Monday Mantra - September 2nd

“I enjoy a well balanced lifestyle.”

Happy Monday yogis and a happy labor day! In inspiration of this long weekend we had to enjoy our leisure and take the personal time for ourselves. Finding balance in our work and play lives make a difference in our quality of life. Some of us tend to be all play, no work and some all work, no play. In our fast pace culture of always needing to work, I would confidently say we do more all work and no play.

On your mat, challenge your balance and find your center, do the balance postures you don’t like, usually the ones you dislike are the postures you need the most. Get playful and see where you might find some strength. We find ourselves frustrated when we cannot balance, so challenging our frustration with them and find our calm will help us move into this week dividing our work and personal lives so we don’t bring work home with us.

Off your mat, I invite you to make a physical schedule. Use 2 colors and make the list of personal things one color and the list of professional things another color. Compare which you have more of, and see if there is room for you to add more to create a balance. Also ensure when you are living the schedule, not bringing one into the other. Helping us find our mental balance.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (They/Them)

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.

Food for the Heart - Recipes from the Soul: 4 Day Lunch Meal Prep

Weekday Lunch Bogging You Down?

As school starts back, schedules become hectic. I know if I don’t prep lunch it leaves me grabbing for undesired snacks and eating out (which can add up in money and calories).

If you are someone who cooks dinner nightly, you can also cook extra and pack leftovers for lunch the next day. If you’re more of a food prep person it’s easier to cook a few of the same ingredients, just splitting up the ingredients and seasoning them differently to eliminate getting tired of the same thing day after day.

Buddha Bowl & Taco Salad

Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Nut-free

Makes 4 Meals (2 of Each)

What you need:

1 bell pepper, cut julienne

1/2 purple onion, cut julienne

1 small sweet potato, small dice

1/2 16oz can chickpeas

1/2 16 oz can black beans

1 cup quinoa

3 cups water

1 Tbsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cumin

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 Tbsp soy sauce (or Tamari for gluten free or 1 tsp salt for soy free)

2 Tbsp vegan sour cream

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 cup hummus

4 Tbsp milk alternative

green onions, sliced (garnish)

cilantro, chopped (garnish)

1 lemon, juiced

4 cups dark leafy green, shredded (I used Romaine)

1 avocado sliced

Tortilla chips (optional)

What to do:

Cut all vegetables per ingredient list.

Split bell pepper and onion on each side of a sheet tray. Put chickpeas and sweet potatoes in the middle of the two.

Season entire tray with black pepper. Season one side of bell pepper and onion with cumin and salt. Season remaining vegetables with curry powder and soy sauce (or Tamari). As demonstrated in video.

Bake vegetables in the oven at 425° for 20 minutes

Add quinoa to a medium size pot, add water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Let simmer until quinoa is fluffy and water is absorbed. Try to avoid over stirring.

Split quinoa into two bowls 1 cup in one bowl, 2 cups in the other bowl.

1 cup quinoa bowl add half a can of black beans, stir

2 cups quinoa bowl add juiced lemon, stir

Assemble in four sealable containers. Add 2 cups of lettuce each into two containers. Add 1 cup of lemon juice quinoa each into 2 containers.

Add fajita seasoned onion and bell pepper on top of lettuce bowls. Add curried onion, bell pepper, chickpeas, and sweet potato on top of quinoa bowls.

Add 1/2 of black bean quinoa mixture on top of salad bowls

Add 1/4 of avocado to each bowl (can add lemon/lime juice on top to prevent from browning; best to add night before or day of).

Add 1 Tbsp of vegan sour cream to each lettuce bowl

Garnish taco salad with cilantro to taste; garnish Buddha bowl with green onion to taste.

Pour 1/4 cup salsa each into two containers to add to taco salad right before consumption. Serve with tortillas chips (optional).

Mix hummus and milk together to make a dressing for buddha bowl. Split into two small containers to add to buddha bowl right before consumption.

Store in the fridge up to a week.

Enjoy! 

-Namaste, Melissa P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MELISSA POINDEXTER (SHE/HER)

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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 in 2015. 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.

Yogis of Karma - Gabriel Baria

Yogis of Karma - Gabriel Baria

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This month for our yogis of Karma we highlight Gabriel Baria. He has been with Karma for about a year now and you'll most likely see him roll out his mat at our Sunday classes at DCBC. Always ready and with a smile on his face, this guy embodies power, balance and kindness. 

We asked him to tell us about his yoga journey and what brought him to Karma and this is what he told us. 

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"My yoga journey began in 2011 at North Central Texas College in Corinth. This was back when PE credits were still require core curriculum. I signed up for a yoga class to fulfill this credit. The class was very fun, but I always viewed it as school work and never making it a practice at home. When the semester ended so did my yoga practice. Flash forward to 2018. I was in a motorcycle accident that left me with some road rash and some major aches and pains all throughout my body. After a late night out, I was talking to close friend Joseph Frank about how my wreck combined with work and active lifestyle were all taking a toll on my body. He suggested I go to yoga with him. Desperate for some respite from my self inflicted ailments I agreed to go to a class taught by Jessica. I immediately understood after one class of Karma Yoga that this was exactly what I needed. It provided strength and stability in areas I didn't even know were weak, spinal alignment that I lacked, and allowed me to set intentions for the new life I wanted to live. Yoga is such an amazing activity, and I have grown to love it. I am always trying to convince friends and family to come to classes and partake in this life giving form of art. Every day is a blessing and it is never to late to start incorporating yoga into any lifestyle!"

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Watching him practice and heal himself has been an honor. I asked him what his favorite pose was and I was expecting something strong. I was so surprised when he told me that it was forward fold. A pose that is more healing and aligning than power. Forward fold has been his go to on his mat because it helps alleviate the pain from his wreck. 

-Namaste, Jessica

Monday Mantra - August 26th

“My ego is healthy and natural.”

Happy Monday Yogis! This week we expand on our previous weeks intention. We worked on finding our balance between yin and yang, our growth and our self love. This week we discuss this balance in our ego. For each of us this may building our self love, our confidence and help build our ego and light up. And there may be some of us who need to connect with growth, what we need to face, find that humility and find a balance in our ego.

Off your mat, I invite you to have 2 types of conversations. The first one being speaking your mind to it’s true ability with those in your life, Being clear and focusing on communicating your thoughts and feelings as clear as possible. The second one, listen to someone else and instead of interjecting or making it about you and only speaking to reword and reflect the other persons words. Notice which conversation is harder and reflect (maybe journal) accordingly.

On your mat, I invite you to find expression and creativity. Do the weird transitions from one pose to the next, add weird organic movements that don’t make sense. Make your practice a dance to fill your light and balance your ego. Knowing your practice is unique to you and your expression is as unique as each breath we take.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER

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.

Karma Dama - Vasisthasana

Vasisthasana (Side Plank)

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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Hello, yogis! Many times we use props as a way to back out of a posture or to get correct alignment. Today’s prop use was requested from some instagram followers after I posted the assist on my personal instagram. I personally dedicate this month’s pose to Jessica, because we all know she’s a plank goddess. Using a chair, you can rewake your core to help support you half way through your work day. Some great warm up postures for this would be core work on your back, plank, side bends, down dog, low lunge, half splits.

To start, pick you weak side (you know, get it over with first) and come down to your forearm parallel to the top of your mat and slide your legs under the chair about to the knee (this is easier) or half way to the shin (this makes it harder).

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Now bring your top leg up onto the chair, either to the shin or up to the knee depending on your preferred challenging level.

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Now use that core and lift those hips. The goal is to be a straight line, straight spine. Elbow should be under the shoulder. Don’t. Forget. To. Breathe. Flex through the feet and squeezing the thighs together will allow you to get a leg workout as well.

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Now, if you find this easy (bravo) you can play with adding movement to work yourself a bit deeper. Move your lower left behind the chair. Remember to keep the hips lifted and Don’t forget to breathe!

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Maybe now you bring the foot in front of you. The higher you lift the leg the more challenging this will be. You can even add circles with those toes, figure 8’s or bend the knee and bring it into your chest. Do whatever you need to make this playful and organic.

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Go forth and play yogis!

-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-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 - August 19th

“My truthfulness is a strengthening force.”

Happy Monday yogis! This week, we focus around our personal self doubt and the small triggers we project on others. Identifying the mirroring and noticing that the universe is showing us something in ourself in those around us. As a small disclaimer, I don’t relate this is situation of gaslighting or abuse, don’t ever believe you deserve abusive treatment. But when all the people in our lives are surfacing a trait, we are drawing these traits to us. If we don’t like this trait, we may be mirroring something we need to resolve in ourselves, to rid these forms of unhealthy bonds.

Off your mat, I invite you to practice staring into your own soul. If you’ve ever done this practice with someone else, you sit in silence for long periods of time and just stare each other in the eyes and take in the others soul. But with this, I ask you to practice with yourself, setting yourself in a comfortable seat in front of a mirror(close enough where you can see your eyes). Do some soul searching, notice and identify what you see, maybe what you like, what needs growth and what you can leave behind you.

On your mat, I invite you to get that self love flexing with some heart openers/backbends. Breath deep, find your truth and get it moving. We hold stagnant energy in our hearts. We limit ourself out of fear, giving ourselves false truths to believe. Opening your heart in your practice will guide you to open your heart and speak your hearts true mission.

-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.


Shake Your Asana

This months Shake Your Asana playlist follows closely with our intention for the week, school is starting back and our routines are changing. Fighting this change only makes it harder to adjust. This playlist is inspired by the spoken word at the end of the playlist, (which is great to listen to in savasana). Knowing change is upon us and how we allow ourselves to move and navigate it is determined on how we see it. I also am a firm believer in the use of lo-fi beats when practicing yoga when I struggle to get into “the meditation mindset.” The rhythms help me tune out chatter in my mind and flow to the beat as it vibrates throughout my body.

This playlist is set for a 1 hour long flow that can be either used for organic movement with the beats or slower flow. Some poses to help aid this idea of change, yin hip openers. Some of the postures I practice to help remove stagnant energy in the body and promote change, pigeon (all the ways, seated, reclined, double pigeon, king pigeon, if it has pigeon in the name, doooo it!) half splits, full splits, cow face, moon salutations to change the direction you are headed.

Don’t confine yourself, this playlist is meant to have you move with the rhythm of your inner energy. Get moving and enjoy!

-Namaste, Michi

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER (THEY/THEM)

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 - August 12th

“I am ready to share my authentic expression.”

Happy Monday yogis! As school returns, we may find ourselves in some places of being hard to get back into the swing of things. It’s hot as hell outside and all we want to do is permanently hide from the heat. This weeks affirmation allows us to get the creative juices flowing! Giving ourselves space to express ourselves, start that project we have put off, or simply be prepared for the work load that comes with school.

On your mat, I invite you to slow down your practice. We are caring plenty of heat from the external forces going on around us with this Texas summer, allow ourselves to find cooling energy internally to allow creative space to thrive. Breathing exercises like sitali pranayama in easy seat can cool the body and stimulate our expression of self. Hip opening yin postures and reflection can get that stale energy moving without over heating.

Off your mat, find that one project, just one, that you either started and never finished, or never started at all. Write it down, create it, take it from a dream in your head and make it reality. Using the creative stimulation inside of ourselves and projecting it to the external world, knowing the world could use you accomplishing this task.

-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.