September 29, 2012

Be The Change Challenge: 30 Day Mind, Body & Soul Challenge

"Our bodies communicate to us clearly and specifically, if we are willing to listen." ~Shakti Gawain

It seems like only yesterday when I signed up for my first 30 day yoga class at a high school down the street from my house. That was five years ago.

I stopped practicing after that and joined a gym instead. At the time, I had no idea what I was doing or what working out should look like. I was motivated by the wrong reasons though: my underlying goal was to lose 25 pounds of baby weight that still clung to my body. After giving birth to my son, I was definitely lacking in discipline and self-worth. I just wanted results. I started training pretty hard at the gym, sometimes five or six times a week. I had amazing instructors who I connected with and who supported my dream about training competitively. I never anticipated all the challenges I would encounter along the way.

2 years into my training, I had a rollerblading wipe-out incident which literally knocked me out of my body and back into a whole new world of self-discovery: I wasn't able to walk. I couldn't go to the gym. Depression hit me hard and stayed with me for a very long time. I was outraged, "Why me?" "What is the reason for this?"

I did not know that a beautiful path lie before me where I would have to confront and struggle to find my true self.

Yoga magically reappeared in my life for a brief moment in 2011 when I stumbled upon a free yoga event taking place on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The Curious George in me decided to give it a try.

This was my first encounter with the lovely miss Megan Campbell, who happened to be teaching on the hill that day. Megan's loving, selfless, carefree presence hooked me with an instant affinity. I felt rejuvenated and energized. I was truly inspired.

Yet, I did nothing about it. This feeling was quickly dead and gone.

Still, I made a connection with Megan online, with a Facebook and Twitter follow, and a subscription to her newsletter. I read about all of the amazing work she's done and continues to do and I felt inspired to do something about it.

So, on a very last minute whim, I decided to participate in the 2nd Annual Ottawa Yogini Yogathon where I officially met Megan for the first time and saw the superstar that she really is.


A few weeks later, I began my weekly sessions of Parliament Hill Yoga. Although I was still very much a beginner, I felt so humbled to be there taking part in something so magical. Once school was out for the summer, my 7 year old son joined in on the fun and was exposed to the practice of yoga for the first time in his life, an experience that we will cherish forever.
When the last session of Parliament Hill Yoga ended on September 12th, I was already on Day 12 of my 30 Day Be The Change Challenge. After class, I finally listened to what my heart was telling me and I decided that I could do more.

You see, for the first 12 days of this challenge, my daily exercise consisted of walking my son to and from school every day and practicing yoga at home (thanks to the awesome YouTube videos that Megan put together for the group). Combined with healthy eating, daily affirmations, healing mantras, chakra work, meditation and random acts of kindness, I figured I had it all covered.

Truth is, I hesitated.

Even though the offer was out there, I didn't want to take part in the unlimited yoga classes at Pure Yoga Ottawa because I was scared. I felt that I didn't have enough courage inside myself to walk through the doors of a yoga studio. It was something that was completely out of my comfort zone. My inner voice wanted me to stay where I was, where I was comfortable. Up to this 12 day mark I actually listened.

I finally stopped listening to my inner critic and attended my first ever class inside the studio. It was a Wednesday evening class with Ichih Wang. I kinda sorta already knew of Ichih from "The Big One" on Parliament Hill. It was definitely the biggest yoga session I'd ever been to, with almost 2400 people in attendance.

Now, here I was, in a small but cozy hot room for the very first time, not knowing what to expect. As soon as Ichih started talking, I felt completely comfortable and I soon realized that I had nothing to fear.

After powering through Ichih's class, I decided that I still wanted more. So I joined in on the next class, also led by Ichih, which was a softer, slower yin yoga session. Bittersweet!

After that experience, I finally began to listen to what my mind and my body wanted and I treated myself to more yoga. A total of 15 sessions in the studio, which is alot for me considering I was used to doing only one session a week.
You see, there's something special (almost magical) about being in the hot room. Something happens. Something healing. Something transformative.

During my 30 Day Be The Change Challenge journey, I realized that on and off the mat, I still have a s*?! ton of work to do on myself. I feel like I'm struggling to find my genuine self as I continue to question myself as I know myself.

I now know a bit about what a genuine yoga practice looks like though:

A genuine practice does not come easily.

It isn’t about increasing your flexibility or losing weight.

A genuine yoga practice does not give ego a boost.

Instead, I feel humbled at my own limitations as I practice my poses.

I have become more aware of how acts of kindness (donating a pair of shoes to an impoverished child) do not change the system (the child still lives in poverty).

I've confronted some of my own demons on the mat.

I've realized that I have unforgiveness stored in my heart chakra.

I'm learning to love myself more and, in the process, to love others as I slowly release pain from this life and (at times) the pain from previous lives.

I still have so much to learn, yet I always feel like I have accomplished something worthwhile after a practice. I bring this energy and sense of achievement home with me where it has a positive effect. I am very selective with the elements I add to my life and yoga is one of those welcomed additions. It has already enriched my life so much, far beyond the time I spend practicing the poses.

Yoga inspires me. It makes me more fun to live with and it awakens my mind. For me, yoga is about making peace with myself and others and embracing who I am-both on and off the mat.

Now I what yoga does and what it’s used for;

Healing. Transformation.

Exactly what I've been looking for.

“Healing is not, after all, the same as curing. Healing does not mean going back to the way things were before, but rather of allowing what is now to move us closer to God.” — Ram Dass

September 21, 2012

Be The Change Challenge: 30 Day Mind, Body, & Soul Challenge

Letting Go

There are periods in life when we need to look back, examine everything that happened, release what's no longer serving us and renew commitments that are still important. 
When I started this 30 Day Challenge on September 1st, I was afraid of letting go. I was more concerned with perfecting each yoga pose rather than embracing the natural process of yoga. I think most of us have been conditioned to "continually strive for improvement". We are taught to be competitive, not only with other people but also with ourselves: "Winners never quit, quitters never win", "Strive for the best", "Go for the gold", "No pain, no gain", "You can never win if you never begin". I've noticed that when I place too much emphasis and focus on the outcome (which hasn't even happened yet), much of the enjoyment is taken away.

Just for a moment, I'd like you to think about something that you really love to do.  Whether it's a love for cooking or writing, running or painting, even if it seems like something small and trivial. Now, take a moment to think about all the rewarding aspects of this activity. Like, if you win a race you have a ribbon or medal to show off, or a beautiful piece of artwork to display on the wall. Bittersweet isn’t it?  But when you really stop and think about it, these tangible items are only just simple reminders of the pleasure you get out of actually doing.

Taking this approach to the yoga mat has made all the difference. When practicing yoga, I've realized that there are certain poses that can humble even the strongest ego. Take Vrikshasana (Tree pose) for example. Looks simple enough, right?

The yogis I've seen in pictures on the internet or in magazines always look so blissful, balanced on one leg with their arms extending toward the sky. Okay, but when it's my turn, I certainly don't look like a model in a magazine. I still wobble and roll. Sometimes my face is all scrunched up in fierce determination.  Oh no! I just toppled out of the pose anyway. But, guess what, I've executed the pose, achieved balance, relinquished control, remained in the present moment, and, above all, managed to laugh at myself.

The one thing that's even more beautiful than the poses themselves is the transition from one pose to the next.  For me, the transition from upward facing dog to downward facing dog has become more enjoyable than the actual end pose itself.  I notice that when I bring more of my awareness to the "in between” poses, I understand where the word “flow” comes from. The poses are no longer separate, they are part of one giant fluid movement.

The same thing happens when I focus on the now in everything I do.  If I try to find enjoyment in the act of performing, the idea of a goal becomes almost irrelevant.  Guilt pokes me from my past and fear creeps in from the future. Yet, the only thing present is me.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Covered Blueberry Bliss Balls

These Raw Vegan Chocolate Covered Blueberry Bliss Balls are inspired by this recipe from YumUniverse contributor Rea Frey Holguin.

1 cup fresh or soaked dried dates
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen. I like frozen for this recipe)
1/4 cup cocoa or carob powder
1/4 cup hemp seeds

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice

In a food processor, process almonds until finely ground.
Add dates and process until mixture forms a ball and sticks together.
Add the remaining ingredients until well mixed.
Roll into small balls and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Makes about 30 balls.  

You can also pack these firmly into square pan, which would create about 16 brownies. Store them in the freezer and take them out to thaw when you want one, or four.  You can also store in the fridge in a sealed container.

Optional additions: chocolate chips, cinnamon, hemp protein, coconut, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, agave nectar, hazelnuts, frozen cherries or strawberries, and more.

Optional Chocolate Ganache:
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, agave nectar, or raw coconut nectar
1/4 cup cocoa powder  

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. If mixture becomes too thick, gently warm the bowl over another bowl of hot water before dipping. 

Dip each ball in chocolate. 
Remove with fork and place on a rack (or parchment paper-lined sheet).
Sprinkle with sea salt, cinnamon, coconut, hemp seeds, chopped nuts, or as is.
Place back into the refrigerator until set.

September 12, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday #7

Fall is the season of letting the falling leaves from the trees.  Time to clear away old baggage, to let go of old energies like fear and stress, and make room for all of the wonderful things that want to grow in your life; love, peace, radiant health, joy, connection to your Higher Self , etc.
I love the Fall season and its change of pace: the slower, sluggish mornings, the daily walks in the crisp fresh air, the evenings spent with a good book. We also seem to be naturally seem to be 'calling it a day' earlier, becoming more attuned to the sun's rhythm, I suppose. It is my favorite time of the year.

Something else usually happens in the Fall...we tend to start eating more.  Our bodies start adjusting to the cooler temperatures and the piling up of layers of clothing. And of course, reveling in the ongoing challenge of playing with new flavors and textures.

What a fantastic way to kick off this week's edition of What I Ate Wednesday. 
Thank you again to the lovely miss Jenn for this brilliant idea xo

Start Breakfast with Green Juice/Smoothies filled with Fresh Fruits & Vegetables!  
I design smoothies that work for me and help me maintain a healthy weight and creative thought.
Green juices/smoothies supply you with the required minerals, fatty acids beneficial protein, vitamins, and water, whatever your body and mind needs, depending how you make them. They may not work for everyone but they sure do work for me. 

Quick Nutritious Lunches Keep Me Going Without Slowing Me Down!
Super Nutrient Dense Salads feed my body with fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals to help keep me going throughout the day..awesome!
Packed with fresh greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard, sprouts, or cabbage, fresh salads are Mother Nature's fast food! Add your favorite superfoods like goji berries, hemp seeds, chia seeds, nuts, raisins, or other dried fruits. Fresh salads have such high water content too...ahhhh hydration!

"Almost Like A Gourmet Restaurant" Raw Food Dinners!
Dinner is new and exciting at our house. Fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, sprouts, seeds, and nuts are prepared in such a way that they easily become healthy versions of familiar cooked foods that literally blow your mind with their flavor, texture, and satisfying heartiness. 
Everything from raw pizza, to burgers, to lasagna, to fettuccini alfredo, to ice cream can be prepared using raw, 100% vegan foods. Best of all, with a few exceptions of course, you can eat as much raw, whole food as you want without gaining weight. You won't feel hungry and you won't feel deprived.

I always loooove the simplicity of wraps.  Here are a few of my favorite fillings:
In The Mood For Dessert?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Lately I've been snacking on raw chocolate, which is so simple and easy to make: 1/3 cup melted Coconut Oil, 1/4 cup Cacao Powder, and 1/4 cup pure Maple Syrup. Add in almonds, hazelnuts, raisins, dried cherries, hemp seeds, coconut, or whatever it is your heart desires.  Pour onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Freeze until set.  Cut into pieces and store in the fridge.  YUM! 

It's cheaper than buying one of these babies, that's for sure!
At $7.00 a pop, it was the perfect thing for me to snack on that one particular day when I was at the health food store and desperately NEEDED chocolate! :) 
Enjoy! xo Maria...and "The Taste Tester" too!

September 11, 2012

think you can't change the world?

Too late, you already have! It was changed for the better the minute you were born. There are more people than you can imagine who will never be the same because they came in contact with you, even if only for a fleeing moment. -Gail Purcell Elliott

This past Saturday, "The Taste Tester" and I attended the 2012 Ottawa Folk Festival.
Even though Environment Canada called for "unstable weather conditions" and a "severe storm alert", the music played on.
Miraculously, the storm warning was lifted at 3pm, just in time for us to see our star...
The lovely miss Kina Grannis. She is just the sweetest thing ever with an undeniable passion for music. Guitar in hand, with her curly brown hair, and a warm gentle smile, Kina certainly captured our hearts.

I've loved Kina's music ever since I discovered her on YouTube in 2009, two years after she first joined YouTube. In 2007, Kina made a music video and entered herself into the Doritos Crash The Super Bowl contest. Kina's video “Message From Your Heart” aired during the Super Bowl and because people loved her so much, she had a YouTube following, a Twitter following, a #1 video on, a street team and, for a short time, a record deal. Kina forfeited her record label, determined to record and release the songs she’d been writing for years. Kina self-funded and independently-released Stairwells in early 2010.

We got to meet Kina, give hugs, and chat for a few moments. My camera battery died just as we were getting a picture together, but luckily, Kina's friend Tim snapped a photo with his iPhone that I pulled off Kina's site. Ahhhh!
This was "The Taste Tester's" first music show EVER...and his first time meeting someone famous!
This is how happy he was...
Happy enough to do a little *happy dance* after the show! ☼
That's Alberta-born honky-tonker Corb Lund playing in the background.  His album, Cabin Fever is the #1 album in Canada. He's so fun and energetic. A real cowboy!

Here are a few of my favorite Kina Grannis songs:

Continue to do what you do and inspire others. Stay true! The world needs more people like you!

September 3, 2012

Marvelous in My Monday #3

Hello my Lovelies!

I trust that you're all feeling marvelous today! 
I too am feeling quite Marvelous in my Monday today!

Here's why:

Megan Campbell's Be The Change: 30 Day Mind, Body, and Soul Challenge..a challenge that started Sept 1, 2012 and runs for 30 days.

When I first read about this 30 Day Challenge several months ago via Facebook and email messages, I knew deep in my heart that it was something I wanted to be a part of. Even though I knew this, it wasn't actually until the very last minute (final registration day) that I finally declared to myself "Yes! I CAN do this!"
Have you ever wondered how to make a sustainable difference in your health, your life, your world? Well, this challenge is definitely showing me how!

Entering Day #3 with a Heart of Gratitude

I truly believe that there is nothing that contributes better to a person’s overall long-term health and happiness more than cultivating the heart with gratitude. When we have a grateful heart, we can easily accentuate our radiant beauty, attractiveness, happiness, and inner health. Our lives become more blessed, more beautiful, more marvelous, more harmonious, more righteous, more perfect than we can ever imagine or open our eyes to!
But to begin to see all of this, we have to start being grateful for what we can already see.

A Challenge to Myself: 

For the remainder of this 30 Day Challenge, I will randomly select a few tasks - or Random Act of Kindness from the following list:

-Write a note of appreciation to your mailman
-Compliment a stranger sincerely
-Write a thank you note to someone
-Look for something around you that can be fixed, picked up, or attended to (put shopping carts back, pick up trash laying around, pick up something that has fallen over, etc)
-Give a lottery ticket/gift card/free coffee to a stranger
-Send a handmade card or a letter to someone you care for
-Write a note to management or someone who has treated you nice while doing their job (waiter, clerk, sales person., etc)
-When you go somewhere or do something, ask someone around you if you can pick up, drop off or do something for them while you're at it
-Cut coupons and leave them at the register for others
-Cut an article out of the newspaper that would interest a friend and mail it to them.
-Leave "Have a nice day" stickers/notes somewhere
-Put together a writing kit (stationery, envelopes, stamps, pen, etc) and give to someone
-Comment on someone's webpage that you really like.
-Send a card to someone in the military overseas
-Start a conversation up with someone that you don't know
-Leave something cheery or nice for all your neighbors, co-workers, or a stranger (spring bag of seeds, fun post its, fun office supplies, flowers, random gift)
-Put change in a row of vending machines
-Visit a nursing home. Spend time visiting with someone who doesn't get visitors
-Put something you no longer need for free on Kijiji or craigslist
-Leave something for someone at an area where it most might be used, (book in reading area, umbrella near door on rainy day, bag of seeds near bird feeding area)
-Leave a book you have already finished somewhere for someone else to read.
-Drop off a toy or game at a hospital
-Drop off a toy or game at a homeless shelter.
-At post office leave some extra stamps for someone.
-Find a nice picture you have taken with a friend and send it to them with a note.
-Buy a phone card and give to a homeless shelter for them to give to someone.
-Open the phone book, pick a name, and send them something anonymously (movie tickets, thank you card, you are appreciated card, book, etc.)
-Take flowers to a hospital and give them to someone who hasn't had any visitors.
-Send/Bring something special to someone who recently had a baby (diapers, clothes, toys, gift for mom)
-Bring cake, pie, chocolate, flowers, plant, etc to a neighbor or senior citizen
-Send someone a small gift anonymously
-Make a CD and give to a friend or family member
-Donate your time (if you offer a service for a living, or a product, or seminar, or class, or whatever it is that you do) as a gift to someone.
-Invite someone who is usually alone out for dinner.
-Share a comic strip or something funny with someone.
-Leave a chocolate or other treat for someone.
-Write a note, send a e-greeting "just to say hello" to someone who might need a pick me up
-Visit a hospital. Bring smiles, treats and friendly conversation for patients.
-Send a thank you note or something cheerful to someone who may need an extra smile
-Put coins in a parking meter that expired/will soon expire
-Send a gift or write a thank-you note to someone who has made a difference in your life.
-Drop off a plant, flowers, or treats at a public service organization.
-Send someone an animated greeting card by email.
-Write a note to the boss of someone who has helped you, praising the employee.
-Bring a teddy bear to police department or children's treatment center to give to a traumatized child
-Drop coins in an area where children play, where they can easily find them.
-Make/Write your favorite recipe and give it to someone
-Buy a copy of your favorite book and give it to someone
-Write letters of appreciation to groups who are helping the community, the environment, etc.
-Send a card to a friend or relative you haven't seen for some time. Include a photo of yourself and/or your family.
-Make a point of introducing yourself to someone you see all of the time but never say hello to.
-Send someone an anonymous scratch card, lottery ticket, theater ticket, gift voucher, a funny card, chocolate, or whatever you feel they would enjoy
-Send someone a $5, $10 or $20 gift card.
-Offer to baby sit for someone.
-Donate clothes
-Put change in a charitable change box
-Bring cookies or snacks to someone/an establishment
-Tape some change to a payphone with a card saying it is for whoever needs it
-Write anonymous, loving post-its for strangers to find.

If the task is a viable option which I can successfully complete as a Random Act of Kindness both time wise and financially, then it will be completed and crossed off the list. 

Please feel free to leave a comment with your idea for a Random Act of Kindness. 
I am open to any and all suggestions that are presented to me :)

Keep being marvelous...always!
xo Maria

September 1, 2012

Be The Change Challenge: 30 Day Mind, Body, & Soul Challenge

Day #1 of the Be The Change Challenge

Better Sleep
Last night I went to bed at 2:22am. This is nothing new for me. In fact, for about 3 years now, this has been quite normal for me. When I woke up this morning, I found an interesting article in my email inbox. Apparently, "good quality sleep is essential for health and happiness. Not enough sleep will lead to cravings, crankiness, premature aging, depleted adrenal glands, poor focus, and many other unpleasant things." Ha!
So, why can't I sleep?

Well, according to Ayurveda, insomnia and restless sleep are symptoms of aggravated Vata Dosha. Vata is responsible for movement, activity, and thinking process. It is light, fast, and airy by its nature. When Vata Dosha is balanced, we feel creative, light, inspired, and energized. When Vata is aggravated we feel frazzled, fatigued, unable to stop a constant flow of thoughts, anxious, and turn into insomniacs with a hyperactive mind.

Here are a few things that might be aggravating my nervous system and causing insomnia:   
  • Eating a late dinner (less than 3 hours before sleep) 
  • Having caffeine less than 5 hours before sleep  
  • Watching TV or staring at the computer screen before bed. Bright lights activate your nervous system and can cause insomnia. It is better to read a good book or engage in a friendly conversation with your family. It will be less aggravating to the brain and nervous system allowing you to fall asleep better. 
  • Eating a heavy, spicy, or fatty meal for dinner. Digestion takes up a lot of energy. While digesting, your body is active and you may be forced to stay awake along with your working belly. Even if you manage to fall asleep with a full stomach, the quality of sleep won’t be good, since your body is still processing the food. 
  • Not living in tune with nature. At one point our ancestors didn’t have a choice but to live by nature’s rhythms – asleep with sundown and up with sunrise. With social life and tv shows being on everyone’s to do list in the evening, we got disconnected from the original harmonious existence with nature. Going against the law of nature has its price. According to Ayurveda, most people should go to bed before 10pm to get the most restful sleep.
Ayurveda Sleep-Inducing Tips:

Ayurvedic healing remedies aim to restore greater balance to the specific Doshas that are out of balance. If you're anything like me and have trouble sleeping or falling asleep, here are a few things you can do to help your body and nervous system to prepare for a good night of restful sleep: 

-One of the simplest and most effective ways to induce sleep is to rub some oil on the scalp and the soles of the feet before going to bed. Use sesame oil, brahmi oil, jasmine oil, or coconut oil and massage gently for a few minutes. Slightly warming the oil before applying is helpful.

-Drink a cup of warm almond milk before going to bed. You can drink plain milk if you prefer, but adding a pinch of nutmeg (1/8 tsp) and cardamom will make it more delicious as well as more effective.

-Have a vata-pacifying dinner: include foods that are warm, moist, and grounding. Avoid eating dry or raw foods, and drinking ice-cold beverages.

-Set a daily routine and bedtime ritual schedule for yourself.

-Give yourself a positive affirmation, let go of the negative ‘I can’t sleep’. Positive affirmations to try: I sleep like a baby, I sleep well, my sleep is restful and nourishing to my body

-Chamomile tea is caffeine free and is a traditional remedy for insomnia.

-Valerian root is great to relieve stress and induce relaxation. It is available in tea or drops form at most health foods stores.

-Try a guided relaxation before sleep.

Sweet happy dreams!

Be the Change Challenge: 30 Day Body, Mind, and Soul Challenge

Starting September 1st, 2012, I will participate in the Be The Change Challenge: 30 Day Body, Mind, and Soul Challenge hosted by my favorite Ottawa yoga instructor Megan Campbell of Journey of the Yogini.

During the month of  September, I will commit to a 30 day Health and Wellness Program, which will help to create change in my own life, as well as the lives of others! This includes a minimum of 10 minutes everyday to being active (yoga, fitness, dancing, anything!), to doing my best to follow the nutrition tips, and to be open to/trying the holistic healing advice.
I know from personal experience that Yoga can give us the tools to become happier, healthier, and more socially conscious. This may sound like a big claim, but it is the true! This is a chance for me to transform my life and the lives of others on a global scale!

Many spiritual traditions refer to 30 days and the power it has to transform habits, relationships, jobs, and patterns. It's within that time span that we gain the power to make or break habitual patterns and ways of living. Megan has led 2 Be the Change: 30 Day Body, Mind, and Soul Challenges over the past year and she says that "Everytime, magic happens for participants and for myself."

It seems like a big commitment, but I can ensure you that it will be one of the most powerful things I do for yourself...and for others.

Many spiritual traditions refer to 30 days and the power it has to transform habits, relationships, jobs, patterns. It's within that time span that you gain the power to make or break habitual patterns and ways of living. Together, we are working towards improving our own health and wellness through a 30 day body and mind challenge, so that we may be more effective in all that we do, and part of what we are trying to do is create change. Through the Challenge we are collectively trying to also raise awareness and funds for women and girl survivors of human sex trafficking in India through the Global Seva Challenge, sponsored by Off the Mat, Into the World.

Since 2007, the Global Seva Challenge has raised over $2million for projects in Cambodia, Uganda, South Africa, and Haiti. The Global Seva Challenge India 2012 aims to raise awareness of the roots causes and impact of the global sex trafficking industry, support organizations in India that are providing refuge, rehabilitation, and economic opportunities to survivors, and empower survivors to lead lives with dignity and respect.

Through this Challenge, both the 30 Day Challenge and the Global Seva Challenge, we are supporting Apne Aap, Sanlaap, Kolkata Sanved, Made by Survivors, and Clean Himalaya.

I invite you to consider participating with me - 30 days of thoughtful yoga and wellness practice, while raising awareness and funds for survivors of global sex trafficking.

If you feel compelled to learn more about this issue and how you can help, you can access the charitable sites through my fundraising page. I'd like to try and raise a minimum of $250 during the month of September.

Here's a bit more from Megan's site to explain where the funds will go. In May, $20,000+ was raised for Because I Am a Girl during the Ottawa Yogini Yogathon. She's such an inspiration to all.