Quick Yoga Video Update with Editor :)

November 18, 2009

Hi Loves, This was a quick video we took Friday in the editing room before I left LA. We were in there for so long we needed to entertain ourselves somehow because we were all getting a little stir crazy. I just want you to know that the project is still ongoing.

I’m about to leave for the airport AGAIN! But I will write more later or tomorrow.

Love! Kimberly

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Amma: Pure Love

July 8, 2009

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So what is a hug really? Well I think it can take many different forms. First, there is the stiff, mandatory kind of hug you would awkwardly give a co-worker (that you don’t really like) when you have to present a birthday present, maybe on behalf of the company department. Then there is a delicate hug, say of your spouse’s grandmother, where you don’t want to crush her, and sort of do the “patting the back” routine… And there are the sweeter than sweet, priceless hugs of a dear, dear friend, a loving mother, and a lover. Well I experienced a whole other kind of hug altogether yesterday, by the incredibly beautiful soul Amma, right here in New York City at the Manhattan Center.

Amma-HomePage

Who is Amma? She is an Indian woman referred to as the “Hugging Saint!” That’s right, she goes around hugging people- referred to as darshan, to anyone that comes before her. 🙂 Her teachings are universal to all, and she says that her religion is Love. She does not ask anyone to believe in God or to change their faith, but only to inquire into their own real nature, and believe in themselves.

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So I got to the center around 9 am, and as a first-timer, had the honor to be placed 10 feet or so, at Amma’s feet while I waited my turn (we were given tags with letters). For the next few hours, I was completely transfixed on her beautiful face- there was so much light and really….just pure love. There is no other way to say it! I watched her hug person after person, people of all religions and ethnicities, completely encapsulating them in her bosom, then rocking them back and forth in again…pure love. I watched grown men, children, and everyone in between transform in her arms. Many would collapse and begin to sob, as if just experiencing Amma’s simple act of pure, unconditional love was all they needed to open up some dark corner of their heart, or show them what real love was and let down their guard to the truth of their spirit. It was so beautiful and touching that I was crying myself!

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After 3 ½ hours, it was my turn. As I humbly approached Amma on my knees, she just swooped me up and I was embraced in an all-encompassing wave of love, her sweet rose smell, and her whispering in my ear of Indian mantras. It was timeless. Then as she finished and I was shuffled to the side, I felt an incredible warmth in my heart. Yes, it was pure love!

So whether you view Amma as a saint, a guru, or simply an incredibly compassionate humanitarian, she is a living example that this one simple act of love can transform someone deeply, and permanently. And she is tireless in spreading her love: In the past 28 years, she has physically hugged more than 28 million people from all parts of the world. In India, her home country, she has been known to individually embrace over 20,000 people in one day, sitting sometimes for over 22 hours without a moment’s break.

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It is this very pure love itself which fuels the incredible success of Amma’s charitable work, which is staggering. It is her love that motivates thousands that she embraces to wake up into action, service. Her organization raised $46 million in tsunami relief funding, feeds over 2 million people a year in India, provides free housing, health services, and lifetime stipends for the poor, has established 53 schools for needy children and those with speech and hearing defects, programs to end suicide, free meditation classes for prisoners, setting up orphanages and hospices…the list is endless. And (very close to my heart), she established the Green Friends program in 2001 to help protect our environment, with initiatives like planting 100,000 trees a year and providing sustainability education. In 2005, Amma’s organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, was given special consultative status by the United Nations.

Yes! This is one person! In the words of one of my all-time major heroes, Dr. Jane Goodall, who presented Amma with the 2002 Gandhi-King Award for Non-violence said, “She stands here in front of us. God’s love in a human body.”

Since yesterday, I have had Amma constantly on my mind. It is as if since we touched hearts, we are ever- connected. I think one amma-the-hugging-saintof her brilliant silent statements, as she proceeds to hug people week after week and year after year, is that the simple act of pure love…and giving a hug!, can be so powerful that we don’t even realize sometimes how we can help lift someone up, reinspire someone to pursue their dreams or help others, or believe again in love and the inextricable human connection.

Sometimes we might feel self conscious about hugging, even touching people. I am used to touching people all day long as a yoga instructor, but I realize that this is so not the case with many of us. When we hug we can really embrace and pass love, and a silent wish for the other persons’ well being and peace. Amma’s philosophy of living a life of non-duality, of seeing ourselves more and more in others, would definitely transform the whole world into a more loving place if everyone adopted it.

Amma is a beautiful example to all of us!! So let’s… smile at a stranger, consciously send love whenever we do hug someone, and remember that truly….we are all connected.

With warmth and Love, Kimberly

PS- I’m going on Good Morning America Saturday morning to talk about more cleaning stuff! So tune in around 9 am if you are around, otherwise check back here for more cleaning and detox talk soon.

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In Amma's home country and one of my favorite countries: India. Here I am somewhere near the Pakistan border in Rajasthan.