• Wellness

    Health Hacks: Simple Things to Improve Your Health

    Hack #1: Probiotics, prebiotics and microbiome: what they are and why they matter   When I started my functional medicine program a year ago, one of the things my doctor “prescribed” as part of my supplement regimen was a good probiotic. They aren’t the first to talk about this–the wellness and nutrition circles have been promoting the benefits of probiotics for many years. The general idea is that over 70% of your immune system resides in your gut, and you can fast-track your way to better health by taking good care of your gut’s microbiome.   The quick summary is that you can give your immune system a big boost…

  • Uncategorized

    How to Be Happy: Reflections on a 40+year Marriage

    “You do not know if you have lived faithfully to your wedding vows until your last breath.” ~Yogi Bhajan*   Earlier this month while I was in San Francisco, I went to my teacher Siri Vedya’s Kundalini Yoga class in the Haight Ashbury district. I’ve been taking classes from Siri Vedya since 2007, and a big part of the attraction is the small talk he always gives at the beginning of his classes. The topics vary, but they are always interesting and based in his wisdom. Last week’s talk was no different. I wish you could have been in the class with me, as his delivery is always charming, but…

  • Enneagram,  Kundalini Yoga,  Uncategorized,  Wellness

    Excerpts from The Aquarian Teacher

    In this series, I’m excerpting sections from The Aquarian Teacher, by Yogi Bhajan. This is the book we used from my Kundalini Yoga teacher training. During Kundalini Yoga teacher training, we were introduced to the five stages on the path of wisdom. These stages are excerpted from page 218 of “The Aquarian Teacher” by Yoga Bhajan.   The Five Stages on the Path of Wisdom   Saram Pad The “honeymoon period” when we consciously enter a relationship with our spirit and our spiritual path. We are happy. We have left the pain of the past and feel the freshness of a new life on the spiritual path. We have found…

  • Uncategorized,  Wellness

    I started a functional medicine program three months ago. Here’s what I’ve learned…

    I’m on a lot of nutrition and wellness email lists so over the last few years, I’ve been hearing more and more about functional medicine. Eventually I started following Dr. Mark Hyman, the best-selling author and creator of The Broken Brain series. Since then, I’ve been hooked on functional medicine and late last year, I decided to switch from a traditional general practitioner to a functional medicine doctor.   What is functional medicine? It’s a science-based, holistic, preventative, individualized medical system. It determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual. For example, if you were diagnosed with hypertension, functional…

  • Kundalini Yoga

    Kundalini Yoga 101

    Whether you are new to Kundalini Yoga or just want to learn a bit more, here are 7 quick facts to get you started!   Kundalini Yoga is often referred to as the yoga of awareness. It is essentially a technology of energy and energy management. Unlike many forms of yoga, Kundalini Yoga places a large emphasis on the breath and the development of the nervous system. I often refer to it as the yoga for “people who think they can’t do yoga” because the starting position is always the breath. If you can breathe, you can do Kundalini Yoga.   The first known references to Kundalini Yoga date back…

  • Kundalini Yoga,  living in Greece

    What Homeless Shelters and Refugee Camps Have Taught Me About Seva

    As originally published by 3HO. The word “seva” means selfless service, but when I reflect on it, I think I get as much out of my acts of seva as the people I’m serving. Some of my first volunteer positions were in homeless shelters in San Francisco, and today I volunteer to support the refugee population here in Greece. The benefits I’ve gained from seva are many and long ranging. I’ve included three below with the hope you might consider doing seva yourself.   1) My Comfort Zone Expanded When I graduated from Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in 2009, I didn’t feel like a “real” teacher so I started volunteer…

  • Kundalini Yoga

    Four Basic Characteristics of the Mind

    I recently went back to my Kundalini Yoga teacher training book “The Aquarian Teacher” and started re-reading it. It’s fascinating how much more I understand now after 10 years of teaching and practicing Kundalini Yoga have passed. I thought I’d start sharing parts of the book with you. The section is about understanding the mind and this section outlines the basic characteristics of the mind. They are below.   These characteristics are excerpted from page 121 of the 2007 addition of The Aquarian Teacher by Yogi Bhajan.(1)   1) The mind is largely automatic. “Since the mind is fast and beyond the categories of time and space, it supports your…

  • Kundalini Yoga,  living in Greece

    Connecting the Dots: How I Went from Being a San Francisco CFO to an Athens Yoga Instructor

    This is a series describing, dot by dot, how I went from being a San Francisco CFO to an Athens Yoga Instructor.  You can read individual installments below or scroll down for the entire series.   1.0-1.1:  My Boyfriend Walked Out and My Teacher Walked In (Sept 2007) 1.1-1.2: White Tantric Yoga (March 2008) 1.2-1.3: A Death in the Family (June 2008) 1.3-1.4: 40 Days and 40 Nights of the Cleanse (Winter 2009) 1.4-1.5: The Burning Man Bumblebee Incident (Spring 2009) 1.5-1.6:  A Festival in a Field in France (August 2009) 1.6-1.7:  How I Crafted My Own “Study Abroad” Program (May 2011) 1.7-1.8: How My Dog Launched My Yoga Career…

  • Kundalini Yoga,  living in Greece,  Uncategorized

    I’ve Practiced Kundalini Yoga Daily For The Last 9.5 Years. Here’s What I’ve Learned…

    People sometimes ask about my personal yoga practice, and they are often surprised to hear that I‘ve been maintaining a daily Kundalini Yoga practice for 9.5 years. It’s surprising to me too when I do the math, but in 2009 when I finished Kundalini Yoga teacher training, my teachers were clear that if we planned to teach, it was important to have a daily practice. I took this advice seriously and with the exception of maybe 2 days in the last 9.5 years (roughly 3,465 days), I’ve done Kundalini Yoga every day.   What’s a daily practice? A daily practice is different things for different people. For me, it means…

  • living in Greece,  Uncategorized,  Wellness

    What I Learned From the Project 333 Fashion Challenge

    What Is It? I first learned about Project 333 when we screened the movie Minimalism on the Acropolis Roof Deck this summer. The movie is all about how simplifying your life makes you happier. One of the trends that it featured was Project 333—a fashion challenge that dares you to narrow your wardrobe down to 33 items for 3 months. The challenge is designed to raise awareness around consumerism and to illustrate how you can actually be happier with less. Most of us conceptually understand we have more than we need. This challenge sets out to prove it. The trend started in the United States, but it’s gaining momentum worldwide.…