Today I treated myself to a Float, which is  60 minutes in a flotation Isopod. It’s a lightproof, soundproof pod with 12 inches of Epsom salt soaked water. You float weightlessly (because of the high salt content) and kinda feel like you’re floating in outer space. Especially if you fully close the pod, making it pitch black and soundless.

I was feeling energetically zapped and knew a water-based treatment (hydrotherapy) would do the trick. It was a little chilly to play in the ocean, so I booked the pod.

I loved it. Deeply relaxing, time stood still while floating. It was intense too, heightening my senses to subtle movements and sounds of the body. My muscles could really release and I felt the usual neck and shoulder tension I have melt away.

Afterwards, I was really centered and grounded. I was in my body, in the moment. The float was deeply calming and I will definitely make it a part of my regular self care practice. It’s kinda like having a massage, nap and bath at the same time. Only better 🙂

Give the float pod a go! It’s wild feeling weightless, dreaming of stars…

I floated at Alchemy Arts Center in Santa Barbara, Ca.

What I Learned Teaching Yoga to High School Freshmen

L&G yoga

A few weeks ago, I visited my high school (14 years post-graduation) to teach yoga to freshmen. These kids are lucky enough to have a “Fitness for Life” class, where they are exposed to weight training, pilates, kickboxing and other types of exercise, outside of traditional sports.  Walking through those high school doors was amazingly scary! There’s something about high school that brings back every fear, hope, and dream I felt as a teen. My motivation was not to relive these moments – I could’ve skipped those! My motivation was to share yoga and get the kids moving and breathing in new ways.

Here’s what I learned:

Peer pressure lives. We felt so independent as teens, didn’t we? How many of our decisions were truly ours, and not our friends? Looking across the mat at these young boys & girls, I remembered the strength of peer pressure and how each moment can feel like a ‘cool kid test.’

Everyone’s looking for acceptance & love.  We’re all just trying to fit in. Is this feeling ever so strong as in high school? As I asked the kids to try puppy or cobra pose, the gym was full of laughter. Who is this lady in stretchy tights asking us to embody animal shapes? The kids often sought confirmation from their friends before trying a pose themselves.

Our kids need nurturing. Cruising into adulthood, our teens need lots of TLC. Kids today grow up fast and if we can teach them to nurture themselves, body and mind at a young age, we can instill healthy habits that last a lifetime.

Boys flop around. That’s right, high school boys are goofs. Silly and fun, they aim to make the girls laugh. A vinyasa quickly turned into boys slipping and sliding across their mats and face-planting. They brought a smile to my face and I couldn’t help but laugh. It was great to see they were having fun, even if it turned into a flop.

Fitness is fun. Our kids are constantly plugged in. Iphones, Facebook, video games and texting.  Today’s kids are more comfortable on the Internet than they are playing outside.  By teaching our kids that fitness is fun, we can set the tone for a lifelong habit of health and wellness. Balance is needed in teens’ lives.  If your child doesn’t like playing basketball, take them to karate or a yoga class.  Just because kids don’t like traditional sports, doesn’t mean they can’t be active.

After teaching a 60 minute flow class, the kids were ready for savasana. I let them know (in my best schoolteacher voice), that this was their chance to tune into themselves and just be. The high school gym was quiet. The kids were sprawled out in corpse pose, no movement whatsoever. Slowly they began to wiggle their fingers and toes. We closed class with ‘Om’ and the kids had a nice rosy glow on their cheeks.

But you know, boys will be boys. And they resumed flopping around!

Thanks to Tammy Claussen at Leland & Gray UHS.

DIY Lemon Spirulina Kombucha

I’m a sucker for health drinks and like to take my time perusing the drinks cooler. There are so many bright, colorful, weird looking options these days. Kombucha, coconut water, kefir, kvass, pre and probiotic, Vitamins A,B,C,D … I could go on. If it comes in a bottle and is reportedly healthy, you can bet I’ve tried it or made it myself. I’ll save turmeric water for another post 😉 .

Kombucha, on the other hand, is a drink I’m loyal to. Fancy Rose Schizandra or Blueberry Maple kombucha? Why yes, I do. It’s an expensive habit, this kombucha love of mine, all in the name of probiotic flora for my gut. I really do benefit from a daily kombucha kick ; time to experiment with my own wild flavorings.

I’m a fan of algae- chlorella and spirulina- and usually add it to smoothies. Why not add a dash of green to the brew?

Lemon Spirulina kombucha is my latest concoction. Simply add a teaspoon of Spirulina powder to your homemade kombucha (click for recipe).  Next, squeeze half a lemon into your blend. Go easy on the lemon if you’re not fond of its tartness. Shake it up and enjoy.

Don’t fret over the grainy green Spirulina film on your glass. If it’s green and it glows, it’s probably good for you!

What kombucha flavors do you make at home? Send me flavor inspirations.