Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Welcome to the Gratitude edition of Danja Lifestyle, our monthly newsletter devoted to cultivating a living yoga practice both on and off the mat. We are filled with gratitude for the amazing community of friends, students, teachers, and well-wishers that have supported us since we opened our doors of Danja Yoga three years ago. We appreciate all the love and kindness that you have shown us, and we want to take a moment to express our heartfelt thanks. Your kindness and generosity have played a significant role in helping our business to succeed, and we are truly grateful for that.
This time of year invites us to pour a cup of our favorite tea and reflect on how grateful we are for our community. We encourage you to take time to reflect on gratitude in your own life.
Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find inside this month’s issue of Danja Lifestyle:
MINDFUL MEDITATION Daily Gratitude Practice
In this month's mindful meditation, Colleen O'Brien McFall guides you through her own personal daily gratitude practice. You can practice this at any point of your day that is convenient and accessible to you - preferably at time that is quiet when there is an opportunity for reflection and when you are less likely to be interrupted.
Today I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive. I have a precious human life. I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to nourish my body, my mind. I'm going to nourish my emotions and my spirit. I'm going to look for ways to offer kindness to others. I'm going to look for ways to show kindness to myself. For today I am fortunate to have woken up.
POSTURE TIPS Supported Reclined Butterfly Pose / Supta Baddha Konasana
This month, you're invited to find ease in Supported Reclined Butterfly Pose.
- Reduces stress and calms the mind
- Supports the Kidney and Urinary Bladder meridians
- Increases mobility in the hips
- If you experience pain in the knees or groin, use blacks, a folded blanket, or bolster to support and elevate the knees
- If your lower back is arching a lot, try placing a folded blanket along the length of the spine
RECIPE OF THE MONTH Tuscan Chickpea Chicken Stew
Feeling chilly and craving something comforting? Look no further than our Mediterranean chickpea and chicken soup recipe! This delightful dish is the perfect remedy for a cold evening. Jake was first introduced to this comforting soup by a coworker after sharing that he and Daniel have the goal of cooking a different new soup recipe each week during this fall and winter. Since the guys made it, its become a staple of their kitchen. The recipe is simple and easy to follow, with a richly-flavored broth made of chicken thighs and canned chickpeas to keep cooking time to a minimum. We add tangy tomatoes and warm spices to bring the whole pot together. Trust us, the aroma of this soup simmering on your stove will fill your home with warmth and coziness. So, chop up some veggies, turn up the heat, and let our Mediterranean chickpea and chicken soup recipe warm your soul tonight!
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 skinless, boneless, chicken thighs
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 32-oz box of low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from a jar
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
2 cups 1" cubes country-style or Italian bread
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
*Daniel & Jake like to add a bag of rinsed kale, twice as much broth, and double the spices!
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in medium pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt then add to pot and cook, turning once, until browned, 8 - 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to low. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 30 - 60 seconds. Add cumin, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Stir until a smooth paste forms, about 1 minute. Add reserved chicken and any accumulated juices along with the bay leaves, 2 cups of water, and the box of chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, occasionally stirring, until chicken is tender, about 20 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a plate. Add chickpeas to pot, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Shred chicken and add to stew. Add red peppers. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, simmer for 1 minute. Season with salt and more lemon juice if you'd like.
Divide bread cubes among bowls. Ladle soup over the bread and garnish with flat-leaf parsley.
PLANT OF THE MONTH Philodendron Joepii
Introducing Philodendron Joepii, a rare tropical plant with uniquely shaped foliage that is sure to catch your eye. This plant is believed to be a natural hybrid that took place between two philodendrons and was discovered by Joep Moonen in eastern French Guiana. In fact, there are only two of these plants known to exist in the wild but have no fear - many survive in private collections.
As Philodendron Joepii matures, the middle of the leaf becomes narrow while the tip and lobes become more defined, making it an attractive addition to any plant collection. This species is a climber, so provide it with a coco pole or other support structure to help it thrive.
Don't worry about the care of your Philodendron Joepii, it's very easy. Ensure your plant is in a well-draining soil rich in organic matter and allow it to dry out almost completely between watering, while taking care not to let it sit in excess water. Providing it with bright indirect light will help it to flourish.
You can check out the studio's Philodendron Joepii next time you're in Studio A.
INSIDE DANJA Studio B's Gratitude Mural
We are thrilled to share with you a heartwarming tribute to our beloved yoga teacher, Colleen O'Brien McFall. When Colleen returned from her trip to Canada this past September, she was in for a big surprise. Her students had come together and painted a beautiful foliage mural in Studio B to honor her. This simple yet beautiful gesture speaks volumes about the kind of person Colleen is and the impact she has on her students.
Over the course of a weekend, Studio B was transformed into the Columbus School of Yoga's new home. The mural was just the beginning. The room was accessorized with more dinosaur figures, a live edge altar table, and preserved moss art. The table features Colleen's favorite Hindu deity, Ganesha, which was purchased on the streets of India and gifted by a former student of Daniel's.
We couldn't be prouder to have Colleen as a part of our yoga community. Her passion for yoga is contagious, and her dedication to her students is truly inspiring. We hope this touching tribute inspires others to show their appreciation for the special people in their lives. Thank you, Colleen, for all that you do!
WHAT WE'RE READING A Life Worth Breathing: A Yogi Master's Handbook of Strength, Grace, and Healing by Max Strom
The Five Causes We practice gratitude daily, remembering that the human heart cannot hold gratitude and negative emotions at the same time. From gratitude, joy and all other virtues are born. We practice forgiving those that have harmed us as a mode of healing ourselves. We reach out to those we have harmed, either personally or by handwritten letter, offering apology and reconciliation. We practice kindness and honesty in word and deed toward all, and especially toward our romantic partner. Kindness and honesty must always remain unified, for one without the other leads to harmful behavior. We practice humility. We never treat any others as servants or beneath us, regardless of their social or economic status. We show respect to all, and are considerate of the consequences of our actions on others. We practice our ethics in our business. Our career is a major forum for our practice of transformation, so we infuse our highest ideals into our work and workplace, always looking for win-win opportunities. We hold firm that the end never justifies the means, and teach our ethics by example.
Are you feeling stressed and disconnected? Do you struggle to find inner peace and clarity in your daily life? Look no further than A Life Worth Breathing by Max Strom. In this groundbreaking book, Max Strom teaches us the transformative power of mindful breathing, yoga, and meditation. With his inspired and accessible language, Max reaches past expected dogma to guide readers towards a more powerful level of awareness.
This book is packed with exercises that will help you identify and achieve your intentions, anecdotes and analogies that bring the practice to life, and wisdom that will lead you to the loving and peaceful power of the universe. Through A Life Worth Breathing, you will awaken to your highest human consciousness and discover the path towards a more joyful and fulfilling life. So, take a deep breath, stretch your body, and dive into this life-changing journey with Max Strom as your guide.
DANJA COMMUNITY Meet Laura Florentino
We'd like to introduce you to one of our amazing members, Laura Florentino. Not only is she a dedicated Probation Officer for the Court of Common Pleas, but she's also a voracious reader who devours books faster than a French fry disappears from a plate. In fact, she once read the entire Britney Spears book in just one night!
Before joining the legal field, Laura spent 25 years working in radio programming all over the United States, where she met some of the biggest names in music, like Taylor Swift, Tom Petty, and Stevie Nicks. But despite her star-studded past, Laura remains down-to-earth and approachable.
When she's not helping felony offenders get back on track or reading a good book, Laura loves to indulge in her guilty pleasure: French fries. And if you ever need a clean house, just ask her to bring over her trusty vacuum - it's one of her favorite things to do!
So, if you see Laura around the studio, make sure to say hello and strike up a conversation. She's always up for a chat and loves meeting new people. We hope you're as excited to get to know Laura as we are!