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date fudge hemp milk summer cherries

antioxidant bouquet

edible flowers

Lindsay Wagner: beyond bionic woman Lisbeth Scott: giving voice to forgotten dreams Clean your closet Clear your head La Nutriente Energa de Shakti

the delicious feel of bamboo. now for yoga.

exhale the yoga collective kripalu white lotus the haven yoga sanctuary


fine organic clothiers

ginseng yoga goda yoga santosha space la jolla bamboo boutique smiling dog yoga





JUNE 2011

Taste the bounty of Spring with edible flowers
What do dandelions, roses, lavender, nasturtiums, mustard, and violets have in common? Theyre beautiful, edible, delicious, and full of antioxidants and other beneficial phytonutrients.



Hemp in the kitchen

Dont succumb to believing the hemp stereotype. These potent seedy superfoods are a welcome addition to any kitchen providing high-protein easy-to-make snacks and staples, like date-hemp-cacao fudge and vegan hemp milk.




Sitting down with Lindsay Wagner

Her entire life has focused on the exploration of human potential on screen, in a meditation practice, and in group workshop settings.


Spotlight on Lisbeth Scott

This talented singer and multifaceted musician is using her voice to help women reclaim their forgotten dreams with a new foundation and grassroots community empowerment effort.

10 12 14 16 Get Up and Go Open Doors Seen and Heard Seva in Action

42 La Nutriente Energa de Shakti / The Nourishing Energy of Shakti

Practice Pages
20 Lighten Up to Achieve Enlightenment

Food & Home

46 Clean Your Closet, Clear Your Mind 48 Farmer's Corner, Summer Cherries

Don't Miss Lady Yoga's Adventures on pg 56

Teacher Profile
24 Ananda Giri

In Every Issue
44 50 52 62 64 Meditation Media What's on My Nightstand Astrology Yantra

Yoga Therapy
38 Heart Health

40 Oils: The Good, The bad and The Ugly

ON THE COVER: Photography by: Carla Cummings Photograph of: Blythe Metz Location: Bay Cities Kitchens and Appliances (310) 358-8855



editor's note

May Our Practice Nourish Us

Do your practice in a way that nourishes you, Stephanie Phelans words echoed through Maha Yoga, by candlelight on a Friday night. Im paraphrasing, since her instruction came in a moment of pausing in downward facing dog, or maybe it was pigeon, or she could have said this during our slide through the vinyasa of chaturanga that segued into our backbend. But the specific pose really didnt matter, nor were the exact configuration of her words important. What was meaningful was the suggestion that we allow the practice to nourish us, and that the way we choose to move, to breathe, or to adjust the specifics of our sequence, would help to facilitate this quality: The allimportant feeling of allowing the practice to literally feed us. According to the principles of Ayurveda and the philosophy of Yoga, we eat far more than food; we are nourished by more than calories, vitamins, and grams of protein. Everything that we take in actually becomes us, and all of it has the potential to nourish all of the components of our body, mind, heart, and spirit. Everything can nourish us: What we read and watch, the music playing in the background, the postures in our practice, and the food on our plate. The curve of a flower petal may carry a poignant message for our meditation (as Jen Ford pointed out to me while we were in the process of working on this months feature on edible flowers). Our relationship with Shakti, the feminine aspect of spirit, fuels the very core of our being, as Sister Jayanti, who teaches at the Vedanta Temple in Hollywood, eloquently states in Spanish (and English) here. The creative spirit touches our hearts and nourishes our inspiration, which was made clear to me watching Maurice Lords reaction to a preview of the Tim Burton exhibition at LACMA, which will be on view in one of LAs cultural bastions through October 31. We are nourished through asana, through hemp fudge (thanks Blythe Metz!), through the power of meditative practice (yes, Lorin Roche), a good laugh (which Vanda Mikoloski definitely delivers), through a well-spiced Nepali bitter gourd (courtesy of Reena Gauchon from Kathmandu Boutique), or in the process of thinking beyond our own self (of which were reminded in this issue by people including the City Yoga crew in Hollywood, Lisbeth Scott, Ellen Lavinthal, Beth Shaw, and numerous others who are tirelessly integrating action into the asana of everyday life). When we allow ourselves the time to pause, to take a deep breath, and to taste the savory nectar that alights on our tongue every day, in a myriad of ways and means and forms, we can remember and feel gratitude for everything with nourishes us. With gratitude, we can fully digest that food, in all its forms. With thanks for all the abundance we share,

Felicia M. Tomasko, RN
Photo of Felicia taken by: Tai Kerbs




A Y U R V E D A A N D H E A LT H 310-802-0225 3618 Highland Avenue Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Felicia M. Tomasko, RN

PUBLISHER Douglas R. Corbett

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Justine Power 323-668-2500 3223 Glendale Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90039

Staff Writers Michael Blahut Melissa Chua Tamiko Fischer Vanessa Harris Karen Henry Beth Prandini Joni Yung/the Accidental Yogist Editorial Assistance Selah Michelle Tim Shulberg Advertising Coordinator Rachael Cleghorn Newsletter Production Joseph Parra

Advertising Executives Los Angeles Westside Assia Valova (310) 435-6490 Los Angeles Southside Tara Hitzig (310) 422-9399 Los Angeles Mid City Donna Bulford (310) 883-8444 Los Angeles - Eastside Brianna Welke (360) 303-8968 818-752-4325 11239 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604

Bikramyoga 818-879-1477 31300 Via Colinas #101 Westlake Village, CA 91362

Spanish Editorial Assistance Jaime Carlo-Casellas, PhD

Contributors 818-952-5335 711 Foothill Blvd. La Canada, CA 91011

E. Amato Dylan Barmmer Dr. John Casey Carla Cummings Geoffrey Earendil, Derek Feniger Red Jen Ford

Leslie Hendry Sister Jayanti A Karno Tai Kerbs Ellen Lavinthal Amir Magal Blythe Metz

Vanda Mikoloski Daniel Overberger Dr. Lorin Roche Robert Sturman Robert Talbert Sarah Tomlinson Ashley Wynn International Headquarters 11500 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 150 Los Angeles, CA 90064

Thank you to the entire Yoga community for participating in and supporting this effort to educate, inspire, and share wisdom. Special Thanks Kasey Luber, Dr. Mark Singleton, Helen Tomasko, Laurie Searle/Lady Yoga

LA YOGA Magazine is being published by Chandra Publishing 1234 26th Street Santa Monica, CA 90404 (310) 828-8218










our contributors
Carla Cummings has been documenting and celebrating the human spirit since receiving her first camera as a child. A multidisciplinary artist who was raised in Los Angeles and Mexico City, She is a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, Yoga and meditation Teacher, and an advocate of the healing properties of food, nature and devotion. Like her work at:


Melissa Chua is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge who has written LA Yoga's Open Doors section for over three years. When she's not exploring a new Yoga studio or vegan restaurant, she enjoys practicing her arm balances and inversions. Her favorite pose is bakasana.


Vanda Mikoloski does yoga and comedy with a bunch of awesome people around LA. Catch the show she is producing with 6 other comedian/yogis at Studio Surya Yoga in Venice on June 4th at 8pm. She toured with the Dixie Chicks as their power yoga teacher and has been seen doing stand-up comedy at many of the Yoga Journal conferences.


Red Jen Ford manages the Westwood Farmers Market where she strolls the stands weekly, complimenting the farmers on their bounty. She uses all her senses to apply her Yoga practice to eating, connecting to the season and her surroundings, shopping and preparing foods, then toasting friends, family, and farmers with gratitude before savoring every bite:

Dear LA Yoga, I wasnt sure if there is a typo or if it was intentional but on page 38 of the May 2011 issue of LA YOGA in the Q&A By Dr Parla Jayagopal there is a list of "What to avoid" and on the very bottom of the list was Meditation. Is this an ironic typo or what? Ink Ian From the Editor: The fact that Meditation ended up in the avoid list was a formatting error. Meditation is recommended, not only for Raynauds syndrome and other circulatory imbalances, but in fact, from an Ayurvedic perspective, meditation is recommended (with proper instruction) in a variety of situations. We regret the mistake and appreciate the careful readers! FMT Dear LA Yoga, Regarding the May issue, on page 26: Riding a bike is smart; riding without a helmet is not. What will protect Lauren's head if an opening car door knocks her to the concrete? The picture does not send a safe message. Please think about this; I would assume Lauren wears a seat belt when driving. Warren From the Editor: Were happy to see Lauren riding a bike and we didnt ask if she wears a helmet when shes actually riding (as compared to posing for a photo). We appreciate the reminders about safety. Here at LA YOGA HQ, were safety geeks when it comes to riding around town with our helmets. FMT


Congratulations to Robin Sheldon for winning a copy of the DVD Oh My God. She picks up her copy of LAYoga at the office of her Ayurvedic mentor Dr. Parla Jayagopal.

Tell us where you pick up LA Yoga and send us a photo for inclusion in an upcoming issue. write:




community get up and go

Mount Baldy World Peace Pilgrimage

Amma Hugs LA

Ricky Tran

The Power of Faith with Alfonso De Rose

Seven Chakras Thursday, June 2

Artist Linda Saccoccio captures the abstract qualities of the chakras with gestural lines using oil on canvas. These images portray Linda's relationship with spontaneity, freedom, and Eastern spiritual traditions. Opening reception features live Indian music. Reception: 5 P.M., Casa Magazine, 23 E. Canon Perdido, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 The show is up for viewing through July;

Samadhi and Eternal Joy with Ricky Tran June 10-12

Ricky Trans practice and teaching never fails to inspire. Friday evening is a free talk with Ricky sharing the path that took him from a path of self-destruction to one of self realization. Friday June 10, 6 P.M. - 9:30 P.M. Saturday June 11, 1 P.M. - 7:30 P.M. Sun. June 12, 9:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M. Yoga Collective, 1408 3rd St. Promenade, Santa Monica, CA; (310) 395-0600;

the inner core of their being. KDs accessible melodies and soulful voice can strike the deepest cord in even the most causal listener, inspiring them to remember to turn within and find their inner path. $35 tickets available online or at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore in West Hollywood. 8 P.M. Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4401 west 8th. St., Los Angeles, CA 90005;

A Day of Green Beauty Tuesday, June 14

This fundraising event focuses on natural alternatives to the damaging chemicals that the average woman is exposed to from daily beauty product use. Participate in makeovers that include skin care, hair care, exercise consultation, and diet. Two eco-conscious salons simultaneously host with education, entertainment, and green beauty treatments. Proceeds benefit Green Lifestyle TV's educational programming. Range of treatment and donation options available. 4:00 - 9:00 P.M., Shades, 144 South Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90211; Natural Mind Beauty and Beyond, 3607 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, Silver Lake, CA 90026; (310) 928-7689;

Santa Monica Yoga Celebrates 10 Years! Saturday, June 4

Celebrate 10 active community-filled years with the fellow yogis and teachers of Santa Monica Yoga. Kyra Haglund offers an invigorating Yoga class followed by music by DJ Drez, food, drink, and a raffle benefitting Yoga Gives Back (prizes include a fourday pass to Wanderlust Festival). 6 P.M. Yoga; 8 P.M. Party, Santa Monica Yoga, 1640 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA; (310) 396-4040;

One Earth Peace Gathering Sunday, June 12

Everyone is invited to join hearts, embrace love, and bring blessings to the Earth to help each other navigate these times of powerful change. Hosted by the Healing Gardens of Ayurveda and Emerging OM. Ayurvedic physician and master herbalist, Dr. Ram Tamang explores the connection of mind, body, and nature. Dr. Kathy Kangarloo leads a meditation in motion and renowned Indian vocalist, Dipali creates positive energy fields though chanting. Free Event. 2:00 4:00 P.M.; 625 French St., Santa Ana, CA 92701; (949) 515-4855;

Global Green USA Millennium Awards Saturday, June 4

Join Global Green USA in celebrating environmental leaders in this benefit event.

SB-ADaPT Festival June 12-25

A Dance and Physical Theater Festival, hosted by SonneBlauma Danscz Theatre, will feature performances, lectures, workshops, and more by more than 40 dance companies from five countries. For full schedule and ticket information, visit:

Dance Camera West June 16-19

This annual festival showcases presentations on screen of the visual language of dance from creative fusions of contemporary, classic, and modern dance styles. The films shown stretches the imagination and changes the way that people can think about dance. Several different programs alongside the screenings span over 4 days and 3 different locations. Free to Public. Opening Thurs. June 16, 8 P.M. - 10 P.M.; Getty Center; 1200 Getty Center Drive; Sat. June 18, 2 P.M.-9 P.M. UCLA Fowler Museum, 308 Charles E Young, and Sun. June 19 , 1 P.M.-5 P.M.; Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd;

Amma Hugs LA June 10-14

Amma warmly embraces thousands of people day after day and embodies a life inspired by love and service to humanity. Amma makes her annual visit to LA offering solace to all. Public Program: Fri. June 10, 11 A.M. Sat. June 11, 10 A.M. and 7 P.M. Retreat: June 12 - 14 Devi Bhava: June 14, 7:00 P.M; LAX Hilton; 5711 West Century Blvd, LA, CA; (310) 410-6055;

Krishna Das Monday, June 13

With one of the most recognizable voices in sacred music, Krishna Das (KD) has adopted kirtan to invite people on a pilgrimage


Live Oak Music Festival

Krishna Das

Seven Chakra Paintings by Linda Saccoccio

Luminaries CD Release Party Wednesday, June 15

The conscious hip hop group the Luminaries will be playing every song from their highly anticipated new album One at Zanzibar. Osiris Ishpa Palo and DJ Jedi will also be offering up the beats along with digital art, live painting, and raw foods by Aradhana Silvermoon. $10. 9:00 P.M. Zanzibar, 1301 5th Street, Santa Monica, CA.

such as hiking, swimming, vegan vegetarian meals, Yoga, satsang/dharma talks, and uplifting kirtan. $450. Udaya Retreat Sanctuary, Malibu CA.

Mount Baldy World Peace Pilgrimage Saturday, June 25

The 3rd annual interfaith collaboration rallies all for a world peace journey upon a local sacred mountain. All ages and hiking abilities are called to participate and come together to share interfaith ceremonies upon the mountain to send out a wave of love and light to the world. All paths and traditions come together for one purpose to walk, sing, and pray together for unconditional love and peace to reside in our worlds. Sat. June 25, 9 A.M.; Mount Baldy, San Gabriel Mountains;

BodhiFest Sunday, June 19

This festive day of Yoga, dharma talks, film, book signings, music, food, and more benefits a media project about Buddhist movements in the US along with Emerge Global, an organization helping to empower Sri Lankan girls who have survived abuse. For the full schedule and to register, visit:

You are not Your Brain Thursday, June 16

UCLA psychiatrists Jeffery Schwarts and Rebecca L. Gladding combine their cutting edge scientific research and an adaptable program to help people understand, identify, and free themselves. This workshop is based on their new book, You Are Not your Brain: The 4 Step Solution For Changing Bad Habits. They discuss how their mindfulness-based method can positively impact your brain and life. $20 (students) -$30; 7:00 - 9:00 P.M. Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium, UCLA, 635 Charles E. Young Dr. South, Los Angeles, CA;

The New World F.E.S.T June 24-46

Kick off th e summer on the beach with this eco-friendly three-day event. Programs include live music, innovative demonstrations, lectures, panel discussions, natural cooking workshops, product showcases, and family entertainment. The F.E.S.T also features an eco-theater screening environmentally-focused documentaries, sustainable art exhibits, and a spiritual oasis with healing techniques, Yoga, and therapeutic massage. Adults $12; children $8. 12 - 8 P.M. each day; Santa Monica Beach (parking lot 2600), 2600 Barnard, Santa Monica, CA 90405.

Mindfulness, Neuroscience, and Creativity Saturday, June 25

This interactive interdisciplinary exploration brings together minds from varied backgrounds including artists, musicians, media makers, meditators, and neuroscientists gathering to examine the effects of mediation on creativity, art, and the brain. Scholarships and work- exchange opportunities available. Tickets $25 (students) $45. 10 A.M. -1 P.M. Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium, UCLA, 635 Charles E. Young Dr. South, Los Angeles, CA;

Live Oak Music Festival June 17-19

Nestled under the oak trees of the Santa Ynez Valley, Live Oak features music and activities for the entire family including children's programs and activities, an art walk, arts and crafts booths and artisan merchandise. The main stage line-up offers a range of musical genres. Proceeds benefit KCBX Public Radio. Live Oak Campgrounds outside of Santa Barbara, CA.

The Power of Faith June 24-26

Do you believe that you have access to the bountiful universal supply of love, health, and hope? FAITH is an informative seminar with Alfonso De Rose teaching how to apply the law of Faith in their lives. Attendees must RSVP. Fri. June 24, 7 P.M. - 10 P.M. Sat and Sun. June 25-26 10 A.M. - 10 P.M. LAX Crowne Plaza Hotel; 5985 West Century Blvd, LA, CA 90045; (877) 271-7695;

Sri Karunamayis Blessings July 7-10

All are invited to receive the blessings and be within the presence of Amma Sri Karunamayi with spiritual discourse, darshan, one-day silent mediation retreat, and a sacred fire ceremony (homa). This program is a wonderful introduction to Amma, her divine presence, and profound spiritual wisdom. For schedule and locations in Southern California, visit:

Bhakti Bliss Retreat June 17-19

Govinda and Radha offer a rejuvenating three day and two night retreat submerging in relaxing, resting, and uplifting activities



community open doors


Golden bridge has settled down into their new location on Highland and De Longpre in Hollywood. Students can enjoy the same classes everyone already loves including Kundalini and meditation, as well as Hatha and Jivamukti Yoga. The schedule offers classes in Spanish, for people in recovery, for those who are pregnant, for pregnant women, people in revoerygives you a balance of a vigorous physical practice accompanied with intellectual stimulation. Golden Bridge is so much more than a yoga centerit is a community, a village, where you can develop a meaningful yogic practice and a happier and a more healthy life, says Executive Director Marlene Passaro. There is a spiritual awakening that's happening in the consciousness of the students. We are definitely ushering in the age of Aquarius, Passaro says. Similar to their old space, Golden Bridges new studio is a warehouse with bow truss ceilings, exposed brick walls and multiple windows. The three-story structure houses three spacious studio rooms that can open up into one large space for special events and training. The new location also features a retail store, office space and caf with an outdoor dining patio. With over 100 classes offered weekly, you're bound to find the perfect Yoga practice. And don't forget to check out Nite Moon Caf at Golden Bridge for some tasty and organic fare. GOLDEN BRIDGE, 1357 N. Highland Los Angeles, CA 90028;
Melissa Chua, a Los Angeles-based writer who enjoys inversions and playing around with arm balancing poses. Find her at Rising Lotus Yoga:

Tensegrity Center for Yoga Therapy creates a link between physical therapy and Yoga. This new Santa Monica Yoga therapy center hosts gentle Hatha sessions taught by a Yoga therapist instructor and certified Yoga therapist intern. The center uses studio owner Sherry Brourmans system, Interbody Message System Yoga to assist in balancing and nurturing the body to health. The community heart that surfaces with every class somehow draws people into themselves to a place where they seem to know they are healing their body, as a mouthpiece for healing a much deeper disconnect, says Brourman. In intimate classes of no more than seven, students move through fundamental Yoga postures, analyze postural difficulties, and explore Yoga's capacity for healing specific injuries accompanied with the power of physical therapy. Classes are fun and people change their perceptions of their unique movement patternsbecoming more of themselves, she says. Our intention is to get injured yogis back to their favorite class, and never-been yogis to their first class, Brourman adds. TENSEGRITY CENTER FOR YOGA THERAPY, 901 19th St. Santa Monica CA 90403;
By Melissa Chua




community seen and heard


In the mystical heart of Santa Monica is a hidden sanctuary known as Kathmandu Boutique, a place where you can linger for an hour or get lost for a day browsing through the many treasures. From summer dresses and skirts to funky tribal pants, cotton shirts, pants for men, kurtas (tunic) for children, hand-crafted deities, prayer malas, singing bowls, one of a kind Tibetan/Nepali jewelry, and intricately woven scarves, Kathmandu offers something for everyone. Starting from humble roots, owner Reena Gauchan began selling items from her homeland Nepal at local festivals, street fairs, and farmers markets before opening her boutique in 2005. The shop is a safe haven that reflects the love and passion she has for her native culture and traditions. I value relationships between people and wanted to create a place that was not only for shopping, but a place to exchange ideas,

explore the things that bring us together, promote healing, and celebrate the arts, Reena says. I wanted to create a place where people of different traditions, ages, and social backgrounds could relax, find inspiration and meditate with books and music. With this in mind Reena began hosting quarterly events where she cooks Nepalese food and offers special sales. Her extended family and friends share in the hosting duties while musicians play intimate and sacred live kirtan, and henna artists and healing massage practitioners offer their services. Throughout the year, the community space in back of the boutique features Yoga, Goddess classes, spiritual teachings, kirtan, healing sessions, and other events. The use of this space is donation-based and 100% of the proceeds benefit the Self-help Group for Cerebral Palsy in Nepal co-founded by Reena in 1987. This nonprofit nongovern-

mental organization supports both children and adults with cerebral palsy and provides emotional and practical support to their parents. Kathmandu Boutique has become the place I have always dreamt of, says Reena, a community gathering place for global minded conscious people. Every Wednesday, Reena serves traditional Nepali chia tea. The next quarterly open house (with Reenas famous Nepali food) will be held on June 15. For more information, visit Kathmandu Boutique, 1844 Lincoln Boulevard (between the 10 Freeway and Pico). (310) 396-4036;
Vanessa Harris is a frequent visitor to Kathmandu Boutique where she loves the chia tea and conversations about all things Yoga. She hand-strings sacred mala beads found at:


poet's corner Windhorse



When DJ Drez accompanies a Yoga class, it's not to be missed. Drez knows how to produce a musical alchemy, a divine synergy with the flow of asana and breath for a transcendent experience. In his three Jahta Beat releases, DJ Drez offers his signature style combining world music beats and the attitude of Hip Hop along with master collaborators including musician Domonic Dean Breaux and vocalists Marti Nikko and Shelia Govindarajan. Enter to win one of five copies of DJ Drez' Jahta Beat Three: A Path to Light and turn your home practice into an event. Email: before June 20 subject line: Jahta Beat.

maybe our breath is just the wind personified scattered kept and discarded maybe the wind is just our breath blown and diffused rustling leaves or ruffling feathers maybe there is no difference between the wind and our breath our soul and the universes our ether and that intriguing interface between black hole and atmosphere dark matter and universal constant breath and wind flying together like that horse with wings wind and breath rising and falling in rhythm breath and wind wind and breath start here to find that end to separateness
E. Amato is a writer, performance poet, filmmaker and promoter. She is the author of the collection Swimming Through Amber.

Please submit poetry for consideration to:

Stay connected with the community. Find out where to go each week. Enter to win free prizes. Weekly inspiration in your inbox.



community seva in action

City Yoga Hosts their 4th

Photo of Joni Yung by Brendon Chiang Rebecca and Anthony of City Yoga

On June 18th, City Yoga will be hosting its fourth Yogathon at its studio in West Hollywood. Led by studio owners Rebecca and Anthony Benenati and their excellent staff of instructors, all participants will spend twelve hours immersed in Yoga asana and meditation, ending with a late-night kirtan with Daniel Stewart. The collective goal is to raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to further the treatment and prevention of childhood cancers. Incentive prizes, goodie bags, and food have been generously donated by a number of local businesses, with a Mexican resort getaway awarded to the highest fundraiser. Four reasons why I'm participating: 1. We'll be raising funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, whose mission it is to find ways to cure and prevent pediatric cancers.

2. I already survived Yogathons #2 and #3, so the obsessive-compulsiveness in me insists that I do #4 (and that same inner voice keeps berating me for missing out on yogathon #1) 3. While the previous yogathons all lasted 24 hours, this year's event is only 12 hours. Piece of cake... and I don't even have to try to pretend to be awake at three in the morning. 4. I'm looking forward to having a fun time with great yoga sessions with Anthony and Rebecca Benenati, Heather Foster, Maud Nadler, Tom Jermain, Linda Eifer, Sharon Skok, and Emily Burton, along with rocking kirtan by Daniel Stewart and friends, and of course, tantalizing lunch treats from Tender Greens. It will be epic! Joni Yung aka the Accidental Yogist, is a blogger and now a radio talk show host.

Help make this year's Yogathon one to remember; please visit my fundraising page and give generously so I can raise as much as I can for this worthy cause. Thanks! cityyogasyogathon2011 City Yoga, 1067 N Fairfax Ave West Hollywood, CA 90046 (323) 654-212;

With the help of all our donations, they are able to treat all children who come through their doors, regardless of race, religion, or financial background.




YogaFit is gifting one million dollars worth of Yoga training to nonprofit organizations!

The educational organization YogaFit, the worlds largest training school for Yoga instructors and a national leader in Mind Body Fitness education, is gifting one million dollars worth of Yoga training to nonprofit organizations. In 2011, the company is planning to donate 2,500 gift certificates for their Level One training held at YogaFits Mind Body Fitness Conferences ($399 value). It is expected that most of the organizations that receive these certificates will be able to use them to raise money in silent auctions. Interested nonprofit groups should submit a certificate request:

YogaFit was founded by Beth Shaw as a means to bring Yoga to the fitness industry; their mission is to bring healing yoga to the masses. The company has also made a commitment to community service, supporting animals and humanitarian causes. We are pleased that YogaFit is able to assist charities in raising funds to continue their essential efforts. The world and the people in it benefit from more people practicing Yoga more frequently, expressed Shaw. For more information, visit:



community seva in action

Picketing the circus, protesting the zoos

Elephants kept i n captivity violate yogic values!

Gladiators fighting to the death in arenas like the vast Roman Coliseum with animals otherwise imprisoned within bars is the shameful history behind the legacy of modern-day zoos and circuses. When we consider animals like the majestic elephant, who roam hundreds of miles in their natural habitat, live for decades in complex social systems, and walk with their feet on soft, giving earth rather than hard, unforgiving concrete, their captivity seems barbaric indeed. We take for granted the presence of elephants in zoos and circuses, and in fact, both of these institutions have become incorporated into our human cultures worldwide. In the feature film Water for Elephants, the addition of an elephant to the circus menagerie raises the status of the traveling band of entertainers. Yet examples like the ongoing controversy over the elephant enclosures at the Los Angeles Zoo, among other zoos worldwide, demonstrate our collective questioning of the need to display these animals in artificial environments purely for our enjoyment. The conundrum is this: How do we, as animals with a conscience, change our society's perception related to this abusive, cruel and

ancient behavior? Our practices of keeping these animals in captivity, where they experience suffering, is something that violates the yogic practice of ahmisa, defined as nonviolence and compassion. I have been privileged to witness these regal mammals in their natural habitat where they roam vast distances in large familial groups. In sad comparison, when held in the cramped spaces of zoos and circuses, they linger in small numbers or in solitude. When we buy our ticket, we see animals who are broken, both physically and emotionally. Furthermore, in captivity, these amazing creatures are forced to live on hard surfaces which promote painful foot disorders, one of the leading reasons for the euthanasia of elephants in captivity. Public opinion is shifting. Seventeen zoos worldwide have closed their elephant exhibits in recent years and Bolivia recently banned elephants in their circuses. In the summer of 2010, 300 demonstrators convened for the largest circus protest ever held in front of the Los Angeles Staples Center during the opening night of Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey Circus. I was encouraged by the family of four whom, upon

hearing the protesters messages, left the line and threw their tickets away agreeing with the demonstrators that they did not want to show their children sad and abused animals; that was not the point of entertainment. Yet we often justify elephants captivity in zoos and circuses as the only way our children can experience and appreciate these large mammals. As elephant expert Catherine Doyle expressed, "Our children do not have to see dinosaurs to appreciate and adore them, so why do they need to see elephants? On the Discovery Channel, they can observe elephants in their natural surroundings as the proud creatures they really are." Children are more perceptive than we may realize. For Christmas last year my nine-year old daughter wrote to Santa asking for roller skates, a pair of skinny jeans, and to please free Billy, the elephant currently in the LA Zoo. If children have become aware that keeping elephants in captivity is a problem that violates the ethical more of ahimsa, nonviolence and compassion, then it is time for adults to continue their advocacy efforts. Ellen Lavinthal is an animal activist who is the founder of Animal Alliance:




The relationship between people, entertainers, and elephants is a complicated one. In the featurelength documentary, One Lucky Elephant, directed by Lisa Leeman and filmed over a ten year period of time, follows circus producer David Balding and the orphaned African elephant Flora, the former star of his circus. Flora has become tired of performing. Yet we have collectively made few adequate provisions for the retirement of majestic beings like Flora, so Balding spends nine years searching for a suitable home for the elephant, who as an orphan turned circus performer, is caught between the worlds of animals and humans. One Lucky Elephant investigates our complicated relationships with animals, and questions the fact that we take for granted the idea that animals will happily perform in the circus. The film addresses a number of provocative and important questions connected to how we relate to animals.

One Lucky Elephant will be showing in Los Angeles, June 24-30 at the Laemmle Music Hall, 9036 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills. For further information, visit:



practice pages

lighten up to achieve enlightenment

My dinner with Kristina

m telling my best friend, Kristina, a joke as we walk through an upscale supermarket in Phoenix, Arizona. A man meets the Buddha. He asks him, Do you drink? The Buddha says, "No. Drinking is a distraction from the eight-fold path." The man asks, "Do you smoke?" The Buddha says, "No. Smoking is also a distraction from the eight-fold path." The man asks, "Do you make love?" The Buddha says, "No. Making love is another distraction from the eight-fold path." Incredulous, the man says, "What? You don't drink? You don't smoke? You don't make love? What do you do for fun?" The Buddha, laughing, says, "I tell lies." Kristina snorts audibly through her nose. Ha! I love how it's inconsequential if hes lying or not. Its about interfering with the mans personal significance enough for him to have an A-Ha moment. Kristina is a brilliant cowgirl of a woman with a heart the size of a zafu cushion. We were stand-up comedians during the comedy boom of the 1980s. We always made each other laugh. Both of us came to Yoga in our late 30s, me more than her. I got clean and sober and then I became certified to teach Yoga in 1996. And then I got clean and sober again and developed what I called Spiritual comedy: a fusion of night-club comedy and spiritual distinctions. We both took a lot of personal development courses and read books to free us from our human dilemma. Kristina raised her son, Esa, and became one of the most in-demand business and life coaches in the country. We stand mesmerized in front of a hot tubsized gourmet cheese section. Each neat, plastic-wrapped wedge of gooey triple cream brie with truffles, orange aged cheddar and blue-veined stinky Roquefort competes to be more interesting and delicious than its neighbor.

Kristina leans in toward me. I dare you to ask really loud so people around can hear Where are the individually wrapped processed American cheese food slices? Oh My God, no! I laugh. I actually couldnt do that! I guess right there you put your finger on an identity issue. I want people to think I am an enlightened eater. Uh hunh Kristina says knowingly with a mock-condescending enlightened grin. Looks like somebody is seeking validation from without. You see, sweetheart, she continues with the mock condescension, You cant be free until you know youre trapped. Then, with an absolutely straight face, Kristina looks at the cheese guy, purses her lips and asks, Do you guys carry organic Velveeta? Do you know why youre a cheese snob or even why you do Yoga? Kristina asks me. Uh oh. I feel something hard to hear is about to be heard. Sometimes it takes another person to shine a flashlight on some of the less savory aspects of my humanity. In the produce section, Kristina helps me realize something thats

a bar/restaurant near her house, or The Dillo as she calls it. The waitress comes over to the dark corner farthest from the bar and takes our order. Kristina asks for a Buffalo chicken burger with calamari on the side. I request a Caesar salad. You know why Yoga will never truly become widespread in a real mainstream way? Kristina asks after savoring a big gulp of a very brown beer. No, why? I take the bait. Because they dont really want it to be easy for people to grasp. They? Whos they? Wait, I know a lot of people who really care about demystifying Yoga, I counter. Yeah, but see? Thats the conceit. Its not mystified in the first place. Its bending. A bunch of brown guys made it up. Its madeup bending. Oh my, I say. So, if I came to you, a Yoga person to a hot shot business coach, wanting to brand this thing we do that happens to have its roots in India and is considered by some to be a sacred path to enlightenment, Youd say, Come bend? This is bending? Heres what people dont get, Kristina

Thats the value of humor. Whatever you cant laugh at owns you
hard to admit: part of why Im a cheese snob and yes, even why I practice Yoga, is to differentiate myself from the great unwashed masses. Yuck. I said it. See, what comedy and enlightenment have in common is the fundamental realization that we are all the same. Kristina says as we check out my few raw food items. Then she adds, "They should have one or two crappy food aisles in here like the mainstream supermarkets have one little health food section." After shopping, we arrive at The Armadillo, continues. They think anything having to do with enlightenment has to be heavy and sacrosanct and reverent. What if it doesnt? See, why do people really come to see you do you comedy? Kristina takes a big bite out of her burger. "To lighten up! It's not any more significant than that. When you do that bit you do... you know, Im not very spiritual; for example, I dont have any food allergies people laugh because they recognize an inauthenticity, a preciousness that all of us have. Yeah, even those people who do have food


allergies and have to bring their Tupperware with them everywhere they go, even those people laugh at that joke. Being somewhat vigilant about what one eats is equated with a spiritual identity, and everyone knows it, or they wouldnt laugh. Exactly. Thats the value of humor. Whatever you cant laugh at owns you. Dammit, Im still seeking validation from the cheese guy, I admit. Well, stop it. Wait. I cant just stop it. Dont I have to process it first? Yes, you do. I have a process for you. Its my highly effective doggie-talk process. Kristina begins to talk to me like she talks to her dog: Yes, Vanda is a good girl, yes she is. Shes an enlightened eater and shes healthy and mature and she looks great for 50. Good girl, Vanda! We laugh. Kristina continues, One spiritual discipline I do is I to notice whenever I am trying to manage someones impression of me, whenever I have an agenda, a tendency to exaggerate ... to force an outcome. Like what? I ask. In traffic the other day, a guy got mad and yelled at me. I reacted and noticed that I wanted him to think I was being competent and kind. Well, sometimes I am competent and kind, and sometimes Im not. I noticed I was attached to defending myself as a competent and kind, read: enlightened person. But... Well, thats just human, I say. Yeah, it is, but the only one who wants to broadcast that they are kind are the unkind. Its also useful to notice that you never react when someone calls you ... an armadillo. THATS just patently absurd. Yeah, I get it. The Buddha never had to defend himself. I dont think he drove on the 405 during rush hour either, though. I respond. We pay our bill and walk out of the dark Dillo into a gorgeous desert sunset. That Buddha joke wasnt that funny, you know. Kristina says. I know. LAYOGA Vanda Mikoloski does Yoga and comedy with a bunch of awesome people around LA. Catch the show she is producing with six other comedian/yogis at Studio Surya Yoga in Venice on June 4 at 8:00 P.M. She toured with the Dixie Chicks as their power Yoga teacher and has been seen doing standup comedy at Yoga Journal conferences.



our june favorites

Prepare for the Summer Sun

Chemicals beware! These eco-friendly products will prepare you for a bright and beautiful LA summer.

Livity High Grade Fedora If youre looking for a Fathers Day gift to protect against the sun, LiViTY Outernational has these great of straw fedoras sure to shield the suns rays. All of their products reflect their core values of sustainability using organic, renewable and recycled materials.

COOLA Suncare Collection Founded in 2002, when the co-founders were facing their parents skin cancer diagnoses. This company specializes in organic sun screens whose formulations only use ingredients that actually nourish the skin. The SPF 30 sunscreen is 70% Certified Organic and made of 95% natural inactive ingredients

eco logical Skin Care This skin care companys mission is to provide sustainably produced, all-natural products. Their SPF 30+ Body Lotion delivers the essence of balanced natural protection from harmful UV rays.

Earth Science Daily Sun Defense This moisturizer with SPF 15 can be used daily on the body, hands and face. This paraben-free lotion is not tested on animals and is filled with vitamin-rich oils and and soya sterols (plant extracted emollients).

Organic Pharmacy Cellular Protection Sun Cream Along with sun protection, these natural mineral sunscreens contain ingredients that nourish the skin, including aloe, shea butter, calendula, and sweet almond oil.




teacher profile

Ananda Giri
Ananda Giris calming yet simultaneously joyful presence is an embodied reminder of the importance of practicing meditation. When asked about how he gives instruction to people beginning a meditation practice, he states with conviction that the journey of transformation begins with awareness and self-acceptance, not an obsession about how things should be. As a teacher, Ananda Giri has a commitment to teaching even in difficult circumstances. With a group of colleagues, he traveled throughout the Gulf Coast of the US, post-oil spill, to offer the suggestion that happiness is not dependent on circumstance. He has taken this same message to orphans in Jamacia, as well as the far-flung corners of the world where people suffer from a dearth of hope. Felicia Marie Tomasko: How do you suggest that people deal with the great conflicting emotions, anxiety, worry, and despair? Ananda Giri: At the One World Academy we believe that there are three realizations that are crucial to transformation: All life is interconnected. Know that we are dependent, in our lives, on so many other people. While it may be true that we do not all have the same opportunities, all of us share the ability to be happy and at peace. That doesnot depend on our external circumstances. If we experience discomfort, suffering, orpain, our immediate reaction is to blame the circumstances for our discomfort. We must ask: Is the disturbance caused by the situation outside the discomfort and pain or is the rest of the meaning I give to those life circumstances? As long as you believe that the situation is responsible for your discomfort, then all your effort will be in trying to change the situation and focus outward instead of inward. FMT: Thats easy to say; how do you actually put this into practice? AG: Last year, we took a 10-day road trip beginning in New Orleans traveling through Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida. The Gulf oil spill happened before these people were able to fully recover from Hurricane Katrina. The main industries there are fishing and tourism; both were negatively affected.


There is so much desperation. So we thought we could do something to help. Even though many organizations are trying to help, conditions were improving for only some people. People were waiting for their conditions to change so that they can be happy again. But if we do not know how long it will take for the conditions to changedoes that mean we will be unhappy forever? We wanted to challenge this perception: Is it necessary for your conditions to change so you can be happy? Many live in that hope. But if they can learn to be happy in this crisis, then they can be happy in any crisis. People advised us to not go when so many people are in pain. How are people going to respond when we tell them that they can be happy no matter what? We met people in their homes and listened to their stories. We told people we are here to teach you how to be happy. At first they were cynical, or they thought we were kidding, but eventually they opened up and they experienced a beautiful shift. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a blind man named Joseph answered the door. He had lost his sight serving in the U.S. military. We are here to teach you how to be happy, we said. He laughed in disbelief. Okay, come on in since you traveled so far. He spoke for two hours about how it is impossible for him to be happy because he cannot see and we cant understand since we can see. I asked, What is the difference between a person who is happy and one who is happy? After a few moments of reflection, he answered, The difference between the blind person who is happy and a blind person who is unhappy is a thought. We think that external substances bring us peace, joy, pain, or sadness, but Joseph with upturned this with great common sense and some self-reflection. He thought about it again, I have experienced many moments of happiness. When his home was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, strangers came from nowhere to help him rebuild Each time I remember the kindness and generosity of generosity of those who rebuilt my home, I feel happy, he said.

Any time I had the thought in my head, Why did I have to go to the military and lose my eyesight and why is God angry with me? when I have those thoughts I feel sad and miserable." I now realize that it is the thoughts that I have that make me joyful or sad, it is not the situation itself. Joseph announced that he wanted to teach others that they dont have to wait for their outer circumstances to change. Spiritual growth plays a big role to how we respond to life's challenges. For this growth these three realizations are very important: to realize the interconnectedness of all life, to know that you are not a separate individual, and to realize that happiness is not a result of your external circumstances but from the meanings that you attribute to your life situations. Beyond these, the most important realization of all is to recognize that there is a great strength within us, connected to the divine presence at the core of our being. LAYOGA Ananda Giri will be teaching in Los Angeles and Orange County at the end of June. For more information please visit:







Taste the bounty of spring showers!



he scent of lavender blossoms may transport us back to our grandmothers living room; the sweet scent of nightblooming jasmine may carry our thoughts back to the sidewalk where we grew up; the romantic hint of a rose petal may evoke prom night, a wedding day, or a Valentines bouquet. Beyond the undeniable power of smell and its neurological connection with emotion and memory, flowers themselves can stimulate the recollection of memories. Powerful for their emotional symbolism, flowers are also edible. From the beautiful to the medicinal, flowers nourish us in a myriad of ways. I recently drove to Steve McQueens former ranch in Santa Paula. The thrilling spring sights along the road filled my mind with a whirl of memories. Wild mustard and

black-eyed Susans lined the highways, and the hills were verdant with patches of colorful wildflowers. Seeing hot yellow mustard flowers always reminds me of spring, when I used to escape my engineering program at the Berkeley campus to the wine country regions of the North. When the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma were lit in sunshine yellow, it reassured me that spring was here and the freedom of summer was near. The black-eyed Susans took me further back to my childhood when my mom always pointed them out to me. As a Maryland native, she still felt nostalgia for the state flower of her home region. Along with specific memories, flowers evoke an emotional response: red roses convey love or romance, white buds suggest innocence and purity, lilies honor memories of

those who have passed, daisies inspire the questioning ritual someone loves me, or loves me not? one petal at a time. Science has begun to document the emotional effect of flowers. One study demonstrated that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and long-term positive effects on mood. Another study proved that even though the morning blahs do exist, when people were presented with a small bouquet of flowers at some point in their morning routine, they perked up. Seeing flowers early in the morning helped people feel less anxious, more compassionate, and more energized throughout the day. While we may see flowers as a source of aesthetic beauty, a memory trigger, or even an emotional energy boost, botanists and biologists see them as the plants sex organs. >>



Clockwise From Above:

Salad decorated with pansies; wild roses; blue pansies; dried marygold petals; salad garnished with edible flowers; mustard flowers; crystalised violets and lavendar


<< With the help of birds, bees, other insects, and/or the wind, the base of the flower or ovary eventually becomes the fruit or seed pod after it is fertilized by the pollen from the stigma. In most cases, when we eat flowers we generally need to remove these reproduction bits the female pistil, style, stigma, and male stamens. A notable exception to this is saffron. This valued spice comes from harvesting and drying the golden-yellow stigmas of the purple crocus flower which then become the delicate strands we use in cooking. Rich in volatile essential oils, carotenoids, minerals, vitamins A, C, riboflavin and niacin, saffron is valued for its anti-oxidant, disease-preventing and health-promoting properties. Aside from the documented mood-boosting benefits, beauty, and connection to nature they inspire, edible flowers also have health benefits. As is the case with fruits and vegetables, generally blossoms with deeper colors have greater concentrations of antioxidants. While all edible flowers are beautiful garnishes for salads, cakes, and desserts, a number of California blossoms can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes that are delicious, healthy, and beautiful. DANDELIONS While we may relegate dandelions into the category of weeds or garden eyesore, this member of the daisy family is one of the best liver detoxifiers available. According to the USDA nutritional values, dandelions rank as one of the top four green vegetables. Furthermore, dandelions are nature's densest green vegetable source of beta carotene, and the third richest source of Vitamin A of any food (after cod liver oil and beef liver). Particularly rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin, dandelion has a long history as blood cleanser, liver tonic, and weight-loss remedy. The blossoms in particular help fight water retention, skin irritation, and PMS symptoms. Young flowers with tightly bunched centers picked close to the ground will have a sweet, honey-like flavor. Sprinkle them like confetti over rice dishes or, if you have enough of them, brew your own dandelion-flower wine or mead. DAYLILIES Packed with vitamins B and C, daylilies actually contain more protein than most of the vegetables that are part of our every day diet. Practically every part of the daylily is

edible. Sold fresh or dried in Asian markets as gum jum or golden needles, daylilies are key ingredients in hot and sour soup, Bud-

fron fleurtation involves crushing a couple marigold petals in a champagne flute and floating sparkling wine on top.

As is the case with fruits and vegetables, generally blossoms with deeper colors have greater concentrations of antioxidants.
dhas delight and moos shu dishes. Try adding fresh buds and blossoms to salads, or battering and frying them like squash blossoms. You can also harvest their shoots early in the spring when they are two or three inches tall and use them as a substitute for asparagus. Note that while daylilies are edible, other lilies are toxic, so proceed with caution. LAVENDER With a flavor that is both sweet and floral combined with lemon and citrus notes, lavender is known for its powerful effects that induce a state of calm and relaxation. A sprig of lavender flowers add beauty and a floral note to a glass of sparkling wine or a slice of chocolate cake, but they also pair well with savory dishes. As a member of the mint family, Lavender combines well with rosemary, sage, thyme, fennel, oregano, and savory. Try mixing lavender flowers with finely chopped black olives and a sprinkling of white truffle oil to spread over crisp crostini or toasted baguettes and serve with red wine. Their sweet, floral blooms would also add a mysterious scent to pommelo or grapefruit granita. For stress and headaches, brew your own cure two teaspoons of lavender flowers per cup of boiling water. MARIGOLD OR CALENDULA (Aka Poor Mans Saffron) These colorful blossoms are good for both you and the garden. Known for keeping snails away, marigolds are a wonderful edible flower, too. Their golden-orange petals are high in lycopene, which has been shown to protect against breast and colon cancers and heart disease. The flowers flavors range from spicy to bitter, tangy and peppery and even remind some of saffron, hence the nickname. Marigold petals add a yellow tint to soups, spreads, and scrambled eggs, but could also be great in and on top of cupcakes. Mix a tablespoon or two of the fresh petals into the batter and sprinkle more on top. The petals maintain their lovely color even after baking, so there is no need to frost or decorate. Another version of a safMUSTARD Related to radish and turnips, cabbages and cauliflower, mustard is one of the most powerful microbial plants we know. Like dandelion, mustard is a bitter green that supports liver function. The flowers are just as bitter as the rest of the plant, so theyre best used sparingly as a garnish. Better yet, after an early harvest of the young green leaves, wait for the flowers to go to seed. Sprout the seeds to top your salads or grind them to make your own mustard. For mustard, mix the sprouted seeds with cold water, vinegar, and salt. Ironically, the colder the liquid, the hotter the mustard. NASTURTIUMS Think rainbow-colored watercress and you get the picture and flavor of nasturtiums. While certainly beautiful, their name comes from the Latin Nasus tortus, which literally means convulsed nose, referring to the faces people made when tasting the spicy plant. Nasturtiums decorative colors range from traditional bright yellow and orange to the exciting hues of today: "Empress of India" (brilliant vermilion red blooms); "Whirlybird" (shades of tangerine, soft salmon, deep mahogany, and cherry rose); "Peach Melba" (the color of a cut white peach with an accent of raspberry in the throat). Their sweet, peppery flavor grows hotter the more sunlight they absorb. So if you are looking for a milder tang, choose flowers from nasturtiums grown in shade or semi-shade. In fact, the flavors can be so hot toward the end of their lifecycle that their seeds were ground and used as a substitute for black pepper during World War II. Enjoy both the leaves and blossoms in salads, substitute the leaves for basil in pesto, or for a tasty and sensational appetizer, stuff the blossoms with a mixture of cream cheese, soft goat cheese, mascarpone blended with a little garlic and fresh herbs like chive blossoms or lemon basil. For a vegan stuffed flower, try humus or baba ganoush inside the blossoms. Or, make a spring soup of pea tendrils, young garlic, onions, celery, and daikon radish and float the flower petals and chopped leaves on top. >>



Squash blossoms are probably the most versatile edible flower


<< All nasturtiums are high in Vitamin C, iron and other minerals, and have powerful antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. Traditionally, nasturtium leaves were used in South America to treat coughs, colds, the flu, and other respiratory difficulties. A note of caution for those pregnant or trying to become so: nasturtiums have traditionally been used to promote menstruation and may be contraindicated for internal use in the early stages of pregnancy. PEA BLOSSOMS While pea blossoms from the Pisum species are edible, ornamental Sweet Pea Blossoms are not. While you can eat the peas, pods and even the tendrils of Sweet Peas, the super fragrant, sweet-smelling Sweet Pea blossoms are best left for bouquets and vases; their seeds and thus the flowers are considered poisonous. The edible garden peas bloom mostly in white, but may show other pale or even purple colors. The blossoms are slightly sweet and crunchy and, no surprise, taste like peas. Know your farmer or gardener before you take a bite. ROSES The sheer varieties of colors and types provide many different flavors from sweet fruit like strawberries and green apples to mint and spice. The darker the color, the deeper their flavor, and different colors have different bioactive pigments. Rich in antioxidantlike polyphenols that may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, steep fresh petals in simmering water for five minutes to make rose petal tea and soothe a mild sore throat or open blocked bronchial tubes. Rose has a cooling effect on the body and so may reduce fevers along with associated rashes. A mild diuretic, rose petal tea is often recommended as a digestive tonic and thought to restore balance in the digestive system. Pair rose petals with peaches for a floral take on peach melba. Or if youre really industrious, try the tear-inducing, rose-petal sauce made famous in the film, Like Water for Chocolate. SQUASH BLOSSOMS Squash and pumpkin blossoms taste mildly of raw squash and, like squash, they contain important carotenoids and precursors to Vitamin A. Also high in calcium and iron and especially high in vitamins A and C, squash blossoms are probably the most versatile

edible flower. Typically youll find them in restaurants painstakingly stuffed with a goat cheese concoction, battered and then lightly fried. Or, if youre really lucky, youll find them on a pizza with fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes. Often times you find them at farmers markets with mini summer zucchini or summer squashes attached and these are edible too! While versatile, these blossoms are quite delicate; so removing their sex organs is an exercise in patience. I like to include them in a frittata with flowering herbs, or even simpler, as a quick and easy pasta sauce. Saut a couple of chopped shallots in olive oil and add diced mini zucchini or summer squash. Season with salt and pepper and a splash of white wine and simmer over medium-low heat until tender. Meanwhile, remove and discard the sex organs from the blossoms and cut cross-wise into thin strips. Add them into the sauce at the last minute to gently wilt and toss with cooked pasta of your choice. If you eat cheese, garnish with a grated hard cheese like grana padano or pecorino romano. SUNFLOWERS We know how much we enjoy the seeds of this giant flower and that their oils are good for cooking, but did you know that you can actually eat the flowers too? In the unopened bud stage, sunflowers taste similar to artichokes and can be steamed just like them. Once the flower opens, the petals are distinctly bittersweet so are best for garnishes on sweeter dishes like fruit salads or desserts looking for a balancing note. Or, infuse petals in boiling water and drink as a traditional remedy for menstrual pain. VIOLETS, VIOLAS, PANSIES AND JOHNNY JUMP UPS Available in colorful purples and yellows to apricot and pastel hues, these flowers have a sweet, perfumed flavor that work well in salads or to beautifully embellish desserts and iced drinks. If you eat only the petals, the flavor of pansies is extremely mild, but if you eat the whole flower, they have a winter, green overtone. While the flowers make pretty adornments for frosted cakes, sorbets, or any other desserts, their heart-shaped leaves are edible as well, and tasty when cooked like spinach. A great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, as well as magnesium, calcium, and other minerals, wild pansy teas and tinctures have traditionally been used for their excellent anti-inflammatory, diuretic, cleansing, and expectorant properties to treat gout,

rheumatism, respiratory infections, and skin conditions like eczema, and psoriasis . However you choose to enjoy your edible flowers, make sure they are grown by a respectable farm free from pesticides or any chemical sprays. Notes of caution before getting started: No flower is safe to eat unless it was grown organically. Grow them yourself or talk with your local farmer to be sure they are safe and free from pesticides and other chemicals. Better yet, grow your own and enjoy the bounty of your own blossoms all summer long. Daylilies and nasturtiums are purportedly some of the easiest flowers to grow. Generally, the flowers of most vegetables and herbs are safe to eat, but of course there are exceptions. Avoid the flowers of tomato,

Generally, the flowers of most vegetables and herbs are safe to eat, but of course there are exceptions.
potato, eggplant, peppers, and asparagus. Dangerous blooms to never eat include: oleander, daffodil or narcissus, Chinese wisteria, autumn crocus, angels trumpet, sweet pea blossoms, and monkshood. Introduce flowers into your diet in small quantities one species at a time. Too much of a good thing may cause problems for your digestive system. And if you have allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may aggravate your symptoms. Except in the case of violets, violas, pansies and Johnny jump ups, remove the bitter-tasting pistils and stamens before eating. For optimum storage and to minimize wilting, store flowers loosely in plastic bags intact and separate the petals from the rest of the flower just prior to use. To preserve your gorgeous, fresh flowers, consider freezing them in ice cubes to serve in summer drinks or candy them by brushing clean and completely dry blossoms with a wash of beaten egg whites and then sprinkle with super-fine sugar. Let them dry completely and store at room temperature in single layers until ready to use. LAYOGA
Red Jen Ford is a certified holistic health coach, Yoga instructor and manager of the Westwood Farmers Market, located in the Vets Garden, Thurs 12 - 5 P.M. Jen teaches the simplicity of eating local, sustainably grown food. (917) 971-1941 /



Hemp in the Kitchen

Beyond stereotypes, hemp is a nutritious superfood.



eorge Washington said it best, Oh, the mighty hemp seed; sow it everywhere. Our forefathers reaped the financial and industrial harvest of this versatile crop used for fuel, food, clothing, building materials, skin care products, biodegradable plastics, paper, and more. It wasnt until 1937 when the petroleum and lumber lobbying powers prevailed, and hemp was deemed illegal to grow in the USA. Decades later, people are seeing a variety of economic and environmental solutions in the humble hemp plant. We can ask: Why on Earth would our culture be using a non-renewable resource like petroleum for single use purposes like bottled ice tea? We buy items packaged in non-biodegradable petroleum-based plastic, to consume in a moment and then throw away. (Its important for us to remember that there really is no such place as away.) This is cause for me to pause and think. For more than eighty years, weve possessed the technology to transform industrial hemp (a plant far different from THC-rich marijuana) into a biodegradable plastic that is much less toxic than petroleum-based plastic in all parts of its lifespan, from processing to manufacturing and including its afterlife. Consider the hemp plant: it grows to fullsize in merely fourteen weeks; it delivers oxygen to the atmosphere; it is naturally pest-resistant and can be grown without pesticides (making it a far superior choice for textiles than cotton, the cultivation of

which dumps over 300 million gallons of pesticides into the soil annually); it can be used to make paper; and it provides a source for fuel that is based on current sunlight. It takes millions of years for petroleum to be formed; it lives deep within the earth, needing enormous amounts of effort and strife to extract. Not to mention petroleum is horribly messy, and creates pollution at every level of production. I cant help but wonder if all that oil deep within the Earth is meant to stay there.

HEMP SEED CRUSTED RAW CHILI FUDGE Making living fudge is a great pleasure. Its quick, easy, super delicious, and incredibly good for you! These superfood ingredients have high levels of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes. Ingredients 1 cup raw organic cacao powder 1 cup + 1 tbsp raw coconut oil cup raw honey or maple syrup raw organic hemp seeds 8 dates or 1 cups raisins 1 or 2 chili peppers (For different flavors, substitute the chili with 1-inch fresh ginger root, or 4 drops lavender 100% essential oil, or orange zest, or any spice you like.) Supplies 8x8 inch glass dish, Food processor Instructions Soak dates for 20 minutes (if youre using raisins there is no need to soak. Liquefy coconut oil by placing the glass jar in hot water (the oil liquefies in minutes). In a food processor, using the chop tool, puree the dates or raisins. Remove the chop blade and stir in hemp seeds with wooden spoon, leaving about one tablespoon of hemp seeds to sprinkle on top of fudge. Scoop the entire mixture into 8x8 glass dish and spread evenly on the bottom of the dish. Place this in the refrigerator as you make the fudge. To make the fudge: Pour the liquefied coconut oil and chili pepper into the food processor or blender and mix thoroughly. (Remember that instead of chili, for a different flavor, you can use 1-inch fresh ginger root, or 4 drops lavender 100% essential oil, or orange zest, or any spice you like.) Add the raw honey or maple syrup and blend or mix. Slowly add the cacao powder and mix until thoroughly blended. Pour the fudge mixture into glass dish on top of the dates and hemp. Sprinkle with the hemp seeds that youve set aside and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Remove the fudge from the fridge and let it sit out and come to room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Hemp seeds are rich in protein and in the essential fatty acids. Our bodies require ample quantities and ratios of these oils for optimum regeneration.
In addition to its other uses, hemp is a wonderful superfood, and its even gained a bit of mainstream notoriety with a recent appearance on television in Dr. Ozs superfood smoothies. Hemp seeds are rich in protein and in the essential fatty acids known as the Omega 3, 6, and 9. Our bodies require ample quantities and ratios of these oils for optimum regeneration, skin and cell membrane integrity, hormone and neurotransmitter production, and immune system function. Here are some quick and delicious recipes to help you incorporate hemp seeds into your every day diet.


LIVING HEMP AND CILANTRO SALAD DRESSING Ingredients cup raw hemp seeds 4 sprigs of cilantro 1 cups cold pressed sesame oil 1 tsp sea salt Dash of black pepper Instructions for Dressing Soak the hemp seeds overnight so they germinate; this activates the seed, making it a living seed instead of a dormant seed. Strain and rinse. (I like to pour the soaking and rising water onto a plant or in the garden.) Place the rinsed hemp seeds in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Toss on any salad greens to make an instant fabulous salad. Pour the remaining hemp dressing into a covered glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator.

HEMP MILK IS EASY Ingredients 1 cup raw hemp seeds 1 quart water 2 dates or 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional sweetener) Supplies Nutmilk bag, Glass pitcher Directions Soak the seeds overnight to germinate. Drain and rinse seeds and combine them in the blender with fresh water. Add dates or maple syrup if you want a sweeter hemp milk. Blend at least a minute. Pour the mixture from the blender through a nutmilk bag into a glass pitcher. (The nutmilk bag strains out the seed shells, leaving you with a beautiful hemp milk in your glass pitcher.) What to do with the leftover hemp shells? You can spread those hemp seed shells on your dehydrator tray (if you have one). Sprinkle them with sea salt, and dehydrate for a crumbly hemp topping for salads. If you have at least a cup of shells, you can mix them with one cup of dates or raisins in the food processor, then press into pie dish and refrigerate. Fill with my favorite pie filling: blended coconut meat (from 4 7 coconuts plus 1/4 cup coconut water) and 1 Tbsp vanilla powder or extract. Usually it takes the meat of 4-7 coconuts and about cup coconut water to make the pie filling. Or compost the shells in your yard!


CLOTHING Rawganiques fine hemp linens The Hempest 100% hemp dress and vintage pant Crocs Santa Cruz hemp shoe Think Substance, Hemp Can Save The Planet T-shirt BODY CARE The Merry Hempsters organic lip balm FOOD Nutiva hemp oil French Meadows hemp seed bread Living Harvest Tempt Ice cream (coconut lime is my favorite) For weekly live food recipes, natural beauty treatments and the best in eco fashion, watch Blythe RAW, Fridays at noon on To purchase a nutmilk bag, visit the store at:
Blythe Metz is an actress, writer, producer and a clean food and environmental advocate. She holds a Masters Degree in Metaphysical Sciences and is currently earning her PH.D in the same field. Visit: Carla Cummings is a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, Yoga and meditation Teacher, and an advocate of the healing properties of food, nature and devotion. Special Thanks to Bay Cities Kitchens and Appliances, 8826 Burton Way, Beverly Hills for the use of their space. (310) 358-8855

KALE SALAD WITH DRESSING For a delicious kale salad, take bunch of organic kale (kale is one of the dirty dozen of crops that are best to buy organic). Tear the kale into pieces and de-stem. Pour cup dressing (recipe above) on one bunch of kale and massage into the greens for about one minute; this action is similar to kneading bread. The kneading action breaks down the kale (or any other fibrous green such as collards), giving them the texture of lightly steamed greens, making dark leafy greens more enjoyable to eat. Why Make Your Own Dressing? Bottled store bought dressings contain cooked oils and pasteurized ingredients. Oils that have been heated change, molecularly speaking, causing them to read in your system more like a plastic that cant be digested and assimilated, rather than a healthy cold pressed oil, which digests and assimilates with ease. Cooked oils are injurious to our liver for this reason. They are a toxin that is hard to process and release, so cooked oils remain in the system becoming rancid, causing an acidic environment within. Making your own salad dressings with cold pressed raw oils is simple and provides fresh living options to enjoy over greens.



sitting down with lindsay wagner

From the Bionic Woman to the Quiet-Minded and Openhearted


indsay Wagner rose to prominence in the hearts and attention of television audiences in her Emmy Award-winning portrayal of Jaime Sommers in The Bionic Woman. She went on to make more than 40 TV movies, five mini-series, and 12 feature films, and she continues to appear in cameos. Along with her onscreen appearances, she has a vivid interest in the advancement of human potential and has always used her voice to champion transformation and holistic healing of mind, body, and soul. In addition to coauthoring a vegetarian cookbook and other lifestyle titles, she is a lifelong advocate for helping people heal from domestic violence and child abuse and she has a passion for environmental protection. For the past six years, she has been teaching workshops designed to help people see how to overcome their personal challenges. Felicia Marie Tomasko: Your commitment to growth has been a lifelong area of study. How did that begin? Lindsay Wagner: By the time I was 19, I had a severe case of ulcers and gallbladder problems and the doctors at UCLA were suggesting surgery. My boyfriends mother was the personal secretary of Dr. Hornaday who was the co-founder of the Church of Religious Science with the late Ernest Holmes (now called Centers for Spiritual Living). Dr. Hornaday helped me go through a healing process that allowed me to avoid the surgery. I was blown away by the discovery that there was a lot we were not learning in the mainstream. I was driven by how I felt after learning meditation, visualization, self-investigation, and combining this with prayer. I was learning to connect much more deeply and consciously on a spiritual level. I was observing my mind and saw how my thinking processes and the flow of the life force coming through me, resulted in physical, mental, and emotional health or ill health depending on my perspective. In 1969, I became an avid student of the integration of body, mind, and spirit for health and healing; it was my passion. Sometimes people in the entertainment industry would

say, Yeah, she just works here. Then there was the rest of growing up, starting relationships and my career. All of a sudden I was a global icon and that had its challenges. There was no lack of stimulation for growth. In my life, Ive been blessed with amazing teachers. Any time I would ask the divine to send me someone or something, a book, person, or workshop would come. I even nearly quit acting for a while to become a

In my life, Ive been blessed with amazing teachers Any time I would ask the divine to send me someone or something,a book, person, or workshop would come


holistic practitioner; I studied homeopathy and helped promote the American Holistic Medical Association, who got in touch with me because of the film, The Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel, my first television movie after The Bionic Woman. I had worked with the writers on expanding an eight-page treatment into a dramatic metaphor about what was happening in our culture between naturopaths and allopaths on opposite ends of the spectrum. There was a feeling as though never the twain shall meet. This was heartbreaking to me because there are wonderful things on both ends and we need them all. FMT: It sounds like this project was more than just a film for you, that it was a way of delivering a specific message and a means by which you could unite your acting work with your interests in holistic health. LW: What always interested me about film and television is the ability to tell a story that would not only entertain but possibly help someone. For me the passion is communication. I am grateful for the good fortune to have the power to choose my projects and work with the scripts to enhance the potency of the issues being explored in the film. I was involved in so many true stories because I love it when people transcend their circumstances and are growing rather than just surviving. FMT: Even the role for which you became known (The Bionic Woman) was about a person who transcended her circumstances. LW: In that situation, I was challenging the writers and producers to go deeper with the stories beyond the typical black and white, good and bad cop in a skirt. I was happy because everyone loved the challenges of trying to make complex stories work within the formula of the series, even when we were under the gun because we were the cutting edge technology at the time, with a lot of stunts and usually only one camera. Our workdays were sometimes 16 or 18 hours. FMT: Seeing strong women on television showed human potential and how we find our inner strength. It seems as though you were able to find a way to bring your different interests together. LW: It was karmic. In television, they let me try things; they saw that the public liked them, so we had the opportunity to make movies on all sorts of topics which, up until then, were too controversial for TV. It was an interesting time in history.

FMT: That time of history has influenced many people today. LW: It was a cultural revolution; it was the time of the women's movement but it wasn't just about women, it was about bringing up more feminine consciousness in our culture, seeing life situations from a different perspective, looking at other ways of problem solving beyond just winning. I was glad I had the opportunity to be part of that. It was an interesting time. FMT: What has inspired you to step into this role of teaching workshops? LW: It feels like a natural transition. Ive always been communicating my ideas through story and now I'm just doing it more overtly, and that was a big challenge for me at first. At one point, I took some time off, gave myself time to go more deeply into my spiritual studies and traveled with my kids. Two years later, a friend who was running a program in the LA County Jail called Bridges to Recovery (for domestic violence offenders) invited me to see what she and her team had developed since she knew I had been involved in public education related to domestic violence and had done the movie Shattered Dreams about a woman who transcended her circumstances rather than continuing to seeing herself as just a victim. My family had struggled with domestic violence and getting over the effects of that was part of my own healing journey. I thought I would visit for 20 minutes, but stayed all day and cried my eyes out, seeing 60 men having the passion and courage to look at themselves, learn, and grow in this amazing program. It was compassionate and nonjudgmental, designed to empower people to take full responsibility for their actions, explore their conditioning, attitudes, and habits and learn true forgiveness for self and others. They emphasized the fact that we have the ability to grow out of patterns that don't serve our life, regardless of what they are or what weve done in the past. I became deeply involved with the program for six years and cofounded a support group with one of the teachers for the alumni of BTR. Our goal was to give them and their families a safe place to continue to grow individually and together. One of the techniques we used was Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), extremely helpful in releasing emotional charge that wont let you move forward. I also shared the Oneness Blessing (Deeksha), a flow of energy that balances the energy of the body

and has the capacity to quiet the mind and open the heart. We all fight about the same things; its just that some people don't have a safety switch. We unravel what is blocking the safety switch. We all have self-esteem issues, so much of the same pain and anger. People who would come to observe the support group would say, Oh, I need to take that program, and would ask me when we would do one for the public, so I started doing small programs in my house that grew by word of mouth. Then someone invited me to do a workshop in another state and it just became viral. In the past five years Ive been to at least six other countries. Lately though, Ive found myself becoming genuinely interested in going back to the film industry. I have some stories Ive been carrying around for a few years now that Id like to get made. Ive done a few guest appearances on the sci-fi show Warehouse 13 recently where I play the warehouse doctor and am actually doing some of the EFT tapping as treatment for the characters pain. Anybody who knows EFT would have giggled if they had seen the show. There I am planting seeds. FMT: What is it that you hope to communicate with your work in all arenas? LW: That we are all more amazing than we know. My prayer is that in one form or another something sparks that awakening in people along with the awareness that we are all connected at a very profound level. When we see and experience ourselves as so separate from everything, we limit our ability to bring through the life force or to draw in what we need for our happiness. Once we have a sense that we are a unique expression of the whole then there is an experiential knowing that the power that is driving it all is accessible to us. That power implies joy and peace and creativity. Lindsay has released her first meditation CD, Open to Oneness, which incorporates the Oneness Blessing. She teaches Quiet the Mind & Open the Heart workshops around the world, including an upcoming workshop August 12-14 in Palm Springs, CA. For more information, visit: or Workshops@lindsaywagner
Felicia M. Tomasko is the Editor-in-Chief of LA Yoga.



yoga therapy

Yoga benefits people with abnormal heart rhythms

Photo of Dice Iida-Klein

new study presented by the American College of Cardiology found Yoga to be an effective therapy in the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm during which people experience irregular frequent heart beats as a result of the quivering, or fibrillation, of the atria, the upper chambers of the heart. It is the most common abnormal heart rhythm, and although it is not necessarily symptomatic, but it may result in increased risk of stroke, chest pain, palpitations, fainting, anxiety, and even congestive heart failure. Pharmaceutical medications or electrical cardioversion are current treatments. Yoga may be another method of addressing the irregular heartbeat in atrial fibrillation. The practice of Yoga is known to improve many risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol,

hardening of the arteries, and stress and inflammation in the body, said Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, M.D., associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Excellence in Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Kansas City. Previous research has showed Yoga to have many positive impacts on overall heart health, yet this is this study is the first to examine yoga specifically on patients with atrial fibrillation. According to the research presented at the American College of Cardiologys 60th Annual Scientific Session in April, 2011, Yoga was found to cut peoples episodes of atrial fibrillation in half and significantly improve their quality of life. The study concluded that a consistent Yoga practice helps reduce the symptoms of irregular heartbeat as well as decrease levels of anxiety and depression in people who were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. ACC.11 is the premier cardiovascular medical meeting, bringing together cardiologists and cardiovascular specialists to further advances in cardiovascular medicine. These findings are important because many of the current conventional treatment strategies for atrial fibrillation include invasive procedures or medications with undesirable side effects. Success with these therapies varies widely, and they are often only modestly effective in controlling heart rhythm, Lakkireddy said. It appears Yoga has a significant impact on helping to regulate patients heart beat and improves their overall quality of life. Any intervention that helps in reducing or controlling the arrhythmia burden in atrial fibrillation can have a huge impact on public health. Given the low cost, safety and effectiveness of Yoga, the authors of the study recommend that it be considered in the overall treatment strategy for atrial fibrillation and other complex heart rhythm disorders. For yogis and yoginis, this research is another welcomed addition to the growing number of studies supporting the benefits of their practice. LAYOGA
Study: Impact of Yoga on Arrhythmia Burden and Quality of Life in Patients with Symptomatic Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation: The Yoga My Heart Study presented by Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, M.D. Michael Blahut is a student at the Shiatsu Massage School of California, a Smart Flow trainee, and a friendly face behind the desk at Exhale Center for Sacred Movement.

The practice of yoga is known to improve many risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, and stress and inflammation in the body,





What oils can i eat for health?


ats are one of the most misunderstood components of our diet. Most people are concerned with how much fat they are eating. But its not the amount of fat which is killing Americans and bankrupting our healthcare system. Its where the fats come from, how we process them and how we disrespect their properties that are contributing to our national health crisis. There are three major factors that affect the bodys relationship to fats the processing (karana), the quantity (rasi), and the inherent nature (prakriti) of each type of fat. Start by buying good quality fats and oils. Next, how we use them once we have them at home is significant. In the kitchen, we heat many oils inappropriately which changes their nature and can contribute to the causes of disease. While we should be aware of the quantities of fats and oils eaten, we do need a variety of fats in the diet. Certain fats are better for different types of people or imbalances.

Buy monounsaturated oils that are unrefined and cold-pressed and only use with moderate heat such as sauting but not frying.

All fats and oils, whether of vegetable or animal origin, contain some combination of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. They are identified by their predominant type of fat. Butter is mostly saturated; olive oil is mostly monounsaturated; and flaxseed oil mostly polyunsaturated. An important quality of every type of fat is its ability to withstand heat. The more saturated the fat, the more sturdy. Unsaturated fats are easily damaged or oxidized by heat. Oxidized fats can contribute to cancer and heart disease. Unsaturated fats also spoil more quickly that saturated fat. Spoiled fats are called rancid. In the kitchen, some fats are appropriate for heating (saturated fats), some can tolerate moderate heat (monounsaturated fats), while others are unsuitable to be heated at all (polyunsaturated fats). Oils must be treated properly to maintain their healthgiving properties. This means that it is important to always buy unrefined cold-pressed oils. And if you eat meat or dairy, it should come from pastured or grass fed animals.




So-called diet dictocrats funded by corporate America tell us we should reduce our intake of fats, particularly saturated fats from animal sources. Fats from animal sources also contain cholesterol, which is presented as the twin villain of the civilized diet. This theory called the lipid hypothesis in fact has very little evidence to support the contention that a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol reduces death from heart disease or in any way increases ones life span. Clearly something is wrong with the theories we read in the popular press. Their aim is to bolster sales of low-fat concoctions and cholesterol-free foods. The notion that saturated fats per se cause heart disease as well as cancer is not only simplistic, it is just plain wrong. One needs to avoid food products with lite or the terms low-fat and nonfat in their names. But it is true that some fats are bad for us. Without going into to the study of the chemistry of fats which is beyond the scope of this article, the bottom line is: Dont count fat grams or the percentage of calories from fat. Eat a variety of traditional fats and oils, and balance rich food with lighter ones. Traditional fats are foods that your grandmother would recognize. Think olive oil here. Eat a combination of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. They all have very important functions in the body. Diversity in ones fat selection, as in ones diet in general, will ensure good health.

Saturated fats come from plant-based and animal products. They are highly stable and do not normally go rancid, even when heated for cooking purposes including frying. They form solid or semisolid fat at room temperature. Examples include: - Saturated fats in plant-based products, the so-called tropical oils, like wet milled, unrefined coconut oil. - All traditional saturated fats from animals that are pastured or grass fed rather than grain fed. The breed of the animal will also affect the fatty acid composition and nutritional value. - Fat from grass-fed cattle, sheep, bison, and other game. - Butter, ghee and cream from grass-fed cows. - Pork fat (lard) from pastured pigs that are fed a natural diet. Pigs eat anything so their diet varies. - Egg yolks from pastured chickens, ducks, and geese. - Fish oils, especially cod liver oil.

cifically LDL or bad cholesterol. These are found in animal-based foods such as meat, poultry, and eggs, and also in butter, cream, and other dairy products. Canola oil and peanut oil contain behenic acid. This particular fatty acid is poorly absorbed by the body. Dietary behenic acid is particularly potent in raising total and LDLcholesterol concentrations. Safflower, corn, sunflower, soybean, peanut, canola, and cottonseed oils are all high in Omega 6 fatty acids. These present a potential danger, as most Americans ingest relatively too much Omega 6 oils and not enough Omega 3 fats, so these oils should be strictly limited in the average American diet.

Ayurveda recognizes that everyone has a unique constitution (prakriti) and possesses a current state of deviation from this original nature (vikriti). There is nothing that is right for everyone. All people who have the same disease are not prescribed the same treatment. Knowing your constitution and state of imbalance is important in knowing which fats and oils will be most healing for you specifically. You can discover this by visiting your local Ayurvedic practitioner. For example, a person with a vata vitiation, or increase or imbalance of the airy vata dosha, is brought into balance by a lot of grounding oils and fats in the dietmost specifically sesame oil, almond oil, and ghee. Likewise, people with a significant amount of the fiery pitta need oils that are inherently cool such as ghee, olive, or coconut oil. The earthy kapha dosha needs a very small amount of oil in their diet and is best balanced by ghee, sunflower, or mustard seed oil.

These tend to be liquid at room temperature. They are relatively stable and do go rancid easily and hence can be used in cooking with moderate heat. They reduce overall cholesterol levels, and specifically LDL or bad cholesterol, while increasing levels of HDL or good cholesterol. They are found in nuts (almond, pecan, cashews) and seeds (sesame), avocados, olive oil, and safflower oil. In extra virgin olive oil, the antioxidants and Vitamin E remain intact when it is cold-pressed.

These tend to remain liquid, even when refrigerated. They go rancid easily, and ideally are not to be heated or used in cooking. They may be used as salad dressing or poured on food at the table. They reduce overall cholesterol levels, and specifically LDL or bad cholesterol. Polyunsaturated oils include corn, flaxseed, sunflower, grape seed, and soybean oils. (Corn and soybean are two of the most common genetically modified crops, so be cautious when choosing these oils.) Buy these products unrefined cold-pressed, store them in the refrigerator and use cold. Polyunsaturated fats are also found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines. Saturated Fat from animals that are grain fed rather than pastured (grass fed). These will increase overall cholesterol levels, spe-

Trans Fats are very bad fats. They increase levels of LDL or bad cholesterol and lower levels of HDL or good cholesterol. They are found in hydrogenated fat products such as margarine and vegetable shortenings and are used in packaged snack foods such as cookies, crackers and chips, and in fried foods from fast-food and other restaurants. These industrial fats are cheap and ubiquitous. Overeating low-quality food is more often the cause of poor nutrition than starvation. While labeling of trans fats levels in foods is now mandated, federal regulations allow labels to claim there are 0 grams of trans fats if the food has less than half a gram per serving size. Most packaged foods contain multiple servings, so the actual trans fat content may not be represented on the label. Refined or heated polyunsaturated oils such as corn, flaxseed, sunflower, grape seed, soybean oils. These oils should NOT be heated. Instead add them to food at the table. Refined vegetable oils such as corn and soybean oil are pressed under high heat which means that Vitamin E is destroyed and delicate polyunsaturated fats are oxidized. Oils labeled vegetable oil are actually a blend of several oils, such as corn, soybean, palm, and sunflower.

Cook more at home so you will have control of what fats are in your diet. If you eat dairy, make ghee from pastured organic unsalted butter. Buy a good 100% organic first cold press unrefined extra virgin olive oil. Mix them half and half in your cooking. LAYOGA Robert J. Talbert Jr., M.S. C.A.S., is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist in private practice in Laguna Beach, CA. He is a faculty member at the California College of Ayurveda. Contact him at:



espaol /english

( The Nourishing Energy of Shakti )


hankaracharya, el gran sabio de Avaita Vedanta, llamaba alimento a todo lo que ingresa por los sentidos, adems de los pensamientos que nutren nuestra existencia, y as enfatiz el sendero de la renunciacin. Qu debemos entender, entonces, por renunciacin? Es meramente cerrar lo ojos a todo, desnutriendo el cu> erpo y secando la mente para alcanzar algo ms all de la existencia, donde nuestros cuerpos y mentes no pueden llegar? De acuerdo con Vivekananda es cubrir todo con el Seor, no con una falsa nota de optimismo, no cegando nuestros ojos a la maldad, sino porque realmente vemos a Dios en todo. As es como debemos renunciar al mundo. Y cuando el mundo es renunciado, qu queda? Dios. El mundo est lleno

con el Seor. Abre tus ojos y entrate. Ah, esto tiene ms sentido!, pero cmo es posible traducirlo en la vida cotidiana? Cmo abrir los ojos o es que necesitamos un nuevo par de ojos? Y aqu es donde el hinduismo viene a cooperar, mostrndonos el rostro femenino de la Divinidad. El hinduismo llama Madre a la Existencia Consciente, porque se comporta de un modo muy similar a nuestras madres, nos infunde vida, nos nutre y nos ayuda a encontrar nuestro propio valor, a tener fe en nuestro ser para que, finalmente, podamos ver la realidad tal cual es. Ella, claro, es Shakti, la energa conciente, que manifiesta a la Realidad en innumerables formas. Reconocerla es respirarla en el aire, tocarla en la tierra, sentirla en la vibracin del ro, es-

cucharla en los latidos del propio corazn significa vivir consciente, aqu y ahora, despierto. Cada da y en cada momento, en el hogar, en el trabajo, sobre la colchoneta de yoga, en el templo, caminando en la calle, viajando en el bus, en todas partes, con slo recordar que existe en nosotros, recibimos ese soplo de gracia que nutre de espritu a nuestro cuerpo, a nuestra mente, a nuestra vida, y que abrindonos los ojos a algo mayor que nosotros mismos, nos ruega que lo veamos.
Sister Jayanti es una monja de Vedanta. Si usted quiere hablar con ella o recibir clases gratuitas de Vedanta Yoga y Meditacin, visite el Templo Vedanta de Hollywood Hills. Te: (323) 902-6022


hankaracharya, the great sage of Advaita Vedanta, referred to food as everything we take in through our senses along with the thoughts that nurture our existence. Given that food, including our thoughts, can be nourishing or destructive, he emphasized the path of renunciation. How do we understand renunciation? Does it mean to close our eyes to all? > Is renunciation the practice of starving the body and drying out the mind in the search for what is beyond the reach of body or mind? According to Vivekananda, renunciation means to cover all that exists with the Lord not by a false sort of optimism, not by blinding our eyes to the evil, but by really seeing God in everything. Thus we

have to give up the world. And when the world is given up, what remains? God. The whole world is full of the Lord. Open your eyes and see Him. How do we apply these concepts in our day-to-day life? How do we renounce the world and yet open our eyes? Hinduism can provide clues by showing us the feminine face of the Divine. Hinduism calls Conscious Existence our mother, because it behaves much like our mother: it infuses us with life, nurtures us, helps us to find our own strength, to have faith in ourselves, and it allows us to eventually see her as she is. She, of course, is Shakti; the conscious energy, manifesting Reality in innumerable forms. To recognize her is to breathe the air, touch the Earth, feel the vibration

of the river, listen to the very beats of our own heart, and to live in the here and now, awake. Seeing Her is renunciation in action. Each day, at every moment, at work or home, on the Yoga mat, in the temple, walking in the street, traveling by bus, or anywhere we find ourselves, by remembering her existence and our connection, we receive that breath of grace which our fills our body, mind, and life with spirit, which opens our eyes to something bigger than ourselves, and only demands from us that we open our eyes to the Divine.
Sister Jayanti is a Vedanta nun who has been serving to the Spanish community of LA since 2005. She gives free classes of Vedanta Yoga and Meditation at the Vedanta Temple of Hollywood Hills; (323) 902-6022



Photographer: Noureddine El-Warari / Model: Lisa C Soto

La Nutriente Energa de Shakti



Feast for the Senses


A meditation on sensual delight from The Radiance Sutras, a new translation of the vijnana bhairava tantra
ood we cant live without it. So why not take delight in each bite? The same attitude goes for our other appetites. We are hungry for many things besides purely physical food: Music and poetry feed the soul; Love feeds the hungry heart. From a Tantric perspective, we are always eating, always absorbing nutrition from the cosmos, always being fed by the universe on many levels. All sensual perception is food. Each of the senses is feeding on infinity, metabolizing the energies of creation. Every bit of sunlight that touches our skin and blesses the eyes is nourishment: the body absorbs the wavelengths and transmutes that electromagnetic energy into substances it can use. Every sound we hear is the vibration of life in action; our ears are sustained by laughter, good conversations, and rhythms of all kinds. Breath is a primary food we breathe in and out twenty thousand times a day, we are filled and emptied as two thousand gallons of airsubstance flows across the sensitive sensory tissues of the nose, mouth, and throat. We may as well notice this continual feast and rejoice in it, instead of taking it for granted.

In the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, Shiva sings: All around you, in every moment, The world is offering a feast for your senses. Songs are playing, tasty food is on the table, Fragrances are in the air, Colors fill the eyes with light. You who long for union, Attend this banquet with loving focus. The outer and inner worlds Open to each other. Oneness of vision, oneness of heart. Right here, in the midst of it all, Merge with the elation. Become identical With the ecstatic Essence Embracing both worlds.


Verse 73 of the Bhairava Tantra, which correlates to Sutra 50 of The Radiance Sutras.

gitdiviaysvd samasaukhyaikattmana yoginas tanmayatvena manorhes tadtmat

If you want to sound out the words, here they are, approximately:*

diet through ears, aural diet. (Recorded in Vijnana Bhairava, The Manual for Self Realization, available from Universal Shaiva Fellowship: www. Your real diet is the divine feast you are in the midst of, all the sensual pleasures within the range of your senses. Lakshmanjoo suggests that asama saukhya means unparalleled happiness the unparalleled joy that arises from listening to song. If you listen with your whole being, you can hear the song of life even in ordinary conversation. We are called to listen wholeheartedly. There are many ways of paying attention, a whole continuum scrutiny, skepticism, clinical watching, cold observation, appreciation, delight, wonder, adoration, love. Each has its place. We can dial each one in as needed or appropriate. But if we get stuck in cold witnessing, we may miss the joy of outer life and also our own gateways to transcendence. The quality of attention this sutra is calling for is more than sterile, joyless noticing. Jack Kornfield, the Vipassana meditation teacher, once pointed out that mindfulness is an insipid word, not suggestive of living fully, with courage and spaciousness. Mindfulness is not a good translation of what Buddha taught heartfulness would be a better term. Every experience is divine if you accept it as such. There are times when we need to give ourselves permission to be in shameless pleasure, and absorb delight with our whole bodies, in every cell, with every sense. This is spiritually and physically healthy, and a way of giving thanks to life. Use Yoga to extend the reach of your senses visaya and tune your bodys ability to metabolize prana, the energy of life. The bliss flowing in your nerves and body is also a form of prana. In Yoga, become one with the happiness of this divine feast; mount this happiness, arudhi - ride it, ascend with it, become one with it. This is sublime spiritual bliss, and it is available to us, here in the midst of everyday life. This sutra is inviting us to attend to the feast of the senses that is everyday life, and use the skills we practice in Yoga to ascend and transcend with the joy. LAYOGA
Dr. Lorin Roche, a mediation teacher for more than forty years, is the author of The Radiance Sutras and the coauthor, with his wife, Camille Maurine, of Meditation Secrets for Women:

geetaa aadi vishayaaasvaadaa samasaukhya ekatatmanah yoginah tatmayatvena manasaaroodheh tataatmataa

Looking in the Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary we see: Gita ~ song, musical performances, music instruments; adi ~ the first, or etcetera; visaya ~ anything perceptible by the senses, object of sense, sensuality; asvada ~ eating with relish, (also metaphorically), tasting, flavor, enjoying; sama ~ equal, equipoise; saukhya - comfort, welfare, felicity, enjoyment; ekataat manah ~ one-pointed focus; yoginas ~ the yogis; tanmayatvena - become one with that; tanmaya ~ absorbed in THAT, identical with THAT; dvaina ~ duality; manah mind; arudhi ~ ascent, mounting, elevation, riding; tat-atmata ~ become one with that; atma, nature, existence, essence, the life principle, spirit, soul. Visaya deserves its own paragraph, for its semantic range is quite broad: anything perceptible by the senses, object of sense, sensuality, range, detail, material enjoyment, material happiness, abode, dominion, kingdom, scope, compass, horizon, range, reach of the eyes, ears, mind, within the reach of the five indriyas or senses; shabda - sound, sparsa tangibility to the skin, rupa - form or color, for the eyes, rasa - savor, for the tongue, gandha - odor, for the nose. Swami Lakshmanjoo (1907 1991) from Srinagar, Kashmir, India, was one of the main exponents of Kashmir Shaiva (or Kashmiri Shaivism) philosophy in our time. In a teaching he gave to John Hughes, Denise Hughes, and Alexis Sanderson, Swami Lakshmanjoo commented, Gitadi visaya, that is also visaya, that is also our diet, our
*Thanks to Dr. John Casey for consulting on nuances of Sanskrit grammar.


yoga at home simple acts for daily practice

Do you live in the present?

Clean your closet, clear your mind.

f youre like me, you have clothes in your closet that have little use. I pride myself on getting rid of things, but there are items, like business suits and several pairs of boots, that have stuck with me through three different moves. The hall closet, Im not so proud of: Ive struggled even opening and closing the door. Before a recent trip to India, I prepped my closets for living, breathing subtenants. I had to make room for their stuff, which meant getting rid of mine. I conducted a major viewing of things and debated keeping or chucking certain items. In the end, I shuffled half to a friends house and gave 2% to Goodwill. I went to India to practice Yoga. I wasnt finding myself or escaping, I swear (read unreliable narrator). Of course I was escaping! But now when one goes to India for non-high tech reasons people ask, is that an Eat, Love, Pray thing? (Or they actually say it the correct way, Eat, Pray, Love. I myself seem to organize those three words in a very worldly way.) I wasnt on an EPL tour, but I needed a serious break that a vacation wouldnt settle. The previous year was marked by conflict of the West Bank kind. It seemed everywhere I turned I was fighting with either boyfriend or boss. I was worn down and exhausted. Travel transports us into new experiences and new discoveries but I was going back to the same place I was at the year before. The places were the same but I had no idea the trip would result in the unexpected. For instance, I was shocked when my housemate from San Francisco arrived with a three pound backpack carrying all his


belongings for a month. I eyed his sprightly shoulders with envy. I imagined floating through airports without the bags, the computer, the blistered feet, (the boyfriend?). Sitting in the sparsely furnished bedroom I rented from a nice Indian family, my housemates lithe backpack tugged at my consciousness. Was liberation closer than I thought? I realized my attempt at creating space in my house had been temporary and lame. I want to be free, I decided. In my minds eye, I rummaged through closets at home. A majority of things were housed under the in-case/fear-based scenario. I rationalized stuff under scenarios such as: future belly dancing classes, intended rollerblading trips, or attire for retirement when Social Security is broke and I wil be so poor I wont have money to buy another shirt so I should keep the one in my hand as it seems retirement stylish (Im far from retirement). But rationalizing didnt stop there. Id rationalized my entire life, the boyfriend, the job, things I didnt want but had made

critical decisions from an in-case/fear-based mindset. How was life to be transformed when I wasnt honest with myself about what I wanted? Bogged down with things, I had created a false comfort zone. By hanging onto possessions, people, and possibilities, I was living in the past and the future but not the present. India showed me what my closet at home was trying to tell me. With a new perspective, I set standards for my closets: No fighting when opening or closing closet doors (or with boyfriends and bosses). Visible closet floors. (Transparency. I must speak my truth and be transparent about my hopes and dreams.) Clean and organized closets. (Every day I must practice fulfilling these standards.) Purge what you dont use. (Letting go of things is hard but frees one up for sprightly shoulders.) When I returned home, it got ugly. I spent jet-lagged days in a daze and nights ripping out the closets insides. I jumped over and swerved around an obstacle course of bags in my living room. Bags joined boxes.

I zigzagged through the maze, carving out branches: items for Goodwill, things for sale, and a quick route from the bathroom to the kitchen. Circling the piles, somewhere in the core of my being, I could hear a voice from the present, asking me to consider the exit plan the next time I was about to swipe my card to take on another item. Things we own and acquire define our past and hopes for the future. Our accumulations not only succeed in shielding us from the present, they also accumulate hours of time to manage, eating up life. The physical process of purging my closet and my life was a trip in itself. While I may not be a three pound backpack person yet, I did make a decent dent and feel lighter for it. I looked around the lithe closet, noting the clean, shiny floors, baseboards, and corners, and then finally admitted, the bags were ready for donation. LAYOGA
Written by Leslie Hendry is an attorney, writer, and authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher from the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois lineage. She is the founder of, a company dedicated to clean living.



food and home farmer's corner

Cherry season peaks in June, so seize the moment - grab a handful and enjoy.



an you bake a cherry pie? Given enough time, patience, and practice to make a flaky dough crust (or the spare moments to search for a near-impossible-to-find, transfat free crust), I bet you could. But why bother when you can make something just as tasty, a little healthier, and a lot simpler? Like a cherry crisp. Cherries mark the beginning of our stone fruit season. So if you master this technique now, you can enjoy a variety of peach, nectarine, apricot, and even pluot crisps throughout the summer. From Brooks to Bings everything in between, cherries are incredible when eaten by themselves, but you could slice them open, remove the pits, and toss them into a salad of couscous or quinoa with a bit of feta cheese and fresh basil and/or mint to balance their sweet tang. Or, my personal favorite, simply serve them for dessert with super dark chocolate and aged gouda cheese. Cherries are rich in melatonin, Vitamin C, fiber, and the dark red pigment anthocyanin, a powerful anti-inflammatory, that can help fight gout and ease arthritis pain. In fact, one study reports that 20 cherries are 10 times more potent than aspirin in reducing inflammation-related pain. With a high concentration of the flavonoid quercetin, eating cherries may help fight cancer and heart disease. An added bone-building bonus, sweet cherries are high in boron, which when coupled with calcium and magnesium, supports bone health. Plus, their high concentration of potassium may help decrease high blood pressure and hypertension. With these nutritional benefits and only 82 calories per onecup serving, they make a delicious, healthy snack or dessert. LAYOGA
Red Jen Ford Red Jen Ford is a certified holistic health coach, Yoga instructor and manager of the Westwood Farmers Market, located in the Vets Garden Thursdays from Noon to 5:00 P.M. Jen teaches her customers and busy clients the benefits and simplicity of eating local, sustainably grown food. or

SUMMER CRISP WITH CHERRIES Topping cup whole-wheat flour cup almond meal/flour cup turbinado or raw cane sugar (more or less depending on the fruits tartness) teaspoon fine sea salt Grated zest of 1 lemon 6 tablespoons unsalted organic or pastured butter, room temp (or a vegan variation, use a vegan spread) Filling 2 pounds cherries 1 tablespoons arrowroot powder Juice of 1 lemon Directions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and butter or oil a two-quart baking dish. Stem, pit, and halve the cherries and place them in the dish. Squeeze the juice of a lemon over the cherries and sprinkle with the arrowroot. (At this point, you could also add additional sugar to sweeten to your liking.) Toss well. For the topping, combine a cup of flour (whole wheat, regular, almond or a combination thereof), half cup of sugar (regular, brown, or raw turbinado), zest of a lemon, and a good pinch of salt in a bowl. Use your fingers or a fork and mix roomtemperature butter into the flour mixture until it feels like coarse sand. Sprinkle the topping over the berries and bake until cherries are bubbly, about 40 minutes. Then, increase the heat to 400 degrees and bake for another five minutes until the topping is brown and crispy. Serve warm or room temp with yogurt (dairy or vegan), ice cream, or Coconut Bliss on top.

With a high concentration of the flavonoid quercetin, eating cherries may help fight cancer and heart disease.






BY TARUN NAYAR Chaiwalla's Boombox Records



In the 90s, as we caught the first glimpses of the world wide web and digital culture, we fantasized a Global Village: a world made small by the acceleration of communication; a world in which national boundaries and cultural distinctions are made soft and fuzzy by the increasingly rapid exchange of media. We imagined a global dance dloor on which the differences between folk music and electronica blurred. 22 Degrees of Beatitude by Tarun Nayar recollects that vision: global dance music for human beings. Born of East Indian parents in Montreal, Canada, this tabla player and digital programmer is one of the founding members of the world beats collective, Delhi2Dublin, that has been rocking music festivals with their electro-acoustic fusion of bhangra and Celtic folk music. Nayar describes this album as a chronicle of his own development as an artist and musician over the past 10 years. It is personal and private, and tangibly subtler than the driving beats of D2D. Chill trance beats and mystic voices, from unfinished tracks that collected on his hard drive for years, have been polished and complimented with guest performances on sarangi, bansuri, and other folk instruments. The music on this album is difficult to pinpoint by geography. It is truly international, transcultural, and like music itself belongs to all of humanity.
Reviewed by Geoffrey Earendil, a certified Hatha Yoga teacher, a musician and a student of The Mystic Path. Follow him at

Somatic experiencing, introduced by Dr. Peter Levine, involves healing the residual effect of traumatic experience to regain the ability to self-regulate in the face of stress. Here, Hala Khouri, a somatic psychotherapist and Yoga teacher, guides the viewer into a practice that challenges perceptions within postures; to shift the ability to deal with stress through somatic experiencing. With clear instruction and focus on essential alignment points, Khouri moves deeper into energetic layers of asana, questioning the inner workings of the mind and emotional effects of poses. To highlight the relaxation response, Khouri utilizes breath and present-moment observation. Her commentary suggests tools, such as acceptance, to manage stressful events in place of familiar flight or fight reactions. She suggests that the viewer: Work with emotions the same way you work with sensation. Just be present, don't be afraid to feel; it is running away from feeling that causes us suffering, often it is not the feeling itself. Included is a well-rounded physical practice in six segments: Warm Up, Standing Poses, Free Movement, Cool Down and a choice of two meditations. They can be viewed independently or practiced in full. The closing meditations direct the student to practice responsive thought patterning rather than reactivy to traumatic and stressful experiences. Yoga for Stress Relief is a valuable practice for anyone seeking freedom.
Reviewed by Beth Dian Prandini M.A., an LA-based Yoga


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book reviews

what's on my

Im an avid reader, and in any moment, theres a pile of books, DVDs and other media on my nightstand awaiting any spare moment when I can pause and immerse myself in the message and connect to a source of inspiration. Save The Farm (CD)

This is an example of what we should be duplicating, not eradicating, says Daryl Hannah in this short film documenting the activist effort to save what was the largest organic urban farm in the nation14 acres in South Central LA. For 14 years, this plot was a community gathering place and the soil fed families. When the city sold to a developer in closed door sessions, celebrities and families rallied. They gained national attention but lost the land. Still, director Michael Kuehnerts film (released for download on June 4) shows the positive impact of urban farming and presents this as a viable solution for todays urban environments. Purchase a copy to share:

eating. The clarity of her voice speaks to the struggles we all face in any of our choices, whether were considering food or other substances or behaviors: are we operating on autopilot or are we making conscious choices? After all, were always hungry for something, which is why Ravenous is the title of this exploration. Macy visits farms and slaughterhouses, feeds people at a shelter, and exorcises old ghosts by visiting the house where she grew up. Along the way she learns to appreciate food with a new level of gratitude. And the most important lesson has nothing to do with a number on a scale. As Macy says, Im trying to become more myself.

The Natural Kitchen (BOOK)


Ravenous (BOOK)

When I picked up Dayna Macys thoughtful memoir exploring her relationship with food and weight and habits, I couldnt put it down. She applies the self-inquiry of Yoga practice to examining her patterns around

With helpful hints for everything from a growing an organic backyard garden, shopping responsibly, using the whole vegetable, setting up a plastic bag drying rack, and incorporating energy saving methods for cooking, Tulls meditation on becoming a sustainable kitchen revolutionary is both inspiring and full of valuable resources

FELICIA MARIE TOMASKO. RN is the Editor-in-Chief of LA Yoga



spotlight on lisbeth scott

Giving voice to forgotten dreams


vatar; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Shrek; Transformers; Munich; The Passion of the Christ; True Blood; and The Sopranos; these represent merely a partial list of Lisbeth Scotts film credits. Considering the wide range of theater, film, and television soundtracks as well as the variety of other projects that talented musician, haunting vocalist, evocative composer, and dedicated yogi Lisbeth Scott has been a part ofwell, the catalog is the stuff of dreams. After all, wouldnt many dreams be fulfilled by contributing to some of todays most iconic films and participating in meaningful collaborations such as the recent recording of A Symphony of Hope: the Haiti Project, in which 25 composers collaborated with a full symphony to record music in order to raise money to support the ongoing effort to rebuild Haiti. Yet Lisbeth Scott has another dream, one with a different sort of reach as it involves helping women remember the dreams they have set aside. Lisbeth has named this initiative The Forgotten Dream Project. Shes already been encouraging people to make concrete their secret longing, in Hope is a Thing, also the name of her eighth studio album, one that reminds people, no matter what is challenges are around us, our hopes and the spiritual longings of our heart, the moments beyond the material that bring us joy, are important. Linked to the messages shes been soliciting from people to share that Hope is a Thing, shes now launching The Forgotten Dream Project. Currently, shes collaborating with the nonprofit organization A Place Called Home, based in South Central LA and run by executive director Jonathan Zeichner. The Forgotten Dream Project is celebrating its birth in a public event in Santa Monica on June 18, where Lisbeth Scott and other guest musicians and performers will be hosting a fundraising concert.

Felicia Marie Tomasko: What is The Forgotten Dream Project? Lisbeth Scott: It is a mini-grant foundation focused on helping low income women who can use a gift or a boost that would allow them to realize a dream. I had been waiting for years to start something like this--waiting until I was a billionaire. I was used to feeling that I couldnt make a difference until I was one of those people. On January first, I woke up to this thought, Thats it; Im not waiting any longer. Although I cant give millions away right now, I can give away amounts like $500 2,000 and make a positive impact on peoples lives. As soon as I told one person, others came on board and I was introduced to A Place Called Home in South Central LA. There I met the woman who is receiving the foundations first grant. At nineteen, she is the sole supporter of her family of five. Her older sister is mentally ill, and requires her mothers 24-hour care and her father is in Mexico with her ill grandfather. All the sudden they were in a situation without any income for months and have almost been evicted twice. This girl is wise beyond her years and you can see that she is the rock in the family. She has an opportunity to intern with a law firm and she really wants to study law but she can't participate in this internship without has a car. This initial $500 grant will be matched so that she can get a car. When I was talking to the people involved with A Place Called Home, they were excited about The Forgotten Dream Project, because even though they are involved with other collaborative programs (such as The Cinderella Project, in which hundreds of gently used or even new prom and graduation gowns are gifted to young women) there is nothing else like this. They told me about a nineteenyear-old girl they had with two children. Her boyfriend had left her. She was crying in the

office saying, Its too late for me now; just help my kids. Thats just not right. So The Forgotten Dream Project is specifically for these women who are struggling and have the ability but just havent had a chance yet. The inspiration for this was my own mother.

FMT: In what way? LS: I grew up with a mentally ill mother, which was challenging for both me and my sister. Now she is a home where she is well taken care of, and sometimes she knows who I am and sometimes she doesnt. She was the first in her family to go to college, she graduated with honors and she was an actress. She met a producer and was invited to Hollywood for a screen test. Growing up we always heard, Instead, I married your father. When people aren't allowed to experiment with and follow their dreams and ideas, they fester inside their heart and brain. Now that I have a global perspective on my own mom, I see that she was miserable because she felt she had done nothing. She used that line, You dont want to end up like me. There are people who are shoveling their ideas and dreams underneath a mat. That got me thinking about my own life and the opportunities Ive had. FMT: The presence of these dreams affects their lives and their families. With this initiative, you can support dreams of women who may not even feel that they have a right to those dreams and it then has a ripple effect shifting their families experiences. LS: I learned long ago that you affect change one person at a time. Historically, any person who ever has an impact began with one person and it grew. FMT: How was music your dream and how did your mothers life affect your pursuit of it? LS: That is both interesting and complicating because my mom would have been a


great musician. When she was listening to the radio while painting the kitchen, she won a piano on a call-in show. She said, This is for you, transferring many of her wishes and desires onto me. Every once in a while, shed be singing and playing in the dark, but would stop when I came in. Both my sister and I credit my mother with connecting us to the arts; she was very supportive. My sister was a dancer and had a beautiful career in Boston and on Broadway. I always knew that I was a musician. For me, music was initially a means of expression as well as my salvation, because life was complicated and challenging at home. I would sit and play and make things up; there was always music in my head and I soon realized that I couldnt live without it. And Ive been blessed with so many people who have stopped and said, You have a giftand can I help you?

have been given so many gifts, I think we have the responsibility to then give gifts ourselves. That is what keeps the energy of abundance moving and it is what you are doing with The Forgotten Dream Project. LS: Giving back does keep it all moving; and there are so many stories at A Place Called Home of people who were helped off the street by this organization who are now teaching and giving back.

FMT: We have all had significant moments in our lives, whether they came in the form of something like money or a key introduction to someone who could participate in our growth or creative process. When we

FMT: What is your long-term vision? LS: I want it to grow into something that lasts forever, something where the women who receive these grants will, years later, be gifting money back into the fundswhatever they can. I will continue to fundraise annually, and based on funds available, award grants three time a year until there is so much money that we give grants every day.

FMT: It is heartwarming to see mutual support emphasized, since it is almost feels culturally accepted for people to build their own self-esteem by tearing someone else down. But doing so is more destructive than constructive. Something like this offers a positive way for all of us to build self-esteem, in whatever way we participate in the realization of a dream. LS: I want to be part of creating a new paradigm where people start supporting each other.

The benefit concert, launch event, and silent auction for The Forgotten Dream Project will be held June 18 at Kula Space in Santa Monica ( Tickets are $20. For more information, please visit: or



Mommy-tasking Yoga to the Rescue!

Written & Created by: Laurie Searle Art by: Patrick O'Connor


Lady YogaTM 2010 Laurie Searle




Santosha Space is a yoga lifestyle community located in the heart of Atwater Village. Offering yoga classes, health and wellness sessions, musical events, workshops, and a retail store focusing on yoga and ecological wellness products, healing modalities, and spa treatments. There is even a lounge where you can share a cup of tea with friends, new and old! Santosha is a space that offers you a sanctuary from the busy urban world, amongst friends and healing energy. Everyone welcome!


Join us for a fun and revitalizing week in Hawaii. A Journey designed to noursish your mind, body and soul, enriching you and empowering you in these transformational times. Combining the ancient art and practice of Reiki, Yoga, Meditation and the exploration of Hawaii's culture, art and rich landscape. Also experience the art of Lomi Lomi massage by resident Massage Therapists, a beautiful way to complete your retreat (massages are at your own cost). Retreat includes exquisite lodging, all meals, yoga, Reiki I and II training and excursions to local sites.

For details and to register go to: or call (310) 462-4114. Register by July 1st for Early Bird Special. THE YURT IN BRENTWOOD
Yoga Therapy and Teacher Training.

3405 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90039; (323) 522-3095 WRITE FOR RECOVERY
For those recovering from grief, trauma and addiction. A workshop cultivate your creative spirit, promote mindfulness, and explore your past, present and future. For both writers and non-writers.

131 S.Cliffwood Ave, Los Angeles; (310) 200-4569; AWAKENING OF KUNDALINI PROGRAM, JUNE 25-26
Dr. Hasmukh Taylor, Doctor of Metaphysical Science offers a dynamic presentation and guides with fun the science of awakening the Kundaliniwith various types of Yoga. He will show the techniques and models to be used for each type of Yoga to give clear insight into awakening the Kundalini. He, also, offers how the world must be perceived in the holographic sense, through synchronicity proven to powerfully affect the divine matrix, to restore perfect health and well being.

Online, Privates, Workshops in Santa Monica. Taught by award-winning author Diane Sherry Case; (310) 977-3318; GEETA AYURVEDA HEALING CENTER
Dr. Aditya Sharma, Ayurvedic consultations, detoxification, weight management, nutrition, blood pressure, cholesterol, pms, male/female problems, eczema, cleansing, thyroid, stomach problems and more.

For further details call (407) 695-6000; or calendar sections

Simi Valley office (805) 584-9025 Beverly Hills office (310) 623 4415





Studio Spotlight
CHAKRA 5 YOGA is located in the exciting and diverse neighborhood of Melrose and Heliotrope in East Hollywood, on the second floor of a historical 1923 building above the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. We offer a fresh take on the yoga experience with our regular live musicians and DJs, monthly full-moon sound baths and diverse faculty of experienced, creative and inspiring teachers. Students of all levels are welcome.

4302 Melrose Ave. 2nd Floor Los Angeles, CA 90029 / (323) 230-8291 /

KUNDALINI LIFE STYLE Peace and Comfort unite in one single place. This
place is the Kundalini Yoga Studio and it is now open! Anyone is welcome to join our Yoga Sessions and can feel free to gather with us as we chant the night away! There will always be someone here eager to help you relax and to feel wonderful every time. So don't hesitate and call now for more information or register on the website.

7115 Reseda blvd. Reseda CA 91335 / (818) 515 3948 /

SILVER LAKE YOGA Open since 1995, Silverlake Yoga is the oldest Yoga studio in Silverlake and among the oldest studios in Los Angeles. Our goal is to provide excellent yoga instruction in a relaxed, friendly environment. Call it Yoga without the attitude. Whether youre coming to class to stay in shape, relieve stress, address chronic aches andpains, or to connect to a deeper part of yourself, everyone is welcome at Silverlake Yoga! 2810 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 / (323) 953-0496 / BIKRAM YOGA Bikram yoga is an intelligently designed routine of 26 traditional yoga postures which comprehensively works the whole body in 90 minutes. Bikram yoga is practiced in a room intentionally heated to just above body temperature to increase flexibility, provide a cardiovascular workout, & melt away stress. The 26 postures work synergistically and cumulatively to provide a total body workout to every system of the body promoting optimum health and well-being. 3618 N Highland Ave Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 / (310) 802-0225 /

YOGA HOP YogaHop is the home of high energy, FUN yoga. The YogaHop
philosophy encompasses flowing yoga, exhilarating workouts, and rockin' music to give you a life-altering experience. Men and women who practice regularly experience profound changes in their body including dramatic weight loss, improved strength, endurance and flexibility. The result is an East meets West yoga style thats athletically fulfilling and spiritually soothing 26 E Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, Ca 91105 / 626-844-7222 / Yogahop.Com


Atwater Village El Segundo Glendale Hermosa Beach Los Angeles

studio listings
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The New Moon Day (Amavasya) begins the lunar month, and the Full Moon Day (Poornima) shows the months unique qualities. Amavasya (New Moon): Tuesday, May 31 at 1:08 PM until Wednesday, June 1 at 2:02 PM in sidereal Taurus in fixed-natured star Rohini Nakshatra. Poornima (Full Moon): Tuesday, June 14 at 3:07 PM until Wednesday, June 15 at 1:13PM in sidereal Sagittarius in sharp star Moola Nakshatra. Amavasya (New Moon): Thursday, June 30 at 2:22 AM until Friday, July 1 at 1:53 AM in sidereal Gemini in sharp Ardra Nakshatra. Partial Solar Eclipse: Wednesday, June 1 at 14:19 PDT in sidereal Taurus, visible in Northern China, Northern Canada, Alaska and, parts of Scandinavia. Total Lunar Eclipse: Wednesday, June 15 at 1:12 PDT in sidereal Sagittarius, visible in Eastern Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Western Australia


Edgy and chaotic influences make this a time to slow down and be selective about ones commitments and surroundings. A total lunar eclipse in uprooting and harsh star Moola Nakshatra is timely for activities that encourage prayerful simplicity and attentive stillness. On Wednesday, the Sun enters sidereal Gemini: Important practical ventures are traditionally avoided during solar ingress (especially during this one!)

Following several harsh days, very good influences grace this morning. Before 1PM, receptive and moveable star Shravana Nakshatra encourages travel and actions characterized by swiftness, love of learning, attentive listening and reverence for ancient traditions. The lucky fifth lunar day and an unblemished Moon are among todays gentle and uplifting factors.

Todays edgy yet mind-expanding star Poorva Bhadrapada (symbolized as a two-faced man gazing in opposite directions) forms a combination that encourages a severe yet ultimately desirable situation. There may be an uncomfortable discussion or scandalous action that ends up being strangely beneficial.

Todays partial solar eclipse marks the first of three consecutive eclipses. While not visible in the U.S., these influences still signify heightened and unsettling windows of time, best for postponing practical beginnings such as moving into a home, beginning a job or making major purchases. The time nearing and during an eclipse naturally favors introspective retreat and focused spiritual practice.

The revitalizing star Ashwini Nakshatra (symbolized as a horse) on the excellent tenth lunar day makes this one of Junes best days for improving vitality and health. Today may bring uniquely helpful healing work or remedies.

After 1:30 PM PDT excellent influences makes the second half of today one of Junes most favorable windows. The Moon in nurturing and bountiful star Pushya Nakshatra (symbolized as a cows udder) encourages nearly all uplifting activities. Todays fifth waxing day is a lucky lunar phase. These two factors occurring on a Sunday form the combination Suta (Brought Forth) Yoga which encourages clarity of purpose and the ability to manifest goals.

The captivating star Rohini Nakshatra graciously fosters companionship, enthusiastic socializing and a love of community. Venus in exact degree as sharp Ketu (South Node) suggests laser-like tunnel vision or a curious obsession.

The swift approach of yet another eclipse (mild partial solar on July 1) combined with other agitating influences makes it time to remember kindness towards ones self and the essential need for mental and physical rest. LAYOGA
Tamiko Fischer is available for Vedic astrological chart readings and welcomes your comments: /

Five planets gather in sidereal Taurus, a conjunction likely to color life through Tauruss fixed and earthy nature that encourages befriending the material realm and creating greater stability.

The astrological forecast for May is based upon the Panchanga (Vedic calendar) whose five limbs include: 1. Day of the week (Vara) 2. Day in the lunar cycle (Tithi) the lunar cycle (Karana) 4. zodiacal position of the Moon in lunar mansion (Nakshatra) 5. Relationship between the positions of the Sun and Moon (Yoga).

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Also considered are various sidereal transits and unique Panchanga combinations also called Yogas. Specific personal influences such as ones date, place and time of birth are not taken into consideration, thus the following information should be regarded as a general forecast based on traditional meanings. Times given are Pacific Daylight Time.





Venusthe planet of love, is associated with this sensual Yantra that represents the bliss connecting us to our creative, sensuous self. Observing beauty through the senses of sight, sound, touch, and taste creates a bliss-filled meditative experience and allows us to access the subtle realms. The healing arts of aromatherapy, color therapy and sound therapy facilitate this sensual connection. Surrounding yourself with beauty and comfort brings inner harmony: wearing smooth fabrics, eating delicious food and creating delight in your environment, all feed

and nourish the senses and guide their perception inward to a refuge of silence. Romance, love, devotion and the sensuous side of relating are all highlighted through this design. If you are seeking these qualities, this design enhances the energy of attraction. The Bliss Yantra generates optimism and idealism, the ability to connect to positive outcomes and the best possible scenario in all situations. Seeing the inherent beauty within and around you generates positive qualities and a sense of calm and joy in the mind.


I honor the positivity and beauty that surrounds me.

Sarah Tomlinson is the author of Nine Designs for Inner Peace (Destiny Books, 2008) and a student of the late, great Harish Johari. She teaches Yantra Painting and Yoga worldwide. For more information: Dr. John Casey teaches classes in Sanskrit and Yoga philosophy at Loyola Marymount University, at the University of California at Irvine and at Yoga studios and other venues around the country. For LMU classes, visit: