Devin’s Blog


March Newsletter, 2018


photo by Maureen Benoit

Quote of the month:

What is the state of Yoga? A state of blissful depth, it allows for detachment from tainted views of self, the world and others.

Carol, Graduate of Rishi Yoga Institute



  Welcome to March, the month that brings the first day of spring and daylight savings time. The temperatures warm, the days begin to grow longer and we have daylight for more hours. It’s a time for new birth all around us and as we participate in the wonder of brand new life, let us commit to ourselves to create more personal growth on our own individual journey. As winter leaves us, we take off our coats and scarves to move about in light, comfortable clothes. Make a commitment to yourself to move about in a light and more comfortable Spirit. Believe in your dreams and move forward one step at a time. What an amazing time we are living in right now. Breakthroughs in medicine. The ozone closing. People living healthy, vibrant lives into life spans of triple digits. Work to keep your eyes on the positive aspects of life and open yourself to receive all that is waiting for you. Open your heart to laughter.

The definition of laughter is: “an expression or appearance of merriment or amusement. To express mirth, pleasure, with an audible, vocal expulsion of air and is usually accompanied by characteristic facial and bodily movement.”

“Merriment” and “amusement.” Odd words to use in modern times, yet just saying them can turn the corners of your mouth up just a little bit, relaxing tension in your face and lifting your Spirit just a little. Try it. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and say, out loud softly, “merriment and amusement” five times. Take another deep breath, and do it again. And one more time.  Three times is the charm.  Open your eyes and I believe you will feel more relaxed, more centered, more at ease. It works for me.

Now build on what you just did. As the corners of your lips lift, separate them, let your smile grow wider. Let it grow. Feel your cheeks lift and become round. Allow your lips to open a little further. Practice.  Both giving and receiving a smile can change your day,

There are even definite health benefits to laughter. It promotes relaxation. Having a sense of humor relieves physical tension and stress It stimulates circulation and aids in muscle relaxation. The positive relaxation effects can last for up to 45 minutes after a bout of good, hardy laughter. When you laugh, endorphins are released into the blood stream. These natural pain relievers promote a sense of relaxation and wellbeing.

Laughter boosts your immune system. The act of laughing decreases the secretion of epinephrine and cortisol. It reduces stress, promotes relaxation and improves circulation. Deep belly laughter is positively linked to the lymphatic (immune) system.

Laughter improves your mood. When you laugh, your brain releases endorphins, interferon-gamma (IFN) and serotonin. These are nature’s own feel good chemicals and are responsible for helping to keep your mood uplifted. Your mood in turn has a contagious effect on those around you. When you are happy you attract good vibrations from others If your mood is upbeat you are empowered to make more positive choices when confronted with life’s challenges.

Here’s a great one… laughter prevents heart disease.  A study at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that people with cardiac disease laughed 40% less at life situations than those without cardiac disease. Laughter may have a protective effect. Mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels. This can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that lead to fat and cholesterol build-up and ultimately a heart attack.

Laughter shifts your perspective. Laughter allows us to entertain the absurd and imagine alternate possibilities. It stretches our imaginations and helps us to see things from various angles. It allows you to visualize situations in a more realistic light.  By creating psychological distance, laughter allows you to feel safe when confronted with anxiety provoking life situations.

And of course, laughter has social benefits. Laughing together with others fosters emotional connections. It improves co-operation, communication and romance. Various studies have found a correlation between laughter and positive patient outcomes, reduced hostility in schizophrenic patients, lower levels of psychopathology and positive provider=patient interactions.

Sooooo, the bottom line is laughter is goooooood for you! Chuckle with a friend, read a funny book or watch a funny movie. Just sit quietly and turn the corners of your mouth up. You will feel happier, more ready to deal with the day to day and simply more in love with life.

Have a beautiful month and laugh from the bottom of your belly at least once a day.

Please forward to your friends and family that you think might enjoy


For those of you who wish to attend workshops but are short of funds, a work/study program is offered.

Teacher’s Training, 2018

To be announced

If you have questions about teacher’s training, please contact us through the website

Balance Your Diet, Balance Your Stance

We are so excited to present this two-part workshop. We will begin with a session dedicated to help you understand the physical concepts of balance. Discussion will trade off with balancing asanas. You will receive individual attention to help you find your own center of balance and use it in poses. You will learn simple exercises to create a more solid foundation for yoga and in every-day life.

Followed by an exciting and informative discussion with Magdalina Zakaryan, a graduate of the Living Light Institute, a chef and a nutrition and raw food educator. She will present a few raw food dishes, explain how to create them and then you’ll have a taste. She prepared food for the Wine, Women and Yoga soiree and it was a tremendous hit.

FEE: $60

LOCATION:        Slim Body Fitness, Chatsworth

TIME: Saturday, April 7, 2:30PM – 5PM


We all breathe, but all breaths are not created equal. According to the American Cancer society, most people only use about 60% of their lung capacity thereby oxygen starving their bodies by about 40%. Oxygen deprivation in our daily lives is more than common. Lack of oxygen causes stress, panic and fatigue. Without proper oxygenation, our cells can’t do their job properly causing illness and premature aging.  In our session you will understand the basic mechanics of breathing. With individual attention, you will learn to use your breathing apparatus to its fullest adding vitality and optimum health to your life. You will leave the studio relaxed, happy and with the tools to bring proper breathing into your daily life.

FEE: 40.00

LOCATION:     Slim Body Fitness:

Chatsworth, California

TIME: Saturday, April 28, 2:30PM to 4:30PM

Introduction to Yoga

This is the perfect class to learn the basic history, philosophy and asanas of yoga. You will leave the session with a deeper understanding of the reasons yoga is so stimulating for the body, mind and spirit. A full explanation of Pranayama (breathing exercises) and the techniques to calm your mind and lower your blood pressure will be presented in an easy to understand format. You will learn how to do basic poses and their benefits. You will leave with a program that you will be able to do by yourself in the privacy of your own home. And you will be able to practice with confidence

FEE: $60.00     FAMILY RATE: $100.00  (Bring your family and grow together in the practice)

LOCATION: Slim Body Fitness

Chatsworth, California


Vinyasa Intensive Workshop

A two hour flow practice focusing on Sun Salutations and standing poses. This workshop builds strength and stamina and a strong sense of determination. It is demanding and not recommended for beginners. Participants will push the envelope of their abilities and leave the workshop with their practice forever changed. If you have never done an intensive before, please speak with me before registering.

Fee: $40.00

Location: Slim Body Fitness

Chatsworth, California


Workshops fill quickly. Please contact us at the Rishi website to register.

Body Talk

A monthly article written in easy to understand language to introduce you to the miraculous systems of the body and how they work to keep you healthy

Let’s talk fat. And, all fat is not created equal. Abdominal fat, especially the visceral fat stored deep inside, is much more dangerous than the flab on your hips, butt or thighs. The reason is location. Think of it this way, your liver and pancreas are like apartment buildings – they’re efficient, well-oiled machines that have been there forever. Belly fat is like the loud, disruptive neighbor who buys the building next door and turns it into an all night dance club and lets the whole place go to seed. Before you know it, there goes the whole neighborhood.

But this toxic fat doesn’t have to take up permanent residence beside these vital organs. Ground breaking research shows that exercise may be the key to blasting it off your belly. (Where have you all heard that before?) People who lose weight without exercise take the off the pounds but don’t reduce fat-cell size. People who lose weight AND exercise reduce fat-cell size by approximately 18%. Generally, the greater the fat-cell size, the greater the amount of abdominal fat. Good news is when you start working out and reducing calories, toxic abdominal fat may be the first that you shed.

There are three layers to our outer abdominal wall.

  1. Subcutaneous fat is right beneath the skin. It is commonly found in the buttocks, hips and abdomen. This fat is neither necessary nor healthy. It’s also significantly more dangerous when it is in your abdomen because it can adversely affect your internal organs.
  2. Muscle is the next layer. More muscle means you burn calories faster which helps with weight loss. Muscle is more dense and compact than fat and gives you a lean, strong body.
  3. Visceral or “Toxic” fat is found deep in the abdomen. It has access to your portal circulation, the highway of blood vessels around your organs and it likes to hop on. This can affect your liver’s ability to manage cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart disease. It also causes insulin, the hormone responsible for storing fat, to become less effective making you more susceptible to diabetes. Studies have also linked excess visceral fat to an increased risk of breast cancer although experts do not fully understand the connection.

What can we do to alleviate the visceral fat? One thing is to stop eating “trans fats”. What is a trans fat? An easy way to think about it is just avoid any oil that has been tampered with.  Hydrogenated oil is a trans fat that is used in fast foods, donuts, etc. Margarine is a trans fat. Research now tells us that actually, margarine is much worse for us than butter. No one has come up with a definitive reason why trans fats go straight for the abdomen but one theory is that the body doesn’t know what to do with this man-made fat and the abdomen is a quick place to store it. Another theory is that trans fats interfere with insulin and its job to distribute fat throughout the body. The American Heart Association recommends eating as little trans fats as possible, less than two grams a day. Remember that ALL fried foods have trans fats. Heating any oil changes the chemical structure of it, leading to and excess of trans fats.

Start working out and keep it up. Hate those twisting bicycles? Buck up and do them anyway. And don’t give up eating all fats. Healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil and nuts can slash a woman’s risk of heart disease by 33% according to a new Harvard Health Study. Also, don’t skimp on sleep. A study on obesity at Columbia University medical Center showed that individuals who slept five hours a night were almost twice as likely to be obese as individuals who got seven hours sleep. Lack of sleep can add to your hunger because it knocks the appetite regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin out of whack so you crave sweet, salty snacks. And it can increase the stress hormone cortisol, which may be associated with abdominal fat.

Have realistic diet goals and respect and honor your body. Do things that make you feel good and that are good for you. Take a walk. Treat yourself to a massage. Before you know it, that extra ab flab will be nothing but a fleeting memory.

Source: Fitness Magazine, March 2007

Research, Wake Forest University

Pamela Peeke, M.D. assistant professor of medicine, University of Maryland

James Gangwisch, PhD, Columbia University Medical Center

Useful products for your body and soul

This month I’d like to share information to those of you experiencing hot flashes and night sweats due to menopause. There are many over the counter products that can help to alleviate those bothersome interrupters to sleep and those embarrassing moments when, during a normal conversation, your face glows red, your scalp begins to drip perspiration and you wish you were anyplace but where you are and with whom. These are products I’ve used and have been very pleased. Please don’t just take my suggestion… research these items and speak with your doctor before you implement them into your daily regimen.


NatraBio is a homeopathic that can be ordered readily from the internet. It may help to relieve menstrual irregularities, irritability, hot flashes, breast tenderness, oversensitivity and melancholy. Many of the health websites carry this product and of course, you are able to purchase it from Pricing does vary so checking sites such as as well as and  is always a good idea.


Kokoro is a natural progesterone cream that is a bioidentical hormone. A bioidentical hormone is one that is identical on a molecular level with endogenous hormones. These hormones are  created in a laboratory by altering compounds derived from naturally occurring plant products and are typically taken in the form of creams or gels. They are absorbed into the body in their active form without the need for “first pass” metabolism in the liver and that their use may avoid potentially dangerous side effects of synthetic hormone. In addition to helping with symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, memory loss, weight gain, sleep issues and loss of interest in sexual activity or pain during sexual activity, hormone replacement may also reduce your risk for diabetes, tooth loss and cataracts and osteoporosis. .MAKE SURE TO DISCUSS BIOIDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE MAKING A DECISION TO ADD BIOIDENTICALS TO YOUR LIFE.


Estro 500 contains two key ingredients which are estriol and estradiol. Each application contains about 1mg of combined bio-identical human estrogens.  About 80% is estriol and 20% is estradiol. According to the products website, estradiol is several times more potent compared to estriol. The product comes in cream form in an airless pump dispenser for convenience. I use this product and have been for about a year and a half and it has completely eradicated night sweats and hot flashes. My mood is steady and light hearted. I wouldn’t be without it. But, PLEASE, MAKE SURE TO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFFORE ADDING BIOIDENTICAL HORMONES TO YOUR LIFE. Not everyone responds positively to hormone replacement therapy.

Did you know???


ALERT – Food and drugs that don’t mix… Grapefruit juice is delicious however there are some medications that can be highly affected. It blocks a common enzyme that breaks down some drugs so extra medicine gets into you system. Even drinking a glass of juice a few days earlier can cause problems, so it’s best to abstain altogether.

Do not mix grapefruit juice with

  • Cholesterol-lowering statins like atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • The heartbeat regulating drug amiodarone (Cordarone)
  • Immunnosuppressants, including cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral) and tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • Antiretroviral agents like saquinavir (Fortovase)

Source: Evelyn Hermes-DeSantis, director of drug information services

Rutgers University

We’re designed to breathe through our nose. Mouth breathing is an evolutionary response to stress. When you breathe through your nose, you stimulate your vagus nerve, which helps reduce stress by slowing down your heart rate and relaxing blood vessels. You’ll feel more alert because you’re taking in more air and your response to stress will be much more controlled.

Source: Christiane Northrup, M.D.

The healthiest diet for humans is one that is high in alkaline foods. The balance between acid and alkaline in the body is the most basic and fundamental driving force of our bodily functions. The higher the acid in the body fluids, the lower the oxygen level. The higher the alkaline, the more oxygen rich. Every cell in the body needs oxygen to survive and reproduce. By adding alkaline rich raw fruits, vegetables and nuts to our daily diet and reducing the acid forming meats and grains we promote greater oxygenation in our cells. Happy cells are happy bodies and happy bodies are vibrant and full of life. So make sure your daily food intake consists of at least 60% raw, natural foods. If you would like to learn more, attend the April 7 Balancing workshop. Our speaker will be there to answer your questions.

Researchers analyzed dietary and eye data for 3,377 people ages 60 to 80 over an eight year period in cataract research. The result was that people who ate more white bread, sugary foods and other foods high on the glycemic index (a measurement of how quickly a food boosts blood sugar levels) were 29% more likely to develop cataracts than those who consumed less of these foods. Their theory is that high GI foods damage the eye lens by exposing the tissues to higher sugar levels than low GI foods.

Source: Chung-Jung Chiu, PhD. Assistant professor of ophthalmology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston

Researchers analyzed the dietary intakes of 1,574 lung cancer patients and 1,735 healthy controls over an eight years period. The results showed that men who ate the most foods rich in plant chemicals known as phytoestrogens, such as soy products, grains, fruits and vegetables, were 46% less likely to develop lung cancer than those who ate the least. For women, lung cancer risk was reduced by 34%. The theory is that phytoestrogens may inhibit lung cancer by binding to estrogen receptors (molecules that stimulate cancer cell growth in the presence of estrogen hormones (in men and in women).

Source: Matthew Schbath, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston

An injection of your own blood platelets (red blood cells) into the tendon of the elbow might just be the most effective way to treat tennis elbow. Research has shown that patients with ongoing elbow pain got a shot of their own plasma, their pain diminished by 60% compared with just 16% for those who got an injection of a local anesthetic. Blood platelets contain compounds that encourage cell growth needed to repair damaged tissue. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a concentrate of platelet –rich plasma protein derived from whole blood, then centrifuged to remove red blood cells. It has a greater concentration of growth factors than whole blood, and has been used to encourage a brisk healing response across many specialties, in particular dentistry, orthopedics and dermatology.

Source: The American Journal of Sports Medicine

Turn down the music!!! The average spin class exposes you to nearly nine times more noise in 45 minutes than what’s recommended over a duration of eight hours. Not just spin but many gyms and fitness studios are cranking up the volume. That’s a big problem because less than an hour of loud noise reorganizes the hearing circuits in your brain, leading to mild hearing loss. If you have to raise your voice to make yourself heard during class or your ears ring afterward, your hearing just took a hit and that information comes from the World Health Organization. And you might need music to power you through a treadmill routine but be very aware of those earbuds around the house and while you are hiking. Noise-induced damage depends on the duration and frequency of exposure in addition to volume. Listening to the Zen “sound of silence” will not only save your hearing but will reduce your noise related stress response. So when you hike, listen to the nature’s music. In your home, be aware of the peace that you can find in your own surroundings and save your hearing for the long, long life you have ahead of you.

Source: World Health Organization

Your blood pressure reading will almost always be lower if you are standing when it is taken.

Antibiotics decimate the healthy gut bacteria that strengthen immunity, fire up metabolism and improve mood. Without a thriving population of these bugs, the body is vulnerable to future infections and weight gain. It can take months to replenish the trillions of bacteria needed to optimize health and weight loss through diet alone. Fortunately, bacteriophages can help speed things along. These unique cellular organisms replicate good bateria’s DNA, quickly increasing levels of healthy bugs. In one study, subjects given bacteriophages saw a 100-fold increase in probiotic levels and a decrease in bad bacteria after 24 hours. To get the benefits, look for probiotics that contain phages.

Source: First for Women/Jayson Carlton, Ph.D.

Just in from the Journal of American Medicine…a follow up of more than 27,000 women who were in the original Women’s Health Initiative study that linked HRT (hormone replacement therapy) to a higher risk of breast cancer and heart problems, did not have a higher risk of cancer, heart attack or death than those given a placebo. If you are suffering from severe menopausal issues, discuss HRT with your doctor.

Journal of American Medicine




The practice of Vinyasa yoga is powered by the breath, not caffeine.

Source – Devin Morgan

The cancer fighter in your kitchen… Eating about 3 ounces of onions (cooked or raw) a day can reduce your risk of ovarian cancer by 73% and colon cancer by 56%. Researchers suspect the protective effect is due to high levels of antioxidants.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

The Eagle and the Crow.  Crows are incredible pests to eagles. They bait them, fly around them squawking and dive bombing them. Now, that eagle could engage…it could turn around and snap the crow in two, but does it? No, it’s an eagle. It can fly higher than the crow. It just spreads it’s enormous wings and rises higher and higher until it’s so high, the crow can’t follow. Eagles can fly so much higher than a crow. So, here’s my question…when conflict comes into your life, are you the eagle or the crow? Luckily, the choice is up to you.

Success breeds ambition

Bottled water holds the 2nd largest share of the beverage market in America. Today the average American drinks 39.3 gallons of bottled water a year. In 1999 the average was 16.2.

Source: Consumer Goods and FMCG

Personal excellence is doing the right thing when no one is watching

Eating walnuts with a meal high in saturated fat may limit damage to your arteries. The walnuts preserve the arteries’ elasticity because they contain an amino acid that the body uses to make nitrous oxide, which helps blood vessels expand. 8 raw walnuts are enough to do the trick so don’t over do.

Source: the American College of Cardiology

We love someone not for just who they are, but who we are when we are with them.

I believe we are all innately confident as children. Children believe they are invincible and can do anything. But as we grow up, we lose touch with ourselves and let other people’s opinions and thoughts get louder than our own. It’s so important to stay true to ourselves and find that confidence we had as children. Know that your opinion of yourself matters more than anybody else’s. Keep turning up the volume on your own voice, and don’t let other people’s voices drown you out. People who tell you they know you better than you know yourself need to get in touch with reality. Only you TRULY know who you are and how you feel. Be brave. Be strong. Speak loudly to yourself for true inspiration.

More ALERT on trans fats…In a research program at Harvard Medical School over an 8 year period, researchers examined data for 41,518 women and found that for every 1% increase in the portion of calories from trans fat the women ate resulted in a 1.7 pound weight gain. So here it is another way, A woman who eats 6 percent of calories from trans fat (that’s 120 calories in a 2,000 calorie diet) would be 12 pounds heavier after 8 years than a person eating the same number of calories with no trans fat.

Source: Researchers, Harvard Medical School

In 1960 the average American woman weighed 140.2 pounds. Today she clocks in at 168, has a waist of 38.1 inches and is just under 5 feet 4 inches. The average American man over age 20 weighs 195.7 pounds, has a waist of 40.0 inches and the average height of 5 feet 8 inches. The average weight of women today is the same as the weight of men in 1960. One third of American adults and one sixth of children in America are obese. In the last twenty years obesity rates doubled for adults and tripled for children. That’s approximately 78 million adults and 12 million children.  Now, here’s the thing we don’t think about…fuel consumption and weight gain. And I don’t mean food as fuel, I mean gasoline as fuel. Read these statistics and be amazed.

938 million extra gallons of fuel cars consume per year

2.2 billion dollars extra money spent on fuel for cars per year because of weight gain

350 million extra gallons of fuel airplanes consumed per year because of weight gain.

275 million extra dollars spent per year on plane fuel because of weight gain

Source: University of Illinois

Center for Disease Control

Keeping a steady weight for 5 years gives people stronger immune systems. Weight fluctuations, whether up or down, seem to impair the body’s ability to produce infection-fighting cells.

Source: Cornelia Ulrich, Ph.D., Journal of the American Dietetic Association

97% of earth’s water is undrinkable.

A little more about visceral fat… You raise your risk of heart disease if your waistline is greater than 32 for women and 35 for men. Excess abdominal fat can create dangerous hormonal changes that that contribute to high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Source: Elizabeth Bower, M.D., Oregon Health and Science University

Whether you walk or run, humans burn about 100 calories per hour

People are affected not by what is “real”, but by their own perception of what is real based on their own past experiences.

You should be able to squeeze 50 pounds of pressure with one hand. This is a key indicatory of your overall muscle strength and may be a sign of how likely you are to develop osteoporosis. Studies suggest that people with a strong grip have denser bones and a lower risk for spine and hip fractures. To measure your grip strength, squeeze a device called a hand dynamometer available at some gyms in the area.

Source: Elizabeth Bower, M.D., Oregon Health and Science University

And last but not least, Mattel’s Barbie has a full name. It’s Barbara Millicent Roberts. Ken is Kenneth Carson.

For those of you who would like to read past newsletters, they are on my website,

Knowing little known facts is fun!

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our ears and nose never stop growing.

If you are in possession of a little known fact, email me and I’ll share it with everyone.

If you have any questions, feel free to email.


All rights reserved.; no part of this e-publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the e-publisher.

Copyright March 2018, Devin Morgan

Excerpts from “Vinyasa Teachers Training Manual”

ISBN 0 9729261 0 1


February Yoga Newsletter, 2018

Quote of the month:   A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.

                                                                                 John Steinbeck, “Travels with Charley”

 And a Happy February to youuuuuu.

Ah, February, Valentine’s day and love, love, love.

The word “love” is very unique. It has so many connotations. There’s romantic love, filial love, cat love, dog love, peanut butter love.  Think of how many times a day you use the phrase “I love ……..” Once? Twice? Ten times? One word used to imply so many different meanings. Take a moment and contemplate what the word “love” means to you. How many melodies are there to your song of love.

The love you have for your spouse…what is it that you do love about them? Contemplate that. The love you have for your parents? Your siblings? Your friends? Peanut butter? Contemplate the experiences that you have with them that generate the feeling of love within you. The word “love” is defined as the expression of an affection that is deep and emotional.

For most of us, it isn’t the other person that breeds the emotion of love. It’s the person we become when we are with them. True, unconditional love is a love that is eternal because regardless of the experiences, there is still love. Even if your beloved is no longer with you, there is still love. Good, bad and indifferent, there is still love. Unconditional love brings out our true authentic self and in being your complete self, you find complete joy.

The ancient Greeks paid a lot of attention to love. The great minds of the ancient world feared love. Both Plato and Socrates saw love as an emotion to be feared. “Love is a serious disease.”  “Love is madness.” The Greeks coined the phrase “love sick”

They broke love into four levels:

Storge – Kinship

Philia – Friendship

Eros – Romantic/Sexual

Agape – Devine love

When you observe all four categories, it becomes a bit easier to define our relationships.

As you observe your relationships with different people in your life, recognize how each relationship is completely unique from the next. Your feelings for your two brothers are filial love and at the same time colored by the personalities of each of one. The same love felt and expressed differently. Emotional reactions to each individual on each of the “levels” are varied, yet with the same deep intensity. Your concern for your parents is different than your concern for your children. Or for your pet. But the depth of the feeling is the same.

In relationships it’s so important to be sure that both participants have the same definition of love. Both may feel the same depth of emotion, yet each may portray that emotion differently Each may seek a response not in their partners repertoire. It’s important to understand and accept individuals may certainly define their love differently. They may express it differently. One may feel that by providing material comfort shows their love. If their partner desires more emotional support, no amount of material wealth will make them feel fulfilled.

Gary Chapman defined expressions of love in his book, 5 Love Languanges.

He states the five are:

– Words of Affirmation

– Physical touch

– Acts of service

– Gifts

– Quality time.

When couples and friends understand one another’s concept of love, they can begin to acknowledge and appreciate one another on a deeper level. Making assumptions of what love means to one’s partner is laying a foundation for miscommunication and pain in the relationship. Open communication of each individuals needs without judgment, acceptance of the reality of the situation and patience with those who mean so much to us… these are basic, simple precepts on the road to a smoother, deeper relationship.

Sooooo, take a moment. Pour a cup of tea and contemplate just what love really means to you. If you would like to share, we would LOVE to receive. Just pop us an email. Your thoughts and hopes are important to me.

And as we move through this month of February, let’s do it with an open mind and an open heart, ready and willing to give and recognize and receive deep emotion, deep enriching love.

Interesting and boring facts about Valentine’s Day                                                                        

Valentine’s Day as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. One legend (and there are many) of Saint Valentine contends that he was a priest who served during the 3rd century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men – his crop of potential soldiers.

Saint Valentine realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentines actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

The truth behind the Valentine legends may be murky but all of them emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and most importantly, romantic figure. It’s no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

And while Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, written greetings only began appearing during the 1400s. The first commercial Valentine’s Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840’s by a woman called Esther A. Howland. And today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine cards are sent each year. And Valentine’s Day is not just celebrated in American but also, in Canada, Mexico, Britain, France and Australia. Lot’s of chocolates and roses I would say.

As I was researching the “why’s” of Valentine’s Day, I began to wonder why in the world we must take just one day a year to let people know just how we feel about them.

Affection, gratitude and endearment are a part of every day living and it is so important to express them openly and without shyness. It’s important to the health and well being of the one who shows it and generates a response of happiness and contentment from the recipient. So many of us are caught on the frantic ladder of “upward mobility” in our society, we forget the very reason that we are climbing so hard and fast. I believe that most all of our motivation stems from a basic need to be cared for and respected and we have somehow fallen into the trap of searching for that love and respect from our material successes. Unfortunately, we won’t find it there. You can always increase your financial worth, the amount of the material possessions one has, but that has nothing to do with personal value.  Personal value is attained only through giving. The more one shares, the more one puts time and energy into others, the more one’s personal value increases.

True love and respect are drawn to a loving heart. Mahatma Gandhi said that we should become the change that we desire to create. And so it is with love. If you wish to be loved you must begin by loving. If you wish to be respected, you must begin by giving respect. What we put before us is what will return to us and it will come back many fold of what we gave. And so as we move into this month dedicated to caring for each other, let’s make a pact that we will endeavor to keep love alive in our hearts and minds all the days of the year and not just February 14.

And with all that said, I want to wish each of you a wonderful and LOVING Valentine’s Day.

For those of you who wish to attend workshops but are short of funds, a work/study program is offered.

 Teacher’s Training

The next Yoga Teacher’s Training in 2018 will be announced.

Chakra Meditation and Tara practice

Chakras, according to the ancients, are major energy generators of the body. While there are thousands and thousands, we are mainly concerned with the main seven. These seven relate to our endocrine glands and regulate the seven major areas of life. When the chakras are out of balance, according to the ancients, our lives are out of balance. A chakra balancing meditation will be presented before we begin the Tara practice.

Tara, the goddess of compassion.  Our practice will be centered on a Tibetan chant that opens the heart to feel true compassion. The chant, augmented by a drum beat, synchronizes the heart beats of all those involved in the experience. If you want to get out of your body and into your deeper self, this is the practice for you. The Tara practice is a moving meditation that creates an environment for growth and development far beyond anything you have ever experienced. Pranayama is stressed. Asanas will be focused on Sun Salutations and standing poses. This workshop builds strength and stamina and a strong inner awareness. It is demanding and not recommended for beginners. Participants will expand the envelope of their abilities and leave the workshop with their practice forever changed.

FEE; $40.00

Location:  Slim Body Fitness

Chatsworth, California

Time: Saturday, February 24, 2:30PM – 4:30PM


Two workshops will be presented in March. The Pranayama workshop will include many different breathing exercises. You will learn how proper breathing can lower the blood pressure and relieve anxiety as well as increase vitality and general well being.

We will also present a workshop on Balance. Included will be a lecture from Magdalina Zakaryan on healthy eating and a balanced diet and an asana practice introducing our internal balance point and how to use it to keep steady one’s feet. Personal attention will be given to each participant.

Workshops fill quickly. Register early to insure a place.

 Body Talk

A monthly article written in easy to understand language to introduce you to the miraculous systems of the body and how they work to keep you healthy

Look in your salad. It’s an antioxidant! A phytochemical! An omega-3! Disguised as mild mannered fruits and vegetables, these harbingers of good health battle heart disease, wage war against cell-damaging free radicals, and rid your body of cancer-causing agents. But what exactly are these nutritional superstars? Why are they so good for you and how do they work? Here’s the scoop on five powerful performers.


What are they? Remember when that sliced apple turned brown before you had a chance to eat it? By cutting the fruit, you exposed it to air, allowing oxygen to react with chemicals under the skin and cause discoloration. But Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is one of many antioxidants – compounds that combat oxidation and prevent damage to cells.

How they work. Every cell in your body requires oxygen for normal metabolism. However, some of the byproducts are harmful free radicals, highly reactive molecules that attack nearby molecules whether carbohydrate, protein, fat or even DNA. Environmental toxins like pollution and smoking also cause free radicals. Antioxidants protect molecules by reacting with free radicals before they have a chance to strike. Too few antioxidants may lead to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer, as well as premature signs of aging. It is true that exercising also produces free radicals. But research suggest that unless you’re an ultra-endurance athlete for whom training is practically a full-time job, the health benefits of an active lifestyle greatly out weight the possible damage of exercise related oxidation. Fact is, exercising regularly and eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet is the best defense against free radicals.

Where to find them. Fruits, nuts, vegetables and whole grains are loaded with antioxidant vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene, the mineral selenium and antioxidant phytochemicals such as lutein, lycopene, polyphenols and indoles. Coffee, tea, berries, pomegranates, broccoli and wheat germ are just a few good choices.



What are they? They may sound like they’re bad for you with names like isothiocyanate, carnosol and ellagic acid. Yet these are just some of the thousands of naturally occurring disease fighting chemicals in the plants we eat – fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Phytochemicals (from the Greek word “phyto” meaning plant) protect their host plant from infections and microbial invasions while providing color, aroma and flavor.

How they work. Researcher have identified several ways phytochemicals guard us from cancer. Some phytochemicals are antioxidants. Others stimulate enzymes that detoxify cancer causing agents before they have a chance to damage cells. Certain phytochemicals aid enzymes that block the activation of carcinogens. Others impede the ability of cancer cells to spread and some even cause them to self-destruct. Phytochemicals help fight other chronic diseases as well. A phytochemical in apples and onions, quercetin, is linked to decreased rates of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Where to find them. Eat a rainbow of fruits, vegetables and other plants. Since many of the phytochemicals that give foods their protective nature also provide color it’s important to eat from the full color spectrum.


What are they? Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 20 amino acids important in human nutrition. The essential amino acids (EAA) are the nine the body can’t produce on its own, so you need to get them from your diet.

How they work. If you were missing any of the EAA, your body wouldn’t be able to synthesize necessary amounts of protein. This would affect every aspect of your health, as proteins are required not just for building muscle but also for fighting infection, clotting blood, transporting nutrients, maintaining fluid balance and a host of vital functions.

Where to find them. Fortunately, it’s easy to meet your EAA needs. They’re in a wide range of foods, including vegetables, grains, dairy, legumes, meats and fish. Focus on eating a balanced diet and you won’t need to single out eggs, meats or protein powders to meet your needs.


What is it? Fiber is the carbohydrate in plants that our bodies can’t digest. Without fiber there would be no crunch in your raw vegetable, no bulk in your salad. Dietary fiber is divided into soluble which dissolves in water and insoluble which doesn’t.

How it works. Perhaps the most commonly known benefit of a high-fiber diet is preventing constipation. Insoluble fiber increases the weight of stool, which normalizes the frequency of bowel movements and the time it takes to move through the intestines. But fiber does more than make you regular. It also helps decrease your chances of getting heart disease by lowering your blood cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber binds with and removes bile acids from the body. But they’re required for digestion, so your system makes more by converting some of the cholesterol circulating in your blood to bile. In addition, studies have found that a diet rich in fiber may help prevent colon cancer. As fiber passes through the colon, it’s partially fermented by the beneficial bacteria living there. The byproducts of the fermentation are substances that seem to protect us from cancer.

Where to find it. Different plant based foods have varying amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber.

So eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to get a good mix of both types. If you rely on fiber supplements, however, you’re missing out on all the other health promoting benefits of wholesome food. Aim for about 28 grams a day or about 14 grams per 1000 calories.


What are they? Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are subclasses of polyunsaturated fats. Both are important in immune function, inflammation, blood clotting, blood pressure and a plethora of other vital chemical reactions.

How they work. Scientists speculate that humans evolved on a diet much richer in omega-3 fatty acids than we currently consume Today’s diet has at least eight times more omega-6s than omega-3s. The probable cause is processed foods tend to be devoid of healthy omega-3s and the meat we eat comes from livestock usually raised on corn, which is packed with omega-6s. But because the two types of fats compete for enzymes, an imbalance can wreak havoc on a number of metabolic processes. For example, enzymes convert omega-3 fatty acids into anti-inflammatory compounds, whereas omega-6 fats yield pro-inflammatory chemicals. Your body needs both, but getting too few omega-3 fatty acids shits the balance in favor of inflammation. Research suggest that omega-3s also have a role in infant brain development, cognition in the elderly and the prevention and treatment of bowel disorder, heart disease, depression, asthma and more. Of the three omega-3 fatty acids, only ALA is consider essential because the body cannot produce it. EPA ad DHA are also critical to your health in quantities greater than your body can make thus, you need dietary sources of all three.

Where to find them. You probably get more than enough omega-6s already, so focus on upping your intake of 3s. Snack on walnuts, cook with soy products, soybean oil, canola oil and ground flaxseed to meet your ALA needs. EPA and DHA come from the sea. Enjoy salmon (wild only) sardines, tuna, herring, mackerel bluefish and trout.

Useful products for your body and soul…

I want to share with you some products I have tried and really like. I would suggest if you find any of them interesting, you do some research on your own to decide if they might be for you.


     Lion’s Mane is a medicinal mushroom from the tooth mushroom group. You can purchase it in capsule form and it takes about three weeks of being consistent with administering it before you begin to feel it’s benefits. For me, it was as if a light had come on in my brain. Any fog was lifted, my memory improved and I just feel more alert.


  •           Protects and repairs the nervous system
  •           Reduces inflammation
  •           Promotes focus
  •           The mushroom grows on trees, always on a wood base
  •           Decreases depressive symptoms
  •           Native to North America, Europe and Asia
  •           Possess two potent nerve growth factors
  •           Increases natural killer cells, supports immune system
  •           Boosts mood and concentration

You can purchase Lion’s Mane in almost any store selling vitamins however I purchase mine on line from It’s the one supplement I wouldn’t be without.


I discovered this product last year. Wow! It really has been a heaven send. If I take the tablets when I first feel the symptoms of a cold, I never really get sick. Same with flu symptoms. If I ignore my body and come down with the illness, when I take the tablets as directed, the intensity and duration of the illness is cut to minimum. I order them from and Amazon also carries them. Take a moment and read some of the reviews on Amazon. I think you’ll be very impressed. And remember, the flu virus can be transmitted from a hard surface (doorknob, etc.) for a full 24 hours after it has been deposited so wash your hands multiple times a day and keep those fingers away from your face.


  • Superior homeopathic medicine.
  • For the temporary relief of: symptoms of flu and colds, chills, fever and nausea, body aches, fatigue and headache.
  • Safe to use with current medicines for extra relief. There are no risks of overdose, no contraindication and no known drug interactions.
  • Made in a US facility from global ingredients.
  • Available at and



     I have been using natural deodorants for a very long time. Some work, some don’t. This one does! I was amazed at the fact that it really was a once a week thing. Even teaching so many power yoga classes a week, there is no odor. The product comes with a little spatula to use to dip into the cream. I use a much smaller amount, about the size of a pea. When you first rub it on, it leaves a white film that disappears within a short time. I’ve never had it come off on my clothes; it just seems to be completely absorbed. My underarm skin is sensitive and I have never had any  problem with rash. It may seem a bit pricey, however it lasts for a very long time because of the small amount used weekly


     A unique herbal deodorant free of aluminum and other harsh chemicals, yet so effective, just one application can eliminate perspiration odor for days without the need to re-apply even after showering. It is hypo-allergenic and paraben free

Available at, and (be sure to do a cost comparison)



Did you know???

What is a HEART MURMUR? Having a heart murmur means a sound can be heard as blood flows through your heart. The reason can simply be that your chest muscles are relatively thin or one of your valves is close to your chest wall. Both of these are normal, and murmurs often go away entirely over time.

If your doctor hears a more unusual type of sound, louder than is typical or in an unusual location in the heart, or if you’ve also been having symptoms like shortness of breath or blackout spells, she may send you for further testing such as an EKG or an echocardiogram. In these rare cases, a murmur might be a sign of a problem with a heart valve or a hole between the ventricles in the heart, among other issues. People in this very small group will for further evaluation by a cardiologist, and there are many options for treatment.

N.A. Mark Estes, M.D. director, New England Cardiac Arrhythmia Center of Boston


OAB is a condition in which the bladder muscles involuntarily contract leading to leaks. And while surgery and Botox have both been shown to help ease the symptoms, I believe that one should begin with natural remedies. In a small six-week study of women with OAB, those who used pumpkin seed extract experienced a 39 percent reduction in nighttime bathroom trips and a 16 percent reduction in daytime visits. Doctors aren’t sure exactly why it works but it’s thought it helps improve  pelvic floor health and allows the bladder to relax.  Kegel exercises are a great exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor and are easy to do. Just contact the pelvic floor muscles as if you’re trying to stop urine in midstream. Do 15 reps 3 times a day and see if that doesn’t improve you ability to wait a while longer in between bathroom visits.

Laura Corio, M.D, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York


Chakras are an ancient connection to modern medicine. According to the ancient yogis, chakras are energy centers located within the body. They believed that just as we have a physical body, we also have a non-physical body, an energy body. The chakras are to our energy body what the endocrine glands are to our physical body.

Our endocrine glands regulate our hormones which regulate our emotions, our thoughts and balance our physical well-being. The chakras regulate those same qualities in our energy body. Just as we are aware of our hormonal balance, through knowledge of our more esoteric self, we are able to balance those “hormones” of our energy body, our chakras.

When there are blockages in the energy system, there are manifestations of the imbalance in the physical system while a harmonious chakra system brings a sense of peace and well-being to our day to day lives. In the next newsletter, we will examine the seven main chakras, how they work and what they do. It’s amazing how modern medicine and the ancient practice of yoga have something in common. The names may be different but the concept of balance in our lives remains the same.

 How to Always Win

(This is a reprint of an article by Carole Jackson, Bottom Line’s Daily Health News. When I read it, I found it very insightful and thought it would benefit anyone who read it and so I have included it in this month’s newsletter.)

A stellar characteristic of Americans has always been their ability to compete, indeed to win. This zeal to achieve has accomplished many wonderful things for our country and its citizens, including major medical discoveries, unparalleled economic success, even liberty itself. But after the extremely negative campaigning of the recent elections, and the endless nightly debate about whether or not we are winning the war on terror and who’s to blame for what’s right or wrong in our country, I can’t help but ask if our need to compete has gone awry. It doesn’t seem to be enough any more to succeed. What worries me is people’s need to take it a step further to prove they are right, and sometimes, to prove they’re right no matter what. You can be sure that a win-at-all-costs attitude does not contribute to good relationships on a global scale or  to personal relationships, which are, after all, the bedrock of a person’s emotional and physical well being.

For insight on this painful problem, I talked with Lauren Zander and Meredith Haberfeld of Handel Group Private Coaching ( Lauren points out that in every conversation, people have an agenda. It might be to inform, to amuse, to get to know each other better or just to pass the time — there are lots of reasons for verbal exchanges. But when the agenda includes ensuring that you are right, by definition it means establishing that the other person is wrong. There isn’t a conversation in the world that doesn’t ultimately come to a screeching halt if one or both parties have the attitude that “I am right, you are wrong, now get used to it.” This is incredibly destructive to any relationship — in the Middle East, in the East, in the workplace, with your in-laws, or in the bedroom — because it slams the door on any real possibility for a dialog. In fact, Lauren says the battle to be “right” is at the base of all dysfunction, be it wars between countries, conflicts at work or closer to home — marital or parent-child conflicts.


There is a simple truth at play here. It is possible to be right — look out the window and if you see water falling from the clouds you can rightly announce it is raining… or that the sun is shining… or that it is night or day. While some philosophy students may debate this, obvious facts of this nature fall neatly into a right/wrong category. But just about everything else in the world is far more complex and dwells in the world not of black and white, but of gray. This is the realm of relativism, says Lauren, which means that what is right to me is shaped by my point of view and isn’t necessarily right to the other person. Meredith explains that often our own point of view is shaped by misunderstandings or misinterpretations that we assume to be hard fact. If you want a relationship to work, she continues, the most important thing you can do is understand that virtually every thought and opinion you have is based on personal perception, not on fact.

Couples may argue that one spouse was being rude or unfair but the so-called offending spouse doesn’t see it that way. In fact, that person no doubt thinks the other one was being unfair. Perspective is behind the difference and determines why you both think you are right.

It is crucial to understand and accept that your perspective is not fact and that both parties have a valid point of view. This is how contradictory opinions can exist in a relationship without causing disharmony. The problem is that most people are invested in their own interpretation and perspective and are disinterested in the other person’s. Deep inside, people believe that by making themselves right and their “opponent” wrong they’ll “win,” but this form of winning is not necessarily the key to happiness or success. Once people are willing to accept the existence of contradictory “truths,” it changes the dynamics of the discussion because no one is any longer trying to win. Lauren calls this insistence on being right a manipulation, which is a common human trick. People dress their opinion up in self-righteousness — you have to accept what I am saying because I am right! I am reminded of a couple I know who have different religious beliefs. When he tries to open her thinking to even entertain the idea that others see things differently, she responds “but I know I am right.” That ends the conversation — and much to her frustration, ends her attempts to convert him and win.


While the need to win creates continuous and deep-seated relationship dilemmas, it is possible for anyone to pull out of this emotional quagmire and, in so doing, immediately improve interactions with others — including with those who are closest to you. It is no longer about having one person right and one wrong. Rather, Meredith explains, it is listening to each other’s “truths” completely so you have all version(s) of the situation and accept that another person can have a different opinion. Here is what Lauren advises to make this important change…

  • Accept that most discussions, including yours, are not based on fact but rather on a relative point of view.
  • Always evaluate if you are discussing fact (weather, the time, the color of your new car, etc.).
  • Ask yourself if you are treating your platform as fact when it is actually your opinion (and if your discussion has become a battle, you can be sure opinions are the subject).
  • Frame your conversation in words that convey not “this is how it is,” but rather, “when you said this, what I meant was… ” or “this is how it seemed to me” — in other words, that you accept that your “truth” may be based on important misunderstandings that you believed to be true, and that each view of the situation as it was or is, not as an absolute truth.
  • After someone speaks and shares their point of view, before you give yours, first say theirs back to them so they feel heard and understood. And be open to correction, because if you say something that didn’t accurately capture their perspective, they should make sure you get it correctly.


You may now be thinking that this is great for you, but what about the other guy? If he won’t change his position, what good will this do? Take heart — Lauren observes that when one person assumes responsibility for accepting that his/her perspective is relative and understands that aiming to “win” leaves everyone as losers, it is sufficient to turn a discussion around. You have put one fact on the table and that is there are two different points of view going on. Who can argue with that? You allow the other his/her right to his view of the truth — but you also claim the right to yours. This acceptance surpasses the need to win, allowing a peaceful negotiation of the situation — if not immediately than in the near future… and that is truly winning in a far more constructive way.


A calorie is a measurement of energy. One calorie equals the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a gram of water 1 degree Celsius. A human being gains one pound of fat for every 3,500 calories they don’t burn. So whatever diet is the diet of your choice, losing weight all boils down to calories in, calories burned and calories left to turn to fat.

The Musical Road. There is a highway in Lancaster, California that plays the “William Tell Overture”. When the highway was built, engineers created groves spaced so perfectly that when a car drives over them at 55 miles per hour, the Rossini classic (used as the theme of the television program, The Lone Ranger airing from 1948 to 1957) plays loud and clear. Google it, it’s pretty amazing.

At least 90 million toilets will be flushed during the Super Bowl – enough water to flow over Niagara Falls for 3 minutes.

Source: Scott Tissue and Towels

Eating processed meat may increase your chances of developing stomach cancer. About once ounce per day increases risk as much as 38 percent so go easy on bacon, pastrami, corned beef, sausage, salami, ham, hot dogs and other meats cured, smoked or containing nitrates.

Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Acid reflux is believed to affect as many as 58 percent of athletes. The problem is that exercise may decrease the pressure of a valve that blocks acidic stomach contents from splashing up into the esophagus. If you suffer from exercise-induced reflux, keep a food diary. Possible triggers include alcohol, citrus fruits and juices, tomato-based foods, carbonated and/or caffeinated beverages, coffee, chili powder, chocolate, garlic, oregano and mints.

Source: Fran Claps, M.Ed.,C.S.C.S.

We eat more vegetables on Super Bowl Sunday than wings and chips.

Source: NPD Group/National Eating Trends

It takes 364 licks to get to the center of a tootsie pop,

Engineering project created by Purdue University

Get an accurate blood pressure reading in the doctor’[s office by sitting quietly for five minutes on a chair with feet flat on the floor and your back supported, rather than sitting on the examination table. Older people who sat in a chair for five minutes before their blood pressure was taken had systolic readings 14 points lower than those who sat on examining table.

Source: Melly Turner, RN, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville

When you purchase pre-packaged carrots, take them out of the plastic bag before you refrigerate them. When enclosed in plastic, the carrots release terpenoid, a chemical that reduces their sweetness, toughens their texture and causes them to be bitter.

Source: First Magazine

The blob of toothpaste that sits on your toothbrush has a name. It’s called a “nurdle”.

Eastern color healers say that wearing orange or gazing at an orange object makes us feel better immediately. The color causes the brain’s pineal gland to release endorphins which increase feelings of overall well-being.

Source: First Magazine

Stress and other factors are depleting our levels of vitamin K. This nutrient is essential for making osteocalcin which acts as a glue that binds calcium to bones. We can make sure we are getting enough vitamin K by eating daily servings of dark leafy greens such as kale or spinach.

Source: Jane Lukacs, PhD, researcher, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Schedule your hospital stay wisely. New interns, residents and medical school students begin assignments at teaching hospitals in early July. If possible, postpone elective procedure until a different time, when young medical professionals have more experience. When having surgery, always ask how many times the doctor has performed this exact procedure. You want someone who has done it hundreds or even thousands of time. If the procedure is rare, you at least want a surgeon who performs it dozens of times per year.

Source: David M. Sherer, MD, Falls Church Ambulatory Surgery Center, Falls Church, Virginia

The Cookie Monster’s real name is Sid.

Vitamin C helps you burn more fat when you exercise. In a recent study, people who took 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily burned 39% more fat when exercising than people who took less. Since it is difficult to get enough vitamin C just from fruits and vegetables, take a vitamin C supplement to be sure you get a least 500 mg per day.

Source: Carol Johnston, PhD, professor and chair, department of nutrition, Arizona State University, Mesa

What is a germ? A germ is a microorganism , such as a virus, bacterium or protozoan. Some germs help the body produce vitamins, aid in digestion and enable the immune system to work efficiently. Other germs cause disease. Germs, which can live on surfaces for minutes to days, can be transmitted through direct contact, such as sneezes and coughs or indirect contact, including touching a contaminated doorknob. And always close the toilet lid. Flushing an older toilet with the lid up can hurl droplets of water that contain fecal matter (and potentially other disease causing organisms) up to 20 feet! The droplets can then contaminate toothbrushes, combs, faucets, etc. The risk for disease is even higher if the bowl isn’t cleaned regularly. Among several of the diseases that can be transmitted by fecal matter from an infected person are stomach flu and hepatitis A.

Source: Philip M. Tierno, Jr., PhD, director of clinical microbiology and immunology, New York University Medical Center

 Did you ever hear this one??? 

Cats have over 100 vocal sounds, dogs have about 10.

If you are in possession of a little known fact, email me and I’ll share it with everyone.

If you have any questions, feel free to email.


All rights reserved.; no part of this e-publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the e-publisher.

Copyright February 2018, Devin Morgan

Excerpts from “Vinyasa Teachers Training Manual”

ISBN 0 9729261 0 1

January Yoga Newsletter, 2018

Quote of the month:   The young do not know enough to be prudent and therefore they attempt the impossible – and achieve it, generation after generation.

                                                                                      Pearl S. Buck

YAA-HOOOO!!! Another new January. The New Year is always so exciting, so filled with promise. We leave behind us all our “stuff” from the previous year and begin again with a clean slate. We see which changes we must make in our lives in order to attain our goals. We are determined that we will make the changes and it feels really good to step back in command of our life once again. We feel strong and willing and unstoppable.  But why does it have to be just that date, January the first, as the only marked point in any prescribed amount of time where we can start brand new? To take command again? Why can’t we wake up every morning with an awareness of the newness of the moment and the ability to embrace the potential of the day that stands before us?

I think we are able to do that if we truly want to. It’s really a great resolution and much easier than one would think to accomplish. Children do it every day of their lives until they are taught that all days are exactly the same except the holidays. As a child, I always wondered why all days couldn’t be holidays except for the ones we decided would be exactly the same. I think that is what Pearl S. Buck refers to in our “Quote of the month” (top of page) If we begin each day without the preconceived determinations from yesterday, we are able exceed even our highest level of conscious potential.

I was reading Depak Chopra’s book, Unconditional Life, and a thought really struck me as something we can all contemplate. I want to share it with you and in the very simpleness of the words, there is a profound statement.  “Health is not simply absence of disease, rather health is a state of positive well being, on all levels – physical, spiritual and mental.”  Health isn’t just getting through the flu season without getting the flu. It isn’t merely surviving with or without disease, it is living each day, brand new and to the fullest.

It is my intention to aid you in your journey by bringing  interesting and uplifting information to you each month. Information about yoga, about living a fulfilled life, about health and healing.  And so, I welcome you to the Rishi Institute blog. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me through our website. And lastly, have a healthy, happy and prosperous 2018.

 Devin’s schedule for January

 There are a few changes in the month of January so please check the class that interests you for correct time and location.

Wednesday   8:30AM    Yoga, Total Woman, Northridge

6:00PM    Yoga, West Valley YMCA

7:30PM    Yoga, Reservation only class, call me at 818-326-1839 for info

Thursday       9:30AM    Yoga, YMCA in Porter Ranch

10:45AM   Yoga, YMCA in Porter Ranch

7:00PM   Yoga, YMCA in Porter Ranch

Friday            9:30AM     Yoga, West Valley YMCA

10:30AM     Yoga, West Valley YMCA

Saturday         8:00AM     Power Yoga, YMCA in Porter Ranch

10:00AM    Gentle Yoga, Porter Ranch Public Library

11:30AM    Yoga, Total Woman in Northridge

12:30PM    Gentle Yoga, Total Woman in Northridge

Sunday         11:30AM      Yoga, Total Woman in Woodland Hills

12:30PM       Gentle Yoga, Total Woman in Woodland Hills

Private sessions are available.


Additional workshops, dates and times and fees will be forthcoming in future newsletters.

For those of you who wish to attend workshops but are short of funds, a work/study program is offered.

Teacher’s Training

The next Yoga Teacher’s Training will begin in the spring of 2018. Please see the drop down on our web site for information about the 200 hour Yoga Alliance curriculum. Brigid and I are more than happy to answer any questions you might have regarding certification. And, take a look at the Gallery drop down to see photos of previous classes.

Advanced Teacher’s Training

Workshops designed to develop your skills as a teacher. Instruction will provide you a hands on experience in understanding and teaching more difficult asanas. Inversions, bound poses, flying poses. These are just a few topics that will be covered as we move into this new year.  These sessions will be counted as CEU’s by Yoga Alliance.

Vinyasa Intensive Workshop

A two hour flow practice focusing on Sun Salutations and standing poses. This workshop builds strength and stamina and a strong sense of determination. It is demanding and not recommended for beginners. Participants will push the envelope of their abilities and leave the workshop with their practice forever changed. If you have never done an intensive before, please speak with me before registering.

Basic Yoga Philosophy Workshop:  For those who are looking to see where Hatha Yoga fits into the picture…

What is Yoga all about? A lot more than postures, that’s for sure. As we do our practice, so we live our lives. The vinyasa that we practice is the physical element of a holistic experience. This session will discuss that experience. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras will be outlined and you will be given a basic understanding of the history of yoga.

Yoga Sutras, how do they relate to present life

The four Sutras outlined in the writing of Patanjali, while a millennium old, relate easily to present life and give a road map to the journey of leading an enlightened life. In our sessions, each Sutra will be examined and you will find how it relates to your own individual growth. Life is about awareness and these workshops will direct you in your search for self.

Workshops fill quickly so if you are interested, please email through this website.


Body Talk

A monthly article written in easy to understand language to introduce you to the miraculous systems of the body and how they work to keep you healthy

This month, Body Talk is going to focus on what we can all do to create a more healthy environment in our homes.

Evaluate your car. Be sure an adequate barrier exists between your garage and living quarters to reduce exposure to toxic fumes. If you cant buy an electric car or a hybrid, try making a commitment to walking biking or using public transportation when you are able.

Inspect your beauty products. Look at the ingredients of your personal-care products. Educate yourself, research the chemicals and read what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has to say about them. Be aware that there is a healthy, petrochemical-free alternative to nearly every product you use, from shampoo to deodorant.

Inventory household cleaning products. Many chemicals in these products – especially drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and cleaners made with ammonia or chlorine bleach – have come under scrutiny for possibly contributing to health problems. Consider non-toxic alternatives, like baking soda based cleansers or products from green companies like Seventh Generation.

Inspect your soft goods. “Green” your bedroom first, since that’s where you spend a third of your life. If possible, invest in a quality mattress of latex foam, cotton or wool batting. Replace synthetic pillows with wool or cotton filling and look for unbleached, untreated linens.

Assess your clothing. Ask yourself: is the fabric natural? Has it been chemically treated? Was it mass produced? Consider buying from companies with small production lines so you’re not contributing to the waste generated by factories. And buy vintage. That’s the best way to recycle clothes.

Look at the food you buy. Read the ingredients on packaged foods and research unfamiliar additives. Food stamped “organic” is supposed to have been grown without pesticides.

Evaluate how you cook and store food. Choose cookware made of stainless steel, clay, ceramic, glass or cast iron instead of non-stick pans which at high heat can release harmful PFCs (perfluorochemicals). Also consider how you store your food. Dioxins and phthalates can leach from soft plastics so store in stainless steel or glass jars with rubber seals instead of using plastic wrap and containers.

Look at your pets, garden and outdoor spaces. Are you using pesticides or herbicides in your garden or on your lawn? If so, consider safe alternatives such as soap based or garlic sprays. Check the ingredients in the flea powder, shampoos and collars you put on your pets and exchange them for nontoxic alternatives.

Be aware. With so many chemicals and so many products, furniture finishes, electronics, art supplies etc, etc, etc, it’s imperative that we pay attention to where we’re encountering chemicals and how to minimize the problem To read more, log on to any of these web sites:



Did you know….

If you or a relative has had certain common cancers, a genetic test could make all the difference: When researchers at Ohio State University checked 543 women with uterine cancer, they found that about 1 in 50 had a genetic quirk known as Lynch syndrome. This hereditary glitch disables the body’s DNA repair mechanism, allowing cancers to grow unimpeded. It raises the risk of colon cancer to 85%, uterine cancer to 64%, stomach cancer to 13% and ovarian cancer to 12%. (The typical risk for all of these is 6% or less.) Get screened for Lynch if you are a family member has had one of these cancers. Adults with the syndrome need earlier, more frequent cancer checks, including colonoscopies, pelvic exams and uterine ultrasounds.

Source:  Sari N. Harrar, Prevention Magazine

The Environmental Protection Agency says that 15 percent of the drinking water on planes contains bacteria. The hoses that fill the tanks are hard to clean and often harbor germs) The EPA recommends passengers (especially pregnant women and those with a chronic illness) stick with water in sealed bottles or canned drinks. Even brewed coffee and tea pose a risk since the water hasn’t been sufficiently heated to kill bacteria. Ice, on the other hand, is safe because it isn’t made onboard.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

Have you heard that carrots improve vision? There is only a grain of truth to this — carrots are a good source of vitamin A, a lack of which can lead to blindness. However, most people get enough vitamin A in their diets with or without carrots. The story that carrots really improve vision was started by Britain’s Royal Air Force during World War II. The Brits didn’t want Germany to figure out that they had developed improved radar systems, so they spread the word that the

unprecedented nighttime accuracy of British fighter pilots was the result of eyesight sharpened by carrot consumption. Though the war has been over for more than 70 years, the carrot cover story remains widely believed. Consuming excessive amounts of vitamin A in supplement form won’t give you superior vision, but it could cause toxicity, with symptoms such as hair loss, fatigue and headaches.

Source: Bottom Line Health

Why do men have nipples? During the early weeks of embryonic development, both men

and women are designed on the female template. Not until about six weeks after conception do male embryos begin to show male characteristics. By that point, males have nipples. Men also have a small amount of breast tissue, which means it is possible for them to develop breast cancer. Men account for approximately one in every 100 cases of breast cancer. The first sign of male breast cancer usually is a breast lump, the same as it is for a woman.

Source: Anatomy, Bottom Line Health

Why does urine smell funny after we eat asparagus? Asparagus contains mercaptan, a sulfur compound that also is found in onions, garlic, rotten eggs and the secretions of skunks. In the case of asparagus, the odor isn’t produced until the compound has been broken down by

digestive enzymes. Interestingly, not everyone has the gene for the enzyme that breaks down mercaptan, so some people can consume asparagus without having their urine smell afterward. A study in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that less than half of British people

tested produced the odor, while all French people tested did.

Source: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

Does cracking knuckles lead to arthritis? There’s no connection. Knuckle cracking is relatively

harmless — the loud noise is just bubbles popping in the synovial fluid surrounding the joint, something we hear often during our yoga practice. Long-term knuckle cracking might stretch the ligaments surrounding the joint, causing a slight decrease in grip strength, but this isn’t likely to become a significant problem.

Source: Bottom Line Health

Why do we cry when we slice onions? Cutting into an onion causes enzymes and amino acids in the onion to react together in a way that forms sulfenic acids. These sulfenic acids release a chemical called syn-propanethial-S-oxide into the air, which comes in contact with the nerve fibers of our corneas and stimulates our tear glands.Attempts have been made to develop tear-free onions, but it turns out that when you remove the enzymes that lead to crying, you also remove the onion’s flavor. Research continues, however, and a flavorful, tear-free onion might

be available someday.For the moment, the best ways to reduce onion tears are to chop under a steady stream of water or wear goggles.

What causes canker sores? Canker sores, known to doctors as recurrent apthous ulcers,

are the most common oral disease — yet we still don’t know exactly what causes them.

Canker sores, which occur inside the mouth, are different from cold sores, which appear on the lips. Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus and are contagious. Canker sores are not contagious. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for canker sores.

Do microwave ovens cause cancer?There is no evidence that modern microwave ovens are

capable of causing cancer. This relatively common fear springs from the fact that microwaves use radiation to cook. But while ionizing radiation, such as X-rays, can cause molecular damage, microwaves use nonionizing radiation, which does not, according to all evidence.If nonionizing radiation did indeed cause cancer, we would have much bigger problems than our microwave ovens — all visible light is nonionizing radiation.

Why do cucumber slices soothe puffy eyes? Cucumbers are 90% water, and that water is likely to be nicely chilled when the vegetable has been stored in the refrigerator. The cold water constricts the blood vessels around the eyes and the puffiness decreases. If cucumbers don’t do the job, try black tea bags soaked in cold water. Not only will the cold water work, the tannic acid in the tea can help reduce swelling as well.

Why do some people have “innie” belly buttons while others have “outies”? There’s a widespread misconception that the type of belly button you have is determined by the type of knot the doctor tied after you were delivered however, no knot is involved. Clips are used to clamp off the

umbilical cord, then it’s cut. The type of belly button you’re left with is just a matter of chance, determined by how you heal when the remainder of the umbilical cord dries up and falls off.

Some belly buttons do turn from innies to outies later in life, but that’s usually due to hernias in the belly button region.


 Vitamin K found in broccoli and peas, may aid in keeping joint cartilage healthy. The vitamin activates proteins that help calcium bind to bones and prevent cartilage loss. Spinach and cabbage are also good sources.

Source:  Research, Tufts University, Boston

Sales of organic food account for 4% of total U.S. food sales per year. If you are only able to purchase a few organics due to the high cost, choose apples strawberries, peaches and spinach – their conventionally grown counterparts have the most pesticides.

Source:  The Organic Trade Association, Greenfield, MA

Here’s some differences to help you decide if you have a cold or the flu.

  • Fever – With flu, fever is characteristic and comes on suddenly, with a cold fever is rare.
  • Headache – Headache is a prominent symptom of flu but rare with a cold.
  • General aches – In flu, aches are usual and often severe; in a cold they’re slight if at all.
  • Fatigue – Fatigue is extreme in flu and can last two to three weeks; a cold leaves you mildly fatigued.
  • Runny nose – Sometimes you’ll have a runny nose with flu but it is common with a cold.
  • Sore throat – A sore throat sometimes accompanies flu but it is a common symptom of a cold.

Source: Thomas Gossel, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology,  Ohio Northern University

Some burns can be handled at home and some need a doctor’s care. First and second degree burns can usually be treated at home but third degree burns always need a doctor’s attention. How do we tell the difference between the three types of burns? First degree burns like most sun burns and scalds are red and painful. Second degree burns, including severe sunburns or burns caused by brief contact with oven coils, blister, ooze and are painful. Third degree burns are charred and white or creamy colored. They can be caused by chemicals, electricity or prolonged contact with hot surfaces. Usually they are not painful because nerve endings have been destroyed but they always require a doctor’s care. Also, see a physician with any burn that show signs of infection, including a blister filled with greenish or brownish fluid or a burn that becomes hot again or turns red. If you plan to see a doctor about a burn, wash it but don’t use any ointments, antiseptics or sprays. You may wrap it in a dry sterile dressing until you see your physician.

Source: William P. Burdick, M.D., Medical College of Pennsylvania

A study of 35,000 women by the University of Minnesota showed that at least 350mg of magnesium reduced colon cancer risk by 25%. Another study performed in Sweden which involved 61,000 women reported similar results.

Source: Prevention Magazine

We all know that we need to drink 8 glasses of water a day but did you know these facts about water…

  • Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue
  • 8-10 glasses of water each day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  • A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short term memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water a day decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, the risk of breast cancer by 79% and bladder cancer by 50%.

64% of Americans are overweight. 30% are clinically obese.

Calorie cutting causes shifts in three hormones – parathyroid, estrogen and cortisol. This drop may make it harder for your body to absorb calcium from food and supplements. After 6 months of dieting, a Rutgers University analysis found that their subjects’ bones were up to 3% less dense. So, if you’re dieting, the recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,000 to 1,200 and for women over 50, 1,500 mg to offset lower absorption rates while dieting.

Source: Sue Shapses, PhD,RD, Rutgers University


How can you live without knowing these things?

Babies are born without kneecaps. They don’t appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

If you are in possession of a little known fact, email me and I’ll share it with everyone.

If you have any questions, feel free to email though this site


All rights reserved.; no part of this e-publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the e-publisher.

Copyright January, 2018, Devin Morgan

Excerpts from “Vinyasa Teachers Training Manual”