On & Off The Mat – A Yoga Blog

by Christy DeBurton

 

2013-09-28 13.33.30

 

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

 

Going on retreat is a time to cocoon, so that we may emerge ready to return to our lives with a new perspective.

 

Occasionally, we need to pause – and step away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. One way to do this is to get away from our daily life and go on retreat. Far more than a vacation, a retreat offers us time to ourselves to rest, heal, reflect, and renew our spirit. It is a time to cocoon so that we may emerge renewed, refreshed, and ready to return to our everyday lives with a new perspective. A retreat gives us time for uninterrupted meditation so that we may go deep within and spend time with ourselves.

 

A retreat may offer quiet, solitude, and sometimes even silence. Retreats often take place in humble dwellings with simple fare so that our senses may be reawakened to the beauty of unadorned tastes and the sights and sounds of nature. When we spend days in contemplation, we can more easily hear our heart when it speaks to us. We also are able to really listen when a bird sings, deeply breathe in the smell of flowers, grass, or earth, and delight in a soft breeze blowing on our cheek. When we go on retreat we have time to connect to the sacred geometry of a labyrinth, discover epiphanies through asanas, or take a long, reflective walk through the woods where we can give each step our full attention.

 

Without the pull of deadlines, relationships, the Internet, or other media, we give ourselves time to go deep into our own solitude where we can fully reflect on our joys, sorrows, and fears, owning and releasing them as needed. We may even come to know and understand our life path more deeply. Hopefully, when we return home, we can take a little bit of this time alone back with us and create the space for deep reflection on a daily basis. We also may come back to our life renewed and ready to take on the world. The beauty of going on retreat is that no matter where you go or how long you stay, you’ll always meet yourself when you get there.

 

Check out the details HERE for The Ann Arbor Yoga Room’s 2019 Fall Retreat. Join us!

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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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