Hawaii & Living Aloha

The sweet sounds of the ukulele dance on my ears as musical notes bounce off the sheet and whisk me away to a place of peace and calm.  Strolling down the beach, sand swishing between my toes, the sun’s rays wrap me up in a warm hug.  As the palm trees sway, the frothy sea washes up, tickling my toes, bringing me back to the present moment.

Ah, Hawaii, it’s good to be back on island time.  The islands are a magical vortex that suck you in, pouring love all over you like a spiket that cannot be turned off.

Each island holds a unique vibe and exploring each is a must to find which gem shines most brightly for you.  Unless you hate stunning beauty and frolicking on the beach, you will fall in love with this place and want to call one of the islands home.  Here are the islands you can choose from and their nicknames:

Hawai’i – The Big Island
Maui – The Valley Island
O’ahu – The Gathering Place
Kaua’i – The Garden Isle
Moloka’i – The Friendly Isle
Lana’i – The Pineapple Isle
Ni’ihau – The Forbidden Isle (inhibited by native Hawaiians)
Kaho’olawe – The Target Isle

The lush green landscape of the islands are spattered with rhythmic waterfalls.  The healing waters careen off the side of cliffs, crashing into scared pools below.  The ecosystems of Hawai’i are distinctive, creating biodiversity with tropical rain forrest, subalpine grasslands, coastal dunes to snowy alpine deserts. 8 of the 13 ecosystems on earth are found on the Big Island of Hawai’i.

As I walk through volcano national park, I reflect that if I were ever to walk on the moon, this is what it must be like.  A barren landscape of metallic lava rock glimmers as the rays from the sun expose secrets from the belly of the Earth.  The history of Hawai’i is deeply rooted by the Hawaiian volcano goddess, Pele who is responsible for the flow of the molten lava that is ever increasing the land mass of the largest of the islands, the “Big Island”.  The volcanic activity from Kilauea reminds us that the island is alive.

A word you will hear often is “Aloha.” It is a word that can be interpreted in many ways.  It could mean hello, good bye or be an expression of love.  Aloha can be broken down into two parts “Alo” which means presence and “ha” which infers breath.  Aloha is the presence of breath, our life force.

When settlers came to the islands, they were called “haloes” which is a term used to describe a foreigner, the white man who invaded the islands.  Traditionally, Hawaiians would greet one another by touching noses and sharing their breath.  Since the white man did not greet in this way, they were deemed haloes or ones without breath.

Saying “Aloha” is like sharing the breath of life with another.


These are some Hawaiian words you’ll want to know.

‘Āina – The land, especially Hawaiian ancestral lands.
Auntie/Uncle – Term of endearment for an elder.
Brah – A brother or friend.
Honu – Turtle.
Hula – A native Hawaiian dance.
Kane – Boy or man.
Keiki – Child.
Lanai – A porch, patio or balcony.
Lei – A necklace of flowers, leaves, shells, feathers, given as a symbol of affection.
Lū‘au – Literally means taro leaves, but used for a Hawaiian feast.
Mahalo – Thank you.
‘Ohana – Family.
Poi – A paste made from pounded taro root.
Pūpū – Snacks or appetizers.
Shaka – Symbolic hand gesture that conveys the Aloha spirit, a greeting or thanks.

Often, sentences are ended with “yea” as a means of agreement or “you heard what I said, right?”  For example: A local may stop you on the beach saying, “Aloha brah, come have a beer and talk story, yea.” To which you should respond, “Yea brah, mahalo.”

Hawaii is a place of healing; many shamans practice here, the ‘Āina (the land) has rights and is protected by those who inhibit it, as they know how scared it is.  The Hawai’i Non-GMO project is one way locals are working to preserve that which they have been trusted with.

Some of my favorite foods that I suggest you try while on island are:
Liliokoi, lychee, rambutan, dragon fruit, coconut water from a fresh young coconut, Mahi Mahi or Ono fish tacos, Poke and some Hawaiian shaved ice.

Stop by Kona Coffee & Tea Company, they make the best iced coffee. With mellow, earthy tones this java will roll over your tongue allowing you to taste what the Big Island is all about.


Here are my 4 Big Island adventures that should not be missed:

Volcano National Park – Take a helicopter ride over the vent of the volcano for the best view of the action. (We loved our tour with Paradise Helicopters ). Hike along one of the many trails in the park and take time to tour the visitors center.


Kēōkea Beach – The perfect place to search for sea shells and watch from a distance the honu that come to rest on the shores of this beach.

The sparkling sandy beaches of Big Island come in many colors. Be on the look out for tan, black, pink and green beaches on island.

Waipi’o Valley – Pack a picnic lunch and spend a day in this scared valley. Lush green cliffs hug the expansive curved shaped black sand beach. Chill out on the beach or hike one of the many trails that spiral through the hillside.


Water Adventures – During the day you can snorkel, scuba dive or swim with wild spinner dolphins. Night diving with the Manta Rays is enchanting. These playful creatures will leave you tickled as they do barrel rolls in the water beneath you. Fair-Wind Big Island Ocean Guides give you a fun and memorable trip, be sure to book your excursion with them.


Hawai’i is a spectacular convergence of beauty which cannot be fully described, it must be experienced. An island of spectacular beauty immersed in culture and community the Hawaiian islands are a truly magical place.

Health Benefits Of Yoga

Wether you are faithful in your yoga practice or just starting out, there are many well-documented health benefits of yoga.

Yoga is a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.

In class, I often hear that people are sleeping better, have sustained energy throughout the day or clarity of mind as a side effect to their daily practice. When we look at alternative modalities to wellness, practicing yoga is one way to increase vitality.

Varying yoga postures work to increase blood flow in the body, lengthen tendons and tone our muscles. We are working to strengthen and loosen muscles that may not be activated in our day to day routines. Increased balance and flexibility ensues, as well as better posture.

health benefits of yoga

























When we speak of balance in yoga, what is being inferred is whatever enhances and affirms life at any particular time and place.

Remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after your practice. We are careful to ensure we are hydrating our cells while pushing our built up toxins and preventing sore muscles due to cramping.

Our breath is a focal point in every practice. Through our breath, we can ease into each pose, release tension, channel subtle energy flows in the body and bring life bringing oxygen into each cell of the body.

Many yoga poses utilize your body weight to create an impactful workout. In weight-bearing exercises, we build bone density. The twisting we do during practice helps to wring out internal organs, drains the body of toxins, allowing cells to be replaced with healthy, optimally functioning cells which uptake the nutrients our bodies need to thrive.

Essentially, building your yoga practice can impact each body system. It has been shown to help to lower blood sugar, boost immunity, regulate adrenal glands, promote a healthy nervous system, improve the proper functioning of lungs and aid in digestion.

health benefits of yoga

There are many different types of yoga you can try to mix up your workouts. A few of the more popular types are:

Bikram: In this class, you will do your practice in a very hot room, up to 105 degrees. Essentially, you are working out in a sauna. You will be guided through 26 poses, each performed twice.

Some studios add infrared heat to help reduce inflammation, sore muscles, boost circulation and drain bodily toxins.

Hatha: This practice refers to any type of yoga practice which teaches physical postures. Hatha focuses on the breath, balance and alignment and opening the body’s energy flow. This practice is generally restorative, a gentle introduction to the yoga postures.

Vinyasa: Another form of hot yoga which adds infrared heat to help reduce inflammation, sore
muscles and helps create circulation and drainage of bodily toxins.

Visit a local studio to try a few different practices and find which is best for you. Right now, you can start reaping the health benefits of yoga by trying one of these sequences.

Health Benefits Of Yoga

Increase energy with sun salutations:



Relieve lower back pain:



References Article Yoga Journal 

Braised Chickpea Curry

Do you get tired of thinking “What should we have for dinner?”

You have enough to think about without the hassle of coming up with something new for dinner each night. We have got you covered. This Braised Chickpea Curry recipe can feed a bunch of people, it’s quick and it’s super flavorful.

What we love about this dish is you can double the batch and freeze the leftovers for a future meal. It is so good you will probably want to eat it a couple of nights in a row…so it might not make it to the freezer.

Braised Chickpea Curry is nutrient dense so you won’t get that hungry feeling an hour after eating. If you have picky eaters in your family, invite them to help you make this meal. It is easy to prepare, making it the perfect dish for kids to help with. They will be more inclined to eat foods they help prepare!

My family thought the Braised Chickpea Curry was so good it was gone before I could take a picture of the final dish. Enjoy!

Braised Chickpea Curry

What You;ll Need:
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1 whole lemon
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained
2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 – 15 oz can)
1/2 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 lb fresh spinach
1 – 14 oz can coconut milk
1 tsp ground ginger
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch cilantro (to garnish)

Braised Chickpea Curry

What You’ll Do:
Heat a large Dutch oven or deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil, followed by the onions and salt. Let the onions sweat for about 10 minutes or until translucent. Once soft, add the garlic and ginger and let cook for another minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and chili flakes.

Next, add the chickpeas and stir to coat in the tomato mixture. At this point, turn up the heat slightly braising the chickpeas. Once the chickpeas are heated through, turn the heat down slightly and start to add the spinach, a handful at a time. Once the first bunch of spinach has started to wilt, add in the next handful. Continue until all of the spinach has been added.

Braised Chickpea Curry

To finish the dish, add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Stir to combine and then add the ground ginger and a bit of the reserved lemon juice. Taste for seasoning. Add more lemon juice, salt and/or pepper as needed.

Once everything has heated through, serve immediately. Serve it with brown rice or any grain of your choice.

Braised Chickpea Curry

Here is a trick to easily peel ginger. Be sure to check out all of our cooking hacks here.

Cooking Hacks

























This recipe is compliments to ROUXBE Cooking School

Lighting In A Bottle

A vibrant blue sky illuminates bright green trees rolling along the hillside of the San Antonio Recreation Area in Bradley, California.  Campers from around the world gather in anticipation of a life changing weekend.  Over 20,000 people are in attendance from 46 different countries.  The word is out, Lighting In A Bottle is the premier festival for self expansion and exploration into our collective conscious.

Lighting In A Bottle

Like a family reunion, campers pitch tents, haul in their coolers and expectantly await the assembly of their loved ones as they gather for their annual family function.  A common thread weaves us together, quickly making strangers new family members.

Lighting In A Bottle is where I received the best hug of my life from a complete stranger.

Lighting In A Bottle

This weekend is not only about dancing into the wee morning hours as the music excites every cell in your body moving you with the beat.  Yes, the music and art will wrap you up in cognitive ecstasy, transporting you into a place where all things are deemed possible.  Lighting In A Bottle brings the essence of our spirit into present moment, creating a scared space where true transformation can occur.  It is where the mind can clear the static and peel back the layers of the daily grind, a place to release the patterns and programs in our lives.  Come as you are and share this space, for acceptance reins supreme.

During the day, the grounds are a healing epicenter where shamans clear energy fields, yoga puts the body in a state of proper flow, where diverse speakers share their knowledge and delicious meals are prepared in the learning kitchen.

Lighting In A Bottle

What most people do not know about Lighting In A Bottle is that it started as a birthday party of a small group of 100 people.  It sprang forth into a music and art festival in 2006.  It has been growing ever since.  This fact is a testament that an idea that is nourished will flourish and can create a movement.  The name Lighting In A Bottle was pulled from the ether and has no meaning and all the meaning in which you give it.

You are like Lighting In A Bottle, unable to be contained and unable to be fully explained. You must feel with your heart the energy it emits.

It is interesting to note that Lighting In A Bottle has been the “greenest” festival five years running.  The production crew and attendees are serious about sustainability and preserving that which they have been interested with.  Throughout the festival, recycling and compost bins are scattered and signage is present encouraging patrons to keep it green and leave no trace.  For these reasons, Lighting In A Bottle has strategically aligned themselves with sponsors that also practice sustainability and share their mission.  Their partnership with Do LaB, a Los Angeles based company, creates a cohesive environment and furthers the vision of using natural materials, sustainable resources and the highest level of art and production. We want to thank everyone involved; we appreciate all your efforts in constructing one fabulous event.

Lighting In A Bottle

Walking away from Lighting In A Bottle, one realizes that we create the world in which we live, molding and shaping it through experiences, evoking emotions in ourselves and others and raising the frequency at which all things resonate.  What lives on in infinity is our story.  Lighting In A Bottle conveys a story of love and its ability to heal all things.  Lighting In A Bottle has created a culture that focuses on community, sustainability and having a good time in the process.

It is impossible to write a non bias piece on Lighting In A Bottle because this place and the people that come together move you. You’ll never be the same.  Join us when you are ready; we will be waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Find the music featured in this video by clicking here: ODESZA


Lighting In A BottleThere is no need to wait a whole year to experience the LIB community. Woodie Weekend is July 17-19, 2015! LIB’s most adored and iconic music stage is returning to it’s home in Silverado, CA for 3-day long reunion celebration of all things Woogie! Get your tickets today by clicking here.