Monday, November 21, 2011

Local Food and Lots of News


Hello my friends!  So much for that "blogging every Monday" business, right?  Well I have a new idea...every other week I'll blog about a particular posture in the Bikram series rather than write a whole long newsy post.  I find that my readership is including more and more students and teachers who don't want to hear about my mom's first class (oh yeah, that's coming up later!) but DO want to hear more about the yoga itself, and as I learn more and more about the series, I might as well share it with you!  What do you think?

Lots of bibs and bobs to report today, but first and foremost...we've got a guest post from the lovely Lyn of Lyn Life Style.   

Recently, thanks to favorite Cleveland resident Amanda's suggestion, I joined the Ohio Blogging Association.  Today is November Blog Swap! - bloggers from around Northeast Ohio are guest posting on one another’s blogs as a way to get to know others in the blogging community. For a full listing of blog swap participants, check out Poise in Parma. 

I tried to convince Lyn to take my class and blog about it, but I think she still needs a little the meantime, she's got lots of tips and tricks on eating locally here in Cleveland to share, which is always useful for the health-conscious yogi.  I, for one, am delighted to learn that winter CSAs are available in Cleveland.  Enjoy!

Local Eats in Cleveland, Ohio
Hi!  I’m Lyn from Life Lyn Style and I’m guest posting today.  I write about food, family, exercise, eating local and other life happenings.

Over the last 3 years, I’ve been developing an interest about eating locally-grown foods and I have been surprised how many products and items come from within 75 miles of Cleveland.

I thought I’d share my 3 favorite ways to find local foods.

1. Join a CSA.  “CSA” stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  In most cases, you buy a farm share where you pay up front at the beginning of a growing season.  Then, each week all season long, you receive a box of in-season local products.  Some CSAs are all produce, while others include dairy, meat and dry goods.  We are members of the Fresh Fork Market and Geauga Family Farms CSAs.  We have received items ranging from chickens and veal to tomatoes and plums.  I never knew that items like apricots, yogurt, whole wheat flour and oats are available from local producers.

2. Search out your local farmers’ market.  I enjoy the market at Howe Meadows in the Peninsula area.  It’s a bit of a drive for us, but we enjoy it a couple of times a summer.  I also like the Shaker Square market.  I make myself buy something I’ve never tried whenever I go to a market.  Usually, it’s an unusual melon or squash that catches my eye.  It’s also fun to talk to the farmers and learn about their business.

3. Going to U-Pick farms is another great way to find local produce.  We’ve really enjoyed learning about the seasonality of fruits and some veggies for picking.  This year, my kids and I picked strawberries, grapes, plums, apples, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, tomatoes, peppers, and peas.  We could have picked even more varieties, but there are only so many days in a week.

A good reference website is  This site has CSA, farmers’ markets, pick-your-own information, and much more.

Try including some local products in your diet.  It’s good for you, the environment and the economy, and my husband keeps telling me how much better the local products taste!

...and we now return to regularly scheduled yoga programming!

Remember when I first blogged about the phenomenon that is the USA Yoga Federation?  Well, guess who's going to the Pennsylvania Regional Yoga Asana Cup in January?

Don't get TOO excited...I'm certainly not doing it to become a serious competitor.  You have to train long & hard to get as good as current world champ Joseph up there.  But it's a really great opportunity to bring my own practice to the next level.  Besides, what else am I going to do this winter here in Cleveland besides hibernate and spend as much time in the hot room as possible? (seriously folks.  I'm already wearing a bathrobe over a sweater indoors and it's not even cold yet.  I am getting closer.)

Plus, now I've got access to the aforementioned Pittsburgh studio owner and yoga champ Zeb, who despite my limitations has been teaching me training exercises and getting me excited for the possibilities.  This will be fun!  But I'm realistic...much like my triathlon goal of "Don't Drown," my yoga competition goal is "Don't Embarrass Yourself and Fall Down."  Fingers crossed...

MJ Visits the 'Burgh
Speaking of Pittsburgh, guess who's coming for a two-day seminar extravaganza December 17th and 18th?  The legendary Mary Jarvis, that's who!  I saw Mary speak at the Northern California regionals and she is so inspiring and hilarious.  I tried to take her class a few times in San Francisco, but she was always out of town doing seminars like these.  Now is my chance!  

She'll teach a 10AM class and then run seminars and posture clinics until evening-time.  It's pretty exciting and if any Cleveland folks want to spring the $85 to take the Saturday class/seminar, I've got four seats in my little Yaris with your names on it!  Just let me know.

My mom and sister in a happy/yoga-free moment

Breaking News: Mom Does Bikram Yoga
So I don't think I told my blog readers this story, but right before our road trip my little sister Allison took a class that I taught at Bikram Yoga Walnut Creek and she HATED IT.  She hated every single sweaty second of it. Any time I met her eyes she would give me this horrible, baleful look of anger and despair.  Not on purpose, because she tried...she really tried...

Admittedly it was a hot class, and I wasn't at the top of my game, but still...she got on the phone with my mom immediately afterwards, who had recently purchased a Groupon to Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill, and told her in no uncertain terms that she should never, ever try Bikram Yoga.  Ever.  Don't listen to Danielle. EVER.

Image stolen from Oprah

Well, some time went by and Mom isn't really one to waste money, and after I tried a few classes at Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill I was confident that they would take good care of her (and the class wasn't TOO hot).  So last Friday, off we went together to Bikram Yoga Pittsburgh, finally cashing in that Groupon.

Thanks to chronic knee and neck issues, my Mom was terrified ("I wrote down all my problems on that piece of paper," she whispered.  "They're going to read it, right?") but game.  She assured me that she planned to sit out the whole class if she felt like it; but she was willing to give Bikram a chance, Allison's ominous warnings or no.  I fully expected her to take a hot nap and maybe be impressed by my floor bow.

But guess what?  She loved it!  She did so well, trying each and every posture to the best of her ability.  She liked the heat, enjoyed the teaching and felt taken care of by teacher Lisa...and really loved how she felt afterwards.  She went back a few days later on her own!  So for those family and friends still too afraid to try to my mom. It's not so scary after all!

Along those lines...I'm always enthralled by the stories of Bikram yogis whose lives are utterly transformed by the yoga.  But how often do you actually get to be a part of that transformation?  Well, the other day one of my dear students, who started Bikram when we opened the studio in Cleveland, mentioned that she's suffered from chronic pain most of her life.  "But the other day I was standing in the kitchen and I said to my husband..."I don't feel any pain right now!""  

Sometimes leaving the nonprofit fundraising world to teach yoga seems a little selfish or self-indulgent to me.  But when I hear stories like these, I know that I'm still having a positive (albeit different) impact on the people and world around me...and that's pretty awesome.

That's it for now friends...have a beautiful week and see you next Monday!


  1. Love the blog swap! I joined a CSA for the first time this year, and in spite of some problems with the one I initially chose, it turned out great! I also find that Miles Market has some of the best local produce around in a more conventional setting.

  2. Danielle,

    You're following your dharma. It's not selfish. It's what you should be doing. And I know you are impacting the people around you.