TTP Graduate Q&A: Ishana Nixon

Name: Ishana Nixon
Age: 50
Hometown: Sherwood Park, Alberta
Completed Yoga for Today Teacher Training: July 2016
Currently: Teaching a chair yoga class at an extended care facility

Yoga for Today: Why did you choose Yoga for Today for your teacher training?
Ishana: I had taken classes at YFT and was impressed with the quality of instruction as well as the relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Yoga for Today: What three words would you choose to describe your TTP experience?
Ishana: Empowering. Enjoyable. Informative.

Yoga for Today: How would you describe your experience in more detail?
Ishana: The experience was quite profound. The initial, intensive five-day session opened my mind to the deep benefits and broad applications of yoga. I gained a sense of accomplishment in having taken my body through the physical rigour required.

The experience of doing something I thought I could not do was empowering and wonderful. I was filled with enthusiasm and hope, and I was eager to get out and create yoga experiences for myself and others.

On the practical side, I learned how to prepare detailed lesson plans – timing, content and effective delivery.

Yoga for Today: So you learned how to teach a yoga class, but what else did you walk away with? In what ways was it about more than teaching yoga?
Ishana: I walked away with increased self-confidence. More than just learning, it was an opportunity to develop deep connections and friendships with fellow students and teachers.

Yoga for Today: Did your teacher training experience shift your life, outlook, thinking, practice, etc.? How so?
Ishana: Overall, I have changed from being cautious and nervous about taking on new challenges and have become more willing to explore new opportunities and take risks.

I am a happier and stronger person.

Yoga for Today: How does yoga show up in your life off the mat?
Ishana: The philosophy of yoga helps me work through troublesome life situations, such as conflicts with others, making difficult decisions or dealing with personal crises.

Yoga for Today: What’s next on your yoga journey? What more do you want to learn?
Ishana: I want to continue to improve my own fitness level through yoga and meditation, learn more about teaching people with low mobility, and continue learning about the history and philosophy of yoga.

Yoga for Today: What words would you offer to someone interested in pursuing teacher training?
Ishana: The TTP at YfT is an excellent, well-balanced program, covering both the practical and the philosophical aspects of yoga. The instructors are experienced and willing to share their skills and wisdom. The program will build your confidence and help open your mind to new opportunities.

If you are a graduate of Yoga for Today’s Teacher Training Program, and you’re interested in sharing your experience, please email

Learn more about our 200-Hr Teacher Training Program.



Parvati Magazine – June issue

With the theme of “Stepping Up”, the June issue of Parvati Magazine features exclusive interviews with Kathryn Budig, Kelly Starrett, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Brendan Synnott of PACT Organics, Irene Falcone of Nourished Life, Jennifer Italiano of Live Organic Food and David Allen of Getting Things Done. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to realizing MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. The organization is supported by people in our Yoga for Today community who selflessly volunteer their time to support this global cause.



Fern’s Fables… on Making Your Own Sprays Using Essential Oils

Here are a variety of sprays you can make at home with essential oils.

Here’s a refreshing face spray

You can make a nice face spray that is useful as a toner, or to set your makeup, using essential oils. They possess very active ingredients, with antibacterial qualities for those prone to zits, and also have toning, tightening and hydrating qualities.

You will need a glass oil dropper bottle (15 to 30 ml) to make your oil mixture. Optimum Health has glass bottles. Or you can even clean and boil one of those little squeeze-top dropper bottles if you may have an empty one, from another product.

Drop these oils into your mix bottle:

  • 20 drops Rosemary
  • 16 drops Lavender
  • 10 drops Geranium
  • 2 drops Cyprus
  • 2 drops Thyme

Shake it up and you have your basic essential oil mix for the face spray. An option is to add four drops of Frankincense and four drops of Ylang Ylang, to your basic mix, which will make it a bit more hydrating.

Once you’ve made your basic mix, you will need:

  • A 100 ml glass spray bottle, which you can get at Optimum Health
  • A bottle of Witch Hazel, available at any drug store
  • Distilled water used for diluting the oils

Fill your spray bottle 1/4 full with Witch Hazel. Then add about 30 drops of your essential oil mixture. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with distilled water, being careful not to overfill. If this happens, you lose the oils, which will be on top. Put the lid on securely and shake well before each use.

Note: The Witch Hazel acts as an emulsifier for a few minutes while you are using it. You can add more Witch Hazel if you want a more astringent effect.

You may also make other sprays using the same principals, and just changing the essential oil mix that you are adding.

You can make a handy bug spray

Your essential oil mix would definitely need some Citrus oils; such as Lemon, Lemongrass, Citronella or Bergamot. Then Lavender is a good “bug out” oil. And the Mint oils (Peppermint, Spearmint or Eucalyptus) deter bugs.

Note: You do not need all of these oils. Just see what you have on hand and make your own mix.

Other oils that I may add might be: Rosemary, Tea Tree, Geranium, Thyme, Sage, Cedar, Juniper or Basil. Just play with what you have. Then you put 30 to 40 drops of this mix into your 100 ml glass spray bottle and add the Witch Hazel and distilled water. The Witch Hazel can be increased in a bug spray so you can even use it on a bite, since it has astringent properties.

Experiment with a nice body spray

For men you could use more woody tones, Cedar, Sage, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Juniper, or possibly some Orange, Thyme, Rosemary or Basil.

Women might like Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Rose, Frankincense, Patchouli or Rosemary.

Just experiment with what you have and make your own oil mixes. Thirty to 40 drops of this oil mix is then added to the Witch Hazel and distilled water in your 100 ml spray bottle. Shake well to use.

You can even try a deodorant spray

Many oils are highly antibacterial, so they can be used for a deodorant spray mix. You can use the Witch Hazel and water to dilute for your spray bottle, or you can use a liquid transdermal magnesium oil instead. This gives you some magnesium as well. I get my mag oil at:

Some basic oils to mix are: Tea Tree, Lavender, Thyme, Sage, Basil, Eucalyptus, Lemon or Cedar. Again, you do not need all of these, and you can add other oils to get the fragrance you desire.

Happy May & have fun playing with your own mixes! Fern

Healthy Salads, Dressings & Dips from Tami Hay

Here are some wonderful recipes from Tami Hay’s weekend workshop on Healthy Salads, Dressing & Dips:


  • ½ head purple cabbage
  • ½ head green cabbage
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 small yellow or orange bell pepper
  • Optional:
    ¼ red onion
  • ¼ red onion (optional)
  • ¼ C parsley (optional)

Process in food processor until desired consistency. Place in large bowl and mix.


  • 1-2 T avocado oil or other cold-pressed oil such as olive oil
  • 1-2 T lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt (to taste)
  • 1 T yacon syrup or coconut nectar (optional)
  • 1 tsp Ryan’s Hot Mustard (optional)

If you are adding the mustard, prepare in dressing shaker jar or blender and blend well. If not, you can simply pour ingredients directly on salad and toss.


  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ head purple cabbage, shredded
  • ½ C per person: broccoli florets
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 C sprouts of your choice (mung, broccoli, clover)

Place broccoli and cabbage in a bowl and gently massage with lemon and sea salt. Add peppers and top with dressing.


  • ¼ C avocado oil
  • 1 C pine nuts – soaked to soften (May substitute with cashew nuts)
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T lemon or lime juice
  • ¼ – ½ C water
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 T each: tarragon, marjoram, parsley or other herbs to taste preference
  • 2 T natural sweetener (optional)



Parvati Magazine – May 2017

Yoga for Today is pleased to share the latest issue of Parvati Magazine. The theme for the May issue is laughter. Enjoy articles that bring a smile to your heart and lightness in your step, including a special double feature interview from Dr. Deepak Chopra. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to realizing MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. The organization is supported by people in our Yoga for Today community who selflessly volunteer their time to support this global cause.




Remembering Susie Erdmann ~ March 21, 1927 – April 3, 2017

The information from the first part of this eulogy was gathered from Mom’s autobiography, which she wrote about her family life in Mramorak both before and after the war. Her cousin David Kemle was key in encouraging Mom to write her story, and we are grateful to David for that. Mom’s book is a treasure that conveys the resiliency of the human spirit and how goodness and gratitude surpasses suffering.

Mom was born on March 21, 1927 in Mramorak, Yugoslavia (now known as Banat Serbia) into a family of six children. She had two older brothers, Peter and John, two younger sisters, Margaret and Katie, and a sixth sibling who passed away at birth. Mom’s brother, Peter, died at 17 from blood poisoning from a sliver in his toe.

Living in a town with a population of 4,000, Mom’s parents, like most people (although poor) enjoyed a wonderful family life. People were decent, honest, helpful, clean and hardworking. Every house, including the Kemle home, was whitewashed, included a barn, cows for milking, horses for fieldwork, pigs, chickens, a garden and a few small fruit trees. Most residents had small parcels of land to farm.

Extra income came from raising silkworms, something mom and family enjoyed once the vineyards were looked after and spring work was done.

Extra income also came from having a spot at the Belgrad market place. Mom always enjoyed hearing stories that her Dad shared after his travels of selling and buying goods.

Mom attended four years of school, which was compulsory. She then tended to younger siblings Margaret and Katie and looked after small household chores while her parents worked in the fields.

Attending Church every Sunday was an important tradition in Swabian life. Opa sang in the choir while Mom enjoyed singing duets with her sister, Margaret, or quartets with brothers Peter and John.

Nationalities lived harmoniously together, and different cultures admired and respected one another. Families, friends and neighbours worked, prayed and celebrated together. But things were about to change.

In 1941, when mom was 14, the arrival of German soldiers was the beginning. The regime supported segregation and discrimination between nationalities, which was disturbing for Mom and families.

Two months after occupation, men aged 18 to 60 were drafted by the German army, including Mom’s brother, John.

For those left behind, life was not easy. Fields needing to be cut down now depended on women, old men, young boys and the few men left behind with disabilities, like Mom’s Dad, born with an elbow abnormality.

In 1942, Mom and family started to notice men wandering through their forests. They were unground fighters, known as Partisans whose aim was to sabotage the German Army.

In May 1944, German solders came into Mramorak warning German people to evacuate. Mom’s family, like many other families choose to stay, thinking they’d be safe.

Only two months later, the Russians and Partisans came into Mramorak with all of their might. They beat, plundered, raped and tortured, and within hours of their occupation, picked up 48 innocent German townsmen. The 48 men were imprisoned and tortured beyond recognition. As the oldest daughter, Mom had the daunting task of bringing food to her brutalized father; a task her emotionally fraught mother just couldn’t do.

One evening, Mom’s Serbian neighbour knocked frantically on their door. She came to warn the family of the Russians’ plans to take German girls and woman between 16 and 35. Mom, 17 at the time, hid in her attic for two days. The first night, Partisan guards swarmed the town rounding up screaming women for transport to Siberia. The second night, she hid for fear they’d return.

In March 1945, Partisans stormed mom’s house and ordered the family to gather a few belongings. Townsfolk were herded like cattle onto the street and taken to a vacated section of town where 50 or 60 were jammed into one house.

Daily food rations consisted of a piece of corn bread and coffee. Mom and others old enough to work were organized into work groups. Their job was to teach the Bosnian people who had moved into their homes how to farm.

This camp lasted until everyone was moved to Karlsdorph, where 3,000 townsfolk were packed into an ex-German airplane hanger. It was an unbearable camp, but as bad as things were, mom and her family were still somehow fortunate. They were healthy enough to work, which meant leaving the airplane hanger for the day and finding food.

Mom and family moved camp a third and last time. This time closer to the Hungarian border to an ex-German town called Gakova. The town surrounded by barbed-wire fence and guarded gates had no wood for burning. With winter soon approaching, escape was now or never.

One foggy autumn night, after digging a hole underneath the barbed-wire fence, mom and family took a huge leap of faith and crawled under.

Once out and away from camp, they walked through corn and sugar beet fields. They bartered their quilts and pillows (their last possession) in exchange for help to cross the Hungarian border.

Once in Hungry, they worked for a good-hearted famer and his wife, making enough money to travel by train to the Austrian border.

When they finally arrived at the Red Cross Camp in Austria in October 1947, they knew, for the first time in 30 months, they were safe.

Mom enjoyed two fun-filled years in the beautiful country of Austria. She loved the people and the lifestyle, attended Garden festivals, a modern dance school and even learned the fox trot and tango. She danced to beautiful Straus waltzes, polkas and joined a choir proudly travelling by bus all over Austria. But Austria was overpopulated with refugees and mom’s brother, John, who they reunited with, wanted to farm in Canada.

October 8, 1949, Mom and family immigrated to Canada. They landed in Halifax and travelled seven days via rail to Abbotsford, B.C., where mom’s Uncle Phillip Kemle lived.

Three years later, at a local dance in Chilliwack, Mom met Arnold, the love of her life. The two wrote back and forth for a bit, but our guess, knowing dad’s writing skills, was that it probably was mostly x’s and o’s.

In June of 1953, Arnold and Susie married and settled together in Hay Lakes. A short while later, they bought property in Edmonton. Dad still worked for CN Railway and mom worked in a restaurant.

Over the next 10 years, together they built and sold three south Edmonton homes and had three children. Here is a snapshot of how hard mom must have worked at that time. She had a small baby, Chris, two sons, Emil and Gary, Dad, and three borders all living under the same roof. Mom made their lunches with freshly baked goods, cooked meals for the three adult men, plus Dad…. and all of us, washed and hung out to dry everyone’s clothes (and not with the washers we have today), ironed, and like all of her German neighbours, perfectly pressed everything, including the sheets and pillow cases.

In 1964, with two rambunctious boys (aka Emil), they thought it best to trade their city home for a farm in New Sarepta. It was definitely roughing it for the first year. It was an old farmhouse with no electricity or running water, a wood burning stove, one bedroom, an old attic, an outhouse, a barn and old buildings everywhere.

During the nine years we lived on the farm, we raised chickens, milked, fed pigs and farmed. While Dad worked full-time at Stelco Steel, Mom and Dad built a three-bedroom home, garage, barn, built white fences, demolished buildings, and….. mom had a big garden and flower bed on the side. Needless to say, Mom and Dad were hard workers. But they loved farm life and they loved socializing and entertaining even more, whether with friends or in-laws who lived close by, they always had time for everyone.

In 1973, mom and dad sold the farm and purchased Lamont Hotel. Over the years, mom and dad purchased several more hotels, living in some, managing others. No matter how busy mom was, she always had time to pass around deer sausage or make two or three extra plates of food at lunch to feed some of the old-timers who lived alone and frequented the hotel daily. She loved the business and the people and enjoyed socializing with everyone. Everyone in town knew Susie.

In 1991, mom and dad reluctantly retired from hotel business and moved to a Sherwood Park acreage. For some reason, mom believed she could not survive life without being busy and having a hotel. That thought was far from the truth—once she settled, she realized there were more grandchildren to enjoy, old friends and German neighbours to re-unite with, trees to plant, flowers to grow, birds to feed, and applesauce to make. Plus for the first time ever, mom had the chance to take care of herself—and for her, that came through yoga and all of the dear and wonderful friends she’d make.

During this time, Mom tended to her aging mother. Oma Elizabeth lived with them for a time on the acreage and then transitioned to the Sherwood Park Lodge and Nursing home. Mom was a committed and caring daughter and companioned her mother until her passing in 2001.

January 2003, two years later, Dad had a heart attack at home. It was a huge life change for mom. October of the same year, Chris moved into their acreage and mom transitioned into Sherwood Park.   After being married for 50 years, grieving was hard for mom.

Her solace came from her cherished grandchildren and family, her beautiful garden and flowers, the German singing group, the yoga studio and from her genuine love and appreciation for people.

Everyone in the Nottingham neighborhood knew when mom moved in. Maybe it was because she never missed an opportunity to say a friendly word or chat to anyone. Mom shared garden fresh spinach, spring lettuce, home made pyrogys, canned jams or lafeteria flower seed with anyone who wanted. Mom was particularly grateful for newfound friend and neighbor, Biljana. Born from the same Banat region, the two shared many a lengthy discussion, had much in common and stayed closely connected until mom’s passing.

After dad’s heart attack, yoga became an even bigger part of mom’s life. She especially found solace in her connection with Gerda Krebs, whose husband also recently passed away. They shared in the German language and companioned one another through a difficult time.

Mom loved the studio, her yoga and the people who came to classes. In Gerda’s classes, Mom was often called up to show the side plank. Chris recalls stopping by Mom’s home while Mom was hosting lunch for her longtime German friends. There was mom enthused; excitedly showing off to her friends how well she could do the shoulderstand and plough pose.

At the yoga studio, if your mat was next to mom’s, whether you were new to the studio or old, mom was there to welcome, support, converse and laugh with. Many a yogini were invited to share lunch at mom’s house. Home baked goodies were freshly baked for chair yoga or kids’ yoga classes and fresh cut flowers filled the studio from May until October. Whether painting at the studio, folding laundry or sewing or fixing a curtain, Mom was right there enjoying every moment.

Life was full and rich for five wonderful years, and Mom slowly did find her wings after dad’s passing.

In October 2008, Mom’s life overnight changed. Getting home around 12 midnight after a late-night card game, she had a massive stroke. When mom missed her morning yoga class, Chris went to her home only to find her lying on her bedroom floor for 11 hours.

Mom remained strong and committed and she was determined to walk again. She struggled and struggled, eventually walking short distances with the assistance of caregivers or family and walker. Age and arthritis battled against Mom and her mobility did slowly decrease.

But she still had a great zest and zeal for life and during her stroke years loved attending monthly German singing groups with long time friend Emily. Emil or Gary always enjoyed bringing Mom and it was especially gratifying because she loved so much to go. Mom also loved going to church and would have wanted to go much more. Her community in New Sarepta was especially dear and she enjoyed seeing old-time church members.

Mobility may have ceased for mom, but she still had a heart and mind that loved life and knew and appreciated her grandchildren and family.

About six months ago, mom was told she was going to be a great grandmother. For years, she kept asking her grandchildren when they were having a baby, even asking 14 year-old Kerra. She desperately wanted to hold a baby and that wish did finally come true. Mom lived long enough to hold great grandchild, Clarke Emma Erdmann born on March 8, 2017.

Throughout her stroke years, mom remained active and enlivened in her mind. When we walked in her room, she happily shared how she just baked “spatzul”, gardened, planted her roses or canned peaches. Her strong and positive personality never changed even when it seemed from the outside like life was more limiting.

Even without her physical mobility, mom was engaged and plugged into life. And there were sweet moments too like when the HGTV channel was left on her TV with a renovation show and Mom would say, “Chris, you need to make lunch for them…. they are working so hard”.

No matter what….. Mom always cared.

And if we accidentally left Channel 2 on a Sunday morning and Operation Smile happened to be showing, we’d find Mom weeping in bed, torn and heartbroken for the children she was witnessing with mutilated smiles. She was deeply affected by suffering and she always, always wanted to help. We soon recognized we needed to be very careful with what we left on TV.

Mom lived with Chris for nine wonderful years and it was a blessing for Chris and caregivers to companion her in this new legacy of her life. She was appreciative, positive, funny, dynamic, and real in each and every moment. Mom was always grateful for the little things that either Chris or caregivers did for her. She was understanding, kind and a pleasure to support. She loved her caregivers and, especially as her health began to transition, relied and appreciated Amy and Michelle even more. Amy stayed with our family and cared for mom for five years. She loved mom like her own Grandmother and the two had a very special bond. Mom would always call out for Amy, whether night or day, and since Mom’s passing, she visited Amy twice. The first night after mom’s passing, asking for her teeth and the second night saying how happy she was and that she was now with her mom …..and….that she needed her blue hair brush…..

Mom had a wonderful Doctor who cared for her above and beyond, especially the last two months as her health shifted. Dr. Ribeiro was available to our family, came to visit mom at home and was always kind and caring. Mom and all of us appreciated her ongoing support.

On April 3, the morning of Mom’s passing, Chris woke up at 4:00 am to find her breathing unusually rapid. Mom was conscious alert and carried on a conversation even with her quick breathing. She loved the massages Chris gave and for her brief last massage said how wonderful it felt. It was always nice to hear when something felt wonderful.

During those last two hours of mom’s life, she shared how much she loved people ……and how much she cared for people. She expressed being ready to lie beside Dad…. …she was ready to go. Her neck hurt so badly from holding it up. And then……. when she released her head back into the support of the pillow, something happened……. Her breathing slowed, deepened, became quieter and more settled. Chris asked if she remembered the song that she so often sang and with that prompt Mom started to sing, “so nimm den meine Hande” – which translates into take my hand dear lord. Her voice audible at first and then growing quieter and quieter, until her song became only a breath and her breath became another breath and then no breath. Chris turned to look at the clock and as she was turning back, Mom took her last and final breath. Thirty seconds later, mom’s bird clock chirped its song. It was 6:00 a.m.

Mom was a beautiful woman who touched many people’s lives. She cared deeply about everything and everyone.

She loved the great country she lived in and she appreciated the Kemle family for helping her get here. She loved her grandchildren and children dearly, her siblings, her in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, caregivers and the many dear and cherished friends who filled her life. She was grateful for everything and everybody and always seen and believed in the good in everyone.

She was a beautiful mother and human being and it has been a special privilege to share her life story with all of you.


Fern’s Fables… on Urinary and Pelvic Health

This month, I’d like to talk about urinary health, along with the importance of properly supporting the pelvic floor to prevent urinary incontinence.

Urinary Health
Firstly, I was excited to learn there are fruits other than cranberries that contain the special sugar called D-Manose, which helps with urinary health. D-Manose works differently than refined sugars, as it does not interfere with the regulation of metabolism or blood sugar. Pineapples, apples, blueberries, oranges and peaches all contain this special sugar. You can learn more about how our body uses D-Manose here.

It also occurred to me that these fruits, being sweeter, would work very well together in a smoothie, along with cranberries, or in addition to your regular smoothie ingredients. You could also juice them, which is a nice way to introduce this healthy choice to children, who may be prone to bladder infections.

Pelvic Health
Here’s a great little overview on Dr. Mercola’s website that includes a three-minute video from Katy Bowman. It is a wonderful visual to what our alignment teachers at Yoga for Today have been working with in our classes.

A wealth of information follows the video. It corroborates what we have been learning about the knee squeeze exercise, as well as the fact that Kegels must only be done with a neutral pelvis. I think we all find a challenge with that old habit of a tucked tail!

I personally find that, if I only took time for one exercise in a day, the knee squeeze would be it. Do it anywhere, even sitting at dinner, or at a computer.

Do it right now!

Have an awesome April ~ Fern

Fern’s Fables… Digestion Suggestions

Many people have issues with digestion. Here is just a skimming touch of a few suggestions that I have found helpful.

Go for Good Bacteria
Number one on my list would be eating raw probiotic ferments and cultures, such as sauerkraut, kefirs, kombucha, yogurts, etc. These will provide good bacteria for your gut, which greatly assists digestion, as well as neutralizes bad bacteria and boosts immunity.

Try Soured Grains
Here is a great link for soured grains. She has the starter recipe for porridge, as well as how to feed it.

I just add a tsp. or so of either kefir or yogurt culture starter powder to 3 cups of water and 2 cups of grain (steel cut oats), to make the starter mix. This gets the ferment going, since I do not have whey like she suggests. Leave it covered on the counter to ferment for a few days, until it gets a bit bubbly. Then you can put it in the fridge in a glass jar.

To use it, add a cup or so to your porridge mix (grain and water) in the evening and let it ferment on your counter overnight. Cook it in the a.m. You will want to also replenish and feed the culture starter to keep it going.

Yogurt or kefir starters can be purchased in the cooler section of a health food store, or natural food section in the regular grocery. Of course, everything soured, like sourdough bread, soured milks such as yogurt, kefir and cottage cheese (if you tolerate milk), are easier to digest.

Avoid Improper Food Combining
Improper food combining is a big challenge for most of our ways of eating!

Basically, the rule is: never eat animal proteins with complex starches. You can sometimes get away with cheese, butter, eggs or milk products, as opposed to any kind of meat.

The stomach needs a real acidic environment to digest meats and an alkaline environment to digest starches. Because these cannot be present at the same time in our stomach, it wreaks havoc with digestion if you eat starches with meat.

So lots of greens, salads and most non-sugary or non-starchy vegetables digest well with either starches or meats, but never with starches and meats together.

Learning how to make vegetarian dishes is often helpful, when you have things that mix meats and starches (lasagna, pasta, rice casseroles, etc.). Remember that quinoa, chia, and hemp seeds, are all complete proteins.

Fruits only go well with greens or non-starchy vegetables. Here is a great chart that will give more details.

Pre-Soak Your Beans, Nuts and Legumes
Always pre-soak your legumes, beans, nuts etc., and throw out the soaking water since it has enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid in it. I soak almonds, beans and legumes 12 to 24 hours and other nuts and grains just 1 to 4 hours according to hardness. Flax and chia seeds would be the exception to soaking, since they create a gel, which is beneficial. Here is a link with more complex information on this topic.

Happy March,




Enzymes and Yoga as Conductors of Light

By Tami Hay

“Germinated and sprouted seeds are instinctive, primeval foods of man, with many millions of years of phylogenetic (evolutionary) affinity.” Edmond Szekely

Everything requires enzyme activity in order to access divine higher dharma. An enzyme is a bio-active protein that serves as a catalyst responsible for absolutely everything our body miraculously does for us.

Sprouts are the number one provider of these magical life-giving enzymes. When a seed turns into the sprout there is a magical transformation of enzymatic action that converts complex carbohydrates into easily digestible compounds. Sprouts maintain their enzyme power and provide us with nutrients 300 to 1,200% greater than raw conventional veggies.

Sprouts are an economical way to have delicious fresh food all year long, even in our climate. Many people who have taken my classes are amazed at how sprouted mung beans taste like fresh peas out of the garden, and are one of the easiest things to replace for a satisfying and rejuvenating snack of substance. Raw, uncooked sprouts allow the optimal uptake of nutrients for the human body.

As a paleo-vegan coach, I often hear people’s concern for safety while spouting. I can assure you that there’s been no record of food poisoning associated with home sprouting and proper handling.

If we are not harnessing our enzyme power then we are depleting our health. When we are present to our yoga practice, we move energy and conduct flow. When a body’s enzyme stores are full, it allows us to move freely and beautifully. When we embrace live food rich in minerals, and enzymes intact, we do not deplete our metabolic enzymes. Cooked food is void of all enzymes; therefore, we borrow from our enzyme stores to assist in digestion.

Enzymes allow food to extract nutrients needed and provide the hydration to become part of our body electric. Learning how to add more live food to our life by taking a one day, five day or one week challenge to eat live food has the potential to support a happy focused and agile yoga practice. Raw plant food helps the average person develop superior health.

If you’d like to learn more, Yoga for Today has an upcoming workshop on sprouting, and the preparation of live food.


iRest® Yoga Nidra for Health, Healing and Wholeness

By Anne Douglas

It seems barely a week goes by before I find another study being published or quoted about the healing power of yoga and meditation practices.

While one can walk away from a yoga or meditation practice feeling calmer, less stressed and more balanced, it can be highly motivating to establish a regular practice. Studies continue to show the efficacy of a regular practice with specific conditions such as chronic stress, high blood pressure, immune dysfunction, addiction, anxiety, depression and more. One need only do a quick Google search to find a myriad of relevant studies.

iRest Yoga Nidra is an excellent case in point. It is a research-based meditation, relaxation and healing protocol that deeply calms the nervous system, supports the integration of negative emotions and thoughts, and helps to build resilience with everyday challenges.

Current research shows that iRest Yoga Nidra effectively reduces stress, insomnia, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, chemical dependency and post-traumatic stress. If you would like to see examples of the current research on iRest, follow this link:

Not all forms of Yoga Nidra are created equal. iRest has taken the basic structure of Yoga Nidra and enhanced it by adding several therapeutic steps to heighten its effectiveness for our western lifestyle and world view.

Much of the research that has been done on Yoga Nidra in the west is on the iRest Protocol, specifically. It is an excellent personal practice as well as adjunctive practice for those in the health and healing professions. It is currently being used in yoga and meditation studios, hospitals, clinics, hospices, homeless shelters, community programs, and schools.

iRest is also a path of meditative self inquiry.

  • At a basic level, it provides the initial building blocks for a mindfulness practice in which one learns to stay present and alert.
  • At an intermediate level, one learns how to meet challenging experiences, emotions or beliefs in order to integrate and go beyond them.
  • At the highest level, iRest offers the teachings of the “end path” of direct realization into one’s true nature as abiding peace, infinite calm, and interconnected wholeness.

If you would like to learn more about iRest Yoga Nidra, Yoga for Today is hosting Anne Douglas to lead a beautiful collection of iRest practices that range from balancing the chakras, to working with stress and negative emotions, and awakening to your essential wholeness.

April 29 – 30, 2017
Saturday – 12 – 8 pm
Sunday – 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
$350 ($295 before March 27)

This workshop qualifies as a short retreat for those who are in iRest Certification.

To learn more about Anne Douglas you can find her website at