Another weekend at Shoshoni Yoga Ashram

I spent this past weekend at the Shoshoni Yoga Ashram. Just like last time, it was a great weekend with great people.

Although I didn’t take as many pictures this time, I did capture a few of the chickens and roosters. It turns out they are kind of scary when you get up close– I was glad there was a fence in between me and their beaks!

The weekend was full of great food once again, including Chalupa, Avocado Lime-Slaw, Tom Kha Soup, Mung Pancakes, Kitcheri, and lots of other fresh veggie dishes! And when we weren’t eating the delicious food we were drinking lots of tea!

I am so thankful to Sita, Indra, the people of Shoshoni, and the wonderful group of students that made this fun weekend possible! Until next time…



Every few Tuesdays I’m going to share some instagram photos with you guys, just in case you missed them!



This weekend from college… Shoshoni Yoga Ashram

This past weekend I left my 1,000 page book, American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau, on my desk and escaped into the mountains– an exact-o knife and drafting paper free environment.

I traveled up to Shoshoni Yoga Ashram, which is a spiritual community that practices Shambhava Yoga. As it explains on Shoshoni’s website, “an ashram is a place devoted to spiritual practice; a place where you can go to learn authentic yoga and meditation practices in a safe and inspiring setting. It’s a relatively new concept for America, but an ancient tradition in many other parts of the world.”

Shambhava Yoga is a type of yoga that embraces the asanas (physical poses,) seva (selfless service,) meditation, and other concepts of conscious living. From being at Shoshoni for just 2 days, I could see how devoted the community is to this practice. It is more than just relaxing, strengthening, and stretching, which is what makes this yoga so authentic and special. Shoshoni’s website states this perfectly: “At a time in America when yoga’s popularity outshines its original purpose, Shambhava Yoga stands as a living example of timeless teachings in a present-day practice. Sri Shambhavananda [the founder] inspires students to combine hard work with heart work and use the practice of meditation to rise above, and grow from, the challenges of everyday life.”

The retreat included 3 yoga, 1 restorative yoga, 1 pranayama, and 2 meditation classes. In addition there was the temple service, which included the reading of mantra, meditation, and joyous dance. It was a liberating experience. There was also a time for art, and a time for seva (selfless service.) A group of us made ghee sticks for their Yajna Fire Ceremony. This ceremony was one of my favorite parts of the weekend because of the uniqueness of the experience. Beginning at 5:00am, the ancient yogic practice lasts 2 hours and consists of making offerings into a sacred fire. Offerings are manifested through spoken mantras and rice thrown into the fire. “[Yajna] Fire ceremony purifies emotions, burns up unresolved conflict and worries, and leaves us feeling lighter, free, and more open inside. As we focus on letting go, the fire dissolves our tensions leaving only Vibhuti, or Sacred Ash, behind. The Vibhuti represents the pure essence of our nature, the Inner Self.” 

Purifies emotions, burns conflict, leaves us feeling free… it doesn’t get much better than that.

The food at Shoshoni was amazing. All of the meals were vegetarian and made from ingredients grown in their own greenhouses. Pumpkin french toast, Cauliflower and root soup, Tom Kah, and many other flavorful dishes that were fresh and hearty. Coming back to the dining hall after those meals will be hard.

As you have seen in the pictures so far, Shoshoni is located in an absolutely beautiful area. It is nestled up in the mountains at an altitude of nearly 10,000ft. The community is made up of cabins, temples, and buildings, each with their own charm. The area is surrounded with hiking trails and Aspen trees, which makes for a wonderful place to explore.

This weekend was an amazing experience and I hope to make it back up to Shoshoni sometime soon! But for now, I am back to that 1,000 page book, exact-o knives, drafting paper, and dining hall food. Wish me luck.


Alex’s Astavakrasana Green Juice

Becky Eschenroeder, Photo by Meghan McSweeney

Becky Eschenroeder, Photo by Meghan McSweeney

Astavakrasana (or Eight-Angle Pose) is a yoga pose that utilizes the whole body– strengthening your shoulders, arms, and wrists, toning your legs and abdominals, and challenging your balance. So I thought I’d pair this grounding full-body yoga pose with a juice stemming from the ground; a juice that’s just as wholesome and deserving of praise: Alex’s Astavakrasana Green Juice. But why is this juice the intense and impressive Eight-Angle Pose of the juicing world? Because it is amazing for your body, and believe me… people will be impressed. This juice is made from 8 strong and healthy ingredients:

     Alex’s Astavakrasana Green Juice Astavakrasana Green Juice

1. 4-5 stalks of kale
2. 3-4 stalks of turnip greens
3. 1 stalk of celery
4. ½ grapefruit
5. 3 apples
6. 1 lime
7. Handful of strawberries
8. 7 spoonfuls of fresh coconut water

*Optional addition of swiss chard (because I had some growing in my garden, just waiting to be picked!)

So everyone is in a craze over this superfood Kale… is it worth the hype? YES. Now, of course the media is exploiting people’s blind willingness to jump on the super-food bandwagon by over-marketing and over-pricing the green leafy vegetable… but it is indeed ‘super.’ Besides its large amount of fiber, kale has an outstanding amount of vitamin A and C.

Turnip Greens are high in potassium which helps your heart beat regularly. A potassium-rich diet may even be able to lower your cholesterol… (just throw some turnip greens in your honey nut cheerios and you’re good in that cholesterol department.)

Now let me get really science-y on you: Celery is one of the most hydrating foods. Why? Because, according to Natural News, “it is incredibly alkalizing, it equalizes the body’s PH, which is vital for peak health.” Well, I don’t think I fooled anyone, I’m no scientist, but seeing ‘hydrating’ and ‘peak health’ is enough to convince me to jump on that celery bandwagon! (See what I am saying… we’re so easily manipulated convinced of things.) Celery is also known to be an anti-inflammatory. All in favor of outlawing ibuprofen and its risks/side-effects and relying on celery for it’s anti-inflammatory purposes say ‘aye.’


All against… *crickets.*

The rest of the ingredients in Alex’s Astavakrasana Green Juice have their health benefits also, but the primary role of the fruits in this drink is to balance things out, and keep you from feeling like a cow grazing in the field.


What do I need to know before making this juice?

The first time I juiced greens I juiced a Costco-sized bag of spinach, and got in return a moused-sized serving of spinach juice. I was clearly doing something wrong. Well it turns out there are many types of juicers– the two main ones being centrifugal and masticating. I have a centrifugal juicer which is the fastest type of juicer and is great for root vegetables. However, the masticating juicer is best for greens, because it chews and then presses; therefore, it produces 3 times more juice from the leafy vegetables than the centrifugal juicer does.

I solved this problem by utilizing a “NutriBullet.” These blender-like appliances break down fruits and vegetables completely, turning them into a smooth liquid. I juiced ingredients 3-7 with my centrifugal juicer, and then placed these juices in the NutriBullet along with the chopped greens. This also ensures you get the entire nutritional value of the greens, because there is no pulp left over as there would be from the juicer. After the blades are finished with their liquifying magic, you are left with a smooth and yummy, SO good for your tummy, Alex’s Astavakrasana Green Juice drink.

This recipe makes around 4 good-sized servings. If you keep the juice refrigerated and immediately put it into an airtight container, you should be able to keep it for up to 40 hours or so… but remember it’s best when it’s fresh!

*DISCLAIMER: I completely arbitrarily picked 40 hours… I really have no idea how long this juice will last… but I’ll do some field research (a.k.a. juice neglecting) and let you guys know!

I hope you are inspired to try this recipe… if you do, please let me know how it turned out!

Stay tuned for my next post: Juice Pulp… What to do with it!?