Shake Your Asana

This playlist has been created in dedication to the Heart Chakra. The 4th of 7. Represented by the color Green, which represents harmony & balance. With the Heart Chakra in alignment, one can have healthy self-love which is beneficial to all.

It’s the first beat of the heart that signifies life has been created. Every moment of everyday the heart unconditionally beats to supply the body with the necessary life-giving fluid. Meeting the demands of the rest of the body. The heart is always there giving newly oxygenated blood, at the same time, receiving the blood that is in need of oxygen. For giving and receiving are the same energy. In giving you also receive. In receiving you also give. Just like the heart every moment, unconditionally.

These songs in this playlist have been selected to help yogis, while listening, to remember love, playfulness, heart break (because that is part of life too), hope, happiness, new love, old love, and self-love. The playlist is paired with a beautiful yoga flow that activates flexibility in the spine and lower back to assist the peak back bend poses. Such as, Ustrasana Camal pose or Urdhva Dhanurasana Wheel pose. With the heart chakra activated & in alignment, one invites unconditional love for self & others. Love IS Love, after all. The most powerful energy there is.

🙏🏼💜💙❤️✨🦋

-Namaste, Heather

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Heather sesmas

This fierce wonder woman has 13 +years experience as Yoga Instructor, rooted in Iyengar and Lic Holistic Esthetician. With inspiring energy, she bring to each class a collaborative spirit that teaches students correct postures and an understanding of breathing techniques. She encourages individuals to develop kinetic sensory/mind body awareness so they can live a healthier happier life.

Monday Mantra - July 15th

“I fill my own cup before I fill others happiness.”

Happy Monday yogis! I hope everyone is surviving this retrograde with ease. To build on this transition from last weeks intention of releasing the things from us that don’t serve us giving space for ourselves, this week we will build the needed tools to fill our own cup before giving everything we have to others. We cannot give to others if we are running on empty.

On your mat, find yourself doing a deep hip strengthening practice as we opened our emotions last week, these hip strengthening postures will allow us to take the openness and build strength to hold our own weight and fill ourselves with self love and happiness also focus on a meditation practice, scanning the body and begin to identify your own emotional level.

Off your mat, begin to determine what is considered self care, what may be the line of too much care of over consumption and where we could actual use community care. Finding these balances of when to take care of ourselves and when to hold space for others will allow us to in turn communicate with those in our lives and take where we need and give when we have something to give.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (they/them)

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This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma in 2015 and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and now runs community outreach groups. With their trauma-sensitive and reiki training, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - July 8th

“I progress emotionally in the right direction.”

Happy Monday yogis. Even though it’s our least favorite day of the week as the work week starts (if you have a traditional job that is). If you are anything like me, you may be in a place of having an emotional battery far into the negative levels. Allow this weeks mantra to help us process our feeling, release our internal heat so we can stay cool in this triple digit degree weather.

On your mat, take the time to do a full body scan and notice where your areas of tension are held. Depending on if you are a yin or yang nature person. Challenge yourself to use the style that isn’t natural to release this tension. Focus on hips and shoulders to remove these emotions. 

Off your mat, I invite you to do a walking meditation. Take a walk in nature, whether this is the patch of grass in your yard or out by a lake, you decide. Be barefoot and close your eyes to feel the sensation beneath your feet. Here is the hard part, as you do this walking meditation, start by identifying something you love about yourself. Hold it within you and release anything into the earth that does not serve you. Next bring the face of someone who supports you to mind, take a moment and imagine sending them love and kindness. Next identify a loved one and repeat. Continue this with someone you neither like or dislike, a difficult person and finally an enemy. Releasing any negative energy that comes up into the earth and give only room to grow emotionally and mentally stronger. When challenged throughout our weeks, bring these people back to mind to help us grow. 

With that, I wish you luck this week. 

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (they/them)

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This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-sensitive and reiki training, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Food for the Heart - Recipes from the Soul: Vegan Bacon 3 Ways

Who Doesn’t Love “Bacon”?

Per a fellow yogi request of the need for the rice paper bacon recipe. This recipe is a nice way to add that salty, crunchy flavor everyone loves from bacon to any dish. But how do you decipher when to use which bacon recipe? Well other than what is already available in your fridge, I have times when I prefer to make one over the other.

Tempeh Bacon: For anyone who isn’t familiar with tempeh, tempeh is a soybean product that is made by fermenting soy bean with microogranism and then making a compact block post fermentation. The final product differs from regular tofu because it has a more meaty, chewy, and nutty flavor. Tempeh bacon is high in protein, a good source of iron, and other nutrients. I love to make tempeh bacon to add a salty, crunchy addition to meals but with also adding protein, hence in the situation of making a BLT, the tempeh still allows for me to have protein on my sandwich.

Rice Paper Bacon: This is the crunchiest option for bacon and honestly my favorite of the three recipes. Rice paper and the marinate lack in nutrients, but if you’re just looking to add some serious crunch to a sandwich, salad, etc. I highly recommend making this one.

Carrot Bacon: I love making carrot bacon because the flavor is the best out of all three options. There is just something magical that happens with the sugar from the carrot and the smokiness/saltiness from the marinate that work wonders together. But carrot bacon does not get as crispy as I prefer my bacon to be.

Bacon Marinade

Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free

Makes 20 pieces of desired bacon choice: tempeh, rice paper, or carrot

What you need:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp garlic powder 

3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp black pepper

3 Tbsp soy sauce (or to make gluten free use liquid aminos or Tamari)

3 Tbsp liquid smoke

This marinate can also be placed in the fridge for up to a week. This way if you dont need 20 pieces of bacon in one sitting you can make some throughout the week.

Tempeh Bacon

What you need:

      1 block of tempeh cut into 20 thin slices

Rice Paper Bacon

What you need:

4 sheets of rice paper cut into 5 equal strips *easier if using scissors rather than a knife

Carrot Bacon

What you need:

2 medium carrots each cut into 10 thin slices *easier if using a Mandoline

What to do:

Combine all marinate ingredients into one bowl

Marinate each strip of desired bacon choice by taking ~1 Tbsp of marinate, brush on with a pastry brush on both sides (or you can dip directly into the marinate, just ensure both sides gets a nice even layer).

Optional for the tempeh bacon, option to marinate overnight so that the marinate can sink into the middle of the tempeh and be more consistent throughout.

Bake at 425° until crispy. The marinate will burn around the edges of the bacon, but just make sure the bacon itself is not burnt but crispy.

Rice paper Bacon: ~3 minutes (watch closely, if you step away from the oven it will burn)

Carrot bacon: ~20 minutes

Tempeh bacon: ~20 minutes

-Namaste, Melissa P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MELISSA POINDEXTER

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Melissa Poindexter, RDN, LD

A vegan registered dietitian nutritionist who doubles as a local Denton yogi. Melissa started her yoga journey with Karma Yoga three years ago. Melissa has a passion for working with individuals with special diets by giving education through evidence-based research. When off her mat and out of the kitchen, Melissa also enjoys outdoor activities, scuba diving, and gardening.

Monday Mantra - July 1st

“I choose to be free of energy-wasting doubts.”

Can you believe we have found our way into the second half of this year as we enter July. With Fourth of July coming up and mercury in retrograde, I felt it may be important to acknowledge the strengths we hold as individuals and letting go of the thoughts that fill our mind.

We can practice this energy wasting release on our mats this week by doing a practice with some quick flowing postures. Stir up the energy and break apart all those tight areas not serving us. Another thing to do is try an inversion, any inversion! Just get the blood flow to the brain and quite literally, change your perspective.

Off your mat, I invite you to further this idea of living in the moment, take one day at a time, put down the technology and actually live in your life. Take your time and don’t rush to new things. Take your shoes off and walk through the grass, go to yoga, just exist to release without clinging onto anything in particular that doesn’t serve you.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER(they/them)

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This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-sensitive and reiki training, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Karma Dama - Dhanurasana

Dhanurasana (Bow pose)

Karma is known for its nomadic tribe take on yoga, but without a studio, we are limited when it comes to teaching our students about the use of props to help get deeper into a posture or make a challenging pose more obtainable. The Karma Dama blog will show you ways to guide your body into postures you can practice at home.

Props are expensive and before I invested the money in them myself, I got creative and found household items that I could utilize as props, plus it fuels this fun idea of a home practice. Here are some of the things I use:

Block- thick hardcover book, I usually put a rubber band around the book so it doesn’t come open mid-use.

Strap- If you aren’t a tie wearer, a belt also works. I personally prefer a tie because if I need a long strap, I can tie multiple of them together.

Blanket- you don’t need a fancy yoga blanket to utilize a blanket in your practice, your favorite one around your home would do just fine.

Bolster- Bolsters come in many different sizes, luckily so do household pillows, find a pillow (or 5) that you like and can use for a bolster.

Chair- many people may not be familiar with yoga chairs but you can utilize them for inversions and arm balances. Find a sturdy chair in your home and ONLY PRACTICE WITH IT ON CARPET or all chair legs on the mat. No yogis sliding around on tile or wood floors.

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Today, we have a simple prop set up for you but it is nothing less than a challenging pose. We will discuss bow pose (Dhanurasana). This is a great heart opener, back strengthener and front hip/ quad stretch. Prior to navigating ourselves into this posture, some good warm up poses to try would include, bridge, cobra, reclined hero, upward facing dog, and locust pose. Ensure your body is nice and warmed up before getting into this posture.

To start, take a rolled up blanket and place it on the floor. Come into spinx pose, ensuring we use our elbows aligned with our shoulders are palms flat on the mat. Try to get the blanket under you in a comfortable spot but also where it is giving you light without compressing your low back.

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Start by reaching one hand straight in front of you, thumb faced up, flipping the hand and reaching back for one side. Kick the foot into the hand to get a little lift on this side. After a few breathes here, switch sides.

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When you feel balanced and secure, do one side and allow the other to follow. The blanket will assist you, not allowing you to dump into your low back and support you enough where you can find some extra lift. This should hopefully get you just a little bit further into your bow pose.

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After you try it with the blanket, take a childs pose to counter this intense stretch. If you are feeling bold, try this without the blanket and observe the difference.

Go forth and play yogis!

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER

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This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - June 24th

“Today, I choose to create magic, not excuses.”

Happy Pridenton week! As some, but not all of you can tell, yours truly is a genderqueer pride loving gay. As we welcome in pride week with our queer yoga class on the square, I thought we could spread some magic with our intention this week. Pride is about shining our true selves, standing up for those not ready to be out, have less privilege in the community and most importantly, ourselves.

On your mats this week, I invite you to be expressive, be true to who you are and do the practice that creates magic inside of you. Depending on who you are, this can be the one posture we despise or the pose that makes us the most confident. Find small accomplishments on your mat, even if it’s just getting on it, instead of excuses why you can’t, so you can face the world knowing you are leaving a trail of glitter in your path.

Off your mat, I invite you to stand up for yourself and others. You see someone putting you down, stand up! You see someone discriminating someone else, stand up! Don’t make excuses for why you can’t stand up for yourself and others. Pride is activism and the love that is cultivated this week will help us power through.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER(they/them)

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This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-sensitive and reiki training, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - June 10th

"I live my life for myself.”

Happy Monday Yogis! There has been a lot of weird energy in the air lately. Gemini season brings lots of chaos for everyone, besides Gemini’s. SOOOO if you aren’t a Gemini, it may be a good time to recenter and focus on what you need right now instead of over stretching yourself by trying to give to others. We think that focusing on ourselves in selfish, but we cannot give anything to others if we have drained ourselves completely.

This week, I invite you on your mats to focus on scanning your body and taking note of what areas need some love. For many of us, this tends to be our hips and shoulders. This is the area we hold our stress, so do some heart and hip openers, take it easier and do pranayama in your practice this week. (Maybe come to the pranayama workshop this Saturday to learn some Breath Control).

Off your mat, do the “treat yo self” thing. Buy that pint of ice cream, take that extra long bath, tell people no when you have no energy to give and most importantly, give yourself the time to recharge. This last one I hope you take this beyond this week especially but highly focus on it this week. These things allow us to grow the self love we need to nourish ourselves to then be able to spread that love to others. Have a great week yogis.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.