By Kelley Travis
When using street shoes to participate in an indoor-cycling class, you are putting unnecessary stress on your feet. Everyday shoes are designed to provide comfort and support for activities such as walking, running, and standing but not bicycling. When you place the soft sole of normal shoes onto a bike pedal, they bend. This causes all of the force and stress to be placed upon a small area of the foot. This in turn can cause pain and discomfort.
Have you ever had the sensation of the ball of your foot burning, or your toes tingling?
When using shoes designed for bicycling, you will notice that the sole is very stiff. Although this is not desirable for normal activities, it is superb for cycling. The stiff sole causes the force of the pedal to be evenly displaced upon your entire foot. This relives stress and discomfort, in addition to enabling you to exert more force into the bike. In addition to the added power and comfort provided by cycling shoes, they have the capability to use cleats. When using cleats for indoor-cycling classes, you are able to clip into the pedals. No longer will your foot slip off of the pedal. Furthermore, you will have even more power through the upstroke by the ability to pull up on the pedal. The above benefits will allow you to ride with greater energy and more importantly, you just might find yourself enjoying the ride more.
By Bonnie Alfonso
New Year’s Resolution: Don’t make one.
Seriously, don’t do it.
“But I just joined Yen Yoga and I am inspired!”
Awesome! Welcome, we are glad you are here.
And we want to make sure you are still inspired by Valentine’s Day,
Memorial Day, and the 4th of July.
Let’s be honest, most of us have a hard time committing to a long range plan and your health and well being are a life time plan.
Seems a bit daunting, so let’s break it down into manageable, achievable steps.
Set a goal for the week: I will workout more days than not this week.
Short term commitment, easy to measure and realistic. Fantastic!
Each Sunday evening review how you did and recommit to your goal.
Some weeks you will hit it, some you won’t, some you will do more. But each week is a new beginning and your health and well being will improve.
A goal is really just a decision to make a consistent choice.
Choose to be inspired, and inspire, week by week.
See you in class!
By Rabbi Chava Bahle
Yoga is part of a larger ethical and spiritual system, rooted in Hinduism, aimed at still the mind and rooting us moment by moment in ultimate reality. In short, its aim is peace – mindful inner peace and mindful outer peace.
I had to take some time off yoga as I dealt with the effects of a serious car accident which occurred last month. It was simply too painful to consider the mat. Along with feeling the pain, soreness and stiffness that resulted directly from the crash, I also become aware that being unable to do yoga for some weeks had a noticeable impact upon my emotional and spiritual state of being.
Some trace the etymology of the Sanskrit word yoga to cognates like “to add, to join, to unite”. It become quite clear that, without regular practice, I felt disjointed, out of touch and isolated. My inner peace level was quite low.
When I was finally able to return to something of a regular practice, the effects were immediate: not only was able to be on the mat again, but I was part of something meaningful – the community of fellow yogis who support and nourish my practice simply by being present.
Yoga isn’t only about turning inward to cultivate peace, calm and good ju-ju; it is also about the way we move through the world, as part of something that matters. I am reading a great book on the process of Appreciative Inquiry, a change process based on strengths and carrying forward good things upon which we can build. The author notes note that it matters to us whether we matter or not.
Part of the peace of yoga is knowing we are a piece of something – a class, a group of learners, a lineage of teachers, a system of being.
When you do yoga, even if you are alone, you are part of something – a great lineage of seekers, whose ultimate aim is to change the world in a place of peace, justice and love. The moment you roll out your mat and commit to practice, you are paying forward a great gift of wisdom and promise.
I am grateful to be back on the mat, part of a community and reconnected to an important spiritual truth: everyone matters.
“The kinds of things that happen when you meditate do have effects throughout the body, not just in the brain.”
“Unlike earlier studies, this one is the first to focus on participants with high levels of stress. The study published in May in the medical journal PloS One showed that one session of relaxation-response practice was enough to enhance the expression of genes involved in energy metabolism and insulin secretion and reduce expression of genes linked to inflammatory response and stress. There was an effect even among novices who had never practiced before.
Harvard isn’t the only place where scientists have started examining the biology behind yoga…”
Find the rest of the article here.
I am always on the lookout for new, healthy, but most importantly delicious recipes. Here is a great minestrone recipe I found using quinoa instead of pasta (perfect for my wheat sensitivity) and with the possibility to be sugar and diary free. The original is here, but I made some small changes to fit my personal eating needs and preferences (my substitutes are in italics).
The best part about a good minestrone is that you really can’t mess it up–a necessity if you are a novice in the kitchen like yours truly. Add some of your favorite ingredients or, better yet, use what is available seasonally. Be creative!
- 1 sweet onion – medium diced
- 2 celery stalks – medium diced
- 3 carrots – medium diced
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
- 2 cups fresh zucchini – medium diced (about 1 medium or 2 small)
- 2 cups green beans – cut in 1 inch pieces (I left these out accidentally, but it was still great!)
- 1 bell pepper – medium diced
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 28-ounce cans of water
- 1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups kale – stems removed
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (or to taste)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Garnish with parmesan to taste (I left this out, no dairy for me)
- Garnish with slivered basil or finely chopped rosemary
Place a large stockpot over medium heat and add the oil, onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes or until softened.
Add the garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for about one minute or until garlic begins to color.
Add the zucchini and the green beans, season with salt and pepper, add the turmeric, stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the water, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat to medium/low and allow the soup to gently boil (uncovered) for about 20 minutes.
Add the quinoa and cover for 15 minutes.
Remove the cover, add the kale and the canned beans (more water if needed) bring back to a gentle boil and cook for another 5 minutes or just until the kale is tender.
I can’t put my foot anywhere interesting. I can’t commit to that amount of time. Or that amount of money. But I can’t get it out of my head. Does this thought pattern sound familiar?
You lay awake at night wondering, “what if?” You have a deep curiosity about the anatomy and philosophy only skimmed on the surface during your favorite yoga classes. You readily engage in conversations about how yoga has changed your life: body, mind, and soul. You’re constantly apologizing to your friends about your yoga hair and explaining that yoga pants are simply more versatile and, therefore, a better investment than regular pants. The experts agree, only you will know if you’re ready.
Check out the teacher training program at Yen Yoga & Fitness. It could be just what you’ve been looking for.
Mallory Weggemann’s story of triumph is nothing short of amazing. Watch and share her inspiration!