Leslie_Helpert

Exploring Vocal Power

ORIENTING OUR YOGA PRACTICE AROUND OUR CORE and BREATH

Every yoga posture can be an opportunity to tone and condition the entire body, to deepen the power of concentration and our relationship to breath and core strength. Discover how professional-level singing tools can provide us with insight into our yoga practice.

Leslie Helpert, composer/performer, teacher of voice and yoga, shares her long-standing modalities of vocal performance and orientation technique with the Brooklyn/Leffert’s Bikram studio on January 23rd at 2 p.m.

In this 70 minute long workshop, students of all levels are invited to participate in discovering their diaphragmatic pathway and “vocal body” in asana, warm-ups, workshop exploration and sound creation. Complementing the 90-minute Bikram form, this short Saturday course will help provide students with tools to approach yoga practice with a greater sense of center, balance, concentration and breath power. Expect to make noise (sing), improvise and play with the power of your own voice! Come if you’re an experienced singer or completely a novice, all welcome!

For more information on New York and Barcelona-based artist/teacher Leslie Helpert, please see www.HelpertTheAgency.com

Come as you are, optionally mat/water and wear comfortable clothing!

NancyCooking1

Post-Event Report: Nutrition & Cooking Workshop With Nancy Campbell

Our nutrition workshop with Nancy Campbell of RadiantHealth last Tuesday (Sep 22nd) was a great deal of fun and it was wonderful to see so many of you there! Upon entering the studio, students and staff alike were greeted by the wonderful aromas of expertly-cooked vegetable dishes, cooked by Nancy herself. Those who stuck around for the demonstration were rewarded with delicious servings of not one, but two hearty autumn-style vegetable dishes.

Didn’t make it? Never fear! Here are the two recipes for you to make right now …

Steam-­‐Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Mustard and Caraway

Adapted from Myra Kornfield’s The Healthy Hedonist              Serves 4 to 6

About This Recipe:

This steam sauté method is the easiest (after steaming) method to get fresh vegetables on the table dressed, seasoned and ready to eat fast. I’ve been in love with this technique since learning it from Chef Myra Kornfield and will never treat my broccoli, cauliflower, brussels, green beans, and even kale to brutal amounts of oil and frying again. To steam/sauté your veggies they need three things: moisture, fat and seasoning (esp salt). You will need a saute pan with a lid, some tongs, and a timer (or just a fork handy to test when the veggies are done). You need to be willing to taste before you serve – the mark of a good chef – to ensure that you’ve gotten the seasoning right. Sometimes it requires a little more butter and other times you just need salt. Either way, you can’t go wrong with experimenting and testing new combinations with this method. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved 2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp caraway or fennel seeds 2 garlic cloves sliced
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Bring the brussel sprouts, butter, water, salt, garlic and caraway seeds to a boil in a large skillet. Cover and steam over medium-­‐high heat until the brussel sprouts are just tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the mustard and maple syrup. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste.


 Steam-­‐Sautéed Green Beans / Broccoli / Broccoli Rabe with Garlic

By Myra Kornfield

About:

You can use this method with any firm vegetable, such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, and green beans.

You may add garlic, spices, and dried herbs along with the water, fat source (i.e. olive, coconut, or toasted sesame oil, butter or ghee/clarified butter), and salt. Add fresh herbs when you uncover to saute.́

Ingredients:

1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or 1 1⁄2 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound green beans, ends trimmed or 1-­‐2 heads broccoli (enough to cover bottom of 10” skillet)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Bring the water, oil, salt, optional red pepper flakes, green beans, and garlic to a boil in a skillet with sides.
  2. Cover and steam over medium-­‐high heat until the vegetable is brightly colored and just tender (soft enough to feel some resistance with fork), 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the vegetable size.
  3. Remove the lid and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates, 1 to 2 minutes longer. (If you want to add fresh herbs, this is the point to add them.) Sauté to intensify flavors, 1 to 2 minutes long. Adjust salt if needed, add a sprinkling black pepper to taste, and serve.

RadiantHealth Logo

About Nancy Campbell, M.S., Culinary Nutritionist: Nancy combines her training in nutrition and integrative health with a masters of urban planning, and over a decade of professional culinary experience in her nutrition practice, Radiant Health NYC.  She supports her clients to redefine how they eat, build culinary skills, and fine-tune their pantries so they can feel amazing in their skin AND in the kitchen. She can be found at:   http://www.radianthealthnyc.com

Figs4Web

NEW! Monthly Nutrition Salon: Late Summer Eating

Bikram Yoga Park Slope is pleased to present a new series of articles focused on encouraging more healthful living through food …. something we all need and love! Nancy Campbell gives us her seasonal tips for our first installment:

The seasons have a profound cyclical effect on human growth and well-being. We are highly influenced by our annual climatic changes; Consider fall’s shorter days and longer nights, the brittle winter cold, and the glory of the first spring sun. For many of us who continue living life at the same speed and eating the same diet year-round, these shifts in season can easily make us sick, trigger allergies, and amplify seasonal affective disorder. By living in harmony with the seasons through our diet and activities we can weather the shifts in temperature without getting sick or feeling run down.

Consider where we are now . . . August and September represent a fifth season agrarian societies and the Chinese call Late Summer. In these traditional agrarian cultures and in the principles of the Chinese Five Elements, Late Summer has been considered the peak of the crop season and a time of minimal toil. Activity is meant to be effortless so our days can flourish with ease and tranquility. Since late summer is the transition from the bright intensity of spring and summer to the darker and quieter fall and winter, it gives us a moment to catch our breath before the preparations for winter get us moving again.

This seasonal transition asks us to be sensitive to our needs – our emotional, physical, and spiritual needs – for the colder months ahead. It may seem crazy to prepare in August for the seasonal allergies October brings or to worry now about winter’s depression. Yet, as our ancestors have reminded us, it isn’t crazy at all. This preparation one of the healthiest things we can do to take care of ourselves.

As we merge into fall, our days will soon get shorter, crops will get heartier, and our appetites for richer, more complex foods will ripen. The days will be warm for a while, but our evenings will soon get colder. If we resist these seasonal changes by plowing through the fall at the same speed and on the same light, raw diet we have enjoyed this summer, we stretch ourselves thin, we challenge our digestive system, and the strength of our vitality and immunity cannot be sustained. Welcome flu season!

Right now getting fresh, seasonal, and local food is as easy as joining the studio’s Farmigo CSA service. Our plates should be filled with simple ingredients that honor the season’s bounty: fresh vegetables lightly sautéed, steamed, grilled or broiled to reveal their natural sweetness. Ancient grains such as millet, quinoa and amaranth should be coupled with sweet yellow and orange squash, carrots, peaches, apricots, corn, and yams.

As we approach fall, our diet should gradually be filled with ingredients that are more fully-cooked or baked, letting go of the raw and cooler foods that nourished us all summer. Root vegetables and winter squash will soon share space with hearty greens like kale and brussels sprouts. Fruit will get heartier too, and may even be cooked as we plunge into the apple and pear season.

Again, living in sync with seasons these next few months means that we allow our bodies to begin to slow down and to stay warm as the days get shorter and cooler. Simultaneously, if we encourage easeful digestion with hearty, cooked foods this fall, our immune systems will be more robust and primed for the cold winter months ahead. As resistance to changing your diet shows up and you’re screaming, “This is crazy. I’m way too busy!”  I will pose the question . . . How do you lead a fulfilling life if it’s spent sick, sluggish, and allergy prone?

To learn more and get practical “how to’s” for eating in sync with the seasons, join me for a free workshop and cooking demo at:

BYPS Lefferts Avenue Studio

Tuesday, September 22nd at 7 pm.


About Nancy Campbell, M.S., Culinary Nutritionist: Nancy combines her training in nutrition and integrative health with a masters of urban planning, and over a decade of professional culinary experience in her nutrition practice, Radiant Health NYC.  She supports her clients to redefine how they eat, build culinary skills, and fine-tune their pantries so they can feel amazing in their skin AND in the kitchen. She can be found at:   http://www.radianthealthnyc.com

Photo by Monica Felix @ www.monicafelix.com

What most yoga websites fail to mention

Photo by Monica Felix @ www.monicafelix.com

Photo by Monica Felix @ www.monicafelix.com

I’ve been doing yoga for eight years.

And what’s fascinating is how my experience has evolved. In the beginning, my practice was largely physical. The purpose was to develop a healthier relationship with my breath and body.

Next, my practice became highly spiritual. The purpose was to develop an existential connection. Later, my practice became highly emotional. The purpose was to work through my feelings and problems.

And lately, my practice has become highly communal. The purpose is to share my humanity with the other practitioners.

The point is, there’s no right or wrong. Yoga is a mirror for what’s going on in your life off the mat.

They never write that on the website.

Scott Ginsberg is a writer, daily practitioner and workstudy volunteer at Bikram Yoga Park Slope.

Photo by Monica Felix @ www.monicafelix.com

Fast heart, slow lungs

Photo by Monica Felix @ www.monicafelix.comInner peace is not something that you create, but rather something that already exists within you as a part of your true identity.

That’s exactly how you delete the drama. By tapping into your indispensable stabilizing element. Something to anchor you when world tries to knock the music out of you. Something to help you soar above the turmoil that surrounds you.

As a yoga student, mine is my breath. The mantra is, fast heart, slow lungs.

This reminds me that more that chaos erupts around me, the deeper I need to breath through my diaphragm. That’s how I cope calmly with my inconveniences. That’s how I avoid becoming wrapped up in the injustice of the situation. By using my breath to remind myself that there are no emergencies, there are no emergencies, there are no emergencies.

The tricky part is, human hardwiring predisposes us to react, which is a conditioned reflex. We have to teach ourselves to respond, which is a conscious choice.

How’s your breathing?

Scott Ginsberg is a writer, daily practitioner and workstudy volunteer at Bikram Yoga Park Slope.