YogaGrow creator Sondra Bloxam featured in Origin Magazine!

YogaGrow creator Sondra Bloxam featured in Origin Magazine!

The 12th issue of Origin Magazine brings together 20 powerful women leaders, over 100 yogis changing the world, the top vegetarian athletes, and more! This is by far my favorite publication, ever! Fusing together art, culture, conscious lifestyle, and the movers and shakers of our time, Origin Magazine serves as the world megaphone of advocacy and awareness from the ground up.

So much gratitude for Origin editor, Maranda Pleasant, who gave me the space to share what I believe is important in this life.

To be among women that I admire so deeply is incredibly empowering! This connection of women leaders holds such abundance and great spirit.

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Pixie Retreat: We Deserve to be Nourished

Lil Puddin Cups- my absolute fav!!

Lil Puddin cups- my absolute fav!!

I first met the luminous pixies of Pixie Retreat at the Yogi Roots Festival back in November, 2013 as they opened up their raw food goodness to the yoga community of Portland. Since my first nourishing experience with their Kale salad with Mac-Nut Cheese many months ago I have grown into a total vegan, working to understand the relationship that my body has with food. It was only right that I learn the story of these super chill yogi raw food leaders, and share it to spread the love…

When I arrived at Pixie Retreat- Willow, Pixie Retreat co-artiste, welcomed me warmly with a jug of coconut water while she finished up a few things. Next I met Natai, resident astrologer and pixie prep cook who was busy slicing up organic tomatoes from a local farm. Yes, this felt like raw food heaven already. Teresa, the other half of this Aries-Capricorn raw food duo later rolled through the door with stack of fresh produce, they had a busy night of prep ahead of them!

Sondra: Tell me about how you came to the raw food world?

Willow: We were both living ego-driven lifestyles. Teresa was coming out of the music business, and me from vintage fashion. We both had different relationships with food. Teresa grew up cooking, and I was growing out of an eating disorder where I just wouldn’t eat. Then there was a shift. One summer when we were living in San Diego were doing a lot of yoga, the yoga inspired what was next. A summer of yoga, meditating, and doin raw food.

One day I was sitting in virasana in the backyard and I heard a calling- there are no shortcuts Willow.

Teresa: Then we knew we had to back out of other projects we were doing, to focus on our own Food Subscription.

Willow: We started cooking out of our home for people, testing the market. Then we grew out of that and needed more space. So now we’re doing it all wholesale.

Sondra: How did you approach going raw?

Willow: You have to open yourself up to food- seeing what your body actually wants you to be. The journey to raw bliss doesn’t want to be contained it wants to share. We lure people in with our Millet Burger, and the BLT is the Rawr- naturally you start letting go after you try it.

There is a synergy in execution of raw food to satisfy fat sweet and salt – something we all deserve.

Sondra: What is the vision for Pixie Retreat?

Teresa: There is a growing demand for vegan. We are now able to share our food in the take out sections of heart coffee shop. We want to streamline that groove where whole sale becomes raw fast food. Starting with a small store front here with fresh food to go. Everything from scratch. Then we’d like to have a small shop somewhere in North Portland with the same idea. We also hope to sell nut milks, and make instructional videos to share with community.

Willow: It’s about getting to the next generation, of fat guys. We know the skinny bitches will come, it’s the fat guys that we have to connect.

Sondra: What are some tools of the raw food trade you’d like to share with the community?

Willow: Ix-nay with the agave- use maple syrup instead. It’s a whole food with minerals and it’s sustainable. Agave is full of high fructose that goes straight to our bellies.

Teresa: Be conscious, even with store bought nut milks, they often use binders instead of whole natural ingredients.

Sondra: What is your mantra:

Willow/Teresa: We deserve organic, We deserve nutrient dense food, We deserve to be nourished.

Willow: It’s about reconnecting to food and stepping into the making of ourselves. If you eat this kind of food, you don’t get tired.

Sondra: What do are your go to raw foods when your busy?

Willow/Teresa: Kale salads and coconut water.

Sondra: Who inspires your work:

Teresa: Dr. Gabriel Cousens

I had the opportunity of trying some of their hand-crafted & artisanal foods, using the finest local & organic goods possible. Among my top favorites are the Millet Burger, Kale Salad, and Lil Puddin cups…and any of their handmade chocolates- pure raw food brilliance! It was all raw food that is ALIVE, with enzymes intact, dehydrated at a temperature no higher than 108 degrees. Nuts, seeds, minimal grains, vegetables, fruits, basically food from the great mother. Made with love and intention.

Get your Pixie Retreat fix at any of these local spots:

Alberta Food Co-Op
Peoples Food Co-Op
Food Front Cooperative Grocery
Food Fight!
New Seasons (Hawthorne, Seven Corners, Arbor Lodge, Concordia)

You can find out more about the awesome, raw, vegan, local, organic, soy free, gluten free goods of Pixie Retreat by visiting Pixie Retreat RAW’r Laboratorie & Makery online and liking their Facebook.

P.S. Pixie Retreat wants to be near you. They are happy to take on new accounts in grocery, restaurants, cafes, coffee & tea houses, yoga studios, pretty much anywhere that is looking to offer up specialty wholesome foods that nourish and satisfy. Just let them know if you ever would like to carry Pixie Retreat!

Thank you ♥ Get Ya Some

~ Sondra

Ayurveda: The Sister Science of Yoga

ahara rasaAs you start sifting through all the omazing events and resources that lie within the 80+ yoga studios in the city, you’ll find there are many studios that have incorporated wellness centers as a part of their space and offerings. It was through the wellness center at Yoga Pearl and a workshop I attended at Yogiroots Fest, that I began to learn more about the sister science of yoga: Ayurveda.

I was especially excited to learn that among the Ayurvedic resources spread across the community, there grows an Ayurvedic center unlike anything in Oregon, Ahara Rasa! This incredible center is set to open in February 2013 at 5505 SE Woodstock Blvd. in Portland. It and will be the first Women/Family/Yogic lifestyle focused Ayurvedic Center in the Pacific Northwest!! Their community-based approach will involve donating 3% of the profits from their retail to disadvantaged postpartum women and families to give them the healthiest and most balanced start possible.

In a recent meeting with Andrea Shuman, Ayuredic Practitioner and co-founder of Ahara Rasa, I learned more about some of the wonderful things in store for our growing Ayurveda community. Andrea spoke to filling the need for an ayurvedic home that meets the yoga culture, so that the physical body can sustain a physical path. Ahara Rasa will have a full herbal pharmacy, whole medicinal and culinary bulk herbs and spices, Ayurvedic hygiene products and yes, Ayurvedic massage treatments!

I had the opportunity of experiencing a nourishing 4-handed Abhyanga Massage by Andrea and co-ower Amita Magid as well. In this cold wet season of winter it was exactly what my Vata/Pitta doshas needed 🙂

Ayurveda, a 5,000 year old comprehensive medical system of yoga, taking root in our own backyard! It truly takes everything into consideration when meeting all yogic and wellness needs. Please take a look at their Indiegogo Campaign and contribute anything you can to help them bring this incredible resource to the community!

To keep up with the launch of Ahara Rasa follow them on Facebook and Twitter here!

For more information on Ayurveda, check out some of the pioneers in field that have inspired the work of the Ahara Rasa ladies:

Dr. Claudia Welch- Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life

Dr. Sarita Shredtha- An Ayurvedic Perspective on Women’s Health

Health Activists Near and Far

We call them Health Activists but they are really heros. They are the environmental organizer, the Ayurvedic practitioner, the healer, the yoga teacher, the yoga student, the voter, the nutritionist, the holistic supporter, the women’s health advocate, the leaders united to improve the lives of others. Any member of the community who serves as a voice of reason when it comes to wellness, is health activist.

There is a movement in health activism that doesn’t sleep. One so deep that it fills mind body and soul with compassion for others. We bind together in times of challenge and celebration. We make waves to raise awareness and engage others in dialogue and action. More than anything else, health activists, grassroots, giving, enlightened advocates, strive only to help others.

There is so much they do for us. It’s only fitting that we thank them for their tireless work and passion as health activists.

An organization working to connect dedicated health advocates through social media platforms called WEGO Health, has developed a campaign to call forth and honor all of our health leaders. The 2012 WEGO Health Activists Awards creates space for our health spokespeople through a number of different awards and anyone can nominate!

Take a few minutes and nominate the wellness ambassadors that inspire you!! There’s no limit to how many amazing souls we nominate. If you would like to get more involved take a deeper look here: Get Involved with WEGO

So much gratitude,

Sondra

Bryan Kest: Yoga is Not a Physical Practice

(Bryan Kest and I after his Master Class at Yoga on Yamhill)

“Yoga doesn’t look at you like you’re wrong, it honors you, it respects your process.” ~Bryan Kest

A couple weeks ago Bryan Kest walked in to a packed class of yogis at Yoga on Yamhill eagerly rooted on our mats waiting for his wisdom.

Bryan began by talking about what Yoga really is, how it truly serves us as individuals and as a community. He focused on the reality that Yoga is not a physical practice, that Yoga does not care what we do, but how we do it- with awareness.

Best of all Bryan is down to mother earth and real with every word. He spoke of the need to recognize our state of mind, and feed the qualities that free us from our agendas- compassion, love, being gentle.

“Life is the Teacher, Your Life is the Teaching”, Bryan said as he let out a satisfied burp (like I said, Bryan is real!) 🙂 After a round of giggles, Bryan continued by saying that instead of seeing others as our teachers we should look to ourselves as the teacher and be accepting. Sounds much better than strengthening the negative shit by judging ourselves, but instead eradicating that shit! (as Bryan would say)

The best past of it all? The flowing meditative practice that brought it all together. Bryan led us through a dynamic class, offering suggestions on how to explore our own practice, mind and body. There was a moment I will always remember when during a balance pose, Bryan was right next to me saying that he wanted all of us to f-ing fall; “because don’t we learn more from falling that staying in some pose like a statue?”. Wonderful in so many ways!

So how do we as a community embrace yoga as it is meant to be? Without judgement, without competition, but rather with stillness; etching the yogic qualities into our minds, our neighborhoods, our yoga community that supports us all.

Since we can’t all take Bryan’s powerfully omazing classes everyday, how do you embrace yoga beyond physical practice?

YogiRoots Fest is Happening!!

YogiRoots Fest is Happening!!

YogiRoots Fest is happening in less than 2 months! This festival will be the 1st of many to celebrate Portland yoga. There will be Yogi leaders from across the Portland community, so many incredible workshops to take advance of, and local bands like Medicine for the People and The Shook Twins! SO excited 🙂

Get your tickets while you can! We are going to fill the Bossanova Ballroom to the brink with mind/body/spirit omazingness!