I just had to share how beautiful the kayaking it is here. See how calm the water is? It’s almost ALWAYS like this on the North Fork or Long Long Island’s East End. I had to spend two days in the city to work with Steve Goodman, my business partner, and meet some truly wonderful people making some truly exciting and wonderful products ( hint: GORGEOUS eco yoga clothing!) So while I was doing my city thing, Liv ( our newest staff member: you’ll be reading some great blogs from her in upcoming weeks) and, Annette, a regular juice faster, and raw foodist in training– discovered this great spot to drop the kayaks and bliss out with nature. Charles was on hand to snap these beautiful pictures. Maybe soon we will take videos to share wtih you while on these beautiful and fun moments. Annette thought this was a very good way to spend an afternoon in between juices! Hope you can come hohm soon and float along with us sometime this summer!
The sacredness of breaking your fast and the realization of the blessed gift of food are incredibly beneficial parts of the juice fasting process. While I was preparing the morning break-fast fruit plates for our wonderful guests, I was contemplating the beauty and sacredness of the first meal after a fast. After days of not eating, we can come to our food as though we are infants, as though we have been reborn to the sumptuous experience of eating. The fresh watermelon, crisp and airy, floats in the mouth like a full, pink cloud. The grapes are sweet and striking on the tongue. As I cut the watermelon into pyramids and arranged the plate into a blossom of color, the sun came through the window like a gentle flame and shone upon my fingers.
The world paused. When we are present to the aliveness of our food, we can discover the aliveness of ourselves. When we are present for the life cycle of our food, we are more present in the cycles of our own lives. This is why keeping a garden can be such a grounding, transformative experience. As we dig our hands though the soft soil and place our seedlings into the ground, our bodies become a part of the birthing of our food. We are a part of the growth process from start to finish, and when we finally taste the “fruit” (or lettuce, or zucchini) of our labor, we intrinsically understand that we are provided with everything we could ever need. And when we keep present during our food preparation, our food is truly blessed.
If keeping a garden is impossible for you, support your local growers. Stay close to your sweet feet. Here at Hohm, we keep our own garden, and buy from our local farmers. Next time you have a meal, try taking a deep breath before you eat. Smell your food. Admire it’s color and richness. Enjoy!
Mr Kenny Page, esquire departed today 10 pounds lighter refreshed and inspired with new kundalini yoga sets!
We rarely can accept men here at our sacred retreat, unless they come as the beloved’s of one of our regular yogini clients. But this man won us over, and we are so glad. We loved meeting and supporting Kenny through his first ever juice cleanse, and look froward to welcoming him back hohm often. He has an intense law practice in New York City so really needed the restorative time to tune back in to his center. We hope he made some headway on a very cool novel he his writing!
Showers here at our cleanse. Perfect yoga flow to the sound of soft rain, wind chimes in the distance, and an incredible crackling fire. Outside the daffodils are happily drinking rain and patiently awaiting the sun. Good cleanse weather! Spring cleaning our house too. Found this great book, such fantastic rescource! Check it out if you are looking for “yogini approved” housekeeping formulas and tips: <http://www.supernaturalhomequiz.com/>
Seems around the world we COLLECTIVELY AGREE that a pause to acknowledge and celebrate and touch down with our loved ones and our earth during the winter months- wether for Christmas, Hanucka, Soltice, Kwanza, or just hibernation, Here is some interesting information about why.
The Earth is actually nearer the sun in January than it is in June — by three million miles. Pretty much irrelevant to our planet. What causes the seasons is something completely different. The Earth leans slightly on its axis like a spinning top frozen in one off-kilter position. Astronomers have even pinpointed the precise angle of the tilt. It’s 23 degrees and 27 minutes off the perpendicular to the plane of orbit. This planetary pose is what causes all the variety of our climate; all the drama and poetry of our seasons, since it determines how many hours and minutes each hemisphere receives precious sunlight.
4,000 Years of Christmas, puts its theory right up in the title. The Mesopotamians were first, it claims, with a 12-day festival of renewal, designed to help the god Marduk tame the monsters of chaos for one more year.
Winter solstice in many cultures.
Native Americans had winter solstice rites. The sun images at right are from rock paintings of the Chumash, who occupied coastal California for thousands of years before the Europeans arrived. Solstices were tremendously important to them, and the winter solstice celebration lasted several days.
And what of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights that occurs around this time every year? Is it related to other celebrations of the season?
The placement of Hanukkah is tied to both the lunar and solar calendars. It begins on the 25th of Kislev, three days before the new moon closest to the Winter Solstice. In fact, this year, the first night of Hanukkah occurs on Winter Solstice!
As a symbolic celebration of growing light and as a commemoration of spiritual rebirth, it also seems closely related to other observances.
A time of magic.
In many cultures, customs practiced at Christmas go back to pre-Christian times. Many involve divination–foretelling the future at a magic time: the season turning of solstice.
In Russia, there’s a Christmas divination that involves candles. A girl would sit in a darkened room, with two lighted candles and two mirrors, pointed so that one reflects the candlelight into the other. The viewer would seek the seventh reflection, then look until her future would be seen.
The early Germans built a stone altar to Hertha, or Bertha, goddess of domesticity and the home, during winter solstice. With a fire of fir boughs stoked on the altar, Hertha was able to descend through the smoke and guide those who were wise in Saga lore to foretell the fortunes of those at the feast.
In Spain, there’s an old custom that is a holdover from Roman days. The urn of fate is a large bowl containing slips of paper on which are written all the names of those at a family get-togehter. The slips of paper are drawn out two at a time. Those whose names are so joined are to be devoted friends for the year. Apparently, there’s often a little finagling to help matchmaking along, as well.
In Scandinavia, some families place all their shoes together, as this will cause them to live in harmony throughout the year.
And in many, many cultures, it’s considered bad luck for a fire or a candle to go out on Christmas Day. So keep those candles burning!
Great site where I found much of these excerpts: http://www.candlegrove.com and Earl Count’s “4000 years of Christmas”
Juice Cleansing is really something we do when we are about to change, transform something or everything about our lives. So doing new things, or just the urge to do them happens. We have guests that set up easels around the house to paint, some that knit by the fire and produce an entire project over the course of a juice fast, some that do things they have never done before such as our recent guest Jenny who had so much energy she learned how to kayak, and to horseback ride! Even thought it is DECEMBER upon us, just this past week juice cleanse retreat guest enjoyed a day of kayaking ( wow LOVED this! We just bundled up in a parka and even felt HOT while paddling) one day and took english saddle riding lessons for the two days following. This group was taking a class, learning about water, juice smoothies to maintain the restoration acheived during a five day juice cleanse.
This absolutely gorgeous picture is composite of three different pictures, of “Helix Nebula” and color enhanced. Affectionatly known as “The Eye of God” this composite is so well done, really beautiful work of art: both human and divine, and as art, just purely divine. The beauty we have in the sea below and the cosmos above that we have to fly and dive to see!
The picture is of the beautiful Helix Nebula, which is a star at the end of it’s life cycle. IT is what our own sun will look like one day a few millenia from now. It is thought to be visible only once every 3,000 years, but it has always been there and always is visible, and that is a lovely thing: we have been “gazed upon” always and forever.. Its a beautiful universe however you look at it.
These dolphins remind me of what its like to play when I was five years old. Just making my own fun being in the moment and loving every moment. Please watch this it is AMAZING. They make thier own circles to play with while underwater by blowing them like bubbles with blow holes while submerged. Then they just play with them. So Cute.
We make A LOT of juice here. And we teach a lot of people how to make juice here. Even though we have some video how tos on our site I love you tube for this too, and always discover more great how to’s. I normally don’t see anything I don’t already know, but this one keeps the tops on the carrots to keep them as alive as possible. Sweet.
Lots of our guests and many of you writing in ask about how to buy the best juicer. The bottom line is to buy one that you will USE, and that means look for a simple juicer. One that you can use, disassemble, wash and reassemble in less than 5 minutes. We use a Norwalk Press for our home delivered juice cleanses, but here at hohm it’s a Breville all the way. We once used ( in our video we still used) a Jack la Lane, but the Breville has surpassed it in simplicity to disassemble wash and reassemble. It has the fewest parts of any home juicer and it works better than anything. Every time you take a machine apart and wash it you risk losing some little part, and then of course that puts a major speed bump in the juice making plan! Keep it simple. Found this blog post that gives a really good run down of quite a few models. It should help.
Lot’s of changes during this autumnal season of change during an election year, when change is the mantra of many: bringing resistance and fear. So we invented the easy comfort and sensory meditation to bring us back to our ‘feeling” senses: a way out of our “calculating” senses of our thinking mind whos purpose is to separate and categorize our experiences and back home to our feeling hearts where we remember our connection to each other and all things. Hope you like it as much as I do.
YES Charles did take this picture of my tea today. The final blooms of lavender are expressing themselves in our garden before winter and inspired the tea recipe in this weeks newsletter.
American Yogini’s Meditation for Navigating Change with Grace
Gather what you will need:
ü A mug of hot tea or hot water with honey and lemon
ü A warm blanket
ü A journal and pen
ü A comfortable non-habitual “seat”*
Be sure to turn your cell phone ringer off, and let others know not to disturb you for at least 30 minutes.
Step 1: with the blanket wrapped warmly around you, just sit holding your tea in both hands just enjoy holding and feeling warmth of tea in your hands without drinking it. You can smell the aroma, and feel the warmth of the cup permeate you—move inside of you.
Step 2: sip your tea only once, then count three long slow deep breaths – observing your body move as it takes in as much breath as it can and empty of breath as much as it can. After three such conscious breaths take another sip of your tea. Repeat this for 3 sips of your tea.
3a eyes closed and slightly rolled upward as though gazing softly into your forehead, – not enough to cause pain or strain, just very slightly to give you something to put your attention on besides your thoughts.
3b Then “watch” yourself breath – that is –observe yourself inhaling and exhaling without trying to control it, by mentally – not verbally- repeating the sound “Sat” as you are inhaling, and “Nam” as you are exhaling. If you narrow the back of your throat slightly it is easy to audibly hear the sound of your breath. This gives you something to focus on so you can then allow your mind a much needed break from fearful thoughts. Continue for about 3 full minutes, or 80 breaths
Step 4: Do nothing.
Listen to the sounds of life, be it silence, nature, activity outside your door, as you continue to cup your tea mug. Feel the warmth and goodness of this moment, the safety and comfort and enjoy it fully.
Continue for as long as you wish.
Pick up your journal and make a long list of everything you have which is good. ( do not confuse this time to list that which you are wanting, but keep your list to all of that which you already have right now in your life that is good)
if negative thoughts appear go back to the warmth of the tea and blanket, perceive your heart beat, and just feel.
Here’s a favorite summer recipe from Hohm:
Juice 4 apples,
1 inch ginger
1 med cucumber
3 stalks celery
10 mint leaves
pour into molds freeze and CLEANSE cool!
She lists in only 7 steps anyone can take to feel happy right now, no matter what. But really happy reason: there are a GAZILLION free gifts that will make you happy, abundant, slim, confident, on that link.
LOVE Marci, so in honor of her book I decided to just make today “Happy for No Reason” day at American Yogini, and invented a breakfast smoothie that tasted HAPPY!
And Charles and I went out into the snow ( sigh) and drew a happy face, wrapped up in blankets and sipped our breakfast Happiness smoothie!
Hope you enjoy it too, the recipe is in our newsletter, so be sure to open today’s issue if you haven’t already. Its tastes HAPPY!, And its a really happy coral pink color.:)
Love and happiness!
3 Goodies below!
#1: my favorite MLK,jr quote, #2 Maya Angelou Poem, #3 Dance with MLK,jr.
IT’s a PLAY day!
Could anything be more beautiful than Martin Luther King Day and the enauguration of President Obama side by side in 2009?
My favorite MLK quote:
“Darkness cannot dispel darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot defeat hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Just thinking about how joyful the scene must be at the White House and in Washington DC, and surrounding the family and friends of President Obama today! The world can bask and enjoy this moment, and what better time could it be? to be present and enjoy a release from recent economic fears and sorrows. Let it all go for today, for this week, maybe forever, and allow hope and freedom to seep into you today. Dr. King and President Obama remind us that this can manifest at anytime for any one of us and for all of us collectively .
Goodie #2: Pause and Reflect
A Poem by Maya Angelou
“Touched by an Angel”
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
Goodie #3: Dance and Play!
Dance to this right now -just like a kid!