PURE LIFE
Connect with Pure’s inspiring and active community on our blog. Please take the opportunity to share your own experiences, learn about upcoming events, gain further insight on fitness and nutrition, and of course, learn and grow.

INSTRUCTOR SPOTLIGHT: JIMMY BURGIO

This Movember, we're celebrating all the men doing amazing things at Pure Yoga. Join us in celebrating Jimmy Burgio, Pure instructor with 10 years of experience. Read more about Jimmy's history with yoga, his yoga body, and some of his favorite things about Fall! 

1. How did you get started on your yoga journey?
Through Mantra Meditation using a mala. Then, years later, through a dance teacher.

As a child, I struggled as a gay kid in a southern, Catholic School. I was the victim of terrible bullying. For my 13th birthday, I received "The Prayer Bead Box" which explained various prayers and mantras, including the yogic mantra "Om Namah Shivaya". It resonated with me at that point in my life, holding the meaning "Salutations to that which I am capable of becoming". Chanting the mantra and moving my fingers over the beads was my yoga body until I found the asana practice at age 16.
As I continued to learn modern dance, which included yoga poses, I loved the way the poses helped my body open up, and over time how they helped me prevent and recover from injuries. I started practicing yoga alongside my training as a dancer. On the mat I had found a place where I truly belonged and was accepted by the people around me. It was healing. I enrolled in their teacher training program, and the rest is history! 

2. What defines your yoga body?
My physical practice has expanded so much due to the incredible level of practice and teaching that New York City has to offer. My view of a yoga body is something more than just a physical body; it's an integrated experience of Heart, Mind, and Body. It's perfectly described by a portamento word from sanskrit, three incredibly layered words packed into one: satchidananda.

It's perfectly described by a portamento word from Sanskrit, three incredibly layered words packed into one: satchidananda. This word means that we are an unlimited amount of:
Sat - Truth. Lightness of being. My yoga body is graceful and light. My physical body reflects the state of my heart. This means honoring my body in the present moment, allowing every pose to be an expression of my Truth.
Chit - Consciousness/ Knowledge. Through my practice, whether it's on the mat or meditation, I'm able to tap into my own inner-guiding goodness. I'm able to see where I'm resisting happiness, or how the state of my mind is influencing my current situation. By tuning into my yoga body I have the opportunity for insight. 
Ananda - Bliss. Returning to the mat again and again helps me to uncover my natural state of being, which is pure bliss. Practice is a brave act of surrender, of offering your heart, mind, and body up. In the letting go there is freedom and we are filled with love.

3. Favorite Fall activity.
Drinking Pumking. It's my favorite pumpkin beer. 

4. How are you gearing up for the holidays?
Making plans. I usually host friends for Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite holidays. This year is particularly special because it's the first time my Boyfriend and I are hosting in our apartment together.

5. Biggest Thanksgiving Indulgence.
I've been a vegetarian for over 10 years, so Thanksgiving hasn't ever really been a Turkey-centered holiday for any part of my adult life. 

6. Best Thanksgiving.
A few years ago, I was the DJ at a bar on Thanksgiving eve. A bunch of friends surprised me and danced the night away. The following day, we woke up and made our thanksgiving meal together. The holiday was a celebration in every way possible!

7. Favorite part of Halloween.
It's always fun to walk through the costume stores and see new ways that they've figured out how to make random things "sexy". This year's greatest finds so far were a "Sexy Crayon" and "Sexy Elmo" costumes. And to the ladies: on behalf of men everywhere, I'm so so sorry.

8. Best Halloween costume you've ever worn.
For three years in a row I was Spiderman. I was waiting for an epic upside down Spiderman kiss. I wore this costume until it finally happened! 

9. Favorite Halloween candy.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination.

Join Jimmy for his Teacher Training, beginning November 13. To learn more & sign up, click here.


WELLNESS WITH CANDICE KUMAI

Candice Kumai, quoted by Prevention Magazine as "a prolific cookbook author and one of the country’s most recognized clean-food chefs", is a classically trained chef, wellness journalist and best-selling author of Clean Green Eats, Clean Green Drinks, Pretty Delicious, Cook Yourself Sexy and Cook Yourself Thin. She is a regular contributor on E! News and The Dr. Oz Show and has appeared as a regular judge on Iron Chef America and Beat Bobby Flay. She contributes to lifestyle publications such as Cosmopolitan, Shape, Yoga Journal, Men’s Health, Clean Eating and Prevention and volunteers at dozens of charitable organizations. She is a Top Chef alumni, and is obsessed with avocados, coconut and her cat, Sisi.

Candice joins Pure Yoga on November 7th for a Vinyasa class, followed by a wellness chat and Q&A. Prior to the event, we're giving you access to some of her favorite Fall recipes with #Pure! 

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Kale, Swiss Chard and Butternut Squash Salad
With raw butternut squash ribbons, crisp kale, delicate Swiss chard, and an orange vinaigrette, this recipe is simple yet exotic at the same time.

Serves 6
Ingredients:
For the orange vinaigrette:
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1/4 cup pulp-free orange juice
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For salad:
2 medium bunches (4 cups) kale, chopped
1 medium bunch Swiss or rainbow chard
1/2 medium butternut squash
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
6 ounces fresh chèvre (goat cheese), crumbled

Directions:
1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients for vinaigrette to combine.
2. Clean and thoroughly dry kale and chard. With a sharp knife, remove woody stems from kale. Chop both greens into bite-size pieces.
3. Remove and discard seeds from butternut squash. Use a vegetable peeler to slice thin ribbons from inside squash.
4. In a large bowl, combine greens, squash ribbons, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. Toss with half the vinaigrette. Transfer salad to 6 plates. Top with crumbled chèvre and serve additional vinaigrette on the side.

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Clean Matcha Smoothie
My Matcha Love smoothie, is perf before a meditation or yoga session. I highly recommend cleansing all areas of your life: mental, physical & spiritual. Time to zen-out like my Japanese ancestors once did. Life isn’t about going nutzo, it’s about taking time to do things right and slow.

Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk drink (try a blend!)
2 cups organic baby spinach
1  frozen banana
2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder (try my fave, Matcha Love by Ito En)
1 cup ice (optional)

Directions:
Add ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Get it gurl. xx ck

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Slimming Pumpkin Smoothie
One of my most popular smoothies to date, starring delicious, vitamin-A-loaded pumpkin puree. you are hooking yourself up here, hon. Whip up an extra glass for your man or a girlfriend at work, and share the satiety and nutrition together.

Ingredients:
1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened almond milk
3⁄4 cup organic pumpkin puree
1 frozen banana
1⁄2 Bartlett pear, cored
1⁄4 teaspoon pumpkin spice
4 tablespoons (1 scoop) protein powder
1⁄2 cup ice

Directions:
Add ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.


Tag @PureYogaNYC & @CandiceKumai with your recipe creations!

SPOTLIGHT: PATRICK BEACH

Dedicated to bringing yoga to the masses, Patrick Beach makes the yoga journey relatable to all students. Read our interview with Patrick to find out more about this yoga star.

My yoga journey started in an incredibly simple way, getting made fun of by my mom for being so stiff I couldn’t sit on the floor. She had been practicing yoga for a while and knew a few poses for hip stretching that I used to practice everyday. It was a really calming process that helped me take a step back from a life constantly filled with movement. From there I really began to grow into the physical practice, exploring the different intricacies of my body, which over time has led to more mindfulness for who I am and an understanding for how I can share yoga with others.

WHAT’S A YOGA BODY TO ME?
For me this is about being honest with yourself and finding balance. It is easy to get caught up in the physical benefits of the yoga practice, to challenge yourself, and to hunt for new poses. As this journey begins to get deeper there is a huge value in working to find body awareness, to understand the strengths the weaknesses, and to know where to push the body and when to pull back. There can often be discouragement when limitation is reached, but in reality limitation is the key to growth. Without limitation there is no growth, and no opportunity for a deeper study. When you reach a point of challenge, what rises from it, when a pose gives you energy, what rises from it, when a pose calms you down, what rises from it?

All these questions lead to finding personal balance. Not every pose has the same effect on every person. We all have unique tendencies in where we naturally place our efforts, on how the body is structured, on where the mind wanders. Our bodies serve us and we serve them as well, with the practice, with the people in our lives, with proper nourishment, with excitement, with rest, with understanding, we become more. Through yoga we can become more than the physical body, more than present moment we strive to find.

To practice with Patrick, click here.

Community Spotlight: Christina Ilisije

Our Figure 4 manager, Christina Ilisije, believes teaching offers her the opportunity to inspire confidence in others and push people beyond what they believe they can achieve. We sat down with Christina to chat all things yoga and barre. See below for our Q&A.

1. What do you consider your yoga body?
A yoga body is a thoughtful, purposeful, and endlessly curious one. Each action you take blesses you with a deeper sensation within the muscle and a deeper understanding of yourself. There is always another layer to uncover and each moment holds the opportunity for new discovery.

2. How do you use this approach in your daily life?
This yogic mind-body approach is inherent in how I approach any and all movements. As a professional dancer, I find this type of practice the cornerstone of a true artist on the stage; no two moments are alike, each movement possess intention and fresh choices are always being made, even after the 100th show. As I move, I gain a more comprehensive understanding of what my tendencies are, I address what's holding me back, and I plow forward eliminating the boundaries of disruptive thought to reach physical, mental, and soulful abandon.

3. How do you use translate this approach to Figure 4?
As an instructor of Figure 4, I strive to bring every practitioner to this level of artistic commitment to their movement, so they can achieve their greatest practice in not just their body but in their mind and soul as well.

To take class with Christina, click here.

Managing Teacher Spotlight: Andrea Borrero

Our expert Managing Teachers at Pure West, Andrea Borerro, has been practicing at Pure for 7 years, and teaching with us for 4. One year ago, Andrea began her journey as a Managing teacher, acting as a guide, mentor, and companion to students and fellow teachers.

Read our interview with Andrea below on her journey with yoga and how she defines her yoga body:

When did you first begin practicing yoga?
I began my Yoga Journey in 1996 - a novice with no basic understanding of Yoga. I fell in love from the first class I took.

How have you evolved with yoga throughout time?
Over the years, my relationship with yoga has morphed, changing with the seasons, life transitions, losses and gains, but it has always been the calm at the center of every storm.

What is your yoga body?
My Yoga Body is my temple and sanctuary. Some days there is more mind-chatter and I sit in meditation; other days, there is less confusion and I move with ease in asana. Some days, my yoga body needs to breath, some days it needs to sweat. Every day, though, it is my refuge and connection back to the source.

Describe your yoga body in 3 words.
Powerful. Vulnerable. Forgiving.

Connect with Andrea and navigate Pure Yoga's programming schedule to help fit your specific needs. Click here.

Instructor Spotlight: Kat Fowler

The Pure community is thrilled to feature Kat Fowler, our #PurePoseOff model, as our instructor spotlight this September.

1. Why yoga? How did you get started?
My parents were really spiritual people so I've always been immersed in the meditative side of yoga since I was little - but I found the physical practice actually after a bad break up. It was the best thing that ever happened to me!

2. What's one food you can't live without?
Guacamole - if I could eat guacamole everyday I would.

3. Biggest indulgence.
Dark chocolate and binge watching mad men.

4. Favorite brand of yoga gear.
KiraGrace, Reebok and Tanya b!

5. Biggest pet peeve.
Couples with too much PDA and slow walkers on the sidewalk.

6. Favorite Fall activity
Walking around in Central Park to see the foliage

7. Where do you hope to visit one day?
Santorini

8. Best vacation you've ever taken.
My last yoga retreat to Aruba! It was transformative for my students and myself

9. Favorite thing about NYC
I love how densely populated it is - it's such a high energy international city, where you can meet the most incredible people.

10. Any advice you truly live by.
What you do comes back to you - I always live by the golden rule.

To sign up for a class at Pure Yoga with Kat, click here.

Leading a Focus Driven Life by Parsley Health

Our celebration of Yoga Month continues and this week our friends at Parsley Health, a cutting-edge holistic health care provider, share tips on perfecting a nutritious lifestyle that’s right for you.

Follow the 80/20 Rule.
Eating clean 100% of the time is nearly impossible and often feels limiting. That’s why we recommend embracing healthy habits 80% of the time and allowing yourself the space to enjoy other indulgences 20% of the time. This is a much more sustainable way of living your life and feeling your best.
 

Listen to Your Cravings.
Guess what? Food cravings are actually a good thing. They’re your body’s way of telling you what it needs. Getting a hunger pang for guacamole means you need fat. A sudden craving for sugar often means you need protein to stabilize your blood sugar. Pay attention and choose a healthy form of sustenance.

Know Your Food Sensitivities.
Frequent gas, bloating, stomach pain, or skin rashes is not normal. These kinds of symptoms are usually the product of regularly eating food that your body has a sensitivity to. How do you get to the bottom of it? Do a detox. At Parsley Health, we have a 21-Day Detox Program that will do the trick.

Slow Down & Chew.
Raise your hand if you sometimes (or all of the time) devour your food without really tasting it? You’re probably multi-tasking, feeling tense, and eating a little too much in the process. It’s time to make eating a sacred, pleasurable experience. Admire your food. Taste each bite. Chew it thoroughly to avoid stomach discomfort.

Embrace Being the Oddball.
We know getting classified as the “health nut” or “picky eater” can be cringe-worthy, but so can IBS and tons of gas. If you’re someone who needs to eat a certain way, own it! Everyone else will get onboard when they see you feeling confident with your choices.

To learn more about Parsley Health and sign up for one of their services, visit here.

Find your ground, guided by Sakara Life

To celebrate Yoga Month, we're sharing wisdom and insight from our partners to help you stay motivated. Our friends at Sakara Life, an organic, plant-based meal delivery program, share the reasons to stay grounded through what you eat.

As human beings, we are an indelible part of nature. To feel connected with the earth and to fully understand our place in the world around us, we must keep our feet on the ground, literally and figuratively. We draw energy directly from the earth when we plant our feet in mountain pose, and we can take that mission even further by eating foods that the earth bestows on us.

Consuming whole, plant-based foods radically changes how our body looks and feels. A diet of colorful, seasonal foods that are nutritionally rich in plant-sourced protein is guaranteed to make us feel more grounded. We're connected to the food we put into our bodies to nourish and fuel our daily activities—physical, mental and spiritual—and therefore more connected to ourselves. As a result, we are energized instead of stressed, inspired instead of lost, and making the best choices possible to keep us on this path.

To find out more about Sakara Life, and sign up for their one, three or 20-day organic meal delivery, click here.


Reinforce your balance, guided by Folk Rebellion

We’ve teamed up with some of our favorite brands to keep you motivated throughout Yoga Month. This week our friends at Folk Rebellion, a boutique lifestyle brand for unplugged living, share their top ten tips on staying grounded.

Connect with Mama Earth: The days fly by in a flurry of minutes and meetings. We flit through ordinary moments as we rush to what is next. For an immediate wake up, take your shoes off and put your feet on the ground, feeling the stones, dirt or grass underneath your feet. Imagine the round world below you and take five deep breaths. You'll be surprised at how calm that makes you feel afterwards. 

Sacred Mornings: Since the dawn of the iPhone humans have essentially been waking up with a jolt, only powering down right before bed. The problem with this is that those 12-14 hours awake are at full throttle. The simplest change you can make is sleep without your iPhone next to your bed. Instead, opt for a cute old alarm clock or awaken to a bird song outside your window.

The 9-to-9 Rule: It's up to us to set the boundaries as to what is acceptable for our well-being. A lack of boundaries welcomes a lack of respect. Let people in your life know that you will be tech-free from 9pm to 9am. Spend that time reading a book or making eggs without a news feed in your face.

Hello It's Me: Encourage phone calls with friends and family. The emotional jolt you get from hearing their laughter versus reading LOL is significantly more rewarding. If you are worried about the boss and your 9-to-9 rule, inform them that they are free to call you if the matter is urgent. As most Managers can wait until business hours, you will likely never receive that call.

Cut the Cord: Having a device that pulls you out of the present moment is like leaving a person who struggles with alcohol inside a bar alone. Why present yourself a temptation to constantly fight? Running to grab lunch? Leave it on your desk. Post office visit? Leave it in the car. Going for a walk? Leave it at home.

Rebel Yell: At what point did it become acceptable for us to be contacted at all hours? Worse yet, when did it become mandatory to instantly respond? Get a little mad that someone or something has trained you and is holding these unhealthy expectations for you. That bit of rebel in you that wants to question everything will be fired up every time your phone dings.

Smell the Roses: How can you stop and smell the roses if your nose is in your phone? Wasting time is not wasted time. Put the phone away and look out the window on your commute. Be ok with sitting on a park bench with nothing to distract you.

Get Handsy: Musicians, makers, artists, dancers, athletes, yogis, surfers all are less tethered because they have something that prevents a phone’s presence. What a great excuse to pick up that hobby you've been talking about.

Think Real World: Tangible isn't a bad thing. Replace screens when possible with books or magazines, which help train your brain to read long form and may improve focus.

Not Always On: Studies are consistently proving that the "always on" mentality leads to diminished productivity. When you leave work, leave work behind you. Those who do not unplug to some extent tend to burn out. I am sure there will be people in your life happy to see your face glowing without the light from your screen.

To learn more tips to unplug and shop the latest fall styles, please visit: Folk Rebellion or click here to participate in our #PurePoseOff Challenge.


Instructor Spotlight: Meet Jacob Parkinson

Get to know one of our favorite Hot Power instructors, Jacob Parkinson. Read our interview below as Jacob dishes about all things yoga, summer, and NYC!

1. How did you begin your journey with yoga?
Ten years ago, I had just graduated from undergrad and was living in Seattle. I was a gym rat and started going to a yoga class every Tuesday and Thursday. Downward facing dog was the most torturous and painful thing I had ever experienced, but I got addicted to the post-yoga calm. I had a lot of political anger at the time, and yoga gave me a place to rest.

2. What has inspired you most throughout your journey?
The expansive tradition that supports this practice and how, once I opened myself to its history, ritual, and symbolism, it became a catalyst for meaningful change in my life.

3. How do you feel Pure Yoga has enhanced your practice?
Pure yoga has offered me an incredible opportunity to teach alongside, and learn from, some remarkable teachers, as equally committed to the practice as I am.

4. How has yoga in general changed your outlook on life?
I moved to New York to complete a PhD in philosophy and for a long time wanted to be a professor. In academia, philosophizing is about tearing apart another person's argument. It's about divisions, specialized conversations and status. Through yoga, I slowly noticed that my passion for philosophy had a better home outside academia, where it could express itself spiritually and in a way that creates bridges rather than boundaries.

5. What is one mantra you live by?
Well, I meditate with the Ganesh mantra every day. But another mantra would probably be "one day at a time".

6. Have you influenced your friends and family to start practicing yoga?
My mom practices yoga now and even came to a recent retreat that I hosted in my home state of Washington. I am slowly getting my dad into it, but mainly in a therapeutic way, as he has recently had extreme surgeries on his hips and shoulders.

7. What do you enjoy to do in NYC?
I wouldn't be making the most of New York City if I didn't experience as much theatre as possible. I also love to discover new cafes and restaurants.

9. Where is your favorite summer hang out?
Central Park, of course.

10. Tell us one fun fact not many people know about Jacob...
I used to teach country western line dancing, complete with cowboy boots and a bolo. Don't worry, I have pictures.

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