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Red Beet Soup

After teaching evening classes I often come home late. Since eating a big meal before class isn`t an option I usually end up being pretty hungry by the time I make it back home. Since you don`t want to eat a big meal before going to bed neither, soups are a great way to nourish yourself without feeling stuffed or heavy.

This red beet soup tastes great and its color brings pure joy ♡

Red Beet Soup

∼ Serves 4 ∼
2 Onions
3 Medium sized red beet
2 Medium sized potatoes
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Lb vegetable broth
0,25 Lb cream
4 Teaspoons creamed horse raddish
Salt
Pepper
Finely chopped chive

Finely chop the onions. Peel the potatoes and red beet and cut into medium sized cubes. Sauté the onions, potatoes and red beet in butter on medium heat.

Add the vegetable broth and bring to boil. Let it simmer on medium heat for 40 minutes. Purée the soup and bring to boil once more. Season with salt and pepper to liking.

Sieve the soup, add the cream and bring to boil one last time. Serve with 1 teaspoon of creamed horseraddish and chive.

Argan Oil

Since a few years argan oil is really up and coming as one of the major natural beauty care products. In every drugstore and supermarket you`ll find products these days that claim to contain the precious liquid.

While most of us relate argan oil to Morocco, few know about the process of extraction and why the oil is costly compared to other natural oils.

On our way to Paradise Valley nestled in the Atlas mountains of Morocco, we stopped at botanic gardens that hold an argan oil co-operative. The lush and beautiful small garden holds all sorts of plants and herbs that serve as natural remedies, beauty products or spices and the little tour explains how they are traditionally used in Morocco. Of course, there`s also an old argan tree in the center of the little compound.

A few women are working on argan nuts and the process is explained to us here: first the fresh yellowish nuts are dried until they shrivel into small, dark brown kernels. Then, the outer layer is peeled off, revealing a solid, smooth, light brown, almond shaped kernel. The solid kernel is then broken open with the use of a stone – this has to be done manually, because a mashine would crush the sensitive inner layer – to reveal the white argan nut. In a last step, this precious white nut is pressed to extract the refined cosmetic oil that us used in skin- and haircare.

There`s also argan oil used for cooking. Here, the process is slightly less complicated as the light brown solid kernel does not have to be cracked open manually but is ground into a paste, then dried into a cake and finally pressed to produce cooking oil. Our guide also explained to me that sometimes, the steps of drying the fresh argan nuts and peeling the first layer off are skipped in producing cooking oil by using nuts that have been eaten by goats who will secrete the light brown kernels in their stool. However, this gives the oil a stringent taste.

In the small little shop attached to the garden we were introduced to argan oil in all forms and shapes. We tried some of the cooking oil with bread, as well as other moroccan specialities like amelou – ground almonds mixed with argan oil and sometimes honey. There`s scrubs and lip balm and hair oil and almost any other product one could dream of related to the precious liquid.

When buying argan oil, make sure you buy from a reliable source since often times fake oils and blends are being solds as the real thing these days.

Needless to say, I bought a gorgeous little bottle of argan oil there to take home as a souvenir ♡

I will miss this place.

As I am writing this, I am sitting on the garden porch of the house we currently live in, in Atwater Village, Los Angeles. It`s the house of the family I have been working with since late summer. They became true friends and invited us to stay here during their travels to Argentina and so we did.

It is the second house we got to sit over the course of last year. We also looked after two dogs from time to time. Two houses. Two dogs. Three families I worked for.

We grow close to the things that surround us and this time having to say goodbye is hard. It is hard because I don`t know when l`ll get to see them again. We grow attached to places, people, animals, because they touch us.

I love each dog we have been sitting like my own and I often find myself missing them painfully. The same counts for the kids. Julian`s softness, Anais`wittyness, Luna`s strong will and chubby cheeks, Joean`s bright mind… And then there`s the sounds and the smells. April and May smells like orange blossom and jasmine here in LA and these smells throw me right back to Tujunga where Yaron and I stayed while getting married last year. I swear, if I could captivate that smell in a bottle I would get drunk on it, letting myself getting swept away by sweet memories every day. The nightingale in front of this house`s bedroom window at night. The incessant chirping of the crickets.

I will miss this place.

I will miss this place and I am sitting here, on the garden porch being ravaged by mosquitoes because I want to immerse myself forever in these last moments.

To make them last. To cherish them properly. To feel what there is to feel without holding back.

A deep pool of emotions, ready for me to dive in.

Prison Yoga and Meditation

I was always interested in facilitating postitive change in society and bringing yoga to marginalized and under-represented communities is a major cornerstone of my work as a teacher.

With a 700 % increase in the US prison population between 1978 and 2005 and a total of 2.2 million – the largest prison population in the world – there is a huge community who benefits tremendously from the positive effects yoga has on the body and most importantly the mind.

Studies support the importance of yoga and meditation on the path to rehabilitation. Not only are 60 % of all parole release who meditate still clean after two years but also the reoffending rate of meditators is up to 40% lower than that of convicts who receive only education or psychotherapy.

In 2014 I attended the Prison Yoga Teacher Training led by James Fox, one of the pioneers of bringing yoga to incarcerated people in the US and in 2016 I became part of the Prison Yoga and Meditation project that teaches yoga and meditation to incacerated men and women in Downtown Los Angeles.

Both organizations work with volunteer teachers and staff who are commited to bringing yoga into prisons. This work needs your support, be it morally, through volunteer work or financially.

If you are interested in the Prison Yoga and Meditation project, please check out our fundraiser and feel free to share.

Prison Yoga & Meditation

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Munich, here I come!

I`ve got news for you!!!

After 15 months in LA it is finally time for me to come home ♡

It`s been a long time without seeing my family and all the lovely people I hold dear in my heart and I am super excited to see everyone and get to spend some time together!

My grandma turned 92 in February, my youngest brother is now 11 and must have grown a ton since we last saw each other and one of my closest girlfriends got pregnant and had her son who is already 7 months old while yet another friend welcomed a little girl into this world… all without me! I can`t put the joy in words for getting to see everyone so, so soon.

I`ll make my way to Munich on April 4 but will only stay for ten days before heading off to teach yoga in Morocco. I won`t be teaching during those first days in Munich but rather indulge in Brezn and dark bread and and bycicle rides and real trees and lakes and walkable cafés and 19th century architecture and yoga classes with an actual Savasana at the end and……

… maybe we`ll get to catch up, too?

 

Morocco

Join me from April 16 until May 22 for yoga and surfing in beautiful Morocco.

I`ll be teaching open and private classes at Paradis Plage Surf, Yoga & Spa Resort in Taghazout.

This is the first time ever I`ll be travelling to North Africa and I am super excited and grateful for this opportunity!

Also, this is going to be the first time since many years that I will be travelling to an unknown destination all by myself, and honestly… I can`t wait!!!

All throughout my twenties I travelled the world on my own, often staying for months in remote locations, seeking the connection to nature and getting to know different cultures and ways of life. Surfing has been a passion long before yoga and my destinations would always lead me to a surfable ocean shore. This all changed when I met the man who is now my husband more than four years ago. Commuting between Los Angeles and Munich didn`t leave much time or resources for adventurous trips, let alone on my own, since getting to be with one another was challenging enough. Now, life has opened a window where I can actually make this happen and I am so happy to reconnect to these passions of mine.

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Open classes Monday – Saturday: 8 am, 11 am and 5:30 pm.
Private classes available upon request.

Just do it!

Every day we wake up to a set of intentions and things we wish to check off our “to do list”. On days when our mind is focused, we may achieve what we aimed for. On other days, when we are a bit off track, the list seems endless and it feels like not much is happening.

For me, there seems to be a rule of thumb to this: after a day of over achievement follows one, where not much is getting done. Try as hard as I might. I can usually detect those days either right after waking up, when my mind is buzzing with unfocused, anxious activity or when I am about to set my goals for the day and the list becomes endless. 1-5 items on my list is a realistic scenario. 5-20 is a lost cause, right from the start.

But then there are tasks I need to get done that bring with them a level of discomfort that makes the avoider in me want to push them back, hour by hour, day by day. These are usually things that carry a sense of urgency – either because they are urgent right from the start or because I have pushed them back so long that, well, they become urgent.

The discomfort usually comes from having to do something that is unknown territory or that is related to unpleasant topics like money or sorting out a relationship. If it brings out uncertainty or fear in me, I want to push it back to the last corner of my mind. And even though I have learned throughout the years that it will scream at me even louder from that corner, my inclination towards not stepping up to the task is ridiculously strong. I`d rather loose my sleep over something for days in a row than pulling myself together and confront whatever demands my attention.

Knowing myself and this fact at 34 years old, I have developed a simple enough rule that brings a lot more ease into my life: the moment I sense a nagging feeling in my gut related to a task, I know, that this is what I need to do first. Nothing could be possibly more urgent. By doing this task, I will relieve so much underlying anxiety and release so much energy that everything else will come along effortlessly. My mood will by brigther. My spirit lifted. It`s almost palpable. The trick is to act as soon as the first sign of discomfort appears. Before it grows into something of unjustified dimension.

What if I don`t have the time, you ask? There`s another simple trick to this: mostly we have a hard time beginning the uncomfortable task. Once we look into it, we already start the process of confrontation and hence the demystification of its horrors. Even if you have only five minutes – dedicate those minutes to whatever it is you`d rather delay until the end of days and you will soon find that you`re well underway to complete what needs to be done.