Saturday, 13 September 2014

 


Like most Los Angeles residents, I spend far too much time in my car and I'm always trying to dial it back.  Rather than trek all the way home between two of my private client classes, I often just stop somewhere nearby for a coffee or breakfast to kill the time.  I had the brilliant idea of stopping in at Rawvolution in Santa Monica on Thursday, only to arrive and discover that they don’t open until 10 am.  I would love to start work at 10 am, but most of us are already up and about well before then so I continued on down the road to Venice to go to Café Gratitude. 

I’m in the Rose Avenue Café Gratitude location fairly often because I love their raw vegan dessert counter.  This time I actually stayed for a meal for the first time in a long time, perching at the bar and enjoying some hot tea and a bowl of chia seed porridge.  


Gratitude is not my favourite place for vegan food in LA but when you’re looking for something healthy and energising on the West side early in the morning, it is one of your best options.  It kept me going for my next two classes anyway!


Cafe Gratitude on Urbanspoon

 


Like most Los Angeles residents, I spend far too much time in my car and I'm always trying to dial it back.  Rather than trek all the way home between two of my private client classes, I often just stop somewhere nearby for a coffee or breakfast to kill the time.  I had the brilliant idea of stopping in at Rawvolution in Santa Monica on Thursday, only to arrive and discover that they don’t open until 10 am.  I would love to start work at 10 am, but most of us are already up and about well before then so I continued on down the road to Venice to go to Café Gratitude. 

I’m in the Rose Avenue Café Gratitude location fairly often because I love their raw vegan dessert counter.  This time I actually stayed for a meal for the first time in a long time, perching at the bar and enjoying some hot tea and a bowl of chia seed porridge.  


Gratitude is not my favourite place for vegan food in LA but when you’re looking for something healthy and energising on the West side early in the morning, it is one of your best options.  It kept me going for my next two classes anyway!


Cafe Gratitude on Urbanspoon

Friday, 5 September 2014

 The first time I saw Nitin Sawhney play live was at a festival in Perth when I was still in university.  He was the headlining act and played last in the evening so my friends and I left the sandy pit of the Belvoir Amphitheatre very late.  After waiting for near on an hour to even get out of the car park, we made it about ten minutes down the road before the car died in the middle of an intersection.  We spent another hour waiting for a tow by the side of the road.  Good times.  Now, I always think of this debacle when I hear Nitin Sawhney.   All the same, I’ve topped and tailed my latest power yoga play list with his music because it’s great for yoga I think.  I’m also crazy about the Flic Flac remix of Vance Joy’s Riptide. I played this for my quiet-as-mice power students in Santa Monica last night – I couldn’t tell if they liked it….but I do. 

Sunset – Nitin Sawhney
Riptide (Flic Flac Edit) – Vance Joy
Fools (Peter, Bjorn & John Hortlax Cobra Remix) – The Temper Trap
No Diggity Vs Thrift Shop (Kygo Remix) – Ed Sheeran & Passenger
No Scrubs (Freddy Verano Edit) – Bastille
Over the Love (Of You) – Florence Welch and SBTRKT
15 Step – Radiohead
Face A La Mer (Massive Attack Remix) – Les Negresses Vertes
Exchange – Massive Attack
Single (Photek Remix) – Everything But the Girl
Romeo (Ft. Kele Le Roc) – Basement Jaxx
The Boatman – Nitin Sawhney


 The first time I saw Nitin Sawhney play live was at a festival in Perth when I was still in university.  He was the headlining act and played last in the evening so my friends and I left the sandy pit of the Belvoir Amphitheatre very late.  After waiting for near on an hour to even get out of the car park, we made it about ten minutes down the road before the car died in the middle of an intersection.  We spent another hour waiting for a tow by the side of the road.  Good times.  Now, I always think of this debacle when I hear Nitin Sawhney.   All the same, I’ve topped and tailed my latest power yoga play list with his music because it’s great for yoga I think.  I’m also crazy about the Flic Flac remix of Vance Joy’s Riptide. I played this for my quiet-as-mice power students in Santa Monica last night – I couldn’t tell if they liked it….but I do. 

Sunset – Nitin Sawhney
Riptide (Flic Flac Edit) – Vance Joy
Fools (Peter, Bjorn & John Hortlax Cobra Remix) – The Temper Trap
No Diggity Vs Thrift Shop (Kygo Remix) – Ed Sheeran & Passenger
No Scrubs (Freddy Verano Edit) – Bastille
Over the Love (Of You) – Florence Welch and SBTRKT
15 Step – Radiohead
Face A La Mer (Massive Attack Remix) – Les Negresses Vertes
Exchange – Massive Attack
Single (Photek Remix) – Everything But the Girl
Romeo (Ft. Kele Le Roc) – Basement Jaxx
The Boatman – Nitin Sawhney


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

(via What Should I Eat For Breakfast)
I had a crush on food long before I had a crush on yoga, and so I've been reading food blogs for years.  One of my current favourites is the oh-so-beautiful What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today by Polish writer and photographer Marta Greber.  Seriously, even if you've never cooked anything more complicated a piece of toast, you need to check out this site for the beautiful photography alone.  

(via What Should I Eat for Breakfast)
Her premise seems to be simple - breakfast is fabulous, so take time to eat it and enjoy it.  Her Clafoutis with Cocoa and Berries is a particular favourite of mine.  Go take a look at the site, or follow her fabulous photos on Pinterest.  

(via What Should I Eat For Breakfast)


(via What Should I Eat For Breakfast)
I had a crush on food long before I had a crush on yoga, and so I've been reading food blogs for years.  One of my current favourites is the oh-so-beautiful What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today by Polish writer and photographer Marta Greber.  Seriously, even if you've never cooked anything more complicated a piece of toast, you need to check out this site for the beautiful photography alone.  

(via What Should I Eat for Breakfast)
Her premise seems to be simple - breakfast is fabulous, so take time to eat it and enjoy it.  Her Clafoutis with Cocoa and Berries is a particular favourite of mine.  Go take a look at the site, or follow her fabulous photos on Pinterest.  

(via What Should I Eat For Breakfast)


Tuesday, 12 August 2014


When I was six years old, my parents took me and my sisters to Tasmania.  We travelled with another family around the island in a big blue Toyota Tarago and I distinctly remember the extremely fraught nerves of my mother and her friend as we wheeled around a series of incredibly narrow roads circling very, very steep cliffs.  To this day, my mother re-enacts with great flourish the moment when they realised that her friend’s husband was falling asleep at the wheel during this perilous journey. This memory returned to me for the first time in years as I crawled around the narrow road leading from Beverly Hills toward the north reservoir of Franklin Canyon Park.  Seriously, the speed limit in this part of the park is 15 mph for a reason – you cannot see around most corners and the road is seriously narrow, grading badly off towards a steep cliff face.  Such are the perils if you want to make your way to the Ranch Trail south of the northern reservoir. 


I’m going to be honest – I chose this hike on the promise of turtles... and other wildlife living in and around the reservoir, but namely the turtles.  At the base of the Ranch trail, with my thighs burning as I climbed stairs too steep for Andre the Giant to travail without breaking a sweat, I hoped the turtles would be worth it.  Of course, I could have walked straight up the paved road that runs from the small southern car park to the reservoir….but I didn’t.  The Ranch trail is narrow and if you take a wrong step, it’s an uncomfortable fall down a steep hill face.  I don’t usually take my phone on a hike but this one time I did and as I thought about the perils of slipping and tumbling down into a tree-lined ravine, I was glad that it was tucked into the back of my leggings…. Until I realised that I had absolutely no reception.  I wondered briefly if I’d told anyone where I was going…


Reaching the reservoir, I examined the posters at the entrance of the trail circling the water which boasted mountain lions, opossums, eagles, owls, etc, etc.  I quickly lost my obsession with turtles – I wanted to see a pocket gopher.  A POCKET GOPHER!!  Alas, as I traipsed around the reservoir, there were no gophers to be seen, although I did sight a number of burrows that looked pocket gopher size.  Apart from some ducks and the odd pocket mouse dashing across the trail, I failed to see any of the more exciting promised wildlife.  Despite this, the northern reservoir at Franklin is very pretty and it’s a nice easy circle around if you want to go for a quick jaunt or are organised enough to bring a picnic (there are plenty of benches and tables).  


There are other trails including the full Chapparal trail, but it was far too hot for further activity.  Another plus for “lake” loop is that it is largely shaded, so you’re not directly under the sun too often unlike a number of Los Angeles hikes. 

It’s not an easy hike to get to, but I will go back.  I will most definitely take a picnic lunch, and I will expect turtles.  Lots and lots of turtles.  



When I was six years old, my parents took me and my sisters to Tasmania.  We travelled with another family around the island in a big blue Toyota Tarago and I distinctly remember the extremely fraught nerves of my mother and her friend as we wheeled around a series of incredibly narrow roads circling very, very steep cliffs.  To this day, my mother re-enacts with great flourish the moment when they realised that her friend’s husband was falling asleep at the wheel during this perilous journey. This memory returned to me for the first time in years as I crawled around the narrow road leading from Beverly Hills toward the north reservoir of Franklin Canyon Park.  Seriously, the speed limit in this part of the park is 15 mph for a reason – you cannot see around most corners and the road is seriously narrow, grading badly off towards a steep cliff face.  Such are the perils if you want to make your way to the Ranch Trail south of the northern reservoir. 


I’m going to be honest – I chose this hike on the promise of turtles... and other wildlife living in and around the reservoir, but namely the turtles.  At the base of the Ranch trail, with my thighs burning as I climbed stairs too steep for Andre the Giant to travail without breaking a sweat, I hoped the turtles would be worth it.  Of course, I could have walked straight up the paved road that runs from the small southern car park to the reservoir….but I didn’t.  The Ranch trail is narrow and if you take a wrong step, it’s an uncomfortable fall down a steep hill face.  I don’t usually take my phone on a hike but this one time I did and as I thought about the perils of slipping and tumbling down into a tree-lined ravine, I was glad that it was tucked into the back of my leggings…. Until I realised that I had absolutely no reception.  I wondered briefly if I’d told anyone where I was going…


Reaching the reservoir, I examined the posters at the entrance of the trail circling the water which boasted mountain lions, opossums, eagles, owls, etc, etc.  I quickly lost my obsession with turtles – I wanted to see a pocket gopher.  A POCKET GOPHER!!  Alas, as I traipsed around the reservoir, there were no gophers to be seen, although I did sight a number of burrows that looked pocket gopher size.  Apart from some ducks and the odd pocket mouse dashing across the trail, I failed to see any of the more exciting promised wildlife.  Despite this, the northern reservoir at Franklin is very pretty and it’s a nice easy circle around if you want to go for a quick jaunt or are organised enough to bring a picnic (there are plenty of benches and tables).  


There are other trails including the full Chapparal trail, but it was far too hot for further activity.  Another plus for “lake” loop is that it is largely shaded, so you’re not directly under the sun too often unlike a number of Los Angeles hikes. 

It’s not an easy hike to get to, but I will go back.  I will most definitely take a picnic lunch, and I will expect turtles.  Lots and lots of turtles.  


Tuesday, 22 July 2014


I am not the queen of arm balances.  I watch Meghan Currie videos longingly and wish I could kick up into Scorpion on a whim.  Crow, I love.  Handstands, great fun.  Beyond that, the heavy knots I seem to carry around in my shoulders on a permanent basis make more challenging arm balances agonising for me - headstand and forearm balances especially induce a sensation of many hot knives stabbing into my shoulders.  Fallen Angel, however, is a pose I discovered completely by accident while flicking through fuckyeahyoga and I wondered if it would fall into the 'Oh God the pain' category.  It looked really hard.  A challenge! I decided to give it a go.  I've included Corrina Richard's great step-by-step video below, but in a nutshell, if you can do Side Crow, you can do Fallen Angel - you just need to fall over and falling over is one of my specialties.  From a prayer twist, lower your hands to the floor and position your leading elbow against your thigh as usual for Side Crow (if you do beginner's Side Crow with both elbows against your thigh this still works); bring the weight onto your hands and lift your feet, before gently leaning forward to bring your ear down onto the floor; lift your top leg and TA DA! 



I am not the queen of arm balances.  I watch Meghan Currie videos longingly and wish I could kick up into Scorpion on a whim.  Crow, I love.  Handstands, great fun.  Beyond that, the heavy knots I seem to carry around in my shoulders on a permanent basis make more challenging arm balances agonising for me - headstand and forearm balances especially induce a sensation of many hot knives stabbing into my shoulders.  Fallen Angel, however, is a pose I discovered completely by accident while flicking through fuckyeahyoga and I wondered if it would fall into the 'Oh God the pain' category.  It looked really hard.  A challenge! I decided to give it a go.  I've included Corrina Richard's great step-by-step video below, but in a nutshell, if you can do Side Crow, you can do Fallen Angel - you just need to fall over and falling over is one of my specialties.  From a prayer twist, lower your hands to the floor and position your leading elbow against your thigh as usual for Side Crow (if you do beginner's Side Crow with both elbows against your thigh this still works); bring the weight onto your hands and lift your feet, before gently leaning forward to bring your ear down onto the floor; lift your top leg and TA DA! 


Sunday, 13 July 2014


One of my favourite weekend expeditions is some early morning exercise before a big brunch.  I’m not sure whether the exercise encourages the idea of brunch, or the brunch is supposed to be negated by the exercise, but I don’t think it really matters. 


After a hike in Will Rogers Park yesterday morning, a girlfriend and I decided to try out the Farm Shop in Brentwood.  It’s part of the Brentwood Country Mart and a word to the wise, the take parking very seriously here – you will be interrogated about your destination as you drive into the lot and you will most likely be given wild waving hand gestures meant as direction when you reverse out of  your space as you leave. 



Farm Shop is my idea of heaven – a restaurant/bar attached to a beautiful little gourmet deli.  Everything’s ridiculously expensive and it’s the type of place you scope out potential rich husbands based on their decision to do all of their grocery shopping in this little slice of paradise.  However, when confronted by a mountain of cheese upon entering a room, I find it impossible to say no to opening my wallet. 



The breakfast menu here is fabulous – a large selection of something for everything with both small and large plates.  It’s not cheap, but having had breakfast in Brentwood the day before, my meal at Farm Shop was only about $5 more expensive and 50 times better.  After much wailing and gnashing of teeth trying to decide what to order, I finally had the salmon rilletes which was amazing and my brunch buddy had the very immaculately presented frittata.  Eyeing off the dishes of everyone else at our communal table, I need to go back and try the pastrami, and the French toast, and the steak and eggs, and the pecan cinnamon bun…etc, etc, etc. 



Farmshop Los Angeles on Urbanspoon


One of my favourite weekend expeditions is some early morning exercise before a big brunch.  I’m not sure whether the exercise encourages the idea of brunch, or the brunch is supposed to be negated by the exercise, but I don’t think it really matters. 


After a hike in Will Rogers Park yesterday morning, a girlfriend and I decided to try out the Farm Shop in Brentwood.  It’s part of the Brentwood Country Mart and a word to the wise, the take parking very seriously here – you will be interrogated about your destination as you drive into the lot and you will most likely be given wild waving hand gestures meant as direction when you reverse out of  your space as you leave. 



Farm Shop is my idea of heaven – a restaurant/bar attached to a beautiful little gourmet deli.  Everything’s ridiculously expensive and it’s the type of place you scope out potential rich husbands based on their decision to do all of their grocery shopping in this little slice of paradise.  However, when confronted by a mountain of cheese upon entering a room, I find it impossible to say no to opening my wallet. 



The breakfast menu here is fabulous – a large selection of something for everything with both small and large plates.  It’s not cheap, but having had breakfast in Brentwood the day before, my meal at Farm Shop was only about $5 more expensive and 50 times better.  After much wailing and gnashing of teeth trying to decide what to order, I finally had the salmon rilletes which was amazing and my brunch buddy had the very immaculately presented frittata.  Eyeing off the dishes of everyone else at our communal table, I need to go back and try the pastrami, and the French toast, and the steak and eggs, and the pecan cinnamon bun…etc, etc, etc. 



Farmshop Los Angeles on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 9 July 2014



I’d been in LA for three weeks before I was subjected to my first ascent of Temescal Canyon.  After a Saturday night of heavy drinking, I blearily decided to keep my promise to hike Sunday morning with two new LA friends.  Half way up, my girlfriend Amy and I were pausing on rocky ledges pretending to pick out our dream multi-million beach house in an attempt to mask our exhaustion.  I love a good hike – really, I do.  But there’s a difference between hiking and torture – with an emphasis on the torture when we finally got to the top of the canyon to discover a fitness group doing their celebratory ‘booty dance’ to incredibly loud, incredibly offensive rap music. 

Straight away, I started a search for less torturous hiking adventures in Los Angeles, of which apparently there are a million.  I recently moved nearby and decided to give Will Rogers Park a visit.  Apart from the exorbitant $12 entry fee to park in the car park, this is the perfect location for a gentle hike that still has great views of LA.  The Inspiration Point Trail is only 2.25 miles long with 325 feet of elevation gain, so you won’t feel like you’re climbing a million office block stairs on your way to a great view of Santa Monica. 



If you don’t fancy a hike, head to the stables instead or lounge on the grass out the front of Will Rogers’ lodge.  No lawn sports though. 





I’d been in LA for three weeks before I was subjected to my first ascent of Temescal Canyon.  After a Saturday night of heavy drinking, I blearily decided to keep my promise to hike Sunday morning with two new LA friends.  Half way up, my girlfriend Amy and I were pausing on rocky ledges pretending to pick out our dream multi-million beach house in an attempt to mask our exhaustion.  I love a good hike – really, I do.  But there’s a difference between hiking and torture – with an emphasis on the torture when we finally got to the top of the canyon to discover a fitness group doing their celebratory ‘booty dance’ to incredibly loud, incredibly offensive rap music. 

Straight away, I started a search for less torturous hiking adventures in Los Angeles, of which apparently there are a million.  I recently moved nearby and decided to give Will Rogers Park a visit.  Apart from the exorbitant $12 entry fee to park in the car park, this is the perfect location for a gentle hike that still has great views of LA.  The Inspiration Point Trail is only 2.25 miles long with 325 feet of elevation gain, so you won’t feel like you’re climbing a million office block stairs on your way to a great view of Santa Monica. 



If you don’t fancy a hike, head to the stables instead or lounge on the grass out the front of Will Rogers’ lodge.  No lawn sports though. 



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