Taking our practice to the next level step by step!hv

Yoga is so much more than just our physical asana (posture) practice. When most people think of yoga they think about the body and making shapes or they just think it means stretching. But it’s So Much More!

I shared in my last post about how last year I was pushing my asana practice for the sake of impressive Instagram posts and how unfulfilling that was. And now that I have a stronger spiritual practice and not as much asana I feel much more grounded and balanced.

Yoga is about wearing your heart on your sleeve and keeping your mind and heart open to the new. Yoga is connection, yoga is listening, yoga is love and kindness. Yoga is being thoughtful and honest to yourself and everyone around you. Yoga is finding calm and peace. I believe it’s incredibly hard to achieve all these things only by using the physical practice therefore I have began to integrate simple practices into my everyday life to help calm the mind and find some peace as I navigate through my busy days.

I’m sharing only 2 for now but there will be more to come in the future!

1.Find Stillness – Stillness, mindfulness, awareness whatever you wanna call it. I’m not even saying meditate. You don’t need a 15 minute block of time to find stillness and calm the mind (although if you do have an extra 15-30 minutes meditation is an amazing practice). But really all you need to begin a mindfulness practice is the moment that you’re in right now. First put your phone down. Then take a deep breath. Feel the air entering through your nose, filling your lungs and belly and then softly exhale. You can close your eyes or gaze softly at any point. I like to look out the window finding a tree, bird, or flower. Something natural. In the time it takes to take this breath let the mind relax. Let go of thoughts and plans, concern and worry just for a second and be with the breath. You will experience an immediate and overwhelming sense of calm. Enjoy it because it won’t last forever. But the more often you practice this breath and this moment to yourself the longer the feeling will last. This is what living in the present moment feels like and I got to say it feels damn good! Now that I have made this a habit its starting to come naturally, without thought. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or stressed even joyful or excited I simply breath and let go. Letting the moment be just as it.

2.Positive Self Talk – Becoming aware of that voice inside of our heads is so important. Unfortunately the voice we hear is most times negative, telling us to do better, that we’re not good enough and judging people and situations negatively. This is normal. We all hate ourselves sometimes because of this nasty voice which sucks! But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I believe the first step to changing the tone of our inner monologue is to simply just hear it without judgment and without trying to change it. Just listen. We can learn so much from listening. Notice what kinds of things the voice says, its tone of voice and when it happens most often. Remember that THIS VOICE ISNT YOU! You are not your negative thoughts.

Now that you have a grasp of what, when and how your inner monologue makes you feel you can begin to use your awareness practice to change the negativity into something positive. So the next time you feel like you failed instead of letting regret and shame overwhelm you take the time to stop, breath deeply and say to yourself “I am enough” or “even though it didn’t work out I am proud of myself for trying” something of the sort. The constant reinforcement of positivity really begins to change the voice over time. It’s like training a dog with treats. The more treats a puppy gets for being a good boy the more he will be a good boy because he knows he will get lots of pets and love and treats if he is. For us the treat is the positive thought instead of the negative. We will therefore begin to feel better about ourselves (like the good boys and girls we are) and then we can actually start to give ourselves the love and kindness we deserve.

You can also use this principle when observing a situation that you’re not directly involved in. Say you’re watching some competition show like American Idol (is this even still a show?) anyway someone goes to sing and they’re really trying and they believe they’re great but actually they sound like a bunch of alley cats fighting over the left over fish bones in the trash… instead of feeling embarrassed and ashamed for this person you can send some kind, loving thoughts. Just putting positive thoughts out into the universe can change everything. Slowly but surely.

In summary: take some time out of your day to look inward and just breath. Allow yourself to let go even just for a second. And take some time to listen to yourself. What are you telling yourself. If it’s not nice then be nicer! Be as nice to yourself as you would be to your best friend. If we all did this the world would be a much happier place.

Much love,



How one year changed me and my Yoga practice.

It’s been a while. My last blog post was about a year ago already. It’s so crazy how fast the time flies even when you’re trying to be mindful of it.

Since then I got married to the man of my dreams and could finally begin to settle down here I’m Zürich. It’s a long ways from my home in Canada and every transition (especially ones so big) need time. The last year has been filled with personal highs and lows as I’ve worked to find the balance I need not only to achieve my professional goals in a new country, maintain a social life, stay happy but also to keep my own yoga practice strong. There’s a bit about my last year.

The first few months of this big life transition (spring 2017) were pretty easy. I arrived in Zürich fresh from my YTT full of new knowledge and inspiration. I didn’t have a work permit which means I had all the time in the world for my practice. Sometimes I practiced pure asana at home or in the park for 3 hours a day! I felt fantastic in my body and life was good.

After the wedding in May I was able to work so I found a great studio here where I began to teach a weekly yoga class and was able to sub for many different styles including Anusara and even Ariel Yoga. I was feeling so motivated in my own personal asana practice at this time but I also felt like I was lacking on the spiritual side of things. I was all about pushing myself physically to get into a cool pose for an Instagram post which is obviously not what yoga is about. I was feeding my ego, trying to get more followers and that was not satisfying at all. In fact I started to feel insecure because I ended up spending a lot of time on Instagram comparing my practice to others. Not a healthy habit.

In the fall I got myself a position as the English Assistant at a daycare and also got a job working in a small, cozy cafe. Life went from 0 to 100 in no time at all. From April when I had nothing but time to September when i worked more then 100% with my weekly Hatha class on top of it all was an enormous transition. It was honestly too much but it felt good to finally be able to contribute financially to our lives.

My commute each day is looong which makes my work day about 12 hours. Therefore I pretty much said bye–bye to my asana practice. After full days with screaming children that I didn’t understand (Swiss German is a hell of a language) I was exhausted. I had no energy and no motivation for an hour long practice each day. I was lucky when I got on my mat for some gentle stretches. I was generally feeling low, overworked and uninspired. I even stopped teaching for a month because I just didn’t want to. It was rough.

It took me a few month and some honest words from a wise woman at the yoga studio to make me realize that my change of pace from yoga every damn day to almost nothing was completely OK. She simply said to me “life comes in phases“ and with these words all of my guilt about my declining practice disappeared. The ability let go of how things used to be and move with the times is a blessing. To just let yourself go with the flow. Because everything changes all of the time. No moment in time or situation will ever stay the same. I then started to realize that I was progressing in life. It was the first time that I genuinely felt I had moved forward which was kind of exciting! I finally had a real job, a good income, a tight circle of friends (that I didn’t see often enough but still), a beautiful home and most importantly a loving, supportive husband. Things that I never imagined I would have had already 10 years ago. And deep down I was happy. I learnt that not practicing arm balances for a few months doesn’t make me a bad person. It simply maked me a busy person. Which is OK sometimes.

After I was able to accept this change I was ready to get out of my funk. Work a little less and make more time for me. I started to revamp what MY practice looks like and how it feels. I am still working almost full time but I have a stronger, deeper practice now then when I had the time to asana for 3 hours a day because now I have balance. A frequent asana practice paired with daily meditation and mindfulness. It’s taken some time but I feel more connected and happier with myself and my practice then ever before.

If this resonates with you or you’re interested in reading more I’ll be back soon with a couple of ways for you to help your own personal practice suit your lifestyle, so that it’s perfect for you no matter where you are, what you’re doing or how much time you have.

Much love,


Ayurveda: Kitchari

kitchari 2

In my last post I went through a little bit of what Ayurveda is and why it is important to me! Before continuing to read this blog, please go back and take a look at my post Ayurveda, if you haven’t already!

This post will be about an Ayurvedic dish called Kitchari, its benefits and a how-to-cook!

Kitchari is a dish made with basmati rice and split yellow mung dal beans used in Ayurveda to help cleanse the digestive system because Ayurveda holds the belief that over all physical & mental health starts with a healthy gut! The rice and beans together make a very easy to digest meal and the combined use of many spices gives it a flavour like most Indian food (aka delicious)! This dish can be used as simply a part of a balanced diet or you can use it to cleanse; eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2-5 days. I figure that any cleanse where you’re actually allowed to eat something is pretty awesome and honestly a lot healthier than the ones where you pretty much starve yourself.

A couple reasons why eating Kitchari for breakfast, lunch & dinner is so great for our health:

  • By eating a meal that is so simple and easy for the body to digest we give our organs a much needed break. I mean think about it! Our digestive systems works pretty damn hard digesting 3 different meals a day, plus snacks and whatever else. And everyday we eat something different than the day before! So by eating Kitchari for every meal even just for a few days, it is like sending out digestive system on vacation, & everyone likes vacation time!
  • It is so so easy to make & lets be honest, sometimes we need a mental break from the kitchen as well.
  • The split mung dal beans are high in protein and the combination of the bean and rice provides us with the 10 essential amino acids. And because we are receiving enough protein our blood sugar stays stable and therefore we can remain in a good mood!
  • Because our bodies are not being strained by low blood sugar and its side effects, the body can focus on eliminating toxins and burning fat. Kitchari is also excellent for de-aging of our cells!
  • When the body becomes stressed (for example from low blood sugar caused by strenuous cleansing) it will automatically start to store fat as a survival mechanism. And I am pretty sure that is the opposite of what most people want as they start to cleanse…fat storage. By making life easy on the body (by nourishing it with an easy to digest, well balanced meal) the body is instead able to burn fat! Now that’s better!
  • Kitchari not only cleanses the digestive system but can also heal any damage we have caused to out intestines from lack of a proper diet and stress.
  • It is said that when the metabolism is working to its best and the intestines are healthy it becomes easier to reach a state of deep peace. Therefor Kitchari is also great for spirituality.

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you…Kitchari is a one pot, no mess kind of meal! This is the recipe from my second pot and it was damn good! I added a few things and took some things out. Honestly you can customize this dish pretty much to your liking!

You’ll need

  • 1.5 cups split yellow mung dal beans (washed). You can find these in your local Indian or Asian grocery store.
  • 1-cup white basmati rice
  • 1-tablespoon coconut butter (or Ghee, but I couldn’t find that)
  • 1-teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1-teaspoon fennel seeds (which I omitted because I do not like fennel)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 3 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 3 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Half of a sweet potato cubed
  • 1 carrot cubed
  • 1 zucchini cubed (it is possible to add any seasonal vegetable that strikes your fancy! But I really enjoyed the zucchini)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro garnish
  • Avocado garnish (optional)


Melt coconut oil is large pot.

Add mustard seeds and chia seeds and brown until they pop.

Add in all other spices. Stir to combine and let cook for a few minutes on low heat.

Add in vegetables (here carrot and sweet potato) cook for 2 minutes.

Add 4 cups of water, 2 cups of coconut milk, cardamom pods and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.

Once boiling add in rice and beans and reduce heat to low.

Let cook 10 to 15 minutes or until rice and beans become soft but there is still juice left in the pot.

Combine in zucchini (or any other veggie that doesn’t take long to cook)

Turn off burner, add salt to taste, place lid on pot and wait patiently for about 5 more minutes or until most of the water and coconut milk as cooked into the mixture.

You do not want to over cook this. I did on my first try and although it still tasted delicious it was a little too mushy for my liking.

Garnish with cilantro and enjoy an extremely health, comforting, cleansing, nourishing and detoxifying meal! (Or a few of them if you decide to cleanse 😉 )


Hope you enjoyed the read and will give Kitchari a shot!


Namaste, Katy



What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medicine that, instead of focusing on fixing problems/diseases once they have already occurred (like western medicine does) Ayurveda focuses on prevention of problems/diseases before they occur in the body. I think that may just be the most well thought out system in the world! Take care of yourself and don’t become sick. It couldn’t be more obvious right?

I’ve just recently started to dive into Ayurveda. I only know the basics but I am already hooked. Simple things like enjoying a hot cup of water or tea first thing in the morning to help activate your digestive system, self massage at night to release toxins and of course practicing yoga have already made a difference in my over all well being. And it only makes sense. This ancient form of medicine has been in use for over 5000 years so obviously something is working!

One of the main focuses of Ayurveda is that overall good health starts with good digestive health which I believe 100% because I’ve experience both bad and good digestive health and I’m telling you, your body & mind feels so much better when things are running smoothly down there! Because if there is build up of waste in your intestines that for some reason or another isn’t passing though, your body cannot absorb all of the nutrients from the food you consume.

I want to give you a look into my current health situation so you can understand why starting an Ayurvedic diet, focused on good intestinal/digestive health is important to me.

Last year I found out that I have a gluten allergy after quite the process. It started in March 2016. I became very ill with sharp stomach pain, fever and cold sweats. I thought I simply had the flu so I laid in bed for a few days but when my illness got worse on day 4, I mean when I went from being constipated to having diarrhea I knew something much more serious was happening.

But actually this story begins before this occurrence. In September 2015 I made the move from Canada to Switzerland to be with my boyfriend. Everything was going swimmingly until I realized some months later that I hadn’t had a really good poop since I left Canada. I can only attribute this to living in a new place. Different food, different water, things my body wasn’t used to, and not really being in tune with my body. Anyway I would drink a big, strong cup of Italian coffee every morning and hope for the best. The best did not come.

So back to March 2016. I went to a local physician who examined me and told me to go to the hospital immediately because he believed that I had a burst appendix. Awesome. So off I went to the Krankenhaus (Sickhouse when directly translated from German!) and after a very, very long day of being hooked up to machines and tubes and getting an ultrasound and a CAT scan they figured that my appendix was fine but rather I had an infection in my intestine (hello not pooping for 4 months…)

I was sent home with a prescription for 2 WEEKS of antibiotics. 2 weeks! Do you know what 2 weeks of antibiotics will do to you? Not nice stuff. The side efforts were astronomical.

Anyway during and after this time I kept on eating and drinking all the things I usually ate and drank like sandwiches being number one, but of course pizza and pasta and most importantly beer. Gluten city. One Saturday night in April of 2016, just 2 days before I flew home to Canada I got pretty tipsy on beer. Just good old-fashioned beer. Guess what…sick again. Body aches and pains, diarrhea, everything just like the first time. Flying across the world in this condition was not optimal but I wasn’t the sickest one on the plane (a lady puked on me), what a ride!

Anyway before I left Switzerland my boyfriend pointed out the fact that when I drank beer I would have awful hangovers that didn’t happen when I drank only wine or something else. He thought that I might have a gluten allergy.

So back home in Canada my BFF picked me up from the airport at 11pm and we went straight to the emergency room. The Dr. put me back on the same antibiotics for another 2 weeks (kill me) and off I went. Next day I visited my family physician and told him I thought it was gluten. I got a blood test and a few days later we found out for sure that I am indeed allergic to gluten (the ironic thing is that I grew up on a grain farm in middle of nowhere Canada, strange huh?)

But how allergic you ask? Just an allergy or full on celiac? This answer I don’t even know.

Of course after the blood test results came back I began immediately with a GF diet (which isn’t hard by the way if you’re thinking about trying it). For the reason that I was flying back to Zürich in a few weeks I did all I could to get in to see the gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy as soon as possible, which actually worked. Usually people wait months to see a specialist in Canada (free Health Care means waiting) but there was a cancellation and I was in! Because we didn’t have the normal amount of time to prepare for the procedure I was unaware that to really be clear if someone has celiac disease or not from a colonoscopy the patient has to be ON a gluten diet! I had been eating GF for about 2.5 weeks by now and feeling good, but the results of the colonoscopy came back indefinable. I may or may not have celiac disease. A year later I still don’t know for sure. So I stick to my GF diet because I feel better than I have in my entire life! Actually health.

Even going back to being a teenager and young(er) adult I was often very sick. I would have a cold for up to 3 months at a time or just get sick 3-5 times a year. I would also get cold soars about 3 times a year. Now that I keep my intestines healthy by sticking to my gluten free diet I have only been sick once in the last year (common spring cold, can’t really avoid it) and I have had no cold soars at all! Proof right there that good digestive health leads to over all good health!

So to begin my Ayurvedic diet I am starting with the classic Ayurvedic dish called Kitchari. It is actually a cleanse so I will be eating this dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner for at least a few days (we will see how long I can keep it up, hopefully make it a week)!

Seeing as this post is already quite long I will write back tomorrow with more information on Kitchari! Its benefits, recipe and so on!

Thanks for the read 🙂

Namaste, Katy

My first Class as the Teacher

My beautiful first class ❤

Yesterday I held my very first ever real life YOGA CLASS! It was very exciting for me 🙂

The last few weeks I have been preparing for my first real class by teaching my friend / neighbor (the only reason I put neighbor in there is to demonstrate how easy and convenient it is to teach her!) I walk across the street every morning and we practice either on her sunny balcony or when the sun decides not to shine, we practice in her living room. She wasn’t really a yoga person, she had tried a few classes but never got the feel for it. Now I believe she is hooked! She’s always telling me how much more energy she has and how good she feels, which of course gives me this fuzzy warm feeling inside. I am so happy that I get to help her on her yoga journey everyday but I have to say, there really is something special about having a whole room full of people to lead and help through their practice!

We did a typical Hatha yoga class. Starting with Pranayama (the Full Yogic Breath) moving into the warm up, Sun Salutations, standing sequence and a seated stretching sequence before Savasana. Very simple but perfect because 5 out of the 6 students in my class are new to yoga. I had some great feedback and even a student who has moved around other commitments to come back to class next week 🙂

I am honestly just thrilled that I have the ability and know how to help even just a few people become more centered, calm and fit! I want to thank Powerqi Zürich for providing me with the space I need to do what I love! And of course THANK YOU TO MY CLASS! I love you guys 🙂 see you next week!


Yoga & Creativity


I always wanted to be an artist, or even just someone creative. I’ve enjoyed drawing my whole life & am pretty ok at it but I never thought that made me an artist. I wanted to be a person who’s full of cool ideas and actually goes out and makes them happen. Sometimes I have the ideas & sometimes I don’t, which is ok. The problem was that even when I had a great idea for a painting, drawing or project I often would only think about it until another idea came into my head & I never actually ended up doing anything with the first idea. That was really a shame because I often had enough time but never the drive to follow through with an idea.

Since making yoga a daily part of my life my creativity has skyrocketed! There is never really a time when I’m at a loss of ideas or a time when I’m not actually working on something. Which is incredible because as of right now I have all of the time in the world!

I am living in Zürich with my Fiancée. The wedding is in May which means until then I am not able to work. I have all day everyday to do anything I want but this isn’t the first time I’ve been in Switzerland with everyday free as a bird.

I know when you read this you’re thinking “Oh if only I had so much free time I would do this and that, and I could travel here and see this”. It truly does sound like a dreamy lifestyle but I’m telling you after a few weeks of no work & all play you’ll be dying to get back to the office, especially if you’re someone like me who has ideas but not enough drive or knowhow (aka creativity) to follow through with them.

I had many problems in the past with all of my free time in Zürich. I would sleep late, wander around the city then come home and cook dinner and wait for my boyfriend to come home from work like a little golden retriever puppy, demanding love and attention. This was so extremely unsatisfying & mind numbing but I honestly felt like I couldn’t do anything else. I didn’t speak the language here and I didn’t have the drive to do much besides sleep late & cook. I felt pretty much completely useless.

Fast forward to today. A few years wiser & with a 200 hour Yoga teacher training under my belt. Ever single day I have something to do. I’m meeting people & talking about ideas. I’m painting & going to the local Museum to draw. I’m planning my wedding & having a damn good time doing it! (My sister-in-law is making my dress so I was able to design it myself which was amazing). I’m writing which is something I’ve never done before. I’m giving my neighbour yoga lessons in exchange for lunch & after just a few lessons I am absolutely thrilled to notice a difference in the openness of her body. Plus she keeps telling me she feels great! On top of all of this I have my own personal Asana, Pranayama & Meditation practice. Everyday of my life since my YTT at Marina Yoga has been full of love & a real want to do something great and show the world what I can do, which I’ve honestly never had before.

I feel so much more confident and I think that is one of the reasons why my creative levels have risen. I’m no longer terrified about what other people are going to say or think about me because I know that what they say and think doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am doing things that make me happy and my daily yoga practice has really helped me embrace the things that make me happy.

So if getting into shape, calming your mind, unwinding, de-stressing, and just generally doing something great for your body isn’t enough of a reason to practice yoga than practice to spark your creativity! Practice yoga to find what makes you happy and practice yoga so you can find the confidence to actually go out & DO what makes you happy! Practice yoga to find out who you are.


Namaste, Katy

Energetic Pranyama

I’m sitting on the train and lacking all energy. Why is it always the night before a big day that you can’t sleep? I just can’t seem to slow my mind down and shut off while in bed when I know that I have 8 million things to do and places to go in the morning. So what should I do now that it is already morning and I am terribly tired?

Well chocolate is helping me gain back some energy levels but that may not be the best solution (although the most delicious!). So in between nibbles of chocolate I’m practicing a combination of two very energizing Pranyama breathing exercises. Ujjayi and Surya Bhedana.

Ujjayi is also known as breath of fire, ocean breath or Darth Vader breath because it sounds like all of those things! By constricting the back of our throats and directing the breath there while inhaling and exhaling through the nose, we can warm up our breath before it even enters the body, so that it enters the lungs already full of energy. We use a full yogic breath while practicing ujjayi and most other pranyama breathing exercises (see previous post for full yogic breath). This warm, hissing breath is used before energetic and fast paced yoga classes. The actual sound of the breath allows us to stay focused on our breathing, helping our minds not to wander. By simply using this technique as I sit here I can feel an immediate awakening and warming effect. Pretty incredible I thought.

Surya Bhedana is also very powerful as it awakens our Yang side. Everyone’s heard of Yin and Yang but do we know what it means? Well Yin and Yang are the 2 sides of everything that have polar opposite energy. Let’s make a chart…

Yin                           Yang

Left                          Right

Inner                       Outer

Feminine               Masculine

Moon                       Sun

Passive                    Aggressive

So you see the difference. By practicing right nostril breathing we awaken the more active side of all of us, the Yang. We simply take out right hand in Mrigi mudra (placing our index and middle fingers at the base of our thumb) closing our left nostril with our ring finger and we inhale through the right nostril. After a full yogic inhale we close our right nostril with our thumb and exhale through the left. Repeat by inhaling again through the right nostril and continue on this way for 5 to 10 full rounds. It is the inhale through the right nostril that activates the Yang and starts to give our bodies this active energy.

Give these two breathing methods a try the next time you’re feeling low on energy and let me know what subtle energy differences you feel!

My day is looking up and I hope yours is too,

Namaste, Katy.