Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Curvy Girls Do Yoga Too

Wide-Leg Seated Forward Fold (Upavista Konasana)

Modified Child's Pose (Balasana)

I hate to admit it, but these photos have been hanging around in my files since Autumn of 2008. 

My Mom took them for a project that never quite saw the light of day.

Although I could have posted them here long ago, I didn't.

Why not?

Downward Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Well, frankly, I didn't like the way I looked so I didn't want anyone to see them. 

In fact, I didn't want to have to look at them myself.

But yesterday I came across some inspiration - a community of  curvy yoginis who practice with passion and ahimsa, look awesome and aren't afraid to show it!

Anna Guest-Jelley of Curvy Yoga in Nashville is gathering photos for her gallery as a loving response to the lack of representation we curvy girls (and big guys for that matter) get in yoga magazines and marketing.

Reading her body-positive posts and the feedback from her readers inspired me to send a few for her to choose from. 

She selected this one of me in the Bear Pose which she called "Totally fab!". 

Thank you Anna!  Namaste!  I really REALLY needed that!

Drawing on her courage and community I decided to, as Anna puts it, "grab life by the curves" and share them here too.
Bear Pose (Urdhva Upavista Konasana)
Wonder where the name of the asana comes from?  Nature, of course!  Need some proof?
bear yoga
Photo by : Meta Penca/BNPS
Look at Santra the Bear practicing one of several yoga asanas that are part of her personal stretching routine at Ahtari Zoo in Finland!

Click here to read more about Santra the Bear's Yoga routine!

I guess curvy bears do yoga too!  Jai!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Hunger Games

Roasted Carrots and Beets in Kali's Kitchen
There is enough food in the world to feed everyone.  True or False?

True!  And yet according to The United Nations one in seven will go to bed hungry tonight. 

This is not just a problem in the third world.  In North America, one in six people are considered "food-insecure".

The problem is access, not supply.

Hunger games.jpg
I rarely go to movies (ok, that's the understatement of the day...) but last night I went to see The Hunger Games

Among other themes, it illustrates the disparity between the opulence and over-abundance of The Capitol and the pain of hunger, fear and insecurity in the poverty stricken Districts

Yet when I Googled the movie this morning, what came up was mainly about merchandise. 

Posters, fashions, hair products and even a line of nailpolish colors "inspired" by The Capitol.  ($93 buys you all 12 colors including Stone Cold, Smoke and Ashes, Luxe and Lush and Dress Me Up.) 


It strikes me as ironic that some fans of Katniss Everdeen may be more interested in imitating her oppressors' style than hers. 

What if instead of going Lady Gaga for overpriced paints, hair dye and false eyelashes, they contributed something to help those in need?

Well, some of them have! 

The cast and producers of The Hunger Games have teamed up with The United Nations World Food Program to raise awareness about real life hunger around the world. 

And we can help.

Click here to take the hunger quiz.

You can also donate money if you have it.  Just $5.00 can feed more than 20 people.

Or you can join Kali's Kitchen's team of  Karma Yogis on and play games that make you smarter and help to solve The World's Greatest Solvable Problem - Hunger!

"May the odds be ever in your favor", and yours and yours and theirs and ours...

Monday, 19 March 2012

Blissful Bellies

With so many of my friends going gluten-free, I was thrilled to come across this gem! 

Ed's Gluten Free at #103 9303-34 Avenue, Edmonton, is open 7 days a week.  They have all kinds of foods:  fresh, packaged and frozen to help make gluten-free meal planning varied and delicious!

While we're on the topic, if you're questing for a "Blissful Belly", Victoria Laine, author of "Health by Chocolate" offers classes, workshops and more! 

If you sign up for her monthly E-zine, Victoria will even send you her "3 Saucy Secrets for Vibrant Energy and a Happy Tummy"! (A $97 value, including yummy bonus recipes!)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Mercy Songs

mercedes bahleda - Mercy Songs
If you've been coming to my Yoga of Lady Niguma classes on Sunday mornings, you've heard Mercy Songs by Mercedes Bahleda. 

Mercedes is one of my dharma sisters, a fellow student of Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally.  She is currently part of the hard-working entourage assisting Geshe Michael with his Diamond Cutter Institute tour, workshops and classes.

Many of you have asked me how you can get your own copy, so here's the link! 

"Mercy Songs" by Mercedes Bahleda is available through White Swan Music.

Mercedes has posted several of her beautiful songs on YouTube, including the video below featuring the Mantra of Chenrizig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Om Mani Padme Hum. 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Balancing Body and Mind

This week, I was invited to meet with Dr. Alan Carroll, the Clinical Director of the Child Psychiatric Unit at the Glenrose Hospital. 

We were discussing yoga for children with anxiety and other severe psychiatric conditions. 

When Dr. Carroll made reference to a report from the University of Tel Aviv linking anxiety and balance in children, I had to learn more! 

I'm so fascinated that I'd like to share an excerpt from their study with you here.

Mind Out Of Balance, Body Out Of Balance

ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2009) — Many of the 40 million American adults who suffer from anxiety disorders also have problems with balance. As increasing numbers of children are diagnosed with anxiety, Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that the link between balance and anxiety can be assessed at an early age and that something can be done about it before it becomes a problem.

You can read more at:

Tel Aviv University (2009, January 22). Mind Out Of Balance, Body Out Of Balance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from­ /releases/2009/01/090122141226.htm

Thursday, 8 March 2012

What are Your "Three Jewels"?

Buddhist practitioners have a beautiful practice of Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels, namely the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, or the teacher, the teachings, and the community of spiritual seekers.

So I'm curious, what do you take refuge in? 

What are your "Three Jewels" of yoga?

You can vote for your favorites in Kali's Kitchen's new March poll.  To find it, just scroll down the right hand side of the blog. 

Feel free to select multiple answers! And if you don't see your "Three Jewels", please post them in the comments below!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Sacred Advertisement

Origami lips folded by Andy
By Rob Brezsny, the wise and wonderful wordsmith of

You're a star -- and so am I. I'm a genius -- and so are you. Your success encourages my brilliance, and my charisma enhances your power. Your victory doesn't require my defeat, and vice versa. Those are the rules in the New World -- quite unlike the rules in the Old World, where zero-sum games are the norm, and only one of us can win each time we play.

In the New World, you don't have to tone down or apologize for your prowess, because you love it when other people shine. You exult in your own excellence without regarding it as a sign of inherent superiority. As you ripen more and more of your latent aptitude, you inspire the rest of us to claim our own idiosyncratic magnificence.
The preceding oracle comes from Rob's book, PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

Tent to Trend: Milk Crate Decor

This post is dedicated to my ashram friends, whose tent decor features the practical (but till now not-so-stylish) milk crate!

Ah, we know them well!  Snatched up in any color, but most coveted in yellow, they are our altars, bookshelves, tables, chairs, wardrobes, laundry baskets, and more!  That is, if we can get our hands on them!

They also act as storage bins in the garden shed and the boutique, hold firewood for homas and pujas, carry supplies for painting decks and other karma yoga jobs, and even hold - wait for it - milk!

This photo was in the February 2012 issue of Elle Canada... who knew we were so ahead of the trend?!?  LOL!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Om Mandala Painting

Beautiful inspiration for our Likhita Japa!


"The benefits of Mantra-writing or Likhita Japa cannot be adequately described. Besides bringing about purity of heart and concentration of mind, mantra-writing gives you control of Asana, control of Indriyas, particularly the sight and the tongue, and fills you with the power of endurance. You attain peace of mind quickly. By prolonged and constant practice the inherent power of the Mantra (Mantra-Sakti) will be awakened, which will fill your very existence with the Divinity of the Mantra."

- Swami Sivananda, an excerpt from the book, Japa Yoga.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Congratulations Level Two Graduates!

Shiva and Ganesha
Thanks and praises to last night's graduates of Meditation and Yoga Philosophy, Level Two at Yoga for Today!

I feel so blessed to have spent so many wonderful Wednesday evenings with you! 

I am in awe of the joyful effort and dedication with which you have pursued these beautiful but challenging teachings in Sanskrit, and in particular, on Kriya Yoga as explained by Patanjali Maharishi in the first few sutras of the Sadhana Pada.

May your learning be fruitful, may your enthusiasm never wane, may you reach enlightenment in this lifetime!


New Kali's Kitchen Puzzles!

I've been getting great feedback from the Yoga Sutra Word Search Puzzles I posted, so here are some new ones for you:

Kali's Kitchen Word Search Puzzle

Kali's Kitchen Word Scramble


Kali's Kitchen Crossword Puzzle

The words in the Word Search are the same terms used in the Word Scramble and the Crossword Puzzle.

Again, they're posted for public use on Armored Penguin so you can play and share them for the next two months.  Have fun!