Hello fellow Ananda members! My name is Penelope Jones and I am a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I am also the proud owner of Penelope Jones Coaching where I help women gain energy, shed excess weight and rediscover their best selves! I will be contributing some of my best nutrition and wellness tips, and some recipes all right here, monthly, in the Ananda Newsletter. We start with the F word, FATS!
Wait, aren’t fats bad for me? The skinny on fats
Many people are scared of fats, but our bodies need healthy fats for brain health, feeling satiated, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. High-quality fats can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair, and nails, and help our body burn its own fat stores! Do I have your attention now?! Burn our fat stores? It is not too good to be true.
Heavily processed, hydrogenated “trans” fats used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging and inflammatory to the body. Since they are very high in Omega 6 they can compromise the cardiovascular system, immune system, and contribute to behavior problems and weight gain, oh my!
What we need is a nice balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6. But the standard American diet is very high in Omega 6. So what is a health seeking Yogi to do? Instead of thinking about what you CAN NOT eat, lets focus on ADDING in the good stuff. Adding in healthy stuff doesn’t feel like deprivation and will naturally crowd out the unhealthy stuff. Life needs to be fun and have an ease to it, and so should your eating!
Where to Find Healthy Fats
- Avocados, olives, coconuts, wild salmon, and omega-3 rich organic eggs.
- Whole nuts and seeds, and their butters like almond butter or tahini.
- Look for the highest quality organic oils when shopping. Words to look for: organic, first-pressed, cold-pressed, extra-virgin, and unrefined. Avoid expeller-pressed, refined, and solvent extracted.
How to Use Healthy Fats When Cooking
- For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try butter, ghee (clarified butter), or coconut oil.
- When sautéing foods, try organic extra virgin olive oil.
- Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut, and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings.
Try this delicious, easy recipe for a great source of healthy fat:
- 1 large peeled and pitted avocado
- 2/3 cup plain yogurt, goat yogurt, coconut yogurt, or almond yogurt
- 1 diced tomato
- a squirt of lemon or lime juice
- a dash or two of cayenne pepper
- sea salt and black pepper
- Mash avocado with a fork until very smooth.
- Add yogurt, tomato, and cayenne. Blend until smooth. This may be done in a food processor, in a blender, or with a fork.
- Add sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
- Serve chilled with mixed raw vegetables.
Check out my blog at www.penelopejonescoaching.com for more inspiration!
7 steps to breaking negative habits and creating positive ones
Samskara is the idea of imprints left on the mind, or developed patterns, due to life experiences. Modern science refers to these patterns “neural pathways”, which become more stuck and embedded as we repeatedly use them over the years. These patterns are learned- they develop rapidly while we’re children, and make life easier for us. Once you’ve learned how to do something, you eventually become proficient at it. That’s the benefit of our learned patterns.
But what about negative patterns? These, too, are learned, and become even more challenging to break after a long period of repeating them over and over. Think about any bad habit you’ve had. Maybe it’s something like smoking, or your morning coffee ritual. Or maybe it’s the reaction you have when you hear someone yell in anger due to childhood trauma. It can even be a belief that doesn’t serve us, but has been taught to us by our parents or even our society.
Samkaras can be helpful, like good habits. Our brain creates these pathways to make our daily habits more functional and simpler, it makes what we have to do easier to do. (Should you really have to set a reminder or have a checklist for brushing your teeth every night?) But some of our bad habits re just as strong, and don’t serve us.
Despite their strength, we can rid ourselves of them. It takes practice, and especially determination and discipline. But breaking old habits and creating new ones can be done! Following are the steps we can take to clear out old, negative samskaras:
- Intention (sankalpas) – We first must decide that we need to change something before we can actually create that change. Think about a habit that you’d like to be rid of. Pick one to start off with- you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. Once you’ve decided to make the change, we move to step two.
- Discipline (tapas) – Nothing truly worth doing is easy, and ridding ourselves of old habits is certainly a challenge! So maintaining your resolve is imperative.
- Slowness (shani) – Slowness sounds counterproductive to most of us, but when you think about our automatic responses, they happen in a flash. Perhaps your habit is to lose your temper when your spouse asks you to do something you feel isn’t your responsibility. In an instant, we can become angry, irrational and even lash out. When we apply slowness, we can actually take a moment before the trigger can cause our negative response. Which bring is to step four.
- Awareness (vidya) – Once you’ve slowed yourself down, you can actually take a moment to become very aware of what is triggering you, and sometimes even WHY it is. You begin to notice exactly what is happening in the moment- is your heart racing? Is your chest tight? What is your breathing like? What emotions are you feeling in this moment? This can be difficult to go through, but it is necessary. Also, it’s important to be aware of what we are truly responsible for. Often times, when we react poorly to a situation, we place blame on others. Notice if that’s the case for you. Sometimes a victim mentality is a bad samskara in and of itself.
- Fearlessness (abhaya) – When we slow down and bring awareness to our feelings and emotions, sometimes very unpleasant stuff comes up. Our natural instinct is to avoid uncomfortable feelings. We block it, close ourselves to it. But we have to be brave and actually let these awful feelings pass through us. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but it’s incredibly liberating. I recently had a moment like this. While having an incredibly disproportionate reaction to a situation where I had sent a text message and hadn’t received a response, I knew logically in my head there was no reason to be upset. I decided to slow down, bring awareness to what I was feeling, and from a place of awareness I started to have a panic attack. My chest was tight, my heart was pounding, I couldn’t breathe… a moment from my previous relationship with my ex came flooding back to me. I was a very young mother, and my ex would leave me for days on end. I had no family near me to turn to, and I felt incredibly frightened and alone. I felt abandoned. So the response I desperately needed via text message was triggering my fear from more than 20 years ago. It made no sense logically, but that pattern was there of fear and panic, and it took very little to make it resurface. It was overwhelming, but passed relatively quickly and I now have a greater insight to my inner workings. Sitting with pain is not easy, but it allows us to release it and move forward with more positive patterns and responses.
- Vision (darshana) – once we’ve identified these old habits, patterns or thoughts, we need to create new ones to replace them. Try to imagine what life would be like without that old way of behaving or thinking. Picture yourself calm when someone accuses you of something rather than becoming defensive for fear of being judged poorly or criticized. Imagine a day where you meditate when you begin to feel emotional or overwhelmed rather than reaching for that piece of cake or extra glass of wine. That’s what will truly help guide our actions, bringing us to our final step.
- Practice (abhyasa) – This can be your practice of yoga asana, pranayama (breath work), meditation, and especially the cultivation of our new habits. Continuing to come back to our list of seven steps, reevaluating what is working for us and what we need to improve upon, and being consistent in our new, more positive habits. Most important of all is practicing forgiveness. That may even be forgiveness of ourselves. As we go through this process, we need to remember that we will absolutely have moment of “backsliding”. It’s part of the process. I read somewhere that it isn’t necessarily one step forward, two steps back. It may be consistently stepping forward in a spiraling pattern. Keep this in mind as you go through your process and know that you’re truly on your way to freedom from negative samskara.
with Krista Eggering
Sunday, November 12, 2017 • 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Join Krista Lynne Eggering, Spiritual Facilitator and Jewelry Designer for this fun inspiring workshop. Each person will individually make a mala necklace using wood beads and semi precious stones. Then we will talk about its meaning, the spiritual qualities of gemstones, malas, and healing techniques through the mala. While beading, Krista will also guide us through a reading with Oracle cards. Beautiful beads of spiritual quality will be provided to create your personal necklace. Please bring a journal and pen if you wish to take notes.
$40 All supplies included.
Register for Mala Workshop
with Robin Debreceni
Saturday, October 21, 2017 • 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Perfectly refined, Sanskrit is the language of yoga. Anyone can resonate with Sanskrit’s timeless sounds—and connect to words and ideas incredibly beautiful and profound.
Rewards are many for those who take the time to see, hear and feel the power and elegance of Sanskrit. Those interested in yoga philosophy particularly benefit from this study.
This weekend workshop will give you intimate familiarity with the unique points of resonance in your own palate that support Sanksrit’s sacred sounds. And you’ll be firmly grounded in proper pronunciation of this ancient language.
Along the way you’ll learn the alphabet—itself a lovely chant—and you’ll receive the tools you need to explore your favorite sutras and chants in the beautiful script of Sanskrit, Devanāgarī. ASI’s teaching method, developed over many years by Vyaas Houston, makes learning Sanskrit stress-free and fun!
Robin Debreceni first discovered the study of Sanskrit at an ASI workshop in 2014. After the Introductory Weekend, she continued her studies with Zoe Mai. In addition to attending classes and workshops, Robin currently teaches weekly classes at Trishula Yoga and tutors beginning students when needed. She feels that the study of Sanskrit and applying the ASI learning model has been a transformative force in her daily life.
$250 Register early. Limited to 10 people. Workbook provided. Complimentary snacks and tea.
Register for Introduction to Sanskrit
with Krista Eggering
Sunday, October 15, 2017 • 1:00pm – 3:00pm • Main Studio
The ancient science of Numerology is the study of how the numerical vibrations effect us, universally and personally. Through the birth date, we will explore how these numerical vibrations can reveal one’s life path, personal year, inner strengths and future tendencies. We will also work with your name and find the Soul Urge, The Secret Self and the Expression. Sound is the result of vibration – which is only another way of saying that every sound has a number behind it. Based on your findings, each person will individually make their own mala bracelet made of wood and semi precious stones. Each number is represented by a semi precious stone to reflect the essence of its vibrations. A wonderful memory to remind you of the journey you explored at the workshop. Please bring a notebook and pen or pencil.
$40 (all supplies included) This class is limited to 15 participants so please sign up now to reserve your spot.
Krista Lynn Eggering is a Jewelry Designer (www.kristalynndesigns.com) and Creative Spiritual Workshop Facilitator living at the Jersey Shore with her two sons and 3 cats. Her 11+ year journey of spiritual growth and self-awareness has guided her to share her knowledge of beading, crystals and creative spirituality with the public. Featured on HGTV’s “That’s Clever” in 2005, Krista Lynn is self taught and has traveled the world and researched the spiritual and healing qualities in gemstones and crystals. It is her passion, purpose and intention to share and inspire the talismans that have inspired her. The intention behind her workshops is to guide you in a mindful experience where you trust your intuition and tap into your creativity. She believes that we all have the answers within us…we just need to awaken and brings those answers to light.
Register for Introduction to Numerology
with Shelly Frampton & Karen Kapus
Saturday, August 19, 2017 • 6:00am – 8:30am • Community Space
Join Ananda Yoga + Wellness as we watch the sun rise and begin our day with yoga, hiking, and meditation. We will start with a guided walking meditation, winding our way through the peaceful trails of the Wenonah conservation area. Along the way, we will stop and enjoy a yoga practice, guided relaxation, snacks and conversation in the beautiful teahouse surrounded by trees and nature. Taking pictures and soaking in the moment will be encouraged along the way! This event is suitable for all levels and will take place rain or shine.
$30 Limited to 20 participants.
We will meet at the studio. Please arrive by 5:50 am at the latest; the hike will begin promptly at 6:00 am.
Register for Wenonah Woods Sunrise Yoga + Meditation Hike
with Jennifer Veale
Sunday, August 6, 2017 • 7:30pm – 9:00pm • Main Studio
Start your month in peace with Yin Yoga + Meditation. Each class will have a special focus and meditation to accompany it. Yin Yoga helps to deepen flexibility, increase your range of motion, and relieve stress. This healing practice is made up of passive poses held over longer periods of time. It benefits connective tissues, joints, and bones while letting the muscles relax. Appropriate for all levels. Meditation helps to reduce stress and anxiety, increase mindfulness, and so much more!
Register for Sunday Slowdown
with Lauren Zuchowicz
Sunday, July 16, 2017 • 3:00pm – 4:15pm • Main Studio
An upbeat, energy building Vinyasa class for all-level yogis! Knowledge of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) A & B suggested.
$15 Drop In or Use Your Current Class Package
Register for Pop-up Prana Flow
with Lisa Cancglin
Fridays, July 7-August 11, 2017 • 7:30am – 8:30am • Main Studio
Please note that this class is in the morning, not evening as our email stated.
Strengthen and stretch your body and yoga practice in unique ways in this special summer class that incorporates weights and body strengthening movements. In this class you will have the chance to challenge yourself and test your limits while listening to your body. Be in your best shape for all your summer fun and activities!
$15 Drop In or Use Your Current Class Package
Register for Yoga Summer Conditioning
with Karen Kapus
Friday, May 19, 2017 • 7:30pm – 9:00pm • Main Studio
Please join us as we deepen and expand our yoga experience in new dimensions for an all levels flow class that combines the use of essential oils and yoga. This rejuvenating and therapeutic workshop will feature a selection of doTERRA essential oils layered into a 90 minute relaxing flow yoga practice followed by a Intro to Essential Oils class that will introduce selected oils and their uses to maintain a healthy state of of being.
$15 + $5 cash (for the cost of the essential oil samples you will receive)
Register for Aroma Yoga