Let’s get sweaty for 2013!

This is not another New Year’s resolution, it’s a sweat revolution.

I think that may have been the cheesiest thing I’ve ever written in awhile. Literary angst aside, this post is for a serious matter: sweat.

As a Bikram yogi and teacher, my world can easily revolve around sweat. Planning out which class/teacher makes me sweat hard (in a good way), how much sweat I like to see when I teach, the least amount of clothing for maximum sweat surface area, how much sweating hurts after a few wine glasses the night before…you get the picture.

Luckily, I’m not alone in this mindset. I’m fortunate enough to be around hard working, boundary-pushing yogis. There are those ones who could do the unthinkable with their bodies, the athletes, the dancers, and the yoga champions.

To these yogis, there are no weekends, no holidays. Where calendars only matter if there’s far too many days since their last sweat.

To these yogis, the measure of their being and happiness isn’t the calories they’ve eaten, the number on the scale, or the size of their clothing. (Lycra and spandex bode well for this group.)

To these yogis, success is being able to practice yoga on and off the mat.

It’s not about who is the most flexible or the strongest. It’s about keeping their patience and cool when all else around them is crumbling.

The best part about these people? They are the dedicated, everyday people you see in class next to your mat.

They’re also you and I.

Because health and happiness is just as important before and after Christmas and New Year’s Day, let’s get sweaty and happy all year round.

Convinced yet? Join a number of yogis who will be doing a 30-day beginning in January and sweat with the community wherever you are in the world. We’ll be on Twitter with the hashtag #30DCJan, short for 30 Day Challenge January. I’ll update this post of bloggers and writers as we go along. You can also drop a comment below and say hello. Or cheer on in silence.

Yoga, run, bike, dance! Anything goes here. All that’s required is we do our best to sweat 1x a day 🙂

It’s not another New Year’s resolution, but a sweat revolution!

Ahh, cheese. Happy 2013 everyone!

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There is no try.

I can’t remember a specific moment or injury that caused weakness in my left knee.  I also can’t remember when I finally attempted toe stand years ago.  Every class since, I’ve tried padangustasana, and every class, I’ve fallen out or released the left side of the posture because of pain (including in teacher training).

Yesterday, for the first time in a very long time, I thought, what if I stayed in tree. But because of habit, or years of practice, or the need to do the series as a whole, I went in even while still contemplating about not doing it.

Let me rephrase that – my body was doing things my mind was saying it could not or would not do.

My body, so disciplined in this yoga, went ahead and left my mind in the tiring debate of ‘to do or not to do’.

While this was just one posture, it was the one to show me what a regular practice has done for me.  It isn’t to help me be incredibly flexible, or build the strongest body but to eliminate the cant’s and the wont’s.  Who would’ve thought that was toe stand’s benefit?

In the words of Yoda, ‘Do or do not. There is no try.’ 

A note to Bikram students

I’ve worked in my fair share of jobs: babysitter in junior high, grocery check out girl in high school, bartender and waitress in college, as a counselor and a teacher as an adult.

But never have I encountered such sheer level of complaints as I have working in the yoga community (not to me directly, just a general observation).

The room is too hot, too humid, too cold. The teacher is too loud, too quiet. The room is too small, too empty. The posture is too hard. Or it’s not doing anything at all.

In response to all the Goldilocks out there, here are 10 things to keep in mind when we go to our next Bikram class.

Please kindly remember that:

1. Bikram yoga is…hot.

2. The more bodies in the room, the higher the humidity. If you complain about the class being humid, look at your neighbours. Unless you have the guts to ask them to leave, just breathe and deal with it.


3. Each person is a mini heater. The body’s temp is roughly 98 degrees Fahrenheit. (it wasn’t just a boy band). This rises as you exercise, as stated in Gym Class 101.


4. Heat makes a person sweaty. Exercise in a heated room makes you more sweaty.


5. Speaking of which, Bikram yoga IS exercise. Not a spa treatment.


6. Bikram yoga is 90 minutes. Just like a marathon is 26.2 miles. A 25-mile run is just a long ass run so why not do it properly? 


7. You get back what you put in. It’s as simple as that. Results come from hard work, plain and simple.


8. We teachers are specifically asked by Bikram (the dude) not to touch students. So don’t take it personal that I won’t ‘adjust’ you. Plus I have no idea where your hands have been.


9. When was the last time you complained to the treadmill that it was making you work too hard? Probably never because you get on it prepared to work. Same goes with Bikram yoga. You paid for the class. Why not get the most out of it? 


10. Lock your knee. No, seriously, lock your knee.

Above all, relax dudes and dudettes. It’s just yoga.

‘It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or how much money you have. Just do the yoga.’ ~ Bikram Choudhury

Apple chips

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Whenever I discover something new, and I like it, I jump right in until I get sick of it.

With food, I get fixated on cooking techniques and end up doing it over and over.  Lately I’ve been preoccupied with dehydrating fruits and veggies, reviewing recipes and tips and everything in between.  Basically, if it can be turned into edible dried snacks, it will be done.  Today it was apple chips.

All you need are apples and lemon/lime. I don’t have a dehydrator but you really don’t need one if you have a perfectly working oven.

There’s a lot of variations with temperature/time and so far I’ve only tried one. Feel free to experiment with what works best for you. This recipe does take awhile so make sure to have things to be entertained with while you wait!  Also, you might want to consider making a large batch since you’ll be all prepped anyways 🙂

Apple Chips

2-3 apples (I prefer firm, crisp varieties like Gala)
1/2 lime or lemon
ground cinnamon (optional)

Parchment paper (highly recommended)
Cookie/baking sheet

**Fills 2 trays of standard-sized cookie sheet.

  1. Cut your apples to about 1/8″ or the thickness of a coin, unpeeled and uncored. I leave the core in but pick out the seeds as I slice them. I found that this keeps the shape better. Besides, it’s less work!
  2. Toss apple slices in lemon or like juice. This will help keep them from browning.
  3. If using, sprinkle some ground cinnamon. Some recipes also call for sprinkling of sugar but honestly, you don’t need it.
  4. Lay the slices out on a baking sheet lines with parchment paper. This makes clean up much easier and the paper also soaks up moisture from the apples while in the oven.
  5. Bake at 170F or the lowest setting in your oven for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and let the apples sit in residual heat for another 1 hour. If using a dehydrator, follow the corresponding instructions.
  6. Crank up the temperature to 250F and bake the apples for 20-30 mins, or until crisped to perfection.  Baking time will ultimately depend on the thickness of your slices.
  7. Let cool on a rack to ensure maximum crispness, then place in a tight lid container.

I can’t tell you how long they’ll last because I, uhm, ate them ALL before I could store them. Lol!  My guess is they’ll last a while.

Best eaten on their own or add to your cereal, crunch for a salad, crushed and sprinkled on top of desserts, or as a topping for ice cream.

Let me know how yours turn out 🙂