We’re excited to announce Peter is now offering restorative stretching! Realign your body, manage pain & bring your muscles back into balance. This clothes-on session provided only by master therapist, Peter (Kripalu trained) targets specific areas of pain and stiffness using a combination of stretching, trigger point therapy and soft tissue manipulation. Designed for active individuals, weekend warriors and anyone looking to re-align their body. 60 minutes, $115 Book on-line here or call 914.337.9356
Holiday gift-giving season is here! This year, the Sanctuary is brimming with gift ideas and combinations that can be tailored to suit anyone on your list, no matter how hard they are to shop for… Know someone in need of a little R & R? Combine a Gift Certificate for a “Restore & Renew” Package (75 Min Massage w/ Reflexology + 45 Min Facial) with our Renew & Revitalize Oil. Does someone on your list always talk about wanting to take up meditation? Combine a Gift Certificate for a 45-min “Learn to Meditate” session with a calming Meditation CD and a soy candle (non-toxic, clean-burning, AND burn longer and hold scents better than paraffin wax candles). What about the person who would love to book a facial but never does? Combine a Gift Certificate for any of our organic facials with a Hylunia Essential Collection (5 travel-size products for only $35!). From Reiki to eye pillows to scarves to cookbooks, the possibilities are endless! Just don’t forget to give yourself a little somethin’ as well Gift Certificates can be purchased on-line here (lots of new templates) or by stopping in.
Our new favorite drink! Warms the soul & contains cinnamon & turmeric (anti-inflammatory) and ginger (immunity & digestion).
Here’s how: Make black tea. Warm up your choice of milk, soy-milk, almond milk in a saucepan. Add spices: cinnamon, ginger and turmeric. Add a dash of honey. Pour milk into tea. Mix and enjoy.
Last week I shared with you some powerful lessons I have been learning as I trained for the 10K. If you missed it you can read more here. Well, the Turkey Trot is complete! And yes, I learned a few more things:
1. I don’t like the cold and wind. It was very cold and very windy the day of the trot. I ran anyway.
2. I don’t like to wake up early. I woke up early anyway to run in the cold and wind the day of the trot.
3. Sometimes I do what I don’t like because it serves a larger purpose in my life. I become less afraid of the cold, the wind and the early hours of the day. I grow. I build my courage muscle to flex in other areas of my life where I have to deal with things “I DON”T LIKE”. I learn how to meet the discomfort with humor, style and grace.
Lessons from 10K Training…by Steph
Some of you know I’m training for a 10K Run, “Turkey Trot” this coming Sunday. Training for this has been one of the hardest things I have EVER had to do. I am “not a runner” in the sense that it takes EVERYTHING I have to do it. Most of you might not know I pretty much grew up overweight, eating Twinkies and did not participate in sports of any kind. Gym class was torture, girl scout camp, even worse. It wasn’t until I arrived at college that I decided to join the rowing team.
There are 3 lessons I was grateful to be reminded of today during my 6 mile “journey”:
1. The Power of Mantra: Before I run, I remind myself of a quote, which is my mantra: “Inner peace comes from being able to hold the conflict that arises from the tension of opposites”. This helps me stay in the game during the first mile when my heart is pounding out of my chest and I want to quit, SO bad. With my heart racing I recall the day my dad died of a heart attack while driving his car, on his way home to pick up my mother for their Thursday night dinner date. The thought makes me dig deeper, knowing my heart will adjust. If I do have a heart attack, I rather it be doing something that challenges me. You see, I realize it takes courage to feel discomfort. I also know the discomfort will pass. I keep running because I remember this pain will soon turn to bliss. How interesting! Lucky for me it does, yet not without the help of:
2. The Strategic Music Play list: I must start my run with yoga music to help me center & connect to my breath & body. The first song, “Benediction” by Jami Sieber calms my brain as my feet try to catch up with my racing heart. At this point, my mind still wants to quit and thankfully the next song begins to play, “Hallelujah” by Matt Schuler (from The Voice). All of a sudden, I start to feel a slight opening for bliss. As I listen, the song takes me deeper into my body. I start to feel the cool wind on my face along with the warmth of the sun. I hear my heart race against the leaves crushing under my feet. Oh, the beauty of Fall! Suddenly, the opening gets bigger as I begin to rejoice in the beauty of nature all around me. My breath begins to steady. I start falling in love again with this running. The pain starts to balance with the bliss. And then the hill approaches. Once again my mind starts to distract me. Yet because I feel the bliss, I remember all I have to do is:
3. Surrender: As I climb the hill I work with it by adjusting my pace and easing up. I know the downhill is in the distance. As long as I can stay in the present and work with the challenging terrain I will be OK. Small adjustments, letting go, doing my best and trusting is how I will make it.
When I hit the 6 mile mark of my run today I stopped. I didn’t plan it this way but when I stopped I found myself in front of Lawrence Hospital. This was the hospital my father was taken to and where I said my good bye. I immediately burst into tears. Tears of loss and also tears of joy. Loss because I miss him so much and life is so different now. Joy because his leaving gave me the courage to show up for my own life in a way I might never have if things remained comfortable. Yes, courage & discomfort occupy the same space. When I forget this, I suffer. Peace returns when I remember. And I can keep placing one foot in front of the other. On a funnier note, below is the hat I will be wearing on Sunday. Totally lifts me up!
Avid animal lovers – including some of us here at the Sanctuary – are known to make some pretty extreme statements about how important their pets are to them. (Ever hear someone tell you they’d die without their pet?) While they may be slightly exaggerating, having a pet can actually improve not only the quality of one’s life, but the quality of one’s health as well. Several different studies have shown pet owners exhibit lower levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides – making them much less prone to future heart attacks. And pet owners who do suffer a heart attack have higher recovery rates than non pet owners. One possible explanation for this is the fact that animals decrease their owner’s stress levels, another benefit of owning a pet. Other studies have shown that children exposed to animals at an early age not only develop stronger immune systems, but are much less likely to develop related allergies. Then there are the ways in which having an animal around impacts our behavior & experience of life. For example, a dog can act as a sort of “personal trainer.” Dog owners responsible for walking for their dog are significantly less likely to be overweight. Pets can serve as a great social connection with other animal lovers, providing an icebreaker and giving you plenty to talk about. Furthermore, there is an unconditional love, a sense of companionship, and a built in feeling of purpose that comes with being a pet owner, all of which are excellent remedies for depression and loneliness. Animals are healing, mood-boosting, and joy-promoting creatures!
This recipe comes straight from the Kripalu Seasonal Menu Cookbook for fall and winter that we carry here at the Sanctuary! Not only is this dish delicious, as Peter can attest to from his recent stay at Kripalu, but the recipe is quick and easy, and its star ingredients, Kale and Cannellini Beans, are both SUPERFOODS! Kale is rich in minerals – including magnesium, iodine, zinc, calcium and iron – and Vitamins A, B, C, & K. Among other things, your bones, red blood cells, nerves, blood pressure, metabolism and immune system ALL benefit from Kale. Kale is also FULL of fiber, which regulates digestion, blood sugar, energy levels, weight management, and cholesterol. Meanwhile, Cannellini Beans, when cooked properly, have detoxifying effects on the body, are supercharged with antioxidants and, like kale, help keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady and help you stay full. And did we mention it’s delicious?
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 spanish onion, small diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 carrot, small diced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon sea salt
pinch of black pepper
8 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans
2 cups chopped, stemmed kale
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and carrot and saute for 5 minutes. Add the fresh thyme, dried sage, salt, and pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Add the vegetable stock and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Add kale and simmer for 1 minute. Serve hot.
Crust & Topping:
1 1/4 cup oats (use gluten free if desired)
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup raw cacao powder (not cocoa powder)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp butter or ghee (TJ’s now sells it!)
1/8 cup honey
Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease a 9″ rectangle baking dish. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix well. Layer 3/4 of mixture on the bottom of baking dish and set aside.
16oz pumpkin puree (one can)
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Mix filling ingredients together in a bowl omitting the chocolate chips, set aside. Layer 1/2 of the chocolate chips on top of the crust. Then spoon the filling mixture on top of the chips. Finally, sprinkle the rest of the topping and chocolate chips on the filling mixture. Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 20 minutes then put in fridge to cool at least one hour before cutting. Store in airtight container in fridge up to 3 days.
We’re so excited to announce that Christine will now be offering Reiki at the Sanctuary! For those of you who have not met Christine, she is also one of our awesome massage therapists here. Christine will be offering a 60 minute Reiki session ($100) or a 90 minute Reiki with massage ($135). Call to book: 914.337.9356
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a Japanese word to describe the spiritual or transcendent life force energy – “rei-ki”. Reiki is also used to describe a system of natural healing that is a modern approach to ancient Asian healing traditions. Rei-ki balances the physical body system and the electromagnetic and subtle energy fields in and around the body. It is the intelligent, self-organizing and accumulative in its benefits.
What are the benefits of Reiki?
*help dealing with daily stress of life
*greater balance physically, mentally and emotionally
*to support change in some area of life; if in the midst of change, to support transition
*accelerates work done with other healing professionals
*support in facing and dealing with an extreme challenge or trauma
*live a more spiritual life
What is a Reiki session like?
The Reiki System is non-invasive, and uses a soft, light touch on the body or above the body to focus energy. Reiki System practitioners are simply conduits for the transmission of rei-ki (spiritual or transcendent energy) to come through them. You remain fully clothed during the session.
Christine will be offering a 60 minute Reiki session ($100) or a 90 minute Reiki with massage ($135). Call to book: 914.337.9356
Looking for an easy way to calm the mind, body and spirit?
Try Nadi Shodana: (nadi = subtle energy channel; shodhan = cleaning, purification; pranayama = breathing technique)
Here’s how: Sitting comfortably with a straight spine, relaxed shoulders, and a softened face, rest your left hand, palm turned face-up, on your left knee. Raising your outstretched right hand towards the face, turn down the ring finger and thumb so that they rest on your left and right nostrils, respectively. Press your thumb down to close the right nostril and breathe in slowly through the left nostril. Press your ring finger down on your left nostril, lift your thumb and breathe out slowly through the right. Now breathe in slowly through the right nostril, switch fingers, and breathe out through the left. Repeat this cycle of alternate nostril breathing for a total of 10 cycles, or longer as desired. Keep your eyes closed and breathe slowly and easily throughout.
You can use this technique before bed to help you sleep, throughout the day to keep you grounded, even during a bathroom break if you’re overwhelmed at work! Because this is so effective at clearing out blocked energy channels in the body, it’s also a great way to prepare your mind and body for your meditation practice.