FREE YOGA + an exclusive Black Friday deal

Come celebrate the holiday weekend with your Yoga Nook family, and get your body moving after the big feast! We have 2 FREE CLASSES on Friday, November 27, open to members and non-members alike — plus an exclusive Black Friday deal.

Join us for our annual Turkey Trot at Yoga Nook on Cochran, or the 1st annual Turkey Jam at Yoga Nook @ Fifth:

Turkey Trot 
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Yoga Nook on Cochran
30 min. each of Core, Floor & Restore
Level 1 (some Yoga experience preferred)

Turkey Jam with Jeni
8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Yoga Nook @ Fifth
All levels

We’ll also be offering an exclusive Black Friday deal from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon at Yoga Nook @ Fifth. For one day only, get an annual membership for $59.99 per month! (Annual contract required, see our website for details.)


Image credit: Jason Devaun via Flickr (CC) 

Edith’s Story

Twelve years ago, Edith Tucker was not thinking about Yoga. She was attempting to recover from a fall that crushed her tailbone and herniated several discs.

The journey to recovery was long and hard, including two failed back surgeries, steroids and chronic pain that resulted in depression.

After moving to Simi Valley 19 months ago, Edith found Yoga Nook. “I was just driving around and saw the sign,” she said.

A few days later, she took her first-ever yoga class.

“I loved it. I could feel my body strengthening and changing in the first few months,” said Edith.

But her physical challenges were not over. Six months later, Edith was diagnosed with a benign fibular head tumor that was growing and compressing healthy tissue. Tumors were also found on her thyroid and in her lung.

“I had to have major surgery again. My doctors removed the fibular head and are now keeping an eye on the other tumors.”

Edith’s friendly and enthusiastic personality was soon missed around Yoga Nook, and after a call from Jeni, Edith has returned to classes.

“I began to practice Yoga every day,” she said. “It helped me appreciate what my body could do despite my limitations. Gradually, my strength has improved.”

Yoga played an important part in Edith’s recovery and continues to support her despite a recent diagnosis of thyroid cancer.

“The only thing that has helped me get through all these issues is falling in love with Yoga each and every time I step on my mat.”

Indeed, Edith has been so profoundly affected by Yoga, it has inspired her to join Yoga Nook’s Teacher Training Program.

“I want to bring yoga practice to anyone who might need to heal as I have. Yoga has made me feel like a part of something bigger, part of a yoga family, and that has made me feel alive.”


The Season of Gluttony

I’m currently in England, and the fall colors are spectacular against the dirty grey sky, heavy with imminent rain. Giant old-growth oaks, sycamores and horse chestnut trees have turned brilliant shades of gold, yellow and bronze. Their leaves fall like confetti as I drive under their long limbs stretching across the road.

These damp, dreary days are blessedly short — already one hour less daylight than in California. I’m struck by the tendency for people to stay inside, lounge around and eat.

To be sure, we are hard-wired to eat more as winter approaches. Shorter days and cooler temperatures trigger primal rhythms and, like all mammals, we respond by loading on extra pounds for the long, harsh winter.

Luckily, our frontal lobes set us apart from lesser apes and mammals. It’s here where we recognize the future consequences of current behaviors. In the season of gluttony, however, as celebrations of the year’s harvest and traditional holidays approach, we tend to ignore the impact and indulge. We reassure ourselves that, come the New Year, we will go on a diet.

But have you ever considered that the extra calories are not just causing your waistline to expand, but also changing your brain?

Many processed foods, including shelf-stable baked goods and fried foods, contain partially hydrogenated oils. The chemical process of hydrogenation changes the shape of the fatty-acid molecules in oil, producing trans fats. Unlike healthful fatty acids, these molecule meanies alter the stability of brain cell membranes, resulting in cellular degeneration.

In addition, foods with high sugar content cause the release of dopamine, the feel-good hormone, in the brain. But the more sugar we eat, the less dopamine we create – so we eat more to get the same feel-good effect.

But wait – it’s not all bad news.

We can learn to eat more healthfully, and as we continue to affirm healthy choices, we lose the craving for fatty, high-sugar foods. With awareness and a little moderation, we can navigate this season of plenty without any long-term damage to our brain or waistline.

When faced with a buffet fit to burst with enticing treats, engage your frontal lobe:

  • Choose foods such as chicken and fish, which are both a good source of protein and relatively low in fat.
  • Avoid deep-fried anything.
  • Decide on one small portion of a delectable desert only after you have eaten some vegetables.
  • Don’t stand near the buffet table. Make a plate that is 50% vegetables, move away and don’t return for more.
  • Variety, moderation and awareness while eating will keep you functioning in the higher regions of your brain.

As for me, I’m going outside for a walk on a deep carpet of fallen leaves – even if my family does think I’m crazy.


Related articles:
Culinary Zen
Food for Thought

Image credit: Jake Vince via Flickr (CC)