A muscular imbalance occurs when you use one side of your body more than the other. Over time, the overused muscles on that side become tight and sore, while the underused muscles on the other side grow weak and atrophied. This can cause one-sided pain and stiffness, and increase your risk for injuries. Some habits that cause muscular imbalances are easy to identify. For example, tennis players and bowlers often overwork their dominant hand. However, even the most innocuous movements can lead to imbalances. Here are some things to watch out for.

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Looking for a healthy and sustainable diet

Diet is a topic that I consider very important, since our health, and also the wellbeing of the environment we live in, are things that concern all humans. I have personally studied the effects of a vegetarian diet in my own body for almost a decade. All I can say is that this has been the first step of a long personal journey, and I keep an open mind, always learning and investigating. Indeed, the more I research a healthy and sustainable diet, the less I dare come to any conclusions or take anything for granted.

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To Ghee or Not to Ghee – What is the Real Question?

Ghee, or clarified butter, is considered one of the most sattvic (or, healthful!) of foods, and a staple of Ayurvedic cuisine. As it has been subjected to fire, it is thought to be stronger than milk, while also containing the essence of the milk itself. Ghee has many other beneficial qualities, which will be discussed below. And so ultimately, is ghee beneficial for those engaged in yogic practice (including pranayama and other sitting practices, as well as yoga asana, or postures)? In this blog, we look at the benefits of ghee, in general and for yoga practitioners, both within the Ayurvedic – Eastern – and Western traditions; as well as examining the question about the benefit (or not!) of eating modern dairy foods in today’s world.

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What’s the Skinny on Fats?

Not all fats are created equally, as we know. There are the good guys and the bad guys. Bad fats can indeed make you fat, not to mention bring on a host of other health problems - high cholesterol, risk of heart disease and inflammatory diseases, to name but a few.

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Superfood Focus – Chia Seeds

These tiny black seeds are pretty incredible when you have a look at what they can do for us, from boosting energy to lowering cholesterol. Here’s why you should consider adding chia to your diet… Nutrition: chia seeds are rich in protein, calcium, fiber and antioxidants, and for those essential omega 3’s they even beat fish oils and flax seeds. They are the highest plant source of omega 3 essential acids.

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Six Ways to Spot a World-Class Detox Retreat

Detox retreats are becoming the chosen holiday spots for many individuals around the world, especially as our polluted environment and processed foods are taking their toll. Many people, feeling the burden of stress from their lives in the form of sleepless nights, mood swings, anxiety, depression, skin problems and other “dis”-eases are looking for ways to reconnect to themselves and find peace again. Some people, knowing that their unhealthy food and beverage choices, mainly consisting of convenience items easily incorporated into a constant on-the-go lifestyle, know that cleansing the body of its accumulated toxins may be in order.

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Why I Detox & What I’ve Learned

Having just come off my annual 7-day detox I’m feeling inspired to share some thoughts on the vast and often confusing topic of detoxing or cleansing. I’m not going to pretend I know everything there is to know and how it all works but I do feel that my experience to-date gives me some level of expertise. I have personally done in the region of 8-10 detoxes in the last 6 years. I’ve also worked at a detox center supporting guests through their experience, designed detox programs for health coaching clients, friends, colleagues and yoga students, and supported them through the experience, observing their results.

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In my last blog, Getting All of your Minerals as Part of Healthy Diet Part II: The Macro-minerals, Highlight on Potassium here, I emphasized the importance of Potassium, a macro-mineral (“macro” meaning that we need them in greater quantity than we do the micro-minerals) that is easily blocked or depleted. (Before that, we discussed the important macro-mineral, Calcium here. ) All minerals are essential, meaning that we need to get them from our foods. Check out my first blog in this series here. for greater detail, but basically, in order to be sure that you are receiving the full variety of minerals as part of a healthy diet, try to eat organic here , whole foods, and “eat the rainbow” to ensure diverse nutrition. This week we look at Magnesium, a macro-mineral which is actually quite difficult to absorb from our foods (at about just 30-60% absorption rate), so we really need to ingest this one in quantity (tips for that are below)! As mentioned in the previous article on Calcium and Potassium, the other four macro-minerals are Phosphorus, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfur, which we get abundantly in our food supply.

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Is it healthy to live on a vegetarian diet?

The practice of Yoga is often related to vegetarian and vegan diets. Some modern teachers claim that in order to achieve the "state of yoga" one must live on a vegetarian diet. In the "yoga world," it is common to hear that in order to respect the first yama (yamas are the first limbs of Patanjali’s 8 limbs), which is called "ahimsa" and translates as "non violence," we yogis and yoginis should practice vegetarianism. But, is it healthy to live on a vegetarian diet? Many of us who are interested in yoga, healthy foods, animal rights or maintaining a diet that is more likely to sustain our planet, had to deal with this question. I find it to be a very trendy topic nowadays, and I want to share my experience and my point of view.

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Easy Food Recipes by Summer Dien

If you’re like me, you probably love good food as much as you love yoga! I know a lot of yogis who are hardcore foodies as well. A healthy, balanced diet is an important part of living a yogic lifestyle. The diet should complement your practice, give you energy and leave you feeling satisfied and nourished. Invest in your health today by eating and drinking what will support you and your lifestyle, and you needn’t worry about health and medical bills later on in life. Eating a whole foods, plant based diet will leave you feeling clean, clear, light and energetic. Before you eat: Give thanks for each meal and infuse it with your gratitude and loving energy. This will completely change the molecular composition of the food. Give thanks to the person/people who prepared the meal, the people at the grocery store/farmer’s market where you bought the ingredients, the people who planted/packaged the ingredients, the suppliers, the delivery people, the seeds, the soil, the sun, the rain. Give thanks to everyone/everything who played a part in making it so you have good food to eat. It makes such a huge difference when you do this, and everyone/everything can feel the love that’s being sent out.

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In my last blog, Getting All of your Minerals as Part of Healthy Diet Part I: The Macrominerals, Highlight on Calcium [please put a link to my last blog], we discussed Calcium as a very important macro-mineral, one of the most supplemented of all the macro-minerals (“macro” meaning that we need them in greater quantity than the micro-minerals). All minerals are essential, which means that we need to get them from our foods; our bodies cannot produce them on their own. My last blog [insert hyperlink again to blog] went into greater detail on this, but in order to be sure that you are getting the full range of minerals in your diet, try eating organic [insert hyperlink to my why to eat organic food blog], whole foods, and “eat the rainbow” to ensure nutrient diversity.

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The Soy Saga

Once known as the ultimate health food for vegetarians and vegans - the ideal replacement for meat and dairy, these days soy is often referred to as dangerous or even evil. So what on earth happened and is it even safe to eat it?

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Minerals are an essential part of a healthy diet. Minerals are sub-divided into macro and micro mineral categories. Both are essential to a healthy diet and to life. This means that we must get them through what we eat, the body will not produce minerals on its own. But macrominerals are needed in larger quantity than are microminerals.

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Choosing Organic–Studies Show the Reasons Why

Tracy McDonald I have some exciting things to tell you about raw foods that I will be sharing with you over the next few weeks! These foods are ABSOLUTELY part of what is a healthy diet – it doesn’t matter if you cannot “do raw” 100% of the time – you can still gain the benefits of raw foods cuisine with ANY amount of raw that you can add to your daily fare.

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What to Eat to Prevent Jet Lag

Have you ever wondered what to eat on your travels to help prevent jet lag? Well the answer is simple: Nothing! Seriously. After years of experimenting, the most effective way that I’ve found to beat jetlag is to fast as long as possible on long haul flights.

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Detoxing: An Intelligent Approach by Anthea Grimason

Recognizing the fact that we’re all unique in terms of our body types, stages of life, issues going on with our health, climates we live in and foods we eat daily - it makes sense then to approach detoxing in a way that takes these factors into consideration. Just because one method of detoxing may work for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. Fasting, for example, is a very quick and effective way to detox but it may actually be quite unhealthy for certain body types. Hence, in my view and from my experience, it’s fairly critical to have an intelligent, individual-focused approach to detoxing, in the same way it is important to recognize individual needs for diet in general and yoga practices for that matter.

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