4 ways yoga at home enhances your practice | barefootveronicaluna

As much as I love practicing at the studio.Practicing on my own makes me feel like a big girl who’s able to get her shit together.

I feel like I should’t be saying this since I am a teacher. If everyone would practice at home I would be talking to an empty room all day. Even tho I love that people come to my classes.  I think the main goal of all yoga teachers is to be able to share the love for yoga to as much people as we can. And know that they’ve learned enough to be able to practice on their own at home. I feel so proud when one of my students tell me they’ve started practicing at home. Like ”Llook at you honey, being independent” I just love it!

Before being a teacher, I am forever a student. That is why recently I’ve been feeling the urge of practicing at home. Theres something about making a mindful choice to roll out your mat , in the middle of so much distraction, to just take a moment for yourself to breathe. I truly feel it’s been amazing to help improve my practice and teaching skills.

And so I wanted to share them with you, dudes and dudettes of the internet. To give you some inspiration on why practicing at home can enhance your practice! Leggo

It helps to 100% tune in

I got to admit , at first it’s a little intimidating. You’re afraid of doing something wrong ,or maybe not working hard enough. The truth is your practice cant never be wrong if you are true to your breath. Sometimes in the studio you match the rhythm of body next to you. Or the teacher goes a little too fast for your own pace. So when your at home, you can really just focus on your breath and your body will intuitively move the way it needs to. Which in return, helps you tune in to your body better so you know where to go next in the sequence.

It builds discipline

 You are what you do everyday, don’t you want to be a badass mermaid yogi feeling strong and confident because you don’t let excuses stop you? Practicing at home can be a way to not let excuses get in the way. You know like not making it on time at the studio. Or feeling lazy to get to the studio. When that happens , you could just tell yourself that all you have to do is roll out your mat and let your breath take you where you need to go.

Your free to be a creative yogi unicorn

When no one is around , you can really let yourself be the weirdo you are. With no teacher telling you what to do next, you have no choice but to get creative. Maybe get into a pose in a different way, take more time in child’s pose, or simply taking ten minutes shavasana instead of three. I noticed I started to get really creative when I practice at home and I feel like the sky is the limit on how I can sequence my practice.

It gets personal

Practicing  at home means you have no choice but to let it get personal. Your in total control of where it is all going. It’s you and your breath and your body. Anything can happen, I mean literally anything ( like finally letting your farts out! ha!) It also can be a good way to practice in case your thinking about becoming a yoga teacher? (wink wink.) In case you’ve been thinking about it you can also check my post about how to find the right TTC training 

 

 

 

Happy monday!

Light & love always,

 

delicious black bean brownie recipe | barefootveronicaluna

It took me 2 months to finally try this recipe and post it on the blog. I really am not a wizard in the kitchen, meaning I pretty much burn everything I lay my hands on. I’m very much of a hyperactive person and also lose my focus very quickly. Keep in mind that the only thing I’ve ever made that turned out well was a raw vegan lime pie.Key word : it was raw , meaning there was no baking involved. The reason I’m sharing this is to prove you that even if you think you suck at baking, you can still make this recipe. Thats how easy it is. As I said on a previous post I only make recipe that have like 4 ingredients max. It preferably also doesn’t involve me looking up on google to figure out what the ingredient is.

To make the super easy delicious vegan brownies you will need

  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 and a half mashed ripe banana OR 3/4 cup apple sauce
  •  1/4 cup cocoa powder
  •  1 pinch sea salt
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  3/4 cup coconut sugar ( or cane sugar)
  •   1 teaspoon instant coffee 
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Make sure you rinse and wash the beans and mix them with all the other ingredients! Preheat oven to 175C. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Voilà! No flour , no oil , no problems! Whats!

Ps : This was the quickest thing I’ve ever done and it’s absolutely delicious! Thanks to my friend Jinane who made this and brought it to my birthday! I love friends that make me food, it’s how you know it’s real!

I’m actually starting to enjoy making these recipe, share in the comments if you’d like me to make something specific!

Until then, enjoy this delicious babies!

 

Love & light always,

How to find the right Yoga teacher training | barefootveronicaluna

Just about a year ago, around this time.  I was looking into teacher training programs to become a certified yoga teacher.  If you read my yoga journey story , you know that I started practicing yoga around 3-4years ago , but it’s not after I came back from my trip to Asia that I felt the impulse to try it again. And little did I know that 8 months later, I would be on my way to my very first 200 hours of ttc. I took this TTC seach very seriously and really did my homework. I finally decided to go with JIVANI YOGA school in Costa Rica. Since then, time has flown by and I absolutely love teaching and sharing my love for moving the body with breath and getting sweaty!

 

How do you pick? How do you know which training is the right one?  Because I know how confusing it can be with the bazillion options there are out there in the wild, I want to share the 5 questions everyone should ask themselves , when searching for the right ttc.

What are you looking for in a  teacher training ?

First , you want to know what type of yoga you prefer. Theres tons of different trainings and teachers out there who may have a totally different  vision than you do. Remember you will be spending 200 hours (if not more)  learning and breathing about the type of yoga you choose. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions about the program and the type of yoga you will be learning to teach. Some trainings are deeply based on philosophy and mudras meanwhile others are more focused on physical asana and alignment. The curriculum should make you feel excited and interested. So that you don’t find yourself in an awkward position (like literally.)

Is it a yoga alliance registered school?

Making sure the school or training your attending is RYS certified will save you time & money after you graduate if you decide that teaching is truly what you want to do. I honestly haven’t had any studio asking me if I was registered with yoga alliance. But it is better if you are in the long run.

In what environnement do you want to be in?

This my friends is crucial. You will be spending a whole month  in the same environnement so you want to choose wisely. Do you like warm weather ? Do you mind insects? Do you want to have access to the beach , or live on top of a tibetan mountain ? I know I wanted to have the beach close, surrounded by nature but not too far from the city. I live in the coldest country in the world. If I leave for a month, you can be sure it will be to remind myself that not all human beings live in polar bear land.

 What does formal TTC graduates say about the training ?

At the end of the day , what matters is what you think about the training. But it doesnt hurt to check out the reviews or feedbacks from students that already graduated. Searching on youtube can be a good way to do so. At some point I was literally breathing and eating  videos about graduates testimonials. 

What is your budget & time commitement  ?

Once you know how much time you’re able to spend on your training and how much your willing to pay. It will become much easier to find the one that suits you. Some trainings can be done on weekends, others are fully immersive (you have to live somewhere for a month) etc etc. Same goes for the cost of the training, the average is around 2000-5000 depending on where it is.  Trainings that have accommodation and food included can help reduce the cost.

The most important thing is that you do your research and trust that you will find the right one. I believe nothing happens for nothing in life. If you’re meant to go to a training it could never be the ” wrong” training. No matter which one you choose, it will most probably be a life changing experience that will make you grow and learn so many incredible things.

I wish you the best of luck and cheers to being a badass yoga teacher, mate!

Love & light always, 

 

 

10 best places for vegan food in Montreal | barefootveronicaluna

I’ve been vegan for a little bit more than 5 years. My biggest fear when I was still a new bee in the plant based world , was if I would have to order salads for the rest of my days whenever I go to a restaurant. Thankfully, the answer is no. There are so many delicious vegan restaurants to try in Montreal ,it’s ridiculous. There like multiplying by the minute, a real epidemic that were all so happy about! ( I know I am)

The question I hear most of the time is ” What do you eat when your vegan?” as if vegans didn’t eat the same thing as any other person, except we avoid animals & their by products. Which means that basically everything non vegans eat, we can eat it too. Like those super delicious nachos you see in the picture down there, they are vegan and ridiculously tasty. Montreal is literally THE BEST city to go for a bite, especially at vegan restaurants. So next time you want to say something like ” theres no where to eat when your vegan” please sit back , take a bite of a delicious vegan donut or something, and check out this fabilicous  (can we collectively agree on making this word acceptable again.) list!

  1. Aux vivres. At some point I basically lived there , the owner recognized me once and offered me a free smoothie , because he literally saw me everyday. You can’t ever go wrong with the california or dragon bowl. They have the best chili & fries and a menu of desserts to die for. Great ambiance , my all time favourite.
  2. Lola Rosa.While vegetarian (with vegan options!)  If you were wondering where those amazing nachos are from, you now have your answer. Great place for drinks and comfort food. For when you want to go all out and get both the nachos and burger. They also have Quebec’s traditional meal, the famous poutine. Lovely ambiance with the wooden furniture!
  3. La panthère verte.(Green panther)  Cute little place to grab a bite. They have the best falafels in town. Great place for when you’re in the mood for pita bread and burgers.I love that you can choose half a burger and complement it with the salad. Let’s face it , I never take half the burger but I’m just putting it out there in case you do. ( but why would you.) I was saying I love how you can have the full burger and add in the choice of salad. They also have the best freaking Tiramisu cake ever.
  4. La lumière du mile end. Cozy, edgy little restaurant in the heart of mile end. Where all the hippies get together and chant mantras. I’m just kidding, I love this place because it’s owned by a family and the lady who owns it is super sweet and charming. Their menu varies, they always have the speciality of the day. Great place for a date night, if you want some quietness and enjoy each other’s presence without distractions.
  5. LOV. A bit more upscale, if you’re in the mood to dress up and order a bottle of wine, this is your place! Kale- mac and cheese is all I’m going to say. Lovely place for a girls night out where you want an in between healthy and upscale comfort food.
  6. Crudessence. Raw vegan restaurant that makes you believe in magic and kitchen wizards that can serve you raw sandwich with dehydrated bread that doesn’t leave you feeling like you just ate air. All the food is so tasty you don’t even realize you’re in a raw vegan restaurant. They have a ”tasting” platter for desserts where you get one of each and it’s just the best thing ever. We ordered it once and the waiter didn’t even have time to go back to the kitchen before we devoured it.
  7. Invitation V.  Equally delightful as it is  delicious. Best coconut curry I’ve ever had. Also the perfect place to order a giant pizza and just eat it all with satisfaction.
  8. Sophie Sucrée. Where you can get all the vegan pastries deliciously home made. Donuts, cupcakes, scones you name it. A place to reconnect with your inner child and be happy.On a side note; bring me with you if you go.
  9. Antidote. Mainly a vegan grocery shop, they also have a cute cafe/bistro bar  where you can sip on your coffee while you eat some delicious banana bread before stocking up on healthy organic food for the week. Every time I go I feel like Dora the explorer because vegan food will never cease to amaze me!
  10. The cat cafe. I thought I was more of a dog lady, until I got a cat. I am 100% allergic to cats but I like to live dangerously. If you are like me, then you love cats and this place is for you! Furry little babies everywhere. Don’t worry their hair won’t go into your food unless they actually seat on it (which didn’t happen…yet!) Good news is you can go there for food and maybe leave with a new best friend because you can adopt! But back to the food… you won’t regret it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love & light always, 

 

 

5 yoga poses to have more energy in the morning | barefootveronicaluna

The other day I had to wake up around 5am to teach a class at 6:15am. No matter how much I prepared myself mentally and to go to bed early. I still woke up tired as hell (waking up at the crack of dawn should be illegal .) It’s a good thing I love yoga , and teaching , so that I didn’t completely loose my mind. Still, I was feeling very tired even after my 4th cup of coffee. Then I remembered I am a yoga teacher and I could use that at my advantage to , you know, get my body moving and boost my energy. So I did , and felt amazing. These 5 little moves worked their magic ( also giving some creds to the caffeine.) In case you have to wakeup  up super early tomorrow or you just want to have more energy to start your day. Here are 5 yoga poses that can help you out!

Three legged – bent knee – down dog

Down dog is the home base. It’s pretty much one of the first pose you do in your practice because it’s where you start to scan and feel your body.Start by lifting your hips up, pressing your hands and finger tips down on the mat. Fingers spread wide, your hands are shoulder distance. Your head is relaxed , and you are creating space for your neck by inner rotating your shoulders. So that your biceps roll up towards the ceiling , and triceps down towards the mat. Deep breaths in and out , and send your breath to your hips. Feel the energy up, all the way from your hands, through your arms, a long side your ribs, hips, to the tip of your toes. The knee towards the ceiling helps to open your hip. I love this pose because it is such an active one but is also very grounding

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Half camel pose

 

This pose looks harder than it really is. And there’s actually plenty of options to modify. You can place a blanket under knees to be more comfortable. Simply stand on your knees, tuck your toes under so that you hills are higher. You can place your hands on top of your ”back pockets” and simply start to look up while pressing on your hips down.Lifting from the chest, going up and back slightly. You can either keep the hands on your lower back , or bring one hand to your heal ( thumb on the inside) and bring your other hand towards the ceiling. This is a great pose to boost your energy since you’re creating a back bend, opening your chest , throat, shoulders. Back bends are a good way to rise your energy naturally since they increase your heart beat. One of my faves!

Straight leg forward fold with a twist

 

I’ve had a love/ hate relationship with this pose. At first it’s a little uncomfortable, but then you settle in the pose and start to let go of the resistance and it’s magical. Start by separating your feet wide, straight legs bring your hands on your hips. Bend your knees a little ( or a lot, depends what fits better in your body.) Then breathe in and straighten your spine, and bring your right hand towards the left ankle or as far to the left you can bring it, and reach your left arm towards the right. Creating a twist in your torso, so that you activate your digestive system. You are also opening the chest , stretching the shoulders, side ribs and hamstrings.

 

High lunge side twist

We can say I am a fan of the twisting. I just love how they feel. Options are to keep the back knee on the ground. You can also bring one hand down on the inside of the knee and bring the opposite hand towards the ceiling. Creating a support with the hand on the ground and the knee down.

Upward facing dog

 

You can also modify by simply staying on your belly, place your hands under your shoulders and stick your elbows to your ribs. Then lift your chest and roll your shoulders back for little cobra. I love upward facing dog because it really wakes up every muscle in your body. It is also a great front body stretch. I love to start in down dog and then come forward to plank and drop my hips and roll my shoulder backs for updog. These two movement combine can be a great body activation by engaging your whole body and creating movement in your body. Make sure you are pressing into your hands, rolling the shoulders back and looking slightly up. Elbows are micro bent and you are pressing on the top of your feet to lift the hips up. Are you awake yet?

Comment below which one is your favourite and what are your tips to have more energy in the morning ?

 

Love & light always, 

5 things I learned by going vegan | barefootveronicaluna

Hello dudes and dudettes of the internet

Today I woke up and as I sat in front of my computer, waiting for inspiration to hit me. I received a notification about a memory from 5years ago,when I first went vegan.And as I was looking at the picture , I coudnt stop but feel so much gratitude and love for my lifestyle. I realized how much going vegan has shaped me into the person I am now and led me to this  moment right here. Since it’s my 5th year as a vegan, I wanted to share with you guys 5 things making that sweet change taught me. I have a tendency to get carried away when writing about veganism so giving myself a limit is a way to not write a book about it.

With no further do, here are 5 things I learned by going vegan.

PROTEIN IS EVERYWHERE

I’ve got to admit that before going vegan, I had no idea where I was getting my protein from, like everyone, I thought animal’s flesh was this magical source of protein, when in reality, animals get their nutrients via the grains, seeds, and plants we can easily have access to. Once I realized that, I decided to go straight to the source, and ditch the ”3rd” wheel. Also, when  you look at elephants and gorillas, their diet is primarily based on  vegetables and fruits, still they are considered the strongest animals on the planet. Just a quick list of plant based proteins are : chick peas, lentils, tofu, tempeh, seitan, broccoli, spinach, almonds, cashews, brazilian nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc etc.

ALL LIVES MATTER

There is one thing every living being have in common and that is the will to live. When I started to make the connection with the food I ate and the animals that were being killed, I just couldn’t continue to fool myself thinking it was the ”natural” circle of life. If I wouldn’t eat my cat or dog, then why would I eat cows ,pigs or chickens? Even if they are different, they are living , feeling , capable of loving , little beings that , just like me, want to live. ” Don’t do to others, what you don’t want others to do to you”

WORKING OUT IS FUN

I feel like going vegan was like taking a veil from my eyes.  It sounds a bit dramatic, but honestly tho, I never would’ve thought that I would enjoy working out and let alone make it a lifestyle. It’s actually a very natural process, once you eat more fruits , vegetables, seeds and whole grains, your body is packed with fuel for you to spend. Since our muscles and especially our brains work of carbohydrates and natural sugar, we need a lot throughout our day so that we can thrive. When I eat healthy things, my body knows it and it just gives me the fuel I need to workout! I never thought I would say this but….working out is actually fun!

I CAN EAT TO MY HEART’S CONTENT

It just blows my mind when I think that I spent so many years of my life struggling with diets and restricting calories. I truly believe that going vegan is what helped me heal my relationship with food ( because it’s a love story.) Our bodies are actually very smart and that if we care enough to give it the food it needs, our bodies will take care of us. It is such a relief to not have to worry about how much I eat, because I know It’s fuel my body needs to thrive!

HEALTH IS WEALTH

No amount of money can ever replace a healthy body and mind. Since going vegan, I learned that everything is energy, and that when I was eating dead animals, I was also consuming the pain, stress and sadness they felt. Which in return had an impact on my state of mind. Not to mention all the diseases that can be cured by simply keeping animals and their by products off our plates. So many studies have shown that following a vegan lifestyle can prevent  heart attacks , high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic fatigue, anemia, diabetes, depression, cancer and so many more. ( I will link all the studies and documentaries down below.)

I could go on forever about this topic (and I will …in a future post! ) but I wanted to share this message because I also want you to be able to eat unlimited amount of delicious vegan food (tacos, hola!) , not harm animals , stay healthy and just feel like a complete bad ass.

 

 

WATCH & re-connect

COWSPIRACY ( on netflix or cowspiracy.com)

Gary Yourofsky – best speech you’ll ever hear 

What the health  

TED TALK : The power of plant based eating 

Harvard scientist studies 

Vegan youtubers I love

TESS BEGG 

RAW ALIGNEMENT 

 

Light & love always,