I just returned home from a great weekend on Bowen Island, Canada for the You Are Enough yoga retreat. The retreat sold out a couple weeks before the event and I feel I discovered my calling and passion for cooking for other people. I hope the opportunity arises again.
I love cooking. I find it therapeutic and ignites a different sense of creativity. I follow alot of intuitive cooking, which means I dont necessarily "follow the rules" on exact measurements but sometimes "go with my gut" on what spices and such are needed or necessary. I've also discovered through my cooking I don't always time things but rather use my sense of smell to indicate when a pie, or baked good is near done. Whenever the kitchen become aromatic it is a sign that whatever is in the oven is ready to be checked.
Alongside cooking, I teach yoga. Today, I focus most of my teaching on moderate and slow flows, for which require ambient or down-tempo music.
At the retreat, I played various playlists using mixcloud.com, and wanted to share my favorite tracks. I not only use these in my yoga classes, but also in the kitchen to inspire yet another culinary creation.
Perfect for slow flows and digestion while eating.
For meditation, healing, Reiki, yin, night-time relaxation, try anything by Kamal.
For a mix of inspirational electronic beats, perfect for yoga-Pilate combos or just a down-tempo, chillout environment. If you want to imagine lying on a beach and watching the sunset, experience these mixes by Dubtrak. Perfect for a yoga dinner party.
For a bit of German deep house, perfect for chilling.
For something ethnic and tribal.
For a bit of downtempo Buddha-ness.
Imagine standing in your personal power, strong & confident in who you truly are, without fear or apology.
Accept yourself, as you are in all your glory!
Let your light shine bright! Goddesses you are so worth it!
"You are Enough. There is absolutely no shame in being who you are. You can be as soft or as strong as you want to be. You can be both. You can share & be vulnerable, or you can contemplate & be introspective. Whoever you are & whatever you want to be is absolutely ok. There's no need to compare yourself to anyone else because you are the only YOU. You are rare. You are golden. You exist for a reason. You are completely worthy of being loved just as you are." Alison Wu
This intimate Women's Weekend retreat is for all women and those identifying as female who are looking for a gathering designed to heal, reconnect, & transform. Through yoga, breath, meditation, & energy work, we will face our shadows and embrace our light. Together we will stand strong in our strengths and soft in our vulnerability. This will be a deeply healing & transformative journey. Give yourself the gift of self care. Experience a weekend of connection, renewal, & self discovery.
Our Weekend includes:
-Yoga sessions that work with the qualities of each Element, emotions, and the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Classes will be a blend of Hatha and flow with energy and breath work.
-Daily journaling and discussions on the Elements
-Energy work and breath to release stuck emotions
-Delicious catered meals to balance the 5 Elements
-Individual 30 minute Reiki session
-Free time to yourself in nature (with options to explore Bowen Island)
-Gift bag with Self care items
-Laughter, tears, stories, & more!
Each yoga session will focus on one of the 5 Elements in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Your body houses your suppressed thoughts & emotions. Clearing emotional energy is so important for a healthier you. The work will center around our Shadow Self, finding awareness and acceptance of our sometimes unconscious patterns. This allows us to develop a good relationship with our inner child and become the best version of ourselves.
It takes courage to cultivate/nurture the Self & I'm honored to partner with you on your healing journey!
Ladies- you are Unique! You are Amazing! You are Loved! You are a Superwoman! You give so much of yourself to others- isn’t it your time now? What is holding you back? Step into your Power! Join us!
Water Element- transform Fear & Shame into Courage & Trust
Wood Element- transform Anger & Frustration into Forgiveness & Patience
Fire Element- transform Panic, Anxiety, & Hurt into Joy & Openness
Earth Element- transform Worry & Over-thinking into Contentment & Presence.
Metal Element- transform Grief, Sadness, & Depression into Acceptance & Freedom
Nectar Yoga B&B , named one of the top 5 retreats in British Columbia, is a delightful sanctuary. It is nestled away in the woods, a space of healing and solitude, a place for transformation.
Nectar Yoga, an eco- friendly B&B, is just a short ferry ride away from Vancouver.
Daily yoga practices will be in their beautiful geodesic, heated yoga dome, with a view of nature. This small space allows for greater intimacy and group connection.
Their accommodations provide a space for relaxation, without letting go of the comforts of home.
Nectar Loft- Modern beach style cottage furnished with local decor, kitchenette, fridge, sleeping loft & pull out sofa bed, outside deck
Forest Cottage- West Coast beach style cottage, outdoor shower, forest view seating area, mini fridge, private deck *SOLD OUT
Garden Suite- Nautical themed room located in the lower level of the main house, open planned room with separate entry, private bathroom, mini fridge, garden view
Main House- Master bedroom has a sleeping loft and a detached bathroom on the upper floor. Guest room has 2 single beds and a detached bathroom on the main floor
*All accommodations are double occupancy
*Photos courtesy of Nectar Yoga B & B
-3 nights accommodation at the lovely Nectar Yoga B & B- double occupancy
-9 delicious vegan meals (freshly prepared on site)
-Full Yoga Immersion programming (a total of six- 2 hour yoga classes, energy activations and pranayama, guided journaling, deep conversations, teachings on the 5 Elements and corresponding emotions)
-Individual 30-minute Reiki session
-Use of yoga props, cleaning fees & taxes, water & tea
-Private Facebook group
-Gift bag with self care items
Not included: Transportation to & from the retreat site, ferry costs, insurance (personal, medical, trip cancellation)
optional: in room massage (book in advance), Finnish sauna experience ($25 for up to 3 people), tarot reading, scooter rental, bike or kayak rental
What to bring: Your openness to explore, learn, and let go of anything holding you back.
Your passport (if you don't live in Canada), comfortable clothes to practice yoga in, yoga mat, journal & something to write with, water bottle, walking shoes, layers for cooler evenings, bathing suit
I woke up with tired eyes at 5:00am in Seattle. Tired. Dazed. And confused, I made way to the train station and caught a glimpse of the sun rising over Seattle's skyline.
The morning was beautiful, filled with light, chirping birds and puffy clouds. The weather was fare and I felt it was hard to leave home. But at least I'll be able to work on my suntan at the Vegas pool.
I boarded my Delta flight and once all the passengers boarded, the captain said, "There are thunderstorms in Las Vegas and we'll be here for at least 40 minutes." We sat on the run for 90 minutes. Impatient, I noticed on Facebook that others had the same issues.
Delays, re-routes, I wasn't too impatient, but the irony of landing in the dessert cloudy, humid and wet was hilarious.
Since middle school, I desired to become a writer. If you follow me, you know my quirks about Charles Dickens and I sharing the same birthdate. The stardust pushed me to become a writer. Not a novella nor a poet, but a dedicated activist to healthy living.
I yearn for freedom and thanks to technology, blogging allows personal, unedited expression. As a love of communication, expressing my voice is important to my wellbeing.
But will I ever be able to live full-time off blogging? That mystery to life is unknown, but I will say that the timing in life can be ironic.
Yesterday, I rummaged through my closet to find my small Sierra Club book bag. The bag was empty except for a small piece of paper. This piece of paper noted that I will be transitioning into a new line of work. .
Though I won't ever truly leave fitness, I still hold hope for my American Dream to become a full-time writer.
AND I've been wanting to attend a blog fest since 2012. Either the timing wasn't right, I couldn't afford the conference or had prior commitments. Just like I wanted to attend Burning Man or visit Ibiza or Seville since I was 18, it took 12-14 years for those dreams to come true.
The divine has no timeline and for whatever reason my flight was delayed, or that I am attending blogfest in 2017, I know I must always trust the timing of my life. Sometimes things happen for a reason when it's meant to happen.
Trust in the divine,
Hello Fitness Friends,
I am excited to announce that I will be attending the 2017 IDEA Fitness World Convention Blog Fest.
Will I see you there?
I am entering my tenth year of working in the fitness industry and though there have been many changes, I am excited to continue my writing adventures at this conference. Whether you're a fellow fitness professional, marketing professional, product developer or health educator, I'd like to meet you, even if its a brief introduction.
I have written and represented, and written for, various brands in the past - the American Council on Exercise, BOSU, Precor - and more! Click here to discover more about me and my portfolio. I look forward to meeting you.
In Good Health,
I have to admit something. I am a European at heart. I grew up with Ukrainian and Polish immigrant elders, persecuted from World War Two, and once I lived in Germany, I became attached to my European roots.
On many levels, I knew my soul spent lifetimes in Europe. Sometimes I joke it’s why I ‘ve felt so out of place in America. Europe changed me in ways that I cannot describe. I became more logical and spiritual at the same time.
How does that work? To see the persecution and destruction of people and places makes one realistic about human nature and mankind. We’ve evolved as a specie, but have a long way to go.
Upon returning to Seattle, I spent the weekend rediscovering Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square district. To me, Pioneer Square is a European-oasis dotted between the Amazonian jungle of mile-high skyscrapers and the cannabis-infused district of SODO.
Intuition guided me to the popular Arcade. Ironically, I never explored the basement and the nagging voice in my head said, “Go downstairs!”
I stumbled upon The Hidden Alchemist, a quaint window-front style shop “hiding” in a narrow strip of space between a brick wall and a faux storefront. Dried herbs and roses dangled from the windowsill as the homemade incense basked in bath of aromatic oils. Copper pots hung out on the exposed brick wall as change jingled inside a prayer giving shell.
My soul reminisced with memories of Latvia, Estonia and Poland where many people still believe in ancient herbal remedies.
Shop owner, Sunny, is like a reflection of myself. Spiritual yet logical, I knew there was a reason why I was so attracted to this place. After much conversation, she admits that she has a very balanced approach to life that integrates logic.
Sunny is a Master Clinical Herbalist, which means she has trained to create compounds from scratch. As a compound herbalist, she creates mixtures that use specific herbal combinations to aide certain functions.
Sunny’s in-depth knowledge and wisdom proves (to me) that she is meant to heal the world through herbs. She’s created tinctures for over 20 years and operated a business for seven years.
Curious, I wondered if her interest in herbs was random or came from what I term a soul’s calling. Sunny expressed that always had interest with herbs. She started her first garden at the age of six and grew chamomile along with other herbs. As she aged, she gifted herbal presents for holidays and special occasions.
Her passion and knowledge comes alive in the shop where visitors can watch live tinctures drip into a basin or consult Sunny in the ever-so-therapeutic meeting room.
Sunny hand makes every product in her shop. Teas, muscle rubs, tinctures, lotions, beverages, energy shots – you name she’s got it! She makes her products in small batches, ensuring every product is fresh with an appropriate shelf life. She uses organic, chemical-free and handcrafted herbal tinctures and natural skin care products.
Everything she touches is with care, including her handmade business cards. The alchemist, the ultimate creator, is the being of light that can heal the world and the people.
Sunny is also author of a lavender cookbook, “The Culinary Lavender Cookbook of Delicious Desserts and Luscious Drinks," which autographed copies are sold in store.
Besides the shelf setup and the antique-looking birdcage perched outside of the door, the most attractive part of the shop are her affordable prices. Fifty cents for a tea bag? Three dollars for a wellness shot? A couple bucks for a package of homemade incense? Where am I? I felt as if I transported to Romania, a place where unadulterated mainstream consumerism exists.
As a homeopathy consumer, I find more value and authenticity in her products compared to similar items sold on the mainstream market.
Sunny also trains apprentices on how to become compound herbalists. It’s a long and arduous process, but like traditional yoga, it’s the old-school method where the guru teaches the pupil. Isn’t that so refreshing (and so European) that something like this still exists in a world dominated that is pumping out health coaches every three days with online certificates?
Sadly, Pioneer Square, like the rest of Seattle, is changing. The Hidden Alchemist lost their lease and Sunny will relocate to Fremont in August. Right now, she has an indiegogo campaign to save her small business.
All guests are welcomed into the shop and handed a small sample of freshly made tea. My favorite tea is the Just Breathe and Peach tea.
I pretty much recommend everything but I love love love the incense (green tea, wisteria, honeysuckle, lilac and lavender are my favorite).
Rummaging through her shelves is similar to a scratch and sniff booklet. Every smells so fresh that your mouth waters, disguised as your brain thinks its edible food. I recommend sniffing (and trying) the lilac bath salt and goat milk soap.
The lotion works wonders on dry skin. Each lotion is made with coconut oil as a natural moisturizer and my favorite is the Honeysuckle.
Discover more about Sunny & The Hidden Alchemist at http://www.thehiddenalchemist.com
Do you enjoy goods from an apothecary? If so, what is your favorite item?
Love it? Let's Connect!
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com