Sink into a gong bath

The sound begins quietly at first and then slowly becomes louder and more rhythmic and trance-inducing. The vibrations wash over your body. Time seems to slip away and what feels like five minutes can really be 30. That is the power of a gong bath.

Transformative Travel, Yoga

Transformative Travel: Nepal’s yoga melting pot

It was a castle in the sky. It felt that way at least, way up high, nestled at the edge of the jungle up the mountains. I hugged a cup of black tea to my chest and stared out over the Himalayas. I had come to Nepal to become an internationally certified yoga teacher and complete a 200 hours training program at Nepal Yoga Home under the direction of yoga guru Prakash Acharya.


An Ashtanga sequence from tapas yoga shala

Ashtanga yoga is designed to create discomfort, forming physically and mentally strong students. To get the flavor of Ashtanga practice, begin with 3-5 repetitions of Sun Salutation A to build heat and connect breath and movement.

Healthy Living

5 tempting teas from Des Moines’ Gong Fu tea shop

Downtown Des Moines’ Gong Fu tea shop stocks its shelves with around 150 teas sourced from around the world. Here are five stand-out offerings, each filled with complex goodness that will conjure memories of cozy holidays and Seinfeld episodes past.

Healthy Living

Top 10 coffee shops around the world

I’ve visited 13 countries in the past year and enjoyed countless cups of coffee and tea while working on my first feature documentary The Connected Cup. From Ethiopia to Iowa City, here are 10 of my favorite coffee shops.

Healthy Living

Recipe: Kundalini Yogi Tea

In 1969, Yogi Bhajan began offering his students a blend of spices brewed into a tea after class. This tea included five spices traditional to Ayurvedic medicine: cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and black pepper. The students lovingly nicknamed the tea “yogi tea” and continues to be a staple of Kundalini yoga practices today.

Beginner's Yoga, Yoga

Starting a Yoga Journey: 6 first steps

So you’re ready to launch your yoga practice! Before you get overwhelmed by the many different kinds of yoga, spend a bunch of cash trying each studio, or worse, are turned off by a class that’s completely wrong for you, let’s take a beat and devise your perfect yoga path.

Healthy Living, Yoga

The yoga challenge that wasn’t

I scheduled classes, I canceled most of them and I carried through in being a bad vegan. What I hadn’t been doing during this challenge was remembering that yoga is so much more than showing up on your mat. While that’s an important step, it’s likewise important to remember the tenets of yoga.

Healthy Living, Yoga

Treating a herniated disc with yoga

Particular poses, when done carefully, can aid back pain sufferers and help prevent problems in the long run. If you’re embarking on the uphill climb toward recovery, here’s a few reasons why you might plan on starting a morning Sun Salutation (and how it may help you wake up pain-free).


Slow down and strengthen up with yin yoga

How you look in a pose, how your pose compares to the teacher’s or other students’ or even how you looked in it a year ago or a week ago is not important. Bring yourself fully into the present breath by breath, pose by pose. This is how you find union between your body and mind, yourself and the universal collective.