Raising Vegetarian/Vegan Kids

Growing up in New Hampshire and  the Midwest, I was obviously raised on meat.

My mother’s Shephards Pie was a culinary force to be reckoned with.  Seemingly, there was always ground meat in some type of casserole.  As I grew older, I dropped the red meat

photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons - Peg Greb

photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – Peg Greb

because it made my moods intense and my body sluggish. After researching vegetarianism, I knew I wanted to give it a try. My sister-in-law has been a vegetarian since she was 7. She and her husband came to visit and made us watch Food, Inc. and The Cove back-to-back. That was it. I was done. No more meat, fish or sushi….and it was easier than I thought.

I never felt better. After a year of being a vegetarian, our lifestyle naturally progressed to exclusively eating a plant-based diet (or being a “super hippie vegan that eats bark” as I have been affectionately called).

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Why You Shouldn’t Obsess Over “Who’s Teaching?”

I’m guilty of it. I know the MindBody Online system so well (does every yoga studio use this service?), I could probably work for them. Like most yogis, I do have favorite teachers and would scour the internet to see when they’re teaching next. I did this pretty religiously until 2 things happened to me.

It got boring

I went to my favorite teacher 6 times in a row (within a 10 day period). A profound thought hit me during that 6th class: “heeeey……he said the same joke during the same posture yesterday and still got a big, authentic laugh from everyone in the room”.

Everyone laughed but me.

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4 Reasons Why I Prefer Hot Yoga

My first yoga class was a prenatal yoga class in 2005. It was slow, unheated, seemingly built strength, and alleviated pain in areas I didn’t know existed. It was good. For whatever reason, I didn’t take another yoga class until 2007. It was hot yoga. When I got back from class P.J. said: “Your face is so red. Are you sure you’re okay?”  Okay?! I couldn’t wait to get back. Here’s why:

Flexibility

In my first hot yoga class, I could barely touch my toes without feeling pain in my hamstrings and lower back. I learned to bend my knees more and breathe deeply into the posture. After many classes I was able to increase the flexibility in my hamstrings – I had to keep going back to class and be patient with my body. My mantra: In due time.

Focus & Patience

Speaking of “due time”…. At first, I would set up my mat in the back row watching the advanced practitioners bend into fancy postures and I could still barely stand on one leg. I would quickly compare. Over time, I focused inward on poses, on my state of mind, on me. My mantra: Long, slow breaths.

Sweat

The first time I felt the burning sensation of sweat dripping in my eyes when I was in a forward fold was seriously uncomfortable. BUT! After I got used to the sweat dripping everywhere, I realized that sweat was cooling me down — and actually detoxifying. Whatever I put in my body the night before, was dripping on my towel (gross!).  My mantra: deal with the sweat.

It’s like a drug: I keep going back

People may disagree with this, and perhaps it’s psychological for me, but I swear….the heat helps me get into postures easier (also, following a plant-based diet helps too). Within hours after completing a hot yoga class, my body feels energized, healthy, strong, flexible. Within 12 hours I psychotically look at the schedule for when I can get back. My mantra: get me back in the heat.

Hot yoga may not be for everyone, but I encourage all to try 10 classes of hot yoga in a row. It just may change your practice and will open your mind to other ways of stretching, meditating, strengthening, twisting, smiling, and living.

 

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