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"Practicing with Kim is an oasis in my responsibility-and stress-filled days. She brings light and peace with her into my home, and helps me achieve confidence and happiness in my practice through her articulate instruction, attention to alignment and enthusiastic support of my movement and my journey." Roxanne, 45, public relations executive, mother of two, has it going on
"I have been practicing yoga with Kim for over 5 years now. It began with vinyasa yoga which was a wonderful break from going to the gym. Kim helped me recover from ACL surgery and my husband recover from back surgery with strengthening and stretching sessions that were more therapy than yoga and demonstrated her extensive knowledge of the body. Over the past few years we did pre and post natal yoga through two pregnancies. Over the course of the past 5 years Kim has become a great friend who is always there to listen, offer a new perspective, and give advice on how to better take care of yourself."
Elizabeth, 31, interior design, world class mom
"Kim taught me that it was important to take time out of my busy schedule to breathe.
The result was less pain and stress and finally an end to my sleepless nights."
Amy, 35, author, artist, Renaissance woman
Last year at the end of the summer I went to Colorado to practice meditation at The Shambhala Meditation Center. While I was there, I thought what a crazy way to spend a vacation, mostly in silence, with people I don't know, either sitting or circumambulating in a hot tent. I dare say it's meditation camp for adults. I never went away to camp as a child because I grew up on a lake. Our lake home was called camp, so that was my "camp" experience. At the retreat center you can literally camp in tents or stay in basic, but comfortable lodge rooms. Last year I met wonderful like minded people from all over the world. It's not serious all of the time during a meditation retreat though signing up to work with your mind for days on end can be daunting. This is the motivation behind why I signed up again this year for a retreat over the 4th of July holiday. I know it's good for me and the only way to receive the benefits from a meditation practice is by meditating. It's tricky like that.
I've included the meditation practice on Metta in this issue. Metta means loving-kindness. When we cultivate loving-kindness towards our self and others, we break down barriers of separation which can be felt as fear, loneliness or despair. When we rouse compassion we connect with a feeling of unity to all beings and the human desire to feel unconditional love and a sense of well being.
Summer solstice is just around the corner. Will you be doing 108 sun salutes to celebrate the arrival of summer? The yogis like to celebrate the arrival of summer this way. If you are in the NYC area and would like to be a part of welcoming the Summer, our season of the sun, why not in the center of it all in Times Square?
Summer Solstice Yoga
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With light and love,
Please have a look at my fab new website
5 Articles I Want to Write Before I Die
really there are many more, but this is just for starters
1) I Won't Eat That Stuff, But I'll Feed It To My Kids
Exhibit A: Fluffernutter sandwich on Wonder Bread with the crusts cut off. One of my friends said, "I won't eat it, but the kids like it." She also said that if she didn't give it to her kids, other moms would. I have much to say about this, but perhaps until I have children of my own, I shouldn't be on my high horse.
Please do not defend this "food" with a cry that at least it's vegan.
Read: Why Your Children Will be Sicker Than You
2) AA Got You Sober, But Now You're Hooked On Caffeine, Cigarettes, Adderall, Ambien, Red Bull and You're Still A Mess ... I Know, I Know ... You Can't Mediate So I Won't Ask You To Try. (Alternative Title: Does Sobriety = Clarity?)
I can spot the speedy, unsettled mind "sober" people from a mile away. Or when they feel compelled to strike up conversations with me by asking if I am a friend of Bill's while I am meditating riding a subway car. No, I am not a friend of Bill's, or at least THAT Bill. Perhaps my year and half involvement with a "sober" person opened my eyes and heart to many things.
3) How It Really Works - Living a Conscious Life or Living a Compulsive Life Co-written with Dr. Miles Neale
I love listening to Miles Neale live or on podcasts. What I have learned from him is that it really comes down to karma and how you choose to live your life.
4) Guilt VS Remorse
Guilt says I am bad. Remorse says I am sorry. There's a difference as to how we process this in our brains. We can change our habits and patterns by recognizing our reactions to guilt or remorse. Also, why is everyone feeling so guilty all of the time?
5) Darn It! I Missed Barneys New York Friends and Family Day - Get Purple Points, So I Can Shop More! How Could This Happen To Me?!?
I like to reference Barneys NY and I would be an absolute hypocrite if I said I didn't like Barneys. But when is enough, enough? Give up constantly going for more.
The Yamas can help you with this I want more, craving thing.
All I Want For Christmas is Samadhi
Food Focus: Greens
Leafy greens are some of the easiest and most beneficial vegetables to incorporate into your daily routine. Densely packed with energy and nutrients, they grow upward to the sky, absorbing the sun's light while producing oxygen. Members of this royal green family include kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, broccoli rabe, watercress, beet greens, bok choy, napa cabbage, green cabbage, spinach and broccoli.
How do greens benefit our bodies? They are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc, and are a powerhouse for vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed full of fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Their color is associated with spring, which is a time to renew and refresh vital energy. In traditional Asian medicine, the color green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity. Greens aid in purifying the blood, strengthening the immune system, improving liver, gall bladder and kidney function, fighting depression, clearing congestion, improving circulation and keeping your skin clear and blemish free.
Recipe of the Month: Almond Buttercup Smoothie
8 oz Almond milk
About a Tbl raw cacao powder
Drizzle Agave nectar (optional)
1 Tbl Almond butter
Dash of cinnamon
I love smoothies! I live on smoothies especially after a yoga class, working out, for breakfast, etc. Like I said, I live on smoothies. This smoothie has protein, healthy fat, hits the sweet tooth if you have one and is filling.
Meditation Practice: Metta
yes, you have the time to do this
Find a quiet place where you can sit quietly for 10 or more minutes. Use a timer for your practice. There are many apps available. I use Insight Timer app.
You may sit on a chair with the feet flat on the floor or if you can sit cross-legged on the floor comfortably then try that. It is important to make sure you're not struggling to sit comfortably. Zafu meditation cushions are great to have, sitting on firm pillow or thick sturdy blankets like you find in yoga studios are all good options. When sitting cross-legged, you want to be able to sit up tall, upright but not uptight. The knees slope down from the hips and the hands rest on the thighs with palms up or down. Imagine their is a string in your spine that is being drawn up towards the ceiling lifting the whole spine up. Check to see that you didn't take your shoulders up with you. Allow them to slide down your back on an exhale.
Now that you have taken your seat, check in with your mind. Ask yourself how you are doing in the present moment. Try not to dig too deeply here. You are seeing what the flavor of your mind feels like and leave it at that. Eg: I am tired, excited, anxious, OK, etc. Spend a few breaths with the flavor of the mind. Let that go and begin the contemplative practice of metta. Spend a couple of minutes with each suggested contemplation. I am giving you the 10 minute time version. A full Metta practice can take 30 - 45 minutes.
These are the four that I use. In the book by Sharon Salzberg listed below, she goes in to full detail about the practice of Metta.
1) May I be happy
2) May I be healthy
3) May I be safe
4) May I live with ease
First offer these phrases of loving kindness to yourself. You can either repeat the first phrase a few times and continue to the next and so on or go through 1-4 one at a time and repeat that way. If bringing your hand to your heart helps you connect then you can do that, too if it feels right.
You will spend about 5 minutes on yourself and then think of a mentor or hero. Someone that brings a smile to your face. Offer these 4 phrases to them. Let go of this person. Complete your Metta practice by offering these 4 phrases to all beings everywhere for a couple of minutes.
Notice how you feel after these contemplations before ending your practice.
Generating Metta towards self and others opens our hearts and minds. You may not feel anything and you may feel strong emotions. If strong emotions arise, bring awareness to where you feel the emotion in your body and breath with it. When it passes, and it will, allow the mind to rest with your breath, following inhale and exhale, feeling the breath in your body. Maybe in your abdomen or the tip of the nose. When the timer rings you may want to acknowledge your practice by placing the hands together at the heart and bowing to self and your teachers. This is an option and an offering for your practice. Meditation is recommended as a daily practice. You have the time.
For more teachings on Metta and pod casts on meditation, please check out The IDProject.org
For establishing a daily practice Sharon Salzberg (the queen of Metta) has written the insightful gift of Real Happiness The Power of Meditation.
Kim Stetz is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, AADP, Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher and meditation teacher.Her dedication to health and wellness comes from her passion for yoga and nutritious food. From the very first time she stepped on a yoga mat in 1992, she knew her life was about to take the path less traveled. Kim received her nutrition training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Kim's meditation teachings are of Buddhist lineage and studied with The Interdependance Project sangha. Kim has yoga certifications from OM Yoga, Yoga For Two The Barnes Method (pre/postnatal), Relax and Renew Judith Hansen Lasater, and Anatomy Studies For Yoga Teachers with Jason R. Brown.
Gravitating towards the healing aspects of yoga from the inside out, Kim teaches Hatha Yoga through a mixture of creative and challenging vinyasas, practiced with flow and grace while bringing mindfulness to alignment and the breath. She has guided many women through their pregnancies in classes, privately, and in couples yoga. Her strong background and training in therapeutics lends diversity to clients who are recovering from injuries or in need of healing. She has been blessed with students for eleven years since moving to NYC from LA in 2000. Her personal practice developed under the guidance of Anthony Benenati City Yoga, LA. Kim is thankful for his guidance and the many other gifted yoga and meditation teachers that have shared their knowledge and courage. Kim believes that yoga is a way of life that can be embraced by getting into the nooks and crannies of your heart, body, and mind. Sit, breathe, smile on the inside and eat your greens!