Powerful Thoughts

by Cathy Cassetta, 500 RYT

If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never have a negative thought." -- Peace Pilgrim

"We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far." -- Swami Vivekananda

You know when you’re upset your jaws tense? Or your shoulders hunch up and get tight? Or when you’re dreading a conversation and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach?

Well, that’s the mind talking to you through your body. It’s that mind-body-spirit connection. And that connection happens all the way into our innermost cells. What and how we think truly does influence the health, size, shape, and growth of our cells, among other things.

Curious about all that? Want to know more about how our thoughts can change our cells? Read Dr. Bruce Lipton’s fascinating book The Biology Of Belief: Unleashing The Power Of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles. It’s a relatively easy-read. Spoiler alert: He does get into a bit of quantum physics. You can always skim through those sections if they're not for you.

Alternatively, another book that is an amazing and astounding true-story account of how our thoughts influence our cells is A Change of Heart: A Memoir by heart and lung transplant recipient and former dancer/yoga teacher Claire Sylvia, written with William Novak. Bruce Lipton references Claire Sylvia’s experiences in Biology of Belief, which is where I heard of it. This one is an easy and very compelling read that is the length of a novella. Both books are eye-openers that have helped me on my journey to heal my body and understand the mind-body-spirit connection. I recommend both books.
If you read either of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please email me at cathy@myyogaplacepalmsprings.com. I also welcome any questions you may have about my journey or about any aspect of yoga or tap, so email me those too! Namaste
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Why do you do yoga?

Why do you do yoga?
by Cathy Cassetta, 500 RYT
For myself, my yoga journey started as a way to heal my body naturally of the osteoporosis I’d developed through sleep deprivation, poor diet, work/life imbalance, and too much sitting! Yoga is, indeed, helping me to heal my body, along with cleaning up my lifestyle. A bonus to all these changes: I’m gaining back some of the height I’ve lost. This August I will gratefully and gladly celebrate being on the planet in this body of mine for 71 years! My goal is to live to 100 in a healthy body that is connected to a vibrant mind and joyful spirit. Yoga is going to help me get there! And so are Dottie’s weekly tap classes (Did you know: bouncing and heel drops encourage bone health? That’s why we offer the tap classes; plus they’re incredibly fun!). It is my joy now to share with others what I’ve learned about the body and how yoga can help us regain and/or retain our health.

Why do you do yoga? I would love to hear from you about your own yoga journey. If you’d like to share with me why you do yoga, please email me at cathy@myyogaplacepalmsprings.com. I also welcome any questions you may have about my journey or about any aspect of yoga or tap, so email me those too!
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Orange-Scented Beets

Yes, it’s citrus time which is why you will see oranges, and other citrus fruits, featured in my winter recipes. Citrus is high in Vitamin C which helps keep us healthier. It’s not so amazing that Mother Nature has a plan which is offering food that we need when we need it.

I have so been enjoying this recipe that I have made for more than 20 years and still enjoy. I make it in the pressure cooker but it could be made by roasting the beets, or even buying the packages of precooked beets (yes there is such a thing), and then cooking them in the orange vinegar liquid. These beets taste great on top of any salad or eaten as a side dish. Beets provide nitric oxide which is good for your blood and good for your heart. I chose this recipe because it is Valentine’s Day month but I encourage you to open your heart every day of the year.
Serves 4
Cooking beets has never been easier. They become so tender in the pressure cooker that you don’t even need to peel them if you don’t want to. It’s best to use young beets that are no more than 3 or 4 inches in diameter as they are most tender and even the skin becomes edible in the pressure cooker.

  • 1 1/2 pounds beets (about 3 to 4 medium)
  • 3 large strips orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons grated zest
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (1-2 oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sucanat or brown sugar (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 scallions, sliced
1. Scrub the beets. Remove the stems and tails and cut in half. Lay cut-side down and cut into ¼-inch slices.

2. Combine the orange zest strips, orange juice, and vinegar in a pressure cooker. Add the beets. Lock on the lid. Bring to high pressure; cook for 3 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally for 7 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Remove the lid carefully, tilting it away from you. Insert a knife into the beets to be sure that they are cooked through. (If not, put back on to pressure for another minute or two.)

3. Remove and discard the zest strips. Stir the Sucanat, if desired, and mustard into the beets.

4. Remove the beets from the cooking liquid and transfer to a bowl. Let cool for at least 5 minutes. (At this point, you may chill the beets in their liquid for a day or two; mix in the grated zest and scallions just before serving.)

5. Mix the grated orange zest and scallions into the beets. Pour the liquid from the cooker over the beets.

6. Serve hot, warm or cold.

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© 2021 by Jill Nussinow, MS, RDN. Reprinted with permission.
Adapted from "Vegan Under Pressure" by Jill Nussinow (Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt). Photo by Jill Nussinow.
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My Yoga Place on Palm Springs Life Online

Excited to share this breaking news: My Yoga Place Palm Springs is featured on Palm Spring Life online!

Weight Off Your Body:
My Yoga Place in Palm Springs offers online classes to help you relieve some of the stress from the coronavirus pandemic.
From Modernism Week to food and retail establishments to local fundraisers, Coachella Valley businesses are turning to virtual/on-line customer experiences to stay connected to their clientele. My Yoga Place Palm Springs, is no exception.

Studio owner Cathy Cassetta knew she wanted to maintain the space on South Palm Canyon as a place to practice yoga after its previous owner closed at the start of the pandemic. She made a leap of faith and signed a lease for the space, hoping to open in July.

“Back in May, when I made the commitment to keep this lovely space available to practice yoga, I never imagined we’d still be dealing with the impact of the virus to the degree we are now nearly five months later,” says Cassetta. “I had to come up with a way to still maintain that community connection for studio patrons. Offering classes live online was the alternative path I chose, which we started doing mid-September.”  Read More
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Ready. Set. Wait!

There's something lovely, almost magical, about anticipation. While working on staying grounded and living fully in the moment, we sometimes can't ignore anticipation's seductive tingle. The day before that long-planned for vacation. Knowing a loved one will be arriving soon for a visit. Waiting to welcome new life into the world.

Among events from momentus to mild, opening a yoga studio falls squarely in the middle. To say we were excited would be an understatement. If you read my first blog post -- I hope you did! -- you know the space My Yoga Place Palm Springs occupies was the former home of a popular and successful yoga studio. My hope, then as now, was to continue the tradition of support, eduation and healing started by the previous owner. Myself, my amazing hubs, our teacher Karol Trejo; plus, our behind-the-scenes creative, Cosmic Jumper Digital Design, set to the meticulous work of getting everything in readiness. Many late nights, early mornings, and numerous cups of coffee later, we put the finishing touches on our new studio.

We had a "soft" opening to start, with a handful of students (we're limited to 7) eager and willing to work with our new health & safety procedures, giving us feedback on how well we did and where we might improve. Everything went smoothly, and we took that as a sign we were ready to officially open our doors.

We announced the date of our planned opening on social media: Monday, July 13th. That announcement (wonderful and mild in its own way) was met by a (notably momentus) declaration ordering "the closure of all indoor operations at restaurants, bars, gyms, churches, malls and other locaations in 30 counties statewide". We listened as report after report detailed the rise in COVID-19 cases in our state.

"Even the best-laid plans oft go awry." (Apologies to Robert Burns)

There was never a question that we would close. We announced, as many businesses did, that the closure would be temporary and we'd be ready to welcome students back as soon as it's considered safe to do so. So we rolled up our mats, shut off the lights and locked the studio doors for what we hoped wouldn't be the last time.

Like many of you, I rely on my breathwork and meditation practice to help me navigate difficult times. I also read quite a bit -- and that brings me back to the Robert Burns poem I quoted earlier.

The poem, "To a Mouse, on Turning Up Her Nest With the Plough, November, 1785" recounts Burns' thoughts on a mouse whose home was destroyed as he ploughed his fields. Reading it again, I find subtle relevance in its verse. Like the mouse, we've each been affected as COVID-19 -- "the cruel plough" -- continues to upend our reality, proving "foresight may be vain". "Still," the poet notes, "you are blessed, compared with me! The present only touches you." Burns goes on to note that, as a human, he casts his eye forward to "guess and fear" a future he cannot see.

At times like this, it's tempting for us to fret and ponder about the future or look wistfully back at the past. Yoga asks that we do neither. It insists our attention and focus remain solidly in the present. We can't escape to a past that no longer exists nor pine for a future that hasn't happened yet. Going back to the mouse in the poem, its only shelter is destroyed just as winter is about to descend. It is vulnerable to predators and prospects for survival seem bleak. Yet if we know anything about Nature, its inhabitants are survivors. While Burns pondered the fate of the mouse, I imagine that, seconds after realizing its home had been destroyed, the resourceful little creature did not worry over the loss but set about finding another to place in which to shelter for the coming winter.

Like the mouse, I've decided to stay firmly in the moment with all of its glorious uncertainty. I can't control when the plough will come, but I can keep strengthening the walls of my inner sanctuary with yoga and meditation to help me survive the storm.
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