Simple Green Me

Cultural reporter for KUTV 2News and adjunct yoga/meditation professor blogs about wellness, green living, downsizing, simplifying, better travel✨and more. Offering mindfulness, meditation, goal-setting and decluttering coaching!

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Yoga for your Eyes!

Did you know that your EYES can do yoga? India’s revered ancient health practice called Ayurveda prescribes several exercises that it claims heals and improves eyesight. Along with improved eyesight and reduced chances of eye diseases, here are some benefits, according to Ayurveda:
improved concentration
calmer mind
relieves eye strain
eliminates dry eyes
Increases intuition and ability to see “the big picture” (third eye chakra)

To do yoga for the eyes, try these tips (many of which mentioned in Yoga Journal):

-Lubricate eyes with Ghee (or coconut oil, which contains luaric acid just like breast milk…raise your hand if you put breastmilk in your infant’s infected eyes!)
-Blink 20 times a minute while looking at screens
-Roll eyes in all directions (follow your thumb as you move it around)
-Focus on your hands near, then focus on them far, and continue for several rounds
-Rub hands together then cup the eyes
-In shoulder stand, let knees rest on eyes

Your eyes are the window to your brain; how they feel is a reflection of your state of mind. Meditation can greatly improve your mind, and therefore release tension and dryness of the eyes!


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Yoga and meditation during your menstrual cycle 

 In some areas of the world, women who are on their period are shown gestures of respect. This NPR article details a tribe in Ghana who treats its menstruating women as queens, sitting them under an umbrella and lavishing them with gifts. I had a student tell me about a Native American tribe that acted similarly, allowing women reprieve from any duties whilst doting on them in their special teepee while on their “moon” (as menstruation can be considered our internal “tide” and is anecdotally linked to the lunar cycle). I certainly don’t need these gestures, but the fact that women earn generally less than men while having more expenses – like feminine products and the “tampon tax” – doesn’t make that time of the month any easier. 

Let’s also mention how low-income assistance programs SNAP and WIC don’t cover a necessity like feminine products. Most prisons don’t even provide them, forcing some inmates to use unhealthy options that make them sick. 

Then, there’s the dismissal of our emotions as “hormonal,” instead of, “women are human beings who have thoughts and emotions that are valid, even if she’s mentruating” – or pregnant, for that matter. And last but perhaps most importantly, our stigma as “unclean” or the reaction of “gross!” if our period ever comes up in society. 

While it’s Not easy to be a menstruating woman in America and much of the world, I have found a few tricks to managing the discomfort of our cycle. 

1. THINX period underwear

You know how much money we spend on feminine products during our menstruating life? This HuffPo article calculates more than $2,000! So when these revolutionary, dry-technology “period underwear” came out – at just about $30 a pair – I jumped at the chance to save money (and the hassle of buying/changing fem products and trying to save my underwear from leaks). Now, I wear my undies without discomfort, wetness or fear of leaks! It feels too good to be true, but I tested them, and they work. My two pairs get me through my whole period – just throwing them in the washer at night. 

Another reason to love this (woman-run) company, is the fact that proceeds go to give dignity to underprivileged, menstruating women across the world. Their site says the company started after a girl in a third-world country told the CEO she misses school for a week every month because leaves and old rags don’t stop her period from leaking. So, yeah, a great cause to go along with a life-changing product. I’m not even scared of my next period.

2. These Yoga Poses

Reverse plank – sometimes the fatigue and possible food cravings leave us feeling powerless. Realize your strength with a pose that engages nearly all muscles in your body, and feel the energy rush back into you! 

Fish pose – This one revitalizes your mind and reenergizes your body by increasing blood flow to your brain. Traditionally, menstruating women should avoid inversions – or poses where the head is below the heart – because they possibly reverse the flow of blood Into one’s uterus. Even though there’s little scientific evidence of that actually happening, to be on the safe side, fish pose gives you all the benefits of an inversion without bringing your hips off the ground.

Bound angle pose – release tight hips and settle into your cycle with this pose of acceptance and vulnerability.

Click here to WATCH how to do these moves as I demonstrate during my monthly segment on Fresh Living! 

3. Sacral Chakra meditation

Our uterus is associated with the Sacral Chakra – svadhisthana – which is balanced when creativity and sensuality are expressed. Do a coloring book meditation, or sit and listen to a song that moves you, or mindfully eat your favorite food. Looking at the color orange, or chanting the mantra “Vam” aloud or in your mind (sound heals – here’s proof) can help soothe any pain in the area, physical or emotional. 

The Sacral Chakra is housed in the reproductive area

The Sacral Chakra is housed in the reproductive area

When you have the support of leakproof undies, yoga moves and meditations, our periods become a time of reflection, expression and recovery. Now let’s just hope society catches up with our newfound respect for this amazing process, without which, we wouldn’t have estrogen or babies. 

If you have time, read this article on the global menstruation crisis. 

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Yoga for Sciatica / Low-back Pain

As someone with five herniated discs, I know pain. I know many of you suffer from back pain, too – particularly a common form known as sciatica.

Sciatica – or sciatic pain – is an uncomfortable condition causing nerve pain from the hip possibly all the way down to the toes. The cause can be anything from a herniated spinal disc to a tight muscle in your glute pushing on the sciatic nerve, and it is usually only is painful on one side of the body. So, to alleviate some of that searing pain (of course, first, ask your doctor and then) it’s time to release some tension and make room for the nerve.

Try these yoga stretches:

  • reclined leg stretch with strap
  • figure four
  • pigeon pose
  • standing twist
  • standing hamstring stretch

Watch step-by-step instruction of these poses on my Fresh Living segment that airs every month on KUTV 2News. CLICK HERE TO WATCH!

Coming up on October 1, 2016, learn how to get control of your emotions, health and life with my Meditation Intensive. Anyone can enjoy the endless benefits of meditation by learning a few simple tools. For more information, visit

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‘Advanced’ Yoga Poses You Can Actually Do!

You see those OM-mazing yoga poses on Instagram and think, “I could NEVER do that!” Well, you CAN and here’s how!

  • Build Strength
  • Start Small
  • Build Confidence
  • Let go of expectations

And remember, there most advanced yoga is when you know how to LISTEN to your own body and follow its advice. So in many cases, child’s pose is much more “advanced” than a handstand!

Try this Baby Grasshopper pose, which looks quite impressive but may surprise you with its ease (for some). Learn it HERE on my monthly Fresh Living segment.

For more information or to schedule a meditation consultation,

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Yoga for Toned Thighs

We complain about our thighs all the time, but did you know that’s one of the areas MOST RESPONSIVE to exercise? Yoga can quickly tone with poses that strengthen muscles in that area. Watch out inner thighs, and saddle bags! Yoga’s coming’ for ya!

Watch my monthly Fresh Living segment to learn simple moves to tone your legs HERE.

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Sustainable gardening tips from Sugagreen Hub

Sugagreen Hub is a community space in Salt Lake City, UT where the people who live on-site or come for the gardening workshops contribute to a DIY, sustainable environment. 

The property is beautiful; twinkling lights, footpaths and grapevine-shaded chicken coops give Sugagreen it’s aesthetic appeal, while the permaculture (agriculture that’s good for the earth and mostly off the grid) is the motor that runs this self-“oiled” machine.

Caretaker and certified permaculture designer, Adriane Hovey and her mentor James Loomis, the gardening expert for Catalyst Magazine, built the aquaponics element to the urban farm. Aquaculture doesn’t need land, which is helpful to the Earth because of all of the soil erosion, and is  self-contained ecosystem that produces plants. The symbiotic relationship between fish and plants is what makes this method intriguing. Here’s how it works:

​Hovey says their chickens are a big part of their permaculture. Rather than traditional composting, she says she will throw food scraps and eggshells onto the earth where the chickens roam. She says the chickens peck and scratch and naturally grind the scraps into the dirt, which, along with their fertilizer, creates rich soil that she uses to feed and grow her plants. She also uses the ground eggshells to make facial spa masks, chalk, and to naturally repel snails and other bugs from climbing up plants and bending them over (The shells scrape their sensitive bodies). 

But unless the snails are climbing on the plants, Hovey says they and many other bugs are actually good for the garden. The soil microbiology loves the snail trails. Ladybugs are also important players, because these vicious predators eat The small bugs that lay eggs in and eat your plants. She says it’s important not to use pesticide, even organic pesticide, because you want a healthy ecosystem of insects to Feed and protect your garden.

Hovey also said it’s important to use the lasagna mulch method when you’re preparing a planting bed to enrich the soil and prevent weeds. You can learn how to do that, plus everything you read here and more in one of their community workshops. You can find out when those are happening on their Facebook page. 

The people who make Sugagreen a Hub add their talents to make this green space a place of true community. For example, Rocky Lavoie contributes her musical talents on the ground’s stage, made of all Upcycled material, and also teaches yoga once a week in the space’s studio.​​​ and Artists for Agriculture help design garden elements and hang art for sale on the walls. Everyone is welcome, so contact Hobey through Facebook if you’d like to get involved, or even rent their studio space. 

You can watch me spending a whole morning at Sugagreen at