Giving and Receiving: An afternoon of Yoga, Self-Care and Gift Making

Giving and Receiving: An afternoon of Yoga, Self-Care and Gift-Making
with Anastasia Gambill and Genevieve Johnson
Sunday, December 6th 2-5pm
Cost: $40 (includes gift-making materials), $35 for Yoga Refuge membersAs we enter the season of festivities, feasts, and family, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and fall into habits of stress. How can we celebrate our loved ones and learn to give and receive without becoming maxed out? Can we care for ourselves first so that we have more generosity of spirit for others?

The first half of this 3-hour workshop will combine meditation and intention setting with a gentle yoga practice that will help you to refocus your holdiays into a celebration of self care and giving from the heart. After this nourishing practice, participants will enjoy a tea tasting and learn to make an enlivening body scrub, refreshing toner, and a soothing salve, all wonderful as both gifts and self care. Materials will be provided and you will leave with gifts in hand! Workshop participants will also get a 10% discount for the afternoon on any items in the Yoga Refuge boutique, which includes yoga mats, yogi toes towels, handmade eye pillows and other accessories for self-care practice.


Some of the products we made in the Body Product Class

New Year New You


The New Year inspires change and reflection. It is a time to look at the past year retrospectively and decide what we would like to change and focus on for the upcoming year. We tend to make New Year “resolutions,” but what does a resolution mean? It is a solution to a problem. What do you see as a problem or something you would like to improve on this coming year? For me since I am kind of a health fanatic I almost always choose something impossible and then it’s easy to feel like I have failed in my attempts. So what have I learned all these years of making resolutions? I have learned to set more realistic goals and make slight changes to facilitate the bigger picture of what I have in mind. This year I decided to do more yoga and seek out more health care for myself. As a new mother and healthcare practitioner it is really easy for me to just focus on others. One valuable lesson that I am learning everyday is that the more I can give myself the more I am able to give others. I recently joined a local yoga studio, Yoga Refuge and feel so much more vibrant when I can take that time for myself to honor my body and spirit. And as far as getting more health care I am not talking about going to the hospital to get every test under the sun. I am talking about preventative health care. Getting health care and body work that is rewarding because it instantly makes me feel better. I am blessed to work at An Sen Clinic (Integrative Medicine Clinic at 4424 NE Glisan) as an acupuncturist with other great practitioners that have wholistic health care in mind. If you want to do one simple thing for yourself this coming year just come in and we can help you get your health on track.

My Ideal Day… Yoga, Buckwheat Pancakes, Green Smoothies and More!!!

Today started out by going to Yoga… there is a lovely yoga studio in town called Cannon Beach Yoga Arts. You can check out their schedule here. Anyway I took a Vinyasa yoga class to start off my day. All I had before class was some peppermint tea to help me hydrate and detox (ie. sweat more) in the class. In Chinese Medicine we use peppermint to release the exterior and it is slightly cooling in nature. Releasing the exterior typically means promote sweating, but it is also helpful in the first stages of a cold or flu. Western herbalism uses peppermint in a different way; to regulate peristalsis in the intestines and soothe an upset stomach. The essential oil is also helpful for headaches and clearing the sinuses too.

Okay enough on the properties of peppermint. Here is how my day was ideal… tea, yoga, and then on my bicycle ride back home it was slightly cool so I wanted something warm for breakfast. We had just gone to Bob’s Red Mill in Portland and had a ton of raw buckwheat, so I decided on buckwheat pancakes. We had the buckwheat in it’s whole form, so I blended it up dry in the vitamix for only 10-20 seconds and used the flour/meal to make delicious blueberry pancakes. After enjoying the pancakes I made a green smoothie and off to work I went. The pancake recipe is a small one so you may want to double it.

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

  • 1 cup raw buckwheat (ground=1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • sprinkle of cinnamon (I almost always add cinnamon to blueberries or lemon zest)
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • enough water to get the pancake batter consistency

Mix dry ingredients first and then mix in wet. The consistency you are looking for is like a runny oatmeal. Start with adding just a little water and then slowly add just enough for the right consistency. Use a large pan or skillet on medium heat and put some coconut oil in the pan to coat the bottom. Coconut can tolerate medium to high heat so it’s great for making pancakes. Flip the cakes when one side is browned to your liking and enjoy!!! I love maple syrup and sometimes I will take a small pan and heat up the blueberries and a little maple syrup to make blueberry syrup and it’s delicious!

Pear, Mango and Spinach Green Smoothie

Pear, Mango and Spinach Green Smoothie

Pear Mango Spinach Smoothie

  • 2 ripe pears
  • 1/2 ripe mango
  • 2 cups spinach packed (or other greens)

Place all ingredients in blender and add 1-2 cups of water, just enough to blend to a uniform consistency. This is my favorite smoothie to date since it tastes so much like pear, and I LOVE pears!!! It made 6 cups of smoothie, enough to have a couple cups in the morning and take a big jar to work for my lunch. After work I am going to make my favorite meal ever!!! Portobello mushroom steaks, yams, and greens… recipe to be posted soon.

Warm and Happy this Winter

Lookout at Ecola Park

Lookout at Ecola Park

It seeems that winter is finally here with all the rain, snow and wind. With all the dark stormy days sometimes it is easy to feel the wintertime blues. There are many things we can do to stay warm and happy in the wintertime. The best thing is movement and mobility. Try going to a yoga or exercise class. This will help maintain flexability and strength, while getting you moving to stay warm. Yoga and other forms of meditation like qi gong and tai chi are important because during meditation your brain enters an alpha and theta state. This is helpful for elevating mood and balancing neurotransmittors.

In Chinese Medicine Winter is Associated with the Kidneys:
The Kidneys are seen as the original form of energy that we inherit from our parents. It is imoportant to conserve this energy by taking time to get in touch with the slower, darker months and get more sleep, meditate more and even foods can be cooked slower. Foods that are great for this time of year are stews, soups, steamed vegetables, and warming herbs (such as: cinnamon, ginger, garlic, and onion). Make sure not to have too many hot, spicy foods though because too hot can burn up the Kidney energy. When having spicy foods, it is good to balance them with astringent and sour foods (such as: vinegars, saurkraut, cherries, cranberries and sour plums).

Herbs and Supplements to Keep the Winter Blues Away:
Schisandra Berry- This is a unique herb in that it has all five flavors: sour, pungent, neutral, bitter, and sweet. The Chinese name for this herb is “wu wei zi,” meaning five flavor seed. This is a great resorative herb for the kidneys.
Vitamin D- Anyone who lives in the Northwest, especially here at the coast knows we don’t get enough sunshine to synthesize vitamin D production. It is a good idea to take vitamin D to keep our mood and immune system up this time of year.
**Mushrooms are also a great source of vitamin D**

BODYWORK to Elevate Mood and Increase Circulation
Acupuncture and Massage are great ways to uplift the spirit and keep
positive through the darker months.

Acupuncture has been shown to release serotonin and stimulate your
parasympathetic nervous system ie. rest and digest mode. Most
anti-depressants are SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), which raise the levels of serotonin in the body. Acupuncture creates a similar effect without the detrimental side effects and can treat so much more!!

Massage releases endorphins in the body to reduce chronic or acute pain that is physical, mental, and spiritual in origin. Have you ever noticed how your posture and body mechanics change with feeling depressed? Bodywork can help to create structural support. Energizing techniques are used to aliven and awaken your well-being.