On & Off The Mat – A Yoga Blog

by Christy DeBurton

 

A student recently asked me what some of my favorite vegan products are from local grocery stores. Instead of writing a list I took a few pictures of things I actually have in my kitchen right now so that they’d be easier for her to locate when she went shopping. I thought I’d share them here with you too!

 

The Just Egg is the closest egg substitute I’ve tried for making things like vegan scrambled eggs. We like to add a little Kala Namak Black Salt to it to give it a little more egg-y of a flavor (and of course all your favorite vegetables for a good scramble). 

 

Violife is our favorite brand when it comes to cheese substitutes, the cheddar slices in particular, though we’ve tried a few of their other kinds. They’re made out of coconut oil! Ripple is pea protein milk, and I use the unsweetened variety in everything you would normally use milk in. I think its consistency is closest to milk out of all the non-dairy milks I’ve tried and its taste is very neutral (mind you, I don’t drink it out of a glass, just cooking/baking with it). Califia Farms Better-Half is my go-to for a 1/2 & 1/2 substitute for my coffee, made with almond and coconut milk. And of course I was thrilled when Ben & Jerry’s came out with their line of non-dairy ice creams a few years ago!

 

Trader Joe’s has pleasantly surprised me with their vegan selections. The potstickers are a go-to easy meal in our house. I just recently tried the high protein tofu and like how firm it is (so you don’t have to press out the water yourself). And their vegan mayo is my favorite of the non-egg mayos I’ve tried out there.

 

Try them out and let me know what you think (or if you have any questions). I just ask one favor: Don’t buy them all out so that the next time I go grocery shopping I can’t find them. That seems to be happening more and more lately as more people are realizing the benefits of transitioning to a more plant-based diet! ;)

 

(You can click on the pictures for a slightly larger view.)

 

 

 

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Plantar fasciitis is a pretty common complaint that I hear from yoga students. Since I just had another student asking me about it I thought I would post these two short videos from some anatomy-based yoga teachers here so that you can educate yourself in the hopes of preventing plantar fasciitis yourself, or mitigating it the next time you have a flare up. And…remember what I always say about lifting your arches in poses like Warrior 1?!?! It can make all the difference in the world. 

 

 

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR

 

Remembering to pause and take a breath before we react, can shift the energy of the outcome.

 

We have all had the experience of reacting in a way that was less than ideal upon hearing bad news, or being unfairly criticized, or being told something we did not want to hear. This makes sense because when our emotions are triggered, they tend to take center stage, inhibiting our ability to pause before we speak. We may feel compelled to release the tension by expressing ourselves in some way, whether it’s yelling back at the person yelling at us, or rushing to deliver words of comfort to a friend in trouble. However, there is much to be said for teaching ourselves to remember to pause and take a deep breath before we respond to the shocks and insults that can come our way in life.

 

For one thing, our initial response is not always what’s best for us, or for the other people involved. Reacting to childish rage with childish rage will only escalate the negativity in a situation, further ensnaring us in an undesirable dynamic. Similarly, when we react defensively, or simply thoughtlessly, we often end up feeling regret over our words or actions. In the end, we save ourselves a lot of pain when we take a deep breath and really tune in to ourselves, and the other person, before we respond. This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t say anything, although in some cases, that may be the best option.

 

Some situations require a fairly immediate response, but even just a moment of grounding ourselves before we do so can help enormously. The next time you find yourself wanting to react, try to pause, and in that pause, take a deep breath. Feel your feet on the floor, the air on your skin, and listen for a response to arise within you, rather than just going with the first thing that pops into your head. You may find that in that moment, there is the potential to move beyond reaction and into the more subtle and creative realm of response, where something new can happen.

 

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR

 

There is power in knowing your personal limits – your willingness to accept these limits can give you the means to flourish.

 

Every human life is defined, to some extent, by limits. No one person is capable of fulfilling every possibility. We are all born with unique aptitudes and sensitivities, and it is these qualities that largely determine the paths we will travel in life. What invigorates, excites, and inspires one individual may exhaust or overwhelm another. When we understand what we as individuals are capable of reasonably handling, we gradually learn to accept that we have control over our wellbeing. Yet determining where our limits lie can be difficult, as it is likely we have been told time and again that the discomfort, fatigue, and stress we felt while engaging in activities outside the range of our comfort zones was all in our heads. If you have never before given thought to the notion of personal limits, creating a list of those tasks and situations that leave you feeling drained can give you insight into your own.

 

You will know definitively that you are operating within your limits when you have the necessary energy and drive to address your personal and professional commitments. This is not to say you should not push yourself or work to extend the range of your capabilities. The wisdom you gain through dynamic self-examination will give you the tools you need to create an individual life strategy that allows you to achieve your goals without compromising yourself or your needs. The limits you honor by focusing your energy on what you can do rather than what you cannot do will not interfere with your ambitions unless you allow them to interfere. You can thrive within your limits, actively shape your circumstances, and avoid anguish by simply recognizing that certain aspects of life nourish you while others drain you, and doing your best to perceive the fine line between applying yourself diligently and overworking yourself.

 

You may be surprised to discover that your limits change over time. Your willingness to accept these limits as they reveal themselves to you can smooth your passage through life and give you the means to flourish.

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR

 

Speaking our truth may involve risking rejection, but when we allow ourselves to follow the flow of life, we are supported.

 

As children most of us learn that honesty is better than dishonesty, and we may not question this beyond whether or not to do what we’re told. As adults, however, we can go deeper to examine our choices as investments of energy with predictable risks and returns. When we speak the truth, we affirm what already is. This is like using a paddle when the stream is already moving the same direction. We are already supported by the universe and its energy flow, so we don’t need to exert much energy, leaving more for other pursuits. But dishonesty redirects a portion of our energy against the flow, which requires extra effort. In addition, it creates an alternate reality that requires further energetic input to be maintained. So we can easily see that we are best served when we work with the flow of the universe.

 

Life is not always clearly defined, so we may find it useful to follow our choices to their logical conclusions. We may feel that little untruths are harmless, but they can be like small cracks that weaken an overall structure over time. Even giving someone a compliment or trying to protect them can create problems later when the alternate reality we’ve created becomes the basis for further actions. Even if the actions that follow are honestly done, the underlying unstable foundation of dishonesty will threaten to topple things eventually. This can lead to further energy being spent on keeping things hidden, working to remember the tales we’ve spun and fearing the consequences of being found out. Life doesn’t need to be this draining, but we can make the choice to free ourselves from the bonds of dishonesty at any time.

 

Speaking and living our truth may involve risking, among other things, the possibility of rejection. But when we allow ourselves to follow the flow of life, we are supported. We can then use our energy to cultivate physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being and to create our dreams, rather than leaving ourselves too drained to even maintain our existence. Today we can make honesty our choice in every interaction, bringing the nurturing power of the universe’s energy into our lives to bring positive, lasting results.

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR
When we are hard on ourselves, we send our bodies the message that we are not good enough.

 

One of the key components of human consciousness that most of us need to address and change is our tendency to be hard on ourselves. We do this in ways that are both overt and subtle, and half the work sometimes is recognizing that we are doing it at all. For example, if we find it difficult to graciously accept compliments, this is probably a sign that we tend to be hard on ourselves. Other ways in which we express this tendency include never feeling satisfied with a job well done, always wanting to be and do better, and getting mad at ourselves for getting sick. Getting mad at ourselves at all indicates that we need to rescue ourselves from our learned ability to be unkind to ourselves.

 

In essence, when we are hard on ourselves, we send our bodies the message that we are not good enough. Whenever we do this, we do damage that will need to be addressed later, and we sap our systems of much-needed energy. Being hard on ourselves is a waste of precious time and energy that we could use in positive ways. To begin to understand how this works, we can think about times when someone made us feel that we weren’t good enough. Even just thinking about it will create an effect in our bodies that doesn’t feel good. We may be used to the feeling, but when we really tune into it, we instinctively know that it is not good for us on any level.

 

Like any bad habit, being hard on ourselves can be a challenging one to release, but the more we feel the burden it places on us, the more motivated we will be to change. At first, just noticing when we are doing it and how it makes us feel is enough. As our awareness increases, our innate impulse toward health and well-being will be activated, moving us out of danger and into a more positive and more natural relationship with ourselves.

 

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Every thought we think and every action we take has an impact on the world around us.

 

Every thought we think and every action we take has an impact on the world around us. To be aware of this is to be conscious of our impact on the people in our lives. Sometimes we just want to do what we want to do, but considering the full ramifications of our actions can be an important part of our spiritual growth and awareness. At first, being more conscious requires effort, but once we have made it a habit, it becomes second nature. The more we practice this awareness of others, the more we find ourselves in easy alignment with our integrity.

 

Our thoughts are an important place to begin this practice because our thoughts are the seeds of our actions. It is not necessary or beneficial to obsessively monitor all our thoughts, but we can perhaps choose one thought or action per day and simply notice if we are in alignment with this experience of integrity. For example, we may find ourselves replaying a negative encounter with someone in our minds. We may think that this doesn’t affect the person about whom we are thinking, but the laws of energy tell us that it does. When we hold someone negatively in our minds, we risk trapping them in negativity. If we were this person, we might wish for forgiveness and release. We can offer this by simply letting go of the negative thought and replacing it with a wish for healing on that person’s behalf.

 

With regard to our actions, we may have something difficult to express to someone. Taking the time to consider how we would feel if we were in his or her shoes will enable us to communicate more sensitively than we would if we just expressed ourselves from our own perspective. When we modify our approach by taking someone else’s feelings into account, we bring benefit to that person and ourselves equally. The more we do this, the more we reaffirm our integrity and the integrity of our relationship to the world.

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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14

5:30-7:30pm 

**SOLD OUT! CONTACT INFO@CHRISTYDEBURTON.COM

TO BE PUT ON WAITLIST.** 

 

In this fun 2-hour vegan happy hour class you’ll discover how easy it is to add more plant-based options to your menus. Sample several healthy, delicious vegan recipes, ask questions, get answers, and separate vegan facts from fiction. Beer, wine & non-alcoholic beverages included!

 

 

 

$45 early reg by 11/7; $55 after.

6 student limit; register soon!

Pay in person at the studio or click HERE* to register.

 

 

Your Hosts: Yoga Room owner Christy DeBurton has a passion for healthy living. She has been a vegetarian for over 20 years and 99% vegan for the past two. Bill Mayer has been a vegetarian for over 25 years and mostly vegan for the past two. A U-M alum, Bill also holds a degree from the Culinary Institute of America in NY.

 

(*Please note: There is a small $2 service fee to pay online with a credit card.)

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR

When dealing with people who seem very unaware, remember that everyone must find their own way to awakening.

 

You may be someone who understands the true nature of reality, perceiving deeply that we all emanate from the same source, that we are all essentially one, and that we are here on earth to love one another. To understand this is to be awakened to the true nature of the self, and it is a blessing. Nevertheless, people who just don’t get it are seemingly everywhere and, often, in positions of power. It can be frustrating and painful to watch them behave unconsciously. We all encounter individuals of this bent in our families, at work, and in all areas of public life. It is easy to find ourselves feeling intolerant of these people, wishing we could be free of them even though we know that separation from them is an illusion.

 

It helps sometimes to think of us all as different parts of one psyche. Just as within our own hearts and minds we have dark places that need healing, the heart and mind of the world has its dark places. The health of the whole organism depends upon the relative health of the individuals within it. We increase harmony when we hold onto the light, not allowing it to be darkened by judgment, anger, and fear about those who behave unconsciously. It’s easier to accomplish this if we don’t focus on the negative qualities of individuals and instead focus on how increasing our own light will increase the light of the overall picture.

 

When dealing with people who seem very unconscious, it helps to remember that everyone must find their own way to awakening and that the experiences they are having are an essential part of their process. Holding them in the light of our own energy may be the best way to awaken theirs. At the same time, we are inspired by their example to look within and shed light on our own unconscious places, sacrificing the urge to judge and surrendering instead to humble self-inquiry.

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR
In order to forgive, we need to stop identifying ourselves with the suffering that was caused to us.

 

When someone has hurt us, consciously or unconsciously, one of the most difficult things we have to face in resolving the situation is the act of forgiveness. Sometimes it feels like it’s easier not to forgive and that the answer is to simply cut the person in question out of our lives. In some cases, ending the relationship may be the right thing to do, but even in that case, we will only be free if we have truly forgiven. If we harbor bitterness in our hearts against anyone, we only hurt ourselves because we are the ones harboring the bitterness. Choosing to forgive is choosing to alleviate ourselves of that burden, choosing to be free of the past, and choosing not to perceive ourselves as victims.

 

One of the reasons that forgiveness can be so challenging is that we feel we are condoning the actions of the person who caused our suffering, but this is a misunderstanding of what is required. In order to forgive, we simply need to get to a place where we are ready to stop identifying ourselves with the suffering that was caused us. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, and our forgiveness of others is an extension of our readiness to let go of our own pain. Getting to this point begins with fully accepting what has happened. Through this acceptance, we allow ourselves to feel and process our emotions.

 

It can be helpful to articulate our feelings in writing over a period of days or even weeks. As we allow ourselves to say what we need to say and ask for what we need to heal, we will find that this changes each day. It may be confusing, but it is a sign of progress. At times we may feel as if we are slogging uphill through dense mud and thick trees, getting nowhere. If we keep going, however, we will reach a summit and see clearly that we are finally free of the past. From here, we recognize that suffering comes from suffering, and compassion for those who have hurt us naturally arises, enhancing our new perspective.

 

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