Sunday, April 19, 2015

JadeBloom Essential Oils Giveaway

Photos via JadeBloom and Pinterest.

Aromatherapy is a powerful and simple way to bring healing to your body, mind and spirit. Scents lift our mood, and stimulate certain processes in the body.

Today Jade Bloom is generously offering a giveaway to one lucky Alive in the Fire reader. The winner will receive the 4 most popular JadeBloom oils: Kashmir Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, and RELIEF respiratory blend.

To enter, please visit the JadeBloom website and leave a comment below listing your favorite item. For an extra entry, you can post a link to this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter (be sure to mention it in your comment below!).


JadeBloom is my go-to brand for high-quality, reasonably-priced essential oils. They have a variety of essential oils, including floral oils, citrus oils and blends targeted at certain outcomes, like offering stress relief or an immunity boost.

Essential oils have a lot of uses, including pain relief, natural beauty, hair health, and natural disinfectant.  And of course they're used with massage therapy, Reiki healing, and for relaxing at-home baths! :)


Lately I've been enjoying scents like lavender, vanilla, lemon and eucalyptus.

What are your favorite scents? Have you ever tried essential oils?



Be sure to leave a comment below to be entered to win 4 lovely JadeBloom oils, and share this post with friends, family and fellow yogis. Namaste.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Cosmic Chai, A Recipe for Kapha Energy

Photos and post by Claire Ragozzino of Vidya Living. 

Today I’m honored to share a guest post by Claire Ragozzino, who is an amazing plant-based chef, holistic nutrition coach and blogger over at Vidya Living. Her chai recipe below is wonderful for this time of year, when we’re feeling the effects of spring’s arrival. Enjoy!

Photos and post by Claire Ragozzino of Vidya Living. 

I’m writing you with a mug of chai in hand, wrapped cozy in a blanket while a fierce rain falls outside. We’re going on day 4 of April showers here in the great plains of Oklahoma, and while the land dearly needs this water, my body is swimming in what we Ayurvedic yogis call Kapha energy (ie. lethargic, heavy, slow, sleepy). 

Ayurveda, which translates to the science of life, is the study of our health in relation to the elements and the cyclical rhythms of the earth – think seasons and moon cycles. In Ayurveda, everything in nature, including ourselves, can be categorized by three primal energies, known as doshas, which consist of the five elements. We seek inner harmony through balancing these elements within us in accordance to what elements are showing up around us.  Through self-study, we begin to apply this science as a way to align with the beautiful cyclical dance of nature. Kapha dosha, the element of earth and water, governs the late winter and early spring, and regulates the water in the tissues and lymphatic system. When an abundance of Kapha is present, it can mean emotional and physical stagnation, slower digestion, excess mucous, and overall congestion showing up in body and mind.

Photos and post by Claire Ragozzino of Vidya Living. 

Keeping a balance of cooked foods, fresh astringent greens, and warming pungent spices like ginger, clove, black pepper, cinnamon and cardamom (think Chai spices) can help to balance out the presence of slow moving Kapha in the body.  These food habits paired with a more active asana practice and purifying pranayama practices, like Kapalabhati and Bastrika, will begin reawaken a dormant body and mind after a long winter of hibernation.  But while it’s still raining, curl up with a big mug of this springtime herbal chai and your favorite journal where you can write, reflect and usher in the new life, creativity and joy that comes with this new season of rebirth and awakening.

Photos and post by Claire Ragozzino of Vidya Living.  
 HERBAL CHAI
6 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp fresh grated turmeric
10 cardamom pods
1 tsp whole cloves
5 black peppercorns
4 star anise pods
½ tsp whole allspice
Optional: ¼  cup dried tulsi leaves (holy basil)

Bring the water to boil on the stove top.  Add the spices and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add the dried tulsi, let steep for 3-5 more minutes. Remove from heat and strain the liquid.  To serve, pour the hot concentrate into a mug about ½ to ¾ of the way full, then top your favorite nut or seed milk.  Sweeten with a spoonful of raw honey. Makes 2 cups concentrate.
Photos and post by Claire Ragozzino of Vidya Living.  

This Cosmic Chai recipe was originally posted on Vidya Living. Claire Ragozzino is a certified yoga instructor, plant-based chef and holistic nutrition coach. She works with clients around the globe to inspire transformational changes in their health and wellbeing. Her wellness programs are infused with Ayurvedic principles, plant-based nutrition, and yogic philosophy to cultivate knowledge for intuitive healing. Work with Claire one-on-one to craft a unique personal nutrition and lifestyle plan, or join the online community as she guides you through a purposeful seasonal detox. Learn about her seasonally-inspired plant-based recipes, e-courses, global retreats, and transformational nutrition coaching programs at www.vidyacleanse.com and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.


PS More info about how to do an Ayurvedic cleanse and how to do Ayurvedic oil pulling for oral detoxification. Also find out more about your dosha, or Ayurvedic energy type, by taking this dosha quiz. Cheers to your health, yogis!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Real Men Do Yoga: Dallis

Photos courtesy of Dallis.

Happy Friday, yogis! It's been a little while since I posted in the Real Men Do Yoga series, and today I'm excited to bring you Dallis Hollis' story. Sponsored yogi Elizabeth interviewed him about his experience practicing yoga... enjoy!


How did you get introduced to yoga and what keeps you coming back?I started practicing yoga somewhat reluctantly while doing P90x. I didn't see yoga as strength training, but was pleasantly surprised to see it is absolutely a strength exercise. I do martial arts, and it requires balance and flexibility to work in harmony, so that keeps me on the mat.

What does yoga offer you that you can't find with other workouts?Yoga offers me an exercise that focuses on counter balance muscles that most people forget about. The muscles in your toes and shin that burn during a pose are the same ones that help you balance when chambering for a kick.

Have you noticed that you're the only guy in the class? What would you say to a man that has never done yoga?
As a boot camp instructor, I mostly had women come in for workouts. I think we live in a culture where men feel they must do "masculine" exercises. Men are often discouraged from stepping outside of their gender roles and feel they have to "pump iron" if they want to work out like a man. I'm here to tell you yoga is very manly! It's definitely gender neutral and works GREAT for augmenting any workout routine.

What is your favorite pose to do in yoga and why?My favorite yoga circuit is working through the different warrior poses and triangle poses. It's a great leg stretch and burn. For men turned off by the meditation aspect of yoga, maintain constant flow and movement through poses and alternate push-ups or situps in between.

Do you have any goals for your practice?
My goals are jiu-jitsu based as I am seeking more flexibility in my hips.

Thank you so much Dallas for taking the time to share from the heart and giving me great insight to why real men do yoga.

Illustration via Pinterest.

Are you a guy who practices yoga? Do you want to share your story? Email me at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com! Also be sure to check out this post, and the other stories on Alive in the Fire of men who practice yoga. Namaste.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Navel Radiation Breath

Photo by LucidReflections. Bra by Balini Sports.

I have a simple breath technique that I encourage you to try during your yoga practice. It’s called the navel radiation breath.

Picture your breath as a fiery yellow orb located at your navel center. This is the manipura chakra, the source of your willpower and your belief in yourself.

As you inhale, picture the breath drawing powerfully to this place in your body, lighting it up. Your navel center begins to glow.

Photo by LucidReflections. Bra by Balini Sports.

Then when you exhale, send your breath outward from the navel, through the whole body. The breath moves up through the crown of the head, out through the arms to the fingertips, down through the hips and into the legs and feet. The breath brings vibrant, glowing energy to the whole body.

Each pose begins from the navel center, a place of great strength. The breath is what allows depth in the pose.

Photo by LucidReflections. Bra by Balini Sports.

This form of pranayama works especially well with any twists, or any time you are reaching through the fingertips, finding a long line of energy like in Reverse Warrior or Triangle pose.


Breathe deeply… enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rejuvenate and Release (Yogi Surprise April)


As you move through life, you’ll come into contact with various negative energies, frustrations, stressors, and people who annoy you.

What do we do about this? How do we make peace with what’s around us? How do we release our attachments to these influences?

I’ve found that certain rejuvenation practices make a big difference in my life. When I’m mindful, and make time for yoga, meditation, and bodywork, I feel much better.


What I love most about my Yogi Surprise box subscription is that it is a reminder to honor myself. It’s always filled with wonderful resources and tools for keeping my energy elevated. The box is a reminder to renew – to enjoy a little luxury, and to let go of the pace of everyday life.

And the box is filled with creative, inexpensive items—in short, it is a great deal. If you can afford to treat yourself to massages, and yoga studio classes, that’s wonderful to do. But many of us limit our wellness practices, whether because of money or (more often) because of time! Limiting yourself and distancing yourself from wellness and happiness is a choice.

Choose wellness and happiness! Maybe check out Yogi Surprise, or take inspiration from the items they share ;)

Here are a few of my favorite items from the April Yogi Surprise box:

Delicious superfood snacks. I’ve been enjoying these mid-morning for an energetic boost.


Frisky Fish Roll On ‘Exhale’ Essential Oil Perfume
Aromatherapy is such a wonderful way to bring healing and higher vibration to your experience of life. Happy smells bring happy energy to your body! I love this essential oil blend with eucalyptus and lavender. Smells sooooo good! I’ve been using it on my wrists in the morning, and on my ankles in the evening.

Grey Sage Smudge Stick Bundle
Have you ever used sage to smudge a room? You can burn it to clear negative energy and any spirits that aren’t welcome. You can also use it to clear your own aura. I’ve used it around the whole house and for myself, and immediately sense relief, lightness, and calm. Highly recommended!

There are so many simple, effective ways to improve your wellbeing and to invite healing. My invitation to you this spring is to prioritize your wellness routine. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you!


As always, a big thanks to the team at Yogi Surprise for their wonderful work and the goodness that they’re spreading into the world. Namaste.


PS Check out reviews of the January box, February box, and March box. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ahimsa

Photo by Jobi Otso.

Do no harm.

When you are on your mat, practice compassion. Treat your body with the greatest respect.

Bring considerate, gentle thoughts into your mind.

When you talk to other people, be kind. 

In your thoughts, words, and actions, do no harm. This is the practice of yoga.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Healthy Alternative to Coffee (Spiced Turmeric Drink)


Do you drink coffee?

I love coffee :) However, I do find that if I'm stressed or anxious, it helps to cut down on how much of it I drink.

If you're looking for a healthy, vegan, caffeine-free alternative to your morning coffee, try this delicious Golden Warrior recipe (sometimes called spiced golden turmeric milk).


For the hot version of the Golden Warrior drink, heat everything on the stove until just before it boils. If making the cold version, mix everything together and shake in a sealed container, then pour over ice. Enjoy!

Golden Warrior
2 cups almond milk
2 tsp turmeric
1-2 tsp coconut sugar
1 tsp cardamom
Pinch of ground ginger (powdered)
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon

I started drinking the Golden Warrior as part of a 3 day vegan cleanse, and actually found myself craving it more than my usual morning coffee. It's very satisfying as a warm drink, and refreshing when poured over ice (Ayurvedic practitioners recommend the heated version for maximum results). The turmeric in this recipe stimulates digestion, removes inflammation, and boost immunity during cold season. Highly recommend it!

What other coffee alternatives do you enjoy? 

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