Category Archives: New York State

Message from ZVRS

Donation-Based Yoga

When I first moved to Washington DC, I was surprised to discover the average cost of a drop-in yoga class was $20. Back in California it was easy to find classes for almost half as much – maybe because there are yoga studios on practically every street corner in LA. Working off of a freelance writer’s budget, it is challenging to come up with the money for regular yoga classes. If you’re also on a tight budget, good news: yoga classes are and can be accessible to everyone. Many places offer a free class if you’re trying their yoga studio for the first time, and some instructors volunteer to give free classes on a regular basis. Bartering might be another option — attending yoga classes in exchange for working a few hours behind the desk. Finally, keep an eye out for donation-based classes. This growing movement suggests payment on a sliding scale, allowing students to pay what they can afford. To find out more about what options are available, simply ask. And most importantly, don’t forget to pay it forward by sharing with others what had been shared with you.

Wasa with Warm Feta, Tomatoes, and Herbs

Ingredients

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon chopped oregano
½ teaspoon chopped marjoram
½ teaspoon chopped thyme
½ teaspoon chopped sage
1 ounce reduced-fat feta cheese
2 pieces WASA Light Rye Crispbread

Directions

Place tomatoes on a flat plate and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.
Sprinkle tomatoes with herbs and feta. Return to microwave for 1 additional minute.
Spread onto crispbreads.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 87
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 4 mg
Sodium 251 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Protein 5 g
Calcium 7% of daily value

Better Choices

Baked pita chips, hummus, organic raisins, lemon pepper tuna…United Airlines to the rescue!

Seriously, I am sitting here on a plane munching away, so grateful that the airline serves a snack box called the “Right Bite.”

When I woke up this morning, I had a plan. I was going to swing by a center to drop off a car load of items, run by the UPS store to ship a package, drop the dog off at the kennel, pack for my trip, then pick up my husband from work. But somehow I got behind. Way behind.

Not only did I forget to bring apples and trail mix for the plane ride, I forgot to eat breakfast. And lunch. When I flopped down in my seat, I was sweating and breathless (we nearly missed the flight) and very hungry. I flipped through the food options and knew I would be able to get my body back in synch with the Right Bite instead of having to resort to “snacks” full of empty calories and sugar.

I’m glad big companies are becoming more sensitive to offering healthier food choices. I keep reading the debates about replacing sodas and candy in school vending machines with healthier alternatives. The other day I was doing some freelance editorial work for a large newspaper. The building included a cafeteria – mostly pizzas and burgers and fries, but I found a vegetarian station. And I noticed an announcement that they would be having a “sustainable foods” day, offering locally grown meats and produce.

I’m not sure if these actions are coming from consumer demand or a greater awareness on the company’s part (or both), but I’m thankful for the trend.Š

Big on Arms

We are in Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) and the teacher is walking us through the pose nice and slow. She has us begin in Tadasana (Mountain pose) and then tells us to touch our fingertips together in front of our chest. As we jump our legs apart, our arms open up too (so they are parallel to the ground).

Next, the real instruction begins. She focuses on our feet, making sure they are spaced far enough apart and turned in the proper direction. She reminds us that our back heel should be aligned with our front heel.

She pauses as we breathe.

Inhale, exhale.
Inhale, exhale.

She moves onto our legs. She makes sure that our right knee is bent so that it’s directly over the right ankle. We need to press our thigh back so we can see our second toe. She keeps us focused on our lower body, giving us directions on our tailbone, butt, and – again – our thighs. She mentions that second toe again.

Inhale, exhale.
Inhale, exhale.

You can practically hear the thoughts of every student in the studio: My arms are tired. My arms are so tired! When will this pose be over so we can put our arms down? Are anyone else’s arms tired? Or am I just a wimp? How much longer do we have to hold our arms up?

Finally, the teacher says, “I know your arms are tired.”

Her acknowledgement is a relief even though she encourages us to keep those arms lifted. “Stretch them out even further, reeeaaaaching for the walls,” she says.

She moves onto our shoulder blades – are they scrunched up by our neck? Release them.

Lengthen our torsos.

Broaden our chests.

She knows exactly what we’re doing – allowing our minds to be consumed with thoughts about our arms.

“Your brain starts to panic first,” she says. “Your body is strong and your arms can handle this.”

That’s the extra motivation we need for the last few breaths until she finally has us step our feet back together and place our hands on our hips.

I’m working out in LA for a couple weeks – my old hometown – and it’s great to be back in my favorite teacher’s class. Now that I’m here, I remember she was always big on arms.

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