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Growing up in New England I have developed a very dysfunctional relationship with the winter. I try to love it, I really do.

I annually embrace the changing colors of fall, the first flake of snow, the smell of firewood burning from neighborhood chimneys, the quiet crunching sound of snow beneath faux-furry boots…but alas, the novelty always wears off.  As soon as the thermostat drops below 32 degrees, I am left scurrying around outdoors, in a suffocating amount of layers of long underwear, squeezing my chin to my chest to protect my neck from wind chill, mumbling under my breath to no one else but myself, that “I’m so cold…”…channeling Kate Winslet in the last scene in Titanic…”never let go, Jack….”

This is exactly how I feel...all the time...in Boston in the winter...

The one thing that does not lose its novelty in the winter months however, is the comforting warmth of a hearty winter soup. I pretty much turn into a soup-ivore as soon as it drops below 50 degrees.  Consequently, have found some fantastic recipes for soups that I would love to share with you all.

First up is a new discovery from Better Homes and Gardens website: bettertv.com…there’s even a video. The recipe is for an extremely simple, easy, and DELICIOUS butternut squash soup.

Butternut Squash is one of my favorite foods to eat in the fall and winter and so easy to find locally. Plus with the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg mulling in your kitchen….mmmm

I am a cinnamon fiend in the fall/winter...I added extra sticks for this recipe!

I’ve made it a few times now, the second time I added an extra cinnamon stick, low sodium Organic Chicken broth, some nutmeg, some ground cloves and  substituted the sugar for Splenda’s Brown sugar blend. It was a healthier version that got rave reviews…So here is My healthier version of BetterTv.com’s ….

Butternut Squash Soup:



2 larger butternut squash, halved and seeded

3 tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 large onion, sliced

3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 1/2 tablespoons of Splenda brown Sugar Blend

3 large garlic cloves chopped

2 cinnamon sticks

1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. of ground cloves

5 cups of Low-sodium Organic Chicken Broth

I love using Pacific Foods Organic free range low sodium chicken broth...so delish...available at most supermarkets

**(1 container of chicken broth is about 4 cups, so instead of opening another, I substituted that last cup for 1 chicken bullion cube with 1 cup hot water)


1. Oil a large baking sheet; bake squash, cut side down, for 1 hour at 375 F.

2. Remove peel from squash and discard and cut of the squash a bit. It should be pretty soft and malleable already so just cut into chunks.

3. In a large pot, heat oil and add onion.

4, Add ginger, brown sugar, garlic,  cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and cloves. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent.

4. Add squash and chicken broth; bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer another 10 minutes.

5. Discard cinnamon stick.

6. Add a few cups of your mixture to a blender and puree until a funnel appears at the top. Pour pureed soup into large bowl, add more mixture to blender, puree again, and so on. Serve with a little chopped parsley or creme fraiche, if desired.

**I served this with warm french onion bread with a tiny bit of homemade maple butter on it. It’s kind of like having desert with your entree…

***You can also experiment by adding apples, apple cider and sage to this recipe…just play around!

I improvised the maple butter:

For the maple butter:

1. Heat 1/2 cup of real Organic maple syrup on the stove in a heavy bottom saucepan until boiling.

2. Add in 1 1/2 sticks of butter, let melt, then wisk vigorously for 2 minutes.

3. Pour into a glass container and place in the freezer until solidified.

Spread a tiny bit on the bread and dip into the soup…mmmm

For a Butternut- Pumpkin Soup that’s to die for…

—-> You can also take this above soup recipe and Add in a can of packed pumpkin, then toast some pumpkin seeds to garnish!

My favorite Butternut/Squash soup experiences have been highly memorable.

Moment 1: Cocoa Wah Wah, Cape Town: A delicious Cape Malay spiced butternut Squash soup at Cocoa Wah Wah in Cape Town South Africa. South Africans LOVE their butternut, and their soups are spiced with perfection. There was nothing better on a rainy, windy June winter’s day in Cape town.

I would scuttle down the hill from school to study at this adorable free wifi cafe in Rondebosch, and order a Butternut Soup with a Rooibos tea garnished with a fresh slice of lemon and fresh grated ginger…mmmm. By the end of the semester they knew what I wanted when they saw me coming…

Cocoa Wah Wah in Cape Town

Moment 2. Teatro, Boston: The other week, a friend of mine and I were searching for a quick bite before a movie at Loew’s On the Common in Boston. It was sooo chilly and the wind blew us right in to Teatro. The decor was warm, romantic, inviting, the place was packed for a Sunday evening, and the waiter was very responsive to the fact that we were in a rush to see a movie. We looked down at the well thought out theater-goer italian menu and saw a “Sugar Pumpkin Zuppa with Maple Creme Fraiche” and immediately we knew we needed it. BEST IDEA EVER. Although it’s not butternut, I had to post it. So so so good! A Must TASTE this winter!

Moment 3: The Fireplace, Brookline, MA: Chef Jim Solomon has been known to have the best butternut bisque around town at the classic New England restaurant, The Fireplace, but I needed to see for myself. It  was SOOO good! Sipping Butternut Bisque next to a fireplace in the restaurant also may have added to the comfort-food factor…

The Fireplace Restaurant in Brookline, MA

Now that the holidays are approaching, many of us do not have the luxury of time to make soups from scratch so I found a few store bought substitutes, that, with a little bit of extra spicing, taste like homemade magic…I have tried a LOT of canned soups, and I mean A LOT and these are my two faves!

1. Pacific Foods: I have fallen in love with Pacific Foods line of products, especially their soups. All organic, free range, low sodium, etc. And SOOOOO delicious. I also love that you can buy bigger containers of pre-made soups (to avoid wasting packaging materials), pour as much as you want, then store the rest in the fridge. No can-openers! The soups taste incredibly fresh and are perfectly flavored. Also it’s super healthy with no unnecessary added fat or sugar.

2. Campbell’s V8 Golden Butternut Squash Soup is also a super healthy alternative to homemade soup. However, it is a little less sustainable than  Pacific Food’s products.

Now Manga!


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So it’s down to the wire for most of us and our holiday shopping, and when shopping for that sustainability-loving yogini or yogi in your life, you may be stumped.

Luckily, I thought ahead and brought back an entire Indian bazaar in two frame packs from India to give away as presents (I still can’t believe the deal I got on meditation bowls and bells)! However, I have seen some fantastic ideas for gifts for the conscientious gift-giver this season.

I put together a couple ideas of gifts for the girl or guy that is trying to detach from material gifts, but would secretly love some holiday spoils! (Just Click on the linked titles for more details on each product)

I just got the Chopra Center Catalog in the mail and it’s full of some great ideas for the health conscious yogi or chef in your life…If you know your recipients “Dosha” (you can figure it out through the catalogs Dosha Index) you can get them a corresponding Surya Dosha Spice Blend!


At $9 a piece they decrease the stree of trying to cook appropriately for your physical, emotional makeup. Such a great idea!

PAtti Page's Gingerbread yoga people!

Also, for the one who loves to eat…check out these adorable homemade yoga gingerbreadmen from Patti Paige.

I also found a Yoga Cookie Cutter in Tree Pose for $12 if you want to make your own!

Chakra soaps at Etsy.com!

Chakra soaps from Etsy.com are a perfect Yoga-inspired bath gift. Each soap is scented in accordance to the properties of each chakra!  You get the 7 major chakras for $20 at Etsy.com.

As the "Wandering Lotus" I couldn't resist posting this gorgeous handmade Lotus necklace

A gorgeous handmade sterling  silver necklace of a Lotus flower made by “gomegan” at  from Etsy.com for only $21!

One of my favorite things to give during the holidays is the gift of a charitable donation. Oxfam has some great packages for the holidays. Packages range from around $18 to give a set of books to a classroom of children, or mosquito nets or even a goat, to $1,500 with which you can rebuild an ENTIRE primary school in Africa! Check out their options under “Oxfam Unwrapped” in the “Gift Catalog” section.  Unicef.org also does something similar, as do many other charities, so just explore on the net!

Photo courtesy of Oxfam....


For the Traveler in your life: a pair of Tom’s shoes is the perfect gift! They are Comfy, durable, packable into any carryon, and for each pair, Tom will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. They come in all different styles and will run you around $40 (but it’s two shoes for the price of one).


I bought mine three years ago just when the company started and they are still my favorite thing to wear on my feet to this day! (Are you listening, family?)

Tom’s even has gift packs that include a $50 dollar gift card and a DVD about the charity and how it works. They even have baby shoes!

For other eco-friendly and sustainable gifts I love Uncommongoods.com and Westelm.com

Check out these yummy faux fur throws from West Elm starting at $79…

Sustainable Travel International is a greta resource for gift certificates that promote charitable and green projects

Also, for the well-traveled one in your life: at Sustainable Travel International you can purchase a biodegradable gift card through “snail mail” for as little as $20 and the recipient can choose which sustainable travel project they can donate to, or they can start their own! You can also contribute to your own Carbon footprint offset portfolio with the gift card.

I saw these little earphone/earmuffs and immediately a need was created for it in my life. As a runner, fiddling with my ear phones under my winter hat/fleece headband is such a pain. These are a perfect gift for a cold city dweller or winter outdoorsy athlete!  $34 at hammacher.com

Along the music theme…for me, my iPod is an indispensible part of my practice and teaching. Two years ago my brother bought me the (PRODUCT) RED ipod nano which they still make and keep updating today. When you buy a RED nano, which is literally the color red, 50 percent of the gross products go to help fund AIDS programs in Africa. It was a very appropriate gift considering I was on my way to South Africa for the semester and it reminded me of the more important things in life every time I looked/listened to it.

For the self-proclaimed Asana Addict in your life:

Yoga classes do not come cheap, so if you are a teacher, offering a free class may be part of your Karma Yoga for the season, like my class I’m holding next Sunday on the Solstice.

If you are the DIY-type, making the yogi in your life a knitted yoga blanket or a handmade yoga bag (so much easier than you think) is personal, inexpensive and extremely useful!

I found a great yoga mat bag tutorial here!

I love love love these recycled Silk Yoga mat bags made from Indian sari fabric…from Everythingyoga.com…on sale for $29 (love that they are discounted!) They come in a variety of patterns and brilliant colors.

Recycled silk yoga mat bags from Everythingyoga.com!

I also love these completely recycled Rice Bag yoga mat bags from globalgirlfriend.com for only $18.

These recycled rice bags are not only eco-friendly but the profits go towards combating human trafficking in Cambodia!

After testing a lot of incense…and i mean A LOT…my standard favorite that I keep returning to is Nag Champa. I luckily brought back about 20 boxes from India because it is SOOOO GOOOD (and so cheap over there as well). The sticks are handrolled,  last the longest (45 minutes) and smell so pure. Just a great standard scent for meditating and yoga and just in general. A great gift may be an incense gift set like this one from NagChampa.com

The best incense EVER....a great gift set from the source...only $19

You can also put together an essential oil and incense kit, make a scented eye pillow, or make a CD of your favorite relaxation/meditation tunes.

You cna create a custom bundle of 6 luxurious embroidered eye pillows for $60 from "naturalhome" at Etsy.com

I love these modern and luxurious eye pillows from “Naturalhome” on ETSY (above).

This hoodie states "Satya" or "truthfulness...one of the yamas of Yoga

For the Yoga Fashionista who wants to keep warm before and after class…I found these adorable hoodies lined with sherpa. Each one is  customized with one of the yamas (yoga social contracts) on the back, such as “Ahimsa”, or ‘non-violence’. find them at Zazzle.com.

Bamboo inspired wrap throwover from ahpeele at Etsy.com for $52

I’m in love with this (above) Bamboo wrap thrower from ahpeele at Etsy.com. It’s stylish and would keep any yogini warm and toasty while meditating.

I am in great “need” of a mediation alarm clock that doesn’t sound like a firetruck approaching my mat at full speed…usually the really nice zen clocks are pretty pricey but I found this Sound Oasis clock on sale for $79 (down from $100). Still a little pricey, but it would make a great gift!

For the Yogi in who live in Moderation...this Yoga wine bottle holder is a perfect host/hostess gift…$49

Fill it with one of my favorite organic wines such as Frey, or a local vineyard’s wine.

Also, as a gift you can give a friend a gift certificate to their favorite yoga studio or to a new studio that you’ve been dying to try together!

For me, my ideal presents are always experiences rather than actual material things…such as:

A Rest and Relaxation weekend, a day gift certificate, or full program at Kripalu Yoga Center in Western Massachusets. Such a Yoga Utopia out there! There’s a great New Year’s Detox program “for Health and Healing” for three days in January that I would die to go to!

simultaneously support the arts and have an entertaining evening at a night out at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston…Every Third Thursday of the month they host an “Isabella Stewart Gardner After Hours” cocktail event complete with live music. A Great romantic event during the holiday season!

And for some of my favorite Yoga Cd’s and Book recommendations as holiday gifts….


Krishna Das' Heart Full of Soul

Krishna Das ‘Heart Full of Soul’...I may be a little obsessed…just a little…

Deva Premal in Concert: She has an INCREDIBLE voice…amazing to practice to

Tibetan Incantations is an incredible CD of Tibetans monks chanting Om Mani PAdme Om…heard this in every Tibetan shop playing on the CD players while in India and every time I listen to it, it brings back the magic of India.


Autobiography of a Yogi: a classic, along with The Yoga Sutras, and Light on Yoga, it’s a must have!

For the Yogi Chef: Eat Taste Heal is a wonderful cookbook on Ayurvedic cooking for the modern chef.

The Yoga of Caring: usually hard to find book from the YOga Institute…but well worth the find, and a great gift!

Half the Sky is a wonderful new book by NYTimes columnist Nicholas D. Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn. The book argues for the empowerment of women across the globe through their accounts of the oppression they have witnessed. A wonderfully written, inspiring call to arms for all of humanity.

One of my mom’s favorite yoga books is Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison. It’s a visually and spirutally beautiful book and gift.

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To all you in the North Shore/Boston area of Massachusetts:

Put a little Soul in your Solstice this winter…

Please join me for a FREE Yoga Class next Sunday, December 20th at 3:30 pm at GReen Tea Yoga Studio in Salem.

Here are the details:

FREE SOLSTICE YOGA CLASS, Sunday December 20th 3:30-5:30pm

Winter Solstice Celebration: Free, and open to all levels!

Join Alexandra Freyer for a Celebratory Solstice Yoga class. Celebrate this pivotal
point of the year when light triumphs over darkness and the sun begins to
gradually return with its luminosity and fire. As a class, we will take this opportunity
to press your inner ‘Restart’ button and reflect on the past year, looking forward to
the promise of new beginnings.

The class will begin as a reflective meditation, move into a flowing Hatha yoga class
to awaking our own inner solstice and luminosity, and end with a restorative focus
on physical, emotional and mental renewal. The asana (yoga postures) will begin
at 4:00pm, however we have the joy of having Jerrie Hildebrand casting a spiritual
circle for us at 3:30 pm in honor of the solstice.

Space is limited.  Students are welcome on a first come, first served basis so please
arrive early to get a spot.

For more information check out http://www.greenteayoga.com/Events.html.
Hope to see you there!

Open your heart to the Sun in our Solstice Class!

Find out more about the Winter Solstice here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_solstice

And here is some more information about the benefits of yoga during the final month of the year:

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Mmm My Aunt Linda's Super Healthy POWER muffins allow the whole famly to power through the day!

Mmm My Aunt Linda's Super Healthy POWER muffins allow the whole family to power through the day!

How do you make a healthy muffin that doesn’t taste like cardboard? Ask a Freyer…

To keep with the family theme of this week, I want to showcase another talent in my family…cooking. Cooking is also an extraordinary talent honed by the women in my family, and mostly all of our bonding happens over a good solid meal.

My Aunt Marina was a gourmet food stylist, while my mother has brought her Italian roots into modern cooking.

My Aunt Linda, is also a fantastic cook in the health food arena. She has mastered cooking for specific diets…Heidi is a vegetarian and gluten and lactose intolerant, while the boys in the family scoff at anything that looks “healthy”.

To satisfy the tastes of her family and yet keep them healthy, she has perfected a slew of recipes for all meals and has become a muffin master.

Every morning, at the crack of dawn, my aunt will make a fresh batch of the healthiest, tastiest POWER MUFFINS that even the anti-health-food boys in the family can’t live without.



Just the smell of them in the mornings draws you down to the kitchen to their tastiness.

After becoming instantly addicted to these morning treats that kept me energized all day, I begged her for the recipe. Every muffin is made as healthy as can be, with all natural sugar substitutes and extra whole grain everything. She says she makes different ones each day and experiments constantly….

Try Truvia as a natural sugar substitute instead of Sugar or the synthetic Splenda...

Try Truvia as a natural sugar substitute instead of Sugar or the synthetic Splenda...

honey also works well as a sugar additive thats natural and healthy...you can also add honey to warm muffins instead of butter

honey also works well as a sugar additive that's natural and healthy...you can also add honey to warm muffins instead of butter

experiment with different healthy additions like Flaxseed!

experiment with different healthy additions like Flaxseed!

Some of her key ingredients are low fat buttermilk instead of skim milk, Truvia (an all natural sugar substitute) , wheat flour, oats and honey. Also, you can experiment and add in Flax seeds and all sorts of grain additions to add extra vitamins and minerals to your breakfast. Using spices like nutmeg and cinnamon will also give your muffins flavor without the need for excess filling ingredients. She also uses pretty much all organic ingredients!

Also make sure you do not overcook them for a minute! These healthier ingredients dry quicker and as soon as they are too cooked that’s when you get the cardboard taste…so watch them carefully!

Honey Graham Muffins

1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c white flour
1/2 c oatmeal                                           Mix all together in a large bowl
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbs melted butter (I use light butter)
1/4 c honey
1 egg                                                       Mix all together
1 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c raisins                                          Add if desired
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients until just mixed – don’t overmix!  Spray muffins pans with Pam and bake for 18 minutes at 375.

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

1 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c white flour
1/2 c oatmeal
1/4 sugar (I use Truvia-8 packets)            Mix all together in a large bowl
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 c applesauce
2 tbs oil
1 egg                                                   Mix all together
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and add (optional):
1/2 raisins
1/2 c walnuts

Spray muffin pan with Pam and bake 18 minutes at 375.

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Freyer Girls at the dance studio...from left: Heidi, Megan, myself, my mother, Aunt Linda, Petra

Freyer Girls at the dance studio...from left: Heidi, Megan, myself, my mother, Aunt Linda, Petra

So I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday. I was a little distracted while visiting my Aunt Linda and my cousins Heidi, Petra and Christian in Wilton and Fairfield Connecticut.

Heidi and Linda just opened up a new pilates, ballet and yoga studio in Fairfield called “Pirouette, Pilates and More“.

Moving our bodies has always been a huge part of my family. My Aunt’s and cousins’, Heidi and Petra, dancing inspired me to keep dancing when I was young up through college. It also inspired my mother to get back into dancing when I was about 5  years old. Since then, my mother has also become a seasoned dance teacher, choreographer, yoga and pilates instructor.

My Aunt Linda...Ballet teacher extraordinaire

My Aunt Linda...Ballet teacher extraordinaire

My cousin, Heidi, dance and pilates instructor...

My cousin, Heidi, dance and pilates instructor...

My aunt Linda, an accomplished Ballerina, has been one of the top ballet teachers in Connecticut for years, while Heidi is an incredible teacher, especially in her private lessons. Heidi has danced all over Connecticut and New York City. Their students have gone on to dance all over the country and even in the New York City Ballet. She has now become a seasoned pilates instructor as well.  have had the privilege of dancing a piece choreographed by Ted Thomas (formerly of Paul Taylor Dance Company) with Heidi and take many of her classes.

I have since strayed from dance, largely due to injury and burn out from the psychological pressure of the dance world environment, and I have found my real passion in movement through yoga.

My mother, Susan, has always been my inspiration to keep my body moving

My mother, Susan, has always been my inspiration to keep my body moving

My mother was actually the one that first got me into yoga. She thought it would be fantastic for my anxiety, and after getting injured from dance, I needed a physical release that would help rehab my body. At first I was resistant, to put it lightly.  My mom persisted, giving some restorative classes to me and my friends the night before SAT’s and dragging me to an afternoon workshop or two.

It wasn’t until I really needed a mental and spiritual fix at a time when when my body had contracted pneumonia, that I finally embraced yoga on my own. It finally just clicked for me.

Now that I’m planning on returning to India to train as a teacher, I have been thinking about teaching in Connecticut with my family. Lo and behold, my cousin – in-law (my cousin Scott’s wife) Megan, has been teaching at the studio and some surrounding studios and has developed quite a following.

Megan, trained in Om Yoga, is a wonderful addition to our family and the studio. An artist and roller derby veteran, yes roller derby, she exudes a harmony, humility and kindness about her that is priceless.

The newest Freyer-girl to the family, Megan, is not only an amazing yoga teacher, but an artist and roller derby veteran! Shes pretty badass...

The newest Freyer-girl to the family, Megan, is not only an amazing yoga teacher, but an artist and roller derby veteran! She's pretty bad ass...

So yesterday, all of us Freyer girls had the wonderful experience of taking her class. It was incredible. Maybe it was the fact that all of us women were coming together, doing something wonderful for our bodies and souls, or maybe it was Megan’s gentle yet inspiring and motivating teaching techniques, but I have never felt so spiritually restored after a class.

Megan definitely pushed my physical limits in this class, stretching and adjusting us in Monkey pose, Hanumasana. We did a special modification by putting our front foot up against the wall and sliding back, while she would come around and adjust our hips to be more square…YOWZA!  My Aunt Linda had no problem sliding right into her splits on both sides, however, after a sunrise run, my hips were a wee bit tight.

We also experimented with Bird of Paradise pose and some different ways to get into side plank and headstand. So many new ideas!

The best thing about the class was the laughter and joy. The great thing about the women in my family is they never take themselves too seriously, and always try to find the joy in our experiences. Turning every day, every dance class, into an adventure. The next task is to get the boys involved!  I can’t wait to go back down to see them again!

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Okay so I must admit, I am the anti-gardener. In fact, I believe I repel all plant life forms to the point where flower buds snap shut at the site of me.  However, I still hold this insatiable dream that one day I will be able to create and maintain a little Eden of my own. One that’s free of pesticides, and unnatural chemicals, but is full of beautiful flowers and maybe even some edible fruits or vegetables.

The concept of seed bombs really appeal to me. A mobile projectile…awesome…combined with an all natural life form that will grow on its own…even more awesome. Seed bombs first began in the 1970’s with the Green Guerrillas in New York and in 1992 by artist Kathryn Miller.

Guerrilla Gardeners did some damage...in a good way...in the 1970s in NYC (photo: https://i2.wp.com/static.flickr.com/15/22221481_625179325c_b.jpg)

Guerrilla Gardeners did some damage...in a good way...in the 1970's in NYC (photo: http://static.flickr.com/15/22221481_625179325c_b.jpg)

Now, seed bombs have become a fun and accessible way to put a little green in your day.

Dutch stamps tht contain seds...blooming postage! (courtesy of inhabit.com)

Dutch stamps that contain seeds...blooming postage! (courtesy of inhabit.com)

The Dutch postal company TNT have created, get this: Seed bomb stamps! They will not actually bloom in the mail box like above, but when you peel back the plastic off the stamp and plant it, it will grow!

Sprouting business cards? so creative! (courtesy of ihabit.com)

Sprouting business cards? so creative! (courtesy of ihabit.com)

Jamie Wieck (click here) designed these little guys for professionals to help their cards stand out. The cards convert into little houseplants when the recipient waters them. It’s an eco-friendly way to network!

We’ve all heard of the concept of a “seed bomb”…but here all the work is done for you!

garden gnomes grace the biodegradable balloons that carry Dutch Studio Txs Seed Bomb

garden gnomes grace the biodegradable balloons that carry Dutch Studio Tx's Seed Bomb

One company is making it a piece of cake, and fun, for people like me…The Dutch Studio TX have created biodegradable seed balloons!

Pre-packaged seed bombs! Would make a great gift, as well!

Pre-packaged seed bombs! Would make a great gift, as well!

I love the idea of becoming a Naturalist Ninja– covertly going on missions to reclaim overlooked, overused pieces of land to its natural beauty. Buying these pre-made seed bombs would be perfect for me. I would simply carry the bag around with me everywhere and, ready…aim…fire! Kinda fun, right? Only $6 per bag and contain a myriad of flowers! Contact “Outside in the city” for more info here.

combating desertification, one seed bomb at a time

combating desertification, one seed bomb at a time

A total hippys dream: raining seed bombs and not real bombs

A total hippy's dream: raining seed bombs

And maybe one day, this design will actually come to fruition. A biodegradable capsule, by Yanko Designs, that includes a seed bomb to combat desertification! For more info…click here.

make your own seed bombs...click the link below (photo courtesy of orignauxmoose.com)

make your own seed bombs...click the link below (photo courtesy of orignauxmoose.com)

For information on how to make your own see bomb, click here.

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Pirates and yoga...interesting...(photo: tropicyoga.com)

Pirates and yoga...interesting...(photo: tropicyoga.com)

Being a New Englander…one of my favorite midsummer activities is sailing….well, that’s a stretch. I like watching other people sail who know what they are actually doing, while I just wait to be given a simple task, like skirting the mainsail in a lazy Saturday race, or making sure everyone’s beers are full.

my friend, Brian's boat, Blitzen, before a race...i think I may ave more than a liability than help in this one

before a race...I think I may be more of a liability than help in this one

the high side

the high side

I have some friends that are fantastic sailors, and who’s lives consist of  living aboard ships, small and large, and are therefore at the whim of mother nature and their own instincts.

Sailing 'Nirvana' to Nantucket last Summer overnight my friend dave up there)...dawn...perfect time for some yoga

Sailing 'Nirvana' to Nantucket last Summer overnight (my friend Dave up there)...dawn...perfect time for some yoga

When racing, core strength, leg strength, balance, and arm strength are essentials. You must be quick on your feet, perceptive, completely aware of what’s around you at all times, calm in times of utter stress, and you must be able to think extremely quickly in dire situations. Sailing well depends on your understanding the environment, your relationship with the elements of wind and water, and letting go of the idea that you can control the outcomes of your endeavors.

As an activity, it is environmentally friendly, if you don’t use the motor at all, and can humble your entire being.

although it doesn't look liek it here, my brother, Andre, is a much better sailor than I would ever be

although it doesn't look like it here, my brother, Andre, is a much better sailor than I would ever be

love those cold mornings on the water...my friend James (left) surveying the sea...

love those cold mornings on the water...my friend James (left) surveying the sea...

Yoga can help calm a sailor’s mind, get him/her in tune with elements that determine his/her course, and prepare his/her body for a race, or a casual sail.

My main fear when sailing, especially racing, is going overboard because I am so awkwardly tall and clumsy. Also, I know many of you get nauseous just at the thought of boats in the water, but I may have a few curing poses.

Even for the casual sailor, or guest on a boat, I have a few poses in mind that may be great for before, during and/or after your sail!

Wheel is great on a boat!

Wheel is great on a boat!

1. Chakrasana (wheel)strengthens legs, arms, core and increases balance and clarity of mind. Learn more from my previous post on wheel, here…

probably one of my favorite spinnakers I've seen, well at least the one that related to my life the most...saw it at a race outof boston two summers ago

probably one of my favorite spinnakers I've seen, well at least the one that related to my life the most...saw it at a race outof boston two summers ago...

2. Adho Mukha Savasana (Downward Dog)…great for the core and arm strength. Also reduces nausea and increases clarity of mind. Learn more here.

3. Balasana (Child’s pose)…calms the nerves, rejuvenates and reduces nausea. Learn more here.

4. Bakasana (crane pose)…fantastic pose for arm and core strength! Make’s you feel like you can conquer the world after conquering this pose.  Learn more here.

Tree by land or by sea!

Tree by land or by sea!

5. Vrksasana (Tree pose)…my balancing favorite…great on board! Learn more here.

Warrior III is great for balance and core strength

Warrior III is great for balance and core strength

6. Virabhandrasana (Warrior III)…also great for balance, leg, and core strength. Learn more here.

7. Ardha Chandrasana (half moon pose)…increases balance, hip strength, core strength and leg strength. Learn more here.

Walk the Plank!

Walk the Plank!

8. Plank…one of the best for core and all over body strength. Helps energize the entire body and get you centered for a long sail! Also try side plank. Learn more here.

9. Matsyasana (fish pose)…just because of the name….learn more here.

Boat pose

Boat pose

10. Boat…see Monday’s post here!

11. Malasana: Yogic squat

I also like the idea of using some recycled products while sailing and reusing ripped and old sails that typically would go straight to the landfill after use.

Go local to find recycled sail products in Gloucester, MA with Second Wind Sails…

Love this recycled sail wine bag from Secon Wind Sails...who doesnt love a great glass of organic pinot on the deck at dusk...

Love this recycled sail wine bag from Second Wind Sails...who doesn't love a great glass of organic pinot on the deck at dusk...

thats a baby in a sail bag...who does their marketing? they should get a raise...

that's a baby in a sail bag...who does their marketing? they should get a raise...

The Gloucester company, Second Wind Sails,  makes everything from Christmas stockings, to dog collars, to shower curtains, to wine bags, to pillows, to duffel bags using recycled sails.

Recycled sail yoga bad from seafevergear.com for only $19.95!

Recycled sail yoga bag from seafevergear.com for only $19.95!

Seafevergear.com also has great recycled sail products including a yoga bag for only $19.95 and is located both in San Diego and Cape Cod…

ReSail doesnt just make the typical tote-they make everything from duffels, to garment backs, to change purses and can customize any bag with your company or boat logo

ReSail (predecessor to the popular Sea Bags) doesn't just make the typical tote...they make everything from duffels, to garment backs, to change purses and can customize any bag with your company or boat logo

Although I posted earlier about “Sea Bags” recycled sails into bags…ReSail, of Newport,RI, claims to be its predecessor in style and purpose, has much more variety and is actually cheaper!…The line began with using recycled sails, and now includes any recycled material from a working sail loft (Dacron, Kevlar, etc.) using sail stitching techniques. They even make recycled Kevlar dog collars, recycled sail bean bag chairs, and recycled sail sailing jackets/vests! Check the website out here.

Yoga Onboard

Yoga Onboard

In the, why didn’t I think of this? category:

Kim Hess of Miami has created a book called “Yoga Onboard”. Kim, an avid sailor and yoga teacher, created a system of poses she believes would work well for sailors and live aboard’s. She also charters sailing yoga retreats and vacations for small groups! Find out more here.

Kim Hess, of Yoga Onboard doing some downward dog action

Kim Hess, of Yoga Onboard doing some downward dog action

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