December 2022

Yoga Newsletter

 Winter Solstice-Forest Lake Reflection by Seraphina Moody

The World as Gift 

Season's Greetings! I'll be taking a break for the month of December and resume teaching and seeing clients in January.

Here's an excerpt from Robin Wall Kimmerer's essay, 'The ServiceBerry', from Emergence Magazine. We can learn from her Indigenous wisdom about gift economies and how we might reimagine the currencies of exchange.
" . . . To name the world as gift is to feel one's membership in the web of reciprocity. It makes you happy-and it makes you accountable. Conceiving of something as a gift changes your relationship to it in a profound way, even though the physical makeup of the 'thing' has not changed.

A wooly knit hat that you purchase at the store will keep you warm regardless of its origin, but if it was hand knit by your favorite auntie, then you are in relationship to that 'thing' in a very different way: you are responsible for it, and your gratitude has motive force in the world. You're likely to take much better care of the gift hat than the commodity hat, because it is knit of relationships.

This is the power of gift thinking. I imagine if we acknowledged that everything we consume is the gift of Mother Earth, we would take better care of what we are given. Mistreating a gift has emotional and ethical gravity as well as ecological resonance. . . ."

~ Read More Here:

Give or Receive the Gift of Yoga
Online Gift Cards 

All offerings are available as gift cards, or you may choose a custom amount to give loved ones. 


December ~ Winter Break

Practices Resume January 4th, 2023


You are invited to JOIN the
'Attune to Nature's Rhythms ~ Nourish Your Well-Being Retreat'
January 20-22, 2023

Registration is Open to Stay Off-Site!

Practice offers a daily re-centering, but sometimes we need a stronger reset. Going on retreat provides that unique opportunity. It's typical to face a host of obstacles in making the decision. That's part of the process. It's worth taking the leap. The break from your typical routines and responsibilities is invaluable. Retreat provides the compassionate space and ground for self discovery, to notice dependencies, and to explore nourishing habits for the New Year.

What's Included:
  • Stimulating and uplifting morning yoga practices to counter the cold and heavy qualities of winter season. Soothing afternoon yoga practices.
  • Ayurveda Learning 'Labs' e.g. Simple Teas, Benefits of Daily Routine, Qualities of Constitution.
  • 6 Nourishing Meals - seasonal, vegetarian, and as local and organic as possible.
  • 2 Nights' Accommodations in Individual cabin or private sleeping spaces. Registration to stay off-site is available. 
  • Japanese Hot Tub and Sauna (both optional).
  • Silent Times, Time to Connect, Nature Walks.
In This Newsletter:
  • Asana ~ Setu Bandha Sarvangasana ~ Bridge 
  • Recipes (It's the season!) ~ Lentil Loaf, Sage Gravy & Pickled Onions
May peace, joy and meaningful connections brighten your holiday season ~


Register for
Attune to Nature's Rhythms
Nourish Your Well-Being        

In-Person Retreat


January 20-22, 2023
Friday, 2pm - Sunday, 2pm, PT
Aldermarsh, S. Whidbey Island, WA

  • Registration is open to stay off-site!
  • All are welcome! Some experience with yoga is recommended.
Attune to Nature's Rhythms Retreat

Schedule a therapeutic 
One-on-One Session
Learn more & Contact me:

One-on-One Sessions
Photo from

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana ~ Bridge

In Bridge, the bones of your limbs support your spine in an energizing and uplifting backbend. Bridge strengthens the legs and hips, massages the spine, counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting, and opens the heart. With practice, the body/mind will simultaneously feel energized and at peace.

These instructions do not replace working with a teacher. If you have a chronic condition including back, neck, or joint pain and/or need more support, please contact me. Adjusting the asanas and practices to your needs and constitution is my specialty and one of the many benefits of working together in one-on-one sessions. 

Setting the foundation of the form:

  • Lie on your back, arms to your sides, shoulder distance apart, palms up. Begin with your arms shoulder distance apart and gradually advance to interlacing your hands.
  • Soften tension around your spine and abdomen. Then bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor, hips distance apart and parallel. Your shin bones should create a straight line from knees to your feet.
  • If your knees splay out or turn in, readjust the placement of your feet or use a block to engage your inner thighs. This will stabilize your pelvis. 

Moving into the form:

  • On an exhalation, root down through your feet and isometrically draw your feet toward your shoulders. This will guide your pelvis to a neutral position using your hamstring muscles. Feel the natural tone the action of your feet brings to your lower abdomen and along the front of your spine. 
  • Keep your breath flowing to soften any tendency to force or apply excessive effort.
  • Before allowing your pelvis to float up position your shoulders (humerus bones) to support your weight. Draw one shoulder at a time toward your spine, without pulling your shoulder blades down. Maintain length in your side body.
  • Let your shoulder bones drop toward the floor, lift and broaden your chest without flattening your neck or locking your low back. 
  • Gaze down into your heart center, breathe, and sustain the action in your feet and legs, Lengthen through your front body.
  • Do not force to match the photo. Move slowly, align with your breath, and inhabit your body with sensitivity. Explore gradual micro- movements.

Coming Out of the Form:

  • Press down through your feet, legs, and arms. 
  • On an exhalation slowly lower your pelvis and spine, maintaining length in your side body.
  • Rest and feel your body's response to the form.
  • Draw your legs into your chest as a counter-form.

Different active variations to explore:

  • Move your feet closer or further apart. Your shins should form a straight line from knees to feet.
  • Change the depth of your breath.
  • Bend your arms at the elbows to root down as you create more lift and broadening in the chest area.
  • Sense when you are forcing or experiencing tension in your low back, neck, throat, or face and modulate your form accordingly.


  • Back, neck, and shoulder/joint injuries or other chronic conditions.

Lentil Loaf with
Gravy and Pickled Onion Garnish

This loaf includes veggies, is flavorful, satiating, and nourishing without feeling heavy. It's versatile, easy to make, and can be paired with sautéed leafy greens, rice, or crumbled like ground beef and used in tortillas.

The red pepper flakes or cayenne and pickled onions stimulate digestion for kapha constitution. Best to remove those spices for pitta constitution. The gravy is particularly suitable for vata constitution.

Lentil Loaf
serves 6

  • 1/2 cup dry green lentils, soaked in water for an hour before cooking. 
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/2 large onion, about 1 cup
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, or walnuts)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 egg OR 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon maple or rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • After soaking the lentils, bring lentils and water to a simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse under cool water, and set aside.
  • Lightly toast the nuts in a pan for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Using the same pan, heat the ghee and add the spices  (salt, pepper, thyme, sage, and cayenne, if using) until the aroma lifts. Set aside.
  • Roughly chop the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. In a food processor, add the chopped vegetables, spiced ghee, tamari sauce, nutritional yeast, parsley, syrup, and lemon juice or vinegar. Pulse a few times or until medium chopped. 
  • Add the nuts, oats, and pulse. Add the cooled lentils and the egg or flaxseed. Pulse until combined and sticks together but isn't pulverized.
  • Line a bread-loaf pan with parchment paper. Shape the lentil mixture into a loaf in the pan. Brush with ghee. (The loaf can be made ahead of time and baked later.)
  • Bake covered with foil for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until medium firm and lightly browned on top.
  • Let the loaf rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving. 

Sage Gravy Recipe


  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 4 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage.
Heat broth and ghee to a boil. Add flour and sage, whisking until the gravy is thickened and smooth. 

Pickled Onion Recipe 

Pickling breaks down food as a process to preserve and makes 'raw' food more easily digestible.

Prep Time: 10 mintues

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or additional white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Pack the onions into a 1-pint mason jar or similar heat-safe vessel. Place the jar in the sink, to catch any splashes of hot vinegar later.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the water, both vinegars, maple syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, then carefully pour the mixture into the jar over the onions.
  • Use a butter knife or spoon to press the onions down into the vinegar and pop any air bubbles in the jar. Let the pickled onions cool to room temperature (about 20-30 minutes). They should be sufficiently pickled for serving or kept for later..
  • Cover and refrigerate for later. Pickled onions will keep for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Pickled Onion Recipe from Cookie and Kate ~
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